Once the final out was recorded in Pittsburgh against the Reds in their Wild Card Playoff Game, speculation swirled—would Dusty Baker be shown the door? Would Brandon Phillips be traded? Would the Reds be able to retain Shin Soo Choo? Could there be a chance Bronson Arroyo would stick around? Is Homer Bailey or Aroldis Chapman about to be dealt for a big bat? Would Chuck D remain the Reds #1 Fan?
Ok, scratch that last question….but other than Dusty being fired, no real moves have been made. Yes, Arroyo probably won’t be retained, Ryan Hanigan was dealt to the Rays to make room for Devin Mesoraco to become the Reds’ #1 catcher and no real offer was made for Choo….but those moves were expected. As far as Brandon Phillips being dealt….yes, a lot of smoke occurred regarding a trade to the Yankees, but that’s all it was, smoke and no fire. Anyway, would the Reds be better off without “Dat Dude BP”? The answer is a resounding “NO”. Yes, Brandon had an off second half of 2013, but he still-hands down-is one of the best second basemen in all of Major League Baseball.
“Uncle Walt” (GM Walt Jocketty) said he tried to make some moves during the recent Winter Meetings, but was stymied. That is not very encouraging when you consider the losses the Reds have made personnel wise…there is no way logically you can expect the Redlegs to overtake the Pirates or Cardinals by standing pat. Yes, speedster Billy Hamilton is the ‘heir apparent’ in CF, but as they say—you can’t steal first base, and Billy’s AAA performance in 2013 wasn’t that encouraging. Word is that Billy will work on bunting in Spring Training. Hopefully that ‘on the job training’ will take.
Also, I still have nagging doubts about the change made at the managerial position. Yes, Bryan Price came off very well during his initial press conference and subsequent media interviews…but I still have doubts about making someone who was part of Dusty’s staff the ‘man in charge’. Hopefully I am wrong.
I hope Walt is able to make some impactful moves or else Simon & Garfunkel will be singing on Reds’ Opening Day 2014.