2013 Reds

Reds sign Logan Ondrusek to two-year deal

Mark Sheldon is reporting that the Reds have signed reliever Logan Ondrusek to a two-year contract, avoiding arbitration. No report of the terms of the deal.

Ondru the Giant seems like a great guy. I’m not sure I’d have been very urgent to sign him to a multi-year contract. To be frank, Ondrusek wasn’t very good last year, despite the fact that the Reds felt the need to use him in a ton of late-game situations.

He isn’t awful, and I don’t mind having him around as the last guy in the bullpen, but with Aroldis Chapman headed to the rotation, I am mildly concerned that we’ll see Ondrusek in too many eighth innings for my taste.

45 thoughts on “Reds sign Logan Ondrusek to two-year deal

  1. It seems people are forgetting that he was right there with Chapman in regards to keeping a 0.00 ERA.

    • @rfay00:

      It seems people are forgetting that he was right there with Chapman in regards to keeping a 0.00 ERA.

      For a month or two (April, really)… and people were talking about letting him close. And then he remembered he was Logan Ondrusek before Dusty did.

      Steve is right… this really doesn’t mean much and he can be flipped. This isn’t anywhere near the same thing as signing a nearly dead Mike Lincoln for two years.

      However what concerns me a bit (knowing that relievers are erratic anyway) is that in his three years, his:
      WHIP has been moving up (2010: 1.17, 2011: 1.3, 2012: 1.5),
      SO/9 have stayed the same: 6.0, 6.0, 6.4,
      BB/9 is going in the wrong direction: 3.1, 4.1, 5.1.
      Also, his OPS against is also inflating: .669, .676, and in 2012: .752. And before we say he’s been unlucky, his BABIP in 2012 was only .267, with a career .257 mark.

      All in the a very similar amount of innings pitched over the three years: 58.2, 61.1, 54.2

  2. This is the worst thing that ever happened, except for when the Reds resigned Dusty Baker as manager. Clearly, giving Logan Ondrusek a two year deal will ruin the team forever and proves that Walt Jocketty is brain dead and doesn’t want the Reds to win any games ever.

  3. Keep in mind that Ondrusek is just entering his third year of team control. The two year deal is for the same amount of money (or maybe less) than he would have won in arbitration anyhow. It’s not like this was a free-agent signing. I doubt the money in either year would prohibit the Reds from trading him if they want to.

    • Keep in mind that Ondrusek is just entering his third year of team control. The two year deal is for the same amount of money (or maybe less) than he would have won in arbitration anyhow. It’s not like this was a free-agent signing. I doubt the money in either year would prohibit the Reds from trading him if they want to.

      Steve, You’ve made some sense of this for me. I couldn’t understand it, in that it’s not even clear to me that he will make the team out of spring training. He has some trade value, but I’d like to know how much the Reds are paying him.

  4. Question, who was better? Todd Coffee in his best year with the Reds of 2006 or Logan Ondrusek in his worst year with the Reds of 2012? Other than Logan being a little more prone to give up the long ball, hey had VERY similar stats. Yet Coffee was being groomed to be a closer while Ondrusek is the bullpen goat.

    Ondrusek is not terrible, he’s not even average. He’s pretty damn good. He’s just the only mortal in an otherwise otherworldly bullpen.

    • Question, who was better?Todd Coffee in his best year with the Reds of 2006 or Logan Ondrusek in his worst year with the Reds of 2012?Other than Logan being a little more prone to give up the long ball, hey had VERY similar stats.Yet Coffee was being groomed to be a closer while Ondrusek is the bullpen goat.

      TC: This is misleading. Coffey had a strong first half in 2006, got promoted to closer, was a failure at that and didn’t pitch well after returning to the setup role. By the end of 2006 and beyond, no one was thinking of him as a closer.

      In 2012, after a great start Ondrusek ended up having lousy peripherals – look at the stats Matt WI. posted above. Too many walks and HRs, not many Ks.

      I think that Price feels that Ondrusek is better than he’s shown – that with proper “pacing”, as discussed above, his arm can stay fresher and he can be more consistent. He has good stuff, when he slumps it’s because of poor location.

