But, a question could be, should the Reds be giving this kind of money to someone that hasn't really put it all together? The Reds can only afford a handful of 'core' players. With Votto, Bruce, Cueto, Latos and Chapman. At least it's my feeling that they can only afford a handful of core players. If that's not the case and Castellini is opening the checkbook no matter what it takes, then it renders my entire analysis moot.
I'm torn on this one, because I have a lot of respect for Bailey and think he has special stuff. He had a great ERA, Whip and K/9 ratio, so he was better than he was given credit for last year. Over a career, it's a different story.
Perhaps he was brought up to quickly but who's fault is that. Are they going to be able to lock up 4-5 starting pitchers long term - and with Votto's contract - are they going to be able to have 8 consistent position players they can put out there everyday?
That's why the player's MLB clock is a real tool to be mastered. Bring a guy up 2-3 years before he should be up, he may not develop until the arbitration years are almost over and his demand for a a full free agent contract is upon us.
Best case scenario is the player is brought up at the right time - that's whether or not they are early 20s or mid 20s. Doesn't matter, so long as its the right time for that individual player. Whenever they are called up, they need to produce immediately for a number or reasons. #1 is so that the franchise gets a huge ROI from paying league minimum for a guy producing All Star results. And #2, it gives the team a comfort level in being able to buy out the 2-3 free agent years at an early stage. Don't wait for Arbitration.... buy all of those and a couple of years of free agency. The player won't turn it down because its guaranteed lifetime riches in case of injury. The team gets value for the entire time the player was with their system 7-8 years. If the player is so good that at the conclusion of that 7-8 years they become a free agent and will command a huge salary, it's a good problem to have. It means the player must be hall of fame worthy. Some you'll lock up again for the remainder of their career. Some you won't.
Well if we are talking about recently. The Cardinals have been to the past 3 NLCS and 2 WS. The Reds have been disappointing me for years now.
Having Homer locked up can really do alot for our young pitching as well. Having the rotation set (barring injury) for the next 2 years will allow Stephenson to season with alot of time in AAA this year and the call can be made whether to bring him up in 2015 due to ability rather than necessity.
As for the core guys you listed If you remove Chapman and one of Latos or Cueto I think that's who you end up with. Not saying get rid of Chapman but he just doesn't seem to be a guy you build around even being as dominant as he is in the pen.
I agree signing young talent to team friendly contracts before they begin arbitration can be a great idea and a risk you need to take from time to time but you can also be stuck with a guy that isn't producing based on more of an educated guess than several years of evidence. Yeah, you pay for those years of evidence but you minimize risk. Just remember we could have just witnessed the walk year of Edinson Volquez had we locked him up with a say 5 year 35-40 mil deal before the 09 season.
Bernie Miklasz of the Post Dispatch wrote about the Reds and the Bailey situation today. He sums it up pretty well in my opinion.
The Reds and RH starting pitcher Homer Bailey are reportedly nearing an agreement on a rather large contract extension. Bailey didn't offer details but confirmed that he's getting closer to re-signing with the Reds.
“We're going in the right direction,” Bailey told beatwriter John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “The majority of it is worked out.”
Bailey is eligible for free agency after the season.
This would be an understandable move by the Reds. I can see why they'd want to keep Bailey. He's a good starter, can supply 200 innings, and the Reds' rotation is in need of stability.
The Reds lost 200-innings man Bronson Arroyo to free agency (Arizona) this winter. Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos can become free agents after the 2015 season.
Closer Aroldis Chapman — at one time an option for the rotation — can become a free agent after the 2014 season. Chapman has $5 million option for 2015, which he controls. But with the kind of money being thrown at pitchers these days, Chapman would have little incentive to trigger that '15 option.
On the other hand …
If as expected the Reds and Bailey agree to terms, it's going to be an expensive contract. One media report estimates that Bailey will receive in the neighborhood of $100 million for six years. That would put him at about $16.6 million per year. And the Reds already have lots of money tied up in long-term commitments to first baseman Joey Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips.
Votto has a 10-year, $225 million contract through 2023. Phillips' six-year $72.5 million deal runs through 2017. The Reds also have outfielder Jay Bruce (six years, $51 million) signed through 2016 — which is a good value for the team. But the Reds aren't structured, long-term, to have a big payroll. That's a big reason why they let Arroyo walk and weren't able to compete to keep free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who was an exceptional leadoff hitter for the 2013 Reds.
With the Reds weighed down by hefty contracts at the top of their payroll, their farm system needs to come through. And the organization is excited over top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson, 21.
To hook this to a Cardinals' angle, consider the performance of two starting pitchers over the past two seasons, 2012 and 2013:
Age: turns 28 in May.
Fielding independent ERA: 3.69
Strikeout rate: 21.3 percent
Walk rate: 6.2 percent
Quality starts: 41
Fangraphs wins above replacement: 6.2
Age: turns 27 in May.
Fielding independent ERA: 3.45
Strikeout rate: 23.8 percent
Walk rate: 8.8 percent
Quality starts: 35
Fangraphs wins above replacement: 6.0
Congratulations, Lance Lynn.
If Homer Bailey is going to get a six-year deal worth $100 million, that's very good news for Lynn.
Lynn (Pitcher B) has a similar profile to Bailey (Pitcher A).
Lynn is even better in some ways, including strikeout rate and adjusted ERA. And they are virtually even in WAR.
Not that anyone needs to be reminded of the benefit that comes with having a strong player-development system, but this is the latest example.
Lance Lynn is a good starting pitcher — better than many Cardinals fans give him credit for. He's a year younger than Bailey, pretty much the same pitcher as Bailey, and a LOT cheaper than Bailey.
