That’s the rumor. Keep in mind, the rumor was initially tweeted by SI’s Jon Heyman, and he’s a complete numbskull.

If this is true, however, it’s excellent news. He’s good.

More details, as they emerge….

UPDATE: A few more details (not really) over at CBS Sports.

UPDATE 2: Now Heyman is saying it’s a one-year deal. Again, it’s Heyman, so I’m waiting for confirmation from a reputable source, but IF the Reds have signed Madson, and IF it’s a one-year deal…this is a very good move.

Sean Marshall and Madson make the bullpen much, much better in 2012…plus, it’s a virtual lock that the Reds will keep Aroldis Chapman on the track to be a starting pitcher. Lots of good news here.

UPDATE 3: Sounds like it’s a one-year deal, in excess of $10 million. I’m going to bed happy tonight. The Reds are serious about winning now.

UPDATE 4: Okay, looks like this thing is a done deal, but we won’t be getting any actual confirmation from the organization until tomorrow. Good night, all.

UPDATE 5: One last update, after all. It is confirmed. Sleep well, my friends. We have a new closer.

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.

Join the conversation! 210 Comments

  1. @TC: Do you really trust the defensive metrics?

    Stubbs’ UZR was -2.5 last year. Marlon Byrd’s was 2.2. I don’t buy it. I’m a stats nerd…but the defensive metrics are a huge work-in-progress b/c they still depend on subjective data provided by BIS. Heisey has some work to do on his game certainly, but not the extent you’re arguing.

    • @TC: Do you really trust the defensive metrics?

      Stubbs’ UZR was -2.5 last year. Marlon Byrd’s was 2.2.I don’t buy it.I’m a stats nerd…but the defensive metrics are a huge work-in-progress b/c they still depend on subjective data provided by BIS.Heisey has some work to do on his game certainly, but not the extent you’re arguing.

      I’m the first to admit that I don’t understand all the defensive metrics, but I know that there are people in the Reds organization that believe that Heisey was as good a CF as Stubbs, now whether that translates to LF or not, I can’t say. But I don’t believe there is enough evidence to downgrade Heisey’s defense at this point.

  2. @Dan: And that’s exactly why I think the Reds strategies this year have been so great.

    They looked at their problems and addressed the ones that could make the biggest differences. We had a good offense last year and a terrible pitching staff.

    If we had gone out trying to improve the offense first, it would have been spinning wheels.

    The difference between Heisey and some LF Free Agent was going to be marginal, but upgrading our pitching like we did, I can see that adding around 10wins no problem.

  3. @David: Maybe he should have accepted one of the offers instead of getting greedy during the downhill portion of his career. Yes, he’s a stand up guy. No, it’s not bad form to make a joke.

    • @David: Maybe he should have accepted one of the offers instead of getting greedy during the downhill portion of his career. Yes, he’s a stand up guy. No, it’s not bad form to make a joke.

      Put yourself in the man’s shoes. You’ve been at a job for 13 years and your boss tells you to take a pay cut or your fired, and even if you take the pay cut, you’ll still be fired next year. You don’t think you’d weigh your options or look around the market place? What if you are getting bad advice from people you trust telling you to hold out for more? What if none of the options are good and as you are deciding what to do, your boss hires someone else?

      Look, I get that this is the nature of baseball, I just think your joke was in bad taste.

  4. “I would have payed to see the look on Cordero’s face and his agent’s face when the news broke last night about Madson.”

    Eck. C’mon. Cordero gave the Reds four good years. Was he overpaid? Yes. That’s not his fault, really; the Reds signed a 33 year old closer to a four year deal. Was it a roller coaster at times with Coco? Yes. But he still had four good years.

    • C’mon. Cordero gave the Reds four good years. Was he overpaid? Yes. That’s not his fault, really; the Reds signed a 33 year old closer to a four year deal. Was it a roller coaster at times with Coco? Yes. But he still had four good years.

      I agree, and I even think that the idea that he was overpaid is up for debate.

      There’s a pretty good discussion going on over at fangraphs about how $/WAR and relievers don’t really work together.

      Until we get a more useful stat for that kind of thing, I’m going to go with some old time scouting.

