PDA

View Full Version : Revisiting An Epic Mistake: The Cordero Contract



savafan
08-20-2009, 09:56 PM
http://mvn.com/aroundthemajors/2009/08/revisiting-an-epic-mistake-the-cordero-contract.html

The Cincinnati Reds were not a very good baseball team in 2007. Cincinnati allowed 70 more runs than it scored, posting a 72-90 overall finish and 75-87 Pythagorean record.

After handing out big extensions to starters Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang, the performance was certainly not what owner Bob Castellini had in mind. The Reds fired manager Jerry Narron, perhaps now best known as being a mentor to Josh Hamilton, after the club got off to a 31-51 start that killed any potential postseason aspirations.

Cincinnati then went 41-39 under interim manager Pete Mackanin following the firing, perhaps fooling Castellini into thinking that the franchise was only a few steps away from relevance. A large part of the blame for the Reds' struggles fell on the shoulders of a beleaguered relief corps that posted a 5.13 ERA and 4.90 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), third-worst in the majors. The bullpen, which produced middling rates of 3.84 K/9, 6.94 K/9 and 1.19 HR/9, simply blew a ton of leads, prompting many to believe that a few key relief additions, especially a lights-out closer, were all Cincinnati needed to reverse its fortunes. Indeed, to Castellini it seems, a relief ace was the missing link to bringing back a winner to the land of Skyline Chili.

Enter Francisco Cordero, the most attractive closer on the open market in the ensuing offseason. Cordero was fantastic in his final hurrah with the division-rival Milwaukee Brewers, posting a 261 ERA+, 2.24 FIP and a killer 12.22 K/9 rate. Most encouraging, he cut down on his free passes, registering the best walk per nine innings rate (2.56) rate of his career. For those who are interested in stats that are the function of opportunity, he also saved 42 games in 51 chances. All in all, it was an excellent relief performance that translated into 2.4 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and $10.0-M. Given the small sample sizes that come with relievers, it is difficult to amass such a high figure, so he was indeed coming off a legitimately excellent campaign.

As a result, there was a major demand for Cordero when he entered free agency. Castellini*, perhaps seeing those 42 saves, had to have his man and decided it would be a good idea to give him $46-M over four years.

*Wayne Krivsy was the general manager at the time and the face of this. Krivsy, who did not make it through the 2008 season himself, gets a ton of blame for a lot of his decisions. According to a source, he did not want to give a relief pitcher that much money but simply did what ownership directed him to do. Castellini was also the driver behind the hiring of Dusty Baker, whose strongest skill, handling veterans, was not really necessary for a team in the Reds' position.

For starters, no reliever not named Mariano Rivera is worth anywhere near that kind of change. Especially for a team that was unlikely to contend. Granted, the Reds felt that they could, viewing their signing as the missing link much in the way that the Seattle Mariners did the same with Erik Bedard; Cincy, it is worth pointing out, also made a run at Bedard that winter. The thought processes behind the decision were foolish, to say the least, as the opportunity cost of where that money could have been invested, from going over slot to improve the farm system to landing multiple, cost-efficient free agents, was stark.

The results have not been much better. Cincinnati went 74-88 in '08, again finishing in fifth place in the N.L. Central. The team defense, which could have been improved dramatically for a lot less than what it cost to buy a closer, was terrible, grading out -42.3 runs below average. But the futile fielding unit was not to be outdone by the offense, which provided -72.1 runs below average as a team while playing in hitter-friendly Great American Smallpark. The team was several players away from putting a contender on the field, not one.

Other than the emergence of young stars Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Edinson Volquez, there was not a lot to cheer about, and the addition of an overpaid closer was a luxury that the team had no need for. Even assuming that Cordero could maintain his dominant '07 level, those making the decisions should have known that. He did not pitch as well, anyway. The then-33-year-old had his moments and certainly gave everything that he had, making 72 appearances. He continued to miss bats (9.98 K/9) and posted a decent enough 3.33 ERA and 136 ERA+. His command issues resurfaced, though, as he walked 4.86 hitters per nine innings on the way to a 3.77 FIP, nearly a half-run higher than his career average. Cordero amassed 0.8 WAR overall, which translated to $3.8-M. He earned $8.6-M, providing negative value to the Reds, a mid-revenue team that needs to be on the right end of the dollars/earned spectrum when they sign or trade for a player if they wish to sustain success.

Cordero has actually pitched quite well in 2009. He has posted a 194 ERA+ and 3.30 FIP. His strikeout rate has fallen to a career-low 7.28, but he has cut down on his home runs and walks. His velocity has been outstanding, as his average fastball velocity is up a tick at 95.0 MPH. With more than a month left to go, he has already surpassed his WAR total from '08, currently sitting with 0.9 WAR to this point.

Unfortunately, Cincinnati, which many picked as a potential candidate to emerge as this year's Rays in a series of ridiculous pre-season columns, has objectively not played a meaningful game since the middle of June. After their recent slide, the Reds are now 50-69 and have been outscored by 93 runs. As well, after losing Volquez to Tommy John surgery, better days do not appear to be in store in the near future, either. And the franchise is on the hook for $24-M for Cordero over the next two years, when that kind of money could be allocated so much more efficiently given where they fall on the success cycle.

The Cordero contract was inexcusable and Castellini's myopic outlook and failure to accurately assess his internal talent is the primary reason for the mistake. He appears to be making the same blunder, though, having acquired veteran third baseman Scott Rolen before the trade deadline. As I wrote here, Rolen is a nice player and will help them out on defense. He is on the wrong side of 30, injury prone and making way too much money for a team that is an unrealistic contender for '10, however. The cost of the prospects, including stud Zach Stewart, and payroll considerations were simply way too much for his services. One would assume that Castellini is going for it in '10 now, but recent moves have been inconsistent with that approach. In reality, the organization should have been looking to unload as much payroll as possible at the deadline.

Which has caused many to wonder what the blueprints are for the Reds. Castellini says he has a plan. To an objective onlooker, though, it does not appear to be a sound one, and, from Cordero to now Rolen, he does not deserve any benefit of the doubt. The owner needs to trust his baseball operations staff to make the decisions, because he appears to be as involved as George Steinbrenner. Except his wallet does not run as deep.

redsmetz
08-20-2009, 10:03 PM
So what's Tyler Hissey's ID here on Redszone?

dougdirt
08-20-2009, 10:13 PM
So what's Tyler Hissey's ID here on Redszone?

He doesn't have one.... but he is a buddy of mine. Lives/works in Boston.

RedsManRick
08-20-2009, 10:20 PM
He doesn't have one.... but he is a buddy of mine. Lives/works in Boston.

Which begs the question... why not?

Tom Servo
08-20-2009, 10:37 PM
Pssssh, it's not like the Reds would or would have spent the $24 million any better. I just don't think the Cordero signing warrants an almost two years later "Visiting an Epic Mistake" column.

wally post
08-20-2009, 10:39 PM
I agree. There are epic mistakes everywhere else.

Spring~Fields
08-20-2009, 10:40 PM
*Wayne Krivsy was the general manager at the time and the face of this. Krivsy, who did not make it through the 2008 season himself, gets a ton of blame for a lot of his decisions. According to a source, he did not want to give a relief pitcher that much money but simply did what ownership directed him to do. Castellini was also the driver behind the hiring of Dusty Baker, whose strongest skill, handling veterans, was not really necessary for a team in the Reds' position.



Well if true, then I guess Castellini will have to live with it.

The author of the article did a very good job.

jojo
08-20-2009, 10:41 PM
Pssssh, it's not like the Reds would or would have spent the $24 million any better. I just don't think the Cordero signing warrants an almost two years later "Visiting an Epic Mistake" column.

I think such a column was warranted 2 minutes after the deal was inked... :cool:

Spring~Fields
08-20-2009, 10:47 PM
I think such a column was warranted 2 minutes after the deal was inked... :cool:

Man I wish you and RedsManRick would comment in more depth regarding the authors premise and supporting data, and his conclusions. I am still trying to learn OBP and it's dynamics, you and RMR have more depth to make this an outstanding thread with the authors aritcle above.

REDREAD
08-20-2009, 11:05 PM
Where is the proof that Cast "had to have Cordero" and Wayne hestitantly signed him? This is the first I've heard that. Not a good idea to pass off speculation as fact.

Cordero has performed an elite level this season, he's hardly an epic mistake.

Spring~Fields
08-20-2009, 11:13 PM
Where is the proof that Cast "had to have Cordero" and Wayne hestitantly signed him? This is the first I've heard that. Not a good idea to pass off speculation as fact.

Cordero has performed an elite level this season, he's hardly an epic mistake.

I am not sure that the author has any.

Do GMs have carte blanche, or does the CEO have to make the final decision and sign off on major contractual arrangements and expenses?

cincinnati chili
08-20-2009, 11:46 PM
The Cordero deal has worked out about as good as it could have, but it still was a bad risk.

The Reds spending that much on Cordero is sort of like Arby's spending 15% of its budget to put fine linens on every table.

Kc61
08-20-2009, 11:52 PM
There was nothing wrong with the Cordero signing. Some commentators believe the Reds are never allowed to spend to get a good veteran player. Cordero completely turned the Reds bullpen around.

The problem is that the team has failed to follow up on this signing. They let Dunn go and didn't replace him. They focused on "speed and defense" and came into 2009 with a terrible offense.

For the Reds to get good players they will sometimes have to overpay. That's fine but it makes no sense to sign a couple of expensive pitchers if you are going to starve your offense.

And since nobody here really knows the Reds financial situation, it can't be argued that Cordero made them financially incapable of getting other players. We really don't know what they are capable or incapable of doing financially.

We do know that the Reds chose last offseason to fill multiple holes with some questionable veteran signings. Had they left some positions to kids and added a power bat, I think they would be in much better shape. Even with Cordero staying.

redsfandan
08-21-2009, 02:18 AM
I am not sure that the author has any.

Do GM’s have carte blanche, or does the CEO have to make the final decision and sign off on major contractual arrangements and expenses?
My understanding is that owners typically sign off on major deals.

I think such a column was warranted 2 minutes after the deal was inked... :cool:
Hell, less than that. Talk about overkill to solve a problem.

"So what will it require to fix the bullpen?"

"Anywhere from 3 to 7 million"

"Ok, so let's spend $46 million!!" :rolleyes:

There was nothing wrong with the Cordero signing. Some commentators believe the Reds are never allowed to spend to get a good veteran player. Cordero completely turned the Reds bullpen around.

The problem is that the team has failed to follow up on this signing. They let Dunn go and didn't replace him. They focused on "speed and defense" and came into 2009 with a terrible offense.

For the Reds to get good players they will sometimes have to overpay. That's fine but it makes no sense to sign a couple of expensive pitchers if you are going to starve your offense.

And since nobody here really knows the Reds financial situation, it can't be argued that Cordero made them financially incapable of getting other players. We really don't know what they are capable or incapable of doing financially.

We do know that the Reds chose last offseason to fill multiple holes with some questionable veteran signings. Had they left some positions to kids and added a power bat, I think they would be in much better shape. Even with Cordero staying.
You're shifting the focus. You said yourself at the start of your post:

There was nothing wrong with the Cordero signing. ... I bet that if you started a simple poll (Yes or no. Was there anything wrong with the Cordero signing?) you'll find more than a few that disagree with you.

edabbs44
08-21-2009, 08:01 AM
Man I wish you and RedsManRick would comment in more depth regarding the authors premise and supporting data, and his conclusions. I am still trying to learn OBP and it's dynamics, you and RMR have more depth to make this an outstanding thread with the authors aritcle above.

I don't think anyone needs any in depth analysis to understand the problems with allocating that kind of money to a closer when the rest of the team is in shambles.

It's like the Lions signing the best kicker in football to a record breaking contract. A good kicker is nice to have and can help in many ways, but the impact he will have is much less than most of the other positions on the field.

NJReds
08-21-2009, 08:46 AM
It's hard to call the Cordero an epic mistake for the Reds, since it's one of the few guys that they've brought in here who has performed well.

