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M2
04-20-2007, 10:47 AM
Wayne Krivsky fascinates me. He's seemingly in possession of one of baseball's toughest to find skills, the ability to identify which struggling talents will put it together. Already he's turned up Bronson Arroyo, Brandon Phillips and Josh Hobbsilton. He gets a lot credit for picking up Johan Santana and making the Nathan/Liriano/Bonser deal during his Twins days.

It's an incredibly valuable skill to have in an organization like the Reds, which is thin on talent. Krivksy's demonstrating an ability to turn up key players out of the ether. If you can land a guy or two like that each season, turn it into a pipeline, it can have a dramatic impact on your long-term outlook. It's a major differentiator.

Krivsky also seems to have addressed the organization's instructional weakness. In his first season we saw Reds prospects take a uniform step forward for the first time in ages. There's a lot of Reds prospects off to hot starts in 2007 too (though three key prospects -- Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood -- have yet to get going).

Those are great long-term skills to have for a GM, giving him a steady stream of young talent with which to work.

Where Krivsky's been weak so far is rounding out his team. While he has an eye for breakout talents, he seems to lack a sense for support players. It's turned up in his bullpen and on his bench. It caused him to take a swinging miss on The Trade last year. Gary Majewski, even if he had been healthy, wasn't the sort of reliever he needed and Royce Clayton wasn't going to solidify his infield. Oddly Brendan Harris might have been a fine backup IF, but Krivsky let Harris get away. Perhaps Bill Bray will turn out to be one of the breakout talents and save some face on the deal, but it fits into a developing pattern. Krivsky hasn't shown much touch with blue collar players. It's going to lead to bullpen meltdown, a lack of bench options, relatively easy outs in the lower lineup and probably some trouble at the back of the rotation.

Given Krivsky's talents, if he sticks around he'll probably mine/develop his way out of that bind, but it will take time. The other upside is that what he does well is in the "you've either got it or you don't" category. A GM can learn to shop for a better supporting cast. Krivsky also seems like a guy willing to take a critical look in the mirror. Whether he can spot his flaws when he does so remains to be seen.

It makes for a frustrating mix because Krivsky skills can put a team on the verge of a breakthrough, but his weaknesses, on top of being avoidable, can undermine his team, leave it with an overly soft underbelly.

Help from AAA and AA is probably what the Reds will be reliant upon this season, to provide the depth a team needs to win games.

westofyou
04-20-2007, 10:52 AM
Given Krivsky's talents, if he sticks around he'll probably mine/develop his way out of that bind, but it will take time.

Especially since in honing his skills as a first time GM he's going to try things that he has rolled around in his mind for the past 2 decades, some might be founded, some not. But the main fact is it's his "philosophy" and he's sold it to the man with the checkbook. Since he's in the business of baseball and not instant gratification many of these moves will be played out over a longer period of time then many care to wait.

Marc D
04-20-2007, 10:55 AM
So lets bring Dan O back to run the amatuer draft, Krivsky to run the Rule V draft while doing the contracts and a bonafide MLB GM to put the actual team together/make trades/hire a real manager.

It all gets back to what you have brought up before M2...too much reliance on pixie dust for my taste. I fear what happens in '07 when he mashes the panic button and makes another trade for pitching "help".

jojo
04-20-2007, 10:56 AM
Krivsky also seems to have addressed the organization's instructional weakness. In his first season we saw Reds prospects take a uniform step forward for the first time in ages. There's a lot of Reds prospects off to hot starts in 2007 too (though three key prospects -- Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood -- have yet to get going).

This makes me the giddiest....it's alot easier to round out a roster when you can use a surplus (gasp!) of young, good and cheap as trade bait.

membengal
04-20-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm not reading M2's post as being particularly critical of WK, but rather a nice summation of his strengths and weaknesses thusfar. I am guessing, and what makes me hopeful, is that WK will learn from his mistakes and won't repeat them ad nauseum. And, I agree, M2, his locating of very real talent in fairly obscure places is a HUGE plus in his favor.

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 11:11 AM
I have been one of he biggest WK "bashers" on this board over the past year and he really hasn't done much to dissuade me from feeling any different.

WK gets plenty of pub on his acquisitions of Phillips, Ross ( for a year, at least) Arroyo and now Hamilton. Take Arroyo out of the mix for now, as that was a wise move. The others can all be lumped in with Yan, Mays, Kim and the rest of the no risk acquisitions. In my opinion, he is given too much credit for these moves, since there is no risk. Obviously other teams could have taken the chances that WK has, but when the worst outcome of acquisitions like these is "Well, we didn't give much up anyway", then there isn't much of a reason not to make the move. For every Hamilton, there's 3 Yans. For every Arroyo, there's a few Mayses. WK has scraped the bottom of the barrel many times in the past year. Odds are that a few will work out.

Now...the bigger moves. Arroyo has worked out brilliantly. Great move. But in all other moves where he actually had to put himself on the line a little, IMO, he hasn't really won me over. Off the top of my head, here are some:

The Trade (Lopez and Kearns)
Lohse (millions and Ward)
Cormier (Germano and millions)
Weathers and Stanton (millions * 2)
Conine (millions again and Moran)
Gonzalez (millions)

These are acquisitions that cost more than the nominal PTBNL or minor league contract. And these are where he hasn't really found much success.

Again, my main issue with Krivsky is this: He has spent a pretty fair amt of money on keeping this team mediocre. He should have been taking that money and pouring it into the draft and international guys. The guys he acquired are filler...they are not enough to get this team to the next level. I think he doesn't know if he should go for the gusto or tear it down and start from scratch. So what does he do? He sits on the fence, acquiring enough medicore players to be not embarassing.

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 11:12 AM
So lets bring Dan O back to run the amatuer draft, Krivsky to run the Rule V draft while doing the contracts and a bonafide MLB GM to put the actual team together/make trades/hire a real manager.

It all gets back to what you have brought up before M2...too much reliance on pixie dust for my taste. I fear what happens in '07 when he mashes the panic button and makes another trade for pitching "help".

Wayne can only run the contract aspect for players under 35. I don't want him handing out Cormier like extensions anymore. ;)

Cyclone792
04-20-2007, 11:17 AM
Krivsky also seems to have addressed the organization's instructional weakness. In his first season we saw Reds prospects take a uniform step forward for the first time in ages. There's a lot of Reds prospects off to hot starts in 2007 too (though three key prospects -- Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood -- have yet to get going).

Those are great long-term skills to have for a GM, giving him a steady stream of young talent with which to work.

Great stuff, M2, and you've summed up my take very well too.

The young talent we've acquired and have started to develop in the farm recently is where I'm most satisfied with Krivsky so far, and hopefully what we're seeing is just the beginning. We've finally now got some very nice organizational youth. Now we need to continue developing the youth we've got while also continuing to pour new youth into the pipeline. Having the ability to acquire and develop a wealth of young talent is such an important asset to a ballclub, and many times it's one of the primary differences between good organizations and bad organizations.

The Reds have had a laughingstock for a farm system for so long that I'm not sure that many Reds fans understand the value of possessing a deep, talented system that has the ability to continually churn out young talent for the major league club.

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 11:20 AM
Great stuff, M2, and you've summed up my take very well too.

The young talent we've acquired and have started to develop in the farm recently is where I'm most satisfied with Krivsky so far, and hopefully what we're seeing is just the beginning. We've finally now got some very nice organizational youth. Now we need to continue developing the youth we've got while also continuing to pour new youth into the pipeline. Having the ability to acquire and develop a wealth of young talent is such an important asset to a ballclub, and many times it's one of the primary differences between good organizations and bad organizations.

The Reds have had a laughingstock for a farm system for so long that I'm not sure that many Reds fans understand the value of possessing a deep, talented system that has the ability to continually churn out young talent for the major league club.

What young talent has Krivsky acquired that makes you happy? Phillips and Hamilton were long-shots. Good moves, but chances like these don't happen every day. I'd rather have someone who proves through the draft and international mkts. Too soon to tell on that.

Cooper
04-20-2007, 11:24 AM
The best skill he has will be less obvious the better the team gets....does that make sense? He's really good at finding players off the scrap heap, but if your team gets better there will be less options in which to plug the finds into. Which is a good problem to have, but also makes it doubly important for him to learn how to round out a team. Would it be the Law of Diminishiing Returns?

Cyclone792
04-20-2007, 11:29 AM
What young talent has Krivsky acquired that makes you happy? Phillips and Hamilton were long-shots. Good moves, but chances like these don't happen every day. I'd rather have someone who proves through the draft and international mkts. Too soon to tell on that.

Development. Development. Development.

Drafting a player is just the first step, but development is the other key. Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood, etc ... are among a number of players who took a giant leap forward in 2006. Was it coincidence or something the organization did? I'm not 100 percent certain, but it's a very interesting sign, and a good one at that. None of those players were even a Krivsky drafted player, but they need to handled instructionally in the best manner possible, and I think the Reds are now handling this aspect far better than they have before in recent memory.

Even if Krivsky isn't the most adept GM at drafting players, if he's highly successful in developing who we do get, then the organization will still churn out reams of young talent. I think the great starts by our minor league teams this season indicate that there's some definitive improvement down in the minor league sytem. Maintain that type of instructional development, and it's just a matter of time before the benefits reach the big club.

RFS62
04-20-2007, 11:31 AM
Killer post, M2.

Nice followups too.

M2
04-20-2007, 11:46 AM
The best skill he has will be less obvious the better the team gets....does that make sense? He's really good at finding players off the scrap heap, but if your team gets better there will be less options in which to plug the finds into. Which is a good problem to have, but also makes it doubly important for him to learn how to round out a team. Would it be the Law of Diminishiing Returns?

Interesting question. My take is that for a smaller market club, that skill will always be important. Neither the A's nor the Twins ever rest on their laurels. You've got to master the art of churn when you can't lock up every good player who graces your doorstep.

For instance, Dunn probably isn't going to be around past 2008. Phillips and Encarnacion might be on the block around 2010. And you can never have too much pitching. Bullpens in particular need constant reassembly.

RFS62
04-20-2007, 11:48 AM
Especially since in honing his skills as a first time GM he's going to try things that he has rolled around in his mind for the past 2 decades, some might be founded, some not. But the main fact is it's his "philosophy" and he's sold it to the man with the checkbook. Since he's in the business of baseball and not instant gratification many of these moves will be played out over a longer period of time then many care to wait.



Great point. People forget that he's also learning on the job, trying out things to find his style.

I don't want to rehash "the trade", but I don't think it can be discussed without the context of Krivsky trying to keep the team in the pennant race and keep his Boss' promise to the fans.

RedsManRick
04-20-2007, 11:57 AM
Good post M2. Interesting to dissect the strengths/weakness of GM skills the way we all do with players. It seems his "rounding out" skills are simply reflecting a lack of focus in that area. Rather than getting guys with complimentary skill sets given their likely roles, he fills the bench/pen with simply the next tier of talent, even if it's completely redundant. I'm hoping he'll become more savvy over time, but I'm glad he seems to be getting the big things right by and large.

Also, to Cyclone's point -- look at the teams who are consistently good but aren't buying their way. It's not just drafting, but it's developing AJ Pierzynski and turning him in to 3 more pieces. It's developing LaRoche and turning him in to Mike Gonzalez. It's developing Chuck Knoblauch and turning him in to Milton and Guzman (who were good on the Twins). Wayne tried to follow the same path, he simply whiffed on the trade -- so far... Let's wait for Thompson to develop (or not develop).

Remember, Billy Beane whiffed on the Hudson deal. Schuerholz traded Jermaine Dye for Michael Tucker. Even the best GMs lose trades. It seems like Krivsky at least understands the concepts.

Cedric
04-20-2007, 12:04 PM
Again, my main issue with Krivsky is this: He has spent a pretty fair amt of money on keeping this team mediocre. He should have been taking that money and pouring it into the draft and international guys. The guys he acquired are filler...they are not enough to get this team to the next level. I think he doesn't know if he should go for the gusto or tear it down and start from scratch. So what does he do? He sits on the fence, acquiring enough medicore players to be not embarassing.

Arroyo, Phillips, and Hamilton are "filler"? I'm not even going to try and analyze that one.
Give me results. Quite frankly I don't care how Krivsky goes about getting talent, just get it. This team was absolutely devoid of middle infield talent and it looks like Wayne picked up a long term option at the plate and in the field. The next big hole this team had was a big gaping one in CF, that's probably fixed.

Anytime you give a 25 man roster spot out you are taking a big risk.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 12:05 PM
Remember, Billy Beane whiffed on the Hudson deal. Schuerholz traded Jermaine Dye for Michael Tucker. Even the best GMs lose trades. It seems like Krivsky at least understands the concepts.

You mean he shouldn't be dammed for eternty for the trade? shocking.

Great thread and very even handed anyalsis. Im a supporter, as most of you know, so I'll focus only on the areas where I think he's got some learning to do.

He does seem willing to settle for less tallent if it's augmented by "vet presence" or experience on a winning team. I'm a big believer in being surrounded by winners and having experience but he goes a little overboard IMO. Weathers, Stanton or Cormier all by themselves I'd be fine with. All three? Not so much. Hatteburg and Conine. One or the other would be fine, but both?

He also seems (and it's very early in the game despite those who have already written him off) he's very comfortable with (1) young tallented players other folks have given up on - ie Philips. (2) old, used to be tallented players other folks have given up on - ie Yan (3) The crafty vet playing out his waining days - ie Conine. But I almost wonder if he's warry of a big name star player or two and building a team around them (lest we have another Milton).

