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edabbs44
01-18-2007, 12:13 PM
Cincy needs to get involved...plain and simple. What would you rather have - Stanton for the next 2 years or having the franchise sign 8 players from Venezuela and DR? Kudos to JimBo.

After Traveling, Nats Sign Four Venezuelan Teenagers

By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 18, 2007; Page E02

The Washington Nationals' aggressive mining of the international talent market continued yesterday with the signing of four Venezuelan teenagers, days after two team executives traveled to the country on a scouting trip and only a week after the team landed a quartet of players from the Dominican Republic.

Yesterday's bounty included Sandy Leon, a 17-year-old switch-hitting catcher; 16-year-old shortstop Adrian Sanchez, also a switch hitter; 17-year-old center fielder Jesus Morales; and 6-foot-4 first baseman Juan Urdaneta, who also is 17.

Both of the Nationals executives who scouted the players last weekend in Venezuela, scouting director Dana Brown and assistant general manager Mike Rizzo, pointed to Leon as the one who stood out. Leon is expected to begin his professional career in the (Fla.) Gulf Coast rookie league this season, while the others will play the season in the Venezuelan summer league; none can be expected to impact the big league team for at least several years.

"When you get a switch-hitting catcher who has a chance to be an everyday big league player . . . those kind of guys don't come along every day," Brown said of Leon. "We're thrilled about that."

Added Rizzo, "He swings equally well from both sides, with power, and he has legitimate catching skills."

After all but ignoring international amateur talent while the franchise was under Major League Baseball's stewardship from 2002 until last July, the Nationals have moved aggressively in Latin America under new owner Theodore Lerner, and also are upgrading their scouting operation in Asia.

"When I first came in, [the team] had a budget of zero" for international scouting, General Manager Jim Bowden said last week. "After discussions with [ownership] we were able to reallocate some dollars for Latin America. We walked. Now, I think we're jogging. And eventually, we'll be sprinting."



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/17/AR2007011701234.html

Danny Serafini
01-18-2007, 12:23 PM
What would you rather have - Stanton for the next 2 years or having the franchise sign 8 players from Venezuela and DR?

I'd take a known commodity over 8 huge long shots. Stanton is a legit Major League pitcher. It's unlikely any of these kids will ever make an impact. Ideally I'd take both, I'd like to have a bigger Latin American presence because some of these kids do work out every once in a while. But if I have to choose I'll take someone I know can play over someone who might if he's lucky.

edabbs44
01-18-2007, 12:32 PM
I'd take a known commodity over 8 huge long shots. Stanton is a legit Major League pitcher. It's unlikely any of these kids will ever make an impact. Ideally I'd take both, I'd like to have a bigger Latin American presence because some of these kids do work out every once in a while. But if I have to choose I'll take someone I know can play over someone who might if he's lucky.

Stanton won't make enough of a difference this and next season. I'll take the farm building.

Z-Fly
01-18-2007, 12:39 PM
Stanton won't make enough of a difference this and next season. I'll take the farm building.

Have to agree with this. All Stanton will probably do for us this year is drop our draft pick by one or two, and eat up a few million dollars or salary.:cry:

UKFlounder
01-18-2007, 12:46 PM
Stanton won't make enough of a difference this and next season. I'll take the farm building.

Is it farm building or farm manure? How long until we find out?

Besides, if the Reds came out and signed a bunch of young kids instead of any players to the current team, the response would be "What about winning now? We've had so many losing seasons, and are always building for the future" and similar types of complaints.

UKFlounder
01-18-2007, 12:47 PM
Have to agree with this. All Stanton will probably do for us this year is drop our draft pick by one or two, and eat up a few million dollars or salary.:cry:

And those 8 kids will what for "this year?"

edabbs44
01-18-2007, 12:57 PM
Is it farm building or farm manure? How long until we find out?

Besides, if the Reds came out and signed a bunch of young kids instead of any players to the current team, the response would be "What about winning now? We've had so many losing seasons, and are always building for the future" and similar types of complaints.

