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Danny Serafini
12-20-2004, 04:44 PM
Cincinnati Reds general manager Dan O'Brien announced the signing of free-agent LHP Kent Mercker to a two-year contract.

Mercker, 36, enjoyed one of his finest seasons in 2004, finishing 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA in a career-high 71 appearances for the Cubs. He held opponents to a .205 batting average, including .237 by lefthanders and .172 by righthanders.

In 138 relief apps during the last 2 seasons for the Reds, Braves and Cubs, Mercker has posted a sterling 2.24 ERA.

westofyou
12-20-2004, 04:46 PM
Money Guesses?

IIRC Redread was willing to go 4 million to Kent a week ago.

I say 2.3

Raisor
12-20-2004, 04:47 PM
I'm hoping not more then 500K a year, but I know it'll be more.

westofyou
12-20-2004, 04:50 PM
I'm hoping not more then 500K a year, but I know it'll be more.

Kinda low, 2 years of good numbers, LH... you have to think market price.

missionhockey21
12-20-2004, 04:52 PM
I'm hoping not more then 500K a year, but I know it'll be more.
Probably triple that figure, I imagine.

Raisor
12-20-2004, 04:52 PM
Kinda low, 2 years of good numbers, LH... you have to think market price.


which is why I know he'll get more money. I'm just saying what I would have paid for him.

RedFanAlways1966
12-20-2004, 05:10 PM
The REDS may not have the best bullpen in baseball this year, but they'll be fighting for the oldest in baseball soon.

John Franco next? He fits the minimum age requirements for this club. Is Jesse Orosco available? Can Hume still pitch?

MWM
12-20-2004, 05:12 PM
I would be willing to go 2 years, $1.5MM total, and that's stretching it, IMO. Anything above that is a bad signing, IMO.

Raisor
12-20-2004, 05:16 PM
You don't suppose they gave him a no-trade clause do you?

naaaahhhh...

:rolleyes:

Coach
12-20-2004, 05:17 PM
Merker makes number 41 on the roster - someone has to go!

redsfan30
12-20-2004, 05:19 PM
How can you guys complain about this signing? You can't get a lefty with those numbers for nothing and you know it. If you want quality, you've got to pay.

Like someone in an earlier thread said, "Padilla is Spanish for pile of crap."

We get one of the better lefty relievers in the game and you complain about it?

Why?

Redmachine2003
12-20-2004, 05:23 PM
I predict Loaiza will be the next for DanO to sign.

missionhockey21
12-20-2004, 05:25 PM
The REDS may not have the best bullpen in baseball this year, but they'll be fighting for the oldest in baseball soon.

John Franco next? He fits the minimum age requirements for this club. Is Jesse Orosco available? Can Hume still pitch?
If there is one position you can sign the old guys at, it's relief. We improved, that's all I care about... but the cash he's getting could change things...

RedlegJake
12-20-2004, 05:26 PM
The complaints aren't directed so much at Mercker, who is a nice pickup, or Ortiz, or Weathers or any of these role players the Reds have acquired. The complaining is because the number 1 issue, a true top of the rotation starter, or at least a kid with real ace potential, has not been acquired. It's like the car dealer who loads up on parts, washes the showrom windows and forgets to order the cars.

Krusty
12-20-2004, 05:27 PM
Maybe they want to see a second audition of Norton?

Very good signing by the Reds. Maybe we can lure Millwood or Milton to the Reds too?

missionhockey21
12-20-2004, 05:27 PM
I predict Loaiza will be the next for DanO to sign.
If DJ is non-tendered, I could see it for sure. I might not like it but it would seem like what he has often targeted.

flyer85
12-20-2004, 05:27 PM
Since Weathers was signed for $1.25M, I am guessing 2 years for $2.75M

RosieRed
12-20-2004, 05:28 PM
For what it's worth (which is probably nothing but comparison's sake):

Justin Speier signed a $4.15M, two-year deal with Toronto today. He is RH, 31, and last year was 3-8 with a 3.91 ERA for the Blue Jays. Had 7 saves in 62 appearances.

Krusty
12-20-2004, 05:29 PM
I'm telling you now.....the Reds will tender Jiminez a contract. There is money to spend.

