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View Full Version : Quite an offseason-- good for Walt



Redsfan320
02-05-2010, 08:26 AM
Many moves:

1. Non-tender Gomes (only like this one if we sign Damon)
2. Not exercise Ramon's option.
3. Then, bring him back for a lower price
4. Sign Chapman
5. Sign O-Cab
6. Trade WillyT and Rosales for Aaron Miles and PTBNL/cash
7. Possibly sign Damon?
8. Or possibly sign Gomes?

Nice job Walt. Hope it works out.

See you all in a week when I get web access.

320

mattfeet
02-05-2010, 09:01 AM
Agreed on all points.

-Matt

fugowitribe
02-05-2010, 04:40 PM
All you can ask for and more this offseason. I feel like I am rooting for a big market team.

Kingspoint
02-05-2010, 08:13 PM
Agreed. Very good effort.

I'm also 100% positive that he tried to move the contracts of Arroyo and Harang, but just couldn't get any takers on the over-priced pitchers.

FlightRick
02-05-2010, 10:46 PM
I'm sure there would have been "takers" for Arroyo/Harang... if there was a taker for Willy T, there's a taker for anybody.

Difference is: I bet Walt didn't find somebody willing to give us value in exchange. We're already down Volquez, and to bet the farm on Homer giving us a 33 starts of middle-of-the-rotation quality is anything but a stone cold cinch... and we still need guys to toss 1460 innings for us this year. We weren't giving Arroyo/Harang away; if we were, they'd be gone... we wanted something back; and obviously, we didn't have it offered to us.

I'm actually fine with that. More than fine. I think it's the only smart way to have played it. I think NOT moving one of our innings-eaters for zilch is actually another good move by Walt. Lessens the pressure on Chapman; lessens the urge to rush Volquez back too early; lessens the chance we have 50 losses at the all-star break. Nice work.

As an additional "Yay Walt" Item, I nominate the re-structuring of Rolen's deal. Freed up something on the order of $5m for payroll this year (which we've put to good use), and should keep him relatively attractive as tradebait (to a contender at the deadline) in either '11 or '12, when he'd be supplying "chemistry" and "leadership" more than "plate appearances." I think that's an even slicker move than the one we pulled with Hernandez (and will hopefully pull with Gomes).


Rick

gedred69
02-05-2010, 11:32 PM
I'm sure there would have been "takers" for Arroyo/Harang... if there was a taker for Willy T, there's a taker for anybody.

Difference is: I bet Walt didn't find somebody willing to give us value in exchange. We're already down Volquez, and to bet the farm on Homer giving us a 33 starts of middle-of-the-rotation quality is anything but a stone cold cinch... and we still need guys to toss 1460 innings for us this year. We weren't giving Arroyo/Harang away; if we were, they'd be gone... we wanted something back; and obviously, we didn't have it offered to us.

I'm actually fine with that. More than fine. I think it's the only smart way to have played it. I think NOT moving one of our innings-eaters for zilch is actually another good move by Walt. Lessens the pressure on Chapman; lessens the urge to rush Volquez back too early; lessens the chance we have 50 losses at the all-star break. Nice work.
As an additional "Yay Walt" Item, I nominate the re-structuring of Rolen's deal. Freed up something on the order of $5m for payroll this year (which we've put to good use), and should keep him relatively attractive as tradebait (to a contender at the deadline) in either '11 or '12, when he'd be supplying "chemistry" and "leadership" more than "plate appearances." I think that's an even slicker move than the one we pulled with Hernandez (and will hopefully pull with Gomes).


Rick

A truly great post. You nailed all the fine details. Harang---if he returns to form, and Arroyo will return much more later in the season, to a team that is, if the Reds aren't in the "hunt". Especially Arroyo, as he is soooo strong in the 2nd half.

Kingspoint
02-06-2010, 05:30 AM
We're already down Volquez, and to bet the farm on Homer giving us a 33 starts of middle-of-the-rotation quality is anything but a stone cold cinch...

It's a lot more likely to happen than Harang or Arroyo giving us 33 starts of middle-of-the-rotation quality. That's the reason he couldn't get any takers.

You're right about the innings eating, though. Harang and Arroyo will surely eat a lot of innings, not effectively, but they'll be eating innings.

