Please don't mortgage future
By John Fay • firstname.lastname@example.org
• 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.