Texas continues to troll for a center fielder, a search that currently winds from free agent Mike Cameron through Los Angeles and Cincinnati. The Rangers apparently like the outfielder the Dodgers are trying to move — Juan Pierre — but only if he brings along a significant portion of the $26.5 million remaining on his contract. Discussions with the Reds involve Josh Hamilton, but include a price (Edinson Volquez) the Rangers may not want to meet.

Did Volquez have some injury issue in ’07? He started the year in A+ and finished in the majors.

UPDATE 6:45 PM Friday: Per the Official site, Hamilton has been traded to Dallas for two young pitchers, right-hander Edinson Volquez and left-hander Danny Herrera.

The hard-throwing, 24-year-old Volquez fanned 166 batters while going 14-6 at three Minor League stops last season.

Herrera, 23, appeared in seven games for Class A Bakersfield and 34 games for Double-A Frisco. All of his appearances for Frisco were in relief, and he allowed 43 hits and struck out 64 in 52 1/3 innings.

Questions to ponder:

  • Was Krivsky right to trade Hamilton at his peak?
  • Did he get enough in return?
  • Does this mean Jay Bruce starts the season in CF, or does this clear a path for Freel/Hopper?
  • John Sickels liked Volquez, but questioned whether the Rangers could develop him. Are the Reds any better-equipped?
  • What does this mean about the apparent “win now” mandate?
  • Does Volquez get packaged up for Bedard?

About The Author

I've been a Reds fan since the late '60's, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in '84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in '90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

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44 Responses

  1. GregD doesn’t keep as long of a history on it’s player profiles as it used to, only going back to August on Volquez. He had 32 starts last year, so if he was injured it was not an in-season issue. There is a diary on John Sickels’ website from March 2007 indicating that he was sent to single-A to work on his control.

  2. Willy

    i looked at his stats im not impressed he’s not worth giving up hammie for

  3. Tom

    One would think if all the Reds were asking for return is Edinson Volquez then the Rangers couldn’t accept that trade fast enough. Reds have to be after Eric Hurley in this.

  4. Chris

    Hamilton may or may not be a superstar, but barring catastrophic injury or relapse, he IS going to be a productive major leaguer.

    Edinson Volquez is a big fat “who knows.” The guy really, really needs to figure out his control, and until he does, he’s going to be worthless. There is a really long list of guys with his profile who never amounted to anything.

    In any event, I can’t see this guy contributing for ’08. Since every other move or rumored move has been aimed at winning now, this rumor seems very unlikely.

  5. Chris

    To clarify, Volquez could contribute in ’08, but I think he’s a bigger risk than Bailey, who the team already doesn’t want to count on.

  6. GregD

    Since every other move or rumored move has been aimed at winning now, this rumor seems very unlikely.

    Good point, Chris. It could be a poorly worded rumor, i.e. there are other players involved and the inclusion of Volquez is what’s preventing the deal from going through.

  7. David

    Here’s a good article on the 24 year old.

    Edinson Volquez was the Rangers top prospect in 06 and fell to third in 07 according to BA – in part because they traded for Danks.

    His pro stats don’t look great but at AAA last year he did pretty darn good:

    8 starts
    6-1 record
    0 HRs
    3:1 K:BB ratio
    11.65 K/9IP

    Those were better numbers than Bailey’s, though I’m not suggesting Edinson Volquez is in Bailey’s league.

    One more note. He claims to have added a sinker this year.

  8. preach

    That was the impression of the rumor I got Greg. It was his inclusion that hindered the move.

    But could you imagine the workout Ross would get with this guy and Coffey? Throw in Burton when he goes on one of his plate finding expeditions and that’s as much uncontrolled heat as anyone can handle.

  9. David

    Before everyone gets all crazy over this, I want to wait a few days or hours to see what impact this has on a deal for Bedard.

    Why wouldn’t it be a three team deal? Good question. raised the possibility and so I’m throwing it out there.

  10. preach

    Yikes. I hope this has some future applications. Otherwise, I’m beside myself.

