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princeton
03-03-2008, 07:54 PM
I have always been fascinated by the strategic thinking of the Krivsky FO, and by its self-discipline to stick by that strategic thinking. The main thinking is to fill need and to manage payroll both short and long-term, sometimes at the expense of talent

Take the very first trade: WMP for Arroyo. WMP was a tough one to surrender-- his ceiling was MUCH higher than Arroyo's -- and moreover Arroyo seemed in decline. But the Reds OF was its surplus, its pitching in shambles, and the Reds held to their strategy. And in this case, the correct soldier was enlisted, and the correct one was mustered out.

it's been similar since then. Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez were the most talented parts of a big trade for need-- cheap, young, ready relievers.

Longterm, cheap pitching will always be a need (or at least is always easy to trade to fill other needs). And because we are willing to deal more talent to fill needs, we often demand that the other team kick in a cheap young arm (Daryl Thompson, Daniel Herrerra), preferably one with a lot of options, who might be useful later. Bowden always had to get more than the other guy up front, so that he could crow publicly, and traded off young arms to get that done.

Biggest offseason acquisitions are no longer high profile 5-tool OFers as Bowden would have acquired regardless of need. Instead, we grab a middle defender because we have no defense, and a closer because we have no bullpen. Highly logical moves.

Josh Hamilton, an immense talent, was dealt for a bigger need: young, cheap pitcher.

Bowden had to "win" all deals, talent-wise. Often he did, without actually helping improve the team very much. Krivsky seems compelled to address the next shortcoming and is willing to come up far short in the talent department.

We have even seen the "need" approach at the organizational level, where the biggest needs have been filled in two consecutive drafts: defenders at CFer and catcher, preferably those with power potential, righthanded bats, and speed, were the need going in. Voila-- we essentially traded our drafting position to fill those needs in Drew Stubbs and Devin Mesoraco. Probably these were not the best available players at those particular draft slots, and we acted with self-discipline to ignore some prettier players. I have to admit that I don't particularly admire drafting for greatest need over greatest talent, particularly in a draft where picks can't be dealt. I mean, when you apply the principle of need over talent at this level, it doesn't seem to be just a philosophy for this front office-- it's bordering on an obsessive compulsive disorder.

And finally, remember how Bowden had to grab talent as soon as it appeared, had to fill all roster spots, couldn't drop anyone, and as a result ran out of money early in the year, had players running out of options, and kept whining about the trades that he could have made if only the budget were higher and the players that he couldn't keep because he couldn't clear the roster-- like it was all such a complete surprise to him that he was in this mess that he was supposedly overseeing?

Krivsky always seems to save a bit of money for a rainy day, his players have options, he doesn't let contracts almost expire until he finally unloads them, and he doesn't seem to try to stash players. I'm sure that the ownership change helps, but doubt that's all of it.

remdog
03-03-2008, 07:57 PM
Interesting view point. Good post.

Rem

pedro
03-03-2008, 10:02 PM
I think that's a good analysis.

Krivsky's approach, when viewed at the micro-level, obviously leaves him open to criticism, some more warranted than others, but in the end I think he's added more talent than he's given up without squandering any of the top minor league prospects that now seem poised to provide positive contributions at the major league level.

His style isn't sexy and he's not going to wow you with charm and charisma (that's that Dusty fellows job now...keep forgetting his last name....anyway....) but given the state of the franchise when he arrived I think he's done a pretty decent job.

I would like to add that IMO this spring is a "bell weather" moment for Krivsky. Who goes north with the team will really determine whether Wayne indeed "gets it" in my mind. The inclusion of Stanton and Castro on the opening day roster will certainly be hard for me to swallow but I have confidence they won't make the team. I'll keep my fingers crossed anyway.

remdog
03-03-2008, 10:28 PM
The inclusion of Stanton and Castro on the opening day roster will certainly be hard for me to swallow but I have confidence they won't make the team. I'll keep my fingers crossed anyway.

The inclusion of Stanton, Castro and now Patterson and Hairston would mean that you would choak to death before anyone around you could think of the Heimlich maneuver much less perform it.

