Scott Rolen makes the Reds a better club this season and next year but at a steep cost in raw talent. Rolen has changed his approach this season to try to hit for a higher average, knowing that his chronic back issues mean he's not likely to hit for much power, and he remains a superlative defender at third. The Reds are on the fringes of contention this year, and adding Rolen helps them offensively and defensively, but I have to assume this is as much about improving the team in 2010 as it is 2009.
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Keith Law joined ESPN.com in June 2006 as the lead baseball analyst for Scouts Inc., covering the majors, minors and amateurs. He appears regularly across the ESPN family of networks, providing analysis on all baseball topics.
Before joining ESPN, Law spent 4½ years with the Toronto Blue Jays as a special assistant to the general manager, and was previously a writer for Baseball Prospectus. He graduated from Harvard College and holds an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon.