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Thread: Does LaRue Have Any Trade Value?

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  1. #1
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    Rodriguez has too many miles on him at age 31. He is in a similar stage as Bench was in his career. The knees were starting to bother him and the Reds ended up moving him to 3rd base, which was worse yet.

    Montreal has two fine catchers in Marty Barrett and the left-handed swinging Schenider. If the Reds could get either one along with a pitcher like Tony Armas, that would be a good deal.

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    If LaRue had a good bat, we probably might have tolerated his passed balls deficiency. But, his overall game is nothing to brag about and he has been in Bob Boone's doghouse all season. If he comes back next season, I'll be shocked.

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    Does LaRue Have Any Trade Value?

    20 pass balls in one season is unheard of by a catcher. Obviously the Reds need to upgrade the position. But if you're another team looking for a catcher, what reasoning would you have to take LaRue?

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    Considering the Reds catchers bat eighth in the lineup, I can live with their weak bats. Just give us solid defense baby. With LaRue, he has killed us defensively this season more ways than one.

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    What you are saying about Rodriguez is the Rodriguez in the past. The injuries are starting to catch up with him after catching all those innings over the years. What he will ask for as a free agent and the risk involved isn't worth the Reds to pursue given their tight budget and the need for starting pitching.

  6. #6
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Steve4192
    That is true. That is also whyI suspect the Reds will look to move him.

    However, I don't think his salary will explode via arbitration because of the way the system is set up.

    The average raise in arbitration is about $900M, with first year eligibles getting less than that. I would suspect catchers only get about half of that due to their generally lower salaries/stats and the lack of great young catchers to compare to between the 2 & 3 year service level. I'd be surprised if Larue exceeds $700M in arbitration, and I expect something in the $600M range.

    Considering the new CBA boosted the minimum salary to $300M, $600M is still pretty darn cheap.
    This post is well thought out, and the cost-for-production argument is fair. However, I disagree about LaRue getting only $700K in arbitration.

    Two years ago, Scott Hatteberg was a first time eligible catcher for the Red Sox and the two sides split the difference at around $1 million. Hatteberg, while a better hitter than LaRue IMHO, was not a full-time player and didn't have "counting stats" that were quite as good (homers, caught runners %). I think LaRue will get in the 1.5 mil. range.

    I agree that I'd rather have LaRue for his present salary than Todd Hundley for gazillions. But I just think LaRue is a waste of the Reds time. He seems to lack either the ability or inclination to improve his plate discipline skills or his game as a backstop.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

  7. #7
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    There are 21 catchers in the major leagues who are -at least- in a platoon situation, if not in a starting situation, who have better rate stats than LaRue.

    LaRue has created 4.04 runs per 27 outs. True, that is about average for a catcher. But you have to remember that this "average" figure is artificially low due to the presence of several no-hit starting catchers who are excellent game callers and defensive catchers (e.g. Brad Ausmus, Mike Matheny).

    I could tolerate LaRue being a middle-of-the-pack hitter if he would bother to throw his lazy butt in front of a ball in the dirt every so often.

    For the record, here are all the major league catchers, who have created at least 20 runs in the catcher position, and have also created at least 4 runs per 27 outs:

    Rk----------NAME-------------------RC27------RC
    6 T. Pratt, Phi 10.15 24.8
    10 I. Rodriguez, Tex 7.09 65.4
    11 J. Posada, NYY 6.33 81.3
    12 M. Redmond, Fla 6.33 38.7
    13 M. Piazza, NYM 5.98 71.5
    16 M. Lieberthal, Phi 5.47 68.3
    17 M. Barrett, Mon 5.18 51
    18 A. Pierzynski, Min 5.09 56.1
    19 D. Wilson, Sea 4.92 45.9
    20 B. Schneider, Mon 4.89 25.9
    22 T. Hundley, ChC 4.68 32.6
    23 B. Davis, Sea 4.66 26.1
    27 T. Wilson, Tor 4.57 23
    29 D. Miller, Ari 4.55 37.9
    30 A. Hinch, KC 4.47 23
    32 R. Machado, Mil/ChC 4.46 24.6
    33 P. Lo Duca, LA 4.41 62.2
    34 J. Varitek, Bos 4.4 53.9
    35 J. Kendall, Pit 4.35 62.4
    37 B. Santiago, SF 4.32 55.6
    38 T. Lampkin, SD 4.11 31.7
    40 J. LaRue, Cin 4.04 40.7


