So many decisions and so many crucial moves will have to be made this offseason for the Reds. I go back and forth in my head deciding what my preferences are. Who do I want to start in left field? Who should start at third base? What should happen with Yonder Alonso?
The list goes on and on and on…
At some point this offseason, I believe that you will see Walt Jocketty make a trade, one that will likely set Reds nation abuzz either positively or negatively. The Reds know that they have a small window of opportunity where they can control and win with so many of these young players with promising futures.
This season may be a lost cause, but the Reds will hopefully be as anxious to return to the playoffs a second time as they were anxious to break the over 15 year drought. That trade that I alluded to will likely include some of the following names: Todd Frazier, Juan Francisco, Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, or Travis Wood.
So allow me to put forward a variety of scenarios, and hopefully many of you will weigh in on what decision should be made.
Scenario 1: Scott Rolen looked old and frail this season. A .242 batting average with 36 RBI is not what the Reds were counting on. Allowing Rolen to move on either via wavers or via trade could clear 6.5 million dollars for the Reds next season. Juan Francisco, Yonder Alonso, or Todd Frazier could start at third in his place. There are knocks on all three replacements.
- Todd Frazier has a low average and may have a ceiling as a utility player. He strikes out too much.
- Juan Francisco strikes out too much as well and does not show consistent plate discipline.
- Can Yonder Alonso even play the position?
The Reds have now allowed Fred Lewis, Jonny Gomes, and Jeremy Hermida go, so the left field position appears to be down to Dave Sappelt or Chris Heisey. Sappelt could potentially lead off for the Reds, and his Spring Training numbers were backed up by a strong season in Louisville. He has admitted to being surprised at the number of fastballs that he has seen at the Major League level, and he is batting just .266 since arriving. Finally, it seems unlikely that Frazier will get much of a run in LF.
Chris Heisey has had multiple opportunities to take the LF job, but his batting average has slipped even though he has shown consistent power.
Calls for the Reds to shut down Bronson Arroyo were amplified when he gave up 6 runs in just one inning in his last start. Is the mononucleosis still affecting him? Is his back injured? Or is he simply getting old and ineffective? The Reds could save 12 million dollars this offseason by restructuring Arroyo’s contact and trading him or waiving him.
The Reds would be forced to restructure the contract (which Arroyo has shown willingness to cooperate with in the past) because the 15 million in deferred money is due immediately to Bronson if he is traded. The Reds do not want to have to pay that money. Dontrelle Willis seems to be better than Arroyo at this point, and he can be maintained at a much cheaper price this offseason. So….
Francisco Cordero is one of the most polarizing figures on the Reds’ team. Jocketty has said the Reds are willing to renegotiate with Cordero, but is another in house option ready to be the closer? I think not. It appears that Chapman is headed to the rotation, so it is unlikely that he is the 2012 closer.
In all, I have proposed 29 million in potential savings this offseason if the Reds let go of Scott Rolen, Bronson Arroyo, and Francisco Cordero. That seems a bit too radical to me if I know the Reds front office. Those types of sweeping changes are not Walt Jocketty’s MO. So what should the Reds priorities be? As far as I am concerned, the more money the Reds can save now, the longer they will be able to keep their promising youngsters.
Sans Arroyo, I would like to see a rotation next year of:
- Johnny Cueto
- Mike Leake
- Homer Bailey
- Dontrelle Willis
- Travis Wood
- IF WE ARE LUCKY THE REDS MAY MAKE A TRADE FOR A STARTER WITH SOME OF THAT 29 MILLION IN SAVED MONEY.