I keep waking up, expecting another huge transaction to be done by the Cincinnati Reds this offseason. General Manager Walt Jocketty has done such a great job and a lot of us know that he is most likely all done, but for some reason all of us are still waiting to see if more is to come. Like a kid in a candy store, we wait for more news. It is such a great feeling to know that your favorite team is trying to improve and doing anything it can to make a better team for the upcoming season. A season that will see Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun (for 50 games) not playing against the Reds in 2012. Will Walt make another huge move this offseason to top what he has already done? Probably not, but it sure is fun waiting to see if he does. I really have to be 100% honest, in close to 20 years of cheering for the Reds, this has to be one of the most exciting winters I have ever experienced and I am very glad I starting writing this blog this year instead of a few years ago.
2012 is going to be a great year to remember for Reds fans and it is all thanks to the front office. No matter what happens this season, Walt has delivered and I take back every bad thing I have ever said about the man and his keeping stuff close to his vest and not making moves just to make a move. The man has proven to me that he does know what he is doing and hopefully he will keep bringing in key players to improve the ball club every year.
Roy Oswalt will most likely not sign with the Reds because of the budget and to tell you the truth, I really am not sure if he would really help the team any more than the players they already have. I still think there will be a few more moves this offseason though. Either through trade or free agency with more minor league deals and spring training invites.
Prince Fielder and Francisco Cordero both found new teams today. Fielder went to Detroit Tigers in a huge deal and Cordero signed a one year deal with Toronto Blue Jays. These are big moves that will help the Reds in 2012. First off, the Reds will not have to worry about facing either one of these players in 2012. (I think the Reds will face the Tigers sometime in the season but that is only 3 games.)
Rumors are still flying high with Roy Oswalt being at the top of the list, along with Ryan Theriot and Jeff Francis. If Walt Jocketty was to sign someone like Roy Oswalt to a one year deal it would prove that they are really in it to win it this season. Most people don’t think Oswalt has much left in his tank but I think staying in the National League is a very smart move for him and it could really help both the Reds and himself for better deals in 2013. If Walt could pull off a one year deal that would not financially hurt the team he would be a lock for General Manager of the year in my books. He is already pretty close to winning it with the moves he has done this offseason.
The biggest question I have right now is, if Oswalt really wants to stay in the National League will he maybe give a discount to a team looking for another starter? And could that team be St. Louis Cardinals or another team in National League Central? I wonder if Oswalt’s agent contacted all National League teams or were the Reds the only one? I would like to think the Reds were the only ones but we all know that would not be true.
There are a lot of people who think if the Reds did sign him there would be to many starters on the Reds then. I would just like to remind those people of last season and what happened to the Reds with their starters. It is always nice to have more options just in case. I am sure that Walt is not really looking to far into getting Oswalt though but I do believe that there will be one or maybe two more pitchers signed to minor league deals before spring training comes.
Walt Jocketty has stated in many reports that this offseason the Cincinnati Reds are looking for a top of the rotation starter to help them in 2012. At the start of the offseason he also said they would not be looking at signing many free agents this time around. Which only means one thing, they are going to trade for this top of the rotation starter. If they can not make a deal will they change their minds and go fishing in the free agent pool? If so, who would work best in Great American Ballpark? I have listed five of the top free agent starters just to get an idea of how well they have done in GABP. Jocketty also mentioned a closer (if they can not re-sign Francisco Cordero) and more offense. Now I know better then anyone out there that there is no way the Reds will go for any of these top pitchers this offseason but I thought it would be nice to see the results.
Mark Buehrle has a 1 – 0 career record in Great American Ballpark with a 0.00 ERA in 1 game started with 7 innings pitched and of course allowing 0 home runs.
Split W L ERA GS IP H HR SO WHIP Career Totals 161 119 3.83 365 2476.2 2610 274 1396 1.282
Roy Oswalt has a 7 – 1 career record in GABP with a 3.57 ERA and 11 games started (70.2 IP) with only allowing 9 HRs.
Split W L ERA GS IP H HR SO WHIP Career Totals 159 93 3.21 326 2154.0 2071 183 1759 1.194
Javier Vazquez has a 3 – 1 record with 4 games started, (28 IP) with a 3.21 ERA and has only given up 4 HRs in GABP.
Split W L ERA GS IP H HR SO WHIP Career Totals 165 160 4.22 443 2840.0 2784 373 2536 1.249
Freddy Garcia has recorded a 3 – 0 record in Great American Ballpark with 3 games started (20 IP) with a 2.70 ERA and allowing 2 HRs.
Split W L ERA GS IP H HR SO WHIP Career Totals 145 95 4.09 327 2076.1 2048 249 1486 1.302
Brandon Webb has a 2 – 1 record with 5 games started, recording 33.1 IP and getting a 2.97 ERA while only allowing 1 HR in GABP.
