Proceeding judiciously in anything trumps impulse. But now almost two months since the end of their season, this is a legitimate question: what exactly are the Reds up to? The short answer would appear to be, nothing.
Two months after completing one of their more disappointing seasons in recent memory, the Reds have done zero to make us believe that 2012 will be any better than 2011. While the Bengals create buzz, the Reds give us crickets.
We last left the Reds in mid September, on a feel good afternoon when Brandon Phillips was told (by a mamber of the media off all things) that his option would be renewed for 2012. Phillips seemed taken aback by the news in a good way. But he continues to look for a long term deal. So far, no deal.
Francisco Cordero is another interesting story. The man who consistently delivers “the most exciting moment in all of baseball” (Cordero on the mound with less than a two run lead) remains the Reds best option for closing out games this next season. Unlike Phillips, they declined his $12 million dollar option for 2012. But the Reds and Cordero’s agent both agreed it would be in both parties best interest for Cordero to re-up for 2012 and beyond. So far, crickets here too.
This doesn’t get us to how this team will really improve next seson (remember, bringing back Phillips and Cordero is simply treading water). The Reds will get better by finally addressing their under performing position of left field and finding top of the pitching rotation help to go with Johnny Cueto. The team would have you believe that its starting pitching, seen as a real strength this time last year, simply under performed. Others would have you believe that after Cueto, the Reds staff is a collection of #4 & #5 starters on any contending team. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
It’s early in the off season game. The annual Winter Meetings aren’t until next month and only a couple of high profile free agents have found new homes. The domino effect of Albert Puljos and Prince Fielder signings have yet to begin. So the waiting game for Reds fans may continue for awhile.
But it was abundantly evident last season that the Reds had some serious deficiencies that needed to be addressed this off season. The team remains a young one. But the window of opportunity for any team to contend is only open for awhile. It closes rapidly, more a function of team chemistry than player age.
The Reds hands appear to be precariously perched on the window sill.