PDA

View Full Version : Will Walt Pay for a Closer



Rojo
08-06-2011, 04:00 PM
Assuming Jocketty declines CoCo's option -- he is 37 with a declining k-rate, are we going to be in the market for a big closer?

Here's the list from MLBtraderumors.com:

Heath Bell (34)
Jonathan Broxton (28)
Matt Capps (28)
Frank Francisco (32)
Brad Lidge (35) - $12.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Joe Nathan (37) - $12.5MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Jonathan Papelbon (31)
Jon Rauch (33) - $3.75MM club option with a $250K buyout
Francisco Rodriguez (30)
Rafael Soriano (32) - $11MM player option or a $1.5MM buyout
Jose Valverde (34) - $9MM club option, no buyout

Papelbon and K-Rod jump out but will cost big money. I'm guessing the consesus on here will be to not pay big money for "70 innings". But the consesus seems to also lean to sticking Chapman in the rotation.

Of course there are always ways to get creative, as long as it doesn't involve Masset. Is Lecure a sleeper?

RedsManRick
08-06-2011, 04:04 PM
I sure as heck hope not. I agree that Chapman should be given a chance to start. But in my mind, closer is not a position, it's a label. Frankly, I don't care who gets the saves. I just want to make sure the bullpen has at least 4 very solid relievers to use in close games.

nate
08-06-2011, 04:06 PM
I hope he pays for an opener.

signalhome
08-06-2011, 04:30 PM
I sure as heck hope not. I agree that Chapman should be given a chance to start. But in my mind, closer is not a position, it's a label. Frankly, I don't care who gets the saves. I just want to make sure the bullpen has at least 4 very solid relievers to use in close games.

Yep.


I hope he pays for an opener.

Yep.

savafan
08-06-2011, 05:07 PM
Didn't we once project Bill Bray as a potential future closer?

JaxRed
08-06-2011, 05:30 PM
Paying big dollars for a closer is the worst investment a small market team can make.

Rojo
08-06-2011, 05:40 PM
But in my mind, closer is not a position, it's a label.


Saves are a crappy statistic but I don't think closers are overrated. Champs always have them.

But our opinions of closers is irrelevant. Most GM's are not going to start the year without tabbing someone as a closer. I

RedsManRick
08-06-2011, 05:49 PM
Saves are a crappy statistic but I don't think closers are overrated. Champs always have them.

But our opinions of closers is irrelevant. Most GM's are not going to start the year without tabbing someone as a closer. I

All teams have a closer. The best teams tend to have the best players everywhere. The best position players. The best starters. The best relievers.

The question isn't whether or not we should have high quality relievers at the back end of the pen. It's whether or not Walt should pay a lot of money to somebody who has accrued "saves" in his career.

"Closers" routinely get paid double what an equally effective, equally valuable set up man gets. So if Walt decides to spend money to improve our relief corps, I hope it's not on a closer -- because you end up spending just as much on the label as you do on the arm.

Tom Servo
08-06-2011, 05:56 PM
I'd be interested to see if a guy like Nathan could be had on the cheap. Otherwise I'd look for a middle relief guy to convert into a closer.

OldXOhio
08-06-2011, 06:13 PM
Paying big dollars for a closer is the worst investment a small market team can make.

Let's hope we learned that from the last time we did it.

RedLegSuperStar
08-06-2011, 06:14 PM
I have a feeling they will decline CoCo's option only to bring him back at a lower price

redsfandan
08-06-2011, 06:17 PM
I have a feeling they will decline CoCo's option only to bring him back at a lower price

That would be the key. I'd consider it if the price is low enough.

fearofpopvol1
08-06-2011, 06:22 PM
I find Broxton intriguing. He's had an awful year, but that may bode well for his asking price. Prior to 2011, he's been absolute stud. One would think he is fixable, but I don't know.

PuffyPig
08-06-2011, 06:28 PM
Saves are a crappy statistic but I don't think closers are overrated. Champs always have them.



Champs always have closers becuase every team has a closer. Goos or bad, someone is the closer.

Champs sometimes have closers who are untested or inexperienced. Or bad.

Wainwright took over for a injured Izzy and closed out the world series.

