With the Reds in first place in the NL Central near the end of May, hope is back in Cincy.
The only problem is that the Reds may be playing the best baseball they've played in years, and they are not the most complete team in the division.
These 5 roster moves, in my opinion, are needed to make the Redlegs a better team. By trading away, trading for, or moving certain players into different spots, it would make the team better defensively, offensively, and chemistry wise.
This would result in what is otherwise known as....a complete team. Enjoy!
I know, I know! Why would you trade a guy who has won a Gold Glove and has been the face of the franchise the last few years?
For that reason exactly.
Phillips is no longer the "face" of this franchise— losing that title to Joey Votto.
Mike Leake is naturally becoming a better leader than Mr. Phillips. Brandon can get lazy, and isn't the best guy for the Reds to count on to take them to the playoffs.
He's a career .264 hitter getting paid like he's a .300 hitter. The Reds could use the money to nab an upgrade at another position, or to extend a player due for a raise.
The Reds have a possible replacement in Todd Frazier who was drafted as a shortstop and has learned to play every position on the field, except catcher. He's at AAA right now but could step in at second if the Reds consider this move.
Another possibilty is Paul Janish. He's a top-flight defender and has shown improvement at the plate.
Either one of those two (or both!) could step in and play a solid 2nd base, which is pretty much what Brandon Phillips does anyway.
This one's probably the most likely to happen.
Harang's numbers have fallen off dramatically from what they used to be. He's been better this season, but with Edison Volquez due back by midseason and Aroldis Chapman waiting in the wings, it looks like his time in Cincinnati is done.
With the money they would would save without his contract on the payroll they could make a splash in free agency this offseason or even at the deadline.
This might be a little bit of a stretch monetary wise, but if Jocketty deals Phillips and Harang it can work.
Drew Stubbs has the potential to be the Reds starting CF and leadoff man of the future. With Stubbs hitting in the low .200's and Cabrera filling in at the top spot, it's become a hole in the Reds lineup.
Crawford is the premier CF/leadoff player in the Majors and would provide this team with a huge upgrade over Stubbs.
The speedy Crawford is set to become a free agent in the offseason and may not return to the Rays.
The Reds have the prospects to get him. Yonder Alonso comes to mind. He's one of the top prospects in baseball but doesn't really have a spot on the team.
Once again, I know it sounds crazy but the bullpen is struggling.
Remember when the Phillies moved Brett Myers to the closer's role when he was the ace of their staff? Worked out well right? I feel the same could work for Arroyo.
The Reds have a plethora of young starting pitchers. Arroyo is one of the most consistent Reds and is in the last year of his contract. He may not re-sign, unless he becomes their best RELIEVER.
Lets not forget Bronson has done it before in Pittsburgh and Boston, where he won a World Series.
With Arroyo moving to the bullpen, it makes room for "The Cuban Missile."
Aroldis Chapman showed in spring training he could pitch in the big leagues and with the seasoning he's getting at the AAA level, it could set up a Dontrelle Willis type of run in the second half.
Chapman is the real deal and could be the staff's ace in 2011.
In my opinion these moves make the Reds a top contender in the NL and possibly could make a playoff run.
Lineup: Carl Crawford, Orlando Cabrera, Joey Votto, Scott Rolen, Jonny Gomes, Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey (Janish), and Ramon Hernandez.
Pitching Rotation: Johnny Cueto, Edison Volquez, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey, and Aroldis Chapman.
This should probably be the rotation for the next 5 years.
Is there any other moves that would make the Reds a better team? Let me know what you think with a comment. Go Reds!