I'm not seeing these huge warts or poor projections steel.
Fan graph projections 2014
Bautista 33 HR .895 ops
Rasmus 22 HR .771 ops
Izturis .316 opb
That for Phillips a guy who was an all star but is on the decline and cueto, a guy with ace upside but recent injuries seems like a decent deal to improve the offense while not making long term financial obligations. Rasmus goes after next year. Hamilton steps in full time. The year after that Bautista is gone and one of Ervin winker or YRod should be ready to step in. Use hanigan to try to pry away beckham from Tampa so there's young big upside depth below Izturis and maybe look into a fail safe type of starter if you don't think chapman will stick in the rotation.
Last edited by Old school 1983; 11-11-2013 at 09:24 AM.
–Billy Hamilton could be a possible replacement at second base if the Reds trade Phillips. People in the organization saw Hamilton as the second baseman of future before the Reds signed Phillips to the six-year deal in 2012.
Of course, with Choo likley to gone, Hamilton is probably No. 1 on the depth chart at center field right now.
Should make for an interesting offseason.
I'm kinda worried about this off season. Choo, Arroyo, and BP all probably gone. I'm not usually the pessimistic guy, but we need to have a good offseason!!!
Bautista is a very good player. Rasmus is a pretty good player. I don't think that's even really up for discussion, although the quality of Rasmus as a player might be (he looked pretty bad in recent history). While Bautista appears to be beginning to decline and has been injured in the last two seasons, he is still a quality bat. Rasmus is coming off of a good season, and might be getting it all together, but that remains to be seen, since he has been quite the Jeckyl and Hyde player in recent history. Either of them would be a good add (I am currently ignoring contracts in this discussion).
Izturis is so bad that I had to look at the second page of Blue Jays players (his war is 31/31 for a last place team) to even find his name. -18.5 runs offensively, -14.3 runs defensively, -2.1 WAR. I don't like targeting a player like this with anything other than some sort of swap of bad contract or drek minor league players, while also having TOR eat his salary.
However, Cueto is a young, cost controlled (at a meager $10m for each of the next 2 years, with '15 being a club option- so if he continues to be injured, you have an out), elite SP. He has had an ERA below 3 in each of the last 3 seasons. His xFIP is sinking and his K/9 is increasing, and he is 28 next year, so he should at the very least continue his current rate of production. Literally the only wart that you can point out for him is his injury history in 2013, and the hope is that has been corrected and was a continued problem due to trying to come back early over and over again.
One of the things to think about is how one might acquire these (or similar) players if they were FA's (ignoring qualifying offer circumstances).
Could you acquire a Jeckyl-and-Hyde outfielder (Rasmus) for ~$8m (probably a fair expectation for an arbitration raise, following his '13 season and salary of $4.7m in '13)? Probably. Melky Cabrera went for 2/16m last year, and Cody Ross went for 3/26m. This also ignores "valuetown" signings like Ibanez for 1/2.75m or McLouth at 1/2m.
Could you acquire a "big bat" who is limited defensively (I'm not even going to acknowledge Bautista as a potential 3rd base option; he is about as much of an option there as Frazier is at SS or Bruce is in CF) for 14m annually? Again, probably. Adam LaRoche went for 2/26m, Nick Swisher went for 4/56m, and Victorino (who has less power but more defensive versatility) went for 3/39m.
So peers of Bautista and Rasmus aren't terribly uncommon, even at their price. Given, these players aren't exact replicas, but might be considered peers.
Now what kinds of pitchers can you get for about $10m annually? Kevin Correia went for 2/20m, Dan Haren 1/13m, Hiroshi Iwakuma 2/14m, Brandon McCarthy 2/15.5m, Brett Myers 1/7m, and Andy Pettite 1/12m. If you commit for longer or more money, you could get Dempster for 2/26.5m, Edwin Jackson for 4/56m, Hiroki Kuroda for 1/15m, or pay big for an Anibal Sanchez at 5/80m. I would say that Cueto is definitely better than all of these signings, save maybe Anibal Sanchez, who would be about lateral to Cueto (Sanchez wasn't especially good before 2013, and he still got 5y/80m).
