1. Do they replace the hitting coach?
2. Do they sell high on some guys who had good seasons, such as Bailey? Chapman? 2 guys who often have arm fatigue but survived this season intact.
The old adage that everybody has their price holds true. Thing is though, if I were AD, the other team wouldn't meet my price on certain guys. I'd ship Joey Votto to the Dodgers in a heartbeat if they'd snd Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, either Scott Van SLyke or Josh Fields and cash in return. Wouldn't be holding my breath for a "Yes." I think Homer just got the ol' "dead arm" that is a natural result of pitching more innings in the past. It hit Cueto also. Homer certainly bounced back in fine fashion. I'd try to sign him to a fair extension this offseason. If you're gonna try to upgrade on Mike Leake and you're gonna trade Homer, then you're gonna have to come up with two quality starter. I believe Aroldis also suffered a little dead arm from an increased workload - (getting used to the number of appearances as much as the increased innings, IMO). Again, I would consider a deal for Aroldis, but an all-star caliber 3B, LF or TOR Starter would be heading back my way in the deal if I did.
3. How long will it take Hamilton to get to the major leagues or will he? Will he succeed or flop at the major league level?
Between the tradedeadline 2013 and the tradedeadline 2014. I don't think he'll flop. I think there is a good chance he becomes a very special player and the best true leadoff hitter the Reds have had in a very long time, but it's certinaly not a leadpipe cinch.
4. Short term fix or long term fix in CF? And how do you acquire someone? What are the options?
BPA with the best OBP (plus solid D). This club needs a CF who can get on base and play adequate D. I love Billy's potential, but he shouldn't factor into the equation for CF in 2013 in the least. Go get a CF like Fowler or Span and imporve the club now. It keeps you from having to rush Billy also. Then, if Billy forces his way out of L'Ville then you can trade Fowler or Span easily or maybe if you get one of them, you revisit the move of Billy off SS and deal Cozart and/or Didi. No such thing as having too much solid talent. I would try to deal for Span or Fowler or possibly sign Bourn (not a favorite). I wouldn't look for a short-term answer if a better option is available, but if they go short-term, Shane Victorino or Nate McClouth might be possible. If they want to go with someone who is not necessarily a natural CF (of if you want tomove Bruce to CF) Juston Upton, David DeJesus or Shin-Soo-Choo might be targets.
5. Are you okay with Frazier at 3B? Or do you want an upgrade?
I'm very OK with Frazier at third base or LF (if you acquire a solid 3B). You need to address one of the two spots anyway. I wouldn't mind a bit if they could find someone as an insurance policy for Todd that can switch-hit or hits lefty.
6. Are you okay with Ludwick in LF? Or do you want an upgrade?
I'd be fine with him back at the right price. If he doesn't return, I think Walt needs to expend every effot to land a top bat at either LF or 3B. If Ryan does return, then I would still like to have a LH bat with power who can play 3B and LF (if possible) to mix with he and Frazier.
7. Chapman, rotation or Closer? Cingrani......is he a starter option or bullpen option?
Chapman? Closer - too many variables. Stretching him out. How does starting affect his velocity? Effectiveness? Control? We already address that he had a fatigue issue in relief this year. At what point would he need to be Strassburg'd? I think you weaken two spots by trying to start him now (at least in the short-term). Cingrani? I'm fine either way. Wouldn't mind him starting in L'Ville at all, but I was also impressed with his work from the Reds pen late in the year. Having he, Marshall and Chapman in the pen from the left side would be sick. Come spring training 2014 though, he's a starter and vying for the spot vacated by Arroyo with Corcino.
I'll even add a number 8.
8. Does Walt try to upgrade the rotation this offseason?
Yes. I believe he had every intention of aqcuiring a solid starter at the deadline this year and that that intention will carry over to the offseason. I look for him to make a run at someone like Garza, Shields, Masterson, etc. over the offseason and I don't even discount a surprise stab at a free agent (not that I think it will be successful). I also believe Leake will be dealt.