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View Full Version : Now that you've seen Marcus McBeth...



coachw513
06-11-2007, 12:51 AM
What are your impressions???...I didn't see today's game, but he seems to have done a pretty good job so far...

Were he and Coutlangus together at South Carolina??...boy they sure must have had a tough pitching staff when 2 OF are major league relievers (or maybe it speaks to the level of our pitching that 2 of our relievers are former OF) :laugh:

Finally, is there a link here to a thread that lists sites that can provide you with the detailed type stats that aren't readily available (stuff like BABIP, DIPS ERA, for example)????...

Thanks

WVRedsFan
06-11-2007, 01:27 AM
Coach, I'm certainly no expert, but I like what I see. He is not as hittable as other relief pitchers we have. If you look at all the pen guys we have, most of them can be counted on to get scorched some when they come in. I don't see that in McBeth. He's got a good fastball and his curve is effective. I think he's going to be OK. We need relievers who don't give up a lot of hits and miss bats--something we don't have now.

KronoRed
06-11-2007, 03:02 AM
He throws strikes, I like it.

Doc. Scott
06-11-2007, 03:31 AM
Seems really skinny. And the way he finishes his motion in "I'm ready to field your bunt!" stance reminds me of Tom Hume.

Although with Stanton (and his giant moon head) and Weathers out there, I guess a lot of guys look skinny.

Always Red
06-11-2007, 07:55 AM
So far, so good.

He looks off balance when he finishes up.

I had heard this kid had a 95 mph FB when we got him; he was mostly at 91 yesterday, which is a big difference. BUT, I do very much like his change, which will keep hitters off balance (I guess so everyone could be off balance!). I wish he'd teach that pitch to Todd Coffey...who would be a closer if he could change speeds just a bit.

Ltlabner
06-11-2007, 08:01 AM
It's only a few innings and totally subjective, but he faced the heart of the Cleveland offense over the course of two innings yesterday....a very fine offense.....and promptly shut them down.

Definatley refreshing.

traderumor
06-11-2007, 09:23 AM
He works at the knees effectively.

Marc D
06-11-2007, 09:36 AM
He works at the knees effectively.


That was the biggest thing I noticed in the little I've seen of him. He throws relativly hard, throws for strikes and keeps it low. The 2 hits he gave up the other night would have only been 1 with a MLB defense behind him and that one wasn't smashed.

All in all its easy to see why Jerry was so reluctant to use him. :rolleyes:

flyer85
06-11-2007, 10:20 AM
better command than I expected, less "stuff" than I expected. He could turn out to be a solid setup man. I don't see him being a dominant closer type.

PuffyPig
06-11-2007, 10:58 AM
better command than I expected, less "stuff" than I expected. He could turn out to be a solid setup man. I don't see him being a dominant closer type.

If he continues to refine his changeup (which has the makings of a plus major league pitch) he could be a back end guy IMO.

Falls City Beer
06-11-2007, 11:02 AM
That's why I never, ever listen to reports about a guy throwing mid-90s consistently or who has a "Trevor Hoffman-like" changeup. 99.999999% of the time it's total exaggeration, with little instructiveness by way of comparison.

I agree with flyer; doesn't seem dominant--decent middle guy ceiling.

Ltlabner
06-11-2007, 11:17 AM
I agree with flyer; doesn't seem dominant--decent middle guy ceiling.

Wow. After all of a couple innings you're ready to pass judgement regarding long term outlook for the kid? You've got a good eye I guess.

I see that you said "decent" so I totally understand you aren't ragging on the kid. I'm not accusing you of that.

I don't know, taking care of the heart of the Indians line up is refreshing. Now, I don't think for a second that translates into a HOF carear. But I don't see how he can do this and people and poo-poo his performance.

RedsManRick
06-11-2007, 11:21 AM
For a guy who hasn't been pitching very long, he seems to have good command. I think sometimes relievers make it harder than it needs to be.

Fastball and offspeed, mix it up, hit your spots on the corners with both pitches, keep the ball down, and don't walk people. Being able to command both pitches is vital (ask Majewski or Ryan Wagner), and McBeth looks solid in that regard.

vic715
06-11-2007, 11:51 AM
I'm certainly not going to say anything negative about a young guy who pitched two scoreless innings against a good offensive team like the Indians.
What I don't understand is why an intelligent organization like Oakland would trade a potentially good young reliever for a 4th outfielder(at best)who won't play at all this year. I don't care how deep you are in pitching that trade still has me scratching.