  11. Lefty


    I wonder if Dusty is having any effect on recent transactions.

    From all accounts, one of Dusty’s major assets is his ability to run a clubhouse.

    Releasing Cantu: may not make sense from a pure talent standpoint. But remember, Tampa Bay relished the opportunity to rid him from the clubhouse. And, given that he would probably have to accept a minor/utility role with the Reds, do you think he would have been happy?

    Also, Fay reports that players did not necessarily take well to Hamilton’s personal gatekeeper, Johnny N. Plus, no Johnny N. this year. Perhaps Dusty and Wayne thought it best to cut their losses.

    24 Year Old Minor League Pitchers of the Year that throw 95MPH+ are not easy to come by.

    I still stand by my earlier statement that, in the long run, Hamilton will prove to be undervalued. But, the trade may be a good thing for the Reds, if Volquez pans out.

  12. preach

    OK, after doing some reading on these two, I don’t feel so terrible about this one, just mildly nauseated (take your victories where you can get them, I guess). Herrea seems to make up for losing Guevarra to Rule V; they almost look like the same guy. I’m a little concerned about Edinson’s HRs. It could conceivably double in GABP. His ERA is quite high. He can throw through iron plating, and if he can develop a curve ball, he might be a solid #3 type of starter. This might not be part of a bigger plan, and I guess swapping a potential all star outfielder for a potential #3 and a prospect isn’t that crazy of a move. I will miss Hobbs, and I pray the best for him.

  13. james

    i like this trade. It makes room for bruce, and Bruce needs to start opening day.

    Also, does anyone remember that hamilton only played 90 games last year due to many random injuries? I never liked that about him.

  14. snake

    Right now I hate the deal but I’m optimistic. Hopefully, Krivsky knows what the #### he is doing.

  15. Sultan of Swaff

    The quote from the Rangers blog says it all—Hobbs has proven he can do it in the bigs, Volquez hasn’t. Advantage Rangers. Not even the lefty thrwon in balances that out. Even if you spin this into Bedard (and thin the ranks even more in the process), you’re going to be overpaying for 2 free agent outfielders next offseason. And we still haven’t made the team better NOW, thereby failing at the stated reason for doing this!! This makes our situation even more precarious offensively, and our rotation is still a huge question mark. Color me glum. If there’s a silver lining, his name is Bruce and he’ll be in center field on Opening Day.

  16. Brett

    With a ceiling so high and a story so powerful, no one is going to like letting Hamilton go. That’s not to say the trade will work out, nor does it mean the trade working out will make seeing Hamilton go sting any less, but the Reds may now have the piece to get Bedard and to win now, or else they now have three young pitchers on the fringes of the majors who, if everything goes according to plan, could complete a strong rotation without leaving the Reds lacking at any positions.

  17. preach

    Feeling a little better: From what I’m learning from some Ranger fans (I know, that makes me laugh too, but they do have some, trust me)EV was rushed to the bigs and since he didn’t have any real movement (outstanding heat and decent changeup), hitters were sitting on the number 1. He was sent to A ball to learn how to throw a curve, and it was during that learning process that he got lit up. Understandable. If he has any control on his three pitches, he should be quite serviceable. I am concerned any time any fly ball pitcher comes to the Reds (Eric Milton, anyone?), but let’s hope that our new pitcher has learned some control. Ross may be very good for this guy. Of course, he could just be a chip to use for Bedard. Either way this might work out fine.

  18. Dan

    I love Hamilton and wish him nothing but the best. He’s an unbelievable player, and was definitely the Reds story of 2007.

    But I think I like the deal. Wayne didn’t just overpay for “proven veteran leadership” etc… He took a chance, and given the roster, I think it’s a chance that fits the team.

    And now Matt Murton makes more sense than ever! We really need a RH-hitting OF with some pop. Murton is a fantastic “buy low” candidate.

    Still would love to see Jonathan Sanchez head this way also — we need some hard throwing LHP’s who can K somebody.

