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M2
09-05-2007, 12:45 PM
If we're being honest with ourselves, the Reds really don't have a true CF in house at the moment. Ryan Freel's a hard working utility man, not a natural CF. Norris Hopper's a bench player. Josh Hamilton's a corner OF who can hold down CF in a pinch. Chris Dickerson is a true CF, but he doesn't hit well enough to be more than a role player. Jay Bruce, by all accounts, is the second coming of Larry Walker, which means that he'd be an all right CF, but that he could dominate in RF. I say put him where he can dominate.

That means if the Reds truly want a CF then they're going to have go outside their walls to find one. I'll kick it off here with some names, but there's a lot more guys than the ones I'm going to list and I'm curious to hear what others think about various candidates.

Free agents

Andruw Jones - He's one of the younger free agent CFs (30) and he ranks #1 among CFs in RZR (.931, though do not take that as blanket proof that he is the best overall CF out there). Yet he's also having his worst season at the plate in a decade and he'll be ridiculously expensive.

Torii Hunter - He's 32 with power and still has some range (.897 RZR). He's lost a step around the bases and he's never been all that good about finding 1B. Also stands to be a budget buster.

Aaron Rowand - His timing is impeccable, OPSing roughly 100 points above his career average in his walk year. Whether he can continue to do that is an open question, but less so in a small park like the GAB. He plays hustle defense, but his RZR is usually on the low side (.854 this season). He might become the "in vogue" selection.

Mike Cameron - He's been incredibly steady the past nine seasons, great glove (.895 RZR), good wheels, good power, good eye at the plate. His numbers usually aren't eye-popping, but that's largely because he's played in the best pitchers parks in baseball. Put him in a hitter's park and you could get an .850+ OPS player for a couple of seasons. The downside is he's 34, though he keeps himself in tremendous shape. Probably the least expensive of the top free agent CFs.

Corey Patterson - Patterson's seriously OB challenged and his power comes and goes, but he does have his plusses. He's got primo wheels, he's only 28, he's an average BA guy and he might just be the best defensive CF alive (.903 RZR this season, .949 last year). Patterson might just have himself a prime, especially if someone sticks him in a bandbox. If his BA ticks up to .280-.290 range and his power settles in, then you might be looking at a discount version of Aaron Rowand.

Trade market

Rocco Baldelli - B.J. Upton's going to be the D-Rays CF for the forseeable future. Delmon Young's in RF, Carl Crawford's in LF. That leaves Baldelli as a man without a place to play. He's beyond gimpy, but he could hit .300 with power, speed and a very good glove (though he won't be drawing many walks) if he could stay healthy. Tampa Bay needs middle IF and pitching help, perhaps LH power too (e.g. a guy like Jr. to DH). There'd be no point in trading Brandon Phillips for him (same basic guy), but he's a fairly established CF without a job.

Carlos Gomez - Carlos Beltran may be the best player alive. Then when you add in vets in the OF corners and two other primo OF prospects, the Mets are swimming in OF talent. Does that mean you could pry away Gomez? Don't know, but I'd ask.

Johnny Footstool
09-05-2007, 12:51 PM
I like Patterson as a #7 hitter, but the team would have to find a RH bat *somewhere*.

paulrichjr
09-05-2007, 12:53 PM
I don't see anything like this happening. I see Jay Bruce or Josh Hamilton out there for at least 2 years and then Stubbs coming up and taking it over.

BRM
09-05-2007, 12:57 PM
I don't see anything like this happening. I see Jay Bruce or Josh Hamilton out there for at least 2 years and then Stubbs coming up and taking it over.

You think Krivsky is content with fielding a below average defensive outfield?

M2
09-05-2007, 12:58 PM
I like Patterson as a #7 hitter, but the team would have to find a RH bat *somewhere*.

Phillips, Encarnacion, Gonzalez, catcher perhaps. I'm not sure where this LH overload myth came from and I doubt it would be a problem even if it existed.

edabbs44
09-05-2007, 01:01 PM
I don't see anything like this happening. I see Jay Bruce or Josh Hamilton out there for at least 2 years and then Stubbs coming up and taking it over.

Exactly. The OF is already shaping up to be a logjam of Dunn'Griffey/Kearns/WMP proportions.

Though dealing Jr and adding Hunter would be phenomenal.

M2
09-05-2007, 01:01 PM
I don't see anything like this happening. I see Jay Bruce or Josh Hamilton out there for at least 2 years and then Stubbs coming up and taking it over.

If the Reds lack ambition, and they might, then that's what they'll do. Though, given the way he's hit in professional ball, Stubbs is an awfully poor horse on which to place any bets. Right now, charitably, he looks to be about four years away from being able to come up and not embarrass himself.

edabbs44
09-05-2007, 01:04 PM
Phillips, Encarnacion, Gonzalez, catcher perhaps. I'm not sure where this LH overload myth came from and I doubt it would be a problem even if it existed.

Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton, Bruce, Votto.

Those are 5 bats who are either here now or are knocking on the door who are lefty.

They are 26th in the majors in OPS vs LHPs this season.

Cincy's secret weapon vs LHPs is now on the Mets. :)

All of that adds up to a problem.

M2
09-05-2007, 01:11 PM
Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton, Bruce, Votto.

Those are 5 bats who are either here now or are knocking on the door who are lefty.

They are 26th in the majors in OPS vs LHPs this season.

Cincy's secret weapon vs LHPs is now on the Mets. :)

All of that adds up to a problem.

Yeah, too many LH bats can sink a franchise. Just ask the Yankees. It's been a thorn in their side ever since they got that Babe Ruth guy from the Red Sox.

Certainly the Reds could stand to improve vs. LHPs, but there are LH hitters who can hit LHPs. Dunn and Jr. have both been solid against LHPs during their careers.

Also, the five guys you mentioned literally can't all take the field at the same time, so that's four LH hitters on any given day and in no, way, shape or form does half your lineup being LH constitute an overload.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 01:15 PM
If the Reds lack ambition, and they might, then that's what they'll do. Though, given the way he's hit in professional ball, Stubbs is an awfully poor horse on which to place any bets. Right now, charitably, he looks to be about four years away from being able to come up and not embarrass himself.
Drew made some big strides the second half of the season at the plate as he hit .308/.394/.517 in his last 250 plate appearances of the season. Give him 2 years and I think we will like what we see.

M2
09-05-2007, 01:15 PM
Anyone got some CF suggestions? Anyone?

I purposefully kept the list short.

MikeS21
09-05-2007, 01:16 PM
I'm wondering if we aren't giving Josh Hamilton enough credit. No doubt he has the arm and the speed to play better than average CF defense. He seems to pick up the ball fairly well off the bat, and has the range to go into the gap to catch up with and/or cut off a lot of gap shots.

I have noticed a few MINOR inconsistencies in his play, but I figure with a four year layoff, he has missed out on a LOT of minor league instruction. I might be mistaken, but I can't recall the last Gold Glover to go completely error free for an entire season. The instincts and the tools seem to be there for Hamilton. He just needs a little polish on technique. It may not be saying much, but right now, even without the polish, Hamilton seems to be the best defensive OF the Reds have.

Perhaps what the Reds really need is a coach who knows the finer techniques of playing CF and can tutor Hamilton a bit next spring training.

KronoRed
09-05-2007, 01:16 PM
You think Krivsky is content with fielding a below average defensive outfield?

Yes he is, as long as they make all the routine plays, which appears to be his number 1 rule for good defense.

In any case all of these names will cost a lot of money, just go with Bruce or Hamilton.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 01:17 PM
As for going the FA route, Hunter and Jones are likely out of our price range. I have some interest in Patterson if the Reds will use him right and not bat him at the top of the line up, regardless of how fast he actually is.

RedsManRick
09-05-2007, 01:20 PM
You really can't make a run at a FA until and unless both Griffey and Dunn are gone. I don't think that's likely to happen during this offseason, but is very possible heading in to 2009.

I agree that neither Bruce nor Hamilton are optimal in CF. That said, if you have Dunn or Junior in LF, that puts Bruce in CF and Hamilton in RF. If you have Bruce and Hamilton in RF and LF respectively, then you don't quite have the need for a rangy CF like we have right now, because those 2 would both be plus defenders at their positions.

The problem we have currently is that we have 2 poor range corner guys. Even the best CF can't cover both alleys and we've got an average CF in Hamilton. I would actually prefer a Dunn(or Jr)/Bruce/Hamilton arrangement for the next few years, as getting that sort of offensive production from CF gives you a massive leg up and the defense would still be significantly better than what we have now.

The real problem area this team has is the lack of plus offense OR defense at SS, 3B, and 1B. Any additional financial investment in position players should be directed there, in my opinion. Hopefully the continued development of Phillips and EE will help the vL problem. What would make everything better is a plus defending SS with a good right-handed stick. So, ARod anybody? :-P

M2
09-05-2007, 01:22 PM
Drew made some big strides the second half of the season at the plate as he hit .308/.394/.517 in his last 250 plate appearances of the season. Give him 2 years and I think we will like what we see.

How much of that is the normal hot/cold flux that comes with every season? How much of that is a function of the better, older pitchers in the MWL getting promoted to high A and beyond while the lesser pitchers stick around to mix with younger guys coming up?

Supposedly Stubbs' .768 OPS effort in the Pioneer League last season was going to get relegated to fluke status this season. Now he's at .785 this season. It's too early to equate his performance with fate, but a pattern is emerging and it's not pretty. Quite frankly, if Stubbs doesn't take a major step forward next year the chances of him improving as the pitchers do at each level would be somewhere from slim to none.

Benihana
09-05-2007, 01:31 PM
I would try to trade Griffey or Dunn this offseason for whatever pitching they would fetch. I would go Jr. first simply because Dunn may carry more value at the deadline. Either way, if you could get some reasonable pitching in return, I would trade both, and then sign Corey Patterson to a two year deal in the $7-9 MM range.

I like this logic because it takes advantage of the marketplace. It has been well documented that the free agent pool for pitching is very weak in talent and ridculously overpriced. So acquire your pitching talent through trades (if possible).

If pitching is overpriced, and the spotlight on centerfielders doesn't really extend beyond Jones, Hunter, and maybe Rowand, Patterson should be available on the cheap.

Drew Stubbs will not (or at least, should not) be an everyday starter until 2010 at the absolute earliest. And that's if he even makes it that far.

dougdirt
09-05-2007, 01:32 PM
How much of that is the normal hot/cold flux that comes with every season? How much of that is a function of the better, older pitchers in the MWL getting promoted to high A and beyond while the lesser pitchers stick around to mix with younger guys coming up?

Supposedly Stubbs' .768 OPS effort in the Pioneer League last season was going to get relegated to fluke status this season. Now he's at .785 this season. It's too early to equate his performance with fate, but a pattern is emerging and it's not pretty. Quite frankly, if Stubbs doesn't take a major step forward next year the chances of him improving as the pitchers do at each level would be somewhere from slim to none.

Couldn't tell you how much it has to do with guys getting called up or not, or a hot or cold type thing, but I do know that outside of 1 bad month, Drew had an OPS over .870 the entire rest of the season. Time will tell with Drew, but I think he has shown quite a bit of improvement and we will continue to see it next season.

Cyclone792
09-05-2007, 01:35 PM
Anyone got some CF suggestions? Anyone?

I purposefully kept the list short.

My own ideal center field candidate injured his arm in spring training, then got shipped off to Oakland shortly thereafter. Great defense, good on-base skills, and league minimum cheap. But apparently the Reds thought otherwise, and he's gone.

I've seen Jay Bruce play exactly one game in center field, and that was last season in Dayton so I'm not really sure how strong his center field defense is at this point. All we've ever heard from the scouts is they believe Bruce is eventually geared for right field eventually, but I'd at least like to see him in center for an extended period myself before going with that take. Right now it would seem that Bruce's center field defense is at least average simply because he's received the bulk of his playing time there. My thinking is if Bruce was below average there, then the Reds would have already committed to moving him to a corner. Then again, this is the Reds we're talking about so that's not a given.

I would agree that Hamilton's center field defense right now is probably below average, and his best position at this point is likely right field. Hamilton reminds me a lot of Austin Kearns; I think he'd be a good defender in right with a strong throwing arm helping him further, and he's passable in center in the short term but isn't a long term answer there.

All that being said, the outfield situation I'd be looking at for next season is Dunn in left, Bruce in center, and Hamilton in right. We know what Dunn brings to the table defensively. If Bruce can play at least average defense in center, and if Hamilton provides good defense in right field, then the overall outfield defense shouldn't hurt the Reds. I doubt it'd be spectacular, but I'd have to think overall it'd be somewhat average. That would at least be a decent upgrade over what they're currently fielding.

Drew Stubbs isn't even anywhere near my radar at this point. When (if) he reaches a point when he's excelling at AA or higher, then I'll consider him a viable option. Until then, the Reds shouldn't wait around on him and hoping he's some sort of answer.

Also, I'd like to see the Reds acquire (or bring up) a legitimate center field defender as a 4th or 5th outfield backup type. Norris Hopper provides solid defense in the corners as a backup outfielder, but the guy just isn't a center fielder. I've seen enough of him running in four different directions while terribly misreading a fly ball in center field to know that he should never be in center field unless it's an emergency. The shame is right now this team doesn't even have a legitimate center field defender on its roster, neither its starters or backups.

Perhaps a guy like Dickerson could fill that void, or perhaps he can't. I've never seen him play, but if his defense is as good as advertised, then he'd be a nice backup outfielder to have for his center field defensive purposes (provided his bat is good enough to justify a roster spot). If his bat isn't good enough, then the team would behoove itself to find some type of excellent center field defender who can provide enough pop to justify a roster spot.

M2
09-05-2007, 01:54 PM
Couldn't tell you how much it has to do with guys getting called up or not, or a hot or cold type thing, but I do know that outside of 1 bad month, Drew had an OPS over .870 the entire rest of the season. Time will tell with Drew, but I think he has shown quite a bit of improvement and we will continue to see it next season.

That's just it. You don't know. I don't know. The Reds don't know. Drew Stubbs doesn't know. Stubbs had a poor April too (.697 OPS).

What I do know is the promised blip of poor hitting in 2006 turned into a repeat in 2007. I like that Stubbs takes a walk, but his lack of power at his age and level of experience and in the leagues and parks he's played in is disturbing. My take is he's got the muscles to hit the ball over the fence, but not the swing to do it consistently.

So do you reconstruct his swing or take your chances with what he's got? I'm sure the working plan is to go with the former, but acting like better performance in higher levels is a given strikes me as little more than bravado for bravado's sake.

My point is the Reds would be foolish to the nth degree if the Reds constructed their major league roster around the great unknown that is Drew Stubbs. That goes for most prospects though. For instance, outside of Jay Bruce, I wouldn't be doing any future slotting with anyone in the Reds' system. Hope for them all to succeed, adjust accordingly when they do, but don't bank on them.

osuceltic
09-05-2007, 01:55 PM
Hamilton is solid in center. I think you're selling him short. I think if you have Hamilton in center and Bruce in right, you have a pretty good start to a good defensive outfield.

As for the too-many-lefties argument. I agree that the problem isn't the lefties. It's the righties. The Reds went into this season counting on Encarnacion as the right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup. He flopped spectacularly. Ross fell off big-time. Gonzalez was OK, but has been out of the lineup for long stretches. One of the reasons for the second-half upswing by the offense was the play of Keppinger and Hopper, who at least gave them some timely hits against left-handers.

So the solution isn't necessarily subtracting lefties. It's adding righties who can balance the lineup. Only Phillips qualifies. I will say that I think you're discounting the problems against lefties a little too cavalierly. You can use career numbers, but Dunn has been undeniably bad against left-handers this season. Is that just a bad year, or indicative of a bigger problem? I don't know, but I wouldn't want to build a team for next year assuming a big turnaround.

Finally, let me just say that I hope every available resource this offseason is used to acquire pitching. Center field is the least of my worries.

edabbs44
09-05-2007, 01:56 PM
Yeah, too many LH bats can sink a franchise. Just ask the Yankees. It's been a thorn in their side ever since they got that Babe Ruth guy from the Red Sox.

Certainly the Reds could stand to improve vs. LHPs, but there are LH hitters who can hit LHPs. Dunn and Jr. have both been solid against LHPs during their careers.

Also, the five guys you mentioned literally can't all take the field at the same time, so that's four LH hitters on any given day and in no, way, shape or form does half your lineup being LH constitute an overload.

There's a difference between "could stand to improve" and being 26th out of 30 in OPS.

And I agree that 4 of those guys can only take the field at one time. But where does the talent lie? Dunn, Griffey, Votto, Bruce and Hamilton or Phillips, EdE, Gonzalez and Ross/Valentin?

It isn't shocking why they struggle vs LHPs.

flyer85
09-05-2007, 01:58 PM
GABP is one of the easiest CFs to patrol in all of the majors. I am guessing the Reds like a Hamilton/Hopper platoon heading into 2008.

flyer85
09-05-2007, 02:00 PM
You can use career numbers, but Dunn has been undeniably bad against left-handers this season. Is that just a bad year, or indicative of a bigger problem?why would it be indicative of a bigger problem? Dunn OPSed 900 against LHP in 2006. Jrs numbers have been all over the place against LHP in his career. Generally players are better against the opposite handed pitcher. The Reds problem is a dearth of RH bats.

Patrick Bateman
09-05-2007, 02:01 PM
Michael Bourn from the Phillies could be expendable if they decide to keep Rowand as he'd be relegated to 4th OF duty.

Great fielder, top notch speed, and on base ability. That's a great package to have in centre even if there is zero power to offer. He could be costly, but he may be a realistic target. Plus he's currently injured, deflating his value a little.

jojo
09-05-2007, 02:02 PM
Hamilton is solid in center. I think you're selling him short. I think if you have Hamilton in center and Bruce in right, you have a pretty good start to a good defensive outfield.

As for the too-many-lefties argument. I agree that the problem isn't the lefties. It's the righties. The Reds went into this season counting on Encarnacion as the right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup. He flopped spectacularly. Ross fell off big-time. Gonzalez was OK, but has been out of the lineup for long stretches. One of the reasons for the second-half upswing by the offense was the play of Keppinger and Hopper, who at least gave them some timely hits against left-handers.

So the solution isn't necessarily subtracting lefties. It's adding righties who can balance the lineup. Only Phillips qualifies. I will say that I think you're discounting the problems against lefties a little too cavalierly. You can use career numbers, but Dunn has been undeniably bad against left-handers this season. Is that just a bad year, or indicative of a bigger problem? I don't know, but I wouldn't want to build a team for next year assuming a big turnaround.

Finally, let me just say that I hope every available resource this offseason is used to acquire pitching. Center field is the least of my worries.

Hamilton is center field given the current reds outfield. He wouldn't be on most other teams. Basically Hamilton is a center fielder only because the other two starters in the Reds outfield are two of the worst defenders in baseball.

Cyclone hit the nail on the head....in his brief debut, Hamilton looks like he could be what a lot of Reds fans thought Kearns would become.

bucksfan2
09-05-2007, 02:05 PM
As for going the FA route, Hunter and Jones are likely out of our price range. I have some interest in Patterson if the Reds will use him right and not bat him at the top of the line up, regardless of how fast he actually is.

Here is where I disagree with you doug. If they wanted to get a FA CF the could go out and pay one. I don't see it happening but the financial means are there. I get sick and tired of hearing that excuse. However the problem with the FA market is the type of contract given. You don't want to go out and give Hunter a 6 year deal when in his most profitable years 4,5,6 he is going to be on the downside of his career. I don't forsee Jones leaving the Braves but I would love to see him patrolling CF for the reds. The reds could go after Jones and give him a 5-6 year deal but that would signify not only the end of Dunn as a red but Jr would also have to be moved. But if you ask me I would much rather have an outfield of Bruce in LF, Jones in CF, and Hamilton in RF.

flyer85
09-05-2007, 02:07 PM
Here is where I disagree with you doug. If they wanted to get a FA CF the could go out and pay one. I don't see it happening but the financial means are there. I get sick and tired of hearing that excuse. However the problem with the FA market is the type of contract given. You don't want to go out and give Hunter a 6 year deal when in his most profitable years 4,5,6 he is going to be on the downside of his career. I don't forsee Jones leaving the Braves but I would love to see him patrolling CF for the reds. The reds could go after Jones and give him a 5-6 year deal but that would signify not only the end of Dunn as a red but Jr would also have to be moved. But if you ask me I would much rather have an outfield of Bruce in LF, Jones in CF, and Hamilton in RF.you can sign one, as long as you realize you are highly likely to overpay and are just as likely to get little to no production in the outyears.

