On MLB.com's Fantasy 411 podcast they've been talking to Joe Sheehan and Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus for the past week. They got into the Reds one day. It was five minutes in a two hour show so I thought I'd just include a transcript. If you want to listen it starts at about the one hour, 24 minute mark of the October 8th episode. If you don't want to read through here are the highlights:
-Carroll says there is a great debate about whether to pick up Dunn's option. This really scared me, but Castellini's talk at the press conference kind of puts these fears to bed.
-Sheahan is very bullish on the Reds for '08. For what it's worth this was before the Dusty announcement.
-Carroll sounds really pessimistic about Jr's injury.
-Kyle Lohse gets their nod for best available free agent pitcher.
-The both support that Dunn-Votto position switch.
Joe Sheehan (JS) is a founder and leading editor for Baseball Prospectus. Will Carroll (WC) is considered the industry's leading injury expert. Also present is host Mike Siano (MS). I've added some italics to try to capture tone.
MS: Speaking of the Reds and managerial stuff Castellini has come out and said Wayne Krivsky is our GM period through a spokesperson. Krivsky has one year left on his contract and the Reds are 152-172 in his two years. How much say will Krivsky have in whether the Reds pick up Dunn's option?
JS: That's a non-starter, isn't it? I mean it's one year at... it doesn't actually matter. It's one year.
WC: I've actually heard some talk that there's a great debate in the Reds front office about whether to pick it up or not.
WC: And that tells you all you need--
JS: Anything I say now is gonna get me taken off the air.
WC: Yeah, it would be one of the stupider moves, but you know, that's entirely possible. And the other thing you want to look at with Krivsky is yes, he's gonna be the GM, but is Walt Jocketty gonna be the CEO? Do we get into a situation, an Andy MacPhail like situation where he's gonna bring in his own guy, where they have--
JS: Didn't the Tigers do that?
WC: The Tigers did exactly that.
JS: They brought in Dombrowski and Randy Smith lasted six days.
WC: Yeah. And it could well be a similar situation if Jocketty decides not to take a year off.
JS: And I don't care who's making the decision. You pick up Dunn's option. It's one year at, what is it 12?
WC: Yeah, one of the things that they talk about is that they couldn't trade him until May because of some esoteric reason--
JS: We talk about--was it on air with you guys? I, forgive me I've done a fair amount or radio. The Reds are a pretty good team.
JS: They can score a ton of runs--
MS: Was it you that was saying--
JS: I think it was here we were talking about--
MS: Yeah, it was here. You were sitting right there and you said they may have a shot at the Central next year.
JS: If they can accidently trip over a bullpen--
JS: I'm not even kidding you. They've got two good starters plus whatever Homer Bailey gives them. Now they have to fill out the back of the rotation. But you look at the lineup. They can score a ton of runs. The defense is, is okay, it's not great--
WC: Well hold on there. You've got to assume that Ken Griffey is back. And that was a pretty bad tear. I mean once again we're dealing with a ton of uncertainty. Griffey had a great season up to that point and now his future really in jeopardy again. So I'm not sure that same offense is--
JS: Okay, I still got Dunn, Votto, Phillips, Encarnacion, a good catcher--an underrated catching platoon--
WC: And I think Jay Bruce has a chance to crack that lineup as well.
JS: Okay, so if Bruce comes up you've got Hamilton, Dunn, you've got the--Norris Hopper is a good fourth outfielder--he played--
WC: Hamilton's gonna start in AAA.
[ED note: I'm pretty sure he meant Bruce here]
JS: Okay. I mean, I'm gonna say this team can score a ton of runs over the course of the year.
WC: Especially in that park.
JS: And not signing Dunn is a complete--what are you gonna do with that 12 million dollars? You can't do anything with it this year.
WC: The best--
JS: Give me a good player at 12 million as opposed to... what?
WC: The best pitching option out there is Kyle Lohse who they traded away.
JS: I keep coming back to this. Oh, God. Are we prepared to be in...
JS: --three months from now and be talking about Kyle Lohse getting five and sixty from somebody?
MS: Oh my God.
WC: Yeah, because you know--
WC: I think he's this year's Ted Lilly.
JS: I think he's this year's Gil Meche.
WC: Gil Meche.
MS: Carl Pavano...
JS: But he's the best guy in the market.
MS: It's more like Pavano because it's default.
WC: And you know who his agent is.
JS: I never know who their agent is.
WC: Scott Boras.
MS: Lohse is a Boras client? Really?
MS: Really. I did not know that.
JS: And... (laughs) Let's just say there are better ways... If I've gotten spend 12 million dollars next year I'll spend it on Adam Dunn.
JS: I know what Adam Dunn's gonna give me. And you know something from what I could see this year, his defense and his conditioning were both better this year. He wasn't, he looked to me like he was playing a little bit better last year--
WC: His defense looked better in the games I was down there. His conditioning was, he's starting to look a little bit more like me than he should. But much much taller.
JS: Fair enough.
WC: But he's a big guy.
JS: He's still a guy to have.
WC: Yeah, I would like to see him at first base. Just because he's, he's eating his way out of left field.
JS: What do you do with Joey?
WC: Joey doesn't play a bad left. I saw a couple games--
JS: Just flip the two of them?
WC: Yeah. Yeah, I don't have a problem with that.
JS: Okay. I could live with that.
MS: You think, uh--
WC: I think the Reds have a number of guys, Joe makes a good point here, a number of guys who are going to be very late round [fantasy] picks like Votto, and maybe you take a--
WC: Keppinger's a guy. A lot of, I don't think Jay Bruce is gonna be a sleeper, but you might make that quicker pick than a lot of people would because it would not surprise me if our buddy Kevin Goldstein ranked him number one.
JS: Uh, yeah. I don't know who it's--him or Kershaw?
JS: Okay, we just undercut Kevin then.