2013 Reds / Reds - General

The evolving outfield market [updated]

With an established closer signed, finding an outfielder who can play LF and/or lead-off remains the most important off-season shopping list item for Reds’ GM Walt Jocketty. John Heyman of CBS Sports has a solid article laying out the current status of the OF market. He talks about the teams who are looking for OF and ranks a list of the available players. He also briefly discusses which teams might be interested in which players.

To catch you up with current events: (1) Yesterday, the Atlanta Braves signed free agent centerfielder B.J. Upton to a $75 million/5–year contract, and (2) this afternoon, the Washington Harpers acquired Denard Span, bromantic favorite of many here in the Nation, in a trade for an A-league pitcher. According to Mark Sheldon, the player the Twins received from the Harpers isn’t major-league ready. Given that, I’m surprised that the Reds hadn’t made a stronger offer than that for Span. Maybe they didn’t see Span as a significant overall upgrade to Drew Stubbs. But that’s water under Brent Spence now.

The Reds have steadily increased payroll from $73 million to $88 million over the past four seasons. A straight-line projection for 2013 would put total salary around $92-93 million.

With the salary the Reds already have tied up in 2013 contracts ($75 million) and expected arbitration awards ($18 million) it appears they have little extra salary room to chase a significant free agent OF, including Ryan Ludwick. Yet, John Fay reports that the Reds are talking to Ludwick about rejoining the club. So there’s that.

Unfortunately, the left fielder may have Ludwhacked himself out of the Reds mid-sized market with his rebound 2012 season. Maybe Reds ownership will be more aggressive in boosting total payroll. Or maybe Jocketty has some slick Jedi cost-saving moves up his Hawaiian shirt sleeve.

But as you contemplate the nightmare of Dusty Baker managing Aroldis Chapman on an innings limit, don’t overlook the possibility of a trade – maybe a big one. One of our friends over at Red Reporter speculated on the acquisition of OF/lead-off hitter, Alex Gordon/drool/ or 3B Mike Moustakas from the Royals by trading Homer Bailey and a top minor league pitcher. They conclude, probably correctly, that Gordon is ultimately too expensive and Moustakas too left-handed.

And it’s hard to see the Reds trading away one of their top four starting pitchers, given how diligently they have accumulated the arms. But that magnitude of a trade wouldn’t totally surprise me.

UPDATE: John Fay just posted that the free agent OF market may be shifting toward the buyers, which could make it more likely the Reds will re-sign Ryan Ludwick. Fay guesses the Reds could offer the left fielder $13 million/2 years. But he also notes the Reds may be more focused on finding a lead-off hitter. Shin Soo Choo is an attractive trade target because he gets on base (.381 career OBP), hits for power, plays Gold Glove defense and swipes twenty bases, too.

97 thoughts on “The evolving outfield market [updated]

  1. Interesting post. Some names floating around, like prospect Wil Myers and Mike Moustakas, sound impressive but they don’t fit the Reds’ needs. I don’t think Ludwick does either – they need a leadoff hitter, not a power bat.

  2. To me Walt needs to be on the phone with the Fish and get Stanton. He doesn’t want to be there, he is not going to sign any kind of contract extension, and they will end up moving him. I would offer them Chapman, Hamilton and another player to start off with. You add him to this lineup and it won’t matter who hits leadoff when you have Votto,Bruce,Frazier, Stanton in the middle of your order…

    • To me Walt needs to be on the phone with the Fish and get Stanton.He doesn’t want to be there, he is not going to sign any kind of contract extension, and they will end up moving him.I would offer them Chapman, Hamilton and another player to start off with.You add him to this lineup and it won’t matter who hits leadoff when you have Votto,Bruce,Frazier, Stanton in the middle of your order…

      Just like Wil Myers Stanton is another fine example of a player the Reds just don’t need. Complaints about the leadoff hitter won’t vanish if the Reds stockpile power hitters in the middle of the order. I think the Reds have moved on from the Jim Bowden ideas that a team of power hitters can mash their way to the playoffs.

      I’ll be watching Shane Victorino-related news stories pretty closely until he signs somewhere or the Reds fill their leadoff role some other way. Grady Sizemore also seems like the Reds’ type of reclamation project.

      • Just like Wil Myers Stanton is another fine example of a player the Reds just don’t need. Complaints about the leadoff hitter won’t vanish if the Reds stockpile power hitters in the middle of the order. I think the Reds have moved on from the Jim Bowden ideas that a team of power hitters can mash their way to the playoffs.I’ll be watching Shane Victorino-related news stories pretty closely until he signs somewhere or the Reds fill their leadoff role some other way. Grady Sizemore also seems like the Reds’ type of reclamation project.

        So you pass on Stanton to get an aging washed up Victorino? We won how many games this year without a leadoff hitter..

  3. I’ve still got my eye on Kevin Youkilis. I think he’d sit real nice in the 4th spot and at 3rd base. Move Frazier to LF. I’d just as soon them stay put with Stubbs/Paul/Heisey in CF until Hamilton is ready, rather than overspend on somebody for the short term. I have no idea if Youkilis will be affordable for us or not though. He’ll be 34 next year and he made 12M last year, which was an off year. Maybe he’d like the situation in Cincy, and come home for a 2 year contract at $8M per year.

    • I’ve still got my eye on Kevin Youkilis.I think he’d sit real nice in the 4th spot and at 3rd base.Move Frazier to LF.I’d just as soon them stay put with Stubbs/Paul/Heisey in CF until Hamilton is ready, rather than overspend on somebody for the short term.I have no idea if Youkilis will be affordable for us or not though.He’ll be 34 next year and he made 12M last year, which was an off year.Maybe he’d like the situation in Cincy, and come home for a 2 year contract at $8M per year.

      Looks like Kevin Youkilis needs to rebuild his career after a down season, Ryan Ludwick and Scott Rolen style. Hopefully he’ll consider the contending home-town team that plays in a hitter-friendly ballpark. I’d much rather see Youkilis signed than Ryan Ludwick for the same cash. Despite concerns about his health, consistency, and defense I think Youkilis and Ludwick are the only credible #4 hitter candidates that the Reds will consider amongst the available free agents. I think there’s a lot for Youkilis to like about the situation in Cincinnati, including that fans might respect the Cincinnati native more than in other cities.

  4. Am I the only one who would rather have Andres Torres than Shane Victorino? Or is he just significantly more expensive?

    • Am I the only one who would rather have Andres Torres than Shane Victorino? Or is he just significantly more expensive?

      I think you mean Angel Pagan (easy to confuse, they were traded for each other last year). Torres won’t be a free agent until 2014. Or did you mean we should trade for him?

      Pagan, who is a free agent, would basically be Drew Stubbs with a better OBP and less power. His OBP (.333) isn’t great, but it’s above average. Again, I’m not sure if he’s that much of an upgrade in CF to make it worth the cost and long-term contract. Especially with Billy Hamilton possibly on the 2013-2014 horizon. If we’re going away from Stubbs, it makes more sense to include him in a trade for another CF.