CF is a really small problem in the Reds scheme of things. Pitching and catching look to be much more pressing issues.

M2
09-05-2007, 02:07 PM
There's a difference between "could stand to improve" and being 26th out of 30 in OPS.

The Reds were 2nd in MLB vs. LHPs last season with pretty much the same group of characters. Freel getting hurt and Aurilia heading off to SF were certainly blows to that number, but supposedly Cantu's here to be the new Aurilia and Freel's still around to perhaps platoon with Hamilton next season. Dunn and Encarnacion have been picking up their numbers against LHPs as the season's progressed. It wouldn't be shocking to see them wind up in the high .700s or low .800s by the end of the season (all it would take is a big game or two).

So the current .730 mark could very well rise 50 points next year without any changes, which would make the Reds better than average vs. southpaws.

M2
09-05-2007, 02:13 PM
Michael Bourn from the Phillies could be expendable if they decide to keep Rowand as he'd be relegated to 4th OF duty.

Great fielder, top notch speed, and on base ability. That's a great package to have in centre even if there is zero power to offer. He could be costly, but he may be a realistic target. Plus he's currently injured, deflating his value a little.

25 posts and finally we get another name. How Philly handles Rowand will be interesting. He's scrappy so the locals love him.

M2
09-05-2007, 02:18 PM
CF is a really small problem in the Reds scheme of things. Pitching and catching look to be much more pressing issues.

I don't think being 28th in MLB in DER is a small problem. The offense is middle of the pack in EQA and that's after the recent hot streak, so it's not like the Reds overflow with firepower.

I agree that pitching and catcher are glaring problem areas, but the Reds are a bad team. It's not like they've got a single problem. No one move is going to be a panacea. It's going to take numerous changes to create the kind of team that can go out and be dangerous.

So I'm fine with the notion that major resources should be reserved for other moves, but that doesn't mean that some resources can't be devoted to sorting out the OF. Plus, who knows how many OFs head out the door to get the pitching and catching the team needs. It's possible the Reds could find themselves looking to bring an OF into the mix to offset what they've dealt away.

flyer85
09-05-2007, 02:23 PM
I don't think being 28th in MLB in DER is a small problem. Trade Bruce and Bailey for Justin Upton. :D

RedsManRick
09-05-2007, 02:32 PM
Edabbs, your point is well taken, but how do you recommend fixing it? Do you swap out a guy who is .900 OPS vR and .700 OPS vL for a guy who's .700 OPS vR and .800 OPS vL? That results in a net loss of production.

You look at a guy like Dunn, who has a significant platoon split of nearly 100 points. On the surface you might say that that's a problem. However, his OPS vL (.834) is basically the same as Mike Cameron (.849), Torii Hunter (.828), and Andruw Jones (.859). The real issue is not that our lefties are horrible, but that we lack righties. Unless you are replacing the lefties with somebody who represents the same overall production, but with the reverse split, you're like doing more harm than good.

Dave Ross alone is responsible for over 30 points of the Reds OPS drop vL in 2007 compared to 2006. Dunn is only responsible for about half of that.

In any case, PA versus lefties only account for about 30% of your total PA. The specific platoon splits of any new Red is at bat a tertiary concern behind his overall level of production and defensive ability.

I like Bourn conceptually, but if you consider the production we're getting (or believe we will get) from our 4 corner guys (Bruce, Hamilton, Dunn, Griffey), the upgrade defensively would have to be quite significant to break even. That said, if you can turn Dunn or Junior in to equally productive pitching, and acquire Bourn without giving up a key piece in return, it's definitely worth exploring.

edabbs44
09-05-2007, 02:44 PM
Edabbs, your point is well taken, but how do you recommend fixing it? Do you swap out a guy who is .900 OPS vR and .700 OPS vL for a guy who's .700 OPS vR and .800 OPS vL? That results in a net loss of production.

You look at a guy like Dunn, who has a significant platoon split of nearly 100 points. On the surface you might say that that's a problem. However, his OPS vL (.834) is basically the same as Mike Cameron (.849), Torii Hunter (.828), and Andruw Jones (.859). The real issue is not that our lefties are horrible, but that we lack righties. Unless you are replacing the lefties with somebody who represents the same overall production, but with the reverse split, you're like doing more harm than good.

Dave Ross alone is responsible for over 30 points of the Reds OPS drop vL in 2007 compared to 2006. Dunn is only responsible for about half of that.

In any case, PA versus lefties only account for about 30% of your total PA. The specific platoon splits of any new Red is at bat a tertiary concern behind his overall level of production and defensive ability.

I like Bourn conceptually, but if you consider the production we're getting (or believe we will get) from our 4 corner guys (Bruce, Hamilton, Dunn, Griffey), the upgrade defensively would have to be quite significant to break even. That said, if you can turn Dunn or Junior in to equally productive pitching, and acquire Bourn without giving up a key piece in return, it's definitely worth exploring.

Agreed that it's easier said than done.

One way, though potentially unpopular, would be to shop one of the lefties for pitching and look to acquire a righty to replace the guy traded.

What if, hypothetically, they deal Griffey for some decent young pitching and sign Hunter?

Johnny Footstool
09-05-2007, 02:48 PM
Yeah, too many LH bats can sink a franchise. Just ask the Yankees. It's been a thorn in their side ever since they got that Babe Ruth guy from the Red Sox.

Not really the best example, since the Reds can't afford to bring in the best left-handed hitters in the game.

Kearns, Aurilia, and Ross did more than their share vs. Lefties in 2006. Two of those bats are gone, and one (Ross) was pretty much an illusion.

M2
09-05-2007, 03:00 PM
Kearns, Aurilia, and Ross did more than their share vs. Lefties in 2006. Two of those bats are gone, and one (Ross) was pretty much an illusion.

True enough, forgot about Kearns. Though I tend not to sweat platoon players. They're out there if you need them. Meanwhile if you don't have players who can cover the 70% of the time when you're facing RHPs, you're up a creek.

If, when the Reds get their nominal starting eight together it needs a few more RH platoon guys, then they can go out and find a few, but get the starting eight first. To put it another way, I wouldn't pass on a guy to whom I'd like to give the majority of the playing time because I'm not quite sure about how to handle the smaller chunk of the playing time.

IslandRed
09-05-2007, 03:16 PM
Tossing out another name, if it hasn't been mentioned already -- Curtis Granderson.

It's a bit of a stretch, but the Tigers have Cameron Maybin, a natural center fielder, coming on fast. Probably too fast, admittedly. Maybin would have to show enough down the stretch to give the Tigers a comfort level that he can stick for good. But if they can picture him as their opening-day CF next year, that makes Granderson tasty trade bait, and the Tigers sorely need what we can afford to trade -- a lefty-hitting corner-outfield masher.

Rojo
09-05-2007, 03:23 PM
Here's one: David DeJesus. He's slugging impaired and doesn't swipe bags, but can find first base, scores runs and is entereing his prime years. Plus he'd make a nice platoon partner with Hopper.

RedsManRick
09-05-2007, 03:25 PM
Tossing out another name, if it hasn't been mentioned already -- Curtis Granderson.

It's a bit of a stretch, but the Tigers have Cameron Maybin, a natural center fielder, coming on fast. Probably too fast, admittedly. Maybin would have to show enough down the stretch to give the Tigers a comfort level that he can stick for good. But if they can picture him as their opening-day CF next year, that makes Granderson tasty trade bait, and the Tigers sorely need what we can afford to trade -- a lefty-hitting corner-outfield masher.

Ooh. Now THAT's idea I like. Granderson is an absolute stud and Dunn definitely fits a need for them. Dunn between Mags and Sheffield? Scary!

It's one of those deals that just makes a ton of sense, but I imagine that we'd need to give up a little more than just Dunn given Granderson's defense, youth, and salary, and contract situation. Dunn would have to sign long term too, which I don't think he'd do in Detroit.

flyer85
09-05-2007, 03:30 PM
The Dunn/Jr trade talk is mostly a non-starter. Each cannot be traded without their permission and the trade value of both is limited. They are likely Reds for at least part of 2008 and then will be gone.

M2
09-05-2007, 03:30 PM
Here's one: David DeJesus. He's slugging impaired and doesn't swipe bags, but can find first base, scores runs and is entereing his prime years. Plus he'd make a nice platoon partner with Hopper.

He was on my radar too. He's not flashy, but he could be solid. He also does fairly well against LHPs for a LH hitter.

Rojo
09-05-2007, 03:40 PM
He's not flashy, but he could be solid

Which is why he's attainable. He's got an underrated skill set -- good D, .360ish OBA and first-to-third speed. Offensively, he's kind of the anti-Brandon Phillips.

M2
09-05-2007, 03:49 PM
The Dunn/Jr trade talk is mostly a non-starter. Each cannot be traded without their permission and the trade value of both is limited. They are likely Reds for at least part of 2008 and then will be gone.

While MLB front offices are seemingly reaching new levels of diffidence when it comes to helping out their own franchises, we are talking about the guys who currently rank 11th and 13th in the NL in OPS. They're 6th and 12th in RBIs. They're 3rd and 6th in HR. At some point there's got to be a few teams who won't argue with the premise. If you need a big bat, these are two of the biggest around and chances are good no one with acquire a better masher than those guys over the winter.

Obviously the Reds would need to get the player to approve the deal, but I've never understood the assumption that neither one would notice that greener pastures might lie outside Cincinnati. I'm sure there's certain places each one wouldn't want to go, but I'm equally sure that there's places where they'd leap at the chance.

M2
09-05-2007, 03:50 PM
Which is why he's attainable. He's got an underrated skill set -- good D, .360ish OBA and first-to-third speed. Offensively, he's kind of the anti-Brandon Phillips.

Which makes him a nice guy to pair with Brandon Phillips in a lineup. What kills one might make the other stronger.

RedsManRick
09-05-2007, 03:52 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Dunn's no-trade only good through June 15th? A mid-season deal is still very possible, if not downright likely.

BRM
09-05-2007, 03:55 PM
The full no-trade clause expires on June 15th. He still has a limited no-trade afterwards.



if club exercised 2008 option, Dunn receives full no-trade clause until 6/15/2008 & limited no-trade clause for the remainder of 2008 (allowing Dunn specify 10 clubs to which he would accept a trade)

flyer85
09-05-2007, 03:56 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Dunn's no-trade only good through June 15th? A mid-season deal is still very possible, if not downright likely.true but not in the off-season. If he is goes during the season it is highly likely to be for prospects, it certainly won't be for an established player with upside.

After the 15th of June Dunn has a limited no-trade clause. If his agent makes the list properly Dunn will have the leverage to get what he wants if they try to deal him.

M2
09-05-2007, 04:05 PM
true but not in the off-season. If he is goes during the season it is highly likely to be for prospects, it certainly won't be for an established player with upside.

Chances are that all any established player will fetch is a collection of prospects and unproven players. I give you some guaranteed today in return for some maybe tomorrow. Rarely do you see two teams with October aspirations (e.g. the Red Sox and Mets) swapping major league regulars.

If you're looking for a laundry list of potential targets for Dunn or Jr., here's one (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1458991&postcount=88).

jojo
09-05-2007, 04:06 PM
Which is why he's attainable. He's got an underrated skill set -- good D, .360ish OBA and first-to-third speed. Offensively, he's kind of the anti-Brandon Phillips.

I think Dejesus is pretty much unobtainable because he's an above average center fielder (his down offensive year notwithstanding) playing for a rock bottom price. Nobody gives those away especially not a team like KC.

Highlifeman21
09-05-2007, 04:13 PM
Exactly. The OF is already shaping up to be a logjam of Dunn'Griffey/Kearns/WMP proportions.

Though dealing Jr and adding Hunter would be phenomenal.

Big offensive downgrade for marginal defensive upgrade?

Hunter isn't the CF he once was, but isn't quite to the stage KGJ's become. I just don't know if I shell out near KGJ money for a player that will only marginally improve the D while sacrificing the O.

M2
09-05-2007, 04:22 PM
I think Dejesus is pretty much unobtainable because he's an above average center fielder (his down offensive year notwithstanding) playing for a rock bottom price. Nobody gives those away especially not a team like KC.

He's making $2M this season and that's bound to shoot north of $3M next season. The Twins have Joey Gathright around and he's truly rock bottom in price. They've also got Mitch Maier in AAA and a kid they're supposedly high on in high A named Jose Duarte (looks like a slap hitter to me, but there's no accounting for taste).

I'm not 100% sure of what they'd be asking for, but I've got to figure that DeJesus can be had for a multitude of different offers.

Highlifeman21
09-05-2007, 04:23 PM
Anyone got some CF suggestions? Anyone?

I purposefully kept the list short.

A quick look around the league and the following are the only guys I'd want manning CF. Obtaining them is a separate issue altogether....

Beltran
Ellsbury
Granderson
Hamilton, Josh (Hey, we already have him!)
Jones, Adam
Pence
Pie
Sizemore
Suzuki
Upton
Wells

That's my list. Feel free to critique.

Rojo
09-05-2007, 04:35 PM
I think Dejesus is pretty much unobtainable because he's an above average center fielder (his down offensive year notwithstanding) playing for a rock bottom price. Nobody gives those away especially not a team like KC.


It would take some value to get him but I think he's obtainable. He's not the kind of guy you build around, KC's gotta be aiming for power bats and power arms.

edabbs44
09-05-2007, 04:45 PM
Big offensive downgrade for marginal defensive upgrade?

Hunter isn't the CF he once was, but isn't quite to the stage KGJ's become. I just don't know if I shell out near KGJ money for a player that will only marginally improve the D while sacrificing the O.

Big offensive downgrade? Not sure about that.

Marginal defensive upgrade? Again, debatable.

Hunter is having a great year...and is murdering lefties. Not to say that he's a lock to have the same type of season next year, but he's also a lot younger than Jr and should be playing for a while after Griffey retires.

I think it's a no brainer if you can get some return on Jr. Dependent on the money, of course.

BRM
09-05-2007, 04:59 PM
Hunter is reportedly looking for a 5/70 deal, similar to J.D. Drew's. I'm not sure I'd want to pay that.

MikeS21
09-05-2007, 05:07 PM
I'm still not seeing what the problem is with Josh Hamilton in CF. He has good speed, gets good reads off the bat, has the range to go into the gaps, and has the arm to hold runners from advancing. Other than a few minor, coachable mental mistakes, he's better than average. Hamilton may not win a Gold Glove, but I think he has the ability to become one of the top six or eight CF's in baseball.

What I'd like to see is a future OF of Bruce in RF, Hamilton in CF, and come up with a guy like Fred Lewis or Elijah Dukes to play LF. Of course, the Reds could always sign a 45 year old Reggie Sanders if a young guy doesn't pan out.

Johnny Footstool
09-05-2007, 05:12 PM
Here's one: David DeJesus. He's slugging impaired and doesn't swipe bags, but can find first base, scores runs and is entereing his prime years. Plus he'd make a nice platoon partner with Hopper.

Hard to pry him away from the Royals, though. They dig his game in KC. Plus he was Beltran's replacement, so he's been anointed.

Rojo
09-05-2007, 05:17 PM
Plus he was Beltran's replacement, so he's been anointed.

If there looking at him as Beltran II, then they've gotta to be disappointed.

paulrichjr
09-05-2007, 05:18 PM
I just can't see the Reds focusing on this during the offseason. I think they see Hamilton, Bruce, Freel, and Hopper as being 4 people that can play center and that will be the end of that discussion. Dunn will be in left, Hamilton/Freel/Hooper in CF and Griffey in RF until the trade deadline and then I would not be surprised to see Dunn and Griffey both traded to make room for Bruce and one of the others from CF. The catcher position, the starters, and the pen is where the action will be this winter.

Johnny Footstool
09-05-2007, 05:44 PM
If there looking at him as Beltran II, then they've gotta to be disappointed.

That's the way things are for homegrown players in KC. Johnny Damon was George Brett II. DeJesus is Beltran II, or at least that's how they touted him -- "the kid who will make you forget about Carlos Beltran".

Rojo
09-05-2007, 08:14 PM
I just can't see the Reds focusing on this during the offseason. I think they see Hamilton, Bruce, Freel, and Hopper as being 4 people that can play center and that will be the end of that discussion. Dunn will be in left, Hamilton/Freel/Hooper in CF and Griffey in RF until the trade deadline and then I would not be surprised to see Dunn and Griffey both traded to make room for Bruce and one of the others from CF. The catcher position, the starters, and the pen is where the action will be this winter.

I think Jr is key. Trade him, move Hamilton to right and add a true centerfielder, you've upgraded two positions. Replace Hamilton with a true centerfielder and you've upgraded defensively at one position while (probably) taking an offensive hit.

Spitball
09-05-2007, 08:15 PM
Corey Patterson - Patterson's seriously OB challenged and his power comes and goes, but he does have his plusses. He's got primo wheels, he's only 28, he's an average BA guy and he might just be the best defensive CF alive (.903 RZR this season, .949 last year). Patterson might just have himself a prime, especially if someone sticks him in a bandbox. If his BA ticks up to .280-.290 range and his power settles in, then you might be looking at a discount version of Aaron Rowand.

I believe Patterson might be a nice one year gamble if Boros is forced to shift strategies. Patterson's mediocre 2007 season and the glut of center fielders on the market might make it difficult to find that multi-year deal Boras will want.

He might opt to sign a one year deal with the hope Patterson could put up better numbers in 2008 that could be parlayed into a better multi-year deal. Cincinnati, the GABP, and NL pitching might be very attractive to Boras.

I look at Patterson and see the potential for a Brandon Phillips type re-birth and performance.

jojo
09-05-2007, 08:20 PM
If there looking at him as Beltran II, then they've gotta to be disappointed.

Not really. Obviously Dejesus is not Beltran. However, I think it's a flawed approach to evaluate a player based upon who he is not. IMHO some are seriously undervaluing what Dejesus actually does bring to the table. He's consistently been a 2.5 win bat who plays above average defense at a premium defensive position. He's locked up through 2011 at really rock bottom prices for the position. He"s basically a check mark at a position that's both very tough to cross off the list and is an expensive item on the free agent market.

There's much more underlying KC's likely unwillingness to deal Dejesus than his popularity with the fans.

jojo
09-05-2007, 08:24 PM
I'm still not seeing what the problem is with Josh Hamilton in CF. He has good speed, gets good reads off the bat, has the range to go into the gaps, and has the arm to hold runners from advancing. Other than a few minor, coachable mental mistakes, he's better than average. Hamilton may not win a Gold Glove, but I think he has the ability to become one of the top six or eight CF's in baseball.

It's range issues that will basically prevent Hamilton from being a legitimate center fielder.

M2
09-05-2007, 09:01 PM
Not really. Obviously Dejesus is not Beltran. However, I think it's a flawed approach to evaluate a player based upon who he is not. IMHO some are seriously undervaluing what Dejesus actually does bring to the table. He's consistently been a 2.5 win bat who plays above average defense at a premium defensive position. He's locked up through 2011 at really rock bottom prices for the position. He"s basically a check mark at a position that's both very tough to cross off the list and is an expensive item on the free agent market.

There's much more underlying KC's likely unwillingness to deal Dejesus than his popularity with the fans.

No doubt, he's a useful player. Then again, the Royals arguably could get the same thing from Gathright (in fact they are). A team as bad as the Royals ought to want to turn that potential surplus into something. I forgot that DeJesus signed that sweetheart deal, so it's possible that cost certainty could make him central to the Royals' plans. Perhaps that means Gathright's available for peanuts.

