12/14/2011

Ryan Theriot?

Ummmm…why?

Infielder Ryan Theriot might be a good fit for the Reds after the Cardinals declined to tender a 2012 contract offer Monday, making him a free agent.

Theriot, who hit .271 last season, is not great defensively – 17 errors in 91 games at shortstop. But he’s a utility guy who plays shortstop. That’s a stated need of the Reds.

Theriot has played mostly second and short in his career. But he’s played nine games at third and 11 games in the outfield.

Just idle speculation by the Fayman, methinks. Fay does, however, end with this noteworthy paragraph:

The Reds, so far in this offseason, have not added one player outside the organization to the roster.

It’s not like Spring Training starts tomorrow, so there is certainly no reason whatsoever that we should overreact. It’s only mid-December, after all…but this off-season bears a striking resemblance to last year’s thus far. Ol’ Walt’s just sitting on his hands at the moment. We can only hope something big is in the works.

I choose to believe that the Reds will be making at least one big move before the 2012 season. Management knows the team can’t win with the roster as currently constructed. They have to do something to improve the club, right? Right?

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! 72 Comments

  1. Why should the Reds pursue no hit, no field players for their bench?

  2. @Greg Dafler: ^ This. A combo of Janish/Frazier accomplishes the same ******* thing at probably half the price. This team is so bizarre.

  3. Frazier clearly over Theriot.

    Keep in mind that we have a log jam in the middle infield because Miguel Cairo can’t play SS. That means the second IF has to be able to play SS. So if one feels that Frazier isn’t viable at short for anything other than an emergency, then he can’t be the second player.

    How can we have Juan Francisco on the Reds roster if he can’t play SS? Francisco and Cairo can’t be the two backup IF.

    The Reds may end up with Janish and Francisco playing in Louisville in case of an injury to Cozart or Rolen. Frazier/Theriot (yuk) plus Cairo would be the backups on the 25 man roster.

    If we sign Theriot, that means no major league spot for Frazier, Janish or Francisco.

  4. The Reds bench is already a mess….

    Starters: Votto, Phillips, Cozart, Rolen (and I don’t see any change in these between now and Opening Day)

    Bench:

    Francisco (Rolen (and maybe Votto?) backup and out of options, unless traded, which I don’t see happening)
    Cairo (I have no idea what his purpose on this team will be, but Dusty loves him)
    Someone who can play SS (Janish, Frazier, maybe Valaika or a veteran to be named later?)
    One of the catchers

    The rest, I assume will sort itself out from what’s left over when the dust settles in the outfield…but the infield bench is a mess.

    I’m not ready to push the panic button, but this team has holes and the makeup of the infield bench is a mess.

  5. Unless you are going to spend some real loot on a top tier SS, Cozart/Janish is the best bang for the buck. Move along to something else please. At least Hernandez could back up Votto. Rolen is one dive away from a 60 day DL. Then there’s still the matter of no right handed power. A mess, indeed.

  6. Francisco will be on the MLB roster one way or another. Not having a LH batter to come off the bench is intolerable to Dusty.

    Whether Janish/Frazier makes the team is entirely dependent on how many pitchers they carry. Since Dusty is completely inept at managing his bullpen, I expect the full compliment of 12. 🙁

    So you got:

    9 starters
    Pitching consisting of:
    1. Cueto
    2. Leake
    3. Chapman
    4. Bailey
    5. Arroyo
    6. Bray
    7. Masset
    8. Ondrusek
    9. Arrendondo
    10. Lecure
    11. Volquez?
    12. ?

    Bench:
    1. Mesoraco
    2. Heisey
    3. Francisco
    4. Cairo
    5. IF they don’t carry 12 pitchers (is this possible?), then Frazier/Janish/Theriot.

    It doesn’t make sense to keep Janish on the MLB roster with Cozart as the starter. You don’t need a defensive replacement with him there, and he provides no offense. Then again, there really isn’t a need to have Cairo AT ALL. Trade him and get a peanuts/a LOOGY/whatever you can get. Frazier makes a lot of sense either way b/c he can be a swing player (not to mention provides equal defense to Theriot).

