The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Now or Never

The MLB winter meetings are going on right now in Dallas. This is traditionally the time where big free agents are signed, and GMs get together to talk trades. While all the news from Dallas revolves around the Marlins signing Reyes and going HARD after Pujols, Walt Jocketty has quietly been working his mojo.

The Reds are in DIRE need of two big components: a front-line starting pitcher and a right-handed outfielder who has some pop to hit in the middle of the order. After 2010, I thought the Reds were on their way to being perennial playoff contenders with their core of young talent. However, I was greatly dismayed when Jocketty failed to make even one substantial off-season move. If the Reds are serious about winning the NL Central, they cannot stand by without making a couple moves. We've got no chance if we do.

So for Christmas, I would like to ask St. Walt to bring us:

James Shields, SP, TB
Shields MUST be a Red. He is an ace pitcher who was an all-star in 2011 for the Rays. He got hot late and carried them into the playoffs. He induces groundballs, K's a lot of batters, and is an AL guy whom NL hitters have not faced. To top it off, he is under contract through 2014 at reasonable salaries of $7.5M, $9M and $12M. what's more, the Rays need prospects at positions we've got, making for a good trade partner. We have got to get him!

Josh Willingham, LF, OAK
This guy is THE perfect fit to solve so many of our problems. He plays LF, our perennial platoon position. He hits R, a weakness in our lineup. He hit 4th for most of the season - perfect right behind Votto! He hits for power, and is a pretty good fielder. He's a free agent and made $6M last year. He could be pricy, and there is a lot of interest in him. However, we let Cordero go, freeing up a lot of cash. This is the type of guy that the Reds are always going after, but NEVER get. I am still pissed we didn't go harder after Matt Holliday in 2009. We could have won it all in 2010 with him in the lineup!

Sign these two and we are GOOD for 2012. There are some other interesting options at pitcher around the league, but not many other OFs that would fit the bill. Without Willingham, we likely have to give Alonso a try at RF for the year.


Kevin said...

Ted, LF is the platoon position. Jay Bruce is solid in RF, for us, so we unless we can move Willingham to LF, don't do the deal!

I do agree that we need some better talent in OF, and need to trade some pitching talent for an ACE.

Teddy said...

Typo. Willingham is a LEFT fielder.

My rationale:

1) We have Hanigan, Mesoraco and Grandal at C. One of the young guys has to be trade bait.

2) Alonso is a pretty good hitter. He has no spot for us to play. Trade bait.

3) We have a glut of MLB-ready starting pitchers (Cueto, Chapman, Leake, Bailey, Wood, Willis, Arroyo, Volquez). What are we going to do with all these guys? And who would start game 1 of a playoff series? Package a couple!

Cordero is gone. Use that money to sign Willingham. Promote a closer from within (people are talking Volquez). Trade a starting pitcher, Alonso and Grandal and GET SHIELDS! Unless TB wants more, Jocketty is screwing up by not offering this.

Colin and Liz said...

i am not sold on shields. his stats are eerily similar to volquez, sans the missed period due to tommy john. his numbers are inconsistent. but then again, he still is probably the best guy out there, i just wouldn't give up too much for him.