M2
09-05-2007, 09:05 PM
I believe Patterson might be a nice one year gamble if Boros is forced to shift strategies. Patterson's mediocre 2007 season and the glut of center fielders on the market might make it difficult to find that multi-year deal Boras will want.

He might opt to sign a one year deal with the hope Patterson could put up better numbers in 2008 that could be parlayed into a better multi-year deal. Cincinnati, the GABP, and NL pitching might be very attractive to Boras.

I look at Patterson and see the potential for a Brandon Phillips type re-birth and performance.

Good point about the one-year deal. Patterson does have some tantalizing tools and he could be a rich man if he could put it all together for one season. He'd certainly bring a vacuum with him into the field.

RFS62
09-05-2007, 09:15 PM
I just don't see the Reds going out and getting another centerfielder. I think they're going with Hamilton next year, with Hopper getting a lot of at bats against lefties.

Rojo
09-05-2007, 11:24 PM
IMHO some are seriously undervaluing what Dejesus actually does bring to the table. He's consistently been a 2.5 win bat who plays above average defense at a premium defensive position. He's locked up through 2011 at really rock bottom prices for the position.


I'm not undervaluing him, I just wonder if the lack of flash means that KC might. But I didn't know about the contract.

SteelSD
09-05-2007, 11:40 PM
Please no Corey Patterson. Please no. I will produce cat pictures!

WVRedsFan
09-05-2007, 11:47 PM
I just don't see the Reds going out and getting another centerfielder. I think they're going with Hamilton next year, with Hopper getting a lot of at bats against lefties.

My feelings exactly.

AtomicDumpling
09-06-2007, 02:19 AM
The Reds best trading chip is Joey Votto right now (assuming Harang, Phillips, Bailey, Bruce and Hamilton are untouchables). Joey Votto is a guy we want to keep, but you have to give up something good to get something good. If you want to convince a team to trade a guy like Granderson, Gathright or Pence you will have to offer them a package including Votto and possibly Cueto as well. Given the logjam in the Reds' infield it is possible that Encarnacion or Keppinger could be traded because they are good enough to be improvements over many teams' infielders. We could get something good for them.

My guess is Votto, Encarnacion and Keppinger are all more likely to be traded this offseason than either Dunn or Griffey simply because they are expendable and they have more value due to their performance, contract situation and age. The Reds will pick up Hatteberg's option and trade him too. The Reds have more valuable trade bait now than any time in the last several years. Krivsky should have plenty of options to work with this winter.

Then you could put the new guy (Granderson, Gathright, Pence) in centerfield, Hamilton in right field, Griffey in left field and Dunn at first base. Bruce would take over in left field if/when Griffey or Dunn gets traded.

This would take one lefty bat off the squad, hopefully to be replaced with a righty bat (or at least a guy that can hit LH pitchers well).

mth123
09-06-2007, 06:01 AM
I just can't see the Reds focusing on this during the offseason. I think they see Hamilton, Bruce, Freel, and Hopper as being 4 people that can play center and that will be the end of that discussion. Dunn will be in left, Hamilton/Freel/Hooper in CF and Griffey in RF until the trade deadline and then I would not be surprised to see Dunn and Griffey both traded to make room for Bruce and one of the others from CF. The catcher position, the starters, and the pen is where the action will be this winter.

This is my thought as well. I think Dunn/Hamiton/Griffey is the primary OF next year. I'd like to see Griffey dealt for whatever pitching he can secure and go with Dunn/Bruce/Hamilton. I think Hopper will be around as a bench/platoon player. He can be an asset as long as we get a manager who uses him corrrectly.

As for the list, I think a couple names not yet mentioned for the market come from the big 2 markets. Johnny Damon looks to be very available with Melky taking over in NY and Coco Crisp probably will be moved to make room for Ellsbury.

Damon is signed through 2009 at $13 Million per year and its questionable whether he can play CF anymore IMO. I'd pass, but he is probably out there.

Crisp is a reasonable target. He's still young, has had a pretty good improvement defensively in CF after a rough start in Boston (based on some reports I've read, but I've also read that his defense is questionable maybe M2 and the rest of the Boston contingent can help here). His contract is fairly reasonable at $4.75 Million in 2008 and $5.75 Million in 2009 with an $8 Million in option in 2010 ($500K buyout). That is cheaper on the budget than any of the Free Agents will be. He may be obtainable with the market so glutted. I have to think with Ellsbury on the way and with Drew around as a fallback, Crisp could be had for possibly less than we think. Boston will probably look for a young 1B to allow Youkilis to play 3B and let Lowell walk. That screams Votto and I'm not sure I'd do that. Maybe Boston would want Hatte back to play 1B (he fits the patient plate selective criteria in Boston) and view dumping Crisp's salary in a glutted market while making room for Ellsbury and allowing Youkilis to play 3B (saving salary there with Lowell leaving also) as enough return if the Reds throw in a middling minor leaguer or two to boot. Another option could be Hatte/Freel. Hatte slides in at 1B and Freel provides a bench option, a 4th OF and a CF back-up plan if Ellsbury tanks. The dollars are still a wash and the savings from Lowell would still be there. I'd be all for a Hatte/Freel for Crisp deal. Maybe a young relief possibility or two like McBeth, Salmon, Guevara or even Majewski would be enough of a sweetener.

Jpup
09-06-2007, 06:59 AM
Josh Hamilton would be my center fielder for, at least, the next 6 seasons. The outfield certainly isn't the problem. The Reds need pitching, pitching, pitching. If they pick up Dunn's option, or better yet, extend his contract, they are set in the outfield with Dunn, Hamilton, & Jr. If Jr. is traded, that opens the door for Jay Bruce to start the year in Cincinnati.

The only problem I see for the Reds, as far as the lineup, is the catcher spot and possibly 3rd if Edwin can't get it all together.

Pitching...

edabbs44
09-06-2007, 08:26 AM
Josh Hamilton would be my center fielder for, at least, the next 6 seasons. The outfield certainly isn't the problem. The Reds need pitching, pitching, pitching. If they pick up Dunn's option, or better yet, extend his contract, they are set in the outfield with Dunn, Hamilton, & Jr. If Jr. is traded, that opens the door for Jay Bruce to start the year in Cincinnati.

The only problem I see for the Reds, as far as the lineup, is the catcher spot and possibly 3rd if Edwin can't get it all together.

Pitching...

Have to agree, though dealing someone (Junior/Dunn), getting pitching/prospects in return and using the saved money to get an OFer (Hunter?) is pretty attractive.

Though pitching is of the most urgent priority, IMO.

M2
09-06-2007, 08:37 AM
I just don't see the Reds going out and getting another centerfielder. I think they're going with Hamilton next year, with Hopper getting a lot of at bats against lefties.

You're probably right, but I just can't behind that kind of lack of ambition. Sooner or later the Reds have to stop trying to do just enough and look to excel.

bucksfan2
09-06-2007, 08:41 AM
I dont understand why people rate Hamilton as a below average CF. Of all the reds he is by far the best defensive CF right now and had the ability to go get balls. He may not cover the gound that A Jones does but he is a solid outfielder. This is also his first season playing baseball in a while so I would expect his defense to improve over the next season. I do not see Votto being traded at all. I just dont think the reds can afford to trade him. If you are a contending team you can move a guy like Votto for a piece of the puzzle, not the reds. Like it or not the future of this reds club is hitched to the wagons of Votto, Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Hamilton, Phillips, Bray, Burton, etc.

puca
09-06-2007, 08:47 AM
I dont understand why people rate Hamilton as a below average CF. Of all the reds he is by far the best defensive CF right now and had the ability to go get balls. He may not cover the gound that A Jones does but he is a solid outfielder. This is also his first season playing baseball in a while so I would expect his defense to improve over the next season. I do not see Votto being traded at all. I just dont think the reds can afford to trade him. If you are a contending team you can move a guy like Votto for a piece of the puzzle, not the reds. Like it or not the future of this reds club is hitched to the wagons of Votto, Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Hamilton, Phillips, Bray, Burton, etc.

The problem is that an outfield of Dunn/Hamilton/Griffey turns a lot of outs into hits. Each has below average range for the position they play. It is a toxic defensive mix.

nate
09-06-2007, 08:56 AM
I dont understand why people rate Hamilton as a below average CF. Of all the reds he is by far the best defensive CF right now and had the ability to go get balls. He may not cover the gound that A Jones does but he is a solid outfielder. This is also his first season playing baseball in a while so I would expect his defense to improve over the next season. I do not see Votto being traded at all. I just dont think the reds can afford to trade him. If you are a contending team you can move a guy like Votto for a piece of the puzzle, not the reds. Like it or not the future of this reds club is hitched to the wagons of Votto, Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Hamilton, Phillips, Bray, Burton, etc.

You're right. On the Reds, he probably is the best defensive CF.

But, he's in that position because the rest of the outfielders are such poor defenders.

MikeS21
09-06-2007, 09:52 AM
The problem is that an outfield of Dunn/Hamilton/Griffey turns a lot of outs into hits. Each has below average range for the position they play. It is a toxic defensive mix.
I must respectfully disagree about Josh Hamilton. I don't at all see the lack of range. He has a fairly long stride. He has better than average speed and he gets good reads and gets good jumps on the ball coming off the bat. He has the speed to get into the alleys and cut off and some times catch up with those gap shots. He also seems to have a knack for angling himself in good positions to make quick throws in order to hold runners. I've seen him chase down and catch enough fly balls all over the OF to prove that he has both the range and the speed to patrol CF.

The problem is not Josh Hamilton in CF. The problem is having Josh Hamilton trying to cover all three OF positions because of the lack of range from Dunn and Griffey. A lot of those balls that Hamilton is not getting to, most of them should have legitimately been fielded to by the corner OF's. You give Hamilton two average defensive fielders in RF and LF, and you will find that Hamilton will be one of the top 5-6 defensive CF in baseball.

The only knock I have on Hamilton's defense right now would be some minor mental mistakes - probably rustiness from his four year lay off - that coaching and playing experience should eventually eliminate. He missed out on a lot of minor league instruction and its going to take some time to get the kinks out.

Having said all that, as good as a CF that Hamilton is, he may actually be a better RF. In CF, he is is very good - good enough to be one of the elite CF's in the NL. In RF, he may become a Gold Glover.

Puffy
09-06-2007, 09:59 AM
Trade Votto (package him with someone - Cueto?) and get a major league ready arm.

Dunn goes to first. Griffey goes to left. Hamilton in center, Bruce in right.

Easy.

M2
09-06-2007, 10:44 AM
In CF, he is is very good - good enough to be one of the elite CF's in the NL.

You're saying it, but he's not doing it.

We know for a fact that the Reds make less plays in the field than other teams. The data on Hamilton so far suggests that he's a fairly pedestrain CF, nothing special, certainly not elite.

I watch him too, he's not blowing my socks off or making me forget Cesar Geronimo, Eric Davis and Mike Cameron (the elite defensive CFs who've played for the Reds during my lifetime - side props to Eddie Milner and Darren Lewis).

I value his ability to be a perfunctory CF. Teams need guys like that. They need more than one guy who can handle the position. And certainly if the Reds don't get anyone new, then a perfunctory CF is better than the horror show Jr. put on out there from 2002-2006.

That said, I'd be more than a little surprised if Hamilton got the CF nod over Jay Bruce. Hamilton platooning with Freel or Hopper strikes me as Plan B.

But this all brings me back to a few themes we've been touching on in this thread.

1) The lip service paid to defense hasn't matched the performance, which is as bad as ever. The problem is more pernicious and entrenched than we or the franchise wanted to admit and most every position outside of 2B could be upgraded.

2) The Reds have needs and they may have to trade some OFs to fill those needs. Meaningful additions are going to necessitate turnover. If so and if that opens a slot for a new OF wouldn't you want that new OF to be a CF? I would.

3) The Reds have built a culture of trying to do just enough and it never works. They look to get just enough pitching, just enough defense, just enough offense. We're not going to be rooting for a consistent winner until that changes. Aiming for just enough basically means you start with a ceiling around .500 and you've got nowhere to go but down. Fans, as is our nature, like to take flights of fancy on just enough. Maybe just enough is secretly an abundance. Yet it rarely is. More often it's too little. What I'm saying is I'm up for some abundance. Don't whisper sweet nothings about pitching defense in my ear. Don't try to sell me on the idea that what's not working is going to work next season. Take some bloody action and change the mix.

buckeyenut
09-06-2007, 11:18 AM
Ooh. Now THAT's idea I like. Granderson is an absolute stud and Dunn definitely fits a need for them. Dunn between Mags and Sheffield? Scary!

It's one of those deals that just makes a ton of sense, but I imagine that we'd need to give up a little more than just Dunn given Granderson's defense, youth, and salary, and contract situation. Dunn would have to sign long term too, which I don't think he'd do in Detroit.

Personally, I'd be willing to do Jr and something for Granderson. DET understands the value of vets so they might go for that. If it has to be Dunn, I can live with that, but I want them to throw in a decent pitching prospect to make that work.

BRM
09-06-2007, 11:20 AM
Personally, I'd be willing to do Jr and something for Granderson. DET understands the value of vets so they might go for that. If it has to be Dunn, I can live with that, but I want them to throw in a decent pitching prospect to make that work.

I doubt they would trade Granderson for Dunn straight up, let alone throwing in a pitching prospect. It would likely be the Reds that would have to sweeten the pot for the reasons Rick laid out.

MikeS21
09-06-2007, 11:29 AM
You're saying it, but he's not doing it.

We know for a fact that the Reds make less plays in the field than other teams. The data on Hamilton so far suggests that he's a fairly pedestrain CF, nothing special, certainly not elite.

I watch him too, he's not blowing my socks off or making me forget Cesar Geronimo, Eric Davis and Mike Cameron (the elite defensive CFs who've played for the Reds during my lifetime - side props to Eddie Milner and Darren Lewis).

And this is where we're going to have to agree to disagree. For some reason, we are watching the same player, but seeing two different things. I have been extremely impressed with some of the plays he has made


But this all brings me back to a few themes we've been touching on in this thread.

1) The lip service paid to defense hasnt matched the performance, which is as bad as ever. The problem is more pernicious and entrenched than we or the franchise wanted to admit and most every position outside of 2B could be upgraded.

2) The Reds have needs and they may have to trade some OFs to fill those needs. Meaningful additions are going to necessitate turnover. If so and if that opens a slot for a new OF wouldn't you want that new OF to be a CF? I would.

3) The Reds have built a culture of trying to do just enough and it never works. They look to get just enough pitching, just enough defense, just enough offense. We're not going to be rooting for a consistent winner until that changes. Aiming for just enough basically means you start with a ceiling around .500 and you've got nowhere to go but down. Fans, as is our nature, like to take flights of fancy on just enough. Maybe just enough is secretly an abundance. Yet it rarely is. More often it's too little. What I'm saying is I'm up for some abundance. Don't whisper sweet nothings about pitching defense in my ear. Don't try to sell me on the idea that what's not working is going to work next season. Take some bloody action and change the mix.
I have to agree with you here (except the part that all positions need defensive upgrades except 2B - I think all positions need upgraded except 2B and CF).

I do think WK has paid lip service to pitching and defense. Gonzalez was brought in for defense at SS. For what ever reason - his son's health problems or an overestimation of his defensive abilities, Gonzalez has not been good this year.

jojo
09-06-2007, 11:39 AM
But this all brings me back to a few themes we've been touching on in this thread.

1) The lip service paid to defense hasn't matched the performance, which is as bad as ever. The problem is more pernicious and entrenched than we or the franchise wanted to admit and most every position outside of 2B could be upgraded.

I agree with everything you've said in the quoted post. However, just for a little context concerning this specific comment, compared to '06, the defense has been dramatically upgraded at shortstop even with Gonzo likely only being league average. Also, even though Hamilton is likely going to grade out as a below average defensive center fielder (my guess is that he'll end up -5 to -10 based upon play-by-play metrics), Hamilton/Freel/Hopper in CF is a huge upgrade over Jr. Unfortunately a lot of that gain is given right back by having Jr in right.

Sea Ray
09-06-2007, 11:41 AM
I really don't see CF as a glaring hole on this team. Whatever we lose in defense at that position we'll gain in offense. If I'm Krivsky I don't take time and resources away from the other areas (pitching of course) to address CF.

Sea Ray
09-06-2007, 11:49 AM
1) The lip service paid to defense hasn't matched the performance, which is as bad as ever. The problem is more pernicious and entrenched than we or the franchise wanted to admit and most every position outside of 2B could be upgraded

I disagree. The defense has clearly improved from the 1st to 2nd half this year. It's not as bad as ever. It's improved. What did they have like 8 errors in August? EE has improved his game and SS has improved since the 1st half as well. The losses under Mackanin can mostly be attributed to poor pitching. The defense has been fine and sometimes stellar, like BP's play to end the game last week.

OldXOhio
09-06-2007, 11:58 AM
You think Krivsky is content with fielding a below average defensive outfield?

He's had one for 2 years running. If he's not content with a below average defensive OF, you wouldn't know it.

BRM
09-06-2007, 12:04 PM
He's had one for 2 years running. If he's not content with a below average defensive OF, you wouldn't know it.

It certainly looks that way, doesn't it?

M2
09-06-2007, 12:22 PM
And this is where we're going to have to agree to disagree. For some reason, we are watching the same player, but seeing two different things. I have been extremely impressed with some of the plays he has made

I get that you've been impressed, but the objective data doesn't support your conclusion. I'll put it this way, if I had a "meh" reaction to Hamilton and the team defense, but the objective data showed they were doing pretty well, I'd start looking for what I was missing. Does the player get better jumps than I thought? What's working in the team dynamic that I hadn't noticed?

I firmly believe in using a pragmatic approach to baseball. The game tells you what's working and what isn't. Hamilton's hasn't been working out all that well in CF so far. He's passable, but that's about it. That's not a slam on him, it's what he's done. I don't expect more from what I've seen. Obviously you do, but how do you jibe your opinion with what's taken place on the field so far? Does rustiness cover it? I suppose it could, but the way it would manifest itself is inconsistent jumps and routes. I haven't seen a ton of that with Hamilton. He's not sloppy. He looks technically sound to me, not showing signs of significant rust. The short coming I've noticed is he just doesn't get there. He starts at the right time, he takes the right route, but he doesn't get there. My take has been that Hamilton's got diesel speed. His top end is fine, but it takes a little longer for him to reach top end.

Your better CFs, at least the ones I've always considered the better CFs, have that instantaneous drag racer acceleration. They get up to speed quickly. Top RFs I've seen - Evans, Winfield, Walker - all had that big gear speed that Hamilton seems to have. They couldn't do the 360-degree coverage of an elite CF, but they could handle the deep stuff really well and cut off rollers before they reached the wall (and then make a strong throw back to the IF to hold the runners). Hamilton's skill set seems better adapted to what I've seen work in RF.

M2
09-06-2007, 12:27 PM
I agree with everything you've said in the quoted post. However, just for a little context concerning this specific comment, compared to '06, the defense has been dramatically upgraded at shortstop even with Gonzo likely only being league average. Also, even though Hamilton is likely going to grade out as a below average defensive center fielder (my guess is that he'll end up -5 to -10 based upon play-by-play metrics), Hamilton/Freel/Hopper in CF is a huge upgrade over Jr. Unfortunately a lot of that gain is given right back by having Jr in right.

Good points. The Reds definitely need to upgrade the defense in at least one OF corner.

The front office decision might even be that it wants to upgrade the defense in both OF corners, which is fine. Though that might be a process that takes the next 18 months to play out.

backbencher
09-06-2007, 12:41 PM
Terrific discussion. Improve pitching by improving defense. Improve defense up the middle first.


Have to agree, though dealing someone (Junior/Dunn), getting pitching/prospects in return and using the saved money to get an OFer (Hunter?) is pretty attractive.

Though pitching is of the most urgent priority, IMO.

This seems pretty close to the final analysis to me.

