He plays left field. Check.

He’s right-handed. Big check.

He’s healthy. Check.

He’s 29 years old – younger than Joey Votto. Check.

He hits with power, averaging around 35 home runs/year. That would have lead the Reds this year. Check.

His gets on base: Career OBP of .374 for you modern guys and batting average of .312 for the rest of you. Check and check.

He can steal a base, with 30+ SBs in each of his last two full seasons. That would also have led the Reds this year. Check.

For you RBI Guys, this player has driven in about 110 runs a year. Old school check.

He’s a solid defensive player, with great speed. Check.

He won’t break the bank, earning just $10 million in 2014 and $12 million in 2015. Barely more than Ludwick, check.

He’s not a rental, signed through 2020 with a mutual option for 2021. Stability, check.

Even in the out-years of his contract, he doesn’t make more than $19 million/year – a bargain for a 7.0+ WAR player. Value, check.

He may just be available. And at a reasonable price. Hmm. Discount double check.

Ordinarily, you’d assume his current franchise would never give him up, at least for nothing short of a prohibitively expensive haul.

But there’s a special circumstance.

In fact, due to that special circumstance, this player may be highly affordable, at almost no cost other than assuming his contract.

What would you think about an Opening Day lineup that began with these four hitters?

1. Shin-Soo Choo CF

2. Joey Votto 1B

3. Ryan Braun LF

4. Jay Bruce RF

Interested? Read more here.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Category

2014 Reds