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traderumor
07-20-2009, 12:07 PM
Dodgers Eyeing Reds Relievers
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [July 20, 2009 at 10:52am CST]
The Dodgers can help themselves in more ways than one if they play well against the Reds this week. As MLB.com's Ken Gurnick points out, the Dodgers can push the Reds further from contention and give themselves a better shot at obtaining one of the Cincinnati relievers they've been watching. The Dodgers are trying to improve their 'pen, so they've been eyeing Francisco Cordero, David Weathers and Arthur Rhodes along with O's closer George Sherrill.

From MLBTraderumors (not affiliated :)), do we have a deal for you! Chance to get out from under Coco's contract?

Homer Bailey
07-20-2009, 12:19 PM
I'm not in a huge hurry to ship out Cordero. He gets paid quite a bit, but he is vital to this team's success in that they are going to rely on pitching to win, and are going to try to win games 3-2. In that case, you are going to need a guy to be nails at in the 9th inning, and so far he has been.

Unassisted
07-20-2009, 12:22 PM
I doubt that Jocketty sees Coco's contract as a problem, since he's the GM who won the bidding war for his services and handcuffed the Reds to it. That means he'll want a big return to part with Coco.

RedlegJake
07-20-2009, 12:23 PM
Look at it this way. The Reds get out from under Cordero with a trade to LA. They move Bronson, maybe to Philly, and Harang really did go to the Yankees. That would put the Reds in the darn near nothing zone of payroll. Smacks too much of firesale to think the Reds would consider it but if the returns were good enough for 2010-2011 I'd be considering exactly that.

Benihana
07-20-2009, 12:23 PM
I doubt that Jocketty sees Coco's contract as a problem, since he's the GM who won the bidding war for his services and handcuffed the Reds to it. That means he'll want a big return to part with Coco.

Krivsky signed Cordero.

edabbs44
07-20-2009, 12:23 PM
I'm not in a huge hurry to ship out Cordero. He gets paid quite a bit, but he is vital to this team's success in that they are going to rely on pitching to win, and are going to try to win games 3-2. In that case, you are going to need a guy to be nails at in the 9th inning, and so far he has been.

Cincy has already seen the first 35% (and most likely the most productive 35%) of his contract go by. Getting out from under this commitment would be a very good move if possible.

flyer85
07-20-2009, 12:23 PM
I doubt that Jocketty sees Coco's contract as a problem, since he's the GM who won the bidding war for his services and handcuffed the Reds to it. that would have been Krivsky.

johngalt
07-20-2009, 12:24 PM
I doubt that Jocketty sees Coco's contract as a problem, since he's the GM who won the bidding war for his services and handcuffed the Reds to it. That means he'll want a big return to part with Coco.

Krivsky was the one who signed Cordero. It was November 2007, before Jocketty was even on board as the special advisor.

Unassisted
07-20-2009, 12:26 PM
Krivsky signed Cordero.


that would have been Krivsky.


Krivsky was the one who signed Cordero. It was November 2007, before Jocketty was even on board as the special advisor.I stand corrected. :doh:

Here's another Dodger take (http://trades.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/07/dodgers_in_on_halladay_and_rel.html).


And there's still the issue of acquiring bullpen help, which management considers at least equally important. The Dodgers might make that easier by sweeping the Reds this week and turning that club into a seller, because it has three relievers the Dodgers are watching -- Francisco Cordero, David Weathers and Arthur Rhodes.

Benihana
07-20-2009, 12:26 PM
Look at it this way. The Reds get out from under Cordero with a trade to LA. They move Bronson, maybe to Philly, and Harang really did go to the Yankees. That would put the Reds in the darn near nothing zone of payroll. Smacks too much of firesale to think the Reds would consider it but if the returns were good enough for 2010-2011 I'd be considering exactly that.

Then all they need to do is low-ball their current players when offering them long-term contracts, shrug their shoulders when said players decline the offers and leave via FA, and then they could call themselves the Pirates!

Seriously, what good is payflex if you show zero ability to reinvest those funds properly, if at all?

That said, I would definitely be in favor of moving Arroyo and possibly Cordero if given a proper return in talent. However in that scenario, I would hang onto Harang and build for next year, instead of the proverbial "three years from now."

nate
07-20-2009, 12:26 PM
I'm not in a huge hurry to ship out Cordero. He gets paid quite a bit, but he is vital to this team's success in that they are going to rely on pitching to win, and are going to try to win games 3-2. In that case, you are going to need a guy to be nails at in the 9th inning, and so far he has been.

Winning games 3-2 hasn't been any more successful than winning them 9-8. I mean, we're only one game better this year than we were last year at this point.

The Reds need to start relying on pitching, offense and defense rather than focusing on a single aspect while the other two languish.

If Cordero can be traded for a return that improves the team next year, whether by what he brings back or salary relief, I'm all for it.

traderumor
07-20-2009, 12:42 PM
The flip side is that the old Dodgers/Reds rivalry boils up in me when I see the Dodgers followers arrogantly proclaiming "lets just sweep 'em, then pillage the bullpen." Arrgggh!

traderumor
07-20-2009, 12:44 PM
What kind of prospects do the Dodgers have that make sense to deal with us, since I assume a deal for a reliever is going to mean the principal(s) of the deal will be prospects.

Strikes Out Looking
07-20-2009, 12:52 PM
While I don't think any of the older Reds pitchers are untradeable or untouchable, I don't understand all this selling off today to make a run down the road. A trade that makes the Reds better in August and 2010 would be fine as I think the Reds would be better with a future is now attitude, on and off the field.

Danny Serafini
07-20-2009, 12:55 PM
Cordero has a full no trade clause this year, he's not going anywhere.

Chip R
07-20-2009, 12:57 PM
What kind of prospects do the Dodgers have that make sense to deal with us, since I assume a deal for a reliever is going to mean the principal(s) of the deal will be prospects.


I don't know about prospects but since the Reds have had Corey Patterson and now Willy Taveras, Dusty could complete the Holy Trinity by getting Juan Pierre in return.

Scrap Irony
07-20-2009, 01:01 PM
If Cordero can be traded for a return that improves the team next year, whether by what he brings back or salary relief, I'm all for it.

Agreed. If the Reds can grab, say, OF/1B AA prospect Andrew Lambo or AAA LHSP Scott Elbert, then take that $12 million and sign Marcus Scutaro and a closer, I'd sign up for that for sure.

Jpup
07-20-2009, 01:06 PM
I don't know about prospects but since the Reds have had Corey Patterson and now Willy Taveras, Dusty could complete the Holy Trinity by getting Juan Pierre in return.

Juan Pierre and cash for Francisco Codero and Willy Tavares. That sounds about right. There is an article, this morning, from LA that says the Dodgers are likely to move Pierre.

Jpup
07-20-2009, 01:08 PM
Cordero has a full no trade clause this year, he's not going anywhere.

Who would not want to play for the Dodgers right now? If I were a player and was choosing my team, LA would be at the top of the list.

RedsManRick
07-20-2009, 01:10 PM
Cordero has a full no trade clause this year, he's not going anywhere.

Why would he turn down a deal to the best team in the league?

redsmetz
07-20-2009, 01:23 PM
The flip side is that the old Dodgers/Reds rivalry boils up in me when I see the Dodgers followers arrogantly proclaiming "lets just sweep 'em, then pillage the bullpen." Arrgggh!

Precisely. Actually we'll be in a better position if we beat their bullpen, thereby showing their glaring need and they sweeten the deal. I could see Weathers going easily due to fact he'll be a five and ten player next season if we pick up his option. If we can cash in on his contract now, I'm for that. I've greatly appreciated what Weathers has brought to this club over the last several years, but we've got players that can take his place. And he's a nice deal because his option next year is no big shake either, so the acquiring club gets him for next year too.

flyer85
07-20-2009, 01:25 PM
I would think Rhodes would be the first to go. Still has great stuff and he is a lefty.

flyer85
07-20-2009, 01:27 PM
No trade causes do not in any way imply a player doesn't want to be traded. they are simply there to give the player control over the situation when a team does try to trade them.

Spitball
07-20-2009, 01:39 PM
I would think Rhodes would be the first to go. Still has great stuff and he is a lefty.

Maybe, but he has a reasonable contract and should only be traded to a desperate team willing to overpay.

VR
07-20-2009, 01:41 PM
The Reds have some big pieces that are coveted, AND the Reds have some depth in those positions. Would love to see Jockety capitalize in a BIG way.
If Pierre is acquired....I will need a new keyboard, for starters.

RedEye
07-20-2009, 01:43 PM
Juan Pierre and cash for Francisco Codero and Willy Tavares. That sounds about right. There is an article, this morning, from LA that says the Dodgers are likely to move Pierre.

That would be awful! Like trading Willy Taveras and Francisco Cordero for... a more expensive Willy Taveras!

RedEye
07-20-2009, 01:43 PM
Can we give them Cordero, Rhodes and Weathers for Matt Kemp?

RedRoser
07-20-2009, 01:53 PM
I'd give 'em the whole darn bullpen and just restock it with minor leaguers in order to get Kemp!!! LOL

joshnky
07-20-2009, 01:55 PM
Can we give them Cordero, Rhodes and Weathers for Matt Kemp?

Besides the fact that we would be left with a suspect bullpen there is no way the Dodgers trade one of their young stars for three aging, deteriorating, and expensive rentals.

buckeyenut
07-20-2009, 01:56 PM
Can we give them Cordero, Rhodes and Weathers for Matt Kemp?I was just thinking the same thing! That would be awesome for us and would allow them to keep Pierre as it opens up OF slot for him. Of course, this presumes rumors LA is down on Kemp are true enough for them to move him.

Other guys I would like to explore in return are Scott Elbert and James McDonald. They are nice pitchers and are in their pen currently, so would be candidates to get shipped out to AAA anyway to make room.

Homer Bailey
07-20-2009, 01:58 PM
Winning games 3-2 hasn't been any more successful than winning them 9-8. I mean, we're only one game better this year than we were last year at this point.

I'm not saying it has been successful or if it will be successful. I think the Reds are lucky to be where they are.


The Reds need to start relying on pitching, offense and defense rather than focusing on a single aspect while the other two languish.

The new management team has shown no desire to really improve on anything. The only improvements have been additions by subractions (thus increasing the defense).


If Cordero can be traded for a return that improves the team next year, whether by what he brings back or salary relief, I'm all for it.

I agree, but I just don't think that getting rid of Cordero's salary necessarily means that the money saved is going to be money spent. You know what I mean? Just because they get rid of Cordero's contract, I don't feel like it makes them a bigger player in the free agent market this offseason. For whatever reason, I still see them going to cheap route, buts just my opinion.

bucksfan2
07-20-2009, 02:03 PM
I do not want to trade Cordero right now unless the Reds get a lot in return. Until the Reds find someone who can replace Cordero, I think Masset is the guy just isn't ready yet, they shouldn't trade him. Look at the Brewers whom the Reds outbid Cordero from. Last year they signed Gagne, coming off arm surgery, to a $10M contract. Then this year in today's buyers market, they signed Hoffman, whom the Padres refused to resign, to a $6M deal. It just isn't that easy to find late inning reliable guys.

Weathers and Rhodes should go. Both have been very effective this year and their trade value should be high. Trade them while they are hot before age begins to play a roll in their decline.

membengal
07-20-2009, 02:06 PM
Why isn't Massett ready?

ETA: I like Cordero, and have defended both his signing and his contract. But the point that people who fuss about that contract make is valid, namely, what he does can be approximated for 90% less money. Look at what Ryan Franklin, of all people, is doing in St. Louis, for instance. So, in light of that, and plenty of other examples, why not Massett?

On top of that, your current Brewers example proves that it IS kinda easy to find back end guys. A decaying Trevor Hoffman has been more than just serviceable, he's been good, and for 40% less than what Cordero is costing the Reds.

Reds1
07-20-2009, 02:15 PM
It is interesting, the reds could actually trade the likes of Rhoads, Weathers, and Cordero and really get something good in return, but we are at that fine line right now of having a shot at this year and not. I do think the next 10 days are critical. I'd say even if we are buyers we could trade a Weathers and insert Burton back in the pen. I kind of like having Cordero though. He kind of keeps the whole pen together and also helps with Cueto and Volquez language issues. If you believe in the whole team chemistry. :)

I guess you have to look at offers. I'd say Weather and Rhoads 1st as they are OLD. LOL

It's going to be fun! I have to say with Hanigan and Gomes in the line up it doesn't look too bad right now, especially with Taverez getting one some. Hariston also impressive defense. Maybe we have a SS right here. I don't know. He seems to play well to me.

bucksfan2
07-20-2009, 02:24 PM
Why isn't Massett ready?

ETA: I like Cordero, and have defended both his signing and his contract. But the point that people who fuss about that contract make is valid, namely, what he does can be approximated for 90% less money. Look at what Ryan Franklin, of all people, is doing in St. Louis, for instance. So, in light of that, and plenty of other examples, why not Massett?

On top of that, your current Brewers example proves that it IS kinda easy to find back end guys. A decaying Trevor Hoffman has been more than just serviceable, he's been good, and for 40% less than what Cordero is costing the Reds.

Massett hasn't been used in high leverage situations yet. He rarely pitches in the 8th inning of close games, usually that goes to Weathers. Ideally Weathers would get traded and Massett would fill Weathers 8th inning roll and being to be groomed for the closer position.

I used the Brewers as an example because it isn't exactly easy finding a closer. They ended up signing two, past their prime closers, to big dollar contracts, and have so far been successful with one. I don't think it is apt to compare Cordero's and Hoffman's contracts because they were signed in two completely different markets.

lollipopcurve
07-20-2009, 02:27 PM
Sets up nicely for the Reds -- the Dodgers have a real need. At the same time, I think the Reds can withstand the loss of Cordero now, as Masset and Roenicke, in my opinion, look to have closing potential. If you can't get a good deal for Cordero, surely Rhodes can bring back a decent prospect.

The Dodgers system does have 2 young shortstops, DeJesus Jr. and Devaris Gordon. DeJesus is missing this year with a broken leg, and Gordon is still somewhat raw in low A, but both players have real potential -- as pesky high OBP (DeJesus) or speed (Gordon) threats that profile at the top of the order. I have to think the Dodgers would be willing to give up one of the two. Beyond those guys, there are some interesting arms (Elbert, Withrow, Martin, Lindblom) and a couple hitters (Bell, Lambo). It's a solid system, so this is a great organization for the Reds to be looking in for trades involving our relievers. The question is, would the Dodgers give up a young SS and an another good prospect for Cordero? Seems like money would become a key issue...

membengal
07-20-2009, 02:31 PM
Massett hasn't been used in high leverage situations yet. He rarely pitches in the 8th inning of close games, usually that goes to Weathers. Ideally Weathers would get traded and Massett would fill Weathers 8th inning roll and being to be groomed for the closer position.

