Reds - General

Jocketty: “It’s disappointing.”

Baseball’s winter meetings have come to an end and the Reds didn’t accomplish a single thing. John Fay asked Walt Jocketty for a word or two and this is part of what the Reds’s GM said:

“You come in with great anticipation and optimism on certain things,” Jocketty said. “Then they don’t work out. It’s disappointing. But I’m certainly not through try to improve the club.”

Fay added this:

The Reds don’t even have anything that is close on the trade front. “We’ve had some talks with clubs,” Jocketty said. “We’ll stay in touch. I don’t think anything is imminent.” No progress was made last night. “Very slow evening,” he said. The Reds offer to Ludwick remains on the table.

Well. Sigh.

Sure, it’s a buzz-kill to watch all the high-powered wheeling an dealing being reported and our team not be part of it. The only significant mention of the Reds the past few days has been in connection with trying to re-sign a player from last year. Adding to the disappointment was Dusty Baker’s press conference where he talked about the important qualities of a lead-off man at length and never mentioned getting on base. He’s also obviously still gunning to undo the groundwork laid by the GM to move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation.

But the Reds’ off-season moves should not be judged what what did or didn’t occur the in the winter meetings. Plenty of time remains for trades, free agent acquisitions and Dusty-proofing.

It’s not fair to judge the off-season on December 6. Last season’s significant acquisitions: Mat Latos (Dec. 17), Sean Marshall (Dec. 21), Ryan Madson (Jan.11) and Ryan Ludwick (Jan. 15) all took place after the winter meetings.

The proverb says patience is a virtue. Although there’s also one about a rolling stone and moss, too. That’s the frustrating thing about proverbs. And waiting.

But keep the faith that the Reds learned the painful lesson of 2011 – that an organization can’t be complacent following a successful season.

 

146 thoughts on “Jocketty: “It’s disappointing.”

  1. I just have a feeling that the Reds are going to stay pat, except for a few miniscule change–getting rid of Bray, Valdez, Harris, possibly resigning Ludwick.

    You see the Nationals and Pirates going after everyone and wonder what the Reds are doing to keep up.

    • I just have a feeling that the Reds are going to stay pat, except for a few miniscule change–getting rid of Bray, Valdez, Harris, possibly resigning Ludwick.

      You see the Nationals and Pirates going after everyone and wonder what the Reds are doing to keep up.

      Going after everyone isn’t necessarily a formula for success. After all, the Pirates are the Pirates. Some teams, like the Pirates and Royals, need a lot of work just to finish over .500. I don’t know about you but I’m not worried about them. Last year the Marlins went after everyone, including Albert Pujols, but KABOOM, disastrous season.

  2. I liked John Fay’s continued point that the winter meetings don’t matter and there’s still over 100 days left before opening day.

    It’s worth recognizing that the Cardinals, Brewers, and Cubs have failed to make any significant moves so far this offseason also. It’s not like the Reds’ rivals have been building while the Reds stand pat. The Pittsburgh Pirates spend that much on a catcher? Yikes.

    Bronson Arroyo and Sam LeCure both went on 700WLW the other day and expressed skepticism of Chapman converting to the rotation. It isn’t just Dusty who’s skeptical, it’s also the team’s longest tenure player and most experienced pitcher (Arroyo). If Walt Jocketty was serious about converting Chapman he would have already made Mike Leake available. If six starters report and Chapman doesn’t get a rotation spot I think it’s Jocketty’s fault for not creating an opening rather than Dusty’s fault for evaluating the provided options.

  3. @redsfanman: I heard them both. Then I got to thinking that neither of these guys have a purely objective opinion.

    Bronson has a slight conflict of interest. Chapman’s success could mean no hope of an extension on his contract.

    Sam is a one time starter turned long reliever who would probably love nothing more than another shot at cracking the rotation. Instead Chapman gets the nod to try and join up while his role seems to be bullpen for now.

    I think Dusty can’t bear the thought of losing an electric closer for the risky proposition of starting when his starting 5 last year was just fine. Every manager should feel similarly. That is why the GM makes the call and re-signs a closer to fill the position. I think Dusty will have a lot less ‘creative control’ over Chapman’s role this year than any year prior.

    • @redsfanman: I heard them both.Then I got to thinking that neither of these guys have a purely objective opinion.

      Bronson has a slight conflict of interest.Chapman’s success could mean no hope of an extension on his contract.

      Sam is a one time starter turned long reliever who would probably love nothing more than another shot at cracking the rotation.Instead Chapman gets the nod to try and join up while his role seems to be bullpen for now.

      I think Dusty can’t bear the thought of losing an electric closer for the risky proposition of starting when his starting 5 last year was just fine.Every manager should feel similarly. That is why the GM makes the call and re-signs a closer to fill the position.I think Dusty will have a lot less ‘creative control’ over Chapman’s role this year than any year prior.

      Bronson Arroyo, he’s my favorite Reds player but I think he recognizes that his days with the Reds end when his contract is up. Chapman isn’t the only competitor for his spot – Cingrani, Corcino, and Stephenson are also on the way up. He definitely doesn’t need to be worried about losing his rotation spot this year though, not to Chapman. IF he had a conflict of interests I believe it would be his desire to have Chapman available to save games for him.

      LeCure, I think he must have accepted by now that he won’t be starting but that he can put together a successful career as a reliever. The Reds want him in the bullpen, even if the fans don’t fully appreciate him. I don’t see Chapman influencing that one way or the other. Both LeCure and Arroyo are fine examples that you can be successful if you learn smart ways to pitch, and experts on what (aside from raw talent) it takes to pitch well.

      Did Jocketty sign a closer to fill the position? That’s debatable, after Broxton’s signing he said in interviews that he wasn’t sure if he’d close or pitch setup and he was okay with either option. In Broxton Jocketty brought in a guy with the ability to close, like he did with Sean Marshall last year, but he didn’t bring in a good closer like he did with Ryan Madson. Nothing that forces Dusty to make any certain decision. At the moment it looks like Leake or Chapman will be sent to the bullpen – flip a coin. If they are serious about Chapman starting they’d trade a starter.

  4. I would much rather the Reds stand pat than to have paid too much (see: Victorino) or given up too much pitching for a leadoff option (though I would have been ok with Span for Stephenson). However, Walt’s not through. I believe Ludwick will sign and Walt will deal for a leadoff stick.

  5. The Reds have a chance to improve their ball club, they should do it. I don’t think resigning Ludwick is a great idea, mostly because even though he had a rejuvenating season last year, he’ll be 35 next year, and he’s only going to decline from here. Committing 2 whole seasons for 10 million a season(what Fay speculated the Reds’ offer would be to Ludwick) is too much for a declining guy without much else to offer other than maybe a 20 homer season. And batting him behind Votto won’t help Votto one bit. If you can make your club better, I say you do it, and re-signing Ludwick doesn’t make this club better.

    With that said, I am not sold that Aroldis is going to be a starter next year. So I stand by the notion that we trade Aroldis. His value as a trade chip is greater than his value as a closer.

    Along with this, our bench is still non-existent. Frazier will play in 150+ games, but I’ll be honest, I think he was on the lucky side last year and he’ll see a regression playing everyday. I think Hanigan has a decline in production, but I do believe that Mesoraco will play better and offer more than he did last year. Stubbs still offers nothing outside of speed, and those are just too many questions for the front office to ignore by thinking we had a great record last year and should be fine standing pat. By standing pat they signify that they were satisfied with last years team, and I’m not okay with getting humiliated out of the NLDS again next season, nor should the front office be.

    Our three big guns on the mound should all either stay the same or improve. Votto will hopefully remain healthy and Bruce will hit 32+ homers, BP will continue to be the ridiculously consistent .280, 18 homer guy hes been. so there are six guys I’m confident can play at the same high level that they’ve been playing at.

    The bullpen will be a mystery because bull pen arms are always going to be an enigma to me(see Bray, Billy). I think Marshall, Hoover and LeCure can keep pitching at a high level. Simon, Ondrusek, Arredondo, and Broxton are all question marks. And Heisey will be a consistent guy on the bench for us. Hanigan and Meso should keep our catching up. Cozart will be consistent with what he’s been. I’ll believe Xavier Paul is that good after more than half a season being successful off the bench.

    Basically, what all this speculating leads to is that the Reds will regress if they stand pat. Make the right move if you’re going to make a move, absolutely, but there is a right move out there. There are a couple right moves. Don’t stand pat though, because that’ll spell disaster for this season.

  6. Wow. According to John Fay, Ludwick has offers for 3M more than the Reds have offered, and he’s STILL thinking about coming back. I’m actually impressed that he’s thinking about loyalty over money to a certain extent.

    This changes my opinion on him. I’m for resigning him now.

    • Wow. According to John Fay, Ludwick has offers for 3M more than the Reds have offered, and he’s STILL thinking about coming back. I’m actually impressed that he’s thinking about loyalty over money to a certain extent.

      This changes my opinion on him. I’m for resigning him now.

      I saw that too, but it’s been the same issue all along. The Reds picked up their half of his $5m option and he had a choice between signing here or leaving to pursue more money elsewhere; he chose to become a free agent and consider other offers. As a result he got another year tacked on but it’s still the same question of whether he stays or pursues more money elsewhere.

