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Thread: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

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    The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Ok, so other than extending Jay Bruce, the Reds have had a quiet offseason. I see two main reasons (A Curse and a Blessing) for this and both of them stem from Walt Jocketty. First, some background:

    Walt is a GREAT horse trader. To be a great trader you need two skills: You need to be able to properly value the other guy's goods (Buyer) and you need to properly value your own (Seller)

    First, he is a better than average buyer. No, not every player he trades for turns to gold, but an above average percentage do. Walt is average aat best at finding diamonds in other folks' systems; his best trades are always when he goes after known commodities like McGwire, Rolen (twice), Edmonds (the first time), Chuck Finley, Will Clark, Daryl Kile, Edgar Rentaria, and Eckersley. He is also probably only average at signing other folks Free Agents.

    However, Walt's true gift is as a seller. This is what makes him a great GM. The vast majority of players he gives up lose market value after he trades them. Prospects he trades pan out at a lower percentage than normal, and major leaguers almost universally never live up to potential or drop off a cliff from their proven performance record with a year after the trade.

    Goto these pages and take a look at the rundown of his Cards trades : http://www.thestlcardinals.com/Trade...tJocketty.html
    http://www.fungoes.net/walt-jockettys-trade-history/


    In all, Walt trade 110 players away and acquired 99. Of the 99 he acquired are seven players that were all-star quality players after the trade (McGwire, Rentaria, Kile, Edmunds, Finley, Rolen & Wainwright), and 19 other players that contributed significantly at the major league level. So that is 26 quality players acquired.

    So 26 of 99 were hits with seven being jackpots. Also note that of these 26, the majority were established major leaguers before the trade. Walt is not so good at spotting prospects, but he can spot proven ML talent that will help his team.

    Of the 110 players traded, I could see only eight whose market value went up after the trade (Jose Jimenez, Adam Kennedy, Braden Looper, Rheal Cormier, Coco Crisp, JD Drew, Dmitri Young, and Danny Haren.) That means 102 out of 110 times Walt correctly valued the goods he was trading away. That is fantastic!

    Since taking over the reds, Walt has traded away one stud about to become a free agent (Adam Dunn); Three ML bench/role players in Adam Rosales, Jeff Keppinger, & Chris Dickerson); two prospects that we can't judge yet (Brandon Waring and Josh Roenicke [although his ML era went from 2.7 to 7.13 the year after the trade, and 5.68 the year after)]; and ten ML players or prospects whose value has declined after the trade (Norris Hopper, Robert manuel, Jerry hairston, Zach Stewart (went from AAA to AA), Edwin Encarnacion, Alex Gonzalez (this one is debateable), Willie tavares (although he really had negative value at the trade), Justin Turner, Jon Coutlangus, Brad Salman, Ken Griffey, & Ryan Freel.

    So, of all players traded away from the Reds, I think most would agree that only Dunn (and a few would argue for Dickerson) would have made or will make the Reds a better team in 2010, or into the future... and we would have lost Dunn regardless.

    In exchange he has acquired three players that have definitly helped the Reds and will probably continue to be ML contributors: Nick Massett, Ramon Hernandez, & Scott Rolen. He has continued to show his skill in acquiring players that will help the team at the ML level, but not so much skill at spotting diamonds in the rough in other organizations... only one of the eight minor league players he has acquired (Kris Negron) is considered in our top 50 prospects according to the Minor league board.

    So what does that tell us about this offseason?

    First the Curse, given his proven track record, most GM's will not want to trade for any prospects that Walt is willing to give up. That is going to inhibit trades and may force Walt into overpaying for ML talent, which he has not shown the tendancy to do, hence the inaction.

    Second the Blessing, if Walt likes his prospects too much to trade them, that means they are probably pretty darn good.

    Because of these two reasons, I am perfectly happy with sitting back Walt letting the market come to him. He is telling anyone and everyone that he has no NEED to make any trades. I think he is right. Could we be better, yes, but Walt is not looking for the "one or two years of contention followed by rebuilding" competitive model followed by other small market teams... he is looking for a consistently competitive team year in and year out. That is good for the team, the bottom line and yes, i think it is good for the fans as well.

