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Kc61
09-26-2007, 12:25 AM
Weathers. Burton. Bray. Guardado. Majewski. Salmon. Coutlangus. Stanton. Coffey. Saarloos. McBeth. Gosling. Pelland. Guevera. Roenicke. Viola. Possibly Shearn. Hopefully some new guys.

Lots of bullpen names for next year. Who stays and who goes?

The front office of the Reds has no more important task this winter than to decide which relievers will be with the Reds next year, which ones will be at AAA getting ready, and which ones will be gone.

Will the decisions be made on merit or on the basis of contracts and options? Will the front office favor guys acquired in recent trades?

These are critical questions for this team. It cannot have another year with a 5.00 plus ERA from its bullpen. Watching the pen tonight would give any Reds fan heartburn.

WVRedsFan
09-26-2007, 01:27 AM
Weathers. Burton. Bray. Guardado. Majewski. Salmon. Coutlangus. Stanton. Coffey. Saarloos. McBeth. Gosling. Pelland. Guevera. Roenicke. Viola. Possibly Shearn. Hopefully some new guys.

Lots of bullpen names for next year. Who stays and who goes?

The front office of the Reds has no more important task this winter than to decide which relievers will be with the Reds next year, which ones will be at AAA getting ready, and which ones will be gone.

Will the decisions be made on merit or on the basis of contracts and options? Will the front office favor guys acquired in recent trades?

These are critical questions for this team. It cannot have another year with a 5.00 plus ERA from its bullpen. Watching the pen tonight would give any Reds fan heartburn.

Good question. My take (and I guess nobody cares what I think) is that Weathers, Burton, Bray, Salmon, and Coutlangas stay. That's five. Guardado is a possibility if he continues to pitch well and only if the asking price is less than published. McBeth needs more seasoning in the minors (and the same could ge said for Bray).

Majewski, Stanton, Saarloos, and the rest need to be sent on their merry way. Majewski is just not what we need--hittable and horrible at the same time. Stanton is washed up. The slow stuff just doesn't work anymore. Saarloos just didn't work out and the rest are fodder.

Coffey? I have no idea. So much potential, but so little performance. Trade him? I don't know, but the Coffey we've seen this year does not belong on this club.

Spring training will tell us a lot more, but not as much as we need.

I imagine Shearn will be a candidate for the rotation.

pedro
09-26-2007, 01:41 AM
Good question. My take (and I guess nobody cares what I think) is that Weathers, Burton, Bray, Salmon, and Coutlangas stay. That's five. Guardado is a possibility if he continues to pitch well and only if the asking price is less than published. McBeth needs more seasoning in the minors (and the same could ge said for Bray).

Majewski, Stanton, Saarloos, and the rest need to be sent on their merry way. Majewski is just not what we need--hittable and horrible at the same time. Stanton is washed up. The slow stuff just doesn't work anymore. Saarloos just didn't work out and the rest are fodder.

Coffey? I have no idea. So much potential, but so little performance. Trade him? I don't know, but the Coffey we've seen this year does not belong on this club.

Spring training will tell us a lot more, but not as much as we need.

I imagine Shearn will be a candidate for the rotation.

I think that's a pretty good read on the relief situation. I do think the Reds would do well to try and bring in another good reliever from the outside via either a trade or free agency though I suspect that might not be as easy as it sounds.

LoganBuck
09-26-2007, 07:41 AM
I almost prefer Gosling as a LOOGY to Coutlangus right now.

RedlegJake
09-26-2007, 02:52 PM
Good question. My take (and I guess nobody cares what I think) is that Weathers, Burton, Bray, Salmon, and Coutlangas stay. That's five. Guardado is a possibility if he continues to pitch well and only if the asking price is less than published. McBeth needs more seasoning in the minors (and the same could ge said for Bray).

Majewski, Stanton, Saarloos, and the rest need to be sent on their merry way. Majewski is just not what we need--hittable and horrible at the same time. Stanton is washed up. The slow stuff just doesn't work anymore. Saarloos just didn't work out and the rest are fodder.

Coffey? I have no idea. So much potential, but so little performance. Trade him? I don't know, but the Coffey we've seen this year does not belong on this club.

Spring training will tell us a lot more, but not as much as we need.