      Frankly I think it’s silly for him to choose to leave. At this stage in his career I assume wants to perform well, be popular/important, and win. I doubt he’ll win with the Mariners or hit as well away from Great American Ballpark. If he does badly he won’t be appreciated. He’s had good reason to feel miserable playing for the Pirates and Padres in the past and the Reds provide a rare opportunity for him to do well and be happy. That said, for the Reds’ sake I hope Ludwick goes elsewhere and the Reds are forced to trade for a leadoff hitting LF.

  7. BTW, that’s what I was thinking on Arroyo and Lecure as well. Dusty’s position on the issue is well documented, but I think that we should take the players’ opinions with a grain of salt.

    I thought it was interesting that both of them said they doubted he’d succeed, while still (publicly, at least) hoping he’ll be great. I think that sums up the Reds organization lately in a nutshell–Everyone has their own desires, but they’re all willing to take a hit if it’ll help the team.

  8. Doubtful Reds sign Hannahan now. According to MLBTR, he’s inspiring a “bidding war” due to the lack of good/decent 3B players on the market.

  9. What does Ryan Ludwick like more? Cincinnati, playing for the Cincinnati Reds, and hitting in Great American Ballpark… or money? You’d think he’d have made up his decision by now, one way or another. In my opinion the longer he waits to decide the less he seems to appreciate the Reds.

  10. I disagree herman that the Reds will regress if they stand pat. Votto for a full year is an upgrade. I actually like the idea of Ludwick back and would like to see his numbers with 550 abs vs the 400 he had last year. I think he will be fine in the 4 spot. And why does Frasier get worse in year 2? The guy has shown nothing but improvement and is a gamer. I think he could even be better now that he knows the pitchers. Same for Cozart. Those guys did great as rookies and I see no reason that Cozart does not also improve. It won’t hurt Frazier to play one position every day, again evidence of what a gamer he is. I like Votto, Ludwick, Bruce, Frazier 3-6 as all 4 are capable of driving in 100 runs

    I think the other reason they can stand pat is that Stubbs cannot be any worse and they won 97 games. If Stubbs improves to where he was 2 years ago, the team has improved. I know that everyone is down on him, but he remains a talent that could improve any time he chooses to to hit other direction consistently. I think he knows where he stands, and that he is too young and too talented for this type of 2 year slide at his age.

    Chapman is a starter. Broxton for a full year is an upgrade to the pitching staff, as is any comeback by Massett.

    all that said, i would trade Leake for one year of Ellsbury any day if we pass on Ludwick. Leake is the pitcher who will always be a frustrated starter in Cincy. when is cutter doesn’t cut, he is very average.

    If Arroyo leaves after 2013, you have Stevenson and Corcino who should be ready. I also think that Simon is a very good pitcher who could still develope further. It will be interesting to watch his progress this year, but he was very good in 2012.

    after winning 97 games, I see this team (assuming Ludwick returns at this point) getting better. that 2012 started 3 rookies some games…. lest we forget.

    I see Latos and Bailey both improving in 2013 and if you get another 6-8 wins between them, that will cover some fall back by others

  11. I think what was disappointing to see for me was how cheap the Nationals got Denard Span. They barely gave up anything for him.

    • I think what was disappointing to see for me was how cheap the Nationals got Denard Span. They barely gave up anything for him.

      I’m not sure that I’d call the number one pitching prospect in their entire organization nothing, but I do admit it was a bit of a punch in the gut after hearing from July until now how high the asking price was by the Twins for him.

    • @reaganspad: There’s now this assumption that the Reds will regress if they don’t make moves, like the 2011 Reds. Why did they regress in 2011? Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey both missed April 2011 with injuries as Arroyo struggled with mono (and remember Edinson Volquez’s opening day start?), I think that was the main thing – unexplained and unpredictable injuries. The Reds have a lot more pitching depth now. I think that’s important to consider if they DO stand pat. A big trade to improve the offense will sacrifice some of that pitching depth.

      -Robert Stephenson, I’m also optimistic about his future but he has yet to pitch a full season in single A and I wouldn’t be in a hurry to pencil him into the 2014 rotation.

      -Alfredo Simon, I think that he, like Sam LeCure, has now limited himself to a bullpen spot. I strongly doubt either will become starters again. Both want to be MLB pitchers and both have a much better chance of being successful as relievers.

      -Aroldis Chapman, if he wants to start he better hope for an injury to one of the five more experienced starers. Nothing’s certain about him at this point. The manager and other pitchers are skeptical of moving him and the Reds would trade a starter if the were committed to that experiment.

      I think what was disappointing to see for me was how cheap the Nationals got Denard Span. They barely gave up anything for him.

      ‘Hardly anything’ was the Nationals’ equivalent of the Reds’ Robert Stephenson. A highly regarded single A pitcher who is years away from the majors but who lacks name recognition. I wouldn’t blame Jocketty for refusing to trade Stephenson for Span. Gotta wait and see what the Nationals gave up long term – could be a lot.

      @Vottomatic84: I think waiting for things to settle down and for bidding wars to end was the general idea. Wait, see what’s left, and make a deal. That’s what they did to sign Ludwick and Madson last year, finally the pltWEA were left looking for a team and willing to sign them for cheap. Even Shin-Shoo Choo should be tougher to trade when the Reds are one of the only teams looking for an outfielder, let alone the only one with pitching to trade.

      I’m watching Kansas City. They’re reaching out to everyone, trying to trade their top outfield prospect for an ace pitcher, pursuing smaller trades for pitchers, trying to sign guys like Dempster to big contracts, trying to attract mediocre free agent pitchers off the scrap heap. Maybe they can fill their rotation with quality arms somehow, but maybe they’ll be completely unsuccessful and the market will dry up. Maybe, just maybe, in a few weeks, they’ll be willing to trade Alex Gordon for the pitching help that they missed out on.

  12. I agree with Bearcat, the Nats moved early on Span and seemingly got him for a song. And at this point I am so tired of the Reds wasting Chapman, I would rather see him traded than only pitch 50 to 60 innings per year. His trade value has to be at a peak, see what you can package together with him to get an Ellsbury type player.

  13. So the teams now in the market for an outfielder are Texas, Seattle, and … Boston? If Hamilton re-signs with Texas, or goes to Boston, then all of a sudden you have basically only Seattle (maybe) going after a Michael Bourn. Would Texas look at Ellsbury if they don’t re-sign Hamilton? Or would that really trigger their interest in going after Justin Upton?

    I guess what I am getting at here is that, most likely, the Reds are seemingly going to wait a bit to see how the market shakes out. Right now there are seemingly more outfielders looking for a place to go than teams looking for that outfielder. You have Hamilton, Bourn, Ludwick, possibly Ellsbury, and possibly Upton all in play, but only a few teams really serious about making a big splash signing or trade. This could work out in the Reds’ favor, as a team like the Red Sox could sign Hamilton, and all of a sudden Jacoby Ellsbury becomes much more expendable and maybe the price goes down a bit.

    Either way, a lot of things could happen and it can change the market a great deal. With Philly out of the market now for an OF, things have changed quite a bit just today when you look at the options available for a lot of these free agents or potentially tradeable players. Maybe the Reds end up getting Ellsbury or Choo, etc. for a year for a much smaller package than we expect?

  14. ^ this is exactly what I’ve been thinking. Only problem is that there are other teams thinking the same thing.

    I thought it was funny that the Rangers GM said basically the same thing as Jocketty. They both had specific things they wanted to get done, and both of them were frustrated by events spiraling crazily out of their price range.

    Jocketty did try to trade for Span, btw. He said e was surprised by how quickly Span was traded, which to me means the Reds had a pretty good offerings the table the Twins chose to reject.

  15. What do you all think of the possibility that Ludwick and the Redlegs have already reached an agreement but are waiting to announce at Redsfest?

  16. What’s wrong with the Reds is their hitting philosophy, not their personnel.

    That premise presented, it’s one thing to just “pack up Leake, Stubbs and a prospect” and get “Alex Gordon” from the back of the Wheaties box. Hit don’t work that way.

    Winter meetings are really overrated.

    And PLEASE, can we stop with the “we have excess pitching so we can trade for a leadoff guy” nonsense?

    I can teach Zach Cozart to play LF but I can’t teach him how to pitch. Do not trade pitchers for “leadoff” men. :-)

    • What’s wrong with the Reds is their hitting philosophy, not their personnel.

      That premise presented, it’s one thing to just “pack up Leake, Stubbs and a prospect” and get “Alex Gordon” from the back of the Wheaties box. Hit don’t work that way.

      Winter meetings are really overrated.

      And PLEASE, can we stop with the “we have excess pitching so we can trade for a leadoff guy” nonsense?

      I can teach Zach Cozart to play LF but I can’t teach him how to pitch. Do not trade pitchers for “leadoff” men.

      Walt Jocketty and Bob Castellini obviously disagree with you about the hitting philosophy if they extended the hitting coach.

      I didn’t suggest trading Leake and Stubbs for Gordon. I’ve mentioned Homer Bailey and a guy like Corcino as the basis for a deal. Trades work like that when one team (Royals) have too many outfielders and another team has extra pitchers (Reds) and both teams want what the other team has. That’s the basis for making trades.

      Rather than teach Cozart to play LF you should teach him how to get on base. It’s so easy. Hey you, hit the ball. Problem solved, right? If only it were that easy. I think a trade is the only hope to add a leadoff hitter who can consistently reach base with a respectable OBP.

    • What’s wrong with the Reds is their hitting philosophy, not their personnel.

