GM Walt Jocketty confirmed that the Reds have been in discussions with the Rockies. In addition to the discussions that we mentioned earlier, Jocketty said they also were involved, briefly, in Matt Holliday talks:

Jocketty said the Reds did talk to the Rockies about Matt Holliday, who is Oakland A’s-bound.

“Definitely,” he said.

Did it ever get very far?

“No,” Jocketty said. “Once we told them who are (sic) untouchables were . . . that was the end of the conversation.”

Meanwhile, Slyde hits the nail on the head with the Garrett Atkins discussion, saying that going from Edwin Encarnacion to Atkins is a lateral move, at best:

The talk yesterday of trading for Garrett Atkins left me with just one question: why? I’m not questioning why because I think Atkins is a bad player. That’s not the case at all. He’s a good – not great – Major League player. And while his numbers are inflated by playing in Colorado, it’s not as if he would likely come to Cincinnati and turn into a terrible hitter.

No the reason why I ask why is because he’s not really an improvement over Encarnacion at third base. On paper, they are essentially the same player.

Indeed. And Daedalus says Just Say No.

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.

Join the conversation! 43 Comments

  1. Atkins is worse defensively at 3B for sure and…
    EE is 25 and improving with his 106 OPS+ this last year while Atkins is 28 and declined for his 2nd year in a row with a 97 OPS+
    Atkins is a bad corner OF.

    It would be bad move all around.

  2. The good news is that Jocketty seemed to give the impression when he talked about this that he’s not actually more interested in a Rockies trade than any of the other teams he’s having discussions with. I get that impression from the quote that he’s talking to a lot of teams and that it just happens that only one of the teams let it leak to the press.

  3. The Rockies GM said today (or yesterday) that the idea of Atkins winding up with the Reds is comical and that Atkins in the middle of the Rockies lineup is appealing to him. So it sounds like it was just a top-line discussion that got blown out of proportion by the great ken rosenthal.

  4. I also would like to add that I really like the fact that Jocketty is actually somewhat forthcoming with the press. I got so tired of Krivsky being unwilling to reveal ANYTHING, and it made all of these silly rumors seem more legit. It definitely seems here like this was just one of many discussions and the Rockies let it get out. With Krivsky we probably never would have known that.

  5. It is only a lateral move if you assume one is replacing the other rather than being added to the other. No doubt the line-up needs an additional righthanded bat and this might be the best righhanded bat available.

  6. Exactly, Mark. Put Atkins at first and you have a much more balanced lineup. It also allows you to fill in your outfield without having to go the aging veteran route.

  7. The media up here in Chicago is talking up the ChiSox floating Jermaine Dye, with the Reds as an interested party. If that’s true, it signals that Walt wants to win NOW. Kinda makes sense if the Reds are willing to take on some salary. He could hold the fort down in left until the kids are ready. He’s 34, hit 34 dingers, 42 doubles, .292 ave. w/ a .344obp. The Sox will probably need one of our good outfield prospects in return and possibly a Sean Watson type, no? So would you do the deal?

  8. I don’t want someone “proven”!

    I’d like to see the Reds front office get creative and cutting-edge for once and find someone who isn’t good yet BUT IS ABOUT TO BE! Someone undervalued!

    This might even be someone we’ve never heard of!

    I’d be FINE with that! I’d be thrilled!

    Find us someone undervalued (and perhaps unknown), and show me that you value youth, defense, and OBP.

    Come on Walt! Surprise and impress us! Not with retreads but with future stars.

  9. I’m beating a dead horse (or at least a morbidly ill horse from a couple weeks ago)… but I’ll put 2 names out there who are NOT yet proven, but I think are poised for greatness (or at least very-goodness):

    –Rickie Weeks (and consider him for CF)

    –Jonathan Sanchez (young, left-handed, good strikeout numbers, but hasn’t put it together yet at the MLB level)

  10. I never thought of Weeks in the outfield. Interesting idea. Sanchez would definately be worth acquiring I think. I wouldn’t put either Adkins or Dye in the group of ‘retreads’. Dye might be mid 30’s, but he would give us a legit 3 hole hitter (unlike another FA Chicago Whitesox outfielder who I will not bring into this conversation)from the right side and provides the perfect reason (not that another one is needed) to drop Phillips down to sixth. As I put in an earlier post, this lineup needs a right handed .300/25HR/100RBI guy in the worst way. I don’t mind if it’s Adkins or Dye. I like them both and I think the upside outweighs the money. Preach steps down from soapbox.

  11. Leave 3rd alone. We’ll get bargain production out of EdE. It’s the small market thing to do. Spend the money elsewhere.

  12. Rickie Weeks is awful. Flat out, the guy is awful. He lost his job to Ray Durham if that tells you anything. He is a great athlete, but an awful defender and an awful bat.

