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Thread: Tough decisions looming for Reds

  1. #46
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    But Wayne usually leaves a gap, unlike Bowden. So I figure that there remains room.
    I don't know about that. After Cordero was signed, the Reds pretty much stuck to low cost pickups.

    I think the bigger difference is in ownership being flexible than the GM managing the budget. Cast will add payroll if the Reds are in the hunt. Too bad Wayne didn't spent it wisely 2 years ago. In contrast, Allen wouldn't add payroll to save the life of his own children..
    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!

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  3. #47
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    We already found out how serious the Reds were winning about this year over the winter.. there were many impact starting pitchers available which the Reds could've gotten, but instead they chose to go with a youth movement.

    It's clearly obvious that they aren't going for it this year by design.

    If they were going for it this year, they would've kept Hamilton and traded prospects for Haren (or another stud starter).

    What they do with Stanton, Mercker and Bray is a minor compared to the opportunites they passed up this offseason.
    Then Bob C. and his GM aren't on the same page.
    Last edited by WMR; 03-25-2008 at 07:31 PM.
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  4. #48
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by gm View Post
    Watching KM walk 2 batters, get a mound visit from Baker and proceed to go 3-0 on the next hitter I was thinking to myself "I may be witnessing the last competitive inning of Kent's career" then he gets the broken bat liner and records two more routine outs
    Veteran grit coupled with a proven track record....you just can't have enough of that on the roster or pay enough for that on the payroll....
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  5. #49
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    I'm going to concede that I can't read Wayne's mind. I am far from being his biggest cheerleader on this board, as you know.

    But, at the time of the signing, we needed depth badly.. both in the rotation and in the pen. It's a one year deal. He did ok last year with Colorado. The key to me is that it was a one year deal, not a Stanton albotross.
    The problem is that the "depth" needed by the Reds has been quality pitching depth. Affeldt doesn't represent that. He's a guy who put together the kind of Innings you'd normally see from a LOOGY (a little over 2 Outs per Appearance) in 2007, but who actually didn't perform as a solid LOOGY versus Lefty hitters. He's obviously not a starter or a swing-man due to a history of non-performance coupled with physical issues in that role, which reduces his value considerably. He has no real history of solid MLB performance, has a history of folks saying he has great "stuff" but has never backed that up with results or K rate, and has a history of poor command.

    As far as quality "depth" goes, Jeremy Affeldt is pretty much a non-starter in more ways than one. One one hand, I'm happy that Krivsky and Co. gave such a pitcher only 11+ Innings in Spring Training to confirm to Affeldt that he should be in the pen. On the other hand, smart teams shouldn't be signing Jeremy Affeldt to three million dollar deals even for one year in order to slot him in a role he's only been semi-good at once in his life.

    Yes, Fogg and Affedlt might be mediocre at best, but that's still an upgrade. I would've loved to see Wayne get impact pitchers instead, but apparently, the plan this year is to just be tolerable, not to win.
    While I agree that the "plan" is to be "tolerable" (another word for "competitive"...sigh), I can at least understand the Josh Fogg signing. I don't agree with bringing bad pitchers in, but at 1M we have a guy making less than 700K over MLB minimum and who at least has a history of taking the mound. Don't get me wrong, there's a pretty good chance that Fogg ends up being Ramon Ortiz bad, but when you have nothing but kids for the final rotation slots, I can understand how a GM wants to have some kind of backup. It's a lame backup, and "mediocre" might actually represent high praise for Fogg, but I can see why he's here at 1M.

    Affeldt? No reason for him to be anywhere near this franchise at 3M dollars. It's like the Reds mis-judged the offseason auction for talent and then bid higher than they needed to in order to acquire a player they already had.

    2007 Jon Coutlangus

    64 Games
    41.0 IP
    5.93 BB/9
    8.34 K/9
    0.66 HR/9

    2007 Jeremy Affeldt

    75 Games
    59.0 IP
    5.03 BB/9
    7.02 K/9
    0.46 HR/9

    The difference between their respective DIPS rates over 59 Innings pitched, assuming exactly the same performance for 2007 equals five Runs. But here we have a first-time MLB performer in Coutlangus and a longer-term MLB perfomer in Affeldt. There's simply no way I pay over 2.5 million dollars more for Affeldt.