Not me...Stanton will not help the team to win now. Weathers won't either. Neither will Gonzo, Moeller, Lohse or the rest of the retreads.

Cincy cannot afford Zito. Cincy can't even afford Meche. How do you then get talent into the system?

The draft and international FAs.

And the old regime never built for the future. You don't pass up Kazmir or draft players like Schremek ($$) and Sowers (no shot at signing) when legitimately building for the future. Truly build for the future by spending money and you'll see results. All 8 might not pan out to be superstars, but they have a better shot than no signings.

edabbs44
01-18-2007, 12:57 PM
And those 8 kids will what for "this year?"

There is no "this year." Lock it up.

ickey333
01-18-2007, 12:59 PM
Stanton won't make enough of a difference this and next season. I'll take the farm building.

With all due respect, if the Reds' ability to scout and sign players anywhere in the world is directly tied to signing any player to a 2-year, $5 million contract then the Reds, and us fans, have bigger problems than the prospect of Mike Stanton closing games for the 2007 Reds. While I understand your larger point, if the Castellini regime is going to be any better than the previous ownerships, then the budgets for and emphasis upon scouting and development will need to be independent of team payroll.

Redsland
01-18-2007, 01:04 PM
"We walked. Now, I think we're jogging. And eventually, we'll be sprinting."
"After that, we'll probably get winded. That might make us slow down a little bit. But then we might get a second wind or something. If so, then maybe we'll speed back up for a while. Regardless, I think it's fair to say we'll be sweating a lot. It's not like this leather jogging suit breathes, you know?"

Handofdeath
01-18-2007, 01:23 PM
Cincy needs to get involved...plain and simple. What would you rather have - Stanton for the next 2 years or having the franchise sign 8 players from Venezuela and DR? Kudos to JimBo.

An 18 year old from the D.R. or Mike Stanton? Well, since they are both about the same age I'll take the proven Stanton.:D

Tom Servo
01-18-2007, 01:42 PM
Yeah, but JimBo also signed Tony Womack. :ughmamoru

redsmetz
01-18-2007, 02:07 PM
With all due respect, if the Reds' ability to scout and sign players anywhere in the world is directly tied to signing any player to a 2-year, $5 million contract then the Reds, and us fans, have bigger problems than the prospect of Mike Stanton closing games for the 2007 Reds. While I understand your larger point, if the Castellini regime is going to be any better than the previous ownerships, then the budgets for and emphasis upon scouting and development will need to be independent of team payroll.

Exactly!

And I'm not sure why this "news" about the Nationals has anything to do with the Reds. The OP would assume that the Nats are doing alot and we're doing nothing. The truth is we've got a presence down there with one team in each summer league (Dominican & Venezuelan) wheras as the Nats have two teams in the Dominican Summer League and 1/2 a team in Venezuela (they share a team with the Marlins). [Caveat: I've pulled this info from Wikipedia - the VSL site doesn't show the Nats having a team there last year and I can't find the site for the DSL]

The point is that we do have a presence there and none of the contracts we have right now are keeping the club from developing players anywhere (I think we've still got a scout in Australia - Luke Prokopec, but I could be wrong about that too!). I do wish we could hear more about the Latin American clubs and how those players are doing. Maybe I'll email the public relations folks.

edabbs44
01-18-2007, 02:50 PM
Exactly!

And I'm not sure why this "news" about the Nationals has anything to do with the Reds. The OP would assume that the Nats are doing alot and we're doing nothing. The truth is we've got a presence down there with one team in each summer league (Dominican & Venezuelan) wheras as the Nats have two teams in the Dominican Summer League and 1/2 a team in Venezuela (they share a team with the Marlins). [Caveat: I've pulled this info from Wikipedia - the VSL site doesn't show the Nats having a team there last year and I can't find the site for the DSL]

The point is that we do have a presence there and none of the contracts we have right now are keeping the club from developing players anywhere (I think we've still got a scout in Australia - Luke Prokopec, but I could be wrong about that too!). I do wish we could hear more about the Latin American clubs and how those players are doing. Maybe I'll email the public relations folks.

