Fortunately, the Cincinnati Reds have very few free agents to be concerned with for the coming winter. The vast majority of this awesome team is signed up for the long haul and ready to make a little dynasty if things go just right. That said, there are a few guys that should be signed if possible. As a huge fan, these free agent opinions are based on where the Reds stand right now. Here is a look at the major free agents and what I feel we should do:
3B Scott Rolen
Rolen has expressed that retirement is not out of the question and he is ready to spend some time being a parent. Although Rolen has been an awesome Red, I am ready to move on with him unless he is willing to take a reduced role. My guess is that he will retire, however.
LF Ryan Ludwick
There is an option on Ludwick that he has turned down for five million bucks but it is likely because he wants a multi-year deal. I say we should give it to him as long as he is willing to take a reasonable figure around that same amount annually.
INF Miguel Cairo
Cairo is expendable and I would not go back to him as an option. Although he has had moments, he is just not dependable enough with the stick to be worthwhile in my view. It is time to move on to someone with a bit more youth and pop.
INF Wilson Valdez
Valdez is a career .236 hitter that hit only .206 in 2012. It is not as though that was over a small sample size. He had 194 at bats in 2012. I think we should part ways and not think twice.
RHP Alfredo Simon
Simon had a very good ERA of 2.66 but he never seemed like the type of pitcher to maintain that. He is a decent pitcher, but I think we have enough depth to let him seek greener pastures. I see Simon as a guy that will be overpaid by the time all is said and done.
These two guys are listed together because they both are dependent on what the plan is with Aroldis Chapman. I would sign them both if they are moving Chapman to the starting lineup. If they are keeping Chapman at the closer position, I would sign Madson and let Broxton go. Either way, these guys would be great additions to our pitching staff. I just don't think we would need them both if Chapman stays in the pen.
*Southern is a life-long Cincinnati Reds fan that grew up watching Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and the boys dominate the Major Leagues. He longs for those days once again in Cincinnati.
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