2011 Reds

Zack Greinke?

Golf trip is over, and I’m back in the saddle. Today’s topic: Zack Greinke.

The Royals are likely to deal their ace hurler, and Buster Olney ($$$) lists the Reds as a possible destination. Some of you are nodding your head in agreement with that idea; many of you are wondering why GM Walt Jocketty would look to add a pitcher, since the Reds already have a bevy of starters, and the Reds have other positions that need to be addressed first.

You’re all correct. Certainly, the Reds have a number of good candidates for the 2011 starting rotation, as we’ve been discussing. Also, it’s clear that the mess in left field should be the primary off-season focus.

You should not, however, be surprised to see the Reds pursue a top-flight starting pitcher, if one is available. Jocketty went after Cliff Lee in mid-season, and I can see how Cincinnati’s performance in the National League Division Series could convince Jocketty that the Reds really need a clear #1 starter if they want to take that next step.

Greinke would fit the bill. His numbers last year were just average, but take a look at what he’s done in his career. Wow (love that 205 ERA+ at age 25). When you consider that he’ll just be entering his age-27 season, it’s clear that Greinke would look very nice indeed in a Reds uniform.

In addition, Zack Greinke’s contract situation is favorable, as far as I’m concerned. He’s signed for the next two seasons at $13.5 million each season. That’s an exceptionally reasonable contract, considering the production you are likely to get from Greinke.

The question, of course, is what the Reds would have to give up to get Greinke. That probably starts with Yonder Alonso, and may include names like Devin Mesoraco, as well. I really have no sense of what it would take, other than that the Royals are likely to want serious prospects in return. I’d trade almost anyone in the minors, frankly. Greinke is likely to be worth the steep price.

Yes, it’s probably all a pipe dream, but that’s what the off-season is for: dreaming.

81 thoughts on “Zack Greinke?

  1. If this was for 2 years of Cliff Lee, than yes, its a move you try to make. Since its not, I would rather Reds try to address LF and go with the young guns the Reds have now, (Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Wood, Leake, Chapman) to get a home grown ace(Bailey), or two(Volquez) or three(Chapman). lol.

    Unless KC wants go retro and re-enact a trade from 20+ years ago, except instead of Kurt Stillwell for Danny Jackson, make it “The Great Janish” for Greinke.😯 Now that would be a trick for WJ to pull off. 😀

    Go 2011 Reds!

  2. @MikeB: he’s got a straight fastball, an average curveball at best, and a splitter he tries to use as a changeup that really isn’t a major league pitch yet.

    according to fangraphs, his fastball is slightly above average, his slider is actually above average but he doesn’t use it much, his curveball is slightly below average, and his splitter is very below average. http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=8362&position=P

    now, i agree with you that age is certainly on his side, and he has plenty of time to improve. but i think that his stuff just isn’t as good as we were led to believe when he was drafted. with what he has, bailey is probably a 3rd/4th starter.

    i was impressed with what he showed in the playoffs though. i wonder if he might not be able to put a little more juice on his pitches out of the pen. If he could be groomed as a future closer, I’d be happy with that. Even then, he still needs an out pitch.

  3. They should go for it. The Reds have one starting pitcher with a proven track record. The rest have great potential and may all turn into 20-game winners. Or they may all turn into a collection of bad arms by next August.

    I wouldn’t trade any of those pitchers, though.

  4. Here’s my position on Greinke… Outside of 2009, he’s been a good not great starter. Throughout the rest of his career, I can’t say that he is any better than Cueto or Volquez. While I like him, he COULD be great, but we don’t know that he WILL be great. I’m all about trading a Volquez with a Francisco and Alonso to get a legit ace. BUT that guy HAS to be light years ahead of Cueto and Volquez. I don’t want somebody who could be I want somebody who is.

  5. My first choice would be to trade Volquez. But I don’t think I’d have a problem trading Cueto as well. For one thing, as the two of them are going into arbitration, their prices can only go up. And I doubt they would take multi- year deals this year—-in fact, I doubt they would take multi-year deals at all. Greinke is signed for 2 years at a set rate.
    The Reds need to gather together all the money they can to get Votto and Bruce signed long term. If this means trading away two starting pitchers, I would take this risk. Having Greinke as the #1 starter for 2 years, another year (or more) of Arroyo, Bailey improving by leaps and bounds evry year, plus Leake and Wood—-this sounds like a rotation that could start a dynasty. Seriously. Deride me if you want, but the economics make it look good, especially when you consider most of these guys are not hard throwers. So their risk of injury is a lot lower too.

