Reds - General

What’s next?

Now that the Reds have signed Dusty Baker to a contract extension, what moves might be next?

(Not saying I necessarily support these, only that they fit the Reds pattern.)

* The Reds will try to resign Scott Rolen to mentor Todd Frazier at 3B. Rolen still plays an important clubhouse role. The Reds do recognize Frazier as the 3B of the future and the future is now. Rolen, particularly if he learned to play a passable 1B, could be valuable as a backup, pinch hitter, teacher and leader. And if someone has to fill the role of aged, veteran infield backup, I’d just as soon it be Rolen.

* The Reds will try to resign Ryan Madson for the bullpen. They may get a home (health care) discount from Madson, who was paid $8.5 million last season and didn’t throw a regular-season pitch for the Reds. Madson can’t be counted on as the closer (more on that in a minute) as his recovery from surgery won’t be far enough along. It takes the better part of a year and a half for pitchers to fully recover from TJS.

* The Reds will try to resign Ryan Ludwick to play LF. Ludwick’s defense was better than expected in 2012 and he certainly experienced an offensive revival. He had three good months and three bad ones. The club would be hoping for the June-August version. Paying full price for a multi-year deal for Ludwick is a gamble.

* The Reds will move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation. This has always been the expressed preference of the upper management and also that of Chapman himself. That leaves open the possibility of trading Mike Leake. They may try to keep Leake stashed in the organization until 2014 when Bronson Arroyo’s contract expires. But Tony Cingrani lurks.

* The Reds will speed up Billy Hamilton’s development and give him a good, long look in spring training to see if he can help the Reds in 2013 by leading off and playing CF. A positive result here spells the end of the road in Reds’ uniforms for Drew Stubbs and/or Chris Heisey, who could also become trade opportunities.

* The Reds will try to find another established left-handed relief pitcher for the bullpen, allowing Sean Marshall to be used for entire innings instead of in a match-up role. Marshall had the ninth best fWAR of any relief pitcher in baseball. (Chapman was #2) He could be the closer, but that doesn’t seem to be how the Reds prefer to use him. Thus…

* The Reds will try to find a closer in the free agent market. What they learned with Madson last spring was that the closer market is likely to be a buyer’s market.

111 thoughts on “What’s next?

  1. I know people are getting tired of me pushing for Dexter Fowler of the Rockies, but if the Reds would offer Mike Leake and Drew Stubbs in a trade with the Rockies a deal could definitely get done. Dexter turns 27 next spring and he is definitely on an uptick (improving as a player). He could be the Reds next CF and play solid defense and get on base for Joey to drive in. Dexter’s OBP improved to nearly .400 last year and is on the rise (he is definitely improving). He could eclipse .400 in the next year or two and play a solid if not spectacular CF (if he can play CF in Coors Field he can play it in Cincy). Morgan’s #s rose in his late 20s into his early 30s and here’s saying Dexter could do the same (his OBP numbers could keep improving).

    • If the Rockies took Leake and Stubbs in exchange for Fowler, I would say “DEAL!” faster than Mike Matheney began crying to the media about a blown call in the 8th last night with his team already down 5-1.

      I know people are getting tired of me pushing for Dexter Fowler of the Rockies, but if the Reds would offer Mike Leake and Drew Stubbs in a trade with the Rockies a deal could definitely get done.Dexter turns 27 next spring and he is definitely on an uptick (improving as a player).He could be the Reds next CF and play solid defense and get on base for Joey to drive in.Dexter’s OBP improved to nearly .400 last year and is on the rise (he is definitely improving).He could eclipse .400 in the next year or two and play a solid if not spectacular CF (if he can play CF in Coors Field he can play it in Cincy).Morgan’s #s rose in his late 20s into his early 30s and here’s saying Dexter could do the same (his OBP numbers could keep improving).

      • I wouldn’t deal with Theo to get Dejesus when there are better free agent options. I know Bourn has been mentioned a few times here but he’s paid $6.8 million this year and is looking long-term. My ideal move would be Angel Pagan, .280 career hitter/.333 OBP, switch hitter, steals bases. His 10 jacks a year playing for the Mets and Giants could easily turn into 14-15 at GABP. He’s making $4.8 in SF this year and I think he could easily be had for a bit more than that especially since the club made 7-8 million dollars hosting those 3 playoff games.

