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CTA513
05-13-2006, 11:23 PM
Someones not happy.



05/13/2006 6:43 PM ET
Notes: LaRue seeks more playing time
Reds' catching depth means less games for each backstop

CINCINNATI -- When a team carries three catchers on its 25-man roster, there are probably not enough games or innings to go around to satisfy all parties behind the plate.
Case in point: Jason LaRue is the Reds' everyday catcher, but he has not really caught every day so far this season. Javier Valentin has caught some games, as has third catcher David Ross.

"I definitely signed here to be the every day guy," said LaRue, the longest tenured Red, who was re-signed to a two-year, $9.1 million contract in December. "That's what I expect -- to play every day and that's what I want. But I'm not the one filling out the lineup card."

That, of course, is manager Jerry Narron's job. In Narron's current system, Valentin has caught all of rookie Elizardo Ramirez's games. Ross has been Bronson Arroyo's personal catcher for all eight of the pitcher's starts.

Ramirez and Arroyo have been pitching on back-to-back days, which has meant consecutive off-days for LaRue.

"It's definitely not ideal," Narron said. "I know each one of them would like to be catching nine [out] of 10 games. They're doing as good a job as can possibly be done in the situation."

Having extra catching depth has allowed Narron to use the switch-hitting Valentin as a lefty pinch-hitter early in games or in double switches, but two prevailing issues have complicated the scenario.

First, Ross was acquired from the Padres during Spring Training after he was designated for assignment. However, Ross is out of Minor League options and would likely be plucked off the waiver wire if Cincinnati tried to send him down. The club has been impressed with Ross' game calling and defensive skills.

Then, LaRue had to begin this season on the disabled list after he needed arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in late March. Since his return on April 18, Narron has tried to ease the 32-year-old's work load.

LaRue, who entered Saturday's action with only 46 plate appearances in 12 of Cincinnati's 36 games, said his legs are ready to handle the demands of regular playing time.

"I wouldn't have come off the DL if I wasn't ready to catch every day," said LaRue, who was batting .211 with one homer and four RBIs. "I prepare my body to catch five, six days a week."

Although his issue of once having four second basemen eventually sorted itself out, Narron may have a tougher assignment in finding enough time for his catchers. Will it get harder for him once he decides to increase LaRue's playing time?

"I hope so," Narron said.

George Foster
05-13-2006, 11:31 PM
Batting .211 going in to this game with 4 RBI's, he should be happy he's playing at all.

captainmorgan07
05-13-2006, 11:43 PM
Batting .211 going in to this game with 4 RBI's, he should be happy he's playing at all.
u are exactly right if he wants more playing time he better produce

Ron Madden
05-13-2006, 11:56 PM
Batting .211 going in to this game with 4 RBI's, he should be happy he's playing at all.

The story says LaRue has only 46 AB's going in to todays game. Let's give the guy a fair chance.

edabbs44
05-14-2006, 12:10 AM
The story says LaRue has only 46 AB's going in to todays game. Let's give the guy a fair chance.

For a smaller mkt team, he was given WAY too much money.

Ron Madden
05-14-2006, 12:14 AM
For a smaller mkt team, he was given WAY too much money.

No he wasn't.

Heath
05-14-2006, 12:40 AM
No he wasn't.

Agreed - any team would have given him a bigger contract.

With Valenting regressing to career norms - he might be shipped out for some warm bullpen bodies. Then LaRue can catch everyone but Arroyo.

Gainesville Red
05-14-2006, 12:50 AM
I'll sit on the bench for $9.1 mill, I'm just a phone call away Kriv.

CTA513
05-14-2006, 12:51 AM
I'll sit on the bench for $9.1 mill, I'm just a phone call away Kriv.

I'll sit on the bench for league minimum.

:devil:

Gainesville Red
05-14-2006, 12:52 AM
I'll sit on the bench for league minimum.

:devil:

good call, wouldn't even take that much. Maybe $10-$15 bucks an hour. That's a nice part-time job in Gainesville.

saboforthird
05-14-2006, 01:10 AM
The story says LaRue has only 46 AB's going in to todays game. Let's give the guy a fair chance.

And, there are players that bat .500 after only 20 AB's or so. That wasn't fair, though, was it? ;)

edabbs44
05-14-2006, 01:23 AM
Agreed - any team would have given him a bigger contract.

With Valenting regressing to career norms - he might be shipped out for some warm bullpen bodies. Then LaRue can catch everyone but Arroyo.

Seriously doubt that. $4.55 mil per year? Roughly 7 percent of our payroll? I would have stuck with Val and used the $ to shore up the staff....I was shocked when he got that contract.

$4.5 mil for his output is something larger mkt teams can afford, but I just didn't see it as being a smart move when it happened. Just my personal opinion.

SteelSD
05-14-2006, 02:00 AM
Seriously doubt that. $4.55 mil per year? Roughly 7 percent of our payroll? I would have stuck with Val and used the $ to shore up the staff....I was shocked when he got that contract.

$4.5 mil for his output is something larger mkt teams can afford, but I just didn't see it as being a smart move when it happened. Just my personal opinion.

There were only three MLB catchers (Varitek, Victor Martinez, Barrett) who produced a higher OPS than did Jason Larue in 2005. Three.

Go check out how much money value-equitable veteran Catchers actually make. The results will most likely surprise you.

The real mistake was not moving Valentin for value after his career year last season.

Wheelhouse
05-14-2006, 03:41 AM
There were only three MLB catchers (Varitek, Victor Martinez, Barrett) who produced a higher OPS than did Jason Larue in 2005. Three.

Go check out how much money value-equitable veteran Catchers actually make. The results will most likely surprise you.

The real mistake was not moving Valentin for value after his career year last season.

Yeah, the only problem is a challenged pitching staff REALLY stinks up the joint when he calls the game. Catchers are not really expected to be much better hitters than shortstops, but with both, it's really nice when one comes along. But all in all you need to weight your judgement of a catcher over to his defense and his handling of pitchers--there a catcher has a bigger opportunity to have an impact on the game.

Guacarock
05-14-2006, 04:01 AM
There were only three MLB catchers (Varitek, Victor Martinez, Barrett) who produced a higher OPS than did Jason Larue in 2005. Three.

Go check out how much money value-equitable veteran Catchers actually make. The results will most likely surprise you.

The real mistake was not moving Valentin for value after his career year last season.

I agree with you on one point -- Jason Larue isn't overpaid. He legitimately has earned what the Reds are paying him. His salary is totally within line with what his peers are getting.

That said, I disagree with the underlying premises behind your argument. To whit:

1. OPS is a bogus measure of a catcher's value. Catchers ought to be paid first and foremost according to their defensive and game-calling skills, with any offense they provide viewed as icing on the cake.

2. Holding onto Valentin wasn't a bad judgment call. He had a better CERA than Larue last year (4.92 vs. 5.26), he was less likely to be charged with a passed ball, he proved just as adept at containing our opponents' running game, and he exhibited plenty of muscle at the plate, besides being nominally a switch-hitter.

3. Which brings us to today, and the three-headed catching monster we currently have, prompting Larue's agitation for more playing time. I can understand his frustration, but it's also plain as day. Of the three impacted catchers, Larue has had the rougher adjustment, hitting .195, and not being the personal first choice of Arroyo (ERA 2.03) or assigned to work with Ramirez (ERA 3.13). If I was him, I'd be wondering what gives, too, and looking for goats to scape.

Should Valentin get the heave-ho? Maybe, depending on what he can fetch us. Should Larue? That's just as possible.

I do know I would keep David Ross in the fold. Arroyo is no dummy in insisting on Ross as his assigned catcher. Ross' smart game-calling skills are impressive, elevating him in my book above either Valentin or Larue as a good fit for the Reds.

With our offense, it's not like we need to be overly concerned with retaining a high OPS catcher. But with our chronic pitching woes, we can certainly use a journeyman like Ross with plus game-calling skills.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. I expect Ross to remain. I don't know whether Larue or Valentin will get the nod as the Reds' designated 1A catcher. Whichever one, it should give us a clue of where the franchise is headed.

SteelSD
05-14-2006, 04:37 AM
Yeah, the only problem is a challenged pitching staff REALLY stinks up the joint when he calls the game. Catchers are not really expected to be much better hitters than shortstops, but with both, it's really nice when one comes along. But all in all you need to weight your judgement of a catcher over to his defense and his handling of pitchers--there a catcher has a bigger opportunity to have an impact on the game.

That's a good point, but I think this might just be a "chicken/egg" scenario. Larue has never had anything resembling "good pitchers" to work with. CERA doesn't tell us anything. Heck, a reputed pitcher handler like Mike Matheny has been pretty much as good over his career as hes been allowed by those he's caught.