    So the Reds will apparently not carry a LOOGY, which is just great because it means that Dusty will use Bray, their best reliever, like he’s one. 😡 . Either that, or they’ll turn Travis Wood into one. Lame. Of course, there is still a nice chunk of time for WJ to trim this roster…

    • Francisco will be on the MLB roster one way or another. Not having a LH batter to come off the bench is intolerable to Dusty. Whether Janish/Frazier makes the team is entirely dependent on how many pitchers they carry. Since Dusty is completely inept at managing his bullpen, I expect the full compliment of 12. So you got: 9 startersPitching consisting of:1. Cueto2. Leake3. Chapman4. Bailey5. Arroyo6. Bray7. Masset8. Ondrusek9. Arrendondo10. Lecure11. Volquez?12. ? Bench:1. Mesoraco2. Heisey3. Francisco4. Cairo5. IF they don’t carry 12 pitchers (is this possible?), then Frazier/Janish/Theriot. It doesn’t make sense to keep Janish on the MLB roster with Cozart as the starter. You don’t need a defensive replacement with him there, and he provides no offense. Then again, there really isn’t a need to have Cairo AT ALL. Trade him and get a peanuts/a LOOGY/whatever you can get. Frazier makes a lot of sense either way b/c he can be a swing player (not to mention provides equal defense to Theriot). So the Reds will apparently not carry a LOOGY, which is just great because it means that Dusty will use Bray, their best reliever, like he’s one. . Either that, or they’ll turn Travis Wood into one. Lame. Of course, there is still a nice chunk of time for WJ to trim this roster…

      Actually, Arrodondo is a LOOGY that throws right handed. His career splits are reversed. I just wish someone in a Reds dugout would notice that when making bullpen decisions.

  7. Whoops…miscounted 🙄 I think the 5th spot goes to Frazier due to being able to play both OF/IF.

  8. It’s what I’ve said all along, Frazier is the guy you can’t trade because of his versatility. I know you have to plan for injuries, but throwing ~$6mil at Theriot because you’re scared doesn’t make sense to me. Cairo has to stay, which tells me Janish/Francisco will be at AAA, w/ Frazier as the backup SS. That is, if the Reds don’t do something stupid.
    On the larger front, I believe Castellini is blocking some of these deals. I mean, why else would they go to the extraordinary step of telling Votto he’s not getting traded? The Fayman alludes to this meddling quite a bit. Hey Bob, why get Jocketty if you won’t let him do his job??

    • @Sultan of Swaff:

      It’s what I’ve said all along, Frazier is the guy you can’t trade because of his versatility.I know you have to plan for injuries, but throwing ~$6mil at Theriot because you’re scared doesn’t make sense to me.Cairo has to stay, which tells me Janish/Francisco will be at AAA, w/ Frazier as the backup SS.That is, if the Reds don’t do something stupid.

      Francisco is out of options and would never pass through waivers…he’s on the 25. I also question whether the Reds have any respect for what Frazier brings to the table (versatility, decent bat). They don’t seem to.

  9. early Bill James projections for 2012

    wOBA
    .331 Frazier
    .315 Cozart (excellent defense)
    .304 Ryan Theriot (terrible defense)
    .268 Janish (excellent defense)

    ?? Didi Gregorius
    ?? Kristopher Negron
    ?? Chris Valaika

  10. Quite frankly i’m already upset about what i’ve heard. Saunders? whats he gonna do? offer us more back of the rotation help? homerun there. Theriot? hes about as useful as edgar renteria. unless we want an idiot who can blow up on umps.

    Jocketty aint going anywhere for at least another year, and in my opinion Dusty is as good as gone. Nothing will happen, hopefully our pitchers return to form from the playoff year, but the fact is that Walt waited too long to get a deal done for a stud pitcher. We couldve had cliff lee at the deadline two years ago and we arent going to be able to get anyone like him again. and the fact that the mariners got smoak and change for him(yonders better, plus we had other pieces at the time, which tells me Walt pulled out), there wont be someone the reds can get with the prospects they currently have. Our slew of prospects have slimmed fast. Hamilton, Grandal and Stevenson(hopefully). Plus some overachieving minor leaguers. Waited too long. and now we’ll have to move forward with wade davis or joe saunders.