      The year before the Reds signed CoCo the bullpen had a 5.13 ERA and .2WAR. The Reds were bad, and the pen lost SO MANY games for us (31 to be exact).

      Next year we had a pen ERA of 3.81 and 3WAR, good for right in the middle of the pack, up from 3rd worst. And the pen lost 20 games.

      All you had to do was watch the games from those two seasons and you could easily see how much having Cordero helped. It put everyone else in less high-leverage spots, and gave them much more clearly defined roles.

      In all my years as a fan, it’s hard for me to come up with a single free agent aquisition that had a more positive effect on the team.

      So it’s hard for me to see how it was an overpay.

      That said, I’m glad they didn’t re-sign him, he just looked too much like he was in decline.

      • @al:

        I agree, and I even think that the idea that he was overpaid is up for debate.

        There’s a pretty good discussion going on over at fangraphs about how $/WAR and relievers don’t really work together.

        Until we get a more useful stat for that kind of thing, I’m going to go with some old time scouting.

        The year before the Reds signed CoCo the bullpen had a 5.13 ERA and .2WAR. The Reds were bad, and the pen lost SO MANY games for us (31 to be exact).

        Next year we had a pen ERA of 3.81 and 3WAR, good for right in the middle of the pack, up from 3rd worst. And the pen lost 20 games.

        All you had to do was watch the games from those two seasons and you could easily see how much having Cordero helped.It put everyone else in less high-leverage spots, and gave them much more clearly defined roles.

        In all my years as a fan, it’s hard for me to come up with a single free agent aquisition that had a more positive effect on the team.

        So it’s hard for me to see how it was an overpay.

        That said, I’m glad they didn’t re-sign him, he just looked too much like he was in decline.

        This is the best post about the value of Cordero that I’ve seen.

        Like everyone else, Cordero scared me to death in the 9th. I got mad just like everyone else when he blew a save. But he brought so much to the team and to the city. He brought team chemistry. He took all the Latin pitchers under his wing, and was papa to all the bullpen pitchers. He was GREAT to the fans, and publicly apologized when he was not doing well. He gave so much back to the city. He will be missing in this town and so far as I’m concerned will be very missed. In a way it kind of feels the same as when I watched Aaron Harang and thought to myself, “This is the last time he will take the mound.” It was a profoundly sad moment.

        But I’m glad to have Madson! Let’s go win some games.

  5. Take a look around the NL last year at LFers. Heisey isn’t perfect, certainly, but LF production was way down last year throughout baseball. He’d be average, and on this team, that’s helpful.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=lf&stats=bat&lg=nl&qual=300&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&players=0

  6. The biggest question to me at this point is what do we do with Chapman and Bailey.

    Chapman has options, but if he’s only going to throw 120-150 innings this year at all, how many of those do you want to be at AAA? If he looks good in ST, don’t they want to bring him north?

    Bailey doesn’t have options, and has been below average for many years now. He’s also had 3 shoulder injuries and lost velocity on his only real plus pitch. But we’re told he can’t go to the pen.

    Lecure has options, and could go to AAA if they put Bailey in the pen. But Lecure could probably outpitch bailey in the rotation or the pen at this point.

    So what do you do?

    • The biggest question to me at this point is what do we do with Chapman and Bailey.

      Chapman has options, but if he’s only going to throw 120-150 innings this year at all, how many of those do you want to be at AAA?If he looks good in ST, don’t they want to bring him north?

      Bailey doesn’t have options, and has been below average for many years now.He’s also had 3 shoulder injuries and lost velocity on his only real plus pitch.But we’re told he can’t go to the pen.

      Lecure has options, and could go to AAA if they put Bailey in the pen.But Lecure could probably outpitch bailey in the rotation or the pen at this point.

      So what do you do?

      Al, I believe it’s you that KEEPS making the case for Bailey going to the pen. From all indications, it’s simply not going to happen. Fay (and others) have stated he takes too long to warm up to be effective out of the bullpen.

      • Al, I believe it’s you that KEEPS making the case for Bailey going to the pen. From all indications, it’s simply not going to happen. Fay (and others) have stated he takes too long to warm up to be effective out of the bullpen.

        Don’t get your panties in a bunch Bill. I know it’s me that KeEps bringing it up (on this site, though this is far from the only Reds discussion around) but I do that because I still haven’t figured out what they’re going to do.

