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My thoughts on the deals

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I'm a big fan of both deals that the Reds made yesterday.

Rheal Cormier is the kind of reliever Krivsky should have been going after to begin with. There's simply no need to go after pre-arb relievers (who are apparently expensive as hell) when established relievers are so cheap. Many solid relievers were dealt in the past few days for peanuts. Sure many of them are free agents to be, but who cares? Is it really realistic to not expect a great deal of turnover in your bullpen from year to year? That seems to be the way relief pitching works. Yeah, in the end I'm still harping about the Felipe/Kearns deal, but I'm not going to apologize for it. The bullpen could have been fixed for way less, and Guardado, Cormier, and Lohse proves that.

Justin Germano is going to be a servicable fifth starter/reliever, but I have no problem giving him up in the middle of a pennant race for a guy having the kind of year Cormier is. There are red flags with Rheal (K/BB ratio is frightening), but he doesn't seem to give up home runs, and you can't argue with his results so far this year. He might be the beneficiary of some luck, but he'd still be a solid reliever if his ERA dropped by a run and a half.

I wish I could have bet on Kyle Lohse becoming a Red back in Spring Training, cause I'd be a rich man now. That was one of the least surprising moves I've seen the Reds make in a while. But I'm actually excited about Lohse after digging into his history a little bit.

You have to think he'll benefit from the move to the National League, the same way Bronson Arroyo has benefited. He's also pitched better since moving to the bullpen; most notably his K/9 has increased by a good bit. And just like Eddie Guardado, Kyle Lohse has badly been in need of a change in scenery. He's been labeled a malcontent by Minnesota, and I'm thinking he'll benefit from a fresh start.

So mark it down, my prediction is that we'll be looking at the Lohse acquisition as a major plus by the end of the season.

The downside is that I did like Zach Ward. Any pitcher that gives up 2 home runs in 114 innings is a pretty nice prospect for the Reds to have, but at the same time he's a guy who's almost 23 years old who's pitching at low-A. I've also read in numerous places that he has a funky delivery, which leads me to believe that he'll be a reliever at best. This is what prospects like Ward are for, trading for help now while in playoff races. He wasn't one of our big prospects (Bailey, Bruce, Votto, maybe Wood) so in the end I feel like Krivsky did ok.

The only problem I can really see at this point is that the Reds have a huge number of pitchers now, and not enough spots for them all:

Harang
Arroyo
Milton
Ramirez
Claussen
Lohse
Standridge
Shackelford
Majewski
Bray
Cormier
Weathers
Coffey
Guardado
Belisle
Mercker

That's 16 pitchers, 3 of which are currently hurt, all 3 of whom are definitely worthy of being on the major league roster. So what are the Reds planning on doing when people start getting healthy?

But roster questions aside, two thumbs up from me on the deals. The Reds now have a workable bullpen, which has been their greatest weakness all along. There are certainly still problems, but the National League is so flawed this year that the Reds have no excuse now not to make the playoffs. And in the end that's all that matters.

More on the deals:

Twinkie Town on Lohse
Twinkie Town diary on the trade
The Good Phight on Cormier/Germano
Primer on the Lohse deal
Primer on Cormier deal
Shawn on the deal
JinAZ's take
Marc doesn't believe Lohse won't start