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Thread: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

  1. #1
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    Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Here is a growing concern of mine. A lot of people around here talk about trading away players to create payflex, a concept we are very used to as Reds fans. And while this newly found payflex can help re-sign are soon-to-be arbitration eligible guys like Brandon Phillips, many seem to think it would help us sign starting pitching out of free agency. So below is a list of the best FA pitchers that will be hitting the market this winter. Is there really anyone on there that is attractive enough to sink a big money deal into? Zambrano is obviously out of the question. Jason Jennings maybe?

    Starting pitchers
    Carlos Zambrano (27)
    Curt Schilling (41)
    Jason Jennings (29)
    Freddy Garcia (32)
    Kenny Rogers (43)
    Jon Lieber (38)
    Bartolo Colon (35)
    Joe Kennedy (29)
    Tomo Ohka (32)
    John Thomson (34)
    Kip Wells (31)
    Wade Miller (31)
    Livan Hernandez (33)*
    Randy Wolf (31) - $9MM club option for '08
    Paul Byrd (37) - $8MM club option for '08
    Jeff Weaver (31)
    Tom Glavine (42) - $9MM player option for '08
    Kris Benson (33) - $7.5MM club option for '08
    Jaret Wright (32)
    David Wells (45)
    Eric Milton (32)
    Kyle Lohse (29)
    Matt Clement (33)
    Rodrigo Lopez (32)
    Josh Fogg (31)
    Byung-Hyun Kim (29)
    Odalis Perez (31) - $9MM club option for '08
    Brett Tomko (35) - $4.5MM mutual option for '08

    Closers
    Mariano Rivera (38)
    Jason Isringhausen (35) - $8MM club option for '08
    Bob Wickman (39)
    Francisco Cordero (33)
    Armando Benitez (35)
    Eric Gagne (32)
    Todd Jones (40)

    Middle relievers
    Scott Linebrink (31)
    Jorge Julio (29)
    Kerry Wood (31)
    Go BLUE!!!

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  3. #2
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Good post. Freeing up money is only valuable in so far as you are able to convert said money in to more talent. Cutting $20M worth of production that is currently costing us $25M in salary, is only a net positive if we can use $25M to regain that $20M production, or more.

    Too often we are willing to lose an inefficient salary on the assumption we will be able to spend that money efficiently. The FA market suggests we may not be able to do so.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 07-09-2007 at 03:10 PM.
    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.

  4. #3
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Ya this issue with the FA pitching market has been alluded to several times recently. I think we'll see the most expensive Reds bullpen of our lifetimes....
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Good post. Freeing up money is only valuable in so far as you are able to convert said money in to more talent. Cutting $20M worth of production that is currently costing us $25M in salary, is only a net positive if we can use $25M to regain that $20M production, or more.

    Too often we are willing to lose an inefficient salary on the assumption we will be able to spend that money efficiently. The FA market suggest we may not be able to do so.
    Thanks. That's exactly what I'm suggesting, and what I'm most afraid of.
    Go BLUE!!!

  6. #5
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    I say we sign that Eric Milton fellow on the cheap!
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  7. #6
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    I say we sign that Eric Milton fellow on the cheap!
    How bout he just returns what he's gotten over the past 2 years and we call it even?
    Go Gators!

  8. #7
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Looking at that list and what could be attainable/affordable.
    I hate to say it but Kyle Lohse is looking pretty good right now.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    Looking at that list and what could be attainable/affordable.
    I hate to say it but Kyle Lohse is looking pretty good right now.
    Interesting isn't it? In a vacuum, it's really easy to say he's a bust and not worth his $6M. In the context of what else is out there and for what price, he doesn't look nearly so bad. However, it also really reinforces the necessity of develop top shelf pitching in house.
    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.

  10. #9
    Member schroomytunes's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    all in all, that's not a great list. The only ones that jump out at me are Jason Jennings,Bartolo Colon, Francisco Cordero, and Eric Gagne. Zambrano isn't worth the $$ he'll get. Now there are others that might be worth a flier, but they are all really either too old or too inconsistant. IMHO we have a decent rotation, we just need a solid #4 guy and a backend bullpen. So with that list here is my wish:

    Starter:
    Livan Hernandez

    Bullpen:
    Eric Gagne
    Scott Linebrink

  11. #10
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Quote Originally Posted by schroomytunes View Post
    Starter:
    Livan Hernandez

    Bullpen:
    Eric Gagne
    Scott Linebrink
    Care to guesstimate the contracts we'd have to offer to get those guys?