        If you’ll notice, your cranky response was actually to a series of questions which you failed to answer.

        The point is, Bailey has been a largely injured/ineffective pitcher for a long time and now he’s out of options. They have said they want Chapman in the rotation, and I think that’s a good idea.

        With Arroyo’s contract, something’s got to give. I’m curious as to what people think it will be or should be.

  7. @al: Geeze, man. Tell me what you really think and next time don’t hold back. Lol. Always appreciate your stuff. Just wish I hadn’t dashed my computer against the wall when I read your reply. 😉

  8. @RiverCity Redleg: I’ve read that a lot on this site and believed it until I looked at his pitch f/x.

  9. @per14: You are a class act, sir. Well done.

  10. @TC: ha. you know i always like your posts, i don’t know why that one got me. hope you took it with a grain of salt, a big one, with all the bogus stuff i’ve put up here i should know better.

  11. CP: How dare you bring up the name, Jonny Gomes. . . That’s exactly what we need – a strikeout prone, horrible fielding OF. I love his enthusiasm, but he should not be on this club. His time has come and gone, thank God.

    The real problem is that Dusty would play him every day!

  12. Sheldon has details of the Madson contract. Only $6 million against the 2012 salary budget. An $11 million team option for 2013, with a $2.5 million buy out. That means Madson is guaranteed $8.5 million, with some of that deferred. Sheldon says some of the money is spread out over 4 years.

    Sure seems like Madson signed for very little. Hard to believe this was the best offer on the table for him. I’m glad it was!

  13. @Steve Mancuso: man, that’s an incredibly team friendly contract.

    i posted this yesterday when it was just a rumor: i bet a big part of why he did was to close on a legit contender. all of his other suitors were looking for a set-up guy.

    so we could have him for 2 years and a total of $17mil? compared to what the phils laid out for papelbon, this is an absurd steal.

  14. @Drew Mac:
    That is one of the funniest posts! How the hell did you think of height?

  15. @Steve Mancuso: Fay says that it’s going to be a mutual option, which is still fine, but makes it less likely that we’ll have him for 2 years if he does very well.

  16. @al: I’m trying to understand how a mutual option has a buyout clause. Seems strange.

    • @al: I’m trying to understand how a mutual option has a buyout clause.Seems strange.

      The buyout clause is just a way to defer $2.5 million to next year. Both sides know we aren’t going to pay $11 million for a closer ever again. Walt needed to keep the 2012 salary hit to $6 million to stay on budget so he pushed some of the guaranteed amount to next year.

  17. @eric nyc: Ondrusek couldn’t close for just about any team. I mean, could you name, say, 5 teams that right now would put Ondrusek ahead of their current closer?

    That is ludicrous from both a stat person perspective (i.e., his peripheral numbers are horrible), and a standard perspective (he doesn’t have great stuff, and his ERA isn’t that good either).

    Ondursek is the worst pitcher in the bullpen. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t hit AAA sometime this year, actually. I bet Josh Judy gives him a run in the spring.

  18. @Dave Lowenthal: You are simply a pleasure.

  19. @David: Quit being a little girl

  20. @eric nyc: Zero teams then?

  21. @Steve Mancuso: Well, it is not really a buyout, right, if it’s a mutual option?

    If it’s a club option, then really, his effective salary for 2012 is 8.5M. I.e., you have to pay him 2.5M either way. I might keep him if that’s the case. (I mean, I’d be more likely to….)

  22. @eric nyc: Lol. Brutal. I told you to duck. Well, I like Ondrusek and I liked your post. I thought it was very brave.

  23. @al: For the most part I don’t mind criticism. In fact, it’s usually fun getting in to debates if I have the time. A few years back I had everyone so upset with me because of a little discussion about whether Babe Ruth was overrated that I’m sure Chad got emails asking for me to be banned from the site. There are one or two people I’ll fly off the handle when they get a little rough, but they are always the same ones. You, however, have earned my respect. Your stuff is great.

  24. @al: Dave Parker comes to mind immediately. By a mile.

