Buster Olney from ESPN tweeted last night that the Reds have shown interest in Phillies OF Juan Pierre. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports reported last week that the Reds had kicked the tires on Phillies CF Shane Victorino. Presumably, the Reds primary interest in either player would be as a rental lead-off hitter. Neither player is signed beyond 2012.

Trading for Juan Pierre would be a disaster. Shane Victorino, however, could provide solid upside for the Reds. Here is the case against Pierre, both in comparison to Victorino and vs. what the Reds have now.

1. Age

Juan Pierre would turn 35 in August. Shane Victorino is 31. The main risks associated with age are injury and rapid decline.

2. Position/Defense

Juan Pierre hasn’t played centerfield regularly since 2007. Victorino remains the everyday CF for the Phillies. Pierre is a below-average LF, with a poor arm and range. Victorino is an excellent CF, at least league average. He has had no errors this year or last. The advanced metrics, which aren’t that great yet, generally don’t like Pierre and find Victorino OK. If Pierre would be brought in to play CF for the Reds, it would be a nightly hold-your-breath situation.

3. Power

Juan Pierre has hit his one home run this year, Shane Victorino has hit eight (same as Drew Stubbs) and would probably hit about that many the second half. Victorino did hit 31 in 2010. But it’s not just in the home run category where Pierre is lacking. He only has five doubles this year. He’s basically a singles hitter. Victorino has 12 (Stubbs 9). So don’t expect Pierre to drive in any runs from first base, or himself.

4. Stolen Bases

This is a drastically over-valued quality, to begin with. Stealing bases risks not only losing a base-runner, but losing an out. A high success rate is important to make SB worthwhile. Pierre has 20 SB this year, Victorino has 19 and Stubbs 16. Yes, Pierre has only been caught 3 times this year (Victorino 2, Stubbs 4). But you should know that last year, Pierre was caught 17 times out of 44 attempts, so he may not be able to sustain his current success rate. It’s certainly an aberration over his career, over which he has been caught about 1/4 of the time (574 SB, 193 CS). Victorino (and Stubbs) can probably steal as many bases as Pierre, or at least close to it.

5. Walk-Rate

Juan Pierre would certainly fit in the Reds clubhouse with his plate approach. His career BB% is 5.7%, which puts him well below league average. Zack Cozart is currently walking at a 5.8% rate. Drew Stubbs (8.9%) is a walk machine compared to Pierre. And that’s not even all the bad news. This year, Pierre’s BB% has fallen to 4.7%, which happens to players who are losing their swing speed (cough, cough, Scott Rolen, cough). How low is 4.7% for a walk-rate? Chris Heisey (4.5%) low. Pierre would have the lowest walk-rate of any Reds starter and that’s saying something.

Pierre’s plate discipline is showing tell-tale signs of decline. His O-Swing rate (percentage of times the batter swings at a pitch outside the strike zone) has shot up from 27.6% last year to 33.9% this year. Over 30% O-Swing you’re usually looking at power hitters, like Phillips, Frazier, Ludwick etc. (JoeyMVP has a team-low 22% O-Swing). But with Pierre, you get zero power from his lack of discipline.

Keep in mind the importance of walking to OBP. Players go through slumps in batting average all the time. If their walk-rate is an important part of their OBP, then their offensive contribution doesn’t suffer as much. But if their OBP is made up to a large degree by their AVG, as it is with players like Pierre (and Heisey, and Phillips and Cozart and …) then the offense suffers from inconsistency. Really, the very last thing the erratic Reds offense needs right now is another hitter who doesn’t walk.

Shane Victorino’s walk-rate is 8.5% (right at league average) and was 9.4% last year. I’m guessing in a lead-off role, it would be above league average. And his strike out rate is about 11%. Both he and Pierre (5%) have an edge over Stubbs (27%) there.

6. OBP/AVG

The main superficial case to make for Pierre is looking at his current OBP and concluding “he gets on base.” Last night, Marty Brenemann, dabbling in advanced statistics, mistakenly quoted Pierre’s slugging percentage (.380) as his OBP instead of his current actual OBP (.349). Marty thought .380 would really look good at the top of the Reds lineup, and it would, if it were accurate, which it isn’t.

