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Benihana
08-22-2012, 03:34 PM
It's never too early to discuss (even when you're in the middle of a playoff run). If I'm Walt, here is what I do and the order in which I do it. All four are mutually exclusive options, meaning if 1 then no 2 or 3 or 4. If 2 then no 3 or 4, etc.

1. Address the Ryan Ludwick situation.

Try to exercise his $5MM option. If he wants more money or a multiyear deal, the most I'd offer is a 2-year deal in the $8-10MM range. If he wants more than that, I let him walk. He is already in his mid-30s and the Reds should have a LF ready by 2015, whether that's Lutz, Rodriguez, or maybe even Winker (not to mention Frazier). If Ludwick signs, great- there is not much that would change on the roster as Frazier would become the everyday 3B. If he doesn't, go to #2...

Phillips 2B
Frazier 3B
Votto 1B
Ludwick LF
Bruce RF
Stubbs CF
Cozart SS
Mesigan C

2. Try to trade for Justin Upton

The Diamondbacks will look to trade for a SS this offseason (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/08/diamondbacks-will-seek-shortstop-this-offseason.html), and they'll probably have to overpay. They've already indicated they will explore trading Upton this offseason. He is owed $38MM over the next three years, something the Reds could conceivably afford- particularly if they let Stubbs and/or Bailey walk. I'd offer Cozart, Stubbs, and their choice of any prospect in the system outside of Hamilton and Stephenson (including Corcino or Cingrani). D'backs get their SS for the next five years, their CF for the next two, and a top-flight prospect. Reds get their LF and cleanup or #2 hitter for the next three years. Win-win for both sides. If it works, Frazier still plays 3B.

Phillips 2B
Upton LF
Votto 1B
Frazier 3B
Bruce RF
Heisey/LaMarre/Hamilton? CF
Mesigan C
Gregorius SS

3. Sign Kevin Youkilis to a 2 year $10MM deal.

The erstwhile Red Sox hero gets to return home to finish his career in front of his parents as he has said he prefers. He bats cleanup and plays 3B for 100-120 games to keep his legs and back fresh. He plays against all LHP. Henry Rodriguez spells him against tough righties for 40-60 games a year. Youk also plays 1B when Votto needs the occasional day off. H-Rod plays 2B when Phillips needs the occasional day off. Todd Frazier becomes the everyday LF.

Phillips 2B
Frazier LF
Votto 1B
Youkilis 3B
Bruce RF
Stubbs CF
Cozart SS
Mesigan C

4. Trade Drew Stubbs, Homer Bailey and their choice of prospect other than the big four (Hamilton, Stephenson, Corcino and Cingrani) for Matt Garza and David DeJesus.

Provided Garza proves healthy in the offseason. The Cubs get salary relief in a year they are not going to compete (2013) by dumping two free agents-to-be. In exchange they get two slightly inferior but cheaper players who are signed beyond 2013, when they are expected to compete. In addition they can pick whatever prospect they like in the Reds system outside of the big four. They were dangling these two in a package to the Reds for Stubbs and Hamilton at the deadline. Now with a shorter window until FA, they settle for Stubbs, Bailey, and a good prospect. The Reds improve CF and their rotation, while gaining another LH hitter. Reds can make a qualifying offer to Garza after the season to get a high draft pick and let both players walk in free agency to be replaced by Billy Hamilton and either Corcino or Cingrani in 2014. Reds add payroll for 2013 only but shed it in time for Votto and BP to get expensive and Latos and Leake to get their big arb raises.

CF DeJesus
2B Phillips
1B Votto
3B Frazier
RF Bruce
SS Cozart
LF Heisey (maybe see if one of the youngsters like LaMarre or Lutz can make the jump)
C Mesigan

Brutus
08-22-2012, 03:39 PM
I think the Youkilis idea is redundant. To me, Frazier has earned being called the future 3B. Youkilis is at the age where his production could really go downhill at any moment. As much as it would be a nice story, I would ride Frazier as the 3B going forward.

The Upton idea is nice in theory, but I don't see the Reds being a match.

reds44
08-22-2012, 03:41 PM
Most likely they'll do very little. Hamilton will be on the doorstep to be coming up to play CF. They'll try to bring Ludwick back. Madson, I think, will be back.