I understand questioning the logic of a team with the Reds payroll and talent level paying big money for a closer, but it was a market-value contract during that offseason. (If KRod was a FA one year earlier, he'd have doubled his money).

edabbs44
08-21-2009, 08:55 AM
It's hard to call the Cordero an epic mistake for the Reds, since it's one of the few guys that they've brought in here who has performed well.

I understand questioning the logic of a team with the Reds payroll and talent level paying big money for a closer, but it was a market-value contract during that offseason. (If KRod was a FA one year earlier, he'd have doubled his money).

Cincy should be shopping in a different market for positions like closers.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 09:07 AM
Some folks don't want to pay Gomes $2 million; is it a wonder that some question paying a guy who throws 65 innings $12 million?

princeton
08-21-2009, 09:17 AM
I want the Reds to make more epic mistakes.

NJReds
08-21-2009, 09:19 AM
Cincy should be shopping in a different market for positions like closers.

I have more a problem when the Reds spend $2 or $3 on mediocre-to-bad talent. Or paying backup players big money to start.

I don't have a problem with a team spending market value for a guy who lives up to his deal.

Jpup
08-21-2009, 09:20 AM
I want the Reds to make more epic mistakes.

same here. Cordero has earned his money. He's been better than we could have ever wished for. The Reds need more Cordero's, not less.

jojo
08-21-2009, 09:21 AM
There was nothing wrong with the Cordero signing. Some commentators believe the Reds are never allowed to spend to get a good veteran player.

And some have explicitly laid out other arguments for why the Cordero signing was a poor choice for the Reds.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 09:23 AM
I have more a problem when the Reds spend $2 or $3 on mediocre-to-bad talent. Or paying backup players big money to start.

I don't have a problem with a team spending market value for a guy who lives up to his deal.

The guys you pay over market value for are starters. I know everyone was aghast at the Zito deal, but, dollars aside, he'll be great in the postseason if the Giants make it.

I like performers too--and I don't mind overpaying for them. But one foot before the other.

Turns out the Reds didn't even have a starter the caliber of a Zito.

edabbs44
08-21-2009, 09:25 AM
I have more a problem when the Reds spend $2 or $3 on mediocre-to-bad talent. Or paying backup players big money to start.

I don't have a problem with a team spending market value for a guy who lives up to his deal.

The issue is that you are being specific in the top part and too generic in the bottom part.

"Spending market value", in this case, is actually the most money ever given to a reliever. Cordero was actually given above market value since he was given the most money ever and wasn't a top tier closer going into that contract. He was effective, but he was also 2 or so years removed from losing his job in Texas.

Spending $2MM on mediocre to bad talent isn't optimal, but it is easier to recover from than giving 15% of your payroll to someone who plays in 4% of your innings, roughly 75-80% of which actually matter (i.e. not getting work in a 6 run game).

jojo
08-21-2009, 09:30 AM
Cordero's contact wasn't market value. It was a failure to understand how to value the production he'd give.

His contract actually pays him roughly twice the market value of the production he would've been projected to give the Reds.

princeton
08-21-2009, 09:32 AM
His contract actually pays him roughly twice the market value of the production he would've been projected to give the Reds.

his signing, so far, has lowered the ERA of 1000 relief innings by about 1.5 runs. seems valuable.

more mistakes, s'il vous plait.

edabbs44
08-21-2009, 09:37 AM
his signing, so far, has lowered the ERA of 1000 relief innings by about 1.5 runs. seems valuable.

more mistakes, s'il vous plait.

That's a stretch.

jojo
08-21-2009, 09:38 AM
his signing, so far, has lowered the ERA of 1000 relief innings by about 1.5 runs. seems valuable.

more mistakes, s'il vous plait.

It's an interesting narrative given he's only pitched about 118 innings as a Red.... A couple more mistakes like Cordero ought to put the final nails in the Reds coffin till about 2020.

princeton
08-21-2009, 09:45 AM
That's a stretch.

it's subtle, apparently.

the Reds obviously targeted the correct area and it worked. right type of player was signed. maybe it could have been done more cheaply, or a trade could have been done, but it's tough to argue with success

the hope, I'm sure, is that Rolen will have a Coco-like impact on everyone on the field with him, transcending the value of his contract. I'm skeptical, but find the idea intriguing. we'll see.

flyer85
08-21-2009, 09:46 AM
Cordero is just a symptom of the inability to assess their internal talent level. The Rolen trade points out that the problem still exists. The Rolen trade combined with a number of other moves of late make the front office seem schizophrenic.

Kc61
08-21-2009, 09:49 AM
And some have explicitly laid out other arguments for why the Cordero signing was a poor choice for the Reds.

Right. And they are entitled to their opinion.

But I happen to think the bullpen is important. The 2007 bullpen was a shambles. Game after game lost in the late innings.

This one signing righted that. An excellent closer is very important. Was he worth $12 million? To me, yes. A high price, but worth it.

I believe in star players. I think that 5 very high caliber players in key spots allows a team to load up on kids and role players and still do well. With a modest payroll. Teams like the Cardinals essentially follow that model.

To me, the order of signing is irrelevant. It wasn't too soon to get a closer. He's just as important as the next guy.

But you can't stop there. The Reds did. They signed a $12 million closer and then started to shed good players and not replace them.

Folks can focus on this one signing if they want, but the overall problem is that the Reds take half-way measures. Sign a star closer for 2008. Then do nothing the following off-season. That's the problem to me, not Cordero.

Everyone is free to disagree.

edabbs44
08-21-2009, 09:49 AM
it's subtle, apparently.

the Reds obviously targeted the correct area and it worked. right type of player was signed. maybe it could have been done more cheaply, or a trade could have been done, but it's tough to argue with success

the hope, I'm sure, is that Rolen will have a Coco-like impact on everyone on the field with him, transcending the value of his contract. I'm skeptical, but find the idea intriguing. we'll see.

That depends. The argument I have seen on this board is that Cordero has allowed to FO to properly slot the other relievers in their correct roles. Weathers no longer a closer, Burton to the 7th, etc.

Is that what you mean? if so, Cincy could have gotten a cheaper "closer" to accomplish that. Maybe he wouldn't be as good as Cordero has been this year, but if the true impact is on the rest of the pen, then it would even out a bit.

Or do you mean that Cordero the person has had that positive impact on guys like Affeldt, Rhodes and the like?

jojo
08-21-2009, 09:53 AM
Right. And they are entitled to their opinion.

But I happen to think the bullpen is important. The 2007 bullpen was a shambles. Game after game lost in the late innings.

This one signing righted that. An excellent closer is very important. Was he worth $12 million? To me, yes. A high price, but worth it.

I believe in star players. I think that 5 very high caliber players in key spots allows a team to load up on kids and role players and still do well. With a modest payroll. Teams like the Cardinals essentially follow that model.

To me, the order of signing is irrelevant. It wasn't too soon to get a closer. He's just as important as the next guy.

But you can't stop there. The Reds did. They signed a $12 million closer and then started to shed good players and not replace them.

Folks can focus on this one signing if they want, but the overall problem is that the Reds take half-way measures. Sign a star closer for 2008. Then do nothing the following off-season. That's the problem to me, not Cordero.

Everyone is free to disagree.

The Cards are using Ryan Franklin as their closer..... They're spending their jack on guys who generally project to be 4+ WAR players.

princeton
08-21-2009, 09:57 AM
if so, Cincy could have gotten a cheaper "closer" to accomplish that.

I think that it's your best counterargument as opposed to saying that Cordero doesn't fit a losing team or Cordero did not earn his money. but it might not have worked out.

this move worked out.

you should preserve your energy to attack the things that didn't work, in my humble opinion

flyer85
08-21-2009, 09:59 AM
while Cordero has pitched well he has not made much of a difference. They were bad before he got here and have continued on the same trajectory since he arrived.

cincrazy
08-21-2009, 10:00 AM
I think "epic mistake" is a bit much. The guy has been as good as advertised, and has solidified the bullpen. I'm not happy we paid so much to land him, and I'd rather see us unload the contract, but it certainly wasn't an epic mistake.

edabbs44
08-21-2009, 10:01 AM
I think that it's your best counterargument as opposed to saying that Cordero doesn't fit a losing team or Cordero did not earn his money. but it might not have worked out.


Saying that Cordero doesn't fit a losing team is, IMO, the same as saying that said losing team should be looking at cheaper alternatives for the role.

KoryMac5
08-21-2009, 10:05 AM
The guys you pay over market value for are starters. I know everyone was aghast at the Zito deal, but, dollars aside, he'll be great in the postseason if the Giants make it.

I like performers too--and I don't mind overpaying for them. But one foot before the other.

Turns out the Reds didn't even have a starter the caliber of a Zito.

I get your point and I agree with it, but Zito is probably not the best example. Believe me the Giants would unload that contract in a heartbeat if they could.

princeton
08-21-2009, 10:09 AM
Saying that Cordero doesn't fit a losing team is, IMO, the same as saying that said losing team should be looking at cheaper alternatives for the role.


if the Reds are going to lose and to lose money, then I'm sure that they'll ignore the impact of players and simply drop biggest contracts.

I find that pathetic, myself.

Kc61
08-21-2009, 10:15 AM
The Cards are using Ryan Franklin as their closer..... They're spending their jack on guys who generally project to be 4+ WAR players.

But if Franklin had failed and the bullpen was like the Reds' was in 2007, I'm sure they would have taken the measures to stop the bleeding. They got lucky with Franklin so they went with it.

Many other teams have spent big time on closers, as we all know.

The overall point is that excellent, veteran, high caliber major league players are important to anchor a team. In the Reds case, the bullpen was a disaster, they spent the money, and it worked.

Get an anchor player for each aspect of the team and it helps the other guys play an appropriate role. I've seen it in sports a million times.

The Reds did it in the bullpen. They tried to do it in the rotation with some (not total) success.

They have not done it among the 8 positions. They had an arguable anchor player, let him go, didn't replace him.

cincrazy
08-21-2009, 10:17 AM
The guys you pay over market value for are starters. I know everyone was aghast at the Zito deal, but, dollars aside, he'll be great in the postseason if the Giants make it.

I like performers too--and I don't mind overpaying for them. But one foot before the other.

Turns out the Reds didn't even have a starter the caliber of a Zito.

Barry Zito in GABP would be an unbelievably Eric Milton sized epic disaster.

nate
08-21-2009, 10:26 AM
I'll buy "mistake" because the money could've been used elsewhere.

I won't buy "epic mistake" as that's reserved for the likes of Eric Milton, Mike Stanton and Willy Taveras: players who were expensive (Stanton and Taveras could pay the Reds money and still be epic mistakes) and terrible.

If a player is terrible, I really couldn't care about the magnitude of their contract, it's overspending.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 10:33 AM
Barry Zito in GABP would be an unbelievably Eric Milton sized epic disaster.

A guy who's healthy and throws 200 innings of above-league average ball is worth a lot. I'd even overpay for it.

Johnny Footstool
08-21-2009, 10:35 AM
The Cards are using Ryan Franklin as their closer.....
...after trying three other guys in that role. Their bullpen is deep enough to warrant open auditions for closer. The Reds' bullpen was not that deep when Cordero was signed, and isn't that deep now.

Here's a question that I'm too lazy to answer: What was the total payroll of the Reds' bullpen on Opening Day, 2009?

NJReds
08-21-2009, 10:37 AM
A guy who's healthy and throws 200 innings of above-league average ball is worth a lot. I'd even overpay for it.

Has Zito been above league average in SF? In a pitchers park, no less? I don't think so. And he's being paid Johan Santana money, not league-average money.

cincrazy
08-21-2009, 10:38 AM
A guy who's healthy and throws 200 innings of above-league average ball is worth a lot. I'd even overpay for it.

You really think Zito is any different than Bronson Arroyo, your whipping boy? I'd take Arroyo over Zito in a heartbeat.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 10:40 AM
Has Zito been above league average in SF? In a pitchers park, no less? I don't think so. And he's being paid Johan Santana money, not league-average money.

