The Reds came to terms on minor league deals with CF Corey Patterson and utilityman Jerry Hairston, Jr. While neither player has to be kept when the team goes North at the end of the month, their signings certainly bodes in their favor.
This is especially true of Corey Patterson given new manager Dusty Baker's stated desire for a "true" lead-off man and CF. Unfortunately, for fantasy players and prospecting gurus, this likely ends top prospect, and ROY contender, Jay Bruce's chance to open the season in CF.
There will be a lot of teeth-gnashing over this decison because Patterson hasn't seen a pitch he didn't think he could jack out of the park, but Patterson is a good defensive player. That should make the Reds a better real life team than the one that broke the rookie in at a key defensive position in a season that the Reds believe could result in a play-off run. The question is whether defense is better than OBP. I believe that argument has been settled on the side of defense despite the popular press not having realized it.
Patterson's power could also take a tick upward with 81 games in the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark. Combine double-digit jacks with 30+ SBs makes a better 2008 fantasy player than what Jay Bruce could have done.
So while fantasy players bemoan Patterson's presence, they would be better served rushing to their free agents pools and grabbing Patterson rather than dreaming of 150Ks from Jay Bruce.