The Reds will not sign Brandon Webb to a contract even though they may have been the “mystery team.” Reds fans can be thankful for one thing though, the Reds still have in the ballpark of 2-5 million dollars to spend this off-season.
When Rhodes left to join the American League champion, Texas Rangers, the Reds offseason got a little more interesting. Walt Jocketty and the rest of the Reds front office play tighter to the vest than just about any other organization.
I expect the Reds to focus on other needs than the bullpen. Rhodes would have been great to have back, but the organization has tremendous depth to fall back on in 2011. Prospect Phillipe Valiquette could play an important role in the pen just like Logan Ondrusek did in 2010. Aroldis Chapman will prepare as a starter in spring training. However, I would not expect him to make the rotation and instead be the lead left-hander in the bullpen. The bullpen will shake out as follows unless another player is signed.
Setup- RHP Nick Masset
LHP Aroldis Chapman
Middle Relief-Bill Bray, Logan Ondrusek, Jose Arredondo (signed from the LA Angels in 2009),
Long Relief-Mike Leake, Travis Wood, or Matt Maloney (whoever is left out of the rotation)
So the Reds will be left with money to sign a backup shortstop, left fielder/leadoff man, or a left-handed bench hitter. Below are five free agents who the Reds could target.
1. Scott Podsednik-rumors are swirling that the Reds are interested in Podsednik, and with Webb going to Texas, the Reds interest may increase. He could serve as a potential leadoff man and a left fielder who will most likely platoon with Jonny Gomes.
2. Edgar Renteria-the Giants World Series hero really struggled for the better part of 2010. However, he would provide veteran experience for what is still a young team. However, the Reds may also opt to use one of their younger players as Janish’s backup.
3. David Aardsma-Aardsma is not a free agent and is still under contract with the Seattle Mariners. If the Mariners have told other teams that Aardsma is available, the Reds could move in. He would not require any of the Reds elite prospects to acquire, and he could provide depth in the bullpen and be a potential closer if Cordero falters. It may be a long shot, but Aardsma’s benign contract could make him of interest to the Cincinnati Reds.
4. Laynce Nix-Nix could be back in a Reds uniform again to serve as a power hitting left-hander off the bench. His potential is limited, but he is a solid bench player.
5. Jerry Hairston Jr. -Hairston left the Reds two years ago to play for the Yankees. He spent last year with the Padres, but reports are surfacing that the Padres are unlikely to bring back Hairston. Hairston is a utility player who could backup Janish and play left field with Jonny Gomes. He could be signed for a million or less and could potentially be coupled with Renteria or a less pricey reliever.
Jocketty has a tremendous amount of options, and even though many teams believe their offseasons have already been defined, Jocketty is not panicking and is very patient. He will most likely wait even longer to see how the prices of unsigned players will come down. Orlando Cabrera was signed very late in the offseason in 2010.
My guess is that the Reds will sign the Podfather, Scott Podsednik. His defense is not that much of an improvement over Gomes, but he is a very different player that may have complementary skills.
Topics: Aroldis Chapman, Arthur Rhodes, Brandon Webb, Cincinnati Reds, David Aardsma, Edgar Renteria, Francisco Cordero, Jerry Hairston Jr, Jose Arredondo, Laynce Nix, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Scott Podsednik, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers