Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!! Hope Santa brought you what you wanted and you didn't eat too much like I did. Was my wife giving me a message when half of my gifts were long sleeved running shirts and pants?
We all know the Reds are looking to dump some salary in the form of starting pitchers Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo should the right offers make their way to GM Walt Jocketty. But are the Reds ready to deal second baseman Brandon Phillips as well? After reading this response from Reds MLB.com beat writer Mark Sheldon to a fan's question, I think Jocketty may be considering it. You tell me:
Given that the Reds are still looking for an offensive upgrade at shortstop, would they give Todd Frazier a shot? We all know he can hit, plus he did come into the organization at that position.
-- Luke G., Hannibal, Mo.
Fantastic question, Luke. Although he would certainly seem to be capable, the Reds don't appear to view Frazier as a future fit at shortstop. He didn't play there at all in 2009 at two Minor League levels. General manager Walt Jocketty admitted during the Winter Meetings that he has yet to see him play the position in person.
Frazier -- rated the organization's top prospect by Baseball America -- did play first base, second base, third base and left field last season. He played 55 games at shortstop in 2008. The organization feels that prospects like Zach Cozart and Chris Valaika are ahead of Frazier at short. But there is also the feeling from the front office that Frazier would be very good at left field or second base and could be successful no matter which position he played. Currently, Paul Janish is the big league incumbent at the position heading into Spring Training.
More after the junp:
With the Reds recent decision to extend thrid baseman Scott Rolen for two more years, Frazier is blocked at third base. And the Reds have a few guys who can play left field in Chris Dickerson and AAA outfielder Chris Heisey, actually they could form a productive platoon with Dickerson playing against right handed pitchers and Heisey against lefties.
I am sure Jocketty wants to get Frazier in the lineup at some point. All Frazier did in AA/AAA last year was go 16-77-9-.292-.351-.481-.832 with 45 doubles. Frazier appears ready for a big league starting job. And his bat will make him very valuable at second base....for the Reds....and fantasy owners as well.
Could Jocketty dangle Phillips in a package with Aaron Harang to dump some salary and stock the farm system with major league ready prospects? I know a team that needs a starting pitcher and a solid second baseman? Yes the Dodgers need both. But so do the Mets, right?
Who could put together the better package? I could see the Dodgers packaging their top two prospects SS Dee Gordon and pitcher Chris Withrow for both Harang and Phillips. Gordon gives the Reds a SS of the future and Withrow could be ready to pitch in the majors in 2011.
The Mets best prospects are in the lower minors right now as the Reds wouldn't have interest in the Mets slugging first base prospect Ike Davis with Joey Votto manning 1B in the majors and Yonder Alonso in AA.