    • @al: Dave Parker comes to mind immediately. By a mile.

      i think i was 4 at the time, so i’ll have to take your word for it 🙂

  25. @TC: Still haven’t heard all the teams Ondrusek could close for. Really, if Ondrusek could close for a team, the Reds would be wise to immediately trade him to that team for a left fielder.

    • @Dave Lowenthal
      : Still haven’t heard all the teams Ondrusek could close for. Really, if Ondrusek could close for a team, the Reds would be wise to immediately trade him to that team for a left fielder.

      Well I would rather have him closing over what the Stros and Cubs have right now. I am not sure whom the closers for the Mets is or who O’s have but I think Logan could do just as well.

  26. @CKeever: Personally I love the way that Heisey/Frazier lefty versus righty splits compliment eachother. It could be a better version of the Gomes/Heisey platoon since Heisey is now 1a and he hits righties. Frazier gets the nod against lefties and we are looking pretty good!

    Frazier’s BABIP of .232 last year is destined to improve.

  27. @Dave Lowenthal: It’s funny though because the only thing that seemed to separate Ondrusek’s year from Cordero’s was a higher BB rate and Coco’s absurdly low BABIP.

    considering Ondrusek pitched through injury, I wonder how close their stats would have been?

  28. Late to the party here on this one because I had surgery two days ago, but I really like the way this deal is structured. 6.5 mil this year, option for 11 mil in 2013 (if they Reds win the pennant/Series the club would very likely be able to afford to pick this up), yet a 2.5 mil buyout. Sounds like the most club friendly contract we could have asked for for a quality closer.

    Or am I still loopy from the anesthesia?

  29. Waiting on the other shoe to drop in LF. Honestly not elated at the Madson signing, but at least we now have two closers (Marshall) and zero leftfielders!

    In all seriousness, Walt has made some nice moves on paper. Good to see him potentially redeem himself for so many awful contracts and acquisitions.

    Jocketty’s Reds have demonstrated willingness to acquire top-tier pitching, even before this offseason.

    -Edison Volquez
    -Francisco Cordero
    -Aroldis Chapman
    -Drafted Mike Leake, not a #1 but a shrewd move

    One thing he hasn’t done is prove he can bring in a bonafide everyday player under 34 years old. That’s when I’ll know real change is in order in Reds Country.

    -Willy Taveras
    -Corey Patterson
    -Jonny Gomes
    -Laynce Nix
    -Fred Lewis

    There’s no comparing these names to the pitchers above.

    • Waiting on the other shoe to drop in LF. Honestly not elated at the Madson signing, but at least we now have two closers (Marshall) and zero leftfielders!In all seriousness, Walt has made some nice moves on paper. Good to see him potentially redeem himself for so many awful contracts and acquisitions. Jocketty’s Reds have demonstrated willingness to acquire top-tier pitching, even before this offseason. -Edison Volquez-Francisco Cordero-Aroldis Chapman-Drafted Mike Leake, not a #1 but a shrewd moveOne thing he hasn’t done is prove he can bring in a bonafide everyday player under 34 years old. That’s when I’ll know real change is in order in Reds Country.-Willy Taveras-Corey Patterson-Jonny Gomes-Laynce Nix-Fred LewisThere’s no comparing these names to the pitchers above.

      On the FA market there was very little talent in that area for the Reds to get and via trade you have to think Walt has tried but just not been able to work a deal that would work. Again why is going with Heisey/Frazier a bad idea since we have not seen what they can do on a consistant basis.

  30. I didn’t think the Reds had any remaining funds left to acquire a LF. However, with the details to the Madson deal leaking out, the way the deal is structured gives the Reds more flexibility to go after someone. It’ll probably be Ludwick, who oddly enough also has a reverse split for his career against lefties. I’d prefer Fukudome myself, but it all depends on $ available and the Reds really just need bodies to fill out the 40 man, unless they really expect Phipps to be ready this season.

    • I didn’t think the Reds had any remaining funds left to acquire a LF. However, with the details to the Madson deal leaking out, the way the deal is structured gives the Reds more flexibility to go after someone. It’ll probably be Ludwick, who oddly enough also has a reverse split for his career against lefties. I’d prefer Fukudome myself, but it all depends on $ available and the Reds really just need bodies to fill out the 40 man, unless they really expect Phipps to be ready this season.

