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Thread: Reds add prospects in trade

  1. #1
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Reds add prospects in trade

    Reds add prospects in trade
    Eight-player swap with Nats includes several Minor Leaguers
    By Jonathan Mayo / MLB.com

    In Thursday's eight-player trade, there were several Minor Leaguers involved. Bill Bray, Brendan Harris and Daryl Thompson are all intriguing prospects who are now a part of the Cincinnati Reds organization. Here's some more information on each of them:

    Bill Bray, LHP

    Bray was the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals' first-round pick (No. 13 overall) in the 2004 draft. A college closer at William & Mary, the lefty has a plus fastball and slider and previously showed the makings of a changeup, causing the Nationals to think about moving Bray into the rotation.

    They decided to let him stay in the 'pen, and after dealing with some injuries that slowed him out of the gate, he's moved very quickly. That, of course, was by design, as the Nationals hoped Bray would be another reliever in the Chad Cordero mode -- a college closer who could reach the big leagues quickly.

    After throwing just 47 total innings from the time he was drafted until the start of the 2006 season, the 23-year-old Bray shook off a rough April and was the dominant reliever in May the organization thought they had all along. He posted a 2.84 ERA in 11 games, holding hitters to a .179 average while striking out 29 and walking six over 19 innings.

    That led to his first call to the big leagues, where Bray has appeared in a total of 19 games out of the Nats' bullpen. His first month wasn't anything to write home about -- a 5.87 ERA in 15 1/3 innings -- but he hasn't allowed a run in six July outings spanning 7 2/3 innings. He should fit nicely into the Reds' relief core immediately.

    Brendan Harris, INF

    Harris is no stranger to being traded. Originally a fifth-round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2001, he was part of the three-team trade involving the Cubs, Expos and Red Sox that sent Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs and Orlando Cabrera to the Red Sox.

    He's always been able to hit for average, carrying a .293 career Minor League average into this season. At the time of the trade, Harris was hitting .283 in his second year with Triple-A New Orleans, slumping lately, after breaking out of the gate with a .306 average in April and .330 in May.

    His big-league callups have been both brief and relatively uneventful. He's never received more than 59 at-bats in any season since his debut with the Cubs in 2004. In 100 Major League at-bats, including 32 this season, Harris is hitting .210 with a pair of homers and eight RBIs. He had hit .333 in 32 at-bats this year.

    Among scouts, the 25-year-old Harris often gets the ultimate compliment in being called "a baseball player." He can do the little things well and is a very good situational hitter. But his best tool may be his glove, and he can tote it all over the infield. He's logged a lot of time at third, short and second base and is able to handle all three at the highest level. It's unclear where he'll fit into the Reds' depth chart, but he's ready to contribute, at least as a utility man, in the big leagues.

    Daryl Thompson, RHP

    Thompson, the Expos' eighth-round pick in 2003, has spent some time on the shelf since being drafted. Still, just 20 years old, the right-hander was trying to get back on track in short-season ball this summer. He'd tossed just 6 2/3 innings over four outings, allowing five earned runs, five walks and eight strikeouts in that span for Vermont in the New York-Penn League.

    Thompson had what was termed minor shoulder surgery last offseason, keeping him off the mound until late June. He was originally slated to head to Class A Advanced Potomac this season after some moderate success in 2005. After having a 5.08 ERA in Savannah in 2004, Thompson had a 3.35 ERA, but only managed to throw 53 2/3 innings in 2005.

    When healthy, Thompson features a fastball in the low 90s with a solid curve and changeup. Twenty-year-olds with a three-pitch mix don't grow on trees, but obviously the Reds will have to be patient with him. If they can get him healthy and on the right path, they could have a nice little pitching prospect on their hands, something the relatively pitching-poor system needs. Then again, that's a very big if.

    Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASAp...=.jsp&c_id=cin
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    Like Bray alot, though the lack of a "other" top prospect, which the Nationals really didn't have makes me feel really dull, even though Kearns/Lopez are overrated in some respects, not getting a top prospect to go along with Bray and Maj sucks.

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    Bill Bray Article:

    Arizona Fall League Notebook
    By Chris Kline
    November 6, 2004

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--Bill Bray came into Thursday’s game against Grand Canyon throwing gas, and his slider was nearly untouchable, diving late and hitting the 85-87 mph range. His family had come all the way from Virginia to pay him a visit in this, just his second month on the mound as a pro.

    While many players in the Arizona Fall League are winding down as the season hits its final three weeks, Bray, the Expos’ first-round pick in this year’s draft, is still talking like each pitch is life or death.