Red Thunder
12-20-2004, 05:29 PM
There is the veteran leadership O'Brien wanted:

Mercker: age 36
Weathers: age 35
Weber: age 35

redsfan30
12-20-2004, 05:32 PM
I'm telling you now.....the Reds will tender Jiminez a contract. There is money to spend.
I agree. Jiminez is too important to this club. There is money to spend. We were apparently a player for Matt Clement and Dan O'Brien has said that there are other offers on the table to players but won't say who they are.

missionhockey21
12-20-2004, 05:33 PM
I'm telling you now.....the Reds will tender Jiminez a contract. There is money to spend.
I also believe he will be tendered a contract, I just think the chances of us adding someone (espicially if we are talking a guy like Millwood) being much greater if DJ isnt tendered a contract. I'll believe the extra cash when I see it spent, I hope it will be. :thumbup:

westofyou
12-20-2004, 05:36 PM
Why?

One reason is that a situational left hander wil only face 250-300 batters a year.

Give a guy 2 million bucks and that can be $8968 dollers per batter or $37,735 per inning (that's based on Merkers BF and IP as a Cub)

Lots of resources thrown at a guy who face about 3.5% of the batters faced in a season.

That's one way to look at it.

Another is that Merker had a good year last year as a LH situation releiver and the Reds didn't.

Here are the best LH relievers from last year in Rus Saved Above Average

And then the worst.




LEFT HANDED PITCHERS
INNINGS PITCHED BETWEEN 30 AND 100
GAMES STARTED < 1
ERA displayed only--not a sorting criteria
ERA vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
BATTERS FACED < 300

RSAA RSAA IP GS ERA ERA BFP
1 Ron Mahay 19 67 0 2.55 2.08 290
T2 Mike Gonzalez 14 43.1 0 1.25 3.07 169
T2 Brian Shouse 14 44.1 0 2.23 2.40 184
4 Steve Kline 13 50.1 0 1.79 2.53 202
T5 Chris Hammond 12 53.2 0 2.68 1.95 224
T5 Kent Mercker 12 53 0 2.55 1.77 223
7 Ray King 11 62 0 2.61 1.70 248
8 Billy Wagner 10 48.1 0 2.42 1.89 182
9 Jamie Walker 9 64.2 0 3.20 1.44 277
T10 Eddie Guardado 7 45.1 0 2.78 1.86 176
T10 Trever Miller 7 49 0 3.12 1.51 208

SEASON
2004



RSAA RSAA IP GS ERA ERA BFP
1 Gabe White -19 59.2 0 6.94 -2.51 265
2 Javier Lopez -11 40.2 0 7.52 -3.21 187
T3 Mike Matthews -8 30 0 6.30 -1.99 137
T3 Felix Heredia -8 38.2 0 6.28 -1.65 182
T3 Phil Norton -8 65.2 0 5.07 -.76 296
T6 John Grabow -7 61.2 0 5.11 -.79 286
T6 Steve Colyer -7 32 0 6.47 -1.83 147
T8 C.J. Nitkowski -5 33 0 5.73 -1.29 160
T8 John Franco -5 46 0 5.28 -.97 207
T10 Matt Perisho -2 47 0 4.40 -.09 212
T10 Aaron Fultz -2 50 0 5.04 -.40 216
T10 Mike Gallo -2 49.1 0 4.74 -.43 223
T10 Arthur Rhodes -2 38.2 0 5.12 -.48 182
T10 Brian Fuentes -2 44.2 0 5.64 -1.33 201

Red Leader
12-20-2004, 05:39 PM
I predict Loaiza will be the next for DanO to sign.

Hey! That was my guess a couple weeks ago. ;)

Raisor
12-20-2004, 05:39 PM
How can you guys complain about this signing? You can't get a lefty with those numbers for nothing and you know it. If you want quality, you've got to pay.

Like someone in an earlier thread said, "Padilla is Spanish for pile of crap."

We get one of the better lefty relievers in the game and you complain about it?

Why?


I just think there are better things to spend money on.

He's averaged right around 50 IP and 225 batters faced per season the last three years. That's roughly 3% of the total innings the Reds will play this year.

REDREAD
12-20-2004, 05:39 PM
Money Guesses?

IIRC Redread was willing to go 4 million to Kent a week ago.

I say 2.3

For 2 years, just to clarify :)
Not 4 million for 1 year.

