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Thread: Transitioning to 2008

  1. #1
    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Transitioning to 2008

    As the Reds play bad and fall behind the Brewers ( 9 games out on May 9th. ouch! ) I have been thinking about who will be on the field next year.
    Some players are obvious. Some are not.
    There are some interesting scenarios to watch for over the next two months in regards to 2008.

    I. the 2008 offense will look a lot like the 2007 version.

    1B: Votto.

    2B/SS/3B: Phillips/Gonzo/EE. This assumes that Phillips and EE play at least decent this year.

    LF: Dunn. Unless he totally tanks I think the Reds will pick up his option. We need the offense.

    CF: Hamilton. 'The Natural' has made quite a splash so far.

    RF: Griffey. 2008 is the last year of his contract. Bruce is the 'right fielder of the future' but he is still in A ball. Most expect him in 2009.

    C: ? Ross certainly calls a good game and handles the pitchers well. The question is will he hit. He is signed for 2008. Valentin seems to me to be a pinch hitter/backup catcher. His defense/game calling/handling of pitchers doesn't seem adequate for a major league catcher. Honestly I am not sure he is a #2 catcher. He might be a pinch hitter/emergency catcher.
    If Ross falters with the bat the Reds will be looking for catching help.
    We have no one in the minors.

    Bench: Freel & Castro are signed for next year. Hat and/or Conine could be back in a purely bench role depending on what kind of season they have this year. Neither is signed past this year. Hopper could be on the bench depending on his 2007 performance.



    II. Starting pitching. Now it gets interesting.

    Harang and Arroyo make a nice 1-2 punch. Both are signed through 2010.

    Lohse. There is an interesting discussion on Reds Live about Lohse.
    I honestly don't know if he will be back or not.
    Depends on his performance this year and how much money he wants.

    Belisle has looked good so far. If he keeps it up and his back problems don't flare up he will be in the 2008 rotation.

    Milton is gone.

    Bailey, Dumatrait and/or Livingston could be in the rotation. All three are pitching well at AAA. IMO pitching Milton in 2007 hurts the Reds for 2008. We need to get a look at these guys especially if we plan to let Lohse go.
    Do we want a 2008 rotation of Harang-Arroyo-Belisle-?-?
    What if Belisle falters in the 2nd half ( shades of EZ ) or his back problems flare up? Do we want a 2008 rotation of Harang-Arroyo-?-?-?
    That is why I would like to see now what these three guys can do at the big league level.


    III. Bullpen

    Weathers and Stanton are signed. So is Coffey.
    I honestly have no clue who else is in next years pen.
    Candidates are Saarloos, Coutlangus, Salmon, Bray, Majik, McBeth, Pelland and I'm sure there are a few others.
    It depends on how well they perform this year.
    This will be an interesting story for the rest of 2007: will anyone step up and be our closer? will these young guys show they belong in the bigs? will we need to spend the offseason trying to fix the pen ( again ) ?

    Thoughts?
    .

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  3. #2
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Will M View Post
    As the Reds play bad and fall behind the Brewers ( 9 games out on May 9th. ouch! ) I have been thinking about who will be on the field next year.
    Some players are obvious. Some are not.
    There are some interesting scenarios to watch for over the next two months in regards to 2008.

    I. the 2008 offense will look a lot like the 2007 version.

    1B: Votto.

    2B/SS/3B: Phillips/Gonzo/EE. This assumes that Phillips and EE play at least decent this year.

    LF: Dunn. Unless he totally tanks I think the Reds will pick up his option. We need the offense.

    CF: Hamilton. 'The Natural' has made quite a splash so far.

    RF: Griffey. 2008 is the last year of his contract. Bruce is the 'right fielder of the future' but he is still in A ball. Most expect him in 2009.

    C: ? Ross certainly calls a good game and handles the pitchers well. The question is will he hit. He is signed for 2008. Valentin seems to me to be a pinch hitter/backup catcher. His defense/game calling/handling of pitchers doesn't seem adequate for a major league catcher. Honestly I am not sure he is a #2 catcher. He might be a pinch hitter/emergency catcher.
    If Ross falters with the bat the Reds will be looking for catching help.
    We have no one in the minors.

    Bench: Freel & Castro are signed for next year. Hat and/or Conine could be back in a purely bench role depending on what kind of season they have this year. Neither is signed past this year. Hopper could be on the bench depending on his 2007 performance.



