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M2
10-18-2004, 04:36 PM
So I'm sitting down, trying to figure out what the Reds have to do this offseason in order to improve their fortunes, and it strikes me that everything on their plate, and I mean everything, was sitting there the day Dan O'Brien arrived.

We've been through the first year of the DanO regime and the organization has yet to tackle any of its chief problems. In no specific order those problems are:

1. Horrid pitching, the worst in franchise history.

2. Ken Griffey Jr., Sean Casey and Danny Graves eating up too much of the payroll to invest in other areas.

3. A thin feeder system, particularly in high impact prospects.

4. A young superstar named Adam Dunn who's going to be too expensive to keep around if the organization doesn't put him on a LTC.

Now, DanO did do some things I liked. He's shown aptitude at finding minor league filler with upside. Ben Kozlowski in fact has significant upside and might be the best arm DanO's found in the past year. He reworked the low minors pitching with the eight-man staff and it looked to generate positive results in Potomac.

He also made a tough, but necessary call in not bringing back Barry Larkin. Now, I'm as big a Larkin fan as anyone, but the Reds are a mess and they need to throw ABs at young shortstops until one of them sticks. They'd be a better team with Barry Larkin and he's plenty affordable these days, but the team has to go into tryout mode. Unfortunately Larkin was at best third on the list veterans who needed to moved out.

The top two spots belong, inarguably, to Ken Griffey Jr. and Danny Graves. A year ago I made the case that the Reds had to find a way to dump those contracts (and/or Sean Casey's) otherwise the organization would find itself even deeper in the same hole this year. I believed then it would a mortal sin of GMing to allow that to happen ... and I still do. There was a time in the summer when Jr. and Graves had their markets. The organization made the choice not to pursue those markets and now it gets to pay for that boneheaded decision. Jr.'s got 10/5 rights and the Reds will pay the bulk of of Graves' 2005 contract whether he's in town or not. The one contract they might be able to move is Sean Casey's and that's the one they want to keep. So it's nice to see the organization make a painful, but necessary call on Larkin (and there's no one rooting harder for him to wind up in Boston than me), but the failure to address far bigger problems that go right to the heart of the team's competitive future overwhelms that momentary show of spine.

Not moving Paul Wilson in July is another decision that deserves a double-heaping of scorn. They had a chance to turn a meaningless pitcher into something. Now he's turned back into a pumpkin.

That brings me to the pitching. It's entirely possible the 2004 Reds didn't have a single pitcher take the mound worth keeping over the next three years. I happen to think Ryan Wagner will be a good pitcher, but I wouldn't wager any body parts (not even an appendix) on it. I'm sure there's some who think Luke Hudson's the next big thing, just like they thought Aaron Harang was this summer or Jose Acevedo was last year. Hudson threw a ton pitches per hitter and sooner or later that's going to translate into ugly innings. Brandon Claussen's still got a lot of lumps to take. Under penalty of death, Paul Wilson should not be brought back for 2005. He is A) not a good pitcher and B) unable to chew up significant (200+) innings. I'd rather have Cory Lidle and I'd rather eat a hive of bees than see Lidle back in a Reds uni. Wilson will cost the Reds more than he'll cost any other team. If the Reds want someone like him, then go get someone else's castoff for $1M-$1.5M (or possibly less dependent upon the market).

The Reds do have $8.75M from Wilson, Lidle and Haynes to spend on a pitcher. I still say Matt Clement's the guy to go after. Other pitchers and some sexy bats will be gobbled up before him, taking a lot of the big money off the table, plus the Cubs may not offer him arbitration. Clement should go for something within the Reds' price range. If the budget grows, then D'Angelo Jiminez (possibly in a package) might be able to fetch someone who's coming available for salary reasons (in the $4+M range). With Ryan Freel in town and William Bergolla (who did everything right in the second half of the season) in AAA, Jiminez, whom I like, is expendable.

I don't expect there to be much help from the minors next season. I'm confident Eddie Encarnacion could do a good job, but I'd guess Felipe Lopez will be the opening day 3B (with Andy Machado or Ray Olmedo at SS). Todd Coffey might be able to make the jump, but starters like Richie Gardner and Thom Pauly are still too green. Absolute best case scenario on Bubba Nelson is he's going to need a year to find himself. Same with the wildly mishandled Dustin Moseley. Jung Bong and Matt Belisle have a talent deficit to overcome. Ben Kozlowski might get himself to the front of the class in short order, but he's got to master some command issues before he hits the majors (otherwise you're just looking at a Claussen clone).

DanO proved unable to find young arms who could make a splash in the near term. His veteran fishing expeditions netted one live fish, Todd Jones, but also another, Gabe White, who left a stink lingering over the whole season. The 2004 Reds pitching was every bit as bad as the 2003 model and DanO's yet to show any aptitude or working game plan for stopping what has become a rolling disaster.

And there isn't a ton of reason to think he delivered much in the way of help with the 2004 draft. Homer Bailey's at least four years away in a rosy scenario, more likely five or six years if he manages to stay healthy. B.J. Simmons (I like using his would-be Jazz Age name) didn't exactly set the world on fire in an extreme hitters league. In fact, the Billings club was filled with underwhelming hitters. Tyler Pelland looked good on the mound, but he's probably four (more likely five) years from being a pitcher of any note in the majors.

Joey Votto's the only guy who looks like a fast riser on the farm. Encarnacion's ready as soon as the club blows through its 3B options in early 2005 (hopefully they'll have the good sense not to hand anything to Brandon Larson this time around) Bergolla, if his rediscovery of the BB sticks, could be a nifty addition in 2006.

That brings us to Dunn. 2004 confirmed what many of us knew -- that he's fabulous. The problem is he just whacked 46 HR (with a .956 OPS) right before his first arbitration season. Record awards are sure to follow. The Reds, with an ounce of foresight, could have locked him up prior to season and saved themselves millions. However the Reds continue to let things happen to them rather than making the sort of aggressive moves it's going to take to rebuild the franchise into something good. Small market franchises simply cannot allow the course of events to wash over them.

Dunn, if he isn't signed this offseason, will head into astronomical territory by 2006 and the Reds may be forced to deal him. The young OF they should be moving is Austin Kearns (though maybe not until next season so that he can push his market back up -- warning, he will be injured again, just as sure as it will be sweltering hot in Alabama next summer, so careful with the brinksmanship).

The good news is the attendance this season. Apparently Cincinnati's a decent little baseball market. Who'd have guessed? I mean if only there had been some historical evidence which suggested that. Maybe now that the Reds have been reminded of that fact, they'll stop trying to mimic Milwaukee Kansas City and Pittsburgh.

