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Krusty
01-29-2006, 11:27 AM
If Cleveland still has that offer on the table of RHP Jake Westbrook for OF Austin Kearns, the Reds should take it. If you look at Westbrook's stats the last two years, he ranks up there with number 2 starters in other teams' rotations. 2004 he won 14 games and had an ERA of 3.3 something. In 2005 he was 15-15 with a 4.4 something ERA. He did win 15 games, and when one was the last time a Reds pitcher won 15 games?

You run the risk of losing Kearns and have him blossom as a hitter for some other team. But you have to be concern about his shoulder, and not coming in shape during spring training last year makes you wonder how committed he is to be a successful major league player.

Bottom line is if the Reds can get a sinkerball pitcher that is suited for their ballpark that won 14 and 15 games the past two seasons, they should do everything possible to get him.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=4422

Scrap Irony
01-29-2006, 11:29 AM
The last time a Red pitcher won 15 games? Jimmy Haynes.

If Westbrook = Haynes, you've lost me on this one, Krusty.

Krusty
01-29-2006, 11:49 AM
The last time a Red pitcher won 15 games? Jimmy Haynes.

If Westbrook = Haynes, you've lost me on this one, Krusty.

Really, what do you think Austin Kearns will net us? You look at Westbrook's stats the last two years and they aren't bad. The ERA was a run higher in 2005 compared to 2004. But to compare him to Jimmy Haynes is alittle farfetch IMO.

Krusty
01-29-2006, 11:55 AM
Here is a write-up on Westbrook prior to the 2005 season:

Scouting Report



2004 Season

Jake Westbrook lost his job in the starting rotation in spring training, but regained it on April 19 with seven perfect innings of relief against Detroit. It was the first time a pitcher worked seven perfect innings in relief since 1969. Westbrook regained his spot in the rotation after that appearance and went on to win a career-high 14 games while making the All-Star team. He finished third in the American League with a 3.38 ERA.



Pitching

Westbrook's breakout season was a matter of trust and a good sinker. He always had a good sinking fastball, but he wouldn't throw it for strikes. Last year, he threw the sinker over the plate and let it work. He complemented it with a slider, changeup and a cut fastball to lefties. Westbrook throws between 89-91 MPH as a starter and can hit 94 MPH when he relieves. He threw five complete games and 215.2 innings, both career highs, last year. He was able to keep his pitch count down because he gets so many outs on grounders early in the count. He induced 29 double plays.



Defense

Westbrook not only is a good fielder, but also a busy one because of his sinker. His groundball- flyball ratio was the second highest in the American League. He made three errors last year, but handled 76 total chances, the most on the staff. He also started six double plays, most among AL pitchers. Westbrook showed improvement against the running game in 2004, as 43 percent (6 of 14) of the basestealers who challenged him were thrown out.



2005 Outlook

After starting last season as a long man, Westbrook will open this season as the Tribe's No. 2 starter. He may not throw as many innings again, but he seems completely recovered from the elbow problems that hounded him early in his career. Westbrook could become a perennial 12-15 game winner.

Krusty
01-29-2006, 12:11 PM
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Is Jake Westbrook the Indians' best starter?

Indians righty Jake Westbrook is an interesting case study in how much luck factors into a pitcher’s season. For all practical purposes, Westbrook’s 2004 and 2005 lines were identical. Westbrook faced the exact same amount of batters each season, gave up the exact same amount of homers, walked three less in 2005 and struck out five more. That’s as identical as two seasons can be. Yet his 2004 ERA was 3.38, while his 2005 ERA was 4.49. He gave up a ton of groundballs each season. Even his batting average per ball in play (BABIP)---much of which is out of the pitcher’s control---was very similar (.276 in 2004 versus .290 in 2005). What did Jake do differently?


For all intensive purposes, Jake himself did nothing differently. His “skills” (homers, walks, strikeouts) were exactly the same. Let’s look further at some of the factors that Jake cannot control.


