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View Full Version : What Grade Would You Give The Reds Offseason?



Ron Madden
01-26-2011, 04:41 AM
This is from John Fay, How would you grade the offseason?

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/01/25/id-give-them-a-solid-c/

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redsmetz
01-26-2011, 05:39 AM
I would disagree with Fay's grade (a "C"). He says, giving them that grade, "They didn’t do a lot, but I don’t think they had to do a lot." I would concur with that, but put the grade at a "B" myself. Fay grades down since the club hadn't signed a "sure fire lead off" batter. I don't mark it down much for that.

It wasn't a sexy off-season, but I think the grade moves up with their own internal signings (even without getting some of Votto's FA years covered). Of course, this assumes they have actually finalize the alleged agreement with Johnny Cueto.

mth123
01-26-2011, 07:34 AM
D.

Most of the signings were decent value, but reallly nobody with impact. By 2013 the situatiions at 2B and 3B will be questionable and the MVP at 1B will be real expensive, in his walk year and probably on his way out of town. All three spots will suffer a drop off soon. 2011 and 2012 is probably when this team's talent level is at its high point yet no acquisition to provide that extra oomph to get this team over the top was accomplished.

Meanwhile, there is a glut of role player types on the firnges of the roster in all areas and they really won't have use for many of them. If there was ever a year to put together a package of kids to get that one more guy, it was this winter IMO.

A great deal for Bruce. a nice value signing of Fred Lewis and minor league deals to Dontrell Willis and Jeremy Hermida keep this from being an F IMO.

Caveman Techie
01-26-2011, 07:44 AM
I have to break up the off-season in two parts. First part is improving the team from last season, and with that I have to give a D+. Starting pitching, is going to be better off this year more from subtraction (Harang) than from any additions. The Bullpen is most definitely weaker with the subtraction of Rhodes, however there is potential that D-train and Chapman are able to more than make up for his loss. SS is really the only place I see the Reds made improvement, Janish + Renteria > Cabrerea + Janish.

Second part would be solidifying the future, and there I have to give the off-season an A. Signing Bruce, Votto, Arroyo, and Cueuto sets up the core of the Reds to compete for many years yet.

Overall grade I guess would B-.

mth123
01-26-2011, 08:06 AM
I have to break up the off-season in two parts. First part is improving the team from last season, and with that I have to give a D+. Starting pitching, is going to be better off this year more from subtraction (Harang) than from any additions. The Bullpen is most definitely weaker with the subtraction of Rhodes, however there is potential that D-train and Chapman are able to more than make up for his loss. SS is really the only place I see the Reds made improvement, Janish + Renteria > Cabrerea + Janish.

Second part would be solidifying the future, and there I have to give the off-season an A. Signing Bruce, Votto, Arroyo, and Cueuto sets up the core of the Reds to compete for many years yet.

Overall grade I guess would B-.

How much of the future did they really solidify? Outside of Bruce I don't see much. Votto, at least under the current CBA, would have been here anyway, Cueto's deal is OK and I'm betting we won't like the 4th year when the specifics are anounced anyhow. I wasn't really in favor of extending Arroyo in the first place.

Bruce' deal was a really good signing. I do give credit for that one.

Mario-Rijo
01-26-2011, 09:03 AM
Well let's see if they can pass my checklist of things I wanted to see this offseason.

#1 - The biggest priority in my mind was the big RH bat they said they needed the offseason before and they still don't have him!

#2 - A legit Ace of the staff. If Volquez becomes that (because short of our LH set up man there is no one else I think qualifies to be one) then I will cut them a little slack but short of that happening i thought they should pursue Greinke the deal was just too good to pass on IMO. And then to see the Brewers get him on top of it all really sucked.

#3 - A leadoff hitter. Had they done one or both of the 1st 2 I wouldn't have expected them to sink much money into this and would have settled for a guy who could possibly pull it off. They didn't get #1 or 2 done but they also didn't sink much money into this either. But since I like Fred Lewis and targeted him myself just before he was released by Toronto and I think he will do an admirable job I'll cut them a little slack, at least they realized this needed addressing, that at least shows a little foresight on their part.

#4 - Not to exercise Bronson's option and pay his buyout or exercise it but don't extend him. Either of these scenarios I could have lived with preferably the former. I like what Bronson brings to the table but knowing we have limited funds I hoped they would use this money towards a true ace or a big bat. Also don't like Bronson's outlook for the length of the contract (or Rolens extension either but that is another topic).

#5 - Get Aroldis into the rotation either in Louisville or Cincy, preferably the former until ready for the latter. I pretty much knew how this was gonna shake, well at least the possibility crossed my mind that they would not re-sign Arthur and act like "man now we have to use Aroldis in the pen".

#6 - Get a good reliable defensive SS who could also hit a little at the top of the lineup. Again Jason Bartlett in my mind should have been their main target. Bartlett wasn't ideal but the closest thing to it that also happened to be available. They got a run down (much worse IMO than OCab) old guy to back up a run down young guy.

#7 - Re-sign Rhodes or at least get a draft pick out of the guy, they did neither.

So they did virtually nothing that I would have liked to have seen. Though of the guys they went after I at least like what they came up with in Lewis and Hermida. I'm not thrilled about Willis but I know he was their like 5th option or so, tough to nail them to the wall on that.

Grade D: with a shot to be a respectable C.

**EDIT**
I got a bit weary at the end of this earlier and after a boost of caffeine I will add the following.

#8 - Extensions for the core. What Jocketty did with Bruce is nothing short of amazing and it's mighty huge for this franchise, especially in light of how Votto is squirming around about sticking around. Arroyo I wasn't for so I gotta keep that in mind, Cueto I think is a solid deal, a tad risky but a deal I think they probably should have done. And although Votto was gonna be here anyway it appears to me that signing him to what he should likely be making in all fairness is part of the strategy to get Votto to perhaps feel a little better about signing down the road, otherwise it makes no sense whatsoever. So for that I gotta give them credit for trying to keep the 2 key foundation players in house for the long haul.

Grade C

lollipopcurve
01-26-2011, 09:09 AM
B

The Bruce contract is huge. Cueto's deal looks like a good one too. Zero young talent sacrificed. They're putting/keeping the pieces in place for a sustained run.

I would have liked to see them get Greinke, but in the end I don't think they could have beat the Milwaukee offer without shooting themselves in the foot.

bucksfan2
01-26-2011, 09:15 AM
B

The Reds weren't going to replace or upgrade 1b, 2b, 3b, CF, RF, and P. I didn't expect them to do anything in that area.

What I liked
The extensions of Votto, Bruce, Cueto, and Arroyo. Votto because it avoids any kind of nasty arbitration and gives the Reds stress free years to work out a long term deal or trade.

The Lewis, Hermedia, and Willis signing. Low risk who should provide more production out of LF than last season.

The Ramon Hernandez signing. No need to change much of anything with Mes and Grandal on the horizon.

The Renteria signing. If he plays SS and 3b there should be an upgrade over Cabrera/Janish at SS and he should provide a more reliable solution at 3b than Cairo.

What I didn't like

No trades. Alonso still remains in the fold. The pitching staff is 6-7 deep and everyone remains in the fold. IMO that could have been used to get an impact bat.

REDREAD
01-26-2011, 09:46 AM
I think Walt really wanted to hang on to the core of young guys and gain some finanicial planning. It is true, he didn't really "gain" any years other than Bruce, but now with the budget in place, maybe he will be able to make some more moves in the future.

I think Fred Lewis will be a great signing (and possibly Heremedia), only because it lets Gomes platton. Lewis is an upgrade from Nix. It's hard to say whether Renturia was an upgrade to OCab or not (as a whole). OCab was great the first half, but really faded in the second half.

I wonder if 2011 will be a test to see how many more tickets are sold after winning a division. Hopefully we get an attendence bump that lets the team spend more money.

I give the team a B. I would've liked a better SS and LF, but I'm sure Walt spent all the money he had.. Looks like he didn't have much cash to upgrade those positions.

As far as packaging minor leaguers .. I am not sure that trading Wood or Leake for a slightly above average OF would've gone over well.. Homer and Volquez are kind of inconsistent and unknown now.. not sure their trade value is right yet.

PuffyPig
01-26-2011, 10:46 AM
OCab was great the first half, but really faded in the second half.




His OPS in the 1st half was .612, 2nd half was .763, though he missed time with injuries in the 2nd half, which allowed the better Janish to play.

But fade he didn't.

PuffyPig
01-26-2011, 10:57 AM
#7 - Re-sign Rhodes or at least get a draft pick out of the guy, they did neither.



To get a draft pick we would have had to offer arbitration, which would have all but assured he would have come back for a big payday.

Considering what it would have cost, I think we will find it was a good move to move on from him.

Mario-Rijo
01-26-2011, 11:07 AM
To get a draft pick we would have had to offer arbitration, which would have all but assured he would have come back for a big payday.

Considering what it would have cost, I think we will find it was a good move to move on from him.

Perhaps, which is part of the reason why I said "with a shot at a respectable C".

bucksfan2
01-26-2011, 11:08 AM
To get a draft pick we would have had to offer arbitration, which would have all but assured he would have come back for a big payday.

Considering what it would have cost, I think we will find it was a good move to move on from him.

I think Rhodes is a guy who screamed stay away from. The guy will be 41 next season and broke down in the second half of the season. He was invaluable last year but signing 41 year old relievers to multi million dollar contracts, especially for multiple years is a bad idea.

Mario-Rijo
01-26-2011, 11:19 AM
I think Rhodes is a guy who screamed stay away from. The guy will be 41 next season and broke down in the second half of the season. He was invaluable last year but signing 41 year old relievers to multi million dollar contracts, especially for multiple years is a bad idea.

Offering arbitration would not have made for a multi year contract. But I said long ago that I thought he could end up with one from somewhere so offering arb. wasn't as risky IMO. But should he be unhealthy this season I will concede it was the right thing to do.

OnBaseMachine
01-26-2011, 11:30 AM
Around a C I guess.

I loved the Bruce and Cueto extensions and the Votto signing. I also liked the Fred Lewis signing...

Negatives:

While I'm a huge Bronson Arroyo fan, I wouldn't have extended him just yet. I would have waited until after the 2011 season before considering it.

Not a fan of bringing Miguel Cairo or Jonny Gomes back.

Still failed to address left field. I like bringing in Fred Lewis but I would have preferred a David DeJesus type for left field.

I don't like that the Reds aren't even going to give Chapman a chance to win a spot in the rotation in Spring Training. If he doesn't win a starting spot, fine, put him in the bullpen this year but don't just automatically put him in the pen without giving him a chance to start. JMO.

Signing Volquez to an extension would bump my grade up a little.

RedsManRick
01-26-2011, 11:51 AM
I'll go with C. The extensions were mostly nice (I still think Arroyo's will bite us), but I think there was a serious lack of creativity shown in bringing back Gomes and Cairo when we already have comparable in house options.

I can appreciate Walt's financial limitations, but he could have saved millions by simply trusting more in the depth in the system and using some of that depth, along with the savings on the fringes to acquire an impact LF or SP.

Walt didn't screw anything up, but I worry that the Reds are wasting the value of guys who could be contributors (Heisey, Maloney, Valaika, etc.) and/or trade chips in the name of going with "proven", "veteran" talent.

I believe this team will be solid again, but fear that we are passing on a clear opportunity to really take another step forward. We are a position to take a small risk with potentially big rewards and instead we doubled down on our current position.

mth123
01-26-2011, 11:57 AM
I'll go with C. The extensions were mostly nice (I still think Arroyo's will bite us), but I think there was a serious lack of creativity shown in bringing back Gomes and Cairo when we already have comparable in house options.

I can appreciate Walt's financial limitations, but he could have saved millions by simply trusting more in the depth in the system and using some of that depth, along with the savings on the fringes to acquire an impact LF or SP.

Walt didn't screw anything up, but I worry that the Reds are wasting the value of guys who could be contributors (Heisey, Maloney, Valaika, etc.) and/or trade chips in the name of going with "proven", "veteran" talent.

I believe this team will be solid again, but fear that we are passing on a clear opportunity to really take another step forward. We are a position to take a small risk with potentially big rewards and instead we doubled down on our current position.

