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Benihana
08-28-2007, 11:52 AM
With the Reds situation in flux going into the offseason, it got me to thinking. I think its pretty obvious at this point (maybe to everyone except Wayne Krivsky) that Jay Bruce and Joey Votto are ready to play at the major league level. However the problem remains that the Reds have 3 OF's (Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton) and a LH-hitting 1B (Hatteberg) that all are under contract for next year (provided their relatively cheap options get picked up) and have all produced very well this year.

So what's the solution? Trading Dunn and/or Griffey is the popular answer. Another camp suggests moving one of them to 1B, an idea that would no doubt be very unpopular with the transplanted player. Yet others still suggest trading Votto and/or Hatteberg.

Jay Bruce must have a spot to play in next year. Josh Hamilton has obviously earned a starting spot as well. That leaves one corner OF spot and 1B in flux. Between Dunn, Jr., Votto and Hatteberg two of them must go in order for the Reds to maximize their talent on the field. Unfortunately Hatteberg probably won't bring much back in an offseason (a deadline deal may be different). Given the current FA market, and the value of pitching on the open market, I honestly believe that payflex (in the short term) is overrated. I am much more concerned with service time at this point. If the Reds are going to lose a player (like Dunn, for instance) to FA it is one thing, but I am not one to advocate trading Dunn to free up money to sign another Kyle Lohse to an overpriced deal.

My question is this: Given all the variables that are involved (age, contract status, major league production, etc.) which of the following three players do you think could bring the biggest return talent-wise this offseason: Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., or Joey Votto? Is it even close? My contention is whoever could bring back the most talent in a trade should be the one to go, period. Thoughts?

redsmetz
08-28-2007, 12:06 PM
First, I'm not sure I entirely agree with your premise that it's obvious to everyone that Bruce and Votto are ready for the majors.

I think Votto may be ready and may well (and probably should) see a September call up and get some playing time. I'll address part of the puzzle; I'd pick up Hatteberg's option and have him available off the bench and to spell Votto some next year.

Bruce might be ready, but likewise, it's possible he could use some continued seasoning. Even if he doesn't need further seasoning, he's young and starting out in AAA next season won't hurt him and could very likely help him.

But given the current contract situations with our present three starting outfielders, I don't think it's rocket science as to how to handle this. Back to the present contracts. You pick up Dunn's option, which is reasonable and affordable. I would also work to extend him, but that's a seperate issue. Hamilton you have the rights to for a number of years, so he's here, presently in center field. Griffey is the key. If something comes along during the off-season that gives us the proper return, then we take it and move him. Griffey's contract is done after next year unless we pick up his option. I think that's doubtful. That said, Griffey starts in right field, Bruce to AAA. Then as the season progresses, you move Griffey to a contender (the only move he'll allow with his 10/5 rights, IMO) and Bruce comes up.

It doesn't strike me as terribly complex, to be honest with you.

flyer85
08-28-2007, 12:18 PM
If you want to bring back talent the answer is to trade Votto, Bruce or Hamilton. Hatty, Jr and Dunn have limited trade value, certainly not enough to address the shortcomings on the mound.

Benihana
08-28-2007, 12:25 PM
If you want to bring back talent the answer is to trade Votto, Bruce or Hamilton. Hatty, Jr and Dunn have limited trade value, certainly not enough to address the shortcomings on the mound.

So you think that Votto will bring back more talent on the mound than Jr. or Dunn?

If that is indeed the case, I think you have to at least consider dealing him, despite the fact that I think it is generally counterproductive for a team like the Reds to trade a young, inexpensive player like Votto.

