Is this an option?

From Ken Rosenthal:

The Reds, thwarted in their attempts to land a right-handed hitting outfielder, could pursue free-agent outfielder Luis Gonzalez as a less expensive left-handed hitting option.

Gonzalez, 41, spoke for 15 minutes on Saturday with Reds manager Dusty Baker, though both sides acknowledge that Gonzalez’s agents are pushing harder than the Reds for a deal.

The Reds’ outfield currently consists of Jay Bruce in right, Willy Taveras in center and a possible platoon of Chris Dickerson and Norris Hopper in left.

The signing of Gonzalez would jeopardize the playing time of Dickerson, who made his debut last season at 26 and had a batting average/on-base/slugging line of .304-.413-.608 in 122 plate appearances.

The Reds, however, will lose veteran presence with their trade of Ken Griffey Jr. and the departure of free agent Adam Dunn. Gonzalez, who is six doubles short of 600, batted .261-.336-.413 last season with the Marlins.

“We’ve had several inquiries,” said Gregg Clifton, one of Gonzalez’s agents. “Teams are very interested in him.

“He showed last season that he could still play on an everyday basis as well as be a supporting bench player and tutor for all the young players. If not for the Marlins’ plethora of arbitration-eligible players, he would be returning to Florida.”

Ugh…that’s all I can say…ugh.

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.

Join the conversation! 36 Comments

  1. minor league deal at most in my opinion.

  2. “Both sides acknowledge that Gonzalez’s agents are pushing harder than the Reds for a deal.”

    Translation: Ken Rosenthal knows how to cultivate sources.

  3. “Is this an option?”

    Is it 2001?

    Once again, similar to Taveras: a player I wouldn’t mind having on the bench, but not the deal we need to be looking at for any significant playing time.

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Reds took a chance with Gonzalez. Considering what they gave Taveras, I think a 4-year, $22 million deal would seem about right for the 41-year old…

    Seriously, though, is this the best the Reds think they can do? I know they say its Gonzo’s agents pushing for the signing, but I’m not convinced so much of that if LG is already meeting with Dusty.

  5. If this is the best Reds hot stove talk out there, it seems the Reds are done signing players and ready to report for spring training.

    It looks like Jocketty is being patient for 2010 and the farm system to develop. There are a number of position players who could see some substantial time (at least half a season) in 2009.

    Even with all that in mind, I still don’t get the move to sign Taveras for 2 years.

  6. When Castellini bought the Reds he said he wanted to take them back to the glory days…the Reds glory days were built on power/speed/defense up the middle.

    He hired Jocketty who obviously has ties to tradition…and the Cardinals have been winners for a long time.

    Researching Jocketty, he likes to acquire fast guys to play the outfield; he likes the centerfielder with speed.

    Dusty likes a centerfielder with speed and wants more stolen bases, and a centerfielder to lead off.

    When you look at the ownership/management team styles, I think we’re getting what these guys were brought up on, and it should be what we expect…

    Now, I’ll tell you, I think speed/defense is coming back into vogue, but I think it’s still a few years away…but, what’s missing here is OBP.

  7. But he’s a “veteran presence”!!!

  8. Two year deal with incentives for either Abreu or Dunn. If Dunn, moving to 1B has to be part of the deal with Votto going to LF. Votto is only going to be a 1B for another year or two any way. Also if Dunn, move him up in the order. BTW, did Dunn ever follow through on the hiring a trainer talk?

  9. i dunno. a minor league contract might be worth a flyer here. if the team’s not going to spend money on a lf, we’d better hope that dickerson’s 2008 wasn’t a fluke.

  10. According to this site (http://masnsports.com/2009/01/done-talking-about-dunn.html), Dunn doesn’t want to DH, but instead wants to stay in LF. That may be why some AL clubs haven’t taken a longer look at Dunn. That and the $14m/year he seems to be expecting. And that last one is just another reason he won’t be back in red next year.

    Haven’t heard if he followed through with the personal trainer.

    rpa — Dickerson’s 2008 was most likely a fluke. Examine his numbers in the minors and you’ll see nothing approaching what he put up last year in his limited role. Expecting a full season like that out of CD reminds me of what my granny used to say: “Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which gets filled first.”

  11. It’s bad to consider a guy why? The article clearly indicates that Gonzalez’s agents are the driving force behind the information and a potential signing.

    “Hey, buddy how ya been?” – Dusty
    “Good. I feel good. I’m in good shape.” – Luis
    “Great. Are you getting any bites?” – Dusty
    “Some. Not much out there given the market saturation with corner OFs.” – Luis
    “Well, you might have heard there aren’t as many guys out there as you might think.” – Dusty
    “Trouble finding a corner OF? I’m your guy.” – Luis”
    “Yeah, it’s been tough — ” – Dusty
    “I’m your guy.” – Luis
    “to fit between Joey — ” – Dusty
    “I’m your guy!” – Luis
    “and Jay for the middle of –” – Dusty
    “I’M YOUR GUY!!!!” – Luis
    “the order.” – Dusty
    “Please God, won’t somebody pay me?” – Luis
    “Well, take care.” – Dusty
    “So long.” –
    “Sounds real promising. I definitely think they have interest.” – Greg Clifton

  12. I have no problem considering all options. I actually think that Luis Gonzalez would be much better at the plate this year than Speedy Willy, but he couldn’t do too much in the field anymore.

    I still think we could get Abreu for a 2 year 16-20 million deal and it would be well worth it

  13. ky chip – yep, like i said… HOPE.