    The Reds have consistently missed on relivers during Krivsky's tenure. They've missed to the point where they needed to dramatically overpay for the one Closer option (Cordero) who was right in front of everyone's face. With luck, they'll be able to put together a competent bullpen eventually. But at this point, I expect a whole lot more than luck and throwing talent and money at a problem that could have been solved by better analysis and gameplanning.
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  6. #50
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post
    No doubt. Personally, I expect more of what flyer used to call "winning with caveats".
    As opposed to "Winning, with Caveat!" -- which I sincerely hope will be the outcome whenever I'm at the ballpark.
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    23 Years and Counting...

  7. #51
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    The problem is that the "depth" needed by the Reds has been quality pitching depth. Affeldt doesn't represent that. He's a guy who put together the kind of Innings you'd normally see from a LOOGY (a little over 2 Outs per Appearance) in 2007, but who actually didn't perform as a solid LOOGY versus Lefty hitters. He's obviously not a starter or a swing-man due to a history of non-performance coupled with physical issues in that role, which reduces his value considerably. He has no real history of solid MLB performance, has a history of folks saying he has great "stuff" but has never backed that up with results or K rate, and has a history of poor command.

    As far as quality "depth" goes, Jeremy Affeldt is pretty much a non-starter in more ways than one. One one hand, I'm happy that Krivsky and Co. gave such a pitcher only 11+ Innings in Spring Training to confirm to Affeldt that he should be in the pen. On the other hand, smart teams shouldn't be signing Jeremy Affeldt to three million dollar deals even for one year in order to slot him in a role he's only been semi-good at once in his life.



    While I agree that the "plan" is to be "tolerable" (another word for "competitive"...sigh), I can at least understand the Josh Fogg signing. I don't agree with bringing bad pitchers in, but at 1M we have a guy making less than 700K over MLB minimum and who at least has a history of taking the mound. Don't get me wrong, there's a pretty good chance that Fogg ends up being Ramon Ortiz bad, but when you have nothing but kids for the final rotation slots, I can understand how a GM wants to have some kind of backup. It's a lame backup, and "mediocre" might actually represent high praise for Fogg, but I can see why he's here at 1M.

    Affeldt? No reason for him to be anywhere near this franchise at 3M dollars. It's like the Reds mis-judged the offseason auction for talent and then bid higher than they needed to in order to acquire a player they already had.

    2007 Jon Coutlangus

    64 Games
    41.0 IP
    5.93 BB/9
    8.34 K/9
    0.66 HR/9

    2007 Jeremy Affeldt

    75 Games
    59.0 IP
    5.03 BB/9
    7.02 K/9
    0.46 HR/9

    The difference between their respective DIPS rates over 59 Innings pitched, assuming exactly the same performance for 2007 equals five Runs. But here we have a first-time MLB performer in Coutlangus and a longer-term MLB perfomer in Affeldt. There's simply no way I pay over 2.5 million dollars more for Affeldt.

    The Reds have consistently missed on relivers during Krivsky's tenure. They've missed to the point where they needed to dramatically overpay for the one Closer option (Cordero) who was right in front of everyone's face. With luck, they'll be able to put together a competent bullpen eventually. But at this point, I expect a whole lot more than luck and throwing talent and money at a problem that could have been solved by better analysis and gameplanning.
    Steel speaks a whole lot of truth in this post.

    We often hear Wayne praised for his rule five drafts, waiver wire pickups and players to be named later... while we turn a deaf ear to all of the time, talent, money spent, and his total incompetence of player evaluation in order to improve the bullpen of the Cincinnati Reds.