        Michael Bourn is definitely a better option than David DeJesus, but not necessarily a better fit for the Reds. With Billy Hamilton coming up the Reds need a one year stop-gap solution at leadoff, not a huge free agent contract (Bourn) or big trade for a long term solution (Dexter Fowler, Denard Span). I doubt the Giants, after this successful postseason, will be anxious to trade Pagan. The Sean Marshall trade showed that the Cubs are at least willing to consider fair deals with the Reds.

        Was there any mention here of this article when it came out a few days ago?

        http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/10/scott-rolen-expected-to-retire.html

        I think Rolen’s pespective is being ignored. He’s implied a few times that when he’s done playing he wants to spend more time with his kids, he doesn’t want to be a coach or sit on the bench.

        Can someone please explain this high opinion on Hamilton?I want to see a full year in the minors and productive in both the field and plate before I am ready to even consider him for the major league roster.

        Hamilton played 130+ games each of the past two seasons, albeit between single A and AA. He walked 86 times this year, which is a plus. I think he’s given us lots to be optimistic about as far as his ability to get on base. On the other hand all the scouting reports imply that he needs more work and isn’t ready, particularly in the field. After crummy fielding at shortstop he’s beginning the conversion to CF in the Arizona Fall League, which will hopefully go well, but considering how much the Reds value defense I doubt they’ll promote him before he’s ready. Speed is his greatest talent and he’s stolen a lot of bases but the reports imply that he’s been stealing with speed rather than good instincts or moves – his basestealing is something he’ll have to improve if he’s going to try against MLB pitchers and catchers. He looks like he could be the Reds’ long term solution at CF and leadoff but he’s not ready yet, and the Reds know it – that’s why they didn’t promote him this September.

        But those have come in the low minors.Plus is the weak arm criticizim true and would you want that as your CF?

        I’m curious about how his arm works in CF. I forget why Gold Glover Brandon Phillips was moved away from shortstop years ago but I thought it was his arm and throwing errors. Maybe a weak arm for a shortstop is satisfactory for a CF with great range.

        If the Rockies took Leake and Stubbs in exchange for Fowler, I would say “DEAL!” faster than Mike Matheney began crying to the media about a blown call in the 8th last night with his team already down 5-1.

        Remember, trades have to make sense for both teams, and I don’t think that makes sense for the Rockies. I think the Rockies can get much better pitchers in return for Fowler than Mike Leake.

    • I know people are getting tired of me pushing for Dexter Fowler of the Rockies, but if the Reds would offer Mike Leake and Drew Stubbs in a trade with the Rockies a deal could definitely get done.Dexter turns 27 next spring and he is definitely on an uptick (improving as a player).He could be the Reds next CF and play solid defense and get on base for Joey to drive in.Dexter’s OBP improved to nearly .400 last year and is on the rise (he is definitely improving).He could eclipse .400 in the next year or two and play a solid if not spectacular CF (if he can play CF in Coors Field he can play it in Cincy).Morgan’s #s rose in his late 20s into his early 30s and here’s saying Dexter could do the same (his OBP numbers could keep improving).

      Part of the reason the Fowler suggestion falls flat with a lot of people is his home/road splits. His batting average is 50-60 points higher in Coors Field than everywhere else. Last year, his slugging percentage was .170 points higher in Coors.

      I’ve always liked him as a player, but his numbers do seem to be inflated by that field.

      2012 Home: .332/.431/.553
      2012 Away: .262/.339/.381

      Funny (or sad) thing is, even his away numbers would be a dramatic improvement in our lead-off spot.

  2. And btw, I agree w/ another Cincy Enquirer site that says we should kick the tires at least on Josh Hamilton. DO IT WALT!!

  3. Yes, let’s set another big pile of money on fire by signing Ryan Madson through next year, while saying that there’s no money to sign an outfielder…

  4. Okay, this is going to sound really bizarre but I’m going to say it anyway. One of the most important things the Reds need to do in the off season is address their social media presence. See, that did sound bizarre!