Rem

pedro
03-03-2008, 10:44 PM
The inclusion of Stanton, Castro and now Patterson and Hairston would mean that you would choak to death before anyone around you could think of the Heimlich maneuver much less perform it.

Rem

If the 4 of those guys are on the 25 man roster come opening day then even I won't defend Krivsky anymore. There's no way those 4 guys are better than the other options in camp. I guess I could stomach Patterson as a 5th OF but that's about it.

indy_dave00
03-04-2008, 01:49 AM
Corey Patterson will likely be the Reds opening day centerfielder. Juan Castro could well be the starting shortstop.

KronoRed
03-04-2008, 02:28 AM
Corey Patterson will likely be the Reds opening day centerfielder. Juan Castro could well be the starting shortstop.

And be batting 1 and 2 in your lineups.:thumbup:

Ron Madden
03-04-2008, 04:21 AM
Corey Patterson will likely be the Reds opening day centerfielder. Juan Castro could well be the starting shortstop.

If that is indeed the case, they should play Taps before the game instead of the National Anthem.

Steve4192
03-04-2008, 09:43 AM
Corey Patterson will likely be the Reds opening day centerfielder. Juan Castro could well be the starting shortstop.

http://dallasmorningviews.beloblog.com/archives/debbie_downer.jpg

Good lord there are a bunch of miserable pessimistic SOBs on this site lately. Patterson is being brought in on a minor league contract. He won't be starting, much less batting leadoff.

I swear some of you guys could win the lottery and still find time to complain about how it would increase your taxes.

rotnoid
03-04-2008, 09:45 AM
Nice job, princeton. I, for one, never really thought about it that way too much. Guess I got used to the "hey, I've got his baseball card" effect when JimBo pulled off a trade. I'm getting more and more used to the "I wonder what this guy's numbers in the minors look like" and "what's his K/9?" I must say, so far, this seems to be working slightly better and should produce a few exciting seasons over the next few years. More importantly though, I think finally the pieces are in place to make a big deal in July, if need be. The prospects in this system should allow Krivsky to be in on all the talks, not just the bargain ones.

princeton
03-04-2008, 09:47 AM
http://dallasmorningviews.beloblog.com/archives/debbie_downer.jpg

Good lord there are a bunch of miserable pessimistic SOBs on this site lately. Patterson is being brought in on a minor league contract. He won't be starting, much less batting leadoff.

you know that the minor league contract is a procedural thing at this point in camp. 40 man roster is full, and early March is a bad time to waive players. Also, if someone gets hurt between now and opening day, that player can go to the 60 day DL and open up a spot.

Patterson will be on the 25 man by opening day. He does, after all, fill a need :)

Spitball
03-04-2008, 09:55 AM
I have always been fascinated by the strategic thinking of the Krivsky FO, and by its self-discipline to stick by that strategic thinking. The main thinking is to fill need and to manage payroll both short and long-term, sometimes at the expense of talent.

Very well said. :thumbup:

Steve4192
03-04-2008, 09:59 AM
Patterson will be on the 25 man by opening day.

I have no problem with that. Patterson can be a useful defensive replacement, pinch runner, and occasional starter in day games after night games. As long as he is in that role, he will be a useful spare part.

There is no reason to believe he will be starting on opening day.

princeton
03-04-2008, 10:02 AM
There is no reason to believe he will be starting on opening day.


Reds have always needed a defender between Jr and Dunn, and that becomes more of a priority particularly if they're now forced to surrender defense at shortstop. So there's reason to believe.

princeton
03-04-2008, 10:15 AM
I think finally the pieces are in place to make a big deal in July, if need be. The prospects in this system should allow Krivsky to be in on all the talks, not just the bargain ones.


Krivsky also usually has budget left to pull off a trade for a contract.

It would really help if one of the home-grown Reds pitchers (Cueto or Bailey or even Roenicke) would break through early. Until that happens, all of our pitching prospects carry the Made-By-Yugo stigma.

BRM
03-04-2008, 10:27 AM
There is no reason to believe he will be starting on opening day.