  8. #52
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyenut View Post
    Why is it so for folks (on this board and more importantly, in the front office) to understand the concept of sunk costs? It does not cost us 3.5M to keep Stanton over Bray. We are on the hook for that 3.5M regardless. All it costs us is the difference between Bray's major league deal and his minor league deal, 300K or so.
    I think everybody gets that. The cost is really relinquishing the opportunity to move some of that contract off the books as opposed to just eating it. If Stanton could be moved while paying a portion of his salary, then the cost of disposing of him drops from $3.5 Million to something less which would mean that it isn't really a "sunk cost." I believe that is the decision that the front office is looking at. "Sunk costs" is an overly simplistic view of the situation with player contracts, though I suspect that in Stanton's case, no one wants him unless they can unload an even more expensive guy that they want rid of in exchange and it will probably come to the "sunk costs" decision. I'm just not sure the Reds are willing to concede that yet. Since Stanton is a breathing lefty, they may still find a taker.

    Hal McCoy's article suggests that a Stanton for Wes Helms deal may be a valid option. Helm's makes $2.15 Million in 2008 and has a $750K buyout a the end. The Total cost for Helms would be $2.9 Million. Problem is, I'm not sure that there is room for Helms on the roster. The bench spots currently are Hopper, Freel, Hatte, Castro and Bako. I'm guessing if the Reds could free a spot with a Freel deal, it may lead to a couple other moves like that one.

    MiLB.com has an article with the Dusty quote like this


    "We have to make some decisions on some things in a lot of areas," Baker said. "It's not my money, but you hope that's not a determining factor. But it's part of baseball any time or any business. A team wants to stay on budget. I hate to take it down to the wire like this. It's unfair to the players and their families. But this is the situation we're in because of competition or because certain guys haven't really stepped it up ahead of the other guy."
    That almost sounds like he is rooting for a couple of the NRI to make it an easy decision to be kept over some guys with contracts (Stanton, Castro, maybe Freel). Another thought is that Hairston or Cabrera is being considered over Hopper (.238/.267/.262 in spring) and the team is reluctant to sign them to a deal which would probably be in the $800K to $1 Million range.

    I agree with Princeton that it sounds like this team is up against its budget ceiling and it is desperately trying to move a contract or two to create some room for a deal at the deadline. The reason that there are so many guys in camp this late is that they are being kept around to backfill for any player that is moved. It probably means that a deal will simply be to unload a guy for a minor leaguer and there is little hope for a boost to the bullpen out of it.
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  9. #53
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Bullpen remains a riddle
    BY JOHN ERARDI | JERARDI@ENQUIRER.COM

    CLEARWATER, Fla. - Confusion reigns. Reds manager Dusty Baker doesn't name names, but in his words you can see what's going round and round in his mind when its comes to the makeup of Monday's bullpen.

    "We have to make some decisions on some things - in a lot of areas," Baker said. "It's not my money, but you hope that (money) is not a determining factor. In baseball, in any business, a team wants to stay under budget. We have a meeting (Tuesday) night when we get back. The truck leaves (today) for Cincinnati.

    "I hate to take it down to the wire like this - it's really unfair to the players and their families - but it's a situation that we're in because of competition or because certain guys haven't really stepped it up ahead of the other guys."

    Right now, it's impossible to handicap the last few spots in the bullpen. One must consider Mike Stanton's $3 million contract, Kent Mercker's impact on the bullpen as a whole, the fact that the young guys have options and can be called up later.

    Not to mention, there is always this question, the one for which a TV show was named:

    Who Do You Trust?

    Inconsistent outings by various guys this spring haven't clearly identified those whose numbers deserve to be chosen when the bell rings for Opening Day.

    It leads to a lot of talk, projection, speculation and exactly the condition the Reds brass are experiencing right now:

    Procrastination.

    Reds fans can only hope the brass has a better picture of what's going on than the fans do.

    A bulllpen works in near anonymity in spring training, and in a glaring spotlight once the season begins.

    Nobody knows better the stomach-flipping nature of a bad bullpen than do Reds fans. In Cincinnati, the eighth inning is where suspenseful games go to die.