    II. Starting pitching. Now it gets interesting.

    Harang and Arroyo make a nice 1-2 punch. Both are signed through 2010.

    Lohse. There is an interesting discussion on Reds Live about Lohse.
    I honestly don't know if he will be back or not.
    Depends on his performance this year and how much money he wants.

    Belisle has looked good so far. If he keeps it up and his back problems don't flare up he will be in the 2008 rotation.

    Milton is gone.

    Bailey, Dumatrait and/or Livingston could be in the rotation. All three are pitching well at AAA. IMO pitching Milton in 2007 hurts the Reds for 2008. We need to get a look at these guys especially if we plan to let Lohse go.
    Do we want a 2008 rotation of Harang-Arroyo-Belisle-?-?
    What if Belisle falters in the 2nd half ( shades of EZ ) or his back problems flare up? Do we want a 2008 rotation of Harang-Arroyo-?-?-?
    That is why I would like to see now what these three guys can do at the big league level.


    III. Bullpen

    Weathers and Stanton are signed. So is Coffey.
    I honestly have no clue who else is in next years pen.
    Candidates are Saarloos, Coutlangus, Salmon, Bray, Majik, McBeth, Pelland and I'm sure there are a few others.
    It depends on how well they perform this year.
    This will be an interesting story for the rest of 2007: will anyone step up and be our closer? will these young guys show they belong in the bigs? will we need to spend the offseason trying to fix the pen ( again ) ?

    Thoughts?

    I don't like to do it, but Wayne's pretty much forced the hand: I'd start trading offense (anyone) for quantity of pitchers, less on quality. I say this because Wayne can't isolate can't-miss arms in one-for-one deals, so he's just going to have to luck into building a pitching staff by sifting through a bunch.

  4. #3
    Member Marc D's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    My thoughts?

    Turn Lohse, Conine, Hatte, Freel, Nacho Libre, Weathers and maybe even Stanton into the best collection of propects you can get. The closer to MLB ready obviously the better and don't just go for pitching, we need help in the infield and catcher as well. If you can get the appropriate return for Dunn do it, if you can work a deal to move JR, have at it.

    The problems of this franchise cannot be solved untill there is a deep and productive farm system. It all starts there. Every stop gap measure you make to "win now" with this team is just extending the pain of the last 7 years.

    If you start now with a solid plan that doesn't involve truckloads of pixie dust( stolen from M2) you can reasonably shoot to be young, talented and competative as soon as '09 imo.

  5. #4
    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc D View Post
    My thoughts?

    Turn Lohse, Conine, Hatte, Freel, Nacho Libre, Weathers and maybe even Stanton into the best collection of propects you can get. The closer to MLB ready obviously the better and don't just go for pitching, we need help in the infield and catcher as well. If you can get the appropriate return for Dunn do it, if you can work a deal to move JR, have at it.

    The problems of this franchise cannot be solved untill there is a deep and productive farm system. It all starts there. Every stop gap measure you make to "win now" with this team is just extending the pain of the last 7 years.

    If you start now with a solid plan that doesn't involve truckloads of pixie dust( stolen from M2) you can reasonably shoot to be young, talented and competative as soon as '09 imo.
    IMO other than maybe for Lohse we aren't going to get some killer prospects for guys like Weathers or Conine.
    There is no problem trading them come to July to a team that needs help but the 'prospects' we get back aren't going to be A quality.

    I don't think Freel can be traded with Jr's injury history.
    Norris Hopper in RF on a daily basis. Yikes!

    Jr controls his own destiny. He has 10/5 rights.

    Krisky IS addressing the farm system. He has done a lot of work and had the fortune of OBrien's good drafts.
    .

  6. #5
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    Harang and Arroyo are locked up through 2010 with options for 2011.

    There's time to rebuild before they walk.
    Makes all the routine posts.

  7. #6
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    Yup, this is the problem. Most of the roster is locked in, not leaving us a ton of room to improve - particularly through FA. We're basically dependent on youth maturing in to impact players. Continued marginal improvements could put us in the mid to high 80's in wins, but we're a significant ways from being seriously competitive due to a lack of high end talent.

    If Bailey becomes a #1, Votto becomes Justin Morneau 2.0, and Bruce becomes Larry Walker 2.0, we're in great shape. If not, this wave of talent meant to supplement our current core is going to need to be buttressed by replacing the existing "core" with better players.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc D View Post
    My thoughts?