I used the Brewers as an example because it isn't exactly easy finding a closer. They ended up signing two, past their prime closers, to big dollar contracts, and have so far been successful with one. I don't think it is apt to compare Cordero's and Hoffman's contracts because they were signed in two completely different markets.

Was Ryan Franklin?

traderumor
07-20-2009, 02:32 PM
Why isn't Massett ready?

ETA: I like Cordero, and have defended both his signing and his contract. But the point that people who fuss about that contract make is valid, namely, what he does can be approximated for 90% less money. Look at what Ryan Franklin, of all people, is doing in St. Louis, for instance. So, in light of that, and plenty of other examples, why not Massett?

On top of that, your current Brewers example proves that it IS kinda easy to find back end guys. A decaying Trevor Hoffman has been more than just serviceable, he's been good, and for 40% less than what Cordero is costing the Reds.I'm not sure that I buy the Ryan Franklin example as it seems to be "lightning in a bottle" rather than an example of cheap, easy to find production. When you buy a Cordero, you are buying a bona fide closer who has been doing it regularly rather than holding tryout camps going into each season. Most of the time that happens, it seems to be out of necessity, and then the success story is trotted out as the rule.

Not saying you are doing that, membengal, but I think it depends on how you value stability in the back of the bullpen and how much you are willing to pay for it. Cordero is the anchor that allowed the rest of the bullpen to be built around his stable production and the Reds paid for that. I imagine the Cards, as a smart organization, will pay again for a closer like they did with Isringhausen.

membengal
07-20-2009, 02:35 PM
Again, tr, I have consistently been FOR the Cordero signing and defended the contract. Period. All over this board.

Having said that, given the direction of this team, and its needs, the arguments AGAINST paying that kind of money for a "small market" team (as the Reds insist on being) are rather compelling, and perhaps the concern over back-end stability has been addressed in the intervening two years with the development of Roenicke, Fisher, Masset, et al.

dfs
07-20-2009, 02:37 PM
we are at that fine line right now of having a shot at this year and not. Are we?

With injuiries to Bruce/Bray/Hernandez et al, I think we are we are way passed that line. What can be salvaged from this season looking forward to 2010.

You don't dump anybody.... well Ok, if somebody makes an offer for Wily T, you can dump him, but you've got to get value for what you have. You do have to answer to the fans and you still want folks to keep coming out for this year.

You put Harang, Arroyo, Rhodes, Weathers and Cordero up there and see if anybody is willing to give you anything that makes 2010 a better year.

bucksfan2
07-20-2009, 02:41 PM
Was Ryan Franklin?

Ryan Franklin was lightening in a bottle. No one could have predicted that he would explode as a closer this season. No one could have predicted he would have a career era north of 4.00 but this season it would stand at .76. His career whip is 1.312 but this season he is putting up a WHIP of .792. If you plan is to go out and sign 9 year MLB veterans who have never saved a game in their life and expect them to become an All Star closer then you are barking up the wrong tree.

traderumor
07-20-2009, 02:52 PM
Again, tr, I have consistently been FOR the Cordero signing and defended the contract. Period. All over this board.

Having said that, given the direction of this team, and its needs, the arguments AGAINST paying that kind of money for a "small market" team (as the Reds insist on being) are rather compelling, and perhaps the concern over back-end stability has been addressed in the intervening two years with the development of Roenicke, Fisher, Masset, et al.The point is that paying for a closer is a cost of doing business if you are going to manage the bullpen according to Hoyle in the modern game. Those who don't hit and hope out of necessity, which is all the Cards have done this year and is why I think arguing that Ryan Franklin represents an example of a viable model for a 9th inning closer using modern bullpen pecking orders is not taking into account that he is an exceptional case and should not be used to prove the rule. Plus, unless the Cards had an epiphany, they have been paying for a closer in Isringhausen and couldn't find one this year, plugged in Franklin, and fell backwards into a career season. Sort of like the Jason Simontacchi story.

RedsManRick
07-20-2009, 02:53 PM
Cordero is not worth $12M more than our best reliever in Louisville. If you can get somebody in return who could provide some value, you do it -- even if you have to pick up some of his salary this year.

That said, I imagine Cordero may want the team who acquires him to pick up his option.

Kc61
07-20-2009, 02:58 PM
I could go along with a trade of Weathers or Rhodes. I could accept a trade of Roenicke if the Reds want to acquire a veteran. Or Burton or Herrara.

I would not be happy with a trade of Massett. He has excellent stuff and perhaps could be a closer some day. And he's proving himself at the big league level.

I would be furious if the Reds trade Cordero, unless the return is a king's ransom. Anyone who thinks the Reds should make Cordero readily available is asking for years of frustration.

I would not be happy trusting the ninth inning to any pitcher on the Reds' staff other than Cordero. Possibly Rhodes if lefties are coming up. Cordero's experience, stuff, and mental toughness are a combo that is rare.

And there is no reason why Coco can't continue to close for a few more years. Why remove that key element from the Reds? So that we can experiment with still another position?

Cordero enables the Reds to have good relievers pitch as set up men. And to replace Cordero effectively will require another expensive pitcher.

Letting Cordero go would be a tear down. They should not do it unless the return is huge.

RedsManRick
07-20-2009, 02:59 PM
The point is that paying for a closer is a cost of doing business if you are going to manage the bullpen according to Hoyle in the modern game. Those who don't hit and hope out of necessity, which is all the Cards have done this year and is why I think arguing that Ryan Franklin represents an example of a viable model for a 9th inning closer using modern bullpen pecking orders is not taking into account that he is an exceptional case and should not be used to prove the rule. Plus, unless the Cards had an epiphany, they have been paying for a closer in Isringhausen and couldn't find one this year, plugged in Franklin, and fell backwards into a career season. Sort of like the Jason Simontacchi story.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, for one, disagree. Closers are only good investments when they are great pitchers who deserve to be paid because of their excellence in getting guys out. Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan, Brad Lidge, etc. Cordero is a good, but not great reliever who has no business making the money he does.

Just look at other guys having success as closers who don't have some proven track record -- David Aarsdma, Heath Bell, George Sherrill, Frank Fransisco, Andrew Bailey. Being a good closer is about being a good pitcher.

Sure, there is some ability to not collapse under pressure and some guys aren't suited to high leverage roles. But many saves aren't pressure situations to being with. Spending 20% of your payroll on a guy who wouldn't turn heads if he pitched an inning earlier is not a wise investment.

traderumor
07-20-2009, 03:04 PM
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, for one, disagree. Closers are only good investments when they are great pitchers who deserve to be paid because of their excellence in getting guys out. Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan, Brad Lidge, etc. Cordero is a good, but not great reliever who has no business making the money he does.

Just look at other guys having success as closers who don't have some proven track record -- David Aarsdma, Heath Bell, George Sherrill, Frank Fransisco, Andrew Bailey. Being a good closer is about being a good pitcher.

Sure, there is some ability to not collapse under pressure and some guys aren't suited to high leverage roles. But many saves aren't pressure situations to being with. Spending 20% of your payroll on a guy who wouldn't turn heads if he pitched an inning earlier is not a wise investment.I find it interesting that you include Brad Lidge in that list, since he has been much more inconsistent than Cordero over the last three years, and has struggled this year. Your problem seems to be more with his % of Reds payroll than his performance, which has been elite this season. Last year, it was clear that he had an injury that he fought through. I can see the merits of unloading him seeing the Reds present condition and giving Jocketty some budget to play with, but I also think you are understating Cordero's performance, past and present, to build your argument.

edabbs44
07-20-2009, 03:06 PM
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, for one, disagree. Closers are only good investments when they are great pitchers who deserve to be paid because of their excellence in getting guys out. Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan, Brad Lidge, etc. Cordero is a good, but not great reliever who has no business making the money he does.

Just look at other guys having success as closers who don't have some proven track record -- David Aarsdma, Heath Bell, George Sherrill, Frank Fransisco, Andrew Bailey. Being a good closer is about being a good pitcher.

Sure, there is some ability to not collapse under pressure and some guys aren't suited to high leverage roles. But many saves aren't pressure situations to being with. Spending 20% of your payroll on a guy who wouldn't turn heads if he pitched an inning earlier is not a wise investment.

Agreed. That money was highly questionable when it was spent and it became a loser of a deal when they failed to put additional money into the roster in order to make it a winner.

A closer should be the last place you spend a material amount of capital when you have a team like Cincy had at the time of the signing. Especially an aging one.

Kc61
07-20-2009, 03:10 PM
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, for one, disagree. Closers are only good investments when they are great pitchers who deserve to be paid because of their excellence in getting guys out. Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan, Brad Lidge, etc. Cordero is a good, but not great reliever who has no business making the money he does.

Just look at other guys having success as closers who don't have some proven track record -- David Aarsdma, Heath Bell, George Sherrill, Frank Fransisco, Andrew Bailey. Being a good closer is about being a good pitcher.

Sure, there is some ability to not collapse under pressure and some guys aren't suited to high leverage roles. But many saves aren't pressure situations to being with. Spending 20% of your payroll on a guy who wouldn't turn heads if he pitched an inning earlier is not a wise investment.

I do not agree that closing games is something a good pitcher can routinely do. I think it takes a special guy.

For all the names you provide of cut rate closers, there are many teams that find it to be a key area warranting an expensive veteran. The Mets lost one high priced guy, Wagner, and then went out and got two additional high priced guys, K-Rod and Putz. Just one example.

IMO, it is a key area of need. The Reds have struggled with their bullpens when they have had weak closers. It affects the whole lineup of relievers when the closer is not reliable. Now, the Reds can use every guy in the pen to set things up because they have one guy who they know can close it out.

As for Coco's salary, my concern is not Bob C's pocketbook. As owner of the Reds in this day and age he should be able to give fans a few high priced, top notch players. I'm glad one is in the closer spot and is as reliable as Coco.

bucksfan2
07-20-2009, 03:10 PM
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, for one, disagree. Closers are only good investments when they are great pitchers who deserve to be paid because of their excellence in getting guys out. Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan, Brad Lidge, etc. Cordero is a good, but not great reliever who has no business making the money he does.

Just look at other guys having success as closers who don't have some proven track record -- David Aarsdma, Heath Bell, George Sherrill, Frank Fransisco, Andrew Bailey. Being a good closer is about being a good pitcher.

Sure, there is some ability to not collapse under pressure and some guys aren't suited to high leverage roles. But many saves aren't pressure situations to being with. Spending 20% of your payroll on a guy who wouldn't turn heads if he pitched an inning earlier is not a wise investment.

Except that the Rays went out there and signed Troy Percival because they felt they needed a veteran presence in the closer position. I disagree with your assertion that Lidge deserves to be paid. He was great last season, one of the biggest reasons Philly won the WS. But this season he has been a mess. A WHIP of over 1.8 and Era north of 7 isn't a good thing for someone being called upon to save games.

The need for a good closer should have been evident in watching the Reds over the past few years. It has been clearly evident that the pen this season is probably as good of a pen as the Reds have had in this decade. Thanks in large part to Cordero. The Reds tried the "cheap" veteran closer for years and it may have cost them a playoff spot back in 06.

Cordero has done exactly what the Reds have called upon him to do. He has been very successful pitching in the closers roll. IMO he is worth the money they are paying him. You just couldn't predict the nose dive the economy took and its impact on salaries. Remember when Cordero signed his contract, the surgically repaired Eric Gagne was worth $10M.

Roy Tucker
07-20-2009, 03:11 PM
I'd really like to delude myself into thinking the Reds can contend in 2009 but I don't think I could look at myself in the mirror if I did.

So, this is when WJ earns his keep. Its looking like the Reds have valued trading chips coming down to the wire. The Reds certainly have some glaring holes in their roster. Let's see what he can do.

edabbs44
07-20-2009, 03:14 PM
Except that the Rays went out there and signed Troy Percival because they felt they needed a veteran presence in the closer position. I disagree with your assertion that Lidge deserves to be paid. He was great last season, one of the biggest reasons Philly won the WS. But this season he has been a mess. A WHIP of over 1.8 and Era north of 7 isn't a good thing for someone being called upon to save games.

FYI...Philly is 6.5 games ahead of the 2nd place team.

Good illustration of why you don't have a stud closer to win, especially when you have to pay out the nose to get one.

WMR
07-20-2009, 03:16 PM
Jocketty needs to get busy! The Reds are sitting on a number of depreciating assets that could be moved to help the team in the seasons to come. Surely they're not still misguidedly dreaming about THIS year?

bucksfan2
07-20-2009, 03:17 PM
FYI...Philly is 6.5 games ahead of the 2nd place team.

Good illustration of why you don't have a stud closer to win, especially when you have to pay out the nose to get one.

Yea I think the Mets would have wanted a stud closer over the past two seasons. They may not have collapsed and missed the playoffs.

membengal
07-20-2009, 03:19 PM
The Mets went and got a stud closer this year. Where are they in the standings at present?

edabbs44
07-20-2009, 03:21 PM
Yea I think the Mets would have wanted a stud closer over the past two seasons. They may not have collapsed and missed the playoffs.

Billy Wagner isn't a good closer?

bucksfan2
07-20-2009, 03:26 PM
Billy Wagner isn't a good closer?

Not at the time. He had a problem staying healthy. Great closer, just wore down during the last years of his career.


The Mets went and got a stud closer this year. Where are they in the standings at present?

KRod isn't the problem this year in NY. It is their injuries as well as lack of power that has hampered the Mets this season. It just goes to show you that one player doesn't make or break a team. The successful team have a very good balance of offense, defense, starting pitching, and relief pitching. Whenever you have a void in one of those areas you need to fill that void in order to be successful.

Right now it is pretty obvious that the Reds need offense. If you want to trade Cordero for prospects and hope that Massett or you can find a Ryan Franklin type then that is fine. I just remember the awful pens of the Krivsky era and how much those hurt the team. Cordero is a huge asset to the Reds, one that is not easily replaceable. His salary may be steep, but as long as he does his job then I don't want him moved.

traderumor
07-20-2009, 03:27 PM
The Mets went and got a stud closer this year. Where are they in the standings at present?I know you know the game better than this.

membengal
07-20-2009, 03:35 PM
I know you know the game better than this.

It makes the point RMR, makes, though. And the Mets have some room (pre-Madoff anyway) to take on oodles of payroll to include a big name and expensive closer. But even big name and expensive closers are extremely dependant on the team around them, and NY has been as beset by injuries as the Reds have, making F-Rod moot, for all intents and purposes.

In the Reds' case, where they do NOT have NY money to bump up payroll, and taking them at face value that they are capped where they currently are salary wise, then it is a fair question whether Cordero, even as good as he has been, is worth 12% of this team's payroll. That's a ridiculous luxury. And I tend to agree with KC about what Cordero's benefits have been, but, man, I still don't know that it is 12% of payroll benefits.