Nice post. Well put. You and I may not always take the same path to our conclusions, but most times we find oursleves at the same end point.

lollipopcurve
01-26-2011, 12:02 PM
I worry that the Reds are wasting the value of guys who could be contributors (Heisey, Maloney, Valaika, etc.) and/or trade chips in the name of going with "proven", "veteran" talent.


My guess is that teams ask the Reds for A prospects, not C prospects.

edabbs44
01-26-2011, 12:06 PM
Walt didn't screw anything up, but I worry that the Reds are wasting the value of guys who could be contributors (Heisey, Maloney, Valaika, etc.) and/or trade chips in the name of going with "proven", "veteran" talent.

Do you think that it is possible that the organization just isn't a buyer of these guys right now? Instead of them going with "proven veteran talent", maybe they just aren't going with guys they don't think can cut it over a 162 game season.

camisadelgolf
01-26-2011, 12:10 PM
I like pretty much everything about this off-season, but I'm going to nitpick for a moment and point out what I don't like.
Miguel Cairo - I really didn't like the second year on the extension. I typically like having a young guy as the 25th player so he can get acclimated in preparation for a bigger role down the line. But as long as Cairo either A.) stays the 25th man or B.) produces like he did in 2010, I'll be okay with this move.

Joey Votto - I would've felt more comfortable going year-to-year with him. So much can happen between now and 2014. I doubt the extension will end up hurting the Reds, but if it does, it could get really ugly.

Bronson Arroyo - I like Arroyo, but he's expensive and not as productive as a lot of the in-house guys. Unless no one was offering anything of value for him, I just think he had more value to the Reds as a trading chip than as a soft-tossing 36-year-old in 2013. But if you're going to re-sign him, Jocketty did it the right way because I'm astonished at how far below market price the deal was done.

I love the extensions of Bruce and Cueto. Lewis and Gomes should complement each other well. Hernandez was retained on the cheap. Rhodes priced himself out of here, and I'm okay with that. Harang was bought out, not that anyone thought he wouldn't be. Renteria is an upgrade over OCab and at a lower cost. Not only that, but Renteria wasn't guaranteed the everyday job at short, so that should make it easier for Baker to use him in a utility role when appropriate. Brian Barton and Jeremy Hermida could pay big dividends.

All in all, there weren't any sexy 'wow' moves like signing Jayson Werth or Cliff Lee, but the left field and shortstop holes were filled with affordable, respectable options in Lewis and Renteria.

I'd give the off-season an A- or B+. Moving forward, the only concern I have is what will happen at second base after this year. First off, can you afford Brandon Phillips at $11MM in 2012? Sure, but say goodbye to all except one of Ramon Hernandez, Jonny Gomes, Francisco Cordero, and Edgar Renteria. That's a lot of veteran leadership to lose in one year.

And if you decide that keeping Phillips beyond next year is the way to go, can you sign him to an extension that makes sense for both the team and him? And if you can't do that, who takes over? Chris Valaika? Zack Cozart? Kris Negron? That could possibly be a substantial downgrade. It should be very interesting to see what kind of contract talks happen between the two parties. I know BP likes Cincy and would like to stay here, and I bet winning in 2011 will go a long way toward making that happen. I just hope he doesn't stay at a cost beyond what the Reds can afford.

mth123
01-26-2011, 12:14 PM
I like pretty much everything about this off-season, but I'm going to nitpick for a moment and point out what I don't like.
Miguel Cairo - I really didn't like the second year on the extension. I typically like having a young guy as the 25th player so he can get acclimated in preparation for a bigger role down the line. But as long as Cairo either A.) stays the 25th man or B.) produces like he did in 2010, I'll be okay with this move.

Joey Votto - I would've felt more comfortable going year-to-year with him. So much can happen between now and 2014. I doubt the extension will end up hurting the Reds, but if it does, it could get really ugly.

Bronson Arroyo - I like Arroyo, but he's expensive and not as productive as a lot of the in-house guys. Unless no one was offering anything of value for him, I just think he had more value to the Reds as a trading chip than as a soft-tossing 36-year-old in 2013. But if you're going to re-sign him, Jocketty did it the right way because I'm astonished at how far below market price the deal was done.

I love the extensions of Bruce and Cueto. Lewis and Gomes should complement each other well. Hernandez was retained on the cheap. Rhodes priced himself out of here, and I'm okay with that. Harang was bought out, not that anyone thought he wouldn't be. Renteria is an upgrade over OCab and at a lower cost. Not only that, but Renteria wasn't guaranteed the everyday job at short, so that should make it easier for Baker to use him in a utility role when appropriate. Brian Barton and Jeremy Hermida could pay big dividends.

All in all, there weren't any sexy 'wow' moves like signing Jayson Werth or Cliff Lee, but the left field and shortstop holes were filled with affordable, respectable options in Lewis and Renteria.

I'd give the off-season an A- or B+. Moving forward, the only concern I have is what will happen at second base after this year. First off, can you afford Brandon Phillips at $11MM in 2012? Sure, but say goodbye to all except one of Ramon Hernandez, Jonny Gomes, Francisco Cordero, and Edgar Renteria. That's a lot of veteran leadership to lose in one year.

And if you decide that keeping Phillips beyond next year is the way to go, can you sign him to an extension that makes sense for both the team and him? And if you can't do that, who takes over? Chris Valaika? Zack Cozart? Kris Negron? That could possibly be a substantial downgrade. It should be very interesting to see what kind of contract talks happen between the two parties. I know BP likes Cincy and would like to stay here, and I bet winning in 2011 will go a long way toward making that happen. I just hope he doesn't stay at a cost beyond what the Reds can afford.

The last paragraph grabs my attention. If the Reds were going to pursue an extension with deferred money and some 2011 savings, Phillips was the guy to do it with IMO. I don't see anyone on the horizon that I'd like to see as the Reds starting 2B. Hamilton probably won't be ready by 2013 and I think he's the guy. Extending Phillips through 2013 and passing on extending Arroyo would have been a much better move for securing the future IMO.

Mario-Rijo
01-26-2011, 12:14 PM
My guess is that teams ask the Reds for A prospects, not C prospects.

I don't get this line of thinking, why would teams ask for the Reds best prospects but end up settling for someone else's C (or worse) prospects?

mth123
01-26-2011, 12:16 PM
I don't get this line of thinking, why would teams ask for the Reds best prospects but end up settling for someone else's C (or worse) prospects?

Exactly, I didn't see any A prospects dealt for David Dejesus or Josh Willingham. 2011 would look a lot better with Dejesus at the top of the order or Willingham hitting 5th.

Mario-Rijo
01-26-2011, 12:18 PM
Do you think that it is possible that the organization just isn't a buyer of these guys right now? Instead of them going with "proven veteran talent", maybe they just aren't going with guys they don't think can cut it over a 162 game season.

Well he did say and/or trade chips. You either believe in them and play 'em or you don't believe in them and deal them while they have some value. To fail to do either seems illogical.

edabbs44
01-26-2011, 12:22 PM
Well he did say and/or trade chips. You either believe in them and play 'em or you don't believe in them and deal them while they have some value. To fail to do either seems illogical.

I guess maybe, but their mkt value is probably debatable at this point.

Mario-Rijo
01-26-2011, 12:31 PM
I guess maybe, but their mkt value is probably debatable at this point.

Perhaps but I doubt it's as low as a grade C- or D prospect (what alot of guys were dealt for this offseason). At least Heisey anyway though I'd prefer to keep him and coach him up I think he and Lewis could make for an above average LF combo for the foreseeable future.

edabbs44
01-26-2011, 12:42 PM
Perhaps but I doubt it's as low as a grade C- or D prospect (what alot of guys were dealt for this offseason). At least Heisey anyway though I'd prefer to keep him and coach him up I think he and Lewis could make for an above average LF combo for the foreseeable future.

I don't think that Willingham and DeJesus were traded for C- and D guys.

AtomicDumpling
01-26-2011, 12:54 PM
I will be generous and give Jocketty a D grade for the offseason.

To me the measure of offseason performance is "Did you improve the team". The answer to that is No he did not. This year's team will look almost exactly the same as the crew we finished last season with.

Fred Lewis is a mild upgrade over Nix, but still Fred Lewis is not really a player worthy of starting for a major league team, much less a contender. Left field still remains a glaring hole in the lineup that Jocketty has failed to fill for years now.

Renteria replacing Cabrera is a wash and he is another guy that should not be a starter on a good team. Shortstop is still a glaring hole in the lineup that Jocketty has failed to fill adequately for years now.

The contracts for Bruce, Votto, Cueto etc are nice but they don't improve the team because those players were already under team control for years anyway. Bruce's deal is the only one that was done well and improves the team's prospects further beyond what was already locked in.

Any improvement this team is to make will have to come from players that were already here. So it is clear that this offseason (at least thus far) has been a wasted opportunity to gain on the competition. We stood by and did nothing while the competition in the division all improved their teams -- especially the Brewers.

Griffey012
01-26-2011, 12:56 PM
Exactly, I didn't see any A prospects dealt for David Dejesus or Josh Willingham. 2011 would look a lot better with Dejesus at the top of the order or Willingham hitting 5th.

I don't think its much of a stretch to say the Lewis/Gomes platoon will produce a similar WAR in 2011 to Dejesus or Willingham. Plus it's cheaper and we hang onto prospects.

camisadelgolf
01-26-2011, 01:01 PM
I think it's too black-and-white to say Jocketty failed because he didn't improve the team. If he wanted to, he could've easily cashed in a lot of trading chips to obtain an upgrade over Gomes/Renteria, but it would've jeopardized the future of the franchise. Standing pat or however you want to term it was probably the best move for the organization in the coming years. That's also not to mention that the Reds made additions through subtraction. Aaron Harang, Micah Owings, Mike Lincoln, Orlando Cabrera . . . And thanks to Fred Lewis, the Reds' worst player (Jonny Gomes, according to WAR) is going to play less, which should improve the team by default.

Overall, I'd say they're improved, even if it didn't come directly through who they brought in.

RANDY IN INDY
01-26-2011, 01:04 PM
C-

Scrap Irony
01-26-2011, 01:16 PM
D.

Most of the signings were decent value, but reallly nobody with impact. By 2013 the situatiions at 2B and 3B will be questionable and the MVP at 1B will be real expensive, in his walk year and probably on his way out of town. All three spots will suffer a drop off soon.

Where you see questions, I see opportunity. Jocketty, it seems, has settled on what to do first, what to do second, and what might need to be done third. That he keeps Phillips for the back burner, to me, says one of two things:
1) He's two years away and can be locked up later, if need be.
2) Jocketty isn't willing to spend a lot of money on a guy who's at his peak value right now and likely isn't going to get much better, but will be much more expensive.

In other words, there are going to be options at the keystone position as early as next season. I count Valaika, Negron, and Cozart/Janish as three that could provide some value, though perhaps not all that Phillips does. He could also deal for a 2B, sign another 2B, or perhaps a Rodriguez, Hamilton, Gregorious, et al, gets super hot and forces the Reds to play him. He could also draft a second baseman. I don't think Jocketty thinks of Phillips as a cornerstone guy, in other words, and is perfectly willing to see him walk instead of extending him.

And I think that analysis is spot on.

As far as 3B, Jocketty seems to like Francisco and Frazier as 3B options beyond 2012. They certainly will be cheaper and could offer just as much value overall as Rolen, especially by that point. Both have more power than Rolen and could be better options lower in the order than would the All Star.

Votto, we'll have to agree to disagree. He's a professional and likely to put up monster numbers wherever he is, whatever he is paid. With big ticket salaries like Rolen and Phillips off the books at that point and other, cheaper options at closer (along with the cheap-ish LTC already doled out to Bruce and Cueto), and prospects seemingly ready by the boatload in AAA and lower, he could very well stay in Cincinnati. Your assumption, in other words, is faulty.



2011 and 2012 is probably when this team's talent level is at its high point yet no acquisition to provide that extra oomph to get this team over the top was accomplished.

So they're role players in Cincinnati, but they'd be good enough to get someone that would push the Reds over the top? Doesn't that seem a bit backwards, mth?

