PDA

View Full Version : Does Wayne work "by the book"?



RedEye
05-29-2007, 01:57 AM
The Redlegs' buffoonery hasn't been giving me much to be think about with on-field strategy these days. Increasingly despondent, I've turned my thoughts to GM technique. As we all know, WK has been busy with a flurry of moves recently, demoting and adding players too and from the ML roster (Coffey and Saarloos demoted, Milton to the DL, Encarnacion down and back again, Keppinger and Hopper resurfacing like yo-yos). Some of us are wont to call this type of shuffling "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic", but I thought we might dig a bit deeper.

Anyway, here's what I'm wondering. These are really more a cluster of interrelated questions about roster management than a coherent argument, but here goes nothing...

1) To what extent is K's recent roster management "by the book"?

I'm wondering it there are prevailing schools of thought about what to do with, for example, an ineffective starter with a big contract like Milton, or perhaps with a promising starter like Bailey, or an ineffective young regular like EdE. Does K strike out on his own in these matters, or is he a card-carrying member of the club?

2) Has K managed yet to carve his own distinctive identity as a GM?

Could be that his reputation just as a bit of a naive newcomer (see Trade, The) or that there is something much more complicated going on. I'd like to think K has a master plan but it's sure hard to see what's going on from where I sit.

3) How does K measure up in the current crop of GMs in terms of managing the roster?

All of this yanking of players back-and-forth simply may be par for the course, but it sure does seem that K has some sort of functional view of demotions as "punishment" or "message-sending" at the very least. My memory grows dim, but I don't recall other previous Reds GMs being so quick to demote, DFA, and the like. It's hard to trace an overall strategy, but he seems finicky and capricious at worst, compulsive and instinctive at best. Perhaps some amalgam of Terry Ryan dogma and dumb luck, but the jury may still be out. (Okay, sorry for the editorial comment. Inappropriate for this type of post. Moving on... no more snarkiness)

4) Are there different types of GMs? If so, can we talk about different "schools" of roster management?

Could be I am just plain ignorant of some pre-existing classification. You know, like "wheel and deal" or "slash and cut" or "blow up and rebuild." Better yet, these may be modes that all GMs adopt at different times, and that different GMs excel at in different ways. From my novice position I can already think of a few reputations out there. The Billy Beane "school" (sell high, invest low, draft college, seek undervalued commodities) is probably the most notorious, but surely there is also a Schuerholz approach (foundational building blocks with gradually phased in young talent), perhaps the Jocketty approach (analyze the market and trade for best-fitting pieces at opportune moments) the Ryan approach (strong farm development buttressed by undervalued veteran free agent signings) and *gasp* the Bavasi approach (do your best to screw your team for the foreseeable future).

Perhaps there is no discernible typology in all of this madness... but my instincts tell me otherwise.

So... what say you, fellow Deckers?

:cool: (why do I feel compelled to use this smiley now? Perhaps because it goes well with our new environs?)

RedEye
05-29-2007, 12:01 PM
Shoot... well that one sank to the bottom of the board right quick. I'll give it one more chance. Any thoughts, or were my ideas just too scattered?

durl
05-29-2007, 12:15 PM
Maybe you're finding out that people like to critique a GM but don't fully understand the full scope of what they do.

hebroncougar
05-29-2007, 12:19 PM
Maybe you're finding out that people like to critique a GM but don't fully understand the full scope of what they do.

Or that Wayne is so far off kilter that no one really cares. He's much too trigger happy with regards to sending people up and down, and neither him nor Narron seem to be able to distinguish talent from a hot hand. He acrquires all sorts of arms, and throws them against a wall and hopes they stick (especially in regards to the bullpen). He's made three good pickups, Phillips, Arroyo, and Hamilton. All of the moves lately just smell of desperation.

durl
05-29-2007, 12:25 PM
Or that Wayne is so far off kilter that no one really cares. He's much too trigger happy with regards to sending people up and down, and neither him nor Narron seem to be able to distinguish talent from a hot hand.

Nah, I don't think that's it.