Lastly, I wonder if in the interest of giving his manager flexability to run the team if he goes too far. Specifically putting up with the 3 catcher deal. Not stepping in to say enough of the goofy line ups. That's just wild speculation on my part.

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 12:11 PM
Arroyo, Phillips, and Hamilton are "filler"? I'm not even going to try and analyze that one.
Give me results. Quite frankly I don't care how Krivsky goes about getting talent, just get it. This team was absolutely devoid of middle infield talent and it looks like Wayne picked up a long term option at the plate and in the field. The next big hole this team had was a big gaping one in CF, that's probably fixed.

Anytime you give a 25 man roster spot out you are taking a big risk.

When I said filler, I was referring to the 2nd list of guys I mentioned. Conine, Weathers, Gonzalez, etc. The ones who actually cost either players or money.

Phillips was a good acquisition, but still has some proving to do. Remember how Ross used to be one of Krivsky's darlings?

Hamilton looks amazing, but he still has a while to go on proving himself. Everyone has fallen in love with him and so far, so good. But again...he has a ways to go.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 12:15 PM
I think he doesn't know if he should go for the gusto or tear it down and start from scratch. So what does he do? He sits on the fence, acquiring enough medicore players to be not embarassing.

I don't think that it's that he doesn't know. I think that it's because this year would have been a horrable time to "go for the gusto".

2008 will be better to go for it. No more Milton contract. No more Jr IIRC. Gives a full year to see if Dunn's 2006 was an aberation or trend. Gives EE, Philips and Ross a full year to see if 2006 was luck or a trend. Loshe is only signed to one year so he 20 or 30 starts to sink or swim. That's when I'd go for it because you'd have a lot more questions answered.

Burn it down. That's another way of saying "5 year plan". "5 year plan" is another way of saying "we are dedicated to sucking for another 5 years".

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 12:16 PM
Development. Development. Development.

Drafting a player is just the first step, but development is the other key. Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood, etc ... are among a number of players who took a giant leap forward in 2006. Was it coincidence or something the organization did? I'm not 100 percent certain, but it's a very interesting sign, and a good one at that. None of those players were even a Krivsky drafted player, but they need to handled instructionally in the best manner possible, and I think the Reds are now handling this aspect far better than they have before in recent memory.

Even if Krivsky isn't the most adept GM at drafting players, if he's highly successful in developing who we do get, then the organization will still churn out reams of young talent. I think the great starts by our minor league teams this season indicate that there's some definitive improvement down in the minor league sytem. Maintain that type of instructional development, and it's just a matter of time before the benefits reach the big club.

I agree from where you are coming from, but you are naming the best prospects in the system. I can't give WK a lot of credit for the development of Bailey. He was a top 10 draft pick. Same goes for the other guys.

For WK to get credit for what you mention, he needs to have a proven track record. As you state, this could be just a coincidence.

Just a question...but if Votto were to continue to struggle for a longer period of time (.679 OPS currently), would you place blame on Wayne or more on prospects being a risky business? If he gets credit for development, then he should also take some blame as well.

Redsland
04-20-2007, 12:24 PM
2008 will be better to go for it. No more Milton contract. No more Jr IIRC.
FYI, Griffey's contract runs through '08 with an option (wink wink) for '09.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 12:28 PM
FYI, Griffey's contract runs through '08 with an option (wink wink) for '09.

So it should have been IIRI. If I Recall Incorrectly? Hahaha Thanks for the info.

TheBigLebowski
04-20-2007, 12:30 PM
It all gets back to what you have brought up before M2...too much reliance on pixie dust for my taste. I fear what happens in '07 when he mashes the panic button and makes another trade for pitching "help".

This is what I fear. I really think this team's going to hang around, much like it did last year. I shiver at the idea of Wayne pulling another (you know what, rhymes with well-known pop band "The Fray") at the deadline this year.

Marc D
04-20-2007, 12:33 PM
I don't think that it's that he doesn't know. I think that it's because this year would have been a horrable time to "go for the gusto".

2008 will be better to go for it. No more Milton contract. No more Jr IIRC. Gives a full year to see if Dunn's 2006 was an aberation or trend. Gives EE, Philips and Ross a full year to see if 2006 was luck or a trend. Loshe is only signed to one year so he 20 or 30 starts to sink or swim. That's when I'd go for it because you'd have a lot more questions answered.

Burn it down. That's another way of saying "5 year plan". "5 year plan" is another way of saying "we are dedicated to sucking for another 5 years".


The time to "burn it down" was last year at the AS break but they decided to "go for it" instead. I said then and still believe now, that half measures will never get us to where we want to be. My distaste of WK started when he essentially showed the same plan as Dan O had...hover around .500 with filler and rebuild through the draft. That is just another version of 5 more years of suck to me.

Do something different and sell last year at the AS break instead of becoming another buyer in a sellers market and you could potentially have completely restocked the minors while still having the core of EE, Dunn and the 3 top prospects. I still say this organization is going nowhere untill we completely restock the ML system and it routinely produces enough talent to fill the MLB club and make trades to round out the MLB club.

I for one would prefer my hope in the form of a bumper crop of young talent than sitting here hoping for career years from a bunch of 30 somethings or repeat career years from reclimation projects.

I know prospects fail to pan out and that path to winning is fraught with setbacks but it's the most fundamentally sound way to build a consistent winner imo.

Cyclone792
04-20-2007, 12:33 PM
I agree from where you are coming from, but you are naming the best prospects in the system. I can't give WK a lot of credit for the development of Bailey. He was a top 10 draft pick. Same goes for the other guys.

For WK to get credit for what you mention, he needs to have a proven track record. As you state, this could be just a coincidence.

Just a question...but if Votto were to continue to struggle for a longer period of time (.679 OPS currently), would you place blame on Wayne or more on prospects being a risky business? If he gets credit for development, then he should also take some blame as well.

When Krivsky was hired, one of the first benefits I felt the Reds would gain from the hire was an improvement in the development of young talent, specifically young pitching talent. The Twins as an organization have a pretty good idea what they're doing when it comes to developing talent, and Krivsky seems to be carrying some of that ability over to the Reds.

Now one of my beefs with the Twins' philosophy was I felt they blocked some of their young talent a bit once it reached the bigs, but they corrected that situation in May/June last season, and we all saw where the Twins went from there. Hopefully this doesn't become an issue, or as big of an issue, as it was in Minnesota for a bit.

Also, Krivsky deserves some credit for Bailey, IMO, because last season was really when Bailey took off. O'Brien had Bailey stuck in that absurd tandem rotation, Bailey's since stated he didn't like that randem rotation, and Bailey actually struggled in 2005 under the guidance of O'Brien in that tandem rotation. O'Brien's fired, Krivsky is hired, the tandem rotation is scrapped and replaced by a different system, the Reds bring in Soto, among others, to work with Bailey, and then Bailey breaks out into what he was last season. Not surprisingly, the 2006 version of Homer Bailey was far different than the 2005 version of Homer Bailey. Who knows what would have happened if O'Brien were still around, but somewhere along the line the Reds front office deserves some credit for the considerable gains seen from Bailey himself last season.

As far as Votto, I'm not worried about him at all. The minor leagues is chock full of adjustments and learning curves, and that's all a major aspect of moving up levels. Votto had a .739 OPS in April last season in Chattanooga, and then he destroyed the league from May through the rest of the season. Plus, he did look very solid in spring training with the Reds in camp. Give him another month, and he'll be fine.

Cooper
04-20-2007, 12:34 PM
I hate to even bring it up, but it bears saying: all GM's win and lose trades -it's the nature of the business. What made the "trade" so bad was how it looked at the time of the trade. It was a loss at the get go. And it's not got any better over time.

M2
04-20-2007, 12:37 PM
I agree from where you are coming from, but you are naming the best prospects in the system. I can't give WK a lot of credit for the development of Bailey. He was a top 10 draft pick. Same goes for the other guys.

Remember what happened to Wagner, Gruler and Espinosa?

Keeping prospects healthy and on track is a major undertaking. Bailey didn't have a good 2005 and he could have seen his stock tumble with a repeat performance in 2006. Votto pretty much lost his prospect status in 2005. We'd seen four straight draft classes hit a wall when they got to Dayton until this year.

My take is that if you can get a draft pick to enjoy some sustained success in the upper minors then you've made a good pick. Even if that player ultimately doesn't pan out, he at least had some significant market value on which you could have capitalized.

For most of this century, the Reds have seen their top prospects heading into each season fail. Being able to take your prospects and advance them a few levels makes a major difference. For instance, the Braves and Dodgers don't have particularly good systems if you look at what they've turned out how many major leaguers they turn out (http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/prospects/features/263613.html), but they've been good at delivering prospects to the upper minors, so they're perceived as being strong developmental organizations. It gives their GMs a steady supply of trade fodder if not players. The Reds have been short on both of late.

Prospect advancement has been a major weakness for this franchise until Krivsky showed up.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 12:39 PM
The time to "burn it down" was last year at the AS break but they decided to "go for it" instead.

Huh? Burn it down at the exact time the Reds were in contention to actually win the division for the first time in years? Burn it down when the Reds actually had a shot at winning something? Yea, great signal to the fans that would have been.

And before someone says, "we only were in the hunt because everyone else sucked", keep this in mind. Do you think the fans in St. Louis are saying, "our WS title doesn't really count because our division sucked so bad last year". Heck no! They are happy they won. The casual fan doesn't care about the reasons why we are winning, they just care that we are winning.

M2
04-20-2007, 12:40 PM
I hate to even bring it up, but it bears saying: all GM's win and lose trades -it's the nature of the business. What made the "trade" so bad was how it looked at the time of the trade. It was a loss at the get go. And it's not got any better over time.

Yep. It was a born loser. Definitely a mistake from which Krivsky needs to learn.

princeton
04-20-2007, 12:42 PM
as I've said often, "I love him for the GM that he almost is"

he's in on the correct players, he tries to upgrade the correct areas, he generally keeps the correct people, he's aggressive, and he wants to be in the playoffs yesterday.

overall, he makes more hugely successful deals than he makes hugely unsuccessful deals.

that said, he sure does make some whopper errors, including the continental drift speed with which he has dealt with the 500-lb Junior in the room.

Marc D
04-20-2007, 12:44 PM
Huh? Burn it down at the exact time the Reds were in contention to actually win the division for the first time in years? Burn it down when the Reds actually had a shot at winning something? Yea, great signal to the fans that would have been.


The Reds have been in a position to win the division several times the past few years, mathmatically speaking. It always turns out the same.

Why not just face it for once instead of acting like this year is different for some reason, bite the bullet and make changes that might do some good for the long term?

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 12:45 PM
Huh? Burn it down at the exact time the Reds were in contention to actually win the division for the first time in years? Burn it down when the Reds actually had a shot at winning something? Yea, great signal to the fans that would have been.

And before someone says, "we only were in the hunt because everyone else sucked", keep this in mind. Do you think the fans in St. Louis are saying, "our WS title doesn't really count because our division sucked so bad last year". Heck no! They are happy they won. The casual fan doesn't care about the reasons why we are winning, they just care that we are winning.

They didn't do anything, and that was a HUGE disappointment. Bob buys the team and says that they'll spend money if they are in contention. That equated to Lohse and Cormier's salaries, while shedding Lopez and Kearns' money 2 weeks earlier. Again...WK sits on the fence.

M2
04-20-2007, 12:47 PM
as I've said often, "I love him for the GM that he almost is"

he's in on the correct players, he tries to upgrade the correct areas, he generally keeps the correct people, he's aggressive, and he wants to be in the playoffs yesterday.

overall, he makes more hugely successful deals than he makes hugely unsuccessful deals.

that said, he sure does make some whopper errors, including the continental drift speed with which he has dealt with the 500-lb Junior in the room.

Very good points. particularly on Jr.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 12:48 PM
The Reds have been in a position to win the division several times the past few years, mathmatically speaking. It always turns out the same.

Why not just face it for once instead of acting like this year is different for some reason, bite the bullet and make changes that might do some good for the long term?

Because "burning it down" works on internet forums, sports call in shows and over beer at the local bar. In practicallity....not so much.

Marc D
04-20-2007, 12:51 PM
Because "burning it down" works on internet forums, sports call in shows and over beer at the local bar. In practicallity....not so much.


And "going for it" has produced what exactly?

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 12:52 PM
Because "burning it down" works on internet forums, sports call in shows and over beer at the local bar. In practicallity....not so much.

And doing what Cincy's been doing hasn't worked out too well either.

I know the response will be, "Give Wayne some time...he's only had a year." Pretty soon that year will be 2 years and then 3 years and then we'll be having this same conversation with the new GM.

Instead of people just saying "In Wayne We Trust", are people really happy with the direction this team is headed in and what WK has done to "improve" the roster?

Personally, I just see this team drifting aimlessly for the next few years.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-20-2007, 12:55 PM
Instead of people just saying "In Wayne We Trust", are people really happy with the direction this team is headed in and what WK has done to "improve" the roster?

Not I.

Cedric
04-20-2007, 12:55 PM
Instead of people just saying "In Wayne We Trust", are people really happy with the direction this team is headed in and what WK has done to "improve" the roster?
I've yet to see one person utter that phrase. Are you implying that anyone that disagrees with you is saying that? Most people on this very own thread have listed positives and negative with Wayne. I don't get your posts, at all.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 01:01 PM
And "going for it" has produced what exactly?

