This is a pretty important week for the Cincinnati Reds. Not so much on the field (at least, this week's games are no more critical than any others). But the decisions General Manager Walt Jocketty makes over the next few days are critical, not just for this season, but for the future of the club.
The trade deadline is at the end of this week. I'm a Reds fan and a baseball fan, but I don't pretend to follow either closely enough to have a strong opinion as to which moves the Reds should or shouldn't make. I do realize, though, that a few teams have attractive players available, and right now, the Reds' farm club is chock full of talent. So Jocketty faces a daunting question: does he sacrifice a bit of the team's long-term potential for a chance to win the pennant this year? And that question, of course, raises a host of others. With or without an added player, is the World Series a realistic possibility this year? Will another player help the team, or upset the chemistry? How good are our prospects?
I'm not smart enough to have sabremetric statistics memorized or explain Moneyball principles, though Jocketty certainly is. And this year, the moves he doesn't make may be every bit as important as the ones he does.