This can’t be true. Can it?

The Reds, major-league sources say, are interested in at least three Rockies — center fielder Willy Taveras, catcher Yorvit Torrealba and third baseman Garrett Atkins.

A trade of both Taveras and Torrealba to the Reds is one possibility, sources say. The extent of the Reds’ pursuit of Atkins — a potential target for several clubs, including the Angels and Twins — is less clear.

Willy Taveras? This Willy Taveras? The one with an OPS+ of 56(!) last year? The same one who “hit” .251/.308/.296 last year?

But he’s fast! Sounds like Corey Patterson without the power. Why not go with Chris Dickerson if this is the best alternative?

Meanwhile, DaD says that the Reds are back to being stupid again.

Did the Reds not learn from Corey Patterson? Dusty Baker will run Taveras in CF and bat him lead off every day for half the season, fans will scream, Dusty will defend himself saying he has no options, blame Krivsky for the trade probably, and then we will miss the playoffs by 20 games.

Yorvit Torrealba, what the hell does he do that Ryan Hanigan can’t? Besides have a OBP below .300.

Indeed.

This may be a long off-season.

58 Responses

  1. Dan

    Totally agree – terrible idea!

    Is improving the OBP of this team not even a goal? If these are the guys the Reds are honing in on, I seriously would doubt the Reds ability to build a winner. Seriously.

    Why would you target guys who are not better than internal options we already have??

    Yeah, as I think about it, if this pans out, this concerns me in 2 ways:

    –No appreciation of the value of OBP

    –Serious over-appreciation of getting “proven” players.

    Come on, Walt and Co… show us some savviness, some appreciation for run-scoring. Not this!

  2. Dan

    Hey, if we get Taveras, maybe we can sign Omar Moreno on the cheap and have a sweet platoon in CF!

  3. David

    I have to defend Taveras a little bit here. The guy is 26. He has 60 steal potential. Has a career line of .283/.331/.668. That is not leadoff material, but he could fill in nicely in the 2 or 7 spot. Most importantly he is a buy low – WAY LOW – candidate because of his poor year.

    It isn’t his offense that is a concern, it is his defense. He is a mediocre fielder with a poor fielding percentage which is odd as he has great speed.

    I like him far better than Atkins. His numbers are more inflated by Coors than Holliday.

    But again these deals can’t be judged by who the guys are standing alone. If we aquire Atkins and Taveras for a package centering around Bailey and/or Arroyo then it is a good return.

  4. Brian

    I just hope that if anything happens it is for Atkins and not the others

  5. Y-City Jim

    Here is reason to be afraid, very afraid:

    Torrealba played for Reds manager Dusty Baker in San Francisco.

  6. Kevin

    Do people normally make trades for back-up catchers and fourth outfielders?

    Atkins being our starting first baseman and Votto in left wouldn’t be so bad, especially since we know Cueot’s not going anywhere. I just hope it doesn’t mean we’re giving up on EdE and looking at Atkins to fill his place.

  7. Dan

    The mlbtraderumors.com post about this was updated to say that it’s a longshot but it’s possible Chris Iannetta would be who the Reds are after.

    I looked him up, and I have to say, if we could get him, that would make me MUCH happier. He’s a real offensive threat (nice power and OBP’s) and is only 25 years old.

    But still… Taveras? Come on. How’s he even better than Norris Hopper?

  8. Ellis

    Dan,
    They mentioned the Red Sox as being the ones targeting Iannetta, not the Reds.

  9. Dan

    Oh, you’re right, Ellis. My bad. I read it too fast (and with too much hope and optimism!)

    Hmmm…

    –Reds interested in Torrealba (age 30, career .250/.310/.392).

    –Red Sox interested in Iannetta (age 25, career .249/.368/.440).

    Somehow that figures, doesn’t it?

  10. Ellis

    I’m sure we’re interested in Iannetta as well, but it’s just that it’s pretty unrealistic for the Rockies to be open to trading him. I doubt the Red Sox are even trying to inquire about him and that’s probably more just a quip from the write saying he’d be a good fit in Boston.

  11. Kevin

    Also, Torrealba would probably cost us more than Iannetta, seeing as how he has the higher career batting average. 🙁

  12. nycredsfan

    I would MAYBE be ok with getting Atkins and moving EE to left, but if they get Taveras or Torrealba I’m losing all faith in Jocketty. Stubbs could probably be as good or better at the plate as Taveras already, plus his defense is WAY better. And I know it’s been said before, but what does Torrealba bring that Hanigan doesn’t?