I think there's plenty of reason to believe he could be starting on OD. My guess is he'll be part of a CF platoon with either Freel or Hopper. With a righty on the mound for the Diamondbacks, I'd say chances are good that Patterson will be the starter.

TRF
03-04-2008, 10:49 AM
http://dallasmorningviews.beloblog.com/archives/debbie_downer.jpg

Good lord there are a bunch of miserable pessimistic SOBs on this site lately. Patterson is being brought in on a minor league contract. He won't be starting, much less batting leadoff.

I swear some of you guys could win the lottery and still find time to complain about how it would increase your taxes.

ugh. how quickly some forget the past. How many times have the Reds in the past 5 years signed a guy to a minor league contract only to see him make the 25 man roster? Patterson likely WILL be the opening day CF. Hairston might make the team over Castro instead of guys like Valaika or Rosales, guys with more talent.

I loathe the Rich Aurilia signing. wait... crap, what year is it again?

traderumor
03-04-2008, 11:27 AM
ugh. how quickly some forget the past. How many times have the Reds in the past 5 years signed a guy to a minor league contract only to see him make the 25 man roster? Patterson likely WILL be the opening day CF. Hairston might make the team over Castro instead of guys like Valaika or Rosales, guys with more talent.

I loathe the Rich Aurilia signing. wait... crap, what year is it again?Funny you bring that up, because despite all the hating on Rich, he proved to be a valuable player and was not the problem with the team's losing ways.

princeton
03-04-2008, 11:28 AM
Funny you bring that up, because despite all the hating on Rich, he proved to be a valuable player and was not the problem with the team's losing ways.

Rich is usually a valuable member of a losing team

TRF
03-04-2008, 11:31 AM
No, but he didn't help either. He had a nice offensive season, was meh defensively, but there was no NEED for RA. What the Reds needed was pitching. And there were some guys available at what the Reds paid RA and a few others. (Milton, Ortiz et al.) Since princeton brough up need, it seemed like a good time to bring out the "loathe" chestnut.

princeton
03-04-2008, 05:43 PM
Wayne just gave $2mill to 16-year-old Juan Duran.

if Bowden had done that, he would have to not sign his pick in the first round of the draft because he just blew his entire draft budget.

but my suspicion is that Wayne has his finances in sufficient order to sign the number 8 pick

edabbs44
03-04-2008, 06:11 PM
Wayne just gave $2mill to 16-year-old Juan Duran.

if Bowden had done that, he would have to not sign his pick in the first round of the draft because he just blew his entire draft budget.

but my suspicion is that Wayne has his finances in sufficient order to sign the number 8 pick

Well, they have an extra $500k or so due to the lack of a 2nd round pick.

But you never know what can happen. They may overdraft someone in the 1st round and give him a little less than they would have given a legit top 10 talent.

Or they may not be able to sign an Alvarez who may drop due to contract demands.

cincyinco
03-04-2008, 06:11 PM
We have even seen the "need" approach at the organizational level, where the biggest needs have been filled in two consecutive drafts: defenders at CFer and catcher, preferably those with power potential, righthanded bats, and speed, were the need going in. Voila-- we essentially traded our drafting position to fill those needs in Drew Stubbs and Devin Mesoraco. Probably these were not the best available players at those particular draft slots, and we acted with self-discipline to ignore some prettier players. I have to admit that I don't particularly admire drafting for greatest need over greatest talent, particularly in a draft where picks can't be dealt. I mean, when you apply the principle of need over talent at this level, it doesn't seem to be just a philosophy for this front office-- it's bordering on an obsessive compulsive disorder.


Good post and interseting points. However I'd like to chime in on this paragraph from you. It will be interesting to see where the future Reds drafts go. After following the minors closely now for the better part of the last decade, I can tell you the Reds minor league squad was pretty dismal - it was starting to take shape under Dan'O, but his drafts were more methodical and were just growing up. Still, the Reds farm lacked any significant depth anywhere, they were extremely thin as all their talent - and most experts agreed most of their talent was Bailey and Bruce - and this may have been the main reason for drafting "need" as you state. Depth needed to be built - and I think it has.

