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Red Reposter - Could Edinson Volquez be the Ace we are all searching for? Like, fer serious?

Are you banging the drum for the Reds to trade for Gio Gonzalez?
He's been a popular target of Reds fans this winter, as the A's have made him available and he looks like he could be the top of the rotation starter the Reds crave. But take heed! Dave Cameron of FanGraphs suggests you consider a low-cost alternative to Gio, who would likely cost a princely ransom.

There is another pitcher out there that has been rumored to be available that has looked very similar to Gio over the past four seasons, but could likely be had for a fraction of the cost. And who, you may ask, is this diamond in the rough? None other than...Edinson Volquez?  

Funny, this whole things reads just like the Johnny Cueto/Jair Jurrjens discussion we had a while back.

Welp, we missed out on Jonny Broxton
Word is that he will sign with the Royals on a one year deal. I've been a big proponent of Broxton this off-season, as he looks like a good bet to bounce back after an injury-plagued 2011 and all for an affordable price. He'll make $4 mil with another $1 mil in incentives.  I would have really liked this deal had the Reds signed it, but since it was the Royals I'm gonna shrug and move on.

Now that Broxton is off the table
What are your feelings towards Octavio Dotel? The Reds are reportedly taking a look at him. Dude's been around forever, as he'll be 38 next season. But he's still bringing it, as his 5/1 K/BB last season can attest. He seems like a perpetual good deal for whatever teams he signs with and could possibly serve as a stop gap closer until Brad Boxberger is ready for the big stage. I could see him getting $3-4 mil on a one year deal.  

Anyone interested in Matt Garza?
He had a very impressive season last year, his first as a Cub. But the new brass in Chi-Town are looking to tear down and rebuild and Garza represents their most valuable asset. He will not be a Red next year though, for a number of reasons.

The most obvious one is that the Cubs would not deal him to a division rival. At least, it's very unlikely they would. Secondly, he would likely cost our best prospect package (not to mention an intra-division sur-tax they would likely extract). Garza looks good, but I'm worried that we would be buying high in such a situation. Last season was by far his best as a pro, which could mean he either turned to corner onto Ace Avenue or it could mean it was a fluke. And lastly, he will make around $9 mil next season, his next-to-last-year of arbitration eligibility.

All in all, I wouldn't mind asking about him, but he's probably three or four on my list of desirables right now. Also, they most likely wouldn't deal him to the Reds, so the point is all but moot.

South Side Sox is shopping John Danks for the White Sox
and our boy kcgard2 represented the Reds in negotiations. Here's the relevant bits: "Another option getting some attention in Reds circles. He'd be a definite upgrade in our rotation, though not the true top-line starter we covet. Also, he seems to be getting a lot of love from other teams so his asking price might be rather high for Jocketty's tastes. As for my tastes, I'd offer Travis Wood (good minor league numbers as lefty starter, good rookie debut, rougher sophomore season, still young at 25 next year), Sappelt, and Matt Klinker (minor league pitcher probably a relief arm at MLB level with upside). I'd probably have to include another prospect. I might go so far as to include Homer Bailey, but payroll becomes an issue for the Reds if a lot of current MLB players are included."

andromache wonders if James Skelton could be the next Ryan Hanigan
In response to the rumors that Hanigan could be traded this winter, andro had this to say:

"On the other hand, we may have the next Ryan Hanigan already in the system. It’s a little pipe-dream-y, but I really liked James Skelton when he was with the Tigers – as a discipline-strong, power-weak, 22 year old catching prospect. He was still never a very highly rated guy, but his star has fallen since then. This last year, he only OPS’d .706 between AA and AAA, as a 25 year old. But that’s been in limited playing time, over both this year and last – perhaps he’s resolving an injury issue? (It wouldn’t be that surprising to me – I mean, how many 165 lb catchers do you see in professional baseball?) In any case, smart money is not on Skelton gracing the Reds major league roster – but you never know. Ryan Hanigan had some rough years in the minor as well."

Here's the sitch on Skelton: He was drafted by the Tigers and was claimed by the Diamondbacks in the '09 Rule 5 draft. He spent 2010 in the Pirates system and signed a minor league deal with the Reds last May. His career line in the minors is strikingly similar to Hanigan's - Skelton has slashed .263/.393/.367 while Hanigan slashed .294/.382/.371. Hanigan debuted in the majors as a 26 year old, but didn't see regular playing time until he was 28. Skelton got his first taste of AAA last year at 25. Like andro said, it's most likely nothing. Hell, it's likely that the Reds won't even tender Skelton a minor league deal this winter and he'll catch on with another organization. But the Reds have gotten tremendous value from Hanigan, a non-prospect if there ever was one, and it could serve them well to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle again with Skelton.

Lil Kenny Rosenthal says there is a friendly debate among Reds ownership about the future of Joey Votto
Banana Bob thinks he can sign Votto to an extension, while others in the ownership group think a trade this winter is the more reasonable tack.

He also says some rival GMs see Yonder Alonso as a postiionless prospect, destined for the DH role in very short order. As such, he doesn't see Alonso as a centerpiece prospect in a deal for an ace. I can buy that a few people out there think Alonso isn't fit to even play 1B and that his value is severely blunted by that. But really, it only takes one team that thinks he's worth it. He's still one of the top hitting prospects in the game right now and that has significant value. it's definitely something to keep blah blah blah blah.

David Coleman at The Crawfish Boxes is one cynical SOB
He'd fit in really well around here. Dave is folding his arms and harumphing at the prospect of the Astros hiring Rays' GM and baseball wunderkind Andrew Friedman as their new GM. He argues there are just too many reasons for Friedman, whom he thinks would be a terrific get, to not come to Houston. Most of those reasons revolve around the fact that the organization sucks hind tit right now. Friedman is the prettiest girl in school right now, and the Astros are the cripplingly insecure, physically repellent, socially retarded kid in the back of the room that wipes his boogers under his desk.  No way she asks them to the Spring Time Pumpkin Dance, right?

And there, but for the grace of God, go we.