Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jim Bowden: Nelson Cruz is the missing link for the Reds

Outside of firing and hiring a new manager, the Reds haven't done much of anything to improve their team for 2014. Sure, general manager Walt Jocketty has managed to sign a few role players and execute a trade, but there really hasn't been any major acquisitions.

ESPN Insider and former club general manager Jim Bowden believes Cincinnati can change this, though. Namely, by either signing 33-year-old free agent Nelson Cruz or by dealing for Houston Astros minor league prospect George Springer.

The following is what Bowden wrote to support his proposal. If you are interested, he also provided missing links and solutions for each National League team, too.

Missing link: Right-handed power bat between Joey Votto and Jay Bruce

Solution: Sign OF Nelson Cruz or trade for minor league OF George Springer

The Reds are confident rookie Billy Hamilton can develop into one of the game’s best leadoff hitters. However, the Reds also are lacking a right-handed power hitter in between Votto and Bruce. Free agent Cruz would be a good short-term solution, but a trade for a younger developing bat such as the Astros' Springer would fit better in the Reds' mid-market budget.

The Astros are desperate for pitching and might consider a deal for Reds right-hander Homer Bailey, a Texas native, if they could first sign him to a long-term deal.

To be honest, the idea of adding Cruz seems completely implausible. Cruz earned $10.5 million from the Rangers last season and will likely demand a similar chunk of change for 2014 and beyond. Simply put, the Reds don't have the financial means to pay Cruz what he wants. Especially when you consider they still owe $14 million to Ryan Ludwick over the next two years.

The idea of trading for Springer seems a little more realistic. The Connecticut native has risen to the top of the minor league ranks after being drafted 11th overall by Houston in the 2011 draft. Springer, 24, could potentially be a bargain and a player the Reds would have control over for many years to come. However, would the Reds be willing to part ways with Bailey to make it happen? That would be the question.


Chris Moran said...

There is absolutely no chance the Astros would be willing to deal George Springer for Homer Bailey. Springer has six years of team control, and Bailey hits free agency after the year, thus significantly limiting his trade value.

Anonymous said...

Gee, why stop at Springer? How about Mike Foltynez, Jarred Cosart, Domingo Santana, Delino DeShields and Carlos Correa for Bailey? That makes sense, right? That trade would be as realistic as Chapman & Votto for B. Wallace. As Chris Moran said, there is no way that Springer will be traded for Homer Bailey.