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Thread: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    I posted this in another thread but it probbaly deserves a thread of its own.

    Please don't mortgage future
    Reds insider
    By John Fay • jfay@enquirer.com • July 4, 2009

    Friday night’s loss was one of those games that make it hard – no really impossible – to stick to the old it’s-one-of-162 adage.

    It was a very ugly ending to what could have been a very uplifting night for the home team.

    My thoughts on the 7-4 loss to the great Albert Pujols: The killer was Arthur Rhodes walking Jarrett Hoffpauir, who was making his major league debut, on four pitches; I might have used Francisco Cordero to pitch to Pujols.

    But what I took mostly out of the game had nothing to do with the outcome. Sure it would have been nice for the Reds to win. But as David Weathers pointed out, you don’t win the division on July 3. However, you can make decisions that affect the organization long term.

    And it would be foolish right now to trade Homer Bailey or any of the other top arms to rent a bat for less than three months.

    There’s sentiment among fans and pundits that the Reds need to make a big splash of a trade.

    I wouldn’t if it meant giving up Bailey or Zach Stewart, the third-round draft pick from last year who has zipped through the minors.

    Why? I don’t think this team is a Matt Holliday away from making the playoffs.

    But I think a rotation with Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Bailey and Stewart could help return the franchise to sustained excellence. That’s the long-term goal. You don’t want to chuck that for a chance at one playoff run.

    I know it was just one start for Bailey. But when you’ve got a 23-year-old throwing 96, 97 mph and making Pujols look bad the stuff is there.

    “He was aggressive with the fastball in the strike zone,” an American League scout said. “His curveball has always been projectable (to the majors). Everyone talks about split-finger. He uses it more as a change-up. But the fastball is the key.”

    Bailey agreed to a degree.

    “Yeah, locating the fastball -- and I think with my previous games -- they were gonna be looking first-pitch fastball,” Bailey said. “I knew if I could get a first-pitch breaking ball over I could definitely benefit. Now it’s something else they can look at, and I tried to show them I could throw other pitches for strikes.”

    Bailey would be a big chip on the trade market right now. Just like Joey Votto probably would have landed Eric Bedard two off seasons ago. No one is kicking the Reds for not doing that now, eh?

    I’m not saying that the Reds shouldn’t make a move. But I don’t think you pull out all the stops just to try to make a run this season.

    My guess is the Reds are looking at deals that would help the teams long term, i.e, trying to land a young shortstop.

    Landing someone like Mark DeRosa would make sense if the price isn’t too high as far as prospects.

    The other side of it is while you, I and most experts don’t think the Reds can make the playoffs, the guys in the clubhouse do.

    One of the other things about Friday: Remember, the Reds tied it after Pujols’ grand slam. Then after, the Cardinals scored three in the ninth, the Reds loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning.

    This team has been remarkably resilient.

    They’ve probably got a few more good runs in them, whether they add another bat or not. They also just got Edwin Encarnacion back. Alex Gonzalez will be back in a couple of weeks.

    I’d go with what they have rather than mortgagingthe future for a rent a bat, especially if it means giving up Bailey.

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...ortgage+future
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    I actually agree with Fay here. While I would love to acquire another bat or even another starter, I would hate to trade away some of our top prospects for a three month rental. Instead of targeting a big name like Matt Holliday, I would go after a lesser but productive hitter like Josh Willingham, who won't cost you a top prospect. I just don't see the reason behind dealing a prospect like Zach Stewart, Todd Frazier, Yonder Alonso, or a Homer Bailey for someone who will leave after this season.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    I actually agree with Fay here. While I would love to acquire another bat or even another starter, I would hate to trade away some of our top prospects for a three month rental. Instead of targeting a big name like Matt Holliday, I would go after a lesser but productive hitter like Josh Willingham, who won't cost you a top prospect. I just don't see the reason behind dealing a prospect like Zach Stewart, Todd Frazier, Yonder Alonso, or a Homer Bailey for someone who will leave after this season.
    Yes, lesser but productive, the Reds' credo for the last ten years. Nobody that good, just somebody good enough to finish, say, third. Striving for not too bad, sure.

    No.

