2013 Reds / Reds - General

Reports: Reds sign Redmond to Major League Contract; Negotiating Long Term Deal with Broxton [Update]

According to Mark Sheldon, the Reds have signed starting pitcher Todd Redmond to a major league contract worth at least $490,000 (the league minimum).

RHP Todd Redmond, who was the lone Reds pitcher to make a start that wasn’t in the regular starting five in 2012, re-signed with the club. It’s a Major League contract and pays $490,000 for one year.

Signing Redmond isn’t completely surprising. But that he would command a major league contract from the Reds, is highly noteworthy. With the Reds in hot pursuit of a closer (more on that in a second), the Cuban Missile is headed out of the bullpen at full trajectory, leaving a surplus of Mike Leake in the starting rotation.

The Reds’ pricey addition of Redmond certainly signals they are seriously contemplating trading Leake or another starting pitcher – maybe for the Reds’ next left-fielder and/or lead-off hitter.

On the closer front, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Reds are close to signing closer Jonathan Broxton to a multi-year contract.

The Cincinnati Reds, paving the way for left-hander Aroldis Chapman to become a starter, are in serious talks with free-agent right-hander Jonathan Broxton on a three-year contract, according to major league sources.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports confirms the rumor and – stunningly – tweets that the contract would be for at least three years.

A long-term closer contract for Broxton really surprises me. First of all, he’s only a little more than one-year removed from elbow surgery, which means a long-term deal is risky. It also makes Sean Marshall’s long-term contract really puzzling. The Reds are paying Marshall $16.5 million over the next three years. As I wrote in the spring, that extension made brilliant sense for an organization like the Reds if Marshall is going to be the closer.

But it makes considerably less sense for a team with the Reds payroll to pay that much for a set-up pitcher, especially one used sometimes as a LOOGY by the recently re-signed manager. Presumably Broxton will earn legitimate closer pay in any deal. That’s a lot to spend on the bullpen. Maybe this is a further indication that Reds’ owner Bob Castellini has green-lit an accelerated increase in payroll schedule.

If the Broxton deal goes through as reported, prepare yourself for a starting rotation of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Chapman, Homer Bailey and Bronson Arroyo.

UPDATE: John Fay has spoken with Broxton’s agent who says the deal isn’t done but could come together quickly.

“It’s more than kicking the tires,” he said. “It could come together quickly.” Abbott said they’ve talked about a couple of different deals. “It’s no secret that Jonathan wants security,” he said. Any multiyear contract would require a physical.

51 thoughts on “Reports: Reds sign Redmond to Major League Contract; Negotiating Long Term Deal with Broxton [Update]

  1. I’m not sure about the contract for Broxton. If the dollars per year are right, I don’t have a problem with a three year deal. However, I’m totally on board with the Marshall contract. Three outs are three outs, regardless of what inning the reliever pitches in and Marshall has proven to be a very reliable and durable option out of the pen. Moreover, I still hope they go after Madson, provided that he believes he “owes” the Reds for the past year. That is, so long as he is willing to take an incentive-laden contract, I would like to have Madson, Marshall, and Broxton as interchangeable parts to manage the final nine (or so) outs.

    As for Leake, I would love to see him moved. Move him for Choo. Move him (and other parts) for Span or Fowler. The sooner he is out of the rotation, the better. I simply never understand the “he has settled in to a ‘back of the rotation’ starter” mantra. What does that even mean? . . . Are fifth starters that hard to find? Perhaps Leake could do well in San Diego or some other pitcher friendly park.

    • As for Leake, I would love to see him moved.Move him for Choo.Move him (and other parts) for Span or Fowler.The sooner he is out of the rotation, the better.I simply never understand the “he has settled in to a ‘back of the rotation’ starter” mantra.What does that even mean? . . . Are fifth starters that hard to find?Perhaps Leake could do well in San Diego or some other pitcher friendly park.

      Are fifth starters that hard to find? Rewind the clock a few years and look at what the Reds were trying in that role. Instead of a career minor league starter like Sam LeCure, a former closer like Danny Graves, a washed up veteran like Jeff Francis, or a bum prospect like Todd Redmond the Reds’ former first round draft pick has performed well in that role, better than he gets credit for. Leake has done a good job of staying healthy and has put up a respectable 4.23 ERA through three seasons. A 28-22 win-loss record, if that matters.

      “He has settled in to a ‘back of the rotation’ starter” mantra. What does that mean to me? Like Bronson Arroyo he doesn’t have the talent to be an ace but he has a long career ahead of him as a reliable and consistent inning eater, somebody who they should build a successful team around rather than toss out the door.