**Defense: The Indians ranked third in baseball in defensive efficiency. Ronnie Belliard and Jhonny Peralta were among the best at their positions defensively, and Aaron Boone was above average. Ben Broussard was merely average. Overall, the Indians were excellent defensively, especially on the infield. Thus, Westbrook’s higher BABIP is strange.


**Line Drive Percentage: Westbrook ranked 11th out of 44 qualifying AL starters in lowest line drive percentage (line drives tend to fall for hits more often than regular batted balls). Hitters do not often hit line drives off of Westbrook; this furthers the idea that Westbrook’s amount of hits given up in 2005 is abnormally high.


**Homers per fly ball: Westbrook was the worst of the 44 qualifying AL starters in homer per fly ball ratio (this ratio is park adjusted). 19% of the fly balls that Westbrook allowed (and remember, Jake allowed the fewest fly balls per ground ball of any pitcher in the AL) became homers. This is an extremely high percentage---research has shown that pitchers average an 11% HR/FB ratio, and any deviation is mostly attributable to luck.


**Left-on-base percentage: Westbrook was third worst in LOB%, which measures the percentage of base runners who come around to score. A mere 62.9% of Westbrook’s base runners failed to score (for comparison, both Cliff Lee and Scott Elarton stranded 72% of their base runners, while Kevin Millwood ranked 2nd in the AL, stranding 79% of his runners).


All of these factors played a large role in Westbrook’s higher 2005 ERA. If we delve even further into Westbrook’s stats, we see that he was the anti-Kevin Millwood in terms of “clutch pitching.” Overall, opposing batters hit .265 against Westbrook. However, with runners on base, batters hit .298 against him. Furthermore, although Westbrook had 130 fewer at-bats against him with runners on base, Westbrook allowed 11 of his 19 homers to occur when runners were on base. With runners in scoring position, batters hit .304 against him. With a runner at third base, the opposition hit an absurd .542. Opposing batters hit .360 with runners at first and third, .353 with the bases loaded, and a crippling .333 with runners in scoring position and two outs. In 2004, opposing batters hit .255 overall against Westbrook, but a mere .233 with runners in scoring position and .200 with runners in scoring position and two outs.


Westbrook is just now entering his prime. We can reasonably expect similar IP, BB, and K in 2006. However, we can also expect less home runs, less hits, and less of the runners who do get on base scoring. These are three very important factors that influence ERA, and Westbrook got very unlucky in all three facets in 2005. Furthermore, we can expect a regression to the mean in terms of batting average in clutch situations as well as the amount of homers that occur with runners on base. Thus, although a return to the 3.38 ERA of 2004 is unlikely, Westbrook has a very good chance of bettering his 2005 ERA, perhaps by a fair amount.

cleveland--indians.blogspot.com

M2
01-29-2006, 12:41 PM
Westbrook is the kind of here-hit-it pitcher the Reds need to avoid like the plague.

Henry Clay
01-29-2006, 12:49 PM
Westbrook is the kind of here-hit-it pitcher the Reds need to avoid like the plague.

In light of the extreme GB/FB tendencies of GABP, I think Westbrook is far from a potential pox on the franchise. In fact, he is the kind of pitcher the team should have targeted in place of Milton and Ortiz last year. It is debatable about whether Kearns should be dealt for him, but I would love to have Westbrook in the Reds' rotation. I forget who posted the GB out numbers for GABP, but they were among the most extreme in the league. Balls hit on the ground do not fare well in Cincinnati. They will fare even worse if the Reds field an infield with range this year. Westbrook may be billed as the same type of pitcher as Danny Graves, but Westbrook actually appears to be able to throw a sinkerball. The balls that are hit stay on the ground. In the infield, that could mean more GIDPs for the opposition and far fewer HRs allowed. I realize a ball in play relies on some chance to be intercepted, but the Reds cut their infield grass pretty high and leave their outfield fences pretty short. The Reds' offense is built for the park. It's now time the pitching staff takes the park into consideration.

