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Thread: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

  1. #121
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    If that is the case, then I'm all for O'Brien sending Junior to the AL to be a DH.
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  3. #122
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krusty
    Let me be honest here....do you think DePodesta could have moved Casey, Graves and Junior's contracts coming off the 2003 seasons they had
    Honestly, I think he could have. He might have had to throw in some cash or take back another bad contract, but I think he could have moved them.

    However, for the sake of argument let's assume he could not move them after the 2003 season. Now let's ask the same questions at the all-star break.

    Could Depodesta have moved Casey when he was hitting 352 (1008 OPS) with 42 extra base hits (including 15 dingers) and 54 RBI? YES!

    Could Depodesta have moved Graves when he was leading the majors in saves with 33 and had a sterling 2.72 ERA? YES!

    What did DanO do? He ignored the fact that the Reds, as currently structured, are going nowhere and held onto those guys. Casey proceeded to hit 296 the rest of the way with a mediocre 821 OPS. Graves absolutely imploded with only 8 saves and a whopping 7.23 ERA in the second half.

    Now rather than entering 2005 with an additional $14MM in payflex, O'Binder still has the same two unattractive contracts on his hands. Way to pounce on that opportunity DanO!
    Last edited by Steve4192; 11-01-2004 at 08:53 AM.

  4. #123
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192
    Could Depodesta have moved Casey when he was hitting 352 (1008 OPS) with 42 extra base hits (including 15 dingers) and 54 RBI? YES!

    Could Depodesta have moved Graves when he was leading the majors in save with 33 and had a sterling 2.72 ERA? YES!

    What did DanO do? He ignored the fact that the Reds, as currently structured, are going nowhere and held onto those guys. Casey proceeded to hit 296 the rest of the way with a mediocre 821 OPS. Graves absolutely imploded with only 8 saves and a whopping 7.23 ERA in the second half.

    Now rather than entering 2005 with an additional $14MM in payflex, O'Binder still has the same two unattractive contracts on his hands. Way to pounce on that opportunity DanO!
    but don't you know by not making those moves that's how we got so much for Lidle and Jones.
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  5. #124
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192
    Honestly, I think he could have. He might have had to throw in some cash or take back another bad contract, but I think he could have moved them.

    However, for the sake of argument let's assume he could not move them after the 2003 season. Now let's ask the same questions at the all-star break.

    Could Depodesta have moved Casey when he was hitting 352 (1008 OPS) with 42 extra base hits (including 15 dingers) and 54 RBI? YES!

    Could Depodesta have moved Graves when he was leading the majors in saves with 33 and had a sterling 2.72 ERA? YES!

    What did DanO do? He ignored the fact that the Reds, as currently structured, are going nowhere and held onto those guys. Casey proceeded to hit 296 the rest of the way with a mediocre 821 OPS. Graves absolutely imploded with only 8 saves and a whopping 7.23 ERA in the second half.

    Now rather than entering 2005 with an additional $14MM in payflex, O'Binder still has the same two unattractive contracts on his hands. Way to pounce on that opportunity DanO!

    That pretty much covers it. Jr. also rehabilitated his market early in the 2004 season. Now he's got 10/5 trade veto rights. DanO's failure to move on this front has got him in a "Groundhog Day" situation this offseason.

    Krusty, I'm fairly certain a lot of GMs, not just DePodesta, would have seen how critical it was for the future of the Reds to unload one or two or perhaps even all three of the Reds' three biggest contracts. These deals were the shackles that tied O'Brien's hands last offseason. They're the reason why he's limited in his options this offseason. Had DanO done nothing else other than clear those contracts so that he was free and clear heading into 2005, I'd probably have graded him a B+ for his first season.

    You can't expect the Reds ownership to turn into free spenders. A GM has to work inside a $45M-$50M cap in this organization. DanO did nothing to buy himself more operating room this offseason. Failing to help himself, that's all on his shoulders.
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  6. #125
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    WEll, one of the things O'Brien did was maximize the competitiveness/attractiveness of the 2004 roster while Graves, Casey and Griffey were going well. Remember, the team was high in the standings, and Griffey was chasing 500. If he had unloaded these (very) popular players in order to gain salary relief (i.e., not receiving high-salaried proven starters in return), less than a year after the so-called fire sale, while the team was contending, can you imagine the PR hit this team would have taken? Can you imagine the drop in attendance? Do you think potential free agents would be looking at this franchise seriously, had that happened? Do you think guys like Dunn and Kearns would have been encouraged about the future?

    By keeping the team intact, and letting the roster as constituted take a run, O'Brien fielded a fairly competitive, popular team for at least half a year, and this resulted in significantly higher attendance than they would have had, in my opinion, had he started dumping players for salary reasons. This "bump" in attendance is very likely one of the reasons the Reds are looking at a higher payroll for this year.

    Let's remember, too, that O'Brien's hands are pretty tied re: Griffey until he shows he's healthy. And, I wouldn't be surprised if he is forbidden to trade Casey by ownership.

    And I have no problem with Paul Wilson coming back, either.
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  7. #126
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
    If he had unloaded these (very) popular players in order to gain salary relief (i.e., not receiving high-salaried proven starters in return), less than a year after the so-called fire sale, while the team was contending, can you imagine the PR hit this team would have taken?
    A GM with a plan/vision will take those hits in the short term in order to move his plan forward.

    Depodesta got roasted in the press for trading away the 'heart and soul' of the Dodgers (LoDuca) in the middle of a playoff run. The beatings got worse after Penny came up lame. Depodesta weathered the storm and his team is better for it.