    Wayne seems to have developed an appreciation for pitchers who can blow it by you, and I am very happy to see that! It matters a lot, especially GABP and w/ our defense.

  19. snake

    I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that I’ve liked whose name whas “Edminson.”

  20. DevilsAdvocate

    I’m not going to get too upset – I agree with the points on Cantu and Johnny Narron both. I’m not sure that Cantu and Hamilton would have done as well this year with the Reds given each of their situations. It’s almost as if those two moves may have been what each player requested.

    I wish Hamilton could have kept being a big success in a Reds uniform, but oh well. I felt the same way about Wily Mo and he tragically has wasted away into nothing, a potential DC revival notwithstanding. Here’s hoping this helps Hamilton avoid wasting any more time than he already has. Plus, Jay Bruce will need to be a big-leaguer soon and now he’ll have a spot to play.

    As far as the return on the trade, it seems okay…I hadn’t thought of potential effects on a trade for Bedard, but it’s a very interesting thought.

    Oh – also, I continue to be amazed at how moves always come as a surprise with Krivsky. He just never allows any information out, and then something happens and it’s completely out of left field.

  21. Brett

    I enjoy that coming out of left field aspect of Krivsky as GM.

  22. Y-City Jim

    Good Luck, Josh! We’ll root for you always.

    Bruce better be the opening day CF because I’m not going to stand for crap like Freel or Hopper playing there.

  23. Josh

    I like Hamilton but he always seemed injury prone and given his past, I don’t see that going away. One of his prolonged absences was digestion issues. I can’t help but think that how he abused his body in the past is going to continue to be an issue. I like getting a smoke throwing SP in this scenario and it solves the immediate OF crowding.

    A lot of people didn’t like the Arroyo trade either, but Krivsky and the scouts saw something they liked (and that seemed to work out)…maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt on this one until everything shakes out.

  24. Dave from Louisville

    Krivsky has once again shown why I think he is one of the best GM’s the NL. Sold high on Hamilton, bought low EV. This guy is rated just as highly as Bailey.

  25. Willy

    scept his confidence is blown due to the rangers rushing him..

    i liked the trade for arroyo but he is highly overrated
    he had a mediocre second year with us he was never great with boston and he had a decent first half of his first year with the reds
    look at his stats game by game.

    he is still a number 3 or 4 pitcher and thats where he should be

  26. aaron

    we give up a CHEAP productive hitter for an unproven fastball pitcher(plus gabp factor?)this better pay off now and in the future (see 07 arroyo dropoff)!!!, we should have given texas freel, hopper, and dickerson rather than part with hamilton

  27. greg

    This is a horrible trade. This is all they could get from Hamilton? I know he’s got some question marks, but none as big as someone who’s done nothing at the major league level yet. Volquez is the best they could do? Amazing, Volquez is not even in the top 50 minor league prospects on the lists I’ve seen. Ever see John Danks pitch for the White Sox? Volquez was rated below him. Its a bad baseball move, its a bad business move. I don’t get it.

    They just gave up the most talented guy on the 25 man roster, whose demonstrated already he’s an asset at the major league level, with an upside that doesn’t get any better…..for a pitcher who MIGHT contribute, one day, in the middle of the rotation, maybe, if you’re lucky.


  28. gmartinz

    👿 Now I’m supposed to root for the Rangers? Is there even a team called the Rangers? I’d rather root for the Ham Fighters or Oaxaca’s Mexican League team than the Texas Rangers. I wish people would get off this “injury prone” thing about Hobbs. Look at it this way, the guy spent his only full “minor league” season as the Reds starting centerfielder, batting .292 and hitting 19 home runs in 90 games. He’s 26 years old and if there’s anyone in MLB who’s drug-free, it’s the thrice-weekly tested Hamilton. The Rangers leading homerun hitter last season had 21. The Ranger fans – are there really Ranger fans – are going to LOVE Josh Hamilton. Volquez better be more like Harang and NOT like Milton.

  29. preach

    two things:
    What is EV’s contract status? How long do we have him for? I’m not sure how the arb clock works in the situation where he was sent up, sent down, sent up, etc. Does it matter?

