Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reds Land Latos for Prospects

Okay so I've seen the message boards, "We gave up too much" "Alonso was our future" and so on. Just hold on to your seats there guys. I look at it like this, I'm sick of losing, I want to win now! Sure we won the division in 2010, but how'd we do in the playoffs? I don't think that any of you were surprised we got swept, I mean look at the Phillies pitching staff. Now in no way am I regarding Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos in the same light as Cliff Lee and Doc Halladay, but pitching wins championships.

Let's look at what we gave up.

Yonder Alonso, the biggest trading piece the Reds had, it didn't matter who we got, he was going to be the one to go. The man without a position, sure we could have moved him to left but lets be honest here, he's no left fielder, and if you thought Adam Dunn was a defensive downgrade, you should hear some scouting on this guys left field. The biggest problem with keeping this guy in Cincinnati is Joey Votto, after the departure of Pujols, and most likely Fielder, he is probably the best position player in the NL central, if not the NL right now. What are you going to do? Platoon Joey and Yonder? Come on! If we played in the AL this no problem, but we play real baseball on the senior circuit, so no DH.

Yasmani Grandal, the next great catcher. We have Meseraco and Hanigan, even if Mez doesn't pan out to be a superstar, Hanigan has proven time and time again that he is one of the best clutch hitters on this team.

Brad Boxberger, Regarded as the future closer. This seems like the piece that the Padres needed to put this deal together. Looking to replace Heath Bell, it's a quality loss, but it had to be done.

Edinson Volquez. If you ask me, about damn time. This guy has no been consistent whatsoever, between the fatigue, the attitude, the steroid suspension, and everything else you get with the man, this doesn't bother me whatsoever, I wish him good luck in the future and hope he can turn things around in that big old ballpark out in San Diego.

What we have to remember is that THESE ARE PROSPECTS, this is not major league proven talent, Latos on the other hand is, and while I would love to have all those guys in my organization, I'll take Latos right now. This tells me that the Reds are ready to win now and not wanting to be mediocre for the years to come. Now is the time to win Reds fans and we just got a lot better.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pull The Trigger Already Walt!

Last year our two big "acquisitions" were signing Edgar Renteria and Fred Lewis. While I realize that the Reds are not a large market team like New York or Los Angeles and we aren't going to be in on any high end free agents like the Fielders or Pujols of the world, we are going in need of one thing. Pitching!

The Reds biggest issue at the moment may be replacing Francisco Cordero, who seems to be less likely to re-sign after each passing day. With closers like Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson on the market the club will likely sign a closer at a discount compared to the astronomical sum of twelve million dollars they were paying Cordero the last few years. Names from within have also surfaced as possibilities as closers such as; Homer Bailey, Aroldis Chapman, and Edinson Volquez. You can already forget about Bailey or Chapman closing. Chapman is likely to start this season and if not will stay in the bullpen as a set-up or long reliever. There is no way that Bailey is going to be a bullpen guy, assuming the Reds don't go out and sign two sure fire rotation guys, Bailey will be competing for a spot. That leaves Volquez, and I hate to say it, but I could see Volquez closing games, with an A+ fastball changup combonation all he would have to do is cut down on walks and I could see this as viable. Although I still feel the best option would be adding a closer via free agency.

Next we need to address the need that it seems the Reds lack every year. Top of the rotation starting pitching. It seems as though we are going to aquire this via Trade as opposed to free agency so we can look for a top end guy with a favorable contract situation. At the moment there are three guys that seem to be rising to the top of all the talks, Gio Gonzalez of the A's, James Shields of the Rays, and Jair Jurrgens of the Braves.

The A's were supposedly asking for Gonzalez the sum of Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and another top prospect. Gio is a tough pitcher, one of the best in the game, but when you look at his K/BB ratio it is similar to that of one Edinson Volquez, Gonzalez also doesn't have a favorable groundball to flyball ratio which could fair poorly with a move to GABP.

James Shields is going to demand a kings ransom as well, but what you have to ask yourself, Is it worth it? The Reds only have Joey Votto under contract for two more seasons and seems unlikely to return to The Nati for the 2014 season. Is it worth selling a couple of your best farm pieces? Is Jocketty going to cement himself in Reds history as the GM that couldn't make a deal? Only time will tell, and time is beginning to pass this club by if nothing changes soon.