It goes to the heart of the organization's main flaw -- THE CINCINNATI REDS MUST STOP CONDUCTING BUSINESS AS USUAL. They've misjudged their market, failed to address their most glaring problems and neglected to put the necessary down payments on their future. As Reds fans, we're exactly where we were a year ago. It's beyond frustrating to root for a team that refuses to help itself. And these overarching problems only get more entrenched the longer they're allowed to linger.

The Reds can't afford to keep duplicating 2004.

MWM
10-18-2004, 04:39 PM
Welcome back. It hasn't been the same. And I especially liked the "appendix" line.

Also, as I was unpacking in my new home, I came across my Starlight Express CD. I was pretty excited as I was going to scan the cover and post it on the non-BB forum just for you. But you weren't around.

M2
10-18-2004, 04:44 PM
Welcome back. It hasn't been the same.

Also, as I was unpacking in my new home, I came across my Starlight Express CD. I was pretty excited as I was going to scan the cover and post it on the non-BB forum just for you. But you weren't around.

Been real busy. Too busy even for Broadwayfied roller disco, but I figured I'd stop by and comment on how, uh, similar things are to last year ... and the year before ... and the year before. If I didn't know better, I'd call this a trend.

westofyou
10-18-2004, 05:10 PM
how, uh, similar things are to last year ... and the year before ... and the year before.


http://www.deadballart.com/redszone/mr.gif

red-in-la
10-18-2004, 05:11 PM
M2, sounds like a "sit down tongue lashing talk" that you need to give to Uncle Carl.....reminds me the of Dolly Parton lecture to her boss in 9 to 5.

I still see JR as a DH in pinstripes.....NY pinstripes that is.

But I would not agree with Jimenez. Freel is a distaster with a glove on. He might be a decen, nifty little lead off guy, but in the age of seeing Henderson and Garrett Anderson lead of (anf hit 30 HR's) it is really tough to think of Freel as any real answer.

JImenez is one of the few really steady players on the Reds roster or in the whole organization ofr that matter......as long as Miley agrees to never bat him 5th again.

I also disagree with one other point. The 2004 Reds were WORSE by design of DanO than the team he inherited.....I will even point out that wirtually every good thing that happened in 2004 was a JImbo plant......except maybe the Todd Jones thing....if that wins a good award.

M2
10-18-2004, 05:26 PM
r-i-l, I'd rather have Jiminez than Freel too, but there's three factors that go into my thinking here:

1. The 2005 Reds aren't going to be such great shakes.

2. Jiminez will absolutely price himself out of town by 2006, possibly necessitating a Todd Walker style giveaway.

3. Miley's made the decisions that Freel, not Jiminez is his leadoff guy (though I suppose Jiminez would be a good #2 hitter if Miley ever stuck him there).

WOY, that's a brilliant piece of art there. The Enquirer or Post haven't done anything half that good in decades.

flyer85
10-18-2004, 05:27 PM
The Reds do have $8.75M from Wilson, Lidle and Haynes to spend on a pitcher. I still say Matt Clement's the guy to go after. Other pitchers and some sexy bats will be gobbled up before him, taking a lot of the big money off the table, plus the Cubs may not offer him arbitration. Clement should go for something within the Reds' price range.

You are missing the point. To sign a decent FA pitcher(like Clement) it will take around ~8M A YEAR, but not just for one season. Most likely 3-4 and the Reds can't afford to make a commintment like that to a 30 something pitcher. It will cause the Reds to not be able to keep their younger players.

No small market team has built any of their success on signing a high priced free agent. The Reds must stay far away from the Matt Clements. Their only hope is to develop their own of trade for a younger established pitcher who is not yet an FA(which are expensive in terms of trading).

The key thing for the Reds in 2005 is to clear the deck of their salary obligation to the 30 something guys and to pay now to save some later.

M2
10-18-2004, 05:59 PM
You are missing the point. To sign a decent FA pitcher(like Clement) it will take around ~8M A YEAR, but not just for one season. Most likely 3-4 and the Reds can't afford to make a commintment like that to a 30 something pitcher. It will cause the Reds to not be able to keep their younger players.

No small market team has built any of their success on signing a high priced free agent. The Reds must stay far away from the Matt Clements. Their only hope is to develop their own of trade for a younger established pitcher who is not yet an FA(which are expensive in terms of trading).

The key thing for the Reds in 2005 is to clear the deck of their salary obligation to the 30 something guys and to pay now to save some later.

The Reds have assiduously stayed away from talented pitchers for years, so you're likely to get your wish.

I happen to think Clement will be a good pitcher the next three to four years based on his numbers over the past three years - 587.2 IP, 3.80 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 8.82 K/9, .666 OPS against. In fact I think his best years are in front of him. That's my projection. Might not be right, but he's a pitcher to whom I'd be willing to commit. The Reds, a team that lacks so much as a single pitcher worth any sort of commitment, desperately need to acquire such arms.

I've been making this point for years. You have to start somewhere. You can't build a rotation overnight, but you can take the money you've got (and the Reds easily have the $7M-$8M it will take to get Clement) in order to lay a foundation.

He actually gets easier to afford down the road because A) revenues rise over time and B) Graves comes off the books. Provided you do something smart like get yourself cost containment on players like Dunn and Pena, then a staff leader like Clement doesn't prevent you from doing anything.

The Reds are nowhere near growing their own. Maybe in 2007 Thom Pauly or Richie Gardner show up and pitch well (too often we Reds fans confuse showing up as a guarantee that good pitching will follow -- we should know better). The Reds need to invest in quality pitchers when they've got money to spend and to work the trade market for pitchers. I'm completely on board with trading for arb eligibles or LTC guys, been banging that drum for years. And I wouldn't mind parting with some talent to get those pitchers.

Remaking the salary composition of the team and putting together a rotation isn't easy, but it becomes next to impossible when you refuse to pay the going rate for a good (possibly undervalued) pitcher. 200 quality IP at the front of the rotation isn't going to come cheap and it's not going to come from inside the organization anytime soon. Either the Reds find someone worth the gamble or they can continue with the "Groundhog Day" routine.

The point is that the pitching has been atrocious and short-term veteran fill like Paul Wilson, Cory Lidle and Jimmy Haynes has failed as a strategy. It's time to stop paying some money to bad pitchers in the hopes they'll be good and to start paying market value to good pitchers who can actually deliver.

RedsBaron
10-18-2004, 06:02 PM
Been real busy. Too busy even for Broadwayfied roller disco, but I figured I'd stop by and comment on how, uh, similar things are to last year ... and the year before ... and the year before. If I didn't know better, I'd call this a trend.
Glad to see you posting again. We probably disagree on about 90% of the political posts made on this board, but I usually both agree with, and appreciate, your analysis on the baseball side. I'm glad you are back.