  5. Here’s a new post about Kevin Youkilis that talks about his possible fit with the Reds. Youkilis is known as The Greek God of Walks and plenty of Reds hitters would benefit from watching his approach. He also plays both 3B and 1B, which would be a nice bit of flexibility. That’s the positive. On the other hand, he’s been injury prone, which makes a long-term contract scary. And his batting average has fallen sharply the past two seasons, so even with his prodigious walk rate, his OBP is so-so. If he’d be the same player who showed up in Chicago for the second half of the season, he’d help.

    • So you pass on Stanton to get an aging washed up Victorino?We won how many games this year without a leadoff hitter..

      Yes. Shane Victorino requires some cash but Stanton or Wil Myers would each require several top prospects in a trade.

      Unfortunately it seemed like every game the Reds played, win or lose, was followed by complaints about the leadoff hitter. If they won by 10 runs the leadoff hitter was the reason they didn’t score MORE. The Reds won all those games this season without a good leadoff hitter… and they also won them without Giancarlo Stanton. I think a leadoff hitter is the more logical target for acquisition.

      From everything I have read, the REDS will not be a player in the FA market for the most part, that any additions will come via trades, so not sure how we would trade for Youk or Victorino, however Stanton is avaiable for trade…

      The Reds won’t be a big player in the free agent market by going after high price big name free agents like Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, BJ Upton, and Zack Greinke. Fine. That doesn’t mean they’re completely unwilling to sign any free agents – they already signed Broxton and say they remain interested in Ryan Ludwick.

      If they are still interested in signing Ryan Ludwick then that’s some cash that could be used to pay for Youkilis or Victorino instead. Nobody seems to know for sure how much Youkilis, Victorino, or Ludwick are asking to be paid.

      As far as Stanton being available for trade, I think the Marlins have suggested otherwise.

      Here’s a new post about Kevin Youkilis that talks about his possible fit with the Reds. Youkilis is known as The Greek God of Walks and plenty of Reds hitters would benefit from watching his approach. He also plays both 3B and 1B, which would be a nice bit of flexibility. That’s the positive. On the other hand, he’s been injury prone, which makes a long-term contract scary. And his batting average has fallen sharply the past two seasons, so even with his prodigious walk rate, his OBP is so-so. If he’d be the same player who showed up in Chicago for the second half of the season, he’d help.

      An injury prone veteran from Cincinnati seems like a logical replacement for Scott Rolen, and a guy who should feel at home with the Cincinnati Reds and Dusty Baker. I don’t expect him to compete for a big annual contract at the moment and, like Rolen and Broxton have both done for the Reds, he’d have to accept less yearly in exchange for any long term job security. He’s still young enough to have a comeback season like Rolen did in 2010. Even with a low batting average Youkilis is still a pretty tough out.

      That writer in the good article that Steve posted seems to believe that Youkilis will get $5-7m next season. I think that’s a much smarter investment than Ryan Ludwick.

  6. From everything I have read, the REDS will not be a player in the FA market for the most part, that any additions will come via trades, so not sure how we would trade for Youk or Victorino, however Stanton is avaiable for trade…

  7. I’m not privy to the medical reports, but I’d certainly kick the tires on Grady Sizemore. He’s a huge health risk, but if the Reds could sign him to a one-year deal with lots of performance based incentives, I’d take the risk. The upside there is huge. He’s an unrestricted free agent and reports indicate he isn’t drawing much interest yet.

    • I’m not privy to the medical reports, but I’d certainly kick the tires on Grady Sizemore.

      Yeah, if he’s healthy he could bounce back. I might even take a flyer on Jason Bay. He always tore it up in GAB. He could come cheap since NYM are paying him this year.

    • I’m not privy to the medical reports, but I’d certainly kick the tires on Grady Sizemore. He’s a huge health risk, but if the Reds could sign him to a one-year deal with lots of performance based incentives, I’d take the risk. The upside there is huge. He’s an unrestricted free agent and reports indicate he isn’t drawing much interest yet.

      As long as Grady Sizemore’s limbs are still attached he’s a much safer bet than Josh Hamilton was when he was first acquired. Winning big after gambling on some has-been (Ludwick) or failed prospect (Gomes, Phillips, Josh Hamilton) who had been cast off by another team wouldn’t be anything new for the Reds.

      I wonder if he’d bring a group of Grady’s Ladies with him. I’d probably want him moving to LF because of his knee concerns. Not drawing much interest? That’s the Reds’ kind of reclamation project.

    • I’m not privy to the medical reports, but I’d certainly kick the tires on Grady Sizemore. He’s a huge health risk, but if the Reds could sign him to a one-year deal with lots of performance based incentives, I’d take the risk. The upside there is huge. He’s an unrestricted free agent and reports indicate he isn’t drawing much interest yet.

      I would be just fine with a (very cheap) look at Sizemore in the spring. At best, he would be an everyday player or he could platoon with Stubbs in CF. If Sizemore did sign, it would probably mean the end of either Heisy or Stubbs, as XP is valuable as a LH stick off the bench.

      However, I am still shell-shocked at what the Harpers gave up (or, more precisely, didn’t have to give up) to get Span. What in the world is going on!? . . . Evidently, the Reds could have had Span for a similar price (meaning one that does not include Hamilton, Chapman, or Cingrani) and they didn’t move on it? . . . Also, to stand by while the Harpers get him (the one team with a better record than the Reds had last year).

      I certainly hope that this was a purposeful decision by Walt. If he doesn’t have something else up his sleeve, I fear we will all be watching the Harpers run away with the league in ’13. They are most certainly better heading in to next year (even without LaRoche) and the Redlegs have yet to get markedly better (at least offensively).

  8. I’m on board for the Stanton trade idea. Read Jonah Keri’s grantland trade value comments on Stanton http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8627624/rating-players-contracts-major-league-baseball-part-2

    Reds biggest problem was OBP for 1 and 2 hitters. Stubbs/Cozart OBP was .277/.288. Change that to Phillips/Frazier and you have .321/.331 and a lot more runs. Possibly let Heisey start and have his .315 batting second if you prefer Frazier in the 6 hole. (Dusty isn’t putting Hanigan 2nd so don’t ask.)Then the bring up the murderer’s row of Votto/ Stanton/ Bruce and let the big dogs eat. Stanton will be expensive down the road but for short term MUCH cheaper than Chapman+Ludwick.

    Jim Bowden’s power hitters plan didn’t work because he didn’t have pitching. This idea keeps in place the above-average rotation we had last year and trades only our closer and unproven minor league assets to get a player that may be the best right-handed power hitter in MLB for next few years.

