Every July 31st, it comes. This is the deadline to add players to the major league roster without having them pass through waivers. (The second trading deadline that requires players to pass through waivers and allow every other team a chance to claim doesn’t happen until August 31.)
So what are the Reds’ plans this year? Are they buyers or sellers? Looking at their record, one might think the would be interested in selling. Not so, says general manager Walt Jocketty.
“We’re looking to upgrade any area,” Jocketty said.
That sounds like buying to me. Which is good. Aside from Bronson Arroyo, Francisco Cordero, and Brandon Phillips, the Reds don’t have salaries to dump. Arroyo’s having a bad year and has no trade value; Cordero’s over-paid and struggling of late; and getting rid of Phillips might cause a fan riot on Fountain Square.
Having said that, the Reds do have holes. No losing team doesn’t. The Reds’ biggest one is starting pitching, despite what was seen during the Pittsburgh Pirates series. It’s easy to look good against a punchless offense, and despite their success, the Pirates’ offense is weak. Nobody besides Johnny Cueto can be relied on each start to go deep and give the team a good chance of winning.
Offense from left field and shortstop has been mentioned, but playing Chris Heisey more and finally calling up Zack Cozart–two weeks later than it should have been–seems to have improved that.
To me, starting pitching is the obvious area to target.
The Reds have been rumored to be interested in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ubaldo Jiminez and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ James Shields. Both are good young starters still under team control, which means they would cost a bundle. However, the Reds are loaded in the minors, with a team that would have rivaled any of the terrible Pirates teams before this years down in Louisville. They’ve got a surplus, and I’m hoping they spend it on something good.