    Sure, there are lots of ways the team could get better... but the wave of criticism of Walt that has hit ORG and the Deck in the offseason AFTER we finally get to the playoffs for the first time in forever is.... I can't even come up with the right word....
    Last edited by Brisco; 12-21-2010 at 01:59 PM.

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Brisco View Post
    Ok, so other than extending Jay Bruce, the Reds have had a quiet offseason. I see two main reasons (A Curse and a Blessing) for this and both of them stem from Walt Jocketty. First, some background:

    Walt is a GREAT horse trader. To be a great trader you need two skills: You need to be able to properly value the other guy's goods (Buyer) and you need to properly value your own (Seller)

    First, he is a better than average buyer. No, not every player he trades for turns to gold, but an above average percentage do. Walt is average aat best at finding diamonds in other folks' systems; his best trades are always when he goes after known commodities like McGwire, Rolen (twice), Edmonds (the first time), Chuck Finley, Will Clark, Daryl Kile, Edgar Rentaria, and Eckersley. He is also probably only average at signing other folks Free Agents.

    However, Walt's true gift is as a seller. This is what makes him a great GM. The vast majority of players he gives up lose market value after he trades them. Prospects he trades pan out at a lower percentage than normal, and major leaguers almost universally never live up to potential or drop off a cliff from their proven performance record with a year after the trade.

    Goto these pages and take a look at the rundown of his Cards trades : http://www.thestlcardinals.com/Trade...tJocketty.html
    http://www.fungoes.net/walt-jockettys-trade-history/


    In all, Walt trade 110 players away and acquired 99. Of the 99 he acquired are seven players that were all-star quality players after the trade (McGwire, Rentaria, Kile, Edmunds, Finley, Rolen & Wainwright), and 19 other players that contributed significantly at the major league level. So that is 26 quality players acquired.

    So 26 of 99 were hits with seven being jackpots. Also note that of these 26, the majority were established major leaguers before the trade. Walt is not so good at spotting prospects, but he can spot proven ML talent that will help his team.

    Of the 110 players traded, I could see only eight whose market value went up after the trade (Jose Jimenez, Adam Kennedy, Braden Looper, Rheal Cormier, Coco Crisp, JD Drew, Dmitri Young, and Danny Haren.) That means 102 out of 110 times Walt correctly valued the goods he was trading away. That is fantastic!

    Since taking over the reds, Walt has traded away one stud about to become a free agent (Adam Dunn); Three ML bench/role players in Adam Rosales, Jeff Keppinger, & Chris Dickerson); two prospects that we can't judge yet (Brandon Waring and Josh Roenicke [although his ML era went from 2.7 to 7.13 the year after the trade, and 5.68 the year after)]; and ten ML players or prospects whose value has declined after the trade (Norris Hopper, Robert manuel, Jerry hairston, Zach Stewart (went from AAA to AA), Edwin Encarnacion, Alex Gonzalez (this one is debateable), Willie tavares (although he really had negative value at the trade), Justin Turner, Jon Coutlangus, Brad Salman, Ken Griffey, & Ryan Freel.

    So, of all players traded away from the Reds, I think most would agree that only Dunn (and a few would argue for Dickerson) would have made or will make the Reds a better team in 2010, or into the future... and we would have lost Dunn regardless.

    In exchange he has acquired three players that have definitly helped the Reds and will probably continue to be ML contributors: Nick Massett, Ramon Hernandez, & Scott Rolen. He has continued to show his skill in acquiring players that will help the team at the ML level, but not so much skill at spotting diamonds in the rough in other organizations... only one of the eight minor league players he has acquired (Kris Negron) is considered in our top 50 prospects according to the Minor league board.

    So what does that tell us about this offseason?