Now that the depth is there to provide a fairly consistent stream of talent on some kind of level(we're now seeing prospects start to graduate), does the Reds philosphy change to a more high risk/reward angle? Not saying we go and draft Porcello's of the world and spend millions - but do we go after the high ceiling guys that you take based on BAP, or do we still go after the more "known quantity" or need?

princeton
03-04-2008, 06:19 PM
Now that the depth is there to provide a fairly consistent stream of talent on some kind of level(we're now seeing prospects start to graduate), does the Reds philosphy change to a more high risk/reward angle? Not saying we go and draft Porcello's of the world and spend millions - but do we go after the high ceiling guys that you take based on BAP, or do we still go after the more "known quantity" or need?

my educated guess (extrapolating from only two data points, mind you) is that they'll fill the one huge need that remains: a great defensive shortstop with offensive potential. Lefty arms are the other scarcity.

But having a higher pick may influence them. A slugger might be too much to pass up.

I can't imagine that they'll draft the third baseman even if he slides. Third base and RF are sewn up.

cincyinco
03-04-2008, 06:53 PM
I'm not sure what they're thinking now, as this Juan Duran kid has me pumped. I really hope we're at the point where we take BAP, but I could see them drafting a SS, especially if a kid like Beckham is there(doubt it..). Alvarez may slide, but I don't think he slides far enough to us, regardless his status. Its still early, lots of things can change. It's going to be interesting for sure.

OnBaseMachine
03-04-2008, 10:49 PM
Wayne just gave $2mill to 16-year-old Juan Duran.


For those who haven't heard or read the minor league forum, the Reds landed a huge talent out of the DR this week for two million dollars like princeton stated. I'll post the article here too because this is such huge news. This guy is supposed to be a major stud...I highlighted the best parts...

Reds Spend Big For 16-Year-Old Dominican

Many thought player wasn't eligible to sign

By Ben Badler
March 4, 2008
E-mail Print

The international signing period is still four months away, but the Reds have already made a big splash in the Dominican Republic, giving a $2 million signing bonus to 16-year-old outfielder Juan Duran, a player who many thought would not be eligible to sign until July 2.

"We've scouted him extensively," Reds scouting director Chris Buckley said. "We had not thought he was eligible until this coming July 2. But we found out he was eligible, and when we did we were able to react. (Assistant general manager) Bob Miller and (director of Latin American scouting) Tony Arias deserve the credit on this one, because Bob was going over guys we were preparing for this year's signing period, and he said, 'You can sign this guy right now.'

"We did not know that, but when we found that out, we were able to go get him because of the work Tony has done. He compares favorably to this year's high drafts."

Players who are 16 years old are eligible to sign with major league teams during the international signing period, which lasts from July 2 to Aug. 31. Players who turn 16 years old during the international signing period are eligible to sign with teams on their birthdays.

Duran's birthday is Sept. 2, 1991, making him a 16-year-old who seemed to have barely missed the cutoff point to sign during last year's international signing period, and it appeared he would have to wait until the commencement of the 2008 period to sign. However, the rules state that for an international player to be eligible to sign, he must be 16 years old at the time of the signing and turn 17 years old by either Sept. 1 or by the end of his first professional season.

Players signed during the international signing period are not eligible to play that same year, so their first professional season comes the following calendar year. For example, a player signed during the 2007 international signing period would have his first professional season be the 2008 season.

The Reds realized that they could sign Duran if they assigned him to their 2008 roster in Billings in the Rookie-level Pioneer League, where the regular season ends on Sept. 5. Since Duran will turn 17 before the end of the 2008 Pioneer League season, he was eligible to sign before the 2008 international signing period and was eligible to sign back on his birthday last year.

One American League international scouting director said that he had Duran in for a workout as recently as last month.

"I think it caught everybody by surprise," he said. "Even his agents were promoting him as a July 2 guy. He really doesn't follow the July 2 cutoff for this year. I guess we all thought that, with the Sept. 1 cutoff in mind, we all figured he was eligible this year instead of last year."

