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Thread: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

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  1. #1
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    BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Here's BP's take on the last few transactions. I've put in bold some parts because they articulate perfectly my feelings about the Pena trade.



    Wayne Krivsky's opening weeks as general manager have been nothing if not decisive. He's been more than willing to shake up his 40-man roster, particularly concerning some of the pitchers, and sure enough, nobody else really wants guys like Bong or Standridge or Howington or Basham, the detritus of years of mismanagement. The real question is whether or not that shortage of pitching talent in particular makes for an acceptable motivation to go out and get a merely adequate starting pitcher in exchange for one of the team's few actual commodities. There's no tin badge for finishing fourth in the NL Central, so why Krivsky feels that his team is better off going out and getting a starting pitcher who, on a good team, might rate as a fourth or fifth starter, and giving up one of his coveted quartet of outfielders to do it, defies explanation.

    Now, yes, a rotation that has to count on Dave Williams and Eric Milton, one with Aaron Harang as its putative "ace," obviously needs help. Maybe there's something to be said for having people who can give you six innings per outing, quality start or no, because it's going to be a long, hard summer for the Reds' pen. But is Arroyo really going to help? Other than being able to handle a larger workload last year, is he really somebody you want to rely on? His strikeout rate was in the dumper, he's a flyball pitcher with problems against lefties coming into a lefty-friendly power park. All because he's affordable, having been signed to a three-year deal? That's a Minnesota way of seeing things, acquiring cheap players to achieve cheap goals, except unlike the Twins, Pena was something of value, one of the very few players on this roster with a future, and he was also relatively affordable.

    Dealing Pena for somebody else's fifth starter doesn't just give you a fifth starter, it may also cripple up your opportunities to swing other possible deals with the outfielders you've got left. Can the Reds afford to move Ken Griffey Jr. now? Even with Pena out of the way, they're not creating an opportunity for Denorfia, they're making it that much easier to give significant playing time to Scott Hatteberg, or perhaps to play Ryan Freel in the outfield a little more often, just to make sure they have Tony Womack in the lineup. As much as Krivsky inherited a weak hand, this was a deal that did nothing to make it any better, with the best possible outcome being that perhaps they'll flip Arroyo to a contender looking for a fifth man in July. Failing that, this is a reconstruction project that will really have to start from scratch, reliant on the draft's slowly-delivered gifts, and without the benefit of adding near-ready prospects from other systems through a needed tear-down.

    There might be some head-scratching over the decision to pick up Ross, but even if Jason LaRue's knee wasn't an issue (he might miss a month), it makes sense for the Reds to have a fallback option in case they wanted to shop LaRue for a top prospect later on this spring. And if, instead, they wanted to peddle either Ross or Javier Valentin to somebody who needs a useful backup catcher, and get a second-tier prospect, again, that's a play that the Reds should have on their menu of in-season options. It isn't like Dane Sardinha is useful, and I would like to think his days on the 40-man will be coming to an end.

    Finally, while I believe in second chances, and while I believe in the utility of slumming for the occasionally viable retread, there comes a point where you really need to check out what you might be getting yourself into, because if you don't dig up a bit of history, it doesn't repeat itself, it tap-dances on your present and expects you to foot the bill. Alex Sanchez isn't asking for a second chance, he's asking for his fourth or fifth, and there are several reasons for it. Like his hitting, like brainless baserunning, like his Wrongway Corrigan routine in the outfield or his throwing arm, or like his studiously developed reputation for surliness.
    "Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh" -Al Swearengen, Deadwood

  2. #2
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    I just can't believe they got rid of Wily Mo. Still in shock.

    Wonder if Foot Locker will refund the jersey.

  3. #3
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Maybe you'll get store credit for a Red Sox one
    Go Gators!

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    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Probably with free shipping, as I seem to get that e-mail 4 times a day.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    BP overvaluing WMP as well.

  6. #6
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    BP overvaluing WMP as well.
    Wait a minute...you used the "appeal to authority" technique to defend your support for the Wily Mo deal, citing the opinions of M2, registerthis, and several other RedsZoners. But when an independent, objective, and authoritative resource questions the deal, you brusquely dismiss them as "overvaluing" Pena?

    Here's a thought: maybe you're undervaluing him. Maybe years of having below replacement level pitching has led us to overvalue mediocrity on the mound. Maybe witnessing the impotence of DanO has left us so hungry for any action that we're willing to throw support to an unnecessary and disadvantageous deal.

