GM Walt Jocketty says the Reds saved some money by not signing Arthur Rhodes. That’s a good thing, and it’ll help the Reds address some weaknesses on the roster, right? Right?

“What we’re looking for is veteran outfielder, preferably a left-handed hitting outfielder and an infielder who can back up at shortstop,” Jocketty said.

Jocketty confirmed that the Reds had spoken to agents for both Scott Podsednik and Edgar Renteria.

Good grief.

Jocketty has properly identified a couple of weaknesses, as you might expect. His proposed solutions vex me, however. I’ve already told you what I think about Podsednik. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it makes very little sense for this team.

Signing the corpse of Edgar Renteria, however, is a disaster waiting to happen. But hey, he had a great World Series, didn’t he? Maybe those five games (ignore the 180 OPS in the NLCS the week before) are more meaningful than the last three seasons combined.

Signing Renteria wouldn’t be a very big deal if, as Jocketty stated, he were just a backup infielder. Those aren’t the signings I get worked up about (even if I’m not certain he’d be any better than Zack Cozart at this point in his career). Raise your hand, however, if you think Dusty Baker will start Paul Janish over Renteria on a regular basis. Anyone?

I’m just not smart enough to understand, I suppose, because I don’t see how either player makes the Reds better.

26 Responses

  1. The Mad Hatter

    I think Renteria would be the perfect fit as backup SS, 3B. But the Dusty veteran factor would screw that up in a heart beat. 30 to 40 games at each position would be the best situation. Then again, what do I know.

  2. Aaron Lehr

    I’m sorry, this isn’t directly related to the post (except that it is related to next year) but I found this fangraphs article to be pretty interesting…

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-playoffs-sweet-spot/

    The first round of CAIRO projections has come out, and this fangraphs fellow groups the teams according to win total. If you check it out, you can see that St. Louis and Milwaukee are labeled as “legitimate contenders” and the Reds are merely “fringe contenders” (the remaining 3 teams fall under “rebuilding”).

    These talks do concern me, but what is also of concern is the fact that the Reds think they can (mostly) stand pat this off season and continue to be favorites.

  3. Sean

    “Fringe Contenders”…It’s good to be lumped in with the defending WS Champs.

    I think this season will very much be a dog fight with Milwaukee, St. Louis, and possibly Chicago.

    I also feel very good about the Reds organization moving forward for the next 3 to 5 seasons. I feel much more confident about that time frame overall than I do about the other teams in the division. Yonder, Mesoraco, Billy Hamilton, and Yorman Rodriguez should help contribute in replenishing the big league team during that time frame (Yonder may help via trade).

    The Brewers have this year and possibly next to make a big run. That team has a lot of balance for this season with its rotation and the middle order of that line-up. It should dissipate each year following this year since Fielder will be gone. I could actually see the Brewers extend Greinke as some point which is scary (although I do not think he is quite the elite Pitcher he was in ’09, but a very good one none the less).

    I really think the Cardinals are done for a while even if Pujols re-signs because they have too much money vested in Holiday and Pujols (At some point the rotation will need to be addressed since Carpenter will retire at some point). Additionally, this should be LaRussa’s last season with the Cards, if Colby Rasmus isn’t on this team at the end of the year then they made a poor decision at some point during the season. The Cubs seem like they are still a season or two away from competing (I think Quade was a better choice for them than Sandburg). Ideally, the Pena deal for them backfires (I think Starlin Castro will make some strides this season).

  4. Steve

    (back to the thread, and Happy New Year, Nation)

    The Renteria signing would be a disaster for exactly the reason Chad implies – Dusty Baker would overuse him, particularly at SS.

    This is yet another example of a move being made that could potentially be wise, but will potentially be made stupid because of mismanagement.

    If we sign Renteria and he plays a dozen games at SS and 30-40 games at 3B, that’s the best possible world for him.

    But I would much rather see one of our younger players be promoted to cover both of those spots — and spend the money on something else.

    OR save the $$$ to spend at the trade deadline.

  5. Furniture City Red

    As long as Dusty doesn’t write him in the line-up as the SS every day, I’d be fine with signing Renteria…But we all know how Dusty loves his veterans…
    …Still, If Jocketty signs Renteria I’ll hold off judgement til’ May or June. I learned my lesson by bashing the Cairo signing last year and bashing Cairo the first month of the season – It turned out to be a good signing. Cairo played an important role in the Reds winning the division.