    As for Dye, why in the world would the Reds send prospects to Chicago for one year of Dye? Dye will be 35 in January. His salary is 11.5 million next year with a mutual option for 2010. The buyout is only a million. If he is productive he’ll opt out and seek a two or three year deal. If he is unproductive the Reds will buy him out for a million. So push comes to shove in 2010 he’s gone. Meanwhile this team is not ready to compete in 2009, so pulling this kind of deal is insane.

  13. He’s an awful defender at 2B, sure. But he’s still a great athlete. I think he could handle the OF.

    And he has great plate discipline. He’d help us a lot, I think.

  14. Can’t see Milwaukee trading Weeks within the Division. Plus he is no more proven than Adkins and he also has a wrist and hand injury history.

    Maybe Sox would be willing to pay a large share of the Dye salary and go with the same type prospects we got for Griffey. That would be workable.

  15. Who cares about proven?

  16. I still like EE at third over Adkins. Also, although we’ve been waiting for this for a few seasons, I think EE has more potential for improvement.

  17. Dan do you like Jonathan Sanchez? Why haven’t you mentioned it before? ๐Ÿ˜€

    I like the idea of Dye or Maggs Ordonez (if the Tigers eat some of his salary) for two years while Stubbs or others develop. Yes, PROVEN players like that, not like Corey Patterson has PROVEN he sucks. Anyways, my opion.

  18. Mags and Dye are 34-35 year olds with 10 mil + contracts. This while the Reds aren’t in contention? Why?

    As for Weeks, how do you judge plate discipline? He is 3rd among ML 2B in P/PA and 2nd among ML 2B in BB/PA but 3rd in K, 16th AVG, and 11th in OBP. So his higher walk numbers and pitch counts don’t translate into better overall plate performances because of his high K rate and low average.

  19. Your points are well-taken. All of your stats about Weeks are true, I’m sure.

    But the whole point of the strategy I’m advocating is targeting guys who aren’t good YET (but that you think, for whatever reason, will be good).

    If you get someone who doesn’t have any of the flaws that you point out, then he’s “proven” and then you are probably over-paying.

    I want to go after guys who aren’t proven yet, either b/c they’re still young, or b/c they just haven’t put it all together yet.

    In my opinion, Weeks is a great candidate. (And I suspect that Milwaukee is growing tired of him… largely for the reasons you named.)

  20. Here’s why I still think Weeks will be good:

    –He just turned 26, so still fairly young.

    –While his numbers in the majors (.245/.352/.406) aren’t too great, he was a stud in the minors, and in particular an OBP stud (.289/.404/.493).

  21. Oh, and I should also add, even with a career batting average of only .245… that OBP of .352 is not bad!

    Even with no improvement whatsoever, I’d rather have Weeks batting near the top of my order than Phillips (just for comparison):

    Weeks (majors) – .245/.352/.406
    Weeks (minors) – .289/.404/.493

    Phillips (majors) – .262/.308/.425
    Phillips (minors) – .274/.339/.418

    Offensively, the Reds need OBP more than anything now, and I’m just not sure they value it enough.

    Reds team OBP in 2008 was .321, 13th out of 16 in the NL. And that’s with 4 months of Dunn (.373 OBP) and Griffey (.355 OBP) in the mix!

    If we don’t beef up the OBP, I’m afraid the offense is slipping toward woeful.

    So anyway… I want to find some under-valued guys who have some good on-base skills. At the moment, I’m thinking Weeks is a good candidate.

    I’m sure there are others, of course.

  22. OK, I’ll chill out and get off my soapbox now… ๐Ÿ™„

  23. Good news…many of the reds minor league players are hitting and pitching well. Alonzo is .327 in 98 AB’s with 4HR and 21rbi’s and a game winning HR last night. His stats are great with runners on, better than with bases empty! Matt Maloney has ERA of about 2.40

  24. Dan,
    all your points about Weeks are interesting. the youth, the strong minor league #s, the thought that his present team may be growing weary of his lack of production thus far…hmmm, reminds me of someone…

  25. Dan – I understand your buy low theory. You have advocated finding a guy like Chicago found in Carlos Quentin and Cincy found in Brandon Phillips, but Weeks is not that guy. Like Weeks, Quentin and Phillips were considered top prospects.

    However, prior to last season Quentin had only 395 ABs. Phillips, another buy low candidate had only 432 when he was brought over from Cle. Weeks on the other hand has 1615 major league at bats. That’s about three full seasons worth. So Weeks, despite his youth, has proven his ability/inability at the MLB level. Therefore there is less emphasis on scouting tools and more on statistical expectations. Statistically, Weeks is not a leadoff hitter. He is a horrible bunter, and puts way to much emphasis on trying to hit the longball. Aside from 2006, Weeks’ avg. has hovered right around .235 which is downright poor.

    Consider also that Phillips and Quentin were both considered terrific defensive players. While Quentin was considered the best defensive OF prospect in AZ, Weeks has never had that billing. His defense is flaw out awful. He had 15 errors in 604 total chances. Only Jeff Kent, Alexei Ramirez and Dan Uggla turned fewer double plays.