    Just a thought.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  7. #7
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Here's a thought: maybe you're undervaluing him. Maybe years of having below replacement level pitching has led us to overvalue mediocrity on the mound. Maybe witnessing the impotence of DanO has left us so hungry for any action that we're willing to throw support to an unnecessary and disadvantageous deal.

    Just a thought.
    Maybe I (along with others) am undervaluing Pena -- but his lifetime .303 OBP scares the bejesus out of me, because I don't see him in possession of the skills required to raise that. Any talk of Pena turning into a superstar or even a highly productive player require him becoming he's not: a hitter capable of showing discpline at the plate, working himself into hitters counts to see better pitches, and increaseing his walk rates. This has been a problem that has plagued Pena throughout his professional career -- yet there are many (on here, and elsewhere) who seemingly expect Pena to wake up tomorrow with this skill set and begin mashing the ball.

    The only way his OBP goes up is if he ups his hit rate or his walk rate, and I see no evidence of either one happening. His walk-rates are remarkably unchanged over the past 3 years, and there's nothing to indicate that he's going to start getting more hits either. A potentially troubling "lurking indicator" for Pena is that, although he's a power hitter, he's played his entire career as a ground-ball hitter. For his career, Pena has a 1.44/1 GB/FB ratio. Last season, that number was 1.45, which was higher than any of the top 40 HR hitters in baseball. Most good power hitters lurk around the 1/1 ratio, with most dipping into the more flyball territory of .9/1 and .8/1 (Adam Dunn posting a robust .72/1). So, not only is Pena not making enough contact, he's making the wrong type of contact for the game he has to play.

    From where I sit, Pena was highly overrated -- a powerball ticket appealing to someone who doesn't know any better, and the only question for the Reds was whether or not they were going to find someone willing to overrate him enough to pay any sort of ransom to get him. They ended up with Bronson Arroyo, and I'm happy with getting a league-average pitcher back (if he is, indeed, league average for the Reds) for someone I feel had nowhere to go but down in value. Maybe I am drinking the residue of kool-aid from the bottom of the Jimbo glass and maybe I am being too excited about mediocrity, but I'm also acutely aware that even mediocrity would've made last year (and the year before) fun seasons to watch the Reds instead of painful exercises that they became.
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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Wait a minute...you used the "appeal to authority" technique to defend your support for the Wily Mo deal, citing the opinions of M2, registerthis, and several other RedsZoners. But when an independent, objective, and authoritative resource questions the deal, you brusquely dismiss them as "overvaluing" Pena?

    Here's a thought: maybe you're undervaluing him. Maybe years of having below replacement level pitching has led us to overvalue mediocrity on the mound. Maybe witnessing the impotence of DanO has left us so hungry for any action that we're willing to throw support to an unnecessary and disadvantageous deal.

    Just a thought.
    You can throw out the "appeal to authority" argument if you wish, but I simply said that they had reasonable arguments and also have a track record of good calls on projecting future performance, therefore my opinion that it was a good deal would stand. Again, it is only a fallacious appeal if the authorities that one is appealing to have no right to be considered an authority. I think the mentioned parties' track record affords them that status on personnel exchanges such as this. Furthermore, there was no truth claim made to warrant a charge of presenting a fallacious argument. In other words, I never said "these people are right, the rest of you are wrong, case closed." But then, I already pointed that out in the trade thread itself.

    As for WMP's value, I think the arguments have been presented and I have nothing to add. Those who read this article will agree or disagree based on that variable, so rehashing seems unprofitable at this point. So how about agreeing to disagree at this point and I'll let you tell us all "I told you so" at WMP's HOF induction ceremony.

  9. #9
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    You can throw out the "appeal to authority" argument if you wish, but I simply said that they had reasonable arguments and also have a track record of good calls on projecting future performance, therefore my opinion that it was a good deal would stand. Again, it is only a fallacious appeal if the authorities that one is appealing to have no right to be considered an authority. I think the mentioned parties' track record affords them that status on personnel exchanges such as this. Furthermore, there was no truth claim made to warrant a charge of presenting a fallacious argument. In other words, I never said "these people are right, the rest of you are wrong, case closed." But then, I already pointed that out in the trade thread itself.
    Even though I do respect the opinions of the authorities you cited, the fact is they're not nearly as authoritative as a group like BP. I just found it funny that when you read the opinions of those who make their living analyzing baseball, you tossed them out like so much trash without even addressing the arguments they made. "They're overvaluing Pena" is not what I'd call a well-constructed rebuttal.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  10. #10
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    "They're overvaluing Pena" is not what I'd call a well-constructed rebuttal.
    Johnny, I think plenty of people have put out arguments far beyond that statement to show WHY they believe Pena is overvalued. His lack of plate discipline and inability to judge strikes, his poor defense and his lack of growth as a player over the past several seasons, along with the statistics to back up the assertions, were all presented as evidence. Those of us who choose not to view WMP in the same light as others on this Board aren't doing so merely because we like typing the phrase "Wily Mo Pena is overvalued." It's because we truly believe that he is.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  11. #11
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Even though I do respect the opinions of the authorities you cited, the fact is they're not nearly as authoritative as a group like BP. I just found it funny that when you read the opinions of those who make their living analyzing baseball, you tossed them out like so much trash without even addressing the arguments they made. "They're overvaluing Pena" is not what I'd call a well-constructed rebuttal.
    They did not add any new information and there's a multiple page discussion on the issue. What is there left to address?