    The Reds have really made an effort to be fan/family-friendly. From the $5 tickets, to the dollar concession stand, to the great activities at GABP. All this makes it even more crazy to see the Reds allow themselves to be so anti-fan on the web. Yesterday, we saw a Reds employee bashing Pete Rose on twitter for crying out loud.

    The whole #dustylineup thing really showed that a whole new strategy and team needs to be developed in this area and it’s only getting worse. I’d really like to see this addressed in the off season.

    • I think your on to something here. They need to hire a few college students to do this. I don’t think it would take much of an improvement to recoup the money spent to hire the students through an increase in ticket sales. Plus, the younger demographic bodes well for the future and creates much more buzz around the Banks. Well-said and great idea.

      Okay, this is going to sound really bizarre but I’m going to say it anyway.One of the most important things the Reds need to do in the off season is address their social media presence.See, that did sound bizarre!

      The Reds have really made an effort to be fan/family-friendly.From the $5 tickets, to the dollar concession stand, to the great activities at GABP.All this makes it even more crazy to see the Reds allow themselves to be so anti-fan on the web.Yesterday, we saw a Reds employee bashing Pete Rose on twitter for crying out loud.

      The whole #dustylineup thing really showed that a whole new strategy and team needs to be developed in this area and it’s only getting worse.I’d really like to see this addressed in the off season.

    • Okay, this is going to sound really bizarre but I’m going to say it anyway. One of the most important things the Reds need to do in the off season is address their social media presence.

      This is an interesting suggestion. Do you know examples of any other major league teams who are successful at social media?

      My guess is the Reds would be pretty receptive to this. I agree, in general, the marketing division is very effective.

      But moves like this take a leap of faith for established businesspeople who are (putting it delicately) not of the right generation to understand what an effective social media campaign looks like. (And I certainly count myself as being generationally challenged that way.) For example, the Reds may erroneously think they already are on the cutting edge of this because Jamie Ramsey has a Twitter account.

      That’s why if there was another club to point to as an example, it might help the Reds marketing folks take that leap.

      • This is an interesting suggestion. Do you know examples of any other major league teams who are successful at social media?

        My guess is the Reds would be pretty receptive to this. I agree, in general, the marketing division is very effective.

        But moves like this take a leap of faith for established businesspeople who are (putting it delicately) not of the right generation to understand what an effective social media campaign looks like. (And I certainly count myself as being generationally challenged that way.) For example, the Reds may erroneously think they already are on the cutting edge of this because Jamie Ramsey has a Twitter account.

        That’s why if there was another club to point to as an example, it might help the Reds marketing folks take that leap.

        Steve – I am not an expert in this area. What little training I have in social media is in the political arena rather than sports. But, I’ve got to think that one of the cardinal rules is to not antagonize your own fan base on purpose. And, it seems that Ramsey goes out of his way to do exactly that. After the whole direct message incident earlier this year with Ramsey, the club should know that doing social media poorly can have real negative ramifications – and then they came up with the whole #dustylineup meme. Bad, very bad. In the end, I just don’t see the maturity necessary from Jamie to interact with the fans. He needs to stick to media relations and the club needs to consult with some pros in this area.

        On a related note, I’d love to see them give some PR training to the players. I’m still hot over Homer Bailey’s post no-no comments and Bruce wasn’t a whole lot better. The whole “Thank You Fans” stuff gets lost when players and other employees are out actively throwing all fans into one lump and bashing them. And, again, it flies in the face of so much else the club is doing to be fan friendly in other areas.

  5. Suggesting that Rolen should be re-signed with the expectation that he will be used as some kind of mentor and PH is madness with Dusty Baker running the team. It makes me wonder if the entire OP isn’t just a troll.

