Filling out the roster…

I joined Twitter over two years ago almost as an afterthought.  I had dabbled with blogs a bit, but I wondered if this might be a better outlet for times when I wanted to write things that were mostly only important to me, but could be important to others, if only they were given a chance to read them.  Well, like with most things, you only get out of it what you put in, and I didn’t really put anything in.  I didn’t have much use for Twitter, most of my friends weren’t on Twitter, so things I wrote really weren’t getting to anyone.

In any case, in what seems like WAYYYY longer than the two years since, Twitter, at least for me, has exploded into the primary source for sporting news.*  I feel I’m not alone here.  Rob Neyer just wrote a delightfully creative post on the Prince Fielder signing according to Twitter.  I don’t think my Twitter feed is quite as active as Rob’s, which is somewhat by design.  Though I check it more now than I did several months ago, I felt that following too many people would be counterproductive.  When checking on an irregular basis, tweets from people I was really interested in would get lost in the sea of tweets from people I was only moderately interested in.  So, I chose who to follow with precise deliberation.  Among the shoo-ins were sources like Neyer, Posnanski, Fangraphs, Redleg Nation, etc.

*I don’t know if it was like this for other people before it was like this for me, but I do think the way Twitter is used now is a phenomenon that has developed in around the past two years, -ish.

Quickly, though, I realized that my horizons could be broadened by carefully selecting accounts slightly outside my comfort zone.  One of the first of these was Royals Authority, an intelligent baseball source with the right amount of snark and humor.  My roommate at the time was a Royals fan, and we all know that some of my favorite baseball people have connections to Kansas City, so it seemed to fit.  Another, was Bill Baer from Crashburn Alley, a Philly fan whose name I’d heard multiple times as I dug deeper into the world of internet baseball literature.

That was a really roundabout way of telling you that Bill posted something interesting yesterday, which prompted this interesting response four hours later, that Bill then retweeted…

Crashburn Alley Tweet

I couldn’t help but agree wholeheartedly with Miles Musselman.  And one of the reasons it is such a great name, in my opinion, is because it clearly is in reference to something somewhat obscure, and not in that, I know something you don’t and I’m going to rub it in your face kind of way, but in a, I bet that’s a really cool baseball story and I want to be a part of it, way.

So of course I went to Bill’s original tweet and clicked on his link, which took me to this, a reaction to the transaction from earlier this week that sent 26-year-old lefty reliever Jeremy Horst to the Phillies in exchange for utility infielder Wilson Valdez.  All those descriptors in front of those two names might indicate that this was a relatively minor move, and in most respects it is.  But when it comes to internet baseball literature, nothing is minor.

If you’ve made it this far, you clearly have all the time in the world to read any such thing you stumble upon in the internets, so I’ll go ahead and let you read the post yourself, which is quite interesting and goes into detail about the Reds’ newest acquisition (and this particular Philly fan’s opinion of him).  It doesn’t get me all that excited about the move, to be honest.  However, we are finally to the point where the title of this post actually makes sense.

This week saw the Reds take several steps toward filling out the 2012 roster.  One was getting a couple utility guys in Valdez and Willie Harris.  Personally, I understand the need for depth, though I’m not crazy about either.  I do admit that I haven’t taken the time to look into either guy.

The Reds also settled matters with a couple arbitration eligible players, Nick Masset and Jose Arredondo.  This gave me a great idea: let’s go back and take a look at the pie to see if my salary guesstimates were anywhere close on the arb guys.

Player – Aaron’s 2012 Salary Guess – Actual 2012 Salary
Homer Bailey – 3.5 – 2.425
Nick Masset – 1.5 – 2.5 (part of a 2 year deal)
Bill Bray – 1.5 – 1.4175
Paul Janish – 0.5 – 0.85
Jose Arredondo – 1.0 – 1.0

I’m going to go ahead and say it – I did ok.  In the Payroll Pie article I admitted that I tried to stay conservative, which played out with Bailey.  He’s been inconsistent as a Red, and it showed in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

For Masset, I think (1) I put less value on relievers than the average baseball team, and (2) I probably got a little caught up in some of the anti-Masset clamoring that goes on in the comments of Redleg Nation, when in reality, if you look at Masset’s overall performance and his peripherals, he really is quite valuable, and I’d love to see him flourish in his newly defined, 7th-inning role this year.

Bray and Arredondo were nailed.  ‘Nuff said.

Janish I think I may have forgotten about.  There was talk that he wouldn’t even be tendered a contract, so I probably just filed him away and forgot to re-address (which isn’t to say I’m not happy he’s on the team).

All in all I think the roster is shaping up nicely.  These moves aren’t going to excite the fans, but they are the minutia that must get done each year, you know, for veteran leadership and whatnot.

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