Originally Posted by Jpup
What has Votto proven above AA? I think Votto will be a good player, but LaRoche is much better right now. That's not even being fair to Votto.
It's not really that important to prove anything above AA ball IMHO..... In some of his classic abstracts, Bill James has argued pretty forcefully that its not necesary to require players log extensive time at the AAA level. In fact he also argues as a basic truism, that the truly great players will reach the majors at a younger age than usual. James' opinions aside, its becoming more and more common for major league teams to promote their top prospects from AA to the big dance without any significant time logged AAA. Basically the AAA level is starting to resemble more of a holding tank for shuttling roster help (replacement level players and second tier prospects basically blocked at the major league level) than a true developmental step (at least for the true prospects)...
So here's why the proposed trade is a non-starter IMHO. It addresses two needs by trading/blocking in house solutions
(Homer/Votto) that are cheaper with more upside than the two options that would come in return. Basically LaRoche projects as a league average first baseman (.282/.358/.483) who is valuable because he's cheap but who is going to get much more expensive during his approaching arb eligible years. Hudson is intriguing but very expensive as his contract is back loaded. He is going to get very expensive beyond next year-without a guarantee he will give you innings (he'll be 32 next season and his contract goes through what should be his decline years). Finally, first base is the easiest position on the field to solve via replacement level guys. Last year essentially supports this notion as the Reds got by pretty well from squeezing blood from the turnips at firstbase last season.... Signing C. Wilson does enough to address the Reds need at first for '07 to satisfy me and it doesn't require giving up anything potentially useful....
Now, all of that being said, the in-house solutions aren't going to be automatic ones for '07 so I understand the downside. Basically Votto has only become a bona fide prospect because he had a break out season (.319/.408/.547) last year in a traditionally pitcher dominant league. Basically he still has things to prove and probably is not ready to make the jump in '07. Krivsky's statements about Homer needing seasoning in AAA basically is lip service, I think, because there is a lack of consensus within the organisation regarding Homer's command. They are basically hedging their bets. He's probably going to be on the 25 man roster no later than August.
So IMHO, I'd frame this particular proposal as: "would you rather trade cheap/in-house but win tomorrow for expensive and try to win now?". I'd prefer the in-house for these two particular needs.
Anyway, thats the world according to me for what its worth....