    Losing Chapman hurts, but as a starter he is unproven. Losing Hamilton hurts, but he hasn’t hit MLB pitching yet and I’m not sure his style of running every time he’s on base will work in majors. As much as I’d love to see how both of those scenarios play out in Cincy, Stanton hit 37 HR in 123 games last year, would be moving to GABP and hitting between JoeyMVP and Bruuuuce. Reds would still have a good(great?) rotation.

    I think that signing Bourne and keeping Chapman/Hamilton might be the better scenario, but at this point I don’t see the Reds having the finances for that, and short of Bourne the remaining free agents aren’t likely to improve greatly on Stubbs or Heisey. Lets make a big splash and watch the fireworks this summer.

  9. What about Cespedes? Billy Beane is willing to kick the tires on anything.

    What about Choo? He is still available and is always KILLING the Reds.

    What about Matt Holliday? I’m kidding.

    • What about Choo? He is still available and is always KILLING the Reds.

      Gotta wonder how a new leadoff hitter who struck out 150 times last season (and 151 times in 2009) would go over with Reds fan. One who hit .327 against RHPs and .199 against LHPs. Pros and cons.

      • Gotta wonder how a new leadoff hitter who struck out 150 times last season (and 151 times in 2009) would go over with Reds fan.One who hit .327 against RHPs and .199 against LHPs.Pros and cons.

        We have got to get past evaluating players based on batting average.

        Shin Soo Choo had an OBP of .373 last year and has a career OBP of .381. He would be a superstar lead-off hitter. Good power. Great defense – as good, or better, than Jay Bruce for corner OF.

        The issue is he only has one year left on his contract. This actually MAY be an attraction to the Reds. Cheaper, no long-term commitments. Sort of like a Ludwick signing, although we’d have to give up more.

        • @Steve Mancuso:

          We have got to get past evaluating players based on batting average. Shin Soo Choo had an OBP of .373 last year and has a career OBP of .381. He would be a superstar lead-off hitter. Good power. Great defense – as good, or better, than Jay Bruce for corner OF. The issue is he only has one year left on his contract. This actually MAY be an attraction to the Reds. Cheaper, no long-term commitments. Sort of like a Ludwick signing, although we’d have to give up more.

          A one year rental with a slim chance of resigning him … doesn’t seem to be the Reds’ formula under WJ. They seem to be trying to build the team to contend over several years, not going all in on one roll of the dice in 2013. The Latos deal, acquiring a front end of the rotation guy who they can control for several years at reasonable $ is more their style. Which is fine by me.

          Hamilton will most likely be playing everyday for the Reds in 2014, after playing OF for a full season in the minors. If they can get by with a CHEAP 1 year rental/stopgap for the leadoff spot, they will.

          That leaves them with one last big hole to fill for the long-term future: a power bat at 3B or LF. Frazier’s versatility allows them to find either a 3B’n or LF’r, with him filling the remaining starting spot. They find that last power bat, watch out. The Reds will be dangerous for years to come.

  10. That writer in the good article that Steve posted seems to believe that Youkilis will get $5-7m next season. I think that’s a much smarter investment than Ryan Ludwick.

    Indeed. I have my doubts Ludwick will get anywhere near that level of production again. Youk addresses the middle of the order, an occasional breather for Joey (without falling off a cliff offensively), and the use of Sir Todd consistently in LF/3rd base (to give Youk some off time). Put Phillips at the top of the order and I would be satisfied. Not ecstatic, but satisfied. It also wouldn’t cost us a boatload of prospects. Get a decent utility guy or two (which was also a glaring weakness last season), and let’s roll.

  11. I can’t believe someone is arguing Victorino over Stanton…I under stand lead off vs power hitter, but that isn’t even a discussion. I’m having a stroke.

  12. Poor jokes aside Redsfanman, a few flaws in your logic here. The Reds lost under Bowden, not because of a lack of table setters for his great power hitters, but because he neglected pitching. We have excellent pitching. We also have the most homer friendly park in all of baseball. If I’m constructing this team, playing 81 games at GABP, I’m getting as many three true outcomes guys on my team as possible. Plus, Stanton would SAVE us money, giving us MORE room to go after Victorino or another lead off guy. We’d be dealing Chapman(most likely), therefore saving money, as well as someone else on the payroll, like Stubbs or Cozart. Seeing as Stanton is pre-arb, the Reds save money and can then go after someone like Victorino more aggressively.

    I don’t think it would be easy to get Stanton, but if any team could, it’s the Reds with Chapman or Hamilton. Or both. I don’t want to trade either guy, but Stanton is a proven star, only 23 and will threaten for 50 dingers year in and year out. And if there are only a few players in the league that a team would rather not face than Votto, Giancarlo Stanton is one of them. If you can get him for Chapman and a prospect, I think you pull that deal.

    • Poor jokes aside Redsfanman, a few flaws in your logic here. The Reds lost under Bowden, not because of a lack of table setters for his great power hitters, but because he neglected pitching. We have excellent pitching. We also have the most homer friendly park in all of baseball. If I’m constructing this team, playing 81 games at GABP, I’m getting as many three true outcomes guys on my team as possible. Plus, Stanton would SAVE us money, giving us MORE room to go after Victorino or another lead off guy. We’d be dealing Chapman(most likely), therefore saving money, as well as someone else on the payroll, like Stubbs or Cozart. Seeing as Stanton is pre-arb, the Reds save money and can then go after someone like Victorino more aggressively.

      I don’t think it would be easy to get Stanton, but if any team could, it’s the Reds with Chapman or Hamilton. Or both. I don’t want to trade either guy, but Stanton is a proven star, only 23 and will threaten for 50 dingers year in and year out. And if there are only a few players in the league that a team would rather not face than Votto, Giancarlo Stanton is one of them. If you can get him for Chapman and a prospect, I think you pull that deal.

      The Reds lost under Bowden because they prioritized big bats (particularly five-tool players) over pitching. Trading an important part of the pitching staff, Aroldis Chapman, for a player with five-tool potential who the Reds don’t need, that’s a stereotypical Jim Bowden move. Including Billy Hamilton in such a deal would probably be necessary, and he’s a key piece of the Reds’ future – a one or two tool player who is the Reds’ best hope in over a decade for a long term leadoff solution. He’s not a five-tool player, what good is he? That’s Jim Bowden-style thinking. If you can trade Aroldis Chapman for a five tool outfielder you do it, even if that outfielder doesn’t fit the team’s needs – that’s Jim Bowden-style thinking.

      If I’m constructing this team I would build a good pitching staff and a strong defense before looking at what the team needed for a well-rounded roster and acquiring guys to fill those roles. The Reds have a strong pitching staff and defense, next up they need a leadoff hitter. That isn’t Stanton.

      @supertim717: 6 Wins Above Replacement is indeed exceptional. Unfortunately the Reds need a leadoff hitter, not a masher to settle the primary lineup concern. There are a lot of good hitters in baseball but they’re don’t necessarily fill the holes in the Reds’ lineup.

