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Benihana
07-27-2009, 03:20 PM
The biggest takeaway from Moneyball is not that you should always draft college pitchers, or that plate discipline is king, or that stats matter.

The biggest takeaway from Moneyball IMO is to figure out what is currently being undervalued/overvalued, and pounce.

The Yankees wouldn't trade Phil Hughes for Johan Santana. The Angels refusal to give up prospects has been well documented. The Red Sox have a bear grip on Clay Buchholz, the Mets won't move Fernando Martinez, and the Brewers won't trade Alcides Escobar for almost anything (including Roy Halladay, and/or Brandon Morrow & Jarrod Washburn.)

The more rumors I'm hearing this time of year, the more I'm becoming convinced that prospects are now overvalued. This of course is a dramatic departure (some may call it an over-correction) from years past, where big market teams could care less about anyone not on their 25 man roster.

So what am I suggesting? How about thinking outside the box and taking a radically different approach, especially for a small-market team. How about taking advantage of this overvaluation, and making our prospects available- readily available, in exchange for serious proven talent. Of course big league talent is more expensive, but that is why you have to get creative. For instance, how about getting involved in the Roy Halladay talks? I know, I know- Halladay won't accept a trade here and even if he would, we're in fifth place so what's the point? That is not what I am suggesting. I say get involved as a third team in the talks. The Reds have more talent in the minor league pipeline than they've had in years, if not decades. Yet the problem is that a lot of it is redundant- Yonder Alonso at 1B, Heisey/Stubbs in CF, Stewart/Wood/Leake for the rotation. So what's wrong with that? The Reds biggest needs/holes are at SS, LF, and 3B. I think a little creative thinking could go a long way towards fixing the big club's problems.

Rolen/Halladay is a good starting point. Zach Duke and Ian Snell with the Pirates might be another interesting option. Yunel Escobar has been reported to be available. There is a gaggle of promising but underachieving OFers out there (Balentien, D.Young, Dukes) whose teams would love to secure some cheap minor league talent. If none of the big market teams will give up their prospects, break the stalemate and get creative. There is plenty of opportunity in this market. As blasphemous as this may sound, now might be a great time to empty the cupboard.

Thoughts?

traderumor
07-27-2009, 03:33 PM
It is probably too broad a brush to say "prospects" are overvalued. You are naming org's untouchables, I presume, which that is nothing new and I would say holding on to them is normal behavior.

membengal
07-27-2009, 03:38 PM
Benihana:

I like the cut of your gib, here. Zig when others are zagging? Absolutely. That, really, was the core of the Moneyball approach. Finding value where it is overlooked.

Benihana
07-27-2009, 03:42 PM
It is probably too broad a brush to say "prospects" are overvalued. You are naming org's untouchables, I presume, which that is nothing new and I would say holding on to them is normal behavior.

You are incorrect sir- it is indeed new.

If you were following this stuff 10 years ago, you would constantly see teams like the Yankees, Cardinals, Braves, etc. trading their "top prospects." It used to be pretty rare for a team to have an "untouchable" in the minor leagues. Now every team in the league has at least 2 or 3.

It wasn't that long ago that Scott Kazmir was traded for Victor Zambrano. Ditto for guys like Carlos Pena, Adrian Gonzalez, Dennis Tankersley, Brad Penny, Sean Casey, etc. All were traded while being Top 20 prospects in all of baseball, and in most cases it wasn't a HOF (or even an All-Star) type coming back in the deal.

Benihana
07-27-2009, 03:44 PM
Benihana:

I like the cut of your gib, here. Zig when others are zagging? Absolutely. That, really, was the core of the Moneyball approach. Finding value where it is overlooked.

Thanks. To paraphrase Warren Buffet, "You want to be the one running into the building when everyone is running out, and vice versa."

bucksfan2
07-27-2009, 03:56 PM
You are incorrect sir- it is indeed new.

If you were following this stuff 10 years ago, you would constantly see teams like the Yankees, Cardinals, Braves, etc. trading their "top prospects." It used to be pretty rare for a team to have an "untouchable" in the minor leagues. Now every team in the league has at least 2 or 3.

