ESPN’s Jayson Stark, who may be my favorite mainstream media baseball reporter, has an excellent review of April in baseball, including this nugget:

Most even deal of the winter — Josh Hamilton from Cincinnati to Texas for Edinson Volquez. Who got the better of this deal? Maybe nobody. Hamilton leads the major leagues in RBIs (32), and leads the AL in extra-base hits (17). And Volquez leads the NL in ERA (1.23), and trails only John Smoltz and Jonathan Sanchez in strikeout ratio (10. 1 per 9 IP). When was the last time any trade looked this rewarding for both teams?

I’ve always been pretty much in favor of this trade, and nothing I’ve seen from Volquez has made me change my mind. The kid can pitch.

That’s not to say I’m glad Hamilton is gone. Josh Hamilton is one of my favorite Reds of recent years. I’ve watched more Texas Rangers baseball this year, including last night, when I watched them play the Royals (!), just because I enjoy watching Hamilton play. We wish him the best of luck, and I personally hope he’s great for Texas…

…but I like having Edinson Volquez in Cincinnati.

18 Responses

  1. preach

    I like Hamilton a lot, but I will take a good starter for a good outfielder anyday. Plus, if Herrera makes the big club, this trade may come out on the plus side for the Reds. It’s still too early to tell for certain, but I think this demonstrates that you really can have a win-win trade.

  2. Bill

    I think Hamilton has a higher ceiling than Volquez (I favor position players myself), but I think he also has more danger of failure (injury, relapse, etc) and that’s saying something when you’re talking about pitching (where the failure rate is so high).

    I also think even of both are successful, Hamilton will probably have a shorter career.

  3. DevilsAdvocate

    I think this demonstrates that you really can have a win-win trade.

    Totally agree – compared to the lose-lose of The Trade.

    Given that both players have home parks that cater to offense, I think that makes Edinson’s hot start slightly more impressive. And pitching is nominally more valuable, etc. But I’m quite relieved, actually, that Hamilton is doing so well again this year. I root for the guy.

    I believe Edinson is a couple years younger than Josh, too. So theoretically he’s got more peak value ahead. Both will cool off, I just hope Voltron’s not a total mirage.

  4. Dave H

    I agree with these comments, but I wonder how those extra base hits and rbi would have helped the Reds’ record thus far.

  5. Andrew

    I love having him on the staff, but Josh Hamilton is a superstar. EV really needs to stay healthy for this trade to be equal. He still has control problems, IMO.

  6. Mr. Redlegs

    One thing to remember is there’s no way Hamilton bats in the 3-5 slots on this team, so where would he hit by which he’d have the opps to drive in that many runs? Especially on a team already overtaxed by lefthanded batters?

    His power would be wasted at leadoff and he’s too good to bat No. 7. The Reds have a lefty issue now; they’d really have one with Hamilton. The solution would have been moving Griffey and Dunn down in the order but, Lord help us for Junior to bat anywhere but 3.

  7. Relient k Car

    trade griffey…
    end of story.
    Bring up Bruce.
    Bruce is gonna be better than hammy i believe.
    and i also think Bruce is the only person to save this season.
    same with Homer

  8. Jozef K

    Who will go on the DL for an extended period first this year, Hamilton or Griffey?

  9. Relient k Car

    Griffey
    Hammy is healthy now
    he had to use last year to get back in shape

  10. Dave

    To comment #3 – guys who throw 97 mph on the knees, outside corner, with consistency…they aren’t “mirages.” Some will call them “aces,” others prefer “gems,” and still others will go with “special.” In any event, the man can pitch, despite still being a bit wild. Obviously, he will lose a few games more in his career, but don’t think the way he’s throwing now is out of character. A based-loaded hit in one start and his ERA is back up to 3.00, so he’s had some luck, but has otherwise done as expected. We need to throw a 10 yr. deal at him soon, cuz he’s gonna be a horse for a long, long time to come.

  11. GregD

    Lefty issue? Patterson’s playing most days, and he’s left handed. They problem with Hamilton isn’t where he’d bat or that he’s left handed. The problem was that Narron was gone, and they didn’t think Hamilton could survive the season without him.

  12. preach

    There is a lefty issue Greg, which is all the more reason that Patterson doesn’t need to be starting.

    It’s hard to believe that we are still hearing the “trade Griffey” talk. How exactly do you just trade a 10/5 guy with a prohibitive contract and get proper worth for him? And why would you do so now, when he is closing in on a (baseball)historical accomplishment and that will, at least for the short term, put some “butts in seats”? I have written about this before, but if Jr is traded, you had better look at Atlanta or a Florida team to get him closer to home, or perhaps Seattle so he can retire a Mariner; otherwise it ain’t gonna’ happen.

  13. GregD

    1 – I was countering the notion that Hamilton would create MORE of a lefty issue than we have today. I don’t see how that would be the case.

    2 – With today’s roster, the “lefty issue” is that the RH bats haven’t been as good as the left-handed bats. If Encarnacion hits this well all year, Phillips can repeat what he did last year, and Kepp can bounce back from his recent slump, then the Reds have a balance of lefties and righties. Yes, they’re stronger from the left side, but most pitchers are right-handed, so that’s the side I’d prefer to be strong on.

  14. Jozef K

    To comment #9 – Care to wager on that? How did sitting on the DL much of last year get Hamilton “in shape?”?

  15. Relient k Car

    Im talking about
    Last year he hit a few bumps
    he hadn’t played in like 4 or 5 years?
    well now his body is ready for it.

  16. Shawn

    While the offense could sure use Hamilton, where would the pitching be without Volquez, the Reds’ only guy with more than one win?

    Get rid of Patterson, bring up Bruce. Then things will work out.

  17. Relient k Car

    thats what i said
    bring up bailey and drop beslile
    and put shearn in the pen instead of fogg