      Given that they just re-upped Dusty Baker, I don’t see the hitting philosophy changed.

      You could probably turn Zach Cozart to play LF. No big deal. Now if you can turn him into a leadoff hitter, get yourself down to Cincinnati post haste, brother. You’re hired.

  17. Juan Pierre signs for 1.6 mil, Span goes to Nats for a good prospect, Revere goes for an iffy Worley and a minor leaguer and we still have a 215 hitting CF with 200 K’s to lead off. Am I just stupid?????? If I am missing something please enlighten me.

  18. *Insert generic quip to the effect of the two above*

    Honestly, you can justify it all you want, but the Reds still need to make moves. By saying the 2011 season only occurred because of down years and injuries, whose to say that we won’t see similar “down years” and injuries? Actually, the Reds position players were injured quite a bit, which is why they should’ve signed Kepp.

    Pitching depth is well and good, but if your offense can’t score…

    You know the rest.

  19. Some talking about the Reds will regress if they stand pat? That will all depend upon the players. The main reason probably they won in 2010 was Votto and Rolen had MVP seasons (yes, Rolen got some MVP votes that year) and Gomes had a career year. Rolen got injured and Gomes bit the dust/went back to normal. Cueto and Bailey had little to do with 2010. Thus, with everyone coming back in 2011, their injuries didn’t mean much to the success/failure of that season (if anything, Cueto had a breakout season with his ERA, but his win-loss record still wasn’t anything spectacular, even with the missed games). What happened, though, was, given everyone came back, the players needed to step up even more. For, the other teams were definitely going to be studying what we did, to identify any weaknesses we had to exploit, etc. If I recall correctly, only one player significantly improved in any area, BP with his BA. We make some personnel moves for this past year. The result? We get to the playoffs. With no moves for this upcoming season, the players are going to have to step up. It’s always harder to repeat, once the league sees how good your team is.

  20. @redsfanman: I do apologize for coming off a tad snarky. Didn’t intend to mock an idea of trading a pitcher for a hitter, but I don’t currently think that’s a good idea.

    Yeah, Walt has re-upped Baker and Brook and that’s a bad sign, though I’d think if Stubbs doesn’t see the writing on the street, he’s either dumb or really as bad as he shows. Everyone in Nuxhalldom says the Reds are looking to replace him. Wow, nice way to come to camp.

    But was I just imagining things when Speier dropped Stubby down to the 8 spot late in the year?

    I cut Cozart some rookie slack but if he doesn’t improve, and the trend with Jacoby is that he won’t, it wouldn’t matter who leads off unless that hitter is Joey Votto.

    All is not lost with this franchise. It’s a tight team with a lot of talent, mostly at club-friendly prices.

    I think I’d like to see Ludwick back, though.

    • upped Baker and Brook and that’s a bad sign, though I’d think if Stubbs doesn’t see the writing on the street, he’s either dumb or really as bad as he shows. Everyone in Nuxhalldom says the Reds are looking to replace him. Wow, nice way to come to camp.
      But was I just imagining things when Speier dropped Stubby down to the 8 spot late in the year?
      I cut Cozart some rookie slack but if he doesn’t improve, and the trend with Jacoby is that he won’t, it wouldn’t matter who leads off unless that hitter is Joey Votto.

      Oh, there’s no doubt the hitting philosophy/training/whatever on this team is poor. Just because Uncle Bob re-upped them doesn’t mean the coaching is good. Like others have said before, who else are they going to get? For the managing, replacing Baker, even though I would like to see him gone myself, there aren’t that many choices out there for replacements. For Jacoby, though, I would think there are plenty of possibilities around. Like, with Baker, if we didn’t re-up Baker, I would think the line of possibilities would have lined up down I-75 of all of those who are interested in managing this team. But, who would they be? I wouldn’t think too many “name” coaches in the line with any kind of “record” out on them. Jacoby coming back could have easily been tied with Baker coming back.

    • Yeah, Walt has re-upped Baker and Brook and that’s a bad sign, though I’d think if Stubbs doesn’t see the writing on the street, he’s either dumb or really as bad as he shows. Everyone in Nuxhalldom says the Reds are looking to replace him. Wow, nice way to come to camp.

      I cut Cozart some rookie slack but if he doesn’t improve, and the trend with Jacoby is that he won’t, it wouldn’t matter who leads off unless that hitter is Joey Votto.

      The Reds think highly of Jacoby as a hitting coach and Dusty Baker also has a history as a successful hitting coach, regardless of what one thinks of his managing. The hitting coach can only offer advice, he can’t make a guy follow it. The Reds had a bunch of positive suprises offensively (Ludwick, Frazier, Cozart, Navarro, Xavier Paul) but we only seem to hear about Stubbs.

      Everyone in ‘Nuxhalldom’ says the Reds are looking to replace Stubbs? The overwhelming majority of fans seem to want Stubbs replaced but nobody in the organization has made any suggestion about moving Drew Stubbs, nor have there been any credible rumors about such a deal. The first person Stubbs should talk to in spring training, in my opinion, is Homer Bailey – Bailey was in a remarkably similar position last year. After years as a failed prospect, a worthless guy, the team weakness, Bailey managed to overcome it. Bailey had a breakout year in his make-or-break 2012 season and Stubbs is now entering his make-or-break season.

      The trend with Jacoby suggests that Cozart won’t improve? Trend? Huh? What trend? Please explain. Most of the credible young hitters he’s worked with – including Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Frazier, Hanigan, and Heisey – have done well. Several reclamation projects, including Ludwick, Gomes, Rolen, Navarro, and Xavier Paul, have done well with him. Stubbs and Mesoraco haven’t yet, and some utility players. Bryan Price has done a great job with pitchers but he isn’t perfect either, and not all the pitchers have worked out.

      • The Reds think highly of Jacoby as a hitting coach and Dusty Baker also has a history as a successful hitting coach, regardless of what one thinks of his managing.The hitting coach can only offer advice, he can’t make a guy follow it.The Reds had a bunch of positive suprises offensively (Ludwick, Frazier, Cozart, Navarro, Xavier Paul) but we only seem to hear about Stubbs.

        Everyone in ‘Nuxhalldom’ says the Reds are looking to replace Stubbs?The overwhelming majority of fans seem to want Stubbs replaced but nobody in the organization has made any suggestion about moving Drew Stubbs, nor have there been any credible rumors about such a deal.The first person Stubbs should talk to in spring training, in my opinion, is Homer Bailey – Bailey was in a remarkably similar position last year.After years as a failed prospect, a worthless guy, the team weakness, Bailey managed to overcome it.Bailey had a breakout year in his make-or-break 2012 season and Stubbs is now entering his make-or-break season.

        The trend with Jacoby suggests that Cozart won’t improve?Trend?Huh?What trend?Please explain.Most of the credible young hitters he’s worked with – including Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Frazier, Hanigan, and Heisey – have done well.Several reclamation projects, including Ludwick, Gomes, Rolen, Navarro, and Xavier Paul, have done well with him.Stubbs and Mesoraco haven’t yet, and some utility players.Bryan Price has done a great job with pitchers but he isn’t perfect either, and not all the pitchers have worked out.

        There’s a little here I don’t understand, RFM. “The Reds think highly of Jacoby as a hitting coach and Dusty Baker also has a history as a successful hitting coach” If these guys were any good at coaching hitting, this team wouldn’t be K-ing so much, have more discipline at things like bunting, having a worse year this past season, etc. It is more likely along the lines of “There is no one else to take Baker’s place, and Baker wants Jacoby there”.

        “nobody in the organization has made any suggestion about moving Drew Stubbs” Only people who have a hotline to the front office of the Reds as well as every other team in MLB would be able to know this. It’s more likely that there was no package that the teams could agree to. Walt has said himself, he will trade anyone if it makes the team better. That’s easy to do by replacing Stubbs. But, the package has to be the right package for both teams. Like, Stubbs and Cueto for Fowler? No way. Do we have to hear of that specific attempt and other specific attempts? Nope. Would many care to? Probably not.

        • If these guys were any good at coaching hitting, this team wouldn’t be K-ing so much, have more discipline at things like bunting, having a worse year this past season, etc.

          I tend to agree. But Baker has said several times that strike outs are okay… not 200 okay, but 150 is okay. In the Baker/Jacoby hitting philosphy SOs are not as important. They haven’t quite said it, but OBP doesn’t seem to be as important either. They teach being aggressive at the plate and on the base path. For the most part I get it, but the situation must dictate philosophy. Thankfully, Votto has his own philosophy and since no one in the organization except Joe Morgan has ever had his success, there is not much they can say to him.

  21. @bigklu18: Of the three, Span would have been a nice addition. Pierre can’t play center field and Revere probably can’t hit. So the tradeoff would be Span for Stubbs and I don’t think the Twins do that deal.

    • @bigklu18: Of the three, Span would have been a nice addition. Pierre can’t play center field and Revere probably can’t hit. So the tradeoff would be Span for Stubbs and I don’t think the Twins do that deal.

      That’s something there. Whoever we were to get, there’s going to be something wrong with them. First, we probably couldn’t afford someone like Bourn, with few if any weaknesses. So, odds are, we would have to accept some kind or combination of weaknesses. Just what, though? That’s why I could see us keeping Stubbs (lack of offense) in CF, just keep him in the 7 hole and down. Or, have Heisey (not as much speed as Stubbs but better offense; still doesn’t run bad) out there as well.

