Just wanted to drop a line and say I'll be away while we're travelling back home to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. We get on the airplane in about four hours, and then will return on Jan 1st. Therefore, updates are unlikely during that time (not that I've been terribly active anyway...).
Quick word about Conine--there's a reason he was available for two minor prospects. I agree with others who have said they'd rather have a go with Eduardo Perez, but the Reds could do worse I suppose... But the talk about him getting outfield time is confusing to me, especially before the Griffey injury, as we already had a full roster out there (dunn, griffey, denorfia, and freel).
If Griffey's injury keeps him out at all next year, I have to expect that Denorfia would be our starting center fielder, with Freel getting decent playing time there in his ongoing role as uber-utility guy. Heck, that's how it should be even if Griffey's good to go! :) I think Denorfia is a good bet to give us a ~0.375 OBP with better power than Freel, all the while playing plus defense in centerfield--that's quite a valuable player!
I am worried about Griff. He generates a lot of power with his hands, and I think his hitting is already on the decline. What we saw last year from him may be about all we can hope for from him this coming season--he turned 37 on November 21. He can still be a valuable hitter, but '05 might turn out to be his last year with a 0.500+ SLG. My biggest hope is that he'll rediscover how to take a walk next year; that 0.316 OBP last year was the worst of his career. We need him back in the 0.350 range...maybe he should get his eyes checked? :)