So you have a SP who certainly wouldn't be available at this price on the open market and a handful of guys who could be. If you simply look at scarcity, trading the SP for the LF (Cueto for Bautista straight up) is not the best move.
I think that Steel's point is exactly this. Because Cueto provides such a great opportunity for value, you don't have to look for guys who are declining, older, rebound candidates, or lottery tickets. You would trade Cueto not for a Bautista who is older and has a recent injury history and is declining, but for a Carlos Gonzalez or Jean Segura or Manny Machado- guys who are not available on the open market.
It isn't a personal thing- you have presented good trade candidates for the Reds to examine, and I hope they do explore trading for Bautista or Rasmus (not Izturis). However, starting out the proposal with Cueto seems a little too "banana phone" for me, and ignores a lot of aspects of the players and the league context that we are in right now. Frankly, you could probably get Bautista for a package headlined by Leake- so why give up Cueto?
Excellent post Plus Plus. How do you feel about those guys for Bailey instead (knowing he's gone in a year and that Rasmus would net the same draft choice that Bailey would)? Just Bailey for Baustista or Bailey for Rasmus and a kicker, say Brett Cecil?
"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS
I also think that trading Bailey for Bautista or Rasmus/Cecil could have a more detrimental effect on the Reds long-term than a Bailey to CLE for Lindor or OAK for Russell (if either of those were possible in a package), but I don't know as much about minor league player value as some others here. I'd rather see youth coming back for Bailey instead of a bigger contract unless the bigger contract was an extreme value, like Carlos Gonzalez.
If Cueto's that valuable then trade him for Bautista AND Rasmus!
Old school 1983 (11-11-2013)
I see steels arguement that cueto provides great value if healthy, but that's if. He made it seem as if I was definitely saying cueto will get hurt and a target like Bautista will not. It goes both ways. He also said my projects for these guys are off, and according to fan graphs they aren't. Bautista is injury prone sure but let's say we play him in left. His backup is a very capable Ryan ludwick. Not the group of suspects we've had this year. His contract is 15 million but he offers a level of ops beyond anyone in the team short of votto and arguably more power than anyone on the team. All of this without having to give a long term commitment to choo. Same with Rasmus. One year commitment if I understand his contract correctly. He has the potential to offer one year of near .800 ops production. That'd put him as one if the most productive players on the team. I understand Cuetos value. Izturis is nothing but a fail safe to cover second in the departure of Phillips. I also said I'd like a prospect in the trade as well. I'm not too familiar with torontos farm system so I couldn't speak on that.
I get the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Bautista and Rasmus, but you run the same risk with cueto due to the injury factor as well. It's a two way street. But you have to give something up get something. Phillips despite his decline is a gold glove all star player. Cueto despite his ace upside may be as Jekyll and Hyde because of injury. You can say what if we get these guys and they get hurt, but at the same time if we trade bailey and not cueto and he gets hurt it may leave us in a worse spot.
Also this trade takes into consideration the reds top prospects and their development. Rasmus leaves after 2014 as does ludwick. That frees up big time cash that could be thrown at bailey with Bautista in left and Hamilton in center in 2015. Following that year Bautista leaves and by then Ervin winker or y rod will be ready. They fill left and the money that was Bautistas could be used to extend Latos. That trade would give the reds instant major league offense that yes would be a risk for a guy that seems to have one foot out of the door in Phillips and another guy who is an injury risk in himself in cueto. If cueto was guaranteed to be healthy in 2014, this trade would be a bad idea, but like the guys in the return he isn't. Like any other trade, it's a risk reward proposition. Given that chapman seems to be destined for the rotation, there will be 5 starters snd a top prospect not too far behind. It seems like a good risk to me unless you could just pull a move with bailey for an elite prospect or two that are going to make a huge instant impact.
I'd lean on the coaches evaluation of his swing now.
I agree with your plan though. Plan on starting Billy at AAA. If he breaks down the door in June, August or whenever.. bring him up then. He's probably still learning and could benefit from some more AAA time.
Ideally we get a stop gap CF this winter.
If Spring rolls around, and we only have Heisey and Derrek Robinson as the other candidates for CF, and the Reds think BHam is close to ready, I could accept him learning on the job.. Not ideal though.
