The start of a new week brings barely a tweet about the Reds’ search for a new manager. Apparently the Reds’ brass is in Arizona, which happens to be where Bryan Price lives this time of year. One theory on the timing is the Reds won’t make an announcement until after the World Series. Another theory is they will make it before the World Series begins.
But what does no news mean? Maybe just that the Reds are good at keeping secrets. John Fay wonders if the lack of rumors indicates the club has only considered in-house candidates.
I’m beginning to wonder if the Reds are seriously considering any outside candidates to replace Dusty Baker. No names have leaked out, despite the fact that LCSs are going. With all the writers and scouts gathered together, that’s Petri dish for rumors.
It’s a reasonable process to begin with your own people and then branch out. Although that approach may be evidence the Reds aren’t letting their goal of change trump all the internal candidates. Baseball insider Peter Gammons tweeted a couple days ago that he’s hearing the name of Jim Riggleman, one of those in-house options.
There are a lot of industry rumblings that Jim Riggleman is going to end up with that Reds managerial job.
Brandon Kraeling at Red Reporter, makes a strong case for hiring Bryan Price, the other organization candidate. Kraeling observes the generational change taking place in managerial hiring across the major leagues and the implication of that for the Reds:
Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Lou Piniella have all hung up their awkward fitting old-man uniforms lately, and this season has now seen Charlie Manuel, Davey Johnson, and Dusty Baker leave teams where they’ve had success. The new wave has seen younger, less “experienced” managers given the reins of franchises, some even in high profile, win-now scenarios like Don Mattingly and Mike Matheny. Price, now 12 years deep as a pitching coach at the major league level, fits that mold, and the Reds would be wise to see the signals.
The other question is the obvious lack of managing/coaching experience — though obviously, his experience as a player is almost universally positive, and as he (O’Neill) pointed out, there’s a new trend in baseball not to require past managerial work. “What does managing in double-A where you might have a couple prospects have to do with making decisions in the World Series?” he pointed out. O’Neill learned in the trenches from the best, watching Joe Torre, Buck Showalter and Lou Piniella. He wonders if that’s enough to win one of the best jobs in baseball.
Fay reports that O’Neill isn’t a serious candidate yet.
Someone from the Reds did contact Paul O’Neill, but it wasn’t Jocketty or owner Bob Castellini. At this point, O’Neill isn’t a serious candidate.
Aside from no news on the next manager, a bit of a disagreement among friends has broken out at the Cincinnati Enquirer about whether the Reds should trade a major starting pitcher. John Erardi writes today that the Reds, among other steps, should trade Homer Bailey or Aroldis Chapman for a bat.
Why do I say this? Because I feel like I’ve got to have a left fielder with pop, or a third baseman with pop, and the only way I can afford to get them is via trade. Even without Arroyo and with Bailey or Chapman gone, I feel I have five starters — Mat Latos, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Cingrani and either Bailey or Chapman, whichever one I don’t trade, with Stevenson coming strong. Not that I want to trade Bailey, but I’m not sure he’s someone who is worth losing to free agency. You have to shop him around. if you look at what the Rays got for James Shields (Wil Myers-plus) or the Brewers for Zack Grienke (Jean Segura and Johnny Hellweg), you have to think that the Reds could get one major-league-ready hot-shot kid in a deal involving Bailey, no? In fact, I wonder if Bailey could head up a package to acquire Jurickson Profar.
John Fay, Erardi’s colleague at the Enquirer, disagrees:
I would not trade Homer Bailey, even if Aroldis Chapman is moved to the starting rotation. I would not trade Chapman under any circumstance. Pitching is the key to success in the postseason. The Cardinals are the best hitting team in the National League, but they’re up 2-0 in NLCS because of their pitching shut down the Dodgers. Bailey has the type of stuff to be a shut-down guy. It took Max Scherzer of the Detroit five years to develop into an ace. Bailey’s dropped his ERA each of the last five years. It’s gone from 4.43 to 3.68 to 3.49 the last three years.
I’m on Fay’s side here. Pitching in the postseason is exactly why Aroldis Chapman needed to be a starter in 2012 and 2013. Same with 2014 and beyond.
Erardi’s two examples don’t quite fit. James Shields still had two years left on his contract at the time of the trade, Bailey only has one. So Homer is unlikely to fetch anything near Wil Myers. Is half of Wil Myers better than Todd Frazier? The Greinke trade was made at the end of July, when the Brewers were nine games below .500 and the Angels in the thick of a division race. That’s an argument for holding on to Homer until the 2014 trade deadline and moving him then if the Reds are out of it.
For a team like the Reds that expects to contend for a championship next season, certain players are simply worth holding onto even at the risk of losing them to free agency. Like Shin-Soo Choo this year.