Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Reds rank 16th in future power rankings

The ESPN Insider crew consisting of Keith Law, Buster Olney and Jim Bowden have put together a rather interesting series of posts projecting the pecking order of all 30 MLB franchises come 2017. After burning through 30-21 on Tuesday, they took a stab at 20-11 on Wednesday. Cincinnati came nestled in the middle-of-the-pack at no. 16.

Here's the excerpt on what they had to say about the Redlegs:

Cincinnati Reds
LAST SEASON: 79-83 (third place NL Central)

The bar graphs reflect the average points given by the voters for each category.

The lowdown

GM Walt Jocketty deserves some credit. He went into the offseason fully aware of the fact that Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder were likely leaving the division, and he decided to go for broke, trading a number of prospects to San Diego for Mat Latos, who will anchor Cincy's staff.

But Joey Votto is signed through only 2013, and will almost certainly be too rich for the Reds when he hits free agency, which means their championship window will be short. The upcoming season might be the Reds' best hope for a while, so fans had better enjoy it. -- Buster Olney

The next step

Johnny Cueto - Cincinnati Reds v Houston Astros
Will Cueto be a Red in '17?
The Reds can't afford to let Votto walk as a free agent and only get draft picks in return. They should trade him next offseason for a huge package, which could restock the farm system after emptying it to get Latos and Sean Marshall. -- Jim Bowden"

This ranking doesn't surprise me too much. In five years the club will look much different. Brandon Phillips will likely be reaching the end of his career, Joey Votto could very well be long gone, Jay Bruce may have become too pricey to afford, and the organization may be paying the consequences for depleting their farm system this past winter. However, one bright spot in these rankings is the fact that three of the team's division foes ranked lower than the Reds did -- and the Cubs aren't rated much higher at 13th.

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