SteelSD
01-29-2006, 12:54 PM
Westbrook is just now entering his prime. We can reasonably expect similar IP, BB, and K in 2006. However, we can also expect less home runs, less hits, and less of the runners who do get on base scoring. These are three very important factors that influence ERA, and Westbrook got very unlucky in all three facets in 2005.

Bah. The guy's BABIP was abnormally low in 2004 and the writer thinks that he got "very unlucky" with a .290 BABIP in 2005? Yeesh.

Westbrook's HR/FB rate was high. Ok. Being that his game is to attempt to coax ground ball after ground ball, might we not be able to reasonably assume that his HR/FB rate might be high because his pitch quality is such that he gets hammered when missing by just a little bit? Might that explain Westbrook's Doubles proficiency?

Only 9 MLB ERA qualifiers have allowed more than 45 Doubles in each of the past two seasons. Westbrook and Mark Mulder are the only two of those nine to have done so with a GB/FB rate above 2.00 in both seasons. And like the current version of Mulder, Westbrook walks a fine defensive-dependent line between being good and being exceptionally mediocre.

M2
01-29-2006, 12:54 PM
In light of the extreme GB/FB tendencies of GABP, I think Westbrook is far from a potential pox on the franchise. In fact, he is the kind of pitcher the team should have targeted in place of Milton and Ortiz last year. It is debatable about whether Kearns should be dealt for him, but I would love to have Westbrook in the Reds' rotation. I forget who posted the GB out numbers for GABP, but they were among the most extreme in the league. Balls hit on the ground do not fare well in Cincinnati. They will fare even worse if the Reds field an infield with range this year. Westbrook may be billed as the same type of pitcher as Danny Graves, but Westbrook actually appears to be able to throw a sinkerball. The balls that are hit stay on the ground. In the infield, that could mean more GIDPs for the opposition and far fewer HRs allowed. I realize a ball in play relies on some chance to be intercepted, but the Reds cut their infield grass pretty high and leave their outfield fences pretty short. The Reds' offense is built for the park. It's now time the pitching staff takes the park into consideration.

The grass was brought down to normal levels last season. Though more to the point, I don't want the Reds to be in the business acquiring pitchers they need to hide behind a rainforest.

Contact pitchers have not fared well for the Reds. They need to find some arms who can help themselves.

Krusty
01-29-2006, 01:17 PM
Bah. The guy's BABIP was abnormally low in 2004 and the writer thinks that he got "very unlucky" with a .290 BABIP in 2005? Yeesh.

Westbrook's HR/FB rate was high. Ok. Being that his game is to attempt to coax ground ball after ground ball, might we not be able to reasonably assume that his HR/FB rate might be high because his pitch quality is such that he gets hammered when missing by just a little bit? Might that explain Westbrook's Doubles proficiency?

Only 9 MLB ERA qualifiers have allowed more than 45 Doubles in each of the past two seasons. Westbrook and Mark Mulder are the only two of those nine to have done so with a GB/FB rate above 2.00 in both seasons. And like the current version of Mulder, Westbrook walks a fine defensive-dependent line between being good and being exceptionally mediocre.

The way I see it is the two type of pitchers that will work successfully at GAB is those hard throwers that can throw a mid-90 fastball and a hard slider or a sinkerball pitcher that can keep the ball on the ground.

You can say that sinkerball pitchers give up alot of doubles but I will take 45 doubles over 45 home runs any day. Unless you move the fences back 10 feet, the only way the pitchers will keep the ball in the ballpark is inducing ground balls.

M2
01-29-2006, 01:26 PM
The way I see it is the two type of pitchers that will work successfully at GAB is those hard throwers that can throw a mid-90 fastball and a hard slider or a sinkerball pitcher that can keep the ball on the ground.

You can say that sinkerball pitchers give up alot of doubles but I will take 45 doubles over 45 home runs any day. Unless you move the fences back 10 feet, the only way the pitchers will keep the ball in the ballpark is inducing ground balls.

45 doubles or 45 homers? I pick none of the above.

