A couple of days ago the Cincinnati Reds dumped $8.5 million by not picking up the option year of catcher Ramon Martinez. Now let's say that the Reds don't go all nutters and start trading like a stockbroker on crack.
What do we do with this new cash?
Here is a novel idea—one that Reds' owner, Bob Castellini may wish to consider: Tuck it under the mattress and save it for a rainy day.
Yes, it is a lot of loot. But it relieves most of the fat wad Scott Rolen is set to earn next season.
It also allows the Reds keep inning eating pitchers, Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo. We can hang onto closer Coco Cordero for another year.
So just sit tight Bobby. Instruct your General Manager, Walt Jocketty, not to touch a phone. Give him the wrong dates for the winter meetings. Take away his matches to disable his smoke signaling skills.
Thinking about a free agent? Stop! The Reds have no glaring weaknesses at any position that $8.5 million would buy.
Sure, everyone can always use more pitching. But who could that money buy? Doubtful anyone from the A or B list. So that leaves the no comp free agents. There is no one there who would improve the club.
Well, with the exception of Pedro Martinez, Jason Schmidt, or John Smoltz. But with any of those guys you would also need to purchase a time machine and that would take you way over budget.
A lot has been made over the Reds shortstop situation. Many in Reds' country have their eyes on Marco Scutaro.
Why? First off, more than a few teams are looking at him. Which means a bidding war. Second, and so much more obvious is the fact that he is 34-years-old and had a career year in the final season of his contract.
Scutaro had career highs in nearly every offensive category. The list is huge. Batting average, runs, RBI, homers, OBP, SLG, OBP+, sacrifice flies, groupies—you get the picture. Hopefully Mr. Castellini will as well.
And besides, what's not to like about Paul Janish? At the beginning of last season we had no problem penciling in Alex Gonzalez at short. Nobody expected him to hit. He was just a slick glove.
Let's give Janish a no pressure look and see what he can do with the stick. You're right. Probably about .230 and five fluke homers. With the glove though, Janish can pick it with the best of them.
So what is the difference between Gonzalez and Janish?
Answer: Not enough to go after Marco Scutaro.
And please, Mr. Castellini, restrain Jocketty from signing any more centerfielders... ever.