We may have already seen the Reds' big offseason free agent signing, so this post might be coming too late. But I figured we could treat the offseason like the regular season and make a game of predicting how it might turn out.
The mantra of "the Reds have no money and are talking to no one" has cropped up again this year after the post-2010 offseason in which Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria ended up the two primary outside acquisitions signed to major league deals. In fairness, the Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto extensions look good, the Votto extension provided cost certainty (though no extra years) and Willis' minor league deal provided some surprising upside. Still, it was an underwhelming offseason that seems to be starting off this year in similar fashion.
The major difference over last winter, I think, is that this season's disappointment, marked by starting pitching woes, will be combined with pressure from the rest of the division - especially Walt's former employer - putting Jocketty under the gun to make an impact deal. Whether there will be one out there is another story.
Here are the guidelines for the predictions. The predictions should be what you think will happen, not what should. There's another thread coming on Walt Jocketty: RPG. Add yours to the thread below. Unfortunately, credit will not be given for predicting that Matt Maloney would be picked up by the Twins.
* Deadline: Sunday, November 20 at midnight
You won't get credit for predicting something that happens this week if your ballot is judged to be ex post facto (that is, after it's all but a certainty on the rumor mills), but the earlier you lock in your picks this week, the more likely you eliminate that possibility.
Name the free agent signings
(Maximum: 6 names)
For both major and minor league deals, name current free agent players the Reds will sign to contracts this offseason. Predict the type of contract, number of years and total money too. We'll give bonus points to the closest guesses, judged on Average Annual Value (rather than exact years and price tag). So you can put your answer like this:
Pierre, Juan; major league contract, $22.435 AAV
Name the trades
(Maximum: 4 trades)
What teams will the Reds pair with and what players will change hands on both sides? This won't be scored all-or-nothing. Some points for getting the team right, more points for each correct player and big points for getting the trade exactly right.
(Maximum 4 players)
Beyond Jared Burton and Matt Maloney, who else from the organization will leave the Reds (other than by way of trade) - free agency, non-tender, retirement, waivers, Rule 5 draft, 50+ game suspensions? With the exception of the Rule 5 Draft, we'll limit this to players on the 40 man on November 20th for ease of use. So if you think Neftali Soto won't be added to the roster and will get snatched up by another team, you can pick him. If you think he will, but he'll retire from baseball from some reason, you can also pick him. But if Neftali Soto is not added to the roster and is suspended for 50 games, you won't get credit.
(Maximum: 4 players)
Name as many as 4 Reds players (current or speculative acquisitions) not currently on the DL that will be on the DL to start opening day. Bonus points for naming the body part (ie ankle) and further bonus points for the exact injury (ie "sprained ankle).