  6. OK, dusty is back. Oh well, not much we can do about that.

    Chapman will be a starter. This team needs a LH starter. period. Dusty will not throw Cueto and Latos back to back, wants Bronson to break up the rotation. Now you need to break up Latos and Homer. Championship teams built for the long haul have a LH starter. I am fine with Chapman working 5 innings, we have the bullpen to bridge the innings. They say Chapman needs a 3rd pitch, sure maybe that will help, but that never stopped Mario Soto. Fastball, circle change. Soto could win 20 games with this team. It is about growing up as a pitcher. Those who say Chapman can’t grow are the same types who wanted to run Bailey out of town, and at one time also said that Cueto was a head case. Price is a great pitching coach. I look forward to the growth of the starters Latos and Chapman over the next few years. Price has delivered Cueto and Bailey. I am still not sold on Leake, like him fine, but Chapman has far more upside.

    Simon as Closer was an interesting suggestion. That guy has decent stuff and competes. He may have been our most consistent reliever this year. It should be explored as he does bring it 96 and it moves. I think that was a great pick up by Walt.

    I would exercise Ludwick’s option. nice guy, good team guy and you risk not having the chemistry if he is not there, but he needs to have full season to get the big bucks again after have 2 very down years. He should understand that “this is the best clubhouse I have ever played in” and the park he plays in fit his skills very well. He could have a monster 2013 which would put him over 30 HR’s, 100 rbis and show this year was no fluke. He could then command his payday for 2014.

    I would rather take a flier on BJ Upton than pay Ludwick “market value” for 2013. Upton could be interested in the college feel of the Reds team. Clubhouse and field should mean a lot to him, and he could be a bigger star than Ludwick

    No option for Rolen. I am fine with Frazier at 3rd. We also have others in the minors besides Hamilton who will arrive soon. Vidal is an interesting guy, and there are others.

    I do not trade Stubbs. We won 97 games with him playing every day. He really cannot be worse offensively, but he can be much better. If we trade him, those critics of the Hamilton trade will have a new gripe once he succeeds at his very next stop. Now the reason I don’t like Dusty, Heisey should have replaced Stubbs long ago. This is not about Stubbs playing every day until he “finds it” this is about playing the best player, having a starter lose his job to competition, and then see if he is competitive enough to take his job back. That is where Stubbs will either find it, or determine that he should be traded.

    trade Stubbs now and we get nothing for him. Stick him in the 2 hole and require him to bunt every time the leadoff man gets on. It will improve his eye to bat contact, and will require that he learns how to bunt. His swing remains too long, although he did go to right field more in the second half. I wanted Stubbs to bunt on his own with guys on so much, but he did not get it on his own. I would require him to do it. I would also check his vision this offseason,

    on a team that cannot hit, Dusty needs to watch some college baseball over the off season. They constantly bunt the runner over. I also remember Tommy Lasorda bunting Dusty Baker who was hitting in the 3 hole. I thought it was the silliest thing I had ever seen in my young baseball fan life. Last check, Tommy has a few more rings than Dusty.

    I am a fan of bringing Navaro back, that too was a nice pick up

    • trade Stubbs now and we get nothing for him. Stick him in the 2 hole and require him to bunt every time the leadoff man gets on. It will improve his eye to bat contact, and will require that he learns how to bunt. His swing remains too long, although he did go to right field more in the second half. I wanted Stubbs to bunt on his own with guys on so much, but he did not get it on his own. I would require him to do it. I would also check his vision this offseason,

      Every time you have Stubbs bunting over a runner to second, you leave first base open for the opposing team to intentionally walk Votto. With your suggestion, Votto’s BB’s will increase to about 150-175 a year. Why take the bat out of your best hitter’s hands??

  7. Sign and then trade Ludwick to an AL team. I would package Ludwick, Frazier, and Arredondo or Ondrusek to Tampa Bay for 3B Evan Longoria. Move Stubbs to LF and go get a CF that can leadoff. I’d talk to the Chicago White Sox about trading Leake for CF de Aza. Then I would sign a free agent LH starting pitcher, maybe a Joe Saunders.
    Chapman remains the closer. Re-sign Broxton. Give Bray a chance in spring training to regain his spot. Rolen retires. Cut ties with Masset, Cairo, and Valdez.

  8. WV, I do not see why someone would trade for Ludwick if they can sign him as a free agent. Don’t see him signing with the Reds on the option, and I would not pay him multi year at this point.