    Turn Lohse, Conine, Hatte, Freel, Nacho Libre, Weathers and maybe even Stanton into the best collection of propects you can get. The closer to MLB ready obviously the better and don't just go for pitching, we need help in the infield and catcher as well. If you can get the appropriate return for Dunn do it, if you can work a deal to move JR, have at it.

    The problems of this franchise cannot be solved untill there is a deep and productive farm system. It all starts there. Every stop gap measure you make to "win now" with this team is just extending the pain of the last 7 years.

    If you start now with a solid plan that doesn't involve truckloads of pixie dust( stolen from M2) you can reasonably shoot to be young, talented and competative as soon as '09 imo.


    I couldn't agree more. You've summarized the approach I think we should take perfectly.

    Your sentence that I put in bold type is critical and mostly overlooked.

  9. #8
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    I like Marc D's line of thinking. Here's what I suggested on another thread:


    I KEEP

    Harang
    Arroyo
    Hamilton
    Phillips
    Encarnacion
    Belisle
    Bray

    Harang and Arroyo are the top of the rotation guys the Reds have been desperately trying to find for the better part of the decade. We trade franchise guys like Aaron Boone and Sean Casey HOPING that the return will someday resemble these guys. They are now signed to reasonable contracts for the next three years. Why anyone would want to dump them is beyond me. Hamilton, Phillips, and Encarnacion are the young, cheap, productive building blocks of the future. They bring good attitudes (except for the occaisonal EdE hiccup,) and they too are signed cheaply for years to come (at least until they hit arb). Bray and Belisle are the pitching equivalent of these guys.

    I SEE WHAT I CAN GET FOR

    Dunn
    Griffey
    Freel
    A.Gonzalez
    Conine
    Saarloos
    Coffey
    Majewski

    These are guys that I wouldn't be opposed to trading for the right return, but if the right return is not there, I wouldn't be opposed to keeping, either. Dunn is obviously the most interesting name on this list, and I'm more inclined at this point to keep him. However, I would float him out there, and see if I couldn't get a high-OBP minded GM to give up a couple of strong positional prospects. If Bartolo Colon could net Sizemore, Phillips, and Cliff Lee, Dunn should be able to net at least half of that. If not, I keep him, plain and simple. I also wouldn't mind hanging onto Griffey at this point, as he only has a year plus left. However, if he continues to rake the way he has been, we could probably get a decent return from a hitting-starved playoff contender. Freel is signed pretty cheaply for the next couple years, and I do like the fire he brings to the team, so it wouldn't hurt to hang onto him, especially if Dunn or Griffey is moved. However, if you somehow get a better value return for him than Dunn or Griffey, I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger. While I really like what AGonz has brought to the table so far this year, I know I'm not in the minority in thinking that he will soon regress to the mean. Additionally, I am still of the belief that Brandon Phillips could be the SS of the future on this team, especially with guys like Valiaka and co. coming up who will all be moved to 2B or 3B. If you can get a nice return on AGonz, he A-Gone. Otherwise, I wouldn't be upset having his glove around for the next couple years. I highly doubt Conine would fetch much of anything in a trade, but I would see if anyone would bite. However I'd rather trade Hatt, given both his higher value and the fact that Votto is a lefty. If no one bites on Conine (and I doubt that they would), he could stick around to man first base for the rest of the year following Hatte's departure. Coffey may bounce back, and his value is low right now, but he may benefit from a change of scenery. If someone is willing to pay up and take a chance on Jorge Julio, Coffey may be no different. Ditto for Saarloos and Majewski, once he is healthy.

    I TRADE THIS YEAR FOR THE BEST RETURN

    Hatteberg
    Lohse
    Milton

    Hatteberg and Lohse should definitely be moved by the trading deadline. Hatte is a solid veteran hitter that some team could surely use, similar to Joe Randa from 2005. With the lefty hitting Votto coming up next year (hopefully), there's no use for him here. Thanks for the contribution Scotty! Lohse is a FA after the year that will surely be overpaid by some team like Texas or Seattle, so jettison him now while his value should be pretty good. Maybe the Yankees want him- although I'd be wary of their overhyped prospects. I think enough has been said on the Milton front, so I'll save my breath.