    First the Curse, given his proven track record, most GM's will not want to trade for any prospects that Walt is willing to give up. That is going to inhibit trades and may force Walt into overpaying for ML talent, which he has not shown the tendancy to do, hence the inaction.

    Second the Blessing, if Walt likes his prospects too much to trade them, that means they are probably pretty darn good.

    Because of these two reasons, I am perfectly happy with sitting back Walt letting the market come to him. He is telling anyone and everyone that he has no NEED to make any trades. I think he is right. Could we be better, yes, but Walt is not looking for the "one or two years of contention followed by rebuilding" competitive model followed by other small market teams... he is looking for a consistently competitive team year in and year out. That is good for the team, the bottom line and yes, i think it is good for the fans as well.

    Sure, there are lots of ways the team could get better... but the wave of criticism of Walt that has hit ORG and the Deck in the offseason AFTER we finally get to the playoffs for the first time in forever is.... I can't even come up with the right word....
    I like what one person in the ORG said in response to another poster whose stance was "The Reds won 91 Games in 2010 and I think standing pat is the best move Walt could make"

    The Response:

    "The Phillies won 97 games and went out and signed Cliff Lee."

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    I like what one person in the ORG said in response to another poster whose stance was "The Reds won 91 Games in 2010 and I think standing pat is the best move Walt could make"

    The Response:

    "The Phillies won 97 games and went out and signed Cliff Lee."
    I am sorry, but I don't really understand the relevance. This is a pure strawman.

    I have yet to see a single poster on either board say that if the right deal is out there that we should pass because our roster is perfect.

    The is question is NOT whether we should try to upgrade... the issue is should we overpay in order to do so? Are we desperate to the point we have to pay the price in terms of young talent, no matter how exorbitant? I do not believe we are.

    What is the cause of this desparation? Are we a roster filled with aging veterans sure to drop off a cliff soon? I don't see it. Sure, we have some important Vets sure to move on or decline within the next two years (Rolen, Phillips, Hernandez, Arroyo) but actually we are incredibly young in baseball terms. Only six members of our 40(currently 38) man roster will be 30 years old by the start of next season. 21 won't even be 27 yet. Compared to other contending teams we are children.

    I am certain that if we had the financial resources the Phillies, Yankees or other teams had, we would have a very different roster, but we don't. Our only resource to spend is young talent. Unlike free agent dollars to a major market team, this is a far more precious resource in that it very difficult to replace.

    I am a Bengals fan who has lived through the boom and bust world. I would prefer to competitive year in and year out and making the playoffs most years than having a 1990 championship followed by a lost two decades and then maybe another championship in 2011 or 2012 followed by another lost decade because we sacrificed our future.

    Walt built St Louis into a team that would compete every year. I believe he can achieve the same thing in Cincinnati despite our smaller market.

    So, in response to the Phillies Cliff Lee comment, I will quote another post from ORG:

    "Erik Bedard for Joey Votto"

    If only we had made that trade in order to be more competitive right away!!!!!!

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    I like what one person in the ORG said in response to another poster whose stance was "The Reds won 91 Games in 2010 and I think standing pat is the best move Walt could make"

    The Response:

    "The Phillies won 97 games and went out and signed Cliff Lee."
    They also lost Jason Werth and have (nearly) unlimited resources. The Reds were better than expected last year, and will improve this year.
    What if this is as good as it gets?

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    I like what one person in the ORG said in response to another poster whose stance was "The Reds won 91 Games in 2010 and I think standing pat is the best move Walt could make"

    The Response:

    "The Phillies won 97 games and went out and signed Cliff Lee."
    The Phillies also have double the payroll of the Reds now with that Cliff Lee signing and are tied into paying him $20+ million for the next 6 years so they better hope he ages well. In my opinon the Phillies took a huge risk signing the guy for so long (which takes him to what, 38?)

    I actually prefer the Reds not being tied up with a contract like that. Although not as good, remember all of the complaining during the tail end of Aaron Harang's contract? They better hope that Lee doesn't go down the same road, atleast not for 4 or 5 years.