As to the roster, you continue to assume no one from the current team takes a step forward to be that ace or that MVP-level bat. Bailey, Cueto, Wood, and Volquez have all shown flashes of being a true TOR starter in half seasons and perephials. As of now, they're all pretty much #3's (along with Arroyo).

Offensively, Bruce OPSed in the MVP range for the last six weeks of the season. Perhaps he figured something out? Stubbs went bonkers as well, with an OPS over 850. Add a prospect like Frazier, Francisco, Joseph, or Mesoraco blossoming further and you've got to like the probability that at least two or three of these guys takes that step forward to boost this team over the top. At the least, it makes sense why Jocketty didn't want to deal them.




Meanwhile, there is a glut of role player types on the firnges of the roster in all areas and they really won't have use for many of them. If there was ever a year to put together a package of kids to get that one more guy, it was this winter IMO.

A great deal for Bruce. a nice value signing of Fred Lewis and minor league deals to Dontrell Willis and Jeremy Hermida keep this from being an F IMO.

Those same role players got the Reds to the playoffs last year, despite key injuries and ineffectiveness to key personnel. The fringes are where Cincinnati makes hay against the NL Central and the rest of the league.

My grade is a B.

I don't like the Cairo signing or the Arroyo extension.
I question Cordero's effectiveness as a closer and would have liked to have seen that addressed. (Though, to be fair, Chapman may be Jocketty's answer to that potential problem.)
I don't like, but understand the reason to extend Hernandez.

I like the extensions to Bruce and Cueto. (Perhaps)
I think the platoon of Gomes and Lewis will be outstanding, especially as Gomes plays against southpaws. (Expect monster numbers offensively.)
I like letting Rhodes walk in favor of young'uns.
Renteria is a better option, IMO, than Cabrera and a nice fall-back in case Janish struggles. (He's also likely a better starter, IMO.)
I like the gambles of Hermida and Willis.

Always Red
01-26-2011, 01:30 PM
Who gives a grade before the test is taken?

I'll wait until September to give that grade...

REDREAD
01-26-2011, 01:41 PM
His OPS in the 1st half was .612, 2nd half was .763, though he missed time with injuries in the 2nd half, which allowed the better Janish to play.

But fade he didn't.

That is a bit misleading..
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=cabreor01&year=&t=b
They define his second half as only 38 games, and his first half as 85 games.

You are right, according to that, the splits are as reported
But then look at the month by month. There's not a single month where he OPSed 763.

In all fairness, he had a good May and July and Sept/Oct (and 2 games in August).
His Sept/Oct was better than I remembered, I will admit to that error.

But the bulk of his contribution was in the first half. Despite what OPS says, his injury limited his second half production. I concede September though.. He finished stronger than I remembered.

Mario-Rijo
01-26-2011, 01:41 PM
I don't think that Willingham and DeJesus were traded for C- and D guys.

I disagree.

REDREAD
01-26-2011, 01:43 PM
To get a draft pick we would have had to offer arbitration, which would have all but assured he would have come back for a big payday.

Considering what it would have cost, I think we will find it was a good move to move on from him.

Yep, I didn't want to risk having an arbitrator give Rhodes 4-5 million either.
That happens and there's no Lewis and no Renturia.

camisadelgolf
01-26-2011, 01:48 PM
Who gives a grade before the test is taken?

I'll wait until September to give that grade...
Way to go out on a limb. :D

REDREAD
01-26-2011, 01:51 PM
Exactly, I didn't see any A prospects dealt for David Dejesus or Josh Willingham. 2011 would look a lot better with Dejesus at the top of the order or Willingham hitting 5th.

DeJesus is scheduled to make about 6 million next year.
Willingham is scheduled to make 6 million next year.

Sadly, Lewis at 900k (along with Gomes) is much more attractive for a team llike the Reds.

I mean, I can understand that the budget is limited. I'm glad Cast is spending money, but the reason those two were traded is because of their salary, not their talented.

6 million plus prospects for a one year rental at LF..
If Lewis can OBP around 330-340 in a platoon role (not a given), I think we'll get really similiar production, and we control Lewis for more than 1 year, I think.

camisadelgolf
01-26-2011, 01:55 PM
Yup, the Reds control Lewis through 2013 if they so choose.

mth123
01-26-2011, 03:51 PM
I don't think its much of a stretch to say the Lewis/Gomes platoon will produce a similar WAR in 2011 to Dejesus or Willingham. Plus it's cheaper and we hang onto prospects.

I think its a huge stretch. Lewis for $900K was a nice signing, but he's basically Chris Ickerson (that's Chris Dickerson without the "D").

When Lewis plays, he'll be passable at the top of the order, but the Reds don't really have a decent candidate to hit in the middle of the order to go with Bruce and Votto. When Gomes plays, there will be no one to lead-off and its still questionable that the middle of the order is adequately covered (though assuming this is only against a lefty, Phillips or Gomes might suffice). This is the season to win. A solid producer is better to resolve these questions than a reclamation gamble. If we're trying to find lightning in a bottle to suddenly add a talent to flip for long term gains, the low cost gambles are called for, but when its time to win, leave those gambles to the Royals and Pirates.

kaldaniels
01-26-2011, 04:07 PM
The Bruce contract bumps up my grade a whole letter. Solid B.

I just don't think the options were there for the front office due to lack of ability to add payroll to 2011. Yeah, it is bad the Brewers signed Grienke, but I can't hold that against the Reds since I just don't believe the finances could be worked out. And Cast has been more than fair in how he has boosted payroll, so I ain't buying the "they should have added payroll".

In 10 years or so looking back, I believe the Bruce contract will be the move that set the course for the next decade, which I believe is on track to be very sucessful.

kaldaniels
01-26-2011, 04:09 PM
Who gives a grade before the test is taken?

I'll wait until September to give that grade...

Now you are aware that there is a whole group on here who thinks that the only time to evaluate the moves made are at the time of the move. But, I'll let you explain that to them. :D

mth123
01-26-2011, 04:22 PM
Where you see questions, I see opportunity. Jocketty, it seems, has settled on what to do first, what to do second, and what might need to be done third. That he keeps Phillips for the back burner, to me, says one of two things:
1) He's two years away and can be locked up later, if need be.
2) Jocketty isn't willing to spend a lot of money on a guy who's at his peak value right now and likely isn't going to get much better, but will be much more expensive.

In other words, there are going to be options at the keystone position as early as next season. I count Valaika, Negron, and Cozart/Janish as three that could provide some value, though perhaps not all that Phillips does. He could also deal for a 2B, sign another 2B, or perhaps a Rodriguez, Hamilton, Gregorious, et al, gets super hot and forces the Reds to play him. He could also draft a second baseman. I don't think Jocketty thinks of Phillips as a cornerstone guy, in other words, and is perfectly willing to see him walk instead of extending him.

And I think that analysis is spot on.

As far as 3B, Jocketty seems to like Francisco and Frazier as 3B options beyond 2012. They certainly will be cheaper and could offer just as much value overall as Rolen, especially by that point. Both have more power than Rolen and could be better options lower in the order than would the All Star.

Votto, we'll have to agree to disagree. He's a professional and likely to put up monster numbers wherever he is, whatever he is paid. With big ticket salaries like Rolen and Phillips off the books at that point and other, cheaper options at closer (along with the cheap-ish LTC already doled out to Bruce and Cueto), and prospects seemingly ready by the boatload in AAA and lower, he could very well stay in Cincinnati. Your assumption, in other words, is faulty.



So they're role players in Cincinnati, but they'd be good enough to get someone that would push the Reds over the top? Doesn't that seem a bit backwards, mth?

As to the roster, you continue to assume no one from the current team takes a step forward to be that ace or that MVP-level bat. Bailey, Cueto, Wood, and Volquez have all shown flashes of being a true TOR starter in half seasons and perephials. As of now, they're all pretty much #3's (along with Arroyo).

Offensively, Bruce OPSed in the MVP range for the last six weeks of the season. Perhaps he figured something out? Stubbs went bonkers as well, with an OPS over 850. Add a prospect like Frazier, Francisco, Joseph, or Mesoraco blossoming further and you've got to like the probability that at least two or three of these guys takes that step forward to boost this team over the top. At the least, it makes sense why Jocketty didn't want to deal them.




Those same role players got the Reds to the playoffs last year, despite key injuries and ineffectiveness to key personnel. The fringes are where Cincinnati makes hay against the NL Central and the rest of the league.

My grade is a B.

I don't like the Cairo signing or the Arroyo extension.
I question Cordero's effectiveness as a closer and would have liked to have seen that addressed. (Though, to be fair, Chapman may be Jocketty's answer to that potential problem.)
I don't like, but understand the reason to extend Hernandez.

I like the extensions to Bruce and Cueto. (Perhaps)
I think the platoon of Gomes and Lewis will be outstanding, especially as Gomes plays against southpaws. (Expect monster numbers offensively.)
I like letting Rhodes walk in favor of young'uns.
Renteria is a better option, IMO, than Cabrera and a nice fall-back in case Janish struggles. (He's also likely a better starter, IMO.)
I like the gambles of Hermida and Willis.

1. I don't like the idea of Cozart, Negron, Valaika, Frazier, Gregorious, Rodriguez or any of those guys replacing Phillips. I think Hamilton is the successor to Phillips, but unless Phillips is extended, there will be a hole at 2B for a few years.

2. I do like Cozart and Negron for their ability to play SS and bring some offensive tools (tools Janish doesn't have), but if they aren't at SS, most of what makes them desirable is lost.

3. I'm not as high on Francisco or Frazier as the long term answer at 3B as many seem to be. Francisco has defensive issues and may be an all or nothing "Willie Greene" type if he pans out and Frazier hasn't really ever played 3B every day in the minors and I'd need to see that to be convinced.

4. I think some guys could step-up, but this is a year to take the next step and win. Trusting that to the spurts and starts of young players coming of age is insufficient. There is a lot (a whole, whole lot) of downside from 2010 to 2011. Rolen and Hernadez in particular are likely to drop-off. I don't expect Votto to lead the league in OBP/Slugging and OPS again, Mike Leake won't give the team two months of TOR type results again and its doubtful that Travis Wood will follow that with 2 more. I can't see Hanigan with an OPS over .800 again. Cairo probably turns back into a pumpkin. Heisey probably needs AAA. Arroyo could pitch OK and still be about a half a run per game worse. I think we've seen the best of Johnny Cueto. I'm mildly optimistic that Bailey might step up and that Wood will be solid (but not spectacular like he was last year), but there are injury questions with Bailey and the league adjusting questions with Wood. The only guy I expect a significant step forward from is Jay Bruce. Others might and some probably will, but its time to win, I'd get some proven production to stabilize things and not leave so many open questions heading into 2011.

5. As for how to obtain them. Leake, Heisey and Alonso are all fairly well regarded with no real role on the 2011 Reds (and Arroyo's extension seems to suggest Leake may not have a role for a while). Those guys are a pretty good basis for a package with lots of secondary guys to add to it. Josh Willingham was dealt for basically the equivalent of Heisey and Phil Valiquette. I'd do that immediately. David Dejesus was basically dealt for Sam Lecure and Brad Boxberger. That's another deal I'd make to solidify 2011. The Reds wouldn't miss those guys.

RedsManRick
01-26-2011, 04:31 PM
Do you think that it is possible that the organization just isn't a buyer of these guys right now? Instead of them going with "proven veteran talent", maybe they just aren't going with guys they don't think can cut it over a 162 game season.

I absolutely think that's a possibility. If Walt simply believes that guys like Heisey, Sappelt, Valaika, etc. are not and will not be contributors on the level of a Gomes or Cairo AND didn't have the payroll to afford anything better than those guys, then fine. But I don't think that's the case. I think he's simply trying to reduce the number of variables and "lock in" a 91 win team while relying on improvement from the core to make the team better. I think he's "locking in" an 88 win team and cutting off other potential avenues for improvement.

The Arroyo extension is a good example. Arroyo is an solid pitcher. But he is not irreplaceable in 2012 and 2013, particularly given our depth, and $13M is a huge chunk of change for the Reds. He committed significant resources to "good enough" unnecessarily in my estimation. And seems to discount the possibility that the "good enough" turns in to "not good enough".

Gomes is not a 162 game player. Cairo is not a 162 game player. Renteria is not a 162 game player. That's my point. I can understand going with proven talent for a core part of the team -- Rolen for example.