    It is against this backdrop that Baker runs out the relievers, watches them - and the hitters they face - like a hawk, and tries to come to a decision on who to bring north.

    So much attention has been paid to the Reds' starting rotation. And rightly so, with the emergence of Johnny Cueto and the man who pitched here Tuesday afternoon for the Reds (Edinson Volquez) and some tantalizing questions about whether Homer Bailey can learn more in the minors or the majors right now.

    Maybe it's good the bullpen has toiled far under the radar this spring. Maybe not. Everybody's assuming the bullpen will be better this year because ... well, how can it not be?

    But Jared Burton hasn't had a great spring. And Jeremy Affeldt's been pitching batting practice.

    But in a magical season for the Colorado Rockies last year, Affeldt was a key player. Don't you want a guy like that working for you?

    Everybody likes Mercker - how can you not? - but do you take him north instead of Bill Bray, who had yet another terrific outing Tuesday afternoon?

    And Stanton has pitched OK this spring, but, overall, his body of his work last season still has Reds fans waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

    If fans are doing that, what do you think Baker's doing?

    At least he gets paid big bucks for his worries. He and the rest of the Reds braintrust will earn their pay in the next few days.

    And at least Baker's stomach got a good settling Tuesday when - following another good outing by starter Volquez - all the relievers (Bray, David Weathers, Francisco Cordero and Todd Coffey) pitched well. (Pay no attention to Cordero's line; poor fielding did him in. So bad that it's not worth reciting.)

    Burton's a microcosm.

    His spring, Baker said, is more a result of "weird things happening."

    "Things like we don't make a play or something freaky happens," Baker said. "But I like what he's bringing to the table. He certainly has the stuff."

    The ground ball Burton induced with the bases loaded Monday night was big.

    "He did something that you're looking for a guy like him to do," Baker said. "You're looking for a guy who comes in and gets that double play. Man, that's big."

    Affeldt, too, is a microcosm.

    When he went from "candidate for the rotation" to "bullpen," he went from center stage to the B-room faster than Engelbert Humperdinck.

    But just wait until the season starts and games are on the line. Reds fans will know Affeldt's name like he's Sinatra at the Sands.

    Is Baker concerned about Affeldt?

    "A bit concerned, just because he's been giving it up," Baker said. "But you have to go on his track record, too. He's almost throwing too many strikes sometimes, whereas before every once in awhile he'd get in that rut of not throwing enough strikes.

    "We want to get him to the point of just throwing quality strikes and being comfortable and confident. He wears it all over his face."

    He's not the only one.

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...PT04/803260373

  10. #54
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    I wonder how much Mercker makes if he makes the team? Patterson I heard $1mill, and Hairston is probably around there. Salmon might have had a good number as well.

  11. #55
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Affeldt? No reason for him to be anywhere near this franchise at 3M dollars. It's like the Reds mis-judged the offseason auction for talent and then bid higher than they needed to in order to acquire a player they already had.
    Yes. It's a solid argument you present about Affedlt vs the in house options for a lefty reliever. That's why my theory is that Wayne had him in mind as a starter, before Fogg was in the fold.
    I also agree that it was a less than optimal choice. For example, why not just offer Fogg 3 million with a short deadline and accomplish what you really want to do (obtain a mediocre starting pitcher for depth to cushion the youngsters).

    In a way, it's comparable to signing Stanton when Cormeir was already on the roster, but at least Wayne only gave Affedlt 1 year, and I think Affedlt will be better than Stanton (but that is setting the bar low).

    Wayne does have a long history of misjudging bullpen talent. Why he gave Stanton that huge contract when Chad Bradford signed for only slightly more will forever dumbfound me.



    [The Reds have consistently missed on relivers during Krivsky's tenure. They've missed to the point where they needed to dramatically overpay for the one Closer option (Cordero) who was right in front of everyone's face. With luck, they'll be able to put together a competent bullpen eventually. But at this point, I expect a whole lot more than luck and throwing talent and money at a problem that could have been solved by better analysis and gameplanning.
    Yes, I agree. Cordero is a big improvement, but they need more quality depth in the pen. I'm hoping Coffey emerges this year. I think he's got upside. If Belisle can get healthy, he's a competent middle reliever. Coutlangus isn't bad.