    And the Phillies and Reds are in completely different situations. The Phillies are an aging team with most players on the wrong side of 30 who's time to win is running out. They don't really have any good young players besides Cole Hamels. On the other hand the reds have players like Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman, and others.

    So the Reds have a lot of players on the rise where as the Phillies have players on the decline so they need to capitalize on them now.

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    I like what one person in the ORG said in response to another poster whose stance was "The Reds won 91 Games in 2010 and I think standing pat is the best move Walt could make"

    The Response:

    "The Phillies won 97 games and went out and signed Cliff Lee."
    I think it is unfair to compare the Phillies to the Reds. If the Reds had the revenue sources that the Phils had, then i bet they would have been in those discussions. you have to remember Walt has limited funds.

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    First off. The situation is about standing pat or not standing pat. Improving the ballclub or not improving it.

    You can make it all about payrolls. The point is about Winning 91 Games & Winning 97 Games.

    1 team "improves", 1 team does "Nothing"

    2nd Point. Votto for Bedard... #1 you would not have had to give up Votto. He went for Minor Leaguers and a Closer named George Sherril... One Minor Leaguer ended up being adam jones. Not 1 day in the Majors. At tha point, Votto had batted .321 in his call up and was the First Baseman from then on out, after Hattenberg.

    It would not have taken Votto for Bedard.

    I am not going to Debate this thread anymore.

    The point is Improving the Club or Not Improving the Club. Standing pat because you won 91 games or improving it because you want to win 92+

    But if you want to Debate the payrolls of the Phillies and the Reds, by all means continue...

    Oh and Philly signed Cliff Lee and now will move Joe Blanton.

    The Reds could have traded for Greinke or Reyes and then went on the rest of the off season looking to Deal Cordero.

    For those who will say, "Nobody will trade for Cordero"

    Angels, White Sox, & Detroit all in search of a "Closer"

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    First off. The situation is about standing pat or not standing pat. Improving the ballclub or not improving it.

    You can make it all about payrolls. The point is about Winning 91 Games & Winning 97 Games.

    1 team "improves", 1 team does "Nothing"

    2nd Point. Votto for Bedard... #1 you would not have had to give up Votto. He went for Minor Leaguers and a Closer named George Sherril... One Minor Leaguer ended up being adam jones. Not 1 day in the Majors. At tha point, Votto had batted .321 in his call up and was the First Baseman from then on out, after Hattenberg.

    It would not have taken Votto for Bedard.

    I am not going to Debate this thread anymore.

    The point is Improving the Club or Not Improving the Club. Standing pat because you won 91 games or improving it because you want to win 92+

    But if you want to Debate the payrolls of the Phillies and the Reds, by all means continue...

    Oh and Philly signed Cliff Lee and now will move Joe Blanton.

    The Reds could have traded for Greinke or Reyes and then went on the rest of the off season looking to Deal Cordero.

    For those who will say, "Nobody will trade for Cordero"

    Angels, White Sox, & Detroit all in search of a "Closer"
    First a strawman and now a false dilema....

    Improve or not improve... quite a choice there.

    All those who oppose the Reds improving, raise your hands.

    Anyone?.... Bueller?... Beulller?

    Cards fans, put your hands back down, you dont get a vote.

    We all want the Reds to improve, we just view the idea of overpaying in the short term differently.

    The Phillies are not a fair budget comparison to the Reds and it is simply fantasy foolishness to believe that we are. They have money to spend that we dont and all the wishing in the world will not change that. In fact, I believe that our markets are so different that the Reds could win the next two world series and not bring in as much gross profits as the Phillies in those same two years. Last year we make one of the most dramatic imporvements in club history and yet home attendance only increased 310k. Ohio has been far more dramatically hit by the recession than Northeast. It's possible we could bring back the Big Red Machine in their prime and not sell 3 million home tickets in the current Ohio economy.

    I did not suggest trading Votto for Bedard, just pointing out that it was one of the options bandied about. Personally, you would have traded "Ten Johnny Cueto's for two Bedards."

