Daily Archives: July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

Does the Reds front office really think the team has a chance this year?

It's an old picture, but that expression pretty much sums it up.

It’s an old picture, but that expression pretty much sums it up.

As July winds down, talk in baseball always turns to the non-waiver trade deadline. After that date, trades, although not impossible, become trickier to accomplish. With the Reds sitting in third place, 5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, there’s certainly room for improvements, right?

Only if the front office believes in the team’s ability to win. And it doesn’t sound like general manager Walt Jocketty’s sold on that.

Jocketty doesn’t see the need for a shakeup.

“We’ve got a solid club,” he said. “The difference this year is our division is stronger. We hit a little tough spell before the All-Star break, but we’re playing well now.”

You know, except for losing three of four games to the Los Angeles Dodgers because the offense couldn’t score any runs. Other than that, the team’s been doing great since the break.

Jocketty does profess to realize the need for a right-handed bat. But his own arguments against it are odd.

“If we do acquire a right-handed bat, what do we do with Ludwick when he gets back?” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “If there is somebody available that can definitely help the club, we’ll certainly take a look. To this point, we haven’t had any conversations with a club that indicated that.”

Yes, Ludwick is supposed to be coming back from the disabled list sooner than later–he’s on a rehab assignment now. But if there’s an upgrade better than the guys currently filling in for Ludwick, finding a space on the roster for him doesn’t sound difficult. Certainly not so difficult that it should prevent you from making the trade. Not unless you have a feeling that the 2013 Reds aren’t good enough to go all the way and might not be worth the investment.

“There’s not too much we can do. We’ve got four guys on the disabled list and when we get them back, it strengthens our club even more,” Jocketty said. “I don’t want to trade prospects to improve the club.”

That doesn’t strike me as the vote of confidence Jocketty might have meant it to be. He’s a GM who always keeps deals secret until the end, but this sounds a bit like this year’s team isn’t worth the effort.

The only reinforcements are the guys on the disabled list. Which could be enough, but you’re assuming that they’ll be ready to go right off the DL and that no one else will get injured for the rest of the season. Those are a couple very large assumptions to make. But they do make sense if you’re not confident in the team’s chances and prefer to wait until next year to try again.