Razor Shines
06-11-2007, 01:09 PM
He seemed to have better command of his fastball the first inning he pitched yesterday than the second. In the first inning he was dominant and was hitting his spots, the ump just wasn't giving him the calls. It seemed like the same pitches that the ump called strikes to Hatte and Dunn, so they should have been strikes for McBeth. He would have probably had 2 K's that first inning.

The second inning was less impressive and I wouldn't say he was dominant. But he wasn't bad because he does such a good job of keeping the ball low in the zone. But he wasn't hitting his spots as well.

If we see more of the McBeth that pitched in the first inning he was out there yesterday I could easily see him being a back end guy.

KronoRed
06-11-2007, 01:25 PM
Shh..Narron will give him the Coffey treatment if word gets out he might be good ;)

paulrichjr
06-11-2007, 01:57 PM
I'm certainly not going to say anything negative about a young guy who pitched two scoreless innings against a good offensive team like the Indians.
What I don't understand is why an intelligent organization like Oakland would trade a potentially good young reliever for a 4th outfielder(at best)who won't play at all this year. I don't care how deep you are in pitching that trade still has me scratching.

Hmmm... Ask why an intelligent organization like Oakland would trade one of the top pitchers in the NL (who lead the league in wins and strikeouts last year) for a guy that only played for them for a couple of months and could have been picked up off of the scrap heap just a few months before. One thing that I have heard about Oakland is that when they make trades they don't try to hold the other team hostage like Tampa Bay and to some extent Washington now. They try to make a fair trade all around, and if the guy does well that they trade they consider that good.

Of course I guess this goes to show that the value of relievers isn't quiet as high as WayneK thought last season.

Falls City Beer
06-11-2007, 02:04 PM
Wow. After all of a couple innings you're ready to pass judgement regarding long term outlook for the kid? You've got a good eye I guess.

I see that you said "decent" so I totally understand you aren't ragging on the kid. I'm not accusing you of that.

I don't know, taking care of the heart of the Indians line up is refreshing. Now, I don't think for a second that translates into a HOF carear. But I don't see how he can do this and people and poo-poo his performance.

He looks alright. I guess I just get frustrated with scouts who pump up nonsense stuff about him throwing 95 MPH routinely when he doesn't. He looked good, but not "blow 'em away" good, as he was advertised.

Ltlabner
06-11-2007, 02:14 PM
He looks alright. I guess I just get frustrated with scouts who pump up nonsense stuff about him throwing 95 MPH routinely when he doesn't. He looked good, but not "blow 'em away" good, as he was advertised.

Well you certinally raise a good point about people being overblown. Whether it be by the FO, a scout or fans who pin unrealistic expectations on a kid, it does happen far too often.

jojo
06-11-2007, 02:44 PM
It's only a few innings and totally subjective, but he faced the heart of the Cleveland offense over the course of two innings yesterday....a very fine offense.....and promptly shut them down.

Definatley refreshing.

As did virtually every pitcher the Reds threw out there this weekend.

After seeing McBeth pitch a few innings, basically I'm seeing a guy with the upside of maybe a Todd Coffey. He's not going to mow down major league hitters. I just don't see a guy that screams high leverage.

Sea Ray
06-11-2007, 03:25 PM
Hmmm... Ask why an intelligent organization like Oakland would trade one of the top pitchers in the NL (who lead the league in wins and strikeouts last year) for a guy that only played for them for a couple of months and could have been picked up off of the scrap heap just a few months before.


One of the MoneyBall concepts is that short relievers, namely closers, are overvalued. The thought is you can find anyone to pitch one inning to protect a lead. Even before the age of the closer teams won more often than not when leading after 8 innings. Currently the A's have Alan Embree closing for them.

lollipopcurve
06-11-2007, 03:42 PM
basically I'm seeing a guy with the upside of maybe a Todd Coffey

He's got a usable 2nd pitch -- something Coffey still has not developed. Until Coffey gets a reliable 2nd pitch, I give the edge to McBeth.

lollipopcurve
06-11-2007, 03:58 PM
One of the MoneyBall concepts is that short relievers, namely closers, are overvalued. The thought is you can find anyone to pitch one inning to protect a lead. Even before the age of the closer teams won more often than not when leading after 8 innings. Currently the A's have Alan Embree closing for them.


