FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Reds could pursue free-agent outfielder Luis Gonzalez as a less expensive left-handed hitting option.
Gonzalez spoke for 15 minutes on Saturday with Reds manager Dusty Baker, though both sides acknowledge that Gonzalez’s agents are pushing harder than the Reds for a deal.
The way I see it, if you’re going to pursue a left-handed hitting option (which I’m fine with, by the way … I don’t really get the argument that the Reds MUST add a big right-handed bat to the lineup), I’d much rather have Bobby Abreu (who hits righties and lefties about the same anyway), who is mentioned in Mark Sheldon’s article as the subject of recent speculation (although Jocketty says he hasn’t talked to Abreu’s agent recently).
Sure, Gonzalez may be less expensive, but he’s also 41. Abreu is 34. Abreu was .296-20-100-22 SBs last season, which he does just about every year he’s healthy. Gonzalez was .261-8-47-1 SB in 341 at-bats for the Marlins. Sure, the Reds could use the Luis Gonzalez of 2001 (.325-57-142) but I don’t think the Gonzo of ’09 will fill their void.
Sheldon also mentions Garret Anderson and Cliff Floyd as left-handed corner outfielders on the market, as well as Jonny Gomes and Craig Monroe as right-handed options.
I’ve always liked Anderson … so consistently solid … he’s no spring chicken (36) but he still put up .293-15-84 last year. He hit .335 after the break! Is he the answer? Hard to say. But he appears to have more left in the tank than, say, Junior, that’s for sure.
Cliff Floyd is the same age as Anderson but has only played less than half of the past three seasons, so I’m not quite as high on him anymore.
Gomes is younger and clearly has pop but still very much unproven. He’s really only had one impressive year (2005); throw that one out and he’s never hit better than .244. He still strikes out way too much.
Monroe is a lot like Gomes. He has pop but has really struggled the past couple of seasons and I’d just as soon have some other team hoping he can regain his form.