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Thread: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

  1. #16
    Red's fan mbgrayson's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Though by the time 2010 rolls around, the Reds might be able to develop or unearth a low-cost closer option. Granted, they'd ideally like to get four quality seasons from Cordero, but if he can deliver two big years closing down games for a club in the thick of the division hunt, I could live with him tailing off after that.

    ..... I would submit that better is better.
    The thing is that money is a limted resource. What else could we do with $11.5 million? Well, we could have spent a million (or less) to sign our 2007 4th, 6th and 8th round draft picks (Stouffer, Hildenbrandt, and O'Neill). We might have signed Kerry Wood for a two year deal for 6 million per year....We could have maybe extended Adam Dunn.

    The other problem not yet mentioned with the four year deal is that if Cordero tails off those last two years, when he leaves to go free agent after 2011, he will not be a 'Type A' free agent, netting us no draft picks.

    GoReds: "That chart shows me that the A's have been willing to pay premium dollars for closers, even though they are flipping them for draft picks soon after. Street is an exception, but will likely be flipped if or after he attains high-salary status."
    That is exactly the point. Every year the A's paid a high dollar salary at closer, they let the guy go free agent(to get high draft picks) or traded him to further build their club.

    The net result, looked at over 12 years, is an 80% save rate, ERA's in the 3s, an average salary of $2 million, a winning record with a low payroll, and good economics (buy low, sell high).
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  3. #17
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup View Post
    The difference is the Cordero is good and always has been. Milton never really was.
    Actually Milton was a valuable pitcher before his serious knee injury.
    "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

  4. #18
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    The A's method is great. However, I think you have to be careful about being too literal. The A's took this general approach with all of their players. However, where they failed to develop players, even the A's supplemented from elsewhere.

    They couldn't develop a CF, so they traded for Mark Kotsay.
    They couldn't develop a catcher, so they traded for Jason Kendall.
    They couldn't develop a power hitting corner OF, so they traded for Jermaine Dye.
    They had just traded away SP and they signed Esteban Loaiza in FA.

    None of those guys were a bargain. All could've been developed in house. The point is that there's no position in baseball that can't be developed more cheaply or at which you don't have to overpay to fill in FA.

    The bottom line is that it's very difficult, if not impossible, to develop a playoff off team completely on the cheap. There will be places in the organization you simply can't seem to fill. The Reds have about 10 young guys all of whom might be high leverage relievers some day. But if we all we do is wait until those guys are ready, then maybe we have a hole in the OF, or in the rotation, or at 3B. You can end up waiting an awful long time for the perfect storm to form.

    Cordero is no bargain. Closers are probably among the most overpaid players in the game. Shame on us for not developing, finding, acquiring, etc. better relievers more cheaply. Krivsky took a shot at doing so about 18 months ago and failed. But at the end of the day, we simply need more talent to win and acquiring another position player isn't going to help much. We needed pitching and Cordero was the best pitcher out there who we could obtain.

    It's not ideal. As the title says, there are "smarter way(s) to fill the closer position". But you know what, there are also smarter ways to fill the catcher position than by trading for the corpse of Jason Kendall and smarter ways to fill the back of the rotation rather than signing Esteban Loaiza. Reality is rarely ideal. However, we're in the situation we're in and thankfully we have a management group who is actively going to try and make it better. The Braves have been doing this for years. They traded away a #2 starter to the Reds for a middle infielder. Smart? Maybe not. But they had a need and the addressed it.

    Fortune favors the bold. The Cordero signing could blow up in our face. He could blow out his shoulder in July and we're up crap creek without a paddle. However, you need both smarts and a bit of brute force to win. While he's no idiot, I don't think anybody believes Krivsky is a mensa member. I'm just glad that we aren't relying solely on out-thinking everybody else. And I do know that as stupid and inefficient of a deal as it may be, the Reds bullpen is a lot better today than it was last season.
    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.

