So, the Reds just signed Joey Votto to a very bizarre extension. They bought out his 3 arbitration years for $38 million, but the extension didn't cover any of his FA years. Not a bad deal for Votto, as he's set for the next 3 years and can then rake in the motherload just as early as he would have before the extension. The extension isn't quite as high in $$ terms as the $44 million Ryan Howard received, but his HR and RBI stats were much more impressive at the time of his extension. I know nobody outside of HOF voters and yinzers care about those stats, but they'd make a difference at the arbitration hearings.
Anyway, more to the point - with their new investment, as well as their extension of Jay Bruce, they seem to have put Yonder Alonso almost completely out of the picture. It had been rumored that they'd move him to RF if they kept Votto around, but RF is Bruce's territory and they just extended him for 6 years.
Obviously having the pedigree of being a top-10 pick only 3 years ago (7th overall, 5 picks after Pedro) he wouldn't come very cheap. He'll be 24 heading into the 2011 season and made a brief and statistically unimpressive major league debut last year. In his 2 minor league seasons (I'm not really counting his 25 PA in rookie ball in 2008), he has an .826 OPS, showing good contact ability and a good eye (143 K to 104 BB in 931 PA). He is somewhat lacking in power, with only 24 HRs in those seasons. He did hit 36 doubles last year, however, so it's certainly possible that more power is coming. He could also have a Cutch-like development and come up and start turning a few more fly balls into HR.
While he clearly wouldn't be a franchise player, or possibly even an all star, might he be worth looking into? Even if the almighty Rendon is healthy, drafted, and developed according to most peoples wishes, he wouldn't be into the majors most likely until 2013 at the earliest. When (if) he did come up, we could put him at 3rd, Pedro and 1st, and Alonso into RF if he's still physically able to go there. If not, we have a decent 1B to trade for some prospects.
What do you think it would take to pry him away from the Reds? One of the AA pitchers and another interesting but not top prospect? If I'm the Pirates I'd be willing to trade just about anyone not named Sanchez or maybe Marte among our position players, there are very few untradables. Marte I'd trade but maybe not in this case.