Just got back in town. Trip was great, except for the unplanned night in Atlanta. As you may have heard, the West has gotten a lot a snow. Great for skiing. Bad for traveling. Missed a connection . . . but that's not why you called. Let's talk some Reds.
While I was gone, they took a giant step toward Arizona. As I wrote before I left, I can't blame them. Goodyear is being proactive. Sarasota is dragging its political feet. If all things were close to equal, the Reds would stay in Florida. But it's not even close. When you can get a much better facility for $9 million less, it's hard to turn down. But it's not completely over -- the Reds still have to get a deal with Goodyear. As for the other bits of news while I was gone:
--I think the Matt Belisle deal works for both sides. Arbitration is never a good thing for a player's psyche. But Belisle needs to show consistency before the Reds lock him up for more than a year. The one-year deal should be great motivation.
--Signing Paul Bako is a low-risk deal that could pay off. Beyond the David Ross and Javier Valentin, the Reds have no catchers with much big league time. Bako has a reputation of being good with pitchers and good in the clubhouse, i.e, a nice insurance policy if one of top two gets hurt.
--I got my Baseball America Prospect Handbook in the mail. If the Reds actually have 11 prospects better than Jared Burton, the minor league system is in better shape than I thought. BA rates the Reds' No. 3 overall in baseball, behind Tampa Bay and Boston. That's up from 12 last year and 30th (last) in 2006.
And, Jack in Blue Ash, 21 of the players currently on the 40-man arrived on the Wayne Krivsky's watch: Jeremy Affledt, Bronson Arroyo, Bill Bray, Burton, Francisco Cordero, Jon Coutlangus, Bobby Livingston, Gary Majewski, Marcus McBeth, Alexander Smit, Mike Stanton, Daryl Thompson, Sergio Valenzuela, Edinson Volquez, Ross, Juan Castro, Alex Gonzalez, Scott Hatteberg, Jeff Keppinger, Brandon Phillips and Drew Anderson.
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