Let’s take a closer look at Pierre’s OBP. Again, it depends primarily on his AVG (.312) because he rarely walks. Last year, for example, Pierre hit .279 for the White Sox with a .329 OBP. Remember, he’s walking 20% less this year. So, for Pierre to maintain a decent OBP, he needs to bat around .300. Will he be able to do that? He hasn’t for a couple years. He hasn’t even hit .280 since 2009. A regression for Pierre would not be unexpected. His BABIP (batting average for balls in play) is extremely high (.326) compared to his previous two full seasons (.294 and .294).

The painful example of Willy Taveras is probably worth repeating here. Taveras had a career walk-rate (5.1%) similar to Pierre’s. So his OBP depended on his AVG in the same way. Playing for the Rockies in 2007, Taveras had an incredible (in the bad way) year, with a BABIP of .370. In other words, his balls fell in for hits at a crazy lucky rate. That BABIP produced an AVG of .320 and an OBP of .367. The Reds apparently looked at that OBP and concluded they had found their lead-off hitter. The warning signs were there, however. In 2008 for the Rockies, Taveras’ BABIP returned to normal (.296) producing an AVG of .251 and OBP of .308. The Reds said they believed the numbers form 2007 and signed Taveras to a two-year deal. The resulting horror: .277 BABIP, .240 AVG, .275 OBP.

Juan Pierre has a longer, better track record than Taveras, but at his age and with the red flags of his declining walk-rate and rising O-Swing, you have to be concerned that his second half of the year might be Taveras-like.

Shane Victorino’s BABIP this year (.266) is well below his career rate (.296) so there is plenty of reason to expect he’ll improve on his .248 AVG in the second half of the year. He hit .279 last year.

Bottom Line

Juan Pierre, even at his best, would offer the Reds a free-swinging, singles-hitting lead-off hitter who can steal bases. No power and negative run prevention. If the Reds benched Ludwick to play him (doubtful) the hit to the offense would be tremendous. If the Reds benched Stubbs to play him (more likely) we’d see ghastly defense in the middle of the OF, less power, about the same SB and a bit more OBP. But, there is a large risk that the Reds won’t be getting Pierre at his best. It would quickly turn into pure, awful subtraction by addition. Given Pierre’s age, declining plate discipline and lucky hitting, Walt Jocketty may end up giving Dusty Baker another Willy Taveras.

A toy the Reds manager will stubbornly play and lead-off every single night. Into oblivion.

Shane Victorino would certainly play CF for the Reds. He could bat first or second. He offers the same power and SB potential as Drew Stubbs, likely without the slumps. Victorino’s defense wouldn’t hurt, either. He’d probably get on base at a .335-.340 rate. Whether you think we should trade for him, and how much we should give up, depends on how much of an improvement over Drew Stubbs’ OBP you think that would be.

 

 

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 62 Comments

  1. why would the phillies give up on this season? they just now have howard and utley rolling. trading victorino would make no sense IMO

  2. @zab1983: That’s a really good, much debated question in Philadelphia. They have time to give the Utley/Howard/Halladay return a few weeks before the trade deadline. There is talk they could trade both Victorino and Hamels but then try to resign them to long-term deals after the season. I agree they may be reluctant to trade Victorino if they start winning. We’ll have to watch the box scores for that. But they would trade Pierre in a heartbeat. He doesn’t even play every day for them because he can’t hit LHP at all.

  3. I don’t think the Reds will make any big moves, that will involve Walt admitting failure on his part. Everyone knows walt wanted Ludwick last season and the Reds seemingly will never give up on Stubbs. So what position is not set?

  4. @Steve Mancuso: I wouldn’t count that Phillies team out quite yet, they still know how to play baseball. I think the baseball gods are getting even with them a little bit this year for being so good in the past. Cliff Lee winless until last week?!? are u serious?! I know they are old, but they might have one more magical year left

  5. Thanks for the analysis, Steve.

    The Phillies are an interesting case right now. They are 13 games back in the division, and apparently about 8 games behind the second wild-card spot, trailing eight teams in that chase as well. So they’d have to surpass seven of those teams to get the second wild card? Tall order, even with Utley back, Howard back, and apparently Halladay coming back at some point. …

    Unless they can make up a ton of ground before the trade deadline, I think they’d be nuts NOT to consider trading potential free agents if it becomes obvious they won’t re-sign them. If a team is willing to overpay, so be it. And Philly seems to have the resources to re-sign him or somebody else as a free agent after the season to begin the run toward 2013.

