PDA

View Full Version : What's your Personal Krivsky Deadline?



Pages : 1 [2]

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 02:12 PM
Nowhere do fans go and see a major league team b/c it has good prospects in the minors. Buzz or not.

I'm pretty sure a lot of fans would have been turned off by the idea of Castro at SS and that's who the Reds had when they signed AG.

I'm also pretty sure that the attendance would not have fluctuated wildly dependant upon who was playing SS in '07. If the fans weren't going to show up in droves when they were a couple games out of 1st in '06, Gonzalez/Castro would not be a dealbreaker.

jojo
10-09-2007, 02:42 PM
I'm also pretty sure that the attendance would not have fluctuated wildly dependant upon who was playing SS in '07. If the fans weren't going to show up in droves when they were a couple games out of 1st in '06, Gonzalez/Castro would not be a dealbreaker.

Attendance boosts for playoff years usually lag behind the playoff appearance (i.e. a playoff appearance in '07 wouldn't be expected to really boost attendance until the following year) because the playoffs boost expectations which translates into greater season ticket sales, increased ad revenue and sales of swag etc...

bucksfan2
10-09-2007, 02:42 PM
Fans come to the ball park to see the major league team. When Bailey was in the minors there was a lot of buzz about him, however that didn't bring more fans to the stadium. No casual fan is going to say "I want to see the reds becasue they have a really good pitching prospect in AAA" No matter how bad your team is you still have to put a major league team together. We are not the Marlins nor have the ability to act like they do. A great minor league system one year doesn't mean jack in terms of attendance and revenue of a ball club on that particular year. You have to draft, develop, trade for, and assemble a good minor league system, I understand that but you still have a major league club that you have to consider.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 02:45 PM
Attendance boosts for playoff years usually lag behind the playoff appearance (i.e. a playoff appearance in '07 wouldn't be expected to really boost attendance until the following year) because the playoffs boost expectations which translates into greater season ticket sales, increased ad revenue and sales of swag etc...

Having to cut ticket prices in half during a playoff race is a joke.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 02:48 PM
Fans come to the ball park to see the major league team. When Bailey was in the minors there was a lot of buzz about him, however that didn't bring more fans to the stadium. No casual fan is going to say "I want to see the reds becasue they have a really good pitching prospect in AAA" No matter how bad your team is you still have to put a major league team together. We are not the Marlins nor have the ability to act like they do. A great minor league system one year doesn't mean jack in terms of attendance and revenue of a ball club on that particular year. You have to draft, develop, trade for, and assemble a good minor league system, I understand that but you still have a major league club that you have to consider.

Of course, but the discussion here is about Wayne's signings last season. To me, attendance wouldn't have materially suffered if he stayed away from his off-season FA acquisitions. Until this team becomes a consistent winner I bet attendance stays in the 2M range, give or take. Gonzo doesn't make them a consistent winner. Pumping money into the farm system would help a lot more.

westofyou
10-09-2007, 02:56 PM
The Reds are the only team in MLB whose all time attendance was achieved in the 70's. It's been trotted out here before that the team has a fan base that only comes out for winners and to suggest that they could pull in 2 million with a Marlins approach is ignoring the long history of attendance in the Cincinnati area, especially since the last time the team averaged above the league average was in 2000, on the heels of a successful season, before that it was 1995 and before that it took the 1990-1993 teams to buoy them above league average.

jojo
10-09-2007, 02:57 PM
Having to cut ticket prices in half during a playoff race is a joke.

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything.

Caveat Emperor
10-09-2007, 02:57 PM
Pumping money into the farm system would help a lot more.

I'd bet you real money that more people went out and looked at season ticket packages last offseason when the Gonzlez signing was on the front pages of the Enquirer than when Jay Bruce or Homer Bailey was drafted.

Ltlabner
10-09-2007, 03:04 PM
Those in Cincy might be able to answer this question. In relation to the buzz around the Reds team over the past few years, how has the Votto/Bailey/Bruce/Cueto buzz been? Better, worse, nothing at all? I think the promiose of a strong system should be able to generate some fan interest in the least.

Most casual fans can't even name 90% of the starting line up of the big team. You really think they are going to get all jazzed up because of some kid they've never heard of down in Chattanooga? They could care less about the "promise of the farm system".

They want to be entertained by the team on the field. When Votto/Bailey/Bruce/Cueto actually step on the GABP field, that's when people actually start comming down to the ballpark (assuming said prospect has been talked about/hyped).

Nobody comes to GABP because a kid is tearing it up in Billings.

bucksfan2
10-09-2007, 03:09 PM
Of course, but the discussion here is about Wayne's signings last season. To me, attendance wouldn't have materially suffered if he stayed away from his off-season FA acquisitions. Until this team becomes a consistent winner I bet attendance stays in the 2M range, give or take. Gonzo doesn't make them a consistent winner. Pumping money into the farm system would help a lot more.

But the problem is that pumping the money into the farm system is far from a sure thing. If you bypass signing any free agents and pumping most of the money into the farm system you are rolling the dice on teenagers. You are rolling the dice with you recent history of developing players. Even if they bypassed signing Gonzo and let Castro have the full time job their best SS prospect was Janish who had yet learned how to hit he ball in the minors. If you give the job to Castro and draft/sign a SS you still are years away from the drafted SS to make the big league club. In this off season you are still looking for answers at SS while your drafted SS is still 3-5 years away. Lets assume that they again go on the cheap and have a Castro or Lopez or Janish as the stop gap SS while the drafted SS is again no where close to contributing to the big league club. You may attempt to make the organizatoin better but what happens if this 18 year old kid doesn't pan out or injures himself. You are left with paying stop gap SS until you draft and develop on who makes it to the bigs.

redsmetz
10-09-2007, 03:11 PM
Just a couple of thoughts and then I have work to finish...