Yet they drafted and developed Street, who's currently hurt, to be their closer.

Rojo
06-11-2007, 04:12 PM
One of the MoneyBall concepts is that short relievers, namely closers, are overvalued.

Except by those people who undervalue them.

Sea Ray
06-11-2007, 04:16 PM
Yet they drafted and developed Street, who's currently hurt, to be their closer.

Good point. I think the idea there was to develop a cheap option at the closer position. As long as he's cheap, it fits the MoneyBall concept

Falls City Beer
06-11-2007, 04:20 PM
If you don't have at least a couple of killers in your bullpen (at least for a decent chunk of the season; and certainly in the postseason), then you are not long for contention. I don't care how good your starters are. So I reject the notion that you can have just "anyone" throw innings for you out of the bullpen. That doesn't mean I'd overpay for those arms necessarily, but I also don't think that bullpen arms are necessarily overvalued.

Sea Ray
06-11-2007, 04:29 PM
The best example of how the A's handle closers is when they traded Billy Koch when he was at the top of his game throwing 100mph gas. The idea was that he'd flame out quick and it wasn't worth giving him good money. Not too many teams trade their closers when they're still hitting triple digits. But their theory is that a David Weathers will blow about the same number of saves as a Billy Koch.

paulrichjr
06-11-2007, 06:11 PM
The best example of how the A's handle closers is when they traded Billy Koch when he was at the top of his game throwing 100mph gas. The idea was that he'd flame out quick and it wasn't worth giving him good money. Not too many teams trade their closers when they're still hitting triple digits. But their theory is that a David Weathers will blow about the same number of saves as a Billy Koch.

Did you mean Gary Majewski when you said David Weathers?

Sea Ray
06-11-2007, 10:23 PM
Did you mean Gary Majewski when you said David Weathers?

No I meant Weathers. He's blown very few saves yet his stuff is not terribly impressive. Throwing strikes is more important than velocity where closers are concerned.

jojo
06-11-2007, 11:34 PM
No I meant Weathers. He's blown very few saves yet his stuff is not terribly impressive. Throwing strikes is more important than velocity where closers are concerned.

Actually as a Red, Weathers has converted 39 of 52 save opportunities...that's definitely within the real of what you'd expect from making any old arm in the pen your closer....

I'd suggest to be considered a bona fide high leverage arm, simply throwing strikes, while a first prerequisite, isn't enough to get it done.

Big Klu
06-11-2007, 11:50 PM
Actually as a Red, Weathers has converted 39 of 52 save opportunities...that's definitely within the real of what you'd expect from making any old arm in the pen your closer....

I'd suggest to be considered a bona fide high leverage arm, simply throwing strikes, while a first prerequisite, isn't enough to get it done.

However, how many of those "blown saves" were in situations that he never would have had the opportunity to actually collect the save? For example, if a reliever comes into the game in the sixth inning with a one-run lead, and gives up a run, then he is charged with a blown save even though he would never have had the opportunity to get a save had he been successful. I would guess that some of his blown saves came when he was still a set-up man.

jojo
06-12-2007, 12:06 AM
However, how many of those "blown saves" were in situations that he never would have had the opportunity to actually collect the save? For example, if a reliever comes into the game in the sixth inning with a one-run lead, and gives up a run, then he is charged with a blown save even though he would never have had the opportunity to get a save had he been successful. I would guess that some of his blown saves came when he was still a set-up man.

A blown save by definition is charged to a pitcher that enters the game in a save situation and fails the criteria for earning a save. In order to qualify as a save opportunity, the first criteria is that he was the last pitcher to pitch for his team. Thus the scenario decribed in the quote above would be a blown hold not a blown save.

coachw513
06-12-2007, 12:24 AM
One of the MoneyBall concepts is that short relievers, namely closers, are overvalued. The thought is you can find anyone to pitch one inning to protect a lead. Even before the age of the closer teams won more often than not when leading after 8 innings. Currently the A's have Alan Embree closing for them.

If that is accurate (the premise, not your account of the book), than how do the Reds improve their bullpen without overvaluing it???...is it as simple as weeding through the young power arms in the system or will it take well-defined acquisitions as well????

Big Klu
06-12-2007, 12:28 AM
A blown save by definition is charged to a pitcher that enters the game in a save situation and fails the criteria for earning a save. In order to qualify as a save opportunity, the first criteria is that he was the last pitcher to pitch for his team. Thus the scenario decribed in the quote above would be a blown hold not a blown save.