Also, there's no chance Homer Bailey, Drew Stubbs, and a C level prospect nets you Garza alone, much less him and DeJesus.

Benihana
08-22-2012, 03:42 PM
I think the Youkilis idea is redundant. To me, Frazier has earned being called the future 3B. Youkilis is at the age where his production could really go downhill at any moment. As much as it would be a nice story, I would ride Frazier as the 3B going forward.

Only if Ludwick is not re-signed, in which case Frazier is the future LF. Youkilis on a hometown discount is probably a better FA alternative to the LF that are available (ie Swisher looking for $100MM+), and Frazier's defense in LF is slightly better than it is at 3B.


The Upton idea is nice in theory, but I don't see the Reds being a match.

From the link I posted above...


Diamondbacks Will Seek Shortstop This Offseason
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [August 22, 2012 at 9:05am CST]
The Diamondbacks traded Stephen Drew this week, officially acknowledging that he won’t return in 2013. The team will rely on Willie Bloomquist, Jake Elmore and John McDonald for the remainder of the 2012 season, but they’ll pursue shortstop help over the winter, GM Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

"There's not a lot on the free-agent market, so more than likely it's going to take a trade,” Towers said. “We'll probably have to trade a good player -- or a couple of good players -- to find one."

Towers expects to encounter an “overpay situation” in his search for shortstops because there is only so much talent to go around. “Teams tend to really horde those type of players,” he said. The Rangers have enviable depth at the position in Elvis Andrus and top prospect Jurickson Profar. GM Jon Daniels says it’s a good problem to have.

“We don't know exactly how it's going to play out long term, but I'm not really all that concerned about it,” Daniels said. “I know that all the possibilities are good ones for us."

Piecoro suggests the Diamondbacks will talk to the Rangers this offseason. The Reds have middle infield depth behind Zack Cozart (Didi Gregorius and Billy Hamilton) and the Blue Jays have Adeiny Hechavarria and Yunel Escobar.

The Diamondbacks would like to see more of Elmore, but don’t seem convinced he’s more than a part-time player, according to Piecoro. And while they like prospect Chris Owings, they don’t expect him to be ready for the MLB level in 2013. Bloomquist and McDonald are both under contract for 2013.

Benihana
08-22-2012, 03:45 PM
Also, there's no chance Homer Bailey, Drew Stubbs, and a C level prospect nets you Garza alone, much less him and DeJesus.

Disagree. Garza's value has fallen. As a FA-to-be coming off a significant injury, he has far less value to the non-contending Cubs. Ditto for DeJesus as a $5MM 33 year old CF. And I said a B level prospect.

Bailey will be cheaper, controlled longer, (arguably more durable), and will have thrown twice as many innings with the exact same ERA+ as Garza this year.

Vottomatic
08-22-2012, 03:48 PM
1. Agree. Address the Ludwick situation. He likes it here. He fits in. He's having a career season. Some guys get worse with age. Some guys hit their stride in the mid-30's. We haven't seen him to be injury prone either yet. I'd consider a 2-year deal.

2. I'd consider trading for Upton, but not if you have to trade Hamilton, Stephenson, Corcino, or Cingrani........which you probably will. I'd push to include either Leake or Bailey, rather than the young pitching, simply for salary reasons. Choice of Bailey or Leake, Gregorius, Heisey or Stubbs, Lotzkar or Villareal. I do not trade Cozart. If they sign Ludwick and trade for Upton, Bruce becomes your everyday CFer, and you have to ask yourself if he feels comfortable with that or do you feel comfortable with that?

3. If the Upton trade fails, pursue Dexter Fowler. The Rockies need pitching badly. Make a similar offer as the Upton offer, but a bit less. Include Stubbs. Fowler can play CF, and Bruce remains in RF.

If successful with 2 out of the first 3, the outfield is set for a few years.

CF Fowler
2B Phillips
1B Votto
LF Ludwick
RF Bruce
3B Frazier
SS Cozart
C Hanoraco

With Leake or Bailey gone, you have to figure out who you're 5th starter is.