Cutting ticket prices in half during a pennant race is a joke, but last year was still coming off all of the years of neglect and frankly this year was feeling the residuals of that this year. I know when I went to one of the Astros games in the last week of the season I thought they should have done it again. It would have been better to have had another 10,000 at half price than not at all.

I think with regards to the example of Gonzalez and years of his contract, I've always believed he was a stopgap, but not similar to Hatteberg's (hence why I think there's a difference in the contracts, to some degree). At SS, we have no known heir apparent, therefore that's why a three year deal makes sense. Now, we either develop someone during that time or we secure someone who can develop into the next shortstop. In fact, as WK continues to grab players off of waivers, signs minor league free agents or even nabs another Rule 5 player, we play Gonzalez until either the contract ends or we find the upgrade replacement and then move AG's contract. The difference between an Alex Gonzalez stopgap versus a Scott Hatteberg stopgap is that Hatteberg's replacement was on the horizon, whereas there was no readily available replacement player in our system. It certainly is possible that we have found such a player in either Pedro Lopez or Jeff Keppinger and it may be possible that allows us to move Gonzalez during the offseason, thus confirming my point. I can't say it will all come down that way, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Falls City Beer
10-09-2007, 03:13 PM
The Reds future IS now in a lot of regards....

They've been saying that for a good long while in Redsville this decade.

But then there's that nasty business of actually *contending*....deploying, adjusting, adding on, and winning.

Yeah, the future is here insofar as some young players look to be on the cusp, but that assures nothing by way of wins, really.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 03:15 PM
I'd bet you real money that more people went out and looked at season ticket packages last offseason when the Gonzlez signing was on the front pages of the Enquirer than when Jay Bruce or Homer Bailey was drafted.

I love how people read my posts and completely overlook what I actually said. Nowhere did I say that people formed a line to Fountain Square for season tickets whenever the name Jay Bruce was brought up. I asked about a buzz, as it could indirectly have fans interested in going to a game. Or when Bruce gets called up, people get excited and want to see a game.

Also, I didn't say when Jay Bruce or Homer were drafted. I asked about now. Big difference.

But to answer your bet, I doubt anyone looked at season ticket packages when Gonzalez was signed. So we'd probably push on that.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 03:17 PM
But the problem is that pumping the money into the farm system is far from a sure thing. If you bypass signing any free agents and pumping most of the money into the farm system you are rolling the dice on teenagers. You are rolling the dice with you recent history of developing players. Even if they bypassed signing Gonzo and let Castro have the full time job their best SS prospect was Janish who had yet learned how to hit he ball in the minors. If you give the job to Castro and draft/sign a SS you still are years away from the drafted SS to make the big league club. In this off season you are still looking for answers at SS while your drafted SS is still 3-5 years away. Lets assume that they again go on the cheap and have a Castro or Lopez or Janish as the stop gap SS while the drafted SS is again no where close to contributing to the big league club. You may attempt to make the organizatoin better but what happens if this 18 year old kid doesn't pan out or injures himself. You are left with paying stop gap SS until you draft and develop on who makes it to the bigs.

So we pay $3.5M this season for a SS and end up with 72 wins. Phew. God forbid letting Castro play there and end up with 68 wins. What would we do if they only had 68 wins?

Falls City Beer
10-09-2007, 03:20 PM
So we pay $3.5M this season for a SS and end up with 72 wins. Phew. God forbid letting Castro play there and end up with 68 wins. What would we do if they only had 68 wins?

I don't disagree with some of your logic, but sometimes you have to snatch up a good player when he's available, not necessarily when the team's going to be good. (And I'm not saying Gonzalez is all that good, just that he was available).

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 03:23 PM
I don't disagree with some of your logic, but sometimes you have to snatch up a good player when he's available, not necessarily when the team's going to be good. (And I'm not saying Gonzalez is all that good, just that he was available).

I agree to an extent. If you honestly believe that this team will be in contention in the first 2 years of that contract, then go for it. Maybe the third as well, but that might be too far out as the cost of the first 2 years might outweigh the benefit of having him here in the 3rd year.

redsmetz
10-09-2007, 03:27 PM
I agree to an extent. If you honestly believe that this team will be in contention in the first 2 years of that contract, then go for it. Maybe the third as well, but that might be too far out as the cost of the first 2 years might outweigh the benefit of having him here in the 3rd year.

I said endlessly last year that the Reds were not aiming for competing this year, but rather hoped to be a team on the field that would be nominally competitive. Clearly they failed at that. That said, I've felt all along that 2008 and beyond was what management was aiming for (whether they said so or not). Now, the truth is, there is a lot of work to be done, but we now have in place a very good nucleus of starters and better bench players than we did two seasons ago. Pitching must improve for us to succeed in the years ahead.

jojo
10-09-2007, 03:33 PM
So we pay $3.5M this season for a SS and end up with 72 wins. Phew. God forbid letting Castro play there and end up with 68 wins. What would we do if they only had 68 wins?

Fine. Because in your estimation this team was at least three years away, they should've reduced payroll to $20M and fielded a roster of replacement level players. :cool:

bucksfan2
10-09-2007, 03:44 PM
So we pay $3.5M this season for a SS and end up with 72 wins. Phew. God forbid letting Castro play there and end up with 68 wins. What would we do if they only had 68 wins?

What happens if Gonzo is on the team in 06 instead of Lopez? Does that give you more wins? Could it have made the team NL Central Champs? You never know. But you improve your team in every which way possible. The Marlins route would not work in this city. If you agree that the reds are a year to a few years away from competing then you still need to put a team on the field that will be comeptitive.