      It would be a disappointment to see him traded while he’s still so young and inexpensive, and it’s a move I think Reds fans would regret next October, seeing Chapman missing the 2013 playoffs Stephen Strasburg style… or worse, with an actual injury. Why oh why did the Reds sacrifice their dominant closer (Chapman) in a foolish attempt while trading away the reliable starter (Leake)? Didn’t they learn anything from Neftali Feliz and the Rangers? Haven’t the Reds worked hard for years to develop a young, consistent, and affordable rotation? Haven’t the Reds worked hard for years to find a dominant closer like Chapman? Seems silly to throw it all away.

      • Are fifth starters that hard to find?Rewind the clock a few years and look at what the Reds were trying in that role.Instead of a career minor league starter like Sam LeCure, a former closer like Danny Graves, a washed up veteran like Jeff Francis, or a bum prospect like Todd Redmond the Reds’ former first round draft pick has performed well in that role, better than he gets credit for.Leake has done a good job of staying healthy and has put up a respectable 4.23 ERA through three seasons.A 28-22 win-loss record, if that matters.

        “He has settled in to a ‘back of the rotation’ starter” mantra.What does that mean to me?Like Bronson Arroyo he doesn’t have the talent to be an ace but he has a long career ahead of him as a reliable and consistent inning eater, somebody who they should build a successful team around rather than toss out the door.

        It would be a disappointment to see him traded while he’s still so young and inexpensive, and it’s a move I think Reds fans would regret next October, seeing Chapman missing the 2013 playoffs Stephen Strasburg style… or worse, with an actual injury.Why oh why did the Reds sacrifice their dominant closer (Chapman) in a foolish attempt while trading away the reliable starter (Leake)?Didn’t they learn anything from Neftali Feliz and the Rangers?Haven’t the Reds worked hard for years to develop a young, consistent, and affordable rotation?Haven’t the Reds worked hard for years to find a dominant closer like Chapman?Seems silly to throw it all away.

        Fifth starters are generally one of three things:

        a) A young pitching prospect being eased into a starting role by way of a low(er) pressure spot in the rotation;
        b) A veteran pitcher on the decline who is trying to hang on;
        c) A marginal prospect who teeters between minor/major league starter and long man out of the pen.

        Pitchers seldom make a career out of being an effective fifth starter. In fact, the term “effective fifth starter” is an oxymoron over the long run. After all, if a starter is truly effective, he will not be a fifth starter for long. If a fifth starter proved ineffective, he will be sent down or to the pen.

        At first, I thought Mike Leake was choice “a” from above. However, Mike Leake has had plenty of opportunities to prove he can be a consistent starter in the big leagues and has yet to prove that he is. Here is the underlying problem with Mike Leake. He has no exceptional qualities as a pitcher (though I am sure he is a swell guy). His velocity is average, at best. His control slips at the most inopportune times. He has no plus pitches . . . not one. Can you think of any starter with such characteristics that has been an effective starter for long?

        Now, if Leake’s velocity was about four mph greater, or his control more consistent, or he had an excellent curve or change, things would be different. I don’t expect any great velocity increases or improvements in control or the development of an out pitch. Simply put, what you see is what you get with Leake.

        My point is this. Chapman will (hopefully) be put in the rotation beginning in the spring because he is the closest thing to Randy Johnson’s raw ability since Randy Johnson. If there is even a 25% chance that Chapman can be an ace, I believe the Reds have to go for it. Closers are signed, traded for, and/or developed. Number ones are expensive to sign, difficult to trade for, and are developed only when a prospect has the kind of raw ability that aces have.

        If some other team believes that Leake has yet to fully develop and trading Leake gives the Reds a viable leadoff option, trade him. If not, stash him in AAA until a pitcher with a career WAR of 1.7 in 78 starts is needed.

  2. @Drew Mac: You just hit on one of the more important parts of relief pitching… “Three outs are three outs.” And with Marshall, regardless of which inning you hand him him, I feel pretty good about three outs. So I agree, on board.

    Broxton I don’t know what to make of… I’m not exactly thrilled to pay him a very sizable salary, but I could be comfortable throwing 15 million at him over the next 3-4 years. Something tells me we’ll be talking in the 16-20 million range, which I’m not so thrilled with.

    • I sure hope not. Lefty relievers with his numbers do not grow on trees. I believe he is every bit as important as any closer the Reds could sign, even if he is getting outs in the 7th or 8th.

      what would the chances be that marshall is being used as trade bait himself?

    • what would the chances be that marshall is being used as trade bait himself?

      Zero. There’s no chance Sean Marshall will get traded. As DrewMac implied (but I’ll say it differently) the Reds knew who they were pursuing when they traded for Marshall and they got what they hoped for out of him. They acquired and extended him to improve the bullpen, and the need for a strong bullpen hasn’t disappeared. Also successful lefties who can retire left handed and right handed hitters are very tough to find. The worst part of Marshall’s 2012 season was that his success was overshadowed by Chapman. 74 strikeouts and 15 walks in 61 innings, the only thing keeping him from being a big strikeout guy was Chapman redefining ‘big strikeout guy’.