Westbrook's a lot like Corey Lidle. He's got to be real fine with his control because when he misses high the ball goes somewhere in a hurry.

I wouldn't have a problem with the Reds snatching up a Westbrook type on a waiver claim or moving a guy like Aurilia for him, but I wouldn't be dealing a Kearns or Pena for a pitcher with that profile. It's too much to pay for a guy who plays rope-a-dope.

Krusty
01-29-2006, 01:43 PM
45 doubles or 45 homers? I pick none of the above.

Westbrook's a lot like Corey Lidle. He's got to be real fine with his control because when he misses high the ball goes somewhere in a hurry.

I wouldn't have a problem with the Reds snatching up a Westbrook type on a waiver claim or moving a guy like Aurilia for him, but I wouldn't be dealing a Kearns or Pena for a pitcher with that profile. It's too much to pay for a guy who plays rope-a-dope.

Problem with sinkerball pitchers are they aren't sexy. Most fans want to see a pitcher that throws hard and punches those strikeouts. Pitchers have to realize that when you pitch at Coors Field, Citizens Bank Park or at the Great American Ballpark, you won't win an ERA title. You try to keep your team in the game for six innings before turning it over to the bullpen. Playing in bandboxes require teams to have a deep bullpen and the Reds do with three lefties and four righthanders.

The price for power pitchers is extreme and rarely do you see them dealt. Unless you develop your own (Bailey), the only other way to go is pitchers who can keep the ball down and induce ground balls. No matter how you look at it, sinkerball pitchers will give up some hits. Alot depends on your infielders. And that is why Bucky Dent was brought in to tutor Encarncion and Lopez and hopefully cut down on their errors.

traderumor
01-29-2006, 02:25 PM
Problem with sinkerball pitchers are they aren't sexy. Most fans want to see a pitcher that throws hard and punches those strikeouts. Pitchers have to realize that when you pitch at Coors Field, Citizens Bank Park or at the Great American Ballpark, you won't win an ERA title. You try to keep your team in the game for six innings before turning it over to the bullpen. Playing in bandboxes require teams to have a deep bullpen and the Reds do with three lefties and four righthanders.

The price for power pitchers is extreme and rarely do you see them dealt. Unless you develop your own (Bailey), the only other way to go is pitchers who can keep the ball down and induce ground balls. No matter how you look at it, sinkerball pitchers will give up some hits. Alot depends on your infielders. And that is why Bucky Dent was brought in to tutor Encarncion and Lopez and hopefully cut down on their errors.
But they at least need to be cute. Westbrook had a career year in 2004 and I would be surprised to see a positive VORP out of him. Like M2 already said, Kearns is way too high a price for the likes of Westbrook. If you're looking at a swap with the Indians for the price of Kearns, I'd be looking at the likes of taking a flyer on Sabathia. Both teams are looking at high risk/high reward type potential but recently struggling players that a change of scenery might do some good.

flyer85
01-29-2006, 03:43 PM
a number 4/5 starter is exactly what the Reds don't need. They are loaded with 'em already.

Ravenlord
01-29-2006, 03:50 PM
i made a post last winter demostrating that groundball pitchers (1.4 or better GB/FB) have inability to strike hitters out was a myth. in fact, they were striking guys out at about 0.2 rate better than flyball pitchers (0.9 or lower GB/FB). however, i can't find it in the archives, and i really don't feel like collecting the info again.

MattyHo4Life
01-29-2006, 04:25 PM
If you're looking at a swap with the Indians for the price of Kearns, I'd be looking at the likes of taking a flyer on Sabathia. Both teams are looking at high risk/high reward type potential but recently struggling players that a change of scenery might do some good.

TR,

You might as well just say that you don't want to trade Kearns period. Unlike Kearns, Sabathia is a proven ML Starter, and a good one, even when he's struggling.