      You know what we really need around here? Let’s start talking about how the Reds really need a small-ball guy. A guy that can lay down that bunt to move the leadoff double over the 3rd base in the second inning. Let’s fire up that argument! 😀 … and I’ll be running away now. 😀 *

      *Double smiley faces are the universal signal for just having fun.

  31. @secondguessingfanbase: When your offense ranks first or second in many offensive categories, it isn’t essential to add anything other than bench players. The problem of course is that these guys were put in the starting lineup.

  32. Cordero’s last four years would be an interesting case study. Look at his xFIPs. They were consistently higher (and considerably so in 09 and 11) than his ERAs. This is in keeping with our general impression of him–he allowed a lot of base runners, made us nervous, but ended up with good saves totals and generally good ERAs, and at year’s end, we all thought he had a good year. Was he just lucky four years in a row? Or was there something going on where he was able to be the odds due to some type of skill?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1243&position=P

  33. And by the way, my last post is not meant to cast stones at Cordero. I agree with the general sentiment of this thread: he was a stand up guy who gave the Reds quality years and was an asset to the team and the pen.

  34. @secondguessingfanbase: Jocketty didn’t acquire all of the players you listed.

  35. @David: Adam Dunn was never replaced in LF. Drew Stubbs inherited CF from retread parts like Patterson and Taveras that certainly helped the offense.

    We’re hoping Cozart can give us another short-term stint at SS like so many others that flickered out after a couple years. I like Cozart, but that’s just the truth, we’re all waiting on Billy Hamilton.

    2014 would be ten years after Larkin last wore a Reds jersey. Is it too much to ask to want the club to fill positions and hire someone who can do the job?

    • We’re hoping Cozart can give us another short-term stint at SS like so many others that flickered out after a couple years. I like Cozart, but that’s just the truth, we’re all waiting on Billy Hamilton.
      2014 would be ten years after Larkin last wore a Reds jersey. Is it too much to ask to want the club to fill positions and hire someone who can do the job?

      I was just thinking about this… I’m really holding a candle for Cozart to be legit. Over the past few years, a month into the season we’ve been left with calling for “Free Rosales, Free Janish, Free Cozart…” It’s got to stop.

    • @David: Adam Dunn was never replaced in LF. Drew Stubbs inherited CF from retread parts like Patterson and Taveras that certainly helped the offense. We’re hoping Cozart can give us another short-term stint at SS like so many others that flickered out after a couple years. I like Cozart, but that’s just the truth, we’re all waiting on Billy Hamilton. 2014 would be ten years after Larkin last wore a Reds jersey. Is it too much to ask to want the club to fill positions and hire someone who can do the job?

      Barry Larkin is a Hall of Famer. It’s not like it’s easy to replace one of the greatest shortstops of a generation. How’s Baltimore doing on that whole replacing Cal Ripken thing? Has St. Louis had another Ozzie? Think of the best shortstops in the NL. Reyes, Rollins, HanRam, and?? After that you have a considerable drop off.

      As for LF, go on ESPN.com, and sort OF by RH and 450 PA. Only 8 guys have an OPS above 825. Pick out which one you’d like Jocketty to go get. I’m sure Braun’s trade value is down given his suspension.

      Billy Hamilton is projected to be a 2B at the MLB level.

  36. @Dave Lowenthal: Jocketty was officially brought in as an adviser on the 11th of January, 2008. Edinson was traded the 21st of December. I’ll presume there was courtship and interview involved prior to the deal being struck, which was certainly several days before the release on a Tuesday. The Reds love Tuesdays.

    One of those interview questions may have been about Edinson Volquez. We’ll never know. Jocketty certainly signed all the rest.

    • Jocketty was officially brought in as an adviser on the 11th of January, 2008. Edinson was traded the 21st of December. I’ll presume there was courtship and interview involved prior to the deal being struck, which was certainly several days before the release on a Tuesday. The Reds love Tuesdays.One of those interview questions may have been about Edinson Volquez. We’ll never know. Jocketty certainly signed all the rest.

      Cordero was also signed in 2007, so that’s 2 of your 4 off the list.

      I mean, you can guess at what was going on in those interviews all you want, but he was brought in as an advisor a month after those pitchers were acquired, it’s a pretty big stretch to go around saying that Walt was the one who brought them in.