I imagine Shearn will be a candidate for the rotation.

Excellent post.

Falls City Beer
09-26-2007, 03:00 PM
Keep Burton, Cout, and Salmon (though keep an eye on him--he's definitely not a super solid bet).

Look to trade Weathers. Look to grab some heat-throwing failed starter to plug into the back end. Find a good long guy or two (this would be less important with a greater number of capable starters added to the rotation).

Kc61
09-26-2007, 03:11 PM
Keep Guardado. Of course, try for a more reasonable contract with incentives, but keep him. He's thrown much better lately.

He knows how to do relief pitching. If healthy he will do it well. Guardado, Weathers, Burton and a new hard throwing righty reliever would be a good group for the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Falls City Beer
09-26-2007, 03:24 PM
Keep Guardado. Of course, try for a more reasonable contract with incentives, but keep him. He's thrown much better lately.

He knows how to do relief pitching. If healthy he will do it well. Guardado, Weathers, Burton and a new hard throwing righty reliever would be a good group for the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

I have no problem with giving Eddie major league minimum, either. But seriously, nothing over 500,000 guaranteed, one year.

Chip R
09-26-2007, 03:29 PM
The good news is that these decisions don't have to be made right away. To answer one of KC's questions, decisions will be made based on contracts and options just like they always are. So that means that guys like Stanton will be here next season. Coffey signed an extention and he's probably out of options so he's probably got a secure spot as well.

I might go to $1M for Eddie. I think he can be an effective LOOGY. I like him more than Bray or Coutlangus right now.

Kc61
09-26-2007, 03:55 PM
The good news is that these decisions don't have to be made right away.

I might go to $1M for Eddie. I think he can be an effective LOOGY. I like him more than Bray or Coutlangus right now.


I wouldn't pay Eddie $3 million, but I'd pay him more than $1 million if necessary. All the young arms in the world might not be able to replicate what this guy has shown he can do. I know he's coming off surgery, but you have to be impressed with his last few outings. After a winter off, with further rehab if needed, he should be good for next year.

As I've said before, I don't want to spend next year watching unready minor leaguers tryout at the major league level. Yes, a couple of spots should be devoted to promising youngsters, say Bray and Salmon, each of whom has had some major league success. Or maybe Cout.

But I want three or four late inning relievers who have proven themselves at this level. If Guardado is healthy, I think he still has it and I would pay him (more than some posters). What I wouldn't do is go multi-year given his injury history.

And I would include Burton as proven based on his second half performance. I know it could backfire, but it's a chance I'd take.

Chip R
09-26-2007, 04:12 PM
I wouldn't pay Eddie $3 million, but I'd pay him more than $1 million if necessary. All the young arms in the world might not be able to replicate what this guy has shown he can do. I know he's coming off surgery, but you have to be impressed with his last few outings. After a winter off, with further rehab if needed, he should be good for next year.

As I've said before, I don't want to spend next year watching unready minor leaguers tryout at the major league level. Yes, a couple of spots should be devoted to promising youngsters, say Bray and Salmon, each of whom has had some major league success. Or maybe Cout.

But I want three or four late inning relievers who have proven themselves at this level. If Guardado is healthy, I think he still has it and I would pay him (more than some posters). What I wouldn't do is go multi-year given his injury history.

And I would include Burton as proven based on his second half performance. I know it could backfire, but it's a chance I'd take.


I agree. Problem is, as I said, there is going to be some dreck on this staff due to contract extentions and guys who are OOO.

dfs
09-26-2007, 05:29 PM
The front office of the Reds has no more important task this winter than to decide which relievers will be with the Reds next year, which ones will be at AAA getting ready, and which ones will be gone.

I would disagree with this. The pen is job#2. The starting rotation is job #1. Everything else hinges on progress being made there.

They can't go into next season with a rotation of Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, Belisle and Shearn with just Maloney and Cueto likely to make the jump from AAA. They need more there.

That's not to say the decisions made about the pen are not important, because they are.

WVRedsFan
09-26-2007, 05:42 PM
I would disagree with this. The pen is job#2. The starting rotation is job #1. Everything else hinges on progress being made there.

They can't go into next season with a rotation of Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, Belisle and Shearn with just Maloney and Cueto likely to make the jump from AAA. They need more there.