      Span probably wasn’t in the cards, anyhow, not for 1-2 years for us.

  22. I think one thing that hurts us/the FO is we have so many players to get under contract still for next year. From what I remember, we have a load of arbitration cases as well as still need commitments from Ludwick and Rolen for yes or no. If we have had all of these items settled already, we would probably have a better idea what to do, what we need to look for, what we have to trade, etc. Like with the OF. Do we look for a LF? Or, do we also look for a CF, also? what about Bruce to CF and Frazier to RF now? What about 3rd? Frazier can’t play all three at the same time.

    There is still plenty of time. Everyone would like to have an idea, though, just what the Reds are going to do. But, remember, with Walt, I believe few saw Latos coming. And, I don’t know of anyone who saw Marshall coming. I wouldn’t be surprised Walt does something later, like a belated X-mas for us. Probably that a couple of trades like last year, 7 players for 2 players. But, we do have some pieces we can let go of.

    I can take a leadoff hitter. I would rather have a better 4 hole hitter. Like Halliday was with Pujols or Fielder was with Braun.

  23. Remember when the Phillies signed Papelbon to a 4 year, $50 million contract early in the off season last year? Everyone initially thought it demonstrated that prices for closers were going to be high. So Cordero’s agent had him hold out for more money from the Reds and ended up taking less later while the Reds scooped up Madsen for a good price.

    This off season may not be any different. Teams pay a premium to get the player they want tied up early. Then the bargains begin to surface. Walt’s always been a bargain hunter in the FA market, so he’s waiting his turn again. I just hope he doesn’t find any Taveras’s or Valdez’s this year.

  24. @bigklu18:

    I don’t expect to see Stubbs hitting leadoff to start 2013, unless he has a great spring training. Let’s assume, as reaganspad suggested above, that Votto/Ludwick/Bruce/Frazier are locks at the 3-6 spots in the batting order. Hanigan 8th, pitcher 9th. That leaves Cozart, Stubbs, and BP to fill the 1, 2, and 7 spots. Obviously BP won’t be batting 7th in any team’s lineup, and if its between Stubbs and Cozart, I bet that Dusty drops down Drew to 7th.

    All speculation, obviously. And I know that the “move Hanigan to the top of the lineup” horse was beaten to a pulp last season, but the man’s OBP is 75 points higher than Stubbs’/Cozart’s. Some of that could be attributed to hitting ahead of the pitcher (IBBs aplenty), but not that large of a gap. Leadoff with BP, Hanigan hits 2nd, then drop CF and SS down to 7th and 8th. Not quite so urgent to make a move for a leadoff guy now…

    • @bigklu18:

      I don’t expect to see Stubbs hitting leadoff to start 2013, unless he has a great spring training. Let’s assume, as reaganspad suggested above, that Votto/Ludwick/Bruce/Frazier are locks at the 3-6 spots in the batting order. Hanigan 8th, pitcher 9th. That leaves Cozart, Stubbs, and BP to fill the 1, 2, and 7 spots. Obviously BP won’t be batting 7th in any team’s lineup, and if its between Stubbs and Cozart, I bet that Dusty drops down Drew to 7th.

      All speculation, obviously. And I know that the “move Hanigan to the top of the lineup” horse was beaten to a pulp last season, but the man’s OBP is 75 points higher than Stubbs’/Cozart’s. Some of that could be attributed to hitting ahead of the pitcher (IBBs aplenty), but not that large of a gap. Leadoff with BP, Hanigan hits 2nd, then drop CF and SS down to 7th and 8th. Not quite so urgent to make a move for a leadoff guy now…

      Dusty and the Reds seem to prefer lineup stability at the top of the lineup and Hanigan only plays 3 of every 5 games, max. Interesting note about Ryan Hanigan, despite all his walks (44, 13 listed as intentional) he only walked two more times than Drew Stubbs (Stubbs dropped from 63 walks in 2011 to 42 in 2012). Stubbs might not know how to hit well but he definitely does know how to take walks. I think Stubbs could pull off a good OBP (~.340) hitting 8th and, with a quality leadoff hitter, he could score lots of runs. Worth a shot. Boosting his OBP is also the best way to increase his trade value next season.

      • Dusty and the Reds seem to prefer lineup stability at the top of the lineup and Hanigan only plays 3 of every 5 games, max.Interesting note about Ryan Hanigan, despite all his walks (44, 13 listed as intentional) he only walked two more times than Drew Stubbs (Stubbs dropped from 63 walks in 2011 to 42 in 2012).Stubbs might not know how to hit well but he definitely does know how to take walks.I think Stubbs could pull off a good OBP (~.340) hitting 8th and, with a quality leadoff hitter, he could score lots of runs.Worth a shot.Boosting his OBP is also the best way to increase his trade value next season.

        It only took Stubbs 173 more at bats to accumulate 2 less walks than Hanigan too! :D

        Stubbs’ walk rate is below average and a below average hitter. .340 OBP…c’mon man. He’ll have to hit like .275 to do it and he’s only done that twice in his professional career.

        • There’s a little here I don’t understand, RFM.“The Reds think highly of Jacoby as a hitting coach and Dusty Baker also has a history as a successful hitting coach”If these guys were any good at coaching hitting, this team wouldn’t be K-ing so much, have more discipline at things like bunting, having a worse year this past season, etc.It is more likely along the lines of “There is no one else to take Baker’s place, and Baker wants Jacoby there”.

          I think there’s only so much that a coach can do if the players (or aspects of their performance/ability/talent) stink. He can coach them, instruct them, train them to bunt, but they have to want to listen. Give Adam Dunn the best hitting coach in baseball and he’ll still rack up strikeout totals. Guys like Paul Janish just don’t have talent to hit well regardless of who coaches them.

          Drew Stubbs and Miguel Cairo had disappointing 2012 seasons offensively. Frazier and Ludwick were at the opposite end of the spectrum with impressive years.

          It only took Stubbs 173 more at bats to accumulate 2 less walks than Hanigan too!

          Stubbs’ walk rate is below average and a below average hitter..340 OBP…c’mon man.He’ll have to hit like .275 to do it and he’s only done that twice in his professional career.

          Yep, that’s true, it took Stubbs more at bats to reach the same number of walks as Hanigan. Hanigan got a big boost to his walks total with all those intentional walks, something which Stubbs could make use of next year if he bats 8th.

          Stubbs has now played four seasons. His OBP was between .321 and .329 for the first three before abruptly dropping off to .277. To me that implies a bad year (although others cite batting average to prove it as a continued decline – which number you choose depends on what point you want to make). A .340 OBP is only an 11 or 19 point boost over what he put up in 2010 and 2011, which doesn’t seem unreasonable.

          If you think that at age 28 he’s in a permanent downward spiral with no hope of ever turning things around that must seem very unreasonable. A more optimistic view might be that his disastrous 2012 (and an offseason to think about it) may finally motivate him to alter his approach to hitting, especially without the pressure of hitting leadoff – he’s young enough that he could be poised for a breakout season; he has the talent and now has such low expectations placed upon him that he wouldn’t have to accomplish much to achieve a breakout year. I think that by hitting 8th he’ll be put in a position to start off the season strong. Whether or not he remains with the Reds he should be an interesting guy to watch in spring training. It’s his make or break season.

        • I think there’s only so much that a coach can do if the players (or aspects of their performance/ability/talent) stink.He can coach them, instruct them, train them to bunt, but they have to want to listen.Give Adam Dunn the best hitting coach in baseball and he’ll still rack up strikeout totals.Guys like Paul Janish just don’t have talent to hit well regardless of who coaches them.

          Drew Stubbs and Miguel Cairo had disappointing 2012 seasons offensively.Frazier and Ludwick were at the opposite end of the spectrum with impressive years.

          Yep, that’s true, it took Stubbs more at bats to reach the same number of walks as Hanigan.Hanigan got a big boost to his walks total with all those intentional walks, something which Stubbs could make use of next year if he bats 8th.

          Stubbs has now played four seasons.His OBP was between .321 and .329 for the first three before abruptly dropping off to .277.To me that implies a bad year (although others cite batting average to prove it as a continued decline – which number you choose depends on what point you want to make).A .340 OBP is only an 11 or 19 point boost over what he put up in 2010 and 2011, which doesn’t seem unreasonable.

          If you think that at age 28 he’s in a permanent downward spiral with no hope of ever turning things around that must seem very unreasonable. A more optimistic view might be that his disastrous 2012 (and an offseason to think about it) may finally motivate him to alter his approach to hitting, especially without the pressure of hitting leadoff – he’s young enough that he could be poised for a breakout season; he has the talent and now has such low expectations placed upon him that he wouldn’t have to accomplish much to achieve a breakout year.I think that by hitting 8th he’ll be put in a position to start off the season strong.Whether or not he remains with the Reds he should be an interesting guy to watch in spring training.It’s his make or break season.

          I don’t understand a couple of thing, RFM. “If you think that at age 28 he’s in a permanent downward spiral with no hope of ever turning things around that must seem very unreasonable.” Why would that seem very unreasonable? A player gets worse batting for 3 straight professional seasons, especially after the debacle of 2011 and he admits he didn’t do much work on his batting during last off season. That sounds very reasonable. Why would this sound very unreasonable?

          “he could be poised for a breakout season” How? What indication was there that he would be poised for a breakout season? He’s gotten worse for 3 straight seasons. If a breakout season would be to bat 250 with a 300 OBP, then possibly. But, likely? Not really.