As for the ticket analogy no Gonzo isn't going to increaese season ticket sales. But if you tell you fan base that you are going to forgoe the next season and go with Castro who you basic baseball fan can see is a bottom of the run SS you are going to lose season ticket holders. For ticket sales not only do you need to develop new season ticket holders you also have to retain you anual season ticket holders.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 03:45 PM
Fine. Because in your estimation this team was at least three years away, they should've reduced payroll to $20M and fielded a roster of replacement level players. :cool:

Again, taking it to the extreme. I never advocated having an all-out fire sale, though I wouldn't be 100% against a controlled one.

But in 3 years, we may be wishing that they did have one. Year 1 of Wayne's 16% increase in payroll resulted in a 72 win season.

Year 2 is yet to be determined, but unless he is planning on overhauling the bullpen a third time it could be just as ugly.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 03:46 PM
What happens if Gonzo is on the team in 06 instead of Lopez? Does that give you more wins? Could it have made the team NL Central Champs? You never know. But you improve your team in every which way possible. The Marlins route would not work in this city. If you agree that the reds are a year to a few years away from competing then you still need to put a team on the field that will be comeptitive.

As for the ticket analogy no Gonzo isn't going to increaese season ticket sales. But if you tell you fan base that you are going to forgoe the next season and go with Castro who you basic baseball fan can see is a bottom of the run SS you are going to lose season ticket holders. For ticket sales not only do you need to develop new season ticket holders you also have to retain you anual season ticket holders.

Everyone is too concerned about the current season ticket status. Let's work on getting the team back to respectability first.

If you build it, they will come.

westofyou
10-09-2007, 03:49 PM
Everyone is too concerned about the current season ticket status.

When 60% of your teams revenue are derived from attendance not worrying about the customer is not exactly the smart thing to do.

Especially in a city that just went through a decade and half of that approach from their professional football team.

jojo
10-09-2007, 03:52 PM
I agree to an extent. If you honestly believe that this team will be in contention in the first 2 years of that contract, then go for it. Maybe the third as well, but that might be too far out as the cost of the first 2 years might outweigh the benefit of having him here in the 3rd year.

You're acting like the Reds gave Gonzo a Zito-like contract that also prevented them from increasing their player development budget.

They committed $14M over three years to a guy that at worst is likely to give them league average production from a premium position on the field. I have trouble accepting him as the symbol of what's wrong with the franchise especially when they signed him to address a significant weakness of their 80 win club (defense up the middle).

Really, it's invalid to argue that his signing was a bad decision based upon the Reds 72 win season in '07. This is the worst kind of results-based analysis because it even lacks a bar that the player could even reasonably be expected to overcome through his own efforts. It was a still a sound decision to extend Harang despite their 72 wins this season and the possibility that the Reds might not make the playoffs in '08 or '09 wasn't it?

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 03:54 PM
When 60% of your teams revenue are derived from attendance not worrying about the customer is not exactly the smart thing to do.

Especially in a city that just went through a decade and half of that approach from their professional football team.

We are talking about Alex Gonzalez. The team's revenue and season ticket sales aren't dependent upon his presence on the team.

The city wouldn't have batted an eye if he was passed over. But even when he was signed, attendance was down almost 1k per game.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 03:56 PM
You're acting like the Reds gave Gonzo a Zito-like contract that also prevented them from increasing their player development budget.

They committed $14M over three years to a guy that at worst is likely to give them league average production from a premium position on the field. I have trouble accepting him as the symbol of what's wrong with the franchise especially when they signed him to address a significant weakness of their 80 win club (defense up the middle).

Really, it's invalid to argue that his signing was a bad decision based upon the Reds 72 win season in '07. This is the worst kind of results-based analysis because it even lacks a bar that the player could even reasonably be expected to overcome through his own efforts. It was a still a sound decision to extend Harang despite their 72 wins this season and the possibility that the Reds might not make the playoffs in '08 or '09 wasn't it?

Harang is one of the best pitchers in the league. Apples and oranges.

Plus, if the team does progress and makes it to the next level, Harang will be one of the ones to get them there. Gonzalez wouldn't.

westofyou
10-09-2007, 03:58 PM
We are talking about Alex Gonzalez. The team's revenue and season ticket sales aren't dependent upon his presence on the team.

The city wouldn't have batted an eye if he was passed over. But even when he was signed, attendance was down almost 1k per game.

No... you said "everyone is too worried about season tickets status"

And my retort is you're too worried about Alex Gonzalez.


"It is hard to find middle infielders in professional baseball.

http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1191898505282930.xml&coll=7&thispage=3

jojo
10-09-2007, 03:58 PM
If you build it, they will come.

Why are the two options mutually exclusive?

It can be argued that during Krivsky's short tenure, the roster has improved every spring training while the farm has taken a collective step forward.

Without knowing the exact details of '08 yet, there is no way I'd trade the '08 40 man roster for the Reds Feb '06 roster.... I think that really gets lost in the debacle that was May-June '07.

pedro
10-09-2007, 04:00 PM
No... you said "everyone is too worried about season tickets status"

And my retort is you're too worried about Alex Gonzalez.



http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1191898505282930.xml&coll=7&thispage=3

But that money could have been invested in genetically engineered flying monkeys!

History shmistory. I want my monkey man!

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 04:09 PM
Why are the two options mutually exclusive?

It can be argued that during Krivsky's short tenure, the roster has improved every spring training while the farm has taken a collective step forward.

Without knowing the exact details of '08 yet, there is no way I'd trade the '08 40 man roster for the Reds April '06 roster.... I think that really gets lost in the debacle that was May-June '07.

How has the roster improved "every spring training" when they have gone from 73 wins in '05 to 72 wins in '07? Isn't that kind of contradictory?

RedsManRick
10-09-2007, 04:11 PM
What I don't understand Edabbs is how you expect us to win games without paying anybody.

