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Stingray
04-24-2007, 05:56 PM
There’s interesting a thread in ORG about what you’d want in return in a Adam Dunn trade. It was not in any way advocating a Dunn trade just discussing what would be a fair return. It got me thinking about what the Reds philosophy should be on building and sustaining a winner. Clearly a small market team cannot operate with the same approach as a large market team unless there is an effective equalizer such as the salary cap in the NFL.

First you have to accept that you’ll a a different cutoff point of salary/performance than a large market team. When a player reaches superstar status in a small market it just isn’t possible to compete with the large markets for his services. The Reds, for example, can’t pay $20M/yr(25 % of their payroll) to a single player - or $40M for two or $60M for three. Here are some of my thoughts on what approach a team such as the Reds must take.


1. Heavy emphasis on player development – Worldwide(US, Latin America, Asia) Scouting, Trading for youth, Draft, etc
2. Keep your players in the minors until they’re fully ready(minimize the development required in the majors)
3. Identify and sign to contract extensions(that last thru the first 2 or 3 years of free agency) key players early in their Arb years
4. When a player has reached the peak of his cost/performance value trade him at the deadline for multiple AA prospects(I’d want 3 very good young AA prospects for Dunn)


The Reds are currently in good shape to follow this plan. They have a good minor league system and potentially guys who may bring in more high quality prospects at the deadline(Dunn, maybe Loshe).

Natty Redlocks
04-24-2007, 07:02 PM
Search the crackhouses for more Josh Hamiltons


(Just kidding -- good, thoughtful post but there are a lot of people here way more knowledgable than I am to answer it)

JaxRed
04-24-2007, 07:20 PM
Excellent post, Stingray. A couple others: You can't afford the luxury of having Starters begin in the bullpen. You must maximize the non-arb time.

Use deadlines to your advantage. If a red hot rookie might start the season in the majors for the first time, holding him in minors 1 day pushes back his FA an entire year. Not calling a guy up till June 1st delays arb a year.

RedsManRick
04-24-2007, 07:33 PM
I think you touch on a number of good points. A few clarifications I would add:

1.) You don't trade your peaking young at the break. The All-Star break is largely a buyers market in reality. Sellers are quickly about to lose their ability to cash in on the value of that player's last few months. It turns in to a game of chicken and the parties meet somewhere in the middle -- or nowhere at all. Rather, I trade the player the offseason before his final arb/contract year, if not earlier. You have to make the move when you still hold the leverage. It also let's you target players who would otherwise be unavailable b/c they're entrenched in a position mid-season and the team could not use FA to adjust their roster composition. (see Elmer Dessens for Felipe Lopez)

The last half season does you no good anyways. If that player puts you in the playoff race, you can't trade him or you lose credibility with your fan base that you'll never actually try to win, just feed the "real" teams. If he doesn't put you in the playoff race, well, you just wasted trade value compared to the previous offseason.

2.) You don't necessarily trade away that guy after his arb years are up. Sometimes you keep them around after that, even at market price. At some point, you play to win the game. Albert Pujols's production, at market price, simply cannot be replaced. Same with an Andruw Jones. Some talent is fungible. Some isn't. Keep what isn't if you can. Also, sometimes the market won't give you in AA talent the value of the compensatory draft picks. Though it's not popular, getting a 2nd round pick instead of a 23 year old AA pitcher who was a 12th round pick isn't a bad idea sometimes.

3.) Dump supplemental players as soon as you can get good return. Turn Kent Merker in to Matt Belisle, a miraculous half season of Jose Guillen in to Aaron Harang, and Cory Lidle for Jovan Moran, Joe Wilson, and Elizardo Ramirez. No, it won't always work out, but that guy isn't going to make a difference anways and frankly, those are often the guys blocking your prospects in AAA. Don't pay a 35 year old 3M for what a 26 year old could do for 350k, just because that 26 year old's ceiling is as a 5th starter, 6th reliever, or glove man on the bench.