That said, I'm pleasantly surprised that DanO was able to pull this off.
I know that some will say that he's not worth the money on a rebuilding club (assuming he makes over 1 million), but this is a great signing, IMO. It will make the club much more bearable to watch.

Good work DanO :thumbup: You've had a pretty good offseason so far. Maybe not optimal, but a huge improvement from last year when you ignored all the clubs' problems. Nice to see him actually making an attempt to do something this year.

Krusty
12-20-2004, 05:42 PM
But if you have the money, why not go for Mercker.

It is obvious now the Reds will spend some dollars. They have to be careful who they take.

But if they could lure a lefty like Odalis Perez or Eric Milton here, that would even bolster the rotation more and give the young arms competition for a couple of spots.

Falls City Beer
12-20-2004, 05:44 PM
In the Reds world of babystep improvements all I can say is: at least it's pitching!!!

flyer85
12-20-2004, 05:46 PM
AT least the Reds now have some veteran pitchers with a real track record of success in Mercker and Weathers. They are certainly a step up from Van Poppel, Norton, Jones, etc. I don't think you can have a bullpen of all young guys and this will give Wagner, Valentine, Coffey, etc a chance to mature at their own pace.

redsfan30
12-20-2004, 05:46 PM
I just think there are better things to spend money on.

Like what?

I'd say the bullpen was a major problem for this team last year and this move definetly improves it. The pen cost us many a game last year and they are taking steps in the right direction to improve it.

Sure, go spend your money elsewhere. But it won't matter if the bullpen keeps blowing games.

iammrred
12-20-2004, 05:47 PM
For 2 years, just to clarify :)
Not 4 million for 1 year.

That said, I'm pleasantly surprised that DanO was able to pull this off.
I know that some will say that he's not worth the money on a rebuilding club (assuming he makes over 1 million), but this is a great signing, IMO. It will make the club much more bearable to watch.

Good work DanO :thumbup: You've had a pretty good offseason so far. Maybe not optimal, but a huge improvement from last year when you ignored all the clubs' problems. Nice to see him actually making an attempt to do something this year.


:eek::eek::eek:

Krusty
12-20-2004, 05:48 PM
Now that we have pretty much solidify the middle relief, maybe we can add another veteran arm for the rotation?

REDREAD
12-20-2004, 05:49 PM
Lots of resources thrown at a guy who face about 3.5% of the batters faced in a season.

That's one way to look at it.

Another is that Merker had a good year last year as a LH situation releiver and the Reds didn't.



That's a good point. However, you can argue that many of those 3.5% of at bats occur in critical situations. Late in the game, often with runners on base. I know people make fun of LaRussa, but there's a reason why he tries to have 3 very effective lefty relievers every year.

A lefty reliever that can consistently get the big out is worth 2 million/year, IMO. Hopefully Merck isn't too old to get the job done, but he's a very welcome addition to the club.

Let me ask you this.. How do you feel about Weathers getting about 1.5 million? If you think that is fair (and I don't recall how you felt), isn't 2 million for a good lefty reliever fair by comparison, as they are certainly more scarce than respectable RH relievers. If you want to argue that Mercker is over the hill, that's a different point.. but let's assume Merck is a good bet to repeat his numbers last year. IMO, that's worth 2 million/year.

flyer85
12-20-2004, 05:50 PM
Now that we have pretty much solidify the middle relief, maybe we can add another veteran arm for the rotation?

It's possible but at this point I would rather give the 5th spot to a young guy.

REDREAD
12-20-2004, 05:53 PM
:eek::eek::eek:

:MandJ: Well, DanO still has work to do, but it's a marked improvement from last year. I'm not ready to cannonize him yet. A lot of his offseason grade will depend on how these new acquisions actually produce, but last offseason, DanO deserved a failing grade. At least he has potential to get a C or B- for this offseason.

Of course, there's still plenty of time to do something dumb like non-tender Jimmeniz, and hurt his grade.

westofyou
12-20-2004, 05:55 PM
That's a good point. However, you can argue that many of those 3.5% of at bats occur in critical situations. Late in the game, often with runners on base. I know people make fun of LaRussa, but there's a reason why he tries to have 3 very effective lefty relievers every year.

A lefty reliever that can consistently get the big out is worth 2 million/year, IMO. Hopefully Merck isn't too old to get the job done, but he's a very welcome addition to the club.