It wasn't that long ago that Scott Kazmir was traded for Victor Zambrano. Ditto for guys like Carlos Pena, Adrian Gonzalez, Dennis Tankersley, Brad Penny, Sean Casey, etc. All were traded while being Top 20 prospects in all of baseball, and in most cases it wasn't a HOF (or even an All-Star) type coming back in the deal.

Carlos Pena was in his 4th organization before he really took off. Same thing with Gonzales, he was with his 3rd team when he really took off. Casey didn't have a place to play being blocked by Thome. Not really sure where you are going with Dennis Tankersley, because it looks like he never amounted to much.

I think you bring up an interesting point. Prospects are being hoarded by every team not named the Yankees. I think the most logical reason for all of this is the amount of money players are making in the FA market. For example, the Reds could have gone out and signed Teixeira to a $20M/year deal, or you could hope that Alonso turns into a good 1b. If the FA contracts contract a little further this off season then you may see teams trading FA's a little more often.

traderumor
07-27-2009, 03:58 PM
You are incorrect sir- it is indeed new.

If you were following this stuff 10 years ago, you would constantly see teams like the Yankees, Cardinals, Braves, etc. trading their "top prospects." It used to be pretty rare for a team to have an "untouchable" in the minor leagues. Now every team in the league has at least 2 or 3.

It wasn't that long ago that Scott Kazmir was traded for Victor Zambrano. Ditto for guys like Carlos Pena, Adrian Gonzalez, Dennis Tankersley, Brad Penny, Sean Casey, etc. All were traded while being Top 20 prospects in all of baseball, and in most cases it wasn't a HOF (or even an All-Star) type coming back in the deal.I was following this stuff 10 years ago, so you can leave the condescenion at the door.

Kazmir might be an exception proving the rule at best, but perhaps the Mets scouting predicted his quick demise that we are currently seeing? Regardless, a trade that was viewed as not smart at the time is not a great example. That is an isolated incident and does not indicate that there is widespread overvaluing.

Additionally, you have not proven that identifying your top prospects and holding them is not properly valuing their worth. I understand the overall Moneyball concept and agree with the basic premise. I'm just not seeing where you've proven the thesis that "prospects are overvalued" to proceed on such a direction.

LoganBuck
07-27-2009, 03:59 PM
You are incorrect sir- it is indeed new.

If you were following this stuff 10 years ago, you would constantly see teams like the Yankees, Cardinals, Braves, etc. trading their "top prospects." It used to be pretty rare for a team to have an "untouchable" in the minor leagues. Now every team in the league has at least 2 or 3.

It wasn't that long ago that Scott Kazmir was traded for Victor Zambrano. Ditto for guys like Carlos Pena, Adrian Gonzalez, Dennis Tankersley, Brad Penny, Sean Casey, etc. All were traded while being Top 20 prospects in all of baseball, and in most cases it wasn't a HOF (or even an All-Star) type coming back in the deal.

I agree with you on principle. This untouchable stuff has gone too far. Among the "untouchables" more than half of them end up never coming close to their potential for all sorts of reasons. Just look over the "Lost Decade" of the Reds. The Reds have constantly been in a state of rebuilding and trading for prospects. Lets look at some of the "can't miss" prospects that have come in and out of the Reds system.

Lets start with the current team

Jay Bruce, I will allow for him to labeled untouchable coming up, the guy was a machine. Lets hope he turns it around. He was the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year.

Brandon Phillips, had to bounce through three teams to find his way. Was traded twice.

Alex Gonzalez was a premier SS prospect in his own right and the fish were very reluctant to part with him over the years. Today that seems like a millennium ago.

Edwin Encarnacion anyone getting tired of waiting for him?

Edinson Volquez had to be torn down, rebuilt, and traded before he even started to come close to his potential.

Homer Bailey, still waiting.

Johnny Cueto, coming along ok.

--Come and Gone. The list is long of prospects brought in or dubbed untouchable.

Gookie Dawkins
Pokey Reese
Ty Howington
Brandon Claussen
Wily Mo Pena
Drew Henson
Jackson Melian
Austin Kearns
Rob Bell
Chris Reitsma
Brandon Larson

How does this list look we viewed through the lens of the trades that could have happened.

Benihana
07-27-2009, 04:03 PM
Carlos Pena was in his 4th organization before he really took off. Same thing with Gonzales, he was with his 3rd team when he really took off. Casey didn't have a place to play being blocked by Thome. Not really sure where you are going with Dennis Tankersley, because it looks like he never amounted to much.