An 8 game improvement in wins from 2005 to 2006.

The addition of Hamilton to a nice core of youngsters that may or may not become valuable pieces over the next few years (Ross, Phillips, EE, Deno, Coffey).

The improvement of the bullpen from desperatley horrable to almost adequate (but still sub-par). While there's LOTS of work to go, improvement is improvement.

Locking up BA and AH to resonable LTCs. Managing payroll so there is money to excersize the Dunn option if they desire.

Oh yea, the farm system has been overhauled and actual progression of prospects has taken place.

Improvement in Reds marketing efforts and a general buzz starting to develop around town that maybe the reds might be worth $15 to see. It's a very small buzz indeed, but from the folks I've talked to, it's there.

MWM
04-20-2007, 01:01 PM
Time will tell whether the bullpen is improved. I'm not convinced it is. It's been less than 3 weeks.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-20-2007, 01:07 PM
An 8 game improvement in wins from 2005 to 2006.



2005: 820 RS, 889 RA (74-88 pythag)
2006: 749 RS, 801 RA (76-86 pythag)

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 01:10 PM
2005: 820 RS, 889 RA (74-88 pythag)
2006: 762 RS, 819 RA (75-87 pythag)

Oh well. Let's forget that they actually played some games durring the season and produced an actual win loss record.

Don't get me wrong, they have to go a long way in preventing runs to offset the reduced offense, but I get a chuckle that you would ignore the actuality of what really happened because the pythag record differed.

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 01:14 PM
I've yet to see one person utter that phrase. Are you implying that anyone that disagrees with you is saying that? Most people on this very own thread have listed positives and negative with Wayne. I don't get your posts, at all.

Not on this thread...but since WK was made GM that phrase has been used a few times. I've been pretty vocal about my displeasure with Wayne for a while now and I've been told "He's only had a few months as GM". Then it was "It's only the ASB. Give him time." Then it was "He hasn't even had a full off-season yet." Now everyone is complaining about the bullpen and lineup. That's not Narron's fault.

Thanks for the kind words though.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 01:16 PM
Not on this thread...but since WK was made GM that phrase has been used a few times. I've been pretty vocal about my displeasure with Wayne for a while now and I've been told "He's only had a few months as GM". Then it was "It's only the ASB. Give him time." Then it was "He hasn't even had a full off-season yet." Now everyone is complaining about the bullpen and lineup. That's not Narron's fault.

Thanks for the kind words though.

Just currious, could you cite some examples of a rookie GM that took over a team that was mired in orginazational rot since the mid 1980's and hadn't had a winning season in 6 years and had all the issues worked out and a championship quality ball team in 1 year?

RedsManRick
04-20-2007, 01:18 PM
I hate to even bring it up, but it bears saying: all GM's win and lose trades -it's the nature of the business. What made the "trade" so bad was how it looked at the time of the trade. It was a loss at the get go. And it's not got any better over time.

Fair point Cooper. The undeniable assessment of the trade is that Krivksy got less in return in terms of present value than he could have. That said, I worry that we're still making a misjudgment on 2 fronts here:

1.) Not enough time to judge the balance of talent overall. What will Bray, Majewski, and Thompson do with their careers? What about Lopez, Kearns, and Wagner? Until their careers have played out, we really won't know. If Thompson turns in to an ace, 10 years from now it's known as the trade in which we acquired Daryl Thompson.

2.) We haven't considered comparable trades that DID work out. What other trades were widely panned at the time and ended up working out? At the time, did people pan the Braves for trading away Doyle Alexander for some mediocre young prospect? What was the perception when we trade Power and Stillwell for Danny Jackson? Perhaps these are the right trades to compare, but there have to be many cases where a trade that looked stupid turned out for the better.

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 01:24 PM
Just currious, could you cite some examples of a rookie GM that took over a team that was mired in orginazational rot since the mid 1980's and hadn't had a winning season in 6 years and had all the issues worked out and a championship quality ball team in 1 year?

I am more concerned about the direction of where this team is headed rather than the current performance. The team is not good. But yet he drops millions on Weathers, Cormier, Stanton, Lohse, Conine and Gonzalez. Money which could be better used to put this team in a position to win within the next few years, especially with Homer, Bruce and Votto on the way. Those names I mentioned above could have been replaced by players like Eduardo Perez and Brad Salmon and this team wouldn't have been materially worse.

I don't think that a great GM would have had this team in phenomenal shape right now, but I think a great GM would have either chosen to make a move (acquire some lineup and starting pitching help) to win now or started to rebuild. I don't see either coming from this front office.

Cyclone792
04-20-2007, 01:25 PM
Oh well. Let's forget that they actually played some games durring the season and produced an actual win loss record.

Don't get me wrong, they have to go a long way in preventing runs to offset the reduced offense, but I get a chuckle that you would ignore the actuality of what really happened because the pythag record differed.

Because when building a team, run scoring/prevention is the quickest way to the goal of identifying and molding the team's true talent level, and pythag is amazingly accurate into translating run scoring/prevention into the true talent level of a team's ability to win games.

When a team overperforms or underperforms its pythag record, then it's giving you a mirage of the team's actual true talent level rather than the real thing. If you make changes based off mirages or anything but the true talent level, then you're shooting yourself in the foot and will be much more prone to making a bad decision. You want to make changes based on the true levels of your team's ability. Thus identifying that true level is crucial, and that's why pythag is a much better tool to use than actual win/loss records.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 01:31 PM
When a team overperforms or underperforms its pythag record, then it's giving you a mirage of the team's actual true talent level rather than the real thing. If you make changes based off mirages or anything but the true talent level, then you're shooting yourself in the foot and will be much more prone to making a bad decision. You want to make changes based on the true levels of your team's ability. Thus identifying that true level is crucial, and that's why pythag is a much better tool to use than actual win/loss records.

I'm not arguing against that. That's why I said they have a lot of work to do regarding run prevention to offset the reduced offense.

But an 8 win increase is an 8 win increase. You really think ANY casual fan cares that it's because of a mirrage or weak division? Or do you think ANY casual fan even knows what Pythag is?

A casual fan wants to know they are going to be entertained and has a reasonably good chance to be entertained when they go to a ballgame. Those are the folks Krivsky and BCast are thinking about attracting to the ballpark. And if a casual fan thinks, "well, they did win more games last year than 2005" and goes down to the ballpark that's a good thing.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 01:34 PM
I don't think that a great GM would have had this team in phenomenal shape right now, but I think a great GM would have either chosen to make a move (acquire some lineup and starting pitching help) to win now or started to rebuild. I don't see either coming from this front office.

I agree that he is attempting to walk a tighrope of trying to win and rebuild at the same time. That will produce many strange moves and mixed signals.

But I'd guess he's far more comfortable with the tighrope walking than "going all in" on the drastic course of action of buring it down. I think buring it down would fly in the face of everything BCast believes and he wouldn't allow it.

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 01:34 PM
I'm not arguing against that. That's why I said they have a lot of work to do regarding run prevention to offset the reduced offense.

But an 8 win increase is an 8 win increase. You really think ANY casual fan cares that it's because of a mirrage or weak division? Or do you think ANY casual fan even knows what Pythag is?

A casual fan wants to know they are going to be entertained and has a reasonably good chance to be entertained when they go to a ballgame. Those are the folks Krivsky and BCast are thinking about attracting to the ballpark. And if a casual fan thinks, "well, they did win more games last year than 2005" and goes down to the ballpark that's a good thing.

Seriously...I'm sure that Cards fans couldn't care less about what their Pythag numbers were last season. :)

Marc D
04-20-2007, 01:35 PM
An 8 game improvement in wins from 2005 to 2006.

The addition of Hamilton to a nice core of youngsters that may or may not become valuable pieces over the next few years (Ross, Phillips, EE, Deno, Coffey).

The improvement of the bullpen from desperatley horrable to almost adequate (but still sub-par). While there's LOTS of work to go, improvement is improvement.

Locking up BA and AH to resonable LTCs. Managing payroll so there is money to excersize the Dunn option if they desire.

Oh yea, the farm system has been overhauled and actual progression of prospects has taken place.

Improvement in Reds marketing efforts and a general buzz starting to develop around town that maybe the reds might be worth $15 to see. It's a very small buzz indeed, but from the folks I've talked to, it's there.

In other words a sub .500 team with some relative hope for the future based on the farm system and a core of young MLB talent. Sounds a lot like what I was calling for. Difference is you speed up the clock with selling off last year because the farm system and young talent core are going to be augmented. In addition you are giving your organization a much more stable window of future sucess by building from the ground up and having a tremendously strong fundamental base i.e. farm system.

All WK has done so far is to build a team that will get to .500 at best in a more traditional manner than we have seen around here in a while. Middle of the pack in runs allowed and runs scored vs 1st in runs scored and last in runs allowed.

His plan may get us to the same place as a complete rebuild would but WK's tread water with filler and wait for the draft method won't be any faster than the rebuild now and be legit in a few years model. Probably will be slower but we will never know that for sure.

Patrick Bateman
04-20-2007, 01:37 PM
I was actually thinking on the same tangent (in regards to this topic) last night. To me it seems since Krivsky has taken over, he has really identified and solidified the "core" of the team.

The main guys that he got rid (Lopez and Kearns) were not guys to build around IMO. They were on the cusp of makign some good money and had questionable skill sets. IMO, they were the right guys to trade, especially considering Griffey needed to be moved to RF (which I'm sure was part of Krivsky's thinking at the time). Obviously the return of the trade was garbage and that made it such an ineffective transaction, but he moved the right players IMO.

In a couple of years our team will still boast the core players of today like Dunn, Harang, Arroyo, Encarnacion, Phillips, Hamilton, but should also be adding players to that core assuming some of the likes of Bailey, Votto, Bruce, etc develop.

This team has a really good set-up the next few years IMO. They have key players that can handle important positions. This team is only going to improve down the road, because they are not going to be losing any significant pieces (actually they will lose some burdens in Griffey and Milton).

With some money to play around with in the next few seasons, the only thing that should hold Krivsky from making this team into a very legitimate contender is the ability to find some secondary players.

The only spot in the line-up where the Reds look particulary inept in the next couple of seasons is catcher. If Ross proves unworthy of a starting job this season, that really needs to be Krivsky's primary goal in the offseason. Find a long term catcher because every other position looks pretty solid.

The other obvious weakness is the bullpen. That really shouldn't be that hard to fix. My main hope is that Bray and Coffey can continue developing into the main set-up role, which if that's the case the team may only be one really good arm from having an above average pen. Finding arms 4-7 wont be a difficult task. Those roles can be filled through cheap FA dollars, the scrapheap or through the minor leagues.

And for once the rotation really doesn't look like a problem. Harang and Arroyo provide 2 good, durable starters, and Bailey has a good shot in being a worthy member of the rotation. A guy like Belisle fits nicely at the bottom. Again, it's set-up well, only the smaller pieces need to be filled, but that's not nearly the task of trying to find the core.

StillFunkyB
04-20-2007, 01:38 PM
Wayne Krivsky fascinates me. He's seemingly in possession of one of baseball's toughest to find skills, the ability to identify which struggling talents will put it together. Already he's turned up Bronson Arroyo, Brandon Phillips and Josh Hobbsilton. He gets a lot credit for picking up Johan Santana and making the Nathan/Liriano/Bonser deal during his Twins days.

It's an incredibly valuable skill to have in an organization like the Reds, which is thin on talent. Krivksy's demonstrating an ability to turn up key players out of the ether. If you can land a guy or two like that each season, turn it into a pipeline, it can have a dramatic impact on your long-term outlook. It's a major differentiator.

Krivsky also seems to have addressed the organization's instructional weakness. In his first season we saw Reds prospects take a uniform step forward for the first time in ages. There's a lot of Reds prospects off to hot starts in 2007 too (though three key prospects -- Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood -- have yet to get going).

Those are great long-term skills to have for a GM, giving him a steady stream of young talent with which to work.

Where Krivsky's been weak so far is rounding out his team. While he has an eye for breakout talents, he seems to lack a sense for support players. It's turned up in his bullpen and on his bench. It caused him to take a swinging miss on The Trade last year. Gary Majewski, even if he had been healthy, wasn't the sort of reliever he needed and Royce Clayton wasn't going to solidify his infield. Oddly Brendan Harris might have been a fine backup IF, but Krivsky let Harris get away. Perhaps Bill Bray will turn out to be one of the breakout talents and save some face on the deal, but it fits into a developing pattern. Krivsky hasn't shown much touch with blue collar players. It's going to lead to bullpen meltdown, a lack of bench options, relatively easy outs in the lower lineup and probably some trouble at the back of the rotation.

Given Krivsky's talents, if he sticks around he'll probably mine/develop his way out of that bind, but it will take time. The other upside is that what he does well is in the "you've either got it or you don't" category. A GM can learn to shop for a better supporting cast. Krivsky also seems like a guy willing to take a critical look in the mirror. Whether he can spot his flaws when he does so remains to be seen.

It makes for a frustrating mix because Krivsky skills can put a team on the verge of a breakthrough, but his weaknesses, on top of being avoidable, can undermine his team, leave it with an overly soft underbelly.

Help from AAA and AA is probably what the Reds will be reliant upon this season, to provide the depth a team needs to win games.

I think Wayne has done a decent job so far. I believe he is well aware of the fact that the fans were not very happy with The Trade. You win some, and you lose some. Krivs really blew that one, so let's hope he has learned from that.