  6. BJ Ruble

    If they wanted to do this, they should have never signed Cairo. It is dumb, Dusty will use his veteran presence over Janish and the Reds will have the same situation as last year. Honesty, I’d rather have Valaika on the bench, he doesn’t play much of a short anymore, but neither does Renteria!

  7. centralkyredsfan

    Renteria wouldn’t be a bad fit, especially if he can do two
    additional things. 1. Play 3B when Rolen needs a rest and 2. Hit
    leadoff. It seems like he’s been around forever, but he’s just 34
    and still has some speed. His last year in Atlanta (2007?) was
    outstanding and he hit leadoff for them with a pretty good OBP. I
    don’t think they see Francisco as a viable option at 3B and you
    want a decent backup for Rolen if he’s going to be rested very
    much. Cairo was excellent in that role, but I think you want to
    have someone else also and allow Cairo to be available as a pinch
    hitter.

  8. Chris Garber

    Wait – why is this a good idea EVEN IF Dusty goes against 20 years of evidence and uses him as a backup?

    Renteria’s range is GONE. His bat, after the age of 30 (1324 PAs): 264/.316/.360 (676). And you guys want to play him at 3b?!?

    As BJ Ruble said: Why sign Miguel Cairo if you also want Edgar Renteria?

    The bright spot is that Jocketty is looking for a backup SS, thus seeming giving Janish the starting job (until Dusty has his say, anyway).

    • pinson343

      The bright spot is that Jocketty is looking for a backup SS, thus seeming giving Janish the starting job (until Dusty has his say, anyway).

      Chris G.: Exactly, this is the bright spot, and WJ explicitly said “backup” according to Fay. I don’t believe Dusty trumps WJ on this one. Last season was different, Cabrera was brought in by WJ to start.

      I’m more bothered by Posednik, because he doesn’t fill our OF need for a good bat off the bench (at the least) and because Dusty will have more leeway (a platoon situation) with Pos – batting him leadoff, and maybe on most days.

      Even if you don’t like Nix, you have to admit that Poz is a big downgrade from him, on offense and defense.

  9. lookatthathat

    @Chris Garber: Come on Chris, that resurgent WS means that he’s good for the next 3 years! Right? Right?

    But honestly, please, please, no.

  10. Steve

    When Renteria played for Atlanta in ’07 his OBP was .389, great for a lead-off hitter. Since then, not so much.

    ’08 in Detroit: .320
    ’09 in San Fran: .309
    .10 in San Fran: .333 (.304 in the second half)

    For context, Paul Janish’s OBP last year was .333 also.

  11. dn4192

    Is Janish an every day player? I keep hearing how he is nothing more then a fair backup and that playing him everyday is a horrible idea. Personally I can’t see how anyone can have that opinion given all the other possible options…

    • BJ Ruble

      Is Janish an every day player?I keep hearing how he is nothing more then a fair backup and that playing him everyday is a horrible idea.Personally I can’t see how anyone can have that opinion given all the other possible options…

      Probably not a first choice for many, but his defense makes him plenty valuable especially in the post-steroid area.

      Honestly, I don’t believe Janish will have the starting job very long anyhow. Cozart plays a very strong defense (not quite as much as Janish), has very nice power for SS, and is a nice player. Both will have roughly the same average type with Cozart having a higher ceiling. I think Cozart will either be starting by the end of the year or the beginning of next year.

      Look at the internal options for that bench spot:

      1.) Cozart – Upside is that he has some nice power off the bench, and if he needs to start, you aren’t losing anything. Downside is him losing AB’s for development.

      2.) Valaika – Upside is that he got some experience last September, has played 2b and SS (very little 3b), but the downside is that he hasn’t played SS fulltime in about 3+ years. He is a good OB guy, plays solid defense at second and would likely still have more range at SS than Renteria or Cabrera did last year.

      3.) Negron – Upside is that he is pretty good defender and it wouldn’t hurt having him buried on the bench because he is never going to be a starter in the ML’s, at least in my opinion. Downside is that he really isn’t that great a player, but does it really matter with him basically being a batboy (the spot Janish has held for two seasons now).

      To me it makes NO SENSE to sign a veteran backup SS. They either need to sign one to start, or not sign one at all. Personally, I would go with Janish with Valaika as the last bench spot. Then if Janish fails, try Cozart or pick someone up in July.

