Re: Look Sharp (from Nate Silver @ BP)
This chart makes it appear that these data are static--they're not.
More importantly, these axes oversimplify the issue quite a bit; there are a other important axes not included in the chart above:
*age of the talent base
*potential upside (vice current production)
*price tag, including # of years before arbitration and free agency
*pitching vs. hitting--more volatility on pitching side
*talent pipeline, i.e., minor league talent
*MLB-ready talent depth at a given position--excess talent is easy to trade
Overall, I think the Reds are strong in a number of areas not covered in the two-dimensional graph above. They have key players locked up for several years cheaply (Ross, Hamilton) or guys that have several years before their likely peak seasons (Encarnacion, Phillips, half the bullpen). In fact, I think the Reds are in a relatively enviable position with young, MLB-experienced, pre-arb talent. Arizona and Milwaukee are the only two teams coming to mind that exceed the Reds on those two fronts.
Moreover, I think the Reds can be turned around fairly quickly if the Reds take a few chances on players, and I'll give you an example.
At the end of the 1987 season, the Reds had a bunch of mediocre pitching. The likes of Bill Gullickson, Ted Power, and Guy Hoffman were all OK pitchers, but it was clear that the talent on the pitching side of the ledger was flat. . . So the Reds went out and targeted two talented young pitchers, who both came with warts--Danny Jackson and Jose Rijo. So the Reds bit the bullet on the timeline, swapped hitting for pitching, and rolled the dice on young pitching talent, and those guys served as the best pitchers on a championship team a few years later.
(Aside: the Reds transformation from a offensive team to a fielding-and-pitching club during the 1987-1990 years was quite astounding and should be examined more in depth, given the current state of the club.)
IMO there many ways to upgrade the team because it is fairly common to find trading partners that are trying to shore up their holes, are shedding payroll, need younger talent, going all-out to win, etc.
Last edited by D-Man; 05-31-2007 at 10:17 PM.