5DOLLAR-BLEACHERBUM
05-29-2007, 12:51 PM
I would say that a GM has a particular style that they want to imbed into their franchise from the very start. The problem with that is that if a few things fall thru then they are left with what looks like a bad plan. I think that many would agree that Wayne's plan comming in was to shake things up, make some quick moves to show the fans that he meant business. It all worked out great for him until this season when the truth finally rose to the top, or should I say the bottom. It's very obvious that the best part of the Reds future is stationed at our minor league affiliates, and Wayne would have loved to have had one more year of the Reds being " in the hunt" in order to develope those players a little bit more. What happens in a time like this is very important for a GM's tenure, you can't be too agressive and risk trashing the future, but you can't be too lax and risk losing your fan base going into next season with guys like Votto and Homer waiting in the system. Once your fans expect action, the lack there of is like gas on a fire. I have been pleased with wayne for the most part, but some of the comments he has been making lately really makes me wonder if he has the drive to do what it's gonna take to get this done. If your gonna sit there and tell me after the record this team has put up that it's not the time to panic, or make harsh moves. If you really believe this , there is either something wrong with you or you knew this might happen going into the season. If your gonna sit there and tell me that this team is better than they are playing, or better than their record then who's fault is that. I think we all know the answer to that but that belongs in another thread all together. I think there is a few things we all need to think about when it comes to Wayne's style/plan.
1. If Brandon Phillips plays at the level that forced the Indians to give up on him, then what.
2. If Arroyo didn't make the All-star team and put up Milton-esque type numbers, then what.
3. If David Ross had the same stats he has this year all of last year, then what.
4. If the Cubs decide that they want Josh Hamilton, then what.
5. If Kearns and Lopez had the Nationals at the top of their division right now, then what.
All scenerios that could have set this organization back for a long time, but they didn't, they pushed us along and set up the possibility to get younger and transition into what I would call a bright future for this organization. I can't say that Wayne's a genious, or an idiot, but I would say that after this horrid season is over he has pretty much lucked his way into a pretty good situation. Take it for what you will, but I just hope that we can all look past what is going on right at the moment, and see what is in the very near future for this team.

hebroncougar
05-29-2007, 01:19 PM
Nah, I don't think that's it.


Then tell me what you think. I'm thoroughly confused. You think he wants to get younger.........then he trades for Cormier, and signs Stanton, Conine, and Castro, or trades Denorfia. Other moves point to the fact that he wants to get younger.....having TWO rule V picks on the team (in which case, no how, no way do you go out and sign vets in the offseason). I don't get it. You send down Encarnacion for poor play (supposed), then in two weeks, he's batting fifth. One day, Saarloos is good enough to be an important cog in the bullpen wheel, then he starts a game since your fifth starter gets hurt, doesn't pitch well, and gets sent to the minors. There seems to be no plan, or at least any coordination between Krivsky and Narron. I'm not convinced either one of them knows what they are doing anymore.

RedEye
05-29-2007, 01:20 PM
Maybe you're finding out that people like to critique a GM but don't fully understand the full scope of what they do.

I've gotta believe we've got some people out there who understand more. Nice post by 5DOLLAR for example. Anyone else?

durl
05-29-2007, 02:09 PM
I've gotta believe we've got some people out there who understand more. Nice post by 5DOLLAR for example. Anyone else?

There are some, true. It just seems that most posts regarding Krivsky involve his supposed inability to build a winner and call for his firing while those discussing the ins-and-outs of what a GM deals with on a daily basis are the minority.

I'm not a GM wannabe and can't pretend, myself, to have qualified answers to all of the questions you posed. (Which is why I didn't even attempt to do so earlier. :))

My personal opinion is that first and foremost, a GM has to understand what he has to work with. Not just with personnel but with the resources provided by the market and the ownership. I believe, based upon his history with Minnesota, Krivsky knows what it takes to build a highly competitive team with limited resources.

The only question I will attempt to answer is #2. I don't believe he's had enough time to carve his own niche. I would argue that he needs more than 1 1/2 years to put his signature on this team.

And, sure, he's made some decisions that are questionable. Cormier/Stanton are biggies right now. While not huge acquisitions, Krivsky wasn't going to get lights-out relievers with the extremely over-priced free-agent market this past year. Instead, he took a shot on two accomplished veterans that simply haven't worked out. And the "trade" was a good gamble, in my opinion. Lopez was reverting to his average and Kearns was the high-potential player you have to give up if you want something in return.