Alex Gonzalez had a mediocre year, no dispute. But Pedro Lopez has a .453 major league OPS and a .686 minor league OPS. I don't care if he's Ozzie Smith, if you can't OPS .700 in this day and age, you aren't a starter and you are providing less value than another option. As a complete package of run creation and prevention, I'd feel extremely comfortable saying that Jeff Keppinger is a better SS than Pedro Lopez.

I won't go so far as to say that Alex Gonzalez is worth $5M more than Lopez or Keppinger. But he's making less than Jack Wilson and the same as Ceasar Izturis and David Eckstein. He's not exactly overpaid.

Also, how do win games if you can't spend money on anybody besides stars. I agree that as a principal you should work towards a max/min situation where you pay stars big money for big production and get everything else cheap. However, the bigger line is simply not overpaying for mediocre talent -- and while Gonzalez isn't great, he's better than replacement and isn't overpaid, at least assuming his defense is above average, which it admittedly wasn't in 2007. Gonzalez is the perfect type of a deal for a team like the Reds in that he's solidly better than replacement level but doesn't require a burdensome contract that would prevent us from adding a significant talent, were that talent actually available.

Turn that $5M in to a pitcher and you're likely to get Kip Wells or Joel Pineiro. Yes, if you add up his salary and that off a few other scrubs, you can get enough to sign a real pitcher. But I don't see that pitcher out there right now, and presumably neither does (did) Krivsky. I do know that if you have to shed some salary, it's much easier to trade 3 bad $4M contracts than 1 bad $12M contract.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 04:11 PM
No... you said "everyone is too worried about season tickets status"

And my retort is you're too worried about Alex Gonzalez.

I'm worried about the direction of the franchise. Alex Gonzalez is one of the things I am worried about. The bullpen is another. The back end of the rotation is another. The recent draft history is another.

But other than that I'm fine.

jojo
10-09-2007, 04:11 PM
Harang is one of the best pitchers in the league. Apples and oranges.

No it's not. It's about the proper way to evaluate personnel decisions. You're coming to the issue with a bias that dictates only FA signings that directly and immediately result in a playoff appearance are valid signings. It's an extension of your underlying bias that the only apparent way to build a contender is through the draft, especially via overpaying slot for pitching. Which seems colored by another bias that seems to suggest you think the Reds are at least 3 years away from playing meaningful baseball.

The truth is while it's desirable to develop your core in house, reality suggests a roster will be a mix of players developed in house, acquired via trade, and signed via free agency. Also, developing a contender usually is a multi-step process that rarely occurs when the farm produce ripens simultaneously.


Plus, if the team does progress and makes it to the next level, Harang will be one of the ones to get them there. Gonzalez wouldn't.

You, of course, have no way of knowing that.

jojo
10-09-2007, 04:12 PM
How has the roster improved "every spring training" when they have gone from 73 wins in '05 to 72 wins in '07? Isn't that kind of contradictory?

Not really. Before Krivsky, the projected '06 roster had zero depth and was mostly a combination of age in it's decline phase, I'm not sure what was supposed to be firstbase, the promise of youth that was about to become painfully obvious would never be realized, an old pen of turdaciousness, a rotation that, my god, is still hard to believe was considered a legit major league rotation and absolutely zero reason to pick up the phone to the Louisville shuttle (well that's not absolutely true because Deno was stuck there God rest his soul).

Contrast that to what the '08 roster might look like and remember a good portion of it's best parts will be under control for multiple years. Heck, the Reds '08 bench is likely to be better than what was penciled in as the Reds starting infield of February '06.......

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 04:16 PM
What I don't understand Edabbs is how you expect us to win games without paying anybody.

Alex Gonzalez had a mediocre year, no dispute. But Pedro Lopez has a .453 major league OPS and a .686 minor league OPS. I don't care if he's Ozzie Smith, if you can't OPS .700 in this day and age, you aren't a starter and you are providing less value than another option. As a complete package of run creation and prevention, I'd feel extremely comfortable saying that Jeff Keppinger is a better SS than Pedro Lopez.

I won't go so far as to say that Alex Gonzalez is worth $5M more than Lopez or Keppinger. But he's making less than Jack Wilson and the same as Ceasar Izturis and David Eckstein. He's not exactly overpaid.

Also, how do win games if you can't spend money on anybody besides stars. I agree that as a principal you should work towards a max/min situation where you pay stars big money for big production and get everything else cheap. However, the bigger line is simply not overpaying for mediocre talent -- and while Gonzalez isn't great, he's better than replacement and isn't overpaid, at least assuming his defense is above average, which it admittedly wasn't in 2007. Gonzalez is the perfect type of a deal for a team like the Reds in that he's solidly better than replacement level but doesn't require a burdensome contract that would prevent us from adding a significant talent, were that talent actually available.

Turn that $5M in to a pitcher and you're likely to get Kip Wells or Joel Pineiro. Yes, if you add up his salary and that off a few other scrubs, you can get enough to sign a real pitcher. But I don't see that pitcher out there right now, and presumably neither does (did) Krivsky. I do know that if you have to shed some salary, it's much easier to trade 3 bad $4M contracts than 1 bad $12M contract.

Let's put it this way...take away the acquisitions of Gonzalez, Stanton, Cormier and Conine off and what happens? All I see is maybe $23 million extra to spend and possibly a couple of less wins this past year.

Spend it on something that might actually help this team. Add it to whatever other money there is and sign a solid FA pitcher. Add it to your draft budget. Sign a few bonus babies from DR. Anything but giving it to people who aren't going to get you anywhere. Just because you have it doesn't mean it has to be spent right this second. Invest it.

This team isn't one or two players away. If they were, then Gonzo is a great signing. But until you fix that pitching staff, you could get whoever you want at SS and it's not gonna matter much.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 04:17 PM
You, of course, have no way of knowing that.