What a great program we have down there...let me know how many players have come through that program to get to the majors.

noskill27
01-18-2007, 03:24 PM
We've seen first hand what JimBo can do to a farm system... I feel sorry for the Nats...

redsmetz
01-18-2007, 03:46 PM
What a great program we have down there...let me know how many players have come through that program to get to the majors.

Edabbs, what I don't know (and have wondered about for quite a while) is how long have we had that resurrected presence down there. You're absolultely right that we don't seem to be seeing the fruit of that.

I just looked at our various minor league rosters (which are in obvious disarray right now) and we have various number of Latin players throughout our minor league system but I don't know hardly anything about them. Heck, we've even got a player from Brazil on Chattanooga's roster!

I think that would be an interesting story and I may suggest it to some writer or another.

Ltlabner
01-18-2007, 04:04 PM
What a great program we have down there...let me know how many players have come through that program to get to the majors.

But yet you are lauding the Bowden South American expedition when these players haven't even swung a bat in a minor league system. Let's see if any of these guys can play at the MLB level before throwing a ticker tape parade for Jimbo.

It took Jimbo over 2 years to get this done yet there is an expectation that Wayne have a school up and running and turning out MLB ready players already?

MartyFan
01-18-2007, 08:57 PM
Never EVER put ANY stock in the hype that Bowden puts out...NEVER...

Caps used for dramatic impact...not yelling!

:)

edabbs44
01-18-2007, 09:36 PM
But yet you are lauding the Bowden South American expedition when these players haven't even swung a bat in a minor league system. Let's see if any of these guys can play at the MLB level before throwing a ticker tape parade for Jimbo.

It took Jimbo over 2 years to get this done yet there is an expectation that Wayne have a school up and running and turning out MLB ready players already?

No...I see where this is headed. You don't need to have a school in Latin America to sign players from there....there is no mention of a school in that article. I have not seen WK make any statements of expanding their scouting presence. I have seen Almaraz (LatAm connection) and Barton leave, casting doubts about WK's relationship with talent evaluators. Almaraz quit nearly a month ago and WK said something about taking his time in finding someone to fill his role. Crickets since.

I have, however, seen WK dropping millions on aging players when this team has absolutely no shot this season. I have seen prices sky-rocket this offseason with the Reds staying out of the fray and picking up the scraps of the contenders.

If this team doesn't start focusing on starting pitching, they will have no shot for a very long time. Arroyo worked out beyond anyone's imagination. Harang is a stud in the making. Bailey has a good chance.

Now what? Doesn't WK see what is taking place in baseball? He couldn't afford Meche or Lilly. We all cannot wait for Milton's $ to come off the books...he makes less that both of those guys. If Cincy cannot afford $10-11 mil for Meche, then what? More Minny retreads with Milton's money?

I wasn't calling WK out on this thread, more like saying this is the direction that they need to head in. The 2006 draft, IMO, was disappointing b/c starting pitching was neglected in the 1st 2 rounds. Look at it this way:

Meche = $10 million per
Stanton = $2.5 million per

If WK can afford people who he thinks can help in the bullpen and not in the starting rotation, he should then try and build up the rotation through the draft and international signings. He can then build up the BP in an affordable manner.

For the record, I cannot wait for the '07 draft. More early picks than they have had in a long time. If starting pitching isn't a huge focus, then I will officially give up on this regime. I realize that pitching is very risky in the draft, but if we cannot afford Gil Meche and don't want to take pitchers early in the draft, then this organization has no chance.

PS: I know this post was one big rambling mess, but I just had a lot to say. Sorry.

noskill27
01-18-2007, 10:08 PM
It wasn't long ago that Joey Hamilton was our Opening Day starter. We may not have one of the best rotations in the league, but it's the best Cincinnati's seen in a decade...

edabbs44
01-18-2007, 10:16 PM
It wasn't long ago that Joey Hamilton was our Opening Day starter. We may not have one of the best rotations in the league, but it's the best Cincinnati's seen in a decade...

That's like someone with $1 finding another dollar in the street and telling everyone he's rich because he just doubled his money.