KronoRed
10-18-2004, 06:16 PM
WOY what happend to that poor mans head?? ;)

Aronchis
10-18-2004, 06:40 PM
The starting pitching in 2004 was better than in 2003 marginally. But the Bullpen's collapse turned alot of games that should have been 5-3 losses into 10-3 losses. But Bullpen is the easiest position to rebuild which means I see a signifigent reduction of runs in 2005 compared to 2004 with the same staff we ended with in 2004. Any upgrades they get in 2005 and improvements they get from the current group will mean more innings and less strain on the bullpen. Hopefully they do both, but overspending on suspect FA's isn't a good idea.

Undoubtly reducing payroll commitments from players such as Graves,Griffey,Casey would be nice but Griffey's body has laid that egg. The only way we "get out" of Griffey's contract is for retirement. Don't cover coat it.

So the Reds lose Jimenez after 2005. So be it. 2.5 years as a Reds would be fitting and we will test the 2nd base depth(Most likely Bergolla, though Howard may challenge) we have in 2006. Again, naturally as you will want to spread the 5 mill Jimenez would make in 2006 to other areas of the team.

FWIW, I don't agree with the Moseley "mishandling" stuff at all. Considering the strong way he went out in 2004, he will be better in 2005 because of it.

wheels
10-18-2004, 06:57 PM
I don't know if we can sure Kearns is gonna be hurt again.

For one, he's young, so he can recover from injuries faster than a guy in his thirties.
Secondly, I'm not so sure his injuries are the type that will recur, or be nagging. His shoulder? Possibly, but that was cause by trauma, so if he's fully recovered from surgery he should be okay.
He doesn't seem to have gimpy knees just yet, or a balky hamstring, or nagging back problems.

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic (me? nawwwww..), but if he can avoid bad luck, or collisions with three hundred pound relief pitchers, he can certainly put a whole healthy season together. Of course, I'm the overly optimistic one.

What do you think about the third base experiment?

Kc61
10-18-2004, 07:08 PM
Thoughtful post by M2. As I see it, the Reds basic problem has been relatively large payroll expense for position players and very little left over for pitching. The Reds need salary room to pay for pitching, even if at the expense of offense.

You can bring up cheap young pitching, but it is very hard to compete without some high priced pitching talent. Reds are, in essence, completely unwilling/unable to pay for veteran pitchers.

Isn't it ironic that the highest paid pitcher the Reds have had in the past years is Graves. One big pitching contract and the guy had no track record as a starter.

I think O'Brien wanted to have a decent season and didn't trade away veterans because he thought it was important to start showing some results. Whether right or wrong, that is the past.

I think the concept of re-signing Wilson and adding one reliever is totally inadequate. The Reds have to acquire several veteran pitchers and can't be afraid to pay $7 million per year for a good starter. I really don't mind if it requires trades of all of Casey, Griffey (if possible), Jimenez, and Larue to provide payflex.

M2
10-18-2004, 07:24 PM
The starting pitching in 2004 was better than in 2003 marginally. But the Bullpen's collapse turned alot of games that should have been 5-3 losses into 10-3 losses. But Bullpen is the easiest position to rebuild which means I see a signifigent reduction of runs in 2005 compared to 2004 with the same staff we ended with in 2004. Any upgrades they get in 2005 and improvements they get from the current group will mean more innings and less strain on the bullpen. Hopefully they do both, but overspending on suspect FA's isn't a good idea.

Undoubtly reducing payroll commitments from players such as Graves,Griffey,Casey would be nice but Griffey's body has laid that egg. The only way we "get out" of Griffey's contract is for retirement. Don't cover coat it.

So the Reds lose Jimenez after 2005. So be it. 2.5 years as a Reds would be fitting and we will test the 2nd base depth(Most likely Bergolla, though Howard may challenge) we have in 2006. Again, naturally as you will want to spread the 5 mill Jimenez would make in 2006 to other areas of the team.

FWIW, I don't agree with the Moseley "mishandling" stuff at all. Considering the strong way he went out in 2004, he will be better in 2005 because of it.


Man, if only I had a dollar for every Redszone poster who insisted the pitching staff at the end of 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and now I guess 2004 would be better if it comes back to start the next season. I'd own an island in the Caribbean right now with enough cash leftover to put up a hurricane-proof villa.

The Reds had a 5.54 ERA and .858 OPS against in September, which, miraculously, was worse than the team's overall numbers for the season. So the collection of never-wases and never-will-bes that finished the season actually managed to do worse against lesser competition than the pile of detritus that was in place for most of the season. Bad pitching recognition skills are needed and turning up your nose at a good pitcher who fits the budget will only buy you more of the same. Banking on improving the current group is like substituting Sam Kinison for Eliza Doolittle and thinking you've got a potential society girl.

Jiminez: Good plan, pay him money to play a position you can cover with a less expensive player in what promises to be an uncompetitve year and then give him away for nothing after the season. I like Jiminez, but he might be able to fetch you a long-term piece of the puzzle right now. Maybe he can't. If that's the case, keep him and see what he's worth in July. But you once again seem to be advocating a do-nothing policy where the Reds lay around and continue to be a victim of circumstances. I've got a 21st Century's worth of evidence that tells me what a lousy idea that is.

And only a Reds fans could construe four starts in which a pitcher allows more than a hit an inning while posting a K/9 of 4.26 as a strong finish. Moseley had the at-em ball working in his final four starts. Dustin cannot pitch like that and have any hope of success over the long haul. He never even sort of mastered AAA this past season and any good habits he might have developed pitching against an appropriate level of competition for a full season (something he's never done) got flushed with yet another pointless promotion courtesy of a desperate, pitching-incompetent organization.

red-in-la
10-18-2004, 07:24 PM
I am not sure Jimmy Haynes was a failure. Paying him for more than one year proved to be a problem, but getting 15 wins from a journeyman the first year was a GREAT deal.

Signing these guys isn't always bad.....you guys seem to have a good formula for picking them out. But sign a Jon Lieber (when lots of you urged the Reds to try) or a Chris Carpenter (ditto) or maybe even (next year) Dempster is maybe a good strategy.....it seems to work sometimes, you just have to pick the right time.

Should the impossible happen and JR stay healthy (in LF or RF) and Kearns work out at 3B, the Reds MIGHT get close to the Cards blueprint if they could score a ton of runs and strike lightning in a bottle with one or two pitchers.

red-in-la
10-18-2004, 07:34 PM
M2, you are right in that I know of one team who wishes they had had Jimenez instead of what they had at 2B.....the Cubbies. I suggested some time ago that the Reds try to get a young hard thrower from them for Jimenez.