Duran, who bats and throws righthanded and checks in at roughly 6-foot-6, 190 pounds, likely will not play a game this year in the PL, however, where at 16 years old he would be by far the youngest player in the league. The Reds cannot assign him to the Gulf Coast League, since the GCL season ends on Aug. 27, so sending him to the GCL would void his contract.

Buckley and Arias were both with the Blue Jays when the team drafted outfielder Alex Rios as an 18-year-old with the 19th overall pick in the 1999 draft.

"He compares favorably, only he's bigger and stronger at this age than Rios was," Buckley said. "He's more physical, and he has shown some of the same feel for hitting that Alex displayed.

"We don't have a second-round pick this year so we wanted to be creative and get more talent any way we can."

The $2 million bonus that Duran received was $500,000 more than the Red Sox gave to Dominican third baseman Michael Almanzar, who received the highest bonus of the 2007 international signing period. In 2006, the Giants gave Dominican first baseman Angel Villalona that year's top bonus at $2.1 million. It is the highest international bonus in Reds history, and tied for the third-largest signing bonus given to any player in club history.

Arias said that Duran was one of the Reds' top targets for July 2 before they realized within the last week that they could sign him.

"His body and offensive ability stick out like a sore thumb," Arias said. "In batting practice, he was just hitting them over the trees in our complex, hitting them out to center and right-center field. You can tell just tell from the way the ball jumps off his bat.

"I've never seen a 16-year-old with this type of ability. I talked to some people in the Dominican Republic who crossed paths with Vladimir Guerrero at that age, guys who have been scouting in the Dominican for more than 20 years, and they said they've never come into contact with a bat like this. He's got 80 power potential (on the 20-80 scouting scale) and just gets tremendous loft. In my opinion, in terms of his bat and his body, he's a better overall package than Angel Villalona. We wanted to change the perception in the baseball industry that Cincinnati is a cheap organization. We want to get back to being the Big Red Machine."

Another AL international scouting director said his team was also interested in Duran.

"We liked him," another AL international scouting director said. "We saw him as a corner outfielder, big, long-limbed, real bat potential. He's definitely a guy a lot of people liked."

One National League international scouting director compared Duran's body to that of a young Juan Gonzalez.

"He might end up being in center field because he's a plus runner. It's all going to come down to how big he gets and if he slows down," the scout said. "He's going to put on some weight, so whether he retains that speed will tell if he ends up at a corner.

"He's got some bat speed, and the power will come from the bat speed, but it all comes down to how thick he grows."

The same NL international scouting director also noted that Duran has been bothered by an elbow problem—which Arias said might have something to do with Duran having grown six inches in the past year—and that Duran only started throwing as far as 40 feet last month.

"He went to a tournament in Puerto Rico in the winter, and he didn't throw there. I saw him in February, and all he did was hit. I don't know what the up-to-date situation with his elbow is, but maybe they already checked him. Was he worth that kind of money? I guess he was to the Reds because they think he's an impact guy, but to me, I don't think so."
One AL international scouting director called him "one of those guys who don't come around very often."

"He's got all the tools," he said. "He's a pretty good player, very advanced for his age. I think it was a good investment. He's a good athlete, he has above-average power right now and he has a chance for 80 power (on the 20-80 scouting scale). He demonstrated every ability that you like to see in a kid. He's a very outgoing kid, good swing. There's no doubt about his approach, bat speed and power . . . he has all the common denominators you like to see, good balance, rhythm and a pretty good idea of what to do at the plate.

"If he has to go to a corner (outfield position), he certainly has the power to go there. But right now I'd give him every opportunity to play center field because he's light on his feet and has a good idea how to play out there. He's probably 6-foot-6, 195 pounds, somewhere in that area, so he could gain a whole 40 pounds with no problem. You look at this guy, and you hate to compare guys to major league players, especially at his age, but he could be a young Dave Winfield in the making."