  5. @TC:

    Nah, Ondrusek was awful last year. He walked nearly as many hitters as he did struck out- 31 walks to 39 strikeouts. He had an xFIP of 5.39 (meaning, with average luck always pitching in an average park, his ERA should be around 5.39.) His WHIP was also 1.50, which is terrible.

    Any amount of money the Reds gave to this bum is too much.

  6. I have no problem with Logan Ondrusek’s deal. I’m not concerned about seeing him in the 8th inning much in 2013. He’s competing with Broxton, Marshall, Hoover, and Masset for a setup role, and he’s probably behind them all on the depth chart. If the closer, Chapman, gets hurt (or even less likely if he moves to the rotation) they can trade for a new setupman midseason like they did with Broxton. Lets just hope that useless prospects like Neftali Soto can build up their trade value.

    • I have no problem with Logan Ondrusek’s deal.I’m not concerned about seeing him in the 8th inning much in 2013.He’s competing with Broxton, Marshall, Hoover, and Masset for a setup role, and he’s probably behind them all on the depth chart.If the closer, Chapman, gets hurt (or even less likely if he moves to the rotation) they can trade for a new setupman midseason like they did with Broxton.Lets just hope that useless prospects like Neftali Soto can build up their trade value.

      Hah, you’ve of course decided that there is a 100% that Broxton isn’t the closer. I happen to think Chapman will more likely than not close, but your arguments are unpersuasive.

  7. That’s o.k., what I can’t wait for is to see Cesar Izturis at shortstop twice a week and batting second. WOOOOOO!!!!!

    • That’s o.k., what I can’t wait for is to see Cesar Izturis at shortstop twice a week and batting second.WOOOOOO!!!!!

      I don’t think you have to be very worried about that. He’s probably the third shortstop on the depth chart and probably the 4th secondbaseman after Henry Rodriguez. If he’s with the Reds eventually I would be surprised to see him hitting above 7th or 8th. Whatever the lineup looked like in the past it’s changed with Shin Shoo Choo.

  8. Ondrusek pitched pretty well in April and May last year. Then the wheels fell off. Maybe he felt a little pressure to step up when Masset and Bray were injured and not coming back to the bullpen. Ondrusek will be fine in 2013. If the Reds end up trading him, just don’t do it for a Wilson Exxon Valdez, like WJ did with a LH Jeremy Horst. That trade is still haunting WJ, as he now searches high and low for a LH reliever. If anyone is out of the mix in the bullpen, it should be Masset and/or Arredondo.

    Anyway, that is 1 down and 6 to go in the arbitration process.

  9. My only concern is for how much money. Assuming it is anywhere near what he would get normally, I believe he’s definitely worth it, as long as he is used well. People tend to forget, he had a similar scoring streak like Chapman had going, 15 2/3 I believe. But, then, the second half each year, the numbers went down. Dusty overusing him (which Dusty has a history of) or not pitching enough to stay competitive? But, numbers don’t lie. Just a small sample of Logan’s numbers, 2012, first half ERA 3.23, second half, 3.75. 2011, first half, 1.67, second half 6.87. 2012, was on pace for 74 appearances after the first half (he never pitched in more than 56 games prior to that), he ended with 63. 2011, on pace for 88 games after the first half, ended with 66 games.

    I’d like to see how Logan does if Baker can pace his outings. More like 28-34 outings each half of the season. That’s not too unrealistic, pitching about 1 out of every 3 games.

    I said last year, it seemed like to me that Baker has almost a set rotation of:

    – ahead after 6 innings: Logan, Marshall, Chapman
    – behind after 6 innings: most anyone else.

    Never did like rotations like that. For, what happens if we are ahead after 6 innings 5-6 games in a row where the starter still needs to be pulled? You have to pace your pen.

    And, then, like last year, especially early in the season when our offense was nowhere to be seen and the pitching was lights out, Baker (like many managers would do) was going to go with the arms that brought him there. One of them was namely Logan early in the season.