    Also Quentin and Phillips were blocked by the depth of their previous organizations. Weeks has occupied 2B – or been given every opportunity there – for the past four years. He has failed miserably, losing his job to Ray Durham.

  26. What’s with the backlash against proven free agents? Don’t we have enough unproven players? A team full of kids and unproven players makes for a great movie, but I say give me someone that is a known commodity. How is random unknown guy #4 going to put butts in seats? Beware the peril of relying on the “undervalued” guy; a lot of times there’s a reason they aren’t valued much.

  27. look at frazier he is tearing it up
    i could see him up soon enough
    theres our third base solution right there!

    my first time seeing him play first pitch he knocked it out of 5th third

  28. “Proven” players are typically at or above market price, are at or near their performance peak (thus likely to decline), and are at an age where they’re much more likely to suffer injuries.

    I’m writing this with Jermaine Dye in mind, but it applies to all sorts of guys.

  29. Off topic, but the reds hires Cam Bonifay as a “special assistant”. The Pirates blogs are laughing.

    It makes me nervous when the pirates fans find grounds to laugh. . .

  30. It makes me nervous when the pirates fans find grounds to laugh. . .

    Ouch.

  31. I sure hope we have a contingency plan in place for our bullpen. Based on media reports on other teams, it’s likely we’re gonna lose Weathers and Affeldt. Weathers, meh, but I’m a bit concerned we don’t have a solution in-house for Affeldt. It’s also likely someone will make an offer for Arroyo that’s too good to pass up. Anyone else comfortable w/ two rookies at the back end of the rotation next year?

  32. How much money and how many years does Kerry Wood get on the free agent market? Last year he only spent 1 brief stint on the DL, the least amount of time he’s spent on the DL since 2003.

  33. LMAO at “EE is better defensively at 3B than Atkins for sure”…EE..2nd in the Majors in Errors last year amoung all positions players. Since 2006, he ranks with the 3rd most, and out of 720 active players (most with 7-10 years exp.) he ranks 38th, despite playing only 3 years, yep…he is far better at 3rd…no doubt!

  34. I could be wrong on this (#29) but haven’t they been saying that the next wave of prospects Stubbs, Frazier, Valaika, etc. are atleast a half a year to a year away.
    Also, I agree that it would be a risky proposition to go into the season with a rotation of Harang, Volquez, Cueto, Owings, Ramirez (or another rookie) but which would you rather give up in a trade Arroyo, or Frazier, Valaika and other great prospects. With the consensus of what people are saying is that we could be a dark horse in ’09 but may be more suited for a run in 2010 I would rather keep prospects than Arroyo, who is no better than a middle to end of the rotation starter (given he is an innings eater though)

  35. I would hate to lose Affeldt in Free agency but I think he will end up getting a larger offer elsewhere.

    However, I’m not as worried about the state of the bullpen if we do lose weathers and affeldt, we pretty much have the back of the rotation still set in Bray, Burton and Cordero. It will just hurt not to have to reliable lefties in the pen in Affeldt and Bray

  36. Will be interesting to see if Lincoln is back though.

  37. Here is one for you Dan. If the Reds deal with the Rockies, it should be for Ryan Spilborghs. There was actually a rumor at the deadline last season that the Reds were trying to get him from the Rockies for Josh Fogg. In a sane world, the Rockies will not be able to unload Tavares and they will be looking at OF of Gonzalez/Tavares/Hawpe with Spilborghs still stuck on the bench. Spilborghs is 29, a RH hitter, and can play all three OF positions. His minor league numbers in 2044 AB are .294 AVG/.381 OBP/.447 SLG/.828 OPS. His major league numbers in 668 AB are .302 AVG/.374 OBP/.466 SLG/.840 OPS. Away from Coors Field in 344 AB he is .279 AVG/.351 OBP/.422 SLG/.773 OPS. He’d be a solid RH bat in the OF with a high OBP who nearly anyone outside of Colorado has never heard of.

  38. Two names not mentioned I think the Reds should consider: Randy Johson and Coco Crisp. Johnson would be a much better option than Mulder and his quest for 300 victories should somewhat offset his salary.Crisp is a good defender and could fill the need for a leadoff hitter much better than Tavares.Both would most likely be here only one year, giving the youngsters we have more time to develop and be gone when they are ready to step in, which is hopefully 2010.

  39. Crisp’s weak OBP makes him a poor candidate for the leadoff spot. A one year deal with Johnson might be interesting.

  40. On another subject, if Sabathia accepts the Yankees insane contract offer what further damage does that do to MLB economics? Hank Steinbrenner is definitely more dangerous than his dad, and maybe worse than Ted Turner in his early Braves-ownership days.

  41. And I read today that the player’s union is pressuring CC to take the big money offer instead of a smaller contract with an NL team he wants to play for.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

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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