          “I think there’s only so much that a coach can do if the players (or aspects of their performance/ability/talent) stink” So, the team and the players stink? And, we had, what, 4 All-stars in 2010 and 2011, I believe 3 last season? We had players going for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and even MVP, as well as the All-stars? And, they stink? But, I thought you just said Stubbs was poised for a breakout season? I don’t understand, RFM.

        • I don’t understand a couple of thing, RFM.“If you think that at age 28 he’s in a permanent downward spiral with no hope of ever turning things around that must seem very unreasonable.”Why would that seem very unreasonable?A player gets worse batting for 3 straight professional seasons, especially after the debacle of 2011 and he admits he didn’t do much work on his batting during last off season.That sounds very reasonable.Why would this sound very unreasonable?

          “he could be poised for a breakout season”How?What indication was there that he would be poised for a breakout season?He’s gotten worse for 3 straight seasons.If a breakout season would be to bat 250 with a 300 OBP, then possibly.But, likely?Not really.

          “I think there’s only so much that a coach can do if the players (or aspects of their performance/ability/talent) stink”So, the team and the players stink?And, we had, what, 4 All-stars in 2010 and 2011, I believe 3 last season?We had players going for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and even MVP, as well as the All-stars?And, they stink?But, I thought you just said Stubbs was poised for a breakout season?I don’t understand, RFM.

          First question, it’s a choice between having optimistic or pessimistic view of the future. Permanent downward spiral or a struggle that can motivate him to have a strong season. If you want to be more pessimistic, fine. Your choice. The 2012 Reds, who months earlier wouldn’t finish over .500 unless they fired their manager and whose season ended following Joey Votto’s injury, they are no strangers to pessimism.

          For Stubbs I think a breakout season would be 25 homeruns, 40 stolen bases, a .270 average, and a .340 season. Does he have the raw talent and ability to do that? Yes, they wouldn’t have drafted him otherwise. Will he do that? Who knows, they don’t schedule the results before they play the games – that’s why we buy tickets and watch. As I’ve said, maybe he’s newly motivated following his painful 2012 season.

          I didn’t say the Reds and their players stink. I didn’t say that Brook Jacoby stinks either. I said that some players stink, even some good hitters stink in certain aspects of their game (like Dunn, the big OBP and homerun guy who strikes out too much). In Joey Votto and Miguel Cairo the Reds had examples from both ends of the spectrum who worked with Brook Jacoby. Some players, like Paul Janish and Corky Miller, just don’t have the talent to be good hitters. Others, like Drew Stubbs, have plenty of talent and just need to put things together.

        • I don’t understand a couple of thing, RFM. “If you think that at age 28 he’s in a permanent downward spiral with no hope of ever turning things around that must seem very unreasonable.” Why would that seem very unreasonable? A player gets worse batting for 3 straight professional seasons, especially after the debacle of 2011 and he admits he didn’t do much work on his batting during last off season. That sounds very reasonable. Why would this sound very unreasonable?

          “he could be poised for a breakout season” How? What indication was there that he would be poised for a breakout season? He’s gotten worse for 3 straight seasons. If a breakout season would be to bat 250 with a 300 OBP, then possibly. But, likely? Not really.

          I wouldn’t say Stubbs is due for a breakout season, I think he already did that in 2010, but I do think there is a very good chance he will rebound to his norm. That is part of the difficulty with Drew Stubbs though is defining his norm. This is due to his playing above his norm with the Reds in 2009 – 2010 and setting undue expectations for his coming seasons. Consider the following numbers:

          Stubbs AVG /OBP /SLG /OPS BB% K% BABIP
          Minors .268/.363/.399/.762 11.8 23.4 ~.345
          Majors .241/.312/.386/.698 8.7 29.3 .323

          Majors
          2009 .267/.323/.439/.762 7.7 25.0 .325
          2010 .255/.329/.444/.773 9.4 28.8 .330
          2011 .243/.321/.364/.686 9.3 30.1 .343
          2012 .213/.277/.333/.610 7.7 30.5 .290

          When Stubbs came up in 2009 and through 2010, his numbers were all about in line with what one would have expected from him from what he did in the minors, except his SLG was about .050 above what anyone would have ever expected from him. Thus the false expectations going forward. Then in 2011 when his unexpected power disappeared and he actually put up a year which was about right on what we should have always been expecting from him, everyone was disappointed in him big time because he’s a young guy, he should be improving, not getting worse. So now his great collapse in 2012 has made him the new whipping boy. Please note above though what happened to Stubb’s BABIP last year. His BABIP throughout the minors was pretty steady at around the ~.345 range, and then continued to be right in the .330 range his first three years in the bigs. So last year, his BABIP falls .040. If that runs more towards his normal his slash line looks more like .253/.317/.373/.690 and now it looks like he’s repeated his 2011 season and we’ve got the Drew Stubbs we should have all been expecting all along. Note his BB% should bounce back a bit too. Just using a quick eyeball on the numbers above and I’d project the following next year.

          2013 Projections
          Tom .250/.325/.385/.710 9.0 30.0 .330
          James .246/.319/.386/.715 9.2 27.3 .323

          I tossed in Bill James 2013 projection from Fangraphs also for comparison.

          There’s basically no reason to not expect his BABIP to return more to normal next year and for us to see something more like the Stubbs projections above, which is exactly about what our expectations of him should be.

          That said, who would you bat in either the #1 or #2 spot next season given the current roster, Stubbs or Cozart? I’d pick Stubbs.

      • Dusty and the Reds seem to prefer lineup stability at the top of the lineup and Hanigan only plays 3 of every 5 games, max.Interesting note about Ryan Hanigan, despite all his walks (44, 13 listed as intentional) he only walked two more times than Drew Stubbs (Stubbs dropped from 63 walks in 2011 to 42 in 2012).Stubbs might not know how to hit well but he definitely does know how to take walks.I think Stubbs could pull off a good OBP (~.340) hitting 8th and, with a quality leadoff hitter, he could score lots of runs.Worth a shot.Boosting his OBP is also the best way to increase his trade value next season.

        Stubbs knows one thing, how to strikeout. He is a liability with a bat in his hand, period. If Stubbs is in the 8 hole, and if Leake is still here, I would bat Leake in the 8 hole during his games. Knows how to “take walks”. Yep, right back to the dugout after striking out. It’s more likely he’s afraid of swinging and missing the ball, striking out that way. So, he’s just back there hoping the pitching walks him if anything with walks. How many times have we heard how Dusty wants him to be more aggressive with the bat?

        • Stubbs knows one thing, how to strikeout.He is a liability with a bat in his hand, period.If Stubbs is in the 8 hole, and if Leake is still here, I would bat Leake in the 8 hole during his games.Knows how to “take walks”.Yep, right back to the dugout after striking out.It’s more likely he’s afraid of swinging and missing the ball, striking out that way.So, he’s just back there hoping the pitching walks him if anything with walks.How many times have we heard how Dusty wants him to be more aggressive with the bat?

          Yep. Exactly. The only place he knows how to walk to is back to the dugout. He only refuses to swing at balls because he’s afraid of swinging. He’s worthless. Junk. Below replacement level. Anyone would be better. That’s what he has heard non-stop from, well, everywhere, throughout his whole time with the Reds… whenever he turns on the TV, radio, or goes online. That must be a terrible life.

          Stubbs, bunt more! Don’t bunt! Be more aggressive! Take more pitches! Hit homeruns, but only try for infield singles. Steal bases more, but you’re an idiot for getting thrown out. Swing at everything, otherwise you’re scared! Don’t swing at BAD pitches, you look like a moron. Do this! Do that! Go left, go right. Everywhere somebody is jabbing him with advice, often conflicting advice, while rarely being encouraging or supportive. I just hope he’s able to enter spring training with a cool head and open mind (maybe he worked with both a personal trainer AND a counselor in the winter), willing to work closely with Brook Jacoby. If he can I think he’ll do fine.

      • Interesting note about Ryan Hanigan, despite all his walks (44, 13 listed as intentional) he only walked two more times than Drew Stubbs (Stubbs dropped from 63 walks in 2011 to 42 in 2012). Stubbs might not know how to hit well but he definitely does know how to take walks.

        I can’t look. Here comes the feeding frenzy.

  25. Te reason hanigan only had two more walks was due to the fact that he only sued 3 out of 5 games, max. More plate appearances=more chances to get a walk.

  26. At this point it is getting a little bit difficult not to have one of those deja vu all over again feelings about the Reds and their efforts this off season compared to the off season after 2010 season.

    I think perhaps the linchpin this week was the Ludwick situation. It seems WJ was largely holding off on his second and third moves in anticipation of wrapping Ludwick up first. Then the Victorino and Pagan signings happened to change the market. And then perhaps the whole Span thing all came down too quickly and WJ was caught with his best effort still not on the table. And of all of this is not mention how the obsession with making a multiteam mega deal on the part of several teams the Reds might match up with individually may have gummed the works for WJ.

    So it will be interesting to see how WJ and company regroup from here. I’m thinking Ludwick is probably gone. Cody Ross would seem to me to be their next best chance at filling that spot. I also believe they need to look for a LH hitter who can platoon with Stubbs because I just don’t have a lot of faith in some combination of Heisey and Stubbs somehow doing the job for them in tandem. We’ve been waiting three years for that top happen either as a solo act or tandem; and, it hasn’t. Why should we expect more now??.