  3. You know, the Reds added Broxton in 2012 and he pitched mostly as a setupman, as did Sean Marshall. His extension would NOT mean that Chapman is necessarily moving to the rotation, it means that the bullpen will roughly maintain the status quo headed into the spring unless they choose to subtract a key piece from the best bullpen in the NL.

    Will Broxton earn ‘legitimate closer pay’ or a contract similar to Sean Marshall’s? I expect a deal similar to Marshall’s for $15-16m over 3 years. The Reds were also rumored to be pursuing free agents Madson and Joakim Soria (who won’t pitch until May), both of whom are coming off Tommy John surgery, presumably at discount prices. That list of names doesn’t indicate to me that they’re shopping for a legitimate closer to build the bullpen around. Broxton would get ‘legitimate closer pay’ and a guaranteed job elsewhere if he was good enough to deserve it.

    The ‘pricey addition’, Todd Redmond, is making near the league minimum salary. The Reds’ backup catcher and backup shortstop will make at least as much. After Tony Cingrani’s impressive 2012 season I think Redmond has fallen behind Cingrani on the depth chart – Redmond’s only value is now as trade bait. His cheap contract does indicate to me that they are seriously considering trading Todd Redmond, not Mike Leake.

    If the Broxton deal goes through I won’t prepare for a rotation of Cueto, Latos, Chapman, Bailey, and Arroyo – I’ll prepare for a return of the pitching staff that got the Reds into the 2012 playoffs, including a Nasty Boys-type combo of Marshall, Broxton, and Chapman out of the bullpen.

  4. This is my first post since he collapse. I just had to get away from baseball for a minute after that.

    Personally, I hope, although in vain, that Broxton and Marshall will be a closer by committee. There is just too much emphasis on using a big guy throwing lasers in the ninth to give Marshall a shot. It should all be matchup in the last two innings, imo. For my money, I’d rather have Marshall in the high leverage situations over Broxton. I think the total body of work speaks for itself, and there is Broxton’s ouchy elbow history. Yeah, we might overpay some for the backend of the bullpen, but there is value in the peace of mind knowing that most nights you only have to be concerned with 7 innings.

  5. I never want to see Redmond in a Reds uniform ever again, that dude is absolute garbage. I went to that Cubs game and it was the worst thing I’ve ever been a part of, he threw like 110 pitches in 3 innings. Total trash.

    • I never want to see Redmond in a Reds uniform ever again, that dude is absolute garbage. I went to that Cubs game and it was the worst thing I’ve ever been a part of, he threw like 110 pitches in 3 innings. Total trash.

      I don’t have any problem with Todd Redmond and I think he could be a successful starter for some other team, like the Astros maybe. I do think he really exemplifies how much the Reds’ rotation has improved in recent years – a few years ago a guy like him would be the pride of the organization and he’d be penciled into a rotation spot, now he’s a useless extra piece not worthy of serious consideration.

      110 pitches in 3 innings was the worst thing you’ve ever been a part of? You must not have been watching the Reds for long. Redmond is better than several of Aaron Harang’s predecessors as opening day starter.

    • I never want to see Redmond in a Reds uniform ever again, that dude is absolute garbage. I went to that Cubs game and it was the worst thing I’ve ever been a part of, he threw like 110 pitches in 3 innings. Total trash.

      Judging a player his ONE and ONLY major league start is unfair.

  6. I noticed the major league aspect of the Redmond signing. That is a signal to me that there will be a change in the starting rotation unless Redmond is turning into the long reliever.

    That opens up so many combinations of trades the Reds could make with any of the bullpen outside of Chapman and Marshall or a starting pitcher.

    I would be all for having Leake next year, but with Redmond getting a major league deal, someone has to go. Right?

  7. So the Reds finished 3rd in the league with a team ERA of 3.34, getting beaten by the Nats & Dodgers at #.33 & 3.34. As a long time Reds fan, we have more pitching than ever before. The starters won 66 games last year- 8 of those by Leake, so replace Leake with Chapman and I’d say the starters will win 70 games plus next year. I think the situation often will be a Red’s starter going 7+ innings and with a new lead-off hitter setting the tables, it will not be that close in the 8th & 9th innings.
    Imagine Spring training next year! The starting rotation getting ready for the year, a new right handed bat in left field, Frazier prepping for a full season at 3rd, and then either Gregorius, or Hamilton doing things that will make our jaws drop. Who should we get in return for Leake & Cozart? Package Stubbs in with it and you get two studs- I would think.

  8. @SFredsfan: What team would open up three of the 40 man roster spots for one stud who only occupies one of the 40 man roster spots?