I'm with you on including the ability to receive and call a game (if he's got the opportunity to do so). But, from what I've seen, I don't consider Larue to be any worse than the next guy. Opposing teams don't run on him with any regularity. In 2005, opponents attempted a Stolen Base 0.697 times per game. Only three MLB Catchers (minimum 75 Games Played) posted a better rate than that (Varitek, Liberthal, Damian Miller).

In 2004, Larue ranked third (in the good way) in SBA per game (0.49). Again the minimum sort on that was 75 Games Played). In 2003, he ranked fifth. That tells me that Larue has a pretty good reputation as a guy you don't want to run on. And we know that over the past three years the Reds have been ranked 2nd to last, 3rd to last, and 2nd to last in OBP allowed; meaning that they've allowed a HUGE number of baserunners. Plenty of opportunity there, but few will run on the guy. That's a lot of hidden value and it's a big reason that Larue is actually worth more than he's getting right now.

That being said, I think that Larue (considering his age) should be a huge "trade now" commodity. There's definite value in doing that because the Reds aren't going to be winning any pennants with the current team configuration. The problem is that Larue isn't getting enough playing time to push him up the value ladder. Narron's usage of the Catchers (Ross for Arroyo, Valentin for Ramirez) is submarining Larue's value by taking away playing time. Right now only a smart team is going to offer up for Larue and I don't have any confidence that they'll offer what's needed for a guy who's basically being used as a platoon player.

SteelSD
05-14-2006, 04:54 AM
I agree with you on one point -- Jason Larue isn't overpaid. He legitimately has earned what the Reds are paying him. His salary is totally within line with what his peers are getting.

That said, I disagree with the underlying premises behind your argument. To whit:

1. OPS is a bogus measure of a catcher's value. Catchers ought to be paid first and foremost according to their defensive and game-calling skills, with any offense they provide viewed as icing on the cake.

Overall contribution is the best way to determine a player's overall value. Larue finished 7th among MLB Catchers in Win Shares in 2005 (18 WS) despite playing less than everyone ahead of him. If he'd acquired 50 more PA, Larue would have tied for fourth.


2. Holding onto Valentin wasn't a bad judgment call. He had a better CERA than Larue last year (4.92 vs. 5.26), he was less likely to be charged with a passed ball, he proved just as adept at containing our opponents' running game, and he exhibited plenty of muscle at the plate, besides being nominally a switch-hitter.

Keeping Valentin was a stupid move and CERA is a pointless metric. Doesn't tell us anything at all. Valentin had a career year, but that's about it. When players have those, it's time to cash in.


3. Which brings us to today, and the three-headed catching monster we currently have, prompting Larue's agitation for more playing time. I can understand his frustration, but it's also plain as day. Of the three impacted catchers, Larue has had the rougher adjustment, hitting .195, and not being the personal first choice of Arroyo (ERA 2.03) or assigned to work with Ramirez (ERA 3.13). If I was him, I'd be wondering what gives, too, and looking for goats to scape.

Larue has less than 50 AB right now. I'd assume you know that's too little a sample size to determine anything. But then, April and half of May doesn't determine anything for pitchers either.


Should Valentin get the heave-ho? Maybe, depending on what he can fetch us. Should Larue? That's just as possible.

I do know I would keep David Ross in the fold. Arroyo is no dummy in insisting on Ross as his assigned catcher. Ross' smart game-calling skills are impressive, elevating him in my book above either Valentin or Larue as a good fit for the Reds.

Arroyo has never been caught by anyone but Ross so his preference is based on nothing but superstition.


With our offense, it's not like we need to be overly concerned with retaining a high OPS catcher. But with our chronic pitching woes, we can certainly use a journeyman like Ross with plus game-calling skills.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. I expect Ross to remain. I don't know whether Larue or Valentin will get the nod as the Reds' designated 1A catcher. Whichever one, it should give us a clue of where the franchise is headed.

I sure hope Krivsky realizes that he'll never again see the 2005 offense from Valentin again. But I'd have no issue with moving Larue for real projectible value as long as that value is representative of Larue's actual value- which is far more extreme than folks think. He's a heck of a Catcher. A real good one and has been for years. Those guys don't come on the block very often.

kyle1976
05-14-2006, 10:20 AM
If LaRue is so good, then why haven't the Reds won with him behind the plate?? That $9.1 million could do an awful lot of good for our dismal bullpen.

westofyou
05-14-2006, 10:40 AM
If LaRue is so good, then why haven't the Reds won with him behind the plate??

Gee... maybe it's the pitching?

The last 3 years have been the worst pitching years in the history of the Reds, if you gave a man a pile of dung and said make a pie, would you give him crap because it wasn't blueberry?

kyle1976
05-14-2006, 10:49 AM
I don't believe LaRue makes the Reds better and I certainly don't think they'd be worse without him. Would you rather have LaRue and his contract or some halfway decent relievers right now?

edabbs44
05-14-2006, 10:58 AM
There were only three MLB catchers (Varitek, Victor Martinez, Barrett) who produced a higher OPS than did Jason Larue in 2005. Three.

Go check out how much money value-equitable veteran Catchers actually make. The results will most likely surprise you.

The real mistake was not moving Valentin for value after his career year last season.

I don't doubt that LaRue had the gaudy catchers stats last year, but my argument was that the team really doesn't need his offense. They need help in other areas alot more than from the 8 hole in the lineup.

And I really don't think people are that scared to run on LaRue anymore. In 2001 he threw out 42 of 69 (60.9%) of steal attempts and last year he threw out 25 of 76 attempts (32.9%). Not exactly the second coming of Bench.

westofyou
05-14-2006, 11:02 AM
I don't believe LaRue makes the Reds better and I certainly don't think they'd be worse without him. Would you rather have LaRue and his contract or some halfway decent relievers right now?
I'll take both, LaRue and "his contract" and some half decent relievers, BTW the Cubs went out and dropped a bucket of cash on relievers, so far it's netted them a 13 runs savings over what the Reds BP has. That will be the benchmark for dumping cash on a BP for 2006. One that many will look at over the next year.

SteelSD
05-14-2006, 02:10 PM
I don't doubt that LaRue had the gaudy catchers stats last year, but my argument was that the team really doesn't need his offense. They need help in other areas alot more than from the 8 hole in the lineup.

The Reds "need" every bit of offense they can muster. Every team does. He produces real value. Finished 7th in MLB in Win Shares from the Catcher position in 2005 with 18 WS (both offense and defense). The guy right ahead of him at 19 was Jorge Posada. Of course, we'd expect Posada to be ahead of Larue in Win shares considering that Posada had 140-odd PA more than Larue in 2005. And Posada is being paid 12 Million bucks this season.


And I really don't think people are that scared to run on LaRue anymore. In 2001 he threw out 42 of 69 (60.9%) of steal attempts and last year he threw out 25 of 76 attempts (32.9%). Not exactly the second coming of Bench.

If folks weren't scared to steal on Larue, they'd do it more. People run on Jorge Posada (.97 SBA/G in 2005). People run on Paul Lo Duca (.92 SBA/G), Javy Lopez (.90 SBA/G), Jason Phillips (1.04 SBA/G), Mike Piazza (.94 SBA/G), and Jason Kendall (.84 SBA/G). Even people who don't usually run do it when those guys are behind the plate. But only the specialists run on guys like Jason Larue. That's the primary reason his CS rate has gone down- teams aren't indiscriminately running on him. Instead, teams are isolating their attempts by running with only the best.

And just so we know what we're looking at...Larue's CS rate of 32.9% was the tenth highest CS rate among all MLB Catchers who played a minimum of 80 Games in 2005. So it's not like he's some limp-armed schmoo behind the plate even though only the best base stealers attempt to run on him.

Of course Larue isn't Johnny Bench. No one is. But that has nothing to do with the fact that Jason Larue doesn't need to be Bench in order to produce excellent value for his club; and excellent value for his salary.

BoydsOfSummer
05-14-2006, 02:36 PM
CERA is a helluva stat.






Componet earned run average that is. :D

edabbs44
05-14-2006, 07:49 PM
The Reds "need" every bit of offense they can muster. Every team does. He produces real value. Finished 7th in MLB in Win Shares from the Catcher position in 2005 with 18 WS (both offense and defense). The guy right ahead of him at 19 was Jorge Posada. Of course, we'd expect Posada to be ahead of Larue in Win shares considering that Posada had 140-odd PA more than Larue in 2005. And Posada is being paid 12 Million bucks this season.