    I still say let all the free agents go. Don’t resign Hernandez or Gomes. A good option for a catcher to trade for would be Francisco Cervelli. He’s done a good job for the Yankees, picking up the slack when Posada couldn’t play.
    Alonso is friends with A-Rod. The Yankees would probably be interested in an Alonso-for-Cervelli deal.
    As for left, they should either use what they have (Heisey, Nix) until some of the other prospects (like Fraser) show they are ready, or trade for a proven star.
    My big point is, forget free agents. This is a critical time for the Reds. They almost have it. Free agents are expensive and they have too many young players just starting to prove their worth. Committing millions to one of today’s free agents could mean losing 3 of our own. Had the Reds signed Matt Holliday last season, there would not be enough money a few years from now to keep Bruce, Votto or Stubbs

  6. La Russa is coming back for more next year. Suggested new Redleg Nation feature: La Russa’s Weekly Whine Report.

  7. I don’t generally like to play GM, it’s too complex. Grienke would help this team, no question. For 2011, he’d be the ace.

    Some have included Alonso and Francisco in a trade; the Royals wouldn’t want both, and we shouldn’t trade both. The Royals would value Alonso more.

    I’d give up any minor leaguer in our system except Mesoraco. I agree with those who don’t want to let him go – it’s hard to find a defensive catcher who can hit. The Royals are targeting 2013 so they’d be interested in a lower minor leaguer like Hamilton.

    Even though they’re looking well into the future, the Royals would want a major ready pitcher. Since we’re getting Greinke, that should be the easy part of the deal, but who ? I don’t like trading Homer or Volquez because both might turn out to be better than Greinke.
    Cueto is proven at this point and not much worse than Greinke.
    I don’t like letting Leake or Wood go, but seems like it would have to be one of them, and the Royals would want one of them.

    In the end, would I trade Alonso, Wood, and Hamilton (or some other low minor talent with big upside) for Grienke ? I think so, because my bias is to go for it all in 2011.

    • In the end, would I trade Alonso, Wood, and Hamilton (or some other low minor talent with big upside) for Grienke ?I think so, because my bias is to go for it all in 2011.

      This is why I don’t like playing GM. Now I don’t like my own trade above, it’s giving up too much. Alonso and Hamilton and another low minors prospect should be enough.
      But then Leake and Wood are both stuck in the bullpen ?

      KC is supposedly loaded with top prospects. So maybe I’d give up the 3 I said above for Greinke plus a top 3rd base or LF prospect in return.

    • Some have included Alonso and Francisco in a trade; the Royals wouldn’t want both, and we shouldn’t trade both.

      I agree with the first part, but not the second. Alonso is a nice prospect, but the lack of power and defensive flexibility makes him less valuable. To the Reds, he’s useless. Francisco, I have no use for. Maybe Wily Mo Pena soured me forever on guys who can only do one thing – hit the ball a long way.

      He’s struck out 27 times in 84 career PAs at the big league level. And has FOUR walks. That’s roughly a 200-K pace for a full season. He was a little better in the minors – 155, roughly.

  8. I don’t think Chapman will be ready to start at the ML level at the beginning of 2011.
    Further on in 2011, I would hope so. That would give us a surplus of starters. But injuries do happen.

  9. @pinson343: I agree with pinson343 about trying to play GM. Following “our” own players in the minors, get a little bit attached and want them to do well for the reds. LOL.

    Given the KC rotation from last year and how poor outside of Greinke it seems, I would not be surprised if KC asked for two SP from the Reds if any talks do actually happen. From thier POV, Greinke has had 1 great season, only Volquez 2008 is closest to having a “great” season.

    Should be interesting offseason.

    Go 2011 Reds!

  10. I’m a proud Reds fan and never afraid to say it. Grienke? There is upside and it probably would help the team out. Have all the confidence/mental issues been dealt with and in Zack’s past? Only he can answer that question. Do we really want to give up a great bunch of minor league talent/prospects for a possible ace? Maybe. I’m also thinking how will his pitching translate to GABP, it is a hitter friendly ball park. Only Walt J. really knows what our Reds are going to do to get a #1 pitcher. Peace all and Lets go Reds!😈

  11. I’m in agreement with much of what has been said here. A few points I would emphasize:

    1. Several of our current pitchers *may* yet develop into nearly #1-types. I would put Volquez, Cueto and Bailey into that category.

    2. That said, I do think there is value, in terms of the playoffs, of having an ace-caliber pitcher.

    3. An ace pitcher is NOT crucial for the entire regular season and can be obtained in mid-season, after we see how our own pitchers (and the rest of the team) develop.

    4. Grienke’s contract is favorable, but it isn’t free or forever — it’s only for two years. We shouldn’t give away too much for a pitcher who is only a few million dollars under market value.