If you check out the boxscores, you will see that sometimes pitchers get charged with blown saves even when they are not the last pitcher to pitch. For example, in yesterday's Milwaukee-Texas game, Brewers righthander Francisco Cordero and Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson were each charged with a blown save despite not finishing the game for their respective clubs. While Cordero's blown save was what we normally think of as a blown save, I think it could be argued rather convincingly that there was no way that Wilson could have earned a save even if he had pitched successfully.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/boxscore.jsp?gid=2007_06_10_milmlb_texmlb_1

Mario-Rijo
06-12-2007, 12:32 AM
So far, so good.

He looks off balance when he finishes up.

I had heard this kid had a 95 mph FB when we got him; he was mostly at 91 yesterday, which is a big difference. BUT, I do very much like his change, which will keep hitters off balance (I guess so everyone could be off balance!). I wish he'd teach that pitch to Todd Coffey...who would be a closer if he could change speeds just a bit.

I noticed him more at about 93 MPH, of course I wasn't necc. checking after every pitch FSN doesn't always show it. But I know for sure I seen him hit 93 a few times at least.

Danny Serafini
06-12-2007, 10:13 AM
A blown save by definition is charged to a pitcher that enters the game in a save situation and fails the criteria for earning a save. In order to qualify as a save opportunity, the first criteria is that he was the last pitcher to pitch for his team. Thus the scenario decribed in the quote above would be a blown hold not a blown save.

That actually gets scored as a blown save, not as a blown hold. You can have multiple blown saves in the same game. That's why, unless you're looking at a pitcher used exclusively as a closer, blown saves is a useless stat.

IslandRed
06-12-2007, 10:40 AM
If that is accurate (the premise, not your account of the book), than how do the Reds improve their bullpen without overvaluing it???...is it as simple as weeding through the young power arms in the system or will it take well-defined acquisitions as well????

Relievers are supremely volatile and I'm firmly convinced bullpen construction is as much art as science. Look around baseball and it's pretty easy to find teams that are pretty good clubs overall, plenty of money to spend, and the bullpen is lousy. Even teams with good bullpens can get bad in a hurry. Your 2005 World Series-winning Chicago White Sox and their collection of good young hard throwers that were so dominant in the postseason? If not the worst bullpen in baseball this year, they're next-to-last. Barely above them, the Detroit Tigers. Houston's lounging around down there, too, with Brad Lidge being the poster boy for reliever volatility. As bad as our bullpen has been, I can look at any significant team metric for relievers and see 5-10 clubs doing worse.

The only answer I have is to stockpile good arms. If we can't know from year to year who's going to be effective, we'd better have decent Plan Bs and plenty of them.

flyer85
06-12-2007, 11:15 AM
Year in and year out the Pads seem to come up with arms and get effective work( Linebrink, Otsuka, Bell, Meredith, etc)

Sea Ray
06-12-2007, 11:54 AM
Actually as a Red, Weathers has converted 39 of 52 save opportunities...that's definitely within the real of what you'd expect from making any old arm in the pen your closer....

I'd suggest to be considered a bona fide high leverage arm, simply throwing strikes, while a first prerequisite, isn't enough to get it done.


I agree, it's not enough by itself to get it done. I'm saying it is more important than velocity alone. Velocity alone without control gets you Mark Wohlers or Billy Koch.

I don't think anyone would classify Weathers as a bona fide high leverage arm.

Actually it looks like we're in complete agreement in that "simply throwing strikes is a first prerequisite." That's all I was saying.

jojo
06-12-2007, 12:21 PM
If you check out the boxscores, you will see that sometimes pitchers get charged with blown saves even when they are not the last pitcher to pitch.

You're absolutely right and thanks for pointing out my mistake.

:beerme:


However, how many of those "blown saves" were in situations that he never would have had the opportunity to actually collect the save? For example, if a reliever comes into the game in the sixth inning with a one-run lead, and gives up a run, then he is charged with a blown save even though he would never have had the opportunity to get a save had he been successful. I would guess that some of his blown saves came when he was still a set-up man.

I'm not a fan of saves as a statistic or the role of closer in general however in light of such a poor answer, your question probably deserves a bit more effort on my part.