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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    BP overvaluing WMP as well.
    Excellent point. The bottomline here is Krivsky doesn't think as highly of Wily Mo as this writer does and I'm not so sure very many GMs do either. I think Krivsky thinks of Wily Mo as a Steve Balboni or a Craig Wilson, not a Sammy Sosa.

  13. #13
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Ok, maybe I'm overvaluing Pena, too.

    Pena's Top 10 most similar batters through age 23.

    A LOT of big time sluggers on that list: Barfield, Colavito, Bobby Bonds, Horton, Killebrew, and Maris. If Wily Mo has a career like ANY of them, he will be -a lot- more valuable than Bronson Arroyo.

    The other guys in Pena's list include Kingman, Incaviglia, Montanez, and Billy Conigliaro. Kingman's not bad, while the other three weren't that great.

    Averaging those ten guys and adding their age 24-end of career numbers to Wily Mo's results in the following projected career line for Wily Mo: .259/.334/.470, 301 HR, 117 OPS+. Not a superstar, but not bad at all.

    PECOTA mostly agrees with baseball-reference.com, pegging Barfield, Willie Stargell, and Incaviglia as Pena's top 3 comparables.

    ---

    Bronson Arroyo's top comparables list includes names like Mike Harkey, Kevin Foster, Chad Ogea, Scott Sanders, Ted Lilly, Sean Bergman, and Brett Tomko.

    PECOTA's top 3 comparables for Arroyo are Dick Ruthven, Esteban Loaiza, and Danny Darwin. Better than the guys above, but still mediocre: only Darwin had a career ERA+ better than 100.

    --

    To me, it's pretty obvious that Pena has a much better shot of being a valuable commodity in the future. Or am I also overrating him?

  14. #14
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Golgafrinchan
    Ok, maybe I'm overvaluing Pena, too.

    Pena's Top 10 most similar batters through age 23.

    A LOT of big time sluggers on that list: Barfield, Colavito, Bobby Bonds, Horton, Killebrew, and Maris. If Wily Mo has a career like ANY of them, he will be -a lot- more valuable than Bronson Arroyo.

    The other guys in Pena's list include Kingman, Incaviglia, Montanez, and Billy Conigliaro. Kingman's not bad, while the other three weren't that great.

    Averaging those ten guys and adding their age 24-end of career numbers to Wily Mo's results in the following projected career line for Wily Mo: .259/.334/.470, 301 HR, 117 OPS+. Not a superstar, but not bad at all.

    PECOTA mostly agrees with baseball-reference.com, pegging Barfield, Willie Stargell, and Incaviglia as Pena's top 3 comparables.

    ---

    Bronson Arroyo's top comparables list includes names like Mike Harkey, Kevin Foster, Chad Ogea, Scott Sanders, Ted Lilly, Sean Bergman, and Brett Tomko.

    PECOTA's top 3 comparables for Arroyo are Dick Ruthven, Esteban Loaiza, and Danny Darwin. Better than the guys above, but still mediocre: only Darwin had a career ERA+ better than 100.

    --

    To me, it's pretty obvious that Pena has a much better shot of being a valuable commodity in the future. Or am I also overrating him?
    With the exception of Conigliaro, all the rest of those players understood the difference between balls and strikes much better than Pena by that age. And it's safe to say that all of them played during an environment less conducive for offense than the one Pena's currently playing in.

    If people want 35-40 home runs mixed with a .315 OBP, have fun, but I want nothing to do with it. Instead, give me the cheap arm, which we need badly.
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  15. #15
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: BP: Reds Transaction Analysis-Wily Mo Pena, Ross etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    BP overvaluing WMP as well.
    I agree.

    It seems almost everone is doing that.


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