      @bigklu18: Yes, Kevin Youkilis. Big OBP guy who’s 34 years old and might be available for an affordable discount price without sacrificing top prospects to get him. Unfortunately Chuck Harmon is 88 years old but Youkilis is still playing.

      I think the main message for this discussion has now turned into wanting Jocketty fired and Jim Bowden brougth back. Five tool players… or else!

  13. Stanton was a 6 WAR player at age 22 which is exceptional (FYI Joey Votto’s average WAR the past three years is around 6.5). Even if it takes Chapman, Hamilton, Cingrani/Corcino, and someone like Henry Rodriguez/Didi you pull the trigger and pretty much print playoff tickets for the next 3-4 years with all the regulars the Reds would have under team control. And with the Reds track record of player development lately, there could be a whole new slew of top prospects by then.

    Baring any surprises, the Reds simply don’t have enough room in the payroll (especially after the Broxton signing) to entertain any of these free agents unless its a reclamation project

  14. Kevin Youkilis????? Seriously people Kevin Youkilis. Let’s replace a broken down, aging third baseman with a 230 avg with another broken down 3rd baseman with a 230 avg who is injury prone. Oh and maybe we can pay him 5 to 8 million a year to boot. If you want a player who lives in Cincinnati, how about Chuck Harmon.

  15. 100% behind acquiring Stanton. He’s upset, the franchise needs a hero (Cuban Missile in Miami after Guillen stupid Castro remark), in high stakes commodity trading you have to put quality chips on the table,so Chapy for Stanton and fill in the blanks, any outfielder not named Bruce/Hamilton, add any Bullpen guy, Ondrusek, Arrendondo,etc. if need be I’d put Leake on the table I feel Simon or Lecure could win 8 games like Leake with this lineup/pitching. As for leadoff,play the waiting game, see who needs a contract 10-15 games into spring training get them on the cheap or worse case play Stubbs solely vs lefthanded pitching and bring Hamilton up (who knows he may rock in spring besides all he has to do is hit .214 to better Stubbs)Either way Votto is the biggest investment 1/4 billion dollars and with no one behind him he’ll again be reulated to leading the league in walks and flicking singles to Lf.

  16. Hamilton represents the ‘fastest player in baseball’. To have the fastest fastball and fastest runner in MLB is something I don’t see the Reds disturbing.

    I wouldn’t be surprised by a trade but the bloggers aren’t name dropping Hamilton or Champman – it’s Leake, Bailey, Corcino, and Cingrani – that is it.

    • Hamilton represents the ‘fastest player in baseball’.To have the fastest fastball and fastest runner in MLB is something I don’t see the Reds disturbing.

      I wouldn’t be surprised by a trade but the bloggers aren’t name dropping Hamilton or Champman – it’s Leake, Bailey, Corcino, and Cingrani – that is it.

      The Cincinnati Reds for years have worked to trade hitting for pitching to improve the pitching staff, prioritizing pitching over all else. For over a decade they have searched for a long term solution at leadoff and Billy Hamilton is the most promising prospect we’ve seen for that role in that time. I definitely don’t expect Chapman or Hamilton to be available. Bailey either, he’s a key part of their 2013 rotation.

      -Leake, I think he will probably become available in spring training if Chapman’s foolish conversion is going well.
      -Cingrani, I think he is more valuable to the Reds as rotation insurance than trade bait.
      -Todd Redmond, I think he’s trade bait and better keep his bags packed, probably in exchange for a utility infielder.

  17. @Matt WI: Choo is a Boras client and becomes a FA in 2014 so this is likely a rental trade unless they can test those waters before hand as they did with Marshall.

    Still, I think the Reds could get this done for Leake and someone else not named Corcino or Cingrani.

  18. I am in the camp that a 3rd baseman is an adequate fix so long as Dusty is committed to Phillips/Heisey/Cozart at 1-2 and is willing to try Frazier at two if the 3rd baseman is an ideal 4 hole hitter.

    Where would Youk fit in this lineup? #2? I can’t imagine his speed is a ton better than Hannigan.

    Phillips
    Cozart
    Votto
    Youk/Frazier
    Bruce
    Youk/Frazier
    Hannigan
    Stubbs

    ???

    • @MightyVotto: Well said.

      We have got to get past evaluating players based on batting average.

      Shin Soo Choo had an OBP of .373 last year and has a career OBP of .381. He would be a superstar lead-off hitter. Good power. Great defense – as good, or better, than Jay Bruce for corner OF.

      The issue is he only has one year left on his contract. This actually MAY be an attraction to the Reds. Cheaper, no long-term commitments. Sort of like a Ludwick signing, although we’d have to give up more.

      Fair enough, lets get past evaluating based on batting average. If he’s going to hit leadoff OBP would be the most important measure. Choo had a .318 OBP against LHPs and .403 vs RHPs. The differences were not nearly so extreme in prior seasons. But still, they were there in 2012. Along with high strikeout totals. Just something to consider.

      I think Choo would be more like the Scott Rolen trade. One minor note – does Choo speak English? I don’t think the Reds have had a Korean player before, or a Japanese player – everyone has spoken English or Spanish. Could be a factor in clubhouse chemistry.

      I would be just fine with a (very cheap) look at Sizemore in the spring.At best, he would be an everyday player or he could platoon with Stubbs in CF.If Sizemore did sign, it would probably mean the end of either Heisy or Stubbs, as XP is valuable as a LH stick off the bench.

      However, I am still shell-shocked at what the Harpers gave up (or, more precisely, didn’t have to give up) to get Span.What in the world is going on!? . . . Evidently, the Reds could have had Span for a similar price (meaning one that does not include Hamilton, Chapman, or Cingrani) and they didn’t move on it? . . . Also, to stand by while the Harpers get him (the one team with a better record than the Reds had last year).

      I certainly hope that this was a purposeful decision by Walt.If he doesn’t have something else up his sleeve, I fear we will all be watching the Harpers run away with the league in ’13.They are most certainly better heading in to next year (even without LaRoche) and the Redlegs have yet to get markedly better (at least offensively).

      Due to knee concerns I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sizemore move to a corner spot (in this case LF), Ken Griffey Jr style. I think Sizemore would be acquired to fill an opening in the outfield (LF) rather than an upgrade over Stubbs. I don’t expect his acquisition to mean the end of Stubbs’ time with the Reds.

      Denard Span was traded for Alex Meyer, the Nationals’ top young pitching prospect. The Reds’ equivalent is Robert Stephenson. If the Reds don’t want to trade Stephenson, fine. He hasn’t been mentioned as a trade candidate but that’s not because he’s worthless – he’s several years younger than Meyer.

      I’m not worried about the Nationals. They only won one more game than the Reds in 2012 and they play in another division. If Chapman works out in the rotation both pitching staffs stack up pretty evenly.

