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Right or Wrong, Reds May Make Move

As of the end of the season, it looked as if the Cincinnati Reds 2010 payroll would decrease by a decent amount. With most of the payroll being tied between Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang, Fransisco Cordero, Scott Rolen and Brandon Phillips, the Reds aren't going to have much more room to make many moves. The one necessity that has yet to occur has been the signing of Jonny Gomes.

For the past few years, the Reds and their fans have been crying for a power bat that swings from the right side of the plate, and the answer is Jonny Gomes. In 98 games, Gomes hit 20 home runs with a .267 average. In 37 games down in Louisville, he hit nine home runs. The Reds can not let this power bat leave via free agency. If given a chance to play 162 games, who knows how many home runs Gomes can end up with.

At the same time, we have yet to see Joey Votto or Jay Bruce play a full year. Votto has hit just over 20 home runs the past two years, and he missed 30 plus games in 2009. A full season and Votto could top 30 home runs. Same can be said for Bruce, as he missed time last year after breaking his wrist. In 108 games in 2008, Bruce hit 21 home runs, and in '09 Bruce hit 22 home runs. If Bruce can stay healthy, there may be a chance for 35 to 40 home runs each and every year.

Over the last few years, the Reds have made two different moves that have baffled fans and flamed out. The worst would have to be Willy Taveras, who just can't hit. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez just couldn't stay healthy and was, well, overpaid. When Gonzalez was healthy, he could play, and at times he provided some nice offense along with his spectacular defense. Although, his defense did seem to decline during his tenure here. Taveras was signed in December of '08 and seemed like a good move. This would give the Reds speed in center field and a real lead off threat. Only problem was Taveras suddenly couldn't hit his way out of an open field.

Recently, there have been reports that the Reds are interested in signing utility man Craig Counsell. Yes, the same Craig Counsell that was drafted in 1992. The same Craig Counsell who will be 40 years old come August 2010. The same Craig Counsell who has never hit more than nine home runs in a season, which he did in 2005 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. That year was the only year in which he hit more than four home runs. The move could work if the Reds were going to sign him as a back up second baseman as he owns a very nice .991 career fielding percentage, but the Reds are looking more at shortstop. Counsell's career fielding percentage is .981, which is ok, but Paul Janish is much better defensively.

Counsell does have some pop in his bat, as last year for the Milwaukee Brewers he hit .285. Before that, Counsell has hit .282 in 2002, .275 in 2001, .316 in 2000, and .299 in 1997. In his 14 year career, Counsell has hit .275 or over just five times. The other seasons in which he did not hit .275, he hit at least .256 or under.

The Reds signing Counsell would be very risky. They'd be asking a lot of someone who has been spotty at the plate most of his career. The Reds would be better off sending Janish out to short every day next to third baseman Scott Rolen and waiting until Todd Frazier or Chris Valaika are big league ready.

If the General Manager Walt Jocketty is going to keep making statements that the Reds won't make any moves besides re-signing players, then Jocketty should not be in contact with Craig Counsell's agent. Trying to field a young team can be difficult at times, but adding a 39 year old utility man is definetely not the way to go.

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