It's my opinion. I obviously cannot predict the future, but I think any reasonable person would bet on the Harang side of that wager.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 04:18 PM
Not really.

So how has the roster improved if the record has gotten worse? Or are you basing your evaluation of the current roster on name value only?

jojo
10-09-2007, 04:28 PM
So how has the roster improved if the record has gotten worse? Or are you basing your evaluation of the current roster on name value only?

I've edited the previous post..sorry 'bout that.

Really, I think when building a contender using an absolute adherence to w-l record or even pythags (i.e. "results-based analysis") can cloud things and here's why:

I think the '08 Reds 40-man will be clearly much better talent-wise than the '06 one before Krivsky (almost to a man). The difference will actually be pretty startling I think. You can argue that Krivsky didn't draft guys like Bruce, Bailey and company, but really their presence in the system colored his roster decisions.

jojo
10-09-2007, 04:50 PM
Let's put it this way...take away the acquisitions of Gonzalez, Stanton, Cormier and Conine off and what happens? All I see is maybe $23 million extra to spend and possibly a couple of less wins this past year.

I personally wouldn't have signed Courmier/Stanton/Conine. We're in agreement about the need to quit wasting small change at the margins. That said, Gonzo doesn't belong in that group and really Conine wasn't the worst sin either.


Spend it on something that might actually help this team.

Like improving your defense at a premium defensive position while underpaying for production there? :cool:


Add it to whatever other money there is and sign a solid FA pitcher. Add it to your draft budget. Sign a few bonus babies from DR. Anything but giving it to people who aren't going to get you anywhere. Just because you have it doesn't mean it has to be spent right this second. Invest it.

If my assumption that Krivsky honestly believed the Reds had a shot at 86 wins is true, I would have tried to get in on the deal to take on Randy Johnson's salary last off-season (though obviously Cincy wasn't a real option because Johnson wanted to go to Arizona but it illustrates the concept).

Despite assertions otherwise, it wasn't really an option for the Reds to slash payroll last season. It simply was an impossibility from a marketing standpoint.


This team isn't one or two players away. If they were, then Gonzo is a great signing. But until you fix that pitching staff, you could get whoever you want at SS and it's not gonna matter much.

But improving your defense can help your pitching ALOT....

RedsManRick
10-09-2007, 06:04 PM
Let's put it this way...take away the acquisitions of Gonzalez, Stanton, Cormier and Conine off and what happens? All I see is maybe $23 million extra to spend and possibly a couple of less wins this past year.

$23M? Not in a single year. Lumping Gonzalez and Conine with two guys who provided below replacement level production is unfair. While possibly overpaid, those two did give production that would have to have been replaced. I've already spoken tho the impact of your choice at SS. Nobody I know of were ever fans of the Cormier or Stanton signings. Replacing those 4 with a #4 starter does not materially change the outcome of our season.



Spend it on something that might actually help this team. Add it to whatever other money there is and sign a solid FA pitcher. Add it to your draft budget. Sign a few bonus babies from DR. Anything but giving it to people who aren't going to get you anywhere. Just because you have it doesn't mean it has to be spent right this second. Invest it.

Agreed. But take Alex Gonzalez's money, replace him with Pedro Lopez, sign a bonus baby, and you have a 70 win team instead of a 72.



This team isn't one or two players away. If they were, then Gonzo is a great signing. But until you fix that pitching staff, you could get whoever you want at SS and it's not gonna matter much.

If you subtract offense and add pitching, you are just creating a different flavor of a 72 win team. However, you've created a situation where the only way to win is to develop a team full of overslot draft picks and unsigned FA. In the mean time, you have a 65 win team and no fans. Perahps I'm wrong, but aren't you among those who say that Tampa Bay is managed by idiots and will never win? Because you're espousing their approach.

I'm not getting in to the politics of slot pricing in the draft -- but I will say that it's about more than just having the money to spend. I would love for the Reds to sign Rick Porcello, but I have seen enough Howingtons and Grulers to appreciate that Porcello will be extremely lucky to have the career of Mike Stanton or Rheal Cormier.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 06:37 PM
$23M? Not in a single year. Lumping Gonzalez and Conine with two guys who provided below replacement level production is unfair. While possibly overpaid, those two did give production that would have to have been replaced. I've already spoken tho the impact of your choice at SS. Nobody I know of were ever fans of the Cormier or Stanton signings. Replacing those 4 with a #4 starter does not materially change the outcome of our season.

I don't think it would have been impossible to replace Conine, as he was not of much value this season. Gonzalez is another story, but as I have said multiple times, the team still ended up with 72 wins.



Agreed. But take Alex Gonzalez's money, replace him with Pedro Lopez, sign a bonus baby, and you have a 70 win team instead of a 72.

Absolutely. But you still have that bonus baby who might turn out to be a difference maker down the line.


If you subtract offense and add pitching, you are just creating a different flavor of a 72 win team. However, you've created a situation where the only way to win is to develop a team full of overslot draft picks and unsigned FA. In the mean time, you have a 65 win team and no fans. Perahps I'm wrong, but aren't you among those who say that Tampa Bay is managed by idiots and will never win? Because you're espousing their approach.

I don't think I have ever spoken out on Tampa's FO situation, but I do think that they have neglected pitching too much in their past drafts. Though they seem to be rectifying that in recent years.


I'm not getting in to the politics of slot pricing in the draft -- but I will say that it's about more than just having the money to spend. I would love for the Reds to sign Rick Porcello, but I have seen enough Howingtons and Grulers to appreciate that Porcello will be extremely lucky to have the career of Mike Stanton or Rheal Cormier.