But when yo have a big hole to fill in LF and have a number of guys who look like they could be good, but who are hardly sure things, the best options strike me as:
A.) Sign or trade for a proven, high quality talent
B.) Go with a low cost option that has both flexibility and some upside -- i.e. the cheap, young guys

Walt went C.) Sign the proven vets with low ceilings who will guarantee you get nothing more than mediocre production while costing you financial flexibility and the opportunity to see whether or not the young guys have it.

His calculus seems to be that the production difference between the vets and the young guys is close enough (and the price reasonable enough) that the additional value provided by the veteran leadership and (perceived) reliability exceeds that of the chance of one of the young guys performing unexpectedly well.

To use an analogy, I feel like Walt was hold a very solid hand and had the opportunity to push his opponent all-in with a reasonably sized raise. Instead he checked. Was it a "bad move"? Not really. He's got a solid shot at winning the hand either way. But I think he missed an opportunity to really help himself out without really taking on much additional risk.

TRF
01-26-2011, 04:35 PM
Acquisitions, C-. LF isn't really addressed, and SS is another bandaid albeit probably the right bandaid

Contracts, A. Votto, Bruce, Arroyo and Cueto give the Reds cost certainty.

Jocketty better be spending 2011 thinking about SS, 3B and LF.

edabbs44
01-26-2011, 04:43 PM
I absolutely think that's a possibility. If Walt simply believes that guys like Heisey, Sappelt, Valaika, etc. are not and will not be contributors on the level of a Gomes or Cairo AND didn't have the payroll to afford anything better than those guys, then fine. But I don't think that's the case. I think he's simply trying to reduce the number of variables and "lock in" a 91 win team while relying on improvement from the core to make the team better. I think he's "locking in" an 88 win team and cutting off other potential avenues for improvement.

The Arroyo extension is a good example. Arroyo is an solid pitcher. But he is not irreplaceable in 2012 and 2013, particularly given our depth, and $13M is a huge chunk of change for the Reds. He committed significant resources to "good enough" unnecessarily in my estimation. And seems to discount the possibility that the "good enough" turns in to "not good enough".

Gomes is not a 162 game player. Cairo is not a 162 game player. Renteria is not a 162 game player. That's my point. I can understand going with proven talent for a core part of the team -- Rolen for example.

But when yo have a big hole to fill in LF and have a number of guys who look like they could be good, but who are hardly sure things, the best options strike me as:
A.) Sign or trade for a proven, high quality talent
B.) Go with a low cost option that has both flexibility and some upside -- i.e. the cheap, young guys

Walt went C.) Sign the proven vets with low ceilings who will guarantee you get nothing more than mediocre production while costing you financial flexibility and the opportunity to see whether or not the young guys have it.

His calculus seems to be that the production difference between the vets and the young guys is close enough (and the price reasonable enough) that the additional value provided by the veteran leadership and (perceived) reliability exceeds that of the chance of one of the young guys performing unexpectedly well.

To use an analogy, I feel like Walt was hold a very solid hand and had the opportunity to push his opponent all-in with a reasonably sized raise. Instead he checked. Was it a "bad move"? Not really. He's got a solid shot at winning the hand either way. But I think he missed an opportunity to really help himself out without really taking on much additional risk.

Do you think that Renteria, Cairo and Gomes cost him true payroll flexibility? I get that these things add up, but Cairo is basically minimum wage and taking out Gomes and Renteria frees up like $5MM. So I assume you are talking Willingham or DeJesus, who are in the $6MM range. But what else do they cost in acquiring them? People throw around their thoughts but I assume that WJ didn't think that they were worth the money + the cost of acquiring. And then you leave yourself with Janish as your starter and no safety net. If they believe that Janish is more 2008-09 than 2010, is Willingham+Janish > Gomes/Lewis+Renteria/Janish? Maybe not.

RedsManRick
01-26-2011, 04:53 PM
Do you think that Renteria, Cairo and Gomes cost him true payroll flexibility? I get that these things add up, but Cairo is basically minimum wage and taking out Gomes and Renteria frees up like $5MM. So I assume you are talking Willingham or DeJesus, who are in the $6MM range. But what else do they cost in acquiring them? People throw around their thoughts but I assume that WJ didn't think that they were worth the money + the cost of acquiring. And then you leave yourself with Janish as your starter and no safety net. If they believe that Janish is more 2008-09 than 2010, is Willingham+Janish > Gomes/Lewis+Renteria/Janish? Maybe not.

I understand Renteria as a safety net. And I agree with you that the money isn't terribly consequential. But we do seem close enough the edge on payroll that having a few million dollars of flex in the budget could mean the difference between adding a real impact rental and not.

I look at who was traded for Willingham/DeJesus and it wasn't terribly steep -- it was guys who would have been outside of our top 6.

But ultimately, I did give him a C and I grade on a curve. A C isn't bad. It's satisfactory. It's "you did enough to meet the requirements, but didn't really nail it". Add in the Bruce and Cueto and Votto contracts and maybe I should have given him a B. I know I'm prone to going on at length, but you should confuse the length of my explanation with the strength of my disagreement. Walt did ok. He shored up the roster in the right places and locked in cost certainty on some core, young players. The future is still bright. The only thing I really strongly dislike is the Arroyo extension, but there are worse things than locking up a reliable mid-rotation starter at roughly market prices.

edabbs44
01-26-2011, 04:57 PM
I understand Renteria as a safety net. And I agree with you that the money isn't terribly consequential. But we do seem close enough the edge on payroll that having a few million dollars of flex in the budget could mean the difference between adding a real impact rental and not.

I look at who was traded for Willingham/DeJesus and it wasn't terribly steep -- it was guys who would have been outside of our top 6.

But ultimately, I did give him a C and I grade on a curve. A C isn't bad. It's satisfactory. It's "you did enough to meet the requirements, but didn't really nail it". Add in the Bruce and Cueto and Votto contracts and maybe I should have given him a B. I know I'm prone to going on at length, but you should confuse the length of my explanation with the strength of my disagreement.

Understood. But, for the record, the Nats and Royals received major league ready guys. Rodriguez and Mazzaro have both spent material amts of time in the show. So I am thinking that Walt would have needed to do a bit more than some realize here.

lollipopcurve
01-26-2011, 04:58 PM
Understood. But, for the record, the Nats and Royals received major league ready guys. Rodriguez and Mazzaro have both spent material amts of time in the show. So I am thinking that Walt would have needed to do a bit more than some realize here.

Completely agree.

mth123
01-26-2011, 05:10 PM
Understood. But, for the record, the Nats and Royals received major league ready guys. Rodriguez and Mazzaro have both spent material amts of time in the show. So I am thinking that Walt would have needed to do a bit more than some realize here.

Rodrigiez has thrown 31 medicore innings in the big leagues. He's basically got a Carlos Fisher resume. Mazzarro's ERA looks decent and he has logged a couple hundred innings over two years, but he gives up too many hits, homers and walks while playing in a pitchers paradise and doesn't strike-out many guys. He's Sam Lecure.

lollipopcurve
01-26-2011, 05:12 PM
Rodrigiez has thrown 31 medicore innings in the big leagues. He's basically got a Carlos Fisher resume. Mazzarro's ERA looks decent and he has logged a couple hundred innings over two years, but he gives up too many hits, homers and walks while playing in a pitchers paradise and doesn't strike-out many guys. He's Sam Lecure.

Washington may think Rodriguez is Ondrusek. And KC might think Mazzaro is Bailey. Who knows?

RedsManRick
01-26-2011, 05:15 PM
Understood. But, for the record, the Nats and Royals received major league ready guys. Rodriguez and Mazzaro have both spent material amts of time in the show. So I am thinking that Walt would have needed to do a bit more than some realize here.

Perhaps. Presumably the Royals value Mazzaro much more than they would a guy like Maloney -- they'd probably see Leake or Wood as the closer value comp. Justin Marks was nothing special.

But if we could have Dejesus for Leake and Boxberger, would you have done that? That's the kind of deal that strikes me as a win/win. Yes, the Reds probably give up more value than they get from an "absolute value" perspective. But my position is that few teams get completely over the top solely from internal development. I wouldn't want to completely gut the system Milwaukee style, but I'd take 70 major league cents on the minor league dollar because of just how valuable those 70 cents are for the major league team right now.

I am a bit worried that this is going to be a very solid 88-90 win team for the next 5 years with a division title or two, a wild card and a bunch early exits from the playoffs. You can never guarantee yourself playoffs success, but I'd like certainly like to maximize our chances so long as it doesn't undermine our long term viability.

mth123
01-26-2011, 05:23 PM
Washington may think Rodriguez is Ondrusek. And KC might think Mazzaro is Bailey. Who knows?

Maybe. I'd have gladly coughed up Ondrusek and Heisey for Willingham. I'd probably said no on Dejesus if Bailey was the asking price.

lollipopcurve
01-26-2011, 07:08 PM
I'd have gladly coughed up Ondrusek and Heisey for Willingham.

1 year of Willingham, at about 6 million, coming off knee surgery. No way I'd do that for 5 years of control of both Heisey and Ondrusek.

mth123
01-26-2011, 07:51 PM
1 year of Willingham, at about 6 million, coming off knee surgery. No way I'd do that for 5 years of control of both Heisey and Ondrusek.

1 Year of adding a piece to the team that was missing in an attempt to win versus control of interchangeable parts. Ondrusek=Fisher=Smith=Burton=Lecure etc. I'd have no problem dealing any of them to nudge the team forward even if its only a year. Heisey is a little harder to deal, but if he can't beat out Gomes (the inadequacy that creates the need in the first place) what's the sense in hanging on to him. Sappelt is coming up behind him and guys like Fred Lewis are available for $900K. Won't miss him.

TheNext44
01-26-2011, 08:09 PM
It's always hard to say, but I would guess that DeJesus would have cost Boxburger and Maloney, while Willingham would have cost Alonso and Boxburger or Joseph.

I would have done the DeJesus trade, probably passed on the Willingham trade.

edabbs44
01-27-2011, 02:39 AM
It's always hard to say, but I would guess that DeJesus would have cost Boxburger and Maloney, while Willingham would have cost Alonso and Boxburger or Joseph.

I would have done the DeJesus trade, probably passed on the Willingham trade.

I think you are under on the DeJesus side. I am thinking Leake gets involved. Maloney doesm't comp to Mazzaro.

And, I agree, it is very difficult to say. It is only one team's opinion that matters in the end. WJ could have offered Volquez for all we know and been shot down.

edabbs44
01-27-2011, 02:50 AM
Perhaps. Presumably the Royals value Mazzaro much more than they would a guy like Maloney -- they'd probably see Leake or Wood as the closer value comp. Justin Marks was nothing special.

But if we could have Dejesus for Leake and Boxberger, would you have done that? That's the kind of deal that strikes me as a win/win. Yes, the Reds probably give up more value than they get from an "absolute value" perspective. But my position is that few teams get completely over the top solely from internal development. I wouldn't want to completely gut the system Milwaukee style, but I'd take 70 major league cents on the minor league dollar because of just how valuable those 70 cents are for the major league team right now.

I am a bit worried that this is going to be a very solid 88-90 win team for the next 5 years with a division title or two, a wild card and a bunch early exits from the playoffs. You can never guarantee yourself playoffs success, but I'd like certainly like to maximize our chances so long as it doesn't undermine our long term viability.

Is it in WJ's DNA to trade a guy like Leake for a one year rental?

reds44
01-27-2011, 03:07 AM
I'm giving it a B-. I've always seen a C as a negative, and I don't think it was a negative offseason. The moves they did make, I liked. It wasn't great, but it was pretty good.

Mario-Rijo
01-27-2011, 03:31 AM
I think you are under on the DeJesus side. I am thinking Leake gets involved. Maloney doesm't comp to Mazzaro.

And, I agree, it is very difficult to say. It is only one team's opinion that matters in the end. WJ could have offered Volquez for all we know and been shot down.

While I agree that Maloney isn't a good comp I think Leake is equally a poor comp. I do think LeCure is about right.

Mazzaro: FB/CH with a show me curve and an average slider, pitches around 90-92. Control isn't the greatest, throws across his body. None of his pitches are plus. The man is a #5 starter type maybe #4 but not in a good rotation.

