View Full Version : Paul Daugherty: Pivotal Season

03-04-2012, 12:11 PM
I didn't know this but it seems the Reds will no longer be allowed add players via trade, free agency or the draft after this season.

At least one might get that impression reading this (http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120303/COL03/303030105/Doc-Reds-window-opportunity?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CReds) Paul Daugherty article. Tease:

The window for the Reds is open wide, for what could be the last time in a long time. This is the most important baseball season in Cincinnati in 22 years.

I liked Bob C's take on it, myself:

Bob Castellini is proud and stubborn and sentimental, more Irish in temperament than Italian. He wants the Reds to win as much as you do, for all kinds of reasons, only some of them financial. The Big Man doesn’t like the way this season is being sold, though. This notion of All In strikes him as redundant and obvious.

"The Reds are all in every year," he says. "This is nothing new."

Is this season truly "pivotal?"

Aren't they all?


03-04-2012, 12:33 PM
I see the argument for it being pivotal. The Reds have 2 maybe 3 top 100 players in Baseball. One will be a Free Agent after the year, the other will be more expensive than any player in team history going into next season with a budget maxed out (based on current levels) even if the 2B, 3B and Closer all leave and are replaced from within with minimum making backfills. After that, the team's only superstar level talent will probably be leaving. The most obvious way to keep from taking a step backwards is to increase revenue and raise the budget for team payroll to allow them to keep some of these guys. So, in that sense, a big year in 2012 that adds to the fanbase would be plan A and is "pivotal."

I do think the Reds have a assembled a competitive staff and it will still be so after Madson leaves, so I don't go as far anymore as to say the window closes after 2012 or 2013. I think they can survive Phillips leaving, may actually improve when Rolen goes and will have some cash to at least add a productive replacement if Votto leaves. With Latos and Cueto leading the rotation with Leake, Bailey, Chapman, Sulbaran, etc. the team should be competitive beyond 2013. If Mesoraco develops into a mid-order force over the next couple years, they could add a mid-order guy to backfill for Votto to go with Bruce and Mes and they will still be very competitive with the staff that they have in place.

wlf WV
03-04-2012, 11:20 PM
As always the pitching staff is the key. You can do a lot with a superior pitching staff and adequate everyday players.

03-05-2012, 03:08 PM
As always the pitching staff is the key. You can do a lot with a superior pitching staff and adequate everyday players.

And with a lot of the pitching under reasonably long-term control, that dampens the "pivotal" argument, somewhat, doesn't it?

03-05-2012, 07:11 PM
Hyperbole. The chance is that this season may be better than many others in recent memory, however its no more pivotal. One season will not sway the staid citizens of southern Ohio and northern Kentucky into a dramatic increase in attendance. I'm not even sure a deep playoff run will do that in this community. It will take sustained years of success to alter the landscape in Cincinnati. This year is but one possible link in the chain, no more or less pivotal than any other.

03-05-2012, 07:16 PM
Every season is pivotal, but unless this year's outcome determines Votto's long-term future, I don't see it being any more pivotal than any other.

03-06-2012, 11:54 PM
As Joseph said, one year isn't going to increase fan attendance. Not even sure all the off season moves will make that much of a difference in attendance. Not all fans are happy with the trades, and they are going to expect near perfection out of Marshall and Latos in order to move on what was given up.

There are a whole lot of variables that go into going deep into the playoffs. Many things have to go right with the home team and things have to go wrong with your division rivals, as well. One or two key injuries plus a month-long slump by one of the starting position players can put a damper on the year real fast. Nothing will kill attendance faster than extended rotation stints by guys like Francis, Tomko, or one of the other roster fillers invited to camp.

The expected bump in attendance didn't happen when Junior was brought in, and that's why no other players could be added. And why would fans buy tickets when Junior spent significant portions of seasons on the DL?

The FO has taken a huge risk this off season, but IMO, the attitude of Joe Average Fan is "wait and see" before they commit to this team. Honestly, for a team that has supposedly "improved" as much as the team has, there are still way too many question marks. Folks may wait until June or July to see where things stand before they jump on the bandwagon.

03-07-2012, 12:51 AM
I liked Bob C's take on it, myself:

Is this season truly "pivotal?"

Aren't they all?

No. Not in cinci over the last 20 years they have not been.

The difference in ownership between Carl and Bob is pretty striking.

Caveat Emperor
03-07-2012, 12:43 PM
Is this season truly "pivotal?"

The Reds have no impact position players in the development pipeline above A ball -- most, if not all, fall into the category of weak-stick MI types or low-plate discipline sluggers.

Joey Votto is going to depart in free agency. If Vegas offered any kind of odds on that happening, I'd wager my life savings and every future nickle that I'll make on that. The Reds aren't going to go north of $200M on a contract for a player, and that's the kind of money Votto is going to command so long as his production doesn't completely tank over the next two seasons.

Scott Rolen is going to retire, either after this season or the next.

Brandon Phillips? The handwriting is on the wall regarding this one. If the Reds were intent on keeping him, you'd imagine they'd have a deal worked out already to extend him.

So, where does that leave the Reds? They're projecting major holes at 1B, 3B, and 2B over the next two seasons. LF has a bandaid applied to it currently, and still needs to be addressed. That's 4 positions on the diamond that need filled by a team that has shown zero desire to bid for quality major league position players on the open market and that just recently raided it's farm system to acquire Mat Latos and Sean Marshall.

And what's waiting in the minors? Guys with major warts in their game -- guys who need to "learn to make more contact" or "learn to take a walk" (you know, the exact sort of things you never "learn" how to do).

So yes, this season is pivotal -- because, on paper, the future for the Cincinnati reds post-2013 looks pretty bleak.

Sea Ray
03-07-2012, 12:54 PM
So yes, this season is pivotal -- because, on paper, the future for the Cincinnati reds post-2013 looks pretty bleak.

Such is the plight of the small market team. Small market teams never are set for the long haul. If we have all those holes for 2013 then that tells me that we traded Votto. If we did that then I have to believe at least one hole is filled, hopefully more. We have a lot of options to fil 2B as our strength in the minors right now is middle INFs. Finally, you didn't mention pitching. That fact is enough for us to remain contenders for awhile. As a small market you have to make choices and this organization made the choice to concentrate on the pitching and wing it on the position players. Given their $85mill payroll, I think that's the best they can do.