I don't doubt it. But that's why I think pitchers should be drafted in abundance. And for those who will bring up the hitting aspect, well there's plenty of room for them as well. Just look at some of the prior drafts and look at the players that fall. Scoop up one or 2, throw a couple of million at them and now you have more prospects in the minors. Simple as that. :)

dougdirt
10-09-2007, 07:02 PM
And for those who will bring up the hitting aspect, well there's plenty of room for them as well. Just look at some of the prior drafts and look at the players that fall. Scoop up one or 2, throw a couple of million at them and now you have more prospects in the minors. Simple as that. :)

Throwing a couple of million each year guys who fall in the draft? I don't think the Reds have that kind of budget. They don't throw a couple of million at their first round draft picks.....

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 08:18 PM
Throwing a couple of million each year guys who fall in the draft? I don't think the Reds have that kind of budget. They don't throw a couple of million at their first round draft picks.....

But there's no prob with throwing a couple of million per year at Stanton. That's a problem.

dougdirt
10-09-2007, 08:28 PM
But there's no prob with throwing a couple of million per year at Stanton. That's a problem.

Sure there is a problem with throwing that much money at Stanton... however you are suggesting not signing free agents and instead using the money in the draft. What if the Reds targeted the right reliever? Would you still be saying to not sign him and to put the money into the draft?

RFS62
10-09-2007, 09:39 PM
This is going to be a long winter.

Caveat Emperor
10-09-2007, 09:40 PM
But there's no prob with throwing a couple of million per year at Stanton. That's a problem.

Throwing money at a major league pitcher that has a slim chance of helping your ballclub win games vs. throwing money at a minor league prospect that has a slim chance of helping your ballclub win games...

Hmmm....

You can't run a major league franchise like a video game franchise -- you can't just outright neglect the major league product, throw tons of money at the minors, and tell the fans "be patient." Fans are not patient, and if you aren't actively competing for their entertainment dollars they will find someplace else to spend them. Once enough of them decide not to do that, revenue dips and you no longer have the money to spend signing all of these great minor league talents.

The view you are espousing is Nintendo baseball. It doesn't work.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 10:08 PM
Throwing money at a major league pitcher that has a slim chance of helping your ballclub win games vs. throwing money at a minor league prospect that has a slim chance of helping your ballclub win games...

Hmmm....

You can't run a major league franchise like a video game franchise -- you can't just outright neglect the major league product, throw tons of money at the minors, and tell the fans "be patient." Fans are not patient, and if you aren't actively competing for their entertainment dollars they will find someplace else to spend them. Once enough of them decide not to do that, revenue dips and you no longer have the money to spend signing all of these great minor league talents.

The view you are espousing is Nintendo baseball. It doesn't work.

You are acting like I am advocating the Red Sox to hold a fire sale and start from square one.

NEWSFLASH: The Reds were 72-90 this season. With all of these amazing moves I keep hearing Krivsky has made in his 2 years here, they had one less win in '07 than in '05. In addition, their attendance dropped almost an average of 1k per game this season from last season.

Better yet, their attendance hasn't been in the upper half of the NL since 1995 when you take out the first year of GABP (and even then it was 8th out of 16). In 1999, when they won 96 games, they were 11th out of 16.

So my question is "Would it really matter?" And I am not advocating an "outright neglect" of the major league product. What I am advocating is spending the money wisely. Whether it be on pitching that will help the ballclub now or draft picks that will help the ballclub later, it doesn't matter. Spending the money on Stantons and Gonzalezes just because you can when you have no shot at making the playoffs is ludicrous. Don't sign Gonzalez and Stanton and I guarantee the fans don't even bat an eye. Leave Conine in Philly and I bet no one cares.

If the definition of "outright neglect of the major league product" is not signing players like Stanton and Cormier, then sign me up.

edabbs44
10-09-2007, 10:12 PM
Sure there is a problem with throwing that much money at Stanton... however you are suggesting not signing free agents and instead using the money in the draft. What if the Reds targeted the right reliever? Would you still be saying to not sign him and to put the money into the draft?

Depends on who the right reliever is.

My philosophy is this: I think Cincy has a good chance at being a force in 2-3 years, if the team accumulates enough pitching. The hitters are in place. If the right reliever is going to be still missing bats at that time, then I am all for it. If that reliever is going to be filling out his AARP membership in 2 years, then what's the point?

dougdirt
10-09-2007, 10:14 PM
Well I think the Reds have a shot at things next year if they acquire 1 decent starting pitcher who will eat 180 innings. Gonzalez will be around for that time (unless we move him).

Falls City Beer
10-09-2007, 10:17 PM
I'm usually more than willing to argue to the bitter end, but this discussion has alienated even me.

mth123
10-10-2007, 05:04 AM
What I don't understand Edabbs is how you expect us to win games without paying anybody.

Alex Gonzalez had a mediocre year, no dispute. But Pedro Lopez has a .453 major league OPS and a .686 minor league OPS. I don't care if he's Ozzie Smith, if you can't OPS .700 in this day and age, you aren't a starter and you are providing less value than another option. As a complete package of run creation and prevention, I'd feel extremely comfortable saying that Jeff Keppinger is a better SS than Pedro Lopez.

I won't go so far as to say that Alex Gonzalez is worth $5M more than Lopez or Keppinger. But he's making less than Jack Wilson and the same as Ceasar Izturis and David Eckstein. He's not exactly overpaid.

Also, how do win games if you can't spend money on anybody besides stars. I agree that as a principal you should work towards a max/min situation where you pay stars big money for big production and get everything else cheap. However, the bigger line is simply not overpaying for mediocre talent -- and while Gonzalez isn't great, he's better than replacement and isn't overpaid, at least assuming his defense is above average, which it admittedly wasn't in 2007. Gonzalez is the perfect type of a deal for a team like the Reds in that he's solidly better than replacement level but doesn't require a burdensome contract that would prevent us from adding a significant talent, were that talent actually available.