I'm not talking about "when they took off." I was merely illustrating that "Top Prospects" used to get dealt all the time, and the return wasn't always mind-blowing (Halladay, etc.)

M2
07-27-2009, 04:05 PM
Imaginary rep to you Beni.

I couldn't agree more with the basic premise. The list of untouchable prospects on every club is getting massive and it has really cut into player movement during the past five seasons.

Though I'd cast the net wider. Are the Indians desperate enough to move Grady Sizemore? Could the Braves resist if you offered Yonder Alonso for Yunel Escobar? Are there any mid-market guys or sleepers out there you can pluck with a middling prospect or two?

LoganBuck
07-27-2009, 04:09 PM
I'm not talking about "when they took off." I was merely illustrating that "Top Prospects" used to get dealt all the time, and the return wasn't always mind-blowing (Halladay, etc.)

I know exactly what you are getting at. I think it was 2000 around the trading deadline when Hal and Marty were discussing a proposed Pokey Reese for Eric Gagne swap. Hal and Marty said they would never trade a player with Reese's potential for a guy like Gagne, who was just a suspect. Potential often times is never reached.

Cyclone792
07-27-2009, 04:11 PM
Fear grips GMs and holds them back nowadays. Nobody wants to be the guy who traded away Hanley Ramirez ... even if he gets a Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell in return.

Instead, GMs would rather thrive and fail with their own prospects, and in sheer numbers most of those guys fail. Identifying the guys to keep and the guys to deal is the real meal ticket, and the teams that start doing a better job at that will be the teams beating down the doors for division titles.

Benihana
07-27-2009, 04:14 PM
I agree with you on principle. This untouchable stuff has gone too far. Among the "untouchables" more than half of them end up never coming close to their potential for all sorts of reasons. Just look over the "Lost Decade" of the Reds. The Reds have constantly been in a state of rebuilding and trading for prospects. Lets look at some of the "can't miss" prospects that have come in and out of the Reds system.

Lets start with the current team

Jay Bruce, I will allow for him to labeled untouchable coming up, the guy was a machine. Lets hope he turns it around. He was the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year.

Brandon Phillips, had to bounce through three teams to find his way. Was traded twice.

Alex Gonzalez was a premier SS prospect in his own right and the fish were very reluctant to part with him over the years. Today that seems like a millennium ago.

Edwin Encarnacion anyone getting tired of waiting for him?

Edinson Volquez had to be torn down, rebuilt, and traded before he even started to come close to his potential.

Homer Bailey, still waiting.

Johnny Cueto, coming along ok.

--Come and Gone. The list is long of prospects brought in or dubbed untouchable.

Gookie Dawkins
Pokey Reese
Ty Howington
Brandon Claussen
Wily Mo Pena
Drew Henson
Jackson Melian
Austin Kearns
Rob Bell
Chris Reitsma
Brandon Larson

How does this list look we viewed through the lens of the trades that could have happened.

Yep, and don't forget about John Roper.

bucksfan2
07-27-2009, 04:16 PM
I'm not talking about "when they took off." I was merely illustrating that "Top Prospects" used to get dealt all the time, and the return wasn't always mind-blowing (Halladay, etc.)

My point is that Pena, Gonzales, and Tankersely were never top prospects. You could make the argument that Adrian Gonzales was indeed a top prospect but the luster ran off very quickly and he was bouncing around organizations very early in his minor league career. I just think you cherry picked some prospects that were traded because their prospect stature wasn't all that bright.

Sea Ray
07-27-2009, 04:18 PM
I'm not against trading prospects but in return I have to get players that I'll control more than a year or two. It makes no sense for a team like the Reds to trade for players like Halladay, Holliday or Cliff Lee.

BRM
07-27-2009, 04:21 PM
My point is that Pena, Gonzales, and Tankersely were never top prospects. You could make the argument that Adrian Gonzales was indeed a top prospect but the luster ran off very quickly and he was bouncing around organizations very early in his minor league career. I just think you cherry picked some prospects that were traded because their prospect stature wasn't all that bright.

All three of those guys were on BA's top 100 prospects list in 2002. Pena and Tankersley were both top 20.