So, RMR and edabbs' point remains salient, if you can move Cordero, even as good as he's been, and get some legit prospects while freeing up that kind of payroll, shouldn't you do it?

I think I am persuaded they shoud.

ETA: At the time they got Cordero, I was in full support because I thought they were closer to contention than they apparently are. And I thought they would spend a bit more to get the final pieces. For whatever reason, they really have not done so since signing that contract, further making him a luxury that they apparently cannot afford.

Kc61
07-20-2009, 03:46 PM
ETA: At the time they got Cordero, I was in full support because I thought they were closer to contention than they apparently are. And I thought they would spend a bit more to get the final pieces. For whatever reason, they really have not done so since signing that contract, further making him a luxury that they apparently cannot afford.

I have no knowledge what this front office is thinking. Yet I would be amazed if they trade Cordero.

The Reds seem to want to have a pretty good team -- if not immediately then soon.

You can't get there with the philosophy that says: "We don't have enough good players so let's trade the ones we have."

Right now, the Reds two best players IMO are Cordero and Votto. I can't see them trading either one, unless the deal is incredibly lopsided in the Reds' favor.

membengal
07-20-2009, 03:49 PM
I have no knowledge what this front office is thinking. Yet I would be amazed if they trade Cordero.

The Reds seem to want to have a pretty good team -- if not immediately then soon.

You can't get there with the philosophy that says: "We don't have enough good players so let's trade the ones we have."

Right now, the Reds two best players IMO are Cordero and Votto. I can't see them trading either one, unless the deal is incredibly lopsided in the Reds' favor.

But you might get there by saying "trade a good player for several more good players" that fill additional needs. Especially if you can backfill where you have just traded your good player.

Again, KC, I stand with you on the benefits that Cordero has brought to the team, and why I supported his signing. But given what BobC has done with payroll since, not sure that Cordero continues to be an item the Reds can afford to carry.

This take requires taking the Reds at face value on their payroll restrictions, by the way...

Kc61
07-20-2009, 03:59 PM
But you might get there by saying "trade a good player for several more good players" that fill additional needs. Especially if you can backfill where you have just traded your good player.

Again, KC, I stand with you on the benefits that Cordero has brought to the team, and why I supported his signing. But given what BobC has done with payroll since, not sure that Cordero continues to be an item the Reds can afford to carry.

This take requires taking the Reds at face value on their payroll restrictions, by the way...

I don't think the Reds should be trading star or borderline star players for "several good players." I think the Reds can come up with usable good players through the farm system or in lower cost deals.

To compete with teams with Pujols/Carpenter, or Braun/Fielder, or Zambrano/Lilly/Ramirez, or Oswalt/Berkman/Lee you need some top caliber guys. The Reds have very few and should keep them IMO and acquire more. They shouldn't be happy with quantity over quality.

membengal
07-20-2009, 04:03 PM
If Cordero is what you think he is, the return should be stout, or else you don't make the deal.

traderumor
07-20-2009, 04:03 PM
It makes the point RMR, makes, though. And the Mets have some room (pre-Madoff anyway) to take on oodles of payroll to include a big name and expensive closer. But even big name and expensive closers are extremely dependant on the team around them, and NY has been as beset by injuries as the Reds have, making F-Rod moot, for all intents and purposes.

In the Reds' case, where they do NOT have NY money to bump up payroll, and taking them at face value that they are capped where they currently are salary wise, then it is a fair question whether Cordero, even as good as he has been, is worth 12% of this team's payroll. That's a ridiculous luxury. And I tend to agree with KC about what Cordero's benefits have been, but, man, I still don't know that it is 12% of payroll benefits.

So, RMR and edabbs' point remains salient, if you can move Cordero, even as good as he's been, and get some legit prospects while freeing up that kind of payroll, shouldn't you do it?

I think I am persuaded they shoud.

ETA: At the time they got Cordero, I was in full support because I thought they were closer to contention than they apparently are. And I thought they would spend a bit more to get the final pieces. For whatever reason, they really have not done so since signing that contract, further making him a luxury that they apparently cannot afford.I agree with you for the most part, and if you look at the start of this thread, I am all for unloading Cordero. Also somewhat lost in the shuffle is part of the motivation for signing Cordero was the disaster of the 2007 bullpen, and I think that his signing is why it is a good bullpen now, so I cannot agree that it was never money well spent, as RMR is positing.

But my willingness to trade Cordero is not to right the wrong, whereas with RMR it seems to be. Nor do I find trotting out the injury riddled Mets or Ryan Franklin as any more than strawmen in this discussion. Neither of those cases speaks to the merits of a model to emulate or to discredit the merits of paying for an established, consistent, top third closer.

Brutus
07-20-2009, 04:04 PM
FYI...Philly is 6.5 games ahead of the 2nd place team.

Good illustration of why you don't have a stud closer to win, especially when you have to pay out the nose to get one.

The Phillies are winning in spite of themselves. Other than Cole Hamels and now J.A. Happ, they have a very questionable rotation. Their bullpen has been incredibly inconsistent at best. They're winning in a fashion that most teams built like they are would be .500 or worse. They just have an amazing offense and just barely enough pitching to beat teams to submission.

Kc61
07-20-2009, 04:14 PM
If Cordero is what you think he is, the return should be stout, or else you don't make the deal.

Right, I'd never say never. I'd trade anyone on this team for the right return. There is no Prince Albert on this team. I'd even trade Votto for the right return -- with Alonso coming up I'd make the trade for a huge return.

I'd try to avoid trading the top young guys (Votto included), Cordero, or Phillips. I'd trade veteran starting pitchers, veteran set up men, role players, and unproven prospects still in the minors. But anyone goes for a real big return.

11larkin11
07-20-2009, 04:22 PM
Cordero has a full no trade clause this year, he's not going anywhere.

A chance to play a vital role for the best team in baseball? I think he'd wave that.

RedsManRick
07-20-2009, 04:44 PM
For those pointing out that Lidge has been unreliable and that the Rays signed Percival, I think both of those cases only support the argument that chasing after "proven" closers isn't a good use of money. Both teams have had their bullpens shored up by the likes of Ryan Madson and JP Howell. There are indeed very few pitchers who you should pay $10M+ to throw 70 innings.

*BaseClogger*
07-20-2009, 04:52 PM
Why would he turn down a deal to the best team in the league?

He gets paid because of saves. He won't get saves with the Dodgers...

bucksfan2
07-20-2009, 04:55 PM
For those pointing out that Lidge has been unreliable and that the Rays signed Percival, I think both of those cases only support the argument that chasing after "proven" closers isn't a good use of money. Both teams have had their bullpens shored up by the likes of Ryan Madson and JP Howell. There are indeed very few pitchers who you should pay $10M+ to throw 70 innings.

Lidge wasn't proven when the Phillies traded for him. You mentioned him as someone who should be paid, I disagreed.

RedEye
07-20-2009, 05:11 PM
The Mets went and got a stud closer this year. Where are they in the standings at present?

Actually, didn't they go out and get two stud closers (K-Rod and Putz)?

It's not that some closers aren't better than others. It's just about correctly valuing assets as part of a whole. Sure, there are some elite names out there who play crucial roles for their teams (Papelbon, Rivera), but a lot of them play for large market teams with money flexibility. Average closers though--of the Franklin-Aardsma-Weathers-Bailey variety--are quite a bit easier to find and quite a bit cheaper to replace than the other more crucial parts of a competitive roster. It follows, of course, that expensive closers are a needless luxury on non-competitive teams.

Just because some MLB teams haven't figured this out yet doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. The Krivsky-era Reds definitely didn't fiture this out. I will be interested to see whether the Jocketty FO will change things up.

RedEye
07-20-2009, 05:15 PM
Besides the fact that we would be left with a suspect bullpen there is no way the Dodgers trade one of their young stars for three aging, deteriorating, and expensive rentals.

I realize trading Cordero-Weathers-Rhodes would deplete the Reds bullpen--but I tend to think that teams out of contention don't really need $15 million bullpens anyway. I'd rather have Matt Kemp.

I agree though that the Dodgers probably wouldn't do it. Still... if they need a bullpen, why not get three component parts in one fowl swoop? The Reds should make themselves Colletti's one-stop shop!

traderumor
07-20-2009, 05:16 PM
For those pointing out that Lidge has been unreliable and that the Rays signed Percival, I think both of those cases only support the argument that chasing after "proven" closers isn't a good use of money. Both teams have had their bullpens shored up by the likes of Ryan Madson and JP Howell. There are indeed very few pitchers who you should pay $10M+ to throw 70 innings.You had Lidge in your short list of guys who you pay top $ to go get, so which is it?

I think those teams that pay for the established, consistent closer like Cordero are like those who buy insurance--risk mitigation in the volitile world of relief pitchers. Buying a consistent performer and paying him well, perhaps even more than he is "worth" if looked at in isolation, such as by IP, is an option and does make sense, but not in all situations, esp. when you are building bullpens for managers who need 12-13 pitchers to micromanage matchups and have a one inning setup and closer.

RedEye
07-20-2009, 05:20 PM
You had Lidge in your short list of guys who you pay top $ to go get, so which is it?

I think those teams that pay for the established, consistent closer like Cordero are like those who buy insurance--risk mitigation in the volitile world of relief pitchers. Buying a consistent performer and paying him well, perhaps even more than he is "worth" if looked at in isolation, such as by IP, is an option and does make sense, but not in all situations, esp. when you are building bullpens for managers who need 12-13 pitchers to micromanage matchups and have a one inning setup and closer.

I think RMR may have just included Lidge on an oversight--although when he is on, he's certainly up on the list of top-tier guys.

I love the analogy, and you raise good points. The question is whether or not effective closers are the make-or-break type insurance you really need to be a competitive roster. You have to keep in mind what kind of car you are driving. Putting a Cordero on the current Reds roster is akin to getting a $250 deductible on a 1985 Pinto--unnecessary investment on a product that's probably going to break down anyway. The Yankees, who often drive a Ferrari, can afford to buy the top package--and the most frustrating for we Pinto drivers is that they'd probably be able to buy a whole new car everytime they crashed anyway!

Okay, maybe the Reds are more like a '95 Civic. But you get the point.

VR
07-20-2009, 05:23 PM
I think RMR may have just included Lidge on an oversight--although when he is on, he's certainly up on the list of top-tier guys.

I love the analogy, and you raise good points. The question is whether or not effective closers are the make-or-break type insurance you really need to be a competitive roster. Still, you have to keep in mind what kind of car you are driving. Putting a Cordero on the current Reds roster is akin to getting a $250 deductible on a 1985 Pinto--unnecessary investment on a product that's probably going to break down anyway.

Good persepective RedEye....and right on the money IMHO. I'm all for having a great closer....but when you can't score enough runs to give him valuable opportunities....you are paying for the wrong commodity. That, and the Reds are flush w/ "power" arms to fill in for the short haul.

RedsManRick
07-20-2009, 05:31 PM
Lidge wasn't proven when the Phillies traded for him. You mentioned him as someone who should be paid, I disagreed.

Lidge (pre-Philly) and Cordero (pre-Cincy) make for an interesting comparison:



Name Age IP ERA WHIP SV BS SV% K/9 BB/9 HR/9 H/9
Lidge 31 401 3.38 1.197 123 27 82% 12.6 3.8 0.9 7.0
Cordero 33 506 3.29 1.354 177 43 81% 9.4 4.1 0.6 8.1

These guys were pretty darn comparable -- more so than I expected. Though Cordero is making $1M more and is 2 years older, I'll concede the point that Lidge should not have been included with the rest of the group of dominant relievers.

However, it simply reinforces the primary point which is that it is not a smart use of money to give a closer a big chunk of your payroll. While it's not my checkbook, the Reds are working from some relatively fixed payroll number -- and committing 20% of it to a guy who pitches something like 5% of their innings doesn't strike me as an effective use of resources. Considering our shallow bench and woeful offense, it would have been nice to have been able to pursue an impact FA last year. At least the Phillies can justify paying Lidge as he represents only about 10% of their payroll.

An aside, do we really believe that an otherwise effective reliever is going to save significantly less than 80% of his opportunities? That's the real issue here -- the marginal cost of a proven closer is less than the marginal cost of help elsewhere. At the end of the day, you need as much production as you can get.

Kc61
07-20-2009, 05:33 PM
Good persepective RedEye....and right on the money IMHO. I'm all for having a great closer....but when you can't score enough runs to give him valuable opportunities....you are paying for the wrong commodity. That, and the Reds are flush w/ "power" arms to fill in for the short haul.

It's a chicken and egg problem.

You don't want to spend on a good closer if the offense is deficient because the overall team still won't be a winner.

I want as many high caliber players at important positions as possible now, because I see no other way to be a winner.

It's a matter of perspective. Suffice it to say that the Reds could have won their division this year with a little more spending and a little better health. With some improvement they can achieve this in the next year or two, but it will be a lot harder with an unproven closer.

TheNext44
07-20-2009, 07:02 PM
I agree that the closer is the most overrated position in the majors. Pitching the 9th inning just isn't as important as it is made to be, nor as closers are paid to do.

However...

I do think that it is essential for a team to have a power arm in the bullpen. He can be the closer, the washer, the nose-picker, whatever you want to call him, but every team needs a relief pitcher that can get out of tough jams late in games, and K tough hitters in crucial situations. That is something worth paying for.

The big problem is that the save rule has forced managers to use that pitcher only in the 9th inning. But that is besides the point of of meaningful a strong power arm in the back of the bullpen can be to a team, and how much he is worth.

RedEye
07-20-2009, 07:11 PM
It's a chicken and egg problem.

You don't want to spend on a good closer if the offense is deficient because the overall team still won't be a winner.

I want as many high caliber players at important positions as possible now, because I see no other way to be a winner.


I agree with you here, obviously.

We disagree on how to prioritize how to acquire the parts. It's not really "the chicken and the egg" because closers are not (or should not be) on an equal value level with some of the other positions that are needed to build a winning roster (#1 SP and #2 SP, CF and SS, to name a few). That's because by himself a closer can't contribute that much to a team that can't pitch deep into games, can't field and can't hit--he's a complementary part that sometimes puts a team over the top. And it makes no sense to be spending 1/4 of the overall budget on a complementary part.

Will M
07-20-2009, 07:52 PM
I would love it if the Reds traded both Cordero & Weathers for value (not just a salary dump).

I would prefer to keep Rhodes as the one veteran arm in the pen for 2010.
He has pitched well, is cheap & is left handed. If we kept him the pen could be Masset, Rhodes (L), Herrara (L), Burton, Fisher & Roenicke. That leaves one spot for Viola (L), Manuel, etc. the Reds could also add another reasonably priced veteran arm in the offseason.