      I am in the camp that a 3rd baseman is an adequate fix so long as Dusty is committed to Phillips/Heisey/Cozart at 1-2 and is willing to try Frazier at two if the 3rd baseman is an ideal 4 hole hitter.

      Where would Youk fit in this lineup?#2?I can’t imagine his speed is a ton better than Hannigan.

      Where would Kevin Youkilis fit in a Reds lineup? #4, the same spot that Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips, Ryan Ludwick, and Jonny Gomes have all tried to fill in recent years, with varying degrees of success. Youkilis could be the toughest guy to get out who has ever hit behind Joey Votto – not necessarily the biggest power threat but the best OBP guy.

      I don’t think Dusty has committed to using Brandon Phillips in any certain role, ever. Phillips will happily do whatever he’s asked to do in the best interest of the team. At this rate Phillips is a candidate to hit 1st, 2nd (which I prefer), or 4th, depending on how the rest of the roster takes shape. Stubbs and Cozart are both candidates to hit 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, or 8th. Frazier is a candidate to hit 4th or 6th (depending on who they acquire for LF). Hanigan is headed back to the bottom of the lineup, like it or not. Once the Reds add a corner outfielder I think other details of the lineup will fall into place.

      • @MightyVotto: Well said.

        Fair enough, lets get past evaluating based on batting average.If he’s going to hit leadoff OBP would be the most important measure.Choo had a .318 OBP against LHPs and .403 vs RHPs.The differences were not nearly so extreme in prior seasons.But still, they were there in 2012.Along with high strikeout totals.Just something to consider.

        I think Choo would be more like the Scott Rolen trade.One minor note – does Choo speak English?I don’t think the Reds have had a Korean player before, or a Japanese player – everyone has spoken English or Spanish.Could be a factor in clubhouse chemistry.

        Other teams haven’t been concerned with getting translators for all the Korean and Japanese players in the league. The guy probably speaks some English by now, anyhow, if he was even speaking it before he ever got here. It’s not like he just got here from Korea. As well as, and most important, his lowest OBP that you show is higher than the total OBP of both the main 1-2 hole hitters we had last year. Are you are arguing about 150 K’s? I would overlook those.

  19. That lineup isn’t exactly a show stopper and the Reds are in the same position as last year, hoping an old-vet can find his stroke and be relied on more than the should have to.

  20. I’m so glad that several of you on this board are not managing personnel for the Reds. We’d have the 2000′s all over again.

    Stanton would be a great pick up, but in no way should the Reds gut their pitching staff or trade away a top prospect such as Hamilton. Please look over baseball history and really pay attention to what wins championships year after year. Pitching, defense, and a consistent offense that gets players on base and moves them around. Don’t get enamored with the long ball.

    I just couldn’t believe people are actually saying trade away Chapman, Hamilton, etc. for one guy who might give you a Home Run 30 to 40 times a year in 600ish at-bats. Please. Just stop that nonsense and ask Jim Bowden how that worked for him.

  21. A little more reading material on Shin Soo Choo:

    He’s decided not to play in the World Baseball Classic for South Korea so he can focus on 2013.

    There is zero doubt the Indians will move him and they are looking for pitching prospects. (My cousin in Cleveland tells me that Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer is the guy you can trust the most on the Tribe.)

  22. @Steve Mancuso: The thought just makes me drool.

    Choo
    Phillips
    Votto
    Bruce (I know, I know, the lefty thing, but I’m just dreaming here people)
    Frazier
    Hannigan
    Cozart
    Stubbs

  23. @Drew Mac

    I think you’re underestimating the prospect that the Nationals gave up for Span. He’s ranked slightly higher in BA’s top 100 prospects than either Cingrani or Corcino and has pretty huge upside. It would have probably taken one of Cingrani or Corcino to match the Nats offer and likely a lesser prospect to put the Reds over the top. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have done Cingrani or Corcino straight up for Span, but I probably would have had to think about it for a bit at least.

    • @Drew Mac

      I think you’re underestimating the prospect that the Nationals gave up for Span.He’s ranked slightly higher in BA’s top 100 prospects than either Cingrani or Corcino and has pretty huge upside.It would have probably taken one of Cingrani or Corcino to match the Nats offer and likely a lesser prospect to put the Reds over the top.I’m not saying I wouldn’t have done Cingrani or Corcino straight up for Span, but I probably would have had to think about it for a bit at least.

      You would have had to think about it for a bit? The Reds do everything quietly and there’s no indication that they didn’t consider a trade for Denard Span – they’ve had plenty of time to think about it – all we know for sure is that they couldn’t pull off a trade that worked fairly for them, whether that was their fault or the Nationals’. If they decided it wasn’t worth trading Robert Stephenson (the Reds’ equivalent of Alex Meyer) for Denard Span, fine, lets reevaluate next season after seeing how Stephenson does in single A.

  24. @Drew Mac: The Reds could have offered Corcino but that is not a better prospect. Besides that they have their two 1st rounders of last two years but I think that would unwise for a guy who should be a two year stop gap.

  25. Choo would be fantastic. I’d like to get him or Alex Gordon. Those two guys seem to be the best available fits for the Reds’ needs.

  26. @Steve Mancuso: Man, Boras scares me. Two perfect candidates Choo, Ellsbury that are glorified rentals.

    At 30 Choo is not in a place for the Reds to be signing a long term contract.

    Ellsbury will demand a lot of prospects for a trade and even more money to sign (plus he is only a year younger than Choo)

    I think Reds will have to look elsewhere.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Man, Boras scares me.Two perfect candidates Choo, Ellsbury that are glorified rentals. At 30 Choo is not in a place for the Reds to be signing a long term contract. Ellsbury will demand a lot of prospects for a trade and even more money to sign (plus he is only a year younger than Choo). I think Reds will have to look elsewhere.

      Choo could be a Reds player for one year only. On those terms, no need to deal with Boras. On the other hand, Boras will do whatever he can to make sure Choo has the best year possible in 2013.

      • Choo would be a Reds player for one year only. On those terms, no need to deal with Boras. On the other hand, Boras will do whatever he can to make sure Choo has the best year possible in 2013.

        If the Reds trade for Choo he’ll probably turn down a qualifying offer to pursue a big free agent contract and give the Reds draft pick compensation. Ooooh, ahhhhh. He’d be a good one year investment but I definitely wouldn’t expect him to be around for more than a year.

  27. Random question: Is Ichiro a realistic possibility?

    He is a RF/CF player and while his OBP has been down the past couple years, I think he can do at least .330 in the NL.

    I am guessing a contract for 2 years and 12 million would get the Reds close?

    • Random question: Is Ichiro a realistic possibility?

      He is a RF/CF player and while his OBP has been down the past couple years, I think he can do at least .330 in the NL.

      I am guessing a contract for 2 years and 12 million would get the Reds close?