    “Some guys might not be taking it very seriously right now, and some guys are just plain tired from everything they’ve gone through all season long,” Bray said. “But for me, this is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced. I’m taking everything very seriously because it’s an honor to be here and to represent the organization.”

    Bray worked his fastball up to 95 mph in relief of starter Keith Bucktrot (Phillies), who, while he has been solid this fall, could not make it out of the first inning, giving up four runs on two hits. Bray settled the Rafters down, only making one mistake to Kevin West (Twins), who blasted a line-drive solo shot into the Grand Canyon bullpen for a 5-1 lead.

    “It was a 3-1 count and nobody was on base,” Bray said. “I’m definitely going to challenge somebody in that situation. But it was supposed to be a fastball inside and I left it right over the middle. I missed my spot and he killed it.”

    He came back with a vengeance, however, striking out the next two batters to end the inning.

    In addition to a two-seam and four-seam fastball, which sits in the 91-94 range and touches 95, Bray also features a knockout, late-breaking slider and a changeup that is still in the early stages of development. How the changeup comes along will dictate Bray’s role in the future.

    As a closer in college at William & Mary, he never needed to go beyond a two-pitch mix. He was effective in that role after the Expos inked him to a deal worth $1.75 million as the 13th overall pick, sending him straight to high Class A Brevard County. He went 0-2, 4.91, struck out six and walked one in seven innings of work in his debut.

    “For now, I’m comfortable in relief,” Bray said. “I did it all through college and I like the adrenaline rush I get when I go out there.”

    After the season ended, Bray was sent to Arizona to get in some more innings against a bevy of quality hitters in the Fall League.

    “He’s held his own here, that’s for sure,” Peoria hitting coach Torey Lovullo said. “He’s young and he’ll make some young mistakes, but that’s why he’s here.”

    The other reason is the changeup. He threw just one yesterday, but is slowly working it into game situations and hopes to be comfortable enough with its development by the start of next season, when he more than likely will land at the Expos’ new high Class A affiliate in Potomac.

    “That’s up to them where they put me,” he said. “Wherever it is, I’ll be happy. And if they want me to start, I’ll start. If they want me somewhere else, that’s fine too. I don’t make the rules. That’s up to them.”

    Yesterday was also the first time his family got a chance to see him throw professionally and he didn’t disappoint—although he had to put up with some smack talk from his little brother Michael earlier in the day.

    “He predicted that I was going to give up a home run today,” Bray said with a sigh. “He totally jinxed me. He’s always talking some junk. I’m going to have to wait until he goes to sleep tonight to get back at him.”

    Family trash-talking aside, Bray is excited about being in an organization on the move to the nation’s capital.

    “My teammates and I are really thrilled to be going to D.C.,” said Bray, who hails from Virginia Beach, Va. “That’s no disrespect to Montreal, but D.C. is a great city and we should have had baseball there for a long time. Everyone’s really excited, but at this point, we don’t even know what we’re going to be called yet.”
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

  6. #5
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    ESPN article...

    Nationals win deal with Reds

    Do you think Jim Bowden took a little pleasure in thoroughly robbing the organization that fired him in 2003? If not, perhaps he should, because he just pushed the Reds to the back of the NL playoff queue, and in the process picked up three players who entered the Reds' organization while he was their GM.
    The Nationals were widely expected to be sellers in the July trade market, and that may still come to pass, but in this deal, they took on more salary than they gave up. In exchange for a talented left-handed relief prospect and three spare parts, the Nationals just added an above-average corner outfielder, an above-average shortstop, and a talented right-handed relief prospect. Whether they choose to keep Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez or move them for younger talent, the Nationals won this deal in a rout.

    Kearns frustrates a lot of people inside the game because of the frequency he racks up strikeouts. Look instead at what Kearns does well: plus power, plus patience, and plus defense in right with a good arm. He'll strike out a lot and may not always hit for average, but he's an above-average player in an outfield corner, and the Nationals have him under control through the end of 2008. He's very similar to Brad Wilkerson, but with the added sheen of having served as a Red while Bowden ran that club.

    Lopez is in the same service-time class as Kearns, meaning that he too is eligible for free agency after 2008. Lopez is having a down year after his breakthrough in 2005, an All-Star caliber season during which he poked 23 homers and hit for average with a few walks, a few steals and erratic defense at short. Lopez is an athletic player who has above-average raw power and a good arm, but his makeup has always been an open question. Given the complete lack of anything resembling a big-league shortstop in the Washington system, however, Lopez is an immediate and substantial upgrade, and it's a good gamble that he'll return at least most of the way to his 2005 performance.

