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Thread: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

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    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey
    Cincinnati doesn't need oft-injured outfielder — it needs pitching help
    Al Behrman / AP

    Ken Griffey Jr. came back in style Thursday night with a game-winning, three-run homer against the Nationals. But that just makes him more enticing for other teams, NBCSports.com contributor Mike Celizic writes.

    What’s better for the Cincinnati Reds, keeping Ken Griffey Jr. and hoping he stays healthy enough to kick the team’s league-leading offense up yet another notch, or trading him for the pitching help the team will need if it wants to climb back into the playoffs?

    I don’t know if Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky is thinking along those lines just yet, but he should be. And he should be leaning toward option B, the one in which he sees just what kind of pitching he can pry loose from which reckless GM in return for one of the greatest talents in the game.

    Heck, what about the Yankees? They're in dire need of outfielders after Hideki Matsui suffered a broken wrist Thursday night.

    A month ago, Griffey strained a tendon in his knee while running the bases. It wasn’t thought to be much, but, given his history of leg injuries, the team has been as cautious as a mouse in a snake farm in bringing him back.

    Griffey finally returned Thursday to a lineup that is pumping out nearly 5 1/2 runs a game, the best in the National League, and to a first-place team that remains perhaps the most pleasant surprise in baseball. He fit in right away, belting a 3-run, game-winning homer in the 11th.

    Cincinnati is Griffey’s home town, and he signed with the Reds at a considerable discount six years ago. At 36, he’s a certified first-ballot hall-of-famer, a slugger who will finish his career with 600-plus home runs, and, when he’s healthy, still one of the most feared hitters in the game.

    And yet, Krivsky has to think about trading him.

    The reason is straightforward enough. Although just 5-5 in their past 10, the Reds have gone 16-8 in Griffey’s absence and continue to occupy the top slot in the NL Central standings. They’ve won because they have one superior starting pitcher, a recycled closer who gets the job done and an embarrassment of offense, even with light-hitting second-baseman Ryan Freel taking Griffey’s place in center field. Freel’s replacement, Brandon Phillips, has good power and production, and the other two outfielders, Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn, are big-time power hitters.

    With Griffey back in the lineup, the Reds will score even more. But, as the Yankees have shown repeatedly over the past five seasons, having the best offense in the game doesn’t translate into World Series wins. To win championships, you have to have pitching. That’s been the rule from the beginning of time.

    The Reds are in first place thanks to the off-season acquisition of starter Bronson Arroyo, who went from mediocre in Boston to lights-out with the Reds, compiling an early-season 5-1 record with an ERA of 2.36, more than two runs lower than last year’s number in Boston.

    If they want to stay there, they need another arm similar to Arroyo’s, not more offense. After Arroyo, the Reds pitching is mediocre at best; the team ERA was hovering around 4.50, which puts it solidly in the middle of National League staffs. Most important, the guys chasing the Reds, the Cardinals, have a team ERA nearly a full run lower.

    Since the Cards have some significant offense of their own, it’s only a matter of time before the difference in pitching has its inevitable way with the standings and hoists St. Louis to the top of the NL Central.

    The Reds are expecting to get starter Eric Milton back after having a knee scoped, but Milton never has been good enough to hold down anything but a spot in the back of the rotation, and there’s no reason to expect him to be a difference maker.

    The Reds are fortunate that there’s still time before the trade frenzy begins in earnest. That time can be used to establish — and hope — that Griffey is reasonably healthy, which is to say as healthy as he was last season, and can provide some serious pennant insurance to a contender.

    His contract, at $12.5 million a year and heavily back-loaded, has three more years on it. He’s also a five-and-ten player, so his approval will be needed before a trade can be made.

    The catch is that no bottom-feeder will want to take on a contract that expensive, and contenders guard their front-line pitching like Dobermans protect junk yards. The Reds can get top prospects, but finding immediate help could be difficult.

    The alternative is to keep Griffey, hope he prospers, then trade him in the off-season for that pitching help. In the American League, his health could benefit from DH’ing. In the National, there’s always someone willing to take a chance to get a bat like his.

    Either way, the Reds should get something for a player who’s had one healthy season out of five and may not have another. They have a team that’s a contender, needing only better pitching to get back to the top.

    Griffey could be the ticket to that pitching. It’s why Krivsky has to think about trading his most famous player, and trade him while other teams still think he has value.

    Mike Celizic writes regularly for NBCSports.com and is a freelance writer based in New York.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12745975/
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Guys an idiot cause Jr has little if any trade value. dealing him would simply be a salary dump if they could even find a partial taker.

    The trading chips the Reds have are a catcher(likely Larue) and Freel.
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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    Guys an idiot cause Jr has little if any trade value. dealing him would simply be a salary dump if they could even find a partial taker.