  12. dn4192

    Why not offer say Wood or leake and Yonder for Reyes and you have your SS.

    • BJ Ruble

      Why not offer say Wood or leake and Yonder for Reyes and you have your SS.

      Mets wouldn’t do it. They have Ike Davis, so they likely wouldn’t be interested in Yonder.

  13. BJ Ruble

    I like that angle though. Maybe a Leake, Cozart, Maloney, and another lower level might do it, but any trade for Reyes would likely involve Billy Hamilton.

  14. earl

    The Reds are going to bring in some vet, you can put it down. I don’t think they need to get either one, but I would probably be less bothered if they brought in Edgar Renteria than Pods. I think there is a slim chance that Renteria is healthy and maybe has a bounce back season to his earlier form. Even if Podsednik does great for him, it really isn’t better than what we probably already have.

    Renteria has had a really odd up and down career. While by age it might not be probable he will get back to the form he had earlier in his career or his bounce back in Atlanta, I’d say it ‘could’ happen. Baseball is a funny game, criminy would have ever thought someone like Julio Franco would have come out of nowhere and had the results he did in his 40s after disappearing. Weird things could happen. It could be a total disaster with him injured and gone by May or he could make the Allstar team. More likely it would be a year probably something similar to what got from Orlando Cabrera.

    I wouldn’t sweat left field for now and wait and see what what the Reds might be able to deal for by mid-season. I’d be cool with them doing that at shortstop, but I would lay a sawbuck that Jocketty brings in Renteria if the money fits the budget, as he was the guy that brought him to the Cards.

  15. pinson343

    @earl: I agree with your views.

    A lot of our opinions of course are based on gut feelings that aren’t necessarily rational. As players, I simply have more respect for Renteira than Posednik.

    In any case, I would just view Renteira (if we get him) as a replacement for Cabrera who will get used more properly. (Yes, I’m making a big assumption there, but I’ve discussed that above.) I prefer him to Cabrera.

    As for Pos, he’d be a replacement for Nix, and I view that as a distinct downgrade.

  16. metalhead65

    bad idea along with signing any veteran outfielder to play left field. why can’t the reds platoon gomes and heisy in lf?why do they need to keep finding ways not to use the young guys like heisy?play him and any of the youngs that they have,how else are they going to get experiance to make them helpful to the team? the veterans who are available are out there for a reason and that is because they can’t do it anymore!

  17. LVW

    I don’t see it as a big deal. Renteria can’t stay healthy enough to play everyday and Baker, Renteria, and Jocketty know it too.

  18. Jason in Toronto

    We HAVE the resources to make a deal, and Reyes is as good a candidate as any. Signing these old crumble bums does not advance our cause. It only gives Dusty the pieces he needs to keep trotting out a ‘veteran’ presence in the lineup.
    We do not need the Rolens, Gomeses, Renterias, Podsedniks, and Cairos of the world. Let a team like St. Louis or the Yankees go get them. Let’s use our youth, or at least work some of the prospects (where does Alonso fit in? Francisco?) into deals to truly improve our team!

  19. earl

    They can make the trade, but I think the thing is the Reds having the payroll space to make it work. I think Reyes only has a year left before free agency, so unless you are want to pone up a big stack of cash, you are going to have to give up a couple of quality players that have 4-6 years of payroll control for a rental.

    I don’t think the Reds are going to splurge anyone payroll expensive until they can try to get Votto and Cueto under extended contract. If the Reds roll from the start and the fans start packing Great American next year, it could change. Until then the Reds are still gonna have to live the Burt Reynolds lifestyle on the Mac Davis salary, which most likely is rolling the dice on a 1 year deal for a vet of some kind.

  20. CaptainTonyKW

    Can Michael Young still play SS? Looks like the Rangers are going to unload him…they would have to take on some significant salary though.

  21. Jason in Toronto

    Earl, that is one of the funniest and most poignant quotes I’ve seen in a long time. Kudos.

    Burt Reynolds on Mac Davis’ salary. I LOVE IT! :mrgreen:

  22. jrob45601

    Will someone please explain why we need a shortstop who averages 286/335/434, who’s value is tied mostly to speed, and a history of (although minor) hamstring injuries? Now through in the contract ($11 mil, for just 1 year) and prospects cost (probly Wood, plus a bat like Meseroco or Billy Hamilton), and how is that going to make this a better franchise?