Reds Up/Reds Down: Offseason Edition


This is a little feature I hatched a few weeks back and had worked with Steve to make this a weekly feature on BRM. It was supposed to go up a couple weeks ago but some unfortunately family matters delayed things slightly for me, but here we are now.  So basically, I will be checking in at the end of each week with a few of the good and a few of the bad in the Reds universe. Since newsworthy bits are a bit more scarce during the winter I have just compiled an offseason edition that covers things up to here. And now without further ado…

Reds Up

The Reds Checkbook–  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to call this a Reds Up or a Reds Down since the Reds did break the bank quite a bit, spending $151 million dollars in contracts this offseason. That is good for the third most in the majors behind only the Red Sox and Rockies. But what they did with it was the reason I give it a Reds Up. Locking in the core nucleus of the team that won the 2010 NL Central crown might not be buzzworthy but it’s a sound investment that should pay off in spades in the coming years. I would have rather locked up Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, and Jay Bruce than signed Jayson Werth any day.

Jay Bruce–  And from that spending spree came the guy who made out good from his breakout 2010 season. Bruce signed a 6-year $51 million dollar deal that carries through 2016 and has an option for 2017. Good change for the 23 year old coming off his best season at .281/25 HR/81 RBI along with Gold Glove caliber defense in right field. This follows the recent trend of teams locking up their young stars early on ala Troy Tulowitzki or Evan Longoria. Given Bruce’s current arc this contract should bode well for the Reds as all signs point toward Bruce only improving from his great 2010.

Reds Down

Standing Pat–  I say this tentatively as perception means more than results. So I am playing devil’s advocate on this matter as I am a fan of the internally oriented moves the Reds made in giving extensions to its young nucleus but outside perceptions shows the Reds as treading water while the other teams in the Central (namely the Brewers and Cards) added some major pieces. Time will tell whether this was a good move for the team but if last season’s success is not followed up the casual fan may point to the lack of a big offseason splash as the reason for the return to the pack.

Infield Depth–  What offseason acquisitions that the Reds did make, they benefited the overall depth and bench especially in the outfield and infield. I am concerned however that we may be just one reliable veteran infielder away from having my confidence. The signing of Edgar Renteria gives the Reds a great bench tool and a short to medium term starter at both shortstop and third and Miguel Cairo returns to his utility role from last season but one more player capable of filling in at second, third, or maybe short would be ideal. The role could be for Chris Valaika to take, but whether or not he is ready is the question.

So that’s a couple tidbits on the good and bad for the Reds this offseason. Once the season begins, I will be expanding this feature to become a summary of the Reds play each week with the Reds topics that are up and down along with a little commentary mixed in. Hope you enjoy!