So, until yesterday, I was prepared for a pretty dull offseason. The Reds, I figured, would make a few acquisitions, but mostly, the 2014 team would look a lot like this year’s team. Now I’m not so sure.
For a moment, I have decided to let my imagination run wild, and I thought it would be fun to let you do the same. Trying to keep myself somewhat grounded in reality, this is what I would try to do if I were the Reds:
1. Trade for Giancarlo Stanton. Obviously, it would take a mint to get him, but with only two years of team control left, it’s hard to imagine the Marlins being ready to compete before they lose him. I would literally empty the farm for him, but even that might not be enough. Still, he would be the perfect RH bat for the lineup.
2. Trade Brandon Phillips for whatever you can get. By both fWAR and bWAR, Phillips has been in sharp decline since his peak season in 2011. What’s more, 2Bs tend to fall off a cliff right about now. And then there’s all the nonsense from this year. It seems like Phillips needs a change of scenery, as it were. I would replace him with whatever decent option I could get for a reasonable price on the open market as there’s a solid crop of 2Bs and SS hitting free agency this year.
3. Re-sign Choo. Duh.
4. Let Bronson go. Unless neither Bailey or Latos can be extended, in which case the situation changes.
5. Put Chapman on the block in hopes of landing a middle infielder who is better than what’s available and/or some prospects to help later. Relief pitchers are not as valuable as many believe and tend to be very up and down. Chapman had an 88% save percentage this year. The league was at 88.9%.
So that’s my Plan A, in which case the Reds would have a lineup that looked something like this: Choo, Votto, Stanton, Bruce, Frazier, Mesoraco, 2B, Cozart. That top 4 is going to terrify people.
The rotation would be similar to 2013: Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Cingrani, Leake.
This is not a deep team, at all, but if it stays healthy, it would scare the crap out of the opposition. Can you imagine that playoff rotation?
If Stanton can’t happen, you can execute a plan B that involves Choo in left and Hamilton in center. I believe Hamilton’s speed and defense are valuable enough to make him at least average at the major league level right now.
Anyway, it’s still October. The playoffs are still happening (much to our chagrin). It’s not time to be serious yet, so let’s have a little fun and fantasize. What would you do?
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.