The Reds pre-season action may have come to a close after one of the more recent signings of former Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes. The Reds have added and may continue to add some minor league contracts with possible spring training invites. An example of that type of signing is outfielder Laynce Nix. The re-signing of utility player Jerry Hairston Jr was also a big addition as he will be competing with Gomes and Chris Dickerson for the left field spot. The center field spot is locked up by free agent signee and former Colorado leadoff hitter Willy Taveras.
The immediate major league level impact players the Reds have re-signed utility player Jerry Hairston Jr., outfielder Norris Hopper, and pitchers David Weathers and Mike Lincoln. A new addition to the pitching staff was the addition of left handed free agent Arthur Rhodes. Rhodes had a spectacular year last season posting a 2.04 era.
In my opinion the two biggest additions to the Reds team is the addition of speedy outfielder Willy Taveras and catcher Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez whom was aquired from the Orioles for utility player Ryan Freel. Taveras and Hernandez will become immediate staples in the Reds starting lineup in the upcoming season. Taveras hit only .251 this past season with the Rockies, but led the league with 68 stolen bases. He had his best season in 2007 when he hit .320 for Colorado.
The starting rotation looks pretty much set as four of the five spots are a lock. Returning Reds starters Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, and Johnny Cueto are the locks. While guys like Micah Owings and Homer Bailey among others battle for the fifth spot.
The Reds will open spring training in their final year in Sarasota, FL on February 25th against that Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05. I will be attending some of spring training and I will bring you the inside scoop on what I see and hear. Opening day for the regular season is on April 6th at 1:10 at Great American Ball Park.
Although the Reds seem to be finished making moves I think this will be an interesting season. Going from a homerun hitting team to a small ball type of team with pitching and defense will be intriguing. Although most Reds fans say, "this is the year", I will say even if it is not I still believe they will be improved. My grade so far for this Reds off-season is a B-. I would like to know your opinion of what grade the Reds off-season deserves.