    I’d love to see the Reds get Victorino, though I always worry about the Reds being the team to overpay and not having anything to show for the deal two months later.

  6. I do so like the intelligent discussions and auruments on RN! Very good points and well presented Steve. I don’t recall any situation where WJ has pursued any rent-a-player or even shown any indication that he has any interest in pursuing a rent-a-player. This year may be the exception. In the debate between Pierre & Victorino, I think payroll may have a significant impact on the viability of either option. Victorino is due $5M and Pierre is due $500K, so the cost in prospects would be higher for the Phillies to kick in $$$ for Victorino’s contract. If Philly is serious about selling and Cincy is serious about buying (and both parties are reasonable), I would really like to see both Pierre & Victorino in Cincy in a LF/CF platoon opposite Heisey and Ludwick in the CF/LF platoon. This would also help fortify the bench.

  7. Thanks Chad for getting the site up quickly.I was going into Redleg Nation DT’s!I don’t post alot,but love the articles and discusions.Victorino wouldn’t be a bad option,but there may be better options out there.Not Juan Pierre!

  8. NO “rent a player” PLEASE PLEASE..It never works out eapecially for small market teams who have a reasonable chance of contending for the next several seasons. I would rather we explore adding someone like Denard Span from the Twins .. cheap? no but he is still young enough,signed beyond this season and would help beyond this year ..

  9. I said this in the other thread and I think it bears repeating here:

    I think the guy the Reds should really be looking at is Denard Span. Career OBP of .350 something, steals bases at a decent clip, same age as Votto. Hit him or Phillips leadoff and the other at #2. I’d prefer Phillips in the 2 hole, personally, since his power can get the Reds 2 quick runs if Span gets on.

    Hopefully if the Reds got him, they could convince the Twins to take Stubbs as a “change of scenery” type player.

    CF Span
    2B Phillips
    1B Votto
    3B Frazier
    RF Bruce
    LF Ludwick/Heisey
    SS Cozart
    C Hannigan/Mesoraco

    Hopefully, they can address LF in the offseason. Or maybe they could move Span to left and put Hamilton in center? Just a thought….

  10. @littleleo1: Lil’ Leo, I absolutely agree with you regarding the big negatory on the rent-a-player option. Even if it works or it comes at a reasonable cost, it doesn’t solve the same problem we would be facing next season. The Reds simply do not have any major league ready players in their minor league system for 2012 or 2013, so if WJ is going to pull the string for a top-of-the-order hitter or a RH cleanup hitter, he needs to think long term.

  11. did a little wikipedia searching today. Not exactly thrilled to find this about Pierre which occured in Baker’s final year in chicago.

    On December 7, 2005, the Marlins traded Pierre to the Chicago Cubs, receiving pitchers Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco, and Renyel Pinto in exchange. The deal was motivated by the Marlins’ need to cut payroll after finding itself unable to secure a new stadium deal in South Florida.

    In 2006, despite batting only .292, Pierre led the NL with 204 hits, winning his second hit title, and in at-bats (699), games played (162), bunt hits (21), infield hits (30),[4] and in lowest strikeout percentage (5.4%).[5] He also tied for the major league lead in times reached base on an error (13),[6] and played perfect defensive baseball, earning a fielding percentage of 1.000. However, he also led the major leagues in outs made (532), the second-highest out total for a player since 1982.

  12. I seriously thought we had Pierre already. Guess I was thinking about Patterson and Taveras. That tells me all I want to know about that possibility.

  13. @jgross07: Too bad it’s 2012, huh?

  14. Excellent analysis. Nothing to disagree with. It’s articles like this that make RN stand out.

    My fear is that Dusty, who played Pierre every day in 2006, will encourage Walt to get him. He’s Dusty’s kind of player.

  15. Funny, “nelly” mentioned Upton and there was a discussion on the other thread about him.

    Just saw a post that Upton’s available for the right price, say the DBacks.

  16. You forgot to take into 1 major aspect. $$$$. Pierre is making 800,000$ this year while Victorino is making 9,500,000$. Pierre’s OBP may be directly tied to his batting average but as long as he is getting hits, then what does it matter? He may be free swinging, but always puts the ball in play. He has 12 walks vs 13 strikeouts.