That's not to say the decisions made about the pen are not important, because they are.
Agreement here. After Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, and Homer (yes, I think he's going to be in the rotation), you have Shearn
as the only possible fifth starter (heck, in Belisle you have another) unless we go the free agency route (not likely) or hope that Maloney or Cueto show enough to take a job.

Then you deal with the bullpen. If I were Krivsky, I'd put that off as long as possible. It has to be depressing.

bucksfan2
09-27-2007, 10:18 AM
Agreement here. After Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, and Homer (yes, I think he's going to be in the rotation), you have Shearn
as the only possible fifth starter (heck, in Belisle you have another) unless we go the free agency route (not likely) or hope that Maloney or Cueto show enough to take a job.

Then you deal with the bullpen. If I were Krivsky, I'd put that off as long as possible. It has to be depressing.

To start the season next year the only sure pitchers in the rotation are Harang, Arroyo, and Bailey. Belisle has done nothing this year to show that he will be able to assume the 5th starter next season. I would like to see the reds pursue Jennings as an option. He is having a bad year but put up some good numbers considering he pitched in Coors field for all those years.

The bullpen is a different animal. The for sures are Weathers, Bray, and Burton. Stanton is probably back because of his contract. I wouldn't doubt if he finds the same fate Cormier did if he struggles next season. I don't know if Coffey makes the team out of spring training next season. I wouldn't doubt it if Guardado makes it. I don't know if the pick up his option or try and negotiate a new deal but I forsee him back next season. I would assume the likes of Salmon, Maj, McBeth, Coffey, Gosling, etc. all battle it out for a roster spot. I also wouldn't be suprised if the reds pick up another Rule V pitcher in the draft.

Kc61
09-27-2007, 10:48 AM
I would disagree with this. The pen is job#2. The starting rotation is job #1. Everything else hinges on progress being made there.

They can't go into next season with a rotation of Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, Belisle and Shearn with just Maloney and Cueto likely to make the jump from AAA. They need more there.

That's not to say the decisions made about the pen are not important, because they are.

Presumably the front office can focus on two things at once. They had better focus on the pen, along with adding one or more starters, or the team will continue to be bad. Just look at the numbers.

I saw today that Guardado is saying he wants his option picked up at $3.5 million or he may try to pitch closer to home in California. This is probably a negotiating ploy to try to get as much as possible from the Reds. I can understand this. Eddie has been a quality closer for many years and by today's standards $3.5 million is not a fortune.

I would, of course, try to negotiate him down to a more reasonable level, but if you go into next year with another parade of AAA relievers trying things out I fear disaster. Would really like to have this guy in the pen next year.

I can just imagine throwing Coffey, Stanton and Maj out there next year against the Yankees, Indians, and Red Sox.

Falls City Beer
09-27-2007, 11:21 AM
I wouldn't pay Eddie $3 million, but I'd pay him more than $1 million if necessary. All the young arms in the world might not be able to replicate what this guy has shown he can do. I know he's coming off surgery, but you have to be impressed with his last few outings. After a winter off, with further rehab if needed, he should be good for next year.

As I've said before, I don't want to spend next year watching unready minor leaguers tryout at the major league level. Yes, a couple of spots should be devoted to promising youngsters, say Bray and Salmon, each of whom has had some major league success. Or maybe Cout.

But I want three or four late inning relievers who have proven themselves at this level. If Guardado is healthy, I think he still has it and I would pay him (more than some posters). What I wouldn't do is go multi-year given his injury history.

And I would include Burton as proven based on his second half performance. I know it could backfire, but it's a chance I'd take.


Why would you guarantee a reliever in his late 30s with serious health concerns more than major league minimum? I actually would rather try to sign him to a minor league contract, but surely someone will offer him major league minimum guaranteed. Wayne's biggest problem last offseason was paying big cash to bottom rung, low-ceiling relievers. Time to tighten that belt.

Kc61
09-27-2007, 01:39 PM
Why would you guarantee a reliever in his late 30s with serious health concerns more than major league minimum? I actually would rather try to sign him to a minor league contract, but surely someone will offer him major league minimum guaranteed. Wayne's biggest problem last offseason was paying big cash to bottom rung, low-ceiling relievers. Time to tighten that belt.