1. Hamilton is worth more to the Reds (huge upside, limited cost) than he would be to any other team. He therefore must stay.

2. Hamilton can play CF, perhaps, but not between Griffey and Dunn.

3. Therefore, Griffey or Dunn must move to first or to another team.

4(a). Griffey or Dunn moves to first, Votto is dealt for a CF (Hamilton to corner) or P.

4(b). Griffey or Dunn moves to another team. Since no one is likely to deal a CF for Griffey or Dunn (why not keep the better defender for less money?), Griffey or Dunn dealt for P. Reds call up Bruce for OF of Grif/Dunn, Hamilton, Bruce OR Reds sign OF for Grif/Dunn, new CF, Hamilton.


The problems with 4(a) are that it would be tough to move Dunn or Griffey to first and that Votto is not worth an interesting, cheap arm.

The problem with 4(b) is that if I'm a GM, I would probably rather spend $15 million on Hunter or Jones than $12 million or whatever plus a good arm on Griffey or Dunn. And, in reality, we are talking Dunn, because Griffey presents the same kind of situation as Hamilton - he is more valuable to the Reds (tradition, 600 HR year) than he would be to another team.

If I were a betting man, I would bet on an '08 OF of Dunn/Hamilton/Griffey.

paulrichjr
09-06-2007, 12:51 PM
If I were a betting man, I would bet on an '08 OF of Dunn/Hamilton/Griffey.


Could a team made up of all lefty's (like it seems like the Reds are becoming) succeed?

Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey, Votto, Bruce... I realize that all of these won't be in the lineup but that is a lot of leftys. This one fact leads me to believe that Encarnacion isn't going anywhere this winter and/or one of the above is. Bruce and Hamilton I think are safe...

By the way... I noticed that Joey Votto looked a lot like a AAAA type player. :D

AtomicDumpling
09-06-2007, 12:52 PM
It seems to me the best way to upgrade the OF defense is to remove Dunn and/or Griffey from the outfield. The best way to do that is move one of them to first base.

I understand your point is to upgrade CF and then move Hamilton to RF. But you could accomplish the same defensive improvement by bringing in a LFer or RFer and leave Hamilton in CF. Opening up the talent search to all outfielders gives us more options because we won't be limited to centerfielders.

I predict 2008 will be the last year Dunn and Griffey will be outfielders.

cincinnati chili
09-06-2007, 01:01 PM
GABP is one of the easiest CFs to patrol in all of the majors.

This is true. The last time I checked (too lazy to check now), GABP had relatively few outfield chances due to a lack of square footage. In other words, having a top-notch centerfielder is less crucial for the Reds than it is for other teams.

Of course, they do have to play half their games on the road. So if the opportunity arose to pick up a stud defenisive CF, the Reds should consider it. I just don't think it's a priority.

Instead if Brude/Hamilton can play an average CF, AND the Reds have the opportunity to make a $$ splash elsewhere (e.g. a 3B who can mash, a couple great arms, a corner OF or 1B), I'd rather they focus their resources in that direction.

Rojo - if the Royals have soured on DeJesus (not sure they have), I'd love to have the guy. This was supposed to be the year he increased his HR total, but it didn't happen. Maybe in the NL with the weaker pitching he would.

I've said for years that the guy has the potential to be Paul O'Neill with more speed.

If the Reds want to keep DeJesus and toss Gathright, I wouldn't mind Gathright either. I think the need for a "true leadoff" man is overrated, but Gathright has actually shown potential to get on base at the major league level.

And Island Red, tossing out Granderson isn't a BIT of a stretch. It's a plastic-man elastigirl megastretch. The guy is setting world records for triples and OPS'ing into the 900s despite being in a big pitchers park. He's made for that park, and the Tigers love him.

One guy who I like and can probably be had for a song is Gabe Gross of the Brewers. He's slugged in the .470s in the majors over the past 2 years (has destroyed AAA, when given consistent playing time), gets on base okay, just turned 27, is a big guy who is probably due for more power in the next two years, plays a plus corner-OF defesne, and as good a CF as anyone we have.

He makes $400,000/year and the Brewers have a crowded OF.

cincinnati chili
09-06-2007, 01:33 PM
Here are some more guys who I regard as either CF's or "plus-corner guys". The latter would make sense if Griffey or Dunn were either traded or moved to the infield.

I've divided these guys into categories.

Legit top prospects, who would be part of a major trade involving our veterans. Could feasibly hit at the major-league average next year, and be all-stars within a couple years.
Brandon Moss - Boston
Colby Rasmus - STL

Seemingly undervalued by their organizations, due to either a position-glut, or poor talent evaluation. Might be acquired for cheap
DeJesus
Gathright
Gross, Gabe
Scott, Luke - Houston


Post-hype sleepers. May need a change of scenery (Next year's Marlon Byrd?)
Choo, Shin-Soo - Cle (injured a lot this year)
Snelling, Chris - Seattle (injured a lot every year)

Righty platoon guys - to help resolve our perceived/actual struggles vs. lefty starters
guttierez, fr - Cle
michaels, jason - Cle
Murton, M - Cubs

Patrick Bateman
09-06-2007, 01:51 PM
The advantage of finding an elite fielding CFer, is that then you could theoretically move Hamilton to a corner, and improve the defense two fold.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 01:55 PM
Lately I'm thinking the Reds should deal Griffey and let Dunn go. I just don't think the trade market is very viable right now, and this will give the Reds the most ready cash possible to throw at FAs as they leverage their major-league ready young talent to replace expensive vets.

Here's what I'd try to do with the money saved -- bring in Rowand and Carlos Silva.

OF defense: Hamilton in LF, Rowand CF, Bruce RF. Nice.

I'd try Hunter, too. The strong RH bat is a necessity, and there's no one on the horizon in the minors. I have to think the prospect of playing with a very strong group of young position players, in between Hamilton and Bruce, would be appealing to a veteran CF with something left in the tank. He'd also have to recognize that the numbers he'd put up in GAB would position him nicely for another decent payday down the road.

So, there you have it. I'm on record for saying it's time to move beyond Griffey-Dunn. Balance the offense, fix the OF defense, get a legit starter, sacrifice none of the prospects. Shift the paradigm. Wayne & Bob will need to step up and get in the free agent scrum. It's time.

puca
09-06-2007, 02:11 PM
Lately I'm thinking the Reds should deal Griffey and let Dunn go. I just don't think the trade market is very viable right now, and this will give the Reds the most ready cash possible to throw at FAs as they leverage their major-league ready young talent to replace expensive vets.

Here's what I'd try to do with the money saved -- bring in Rowand and Carlos Silva.

OF defense: Hamilton in LF, Rowand CF, Bruce RF. Nice.

I'd try Hunter, too. The strong RH bat is a necessity, and there's no one on the horizon in the minors. I have to think the prospect of playing with a very strong group of young position players, in between Hamilton and Bruce, would be appealing to a veteran CF with something left in the tank. He'd also have to recognize that the numbers he'd put up in GAB would position him nicely for another decent payday down the road.

So, there you have it. I'm on record for saying it's time to move beyond Griffey-Dunn. Balance the offense, fix the OF defense, get a legit starter, sacrifice none of the prospects. Shift the paradigm. Wayne & Bob will need to step up and get in the free agent scrum. It's time.

I don't necessarily disagree with the idea, but I don't like Silva or Rowand as targets. Silva walks the fine line between mediocre and downright bad, yet is possibly the top free agent starter available - meaning he will be an expensive and long investment. Rowand is coming off what looks to me as an unlikely to be repeated career year, again making it a bad time to buy in.

I don't think the pitchers the Reds need will be available in the FA market. Wayne will have to be mighty creative to find it via trade. If after everything is said and done they needed an outfielder to replace Griffey and/or Dunn, they could do a lot worse than Mike Cameron.

pedro
09-06-2007, 02:27 PM
Lately I'm thinking the Reds should deal Griffey and let Dunn go. I just don't think the trade market is very viable right now, and this will give the Reds the most ready cash possible to throw at FAs as they leverage their major-league ready young talent to replace expensive vets.

Here's what I'd try to do with the money saved -- bring in Rowand and Carlos Silva.

OF defense: Hamilton in LF, Rowand CF, Bruce RF. Nice.

I'd try Hunter, too. The strong RH bat is a necessity, and there's no one on the horizon in the minors. I have to think the prospect of playing with a very strong group of young position players, in between Hamilton and Bruce, would be appealing to a veteran CF with something left in the tank. He'd also have to recognize that the numbers he'd put up in GAB would position him nicely for another decent payday down the road.

So, there you have it. I'm on record for saying it's time to move beyond Griffey-Dunn. Balance the offense, fix the OF defense, get a legit starter, sacrifice none of the prospects. Shift the paradigm. Wayne & Bob will need to step up and get in the free agent scrum. It's time.

Carlos Silva sucks IMO.

Jpup
09-06-2007, 02:45 PM
Could a team made up of all lefty's (like it seems like the Reds are becoming) succeed?

Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey, Votto, Bruce... I realize that all of these won't be in the lineup but that is a lot of leftys. This one fact leads me to believe that Encarnacion isn't going anywhere this winter and/or one of the above is. Bruce and Hamilton I think are safe...

By the way... I noticed that Joey Votto looked a lot like a AAAA type player. :D

Matsui/Damon/Abreu...just sayin'. Cabrera is the CF now and is a switch hitting lefty.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 03:02 PM
I don't necessarily disagree with the idea, but I don't like Silva or Rowand as targets. Silva walks the fine line between mediocre and downright bad, yet is possibly the top free agent starter available - meaning he will be an expensive and long investment. Rowand is coming off what looks to me as an unlikely to be repeated career year, again making it a bad time to buy in.

I don't think the pitchers the Reds need will be available in the FA market. Wayne will have to be mighty creative to find it via trade. If after everything is said and done they needed an outfielder to replace Griffey and/or Dunn, they could do a lot worse than Mike Cameron.

On Silva -- expensive, yeah. That's why I was advocating the Reds try to extend Lohse. But, as noted below, the trade market is likely going to cost you players that you'll have to replace on the FA circuit, too, and even if it is bottomfeeding, it'll be millions. Griffey & Dunn will cost you 25MM next year and probably close to 20MM in 09 (were they to buy out Griffey). Maybe you can get Silva for 27/3 or 30/4. Price of doing business, and the rotation is absolutely desperate.

On the trade market -- you're going to have to give up really good, cheap talent (more than one such player) for a legit starter. I don't like giving up multiple players who project to giving the organization many years of affordable (and perhaps excellent) production for one pitcher, because pitchers, by their nature, carry a higher injury risk than position players. I just don't like the trade equation.

On Cameron -- yeah, he'd be great too. Rowand, Hunter or Cameron would suit me just fine. With the CF bounty available this offseason, the Reds may just have a chance at one of them.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 03:03 PM
Carlos Silva sucks IMO.

So -- your plan would be?

pedro
09-06-2007, 03:11 PM
So -- your plan would be?

Not letting Adam Dunn walk so the Reds could afford Carlos Silva.

Seriously though, I think trading Griffey is a good idea and I wouldn't be crushed if they pursued Aarron Rowand.

I'd also consider packaging up Homer Bailey while the hype is still high and try to get a starter that way.

RedsManRick
09-06-2007, 03:16 PM
Dunn, Griffey, Bruce, Hamilton. Unless you move 2 of them, you don't move for a CF in FA. Period.

As for the SP market, find me somebody more reliable than Matt Belisle and I'd give him some money. Other than that, I'll take my chances with what we've already got an hold on to my money.

pedro
09-06-2007, 03:21 PM
Dunn, Griffey, Bruce, Hamilton. Unless you move 2 of them, you don't move for a CF in FA. Period.



I don't agree with that. Both Dunn and Griffey are likely gone after 2008, Hamilton hasn't proven he can hit lefties or that he can stay healthy for a full season and Bruce is still 20 years old.

Highlifeman21
09-06-2007, 03:37 PM
Carlos Silva sucks IMO.

He sucks IMO, as well.

It wouldn't be quite a Milton-esque situation, but it wouldn't be far behind.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 03:38 PM
Dunn, Griffey, Bruce, Hamilton. Unless you move 2 of them, you don't move for a CF in FA. Period.

Yep. The numbers are what they are, and they're all lefthanded.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 03:43 PM
He sucks IMO, as well.

It wouldn't be quite a Milton-esque situation, but it wouldn't be far behind.

OK, he's a groundball pitcher, not Milton. The pickings are just so slim. So how are you going to improve the rotation?

Pedro suggests Homer plus..... plus what?

M2's got Homer plus Hamilton for Oswalt. (If a pitcher like Oswalt becomes available, I do think you have to look at sacrificing multiple A-level prospects, but I'd still try to give them Dunn first....)

Other options?

pedro
09-06-2007, 03:47 PM
OK, he's a groundball pitcher, not Milton. The pickings are just so slim. So how are you going to improve the rotation?

Pedro suggests Homer plus..... plus what?

M2's got Homer plus Hamilton for Oswalt. (If a pitcher like Oswalt becomes available, I do think you have to look at sacrificing multiple A-level prospects, but I'd still try to give them Dunn first....)

Other options?


I don't know. I really don't like to play trade speculation.

I just know that I don't have a ton of faith that Bailey's ever going to fulfill his promise.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 03:57 PM
I just know that I don't have a ton of faith that Bailey's ever going to fulfill his promise.

Understandable.

Highlifeman21
09-06-2007, 04:01 PM
OK, he's a groundball pitcher, not Milton. The pickings are just so slim. So how are you going to improve the rotation?

Pedro suggests Homer plus..... plus what?

M2's got Homer plus Hamilton for Oswalt. (If a pitcher like Oswalt becomes available, I do think you have to look at sacrificing multiple A-level prospects, but I'd still try to give them Dunn first....)

Other options?

My best suggestion is to wait and see if Cueto can actually be something, since Homer Bailey is well on his way to running with the torch he got from Chris Gruler, who got the torch from Ty Howington.

Matt Belisle can be a #5 guy for us. Let's not expect him to be anything more.

Unfortunately, the FA class that we can attempt to sign between Winter Meetings and Opening Day is very weak and there are no arms in that class that can immediately turn us into contenders for 2008. Let's not kid ourselves, we're not going to compete in 2008, so let's put together a plan for 2009, which should include continuing to develop Cueto, as well as finding out the true Homer Bailey.

By 2009, there should be a solid arm in FA that could help us compete for 2009.

As for making a trade, we do have spare parts in the OF to move, so let's move them. If this organization is short-sighted and doesn't see Adam Dunn in the long term plan, then let's trade him for some pitching. If this organization doesn't believe in Joey Votto, then let's move him for some pitching.

I wish the Reds would focus on Dunn, Hamilton and Bruce as our OF for 2009, and do what we can to get good value trading anyone that's not those 3. Dickerson and Stubbs hopefully could become useful backups by 2009, but that still might be a stretch.

Bottomline, we have real issues to address with the rotation, but trying to solve our problems with 1 or 2 arms via FA for 2008 just isn't a feasible answer.

RedsManRick
09-06-2007, 04:11 PM
Hopper? Freel?

Do you really want to spend 15M on Torii Hunter or 10M on Mike Cameron just to push Hamilton definitively to the bench?

Are the cheaper options any better bets than what we've got? Gabe Gross has a .443 OPS vL.

I don't see a single reasonable option out there who is a better all around option than Josh Hamtilon, even with all due sample size, injury, and platoon concerns considered. The only one that makes some sense is Coco Crisp, and that would require trading away a guy who we control for 6 years to get a guy who will be a FA in 2009 and leave us with a hole at 1B.

Now if you could do Votto for Ellsbury, now you're on to something that at least makes some sense.

Chip R
09-06-2007, 04:17 PM
Hopper? Freel?

Do you really want to spend 15M on Torii Hunter or 10M on Mike Cameron just to push Hamilton definitively to the bench?



Not that I'm in favor if it but Josh can go down to the minors next year.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 04:17 PM
Do you really want to spend 15M on Torii Hunter or 10M on Mike Cameron just to push Hamilton definitively to the bench?

No -- to LF.


Now if you could do Votto for Ellsbury, now you're on to something that at least makes some sense.

Would never happen. He's in Boston to stay for a while. And, in any case, these prospect for rospect trades never happen -- organizations have too much invested in these kids to say "I like your kid better.:

RedsManRick
09-06-2007, 04:28 PM
No -- to LF.



Would never happen. He's in Boston to stay for a while. And, in any case, these prospect for rospect trades never happen -- organizations have too much invested in these kids to say "I like your kid better.:

And you move Dunn where?

I'm not at all sold that a Hamilton/Cameron(or Hunter, or Rowand)/Griffey OF is any better as a package than Dunn/Hamilton/Griffey. I do know that it carries a lot more risk given those guys age and/or spotty offensive backgrounds.

I'm not a big fan of simply spinning my wheels for the sake of saying I'm trying to go somewhere. It's pretty darn hard to improve your team by subtracting one of it's best players. I can see all kinds of arguments on how we might break even. But unless a great trade of Dunn or Junior happens, simply subtracting them and redistributing their salary on FA signings won't make us better -- particularly if that money is spent on a defense dependent SP who gave up 38 HR in 2006.

RedsManRick
09-06-2007, 04:38 PM
Not that I'm in favor if it but Josh can go down to the minors next year.

And you send down the 26 year old hitting .288/.367/.547 who costs nothing so that you can pay a 33 year old 12M+ to hit .270/.340./460 and save you an extra 5-10 runs in the field? Ok....

A Hamilton/Hopper platoon is a lot cheaper and more productive than any FA. The added defense is not worth the loss of Dunn or the demotion of Hamilton.

I fully support a trade of Dunn or Junior given a good return as a way to open up CF for a better option. However, if you have Hamilton in LF, you don't need Ichiro in CF. If you lose one of Dunn or Junior, you play Hamilton & Bruce in RF & CF and play the veteran in LF. The current problem is the combination of a mediocre CF with two significantly subpar corners. You don't need a superior defensive CF and the loss of our corner guys to address the problem -- particularly not at the cost of offensive prowess and financial flexibility.

Given the FA market and our current distribution of talent, it really does come down to player development. Our biggest holes are the production of our corner IF. Those positions easily have the most room for growth and we supposedly have the talent to do it -- it just needs to grow.

As for the pitching, look at all the playoff teams. How many of them are winning based on the strength of FA pitching? It's trades (using developed talent) and developed talent - Beckett, Peavy, Penny, Webb, Sheets, Sabathia, etc.. Of the guys who were FA signings, most of them were ones we can't hope to replicate (Schilling, Pettite, Glavine). There are just a small handful of FA signings which we could hope to mimic -- Paul Bryd -- and even then, a larger number of mistakes which we couldn't survive.

Bottom line, on an $80M budget, you can't win with a team that gets a lot of production from FA signings. FA production is simply too expensive. You have to develop your production to win and there's no getting around it. If Bailey/Cueto don't develop, if Bruce & Votto are busts, this team won't win. Yeah, it's sort of fatalistic, but it's true. There's no offseason silver bullet which will change that.

Chip R
09-06-2007, 04:44 PM
And you send down the 26 year old hitting .288/.367/.547 who costs nothing so that you can pay a 33 year old 12M+ to hit .270/.340./460? Ok....

A Hamilton/Hopper platoon is a lot cheaper and more productive than any FA. The added defense is not worth the loss of Dunn or the demotion of Hamilton.


I didn't say I was in favor of it. All I'm saying is that the Reds have an option with Josh - no pun intended.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 04:49 PM
And you move Dunn where?

To free agency. Because he's headed that way in 09 anyway -- don't you think? I'll take the savings now.


I'm not at all sold that a Hamilton/Cameron(or Hunter, or Rowand)/Griffey OF is any better as a package than Dunn/Hamilton/Griffey. I do know that it carries a lot more risk given those guys age and/or spotty offensive backgrounds.

My OF is Hamilton -- Rowand/Cameron/Hunter -- Bruce. FAR better defensively than what's out there now. A lot cheaper, allowing for talent upgrade elsewhere. Less susceptible to catastrophic injury (that's Griffey). Probably a downgrade offensively, but not for long, and probably not against LH pitching.