Turn that $5M in to a pitcher and you're likely to get Kip Wells or Joel Pineiro. Yes, if you add up his salary and that off a few other scrubs, you can get enough to sign a real pitcher. But I don't see that pitcher out there right now, and presumably neither does (did) Krivsky. I do know that if you have to shed some salary, it's much easier to trade 3 bad $4M contracts than 1 bad $12M contract.

Alex Gonzalez OPS in 2004, 2005 and 2006 = .689, .686 and .695 respectively. Career .695. The Reds were paying for a glove not the flukey .468 slugging %.

When Gonzalez was signed I was kind of neutral on it. I didn't advocate bringing back Clayton or going with Castro. The thing is though, that what Gonzalez reliably provides is league average and occasionally better defense. When you sign a guy like Gonzalez that is what you are paying for. Facts are, League average defense is something that is easily available in minor leaguers. I didn't necessarily advocate Paul Janish, but he, for example, could provide league average defense right now and the Reds would have the funds available for other things.

So in the case of Gonzalez, what ends up differentiating him from a replacement player isn't his defense but his offense. What I'm saying is that going forward, I question whether his offense is worth paying for. He has a low, out machine-like OBP and his .468 slugging percentage in 2007 isn't anything to bank on going forward. He is just as likely to be a league average defender with a .300 OBP and a .325 slugging percentage next year as he is repeating what he did in 2007. Given that his pay increases in 2008 and again in 2009, I think its better to move him if possible.

His defense can be replaced or even improved upon relatively cheaply. Since his offense is really a bonus anyway, why not go the cheap route and use the resources elsewhere? I agree with FCB that Pedro Lopez is the guy to use as the primary SS in 2008. Remember the primary goal in bringing Gonzalez in was to improve the defense and Lopez does that for cheap. He isn't in a "lost a step" decline that Gonzalez appears to be in and is likely not as big an offensive downgrade as most people think. If the Reds are counting on Gonzalez to slug .460 plus again in 2008, then IMO that is a bigger gamble than going with the cheap guy and using the money to improve elsewhere. If the offense is struggling so much that it can't carry a glove at SS, Keppinger allows the team to put a bat at the position when the team needs an offensive boost.

Gonzalez isn't the team's worst problem by a long shot and as Jo Jo stated isn't on par with Stanton or Cormier as a waste of resources, but as FCB accurately states, he is less than optimal (same as Conine was and Freel now is). In a time when many are advocating cutting loose the team's offensive centerpiece for that sake of being able to afford an arm or two, I don't understand the call for keeping a guy who provides fringe contributions on offense and who could provide over 40% of that savings with a replacement already in hand. A replacement BTW who looks to be able to do the primary thing Gonzalez was acquired for (play defense at SS) better than Gonzalez can.

edabbs44
10-10-2007, 06:51 AM
Well I think the Reds have a shot at things next year if they acquire 1 decent starting pitcher who will eat 180 innings. Gonzalez will be around for that time (unless we move him).

With the current bullpen in place?

Ltlabner
10-10-2007, 07:02 AM
I'm usually more than willing to argue to the bitter end, but this discussion has alienated even me.

:laugh:

dougdirt
10-10-2007, 08:22 AM
With the current bullpen in place?

Pretty much yes.
I think the Reds have some pieces that can and will help next year. They have the 8th and 9th innings covered, and while Weathers may drive you crazy, for the most part, he ends up getting it done. Toss in Bray, who I believe is actually a good pitcher despite what we saw this year, Coutlangus, McBeth and the Reds have a solid foundation in the bullpen. Roenicke will likely begin in AAA this season as could Viola and they could be a phone call away from helping as well. Maybe Majewski can turn things around.... and well, Stanton is what he is. I just hope he doesn't get into to many games.

Plus, having another guy able to get innings under his belt will be better for the bullpen, who will get a little more rest this season.

Caveat Emperor
10-10-2007, 08:46 AM
I agree with FCB that Pedro Lopez is the guy to use as the primary SS in 2008. Remember the primary goal in bringing Gonzalez in was to improve the defense and Lopez does that for cheap.

The only positive I see to giving Pedro Lopez the starting position at SS is that it gives Tony LaRussa, were he to be hired, a legitimate excuse to bat the pitcher 8th.

PuffyPig
10-10-2007, 08:47 AM
A replacement BTW who looks to be able to do the primary thing Gonzalez was acquired for (play defense at SS) better than Gonzalez can.

Keppinger play better defense than Gonzalez?

Did you see Keppinger play defense?

Gonzalez, even in a down year defensively, was much better than Keppinger at defense. Keppinger is not a major league calibre defensive SS.

edabbs44
10-10-2007, 09:21 AM
Pretty much yes.
I think the Reds have some pieces that can and will help next year. They have the 8th and 9th innings covered, and while Weathers may drive you crazy, for the most part, he ends up getting it done. Toss in Bray, who I believe is actually a good pitcher despite what we saw this year, Coutlangus, McBeth and the Reds have a solid foundation in the bullpen. Roenicke will likely begin in AAA this season as could Viola and they could be a phone call away from helping as well. Maybe Majewski can turn things around.... and well, Stanton is what he is. I just hope he doesn't get into to many games.

Plus, having another guy able to get innings under his belt will be better for the bullpen, who will get a little more rest this season.

That is a ton of optimism for the NL's worst bullpen.

Weathers: You are expecting a repeat from David, who is no lock by any stretch.

Burton: Saying that Burton has the 8th locked down is a pretty big stretch as well. Hopefully he keeps it up, but I'd like to see more than 43 innings from a Rule 5 pick before I consider the 8th inning "locked down".

Bray: I have faith (or is it hope?) in him as well, but at this point you can't really expect a ton from him.

Coutlangus: Not sure if he is a LOOGY or not, but at this point he's basically middle relief material for me.

