Some things are happening in off-season baseball, which usually wakes up and rummages around for a while between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some of the players Walt Jocketty and the Reds may have been targeting are starting to come off the board. But what should their board look like in the first place?
I've tried to take the universe of players the Reds might acquire and rank them by one incredibly subjective criterion: how much they would improve the team, considering in-house options?
Answering this question can get messy: would Frazier in LF and a probably-not-available Chase Headley be better than a probably-not-available Justin Upton in LF and Frazier at 3B? To get around this problem, I've mostly ignored it.
To make the list, a player has to be two things:
- Reasonably available. Dexter Fowler is here - even if the Rockis' trade ask might be absurd - because he's rumored to be available and plays for a rebuilding team. Chase Headley is not, since there really hasn't been any indication since the July deadline that the Padres are shopping him. Neither is Jacoby Ellsbury.
- Reasonably affordable. Based on projected payroll, I figure the Reds can afford up to $7-$8M in new contracts, assuming they trade some arbitration-eligible players who are getting raises. That allows them to imagine re-signing Ryan Ludwick, but not going after Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn. Of course, the market can always do weird stuff. Just ask my stock broker I don't have.
Also, this is what I think the Reds need: (1) LF or 3B, (2) CF, (3) utility, (4) lefty reliever.
I only considered 2013 salaries for free agents. Some of these guys might look less appealing, depending on how many years they can command.
|Player||Pos.||Age||Type||2 yr avg WAR||Est salary/trade||'13 salary
|Alex Gordon||LF||29||Trade||6.4||Bailey, Cingrani, Stephenson
|Justin Upton||RF||25||Trade||4.5||Gregorius, Corcino, Cingrani||$9.75|
|Shin-soo Choo||RF||30||Trade||2.1||Leake, Corcino, Cingrani
|Dexter Fowler||CF||27||Trade||2.75||Stubbs, Corcino, Cingrani||Arb 2|
|Will Meyers||RF||22||Trade||--||Bailey, Corcino, Y-Rod||Pre-arb|
|Gerardo Parra||OF||26||Trade||2.9||Heisey, Gregorius, Guillon||Arb 1|
|Coco Crisp||CF||33||Trade||2.6||H-Rod, Lotzkar, Guillon||$7M|
|Tyler Colvin||OF||27||Trade||0.8||Jose Arredondo, Chad Rodgers||Pre-arb|
|Eric Young, Jr.
|Rich Hill||LHRP||33||FA||0.4||$1.5M||Arb 3|
|Sean Rodriguez||UTL||28||NT||1.5||$1.5M||Arb 1|
|Justin Maxwell||OF||29||Trade||1.3||Carlos Contreras||Pre-arb|
NT = possible non-tender
OF = Can play all outfield positions
Also receiving votes:
Profiles on individual players to come.