What a lot of people don't think about is the fact that this team, and the entire organization was a huge mess. It's starting to turn around very quickly, but still going to take some time to get completely back on the right track.

The biggest thing I don't understand with what he has done so far is the three catcher thing. Especially since you have a guy like Hatte that could catch in a pinch if need be.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-20-2007, 01:39 PM
But an 8 win increase is an 8 win increase. You really think ANY casual fan cares that it's because of a mirrage or weak division? Or do you think ANY casual fan even knows what Pythag is?

A casual fan wants to know they are going to be entertained and has a reasonably good chance to be entertained when they go to a ballgame. Those are the folks Krivsky and BCast are thinking about attracting to the ballpark. And if a casual fan thinks, "well, they did win more games last year than 2005" and goes down to the ballpark that's a good thing.


That's not the point. A GM is running this organization, not a casual fan and I would hope that our GM sees that "going for it" did not make the club significantly better, like most casual fans believe with the 8 extra wins.

If Krivsky has the mindset of a casual fan when making decisions regarding the future of his organization, then we are far worse shape than I thought.

Cyclone792
04-20-2007, 01:43 PM
I'm not arguing against that. That's why I said they have a lot of work to do regarding run prevention to offset the reduced offense.

But an 8 win increase is an 8 win increase. You really think ANY casual fan cares that it's because of a mirrage or weak division? Or do you think ANY casual fan even knows what Pythag is?

A casual fan wants to know they are going to be entertained and has a reasonably good chance to be entertained when they go to a ballgame. Those are the folks Krivsky and BCast are thinking about attracting to the ballpark. And if a casual fan thinks, "well, they did win more games last year than 2005" and goes down to the ballpark that's a good thing.

You've committed a logical fallacy by shifting your argument from Wayne Krivsky to casual fans. Casual fans do not make baseball operations decisions for the Reds, and we're not talking about casual fans here; we're talking about Wayne Krivsky and the Cincinnati Reds as an organization doing what's necessary to field a playoff caliber baseball team.

Wayne Krivsky's job in regards to marketing the actual big league team to the casual fan base revolves squarely around fielding the best possible team in regards to run scoring and run prevention. Anything beyond the actual baseball operations aspect falls squarely on the shoulders of the Reds' marketing department. If you want the casual fan to get excited about a mirage increase in wins, then let the marketing department handle it.

It shouldn't matter one bit what the casual fan himself/herself feels about pythag, or mirage, or weak divisions when it comes to making good organizational decisions. I personally don't care what the casual fan thinks about pythag. What matters to me is what Wayne Krivsky and the rest of his front office feels about pythag, mirages, weak divisions, identifying the true talent level of this team, and then finally making the best decisions based upon those evaluations.

RedsManRick
04-20-2007, 01:50 PM
I'm not arguing against that. That's why I said they have a lot of work to do regarding run prevention to offset the reduced offense.

But an 8 win increase is an 8 win increase. You really think ANY casual fan cares that it's because of a mirrage or weak division? Or do you think ANY casual fan even knows what Pythag is?

A casual fan wants to know they are going to be entertained and has a reasonably good chance to be entertained when they go to a ballgame. Those are the folks Krivsky and BCast are thinking about attracting to the ballpark. And if a casual fan thinks, "well, they did win more games last year than 2005" and goes down to the ballpark that's a good thing.

But, as you say, the key to drawing fans is actually winning, not the logic behind it. The object of management should simply be to build a winning team. If that means paying attention to pythag to build a consistent winner, then do it. But if you build the team poorly and lose consistently, the fans don't care what your logic is either.

Sure, you can fluke in to a winning year and the fans will love you.... for a year.

jojo
04-20-2007, 02:05 PM
It shouldn't matter one bit what the casual fan himself/herself feels about pythag, or mirage, or weak divisions when it comes to making good organizational decisions.

That statement deserves pos rep points from every member of the ORG...


Great discussion so far from one and all....a stimulating thread to be sure...


:beerme:

buckeyenut
04-20-2007, 02:46 PM
Now...the bigger moves. Arroyo has worked out brilliantly. Great move. But in all other moves where he actually had to put himself on the line a little, IMO, he hasn't really won me over. Off the top of my head, here are some:

The Trade (Lopez and Kearns)
Lohse (millions and Ward)
Cormier (Germano and millions)
Weathers and Stanton (millions * 2)
Conine (millions again and Moran)
Gonzalez (millions)

These are acquisitions that cost more than the nominal PTBNL or minor league contract. And these are where he hasn't really found much success.

I disagree with you on some of these.

The Trade - looks bad, no doubt. I like Bray, and neither guy we gave up has done much since leaving. But I will agree with this one being bad.
Lohse (millions and Ward) - Lohse was solid coming over last year and has been good so far. Lots of talent. Remains to be seen if he ever follows through all the way.
Cormier (Germano and millions) - he picked up a MR with an ERA under 2 for the pennant race, giving up a swing man. Don't see the issue. Cormier is not a MR who will stay under 2, but he is a solid MR.
Weathers and Stanton (millions * 2) - a little money, solid MRs. Not a problem for me. Of course, the problem is, we don't have that one or two studs we need in the pen so all three of these relievers mentioned are slotted a notch or two higher than ideal in our pecking order. But there is nothing wrong with any of them.
Conine (millions again and Moran) - At the time I didn't like it, but I don't mind it now. Conine is a solid PH, decent platoon 1B and very good clubhouse presence. The $$ hurts more than Moran, but with the market this offseason, we couldn't really do much else with this money or the others.
Gonzalez (millions) - Gonzo is a top notch defensive SS and has been fine offensively. You gave up nothing but money and then not that much. What is the issue with this?

Other than the trade, I don't see it on these moves you mention. Yeah, maybe you would have preferred someone else, but what you have is what you would expect and meets a need. And again, you didn't give up anything of note except $$ in any of this.

edabbs44
04-20-2007, 02:50 PM
I disagree with you on some of these.

The Trade - looks bad, no doubt. I like Bray, and neither guy we gave up has done much since leaving. But I will agree with this one being bad.
Lohse (millions and Ward) - Lohse was solid coming over last year and has been good so far. Lots of talent. Remains to be seen if he ever follows through all the way.
Cormier (Germano and millions) - he picked up a MR with an ERA under 2 for the pennant race, giving up a swing man. Don't see the issue. Cormier is not a MR who will stay under 2, but he is a solid MR.
Weathers and Stanton (millions * 2) - a little money, solid MRs. Not a problem for me. Of course, the problem is, we don't have that one or two studs we need in the pen so all three of these relievers mentioned are slotted a notch or two higher than ideal in our pecking order. But there is nothing wrong with any of them.
Conine (millions again and Moran) - At the time I didn't like it, but I don't mind it now. Conine is a solid PH, decent platoon 1B and very good clubhouse presence. The $$ hurts more than Moran, but with the market this offseason, we couldn't really do much else with this money or the others.
Gonzalez (millions) - Gonzo is a top notch defensive SS and has been fine offensively. You gave up nothing but money and then not that much. What is the issue with this?

Other than the trade, I don't see it on these moves you mention. Yeah, maybe you would have preferred someone else, but what you have is what you would expect and meets a need. And again, you didn't give up anything of note except $$ in any of this.

Add it all up and it will be something like $14 million and a mediocre team. I'd rather put the money into the future and be bad now than spend it and be mediocre.

RedsManRick
04-20-2007, 03:06 PM
Because "burning it down" works on internet forums, sports call in shows and over beer at the local bar. In practicallity....not so much.

You forgot Miami (Marlins). The trick with burning it down is that you have to reduce the sucker to it's foundation. You can't burn away the garage, master bedroom, and kitchen and patch those back in.

Partial burns leave you the same sort of house you had before only with singe marks on the walls. Maybe you add a bedroom or a 3rd bath, but the floor plan is still pretty much the same.

We honestly haven't seen that many examples of a real "burning it down". Only a half-cocked attempt to have their cake and eat it too. It takes a GM with major guts or nothing to lose to really burn it down and start from scratch.

Last year I was advocating a full burn. Trade Harang, trade Arroyo, capitalize on our assets and shoot for 2008/9. However, with the extensions of Harang and Arroyo, that's clearly no longer and option. Luckily, if there is a time to make a run with a mediocre team, this is the time and division to do it. "The Trade" didn't work out, but the concept proved true. 84 wins would've put us in the playoffs last year and 85-86 will probably do the same this year. In general, I don't like the idea of building an 86 win team, but this year, in this division, if you can do that without sacrificing your future (read: trading Bailey, Cueto, Wood, Votto, etc.) -- I say enjoy that cake.

(end mixed metaphors... now)

Regarding the $$ which was spent. Look at the price for which most decent relievers went in FA. $6M for Baez. $4M for Jamie Walker. $4.25M for Borowski. $2.75M for Embree. $3.5M for Hawkins. Joe Nathan and Frankie Rodriguez weren't available and, if they were, would likely cost in the $10-12M per range.

I don't like spending $16M on mediocre talent either. But lately there seems to be a trend of vastly over-estimating what replacement level performance really is. Joe Mays is replacement level. So is Esteban Yan. Now sure, I have high hopes for Livingston, et. al, but I wouldn't want them guaranteed a spot in my bullpen when I can have David Weathers instead. The Reds didn't pass up on better options for the bullpen. There simply weren't any better options available last offseason -- and if you want to use a trade as an option, show me the trade that could've happened. (Remember, we offered Kearns for Linebrink and were rejected)

M2
04-20-2007, 03:17 PM
Casual fans do not make baseball operations decisions for the Reds, and we're not talking about casual fans here; we're talking about Wayne Krivsky and the Cincinnati Reds as an organization doing what's necessary to field a playoff caliber baseball team.

Exactly. Plus, we're not casual fans around here.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 03:17 PM
It shouldn't matter one bit what the casual fan himself/herself feels about pythag, or mirage, or weak divisions when it comes to making good organizational decisions. I personally don't care what the casual fan thinks about pythag. What matters to me is what Wayne Krivsky and the rest of his front office feels about pythag, mirages, weak divisions, identifying the true talent level of this team, and then finally making the best decisions based upon those evaluations.

The original question I was asked was what was the improvement Waynes made. My answer was an 8 game improvement in W/L. Is that an improvement, yes or no? The answer is yes of course. It's not really any more complicated than that.

Pythag records were brought up to try to discredit the fact the team won more games in 2006 than 2005. But no matter the pythag record, the team did in fact win more games. Pythag does not erase what happened on the field does it? And the casual fan ONLY cares about what happens on the field.

All that said, of course Wayne should worry about the pythag record, and the underlying causes of what gets you to a true winning team (run scoring and prevention) so that in the long run we win more than we lose. I don't want to try to build on a "mirage" or lucky year either.

I am not attacking pythag or RS/RA. I think Wayne should definatley worry about those issues night and day. But none of this changes the fact that the team won more in 2006 than they did in 2005.

Falls City Beer
04-20-2007, 03:20 PM
Especially since in honing his skills as a first time GM he's going to try things that he has rolled around in his mind for the past 2 decades, some might be founded, some not. But the main fact is it's his "philosophy" and he's sold it to the man with the checkbook. Since he's in the business of baseball and not instant gratification many of these moves will be played out over a longer period of time then many care to wait.

It's not a desire for instant gratification to want to see progress.

M2
04-20-2007, 03:24 PM
The original question I was asked was what was the improvement Waynes made. My answer was an 8 game improvement in W/L. Is that an improvement, yes or no? The answer is yes of course. It's not really any more complicated than that.

I don't know about more complicated, but the answer is deeper than that.

W-L records end with the season. Your team's talent level lives on. The Reds didn't have an 80-win quality club last season. They especially didn't have a club of that quality when the season ended. The team isn't building on 80-82, it's building on 749 runs scored and 801 runs allowed.

Falls City Beer
04-20-2007, 03:29 PM
You forgot Miami (Marlins). The trick with burning it down is that you have to reduce the sucker to it's foundation. You can't burn away the garage, master bedroom, and kitchen and patch those back in.

Partial burns leave you the same sort of house you had before only with singe marks on the walls. Maybe you add a bedroom or a 3rd bath, but the floor plan is still pretty much the same.

We honestly haven't seen that many examples of a real "burning it down". Only a half-cocked attempt to have their cake and eat it too. It takes a GM with major guts or nothing to lose to really burn it down and start from scratch.

Last year I was advocating a full burn. Trade Harang, trade Arroyo, capitalize on our assets and shoot for 2008/9. However, with the extensions of Harang and Arroyo, that's clearly no longer and option. Luckily, if there is a time to make a run with a mediocre team, this is the time and division to do it. "The Trade" didn't work out, but the concept proved true. 84 wins would've put us in the playoffs last year and 85-86 will probably do the same this year. In general, I don't like the idea of building an 86 win team, but this year, in this division, if you can do that without sacrificing your future (read: trading Bailey, Cueto, Wood, Votto, etc.) -- I say enjoy that cake.

(end mixed metaphors... now)

Regarding the $$ which was spent. Look at the price for which most decent relievers went in FA. $6M for Baez. $4M for Jamie Walker. $4.25M for Borowski. $2.75M for Embree. $3.5M for Hawkins. Joe Nathan and Frankie Rodriguez weren't available and, if they were, would likely cost in the $10-12M per range.