Benihana
07-27-2009, 04:24 PM
My point is that Pena, Gonzales, and Tankersely were never top prospects. You could make the argument that Adrian Gonzales was indeed a top prospect but the luster ran off very quickly and he was bouncing around organizations very early in his minor league career. I just think you cherry picked some prospects that were traded because their prospect stature wasn't all that bright.

Wrong.

They were Top 20 prospects in all of baseball at the time they were traded, according to Baseball America. Just because a guy is traded (even multiple times) doesn't mean he loses his prospect status. Gonzalez was the first overall pick of the draft for crying out loud.

Benihana
07-27-2009, 04:29 PM
I'm not against trading prospects but in return I have to get players that I'll control more than a year or two. It makes no sense for a team like the Reds to trade for players like Halladay, Holliday or Cliff Lee.

Doesn't have to be for two month rentals.

Ian Snell, Zach Duke, Yunel Escobar, Wladimir Balentien, Delmon Young, and Elijah Dukes are all under team control for several years. And that's just a few of the guys who are available for prospects I thought of off the top of my head. Undoubtedly, the talent is out there if you're willing to move prospects.

While it doesn't make much sense to trade for two month rentals, even guys who are just signed for 2010 could make a big difference if they're being relatively undervalued. The Marlins have figured this out in the past.

bucksfan2
07-27-2009, 04:41 PM
Wrong.

They were Top 20 prospects in all of baseball at the time they were traded, according to Baseball America. Just because a guy is traded (even multiple times) doesn't mean he loses his prospect status. Gonzalez was the first overall pick of the draft for crying out loud.

I realize that he was the top pick in the draft. It also took him 6 years and 3 different organizations to finally break out. As a college player that is a long developmental period.

When a high prospect is traded, especially in a big deal, you take notice. When that same player is traded again it makes me wonder if he really is that good, or whether his skills tend to be over rated. In Gonzales and even Pena's case they just were late bloomers.

BuckeyeRedleg
07-27-2009, 04:49 PM
I realize that he was the top pick in the draft. It also took him 6 years and 3 different organizations to finally break out. As a college player that is a long developmental period.

He wasn't a college player.

Although by the end of 2003, his prospect status had to be close to flaming out.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/G/Adrian-Gonzalez.shtml

Correction. Even though he had a horrendous 2003, he was still the #1 prospect for TEX in 2004 and #52 overall.

Benihana
07-27-2009, 04:51 PM
I realize that he was the top pick in the draft. It also took him 6 years and 3 different organizations to finally break out. As a college player that is a long developmental period.

When a high prospect is traded, especially in a big deal, you take notice. When that same player is traded again it makes me wonder if he really is that good, or whether his skills tend to be over rated. In Gonzales and even Pena's case they just were late bloomers.

First of all, he wasn't a college player. Second, he had an OPS of .865 over a full season in the Major Leagues at age 24. That was after he OPS'd .960 as a 23-year old in AAA. So I'm not sure if you know what you're talking about.

You could also add Brandon Phillips and Ted Lilly to your list of former top prospects who broke out after being traded multiple times if you wanted to.

But I think you're still missing the point. I'm not talking about late bloomers or early bloomers. I'm talking about guys who were traded when they were Top 20 prospects. It used to happen all the time, and frequently in non-"blockbuster" deals. Now, not so much.

Sea Ray
07-27-2009, 05:28 PM
Doesn't have to be for two month rentals.

Ian Snell, Zach Duke, Yunel Escobar, Wladimir Balentien, Delmon Young, and Elijah Dukes are all under team control for several years. And that's just a few of the guys who are available for prospects I thought of off the top of my head. Undoubtedly, the talent is out there if you're willing to move prospects.

While it doesn't make much sense to trade for two month rentals, even guys who are just signed for 2010 could make a big difference if they're being relatively undervalued. The Marlins have figured this out in the past.

Yes, those are the kind of guys I'd be interested in trading for. They're not worth trading Alfonso or type A minor leaguers but I would be interested in discussing deals for them. At this point all those guys are ones who have struggled at the major league level and that knocks down their value. In my mind they are worth our struggling young players like Dickerson, Homer, etc (but not Bruce)

Highlifeman21
07-27-2009, 05:36 PM
Fear grips GMs and holds them back nowadays. Nobody wants to be the guy who traded away Hanley Ramirez ... even if he gets a Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell in return.