VR
07-20-2009, 07:58 PM
It's a chicken and egg problem.

You don't want to spend on a good closer if the offense is deficient because the overall team still won't be a winner.

I want as many high caliber players at important positions as possible now, because I see no other way to be a winner.

It's a matter of perspective. Suffice it to say that the Reds could have won their division this year with a little more spending and a little better health. With some improvement they can achieve this in the next year or two, but it will be a lot harder with an unproven closer.


Part of it for me as well.....I just don't think Cordero is a lights out closer, especially for the $ he is making.

BCubb2003
07-20-2009, 08:20 PM
I remember when the expansion Florida Marlins got closer Robb Nen. People wondered why a team that wasn't going to win very much needed a first-rate closer. The answer was that on those rare occasions when you had a lead, you'd better bring home the win.

Kc61
07-20-2009, 08:24 PM
Part of it for me as well.....I just don't think Cordero is a lights out closer, especially for the $ he is making.


He's saved 22 of 23 this year with an ERA of 1.66. He's allowed one home run this season. WHIP of 1.11. Them's some pretty good numbers.

15fan
07-20-2009, 08:33 PM
The Dodgers fall into the group of teams outside the NL Central that have to pay a big premium to get anything off the Cincinnati roster.

Just because.

Others in that group include the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Braves.

If they don't want to pay the premium, then to heck with 'em.

PuffyPig
07-20-2009, 08:36 PM
I remember when the expansion Florida Marlins got closer Robb Nen. People wondered why a team that wasn't going to win very much needed a first-rate closer. The answer was that on those rare occasions when you had a lead, you'd better bring home the win.

I think you mean Bryan Harvey, who saved 45 saves for the expansion Marlins in 1993. Nenn came later.

Even poor teams afford their closer lots of chances, as they tend not to win many games by big scores.

redsmetz
07-20-2009, 08:36 PM
The Dodgers fall into the group of teams outside the NL Central that have to pay a big premium to get anything off the Cincinnati roster.

Just because.

Others in that group include the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Braves.

If they don't want to pay the premium, then to heck with 'em.

That should be our point of view right now with most everybody. I think we have chips that clubs want. Then let them pay. No picking our pocket.

mbgrayson
07-20-2009, 09:19 PM
He's saved 22 of 23 this year with an ERA of 1.66. He's allowed one home run this season. WHIP of 1.11. Them's some pretty good numbers.

Yes, Cordero's surface stats look better this year: simple luck. Look more deeply at the other stats (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1243&position=P), and there is reason for concern.

He is still walking batters at too high of a rate, 3.79 BB/9, and his strikeout rate is way down, 12.22 k/9 in 2007, 9.98k/9 in 2008, down to 7.58 k/9 this year. Much less dominent, with a k/BB rate down to 2/1 this year.

So why is his ERA better? Simple, his BABIP is only .250 in 2009, compared to .314 last year, and .341 the year before. Batters are just hitting the balls at people. Maybe he is also benefitting from better defense.

Also, his HR rate is very low so far this year. Only 1 HR in 38 innings, compared to 6 HRs in 70 innings last year.

I would not hesitate to 'sell high'. Cordero's numbers are bound to regress the rest of this year. The problem will be finding someone to take on that contract of his. He is going to make $12 million this year, $12 million next year, and $12 million the following year.....the most expensive contract ever for a closer.

SMcGavin
07-20-2009, 10:03 PM
I agree that the closer is the most overrated position in the majors. Pitching the 9th inning just isn't as important as it is made to be, nor as closers are paid to do.

However...

I do think that it is essential for a team to have a power arm in the bullpen. He can be the closer, the washer, the nose-picker, whatever you want to call him, but every team needs a relief pitcher that can get out of tough jams late in games, and K tough hitters in crucial situations. That is something worth paying for.

The big problem is that the save rule has forced managers to use that pitcher only in the 9th inning. But that is besides the point of of meaningful a strong power arm in the back of the bullpen can be to a team, and how much he is worth.

I agree. Problem is, the power arm who comes in for any high leverage spot has to be a young guy. Because any established guy that good will pout if he's not used almost exclusively in save situations.

For the Reds, Zach Stewart might be that type of pitcher if he ends up in the bullpen, but I don't see anyone else who could be that guy. The Reds are stocked with young, useful bullpen arms, but they lack a real dominator.

Ron Madden
07-21-2009, 03:41 AM
There comes a time when a team has small a window of opportunity, they gotta step up and act before that window closes.

This is the best time to trade Arroyo, Harang, Weathers, Rhodes or Cordero. You will most likely get more for them now than you can during the off season.

The window should be open for the Reds in 2010 to 2012, they must move now and add to the YOUNG TALENT they have today in order to take advantage of that open window.

And hopefully be a better Club for years to come.

(JMHO)

edabbs44
07-21-2009, 08:15 AM
There comes a time when a team has small a window of opportunity, they gotta step up and act before that window closes.

This is the best time to trade Arroyo, Harang, Weathers, Rhodes or Cordero. You will most likely get more for them now than you can during the off season.

The window should be open for the Reds in 2010 to 2012, they must move now and add to the YOUNG TALENT they have today in order to take advantage of that open window.

And hopefully be a better Club for years to come.

(JMHO)

This has been my rallying cry for the past 3 years.

cumberlandreds
07-21-2009, 08:21 AM
Can we give them Cordero, Rhodes and Weathers for Matt Kemp?

That's what I was thinking too. I would let the Dodgers pick three relievers off the 40 man roster for Matt Kemp. I doubt the Dodgers are going to trade him but you never know. Also the Dodgers would have to pick up the full salary on Cordero.

Roy Tucker
07-21-2009, 08:28 AM
He's saved 22 of 23 this year with an ERA of 1.66. He's allowed one home run this season. WHIP of 1.11. Them's some pretty good numbers.

He's in better shape since getting the bone spurs out of his ankle.

I like having him, but he's a luxury and the Reds could use him to trade for players they need more. Shine him up good. Sell high.

dfs
07-21-2009, 10:40 AM
There comes a time when a team has small a window of opportunity, they gotta step up and act before that window closes.

This is the best time to trade Arroyo, Harang, Weathers, Rhodes or Cordero. You will most likely get more for them now than you can during the off season.

The window should be open for the Reds in 2010 to 2012, they must move now and add to the YOUNG TALENT they have today in order to take advantage of that open window.

And hopefully be a better Club for years to come.

(JMHO)

I agree with you Ron. They don't have to trade those guys, but they all have to be on the table and if you can get value for them, you move them. You can't just deal them to be done with them becaise you still want fans to come out for the rest of the season, but if you can improve the 10,11 teams, you have to pull the trigger.

dfs

Benihana
07-21-2009, 12:51 PM
From Rosenthal today...


Reds: Pitching to give

The Reds, one of the few teams willing to move pitching, are not thinking of conceding. Their goal is to move some of their more expensive starters and/or relievers to create opportunities for younger prospects.

The problem is, right-handed starters Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo and right-handed closer Francisco Cordero are too high-priced for virtually every prospective suitor. Harang and Arroyo are signed through 2010 and Cordero through '11 at salaries ranging from $9.5 million to $12 million.

Right-handed reliever David Weathers ($3.9 million) and lefty Arthur Rhodes ($2 million this season and $2 million in '10) are more reasonably priced and pitching well. Then again, each turns 40 later this year.

Perhaps the Reds could engage another club in a salary exchange, but they are more likely to move a pitcher such as Arroyo in the offseason.

Aaron Harang would be appealing were it not for his contract. (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)

The good news is, their depth is starting to show.

The Reds just demoted right-handed reliever Josh Roenicke, who had a 2.92 ERA in 10 appearances, to make room for righty Jared Burton. Right-hander Homer Bailey and lefty Matt Maloney hold promise, and lefty Travis Wood is 9-3 with a 1.21 ERA at Class AA.

A Reds scout attended a game between the Angels' and Dodgers' low Class A affiliates Monday night — right-hander Ethan Martin, one of the Dodgers' top prospects, was scheduled to pitch. Both the Angels and Dodgers are actively seeking bullpen help, and the Dodgers also could use a starter.


I would love to swap Weathers or Rhodes for Ethan Martin.

Jpup
07-21-2009, 01:31 PM
low Class A, call me unimpressed.

Benihana
07-21-2009, 01:33 PM
low Class A, call me unimpressed.

First round pick out of high school last year making his pro debut in low Class A. Dodgers #3 prospect. He would instantly become the 2nd or 3rd best pitching prospect in the Reds organization.

Call me impressed.

kaldaniels
07-21-2009, 01:43 PM
low Class A, call me unimpressed.

Great prospect...I don't care what level he is at at this point in his career.

Homer Bailey
07-21-2009, 01:48 PM
low Class A, call me unimpressed.

Then I guess you are unimpressed by Sulbaran, Y-Rod, Duran, Hamilton, Fellhauer, Leake, etc.

lollipopcurve
07-21-2009, 02:51 PM
low Class A, call me unimpressed.

The Reds are likely going to be looking to acquire prospects they don't have to place on the 40-man roster, so they can add guys like Stubbs and Heisey in September (or sooner). This means young prospects like Martin -- or the other guy who pitched for Great Lakes last night, Eovaldi (also a Dodgers top 10 guy, per BA), who has pitched about as well as Martin and who is also 1 year out of high school.

TheNext44
07-21-2009, 03:05 PM
Stockpiling your organization with young, low A top prospects is the best way to build a winning organization. They're cheap, undervalued, have a high ceiling, and while most won't make it to the bigs, having enough of them means they don't all have to. And most important, it gives you the chips you need to make the big acquisition when someone like Roy Halladay becomes available.

Trading veteran relief pitchers for solid single A prospects is something a good organization does whenever it can.

Benihana
07-21-2009, 03:14 PM
Stockpiling your organization with young, low A top prospects is the best way to build a winning organization. They're cheap, undervalued, have a high ceiling, and while most won't make it to the bigs, having enough of them means they don't all have to. And most important, it gives you the chips you need to make the big acquisition when someone like Roy Halladay becomes available.

Trading veteran relief pitchers for solid single A prospects is something a good organization does whenever it can.

Yep.

Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Scott Elbert...
Seems like the Dodgers have a pretty good track record of drafting pitchers in the first round in the last few years. I'd love to have a crack at him.

boognish
07-21-2009, 07:48 PM
The Reds are likely going to be looking to acquire prospects they don't have to place on the 40-man roster, so they can add guys like Stubbs and Heisey in September (or sooner). This means young prospects like Martin -- or the other guy who pitched for Great Lakes last night, Eovaldi (also a Dodgers top 10 guy, per BA), who has pitched about as well as Martin and who is also 1 year out of high school.

This is an excellent point, and one I had not considered. There is always the possibility of moving seriously injured players to the 60-day DL to make room; there sure seem to be enough of them.

Count me in as one who likes Martin a lot as a target. The Dodgers have made a number of spot-on pitching evaluations in recent drafts, which could mitigate the risks a bit.

That said, I think Jocketty is going to hurry up and wait.

M2
07-21-2009, 08:37 PM
Stockpiling your organization with young, low A top prospects is the best way to build a winning organization. They're cheap, undervalued, have a high ceiling, and while most won't make it to the bigs, having enough of them means they don't all have to. And most important, it gives you the chips you need to make the big acquisition when someone like Roy Halladay becomes available.

Random thoughts here:

- Trading quality major leaguers for kids in low A is the very definition of overvaluing kids in low A.

- Teams generally don't shift seamlessly from moving all their large contracts to trading for a Halladay type.

- Are the Reds running a major league franchise or a hope-for-the-future factory?

edabbs44
07-21-2009, 08:45 PM
From Rosenthal today...



I would love to swap Weathers or Rhodes for Ethan Martin.

So would 100% of the Cincy faithful. However, Martin would demand much more than that. If there is any truth to this, I bet it is a Harang/Weathers or Rhodes combo, at a minimum.

edabbs44
07-21-2009, 08:47 PM
The problem is, right-handed starters Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo and right-handed closer Francisco Cordero are too high-priced for virtually every prospective suitor. Harang and Arroyo are signed through 2010 and Cordero through '11 at salaries ranging from $9.5 million to $12 million.

Just wanted to highlight the scariest statement in his article, especially when you realize the suitors include LA and NY.

dougdirt
07-21-2009, 08:51 PM
The Reds aren't getting Ethan Martin. Talked to a guy I know who works for the Dodgers. Martin is untouchable unless its for a Roy Halladay type of player. The Reds may have sent someone to watch the Loons play, but it was to watch other players.

TheNext44
07-22-2009, 10:01 AM
Random thoughts here:

- Trading quality major leaguers for kids in low A is the very definition of overvaluing kids in low A.

- Teams generally don't shift seamlessly from moving all their large contracts to trading for a Halladay type.

- Are the Reds running a major league franchise or a hope-for-the-future factory?

Not if the major league players are high priced relievers, or veterans who will be free agents at the end of the year.

I'm not advocating trading Phillips, EE, or even Harang for single A prospects. I am not talking about being the Pirates and constantly unloading every high priced player for prospects. I specifically said:


Trading veteran relief pitchers for solid single A prospects is something a good organization does whenever it can.

That make sense to me.

As for shifting "seamlessly from moving all their large contracts to trading for a Halladay type," that would be made easier if your team had stockpiled low A prospects over the year when it had the chance.

M2
07-22-2009, 10:10 AM
A-ballers are little better than holding a lottery ticket. Quality relievers can win you a World Series. If I'm the GM of a good team, I want the GMs of the bad teams thinking exactly like you are. Let me shoot for the championship and here's a lottery ticket for your trouble.

edabbs44
07-22-2009, 10:28 AM
A-ballers are little better than holding a lottery ticket. Quality relievers can win you a World Series. If I'm the GM of a good team, I want the GMs of the bad teams thinking exactly like you are. Let me shoot for the championship and here's a lottery ticket for your trouble.

Quality relievers can help win championships when the rest of your team is championship quality.

Spending record breaking money on relievers like Cordero when your team is of last place quality is a mistake.

Right now I would trade Cordero for a top single A pitcher any day of the week.

TheNext44
07-22-2009, 10:41 AM
A-ballers are little better than holding a lottery ticket. Quality relievers can win you a World Series. If I'm the GM of a good team, I want the GMs of the bad teams thinking exactly like you are. Let me shoot for the championship and here's a lottery ticket for your trouble.

Teams that win championships have depth in their organization. That means they have lots of lottery tickets. They can wait and develop them with around 1 in 4 making it to the bigs and contributing, and they can trade them to get the parts that they need when they are in contention.

Middle relievers are important, but are easy to replace. Obviously when a team is contending, they should hold on to the quality arms they have in the pen. But if they are not contending, or have excess arms in the pen, and someone offers them a top low A prospect or two for them, then it makes sense to take that offer every time.

lollipopcurve
07-22-2009, 10:49 AM
I think you have to look at the players under discussion and ask whether the Reds can expect to be able to replace them quickly. Obviously, there's more to gain in dealing Cordero's salary than the others, so maybe you take more risk there.

