Intrepid Reds general manager Walt Jocketty says that starting pitching is the priority this off-season:

“I can’t comment of other team’s players, Jocketty said, “although others are OK talking about ours. I will say we’re looking at improving pitching. The first priority is finding a starting pitcher. If (Francisco) Cordero leaves, we’ll have to look at finding a closer.”

Jocketty’s quote was in answer to a direct question about the Andrew Bailey report Bill mentioned earlier.

It is comforting, at some minimal level, that the Reds have clearly identified what we’ve known for a while: this club needs pitching. Specifically, the Reds need starters. How they are going to acquire that starting pitching, I haven’t the foggiest idea. Fortunately, Cincinnati’s front office is filled with people that are smarter than me. I hope.

The second part of the quote above concerns me, somewhat. I’m as big a CoCo fan as you’re likely to find in the Nation, but handing a closer a ton of money is a dumb, dumb idea almost 100% of the time (see Nathan, Joe). Especially with a small-market club. The Reds just can’t afford to repeat their CoCo mistake (it’s more a budgeting mistake than anything; Cordero was most certainly not a bad pitcher. He just wasn’t worth the percentage of the budget that he ate up).

Frankly, I’d be fine with almost anyone as closer (except Aroldis Chapman). I’m much, much less concerned with that position than I am with the #1 spot in the starting rotation. James Shields, anyone?

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. I agree, I’d rather see us look at some of our internal candidates for closer (not Chapman).

    The one virtue of Andrew Bailey is that he’s under team control for two or three years and so he’s affordable compared to CoCo. His health record does concern me.

    I’m not saying the Reds should trade for Bailey, only that by pursuing him we may be looking to find a relatively low-salary closer who is proven. What’s that worth?

    Emphatically ‘yes’ on James Shields.

  2. I have no problem with looking internally for a closer, in fact, that is what I think should be done. As far as James Shields goes I am pretty sure the Rays would let him go only through their cold dead fingers. I could be wrong, but if he is available, he will cost an arm and a leg and maybe even some breast meat. Of course, this could all be posturing by the Rays, just as the Reds could be posturing about Votto, but I don’t think so. I feel reasonably confident that something is going to happen in the next two weeks. The question is whether Jocketty makes a little splash or does he go for the major overhaul. Players that could be packaged would include every OF, except Bruce. Valaika, Cozart, Frazier, Phillips, Francisco, Bailey, Volquez, Masset, LeCure, Arrendondo, Wood, Bray, most of the pitchers. I do not include Votto, because he is too valuable, though if the right deal came along, I might pull that trigger too. Actually, for the right deal no one should be untouchable.

  3. I don’t see why the Rays have to deal Shields at all this year. We think we got it bad, man, they got to deal with the two fatcats of the yard with the Red Sox and Yankees and are stuck in a town that doesn’t really even care they are there no matter how well they run the joint.

    They should deal the Natinals to have to play in Tampa and put the Rays in DC, then things would get interesting.

    Personally, I don’t mind going after pitching- I really don’t want to see them give Alonso away unless they are bringing back something big.

    I think just if they can get Homer, Cueto and Bronson healthy at the start that would be a big difference. Those guys not being right at the beginning of the season set the table for the whole year. They also need to get Nick Masset quite a bit of work in the spring to try and stave off that slow start that has killed him the past couple of years.

  4. Just read Yahoo! which said there is a possibility of trading Alonso for Brian Wilson of the Giants. Please, no. Or rather, why? 🙁

  5. Actually, I’m saying more than that! The idea of trading a first round draft choice, who is making near minimum, who WILL one day be silver slugger, allstar, and who knows, maybe even an MVP one day in Yonder Alonso for a RELIEF PITCHER is beyond stupidity. I DON’T CARE that you put a little letter “c” by his name. It’s like trading a new Harley for a used Honda and kicking in extra money while you do it. Just asinine. 😡

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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