      I’ve wondered about him also. This topic is called ‘The Evolving Outfield Market’ and I think Ichiro might become an option for the Reds if the Yankees pass on him. He wants to play for a contender and contenders with openings for him seem to be disappearing. I think it’s a long shot though. Supposedly he wants to return to the Yankees for one year for $5-8m, and I wouldn’t expect a team to sign him for longer than a year at this point.

      He’d be a gamble for the Reds – can he still lead off, will the Reds enjoy being covered by the Japanese media? Does a washed up Japanese superstar getting more attention than Reds superstar Joey Votto cause friction in the clubhouse? How will Brandon Phillips feel about getting less attention than somebody who doesn’t speak English in interviews? Lots of interesting questions beyond how he’ll hit.

  28. @redsfanman: Good sir, due to the damaging nature of your posts(i.e. your hatred for five tool players, your desire to put KEVIN YOUKILIS behind Votto over someone like Stanton, your disapproval of the Reds’ decision on Chapman), all of which are your opinion and you are more than entitled to post them without regard for anything else, I am retiring from redlegnation for awhile. I’m developing a twitch with every jaw-dropping statement you make. I hope your hunt for Youkilis and Victorino is fruitful for you.

    Good winter, happy holidays to all, and go Reds!

  29. I would be elated with Choo and Ludwick. That, my friends, would be a solid lineup. Spot Stubbs against LHP and use him as defensive replacement/pinch runner, and the outfield is set. XP off the bench and Heisey may have to find a new home (trade for a utility guy, perhaps?).

    • @redsfanman: Good sir, due to the damaging nature of your posts(i.e. your hatred for five tool players, your desire to put KEVIN YOUKILIS behind Votto over someone like Stanton, your disapproval of the Reds’ decision on Chapman), all of which are your opinion and you are more than entitled to post them without regard for anything else, I am retiring from redlegnation for awhile. I’m developing a twitch with every jaw-dropping statement you make. I hope your hunt for Youkilis and Victorino is fruitful for you.

      Good winter, happy holidays to all, and go Reds!

      It’s nice to take a vacation for RedlegNation every once and a while. I did for a few weeks after the season ended. Oooooh, ahhhhh, relaxing.

      I never said that I hate five tool players or think that Youkilis is a better hitter than Stanton, I said that Kevin Youkilis (he costs money, but probably no more than Ryan Ludwick, who the Reds are still talking with) is a realistic target for the Reds and that they don’t have the extra players to trade to acquire Stanton. Youkilis to the Reds is a long shot. Stanton to the Reds is ABSOLUTELY NOT going to happen.

      I would be elated with Choo and Ludwick.That, my friends, would be a solid lineup.Spot Stubbs against LHP and use him as defensive replacement/pinch runner, and the outfield is set.XP off the bench and Heisey may have to find a new home (trade for a utility guy, perhaps?).

      I would be elated with Choo and Youkilis. Not an ideal situation for Todd Frazier, but who cares? Youkilis, like Rolen, doesn’t play every day. Choo and Youkilis add two big OBP guys to the #1 and #4 spots in the lineup, effectively ‘Dusty-proofing’ the lineup.

      The Reds can afford Youkilis OR Ludwick, not both. With Ludwick the backup 1b and 3b would probably be a bum the caliber of Miguel Cairo, maybe Henry Rodriguez. With Youkilis the backup 1b/3b/OF again becomes the blocked prospect Todd Frazier. It’s nice to have depth and flexibility.

      • It’s nice to take a vacation for RedlegNation every once and a while.I did for a few weeks after the season ended.Oooooh, ahhhhh, relaxing.

        I never said that I hate five tool players or think that Youkilis is a better hitter than Stanton, I said that Kevin Youkilis (he costs money, but probably no more than Ryan Ludwick, who the Reds are still talking with) is a realistic target for the Reds and that they don’t have the extra players to trade to acquire Stanton.Youkilis to the Reds is a long shot.Stanton to the Reds is ABSOLUTELY NOT going to happen.

        I would be elated with Choo and Youkilis.Not an ideal situation for Todd Frazier, but who cares?Youkilis, like Rolen, doesn’t play every day.Choo and Youkilis add two big OBP guys to the #1 and #4 spots in the lineup, effectively ‘Dusty-proofing’ the lineup.

        The Reds can afford Youkilis OR Ludwick, not both.With Ludwick the backup 1b and 3b would probably be a bum the caliber of Miguel Cairo, maybe Henry Rodriguez.With Youkilis the backup 1b/3b/OF again becomes the blocked prospect Todd Frazier.It’s nice to have depth and flexibility.

        My point in my previous post was I would go a step stingier and assume the Reds can afford just 1 of Choo, Ludwick, or Youk (without a big hometown discount by Youk to retire in his hometown with his childhood team).

        I would change the priority of Choo, Youk, Luddy but I just don’t see the first two together as realistic given payroll contraints.

        • @Steve Mancuso:

          A one year rental with a slim chance of resigning him … doesn’t seem to be the Reds’ formula under WJ.They seem to be trying to build the team to contend over several years, not going all in on one roll of the dice in 2013.The Latos deal, acquiring a front end of the rotation guy who they can control for several years at reasonable $ is more their style.Which is fine by me.

          Hamilton will most likely be playing everyday for the Reds in 2014, after playing OF for a full season in the minors.If they can get by with a CHEAP 1 year rental/stopgap for the leadoff spot, they will.

          That leaves them with one last big hole to fill for the long-term future:a power bat at 3B or LF.Frazier’s versatility allows them to find either a 3B’n or LF’r, with him filling the remaining starting spot.They find that last power bat, watch out.The Reds will be dangerous for years to come.

          Trading for a guy in the final year of his contract is nothing new for Walt Jocketty and the Reds. In the past few years they’ve done that with Rolen, Marshall, and Broxton. In each case they initially faced criticism for giving up too much for a short term solution. Also signing washed up guy for one year (Gomes, Ludwick, Madson) with a slim chance of resigning them if they did well is nothing new.

          The Reds are trying to build a team long term so they won’t give up key pieces of that future, like Chapman and Billy Hamilton, but they usually have holes (albeit sometimes temporary) to patch. Now they need a patch job at leadoff until Hamilton is ready.

          My point in my previous post was I would go a step stingier and assume the Reds can afford just 1 of Choo, Ludwick, or Youk (without a big hometown discount byYouk to retire in his hometown with his childhood team).

          I would change the priority of Choo, Youk, Luddy but I just don’t see the first two together as realistic given payroll contraints.

          I just think there’s a lot more to factor in with Kevin Youkilis than there is with Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick provides a LF but Youkilis provides depth and flexibility to the bench at 3b and 1b, and that might be something Castellini is willing to spend more for. Otherwise they’ll have to spend money on somebody else as a backup for Todd Frazier and Joey Votto (or go for a discount option like the always popular Miguel Cairo).

