By: Parker Perry
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters Thursday that the front office will continue down the path that has led to success in this 2012-2013 MLB off season.
According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Jocketty answered “no sir” when asked if the Reds plan to spend big money on a free agent during the upcoming winter meetings.
And why would they? Why start now?
Since the beginning of his tenure in Cincinnati, promoting within the system and trades has landed Jocketty one of the highest job securities in the league. He has managed the system well, and has orchestrated trades that has revolutionized the franchise.
In 2009, Jocketty pulled the trigger on the Scott Rolen trade that sent the Reds young third basemen Juan Encarnacion north to Toronto. It was very controversial at the time, but ended up being a major move that helped the team grow into a contender.
It was a stroke of genius.
And Jocketty, with his proverbial paintbrush, continued painting all the way through the trade deadline of this year. In the off-season he sent a boat load of good prospects for ace-like pitcher Mat Latos. That has worked out fine. He also sent prospects for Jonathan Broxton in July, a move that appears to not only have helped the Reds push towards the playoffs last season, but also could be a move the sends Aroldis Chapman into the rotation.
Now, I may have just let the cat out of the bag. Chapman was signed as a free agent in 2010, and yes that was a great move. Dare I say the best move that he has made since joining the Reds?
But for every good signing, I’ll give you several bad ones. I offer you Willy Taveras, Corey Patterson and Ryan Madson.
Ryan Ludwick was a good signing, but after comes…Jonny Gomes or Orlando Cabrera?
This is not to say that Jocketty is awful at signing free agents, far from it.
I think most Reds fans would agree that whatever Jocketty decides to do, he has earned the benefit of the doubt. If that means gauging the league during the meetings and being one of the boring teams of the month, then so be it.
But if it means pulling a blockbuster that lands a speedy center fielder that is a proven hitter, then that is good too.
The Reds aren't the only team trying to fill needs via trade this offseason.
"You'll see more trades this year than before," Jocketty said. "There is more certainty in trades because the contracts are already done and you just have to honor them. That's preferred instead of chasing free agents. Those prices are pretty high."
Jocketty and Co. are known to be sneaky and good at what they do. They’ve earned that reputation, and do not be surprised, perhaps you should even suspect, that they live up to it before the season begins this April.
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