Cold Stove

Trade speculation

The Reds have been connected in trade rumors today to outfielders Marlon Byrd (Phillies) and Alex Rios (Rangers). Presumably, either would play LF for the Reds. Here are averages of two slash line “rest of the season” projections and their current defensive runs saved for 2014, plus those stats for Ryan Ludwick:

Byrd: .262/.317/.437, +6 DRS (right field)

Rios: .278/.315/.423, -4 DRS (right field)

Ludwick: .246/.310/.404, -4 DRS

Rios (turns 34 in February) is making $12.5 million this year, so approximately $4.2 million is left on his 2014 salary. He has a $13.5 million club option for 2015 and a $1 million buyout.

Byrd (turns 37 end of August) is making $8 million this year, so a little under $3 million left for 2014, and he is signed for $8 million next year. He also has a $8 million option for 2016 that vests if he reaches 1,100 PA between 2014 and 2015. If he falls short of that target, it becomes a team option.

Ludwick (turned 36 this month) has a $9 million team option for 2015 with a $4.5 million buyout.

35 thoughts on “Trade speculation

    • Absolutely. These guys would be complete train wrecks to the development of the club. A fools errand. I pray WJ has better sense than to procure any of these guys. God help us. Older means greater likelihood of injuries as well.

      • Would they though? If you have them this year it is an upgrade for the remainder of the season. Then you have them for next year and wait for Winker to be ready. Start either of those in LF and let Winker ease in or start the year at AAA. Then in 2016, when Winker is realistically ready that outfielder is out. I don’t think trading them and taking them next year is a bad idea. Their salaries will be gone when you really need them to be in 2016 with all the pitching contracts coming up.

        Heck, even if you end up not wanting Rios next year, it is only a $1 buyout.

        Byrd’s contract is the risky one that I would be afraid of.

        • Wrong direction – boondoggle.. Think younger not older. Valuable resources spent on aging the club? I don’t think so. 2014 is now officially in the books as it relates to Reds WS aspirations. Four days to deal. Let’s do it.

        • If you could get Rios relatively cheap without losing any top prospects I don’t see it as a lose / lose situation. It is all dependent on what “valuable resources” the Reds would be parting with.

          It would help keep butts in the seats this year and gives you an option to have a “legit’ LF next season. Then Reds will still be looking for an answer at LF next season to be a contender… even if they decide to go “younger”. Winker is most likely the future in LF, but chances are he will not be the answer next season. Wouldn’t be a terrible idea to fill it with someone who could still produce for at least 1 more year.

        • Problem is, if whoever the old guy we get; has a decent season, they will extend him for another 3 years. Rule one: take the scissors out of the kid’s hands before letting him run.

        • I see what you are saying. And I can somewhat agree. But that is assuming the Reds will sign whoever to a multi year deal after next season. Not guaranteed especially if your top prospect is ready to take that spot.

          Who are you proposing be in LF start next season? If it is not a veteran who can play there for a year until Winker is ready to take the reins, then who? Are you saying we should keep running the same group out there?

          I say if you have the option to run a guy out there to better the team… even if it is only for one season, do it.

  1. I don’t see either of those players being enough of an upgrade over Ludwick (or Heisey) to warrant a short term rental type trade, nor to say “okay, now we’re set for the next two years.” Any resources the Reds have to offer in return should be held for bigger and better things. I’d rather see pitching packaged for a high level outfield prospect or two than either of these aging, decent but not exceptional outfielders.

  2. If the team was healthy and all the regulars were playing then getting a guy pike this would make sense – someone to solidify the lineup for a postseason run. But as currently constructed I don’t think bringing in either of these guys would really be worth it. While being decent they wouldn’t really move the needle enough to make a huge difference. This team as is, needs more than one middling bat in my opinion.

  3. What in the world is the point to a trade, at this point, for Byrd or Rios? . . . If BP, Votto, and Bruce were healthy and hitting, maybe.

    • Correct, the fact that the team is playing poorly adding a marginal player with short comings only adds to the mess we already have. I have said this before, Ted Williams couldn’t save this team because they are not playing good baseball.

  4. I’d like to point out that, according to Mark Sheldon, the Phillies were the ones who approached Jocketty, not the other way around. So it may have been them attempting to sell Byrd, as opposed to Jocketty trying to buy. I’ve been one of his biggest criticizers but (while I would rather he sell), doing nothing at this trade deadline would be better than being a buyer.

  5. I would be against picking up either of those guys. I don’t think Byrd is that good and am skeptical about the huge power uptick this late in his career after he was suspended for PEDs. Rios is a solid player but I would not want to see the Reds allocate the significant salary for the slight upgrade.

    Provided he was cheap to acquire. I’d like to see the Reds pick up Will Venables from SD. He is having an awful season but has been above 100 OPS+ the rest of his career, with good seasons in 2012 (115 OPS+) and 2013 (125 OPS+). The Reds would have him as a 3rd year arbitration guy next season and he would likely get a minimal raise, if any, from 4.25 million after the rough season this year. His power might also translate better in GABP than SD. I’d also be all for the Reds taking a flyer on Rasmus after the season on a cheap contract. He is young, good power, and would be a plus defender in LF. Definitely has question marks as well.

