The following is a blueprint for the Cincinnati Reds this winter. It does not include any moves that will never happen. The Reds will never be a part of the Alex Rodriguez, Tori Hunter or Mariano Rivera free agent discussions. The Reds will never trade for Miguel Cabrera or Johann Santana. That is not the market they live in. Instead, the following plan only addresses realistic moves that could fit in a budget that needs to expand by $7 to $8 million, which is possible considering the new ticket prices and new radio deal the Reds just signed. The National Central is a weak division. The playoffs are within reach. The Reds cannot sit on their hands and waste the talent of their core players only to be doomed to rebuild again shortly. Seize the day!

Check out the article and see what they think…discuss it here.

And from

In baseball’s low-revenue markets, flexibility comes at a premium. The ability to maneuver without albatross contracts constraining a team’s payroll is the truest sign of good management.

And it goes on from there…

About The Author

I've been a Reds fan since the late '60's, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in '84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in '90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

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12 Responses

  1. DevilsAdvocate

    An article on the Hardball Times today about the First Pitch Arizona ‘fantasy baseball symposium’ included this tidbit:

    On a somewhat unrelated note, I found it incredible how many Dusty Baker jokes were made. It wasn’t like one or two. It was like six or seven throughout the weekend. He was constantly being brought up in regard to Reds pitchers like Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, and Matt Belisle. I thought this was very interesting given David Gassko’s article about Baker from last year that found that he doesn’t really ride his pitchers as hard as people think. Is it possible that he only rides his aces hard?

    Can never have too much information and analysis. And besides, I’ve been down on the Baker hiring and this balances out my own personal punditry.

  2. DevilsAdvocate

    That article is…imaginative. I’ll just comment on the proposed trades:

    That particular Griffey trade seems like it could actually work in real life. It surprises me to see myself type that. Gets Junior back to Seattle (no debate about his Hall-Of-Fame team cap then, which Seattle would also love), acquires something of value for him, and makes room in the Reds’ outfield.

    If any GM would take Freel in trade for anything that approaches the value of Chorye Spoone, Krivsky should offer to be that GM’s personal chauffeur for a year. Honestly, that trade would be absolute thievery.

    It’s fanciful to think that SF would take a package of Encarnacíon & 2 prospects for Matt Cain…and I don’t like the idea of trading Stubbs. And to suggest throwing in Coutlangus too…SF released him in 2005. I doubt they feel a need to reacquire him.

    I like swapping Ross out. I wouldn’t sign Kenji to a multiple-year contract though, I’d prefer to see an avenue cleared for Tatum/Miguel Perez if either one builds on their 2007 success.

    One thing that puzzles me is the comment on Dunn (in the lineup portion, #3). It says that Dunn would be primed for a big year in part because of “the absence of the negative influence of Griffey.” What?

  3. Sultan of Swaff

    I thought the first article was well done. I’d do the Griffey trade in a heartbeat. Hell, I’d do any Griffey trade in a heartbeat. I’d take what I could get for Freel, pass on Benson while keeping Belisle. the EdE trade is intriguing, probably a yes–worthwhile w/ Kepp in the middle of his peak years and Francisco (EdE v2.0) a couple years away (and I’d trade Stubbs and Valaika w/o blinking). Any way we can stack our pitching and skew it toward youth, we gotta do it. It doesn’t take a genius to see this team could have a sensational core of young players come Opening Day, playroll flexibility, no long term contracts, and a recharged fan base. Like Colorado, they may mature faster than you think.

  4. Kurt

    I agreed with a lot of ideas, but unfortunately reality is involved. I don’t think we could get Cain with what he proposed. I do think for what he offered we should be able to Kevin Slowey and Slowey might be a bit risky in GABP. If we added to the deal maybe we could land Garza or Linecum. As for Junior. I believe Seattle would need to unload Richie Sexson somewhere and convince Junior to Play First since Adam Jones will probably earn his spot next year. Maybe Seattle would trade Clement instead of Johjima but probably not. Why would we pay for an expensive Matt Belisle (Kris Benson) when we already have a cheap Matt Belisle? Anyways I like our Cheap Belisle and I think he has more upside than Benson does. If the Reds can Manage a bullpen that Deep for next year, I will be getting very excited.

  5. Chris

    Interesting, but I disagree in a few places:

    – I’d keep Belisle. He’s likely due to improve, if due to his lousy BABIP if nothing else.

    – I think he WILDLY underestimates the cost of free agent relievers (and simultaneously overstates their importance). There’s no reason to throw $2.5M at a stiff like Affeldt and then throw Coutlangus away. (Equating Coutlangus – 106 ERA+ with Majewski 57 and Stanton 79, tells me you’re not paying attention).

    The “negative influence of Griffey” is the sort of junk that sneaks into too many articles. As is this: “A new identity is needed and is within reach.” Just stick to facts and statements that actually mean something.

    the Reds need to sign Brandon Phillips to a long term contact at the first opportunity.

    105 OPS+. Thankfully, that opportunity isn’t here quite yet. Let’s see continued improvement.

    I like the big ideas, though: Griffey and Cain (though I’d try to shop Votto instead of EE). I’d try to find a different solution at SS, but that’s just me.

  6. Shawn

    I think that set of deals would be terrific, if possible. No idea if Seattle or San Francisco would be amenable to such trades, however. I’d surely ask.

    I also would not release Belisle. Rather have Belisle than Benson, myself.

  7. David from Louisville

    Great articles, if Krivsky can pull those trades off he is definitely the man. Love the idea of trading Griffey, Stubbs, and Freel. Why no talk of trading Hatteburg? I also really like the idea of targeting Joe Blanton, I think we could definitely sign him long term. WE NEED TO GIVE UP STUDS TO GET THEM!!!!!

  8. Ryan

    I have to agree with Chris’ post. I’d be looking for a new option at SS. If Alex Gonzalez’s glove is still perceived highly, trade him while that perceived value still exists. He gives very little offensively and his defense was roughly league average. The Reds could bring up Paul Janish (a similarly defensive minded SS) from AAA, and save quite a bit of money.

    But then, who’d want Gonzalez?

  9. greg

    I’d trade Drew Stubbs tomorrow. No, I’d trade him today. I don’t think he’s shown much of anything, at all.

  10. Dan

    Paul Janish is going to be Juan Castro. He’s not the answer.

    I like the idea of shopping Gonzalez though. Don’t know what kind of value he has out there, but I wouldn’t mind checking. (Too bad Detroit got Renteria — I thought that could be a fit for Gonzalez.)

  11. DevilsAdvocate

    #9, I still think the decision to draft Stubbs was a poor one, and I always will. It’s just not a high-success move to draft a college player who has tools but still hasn’t converted them into baseball skills (BJ Szymanski). However, he is showing signs of life and I think is worth holding onto to see if he continues to develop.

    #5, I’d like to see continued improvement from Phillips too…if he could learn to take the occasional pitch, wait for easier-to-handle offerings, maybe work a few walks as a side benefit, that would go a long way. But don’t forget his defense – according to RZR he’s the best in the majors at 2b. And JinAZ writes about David Pinto’s PMR, which I don’t know as much about but appears to say that he’s twice as far above average as the next-best 2b. That’s amazing.

  12. davidwc

    I guess you hate to trade for someone you could have just drafted, but how about including Votto w/EdE in deal for Lincecum? Just Ed & prospects for Cain or Lincecum won’t get deal done, and SF can’t seem to find good 1B.