Kim in 2001 horribly blew 2 games in the world series, but Arizona won anyway.

Rojo
08-06-2011, 09:44 PM
Champs always have closers becuase every team has a closer. Goos or bad, someone is the closer.

Fair enough. Let me re-state it. Champs often have dominant closers.

I'm not a fan of the Lee Smith/Jeff Reardon-type save-mongers. But I'm a huge fan of dominating closers. During regulation they lift teams above their pythag then dominate the post-season play and finally deliver Championships.

Rojo
08-06-2011, 09:46 PM
"Closers" routinely get paid double what an equally effective, equally valuable set up man gets. So if Walt decides to spend money to improve our relief corps, I hope it's not on a closer -- because you end up spending just as much on the label as you do on the arm.

So if Chapman can be that closer for chump change, that allows you to build out the set up guys.

My point is that if Chapman's heading for the rotation, Walt's going to spend money on a closer.

Mario-Rijo
08-06-2011, 10:18 PM
Walt is gonna talk us in circles about potentially filling the role thru FA and then he is gonna go ahead and do what he already has a mind to do and stick Chapman in that role. He knows a large portion of the fan base wants to see the guy start so he has to at least pretend that is still an option when he knows it isn't. As long as Chapman doesn't have any major hiccups for the rest of this season he's our next closer, the guy will never be a starter in name again unless he fails miserably closing and shifting him back to starter will be a last ditch effort to keep his value.

Will M
08-07-2011, 12:40 AM
Walt is gonna talk us in circles about potentially filling the role thru FA and then he is gonna go ahead and do what he already has a mind to do and stick Chapman in that role. He knows a large portion of the fan base wants to see the guy start so he has to at least pretend that is still an option when he knows it isn't. As long as Chapman doesn't have any major hiccups for the rest of this season he's our next closer, the guy will never be a starter in name again unless he fails miserably closing and shifting him back to starter will be a last ditch effort to keep his value.

if i recall Chapman wasn't very good as a starter in AAA last year. when he was moved to the pen he improved a lot. something for the 'Chapman belongs in the rotation because he has TOR potential' folks. we have a pretty good idea by now what he can do as a reliever. its not so clear to me what he can do as a starter. especially in 2012.

redsfandan
08-07-2011, 01:55 AM
if i recall Chapman wasn't very good as a starter in AAA last year. when he was moved to the pen he improved a lot. something for the 'Chapman belongs in the rotation because he has TOR potential' folks. we have a pretty good idea by now what he can do as a reliever. its not so clear to me what he can do as a starter. especially in 2012.

He had 13 starts last year and 3 this year. So, while I'll agree that it's not a given that he could become a good major league starter, I also don't think 16 minor league starts really gives him much of a chance to learn how to be one.

Big Klu
08-07-2011, 02:15 AM
Champs always have closers becuase every team has a closer. Goos or bad, someone is the closer.

Champs sometimes have closers who are untested or inexperienced. Or bad.

Wainwright took over for a injured Izzy and closed out the world series.

Kim in 2001 horribly blew 2 games in the world series, but Arizona won anyway.

Well, in Game 7 the D-Backs had a closer named Randy Johnson.

Will M
08-07-2011, 02:23 AM
He had 13 starts last year and 3 this year. So, while I'll agree that it's not a given that he could become a good major league starter, I also don't think 16 minor league starts really gives him much of a chance to learn how to be one.

i agree.

however
1) by not making him a starter this year they have missed a whole year to have him learn to be one, work on his secondary pitches, build up his arm for the innings worklaod, etc
2) we will need a closer in 2012
3) his contract is complicated but having him learn to be a starter seems like the lesser use of his talents (compared to him being a dominant closer) during the time we have him on the team

GAC
08-07-2011, 07:58 AM
I sure as heck hope not. I agree that Chapman should be given a chance to start. But in my mind, closer is not a position, it's a label. Frankly, I don't care who gets the saves. I just want to make sure the bullpen has at least 4 very solid relievers to use in close games.


Paying big dollars for a closer is the worst investment a small market team can make.