The goal that all teams should have is winning the WS. It is Krivsky's job to find a way to get them there. It is mighty tough to win anything when your 3-5 starters are highly suspect (or non-existant, in the case of #5) and your lineup is extremely questionable. On a positive note, the bullpen is much stronger than it was last winter. It only cost Germano, Kearns, Lopez, and about $12 million. :D

But everyone is telling me to give WK time. We heard it last summer when he freaked and became maybe the first GM in a pennant race to have a fire sale. So I'm still waiting...

noskill27
01-19-2007, 02:11 PM
That's like someone with $1 finding another dollar in the street and telling everyone he's rich because he just doubled his money.

The goal that all teams should have is winning the WS. It is Krivsky's job to find a way to get them there. It is mighty tough to win anything when your 3-5 starters are highly suspect (or non-existant, in the case of #5) and your lineup is extremely questionable. On a positive note, the bullpen is much stronger than it was last winter. It only cost Germano, Kearns, Lopez, and about $12 million. :D

But everyone is telling me to give WK time. We heard it last summer when he freaked and became maybe the first GM in a pennant race to have a fire sale. So I'm still waiting...

No, it's pointing out that WK has made progress. I think we're a better team today then we were when Krivsky was hired. This isn't the NFL where you can go worst to first in one year.

edabbs44
01-19-2007, 10:31 PM
No, it's pointing out that WK has made progress. I think we're a better team today then we were when Krivsky was hired. This isn't the NFL where you can go worst to first in one year.

I'm projecting where this team is headed. I'm not liking it one bit.

There isn't much of a corrolation between WK and the perceived success of the current starting rotation. Lohse, Arroyo and the black hole at #5 are due to WK and Harang and Milton were here when he got here. Arroyo was phenomenal last season, but he could be headed for a dose of reality this year. Lohse is a travesty and there aren't many teams who can be considered a contender when you enter the new year with Santos as the likely #5.

So my biggest issue is that WK is forming the roster for the now, when the now isn't really happening. So instead of signing over the hill pitchers, take a step back and look at where this franchise is. Some exciting young talent and not much else.

If he was smart, he'd be shopping his more expensive players for younger talent. Knock the payroll down to about $50 million and put some savings into locking up Harang. Draft the best player on the board in each round this season (should have done this in 2006) and spend like a big market for once in the draft. Then you'd be looking at a potential contender in a few years. And if anyone whines about "Oh jeez, we'd be rebuilding AGAIN?" then let's see what those people think when this team is struggling come the deadline.

Here's the model he should be following:


Mark Shapiro took over as Indians general manager in November 2001 and promptly dismantled a team that had won six American League Central titles in seven seasons. The big league club was aging and overpaid, while the farm system was thin.

Cleveland fans weren’t happy, but Shapiro assured them that the Indians would rebuild the right way—by developing their own talent—and set a timetable of 2005 for the club to contend again.

Let’s just say his ETA was right on schedule.

The Indians finished 2005 with 93 wins, the sixth-most in the majors and more than every other National League club except the Cardinals. Cleveland has improved from 68 to 80 to 93 victories over the last three seasons, thanks to homegrown prospects and key trades.

Shapiro’s signature deal remains shipping Bartolo Colon to the Expos in June 2002 for Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens. Sizemore and Lee are now part of a young nucleus that also includes Coco Crisp (part of a Chuck Finley trade with the Cardinals in July 2002), Travis Hafner (stolen from the Rangers in a deal for Einar Diaz in December 2002), Victor Martinez (signed out of Venezuela in 1996), Jhonny Peralta (signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1999) and C.C. Sabathia (drafted in the first round in 1998). None of that group is older than 28.



When you don't have crazy amounts of money, this is the ONLY way. If Arroyo implodes this season, that trade is less shiny. When you use your first 2 picks in the '06 draft on a CF who might never hit and a relief pitcher, that probably won't cut it. When you possibly ran your head LatAm scout out of town and don't replace him for a month and counting, it doesn't seem to me like that is a focus.