What if we all woke up tomorrow and found out that Cincinnati Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty went off his meds and started cutting the payroll. Players like Scott Rolen, Bronson Arroyo, Brandon Phillips, and maybe even Joey Votto traded for cheap young prospects or worse, cheap older players looking for one last good season. Of course the “We have no money” excuse would not be used anymore but what kind of team would they have? Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto would be the stars and players like Juan Francisco, Yonder Alonso, Dave Sappelt, Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart and Aroldis Chapman would get a lot more playing time. And with one season of not paying big money to players would they then have enough to go shopping next offseason or would they have to? Is there a strange possibility that these young players would get it done? With many years as a fan I have noticed that teams with the right blend of older and younger players usually do the best so could the Reds find cheaper veterans than Bronson Arroyo and Scott Rolen? Would any of the younger players produce like Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips?
We all know this will never happen but what would the team look like if it did? And would Walt Jocketty still have a job the next day? I for one would like to see something happen this offseason but dumping salaries will not help the team win the World Series in 2012. I really believe a healthy Scott Rolen and Bronson Arroyo is a must this season in order for this team to succeed along with the younger players getting the playing time they deserve.
The team will also need Dusty Baker to be at the top of his game, which means don’t let players like Drew Stubbs bat 1st if he is striking out like crazy. I hope this season with Sappelt on the roster Dusty will be able to help Stubbs get playing the way he should but I also think trading Stubbs would be good for both sides. Being in Great American Ball Park has given Stubbs the notion he is a home run hitter so he is swinging for the fences every time. I know for a fact that if he is traded he will most likely turn into another Ryan Freel if he is not careful. These guys get paid good money to play ball and even in the offseason they should be working hard to get into shape for next season. Drew Stubbs doesn’t look like he has that drive to be better. I blame guys like Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. for this. They poisoned some of these younger guys with the idea that you don’t have to try hard to keep your job. I thought that when the Reds got rid of those two players that attitude would go away but I can still see it in some players and it really gets me upset. What these young guys don’t understand is, Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. were not always like that. They had to work their butts off to get the salary they were getting. If Drew Stubbs wants a big pay-day ever in his career he is going to have to do something big next season.
Another thing Dusty Baker will have to work on is not pushing the young guys till they break. The Reds really don’t need any injuries in 2012. Pushing starters that extra inning just to give the bullpen a rest is ok but do they really want guys like Johnny Cueto or Aroldis Chapman out with injury for two months or more. And hopefully he does not push the young catchers too much either. They really don’t need to be shopping for catchers midseason because two or three of them are out with injuries. Giving guys like Scott Rolen, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce rest is very important too. Can you imagine if those three players went out at the same time with injuries? The Reds would be in big trouble.
Dusty Baker needs to stop chewing so hard on those toothpicks and start paying more attention to the game and his players. Any other managers would have picked up on Stubbs a long time ago and did something to correct it and just maybe the Reds would have done better in the standings. Of course we can’t blame last year just on Dusty Baker there are others who need to be pointed at too. Walt Jocketty could have made some deals to help the team push forward at the trade deadline and of course some of the players could have done a little more to get better. I can even point that finger at myself, I as a fan could have tried harder to cheer louder and maybe they would have won the whole thing. But, what is done is done. Now we must move on and hopefully Walt Jocketty keeps taking his medication and doesn’t trade too much away for the players they need. The Reds also need Santa Claus to give Dusty Baker a bad batch of toothpicks this Christmas so then he will pay more attention in 2012 and some players need to call up Yonder Alonso and ask if they can train with him this offseason.
*** Have fun at Redsfest this year guys. ***
Once again Yonder Alonso is being put in trade rumors and it is starting to really get old. I have no idea why people think the Cincinnati Reds would trade him away for a closer or even a #2 or worse starter. Yonder Alonso might not have had the at bats to really “prove” himself yet but after 2012 there will be no doubt and then his trade value will go through the roof which the Reds will still not trade him away. It makes no sense why the Reds would trade away one of their top players who they will need in about two seasons for a closer that is not worth an old bag of popcorn or a starter who will start in the middle of their rotation and get lit up in Great American Ball Park. Wayne Krivsky is no longer the GM of the Reds and for some strange reason fans of all the other teams out there think he still is by suggesting the dumbest trades I have ever heard of in my time of being a fan of this great sport.