    If it’s only for 70 games, give me Pierre. He just seems to be having one of those seasons.

    • You forgot to take into 1 major aspect. $$$$. Pierre is making 800,000$ this year while Victorino is making 9,500,000$.Pierre’s OBP may be directly tied to his batting average but as long as he is getting hits, then what does it matter?He may be free swinging, but always puts the ball in play.He has 12 walks vs 13 strikeouts.

      If it’s only for 70 games, give me Pierre.He just seems to be having one of those seasons.

      I’d like to choose none of the above, if salary is an issue.

      Pierre is overachieving. I’d guess his OBP will be around .330 if the Reds get him. Stubbs is likely to put up an OBP of more like .310-.320 from now until the end of the season—which sucks, but the defensive incompetence of Pierre will negate that difference.

  17. Steve,

    Did you mention their salaries? I am not sure if the Reds could afford Victorino.

    Pierre might be the only option.

    I guess another comparison that would be “free” is calling up Joey Gathright? Does he offer the same value?

  18. Just to add on to what I said before…here are Joey Gathright’s stats this far in AAA:

    AVG: .301
    AB: 143
    HR: 0
    RBI: 16
    OBP: .348
    OPS: .698
    BB: 7

    Not that great…but it’s “free”

  19. Long time lurker, first time commenter.
    This topic drew me out of my lurkitude because my friends and I have been discussing who the Reds should pick up. I am in agreement with Steve’s analysis that Victorino > Pierre. I’m also not a huge fan of any “rent a player.” I like Denard Span, but the guy I love for the Reds is Dexter Fowler. This year, he his hitting .288/.379/.539. He will likely not sustain his power numbers, but he has had an excellent walk rate throughout his minor and major league career. He is also a switch hitter without much variation in his career numbers from either side of the plate and has good speed. Also, he is under team control through 2015 and the Rockies have a bit of a crowded outfield for the next couple of years. I have no idea what it would take to get him besides starting pitching, but I would definitely kick the proverbial tires.
    A lurker can dream.

  20. Gathright must have the plague. He is a guy who has always had a good skillset for his career, but for whatever reason teams seem reluctant to even make him a 4th outfielder. Not sure why. Guys like Ryan Ludwick are on MLB rosters (although in his defense, he has done better of late) while young guys with a decent tool set like Gathright are never given a shot.

  21. How about we give the Phillies Ondrusek and Stubbs for Victorino, then sign Victorino to an extension.

    Or the Reds give them Heisey instead of Stubbs.

    • How about we give the Phillies Ondrusek and Stubbs for Victorino, then sign Victorino to an extension.

      Or the Reds give them Heisey instead of Stubbs.

      Prefer to give them Stubbs. Heisey is useful as a pinch hitter.

  22. Heisey is more useful than Stubbs as a backup:
    1. Marginally better hitter of late
    2. Good pinch hitter
    3. Cheaper
    4. Doesn’t express entitlement

  23. Rather than a rent-a-player I’d prefer the Reds make a deal for someone who can play through at least the end of 2013. We’ve all acknowledged how threadbare the AAA roster is, which means help is pretty far away unless a guy can make a big jump.

  24. Denard Span is a better fit IMO

  25. @ CecilEspy: Dexter Fowler??? Now that is interesting…. Why hasn’t anyone else thought of that?

    BTW, Steve, excellent article. I, like Cecil, also usually lurk without posting. I usually read the game threads on my iphone while watching the games and my opinions are almost always posted by somebody anyways. lol. (off topic–does anyone know how to log on from an iphone?) It sometimes boggles me how you are not on the Reds payroll. You seem to spend a great deal of time analyzing stats. Personally, I don’t agree with most of the advanced stats but I am far from old school. I am scared to death that the Reds will be the Pirates of last year and make some moves to please the fans but make the wrong moves just to be making moves….. Did that make sense?

    Does anyone think Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre, Denard Span, or even Dexter Fowler is what this team is missing?