Always Red
01-27-2011, 07:30 AM
Now you are aware that there is a whole group on here who thinks that the only time to evaluate the moves made are at the time of the move. But, I'll let you explain that to them. :D

Well, this group doesn't need explanations from me :D

I realize that most just want to give their opinions on what has happened so far this offseason, and that's fine. I've enjoyed reading the thread.

But for Fay to want to grade the offseason, when it still has 2 months left to it, is absurd, IMHO. But then again, my expectations of Fay are not very high...

It's like the football pundits who want to grade an NFL draft based solely on who was selected by which team- without anyone even playing the game. Those "great" drafts are often not so great a couple of years down the road!

Fred Lewis might be a bust, or he might be the greatest thing since Al Bumbry. The Reds are banking on him playing to his potential; we won't know if the Reds are right until at least July or August. I just noticed that another of his comps is Tracy Jones. uh oh :eek:

edabbs44
01-27-2011, 07:46 AM
Rodrigiez has thrown 31 medicore innings in the big leagues. He's basically got a Carlos Fisher resume. Mazzarro's ERA looks decent and he has logged a couple hundred innings over two years, but he gives up too many hits, homers and walks while playing in a pitchers paradise and doesn't strike-out many guys. He's Sam Lecure.

Homer has a worse resume than Rodriguez yet you don't want to deal him. Stats and resumes Sometimes don't tell the whole story.

edabbs44
01-27-2011, 08:18 AM
While I agree that Maloney isn't a good comp I think Leake is equally a poor comp. I do think LeCure is about right.

Mazzaro: FB/CH with a show me curve and an average slider, pitches around 90-92. Control isn't the greatest, throws across his body. None of his pitches are plus. The man is a #5 starter type maybe #4 but not in a good rotation.

Everyone has a view.


In his article about the trade Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes that Mazzaro “generally draws raves from scouts for his stuff, particularly a sinking fastball.” Similarly, “a scout” told Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse that “Mazzaro’s stuff was second only to Trevor Cahill on the A’s.”

I could quote some other examples, but hopefully you get the idea. Mazzaro is 6-foot-2 and 24 years old, scouts love his raw stuff, and the Royals think he can be an impact starter for years to come. And here’s where it gets interesting: Mazzaro’s numbers aren’t particularly impressive at all.



http://www.redszone.com/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=2318872

lollipopcurve
01-27-2011, 08:36 AM
But for Fay to want to grade the offseason, when it still has 2 months left to it, is absurd, IMHO. But then again, my expectations of Fay are not very high...

Fay just does a job. I don't see him as a particularly engaged follower of the game.

Always Red
01-27-2011, 08:47 AM
Fay just does a job. I don't see him as a particularly engaged follower of the game.

I think that's why Marty calls him "the bank president."

And I don't think that Fay gets the joke. ;)

dfs
01-27-2011, 12:08 PM
.....I like what they HAVE done in terms of the long term deals and filling the edges of the roster.

It's what they have not done. There is an obvious surplus of starting pitching and a couple of holes in the lineup. It would seem to me that using that surplus to fill one of the holes would have been a very reasonable thing to do.

I suspect Walt just was not able to interest folks in the rubble at the bottom of the pitching pile and that he was unwilling to deal the folks near the top.

I can live with that.

Mario-Rijo
01-27-2011, 01:25 PM
Everyone has a view.

That is just dandy but mine isn't a view but a fair assessment of his actual stuff. I'm sure one can find a scout that loves just about any player you can find, otherwise they wouldn't be in pro ball. And maybe the guy is better than what I think he is but he's no Mike Leake. I'm guessing for every article you can find that has a Royals view talking him up you can find an A's article dismissing him as nothing special. If he were special he wouldn't have been dealt for an aging DeJesus.

edabbs44
01-27-2011, 01:30 PM
That is just dandy but mine isn't a view but a fair assessment of his actual stuff. I'm sure one can find a scout that loves just about any player you can find, otherwise they wouldn't be in pro ball. And maybe the guy is better than what I think he is but he's no Mike Leake. I'm guessing for every article you can find that has a Royals view talking him up you can find an A's article dismissing him as nothing special. If he were special he wouldn't have been dealt for an aging DeJesus.

That's what I meant....there are different views on a lot of people. To flat out dismiss him at this juncture is probably not a fair thing to do. It's not like they got Juan Castro back in the deal.

Hoosier Red
01-27-2011, 01:35 PM
That is just dandy but mine isn't a view but a fair assessment of his actual stuff. I'm sure one can find a scout that loves just about any player you can find, otherwise they wouldn't be in pro ball. And maybe the guy is better than what I think he is but he's no Mike Leake. I'm guessing for every article you can find that has a Royals view talking him up you can find an A's article dismissing him as nothing special. If he were special he wouldn't have been dealt for an aging DeJesus.

Is it possible that the plethora of pretty much major league ready pitchers has devalued all of them?

Would Matt Maloney or Sam Lecure or Mike Leake or Homer Bailey look a lot better if their closest comparisons weren't the same 3 guys fighting for a rotation slot?

They're all valuable chips in and of themselves but because none of them can break out of the group, no one looks outstanding to an outsider.

pedro
01-27-2011, 01:56 PM
I'd give the Reds a B-. One thing I'm not sure people consider when knocking all these signings of existing players is that cost certainty is valuable when deciding if you can add additional pieces or if you want to trade one of your own.

RedsManRick
01-27-2011, 02:13 PM
How good of a pitcher Vin Mazzaro is or will be is really immaterial. All that matters for the purpose of this conversation is the value the Royals place on him. If they view him as a guy who can be a 4/5 today with #2 potential, that's what you have to compete against. I don't think you'll find anybody anywhere who sees #2 potential in Sam Lecure or Matt Maloney -- to say nothing about the fact that they are both entering their age 27 season.

You just can't lump Leake, Bailey, Maloney, and LeCure together. All have fairly unique profiles when you look at age, stuff, handedness, ceiling, injury history, minor league performance, major league experience & performance. Value wise, Bailey and Leake are easily a giant step up from Maloney and LeCure. The first two guys could headline a package used to acquire a major leaguer. The latter two could be sweeteners in that package.

TRF
01-27-2011, 03:03 PM
Is it in WJ's DNA to trade a guy like Leake for a one year rental?

Yes, though he'd likely re-sign him to a longer deal.

Redsfan320
01-27-2011, 03:09 PM
A quick question before I start a thread on it- I just realized if the Reds go with Hernanigan, Cairo, Renish, Leomes, and Heisey on the bench, there are no lefties. Am I wrong in thinking that this makes Hermida a huge favorite over Heisey?

320

camisadelgolf
01-27-2011, 05:14 PM
A quick question before I start a thread on it- I just realized if the Reds go with Hernanigan, Cairo, Renish, Leomes, and Heisey on the bench, there are no lefties. Am I wrong in thinking that this makes Hermida a huge favorite over Heisey?

320
I don't think it makes Hermida a favorite, but I think it means he gets a longer look. I think the player who benefits most from the situation is Juan Francisco.

RedsManRick
01-27-2011, 05:50 PM
I don't think it makes Hermida a favorite, but I think it means he gets a longer look. I think the player who benefits most from the situation is Juan Francisco.

I imagine Reds brass would prefer he play everyday. But if he gets 2 starts a week at 3B to spell Rolen, that could be logic enough. Todd Frazier is the one most hurt by it. I will say this, I don't think Heisey goes to AAA. He either makes the team or gets traded.

Will M
01-27-2011, 07:30 PM
A quick question before I start a thread on it- I just realized if the Reds go with Hernanigan, Cairo, Renish, Leomes, and Heisey on the bench, there are no lefties. Am I wrong in thinking that this makes Hermida a huge favorite over Heisey?

320


I don't think it makes Hermida a favorite, but I think it means he gets a longer look. I think the player who benefits most from the situation is Juan Francisco.


I imagine Reds brass would prefer he play everyday. But if he gets 2 starts a week at 3B to spell Rolen, that could be logic enough. Todd Frazier is the one most hurt by it. I will say this, I don't think Heisey goes to AAA. He either makes the team or gets traded.

I would love to see Chris Heisey have a great spring & win the job in left field and the leadoff spot. it would allow the team to move Gomes (say to Texas or Boston) and get a 2nd left handed bat for the bench. the bench could then be Hernandez, Renteria, Cairo, Lewis (L) and either Hermida (L) or Francisco (L). right now there is no room on the roster for that 2nd left handed bat unless the team goes with an 11 man staff.

note: i believe that if the team were to use Hermida instead of Heisey then we have no backup centerfielder. Gomes is a DH. Lewis & Hermida are corner outfielders and not known for their stellar defense.

mth123
01-27-2011, 07:58 PM
A quick question before I start a thread on it- I just realized if the Reds go with Hernanigan, Cairo, Renish, Leomes, and Heisey on the bench, there are no lefties. Am I wrong in thinking that this makes Hermida a huge favorite over Heisey?

320

To me it means that signing Cairo was a mistake that many saw coming, could have waited until late in the winter when the team's make-up was better defined and that his pushing Francisco off the roster is going to hurt the team. It also probably forces Rolen to try to be a 140 game starter which will make not only the 22 games that Cairo starts have less potential than Francisco would have had if he'd started, but probably makes Rolen much less effective in the other 140. I'd prefer some one who is enough of a threat to be comfortable letting Rolen sit twice per week and hold his starts to 110 games or so. I think keeping his shoulder rested would make him a more viable middle of the order bat when he's in there. A lefty for that role is a natural fit and solves the unbalanced bench problem.

reds44
01-27-2011, 07:59 PM
Saying there are no lefties on the bench is a bit misleading. Lewis won't be playing everyday, so when a lefty starts he'll be on the bench. I think Francisco is at the age where he needs to be playing everyday in AAA anyway.

Same thing goes for Renteria/Janish. It doesn't have to be Cairo playing at 3B. It doesn't sound like Renteria will be playing anywhere but SS when he plays, but when Rolen needs a day off you can slide Janish over to 3B as well.

mth123
01-27-2011, 08:03 PM
Saying there are no lefties on the bench is a bit misleading. Lewis won't be playing everyday, so when a lefty starts he'll be on the bench. I think Francisco is at the age where he needs to be playing everyday in AAA anyway.

Ideally I'd agree, but 2 starts a week while pinch hitting other days will get him 250 PAs or so. Lots of kids start that way and there is a real need for some one like him on this roster. Rolen needs to rest frequently to have a chance at being first half Rolen again. The Reds really need Rolen to be first half Rolen in 2011.

reds44
01-27-2011, 08:07 PM
Ideally I'd agree, but 2 starts a week while pinch hitting other days will get him 250 PAs or so. Lots of kids start that way and there is a real need for some one like him on this roster. Rolen needs to rest frequently to have a chance at being first half Rolen again. The Reds really need Rolen to be first half Rolen in 2011.
I think Francisco is a different beast though. While he's a step away from the big leagues, he's very raw compared to most people at this level. The more Abs he gets the better. Now there's an argument whether or not he'll ever develop a batting eye, but that's a different discussion for a different thread.

And the Reds aren't going to stay healthy all year either. The odds are at some point Rolen, Cairo, or Renteria will end up on the DL because they're old. At that point, you just call Francisco up.

The same goes with the OF. The Reds have the advantage of having an extremely versatile OF. Heisey can play all 3 OF positions and Lewis can play LF and CF. While you'll never see it, if it was required Bruce could play CF as well. If Gomes or Stubbs (or anyone else) were to go down, the Reds wouldn't necessarily have to replace them with another OFer on the roster. You could just as easily call up Francisco and still be fine in the OF. It's a long season, you'll see plenty of JF before it's over.

mth123
01-27-2011, 08:16 PM
I think Francisco is a different beast though. While he's a step away from the big leagues, he's very raw compared to most people at this level. The more Abs he gets the better. Now there's an argument whether or not he'll ever develop a batting eye, but that's a different discussion for a different thread.

And the Reds aren't going to stay healthy all year either. The odds are at some point Rolen, Cairo, or Renteria will end up on the DL because they're old. At that point, you just call Francisco up.

