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Thread: Just why was Reitsma traded?

  1. #1
    Do it! TheBurn's Avatar
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    Just why was Reitsma traded?

    Friday, April 23, 2004
    Just why was Reitsma traded?
    Paul Daugherty
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Lately, the Reds bullpen has been whacked like a piņata. Nothing sags a young team's shoulders like relief pitchers bearing gasoline cans. A little Chris Reitsma would've been good. Except Reitsma was in the other dugout.

    You can accept the company line, as delivered by General Manager Dan O'Brien: The Reds traded their most valuable, versatile pitcher of a year ago because they got two potential starting pitchers in return. Jung Keun Bong is 23. Bubba Nelson is 22. They're both in Triple A.

    "If you're going to get competitive, it's got to start with starting pitching. The opportunity to get two very young, potential starting pitchers was something we could not walk away from," O'Brien said Thursday.

    Or you can narrow your eyes, and ponder this:

    If your plan is to build from within with good young, cheap pitching, why do you trade your best young, cheap pitcher?

    Reitsma is 26 years old, throws 95 miles an hour and, in the opinion of Danny Graves "has the best changeup in the game." Last year Reitsma had nine wins and 12 saves while doing everything for the Reds' sad pitching staff but perform Tommy John surgery. Did we mention he lost his arbitration case, and is making just $950,000?

    Reitsma would seem to be the answer to a small-market prayer.

    Next year, if he pitches to expectations, Reitsma stands to make a few million dollars. Is that a reason the Reds dealt him? It's an important question. It gives you a peek at who the Reds intend to be in the next several years.

    If you keep shedding cheap, young players for cheaper, younger models, all you're doing is spinning on baseball's Third World hamster wheel. You can only trade young pitching for younger pitching so long. Then everybody figures out where you're going: You're going to Pittsburgh. You're in a Montreal state of mind.

    It's a notion O'Brien disputes. "Our vision isn't just for one year. With time and patience, Ryan Wagner can become as proficient as Chris Reitsma," he said. OK. But when and if Ryan Wagner does, will he be dealt for the next Ryan Wagner?

    "They want good, young starting pitching," said Reitsma, now an Atlanta Brave. "They saw me in the long run as a set-up guy, someone they could replace with a veteran like Todd Jones or young guys like (John) Riedling and Wagner."

    O'Brien said ownership will give him the money he needs to build properly. "We're a work in progress," he said. O'Brien said some of the millions cut from this year's payroll have been shifted to player development. He didn't say how many millions. That's the kind of information that might keep fans coming to the park, even if the team plunges in the standings.

    If there is a plan, and the money to drive it, fans will adopt some patience. If there isn't, fans will adopt the Bengals.

    Meanwhile, Dave Miley deals with a young bullpen with a big hole where Reitsma used to be. Wagner and Phil Norton are training on the job. It shows. "You've got to show some confidence, keep putting them out there. It's a learning process," the manager said.

    "Another good arm we could have had," Danny Graves said of Reitsma. "Now, maybe people are saying, where's Reitsma? But we're going to come out of our struggles. You have to spend money to win. That's baseball. And that's why I'm not a general manager."

    The Reds beat Atlanta 5-3 Thursday, in a rain-reduced five innings. They didn't need the bullpen. That was fortunate.

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  3. #2
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    The Braves got a glimpse Weds. night, pitching lights out then giving up an ill-timed longball to lose the game.

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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    The Braves got a glimpse Weds. night, pitching lights out then giving up an ill-timed longball to lose the game.
    Actually, Reistma pitched poorly at first, giving up the 2 run HR, but then pitched OK and won the game.

  5. #4
    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    The Braves didn't win Wednesday's game; we lost Wednesday's game. There's a difference.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
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    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    If the Reds were a really good middle reliever away from being a contender for the next several years, then Daugherty might have a point. As it is, the Reds need help in many areas.

    If you keep shedding cheap, young players for cheaper, younger models, all you're doing is spinning on baseball's Third World hamster wheel.
    Well, that would be true if you are talking about one-for-one swaps. In this case, the Reds got two pitchers with roughly the same talent level as Reitsma. I would trade anyone on this team for two players in the high minors with similar talent level. That is not trading down. It is stocking up.

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    Member red-in-la's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    I swear, I am not channeling Paul Daugherty.....but I guess it takes a professional to make the point.

    Paul said it all. The Rietsma trade just shows there is NO PLAN.

    If you trade a $950,000 guy for the future and you keep a weak 6 million dollar 1B, and terrible 6 million dollar closer, and 12 million dollar All century OF, you have NO PLAN.

    I expect this to be the first in a series of articles the local press comes out with over the next year or so to illustrate that the Reds are now a carbon copy of the Brewers.

    Go Bengals!
    "Is there a problem officers?"