I know that Kearns is valued very high here, but most teams would look at him as a project with a lot of upside. You don't give one of your best pitchers for a guy that might be a good ML player one day. Kearns is similar to Larry Bigbie. Both were once very promising young players, but have struggled a lot over the last couple of seasons. Players like Kearns and Bigbie don't compare to pitchers like Sabathia. I don't expect Kearns to be traded, because the Reds value him more than anybody else does.

M2
01-29-2006, 04:58 PM
Problem with sinkerball pitchers are they aren't sexy. Most fans want to see a pitcher that throws hard and punches those strikeouts. Pitchers have to realize that when you pitch at Coors Field, Citizens Bank Park or at the Great American Ballpark, you won't win an ERA title. You try to keep your team in the game for six innings before turning it over to the bullpen. Playing in bandboxes require teams to have a deep bullpen and the Reds do with three lefties and four righthanders.

The price for power pitchers is extreme and rarely do you see them dealt. Unless you develop your own (Bailey), the only other way to go is pitchers who can keep the ball down and induce ground balls. No matter how you look at it, sinkerball pitchers will give up some hits. Alot depends on your infielders. And that is why Bucky Dent was brought in to tutor Encarncion and Lopez and hopefully cut down on their errors.

A) Seven relievers is no way to win anything. It's a symptom of a bad pitching staff.

B) A good pitcher could easily win an ERA title in the GAB or PBP. Coors exists in an alternate reality and people need to stop thinking about the GAB in the same breath as it. Heck, the White Sox, DBacks and Astros all play in cozy parks, every bit as hitter friendly or more than the GAB, and they've churned out plenty of good pitchers.

C) Pitchers with the ability to make hitters swing and miss get dealt all the time. The Reds just need to be on the receiving end more often.

D) What you've got there is a plan to keep the team in the bottom of the division. Either the Reds get more Harang types or they can let their brains get beaten in Westbrooks. I know which option I'm choosing.

RedsManRick
01-29-2006, 04:59 PM
At the end of the day we have just 5 starting pitcher spots and Eric Milton, Aaron Harang, and Brandon Claussen will be in three of them. Paul Wilson will be in one as well if he's healthy. I'm not convinced that the upgrade from Belisle or Hancock to Westbrook merits losing Kearns.

Westbrook has reached his maximum value. Kearns is not even close to his. Trading for Westbrook does not significally upgrade our rotation and give us a better chance to compete. We'd have control of him for only this year and next. Kearns could never develop. He also could develop in to a Brian Giles clone. Given that the maximum value obtained from a Kearns/Westbrook swap doesn't really make the difference, that we don't have very many other pieces to further improve our team with, and that Kearns value has a lot more room to go up than down, this just isn't the right move.

SteelSD
01-29-2006, 05:09 PM
Problem with sinkerball pitchers are they aren't sexy.

Actually, the problem with sinkerball pitchers is that they're not necessarily good just because they may produce high ground ball rates. Indiscriminately acquiring sinkerball pitchers because they throw ground balls isn't enough.

pedro
01-29-2006, 05:45 PM
Krusty, you need to look at Westbrooks peripherals. He's pyrate.

traderumor
01-29-2006, 06:37 PM
TR,

You might as well just say that you don't want to trade Kearns period. Unlike Kearns, Sabathia is a proven ML Starter, and a good one, even when he's struggling.

I know that Kearns is valued very high here, but most teams would look at him as a project with a lot of upside. You don't give one of your best pitchers for a guy that might be a good ML player one day. Kearns is similar to Larry Bigbie. Both were once very promising young players, but have struggled a lot over the last couple of seasons. Players like Kearns and Bigbie don't compare to pitchers like Sabathia. I don't expect Kearns to be traded, because the Reds value him more than anybody else does.

While that is a popular thing to say, GMs who are ahead of the curve would value Kearns similarly to the team that watches him play every day. Then it comes down to if they want to pay that price. GMs who don't stick around very long or haven't won anything under their watch don't want to pay for their ability to forecast who will be the more productive playe r for their program. My personal philosophy is that I will not let another team convince me of the market value of my guy. If they aren't willing to pay, then I'm not willing to sell. It may mean I hold on to my guy, but I don't think that its just me being a fan overvaluing a hometown boy. Kearns is a dynamic player that will more than likely make the GM that pays the price today look like a genius in the future. I'm just fine if the Reds find another route to acquire some pitching, as well.