  6. The time to upgrade the Reds roster was last summer at the trade deadline or during the off season.There is no reason to try and salvage this season. Move Broxton, or Chapman and whichever starting pitcher the team doesn’t think it can resign.

    Hope Votto can get healthy for 2015, Frazier, Mesoraco and Hamilton continue to improve and acquire a left fielder who can hit.

  7. One thing I haven’t seen any comments on: how is Castellini managing Jocketty’s contract status and its impact on how he acts at the deadline? Does Jocketty already know he’ll be back, so he takes a longer term view? Is there extra oversight so he doesn’t do anything kind of crazy to save his job? Have they already agreed Jocketty won’t be back and are managing things by committee? I seriously doubt that a man as smart as Castellini has left Jocketty uncertain about his future and yet poised to make crucial decisions that will impact this very valuable business for years to come.

    • This is a great point. Is Walt desperately trying to buy, thinking that he will lose his job if they don’t win this year? . . . I would hope that communication is better than this. If this is the end of Walt’s tenure, I would love to know the post-mortem stories behind the Bailey and Phillips extensions, the Latos and Marshall trades, the Broxton/Madsen contracts, and the decision to leave Chapman as reliever.

  8. The TulowiTzki trade rumors are heating up. I would hope Jocketty throws his hat into the ring here. This is one case that Jocketty can’t sit idly by and do nothing.
    Cards interest is heating up considerably. Considerably! Mets and RedSox mentioned. Jocketty could put a better package offer on the table with Latos, Travieso, Lively, YorRod, and whomever else the Rockies would want (Barnhart, Ervin, Lutz, Seth Mejias Brean). However, the Reds could put a nicer package together with Latos added than the Mets or the RedSox without having to have Stephenson, Lorenzen or Winker in the mix.
    This would be no band-aid move. This move would have implications for several seasons. Move Cozart to 2B and then have a chance to move BP’s contract during the winter GM meetings. And then could also add a real LF this winter.

      • keep an eye on how Toronto’s season ends this year. If they just miss out on the playoffs or make the wild card and exit early, things get interesting there. Next season might be one of those “All-in” years for them as they have a few big contracts expiring. BP could possibly fit the bill if the Jays go truly all-in. The Jays can score runs, and wouldn’t need his bat as much as his defense. Stranger things have happened.

  9. This should have been a retooling year anyway. Extending Bailey was a mistake, the Reds should have dealt him and tried actually get a solid roster together to compete for the World Series in 2015.

    Even if the Reds are within shouting distance of the second wild card, does anyone think that this team is a real contender? Look at what the Nats just threw at us. Better pitching, better offense. Ditto the Dodgers, and that’s just in the NL. At full strength this Reds team is maybe the 3rd or 4th best team in the NL.

    • That question is the important one. Not only do the Reds need to go 38-20 to finish the season to get to 90 wins, they also then need to be able to actually beat playoff teams in order to advance.

      I don’t think any of those players would help them go 38-20, let alone be able to beat the Brewers/Nationals/Dodgers/Giants in the postseason. So I still think it’s time to sell. Get rid of some payroll and get some top prospects in all of America to stock your minor league system to the brim, and see what your new GM can do with that in 2015.

      Say they trade Simon, Chapman, Broxton, and maybe Cueto and reap something like 7 or 8 of top 10 prospects for them. You don’t need to keep all of them in the offseason. Package 3 of them up and deal them for someone maybe, Latos style if need be. Either way, your farm system will be stocked for both young talented players that maybe you can call up and they will have 6 years of team control, and you’ll have plenty of chips for trading later on top of that.

      I am sure the Dodgers would like Cueto to make their rotation unstoppable. See if you can get Joc Pederson and Corey Seager from them.

      Maybe Seattle would like Simon to help secure them the wild card spot they’re currently like 1.5 games behind for. Maybe get Nick Franklin and a pitching prospect for him.

      Either way, the Reds have nothing at SS/2B/1B in the pipeline. They could also use an OF. This is a good chance to solve all these issues. Bring in the new GM, Get rid of all these 30-something former Cardinals. Have a fresh young team with a new mentality, new batting approach, and have at it in 2015-onward.

  10. At the allstar break: Get a bat. Today? Rebuild now. Phillips and Votto are done for the season and even WITH the two the Reds were a player short with no money or minor league talent with which to acquire a bat. Cueto Latos and Chapman are 20-25M Players at contract time, the Reds cant sign. Simon is at his highest value in his career, Bruce is a platoon player at best. Teams are at their most desperate at the trade deadline. Flip them all and rebuild around Frazier, Hamilton, Mesoraco. Too bad Phillips cant go and Votto is untradeable due to his contract. The Marlins have won 2 more World Series in the since the Reds have under the blow it up and rebuild model.

  11. LOL. Among the trade rumors for Lester, Lackey, CarGo and others, the Reds announce that Ryan Ludwick is available. No other mention of the Reds.

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