    Ryan Wagner is a throw-in, which is a major fall from grace for a guy selected in the first round in 2003 and rushed right to the majors. Wagner had the best strikeout rate in Division I in his junior year at the University of Houston, but his command has been awful in the pros, partly the result of a slinging delivery that puts a lot of strain on his shoulder. Still, he has a plus fastball and a plus slider that can get a little sweepy when he gets around it; it's worth a shot to see if a change of scenery will help.

    The jewel in the deal for the Reds is Bill Bray, who was highly touted as a first-round pick in 2004. Bray has an out-pitch slider with a hard, late break to go with an average fastball and good control. He closed in college and should develop into a setup man in the majors, but the odds of his doing so this year (his debut season in the majors) aren't great. He also has a history of back trouble, which limited him to just 40 innings in 2005.

    The real problem here for Cincinnati is that the other players they acquired just aren't any good. Royce Clayton was once a defensive whiz who would hit just enough to be a contributor, but his offense is so bad today that he makes Rafael Belliard look like Cal Ripken at the plate. Since the start of the 2000 season, Clayton has hit .258/.313/.369. And his defensive abilities have declined, much as you would expect they would for a player moving through his late 30s. As a glove off the bench acquired at no cost, Clayton is still a questionable use of a spot on the 25-man roster, but if the Reds intend to give him any of the playing time freed up by the trade of Lopez, they're shooting themselves in the foot.

    Gary Majewski has two average pitches in his fastball and slider, but no real out pitch, no weapon to use against left-handed batters, and below-average control. He has moderate sink on his fastball, which is important in Cincinnati's home park, but isn't enough to make him more than an 11th or 12th man on their staff. Brendan Harris is a utility player who isn't good defensively and who has never had much patience at the plate; he's a 4-A guy who won't find playing time in Cincinnati with Ryan Freel, Rich Aurilia, Brandon Phillips, Juan Castro, and now Clayton all on the roster.

    The Reds' apparent strategy here -- trading some of their offensive depth for pitching help -- is sensible, but their specific choices here make no sense. I don't see any way in which trading two of the top 50 hitters in the league for questionable relievers helps the Reds. The most charitable analysis would say that they've acquired 50-60 better bullpen innings at the cost of 400-450 good plate appearances, but given the volatility of reliever performance and Majewski's wildness, there's a good chance that the Reds won't see any benefit in their pen as a result of this deal. Had the Reds traded some spare parts or even good prospects for Majewski and Bray, I could understand it, but they have probably now taken the league's second- or third-best offense and made it merely average.

    The Nationals, on the other hand, acquired a lot more talent than they gave up, and in doing so acquired the trade's top two players, both of whom are under control through the end of 2008. Washington can go in two directions. The Nats can keep Kearns and Lopez with an eye toward contending in the next two years, which would require a lot more work. The alternative is to deal one or both of the players to try to acquire younger players whom they'd control beyond 2008; given their paltry farm system and the fact that the Mets look like they'll be a powerhouse over the next few seasons, dealing Kearns and Lopez -- both of whom would be among the most coveted players in the July trade market if they're made available again -- would be a sensible course of action.

  7. #6
    Member chicoruiz's Avatar
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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    A nice side effect of this deal would be if Thompson was sent to Dayton, pushing Ward to Sarasota.
    "In baseball, you don't know nothin'"...Yogi Berra

  8. #7
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    Thompson is sitting in Sarasota now, so I doubt that will happen.

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    15 game winner Danny Serafini's Avatar
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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    Read somewhere (can't remember where exactly) that Thompson actually went to GCL Sarasota.

  10. #9
    15 game winner Danny Serafini's Avatar
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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44
    Gary Majewski has two average pitches in his fastball and slider, but no real out pitch, no weapon to use against left-handed batters, and below-average control. He has moderate sink on his fastball, which is important in Cincinnati's home park, but isn't enough to make him more than an 11th or 12th man on their staff.
    That statement right there really stretches the credibility of this article. Has he actually seen the 11th and 12th men on this staff? You're telling me a guy with a career 3.27 ERA is no better than Esteban Yan or Jason Standridge? Come on. Why do I get the feeling this is just one of Bowden's old ESPN buddies tossing him some nice press.

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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    I love it how espn can say who won the deal before they see how it effects the respective teams.

  12. #11
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    Thompson is actually on the Sarasota Reds roster right now according to Milb.com

  13. #12
    15 game winner Danny Serafini's Avatar
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    Re: Reds add prospects in trade

    I'll trust milb.com then, especially since I can't even remember my own source.


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