If folks weren't scared to steal on Larue, they'd do it more. People run on Jorge Posada (.97 SBA/G in 2005). People run on Paul Lo Duca (.92 SBA/G), Javy Lopez (.90 SBA/G), Jason Phillips (1.04 SBA/G), Mike Piazza (.94 SBA/G), and Jason Kendall (.84 SBA/G). Even people who don't usually run do it when those guys are behind the plate. But only the specialists run on guys like Jason Larue. That's the primary reason his CS rate has gone down- teams aren't indiscriminately running on him. Instead, teams are isolating their attempts by running with only the best.

And just so we know what we're looking at...Larue's CS rate of 32.9% was the tenth highest CS rate among all MLB Catchers who played a minimum of 80 Games in 2005. So it's not like he's some limp-armed schmoo behind the plate even though only the best base stealers attempt to run on him.

Of course Larue isn't Johnny Bench. No one is. But that has nothing to do with the fact that Jason Larue doesn't need to be Bench in order to produce excellent value for his club; and excellent value for his salary.

All I am saying is that the money would be better used somewhere else. 7% of our payroll on him, to me, is not a smart choice of how to spend your funds.

Also, people must be less concerned about stealing on him b/c these are his SBAs over time:

2001: 69 (60.9% CS)
2002: 62 (45.2% CS)
2003: 64 (26.6% CS)
2004: 54 (29.6% CS)
2005: 75 (32.9% CS)

Personally I think his 2001-2002 seasons have given his rep a big boost. But that's an awfully large bump last season leading me to believe teams may have caught on.

westofyou
05-14-2006, 07:52 PM
But that's an awfully large bump last season leading me to believe teams may have caught on.Or that last seasons poor excuse for a staff couldn't hold their own on the mound much alone the baserunner on the bag.

edabbs44
05-14-2006, 07:55 PM
Or that last seasons poor excuse for a staff couldn't hold their own on the mound much alone the baserunner on the bag.

Bottom line is maybe he deserves the money, but 7% of the Reds payroll is too much for him.

flyer85
05-14-2006, 07:56 PM
For a smaller mkt team, he was given WAY too much money.For a team that isn't playing him everyday he was given way to much money. The three catcher thing just isn't going to work. There is not enough work to go around to get them all in any kind og a groove.

2001MUgrad
05-14-2006, 07:57 PM
The need to only be carrying 2 catchers period. Last year I wasn't a big fan of Valentin, but I think he could very well do a good solid job catching every day. Larue IMO is still our best option. I like Valentin because you can use him at first base etc. as well. But this Ross guy, he needs gone. I know he seems to be Brono's personal catcher, but gezz, he is flat out horribly defensively. You don't need to be carrying 3 catchers on a roster, it limits you too much. Ross needs gone period. Even if the Reds deal 1 of the other 2 guys they need someone better than Ross to play once or twice a week.

I don't blame Larue for being ticked. I would too.

flyer85
05-14-2006, 07:58 PM
BTW, that was some throw Larue put on Utley today. He is without a doubt one of the best throwing catchers in the game, not a lot of teams run on him.

flyer85
05-14-2006, 08:00 PM
The need to only be carrying 2 catchers period. there is a reason that no other teams carry three catchers. It is too limiting and not enough work is available to keep three players at any position somewhat sharp.

acredsfan
05-14-2006, 08:09 PM
You know, Valentin had a good year last year, but honestly, i would rather see Larue in there any day of the week over Valentin. If you are happy with less offense than what LaRue generates, and you think the "tough as nails" team leader should be traded, then fine, but why are you all twisting the stats to prove your point when all it is to you is a money issue. I have not seen one good arguement on why Valentin is any better besides the money issue, and quite honestly, it's not a good one. If we could have used that money to get another front line starting pitcher then fine, but with the market for pitchers the way it is, all we would have gotten is another "has been" pitcher who "throws strikes" but can't get a batter out to save their lives. If I've been watching the same team you all have, then i think you could agree that we don't need another one of them. Oh, i guess we maybe could have went to get a "good" closer, but to me we already have our answer to that problem if our manager would just realize that Todd Coffey is so much better than Mr. Weathers. Nothing against David, but he's not a closer, we are watching a re-run of Grave's final years, where he couldn't strike a single batter out and he makes every 9th inning a little too interesting. Here Weathers is marched out there every day to save a game and he can't hold on, it's like he lost his momentum, but yet he keeps coming out to close the game. Yes, Narron has said that Coffey is more valuable in the 8th inning to get out of jams, but to me, that is crap, yes he has done a good job, but in theory, you are supposed to have that kind of confidence in your closer too, but i don't see that kind of confidence in weathers. So, i know i've gotten a little off topic, but i'm illustrating a point, don't start a witch hunt just because the assumed best catcher wants more playing time. The problem with this team isn't that they are losing because they spent too much money on LaRue, heck maybe the problem is they put all this money into a good catcher and aren't using him enough. Instead we send a guy out there that looks like an over weight police officer to do the job. OK, RANT OVER.

edabbs44
05-14-2006, 08:18 PM
You know, Valentin had a good year last year, but honestly, i would rather see Larue in there any day of the week over Valentin. If you are happy with less offense than what LaRue generates, and you think the "tough as nails" team leader should be traded, then fine, but why are you all twisting the stats to prove your point when all it is to you is a money issue. I have not seen one good arguement on why Valentin is any better besides the money issue, and quite honestly, it's not a good one. If we could have used that money to get another front line starting pitcher then fine, but with the market for pitchers the way it is, all we would have gotten is another "has been" pitcher who "throws strikes" but can't get a batter out to save their lives. If I've been watching the same team you all have, then i think you could agree that we don't need another one of them. Oh, i guess we maybe could have went to get a "good" closer, but to me we already have our answer to that problem if our manager would just realize that Todd Coffey is so much better than Mr. Weathers. Nothing against David, but he's not a closer, we are watching a re-run of Grave's final years, where he couldn't strike a single batter out and he makes every 9th inning a little too interesting. Here Weathers is marched out there every day to save a game and he can't hold on, it's like he lost his momentum, but yet he keeps coming out to close the game. Yes, Narron has said that Coffey is more valuable in the 8th inning to get out of jams, but to me, that is crap, yes he has done a good job, but in theory, you are supposed to have that kind of confidence in your closer too, but i don't see that kind of confidence in weathers. So, i know i've gotten a little off topic, but i'm illustrating a point, don't start a witch hunt just because the assumed best catcher wants more playing time. The problem with this team isn't that they are losing because they spent too much money on LaRue, heck maybe the problem is they put all this money into a good catcher and aren't using him enough. Instead we send a guy out there that looks like an over weight police officer to do the job. OK, RANT OVER.

I think for $4 million we could have gotten one or two good BP arms. And considering what we are trotting out there day after day (yeah, I'm talking about you Hammond, Burns, White, etc etc etc), this team would be a better all around squad then with LaRue behind the dish.

REDJAKE
05-14-2006, 09:03 PM
I'd rather have him playing more the guy is in his prime and playing 3 times a week isn't good for a youmg catcher last years #'s are the reason is being paid so much lets see if he can earn it.GO CINCY!!!!

acredsfan
05-14-2006, 11:10 PM
I think for $4 million we could have gotten one or two good BP arms. And considering what we are trotting out there day after day (yeah, I'm talking about you Hammond, Burns, White, etc etc etc), this team would be a better all around squad then with LaRue behind the dish.Ok, but what has cost us more lately, the lack of offensive production, or our bullpen? see here's the thing, you can spend 4 million on a couple relievers that may or may not pan out, remember last year, Mercker and Weathers started out horrible and ended solid, and i don't think Hammond has been much of a problem lately. Burns was down in the minors until today, but i can't disagree with White being terrible, but honestly it was apparent that the FO was brought in at a time where the better relievers were picked over and all that were left were the likes of White and people like that. So unless they were going to make a trade then they weren't going to spend that money wisely. So quite honestly that point is pretty well useless. And go back to the post about how well the Cubbies are doing with their big money bullpen. If you want to argue ridiculous contracts, lets revisit the already beat to death Eric Milton signing. LaRue is not over paid, and the nonsense of the contract taking so much of the teams payroll, i mean, are they supposed to pay each player equal???? NO, they pay the better players more!!! Is it smart for a small market team to wrap up a catcher for that much money? Well, would we be talking about this if they didn't just get swept and were still in first place? For some reason, i doubt it. So argue about the bullpen as much as you want, while the defense is making errors and the offense is struggling to do the 'little things' like getting runners over and getting them in. I know people are sick of hearing it and i know we are capable of scoring a lot of runs without playing small ball, but when you are struggling, you have to score runs any way you can.

reds44
05-14-2006, 11:11 PM
With the way Javy is handling Elizardo and Ross is handling Arroyo, I wouldn't change a thing.