  27. @OhioJim: But hey, there is some good news. The earliest sunset of the season is upon us here in the SW Ohio region. Yes, We will keep losing daylight until the solstice because the sunrise will be getting later more quickly than the sunset moves later until then (the latest sunrise isn’t till this time in January). But who cares if it is dark when we go to work? Those expanding minutes of daylight in the afternoons are precious.

    • @OhioJim: Buthey, there is some good news. The earliest sunset of the season is upon us here in the SW Ohio region. Yes, We will keep losing daylight until the solstice because the sunrise will begetting later more quickly than the sunset moves later until then (the latest sunrise isn’t till this time in January). But who cares if it is dark when we go to work? Those expanding minutes of daylight in the afternoons are precious.

      I can understand, Jim. What I am relying on is, from what I can remember, please confirm if incorrect, we didn’t have Latos and Marshall until after the Winter meetings last season. I don’t think we had anything confirmed last season at the Winter Meetings in personnel moves. So, I haven’t given up on Walt. We don’t have the resources to do something like getting Latos and Marshall, in two trades, bringing in 2 players for 7 players. But, we do have some pieces we can play with, for at least one player, anyhow.

      Also, I do believe, if we don’t make any significant personnel changes, I do believe the players are going to have to step up. For, I do believe all the scouts, coaches, and strategists are analyzing the videos to determine any weaknesses any of our players have, to be prepared to take us on. It is going to be harder to win next season; we have the targets aimed at us. It is always harder to repeat. Given that, essentially no one stepped up in 2011, with no personnel changes, I don’t see a good season next season. Don’t get me wrong, I do hope we win. But, I could see us be overtaken. After all, we don’t have the Astros to beat up on, anymore, either.

  28. I don’t think Stubbs is as terrible as others here probably do, but his splits versus LHP/RHP are strongly indicative of someone destined to be a platoon player. And he’s playing for the wrong guy to correctly handle those splits…

    I also think the Reds did him a terrible disservice by trying to “change” his swing/approach. Better to be strikeout-prone gap power hitter than a strikeout-prone slap hitter. Then, early last season, Dusty started publicly saying how Stubbs should take a more aggressive approach and avoid getting 2 strikes. All of a sudden the Reds had an aggressive, strikeout-prone slap hitter on their hands.

    • I don’t think Stubbs is as terrible as others here probably do, but his splits versus LHP/RHP are strongly indicative of someone destined to be a platoon player.And he’s playing for the wrong guy to correctly handle those splits…

      I also think the Reds did him a terrible disservice by trying to “change” his swing/approach.Better to be strikeout-prone gap power hitter than a strikeout-prone slap hitter.Then, early last season, Dusty started publicly saying how Stubbs should take a more aggressive approach and avoid getting 2 strikes.All of a sudden the Reds had an aggressive, strikeout-prone slap hitter on their hands.

      I suspect the added pressure and scrutiny of hitting at the top of the lineup was far more damaging than asking him to face LHPs. I agree that asking him to change his approach was a disservice but it was only complicated by him being the first or second hitter of a game.

      In my opinion I hope Stubbs forgets about 2012 and goes back to the video from 2010, 2011, and his time in the minors. However he held the bat, go with it. Study it with Jacoby. Break it down, return to what he did before and build upon it, rather than some new strikeout reduction plan. Listen to Jacoby – not his family, friends, teammates, high school coach, writers, reporters, fans, anybody else. Build upon what worked before, even if that means Adam Dunn type strikeout totals. Build on what worked in a make or break season.

  29. Bottom line….Do what it takes to get Jacoby Ellsbury. I believe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. He would be a complete stud in our bandbox with speed, power, and discipline.

  30. BTW – If Ludwick signs a deal with the Reds for $3M less than what he can get somewhere else, he’s awesome, but he’s also crazy. No one could blame him for moving on. I love that he’s taken a few days to mull it over.

  31. @Tom Diesman: The more I think about it (and after reading your previous post), the more I believe that there is hope yet for Stubbs to be serviceable for the Reds in ’13. I cannot help but think that Stubbs could yet turn into a poor man’s Devon White. White’s first three years in Toronto were 6+(!) WAR years. These years followed a bad year with the Angels. He was a great defensive player with some pop who struck out alot (albeit not as much as Stubbs). Is Stubbs Devon White? . . . No way. He is not a switch hitter and does not hit RHP well. Unfortunately, he does not see LHP most of the time. However, I do agree that ’12 was an aberration and, if he played against LHP and was spotted quite a bit against RHP, could be an asset to the Reds in ’13. However, his chances of “breaking out” may be increased by a change of scenery and a manager who will, ahem, manage him a bit more effectively.

  32. The Stubbs hating sure has racheted up lately. Stubbs is working hard this off season. Remember the bad year Arroyo had in 2011?? Arroyo re-dedicated himself last winter and it paid off with a good 2012 season. Stubbs is doing the same thing this winter, rededicating himself. He’ll report to spring training in his best shape and he’ll be hungry to hit better next season. Bruce did the same thing last winter. Don’t throw Stubbs under the bus just yet. That being said, I still wouldn’t mind another OF that can hit RH pitching well. MLBtr last night said the Jays are listening to offers for Emilio Bonifacio and that ATL was very interested. The Jays have a surplus of OFers. Bonifacio is a switch hitter that can hit RH pitching, versatile and can steal bases. He and Stubbs would give the Reds offense a new dimension.

    • Stubbs is doing the same thing this winter, rededicating himself. He’ll report to spring training in his best shape and he’ll be hungry to hit better next season. Bruce did the same thing last winter. Don’t throw Stubbs under the bus just yet. That being said, I still wouldn’t mind another OF that can hit RH pitching well.

      In truth, almost every player, every spring, reports in the “best shape of his life” and is poised for a breakout. So unless he has a watershed moment in pitch recognition and swing mechanics, I don’t think that’s much to hang our hats on. Arroyo actually was physically sick, so his conditioning was a different story.

    • @Tom Diesman: Great analysis of Stubbs. I hope Stubbs starts off in the bottom order so he can get a relatively fresh start with relatively little scrutiny. If he performs well he can move up later.

      @WVRedlegs: I think Stubbs’ terrible 2012 season significantly lowered the definition of a ‘breakout year’, at least for him, which makes such an achievement more realistic when compared to his 2010 and 2011 numbers. Pull off a .340 OBP by improving his OBP from a regular around ~.325 and suddenly he’s gone from being on the continual decline to having a great year.

      The Stubbs hating sure has racheted up lately.Stubbs is working hard this off season.Remember the bad year Arroyo had in 2011??Arroyo re-dedicated himself last winter and it paid off with a good 2012 season.Stubbs is doing the same thing this winter, rededicating himself.He’ll report to spring training in his best shape and he’ll be hungry to hit better next season. Bruce did the same thing last winter.Don’t throw Stubbs under the bus just yet. That being said, I still wouldn’t mind another OF that can hit RH pitching well.MLBtr last night said the Jays are listening to offers for Emilio Bonifacio and that ATL was very interested. The Jays have a surplus of OFers.Bonifacio is a switch hitter that can hit RH pitching, versatile and can steal bases. He and Stubbs would give the Reds offense a new dimension.

      Stubbs is just an interesting topic – permanent downward spiral or a talented guy coming off a bad season who should be newly motivated and poised for a breakout year?

      Despite Arroyo’s 2011 season I think Stubbs and Bailey are a much better comparison. Arroyo was sick and unable to work out but he’s had one bad year that obviously corresponded to the diagnosis of his mono. Except for 2011 Arroyo has always been the same with the Reds, headed neither down nor up, not needing to prove anything or jump to some new level. He needed to repeat his other years in 2012 rather than put anything together or improve. He’s always been criticized for lacking raw talent but he’s always been able to prove (look at his numbers) that he was worth his rotation spot.

      Jay Bruce wasn’t ever in a similar situation either. He’s always been criticized for being inconsistent but he’s never had a particularly high amount of trouble. He’s never been in danger of losing his job or needed (or had) a rebound or breakout season. He came to spring training in 2012 in good shape but it’s not like that had a major effect on anything.

      Homer Bailey, the guy who drove to Cincinnati to see billboards advertising ‘he’s here’, the young savior of the Reds’ pitching staff and their future ace, the can’t-miss Cy Young contender. Before 2012 he just couldn’t stay healthy, couldn’t show any signs of improvement, couldn’t put things together. Worthless, junk, find somebody to blame for his failure. Trade him for anything. Send him to the minors. As of last spring he had failed as a pitcher, a huge disappointment for our high expectations. I think he knows better than anybody what Drew Stubbs must be going through right now. Maybe Bailey has some useful advice to give to Stubbs.

      @WVRedlegs: I really doubt that Jocketty feels like he got caught flatfooted when Denard Span was traded. I doubt he’d give up Robert Stephenson for him. The Twins probably remember what he was willing to give up in such a trade from last July’s trade deadline even if they didn’t discuss it again in the past month.

  33. I was giving WJ some of the business about not getting anything done at the winter meetings. Not getting Span or Revere was a big setback for WJ. WJ got caught flatfooted on the Span deal and the Phillies gave up way too much for Revere. I cannot blame WJ for not outbidding the Phillies for Revere. Maybe WJ can keep the communication lines open with the Twins and maybe come away with Willingham before Christmas.