Split W L ERA GS IP H HR SO WHIP Career Totals 87 62 3.27 198 1319.2 1200 92 1065 1.239
I only hope when the Reds do make a deal they don’t sell the farm doing it. In my mind giving away 4 – 5 top prospects for one pitcher is not a deal they can afford to make. I personally would rather watch their young pitchers give it their best shot then see some 30+ year old try and fail then leave after two seasons giving the team no pitcher and no future. And I really hope “top of the rotation” means for teams like Philadelphia Phillies or San Francisco Giants not Houston Astros or Minnesota Twins. But I guess only time will tell what they will do and I really wish they would hurry up so then I can plan what I will be doing next season. (Watching baseball or finding a new hobby.)
As you probably have heard, Houston Astros have been sold and will be moving to the American League. — Source — The Astros have a rich history in the National League and I thought I would write about that instead of details on the sale that just got approved. I for one wish them all the best cause they will be missed. I remember many great games they had against the Reds and many times I wished they would move out of the league so then my guys could win. Now that it is happening I am pulled in a different direction. The Reds were actually beating them now and of course now they move. In all seriousness I wish they would have taken back the damn Brewers but that won’t happen now.
Since 1965 they have been called the Houston Astros but before that they were known as Houston Colt .45’s (1962 – 1964) a name that when I first heard it almost made me stop cheering for the Reds to cheer for them. Of course at the time I heard what their name used to be, Nolan Ryan (1980 – 1988) was pitching there and I loved watching him pitch. They made it to the playoffs nine times (80, 81, 86, 97, 98, 99, 01, 04 and 05) and won one pennant in 2005 where they got swept in the World Series by the Chicago White Sox.
When I think about the Astros I remember watching Craig Biggio (1988 – 2007) and Jeff Bagwell (1991 – 2005) and wishing the Reds would sign them. Of course I did not like them when they played against the Reds but they were great players. Biggio with over 3000 career hits with the team and Bagwell with over 2300 coming in second. It makes me wonder if anyone will ever pass those numbers when they move. Moises Alou (1998 – 2001) holds the record for best career batting average with .331 and of course Jeff Bagwell has it summed up for the season record with a .368 in 1994. Jeff Bagwell got 449 homeruns for Houston with 47 being the teams season high which he got in 2000. Cesar Cedeno (1970 – 1981) has the career record for stolen bases with 487 while Gerald Young (1987 – 1992) beat Eric Yelding (1989 – 1992) by one to get the single season record with 65 in 1988.
I wonder if the American League version will ever have a pitcher get more team career innings then Larry Dierker (1964 – 1976) with his 2294 innings pitched and of course Joe Niekro (1975 – 1985) with 2270 innings pitched. I don’t remember Niekro or Dierker much but I do remember watching one Houston pitcher strike guys out like crazy, Nolan Ryan. Will any pitcher on the American League Astros ever pass his 1866 strikeouts for the team in the National League? Roy Oswalt (2001 – 2010) was close with 1593 but I doubt they will ever get him back on the team. J.R. Richard (1971 – 1980) has the season high record with 313 stirkeouts in 1979. Joe Niekro holds the record for Astros wins at 144 and Roy Oswalt was one away from getting that but came up short with 143 wins. Mike Hampton (1994 – 2009) has the season high with 22 in 1999. Billy Wagner (1995 – 2003) has the lead in saves with 225 and is tied with Jose Valverde (2008 – 2009) for the season high of 44 saves. The season record for Games played by a pitcher is held by Octavio Dotel (2000 – 2004) with 83 in 2002 and of course Dave Smith (1980 – 1990) has the career record with 563.
The one thing that comes to mind now as we head into their last season in the National League is; ‘There is no tomorrow…’ I hope they go out with their boots on and give it all they got. And I hope that when they get to the American League they kick the living tar out of them all just to show ’em how tough the National League really is.
Find out what Astros fans think by checking out Dierk’s Dugout.
2011 was a great season. We saw many great things happen on the field but this offseason has been a big snore fest so far. It is as if the GM’s are scared to spend money.
Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, David Ortiz, Heath Bell, Grady Sizemore and Roy Oswalt to just name a few are still looking for jobs, which I seriously did not think would be the case. Then again I didn’t expect Jonathan Papelbon to be the first major signing. It is pretty sad when a baseball fan gets excited when Jim Thome signs a deal. Don’t get me wrong, Thome is great but I never expected that to be one of the biggest moves this offseason. Miami Marlins taking free agents out to eat has been one of biggest news stories this offseason, how sad is that?
It just shows that when New York Yankees don’t start showing the green early, other teams don’t know what to do. If the Yankees needed Pujols or Fielder you better believe they would have been signed already and ten other teams would have followed by signing guys right away. To tell you the truth I thought for sure the Yankees would be shopping for a closer this offseason in plans for their future.
Are all the GM’s golfing this offseason more then dealing? Why are they all so slow out of the gate? Is it because of the age of some of these free agents? Or maybe the contract length a lot of them are rumored to want? I guess only the GM’s really know the answer to that question.
At first I thought it was only the Reds front office that was hibernating but now I see there are many teams sitting on their wallets. Is there something the rest of us don’t know? From what I have seen in blog comments and on message boards a lot of fans all around the World are getting very bored of waiting and I think it is time to start making ripples in the water.