In a three team deal, the Cincinnati Reds acquired OF Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Drew Stubbs. Other pieces were involved in the deal including mostly minor leaguers but the Indians did receive pitcher Trevor Bauer and others from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for now former Red minor leaguer Didi Gregorius.
This moves gives the Reds a solid leadoff hitter to set the table for the likes of Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. I think that Choo’s hitting numbers are going to benefit greatly because of Great American Ballpark. Top to bottom, the 2013 Cincinnati Reds lineup, will have some pop and balance of righties and lefties. This move, however, opens up some questions as to what will happen in centerfield. Much talk on Twitter has said that the Reds organization plan on putting Choo in CF and seeing how he does. Many fans on twitter, however, are saying they would rather see Jay Bruce in CF to start the year. A minority of fans on twitter are saying that they want the much heralded prospect Billy Hamilton in CF to start the year with Choo in LF and Bruce in RF. I think that Hamilton is a whole year away from being ready to play CF at a major league level everyday after making the switch from Shortstop to CF at the beginning of the season last year.
A lot of talk has been about the defensive let down from Stubbs to anyone else in CF. With GABP being a smaller ballpark, I am not worried about the defensive side of the game because of the upgrade that the Reds now have with this lineup: Choo (CF), Phillips (2B), Votto (1B), Ryan Ludwick (LF), Bruce (RF), Todd Frazier (3B), Zach Cozart (SS) and Ryan Hanigan/ Devin Mesoraco (C). This has the possibility of being one of the best lineups in the National League in 2013.
While writing this post the Reds, also signed Jack Hannahan to a 1 yr deal for $2 mil. This is an interesting signing for the Reds. I am hoping that this does not mean that Scott Rolen will not be back with the Reds next season. Although Rolens offensive numbers were down last year, I think that his presence and experience in the clubhouse would be extremely valuable.