    Unless prospects went with them, that would never happen.

  9. Didn’t Francis get a major league contract last winter ? I think this is just a back up plan. Don’t be surprised if he accepts an assignment to Louisville. It could be they simply expect LeCure to have a more prominent role in the pen with ondrusek gone. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Leake staying regular in Aaa.

  10. @zblakey:
    Who knows what Leake and Cozart will become? Both are young semi-proven major leaguers. You could fill two holes for one. A stud- 280 avg, 25 hrs, 90 rbis

  11. @redsfanman: The reason I don’t agree with you is that Broxton would certainly command virtually full-closer pay this time around. I suppose he may bargain that away for a long-term contract, but my guess is with the scarcity of closers on the market and his performance for both KC and the Reds last year, that more than one team would be willing to pay him full-closer pay. And so will the Reds. Why would Broxton sign for a set-up role when he could be a closer elsewhere?

    Given that, there is no way the Reds go with one set-up guy for $5.5 million (Marshall) and another set-up guy for more than that (Broxton at $8-9 mil/year) plus Chapman in the bullpen.

    The only way your theory works is if the Reds could sign Broxton for at or below what they paid this past year for him, say $4 million. But there is no what that’s what Broxton will sign for this time around.

  12. I was one of the critics of Marshall when I felt he was pitching backwards, i.e. leading with his curve and using his fastball off of it. Once he reversed course, I thought he did a good job in the role they used him in.

    This said, why wouldn’t they trade Marshall as part of a deal for a lead off man or power bat for left field? Sometimes you have have to to what you have to do to get what you need. They would appear to have the depth to cover for how Marshall was used last year as they’ve got Cingrani in the wings with a background as a reliever and Arrendondo who is strong versus lefties. On the other hand they don’t appear to have the offensive depth to plug those holes.

    • This said, why wouldn’t they trade Marshall as part of a deal for a lead off man or power bat for left field?Sometimes you have have to to what you have to do to get what you need. They would appear to have the depth to cover for how Marshall was used last year as they’ve got Cingrani in the wings with a background as a reliever and Arrendondo who is strong versus lefties. On the other hand they don’t appear to have the offensive depth to plug those holes.

      The Reds worked hard to build a quality pitching staff, which in some cases involved giving up hitters in trades. Now that they accomplished that goal I don’t see them dismantling what they built and heading in a whole new direction, as you’re suggesting by trading Marshall for an outfielder.

      Arredondo is strong versus lefties but he’s also questionable against anybody. I just don’t understand why hitters swing at a guy who throws as few strikes as Arredondo. Tony Cingrani has been brought up as a starter and they’ve shown no signs that they plan on converting him to the bullpen anytime soon.

      @hermanbates: Keep in mind where the Cincinnati Reds are right now. They’re not trading away the old regulars for young players, they’re not rebuilding, their priority isn’t a big power bat. The Reds are a contender, likely to finish in first place again in 2013. A mostly young team, lots of guy under team control long term. Their top prospect is a leadoff hitter named Billy Hamilton, who probably needs another year in the minors and their top priority is a leadoff hitter to play until he’s ready.

      I think trading away Cozart, Stubbs, or Leake would be crazy. Hopefully Didi Gregorius, Todd Redmond, and hopefully some of the other unimportant prospects will be traded to patch holes. Maybe some irrelevant guys can be traded for David DeJesus. Maybe Shane Victorino will choose to come here. Or maybe Ichiro has another year in him and wants an everyday opportunity. Or another free agent leadoff hitter might want the opportunity to play for a contender. Either way, it’s crazy to trade away the core that the Reds have worked so hard to build.

  13. I think Zack Cozart’s value is very high right now. With that, I think Drew Stubbs’ is ridiculously low. Here’s why-

    Shortstops are always in high demand because of guys who could play elsewhere because of size or lack of athleticism, but stick at short because of a lack of a better option. Zack Cozart is under team control for a few more years, is 28(older than we’d probably like, but not over the hill or anything), but that means he’s still got prime left to him, and is going to be gold glove caliber shortstop for the next 4 or 5 years. Along with that, he offers pop that few shortstops cant match. Zack Cozart’s trade value is very high. As is Didi Gregorious’. Any shortstop with their defense is going to be valuable. The fact Cozart can hit you almost 30 doubles a season makes him infinitely more valuable.

    For Stubbs, other than the obvious down seasons since 2010, his age and his only true value being speed, is down because centerfielders are becoming different players. Centerfielders are crazy-great defenders(which Stubbs is a good, but absolutely not great defender), have excellent on base skills, and/or powerful as all get up. But Chris Young was had for a bag of balls and an awful contract. And with a few teams “needing” a centerfielder(Braves, Phillies, Nats, among others) and there being a few options on the market(Bourn, Upton) Stubbs won’t fetch much at all. He just isn’t a valuable player anymore. Really nothing more than a pinch runner or replacement defender in left field at the end of a game.