    I ATTEMPT TO TRADE, BUT WILL CUT IF I CAN'T

    Stanton
    Coutlangous

    These guys are of no use in my opinion, so I'd DFA them and see if they can fetch something in a trade. If not, bye bye anyways. Let the younger bullpen guys get a chance to break their arms in this year, like McBeth, Bray, etc.

    That would be my plan, at least, if I'm Wayne.
    Go BLUE!!!

  10. #9
    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    I think I'll go down in May and watch some baseball.

    Probably once in June for sure.

    Looks like once in July, August, and definately in September.

    This is 2007, right?

    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.

  11. #10
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    [QUOTE=RedsManRick;1337378]Yup, this is the problem. Most of the roster is locked in, not leaving us a ton of room to improve - particularly through FA. We're basically dependent on youth maturing in to impact players. Continued marginal improvements could put us in the mid to high 80's in wins, but we're a significant ways from being seriously competitive due to a lack of high end talent.

    If Bailey becomes a #1, Votto becomes Justin Morneau 2.0, and Bruce becomes Larry Walker 2.0, we're in great shape. If not, this wave of talent meant to supplement our current core is going to need to be buttressed by replacing the existing "core" with better players.[/QUOTE]


    Therein lays the whole problem. You can't replace the existing "core" with better players without weakening the future. The existing core is young enough and under Reds control long enough that it doesn't solely depend on Votto, Bailey, and Bruce. There are a slew of prospects coming along behind those guys some of whom are going to develop into quality major leaguers.

    Keep the core and show some patience and we’ll see dividends within 2 or 3 years. I’m 75. If I can wait for a real contender, why can’t you guys most of whom I’d guess are between 20 and 45? It must be true that it’s now the generation of instant gratification.
    Last edited by Stingray; 05-09-2007 at 04:26 PM.

  12. #11
    Member Marc D's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    Agree with Benihana's list except I don't think you can realistically expect to trade Milton and I didn't see Weathers name on it.

  13. #12
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Stingray View Post


    Keep the core and show some patience and weíll see dividends within 2 or 3 years. Iím 75. If I can wait for a real contender, why canít you guys most of whom Iíd guess are between 20 and 45? It must be true that itís now the generation of instant gratification.
    Put another way, the core will turnover naturally. Dunn's contract, Griffey's career stage, and the career stage of guys like Hatteberg, Conine, Weathers, Stanton, Milton will result in change. The Reds are starting to have a good farm system and good young players will be coming up.

    The only meaningful fire sale you could have now is to trade Arroyo and Harang and I don't think that would be wise at all.

    Having said that, there is a short-term fix if the Reds could somehow pick up 3 good late inning relievers, either in deals or from the minors, or the team's injured list. But as "the trade" shows, they shouldn't break up the team to acquire these guys. Maybe Bray, McBeth, Pelland, Majewski, Guardado, or other wise, cheap pickups from other teams will do it.

  14. #13
    Porkchop Sandwiches DoogMinAmo's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    As much as it pains me to say this, the best that can happen to the Reds for 2008 is not competing in 2007. They can trade away vets for prospects, they can give young guys an opportunity to show what they have, and they get a trial run for a team to gel together before next year. I have always hated the blow it up approach, and I realize the season is still early, but it is getting very near the time.
    "I'm a Cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. Please don't send me to the pickle farm, bum." - Brak

    Record In Games Attended, 2007: 2-1 (1-0 GAB, 1-1 Jake)

  15. #14
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    I've heard that Joey Votto is struggling this season.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  16. #15
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    Re: Transitioning to 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by DoogMinAmo View Post
    As much as it pains me to say this, the best that can happen to the Reds for 2008 is not competing in 2007. They can trade away vets for prospects, they can give young guys an opportunity to show what they have, and they get a trial run for a team to gel together before next year. I have always hated the blow it up approach, and I realize the season is still early, but it is getting very near the time.
    Blowing it up means the team is not making progress. But it is. Just not in the won/lost department, for obvious, curable reasons.

    The Reds now have a potentially dynamite double play combo, two excellent starters, two possibly very good starters, Mickey Mantle in the outfield. Why break that up? Because the bullpen needs work?

    Even Dunn is looking better to me. He's playing well in left and his bat is getting more consistent.

    The team is heading in the right direction. It has some major holes, but there is no need to dismantle it.

    As I and others have said, the major event this year is a draft in which the Reds have numerous early picks. Make them good ones and the future will look even brighter.


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