Vottomatic
08-22-2012, 03:50 PM
Garza is damaged goods.
I'd rather see Frazier full time at 3B than in LF.
LF and CF, leadoff and cleanup need addressed more than anything.

reds44
08-22-2012, 03:51 PM
Disagree. Garza's value has fallen. As a FA-to-be coming off a significant injury, he has far less value to the non-contending Cubs. Ditto for DeJesus as a $5MM 33 year old CF. And I said a B level prospect.

Bailey will be cheaper, controlled longer, (arguably more durable), and will have thrown twice as many innings with the exact same ERA+ as Garza this year.
Then the Cubs will hold onto him and let him pitch and increase his value. Zero chance he gets traded for that little. Zero.

Benihana
08-22-2012, 03:52 PM
2. I'd consider trading for Upton, but not if you have to trade Hamilton, Stephenson, Corcino, or Cingrani........which you probably will. I'd push to include either Leake or Bailey, rather than the young pitching, simply for salary reasons. Choice of Bailey or Leake, Gregorius, Heisey or Stubbs, Lotzkar or Villareal. I do not trade Cozart. If they sign Ludwick and trade for Upton, Bruce becomes your everyday CFer, and you have to ask yourself if he feels comfortable with that or do you feel comfortable with that?

If they sign Ludwick, trading for Upton is moot. Assuming they don't sign Ludwick, I'd include Corcino or Cingrani in the deal. Would be happy to sub Bailey in for either of them. They have a lot of young pitching, which is why I think they'd focus their efforts on Cozart.


3. If the Upton trade fails, pursue Dexter Fowler. The Rockies need pitching badly. Make a similar offer as the Upton offer, but a bit less. Include Stubbs. Fowler can play CF, and Bruce remains in RF.

Love Fowler and advocated pursuing him this year. However I don't think the Rockies are going to move him.

One other option I didn't mention in the original post if Ludwick signs elsewhere would be trading for Shin Soo-Choo. The FA-to-be could probably be had for prospects that don't include Hamilton or Stephenson (ie Corcino or Cingrani, etc.)

Benihana
08-22-2012, 03:53 PM
Then the Cubs will hold onto him and let him pitch and increase his value. Zero chance he gets traded for that little. Zero.

He was on the table for Stubbs and Hamilton when he still had 1.5 years of control. With only one year and coming off a major injury, it is not inconceivable to downgrade Hamilton to Bailey + a B prospect.

I guess we'll see.

Benihana
08-22-2012, 03:56 PM
I'd rather see Frazier full time at 3B than in LF.
LF and CF, leadoff and cleanup need addressed more than anything.

Agree with both. That is what I've attempted to do.

I'd rather see Frazier at 3B than LF, but if the available 3B are much more attractive than the available LF, I am fine with Frazier in LF.

Vottomatic
08-22-2012, 03:57 PM
If they sign Ludwick, trading for Upton is moot. Assuming they don't sign Ludwick, I'd include Corcino or Cingrani in the deal. Would be happy to sub Bailey in for either of them. They have a lot of young pitching, which is why I think they'd focus their efforts on Cozart.



Love Fowler and advocated pursuing him this year. However I don't think the Rockies are going to move him.

One other option I didn't mention in the original post if Ludwick signs elsewhere would be trading for Shin Soo-Choo. The FA-to-be could probably be had for prospects that don't include Hamilton or Stephenson (ie Corcino or Cingrani, etc.)

I'd rather sign Ludwick than trade for Upton. The price for Upton is going to be ridiculous. And Gregorius has dropped off substantially at triple A. If the D-Backs could be convinced to focus on Gregorius and none of the minor league top pitchers and Hamilton, that's the only way I consider it. Simply put, Ludwick doesn't cost us more of the farm system.

I'd be willing to consider Dejesus. But he'd have to play CF. Not sure if he can cover it anymore. Walt has a history of trading with the Cubs lately.......might be able to trade some spare parts for Dejesus. I think Dejesus would bring more to the table consistently than Stubbs. Defense would be weaker, but I think we're also clearing room for Hamilton, hopefully in 2014.

Benihana
08-22-2012, 04:12 PM
I'd rather sign Ludwick than trade for Upton. The price for Upton is going to be ridiculous. And Gregorius has dropped off substantially at triple A. If the D-Backs could be convinced to focus on Gregorius and none of the minor league top pitchers and Hamilton, that's the only way I consider it. Simply put, Ludwick doesn't cost us more of the farm system.