    I don’t. We aren’t missing a lead off hitter. We aren’t missing a clean up hitter. We aren’t missing lefties off the bench. We are missing DISCIPLINE! The announcers last night hit the nail on the head when they brought up the fact that we can’t move runners, we can’t get the runner in from third with less than two outs, and then somebody hits a homerun and we just forget. Well homeruns are great but we need situational hitting and less baserunning blunders. How can we play teams and watch them continuously perform in those situations while we continue to fail and not point the finger at the coaching staff? I think the best midseason move for the Reds would be firing the entire coaching staff from the ground up. Not signing ex-Cardinals or other marginal talent for the coaches to taint.

    • Does anyone think Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre, Denard Span, or even Dexter Fowler is what this team is missing?

      I don’t. We aren’t missing a lead off hitter. We aren’t missing a clean up hitter. We aren’t missing lefties off the bench. We are missing DISCIPLINE! The announcers last night hit the nail on the head when they brought up the fact that we can’t move runners, we can’t get the runner in from third with less than two outs, and then somebody hits a homerun and we just forget. Well homeruns are great but we need situational hitting and less baserunning blunders. How can we play teams and watch them continuously perform in those situations while we continue to fail and not point the finger at the coaching staff? I think the best midseason move for the Reds would be firing the entire coaching staff from the ground up. Not signing ex-Cardinals or other marginal talent for the coaches to taint.

      We are missing hitters, period.

      Doesn’t matter where some ancient baseball code says they should go in a lineup.
      Yeah we need more situational hitting, but the situation where we need hitting the most is when the bases are empty, because the Reds are near the bottom of the league in OBP.

      All those guys are better hitters than Drew Stubbs (.287 which is putrid and .637 OPS)

      Dexter Fowler will get on base. He’s 26. He’s been above average for maybe a year and a half so doesn’t have a huge history. But 228 walks in 1897 PA is pretty good. I’d take him over Stubbs, sure.

  26. Span is signed through 2014, 5 yrs/$16.5M (10-14), with a 2015 team option. Gets on base at a .342 clip, and walks (31) as much as he Ks (40). Has led off for the Twins all year.

    The Twins would like a young SP for Span.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/06/heyman-on-blue-jays-soriano-rays.html

    He’s not the best in the world, but has a nice contract and would solve the lead off problem.

  27. Why not a rent a player??? I’d totally try and land Hamels. Think of it—-Cueto, Hamels, Latos in a playoff series. There isn’t a NL team outside of SanFran who could match that. Yeah, we wouldn’t be addressing our OF problems, but playoff series are won on pitching first (again, look at SF). To make the deal, I’d give the Phils their choice of Bailey or Leake plus a B level prospect (i.e. Soto or Lutz). With Corcino/Chapman/Cingrani available to start next year, we can afford to give up a cost controlled starter while not increasing payroll.

    • Why not a rent a player???I’d totally try and land Hamels.Think of it—-Cueto, Hamels, Latos in a playoff series.There isn’t a NL team outside of SanFran who could match that.Yeah, we wouldn’t be addressing our OF problems, but playoff series are won on pitching first (again, look at SF).To make the deal, I’d give the Phils their choice of Bailey or Leake plus a B level prospect (i.e. Soto or Lutz).With Corcino/Chapman/Cingrani available to start next year, we can afford to give up a cost controlled starter while not increasing payroll.

      I like Leake. He’s one of the better hitters on this team.
      I’m fine with dealing Homer Bailey any time.
      Corcino (especially) and Cingrani will not be ready next year except maybe for a late season call-up.

    • Remember when we were shutout and no hit against the Phillies in the 2010 NLDS?

      Why not a rent a player??? I’d totally try and land Hamels. Think of it—-Cueto, Hamels, Latos in a playoff series. There isn’t a NL team outside of SanFran who could match that. Yeah, we wouldn’t be addressing our OF problems, but playoff series are won on pitching first (again, look at SF). To make the deal, I’d give the Phils their choice of Bailey or Leake plus a B level prospect (i.e. Soto or Lutz). With Corcino/Chapman/Cingrani available to start next year, we can afford to give up a cost controlled starter while not increasing payroll.

  28. @Sultan of Swaff:

    Pitching won’t keep us from getting no-hit by R.A. Dickey. Our problems are offensive (in more ways than one) and our pitching has been great. 9 straight quality starts and our record during that time is 4-5. How does that happen? Pitiful situational hitting. If we don’t figure that part of the game out fast, we have no hope of the post season.