Let me ask you this.. How do you feel about Weathers getting about 1.5 million? If you think that is fair (and I don't recall how you felt), isn't 2 million for a good lefty reliever fair by comparison, as they are certainly more scarce than respectable RH relievers. If you want to argue that Mercker is over the hill, that's a different point.. but let's assume Merck is a good bet to repeat his numbers last year. IMO, that's worth 2 million/year.

Weathers at 1.5 comes to around $4400 a batter, half of Mercker at 2 million.

Weathers also will appear in 20-25 more games than Mercker.

iammrred
12-20-2004, 05:57 PM
:MandJ: Well, DanO still has work to do, but it's a marked improvement from last year. I'm not ready to cannonize him yet. A lot of his offseason grade will depend on how these new acquisions actually produce, but last offseason, DanO deserved a failing grade. At least he has potential to get a C or B- for this offseason.

Of course, there's still plenty of time to do something dumb like non-tender Jimmeniz, and hurt his grade.

... or actually bring in a legitimate stud pitcher. If you pull the little nuggets of info from the lines and lines of filler in DOB's quotes, it really sounds like they're trying to bring in some starting pitching.

Let's say DOB lands someone like Millwood and signs Jimenez. What would you give him for a grade for the offseason?

CougarQuest
12-20-2004, 05:58 PM
I think people are missing the biggest picture of all this.

This was the worst kept secret of DanO's history as the Reds GM!!!

CougarQuest
12-20-2004, 06:01 PM
Weathers at 1.5 comes to around $4400 a batter, half of Mercker at 2 million.

Weathers also will appear in 20-25 more games than Mercker.

Are those numbers right? Not that it has anything to do with your premise, I just want to know for my own information. I have Weathers making $1.25M in '05 and $1.6M in '06.

RosieRed
12-20-2004, 08:54 PM
CINCINNATI (AP) Left-hander Kent Mercker agreed Monday to a $2.6 million, two-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds, who have overhauled their bullpen in the last week.
....
Mercker gets $1.25 million next season and $1.35 million in 2006.

westofyou
12-20-2004, 08:56 PM
Are those numbers right? Not that it has anything to do with your premise, I just want to know for my own information. I have Weathers making $1.25M in '05 and $1.6M in '06.

I'm not sure of his numbers, if you have those figures you're probably right.

SirFelixCat
12-20-2004, 09:11 PM
CINCINNATI (AP) Left-hander Kent Mercker agreed Monday to a $2.6 million, two-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds, who have overhauled their bullpen in the last week.
....
Mercker gets $1.25 million next season and $1.35 million in 2006.

For those numbers, I think this is a terrific signing. Couple that with tendering DJ a contract and the other BP additions, I definitely like the trend. If we did bring in a guy like Millwood, I'd give Dan O a solid B offseason grade.


Thoughts?

paulrichjr
12-20-2004, 09:28 PM
For those numbers, I think this is a terrific signing. Couple that with tendering DJ a contract and the other BP additions, I definitely like the trend. If we did bring in a guy like Millwood, I'd give Dan O a solid B offseason grade.


Thoughts?

The bullpen is worlds better than last year. We would have won at least 15 more games last year if we had had the bullpen of 2002/2003. The starting pitching is slightly better. I have to admit having Ortiz and Paul Wilson is much better than Haynes and Paul Wilson. I think DanO has done a B- right now with an A coming if he gets a good number 2 pitcher (Number 1 for us).

RosieRed
12-20-2004, 09:34 PM
Another for what it's worth:

Steve Kline signed with the Orioles. It's a two-year, $5.5M contract. He gets $2.5M in 2005, and $3M in 2006.

Steve4192
12-20-2004, 09:40 PM
Let's say DOB lands someone like Millwood and signs Jimenez. What would you give him for a grade for the offseason?
Since 15fan is MIA, I guess I'll have to channel him ....

Millwood = Blech!

Of course, when your current rotation is full of BLECH!!!, I guess plain old Blech! is an improvement.

Raisor
12-20-2004, 09:54 PM
Millwood = Blech!

Of course, when your current rotation is full of BLECH!!!, I guess plain old Blech! is an improvement.

Millwood had a bad year and everything, but his OPS against (774) and his K/9 (7.98) weren't half bad, and is a decent indicator he's due for a bounce back.

CougarQuest
12-20-2004, 10:06 PM
Now that I see the $$$ spent, I can safely say I like this signing.

