Three quick things …
On SI.com, Baseball Prospectus offers its Hot Stove Preview of the NL Central. Nothing too earth-shattering about the Reds. Needs: shortstop and centerfield. I’d say you can add bullpen now. What are they likely to do? Shop Arroyo, BP says, which I think makes some sense. You’re still selling high on him after the great second half he had. What should the Reds do, according to BP? Acquire Milton Bradley (interesting) and try to get Alcides Escobar and whatever else from the Brewers for Arroyo. Which is funny, because someone who was giving me a hard time about discouraging the Garrett Atkins rumor made me come forward with a player I thought the Reds SHOULD pursue and I said J.J. Hardy, who the Brewers might be more willing to part with BECAUSE they have Escobar.
Walt Jocketty apparently had a few interesting things to say Wednesday. Said we were close to acquiring Coco Crisp (who was traded to the Royals). Said he was a little surprised that Affeldt was so quick to sign with the Giants. Said we’re still talking to Weathers, Lincoln and Hairston. And he acknowledged that adding bullpen help is a new focus with Affeldt’s departure and the possibility that Weathers and/or Lincoln won’t return. Nothing too stunning, aside from getting us thinking about how Coco Crisp would’ve looked in an outfield with Jay Bruce and Dickerson/Freel/Hopper.
Little known fact about new Mariners skipper Don Wakamatsu: He was an 11th round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in the 1985 draft. The Reds released him in 1989. Talk about the definition of a career minor-leaguer. He caught 18 games for the White Sox in 1991 and that’s it as far as MLB playing experience.