For the only position the Reds should be overpaying for, Zito would be perfect. But he's one example. We overpay Arroyo. That's sad-making.

princeton
08-21-2009, 10:43 AM
I'm certainly wide open to dealing Cordero. he's old, and if he gets hurt or loses his mojo due to age then Reds still get stuck with a bad contract. but the contract's better now than when it was signed (only 2 years of risk to go instead of 4), and it's already been very good.

a point of emphasis should always be to trade out of surpluses to address needs, and if Reds think they have surplus arms and contracts and can get cheaper and younger without losing much impact, then by all means do so. that obviously has NOT been the case with the bullpen for the first two years of this contract-- nobody has emerged for that role-- and Cordero has produced and impacted those around him. so, it's been a fine contract

if that's about to change, then by all means move him. I don't see it, and think that we'll move him just to save money and to decrease risk. that's less palatable.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 10:50 AM
You really think Zito is any different than Bronson Arroyo, your whipping boy? I'd take Arroyo over Zito in a heartbeat.

Look at his numbers this year. He's been a 3 WAR pitcher to Bronson's 1.

That's the problem with narratives: "what? 126 million for him? He'll surely continue to suck for those 7 years."

Turns out he'd be the ace of every NL Central team's staff barring the Cards'.

Bumstead
08-21-2009, 10:51 AM
I would rather have Arroyo and be committed to him for one year at $11.5M (or even $15M) than have Zito and his contract...I would also say that outside of 3 starts per year, Arroyo is the better pitcher at this point in their careers.

As for Cordero, he's not hurting this team. He's earning his money. If we can get something useful for him then I would agree he should be traded. But if we are kicking money in and getting another crappy A-ball SS, I would pass. If we can afford Rolen and his aging (and contract) then why can't we afford Cordero?

Bum

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 10:53 AM
I would rather have Arroyo and be committed to him for one year at $11.5M (or even $15M) than have Zito and his contract...I would also say that outside of 3 starts per year, Arroyo is the better pitcher at this point in their careers.


I'd rather have success on the player's terms than failure on my own.

cincrazy
08-21-2009, 10:55 AM
Look at his numbers this year. He's been a 3 WAR pitcher to Bronson's 1.

That's the problem with narratives: "what? 126 million for him? He'll surely continue to suck for those 7 years."

Turns out he'd be the ace of every NL Central team's staff barring the Cards'.

The Giants are paying $126 million for an average pitcher, at best. I'm not saying he's the worst pitcher ever, and you're right he has been fairly decent this year. But he was also dreadful the first few years of the contract. You don't know what you're getting with him, and he's making CC Sabathia money for crying out loud.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 10:56 AM
The Giants are paying $126 million for an average pitcher, at best. I'm not saying he's the worst pitcher ever, and you're right he has been fairly decent this year. But he was also dreadful the first few years of the contract. You don't know what you're getting with him, and he's making CC Sabathia money for crying out loud.

My *kingdom* for an average pitcher.

westofyou
08-21-2009, 10:59 AM
a point of emphasis should always be to trade out of surpluses to address needs, and if Reds think they have surplus arms and contracts and can get cheaper and younger without losing much impact, then by all means do so. that obviously has NOT been the case with the bullpen for the first two years of this contract-- nobody has emerged for that role-- and Cordero has produced and impacted those around him. so, it's been a fine contract



Yep... but if one is to think that way then one cannot use the word "epic".

And well that just takes all the fun out that word doesn't it?

westofyou
08-21-2009, 11:02 AM
My *kingdom* for an average pitcher.

You would have averaged 20 posts a week on how bad Zito was the past two season, why act now as if they never occured?

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 11:04 AM
You would have averaged 20 posts a week on how bad Zito was the past two season, why act now as if they never occured?

He was good his first season as a Giant. I pointed that out.

He stunk it up last season, but he's smart; and mostly he wasn't developed by the Reds, so I would have had faith.

Patrick Bateman
08-21-2009, 11:04 AM
Look at his numbers this year. He's been a 3 WAR pitcher to Bronson's 1.

That's the problem with narratives: "what? 126 million for him? He'll surely continue to suck for those 7 years."

Turns out he'd be the ace of every NL Central team's staff barring the Cards'.

Gawd. Where's this been the past 2 seasons? Where he's been pitching in basically pitcher's heaven.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 11:05 AM
Gawd. Where's this been the past 2 seasons?

I don't mind a big mistake, but some pedigrees are worth waiting for. But first, you have to have the pedigree.

westofyou
08-21-2009, 11:05 AM
He was good his first season as a Giant. I pointed that out.

He stunk it up last season, but he's smart; and mostly he wasn't developed by the Reds, so I would have had faith.

ERA plus of 98 for those bucks is good?

OK if you insist.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 11:09 AM
The Cards are using Ryan Franklin as their closer..... They're spending their jack on guys who generally project to be 4+ WAR players.You blow up your argument using this example. This is a lucky hand of cards (unintentional pun), not a strategy. The Reds bought consistency, which is actually one of the smart moves they've made. They do not have the luxury of plugging someone in, seeing if it works out, then going and buying/trading later like the Cards. The Cards used their Midas (Duncan) Touch, the Reds have to pay for a proven performer because they do not have the ability to develop a pitching staff the way the Cards do.

There seems to be a hangup of some who think that what works in one organization will work anywhere. The Cards are an animal unto themselves, using an expert to develop a patchwork pitching staff. It seems to be proprietary. The Reds claimed to have this at one time, and they fired him a few years back as the method failed here. The Reds do need to find their niches and develop them, but for the bullpen, they have had to pay for developed arms that they let go out and do their thing.

So enough already of "the Cards plugged in Ryan Franklin, why can't we?"

Patrick Bateman
08-21-2009, 11:09 AM
I don't mind a big mistake, but some pedigrees are worth waiting for. But first, you have to have the pedigree.

I'm sorry FCB, but the guy has posted xFIP's of 5.01, 5.46, and 4.60 since coming to the NL. For comparison's sake, those first 2 seasons were basically what Eric Milton was doing for the Reds.

That's not above average, that's not worth overpaying for. And certainly not at $18M per season.

This season he's at least rebounded to credible rotation member. But even then he's basically been league average. The cavernous stadiums of the NL West is the only thing that to this point had been keeping him afloat.

westofyou
08-21-2009, 11:10 AM
The cavernous stadiums of the NL West is the only thing that to this point had been keeping him afloat.

And that delightful fog helps too

jojo
08-21-2009, 11:12 AM
So enough already of "the Cards plugged in Ryan Franklin, why can't we?"

No because "the Cards plugged in Ryan Franklin, why can't we?" can't be screamed often enough or loud enough.

The inability of the Reds to solve the issue without doling out a historic contract is the anomaly.

jojo
08-21-2009, 11:14 AM
...after trying three other guys in that role. Their bullpen is deep enough to warrant open auditions for closer. The Reds' bullpen was not that deep when Cordero was signed, and isn't that deep now.

Here's a question that I'm too lazy to answer: What was the total payroll of the Reds' bullpen on Opening Day, 2009?

$20M and some change (28% of total payroll).

traderumor
08-21-2009, 11:18 AM
No because "the Cards plugged in Ryan Franklin, why can't we?" can't be screamed often enough or loud enough.

The inability of the Reds to solve the issue without doling out a historic contract is the anomaly.I didn't expect you to agree with my point, but you have been cherry picking Ryan Franklin for some time. We all know that a closer can be plugged in and sometimes the result is acceptable, but there are also year after year, team after team, going through candidate after candidate to "close" games. The Reds paid for production that they needed and could not produce themselves. Grieving over not being like the Joneses, well, I'll leave that for you.

All the while, none of them realize that the one inning "nails" guy is not what they should be chasing, but such is the current groupthink in bullpen usage patterns in MLB these days.

Bumstead
08-21-2009, 11:18 AM
Zito was never good enough to carry that contract and has always benefited from pitching in pitchers parks. Why is he even a topic????

Kc61
08-21-2009, 11:19 AM
Just a few stats here.

In 2007 the Reds bullpen had an ERA of 5.13. Worst in the NL.
In 2009 the Reds bullpen has an ERA of 3.58. Third best in NL.

In 2007 the Reds overall staff ERA was 4.94. Next to worst NL.
In 2009 the Reds overall staff ERA is 4.38. Tied for 10-11th NL.

In 2009 the Reds overall staff ERA is just a tad below average (4.38 vs. 4.24) and, accounting for ballpark, must be considered league average.

The Reds have spent on three pitchers. IMO, on balance, these pitchers have made a meaningful difference to this team for the positive.

On the other hand, the Reds have not spent on position players. As of today, the team's offensive numbers, BA/OBP/SLG, are -- in each case -- the worst in major league baseball. Dead last.

The Reds got real benefits from their spending. But they stopped mid-stream. Add some hitters and you start to have a baseball team.

jojo
08-21-2009, 11:21 AM
Look at his numbers this year. He's been a 3 WAR pitcher to Bronson's 1.

That's the problem with narratives: "what? 126 million for him? He'll surely continue to suck for those 7 years."

Turns out he'd be the ace of every NL Central team's staff barring the Cards'.

I'll say this-if Zito went to the Reds, we wouldn't be griping about Cordero's contract.

Zito is pitching like an average major league starter this season after two years of being a back end arm. There is no way he'll live up to that contract. He's been about a 2 WAR arm this season over 150 innings-his best season as a Giant. On the open market, that production is worth roughly half of the $18.5M the Giants are paying him.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 11:22 AM
Zito was never good enough to carry that contract and has always benefited from pitching in pitchers parks. Why is he even a topic????

There are two lessons: 1. It's okay to overpay but 2. you have to know whom to overpay for.

jojo
08-21-2009, 11:22 AM
Just a few stats here.

In 2007 the Reds bullpen had an ERA of 5.13. Worst in the NL.
In 2009 the Reds bullpen has an ERA of 3.58. Third best in NL.

In 2007 the Reds overall staff ERA was 4.94. Next to worst NL.
In 2009 the Reds overall staff ERA is 4.38. Tied for 10-11th NL.

In 2009 the Reds overall staff ERA is just a tad below average (4.38 vs. 4.24) and, accounting for ballpark, must be considered league average.

The Reds have spent on three pitchers. IMO, on balance, these pitchers have made a huge difference to this team for the positive.

On the other hand, the Reds have not spent on position players. As of today, the team's offensive numbers, BA/OBP/SLG, are -- in each case -- the worst in major league baseball. Dead last.

The Reds got big benefits from their spending. But they stopped mid-stream. Add some hitters and you start to have a baseball team.

The Reds spent in the wrong place! If you're going to spend, do it in a way that maximizes the effect.

They've got 70 IP locked down for their money. But they have no money left to add the hitters.......

jojo
08-21-2009, 11:23 AM
There are two lessons: 1. It's okay to overpay but 2. you have to know whom to overpay for.

I agree 100% with this. I'd add that you have to know when to overpay as well.

That said, Zito wasn't the guy to target....

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 11:26 AM
I agree 100% with this. I'd add that you have to know when to overpay as well.

That said, Zito wasn't the guy to target....

I'd say one should always target above-average pitchers. The Reds have had only two in the last decade: Harang and Volquez for one season.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 11:26 AM
The Reds spent in the wrong place! If you're going to spend, do it in a way that maximizes the effect.

They've got 70 IP locked down for their money. But they have no money left to add the hitters.......I think you know that the argument that Cordero's production impacts much more than just 70 IP has merit, but it doesn't fit your argument, so you try to ignore it. Here's my part in it not getting ignored.

Kc61
08-21-2009, 11:27 AM
The Reds spent in the wrong place! If you're going to spend, do it in a way that maximizes the effect.

They've got 70 IP locked down for their money. But they have no money left to add the hitters.......

1. How do you know they have no money for hitters?

2. Last off-season they spent on Hernandez, Rhodes, Taveras, Lincoln, Weathers, Gomes and other new or free agent players. They gave EE a two-year contract. They apparently had money for all of them.