Thank you Walt and Bob for bringing winning baseball back to Cincy
Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!
Nobody is arguing that having Bautista would make the Reds better. In fact, as I said in my previous post, he is as good of a target as anyone. The problem is that, while you do have to give up value to get value, that value doesn't exist in a vacuum and player worth can't always be seen immediately by looking at the back of a baseball card or at a FanGraphs projection. Players like Cueto are way more scarce than players like Bautista, especially the 2014 versions of these players.
If Cueto is moved, it will be for a significant, young, all-star level or potential player. It will not be for an aging veteran who has not had more than 400 PAs since 2011, no matter who that is.
Again, why would you trade Cueto, who likely has as much trade value as Latos, to anyone without getting significant, cost-controlled, building-block type pieces? If the Reds take on the contract, you might be able to get Bautista or Rasmus for prospects, or Leake+, or something like that. You might not even have to go that far.
Lots of players have value- it doesn't have to be a star-for-star type trade every time. And, while "winning" or "losing" trades is always a tough science, giving up more value than you get back is a surefire way of coming out behind- see: Hamilton/Volquez.
I may have sold cueto a bit short, but I think the board is selling him a bit too high. I think a healthy 2014 campaign would bring his value back up to the level of being able to fetch elite level talent, but right now his health issues in 2013 haze up his value. I wasn't factoring age into the trade equation as much as I should have with Bautista.
Looking at the reds current situation, I think it may be wise to look into seeing what you could get for cueto. If his injury was due to a freak play I'd be like its a fluke but the injury seems to be related to, or at least exacerbated by his Luis Tiant turn in his windup. The turn adds a level of deveptiveness to his delivery and it's inception coincided with his takeoff as an ace level pitcher. Changing his windup may relieve the injury issue but it may lower his effectiveness. Everyone seems to want to deal bailey. Considering Cuetos injury plagued 2013 and the fact that if bailey goes, it'll more than likely be chapman in his place, then the reds will be left with serious questions in the rotation. One bring will chapman work there, and two will cueto be healthy. If cueto gets hurt, your most viable option for replacing chapman if he faulters replaces cueto and we are left with poor options it cover chapman if he fails to covert to a starter. While bailey will only be here a year, he gives the reds more health stability than cueto IMO. It'd lessen the risk of trying chapman in a starting role because being injury prone will be less of a factor than it would be with cueto in the rotation. After that year, Stephenson will more than likely be ready to go, so bailey could walk and the reds get a pick with a nice replacement, or if chapman fails as a starter he could take his place, and the reds could have a whole offseason to find another pitcher. Plus, if Cuetos real value is that which is indicated by this board, then more or less the sky would be the limit for the return rather than picking up aging veterans for cueto we could grab a younger star and maybe a prospect or two to immediately help the team and to create depth for the future.
A good strategy may be to see what a team would offer for bailey then up the ante on the return and see if they'd take cueto on that return rather than bailey.
Last edited by Old school 1983; 11-11-2013 at 06:07 PM.
And yet, even a truly terminal Rich Harden still had a market that allowed the A's to bring back a return when he was dealt. Cueto is way WAY more valuable than that.
Frankly, I wouldn't deal either Bailey or Cueto...yet. But I would pull a chair up to Milwaukee's table at the GM meetings and start talking to them about a guy like Khris Davis. And I have a feeling I wouldn't even need to pull Bailey or Cueto's name into the discussion.
See, you don't go out and spend high-level pitching resources on finding non-skill position hitters. You go out and spend prospects on finding a guy who projects and can be controlled cheaply for a few seasons. If you want to start trading big guns, then you begin looking at teams desperate for pitching with a surplus of skill-position players who project to actually hit and low-level projectible pitchers coming back. And if you need to grab a short-term big-bat rental type, those don't cost ace-level starters.
If all else fails and you're in the market for guys who are owed metric tons of cash (the Reds really can't be in that market, but whatever), you shoot for the guys who actually are special (David Wright, Jose Reyes types) at skill positions while trying to either move payroll yourself and/or get the team on the other end to flip you back prospects to take on a few million more than you'd like to have for longer than you'd care to have it.
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