If Walt Jocketty does think about trading someone like Yonder it will most likely be a blockbuster trade that should bring the Reds a #1 starter and a LF and maybe even a SS. It will not be the other way around where Yonder goes with one of their catcher prospects and three other top prospects for a #2 starter who only has one or two years on his contract. Wayne Krivsky is no longer in the front office people! These stupid trades do not happen here anymore! Proof? The Reds have not made any stupid deals like that since Krivsky left. Do they still have Adam Dunn? Do they still have Ken Griffey Jr.?
What boggles my mind is the fact that some of these reports are coming from “respected” sources and these guys are way off. If, and I really mean IF the Reds make any moves at all this offseason it will be small moves which do not include ANY of their top prospects unless it is a huge 5 to 6 man deal where the Reds walk away with a #1 starter, young closer who has over 3 years on his contract and a LF along with a SS.
Walt Jocketty has not thrown away the Reds future players for over three years. What makes you think he will now? I highly doubt any of the top prospects will go anywhere this offseason due to the fact that they are cheap and the only people the Reds can afford right now. Trading away three or more minor league contract players for a 3 to 9 million dollar a year player is not going to happen. So please stop kicking that dead horse already and move on. Krivsky has left the building and trades that you are suggesting are never going to happen again! The fire sale at Great American Ball Park has been closed for years now and I really doubt it will ever open again.
Ryan Hanigan has become the next victim to be brought up in trade rumors for the Cincinnati Reds. It has been reported that Los Angeles Angels are interested in the Reds catcher. I can not see the Reds trading Hanigan away but if they were offered a good deal they might. Some people are suggesting they trade him then re-sign Ramon Hernandez.
Hanigan was signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent in 2002. At 21 years old he started off with the Dayton Dragons in the Midwest League. .273 BA, .333 OBP and a .364 SLG in 6 games. 2003 he played for Dayton again playing in 92 games and getting a .277 BA. He also played one game in AAA for Louisville Bats (International League) that season going 1 for 3. He then played for Potomac Cannons in 2004 getting a .296 BA in 119 games. In 2005 he played for the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Southern League getting a .321 BA in 100 games. He returned to Chattanooga in 2006 playing in 56 games and finishing with a .246 BA. He also played 8 games for Louisville going 2 for 13.
Ryan Hanigan made his major league debut on Sunday, September 9, 2007, at Great American Ball Park. It was the bottom of the 5th inning and the Reds were behind 7 runs when he pinch hit for Kirk Saarloos batting 9th against Ben Sheets. He hit the first pitch he saw for a ground ball double to left field. Norris Hopper then hit a line drive to right field getting Hanigan to 3rd. Jeff Keppinger then hit a weak popfly to SS and Ben Sheets threw a wild pitch to Ken Griffey scoring Hanigan. The Milwaukee Brewers went on to win that game 10 – 5 with Ben Sheets getting the win (12 – 4) and Phil Dumatrait getting the loss. (0 – 4)
Hanigan played 5 games for the Reds in 2007 getting a .300 batting average. He also played 60 games for Chattanooga getting a .299 BA and for Louisville playing in 41 games and getting a .252 BA.
In 2008 he played 75 games for Louisville and got a .324 BA. He also played 31 games for the Reds that season getting a .271 BA. He also has 15 stolen bases against him while throwing out 8, getting 35 CS%.
2009 he came in 2nd with 42.9 Caught Stealing % and 1st for Fielding % as a catcher with .998. With 90 games played he got a .263 BA with 37 walks and 31 strike outs. He also played 5 games in AAA for Louisville going 7 for 18.
In 2010 he played in 13 games for Louisville and went 11 for 46. He also played 70 games for the Reds and went 61 for 203. (.300 BA) He caught 13 and allowed 28 stolen bases.
He had 18 CS and 34 SB as a catcher for the Reds in 2011. Playing in 91 games and going 71 for 266. (.267 BA) getting 35 walks and 32 strike outs.
If he doesn’t get traded this should be his first year as the main catcher for the Reds. With Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal waiting to get some playing time also. Like I said before, I really can’t see him being traded this offseason but if the Reds get a very good offer they might pull the trigger then have to re-sign Ramon Hernandez or another catcher that will come play for a lower salary. I would love to see Corky Miller get the call up this season but I doubt that will happen.