3. The ninth inning of close games tends to be important. I think it's good to have somebody who can regularly get you through that inning. I think it has a big impact. Those are 70 important innings IMO.

princeton
08-21-2009, 11:28 AM
The Reds spent in the wrong place! If you're going to spend, do it in a way that maximizes the effect...

looks like they did

they just needed more players to impact they way that CoCo did

HokieRed
08-21-2009, 11:31 AM
This Dave Duncan stuff is starting to get tiresome. Every time the argument comes up that the Cardinals have done something better than we have, regarding pitching, the excuse for our not doing it--and it is an excuse--is that they've got Duncan with his magic wand and we don't. Duncan's no doubt good but there's nothing mysterious about the way the Cardinals pitch, not at least when I watch their games. It's just sink, sink, sink, movement down, movement down. Don't get beat with the home run. This is not rocket science or magic. It's primarily, I would argue, talent identification--i.e. identification of the kind of pitchers that can be taught to do what they want. And maybe they've had superior talent identification because of who they had in the GM job (see another RZ thread). There's no reason the Reds can't build a pitching staff of the kinds of pitchers who'll be able to be successful in GABP, but it's not going to be an overnight matter. As to the Cordero matter, it seems to me that both the sides represented by KC, on one hand, and Jojo, on the other, are right. KC's right that Cordero has stabilized the bullpen, improving the whole lot; Jojo's right that this has come at a steep price and inevitably at the expense of other things.

jojo
08-21-2009, 11:41 AM
I think you know that the argument that Cordero's production impacts much more than just 70 IP has merit, but it doesn't fit your argument, so you try to ignore it. Here's my part in it not getting ignored.

Rather than ignoring Cordero's impact, I'm arguing the impact many ascribe to Cordero's 70 IP is often dramatically overestimated.

That's not an intellectually dishonest position....

fearofpopvol1
08-21-2009, 11:48 AM
A guy who's healthy and throws 200 innings of above-league average ball is worth a lot. I'd even overpay for it.

To the tune of $18M a year for almost a decade? Yeah, no thanks.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 11:48 AM
This Dave Duncan stuff is starting to get tiresome. Every time the argument comes up that the Cardinals have done something better than we have, regarding pitching, the excuse for our not doing it--and it is an excuse--is that they've got Duncan with his magic wand and we don't. Duncan's no doubt good but there's nothing mysterious about the way the Cardinals pitch, not at least when I watch their games. It's just sink, sink, sink, movement down, movement down. Don't get beat with the home run. This is not rocket science or magic. It's primarily, I would argue, talent identification--i.e. identification of the kind of pitchers that can be taught to do what they want. And maybe they've had superior talent identification because of who they had in the GM job (see another RZ thread). There's no reason the Reds can't build a pitching staff of the kinds of pitchers who'll be able to be successful in GABP, but it's not going to be an overnight matter. As to the Cordero matter, it seems to me that both the sides represented by KC, on one hand, and Jojo, on the other, are right. KC's right that Cordero has stabilized the bullpen, improving the whole lot; Jojo's right that this has come at a steep price and inevitably at the expense of other things.It is a recognition that there a limited number of experts. Even if your argument is the case (if it is really as simple as you identify it to be, it surely would be the latest formula for success, so I think your disdain is springing from a reductionist argument), the identification may be proprietary as well. It seems to me obvious that the Cards have a secret ingredient.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 11:52 AM
Rather than ignoring Cordero's impact, I'm arguing the impact many ascribe to Cordero's 70 IP is often dramatically overestimated.

That's not an intellectually dishonest position....Only referring to "they have 70 IP locked down for their money" is arguing that they only get 70 IP for their money, a statement which ignores the impact on other bullpen innings.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 12:01 PM
To the tune of $18M a year for almost a decade? Yeah, no thanks.

I fail to see the logic that says it's okay to pay a closer $12 million, but it's stupid to pay a league-average or better starter $18 million.

The thesis is correct, largely: overpay for talent.

NJReds
08-21-2009, 12:05 PM
For the only position the Reds should be overpaying for, Zito would be perfect. But he's one example. We overpay Arroyo. That's sad-making.

Arroyo's been better in Cincinnati, a hitter's haven, than Zito has been in SF, which is a pitchers park.

How on earth do you get that Cincy's overpaying for Arroyo, but Zito's contract is just peachy?

Zito wasn't good in his first season with SF. He's seasons have gone from bad, to worse, to slight improvement. They paid him to be Cy Young. He's not "league average or better." He's not league average at all.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 12:07 PM
I fail to see the logic that says it's okay to pay a closer $12 million, but it's stupid to pay a league-average or better starter $18 million.

The thesis is correct, largely: overpay for talent.I think it is the total length/amount of the contract in view. In guaranteed contract world, these uber long-term deals are nuts, IMO.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 12:09 PM
Arroyo's been better in Cincinnati, a hitter's haven, than Zito has been in SF, which is a pitchers park.

How on earth do you get that Cincy's overpaying for Arroyo, but Zito's contract is just peachy?

Zito wasn't good in his first season with SF. He's seasons have gone from bad, to worse, to slight improvement. They paid him to be Cy Young. He's not "league average or better." He's not league average at all.

Arroyo's old and unpedigreed. Plus, I think the guy isn't all that serious about his profession ("You don't have to try here").

cincrazy
08-21-2009, 12:11 PM
I'd say one should always target above-average pitchers. The Reds have had only two in the last decade: Harang and Volquez for one season.

Correct. And if Barry Zito is an above average pitcher, then I'm currently sending you this message from the Oval Office.

NJReds
08-21-2009, 12:14 PM
Arroyo's old and unpedigreed. Plus, I think the guy isn't all that serious about his profession ("You don't have to try here").

And yet he's been better than Cy Zito.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 12:16 PM
And yet he's been better than Cy Zito.

Arroyo has essentially put the Reds out of contention two years running with his first-half collapses. Anybody think those are going to stop anytime soon?

WMR
08-21-2009, 12:18 PM
What did Zito do for San Fran's chances at contention the previous two years?

traderumor
08-21-2009, 12:19 PM
Arroyo has essentially put the Reds out of contention two years running with his first-half collapses. Anybody think those are going to stop anytime soon?

WARNING: Recent posts from this poster in this thread have been detected as having a high degree of hyperbole. Read with caution ;)

WMR
08-21-2009, 12:20 PM
Paying Zito-like money for a Sabathia or a Santana is all well and good...

the only thing Zito has in common with those two guys is roughly the size of his paycheck.

Bumstead
08-21-2009, 12:20 PM
After next season I think they will stop. :rolleyes: You would still have to deal with zito, the great? for four more years...Not to mention that Arroyo's first half 'meltdowns' generally consist of 3 horrible starts not 17 bad starts. Plus, the Reds would be in contention, despite Arroyo...:rolleyes:...if they had some players that could hit. They certainly wouldn't be better with zito...

HokieRed
08-21-2009, 12:20 PM
It is a recognition that there a limited number of experts. Even if your argument is the case (if it is really as simple as you identify it to be, it surely would be the latest formula for success, so I think your disdain is springing from a reductionist argument), the identification may be proprietary as well. It seems to me obvious that the Cards have a secret ingredient.

If I sounded disdainful, I apologize. I certainly didn't intend to be so. But your logic just seems to be that since we don't have Dave Duncan, we might as well give up. I reject that and I reject all excuse giving.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 12:20 PM
What did Zito do for San Fran's chances at contention the previous two years?

I like guys who start bad and get better, not guys who start strong and get worse. The good thing about Zito's problems, is that they're the past.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 12:22 PM
After next season I think they will stop...

I'm sure Boston could cure him.

WMR
08-21-2009, 12:24 PM
I like guys who start bad and get better, not guys who start strong and get worse. The good thing about Zito's problems, is that they're the past.

Perhaps they are... the Giants had certainly better hope so.

I'm glad he's their baby and not ours, though. 18 million a season for THAT level of production?

I bet you could come up with a list of 50 pitchers who would be a better investment of Zito-level dollars than Barry Zito. Heck, 50 might be a modest estimation.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 12:25 PM
If I sounded disdainful, I apologize. I certainly didn't intend to be so. But your logic just seems to be that since we don't have Dave Duncan, we might as well give up. I reject that and I reject all excuse giving.You jumped to conclusion of "giving up." The answer was "you have to find a different solution since you don't have what that other organization has," which the Reds chose the solution of "we have to spend here to be successful in this area in the near-term."

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 12:26 PM
Perhaps they are... the Giants had certainly better hope so.

I'm glad he's their baby and not ours, though. 18 million a season for THAT level of production?

I bet you could come up with a list of 50 pitchers who would be a better investment of Zito-level dollars than Barry Zito. Heck, 50 might be a modest estimation.

Winning is awful, you're right.

Yeah I'd much rather have hard throwers who never pitch.

Bumstead
08-21-2009, 12:30 PM
Don't know why I am responding to this, but anyway...all sarcasm aside...Zito has been over-rated from day 1 in Oakland. He is not currently a league-average pitcher and he costs $18M a year through 2014. The Reds are a Small to Mid-Market level team. They cannot afford to pay bad pitchers like Zito those types of $$$. Arroyo is better than Zito right now. Pedigreed or not pedigreed means nothing; Zito is bad (in a pitchers park) and his contract is worse. He was never the ace that he was portrayed to be and never should have been paid like one. Arroyo and Harang come off the books next year; I will take the 200 plus IP at league average or better next year and bid them adieu.

The topic was Codero: he earns his money.

Good day.

Bum

fearofpopvol1
08-21-2009, 12:34 PM
I fail to see the logic that says it's okay to pay a closer $12 million, but it's stupid to pay a league-average or better starter $18 million.

The thesis is correct, largely: overpay for talent.

Length of contract is your big oversight here. Cordero (or Arroyo) were both 4 year deals...not nearly the same. Zito was awful in 2008 as well.

You also fail to consider the fact that Zito pitches in a pitcher's park in a pretty pitching friendly division. His Road ERA is half a point higher than his home ERA.

Zito is a good pitcher (and is pitching better this year), but he's not $18.5M/per year good for the amount of years he's going to be paid that much for.

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 12:40 PM
Length of contract is your big oversight here. Cordero (or Arroyo) were both 4 year deals...not nearly the same. Zito was awful in 2008 as well.

You also fail to consider the fact that Zito pitches in a pitcher's park in a pretty pitching friendly division. His Road ERA is half a point higher than his home ERA.

Zito is a good pitcher (and is pitching better this year), but he's not $18.5M/per year good for the amount of years he's going to be paid that much for.

Always-healthy above-average starters can't be paid enough. We should know; we don't have any.

ochre
08-21-2009, 12:47 PM
The Reds got real benefits from their spending. But they stopped mid-stream. Add some hitters and you start to have a baseball team.
They didn't stop midstream. From what I can tell, they felt adding Cordero opened the stream up to the sea of contention. (hey look, a double entendre!)

HokieRed
08-21-2009, 12:50 PM
You jumped to conclusion of "giving up." The answer was "you have to find a different solution since you don't have what that other organization has," which the Reds chose the solution of "we have to spend here to be successful in this area in the near-term."


