2013 Reds

Reds shopping SS, part ways with Valdez and Bray

FOX reporter Jon Paul Morosi reports the Reds are drawing considerable interest at the winter GM meetings in CA, since many teams are looking for a shortstop. Jocketty confirmed with Morosi that the Reds would be willing to part with either Zack Cozart or Didi Gregorius, the two shortstops on the Reds 40-man roster, if the return is right.

The Reds have two talented shortstops on their 40-man roster: Zack Cozart, 27, and Didi Gregorius, 22. Both are far away from free agency, meaning one could be dealt to fill a more immediate need. In fact, Jocketty told FOXSports.com Thursday that it’s possible he will trade one of them this winter. “It depends if we get back what we need,” Jocketty said. “If we don’t, then I won’t mind holding onto them.” Cozart was the Reds’ everyday shortstop this year, but Gregorius was impressive in a September cameo.

Mark Polishuk at MLBTR speculates that Gregorius may have already replaced Cozart in the eyes of the organization:

Cozart was the Reds’ everyday shortstop in 2012, hitting .246/.288/.399 in an even 600 plate appearances and showing above-average glovework (a +9.0 UZR/150) in his first full Major League season.  The 27-year-old Cozart was ranked as the 75th-best prospect in the game by Baseball America before the season, though he may have already been replaced by a newer model, as Jocketty considers the 22-year-old Gregorius to be “an everyday player…It’s just a question of when and how we manage it.”  Gregorius, a native of Amsterdam, has a .699 OPS in five minor league seasons.

Speculation centers on the Reds receiving in return either an established closer, which would allow the organization to (finally!) accomplish the reported move of Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation, or an outfielder who would be able to lead-off. Morosi lists the Oakland A’s, Minnesota Twins, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Tampa Bay Rays as possible matches.

The Oakland A’s are a potential trade partner, because of their need at shortstop and deep stable of relievers. Oakland also has a surplus of outfielders, including veteran leadoff man Coco Crisp. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays also are interested in acquiring a shortstop this winter. Arizona (Adam Eaton/Gerardo Parra) and Minnesota (Denard Span/Ben Revere) have leadoff hitters to spare.

In other roster news, the Reds have parted ways with utility infielder Wilson Valdez and left-handed relief pitcher, Bill Bray.

Wilson Valdez (34) came to the Reds last year from the Phillies in a trade for left-handed relief pitcher, Jeremy Horst. Among the 347 major league players with more than 200 plate appearances Valdez (.206/.236/.227) finished dead last in OPS (JoeyMVP finished first). In 32 games with the Phillies, Horst (27) compiled a 11.5 K/9, 1.15 ERA and 2.39 FIP. In what can only be seen now as a terrible trade, Horst finished the year with a bWAR of .8 and Valdez with a -1.8 bWAR (yes, negative). It’s hard to say which was worse, the trade itself or that Valdez remained with the team all year.

Bill Bray (29) came to the Reds in the 2006 trade that sent Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez to the Washington Nationals. Over six seasons and 239 appearances for the Reds, Bray has struggled to stay healthy, missing the entire 2009 season and almost all of 2012. When on the mound, Bray was a solid (3.72 ERA), but not spectacular lefty match-up pitcher.

85 thoughts on “Reds shopping SS, part ways with Valdez and Bray

  1. Count me among the people who would rather stick with Cozart than put their trust in Didi. If this were a team that was rebuilding, maybe I’d look to move Cozart first but this is a team that plans on contending and Cozart is a known entity.

    Cozart is still young enough and has the minor league numbers to suggest that he may improve some offensively. No, he’ll never be great with the bat but considering his defense, I think he’ll be good enough. The fact that he has a little pop is a plus. He is more a 7 or 8 hole guy but his production would be a plus there compared to most 7 or 8 whole hitters.

    I like Didi and it’s pretty clear that defensively he can play SS right now. I just worry about the stick. He hasn’t shown me anything in his numbers or on watching him that suggests that he will be a better hitter than Cozart is right now. In fact, I have questions on rather his bat even plays in MLB as a starter. He reminds me of a Pokey Reese, Gookie Dawkins, Rey Olmedo, Juan Castro type hitter. I just don’t see his bat being enough.

    Just my 2-cents.

  2. At least the trade proposal has youth coming back to Cincy. I’m ok with what happens. I think the Reds are fine with Cozart or Didi. Revere plays CF but ended up in RF the end of 2012. He began to mature as a consistent player. He’s 24? and will fit nicely in the Reds lineup.

    If no trade is made and Ludwick walks I say move Cozart to 3B, Didi SS, Frazier LF. Cozart backsup SS, Frazier backsup 3B & 1B. Heisey, Paul, Phipps LF. If you can upgrade do it but this may work.

  3. @LWBlogger: Other than Cozart having an edge in power, I see little choose between the two offensively based on their minor league stats.

    Cozart:.270/.332/.421; BB Rate 7.4%; K Rate 17% in 2166 plate appearances

    Gegrorius:.271/.323/.376; BB Rate 6.2%; K Rate 12.8% in 1909 plate appearances

    The real significant difference I see in them at this point is age. Cozart will be 27 when the 2013 season starts and 28 before the season ends. Gregorius will be 23 when the season starts and still 23 at the end of the season.

