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Thread: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

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    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Reds by the numbers
    Modest proposals for maximum gains
    By John Erardi

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...811020447/1071

    Much has been made of the Reds' chances of going near-last to first in 2009, because of Tampa Bay's success.

    But it's a longshot for the Reds, because they don't have nearly the young talent of the Rays.

    More likely, the Reds are at least two years away. Nobody knows it better than Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty, whose job it is to convince Bob Castellini.

    The pitch? If you make good long-term decisions, the short term will take care of itself.

    Tampa Bay had more room for defensive improvement than the Reds, but it's still a sound strategy. The Rays changed players everywhere but catcher, first base and left field. The Reds should change everything but catcher, first base, right and center.

    The Reds' makeover should include going after Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts with a trade package of Edwin Encarnacion, minor-league infielder Chris Valaika (he's in the Reds plan for 2010; the Orioles don't have any minor-league infielders on the cusp) and any two young Reds starting pitchers who aren't named Volquez or Cueto. If the Oriloles want somebody more major-league ready, sub Chris Dickerson for Valaika and give the O's one of the pitchers.

    The Reds are weakest defensively at third base and shortstop, the latter of which could be solved by moving second baseman Brandon Phillips to short and making room for Roberts at second.

    If the Reds were closer to contending and farther from having their third baseman of the future up here by 2010 , we'd suggest going after Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre, who was 23 runs above average defensively last season. Even if he was only 10 runs above average defensively, he'd be a 25-run improvement on defense over Encarnacion.

    But the Reds have third base options on the cusp: Valaika, Todd Frazier and Juan Francisco. Later, look out for Neftali Soto; he's only 19, but man can he hit.

    If the Reds don't trade Encarnacion, they should move him to left field. Ryan Braun made the same move for the Brewers last year and went from a 23 runs below average third baseman to a nine runs above average left fielder. Even if he were only average defensively, he'd be as valuable to the Reds as Phillips. Don't believe it? Check the '08 stats.

    Of course, Encarnacion still needs to improve. His power has started to develop and his plate discipline is acceptable. If he returns to making more solid contact, he could put up a good year offensively.

    One good thing about Jocketty: He isn't bothered that the fans and talk-show hosts have soured on Encarnacion.

    But the guy we'd be most jazzed about adding next year is All-Star level second baseman Roberts. The 31-year-old right-handed hitter has Barry Larkin-like skills (gets on base, has some power, is an efficient base stealer and solid defender). He has only one year left on his contract at $8 million, so the Reds would have to sign him long-term for the deal to work.

    We like moving Phillips to short. True, Phillips likes second base; it got him a big contract. But that's not the Reds' concern; fielding a winning team is.

    Even if Phillips is only average at short, and Roberts "is what he is" at second, then defensively the Reds would net 5-10 runs. But together they would gain about 40 runs, because of their offensive ability; that's a net five more victories. Phillips would be "replacing" Jeff Keppinger at short. And a Keppinger-and-Gonzalez platoon at third, would hold things down till the cavalry arrives in 2010.

    Here is a possible Reds lineup for 2009: Roberts 2B, Keppinger/Gonzazlez* 3B, Votto 1B, Bruce RF, Phillips SS, Encarnacion LF, Dickerson CF, Hanigan C

    We don't know what it will take to get Roberts, which is why Encarnacion and Dickerson are in this lineup. If they're dealt, put Jerry Hairston and a new guy in the outfield.

    Keppinger blows away Gonzalez vs. hitting left-handed pitching. Keppinger has a .351 batting average, .403 on-base average and .515 slugging average, compared to Gonzo's .247/.298/.402. Against right-handers, they're similar, so play Gonzo for his glove. When he's in there, move batters 3-7 up a spot and bat Gonzo seventh.

    Sabermetrician Joel Luckhaupt and Greg Gajus provided most of the information for this piece. Also contributing was sabermetrician Justin Inaz.