Cordero: Can Masset close? Can Roenicke? Between the two of them, I think you take a shot here if you can get out from under Cordero's contract (reinvesting it in offense).

Weathers: Eminently replaceable.

Rhodes: Not so sure here. No lefties in the wings. I'd probably hold onto Rhodes unless the prospect offered is more than a long-term projection.

So, if I'm Jocketty, I'm looking first at interest in Cordero. I'd want a top prospect --even if he's in A ball -- plus significant salary relief. Rationale being, the team can plug the hole and reinvest the $$$ in hitting for 2010 (I'm looking at Tejada or Scutaro in particular). As for Weathers, yeah, any halfway decent prospect is fine. Rhodes would need to bring more than that.

I(heart)Freel
07-22-2009, 10:54 AM
Teams that win championships have depth in their organization. That means they have lots of lottery tickets. They can wait and develop them with around 1 in 4 making it to the bigs and contributing, and they can trade them to get the parts that they need when they are in contention.

Middle relievers are important, but are easy to replace. Obviously when a team is contending, they should hold on to the quality arms they have in the pen. But if they are not contending, or have excess arms in the pen, and someone offers them a top low A prospect or two for them, then it makes sense to take that offer every time.


The part about having excess arms is key.

If the Reds trade a toothy bullpener, they still can bring up Roenicke who is a piece of the puzzle for this year and beyond. Not sure how big the drop off is. But if it gives you another lottery ticket for not much drop off, why not? If it makes Roenicke better for next year, why not? If it saves a little more money that can be spent on Leake or in some other fashion, why not?

All these things help the club. Keeping Weathers just because you don't want to be like the Pirates doesn't.

REDSEER
07-22-2009, 10:55 AM
MLBTradeRumors.com:
It looks like the Reds would listen to offers for Francisco Cordero. However, he has no-trade protection and an big contract.

Basically confirming what we all know. His $12M/year can be better used on other parts of this team.

M2
07-22-2009, 10:58 AM
Teams that win championships have depth in their organization. That means they have lots of lottery tickets. They can wait and develop them with around 1 in 4 making it to the bigs and contributing, and they can trade them to get the parts that they need when they are in contention.

There's a difference between A ball depth and AAA-AA depth. A massive difference in fact. Depth in A ball is little more than a showpiece.

If you're rebuilding in the low minors then you might be rebuilding forever.

Chip R
07-22-2009, 11:15 AM
I think you have to look at the players under discussion and ask whether the Reds can expect to be able to replace them quickly. Obviously, there's more to gain in dealing Cordero's salary than the others, so maybe you take more risk there.

Cordero: Can Masset close? Can Roenicke? Between the two of them, I think you take a shot here if you can get out from under Cordero's contract (reinvesting it in offense).

Weathers: Eminently replaceable.

Rhodes: Not so sure here. No lefties in the wings. I'd probably hold onto Rhodes unless the prospect offered is more than a long-term projection.



The problem is that if Cordero is traded, Massett or Roenicke won't get the chance to close because Weathers will be the closer.

lollipopcurve
07-22-2009, 11:31 AM
The problem is that if Cordero is traded, Massett or Roenicke won't get the chance to close because Weathers will be the closer.

In 2010? I don't think so. They won't pick up Weathers' option.

Chip R
07-22-2009, 11:35 AM
In 2010? I don't think so. They won't pick up Weathers' option.


Well, I'm talking this year. But we've said about every year that the Reds would trade/not re-sign Weathers and he's still here.

lollipopcurve
07-22-2009, 01:22 PM
Well, I'm talking this year. But we've said about every year that the Reds would trade/not re-sign Weathers and he's still here.

True. He does have an air of permanence about him.

redsmetz
07-22-2009, 01:48 PM
In 2010? I don't think so. They won't pick up Weathers' option.

If they pick up his option, it won't be to be the closer. But frankly, I think his contract structure as it presently is makes it valuable to someone who could use Weathers from now through next year. I like David Weathers alot, but if he nets us something good now, I'm all for it. He is replacable, as others have noted.

M2
07-22-2009, 01:55 PM
True. He does have an air of permanence about him.

Mostly because he keeps doing his job quite well. Every year people are chomping at the bit to get rid of him and every year he performs.

I understand the argument for trading him and probably would move him myself, but it is nearly impossible to find a middle reliever who can deliver five straight quality seasons like Weathers has produced for the Reds.

Benihana
07-22-2009, 02:00 PM
Mostly because he keeps doing his job quite well. Every year people are chomping at the bit to get rid of him and every year he performs.

I understand the argument for trading him and probably would move him myself, but it is nearly impossible to find a middle reliever who can deliver five straight quality seasons like Weathers has produced for the Reds.

Scott Sullivan says :wave:

bucksfan2
07-22-2009, 02:03 PM
Mostly because he keeps doing his job quite well. Every year people are chomping at the bit to get rid of him and every year he performs.

I understand the argument for trading him and probably would move him myself, but it is nearly impossible to find a middle reliever who can deliver five straight quality seasons like Weathers has produced for the Reds.

If Weathers pitched in a larger market he may have been a multiple all star over the past 5 years. Say what you want about his stuff, but he gets the job done.

It seems like every year with Weathers we complain about him being offered arbitration or the Reds signing him to a multi year deal. We wait all summer long for the wheels to fall off, but they never do. Every year he picks up the ball and performs. You could almost make the argument that he may be the most under-appreciated current Red.

Chip R
07-22-2009, 02:03 PM
If they pick up his option, it won't be to be the closer. But frankly, I think his contract structure as it presently is makes it valuable to someone who could use Weathers from now through next year. I like David Weathers alot, but if he nets us something good now, I'm all for it. He is replacable, as others have noted.


If Codero is gone he's the closer. Otherwise it's Option A, which is go out and trade/buy another established closer or Option B, get the guy who has closed before that you already have at a cheap price to do it. Which option you think the Reds would pick. The Reds, not you or me.

TheNext44
07-22-2009, 02:11 PM
There's a difference between A ball depth and AAA-AA depth. A massive difference in fact. Depth in A ball is little more than a showpiece.

If you're rebuilding in the low minors then you might be rebuilding forever.

Last year, the Reds had depth in the low minors. This year, they have depth in AA-AAA, with no acquisitions through trades. It's not like low A prospects never make it past low A. Most make it to AA, a few less to AAA and much less make it to the bigs.

But that is how a strong minor league system works. If you keep restocking at the low A level, you will have depth at the AA-AAA level at all times as well, and you only have to wait around 1-2 years from the time you start.

TheNext44
07-22-2009, 02:19 PM
I would have no problem with Weathers as the closer, as long as he is exclusively used for the ninth inning. He's fine for the 9th inning. He is very reliable and will probably convert just as many save opportunities as Cordero.

The problem with him as the closer a few years ago, was not Weathers, it was getting to Weathers. The Reds have the depth in their bullpen now to be able to move Weathers to the closer spot.

Between Masset, Burton and Roenicke, at least one will emerge as a solid set up guy, and guys like Fischer, Herrera, Manuel, and Rhodes will should be solid in middle relief. And that's not counting Stewart, who might be better than all of them.

If they can trade Cordero, I would be fine with Weathers as the closer, and Stewart being groomed as the next closer in 2010.

M2
07-22-2009, 02:27 PM
Last year, the Reds had depth in the low minors. This year, they have depth in AA-AAA, with no acquisitions through trades. It's not like low A prospects never make it past low A. Most make it to AA, a few less to AAA and much less make it to the bigs.

But that is how a strong minor league system works. If you keep restocking at the low A level, you will have depth at the AA-AAA level at all times as well, and you only have to wait around 1-2 years from the time you start.

So all you have to do is stock low A, wait two years, and then you'll have depth at AA, then wait two years and you'll have depth in the majors.

Hey, that's so easy. Why doesn't everybody do that? Oh yeah, that's right, everybody tries it, but attrition and the lack of a sure-fire crystal ball means that it rarely works. It wasn't that long ago that you'd have been laughed at for insisting Joey Votto would be a better player than Brian Dopirak.

If the Reds are going to rebuild, better to get a few key young players than a pile of maybes. And emphasize a higher level of advancement than low A. Feel free to sort through the Reds' vets-for-prospects deals during this century if you think there's any magic to collecting bodies.

Rojo
07-22-2009, 02:33 PM
Over the years I've done a 180 on closers -- I'm willing to pay for the great ones. CoCo has given this team a first-rate bullpen and its fun having something that's first rate.

That aside, Cordero is 34 and he's got a hefty contract that runs until he's 36. And my intuition says he's peaking. Tough call. I'd listen but I'd want someone who's helping next year, not in five (much love, Bill Veeck).

TheNext44
07-22-2009, 02:41 PM
So all you have to do is stock low A, wait two years, and then you'll have depth at AA, then wait two years and you'll have depth in the majors.

Hey, that's so easy. Why doesn't everybody do that? Oh yeah, that's right, everybody tries it, but attrition and the lack of a sure-fire crystal ball means that it rarely works. It wasn't that long ago that you'd have been laughed at for insisting Joey Votto would be a better player than Brian Dopirak.

If the Reds are going to rebuild, better to get a few key young players than a pile of maybes. And emphasize a higher level of advancement than low A. Feel free to sort through the Reds' vets-for-prospects deals during this century if you think there's any magic to collecting bodies.

Again, never said that that is all a team needs to do. All I am saying is that if you have high salaried veteran role players (ones that can be replaced easily and cheaply), and you aren't competing or have excess of them, then it's smart to trade them for prospects, especially low A ones, since they are usually undervalued.

If you have a chance to get major league ready players for Weathers, Rhodes, Lincoln, Hairston, Taveras, Gonzo, Hernandez, et al, then go for it. But I doubt you can, so it's better to get a bunch of low A prospects for them if you can, then to keep them and let them walk and get nothing.

dougdirt
07-22-2009, 02:56 PM
Over the years I've done a 180 on closers -- I'm willing to pay for the great ones. CoCo has given this team a first-rate bullpen and its fun having something that's first rate.

That aside, Cordero is 34 and he's got a hefty contract that runs until he's 36. And my intuition says he's peaking. Tough call. I'd listen but I'd want someone who's helping next year, not in five (much love, Bill Veeck).

Weathers, Rhodes, Masset, Fisher and Herrera have a combined ERA of 2.48 this season. Are we really hurting if we lose Cordero?

KoryMac5
07-22-2009, 03:00 PM
The Reds would have tp pick up a percentage of Cordero's contract in order to make any deal work. Tampa Bay makes sense in that they do not have a shut down guy in their pen, but money would be a huge issue for them. So how much salary are you willing to eat in any potential Cordero deal.

Kc61
07-22-2009, 03:03 PM
Weathers, Rhodes, Masset, Fisher and Herrera have a combined ERA of 2.48 this season. Are we really hurting if we lose Cordero?

Weathers is a free agent after this year. If you ditch Cordero, who closes next year?

And what experience does that pitcher have as a closer that gives any indication he would succeed?

edabbs44
07-22-2009, 03:07 PM
Weathers is a free agent after this year. If you ditch Cordero, who closes next year?

And what experience does that pitcher have as a closer that gives any indication he would succeed?

If the Reds don't add talent (and payroll), it won't matter who closes.

M2
07-22-2009, 03:07 PM
Again, never said that that is all a team needs to do. All I am saying is that if you have high salaried veteran role players (ones that can be replaced easily and cheaply), and you aren't competing or have excess of them, then it's smart to trade them for prospects, especially low A ones, since they are usually undervalued.

If you have a chance to get major league ready players for Weathers, Rhodes, Lincoln, Hairston, Taveras, Gonzo, Hernandez, et al, then go for it. But I doubt you can, so it's better to get a bunch of low A prospects for them if you can, then to keep them and let them walk and get nothing.

And I'm saying that since most kids in low A amount to nothing, you're vastly overvaluing them by dealing away major leaguers to acquire them. I'm not even saying not to do it, but it's one of the more uninteresting, low impact moves the team could make.

The Reds have done plenty of vet-for-prospects deals in recent years. Who turned out to be the best of the prospect bunch? Harang, Masset and Brendan Harris. None of those guys were considered major prospects and they were all on the cusp of the majors. Meanwhile the conga line of Jackson Melians, Ricardo Aramboleses, Tyler Pellands, Javon Morans and Tony Blancos never amounted to squat.

Seems to me, the actual undervalued commodity is not-overly-young players who have gotten themselves to point where they might be able to contribute in the majors. Ryan Freel and Cody Ross were similar types. Chris Dickerson is the in-house guy who fits that mold.

That the Reds might ball up some combination of the vets you mentioned (all of whom come off the books after this season) in exchange for a player on a long-term contract (who costs something similar to what they're balling up) ... well, that's just never going to get any consideration in the Reds front offices. The Reds don't take advantage of their cheapskate brethren, not when they can commiserate with them instead.

dougdirt
07-22-2009, 03:14 PM
Weathers is a free agent after this year. If you ditch Cordero, who closes next year?

And what experience does that pitcher have as a closer that gives any indication he would succeed?

Weathers has a 2010 option thats a $200,000 raise from his current salary. Odds that the Reds don't pick it up short of him being injured are about zero given the season he is having.

edabbs44
07-22-2009, 03:48 PM
And I'm saying that since most kids in low A amount to nothing, you're vastly overvaluing them by dealing away major leaguers to acquire them. I'm not even saying not to do it, but it's one of the more uninteresting, low impact moves the team could make.

The Reds have done plenty of vet-for-prospects deals in recent years. Who turned out to be the best of the prospect bunch? Harang, Masset and Brendan Harris. None of those guys were considered major prospects and they were all on the cusp of the majors. Meanwhile the conga line of Jackson Melians, Ricardo Aramboleses, Tyler Pellands, Javon Morans and Tony Blancos never amounted to squat.

Take off the tunnel vision and look at other prospect for vet deals made in recent memory.

Off the top of my head...

Bartolo deal
AJ Pier____ deal
Beckett deal

Those weren't too bad. I know that the odds aren't in our favor due to projectibility, but the Reds previous history shouldn't stop them from making a deal for a strong prospect.

Jpup
07-22-2009, 03:52 PM
I am not trading for Low A players unless I am getting rid of something that is not too valuable. The Reds keep getting low A guys and they don't seem to ever make it to the bigs. We have waited forever, I am tired of waiting.

Kc61
07-22-2009, 04:03 PM
Weathers has a 2010 option thats a $200,000 raise from his current salary. Odds that the Reds don't pick it up short of him being injured are about zero given the season he is having.


