The winter meetings have come and gone, and as predicted, the Reds didn't make any major moves, outside of the Bronson Arroyo, Jay Bruce and Miguel Cairo contracts.
All signs point to the Reds sticking to the current plan—developing players from within and banking on their success.
That formula worked in 2010, as a division title was the end result.
With the crazy money being thrown around last week in Orlando, the Reds will never be that team to go out and pay $100-plus million for a Carl Crawford.
All is okay, though. We can still be fine, but the margin for error is razor-thin.
I think we know what to expect out of certain components of this team, as it's safe to say that Joey Votto will continue to rake, Brandon Phillips will bat his usual .280 and provide Gold Glove defense and Scott Rolen will put it together for stretches.
In terms of pitching, Bronson Arroyo will be Bronson Arroyo, I think Johnny Cueto has cleared some hurdles and I'd imagine that Nick Masset, Arthur Rhodes (if he remains with the team) and Francisco Cordero will turn in performances similar to this past season.
Outside of that, the direction of this team depends on what the young guys do, and if they fail, the Reds fail.
They cannot go out and sign pricey veterans, so their improvements had better come from these guys.
Reds fans are all happy that Jay Bruce will spend his prime years with the Reds, and obviously he had his great late season finish, but he needs to show day in, day out consistency.
Fellow outfielder Drew Stubbs needs to cut down on his strikeouts, and though he made great strides, he will need to continue to get better.
As for the young arms, what they did in 2010 will have to be repeated. Will Edinson Volquez become the pitcher we think he can become, will Mike Leake bounce back and will an offseason of teams scouting Travis Wood have a detrimental effect on him?
Oh yeah, and there is some other guy named Aroldis Chapman—perhaps you have heard of him. As excited as Reds fans are about his potential, though, there are lots of questions about how he will be used next year.
So there you have it: The team stood pat in Orlando, a clear sign that one winning season won't raise payroll significantly.
Outside of a few proven commodities, this team will live and die by the individuals who are homegrown.
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