M2
10-18-2004, 07:55 PM
I don't know if we can sure Kearns is gonna be hurt again.

For one, he's young, so he can recover from injuries faster than a guy in his thirties.
Secondly, I'm not so sure his injuries are the type that will recur, or be nagging. His shoulder? Possibly, but that was cause by trauma, so if he's fully recovered from surgery he should be okay.
He doesn't seem to have gimpy knees just yet, or a balky hamstring, or nagging back problems.

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic (me? nawwwww..), but if he can avoid bad luck, or collisions with three hundred pound relief pitchers, he can certainly put a whole healthy season together. Of course, I'm the overly optimistic one.

What do you think about the third base experiment?


Four years and running on Austin and injuries. I'm not saying he can't have a healthy season here and there, but I've got this sneaking suspicion Austin's not going to have a healthy career. He's not just sort of brittle. He's exceptionally brittle.

If the Reds shift him to 3B it strikes me as desperate, stupid (they've got a very good young 3B prospect knocking on the door and some other short-term options to boot) and ill-conceived (Austin's never played the position in a professional game, wasn't considered a good 3B when he was drafted and more than likely will break himself in half trying to play a position at which he's got little to no skills). Austin's an excellent RF, a prototype RF. Play him in RF. I understand the Reds have one too many starting OFs, but Kearn's to 3B strikes me as the worst possible solution. Either trade one away or bench Jr. Yep, I said bench Jr. Play the kids and if you work a deal for one, then Jr. gets back in the game.

RedsBaron
10-18-2004, 08:03 PM
Four years and running on Austin and injuries. I'm not saying he can't have a healthy season here and there, but I've got this sneaking suspicion Austin's not going to have a healthy career. He's not just sort of brittle. He's exceptionally brittle.

If the Reds shift him to 3B it strikes me as desperate, stupid (they've got a very good young 3B prospect knocking on the door and some other short-term options to boot) and ill-conceived (Austin's never played the position in a professional game, wasn't considered a good 3B when he was drafted and more than likely will break himself in half trying to play a position at which he's got little to no skills). Austin's an excellent RF, a prototype RF. Play him in RF. I understand the Reds have one too many starting OFs, but Kearn's to 3B strikes me as the worst possible solution. Either trade one away or bench Jr. Yep, I said bench Jr. Play the kids and if you work a deal for one, then Jr. gets back in the game.
Some guys just are not durable. For all his talents, Eric Davis was never blessed with durability. For all his limits, Pete Rose was durable. Kearns is still young, but his injury history is discouraging.
As for Junior, I posted a few days ago that he should now be the number 4 outfielder on the Reds. Absent a trade, my 2005 lineup would have an outfield of Dunn, Pena and Kearns, and I wouldn't make a trade solely to create a spot in the lineup for a guy who probably will not be healthy enough to play more than half of the time.

M2
10-18-2004, 08:06 PM
Some guys just are not durable. For all his talents, Eric Davis was never blessed with durability. For all his limits, Pete Rose was durable. Kearns is still young, but his injury history is discouraging.
As for Junior, I posted a few days ago that he should now be the number 4 outfielder on the Reds. Absent a trade, my 2005 lineup would have an outfield of Dunn, Pena and Kearns, and I wouldn't make a trade solely to create a spot in the lineup for a guy who probably will not be healthy enough to play more than half of the time.

Agreed completely.

Good point on Davis, who was far more durable than Kearns has been to date. That's what scares me about Austin.

Ravenlord
10-18-2004, 08:48 PM
Austin Kearns=Kal Daniels

guernsey
10-18-2004, 09:05 PM
That brings us to Dunn. 2004 confirmed what many of us knew -- that he's fabulous. The problem is he just whacked 46 HR (with a .956 OPS) right before his first arbitration season. Record awards are sure to follow. The Reds, with an ounce of foresight, could have locked him up prior to season and saved themselves millions. However the Reds continue to let things happen to them rather than making the sort of aggressive moves it's going to take to rebuild the franchise into something good. Small market franchises simply cannot allow the course of events to wash over them.


That assumes, of course, that Dunn would have been willing to sign a LTC coming off of a down year. I've never met him, but sportwriters portray him as someone who is confident in his ability. I think if the Reds had approached him with a LTC last offseason that would have saved the Reds millions of dollars, his reaction would have been, "No thanks, I'll go year-to-year until I have my breakout season, then we'll talk LTC."

wheels
10-18-2004, 09:06 PM
Awww...Shucks. I do agree with you guys on Kearns. I really do.

But I'm gonna go ahead and believe (one last time!) that he's gonna put together a full season.

I need this one, guys. I got nothing else.

One other thing. I'll bet dollars to donuts that they give Paul Wilson three years and 4.5 Million. I'll also be that there will be some people on this board that are happy about it.

Talk about stuck in reverse.

M2
10-18-2004, 09:19 PM
One other thing. I'll bet dollars to donuts that they give Paul Wilson three years and 4.5 Million. I'll also be that there will be some people on this board that are happy about it.

There's a good chance that you're right. Though if they do, then I'm taking the position that Dan O'Brien can't be fired soon enough. That decision would be akin to leading a herd of ankylosaurs into the tar pits.

guernsey, IIRC Dunn's stated numerous times in the past that he'd like to sign a long-term deal. And while we can speculate what his answer may have been had the Reds approached, the central problem is the team didn't approach him.

Aronchis
10-18-2004, 09:25 PM
Man, if only I had a dollar for every Redszone poster who insisted the pitching staff at the end of 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and now I guess 2004 would be better if it comes back to start the next season. I'd own an island in the Caribbean right now with enough cash leftover to put up a hurricane-proof villa.

The Reds had a 5.54 ERA and .858 OPS against in September, which, miraculously, was worse than the team's overall numbers for the season. So the collection of never-wases and never-will-bes that finished the season actually managed to do worse against lesser competition than the pile of detritus that was in place for most of the season. Bad pitching recognition skills are needed and turning up your nose at a good pitcher who fits the budget will only buy you more of the same. Banking on improving the current group is like substituting Sam Kinison for Eliza Doolittle and thinking you've got a potential society girl.

Jiminez: Good plan, pay him money to play a position you can cover with a less expensive player in what promises to be an uncompetitve year and then give him away for nothing after the season. I like Jiminez, but he might be able to fetch you a long-term piece of the puzzle right now. Maybe he can't. If that's the case, keep him and see what he's worth in July. But you once again seem to be advocating a do-nothing policy where the Reds lay around and continue to be a victim of circumstances. I've got a 21st Century's worth of evidence that tells me what a lousy idea that is.