I don't like spending $16M on mediocre talent either. But lately there seems to be a trend of vastly over-estimating what replacement level performance really is. Joe Mays is replacement level. So is Esteban Yan. Now sure, I have high hopes for Livingston, et. al, but I wouldn't want them guaranteed a spot in my bullpen when I can have David Weathers instead. The Reds didn't pass up on better options for the bullpen. There simply weren't any better options available last offseason -- and if you want to use a trade as an option, show me the trade that could've happened. (Remember, we offered Kearns for Linebrink and were rejected)

I bet Lidge was available. I bet a lot of young arms (maybe not currently in MLB) were available.

The trick is to separate the Sullivans from the Burtons.

Jimbo did it for years. Beane does it constantly. Sabean leaks bullpen arms. Jocketty finds them in old socks.

Bullpen arms emerge and disappear all the time--sure mediocre outliers like Stanton and Weathers somehow stay healthy and consistently mediocre, but there are countless arms who come up, burn brightly for a season or two, then vanish in the ether. Such is the life of a bullpen arm. But you have to be able to identify that ability to burn white-hot, tomorrow be damned.

For the record, I still think a guy like Saarloos will be more of a help than a hindrance to this bullpen, so I still give Krivsky props for that move. But the Weathers and Stanton moves are borne out of fear as much as they are of their abilities.

M2
04-20-2007, 03:34 PM
It's not a desire for instant gratification to want to see progress.

I think there's been some, though it hasn't been linear progress (e.g. team gets a lot better). The Reds have chipped away at the fatal pitching/defense flaw that croaked them under JimBo and DanO. The cut their runs allowed by 88 last season and I'm guessing that number could drop to the 750-775 range this season. The offense unfortunately might be dropping from 820 runs in 2005 to 749 last year to something around 700 this year. So the W-L needle won't move a lot. Yet I maintain it will be easier to upgrade the offense once you get the pitching/defense straightened out than to try it the other way around. The real key will be making sure the club is strong up the middle. Hopefully Brandon Phillips can continue to be a solid all-around player and Hobbs' bubble doesn't burst. Those two guys alone, if they enjoy continued success, make life easier. Feel free to draw a bullseye around the catcher position as a spot screaming out for an upgrade. On the corners, Dunn's looking like he's ready to attack his prime with gusto and hopefully Encarnacion can advance his game on all fronts (awful start at the plate this season duly noted).

Anyway, what I'm driving at is if they can get the pitching right, and there's miles to go on that front, then I think it shouldn't be too hard to find the right 1B and RF talents to give the offense a boost. The path from here to there (there being a quality ballclub) seems a lot more visible now even if the distance between the two points hasn't changed a whole lot.

Ltlabner
04-20-2007, 03:37 PM
I think there's been some, though it hasn't been linear progress (e.g. team gets a lot better). The Reds have chipped away at the fatal pitching/defense flaw that croaked them under JimBo and DanO. The cut their runs allowed by 88 last season and I'm guessing that number could drop to the 750-775 range this season. The offense unfortunately might be dropping from 820 runs in 2005 to 749 last year to something around 700 this year. So the W-L needle won't move a lot. Yet I maintain it will be easier to upgrade the offense once you get the pitching/defense straightened out than to try it the other way around. The real key will be making sure the club is strong up the middle. Hopefully Brandon Phillips can continue to be a solid all-around player and Hobbs' bubble doesn't burst. Those two guys alone, if they enjoy continued success, make life easier. Feel free to draw a bullseye around the catcher position as a spot screaming out for an upgrade. On the corners, Dunn's looking like he's ready to attack his prime with gusto and hopefully Encarnacion can advance his game on all fronts (awful start at the plate this season duly noted).

Anyway, what I'm driving at is if they can get the pitching right, and there's miles to go on that front, then I think it shouldn't be too hard to find the right 1B and RF talents to give the offense a boost. The path from here to there (there being a quality ballclub) seems a lot more visible now even if the distance between the two points hasn't changed a whole lot.

There is something to be said for attacking the harder problems first and the "easier" problems later on. It's not as sexy and sometimes makes you think you are going backwards, but in the end, you make greater advances.

Falls City Beer
04-20-2007, 03:38 PM
I think there's been some, though it hasn't been linear progress (e.g. team gets a lot better). The Reds have chipped away at the fatal pitching/defense flaw that croaked them under JimBo and DanO. The cut their runs allowed by 88 last season and I'm guessing that number could drop to the 750-775 range this season. The offense unfortunately might be dropping from 820 runs in 2005 to 749 last year to something around 700 this year. So the W-L needle won't move a lot. Yet I maintain it will be easier to upgrade the offense once you get the pitching/defense straightened out than to try it the other way around. The real key will be making sure the club is strong up the middle. Hopefully Brandon Phillips can continue to be a solid all-around player and Hobbs' bubble doesn't burst. Those two guys alone, if they enjoy continued success, make life easier. Feel free to draw a bullseye around the catcher position as a spot screaming out for an upgrade. On the corners, Dunn's looking like he's ready to attack his prime with gusto and hopefully Encarnacion can advance his game on all fronts (awful start at the plate this season duly noted).

Anyway, what I'm driving at is if they can get the pitching right, and there's miles to go on that front, then I think it shouldn't be too hard to find the right 1B and RF talents to give the offense a boost.


What do you think has changed about the make-up of this pitching staff (starters and relievers) that will cause the RA to continue to drop? The only thing I can think of is luck. Substantively, this is the same pitching team. I find them indistinguishable from last year's club, top to bottom.

And I really don't think the offense is going to drop 50 runs this year. I just don't see that.

pedro
04-20-2007, 03:56 PM
I think that's very fair assessment M2.

M2
04-20-2007, 03:57 PM
What do you think has changed about the make-up of this pitching staff (starters and relievers) that will cause the RA to continue to drop? The only thing I can think of is luck. Substantively, this is the same pitching team. I find them indistinguishable from last year's club, top to bottom.

And I really don't think the offense is going to drop 50 runs this year. I just don't see that.

On the runs prevented side -

Gonzalez on defense is a big plus. Jr. out of CF is a big plus. Encarnacion honing his skills will help. Phillips should also be better. Dunn's in much better shape and should be a material improvement over what he was last season. This defense, while not stellar, profiles as being a whole lot better than the 2005-2006 models.

On the pitching side, I expect the bullpen will be about what it was last season, forgettable. Yet I think Belisle can be a steady, if unspectacular, starter and Lohse's hot-cold act might work out to average. Lohse might even have some Jimmy Haynes 2002 in him. I don't expect it, but it's possible the Reds could be cherrypicking Lohse's career year. It's also possible Lohse won't ever have a career year.

On the runs scored side -

Kind of hard to miss seeing what's already happened. The Reds had an 815-run offense (5.03 runs a game) in the first half of 2006. It had a 668-run offense (4.12 runs a game) in the second half of 2006. A lot of stuff is going to have to go right for this team to score 750. More likely it will be in the 700-725 range. Right now it's on a 688 pace.

RedsManRick
04-20-2007, 04:00 PM
The original question I was asked was what was the improvement Waynes made. My answer was an 8 game improvement in W/L. Is that an improvement, yes or no?

Ah, but I think Cyclone was right in challenging your assertion. The key part of that question is "Wayne's made". Though the 2006 Reds won 8 more games than the 2005 Reds, that increase was not due to changes Wayne made. Rather, per Cyclone's assertion, the improvement in wins was attributable to luck, not to changes made by Wayne Krivsky.

M2
04-20-2007, 04:01 PM
There is something to be said for attacking the harder problems first and the "easier" problems later on. It's not as sexy and sometimes makes you think you are going backwards, but in the end, you make greater advances.

I agree, though I thought Krivsky didn't accomplish the hard work of adding another meaningful starter and a more muscular bullpen this offseason. Either of those things, IMO, could yield some dramatic results (like Arroyo did last season).

RedsManRick
04-20-2007, 04:05 PM
What do you think has changed about the make-up of this pitching staff (starters and relievers) that will cause the RA to continue to drop? The only thing I can think of is luck. Substantively, this is the same pitching team. I find them indistinguishable from last year's club, top to bottom.

And I really don't think the offense is going to drop 50 runs this year. I just don't see that.

Runs allowed isn't only a function of your pitching. Moving Junior to RF and adding Alex Gonzalez is 20-30 runs saved in and of itself (per past analysis posted on the board). I would also claim that we have a stronger back of the rotation this year, though admittedly that remains to be seen.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-20-2007, 04:27 PM
Not to go to far off-topic, but does anyone know exactly what the difference is between a better than average to average SS (Gonzo) as compared to a below-average one (Lopez) in terms of RA over the course of a full season?

And, if say, Lopez hits .750 (OPS) and Gonzo hits .700 (OPS) over a full season, does that RA difference equal out with RS?

Also, I believe there was a study done, and I can't remember where, that showed how many runs Griffey playing CF cost us over an average CFer. Does anyone know what that RA number is?

Falls City Beer
04-20-2007, 04:54 PM
I'm not reading M2's post as being particularly critical of WK, but rather a nice summation of his strengths and weaknesses thusfar. I am guessing, and what makes me hopeful, is that WK will learn from his mistakes and won't repeat them ad nauseum. And, I agree, M2, his locating of very real talent in fairly obscure places is a HUGE plus in his favor.

Bowden was also very skilled at finding talent in obscure places. He just couldn't beat the other guys. That was Bowden's problem: not payroll, not the farm; he just didn't know how to do things better than the other GMs. He didn't know how to exploit the weaknesses of other people, despite his profile as a confidence man.

I hope Wayne knows that he's got to be BETTER than other GMs are at their job. Not just good enough to make the Reds better in some abstract sense.

westofyou
04-20-2007, 05:13 PM
It's not a desire for instant gratification to want to see progress.

Everyone has a different tool when measuring progress, some use runs, some use the ML, some use wins and losses.

redsupport
04-20-2007, 05:19 PM
weathers as the closer now thats true progress

Eric_Davis
04-20-2007, 05:23 PM
And a great congratulations again to the owners for hiring Krivsky over others that were available and giving him control and some money.

Falls City Beer
04-20-2007, 05:25 PM
Everyone has a different tool when measuring progress, some use runs, some use the ML, some use wins and losses.

Or like me you use all three. And probably "wins and losses" are my lowest priority.

IslandRed
04-20-2007, 07:10 PM
Last year I was advocating a full burn. Trade Harang, trade Arroyo, capitalize on our assets and shoot for 2008/9. However, with the extensions of Harang and Arroyo, that's clearly no longer an option.

It might be as accurate to say that it's no longer a necessity. The best argument for "tear it down" was that our window looked to be closing after 2008 and it didn't look realistic to turn it around by then. With a couple of well-placed contract extensions, that deadline no longer exists, and it buys Krivsky time to use the gradual-improvement model rather than the scorched-earth model. Which is good for his job security, because Castellini didn't buy the team to see scorched earth.

To everyone: Great thread.

WebScorpion
04-22-2007, 12:37 AM
This thread was a complete joy to read after coming directly from todays game thread. :eek:

I pretty much see things as M2 describes them, but I do agree with EDABBS that many of Krivsky's 'brilliant' moves are no risk moves.

On the subject of The Trade, I'd just like to point out that without it, Josh Hamilton probably never makes the 25 man roster. :p: Without the Arroyo trade AND The Trade, Hamilton isn't even on our Rule 5 radar.

I'm not a big fan of the 'tear it down' rebuilding philosophy myself and I'm pretty sure the Reds fan base would have completely flipped out if the 1975 Reds had done what the 1997 Florida Marlins did after winning it all. I'm not convinced that tearing it down is any faster than the methodical improvement method. The Reds fan base is sloooooow to recover from perceived sleights (see 1995-1998 attendance records) I don't think they'd react well to selling off players they consider the core of the team. In fact, I think that's a big part of everyone's dissatisfaction with The Trade...they thought Lopez and Kearns were part of the young core. You can fuss about where the money is spent all you want, but you better make sure there is still money coming in. Sure, you may spend money on a Conine, Gonzalez, or Weathers, but if you put that money into development instead you risk losing MORE money from your gate receipts. The key in Cincy is always going to be balance...you must maintain a competitive team, while trying to build your Championship team.
Here's to the Next Red Machine! :beerme:
...and thanks again to all for the great thread! :thumbup:

PS - Oh yeah, as far as the 'closer' problem...keep an eye on that 'new' closer in Louisville, he might start knocking on the door this season too. God knows he's paid his dues. ;)

REDREAD
04-23-2007, 11:47 AM
Regarding the $$ which was spent. Look at the price for which most decent relievers went in FA. $6M for Baez. $4M for Jamie Walker. $4.25M for Borowski. $2.75M for Embree. $3.5M for Hawkins. Joe Nathan and Frankie Rodriguez weren't available and, if they were, would likely cost in the $10-12M per range.



And Chad Bradford was available for 3 years at 10 million. Not bad, considering what we spent on Stanton. There was also the option of the trade market, and the junk heap.

I do give Wayne credit for Burton, Sarloos, and Santos. I expect Santos to settle into mediocrity..but that's ok.. If you can get a NRI player to give you cheap mediocre innings, that's much better than paying Stanton to do the same.

I'm not saying that it's easy to build a bullpen. It's not. But Wayne has made some pretty big mistakes (Cormier, Maj, Stantion).

PuffyPig
04-23-2007, 12:16 PM
Off the top of my head, here are some:

The Trade (Lopez and Kearns)
Lohse (millions and Ward)
Cormier (Germano and millions)
Weathers and Stanton (millions * 2)
Conine (millions again and Moran)
Gonzalez (millions)

These are acquisitions that cost more than the nominal PTBNL or minor league contract. And these are where he hasn't really found much success.