I sincerely doubt they would consider it, but if you could potentially package Votto with Encarnacion (two guys I don't particularly want to give up) for a Matt Garza, I would do it in a second.

nate
08-28-2007, 12:26 PM
I think Votto has the most trade value. Dunn less so because of his D and contract. Griffey, due to age, durability concerns and veto power.

flyer85
08-28-2007, 12:42 PM
I sincerely doubt they would consider it, but if you could potentially package Votto with Encarnacion (two guys I don't particularly want to give up) for a Matt Garza, I would do it in a second.I would want a 2nd pitcher back. The attrition rate on young pitching is too high to give up that amount of talent to gamble on a single pitcher. You would only make a trade like that if you are sure that Garza would put you over the top.

camisadelgolf
08-28-2007, 12:44 PM
I think Adam Dunn, by far, would bring in the most talent. He's consistently putting up big numbers (some of which are things you want to see in a baseball player :)). Votto is still unproven at a position in which it's not too difficult to find productivity, and I think Ken Griffey is practically untradeable (contract status, veto power, age, etc.).

Kc61
08-28-2007, 12:52 PM
First, I'm not sure I entirely agree with your premise that it's obvious to everyone that Bruce and Votto are ready for the majors.


But given the current contract situations with our present three starting outfielders, I don't think it's rocket science as to how to handle this. Back to the present contracts. You pick up Dunn's option, which is reasonable and affordable. I would also work to extend him, but that's a seperate issue. Hamilton you have the rights to for a number of years, so he's here, presently in center field. Griffey is the key. If something comes along during the off-season that gives us the proper return, then we take it and move him. Griffey's contract is done after next year unless we pick up his option. I think that's doubtful. That said, Griffey starts in right field, Bruce to AAA. Then as the season progresses, you move Griffey to a contender (the only move he'll allow with his 10/5 rights, IMO) and Bruce comes up.

It doesn't strike me as terribly complex, to be honest with you.


I agree with this. Dunn stays, for several years if possible. Hamilton stays. Griffey's spot goes to Jay Bruce at some point fairly soon.

My instinct is that Votto will be either be traded or will take over for Hatte as a platoon first baseman. It's common on RedsZone to say lefty/righty doesn't matter, but I think it's very important to have lefty/righty balance. Votto at first, with a lefty outfield, doesn't provide that balance.

I know Votto is young and controlled by the Reds so it is arguable he should stay. I think this contract situation also improves his trade value. If he stays, I think he platoons with Cantu or another righty bat going forward.

WVRedsFan
08-28-2007, 01:02 PM
It may be just me, but I've had this feeling since they acquired Cantu (I can't spell it and I'm too lazy to look it up). They might be going to shop Votto for pitching. Just a hunch and I hope it isn't true. Why else so you acquire a 1st baseman when you've got your own heir apparent on the farm?

Something else to ponder, I guess.

GoReds
08-28-2007, 01:08 PM
The guy to trade first and foremost is Jay Bruce, if a top of the rotation pitcher is the expected return.

With Dunn, Griffey and Hamilton in the outfield for the next year or two (hopefully, they resign Dunn), Bruce is an extra LH bat without a place to play. Bruce is killing the ball this year and, while I'd love to see him in a Reds uni for the next ten years, I'd rather see a #1 pitcher on the hill for the Reds. In order to do that, Bruce has to be part of a package to get that.

Votto will not net that type of return, but he could be an addition to another package the Reds could use to either land a quality RH bat or another 3/4 pitcher.

nate
08-28-2007, 01:13 PM
Why else so you acquire a 1st baseman when you've got your own heir apparent on the farm?

Bench depth and a right-handed batter.

Benihana
08-28-2007, 01:26 PM
Well I think the consensus seems to be that trading Votto would be the right move, based off of the assumptions that Votto would bring more talent in return than Jr or Dunn, and the Reds pick up the options on Hatteberg and Dunn.

I agree that it appears Cantu was acquired to provide a right-handed compliment to the Hat, and I loved that move at the time. And as stated above, as much as I hate to see the Reds trade away young inexpensive talent, it is hard to find a place for Votto in the lefty-heavy lineup that will be around next year and apparently for years to come. If traded he will be a victim of circumstances, and if he can fetch a nice young pitcher (Kevin Slowey or Scott Baker?) to compliment Homer Bailey, I won't go into mourning over his loss.