    All this speculation, and this will be our opening day rotation

    Volquez, Cueto, Leake, Arroyo, and Bailey. Anyone who expects anything else is being foolish. Nothing will happen. Not now. And with walt’s inability to pull a move at the deadline the past few years, im gonna say that nothing will happen til walts out of here.

    Glass half full anyone?

    • Quite frankly i’m already upset about what i’ve heard. Saunders? whats he gonna do? offer us more back of the rotation help?

      while i totally agree that theriot is terrible and has no role on this team, i don’t get the saunders hate. i’m actually surprised that he got non-tendered, he had a good year.

      consider this, his career ERA+ is 103, and he’s coming off a year where he put up a 107. He’s an above average starter coming off a good year.

      now look at the other guys we have (career ERA+):

      bailey: 85
      volquez: 92
      arroyo: 104 (coming off of 65)
      wood: 95

      that’s 3 below average starters, and one above average starter who fell off a cliff and may never climb back up.

      the way i see it, saunders would probably be a better 4th starter than any of those guys.

      if anything, the problem isn’t going after saunders, who will come pretty cheap, it was tendering contracts to the below average starters we have.

      if we can pull of a deal for a #2, we could have this rotation next year:

      cueto, #2, leake, chapman, saunders. i’d take that in a heartbeat.

      but instead we’ve committed money to bailey, volquez, and arroyo, so we’re stuck with them.

      i would have cut bailey for sure. volquez at least has put up one great season, so he may be tradeable to a team willing to take a flyer. bailey has been below average every year of his career, and doesn’t even have good stuff any more. if he makes good with someone else, good for him, the reds gave him every chance to do it here.

      i’d trade him for saunders straight up in a second.

  11. @CP: and that twelfth spot in the pen will go to Boxberger. Only Red i’ve heard anything good about in awhile, outside of yonder being in good shape.

  12. Well according to Walt at Reds fest this team is ready to go as is to contend. Now he did say he would like to add a piece or two, but as presently constructed they can win the divison.

  13. I agree with those saying Francisco is assured of a spot on the roster because (a) he’s a LH bat off the bench and (b) he’s out of options.

    BUT there is is no way that Francisco and Cairo can be the two IF backups because neither can play SS.

    I supposed one possible solution to that is to use Frazier, because he can play OF.

    I agree with the idea of trading Cairo, have been since last year’s trading deadline. He’s done a solid job for the Reds, but as long as Juan Francisco is on the club, it just doesn’t work out.

  14. And given this infield mess, how can we even be talking to Ryan Theriot? Where would he fit into all of this?

    Baker may have to choose between his love of the veteran bench player and his love of LH hitters with home-run power.

  15. Why no love for Homer Bailey? He’s got more chance to be a decent #2 starter than anybody named there other than Cueto.

    We need him to stay healthy for the whole year – he’s yet to do that – but he’s gotten sneaky-better for 3 or 4 years in a row now. I think we need to hang onto Homer and get him out there as much as possible this year.

  16. @Dan: it depends on what stats you like. his ERA has gotten marginally better the last few years, but the league ERA has dropped even more, for all kinds of reasons. weaker hitters, different parks, maybe less steroids, etc.

    so that’s why i like ERA+, which compares a pitcher to the league average ERA, with 100 being average.

    bailey’s numbers: 81, 56, 93, 91, 88. so what is it that you like? never been above average, sometimes well below, and not getting better.

    also, that year he put up 93, his fastball averaged 94.1. since then it’s gone to 92.7, and then 92.2. so he’s also losing velocity.

    also, his groundball rate has dropped the last three years in a row, while his line drive rate has increased, so he’s getting more hittable, which you would expect as his stuff gets worse.

    so again, i ask you, aside from being a #1 pick who used to throw 98, what’s to like about this guy? if he pitched for someone else i would say he sucked. i’ve rooted for him for years, but at this point, he looks like a bad pitcher.

    • so again, i ask you, aside from being a #1 pick who used to throw 98, what’s to like about this guy? if he pitched for someone else i would say he sucked. i’ve rooted for him for years, but at this point, he looks like a bad pitcher.

      Steadily decreasing BB/9 and increasing K/BB. FIP below 4 for two years. He’s learning how to pitch. Too early to say he’s a “bad” pitcher.