And only a Reds fans could construe four starts in which a pitcher allows more than a hit an inning while posting a K/9 of 4.26 as a strong finish. Moseley had the at-em ball working in his final four starts. Dustin cannot pitch like that and have any hope of success over the long haul. He never even sort of mastered AAA this past season and any good habits he might have developed pitching against an appropriate level of competition for a full season (something he's never done) got flushed with yet another pointless promotion courtesy of a desperate, pitching-incompetent organization.

The Bullpen sucked through falling productivity and poor quality such as Van Pimpel. You are going to have a high ERA but the Starters were better in 2004 than 2003. Get a 50% better bullpen and you have a better staff WITHOUT ANY starting pitching upgrades. You get some starting pitching develpment out of Hudson and Claussen plus a inning eating starter, the staff goes from real bad to at least average. Enough for playoffs? Probably not, but closing in.

The Reds staff isn't "coming" together into known quality, but young pitchers will be put in place, especially in the Bullpen where it can happen quickly. Guys mature, old orders and ended. Rotations take a bit longer unless somebody like Hudson blows up as a late bloomer. But I think we know that.

Again, your basing Moseley's starts on his first month when he wasn't mature wise ready to handle AAA pitching with ease. Listen, if the Moseley that pitched in July at AAA is still there this spring, he doesn't belong on a Major League squad. Doesn't matter if it was April or July, Moseley will have to improve enough to handle AAA hitters and then Major league hitters. Pitchers that have been hanging around AA(2 years for Dustin) at some point have to move on. The Reds challenged Dustin and he partly responded. Now they are sending him to Fall ball to get some more seasoning. Lets be real about Dustin, he improved at AA ball last season, now he shall improve at AAA ball this season. Maybe a cup of coffey to? Possibly. But crying when was moved up to continue his development, give him harder targets to face, is meek problems. I never said he was going to be called up or rushed to the Majors, but that is the way you are responding.

guernsey
10-18-2004, 09:30 PM
FA starting pitchers (at least the ones worth considering) with their VORPs.

FREE AGENTS BY POSITION:

Right-hand starting pitchers: Pedro Martinez 51.2, Carl Pavano 62.4, Kevin Millwood 9.3, Jaret Wright 40.3, Russ Ortiz 33.1 , Derek Lowe -11.5, Aaron Sele 7.4, Brad Radke 60.1, Matt Morris 13.4, Paul Wilson 24.6, Matt Clement 36.9, Kris Benson 22.4.

Left-hand starting pitchers: Eric Milton 18.7, Odalis Perez 49.7.

Now, if we expect past performance to project future performance (and I wish updated PECOTA forecasts based on '04 data were available) the four pitchers most likely to give bang for the buck, IMO, are Odalis Perez, Brad Radke, Russ Ortiz and Matt Clement.

BuckeyeRedleg
10-18-2004, 09:39 PM
M2, thank you for an excellent post. I agree with everything.

It's posts like this that bring me back to this place even when the last thing on my mind is Reds baseball.

Well, the Buckeyes are killing me right now, so I guess I'm already looking forward to April.

Why can't people like yourself and others on this board get in the front office and shake things up? I truly feel that there are more competent baseball minds on this board than the current Reds FO.

guernsey
10-18-2004, 09:44 PM
Sure, Dunn would like to sign a long term deal - on his terms. Speculating that he would sign a contract that would save the Reds millions is just that, speculation. And common sense says he wouldn't.

letsgojunior
10-18-2004, 10:04 PM
Nice to have you around, M2.

M2
10-18-2004, 10:49 PM
You get some starting pitching develpment out of Hudson and Claussen plus a inning eating starter, the staff goes from real bad to at least average. Enough for playoffs? Probably not, but closing in.

I've got some extraterrestial property that might interest you too.

This is the exact same plan as develop Jose Acevedo and Aaron Harang plus Cory Lidle and Paul Wilson to eat innings. You saw how well it worked -- absolute, bloody mess (5.08 combined ERA). Keep doing it and I can tell you with near absolute certainty how well it's going to work.

As for Moseley, he's never been allowed to succeed. The Reds have undone him with a promotion everytime he's starting to roll. IMO it's turned him into a guy who doesn't trust his stuff because he's rarely been mature enough to compete at his given level. It's entirely possible Dustin would be a different pitcher, more of a power pitcher had the Reds ever allowed him to settle in and develop those skills. Now you're acting as if he'll rediscover something he was never allowed to find in the first place and that if he doesn't do that, then the Reds shouldn't be held accountable. That's how you go two decades without developing a starting pitcher worth a bucket of spit.

M2
10-18-2004, 10:54 PM
Sure, Dunn would like to sign a long term deal - on his terms. Speculating that he would sign a contract that would save the Reds millions is just that, speculation. And common sense says he wouldn't.

Common sense dictates that the LTC would have cost far less after a 27 HR, .819 OPS season when he was still a year shy of arbitration than after a 46 HR, .956 OPS season when he's arb eligible. I never once thought he'd be cheap, but it strikes me as untenable to sit there and insist his price tag didn't skyrocket over the past year.

M2
10-18-2004, 11:03 PM
Now, if we expect past performance to project future performance (and I wish updated PECOTA forecasts based on '04 data were available) the four pitchers most likely to give bang for the buck, IMO, are Odalis Perez, Brad Radke, Russ Ortiz and Matt Clement.

Agreed. Definitely that's the right pond to go fishing in. Radke's liable to cost the most out of the group so he's the least likely to go to a smaller market team (unless of course the Twins keep him).

guernsey
10-18-2004, 11:24 PM
Of course his pricetag went up after '04, just as Dunn knew it would. He had absolutely no reason to sign a LTC following his worst professional season ('03). He had hit 50 HRs in a season before, and he knew he was good enough to do it again. Going from Dunn saying he would like to sign a long term deal to Dunn signing a long term deal that would cost him millions is a leap in logic that's far too long to be reasonable.

M2
10-18-2004, 11:31 PM
Of course his pricetag went up after '04, just as Dunn knew it would. He had absolutely no reason to sign a LTC following his worst professional season ('03). He had hit 50 HRs in a season before, and he knew he was good enough to do it again. Going from Dunn saying he would like to sign a long term deal to Dunn signing a long term deal that would cost him millions is a leap in logic that's far too long to be reasonable.

The Indians, Rangers, A's and Blue Jays all have managed to sign very good young players to long-term contracts. Yet somehow the Reds can't?

That reeks of excusifying to me.

Aronchis
10-18-2004, 11:48 PM
I've got some extraterrestial property that might interest you too.