Eddie Guardado is hardly "bottom rung." He was a fine closer for many years and pitched very well with the Reds last year. And has looked ok in his comeback from injury.

As for ceilings, I've seen a lot of them this year. Most wound up in Louisville after being blasted in the major leagues.

If healthy, my guess is there will be a lot of interest in Guardado this off-season. Bullpens are failing all over the place in the major leagues. If the Reds let him go, he'll sign elsewhere for well over the major league minimum. Big market teams will want him.

I agree you don't throw away money on marginal pitchers. That's not this guy.

RedsManRick
09-27-2007, 01:52 PM
If your smart, guaranteed money is for a performance floor, in consideration of a ceiling. Personally, I'd love to see more and more highly incentive-laden contracts so that a player can be paid for what he's capable of doing once he's actually done it, without putting the team at a great risk. The player's past performance establishes his "floor", such that a team is willing to guarantee him more money. Give the Gil Meche's of the world $20M in guaranteed money and then bicker about the size of the incentives. You could pass some language in the Basic Agreement along the lines of for contracts with a total obtainable value over $Y amount, X% must be guaranteed. That way you peg the guaranteed money floor to the market to protect wages.

In this market, players get paid almost exclusively for their ceilings, with incentives only being built in to account for injury issues.

If you can get Eddie for a non-guaranteed contract with a $500,000 roster bonus and $500k for every 10 IP, then fine. Give him an out clause if he's not on the 25 man roster by April 10th or something. But don't guarantee him a dime.

Kc61
09-27-2007, 01:59 PM
If your smart, guaranteed money is for a performance floor, in consideration of a ceiling.

If you can get Eddie for a non-guaranteed contract with a $500,000 roster bonus and $500k for every 10 IP, then fine. Give him an out clause if he's not on the 25 man roster by April 10th or something. But don't guarantee him a dime.


Fine. Eddie will say no. So what's your bullpen?

Cooper
09-27-2007, 02:00 PM
Keep the guys who have a high K/9 innings pitched ratio. The park is too small to get by with sinker ball pitchers (Saarloos) or pitchers who supposedly get by on guile (Stanton). That means giving Coffey a chance to comeback.

As for Eddie G. Seems like 1 million contract feels right....but if he isn't striking out guys in spring training then i would cut him loose.

RedsManRick
09-27-2007, 02:28 PM
Fine. Eddie will say no. So what's your bullpen?

Let's see:

CL: Weathers
SU: Burton
SU: Bray
MR: Salmon
MR: McBeth/Coffey
MR: Coutlangus
LR: Stanton

In AAA:
R McBeth/Coffey, 27 (McBeth is a converted position player)
R Majewski, 28
L Pelland, 24
R Guevara, 26
R Roenicke, 25
L Viola, 24
R Asadoorian, 27 (converted position player)

Of course, all of those positions outside of closer and primary setup guy (if he's healthy and on the roster, Weathers is your closer) are up for grabs based on performance. All the of the guys in AAA are or should be ready to go at the major league level sometime in 2008, if not immediately.

I'm sorry, but I don't see the sense in guaranteeing money to Eddie Guardado, a 37-year-old control-specialist coming off elbow surgery. Yes, he has a history of success, and that merits giving him an opportunity to justify a roster spot and some money. But we DO have options. Guardado does not make the difference on this team. If we want to give FA money to a reliever, let's at least find somebody who's healthy and had some success in 2007.

Falls City Beer
09-27-2007, 03:02 PM
Eddie Guardado is hardly "bottom rung." He was a fine closer for many years and pitched very well with the Reds last year. And has looked ok in his comeback from injury.

As for ceilings, I've seen a lot of them this year. Most wound up in Louisville after being blasted in the major leagues.

If healthy, my guess is there will be a lot of interest in Guardado this off-season. Bullpens are failing all over the place in the major leagues. If the Reds let him go, he'll sign elsewhere for well over the major league minimum. Big market teams will want him.

I agree you don't throw away money on marginal pitchers. That's not this guy.

If Guardado were a starter, I'd have no problem guaranteeing him some decent coin--injury risk and all. But he's a reliever. Any imbecile not named Wayne Krivsky should be able to fashion a working bullpen from what's already here and the dustbin of failed starters around MLB *provided* there's some stability in the rotation.