    Cozart is not really a young guy in MLB terms. There is a very good chance that what we’ve seen from Cozart is what he has to give. On the other hand age is on Gregorius’s side. Particularly in the one area where Cozart would appear to have an edge on Gregorius, power, there is no reason not to think that as Gregorius ages and matures that he won’t close all or some of the gap there as Gregorius is an inch taller but 5 lbs lighter at this point.

    For what it is worth or not, I really believe just from watching the way he moves that Gregorius could develop very similarly to David Concepcion. There is just something in the way that he carries himself and goes about his business that reminds me of Concepcion,

  4. Why in the world would the Padres trade Eaton for Cozart? Eaton has a career OBP in the minors of .456. And he’s slugged .510. If you were the Reds and had Eaton and a hole at SS, would you trade Eaton for Cozart?

    • Why in the world would the Padres trade Eaton for Cozart? Eaton has a career OBP in the minors of .456. And he’s slugged .510. If you were the Reds and had Eaton and a hole at SS, would you trade Eaton for Cozart?

      If I had another player in the minors ready to step up in CF and needed a SS, yes, possibly asking for a meaningless player as well, like a mid level minor leaguer.

    • Why in the world would the Padres trade Eaton for Cozart? Eaton has a career OBP in the minors of .456. And he’s slugged .510. If you were the Reds and had Eaton and a hole at SS, would you trade Eaton for Cozart?

      Eaton is in the D-backs orginazation. There was a pitcher with the Pads awhile back that had the last name of Eaton.
      D-backs are searching high and low for a good SS. Eaton is a fireplug. Only 5’8″ and big guns for biceps. Didi for Eaton is a fair swap for both teams. Revere is a good one also. Either one of them is an upgrade.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

      Why in the world would the Padres trade Eaton for Cozart? Eaton has a career OBP in the minors of .456. And he’s slugged .510.

      The two keys is ‘in the minors’ and Cozart is a proven ML SS. SS is the most sought after commodity in this off season. It seems like half the teams need and are actively looking for a quality SS and the law of supply and demand kicks in. The FA market for a quality SS is simply barren.

      The Braves declined to trade their top SS prospect, Simmons (.299/.352/.397 in the minors) for either the Rangers Olt (.282/.391/.521 in the minors) or the DBacks Upton. A quality SS or a top SS prospect has real value, especially this year.

      Only WJ can answer what would be done and we all know he ain’t talkin, but an Eaton for Cozart swap is a valid discussion point anyway.

  5. If Billy Hamilton is the long term future in CF, shouldn’t we be looking someone with more than 103 MLB plate appearances until he gets here?

    • I see the Nats Shane Harper won ROY. Todd Frazier is our ROY no matter what the BBWA says.

      You can probably thank Baker for this one. The pro-Baker people talk of how the players still need to perform. You can’t perform when you don’t play. And, Frazier surely deserved to be playing more than Stubbs. During the playoff run, I can understand not switching Stubbs out, moving Bruce to CF and Frazier to RF. But, that’s only because Baker waited too long to make the change, by several months to a couple of years.

  6. What’s the chances the Reds are in on Tori Hunter?

    I think the Reds could offer him a multi-year (no more than 3) and have that outfield presence that is needed. I have a feeling he could do damage at GABP.

  7. @rfay00: I’m with you, I would love to land Hunter, but it ain’t gonna happen. The Tigers or Rangers are going to reel in Hunter and probably very soon from the sounds of things.

  8. @rfay00:

    From what I have read, Hunter wants to stay in the American League. The Tigers are the front runners with the Rangers, Red Sox and Yankees said to be coveting Hunter’s services. Ludwick will probably be the only free agent OF WJ pursues. Any other OF will more than likely come via a trade.
    My friend in Cincy tells me that WJ and Andrew Freidman met for some time at the small GM meetings last week. I hope this accurate, he has friends that work for the Reds. Freidman is the Rays GM. Would have loved to been a fly on the wall in that room.

  9. My thoughts related to this thread:
    -Kevin Youkilis has been mentioned but that seems way out of character for the Reds, a team that prioritize pitching and defense.

    -Didi Gregorius, I hope they trade him sooner rather than later, like with Juan Francisco. You know, while they can still get something for him. If they can acquire a leadoff hitter for him, great. I think he’s the next Juan Castro or Paul Janish, a career defensive specialist.

    -Cozart is a proven gold glove caliber major league shorstop – he’s inexpensive and entering his prime. I think he’s an excellent fit for a Reds team that wants to win NOW. Cozart is a fit for a team that wants to go to the playoffs in 2013 while Gregorius is a fit for a team like the Astros or Marlins that is starting to rebuild and hopes to be competitive a few years down the road.

    -Cozart to 3b, that is nonsense. His defense is his calling card and although his bat may be adequate at shortstop but it isn’t suitable at a more offensive oriented corner position. Same story for Brandon Phillips – gold glove and silver slugger caliber middle infielder who would be below average offensively on the corners.