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...811020447/1071

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Why not just sign Orlando Hudson?
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    Why not just sign Orlando Hudson?
    He's expensive, an injury risk, and on the wrong side of the 30. But signing a free agent makes a lot more sense than a trade because you don't have to sacrifice anything more than some money (which the Reds currently have to spare) and the second-highest draft pick (which costs money anyway and is far from a sure thing for making a Major League impact).

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    He's expensive, an injury risk, and on the wrong side of the 30. But signing a free agent makes a lot more sense than a trade because you don't have to sacrifice anything more than some money (which the Reds currently have to spare) and the second-highest draft pick (which costs money anyway and is far from a sure thing for making a Major League impact).
    Well, I don't advocate signing Orlando Hudson, but I would certainly do that before I would trade for Brian Roberts...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Whole articles founded upon a single trade proposal always strike me as flat. What are the odds that the Orioles would bite on his proposed package? It's a reasonable offer from a value perspective, but that's virtually a pre-req, ignoring other significant realities such as the team having a crazy, meddling owner. It just seems like such a wasted exercise. Fun for message board fodder, sure, but not terribly useful as a newspaper article.

    From a overly simplistic perspective, I think the odds of us landing an impact player via trade without giving up at least one of Phillips, Votto, Bruce, Harang, Volquez, or Cueto are virtually nil. Those sorts of trades just aren't that common, especially not with the impact player needing extended coming to a smaller payroll team.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 11-02-2008 at 03:19 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.

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    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    I don’t think that the Reds will get Roberts with writers saying that the Orioles GM is talking about resigning him and I would expect Hudson to go to a team with deeper pockets than the Reds and with a winning background. I saw one writer was rumoring that the White Sox were interested in Hudson, there will probably be other teams that will pony up the money for Hudson also. I just hope that they don’t go to St. Louis or to the Cubs. Won't the Dodges need a second baseman?

    I think that Walt will have to make due with the types that he received in the Griffey/Dunn trades and hope for the best. Or do like the past GM's did, grab something off the scrap heap.

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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Whole articles founded upon a single trade proposal always strike me as flat. What are the odds that the Orioles would bite on his proposed package? It's a reasonable offer from a value perspective, but that's virtually a pre-req, ignoring other significant realities such as the team having a crazy, meddling owner. It just seems like such a wasted exercise. Fun for message board fodder, sure, but not terribly useful as a newspaper article.
    I agree, there is really nothing there, just a reminder that the Reds are short on talent. Looks like most of the article was taken from Redszone and then reworded.

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    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Add Beltre & K.Greene. Move EE to LF.
    The 2009 defense is excellent compared to the poor 2008 version.
    The question is whether there is enough offense.
    A lot would depend on variables - how much do Bruce and Votto improve in year 2. Does a move to LF help EE's offense. Does a move down in the order help Phillips. Can Greene hit like 2006 or 2007?
    A big advantage this has over the free agent market ( say Hudson, Furcal, Tex ) is that Beltre and Greene are only signed through 2009.
    .

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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Spring~Fields View Post
    I agree, there is really nothing there, just a reminder that the Reds are short on talent. Looks like most of the article was taken from Redszone and then reworded.
    And yet, I feel confident saying this will be the best piece of sportswriting done by the Enquirer this week.

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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    The Reds are not a team eyeing 2009 as "their year" so all talk about obtaining players who are one year away from free agency is pure folly, especially when it includes the Reds giving away younger talent. The lion's share of off season talk around here involves such players...unfortunately. It's not worth it from a money standpoint or a talent standpoint. The Reds should be trying to obtain other teams' Valaikas and Dickersons not the other way around. Erardi has it all backwards.

    Erardi suggesting the Reds should trade young talent for a guy who is one year removed from free agency strikes me as lazy on his part. Suggest the Reds acquiring a young athletic SS like the Rays did last year from the Twins and then we've got something to kick around.