    • I was giving WJ some of the business about not getting anything done at the winter meetings. Not getting Span or Revere was a big setback for WJ.WJ got caught flatfooted on the Span deal and the Phillies gave up way too much for Revere. I cannot blame WJ for not outbidding the Phillies for Revere.Maybe WJ can keep the communication lines open with the Twins and maybe come away with Willingham before Christmas.

      The Twins wanted too much for those guys. I wouldn’t trade two young pitchers for either of those. Seeing what the Phillies gave up was eye opening to what they were asking for.

  34. The trade waters are stirring…I just have a feeling. Walt keeps it all to himself.

    Anyone else notice that JC Sulubran was available in the rule 5 draft? Looks like a good move for the Reds to throw him in the Broxton trade now. I will miss Joseph though.

  35. I’m not sure where the Jacoby Ellsbury rumors are coming from, but I’m very much on board with him. He had a rough 2012, mainly due to injury I think, but the 2011 Ellsbury in GABP an the Reds have two top MVP candidates in their dugout. I don’t think that is an exaggeration.

    • I’m not sure where the Jacoby Ellsbury rumors are coming from, but I’m very much on board with him. He had a rough 2012, mainly due to injury I think, but the 2011 Ellsbury in GABP an the Reds have two top MVP candidates in their dugout. I don’t think that is an exaggeration.

      Why would we trade for a player with a history of injury and only 1 year left of team control?

  36. I keep reading all this stuff on Chapman in the rotation and I just don’t see it being that much of a plus. He is limited on his pitches, he will be limited on the amount of innings he can pitch, he has had arm issues in the past. I disagree with his value as a starter over closer, if you KNOW that you have a better then great chance of winning a game if you can get to the 7th inning and turn it over to your bullpen, to me that aids our pitching staff SO much more then maybe having Chapman in the rotation for 4-5 months.

    As for a “leadoff” hitter, I am so tired of hearing about that. This team won what like 95+ games without a ‘true’ leadoff hitter last year. And does anyone here really believe we lost to the Giants because we didn’t have a ‘true’ leadoff hitter? I still say talk with the Marlins, overpay if you have to and add Mike Stanton and put him in the OF with Bruce and Stubbs and lets go. Offer the Marlins Chapman and Hamilton and a couple other prospects and get this deal done.

  37. I would actually be okay with letting Ludwick walk if he wants more than $8MM per year and then grabbing one of Choo, Gordon, and Fowler to play LF and lead off. Stubbs could then remain in CF until Hamilton is ready. That leaves the team with a bit of a question mark in the clean up spot but a pretty solid lineup otherwise.

    • I’m not sure where the Jacoby Ellsbury rumors are coming from, but I’m very much on board with him.He had a rough 2012, mainly due to injury I think, but the 2011 Ellsbury in GABP an the Reds have two top MVP candidates in their dugout.I don’t think that is an exaggeration.

      I think Ellsbury represents total uncertainty. Two of the past three years have been terribly disappointing and injury filled with an MVP caliber season sandwiched inbetween. He can be had for the low price of $12m a year, plus prospects to acquire him. He could win the MVP or hit under .200 again, hit 5 homeruns or hit 30+, flip a coin.

      I would actually be okay with letting Ludwick walk if he wants more than $8MM per year and then grabbing one of Choo, Gordon, and Fowler to play LF and lead off.Stubbs could then remain in CF until Hamilton is ready.That leaves the team with a bit of a question mark in the clean up spot but a pretty solid lineup otherwise.

      If Ludwick decides that more money is more important to him than the Cincinnati Reds I’m fine with him leaving. If he decides that he’s willing to accept less money to return to Cincinnati I’ll be okay with him returning – it’d clearly represent a desire on his part to stay with the Reds. I think he’ll be happier and his career will go on longer if he stays with the Reds.

      If he leaves and struggles for two years, like he did with the Padres and Pirates, he’ll probably have to strongly consider retiring after his two year deal is up. If he stays and hits well in Cincinnati he might be able to prolong his career, even though he probably wouldn’t be up for as big of a contract when he’s 36. In my opinion I expect him to earn more cash in his career by staying with the Reds rather than ending his career after two years playing elsewhere.

      I think leadoff should be the priority. Hopefully Todd Frazier or Brandon Phillips can adequately fill the cleanup role, or somebody will become available by trade during the season. Either way there are two names worthy of an opportunity while the Reds don’t have a capable leadoff hitter on the roster. Fill the openings, then worry about upgrades. Back to Stubbs, his trade value has reached rock bottom and can only go up from here – he’s going to be replaced by Billy Hamilton one day and they might as well try to raise his trade value beforehand.

      • As reported by KenRosenthal from Fox Sports:

        The Rockies are open to discussing Fowler and have engaged in preliminary trade conversations with the Reds, according to major-league sources. The foundation of a deal could involve players from the Reds’ major-league roster – but not right-hander Homer Bailey, who is unlikely to be moved, sources say. Two obvious candidates for the Rockies would be right-hander Mike Leake, who is losing his spot in the Reds’ rotation to lefty Aroldis Chapman, and center fielder Drew Stubbs, who would lose his job to Fowler.

  38. I still think Ludwick is a viable option for LF & an announcement could be forthcoming this weekend. Ludwick’s performance had deteriorated every year since 2008, until last year. If Ludwick does leave $$$ on the table and resign with the Reds, he could make out long term with another good 2 year contract in 2016 after 2 more solid years hitting cleanup at GABP. That possibility combined with his personal desire to play for the Reds might sway his decision, but I wouldn’t fault him at all for taking the bird in the hand.

    • I still think Ludwick is a viable option for LF & an announcement could be forthcoming this weekend.Ludwick’s performance had deteriorated every year since 2008, until last year.If Ludwick does leave $$$ on the table and resign with the Reds, he could make out long term with another good 2 year contract in 2016 after 2 more solid years hitting cleanup at GABP.That possibility combined with his personal desire to play for the Reds might sway his decision, but I wouldn’t fault him at all for taking the bird in the hand.

      What does he get for two years if he stays in Cincinnati? An everyday job in LF. The writers, including John Fay, seem to love him as a person. The broadcasters seem to love him. The fans like him. He has his own catch phrase thingy – Brother – that Jamie Ramsey really likes. He earns more than enough money to survive. He’s an important Reds’ player, the cleanup hitter. A big bat important to protecting the great Joey Votto. He’s the kinda power hitter who Great American Ballpark was designed for, so it’s an ideal environment for him to hit well and get recognized. A good example, a guy who took less money to play for the Cincinnati Reds. A veteran player. A good influence in the clubhouse. A key part of a contending lineup. If he approves an extension during Redsfest he’ll be the big news story of the event.

      What does he get if he goes to, say, Seattle? A tougher environment to hit. Little, if any, protection in the lineup. Hitting in Safeco would be an uphill battle to prove that 2012 wasn’t a fluke. A fan base that he has to win over again to prove he’s worth how much they overpaid to add him. A team with less of a chance of contending. In Seattle he’d probably be THE big bat and primary target of scrutiny, without Votto overshadowing him. With the New York Mets he’d be the successor to Jason Bay. I think he’d face lots of skepticism elsewhere, which he probably wants to avoid after his trouble in Pittsburgh and San Diego.

  39. I was reading an article last night about how Kansas City is already at their budget limit and they still have not signed a free agent pitcher like they want to. The article alluded to the fact that the Royals will probably trade one of their players that they have already signed to an extension for a starting pitcher and to make salary room for a free agent pitcher. Looks more and more like Alex Gordon could be had for the right package of players. And the Reds have what the Royals need. Gordon is the one that WJ should pursue relentlessly.

    • I was reading an article last night about how Kansas City is already at their budget limit and they still have not signed a free agent pitcher like they want to.The article alluded to the fact that the Royals will probably trade one of their players that they have already signed to an extension for a starting pitcher and to make salary room for a free agent pitcher.Looks more and more like Alex Gordon could be had for the right package of players.And the Reds have what the Royals need.Gordon is the one that WJ should pursue relentlessly.

      I completely agree. The Royals’ search for starting pitching – any starting pitching – does not seem promising. Like when the Reds signed Eric Milton (overpaying him to come to Cincinnati) the Royals are not an appealing place for free agents. Ryan Dempster supposedly turned down a 2 year, $26m offer to go to the Royals. Now they are supposedly considering cheaper options like Kevin Correia, Jair Jurrjens, and Brett Myers. Efforts to trade Wil Myers for aces like James Shields don’t seem to be going well.

      I don’t expect Jocketty to get anything done soon though. The longer it goes on the more desperate the Royals may be to trade. Hopefully he can get Alex Gordon before opening day though. Over three months left to get something done.

      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/12/latest-on-the-royals.html

  40. Reds in on Skip Schumaker trade talks? hardballtalk.com is reporting that. Which I find strange…but I’m into it. Ken Rosenthal also wrote a story how “major-league sources” have said the Reds are talking to the Rockies for Fowler now. Rosenthal says the deal would be Stubbs and Leake for Fowler. Hmm…

    • Reds in on Skip Schumaker trade talks? hardballtalk.com is reporting that. Which I find strange…but I’m into it. Ken Rosenthal also wrote a story how “major-league sources” have said the Reds are talking to the Rockies for Fowler now. Rosenthal says the deal would be Stubbs and Leake for Fowler. Hmm…

      I really wouldn’t be surprised about the Reds targeting Schmaker in their quest for a lefty off the bench – I think he’d be a great pickup. If he plays 2b and CF I assume he can play 3b also, if asked. He doesn’t strike out much. Heck, he’s a better OBP guy (.345 career OBP) than Stubbs, Cozart, or Phillips, if they fail to add another leadoff hitter. He could really improve the lineup and/or bench.