    Joey does a great job of taking walks, and it only hurts the other team. at one point, his obp was 480. It all comes down to the 4 hitter again for the Reds. If it is Ludwick or Frazier, they have to deliver. I do not buy into the thought that Frazier will not get better. The guy is an RBI guy, and in our park, he can hit 25 HRs and in this lineup deliver 100 RBIs. His power seemed to be fine on the road also. The guy was the best clutch hitter on the team this year. Fraizer and Ludwick had almost identical numbers, I am fine with Todd hitting 4.

    And then Bruce still hits 5. nobody wants to walk a second runner on with one out to face Frazier, Bruce and Phillips/Cozart in 6 hole.

    I also think that Stubbs could beat out a large percentage of sacrifice attempts, and then Votto is up with 1st and 2nd

    The one thing is clear, Stubbs continues to think he is the HR hitter of his first year. That needs to be worked out of his attack. If they come, fine, but shorten that swing

    Like Longoria, but do not think he can be had cheaply

    • WV, I do not see why someone would trade for Ludwick if they can sign him as a free agent. Don’t see him signing with the Reds on the option, and I would not pay him multi year at this point.Joey does a great job of taking walks, and it only hurts the other team. at one point, his obp was 480. It all comes down to the 4 hitter again for the Reds. If it is Ludwick or Frazier, they have to deliver. I do not buy into the thought that Frazier will not get better. The guy is an RBI guy, and in our park, he can hit 25 HRs and in this lineup deliver 100 RBIs. His power seemed to be fine on the road also. The guy was the best clutch hitter on the team this year. Fraizer and Ludwick had almost identical numbers, I am fine with Todd hitting 4.And then Bruce still hits 5. nobody wants to walk a second runner on with one out to face Frazier, Bruce and Phillips/Cozart in 6 hole.I also think that Stubbs could beat out a large percentage of sacrifice attempts, and then Votto is up with 1st and 2ndThe one thing is clear, Stubbs continues to think he is the HR hitter of his first year. That needs to be worked out of his attack. If they come, fine, but shorten that swingLike Longoria, but do not think he can be had cheaply

      Why would a team trade for Ludwick and not sign himas a free agent?? Well to get him at $5MM for 2013. If you sign him as a free agent you may be looking at a 3 yr./ $21-$27MM contract. Ludwick would be valuable to an AL team that could also use him as a DH. And at $5MM he becomes more valuable. I am only suggesting a sign and trade of Ludwick if and only if you get a better caliber of player. A true RH #4 cleanup hitter. Someone like Longoria. But he will not come cheaply. Longoria has a team friendly contract thru 2016 I believe. The Reds and Rays match up fairly well in a trade scenario. The Reds have what the Rays have needs for. The Rays need a SS so Gregorius could be in the mix. The Rays need a LF. And Frazier could replace Longoria at 3B. If the Rays part with BJ Upton they will need a CF and there would be Stubbs to put in the mix. I think that the #4 clean up hitter is a more important piece to get than a leadoff hitter. BP could leadoff if needed, but I would rather he hit second.

      • Why would a team trade for Ludwick and not sign himas a free agent?? Well to get him at $5MM for 2013. If you sign him as a free agent you may be looking at a 3 yr./ $21-$27MM contract. Ludwick would be valuable to an AL team that could also use him as a DH. And at $5MM he becomes more valuable.

        The Reds could only trade Ludwick if they negotiated a new contract. The $5 million optino is mutual, which means not only the team but also Ludwick has to agree to it. Ludwick will never do it – he’s looking a a decent two or three year deal from someone. He can play LF or RF and doesn’t have to DH. Why would Ludwick sign a deal with the Reds only to be traded somewhere else? He could just sign a new deal with that second club, like the Rays.

        • The Reds could only trade Ludwick if they negotiated a new contract. The $5 million optino is mutual, which means not only the team but also Ludwick has to agree to it. Ludwick will never do it – he’s looking a a decent two or three year deal from someone. He can play LF or RF and doesn’t have to DH. Why would Ludwick sign a deal with the Reds only to be traded somewhere else? He could just sign a new deal with that second club, like the Rays.