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    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    The Reds are not a team eyeing 2009 as "their year" so all talk about obtaining players who are one year away from free agency is pure folly, especially when it includes the Reds giving away younger talent. The lion's share of off season talk around here involves such players...unfortunately. It's not worth it from a money standpoint or a talent standpoint. The Reds should be trying to obtain other teams' Valaikas and Dickersons not the other way around. Erardi has it all backwards.

    Erardi suggesting the Reds should trade young talent for a guy who is one year removed from free agency strikes me as lazy on his part. Suggest the Reds acquiring a young athletic SS like the Rays did last year from the Twins and then we've got something to kick around.
    I agree that the Reds should be trying to acquire that quantity and quality from the other teams. The Votto’s, Bruce’s and Cueto’s from the other teams near major league ready talents. First they need something to acquire them with, most fans want to hang on to the pitching believing that the Reds can somehow win something besides third or fourth place in their division in 09 or 10 for that matter.
    Last edited by Spring~Fields; 11-02-2008 at 07:50 PM.

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    You acquire those young players with the better players you have who are near free agency or approaching their next contract in a year or two. If you can net the equivalent of a good young SS, a young RH power bat with Votto like ability for the OF and a good Thompson level pitching prospect for a Harang, then you do it. You either believe in your young guys or you don't. If you really want to do it the Ray way then you have to be offering Harang, Arroyo, Phillips and Cordero to see if there are any takers who'll give up some serious young potential for a proven performer for the 09 season and expect another season of growing, learning and yes- losing. Then your new young studs come together with your existing young lions in 2010 - like Alonso, Frazier, Valaika, Thompson, Bailey, Viola, Fisher, Manuel, Stewart, and the ones you kept like Bruce, Votto, Burton, Cueto, Volquez - and THAT's when you make a push. Maybe sign a FA pitcher or position player to fill a need. Maybe package a couple young guys who are odd man out for a position for another piece. What you don't do is trade away your young talent for older guys like Brian Roberts. Wanting to win RIGHT NOW without objectively assessing what you're trading away to add pieces to a season that is a dubious bet to succeed is a good way to wreck not only the coming season but the next several years. How long have we waited for the current group of reasonably good young players to be ready to emerge? It's been barren since the year Dunn and AK arrived until some guys started showing this past season. Trade those young guys and pretty soon you're looking at the same desert landscape in the minors again - and that's death for any team short of a major, major market ability to sign FAs every year to fill the holes.

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    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: By John Erardi: Reds by the numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    You acquire those young players with the better players you have who are near free agency or approaching their next contract in a year or two. If you can net the equivalent of a good young SS, a young RH power bat with Votto like ability for the OF and a good Thompson level pitching prospect for a Harang, then you do it. You either believe in your young guys or you don't. If you really want to do it the Ray way then you have to be offering Harang, Arroyo, Phillips and Cordero to see if there are any takers who'll give up some serious young potential for a proven performer for the 09 season and expect another season of growing, learning and yes- losing. Then your new young studs come together with your existing young lions in 2010 - like Alonso, Frazier, Valaika, Thompson, Bailey, Viola, Fisher, Manuel, Stewart, and the ones you kept like Bruce, Votto, Burton, Cueto, Volquez - and THAT's when you make a push. Maybe sign a FA pitcher or position player to fill a need. Maybe package a couple young guys who are odd man out for a position for another piece. What you don't do is trade away your young talent for older guys like Brian Roberts. Wanting to win RIGHT NOW without objectively assessing what you're trading away to add pieces to a season that is a dubious bet to succeed is a good way to wreck not only the coming season but the next several years. How long have we waited for the current group of reasonably good young players to be ready to emerge? It's been barren since the year Dunn and AK arrived until some guys started showing this past season. Trade those young guys and pretty soon you're looking at the same desert landscape in the minors again - and that's death for any team short of a major, major market ability to sign FAs every year to fill the holes.
    What you have written here makes good sense in building the team into a product worth watching to me. I don't see what these guys will have to do with the Reds 3-4 years from now. (Harang, Arroyo, Phillips and Cordero). I would think that the Reds would be on to bigger and better or looking to replace them.


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