I think you guys nailed it. 4yrs/48M for a guy who pitches 1 inning, and not even every day (that would be over use)? Give me a break.

I've never carried the mindset that it takes a "special" (or unique) kind of pitcher to perform in that role. If you build a solid build pen with good arms then let it be "closer" by committee, depending on the situation.

Chip R
08-07-2011, 09:17 AM
I don't think you necessarily should pay a lot of money for a closer but people who believe they are overrated usually are fans whose team doesn't have a dominant closer.

As for having a closer by committee, teams that have that are usually teams that stink. It's all well and good to sit here and say this guy closes today and this guy closes tomorrow. In reality, players like to know their roles and aren't comfortable when they are not used in their role. You will hear it time and again from current and former players, They will say they liked this manager because they put them in a defined role and when they came to play, they knew when they would be used.

As for Cordero, for all the griping and complaining about him, the bullpen was a mess before he got here. When he got here, the bullpen improved. The Reds won a division with him as the closer last year. I'm not saying he was the sole reason the Reds won but he played a big role in the season.

I'm convinced Chapman is going to be the closer next season. Cordero is a longshot to be back and none of the others on the list really stand out and those who do will probabably command more than the Reds are willing to pay. Massett isn't going to close and while there may be someone on the roster who can close, I don't think the Reds see anyone but Chapman as a closer.

PuffyPig
08-07-2011, 10:53 AM
But I'm a huge fan of dominating closers. During regulation they lift teams above their pythag then dominate the post-season play and finally deliver Championships.

Let's look at the Yankees Mariano Rivera, a dominating closer if there ever was one.

Over the last 7 years, the Yankees pythag is a -1 total, suggesting that having the most dominating closer in history doesn't improve your pythag.


Last year the most dominating closer was likely Brain Wilson, who's team was -3 in pythag.

I haven't done an complate study by any means, but if Rivera can't lift a team's pythag, I'm not sure closers can generally affect pythag more than anyone else.

What lifts a teams pythag?

Randomness.

Our pythag currently puts us 1.5 games behind the Cards in 2nd place. It won't help us this year obviously, but it bodes well for next year. We don't need to throw trhis team off the bus just yet.

_Sir_Charles_
08-07-2011, 12:32 PM
I don't think you necessarily should pay a lot of money for a closer but people who believe they are overrated usually are fans whose team doesn't have a dominant closer.

As for having a closer by committee, teams that have that are usually teams that stink. It's all well and good to sit here and say this guy closes today and this guy closes tomorrow. In reality, players like to know their roles and aren't comfortable when they are not used in their role. You will hear it time and again from current and former players, They will say they liked this manager because they put them in a defined role and when they came to play, they knew when they would be used.

As for Cordero, for all the griping and complaining about him, the bullpen was a mess before he got here. When he got here, the bullpen improved. The Reds won a division with him as the closer last year. I'm not saying he was the sole reason the Reds won but he played a big role in the season.

I'm convinced Chapman is going to be the closer next season. Cordero is a longshot to be back and none of the others on the list really stand out and those who do will probabably command more than the Reds are willing to pay. Massett isn't going to close and while there may be someone on the roster who can close, I don't think the Reds see anyone but Chapman as a closer.

I agree. The only part I'm not sure I agree with is that Chapman will be the closer. It seriously won't surprise me if they bring back Cordero and start to stretch out Aroldis.

And for the people who don't want big salaried players in the closers' role...what do you think Chapman is?!?

Orenda
08-07-2011, 01:14 PM
Walt is gonna talk us in circles about potentially filling the role thru FA and then he is gonna go ahead and do what he already has a mind to do and stick Chapman in that role. He knows a large portion of the fan base wants to see the guy start so he has to at least pretend that is still an option when he knows it isn't. As long as Chapman doesn't have any major hiccups for the rest of this season he's our next closer, the guy will never be a starter in name again unless he fails miserably closing and shifting him back to starter will be a last ditch effort to keep his value.

That's been my assumption also. I can see the argument for Chapman closing from the Reds FO standpoint, but as a baseball fan I think we're all getting cheated with the way Chapman has been used. Who knows what would have happened with Chapman had he stayed a starter but that is a Hall of Fame type arm.