Something to think about when talking about age, Gabe White and Van Poppel were 32 or 33 yrs of age I believe. And Todd Jones was 36 or 37.

MWM
12-20-2004, 10:20 PM
I'm going to continue my perfect bah-humbug record and say I do NOT like this signing. It's not THAT bad and I'm not that upset about it. but it just reaffirms that direction DanO is taking this franchise and that's too much money to be spending on a guy who's not likely to play much more than 50 innings.

Seems like the strategy is to try to stay out of the cellar and not suck as bad as Milwaukee. Dano has tied up over 20% of this team's payroll in Paul Wilson, Ramon Ortiz, David Weathers, Kent Mercker, and Weber. Ugh!

DanO's yet to make a single move to address the long-term future of this franchise. He's yet to acquire a single impact player of the type who can contribute to a championship caliber team now or in the future.

Willy
12-20-2004, 10:31 PM
I like the signing. I really like what righties hit off Mercker. That's very important when most average lefties are pinch hit for late in the game.

Edd Roush
12-20-2004, 10:32 PM
MWM, I am only 16 years old so I haven't seen any of the great Reds teams in the past and 1990 occured when I was all of two years old.

Seeing this team's murturing nucleus with a half-decent supporting cast is making me excited for the 2005 season.

If the Reds could pull off a Millwood signing, I think the Reds will yet again be leading the Central by June.

Go Reds and DanO don't quit now

MWM
12-20-2004, 10:43 PM
Mercker has an OPSA of .793 over the last three years against righties.

Falls City Beer
12-20-2004, 10:48 PM
Mercker has an OPSA of .793 over the last three years against righties.

He probably faces about 50 righties a year.

westofyou
12-20-2004, 11:05 PM
He probably faces about 50 righties a year.

73 and 98 the past 2 seasons (more with the Reds, curse you Bob Boone!!!)

MWM
12-20-2004, 11:17 PM
Actually, over that time period, he's faced 333 righties and 244 lefties.

Falls City Beer
12-20-2004, 11:25 PM
Actually, over that time period, he's faced 333 righties and 244 lefties.

Wow. So basically HALF of those righties faced were in one season with the Reds--boy I knew the Reds worked their relievers hard, but criminy.

MWM
12-20-2004, 11:47 PM
Last year he faced 96 lefties and 94 righties.

2003 - 122 RH, 81 LH (RH OPS - .696; LH OPS - .708)

2002 - 117 RH, 67 LH (RH OPS - 1.099; LH OPS - .735)

butlerbulldogs
12-21-2004, 12:05 AM
great signing, i think everyone else would rather just watch our payroll go down and keep padding uncle Carl

now lets get loaiza or millwood AND Wade Miller and we'd be in serious contention

buckeyenut
12-21-2004, 12:17 AM
Since 15fan is MIA, I guess I'll have to channel him ....

Millwood = Blech!

Of course, when your current rotation is full of BLECH!!!, I guess plain old Blech! is an improvement.

Millwood at 11M is blech. Millwood at 3-4M, much more livable.

And for those who didn't note the coincidence, the 3 nontenders today (Reidling 600K, Norton 300K, Mattox 300K) took up almost exactly the salary slot that Mercker will make next year (1.25M). So the moves today do not increase payroll at all theoretically. Not bad. That should leave us room to do some more things and a market that just got a lot more players on it.

Now it gets interesting.

bleedsred
12-21-2004, 12:33 AM
Millwood at 11M is blech. Millwood at 3-4M, much more livable.

And for those who didn't note the coincidence, the 3 nontenders today (Reidling 600K, Norton 300K, Mattox 300K) took up almost exactly the salary slot that Mercker will make next year (1.25M). So the moves today do not increase payroll at all theoretically. Not bad. That should leave us room to do some more things and a market that just got a lot more players on it.

Now it gets interesting.


I like your thinking....hope the reds do too! :gac:

johngalt
12-21-2004, 12:45 AM
DanO's yet to make a single move to address the long-term future of this franchise. He's yet to acquire a single impact player of the type who can contribute to a championship caliber team now or in the future.

Addressing the long-term future of a franchise is not something that very many teams do through free agency, especially when they are already hamstrung by current contracts.

