Cincinnati Reds off Season Report
- Updated: December 3, 2008
Season Wrap Up
Cincinnati had a dismal season once again, going 74-88 and finishing fifth in the National league Central. After the hire of manager Dusty Baker in the off season, many believed the Reds would improve this year and while they received some good individual performances from some young talent, they were still disappointing in the standings. Their general manager, Walt Jocketty was able to get rid of his overpaid talent when he traded both Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn during the middle of the season. In return for their trades, it seems like the Reds made some smart moves and acquired some talent that looks promising and may even contribute as soon as next season. While they are not famous for spending a lot of money, they did have a respectable $74.1 million invested last season which placed them 18th in the majors.
Holes to Fill
Like every other team this off season, the Reds will be looking to add some power to their line-up in various places. While they were able to get rid of some aging, or overpaid talent, they were not able to pick up any proven power hitters to replace them. Near the end of the season, it seemed like there was very little pop from a line-up that has been known for having no trouble tearing the cover off the ball at times. They have needs at almost every position including left and center field, shortstop (although it seems like Alex Gonzalez could win that spot if he can stay healthy), third base and catcher. Obviously they would be happy with any power in any of these positions. Their young starting rotation is no doubt the strength of their team, but they are extremely inexperienced. Acquiring one, or even two, mid-level free agents to compliment what Baker already has in his rotation could only help their young guns learn the ropes in the majors.
The Reds free agents include right handed pitchers Mike Lincoln, Josh Fogg and David Weathers, left handed pitchers Kent Mercker and Jeremy Affeldt, outfielder Corey Patterson, catchers Paul Bako and Havier Valentine, as well as utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. The majority of these players will probably leave via free agency, or in the case of Mercker, retire. Although the team has expressed interest in attempting to re-sign some of the players and Hairston has headed this list. Weathers is another name that the Reds seem content on keeping as long as the price fits what they are aiming for and it seems very likely that he could end up playing in south west Ohio again next season.
The Reds really need to improve across the board in all statistical categories and seemed to make moves during the season that would better them for the future. While they have yet to land any player via free agency or trade thus far in the young off season, Jocketty is usually good at targeting the players he deems to be future performers at his price range and some how corralling them to Cincinnati. While the play of Joey Votto at first was no doubt one of the highlights for the Reds this season, they have many holes to fill and while his stability is nice, Jocketty will be looking to build a line-up around him that can hopefully use his skill set to its fullest potential. Starters Johnny Cueto and Edison Volquez started the season wet behind the ears, but were featured on national sports shows perhaps more than any other Red because of their sterling performances this season. Even though these players preformed well for the team last year, the Reds are still a long way from competing (especially in their division). They may be able to climb up a spot, in their division ranking, but going any further than that would seem unlikely.
Off Season Moves Made so Far
The Reds have not made a single transaction this off season. The last acquisition they made was on September 12 when they named pitcher Micah Owings the player to be named later in a deal they made earlier in the season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.