Orenda
08-07-2011, 01:19 PM
Is there any debate that Chapman has not progressed as a pitcher? I don't think he has, he's always had the fastball/slider combo and as a reliever he doesn't have to develop anything more than two pitches.

signalhome
08-07-2011, 01:22 PM
Is there any debate that Chapman has not progressed as a pitcher? I don't think he has, he's always had the fastball/slider combo and as a reliever he doesn't have to develop anything more than two pitches.


Season Split K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 K% BB% AVG WHIP BABIP LOB% FIP xFIP
2011 Mar/Apr 10.66 7.82 1.36 0.00 28.9 % 21.2 % .125 1.26 .200 82.4 % 3.48 4.24
2011 May 0.00 243.00 0.00 0.00 0.0 % 75.0 % .500 30.00 .500 27.3 % 93.01 96.58
2011 Jun 22.50 4.50 5.00 4.50 71.4 % 14.3 % .167 1.00 .000 100.0 % 6.01 0.11
2011 Jul 14.67 2.35 6.25 0.59 50.0 % 8.0 % .044 0.39 .050 87.0 % 1.38 1.08
2011 Aug 18.00 4.50 4.00 0.00 50.0 % 12.5 % .286 1.50 .667 100.0 % 0.51 1.11

His numbers from June on are tremendous. I think he has progressed quite a bit from what we saw in April.

JaxRed
08-07-2011, 01:30 PM
I agree. The only part I'm not sure I agree with is that Chapman will be the closer. It seriously won't surprise me if they bring back Cordero and start to stretch out Aroldis.

And for the people who don't want big salaried players in the closers' role...what do you think Chapman is?!?

I don't want Chapman there either. I think it's a waste of an asset. Make him a starter.

mth123
08-07-2011, 02:21 PM
I'm still torn on the Chapman thing. I'd like to see him as an ace myself, but I wonder if the Reds have reached the conclusion that he can't do it. We've seen him get rocked when his fastball is "only" in the mid 90s. I wonder how successful he'd be dialing it back to try and go through a line-up three times. If having him work in the 95 to 97 range as a starter makes him just another guy in the rotation, I'd rather see him be a dominant guy at the end of the game.

It would have been nice to see him get more time starting in AAA to get a better feel, but I can't complain about the win now move made in 2010 to call him up when Rhodes went south. If he ends up a closer, it won't be what I'd hoped for, but it would be far from the worst thing Walt has done (or hasn't done) since he's been in charge.

redsfandan
08-07-2011, 02:52 PM
And for the people who don't want big salaried players in the closers' role...what do you think Chapman is?!?
It's not quite the same when Cordero is making $12 million/yr and Chapman will make only $2 million next year. I'd have no problem with having the closer make $2 million. $12 million though? :thumbdown:

If he ends up a closer, it won't be what I'd hoped for, but it would be far from the worst thing Walt has done (or hasn't done) since he's been in charge.

Yep, he'd have more value if he could develop as a starting pitcher. I've already started to accept that he's more likely to be the closer though. It's not the end of the world.

_Sir_Charles_
08-07-2011, 04:14 PM
It's not quite the same when Cordero is making $12 million/yr and Chapman will make only $2 million next year. I'd have no problem with having the closer make $2 million. $12 million though? :thumbdown:


ESPN has him at 4.25 million this season. Just about every contract I've ever seen either keeps the yearly numbers the same or increases them as they advance. His goes DOWN?!? Color me surprised.

Regardless, he's still a highly paid player imo. 3rd highest yearly salary on the Reds staff.

_Sir_Charles_
08-07-2011, 04:18 PM
Just found this about Chapman's contract...


six-year deal worth $30 million. We already knew that the sixth year was an option year for Chapman worth $5 million and that the money was spread out pretty liberally (his signing bonus, which is worth around $15 million of the deal, is spread out between when he signs the contract and 2020). That seemed to be the best way for the Reds to fit such a big contract for an unproven player into their budget.