I'm not a big fan of simply spinning my wheels for the sake of saying I'm trying to go somewhere. It's pretty darn hard to improve your team by subtracting one of it's best players. I can see all kinds of arguments on how we might break even. But unless a great trade of Dunn or Junior happens, simply subtracting them and redistributing their salary on FA signings won't make us better -- particularly if that money is spent on a defense dependent SP who gave up 38 HR in 2006.

So, come 2009 when both those guys are gone, what then? In my view, might as well be a player in the trade/FA markets now (especially with all these good CFs becoming FAs this winter). By this time next year, your options are limited to the 09 FA market.

RedsManRick
09-06-2007, 05:12 PM
To free agency. Because he's headed that way in 09 anyway -- don't you think? I'll take the savings now.

Yes, I do think he's headed that way. I don't think that allow him to walk is the best way to get him there.


My OF is Hamilton -- Rowand/Cameron/Hunter -- Bruce. FAR better defensively than what's out there now. A lot cheaper, allowing for talent upgrade elsewhere. Less susceptible to catastrophic injury (that's Griffey). Probably a downgrade offensively, but not for long, and probably not against LH pitching.

Cheaper? Yes, but that only counts if you use the savings to improve the team elsewhere, which I don't believe you can in this market.

Less susceptible to catastrophic injury? Griffey is a FA in 2009 as well. I'd actually take the odds of Junior not getting injured for 1 year over the odds of one of those 3 not getting seriously injured over the next 5 -- or at least the financial implications thereof.

Offensive downgrade? Umm, what does not for long mean? With Dunn and Griffey both FA after next year, the only difference we have to analyze is next year. Bruce will be here in 2009 either way. It's an offensive downgrade in 2008. Are any of those 3 you mentioned likely to improve offensively over their 2007 performances? Not at all, in fact, both Rowand and Hunter are very likely to regress. Also, right-handed pitching accounts for 70% of the plate appearances. I'd rather be weak against lefties than against righties.


So, come 2009 when both those guys are gone, what then? In my view, might as well be a player in the trade/FA markets now (especially with all these good CFs becoming FAs this winter). By this time next year, your options are limited to the 09 FA market.

A fair point, but only if you can get value for Dunn. Expecting a continuance of the sort of offensive production we've seen from Rowand and Hunter this year is folly and I question the quality of defense you'll be getting from Hunter and Cameron as they move in to their mid 30's.

Personally, I'd prefer a Dunn/Bruce/Hamilton OF for the next 4 years over a Hamilton/Hunter/Bruce one.

All this said, I think the real problem is hypothesizing that we'll be able to sign any top FA talent. Top FA talents don't sign to play in Cincinnati unless we overpay the significantly and that's not a business model I would want to use.

M2
09-06-2007, 05:14 PM
lollipop, while I like the total overhaul idea in the OF, I can't get behind not picking up Dunn's option. The Reds have to get some talent for him even if it's only draft picks in 2009. Not only can't money buy you love, it won't buy the Reds the talent they need to turn this ship around. Body count is essential.

On top of that, I want exactly zero free agent starting pitchers. Well, I'd take Andy Pettitte, but the Reds aren't going to be signing him. Silva ... no. There's a lot of pitchers under the sun and he's one I wouldn't want to see in a Reds uniform.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 05:34 PM
All this said, I think the real problem is hypothesizing that we'll be able to sign any top FA talent. Top FA talents don't sign to play in Cincinnati unless we overpay the significantly and that's not a business model I would want to use.

How do you know this administration can't sign FAs? They didn't dip into the 07 market, so we can't say with any certainty whether FAs would come here or not. I happen to think that offensive players will come to Cincy. Pitchers, well, we'll see. If you don't like the business model of overpaying for pitchers in $$$, then you're limited to developing all of them on your own (good luck), or paying dearly for them with your best young talent (which will create other holes....). Like I said before, it's the price of doing business in major league baseball, like it or not.

Right now, the Reds have stumbled into a window where they can put a cheap, decent offense on the field. The opportunity is there to spend on pitching, and while Silva may not excite, I do think he can be valuable/steady in the NL. The Reds rotation is in tatters, folks, they've got Harang, Arroyo and nothing else you can count on -- a guy who can give you 185 league-average, or close to league-average innings is someone who can help you start -- just start -- to stitch together your pitching staff. But start they must. Maybe the Reds can find such a guy under a rock -- if you think so, I'd love to hear names....

puca
09-06-2007, 05:40 PM
How do you know this administration can't sign FAs? They didn't dip into the 07 market, so we can't say with any certainty whether FAs would come here or not. I happen to think that offensive players will come to Cincy. Pitchers, well, we'll see. If you don't like the business model of overpaying for pitchers in $$$, then you're limited to developing all of them on your own (good luck), or paying dearly for them with your best young talent (which will create other holes....). Like I said before, it's the price of doing business in major league baseball, like it or not.

Right now, the Reds have stumbled into a window where they can put a cheap, decent offense on the field. The opportunity is there to spend on pitching, and while Silva may not excite, I do think he can be valuable/steady in the NL. The Reds rotation is in tatters, folks, they've got Harang, Arroyo and nothing else you can count on -- a guy who can give you 185 league-average, or close to league-average innings is someone who can help you start -- just start -- to stitch together your pitching staff. But start they must. Maybe the Reds can find such a guy under a rock -- if you think so, I'd love to hear names....

The Carlos Silva of 2007 is servicable, however the Carlos Silva of 2006 was about as bad a pitcher as you could find. It's just not worth the gamble considering the money and years it would take to get him here.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 05:46 PM
The Reds have to get some talent for him even if it's only draft picks in 2009. Not only can't money buy you love, it won't buy the Reds the talent they need to turn this ship around. Body count is essential.

On top of that, I want exactly zero free agent starting pitchers. Well, I'd take Andy Pettitte, but the Reds aren't going to be signing him. Silva ... no. There's a lot of pitchers under the sun and he's one I wouldn't want to see in a Reds uniform.

M2, they'll get 2 picks by letting Dunn walk this year. And even if there are no FA pitchers you want, you're going to need the dough for a CF. I mean, you want the Reds in this market for a centerfielder, right?

My take is that there are only a limited number of markets for the Reds to shop in, and their shortage of starting pitching is now dire. I would prefer to see them take a chance on 1 pitcher out of this market so that they may luck into a serviceable rotation next year (say Belisle improves and a young guy or journeyman surprises). If they ignore the FA market, then they're doing one of 3 things:

1. punting 08
2. dealing kids for someone better than Silva (Oswalt has a no-trade clause, by the way), and I am very wary of that without knowing who that pitcher might be
3. bottomfeeding again -- who's ready for that?

I happen to like Carlos Silva better than most, I guess. Same went for Lohse. Redszone is a tough crowd when it comes to pitchers -- nobody thought Lilly or Marquis would help the Cubs, remember? You got to start somewhere, cuz going in to 08 this rotation is about 600 innings short.

Cyclone792
09-06-2007, 05:48 PM
My OF is Hamilton -- Rowand/Cameron/Hunter -- Bruce. FAR better defensively than what's out there now. A lot cheaper, allowing for talent upgrade elsewhere. Less susceptible to catastrophic injury (that's Griffey). Probably a downgrade offensively, but not for long, and probably not against LH pitching.

Mike Cameron will be 35-years-old in January, and if center field defense hasn't gone in the toilet by that time, it's usually not far off the corner. I'd be looking to acquire younger players, especially for center field, not a guy who would already be 35 heading into Opening Day 2008.

Torii Hunter has also played more than half his career games on astroturf, which is the same stuff that's known to tear player's knees up. Given that he already turned 32 in July and has played the bulk of his career on turf, he's the type of guy I'm staying away from.

Defensively, Rowand is the best option of the three, but he doesn't come without some possible question marks. He's played just about his entire career in home run hitting ball parks similar to GABP, and it's shown in his career splits given that his home OPS is over 40 points higher than his road OPS, much of that difference in slugging percentage. That lifetime road OPS - which is .783 - is something I'd be quite leery about. Even this season, Rowand's road OPS is still only .811 vs. a 1.004 OPS at the hitter's paradise known as Citizen's Bank. So while the common given among acquiring offensive players is that some type of GABP boost in power is to be expected, that likely wouldn't be the case with Rowand since GABP would play very similar to the parks he's used to playing in.

Additionally, and this shouldn't be forgotten, Rowand's style of play is similar to that of Ryan Freel. While fans typically love it - and we all know Reds fans would love the guy - it's a style of play that leaves him prone to locating the DL and wrecking his body since he's never met an outfield wall that he doesn't love running into. He's the type of player I'd place a higher percentage on to break down earlier than the typical player.

I know the common wisdom on Jay Bruce seems to be that he's the type of player that should move to right field, but for now I'd rather shelve that possibly flawed idea and see what he can do out there.

All the reasons I've heard for the so-called inevitable position switch is Bruce will fill out; well, he's already bulked up to around 220lbs, and he seemed to still play a solid center field in the minor leagues this season. So solid, in fact, that the Reds ordered Bruce to play the bulk of the games in Louisville in center rather while moving the speedy Dickerson to a corner. Josh Hamilton looks rather chiseled out on the field, he's an inch or two taller than Bruce, and he's tipping the scales at 235lbs, just 15 pounds heavier than Bruce. It can be reasonably expected for Bruce to gain another 10 pounds or so, but if he's filling out well past Hamilton's 235 then there's going to be a Miguel Cabrera type problem on the Reds' hands, and I honestly don't expect that to happen.

If Jay Bruce is playing center field in 2009, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he'll then be a better defensive center fielder than both Mike Cameron and Torii Hunter. The human body itself makes that a pretty good bet. Cameron will be 36 that season, and Hunter will be 34. Bruce, meanwhile, will only be 22. I'll take the fresh, young legs over the aged, battered legs.

RedsManRick
09-06-2007, 06:07 PM
M2, they'll get 2 picks by letting Dunn walk this year. And even if there are no FA pitchers you want, you're going to need the dough for a CF. I mean, you want the Reds in this market for a centerfielder, right?

My take is that there are only a limited number of markets for the Reds to shop in, and their shortage of starting pitching is now dire. I would prefer to see them take a chance on 1 pitcher out of this market so that they may luck into a serviceable rotation next year (say Belisle improves and a young guy or journeyman surprises). If they ignore the FA market, then they're doing one of 3 things:

1. punting 08
2. dealing kids for someone better than Silva (Oswalt has a no-trade clause, by the way), and I am very wary of that without knowing who that pitcher might be
3. bottomfeeding again -- who's ready for that?

I happen to like Carlos Silva better than most, I guess. Same went for Lohse. Redszone is a tough crowd when it comes to pitchers -- nobody thought Lilly or Marquis would help the Cubs, remember? You got to start somewhere, cuz going in to 08 this rotation is about 600 innings short.

You have to offer Dunn arbitration to get those picks. It's no guarantee that he walks with arbitration on the table.

What can you reasonable expect from Silva -- best case scenario? A 4.25 ERA and 180 IP? Is that worth 10M? Maybe. What if it's 5.25? Is it worth 10M every year for the next 4?

Money not spent in 2008 does not disappear in to thin air. Spend it on a better option in 2009. Use it on a high priced guy you can trade for who's a better bet to contribute. Spending 15% of our payroll on a guy who has an upside of a being a league average starter and the downside of being replacement level or worse is not a risk worth taking. It's Eric Milton 2.0.

Not being players in FA and punting are not the same thing by any stretch. Who did the Diamondbacks sign in FA last year? Nobody. How about the Angels? Gary Matthews and his .750 OPS aren't the reason they're contenders. Same with the DFA'd Hillenbrand. Indians? Trot Nixon and Dave Delucci have really paid off. Borowski has 40 saves and an ERA higher than Matt Belisle. Byrd has worked out and is the best case scenario for Silva. (2 years, 14.25M won't get you Silva though).

Development is the key. Without development of our top prospects, FA activity is wasted. With development of our top prospects, significant FA is a risk not worth taking. I'd be behind a Paul Byrdesque, low risk deal for a starter. But that doesn't require shedding salary from our current spot so is a parallel discussion to this one. It's frustrating to feel like the team isn't doing anything to try and win. However, we shouldn't equate avoiding the FA market with not doing anything.

IslandRed
09-06-2007, 06:17 PM
That's a good point, Cyclone. Bruce profiles best as a right fielder down the road, but what about right now? He's 20, and a terrific natural athlete. If he can play an average or better center field for a few years, why not? No need to move him to a corner on account of a step he hasn't lost yet, right?

Now, I have no idea if he can play a good major-league center field; the Reds' moving Dickerson out of his way suggests the team thinks he might be able to, at least. The Hamilton/Bruce/neither in CF question is a critical one going into the offseason. I hope they get it right.

IslandRed
09-06-2007, 06:23 PM
You have to offer Dunn arbitration to get those picks. It's no guarantee that he walks with arbitration on the table.

Not guaranteed, but it's an acceptable risk. He's going into free agency at a peak age. This is the time guys look for that multi-year deal that's going to set them for life. Hard to imagine he'd turn down those offers for the sake of a single-year arb deal with us, unless those offers don't come. And even if he did, we were going to pay him $13.5 million anyway. He'd make more in arb but not ridiculously more.

Having said that, I'm not in favor of that strategy. I'm still wanting them to pick up his option and give the trade thing another go if we're not in contention next deadline.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 07:10 PM
Money not spent in 2008 does not disappear in to thin air. Spend it on a better option in 2009.

No, but the opportunity to pick up a player who can help does disappear. Put all your eggs in the 2009 basket without knowing for sure who will be there? Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow...


Gary Matthews and his .750 OPS aren't the reason they're contenders. Same with the DFA'd Hillenbrand. Indians? Trot Nixon and Dave Delucci have really paid off. Borowski has 40 saves and an ERA higher than Matt Belisle. Byrd has worked out and is the best case scenario for Silva. (2 years, 14.25M won't get you Silva though).

Several of these guys have helped their teams. Your point?


Development is the key. Without development of our top prospects, FA activity is wasted. With development of our top prospects, significant FA is a risk not worth taking. I'd be behind a Paul Byrdesque, low risk deal for a starter. But that doesn't require shedding salary from our current spot so is a parallel discussion to this one.

Yeah, development is key, but I don't think Bailey or Cueto or Maloney can be counted on for 08. 09, I think we can hope for something, at least from one of them or a surprise like Fisher, Lecure or Jukich, who knows. In the meantime, during this Arroyo-Harang window that runs 2008-2010, it would be nice to get another reliable starter in place ASAP. If you'd like to point out who the Paul Byrd of 2008 will be, feel free. I fail to see how it's a given that guy can't be Carlos Silva.

More ruminations on Silva... He's Venezuelan. Maybe Gonzo can help convince him to sign with the Reds.... Sure would be nice to have an experienced Spanish-speaking starter to help Cueto transition into the bigs.....

Patrick Bateman
09-06-2007, 07:14 PM
The Carlos Silva of 2007 is servicable, however the Carlos Silva of 2006 was about as bad a pitcher as you could find. It's just not worth the gamble considering the money and years it would take to get him here.

Well he's really somewhere in the middle of the those 2 seasons. He's a 4.50-4.65 ERA type that relies on defense. Because he's dependent upon defense, he's a disgustingly poor fit for this team.

Below average pitcher + Lots of balls in play + Bad Defense = Nightmare

So I agree with your premise that he's not worth the money, but I'm not sure everyone understands just how bad he would be. He's a guy I wouldn't want as anything more than depth. Giving him a bunch of money and guaranteed seasons would be an absolute disaster.

Patrick Bateman
09-06-2007, 07:21 PM
More ruminations on Silva... He's Venezuelan. Maybe Gonzo can help convince him to sign with the Reds.... Sure would be nice to have an experienced Spanish-speaking starter to help Cueto transition into the bigs.....

I can buy into the notion that he's not that bad a pitcher. For many teams he could be a fine 4-5 starter.

But he is about the worst possible fit for this team. If the Reds had a top notch defense to make use of a guy with his traits, he could be helpful. As it stands, he's going to give up plenty of balls in play, and the hits will rack up. And even though he has sound ground ball tendencies, he will give up lots of homers in Cincy. He's always been able to serve them up at a decent rate.

If the Reds were going to go after a mediocre type starter, they should at least get a guy that gets his outs based on his K's. Not a guy that relies on his team to make plays. A Daniel Cabrera (not that I want him) that K's lots and walks lots and for the most part controls his own destiny.

Giving a guy like Silva that would implode because of his surroundings a truck load of money is suicide.

Rojo
09-06-2007, 07:36 PM
Back to centerfield. Just throwing this out there -- Chris Duffy.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 07:38 PM
So I agree with your premise that he's not worth the money, but I'm not sure everyone understands just how bad he would be. He's a guy I wouldn't want as anything more than depth. Giving him a bunch of money and guaranteed seasons would be an absolute disaster.

I'm also proposing a revamped outfield that solidifies the defense out there. Phillips-Gonzo-EdE is a solid defensive infield. We're not talking about a bad defense any more. The guy's a groundball pitcher, and it seems this year he's figured out a way to keep the ball in the ballpark. You seem to be suggesting that only guys who miss bats are acceptable -- a trusty Redszone cliche -- but the truth is those guys are rarely available.

People need to deal with the reality of the markets in play here -- for the most part it's the mediocre guys who don't get extended and find their way to free agency. You can't trade for above average pitchers without bankrupting your farm, and that may well be for a guy you control for only a very short time. If a real good pitcher becomes a free agent, the big markets get him.

It's easy to shoot down specific suggestions. That's fine. I realize Silva is not our savior. But, come up with a viable strategy and some names, would ya?

M2
09-06-2007, 07:41 PM
M2, they'll get 2 picks by letting Dunn walk this year. And even if there are no FA pitchers you want, you're going to need the dough for a CF. I mean, you want the Reds in this market for a centerfielder, right?

There's already something in the neighborhood of $25M coming off the books and that's before the annual windfall in league revenues which should enable the Reds to spend a good bit if they're so inclined. Frankly, draft picks for Dunn would be my worst case scenario, so I wouldn't go rushing to get there. I'd prefer to get some kids farther along if the plan is to deal Dunn. Beyond that, if the Reds don't pick up the option I'm thinking they'll be too timid to risk the arbitration offer.

As for the CF, free agency wouldn't be my primary option. Jones and Hunter are going to cost too much. Rowand's probably going to cost more than I think he's worth because people are going to be buying his career season and not his norm. Cameron won't be cheap, but he might cost under $10M and you won't have to shell out more than three years for him. Since moving Jr. would be my first OF reorganization priority (move the 38-year-old before you move the 28-year-old), there'd be lots of money under the tree for a CF and pitching even if Dunn stays.


My take is that there are only a limited number of markets for the Reds to shop in, and their shortage of starting pitching is now dire. I would prefer to see them take a chance on 1 pitcher out of this market so that they may luck into a serviceable rotation next year (say Belisle improves and a young guy or journeyman surprises).

My take is that's a case of playing the market to play the market. I'm real choosy on pitchers and as I look down the free agent list for this winter I keep ticking off the "no"s. It's just a list of bad pitchers you'd have to overpay. Perhaps there'll be a guy who slips through the cracks in the late market (essentially a journeyman) who can hold down a spot. Since there's nothing I want in the market, I wouldn't do any shopping there.

Obviously that forces you into the trade market. It's not easy to pluck your pitching that way, but if you don't have it and it's not there for the signing on the free agent market then you've got to play in the trade waters.


If they ignore the FA market, then they're doing one of 3 things:

1. punting 08
2. dealing kids for someone better than Silva (Oswalt has a no-trade clause, by the way), and I am very wary of that without knowing who that pitcher might be
3. bottomfeeding again -- who's ready for that?