Stingray
04-24-2007, 09:35 PM
I agree with the points both Redsman & Jax make, however, I thought the best time the get buyers to overpay was at the trading deadline when one guy could put a team over the top into the playoffs.

M2
04-24-2007, 10:00 PM
I'll add two:

- Instruction, instruction, instruction. Too often we think of devleopment as bringing in the right players. A small market team needs to succeed with players who'd wash out of other organizations. Quality instruction needs to be constant as well. When the A's needed to replace Jason Giambi, they turned Scott Hatteberg into a 1B. The Twins tried Michael Cuddyer at 3B, 2B and 1B until he finally settled into RF. They also stuck with him when his bat didn't click in the majors. They had to have that bat.

- Destroy all boxes. A small market team has got to think differently. It's going to have square pegs. It's going to have to look in odd places for talent. It's got to beat the opposition with brain power and hustle.

AmarilloRed
04-25-2007, 01:53 AM
Try and lock your talented younstes up to long-term contracts and teach them loyalty to the organization. Of course, loyalty has to go two ways.

bucksfan2
04-25-2007, 09:34 AM
It starts with scouting. You need to scout and develop good players. You need to scout other teams minor leaguers. You need to develop players who are ready to replace players on your big league roster when they near free agency or are at their peak trading value. You need to recognize when you can and cant sign an existing player and be prepared to part with them. Florida parted with Josh Beckett, arguably an ace for the next 10 years, when the felt that they could not control him from much longer and thought they got more value. In a year or two I would argue the likes of Ramirez and Sanchez will far out weight Beckett and his production.

You need to understand the value of players, how to maximize that, and when to get out from them. The reds of the past decade + have been very poor and judging their players actual value. You do not want to extend a Sean Casey when you see his baseball skills diminishing and you wont get true value isn't anywhere close to what he is being paid. Same went with LaRue, Graves, and Larkin.

Realize when $350,000 can produce at the same rate as $8,000,000. When players have reached their peak its time to gets what left out of them and then get rid of them. There is no need keeping a veteran on the roster when you have a guy down in the minors who can produce at the same rate for a lot cheaper.

Finally use your $ wisely. Go out and get a free agent who you feel will put you over the top. Use your prospects wisely. When you think you have a chance to win go out and get a star player. Sometimes the best prosect is someone who nets you someone from another team who puts you over the top.

If you have any questions see Oakland, Minnesota, and Florida.

membengal
04-25-2007, 02:38 PM
Nice thread, stingray, and good outline. I note, in looking at what you wrote, that the Twins in particular follow that approach (almost too much, waiting too long to bring some prospects forward, in my opinion). In addition to those, agree wholeheartedly with M2, development is key. In the last year, some reason to hope that the Reds are finally making that a priority, rather than just hoping talent will ooze upward naturally.

I(heart)Freel
04-25-2007, 03:20 PM
I know it's part of Stingray's first point... but it's worth naming separately:

Utilize the Rule 5 Draft to its fullest and be willing to take chances.

No, of course it's not always going to produce a Josh Hamilton type story. (And who knows what the second chapter of his story will be.) But it's exactly the kind of move a small market club has to be willing to make.

My two pennies.

Anyone else read "The Book on the Book"? I'm in the middle of it now and there is a chapter detailing roster makeup by salary (40 percent on starting pitching, no more than 10 percent on your star player, etc.). Pretty interesting. I'll try to outline it sometime on here.

Stingray
04-25-2007, 03:40 PM
[QUOTE=bucksfan2;top. If you have any questions see Oakland, Minnesota, and Florida.[/QUOTE]


Yes, those are the model we should follow. However, I should have titled this thread "Building and sustaining a “small market” winner. The Marlins seem a little too quick to start rebuilding.

There seems to be some hope our GM is going to follow a model similar to the Twins despite aquiring so many "savy veterans" in the off season.

RedsManRick
04-25-2007, 03:46 PM
Yes, those are the model we should follow. However, I should have titled this thread "Building and sustaining a “small market” winner. The Marlins seem a little too quick to start rebuilding.

There seems to be some hope our GM is going to follow a model similar to the Twins despite aquiring so many "savy veterans" in the off season.

