First and foremost, congrats to Joey Votto. He deserves what he’s getting. I personally don’t have any interest in speculating as to whether he’s going to leave after three years. Just looking forward to watching him hopefully beat out Pujols for the MVP – or, better yet, beat out Jay Bruce for the MVP – for years to come.
What I wish I could speculate about is what the Reds could possibly get in return for Yonder Alonso. Let’s face it, the guy has serious talent, but it’s reportedly not as an outfielder. His days with the Reds are numbered. Or at least they should be if the Reds are serious about winning relatively soon.
So what could a player like Alonso bring, starting with who can make this team significantly better who isn’t too expensive.
I tried to find three experienced MLB players who earned less than $2 million last season, could be involved in a trade for Alonso and could fill a need for the Reds. Who aren’t arbitration eligible. Couldn’t find any. (I excluded starting pitching because I don’t see that as a need right now with their depth, despite the fact that you can never have enough, right?) Define “a need,” first of all. I think the Reds, frankly, would tell you that their only pressing needs at this point are dealing with the three unsigned arbitration-eligible players (Cueto, Volquez and Bray). The only question marks they had (SS and LF) are in better shape – possibly – with the additions of Renteria and Lewis and maybe Hermida. The Reds just aren’t going to trade for Justin Upton or Nelson Cruz or even Angel Pagan. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. They’ll keep Alonso as an insurance policy and pinch-hitter for at least another year, then maybe deal him for someone coming off a big year. Or maybe at the All-Star break, best case scenario.
And actually – if they’re going to keep Alonso – I would rather see the Reds have him playing every day in Louisville and putting up big numbers so that hopefully other teams express interest.
I would be stunned if the major excitement of the offseason isn’t already behind us: extensions for Bruce and Votto and bringing in a couple of guys who are going to hit .260 with 10 home runs between them.