  5. #19
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Actually Milton was a valuable pitcher before his serious knee injury.
    not really. His history is littered with HR's wherever he pitched. He's never had a good K rate. His best feature was that he didn't walk a ton of guys and he ate innings, but why walk when you can hit a double. And the innings he ate weren't that good.

    please don't make my eyes bleed by posting that Milton was ever valuable.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  6. #20
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'm just glad that we aren't relying solely on out-thinking everybody else
    Yes. As a very smart philosopher once said, "A man has got to know his limitations".
    "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

  7. #21
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    not really. His history is littered with HR's wherever he pitched. He's never had a good K rate. His best feature was that he didn't walk a ton of guys and he ate innings, but why walk when you can hit a double. And the innings he ate weren't that good.

    please don't make my eyes bleed by posting that Milton was ever valuable.
    He was a slightly above average AL starter capable of burning 200 innings a season before his injury. That's pretty valuable.

    Sorry about your eyes though.
    "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

  8. #22
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    I agree...a few of them may be worth trying at closer. Burton? Bray? Belisle? Cueto? All cheap alternatives that could work out.

    Given that 2007 went into the toilet early, we should have tried one of those guys as closer then....instead of Weathers.
    In the defense of the Reds, many of these arms were given an opportunity to perform in high leverage situations.

    Coffey, Bray, Maj, Belisile (in years past, since he started last year).. heck every young arm that was even remotely close to being in the big leagues has been given a chance to perform in a key situation. Burton was horrible in the first half, yet the Reds still gave him opportunities, which eventually paid off. Heck, even Homer was rushed up and given a chance .. not in the pen, but as a starter.

    In summary, I don't think we've failed to develop young pitching because management hasn't given them a chance. They've had many chances. Some of the guys (Coffey & Bray) still have hope.
    Other guys simply weren't cut out to be ML pitchers.

    On another point.. I think things have changed dramatically in the last 5 years. Relief pitchers used to be considered a commodity.
    It used to not be very difficult to find a servicable reliever off the junk pile or in Rule V. Now, all teams horde relievers. It's a lot more difficult to pluck a young Reistma away from a team, because even if his upside is only viewed as middle relief, teams consider that valuable. Case in point, the Mets have been spending a lot of high draft picks on college relievers now, hoping to hit gold. That strategy would've been laughed at 10-15 years ago, when you could go into FA and get a servicable reliever for 500-700k/year.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  9. #23
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    The thing is that money is a limted resource. What else could we do with $11.5 million? [cut] We might have signed Kerry Wood for a two year deal for 6 million per year....
    This is an interesting take. To me, it's a lot riskier to give Wood 12 million over 2 years than it is to give Cordero the deal he got.

    Cordero is more money and more years, but if you sign Wood, you are risking getting zero production for 2 years.

    Even if Cordero starts to tail off in 2010 or 2011, he's probably still contributing (as long as he's healthy, of course).

    For example, Milton would've been a much easier pill to swallow if he was able to muster a .500 record and 170 IP/year while here. Sure, he would've still been overpaid, but at least he would've made a positive contribution.

    Assembling a roster of Kerry Woods and Ryan Freels seems like a much more dangerous way to spend money, IMO. I wouldn't have minded Wood being added, and would still welcome him, but IMO, he's a bigger risk than Cordero.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  10. #24
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    The Reds had a good thing going when they employed the Howsam method to the draft, criteria was big (over 6 foot) and hard throwing (must have fastball to apply) That churned out select cuts of meat for almost three decades, somewhere that philosophy got buried and vanished.

  11. #25
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    The thing is that money is a limted resource. What else could we do with $11.5 million? Well, we could have spent a million (or less) to sign our 2007 4th, 6th and 8th round draft picks (Stouffer, Hildenbrandt, and O'Neill). We might have signed Kerry Wood for a two year deal for 6 million per year....We could have maybe extended Adam Dunn.
    I'm an Adam Dunn fan and I'm all for signing draft picks, but I'd rather have pitching. Getting a closer to address the team's bullpen debacle strikes me as a good use of a finite resource.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    The other problem not yet mentioned with the four year deal is that if Cordero tails off those last two years, when he leaves to go free agent after 2011, he will not be a 'Type A' free agent, netting us no draft picks.
    Got to be honest, I'm not really worried about that. Maybe he will net draft picks, maybe he won't. Maybe he'll be dealt after three years. No one really knows. To me, the primary purpose of signing a LTC is based on what the player can deliver on the field, not whether he'll net you draft picks after the contract is finished.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  12. #26
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    The A's method is great. However, I think you have to be careful about being too literal. The A's took this general approach with all of their players. However, where they failed to develop players, even the A's supplemented from elsewhere.

