Sunday, January 31, 2010

What's next for the Reds?

After signing Cabrerra, the big question is what's next for the Reds? If anything. Most likely, the Reds are finished with any big deals (and by that I mean more than $1 mil.) but there will still be some moves. For one thing, the Reds will have to make room on the 40-man for O-Cab. It looks like O-Cab signed with the Reds because he wanted to play short instead of second. That's exactly what we predicted would happen.

Here's what I'm proposing for the Reds: they need to trade a prospect off of the 40-man (actually 2) to make room for O-Cab and find a better 5th-starter option, preferably a lefty. The Reds have committed to Rolen at third for the next three years, so Juan Francisco is blocked there. They may try him in left, but that's not a great solution, especially with the other young talent they have in the outfield. So who needs a third-base prospect and has an extra lefty for the rotaion? The Twins. They've had trouble at third for a while now, and if ever a guy needed a change of scenery it's Glen Perkins. Perkins would be an upgrade over Maloney and Francisco has good trade value right now coming off of a great power year. The Twins have depth in the rotation, and could spare Perkins. The Reds would have to include another 40-man guy, but it could be a lesser prospect, and the Twins would have to include a non-40-man guy, preferably a third-base prospect who is further away than Francisco.

What about other free agents? As far as actual 2010 payroll, the Reds still have a little bit left over from the Rolen re-structure, but some of that was no doubt eaten up in raises for the arbitration eligible guys. So let's say they're out of money and could only sign another guy if Mr. Castellini opens up the payroll a little more. John Fay has reported he might do that, but arguably he already did with O-Cab. But if you're going to trade for Rolen and sign O-Cab, why not go a few more marginal dollars and make a run? Last year, the Reds reportedly took quite a run at Jermaine Dye; it just didn't work out. And that was when Dye was making in the neighborhood of $12-13 mil. Now, he is no doubt available for quite a bit less. He reportedly turned down a similar deal to what the Cubs gave Nady, but I'm not convinced that was because of the money. Nady signed as the fouth outfielder; I don't think Dye was ready to give up on a starting role. Dye could be this year's Abreu, signing a one-year deal a little below market in a favorable player situation to rebuild his value for next year. The Reds (and they're left field spot) are the perfect fit for Dye. His defensive decline will seem less sharp in left field for the Reds. And the short fence in left will help him at the plate, as well. I could see him coming here and having a big bounce-back year, putting himself back on the market next year off of a good season, looking for a multi-year deal. Again, see Abreu.

The Reds are also reportedly still in on Gomes, as well, having offered a minor league deal. I think Gomes will hold out for a major league contract based on the season he had last year. Of course, if the Reds were to sign Dye, Gomes would have to look elsewhere.

I really don't see any other free agents that would both be affordable and help the Reds short or long term. Mark Mulder is out there, and he's got some history with Walt Jockety with the Cardinals, but there's been no chatter connecting Mulder to the Reds. He would be a nice lefty starter if healthy, but may need more guaranteed money than the Reds want to pay (like Sheets). Damon is also out there, but I think he'll hold out for more than what the Reds could pay Dye, and I think Dye's a better fit because of his power potential in Pretty Good American Small Park.

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