Originally Posted by flyer85
You are missing the point. To sign a decent FA pitcher(like Clement) it will take around ~8M A YEAR, but not just for one season. Most likely 3-4 and the Reds can't afford to make a commintment like that to a 30 something pitcher. It will cause the Reds to not be able to keep their younger players.
No small market team has built any of their success on signing a high priced free agent. The Reds must stay far away from the Matt Clements. Their only hope is to develop their own of trade for a younger established pitcher who is not yet an FA(which are expensive in terms of trading).
The key thing for the Reds in 2005 is to clear the deck of their salary obligation to the 30 something guys and to pay now to save some later.
The Reds have assiduously stayed away from talented pitchers for years, so you're likely to get your wish.
I happen to think Clement will be a good pitcher the next three to four years based on his numbers over the past three years - 587.2 IP, 3.80 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 8.82 K/9, .666 OPS against. In fact I think his best years are in front of him. That's my projection. Might not be right, but he's a pitcher to whom I'd be willing to commit. The Reds, a team that lacks so much as a single pitcher worth any sort of commitment, desperately need to acquire such arms.
I've been making this point for years. You have to start somewhere. You can't build a rotation overnight, but you can take the money you've got (and the Reds easily have the $7M-$8M it will take to get Clement) in order to lay a foundation.
He actually gets easier to afford down the road because A) revenues rise over time and B) Graves comes off the books. Provided you do something smart like get yourself cost containment on players like Dunn and Pena, then a staff leader like Clement doesn't prevent you from doing anything.
The Reds are nowhere near growing their own. Maybe in 2007 Thom Pauly or Richie Gardner show up and pitch well (too often we Reds fans confuse showing up as a guarantee that good pitching will follow -- we should know better). The Reds need to invest in quality pitchers when they've got money to spend and to work the trade market for pitchers. I'm completely on board with trading for arb eligibles or LTC guys, been banging that drum for years. And I wouldn't mind parting with some talent to get those pitchers.
Remaking the salary composition of the team and putting together a rotation isn't easy, but it becomes next to impossible when you refuse to pay the going rate for a good (possibly undervalued) pitcher. 200 quality IP at the front of the rotation isn't going to come cheap and it's not going to come from inside the organization anytime soon. Either the Reds find someone worth the gamble or they can continue with the "Groundhog Day" routine.
The point is that the pitching has been atrocious and short-term veteran fill like Paul Wilson, Cory Lidle and Jimmy Haynes has failed as a strategy. It's time to stop paying some money to bad pitchers in the hopes they'll be good and to start paying market value to good pitchers who can actually deliver.