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I(heart)Freel
11-14-2007, 06:57 PM
We're a day into the free agency season, and while some posts and threads on here have dared look into the future, most seem to look solely at what we need for 2008.

I think we need - in leui of the Reds giving us one - a Four Year Plan.

Why four? There is some logic behind it, given to us by the front office. Harang and Arroyo are both ours to control til then. And a good number of our youngsters (cheap, solid players) are going to be hitting arbitration and/or free agency around then. Plus, I think it's going to take a year to show progress before we can think that we can make a multi-year run at the post-season.

So what does the team look like in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011?

I looked at contracts as well as those players making minimum and made some guesses as to when they hit arbitration. And I plugged everything I had into a chart of team positions for those years.

The attachment shows how it shakes out. Hopefully you can open it. It's a simple pdf.

Note: red means a player is under a contract. Yellow means they're arbitration eligible. Green means league minimum. And grey means the player or team has an option that year.

Feel free to take a while with the chart before reading forward. I'm going to make my observations now, but I always think it's good to draw your own before hearing others.

Ok...

I know I editorialized the process when I put black boxes under closer and 4th starter in 2008. I just think while we could plug in those roles with personnel we have, we have heard enough from the front office to know that the Reds will at least LOOK to fill those holes with players outside the club.

But with that said, I found it interesting to at least see that - by all accounts - we could have both Cueto and Maloney ready for the majors in 2009. They're certainly on schedule for that. So that said, doesn't it make sense to eyeball a one-year (maybe with an option) contract for that 4th starter? And yes, it would be great if that starter was more of a 2 or 3 starter to shift everyone except Harang back. Either way, one year for that guy might be all we need. This could be had in free agency or we could trade for someone at the end of their contract. Interesting how many of those types are available.

As for a closer, I think this is the big reason to dip into the free agency pool this offseason. For one, if this club performs like last year, a solid bullpen alone could swing 10-15 games. But the truth is, the way I see it, we could probably use a closer for 2 years, allowing Burton to grow into a stud 8th inning closer (a la Lidge) before taking over the closer role in 2010. Note that's his first year eligible for arbitration. If he's getting paid as a set up man, he could be an affordable closer.

Looking ahead, I think you have to consider the Dunn issue. If the young guys do end up bopping like we think they can, does it make sense to trade Dunn at some point next season (at a peak value time) and get some pitching talent in return? Then we can go into next off-season looking for a lead-off hitter who plays outfield. With Bruce and Hamilton, we have position flexibility. That can also be a 1-2 year signing, knowing by then that Stubbs is probably ready or close.

We might need a catcher in 2009 too. So if we don't get one back for Dunn or can't sign a vet to an affordable contract, we can always pick up Ross' option. Hopefully 2008 is more like 2006, but we'll see.

We'll also need some bullpen invigoration by 2009. But what isn't had in a trade can certainly be bought, knowing that Junior, Dunn, Stanton and Castro all likely come off the books.

It's 2009 where the payroll becomes very intriguing. Look at how many players we have slotted to start who make league minimum! For that reason, I think the Reds could stand to blow their payroll wad this season to contend, knowing that we're about to get cheap. You don't want to hamstring the club for years with a bad contract - Milton, I'm talking to you - but you can do some things you probably couldn't do before.

Another note for this offseason, we have too many players on the bench. It's for that reason, I do think you have to shop Freel and Hatteberg. If Valentin in the lefty pinchhitter, do we need Hatte? I say that with heavy heart. I love him unhealthily. Same with Freel, but Hopper and Keppinger have shown the ability to be him but cheaper.

Also looking at the chart, the Reds might be wise to wrap up Phillips and Edwin through their arb years sooner than later. That's the Indians-way. There's no mystery about payroll then, and the players might give a little discount for the security.

Exciting stuff. And clearly I've written for too long. Time for you to comment. Let me know if you think I got something very wrong or if there are prospects I didn't plug into the picture during this time period. I tried to be conservative about that.

Will M
11-14-2007, 07:47 PM
1. I do think the Reds need a continual 'three year plan'. You needs to always be looking towards the next few years

2. IMO a stud defensive CF is a need for the future. I am OK with Hamilton in CF this year but flank a true centerfielder with Hamilton in RF & Bruce in LF and you have GREAT defense.
Griffey is a DH.

