Red Reporter was very active on the trade market in the first day of the SBNation Winter Meetings, making a pair of high-profile trades. The first saw Homer Bailey and Chris Heisey heading to Cleveland in exchange for Shin-Soo Choo and lefty reliever Nick Hagadone. The second, and much more controversial, saw long-time Red and franchise cornerstone Brandon Phillips shipped off to Milwaukee for an overwhelming haul of prospects, including Jean Segura, Tyler Thornburg, Taylor Jungmann, and Ariel Pena.
Rival executives seem split on how to evaluate the new-look Reds. "I know we are in Nashville, but I could swear we were south of the border. The Reds are as bold as a spicy Mexican tamale," one GM said. Another was less impressed. "Those guys are so stupid and dumb. It's like they are just impulsively going after any possible deal that falls in front of them. They are like a cat with one of those toys on a fishing pole toy. What do you call those things? Cat fishing poles? That's not right. Wouldn't it be a catting pole? Whatever you call it, the Reds are acting recklessly, like a cat scrabbling across a hardwood floor."
As active as the Reds were on day one, many sources say they are far from finished. Agents have disclosed that they have checked in on free agents Scott Baker, Jeff Keppinger, and...wait for it...Josh Hamilton. One agent told me though that the free agent market right now is crazy. "It's like girls gone titters out there. Utility infielders are getting three-year offers. Josh Hamilton thinks he'll get $150 million, and the way things are going, he could end up with double that."
As it stands, the Reds have an impressive roster already. Shin-Soo Choo, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, and Xavier Paul are in the outfield, with Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Jean Segura, and Joey Votto in the infield. Most impressive though is the bevy of young pitchers in the stable. The rotation looks formidable once again with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Aroldis Chapman, Bronson Arroyo, and Mike Leake, with prospects Daniel Corcino, Tony Cingrani, Ariel Pena, Tyler Thornburg, Taylor Jungmann, Robert Stephenson, and Kyle Lotzkar in tow.
Look for the Reds to shore up the bullpen before things are all said and done. They are said to prefer to add another late-inning reliever, but are comfortable heading into the season with Sean Marshall and J.J. Hoover getting save opportunities.