Thursday, November 3, 2011

5 Free Agents the Reds Should Consider


Today marks the first day free agents can sign with new teams. Every MLB club is looking to improve their team with some outside help, and the Reds are no different. They have potential holes to fill at several positions and thankfully for them, there may be a few players out there to help with that.

Here are five free agents Cincinnati should consider signing (keep in mind they don't plan on "breaking the bank" this offseason):

1) Jerry Hairston Jr. UTL - By all accounts, Zack Cozart will be the Reds' everyday starter at shortstop in 2012. But with Edgar Renteria and Paul Janish most likely on their way out, the team will need a veteran backup to help solidify the position.

Enter Hairston, who is about as interchangeable on the diamond as any utility player can be. He provides a definite offensive upgrade over both Janish and Renteria -- and could come at a lower price than those two put together as well.

2) Marcus Thames LF - Okay, so he was released by the Dodgers in July of last season and hasn't played since. However, I believe the 34-year old is a low-risk gamble that could pay big dividends in the end.

Prior to 2011, Thames had averaged 19 homers and 48 RBI a year while splitting time between the Tigers and the Yankees. While he wouldn't be THE answer in left field for the Reds, he would definitely be a good guy to ink to a one-year contract to see how he pans out. Oh, and he would come relatively cheap too -- somewhere around the $750k to $1 million range.

3) Rich Harden SP - Harden is not the ace the Reds are looking for, but he could prove to be a viable middle-of-the-rotation starter. Although the right-hander hasn't had much success in his last two seasons, that doesn't mean he can't turn it around. He won't turn 30 until later this month and owns a rather impressive 59-38 record and 3.76 ERA over nine big league seasons.

He missed the entire first half of '11 due to injury, but came back strong to make 15 starts after the All-Star break. He made $1.5 million with Oakland last year and I wouldn't imagine the cost of his services to be much different for whoever signs next year. All in all, Harden is a guy I would take a hard look if I were in the Reds front office.

4) Ryan Madson RP - If an accord with Francisco Cordero can't be agreed upon soon, Cincy will be in need of a reliable closer -- and Madson may just fit the billing.

The 31-year old did well in his first full season closing for the Phillies last season. He appeared in 62 games, posted a 2.37 ERA and collected 32 saves.

The only downfall? If the Redlegs can lure him away from Philly, it is going to take a "pretty penny" to do so. The right-hander made close to $5 million in 2011, and with agent Scott Boras on his side, that asking price is undoubtedly going to climb. However, whatever Madson signs for will still be less than the $12 million option that Cordero held for 2012.

5) Guillermo Mota RP - With Aroldis Chapman transitioning from reliever to starter, the setup role in the 'pen now has vacancy.

Enter the 38-year old Mota. If you're immediately concerned by his age, may I remind you of the success 40-year old Arthur Rhodes had as a member of Cincinnati in 2010?

As a relief pitcher you don't stay in the league for 13 years if you're not getting people out. The well-traveled veteran has done just that over the years and was especially efficient last season for the Giants (3.81 ERA in 80 1/3 IP). And at an estimated price of $1 million, he would be a great addition to the Reds -- both on and off the field.

So there you are. Which free agents would YOU like to see Cincinnati go after?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the Reds are gonna let Cordero walk and then sign Jimmy Rollins 3 yr/$31MM