    Starter:
    Livan Hernandez, 4/48

    Bullpen:
    Eric Gagne, 3/27
    Scott Linebrink, 4/24

    It only takes 1 team to outbid you. Are those reasonable guesses? Would you do any of those deals?
    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.

  12. #11
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Forget Gagne. Sign Linebrink and hand him the closer job.

    As for FA starters, Jason Jennings will want too much money. The Reds will be shopping in the Joe Kennedy section of the store.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  13. #12
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Interesting thread going on at Tango's site about the Buerhle contract. The basic conclusion is that no FA starter is worth the money being offered these days when you consider the risk involved. Everybody is priced as if they would meet their top level of performance and never get injured. The consensus is essentially that all FA dollars should be spent on offense, which is much more predictable and less likely to get seriously injured, and that all pitching should be developed in house.
    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.

  14. #13
    Member chicoruiz's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    With the vast majority of those guys you're paying the check for the meal his former team got to eat. I'd just as leave have most of that money go to player development, but it won't happen; unfortunately big league payroll is what owners use to show Joe Fan how committed they are to winning.
    "In baseball, you don't know nothin'"...Yogi Berra

  15. #14
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Quote Originally Posted by chicoruiz View Post
    With the vast majority of those guys you're paying the check for the meal his former team got to eat. I'd just as leave have most of that money go to player development, but it won't happen; unfortunately big league payroll is what owners use to show Joe Fan how committed they are to winning.
    Most fans I know would rather wins than commitments to winning. Letting the tail wag the dog is a great way to keep yourself from actually winning. And unfortunately, as we've seen in Redsville, the "commitment" claim starts to sound like crying wolf after a while.

    Forget the fans and just build a winner. If you fail to do so, you're going to be fired anyways. Talking about commitment just makes me think they aren't confident in their ability to actually do it and they want to leave an out. "Hey, at least we tried and were committed."
    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.

  16. #15
    Go Reds Go! UKFlounder's Avatar
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    Re: Payflex and 2008 Free Agents

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Good post. Freeing up money is only valuable in so far as you are able to convert said money in to more talent. Cutting $20M worth of production that is currently costing us $25M in salary, is only a net positive if we can use $25M to regain that $20M production, or more.

    Too often we are willing to lose an inefficient salary on the assumption we will be able to spend that money efficiently. The FA market suggests we may not be able to do so.
    But what if some of that money freed up is used to pay more to managers/coaches (attracting better candidates, hopefully) or to bolster the minor league/player development side of the organization? Obviously, those are "unsexy" type of moves & most fans would not accept that, but free agency is not the only area where a few extra dollars could help. Perhaps a few extra dollars could make an acquisition through trade more likely.

    I know that paragraph is as much wishful thinking as is the thought that all money saved would be used on free agents and those free agents would be successful, but free agency is not the only way to use extra money to benefit the team.

    And, honestly, while we're discussing this as fans, from an ownership point of view, if saving a few hundred thousand dollars (or more) for the last month of the season does not necessarily position the team to become better, it may help the bottom line financially. Like it or not, that may be a consideration all owners have, but especially ones whose teams stink like the Reds currently do.

    For instance, if the Reds trade Hatteberg or Weathers & replace them with lower paid players, the Reds' record may suffer, but we'd still be in last place and still be a non-contender without them, but the ownership would have a few extra bucks in profit. I don't like that line of thought & hope our owners are too competitive to be that blunt about it, but it is a business & at some point profit/loss might factor in. I hope I'm a bit too cynical on this possibility, but I think it must be a consideration, though hopefully a small one.

    As the Eric Milton signing proved, having money to spend does not mean anything if you spend it on the wrong guys. Having the money is a good first step and if the Reds can make moves to acquire additional spending flexibility, that can be a good start, but they still have to make the right decisions on how to spend it, and that, as most above have stated, is the tough part.


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