Mario-Rijo
05-14-2006, 11:21 PM
How about this!

Tom Gordon: 2006 Salary: $4,500,000


G IP H R HR BB SO W L Sv P/GS WHIP BAA ERA

Season 19 17.2 9 3 1 6 26 2 1 13 0.0 0.85 .148 1.53

I think that sums up what we could have gotten for the same money we paid Mr. Larue. And yes I think he's capable of getting people out. I for one am in the camp of dealing Larue and I do believe he's one of the better all-around catchers in the game. However Valentin's a more than decent backup he's far cheaper than is Jason and Ross IMO should be starting more games to help improve the staff. Let's face it, if Krivsky & Narron felt like Larue was equal to Ross in calling a game Ross would not be a burden to the roster.

edabbs44
05-14-2006, 11:36 PM
Ok, but what has cost us more lately, the lack of offensive production, or our bullpen? see here's the thing, you can spend 4 million on a couple relievers that may or may not pan out, remember last year, Mercker and Weathers started out horrible and ended solid, and i don't think Hammond has been much of a problem lately. Burns was down in the minors until today, but i can't disagree with White being terrible, but honestly it was apparent that the FO was brought in at a time where the better relievers were picked over and all that were left were the likes of White and people like that. So unless they were going to make a trade then they weren't going to spend that money wisely. So quite honestly that point is pretty well useless. And go back to the post about how well the Cubbies are doing with their big money bullpen. If you want to argue ridiculous contracts, lets revisit the already beat to death Eric Milton signing. LaRue is not over paid, and the nonsense of the contract taking so much of the teams payroll, i mean, are they supposed to pay each player equal???? NO, they pay the better players more!!! Is it smart for a small market team to wrap up a catcher for that much money? Well, would we be talking about this if they didn't just get swept and were still in first place? For some reason, i doubt it. So argue about the bullpen as much as you want, while the defense is making errors and the offense is struggling to do the 'little things' like getting runners over and getting them in. I know people are sick of hearing it and i know we are capable of scoring a lot of runs without playing small ball, but when you are struggling, you have to score runs any way you can.

Not quite sure what you are arguing here. But I think you are saying that you liked the LaRue signing b/c there were no RP out there and that RPs are crap shoots. Can't find any validity in those claims, but I'd rather have 2 $2 million relievers who might pan out along with JV than LaRue, Hammond, Burns and White. I think that's a pretty easy call.

Ron Madden
05-14-2006, 11:53 PM
I think LaRue would've made more money in arbitration. The Reds got a deal signing Jason to a two year contract.

The sorry state of the BP has little or nothing to do with signing LaRue.

SteelSD
05-15-2006, 12:07 AM
All I am saying is that the money would be better used somewhere else. 7% of our payroll on him, to me, is not a smart choice of how to spend your funds.

Also, people must be less concerned about stealing on him b/c these are his SBAs over time:

2001: 69 (60.9% CS)
2002: 62 (45.2% CS)
2003: 64 (26.6% CS)
2004: 54 (29.6% CS)
2005: 75 (32.9% CS)

Personally I think his 2001-2002 seasons have given his rep a big boost. But that's an awfully large bump last season leading me to believe teams may have caught on.

Yeah, teams have caught on. They've caught on that Jason Larue can and will throw you out if you ain't a base stealing specialist. And even if you are a fast guy, he'll throw you out at a clip that'll suppress your Run scoring over time (anything under about 75% SB success rate hurts the opponents).

In 2005, there were 20 MLB Catchers who played at least 916 Innings. Of those 20, only 8 of them finished with less attempted swipes per Inning than did Larue. So he's obviously in the upper half in that regard despite catching a pitching staff that allowed a putrid .352 OBP. In short, the Reds allowed more baserunners than all but three MLB teams while accumulating more Innings than any of those three teams. That's a virtual TON of baserunners. Yet, those baserunners attempted to swipe a bag only once every 12.03 Innings on Larue.

Of those 8 Catchers who were run on less often, only five posted a Caught Stealing rate higher than Larue's. That's a pretty darn good place to be if you're Jason Larue because even though his team allowed everyone and their grandmother to reach base, only the swiftest attempted to steal on him and he threw out a pretty high percentage of them versus his peer group.

And I think that's one of the primary issues with folks who are convinced that Larue isn't all that good- they simply don't understand how good he actually is versus his peer group. And make no mistake- Larue is quite good. If you can't afford 7% of your payroll on that kind of player, you might as well close up shop.

Cyclone792
05-15-2006, 12:25 AM
All I am saying is that the money would be better used somewhere else. 7% of our payroll on him, to me, is not a smart choice of how to spend your funds.

Like Steel said, there's a massive failure to understand LaRue's value relative to his position:


AVG OBP SLG OPS

2005 Jason LaRue .260 .355 .452 .807
2005 MLB Avg. Catcher .253 .315 .390 .705

Jason Larue was 102 points better in OPS than the average MLB catcher in 2005. Heck, if LaRue gives us even a .750 OPS, which is near his career average of .747, he's well above average relative to his position and still pretty much worth his $3.9 million salary this season.

Cedric
05-15-2006, 12:53 AM
Like Steel said, there's a massive failure to understand LaRue's value relative to his position:


AVG OBP SLG OPS

2005 Jason LaRue .260 .355 .452 .807
2005 MLB Avg. Catcher .253 .315 .390 .705

Jason Larue was 102 points better in OPS than the average MLB catcher in 2005. Heck, if LaRue gives us even a .750 OPS, which is near his career average of .747, he's well above average relative to his position and still pretty much worth his $3.9 million salary this season.

OPS is the last thing I really care about with my catcher, much less if you are gonna hit him in the eight hole.

Larue is a solid baseball player, he's also 31 years old with plenty of wear and tear on his legs.

I like Larue, I think he could be a big help to a competing ballclub. I just don't think his career year in 05 should keep him on the team for 9 mill over two years. I would have spent the payflex elsewhere and cashed Larue in on whatever I could get at the end of last year.

Cyclone792
05-15-2006, 01:02 AM
OPS is the last thing I really care about with my catcher, much less if you are gonna hit him in the eight hole.

Larue is a solid baseball player, he's also 31 years old with plenty of wear and tear on his legs.

I like Larue, I think he could be a big help to a competing ballclub. I just don't think his career year in 05 should keep him on the team for 9 mill over two years. I would have spent the payflex elsewhere and cashed Larue in on whatever I could get at the end of last year.

OPS has plenty of value even in the eight hole from your catcher. Plenty of value.

I'm not opposed to trading LaRue, though I think his value is higher than many people perceive it as being. That said, neither Javier Valentin nor David Ross are the answers, either. Above average to good overall catchers are rare, and if LaRue is moved, he needs to bring in an arm that gives us solid value.

Remember, replacing LaRue with a combination of Valentine/Ross will cost this team runs offensively that would have to be more than made up on the pitching side of the equation, and then some.

Cedric
05-15-2006, 01:03 AM
I'm not opposed to trading LaRue, though I think his value is higher than many people perceive it as being. That said, neither Javier Valentin nor David Ross are the answers, either. Above average to good overall catchers are rare, and if LaRue is moved, he needs to bring in an arm that gives us solid value.

Remember, replacing LaRue with a combination of Valentine/Ross will cost this team runs offensively that would have to be more than made up on the pitching side of the equation, and then some.

I'm not worried about this year or next year. Like you, I think Larue would bring pretty good value back in a trade. By the time this team could be able to compete Larue will have no legs.

Well OPS does have value. I'm not gonna say that you want an incredibly low number there. I don't think Larue is ever gonna post above .800 ops again though. I question if Larue at his .750 clip is worth clinging on for two years at 4.5 million.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 06:39 AM
Like Steel said, there's a massive failure to understand LaRue's value relative to his position:


AVG OBP SLG OPS

2005 Jason LaRue .260 .355 .452 .807
2005 MLB Avg. Catcher .253 .315 .390 .705

Jason Larue was 102 points better in OPS than the average MLB catcher in 2005. Heck, if LaRue gives us even a .750 OPS, which is near his career average of .747, he's well above average relative to his position and still pretty much worth his $3.9 million salary this season.