      Over the last three years Schmaker, a lefty, has hit .284 with a .340 OBP against RHPs but .207 with a .285 OBP against LHPs. Great platoon player or pinch hitter.

      The Reds have a history of snatching players from the Cardinals. Former Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty snatching a veteran Cardinals player in Schmaker to replace retiring former Cardinal Scott Rolen makes sense. He more than adequately replaces Miguel Cairo on the bench.

  41. @Shchi Cossack: I wasn’t that interested in Fowler when the deal was for Bailey, but if they could really do it for Leake and Stubbs primarily, I’d really think about it.

    Fowler’s splits don’t look good, but I still think he’d be an upgrade over Stubbs. Leake is a redundant part right now, so trading him for that upgrade doesn’t seem like too much to give.

    Add to that that Stubbs and Leake will make more than Fowler combined and it gives the Reds a little more financial flexibility, and trading Leake makes Chapman to the rotation final (or as final as it can be).

    Fowler
    Phillips
    Votto
    Ludwick
    Bruce
    Frazier
    Hannigan
    Cozart

  42. Leake and Stubbs for Fowler and signing Ludwick really would finalize all the important parts of the roster and lineup for 2013, and finalize the rotation. All Jocketty would have to worry about before opening day is bench players. If Skip Schumaker can be acquired the only remaining piece is a backup shortstop.

  43. The core of the Reds’ starting pitching is pretty well set for the next 4 years, with possible extentions pending for Latos and Bailey. They also have multiple minor league SP nearing major-league readiness and that doesn’t even include the possible move of Chapman to the starting rotation. The starting rotation is just solid and could likely get even better:

    FA Year
    2016 ___ Johnny Cueto
    2016 ___ Mat Latos (possible extention being negotiated)
    2015 ___ Homer Baliey (possible extention being negotiated)
    2016 ___ Mike Leake
    2014 ___ Bronson Arroyo

    The OF is another matter entirely. Except for Bruce (signed through 2017 and a cornerstone in RF), the OF stability is undecided for the next 4 years. Hamilton MAY be ready and effective for 2014. Ludwick MAY resign for 2 years. Stubbs, Heisey and XP have proven to be more role players than proven major league starters. Phipps, Puckett, Fellhauer, Smith, LaMarre, Means, Selsky, Bowe, Lutz, et. al. are all still prospects trying to prove themselves in the minor leagues.

    Adding Fowler, under team control through 2015 even without an extention, from the Rockies would solidify the OF until someone from the minor leagues steps up to seize their opportunity. If Ludwick doesn’t sign with the Reds, adding Myers or Gordon from KC would also solidify the OF long term. WJ still has options and cards to play before ST and the next 4 years look exceptionally promising for the Reds. I just don’t see WJ giving up anything and going for a one-year rental (i.e. Shoo or Ellsbury).

    • The core of the Reds’ starting pitching is pretty well set for the next 4 years, with possible extentions pending for Latos and Bailey.They also have multiple minor league SP nearing major-league readiness and that doesn’t even include the possible move of Chapman to the starting rotation.The starting rotation is just solid and could likely get even better:

      FA Year
      2016 ___ Johnny Cueto
      2016 ___ Mat Latos (possible extention being negotiated)
      2015 ___ Homer Baliey (possible extention being negotiated)
      2016 ___ Mike Leake
      2014 ___ Bronson Arroyo

      The OF is another matter entirely.Except for Bruce (signed through 2017 and a cornerstone in RF), the OF stability is undecided for the next 4 years.Hamilton MAY be ready and effective for 2014.Ludwick MAY resign for 2 years.Stubbs, Heisey and XP have proven to be more role players than proven major league starters.Phipps, Puckett, Fellhauer, Smith, LaMarre, Means, Selsky, Bowe, Lutz, et. al. are all still prospects trying to prove themselves in the minor leagues.

      Adding Fowler, under team control through 2015 even without an extention, from the Rockies would solidify the OF until someone from the minor leagues steps up to seize their opportunity.If Ludwick doesn’t sign with the Reds, adding Myers or Gordon from KC would also solidify the OF long term.WJ still has options and cards to play before ST and the next 4 years look exceptionally promising for the Reds.I just don’t see WJ giving up anything and going for a one-year rental (i.e. Shoo or Ellsbury).

      I would have no problem with Heisey being a regular starter. One thing Baker did do well last year was look to give Heisey and Ludwick about a month at LF to see who can win it. Heisey went first last year and went 288/324 during that span, starting 32 of 35 games. When Ludwick took his turn, with how Ludwick was batting, you just couldn’t take him back out.

      Yes, make no mistake, the only ones who have made Heisey into a role player has been Baker (for some reason) and Ludwick’s bat last season when he took his turn for LF. Heisey has a decent bat. He’s one of the better bunters on the team. He runs well. He plays decent defense. His only weakness I believe has been playing only intermittently, not being able to keep game-situation skills up, like timing hit-n-runs, timing a pitcher on a stolen base, etc., things that can only be kept up by playing in games everyday, not too unusual at all.

      • I would have no problem with Heisey being a regular starter.One thing Baker did do well last year was look to give Heisey and Ludwick about a month at LF to see who can win it.Heisey went first last year and went 288/324 during that span, starting 32 of 35 games.When Ludwick took his turn, with how Ludwick was batting, you just couldn’t take him back out.

        Yes, make no mistake, the only ones who have made Heisey into a role player has been Baker (for some reason) and Ludwick’s bat last season when he took his turn for LF.Heisey has a decent bat.He’s one of the better bunters on the team.He runs well.He plays decent defense.His only weakness I believe has been playing only intermittently, not being able to keep game-situation skills up, like timing hit-n-runs, timing a pitcher on a stolen base, etc., things that can only be kept up by playing in games everyday, not too unusual at all.

        I disagree about Ludwick outperforming Heisey and earning the job away. Ludwick hit hit .190 (11 for 58 – lots of fans wanted him gone) in April 2012 (compared to .214, 9 for 42 for Heisey), the Reds just knew that Ludwick was better than Heisey. Sticking with Ludwick was an unpopular decision for the first few months of 2012. It took until June for Ludwick’s numbers to start becoming respectable. It’s not like Ludwick outhit him from day one.

        As a .214 career hitter against LHPs and a .277 career average against RHPs Heisey continues to be best when used in a platoon role and he should thank Dusty for primarily allowing him to be used in opportune situations to inflate his numbers. Heisey’s ability to excel in certain roles (.329 career average as a pinch hitter) and failure in others (playing everyday, facing LHPs) has made him a role player.

        • I disagree about Ludwick outperforming Heisey and earning the job away.Ludwick hit hit .190 (11 for 58 – lots of fans wanted him gone) in April 2012 (compared to .214, 9 for 42 for Heisey), the Reds just knew that Ludwick was better than Heisey.Sticking with Ludwick was an unpopular decision for the first few months of 2012.It took until June for Ludwick’s numbers to start becoming respectable.It’s not like Ludwick outhit him from day one.

          As a .214 career hitter against LHPs and a .277 career average against RHPs Heisey continues to be best when used in a platoon role and he should thank Dusty for primarily allowing him to be used in opportune situations to inflate his numbers.Heisey’s ability to excel in certain roles (.329 career average as a pinch hitter) and failure in others (playing everyday, facing LHPs) has made him a role player.

          That wasn’t when Baker gave Ludwick his turn, RFM.

  44. @steveschoen: I don’t know, I think an argument could be made that Heisey has made Heisey a role player. In some extended looks, he’s been average at best. He had a huge power drop last season, which was one of his selling points previously. Without that, he’s really got no way to rise above someone, rather than just get a job by somebody else bowing out.

    • @steveschoen: I don’t know, I think an argument could be made that Heisey has made Heisey a role player. In some extended looks, he’s been average at best. He had a huge power drop last season, which was one of his selling points previously. Without that, he’s really got no way to rise above someone, rather than just get a job by somebody else bowing out.

      Well, if his average is average, there are plenty of regular everyday players with average averages. I agree on the power drop, but with that, he hit for a bit BA. I would have to think it dealt with something either he was working on by himself or something Baker/Jacoby told him to work on, as in just making contact with the ball. With his average and OBP being so much higher than Stubbs, I could easily see Heisey has the starting CF, with Stubbs as the late inning defensive replacement as early as the 6-7 inning.

  45. We’ll all think it’s too expensive if the Reds trade for Fowler.

    Supposedly, the trade would include Stubbs, Leake, AND two prospects. I’d imagine the two prospects would consist of one mid to high prospect and one mid to low level prospect.

    Players that come to mind are Soto, Lotzkar, possibly Corcino or Gregorius, Phipps, etc. I will say that if Corcino or Gregorius are involved, then the Reds are probably trading only one “true” prospect. I can’t see them trading two when one is top 100 in the minors.

  46. @rhayex: no one really knows what the deal would be, so it’s hard to say that it would be too expensive. If it was Leake, Stubbs, and two prospects, the prospects would both have to be pretty low for me to think the deal was ok.

  47. I was pretty impressed with XP last year, and his numbers are more or less identical with Heisey’s in the minors. A platoon of the two of them would be pretty decent.

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