  14. Gonzalez is not worth taking playing time way from Dickerson.

    I do like Abreu’s approach at the plate – he takes so many freakin’ pitches. He would be good for the younger hitters to learn from, however, his defense certainly isn’t impressive.

  15. I honestly wouldn’t mind Abreu for a couple of years, even if he isn’t the RHB the Reds have said they’ve been looking for all winter. Abreu’s patient approach at the plate could be a good example for some of the younger guys, as Deaner said.

    That being said, his asking price will likely be too high for the Reds to stomach.

  16. I think I’ve officially given up on the Reds at this point…I can’t believe they’re even looking at this guy with the market the way it is. Pathetic really

  17. I stared at this comment box for awhile, unable to think of the appropriate response to such information. But Bill already said it: “Ugh…that’s all I can say…ugh.”

  18. While Dickerson’s minor numbers indicate he won’t have the punch he had last year, they also indicate he is a decent OBP guy. In that respect, he fills a need.

  19. Is this an option>

    Could Juan Francisco make the jump from Sarasota “A” ball to the MLB level now? Albert Pujols did it in less time.

  20. I think the thing on Francisco is that his plate discipline still needs a lot of work, I don’t think he can jump to majors from low A

  21. That is a good point, Matt. There is a huge difference between his and Pujols numbers in that respect.

    I notice that Francisco gets HBP quite a bit. Does he crowd the plate?

    Also Alonzo is tearing it up in Winter Ball and has 20 walks in 29 games. Nice patience for a kid right out of college.

  22. The other thing about Francisco is that he’s HORRIBLE defensively and has absolutely zero range at 3B….you think you complain about EE? Watch this guy play 3B..

  23. Some players are able to make the jump right away and do okay. Pablo Sandoval comes to mind. He started last season in High A and is now slated as the starting 1B for the Giants after hitting .345 in his MLB callup.

    Of anyone who could come right in, I think it would be Alonso. He is the most polished hitter on the team and his defense is unlikely to improve. I also think Frazier has a shot at a call up this season. Both are probably on the team next year.

    The thing that I don’t get is that it would be foolish not to consider every option available. I think that is all it is with Gonzalez. Call it due diligence. That’s all. Nothing to get worked up about.

  24. A unique case in several respects, but Josh Hamilton jumped over AA and AAA to play in the majors.

    I wonder with a lot of prospects how much of the 1 level per year stuff is related to some unwritten rule of making players “pay their dues”.

  25. GregD – that’s a really good point. I think that the lower levels are better suited for high-schoolers. As soon as a player gets used to the wooden bats, if he is a capable hitter move him along.

  26. I think even the Reds have started to re-think this…look over the last couple of years and the guys that seem to be real prospects move up sooner than players have in the past.

  27. A way to think about it is “at what age do quality players make the majors?”

    Bill James a few years ago (well, may be several years ago now) mentioned that HOFers can reach the majors right out of high school through age 20. If the player finishes college; a HOFer can make the majors in a year-18 months (think Larkin).

    Most “solid” big leaguers (if out of high school) make the majors about their fourth-fifth year into professionalism.

    Short- term or bench players are the ones that typically make the big leagues at or about their peak seasons…this is where Dickerson stand right now…another one that comes to mind was Brady Clark.

    That’s not the “rule”…there’s always exceptions…

    Another way to think of it, frankly, is how do the player contracts work?

    A minor league gets free agency if he’s not on a major league roster within six years (there’s your probably bench or AAA highway player).

    A team can send players can callup and send down players for three years before staying with them (solid player).

    A player has four years before reaching arbitration and then other two before seeking free agency (after peak seasons are over at age 30 for good players) and have a large market team sign them.

    And, anyway, AAA is pretty much a “reserve squad” for several years. I get a big kick out of going ot Bats games and listen to ill-informed fathers telling their young sons to watch for the “future” big leaguers out there on the field…

    I do remember one future big leaguer….Adam Dunn had just been called up from AA, and was batting like .143 (1 for 7) and a father was telling his kid that guy’s “not any good…he’s only batting .143…he won’t be here for long.”

    I turned around and told him, he was right…that he’d be a star for the Reds in just a few short months…

    I didn’t get a chance to talk to him anymore that evening…

  28. “I think even the Reds have started to re-think this”

    I definitely noticed this when they replaced O’Brien with Krivsky.

  29. A point I made on the latest podcast (plug!): Gonzales may well be a better contributor for 2009 than Chris Dickerson.

    But given that this club isn’t going to contend in ’09, anyway, why bother? Let’s see what Chris Dickerson’s realistic ceiling is — can he be a part of the next winning Reds team? (someday?? please?)

  30. why not give 45 million to manny iam sure they got the money after trading dunn and jr. aleast he would bring in ticket sales

  31. Can anyone update me as to why jermaine dye hasn’t/didn’t work out? Couldnt we pay him 13mill like we did dunn?

  32. Media reports said the White Sox wanted Homer Bailey plus one for Dye, in addition to offloading Dye’s salary. I guess Jocketty believed he could get similar production for a lot less, and I suspect he’s right.

  33. Either no teams are interested in Dye or the White Sox are interested in giving him up. My guess is that no teams are all that interested in him. Certainly not at $13 million.

  34. His win value puts him at 9.7 million. So, he is “overpaid” as much as it were, by about 3 million. Plus, it is a one year rental.

  35. This is the first I’ve seen of this…and I just got sick.

Comments are closed.

About Bill Lack

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.


2009 Reds


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