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Thread: SI's take on the Post-Trade Reds

  1. #1
    Fielder's Indifference fisch11's Avatar
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    SI's take on the Post-Trade Reds

    Inside Baseball: Reds October
    Early returns on Cincinnati's heavily criticized bullpen deal were positive, brightening the team's playoff outlook


    By Albert Chen

    Wayne Krivsky is not a recognizable face in Cincinnati, which means the first-year general manager can leave work without fear of being accosted for orchestrating the Reds' controversial eight-player trade with the Nationals on July 13. "That's good, because I'm getting hammered enough in letters and voicemails," says Krivsky, who, with his team in a pennant race, dealt two 26-year-old every-day players (rightfielder Austin Kearns and shortstop Felipe Lopez) and a prospect for a pair of middle relievers (Bill Bray and Gary Majewski), a 36-year-old shortstop (Royce Clayton) and two minor leaguers.

    Skewered by the national media and Cincinnati fans -- former Mets G.M. turned ESPN analyst Steve Phillips called it "the worst trade of the last 10 years" -- Krivsky remains steadfast in his belief that the deal was essential to get his club into the postseason. At week's end the Reds, who trailed by 1 1/2 games in the NL wild-card race at the time of the trade, had opened a one-game lead since. "We were 9-20 going into the All-Star break with some bad late-inning losses," says Krivsky, whose relievers ranked second to last in the league in ERA (5.16) in the first half of the season but had a 3.31 mark in 10 games after the break. "We had to improve the bullpen. If we overpaid, we overpaid."

    A former Twins assistant G.M. and longtime scout, the 52-year-old Krivsky had been widely praised for two earlier moves: trading outfielder Wily Mo Peņa for righthanded starter Bronson Arroyo (9-6, 2.92 ERA through Sunday) in March, then dealing for second baseman Brandon Phillips (.292, eight homers, 49 RBIs) in April. He needed Bray and Majewski to be late-inning bridges to Eddie Guardado, who was acquired from Seattle on July 6. Guardado, 35, got saves in his first five chances with the Reds and had a 1.35 ERA.

    A 2004 first-round draft pick with a killer 90-mph slider, the 23-year-old Bray had a 1.80 ERA after five innings pitched for his new club, and could be Cincinnati's closer of the future. The 26-year-old Majewski, however, may have been overrated by Krivsky; he had allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings, blown a lead and taken a loss since joining the Reds. "[Majewski] looks a little fatigued, maybe the workload [86 innings in '05 and 59 2/3 this season] is catching up to him," says an NL scout. "But Bray has been as good as advertised; he has good poise, so they'll be able to count on him in the late innings."

    At the same time, an NL executive says that Kearns and Lopez "were overvalued by most of the trade's critics." After hitting .291 last year, Lopez was batting .262 at week's end (including .211 with Washington). According to team sources the Reds had soured on Lopez because of his poor work ethic and lack of focus on defense. Clayton, despite his fading range, is a defensive upgrade. As for Kearns, who was hitting .270 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs, he's prone to injury and strikeouts; and his numbers were inflated by playing in the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park.

    Their departures freed up more at bats for underused utilityman Ryan Freel and highly regarded prospect Chris Denorfia, as well as cash for 2007: Lopez and Kearns, arbitration eligible in the fall, are due big raises next year.

    The trade is defensible for another reason: The cost of setup men is rising as fast as gas prices. Last winter the Yankees signed Kyle Farnsworth for $17 million, the Cardinals added Braden Looper for $13.5 million and the Cubs acquired Bob Howry and Scott Eyre for a combined $23 million. (Each reliever received a three-year deal.) As a result, says an NL scout, "teams are less willing now to deal them away. [Bray and Majewski] might end up being the best two relievers moved this season."

    With its revamped bullpen Cincinnati at week's end had won seven of 10 games after the All-Star break. The Reds had the look of an improved team, but only one thing will quiet Krivsky's critics and riled-up fans: their first postseason berth since 1995.

    ///////////

    One of the few that are showing us a little love. I'm glad somebody noticed Bray's value in the deal as well.
    "Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?!"

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  3. #2
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    Re: SI's take on the Post-Trade Reds

    Look at the combined numbers of the relievers. Pretty lame. Maybe they get better, maybe worse. But if you're judging the relievers on what they've done so far, it's not exactly inspiring.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: SI's take on the Post-Trade Reds

    At the same time, an NL executive says that Kearns and Lopez "were overvalued by most of the trade's critics." After hitting .291 last year, Lopez was batting .262 at week's end (including .211 with Washington). According to team sources the Reds had soured on Lopez because of his poor work ethic and lack of focus on defense. Clayton, despite his fading range, is a defensive upgrade. As for Kearns, who was hitting .270 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs, he's prone to injury and strikeouts; and his numbers were inflated by playing in the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park.
    Forget whether you like the trade or not, but I think this is very interesting. EE, who has struggled with throwing errors but is working his keister off, is still in Cincy. I know he's not playing as much as he should, but the point is he is here and wasn't traded. Lopez had much the same problems, with worse offense, and he's gone. Work ethic had to play a role in this.

    AK, who is very tallented but has had the "work ethic" spector around him (lest we forget his vacation in Louisville just last year) is gone via trade. Dunn, with more tallent than AK, but who had a HORRIFIC start to the season has been spending extra time in the batting cage working on his stroke and just making contact (and it's paying off latley). He's still with the team.

    Forget all the carping about "scrappy vets" it does appear that the FO values "work ethic". And I think that is a very, very good thing.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: SI's take on the Post-Trade Reds

    Wow. Three-year major league veteran Ryan Wagner was refered to as a "prospect" in the article.
    How far he has fallen.

    EDIT: Lil'Abner put it very well, too. I have always believed there was a lot more to the trade than meets the eye.

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    Re: SI's take on the Post-Trade Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    Look at the combined numbers of the relievers. Pretty lame. Maybe they get better, maybe worse. But if you're judging the relievers on what they've done so far, it's not exactly inspiring.
    How about splitting the numbers up and give me Bray's stats??? I would say they are very good.

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    Re: SI's take on the Post-Trade Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    Look at the combined numbers of the relievers. Pretty lame. Maybe they get better, maybe worse. But if you're judging the relievers on what they've done so far, it's not exactly inspiring.
    Wow...I have read some of your other posts. I'm confused by what I've seen you write. Maybe I'm wrong, but are the Reds 20 games out of a playoff spot? By the tone of basically every one of your posts I would say that they are.

    Personally, I'm enjoying every minute of this season because it is the last thing I really expected. But, you enjoy the negativity!!!


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