          Add Youkilis and all the Reds will still need is a backup shortstop and leadoff hitting outfielder. Add Ludwick instead and they’ll need a backup corner infielder who can hit, a backup shortstop, and a leadoff hitter who must play CF. Also Youkilis ability to walk could probably be a good influence on other Reds hitters. In summary I just think the Reds should be more willing to commit money to Youkilis than Ludwick because he offers so much more.

    • That’s right, Todd is just going to take the entire left side of the infield.

      Choo
      Phillips
      Votto
      Ludwick
      Bruce
      Frazier
      Hanigan
      Frazier
      P

  30. I’d love to have Choo (if for no other reason that my daughter giggles every time she hears his name and I would love that for an entire season). However, can he play CF? If not, it’s either Ludwick or Choo but not both. I think I’d take the one year rental on Choo if the cost is low and pray that Hamilton is ready by 2014. If the cost is too high, then I’d try to resign Ludwick and make a deal for a CF/Lead-Off man.

    • I’d love to have Choo (if for no other reason that my daughter giggles every time she hears his name and I would love that for an entire season).However, can he play CF?If not, it’s either Ludwick or Choo but not both.I think I’d take the one year rental on Choo if the cost is low and pray that Hamilton is ready by 2014.If the cost is too high, then I’d try to resign Ludwick and make a deal for a CF/Lead-Off man.

      Choo Choo, little Reds fans would love that.

      Choo hasn’t been asked to play CF much, and I doubt the Reds would ask him to. I think Jay Bruce would be more likely to switch to CF than him, and Jay Bruce isn’t switching. I think Choo’s only effect on Stubbs’ career would be moving Stubbs to the bottom of the order… rather than taking away playing time in CF.

      I agree that it’s either Ludwick or Choo but not both. MAYBE both Youkilis and Choo because they play different positions, but they won’t make big acquisitions to fill the same position.

      • Choo Choo, little Reds fans would love that.

        Choo hasn’t been asked to play CF much, and I doubt the Reds would ask him to.I think Jay Bruce would be more likely to switch to CF than him, and Jay Bruce isn’t switching.I think Choo’s only effect on Stubbs’ career would be moving Stubbs to the bottom of the order… rather than taking away playing time in CF.

        I agree that it’s either Ludwick or Choo but not both.MAYBE both Youkilis and Choo because they play different positions, but they won’t make big acquisitions to fill the same position.

        So trade for Choo and take on 5 million. Then try signing Youk for 5-8 million per? I don’t see it happening.

        I have come around. I think a trade for Choo and his arbitration contract is better than 2 or 3 years of Ludwick at a higher price.

        The Reds will then have just enough cash to give Rolen a couple million to back up T-Fraz.

        If the Nats got Span for two years for a A prospect, the Reds should be able to get Choo for Leake and Didi or something.

    • I’d love to have Choo (if for no other reason that my daughter giggles every time she hears his name and I would love that for an entire season).However, can he play CF?If not, it’s either Ludwick or Choo but not both.I think I’d take the one year rental on Choo if the cost is low and pray that Hamilton is ready by 2014.If the cost is too high, then I’d try to resign Ludwick and make a deal for a CF/Lead-Off man.

      That’s sort of the thing here. If we are committing to Hamilton in a year or two, anyone we were to get isn’t going to be the “ideal” player, most likely. If they were the “ideal” player, they would probably already be signed, just with someone else. That’s why I really wouldn’t even have a problem with Stubbs still or maybe platoon him with Heisey. But, one definite thing, Stubbs doesn’t see the light of day above the 7 hole in the batting order.

      Now, I do believe we can do better than Stubbs, and better right now. I do believe Baker could have made the switch of Bruce to CF and Frazier to RF. But, with Frazier filling in for Votto while on injury, to make that an outfield switch was possibly too late; not to say that Baker couldn’t have put in a different player at first, allowing for the OF move. But, for right now, there is no injury to wait for. Not unless we can get someone like Choo or Sizemore, someone with a bit more experience and speed for CF than Bruce has (I do believe we can find someone like that), I say make the move I described until Hamilton is ready. All of this assuming Ludwick is coming back, also.

  31. How does this look?

    Choo – LF
    Phillips – 2B
    Votto – 1B
    Frazier – 3B
    Bruce – RF
    Hanigan – C
    Cozart – SS
    Stubbs/Heisey – CF
    P

  32. It’s been reported that it would take the largest prospect haul in history to acquire Stanton. The Reds don’t even have the talent in the system to pull off the trade (I guess sheer quantity could overtake lack off quality though). Reds’ fans freaked out over a trade involving only 1 elite prospect last year.

    Unless this is another one of those fantasy/baseball pron threads, we need to purge Stanton from our wishlist.

    • It’s been reported that it would take the largest prospect haul in history to acquire Stanton.The Reds don’t even have the talent in the system to pull off the trade (I guess sheer quantity could overtake lack off quality though).Reds’ fans freaked out over a trade involving only 1 elite prospect last year.

      Unless this is another one of those fantasy/baseball pron threads, we need to purge Stanton from our wishlist.

      That was the intended quote. Sorry.

  33. Madson wasn’t washed up. He’d had a chance at a 3-4 year deal at around the annual salary the reds paid him for one, and he didn’t take it. He wound up left without anyone interested in him except the Reds. He’d been a dominant closer in Philly the year prior.

    • Madson wasn’t washed up. He’d had a chance at a 3-4 year deal at around the annual salary the reds paid him for one, and he didn’t take it. He wound up left without anyone interested in him except the Reds. He’d been a dominant closer in Philly the year prior.

      Typo, I noticed that later. I doubted anybody’d care :) I meant Ludwick was washed up when he came to the Reds. Madson came with the intention of performing well for a year and earning a big long term deal somewhere else this winter – Madson is an example that the Reds are willing to acquire a guy who will only stay for a year.

  34. With guys like Henry Rodriguez, Didi Gregorius, and Neftali Soto in the pipeline in addition to Billy Hamilton, the Reds have a balancing act to perform between filling big league needs from outside of the organization and allowing the next wave to develop internally.

    They don’t want to waste money on long term contracts that will run over into when some of these younger guys are ready; and also they don’t want to maybe throw the baby out with the bath water by giving up too much of the internal talent to plug a short term gap at the MLB level.

    It will be interesting to see how they proceed

    • With guys like Henry Rodriguez, Didi Gregorius, and Neftali Soto in the pipeline in addition to Billy Hamilton, the Reds have a balancing act to perform between filling big league needs from outside of the organization and allowing the next wave to develop internally.

      They don’t want to waste money on long term contracts that will run over into when some of these younger guys are ready; and also they don’t want to maybe throw the baby out with the bath water by giving up too much of the internal talent to plug a short term gap at the MLB level.