That takes Weathers to about $3.7 million I think. I'm not sure it's such an easy call. Do I think he's worth it? Probably. Will the Reds given his age? Not so sure.

Cordero is much more expensive but the Reds may see Coco as worth it because closer is a special role. With Massett's emergence they may see Weathers as expendable in the set up role. Combo of Roenicke/Rhodes/Massett/Coco as the basic late inning rotation. With Fisher and Herrera as the middle innings guys. Or possibly Burton fitting in someplace.

If the Reds remember the pre-Coco days, they may want to keep him. They pay him a lot, but they may like the idea of an All Star closer. I do.

If the Reds keep Coco they can save well over $3 million by replacing Weathers. I'd hate to see Stormy depart, but it may be the way to go.

Rojo
07-22-2009, 04:08 PM
I am not trading for Low A players unless I am getting rid of something that is not too valuable. The Reds keep getting low A guys and they don't seem to ever make it to the bigs.

We add scores of A-ball guys every year -- its called the draft. Yeah, one or two more oughtta do it.

M2
07-22-2009, 04:34 PM
Take off the tunnel vision and look at other prospect for vet deals made in recent memory.

Off the top of my head...

Bartolo deal
AJ Pier____ deal
Beckett deal

Those weren't too bad. I know that the odds aren't in our favor due to projectibility, but the Reds previous history shouldn't stop them from making a deal for a strong prospect.

You know how many of the minor leaguers in those deals were in low A ball at the time of those trades? None of them. Not a single one.

If you want to argue the Reds should be making more targeted deals for prospects, well, you'd be echoing what I've already said in this thread - "If the Reds are going to rebuild, better to get a few key young players than a pile of maybes."

I understand a club like the Reds is going to be swapping vets for kids, but the following plan doesn't work:

Step 1 - Collect kids
Step 2 - ???
Step 3 - Victory


We add scores of A-ball guys every year -- its called the draft. Yeah, one or two more oughtta do it.

Perfectly stated.

TheNext44
07-22-2009, 04:51 PM
And I'm saying that since most kids in low A amount to nothing, you're vastly overvaluing them by dealing away major leaguers to acquire them. I'm not even saying not to do it, but it's one of the more uninteresting, low impact moves the team could make.

The Reds have done plenty of vet-for-prospects deals in recent years. Who turned out to be the best of the prospect bunch? Harang, Masset and Brendan Harris. None of those guys were considered major prospects and they were all on the cusp of the majors. Meanwhile the conga line of Jackson Melians, Ricardo Aramboleses, Tyler Pellands, Javon Morans and Tony Blancos never amounted to squat.

Seems to me, the actual undervalued commodity is not-overly-young players who have gotten themselves to point where they might be able to contribute in the majors. Ryan Freel and Cody Ross were similar types. Chris Dickerson is the in-house guy who fits that mold.

That the Reds might ball up some combination of the vets you mentioned (all of whom come off the books after this season) in exchange for a player on a long-term contract (who costs something similar to what they're balling up) ... well, that's just never going to get any consideration in the Reds front offices. The Reds don't take advantage of their cheapskate brethren, not when they can commiserate with them instead.

That's where we differ. I am not talking about the the type of guys that the Pirates got recently for Hinske and LaRoche, I'm talking about top 20 prospects. If you have faith in your scouting department to pick out the good AA-AAA prospects, you should have faith in them picking out A ball prospects.

And the key is not about whether or not these guys make it, it's about developing depth in your minor league system, so that you can use them, or your own guys to trade for the right pieces, big or small, when you are in contention.

That is what good organizations do. They develop depth in their organization through both trades and the draft, so that they can trade prospects for major league ready players when needed. When they aren't in contention (and every not coastal team is only in contention at best around 50% of the time), they trade their veterans that either will be leaving via free agency, or are a surplus, for more prospects which they then can then use for trades when they are in contention. It's about maximizing your resources and always being in a position to go for it when the timing is right.

M2
07-22-2009, 05:01 PM
That's where we differ. I am not talking about the the type of guys that the Pirates got recently for Hinske and LaRoche, I'm talking about top 20 prospects. If you have faith in your scouting department to pick out the good AA-AAA prospects, you should have faith in them picking out A ball prospects.

I assume you're talking about top 20 prospects inside an organization, not in all of MLB (because Reds middle relievers aren't going to be fetching those). And I just listed you a pile of them the Reds had acquired this decade. Not one of them paid off.

If you really have faith in your scouting department, then let them find you some more Harangs and Massets.


And the key is not about whether or not these guys make it, it's about developing depth in your minor league system, so that you can use them, or your own guys to trade for the right pieces, big or small, when you are in contention.

Surely you see the hole in there. If you keep trading away anybody and everybody capable of getting the job done in the majors for kids who probably won't ever make the majors, then you'll never be in contention. The Reds have become a franchise built on the premise that, sooner or later, everything must go. It's a never ending going-out-of-business sale.


That is what good organizations do. They develop depth in their organization through both trades and the draft, so that they can trade prospects for major league ready players when needed. When they aren't in contention (and every not coastal team is only in contention at best around 50% of the time), they trade their veterans that either will be leaving via free agency, or are a surplus, for more prospects which they then can then use for trades when they are in contention. It's about maximizing your resources and always being in a position to go for it when the timing is right.

It's also what deluded organizations do. They convince themselves the future is perfect.

TheNext44
07-22-2009, 05:12 PM
Surely you see the hole in there. If you keep trading away anybody and everybody capable of getting the job done in the majors for kids who probably won't ever make the majors, then you'll never be in contention. The Reds have become a franchise built on the premise that, sooner or later, everything must go. It's a never ending going-out-of-business sale.


Who in their right mind, besides a Pirate or Royal's GM, would ever advocate that?

I am going to make clear for the third and last time that all I am talking about is trading guys you can replace, when you are not contending, for solid, low level prospects so you can build a strong organization. That is the best way to be in contention more often, and to be able to get the guys you need when you are in contention.

Patrick Bateman
07-22-2009, 05:12 PM
Chris Dickerson is the in-house guy who fits that mold.


Hanigan too.

M2
07-22-2009, 05:26 PM
Who in their right mind, besides a Pirate or Royal's GM, would ever advocate that?

I am going to make clear for the third and last time that all I am talking about is trading guys you can replace, when you are not contending, for solid, low level prospects so you can build a strong organization. That is the best way to be in contention more often, and to be able to get the guys you need when you are in contention.

Yeah, I get it, guys like Javon Moran and Ricardo Aramboles.

I'm pointing out that it's just a few more treadmill moves for an organization headed nowhere.

As for who would ever advocate that, how many major leaguers from the start of the Krivsky regime are still around? Three if you want to count Encarnacion, and it's entirely possible all three of them will be gone before the start of next season. Like I said, the Reds are going out of business all the time.

You talk about the Pirates and Royals as if the Reds are somehow different.

The Reds can keep doing the same things and expecting different results or they can chuck the groupthink you've accurately described. I can tell you right now, they will do something more or less akin to what you're recommending - trading the guys everyone agrees they should trade for prospect depth. And then they'll do it again next year and the next year and the next year and the next year ...

Ltlabner
07-22-2009, 06:50 PM
And then they'll do it again next year and the next year and the next year and the next year ...

But just think how great it will be when all those kids hit the majors and go super-nova in the same year!

backbencher
07-22-2009, 07:24 PM
I can tell you right now, they will do something more or less akin to what you're recommending - trading the guys everyone agrees they should trade for prospect depth. And then they'll do it again next year and the next year and the next year and the next year ...

I don't see what the mystery is.

The Reds are a small-market team. Taking into account the learning curve at the start of an ML career and the cost explosion in the 6th year and FA, that means that their real window for any player is for about three years (career years 2.5 through 5.5) for any particular player.

In the last 10-15 years, there have been, to my count, five strategies for small- or mid- market success. All but one involve an active farm. Fair warning, though: the one that doesn't involve the farm involves magic.

1. The Marlins' build-it-then-burn-it strategy. Draft/sign internationally/trade for young superstars. Complement with vets. Win.

2. The Indians' extend-the-window strategy. Identify young stars en masse and sign them through their arb years and early FA.

3. The A's starters-and-steroids model. Develop crop of young arms, add big bats.

4. The Twins' slow-and-steady strategy. Constant cycle of new-talent-in, old-talent-out. Always in contention, never the pennant winner.

5. The Cardinals' tentpole-and-magic-arms strategy. Simple: find a top-5 all-time hitter, use voodoo to turn retread pitchers into playoff arms, and win.


There is no one more qualified than Walt to replicate the Cardinals' strategy, so if it's possible, I assume that's what he will do. Otherwise, the models all involve some amount of churning until the mixture of cheap and cheap-ish talent is right for a title shot.


I'm amused by the metric of "players on the roster for four seasons or more." That may be a nice measurement of front-office success in NY or Boston, but not so much for teams that can't swim in the FA waters. Given that the Indians seem to have the most stable roster of the current mids and smalls, one could argue that roster stability is a counter-indicator of success - it means that new stars from the farm haven't earned their way onto the roster.

Highlifeman21
07-22-2009, 07:52 PM
But just think how great it will be when all those kids hit the majors and go super-nova in the same year!

Oh yeah, I keep forgetting that we have Willie Mays and Ty Cobb in the minors, to go along with Lou Gehrig, Mike Schmidt and Walter Johnson.

Well, maybe they aren't that good, but they're gonna be something, right?

Or at least that's what I keep hearing...

"The Reds have a great farm system"

M2
07-22-2009, 09:03 PM
backbencher, that is an awful description of what the Cardinals did.

What the Cardinals did was grow their market. Same thing Seattle did. Same thing the Phillies did (people forget the Phillies operated like a small market team a decade ago).

Of course the Reds aren't pursuing any of those strategies. They're working off the same basic script that's been in place this entire decade - tinker in the winter, sell in the summer, hope you get lucky.

TheNext44
07-22-2009, 09:45 PM
backbencher, that is an awful description of what the Cardinals did.

What the Cardinals did was grow their market. Same thing Seattle did. Same thing the Phillies did (people forget the Phillies operated like a small market team a decade ago).

Of course the Reds aren't pursuing any of those strategies. They're working off the same basic script that's been in place this entire decade - tinker in the winter, sell in the summer, hope you get lucky.

I lived over 20 years in St. Louis. The Cardinals did not grow their market, their market was already huge.

The Cardinals have been in the top half of league attendance every year since 1981, and have been in the top half every year but 3 (1978-80) since 1961. Since 1961 they have been on average the 4th best team attendance wise in the league (actually 3.81). The lowest they ever were was 8th out of 12 teams.

The Cardinals were the only team west of the Mississippi for decades, and were the favorites of every state in the midwest that does not have a MLB team. St. Louis has KMOX, their WLW, but stronger, and with a much wider audience. Fans in states like Idaho, Alabama, Tennessee, Iowa, Wyoming... all were Cardinal fans because they could get KMOX at night and listen to the Cardinal games.

The Cardinals always had a large payroll, great local media revenue and great attendance. Always.

The Cardinals never did anything to "shrink" their market, it always has been great. It's been a little better when they win, but they have had great attendance during many losing seasons.

The Cardinals were so good for so long under Jocketty because he never buckled to the pressure of banana phone fans who wanted him to trade the future for now. He built a solid organization, with talent at every level, that was always ready to compete when it got a few breaks, but was never far away when it got some bad breaks.

That is what he is doing with this Reds team. I know it seems like he is doing nothing, and has accomplished nothing, but that is by design. He is not trying to win now, he building a strong foundation for this organization so that it can be ready to compete every year.

The organization he inherited was not even close to this, so it's going to take time. He's about to finish his second year, so the team is close, but definitely not there yet. If he continues with his plan, the Reds should be ready to compete in 2010 and for many years to come.

backbencher
07-22-2009, 10:40 PM
M2, I'm confused. Your second paragraph is about economics. Your third paragraph is about roster moves.

If it's the economics that you want to discuss, TheNext44 has St. Louis covered. It's one of the best baseball towns in America, certainly the best baseball town off the eastern seaboard, and it has been for decades. Perhaps prior Reds owners can be faulted for taking the Reds from near-Cardinals level to a lower level, but that's a different issue.

Philly is a complete non-sequitur. It's the fifth biggest metro in the US. When they decided to stop acting like losers, they had bodies that they could put in the stands.

Seattle is smaller than Philly, but bigger than Cincinnati (substantially so, if you include Portland), and much more affluent. Their grow-the-market strategy involved taking advantage of the regional ties to Japan through ownership changes and clever player acquisition. Of course, the Reds tried that exact strategy - to "grow their market" through clever player acquisition (a player that recalled the team's glory days) one year before the Mariners did. It's bad luck for Reds fans that it didn't work out as well, but that's the way things go sometimes. Perhaps the Reds can stumble upon some uber-player from Germany.



Here is one listing of market sizes:

http://www.unlikelymoose.com/blog/comments/1305_0_1_0_C/

M2
07-22-2009, 11:07 PM
I lived over 20 years in St. Louis. The Cardinals did not grow their market, their market was already huge.

I don't care where you lived. The Cardinals kept a modest payroll through the early '90s until LaRussa arrived. Here's the numbers - http://content.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/salaries/teamresults.aspx?team=30. They went from a $28 million payroll in 1994 to $78 million in 2001. Even during an era of exploding salaries, that is phenomenal growth.

Their attendance was always good, but it jumped into another stratosphere in 1998 (the Mac effect). Perhaps the Birds were sitting on a fat pile of money and not spending it until then, but they brought in a conga line of high priced players after that. The whole nonsense about trying to conquer the baseball world with Geronimo Pena, Tripp Cromer, John Mabry and Bernard Gilkey got abandoned as St. Louis started pouring drinks from the top shelf.

I agree the Cardinals had some natural and established advantages they were able to leverage, but the change in what that market enabled them to do is unmistakable.

Scrap Irony
07-22-2009, 11:30 PM
I'll certainly agree that the Reds have struggled to think proactively and creatively through the past, oh, 35 years or so, but to say they can find some way to "grow a market" like St. Louis is preposterous. St. Louis has always been the top market in the Midwest. New England/Bah-ston big, but in a ten state area.

No way Cincinnati could compete with that.

M2
07-22-2009, 11:33 PM
M2, I'm confused. Your second paragraph is about economics. Your third paragraph is about roster moves.

It's not such a hard concept. The Cardinals, Mariners and Phillies changed their economics (either by becoming a larger market or ceasing to act like a smaller market, take your pick) and it enabled them to make a whole new set of roster moves. Essentially, their way out of the small-to-mid market gridlock you described was to not be a small market. It had nothing to do with magic.

And Philly, despite its size, had been an exceptionally weak baseball market from 1996-2003, with Phillies serving as little more than sideshow for a city obsessed with the Eggles. That franchise successfully used a new stadium as a launching pad. The Phillies went from being a franchise that was balking at J.D. Drew's asking price and trading away Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen (because the organization couldn't afford to keep them), to locking up Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.