Instead, GMs would rather thrive and fail with their own prospects, and in sheer numbers most of those guys fail. Identifying the guys to keep and the guys to deal is the real meal ticket, and the teams that start doing a better job at that will be the teams beating down the doors for division titles.

I guess it's better to sit on the sidelines and never get in the game than to get in the game only to lose?

Every prospect on our farm should go for the right return.

Raisor
07-27-2009, 07:46 PM
Could the Braves resist if you offered Yonder Alonso for Yunel Escobar?

I'd do that in a second if i were the Braves, and I'd do it in a second if I ran the Reds.

Benihana
07-27-2009, 07:54 PM
I'd do that in a second if i were the Braves, and I'd do it in a second if I ran the Reds.

Makes sense

Brutus
07-27-2009, 07:55 PM
I'd do that in a second if i were the Braves, and I'd do it in a second if I ran the Reds.

Funny thing is, I'm not sure either team would say no to that deal. So let's get it done.

DoogMinAmo
07-27-2009, 07:55 PM
By this logic, should the Reds be offering Votto then?

Benihana
07-27-2009, 07:56 PM
By this logic, should the Reds be offering Votto then?

Votto is not a prospect.

Raisor
07-27-2009, 07:58 PM
Votto is not a prospect.

...he's Canadian.

DoogMinAmo
07-27-2009, 08:08 PM
Votto is not a prospect.

No, but he is categorically considered untouchable, which is the epitome of selling high/ Moneyball. Not advocating the idea, but food for thought.

IslandRed
07-27-2009, 08:20 PM
Alonso for Escobar could work in the offseason. Highly doubtful the Braves bite right now, though. Their hot streak has pushed them into wild-card contention and this deal would blow a huge hole in their 2009 lineup. However much they might want Escobar gone eventually, for now they're going to hold their nose.

dougdirt
07-27-2009, 08:23 PM
Doubt the Braves would take on Alonso given that they have Freddie Freeman who is 19, in AA and hitting .319/.354/.493 after hitting pretty well in the FSL (.320/.394/.443) earlier this year. Freeman is limited to first base.

redsfandan
07-28-2009, 08:39 AM
Since Doug pointed out that the Braves have a 1st base prospect already I wonder if Tampa has a good 1st base prospect too. Carlos Pena will make $10m+ in 2010 and then will be a FA. Since that team typically doesn't spend alot on payroll they may have more interest in Alonso as their 2011 1st baseman than in resigning Pena.

Benihana
07-28-2009, 10:15 AM
Since Doug pointed out that the Braves have a 1st base prospect already I wonder if Tampa has a good 1st base prospect too. Carlos Pena will make $10m+ in 2010 and then will be a FA. Since that team typically doesn't spend alot on payroll they may have more interest in Alonso as their 2011 1st baseman than in resigning Pena.

I'd want Tim Beckham if I was trading Alonso to Tampa, but given his timeline I'm not sure if that's helping the plan. Plus, BA has him listed as "untouchable." :rolleyes:

Otherwise, I might look for a package of Reid Brignac and one of their young pitchers.

M2
07-28-2009, 11:59 AM
I'Otherwise, I might look for a package of Reid Brignac and one of their young pitchers.

Brignac's probably a good target, though I'm not sure the Reds and Rays match up.

Marcus Lemon in the Rangers organization might be a good target too.

redsfandan
07-28-2009, 12:06 PM
I doubt the Rangers would be that interested in Alonso since they have Davis and Smoak. At least there's a chance with Tampa IF they don't already have someone lined up in the minors to take over when Pena hits FA.

Marc D
07-28-2009, 12:27 PM
I agree with the logic but I see one big catch.


I think the money side of it is what will keep a good theory from being able to be all that realistic for many teams. Standing pat on the homegrown talent, if done well, is the kind of system most owners are going to be very comfortable with. If the farm is producing it gives you a low cost, stable team that has a decent chance of being competitive year in and year out.

I think the appeal of that to the guys who write the checks will ultimately trump any strategies GM's come up with to attack perceived market inefficencies.