      It will be interesting to see how they proceed

      Neftali Soto, I think he’s quickly (over the past year) turned from a young guy with a bright future who was a few years away from contributing at the major league level… to a career minor leaguer whose career has stagnated because he has trouble making contact with AAA pitching. Yonder Alonso was stuck in AAA because of Joey Votto but Neftali Soto is stuck there because he belongs there. In my opinion he’s only in the organization because nobody wants to trade for him, not because he’s part of some next wave of success. If the Reds can trade him, like Juan Francisco last year, I think they will in a heartbeat. Of course somebody else probably has a better opinion of him than me.

      Henry Rodriguez and Didi Gregorius should both be interesting as the Reds try to manage and avoid rushing them. I think there’s no question that Didi Gregorius is returning to Louisville but Henry Rodriguez could realistically make the somewhat painful transition from prospect to mediocre utility player. If they view him as a serious prospect he also needs to go back to Louisville, but who knows? If Henry Rodriguez is with the Reds on opening day he can fill a utility infield spot at the MLB minimum salary, but I think they will have traded any hope of him being a long term contributor as a result.

      Back to the topic above, if Henry Rodriguez hopes to become a successful MLB player I think he should hope that the Reds sign Kevin Youkilis to give him more time in AAA.

  35. Fay posts that he has spoken with Jocketty and the Reds will have NO nontenders.

    Jocketty is looking to trade for a lead off man which is his top priority as of now. WJ says if they can’t make a deal they could go FA if the market comes back to them some. He’s spoken to agents of Pagan and Victorino but no formal negotiations with them.

    The Reds have an offer on the table to Ludwick and will probably speak with his reps at the Winter Meetings which start Sunday.

    • Fay posts that he has spoken with Jocketty and the Reds will have NO nontenders.

      I thought they might nontender Ondrusek. But they may see some trade value in him.

  36. I can’t see the Reds paying $5 million a year for Youk as a backup at 3B-1B. How about Eric Chavez?
    He played for the Yankees last year for $2 million. Chavez was mostly used against RHP (274 PA vs. 39 PA facing LHP). His splits were:
    vs. RHP 298/365/543 16HR
    vs. LHP 152/231/152 0HR

  37. @MikeC:
    I didn’t recommend making Youkilis the backup. He’s played 120 and 122 games in the past two seasons (Ludwick played 125 games in 2012, to put that in perspective) so he’s not a 162 game guy. I think he should be batting 4th in the starting lineup for those ~120 games, with him being moved to 1b if Joey Votto is out (or DH, when applicable).

    Then give Super Todd the remaining starts at 3b (when either Youkilis or Votto is out), starts in LF or RF when somebody gets a day off, and maybe even at second base is Brandon Phillips is out. Much, much stronger bench than the Reds have today.

    Eric Chavez, he’s okay but he’s not a candidate to hit cleanup like Youkilis. Basically he’s an older left handed version of Todd Frazier. I think Youkilis is a candidate to replace Ryan Ludwick in a starting role while Chavez is a candidate to replace Miguel Cairo on the bench, which is part of why Youkilis is likely to be so much more expensive. If the Reds have faith in Frazier and/or Phillips to hit cleanup I believe Chavez would be a great option for the bench.

  38. RHP Mike Leake and SS Didi Gregorius to Oakland for OF Yeonnis Cespedes. Then WJ pairs Cespedes with LHP Aroldis Chapman, OF Drew Stubbs, and RHP Jose Arredondo to Miami for OF Giancarlo Stanton.

    • RHP Mike Leake and SS Didi Gregorius to Oakland for OF Yeonnis Cespedes.Then WJ pairs Cespedes with LHP Aroldis Chapman, OF Drew Stubbs, and RHP Jose Arredondo to Miami for OF Giancarlo Stanton.

      The A’s might let WJ sniff Cespedes’ hat for that offer.

      • The A’s might let WJ sniff Cespedes’ hat for that offer.

        There is no way they are letting anyone close to his hat for that offer……The best they could hope for would be a gaze into his eyes from 20 yards. Now, if Walt were to throw in another prospect or two, the may let him have a quick whiff.

  39. Should we read the non-tender to Phipps and Negron as clearing space for a potential move or two?

  40. @Drew Mac: That’s exactly what dictated the moves. Phipps and Negron are no longer high prospects and must reestablish their potential and reopen some eyes through their performance on the field. Broxton had taken the last available spot on the 40 man roster so there are now two open spots for WJ to work with.

  41. The Reds should think about taking a flyer on Jermaine Mitchell. The A’s have non-tendered him and designated him for assignment. He’d come cheap and could serve as a CF lead off hitter stopgap if he plays well. He can play CF and has a history of getting on base. His career minor league slash line is .281/.380/.423/.803, and his AAA numbers are .268/.363/.408/.771. He’s was the A’s #5 prospect last winter. Here’s a snippet from his BBA scouting report:

    Mitchell has always had electric tools, highlighted by his plus-plus speed. He has a discerning eye at the plate and a short, quick swing. While he won’t hit many home runs, he produces line drives to all fields. He has become more confident looking for pitches to drive rather than just trying to make contact. Mitchell still is learning to maximize his speed on the bases. He covers plenty of ground in center field and has an average, accurate arm. After playing through a sore knee all year, Mitchell had offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The six-month rehab may keep him out of spring training, where he would have competed for an outfield job in Oakland.

    Here’s his Baseball Reference link:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=mitche001jer

  42. It is hard to look at Ludwick and see anything more than happenstance. In a bigger ball park he did not do so well. In a smaller one, he performed better, with enough of his long fly outs now landing in the stands to make him appear a power threat. Throughout all of this he did not suffer severe injuries. So I would project that he is will be subject to random swings that appear to be hot streaks and slumps, but which are the ordinary ups and downs of a slightly above average power hitter. I would not bet the franchise on him, as St Louis knew not to do.

  43. @redsfanman: @redsfanman:
    The difference between the players you mentioned (Rolen, Marshall, and Broxton) and Choo is night and day. Choo is 30 years old and about to cash in on his first big contract. There’s no way that he could be had for less than $10 Million a year for what would have to be AT LEAST a 5 year contract. Rolen, Marshall, and Broxton made a fraction of those $. With Votto, Bruce, Phillips, and Cueto all making $10 plus in 2014 and beyond, and with Latos and Bailey both probably getting close to $10 in their 2nd and 3rd Arb years in 2014, I don’t see room for another $10 Mil PLUS per annum MULTI YEAR contract on this team (with one exception, Aroldis).

    The Bourns and Choos of this world are probably a fantasy when it comes to the Reds. They will most likely either try to sign: (1) a veteran at the end of his career that will settle for a short term deal (2 or 3 yrs max), (2) a veteran coming off an injury or an off year that can be had at a discount, (3) a young stud that they can trade for and control at an attractive salary for several years, ala Latos, or (4) a cheap alternative like Mr. Diesman’s (intriguing) Jermaine Mitchell flyer.

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