I know a lot of people would disagree, but if we didn't have the money tied up with Junior, I fully believe the Reds would be going after signing a legitimate ace to anchor the rotation for 3-4 years or a truly impactful bat to stick in the middle of the lineup for that amount of time. That's what the original intent of the Griffey signing was. But when you make that move in a smaller market and it fails, then you are severely handicapped from making that move again for a while.

Ron Madden
12-21-2004, 04:15 AM
Forget their ages for a while,
O'Brien has improved the Pen.

Wade Miller would look good in
Cincinnati Red.

remdog
12-21-2004, 05:53 AM
By MWM: DanO's yet to make a single move to address the long-term future of this franchise. He's yet to acquire a single impact player of the type who can contribute to a championship caliber team now or in the future.

Perhaps OB believes that letting the young pitching on this team mature and grow into it's potential is the way to address the long-term future of the team. I'm not saying that he's correct but, maybe, that's the thinking in the front office. (shrug)

I'm just hopeing that Weathers, Weber and now Merker all don't get 'old-man' disease this year and have their careers fall off the face of the earth. If that happens it's going to be a very long and ugly summer.


By JohnGalt: I know a lot of people would disagree, but if we didn't have the money tied up with Junior, I fully believe the Reds would be going after signing a legitimate ace to anchor the rotation for 3-4 years or a truly impactful bat to stick in the middle of the lineup for that amount of time. That's what the original intent of the Griffey signing was. But when you make that move in a smaller market and it fails, then you are severely handicapped from making that move again for a while.

That's a good point, John. The Reds did have a plan when they brought Junior home but it was derailed by a factor that is something that there is very little control over. I know that it would be going against the trend (in a major way) but, if by chance, KGJ actually had an injury free year that plan from about 5 years ago might actually look pretty good. Especially if one or more of the 'young guns' took a major step forward. I'm not saying the Reds would take the division but '05 could turn out to be a pretty interesting and fun summer.

Rem

zombie-a-go-go
12-21-2004, 07:22 AM
Perhaps OB believes that letting the young pitching on this team mature and grow into it's potential is the way to address the long-term future of the team. I'm not saying that he's correct but, maybe, that's the thinking in the front office. (shrug)

I think that's what they're thinking, and I also think it's the way to go. You have to hope, at some point, that we so develop 2-3 decent SPs and tie them up at a low wage, so you have that mythical PayFlex available every year around the trade deadline and, if we're in it, can afford a few players to get us "over the hump." If you tie up all your cash at the beginning of the season, you can't fill in holes come July. At least not with the way the FO handles their finances.

Like it or not, that's the way it is. So let's keep our fingers crossed for the youngsters.

I like the Mercker deal, but I think DanO is forgetting Pythagoras IRT last season. If all he's seeing is that we would have won a good 20 more games last season if it hadn't been for the bullpen, and thinks shoring that up is all we need to do to succeed, he's missing the forest for the trees (to break out that old chestnut).

Playadlc
12-21-2004, 08:15 AM
I like the Mercker deal, but I think DanO is forgetting Pythagoras IRT last season. If all he's seeing is that we would have won a good 20 more games last season if it hadn't been for the bullpen, and thinks shoring that up is all we need to do to succeed, he's missing the forest for the trees (to break out that old chestnut).

Exactly. We still need that #1/#2 guy to bolster our rotation. If we don't sign a O. Perez type SP, it's going to be basically the same as last year.

Signing a guy like Perez may not get us to the playoffs, but I am willing to bet that it would improve us to the point that we would score more runs than our opponents for the season. It would also make watching Reds games much more enjoyable. Our SP's the last couple of years are taking years off my life. :)

buckeyenut
12-21-2004, 08:58 AM
Exactly. We still need that #1/#2 guy to bolster our rotation. If we don't sign a O. Perez type SP, it's going to be basically the same as last year.

Signing a guy like Perez may not get us to the playoffs, but I am willing to bet that it would improve us to the point that we would score more runs than our opponents for the season. It would also make watching Reds games much more enjoyable. Our SP's the last couple of years are taking years off my life. :)

This is very true, but like rebuilding the Bengals, rebuilding the Reds is a process you can't complete in one season. I think at this point, our only need is a true #1 starter unless you wanted to claim that we still needed a #2 as well.

If we were to sign a Millwood or Perez, what it would do is put us in a position that we could then go into the season and see how things play out. If we stayed away from the injury bug and were in contention at the deadline, we could be literally just 1 player away and at that point, Kearns or Jr may have reestablished some trade value that would allow us to make a big move to get a #1.