    Coffey is our best chance at a solid setup man, IMO. It's possible Weathers might pull another magic act, but I'm hoping Coffey fills that role.
    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!

  12. #56
    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    C. Trent is pimping the idea of 3 catchers on his blog. Reason being is it frees up Javy to be the primary pinch-hitter. He claims Javy is the best PH'er on the team.

    Personally, I'd rather see Bako sent to Louisville as injury insurance and have a legit stick on the bench.

  13. #57
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Biggest and most interesting issue is not only the 25 man from C Trent but what about the 40 man - He brings up a good point - who gets cut from the 40 man - Livingston is on the DL and Capellan may be cut - but that still leaves Patterson, Cueto and Mercker to fit in.

  14. #58
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Affeldt was paid 3M for the same reason Danny Graves was. We looked at his best work as a reliever and projected it in to a starting role, crossing our fingers that it would work. Steel hit the nail squarely on the head here. It's one thing to go out in to the free agent market and spend money acquiring something you cannot get any other way. It's quite another to go out and spend it on something you already have, particularly when doing so robs you of the chance to find out if that guy you have might actually be better, but likely isn't worse.

    Not that it was a conscious action, but when it comes to guys like Affeldt, there's also a certain bit of CYA going on. If Krivksy signs Affeldt and Affeldt struggles, WK can place the blame on the "proven" pitcher who fell apart. If he gives the job to Coutlangus and Cooter struggles, WK has nobody to blame but himself. "Veteran presence" and "proven" are often simply code for "gets me off the hook for the decision if it doesn't work out while still letting me take credit if it does".
    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.

  15. #59
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Affeldt was paid 3M for the same reason Danny Graves was. We looked at his best work as a reliever and projected it in to a starting role, crossing our fingers that it would work. Steel hit the nail squarely on the head here. It's one thing to go out in to the free agent market and spend money acquiring something you cannot get any other way. It's quite another to go out and spend it on something you already have, particularly when doing so robs you of the chance to find out if that guy you have might actually be better, but likely isn't worse.

    Not that it was a conscious action, but when it comes to guys like Affeldt, there's also a certain bit of CYA going on. If Krivksy signs Affeldt and Affeldt struggles, WK can place the blame on the "proven" pitcher who fell apart. If he gives the job to Coutlangus and Cooter struggles, WK has nobody to blame but himself. "Veteran presence" and "proven" are often simply code for "gets me off the hook for the decision if it doesn't work out while still letting me take credit if it does".

    In this instance I have to 100% agree. My question (which is purely hypothetical) is if they knew Mercker or Bray was going to pitch this well and recover from their repsctive injuries would they have brought in Affeldt? I know, I know... Affeldt was brought into be a starter. (BTW, if anyone truly believes that then I have swamp land in Fla for sale.) You have Coutlangus as a decent option behind them in case someone hits the skids.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

  16. #60
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Tough decisions looming for Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Clark View Post
    In this instance I have to 100% agree. My question (which is purely hypothetical) is if they knew Mercker or Bray was going to pitch this well and recover from their repsctive injuries would they have brought in Affeldt? I know, I know... Affeldt was brought into be a starter. (BTW, if anyone truly believes that then I have swamp land in Fla for sale.) You have Coutlangus as a decent option behind them in case someone hits the skids.
    Does bringing in Affeldt to have a chance mean Wayne was being a huckster? I don't agree with that assessment. When we signed Affeldt (from a weak FA market mind you), the three youngsters were question marks, although we now know WK intended Volquez in the rotation all along. Fogg had not been signed. I think they fully intended to give Affeldt a shot at making the rotation full well knowing that if he didn't succeed, he could easily be moved back to the pen. One certainly can question whether that's a good use of our resources, but I don't think stating he'd have a shot means they were pulling our leg. IMHO.
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