McBeth: Everyone adores this guy, but we cannot rely on him for anything except hope this year.

Majewski/Stanton: Nothing needed here. Mop up material at best.

Basically, I see a bunch of guys who wouldn't be that bad in the 6th or 7th innings. Burton has potential to go later than that, but he has a lot to prove.

Interesting that Coffey doesn't even get a mention here, as he was Burton '06. That's why I am still skeptical about Jared. And, even if Burton were to keep this up, there is potential for overuse since the rest of the pen is lacking.

bucksfan2
10-10-2007, 09:54 AM
edabbs I see and understand your points about some of the contracts handed out this past offseason. I think we disagree on the Gonzo contract greatly as well as the Conine trade. I dont know if the fact that you are an out of town reds fan and do not attend any games skews you views at all or not. But every major league club needs to sell tickets at the major league level. The need so sell season tickets and retain ticket holders. They need to get corporate sponsers as well as sell their luxery boxes. In order to do this you need to put a club a major league level club on the field. While in a fantasy world it would be nice to totally disregard the major league club and play cheap, young players there and build your minor league club. But if you did that there would no longer be a franchise and the reds would probably be in Portland or Northern Virginia.

I am in agreement with doug about the bull pen next year. I think they will be leaps and bounds better than this past season. Heck even a competent bullpen would be better than last year's mess. I think just by taking Narron out of the manager's slot helps the pen out but that is for a different discussion. Unlike some I put faith in Burton and do not compare him to Todd Coffey. I look at Coffey and realize that his only productive months are the early months when the pitchers have an advantage over the hitters. Burton on the other hand improved as he pitched more. I don't necessarily like Weathers in as the closer but he does get the job done. I put a lot of faith in Bray because the guy has stuff and has shown that stuff. He just needs to be more consistent and healthy and he may be a good one. I think when you throw McBeth, Salmon, Count, Maj, etc. together you look for improvement over last season due to a little more experience. I think the one thing the reds need is a live arm down in that bullpen.

The difference between 70 and 72 wins could be nothing but it also could be monumental. Win loss record is really a bad indicator of organizational improvement. I would argue that this club underacheived this season. They were inconsistant and didn't play to their abilities. As one poster above said that the 08 bench will be better than the 06 starting infield. Whether you like some of the sigings or not the team in 08 is better financially that it was in 06.

I think the 08 reds will be more competitive and in a better position to contend than most people believe. If the reds are able to add an overpriced #3-4 starter I think they may have a team to contend. That said I also thought the reds could win 85 games this past season, so we shall see.

dougdirt
10-10-2007, 10:20 AM
That is a ton of optimism for the NL's worst bullpen.

Weathers: You are expecting a repeat from David, who is no lock by any stretch.

Burton: Saying that Burton has the 8th locked down is a pretty big stretch as well. Hopefully he keeps it up, but I'd like to see more than 43 innings from a Rule 5 pick before I consider the 8th inning "locked down".

Bray: I have faith (or is it hope?) in him as well, but at this point you can't really expect a ton from him.

Coutlangus: Not sure if he is a LOOGY or not, but at this point he's basically middle relief material for me.

McBeth: Everyone adores this guy, but we cannot rely on him for anything except hope this year.

Majewski/Stanton: Nothing needed here. Mop up material at best.

Basically, I see a bunch of guys who wouldn't be that bad in the 6th or 7th innings. Burton has potential to go later than that, but he has a lot to prove.

Interesting that Coffey doesn't even get a mention here, as he was Burton '06. That's why I am still skeptical about Jared. And, even if Burton were to keep this up, there is potential for overuse since the rest of the pen is lacking.


Burtons 07 wwas much better than Coffeys 06.

mth123
10-10-2007, 10:09 PM
Keppinger play better defense than Gonzalez?

Did you see Keppinger play defense?

Gonzalez, even in a down year defensively, was much better than Keppinger at defense. Keppinger is not a major league calibre defensive SS.

Was talking about Lopez.

edabbs44
10-10-2007, 11:25 PM
Burtons 07 wwas much better than Coffeys 06.

Burton's '07 was also much shorter.

Coffey's first 2 months (30 innings) in '06: 4 ER in 30 innings.

Burton only threw 43 innings. He ended the year marvelously and has much promise, but it's a bit early to anoint him THE late inning guy.

I'm still scared of the bullpen.

dougdirt
10-10-2007, 11:49 PM
Burton's '07 was also much shorter.

Coffey's first 2 months (30 innings) in '06: 4 ER in 30 innings.

Burton only threw 43 innings. He ended the year marvelously and has much promise, but it's a bit early to anoint him THE late inning guy.

I'm still scared of the bullpen.

You seem to be scared of everything Reds related though.

edabbs44
10-10-2007, 11:58 PM
You seem to be scared of everything Reds related though.

I'm not sure anyone can blame me. There were many who were very optomistic last offseason. I wasn't one of them.

Before the last few seasons, I used to be the most optomistic fan you would know. Now I am becoming a salty old man. If you can consider 32 old, I guess.

But getting back to the bullpen, Krivsky inherited an absolute mess. The worst bullpen many of us ever wish to see. He remade it on the fly during the '06 season and no one really took him to task for the end result, because he didn't have much of a chance to do anything. And rightfully so, though he may have been able to do a little better than he did.

Then, last winter, he gutted it again and put in his people. And they sucked even worse.

You might think that the bullpen has promise. And they might. But for next year, if Wayne is to go to battle with the same bullpen as he had this year this team is going nowhere. Everything has to fall into place perfectly next season for this same bullpen to be passable. McBeth has to take a leap. Same with Coutlangus. Burton has to maintain last year's level. Weathers cannot take a step back. Stanton has to shave his ERA by 30%. There's just too many ifs for me to have faith in this crew.

Now if they added a couple of legit relievers, then we might be on to something.