Stop talking about how LaRue matches up with the rest of the league. That is not anyone's point. The point is that, with limited funds, we don't need him when other holes could be filled with his salary.

forfreelin04
05-15-2006, 07:33 AM
Im no stathead but am I wrong in my assumption that Larue basically stinks up the joint for most of the season but heats up for two weeks in late July and the proceeds to taper off the rest of the season? Many of these numbers probably are inflated by one steallar week where Larue wins player of the week. Personally Id rather have a worse hitting catcher like Ross who could provide me some moderate consistency at the plate. Shoot Dane Sardhinia could come up here hit a homer a week and strike out 3 times a game.

forfreelin04
05-15-2006, 08:14 AM
Arroyo has never been caught by anyone but Ross so his preference is based on nothing but superstition.



I dont think its superstition. Bronson had a bad start at St. Louis where Ross was his catcher. He could have easily tried a game with Larue since he's been back. Larue is a hardworker but I just dont think he calls a better game then the other two do or if he actually does it certainly is not worth his salary. Another thing I havent seen Larue do much of is call for the ole head heater. I mean are pitchers stink and get hit around the ballpark. Perfect example is Claussen against the Brewers and the Nats for that matter. Getting trounced all over the ballpark. Why not send a message? Get the batter thinking something more then hitting the ball as far as he can? Lastly, Larue shouldnt be complaing about playing time that contract was a DANO deal not a Krivsky one. I would be willing to bet Krivsky was going to move him for some relief pitching or better after he came back off the DL. But he's stunk it up since then so his trade value isn't very ripe.

kyle1976
05-15-2006, 10:05 AM
I agree. Despite his homer yesterday, LaRue has stunk it up. He is expensive and replaceable. I believe his stats are inflated by a hot week or two. He's definitely not consistent at the plate.

I have two questions....
1) When will he be traded? We don't need him.
2) I know he is a tough player, but since he took over catching full time for the Reds in 2001, the Reds haven't had a winning season. Coincidence?? I doubt it. The pitching has been bad, obviously, but a catcher calls the game and should be accountable for some of the blame.

westofyou
05-15-2006, 10:07 AM
I agree. Despite his homer yesterday, LaRue has stunk it up. He is expensive and replaceable. I believe his stats are inflated by a hot week or two.

1. Prove that he is replaceable

2. Prove that his stats are inflated by one week.

kyle1976
05-15-2006, 10:19 AM
The Reds would not be any worse with Ross and Valentine behind the plate. Maybe not better, but not worse. I still believe that $9.1 million would make our bullpen much better.

I don't feel like taking the time to look up his game stats over the past few years, so I can't prove that his stats are inflated. However, watching him play day in and day out I think that most of his homers happen in meaningless situations (not counting yesterday). I don't think he's a good hitter. Good hitters don't swing and miss the ball by feet. They miss by inches when they do miss. It's amazing how often he misses the ball by such a large margin.

The bottom line is. Is it nice to have LaRue on the team? Sure it is. But, I think we'd be better if that money was better spent.

SteelSD
05-15-2006, 10:26 AM
Stop talking about how LaRue matches up with the rest of the league. That is not anyone's point. The point is that, with limited funds, we don't need him when other holes could be filled with his salary.

You can't attempt to make that point without understanding how Larue matches up versus the norm...

Jason Larue 2005:

Runs Above Position: 15.3 RAP (MLB Rank- 5th)

Now, just so we're clear on what that means, 15 Runs is the difference between a 3.00 ERA reliever and a 4.69 ERA reliever over 80 Innings. And that 3.00 ERA RP is just a push versus Larue's value. Basically, even if you wanted to borrow from Peter to pay Paul (which does nothing to actually help the club), you'd need to go find a consistent 80 IP 3.00 ERA Reliever (because we've got the 4.69 ERA brand readily available) who'd sign with the Reds for two years at 9.1 million bucks or less and who wouldn't cost the Reds a draft pick.

Good luck, because consistent 3.00 ERA relievers are getting PAID.

Tom Gordon's name has been brought up in this thread. That's unfortunate. He signed a 3-year 18 Million dollar contract with a club option for 2009 at 4.5 M with a 1 M dollar buyout. That's 19M guaranteed for the kind of arm you're talking about for over 3 years...and a Type A Free Agent to boot...so let's just add on a draft pick to that.

That's what productive Relief Pitchers (and some unproductive) are getting in the market. The only other alternative is for Krivsky to attempt to replicate the A.J. Pierzynski deal and I'm fine with that as long as we understand that deal is a trade for the ages and unlikely to be matched by anyone. And we need to realize that getting just ONE solid reliever back isn't going to be anything other than a wash. Larue is a valuable commodity. You don't move him unless you can truly win a deal involving him.

westofyou
05-15-2006, 10:30 AM
I don't feel like taking the time to look up his game stats over the past few years, so I can't prove that his stats are inflated.
Well then I guess we should all just believe what you say.

Because after all you are the only one who watches the games.

SteelSD
05-15-2006, 10:37 AM
Another thing I havent seen Larue do much of is call for the ole head heater. I mean are pitchers stink and get hit around the ballpark. Perfect example is Claussen against the Brewers and the Nats for that matter. Getting trounced all over the ballpark. Why not send a message? Get the batter thinking something more then hitting the ball as far as he can?

So Jason Larue is a bad Catcher because he doesn't ask his pitchers who can't get anyone out to throw at a batter's head.

Uh huh.

Unassisted
05-15-2006, 10:40 AM
Apparently Narron hasn't explained the new system where every starter has a designated catcher and he's been named Paul Wilson's designated catcher? ;)

SteelSD
05-15-2006, 10:44 AM
I don't feel like taking the time to look up his game stats over the past few years, so I can't prove that his stats are inflated.

Then don't say it.


However, watching him play day in and day out I think that most of his homers happen in meaningless situations (not counting yesterday).

There is no such thing as a meaningless Home Run. Until the last Out is recorded, every Run that furthers or closes the gap is important.


I don't think he's a good hitter.

When faced with inarguable data that says otherwise, what you think really doesn't so much factor in to the discussion.

kyle1976
05-15-2006, 10:45 AM
I just don't understand what is so great about LaRue. He's been a full-time catcher since 2001 and the Reds haven't had a winning season since.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 10:46 AM
You can't attempt to make that point without understanding how Larue matches up versus the norm...

Jason Larue 2005:

Runs Above Position: 15.3 RAP (MLB Rank- 5th)

Now, just so we're clear on what that means, 15 Runs is the difference between a 3.00 ERA reliever and a 4.69 ERA reliever over 80 Innings. And that 3.00 ERA RP is just a push versus Larue's value. Basically, even if you wanted to borrow from Peter to pay Paul (which does nothing to actually help the club), you'd need to go find a consistent 80 IP 3.00 ERA Reliever (because we've got the 4.69 ERA brand readily available) who'd sign with the Reds for two years at 9.1 million bucks or less and who wouldn't cost the Reds a draft pick.

Good luck, because consistent 3.00 ERA relievers are getting PAID.

Tom Gordon's name has been brought up in this thread. That's unfortunate. He signed a 3-year 18 Million dollar contract with a club option for 2009 at 4.5 M with a 1 M dollar buyout. That's 19M guaranteed for the kind of arm you're talking about for over 3 years...and a Type A Free Agent to boot...so let's just add on a draft pick to that.

That's what productive Relief Pitchers (and some unproductive) are getting in the market. The only other alternative is for Krivsky to attempt to replicate the A.J. Pierzynski deal and I'm fine with that as long as we understand that deal is a trade for the ages and unlikely to be matched by anyone. And we need to realize that getting just ONE solid reliever back isn't going to be anything other than a wash. Larue is a valuable commodity. You don't move him unless you can truly win a deal involving him.

Bob Howry. Braden Looper. Take LaRue's salary, add Hammond and White's $$$ and you basically have yourself a wash. Bring up Deno for LaRue's roster spot. I know hindsight is 20/20, but I think the team would be in better shape in this instance.

SteelSD
05-15-2006, 10:47 AM
Apparently Narron hasn't explained the new system where every starter has a designated catcher and he's been named Paul Wilson's designated catcher? ;)

Krivsky is working feverishly to acquire the final two Catchers for that scenario. DFA'ing McCracken is the easy call when he finds #4, but Narron is going to have a tough call as to who to get rid of when Catcher #5 is located.

Hopefully the Reds won't have to call up SP #6 to take the back end of a Double Header anytime soon. ;)

SteelSD
05-15-2006, 10:56 AM
Bob Howry. Braden Looper. Take LaRue's salary, add Hammond and White's $$$ and you basically have yourself a wash. Bring up Deno for LaRue's roster spot. I know hindsight is 20/20, but I think the team would be in better shape in this instance.

Bob Howry and Braden Looper?

Howry- 3 years/12M
Looper- 3 years/13.5M

You needed to find two consistent 80 IP 3.00 ERA relief pitchers who could have been had for 9.1 M over the next two years. You whiffed on the monetary investment and the consistent 80 IP + 3.00 ERA qualifier in both cases.