    • My only concern is for how much money. Assuming it is anywhere near what he would get normally, I believe he’s definitely worth it, as long as he is used well. People tend to forget, he had a similar scoring streak like Chapman had going, 15 2/3 I believe. But, then, the second half each year, the numbers went down. Dusty overusing him (which Dusty has a history of) or not pitching enough to stay competitive? But, numbers don’t lie. Just a small sample of Logan’s numbers, 2012, first half ERA 3.23, second half, 3.75. 2011, first half, 1.67, second half 6.87. 2012, was on pace for 74 appearances after the first half (he never pitched in more than 56 games prior to that), he ended with 63. 2011, on pace for 88 games after the first half, ended with 66 games.I’d like to see how Logan does if Baker can pace his outings. More like 28-34 outings each half of the season. That’s not too unrealistic, pitching about 1 out of every 3 games.I said last year, it seemed like to me that Baker has almost a set rotation of:- ahead after 6 innings: Logan, Marshall, Chapman- behind after 6 innings: most anyone else.Never did like rotations like that. For, what happens if we are ahead after 6 innings 5-6 games in a row where the starter still needs to be pulled? You have to pace your pen.And, then, like last year, especially early in the season when our offense was nowhere to be seen and the pitching was lights out, Baker (like many managers would do) was going to go with the arms that brought him there. One of them was namely Logan early in the season.

      As well as, like others have said, at minimum, Logan or any of the arbitration players, as well as Rolen if he comes back, could be a bargaining chip for something.

  10. @steveschoen: Agreed. But there would be no reason for the Reds to pay him more than he would have earned in arbitration both years. If anything, the Reds would get a financial benefit by guaranteeing the second year. They also guard against Ondrusek having a better 2013 and getting a larger bump in 2014. This signing is all about getting some salary predictability and avoiding the ugliness of arbitration hearings. One possible downside (other than Ondrusek will stink) is that the Reds have some sunk cost for 2014 in the event they would have preferred to non-tender Ondrusek in 2014.

    The Reds may have done this to make him a better trade commodity.

    • @steveschoen: Agreed. But there would be no reason for the Reds to pay him more than he would have earned in arbitration both years. If anything, the Reds would get a financial benefit by guaranteeing the second year. They also guard against Ondrusek having a better 2013 and getting a larger bump in 2014. This signing is all about getting some salary predictability and avoiding the ugliness of arbitration hearings. One possible downside (other than Ondrusek will stink) is that the Reds have some sunk cost for 2014 in the event they would have preferred to non-tender Ondrusek in 2014.The Reds may have done this to make him a better trade commodity.

      Agreed, Steve. Like I said, “My only concern is for how much money.” I’m not concerned with how good a pitcher Logan is at all, really.

  11. @redsfanman:

    Redsfanman: Since you wrote your “all signs point to Chapman closing post” (and even before) you remain the only person who is printing that Chapman will be closing.

    With every publication since that post still pointing at Broxton closing and Chapman starting, you are beating a lonely drum.

    Broxton is closing and will be in the same 40 of 45 range of Chapman and Cordero.

    Marshall will pitch the 8th.

    Logan, JJ and Marshall are competing for the 7th +

  12. @reaganspad: @reaganspad: Probably best to just ignore those attempts at reigniting that conversation. It’s either A) intentional needling of people for fun (“look how much I love bringing up something you don’t agree with!”) B) an innocent lack of awareness that conversation is over and clearly people aren’t changing opinions, so why continue it (especially in non related threads)?

    In both cases, best to ignore until there is an actual thread about the situation itself. He may end up being right, there’s plenty good chance about it, but engaging in the reasons why and how is futile until there is an actual decision.

  13. I haven’t seen how much money the deal is for but I agree with most that it probably isn’t for any more than he would have gotten in arbitration. The biggest difference is the Reds won’t have the ability to non-tender him after the season should he get hurt or be non-productive. They’ll be on the hook for some decent money in 2014.

    I think Ondrusek is a capible pitcher when used properly. He has flashes of being quite tough. When he is staying on top of the ball and doesn’t drop his arm-angle, his pitches have nice sink. The movement is late. I think Ondrusek’s biggest issue has been conditioning. He started dropping his arm-angle more and not finishing his pitches late in the season the past two years. If I’m right, then I’m sure that the Reds’ training staff sees it too. I think a combination of spreading out his workload (as redsfanman suggested) and better condition (which hopefully he’s been doing), will help him stay solid through the entire year.

    Should he be pitching in “high-leverage” situations? I think it really depends on how he’s going at the time. When he’s on I’ll take him to work the 8th or get that DP-grounder in the 7th to bail a pitcher out anytime. When he’s struggling, he should be used more when the Reds are behind by a couple runs and they need a couple innings. Of course that goes against the “set role” philosophy of some pitching coaches and managers. That’s my philosophy however, except when you have 2-3 guys who are consistently shutdown kind of guys.