This is the exact same plan as develop Jose Acevedo and Aaron Harang plus Cory Lidle and Paul Wilson to eat innings. You saw how well it worked -- absolute, bloody mess (5.08 combined ERA). Keep doing it and I can tell you with near absolute certainty how well it's going to work.

It was? Those guys were never known except maybe for Lidle to eat innings "seasonally" however, and I think we all knew that. Fillers do what they do, take as many innings as they can and eat them why younger pitchers mature and get collected down in the minors. The staff DanO had was a remanent and you make it seem like O'brien has been at it 3 years.

As for Moseley, he's never been allowed to succeed. The Reds have undone him with a promotion everytime he's starting to roll. IMO it's turned him into a guy who doesn't trust his stuff because he's rarely been mature enough to compete at his given level. It's entirely possible Dustin would be a different pitcher, more of a power pitcher had the Reds ever allowed him to settle in and develop those skills. Now you're acting as if he'll rediscover something he was never allowed to find in the first place and that if he doesn't do that, then the Reds shouldn't be held accountable. That's how you go two decades without developing a starting pitcher worth a bucket of spit.

Again, did Dustin hold his own in AAA? yep. Was he a good pitcher in AAA. Nope. But that is why he will be going back to prove just that. All I said was that his experience in AAA will help him understand what he needs to tackle to be a good pitcher this season in AAA ball, a cup of coffee minor league style. Enough of the sob stories how the awfull Reds organization never gave poor little Dustin the chance to succeed. To me he is a success with the talent he has.

flyer85
10-18-2004, 11:51 PM
I happen to think Clement will be a good pitcher the next three to four years based on his numbers over the past three years

He is 30, making it somewhat risky. He had been injury free until the end of this season



You have to start somewhere. You can't build a rotation overnight, but you can take the money you've got (and the Reds easily have the $7M-$8M it will take to get Clement) in order to lay a foundation.

True but I think the Reds will be hesitant to invest long term with that money to Jr sitting out there in 2007 and 2008. It makes them unlikely to sign any FA who they will owe money to in those years.

flyer85
10-18-2004, 11:54 PM
The only way a small market team can successfully use free agency is to plug a hole. Even if the Reds were to sign a free agent starter it will take a LOT more than to make them competetive in 2005. They would still need big years from a number of the young pitchers.

For the Reds to have any asuurance of competing in 2005 they would need to sign 4-5 free agent pitchers for the rotation and the pen.

Aronchis
10-18-2004, 11:57 PM
The Griffey contract is going down as one of the worst disasters in Reds history. 12.5 million of dead payroll :dflynn:

You could have a 60 million dollar payroll and it would only really be 47.5. A 70 million dollar payroll and it would only be 57.5.

Bowden should be real proud of himself.

M2
10-19-2004, 12:06 AM
Enough of the sob stories how the awfull Reds organization never gave poor little Dustin the chance to succeed.

Dumb handling is dumb handling. They haven't set up Moseley for success and they're likely to reap the harvest of what they've sown.

There's no reason why Moseley couldn't be as good as Ryan Madson, the current poster boy for sane handling and gradual development. There's another way to do it and that other way can work. What the Reds have been doing, that doesn't work.



The staff DanO had was a remanent and you make it seem like O'brien has been at it 3 years.

DanO's fault is that he hasn't taken appropriate steps to start addressing the problem. I don't blame him for what he inherited. Though if you recognize that the 2004 staff was organized on a San Andreas Fault, then I will suggest carbon copying the model in 2005 is pretty boneheaded.

SteelSD
10-19-2004, 12:57 AM
The Griffey contract is going down as one of the worst disasters in Reds history. 12.5 million of dead payroll

You could have a 60 million dollar payroll and it would only really be 47.5. A 70 million dollar payroll and it would only be 57.5.

Bowden should be real proud of himself.

Interestingly enough, the Griffey contract- at the time- was a real value. The Larkin deal (the one that Bowden didn't want), was a killer because it assumed that a 37-year old Shortstop would be in the upper echelon of MLB players at his position.

Small market teams can deal with 10+ million dollar mistakes (see: Dye, Jermaine)- if they can draft and develop pitching internally. But they can't a 10+ million dollar mistake AND a 9 million dollar mistake.

Bowden's legacy is his inability to draft and develop pitching- not the Griffey contract.

And now we have Dan O'Brien. Considering his acquisitions and draft strategy, is there a singular reason that we perceive he's going to revitalize the Reds' organization during his tenure?

He had an entire offseason to bring in talent- both high and low priced talent. He gave us Cory Lidle (who was horrible), Todd Jones (who was good), and an additional bunch of crud. He failed to convert a career below-average MLB pitcher to anything (Wilson) at the trade deadline. He presided over one of the worst pitching staffs in Reds history- even though he had enough time to incorporate dramatic influences. And, according the the Reds, O'Brien had the PayFlex to do it after the salary purge of 2003.

As M2 aptly stated, I don't blame O'Brien for the performance of what he inherited. What I blame him for is an inability to make the Reds better via his mechanizations. Right now, you blame Bowden for his perceived failures. But the fact is that Dan O'Brien is living off Bowden's successes while doing nothing to put his positive stamp on the organization.

And frankly, considering that he inherited 9M in unspent PayFlex from the cessation of the 2001 Larkin deal, that's saying a lot.

RedsBaron
10-19-2004, 07:25 AM
The Griffey contract is going down as one of the worst disasters in Reds history. 12.5 million of dead payroll :dflynn:

You could have a 60 million dollar payroll and it would only really be 47.5. A 70 million dollar payroll and it would only be 57.5.

Bowden should be real proud of himself.
I've never cricitized Bowden for the Griffey contract. At the time the Reds signed Junior he was a 30 year old Gold Glove centerfielder who had hit 49, 56, 56 and 48 HRs in his four most recent seasons. Except for the 1995 season he had been virtually injury free. Nobody expected his body to collapse. I would have made the trade too.
The Reds front office, be it Bowden, Lindner, Allen or O'Brien, have had many failures and stupid moves, including signing the soon to be 37 year old Barry Larkin to a three year, $27,000,000 contract in 2000 and the inability and/or refusal to sign or develop any starting pitching, but the Griffey acquisition was a bad move only with 20-20 hindsight.

Aronchis
10-19-2004, 08:36 AM
I've never cricitized Bowden for the Griffey contract. At the time the Reds signed Junior he was a 30 year old Gold Glove centerfielder who had hit 49, 56, 56 and 48 HRs in his four most recent seasons. Except for the 1995 season he had been virtually injury free. Nobody expected his body to collapse. I would have made the trade too.
The Reds front office, be it Bowden, Lindner, Allen or O'Brien, have had many failures and stupid moves, including signing the soon to be 37 year old Barry Larkin to a three year, $27,000,000 contract in 2000 and the inability and/or refusal to sign or develop any starting pitching, but the Griffey acquisition was a bad move only with 20-20 hindsight.