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2008/265719.html

Steve4192
03-05-2008, 12:11 AM
Before everyone gets too excited with the Duran signing, let's keep in mind that Wily Mo Pena and Jackson Melian received similar glowing reports and MLB player comparisons when they were 16.

Screwball
03-05-2008, 01:50 AM
Before everyone gets too excited with the Duran signing, let's keep in mind that Wily Mo Pena and Jackson Melian received similar glowing reports and MLB player comparisons when they were 16.

Now who's the Debbie Downer? ;)

redsmetz
03-05-2008, 06:09 AM
Before everyone gets too excited with the Duran signing, let's keep in mind that Wily Mo Pena and Jackson Melian received similar glowing reports and MLB player comparisons when they were 16.

Keep in mind though, that Wily Mo's development was extremely truncated due to him having a ML contract almost from the start with the Yankees. He spent a couple of years with the Reds when he desperately needed to be in the minors. There's no telling how much he would have improved if he'd been able to play at more appropriate levels, IMO.

This kid we justed signed will be on a standard development contract, hopefully allowing him to progress at a normal pace. You're correct that any given big-time prospect can prove to be a bust, but as others have noted, it's significant that the Reds stepped up and paid what the market required, plus that our FO did their homework and beat everyone else to the punch.

princeton
03-05-2008, 06:20 AM
Before everyone gets too excited with the Duran signing, let's keep in mind that Wily Mo Pena and Jackson Melian received similar glowing reports and MLB player comparisons when they were 16.


I think that's the correct point. I also think about all of the great 16 year old basketball players that never impact in the pros

We also made a $2mill investment in Alejandro Diaz that never worked out, and as an older player, he should have been more projectible

finally, the current scouts have given about $2mill to two players, Stubbs and Mesoraco, who have thus far been underwhelming.

here's hoping that this time, they succeeded and nabbed the Kobe Bryant/Kevin Garnett of center fielders.

edabbs44
03-05-2008, 06:43 AM
I think that's the correct point. I also think about all of the great 16 year old basketball players that never impact in the pros

We also made a $2mill investment in Alejandro Diaz that never worked out, and as an older player, he should have been more projectible

finally, the current scouts have given about $2mill to two players, Stubbs and Mesoraco, who have thus far been underwhelming.

here's hoping that this time, they succeeded and nabbed the Kobe Bryant/Kevin Garnett of center fielders.

I'm more excited about the willingness to spend like that than Juan Duran himself.

Topcat
03-05-2008, 06:47 AM
Beautiful summation Princeton.

princeton
03-05-2008, 08:40 AM
I'm more excited about the willingness to spend like that than Juan Duran himself.

I'm hoping that the target of your excitement shifts quickly from the one to the other, because I remember feeling the same way about the signing of Alejandro Diaz until the day that I saw Diaz.

spending money's easy. The Orioles spend money. spending money on the right people is the tricky part.

the Dominican market is supposed to be more cost-effective, yet we just threw $2mill at it. Hopefully that means that this is a $6mill prospect.

princeton
03-05-2008, 10:18 AM
from Enquirer article a couple of years ago:


One scouting mistake illustrates how a really bad decision can hurt a small market franchise.

In 1999, the Reds discovered Miguel Cabrera, the 20-year-old wonder kid of the Marlins.

Felix Delgado, the Reds' scout in Venezuela, was Cabrera's youth coach.

Cabrera signed in July 1999. The Reds could have had him for $800,000. But the money wasn't there. One reason was the club had spent $1.9 million to sign Alejandro Diaz in March 1999.

TRF
03-05-2008, 10:29 AM
I think that's the correct point. I also think about all of the great 16 year old basketball players that never impact in the pros

We also made a $2mill investment in Alejandro Diaz that never worked out, and as an older player, he should have been more projectible

finally, the current scouts have given about $2mill to two players, Stubbs and Mesoraco, who have thus far been underwhelming.

here's hoping that this time, they succeeded and nabbed the Kobe Bryant/Kevin Garnett of center fielders.

The problem is Diaz wasn't an "older" player when the Reds signed him. He aged 6 years I believe overnight, making his projection worthless. The Reds got snookered on him I believe.