On the Josh Hamilton trade, I’ve looked at it from every angle, and I’m ready to make my call.

I like the trade.

Yes, I think I’m the only Redleg Nation editor who doesn’t dislike the trade. I hate losing Hamilton, but I really like the upside of Edinson Volquez (although I’m already sick of typing his name). Volquez and Homer Bailey and Matt Belisle can all be decent 3-4 type starters this year, and the first two have stuff that could push them higher in the rotation very soon. Toss in Cueto and things are looking pretty good.

No, Wayne Krivsky didn’t get a steal here, but most trades aren’t a steal for one side or the other. The Reds got good value for Hamilton, and that’s all you can ask (both teams actually got good value, I’d say). It may work out for Cincinnati, or it may not, but I think it’s a good risk. I’m fine with the trade, for what that’s worth.

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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24 Responses

  1. doug

    I don’t know if you have it on your web browser as well, but I have spell check turned on for mine. Every time I type Edinson Volquez the words light up and it seems I have typed those two names 500 times the last two days…. so I certainly can relate to the being tired of typing his name. As far as the trade goes…. I am with you.

  2. Jack

    A ray of reason in a storm of diatribe!! Someone finally really analyses this trade! Yes, the Reds gave up a lot. Yes, Volquez has questions and the risk is high. But, in a very thin market this year this trade works for me. We now have a rotation without plugging in a makeshift starter.

  3. Mark T

    Not a pleasant thing to say, but in addition to his upside, with Hamilton, there was a downside too.

  4. Matt

    Chad for the record, even though I am only a part timer these days, I liked the trade also.

    Sadly swamped,
    Matt Malott

  5. Shawn

    I didn’t like the Pena-for-Arroyo trade at first, but Krivsky was right on that one. He did the same thing here, trade from surplus to address a weakness. Hope this one turns out as well.

  6. Tampa Red

    I agree with you Chad. There was NO depth at all in the rotation (and honestly, the Reds are still a little short in that regard) and a trade had to be made.

    The upside on both players is tremendous but, assuming that Castellini was serious about keeping Dunn around long-term, the Reds traded from a position of strength and depth.

    I like the trade a great deal.

  7. Bill

    The Reds OF is only a position of depth if they extend Dunn. Otherwise, in ’09 you’re looking at Hopper or Freel in the OF (maybe both, depending on what they do with Griffey.)

    Danny Dorn appears the closest minor leaguer that could put up decent offensive numbers in the majors. I’m not sold on Chris Dickerson offensively.

  8. Nick

    Why doesn’t anyone talk about Danny Herrera? What postion is he and when will he be ready for the majors?

  9. preach

    Danny Herrera is smaller than my Junior High Schooler who throws a lot of junk, but has had a great strikeout rate in the minors. If his movement translates well to the majors is questionable. He may evolve into a situational pitcher who could possibly be very effective for an inning or two coming out of the pen, if you protect him. I think that once major leaguers draw a bead on him he will be in trouble. Time will tell, but if EV is only moderately successful and Herrera can pitch a decent middle relief, then this trade is a good one for us. It’s fairly risky on both ends at this point, if the GM’s are being straight forward (not hiding injuries, personal concerns, attitude problems, etc).

  10. Sultan of Swaff

    2008 To do list:
    1. Extend Dunn.
    2. Pick up a Lieber or Jennings off the scrap heap to give the rotation some depth.
    3. Trade for more relief. Pick a combination of Freel, Stubbs, Valaika, Pelland, Wood, and Rosales for a young power arm.
    4. Win the division.

  11. preach

    Sultan, I like how you think. I would like to add a “5”: Bring home a championship.

  12. Dave from Louisville

    Who knows Herrara could be the next Tim Wakefield.

  13. Justin Anderson


    Looks Like the Rangers are bringing along Hamilton’s Babysitter. Hopefully the Texas clubhouse is a little more receptive to this than what a good portion of the Cininnati clubhouse reportedly was.

  14. Justin Anderson

    As far as the trade goes… I would have to agree with the general consensus. It would have been nice to see how Hamilton would have been able to extend his durability over the course of another full season, but I don’t think Krivsky did too wrong in selling high when there are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding Josh. I wish him the best of luck in Arlington and I am certainly glad that Reds pitchers will not have the the daunting test of facing him in the batters’ box!