Scrap Irony
07-28-2009, 12:34 PM
Want something no one's tried in about 50 years? How about this:

Deal most of your prospects. Keep the very top as your own, but make all of them available for a price. Then, sign older veteran free agents to one-year contracts. (Think, from 2009, Jim Edmonds, Ivan Rodriguez, or Nomar Garciaparra.) Put them in positions to succeed, whether it be a move of position or a platoon. Edmonds in LF or perhaps RF with a RH platoon partner, Garciaparra at 2B or back at SS and live with the poor D.)

Take a gamble on talented players with poor track records. (Jocketty did this with Gomes and Nix.) Pick up non-tenders by the bucketload. Make failed starters into dominant closers. (Ryan Franklin, Eric Gagne, Jason Isringhausen, et al.) Never sign a bullpen guy to more than a one-year contract. Never spend more than $8 million on an entire bullpen.

Deal vets if you're struggling so that you can sign one big free agent key acquisition every two or three years. (Someone with few questions-- this guy is a difference-maker.) Preferrably target-- both as trade targets and as free agents-- middle IFers, TOR starters, catchers, and CFers. Corner OF production can be found through platoons cheaply.

If you're top prospects pan out as quality players, you'll compete about every third year or so. Problem with this model is the lack of consistency within the organization. No "name" players to hang your product on. Also, you'd pretty much have to wait until the last minute almost every year to fill out your team.

bucksfan2
07-28-2009, 12:40 PM
I agree with the logic but I see one big catch.


I think the money side of it is what will keep a good theory from being able to be all that realistic for many teams. Standing pat on the homegrown talent, if done well, is the kind of system most owners are going to be very comfortable with. If the farm is producing it gives you a low cost, stable team that has a decent chance of being competitive year in and year out.

I think the appeal of that to the guys who write the checks will ultimately trump any strategies GM's come up with to attack perceived market inefficencies.

The money side of the things is why prospects have had so much value. Lets put it in this perspective. In 1993 the reigning NL MVP (2 in 3 years) signed a record breaking contract. Barry Bonds in 93 made under 5M and I believe the contract was around 7 years 50M but I can't recall exactly. Fast forward to the 2008 MLB draft. The Reds sign a player and give him a signing bonus larger than Bonds MVP season of 93.

The Reds certainly have the farm system to make some trades for veteran players. They could swing a trade for Halladay and Wells, but would that be financially prudent? They really could mortgage the farm, trade for some big name players, and become overnight contenders. The problem is if it doesn't work, they are behind the 8 ball financially with a Marge Schott-esque farm system. Not a recipe for success if you ask me.

Benihana
07-28-2009, 01:50 PM
I agree with the logic but I see one big catch.


I think the money side of it is what will keep a good theory from being able to be all that realistic for many teams. Standing pat on the homegrown talent, if done well, is the kind of system most owners are going to be very comfortable with. If the farm is producing it gives you a low cost, stable team that has a decent chance of being competitive year in and year out.

I think the appeal of that to the guys who write the checks will ultimately trump any strategies GM's come up with to attack perceived market inefficencies.

That's why you have to be creative.

How many times have we heard of teams willing to pick up the bulk of a player's contract if the prospects are better? Deal good prospects, get good veterans on the cheap.

Scott Rolen could be an example of this. Do I want Scott Rolen at $10MM+ per? No. Would I take him for $5MM? Sure. A slight increase in the prospect quality can make that happen.

Is it ideal? Nope. Is it a way to compete if you're a small market team that can't afford anything? Maybe. Name me one small-market team other than the Rays that is able to compete by hanging on to all of their prospects year after year. It certainly hasn't been working for the Reds.

Benihana
07-28-2009, 01:57 PM
The Reds certainly have the farm system to make some trades for veteran players. They could swing a trade for Halladay and Wells, but would that be financially prudent? They really could mortgage the farm, trade for some big name players, and become overnight contenders. The problem is if it doesn't work, they are behind the 8 ball financially with a Marge Schott-esque farm system. Not a recipe for success if you ask me.

Or they're the 2009 Oakland A's with Matt Holliday. If it doesn't work, flip the vets at the deadline.

The Expos did this with Bartolo Colon a few years back. While that ended up backfiring on them, their problem was that their scouts failed them- as they traded away much better prospects (Sizemore, Phillips, Lee) than they received in return (Leifer, O.Hernandez, Biddle.) The same thing could happen with the A's if Carlos Gonzalez and Houston Street outperform Wallace and company, but at least these teams are trying.