Neither of them will finish in the Top-75% of Starting Pitchers in the National League who will qualify for the ERA title, but Bailey will.

Kingspoint
02-06-2010, 05:36 AM
I'm satisfied with Chris Dickerson, Chris Heisey, Laynce Nix, Wladimir Balentien and Todd Frazier manning Left Field. And, Walt's offering of a minor league contract (at least for now) to Gomes tells me that he is, also. Four weeks from now, if Walt decides he might want to have some more "Slugging Percentage" out there, then he can make another offer to Gomes or Dye, as one of them might be out there. I don't think we need the power, personally.

I love having a high-OBP player (Dickerson) with speed in the lineup either getting the pitcher's at-bat out of the way, if he's batting 8th or setting up RBI's for Votto, Phillips, Rolen, and Bruce. The Defense becomes much greater with Dickerson in Left Field with 2 35-year-olds in front of him. I'd much rather have that than have Gomes backing up the two 35-year-olds.

Walt believes in Defense, and that's something I really like about Walt.

So, I'll give props to Walt for recognizing that we have Left Field covered and that Gomes isn't necessarily going to make this team better.

Redsfan320
02-06-2010, 06:49 AM
Also, (yeah, I know web access-- long story), many minor league deals for guys that have a good shot on the MLB bench/ pen (but not as much there).

1. Chris Burke
2. Jose Arredondo (next year)
3. Jon Adkins
4. Alex Smit
4. Miguel Cairo

320

PhatHead
02-06-2010, 07:09 AM
This has made for a great offseason for me. I'm actually excited to open a web browser everyday and see what the Reds have done. But it's all for naught unless it translates into butts in seats at GABP.

goreds2
02-06-2010, 11:15 AM
Tonight on XM175 Home Plate: (2/6/10)
Best of Home Plate
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM est.

Relive the best interviews of the week on MLB Home Plate. Featuring Cincinnati Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty, Twins closer Joe Nathan, and Orioles outfielder Adam Jones.

Vottomatic
02-06-2010, 12:24 PM
I really like our roster and our depth at triple A. But really the key is staying healthy. Votto missed a month with depression and we were still in it before that. EE was hurt from day 1 last year giving us Adam Rosales until the Rolen trade. AGon was hurt all season prompting him to be traded to the BoSox. Essentially we had filler at SS most of the season. BP hurt his hand, but to his credit played through it til his season ending injury late in the year. Ramon was playing well and his season ended early.

Losing Volquez, a former Cy Young candidate was a big blow.

Other factors were Dusty sticking with Tavares way too long in CF, and Bruce's poor offensive season other than his homers. Cueto's "tired arm" from playing in the WBC didn't help either.

I know Volquez won't be back this season. If he makes it back, he'll probably rehab in the minors for awhile. Atleast he should.

But Bailey and Arroyo had good second halves of their seasons, and I'm hoping they will continue on. To me, if Harang wasn't pitching against the other teams #1 starter every game, his wins and losses would probably be better. I'm looking for Aaron to rebound this year. Cueto is in year 3, and should have learned a thing a two. I'm hoping he blossoms this year too. And I feel comfortable with Maloney, Lehr, or Wood filling in our 5th starter spot, although I'm hoping for Chapman to blow us all away in ST and win that spot. We shall see on that one.

Bullpen is the same, and a good one.

Infield is pretty good defensively with 3 former gold glovers at 2B, SS, and 3B. And no slouch's offensively either. Solid.

Then there's Votto. Dude is da man. How much better will he be this year with a better offensive lineup behind him? I'm really excited to see what kind of year end numbers Joey puts up.

Defensively, the outfield should be very good too. Offensively, not sure if we'll get the Bruce of last year or the phenom Bruce. And not sure if Stubbs can duplicate the last 2 months of last season. We shall see. Plenty of options for LF.........not really worried about that position either.

IF we stay healthy, I really think we'll be in the playoff hunt. I really do.

And another thing. If Rolen goes down, you got a guy like Francisco who tasted the majors last year who can fill in. And you have the Reds #1 minor leaguer, Todd Frazier, waiting for his chance...........so if BP or Rolen go down, we may see Frazier. Same with SS. Janish has experience there if Cabrera goes down. If both of them go down, you have Cozart in triple A. Lots of OFer options, so if someone goes down, we got answers.

