CATCHER (Could be a an addition via trade)
#David Ross: May open season on DL
1B - Scott Hatteberg
2B - Brandon Phillips
SS/UT - Jeff Keppinger
3B - Edwin Encarnacion
1B - Joey Votto: I'm calling for an upset here; I think he stays whether his hitting comes around next week or not---just a hunch
SS - #Alex Gonzalez: DL bound
LF - Adam Dunn
RF - Ken Griffey Jr.
CF - Corey Patterson
CF/UT - Ryan Freel: Trade candidate
OF - Norris Hopper: May not be out of the woods yet if he doesn't start hitting
Final position player candidates: Juan Castro [inf], Andy Green [ut], Jerry Hairston Jr. [ut], Jolbert Cabrera [ut]
Homer Bailey: Still hanging around, but Louisville is beckoning
#Matt Belisle: May open season on DL
*Mike Stanton - Shouldn't make team, but Reds are afraid to swallow $3M
The question was the final determination of the bullpen, who goes and who stays. As candid as always, Baker said, “I know it is not my money, but I hope money isn’t a factor in the final choices. I know the team wants to stay in a budget, but…”
The reference obviously was to lefthanded relief pitcher Mike Stanton, who wasn’t very good last year and has been mediocre, at best, this spring. But he has a $3 million guaranteed contract with a $500,000 buyout. If the Reds want him to go away (he already cleared waivers, nobody claimed him) and they can’t trade him, it will cost them $3.5 million to show the fans they REALLY want to win this year.
Baker’s bullpen of lefthanders would be Jeremy Affeldt, Bill Bray and Kent Mercker. If ownership says, “Keep Stanton,” then Bray has options and might land in Louisville. Or they could jettison Mercker, a situational pitcher Baker likes.