    They couldn't develop a CF, so they traded for Mark Kotsay.
    They couldn't develop a catcher, so they traded for Jason Kendall.
    They couldn't develop a power hitting corner OF, so they traded for Jermaine Dye.
    They had just traded away SP and they signed Esteban Loaiza in FA.

    None of those guys were a bargain. All could've been developed in house. The point is that there's no position in baseball that can't be developed more cheaply or at which you don't have to overpay to fill in FA.

    The bottom line is that it's very difficult, if not impossible, to develop a playoff off team completely on the cheap. There will be places in the organization you simply can't seem to fill. The Reds have about 10 young guys all of whom might be high leverage relievers some day. But if we all we do is wait until those guys are ready, then maybe we have a hole in the OF, or in the rotation, or at 3B. You can end up waiting an awful long time for the perfect storm to form.

    Cordero is no bargain. Closers are probably among the most overpaid players in the game. Shame on us for not developing, finding, acquiring, etc. better relievers more cheaply. Krivsky took a shot at doing so about 18 months ago and failed. But at the end of the day, we simply need more talent to win and acquiring another position player isn't going to help much. We needed pitching and Cordero was the best pitcher out there who we could obtain.

    It's not ideal. As the title says, there are "smarter way(s) to fill the closer position". But you know what, there are also smarter ways to fill the catcher position than by trading for the corpse of Jason Kendall and smarter ways to fill the back of the rotation rather than signing Esteban Loaiza. Reality is rarely ideal. However, we're in the situation we're in and thankfully we have a management group who is actively going to try and make it better. The Braves have been doing this for years. They traded away a #2 starter to the Reds for a middle infielder. Smart? Maybe not. But they had a need and the addressed it.

    Fortune favors the bold. The Cordero signing could blow up in our face. He could blow out his shoulder in July and we're up crap creek without a paddle. However, you need both smarts and a bit of brute force to win. While he's no idiot, I don't think anybody believes Krivsky is a mensa member. I'm just glad that we aren't relying solely on out-thinking everybody else. And I do know that as stupid and inefficient of a deal as it may be, the Reds bullpen is a lot better today than it was last season.
    Excellent post.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  13. #27
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    The Reds had a good thing going when they employed the Howsam method to the draft, criteria was big (over 6 foot) and hard throwing (must have fastball to apply)
    Don Gullett, Mario Soto and Will McEnaney were all exactly 6'-0". Thank God they werent 5'-11" or the Reds glorious past may have been different!!!
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  14. #28
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    The Reds had a good thing going when they employed the Howsam method to the draft, criteria was big (over 6 foot) and hard throwing (must have fastball to apply) That churned out select cuts of meat for almost three decades, somewhere that philosophy got buried and vanished.
    Was it the philosophy that disappeared, or was it the farm system and coaching needed to turn those slabs of beef into big-league pitchers that vanished?

    I'd like to see the Reds shoot for something like:

    1. Can strike out batters
    2. Everything else
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  15. #29
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Was it the philosophy that disappeared, or was it the farm system and coaching needed to turn those slabs of beef into big-league pitchers that vanished?

    I'd like to see the Reds shoot for something like:

    1. Can strike out batters
    2. Everything else
    You tel me, as soon as Bowden was here for awhile the search for offense was more prevalent then any defensive/pitching philosphy. The men spent half his career as Reds GM looking for HR's and a fast CF.

  16. #30
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    Don Gullett, Mario Soto and Will McEnaney were all exactly 6'-0". Thank God they werent 5'-11" or the Reds glorious past may have been different!!!
    Two of those guys are lefties, and Soto wasn't drafted.

    The adage is short lefties are easier to work with then short RH's. But being flexible was also a part of the Reds draft philosophy and those guys are proof.


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