Archive for November, 2006

Reds Sign Chad Moeller

For whatever reason, the Reds signed Chad Moeller to a one year deal.  He’ll fall in behind Javier Valentin and David Ross and makes you wonder what Wayne Krivsky has in store.  Moeller’s a pretty mediocre hitter and he’s pretty much been a career backup. 

Moeller is another guy Krivsky is familiar with because he started with the Twins organization in 2000.  If I had to guess, Valentin will be the guy to go (sorry RHM) because of his $5+ million salary.  And speaking of Red Hot Mama, she has a new book up for sale.  Be sure to pop in and pick up a copy.

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10 Things About The Reds For Which I’m Thankful

By Thaq Diesel

10.  The fact that they’ve turned over a lot of talented players who show up on other teams (despite the fact that the main reason is that they couldn’t \ wouldn’t afford them).  It’s just cool to say – hey, that’s an ex-Reds player in almost every game the Reds play. 

9.  Aaron Harang

8.  Bronson Arroyo

7.  It’s only a 120 minute drive for me to see a game.

6.  The swagger and joy with which Brandon Phillips plays.

5.  The fact that although Carlton Fisk’s Game 6 homerun where he was waving the ball fair is shown ad nauseum, the Reds actually won the World Series.  It’s how I know my friend Charlie is a true friend indeed – he never tires of hearing me say that out loud when I see that stupid clip shown all the time.

4.  The history and tradition of the team. 

3.  Griffey’s lazy homerun swing. 

2.  Marty Brennaman.  I know he’s cranky.  I know it’s his way or the highway at this point in his career.  I know he utters profanities off the air like a Merchant Marine with Tourette’s.  None of it matters.  His voice is the voice of my youth – the voice of baseball for me.  His home run calls, his indignant tone when the Reds are biting the big one defensively or not moving the runners over (basically all of last year), his declaration that, “This one belongs to the Reds!”  I love it all.  I can’t think of Reds baseball without him on the microphone.  I refuse to. 

1.  Wayne Krivsky.  He’s done some really shrewd moves during his short tenure.  I think he’s going to get value out of the players he acquires, that he has a plan and that the Reds will be competitive for the playoffs almost every year with him at the helm.  I can’t explain it – it just feels like he will.  I hope I’m right.

Reds Sign SS Alex Gonzalez, LHP Mike Stanton – Adieu LaRue

By Thaq Diesel

Big day for the Reds as they added strong defense at short and a setup man / backup closer.  Alex Gonzalez isn’t much of an offensive threat, but he can stop the bleeding in the field.  Gonzalez only committed seven errors last year and has incentives in his contract for winning Gold Gloves.  Fine by me.  I’m still upset about the error on a routine grounder Felipe Lopez threw that allowed the winning run to score and cost the Reds a game last year.  Seriously – I think about it in idle moments sometimes.

Stanton has a good track record and adds more depth in the bullpen, where it’s crowded with journeymen and competent players.  Ideally five or six will pan out and hopefully the competition will bring out the best from someone.  It’s great to add a solid left handed reliever.

Jason LaRue was traded to the Royals for a future player.  The Reds even agreed to pay part of his salary.   It ends what was a minimal role for LaRue last year, which must have really frustrated him.  I’m sure he’s relieved.  I’ll never forget the monster grand slam I saw him hit in person at Enron Field in 1999.  Best of luck, Jason.

Reds Sign Bubba Crosby

The Reds signed Bubba Crosby to a one year, $400,000 deal.  This isn’t too earth shattering because Crosby is a career .216 hitter with a .255 on base percentage.  He’s spent most of his travelling between New York to play with the Yankees and their Triple A affiliate (which has moved, but it’s been in Columbus).  At best, he could be a fifth outfield option that’s pretty inexpensive.  He’s also a lefty which might help him find a part time spot in the starting 25.

Here’s an update on how Reds prospects are doing in winter ball.  William Bergolla has been tearing it up and Jonathon Countlangus has been solid in some limited time on the mound.

Who Would Make A Better Addition to Reds – Sosa or Bonds?

By Thaq Diesel

Okay.  I’m nauseated that I even wrote that but the thought crossed my mind as I saw that Sosa wants to make a comeback.  Plus, Bonds and his agent insist he’s getting interest from many teams, so surely the Reds are in the race, right?  The Reds need to remake themselves in some way next year.  Granted it’s not in the outfield, but let’s just go through the exercise anyway.

Barry Bonds would create more of a circus to be sure:  not only would the Reds have a statue in left field, there would be the incessant media coverage as Bonds counted down to breaking the career home run record.  How cool would it be, though, to have Griffey, Dunn and Bonds batting consecutively in the middle of the order.  Bonds would make Kevin Mitchell’s moods look like a boy scouts. 

An aside here – whenever they show Aaron running the bases when the broke the record, the only footage you see is of two chumps running with him patting him on the back.  What’s the deal with that?  The media goes out of its way to not show fans running on to the field – why do those two clowns get immortalized?  I’ve never understood that.

Sosa could try to explain away from the Reds dugout why he’s lost 30 pounds of muscle since the new drug testing plan was instituted (“Something glandular,” he would say in Spanish).   Again, it’s a crowded outfield with Sammy in the lineup.  Plus, he still has to prove that he can hit the ball in his later age and diminished physical form.  I wonder what team in its right mind would sign him.  Probably Tampa Bay or someone oblivious to criticism and who is willing to take a long shot on some kind of upside.  What’s the minimum Sammy would sign for now, I wonder?

I’m done retching.  Forget I even brought it up.  It was just an exercise.  Let’s forget we even discussed it.

Free Agency Comments

By Thaq Diesel

It will be curious to see how much the 35-year-old Aurilia gets through free agency.  Yes he had a great year, but you have to wonder how much more he will continue to improve as he ages.  I guess we’ll see what price teams put on leadership, something Aurilia has been reported to bring to the Reds in the past.  Cincinnati needs to get younger in places and perhaps shortstop will be one place.  As for getting better as he ages, perhaps Rich has the same genes as Julio Franco.

Even more curious will be how David Weathers fares.  David flat out struggled at times last season. 

Rich Aurilia Looks to Test Free Agency

Rich Aurilia turned down his $2 million option with the Reds and he’ll now test the market.  This isn’t earth shattering or anything.  Aurilia was solid but we have other guys who could easily replace him.  In any event, I expect him to come back into the fold and resign with the Reds.  You can’t blame him for wanting to see who else might want him at a better price.

Aurilia joins David Weathers, Royce Clayton and Jason Johnson as free agents.  Outside of Aurilia, none of these guys are worth putting too much effort into.  Weathers was solid but replaceable.  Clayton was a throw in with the Kearns/Lopez trade and he won’t be back.  Jason Johnson played for three teams in 2006 but he had a couple of fair seasons for the Tigers in 2004 and 2005.  I don’t see him having a spot on the team next year though.

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