    Second, the other piece of the deal we received struck out 64 batters in 52 innings at AA. Sure, he throws some junk that might not fly in the bigs, but that is encouraging none the less.

  30. David


    Come on now. We all miss the feel good story, but as Baseball America put it, they got a potential #3 for a $50,000 rule 5 player.

    Hamilton was at his sell high point. EV is third on the Ranger’s prospect list. He throws mid 93-94 and tops out at 96. He has a plus changeup that registers 80-81. He has added a curveball and this season he picked up a sinker which should help his flyball rate.

    His problem on the changeup is his release point which is about 10″ lower than his release point on other pitches. If he can get his release point higher he should be quite good.

    Additionally, we don’t know that the three of Cueto, Bailey, and EV will be in the rotation this year – likely not – leaving room for future moves.

  31. Bill

    #31) Dave…where is he rated as highly as Bailey? He’s older and I’ve not seen his name on any top 50 prospect list that I’ve seen.

  32. Ben

    I feel like this move should tell us a lot more about our scouting dept. than anything. Locating inexpensive arms is all about projection. While Hamilton was great for us last year, he is far from an established star. I think it’s fair to say that Hamilton’s background and coming out of nowhere covered up some of the deficiencies in his game (frequent injuries and inability to hit lefties). Hamilton is a defensive monster and has freakish power, but with an already crowded outfield and Bruce destroying everything that comes his way, this may have been the best time to make the move.

    I feel like its tough to say how much the Narron departure/clubhouse situation impacted this move. From everything I have read, EV appears to be a fast-rising power arm, that we desperately need more of.

    I was always taken by the Hamilton for Sean Marshall deal ever since I saw Marshall beat Harang in person at GABP this summer. I think he will make a big jump this year and become a solid 3/4 starter for chicago. Baseball is not as bad about intradivision trades as other sports who turn down better trade offers, just so they don’t have to face their former player as often. Overall, its an intriguing move by Krivsky and hopefully EV is in the rotation for the next few years.

  33. greg

    Yes, Josh Hamilton was a rule 5 player, and so was Johan Santana. ‘Selling’ Johan after the first year would not have been ‘selling high’


    I think it’s fair to say that Hamilton’s background and coming out of nowhere covered up some of the deficiencies in his game (frequent injuries and inability to hit lefties).


    He didn’t come out of nowhere, he was the #1 overall draft pick, and the #1 prospect in all of minor league baseball at one time. He is an injury risk, but he looks like Cal Ripken when compared to Griffey. As far as hitting lefties, its hard to hit lefties whilst sitting on the bench. He’s only had 72 AB’s against lefties.


    he is far from an established star


    True, but he’s much, much closer to that status than Volquez, or ANY minor league prospect. Not to mention he had more write-in votes for the All Star team than any other NL’er.

  34. Dave from Louisville

    Bailey at #38 EV at #56. EV’s stock dropped a little over the last two years because he was rushed to the majors. So last year they demoted him to A to work on his control. This pitching coach did this with ROY HALLADAY when he was younger.

    Would someone from REDLEG nation post a tribute to the hammer on the top page? We are all going to miss him, and wish him the best of luck, but I do love this move.

  35. Tom

    Come on now. We all miss the feel good story, but as Baseball America put it, they got a potential #3 for a $50,000 rule 5 player.

    Hamilton was at his sell high point. EV is third on the Ranger’s prospect list.

    My goodness, we get a maybe pitcher for a guy who crawled out of a crack house and OPS’d over 900. We just dealt a potential MVP for a guy who might be our 3rd best pitching prospect. Can it get any uglier than this? Isn’t being the Rangers best pitching prospect kind of like being the best cross country skier in Jamaica? The Reds just got worse for the second week in a row. At this rate the Pirates can kiss the cellar goodbye.

  36. Kerm

    Ben if I remember rightly when Marshall beat Harang that was the game where Harang came out early due to back injury. Is this correct or was there another game?