The same goes with the OF. The Reds have the advantage of having an extremely versatile OF. Heisey can play all 3 OF positions and Lewis can play LF and CF. While you'll never see it, if it was required Bruce could play CF as well. If Gomes or Stubbs (or anyone else) were to go down, the Reds wouldn't necessarily have to replace them with another OFer on the roster. You could just as easily call up Francisco and still be fine in the OF. It's a long season, you'll see plenty of JF before it's over.

Agreed, but Francisco has basically hit everywhere he goes (including an MVP caliber performance this winter). I'm not really convinced that more time at AAA will help him or the Reds all that much. I'm pretty convinced that more rest for Rolen will benefit the Reds quite a lot.

membengal
01-28-2011, 06:42 AM
I give the off-season a B. Walt did as well as I think he could have given the budget.

As for lefty off the bench, I am probably in the minority rooting for Hermida to make it over Heisey.

bucksfan2
01-28-2011, 08:30 AM
Agreed, but Francisco has basically hit everywhere he goes (including an MVP caliber performance this winter). I'm not really convinced that more time at AAA will help him or the Reds all that much. I'm pretty convinced that more rest for Rolen will benefit the Reds quite a lot.

And Francisco can be productive and develop further if he gets 5 AB's a week and gets a spot start every 5-7 games?

I don't mind the Cairo signing one bit. Guy isn't making a lot of money and a MLB season is dynamic. You don't start the season and finish the season with the same 25 men on the roster. If Francisco forces himself onto the team thats a good thing. If he needs some more seasoning in AAA then thats fine. I really don't care a whole lot if he put up a MLB caliber performance this winter. How many MLB caliber pitchers are pitching on normal rest and at full bore?

mth123
01-28-2011, 06:44 PM
And Francisco can be productive and develop further if he gets 5 AB's a week and gets a spot start every 5-7 games?

I don't mind the Cairo signing one bit. Guy isn't making a lot of money and a MLB season is dynamic. You don't start the season and finish the season with the same 25 men on the roster. If Francisco forces himself onto the team thats a good thing. If he needs some more seasoning in AAA then thats fine. I really don't care a whole lot if he put up a MLB caliber performance this winter. How many MLB caliber pitchers are pitching on normal rest and at full bore?

Nope. The whole idea is for him to start at 3B two times per week at a minimum. He can also get an occassional start at 1B and PH. Rolen needs the rest. If the Reds wait until Memorial Day to cut back on his workload, I'm guessing his shoulder and offensive value will be shot for the rest of the year. If that happens, I don't think the Reds can win.

pedro
01-28-2011, 08:36 PM
Nope. The whole idea is for him to start at 3B two times per week at a minimum. He can also get an occassional start at 1B and PH. Rolen needs the rest. If the Reds wait until Memorial Day to cut back on his workload, I'm guessing his shoulder and offensive value will be shot for the rest of the year. If that happens, I don't think the Reds can win.

2 times a week is about 50 games. That seems a little much.

pedro
01-28-2011, 08:45 PM
I posted this earlier but I think it got lost in the site cutover.

Francisco needs to learn how to take a walk if he wants to have a productive major league career and he's not going to learn that getting sporadic AB's in the bigs.

PuffyPig
01-28-2011, 08:57 PM
Offering arbitration would not have made for a multi year contract. But I said long ago that I thought he could end up with one from somewhere so offering arb. wasn't as risky IMO.

Rhodes was a type A FA, so the signing club would have given up their first round pick.

That all but assured he would have ended up a Red.

Offering arbitration wasn't risky, it was suicide.

mth123
01-28-2011, 10:07 PM
2 times a week is about 50 games. That seems a little much.

Rolen rested 29 games last year and was basically a non-factor after June. He has a degenerative condition in that shoulder that is never going to get better. The only way to deal with it is to keep the pain down and his swing going full bore with lots of rest. 20 more games resting seems reasonable IMO.

This team has two middle of the order bats in Bruce and Votto. The best chance at a 3rd is a productive Rolen for about two thirds of the games and somebody with big power who can thrive against hand picked opponents the rest of the time. I think Francisco is probably always going to be a free swinger who the better pitchers will have their way with and his role will be as a match-up power bat from the left side. That is exactly what the Reds need now, so I see no good reason to wait. I also think there are enough crummy pitchers in major league rotations that he could be a force if he was to get his starts (and Rolen his rest) in the right match-ups. I don't really have confidence in any of the Reds secondary bats (Phillips, Stubbs, Gomes, etc) in the 3, 4 or 5 holes. I don't really care if it stunts Francisco's growth, because I think he can only grow a little more from where he is, but I do want the Reds to have a viable threesome in the middle of the order in 2011. I don't see any other options on the current roster unless Alonso suddenly learns to play LF or Ramon is cast aside and Mesoraco is installed behind the plate (but even if Mesoraco's time arrives in 2011, he probably won't be ready for the middle of the order for a couple years).

PuffyPig
01-28-2011, 10:38 PM
Rolen rested 29 games last year and was basically a non-factor after June.

He was an all star in the first half, and an above average 3B ( .772 OPS, very good defense) in the second half.

But call an above average 3B a non-factor if you please.

You have to at least try when you post. That's all we ask for.

FYI, a non-factor is what Corey Patterson was. Or Taveras. Or the Cards third baseman once Freeses went down.

Calling Rolen a non-factor after the all star break is insulting and totally without foundation.

mth123
01-28-2011, 11:11 PM
He was an all star in the first half, and an above average 3B ( .772 OPS, very good defense) in the second half.

But call an above average 3B a non-factor if you please.

You have to at least try when you post. That's all we ask for.

FYI, a non-factor is what Corey Patterson was. Or Taveras. Or the Cards third baseman once Freeses went down.

Calling Rolen a non-factor after the all star break is insulting and totally without foundation.

The Reds need Rolen to hit 4th or 5th. 772 OPS isn't good enough. Keep him healthy with an OPS near .875 or so and that will get the job done. Its worth resting him an extra day each week.

Since the Reds didn't acquire another middle of the order bat, if Rolen puts up an .772 OPS in 2011, the Reds can't win IMO. They need more out of him. Lots of 4th place teams have above the incredibly low bar of league average. The Reds aim is to be a champion and need a clean-up hitter.

Razor Shines
01-28-2011, 11:20 PM
He was an all star in the first half, and an above average 3B ( .772 OPS, very good defense) in the second half.

But call an above average 3B a non-factor if you please.

You have to at least try when you post. That's all we ask for.

FYI, a non-factor is what Corey Patterson was. Or Taveras. Or the Cards third baseman once Freeses went down.

Calling Rolen a non-factor after the all star break is insulting and totally without foundation.

He had a .750 OPS from July 1 to the end of the season. 3 HRs. Luckily he's a patient hitter so he walks enough to get on base at a decent clip but like mth said the Reds are counting on him to hit 4th.

I think we got really lucky with Rolen last year. He's a year older and as was said above that shoulder is not going to get better. I honestly expect a full season of around .750 OPS even when he's healthy enough to be in the lineup. Another big first half from Rolen this year is more a dream than something that we should count on.

PuffyPig
01-28-2011, 11:55 PM
He had a .750 OPS from July 1 to the end of the season. 3 HRs. Luckily he's a patient hitter so he walks enough to get on base at a decent clip but like mth said the Reds are counting on him to hit 4th.

I think we got really lucky with Rolen last year. He's a year older and as was said above that shoulder is not going to get better. I honestly expect a full season of around .750 OPS even when he's healthy enough to be in the lineup. Another big first half from Rolen this year is more a dream than something that we should count on.

The statement was that he was a non factor after June 1. That's a siilly statement. What he's likely to do next year is not relavent to what he did after June 1 last year. Whether he was lucky last year is not relevant.

What is relevant is that he was not a non-factor after June 1 last year.

I never considered patience "luck". That as silly as statement as saying Rolen was a non-factor after June 1 last year.

I guess if we are "lucky" Francisco will walk 100 times next year and OPS .950.

If you are going to defend someone, I suggest you come up with something better than the origianl post.

"Lucky he is patient".

Yeah right!!!!

BTW, a .750 OPS with above average fielding from a 3B is above average.

mth123
01-29-2011, 12:07 AM
The statement was that he was a non factor after June 1. That's a siilly statement. What he's likely to do next year is not relavent to what he did after June 1 last year. Whether he was lucky last year is not relevant.

What is relevant is that he was not a non-factor after June 1 last year.

I never considered patience "luck". That as silly as statement as saying Rolen was a non-factor after June 1 last year.

I guess if we are "lucky" Francisco will walk 100 times next year and OPS .950.

If you are going to defend someone, I suggest you come up with something better than the origianl post.

"Lucky he is patient".

Yeah right!!!!

BTW, a .750 OPS with above average fielding from a 3B is above average.

No. The statement was that he was a non-factor after June. Not June 1. Heck you quoted it, perhaps you should at least try a litttle when you post. Its all we really ask.

How Rolen compares to other 3B doesn't really matter. What is relevant is how he compares to other clean-up hitters. .772 OPS in the 4 hole makes you the Pirates. Its a non-factor. I could care less if Rolen is the best 3B in the league or the worst. It really has no bearing on the issue of his capabilities of hitting in the 4 hole. You use the word relevant multiple times in the post above. Seems you really don't know what that is.

Razor Shines
01-29-2011, 12:47 AM
The statement was that he was a non factor after June 1. That's a siilly statement. What he's likely to do next year is not relavent to what he did after June 1 last year. Whether he was lucky last year is not relevant.

What is relevant is that he was not a non-factor after June 1 last year.

I never considered patience "luck". That as silly as statement as saying Rolen was a non-factor after June 1 last year.

I guess if we are "lucky" Francisco will walk 100 times next year and OPS .950.

If you are going to defend someone, I suggest you come up with something better than the origianl post.

"Lucky he is patient".

Yeah right!!!!

BTW, a .750 OPS with above average fielding from a 3B is above average.

Why are you being such a d?

"After June" to me means when the month of June is over. June 1-30 is not after June, to me anyway.

I never said Rolen's patience was luck. I was saying lucky for us (Reds' fans) Rolen is a patient hitter. Meaning that even though his power disappeared after June (starting July 1st) he still got on base at a decent rate because he's a patient hitter. Some hitters are nearly useless when their power disappears for an extended period of time (ie Gomes) lucky for us Rolen is not one of those guys.

I did not even come close to saying patience is luck. For someone who's been fairly rude you'd at least want to get the quotes right and that's two in row you've got wrong.

And I again agree with mth in that his OPS may have been above average for 3rd baseman but the Reds are counting on him to hit 4th.

Plus Plus
01-29-2011, 01:02 AM
Everyone, please take a step back and refrain from the personal attacks, or else the thread will have to be closed and disciplinary action will need to be taken.

This is a fun thread to read and participate in so I hope nothing will need to be done in that realm.

Ron Madden
01-29-2011, 04:36 AM
I think we all know Scott Rolen has been a very productive player when healthy.

Some of us at the time of the trade even suggested due to Rolens age, back and shoulder the best way to keep him healthy and productive was to limit his playing time. (100-115 games started)

I think the point mth123 and Razor Shines are trying to make is not only do we need a healthy and productive Rolen, we need a better option than Miquel Cairo to defend 3B and provide offensive production.... If that is indeed the case, I agree with them.

This is not intended to be a slam on Scott Rolen in any way.

mth123
01-29-2011, 05:23 AM
I think we all know Scott Rolen has been a very productive player when healthy.

Some of us at the time of the trade even suggested due to Rolens age, back and shoulder the best way to keep him healthy and productive was to limit his playing time. (100-115 games started)

I think the point mth123 and Razor Shines are trying to make is not only do we need a healthy and productive Rolen, we need a better option than Miquel Cairo to defend 3B and provide offensive production.... If that is indeed the case, I agree with them.

This is not intended to be a slam on Scott Rolen in any way.

Exactly.

mth123
01-29-2011, 12:01 PM
I imagine Reds brass would prefer he play everyday. But if he gets 2 starts a week at 3B to spell Rolen, that could be logic enough. Todd Frazier is the one most hurt by it. I will say this, I don't think Heisey goes to AAA. He either makes the team or gets traded.

