Thursday, January 5, 2012

6 Ex-Reds the Team Could Use Now

Hamilton highlights a plethora of players the
Reds undoubtedly wish they still had

With all the talk swirling around Cincinnati about who to acquire to help fill the remaining holes this club has, I couldn't help but think of how much easier this would be if the solution to these problems lied within the organization. From there I began thinking about all the former Reds who are currently excelling elsewhere, and which ones in particular could help push this squad to the postseason in 2012.

After some careful analysis and considerable self-thought, I came up with six players that fit this criteria. Today I unveil three of those and save three more for you guys to anxiously await for tomorrow. Enjoy.

Josh Hamilton OF Texas Rangers

Hamilton spent just one season in the Queen City (2007), but his short tenure here left a lasting impression on the organization, critics and onlookers alike. After a promising rookie campaign the club inexplicably dealt the former number one overall pick to Texas in an exchange that landed Edinson Volquez. Now that it's been over four years since the swap, I think it's safe to assume the Rangers got the better end of the stick, so to speak. If there's another trade in recent memory that ignites negative emotions in Reds fans more than this one, I don't remember it.

Since the trade Hamilton has emerged as a star in the Major League Baseball landscape. The Raleigh, North Carolina native been named an All-Star in every season since and even earned the American League MVP Award in '10. Although the 30-year old has missed some time due to injury over the past three seasons, it's no question the team he plays for is better when he's on the diamond. How much more potent would the Redlegs lineup be if you were to insert Hamilton in the heart of it? Point made.

Ryan Dempster SP Chicago Cubs

Dempster is the epitome of your average, long-lasting MLB pitcher. After initially breaking into the league with the Marlins in 1998 as a 21-year old, the right-hander was acquired by the Reds in the middle of the 2002 season in exchange for three players. One word best describes Dempster's short stint in Cincy -- disappointing. In 35 starts with the Redlegs he went 8-12 and posted an astronomical 6.39 ERA. The organization released him immediately following the '03 campaign.

Turn the clocks forward to now and Dempster has turned himself into a very solid starting pitcher. After serving as the Cubs' closer for a while in the mid-2000's, he was converted back into a starter in '08 and has eclipsed the 200-inning mark and double-digit win mark every season since. Having a veteran arm like his to go along with the youth in the rotation would most certainly serve Cincinnati well. Oh, did I mention he shares a commonality with Joey Votto? They both hail from Canada.

Cody Ross OF free agent

The 31-year old Ross previously appeared in exactly two games for the Reds in his career. Here's how: the team originally acquired him from the Los Angeles Dodgers for a PTBNL on April 24th, 2006. After making just five at-bats for Cincy, Ross was scooped up by the Florida Marlins a mere 32 days later.

Nearly six years later Ross has developed into a fine MLB outfielder -- his career season averages of .261, 20 homers and 75 RBIs are evidence of that. With GM Walt Jocketty and the rest of the front office scrambling for another option in left field, don't be surprised if Ross reunites with his former club.

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