  29. On a side note, it’s so nice to have the site back up and running. For a while there, I thought Chad was pulling some sort of “It’s a Wonderful Life”-type stunt to make us realize how good we really have it.

  30. @RedTitan19: You need more than RA Dickey to win a playoff series. We would have 3 of him if we acquired Hamels.

  31. Stubbs, Ondrusek, Dusty Baker, a box of brand new baseballs, the tall blonde Fox Sports Ohio girl, some Skyline chili, two batting helmets and Homer Bailey for Victorino (who is promptly signed to an extension). Let’s also go back to the old days of player/managers and let Rolen be the new manager (he can bench himself every game in favor of Frazier).

  32. @Sultan of Swaff:

    You are right. You do need more than one. Unless you face the Reds. Then you can run Aaron Harang out there for game two and shut us down. Because it doesn’t matter who is pitching against us when the guys decide to have a K-fest. I thought they taught choking up and freezing on line drives back in pony league. Yet, our guys are so uncoached that they just do whatever they want. They celebrate the homeruns and shrug off the clutch-opportunity-strikeouts. I don’t know if it is GABP mentality or DUSTYBALL or whatever you want to call it but it is totally fundamentally unsound. And it is hard to watch. Even when we are winning….

  33. Pirates and WLBs both winning right now…

  34. James McDonald vs Ryan Vogelsong in the battle of the pitchers who until very recently were not that good.

  35. And over in WLB land Kyle Lohse continues his pact with the devil which is the only thing that explains his non-suckiness.

  36. I doubt the Reds will get Victorino because the Phillies will want and be able to get more for him than the Reds can afford to trade for a rental. Pierre is probably much cheaper to get, has a much lower salary and Dusty is probably doing dances on Walt’s lap trying to convince him to get Pierre.

    I would rather the Reds trade Stubbs to the Cubs for David DeJesus. They could probably get the Cubs to pick up a chunk of this year’s contract. He is signed next year for $5 million. He can play CF or LF, splitting time with Heisey and Ludwick. DeJesus has a .389 OBP against RH with a Stubbs like .278 OBP against LH.

  37. You have to admit that Juan Pierre is the exact kind of player that Dusty would want other than maybe Starlin Castro.

  38. Even before reading, I would have been pissed if the Reds had traded for Juan Pierre, but if they do it now, I will literally throw up.

    I’ve been a big proponent of Denard Span for a while now, I think the guy is a born leadoff guy who gets his job (getting on base) and focuses on doing it. I think the Reds just need to make one aggressive move for a guy like that which we should have done LAST YEAR for Michael Bourn.

    The Dexter Fowler angle is very interesting and appealing. My only concern with him is do the Rockies even want to get rid of him? The Twins have come out and said they will deal Span for a young pitcher.

    Shane Victorino wouldn’t be bad, but rentals scare me big time because of what teams usually give up for them.

  39. Brandon Phillips is a better leadoff hitter than either Pierre or Victorino. I don’t know if it serves the Reds best interest on finding a particular type of player. After all, Dusty won’t use him correctly anyway.

  40. Why are we even talking about a trade for a centerfielder? Heisey’s sitting on the bench and he’s shown he can more than handle center and at least he plays with some fire about him. Which a lot of the Red’s need to learn to do. Stubb’s had 3 years to realize his “potential”. Maybe sitting on the bench awhile will help him figure it out.

  41. @BearcatNation:
    Fowler concerns me because of the Coors Field effect. Any Rockies hitter is a question leaving Colorado and Fowler’s home away OBP splits are .437/.292.

    The one thing I remember from walking into Coors Field for the first time is how huge the outfield is. The humidor has helped adjust the homerun total down, but can’t offset the size of the field.

  42. @Sultan of Swaff:
    “Brandon Phillips is a better leadoff hitter than either Pierre or Victorino.”

    That’s a very good point, Sultan. You would like to see the Reds try their own in-house solutions before making the rash move of trading for a rental player.

  43. No thanks. After the Latos deal I don’t trust Walt not to overpay, and this is no longer an all-or-nothing season with the key pieces of the team locked down for multi-years. Either a REAL bat that’s signed beyond this season or nothing.

  44. @MikeC:

    A perfect in-house solution is David Bell promoted from AAA Louisville and Dusty Baker put out to pasture.