Perhaps the Reds can stumble upon some uber-player from Germany.

I know you jest, but, just my opinion, that's a better idea than trading middle relievers for more kids like Ricardo Aramboles and Andy Machado. Though I've got nothing but positive things to say about Thug Life, at least he brought us joy. May his magnificence be commemorated in porcelain figurines for eternity.

Scrap Irony
07-22-2009, 11:44 PM
But you can't get there from here, M2. Philly, Seattle, and St. Louis have specific advantages that allowed them to move on up the East Side. Cincinnati hasn't really ever drawn huge numbers and, due to its geography, probably won't. Too many teams too close and not as much superfluous cash to throw around.

I have no problem with you insisting the Reds need to be smarter. They do. But to suddenly "become" a large market is an impossibility. The best the Reds can hope for is a 2.5 million.

M2
07-22-2009, 11:49 PM
No way Cincinnati could compete with that.

Except for the roughly 30 years when Cincinnati did compete with that, winning more during that span, and drawing and spending more at various points along the way. For the bulk of our lifetimes the notion that the Reds couldn't compete with the Cardinals would have been scoffed at. If anything, the Cardinals had spent more time trying to keep pace with the Reds.

The payroll and attendance growth the Cardinals experienced in the late '90s are a matter of documented fact. I fully recognize St. Louis had some longstanding strengths, but those had become largely vestigial until the franchise re-energized itself a little over a decade ago. St. Louis very easily could have faded as a baseball mecca after Ozzie retired if it had struggled on the field and no new star power was acquired. History worked out the other way around.

M2
07-23-2009, 12:00 AM
Cincinnati hasn't really ever drawn huge numbers

That's categorically wrong.

FWIW, I'm not suggesting the Reds try to follow the St. Louis model. The window of opportunity for that closed earlier this decade. I'm simply stating that St. Louis, and others, escaped the small market blues by ceasing to be (or act like) a small market. That is what THEY did and there was no magic involved.

If you to argue they were always bigger markets waiting to happen, that's fine. Yet those franchises still had to do the work to make it happen. They didn't wake up after a big Meister Brau and Play Station bender one day to find a thriving market on their doorstep.

oregonred
07-23-2009, 12:40 AM
The Cards definitely busted out of the "small" market mindset to become a mid-market. They also benefitted from some steroid-induced luck with the HR chase (McGwire timing was perfect, as the Cards attendance in the mid 90's wasn't so great) and probably a better overall local pro-sports atmosphere (Rams SB appearances and the Blues always were competitive).

I really believe the Reds would be in a different place had things worked out better for KGJ and the organization had any semblence of competence under the Bowden/Lindner regime. Look at the 2000 attendance and what could have been if the team contended at all in the 2000-2004 window.

Another factor is that the Reds have no real rivalry after divisional alignment and neither do the Pirates for that matter. St Louis and Milwaukee both benefit bigtime from the Cubs factor. It keeps the games and smack talk top of mind for 1/9th of the season.

Lastly no city in the last 20 years has had a situation where all of its pro-sports teams (in the two major sports) have demonstrated such ineptitude and complete disregard for its fanbase. The Reds/Bengals combination since the early 90s is enough to make you take Prozac en masse and I think has contributed to the virally negative perception of pro-sports in the market and on the radio talk shows. I think that is contagious. Hell the Pirates suck, but they got the Steelers. KC had the Chiefs to balance out the Royals suckitude, Brewer fans had the Packers. Reds fans have... Mike Brown & Company.

St Louis announcers (the Bucks) like most local legends were major cheerleaders for the local team. The Reds have the most cynical "home" radio legend in baseball.

TheNext44
07-23-2009, 02:13 AM
I don't care where you lived. The Cardinals kept a modest payroll through the early '90s until LaRussa arrived. Here's the numbers - http://content.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/salaries/teamresults.aspx?team=30. They went from a $28 million payroll in 1994 to $78 million in 2001. Even during an era of exploding salaries, that is phenomenal growth.

Their attendance was always good, but it jumped into another stratosphere in 1998 (the Mac effect). Perhaps the Birds were sitting on a fat pile of money and not spending it until then, but they brought in a conga line of high priced players after that. The whole nonsense about trying to conquer the baseball world with Geronimo Pena, Tripp Cromer, John Mabry and Bernard Gilkey got abandoned as St. Louis started pouring drinks from the top shelf.

I agree the Cardinals had some natural and established advantages they were able to leverage, but the change in what that market enabled them to do is unmistakable.


Actually it does matter that I lived there, because it means that I know more about the situation in St. Louis than someone who didn't. Just like you know more about the Red Sox, and the decisions they made, than I would.

Here is what you probably don't know. The Cardinals were always big spenders, always one of the top salary teams. Except for 1993 and 1994.

During those two years Anheuser Busch decided to sell the Cards. Gussie Busch had died a few years earlier, in 89, and his son, Augie III, never loved baseball like his dad. By 1993, he had had enough of the team, and put it up for sale.

As is the case with most businesses for sale, he slashed payroll to make it attractive to new buyers. That was the only time in my lifetime that the Cardinals cut payroll, and were not trying to win. And the reason was pure, basic economics.

When the new ownership came in, all they did was restore the team back to the way it was just a few years earlier. It was not a sudden change of philosophy, it was just getting back to business as usual, now that the team was not longer up for sale.

And if you look closely at the numbers, they only really jumped up after 2000, their first 95 win season in awhile. The year before that, they were ranked 12th in payroll in the majors, right in the middle of the pack. Since then, they have been near the top 5 every year. So they didn't go after a new market, they just were spending the windfalls of winning for the first time in awhile, something that nearly every winning team does.

Ltlabner
07-23-2009, 07:03 AM
I'm simply stating that St. Louis, and others, escaped the small market blues by ceasing to be (or act like) a small market.

Agree 100%

And while there's obvious financial constraints, I'm convinced that 80% of being a "small market" team is mental. Think small act small.

It's why when the economy was tanking I was advocating the Reds go hog wild and promote the Reds as the place to be, as opposed to cowering in the corner peeing on themselves in fear. That was the time to act boldly.

Might not agree with my plan, but in retrospect I was thinking along the lines of what you are saying, "quit acting like Podunk and expecting different results". Adam Rossales running around like a crackhead, or JHJ being a "grinder" isn't going to take this franchise into the future. A radical change in mindset and philosophy might.

backbencher
07-23-2009, 09:37 AM
And while there's obvious financial constraints, I'm convinced that 80% of being a "small market" team is mental.

I'm pretty confident that 100% of being a "small market" is the fact that New York and Chicago and LA and Boston are bigger than Cincinnati.

Here's an analysis suggesting that the Reds' spending is, per capita, pretty . . . well, just look for yourself:

http://www.deepintosports.com/2009/07/21/mlb-baseball-television-market-shars-tv-households-nielsen-dma-payroll/

It's true that the Reds cannot "think" small, if that means retreating into some kind of shell. But that's not their problem - under Castellini, the Reds have been outspending their weight pretty consistently.

In other words, it's bang-for-the-buck that we need to discuss, not the amount of bucks.

traderumor
07-23-2009, 09:44 AM
I'm pretty confident that 100% of being a "small market" is the fact that New York and Chicago and LA and Boston are bigger than Cincinnati.

Here's an analysis suggesting that the Reds' spending is, per capita, pretty . . . well, just look for yourself:

http://www.deepintosports.com/2009/07/21/mlb-baseball-television-market-shars-tv-households-nielsen-dma-payroll/

It's true that the Reds cannot "think" small, if that means retreating into some kind of shell. But that's not their problem - under Castellini, the Reds have been outspending their weight pretty consistently.

In other words, it's bang-for-the-buck that we need to discuss, not the amount of bucks.I think that is pretty much a given that you have to look a little deeper than populations to discuss professional sports franchise markets. There are plenty of opportunities to reach outside your metropolitan area to increase your market in professional sports.

Also, no one has been arguing that it is "spend more" alone. It is understood that the money has to be spent wisely.

Ltlabner
07-23-2009, 09:50 AM
I'm pretty confident that 100% of being a "small market" is the fact that New York and Chicago and LA and Boston are bigger than Cincinnati.

In other words, it's bang-for-the-buck that we need to discuss, not the amount of bucks.

Yea, that's why I said "there's obvious financial constraints". Cincinnati is never going to have the same built in population advantage as NYC. That's pretty obvious to most.

And I don't think anybody is arguing they should spend $100,000,000 more dollars like drunken sailors. We all pretty much grasp that you have to spend the money well to be successful.

M2
07-23-2009, 09:53 AM
Except for 1993 and 1994.

And 1991 and 1992 and, to a lesser degree, 1995. I gave you the numbers.

When the league took a mass leap forward in spending in 1991, the Cardinals missed the jump and it took them half a decade to start clawing back.

It was the second time in relatively modern baseball history the Cardinals broke out of a funk that potentially could have relegated the franchise to smaller market status. The franchise had an excessively mediocre 1970s. Whitey Herzog slapped that franchise out of a stupor. It also got pretty moribund for the Cardinals in the late 1950s.

Chip R
07-23-2009, 10:08 AM
Esxept for the 70s, the Cards have always out drawn the Reds. They first broke the million mark in 1946. The Reds didn't do it till 10 years later. The Cards first drew 2 million in 1967. The Reds didn't do it till 1973. The Cards have drawn 3 million several times. The Reds have never broke 2.6 million.

I was looking for information in SI about that Crosley Field that Larry Luebbers, Sr. built in his yard and I found this article from 1965 when the Reds were in the thick of a 4 team pennant race. The emphasis is mine. The more things change...


http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1076471/index.htm

Debacle In Cincinnati
Frank Deford

The Queen City of the mighty Ohio derives its name from Cincinnatus, the loyal Roman farmer who dropped his plow and rushed off to battle when war was imminent. Something has been lost over the generations and in translation into the plural, however; very few people in Cincinnati dropped anything last week to root for the Reds after they returned home in first place and with the longest winning streak—nine games—in the National League this season.

While Barry Goldwater was drawing 16,000 uptown on Tuesday, a mere 10,858 paid their way into Crosley Field. Wednesday and Thursday nights, when free baseball TV rather than free Goldwater was the competition, attendance fell off to 8,188 and then 7,081. On Thursday, after the Reds had lost their second in a row to the Pirates, Third Baseman Chico Ruiz reported that he had tried to give away a couple of tickets to Sunday's final game but had been turned down. "He tell me, you prolly be out of eet, by then. Thees baseball ees all front-runner. Everywhere, front-runner. They ought to move franchise to Habana." Ruiz turned and used his bat like a submachine gun. "Castro, he make everyone play hard," he said.

Not only were people not coming out to the games, they didn't appear to know that games were being played. Fountain Square provided no hint whatsoever that there was a pennant race in town, though a large, ugly billboard recently erected there urged citizens to vote yes on a traffic issue, and on Thursday morning a loud brass band showed up to 1) get money for the United Appeal, 2) shill for the Ice Capades, and 3) wake up people sleeping in the Sheraton-Gibson Hotel. The Ice Capades gave $1,000 to the United Appeal, but they may be pushing the wrong charity. The Reds have dropped in attendance since they won the pennant in 1961.

If the support was negligible, the Cincy hitting was worse. The Reds have not hit well all year, except for that nine-game streak, but after they scored three runs in the first inning of their second game against the Mets on Sunday of last week, all semblance of clutch hitting faded. They got 10 singles and a double against Pittsburgh's Bob Friend Tuesday night but could not score. The Pirates made only six hits against 20-year-old Bill McCool, but with two out in the ninth Bill Mazeroski singled in the only two runs of the game.

McCool sat at his locker long after the game, muttering: "That blanking Maz. That blanking Maz." What, someone asked Mazeroski, did he think of a 20-year-old kid calling him "a blanking Maz." "That," said Mazeroski, straight-faced, "is what makes baseball the great game that it is."

Beginning Wednesday's game, the Reds had gone 17 innings without a run. They almost duplicated that performance in one night. The Pirates' starting pitcher, Bob Veale, gave up seven singles and struck out 16 batters—the season's major league high—in 12? innings, but the Pirates were not exactly dismembering Jim Maloney. Maloney gave up only three hits and struck out 13 in 11 innings. The game total of 36 strikeouts was a record, but the frustration of the Reds must also have set a record of sorts. While the Pirates did not establish anything approximating a threat until they finally scored the game's only run in the 16th, Cincinnati left 18 men on base, 13 in the six-inning stretch from the ninth to the 14th. And the game ended just as implausibly.

With John Tsitouris pitching for Cincy in the 16th, Donn Clendenon led off with a double against the scoreboard. Blanking Mazeroski sacrificed Clendenon to third, and then came the play that may have cost Cincinnati the National League pennant.

The Pittsburgh batter was Jerry May, a young catcher called up from Asheville just 10 days before. The chain of circumstances that brought May to bat at this time are approximately as devious as those that led to the start of World War I. It began when the Pirates sold Catcher Smokey Burgess to the Chicago White Sox, who were lighting for a pennant in another league. So the Pirates needed a third catcher to back up Jim Pagliaroni and Orlando McFarlane, and they tried to get Ron Brand from Columbus. But Brand was on his way home to Los Angeles, so they sent for young May, who was hitting all of .260 at Asheville. May did little at first but pitch batting practice, which sounds innocuous enough except that while pitching batting practice he hit Pagliaroni and knocked him out for the season. So with Clendenon on third, Jerry May came forward to meet destiny.

He took a ball and then got the sign for the suicide squeeze from Third-base Coach Frank Oceak. Clendenon took off for home as Tsitouris cut loose with a slider. Tsitouris never saw the runner go. "If I just had...if...I would have switched pitches," he said after the game. But the pitch was as buntable as a pitch can be. It broke right in across the letters, and May punched it perfectly down the third-base line. Clendenon scored with ease when Ruiz unaccountably retreated to third instead of charging the ball. Ruiz finally came in to pick it up, but by then there was not even a play on May at first. "I can't understand why in the world Chico ran back to the bag when he saw the runner coming in," Sisler said in something approaching shock. It is extremely doubtful, however, that any third baseman could have fielded such a bunt in time to throw out Clendenon, and no one was more amazed at his own artistry than Jerry May. He was called on to sacrifice only a handful of times this season, the last "about a month ago," May said. And how about suicide squeezes? "No, I never did that all year. As a matter of fact, I've never squeezed in my whole life."

By Thursday night the Reds has snapped back. The team had had its official picture taken the night before, and all the players had nice glossy prints to show around. Fred Hutchinson showed up for the picture and put on his uniform for the first time in six weeks. The Reds talked mostly about the Cardinals—"much the best-hitting lineup in the league"—and the Mets. There was general agreement that the Mets would be all fired up to salvage something from the season and decide a pennant race. "I'd rather have the Mets not care," Pete Rose said. Then Cincinnati went out and finally scored against Pittsburgh.