    This article sets up a straw man and knocks it down. Nobody wants to trade Bailey or Stewart for a three month rental. That is just not the issue.

    The issue is acquiring a top player and paying him to stay. Or acquiring a long term contract in mid-stream and paying it. The question is Holliday with a 72-hour window, or some other top hitter who may be expendable but expensive.

    I'd still try to hold on to top young pitching. But would I trade Alonso or Frazier or both for a Matt Holliday who can be signed? Yes.

    You see, I can live with trading away a young player even if he becomes a star. I've watched the Reds dump Trevor Hoffman for nothing. It happens, mistakes are made. If the Reds are going to make a mistake, I'd rather see them make the mistake in return for a proven commodity.

    And the argument that it's too soon for the Reds to deal is just nonsense. They are in the Central hunt on July 4, that's the test. They passed. The area of weakness is obvious. Let's fix it.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    The Reds have a lot of depth in the system. They could deal say Stubbs, Valaika, Maloney and Roenicke and still have pretty good prospects for all of those prospective roles. A package like that should be pretty attractive and the future really woudn't be so much at risk without them. Stubbs hasn't developed his rumored power and a Heisey/Dickerson combo will probably provide more production with only slightly less defense. Valiaka is a tweener who probably can't fend off Cozart at SS and projects behind Frazier as a supersub. Maloney is near ready but projects lower than Bailey, Stewart, Wood and the underated guys like Jordan Smith and Jeremy Horst. Roenicke is 27 in August and will struggle to fit into a crowded pen that has Cordero, Masset and hopefully Burton for the same roles (if Stewart stays in the pen he'll pass all of them by). There is plenty to deal without emptying the cupboard. I'm not big on rental players, but this team can make an acquisition that will improve the chances this year and beyond.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    It sounds more like the Reds are thinking of selling off the present, if the thread about trading Harang is any indication.

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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post

    Or acquiring a long term contract in mid-stream and paying it. The question is Holliday with a 72-hour window, or some other top hitter who may be expendable but expensive.
    Holliday is such a poor fit for a mid-market team.

    Besides giving up valuable prospects, we would have to pay an enourmous amount to have him forgo FA.

    Since he plays LF, that's just too much money wrapped up in a position that can be replaced fairly easily with productive cheap players.

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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Holliday is such a poor fit for a mid-market team.

    Besides giving up valuable prospects, we would have to pay an enourmous amount to have him forgo FA.

    Since he plays LF, that's just too much money wrapped up in a position that can be replaced fairly easily with productive cheap players.
    The question is not his position. And I'm not wedded to any one bat, Holliday or anyone else.

    The team needs a right handed cleanup hitter to hit between Votto and Bruce. Wherever he may play defensively. Neither Phillips nor EE satisfy that need.

    As for money, the Reds can afford to have one major, reasonably expensive bat.
    Last edited by Kc61; 07-05-2009 at 10:11 AM.

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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Holliday is such a poor fit for a mid-market team.

    Besides giving up valuable prospects, we would have to pay an enourmous amount to have him forgo FA.

    Since he plays LF, that's just too much money wrapped up in a position that can be replaced fairly easily with productive cheap players.
    Yet a perfect fit in this lineup and at Great American Small Park.

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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    FWIW:

    Josh Willingham - .286/.407/.534 - .941 OPS, 147 OPS+

    Matt Holliday - .273/.370/.420 - .790 OPS, 114 OPS+

    Plus, Willingham is cheaper and won't cost as much in terms of prospects.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  11. #10
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    FWIW:

    Josh Willingham - .286/.407/.534 - .941 OPS, 147 OPS+

    Matt Holliday - .273/.370/.420 - .790 OPS, 114 OPS+

    Plus, Willingham is cheaper and won't cost as much in terms of prospects.
    What's interesting is that he also has a .989 road OPS (Willingham). He's been hitting very well for them and could be had for much cheaper. There's certainly an inherent injury risk with Willingham, though. But if the Reds were to upgrade left field, he's become my player of choice because of both economics and production.