  37. @dn4192: You’d take Ondrusek over Marmol at the Cubs?

    • @dn4192: You’d take Ondrusek over Marmol at the Cubs?

      Yep, I think Logan is going to improve his skills in the coming seasons, where the cubs guy I believe has peaked and is only going to go down hill.

  38. @dn4192: I haven’t seen enough from either to make me want to see them full-time. I’m just not enamored with what Heisey could bring every day.

    I believe the Reds need another impact bat, and no one knows if Bruce is going to be that kind of hitter in 2012. It has been speculated for years now, but hasn’t happened yet, so the Reds would be well-served to acquire one on their own, or find a player that can get on base and play lights out defense, if nothing else. You have to think the Reds would love to wait Fukodome out and get him in an incentive-laden deal.

  39. Wasn’t saying Fukodome was lights-out defensively in the post above.

  40. @David: Nice response David…viewing positions isolated in a complete vacuum is an an interesting/ridiculous way to view the offense. I guess the Reds never really filled Bench’s spot at catcher either.

    A lot of fans are overestimating what Cozart is going to bring to the table offensively, but he’s definitely no short-term solution. Hamilton is probably at least 2 seasons away, and could very well end up being the 2B of the future (or never wear a Reds uniform even). We just don’t know. Regardless, Cozart is already an “average MLB SS” and is therefore a prized commodity in a league where competitive teams are filling SS with guys like Alex Gonzales. The Reds are not unique in struggling to fill the SS position.

  41. @al: You’re right about Cordero, and you’re also making a case that Jocketty should have been fired before this offseason last-hurrah to save his job.

    If the only decisions he had influence in were Leake and Chapman, and Chapman has been mishandled by said GM, he should have been let go for a multitude of reasons.

  42. @CP: Satisfied with mediocrity, not a great trademark for a fan.

    I don’t care if other teams can’t find a SS, there are many teams that have found at least one in the past ten years, the Reds have not been one of those teams.

    • @secondguessingfanbase
      : Satisfied with mediocrity, not a great trademark for a fan. I don’t care if other teams can’t find a SS, there are many teams that have found at least one in the past ten years, the Reds have not been one of those teams.

      Of all the teams in MLB right now how many would you say have high quality SS? how many have very good SS or at worst just good SS?

  43. @secondguessingfanbase:
    Since we haven’t “replaced Dunn” in LF you’d think the offensive numbers would have significantly declined for the Cincinnati Reds.

    2008: 187 HRs, .321/.408/.729 (#12 in NL)
    2009: 158 HRs, .318/.394/.712 (#11 in NL)
    2010: 188 HRs, .338/.436/.774 (#1 in NL)
    2011: 183 HRs, .326/.408/.734 (#2 in NL)

    Yet, the Reds hitting is equal to, if not better across the board in almost every major offensive category (in a time period where offensive numbers have gone down across the league). I wonder what’s going on here, then? Could it be…the Reds have delveloped and improved other positions to make up for LF production?

    No one here is “satisfied with mediocrity.” However, some of us understand that the Reds operate under certain constraints, that they can’t compete against larger market teams by doing exactly what they do, and doing a ridiculous, half-a##ed analysis by scanning each position is a really, really dumb way to build a ball club.

    • However, some of us understand that the Reds operate under certain constraints, that they can’t compete against larger market teams by doing exactly what they do

      This is just it. Nobody is arguing that LF and SS could be upgraded, but the Reds are unlikey to ever have the reources to satisfactorilyi address every need. I think we have to accep that the Reds will almost always have somewhere that we’d think… wow, an upgrade would be nice. So do most teams.

      Given the current team, if management had to address pitching or hitting, I for one am very glad they chose pitching. The Reds staff ERA last year was atrocious. Losing 6-5 is still losing.

      It’s cetainly possible that the offense sinks a little, but given that past performance is the best predictor of future behavior, I’m glad they addressed the biggest weakness.

      This is apples and organes a bit, but over in college footbal, Michigan changed out none of its offensive parts but (albeit without having to change parts, just coaching) the defense improved dramatically from one year to the next. They were a lot more succussful. The offense for the Reds, while it isn’t perfect, wasn’t nearly as broken as the pitching. Here’s to hoping this works out the way it should.