BRM
05-15-2006, 11:08 AM
I just don't understand what is so great about LaRue. He's been a full-time catcher since 2001 and the Reds haven't had a winning season since.

I didn't realize Jason has been pitching the past five years.

Guacarock
05-15-2006, 11:14 AM
The folks arguing that Larue packs all of his offense into one or two weeks each season are wrong. But by the same token, his most combative supporters have grossly over-stated his value. The fact is, he's one streaky, up-and-down player.

The stats don't lie.

He has hit a cumulative .223 in April the past three years.

By May, he's starting to shake his lethargy and get his act together, hitting a cumulative .234 from 2003-05.

Come June and July, we see Larue at his peak -- his three-year cums are .271 in June, .281 in July.

By August, though, he's wearing out and running on empty again. He's only averaged .222 in August over the last three years.

Finally, in September, with many teams testing out raw callups on the pitcher's mound, his performance rebounds to .260.

If you look at Larue's stat splits, you'll see pretty much these same fluctuations and patterns, these same highs and lows, repeated year after year. That's the book on him.

How I read the book: For two months at the height of every season, Larue is clearly head and shoulders above his peers across the league. But for the rest of the year, while he's not atrocious, he's pretty close to average.

westofyou
05-15-2006, 11:18 AM
If you look at Larue's stat splits, you'll see pretty much these same fluctuations and patterns, these same highs and lows, repeated year after year. That's the book on him.Yep, and I would like to see the laundry list of catchers with 80 games caught under their belt in the midst of August who are hitting the crap out of the ball day in and day out.

No position effects your hitting more than catching, your hands, knees, whole body gets beat to crap and you still have to bat.

Expecting Johnny Bench on both sides of the plate is the Reds fans version of Waiting for Godot.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 11:22 AM
Bob Howry and Braden Looper?

Howry- 3 years/12M
Looper- 3 years/13.5M

You needed to find two consistent 80 IP 3.00 ERA relief pitchers who could have been had for 9.1 M over the next two years. You whiffed on the monetary investment and the consistent 80 IP + 3.00 ERA qualifier in both cases.

I'm not going to bother. Howry is making 3 mil this year. He has had his ERA under 3 in 2004, 2005 and this year. He threw 80 innings last year. All I am trying to say is that LaRue's salary is hurting the club. Esp since we have 3 catchers.

pedro
05-15-2006, 11:23 AM
Stop talking about how LaRue matches up with the rest of the league. That is not anyone's point. The point is that, with limited funds, we don't need him when other holes could be filled with his salary.

I honestly don't think there were any good picthers who wanted to come here so the point is probably moot. At least by signing Larue they now have a surplus from which to trade to help fill the pitching hole.

Guacarock
05-15-2006, 11:27 AM
Yep, and I would like to see the laundry list of catchers with 80 games caught under their belt in the midst of August who are hitting the crap out of the ball day in and day out.

No position effects your hitting more than catching, your hands, knees, whole body gets beat to crap and you still have to bat.

True, but what's the excuse for his offense getting swallowed up by the Bermuda Triangle for the first two months of the year?

Extended hibernation?

westofyou
05-15-2006, 11:32 AM
True, but what's the excuse for his offense getting swallowed up by the Bermuda Triangle for the first two months of the year?

Extended hibernation?
No idea... but I'm still pondering why May has the effect on Dunn that it does.

OnBaseMachine
05-15-2006, 11:35 AM
No idea... but I'm still pondering why May has the effect on Dunn that it does.

You and me both. Maybe Dunn is allergic to flowers? :dunno: :)

Guacarock
05-15-2006, 11:43 AM
No idea... but I'm still pondering why May has the effect on Dunn that it does.

Dunn's three-year May average of .195 is certainly fuel for debate, but otherwise his offense is present and accounted for. You don't see any dip in his homerun output, his RBI totals or runs scored for May, just the abrupt fall in his batting average.

Maybe in May, he's just taking a little catnap in Larue's hibernation den.

SteelSD
05-15-2006, 11:48 AM
I'm not going to bother. Howry is making 3 mil this year. He has had his ERA under 3 in 2004, 2005 and this year. He threw 80 innings last year. All I am trying to say is that LaRue's salary is hurting the club. Esp since we have 3 catchers.

Your charge was to find a consistent 3.00 ERA 80 Innings Pitched reliever who could have replaced the 9.1 M 2-year contract. Bob Howry's never thrown 80 IP in a season in his career much less done it consistently over time and certainly wasn't available for 2 years at 9.1 M bucks, much less to the Reds. Oh, and he was a Type A Free Agent BTW; so the cost to the Reds would have been more than just money.

Howry on signing with the Cubs:

Howry said he picked the Cubs' offer over one from the Tigers. "I looked at the guys that are on this team, the chances of winning, the makeup of the guys. Part of it is the city of Chicago, itself," said Howry, who spent his first 4 1/2 seasons with the White Sox. "I'm not only coming back to a city I'm comfortable with, but a team that looks like it has a good chance to win."

You were supposed to go out and find a certain thing. You couldn't, so you chose what you thought was a reasonable facsimile. But it wasn't and now you're getting grumpy that I'm pointing that out?

There are players whose salaries are painful to the Reds right now. But Larue's isn't one of them. You've underestimated his value and overestimated what the Reds could find within reason in the market capable of replacing that value.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 12:13 PM
Your charge was to find a consistent 3.00 ERA 80 Innings Pitched reliever who could have replaced the 9.1 M 2-year contract. Bob Howry's never thrown 80 IP in a season in his career much less done it consistently over time and certainly wasn't available for 2 years at 9.1 M bucks, much less to the Reds. Oh, and he was a Type A Free Agent BTW; so the cost to the Reds would have been more than just money.

Howry on signing with the Cubs:

Howry said he picked the Cubs' offer over one from the Tigers. "I looked at the guys that are on this team, the chances of winning, the makeup of the guys. Part of it is the city of Chicago, itself," said Howry, who spent his first 4 1/2 seasons with the White Sox. "I'm not only coming back to a city I'm comfortable with, but a team that looks like it has a good chance to win."

You were supposed to go out and find a certain thing. You couldn't, so you chose what you thought was a reasonable facsimile. But it wasn't and now you're getting grumpy that I'm pointing that out?

There are players whose salaries are painful to the Reds right now. But Larue's isn't one of them. You've underestimated his value and overestimated what the Reds could find within reason in the market capable of replacing that value.
Make sure you let me know when LaRue starts earning his $$$ this year.

pedro
05-15-2006, 12:46 PM
Make sure you let me know when LaRue starts earning his $$$ this year.


Let us know when you find a relief picther on the FA market willing to come to Cincinnati better than one that the Reds could get by trading Larue.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 12:50 PM
Let us know when you find a relief picther on the FA market willing to come to Cincinnati better than one that the Reds could get by trading Larue.

Don't have access to the personal preferences of the 2005 FA relief pitcher market. So I guess LaRue was a great signing.

pedro
05-15-2006, 12:58 PM
Don't have access to the personal preferences of the 2005 FA relief pitcher market. So I guess LaRue was a great signing.

well you should be able to list the FA relief pitchers that signed in the off season and what they signed for in order to do some sort of value proposition. But I guess it's easier to just rip Larue.

TTBOMK, there wasn't a hell of a lot of RP available that we coudl have gotten for what they paid Larue.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 01:10 PM
well you should be able to list the FA relief pitchers that signed in the off season and what they signed for in order to do some sort of value proposition. But I guess it's easier to just rip Larue.

TTBOMK, there wasn't a hell of a lot of RP available that we coudl have gotten for what they paid Larue.

Don't agree. Just b/c you can sign someone doesn't mean you have to. It gives you more payroll flexibility during the season.

LaRue = :thumbdown:

pedro
05-15-2006, 01:10 PM
Don't agree. Just b/c you can sign someone doesn't mean you have to. It gives you more payroll flexibility during the season.

LaRue = :thumbdown:


so you're saying that larue, even if you don't like him as a player, has no trade value?

pedro
05-15-2006, 01:12 PM
Plus you honestly think signing Larue is the difference between whether or not Castellini will open up the check book during the season if need be? I sure don't.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 01:23 PM
so you're saying that larue, even if you don't like him as a player, has no trade value?

I don't think he has a lot of trade value.

Cyclone792
05-15-2006, 01:45 PM
Stop talking about how LaRue matches up with the rest of the league. That is not anyone's point. The point is that, with limited funds, we don't need him when other holes could be filled with his salary.

Umm ...