  17. @Steve Mancuso: decreasing his walks is a good thing, i’ll give you that.

    all i have to say about FIP is that it seems to me that it’s almost always “more average” than the ERA. So if a player has a low ERA, FIP is higher, and if they have a high ERA, FIP is lower.

    of the 26 qualifying starters with an ERA of 4.30 and above last year, exactly 1 of them, Jeremy Guthrie, had a higher FIP than ERA.

    so does that mean that all of the below average pitchers in the league should be expected to be better next year? that they were ALL unlucky? i don’t think so.

    what i think it means is that FIP can’t be used to predict that a below average pitcher will get better.

  18. @Steve Mancuso: Steve, where do you find FIP? That’s what I’d like to find, but I don’t see it on Baseball Reference.

    Anyway, yeah, basically what Steve said. His walk rate has dropped while most other peripherals have stayed about the same. (Including a better-than-average strikeout rate, and I like that a lot – we need more of that.)

    Also, he’s 25! Way way too early to give up on him in my book. In fact, I think he has more breakout potential than anyone on the Reds staff this side of Chapman.

  19. 1) Bailey has not pitched to expectations, but he was billed by some to be the next Roger Clemens. Bailey is still quite young, only 25, and has already logged 436 IP, which is part of his problem. He was rushed to the majors because of fan preasure and is learning to pitch against major league hitters which is quite difficult. Baseball-Reference compares him to Gavin Floyd. Floyd’s a solid pitcher. The thing is, Bailey shouldn’t be considered more than a No. 4 and shouldn’t be asked to be more than a No. 4.

    2) I don’t see the need for Saunders. He’s a nice pitcher but fills into the back end of a rotation, and we have plenty 4s-5s to spare.

    3) Jocketty at least hinted that they are interested in Cuddyer, who I think would be a GREAT fit for this team. He can play LF and step in at 3B.

    4) Volquez for Seth Smith gives you the left handed bat off the bench.

  20. @Dan: FIP is a fangraphs stat. You’ll find it there.

  21. @Jason Linden: Ah, cool. Thanks.

  22. since we switched from talking about what a waste Theriot would be on this roster to starters I wanted to throw out better numbers.

    ERA (or ERA+) doesn’t translate year to year for starters but FIP does
    and instead of trying to figure out our guess at how a starter is going to do by looking at career or the last couple years, lets use people who are better at making projections

    2012 projected FIP from Bill James
    FIP
    3.51 Chapman (probably would be higher as a starter)
    3.83 Wood
    3.88 Bailey
    4.02 Cueto
    4.22 Volquez
    4.27 LeCure
    4.47 Leake
    4.59 SAUNDERS
    4.68 Arroyo

    ?? Lotzkar

    I don’t think I’d have to much of a problem with a rotation of
    Cueto
    Chapman
    Wood
    Bailey
    Volquez

  23. @David: @Dan:

    well, as long as he’s on the reds, i’ll root for him, and i certainly hope he gets better. i see a guy with a straight fastball that’s losing velocity, no good secondary pitches to speak of, and an injury history.

    what i’ve said for a few years now is that they should try him in the pen, and i still hold to that. i think he could get a boost to his fastball, and his lack of secondary pitches wouldn’t be as noticable.

    i still think that could work. if they do eventually aquire another starter, i would give it a shot since arroyo is getting paid too much for them not to run him out there again.

    i could see this: cueto, new guy, leake, chapman, arroyo; bailey to pen, wood to minors as insurance, trade volquez.

    i’d be happy with something like that.

  24. @mike: and what were the projections for wood, bailey, and volquez last year?

  25. I also thought Bailey has lost velocity, but I went out on PitchFx and looked his numbers. Looks like last year his velocity stayed relatively constant throughout the season @ between 93-96 mph. Possibly Fox Cincy’s radar is off?

  26. @mike: and again, i’m all for the use of new and beter stats, i’m just not sure about things like FIP, that so obviously pull everything towards the middle.

    And with Bailey, he’s consistantly had an ERA 15% higher than his FIP, and he’s never had a FIP lower than his ERA. so if we are willing to say that we believe the james FIP projections, how can we ignore the fact that FIP is consistantly low for Bailey?