          They could trade Ludwick after both he and the team agree to the mutual option, at $5MM. Nothing in the MLB rule book about prohibiting that. I know the sign and trade trades are mostly in the NBA game, but it could apply here.
          But what you are saying is that Ludwick would not agree to the mutual option to begin with. Are you saying there is no way Ludwick plays in Cincinnati in 2013, unless he has a 2 or 3 year deal?? That could make finding a true, legit #4 clean up hitter a little bit more possible then, with Ludwick out of the equation. :-)

        • They could trade Ludwick after both he and the team agree to the mutual option, at $5MM. Nothing in the MLB rule book about prohibiting that.I know the sign and trade trades are mostly in the NBA game, but it could apply here.
          But what you are saying is that Ludwick would not agree to the mutual option to begin with. Are you saying there is no way Ludwick plays in Cincinnati in 2013, unless he has a 2 or 3 year deal??That could make finding a true, legit #4 clean up hitter a little bit more possible then, with Ludwick out of the equation.

          It might not be forbidden but it would make other players think twice before coming to Cincinnati on a team-friendly deal. Cincinnati has become an appealing team for hitters (Ludwick, Gomes, Rolen, so on) to rebuild their careers or players who want to play for a contender (Madson, Jeff Francis, even if they didn’t contribute anything) and trading away guys who sign here could eliminate that appeal.

          Something to consider is if Ryan Ludwick actually is a true legit #4 cleanup hitter and a better option in that role than Frazier and Phillips. Dusty and the Reds are likely to stick him in that role even if another option – perhaps Todd Frazier – emerges, and the more Ludwick gets paid the more opportunities they’ll probably offer to justify their investment. Fans who want the Reds to ‘Dusty-proof’ the lineup might not want Ludwick to return. I think Brandon Phillips is best suited to hit second but he’s also done fine hitting cleanup and can return to that role if needed. On the other hand a ‘true, legit #4 cleanup hitter’ is probably out of the Reds’ budget.

        • On the other hand a ‘true, legit #4 cleanup hitter’ is probably out of the Reds’ budget.

          This time last year, so was signing BOTH Votto and Phillips to contract extensions. But that happened. So, I keep hoping.

        • But what you are saying is that Ludwick would not agree to the mutual option to begin with. Are you saying there is no way Ludwick plays in Cincinnati in 2013, unless he has a 2 or 3 year deal??

          Right. I’d be extremely surprised if Ludwick can’t find a two or three year deal paying more than $5 million/year. So I don’t think he’ll pick up the option year. I do think he’ll give the Reds every opportunity to sign him, but I think they’ll have to pay market rate. And I’m not sure if I’d do that. Definitely not three years.

  9. This pains me to even suggest it, but I would explore the market for Arroyo. His value is at its peak, and it seems like Leake/Chapman/Cingrini are options to replace him. Use the payroll dollars for CF/LF/3B. I am ok with 2/3 of Stubbs/Frazier/Ludwick but I wouldn’t count on all 3.

    It may all be a moot point though because I think Arroyo may be able to veto any trades.

    The other question that I have is I wonder if the organization was sending a message to Stubbs by bringing up Phipps late in the year. Is he a viable solution in CF?

  10. On Frazier…Most of his success was in July and early August and after the middle of August Frazier tanked offensively like the rest of the team
    I am a big Frazier fan but he must get in better shape next year if he plans on being the starting thirds baseman because it sure looked like his bat slowed down toward the end of the year. Rolen should not be an option to play for Frazier when does slump because Baker will favor the veteran over the younger and play Rolen too much. Jocketty should look for a backup infielder with some pop in his bat to spell Frazier and at times Phillips. Cairo and Valdez need to go

  11. @Redgoggles: It would take some major work to trade Arroyo… I believe all of his back loaded money also comes immediately due if he is traded. Almost impossible to pull off. He’s staying.