If you fail to understand how LaRue matches up to the rest of the league relative to his position, then you'll fail to understand how much value is necessary in return if you trade him away. But that's already been explained in full detail to you so there's no need for me to also explain it to you.

Guacarock
05-15-2006, 01:52 PM
Your charge was to find a consistent 3.00 ERA 80 Innings Pitched reliever who could have replaced the 9.1 M 2-year contract.

How about the other free-agent relief pitcher that the Cubs signed this off-season -- Scott Eyre? The southpaw led the National League with 89 game appearances in 2005, posting a 2.63 ERA with the San Francisco Giants. So far, for the Cubs, Eyre is leading the team with a 1.89 ERA for 2006.

True, his ERA in 2004 mushroomed to 4.10, but over the 2003-05 span, it cumulatively came in at 3.29, which is awfully close to your charge.

His 2006 salary, by the way? 3.2 million, or $700K less than Larue for the year.

If we had signed Eyre this off-season, and traded Larue for primetime relief or rotational candidates, we would have come out ahead on the deal. Given Valentin's breakout last season and Larue's age, I would have moved in that direction.

DO dawdled, but I look for Krivsky to swing a trade involving either Larue or Valentin this summer.

pedro
05-15-2006, 01:59 PM
Scott Eyre got a 3 year 11 million contract and he's 33. Granted he's been pretty good the last few years but the Reds would have likely had to pay more than that and that IMO woudl have been a bad deal, or at very least very risky.

registerthis
05-15-2006, 02:06 PM
I don't think he has a lot of trade value.

Are there any catchers you believe have a high trade value?

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 02:26 PM
Are there any catchers you believe have a high trade value?

Sure: Mauer and V Martinez

The rest of the catchers who could have value are getting older, so I wouldn't consider them to have "high" value. I would consider R Hernandez to have decent value. But when you push 30, catchers tend to fall off.

Patrick Bateman
05-15-2006, 02:54 PM
Sure: Mauer and V Martinez

The rest of the catchers who could have value are getting older, so I wouldn't consider them to have "high" value. I would consider R Hernandez to have decent value. But when you push 30, catchers tend to fall off.

Now why would Hernandez have any more value than LaRue. He's a similar hitter, similar fielder, and he's paid more money annually over a longer period. LaRue has more trae value than he does.

registerthis
05-15-2006, 02:56 PM
Sure: Mauer and V Martinez

The rest of the catchers who could have value are getting older, so I wouldn't consider them to have "high" value. I would consider R Hernandez to have decent value. But when you push 30, catchers tend to fall off.

I think you have to consider the monetary value of a player's contract alongside talent when assessing trade value. In someone like Martinez, you have perhaps the preeminent player at his position--he'll command a tremendous salary, thus limiting his trade value because there are only a precious few teams that could reasonably pursue him (assuming the Tribe were trading him that is.)

LaRue may not attract the same level of talent that Martinez would, but his contract makes him much more affordable. An offensively-productive catcher who is above-average defensively and can throw out base-stealers with a good level of accuracy is a rare commodity in MLB. One who is signed at $4.5 mil a year for the next two seasons iseven harder to find.

LaRue is easily one of the league's top catchers--in all aspects of his game. His trade value may not be at the level of a Martinez, but that's like comparing every position player to Albert Pujols and complaining that they don't measure up.

registerthis
05-15-2006, 03:03 PM
Now why would Hernandez have any more value than LaRue. He's a similar hitter, similar fielder, and he's paid more money annually over a longer period. LaRue has more trae value than he does.

The Mauer comparison is also intriguing. Mauer has only one full season under his belt, but showed himself to be nothing special at the plate. And while his CS% ranked better than LaRue's (though they had the same number of PBs), he also worked with a far better pitching staff.

The one area where mauer has a clear advantage is his age, but he's also not yet proven that he's able to be consistent over any extended period of time. Mauer's a good catcher, but he hasn't set the world on fire, and I certainly wouldn't put him far ahead of LaRue.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 03:27 PM
Mauer is in his early 20s. Martinez is 27. LaRue is 32.

Please don't compare LaRue to these 2 catchers.

LaRue's career highs in avg, HRs and RBI are .260-16-60. CAREER HIGHS. Not bad, but we are treating him like Bench on this board. I just think if he played JV and Ross in a platoon we wouldn't lose much in offensive production and the money would be better spent elsewhere.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 03:29 PM
I think you have to consider the monetary value of a player's contract alongside talent when assessing trade value. In someone like Martinez, you have perhaps the preeminent player at his position--he'll command a tremendous salary, thus limiting his trade value because there are only a precious few teams that could reasonably pursue him (assuming the Tribe were trading him that is.)

LaRue may not attract the same level of talent that Martinez would, but his contract makes him much more affordable. An offensively-productive catcher who is above-average defensively and can throw out base-stealers with a good level of accuracy is a rare commodity in MLB. One who is signed at $4.5 mil a year for the next two seasons iseven harder to find.

LaRue is easily one of the league's top catchers--in all aspects of his game. His trade value may not be at the level of a Martinez, but that's like comparing every position player to Albert Pujols and complaining that they don't measure up.

Easily one of the top catchers? Top what? Half? Third?

pedro
05-15-2006, 03:32 PM
I'd say he's in the top 20%

gonelong
05-15-2006, 03:36 PM
Mauer is in his early 20s. Martinez is 27. LaRue is 32.

Please don't compare LaRue to these 2 catchers.

Somebody has to.



LaRue's career highs in avg, HRs and RBI are .260-16-60. CAREER HIGHS. Not bad, but we are treating him like Bench on this board.

No we aren't.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=977640&postcount=23

Of course Larue isn't Johnny Bench. No one is.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=978605&postcount=62

Expecting Johnny Bench on both sides of the plate is the Reds fans version of Waiting for Godot.


Originally Posted by edabbs44
I just think if he played JV and Ross in a platoon we wouldn't lose much in offensive production and the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Ok. I think the absolute opposite. Now what?

GL

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 03:40 PM
This whole going back and forth thing has gone on too long. It seems like I am of the minority and only time will tell whether LaRue is worth 7% of the Reds payroll. So I hope LaRue more than makes up for the three headed monster of Hammond, White and Burns.

And now on to my next week long argument...

pedro
05-15-2006, 03:43 PM
I'm still lost on the whole concept that it was an either/or choice. I never once remember hearing in the off season that the Reds couldn't pursue a relief pitcher because of budgetary reasons.

I think that's a red herring.

KronoRed
05-15-2006, 03:55 PM
I think that's a red herring.
A DanO/Carl/Allen like red herring, LaRue didn't keep this team from signing anyone, 3 GM's and lack of people who want to come here did.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 03:57 PM
I'm still lost on the whole concept that it was an either/or choice. I never once remember hearing in the off season that the Reds couldn't pursue a relief pitcher because of budgetary reasons.

I think that's a red herring.

Yeah, budget never plays a role in the structuring of the Reds roster. Then again, if LaRue can obtain 7% of the MLB payroll, I guess we are a little more free spending than I thought.

OK, now I am retired from this thread.

pedro
05-15-2006, 04:04 PM
Yeah, budget never plays a role in the structuring of the Reds roster. Then again, if LaRue can obtain 7% of the MLB payroll, I guess we are a little more free spending than I thought.

OK, now I am retired from this thread.


Are you sure? b/c we could talk about it some more. I'm still interested in all those pitchers that wanted to come to Cincinnati that they couldn't afford because of Jason Larue and how having Jason Larue provides no value to the Reds on the trade market in trying to get some better pitching.

But if you must bow out, I'll understand.

Big Daddy P
05-15-2006, 04:07 PM
Larue a top catcher? What are you smoking? Please email me some ASAP!

He's weak at best. But where we get someone better? A lot of weak catchers in the majors right now.

A good catcher would have to hit .275 regularly, hit 20 homers, knock in 80 RBI and throw out 35% runners. And call a good game and field his position well.

Anything above that is a GREAT catcher.

Nuff said, homeys.

pedro
05-15-2006, 04:09 PM
Larue a top catcher? What are you smoking? Please email me some ASAP!

He's weak at best. But where we get someone better? A lot of weak catchers in the majors right now.

A good catcher would have to hit .275 regularly, hit 20 homers, knock in 80 RBI and throw out 35% runners. And call a good game and field his position well.

Anything above that is a GREAT catcher.

Nuff said, homeys.

more johnny bench - itis.

good luck with that.

westofyou
05-15-2006, 04:13 PM
A good catcher would have to hit .275 regularly, hit 20 homers, knock in 80 RBI and throw out 35% runners. And call a good game and field his position well.

Anything above that is a GREAT catcher.