    Leake has a lot of value too. So does Homer Bailey. Both guys could fetch us a very good bat, but combine Leake AND Cozart, and you have a two for one deal that lands you a stud, and that’s absolutely true. You don’t think teams with big ball parks and needs at short won’t be interested in a deal for Leake and Cozart?

    Speculatively speaking, the Athletics come to mind, and with guys like Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick, there’s a deal to be made there. The Royals will undoubtedly be interested in Homer if he were to be made available. I bet you the Marlins would be interested in Leake and Cozart, maybe for a Logan Morrison, or perhaps that lays the bedrock for a Giancarlo deal? Even the DBacks with Upton would think about deal involving Cozart and Leake, maybe plus a couple others. Either way, with the value of a powerful, gold glove defending shortstop, as well as a reliable 3 or 4 starter that’s proven and still only 25 years old, the Redlegs can get real creative.

    • I noticed the major league aspect of the Redmond signing. That is a signal to me that there will be a change in the starting rotation unless Redmond is turning into the long reliever.

      That opens up so many combinations of trades the Reds could make with any of the bullpen outside of Chapman and Marshall or a starting pitcher.

      I would be all for having Leake next year, but with Redmond getting a major league deal, someone has to go. Right?

      Huh? To me Redmond being signed to a major league contract indicated that he’ll be traded to another franchise. The second most likely option is that he’ll convert to a long reliever like Sam LeCure and Alfredo Simon did in 2012. Redmond is NOT entering the Reds’ rotation when they have so much depth and he had a mediocre season with mediocre talent. With Redmond getting a major league deal somebody does have to go – I think all signs point to him being the one who leaves. Maybe for a utility infielder.

      @SFredsfan: A big part of WHY the Reds starters won so many games was the success of the bullpen, including the closer. A new leadoff hitter won’t prevent close games requiring a closer.

      Fifth starters are generally one of three things:

      a) A young pitching prospect being eased into a starting role by way of a low(er) pressure spot in the rotation;
      b) A veteran pitcher on the decline who is trying to hang on;
      c) A marginal prospect who teeters between minor/major league starter and long man out of the pen.

      Pitchers seldom make a career out of being an effective fifth starter.In fact, the term “effective fifth starter” is an oxymoron over the long run.After all, if a starter is truly effective, he will not be a fifth starter for long.If a fifth starter proved ineffective, he will be sent down or to the pen.

      At first, I thought Mike Leake was choice “a” from above.However, Mike Leake has had plenty of opportunities to prove he can be a consistent starter in the big leagues and has yet to prove that he is.Here is the underlying problem with Mike Leake.He has no exceptional qualities as a pitcher (though I am sure he is a swell guy).His velocity is average, at best.His control slips at the most inopportune times.He has no plus pitches . . . not one.Can you think of any starter with such characteristics that has been an effective starter for long?

      Now, if Leake’s velocity was about four mph greater, or his control more consistent, or he had an excellent curve or change, things would be different.I don’t expect any great velocity increases or improvements in control or the development of an out pitch.Simply put, what you see is what you get with Leake.

      My point is this.Chapman will (hopefully) be put in the rotation beginning in the spring because he is the closest thing to Randy Johnson’s raw ability since Randy Johnson.If there is even a 25% chance that Chapman can be an ace, I believe the Reds have to go for it.Closers are signed, traded for, and/or developed.Number ones are expensive to sign, difficult to trade for, and are developed only when a prospect has the kind of raw ability that aces have.

      If some other team believes that Leake has yet to fully develop and trading Leake gives the Reds a viable leadoff option, trade him.If not, stash him in AAA until a pitcher with a career WAR of 1.7 in 78 starts is needed.

      Interesting.

      Can I suggest a guy with no exceptional qualities as a pitcher, average velocity, control that slips sometimes, no plus pitches, who has been an effective starter for long? My first thought is Bronson Arroyo, who I compared him to all along.

      Another category for a 5th stater: The 5th best starter on the team. For the world champion San Francisco Giants I believe the 5th starter was former Cy Young Award Winner Barry Zito, who went 15-8. The other guys were better. Being the 5th starter didn’t mean his career is over or that he’s tottering between the rotation and bullpen. If Mike Leake is traded Homer Bailey will probably become the ‘5th starter’, but that doesn’t make much of a difference to Bailey. I agree that what you see is what you get with Mike Leake, and I see a fine young and affordable starting pitcher. In Chapman I see arguably the most dominant closer in baseball and a huge gamble to convert.