Last season reminds me of '89. Reds major league starters were injured a ton, and the farm system and utility players gained a ton of experience that season. And we all know what happened the next season. We really need our Jose Rijo-type starter.........Chapman?

Wow, I'm excited.

FlightRick
02-06-2010, 06:01 PM
It's a lot more likely to happen than Harang or Arroyo giving us 33 starts of middle-of-the-rotation quality. That's the reason he couldn't get any takers. [...] Neither of them will finish in the Top-75% of Starting Pitchers in the National League who will qualify for the ERA title, but Bailey will.

Ummm, you sure about that? I guess you could conceivably end up being right about that projection, but it wouldn't have anything to do with making a brilliant and insightful projection based upon actual data.

Harang and Arroyo in '09 (perceived as "bad" years for both, or at least, "bad" for Harang and half-bad/half-awesome for Arroyo) were BOTH middle-of-the-rotation or better. The ONLY two starters on our roster who posted ERA+ over 100.

That's not top 75% in your favored metric. That's easily making the top 50%. In "bad" years.

I'm not saying they aren't at the points in their careers where they're likely to regress, rather than progress. I'm not saying I'm entirely satisfied that we're getting good value by shelling out $24m-ish for a duo of #3-ish starters. I'm not saying these things because I'm not stupid or prone to exagerration or blustering nonsense as part of some kind of "rhetorical device" designed to obfuscate the facts.

But what I *am* saying is that by any sensible analysis, it'd take a severe fluke for these two guys to go from upper-half to bottom-quartile. The most likely way for your projection to come true would be for season-ending injury to strike in early April after just 1 or 2 awful starts. Because betting on BOTH Harang and Arroyo pitching 180+ innings in '10 and being "bottom 25%" in qualified-ERA (or any other relevent metric like QS or whatever) is an even dumber bet than banking on Bailey to deliver 180+ innings and be top 50%.

That's not a knock on Homer, or anything, who I hope has a break-out year and begins performing at the level we've all hoped for since '06. It's just a simple acknowledgement of WHAT WORDS MEAN, and that you can't just expect to throw them out there in some sort of random (or in this case, hyperbolic) order, and expect them to be taken seriously.

I can't say, with authority, that your guess at Harang/Arroyo's performance is demonstrably false until they actually go out there and perform for the 2010 season... but it does seem a highly, highly unlikely thesis to be proven true. The available data suggests it's much more plausible that they won't just eat innings for us, they'll do it effectively. Like your typical middle-of-the-rotation starters should.

Which is why Walt did not just give them away as a salary dump. There would have been takers for that, more than happy to play us for fools. Walt opted not to do that. Which is why we're "stuck" with these two for now. And at least until the deadline and some contender needs effective innings eaters. Or maybe thanks to having them around all year, *we* will be the contenders in July. Who knows?

Either way: I'm perfectly content they're still ours. Bravo on that....


Rick

Kingspoint
02-06-2010, 07:51 PM
Harang and Arroyo in '09 (perceived as "bad" years for both, or at least, "bad" for Harang and half-bad/half-awesome for Arroyo) were BOTH middle-of-the-rotation or better. The ONLY two starters on our roster who posted ERA+ over 100.

That's not top 75% in your favored metric. That's easily making the top 50%. In "bad" years.



Harang ranked 42nd out of 48 pitchers. That puts him at the 87.5% level of National League pitchers who qualified for the ERA title.

Arroyo ranked 29th out of 48 pitchers. That put him at 60.5% level of National League pitchers who qualified for the ERA title.

I think Arroyo will return to the bottom 25% that he was in 2008 (he was 42nd out of 48, 87.5%) and Harang will remain for the 3rd year in a row in the bottom 25% (he was 43rd out of 48 in 2008, 89.5%).

Of the two, I think Harang has the best chance of getting out of the bottom 25%.

I don't want to get into nitpicking stats. They both sucked last year (except for Arroyo's second half), so nitpicking stats is useless. When you're talking about just trying to not be among the 25% worst Starting Pitchers who are given enough innings to qualify for an ERA title (that can be a bad thing, when you earn that much money, as they have to throw you out there every week no matter how much you suck), then, I want to keep it simple. I'm just going to use the Sagarin ratings for this purpose and not enter into any debate about which way to rank pitchers who stink up the joint.