1. I tend to subscribe to the notion that the Reds' practice of gearing up for a stab at .500 each season almost always sacrifices next year as a result. 2008 may already be lost because of the rebuilding they didn't do before 2007. If it's lather, rinse, repeat this offseason then we're probably having the same conversation next year about 2009 this time next year.
2. You can deal for all sorts of things. Look at the Reds' top two pitchers. They came in exchange for Jose Guillen and Wily Mo Pena. There's pure prospects. There's underrated talents. There's fallen prospects. There's distressed contracts from innings eaters to guys who've had a bad season to flat out good pitchers working for cheap teams.
3. Bottomfeeding gets a bad name sometimes. For instance, Wayne Krivsky is an excellent bottomfeeder when it comes to position players. That hasn't been the case with him and pitching to date. He could stand to have an assistant GM whose sole job is to find and collect arms. Get someone to cover your blindspot. Anyway, being able to pluck an overlooked arm for an inexpensive one-year gig would be a heck of a smart idea for a GM with a discerning eye for pitching.


I happen to like Carlos Silva better than most, I guess. Same went for Lohse. Redszone is a tough crowd when it comes to pitchers -- nobody thought Lilly or Marquis would help the Cubs, remember? You got to start somewhere, cuz going in to 08 this rotation is about 600 innings short.

I agree about the rotation being short (though, barring injury, I've got closer to 400 IP). Lilly and Marquis have got me scratching my head. Actually I'm not scratching my head on Marquis. He's been ridiculously lucky and the Cubs had better hope the season doesn't come down to his arm (think Steve Parris). Lilly's making a good case that the NL is an inferior league. Lohse has made a similar case. That said, having Kyle Lohse around didn't get the Reds within a country mile of being a good team. If he proved anything it's that the club needs better. It gets right back to the thing I mentioned about scrapping the "just enough" mentality that's infected this franchise for too long.

If the Reds are going to do a serious rebuild (the sort of thing where they import scads of upper minors talents) then I could live with some veteran filler in the rotation in order to let kids like Cueto mature on the farm a bit more. Yet if the plan is to make your best effort at winning something in 2008 then Carlos Silva needs to be nixed off the board.

M2
09-06-2007, 07:47 PM
Back to centerfield. Just throwing this out there -- Chris Duffy.

He had a .301/.372/.420 line in the minors. He might be a good stealth option.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 07:47 PM
If the Reds were going to go after a mediocre type starter, they should at least get a guy that gets his outs based on his K's. Not a guy that relies on his team to make plays. A Daniel Cabrera (not that I want him) that K's lots and walks lots and for the most part controls his own destiny.

Come on. You either want him or you don't. Cabrera is interesting, but I guarantee you that Baltimore will be looking for significant talent if they put him on the market, and they'll get it. I think it's possible Votto might do the trick. But keep in mind that Cabrera has not progressed under Leo Mazzone. If Mazzone signs off on shipping him out, does that mean that, like they say about pitchers Atlanta would trade away, he's more suspect than prospect?

jojo
09-06-2007, 07:56 PM
Mike Cameron isn't really a good center fielder anymore.

M2
09-06-2007, 08:09 PM
Mike Cameron will be 35-years-old in January, and if center field defense hasn't gone in the toilet by that time, it's usually not far off the corner. I'd be looking to acquire younger players, especially for center field, not a guy who would already be 35 heading into Opening Day 2008.

Normally I'd agree, but Cameron is a superior athlete and one of the fittest players in the game. Different sport, but he reminds me of Darrell Green. Cameron's still as fast as they come. If he were slowing down I might worry, but he's not. Cameron would dust most "fast" players. My guess is his bat is going to go before his glove does and that he'll be kind of like Steve Finley, playing a quality CF well into his late 30s.

Hunter and Jones have thicker lower bodies and they aren't the speed merchants they once were. Despite the age, they strike me as a lot more shaky propositions than Cameron when it comes to playing a lusty CF for the next three years.

M2
09-06-2007, 08:13 PM
Mike Cameron isn't really a good center fielder anymore.

RZR and Win Shares would disagree with you vociferously. Where'd Dewan have him last year?

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 08:15 PM
If the Reds are going to do a serious rebuild (the sort of thing where they import scads of upper minors talents) then I could live with some veteran filler in the rotation in order to let kids like Cueto mature on the farm a bit more. Yet if the plan is to make your best effort at winning something in 2008 then Carlos Silva needs to be nixed off the board.

Well, Silva can be a #5 on a winning team, I think.

So, M2, what are you recommending? If you're Krivsky, what plan do you put in place? Seems to me we agree that trading Griffey is a good move. He may have value for a team like Seattle, the Cubs, the Tigers.... At the very least you get salary relief and a better defensive outfield. Dunn is the next consideration. If you pick up the option, you're either trying to win or you're confident you can get talent for him in a post-June 15 trade (kind of a strange notion, since suitors are unlikely to offer much talent if they're willing to pay his contract for you). So, let's assume you're trying to win with Dunner... where will the pitching come from?

Keep in mind that the team is 3 starters short of a rotation, 2 if you're still counting on Belisle. If you go and find that undervalued guy, you're still short. You still need another pitcher who can do what I think Silva can do. You say it's about body count, and I agree -- the Reds need more than 1 guy here. That's why I say get started ASAP in the free agent market. Not only does it knock one pitcher off your to-do list, but it may send a message to other free agents (Rowand, Cameron?) that the team is on the move, the team means business. Because it will be well-known that if this team is really serious about competing, they have to get some starters...yet, if they're looking to do so on the cheap, well, it's probably going to look like the same ole Reds to a free agent who wants to win and, while the team may have a nice personality, that's not attractive.

Patrick Bateman
09-06-2007, 08:15 PM
Come on. You either want him or you don't. Cabrera is interesting, but I guarantee you that Baltimore will be looking for significant talent if they put him on the market, and they'll get it. I think it's possible Votto might do the trick. But keep in mind that Cabrera has not progressed under Leo Mazzone. If Mazzone signs off on shipping him out, does that mean that, like they say about pitchers Atlanta would trade away, he's more suspect than prospect?

I was only using Cabrera as an example. Not neccessarily him, but if you are going to get a mediocre guy, you may as well get the mediocre guy that fits with the rest of the team.

Silva isn't that guy, Cabrerea is. I wouldn't want to give up what it would take to get Cabrera. I only used his name as the "type" of mediocre pitcher that fits with the rest of the team.

RedsManRick
09-06-2007, 08:32 PM
That's why I say get started ASAP in the free agent market. Not only does it knock one pitcher off your to-do list, but it may send a message to other free agents (Rowand, Cameron?) that the team is on the move, the team means business.

I hear the Orioles are "on the move" and "really mean business". They spent a lot of money in FA last year on mediocre players. Some succeeded at being mediocre, some failed to achieve even that. They're left with very little payroll flex and a losing record.

If the mediocre FA talent we sign is merely the means to an end, namely the acquisition of good players in FA, we're in trouble. Good players won't want to come here simply because we've signed mediocre ones. And if we've signed mediocre ones, where do we get the cash to sign good players?

Good players will want to sign here once we establish a history & culture of winning. That doesn't happen by spending 10% of your payroll on a #4 starter. We've been down that road. We signed Eric Milton. We gave hefty extensions to Sean Casey and Danny Graves. It just leads you to another mediocre season and tighter budget.

If you're going to spend money in FA and are you aren't the Yankees or Sox, you need to be getting a sure thing in terms of performance -- something you can't develop anytime soon or can't trade for. If we can't develop or trade for a Carlos Silva, we might as well just quit now.

I think you have the right basic idea. This team needs a fundamental reorganization of talent and payroll to achieve success. I just disagree with you on the specifics.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 08:36 PM
Normally I'd agree, but Cameron is a superior athlete and one of the fittest players in the game. Different sport, but he reminds me of Darrell Green. Cameron's still as fast as they come. If he were slowing down I might worry, but he's not. Cameron would dust most "fast" players. My guess is his bat is going to go before his glove does and that he'll be kind of like Steve Finley, playing a quality CF well into his late 30s.

Hunter and Jones have thicker lower bodies and they aren't the speed merchants they once were. Despite the age, they strike me as a lot more shaky propositions than Cameron when it comes to playing a lusty CF for the next three years.

I could get behind Cameron, easily. He knows the league, which would help with his positioning as his range declines. There's a lot less ground to cover than in San Diego. He's a leader, which is important. He can still hit -- and with his power to right-center, look out in GAB. He'd be great -- but as a Georgia guy, is he angling for Atlanta?

jojo
09-06-2007, 08:41 PM
RZR and Win Shares would disagree with you vociferously.

Both are flawed but winshares is especially so concerning defense.

Dewan's plus/minus data hasn't been released for '06. It loved Cameron in '03 but hated him in '04. He was a RFer in '05 of course and Dewan's system suggested Cameron was a roughly average defensive one. UZR pretty much agrees with Dewan's system over these seasons although UZR liked Cameron last season. This year, UZR suggests that Cameron is a minus defender. It's probably not a coincidence that Cameron graded lower after leaving Safeco following the '03 season because I think the combination of the Puget Sound and the large Safeco outfield probably cause their defenders in left and center to get a bonus.

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 08:48 PM
I think you have the right basic idea. This team needs a fundamental reorganization of talent and payroll to achieve success. I just disagree with you on the specifics.

I think the idea is that you overspend for what you can't supply yourself -- starting pitching, the most important component of a team -- not for what you can supply yourself -- LH power.

jojo
09-06-2007, 08:51 PM
I think the idea is that you overspend for what you can't supply yourself -- starting pitching, the most important component of a team -- not for what you can supply yourself -- LH power.

Starting pitching is extremely overvalued on the open market...

lollipopcurve
09-06-2007, 09:00 PM
Starting pitching is extremely overvalued on the open market...

So, if they ignore the free agents, how should the Reds fill out their rotation for 2008?

M2
09-06-2007, 09:15 PM
So, M2, what are you recommending?

I mentioned some this in strands elsewhere, but here's the short version:

1) I don't care about salary relief because A) I never do, B) league revenues keep exploding, C) there's literally tens of millions coming off the Reds' books

2) Like I said, since the needed pitching isn't available via free agency the Reds are going to have to make trades. Carlos Silva might be a workable #5 on a good team, but it would be insanity for the Reds to pay a free agent premium for a #5 guy. The Reds have invested the time and innings in Belisle's taking lumps period. I don't expect him to net the rewards that Harang did, but he could be at least as good as Lohse was and a good bit better than what you'd likely get from Silva.

So that's two starters you need. My only untouchables would be Jay Bruce and Aaron Harang. Brandon Phillips would only go if I were overwhelmed. Since it's early September I can't tell you what pitchers might be on the trade market. Teams have to set budgets and offseason plans first, even then it's fluid. Maybe a Jr. or Dunn could land you a kid worth a major league apprenticeship in 2008. Maybe some of your better prospects can land you an established guy. Maybe a David Weathers or Scott Hatteberg can land you a kid who you think has wrongly been labeled a disappointment. Maybe it costs you a Hamilton or an Encarnacion to get an arm you really like.

3) The team needs more than just starting pitchers. Bullpen, catcher, CF, depth and I wouldn't turn my nose up at a young SS if the right one came available (Alex Gonzalez could be dealt). Dependent on what goes out the door, new needs might arise. For instance, say Encarnacion and Votto head out, then the club might be shopping for some 3B and 1B help.

4) Realize that it might take more than offseason to assemble all the pieces. The Reds have a lot to do. I'm an advocate of big changes, of an aggressive roster turnover. I don't think the Reds have dared nearly enough. Some deals may have to wait for early to midseason in 2008. Next year's Reds would be a work in progress if I had my druthers, but the goal would be that come the next offseason, I'd be put the finishing touches on a much better team that was geared up to contend into the middle of the next decade. Easier said than done I know.

jojo
09-06-2007, 09:29 PM
So, if they ignore the free agents, how should the Reds fill out their rotation for 2008?

Harang, Arroyo, Homer, Belisle, Cueto, Maloney, arm X.

I'm staunchly against signing any starter to a contract longer than three years except in rare exceptions (of which I don't see any in the '08 FA market). Whittle the FA list down to guys who'd take three years of less and I think the money is better spent elsewhere.

My radical, food for thought suggestion-if you can't buy pitching smartly, load up on offense while trying to upgrade your defense if possible.

I'd join the Arod sweepstakes and assuming EE couldn't be flipped as part of a deal, EE and Votto would platoon at first. I'd give Jr away if that is what it took and I'd have an outfield of Dunn, Bruce and Hamilton.

11larkin11
09-06-2007, 09:39 PM
I'm willing to let Hamilton man CF with Dunn and Griffey/Bruce for the next couple years. I'd rather have the offense of Dunn-Hamilton-Griffey/Bruce than sign a guy who has maybe one step on Hamilton. His a good CF, no need to go waste money on a great defensive CF with no offense, like most on the market are this year.

Highlifeman21
09-06-2007, 09:42 PM
Well, Silva can be a #5 on a winning team, I think.


Keep in mind that the team is 3 starters short of a rotation, 2 if you're still counting on Belisle. If you go and find that undervalued guy, you're still short. You still need another pitcher who can do what I think Silva can do. You say it's about body count, and I agree -- the Reds need more than 1 guy here. That's why I say get started ASAP in the free agent market. Not only does it knock one pitcher off your to-do list, but it may send a message to other free agents (Rowand, Cameron?) that the team is on the move, the team means business. Because it will be well-known that if this team is really serious about competing, they have to get some starters...yet, if they're looking to do so on the cheap, well, it's probably going to look like the same ole Reds to a free agent who wants to win and, while the team may have a nice personality, that's not attractive.


I absolutely agree, Silva is a #5.

Unfortunately, we'd have to pay him #3 money. As I've said, and others have said, Carlos Silva very well could be our next Eric Milton, where we overpay for him in FA, bring him in to be way too important to our rotation due to the overpaying, and he won't even remotely produce to meet our expectations.

If we paid Silva as a #5, and expected him to be a #5, then that would be something completely different.

The problem with how our future rotation seems to be shaping up is that we have a #1, a #3, two kids that are unknown, and a #5. Those names are Harang, Arroyo, Cueto & Bailey and Belisle, for those of you scoring at home. We honestly don't have a legitimate #2, and seem too be too bottom heavy with #5 type starters. Maybe if we'd focus on collecting more #3 types, then we'd have a fighting chance... for 2009.

M2
09-06-2007, 09:43 PM
Both are flawed but winshares is especially so concerning defense.

They're all flawed. I look for a preponderance. If most ratings like a guy then I go with that. I don't have a pet favorite as there's really nothing that's established itself as consistent and reliably accurate (e.g. you can't compare RZRs from 2005 to the ones being used today because the zones changed). IMO, you can't put your eggs in one defensive basket. There's also some common sense to be applied. Cameron's been a central actor in top tier defenses for nine years running. The Padres, Mariners and Reds took big DER jumps when he showed up. Could the Padres lead all of MLB in DER last season and rank 6th this season carrying an anchor in CF? Probably not. Things go right when he's around. Red Auerbach had a classic line about Sam Jones when it was pointed out that Jones seemingly suffered from a skill deficit - "All I know is when I put him in the game we start scoring more than the other team." Cameron's kind of like that. Intuitively speaking, too much goes right when he's around for him not to be responsible for a healthy part of it.

M2
09-06-2007, 09:46 PM
My radical, food for thought suggestion-if you can't buy pitching smartly, load up on offense while trying to upgrade your defense if possible.

I couldn't agree more.

Aronchis
09-06-2007, 09:50 PM
The Reds already "paid" for their veteren pitching with Harang and Arroyo going foward. Now they need the youngsters to step up.

Falls City Beer
09-06-2007, 10:05 PM
My radical, food for thought suggestion-if you can't buy pitching smartly, load up on offense while trying to upgrade your defense if possible.

.


Go for it. You won't win a damn thing. But it might be fun to watch.

jojo
09-06-2007, 10:18 PM
Go for it. You won't win a damn thing. But it might be fun to watch.

I prefer being farther ahead to spinning wheels by throwing money at a pitching bonfire.

Falls City Beer
09-06-2007, 10:23 PM
I prefer being farther ahead to spinning wheels by throwing money at a pitching bonfire.

Yeah. Just ask the Brewers how the no-pitching model is working.

Like I said, it's fine. Might as well try to do what you're suggesting. Clearly, the FO has absolutely no ability to identify undervalued pitching. Might as well play to their strength, which appears to be, exclusively, finding undervalued hitting.

Reds Nd2
09-06-2007, 10:29 PM
RZR and Win Shares would disagree with you vociferously. Where'd Dewan have him last year?
BP's FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average) currently have him at -7 as a center fielder this season. His PECOTA weighted mean was a -3 for 2007. His FRAA was last season.

This has been an excellent read M2. Thanks for starting the thread. Someday when I'm not working 14 hour days, I'll spend some time explaining why I'd be just as happy if the Reds stuck with what they have rather than test the FA market names you listed in your first post. But most of the reasons have already been listed, health risks, cost, and duration of contracts needed to land them. You mentioned these as well I believe. I would add that the defensive reputation of the players, excluding Rowand, might not be an actual representation of their abilities any longer. Certainly not before the end of the contracts required to land them in Cincy.

Anyway, as long as we're wishcasting for center fielders, here are three players just entering their age prime years that I wouldn't mind the Reds taking a look at. Have fun. :) Nate McLouth, Cory (I still hate that song) Hart, and Chris B. Young. And one more. He didn't profile as a CF, but whatever happened to Elijah Dukes?

I have a question M2. You said the Reds didn't have a "true centerfielder". What is your definition of that term? Just curious, because I know what mine is and I question if the Reds really need that type of CF. I believe it was RedsManRick who might have touched on this thought earlier.

Ok, I just read my question to you and it sounded a bit snarky to me. It isn't meant to be. In fact, if anything I posted comes across that way, I appologize in advance. I'm just really tired right now. Again, great thread and a delightful read.

Reds Nd2
09-06-2007, 10:36 PM
Cameron's kind of like that. Intuitively speaking, too much goes right when he's around for him not to be responsible for a healthy part of it.
That may be true, but I don't want the Reds overpaying for it the next three seasons. Of course, that can be said for all of the teams defenciencies as well.

RedlegJake
09-06-2007, 10:43 PM
Personally, I think Shearn fits in the mix. He's pitched well and and years in the minors may have actually helped him more as a soft tosser than a kid like Ramirez who gets pushed fast and can't handle it because he hasn't learned how to pitch. He gets dissed because he was 30 debuting but for a guy like Shearn, I see that as a major advantage. He KNOWS he has to bear down and command everything he has to have a chance to stay here and he has long experience honing the ability to pitch. He doesn't seem to play around but go right after guys. He'll get pounded once in a while. He's not 1-2-3 material but he does seem to be a smart pitcher with pretty consistent command of what he does have. So, I am liking Shearn - at least as a possible #5. Between Maloney, Shearn, Bailey, Belisle, Cueto and Ramirez I think the Reds can put 2 starters out there with Harang and Arroyo. That still means you'd need 2 more guys because you will certainly need at minimum 6 starters. Hopefully Maloney and Shearn come through because I don't have a lot of faith in Belisle. I think he's an ideal long man and ocasional spot starter, though. Bailey and Cueto won't be ready to start the year, imo. I'm the odd guy who likes Cueto as a future starter more than Bailey. I think Homer's best bet is as a closer. Beat me and flame me but I am concerned about his attitude - too many grumblings here and there about his mental makeup. He kinda seems Tomko or Greinke in his attitude. Believe me, no one hopes I'm way wrong more than me!

As for Silva - he's going to cost but for me, its not the money but the length. Less money (per year) for longer term or more money but a short term or at least a performance option to give some protection and I'm okay with the idea of trying him. Is that viable in this marketplace? Really I think M2 is right - you have to trade someone of value and try to get a guy who's been given up on but has good peripherals or a guy who had an off year but may just need a change of scenery. I'd also look hard at AL rosters for the guy. Failing a high ceiling guy I'd sure try to get a horse- a guy who has the body and arm to give you 200 or more innings of average pitching. Even that would be a help because it'd take stress off the pen.