    Here are some guys who failed to create 4 runs per 27 outs thus far

    42 S. Alomar Jr., CWS/Col 3.83 28.4
    46 J. Flaherty, TB 3.66 29.5
    50 C. Johnson, Fla 3.56 25.7
    53 M. Matheny, StL 3.4 29.1
    54 R. Hernandez, Oak 3.39 37.9
    55 P. Bako, Mil 3.39 21.1
    57 B. Ausmus, Hou 3.29 41.4
    59 G. Bennett, Col 3.24 25.4
    60 B. Mayne, KC 3.19 28.8
    61 G. Gil, Bal 3.1 36.3
    62 J. Lopez, Atl 3.07 29
    63 M. Johnson, CWS 3.06 22.7
    65 T. Hall, TB 2.94 25.4
    68 B. Inge, Det 2.79 25.3
    69 B. Molina, Ana 2.75 32.2
    74 K. Huckaby, Tor 2.47 17.4
    49 M. DiFelice, StL 3.59 16.6
    24 B. Estalella, Col 4.66 16.4
    43 V. Wilson, NYM 3.8 16.2
    58 W. Gonzalez, SD 3.27 16
    75 H. Blanco, Atl 2.43 16
    44 Y. Torrealba, SF 3.74 14.4
    71 B. Haselman, Tex 2.72 14.2
    48 T. Prince, Min 3.63 14
    67 G. Zaun, Hou 2.93 13
    41 C. Miller, Cin 3.84 12.8
    64 D. Mirabelli, Bos 3.01 11.6
    72 R. Barajas, Ari 2.55 10.7
    73 B. Fordyce, Bal 2.55 9.7
    56 J. Paul, CWS 3.33 9.5
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

  8. #8
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    You're right Reds1. As much as I've criticized LaRue, he's definitely been a much better hitter since the break.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/player...s?statsId=6252

    I'm skeptical this will continue. Once a hacker, always a hacker. But if I'm wrong, I'll certainly take a .500 slugging percentage from the catching position.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

  9. #9
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    Here's what you can expect from a catcher as far as hitting goes based on ALL MLB catchers since 1990

    Code:
      
    
    YEAR  AVG  SLG  OBA  OPS     
    1990 .251 .368 .320 .687    
    1991 .245 .360 .304 .664  
    1992 .243 .361 .308 .669  
    1993 .255 .396 .319 .714    
    1994 .254 .404 .323 .727   
    1995 .255 .396 .323 .719   
    1996 .259 .408 .325 .733     
    1997 .263 .408 .328 .737    
    1998 .255 .396 .319 .715   
    1999 .263 .411 .329 .740    
    2000 .265 .422 .339 .762   
    2001 .250 .393 .312 .705    
    TOT  .255 .394 .321 .715   
    

  10. #10
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    20 pass balls in one season is unheard of by a catcher.

    It would really be unheard of from a 3rd baseman.


    Not to defend LaRue (I'll leave that windmill for someone else)