  12. @Steve Mancuso: Steve, just compare Dexter’s numbers over the last 2-3 years and you will notice a real spike upward. Drew Stubbs? We all know where he is headed. Now, when you ask successful hitters what they needed to do – they will tell you either you make adjustments (change) or the pitcher will rule you. Dexter keeps improving (making adjustments), Stubbs is not (making adjustments). Quite simple. And an OBP near .400 either at home or away would work real well for the Reds.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Steve, just compare Dexter’s numbers over the last 2-3 years and you will notice a real spike upward.Drew Stubbs?We all know where he is headed.Now, when you ask successful hitters what they needed to do – they will tell you either you make adjustments (change) or the pitcher will rule you.Dexter keeps improving (making adjustments), Stubbs is not (making adjustments).Quite simple.And an OBP near .400 either at home or away would work real well for the Reds.

      We also all knew Bronson Arroyo’s career was over after 2011, that Rolen’s career was over after his bad first half, that Homer Bailey would never be decent, that Latos for Alonso was the worst trade ever, that Ryan Madson was a great bargain, that Cueto and Bailey couldn’t stay healthy, that Alfredo Simon was worthless, and Ryan Ludwick was washed up. Things can change fast.

      I think Stubbs had a down year but I expect his OBP to return to ~.325 next year, where it’s been for every other season he’s played with the Reds. If he starts next season hitting 7th or 8th for the Reds it’ll be fine with me. If they replace Stubbs I hope they bring in an improvement rather than write in a new name on the jersey – like giving the job Heisey or Shane Victorino and assume things will go better.

  13. @reagansdaddy: PR Training? Actually I was pretty impressed by lots of the Reds’ interviews this year and I was wondering if they brought somebody in for lessons in spring training. At least they do a great job of avoiding bickering or spreading blame.

    I think Joey Votto should get an interview coach or something in the offseason – he might be the star player but he is super boring in interviews, and even seemed out of place and uncomfortable in a press conference regarding his contract extension. Rob Portman maybe, he’s from Cincinnati and is preparing Mitt Romney for presidential debates, maybe Joey Votto can trade Portman some good seats in exchange for some sort of lessons. I think if Votto is going to be the franchise player with his photo on walls or billboards he should be more interesting.

    Johnny Cueto, one of the broadcasters was saying earlier this season that the next step to becoming an ace pitcher is to give interviews in English. Maybe he’s approaching that point.

    Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier both do a great job of winning over fans. Even Frazier’s musical selections – Frank Sinatra intro music – gets him publicity. You can’t teach cool but the way they approach fans or publicity is just really different from Votto. Oh well.

  14. I agree with Steve and redsfanman, WVRedlegs

    I am guessing that the only way we see Ludwick back in a Reds uniform is that he accepts the option, or does not try to break the bank on a 2 year deal. That said, if we are paying Ludwick 8-10 mil per over 2 years, we can afford a better player, like Upton.

    That is the squeeze and Walt is good at finding spare parts. Ludwick was a spare part flier 2.5 mil with a 5.0 mil mutual option. It was really a one year deal as if Ludwick was not worth the 2.5 mil, his option does not get picked up by the Reds, and as good as he was, he probably declines the option thinking he is worth more.

    There is zero chance that he would agree to a sign and trade, and Walt is not Jim Bowden. He would not sign him and then turn around and trade him. His signing at market will come like it did last year. I get the last big contract year, etc, but the best move Ludwick could make is exercise the option, play for 5.0 mil and tear it up in 2013. Then he gets the contract he is looking for

  15. I agree with most of Steve’s points; to expand …

    Rolen: We could certainly do worse than to have Rolen on our bench. Yeah, he only plays 3B, but his (somewhat diminished) bat is much better than the likes of Cairo, Valdez, and Mesoraco. When 3/5 of your bench hits .212 or less, with 5 HR’s in 548 AB’s, there’s room for Rolen. If a utility infielder is added, while having Frazier available at multiple positions, you have strengthened your bench.

    Madson: Walt is firm believer in always acting to find more bullpen arms. He got Madson, Marshall, Simon, Hoover, and Broxton on the (relatively) “cheap”, and truly upgraded this bullpen. Madson might not be all the way back at the start of the season, but if he can sign him to a somewhat team friendly deal (ala Arredondo), he would be wise to do so.