Ltlabner
08-28-2007, 04:35 PM
It may be just me, but I've had this feeling since they acquired Cantu (I can't spell it and I'm too lazy to look it up). They might be going to shop Votto for pitching. Just a hunch and I hope it isn't true. Why else so you acquire a 1st baseman when you've got your own heir apparent on the farm?

Something else to ponder, I guess.

Insurance in the event that Votto struggles hard? Platoon partner with Votto? Taking a low risk shot on a right hand bat?

Just some different explinations that make sense (in addition to a planned trading of Votto).

Benihana
08-28-2007, 04:43 PM
Insurance in the event that Votto struggles hard? Platoon partner with Votto? Taking a low risk shot on a right hand bat?

Exactly. The reason I love the Cantu acquisition is because its pretty much the same as the Phillips (and Hamilton) acquisition(s). Very low risk, very high reward flyer on a young guy that showed huge potential, and probably just needs a change of scenery. Also, if you remember, at the time the Reds acquired BP, they had a glut at 2B (Aurillia, Womack, FeLo) similar to the one they now have at 1B with Hatteberg and Votto. The same was true with Hamilton, with Dunn, Jr. Freel, and Denorfia all ahead of him in the OF. If Cantu turns out to be half the player either of these guys has, it was yet another unbelievable steal by Krivsky.

WVRedsFan
08-28-2007, 05:17 PM
Well I think the consensus seems to be that trading Votto would be the right move, based off of the assumptions that Votto would bring more talent in return than Jr or Dunn, and the Reds pick up the options on Hatteberg and Dunn.

I agree that it appears Cantu was acquired to provide a right-handed compliment to the Hat, and I loved that move at the time. And as stated above, as much as I hate to see the Reds trade away young inexpensive talent, it is hard to find a place for Votto in the lefty-heavy lineup that will be around next year and apparently for years to come. If traded he will be a victim of circumstances, and if he can fetch a nice young pitcher (Kevin Slowey or Scott Baker?) to compliment Homer Bailey, I won't go into mourning over his loss.

Of course, the more choice you have...

I do think keeping Hatteberg is a big risk considering his age, and I hate a platoon anywhere. In my mind, Krivsky and the Reds must think Cantu is the real deal and that would make a risky Votto dispendable. I don't like that and hope I'm wrong.

Patrick Bateman
08-28-2007, 05:31 PM
I don't see Cantu as being a high reward player. If he works out, he's still a spare part IMO.

Bill
08-28-2007, 05:31 PM
I can see Votto having a Broussard like career/numbers. Unfortunately I don't see him bringing back great value.

Bruce has a 900+ ops in AAA as a 20 year old. He will be an all-star in the near future with a low relative cost. I don't care what side he bats from, you don't trade that.

It seems pretty clear they want to trade Dunn if they can get value back.

KronoRed
08-28-2007, 06:59 PM
I don't see Cantu as being a high reward player. If he works out, he's still a spare part IMO.

I'll be shocked if he's not your right handed 1st baseman next year.

As for the OF glut, it doesn't exist and probably won't before JR leaves after next season, Bruce hasn't even been called up for a cup of anything at this point.

Benihana
08-28-2007, 07:04 PM
I don't see Cantu as being a high reward player. If he works out, he's still a spare part IMO.

He already has put up one major league season with a .286 AVG, 28 HRs and 117 RBI at age 23! That would be the single best season ever put up by anyone currently on the Reds not named Jr. or Dunn. With those kinds of numbers, I think he would be a little better than a spare part.

I can't believe the same people who were crying in their beers when Chris Denorfia, the 25 year old with no major league experience, was traded away are the same people saying that Cantu, who had a season like that at age 23, is at best a spare part. Ditto for guys like Ben Broussard and, dare I say it, Jeff Keppinger.

Benihana
08-28-2007, 07:08 PM
As for the OF glut, it doesn't exist and probably won't before JR leaves after next season, Bruce hasn't even been called up for a cup of anything at this point.