  45. @vared:

    Amen! I don’t think Walt overpaid like Krivsky overpaid but they are in the ballpark. I just can’t get over the fact that people think pitching is still our weak spot. For the first time in a long time, I am confident that our five can get it done if the offense would simply pull their weight. Our manager, however, not only doesn’t set us up for success, he actually sets the team up for failure. He bats two guys with the worst OBP in front of the guy with the best chance of knocking them in. And then he figures, while we are at it, let’s bat the guy with who leads the league in grounding into double plays right after the guy who gets on base the most! That’s a strategy for success. And finally, he takes the guy who almost single-handedly propelled the team into first place and buries him so far down in the order that he gets fewer ABs than everyone except for the guy who is second on the team in batting average….. I just wish one of our beloved beat writers would ask WHY….

    • @vared:

      Amen!I don’t think Walt overpaid like Krivsky overpaid but they are in the ballpark.I just can’t get over the fact that people think pitching is still our weak spot.For the first time in a long time, I am confident that our five can get it done if the offense would simply pull their weight.Our manager, however, not only doesn’t set us up for success, he actually sets the team up for failure.He bats two guys with the worst OBP in front of the guy with the best chance of knocking them in.And then he figures, while we are at it, let’s bat the guy with who leads the league in grounding into double plays right after the guy who gets on base the most!That’s a strategy for success.And finally, he takes the guy who almost single-handedly propelled the team into first place and buries him so far down in the order that he gets fewer ABs than everyone except for the guy who is second on the team in batting average…..I just wish one of our beloved beat writers would ask WHY….

      I don’t see how the Latos deal can in any way be compared to the Hamilton deal. Once again: the first deal traded prospects for an established very good major league pitcher. The second deal traded an established (one entire season) top-line major league centerfielder for a pitching prospect who had control problems in the minors.

      Jocketty paid the going rate for a cost controlled established young pitcher. Krivsky didn’t overpay; he made an absolutely stupid deal. Overpay is when you get someone good but give up too much. Keep in mind that at the time Latos was traded, none of the players traded to the Pads had ever amounted to a single thing. Grandal was a catcher who put up good AA numbers.

  46. @Racine Red:

    I guess I should have clarified. I wasn’t talking about the Hamilton deal. Nobody could have guessed that Hamilton would do what he has done. I was talking about the Felipe Lopez/Austin Kearns deal for Gary Majewski/Bill Bray/Daryl Hamilton. The one that was supposed to solidify our bullpen and the offensive sacrifice was minimal. Yeah, we all know how that worked out….

    • @Racine Red:

      I guess I should have clarified.I wasn’t talking about the Hamilton deal.Nobody could have guessed that Hamilton would do what he has done.I was talking about the Felipe Lopez/Austin Kearns deal for Gary Majewski/Bill Bray/Daryl Hamilton.The one that was supposed to solidify our bullpen and the offensive sacrifice was minimal.Yeah, we all know how that worked out….

      Are you suggesting that deal did not turn out well for us?

  47. Welcome to Cecil Espy Experience and RedTitan19. Thanks for reading and taking the time to make some thoughtful comments. Please keep coming back to contribute to the Nation.

    I don’t know that the rentals will be as expensive as some of you expect. For one thing, selling teams are either expecting prospects or relieving salary, not both. The Phillies would be looking for a player. They would probably be willing to eat the rest of Victorino’s salary to accomplish that. Juan Pierre is cheaper – you get what you pay for. He’s on a one-year contract for $800,000. That should tell you something about how major league teams evaluated him this off-season. The Phillies might want to trade Victorino to a team like the Reds since we would be less likely to try to sign him to an expensive contract while we have the rights to him like we did with Marshall.

    If we did trade for Victorino, the Reds could bat Phillips first and Victorino second, or reverse.

  48. @CaptainTonyKW:

    I don’t think so. I mean, Bray has done ok but at the time, it crippled our offense and Bray and Majewski did not exactly dominate out of the pen. I guess if you want to think long term, we may have done ok on that one but that deal was made to immediately impact our season.

  49. Felipe Lopez/Austin Kearns deal for Gary Majewski/Bill Bray/Daryl Hamilton turned out to be much ado about nothing.

    Nobody involved is worth writing home about.