I don't get why its so important for Francisco to play everyday, but everyone assumes its OK for Heisey to be on the team as a reserve. Francisco has had more plate appearances and more success in AAA and more success in general at all levels. If Heisey is ready, why isn't Francisco?




Name Level PA AB BA OBP SLG OPS
Heisey AA 396 350 0.340 0.409 0.554 0.963
Hesiey AAA 360 324 0.269 0.319 0.457 0.776
Heisey MLB 226 201 0.254 0.324 0.433 0.757
Cisco AA 464 437 0.281 0.317 0.501 0.818
Cisco AAA 428 400 0.278 0.339 0.572 0.911
Cisco MLB 84 76 0.316 0.381 0.447 0.828


Heisey hasn't really experienced more than moderate success above AA. Francisco has been a force. Why is it ok for Heisey to skip the rest of his development to fill a need, but Francisco needs to play everyday instead of filling an even bigger need?

Patrick Bateman
01-29-2011, 01:49 PM
And I again agree with mth in that his OPS may have been above average for 3rd baseman but the Reds are counting on him to hit 4th.

Well that really has nothing to do with the evaluation of Rolen.

A non-factor from the 4 hole?

Rolen is paid to be an above average 3rd basemen. Even in the second half he was worth his contract. A .370 OBP with good defense, hard to describe that as not a worhty contributor.

PP was arguably over the top, but I think the assessments of Rolen's season in this thread has been extremely misguided IMO, and likely based more on perception rather than any kind of reasonable fact based discussion. I think it can get frustrating on this board when people go out of their way to throw a Reds player down without properly supporting their thoughts. If the Reds can't find somebody better than Rolen to hit 4th, then that's not his fault.

Razor Shines
01-29-2011, 02:04 PM
Well that really has nothing to do with the evaluation of Rolen.

A non-factor from the 4 hole?

Rolen is paid to be an above average 3rd basemen. Even in the second half he was worth his contract. A .370 OBP with good defense, hard to describe that as not a worhty contributor.

PP was arguably over the top, but I think the assessments of Rolen's season in this thread has been extremely misguided IMO, and likely based more on perception rather than any kind of reasonable fact based discussion. I think it can get frustrating on this board when people go out of their way to throw a Reds player down without properly supporting their thoughts. If the Reds can't find somebody better than Rolen to hit 4th, then that's not his fault.

His OBP was .347 after June. From August on it was .325 and what's even worse is that he slugged only .374. To me anyway it seemed clear that he was breaking down. Perhaps if he'd rested more earlier in the season he could have helped more in the second half. I like Rolen, I'm glad he's on the team and clearly when he's healthy he's valuable. I just don't know if we'll get even as many healthy days out of him as we did last year.

I wasn't attempting to turn this into whether or not Rolen is worth his contract, I just want to see the Reds squeeze as many healthy days out of him as possible. And when he's not healthy I'm not too thrilled with Cairo or Fransisco.

Nobody was throwing Rolen down. I actually complimented something I love about Rolen in my first post stating that "he's a patient hitter", IMO patient hitters are the best kind to have.

And in terms of what I said about him hitting fourth. That wasn't a knock on Rolen. I talking about the situation the Reds are in. Meaning I disagree with them if they're counting on Rolen to hit 4th this year. Again nothing against Rolen, but I wish the Reds would have been able to pick up a better option to hit clean up.

mth123
01-29-2011, 02:13 PM
Well that really has nothing to do with the evaluation of Rolen.

A non-factor from the 4 hole?

Rolen is paid to be an above average 3rd basemen. Even in the second half he was worth his contract. A .370 OBP with good defense, hard to describe that as not a worhty contributor.

PP was arguably over the top, but I think the assessments of Rolen's season in this thread has been extremely misguided IMO, and likely based more on perception rather than any kind of reasonable fact based discussion. I think it can get frustrating on this board when people go out of their way to throw a Reds player down without properly supporting their thoughts. If the Reds can't find somebody better than Rolen to hit 4th, then that's not his fault.

I think the problem is people aren't reading what was written. Who said he was bad and who put him down? Personally, I think Rolen is a very good player. He's the key to the Red's season, because right now he is the only option to hit in the middle of the Reds line-up with Bruce and Votto. Nobody else can adequately fill that spot IMO. That doesn't mean he's bad or anyone wants him off of the team. Nobody ever tried to "throw a Reds player down" in this entire conversation. But Rolen himself has said multiple times that the condition in his shoulder has robbed him of his power and he really hasn't been the middle of the line-up force that is needed since about 2006. He also said that the reason that his power returned in the first half of 2010 was because his shoulder was feeling better than it had in years. Well, in the second half, how ever you want to phrase it, his power disappeared. He was still a good player, but not somebody you'd want hitting fourth on a team making a run at a championship. IMO, if second half Rolen is the guy in 2011, the Reds won't win. IMO, based on the statements that Rolen has been making since 2006, the best way to keep a middle of the order worthy Rolen is for the reds to go out of their way to keep that shoulder as strong and healthy as possible.

The entire discussion started because the team lacks a lefty bat on the bench. I pointed out Francisco would be a lefty power threat and his existence on the roster would allow the team to give Rolen the rest he needs to keep his shoulder middle of the line-up worthy throughout the season. I don't see how that can be disputed especially since Rolen himself has been the one telling the world that how his shoulder feels is key to his productivity for years now. For those reasons, I'd rather have Francisco on this team's bench than Heisey, Cairo or Gomes.

Scrap Irony
01-29-2011, 10:41 PM
1) If all Reds' players were above average positionally (as Rolen is), wouldn't the offense probably also then be above average?

That's not all that difficult to believe either. Every starter aside from possibly Janish/ Renteria looks, at this point, to be above average from a wOBA viewpoint. All but the platoon of Lewis and Gomes (and perhaps Janish/ Renteria) looks to be above average from a WAR perspective. According to the school of Branch Rickey, if you have no giant black holes of suck on offense, your offense has a real shot at being very good.

The Reds have no giant black holes of suck on offense.

Oh sure, Gomes could be better, but the platoon of he and Lewis really boosts his numbers (lifetime OPS v. LH over 850). Add Lewis' defense and above average bat against RH and LF looks to be adequately above average, if not phenomenal.

The Janish/ Renteria semi-platoon also might look, at first blush, to be poor offensively. But, if weighted against others at the position, both could very well see above average numbers.

Everyone else was above average last season positionally and have track records of being so.

2) Wishing for Cairo and Gomes to be sent down strikes me as especially silly. Not because it's not a valid concern, but because it simply won't happen.

I want the government to recognize how incredibly hard I work and give me a huge honking raise. But it ain't happenin'.

Razor Shines
01-29-2011, 11:46 PM
1) If all Reds' players were above average positionally (as Rolen is), wouldn't the offense probably also then be above average?

That's not all that difficult to believe either. Every starter aside from possibly Janish/ Renteria looks, at this point, to be above average from a wOBA viewpoint. All but the platoon of Lewis and Gomes (and perhaps Janish/ Renteria) looks to be above average from a WAR perspective. According to the school of Branch Rickey, if you have no giant black holes of suck on offense, your offense has a real shot at being very good.

The Reds have no giant black holes of suck on offense.

Oh sure, Gomes could be better, but the platoon of he and Lewis really boosts his numbers (lifetime OPS v. LH over 850). Add Lewis' defense and above average bat against RH and LF looks to be adequately above average, if not phenomenal.

The Janish/ Renteria semi-platoon also might look, at first blush, to be poor offensively. But, if weighted against others at the position, both could very well see above average numbers.

Everyone else was above average last season positionally and have track records of being so.

2) Wishing for Cairo and Gomes to be sent down strikes me as especially silly. Not because it's not a valid concern, but because it simply won't happen.

I want the government to recognize how incredibly hard I work and give me a huge honking raise. But it ain't happenin'.

Above average? Sure, but I think we want more than that don't we? Florida and Arizona were above average offensively last year.

The offense may not be a problem this year. If Votto does what he did last year and if Bruce/Stubbs have full seasons the way they finished.

Nobody is saying that Cairo and Gomes should be sent down, at least not that I read. I'd have preferred that Cairo wasn't brought back but if he's the 25th guy, no problem. I'd rather not see him starting very many games for Rolen/Votto.

If Gomes only plays against lefties, I'll be happy, but I'll have to see it to believe it. Lewis is OK, not bad at the plate but not impact either. About the same in the field.

I guess my underlying point when I first started was to say that if we get a season of a mostly healthy Rolen then we should be good. I'm just worried that we're going to get more of the Rolen that finished the season than the one that started the season. From August through the playoffs he simply wasn't good. Not his fault, the guy was clearly in a lot of pain and broken down. I'm sure the off season did him good, but that shoulder could start bothering him at any time. He could make it 120 games or only 20 games before it starts bothering him. Here's to it being closer to 120 :beerme:

Scrap Irony
01-30-2011, 11:29 AM
Above average? Sure, but I think we want more than that don't we? Florida and Arizona were above average offensively last year.

The offense may not be a problem this year. If Votto does what he did last year and if Bruce/Stubbs have full seasons the way they finished.

I assumed readers would be able to understand Votto and Bruce would be well above average positionally, making the entire offense, in turn, well above average. If all players are above average, the offense actually becomes a failry dominant one-- most teams have black holes that negate value.

For example, St. Louis has three monster bats, in Rasmus, Holliday, and Albert. But their excellence is largely negated by the putridity of offensive "stalwarts" such as Molina and Brendan Ryan (or Theriot, perhaps).



Nobody is saying that Cairo and Gomes should be sent down, at least not that I read. I'd have preferred that Cairo wasn't brought back but if he's the 25th guy, no problem. I'd rather not see him starting very many games for Rolen/Votto.

Sure, they did.


For those reasons, I'd rather have Francisco on this team's bench than Heisey, Cairo or Gomes.



If Gomes only plays against lefties, I'll be happy, but I'll have to see it to believe it. Lewis is OK, not bad at the plate but not impact either. About the same in the field.


I really don't get the doubt about Lewis and Gomes platooning. Jocketty said he needed a leadoff hitter and help in LF. Lewis is both. Jocketty also intimated he wanted Gomes to play less. Logic dictates he play where he's best. Gomes played some against RH last season because he hit RH the year before. Hard.

After he began really struggling in 2010 (June-ish), Baker and Jocketty tried to limit his ABs against RH, but: 1) Stubbs began struggling worse; 2) Bruce lost his eye and needed some time off; 3) Nix got hurt; 4) Edmonds got hurt; 5) Heisey couldn't hit the broad side of the barn. (None of this mentions Dickerson's struggles and injury at the beginning of the year, as Dickerson may have been pencilled in as a platoon-ish player with Gomes.)

In short, though Gomes admittedly struggled, there wasn't an opportunity to limit his ABs, as others were either struggling worse or injured. Baker, Jocketty, and company were looking to replace him, at least in part. But the real world kept getting in the way.

Lewis is finally the platoon partner Gomes needs. This should result in a LF platoon, if you follow career splits, of around an 823 OPS. That OPS would rank 5th among all LFs in baseball for 2010. If you subtract around 6 runs of defensive value for Gomes' mismanagement, you'd still have a player similar to 2010 Delmon Young.

I'll take that all day and twice on Sundays-- especially for around $2.75 million.

mth123
01-30-2011, 12:26 PM
I assumed readers would be able to understand Votto and Bruce would be well above average positionally, making the entire offense, in turn, well above average. If all players are above average, the offense actually becomes a failry dominant one-- most teams have black holes that negate value.

For example, St. Louis has three monster bats, in Rasmus, Holliday, and Albert. But their excellence is largely negated by the putridity of offensive "stalwarts" such as Molina and Brendan Ryan (or Theriot, perhaps).



Sure, they did.





I really don't get the doubt about Lewis and Gomes platooning. Jocketty said he needed a leadoff hitter and help in LF. Lewis is both. Jocketty also intimated he wanted Gomes to play less. Logic dictates he play where he's best. Gomes played some against RH last season because he hit RH the year before. Hard.

After he began really struggling in 2010 (June-ish), Baker and Jocketty tried to limit his ABs against RH, but: 1) Stubbs began struggling worse; 2) Bruce lost his eye and needed some time off; 3) Nix got hurt; 4) Edmonds got hurt; 5) Heisey couldn't hit the broad side of the barn. (None of this mentions Dickerson's struggles and injury at the beginning of the year, as Dickerson may have been pencilled in as a platoon-ish player with Gomes.)