  13. Dan

    Sorry, the Iannetta thing was a red herring. My bad.

    Back to Taveras — don’t we essentially already have a Taveras, and isn’t his name “Norris Hopper”?

    Seriously – what’s the difference between Hopper and Taveras?

  14. Dan

    Right, nyc, that too! Hanigan so far seems to be better than Torrealba!

    (OBP matters a LOT – the single most important offensive stat.)

  15. Y-City Jim

    But again these deals can’t be judged by who the guys are standing alone. If we aquire Atkins and Taveras for a package centering around Bailey and/or Arroyo then it is a good return.

    Why is Bailey suddenly considered a throw-away?

  16. Dale

    You guys over-value our current players and prospects. They have great promise, but aren’t a proven quality yet. Atkins is the only one mentioned i would take, but to say EE is better is nuts. EE needs to stop making 30 errors a year, and .250 with 20 homers in GABP is not impressive. If anything GABP is a better hitters park than Coors.

  17. Charlie Scrabbles

    Dale,
    Atkins is just as bad as EdE at 3B. that’s why the Rockies moved him to 1B last year (well, that and the injury to Helton). Atkins is going to be expensive, probably upwards of 6-7 mil.

    also, Atkins home/road splits are very alarming. his career OPS at Coors is .921; away its .752. EdE is aided by his home park as well, as his home/road split is .846/.760. all together, Atkins is only a bit better than EdE, as Atkins career OPS is .834 and EdE’s is .801. and remember, they are equally bad at 3B.

    is that kind of marginal increase in production worth a prospect like Homer Bailey?

  18. preach

    If we acquire a catcher who is not loaded with talent already, I would much rather see a Zaun type of guy to complement Hannigan. You should only have one real young backstop, IMO. I really think Zaun contributed to that good young pitching staff in Toronto and it could be a good learning experience for Hannigan. I know, people will scream “Another Bako” at me for that, but I don’t think that is the case. I always felt Bako was a little overrated in that department, I don’t think Zaun is. I would not mind seeing Atkins at first and moving Votto to LF. I really wouldn’t mind having Tavares if Baker wasn’t the manager. If Willie could bat 7th as a fourth outfielder that would be good. I have watched him quite a bit and have been a little dissapointed in his defense. That would be dangerous between Votto and Bruce. He’s not a starting outfielder.

  19. Ellis

    Atkins was the 3B for the 2007 Rockies team that was considered one of the best defensive teams ever. To say he’s as bad at 3rd as EE is completely ignorant. The move to 1B this year was a combination of Helton’s departure to the retirement home and the emergence of Ian Stewart.

  20. rob in stl

    Tracy Ringolsby reports Reds have no interest in Taveras or Torrealba, but like Atkins.

  21. GregD

    Being on a good defensive team doesn’t necessarily make that individual a good individual defensive player. Atkins makes a few less errors, Encarnacion has better range.

  22. Charlie Scrabbles

    Ellis,
    Atkins had a FRAA of -8.5 at 3B this past season and was -20.4 in ’07. which as you remember was that vaunted season of spectacular team defense from the Rockies. They werent good because of him, but in spite of him. EdE was at -16.5 this past season. so do some research before calling me ignorant.

  23. Ellis

    I’ve looked at the numbers, and I’d rather have Atkins at 3rd than EE. You can throw one stat at me to try and prove your point, go ahead. I don’t trust FRAA as far as I can throw Prince Fielder. However, you ARE ignorant in claiming that Atkins is AS BAD AS EE. Atkins may not be a Gold Glover, and of course he isn’t, but he isn’t as bad as EE.

  24. Singer

    I saw an update that said Jocketty said they were interested in Atkins, but not Taveras because he doesn’t get on base enough. And no Torrealba trade either. Interesting, he said they talked about Matt Holliday, but it was over quickly.

  25. mhopp

    Everyone is missing the point…we need to trade that Dusty Baker away…then the team will be better.

  26. preach

    Actually, Atkins natural position is first base. He was converted to third and shifted back to first. The Rockies wanted his bat in the lineup, but until Helton went down, first was very ably occupied. One thing I have noticed about his offensive stats: They are extremely consistent: 20-30 HRs, @100 RBIs, stable batting average. He might be able to pick some of EE’s throws better than Votto, he would give us the quality right handed bat we so desperately need, and something Walt might really like is that he could take over at third in the event of an EE meltdown (actual or perceived). I think it would work.