I'd rather re-sign Ludwick too, provided the cost meets the parameters I listed in the OP. If he wants more, I'd let him walk and turn my attention to Upton.


I'd be willing to consider Dejesus. But he'd have to play CF. Not sure if he can cover it anymore. Walt has a history of trading with the Cubs lately.......might be able to trade some spare parts for Dejesus. I think Dejesus would bring more to the table consistently than Stubbs. Defense would be weaker, but I think we're also clearing room for Hamilton, hopefully in 2014.

Only way I'd want DeJesus is if he could play CF. Otherwise, forget it.

Brutus
08-22-2012, 04:36 PM
Only if Ludwick is not re-signed, in which case Frazier is the future LF. Youkilis on a hometown discount is probably a better FA alternative to the LF that are available (ie Swisher looking for $100MM+), and Frazier's defense in LF is slightly better than it is at 3B.



From the link I posted above...

I don't think I'd be keen on trading Hamilton for Upton, to be honest. It's not necessarily overvalue Hamilton, but I'm still not sure which Upton is the real Upton. Two seasons of his career, he's been one of the best hitters in the game. The other two, this year especially, he's been someone that would not be worth the money and prospects it would cost to obtain him. His ISO this year is .124. Two years ago it was .170. The 2009 and 2011 version would be worth trading Hamilton for, probably, and be worth the money he will cost. But can we be certain that's the Upton the Reds would get?

I guess if the Reds lose Ludwick, then signing Youkilis is a decent alternative. I like Upton, but his total value is still a little iffy for me. I'd want to have a better idea what I'm getting if I were going to trade my best prospect to acquire him.

Vottomatic
08-22-2012, 09:26 PM
I say look at the team now and the success they've had developing from within.

Sometimes that's what makes me leary of trading our better prospects if they're not blocked.

Kc61
08-22-2012, 10:02 PM
Ludwick gives the Reds a cleanup hitter without trading valuable assets. Sign him, by all means, forget other cleanup alternatives.

Instead focus on a lefty or switch hitting tablesetter. CF is the obvious position.
If no starter can be acquired, at least swap Heisey for a backup OBP type.

Reds also will need to replace Cairo on the bench and will look to add to pitching. Decision on Madson must be made.

For next year the bench is Xman, Mes (or Hanigan), Valdez. Cairo gets replaced and possibly Heisey.

Frazier is the third baseman replacing Rolen who presumably retires.

Not major surgery.

Tom Servo
08-22-2012, 10:18 PM
Ludwick gives the Reds a cleanup hitter without trading valuable assets. Sign him, by all means, forget other cleanup alternatives.
This.

I(heart)Freel
08-23-2012, 08:21 AM
Ludwick gives the Reds a cleanup hitter without trading valuable assets. Sign him, by all means, forget other cleanup alternatives.

Instead focus on a lefty or switch hitting tablesetter. CF is the obvious position.
If no starter can be acquired, at least swap Heisey for a backup OBP type.

Reds also will need to replace Cairo on the bench and will look to add to pitching. Decision on Madson must be made.

For next year the bench is Xman, Mes (or Hanigan), Valdez. Cairo gets replaced and possibly Heisey.

Frazier is the third baseman replacing Rolen who presumably retires.

Not major surgery.


How about Rolen in the Cairo bench role, with the chance to start a day or two a week spelling Frazier and Votto (could slide Fraz over to 1B prolly)?

PuffyPig
08-23-2012, 08:37 AM
Also, there's no chance Homer Bailey, Drew Stubbs, and a C level prospect nets you Garza alone, much less him and DeJesus.

You don't think the Cubs would take Stubbs and Bailey for one year of Gazra?

I'd be surprised if they didn't jump on Bailey alone.

Kc61
08-23-2012, 08:55 AM
How about Rolen in the Cairo bench role, with the chance to start a day or two a week spelling Frazier and Votto (could slide Fraz over to 1B prolly)?

Not sure Rolen would want this, but I'm sure the Reds would love to have him in that spot.

To state the obvious, the big issue for next year is Stubbs/Heisey. Have to think one or both of those spots will change hands. That's where the Reds could use the lefty/OBP addition. But they have to be careful because defense is so important in CF.

