Those are three of the organizations top four or five players together for no less than two more years barring any transactions. And I will say this about the Brewers (and it’s not an insult to them). They may have the likes of Braun, Greinke, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks for locked for a period of time, but a major force in that lineup in Prince Fielder may not be back next season. If the Brewers were as vigilant as Bethel states, why wasn’t Fielder offered such a deal? It could be that he’s represented by one Scott Boras.
You cannot argue the length in regards to Braun’s deal. He’s a Brewer until 2020 and maybe even for 2021. He’ll be 36 at the start of that 2021 season. No Reds player is tied up for that long. And you have to wonder of that will bite them in the end. Only time will tell, but Braun’s numbers do bear that it might be a deal that is worth the bucks the Brewers front office is doling out here.
That being said, I did belive that in having the trio of Bruce, Cueto and Votto in the fold for a couple more seasons after this one, Walt Jocketty didn’t do too bad in this area this past winter. To state that Cincinnati did nothing is completely false. And I do have one other slight disagreement.
The Reds had no laurels on which to rest? While this season has not met the expectations, the Reds did win the division last season. Call it luck or call it skill (I think it’s both), they are the defending divisional champs. The outcome in the 2010 postseason is surely nothing to boast of, but you simply cannot dismiss last season all together.
The Reds did rest on their laurels. The free agent signings of Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria partnered with minor league deals made to Jeremy Hermida and Dontrelle Willis will not incite a sense of fear to any opponent, divisional or not. True, the holes the Reds had after 2010 were not filled last off-season. The only gap seemingly corrected is that of the shortstop position in which Zack Cozart will have every opportunity to win the starting nod going into spring training of 2012. And as Bethel points out, it was a case, in my words, of too little, too late. The questions of left field, leadoff and cleanup hitters, and maybe even another top of the rotation starter do jump out at you. Those signings I spoke of did nothing to cure these ills. Hard to disprove that in any way.
I’m completely aware that this is merely one person’s opinion. We do that here every post. This lack of moves is not the sole basis for the Reds lack of success this year. The list is a bit longer than that.
And that is for another time.