True no one has been called up yet, but thats exactly the point. With the production Bruce and Votto are putting up at AAA, things are starting to bottleneck. Not to mention when Freel comes back next season.

remdog
08-28-2007, 07:23 PM
Better a bottleneck of solid players than a free flowing pipeline of sewerage. :eek:

Rem

Patrick Bateman
08-28-2007, 09:15 PM
He already has put up one major league season with a .286 AVG, 28 HRs and 117 RBI at age 23! That would be the single best season ever put up by anyone currently on the Reds not named Jr. or Dunn. With those kinds of numbers, I think he would be a little better than a spare part.

I can't believe the same people who were crying in their beers when Chris Denorfia, the 25 year old with no major league experience, was traded away are the same people saying that Cantu, who had a season like that at age 23, is at best a spare part. Ditto for guys like Ben Broussard and, dare I say it, Jeff Keppinger.

Well he doesn't work counts, get on base, field well. Too many holes right there for him to be high impact.

At best, he's a poor option at first and back-up middle infielder.

KronoRed
08-28-2007, 09:26 PM
True no one has been called up yet, but thats exactly the point. With the production Bruce and Votto are putting up at AAA, things are starting to bottleneck. Not to mention when Freel comes back next season.

Then bring them up in Sep and see what they have, I don't necessarily agree with the notion that hot prospects must be starters if they come up to a team.

GAC
08-28-2007, 09:40 PM
First, I'm not sure I entirely agree with your premise that it's obvious to everyone that Bruce and Votto are ready for the majors.

I think Votto may be ready and may well (and probably should) see a September call up and get some playing time. I'll address part of the puzzle; I'd pick up Hatteberg's option and have him available off the bench and to spell Votto some next year.

Bruce might be ready, but likewise, it's possible he could use some continued seasoning. Even if he doesn't need further seasoning, he's young and starting out in AAA next season won't hurt him and could very likely help him.

But given the current contract situations with our present three starting outfielders, I don't think it's rocket science as to how to handle this. Back to the present contracts. You pick up Dunn's option, which is reasonable and affordable. I would also work to extend him, but that's a seperate issue. Hamilton you have the rights to for a number of years, so he's here, presently in center field. Griffey is the key. If something comes along during the off-season that gives us the proper return, then we take it and move him. Griffey's contract is done after next year unless we pick up his option. I think that's doubtful. That said, Griffey starts in right field, Bruce to AAA. Then as the season progresses, you move Griffey to a contender (the only move he'll allow with his 10/5 rights, IMO) and Bruce comes up.

It doesn't strike me as terribly complex, to be honest with you.

I couldn't have said it better. Next year is Jr's last with the Reds IMHO. And again IMO, he has performed satisfactorily this year for the Reds. I see no problem with one more year of Jr while Bruce gets the "seasoning" and is most likely ready for the following season. Why try to rush Bruce?

The problems/struggles that keep this team from contending is not because Jr and Hatteberg on still on this team. Or that Votto and Bruce are not. These youngsters are going to get their shot soon enough. Votto probably next year, and Bruce the following year (maybe a late season call-up next year).

I don't care if you are able to trade Jr and/or Hatteberg and replace them with Bruce and Votto. it's still ging to be the same-o same-o until we fix this pitching.

The pitching is the nagging problem. Not these other guys.

Benihana
08-28-2007, 10:44 PM
I couldn't have said it better. Next year is Jr's last with the Reds IMHO. And again IMO, he has performed satisfactorily this year for the Reds. I see no problem with one more year of Jr while Bruce gets the "seasoning" and is most likely ready for the following season. Why try to rush Bruce?

The problems/struggles that keep this team from contending is not because Jr and Hatteberg on still on this team. Or that Votto and Bruce are not. These youngsters are going to get their shot soon enough. Votto probably next year, and Bruce the following year (maybe a late season call-up next year).

I don't care if you are able to trade Jr and/or Hatteberg and replace them with Bruce and Votto. it's still ging to be the same-o same-o until we fix this pitching.