In short, though Gomes admittedly struggled, there wasn't an opportunity to limit his ABs, as others were either struggling worse or injured. Baker, Jocketty, and company were looking to replace him, at least in part. But the real world kept getting in the way.

Lewis is finally the platoon partner Gomes needs. This should result in a LF platoon, if you follow career splits, of around an 823 OPS. That OPS would rank 5th among all LFs in baseball for 2010. If you subtract around 6 runs of defensive value for Gomes' mismanagement, you'd still have a player similar to 2010 Delmon Young.

I'll take that all day and twice on Sundays-- especially for around $2.75 million.

IMO, keeping Rolen healthy and strong is more important than the RH half of the platoon. Because of that, I think Francisco would be the perfect fit to start twice per week and provide the lefty balance that is missing for the bench. Ideally, the Reds would have passed on Cairo instead of clogging the roster with him, but if its a given that Cairo is on the team, I think its more important for the Reds to have a lefty on the bench who can give Rolen his time-off than keeping a fifth OF. I don't see why Heisey is considered a lock by many. The same people saying Francisco needs more time to develop are ignoring the fact that Heisey's development time was cut way short when he was called to the Red's bench last year due to injury and actually has less success at the upper levels than Francisco does. If the Reds think Heisey is ready and has a role down the road, then he should be the RH half in LF and Gomes should be dealt away. Personally, I think he's not ready and I'd play Gomes as you said, but if he proves that he suddenly is, then keeping Heisey and Francisco provides more utility for the roster over 162 games than keeping Gomes around. Heisey can play all 3 OF spots capably while Gomes can't really play any very well. Francisco can play 3B, which the Reds will need frequently IMO, and also give the team a back-up at 1B something else Gomes can't do. Heisey or perhaps Sappelt gives the team a lead-off option against LHP. That is something else that is lacking when Gomes is in the line-up.

What Gomes provides is a lefty killer and that's nice and useful if the other guys aren't ready to play, but Phillips, Stubbs and Hernanigan are all lefty killers and what Gomes provides is a bit redundant as compared with what the others could do. They have a lot of lefty killers. They don't have a lead-off guy against LHP. They don't have an adequate corner IF reserve (a must on this team IMO). They don't have a LH Bat on the bench. If Cairo is set in stone (and I know he probably is), I hope that the Reds are open minded enough to make sending Heisey back to AAA a valid option. If Heisey (or Sappelt) busts down the door, the Reds don't really need Gomes and dealing him off to shore up the system where its weak and freeing his cash for the deadline while keeping the bench balanced in the process wouldn't be the worst idea. I'd rather keep Francisco, Hesiey and Gomes and cut Cairo loose, but that won't happen. The Reds have guys to do what Cairo does if needed as well. Valaika and Frazier can be mediocre offensive players with weak gloves at the same positions that Cairo can. Cozart and Negron provide defensive value in the IF. Cairo just isn't needed as much as these other guys, but his existence means that Reds will need to short the roster some place else and given Rolen's health and the lack of a lefty bat, I don't think keeping both Gomes and Heisey should be automatic.

Scrap Irony
01-30-2011, 01:03 PM
Gomes' career OPS, against LH, is 875+. Even including poor defense (about 6 runs per third of a season, according to UZR), his value in that arena is substantial.

There are two points about these numbers that need to be made:

1) Heisey and Sappelt aren't likely to provide that value. Therefore, neither is likely to supplant him anytime soon either in the starting lineup or on the Red bench.

2) Because the Reds have a surplus of major league players who hit LH well, wouldn't that mean Rolen could rest quite a bit, allowing the Reds to put in a defense-first option (Janish, Renteria, or perhaps Cairo) without totally killing the offense? This should, in theory, keep Rolen fresh (and healthier) without having to readjust the lineup, wouldn't it?

mth123
01-30-2011, 02:19 PM
Gomes' career OPS, against LH, is 875+. Even including poor defense (about 6 runs per third of a season, according to UZR), his value in that arena is substantial.

There are two points about these numbers that need to be made:

1) Heisey and Sappelt aren't likely to provide that value. Therefore, neither is likely to supplant him anytime soon either in the starting lineup or on the Red bench.

2) Because the Reds have a surplus of major league players who hit LH well, wouldn't that mean Rolen could rest quite a bit, allowing the Reds to put in a defense-first option (Janish, Renteria, or perhaps Cairo) without totally killing the offense? This should, in theory, keep Rolen fresh (and healthier) without having to readjust the lineup, wouldn't it?

Actually, number 2 is probably what the Reds should do if Cairo is on the team. The thing is, Rolen is one of those guys who hits LH well, but I'd sit him as you suggest if it keeps him healthy and productive the rest of the time. I doubt the Reds do that though.

They could do better by losing Cairo and giving the job to Francisco. Then you can rest Rolen against certain RHP and have FRancisco in there on the days he can rake. Rolen would just add another nice bat versus the lefties that way.

kaldaniels
01-30-2011, 02:31 PM
I've seen a couple times on here in regards to Gomes being mentioned as a lefty killer..."well so-and-so hits leftys well too".

But guess who in 2010 were the only 2 Reds regulars who out OPS'd Gomes vs LHP were (hint: they bat lefty). Hanigan did as well, albeit in only 55 AB.

Razor Shines
01-30-2011, 02:40 PM
I've seen a couple times on here in regards to Gomes being mentioned as a lefty killer..."well so-and-so hits leftys well too".

But guess who in 2010 were the only 2 Reds regulars who out OPS'd Gomes vs LHP were (hint: they bat lefty). Hanigan did as well, albeit in only 55 AB.

Which would be an argument for why a healthy Rolen is so important?

REDREAD
01-31-2011, 09:56 AM
I posted this earlier but I think it got lost in the site cutover.

Francisco needs to learn how to take a walk if he wants to have a productive major league career and he's not going to learn that getting sporadic AB's in the bigs.

I agree. Franscisco also needs to work on his defense if he's a long term answer. I'd rather him be in AAA. Returia/Janish/Cario can cover 3b.

Will M
02-08-2011, 09:13 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=6100920

Jason Stark says 'C'

Raisor
02-08-2011, 09:24 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=6100920

Jason Stark says 'C'

and that sounds about right to me.

Reds/Flyers Fan
02-08-2011, 10:51 PM
A disappointing offseason for me, to be sure.

They needed to get a RH bat for LF and they didn't; they saw what happened in the postseason without an ace going against teams with legitimate aces and they failed to address that; and they didn't respond to impressive moves by their division rivals (Brewers, Cards, Cubs)

If I'm passing out grades, the Reds certainly earned this D

Razor Shines
03-01-2011, 02:32 PM
I really don't get the doubt about Lewis and Gomes platooning. Jocketty said he needed a leadoff hitter and help in LF. Lewis is both. Jocketty also intimated he wanted Gomes to play less. Logic dictates he play where he's best. Gomes played some against RH last season because he hit RH the year before. Hard.

After he began really struggling in 2010 (June-ish), Baker and Jocketty tried to limit his ABs against RH, but: 1) Stubbs began struggling worse; 2) Bruce lost his eye and needed some time off; 3) Nix got hurt; 4) Edmonds got hurt; 5) Heisey couldn't hit the broad side of the barn. (None of this mentions Dickerson's struggles and injury at the beginning of the year, as Dickerson may have been pencilled in as a platoon-ish player with Gomes.)

In short, though Gomes admittedly struggled, there wasn't an opportunity to limit his ABs, as others were either struggling worse or injured. Baker, Jocketty, and company were looking to replace him, at least in part. But the real world kept getting in the way.

Lewis is finally the platoon partner Gomes needs. This should result in a LF platoon, if you follow career splits, of around an 823 OPS. That OPS would rank 5th among all LFs in baseball for 2010. If you subtract around 6 runs of defensive value for Gomes' mismanagement, you'd still have a player similar to 2010 Delmon Young.

I'll take that all day and twice on Sundays-- especially for around $2.75 million.

Guess there was reason to doubt after all.

Scrap Irony
03-01-2011, 04:27 PM
Perhaps. Or perhaps we should wait until the season starts? Because Baker has been known to say one thing and do something else entirely.

Razor Shines
03-01-2011, 05:09 PM
Perhaps. Or perhaps we should wait until the season starts? Because Baker has been known to say one thing and do something else entirely.

Could be but you were pointing out that you didn't understand the doubt. I think Baker's statement today is more than enough reason to have doubt.

Tony Cloninger
03-01-2011, 05:22 PM
A disappointing offseason for me, to be sure.

They needed to get a RH bat for LF and they didn't; they saw what happened in the postseason without an ace going against teams with legitimate aces and they failed to address that; and they didn't respond to impressive moves by their division rivals (Brewers, Cards, Cubs)

If I'm passing out grades, the Reds certainly earned this D

I only saw impressive moves by the Brewers. The Crds did not make any moves to impress...only moves that look like moves for the sake of moves.
The Graza trade for the Cubs is good. Pena looks like he has turned into Nate Colbert circa 1975-76 only with some walks and a better glove.

Scrap Irony
03-01-2011, 05:27 PM
Could be but you were pointing out that you didn't understand the doubt. I think Baker's statement today is more than enough reason to have doubt.

He could have been playing up Gomes. You simply don't know until the season starts.

redsfandan
03-14-2011, 06:19 AM
A-/B+

(No offense to the acquisition of Fred Lewis but... ) This season was really mostly about extensions for the core players that Walt wants to count on for the next few seasons. And I think Walt did a good job with them. Votto, Bruce, Arroyo, Cueto, Hernandez, Cairo, and now Hanigan ... not bad. (I include Hernandez and Cairo since they're good stop gaps for the role they fill)

Reasons my grade isn't higher:

- No 'big' acquisition

-Votto extension didn't include any free agent years.

-It's debatable whether the Arroyo extension will be a necessary (or wise) move long-term when they could've just picked up his 2011 option and then let him go.

mth123
06-21-2011, 06:47 AM
Wonder if anyone would change the grade given. I'll stick with my "D" though bringing back Cairo has certainly looked good, but he hasn't played enough to keep Rolen htting well.

RedsManRick
06-21-2011, 04:40 PM
I'll stick with my C. You do get some points for not doing anything stupid. I was against retaining Gomes and extending Arroyo and both of those seem spot on. I was also mildly against Cairo, but he's done a bang up job in the back-up role.

It still strikes me that this was the time to take that next step forward and Walt chose to hang tight. I'll certainly reserve final judgment until August 1st as his offseason plans were surely informed by what he viewed as the possibilities in July.

Captain Hook
06-21-2011, 04:49 PM
I would lower my grade but I have no suggestion as to what Walt could've done differently.Sure I would've loved to added good SS, a TOR starter or someone that could've hit in the middle of the lineup and play LF everyday but who was there?Of those three needs the obvios one that he could've filled was TOR starter(Greinke)but all things considered I'm glad he didn't outbid the Brewers.

REDREAD
06-21-2011, 05:03 PM
I think I gave Walt a B. Maybe I lower it to a B-, but it's kind of hard to lower the grade now with the team only about 3 games out of first place.

At the end of the season, I guess we will have a better idea of whether all the extensions were good ideas or not.

Last year, everything pretty much went right for the Reds.. This year, we've had injuries and some disappointments.

I will say this, I am glad Walt did not do some of the moves that people were
lobbying for last year.. Like trading Leake for an OF or SS.

I would've loved to get a better LF, pitching and SS too, but I think the money ran dry. The tone of the board this season seems to be extreme disappointment. IMO, I think people have their hopes up too high.
Even with the greatest GM ever, we will never be able to go head to head on paper with the big market teams.. We are still relevant this year. I am thankful for that. There's still a lot of upside in this team. We may still win the division. Hopefully Walt can pull off a Larry Walker type deal at the deadline for us to boost the offense in LF. Not sure if getting a Guthrie type guy at the expense of Wood or another young pitcher is a good idea for the long term. It's so hard to say.. we want to believe that the young pitchers that did so well last year are going to return to glory, but maybe that doesn't happen.