But what we learned Tuesday is that the contract voids if Chapman becomes arbitration eligible in 2013, the rest of his deal converts into a $5 million bonus and he goes into the arbitration pool. If he becomes arbitration eligible in 2014, he gets a $3 million bonus and goes into the arbitration pool. That means that if Chapman is as advertised and makes the Reds out of camp (or early this season), he makes his $15 million bonus, $4 million in base salary over his first three seasons, a $5 million bonus for becoming arbitration eligible early, plus whatever he earns over the next three seasons in arbitration.

Considering the arbitration clause and the fact that the option is a player option, the Reds will be paying at least $30 million and at most somewhere in the ballpark of $45 or 50 million for a player that no one really knows much about. If Chapman turns into the next Randy Johnson, it'll be a bargain.

The danger for Cincy lies in Chapman impressing early on to achieve arbitration status, but never quite living up to his hype. That would mean that they'll be forced to pay a huge bonus, they'll get zero years of complete payroll control, and they'll still have to deal with three arbitration seasons that will take his total payout north of the current $30 million figure. That's a lot of money for a team like the Reds to pay a pitcher that might not develop into an ace.

RedLegSuperStar
08-07-2011, 10:46 PM
Just found this about Chapman's contract...

With him potentially making $45-50 million I wonder if he was dangled in talks for Ubaldo Jimenez..

REDREAD
08-08-2011, 12:48 AM
Personally, I wouldn't mind keeping Chapman in the bullpen.
IMO, it's not relevant what his salary is going to be.. We are on the hook for that regardless.
The Reds need to figure out how to best maximize Chapman's gifts.

IMO, that place is the bullpen. He could be the next Billy Wagner there.
A closer that dominating (as opposed to a Danny Graves type closer) does have value and can impact a pennant race.. Remember all the groaning when Cordero blew 2 saves in Milwaukee? As snakebit as this team has been, they could've been in first at the allstar break with a better bullpen.
Look at the 1990 team..

A study was done on what are the best correlating figures in World Championship winning teams.. Basically, the conclusion was bullpen and defense.

Keep Chapman in the bullpen. Let him dominate. I'd much rather do that than invest 2 years experimenting with him in the rotation and hoping he figures it out. The meter is running.. we are paying him big bucks now.. let him earn that in the pen.

Kc61
08-08-2011, 01:13 AM
Personally, I wouldn't mind keeping Chapman in the bullpen.
IMO, it's not relevant what his salary is going to be.. We are on the hook for that regardless.
The Reds need to figure out how to best maximize Chapman's gifts.

IMO, that place is the bullpen. He could be the next Billy Wagner there.
A closer that dominating (as opposed to a Danny Graves type closer) does have value and can impact a pennant race.. Remember all the groaning when Cordero blew 2 saves in Milwaukee? As snakebit as this team has been, they could've been in first at the allstar break with a better bullpen.
Look at the 1990 team..

A study was done on what are the best correlating figures in World Championship winning teams.. Basically, the conclusion was bullpen and
defense.

Keep Chapman in the bullpen. Let him dominate. I'd much rather do that than invest 2 years experimenting with him in the rotation and hoping he figures it out. The meter is running.. we are paying him big bucks now.. let him earn that in the pen.

Very courageous post. Unpopular viewpoint. You may be right.

Rojo
08-08-2011, 02:07 PM
Keep Chapman in the bullpen. Let him dominate. I'd much rather do that than invest 2 years experimenting with him in the rotation and hoping he figures it out. The meter is running.. we are paying him big bucks now.. let him earn that in the pen.

That about covers it.

I(heart)Freel
08-08-2011, 05:55 PM
Is there anything in his skills to make us think Volquez could/should be tried as the closer?

[Ducks for cover and listens to response]

Scrap Irony
08-08-2011, 06:11 PM
Volquez as closer?

Estaban Yan comes to mind.

(Though admittedly, if he only uses that change and fastball combination, he might be dominant enough to allow 3.5 BBs per 9 and about that many hits.)

He might be outstanding as a closer. He might be horrid.

I'd imagine, given a clean inning every time, he'd be about league average in save percentage, but prone to give heartburn to his team and manager.

Ron Madden
08-09-2011, 04:42 AM
Will Walt pay for a Closer?

I hope he wil pay for a Starter. ;)