    Quietly, he has a 3-year road OPS of just shy of .900. Few people seem to really notice, though.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    What's interesting is that he also has a .989 road OPS (Willingham). He's been hitting very well for them and could be had for much cheaper. There's certainly an inherent injury risk with Willingham, though. But if the Reds were to upgrade left field, he's become my player of choice because of both economics and production.

    Quietly, he has a 3-year road OPS of just shy of .900. Few people seem to really notice, though.

    What's also interesting is that Holliday's lifetime OPS is well over .900, what you look for in a major hitter. Willingham's is .844 and his highest lifetime OPS was .852 in 2006. He has a good OPS this year but he has only 161 official at bats. He's played part time this year and played part time last year, whether due to injury or whatever.

    In the last two seasons with Colorado, Holliday OPS'd 1.012 and .947. And while that was for the Rockies, it was in the NL and GABP is a hitter's park. And Holliday's official at bats since 2006 -- 602, 636, 549.

    So one is a part time player who hasn't had an .850 OPS since 2006. The other is a full time player who was over .940 the last two seasons.

    And, fortunately for the acquiring team, Holliday started slowly in the AL this year. So maybe he'll be slightly cheaper to acquire than when at his peak.
    Last edited by Kc61; 07-05-2009 at 12:31 PM.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    What's also interesting is that Holliday's lifetime OPS is well over .900, what you look for in a major hitter. Willingham's is .844 and his highest lifetime OPS was .852 in 2006. He has a good OPS this year but he has only 161 official at bats. He's played part time this year and played part time last year, whether due to injury or whatever.

    In his last two seasons with Colorado, Holliday OPS'd 1.012 and .947. And while that was for the Rockies, it was in the NL and GABP is a hitter's park. And Holliday's official at bats since 2006 -- 602, 636, 549.

    So one is a part time player who hasn't had an .850 OPS since 2006. The other is a full time player who hit the daylights out of the ball the last two seasons.

    And, fortunately for the acquring team, Holliday started slowly in the AL this year. So maybe he'll be slightly cheaper to acquire than when at his peak.
    Holliday has played most of his career in an superb offensive environment. Willingham has played most of his career in a poor offensive environment. Comparing the two players without adjusting for this is pointless.

    Until I compiled the table below, I didn't realize just how drastic the difference has been. Given the associated costs for acquiring both players, it's vritually impossible to argue to pursuing Holliday.

    Code:
    Home	     Holliday		     Willingham
    	 AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS	 AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
    2006	.373 .440 .692 1.132 	.243 .321 .425 0.747 
    2007	.376 .435 .722 1.157	.260 .364 .436 0.800 
    2008	.332 .413 .584 0.997 	.252 .363 .454 0.817 
    2009	.262 .370 .426 0.795 	.278 .435 .444 0.879 
    ----
    career	.348 .417 .624 1.042	.253 .357 .432 0.789 
    
    
    Away	     Holliday		     Willingham
    	 AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS	 AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
    2006	.280 .333 .485 0.819	.310 .389 .565 0.954  
    2007	.301 .374 .485 0.860 	.269 .364 .487 0.851 
    2008	.308 .405 .486 0.892	.255 .365 .484 0.849 
    2009	.283 .371 .414 0.785 	.292 .382 .607 0.989 
    ----
    career	.280 .350 .451 0.801	.281 .374 .521 0.895
    Holliday has gotten a .200 boost from his time at Coors compared to the road. Willingham had gotten a .100 point reduction from his time in Florida. It's striking; take the two guys on the road, and it looks like Willingham has the more impressive resume'.
    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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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    FWIW:

    Josh Willingham - .286/.407/.534 - .941 OPS, 147 OPS+ 194 PA 2.95 MIllion for '09

    Matt Holliday - .273/.370/.420 - .790 OPS, 114 OPS+ 332 PA's

    Scott Hairston - .307/.364/.547 - .911 OPS, 151 OPS+ 210 PA's, 8/9 SB, Better Defense 1.25 Million for '09

    Plus, Hairston is cheaper yet and won't cost as much in terms of prospects.
    I added a few things to that.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    I would love to see the Reds acquire Scott Hairston.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Fay: Please don't mortgage future

    If Hairston is cheaper and has better numbers, but would cost less, you have to ask why, don't you?
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