Henry Clay
01-29-2006, 11:50 PM
Although I don't embrace the notion of trading Kearns for Westbrook, I still like Westbrook and see him as a useful potential member of the Reds' staff. Maybe I'm missing something, but Westbrook's numbers just aren't that bad. I see some "peripheral" statistics aren't favorable, but what about the guy's core stats? They are better than the majority of the Reds' staff. Although I keep reading that Krusty and I need to look behind the numbers, Bill James and crew appear to think that Westbrook's numbers weren't that bad last year. Although the guy had an ERA of 4.49, the James adjusted, component ERA (ERC) was 3.78, which was better than the entire Reds' staff from last year and much, much better than all but Harang (3.94 ERC). (Per James, the ERC "estimates what a pitcher's ERA should have been based upon his raw pitching statistics and gives a good indication of whether or not a pitcher actually deserved his ERA.") Moreover, he's consistent. His ERC the year before was 3.45. He gave up 19 HRs both years. He pitched between 210 and 220 innings both years. His strikeout totals, while modest, were pretty much the same both years. He actually generated two more strikeouts than $9 million man, Matt Morris, generated last year. Moreover, the Bill James 2006 Handbook predicts a 3.91 ERA for the guy next year with similar IP, SO, and HR allowed numbers. His predicted ERA is again much, much better than the entire Reds' staff for next year. So, I looked behind the numbers, and my mind remains exactly the same on this. I don't think I cherry-picked among numbers, but went straight to the James Handbook.

My final verdict: I'd love to have the guy in the Reds' rotation next year. I'd love to have better pitchers more, but that's not going to happen either. Westbrook is better than most of what the Reds currently have. Moreover, he is not a FB pitcher, but an extreme GB pitcher. I think everyone, except maybe his mother and agent, can agree he is not an ace pitcher. But although he may be a No. 4 starter, on a staff of No. 5's and worse, he'd be an upgrade to everyone but Harang.

I normally wouldn't waste two posts in a thread about a midrotation guy who is not coming to the team anyway, but this team needs to address it's pitching in terms of upgrades before ST or this year is going to be as ugly or uglier than last year. The team is not going to grow or buy a Seaver or Koufax in the next few months or even years. By contrast, a few solid middle rotation pitchers would actually be a huge help right now. Additionally, unless the team does something to improve the number of HRs allowed in GABP and fix the scary team ERA, a true ace will never sign to play at GABP. To that end, a few Westbrooks would help in the short and long term.

Johnny Footstool
01-30-2006, 12:10 AM
If you set your sights on mediocrity, the best you can hope for is mediocrity.

The Reds have mediocrity in spades. Westbrook would be a fine acquisition as a free agent signing, but not in a trade, and especially not in a trade for Kearns.

roby
01-30-2006, 12:59 AM
How about Westbrook for Ryan Freel? Freel replaces Crisp as the Indians lead-off hitter, and the Reds get their mid-rotation starter and get to keep Kearns and Pena.

M2
01-30-2006, 01:05 AM
If you set your sights on mediocrity, the best you can hope for is mediocrity.

The Reds have mediocrity in spades. Westbrook would be a fine acquisition as a free agent signing, but not in a trade, and especially not in a trade for Kearns.

Basically same here. Guys like Westbrook aren't worth spilling a lot of blood or treasure.

KronoRed
01-30-2006, 06:34 AM
Maybe we are overvaluing Kearns, but right now we don't have to trade him, he's young and could still turn out well..better to keep him then to trade him for also ran junk we have already.

MattyHo4Life
01-30-2006, 09:46 AM
Maybe we are overvaluing Kearns, but right now we don't have to trade him, he's young and could still turn out well..better to keep him then to trade him for also ran junk we have already.