I didn't jump to anything. I wasn't commenting solely on your post originally but on the RZ refrain that St. Louis's pitching success is always Dave Duncan. I reiterate: it's tiresome. He's apparently good. I suspect it's at least as much the selection of pitchers he gets to work with as what he does. Maybe if we got over the idea that somehow developing successful pitchers is only something other organizations can do we might look around for cheap options at closer or not overpay starters because we're terrified of the prospect of trying to replace them.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 12:59 PM
I didn't jump to anything. I wasn't commenting solely on your post originally but on the RZ refrain that St. Louis's pitching success is always Dave Duncan. I reiterate: it's tiresome. He's apparently good. I suspect it's at least as much the selection of pitchers he gets to work with as what he does. Maybe if we got over the idea that somehow developing successful pitchers is only something other organizations can do we might look around for cheap options at closer or not overpay starters because we're terrified of the prospect of trying to replace them.There is a long history of ineptitude in this organization for developing pitchers. Now, we are stuck with a ballpark that adds additional challenges. My point was and still remains that trying to emulate something another org. does requires the identification of repeatable processes. If part of the process involves an expert or is proprietary, then that is not a process to choose. Regardless of your feelings, any repititon of what the Cards do is going to involve "hire pitching coach who has ability to turn struggling pitchers into solid performers." I would rather the Reds choose a process that is not dependent on hiring a guru, because finding gurus is hard, thus gurus are expensive.

jojo
08-21-2009, 01:23 PM
Only referring to "they have 70 IP locked down for their money" is arguing that they only get 70 IP for their money, a statement which ignores the impact on other bullpen innings.

Once again, it's begging the question that Cordero's presence had a dramatic impact on the remaining bullpen innings. It's a central point being debated as it's an important element of the premises forming each side's argument...

In 2007, the Reds pen was bad. In '08 and '09, the Reds pen has been dramatically improved compared to '07. This is undeniable. Cordero was a new face in the 2008 pen and he's been good. Nobody is arguing otherwise. However, he wasn't the only change.

In 2007, the Reds got 25 relief innings from arms that had both a K/9 > 8 and a K/BB > 2. In 2008, the Reds got 264 relief innings from such arms.

Cordero accounted for 70 of those relief innings so he obviously helped. But the Stantons/Coffeys/Santos/Coutlangus'/Saarloos'/Goslins of the 2007 pen were replaced as major contributors in 2008 by Cordero but also by career years from Affeldt/Burton/Bray. Even a guy like Lincoln chipped in 70 IP while posting the best peripherals of his career (though he missed the criteria by about half a K/9 and his innings aren't included in the 264 total).

So while Cordero's addition did improve the Reds pen, a huge part of the improvement came from a shift away from innings going to guys who generally rely on their defense (and it was a bad defense!) to guys who missed more bats while throwing strikes.

The 2009 pen has less make em' miss pizzaz than 2008's (with only approx 60 IP from guys fitting the above criteria) but Cordero and Masset just miss the criteria (due to K/9s slightly below 8) and their 110 innings can't be counted. Also, the significantly improved defense this season is likely helpful too.

Cordero is good. But the guys sharing the pen with him are also better than the ones in the '07 pen as well and their numbers aren't simply the "effect of roles". The Reds pen is performing better because, largely, the innings are being given to better arms from top to bottom. It's not appropriate to credit the improvements in the Reds pen over the last two years as an effect mainly derived from Cordero's 118 innings.

jojo
08-21-2009, 01:24 PM
Always-healthy above-average starters can't be paid enough. We should know; we don't have any.

Zito hasn't been one of those guys as a Giant nor was he projected to be one.

fearofpopvol1
08-21-2009, 01:27 PM
Always-healthy above-average starters can't be paid enough. We should know; we don't have any.

"Always?" Make sure you look at his line for 2008 before making such conclusive statements.

princeton
08-21-2009, 01:32 PM
Once again, it's begging the question that Cordero's presence had a dramatic impact on the remaining bullpen innings.

take him away. I've a pretty good idea what will follow.

honestly, the Reds GM said that signing Cordero would fix the bullpen, and Cordero was signed and the bullpen wound up fixed for 1000 innings over a couple of years, but we're supposed to believe you that signing Cordero didn't fix the bullpen? it's hard to swallow.

jojo
08-21-2009, 01:35 PM
take him away. I've a pretty good idea what will follow.

honestly, the Reds GM said that signing Cordero would fix the bullpen, and Cordero was signed and the bullpen wound up fixed for 1000 innings over a couple of years, but we're supposed to believe you that signing Cordero didn't fix the bullpen? it's hard to swallow.

I'd hope you'd at least try to chew the argument before deciding it can't be swallowed-there are additional sentences under the one you quoted. :cool:

HokieRed
08-21-2009, 02:18 PM
I'd hope you'd at least try to chew the argument before deciding it can't be swallowed-there are additional sentences under the one you quoted. :cool:


I've chewed it and I'm pretty much liking the taste. Good argument, good specifics on the other members of the pen. I'd also add it to the side argument I've been having with Trade Rumor that it suggests the issue is talent identification, the org. has shown some ability to do this (at least in the bullpen), and it simply needs to do more while thinking about how best to spend its inevitably limited bucks.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 02:20 PM
Once again, it's begging the question that Cordero's presence had a dramatic impact on the remaining bullpen innings. It's a central point being debated as it's an important element of the premises forming each side's argument...

In 2007, the Reds pen was bad. In '08 and '09, the Reds pen has been dramatically improved compared to '07. This is undeniable. Cordero was a new face in the 2008 pen and he's been good. Nobody is arguing otherwise. However, he wasn't the only change.

In 2007, the Reds got 25 relief innings from arms that had both a K/9 > 8 and a K/BB > 2. In 2008, the Reds got 264 relief innings from such arms.

Cordero accounted for 70 of those relief innings so he obviously helped. But the Stantons/Coffeys/Santos/Coutlangus'/Saarloos'/Goslins of the 2007 pen were replaced as major contributors in 2008 by Cordero but also by career years from Affeldt/Burton/Bray. Even a guy like Lincoln chipped in 70 IP while posting the best peripherals of his career (though he missed the criteria by about half a K/9 and his innings aren't included in the 264 total).

So while Cordero's addition did improve the Reds pen, a huge part of the improvement came from a shift away from innings going to guys who generally rely on their defense (and it was a bad defense!) to guys who missed more bats while throwing strikes.

The 2009 pen has less make em' miss pizzaz than 2008's (with only approx 60 IP from guys fitting the above criteria) but Cordero and Masset just miss the criteria (due to K/9s slightly below 8) and their 110 innings can't be counted. Also, the significantly improved defense this season is likely helpful too.

Cordero is good. But the guys sharing the pen with him are also better than the ones in the '07 pen as well and their numbers aren't simply the "effect of roles". The Reds pen is performing better because, largely, the innings are being given to better arms from top to bottom. It's not appropriate to credit the improvements in the Reds pen over the last two years as an effect mainly derived from Cordero's 118 innings.

Dueling "begging the question." Regardless of the other faces in the pen, the constant has been Cordero, and the bullpen has been better with him.

Rojo
08-21-2009, 03:12 PM
Once again, it's begging the question that Cordero's presence had a dramatic impact on the remaining bullpen innings. It's a central point being debated as it's an important element of the premises forming each side's argument...

In 2007, the Reds pen was bad. In '08 and '09, the Reds pen has been dramatically improved compared to '07. This is undeniable. Cordero was a new face in the 2008 pen and he's been good. Nobody is arguing otherwise. However, he wasn't the only change.

In 2007, the Reds got 25 relief innings from arms that had both a K/9 > 8 and a K/BB > 2. In 2008, the Reds got 264 relief innings from such arms.

Cordero accounted for 70 of those relief innings so he obviously helped. But the Stantons/Coffeys/Santos/Coutlangus'/Saarloos'/Goslins of the 2007 pen were replaced as major contributors in 2008 by Cordero but also by career years from Affeldt/Burton/Bray. Even a guy like Lincoln chipped in 70 IP while posting the best peripherals of his career (though he missed the criteria by about half a K/9 and his innings aren't included in the 264 total).

So while Cordero's addition did improve the Reds pen, a huge part of the improvement came from a shift away from innings going to guys who generally rely on their defense (and it was a bad defense!) to guys who missed more bats while throwing strikes.

The 2009 pen has less make em' miss pizzaz than 2008's (with only approx 60 IP from guys fitting the above criteria) but Cordero and Masset just miss the criteria (due to K/9s slightly below 8) and their 110 innings can't be counted. Also, the significantly improved defense this season is likely helpful too.

Cordero is good. But the guys sharing the pen with him are also better than the ones in the '07 pen as well and their numbers aren't simply the "effect of roles". The Reds pen is performing better because, largely, the innings are being given to better arms from top to bottom. It's not appropriate to credit the improvements in the Reds pen over the last two years as an effect mainly derived from Cordero's 118 innings.

On an economics blog I visit, there's this guy who's been calling a rebound since last fall. He always has charts and data points. In economics, its called loosing the fundamentals in the technicals.

Bullpens usually need to be rebuilt every year. With a big-time closer in tow, its easy. Without one, its a mess.

Rojo
08-21-2009, 03:14 PM
It's like the Lions signing the best kicker in football to a record breaking contract. A good kicker is nice to have and can help in many ways, but the impact he will have is much less than most of the other positions on the field.

Funny. I thought of the exact same analogy with the opposite conclusion. I've long wondered why mediocre teams don't spend on a kicker -- a couple of 48-yarders in the closing seconds can make a big difference.

jojo
08-21-2009, 03:16 PM
Funny. I thought of the exact same analogy with the opposite conclusion. I've long wondered why mediocre teams don't spend on a kicker -- a couple of 48-yarders in the closing seconds can make a big difference.

Not if you're down by 7 or more.....

Rojo
08-21-2009, 03:19 PM
To me, the order of signing is irrelevant. It wasn't too soon to get a closer. He's just as important as the next guy.

Yeah, I somehow missed the priority list memo.

The most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen ~ Sparky Anderson.

redsfandan
08-21-2009, 03:20 PM
On the 1st page of this thread I told Kc61 that "I bet that if you started a simple poll (Yes or no. Was there anything wrong with the Cordero signing?) you'll find more than a few that disagree with you." Well he later told me that he wasn't interested in creating a poll and I'm not that interested in creating one either. But I do think that the majority of voters would vote 'yes' to that question. Just like alot of different articles have said the same thing.

Noone is saying that Cordero hasn't been good. But that's apparently the only thing that some care about. Last season Cordero was worth less than 1 win over a replacement player. Since he was paid $8.6 million he was paid more than twice what his production was worth. And this season he'll be paid $12 million. People can cling to the fact that he has been good but that doesn't change the fact that he's also overpaid for the job.

Rojo
08-21-2009, 03:23 PM
Not if you're down by 7 or more.....

Not enough to get the ingredients, you have to get them in the right order? As if it weren't hard enough.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 03:26 PM
Funny. I thought of the exact same analogy with the opposite conclusion. I've long wondered why mediocre teams don't spend on a kicker -- a couple of 48-yarders in the closing seconds can make a big difference.

Indeed, case in point--a good FG kicker minimized failures of the offense in the Mike Nugent days at Ohio State. He kept some mediocre offensive teams from a number of upsets in his last two years kicking.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 03:27 PM
Not enough to get the ingredients, you have to get them in the right order? As if it weren't hard enough.Can't with 'em, can't win without 'em :)

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 03:30 PM
I wonder how easy it would be to trade an above-league average Cordero for a similarly priced league average starting pitcher. Next to impossible, I'd wager.

We've got a great closer; we're short four starters. Eek.

edabbs44
08-21-2009, 03:34 PM
Funny. I thought of the exact same analogy with the opposite conclusion. I've long wondered why mediocre teams don't spend on a kicker -- a couple of 48-yarders in the closing seconds can make a big difference.

The Lions lost a grand total of zero games by 3 or less points in 2008.

jojo
08-21-2009, 03:39 PM
Not enough to get the ingredients, you have to get them in the right order? As if it weren't hard enough.

Assuming every roster is ultimately a compromise because of finite resources, resources should generally be spent on the positions that would have the most effect. This is especially true when record-breaking contracts that potentially limit future moves are given out.

The Reds chose to spend 28% of their payroll resources this season on their pen. They've had the fewest save opportunities in the majors.

Somehow this "order isn't important" argument seems to have some holes....

traderumor
08-21-2009, 03:51 PM
The Lions lost a grand total of zero games by 3 or less points in 2008.So, they qualify as a mediocre team? That was Rojo's comment.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 03:54 PM
Assuming every roster is ultimately a compromise because of finite resources, resources should generally be spent on the positions that would have the most effect. This is especially true when record-breaking contracts that potentially limit future moves are given out.