The Reds feel as if they have to give Bailey a big contract to ensure a steady rotation going forward.
Given their starting-pitching surplus and collection of payroll-friendly arms, I think it's safe to say the Cardinals feel no pressure to give Lynn $100 million anytime soon. Lynn isn't even eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season.
Is there any wonder why the Cardinals have a fundamental advantage over the Reds?"
Wakeup...you need to be in the ORG as soon as you get eligible. Lance Lynn will be the Cards' 4th starter (maybe 5 depending on Garcia). I've never seen this depth of starting pitching on the big club. Ever. Including when Gibson and Carlton were in the same rotation.
Also some statistics I think are important when comparing the two pitchers are WHIP (Bailey 1.182 Lynn 1.316) ERA+ (B111 L96) and the fact that, although it may mean nothing, most of Lynn's stats have declined since his debut while Bailey's have improved. And i know WAR is different per site but baseball-reference has Bailey at 6 and Lynn at 4, whatever that means.
I agree Bailey and Lynn are similar pitchers but where they are in regards to their contracts is very important.
The Cardinals locked up Pujols, Molina, Wainwright, Craig and Jaime Garcia right out, or about a year into their arbitration years. Pujols, Craig, Garcia and Wainwright never even reached their arbitration years.
They chose those players and those players only for a reason. The similarities are this: They each came up to big leagues and immediately produced all-star quality results, so they proved they belonged. By signing them at the time the Cardinals did, they gambled that the return on their investment would be 200%. They'd be paying guys like Pujols $10-12 million a year, but should be paying him $25 million if he was getting his face value. They are paying Craig $5-6 million a year and getting $10-15 million a year production. Yadi Molina's value in incalculable.
None of those players had any hiccups or growing pains from the moment they stepped onto a Major League Baseball field.
Those that did have some growing pains, like Jay, Freese, Drew were ultimately traded. Jay is still around, but he aint getting a long term offer.
I'm not even sure Lance Lynn will get a long term deal and he's produced the last two years as evenly as Bailey.
Point being, as much as I like personally like Bailey as pitcher. He's got great stuff. Ace worthy stuff in fact. But he hasn't once pitched like an Ace - for a full year - that they are going to pay him to be.
Wainwright had already won the World Series as a dominant closer, then had back-to-back Cy Young runner up finishes and about 800 innings of 3.00 ERA 4-1 K-to-BB history to earn his $100 million.
Bailey may fit that bill. But he hasn't done so yet. Not even for 1 season.
And the, to me, is the fundamental difference in philosophy between the Cardinals and Reds.
Joey Votto probably should have been locked up in mid season 2009 or 2010 for what he had already accomplished and the impact he had on the Reds turnaround. through 1000 - 1500 ML at bats, he had a career .310/.388/.536 with a .924 OPS. He was a left handed Albert Pujols nearly.
What were they waiting for?
Had they approached him at the conclusion of 2009, you probably can sign him to what the Cubs signed Rizzo for but more expensive. Say 7 years, 60-70 million. Hell it could have even been 70 million and would still be a deal for the Reds.
Think about that for a moment.
The Reds should have this 30-31 year old for about 3 more years, at a cost of only $10 million a year on average. Think of the ROI.
Instead, they waited until 2012, when he was so close to his Free Agency years, more established and was going to cost a hell of a lot more. Like more than double. And he was going to cost the biggest at the declining years of his career.
When you are a team like the Reds, with their market and payroll structure, you have to pounce on players like Votto early. Within 2-3 years and lock them up at the discounted price. The players can't turn down the guaranteed riches in case they get injured or their career goes in a tailspin before free agency.
And with guys like Bailey, they either brought him up too soon or he just took too long to develop in the majors. Whatever the reason, for a guy that has never once put up a Cy Young worthy season - really not even close to one - the Reds sure are taking a gamble.
If I am Castellini, I say trade him and get some value, or let him walk and take a draft pick. But don't pay a guy who has never done it before, just because he has the potential to.
The reason I choose to compare those two teams - STL/CIN - is because they are division rivals, they have similar cities, they have similar markets and they should be operating pretty similarly.
For instance, the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox don't have to worry about hitting on all of their risks.
The Cardinals and Reds have to hit on almost 80-100% of their long term expensive deals.
The reason Wainwright only got 100m is because he was coming back from TJ surgery. Had he stayed healthy and continued pitching the way he had before and, fairly surprisingly, after he would have been closer to Kershaw money than any other pitcher in baseball.
Depends on 3 guys. Hamilton, Frazier, and Ludwick. If all 3 can produce at the plate then we can be at the top come September. If not, the Cards and Pirates may be too far gone for us to smell their exhaust.
wake up that is incredible analysis.
Back in 2008-09 I was weary of this cardinals direction.
When pujols was let go I was scared as ****. Whether Pujols produces in ANA or not doesn't change the fact that Dewitt put a hell of a plan in place to build a constant retooling contender.
My favorite sports team is the St. Louis Blues.
Rumors abound they might trade a 1st rounder, top prospect, halak for Ryan Miller a 34yr old UFA.
It makes me want to cry. In the NHL paying a goalie 7-8 mil per year is like paying a closer 15 min per year except there is a salary cap.
I love the idea of DRAFTING, DRAFTING, DRAFTING AND LOCKING UP A SMALL CORE.
It's a great way to ensure winning winning winning.
I'd rather the cards be a 88-93 win team forever than go all in for 95-100 wins with how much of a better chance at a world series? 3 percent?
Anything can happen.
Give me playoffs every year division or wildcard for 10 years and I bet you make 2 ws at least and probably win one.
Or go to 2 WS for sure and maybe win one and miss the playoffs 6 times the rest of the decade.
Seems simple to me.