  14. Oh and for the record, I wish I wasn’t so busy. I love commenting on this site and reading the discussion here.

  15. Just saw this… Corey Hart to have knee surgery, out 3-4 months. Oh Joey, keep that knee strong!

  16. Well the early returns are in:

    Shin-Soo Choo filed at $8MM and the Reds offered $6.75MM
    Homer Bailey filed at $5.8MM and the Reds filed at $4.75MM.
    Mat Latos asked for $4.7MM and the Reds offered $4.15MM

    • Shin-Soo Choo filed at $8MM and the Reds offered $6.75MM
      Homer Bailey filed at $5.8MM and the Reds filed at $4.75MM.
      Mat Latos asked for $4.7MM and the Reds offered $4.15MM

      They are close, but the Reds would loose all three of these in arbitration.

  17. I’m kind of surprised the Reds couldn’t reach agreement with any of these players, even in the short term. Maybe they will quickly now that the numbers are out there. Homer’s ask seems high but the Reds number seems low on him. I was thinking about $5.3 or $5.4 – probably a good thing for Homer I’m not his agent.

  18. And the remaining three arbitration eligibles:

    Mike Leake filed for $3.5MM while the Reds offered $2.65MM.
    Chris Heisey filed for $1.65MM while the Reds offered $1.05MM.
    Alfredo Simon filed for $1.05MM while the Reds countered with $750K.

    • Mike Leake filed for $3.5MM while the Reds offered $2.65MM.
      Chris Heisey filed for $1.65MM while the Reds offered $1.05MM.
      Alfredo Simon filed for $1.05MM while the Reds countered with $750K.

      I think the Reds would win each of these.

  19. @Shchi Cossack: Looks to me like Heisey and Leake could get interesting.

    By way of comparison, Choo is asking over for over 4x what Heisey is but the difference between the player and the club with Choo is only in the neighborhood of twice as much (in raw $$$) as the difference between Heisey and the club. Based on the players’ offers that’s a 16% difference on Choo and a 33.33% difference with Heisey.

    On the same basis there is an 18% difference between Bailey and the club versus just under a 25% difference between Leake and the club.

  20. @LWBlogger: When he’s on, he should close.

    It’s not really that easy.

    Considering that Ondrusek is bad more than he’s good, has terrible peripheral numbers, and they have a bunch of guys who are better than him, he should be pitching for the Cardinals. The ones in Kentucky.

  21. @pinson343: I’m confused how it was a good deal to sign him for 2 years, even if he’s being paid about what he’d get in arbitration this year. I say this because why are they dumping a second year of money at the guy when they don’t need to? You do that if you think he’d cost a lot more in the second year. There’s no reason for me to believe that.

  22. @pinson343: I don’t even think he has good stuff. If you want a pitcher with good stuff yet shaky control, Simon’s your man. He’s got some nasty stuff.

    Comparing Ondrusek to Coffey is fine, but Coffey was considered for stopper on teams not very good. Plus, with the same sort of crappy K and BB numbers, he’s had a pretty bad career after the Reds got rid of him. If we’re really comparing them, it doesn’t bode well for Ondrusek’s career.

  23. I find the numbers with Choo to be interesting. The “book” projection on him was supposedly $8M. The Reds even got around $3M thrown into the deal from the Tribal to supposedly make it a salary neutral proposition. Now the actual figures come out and Choo (Agent Boras) is right $8M anf the Reds are at 6.75M to set a mid point of under 7.5M.

    Makes a person wonder if there is some posturing going on with those figures in hopes of framing a multiyear deal.