The Reds chose to spend 28% of their payroll resources this season on their pen. They've had the fewest save opportunities in the majors.

Somehow this "order isn't important" argument seems to have some holes....The point I take is that putting a MLB roster together isn't a tidy offseason punchlist that you work through one item at a time in order of importance, and that attempting to do so will cause gridlock as you wait to do B after A happens.

Rojo
08-21-2009, 03:58 PM
The point I take is that putting a MLB roster together isn't a tidy offseason punchlist that you work through one item at a time in order of importance, and that attempting to do so will cause gridlock as you wait to do B after A happens.

Yes.

I have a buddy who, despite my warnings, didn't want to sell his house until he finished grad school. He put the house on the market in 2008. Two months ago he walked away from the mortgage.

Sometimes "first things first" is an excuse to procrastinate.

Rojo
08-21-2009, 03:59 PM
The Lions lost a grand total of zero games by 3 or less points in 2008.

The Lions are an Epic Mistake.

Rojo
08-21-2009, 04:01 PM
Assuming every roster is ultimately a compromise because of finite resources, resources should generally be spent on the positions that would have the most effect. This is especially true when record-breaking contracts that potentially limit future moves are given out.

The Reds chose to spend 28% of their payroll resources this season on their pen. They've had the fewest save opportunities in the majors.

Somehow this "order isn't important" argument seems to have some holes....


Funny how the same people who hate the save stat let it lead them by the nose. Three bullpenners will usually pitch about the same amount of innings as one starter. But those innings are distributed throughout more games and in more critical situations.

28% is still a big portion for that, as it would be for one starter. It would be nice to get that done cheaper. But, hey, we tried that.

TheNext44
08-21-2009, 04:34 PM
First rule of decision theory is to never judge a decision on its results. You judge it on the situation in which it was made. Was it the a smart decision at the time, considering the circumstances, and the information that was available at the time of the decision?

There really is no way to answer yes to that question, no matter how you look at it.

First look at the money. Even at 2007 prices which were higher than they are now, Cordero was overpaid. He was a league average closer, nothing better. Even if you buy into the notion that closers are fairly paid, he was paid as if he was one of the best, if not the best closer in the game.

That same year, Joe Nathan received a nearly identical contract to Cordero's 4 year $46M contract, at 4 years $47M.

Nathan was and still is one of the majors best closers. Here are his numbers compared to Coco's.

Nathan:
1.94 ERA .946 WHIP 11.3 K/9 4.44 K/BB

Coco:
3.06 ERA 1.267 WHIP 10.6 K/9 2.93 K/BB

Coco's numbers are very good, Nathans are great.

So basically Coco was paid like a great reliever when he was just a very good one.

But sometimes overpaying is necessary given the circumstances. The Reds bullpen was a mess the year before and something needed to be done. Signing Cordero did fix the bullpen mess, but was it the smartest way to fix it?

I think the answer is clearly no.

Remember that the problem the Reds had was not with the closer, Weathers did a fine job as closer. The problem was getting to the closer. The Reds had Stanton, Saarlooss, Coffey, McBeth, Majewski, Burton and Bray to bridge the gap between starter and closer. Only Burton was any good, and that was at the end of the season.

Getting replacements for these guys and keeping Weathers as the closer would have been much cheaper than overpaying for Cordero.

Funny thing is that the Reds did that. They went out and got Affeldt and Lincoln, kept Burton and Bray, and those four provided a strong bridge between starter and reliever. Then this year, they got Rhodes and Massetto add to the mix, and brought up Herrera.

So if the Reds had just kept Weathers the closer, they could have improved the bullpen for around $3M a year, instead of the over $10M a year they are paying Cordero.

Like I said, no way to say that signing Cordero was a smart decision.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 04:38 PM
First rule of decision theory is to never judge a decision on its results. You judge it on the situation in which it was made. Was it the a smart decision at the time, considering the circumstances, and the information that was available at the time of the decision?

There really is no way to answer yes to that question, no matter how you look at it.

First look at the money. Even at 2007 prices which were higher than they are now, Cordero was overpaid. He was a league average closer, nothing better. Even if you buy into the notion that closers are fairly paid, he was paid as if he was one of the best, if not the best closer in the game.

That same year, Joe Nathan received a nearly identical contract to Cordero's 4 year $46M contract, at 4 years $47M.

Nathan was and still is one of the majors best closers. Here are his numbers compared to Coco's.

Nathan:
1.94 ERA .946 WHIP 11.3 K/9 4.44 K/BB

Coco:
3.06 ERA 1.267 WHIP 10.6 K/9 2.93 K/BB

Coco's numbers are very good, Nathans are great.

So basically Coco was paid like a great reliever when he was just a very good one.

But sometimes overpaying is necessary given the circumstances. The Reds bullpen was a mess the year before and something needed to be done. Signing Cordero did fix the bullpen mess, but was it the smartest way to fix it?

I think the answer is clearly no.

Remember that the problem the Reds had was not with the closer, Weathers did a fine job as closer. The problem was getting to the closer. The Reds had Stanton, Saarlooss, Coffey, McBeth, Majewski, Burton and Bray to bridge the gap between starter and closer. Only Burton was any good, and that was at the end of the season.

Getting replacements for these guys and keeping Weathers as the closer would have been much cheaper than overpaying for Cordero.

Funny thing is that the Reds did that. They went out and got Affeldt and Lincoln, kept Burton and Bray, and those four provided a strong bridge between starter and reliever. Then this year, they got Rhodes and Massetto add to the mix, and brought up Herrera.

So if the Reds had just kept Weathers the closer, they could have improved the bullpen for around $3M a year, instead of the over $10M a year they are paying Cordero.

Like I said, no way to say that signing Cordero was a smart decision.

You may not like the analysis, but I don't think the discussion has been results based.

HokieRed
08-21-2009, 04:40 PM
Agreed, Next44, but of course the response is going to be that the bullpen is a kind of system and the addition of Cordero was a factor, which you are not accounting for, in the performance of Affeldt, Burton, Lincoln, Weathers etc.

jojo
08-21-2009, 04:48 PM
Funny how the same people who hate the save stat let it lead them by the nose.

I'm not the one making the argument that "With a big-time closer in tow, its easy. Without one, its a mess."

Presumably closers are more valuable because they lock down the 9th (get saves)?


Three bullpenners will usually pitch about the same amount of innings as one starter. But those innings are distributed throughout more games and in more critical situations.

28% is still a big portion for that, as it would be for one starter. It would be nice to get that done cheaper. But, hey, we tried that.

If you want to argue that it's important to have "high leverage" arms in the pen, I'm in agreement. That's a different argument than "the Reds couldn't figure out how to do it so overpaying for Cordero was appropriate". It's a puzzling argument anyway given the '08 pen had high K/low BB guys elbow to elbow in their pen.... Then they somehow managed to find high K/low BB guys like Rhodes and Roenicke this season.

Blitz Dorsey
08-21-2009, 04:52 PM
The guy that came up with the headline (probably the writer) is an epic exaggerator.

SMcGavin
08-21-2009, 05:24 PM
First look at the money. Even at 2007 prices which were higher than they are now, Cordero was overpaid. He was a league average closer, nothing better. Even if you buy into the notion that closers are fairly paid, he was paid as if he was one of the best, if not the best closer in the game.


This is the premise behind your whole argument, but I'm not really buying it. When the Reds signed him, he was coming off of a year where he posted a 2.78 xFIP. Over 12 K/9 and under 3 BB/9. That is dominant.

I certainly think there's an argument to be made (and has been made many times, in this thread even) about why signing Cordero wasn't the best choice ever. It's the "limited resources" argument. But I can't get on board with painting Cordero as a decent closer paid like a great one. He was a lights-out reliever and he got paid the going rate for a guy like that (remember Milwaukee was going to pay him roughly the same rate too). Whether it was a smart move for a team with the Reds resources to splurge on that type of player... well, that's another debate and one that we've all been around on many times. But I don't think Cordero was overpaid relative to his market value.

jojo
08-21-2009, 05:34 PM
This is the premise behind your whole argument, but I'm not really buying it. When the Reds signed him, he was coming off of a year where he posted a 2.78 xFIP. Over 12 K/9 and under 3 BB/9. That is dominant.

I certainly think there's an argument to be made (and has been made many times, in this thread even) about why signing Cordero wasn't the best choice ever. It's the "limited resources" argument. But I can't get on board with painting Cordero as a decent closer paid like a great one. He was a lights-out reliever and he got paid the going rate for a guy like that (remember Milwaukee was going to pay him roughly the same rate too). Whether it was a smart move for a team with the Reds resources to splurge on that type of player... well, that's another debate and one that we've all been around on many times. But I don't think Cordero was overpaid relative to his market value.

Cordero was coming off of career year in terms of his dominating peripherals. He shouldn't have been expected to put up similar peripherals over the course of his next contract and he hasn't.

fearofpopvol1
08-21-2009, 05:38 PM
Cordero was coming off of career year in terms of his dominating peripherals. He shouldn't have been expected to put up similar peripherals over the course of his next contract and he hasn't.

not quite as dominant, but he's put up excellent numbers as a red. problem is, he hasn't had enough opportunities to save, at least this year.

traderumor
08-21-2009, 05:59 PM
"the Reds couldn't figure out how to do it so overpaying for Cordero was appropriateif you are going to contend that others beg the question, then I would think you would not do so yourself. "Overpaying" is your conclusion. "Couldn't figure out how to do it" is a red herring. The argument is "the Reds had unsuccessfully built the bullpen cheap and from within, so they had to go another route."

Your paraphrasing seems to frequently lead this direction, which makes your arguments seem a bit disingenous.

jojo
08-21-2009, 06:39 PM
if you are going to contend that others beg the question, then I would think you would not do so yourself. "Overpaying" is your conclusion. "Couldn't figure out how to do it" is a red herring. The argument is "the Reds had unsuccessfully built the bullpen cheap and from within, so they had to go another route."

Your paraphrasing seems to frequently lead this direction, which makes your arguments seem a bit disingenous.

Except I (and others) have already defined overpaying as paying more than his production is worth on the free market. Based upon WAR, he is being paid roughly twice what his production is worth. You may disagree with the argument but that doesn't mean concluding the Reds overpaid for Cordero is begging the question.

If the argument truly is, "the Reds had unsuccessfully built the bullpen cheap and from within, so they had to go another route", why were they suddenly able to build the rest of the pen cheap and in significant part from within? Also, it doesn't follow that since they repeatedly made decisions that didn't pan out when building their pen, a sound alternative was to then give a historic contract to an arm that essentially pays him twice the likely value of his production over the length of the contract. There are compelling arguments for why that move wasn't a sound one.

BTW, a red herring is when one tries to distract focus from the central point being discussed by introducing irrelevant points. Truthfully I don't see how saying "the Reds had unsuccessfully built the bullpen cheap and from within" is dramatically different from saying " the Reds couldn't figure out how to do it". Certainly to the extent they might convey a different meaning (and if they do-it wasn't intentional), it's not a red herring. However, attacking someone's motives and inappropriately asserting that they've committed a logical fallacy could be construed as a red herring.

Jpup
08-21-2009, 06:46 PM
I'm sure Boston could cure him.

Just like they did Smoltz? Zito is terrible. I can't imagine Theo would want anything to do with him, especially with that short porch in left.

Rojo
08-21-2009, 08:09 PM
I'm not the one making the argument that "With a big-time closer in tow, its easy. Without one, its a mess."

Presumably closers are more valuable because they lock down the 9th (get saves)?



If you want to argue that it's important to have "high leverage" arms in the pen, I'm in agreement. That's a different argument than "the Reds couldn't figure out how to do it so overpaying for Cordero was appropriate". It's a puzzling argument anyway given the '08 pen had high K/low BB guys elbow to elbow in their pen.... Then they somehow managed to find high K/low BB guys like Rhodes and Roenicke this season.