    I don’t think that’s statistical evidence you can just wave away. If we do, I think we risk getting too attached to our new numbers, in the way that people got too attached to the old numbers like Wins.

    so if we go with Bailey’s 3.88 FIP, corrected by 15%, that would give him a 4.46 ERA, which will probaby be slightly worse than league average and give him an ERA+ in the 90s.

    Now that’s a projection I can believe.

  27. @mike: and just for curiosity’s sake, i looked at saunders too. he has consistantly beaten his FIP, year after year, by an average of 11%.

    so again, taking his james FIP projection and correcting it for historical evidence, he projects to a 4.09 ERA, which again, seems very reasonable.

  28. @al: you might be right but I’m also not sure that’s the correct way to look at FIP. If FIP removes luck factors from pitcher outcomes it should “pull everything towards the middle” shouldn’t it? But instead of looking at one players projections or projection history, like Bailey, I like looking at all the players together and see how they compare to each other.

    this is getting into an area I don’t know much about. My only point is that FIP is better than ERA and I think our guesses are fine but I like looking at projections not for a specific players performance as much as their expected performance compared to our other choices/players.

    I think by looking at the list of *early* projections I can semi-validate some thoughts I’ve had
    For example
    Wood has a bigger upside than Leake
    Chapman could be great
    Volquez could bounce back from his 1st season post-injury, not that I’d bet on it
    Saunders isn’t worth looking at
    and I’d rather not have Arroyo on the team

    • @al: I like looking at projections not for a specific players performance as much as their expected performance compared to our other choices/players.

      Mostly I agree with all your thoughts on the various players, my problem is that what if some players systematically play better than the projections, and some players systematically player worst than the projections. Then the decisions made using the projections to compare players are going to be flawed.

      FIP only includes HR, Walks, and Ks. I agree that these are important to look at, and that some of the other stuff that goes into ERA is luck.

      But we also know that things like groundball, flyball, and line drive rate are fairly consistant for pitchers, and that they influence ERA, so clearly FIP isn’t accounting for everything.

      If a guy sometimes beats his FIP and sometimes doesn’t, then sure, use the FIP, because those numbers may be the most consistant, and maybe his ERA variation is luck.

      However, if a player’s ERA has a systematic relationship to FIP, that is consistantly higher or lower, that tells me that one of the things that FIP doesn’t capture is important to predicting his ERA.

      It so happens that Bailey and Saunders happen to be two of those pitchers, and so I can’t agree with the ranking you put above, because if I had to bet, I would say that Bailey will underperform his FIP and Saunders will do better than his, because of the way that they pitch.

  29. @al: Saunders’ ERA+ was 107 last year, but was not 95, 92, 86, 100 the four years prior. I’ll pass.

  30. @al: Understood and as I said I don’t understand enough about FIP to prove or disprove what you are saying.

    for arguments sake, lets assume you are correct about Saunders.
    how much better does his performance have to be than the projections above to make it worth putting him in the rotation when the Reds have 7 potential young starters that all project better than him?

    on a related topic it’s hard for me to believe the Reds have not made a single move this off season. Is it that difficult to trade Alonzo, Francisco and/or Arroyo?

    • @al:for arguments sake, lets assume you are correct about Saunders.how much better does his performance have to be than the projections above to make it worth putting him in the rotation when the Reds have 7 potential young starters that all project better than him?

      that’s a good question. i think lecure is bound for the pen, and i think bailey is likely to be worse than his FIP (again). so there’s two down.

      volquez looks like a guy who sometimes beats his FIP sometimes doesn’t, and on average is right around it, so I’m happy to go with his 4.22 prediction, but that still leaves saunders under him at my 4.09 projection.

      wood’s ERA has been over his FIP both years, but it’s not by much and it’s only two years, so I’ll go with his FIP as well to be generous, so his 3.83 would be better than saunders.

      so that’s cueto, chapman, wood, leake, saunders, volquez, bailey, arroyo (with lecure in the pen).

      if the reds trade for a good pitcher, then saunders isn’t worth it. but based on this (admitedly very rough) projection system, i’d say saunders is a better 5th starter option than volquez, bailey, or arroyo. but those are the guys we’ve given money to.

      now, dave’s point is also a good one, that saunders has been below average for most of his career, and his career ERA+ mark is mostly a product of one big year. i missed that earlier, and so maybe he is a good one to pass on, i don’t know.