I'll have to disagree with some of those.

The Lohse trade, at this stage, has been a huge success. You could trade Lohse today for quite a bit more than it cost us.

Gonzalez was, and has been, a great signing. Gold Glove defense with an OPS of (expected .700+) is a pretty good SS for the money. He's probably the best SS in the Central (not that that is saying much).

REDREAD
04-23-2007, 01:40 PM
Yet I maintain it will be easier to upgrade the offense once you get the pitching/defense straightened out than to try it the other way around. .

Not entirely in agreement here, at least the way Wayne is going about it.

Part of Wayne's vision of fixing the defense involves Phillips, Gonzo, Freel, Hattenberg, and Ross. (Third base is still unsettled, I don't know how EdE fits in yet).

In order to fix the offense, you are going to have to get rid of one of the players that was picked up to shore up the defense. In other words, signing one-diminsional players like Gonzo to fix the defense and commiting to them for many years actually makes it significantly more difficult to fix the offense later.

Also, I think it's possible to upgrade pitching without raping the offense.

I think the better alternative is to try to accumulate talent, regardless of position and needs. When you have enough talent, you decide what the keepers are and then trade the excess for the missing pieces to contend.
This is in contrast to Wayne's strategy of spending all his resources on aging stop gap players with zero trade value. For example, sign Bradford or Lily instead of Gonzo/Stanton/etc.. Sign a guy that will have still have trade value in a year or two.

M2
04-23-2007, 01:44 PM
Not entirely in agreement here, at least the way Wayne is going about it.

Part of Wayne's vision of fixing the defense involves Phillips, Gonzo, Freel, Hattenberg, and Ross. (Third base is still unsettled, I don't know how EdE fits in yet).

In order to fix the offense, you are going to have to get rid of one of the players that was picked up to shore up the defense. In other words, signing one-diminsional players like Gonzo to fix the defense and commiting to them for many years actually makes it significantly more difficult to fix the offense later.

Also, I think it's possible to upgrade pitching without raping the offense.

I think the better alternative is to try to accumulate talent, regardless of position and needs. When you have enough talent, you decide what the keepers are and then trade the excess for the missing pieces to contend.
This is in contrast to Wayne's strategy of spending all his resources on aging stop gap players with zero trade value. For example, sign Bradford or Lily instead of Gonzo/Stanton/etc.. Sign a guy that will have still have trade value in a year or two.

I agree with all of that (except Lilly, I expect he'll fall flat soon enough). For instance, the Reds are probably going to want/need to swap out Gonzalez long before his contract expires. I never liked the years on that contract.

REDREAD
04-23-2007, 01:46 PM
Ah, but I think Cyclone was right in challenging your assertion. The key part of that question is "Wayne's made". Though the 2006 Reds won 8 more games than the 2005 Reds, that increase was not due to changes Wayne made. Rather, per Cyclone's assertion, the improvement in wins was attributable to luck, not to changes made by Wayne Krivsky.


I don't think it was luck. I think it's quite easy to build a club that beats it's pathag record.. of course that team will be mediocre, but it's easily possible.

Look at last year's team. Two excellent starting pitchers. A lot of horrible pitchers cycled through (Lizard, Milton, Claussen, Michelik, Kim, etc).
Those games that the horrible pitchers start which result in a 12-3 loss only count as one loss, even though they make the pythag record suffer a lot.

While I think Pythag record is a good tool, it's not by luck that the Reds beat their pythag record. Due to the fact that thier pitching staff was very stratified last year, it throws off the pythag prediction. The pythag record kind of assumes that the team that takes the field is relatively constant in talent from day to day. When Michalek starts a game, and Harang starts other games, that assumption is false.

Chip R
04-23-2007, 01:49 PM
In order to fix the offense, you are going to have to get rid of one of the players that was picked up to shore up the defense. In other words, signing one-diminsional players like Gonzo to fix the defense and commiting to them for many years actually makes it significantly more difficult to fix the offense later.



Gonzo was only signed for 3 years. If he needs to be traded, he can be traded a lot easier than you think because teams love a guy with a great glove at SS. The Giants still have Vizquel playing for them and he's really never been more than a glove - except when he plays against the Reds. Cesar Izturas and Adam Everett have starting jobs and they are weak sticks.

edabbs44
04-23-2007, 01:52 PM
I'll have to disagree with some of those.

The Lohse trade, at this stage, has been a huge success. You could trade Lohse today for quite a bit more than it cost us.

Gonzalez was, and has been, a great signing. Gold Glove defense with an OPS of (expected .700+) is a pretty good SS for the money. He's probably the best SS in the Central (not that that is saying much).

Did part of Gonzalez's contract say that everyone has to refer to his defense as "gold glove"? The guy is a good defender. Cool. Never won a gold glove. I know that GG is a popularity contest, but no one refers to Jeter's play as being MVP. But I still think this team is not a glove away from getting to the postseason, so if his salary is worth just a glove...then I guess WK did a good thing. To me, it's $14 million down the drain if this team doesn't get a lot better.

Lohse, I have to disagree with. 2 starts isn't going to wipe away the last few seasons. Let's see him sustain his success for more than a week. I still think WK got burnt by not getting money in the deal.

IslandRed
04-23-2007, 04:24 PM
But I still think this team is not a glove away from getting to the postseason, so if his salary is worth just a glove...then I guess WK did a good thing. To me, it's $14 million down the drain if this team doesn't get a lot better.

I don't know... it was (and still is) a long way from where we were to where we need to get, and it's going to take a lot of moves. I don't think it's productive to look at every single signing in isolation and hold it responsible for being The Move That Puts Us Over The Top, and pronounce it a waste of money and energy if it isn't.

Not saying I agree with everything Krivsky's done either.

REDREAD
04-23-2007, 05:12 PM
Gonzo was only signed for 3 years. If he needs to be traded, he can be traded a lot easier than you think because teams love a guy with a great glove at SS. The Giants still have Vizquel playing for them and he's really never been more than a glove - except when he plays against the Reds. Cesar Izturas and Adam Everett have starting jobs and they are weak sticks.


Considering that the Reds and the Blue Jays were the only people pursuing Gonzales, I kind of doubt he has any trade value.

Vizquel is on the tail end of his career, but he's an excellent hitter compared to Gonzo. I just looked it up, Omar had a 361 OBP last year. That's outstanding.

Everett and Izturas are decent comparisions, although they are both younger and their clubs (IIRC) don't have any long term commitments to them. But isn't it a bit of damning with faint praise to say that Gonzo is arguably as good as Everett and Izturas.. To be honest, I don't think his glove is as good as those two guys, but obviously, defense is subjective.

coachw513
04-23-2007, 09:11 PM
I don't think it was luck. I think it's quite easy to build a club that beats it's pathag record.. of course that team will be mediocre, but it's easily possible.

Look at last year's team. Two excellent starting pitchers. A lot of horrible pitchers cycled through (Lizard, Milton, Claussen, Michelik, Kim, etc).
Those games that the horrible pitchers start which result in a 12-3 loss only count as one loss, even though they make the pythag record suffer a lot.

While I think Pythag record is a good tool, it's not by luck that the Reds beat their pythag record. Due to the fact that thier pitching staff was very stratified last year, it throws off the pythag prediction. The pythag record kind of assumes that the team that takes the field is relatively constant in talent from day to day. When Michalek starts a game, and Harang starts other games, that assumption is false.

Interesting point...

First, neg points to myself for not reading this thread until tonight...best even-handed, passionate, intelligent discussion I've read in quite a while...and considering it comes on the heels of THAT homestand and it's even more impressive :thumbup:

I can only evaluate WK by considering this: Where were we last year compared to right now??...well, every aspect of our pitching is improved...starting pitching, rotation depth and quality, overall bullpen, depth in the bullpen, potential replacements available in Louisville...I don't think we can overlook the economic saavy of inking Harang and Arroyo WHEN COMPARED TO THE MASS OVERSPENDING OF THIS OFFSEASON BY OTHERS...

As for the bullpen, regardless of the past week I think the feeling is clear..."if I can just patch the bullpen right now, we can begin working on some other things-defense, rotation, etc"...Stanton and Weathers are more than competant day-in, day-out...Saarloos and Coffey are both going to be excellent...Coutlangus is right now a promising lefty specialist...I personally am not a Cormier or Santos fan, but in my mind, those spots are for Bray and Majewski...it's not the Mets' bullpen but to my eyes I can live with this group of men...if this club is right there in July, go get a closer (or is Guardado healthy and still livin' right??) by trade...but clearly, the bullpen is BETTER...

Defensively is also much improved...and I say that despite an awful performance over the last week...EE is so much more solid, Gonzalez and Phillips cover SO MUCH GROUND...Hamilton is outstanding, Freel very solid bordering on spectacular, and Dunn is putting in the time...Ross makes our staff better despite not exactly reminding folks of Mike Piazza at the plate...our defense can help us win games over the course of the season...better??...absolutely...

Offensively???...well we long for Kearns and Lopez but their numbers continue to demonstrate a level of performance that is pedestrian...as has been mentioned, Kearns would make Hamilton's numbers moot and Lopez' numbers must be countered with the RA increase that certainly would exist...the problem with the offense is counting on 3 guys to prove they can get it done consistently from the right side...EE, Phillips and Ross...I actually see hope for the 1st two as both are beginning to slowly climb out of the morass they've fallen into...and quite honestly if Ross would just move along the occassional runner and give us just a bit of pop, I'd live with him being a low-offensive producer, simply because I think our pitching staff really connects with him...

Our bench is weak, but is it better than a year ago???...is Valentin, Castro, Conine, Hopper, and Hamilton/Freel/Griffey better than what was available last year???...I think so, especially when you realize that every night (if all are healthy) that one of our 4 OF plus the Conine/Hatty combo plus Valentin are available to pinch-hit...last weekend was not reflective because of Griffey's sickness...

The system is also better...more depth, more stars on the horizon...no, we are nowhere near where it needs to be, but once again, are we better in our farm system???...IMHO, yes...

We've been BAD, and we are now BETTER...and I believe WK has a pretty good plan in place...he's made some mistakes but as a small-market GM has made a number of key moves that are low-budget in nature but huge in impact...

You guys know I'm always the half-full guy, what'cha expect?? :rolleyes:

edabbs44
04-23-2007, 10:56 PM
I don't know... it was (and still is) a long way from where we were to where we need to get, and it's going to take a lot of moves. I don't think it's productive to look at every single signing in isolation and hold it responsible for being The Move That Puts Us Over The Top, and pronounce it a waste of money and energy if it isn't.

Not saying I agree with everything Krivsky's done either.

You are correct, Island. But I'm not looking at the Gonzo signing in isolation. I am looking at where the team was at the time of the signing and where they are now. I don't like either. Getting a glove helps the team, no doubt. But it's like Tampa or KC (on a smaller scale) signing Gonzo for 3 years. The defense just got better, but is a few wins, for this team, worth $14 million? What's the sum effect for the next 3 years? Worse draft position because of a few more wins?

I seriously doubt that this team will be in position for a playoff run with the way the roster is currently structured.

IslandRed
04-24-2007, 12:05 AM
You are correct, Island. But I'm not looking at the Gonzo signing in isolation. I am looking at where the team was at the time of the signing and where they are now. I don't like either. Getting a glove helps the team, no doubt. But it's like Tampa or KC (on a smaller scale) signing Gonzo for 3 years. The defense just got better, but is a few wins, for this team, worth $14 million? What's the sum effect for the next 3 years? Worse draft position because of a few more wins?

I seriously doubt that this team will be in position for a playoff run with the way the roster is currently structured.

Probably not this year, no. But if Gonzalez makes a few wins better (a debatable point in itself), that has worth. (Or, at the very least, sometimes you pay to get better and sometimes you pay to not get worse.) It means the next good find gets us that much closer. As long as he plays a few wins over replacement, at his salary he's not unreasonably priced relative to the market. He's certainly not blocking any highly-rated prospects right now.

So maybe he isn't the solution, but there's something to be said for not being the problem, either, especially when there are plenty of obvious problems on the ballclub.

remdog
04-24-2007, 03:04 AM
So let me take a few moments to reply to 513's missive.

I'll start with this:"You guys know I'm always the half-full guy".
Answer: Yes, we do. We just haven't determined yet what it is that you're full of. ;) OK, that part of the reply was a joke, the rest will be (somewhat) serious.

"I don't think we can overlook the economic saavy of inking Harang and Arroyo WHEN COMPARED TO THE MASS OVERSPENDING OF THIS OFFSEASON BY OTHERS..."
A: I'm not too concerned with what others spend, I'm concerned with what the Reds spend. Signing Harang was a good move in my view, Arroyo not so much. We controlled him cheaply and I'm not sold on him not dropping off from last year back to a mid-rotation starter.

"Stanton and Weathers are more than competant day-in, day-out"
A: No, they're not.

"Saarloos and Coffey are both going to be excellent"
A: No, they're not.

"Coutlangus is right now a promising lefty specialist"
A: Maybe, maybe not...

"I personally am not a Cormier or Santos fan, but in my mind, those spots are for Bray and Majewski..:
A: Bray is suffering from a 'recoverable' type of injury---he has some potential down the road. Mejewski, on the other hand has an injury that he may very well never recover from. In the back of my mind a little voice is screaming that he probably will never be an effective major league pitcher again.