If I had all the answers, I'd be pulling in big money as a GM. I'm just a fan who enjoys baseball and tries to see the big picture of the way the game works these days.

fearofpopvol1
05-29-2007, 02:21 PM
It's very obvious that the best part of the Reds future is stationed at our minor league affiliates, and Wayne would have loved to have had one more year of the Reds being " in the hunt" in order to develope those players a little bit more. What happens in a time like this is very important for a GM's tenure, you can't be too agressive and risk trashing the future, but you can't be too lax and risk losing your fan base going into next season with guys like Votto and Homer waiting in the system. Once your fans expect action, the lack there of is like gas on a fire.

GREAT point that I'm sure gets overlooked.

durl
05-29-2007, 02:28 PM
Then tell me what you think. I'm thoroughly confused. You think he wants to get younger.........then he trades for Cormier, and signs Stanton, Conine, and Castro, or trades Denorfia. Other moves point to the fact that he wants to get younger.....having TWO rule V picks on the team (in which case, no how, no way do you go out and sign vets in the offseason). I don't get it.

I believe a team should try to do both. You want a nucleus of young up-and-coming talent along with veterans who can provide maturity. And you have to accomplish that with the revenue provided. The Reds needed defense so they picked up Castro. They need (affordable) veteran pitching so they picked up Cormier and Stanton.


You send down Encarnacion for poor play (supposed), then in two weeks, he's batting fifth.

Edwin was batting under .200 and had committed 7 errors (mainly throwing the ball to 1B). And he had options. When your job is to hit and field yet you do neither, I expect a GM to use those available options to give a player an opportunity to get back into their game.


One day, Saarloos is good enough to be an important cog in the bullpen wheel, then he starts a game since your fifth starter gets hurt, doesn't pitch well, and gets sent to the minors. There seems to be no plan, or at least any coordination between Krivsky and Narron. I'm not convinced either one of them knows what they are doing anymore.

This one is a little strange to me as well. When he's on, he's on. But when he's bad, he's awful. It's something when 3 appearances can balloon your ERA from 2 to 7. It's clear that something isn't right with Saarloos right now. You don't want an important cog to absolutely stink 15% of the time. (3 innings out of 23.)

RedEye
05-29-2007, 02:30 PM
If I had all the answers, I'd be pulling in big money as a GM. I'm just a fan who enjoys baseball and tries to see the big picture of the way the game works these days.

Me, too! Thanks for taking the time to respond.

I agree with most of your assessment of WK needing more time to carve his niche in the league. While I disagree with your opinion on The Trade, that's not what I want to discuss here specifically. Our collective obsession with that one traumatic transaction tends to blind us all from doing better analysis of WK's overall strategy.

I've said elsewhere that two of Wayne's strengths seem to be finding bargain-basement "low risk" fliers and negotiating long term contracts. He still seems to be feeling his way around in the dark on some of the other stuff.

One of his biggest weaknesses, I think, is that he is often too impatient to recognize when a given commodity will be at its greatest value. Justin Germano, Josh Hancock and Brendan Harris come to mind as somewhat valuable players who were basically dumped for no good reason.

I also think that the Arroyo deal, while a decent idea in principle, should have been carried out after the trade deadline this year. That's because Arroyo's previous contract made him one of the most valuable trade commodities on the team: a young, healthy, good SP with an under market-value contract. Had Wayne waited a few more months, he could have dangled Arroyo for prospects, considered the offers he got, and then either taken one of them or signed Arroyo at that point. As is, the Arroyo signing got us the services of a good pitcher for a few more years. But on a team that is going to have to rebuild, I think Arroyo had the potential to get us much, much more in return.

Some might argue that Wayne did the right thing to sign Arroyo before the season, thinking he had a contender built already. No problem here--I just think that it's better business in general to wait, see what you've got, and then deal or consolidate your resources at the optimum point for market value (in this case, the trading deadline). Arroyo is much less useful to us on a team on its way to losing 100 games, and he could have been auctioned off for a big return.

durl
05-29-2007, 04:13 PM
Me, too! Thanks for taking the time to respond.

I agree with most of your assessment of WK needing more time to carve his niche in the league. While I disagree with your opinion on The Trade, that's not what I want to discuss here specifically. Our collective obsession with that one traumatic transaction tends to blind us all from doing better analysis of WK's overall strategy.

I've said elsewhere that two of Wayne's strengths seem to be finding bargain-basement "low risk" fliers and negotiating long term contracts. He still seems to be feeling his way around in the dark on some of the other stuff.