      If there’s a 25% chance that Chapman can be an ace you go for it? I don’t like those odds. There’s also a HUGE chance that he’ll be a disappointment. They’re not only gambling his career in such a move, but the Cincinnati Reds’ season. The Reds’ record. The Reds’ rotation. The Reds’ bullpen. Gambling everything, because the closer is too good to close…. and to fill an imaginary void in the rotation.

      @redsfanman: The reason I don’t agree with you is that Broxton would certainly command virtually full-closer pay this time around. I suppose he may bargain that away for a long-term contract, but my guess is with the scarcity of closers on the market and his performance for both KC and the Reds last year, that more than one team would be willing to pay him full-closer pay. And so will the Reds. Why would Broxton sign for a set-up role when he could be a closer elsewhere?

      Given that, there is no way the Reds go with one set-up guy for $5.5 million (Marshall) and another set-up guy for more than that (Broxton at $8-9 mil/year) plus Chapman in the bullpen.

      The only way your theory works is if the Reds could sign Broxton for at or below what they paid this past year for him, say $4 million. But there is no what that’s what Broxton will sign for this time around.

      If a team wants to pay Broxton ‘full-closer pay’, fine, I just hope that team isn’t the Reds. Broxton is a 300lb man with two (non-consecutive) seasons closing at least part time. Inbetween he’s been injured and been ineffective. I think he’ll have to choose between ‘full-closer pay’ or long term job security, and he seems to want a multi-year deal.

      Why would Broxton choose a setup role here rather than a closer role elsewhere? Maybe he wants to play for a contender, like the Reds. Maybe he enjoyed playing for the Reds. Maybe other contenders have better options for a closer (I think Broxton is overrated by Reds fans). Maybe he knows that he’ll get save opportunities on the Reds even if Chapman keeps closing. He won’t get many big save opportunities playing for a losing team like the Royals. I think Cincinnati provides Broxton with an ideal opportunity to be important to a contending team that wants him, but maybe he can get more money leaving. His choice.

      @redsfanman:

      How is MLeake a “former” first round draft choice? Did they redo the draft for that year?

      He’s a former first round draft pick because he was drafted before this year. Just like Jay Bruce. And Homer Bailey. And every Reds person other than Nick Travieso. To some extent being a first round draft pick is a distinction and an honor, one that many fans seem to choose to ignore in Leake’s case.

      • Interesting.

        Can I suggest a guy with no exceptional qualities as a pitcher, average velocity, control that slips sometimes, no plus pitches, who has been an effective starter for long?My first thought is Bronson Arroyo, who I compared him to all along.

        Another category for a 5th stater:The 5th best starter on the team.For the world champion San Francisco Giants I believe the 5th starter was former Cy Young Award Winner Barry Zito, who went 15-8.The other guys were better.Being the 5th starter didn’t mean his career is over or that he’s tottering between the rotation and bullpen.If Mike Leake is traded Homer Bailey will probably become the ’5th starter’, but that doesn’t make much of a difference to Bailey.I agree that what you see is what you get with Mike Leake, and I see a fine young and affordable starting pitcher. In Chapman I see arguably the most dominant closer in baseball and a huge gamble to convert.

        If there’s a 25% chance that Chapman can be an ace you go for it?I don’t like those odds.There’s also a HUGE chance that he’ll be a disappointment.They’re not only gambling his career in such a move, but the Cincinnati Reds’ season.The Reds’ record.The Reds’ rotation.The Reds’ bullpen.Gambling everything, because the closer is too good to close…. and to fill an imaginary void in the rotation.

        Arroyo is a pitcher with an exceptional breaking ball and he has the uncanny ability to throw it at varying velocities, locations, and in any count. I will be utterly stunned if Mike Leake has anywhere near the career that Arroyo has had. For his part, Zito also has an out pitch. Moreover, since Zito did have a solid year, he was moved to the fourth spot of the rotation and Lincecum was sent to the pen for the playoffs. As was painfully evident during the LDS, if Mike Leake is the Reds’ fourth starter, the Reds will be hard pressed to win any series.

        Regarding Chapman, I do not believe that anyone would spend 30,000,000 dollars on a prospect to be a dominant closer. In addition, Chapman has yet to demonstrate that he can do what a closer needs to do: be available and effective on three consecutive (and four in some cases) games and up to four to five times per week.

        However, on a regular work load, Chapman could dominate. Is it guaranteed that he will? . . . Of course not. However, I would not want to be the GM who never tried to find out if he could be the next Randy Johnson.

  14. In looking at the bullpen for 2013, we need to keep in mind that Nick Massett is under contract and not going anywhere unless the Reds want to eat $3M+ to send him away. The org may know things we don’t about his recovery/ prognosis for 2013 and may be basing some of their planning on what they know about Massett’s possible contribution in 2013

  15. I don’t think signing Broxton and Redmond means the end of Leake’s time in Cincinnati. Remember, the guy has still spent very little time in AAA, perhaps he could benefit from a bit more development.