3. 2007 will be a big year for the Reds to see what the young pitchers have. Time for Bailey, Belisle, Bray, Cout, Salmon, etc to show if they really belong in the bigs.
We also have guys like Cueto, Maloney, Pelland,etc in AAA.
This is why I would like to see the Reds get one really good reliever ( Wood or the stud Japanese closer ) & a one year stopgap SP ( ? Lieber ).
Silva, Lohse -stay away.

*BaseClogger*
11-14-2007, 08:20 PM
1. I do think the Reds need a continual 'three year plan'. You needs to always be looking towards the next few years

2. IMO a stud defensive CF is a need for the future. I am OK with Hamilton in CF this year but flank a true centerfielder with Hamilton in RF & Bruce in LF and you have GREAT defense.
Griffey is a DH.

3. 2007 will be a big year for the Reds to see what the young pitchers have. Time for Bailey, Belisle, Bray, Cout, Salmon, etc to show if they really belong in the bigs.
We also have guys like Cueto, Maloney, Pelland,etc in AAA.
This is why I would like to see the Reds get one really good reliever ( Wood or the stud Japanese closer ) & a one year stopgap SP ( ? Lieber ).
Silva, Lohse -stay away.

I think you meant 2008...
I beleive the stud Japanese closer is staying in Japan...

Will M
11-14-2007, 08:27 PM
I think you meant 2008...
I beleive the stud Japanese closer is staying in Japan...

I did mean 2008.

Sorry to hear that.
While I don't want to pay Francisco Cordero $40M for 4 years I am intrigued by Kerry Wood at $10M for 2 years.

kaldaniels
11-14-2007, 08:32 PM
I thought Mr. Loo retired. :confused:

hippie07
11-14-2007, 09:22 PM
Thanks for your post, it's obvious you put alot of work into it and its a good read.
My impression of the next 4 years is that we'll become really cheap starting in 2009, but we'll also be devoid of a superstar and our pitching (though competant, good and mostly home-grown) will most likely not be good enough to get us a series.... :(

If anything I think this shows us how plausible it is for us to afford Dunn for the next few years, and how IF we were to trade some of our current pitching prospects for more established and expensive pitching prospects, we could definitely afford them in the future also. Although, keeping as many of our position player prospects as we can, seems to be a good idea too.

AmarilloRed
11-14-2007, 09:25 PM
I noticed you didn't have Belisle in the Reds starting rotation past 2008, and Maloney inheriting his no.5 starter spot. I happen to think Belisle could show a lot of improvement next year, and the odds are he will end up being a better starter than Maloney. I realize arbitration might make Belisle expensive, but I really do think he would be the best choice as the fifth starter.There is a considerable gap between Dunn's option year, and the time we could expect to see Stubbs in the major leagues. I think Salmon, McBeth, and Coutlangas will make significant additions to the bullpen the next 3 years.

gedred69
11-14-2007, 09:36 PM
I noticed you didn't have Belisle in the Reds starting rotation past 2008, and Maloney inheriting his no.5 starter spot. I happen to think Belisle could show a lot of improvement next year, and the odds are he will end up being a better starter than Maloney. I realize arbitration might make Belisle expensive, but I really do think he would be the best choice as the fifth starter.

Belisle is a real poser. He has shown flashes of absolute brilliance, only to suck next times out. He has what it takes to be a 12 game+ winner, but I wonder if he has the grey matter it takes. He can pitch like a very solid 4-5 though.

HokieRed
11-14-2007, 11:57 PM
I think it's unlikely we are going to see significant improvement in Matt Belisle, as much as I'd like to see that happen. His WHIP is remarkably consistent over the past 5 years whether he's pitching at AAA or in the majors, as a reliever or a starter. He's steadily in the 1.4-1.5 range, that of a bottom of the rotation starter. I think he gives you a passable 5 this year. Every indication would suggest that when Cueto comes up, he'll go right past Belisle in the rotation order. Whether Maloney will or will not is less clear, but by 2009 there may be other internal possibilities too--LeCure, Fisher. This is a pretty good problem to have. Belisle will be a passable 4 or 5 who we can use as a long man out of the pen and spot start if you have injury. What all this suggests to me is that I hope, above all things, the Reds don't trade a good young player for some marginal starter type. I'd prefer we stand pat, on starting pitching, or make a really top line deal which substantially reconfigures the team.