The pitching is the nagging problem. Not these other guys.

I'm sorry, but I believe you have completely missed the point.

Read your last quote, and then read my original post. The entire point of this argument is to trade from a surplus (OF/1B) to improve a weakness (pitching). Obviously the Reds aren't losing games because they have too many outfielders or first basemen. They are losing games because the pitching is not up to par. They also happen to have an excessive amount of outfielders and first basemen who deserve a starting job (and would be starting and contributing for other teams.) Thus, you take one of these superflous players, and do your best to spin them into better pitching.

Red Heeler
08-29-2007, 12:12 AM
I'm sorry, but I believe you have completely missed the point.

Read your last quote, and then read my original post. The entire point of this argument is to trade from a surplus (OF/1B) to improve a weakness (pitching). Obviously the Reds aren't losing games because they have too many outfielders or first basemen. They are losing games because the pitching is not up to par. They also happen to have an excessive amount of outfielders and first basemen who deserve a starting job (and would be starting and contributing for other teams.) Thus, you take one of these superflous players, and do your best to spin them into better pitching.

Beni,
I think you have the wrong players listed in the "superflous" category. If Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey, Hatteberg, Votto, Cantu, and Bruce are all worthy of making the OD roster next year, the Reds should count it as a strength rather than a surplus.

If those 6 are on the roster, there are ABs enough for all. Dunn, Hamilton, and Griffey are the starting OF. Bruce can get plenty of plate appearances spelling the three of them, plus PH duties. Hatte becomes the primary LH pinch hitter plus defensive replacement. Votto and Cantu fight 'til death at 1b.

With Kepinger and Hopper in the fold, Freel becomes the superflous player on the roster. Freel won't bring a ready made top of the rotation starter by his lonesome or as the centerpiece of a deal. However, the Reds don't necessarily need this type of pitcher. Freel with minor league sweetener could net the Reds an arb eligible "guy who hasn't put it all together." That kind of moderate risk, moderate return is the type of deal that can put the team over the top.

mth123
08-29-2007, 07:24 AM
Beni,
I think you have the wrong players listed in the "superflous" category. If Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey, Hatteberg, Votto, Cantu, and Bruce are all worthy of making the OD roster next year, the Reds should count it as a strength rather than a surplus.

If those 6 are on the roster, there are ABs enough for all. Dunn, Hamilton, and Griffey are the starting OF. Bruce can get plenty of plate appearances spelling the three of them, plus PH duties. Hatte becomes the primary LH pinch hitter plus defensive replacement. Votto and Cantu fight 'til death at 1b.

With Kepinger and Hopper in the fold, Freel becomes the superflous player on the roster. Freel won't bring a ready made top of the rotation starter by his lonesome or as the centerpiece of a deal. However, the Reds don't necessarily need this type of pitcher. Freel with minor league sweetener could net the Reds an arb eligible "guy who hasn't put it all together." That kind of moderate risk, moderate return is the type of deal that can put the team over the top.

Actually RH, I agree with Beni. Having Hatte and Bruce on the bench is a luxury (and so is Freel kind of) and this team needs to spin (Beni's word) that excess into filling its need for necessities.

As for the type of pitcher to acquire, I actually do think that the Reds need a ready made starter. Maybe not top of the rotation, but I think a guy who is Arroyo caliber or better is needed. The pitcher you describe sounds a lot like Kyle Lohse and the thought of counting on that as the answer to the rotation problems makes my head spin around like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. There is nothing wrong with acquiring a guy like that (if the $ aren't excessive) for the back of the rotation mix to go with Belisle, Bailey, Cueto and the suspects, but simply acquiring one of those does not really answer any of the question marks in the rotation, it just adds another guy with questions that may or may not work out. I think the Reds need a sure thing (and there really aren't any, but a high probability should be sought out).

puca
08-29-2007, 08:07 AM
He already has put up one major league season with a .286 AVG, 28 HRs and 117 RBI at age 23! That would be the single best season ever put up by anyone currently on the Reds not named Jr. or Dunn. With those kinds of numbers, I think he would be a little better than a spare part.

