Cincinnati Reds’ General Manager begins independence on a down note

Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

In his first day on the job as the Cincinnati Reds’ general manager, Dick Williams announces that he’s going to fix the bullpen.

Why can’t the Cincinnati Reds find a general manager that gets it?  Looking around baseball, there is a very finite number of elite relievers.  Most teams have a good enough bullpen and then go out and get a stud reliever.

The Chicago Cubs went out and got Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees.  The Yankees were able to afford Chapman, but didn’t need him to close out the year.  Up until then the Cubs had been fine with Hector Rondon closing games.

The same can be said for the Cleveland Indians.  The acquired Andrew Miller from the same New York Yankees.  They used him as a set-up man, but also as a designated fire man.

How does Williams plan on fixing a bullpen that isn’t broken if the Reds aren’t in the play-off hunt?  The bullpen took most of the heat for the home run record, but Dan Straily and Brandon Finnegan were the main culprits in that debacle.  They are both in the rotation and will stay there until the Reds find better options.

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  • The Reds need to take a long, hard look at where the team really fell apart in 2017.

    Take a breath and think.  Where does Williams need to improve the Reds?  The catching and the bullpen are both the right idea.

    The Reds may want to move Raisel Iglesias, while the relief market is hot.  Then Williams would need a mentor for Michael Lorenzen of a higher status than Ross Ohlendorf.  That is one spot where the Reds do need to improve the pen.

    The other spot is behind the plate.  Devin Mesoraco’s rash of injuries has destroyed any stability at the catching position.  Now Williams needs to find some way to fix that.

    The only potential free agent starting catcher is Kurt Suzuki.

    The Reds may budget to sign him, but he might have other thoughts.  It would likely be a one or two year flier while the youngsters caught up.

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    They could also trade for a catcher.  Brian McCann is likely to be available thanks to the emergence of Yankees’ rookie Gary Sanchez.  He could catch and be a nice bench piece, but could cost entirely too much.  That’s what Williams needs to focus on now that he supposedly has wrested control away from Walt Jocketty.