    Plus, he is a very solid backup plan; you can’t expect your starting rotation to do what the Reds did in 2012 and not miss a single start. And what if something like 2011 happens where TWO starters go down?

    I would hold onto Leake unless some deal came along that absolutely rocked my face off. However, I am very much on board with trading Cozart.

  16. I think the bullpen wild card and the guy that really gives the Redlegs the confidence to move the Missile into the rotation is JJ Hoover. He could come up huge in 13 as part of a Hoover, Marshall, Broxton back end of the pen.

  17. Broxton would be down the list of guys I’d look to be signing. If Madsen indeed signs with the Angels I’ll feel a tad P.O’d because you can’t help but feel he owes it to us to sign a discounted one year deal to make amends for taking $8mil and not throwing a single pitch.

    Soria would be my #1 target. His peripherals are waaay better.

    • @Sultan of Swaff:

      If Madsen indeed signs with the Angels I’ll feel a tad P.O’d because you can’t help but feel he owes it to us to sign a discounted one year deal to make amends for taking $8mil and not throwing a single pitch.

      Madson doesn’t owe the Reds anything. Health was not a condition of his contract. Now, if you are saying he’s morally obligated, again I disagree. A contract is always a gamble on the club’s part. If you and I play cards and luck gives me a bum hand, you are not obligated to return my money or give me another chance to get my money back.

      • Are the Reds (and teams in general) not insured against injuries?… did they literally pay Madsen out of pocket for the injury, or was there likely some insurance money kicked in? Is that kind of insurance only in special cases? If there was, I hope Bob paid his premiums.

        I think the Reds only take out insurance on long term contracts. Ryan Madson’s deal, a one year contract with little history of injury, wasn’t insured.

        @Sultan of Swaff:

        Madson doesn’t owe the Reds anything.Health was not a condition of his contract.Now, if you are saying he’s morally obligated, again I disagree.A contract is always a gamble on the club’s part.If you and I play cards and luck gives me a bum hand, you are not obligated to return my money or give me another chance to get my money back.

        I thought the idea all along was that Madson would pursue another closer job elsewhere in 2013. It turns out that it’ll be a one year incentive laden deal with the Angels rather than a big multiyear deal, but still. It might be a better opportunity with more leeway than he could get in Cincinnati (no Chapman, Marshall, Hoover, potentially Broxton to compete with).

  18. @reagansdaddy: That’s the rub with Broxton, isn’t it? Hoover will likely give you the exact same production. I’m just really reluctant to give 3 year deals to relievers unless they are elite. By any standard, Broxton is not elite anymore.

  19. Ryan Madson, Soria, and Brian Wilson are all free agents coming off Tommy John surgery. Jose Valverde, Matt Capps, and Brett Myers are also options. Other former closers available include Francisco Cordero, LaTroy Hawkins, Brad Lidge, and Jonathan Broxton.

    For whatever it’s worth MLBTradeRumors lists Jose Valverde as the 44th best free agent and predicts that he’ll become the new Reds closer.

    Sultan, a concern about Soria would be that he won’t be ready until May. I think he’s a candidate for a setupman who can close later in the season, if necessary, but I sure wouldn’t want to go into opening day with him as the closer.

    Madson, if some team wants to make him a closer immediately after Tommy John surgery, fine. I think it’s a silly gamble for the Angels… but who cares about the Angels? Not me.

  20. Between Leake and Redmond, I still go with Leake. Even with a bad season last year, he is one year away from having the most wins of any starter on this staff. I’m willing to give him a bit of leeway from one bad season based on what he’s done for us prior to that. As well as, he can easily, has been, an effective pinch hitter and pinch runner for us. I could even see him possibly being a sub SS.

    Given that, I do believe the Redmond signing may be a signal for some action being done. It may be with Leake, it may be Redmond. But, it could just be a move to shore up some starting depth again. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to have a 6th and 7th guy to go to in the minors when needed. In short, to be continued. I think it would be incorrect to read anything into this.

  21. Are the Reds (and teams in general) not insured against injuries?… did they literally pay Madsen out of pocket for the injury, or was there likely some insurance money kicked in? Is that kind of insurance only in special cases? If there was, I hope Bob paid his premiums.

  22. @TC: Madsen doesn’t owe the Reds anything, but in the case where it’s the Reds vs. another team for his services, and all things being equal, I would think we should get the benefit of the doubt.

    Again, Soria should be our #1 target.

    • @TC:
      Again, Soria should be our #1 target.

      Again, Soria is expected to be out until May. Wherever he goes he won’t be contributing in April. I agree that he would be an excellent target to acquire to improve a bullpen later in the season.