Yes to locking down the ninth. The "save" stat is too loose to be useful.

Say they did "overpay" for CoCo. So what? I've overpaid when I needed it.

Again, if you refuse to solve a problem because you can't do it cheaply or because of some anal-retentive ideas about what problems you solve first, you're never going to get all cylinders firing at once.

Patrick Bateman
08-21-2009, 09:03 PM
Arroyo's old and unpedigreed. Plus, I think the guy isn't all that serious about his profession ("You don't have to try here").

Okay FCB, honest question. When you factor in park factors and defense, what in the final numbers do you like about Zito over Arroyo?

From what I'm loooking at, these guys are very similar types of pitchers that from just this season, have been putting up comparable peripheral types of numbers. The stuff that each pitcher can control has led to similar results, with the main differences being largely attributed to the ballparks. It's not difficult to suggest that a guy pitching in San Fran's huge gaps is going to have a homer advantage over a guy pitching in GABP.

And that's just this season. The past 2 years, Arroyo's numbers have been considerably better than what Zito has posted.

I respect the general thought that Zito, although overpaid, has been a credible pitcher. If the main point your making is that perhaps Zito's huge contract is overshadowing some actually decent pitching, then I think that's a decent, objective thought.

But I think you are reaching if you are suggesting:

1. Zito is a materially better than Arroyo
2. Zito's calibre of pitching is worth 18M dollars
3. Zito was a credible pitcher in the first 2 years of his contract
4. Zito's signing was a good idea at the time

And be sure, this is not coming from a Bronson Arroyo apologist.

WMR
08-21-2009, 09:07 PM
Okay FCB, honest question. When you factor in park factors and defense, what in the final numbers do you like about Zito over Arroyo?

From what I'm loooking at, these guys are very similar types of pitchers that from just this season, have been putting up comparable peripheral types of numbers. The stuff that each pitcher can control has led to similar results, with the main differences being largely attributed to the ballparks. It's not difficult to suggest that a guy pitching in San Fran's huge gaps is going to have a homer advantage over a guy pitching in GABP.

And that's just this season. The past 2 years, Arroyo's numbers have been considerably better than what Zito has posted.

I respect the general thought that Zito, although overpaid, has been a credible pitcher. If the main point your making is that perhaps Zito's huge contract is overshadowing some actually decent pitching, then I think that's a decent, objective thought.

But I think you are reaching if you are suggesting:

1. Zito is a materially better than Arroyo
2. Zito's calibre of pitching is worth 18M dollars
3. Zito was a credible pitcher in the first 2 years of his contract
4. Zito's signing was a good idea at the time

And be sure, this is not coming from a Bronson Arroyo apologist.

Nice post, Mr. Bateman.

Happen to have a business card on hand? :p:

traderumor
08-21-2009, 09:09 PM
Except I (and others) have already defined overpaying as paying more than his production is worth on the free market. Based upon WAR, he is being paid roughly twice what his production is worth. You may disagree with the argument but that doesn't mean concluding the Reds overpaid for Cordero is begging the question.

If the argument truly is, "the Reds had unsuccessfully built the bullpen cheap and from within, so they had to go another route", why were they suddenly able to build the rest of the pen cheap and in significant part from within? Also, it doesn't follow that since they repeatedly made decisions that didn't pan out when building their pen, a sound alternative was to then give a historic contract to an arm that essentially pays him twice the likely value of his production over the length of the contract. There are compelling arguments for why that move wasn't a sound one.

BTW, a red herring is when one tries to distract focus from the central point being discussed by introducing irrelevant points. Truthfully I don't see how saying "the Reds had unsuccessfully built the bullpen cheap and from within" is dramatically different from saying " the Reds couldn't figure out how to do it". Certainly to the extent they might convey a different meaning (and if they do-it wasn't intentional), it's not a red herring. However, attacking someone's motives and inappropriately asserting that they've committed a logical fallacy could be construed as a red herring.
Defining your terms doesn't mean that I must agree with your conclusion regarding the terms.

Are you not the one bemoaning 28% of salary on the bullpen, now they've rebuilt it cheaply? You really do need to be more consistent.

Patrick Bateman
08-21-2009, 09:14 PM
BTW FCB, even if you disagree, you might still change your opinion when you hear this:

http://www.zshare.net/audio/6381484883c9931b/

jojo
08-21-2009, 11:38 PM
Defining your terms doesn't mean that I must agree with your conclusion regarding the terms.

Nobody is arguing that you must. That said, the definition of begging the question isn't really that debatable regarding debating.


Are you not the one bemoaning 28% of salary on the bullpen, now they've rebuilt it cheaply? You really do need to be more consistent.

The reality is that I've been consistent. By far the biggest percentage of the pen budget has been Cordero:

2008 major contributors
bray $400K
burton $400k
affeldt $3M
lincoln $550k
weathers $2.7M

2009 major contributors
masset $420k (though chisox picked up half of Jrs buyout which saved $2M so the Reds made $1.6M on Masset!)
herrera $400k
weathers $3.5
burton $420k
rhodes $2M
fisher $400k
lincoln $1.5

80% of the pen budget in '09 was for Cordero, Weathers and Lincoln-three contracts that I have vocally panned. The Reds managed to jettison Weathers to partially atone for that particular sin.

jojo
08-21-2009, 11:44 PM
BTW FCB, even if you disagree, you might still change your opinion when you hear this:

http://www.zshare.net/audio/6381484883c9931b/

That's 2:42 that one can't get back.....

fearofpopvol1
08-22-2009, 12:21 AM
Okay FCB, honest question. When you factor in park factors and defense, what in the final numbers do you like about Zito over Arroyo?

From what I'm loooking at, these guys are very similar types of pitchers that from just this season, have been putting up comparable peripheral types of numbers. The stuff that each pitcher can control has led to similar results, with the main differences being largely attributed to the ballparks. It's not difficult to suggest that a guy pitching in San Fran's huge gaps is going to have a homer advantage over a guy pitching in GABP.

And that's just this season. The past 2 years, Arroyo's numbers have been considerably better than what Zito has posted.

I respect the general thought that Zito, although overpaid, has been a credible pitcher. If the main point your making is that perhaps Zito's huge contract is overshadowing some actually decent pitching, then I think that's a decent, objective thought.

But I think you are reaching if you are suggesting:

1. Zito is a materially better than Arroyo
2. Zito's calibre of pitching is worth 18M dollars
3. Zito was a credible pitcher in the first 2 years of his contract
4. Zito's signing was a good idea at the time

And be sure, this is not coming from a Bronson Arroyo apologist.

I generally like that FCB is opinionated, but he historically doesn't site facts or stats to back up his opinions. He goes more on the "eye tests" and is usually more lenient with his assessments of players who aren't a "Red."

This is, however, a great assessment.

Will M
08-22-2009, 12:36 AM
Epic mistakes are massive very long term contracts given to players who immediately start to stink. See one Vernon Wells.
The team has a giant albatross on board until the contract is finished.

The Cordero deal doesn't even come close.

traderumor
08-22-2009, 07:04 AM
Nobody is arguing that you must. That said, the definition of begging the question isn't really that debatable regarding debating.



The reality is that I've been consistent. By far the biggest percentage of the pen budget has been Cordero:

2008 major contributors
bray $400K
burton $400k
affeldt $3M
lincoln $550k
weathers $2.7M

2009 major contributors
masset $420k (though chisox picked up half of Jrs buyout which saved $2M so the Reds made $1.6M on Masset!)
herrera $400k
weathers $3.5
burton $420k
rhodes $2M
fisher $400k
lincoln $1.5

80% of the pen budget in '09 was for Cordero, Weathers and Lincoln-three contracts that I have vocally panned. The Reds managed to jettison Weathers to partially atone for that particular sin.Again, you beg the question by stating "I have defined Cordero as overvalued on this basis," as if that is a given. That is indeed begging the question. I will leave it at that as I can see we have reached the endless loop of "yes it is--no it isn't"

mth123
08-22-2009, 07:53 AM
Here is the real issue.

The Reds have nearly $80 Million tied up in next year's roster. $63.3 Million is obligated to Arroyo, Harang, Cordero, Rolen, Lincoln, Rhodes, Taveras, Phillips, Alonso and the buyout for Ramon Hernandez. Since Lincoln and Volquez will start on the DL, Alonso in the minors and hopefully Taveras somewhere far away, the Reds will need 20 other players. Even if they all make the minimum, that is an additional $8 Million. Its likely that Gomes, Votto, Masset, Owings, Cueto and Volquez will make more than the minimum. Add 10 to 15 more guys for for the rest of the 40 man slots making another $2 or $3 Million combined and the payroll is pushing $80 Million. There is no one to play SS, no 2nd Catcher, no Middle of the line-up LF (or even LH bat to platoon with Gomes) and the rotation needs an upgrade or two.

The right play would have been to forget the Rolen deal and live with EdE (saving some cash), deal Cordero for some one to fill one of those holes at a reasonable cost, backfill the pen from within using Roenicke and Stewart and take the $10 to $15 Million in payroll to address the other holes. I don't think the Reds will be able to deal Harang or Arroyo without simply replacing them with similar guys who make similar cash, so the only place to get the resources to fix this mess would be to cheapen the pen. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have Cordero and Rolen than cheap options in the pen and EdE as well, but not at the expense of seeing any more of the dreck we've seen in the line-up and at the SS spot.

Like it or not, the Rolen acquisition is probably all we'll get and even keeping Gomes around may be out of the team's price range unless some funds can be re-allocated. Cheapening the pen is probably the only way.

Dom Heffner
08-22-2009, 01:09 PM
I truthfully can't even believe "save" is a stat.

Yeah, let's take a random number - 3 runs or less- and then say that if your team just happens to be up within that range, the guy who pitches that inning gets somehting called a "save," and then let's have managers manage to the stat, not to the actual happenings on the field.

Bruce Sutter wasn't a terrific pitcher because his team won a bunch of games by three runs or less. He would be a good pitcher if you threw him out there with a 50 run lead. The numbers would be the same.

I still can't believe in this day and age, people really look at saves and wins for a pitcher.

They are absolutely meaningless.

Does anybody else cringe when someone says, "Here comes 13 game winner Jason Marquis?"

Or the 2009 version of Trevor Hoffman with his 20 saves? Good heavens, Eric milton could save a 3 run lead.

The Cordero deal was bad becuase you truthfully have the easiest position on the team to fill- ask Billy Beane- and you throw gobs of money at it, when the production level dropoff isn't going to be much different than a guy you can get who is cheaper with a similar skill set.

The closer is the strangest position in baseball.

fearofpopvol1
08-22-2009, 02:34 PM
Here is the real issue.

The Reds have nearly $80 Million tied up in next year's roster. $63.3 Million is obligated to Arroyo, Harang, Cordero, Rolen, Lincoln, Rhodes, Taveras, Phillips, Alonso and the buyout for Ramon Hernandez. Since Lincoln and Volquez will start on the DL, Alonso in the minors and hopefully Taveras somewhere far away, the Reds will need 20 other players. Even if they all make the minimum, that is an additional $8 Million. Its likely that Gomes, Votto, Masset, Owings, Cueto and Volquez will make more than the minimum. Add 10 to 15 more guys for for the rest of the 40 man slots making another $2 or $3 Million combined and the payroll is pushing $80 Million. There is no one to play SS, no 2nd Catcher, no Middle of the line-up LF (or even LH bat to platoon with Gomes) and the rotation needs an upgrade or two.

The right play would have been to forget the Rolen deal and live with EdE (saving some cash), deal Cordero for some one to fill one of those holes at a reasonable cost, backfill the pen from within using Roenicke and Stewart and take the $10 to $15 Million in payroll to address the other holes. I don't think the Reds will be able to deal Harang or Arroyo without simply replacing them with similar guys who make similar cash, so the only place to get the resources to fix this mess would be to cheapen the pen. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have Cordero and Rolen than cheap options in the pen and EdE as well, but not at the expense of seeing any more of the dreck we've seen in the line-up and at the SS spot.