There is nothing wrong with overvaluing your own players or wanting to keep them no matter what. Afterall, you can't expect players to ever want to resign with a team if all they ever hear is how they should be traded. However, I do think Kearns is percieved to have a lot more value here than he does elsewhere. It comes from years of looking at him as a can't miss prospect. Most teams would jump at the chance to trade for Kearns, but they won't give up much for him because he hasn't earned that yet. Westbrook would probably be the Reds 2nd best pitcher. I don't think you can get much more than that for Kearns at this point. The Reds don't have to trade him though. He has another couple of years left before Free Agency. If you think he'll have a breakout year, then there really is no reason to trade him. You only trade him if you're worried that he'll never be the player that everyone thought he would be, and you want to get something good out of him before his value dips even further. If he has another so so year, you won't even get a Westbrook for him.

KronoRed
01-30-2006, 09:50 AM
2nd best on this staff isn't something to be happy with ;) that gets us from 70 wins to what? 74?...his won/loss record is nice but I'm looking past it and seeing a pitcher who gives up a bunch of hits, most of them Dbls and we have so so D to make it even worse.

If Kearns tanks then he tanks, but Westbrook is what he is..and that's not going to help us much.

StillFunkyB
01-30-2006, 09:57 AM
Keep Ears.

Just sayin'

fourrunhomer
01-30-2006, 11:00 AM
How about Westbrook for Ryan Freel? Freel replaces Crisp as the Indians lead-off hitter, and the Reds get their mid-rotation starter and get to keep Kearns and Pena.


I'd jump all over this one: but unfortunately, I doubt the Indians would do more than laugh.

Johnny Footstool
01-30-2006, 11:11 AM
There is nothing wrong with overvaluing your own players or wanting to keep them no matter what.

Sounds like the Indians are overvaluing Westbrook.

Or else the Cleveland front office personnel read DanO's quote about searching for groundball pitchers and thought they had an easy mark. After DanO got fired, they figured they might as well keep offering just in case Kullman was trigger-happy.

traderumor
01-30-2006, 11:36 AM
There is nothing wrong with overvaluing your own players or wanting to keep them no matter what. Afterall, you can't expect players to ever want to resign with a team if all they ever hear is how they should be traded. However, I do think Kearns is percieved to have a lot more value here than he does elsewhere. It comes from years of looking at him as a can't miss prospect. Most teams would jump at the chance to trade for Kearns, but they won't give up much for him because he hasn't earned that yet. Westbrook would probably be the Reds 2nd best pitcher. I don't think you can get much more than that for Kearns at this point. The Reds don't have to trade him though. He has another couple of years left before Free Agency. If you think he'll have a breakout year, then there really is no reason to trade him. You only trade him if you're worried that he'll never be the player that everyone thought he would be, and you want to get something good out of him before his value dips even further. If he has another so so year, you won't even get a Westbrook for him.
So the only time you trade a player is to dump him before he tanks? While that is some of the art of trading, in the Kearns case, it would be implementing the axiom of swapping from a position of strength or depth to meet an identified weakness. IMO, I think your value of Kearns is what other teams want the Reds to think Kearns' value is rather than what it actually is. While I understand the warts Kearns possesses, right now I only think his value is perceived as depressed by GMs hoping to fleece the Reds in a deal. To their credit, that is a part of the game. To Kullman's credit, whether or not he's not doing it intentionally, his current public position should put other teams on notice that the Reds are still trying to sell high on Kearns.

Red Leader
01-30-2006, 12:17 PM
I think Westbrook would be a fine addition if
1) The Reds defensive issues had been addressed already (which they have not)
2) we could get him for someone less than Kearns, or if we could get them to throw in a good prospect along with Westbrook, if we are going to give up Kearns.

Seeing how #1 hasn't been addressed, and won't be addressed for some time, IMO, that prospect in option #2 better be a real stud if this deal were to go down.

Bigredfan#1
01-30-2006, 05:57 PM
No way that Westbrook is worth Kearns!!