There has only been 30 seasons in MLB history that a catcher has hit above .290 had 25 HR's and more than 90 RBI's (a slight bump from your definition of a "good catcher)


SEASON
MODERN (1900-)
C
AVERAGE >= .290
RBI >= 90
HOMERUNS >= 25

AT BATS YEAR AB AVG RBI HR
1 Johnny Bench 1970 605 .293 148 45
2 Ivan Rodriguez 1999 600 .332 113 35
3 Yogi Berra 1950 597 .322 124 28
4 Gary Carter 1984 596 .294 106 27
5 Mike Piazza 1998 561 .328 111 32
6 Gary Carter 1982 557 .293 97 29
7 Mike Piazza 1997 556 .362 124 40
T8 Mike Piazza 1996 547 .336 105 36
T8 Mike Piazza 1993 547 .318 112 35
10 Joe Torre 1966 546 .315 101 36
11 Carlton Fisk 1977 536 .315 102 26
12 Mike Piazza 1999 534 .303 124 40
13 Johnny Bench 1969 532 .293 90 26
14 Bill Dickey 1937 530 .332 133 29
15 Yogi Berra 1956 521 .298 105 30
16 Roy Campanella 1953 519 .312 142 41
17 Walker Cooper 1947 515 .305 122 35
18 Mike Lieberthal 1999 510 .300 96 31
19 Gabby Hartnett 1930 508 .339 122 37
20 Roy Campanella 1951 505 .325 108 33
T21 Yogi Berra 1953 503 .296 108 27
T21 Mike Piazza 2001 503 .300 94 36
23 Mike Piazza 2000 482 .324 113 38
24 Rudy York 1938 463 .298 127 33
25 Paul Lo Duca 2001 460 .320 90 25
26 Javier Lopez 2003 457 .328 109 43
27 Bill Dickey 1938 454 .313 115 27
28 Roy Campanella 1955 446 .318 107 32
29 Mike Piazza 1995 434 .346 93 32
30 Charles Johnson 2000 421 .304 91 31


So in essence according to you there have only been 15 "Great" catchers in MLB (or 13 if you don't count Piazza and Rudy York.)


That's a load...

Nuff said

registerthis
05-15-2006, 04:18 PM
Larue a top catcher? What are you smoking? Please email me some ASAP!

He's weak at best. But where we get someone better? A lot of weak catchers in the majors right now.

Yep, consistently one of the top catchers in the NL, and he sucks.

To some people on this board, if a player doesn't favorably compare to the all-time greatest at his respective position, he's garbage.

Boy, are we some fickle fans.

'Nuff said.

registerthis
05-15-2006, 04:19 PM
I'm still lost on the whole concept that it was an either/or choice. I never once remember hearing in the off season that the Reds couldn't pursue a relief pitcher because of budgetary reasons.

I think it's the same mysterious Ace Pitcher some people kept claiming we could have gotten for Pena, instead of Arroyo.

edabbs44
05-15-2006, 04:38 PM
Are you sure? b/c we could talk about it some more. I'm still interested in all those pitchers that wanted to come to Cincinnati that they couldn't afford because of Jason Larue and how having Jason Larue provides no value to the Reds on the trade market in trying to get some better pitching.

But if you must bow out, I'll understand.

I never have to bow out...I obviously cannot compile a list of pitchers that wanted to come here since I do not work in the front office.

All I have tried to say is that LaRue is not worth $9.1 million over 2 years on a team which has one of the worst bullpens in baseball. Start naming the small to middle mkt teams that have a comparable salary hitting in the 8 hole. If the Reds needed hitting, I would be fine with LaRue. But when the BP is as bad as it is and they have a good lineup, I think LaRue is as expendable as they come.

Think of it this way....when healthy, the Yankees have a great all around lineup. Their pitching is suspect. If Johan and Manny came onto the market and the Yanks could sign Johan for $15 million and Manny for $10 million, who should they sign? Manny is a great bargain at $10 mil, but Johan fits the needs of the team better. My point is that if I was running the team and I had $9 mil to spend, one of the last places I would have spent it was re-signing LaRue.

Again, I have no idea who the Reds could have signed to shore up the BP. But I never heard them once last year going after any legitimate relievers. You never know until you try. And I am not saying LaRue caused that, I am saying that LaRue's money could be better spend elsewhere.

acredsfan
05-15-2006, 04:39 PM
Not quite sure what you are arguing here. But I think you are saying that you liked the LaRue signing b/c there were no RP out there and that RPs are crap shoots. Can't find any validity in those claims, but I'd rather have 2 $2 million relievers who might pan out along with JV than LaRue, Hammond, Burns and White. I think that's a pretty easy call.
So just because you are getting 2 $2million relievers makes it better than that group? Hmmm... Not quite, seeing what kind of relievers we got with the money we did have. And you are saying that the cost of the relievers make them good? What is your problem with Hammond anyway, he's pitched just fine lately. You want that $4 million spend better? then take away the signings of Valentin, White, and Burns and you've got pretty darn close to that. So maybe you shouldn't blame Larue for the signings of Burns and White, maybe you should just blame the bad decision making when signing them.

SteelSD
05-15-2006, 04:44 PM
How about the other free-agent relief pitcher that the Cubs signed this off-season -- Scott Eyre? The southpaw led the National League with 89 game appearances in 2005, posting a 2.63 ERA with the San Francisco Giants. So far, for the Cubs, Eyre is leading the team with a 1.89 ERA for 2006.

True, his ERA in 2004 mushroomed to 4.10, but over the 2003-05 span, it cumulatively came in at 3.29, which is awfully close to your charge.

His 2006 salary, by the way? 3.2 million, or $700K less than Larue for the year.

If we had signed Eyre this off-season, and traded Larue for primetime relief or rotational candidates, we would have come out ahead on the deal. Given Valentin's breakout last season and Larue's age, I would have moved in that direction.

The qualifiers were:

Consistent...

80 IP
3.00 ERA
2 year- 9.1 M contract

Eyre misses on all three.

And, BTW, I still have no issue trading Larue for real honest value. Never have. But beware counting on Valentin for anything remotely resembling his 2005 season.

pedro
05-15-2006, 04:44 PM
I never have to bow out...I obviously cannot compile a list of pitchers that wanted to come here since I do not work in the front office.

All I have tried to say is that LaRue is not worth $9.1 million over 2 years on a team which has one of the worst bullpens in baseball. Start naming the small to middle mkt teams that have a comparable salary hitting in the 8 hole. If the Reds needed hitting, I would be fine with LaRue. But when the BP is as bad as it is and they have a good lineup, I think LaRue is as expendable as they come.

Think of it this way....when healthy, the Yankees have a great all around lineup. Their pitching is suspect. If Johan and Manny came onto the market and the Yanks could sign Johan for $15 million and Manny for $10 million, who should they sign? Manny is a great bargain at $10 mil, but Johan fits the needs of the team better. My point is that if I was running the team and I had $9 mil to spend, one of the last places I would have spent it was re-signing LaRue.

Again, I have no idea who the Reds could have signed to shore up the BP. But I never heard them once last year going after any legitimate relievers. You never know until you try. And I am not saying LaRue caused that, I am saying that LaRue's money could be better spend elsewhere.


You could have a job or something, I don't know. :)

My point, which I know you don't agree with, is that there really weren't any good relievers available to the Reds in the FA market and that they signed him to a reasonable contract that will allow them to trade him for picthing if they'd like. I think that is better than not offering him arb and letting him walk for nothing or paying him 6 million for 1 year in arb.

SteelSD
05-15-2006, 04:52 PM
more johnny bench - itis.

good luck with that.

Yeah, no doubt. Here's the list I can find of Catchers over the past three seasons who've hit .275 with 20 HR, 80 RBI while throwing out 35% of attempted basestealers:

<Your query returned no data>

registerthis
05-15-2006, 04:56 PM
Yeah, no doubt. Here's the list I can find of Catchers over the past three seasons who've hit .275 with 20 HR, 80 RBI while throwing out 35% of attempted basestealers:

<Your query returned no data>

Guess there just aren't any good catchers in MLB right now. Must be a down time for the position or something.

Ron Madden
05-16-2006, 03:51 AM
Nobody ever claimed LaRue was Bench.

This thread started out with some saying LaRue was over paid. I said no he was'nt.

Some of the most learned members of this board have stated my case far better than I ever could
.
Because they pay attention to stats that count.

I'm 0ver 50 yrs old. Played and belived in everything "old school" my whole life.

I love the Reds and I love baseball.

When you love something you want to know as much as you can about it.

If you keep an open mind and are willing to let go of false information you can learn a whole lot here at RedsZone. :)