They also evened matters on the subject of third-string catchers. Johnny Edwards had left the game the night before when the season-long pounding of fast balls finally took its toll. He could barely get his mitt off. Thursday he asked for novocain or codeine to ease the pain so that he could catch, but after checking with the team physician Sisler said no. Edwards' replacement Wednesday had been Don Pavletich, who struck out four times; on Thursday Sisler, admittedly in desperation, settled on Jim Coker instead. Coker, who had come up from the minors on August 23, drove in, scored or contributed to four Cincinnati runs as they won 5-4.

In the clubhouse the Reds started a "Let's go Mets" chant that would do justice to any of the New Breed, and somehow the exhortation must have carried across two states. The next night, in St. Louis, the Mets came through, 1-0.

While this was going on the Reds were playing the team that had suddenly become the easiest touch in the National League. The Phils had not won since Cincy's Chico Ruiz stole home to beat them 1-0, on September 21, and now Cincinnati went into a quick 3-0 lead. But in the seventh inning one of Chris Short's pitches hit Cincy's Leo Cardenas, and the game—and the season—turned upside down again.

Cardenas, thinking that Short had thrown at him intentionally, moved menacingly, bat in hand, toward the Philadelphia pitcher. Phillie Catcher Clay Dalrymple moved in front of Cardenas and players from both teams came running. Cardenas finally was calmed down, but Phillie Coach Bob Oldis growled: "He'll let you know if he's going to throw at you." and that upset Cardenas anew. When order finally was restored, Ed Roebuck came in in relief of Short and threw one pitch for a double play.

Cardenas went out to shortstop. He should have forgotten all about the flare-up, but the Reds don't think he did. The first thing Sisler said after the game was: "It all started when Cardenas was hit. I think he took it out to his position with him."

With one out in the Phillies' eighth, Frank Thomas blooped a miserable little pinch-hit pop fly over second base, not even onto the outfield grass. Cardenas and Second Baseman Rose went for the ball, and though Cardenas seemed to have the better chance for it he slowed down. Rose, looking up for an instant to check on Cardenas, could not hold onto the ball. Then Jim O'Toole, who had been pitching well, caved in. Bill Mc-Cool, in relief, was no help. The Phils scored four quick runs to make it 4-3, the final score.

Dick Sisler sat down at his office desk and began the awful review of what had happened. Suddenly loud, angry voices were heard from the locker room. Sisler hurried out, returned in a few minutes and tried to dismiss the incident. "It was just something minor," he said, "something that happens to all baseball teams. We're all hot. We're all sore at losing this thing." The players later parroted this story, but it was not so easy for Leo Cardenas. His eyes were red when he denied that he had been involved in the locker room fight.

The next day, Saturday, in the bright morning sun, the Reds had an off-day workout. Leo Cardenas moved among his teammates, but not with them. He sat in the shade of the dugout, staring and mute, until his turn came to hit. Pete Rose tried to pick him up. "O.K.," Rose said, "hit and run. Man on first. Go to right." Cardenas went through the motions and then he went back and sat by himself in the dugout again. It was not a very happy day for the Reds—until the score from St. Louis came in.

The game Sunday started after Miss Cindy Grogg sang the National Anthem, and that was the last brave note sung by a Cincinnatian all day. There was no sign of dissension traceable to Friday night's clubhouse brawl, but the Reds hardly looked like pennant winners from the first pitch. At 2:14 Central Daylight Time, Wes Covington cracked a one-for-17 slump with a single to right that brought home two runs, and the game was decided. Six innings and six more Cincinnati pitchers later, it was all over. Philadelphia won 10-0.

By the time the Cincinnati game finished, St. Louis had an 8-4 lead and the Reds were barely interested in the clubhouse radio. When word came in that St. Louis led 11-4, Sisler made himself a ham on rye and talked about the winter ahead.

Sick and haggard, Fred Hutchinson sat quietly in his old office. "For all my boys and myself," Sisler suddenly blurted out, "I'm sorry we couldn't win for that gentleman over there." The players picked up their suitcases and went home. Two pretty young girls were standing outside, almost in tears and holding red and white pompons. Is there anything sadder than the sight of a pompon in a pretty girl's hand when she has nothing to wave it for?

M2
07-23-2009, 10:15 AM
Here's an analysis suggesting that the Reds' spending is, per capita, pretty . . . well, just look for yourself:

http://www.deepintosports.com/2009/07/21/mlb-baseball-television-market-shars-tv-households-nielsen-dma-payroll/

If you take a 100-mile radius around Cincinnati, which I'd argue is a truer representation of the club's true potential market, it's larger than St. Louis and comparable to Seattle.

Columbus, Indianapolis, Louisville, Dayton, Lexington, Huntington, those are all in Cincinnati's wheelhouse.

A lot of what makes Boston such a massive market is that it owns places like Providence, Worcester, Springfield and all of northern New England.

And if you don't take that broader view of the team's market, is Cincinnati a major league market?

westofyou
07-23-2009, 10:35 AM
I'll certainly agree that the Reds have struggled to think proactively and creatively through the past, oh, 35 years or so, but to say they can find some way to "grow a market" like St. Louis is preposterous. St. Louis has always been the top market in the Midwest. New England/Bah-ston big, but in a ten state area.

No way Cincinnati could compete with that.

Cards almost moved a couple of times, once the almost moved to Toronto and once they almost moved to Detroit, granted it was the thirties, but it illustrates that even being the furthest team west they still were poor and looking for better digs.

They found it in their own back yard, mostly because a local owner with deep pockets bought them, unlike the Reds whose local owner with deep pockets decided that keeping the Reds was important, but spending too much on them was a waste.

Rojo
07-23-2009, 02:02 PM
I really believe the Reds would be in a different place had things worked out better for KGJ and the organization had any semblence of competence under the Bowden/Lindner regime. Look at the 2000 attendance and what could have been if the team contended at all in the 2000-2004 window.

Great point. The Reds took one step toward big, got their toes bit and stepped back. You could almost feel John Allen's "I told you so's" gurgling in his throat before the ink dried on the KGJ contract.

TheNext44
07-23-2009, 02:13 PM
If you take a 100-mile radius around Cincinnati, which I'd argue is a truer representation of the club's true potential market, it's larger than St. Louis and comparable to Seattle.

Columbus, Indianapolis, Louisville, Dayton, Lexington, Huntington, those are all in Cincinnati's wheelhouse.

A lot of what makes Boston such a massive market is that it owns places like Providence, Worcester, Springfield and all of northern New England.

And if you don't take that broader view of the team's market, is Cincinnati a major league market?

As everyone knows, the key to a high payroll is local media money, and Saint Louis probably has and always has had at least double what the Reds have due to the strength of KMOX, and the lack of a local rival for literally hundreds of miles all the way around it for decades before expansion.

Look at the success the Cardinals have had over the years. They are second most successful franchise after the Yankees. They are the NL version of the Yankees. Huge fan base across the country, and lots and lots of money.

Like I said, the Cards were not spending that money after Gussie died, but that was the only blip where they weren't a top payroll team, committed to winning.

In the 70's, no free agency, so money was not an issues. All teams had very similar payrolls. The difference was which teams did well with this new construct called the draft.

Up until the draft, the Cards spent a ton on signing amateur talent, and had the best scouts, so they got great talent. The draft ended that, and it took them awhile to adjust. But it was not from a lack trying, and by 1981, just a few years later, they had it figured out, and were striving again.

Your point was that the Cards only needed to suddenly "grow" their market and change their approach from being a small market team to being a mid to big market team. That is simply not factually accurate.

The Cards always have been a mid to large market team, always committed to winning, except for a brief time when their owner died and his son didn't care about the team. As soon as he sold the team, they went back to way they had always been, committed to winning and spending whatever it takes to accomplish that.

BuckeyeRedleg
07-23-2009, 02:20 PM
As everyone knows, the key to a high payroll is local media money, and Saint Louis probably has and always has had at least double what the Reds have due to the strength of KMOX, and the lack of a local rival for literally hundreds of miles all the way around it for decades before expansion.

You just described Cincinnati's place regionally and WLW.

TheNext44
07-23-2009, 02:39 PM
You just described Cincinnati's place regionally and WLW.

WLW does do what KMOX does, but just on a much smaller scale. KMOX is at least twice as big as WLW in terms of listeners.

Look at a map and draw a big circle around Cincinnati and then the same sized one around St. Louis. You will see that within Cincinnati's circle are two things that aren't in St. Louis'.

1) Mountains. KMOX reaches farther because it is surrounded by flat land. On a clear night you can hear KMOX in Colorado.

2) Many more MLB cities, especially teams that were around before expansion in 1960. The WLW signal went east into Indian, Tiger, Pirate and Phillie territory. West it went into Cubs and Cardinal territory. They only "orphan" fans it picked up were south.
KMOX only had the Cubs, Reds and Royals fans to contend with. it had the entire midwest and southwest all to it's own, until Kansas City got a team, and then that was it.

It really isn't close how much bigger the Cardinal fan base is than the Reds. KMOX reached far more fans than WLW.

BuckeyeRedleg
07-23-2009, 02:44 PM
I can hear WLW in Florida and parts of the east coast.

membengal
07-23-2009, 02:47 PM
KMOX no longer is the Cardinals flagship station, I don't believe. Lost it a few years back, the rights to the games.

TheNext44
07-23-2009, 02:55 PM
KMOX no longer is the Cardinals flagship station, I don't believe. Lost it a few years back, the rights to the games.

That is correct. I couldn't believe it when I heard it. That was a case of the new owners thinking more short term than long term. But I guess they figure with the internet and DirecTV, radio is not how a team builds up it's fan base anymore.

Chip R
07-23-2009, 03:45 PM
KMOX no longer is the Cardinals flagship station, I don't believe. Lost it a few years back, the rights to the games.


That's true. However, WLW has only been carrying Reds games since 1969 while the Cards broadcast their games on KMOX since the 30s. That's an almost 40 year head start. Anyone still wonder why the Cards became the team of the South? Another example of the Cards thinking big and the Reds thinking small.

membengal
07-23-2009, 03:50 PM
I thought the Reds were on some thunder awesome station in the 30s and 40s as well, that reached almost to the Rockies on its own before it was told to pull back its wattage?

Chip R
07-23-2009, 03:55 PM
I thought the Reds were on some thunder awesome station in the 30s and 40s as well, that reached almost to the Rockies on its own before it was told to pull back its wattage?


That was WLW but they were only on WLW in 1929 then not until 1969.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Cincinnati_Reds_broadcasters

membengal
07-23-2009, 04:00 PM
Cool.

For some reason, I thought the Reds were on a station, not WLW, that also had a mega-reach in the 30s and 40s. Perhaps not.

I need to stop listening to old-timers...

Chip R
07-23-2009, 04:08 PM
I need to stop listening to old-timers...


“We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell them stories that don’t go anywhere. Like that time I took the ferry over to Shelbyville; I needed a new heel for my shoe. So, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on them. ‘Give me five bees for a quarter,’ you’d say. Now where were we? Oh yeah, the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have any white onions, because of the war; the only thing you can get was those big yellow ones.”

Big Klu
07-23-2009, 05:31 PM
Cool.

For some reason, I thought the Reds were on a station, not WLW, that also had a mega-reach in the 30s and 40s. Perhaps not.

I need to stop listening to old-timers...

I thought so, too. I had heard somewhere that folks all the way in Los Angeles could hear Reds games on the radio back before the Dodgers and Giants moved to the West Coast.

IslandRed
07-23-2009, 06:39 PM
I thought the Reds were on some thunder awesome station in the 30s and 40s as well, that reached almost to the Rockies on its own before it was told to pull back its wattage?

It was WLW... sort of (and minus the Reds). They were allowed to broadcast with 500 kw under an experimental license with a different official set of call letters, although they continued regular WLW programming. (Well, "regular" in the context of having an around-the-clock coverage area so large it was effectively a one-station network.) That went along for most of the mid-to-late '30s and occasionally during the war years.

membengal
07-23-2009, 06:52 PM
right, I get that, island. I know that the reds were not wlw at that time, and what I had heard was similar to what Big Klu described. I assumed they must have been on a station that was also somewhat powerful. Perhaps not.

You know, back when they walked two miles to school through blizzards up hill each way stuff.

westofyou
07-23-2009, 06:58 PM
Here's something for you die-hard Reds fans or broadcast history fans out there.Here's a complete history of radio stations and announcers that have been home to the Cincinnati Reds.Enjoy.

1924 WMH-Gene Mittendorf
1929 WLW-Bob Burdette
1931 WFBE-Harry Hatman,Sidney Ten-Eyck
1932 WFBE-Harry Hartman,Sidney Ten-Eyck,Oatmeal Brown
1933 WFBE,WSAI-Harry Hartman,Sidney Ten-Eyck,Oatmeal Brown
1934-35 WFBE,WKRC,WSAI-Red Barber
1936 WCPO,WSAI-Red Barber
1937-38 WCPO,WSAI-Red Barber,Dick Bray
1939-41 WCPO,WSAI-Roger Baker,Dick Bray
1942 WKRC,WSAI,WCPO-Waite Hoyt,Dick Nesbitt,Dick Bray
1943 WKRC,WSAI-Waite Hoyt,Lee Allen,Dick Bray
1944 WKRC,WSAI-Waite Hoyt,Lee Allen
1945-54 WCPO-Waite Hoyt
1955-56 WSAI-Waite Hoyt,Jack Moran
1957-61 WKRC-Waite Hoyt,Jack Moran
1962-63 WKRC-Waite Hoyt,Jack Moran
1964-65 WCKY-Waite Hoyt,Claude Sullivan
1966 WCKY-Claude Sullivan,Jim McIntyre
1967 WCKY-Claude Sullivan,Jim McIntyre,Joe Nuxhall
1968 WCKY-Jim McIntyer,Joe Nuxhall
1969-70 WLW-Jim McIntyre,Joe Nuxhall
1971-73 WLW-Al Michaels,Joe Nuxhall
1974-79 WLW-Marty Brennaman,Joe Nuxhall
1980 WLW-Marty Brennamam,Joe Nuxhall,Dick Carlson
1981-2003 WLW-Marty Brennaman,Joe Nuxhall
2004-present WLW-Marty Brennaman,cast of thousands

Big Klu
07-23-2009, 07:04 PM
Since 2004, Marty Brennaman has worked with the following on Reds radio broadcasts:

Steve Stewart
Joe Nuxhall
Jeff Brantley
Thom Brennaman
Chris Welsh
Kent Mercker
Jim Kelch


At times, Marty takes the night off, and some combination of T. Brennaman, Brantley, and Kelch fill in.