  27. Charlie Scrabbles

    ok, you dont like FRAA? fine. its not everyone’s favorite stat. how about:

    range factor?
    Atkins – 2.51
    EdE – 2.53

    zone rating?
    Atkins – .769
    EdE – .762

    Rate?
    Atkins – 92
    EdE – 91

    i dont have access to Dewan’s +/-, i havent bought the book yet. you’ll have to forgive me that one.

    so basically every single metric smart people use to evaluate defense says these two guys are pretty much the exact same skill level when playing 3B. if you want to call me ignorant though, have at it. but back it up first. or i might have to start calling you names too.

  28. CeeKeR

    Ugh. I’ve got the front office transcript here… It’s almost enough to make me give up.

  29. Kerm

    If you are going to throw Votto or EE in the outfield why not acquire atkins and move him to left?

  30. Dale

    I think Atkins is better at third, i fail to see how range is a factor. If EE gets to more balls, only to throw them away, its all for nothing. There is no logic in the mass saying EE is fine at 3rd, Kepp is solid at short, Phillips is a rock 2nd and Votto is untouchable at 1st. Folks, if that is the case, this club would have been better. And i will admit i haven’t done my research on EE or Votto playing other positions, but you can’t always just move a guy (See Adam Dunn to 1st, or Todd Hundley to Left). Since 2006, EE errors are 17, 21, 23…trending upward, Atkins are 19, 13, 9. trending downward..seems one is getting better at the position and one getting worse. Fld% for EE is .916, .953, .930..Atkins .953, .963, .965.

    Here is how both hit at GABP…

    since 2006..

    EE .275/.366/.479/.846
    GA .327/.379/.537/.921

    now, granted, EE has more games in GABP, and hasn’t had the pleasure of hitting against bad Red pitching, but if you look at there career #s away from their home parks, they both have the same decline. I’m not saying trade EE unless you could land someone like Alex Rios for him, but he has got to start correcting some of his flaws to play the position, the pitching isn’t good enough to pitch around 25 errors. And at 6-7 million, i thin Atkins is cheap, considering a lot of you wanted to go get Mike Cameron at 10 million a year.

  31. Mark in CC

    I hope neither Bailey nor Arroyo are involved. I would rather have then both than any of the players.

    Lets just say the three players, if acquired could start on the current roster. A lot of negatives about 3/8 of a line-up that went to the World Series two years ago.

    Everyone wants to talk about the Coors Field factor with Adkins but lets face it GABP is Coors East.

  32. David

    Atkins surprises me given his age more than anything. Adding Atkins doesn’t make this team a playoff contender. His cost is prohibitive unless the Reds are going to jump payroll into the 90-100 mil range.

  33. Nathan in Muncie

    why not go after casey blake (free agent) for a couple years? He plays good D and has been a proven winner

  34. David

    Also, Atkins’ run production might be very similar away from Coors over the past three seasons:
    HR –
    34 home
    41 road

    RBI –
    181 home
    149 road

    R –
    155 home
    131 road

    However, his raw numbers have a huge Coors inflation over the past three seasons:

    .346/.402/.946 home
    .266/.337/.790 road

    Additionally, Atkins’ sabermetric numbers don’t compare well to EdE. MLB rank for qualified 3B is in parenthesis.

    SECA –
    Atkins .231 (15/17)
    EdE .338 (8/17)

    ISOP –
    Atkins .165 (15/17)
    EdE .215 (6/17)

    BB/PA
    Atkins .060 (15/17)
    EdE .105 (9/17)

    Atkins also grounded into more DPs than any third baseman this year.

  35. Dan

    Why does this site occasionally eat my comments?? Then I’ll try to re-post and I get the “It looks like you’ve already said that!” message.

    Does this happen to anyone else?

    I’m using Firefox 2.0.0.12, FYI.

  36. Phill

    Jocketty doesn’t sound too pleased about the Rockies loose lips.

  37. per14

    The funny thing is that as bad as Taveras is (and the Reds should consider him toxic), he’s still considerably better than Patterson! Just shows how inane that experiment was.