    The trading chips the Reds have are a catcher(likely Larue) and Freel.
    How you can't include Kearns in that list I have no idea. He's first and foremost on my trade list. The guy is gifting the Reds by not spitting the bit right out of the gate this season. Now it's time to show our appreciation for all the guy's hard work.

    Oh, and the Reds have no business thinking about "staying in any hunts" this season. Time to solidify around Enc., Dunn, Harang, and Arroyo; everything else is up for sale.

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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    How you can't include Kearns in that list I have no idea.
    because at the age of 25 it is entirely possible that it could be a new level of performance. We won't know but I really don't see a good trading partner for Kearns at the moment. In addition, if Jr goes down again you have a team woefully short of OFs.

    BTW, the starters of the Phillies can nothing but sliders and curves of Phillips and obviously the scouting report out on Phillips is to feed him offspeed stuff.
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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Didn't Chicago offer Chris Young and Casey Regowski last year for Griffey or was that just a rumor? That would be enough value to make me deal Jr.

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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    because at the age of 25 it is entirely possible that it could be a new level of performance. We won't know but I really don't see a good trading partner for Kearns at the moment. In addition, if Jr goes down again you have a team woefully short of OFs.

    BTW, the starters of the Phillies can nothing but sliders and curves of Phillips and obviously the scouting report out on Phillips is to feed him offspeed stuff.
    But we've had years to look at the stuff Kearns is made of, and it ain't much. If any other adversity presents itself to him, who knows how he'll handle it. Furthermore, the guy is going to be very expensive very soon. I don't even want to think about giving this guy an extension. So, he's got to go next season regardless. I'd prefer to strike now and get something of worth in return. I don't think a player has had a bigger "sell" sign over his head than Austin Kearns.

    No sense in overpaying the guy for past production and future trips to the DL.

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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    No sense in overpaying the guy for past production and future trips to the DL.
    He certainly is no differnt than Lopez or Phillips. Young guys coming in to their own in their mid 20's. I guess the Reds should sell on those two as well because they all have struggled mightily and looked to be turning around as they reach age 25. So if Kearns is on the block by that logic then the others should be as well.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    He certainly is no differnt than Lopez or Phillips. Young guys coming in to their own in their mid 20's. I guess the Reds should sell on those two as well because they all have struggled mightily and looked to be turning around as they reach age 25. So if Kearns is on the block by that logic then the others should be as well.
    My above post says as much: keep Arroyo, Dunn, Enc. and Harang--everything else is up for hock.

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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    You can't turn over a team and build anything in the short term unless there is a lot of help in the minors and from where I see it there is little help at all and likely none in the short term. I don't think there is any chance of a tear down and long term rebuild happening

    If Kearns or Lopez are to be dealt and the Reds hope to get value that is trade to be made in the offseason.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Kearns will be 26 in like 5 days, plus his OPS keeps dropping like January mercury. His glass OPS-ceiling of .850 or so for a right fielder should be reached by June 1; .850 OPS for a right fielder is unexceptional--he should be flipped ASAP.

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    Your killin' me Smalls! StillFunkyB's Avatar
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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    at the writer, not TB
    "And the fact that watching him pitch is like having someone poop on your soul." FCB on Gary Majewski

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    Kearns will be 26 in like 5 days, plus his OPS keeps dropping like January mercury. His glass OPS-ceiling of .850 or so for a right fielder should be reached by June 1; .850 OPS for a right fielder is unexceptional--he should be flipped ASAP.

    I have no problem with trading Kearns but get your facts stright FCB, Kearns' OPS in May is 1.029. It is not "dropping like January mercury".

    You might have some more credibilty with your arguments if you didn't just make stuff up.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    I have no problem with trading Kearns but get your facts stright FCB, Kearns' OPS in May is 1.029. It is not "dropping like January mercury".

    You might have some more credibilty with your arguments if you didn't just make stuff up.
    His slugging has been dropping steadily. Go check the game by game logs on MLB.com

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    Kearns will be 26 in like 5 days, plus his OPS keeps dropping like January mercury. His glass OPS-ceiling of .850 or so for a right fielder should be reached by June 1; .850 OPS for a right fielder is unexceptional--he should be flipped ASAP.
    trading him during the season is likely to bring little in return. If the Reds are not sold on Kearns every being worth much money I doubt anyone else is either and the Reds complete lack of OF depth at the major league level and in the minors is troubling.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: To stay in hunt, Reds must trade Griffey

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    His slugging has been dropping steadily. Go check the game by game logs on MLB.com
    you said OPS and I checked it, and you're wrong. get over it.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun


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