"EE is so much more solid, Gonzalez and Phillips cover SO MUCH GROUND"
A: EE wasn't very solid lately and covering ground is great but an offensive black hole negates any plus that Gonzo has added. Perhaps a Phillips/Lopez SS/2nd base tandem would have been the better approach but, of course, Krivsky passed on that with his midseason magic. (pun intended :) )

"...Freel very solid bordering on spectacular, and Dunn is putting in the time:
A: The more I watch Freel the less impressed I become with him. He doesn't get the best of jumps and doesn't always take a great route. It them becomes necessary for him to make a spectacular effort to try to salvage the situation. Yes, Dunn does put in the time---usually watching balls bounce by him.

"Ross makes our staff better"
A: Not in my book as yet. I'll give him some time on that. Meanwhile, I predicted that his bat would fall off but even I didn't expect it to turn to balsa wood. I'll give him some more time on that too.

"Kearns would make Hamilton's numbers moot"
A: If they would make his numbers moot then it would be a wash so no advantage there.

"Lopez' numbers must be countered with the RA increase that certainly would exist:
A: Just as Gonzo's glove must be countered with the Runs Scored increase that would certainly exist.

"Our bench is weak, but is it better than a year ago???"
A: I have serious doubts that Hopper, Castro, and Valentin bring strength and depth to the bench.

"...more stars on the horizon..."
A: I'm of the belief that too many people count on all prospects becoming 'stars' rather than being happy if one-third of them even become solid MLB starters---which is about the best you can hope for. With much of our minor league depth still in A ball, it's far too early to proclaim that we have 'more stars on the horizon'.

Other than that, I'm OK with your viewpoint. :)

513, I'm not picking a fight with you by any means. I appreciate your passion for the Reds. But I have just as much passion and I see a much different team than you and I wanted to point out that two different people can view the same thing and come up with two entirely differnt viewpoints of it. (famous shrug)

Rem

REDREAD
04-24-2007, 10:38 AM
I seriously doubt that this team will be in position for a playoff run with the way the roster is currently structured.

That's my main beef with Wayne's offseason. His moves (other than Rule V) were all designed to patch us up to .500 over the next 2-3 years.

Wayne's supporters talk of him transforming/rebuilding/retooling this club.. but I just don't see it. He's added some nice players (Arroyo, Phillips, Hamilton), but also added a lot of dead weight (Gonzo, Stanton, Cormier, Castro, Ross, etc) and gave away some players that were previously assets.

I'm not really sure this team is going to win more games than it did in 2006. If I had to bet, I'd say this team is going to be slightly worse in the final W-L for 2007.

The big question is: Is Wayne making progress (either long term or short term)? I'm not convinced he is. I'm not convinced he's increasing the talent base of the franchise (particularly for the long term). People say Wayne is laying the foundation to compete in 2009-2010 by shoring up the defense and fixing the pitching.. I don't see it.. I see him bringing in a bunch of expensive old guy stopgaps, that won't even be around in 2009-2010.

IslandRed
04-24-2007, 11:37 AM
The big question is: Is Wayne making progress (either long term or short term)? I'm not convinced he is. I'm not convinced he's increasing the talent base of the franchise (particularly for the long term). People say Wayne is laying the foundation to compete in 2009-2010 by shoring up the defense and fixing the pitching.. I don't see it.. I see him bringing in a bunch of expensive old guy stopgaps, that won't even be around in 2009-2010.

Oh, I'm absolutely convinced this organization, top to bottom, is in better shape than it was 14 months ago when he took over. It may not be showing up in the MLB product as fast as I'd like. But let's be realistic here. He took over an organization with one good pitcher at the MLB level, a few defensively-challenged sluggers -- in short, an organization as far away as you can get from the pitching-and-defense model he prefers -- a mostly barren farm system, and a payroll that was increased but not by enough to play checkbook baseball. Factor in that the guy who hired him was a new owner who, like every other new owner in baseball history, wanted to win yesterday; "blow it up and start over" wasn't an option on the table.

Degree Of Difficulty: Severe.

I think that's why we see the expensive old stopgaps, and that's exactly what they are, stopgaps. The farm system should be producing players to fill those roles, but since it isn't, yet, that's what ends up happening.

Now, getting back to the original premise of the thread, Krivsky's been hit-and-miss in terms of his moves at the MLB level. No doubt about that. I think he's doing things pretty much right elsewhere, and I'm hoping that as the talent starts flowing from the farm system, it will let him settle down, for lack of a better phrase.

coachw513
04-24-2007, 12:12 PM
So let me take a few moments to reply to 513's missive.

I'll start with this:"You guys know I'm always the half-full guy".
Answer: Yes, we do. We just haven't determined yet what it is that you're full of. ;) OK, that part of the reply was a joke, the rest will be (somewhat) serious.

"I don't think we can overlook the economic saavy of inking Harang and Arroyo WHEN COMPARED TO THE MASS OVERSPENDING OF THIS OFFSEASON BY OTHERS..."
A: I'm not too concerned with what others spend, I'm concerned with what the Reds spend. Signing Harang was a good move in my view, Arroyo not so much. We controlled him cheaply and I'm not sold on him not dropping off from last year back to a mid-rotation starter.

"Stanton and Weathers are more than competant day-in, day-out"
A: No, they're not.

"Saarloos and Coffey are both going to be excellent"
A: No, they're not.

"Coutlangus is right now a promising lefty specialist"
A: Maybe, maybe not...

"I personally am not a Cormier or Santos fan, but in my mind, those spots are for Bray and Majewski..:
A: Bray is suffering from a 'recoverable' type of injury---he has some potential down the road. Mejewski, on the other hand has an injury that he may very well never recover from. In the back of my mind a little voice is screaming that he probably will never be an effective major league pitcher again.

"EE is so much more solid, Gonzalez and Phillips cover SO MUCH GROUND"
A: EE wasn't very solid lately and covering ground is great but an offensive black hole negates any plus that Gonzo has added. Perhaps a Phillips/Lopez SS/2nd base tandem would have been the better approach but, of course, Krivsky passed on that with his midseason magic. (pun intended :) )

"...Freel very solid bordering on spectacular, and Dunn is putting in the time:
A: The more I watch Freel the less impressed I become with him. He doesn't get the best of jumps and doesn't always take a great route. It them becomes necessary for him to make a spectacular effort to try to salvage the situation. Yes, Dunn does put in the time---usually watching balls bounce by him.

"Ross makes our staff better"
A: Not in my book as yet. I'll give him some time on that. Meanwhile, I predicted that his bat would fall off but even I didn't expect it to turn to balsa wood. I'll give him some more time on that too.

"Kearns would make Hamilton's numbers moot"
A: If they would make his numbers moot then it would be a wash so no advantage there.

"Lopez' numbers must be countered with the RA increase that certainly would exist:
A: Just as Gonzo's glove must be countered with the Runs Scored increase that would certainly exist.

"Our bench is weak, but is it better than a year ago???"
A: I have serious doubts that Hopper, Castro, and Valentin bring strength and depth to the bench.

"...more stars on the horizon..."
A: I'm of the belief that too many people count on all prospects becoming 'stars' rather than being happy if one-third of them even become solid MLB starters---which is about the best you can hope for. With much of our minor league depth still in A ball, it's far too early to proclaim that we have 'more stars on the horizon'.

Other than that, I'm OK with your viewpoint. :)

513, I'm not picking a fight with you by any means. I appreciate your passion for the Reds. But I have just as much passion and I see a much different team than you and I wanted to point out that two different people can view the same thing and come up with two entirely differnt viewpoints of it. (famous shrug)

Rem

Hey at least you read it :D

I hear what you are saying...I just think that relative to other teams and their strengths and weaknesses, we're going in a positive direction...other teams have major bullpen problems, problems in their rotations or holes in their lineups...there are very, very few clubs that seem "complete"...so it's in that vain that I attempt to see what we "are" as a club...I'll be interested to compare notes with you over the course of the season...

Sometimes I try to remember too, it's not what we have that's so good, it's the fact that there aren't or weren't alternatives any more attractive or effective both in terms of performance and economics...for instance, I am SO glad we did not overspend for FA pitching this offseason...Lilly and Meche may prove me wrong, but the money going for those guys was insane IMHO...

Some specific thoughts:


A: I'm not too concerned with what others spend, I'm concerned with what the Reds spend. Signing Harang was a good move in my view, Arroyo not so much. We controlled him cheaply and I'm not sold on him not dropping off from last year back to a mid-rotation starter.

For the $$, would Arroyo be overpaid in today's baseball as a #3 starter??...


"Stanton and Weathers are more than competant day-in, day-out"
A: No, they're not.

"Saarloos and Coffey are both going to be excellent"
A: No, they're not.

We're just going to have to agree to disagree...it's early so neither of us can be sure (I'm sure you think you're sure though ;) ) but I think the major problem is first, that Weathers is miscast as a closer (fixable in July if we needed to) and Narron's inability to slot guys into specific, success-laden roles...but that's just MHO...


A: Bray is suffering from a 'recoverable' type of injury---he has some potential down the road. Mejewski, on the other hand has an injury that he may very well never recover from. In the back of my mind a little voice is screaming that he probably will never be an effective major league pitcher again.

If correct, it's a huge blow considering the value given up...I'm not so pessimistic about either, especially regarding their health (surprising I'm sure)


A: EE wasn't very solid lately and covering ground is great but an offensive black hole negates any plus that Gonzo has added. Perhaps a Phillips/Lopez SS/2nd base tandem would have been the better approach but, of course, Krivsky passed on that with his midseason magic. (pun intended :) )
A: Just as Gonzo's glove must be countered with the Runs Scored increase that would certainly exist.

It's apparent Reds' brass did not feel Phillips would be a solid defensive 2B...I can only go on that...but I am convinced he's potentially a gold glove 2B along with a potentially gold-glove SS in Gonzalez...Gonzo's offensive shortcomings are an issue only because of the lack of production by (at present) EE, Phillips, Ross and a lack of power by Griffey...in a vacuum, Alex's offensive production is sufficient in the RA/RS argument...and I really find it hard to accept a premise that disputes that Lopez is leveling off to be an average hitter who was WAY below average defensively...just don't see how his presence would've been helpful...


A: The more I watch Freel the less impressed I become with him. He doesn't get the best of jumps and doesn't always take a great route. It them becomes necessary for him to make a spectacular effort to try to salvage the situation. Yes, Dunn does put in the time---usually watching balls bounce by him.

Cheap shot on Dunn, by the way...I guess my general question would be is the OF defense better now than it was a year ago and I'd assume your assertion would be yes it is...


A: Not in my book as yet. I'll give him some time on that. Meanwhile, I predicted that his bat would fall off but even I didn't expect it to turn to balsa wood. I'll give him some more time on that too.

Just as the numbers seem to suggest the offense dropping, don't the numbers also suggest his positive impact on the pitching staff day in/day out...and yes, at some point his offense must give us something along the RS line...


A: If they would make his numbers moot then it would be a wash so no advantage there.

I did a poor job with my point...I think Kearns presence means Hamilton doesn't get on the field...in reality I think Hamilton will put up better numbers than Kearns does right now and substantially better in the future...the only negative is that Hamilton is another LH bat...


A: I have serious doubts that Hopper, Castro, and Valentin bring strength and depth to the bench.

I didn't say we have a good bench...I said our bench was better now than last year...(remember, my premise is we are BETTER now)...FWIW, Valentin is a solid PH threat in my book, but anyways...

I love the dialogue and debate...I love the fact we root for the same team...thanks for the great points and input... :beerme:

Chip R
04-24-2007, 12:55 PM
Considering that the Reds and the Blue Jays were the only people pursuing Gonzales, I kind of doubt he has any trade value.

Vizquel is on the tail end of his career, but he's an excellent hitter compared to Gonzo. I just looked it up, Omar had a 361 OBP last year. That's outstanding.

Everett and Izturas are decent comparisions, although they are both younger and their clubs (IIRC) don't have any long term commitments to them. But isn't it a bit of damning with faint praise to say that Gonzo is arguably as good as Everett and Izturas.. To be honest, I don't think his glove is as good as those two guys, but obviously, defense is subjective.


He was a free agent at the time and not everyone needed a SS. It's not like the Yankees were going to sign him. He may not have any trade value now but the Reds didn't sign him to trade him 6 months later. If Encarnacion and Ross and Phillips were hitting halfway decently, no one would care about having a good field no hit SS. Wayne, et. al. felt they needed a glove at SS. So they got the best available. In 2009, he will only have 1 year left on his deal at about $5M a year. If someone needs a SS and the Reds think they can plug someone just as good in there, you can bet someone's going to snap him up. Now we may not get a #1 starter for him but we may get a nice return.

Put yourself in Wayne's shoes. You wanted to upgrade your defense at SS. What do you do?

edabbs44
04-24-2007, 12:58 PM
He was a free agent at the time and not everyone needed a SS. It's not like the Yankees were going to sign him. He may not have any trade value now but the Reds didn't sign him to trade him 6 months later. If Encarnacion and Ross and Phillips were hitting halfway decently, no one would care about having a good field no hit SS. Wayne, et. al. felt they needed a glove at SS. So they got the best available. In 2009, he will only have 1 year left on his deal at about $5M a year. If someone needs a SS and the Reds think they can plug someone just as good in there, you can bet someone's going to snap him up. Now we may not get a #1 starter for him but we may get a nice return.

Put yourself in Wayne's shoes. You wanted to upgrade your defense at SS. What do you do?