As mentioned earlier, Weathers has converted 39 out of 52 save opportunities as a Red. Below is a summary of his 13 blown saves giving the inning each was earned for context:

http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/5448/weatherhighleveragemm3.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Weathers' BS have occurred in situations that would be considered bonafide high leverage save situations with the exception of one "cheap" blown save (highlighted in grey).

So while I generally hate the save as a stat and as Danny Serafini points out the blown save is a lousy metric, in Weather's case, his save conversion rate is right in line with his peripherals..... There is no shortage of bullpen arms that if given the same opportunities as Weathers would've performed exactly as he did.

So to be a bonafide high leverage arm, simply throwing strikes, while a first prerequisite, isn't enough to get it done.

jojo
06-12-2007, 12:29 PM
I agree, it's not enough by itself to get it done. I'm saying it is more important than velocity alone. Velocity alone without control gets you Mark Wohlers or Billy Koch.

I don't think anyone would classify Weathers as a bona fide high leverage arm.

Actually it looks like we're in complete agreement in that "simply throwing strikes is a first prerequisite." That's all I was saying.

Throwing strikes is pretty important.

Unfortunately the Reds classify Weathers as a BFHLA.

IslandRed
06-12-2007, 12:32 PM
It's also worth noting, though, the relative lack of blown saves in the last calendar year. He's 15 for 17 since reassuming the closer role following Guardado's injury last year, and he's relatively cheap. I could see him bringing a good deadline-deal return if it comes to that.

RedsManRick
06-12-2007, 01:51 PM
If that is accurate (the premise, not your account of the book), than how do the Reds improve their bullpen without overvaluing it???...is it as simple as weeding through the young power arms in the system or will it take well-defined acquisitions as well????

You improve it by taking pitchers who are undervalued and using them in overvalued situations. You take failed starter Joe Nathan and make him star closer Joe Nathan. You take failed starter Eric Gagne and make him star closer Eric Gagne. You take failed starter Bobby Jenks and make him star closer Bobby Jenks. You take struggling starter Tom Gordon and make him star closer Tom Gordon. You take struggling starter Mariano Rivera and make him HoF Mariano Rivera... I think you get the idea.

Putz, ex starter
Papelbon, ex starter
Frankie Rodriguez, ex starter
Billy Wagner, ex stater
Brad Lidge, ex starter
Jason Isringhausen, ex starter

There are some guys who start their careers as relievers and build great careers. However, in general, any pitcher in baseball is better as a reliever than as a starter. With rare exception, going out and given good money to a "proven" reliever is a waste of money. Great relievers are made, not born.

The point isn't necessarily to go looking for bad starters and try and convert them. Rather, it's to consider the notion that there aren't starters and relievers. There are pitchers, period. Some pitchers have the ability to go 1 inning effectively. Some can go 3. Others can go 8. Suffice it say that for most pitchers, they are more effective in short bursts, particularly ones with difficult to maintain mechanics or stressful deliveries.

The universe of relief talent is bigger than we often think. As such, take a high volume approach. Give lots of guys opportunities to show you what they can do. But if they fail, move on. Unless a guy proves himself to be a truly elite talent, don't pay him as such and don't' commit long term. Fungibility is a huge concept for relievers. Somebody is going to be willing to drive the price up on your guy, if arbitration doesn't do it for you. Don't bite.

Take the case of Chad Bradford. The A's got 4 great years out of him for less than 1M per. However, they knew that while he was effective, he wasn't irreplaceable. Instead of giving him the 3-4M the market would bear when arb and eventually FA came around, they sent him packing for Jay Payton. The A's and Twins have been building solid bullpens for years and rarely go out and spend a whole lot of money on it.

Sea Ray
06-12-2007, 03:27 PM
Weathers' BS have occurred in situations that would be considered bonafide high leverage save situations with the exception of one "cheap" blown save (highlighted in grey).

Actually what strikes me from these stats are all the 8th inning blown saves. That tells me he's likely in there with the tying run on base. That's a much harder save and it's a situation that the elite closers are rarely asked to perform.

On an above .500 team David Weathers is no closer, but he can pitch in anyone's bullpen.

mth123
06-12-2007, 09:45 PM
You improve it by taking pitchers who are undervalued and using them in overvalued situations. You take failed starter Joe Nathan and make him star closer Joe Nathan. You take failed starter Eric Gagne and make him star closer Eric Gagne. You take failed starter Bobby Jenks and make him star closer Bobby Jenks. You take struggling starter Tom Gordon and make him star closer Tom Gordon. You take struggling starter Mariano Rivera and make him HoF Mariano Rivera... I think you get the idea.