I can't believe the same people who were crying in their beers when Chris Denorfia, the 25 year old with no major league experience, was traded away are the same people saying that Cantu, who had a season like that at age 23, is at best a spare part. Ditto for guys like Ben Broussard and, dare I say it, Jeff Keppinger.

Even at his best Cantu makes outs 70% of the time. That's not good.

GAC
08-29-2007, 09:13 AM
As for the type of pitcher to acquire, I actually do think that the Reds need a ready made starter. Maybe not top of the rotation, but I think a guy who is Arroyo caliber or better is needed. The pitcher you describe sounds a lot like Kyle Lohse and the thought of counting on that as the answer to the rotation problems makes my head spin around like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. There is nothing wrong with acquiring a guy like that (if the $ aren't excessive) for the back of the rotation mix to go with Belisle, Bailey, Cueto and the suspects, but simply acquiring one of those does not really answer any of the question marks in the rotation, it just adds another guy with questions that may or may not work out. I think the Reds need a sure thing (and there really aren't any, but a high probability should be sought out).

Yep. And looking at the upcoming FA market on pitchers, I wouldn't be surprised to see WK go that route again. And can anyone blame him? I'm not saying he's not going to be (behind the scenes) actively working and looking at swinging a deal for a pitcher/finding a trading partner; but if there is nothing there, then that is the route he will probably take.

Benihana
08-29-2007, 10:45 AM
Yep. And looking at the upcoming FA market on pitchers, I wouldn't be surprised to see WK go that route again. And can anyone blame him? I'm not saying he's not going to be (behind the scenes) actively working and looking at swinging a deal for a pitcher/finding a trading partner; but if there is nothing there, then that is the route he will probably take.

Of course it is (that's the only route to take in the absence of a trade). That's why I think that he needs to be doing everything he can do in order to work out a trade that involves giving up one of the "strengths" to improve a weakness. And I would personally advise dealing whichever player would bring you the most pitching talent in return between Votto, Jr., and Dunn.

Merely letting Jr., Dunn, and Hatteberg play out the end of their contracts and letting them leave for nothing, while leaving Bruce and Votto in AAA (where they have nothing to prove) or on the bench (where they have nothing to gain) when they are your best trading chips would be irresponsibly passive, or in other words, a classic DanO move.

Please note I am absolutely NOT advocating a trade of Jay Bruce. He would be the one guy in this glut that I would not trade (unless Detroit suddenly feels the need to give up Miller and Maybin.) ;)

Red Heeler
08-29-2007, 09:39 PM
Actually RH, I agree with Beni. Having Hatte and Bruce on the bench is a luxury (and so is Freel kind of) and this team needs to spin (Beni's word) that excess into filling its need for necessities.

As for the type of pitcher to acquire, I actually do think that the Reds need a ready made starter. Maybe not top of the rotation, but I think a guy who is Arroyo caliber or better is needed. The pitcher you describe sounds a lot like Kyle Lohse and the thought of counting on that as the answer to the rotation problems makes my head spin around like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. There is nothing wrong with acquiring a guy like that (if the $ aren't excessive) for the back of the rotation mix to go with Belisle, Bailey, Cueto and the suspects, but simply acquiring one of those does not really answer any of the question marks in the rotation, it just adds another guy with questions that may or may not work out. I think the Reds need a sure thing (and there really aren't any, but a high probability should be sought out).

Nobody is going to give up a solid, ready-made starter unless Bailey or Cueto is going the other way. I'm not totally against that kind of deal, but I would rather explore the kinds of guys that can be had for lesser talent and hope for a break-out. Prior to his arrival in Cincinnati, Arroyo was only a notch better pitcher than Lohse. Sometimes those types of pitchers work out, sometimes they don't. At least you aren't out a lot of money, top flight prospects, or both.