  24. I think we all agree that signing Latos and/or Bailey to a long-term contract to buy out ARB and couple of years of FA is something WJ plans on at least trying to accomplish. The more I look at the current Reds’ roster and the ML roster projected for the next few years, I have to wonder what WJ plans are for Choo. WJ just doesn’t traditionally trade for rental players, although the draft p[ick compensation does offset the one-year rental status for Choo, but what about extending Choo? Choo’s game is not predicated on speed, but rather getting on base and utilizing his plus speed to score runs, not necessarily stealing bases. That plays well in the Reds’ lineup. Ludwick is signed through 2014 when he will be 37 by the end of the season. BHam is slated for CF in 2014, but he still has yet to take an AB in AAA, so that schedule could require an adjustment. What if WJ offers a 6 year, $78MM contract to Choo, including his final ARB year for 2013? If Choo is extended, when BHam is ready to join the show, Choo moves over to LF. There are no other near ML ready OF prospects waiting in the minor league pipeline and that would solidify the ML OF for the next several years and a back loaded six-year contract might work for both sides. Boras has not had a lot of success in getting FA contracts for his clients requiring draft pick compensation this year. Just a thought that keeps tickling the back of my head..

  25. What about Donald Lutz? He may be ready for Left Field by the time Ludwick’s contract runs out. Left Fielders can be had on the FA market as well.

  26. @TC: I’m a HUGE Donald Lutz fan, but he is still a prospect, unproven above A+. He had a great ST last season and had a great AZ Fall League start before injuring his hand. I’m not ruling out Lutz as a possibility. I’m also a HUGE BHam fan, but BHam is still unproven at the AAA or ML level and if his development is delayed, the Reds again have no leadoff hitter for 2014. Choo provides an exceptional option at leadoff, with or without BHam, and has enough flaws in his game to make him reasonably affordable. Every report I’ve seen has Choo as an exceptional character and cluhouse presense, something highly value by Reds’ management. I’m just thinking out loud and passing the time until pitchers and catchers report. I’m sure that BC & WJ can and will handle the contracts admirably without my assistance.

    • I found this little snippet over at MLBTR by Ben Nicholson-Smith from his interview with Alex Anthopoulos interesting.

      MLB arbitrators prefer traditional stats such as wins, saves and RBI, which means those stats take on additional importance each winter when teams negotiate salaries with their arbitration eligible players. There’s often a significant difference between what arbitrators value and what front offices value. “The arbitration process is totally different,” Anthopoulos said. “Guys get paid on power, guys get paid on holds out of the bullpen, wins, things like that. Not necessarily the same things you evaluate as a free agent.”

      I thought the Reds’ offer of $6.75MM was very low. The explanation proferred by Antholpoulos could explain some of the disparity in the arbitration numbers submitted for Choo if Boras is submitting based on a rational of FA value and the Reds are submitting on a rational of ARB value.

      Choo’s BA and SLG was significantly reduced in 2011 & 2012 from his prior three years as a starter. His large raise of $3.5MM for his 1st year of ARB was due to his performance during those prior three years. His minimal raise of $0.9MM for his 2nd year of ARB was a combination of those prior three years and his limited, injury plagued performance in 2011. His reduced HR and SLG in 2012 could result in an actual ARB award decision closer to the Reds offer of a $1.85MM raise over his 2012 salary rather than Boras’ demand of a $3.1MM raise ofver his 2012 salary.

      If the Reds have no inclination or ability to sign Choo long term, then going through a nasty arbitration hearing probably wouldn’t be as much of a problem since Choo would be playing and producing for his 2014 and beyond contract as a FA despite any hard feeling generated by the arbitration hearing.

  27. @Shchi Cossack: Pretty much agreed. I will say, for 1 hole and 2 hole hitters, SLG isn’t as much of a concern as OBP. At least, that’s what I would look for. I would be interested in my 1-2 hole hitters getting on base for my RBI guys rather than a high SLG. A high SLG from them would be great and icing on the cake. I just wouldn’t look for a high SLG from them.

  28. I think I just heard that the Reds signed Armando Galarraga to a minor league deal. Minor-league depth??

  29. If the expectation was Logan Ondrusek was to be the closer or even regular setup man, I think perspective would be different. The guy is like the 4th or 5th arm out of the pen and while being probably average, has had plenty of ok showings to go with the bad.

    Beyond that, being that the guy is very tall, it’s not unusual for some of those pitchers to figure out better control as they get more experience. Ondrusek not striking out batters isn’t that he doesn’t throw hard as he at times throws plenty hard enough more than he doesn’t have movement to get people to swing and miss. You never know, they might find that certain thing and all the sudden you can’t hit him.

    If the guy does what he has done the past 3 seasons in the same role, that would probably be ok too. I’m sure there are plenty of clubs that would trade for him.

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