ChatterRed
11-15-2007, 08:16 AM
It seems to me with Harang and Arroyo under contract fairly cheaply a few more years, we need to pounce now on another starting pitcher and closer while we have guys cheap.

HokieRed
11-15-2007, 09:10 AM
Depends on what you consider a starting pitcher. If you believe in Bailey and Cueto, then the guy you're after needs to be significantly better than Matt Belisle. What the Reds need to avoid, in my view, is overvaluing some just barely better than #5 starter and giving up a good quality young player for one. If Cueto's for real, your July 1 rotation could be Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, Cueto, and Belisle. In addition, if you don't move Hamilton, whom I consider to be the best trading chip the Reds have, it gives you the option of trading Dunn or letting him walk at the season's end, effectively freeing up his 13 million to be spent for 2009.

hippie07
11-15-2007, 10:26 AM
Depends on what you consider a starting pitcher. If you believe in Bailey and Cueto, then the guy you're after needs to be significantly better than Matt Belisle. What the Reds need to avoid, in my view, is overvaluing some just barely better than #5 starter and giving up a good quality young player for one. If Cueto's for real, your July 1 rotation could be Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, Cueto, and Belisle. In addition, if you don't move Hamilton, whom I consider to be the best trading chip the Reds have, it gives you the option of trading Dunn or letting him walk at the season's end, effectively freeing up his 13 million to be spent for 2009.

Spent on what? At the beginning of this thread, if you read the chart - it indicates that we will have tons of money available in years to come, why not sign Dunn for a few years (who could be the superstar we build the team around, which from BCast's comments, is what he wants to do). Which, IMO, frees up either Bruce or Hamilton to be the centerpiece in a trade for a #1/#2 starter (I know we only NEED a 2/3, but if we can get a 1, all the better).

Looks like starting in 2009, we'll be rich!! But we will still be poor in starting pitchers - UNLESS Bailey & Cueto turn out to be wunderkind, prodigies... So, we can buy starting pitchers -you might say.. but, the problem w/ that is .. look at the last couple markets - great starting pitchers just aren't there. Either smart teams lock them up to avoid free agency, or they have greedy agents who drive their price up and outta our range, or they have flaws (Eric Milton?). I just don't see us being successful in the free agent starting pitching market.

I've said it on like 5 different threads now and I'll say it again - trade a couple of prospects NOW for Bedard or Kazmir.

ChatterRed is right... seems like we need to win now while we have all the pieces in place to win (Harang, Arroyo, Dunn, Griffey). None of those are guaranteed in the very near future.

AmarilloRed
11-15-2007, 10:45 AM
Nothing is guaranteed in the very near future. I look forward to a Dunn-Hamilton-Bruce outfield in the future. Bailey and Cueto will be cheap for some time to come, so we build the team around them, Edwin, Votto, Hamilton, Brandon, and Bruce. It is going to take more than 3 good starting pitchers to make it to the playoffs. There is a lot of ambiguity in the bullpen the member has shown us. Weathers will be here for the short term, and Burton and Bray should be on the roster. I am counting a lot on Coutlangas, McBeth, and Salmon, but they might pan out.We really need to address the bullpen in the off-season so that the startes will have someone to count on. We need to remember that both Bailey and Cueto have the potential to be a #1 starter.

AdamDunn
11-15-2007, 11:19 AM
I thought Mr. Loo retired. :confused:

Loo doesn't know if he wants to return to baseball. Either way, I don't see him being our shortstop come 2011. I think if we don't stupidly trade away our prospects (like some people on this board want) we should be in the playoffs by 2009-2010 season.

Just want to comment on a few things:
1) I wouldn't pencil in Stubbs for centerfield. I still have questions on whether he will ever make the majors.
2) How about Todd Frazier for SS after Gonzalez?
3) I don't think Encarnacion is the long term solution for 3B
4) We need to sign relief pitching. We got Bray, Burton, Viola, and Roenicke by 2010 I think, but that's about it.

hippie07
11-15-2007, 01:00 PM
The future will tell who's stupid... maybe those who want to hold onto our prospects, like children hoarding halloween candy, will end up being the "stupid" ones, but I'm not calling them that... that's just classless.

Neither way is stupid, IMO (as long as the only trades we make w/ our prospects are smart ones) - its just opposite ends of the risk spectrum. Both strategies have risks, and its just depends on your personal preference which risk you think is more wise.