    Pitching is ALWAYS hard to come by and if we could trade from a position of strength to aquire a prospect that is highly lauded, I think we have done ourselves well. Apparently the reason EV was rocked in A ball last year was that he was working on his breaking ball, so hopefully he will have a good 3-pitch arsenal to build on from his latest stint (of 4 or so starts) with Texas. Word on the street is that he has also added a screwball over the offseason. If he can complement his moving 95mph fastball with a good breaking pitch and actually locate his change-up I think we may have found a diamond in the rough.

    It cannot hurt to have a Bailey, Cueto, Maloney, and Volquez who are all projected to become number 1-3 starters. We’ll see how they pan out. The competition amongst them couldn’t hurt!

    I do agree that for this trade to make sense we MUST re-sign Dunn! Do it before the trade rumors start swirling because we know how all the talk effects Dunn’s performance. Put him in a comfort zone… otherwise we will see him taking Manny Ramirez’s spot in Boston next year (both are in Contract Years) I could see Boston going down the slightly cheaper road with Dunner.

    To win the Central:
    Sign do those things… sign a FA starter for depth/security…. and possibly another strong reliever as someone above mentioned.

  15. Lefty

    I am at least mildly interested to see if the “choking up” version of Drew Stubbs can improve upon last year’s performance. FWIW, he does seem to draw a fair amount of walks, and from what I hear, defensively he is ready. Great makeup. If he could hit .280-.290, he would seem to be the future in Center, leading off. Not sure if it will ever translate.

  16. Dave from Louisville

    I am not so confident that you sign Dunn long term just yet. Given the FA pitchers on the market in 09 I would rather sign one of them. (That is if we need them) Until you find out what our current pitching crop can do, you can’t lock Dunn’s money up yet. In 09 I bet they pick up Griffey’s option, and let Dunn walk. This would give us Type A FA draft compensation, and we would still likely be deep on offense. I think Stubbs or Dorn could step up big between now and then too.

    I like Dunn, but he does have his short comings. RISP BA and defense are not his strong suits. Seriously bottom of the ninth down 1 with 2 on….Would you rather have Dunn at the plate or EE/BP. And Dunn makes alot more money.

    I really glad everyone is starting to like this trade. Now I just need to start convincing you guys that we won the Kearns trade.

  17. McWax

    Would Dunn have gotten these two pitchers in return back at the deadline, maybe with a little cash going out? If so, would that have been a better approach?

  18. Kevin Gabbard

    The reason noone hears about Herrera is the fact he is a marginal prospect. Granted, opinions are like posteriors. But to a man, scouts argue herrera will more than likely be an end of the bullpen guy due to his lack of a ML fastball. Moreover, Volquez has a good “heavy” fastball that splinters the lumber and could produce a lot of k’s. That being said, around the country the concensus of opionion is that either the Reds just got hosed or something is wrong with Hamilton. I tend to agree with the former. Wayne Krivsky just engineered one of the worst trades in MLB history. ROBINSON FOR PAPPAS THE SEQUEL!

  19. Kevin Gabbard

    Once again, opinion will become fact when Hamilton hits 45 dingers and competes for the gold globe. ROBINSON FOR PAPPAS!

  20. Tom

    Here is another source chiming in with a take on the Hamilton/Volquez deal. From Jim Callis at BBA:

    I loved that deal from the Texas side. I know the Reds have more outfielders than they know what to do with, and I guess they felt like Hamilton’s body won’t hold up after all the abuse he has subjected it to. But I don’t believe in Volquez.

    I could feel much better about this deal if it didn’t soound like Volquez panning out wasn’t such a crapshoot.

  21. Dan

    Like it or not, Hamilton panning out fully is something of a crapshoot too. He didn’t hit lefties at all, for one thing.

    By the way, from what I have read, there’s no consensus at all, on either side. On both sides, I’ve read people who love the deal and people who hate it.

    I, for one, like the move. It’s gutsy and risky, but I like it. I really like amassing young pitchers, and high-K pitchers.

    Hamilton could be fantastic, sure. But we sold high.

  22. preach

    Frank Robinson was a ROY as well as an MVP when he was traded. Hamilton, while he is one of my favorite players, does not have that bling attached to him, so the comparison is a little skewed. He may have that potential, but so does Volozquez. Pitching is at a premium, but given that none of the players in this deal are actually established, a better comparison may be drafting Adam Johnson and Justin Wade (who?) ahead of Rocco Baldelli and Chase Utley. Not the best draft decisions possible, but many times you only know that in hindsight, since you have to compare pitchers to fielders and what their performance may be. Pitchers often get the upper hand because they are in such short supply. It’s not always the best decision, but it’s the reality. I hope this works out well for both clubs.

  23. Dan

    It’s similar to an Oscar but slightly less prestigious. 😉