Which leads me to my and dfs's original contention: fix the rotation, then worry about the bullpen. The bullpen's problems shrink or grow in proportion to the size and strength of the rotation: bigger, better rotation, fewer bullpen arms needed. Get that bona fide #3, then scour the countryside for hardthrowers.

Ltlabner
09-27-2007, 04:03 PM
Any imbecile not named Wayne Krivsky should be able to fashion a working bullpen from what's already here and the dustbin of failed starters around MLB *provided* there's some stability in the rotation.

So any GM with a shakey bullpen is an imbecile? I mean, if they can do it here in lowley Redsville, they ought to be able to do it in highprofile places like NY or LA right?

Wow...lots of imbeciles running around baseball these days.

redsmetz
09-27-2007, 05:12 PM
Which leads me to my and dfs's original contention: fix the rotation, then worry about the bullpen. The bullpen's problems shrink or grow in proportion to the size and strength of the rotation: bigger, better rotation, fewer bullpen arms needed. Get that bona fide #3, then scour the countryside for hardthrowers.

I haven't been following this discussion all the way through, but Mackanin more or less made this point recently. He said the goal is to not have six inning starts, but ones who routinely take you into the 7th and 8th innings. He said after that, you're able to use your bullpen much more creatively and effectively (and creative is the word he used, as I recall).

Kc61
09-27-2007, 06:32 PM
The Reds bullpen has a 5.12 ERA right now. This is the worst in the NL. To show you how bad it is, the Mets -- also lacking a great pen and 10th in the league -- have a 4.10. More than a run per nine innings better. Most of the best teams have pen ERAs in the 3.6 to 4 range (SD, off the charts, 2.95).

Piecing together a pen by bottom fishing and running another rookie tryout camp is a recipe for disaster. I wouldn't do it. I'd build on the best guys I have now and add to it. I'd keep Weathers, Burton, Guardado for the late innings and would spend for another late inning man. If you want to skimp or go with rookies, two or three middle inning slots perhaps for that.

corkedbat
09-27-2007, 09:23 PM
I'm not a huge fan of paying Eddie $3.5M, but it beats the heck out of ever seeing Stanton ever throw another pitch in a Reds uni - blech!

I'm afraid though that his guaranteed contract will guarantee him a spot (at least at the season's beginning). That's one contract though that I would love to see them eat.

Kc61
09-27-2007, 09:42 PM
Let's see:

CL: Weathers
SU: Burton
SU: Bray
MR: Salmon
MR: McBeth/Coffey
MR: Coutlangus
LR: Stanton

In AAA:
R McBeth/Coffey, 27 (McBeth is a converted position player)
R Majewski, 28
L Pelland, 24
R Guevara, 26
R Roenicke, 25
L Viola, 24
R Asadoorian, 27 (converted position player)

Guardado does not make the difference on this team. If we want to give FA money to a reliever, let's at least find somebody who's healthy and had some success in 2007.

With those two bullpens, I'll probably spend a lot of time following Louisville next year. McBeth, Coffey, Stanton, Coutlangus? Not an improvement, sorry.

I'll go with Weathers, Guardado, Burton, new guy, Bray, Salmon, new guy.

Coffey, Stanton, Majewski, Saarloos elsewhere. Coutlangus and McBeth at AAA with the young kids.

I'd give Pelland a chance to make team in the spring.

RedsManRick
09-28-2007, 12:23 AM
I'm sure Guardado will be a great addition when his arm falls off again in May. Mike Stanton had a nice long, productive career as well. I'd rather cut bait a year too early than a year too late. If Eddie demands a multi-million dollar guaranteed contract, let somebody else give it to him.

LoganBuck
09-28-2007, 07:58 AM
I'm sure Guardado will be a great addition when his arm falls off again in May. Mike Stanton had a nice long, productive career as well. I'd rather cut bait a year too early than a year too late. If Eddie demands a multi-million dollar guaranteed contract, let somebody else give it to him.

The going rate for relievers is going to be very high. Last year and the year before it was high as well, and this year across the majors relief pitching has been the bane of many teams. Guardado may be a tad expensive, given what he is likely to be, but I would rather roll the dice on a pitcher like him, to have a Norm Charlton type short term resurgence. If you look at his comps many of those guys were/are able to battle arm injuries and survive on guts and guile. I say bring him back.