The only way someone's stupid is if they don't see that there's a risk involved in holding onto our pitching prospects this offseason - either they perform well and increase their trade value and the Reds starting pitching, or they fall off the table and not only not contribute to the Reds, but lose most of their trade value... leaving us where we started.. No pitching improvement (either from contributions from Bailey & Cueto or from who we could get for them in trade). That's a risk my friend, whether you want to see it as one or not.

HokieRed
11-15-2007, 01:13 PM
It's good to remember there are risks in every strategy, including doing nothing. I've really only one conviction in all this and that is never trade from weakness, whether it's "real" or self-induced. Thinking that we must do something now because we have only a small window in which to contend is to put oneself into a position of weakness. I think the greatest risk right now is that the FO will think that way--and together with this BCast will want to assure fans that the FO is being active etc.--and they will make a bad trade or bad signing--one in which they give away too much for a starting pitcher who will only be slightly better than what we have in, say, Belisle. What got us Eric Milton, remember, was Lindner's wanting to make a statement, pressuring O'Brien to do something he probably would never have done on his own. I'd love to have Kazmir or Bedard, though only at the right price. I doubt you can get either of those guys without doing damage to the current team that will at least outweigh the benefit they bring.

AdamDunn
11-15-2007, 03:11 PM
The future will tell who's stupid... maybe those who want to hold onto our prospects, like children hoarding halloween candy, will end up being the "stupid" ones, but I'm not calling them that... that's just classless.

Neither way is stupid, IMO (as long as the only trades we make w/ our prospects are smart ones) - its just opposite ends of the risk spectrum. Both strategies have risks, and its just depends on your personal preference which risk you think is more wise.

The only way someone's stupid is if they don't see that there's a risk involved in holding onto our pitching prospects this offseason - either they perform well and increase their trade value and the Reds starting pitching, or they fall off the table and not only not contribute to the Reds, but lose most of their trade value... leaving us where we started.. No pitching improvement (either from contributions from Bailey & Cueto or from who we could get for them in trade). That's a risk my friend, whether you want to see it as one or not.

Geez, umm... my comment wasn't suppose to offend anyone. But apparently it did...

I never said the people who say the people who disagree with my position are stupid, I just said their position is stupid (or in lighter terms, a really bad idea).

This is the first time in a long time that the Reds are producing legit prospects out of the minor league system (sure Dunn and Kearns were/are great, but they never lived up to the hype and but Dunn isn't/wasn't as talented as Votto, and Kearns isn't/wasn't as talented as Bruce). We are producing top of the line starting pitching prospects (Bailey and Cueto) for the first time in over a decade. The reason the Reds have continual losing seasons is because we haven't been producing these type of players in the past. It's exciting to see the Reds heading in the right direction. Trading for more experienced/polished players (and more expensive) is trading a stable future for a chance to win now. Not only is it more expensive, the winning results don't last long. Players will leave for FA sooner than if the Reds raise prospects. I just don't think trying to trade for more polished players is worth it (not to mention you'd have to give muliple prospects for a single polished player).

DannyB
11-15-2007, 03:51 PM
I thought we had a 3 yr plan back in`03

GoReds33
11-15-2007, 04:03 PM
First I would like to say that this was a terrific post, and you defenitly put some thought and work into this.

After that is said, I don't think we can rely on our current talent to this extent. There is no way we keep all these players that long. I love the future of this team though. I would like to see them keep these guys that long, it's just not practical.

BLEEDS
11-15-2007, 05:54 PM
Spent on what? At the beginning of this thread, if you read the chart - it indicates that we will have tons of money available in years to come, why not sign Dunn for a few years (who could be the superstar we build the team around, which from BCast's comments, is what he wants to do).

Looks like starting in 2009, we'll be rich!! But we will still be poor in starting pitchers - UNLESS Bailey & Cueto turn out to be wunderkind, prodigies... So, we can buy starting pitchers -you might say.. .

Exactly. What's the point of getting rid of Dunn when the 8 other guys are league minimum - with the occasional arbitration candidates (BP, EE, etc) who might be worth giving LT contracts to, to give up a Guaranteed 40/100/100 .900 OPS guy? for STUBBS?!??!!

I would sign Dunn to $15M per, and we'd STILL have tons of money to invest in SP FA. 2008 is crap, but 2009 will have LOTS of guys available - and worthy of investing in. I have a hard time thinking all THREE of Bailey, Cueto and Maloney will be solid in 2009, let alone keeping us in a pennant race, too young. We'll be lucky if Bailey is a solid 4 by then, and Cueto is ready for a #5 position.

