Friday, January 6, 2012

6 Ex-Reds the Team Could Use Now (Part Two)

After being selected by the Reds in 2005 Draft, John Axford
spurned the club for greener pastures
Continuing our mini, two-part series from yesterday, here are three more former-Reds who could help drive the team to the promised land (i.e. - the postseason):

John Axford RP Milwaukee Brewers

Okay, so technically Axford was never really a member of the Reds organization, however, the team did draft him in the 42nd round of the 2005 Draft. He ultimately decided not to sign, instead inking a contract with the New York Yankees a year later. Fast forward to 2012 and the right-hander is suddenly an elite closer hurling for the Brew Crew.

With the Reds closer role apparently still up in the air, having Axford to insert there would be a luxury too good to be true. Not only did the Ontario native out-perform just about every closer in the league last season (1.95 ERA, league-leading 46 saves), he offers legitimate bang for the buck. At a 2011 salary just barely north of the league minimum ($442.5k), no other pitcher can boast the kind of productivity that Axford does for the price.

Paul Konerko 1B Chicago White Sox

Let me first say that there's no chance Konerko would play first base over Votto if such a dilemma occurred. What I will say is this; the Reds GM at the time, Jim Bowden, messed up big time when he shipped Konerko away in November of 1998. The team had just acquired him four months earlier in a trade with the Dodgers, but the allure of adding a more-proven player in Mike Cameron proved to be too tempting for Bowden. Both players turned out to be more than serviceable, as Cincy even used Cameron as a major trade chip to bring in hometown hero Ken Griffey Jr. in 1999, but looking back now it's clear that Konerko had the better career.

How would .282/.358/.500, 30 homers and 100 RBIs a year sound to you? Those statistics would be Konerko's career single-season averages over 15-MLB seasons. Sigh, if only the Reds could have kept on to him and if only the National League required a DH.

Jeremy Affeldt RP San Francisco Giants

If the Reds' newly-acquired setup man Sean Marshall is the best left-handed reliever in baseball, Affeldt's name cannot be too far behind. After signing with the Reds to a one-year, free agent deal before the '08 campaign, the Phoenix native appeared in a team-leading 74 games while posting a 3.33 ERA. Unfortunately, that year would be Affeldt's only season in the Queen City before he would ink a deal with the Giants shortly thereafter.

The towering 6'4" southpaw continues to be a go-to reliever for his current team. In three seasons with SF he's posted a 2.94 ERA in 174 IP spanning 184 appearances. Even with Marshall, and perhaps Aroldis Chapman if he stays in the bullpen, having the 32-year old reliever on the roster would definitely serve as an asset to Dusty Baker's bunch.

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