If he fails call up a youngster and fill the role, for near the minimum salary. I bet Pelland will be able to miss a bat or two.

puca
09-28-2007, 09:12 AM
If Guardado were a starter, I'd have no problem guaranteeing him some decent coin--injury risk and all. But he's a reliever. Any imbecile not named Wayne Krivsky should be able to fashion a working bullpen from what's already here and the dustbin of failed starters around MLB *provided* there's some stability in the rotation.

Which leads me to my and dfs's original contention: fix the rotation, then worry about the bullpen. The bullpen's problems shrink or grow in proportion to the size and strength of the rotation: bigger, better rotation, fewer bullpen arms needed. Get that bona fide #3, then scour the countryside for hardthrowers.


Yes, Yes and Yes.

I have never agreed with you more FCB. The key to a good bullpen is underexposure. Fix the rotation and the bullpen is not a problem. The reason most relievers are not starters are because they suffer when overexposed.

puca
09-28-2007, 09:14 AM
So any GM with a shakey bullpen is an imbecile? I mean, if they can do it here in lowley Redsville, they ought to be able to do it in highprofile places like NY or LA right?

Wow...lots of imbeciles running around baseball these days.

Not what FCB was saying at all.

Teams with good starting pitching don't get killed by middle relief. You don't need a bullpen 7 deep if you have a quality starting staff.

puca
09-28-2007, 09:44 AM
The Reds bullpen has a 5.12 ERA right now. This is the worst in the NL. To show you how bad it is, the Mets -- also lacking a great pen and 10th in the league -- have a 4.10. More than a run per nine innings better. Most of the best teams have pen ERAs in the 3.6 to 4 range (SD, off the charts, 2.95).

Piecing together a pen by bottom fishing and running another rookie tryout camp is a recipe for disaster. I wouldn't do it. I'd build on the best guys I have now and add to it. I'd keep Weathers, Burton, Guardado for the late innings and would spend for another late inning man. If you want to skimp or go with rookies, two or three middle inning slots perhaps for that.

Well not every team can run out the likes of Cla Meredith, Heath Bell, Kevin Cameron and Doug Brocail. They were surely the most sought after middle relievers going into last season. I'm not sure how San Diego managed to acquire them all.

BoydsOfSummer
09-28-2007, 11:22 AM
No way in bloody hell I'd sign Eddie G. to more than minimum.

RedsManRick
09-28-2007, 11:44 AM
Well not every team can run out the likes of Cla Meredith, Heath Bell, Kevin Cameron and Doug Brocail. They were surely the most sought after middle relievers going into last season. I'm not sure how San Diego managed to acquire them all.

I'm pretty sure they didn't go out and give millions to a 37 year old LOOGY with a surgically repaired elbow... :p:

(Brocail is making $500k...)

mth123
09-29-2007, 01:48 PM
I just hope that the emergence of Burton has registered with WK. No need to pay for mediocrity like Cormier and Stanton. Let the kids and the unproven play. Its worked for this year's play-off contenders most of whom have trusted a good arm in a key role over the retread vets:

Yankees - Joba Chamberlain
Red Sox - Hideki Okajima
Indians - Rafael Perez
Cubs - Carlos Marmol
Padres - Heath Bell
Rockies - Manny Corpas
Diamondbacks - Tony Pena, Doug Slaten, Juan Cruz

Give me Salmon, McBeth and Coutlangus 100 times out of 100 over bringing in more 40ish question marks.

As for Guardado, I think WK needs to guage whether he could be traded in spring training as far as the option goes. I would not exercise the option with a plan on him having a bullpen role in 2008, but if the Reds could excercise the option and trade him for more up and coming help, then do it. (I personally think that there is no trade market and I'd let him walk.) Flyer has pointed out many times, Guardado's shoulder has never been fixed. Lots of time off and some judicious usage late in the year have kept it under control IMO. Guardado started pitching well on 8/23 when he started going at least 3 or 4 days between appearances. I'm very skeptical of him holding up with regular work. No need to pay $3.5 Million for a guy who won't be there. Worse yet, penciling him in stops the team from looking elsewhere for real help.