Mainly though I'd just develop the kids. No other way are you going to step forward in a small market. WK has to continue to pick off plums from rule 5 and "roster challenged" types. One thing he has done well is pick up some guys that give the Reds some trading chips to work with. No Kepp, Hatteberg, Hamilton or Phillips and the Reds would have nothing to deal with this winter.

I've alluded to it before. This winter and into the trade deadline next summer, and the spring draft with a good position, and the hiring of a manager - well, this is year is the crucible for WK. He may not bring in a winner in 08 but if he makes the wrong moves he could bust this franchise for years to come - the right ones and he could set it up. I really believe it's that critical a year for WK and for the Reds. They're on the brink one way or the other - I can see them stepping way up and pretty soon, and I an see the abyss, too. Maybe more clearly forked a road than we've seen since 95 (when they clearly took the wrong turn.)

Man, I did not answer the original question. I'm content with Hamilton and Hopper but if Hammy goes in a deal then I'd hope we could get Cameron. He's one of those guys who just seem to me to always lift the guys around them - teams he's on just seem to get better.

Red Heeler
09-06-2007, 11:22 PM
Great thread! It's also a good place to throw out a radical idea I came up with:
Starting in CF for the 2008 Cincinnati Reds...BRANDON PHILLIPS

Huh? You say. He has shown that he is great at tracking balls over his head, and he certainly has the wheels. Keppinger can take over at 2B, getting another BA driven RH bat in the line-up.

Why the heck would you move a guy already in hand to the OF? Flexibility. I'd be busting my bottom to get Dunn signed to an extension. That done, time to go hunting for bear. Might as well go for a grizzly. Hamilton and Bailey for Roy Oswalt would have to get the Astros attention. That package could get the Reds a number of top of the rotation arms.

I'd be willing to throw Jay Bruce into the fire in RF if I could get a prospect or two with upside for Griffey. It wouldn't break my heart to slide him into Hamilton's role to start next year if Griffey can't be traded.

An OF of Dunn, Phillips, and Bruce would rake and could chase down a lot more flys than the current version.

A top three of Harang, Oswalt, and Arroyo could win the whole darn thing.

cincinnati chili
09-06-2007, 11:32 PM
Yeah. Just ask the Brewers how the no-pitching model is working.

Like I said, it's fine. Might as well try to do what you're suggesting. Clearly, the FO has absolutely no ability to identify undervalued pitching. Might as well play to their strength, which appears to be, exclusively, finding undervalued hitting.

He/she didn't call for a "no pitching" model. The call was to SPEND on hitters, and HUNT for pitchers. This makes sense because the outcomes of hitters are more predictable.

There is a precedent for this. At least one.

2002 Angels. They had exactly one expensive pitcher who was any good - Appier (see payrolls at bottom of link).

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ANA/2002.shtml

Otherwise, they loaded up on a bullpen from the independent leagues and pulled one phenom out of their minor league system.

M2
09-07-2007, 12:04 AM
I prefer being farther ahead to spinning wheels by throwing money at a pitching bonfire.

Plus, it never hurts to have talent on hand even if it's not the exact talent you need. If pitching comes available during the summer or the next off-season, theoretically you're in a position to deal for it.


Yeah. Just ask the Brewers how the no-pitching model is working.

Hey, that's the first place Brewers you're talking about.


I have a question M2. You said the Reds didn't have a "true centerfielder". What is your definition of that term?

Eric Davis would do nicely, but we'd need a time machine for that. Generally speaking, I like a CF who can play shallow with the legs to get into the gaps and back to the wall.


That may be true, but I don't want the Reds overpaying for it the next three seasons.

As a rule I don't worry about overpaying if it's a good player. No one ever taunts a team for paying too much for a guy who helps it win games on a regular basis. Obviously there's limits on the amount of overpayment, but usually if a guy plays well he doesn't seem all that overpaid after two or three years.

Though I'm totally cool with finding a low cost option, by no means am I saying the Reds must shell out for a free agent.


Personally, I think Shearn fits in the mix.

My eyes! My eyes! Make the Shearn go away!

Hoosier Red
09-07-2007, 12:22 AM
As far as pitchers go, how does Livan Hernandez sound to anyone. Of course we'd have to over pay him(but do you think the Cubs are upset about overpaying Jason Marquis)

Here's what he gives you. 1. Innings 2. Innings 3. Innings.
That article in BP convinced me that signing him would be beneficial if they threw him out there for 7 innings a game come hell or high water. Assuming Arroyo and Harang keep up to their regular workloads of 200+ innings adding Hernandez reduces the number of innings the bullpen has to work.

In a given year there are roughly 1500 innings, if you can get 600 to 700 of those taken by three guys, the remaining 8 or 9 can be counted on to be fresh.

Fill in the other two spots with whoever wins the competition between Belisle, Bailey, Maloney, Cueto and anyone else the Reds can sign cheap.

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 08:05 AM
He/she didn't call for a "no pitching" model. The call was to SPEND on hitters, and HUNT for pitchers. This makes sense because the outcomes of hitters are more predictable.

There is a precedent for this. At least one.

2002 Angels. They had exactly one expensive pitcher who was any good - Appier (see payrolls at bottom of link).

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ANA/2002.shtml

Otherwise, they loaded up on a bullpen from the independent leagues and pulled one phenom out of their minor league system.

We spent 12 years on the "buy hitters, scrounge for pitchers" model under Bowden.

Nothing's going to change: by the very nature of the beast starting pitchers with ALWAYS be "overvalued." There's just no changing that. And there's just no changing the fact that the teams that have mattered, since time out of mind, are the ones who possess starting pitching. And the ones who survive the postseason have starting pitching AND a bullpen. And the Reds still have neither.

I guess I'm just not buying the theory that the Reds can magically and proactively exploit the hitting and defense market and ride that train to multiple Central championships and pennants. First, the Reds just aren't that cagey a franchise; second, some other team in the Central will pluck up enough pitching to continually beat the Reds, who have none.

jojo
09-07-2007, 09:08 AM
We spent 12 years on the "buy hitters, scrounge for pitchers" model under Bowden.

Nothing's going to change: by the very nature of the beast starting pitchers with ALWAYS be "overvalued." There's just no changing that. And there's just no changing the fact that the teams that have mattered, since time out of mind, are the ones who possess starting pitching. And the ones who survive the postseason have starting pitching AND a bullpen. And the Reds still have neither.

I guess I'm just not buying the theory that the Reds can magically and proactively exploit the hitting and defense market and ride that train to multiple Central championships and pennants. First, the Reds just aren't that cagey a franchise; second, some other team in the Central will pluck up enough pitching to continually beat the Reds, who have none.

Right. But the Reds current context includes three pitchers that have reasonable shots to be productive in the rotation (Homer, Cueto, Maloney). The arms available on the free agent market really are more expensive versions of similar risk IMHO.

lollipopcurve
09-07-2007, 09:59 AM
Right. But the Reds current context includes three pitchers that have reasonable shots to be productive in the rotation (Homer, Cueto, Maloney). The arms available on the free agent market really are more expensive versions of similar risk IMHO.

Because they're all loaded with risk, the young guys and the FAs, the Reds would do well to minimize the risk by increasing the pool at their disposal.

Look, the FA market is talent for dollars. You can get pitchers and conserve all your talent (even for trades). I like the equation. I respect that folks have looked at the available FAs and found nothing to their liking -- it's a thin crop. But, and FCB makes the same point, if you're operating under the assumption that the Reds can "beat the FA market" in any given offseason by identifying and signing the undervalued pitchers, I think you're being too optimistic. And, if you're pinning hopes on Belisle, let me say I hope you're right, but I'm still seeing a guy at sea.

Good discussion, and thanks to all who challenged/inspired.

osuceltic
09-07-2007, 10:48 AM
The best pitching acquisitions of the last 20 years for this franchise were undervalued guys they got lucky with -- Harang and Jose Rijo. They have to hope to get lucky like that again while simultaneously improving their scouting and development programs for young pitchers. It's incredibly hard. If MLB ever gets its head out of its rear end and changes the draft so that the rich don't get richer, that will help a little. There are rumblings that it might finally happen.

The other option is to overpay in terms of talent and contract extension for an established stud arm that might go on the market. Johan Santana may be available this offseason or at next year's deadline. If the Reds offered a package built around Bailey, Bruce, Encarnacion and maybe a lower level guy, that would have to be tempting for the Twins.

Everyone here will say that's insane, but it's like trading for Pedro in his prime. No matter what you give up, it's worth it -- as long as you sign him to what will be an outrageous extension. But the hardest thing to find is a true ace. You'd have one, and you'd still have some pieces -- Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Votto, Dunn, Phillips, Junior, Freel, Keppinger, Gonzalez, etc. to field a legitimate team and still have some trade assets.

lollipopcurve
09-07-2007, 11:08 AM
The other option is to overpay in terms of talent and contract extension for an established stud arm that might go on the market. Johan Santana may be available this offseason or at next year's deadline. If the Reds offered a package built around Bailey, Bruce, Encarnacion and maybe a lower level guy, that would have to be tempting for the Twins.

Yes - I've pondered the same possibility. But it's INCREDIBLY risky. Santana is 1 player, and you're talking about sacrificing 3-4 building blocks, among whom is a pitcher who may quickly gain on Santana. Say Homer becomes a legit #3...I'd rather make a go of it with Harang/Arroyo/Homer/Bruce et al than have 80-100MM tied up in 1 arm and a few holes to patch. And, if you're talking about still having Dunn around... what's that, 30MM+ devoted to 2 players, one of them being a corner outfielder?

M2
09-07-2007, 11:36 AM
Right. But the Reds current context includes three pitchers that have reasonable shots to be productive in the rotation (Homer, Cueto, Maloney).

IMO the Reds need some arms to act as a buffer between those kids and the majors for the next year. Not a one of them has had a good full season in AAA yet. It's a classic case of kids who probably aren't as ready as the team needs them to be. Pitching development has to be allowed to work at its own pace. We saw the folly of treating an unprepared kid (Bailey) like a savior this season. The Reds have to learn. They aren't ready when you need them, they're ready when they're ready.

The good news is that Harang and Arroyo are good pitchers. I really do think Belisle can come back next year and be an effective innings eater. The main question for the Reds is what can they get to fill the remaining void:

- good pitchers
- young unproven pitchers who are a year or two (or three) ahead of the current crop of prospects
- filler/innings eaters, for whom the team shouldn't be shelling out a lot of cash

Of course modern Reds history has been filled with a fourth type -- bad pitchers, some who cost way too much. That's what the Reds need to avoid.

M2
09-07-2007, 12:02 PM
Yes - I've pondered the same possibility. But it's INCREDIBLY risky. Santana is 1 player, and you're talking about sacrificing 3-4 building blocks, among whom is a pitcher who may quickly gain on Santana. Say Homer becomes a legit #3...I'd rather make a go of it with Harang/Arroyo/Homer/Bruce et al than have 80-100MM tied up in 1 arm and a few holes to patch. And, if you're talking about still having Dunn around... what's that, 30MM+ devoted to 2 players, one of them being a corner outfielder?

I'd say it's incredibly risky to act like a group of kids are true building blocks. Imagine if the Reds had decided it was insanity to trade Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman for Tom Seaver. I tend to be of the opinion that modern thinking has gotten extremely twisted on this subject.

Johan Santana is the best pitcher alive. I'd gladly move Bailey, Stubbs and Encarnacion for him. Bruce is one of my two untouchables (along with Harang), but I'd think the Reds could trump pretty much any other offer put on the table in this timid market even if they didn't pony up Bruce. That said, Santana might not want to commit to an extended stay in the GAB. A massive payday awaits him after next season. Got to figure the two NYC clubs, the two L.A. clubs, the Red Sox and the Cubs have got him within their sites.

So the real question becomes how much do you pay for a one-year rental of Johan Santana? If the Reds really want to go for it in 2008, if they really think that Santana guarantees them October baseball, then Bailey and Stubbs might be a fair price to pay. I know that's a lot of sacred cow to put on the altar, but you have to pay a price to summon the gods.

flyer85
09-07-2007, 12:07 PM
So the real question becomes how much do you pay for a one-year rental of Johan Santana? If the Reds really want to go for it in 2008, if they really think that Santana guarantees them October baseball, then Bailey and Stubbs might be a fair price to pay. I know that's a lot of sacred cow to put on the altar, but you have to pay a price to summon the gods.Even if the Reds did acquire Santana, they would still have a lot of work to do. That is the problem, they are more than a few players from being a true WS contender.

M2
09-07-2007, 12:18 PM
Even if the Reds did acquire Santana, they would still have a lot of work to do. That is the problem, they are more than a few players from being a true WS contender.

Agreed, if the plan would be to get Santana and then everything's hunky dory then that would be a bad plan with all sorts of backfire potential.

lollipopcurve
09-07-2007, 12:20 PM
<bump>

lollipopcurve
09-07-2007, 12:39 PM
I'd say it's incredibly risky to act like a group of kids are true building blocks.

Disagree. It may be folly, but it's not risky for the Reds to hoard young talent and give it a chance at the major league level.


Johan Santana is the best pitcher alive. I'd gladly move Bailey, Stubbs and Encarnacion for him.

One year of Santana? Or, with a determination to spend a big-market price for him in FA? Either way, very gutsy. I think I'm more risk averse..... Yet, I agree that the Reds have the talent to acquire Santana, and Krivsky's Minnesota connection may well be able to make it happen at a price that's not obscene. Truly an intruiging possibility...

Keep in mind that Santana and Gonzo are friends -- Gonzo's ill son is named after Santana. Who knows, maybe ownership could find a way to pay Santana a lot of dough in a way that doesn't terminally hamstring the budget.....

Could they pay Santana and a FA centerfielder? Another reason to dump Dunn's contract now. Free up the dollars. It's time.

M2
09-07-2007, 01:08 PM
One year of Santana?

I'd pay more if I could negotiate a deal and less if I couldn't. I thought my post made that clear. Sorry if it didn't.


Could they pay Santana and a FA centerfielder? Another reason to dump Dunn's contract now. Free up the dollars. It's time.

Why does it have to be a free agent CF? One of the reasons why I started this thread was to investigate options beyond the FA class.

Anyway, if you're trading for Johan Santana for 2008 then you're probably going to want to give him some run support. In that case dumping the best offensive player on your team strikes me as a really bad idea. If it's all in for 2008 then Adam Dunn needs to stay put. You're going to want that .950 OPS. Plus, I'd be moving Jr. in addition to the gobs of cash already coming off the books. Take that cash, the new influx of league revenue (which has risen about $7M a club in recent years) and an increase in team revenue ($3M strikes me as a reasonable number, especially if a high profile guy like Santana was coming to town). That's a big chunk of money to have on hand. The team doesn't need to drop Dunn to have a bulge in its pockets.

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 01:41 PM
IMO the Reds need some arms to act as a buffer between those kids and the majors for the next year.

The Reds need to operate under the assumption that NONE of those three will likely turn into top of the rotation starters, and move forward accordingly. All three of the young men jojo mentioned appear longshots to be league average starters, much less the top notch arms the Reds actually need.

And I think Arroyo will go postnuclear next season.

I think it's time to go big time ballsy and turn Bailey and Bruce into two MLB starters (hunt and peck for a couple more Burtons--Cueto?) and make a run at a pennant the next couple of years while Harang is still under contract.

This timidity is killing this franchise. And me.

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 01:53 PM
Disagree. It may be folly, but it's not risky for the Reds to hoard young talent and give it a chance at the major league level.



One year of Santana? Or, with a determination to spend a big-market price for him in FA? Either way, very gutsy. I think I'm more risk averse..... Yet, I agree that the Reds have the talent to acquire Santana, and Krivsky's Minnesota connection may well be able to make it happen at a price that's not obscene. Truly an intruiging possibility...

Keep in mind that Santana and Gonzo are friends -- Gonzo's ill son is named after Santana. Who knows, maybe ownership could find a way to pay Santana a lot of dough in a way that doesn't terminally hamstring the budget.....

Could they pay Santana and a FA centerfielder? Another reason to dump Dunn's contract now. Free up the dollars. It's time.


Unless Santana gets hurt, his production will do the opposite of hamstring the Reds: budget or product on the field.

Mike Stanton, on the other hand....

Matt700wlw
09-07-2007, 01:55 PM
The Reds need to operate under the assumption that NONE of those three will likely turn into top of the rotation starters, and move forward accordingly. All three of the young men jojo mentioned appear longshots to be league average starters, much less the top notch arms the Reds actually need.

And I think Arroyo will go postnuclear next season.

I think it's time to go big time ballsy and turn Bailey and Bruce into two MLB starters (hunt and peck for a couple more Burtons--Cueto?) .


For Jason Jennings, right?

That one's still laughable.

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 01:58 PM
For Jason Jennings, right?

That one's still laughable.

A healthy Jennings, sure. Nothing laughable. But there are many options.

How's Homer lookin'? :)

Not good.

Matt700wlw
09-07-2007, 02:05 PM
Homer's rehabbing an injury.


Let's get him healthy, get him exprience, and give him time.



He's 21. 6 starts does not make a career.

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 02:08 PM
Homer's rehabbing an injury.


Let's get him healthy, get him exprience, and give him time.



He's 21. 6 starts does not make a career.

Rehabbing an injury?

I guess that's what you can call it.

Matt700wlw
09-07-2007, 02:13 PM
I'm not ready to give up on a 21 year old kid, with 6 big league starts, with a ceiling as high as his.

Maybe you are


If he were a Cardinal, you would be raving about him....

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 02:16 PM
If he were a Cardinal, you would be raving about him....

The Cardinals don't have a ton of success raising their own starters from the minors--but boy, they know how to turn their fool's good into 24 K MLB pitching.

There's a lesson in there for those who wish to look....

IslandRed
09-07-2007, 03:01 PM
The Cardinals don't have a ton of success raising their own starters from the minors--but boy, they know how to turn their fool's gold into 24 K MLB pitching.

Like who? Of the guys on the Cardinals that can be called 24K pitchers -- a definition that doesn't include journeymen who are pitching well for the moment -- not a single one was acquired in the manner you're suggesting. Carpenter was signed as a free agent off an arm blowout. Isringhausen was a free agent. Wainwright came in a trade with J.D. Drew as the main guy going the other way. So that leaves Mulder, and all that trade proved was that the Cardinals can be wrong about their prospects as easily as anyone else.

The Cardinals are a good trading organization, I don't argue that. They're one of the more astute ones in dumping their pyrite while it's still shiny to get help for the MLB club. But they still hold onto their gold when they think it's gold. The "lesson" isn't to overpay in prospects for any scrap of veteran goodness, it's that a club has to know its gold from its pyrite.

Rojo
09-07-2007, 03:10 PM
but boy, they know how to turn their fool's good into 24 K MLB pitching.

And vice-versa.

RedsManRick
09-07-2007, 03:10 PM
Trading all of our upside for fixed level mediocrity guarantees that we'll never surpass mediocrity.

When you're winning 85 games and you want to win 90, it makes sense to trade your high ceiling guys for that "established" starter to put you over the top.

I have no interest in trading away Homer Bailey for Jason Jennings, or whoever this year's Jason Jennings is. I'd rather spend that $25M on Silva because no amount of money can replace what Bailey might become.

Let's say Bailey has a 10&#37; chance of being an ace, 30% chance of being average, and 60% of being crap. Well, that's still a 10% chance that Carlos Silva doesn't have. No amount of additional Carlos Silva's makes this team a contender. But trading away that 10% chance can pretty much guarantee that you'll never be one.

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 03:16 PM
Trading all of our upside for fixed level mediocrity guarantees that we'll never surpass mediocrity.

When you're winning 85 games and you want to win 90, it makes sense to trade your high ceiling guys for that "established" starter to put you over the top.

I have no interest in trading away Homer Bailey for Jason Jennings, or whoever this year's Jason Jennings is. I'd rather spend that $25M on Silva because no amount of money can replace what Bailey might become.

Let's say Bailey has a 10% chance of being an ace, 30% chance of being average, and 60% of being crap. Well, that's still a 10% chance that Carlos Silva doesn't have. No amount of additional Carlos Silva's makes this team a contender. But trading away that 10% chance can pretty much guarantee that you'll never be one.