I'd look for a stop-gap SP vet for 2008 for a year or two, or trade for a SP. Anyone not named Jay Bruce in the OF and Brandon Phillips on the IF.

I think we own Hamilton on the cheap for 5 years, not just until 2010. I think he's going to continue to be a risk, but one I'd be willing to take, so I'd keep him. I'd probably keep EE as well, since he showed resiliance last year to end up with a pretty solid year.

I think we have a good window, and a plan similar to this should be viewed as a HUGE opportunity to make a run.

PEACE

-BLEEDS

AdamDunn
11-15-2007, 05:59 PM
I thought we had a 3 yr plan back in`03

Between 1991 and 2004, we've been on a new 3 yr plan ever year.

SMcGavin
11-15-2007, 06:27 PM
Geez, umm... my comment wasn't suppose to offend anyone. But apparently it did...

I never said the people who say the people who disagree with my position are stupid, I just said their position is stupid (or in lighter terms, a really bad idea).

This is the first time in a long time that the Reds are producing legit prospects out of the minor league system (sure Dunn and Kearns were/are great, but they never lived up to the hype and but Dunn isn't/wasn't as talented as Votto, and Kearns isn't/wasn't as talented as Bruce). We are producing top of the line starting pitching prospects (Bailey and Cueto) for the first time in over a decade. The reason the Reds have continual losing seasons is because we haven't been producing these type of players in the past. It's exciting to see the Reds heading in the right direction. Trading for more experienced/polished players (and more expensive) is trading a stable future for a chance to win now. Not only is it more expensive, the winning results don't last long. Players will leave for FA sooner than if the Reds raise prospects. I just don't think trying to trade for more polished players is worth it (not to mention you'd have to give muliple prospects for a single polished player).

Well, that last paragraph is a pretty good argument for your position. I have no problem with anyone who thinks that keeping the prospects is the right way to go. But sitting there are saying that "trading our prospects is stupid" when you have no idea what the return would be is, in fact, kind of stupid. Everyone is open to trade, it just depends on the return. You can make a very good case for trading Cueto and Bailey if the return is pitchers who are already MLB ready. You seem to be under the impression that Bailey and Cueto are sure things as top of the rotation starters. That could not be farther from the truth. I have read people on this board who said they would not trade Bailey for Scott Kazmir, which IMO is completely ridiculous.

AmarilloRed
11-15-2007, 10:39 PM
There is nothing wrong with trading prospects to receive proven players. You just have to establish that the players you trade away will hurt your team less than the player you receive in return. As a hypothetical, let's say we trade Joey Votto for Matt Garza. First base is a position that is easily filled, but it may be some time before we receive a prospect that would be as good as Votto. Still we need to get better starting pitching, so this might be a trade to pursue. If you try and trade for a proven starter like Kazmir, you would probably have to trade so many young prospects(say Edwin, Bailey, and Bruce) that it would hurt the team and the organization to make the trade. These are all factors to consider when it comes to developing your own talent as opposed to trading prospects for proven players.

UPRedsFan
11-15-2007, 10:58 PM
Lots of good arguments can be made for trading young hitters for more pitching. We have an abundance of one and huge need of the other. But trading Bailey/Cueto would hurt the ability to compete year in year out. It's just not a wise move in my opinion. Even if it meant getting Kazmir or Bedard, how many years would we have those guys before they either get too expensive to resign or age takes it's toll. If Bailey and Cueto are gone we'll be right back to not having enough talent on the mound to sustain competitiveness.

hippie07
11-16-2007, 07:59 AM
Lots of good arguments can be made for trading young hitters for more pitching. We have an abundance of one and huge need of the other. But trading Bailey/Cueto would hurt the ability to compete year in year out. It's just not a wise move in my opinion. Even if it meant getting Kazmir or Bedard, how many years would we have those guys before they either get too expensive to resign or age takes it's toll. If Bailey and Cueto are gone we'll be right back to not having enough talent on the mound to sustain competitiveness.