    -Billy Hamilton, he switched to CF and he’ll remain in the outfield as long as Brandon Phillips is under contract. He’s not going back to shortstop after all they’ve gone through to convert him. Any outfielder the Reds acquire will be watching Billy Hamilton over his shoulder.

    -Jeff Keppinger, I think he’d be a great guy to bring back. He was never appreciated by fans during his time with the Reds, but he’d be a great fit. 179 walks and 173 strikeouts in 2459 career ABs – a flexible utility player who gets on base and barely strikes out.

    • My thoughts related to this thread:
      -Kevin Youkilis has been mentioned but that seems way out of character for the Reds, a team that prioritize pitching and defense.

      -Didi Gregorius, I hope they trade him sooner rather than later, like with Juan Francisco.You know, while they can still get something for him.If they can acquire a leadoff hitter for him, great.I think he’s the next Juan Castro or Paul Janish, a career defensive specialist.

      -Cozart is a proven gold glove caliber major league shorstop – he’s inexpensive and entering his prime.I think he’s an excellent fit for a Reds team that wants to win NOW.Cozart is a fit for a team that wants to go to the playoffs in 2013 while Gregorius is a fit for a team like the Astros or Marlins that is starting to rebuild and hopes to be competitive a few years down the road.

      -Cozart to 3b, that is nonsense.His defense is his calling card and although his bat may be adequate at shortstop but it isn’t suitable at a more offensive oriented corner position.Same story for Brandon Phillips – gold glove and silver slugger caliber middle infielder who would be below average offensively on the corners.

      -Billy Hamilton, he switched to CF and he’ll remain in the outfield as long as Brandon Phillips is under contract.He’s not going back to shortstop after all they’ve gone through to convert him.Any outfielder the Reds acquire will be watching Billy Hamilton over his shoulder.

      -Jeff Keppinger, I think he’d be a great guy to bring back.He was never appreciated by fans during his time with the Reds, but he’d be a great fit.179 walks and 173 strikeouts in 2459 career ABs – a flexible utility player who gets on base and barely strikes out.

      Great post, just a few minor disagreements. First, Keppinger was loved in Cincinnati, and Redleg Nation burned the day they traded him for Sutton. That was a bust.

      I believe Cozart does have the offense for the hot corner. I really think his misuse this year lead to his poor offensive year. He is better at the plate than the numbers this year would indicate. I think his major league numbers will match his minor league numbers. He is probably a .270 hitter. And he has plenty of power to play 3rd. It’s his reaction time and arm that makes me think he could play a very good 3rd base.

      And this is more of a question than a disagreement: What leads you to believe Didi is only a defensive specialist. Your statement is probably grounded in something you’ve observed. Please explain.

      • Great post, just a few minor disagreements.First, Keppinger was loved in Cincinnati, and Redleg Nation burned the day they traded him for Sutton.That was a bust.

        I believe Cozart does have the offense for the hot corner.I really think his misuse this year lead to his poor offensive year.He is better at the plate than the numbers this year would indicate.I think his major league numbers will match his minor league numbers.He is probably a .270 hitter.And he has plenty of power to play 3rd.It’s his reaction time and arm that makes me think he could play a very good 3rd base.

        And this is more of a question than a disagreement: What leads you to believe Didi is only a defensive specialist.Your statement is probably grounded in something you’ve observed.Please explain.

        I don’t think Cozart’s misuse led to a poor offensive year, I think fans developed ridiculously high and unrealistic expectations of him after his 11 game debut in 2011 (a .327 average wasn’t going to last). If he gets to hit 2nd, 6th, or 7th I expect him to hit ~.260 with a ~.320 OBP with 15-20 homeruns. Fine for a Gold Glove caliber middle infielder but not okay at a more offensive oriented corner infield position.

        Scott Rolen hit .245 with a .318 OBP and 8 homeruns in 92 games (approximately half the year) and we heard all year how he no longer puts up satisfactory offensive numbers for a thirdbaseman. Fans disapproved of Dusty putting him in the lineup at all, despite his ‘reaction time and arm’. I think Cozart would face the same criticism at 3b. I’m interested in seeing if fans turn on Todd Frazier in 2013 or if he lives up to their expectations offensively.

        Didi Gregorius, the only skill he offers that stands out is his defense (Cozart, on the other hand, offers some power, Billy Hamilton offers speed, Stubbs and Phillips offer speed and power). He’s not a big walks guy, doesn’t steal bases, doesn’t hit for power… he’s just kinda there, hoping that he can get enough singles to earn himself a job, hoping that his bat will develop enough that it won’t hold him back (just like Juan Castro and Paul Janish). If Didi Gregorius is going to be more than a defensive specialist I think he needs some offensive skill that stands out… and he doesn’t have one.

        Maybe Didi Gregorius can become a good offensive shortstop, but that’s far from a fact. I think a lot of things, including raw skills, are stacked up against him. To me he looks like a defensive specialist who has to work hard to do something to move above that projection. I’d rather the Reds trade him to some rebuilding team who values him really highly than gamble on that themselves (I mean, in a fair trade for a closer or leadoff hitter, not just to dump him).

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