One of his biggest weaknesses, I think, is that he is often too impatient to recognize when a given commodity will be at its greatest value. Justin Germano, Josh Hancock and Brendan Harris come to mind as somewhat valuable players who were basically dumped for no good reason.

I also think that the Arroyo deal, while a decent idea in principle, should have been carried out after the trade deadline this year. That's because Arroyo's previous contract made him one of the most valuable trade commodities on the team: a young, healthy, good SP with an under market-value contract. Had Wayne waited a few more months, he could have dangled Arroyo for prospects, considered the offers he got, and then either taken one of them or signed Arroyo at that point. As is, the Arroyo signing got us the services of a good pitcher for a few more years. But on a team that is going to have to rebuild, I think Arroyo had the potential to get us much, much more in return.

Some might argue that Wayne did the right thing to sign Arroyo before the season, thinking he had a contender built already. No problem here--I just think that it's better business in general to wait, see what you've got, and then deal or consolidate your resources at the optimum point for market value (in this case, the trading deadline). Arroyo is much less useful to us on a team on its way to losing 100 games, and he could have been auctioned off for a big return.

Excellent points.

Regarding the ability to recognize a commodity, isn't that probably the main point of contention that fans of most clubs have with their GM? Germano's a good example. Krivsky let him go, but so did the Phillies. (And I added him to my Fantasy team earlier today...)

I never thought of the Arroyo deal as poorly timed although I can agree with your points that it might have been. I believe (and it's just my guess) that Krivsky wanted to shore up the starting pitching with 2 All-Star caliber pitchers then build from there. It was encouraging to most fans to see the Reds keeping top-notch players rather than trading them away. We finally had a GM that was interested in keeping All-Star pitching rather than trading it away.

DTCromer
05-29-2007, 04:43 PM
I don't believe he's had enough time to carve his own niche. I would argue that he needs more than 1 1/2 years to put his signature on this team.


I completely agree. Wayne is trying to run this franchise the way Minny does it. What are Minny's two main strengths? Pitching and defense.

What were our two biggest weaknesses when he got here? You guessed it, pitching and defense. It's going to take time to turn this team into what you want.


Instead, he took a shot on two accomplished veterans that simply haven't worked out. And the "trade" was a good gamble, in my opinion. Lopez was reverting to his average and Kearns was the high-potential player you have to give up if you want something in return.


I agree again. I think many fans are becoming insatiable in regards to this organization. BC and WK are so much different than CL and DO'B it's not even funny. I feel they're light years ahead and actually know what they're doing and how they're going to get there. Not many Cincy fans are patient when it comes to this team. We keep asking our organization to play better defense, get some better bullpen arms, and start hitting in the clutch.

Yet, many didn't want to trade Adam Dunn or Felipe Lopez. Many don't want to pay a pitcher who'll pitch 1 inning most nights 8 - 10 million dollars. Not to mention, we have 2 guys on the roster who are taking up $20 million on the payroll.

I feel a lot of fans want guys like GM and BB to fail just to say, "They were right" about "The trade" and how awful they think it was. I think WK is fine, but this team was in a complete mess when he got here.

Think about this, Jr. is getting paid something like $13 million and the Twins aren't going to pay Torii Hunter, who will command close to that in FA this offseason and he's 5 years younger! I think that gives you a good idea how messed up, financially, this organization is right now.

biggergipper
05-29-2007, 05:10 PM
I continue to suffer from the belief that WK tries to create assets like any good small market GM so he can in turn deal them to create future value. I don't think that WK thought this was a World Series team going into this season. A contending team? Maybe...I am more inclined to think he signed bullpen arms and veteran players to help a possible contending team, but also to turn and deal them at the deadline for value if the team was not contending. Obviously, this has not worked out with Stanton or the artist formerly known as Cormier, however I do like to tell myself that this was the intent. Does a Conine bring a young arm at the deadline, maybe. How about a veteran reliever like Weathers, again maybe.

I think the yo-yo effect with the youngsters is to keep Narron happy. I cannot believe that Wayne thinks burning options is a good idea. Based on Narron's crazy lineups, I have to believe it is also his madness that creates all these up and down moves. It seems guys Narron likes (Coffey, Stanton) are extended a longer leash than guys he doesn't (EE).

Considering the $ resources available I choose to believe he is trying to build the farm system in the same mold as the Indians/Twins, unfortunatly that is going to take time.