You should. Giving Griffey a 9 year contract was really stupid, even for Bowden. Not only would Griffey be really old at the end of his contract, but signs of physical decline were there in 1999. At best Bowden should have submitted that by Griffey's mid-30's, he may have been finished.

The contract has hurt the Reds because since 2001 because they have alot of dead payroll to deal with every year without the returned production of a "superstar" to pay it off. A lesser contract would have the light at the end of the tunnel at least near.

princeton
10-19-2004, 10:42 AM
Sure, Dunn would like to sign a long term deal - on his terms. Speculating that he would sign a contract that would save the Reds millions is just that, speculation. And common sense says he wouldn't.

the question I have would be: are you a Reds fan because you're defeatist, or are you defeatist because you're a Reds fan?

and why do I have to be a Reds fan?

REDREAD
10-19-2004, 10:57 AM
Another thing to consider about Clement though.

Don't you think that if the Reds signed Clement, it would bring a barrage of
ticket sales, similiar to Vaughn?

Reds' fans aren't stupid. They know Clement will make a big difference in the W-L.
It probably won't be enough to make the Reds contend in 2005, but it brings them closer.
Gives them some legitimacy. And M2 is right, it is financially feasible.

Now I disagree with trading Jimmeniz unless we get a real good return (and I doubt he
would fetch such a return), BUT if that gives us money to make a Clement deal work, sign
me up.

This team made a ton of money this year. They have the means to sign Clement to a 3-4 year
deal if they wanted to. It seems like the easiest (and relatively cost efficent way) to
finally get the #1 pitcher we need.

And if the Reds could somehow get a solid #2/legit #3 type and a couple bullpen arms, they
at least have a chance to be in the 'if all stars align, we'll contend' scenerio.
As the team stands now, there's a zero chance of contending next year.

Chip R
10-19-2004, 01:00 PM
Another thing to consider about Clement though.

Don't you think that if the Reds signed Clement, it would bring a barrage of
ticket sales, similiar to Vaughn?
I'd say no because offense sells here, not pitching. Attendance in 1999 wasn' that great until September. The Vaughn trade may have temporarily spiked ticket sales but it was more likely people who would have bought tickets eventually.

TeamBoone
10-19-2004, 01:15 PM
Attendance in 1999 wasn' that great until September. The Vaughn trade may have temporarily spiked ticket sales but it was more likely people who would have bought tickets eventually.

Heck, when the Reds were doing well this past season, the fans were coming out in droves.

Regarding ticket sales in 1999... my take (right or wrong) is that fans were still extremely disgruntled about the strike. Had that 1999 team been playing just as sucessfully in 2004, I think you'd have seen a huge spike in attendance much earlier in the season.

flyer85
10-19-2004, 01:16 PM
You should. Giving Griffey a 9 year contract was really stupid,

Historically the best years for a player are 25-29 followed closely by 30-34 and a big dropoff after 35. There are exceptions to every rule(Molitor, Bonds, etc) but giving a 9 year deal was an enormous risk for a small market franchise. However, JB was more worried about the 15 minutes of fame he was going to get for being able to trade for and sign Jr.

Trading for Jr was a good idea, nobody could forsee all the injury problems. Giving a 9 year deal was way too much risk.

johngalt
10-19-2004, 01:26 PM
That assumes, of course, that Dunn would have been willing to sign a LTC coming off of a down year.

I'm glad you brought that up, because that's the point that people seem to miss time and time again. Everyone's always saying the Reds need to sign Player X to a long-term deal or pick up Player Y as a free agent or extend this guy's contract. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.

RedsBaron
10-19-2004, 01:43 PM
Historically the best years for a player are 25-29 followed closely by 30-34 and a big dropoff after 35. There are exceptions to every rule(Molitor, Bonds, etc) but giving a 9 year deal was an enormous risk for a small market franchise. However, JB was more worried about the 15 minutes of fame he was going to get for being able to trade for and sign Jr.

Trading for Jr was a good idea, nobody could forsee all the injury problems. Giving a 9 year deal was way too much risk.
It should be remembered that Junior was signed at what was then a substantial discount from the going market rate. Junior signed a nine year deal for about $12 million a season or a total of $108 million; one year later A-Rod signed a ten year deal for $252 million, $25.2 million a year, and a number of other players have signed deals paying them $15-20 million a year.
If the Reds had signed Junior to a six year deal for near market rates in early 2000, they could have been paying him $16 million a year, or $96 million over the life of a six year contract. This would have been buying Jnuior at market rates while he was ages 30 through 35. In short, I think the Reds got Junior at a substantial discount for the first half or two-thirds of his deal, while overpaying for his projected performance over the final three years of the contract.
The projections just didn't work out. No sluggers other than Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle have ever had their careers collapse so totally in their early 30s as has Junior.
If anyone had the foresight at the time to question Junior's signing in early 2000, take a bow. I sure didn't read or hear of anyone having that foresight. We certainly didn't have trolls from Seattle posting here, crying about "Whiffey" not being "your savior", because Mariner fans thought the Reds had made a bad move. At the time, the overwhelming opinion was that the Mariners had suffered a big loss and had been forced to accept much less than Griffey was worth.

Johnny Footstool
10-19-2004, 01:58 PM
It should be remembered that Junior was signed at what was then a substantial discount from the going market rate.

It should also be remembered that, at the time, Mr. Lindner was the brand-new owner of the team. He opened his wallet for Griffey, which sent a signal to fans and front office alike that he was willing to spend money to acquire talent. The Larkin signing reinforced that theory. I think many of us believed that Lindner going to keep funding a mid-range payroll team.

But then the purse strings tightened. Bowden was handcuffed and unable to take on salary, which meant that his greatest strength (the ability to acquire established talent via trade) was taken away from him, and his greatest weakness (the ability to draft and develop pitching) was exposed.

RedsBaron
10-19-2004, 02:07 PM
It should also be remembered that, at the time, Mr. Lindner was the brand-new owner of the team. He opened his wallet for Griffey, which sent a signal to fans and front office alike that he was willing to spend money to acquire talent. The Larkin signing reinforced that theory. I think many of us believed that Lindner going to keep funding a mid-range payroll team.

But then the purse strings tightened. Bowden was handcuffed and unable to take on salary, which meant that his greatest strength (the ability to acquire established talent via trade) was taken away from him, and his greatest weakness (the ability to draft and develop pitching) was exposed.
Good point.