Arroyo's a really smart pitcher. He has nothing but junk. Harang, on the other hand, pitches like a rookie. He has zero smarts when it comes to pitching. You'd never know he was a veteran. He serves up meatball after meatball and doesn't learn from his mistakes.

I don't want to say that I'm "sure" Arroyo will finish in the bottom 25% because he is so crafty. For me, the best case scenario is that Arroyo is able to "get away with spinning his junk" again for half of the season, and ends up being closer to the 50 percentile rather than the 75 percentile; and, that Harang, who does have good stuff, quits being stupid, arrogant, and egotistical on the mound thinking that he can throw any pitch in any situation and stays closer to the outside edges of the plate instead of right down the middle, so that he, too, could finish closer to the 50 percentile instead of the 75 percentile, or even worse, the 88 percentile that he's finished at each of the last two years.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/nlp08.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/nlp09.htm

So, if I had to pick a window where each of them would fall I'd say this:

Arroyo: 66 to 80 percentile
Harang: 73 to 87 percentile

Unfortunately, no matter how badly they pitch, they're going out there every 5 days because they're veterans and they're making 25 Million Dollars.

Bailey is the ACE of the staff. Bailey's passed Cueto, and Volquez isn't even a Top-12 REDS starting pitcher for 2010.

Kingspoint
02-06-2010, 08:25 PM
Here's the question that begs to be answered:

If either Harang or Arroyo have a "good" first half, and good could mean, "being ranked in the top 40 percentile of starters who pitch enough innings (showing they're healthy) to be on pace to qualify for an ERA title, then do the REDS trade them for something that the REDS need, or do the REDS keep them in hopes of making a run at the playoffs for 2010? What "distance from the playoff race" do you use to measure your willingness to pull the trigger?

If you're 8 games out of the Division title on July 1st, then you deal them?

If you're 5 game out of the Division title on July 1st, then you deal them?

If you're 5th in the Wild Card standings and 5 games out on July 1st, then you deal them?

If you deal them no matter where you're at on July 1st because you have someone at AAA ready to be recalled?

You have a chance to save $6M while getting a prospect in return.

Personally, I'd try to trade both of them July 1st trying to save as much money as possible while improving the future of the franchise, though it's likely that there could be no takers on one or both of them.

Kingspoint
02-06-2010, 08:29 PM
Last season reminds me of '89.

Since you're implying that 2010 could be like 1990.....

We don't have a Jose Rijo, nor do we have a Norm Charlton and Rob Dibble as 7th and 8th inning guys. Nor, do we have the up-the-middle Defense that we had with Larkin and Mariano Duncan (not so much, as he was the weakest link defensively) on the infield, Joe Oliver at the plate and Eric Davis in Center.

Defensively, we were tight. We could win any playoff series because of this. We couldn't win a single playoff series in 2010 because we don't have the pitching and Defense. We were also strong defensively at all the other positions, and Randy Myers was awesome.

We also didn't have some lame Manager like Dusty Baker. We had Lou Piniella. We also had a better Bullpen Coach in Larry Rothschild, who was with us from '87-'93 before going to Atlanta for a year and then Florida where he won another World Series ring in '97.

When you combine good Coaching, Championship Defense, a legitimate ACE, and an out-of-this-world bullpen, you have a winning recipe for success.

Mr Larkin
02-08-2010, 11:34 AM
Neither of them will finish in the Top-75% of Starting Pitchers in the National League who will qualify for the ERA title, but Bailey will.

I don't know if Harang or Arroyo or both will finish in the top tier of starting pitchers in the NL, but they have in the past and they have the opportunity to do so again. Arroyo has had back-to-back very strong seasons and to assume that he will be an ineffective innings eater is off base, or maybe, since we are talking about pitching, off the plate.

This could be Homer's break out, first full season with promise - I certainly hope so, we've been waiting on this for a long time. But I would not conclude that he will out pitch the most solid starters we have run out there over the last four years.

It is my sincere hope that all three have a positive year. If so, this team could be special.

Caveman Techie
02-10-2010, 02:43 PM
And I'll add to this that Harang is now another year removed from an injury that cut his season short in 2008 (which may have also contributed to his bad season that year). If you look at Harangs numbers from last year he should of had more success than he did.

I think if he can get back that mph or two that he lost after 2008 he'll get his k/game back up to where it should be..