  31. a different take on the roster
    what if it was

    Phillips – 2B
    Cozart – SS
    Votto – 1B
    Bruce – RF
    Rolen – 3B
    Heisey/Alonso – LF
    Moresco/Hanigan – C
    Stubbs/Sappelt – CF

    Francisco and a backup SS we pick up

    rotation
    Johnny Cueto
    Travis Wood
    Homer Bailey
    Aroldis Chapman
    Edinson Volquez

    closer: Bray

    Jose Arredondo
    Nick Masset
    Logan Ondrusek
    Sam LeCure
    Mike Leake
    a reliever we pick up

    notice the name missing? Arroyo!
    if you think Heisey can play some CF then replace Sappelt with Frazier

    still think we should be considering moving Alonso and Francisco plus other stuff for a starter

  32. I think that counting on Chapman to be an effective starter is a bit of a stretch.

    1. He has an exceptional fastball that he has trouble controlling and whom big league hitters will sit on because:
    2. He rarely throws a slider that he only has occasional confidence in because he can’t really control it either.
    3. Third pitch? anyone? anyone?. Oh yes: and a sore shoulder.

    That’s not going to get him through 4 innings let alone 6 or 7 because of a high pitch count. In short, I don’t think he has a defined role on this team. Counting on Chapman? Risky.

  33. @mike: mike, i think this roster post is a really good one.

    two points, first, you left cairo off too, so he probably takes sappelt’s spot.

    second, to continue my bailey tirade, what i would do is do everythign we can to move alonso and prospects for a pitcher. slot him where you have bailey and move bailey to the pen, and then we don’t need to acquire a reliever.

    to me, that makes the rotation better, the pen better, and only makes the the outfield worse by the difference between alonso and heisey, assuming he becomes the fulltime LF, which is probably half a win over a full season.

    bottom line: i totally agree with your analysis, getting arroyo off the roster makes this team look a lot better.

  34. I can see it now: a delivery to GABP, Walt opens the package, It’s a baseball glove wrapped in paper with a fish.
    The old Italian message: Bronson Arroyo sleeps with the fishes.

    That’s the only way he won’t be on the roster.

  35. @al: I think my point isn’t that Saunders is horrible or anything. He’s not—though I would worry that at GABP, he could get someone in the bleachers killed. It’s just that it seems the Reds have a zillion of these guys, and I can’t get too excited about one over the other. May as well go with Bailey and hope he puts it together if it’s between Bailey and Saunders, I figure—plus, Arroyo will be pitching (stupidly) even if he is putting up an ERA of 47. Mike puts together nice roster posts, but like George says, there’s just no way Arroyo isn’t in the rotation unless his arm is physically separated from his body.

    Mostly I’m tired of the rotation without an ace. I wish I could know what deals Jocketty is being offered.

  36. Ugh. Theriot?!? Scotty being the exception, I don’t want to ever see a Card/ ex Card on the roster. That being said, what do you all think of a Colby Rasmus trade? Yay? Nay? 😛

  37. @wildwestLV: I don’t really want to hear about WJ talking with Alex Anthopoulos…AA is just destroying other GMs right now. But I think you’re right that the Blue Jays will be trading an OF shortly since they now have Ben Francisco, Bautista, Rasmus, Eric Thames, Travis Snider and Rajai Davis already on the roster.

    In my opinion, if the Reds make a deal with Toronto for an OF, the Reds will be getting Rajai Davis or Eric Thames (unless it’s part of a bigger deal). I’d rather have any of the other guys but I believe that’s how it would pan out.

  38. 2 things:

    1. Anyone see this part of Pujols’ contract with the Angels?

    “Details of Pujols’ deal aren’t official until the Players Association authorizes the contract, but it is believed to be backloaded with no money deferred and include a 10-year personal service arrangement that precludes Pujols from reconnecting with his former franchise.” So Pujols can have nothing to do with the Cards for 20 years? 😆

    2. Where were the Reds on Nick Punto? 2 years for $3 million sounds a lot better than what they’re going to (presumably) pay Theriot. And he’s known as a good defender AND is a switch hitter. Plus he’s a former Cardinal.

  39. Are the Reds serious suitors for Michael Cuddyer? It seems that the Twins are on the verge of moving toward Josh Willingham instead of Cuddyer.