    Theo Epstein got drilled in the court of public opinion for trading local icon Garciaparra to pick up a couple of judy-hitting glovemen. He was blasted by the press when the Red Sox lost 4 of 6 from 7/31 through 8/6, falling 10.5 games behind the Yankees. Epstein weathered the storm and watched his team rally to win the World Series.

    Would DanO have taken some heat for trading Casey/Graves/Griffey at the deadline? Perhaps. Let's not forget that the Reds had lost 9 of their last 10 before the trade deadline, effectively removing them from the wildcard race and squashing any fan enthusiam for 2004.

    The team would be in a much better position to contend in the future if they had rid themselves of those albatross contracts. O'Brien chose to 'play it safe' and will now end up facing the same problems in 2005 that he faced in 2004.

  8. #127
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Steve 4192, I disagree with your assumption that Griffey and Graves were tradeable at the trade deadline. I doubt O'Brien could have unloaded them at all, much less for full salary relief.
    Casey is another matter. In that case, I don't think we're looking at an albatross contract. He's earning his dough.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  9. #128
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
    By keeping the team intact, and letting the roster as constituted take a run, O'Brien fielded a fairly competitive, popular team for at least half a year
    Yep. He sacrificed a chance to make meaningful changes in 2005 so that they could be 'fairly competitive' for HALF a year. Attaboy DanO!
    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
    this resulted in significantly higher attendance than they would have had, in my opinion, had he started dumping players for salary reasons. This "bump" in attendance is very likely one of the reasons the Reds are looking at a higher payroll for this year.
    Bull-feces.

    The Reds attendance went in the dumper not long after the trade deadline, helped in large part by the team losing 19 of 25 from 7/21 through 8/17.

    Just before the deadline (7/26-8/1) they drew 27K/game for a weekday series with the Cardinals and 35K/game for a weekend series with the Astros. Less than one month later (8/24-8/29), they couldn't break 20K/game for a weekday series with the Cardinals and barely manged to crack 25K/game in a weekend series with the Diamondbacks.

    The Reds had already squeezed out all the 'attendance boost' they could get out of this sorry lot by the time the deadline rolled around. The attendance would have declined with or without Casey/Graves/Griffey.

  10. #129
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    No market for Graves and Jr., huh?

    And yet there was a market for Jose Contreras. Go figure.
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  11. #130
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
    Steve 4192, I disagree with your assumption that Griffey and Graves were tradeable at the trade deadline.
    We will have to agree to disagree on Graves. I think he was VERY moveable at that point in time. I agree that moving Griffey was very unlikely.
    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
    I doubt O'Brien could have unloaded them at all, much less for full salary relief.
    Who said anything about full relief? I'd have settled for picking up a similar contract with an earlier expiration date or by taking on a smaller albatross.
    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
    Casey is another matter. In that case, I don't think we're looking at an albatross contract. He's earning his dough.
    He earned his money (and then some) this year, no argument there. However, that's the first time he has earned the big salaries he collects in his current contract. The first three years of that deal were an unabashed disaster. The question is, which Sean Casey will show up in 2005? Since the Reds have five guys (Casey, Griffey, Dunn, Kearns, Pena) to play four positions (LF/RF/CF/1B), I'd advise letting some other team deal with Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Casey.

  12. #131
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    No market for Graves and Jr., huh?

    And yet there was a market for Jose Contreras. Go figure.
    For Loiza and his contract to another rich team that could do the salary dance.

    The problem with comparing DePodesta and Theo is that they have the backing of owners thar are younger, more dynamic, new to their market, visionary and have more money revenue ect to correct mistakes (like hiring non visionary GM's.. but I digress)

    The White Sox are pondering Omar Visquel for 2 years and 8 million, their decision process skills in any deal make said deal an anomoly to normal behavior IMO.

    D.O reminds me of a "type" of CEO sent in to do specific business, they have the stern, money tightening CEO's, the visionary, the slash and burn, the salesman, the organizer....... That's D.O the organizer, implement and sit back, implement and sit back......looking for a paradigm shift.... sit back and wait.

  13. #132
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Loaiza cost $4M last year and now he's a free agent. Any team could have done that salary dance.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  14. #133
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Loaiza cost $4M last year and now he's a free agent. Any team could have done that salary dance.
    Any team that wasn't owned by a depression era millionaire stuck in a time warp.

  15. #134
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    they have the stern, money tightening CEO's, the visionary, the slash and burn, the salesman, the organizer....... That's D.O the organizer, implement and sit back, implement and sit back......looking for a paradigm shift.... sit back and wait.
    My exposure to CEOs is admittedly limited, but I've met the first three, never the fourth.

    looking for a paradigm shift with a guy that has no vision and can neither act nor sell seems more like "cross your fingers and have faith that the meek shall inherit"

  16. #135
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    Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Loaiza cost $4M last year and now he's a free agent. Any team could have done that salary dance.
    M2 beat me to it.

    The Yankees unloaded a $17MM salary obligation owed to Jose Contreras, and took on a $4MM obligation to Esteban Loaiza. That's the kind of trade that any small market GM with an albatross around his neck should be searching for. If you can eliminate a future obligation by making a trade that is salary neutral in the present, you have to jump all over it.

    Unfortunately, the GM of a team that bleeds green has figured this out while DanO and his bosses are still sitting on their hands.
    Last edited by Steve4192; 11-01-2004 at 12:29 PM.


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