Chip R
10-19-2004, 02:30 PM
Heck, when the Reds were doing well this past season, the fans were coming out in droves.

Regarding ticket sales in 1999... my take (right or wrong) is that fans were still extremely disgruntled about the strike. Had that 1999 team been playing just as sucessfully in 2004, I think you'd have seen a huge spike in attendance much earlier in the season.
Sure they were. Jr. going for #500 had a little to do with it as well.

But my point is that acquiring Vaughn may have spiked the ticket sales at that time but it wasn't even close to what it was when Jr. was acquired. I think fans would be happy with a Matt Clement signing but I don't think acquiring him would spike ticket sales above and beyond the Vaughn acquisition. One of the reasons being that I don't believe most Reds fans have historically put much stock in pitching over hitting. IMO a mediocre to good Reds team with great hitting and so-so pitching would outdraw a mediocre to good Reds team with great pitching and lousy hitting. That's not to say they don't put a premium on good pitching. They would just rather see good hitting.

REDREAD
10-19-2004, 02:38 PM
I'd say no because offense sells here, not pitching. Attendance in 1999 wasn' that great until September. The Vaughn trade may have temporarily spiked ticket sales but it was more likely people who would have bought tickets eventually.

A couple of points though:

A lot of people assumed Vaughn and Neagle were trade deadline bait. That was a prevalent theme in many of the writers' columns. It didn't help that the Reds told the fans to wait until 2003 to win. The fans were basically sold that it was going to be a rebuilding season, they did not expect a contending season.

The winning 1999 season also helped the 2000 season attendence spike. It's impossible to separate how much of that rise was Jr vs. the 1999 season, but historically, a winning season is rewarded at the gate the following season. (Which is why it was dumb for Huzinga to completely gut his WS Marlin team immediately).

In general, I agree with TeamBoone. Attendence was outstanding this year when the team was winning. If the team added Clement, another solid starter, and 2 solid bullpen arms, they'd be rewarded.

But I tend to think Allen feels as you do (not an insult to you).. He saw good attendence in a 4th place season, so he feels all he has to do is BS the fans this winter about "trying to compete" and they'll buy tickets anyhow. Look for the offseason to consist of resigning Wilson and a minor acquision (Vanderwall-type bench guy or an average reliever).

This city is hungry for a winner, too bad ownership won't step up.
I do think they'd get excited about Clement. We haven't had a signing of that magnitude since Smiley was signed as a free agent. It's hard to say they wouldn't get excited, because nothing like it has happened in such a long time. I tend to think the fans are smart enough to know that a healthy Clement probably means an extra 8-10 wins in the standings over the bum he'd replace (assuming the pen was reworked not to blow all his leads).

traderumor
10-19-2004, 02:51 PM
But I tend to think Allen feels as you do (not an insult to you).. He saw good attendence in a 4th place season, so he feels all he has to do is BS the fans this winter about "trying to compete" and they'll buy tickets anyhow.Do you really believe that or do your fingers just automatically type this out from rote?

flyer85
10-19-2004, 03:08 PM
It should be remembered that Junior was signed at what was then a substantial discount from the going market rate. Junior signed a nine year deal for about $12 million a season or a total of $108 million; one year later A-Rod signed a ten year deal for $252 million, $25.2 million a year, and a number of other players have signed deals paying them $15-20 million a year.
If the Reds had signed Junior to a six year deal for near market rates in early 2000, they could have been paying him $16 million a year, or $96 million over the life of a six year contract.

And right now the Reds would be better off for it they had paid $16M a year for 6 years. It's not like having $3.5M less would have made any difference

REDREAD
10-19-2004, 10:59 PM
Do you really believe that or do your fingers just automatically type this out from rote?

Actions speak louder than words, right?

When has Allen done a thing to actively help us compete? He tried to torpedo the Guzman trade in 1999, among other things.

When the 2005 season starts and no significant talent has been added, will you be convinced then?

flyer85
10-19-2004, 11:43 PM
And frankly, considering that he inherited 9M in unspent PayFlex from the cessation of the 2001 Larkin deal, that's saying a lot.

That would be true if the Reds hadn't cut payroll by about $15M in 2004.

SteelSD
10-19-2004, 11:57 PM
That would be true if the Reds hadn't cut payroll by about $15M in 2004.

Oh, that wasn't a payroll cut. That was a calculated resource escrow plan designed to make the Reds stronger by allowing them to leverage payroll flexibility into player talent, translating into a more competitive ball club.

PayFlex.

Neato.

Still waiting.

Spend some.

Can't.

Would lose PayFlex.

Sorry.

MWM
10-19-2004, 11:59 PM
Why does everyone keep saying the Reds cut Payroll by $15MM? Their payroll for 2004 was about $46MM. I think it was less than $55M in 2003. I don't think that adds up to $15MM.

flyer85
10-20-2004, 12:06 AM
The offical stat I saw for the Reds 2004 payroll in the Cincy paper last week was $42.8M.

A cut from 2003 that ate all of the Larkin savings and then some.

M2
10-20-2004, 12:47 AM
To be fair, the 2003 payroll, after in-season salary dumps and deferred cash gets factored in, wound up around $50M. So you're talking about a $7M cut.

Now if they put that money back into the 2005 budget, combined with the $8.75M from Wilson/Haynes/Lidle, you'd be looking at a team with the opportunity to make a real splash.

Krusty
10-20-2004, 10:15 AM
The question at this point is, "What Do You Do With Junior?"

He can't play centerfield anymore without being a physical liablity to himself and a liability defensively to the Reds. You can't move him to a corner position without displacing Kearns, Dunn or Casey. Even if you displaced one of them, you could also being taking playing time away from Willy Mo Pena.

IMO, Griffey is a DH. Nothing more. So if you're the Reds, do you package 40+million to a team like the Devil Rays to just move on and go in a different direction. Or do you keep him on the roster and consider him a fourth outfielder?

flyer85
10-20-2004, 10:56 AM
IMO, Griffey is a DH. Nothing more.
So if you're the Reds, do you package 40+million to a team like the Devil Rays to just move on and go in a different direction.
Or do you keep him on the roster and consider him a fourth outfielder?

Yes to #1
No to #2

I think it would be way to disruptive to have him on the bench and not be playing him.

REDREAD
10-20-2004, 11:37 AM
Now is not the time to trade Jr.

But yourself in the other teams' shoes. Would you trade for anybody that has had all those leg surguries and is just coming off another? Even if the salary was only 2-3 million/year?

Actually, that is a good question.. If you were the GM, at what salary point would you take Jr now (if at all)?

There's really nothing to do but hope he's healthy this year. At least he plays well when healthy. It could be worse.