Who says I'm arguing getting mediocrity for Bailey and Bruce? I'm thinking of getting a super-high ceiling MLB arm with perhaps some maturity issues for a Bailey. And a front of the rotation starter in a package involving Bruce.

I ain't targeting Suppan, here, folks. Not with those prospects.

pedro
09-07-2007, 03:17 PM
I'm all for trading Homer but not Bruce.

bucksfan2
09-07-2007, 03:18 PM
The Reds need to operate under the assumption that NONE of those three will likely turn into top of the rotation starters, and move forward accordingly. All three of the young men jojo mentioned appear longshots to be league average starters, much less the top notch arms the Reds actually need.

And I think Arroyo will go postnuclear next season.

I think it's time to go big time ballsy and turn Bailey and Bruce into two MLB starters (hunt and peck for a couple more Burtons--Cueto?) and make a run at a pennant the next couple of years while Harang is still under contract.

This timidity is killing this franchise. And me.

FCB I have started to disregard anything you say. Bailey is garbage because he had 3 poor starts in the bigs and then injured his groin. Bruce is a crapshoot because he is a prospect. Not to mention that he just won minor leauge player of the year. Check out the list. If Bruce is as bad as the worst MiLB player of the year then I think he will be an every day player.

You don't develop a farm system to trade away all your best prospects because they all are long shots to be league average starters. Are all prospects a sure thing, no, but I would rather roll the dice with them, build a club, and then spend money when you are a player or two away than trade them for the Silva's or the world or sign the Milton's of the world.

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 03:20 PM
FCB I have started to disregard anything you say. Bailey is garbage because he had 3 poor starts in the bigs and then injured his groin. Bruce is a crapshoot because he is a prospect. Not to mention that he just won minor leauge player of the year. Check out the list. If Bruce is as bad as the worst MiLB player of the year then I think he will be an every day player.

You don't develop a farm system to trade away all your best prospects because they all are long shots to be league average starters. Are all prospects a sure thing, no, but I would rather roll the dice with them, build a club, and then spend money when you are a player or two away than trade them for the Silva's or the world or sign the Milton's of the world.

I know EXACTLY how great Bruce is going to be. But I know how BADLY the Reds need pitching.

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 03:23 PM
And vice-versa.

You've watched the last 8 years of baseball, right?

I'd hate to have what the Cardinals have. You're absolutely right. What an idiotic franchise.

RedsManRick
09-07-2007, 03:24 PM
Who says I'm arguing getting mediocrity for Bailey and Bruce? I'm thinking of getting a super-high ceiling MLB arm with perhaps some maturity issues for a Bailey. And a front of the rotation starter in a package involving Bruce.

I ain't targeting Suppan, here, folks. Not with those prospects.

Ok, who are you targeting? Matt Garza?

I can sort of get behind the logic that you might as well turn top position prospects in to top pitching prospects, given the relative value of them in FA.

But why would somebody give us their super high ceiling guy who's close to that ceiling for our super high ceiling guy who's far away?

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 03:28 PM
Ok, who are you targeting? Matt Garza?

I can sort of get behind the logic that you might as well turn top position prospects in to top pitching prospects, given the relative value of them in FA.

But why would somebody give us their super high ceiling guy who's close to that ceiling for our super high ceiling guy who's far away?

Bruce isn't far away. Bailey's a huge gamble, and is probably years away, if ever; but teams, like posters on this board, get drunk on the notion of prospects and will trade a live misbehaving hawk for two pretty wren eggs in the bush every day of their lives. For what reason, I don't know, and I don't care--but there are those teams that think the future is magic.

RedsManRick
09-07-2007, 03:38 PM
Bruce isn't far away. Bailey's a huge gamble, and is probably years away, if ever; but teams, like posters on this board, get drunk on the notion of prospects and will trade a live misbehaving hawk for two pretty wren eggs in the bush every day of their lives. For what reason, I don't know, and I don't care--but there are those teams that think the future is magic.

Yeah, that didn't answer my question. 8 months ago you wanted to trade Bailey for Jennings. Even if Jennings had been healthy the Astros would still suck and he'd still be a free agent.

Sp who do you want to trade him for now? Name a name or two.

If trading Bailey can fix our pitching problems, or at least help us big time in that regard, then I'm all for it. You just haven't even begun to explain in any detail how getting your PTBNL is actually go do that.

Again, trading away a potential great future is fine if it gets you a really good present. However, if it just gets you a mediocre present, all you've done is robbed yourself of the chance for greatness, while securing a slightly less crappy present.

M2
09-07-2007, 03:41 PM
The Reds need to operate under the assumption that NONE of those three will likely turn into top of the rotation starters, and move forward accordingly. All three of the young men jojo mentioned appear longshots to be league average starters, much less the top notch arms the Reds actually need.

And I think Arroyo will go postnuclear next season.

I think it's time to go big time ballsy and turn Bailey and Bruce into two MLB starters (hunt and peck for a couple more Burtons--Cueto?) and make a run at a pennant the next couple of years while Harang is still under contract.

This timidity is killing this franchise. And me.

I agree that you always have to allow for the very real possibility that your pitching prospects might fail. Obviously it doesn't mean that they all will, but teams should know better than to bank on help from 22-year-old pitchers.

As for whether they're longshots or not, who knows? I suppose it's fair to argue that all pitching prospects are longshots to an extent. Something's up with Bailey. It could be physical. It could be mental. Main thing is something's up. He's still got to learn to control the strikezone. That's to be expected a lot of times with 21-year-old kids. Cueto's got uncanny control, which makes him real interesting, though I'm guessing, given his size, that he's going to need to mature physically before you ask him to throw 200 major league innings in anger. Maloney, Fisher and Lecure have had the benefit of not having been brought along at ridiculously young ages. Maybe one pans out. Maybe not. Like you said, I wouldn't be banking on it.

Arroyo's having a solid season. His numbers aren't gaudy, but that's partially a function of where he pitches. He'd probably be having a good season, but for some idiot management back in May and the pathetic defense behind him. I expect him to be a solid citizen for the next few years.

I agree with you that the Reds need to push the envelope. I wouldn't put Jay Bruce on the auction block, though if he netted a suitably huge return I'd at least understand the impulse for peddling him.

jojo
09-07-2007, 03:46 PM
Bruce should be considered untouchable.

It has nothing to do with being drunk on prospect juice.

Falls City Beer
09-07-2007, 03:49 PM
Yeah, that didn't answer my question. 8 months ago you wanted to trade Bailey for Jennings. Even if Jennings had been healthy the Astros would still suck and he'd still be a free agent.

Sp who do you want to trade him for now? Name a name or two.

If trading Bailey can fix our pitching problems, or at least help us big time in that regard, then I'm all for it. You just haven't even begun to explain in any detail how getting your PTBNL is actually go do that.

Again, trading away a potential great future is fine if it gets you a really good present. However, if it just gets you a mediocre present, all you've done is robbed yourself of the chance for greatness, while securing a slightly less crappy present.


I'd include Bruce in a package to get Santana.

If Pittsburgh's new GM is a fool like Littlefield, I'd aim for Snell with Bailey. Would Atlanta be interested in Bailey for Hudson? Bailey and a bat for Garza?

The other choice of course is to sit and wait. Which seems to be the prevailing wisdom. That's fine--but don't be surprised if that 90% unlikelihood comes and swallows Homer's career and the Reds get nothing out of the bargain. If I'm playing the odds, that's what I'm betting on if the Reds don't move him.

Rojo
09-07-2007, 04:27 PM
The other choice of course is to sit and wait. Which seems to be the prevailing wisdom.

Oh come on now. There are other choices. Off the top of my head, David Aardsma, Ervin Santana, Dontrelle Willis. I'm not propping any one of these but you can get more creative than offering up your best prospects for name players just to prove a point.

nate
09-07-2007, 05:22 PM
I'd include Bruce in a package to get Santana.

If Pittsburgh's new GM is a fool like Littlefield, I'd aim for Snell with Bailey. Would Atlanta be interested in Bailey for Hudson? Bailey and a bat for Garza?

The other choice of course is to sit and wait. Which seems to be the prevailing wisdom. That's fine--but don't be surprised if that 90% unlikelihood comes and swallows Homer's career and the Reds get nothing out of the bargain. If I'm playing the odds, that's what I'm betting on if the Reds don't move him.

Interesting. I don't know if I'd trade Bruce.

But I'd try Homer for James Shields before Ian Snell.

MikeS21
09-08-2007, 12:39 AM
I get that you've been impressed, but the objective data doesn't support your conclusion. I'll put it this way, if I had a "meh" reaction to Hamilton and the team defense, but the objective data showed they were doing pretty well, I'd start looking for what I was missing. Does the player get better jumps than I thought? What's working in the team dynamic that I hadn't noticed?

I firmly believe in using a pragmatic approach to baseball. The game tells you what's working and what isn't. Hamilton's hasn't been working out all that well in CF so far. He's passable, but that's about it. That's not a slam on him, it's what he's done. I don't expect more from what I've seen. Obviously you do, but how do you jibe your opinion with what's taken place on the field so far? Does rustiness cover it? I suppose it could, but the way it would manifest itself is inconsistent jumps and routes. I haven't seen a ton of that with Hamilton. He's not sloppy. He looks technically sound to me, not showing signs of significant rust. The short coming I've noticed is he just doesn't get there. He starts at the right time, he takes the right route, but he doesn't get there. My take has been that Hamilton's got diesel speed. His top end is fine, but it takes a little longer for him to reach top end.

Your better CFs, at least the ones I've always considered the better CFs, have that instantaneous drag racer acceleration. They get up to speed quickly. Top RFs I've seen - Evans, Winfield, Walker - all had that big gear speed that Hamilton seems to have. They couldn't do the 360-degree coverage of an elite CF, but they could handle the deep stuff really well and cut off rollers before they reached the wall (and then make a strong throw back to the IF to hold the runners). Hamilton's skill set seems better adapted to what I've seen work in RF.
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you on this for a couple days.

I must admit, I haven't paid too much attention to Hamilton's acceleration. I'm seen him get some great jumps, but evidently the great jumps are not the the same as what you are talking about. I'll have to pay closer attention.

I have seen some gaps shots that he hasn't got to, but they appeared to me to be plays that should have been made by the corner OF's. Again, I'll try to play closer attention.

Also, can any one explain what the stat "RF" (range factor) is? Mathematically, I understand how to figure it. I guess I'm trying to understand the value of the stat.

jojo
09-08-2007, 07:14 AM
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you on this for a couple days.

I must admit, I haven't paid too much attention to Hamilton's acceleration. I'm seen him get some great jumps, but evidently the great jumps are not the the same as what you are talking about. I'll have to pay closer attention.

I have seen some gaps shots that he hasn't got to, but they appeared to me to be plays that should have been made by the corner OF's. Again, I'll try to play closer attention.

Also, can any one explain what the stat "RF" (range factor) is? Mathematically, I understand how to figure it. I guess I'm trying to understand the value of the stat.

RF to defensive metrics is like the AMC Pacer to the Indy 500... :cool:

KronoRed
09-08-2007, 11:23 AM
I'd include Bruce in a package to get Santana.


So would I, I'd include Bruce in a package to get any top starter, he hasn't even swung at bat in the majors yet.

Pitching is where it's at.

Falls City Beer
09-08-2007, 11:41 AM
Another point I wanted to add about trading Bailey now versus last offseason is that a bunch of his shine has been knocked off by his putrid debut following on the heels of such hype, plus his subsequent vanishing post-send-down. He'd probably net 3/4 now of what he would have netted last offseason.

And the Reds have no one but themselves to blame for that little stunt.

OnBaseMachine
09-08-2007, 11:54 AM
Another point I wanted to add about trading Bailey now versus last offseason is that a bunch of his shine has been knocked off by his putrid debut following on the heels of such hype, plus his subsequent vanishing post-send-down. He'd probably net 3/4 now of what he would have netted last offseason.

And the Reds have no one but themselves to blame for that little stunt.

Meanwhile, the guy FCB proposed trading Homer Bailey for last season has a 6.45 ERA this year (Jason Jennings). Good thing the Reds didn't listen to your advice. I'll take my chances with Homer Bailey. Kid has terrific stuff, he just needs to refine it a bit. He made six major league starts (two very good starts, two awful starts, and two average starts). Yeah he didn't set the world on fire but it wasn't the worst debut I've ever seen. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I think Homer Bailey is going to be a very good pitcher someday but not right now. I expect him to post an ERA in the 4.50-4.85 area next season with a pretty solid strikeout rate. 2009 is the target year when I think he'll become a top-of-the-rotation starter. Give him time.

Falls City Beer
09-08-2007, 01:17 PM
Meanwhile, the guy FCB proposed trading Homer Bailey for last season has a 6.45 ERA this year (Jason Jennings). Good thing the Reds didn't listen to your advice. I'll take my chances with Homer Bailey. Kid has terrific stuff, he just needs to refine it a bit. He made six major league starts (two very good starts, two awful starts, and two average starts). Yeah he didn't set the world on fire but it wasn't the worst debut I've ever seen. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I think Homer Bailey is going to be a very good pitcher someday but not right now. I expect him to post an ERA in the 4.50-4.85 area next season with a pretty solid strikeout rate. 2009 is the target year when I think he'll become a top-of-the-rotation starter. Give him time.

Harang and Arroyowill be gone by the time Homer's able to help. Something to keep in mind.

OnBaseMachine
09-08-2007, 01:24 PM
Harang and Arroyowill be gone by the time Homer's able to help. Something to keep in mind.

Harang and Arroyo are signed through 2010 with an option for 2011. I think Homer can be an average pitcher next season and a very good one by 2009. Throw in Johnny Cueto and this team has the makings of a solid starting staff fairly soon.

Bill
09-08-2007, 01:25 PM
In responding to just the first page, Franklin Guttierrez could be a target. He is a better center fielder than Sizemore, has a quick bat, decent power, good speed. He strikes out a lot, but is just 24. If Cleveland looks for a big bat in a corner OF, he may become available. On the pitching side, Sowers or Cliff Lee might be interesting targets as well though Lee has a contract through 09 I believe.

Razor Shines
09-08-2007, 01:33 PM
As for the list, I think a couple names not yet mentioned for the market come from the big 2 markets. Johnny Damon looks to be very available with Melky taking over in NY and Coco Crisp probably will be moved to make room for Ellsbury.

Damon is signed through 2009 at $13 Million per year and its questionable whether he can play CF anymore IMO. I'd pass, but he is probably out there.


One thing is for sure though. If we got Damon we would have an upgrade over Hamilton's arm in CF. Damon's easily got the best OF arm in baseball.

mth123
09-08-2007, 01:35 PM
In responding to just the first page, Franklin Guttierrez could be a target. He is a better center fielder than Sizemore, has a quick bat, decent power, good speed. He strikes out a lot, but is just 24. If Cleveland looks for a big bat in a corner OF, he may become available. On the pitching side, Sowers or Cliff Lee might be interesting targets as well though Lee has a contract through 09 I believe.

A Guttierrez and Lee package from Cleveland would be intriguing. I doubt they would take Jr and I'd want more than that for Dunn. Good thoughts though.

No interest is Sowers.

Falls City Beer
09-08-2007, 02:21 PM
Harang and Arroyo are signed through 2010 with an option for 2011. I think Homer can be an average pitcher next season and a very good one by 2009. Throw in Johnny Cueto and this team has the makings of a solid starting staff fairly soon.

You realize that both Cueto and Bailey making a major impact on the starting rotation would be the equivalent of winning the PowerBall on consecutive days. Do you really think Arroyo's going to be any good in 2009 or 2010? I think the collapse begins next season. Too damn much mileage on a skinny frame.

The Reds need help from the outside in order to win under the Harang/Arroyo penumbra. It really is as simple as that. Without it, they will scuttle through 2010, whether or not Bailey turns into Clemens in 2009.

Falls City Beer
09-08-2007, 02:23 PM
A Guttierrez and Lee package from Cleveland would be intriguing. I doubt they would take Jr and I'd want more than that for Dunn. Good thoughts though.

No interest is Sowers.

No interest in Cliff Lee--unless we could get him for near league-minimum.

PuffyPig
09-08-2007, 02:48 PM
Meanwhile, the guy FCB proposed trading Homer Bailey for last season has a 6.45 ERA this year (Jason Jennings).


And is now a Free Agent.

mth123
09-08-2007, 03:16 PM
No interest in Cliff Lee--unless we could get him for near league-minimum.

Lee has had an awful year and he is a fly ball guy. You may be right about him. I think I would only be after him straight up if the Indians would agree to take some pricey junk back (Freel, Stanton) off the Red's hands. But if taking him on could net a decent young player like Guttierrez, I'd chalk it up to the cost of acquiring talent. Meanwhile, he's another guy for the mix who has to be better than Dumatrait.

I suppose the problem with that type of thinking is that the Reds would stop there and view Lee as the answer and live or die with him.

Aronchis
09-08-2007, 03:27 PM
You realize that both Cueto and Bailey making a major impact on the starting rotation would be the equivalent of winning the PowerBall on consecutive days. Do you really think Arroyo's going to be any good in 2009 or 2010? I think the collapse begins next season. Too damn much mileage on a skinny frame.

The Reds need help from the outside in order to win under the Harang/Arroyo penumbra. It really is as simple as that. Without it, they will scuttle through 2010, whether or not Bailey turns into Clemens in 2009.

or a plan coming into frutition. The Reds are due for some impressive development out of young pitching, though Homer's may be emotional to a degree.

Falls City Beer
09-08-2007, 03:43 PM
Lee has had an awful year and he is a fly ball guy. You may be right about him. I think I would only be after him straight up if the Indians would agree to take some pricey junk back (Freel, Stanton) off the Red's hands. But if taking him on could net a decent young player like Guttierrez, I'd chalk it up to the cost of acquiring talent. Meanwhile, he's another guy for the mix who has to be better than Dumatrait.

I suppose the problem with that type of thinking is that the Reds would stop there and view Lee as the answer and live or die with him.

I see what you're saying: if the price for getting a guy like Guttierez is to take on a stiff like Lee, I might be for it. Provided the Reds didn't have to send Cleveland back much in the way of prospects or talent.

Falls City Beer
09-08-2007, 03:46 PM
or a plan coming into frutition. The Reds are due for some impressive development out of young pitching, though Homer's may be emotional to a degree.

The Reds' failure to develop starting pitchers has nothing to do with Fortune having it in for this organization--or a run of bad luck that's bound to end someday. The Reds' failure is a product of poor quality and awful development; an improvement in which remains very much to be seen.

Reds Nd2
09-17-2007, 08:49 PM
Eric Davis would do nicely, but we'd need a time machine for that. Generally speaking, I like a CF who can play shallow with the legs to get into the gaps and back to the wall.
Better replying late than never I suppose. The other players that I named earlier in the thread were off the top of my head and probably weren't good choices that might actually be available to the Reds, but this one might be. I give you Reggie Willits. His power numbers won't impress you no matter what metrics you use, so he's no Eric Davis. But, he's got wheels and I'd like to see how that switch hitting gap power translates at GABP, Wrigley, and Minute Maid.

As a rule I don't worry about overpaying if it's a good player. No one ever taunts a team for paying too much for a guy who helps it win games on a regular basis. Obviously there's limits on the amount of overpayment, but usually if a guy plays well he doesn't seem all that overpaid after two or three years.
I agree. It's just the limits of overpayment that concern me. In the end, it just depends on the player.

Johan Santana is the best pitcher alive.
Johan Santana scares me, alot. The little nicks and bangs over the years. I just have the feeling that something is going to go BANG in a big way with Santana and I don't know why. Some team is going to overpay for him next season. Be it a one year rental, or a long term deal, and that team will be screwed in the long term either way.

I know EXACTLY how great Bruce is going to be. But I know how BADLY the Reds need pitching.
I'd never, ever, trade a bat with that much potential for pitching. No matter how much my team needed pitching.