Age takes it's toll?.... Bedard is 28, Kazmir 23... I don't see why we can't assume they'd be successful for quite a while... Bailey & Cueto are 21 and may never be successful, I definitely hope they are, but they aren't proven like Bedard & Kazmir. Those who wouldn't do Bailey for Kazmir... I just can't understand.. If got Kazmir we'd have a guaranteed ace for a guaranteed 3 years.. whereas w/ Bailey we have him for the next (is it 5 years?, guaranteed) and we may have an ace or we may have a 5th starter, or we may have nothing at all...

Even if there's a chance that Bailey would turn out to be a "more dominant" ace than Kazmir.... I'd do the Bailey for Kazmir trade every day of the week.. if improving the Reds starting pitching is your goal... I think you have to.

SMcGavin
11-16-2007, 08:26 AM
Age takes it's toll?.... Bedard is 28, Kazmir 23... I don't see why we can't assume they'd be successful for quite a while... Bailey & Cueto are 21 and may never be successful, I definitely hope they are, but they aren't proven like Bedard & Kazmir. Those who wouldn't do Bailey for Kazmir... I just can't understand.. If got Kazmir we'd have a guaranteed ace for a guaranteed 3 years.. whereas w/ Bailey we have him for the next (is it 5 years?, guaranteed) and we may have an ace or we may have a 5th starter, or we may have nothing at all...

Even if there's a chance that Bailey would turn out to be a "more dominant" ace than Kazmir.... I'd do the Bailey for Kazmir trade every day of the week.. if improving the Reds starting pitching is your goal... I think you have to.

Yep, totally agree. I said it somewhere else, but odds are that neither Bailey or Cueto will ever be as good as Kazmir is right now. Now I wouldn't do the Bailey/Bruce/Edwin for Kazmir trade that somebody mentioned above, but if it's Bailey for Kazmir (still 3 years from free agency), it's a no-brainer. The argument really should be would you do Bailey and Cueto for Kazmir, since that is a trade that the D-Rays would think really hard about.

The reality is that prospects are way overvalued in today's MLB market, and if I'm Wayne, I look into exploiting it. Obviously, you aren't trading the crown jewels for anything less than ace quality, and I would have to be blown away to deal Bruce (who I actually think is about as close as you can get to a sure thing). But if you can get a young, proven MLB ace for a guy with great potential but who may never become anything, you have to do it.

hippie07
11-16-2007, 09:49 AM
Pitching is where we're weak, so its almost counter-intuitive to think that we should trade our ace pitching prospects to get pitching, especially when we have alot of position players as well as position player prospects. However, I'm much more willing to trade pitching prospects than I am say, Bruce, because of what SMcGavin said. Bruce is almost guaranteed to be the sure thing, whereas Bailey and Cueto have no such gaurantee. I look at it like this: it's like the reds have 2 very expensive classes of stock. One stock is (Bruce, Hamilton, Votto) this stick is conservative and is almost guaranteed to make us money if we hold onto it and the other stock is (Cueto, Bailey, Maloney, Pelland, etc) this stock is highly volatile and might make us tons of money or might plummet. I'd rather hold onto the conservative stock and trade the volatile stock RIGHT NOW when it's high in order to ensure that we get pitching improvement instead of hoping we get pitching improvement.

Now, would I trade Bailey & Cueto for Kazmir... that's tough. I wouldn't be mad or disappointed if WK did it (in fact I'd be elated), but it's not ideal and it would hurt quite a bit ... now Bailey OR Cueto, Maloney, Pelland, and (basically anyone not a top tier prospect) I do in a heartbeat.

dunner13
11-16-2007, 09:55 AM
I keep seeing people throwing maloney in with bailey and cueto, lets remeber maloney is a #5 or a #4 starter at best. I have seen him pitch live and I think he can contribute next year but hes not an ace and not someone you build a team around.

AmarilloRed
11-16-2007, 10:59 AM
I posted that Bailey/Bruce/Edwin scenario earlier, and that probably wouldn't happen.Mlbtraderumors.com has said the Devil Rays are looking for"multiple high-end starting pitchers for Kazmir" That probably means we would need to start with both Bailey and Cueto, and add another live arm as well. Quite a high price for one starting pitcher, even one as good as Kazmir. As for Bedard, I believe the Orioles are looking for multiple good position players for him like Bruce, Hamilton, and Votto. We could acquire either of these players to fill our rotation, but it might hurt the team and the organization in the long run.

I(heart)Freel
11-16-2007, 02:29 PM
I think we own Hamilton on the cheap for 5 years, not just until 2010. I think he's going to continue to be a risk, but one I'd be willing to take, so I'd keep him. I'd probably keep EE as well, since he showed resiliance last year to end up with a pretty solid year.