    But..... it's more common then you'd think

    Since 1950

    Code:
     PASSED BALLS                  YEAR     PB       PB     
    1    Geno Petralli            1987       35       35   
    2    J.C. Martin              1965       33       33   
    T3   Earl Williams            1972       28       28   
    T3   Ted Simmons              1975       28       28   
    T3   Gus Triandos             1959       28       28   
    T6   Bob Uecker               1967       27       27   
    T6   Bob Didier               1969       27       27   
    8    Mike Macfarlane          1995       26       26   
    T9   Dick Dietz               1970       25       25   
    T9   Jason Varitek            1999       25       25   
    T9   Ted Simmons              1973       25       25   
    T12  Ed Herrmann              1973       24       24   
    T12  J.C. Martin              1964       24       24   
    T14  Benito Santiago          1993       23       23   
    T14  Dick Bertell             1961       23       23   
    16   Benito Santiago          1987       22       22   
    T17  Joe Ginsberg             1959       21       21   
    T17  Jody Davis               1983       21       21   
    T17  Jesse Gonder             1964       21       21   
    T17  John Bateman             1966       21       21   
    T17  Fran Healy               1974       21       21   
    T17  Gus Triandos             1961       21       21   
    T17  Chad Kreuter             1989       21       21   
    T17  Lance Parrish            1979       21       21   
    T25  Phil Nevin               1998       20       20   
    T25  Bill Freehan             1965       20       20   
    T25  Ellie Rodriguez          1974       20       20   
    T25  Geno Petralli            1988       20       20   
    T25  Dick Dietz               1971       20       20   
    T25  Luis Pujols              1982       20       20   
    T25  Geno Petralli            1990       20       20   
    T25  Don Slaught              1987       20       20   
    T33  Ed Herrmann              1969       19       19   
    T33  Lance Parrish            1991       19       19   
    T33  Bob Boone                1973       19       19   
    T33  Mark Bailey              1985       19       19   
    T37  Earl Battey              1960       18       18   
    T37  Tim McCarver             1965       18       18   
    T37  Ted Simmons              1971       18       18   
    T37  Milt May                 1975       18       18   
    T37  Harry Chiti              1958       18       18   
    T37  Tim McCarver             1971       18       18   
    T37  Jorge Posada             2001       18       18   
    T37  Ed Herrmann              1972       18       18   
    T37  Joe Ferguson             1973       18       18   
    T37  Mike Stanley             1996       18       18   
    T37  Mike Stanley             1987       18       18   
    T37  Jason Varitek            1998       18       18   
    T37  Johnny Bench             1968       18       18   
    T37  Brian Harper             1993       18       18   
    T37  Donnie Scott             1984       18       18   
    
    
    Last edited by westofyou; 09-14-2002 at 02:11 AM.

  11. #11
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Then bouced back with a 30 homer campaign in 1977.
    Don't forget to add that he never had more than 465 AB's in a season after that too... or that he was 29 in 1977 and that he never had more than 20 2b's after 77 or that he only had more than 120 hits once in his last 6 years.

    All because he by the age of 30 he had caught 1600 games.

    Ivan = Pass and that doesn't include the fact that he doesn't fit in our "budget'.

    Just like Rolen and Sosa and Maddox and Castillo and every other high priced FA vet.

  12. #12
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    32 teams? Did I miss another expansion? Aren't there 30 teams?

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    To me this is like looking at a bad car and pointing towards the spare tire as the problem rather than the engine. Granted, Larue's defense (specifically PB's) are a problem, but he is not one of the top 5 cogs of the offense even. If Griffey stays healthy, Dunn and Kearns keep improving, Casey gets back to some semblance of '99 form, and Boone goes 25-100, all Larue has to do is turn in a .700ish OPS and this team is fine. As a Reds fan you want to see Jason improve a little more but he is not the major problem. The top 5 guys being absent due to injury or underachieving is a much, much bigger problem.

  14. #14
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    Gosh! After all this awesome research we are coming up with LaRue is looking like a pretty darn good Catcher. If you take into consideration his salary it might make him more valuable.
    And This One Belongs to the REDS!!!

  15. #15
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    I think LaRue is like Reggie Taylor. Both have holes in their swing and seem to be searching on what works best for them. I think having Dunn and Kearns come up together gives all Reds fans that feeling that all players should hit like them. I've seen many bash Larkin for his year, but he has a career high in doubles and is great in the field. Dunn who was the most love Red has shown he is human! Kearns has also been streaky. LaRue has had some big hits and has some power. He also has a great arm. Look at the catchers around the league - it's just not a position of offense. Not many Piazza, Pudge types of the world.
    He has trade value, but he probably needs to be the back up and spot starter in Cincy. We can't afford Stinnett at over 1 million so lets have a couple decent catchers with some pop. No he probably won't ever carry this team for more then a couple games, but a few game winning HRs will occur. He certainly should not be put in the same conversation as Castro!
    And This One Belongs to the REDS!!!


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