Very good point. However, the Marlins model is perhaps the corralary to the build and sustain. It's "If you can't truly sustain success, don't sustain half-way. Go ahead and tear the sucker down and rebuild." It's like spending $1,500 bucks repairing a 10 year old car with 150,000 miles on it. Better to bite the bullet and put that money towards a new car (or newer used one) than to sink it in to what you've got, knowing full well that you can never get it back to where it was.

Just a quick point. Here's the Marlins starters from 2003:

C: Pudge
1B: Derrek Lee
2B: Luis Castillo
3B: Mike Lowell
SS: Seabass
LF: Todd Hollandsworth/Miguel Cabrera/Jeff Conine
CF: Juan Pierre
RF: Juan Encarnacion

SP1: Brad Penny
SP2: Carl Pavano
SP3: Mark Redman
SP4: Dontrelle Willis
SP5: Josh Beckett
CL: Braden Looper

Outside of Lowell and Beckett for Ramirez and Sanchez, none of these guys were turned in to current Marlins on the trade market. Most of them simply left via FA. They gave Carlos Delgado big money and then flipped him for Yusmero Petit & Mike Jacobs. Uggla was a rule V guy. Olsen and Willingham were drafted and developed by Florida. Now yes, they aren't a playoff team. But, they do have quite a bit of talent, particularly pitchers, and it they didn't have to trade for it or sign it in FA. Development is HUGE -- outside of the Yankees, Sox, Dodgers, etc. you simply can't afford a winner unless you've got a lot of production coming from pre-arb guys.

Stingray
04-25-2007, 03:52 PM
Very good point. However, the Marlins model is perhaps the corralary to the build and sustain. It's "If you can't truly sustain success, don't sustain half-way. Tear the sucker down and rebuild." It's like spending $1,500 bucks repairing a 10 year old car with 150,000 miles on it. Better to bite the bullet and put that money towards a new car (or newer used one) than to sink it in to what you've got, knowing full well that you can never get it back to where it was.


The Marlins approach is far better than the Reds(waste millions on stop-gap veterans with no apparent real plan) has been but I'd prefer a NE Patriots model.

texasdave
04-25-2007, 04:07 PM
Be fortunate enough to have an owner that doesn't meddle. I think that is pretty important.

bucksfan2
04-25-2007, 04:35 PM
I think an important think with building a small market winner is realizing who you are. I think for years the reds thought that they were competitive when in reality they were not. The reds would have been better off if they would have acted like the marlines a few years ago and traded off some of their better players instead of holding steady in this less than mediocre tail spin the reds have been in for 5 straight years. If the reds would have been a little more proactive they not only would have gotten Arroyo for Pena but also Westbrook for Kearns and then we wouldn't be talking about "the trade" for the forseeable future.


Just a quick point. Here's the Marlins starters from 2003:

C: Pudge
1B: Derrek Lee
2B: Luis Castillo
3B: Mike Lowell
SS: Seabass
LF: Todd Hollandsworth/Miguel Cabrera/Jeff Conine
CF: Juan Pierre
RF: Juan Encarnacion

SP1: Brad Penny
SP2: Carl Pavano
SP3: Mark Redman
SP4: Dontrelle Willis
SP5: Josh Beckett
CL: Braden Looper


How many of these players were signed via free agency. The only one that the marlins probably paid top dollar for was pudge and he was the glue that held that rotation together. I think an interesting point about that team was the next year Beckett had to take a pay cut because he didn't meet certain critera in his contract.

redsfanmia
04-25-2007, 05:24 PM
What is with the Seabass nickname? I just dont get it.

Degenerate39
04-25-2007, 08:15 PM
Search the crackhouses for more Josh Hamiltons


(Just kidding -- good, thoughtful post but there are a lot of people here way more knowledgable than I am to answer it)

Thanks for making me spit up my pop

kaldaniels
04-25-2007, 08:22 PM
What is with the Seabass nickname? I just dont get it.

Enjoy

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56886&highlight=seabass