    5. One point made here that I thought bore repeating was how signing Grienke would impact the need to retain Arroyo all year. We could trade Bronson in mid-season if the rest of the arms develop as we expect.

    6. I realize the organization can walk and chew gum at the same time, but solving the LF/leadoff problem is a much higher priority. And if there is a trade-off in terms of trading chips, I’d focus on the LF problem ahead of the SP ace.

  12. In no way shape or form do I trade Devin. A potential power hitting catcher that is still very young is too much to give for two years of a pitcher when you have enough good pitching already. Maybe Bailey, Maloney, and Francisco or Alonso? I wouldn’t trade Cueto either, he is younger and costs less with likely similar production. I’d also be fine in giving up Volquez or Wood instead of Bailey.

    • In no way shape or form do I trade Devin. A potential power hitting catcher that is still very young is too much to give for two years of a pitcher when you have enough good pitching already. Maybe Bailey, Maloney, and Francisco or Alonso? I wouldn’t trade Cueto either, he is younger and costs less with likely similar production. I’d also be fine in giving up Volquez or Wood instead of Bailey.

      Agree that Mesoraco should be off-limits as he (or Grandal) will be needed in 2012 or so to be main guy behind the plate. an offensive capable catcher is an edge few teams enjoy and its looking Reds will be one of those here in the near future. 😀

  13. I couldn’t disagree more strongly with the notion that Mesoraco should be untouchable.

    I love Devin; he’s a friend to Redleg Nation, and he will be appearing on another podcast with us at some point. He had a GREAT season, better than anyone could have imagined, and his defense continues to improve. He’s returned to elite prospect territory.

    We need to acknowledge that we all value our own prospects too highly sometimes. I’ve done that for YEARS.

    That said, he’s just a prospect at this point. A very good prospect, certainly, and I’m not suggesting that the Reds trade him for just anything, but a prospect of his caliber could bring some serious present-day value to the major league roster.

    The Reds are close to being a very, very good team. You have to use all your chips in an effort to get to the promised land.

    Joey Votto and Paul Janish are the only two untouchables in this organization, as far as I’m concerned.*

    *I may be joking about one of those two names.

    • Joey Votto and Paul Janish are the only two untouchables in this organization, as far as I’m concerned.*

      I don’t know, I don’t think Janish’s pitching stats are quite good enough to make him untouchable:

      Standard Pitching

      Game Streak Event Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GFCGSHSV IP H R ER HR BB IBB K HBPBKWP BF ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
      2009 26 CIN NL 0 0 49.50 2 0 2 0 0 0 2.0 9 11 11 2 2 0 3 0 0 0 17 10 5.500 40.5 9.0 9.0 13.5 1.50
      1 Season 0 0 49.50 2 0 2 0 0 0 2.0 9 11 11 2 2 0 3 0 0 0 17 10 5.500 40.5 9.0 9.0 13.5 1.50

  14. The Royals are also willing to trade David DeJesus.
    The Reds could fill the need for an ace starter and fill the hole in LF and at leadoff by trading for both. DeJesus is signed for 2011 at $6 million and is an excellent fielding LF. With Harang leaving, Greinke and DeJesus would only add about $7 million to the payroll.

  15. @Chad Dotson:

    There’s never, EVER, any such thing as an untouchable player. It’s all about the return you’re getting for them. When you say “untouchable” what you really mean is “no one is going to offer what it would take to make it worth trading this guy,” and that’s rarely true of ANY prospect, unless you’re a really cash strapped team.

  16. @lookatthathat: Georgia Tech ??? Janish played for Rice, including their 2003 national championship team. Janish has played SS and pitched in HS, and thought of himself as a pitcher when he showed up at Rice. But Rice had a deep pitching staff, a number of whom made it to the major leagues (maybe I’ll look up who they were), aand so he decided to play SS.

    Jainsh has been hit hard in his relief appearences for the Reds, my theory is that it’s because he throws too hard. Other position players come in and throw 60 mph pitches that drive the hitters crazy. Janish comes in and throws 90+ mph strikes and the hitters love it.

  17. Brien’s right, there’s no such thing as an untouchable player.
    Hypothetically, an offer could be made for Joey Votto that we couldn’t refuse.

    Having said that, trading any one of the following would devastate me, and I would presume that – for all practical purposes – they are untouchable: Joey, Jay Bruce, Aroldis Chapman. We traded Hamilton instead of Jay Bruce. So you don’t turn around and trade another stud OFer.

    I don’t think I have to explain Joey or Chapman. Chapman might not even turn out to be an ace, but right now he stands for hope for a brighter future.

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