Reds Free Agents

With the season ended, the Cincinnati Reds have nine players of the 166 league wide that are free agents. A look at the nine reveal some interesting questions and scenarios.

Following are a look at those nine and the possibility that any of these could still be in a Reds uniform in 2011.

1. Willie Bloomquist
Bloomquist come over from Kansas City on September 13 for the ever popular PTBNL or cash. Since Bloomquist was going to be a free agent after the 2010 season, the Royals were looking to rid themselves of some cash as Willie earned $1.7 million last season. Bloomquist is a valuable player in that he played every position last year except pitcher and catcher. He is really that versatile. His bat won’t impress that much, but he does possess above average speed. There is a possibility that Bloomquist could return…if the Reds cannot re-sign another free agent, Miguel Cairo.

2. Orlando Cabrera
Although the Reds declined their part on a mutual option, they are interested in bringing Cabrera back. If the Reds had picked up that option, Cabrera would have to also agree to return AND he would be scheduled to make $4 million in 2011. I’m completely guessing that Walt Jocketty did not want to pay that price. Hard to disagree since OC had one of his worst offensive seasons since entering the league. And Paul Janish did show he has a capable bat.

3. Miguel Cairo
I’ve said it least three times over the past month, the Reds would have been lost in 2010 if the roster did not have Cairo as a resident. When Scott Rolen was nursing a bad hamstring, Cairo stepped up. When Joey Votto was down for a few days, Cairo stepped up. In the 40 games he started, Cairo hit .307 with 4 HR and 20 RBI. He also scored 25 runs in those 40 games. He was also sixth on the team in on-base percentage (.353). If Cairo rejoins, then there’s almost no need for the Reds to bring back Bloomquist, too.

4. Jim Edmonds
I was completely in the minority on the move to bring Edmonds to Cincy. Most Reds fans did not want to see Chris Dickerson go in the move. I liked Edmonds leadership above all else. This trade did not work out on any front except as an extra dugout coach. The last injury Edmonds suffered in a game against the Diamondbacks was about as freaky as you’ll see…rounding the bases after hitting a home run. That may have been his last trot around the bases in the majors. He’s hinted that it could be, but you never know when the phone could ring again…and it depends on the rehab.

5. Aaron Harang
With all the free agents that may not be back, this one kind of hurts. Harang was the horse on a few Reds teams that weren’t all that good. He took the ball anyway and hurled his heart out. That was apparent when he had to be removed in what most view as his last outing as a Red. The emotion, a side of Harang rarely seen, was obvious. He knew. Harang would be back if not for the stable of young and impressive arms the Reds have.

6. Ramon Hernandez
Very similar to the Cabrera situation except Hernandez is a free agent due to not reaching the requirements of a vesting option. Part of that was due to a DL stint and part was due to the maturation of Ryan Hanigan. He’s wanted back, no question. Bringing Hernandez back would give the Reds a chance to monitor Devin Mesraco a bit longer as well.

7. Mike Lincoln
Lincoln made $2.5 million last season and the Reds got all of 19 games out of the reliever. Not a sound investment. His last five appearances were not very good. In fact, they were lousy (6.2 IP, 12 ER, 16 H). Lincoln was placed on the DL after his appearance on May 31. On July 17, he was transferred to the 60-day DL with a strained right latissimus dorsi, a back muscle. Not a likely chance he returns with (again) young arms waiting in the wings.

8. Arthur Rhodes
The only knock anyone could have on Rhodes for his play in 2010 was the nagging issue with his foot. There was never a doubt that he was as dominant as any Reds pitcher coming out of the pen last season. He wants to return. The Reds want him back. I’m sure he will return unless dollars get in the way.

9. Russ Springer
Another Jocketty guy that disappointed due to injury. Springer won’t be back (see Mike Lincoln).