I think that if I were OBrien, I might still be out shopping, but I would be incredibly happy to take this team to spring training if I could get a Millwood or Perez signed. Then we could just see how things played out from there.

puca
12-21-2004, 09:23 AM
Perhaps OB believes that letting the young pitching on this team mature and grow into it's potential is the way to address the long-term future of the team. I'm not saying that he's correct but, maybe, that's the thinking in the front office. (shrug)


I agree with the premise, but not with the method. Unless you are talking about a phenom (and the Reds have none of those), I think it is far better to let young starters mature in the bullpen. Easier to protect them and put them in situations they can succeed.

DoogMinAmo
12-21-2004, 09:34 AM
I agree with the premise, but not with the method. Unless you are talking about a phenom (and the Reds have none of those), I think it is far better to let young starters mature in the bullpen. Easier to protect them and put them in situations they can succeed.


Chicken or the Egg: How many situations for success are you going to be in for 2-5 young pitchers to develop quickly at the major league level, with the talent we currently have?

I think the time for coddling was last year after the ASB, now is the baptism under fire. At some point, they need to get that killer instinct, and now is the time.

puca
12-21-2004, 10:10 AM
Chicken or the Egg: How many situations for success are you going to be in for 2-5 young pitchers to develop quickly at the major league level, with the talent we currently have?

I think the time for coddling was last year after the ASB, now is the baptism under fire. At some point, they need to get that killer instinct, and now is the time.

And if they struggle? Baptism under fire has not worked very well to date. Maybe it has been the talent, or maybe it has been the methodology. There is another way to develop starting pitchers besides throwing them to the wolves. Houston and others have shown that.

The Reds have only 2 young pitchers likely to be on the roster opening day that could someday become above average starters. Let Harang and Hitchcock take daily beatings, but don't crush Claussen and Hudson. Neither Claussen or Hudson have even had a full year of success in AAA. Thinking they can handle 30+ starts in the majors this year is madness if you ask me. I'm betting neither makes it to All-Star break as a starter.

DoogMinAmo
12-21-2004, 10:18 AM
And if they struggle? ... I'm betting neither makes it to All-Star break as a starter.

They had the second half of last year, they struggled and showed flashes then. Chances are they will continue to take their lumps, and shine at times as well. Not to throw them up there with the proverbial children, but Oakland baptised with the Big 3 in 2000, and we all know where that got them. It can be done.

I would be very willing to take that bet, barring any future acquisitions.

REDREAD
12-21-2004, 10:43 AM
... or actually bring in a legitimate stud pitcher. If you pull the little nuggets of info from the lines and lines of filler in DOB's quotes, it really sounds like they're trying to bring in some starting pitching.

Let's say DOB lands someone like Millwood and signs Jimenez. What would you give him for a grade for the offseason?

I'd give him a pretty good grade in that case.

Signing Jimmeniz was good, but that should be a given. (Anyone with common sense would've done that).

Right now, it's hard for me to give him a grade. I really like that he's brought in the pitching. I have high hopes for Ortiz, but some posters here have made some excellent points about the risk of that trade.

I do like that he's made a decent effort to improve the pitching though. Last year, I wasn't sure he even had a pulse.

REDREAD
12-21-2004, 10:57 AM
Neither Claussen or Hudson have even had a full year of success in AAA.

Hudson is already 27 years old. It's time to throw him to the wolves and see what he's made of. Unfortunately, I don't think Hudson will be a part of the long term future, but I have no problem with finding out for sure. We can't coddle him until he's 30.

But I do agree with you on Claussen. I didn't want him called up last year. He wasn't ready, and it showed. DanO preaches patience with young pitchers, but the actions show that really nothing has changed.

Puffy
12-21-2004, 11:23 AM
I'd give him a pretty good grade in that case.

Signing Jimmeniz was good, but that should be a given. (Anyone with common sense would've done that).

Right now, it's hard for me to give him a grade. I really like that he's brought in the pitching. I have high hopes for Ortiz, but some posters here have made some excellent points about the risk of that trade.

I do like that he's made a decent effort to improve the pitching though. Last year, I wasn't sure he even had a pulse.

