1. Trade Ken Griffey Jr: Griffey is a very popular player in Cincinnati, and he is about to hit his 600th home run. However, he wants to go back to Seattle, and I don't see a reason to keep him. We have great outfield prospects. We do not need him. Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce are the future of our outfield. I will grant his request to be traded. Here are some trades that I will try to pursue.
To Seattle: Griffey for Phillipe Aumont and Nick Hill. Aumont was the Mariners' first round pick in 2007, and he has major potential. However, he cannot be a contributor immediately, and the Mariners could win the AL West or more this season. Griffey is exactly like what they need, and they could give up Aumont for the chance to win the pennant. Nick Hill is a decent reliever who had a good year in single A ball last year. This trade gives the Mariners a player that can lead them to a World Series appearance, and the Reds get players to help them win in a few years.
To NYY: Griffey for Steven White and Edwar Ramirez. The Yankees are always going after big name players, and Griffey has been courted by the Bombers in the past. Now, the Yankees need a player to ensure a playoff appearance this year. Griffey could be the DH or outfielder that can finish off the bottom of their order. They give up a pitcher (White) who is playing very well in AAA but is a bit of a surprise. Ramirez could be a great middle reliever or set up man, but the Yankees seemed to have cooled down on him because of his poor performance in the big leagues last year. Now, Ramirez could revive his career in Cincinnati. The Yankees could use Griffey as a DH or a pinch hitter to help them catch up to the Red Sox.
I think the Seattle trade is very logical and is great for both teams. Now, the Reds pick up Aumont, who will be a great pitcher in a few years, and Hill, who could be a set up man in 2009 or 2010. This trade is the best possible trade that could go down between these two teams.
2. This Offseason, Do Not Resign Adam Dunn, Josh Fogg, Matt Belisle, Javier Valentin, Corey Patterson, Todd Coffey, Mike Lincoln, and Jared Burton: Adam Dunn and Corey Patterson will not be needed next year with Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs coming up. Fogg, Belisle, Coffey, Lincoln, and Burton have been terrible this year. Valentin is not needed with Bako and Ross playing fairly well.
3. Resign David Ross, Scott Hatteberg, Paul Bako, Kent Mercker, Jerry Hairston Jr., Edwin Encarnacion, Norris Hopper, Jeff Keppinger, Edinson Volquez, Bill Bray, Johnny Cueto, and Joey Votto: Ross and Bako are both quality catchers. Hatteberg and Votto are both good first basemen. Keppinger and Encarnacion are the future at shortstop and third. Hopper and Hairston are good backups in the outfield who are cheaper than Patterson and Dunn. Mercker and Bray are both inexpensive enough to keep at middle relief. Volquez and Cueto will be the number 2 and 3 pitchers in this organization for a long time.
4. Try To Sign Two Relievers: Juan Rincon, Rafael Soriano, Derrick Turnbow, and Brad Lidge are the 4 free agent relievers I would at least talk with. Soriano would probably not want to go back to a set up man spot, so throw him out. I would sign Brad Lidge & Juan Rincon. Lidge would be a perfect setup man. He has been having a good season, but I think he could be even better coming into the game in the eighth. Rincon is going to turn 30 this offseason, so he may be a better fit as a middle reliever than a setup man.
5. Try to Sign An Outfielder: They need a player to replace Adam Dunn, but it will tough to get a good outfielder in this class. Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, Juan Encarnacion, and Endy Chavez are the most likely option. Manny Ramirez, Carl Crawford, and Vladimir Guerrero can opt out, but I doubt it will happen. The Reds will end up getting Bobby Abreu to replace Adam Dunn. The Yankees will be willing to part with him because of their farm system, which is loaded with great outfielders.
Let's look at the 25 man roster for 2009
C-Paul Bako, David Ross
1B-Joey Votto, Scott Hatteberg
2B-Brandon Phillips, Jerry Hairston
LF-Jay Bruce, Ryan Freel
RF-Bobby Abreu, Norris Hopper
1. Aaron Harang
2. Edinson Volquez
3. Johnny Cueto
4. Homer Bailey
5. Bronson Arroyo
Set Up Men:
The Reds aren't looking great this year, but these changes could make 2009 much different. The bullpen gets much better with the additions of Rincon and Lidge, not to mention the call-up of Viola and Pelland, two great minor leaguers. The starting pitching improves over time as more experience sets in. Bobby Abreu is a huge pickup and makes the batting order look like this:
1. Drew Stubbs
2. Jeff Keppinger
3. Jay Bruce
4. Bobby Abreu
5. Brandon Phillips
6. Joey Votto
7. Edwin Encarnacion
8. Paul Bako
I think this team could become a dynasty in the NL Central with young talent like this. Don't forget about Aumont and Nick Hill in the minors. This team will not have anymore pitching problems. That's for sure.