You upgraded your defense at SS, while severely underestimating how the rest of your lineup would perform during the first month of the season. It's still early though.

redsmetz
04-24-2007, 01:26 PM
You upgraded your defense at SS, while severely underestimating how the rest of your lineup would perform during the first month of the season. It's still early though.

But realistically, is there a GM in baseball, even on the worst teams, who would presume so many of their players to start out so flat? It's certainly not unprecedented, but I don't think Wayne had this in mind. I'm not sure the worst naysayer on RZ would have predicted this flat start.

edabbs44
04-24-2007, 01:31 PM
But realistically, is there a GM in baseball, even on the worst teams, who would presume so many of their players to start out so flat? It's certainly not unprecedented, but I don't think Wayne had this in mind. I'm not sure the worst naysayer on RZ would have predicted this flat start.

I don't think it took a wizard to think that 1B, SS, C and RF could be issues. That's half your lineup. I think that Dunn has been Dunn this season. Phillips has had his moments, but again could have been predicted to maybe regress a bit. Hamilton has been huge. Freel has been Freel.

I think the only really big negative surprise has been EdE. And Hamilton makes up part of that.

boognish
04-24-2007, 01:44 PM
Who else was available at SS? I don't really consider Lugo to be worth the extra $$, and my personal favorite things about Gonzo are comparitive/situational:

1. Better defensively than any SS since Larkin
2. Didn't have to break the bank to get him
3. Not blocking any top prospects
4. I was convinced WK would try to trade for Craig Counsell :evil:

Some of the smaller moves this year haven't made sense to me (swapping out Harris for Keppinger, paying KC to take LaRue and signing Moeller, etc) but the precedent has been set that if you perform in a Reds uniform, you will be rewarded. I think it is important to send this message to the players, so that long-term, if there is a high $ free agent who fits the team, he will actually want to come here.

I think the Arroyo contract was risky, and the Ross deal did not need to be two years, but WK stayed away from the hazard that would have been a long-term contract for Rich Aurilia, electing instead to offer arbitration. It has been a mixed bag, thus far, but the "culture change" of rewarding performance falls squarely on the strength side of the ledger in my opinion.

The upcoming draft, how Dunn's situation is handled, the important question of Lohse, etc. will provide a lot more data on whether WK is truly the man for the job. He made a mess before the deadline last summer to a large extent and now has to sweep it up and turn it in to something. I personally can't wait to see the draft with an established group of underlieutenants after the consensus on the board regarding last year's selections was to come away underwhelmed.

boognish
04-24-2007, 01:49 PM
I don't think it took a wizard to think that 1B, SS, C and RF could be issues. That's half your lineup. I think that Dunn has been Dunn this season. Phillips has had his moments, but again could have been predicted to maybe regress a bit. Hamilton has been huge. Freel has been Freel.

I think the only really big negative surprise has been EdE. And Hamilton makes up part of that.

Everyone expected Ross to relapse, but I don't think anyone quite expected him to be this bad. He and Valentin can reasonably be expected to put together middle of the pack production relative to other catching tandems in the NL; we have seen next to nothing thus far. I think you are correct that the offense looked weak, but I don't think it should be projected below 700 runs...now even with Hamilton's torrid start 700 looks rosy.

REDREAD
04-24-2007, 03:27 PM
Oh, I'm absolutely convinced this organization, top to bottom, is in better shape than it was 14 months ago when he took over.

I think he improved the team from when he started until "the Trade".
Arroyo, Phillips, and Hat worked out great. I don't recall any major stinkers until then.

Since "the Trade", he's had more stinkers than wins: the Trade, Cormier, Stanton, Gonzo, etc. I'm trying to think of the positives. Hamilton was a lottery hit, but he still gets credit for that. Extending Arroyo could be good, and I admire the guts for doing that. Sarloos was a good pickup. Only an idiot would've not signed Harang.. that was good, but hardly visionary.
On the downside, Milton is still here and he's weighed us down with more marginal veterans. People say Gonzo is "only" 3 years, but Milton's 3 years seem pretty long.

So, I think Wayne has done more harm than good since last July, starting with "the trade".

REDREAD
04-24-2007, 03:42 PM
He was a free agent at the time and not everyone needed a SS. It's not like the Yankees were going to sign him. He may not have any trade value now but the Reds didn't sign him to trade him 6 months later.

If the Reds ever decide they want to move him, it's not going to be easy for the same reason you brought up. Everyone else has a SS that is better, or at least younger.

Same with Cormier, Stanton, etc.. If Wayne is going to spend money, why not spend it on assets that will be worth something in the trade market later, instead of players that will be tough to move. That's why Lily was a decent signing. He's not going to win the Cy Young, but as long as he's healthy, he'll be productive enough to have some value.

The Reds might be able to give away Gonzo if they have to... but that doesn't really make him an asset, does it?





If Encarnacion and Ross and Phillips were hitting halfway decently, no one would care about having a good field no hit SS.


I would care, because I don't think it's wise to give relatively expensive 3 year deals to marginal players. BTW, it was a longshot that all 3 of those guys would all hit well this year, especially Ross. We are lucky that our senior citizen firstbasemen are producing so far.






Wayne, et. al. felt they needed a glove at SS. So they got the best available.

I think the reality was that the organization had no viable candidate for SS. So Wayne took the easy way out and just threw money at a marginal player that was a FA. It's the same thought process DanO used when he picked Milton.. sign the guy for 3 years, and hope he's adequate. Don't pay any attention to the guy's track record, and don't try to find a younger, better, and cheaper solution by another route. Just spend the money.





In 2009, he will only have 1 year left on his deal at about $5M a year. If someone needs a SS and the Reds think they can plug someone just as good in there, you can bet someone's going to snap him up. Now we may not get a #1 starter for him but we may get a nice return.

We might be able to give him away, like LaRue if we eat some of his contract.





Put yourself in Wayne's shoes. You wanted to upgrade your defense at SS. What do you do?

Like I said before, I would scour every team's minor league system and have open tryouts. Grab a guy in the second round of rule V. Keep Brandon Harris and Olmedo around.. Experiment with Phillips at SS. The difference between Wayne and I is that I see this year as a transitional year. I would plug in a bunch of youngsters at SS and try to find a longterm solution, and spend the 14 million on a good reliver or other need. I wouldn't settle for a mediocre FA.. Gonzo is at about replacement level, or close to it. Not worth commiting 3 years and 14 million.. Moves like that doom a club to mediocrity. If the Reds worked, they could find a rookie that could field at close to the level of Gonzo, and the hitting wouldn't be much worse.. The Reds needed to find a 2000 version of Juan Castro.. A guy trapped in the AAA that can field..
And I also wouldn't have extended Castro.. I'd give his job to one of the young infielders from the cattle call as well. That's another 2 million that could be used in the draft or another need.

I mean, if we could find a 2000 version of Castro, would there really be that much of a difference in the 2007 W-L record? I doubt it.. heck, there's also the possiblity that we could find a young guy that will actually be better than Gonzo (even if we have to wait until 2008 or 2009).. Then we are actually improving the club's longterm forecast.

REDREAD
04-24-2007, 03:44 PM
, but WK stayed away from the hazard that would have been a long-term contract for Rich Aurilia, electing instead to offer arbitration.

I think giving Stanton the contract he got is riskier than giving Aurillia a long term deal..

REDREAD
04-24-2007, 03:46 PM
Everyone expected Ross to relapse, but I don't think anyone quite expected him to be this bad. He and Valentin can reasonably be expected to put together middle of the pack production relative to other catching tandems in the NL; we have seen next to nothing thus far. I think you are correct that the offense looked weak, but I don't think it should be projected below 700 runs...now even with Hamilton's torrid start 700 looks rosy.

I didn't expect Phillips to regress this bad either. I hope he can put things back together (as well as EdE).

boognish
04-24-2007, 04:21 PM
I think giving Stanton the contract he got is riskier than giving Aurillia a long term deal..

I concede that you are correct, here. As a counter-point, however, Aurilia's deal was longer, more expensive, and I bank on his lefty-mashing and power resurrection to be largely ballpark-induced phenomena which will evaporate quickly with age. Let us not forget Seattle and San Diego both considered him finished in 2004; a good scrap heap pickup, but nobody I want getting long-term deals. I consider arbitration the right move here...the compensatory draft pick is nice too.

Stanton is mediocre and ancient, and I couldn't stand that deal, but the Nats were able to flip him for decent prospects at the deadline last year and as a lefty, he can be hidden in the bullpen relatively painlessly if he goes from run of the mill to worthless.

Having said that, I want Cormier gone last year...he's already being hidden.

Ltlabner
04-24-2007, 05:26 PM
The Reds might be able to give away Gonzo if they have to... but that doesn't really make him an asset, does it?

So Wayne took the easy way out and just threw money at a marginal player that was a FA.

I wouldn't settle for a mediocre FA.. Gonzo is at about replacement level, or close to it. .

Keep beating that drum and don't let facts get in your way.

BP projects AGON out at a 12.3 VORP in 2007. Brendon Harris a 2.9. Olmedo doesn't even rate a Pecota projection. So the two guys you specifically mention because they carry such big sticks don't even rank out anywhere close to the controbution AGON potentially could make.

Oh yea, VORP doesn't even factor in Agon's defense.

You obviously don't care for the Agon signing. That's fine by me, but just saying that he's "marginal" and "about or close to replacement level" over and over and over doesn't make it true.

PuffyPig
04-24-2007, 05:30 PM
If the Reds ever decide they want to move him, it's not going to be easy for the same reason you brought up. Everyone else has a SS that is better, or at least younger.




Gonzo is the best all around SS in the Central.

REDREAD
04-24-2007, 05:31 PM
I concede that you are correct, here. As a counter-point, however, Aurilia's deal was longer, more expensive


Yes, I agree, it was best not to try to match the Giant's offer with Aurilla.. I should've clarified that.

Stanton was a horrible signing.. Especially since his option year automatically vests if he gets 140 appearances in the first two years. With the way Narron uses the bullpen, that option is a slam dunk to vest if Stanton stays healthy.

I agree.. with Cormier on board, why sign Stanton? Isn't one old, mediocre lefty enough? :)

REDREAD
04-24-2007, 05:35 PM
Keep beating that drum and don't let facts get in your way.

BP projects AGON out at a 12.3 VORP in 2007. .

And you trotted out projections earlier that projected Gonzo to OBP at about 50 points higher than his career average.. They projected him for a new career high, which is absurd.. So, "keep beating that drum" :) Projections are just guesses. They are not facts, as you imply.

I really don't hold much stock in projections. Let's see what he actually does this year.

Yes, I concede that Gonzo might end up being better than Harris. I wouldn't hand the job to Harris. I'd have other wayward souls competing for the job too. In the end, I'd have a decent glove making the major league minimum, which I could discard at any time that I find a long term solution, and it wouldn't impact the Reds chances at a division title.

That's my point. Gonzo is a highly paid guy that is nothing special at all.
As Chip said, he's similiar to Adam Everett and the Cubs SS.. Big deal.. that's not exactly great company to be considered with. And those two comps are significantly younger than Gonzo.

REDREAD
04-24-2007, 05:38 PM
Gonzo is the best all around SS in the Central.

you wouldn't trade him for JJ Hardy of the Brewers?

Ltlabner
04-24-2007, 05:47 PM
And you trotted out projections earlier that projected Gonzo to OBP at about 50 points higher than his career average.. They projected him for a new career high, which is absurd.. So, "keep beating that drum" :) Projections are just guesses. They are not facts, as you imply.

I really don't hold much stock in projections. Let's see what he actually does this year.

Yes, I concede that Gonzo might end up being better than Harris. I wouldn't hand the job to Harris. I'd have other wayward souls competing for the job too. In the end, I'd have a decent glove making the major league minimum, which I could discard at any time that I find a long term solution, and it wouldn't impact the Reds chances at a division title.

That's my point. Gonzo is a highly paid guy that is nothing special at all.
As Chip said, he's similiar to Adam Everett and the Cubs SS.. Big deal.. that's not exactly great company to be considered with. And those two comps are significantly younger than Gonzo.


You are exactly right, they are only projections. So lets look at the history. The established facts based on what they really did.


VORP 2006 2005 2004
AGON 3.2 9.5 5.5
Harris .02/-.02 8.8 .6/-4.7

AGon was better than Harris in 2006. Harris's VORP is split between CIN and WAS. 2005 they are close, other than Harris was in the minor leagues and AGon was in the majors. 2004, again when Harris was in the "easier" settings of the minor league he had another split service time. I'd say he's no where near the stick AGon is, wouldn't you?

And I've only picked out Harris because your "I'd interview every SS on the planet" approach make's it very difficult to argue specifics Sure, there might be a short stop in Outer Slombiva that would be cheeper and better, but what's wrong with going with an established player, with MLB experience who's shown solid (not excellent, but solid) glove work? Especially considering the dreck that has been shuffled through since the departure of Larkin.

I still don't understand how vastly improving defense at the postion that sees the most plays on the field is "nothing special". I guess Wayne should just ring up a players OBP and sallary and sign him because catching and throwing the ball just is so passe these days.

M2
04-24-2007, 05:48 PM
Why bother splitting the hairs that divide Alex Gonzalez, Jack Wilson, Adam Everett and Cesar Izturis? At the end of the day, they're all the same guy.

Hardy looks like he's ready to claim his spot as the true cream of this crop. Eckstein's got a thin margin to his game so you never know when he's going to slip from effective to abysmal, but I sure as shooting respect what he's accomplished the past six seasons.