Rolen hit 34 HR in '04 - he's hit 54 in five seasons since
I don't have much of a problem with the Reds jettisoning Encarnacion, who has been a big disappointment when he's actually healthy. But, I can't understand why Walt Jocketty was willing to part with Roenicke and fellow pitcher Zach Stewart, who made the jump from Class A Sarasota to AAA Louisville earlier this season. Neither Roenicke and Stewart were considered top prospects, but still, there's no reason to part with a Major League ready pitcher (Roenicke) and a 22-year old (Stewart) for a veteran that can't help you in two years.
At this time last year, the Reds smartly sold off Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. before the deadline. This year, they sold off three players aged 26, 26, and 22 for a 34-year old on the decline with a lucrative contract.
We have been told that the focus for this team was 2011. Yet, I can't see a 36-year old Rolen batting between Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips in that Reds' lineup. Where does Rolen fit into a future core of Votto, Phillips, Jay Bruce, and top prospect Yonder Alonso?
I asked Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus what his immediate reaction was to the Reds dealing for Rolen. His response? "A confirmation of their delusion."
I couldn't have said it better myself.