  38. Dale

    Adding Atkins doesn’t make this team a contender

    there isn’t one guy you could add to make this team a contender

  39. pete

    I think we’ll contend regardless.
    Consider this:
    1) Arroyo and Volquez roughly repeat this years performance
    2) Harang returns to his norm
    3) Cueto does what should be expected for his sophomore year based on his rookie performance and his raw stuff.

    Toss in the fact that we’ll probably have one of the better # five pitchers in the league (considering all of our options), and we won’t have the dead weight of Patterson and Bako dragging us down. Plus, regardless of what Jocketty does this winter, I really can’t envision him not improving the team in some capacity. Call me crazy, but I truly believe we will win 90 games.

  40. David

    Dale – that is exactly my point. Why spend 6 million on an average/below avg. 3B when a year of EdE is just as good?

  41. mhopp

    Well, looks like David Weathers is ready to move on. Can’t say I blame him as his numbers were good and could play for a winner next year plus make more money and not have to deal with Baker and crew. Of course Hairston wants to come back…since nobody wants him anyway knowing last year was just a fluke. check out mlb.com for the latest.

  42. Dale

    Everyone always harps that the Reds don’t spend enough, but they never spend wisely! Time to let Weathers go! His numbers were decent, he did his job while here, but closing in on 40 years old, its time for a drop-off. Reds have to stop paying old vets based on past performance, if someone else will give Weathers big money based on last year, better them than us. Same with Merker, Stanton, ect.. there are good enough young arms here to fill the void.

  43. Dale

    True, Atkins grounded into the most DPs by 3rd basemen last year…ARod was 3rd on that list, David Wright was 5th…wouldn’t want those guys either!

  44. Dan

    Volquez is not likely to be as good, pete. Let’s be realistic. There are not many pitchers in all of baseball you can realistically expect to go 17-6, 3.21 ERA in 2009.

    That said, I do think it’s fair to expect Harang and whoever fills the #5 starter slot to be better than this past year.

    All in all, maybe that’s a wash, but expecting the Reds (74 wins) to jump to 90 wins is insanity, IMO.

    I would expect 74-78 wins, and I would hope for a commitment to youth, starting pitching, and OBP that would lead to improvement in 2010 and beyond.

  45. Dale

    I agree Dan, there is a lot of hope, but thats all it is at this point. Hope that Cueto can further develop, Hope that Jay Bruce isn’t a .250 hitter, Hope that Dickerson can play and stay healthy. I think it is safe to say Harang will be better, but i honestly don’t know which pitcher Arroyo is, that good, that bad, or somewhere in the rocky middle. I hope i am wrong, but i also doubt Volquez can duplicate his numbers. Maybe just being a Reds fan has made me negative, but i’ll go on record and say the Reds cannot even get close to .500 if EE is at 3rd and Kepp at short, the left side of the infield might as well be vacant.

  46. Dale

    David, because i don’t see Atkins as below average. I see where his errors have gone down every year, and that he has driven in 100 runs every year. And i know…”The Coors Factor”, but EE hits in an equal hitters park, and hits .250 and drives in 70, then add the 25 errors and the increasing strikeout #s and EE is getting worse, not better. I’m not saying i want to give up on EE, but he is only 25 and has been handed 3B for lack of options.

  47. GregD

    I’m not sure how you can say next year’s team will be either a 74-win team or a 90-win team until we see what happens to the roster this offseason. Obviously, if they don’t make any changes to what the end of the season roster looked like, you can hardly expect a big improvement in the standings.

  48. Mark in CC

    Glad nobody bit on the Adam Dunn comment!

  49. preach

    I still say Atkins should be considered for first base and move Votto to LF. I think our lineup instantly improves. Of course with EE and Atkins on the corners it would be a nail biter, but Votto doesn’t need to make any room on his mantle for a gold glove either. Atkins is a natural first baseman. Someone made the comment that he was so bad at third that they switched him to first when Helton went down out of desperation. Actually, he was switchted to third base becuase of the presence of Helton in the lineup to begin with. Whether or not we get Atkins, and the reports look like it was nothing more than intiial talks and rumor mill gossip, we need a right handed bat who can hit .300/25HR/100RBI. That would be him.

  50. Dale

    Agree preach…and don’t get me wrong, i bash EE, but honestly, he has a place on this team, I just feel it’s not at 3rd making 25-30 errors, and it’s not hiiting clean-up, he is a 6th spot hitter in a lineup that needs better hitter up top. On most clubs, he would still be at AAA, learning to correct his errors, both in the field and at the plate, but he is getting hard on the job training.