Putz, ex starter
Papelbon, ex starter
Frankie Rodriguez, ex starter
Billy Wagner, ex stater
Brad Lidge, ex starter
Jason Isringhausen, ex starter

There are some guys who start their careers as relievers and build great careers. However, in general, any pitcher in baseball is better as a reliever than as a starter. With rare exception, going out and given good money to a "proven" reliever is a waste of money. Great relievers are made, not born.

The point isn't necessarily to go looking for bad starters and try and convert them. Rather, it's to consider the notion that there aren't starters and relievers. There are pitchers, period. Some pitchers have the ability to go 1 inning effectively. Some can go 3. Others can go 8. Suffice it say that for most pitchers, they are more effective in short bursts, particularly ones with difficult to maintain mechanics or stressful deliveries.

The universe of relief talent is bigger than we often think. As such, take a high volume approach. Give lots of guys opportunities to show you what they can do. But if they fail, move on. Unless a guy proves himself to be a truly elite talent, don't pay him as such and don't' commit long term. Fungibility is a huge concept for relievers. Somebody is going to be willing to drive the price up on your guy, if arbitration doesn't do it for you. Don't bite.

Take the case of Chad Bradford. The A's got 4 great years out of him for less than 1M per. However, they knew that while he was effective, he wasn't irreplaceable. Instead of giving him the 3-4M the market would bear when arb and eventually FA came around, they sent him packing for Jay Payton. The A's and Twins have been building solid bullpens for years and rarely go out and spend a whole lot of money on it.

Great post.

Falls City Beer
06-13-2007, 12:12 AM
It's also worth noting, though, the relative lack of blown saves in the last calendar year. He's 15 for 17 since reassuming the closer role following Guardado's injury last year, and he's relatively cheap. I could see him bringing a good deadline-deal return if it comes to that.

You'd think this would resonate with other GMs. And it's still certainly possible that the Reds can snag a good return for Weathers. Particularly if he keeps doing what he's doing. But for whatever reason, Weathers remains well out of the "closer's" profile. And I suspect many GMs buy into that notion.

jojo
06-13-2007, 12:23 PM
You improve it by taking pitchers who are undervalued and using them in overvalued situations. You take failed starter Joe Nathan and make him star closer Joe Nathan. You take failed starter Eric Gagne and make him star closer Eric Gagne. You take failed starter Bobby Jenks and make him star closer Bobby Jenks. You take struggling starter Tom Gordon and make him star closer Tom Gordon. You take struggling starter Mariano Rivera and make him HoF Mariano Rivera... I think you get the idea.

Putz, ex starter
Papelbon, ex starter
Frankie Rodriguez, ex starter
Billy Wagner, ex stater
Brad Lidge, ex starter
Jason Isringhausen, ex starter

There are some guys who start their careers as relievers and build great careers. However, in general, any pitcher in baseball is better as a reliever than as a starter. With rare exception, going out and given good money to a "proven" reliever is a waste of money. Great relievers are made, not born.

The point isn't necessarily to go looking for bad starters and try and convert them. Rather, it's to consider the notion that there aren't starters and relievers. There are pitchers, period. Some pitchers have the ability to go 1 inning effectively. Some can go 3. Others can go 8. Suffice it say that for most pitchers, they are more effective in short bursts, particularly ones with difficult to maintain mechanics or stressful deliveries.

The universe of relief talent is bigger than we often think. As such, take a high volume approach. Give lots of guys opportunities to show you what they can do. But if they fail, move on. Unless a guy proves himself to be a truly elite talent, don't pay him as such and don't' commit long term. Fungibility is a huge concept for relievers. Somebody is going to be willing to drive the price up on your guy, if arbitration doesn't do it for you. Don't bite.

Take the case of Chad Bradford. The A's got 4 great years out of him for less than 1M per. However, they knew that while he was effective, he wasn't irreplaceable. Instead of giving him the 3-4M the market would bear when arb and eventually FA came around, they sent him packing for Jay Payton. The A's and Twins have been building solid bullpens for years and rarely go out and spend a whole lot of money on it.

The reds have a perfect candidate for high leverage guy in the system right now.....his name is Johnny Cueto...