    Ludwick: He resurrected his career, and was clutch more often than not. I’m all for trying to resign him, but Ludwick will almost certainly turn down the mutual option of $5 Mil for one year. If the price is somewhat reasonable, I’d be for a 2 or 3 year deal to bridge the gap to our farm system prospects.

    Chapman: I don’t doubt the team’s commitment to having Chapman in the rotation. It wasn’t Baker that deep sixed the move, it was Madson, Masset, and Bray starting the year on the DL. If you don’t believe in the team’s commitment, I have a sign for you: $. Having Chapman in the rotation virtually guarantees a sellout every 5th day.

    Hamilton: Considering that he only has a couple of months above single A ball under his belt, there is NO WAY he will start the year in Cincy. That said, I think he will be moved to CF, and I agree he will have an extended stay in spring training. I don’t see him reaching the majors until Sept., but he is clearly our best hope for solving our leadoff batter issues.

    LH Reliever and Closer: I would be surprised if Walt doesn’t continue to stockpile quality BP arms.

  16. First things first, I would have rathered Walt taken a deep breath and think about the Baker extention. Barring any unforeseen rise of young talent in the minors. The next two to three years will be the best (but not only) chance for the reds to win it all. I like Baker overall, but I am not certain he is the best fit for this team. ‘Player’s Managers’ can work well (Francona and Torre) but so can the alternatives (Anderson and Dallas green come to mind). But is he right for this team? I do like that he rarely calls out players publically, but I am not sure that playing time is merit based and not tenure based. If performace is similar fine go with tenure, but this season is good example of how that can sometimes get in the way, although it was not the cause of their failure in the Giants series.

    Moves I would like to see:

    Let Rolen Walk: 2011 and 2012 he was injured often and seemed to be playing through injury most of the time. The errors and misplays (Pence’s hit, 10th in G4) in the DS seem to really tax him and he looked not 100%.

    Resign Ludwick: I was hopefull at start of season that he could provide some extra pop and he did just that. Showed hustle and professionalism. If he gets a crazy 3-4 year deal with big money, you’ll have to let him go but a 2-3 year deal at a reasonable price near his option amount would be a good thing to have.

    Leadoff hitter: I would still explore guys like span as lead off hitter and CF for the next couple of years until Hamilton is ready. Stubbs has been on a downward trend the last two years and if he is the CF he should be hitting down the order (7/8) to get something out of his power. How to get a guy like span is the real question. In big park, in a division of big parks, the twins might be interested in someone like Leake, or another farmhand. Obviously, a move like this would require deep thinking.

    Bench: 2010 and 2011 the bench was an asset. This year not so much. I think Cairo is in the same boat as Rolen. On top of which he is redundant if Rolen stays and Frazier is back up corner infielder. Vadez as utility guy is fine with me. I’ve seen him play alot in philly and believe he could be a useful toolbox guy next year. Moving Cairo makes room for Rodriguez/Gregorious as corner infielder/utility. Paul as LH 5th outfielder is okay for now, but I would consider an alternative to Heisey, but one does not immediately jump out at me. This all hinges on what Ludwick, Rolen, and the reds decide to do mutually.

    Sorry for the long post but these thoughts have been kicking around for awhile now.

    Looking forward to March 2013

  17. The Reds CAN’T resign RolEEn cause Dusty will play him over Frazier. Dusty can’t help himself, he’ll always go for a vet over a rookie. Cozart wouldn’t have been our every day SS if Dusty had a vet in the wings. I doubt Harper would have played if we had him. Frazier only played because Dusty didn’t have a choice once Votto went down. Frazier was a major reason that we even made the playoffs and Dusty rewards him with sitting on the pine watching RolEEn’s weak D and O. Stubbs needs to be traded, if anyone will take him. If he’s here, he plays. Dusty doesn’t care that he goes 0-40 cause he’s fast!! Too bad that we need to Dusty-Proof this roster, but we do. On Dusty’s watch are two of the worst playoff compasses in Reds history and people are happy he’s back. I just don’t get it.

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