  50. There are other ways of improving the OF/offense. You could trade for 3B Chase Headley and play Frazier in the OF. With an OBP of .372 and SLG of .418, he could bat pretty much anywhere in the lineup including leadoff. Wouldn’t it be great if Votto had some people on base when he came up to the plate?

    Since the Reds are in dire need of OBP, that might be better than picking up Victorino who is not hitting that well at the moment. I hate trading for a player that I have to hope starts hitting better. I do that already with with Stubbs and Rolen.

  51. […] Archive Recent CommentsSergeant2 on Game Thread: Reds at San Diego (2012.07.07)Gregg on Juan Pierre, no thanks. Shane Victorino, much better.George Culver on Game Thread: Reds at San Diego (2012.07.07)RedLeg75 on Game Thread: Reds at San […]

  52. Justin Upton has one more year before free agency and he’s not crazy expensive now, so I would think that would be better investment than a straight rental as they would also have him next year.

  53. I just don’t see a guy with a .311 OBP, Shane Victorino, as being an improvement for the Reds. Cozart’s .298 OBP is unnacceptable, as is Stubbs’ ~.280, but an older guy with a .311 OBP is a solution? That’s a matter of switching the names on jerseys, not a matter of providing an improvement.

  54. I’ll give you guys some insight. Im from philly and am a diehard Phils fan and i get to watch this team suck and play miserably everyday and Victorino is one of the main reasons.
    First if i am a reds fan and u are in need of a leadoff batter who will get on base for you very consistently, Piere is your man. He has been great for us this year and many of us here want him in Left everyday and batting leadoff over Rollins, but Chuck is too stubborn to do that (that is an entirely different story). Your downfall with juan is that he can not play CF for you. if u have another option for center and can put him in left, he is a perfect leadoff batter for you, and im sure if the Phils continue to go in the direction they are he can be had pretty easily.
    Now onto Victorino, he will cost you more, both in prospect and with money. He IS NOT a leadoff hitter at all, unless you like guys who refuse to take pitches and routinely pop up to the infield to batt leadoff. when he first came up to this phils and was fighting for a spot, he was a slap hitter who got a lot of infield singles and used his speed, then one year he somehow hit 31 HR’s and it destroyed his career. now he no longer uses his speed as an asset at the dish and try’s to be more of a power/big rbi guy opposed to the get on base, steal a base and score runs type of player. really Vic should model his game after Pierre and he would be a very productive player bc he has a similar skill set. He is also an avg CF at best. i know he doesnt make errors and you often see him making catches where he uses his speed, but that is mainly bc he has such poor judgement that he consistently doesnt read a ball correctly and has to make what should be a routine catch look much harder than it should be. Also think i read something about the Phil’s not wanting to trade Vic or trade him then try and resign him, no, totally false. fans or frontoffice do not want him back. For the reasons i stated above and bc he way overvaule’s himself. he wants at least a 5 year deal at anywhere from 70-85 mil. (he compares himself to Ethier who got 5/85). any team who gives that to Shane should burn the money instead. he really has been a major disappointment, and was expect to lead the team, along with rollins (who i would also love to see traded, need a ss? lol)but has not lead at all and if anything his negativity and bitching have hurt the team (he has been bitching at the media of late bc he sucks).
    Saw one person say they should make a run at Hamels and they could offer Bailey or Leake and a B level prospect. You will need to offer much, much more than that. First off, and i pray this happens, the phils are gonna make a big push to sign Cole. If this doesnt happen he will be dealt. there is a rumor that the rangers have offered their top pitching prospect, their top 3b prospect, who is ML ready and is projected to be not an allstar but an above avg 3b, David Murphy their starting LF, a decent of prospect in AA and a very highly touted SS that is i believe 19 and in A ball who couldnt get here quick enough to take Rollins job. So just by looking at that im sure u now see Leake or Bailey and another prospect is not close to enough for Cole. Also Cole is looking for 24+ mil a year and wants 7 years if u were thinking what it would cost to trade for him then resign him.
    Sorry for making this so long but just thought i would give you guys some insight and possibly the bad news if u were to make a trade for Vic or Juan. Have always liked the reds so hope they have a good rest of teh season

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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2012 Reds, Reds - General, Trade Deadline, Willy Taveras OBP Watch

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