  23. Jeez. A 25% chance at a player becoming an ace is a risk every single team would be willing to take. It’s very rare for someone to have the talent Chapman does. 25% is shortchanging him in my opinion, even if you add in the risk of injury (which is exaggerated IMO). A sub 3 ERA high strikeout starter is worth his weight in gold.

  24. Clubs really pay a premium to sign “established” closers. Look at that list. Valverde, Cordero, Lidge, Myers? No thanks.

    I’d rather stick Sean Marshall or JJ Hoover in that job. Or Nick Masset. Lots of pitchers can be adequate closers. I’d add some power relief arms from the free agent list, but not pay extra for a former closer.

    If you think a pitcher needs experience to be a successful closer, just look at who closed for the Reds most of last year, with zero experience at it. The Giants didn’t have an established closer. They won the World Series. They beat the Tigers, whose “established closer” was catastrophic.

    I’d pass on Broxton, too, in an ideal world. But in that world, our manager and general manager wouldn’t feel the need to have an established closer at all. Dusty Baker won’t let Chapman go as closer unless Jocketty signs another one. That was the utter beauty of the Madson signing last year.

  25. I still say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Pitching carried this team a long way last year. Changing it I can’t imagine will work very well. Not only talking about moving of Chapman but also having to free up more money for a closer, which means less money to plug another hole with. Don’t get me wrong; I hope Chapman does do well as a starter. I would lean towards keeping him there, though.

    But, one thing I would do, thought was needed previous years with Baker, he needs to open up allowing other people to save games. It seems to be one of Baker’s Rules, “Only the closer can close games.” Like Steve M. stated, where are closers initially found in their career? In other positions, most likely as set up men in the pen probably. Baker needs to let others take care of closing every once in a while. I mean, seriously, if all 162 games were going to be closing opportunities, I could seriously see Baker trying to cart Chapman out there every game, or Coco, or whoever he had. Or, it’s like, if the Reds are up after 6 innings, you could almost bank on it was going to be Logan, Marshall, and Chapman. If the Reds were behind after 6 innings, it was going to be Lecure, Hoover, and Simon. Question being, if we get on a role where the team is up after 6 innings for 7 straight games, would Baker open Logan/Marshall/Chapman’s roles up to Lecure, Hoover, and/or Simon? Or, like, what we were left up to last season, if the closer goes down, who’s plan B? We had none and, essentially got lucky, though that luck was very talented. Whoever is the closer next season, if they go down, who’s plan B? I don’t think Baker’s rules allow him to even consider that, until the team is already in that hole.

  26. That philosophy was what caused the 2011 season debacle. The Reds brought virtually their entire team back, and it severely backfired.

    Just sayin’.

  27. @redsfanman: You also thought the Reds would get Ludwick for 5M…not even close. You think Broxton is signing for 5M per year? I’d be stunned. The Reds are about to make a really bad decision.

    • Jonathan Broxton got some saves last season when Chapman was healthy but needing rest. I think that Steve’s ‘Baker’s Rules’ book is outdated. As was the vanishing assumption that Dusty Baker destroys arms and is a death sentence who means the end of a guy’s career.

      Who was Plan A in 2012 for closing? Ryan Madson. Plan B? Aroldis Chapman. Plan C? Jonathan Broxton. Plan D? Sean Marshall. Fortunately either Chapman or Marshall was around all season, even before Broxton’s arrival.

      When Dusty DID let guys other than Chapman, Broxton, and Marshall pitch in close games it was frequently met with disapproval by Reds fans. Why the heck was Sam LeCure brought into close games? BOOOO. Dusty needs to give save opportunities to more guys, just avoid using the other guys in close games, got it. It all adds up.

      That philosophy was what caused the 2011 season debacle. The Reds brought virtually their entire team back, and it severely backfired.

      Just sayin’.

      I thought that what went wrong in 2011 was Cueto and Bailey missing April with injuries while Arroyo and Volquez struggled. Now that the Reds have a consistent rotation the plan maybe to trade away the consistent Mike Leake to gamble on Aroldis Chapman. Brilliant.

      @redsfanman: You also thought the Reds would get Ludwick for 5M…not even close.You think Broxton is signing for 5M per year?I’d be stunned.The Reds are about to make a really bad decision.

      I said Ryan Ludwick isn’t worth more than $5m to the Reds and that if he wants to have a successful 2013 season he should have taken that deal. Maybe he’ll get more cash than that in 2013, maybe not, but GABP was a great place for him to hit and the Reds are a winning team with fans who appreciated and liked him. For his sake I hope money means more to him than success after he missed this opportunity. Gotta wonder how much money makes it worth repeating his prior struggles with other teams.

      Technically Broxton ended up signing for $4m in 2013, averaging $7m/year during his contract. I thought Broxton would sacrifice big closer money for job security, and he did.

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