Benihana
07-29-2009, 05:51 PM
Here's an idea: Victor Martinez

He has a $7MM option for next year. He switch-hits, can bat cleanup, and play either C or 1B. If the Reds are serious about moving Votto to LF to make room for Alonso, Martinez could be a very interesting acquisition. He could play 1B until Alonso is ready, or C if Hanigan falters next year. Presumably, Martinez will be dealt in the next 48 hours, especially after the Cliff Lee trade.

Given the return on Lee, I wonder what the Indians would be looking for? They just got a SS and a C, so the Reds wouldn't have to worry about their two weakest organizational positions.

How about offering Frazier and Wood for Martinez?
Then turn around and trade EE and Stubbs for Rolen + $5MM.

Go with this lineup for the rest of 2009:

Dickerson/Taveras CF
Votto LF
Martinez 1B
Rolen 3B
Phillips 2B
Gomes/Balentien RF
Hanigan C
Gonzalez/Janish SS

with a glut of talent to resolve heading into 2010. You have an OF consisting of Votto, Bruce, Balentien, Dickerson, Heisey, Gomes, etc. Sticking with the theme of this thread, you could even move a couple of those guys to plug some more holes, be it at SS or in the rotation.

Furthermore, if the Votto in LF experiment doesn't work for whatever reason, or if Balentien regains his minor league form, or if Yonder Alonso shows he's major league ready earlier than expected and Hanigan continues to produce, you can always trade Victor Martinez before next season begins for almost as much as (and sometimes more than) you gave up to get him in the first place. Again, it's similar to what the A's did with Holliday, the Expos did with Colon, and if you do it right- it's essentially getting upside (and taking a chance at contention) for free.

If the Indians don't think that's nearly enough for Martinez, I'd see what they'd want in return for catching prospect Carlos Santana, especially now that they have Lou Marson joining Kelly Shoppach in the fold.

Benihana
07-29-2009, 06:53 PM
So here's another idea: Chad Billingsley

The local product has been sensational for the Dodgers, but according to published reports (http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-shaikin-trades30-2009jul30,0,2577793.story?track=rss)the Dodgers are considering including him in a deal for Halladay.

So, let's enter the fray as a third team, and offer up some of our prospects:

Jays trade Roy Halladay and Scott Rolen
Reds trade Yonder Alonso, Edwin Encarnacion, Drew Stubbs, and Travis Wood
Dodgers trade Chad Billingsley and (whatever else they were going to include for Halladay)

Jays get Yonder Alonso, Edwin Encarnacion, Drew Stubbs, Travis Wood, and (whatever else the Dodgers were going to include for Halladay)
Dodgers get Roy Halladay
Reds get Chad Billingsley and Scott Rolen

2010

CF Heisey/Dickerson
LF Balentien/Gomes
1B Votto
3B Rolen
RF Bruce
2B Phillips
C Hanigan
SS Janish/Aybar/Wood (or some other acquisition for Arroyo)

SP1 Billingsley
SP2 Cueto
SP3 Volquez
SP4 Harang
SP5 Bailey

Please tell me why this shouldn't happen.

Benihana
07-29-2009, 07:33 PM
Two articles written today further illustrate why it's time to exploit the Prospect Bubble.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&page=starting9/090729&campaign=rss&source=MLBHeadlines
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-fadedwood072909&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Marc D
07-29-2009, 10:18 PM
That's why you have to be creative.

How many times have we heard of teams willing to pick up the bulk of a player's contract if the prospects are better? Deal good prospects, get good veterans on the cheap.

Scott Rolen could be an example of this. Do I want Scott Rolen at $10MM+ per? No. Would I take him for $5MM? Sure. A slight increase in the prospect quality can make that happen.

Is it ideal? Nope. Is it a way to compete if you're a small market team that can't afford anything? Maybe. Name me one small-market team other than the Rays that is able to compete by hanging on to all of their prospects year after year. It certainly hasn't been working for the Reds.

I didn't say I agreed with it or that it would produce a consistent WS contending team. Just pointing out there are plenty of sports owners who will take a .500ish team as long as it turns a buck. If you can get that .500ish production from lower cost labor then its pretty cut and dried (if you are already of that mindset).