  40. Just Fire Walt already. Clearly this guy lacks the balls to make the deals necessary to win

  41. @George Culver: You know what else was risky??? Relying on Volquez to become our number 1 guy. I see more of a future w Chapman any time any day than with Stinkin MEssed up in the head Volquez

  42. His splits are pretty good either way. I think Arrendondo and Bray should get first crack at closing-by-committee.

    • His(Arrodondo) splits are pretty good either way. I think Arrendondo and Bray should get first crack at closing-by-committee.

      I agree. I watched a lot of Arrodondo with the Angels and was impressed. I think another year removed from TJ will prove beneficial.

  43. @CP: OMG. I mentioned Punto like a month ago. I think that was even cheaper than I was guessing. One possible concern was is he a legit SS. I don’t necessarily know the answer to that Q.

  44. @Aaron Lehr: Punto statistically is above average in range, even at shortstop. At a minimum, he isn’t a liability in the field like Ryan Theriot. WJ should hire you 🙂

  45. So bored at work. Let’s start a haiku thread to describe the reds:

    Winter meetings came
    Other teams made improvements
    The Reds hold the line

  46. Silently he stalks
    Like a tiger in tall grass
    Mr. Jocketty waits

  47. er…

    Silently he stalks
    Like a tiger in tall grass
    Jocketty, he waits

  48. I think the Reds are seriously considering Theriot. Fay reported earlier that Jocketty told him they had contacted Theriot’s agent.

    They want a backup SS who can step in for Cozart if he fails. They don’t trust Janish to do that. And they want someone more versatile than Renteria.

    I think it’s likely that both Janish and Frazier will start the season in Louisville. They have options, and that’s a valuable thing for a team that’s hoping to contend. The roster math is brutal. There’s just no room for them, barring unexpected trades or injuries.

  49. @ARFoskey: No doubt that Volquez was a huge bust last season. But, he does, at least, have three exceptional pitches that he sometimes throws for strikes. Plus, most experts agree that it takes a good year after TJ surgery for a pitcher’s control to return to their previous level. Hopefully this will come forth and help with his mental aspect. Anyone in the same position would be just as frustrated by the same lack of control. When it’s not going well for him he just looks goofy. We all just hope for the 2009 Volkey that won so many games to return to form.

  50. “And they want someone more versatile than Renteria.” That would be anyone, I mean ANYONE, not actually named ‘Renteria’.

  51. No on Theriot. That would be horrible and unnecessary.

    Here’s this from MLB Trade Rumors:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/jocketty-discusses-reds-offseason.html

  52. @RedLeg75: so the A’s offered Gio Gonzalez for Alonso, Grandal, and another player.

    We’ve heard that Walt thinks the price tag for pitching has been too high.

    I just have to ask, what did he think the teams were going to ask for?

    If you were the A’s what would you want in return? Gonzalez is 25, cheap, and has put up back to back 200IP seasons, posting 4 and 5 WAR. Would you trade that guy for Yonder Alonso and some roster filler?

    No way. There is no way. Of course they want two top prospects! I’m surprised they’re not asking for Jay Bruce! Is Walt delusional or just the most risk averse GM in history?

    Maybe it’s a good deal, maybe it’s not a good deal. I think Yonder is gonna be real good (at the plate) and it looks like Grandal might be good too.

    But if the Reds stated goal is to get a good starting pitcher, they have to know this is what it costs. If they think this price is too high, then they aren’t serious about achieving their goal.

    • Agree that if Walt thinks Alonso, Grandal, and another young prospect is too much to ask for Gio, he’s got unrealistic expectations.

      The funny thing is that when Walt was with the Cardinals, he had a reputation for trading prospects for other teams’ undervalued stars. According to HBT, the reason he was ousted was that he disagreed with Luhnow (now the Astros’ GM) about the value of building a homegrown team. He felt that was a “lose now” strategy.

      What happened to Walt the wheeler-dealer?

  53. I think the Reds should take that deal, but first i would try to expand it to include Andrew Bailey. I would include one of Homer, Wood, and Volquez (or maybe two instead of a prospect?) and another solid prospect for their Bailey. That would help clear out some of the starting pitcher logjam.