Like it or not, the Rolen acquisition is probably all we'll get and even keeping Gomes around may be out of the team's price range unless some funds can be re-allocated. Cheapening the pen is probably the only way.

Maybe there's a chance that the payroll gets bumped up? Or that one of the guys with a big contract gets moved?

edabbs44
08-22-2009, 02:39 PM
Maybe there's a chance that the payroll gets bumped up? Or that one of the guys with a big contract gets moved?

Or that next year is just a step towards where they need to get to instead of the finish line?

redsfandan
08-23-2009, 01:47 PM
Here is the real issue.

The Reds have nearly $80 Million tied up in next year's roster. $63.3 Million is obligated to Arroyo, Harang, Cordero, Rolen, Lincoln, Rhodes, Taveras, Phillips, Alonso and the buyout for Ramon Hernandez. Since Lincoln and Volquez will start on the DL, Alonso in the minors and hopefully Taveras somewhere far away, the Reds will need 20 other players. Even if they all make the minimum, that is an additional $8 Million. Its likely that Gomes, Votto, Masset, Owings, Cueto and Volquez will make more than the minimum. Add 10 to 15 more guys for for the rest of the 40 man slots making another $2 or $3 Million combined and the payroll is pushing $80 Million. There is no one to play SS, no 2nd Catcher, no Middle of the line-up LF (or even LH bat to platoon with Gomes) and the rotation needs an upgrade or two.

The right play would have been to forget the Rolen deal and live with EdE (saving some cash), deal Cordero for some one to fill one of those holes at a reasonable cost, backfill the pen from within using Roenicke and Stewart and take the $10 to $15 Million in payroll to address the other holes. I don't think the Reds will be able to deal Harang or Arroyo without simply replacing them with similar guys who make similar cash, so the only place to get the resources to fix this mess would be to cheapen the pen. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have Cordero and Rolen than cheap options in the pen and EdE as well, but not at the expense of seeing any more of the dreck we've seen in the line-up and at the SS spot.

Like it or not, the Rolen acquisition is probably all we'll get and even keeping Gomes around may be out of the team's price range unless some funds can be re-allocated. Cheapening the pen is probably the only way.
Maybe but I still think Cordero is untradeable right now without throwing in alot of money. I'd bet that it would be easier to deal Arroyo. Even with Harang out for the season I'd consider that if we didn't have to include much money. Then we'd just have to keep our fingers crossed that we could move Cordero next summer cuz I think that's the soonest it will happen.

redsfandan
08-23-2009, 02:14 PM
These were the free agent relievers that the Reds brought in after the '07 season to strengthen the bullpen:

Jeremy Affeldt, 1 year at $3,000,000
Francisco Cordero, 4 years at $46,000,000 ($8.5M in '08)
Mike Lincoln 1 year at $550,000

That's $12M paid to Affeldt, Cordero, & Lincoln in '08. The Reds could've had:

Jeremy Affeldt, $3,000,000
LaTroy Hawkins, Signed with the NY Yankees for 1 year at $3,750,000
Arthur Rhodes, Signed a cheapie minor league deal with Seattle.

Affeldt, Hawkins, & Rhodes were paid a total of roughly $7.3M in '08

The Reds then could've used the savings to bring back Mike Cameron (who signed with Milwaukee for 1 year at $7,000,000) instead of Corey Patterson who they picked up for $3M.

And that would've still left enough to sign Rod Barajas (who signed for Toronto on a 1 year deal with an option that paid only $400,000 in '08) instead of Paul Bako who the Reds signed for $750,000.

The relievers we could have picked up (as a group) actually would've provided better production for less money and we would've been better at center and catcher.

If you HAVE to have a top closer then after '08 replace Weathers with Trever Hoffman (signed with Milwaukee for $6M, $6M cheaper than what Cordero will cost this year.) In the meantime groom one of the young guys (Burton, Masset, etc) to eventually take over the role. (anyone remember when we used to have home grown closers??)

membengal
08-23-2009, 02:35 PM
I still question the term "epic mistake" in Cordero's case. He has been healthy, and has generally performed when asked. He was inked to too much money, but he has played in line with expectations.

I just don't see how that can be an "epic mistake" at that point.

redsfandan
08-23-2009, 02:37 PM
I'm not stuck on the word "epic". But committing that much to a closer, and to the bullpen in general, is a mistake.

mth123
08-23-2009, 03:05 PM
I still question the term "epic mistake" in Cordero's case. He has been healthy, and has generally performed when asked. He was inked to too much money, but he has played in line with expectations.

I just don't see how that can be an "epic mistake" at that point.

I don't think it was an epic mistake either and was actually ok with it at the time, but reducing the money allocated to the pen now is nearly a necessity.

membengal
08-23-2009, 03:30 PM
I don't disagree with that, mth, but that doesn't mean it was an epic mistake, either.

mth123
08-23-2009, 03:36 PM
I don't disagree with that, mth, but that doesn't mean it was an epic mistake, either.

Agreed.

TheNext44
08-26-2009, 12:02 PM
Stole this from the Sun Deck:

F Cordero

2.20 ERA 49 Games 26 Saves 49.0 Inn 39 H 2 HR 0 HB 20 BB 40 K

D Herrera

2.74 ERA 55 Games 49.1 Inn 53 H 4 HR 1 HB 20 BB 40 K

Herrera and Cordero have the same K/9 and K/BB rate!

I've made a few half joking comments about making Herrera the new closer. They are becoming more and more serious. Remember the Reds have a good history of using height challenged, screwball throwing, lefties as closers.

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

KoryMac5
08-26-2009, 12:46 PM
I like Danny Ray but righties hammer him at a .340 clip. If he could continue to develop and improve against them I am sure he may have a future in innings that matter like the 8th and 9th.

Unassisted
08-26-2009, 03:46 PM
I've made a few half joking comments about making Herrera the new closer. They are becoming more and more serious. Remember the Reds have a good history of using height challenged, screwball throwing, lefties as closers.
Plus, he bears a strong physical resemblance to the Reds all-time saves leader.

jojo
08-26-2009, 04:01 PM
I like Danny Ray but righties hammer him at a .340 clip. If he could continue to develop and improve against them I am sure he may have a future in innings that matter like the 8th and 9th.

He definitely needs to prove that he's more than a LOOGY in the majors.

TheNext44
08-27-2009, 11:07 PM
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/08/cardinals-franklin-near-agreement-on-extension.html


Cardinals, Franklin Near Agreement On Extension
By Howard Megdal [August 27, 2009 at 9:34pm CST]

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals and closer Ryan Franklin are near agreement on a two-year, $6.5MM contract extension that will keep Franklin with St. Louis through the 2011 season.

"A club source indicated some language had yet to be formalized but conceded that momentum appeared in place for an announcement, perhaps as soon as today," writes Strauss.

The agreement includes the previously negotiated $2.75 club option in 2010, along with a $3.75MM deal for 2011. According to Strauss, there are also numerous other performance incentives for Franklin, 36, to attain to increase the total worth of the deal.

Franklin was not even the closer at the start of the 2009 season, but he has thrived in the role, with a 1.07 ERA in 50 1/3 innings so far this year.

Cordoro is easily worth $18.5M more than Franklin... right??? Cause, he like throws harder... right???

PuffyPig
08-27-2009, 11:26 PM
These were the free agent relievers that the Reds brought in after the '07 season to strengthen the bullpen:

Jeremy Affeldt, 1 year at $3,000,000
Francisco Cordero, 4 years at $46,000,000 ($8.5M in '08)
Mike Lincoln 1 year at $550,000

That's $12M paid to Affeldt, Cordero, & Lincoln in '08. The Reds could've had:

Jeremy Affeldt, $3,000,000
LaTroy Hawkins, Signed with the NY Yankees for 1 year at $3,750,000
Arthur Rhodes, Signed a cheapie minor league deal with Seattle.

Affeldt, Hawkins, & Rhodes were paid a total of roughly $7.3M in '08

The Reds then could've used the savings to bring back Mike Cameron (who signed with Milwaukee for 1 year at $7,000,000) instead of Corey Patterson who they picked up for $3M.

And that would've still left enough to sign Rod Barajas (who signed for Toronto on a 1 year deal with an option that paid only $400,000 in '08) instead of Paul Bako who the Reds signed for $750,000.

The relievers we could have picked up (as a group) actually would've provided better production for less money and we would've been better at center and catcher.

If you HAVE to have a top closer then after '08 replace Weathers with Trever Hoffman (signed with Milwaukee for $6M, $6M cheaper than what Cordero will cost this year.) In the meantime groom one of the young guys (Burton, Masset, etc) to eventually take over the role. (anyone remember when we used to have home grown closers??)

It's easy to go and find cheaper or better players after reviewing how players did.

Hawkins? Everyone would have laughed if he was brought in to close.

Home grown closers?

The vast majority of our closers have come from other teams.

Bronson
Abernathy
Granger
Carroll
Hall
Borbon
Bair
Franco
Myers
Charlton
Brantley
Shaw
Graves


Home ground closers

Eastwick
Hume
Dibble

I'm sure I've missed some.

Tom Servo
08-27-2009, 11:37 PM
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/08/cardinals-franklin-near-agreement-on-extension.html



Cordoro is easily worth $18.5M more than Franklin... right??? Cause, he like throws harder... right???
I understand the arguement of finding someone instead of an established closer, but the Ryan Franklin arguement is pretty much a moot one. Nobody here wanted him back in a Reds uniform after the 06 season and neither did the front office. There was no reason to think he'd go to St. Louis and become a top closer.

HokieRed
08-27-2009, 11:37 PM
Puffy, Is that Bronson in your list Jim Brosnan? I didn't think anybody except me was old enough to remember him.

Brutus
08-28-2009, 12:34 AM
I understand the arguement of finding someone instead of an established closer, but the Ryan Franklin arguement is pretty much a moot one. Nobody here wanted him back in a Reds uniform after the 06 season and neither did the front office. There was no reason to think he'd go to St. Louis and become a top closer.

I don't think his point was about the Reds keeping Franklin. But rather, his point was that the Reds are overspending when you look at how productive Franklin has been, but yet he's not getting a deal anywhere near what the Reds gave Cordero.

TheNext44
08-28-2009, 12:59 AM
I don't think his point was about the Reds keeping Franklin. But rather, his point was that the Reds are overspending when you look at how productive Franklin has been, but yet he's not getting a deal anywhere near what the Reds gave Cordero.

Thanks! Exactly. I was so glad when the Reds didn't resign Franklin, that's not the point.

While I am sure Franklin is giving them a hometown discount for sticking with him, it shows how affordable a closer is these days. Double the contract and it's still half as much as Cordero's.

redsfandan
08-28-2009, 02:40 AM
It's easy to go and find cheaper or better players after reviewing how players did. ...
Yeah hindsight is 20/20 but some of us thought the Cordero contract was too much before the ink was even dry.


Hawkins? Everyone would have laughed if he was brought in to close. ...
If you reread the last paragraph of my previous post Weathers could've been the closer for one more season and than Hoffman could've been brought in to become the closer. Weathers got bashed alot around here but his '07 as closer wasn't siginificantly different than Cordero's '08. Not enough to justify paying Cordero 2-3x more.

... Home grown closers?

The vast majority of our closers have come from other teams.

Bronson
Abernathy
Granger
Carroll
Hall
Borbon
Bair
Franco
Myers
Charlton
Brantley
Shaw
Graves


Home ground closers

Eastwick
Hume
Dibble

I'm sure I've missed some.
I'm not gonna go name by name but Franco was primarily a starter in the Dodgers minor league system until one month before he was dealt to the Reds. The Reds turned him into a closer. I don't really care if the pitcher is drafted by us or not in fact I think we draft too many relievers as is. I'm just saying that I'd rather the Reds turn a good, cheap pitcher (like Masset who also came from another team) into a closer instead of insisting on paying more than any other team on a free agent closer.

fearofpopvol1
07-31-2010, 06:54 PM
How many blown saves does one need before they are demoted?