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    Member Crosley68's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    QUOTE]If you trade a $950,000 guy for the future and you keep a weak 6 million dollar 1B, and terrible 6 million dollar closer, and 12 million dollar All century OF, you have NO PLAN.
    I think you are assuming that there is someone out there who wants to take these guys and their contracts off our hands. You know what they say about assumptions.......
    Last edited by Crosley68; 04-23-2004 at 12:09 PM.
    Let's play two!!!

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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    If the Reds trade a Reitsma-type in 2006, then there's questions to be asked. But the quickest way to strengthen a farm system lacking quality young pitching is to acquire it from other teams, and other teams won't part with their quality young pitching unless they get something of value in return.

    One thing that I think's overrated is Reitsma's versatility. His versatility was the result of poor managing and a terrible pitching staff. He didn't stick in the rotation because he wasn't consistently effective as a starter, but he kept getting chances because the rotation was so pathetic. He was good as a reliever, but by no means lights-out. He is just the type of guy that O'Brien had to flip for good prospects.
    Last edited by danforsman; 04-23-2004 at 12:11 PM.

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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Heeler
    In this case, the Reds got two pitchers with roughly the same talent level as Reitsma.
    no we didn't. Reitsma's a bona fide major leaguer, and these two guys are prospect and suspect. They may never have Reitsma's talent level. I even think that Reitsma will improve beyond his current talent level.

    this deal was about Reitsma's 2005 salary--which we hope to use in other ways-- and about the presence of Ryan Wagner and about the absence of lefties and starter candidates in the system. We tried to trade out of perceived strength into need, but in the short term we ended up stripping talent from a need position. It still might work out, if one prospect develops, if we locate setup men, if we don't have the horses to compete this year, and if Reitsma doesn't become a closer. But it could really backfire if nobody develops and/or if we compete but for the bullpen and/or if Reitsma becomes the closer that we should be seeking.
    Last edited by princeton; 04-23-2004 at 12:14 PM.

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    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    Quote Originally Posted by red-in-la
    If you trade a $950,000 guy for the future and you keep a weak 6 million dollar 1B, and terrible 6 million dollar closer, and 12 million dollar All century OF, you have NO PLAN.
    You found a team that'll take those contracts off our hands? Sweet! Better call the FO, and quick.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
    -Ken Griffey Jr.

  12. #11
    MarsArmyGirl RosieRed's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    I'm suprised no one has commented on this:
    O'Brien said ownership will give him the money he needs to build properly. "We're a work in progress," he said. O'Brien said some of the millions cut from this year's payroll have been shifted to player development. He didn't say how many millions. That's the kind of information that might keep fans coming to the park, even if the team plunges in the standings.
    Or is it just not believable? I can't recall anyone reporting that this is true before, that some of the cut payroll will actually be used elsewhere.

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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    Before the trade the Reds had Dustin Moseley as the only pitcher in the high minors who was "legit" starting pitching prospect. Now with Nelson's arsenal, we have another. The BP will rebound people though this year will be tough since the Reds fan feels entitled to a great BP(which the 2003 version was not by the way). Patience people, patience.

  14. #13
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    Well, of course the deal makes no sense if the context is 2004 alone. Philosophically, I had no problem with it.

    If we can accept that we are rebuilding -- hot start aside -- that raises the question, what should we be building? I'd argue that an overstuffed pipeline of starting pitching is the precondition to the sustained success we want. With that, we'll have a quality rotation and plenty of depth; we won't have to pay inflated market prices for "proven" pitching; we'll have trading chips to deal for other things we need; and the winnowing-out process will probably help stock our bullpen, too. So anything we can do to accelerate the pipeline-building without giving up a critical part of the next really good Reds team ought to be considered.

    Anyway, relievers are among the most unpredictable, most replaceable players there are. Bullpen construction is more art than science, but most people would agree that it's the one part of a team that it's feasible to construct on the cheap. We may have picked the wrong guys this year but that doesn't mean we need to start overpaying. The Sullivan/White type of contracts are a luxury a team in our payroll class can't really afford.

    Bottom line: I'd rather get Bong and Nelson now than see Reitsma non-tendered next winter and we get nothing.

  15. #14
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    Anyway, relievers are among the most unpredictable, most replaceable players there are. Bullpen construction is more art than science, but most people would agree that it's the one part of a team that it's feasible to construct on the cheap. We may have picked the wrong guys this year but that doesn't mean we need to start overpaying. The Sullivan/White type of contracts are a luxury a team in our payroll class can't really afford.
    That's funny, I have that all on my tatto on my back. :mhcky21:

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    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Just why was Reitsma traded?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    That's funny, I have that all on my tatto on my back. :mhcky21:
    In VERY small letters, I hope.


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