The winter meetings start today in Indianapolis. I don't look for the Reds to be very active but could be wrong. Here is what two experts at Baseball Prospectus have said about the Reds in their team-by-team notes in front of the meetings:
It’s not clear whether they’re looking to trade a starter because they want to rebuild or they just don’t want to pay for both Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang. The Reds are another team that has put resources into strange places, such as offense-killing leadoff hitters, closers, and aging, injury-prone third basemen. It should be easier to get excited about a team that starts with a league-average rotation, Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips. The ideal Reds week would include trades of Francisco Cordero and Arroyo, not for financial reasons but to add a major-league shortstop and center fielder. With that unlikely, not enough money for an all-in play and no plan for a rebuild, Walt Jocketty will at least lose some weight working the treadmill.
More than anything, they wish to drop a large salary and are making right-hander Aaron Harang and closer Francisco Cordero available. The Reds have no glaring needs, but would be interested in dealing for a shortstop or left fielder if the price is right.
So don't be surprised to see the Reds move Cordero, Harang, or Arroyo.
I'm on record saying I think the Reds should stand pat (although I did tout Coco Crisp as a free agent signee) and see where they are on July 1st with what they've got. Then, if they're not in the hunt, trade some vets. The Reds have such a small amount of money committed after this year, that rebuilding starting in 2011 would be relatively easy, especially with some trade-deadline trades of vets for prospects in 2010.
But if the Reds traded Cordero I would not be disappointed, especially if they used that money on a bat, like Crisp, or a young, left handed starter like Jonathon Sanchez of the Giants (who is reported to be on the block). They could certainly use the payroll flexibility, and although Cordero had a great year, so did Massett, who would take over closer duties. I think it would be a lot easier to replace Massett in the set up role than to find a center fielder that can bat lead-off.