    I think we could win with:

    Rotation:

    Cueto
    Gonzalez
    Leake
    Chapman
    Arroyo (only because of contract)

    Relievers:

    A. Bailey
    Bray
    Masset
    Ondrusek
    Aredondo
    LeCure
    Wood

    • I think the Reds should take that deal, but first i would try to expand it to include Andrew Bailey. I would include one of Homer, Wood, and Volquez (or maybe two instead of a prospect?) and another solid prospect for their Bailey. That would help clear out some of the starting pitcher logjam. I think we could win with:Rotation:CuetoGonzalezLeakeChapmanArroyo (only because of contract)Relievers:A. BaileyBrayMassetOndrusekAredondoLeCureWood

      Now that sounds like a good deal on all sides. This might really be wishful thinking, but Arroyo’s pride may really have him coming into the season better conditioned and prepared. I at least expect for the first part of the season for him to be solid. Don’t have any facts to back this up, just a baseball fans hope and limited knowledge of the player.

      • This might really be wishful thinking, but Arroyo’s pride may really have him coming into the season better conditioned and prepared. I at least expect for the first part of the season for him to be solid. Don’t have any facts to back this up, just a baseball fans hope and limited knowledge of the player.

        I could see it. I do think that for all the press he gets as a “rocker/party guy” Arroyo takes the game very seriously.

        The contract was still clearly a bad idea, and one that seemed so obviously bad at the time, but if there’s a guy in the game that can comeback on moxy alone, it’s probably Bronson.

  54. “But if the Reds stated goal is to get a good starting pitcher, they have to know this is what it costs. If they think this price is too high, then they aren’t serious about achieving their goal.”

    Exactly. There is no position as costly as GOOD starting pitching. If you don’t have the cash to spend, then you need a farm system/young MLB ready talent to acquire. If you don’t want to spend all your people capital then you have to get creative and dip deep in your system, start talking draft, or attempt to get a third team involved. Bottom line: top of the rotation guys are going to be expensive, one way or the other. But if you don’t make the moves, then you get Josh Fogg.

  55. Hot stove league heats up
    everywhere teams are dealing,
    In Cincy? Crickets.

  56. There is no scenario in which bring in Theriot is a good idea. He is absolutely terrible at SS, Valaika, Frazier, and Cairo could do as well there. He is completely worthless anywhere but 2B, and the Reds do not need that at all. I really hope they don’t give him a flyer because he will be the new Nefi Perez for Dusty Baker, ugh!

  57. I still don’t understand the love for Gio Gonzalez…he is an average pitcher outside the overwhelming pitcher park he plays half his games in.

  58. Because Gio’s not just a play on 2012 & 2013.

    He’s only 26 and is under team control till 2016. And he is still improving. He’s not James Shields but, even with the road split from last year, would have been the 2nd best pitcher on the Reds last year (a very low bar).

  59. I’m not thrilled about Theriot, either.

    But I understand why Walt is interested. He’s probably traumatized by last year. He finally decided to give Janish a chance, and Janny hit worse than anyone expected, and even took his troubles at the plate into the field (those errors). And Renteria, signed to back up third as well as SS, refused to play third.

    So now he wants someone who can take over at SS if Cozart struggles like Janish did. And someone versatile enough to play multiple positions. In particular, I would guess he’s looking for someone who can play infield and outfield. Because the way the roster’s looking, we’re going to have only 4 outfielders. Having the new veteran SS able to play outfield too would help a lot. (Where’s Ryan Freel when you need him?)

  60. Over at RR, an interesting and in depth look at realistic deals for Shields, Gio, and JJ. He concludes that Grandal/Alonso/Sappelt could be enough, though he leaves room for a 4th player to be included. Either way his goal was to put together a fair trade. Looks like he was spot on based on the MLBTR link. I’m a little surprised Jocketty disagrees.

    http://www.redreporter.com/2011/12/13/2625963/acquiring-an-ace-a-realistic-look-at-potential-trade-packages-for-a

  61. Just for the record, I expected Janish to hit terribly and stated that his defense was a tad overrated and would be exposed with long term play. I am, however, more confident in having him as a backup to Cozart with the stipulation of him being versatile enough to play defense at other positions. Our bench is a mess and Janish may be the only hope we currently have (Heaven help us)of helping out the situation.

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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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