Here is what I love about Redread - he quotes someone who correctly spells Jimenez in a post, and then he still misspells Jimmeniz again!!!

Redread - you and I agree on most things with the Reds, heck you and I are the only two of the group of us who usually post the same thoughts who happen to like the Ortiz trade, but its Jimenez, Jimenez, Jimenez!!!!!

PS - I hope you know I'm just playing with ya :allovrjr:

REDREAD
12-21-2004, 11:57 AM
Jimenez, Jimenez, Jimenez!!!!!

PS - I hope you know I'm just playing with ya :allovrjr:

Ok, I'll watch that.. It took me awhile to stop spelling it D'Jimmeniz.. I'll eventually get it right. :)

puca
12-21-2004, 12:30 PM
Hudson is already 27 years old. It's time to throw him to the wolves and see what he's made of. Unfortunately, I don't think Hudson will be a part of the long term future, but I have no problem with finding out for sure. We can't coddle him until he's 30.

But I do agree with you on Claussen. I didn't want him called up last year. He wasn't ready, and it showed. DanO preaches patience with young pitchers, but the actions show that really nothing has changed.

I hear what you are saying about Hudson. However I still think you are better off finding out if he is a major league pitcher before finding out if he is a major league starter. If a foundation of success can be built in the bullpen perhaps the self-doubt isn't as quick to creep in.

puca
12-21-2004, 12:40 PM
They had the second half of last year, they struggled and showed flashes then. Chances are they will continue to take their lumps, and shine at times as well. Not to throw them up there with the proverbial children, but Oakland baptised with the Big 3 in 2000, and we all know where that got them. It can be done.

I would be very willing to take that bet, barring any future acquisitions.

Tim Hudson came up in 1999, Mulder arrived in 2000, while Zito showed up at the end of 2000. But you are right they we thrown right into the rotation. I'm not sure of their minor league numbers, so I'm not totally convinced it is the same situation. My point is that while Luke Hudson and Claussen may have pitched well at times, they don't even have a sparkling minor league track record.

Puffy
12-21-2004, 12:44 PM
I hear what you are saying about Hudson. However I still think you are better off finding out if he is a major league pitcher before finding out if he is a major league starter. If a foundation of success can be built in the bullpen perhaps the self-doubt isn't as quick to creep in.

I don't necessarily disagree with this, but unless the Reds find more starters I think Hudson has to be in the rotation.

Ortiz, Wilson and Harang are in there. And for the record, as I've stated many times, I am not a fan of Harang at all. But on the Reds he has to be in there.

That leaves two spots open. Claussen needs to be in the bullpen more than Hudson, IMO. Hancock is just garbage (again, my opinion). Therefore you have three other candidates all of whom probably belong in the bullpen right now - - Claussen and Hudson because they are both basically rookies, and Hancock because he throws slop. Two of them have to be in the rotation as of right now (barring any more moves).

Hudson is the best of that threesome right now. I think he falls into the 4th slot and Claussen and Hancock duke it out for that fifth spot out of spring training.

But it would be nice if the Reds had the luxury of putting arms in the bullpen before throwing them into the rotation.

puca
12-21-2004, 01:19 PM
I agree that the way this team is currently constructed Hudson and possibly Claussen have to be in the roation. My big complaint is that the Reds put themselves in this situation by concentrating on relievers this offseason. I think Hudson and Claussen themselves would have made this a decent enough bullpen. I would have added a single lefty, and Mercker at 1.3 mil a year wouldn't have been my top choice.

While Hudson and Claussen as starters might have a better chance of keeping us in contention than a couple of reclamation projects, it is still a long shot. And it is a gamble that if it backfires could leave the Reds in a worse bind going into next year.

Do you believe the Reds have a shot in 2005? If not, ask yourself if this is the best approach for 2006?

markymark69
12-21-2004, 03:26 PM
Signing Mercker was a good move. Upgrading the bullpen was the main objective and on paper, that has occurred. He wanted to be here and has been effective the last few years. I agree with the notion that O'Brien is trying the season the young arms in the minors w/o sacrificing them at the major league level before they are ready.

On Jimemez, I don't believe they had a choice. If Kearns at third fails (moving Freel there) and you and let Jimenez walk, who plays second? Even if the Randa signing happens, if Freel is at one position every day, you lose flexibility and I believe his effectiveness is somewhat negated. Jimemez signing is also, a good and necessary move.