    • @secondguessingfanbase:
      However, some of us understand that the Reds operate under certain constraints, that they can’t compete against larger market teams by doing exactly what they do, and doing a ridiculous, half-a##ed analysis…

      Not quite namecalling, not quite mature or transparent either.

  44. @dn4192: About half of all teams have at least good shortstops.

    • @dn4192: About half of all teams have at least good shortstops.

      Really? How many teams in our own division have a good SS? You say we don’t, I don’t believe the Pirates or Stros do, and wouldn’t call the Brewers SS good either. So that leaves the young kid in Chicago and the vet in St. Louis. If you look at the NL east I have no clue who the Mets SS will be, the Braves one is okay but I woulnd’t list as good, the Marlins have an excellent one when he is healthy, not sure who the Nationals SS is and the Phils SS is getting up in age and has health issues. As for the NL West the rockies have a very good one, but the other 3 teams…?

  45. @secondguessingfanbase: i mean, if you had asked me if we should get rid of jocketty before this offseason i would have said yes.

    the two biggest things you left off your original list were the rolen and arroyo extensions, both of which were clearly bad ideas.

    and he’s more or less admitted that last year was a lost offseason. that said, this offseason has bought him a lot more time.

    i think it’s arguable that he got the best starter available, and the 2nd and 3rd best relievers available, for a team that’s biggest problem was pitching.

    to do that he barely increased payroll and traded redundant pieces from the farm. that’s an A+ of an offseason to me.

  46. @CP: Name-calling and petulance won’t get you anywhere in life.

    You didn’t analyze LF at all, you just threw Adam Dunn’s name in there.

    The Reds haven’t had an everyday-caliber LF since Adam Dunn was traded, and have installed many bad players into the position ever since. That is a true statement.

    • The Reds haven’t had an everyday-caliber LF since Adam Dunn was traded, and have installed many bad players into the position ever since. That is a true statement.

      That’s true, but I think you’re missing the point, or trying to miss the point or something.

      The point is that you don’t always have to replace production from the same position. In fact, it might not always make sense to try to replace production position by position, because that would often mean developing players that then might be blocked (see yonder alonso / votto example).

      the reds have done a good job of developing good offense the last few years. votto and stubbs are all good offensive players, or have a lot of upside. that’s plenty to replace dunn.

      also, gomes had a good year 2 seasons ago.

  47. @Matt WI: “Apples and oranges aren’t that different, really. I mean, they’re both fruit. Their weight is extremely similar. They both contain acidic elements. They’re both roughly spherical. They serve the same social purpose. With the possible exception of a tangerine, I can’t think of anything more similar to an orange than an apple. If I was having lunch with a man who was eating an apple and – while I was looking away – he replaced that apple with an orange, I doubt I’d even notice. So how is this a metaphor for difference? I could understand if you said, ‘That’s like comparing apples and uranium,’ or ‘That’s like comparing apples with baby wolverines,’ or ‘That’s like comparing apples with the early work of Raymond Carver,’ or ‘That’s like comparing apples with hermaphroditic ground sloths.’ Those would all be valid examples of profound disparity. But not apples and oranges. In every meaningful way, they’re virtually identical.”

  48. @Matt WI: Crying small-market is an excuse that Cincinnati Reds fans should never buy in to.

    First off, Cincinnati is a middle market that has been managed like a small market by Hamilton County leadership. Second, the Reds foolishly signed a terrible TV contract with FSN Ohio which severely limits their revenue streams. If the Reds had handled that end of their product better, they would have had the payroll flexibility to compete long before now. The Reds market within 200 miles is more populated than St. Louis and its $90-105 million payroll.

    • @secondguessingfanbase: Crying small-market is an excuse that Cincinnati Reds fans should never buy in to. First off, Cincinnati is a middle market that has been managed like a small market by Hamilton County leadership. Second, the Reds foolishly signed a terrible TV contract with FSN Ohio which severely limits their revenue streams. If the Reds had handled that end of their product better, they would have had the payroll flexibility to compete long before now. The Reds market within 200 miles is more populated than St. Louis and its $90-105 million payroll.

