What a difference, huh?
"In the last three weeks -- beginning with the surprise Jan. 11 signing of Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman through Monday's signing of veteran shortstop Orlando Cabrera and the trading away of Willy Taveras -- Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has moved Cincinnati from likely also-ran to a potential preseason sleeper. "I'm excited about it," Jocketty said on Monday. "Obviously, we've been able to do some things to improve our club that I wasn't sure we'd be in position to do. A lot of it was being patient and waiting for the market to drop to our level, I guess, where we could afford to do some things."
Throw in the Scott Rolen restructuring/extension, the Ramon Hernandez below-market contract, and the apparently savvy non-tendering of Jonny Gomes (and perhaps a subsequent re-signing?), and you got yerself one purty darned good off season. I wouldn't go so far just yet as to call the Reds a "potential preseason sleeper", but this baseball team is moving briskly in the right direction. It feels great to say that.
Hall o' Famer Hal isn't all that excited about bringing Orlando Cabrera aboard
He reminds him too much of Alex Gonzalez. Can't say I disagree. The key difference is that Gonzo was signed for 3 years and almost $15 mil. The Reds will likely only pay Cabrera $3 mil to be a stop-gap this season. Oh, and Cabrera is Cal Ripken compared to Gonzo, at least in terms of durability. It terms of on-field play though, it's kinda hard to tell the difference between the two.
Jay Bruce says last season was important
"The adversity I dealt with last year was pretty serious," said Bruce, who will turn 23 on April 3. "Everyone should deal with adversity, and I'm going to use it as a positive to come back this year and be the player that I know I can be."
Bruce worked out all winter and started hitting a month ago. I would have liked to see him play that month of winter ball in the DWL, but I ain't mad at 'im.
MetsBlog has been beating the drum for the Mets to get Aaron Harang or Bronson Arroyo AND Brandon Phillips all winter
I'm not saying this particular Mets fan is delusional. The Reds DID say (what seems like years ago) that payroll was a major problem and intimated that major pieces could be dealt. But that clearly isn't happening now. It must suuuuuuck to be a Mets fan. The Reds perceived financial trouble is basically all they have to hang their hats on now. Just one more reason to send Ol' Walter a heart-felt valentine this year instead of those phony prank ones I usually send.
Aaron Gleeman at Circling the Bases says the A's essentially made the trade
so they could pay Adam Rosales $800k a season for the next three. That's still pretty cheap for a decent utility infielder. That being said, it's an incredible deal for the Reds. I like it for the A's, but i looooove it for the Reds. Love it.
You know, Adam Rosales' goofy, home-spun, Opiecharm is much easier to swallow from afar
Reds GM "Walt Jocketty called and said they had to make a move, and that there was a better opportunity in Oakland than there was in Cincinnati right now," (Rosales) said. "It's the first time I've ever been traded. The Reds drafted me and gave me my first opportunity to be a professional baseball player. "I had a little heartbreak feeling, but that's what baseball is, and I got a call from Billy Beane and he sounded excited to have me as part of the Oakland A's organization, so I was excited as well." I genuinely wish Rosie all the success he could hope for out By the Bay.
The Reds are giving you a chance to win tickets to Opening Day
'course, real fans go to game 2.
Doug Gray reviews Drew Stubbs' 2009 season
Stubbs had an up-and-down season, down in April, up in May, down in June. His 10% walk rate is good, and his 23% K-rate is acceptable if he can find a bit more pop or a few more walks. There has been a great argument going on in the Taveras Trade thread about whether Stubbs is the best option as the Reds' starting CF. If you aren't already following that, give it a look-see.
Just picked this up over the wire: David Coleman at Crawfish Boxes responds to an article by Houston Chronicle writer Bernardo Fallas
Fallas wonders if the Astros should go after dearly departed Willy Taveras. Coleman, on the other hand, doesn't. He does a pretty job of arguing why Taveras should never play major league baseball ever again. Damn, am I glad to be so successfully rid of him. HT to BBTF