    I have said nothing about Cordero, but I will respond to that... have you seen ANY rumors about teams interested in Cordero? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that we have a replacement in Massett or Chapman and could really be helped by dumping his salary, so why aren't there loads of articles and fan posts of teams itching to come and take Cordero off our hands? According to Jon Heyman, we had officially put Cordero on the market back on November 17th and were willing to kick in money if there were any takers. (This was verified by USA Today)

    I did a yahoo search and of the first 100 links for francisco cordero trade, the only rumors that mentioned Cordero were that he was available.. never even a whisper of other teams being interested. Of fan posts, the only fans interested in a Cordero trade were, you guessed it, Reds fans.

    Maybe the Angels, White Sox, & Detroit all in search of a "Closer" ... but apparently the closer they want is not Cordero.

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    First off. The situation is about standing pat or not standing pat. Improving the ballclub or not improving it.
    Those two things are not mutually exclusive. You can stand pat and still improve the team. Doing things such as the Bruce and Arroyo signings improve the club by securing pieces for the future. Hopefully we will see the return of Rhodes and a LTC for Votto. Both these things would be standing pat but I doubt anyone could say that they do not improve the club.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    The Reds could have traded for Greinke or Reyes and then went on the rest of the off season looking to Deal Cordero.
    Do you really think the Reds could have gotten Greinke? The Brewers added about $12-$14 million in payroll in that trade, and the Reds simply don't have the room for that.

    As for Reyes, well he is still on the Mets so a trade could still happen so I don't know why you think that there is no possibility of that happening.

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    I like what one person in the ORG said in response to another poster whose stance was "The Reds won 91 Games in 2010 and I think standing pat is the best move Walt could make"

    The Response:

    "The Phillies won 97 games and went out and signed Cliff Lee."
    They also lost Werth and will soon lose Blanton. With the Howard contract and now the Cliff Lee contract, just wait and see where the Phillies are in five years. They're going to have a lot of money tied up in bad players, and they don't have more money lying around like the Yankees to make up for it.

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    The point is Improving the Club or Not Improving the Club. Standing pat because you won 91 games or improving it because you want to win 92+
    It's not like we have an aging team that needs reloaded. We know the talent is here. Standing pat should yield 92+ wins because:

    Stubbs, Bruce and Janish should improve.
    Harang and O-Cab are gone and the players that replace them will likely have better production.
    Volquez will be back and healthy.
    Chapman may be a starter, adding Bailey/Volquez to the bullpen.
    We have some great prospects in the minors who will be a year older and could be used for depth or for a big trade amid a pennant race.

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyBaker View Post
    It's not like we have an aging team that needs reloaded. We know the talent is here. Standing pat should yield 92+ wins because:

    Stubbs, Bruce and Janish should improve.
    Harang and O-Cab are gone and the players that replace them will likely have better production.
    Volquez will be back and healthy.
    Chapman may be a starter, adding Bailey/Volquez to the bullpen.
    We have some great prospects in the minors who will be a year older and could be used for depth or for a big trade amid a pennant race.
    You took the words right out of my mouth
    What if this is as good as it gets?

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    You guys are all correct.

    I am wrong.

    Debate yourselves.

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyBaker View Post
    It's not like we have an aging team that needs reloaded. We know the talent is here. Standing pat should yield 92+ wins because:

    Stubbs, Bruce and Janish should improve.
    Harang and O-Cab are gone and the players that replace them will likely have better production.
    Volquez will be back and healthy.
    Chapman may be a starter, adding Bailey/Volquez to the bullpen.
    We have some great prospects in the minors who will be a year older and could be used for depth or for a big trade amid a pennant race.
    Really? Instead of having them for an entire season, just 2 months? Great idea there...

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    Re: The Problem & Blessing of Having a GREAT Horse Trader as your GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain13 View Post
    You took the words right out of my mouth
    So your in favor of trading the prospects "during" the season...

    Gotcha!


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