The reaction around the blogosphere about the three-team trade (or concurrent two-team trades) yesterday has been pretty similar. The main gist has basically been: the Indians made out like bandits, the Reds got a deal that will make them a lot better in 2013, and Kevin Towers is out of his damn mind. Which is pretty much how I feel as well.
Walt put his riverboat gambler hat on yesterday, dealing Didi Gregorious and Drew Stubbs for a year of Shin-Soo Choo, a utility infielder not named Burriss, and 3.5 million dollars. Now, I like Didi an awful lot -more than most people probably do - but I'm very happy about this deal. With Cozart under control for 5 more seasons, the Reds had the opportunity to move Gregorious in order to make themselves better in the 2013 season.
As it is right now, we pretty much know who Zack Cozart is, but Didi is still a lottery ticket. He could turn into David Concepcion, which would sting a bit, or he could end up being Pokey Reese. What we can say for certain is, the lineup next year is thoroughly Dusty-proofed and primed to score a hell of a lot of runs. Oh, and the Reds didn't have to give up any of their starting pitching depth to get this deal done.
One aspect of this deal that hasn't been mentioned enough, is that it will likely net the Reds a compensatory pick in the 2014 draft. Chris Buckley and his scouting team have done a great job evaluating talent in the draft, and this gives them a chance to add another impact player to the organization.
In his article for Grantland, Keri breaks down the trade for all three teams, and likes the Reds as contenders in the NL next year.
You've got youth and upside in the bottom four of the order; stellar defense at first, second, and short; power, speed, lefty/righty balance, the works. The bench looks good, too, with the capable Donald joining Chris Heisey and half of the catching timeshare as viable threats in reserve. Then you've got the starting rotation, which ranked fifth in the majors in ERA in 2012, with the top five starters making every start but one for the season. That core will be joined by Aroldis Chapman and his otherworldly stuff next year, adding a potential star and creating a surplus of capable starters, something about 27 other teams would kill to have.
Basically the premise here is: Choo isn't going to be a very good defensive centerfielder, but the Reds didn't get him to be a good defensive centerfielder. There is a possibility that Choo is so bad in center that the offensive gains will be washed out by horrific defense, but his arm should be good enough and he has enough speed to make the chance of an abject disaster very slim.
Other factors mitigating the risk are that GABP is the 4th smallest field in the league by square footage, and that there are around 10 road games in which a DH will be used. Add in some off days for Ludwick where Choo could move to left with Heisey manning center, and you are looking at 65 or so road games where his defense might really be an issue.
Andromache is super excited about this trade.
I'm not sure how this works now that the Reds signed Jack Hannahan. I mean, Jason Donald can play the outfield, so maybe they dump Paul for Rolen, but is it really smart to carry two bench guys that can only play 3B? Would you limit the versatility of your bench for the potential upgrade of Rolen's bat?
Joe Morgan uses naughty words.
Old Hoss' twitter feed has been an absolute delight the last couple of days, as he shares his feelings on every member of ESPN's Hall of 100, 140 characters at a time.