The emergence of Frazier and Ludwick solves a couple of needs for next year, assuming they can sign Ludwick. Makes next off season easier IMO.

mdccclxix
08-23-2012, 09:08 AM
I think the Reds will also want to go the resign Ludwick route, as coming off a great season does not lead to lots of tinkering, as we saw in 2010.

In fact, it occurs to me now that they may look at bloat payroll a bit further with the arb cases in Leake and Bailey and Stubbs, and in so doing "go all in" one more year. Those are 3 starters on a championship level team.

I'd say Heisey is a bit more on the bubble.

Paul a bit more so.

Bray more still.

And if Rolen wants to come back, I would think he will be offered a spot, for sure.

But if things go well, I can see them wanting to keep the band together one more year before Cingrani, Corcino, Hamilton and others really factor in come 2014. That's some salary relief for when the arb cases really reach their peak. Plus, we've seen them sit on promoting great prospects when they're a winning club. And it's worked out too, of course, with Frazier and Cozart.

mdccclxix
08-23-2012, 09:15 AM
I think the Ludwick deal will be about showing some respect. What respect means to Ludwick and/or his agent is somewhat unknown. But, if they think they can go get a 3 year 30 million deal, that's their prerogative. Really interesting spot for all parties.

mdccclxix
08-23-2012, 09:29 AM
Waitaminit,

Ludwick's bref page says this: 1 yr/$2.5M (12) & 13 team option

Doesn't this mean he's signed for 2013 then?

Edit: So Cot's, where bref gets their info apparently, says mutual option.

Benihana
08-23-2012, 09:59 AM
You don't think the Cubs would take Stubbs and Bailey for one year of Gazra?

I'd be surprised if they didn't jump on Bailey alone.

Exactly.

Dan
08-23-2012, 09:59 AM
The Upton deal...I'd do Cozart, Stubbs and Leake for Upton and a LH reliever on the major league roster. That opens a spot for Chapman to move into the rotation. D-backs get their SS and Leake gets a nice homecoming. If that happened, I'd also consider moving Bruce to LF to mitigate some of what appear to be defensive short-comings that have developed.

buckeyenut
08-23-2012, 10:07 AM
I think Hamilton is a 2013 mid year addition rather than a 2014 addition. I think the right spot for him is CF, with an offseason deal of Stubbs. I think we want to keep Cozart at SS due to the pop in his bat and the good defense.

With Hamilton in CF and a resigned Ludwick, this lineup is pretty tough at
Hamilton
Phillips
Votto
Ludwick
Bruce
Frazier
Cozart
Hamilraco

If Ludwick doesn't resign, we still need a LF who ideally could bat cleanup, but Frazier or Phillips might be able to bat 4 with Heisey stepping into LF.

I look at this and I just don't see where this team has holes and really needs help going forward. The rotation is top notch, but Arroyo will drop off in 2 years, opening up a hole for someone from minors to fill. Your bullpen is outstanding. And if Ludwick provides the solid type of bat he is providing now or Frazier is for real, we are in good shape.

Kc61
08-23-2012, 10:15 AM
The Upton deal...I'd do Cozart, Stubbs and Leake for Upton and a LH reliever on the major league roster. That opens a spot for Chapman to move into the rotation. D-backs get their SS and Leake gets a nice homecoming. If that happened, I'd also consider moving Bruce to LF to mitigate some of what appear to be defensive short-comings that have developed.

I would be amazed if the Reds did anything like this. The ballclub is 27 games over .500. Cozart is great defensively and hits for power. The team is loaded with righty power, there is no crying need for Upton. Ludwick and Frazier provide the power at a fraction of the cost.

And frankly, I don't see the Reds re-configuring the pitching staff so Aroldis can start. If a good closer falls into their laps, maybe, but why tamper with success? When Arroyo leaves presumably in 2014 there are excellent prospects to take his place.

I see relatively minor change this off-season. I'd guess that either Stubbs or Heisey will be replaced, but even there not so sure, CF is a tough position to find quality guys who hit, run and field.

