This year's crop of free-agent starting pitchers is woefully thin. The man expected to draw the most interest, Florida Marlins right-hander A.J. Burnett, doesn't even have a winning career record (49-50) but figures to demand - and receive - a hefty multi-year deal. After seeing Eric Milton's three-year, $25.5 million contract blow up in their face this season, that's not the type of environment the Reds want to enter.
They do have other needs, though, with more feasible solutions available through free agency. Closer, for instance.
f the Reds are so inclined, the free-agent rolls are dotted with late-game specialists, including Billy Wagner, Trevor Hoffman, B.J. Ryan, Bob Wickman, Jose Mesa, Ugueth Urbina, Kyle Farnsworth and Todd Jones.
"First of all, from our point of view, we probably would prioritize starting pitching above a closer," O'Brien said from the general managers' meetings in Indian Wells, Calif. "Second of all, there are a lot of closers currently on the free agent market, and as a result that's causing a lot of clubs to be in a wait-and-see mode depending upon where certain individuals end up and who might be available as a result. Thirdly, in our case, we may potentially have some internal candidates who may ultimately end up being capable of doing the job, such as a Todd Coffey, who with a rediscovered split-finger might be able to handle the role."
DanO actually says the right thing here, which probably isn't a surprise. It's hard to say the wrong thing when you're not saying much of anything at all.
If Jose Mesa becomes a Red I may have to simply Quit Forever.
Or I'll still be a fan. But I won't be happy.