The clock started on Hamilton last season, so we get 2008 and 2009 at league minimum, and then arbitration starting in 2010. If he's a super star or even a solid player in 2009, then he'll cost this team some real jack starting in 2010.

Same with Burton and Bailey.

Makes some sense to nail down 3 year contracts when someone is hitting arb time, to lock in a salary. Like I said in the original post, that's something the Indians have done to successfully build and keep a young nucleus together.

AdamDunn
11-16-2007, 04:49 PM
The reality is that prospects are way overvalued in today's MLB market, and if I'm Wayne, I look into exploiting it. Obviously, you aren't trading the crown jewels for anything less than ace quality, and I would have to be blown away to deal Bruce (who I actually think is about as close as you can get to a sure thing). But if you can get a young, proven MLB ace for a guy with great potential but who may never become anything, you have to do it.

I would partially agree with your statement about getting a proven MLB ace if 1) we think we want to win next year (and I don't think that's WK's plan) and 2) someone was willing to trade a proven ace like Peavy or C.C. Sabathia for a single high potential prospect. It will take multiple HIGH END prospects for a team to trade for a proven ace. I've heard lots of people say that prospects are overvalued in the market, but I disagree. For example, Mark Teixiera was traded for 5 (BA said "the Braves give up their Nos. 1, 2 and 3 prospects in the deal") for a single player who doesn't put up 100-100 with regularity, even in Texas. They practically morgaged their future for him. I just hope we don't do something like that with our prospects, especially since we aren't planning to contend next year.

On the flip side, look at the Mets. What I like about them is they are winning the right way (except for the fact they traded Kazmir, what the heck was up with that?) They are growing prospects and keeping them. David Wright, Jose Reyes, John Maine, Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey. Wright, Reyes, and Maine are household names. Milledge, Pelfrey, Carlos Gomez, Fernado Martinez have a good chance of becoming household names. Even if only half of those prospects work out, they have a good core group. Not only that, but when Wright and Reyes came up, they started signing proven FA so that they can build around Wright and Reyes. That's what we need to do. We started doing that by signing Harang and Arroyo cheap to four year extensions and six year extensions. Now we just need to be patient and let Bailey, Cueto, Bruce, and Votto develop along with some of the minor prospects like Maloney, Wood, Viola, Roeinke. So unless someone is going to be like, "Hey, let's trade Kazmir straight up for Cueto," I'm not going to bite.

Ok, last part of my rant. Why does everyone like Erik Bedard and Scott Kazmir so much? They have potential, but 1) Erik Bedard has only had one ace type season and he's 28. I'm not sold on him. 2) Kazmir is a future ace in the making, not an ace of today. He's pitched 200 innings as a 23 year old (arm problems in the future?) and he has a high whip. Neither of which I would trade two top end prospects for.

SMcGavin
11-16-2007, 08:50 PM
Ok, last part of my rant. Why does everyone like Erik Bedard and Scott Kazmir so much? They have potential, but 1) Erik Bedard has only had one ace type season and he's 28. I'm not sold on him. 2) Kazmir is a future ace in the making, not an ace of today. He's pitched 200 innings as a 23 year old (arm problems in the future?) and he has a high whip. Neither of which I would trade two top end prospects for.

Don't trade for Kazmir cause he has a high WHIP? That's like saying Harang gives up too many home runs so he's no good. Kazmir's ERA the past two seasons is 3.24 and 3.48. Both seasons he has struck out more than 10 batters per nine and given up fewer than one homer per 9 innings pitched. This was done at the ages of 22 and 23 in baseball's toughest division for a pitcher. He would be under the Reds control for three more seasons. Scott Kazmir is an ace, today.

AmarilloRed
11-16-2007, 11:15 PM
What good does getting one starting pitcher do us if we don't shore up the bullpen? We could trade off all our top prospects for the likes of a Kazmir, but still lose games because the bullpen can't hold a lead. I do think the likes of Salmon, Coutlangas, and McBeth will help the bullpen next year, but we also need to get some relief help in free agency. I think we have 3 starting pitchers right now in Harang, Arroyo, and Belisle, but we need to get some other starting pitching to help until Bailey and Cueto are ready to join the rotation. It would not hurt the Reds to sign some starting pitching in free agency in the event one of them pans out.