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 10:21 AM
I still do not understand the fascination of moving Chapman to the starting rotation. I said this before but as an outsider, I pray to god that the Reds do this. Right now, you have arguably the most dominant year of any closer in the history of the game. It's lock down in the 9th. Teams cannot come back. Going into the ninth, if the Reds are winning, there is about a 99% certainty that they're going to win. Your starting rotation is good this year. Why mess with a formula that HAS been working and move it to an unknown formula? Plus, there is no certainty that Chapman will be successful in the starting rotation. He's a lock down closer but a pitcher generally needs more than two pitches to be successful in the starting rotation. His fastball and slider are elite pitches but are his other pitches on the same level?

Another thing is why would you want Chapman to have an impact on a game every 5 days vs. the role he has now where he can essentially make an impact in the game on a daily basis?

Kc61
08-23-2012, 10:41 AM
I still do not understand the fascination of moving Chapman to the starting rotation. I said this before but as an outsider, I pray to god that the Reds do this. Right now, you have arguably the most dominant year of any closer in the history of the game. It's lock down in the 9th. Teams cannot come back. Going into the ninth, if the Reds are winning, there is about a 99% certainty that they're going to win. Your starting rotation is good this year. Why mess with a formula that HAS been working and move it to an unknown formula? Plus, there is no certainty that Chapman will be successful in the starting rotation. He's a lock down closer but a pitcher generally needs more than two pitches to be successful in the starting rotation. His fastball and slider are elite pitches but are his other pitches on the same level?

Another thing is why would you want Chapman to have an impact on a game every 5 days vs. the role he has now where he can essentially make an impact in the game on a daily basis?

Many people around here have said that individual relievers don't add much value and most any good pitcher can close. Some feel that starters are worth many multiples more than closers.

I've never agreed, although I would have liked to see Aroldis start this season for the Reds right out of spring training. The way things worked out, I think it will now be a tough decision if the Reds decide to try Chappy in the rotation. He is a great closer. A bird in hand . . . .

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 10:59 AM
Many people around here have said that individual relievers don't add much value and most any good pitcher can close. Some feel that starters are worth many multiples more than closers.

I've never agreed, although I would have liked to see Aroldis start this season for the Reds right out of spring training. The way things worked out, I think it will now be a tough decision if the Reds decide to try Chappy in the rotation. He is a great closer. A bird in hand . . . .

Obviously they haven't watched the abortion known as the Cardinals bullpen this year. They have the best offense in the NL, a top 5 starting rotation, the best run differential yet are a 2nd place team. All because the bullpen cannot lock down games. More so than ever having lock down relievers in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innnings is one of the most important things now. Starting pitchers aren't going long in games like they were 20 years ago. Many times, the bullpen is having to pitch almost half of the game.

Also, the whole idea where anyone can pitch in the 9th is where sabermatricians and I separate. There is something about that 9th inning that can shake someone. Technically, they might be right in saying that anyone should be able to pitch in that inning but basic human nature takes it's course. Some people cannot handle pressure situations. Simple as that. I don't believe in clutch hitting or clutch pitching but what I do believe is that there are certain players that can handle high leverage situations better than others. Albert Pujols is the most "clutch" player I've ever seen. He had/has the ability to shut out all external forces and focus with laser accuracy on the job at hand. Others in his same position get "the tight cheeks" and fail.

Tom Servo
08-23-2012, 11:05 AM
Waitaminit,

Ludwick's bref page says this: 1 yr/$2.5M (12) & 13 team option

Doesn't this mean he's signed for 2013 then?

Edit: So Cot's, where bref gets their info apparently, says mutual option.
Mutual $5MM option for 2013. Seems like a no-brainer the Reds pick it up, question is if Ludwick wants more from us and if he wants to test the free agent waters. He's given all indications that he loves playing for the Reds.

hebroncougar
08-23-2012, 11:09 AM
My plan is to enjoy a few cigars after we win the World Series.

Kc61
08-23-2012, 11:10 AM
Mutual $5MM option for 2013. Seems like a no-brainer the Reds pick it up, question is if Ludwick wants more from us and if he wants to test the free agent waters. He's given all indications that he loves playing for the Reds.

I'm sure he'll decline that option. They'll try to negotiate a longer deal.

But Lud shouldn't cost a fortune. With Votto and Bruce the Reds don't need a big name highly expensive clean up hitter, a guy like Ludwick (2012 version) seems just fine. I hope they sign him.