      Exactly how could the Reds gotten a better TV contract? They sure were not producing a winning product and that is what gets you a good TV contract. As for the comparison between Cards and Reds. I live in Indy and the Cards get just as much pub here in Indy as the Reds do and the Cards are farther away. Also look at the attendance numbers for the Cards vs. the Reds…not even close and that is a chunk of money there.

      • I live in Indy and the Cards get just as much pub here in Indy as the Reds do and the Cards are farther away.

        What Indy stations or papers are you watching/listening to/reading? Baseball coverage from Indianapolis sources is really weak, IMO. When I do see news here, it is typically Reds & Cubs news. 3rd wheel would be the White Sox.

  49. @David: Thanks, Chuck. 😀

  50. @secondguessingfanbase: Well, while you discuss revenue streams that don’t yet exist, I’ll assess the 2012 Reds based on what does exist. It’s fine to want them to operate differently, but I don’t think that kind of change is going to happen before April.

  51. @secondguessingfanbase: There was no name calling in my post? Providing evidence that your analysis is flawed and inaccurate is neither name calling nor petulant.

    And Adam Dunn (or the lack thereof), who you brought up previously, was explicitly addressed in the post. If you can’t replace a single player’s stats, you replace him with multiple sources of production. Or in the 2010/2011 Reds’ case, you actually increase production. You see, the LF stats are actually included in the “team” stats. 😯

  52. @dn4192: Wilton Lopez had a significantly better season than Ondrusek in 2011 for Houston.

    To say that you’d rather have Ondrusek than Marmol, you would not find a single GM in MLB that would take Logan Ondrusek over Marmol. Even if Marmol implodes this year, they have other pitchers better, starting with Kerry Wood as soon as he signs, and Smardja (sp) is at least as good, though he’s wilder.

    Again, I don’t dislike Ondrusek, he’s an ok low-end bullpen pitcher. But I don’t know when he became some kind of superstar. I’d venture, without looking, to say that every team has at least one pitcher that is significantly better than him, most teams have two, and many teams have 3 or 4. Guys like Ondrusek, who put up ERAs in the mid 3’s to 4, strike out 6 guys per 9, and walk between 3 and 4 guys per game, they do not last in the major leagues.

  53. @al: I didn’t want to pile on Walt that much b/c of those moves you just mentioned, but maybe I should have wrote down Arroyo and Rolen contracts instead of Cordero’s. Still don’t believe it’s all that farfetched to think that Krivsky and the Reds ran the idea of trading Hamilton for Volquez by Walt at some point before the deal happened.

    There was word floating around well before January that Jocketty could join the Reds, even as GM, deposing Krivsky immediately. Of course there are some that feel Jocketty dethroned Krivsky the day he was fired in St. Louis, and I’m not completely disagreeing with them. Walt had a relationship with Castellini obviously, he was unemployed, and there’s no stipulation against advice from a friend.

    Regardless whether or not you believe any of that speculation on my behalf, we agree that Walt has had a pretty nice offseason on paper. I’m more excited about Cueto-Latos-Leake than I am Masset-Marshall-Madsen. I can see the nicknames now…3M taping down the 9th…giftwrapping a win…

  54. @secondguessingfanbase: CP criticized your analytical approach, not you personally. Like when parents tell kids “I love you, but hitting your sister was rude.” The kid isn’t rude, the action was. Disagreeing with an idea is not the same thing as disregarding the person.

  55. I’m ready for the season to start.

  56. @dn4192: Part of the Reds’ poor attendance is a lack of a winning product. I remember when the Cardinals used to play in front of 20,000 just as the Reds have for the longest. That was in the 90’s. The fact that St. Louis fans are an unwavering breed is a myth.

    Being better businessmen and a)fielding a winning product to make your brand attractive or b) hiring better lawyers to negotiate the leverage you do have as the only MLB team, a pretty damn historic one at that, within 200 miles, and three of the four fastest growing metros in that part of the country just an hour away in Indianapolis, Columbus and Louisville. Growing cities means more people with expendable income and free time, which the Reds should be trying to get folks to spend on them. Indianapolis was Reds country before, and even a nice chunk of the market helps the Reds brand tremendously.

  57. I meant to say Cinti is two hours or less from those cities mentioned, sorry.

  58. Oops. Sorry. First year in the majors.

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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.

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