Bowden's 10-year reign at the helm was far from spectacular, but it did produce a handful of winning seasons, most notably in 1995, when the Reds fell advanced to the NLCS.
Now, Bowden currently serves as both an analyst for ESPN and a talk show co-host for Sirius XM satellite radio, where he entertains readers and viewers alike with no shortage of wild opinions, thoughts, and proposals.
While Bowden covers all 30 MLB teams, his latest pair of off-the-wall propositions for the Reds in particular are well, interesting to say the least.
In this post, where Bowden proposes a move for every American League club, he suggests the Reds should trade Brandon Phillips and Ryan Hanigan north of the border to Toronto in exchange for LHP Brett Cecil, 2B Ryan Goins, OF Anthony Gose, and 3B/1B prospect Matthew Dean.
Although it's not the worst trade proposal ever imagined, it's hard to see how this trade would be alluring for the Reds. Yes, Hanigan has seemingly become dispensable with the signing of Brayan Pena, and yes the Reds seem willing to part ways with Phillips' contract, but they receive very little value in this exchange.
Cecil would be the prize in this package from the Blue Jays, as he established himself as a dominant southpaw reliever in 2013 (5-1, 2.82 ERA, 60 GP), but with both Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman signed through 2015, there really isn't a pressing need to add another left-handed thrower in the bullpen right now. Meanwhile, Goins is an unproven middle infielder who batted just .252/.264/.345 in 121 plate appearances at the major league level last season (.257/.311/.369 in 418 PA at Triple-A). Gose is equally unimpressive, owning a .240/.294/.361 slash line in 342 career plate appearances in the majors, and a measly .239/.316/.336 line in 448 plate appearances at Triple-A Buffalo in '13. The 20-year-old Dean tallied a promising .338/.390/.519 line a season ago. But it should also be noted that those numbers came at the rookie level.
As you can see, this trade appears to be extremely lopsided. It would give the Jays a nice double play duo of Phillips and Jose Reyes up the middle, as well as a veteran backstop, but it's hard to see where Cincinnati benefits. If the Reds were in rebuilding mode, this trade might make more sense, but because they are most definitely not, and are looking to put together a roster designed to go far in the playoffs, it makes zero sense.
Bowden didn't stop there with the madness, though. In this post, where Bowden proposes a move for all National League squads, he suggests general manager Walt Jocketty should use the scarce cash the Reds possess and spend it on free agent reliever Joe Smith. How about to the tune of three years and $18 million? Wait, what? Here is Bowden's logic behind the deal:
The Reds must keep trying to improve their bullpen depth, which has become extremely important being in the same division as the Cardinals, who have one of the best and deepest pens in baseball. Smith is a low-slot sidearmer who brings a different arm angle and look, which is important to mix in with the Reds’ back-end power arms. Smith has appeared in 70 or more games in each of the past three years for the Indians with an ERA almost always under 3.00.
Aside from the fact that the Reds have repeatedly chirped that they don't have the money to make a deal like this, Bowden again fails to realize that this wouldn't make sense for the club to do. Unless Cincinnati could move Jonathan Broxton, they already have a financial commitment of this extent, so taking on any additional burden would be virtually impossible. Well, save from asking Joey Votto to give back some of that money they promised him in his massive contract.
All in all, I applaud Bowden for giving us all something to talk about, but there are reasons why he is no longer a guy making key decisions for major league teams. Let's just be thankful he no longer calls the shots for our beloved Redlegs.