Our long lead-off nightmare is over.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Reds GM Walt Jocketty has traded Drew Stubbs and Didi Gregorius for Cleveland outfielder Shin Soo Choo and utility IF Jason Donald [update: plus $3.5 million to the Reds].

Here’s the most important thing you need to know about the Reds’ new acquisition:

.307/.386/.486

That’s Choo’s record in 461 plate appearances batting lead-off for Cleveland, mostly last year. It closely tracks his career numbers overall: .289/.381/.465.

I didn’t double-check his math, but John Fay calculates that Choo’s higher OBP will result in reaching base 105 times more than Reds lead-off hitters accomplished in 2012. JoeyMVP smiles at that statistic. The Reds lead-off hitters managed .208/.254/.327 last season. (Mike Leake’s OBP was .309.)

Biography Shin Soo Choo is 30 years old. He bats and throws left-handed. He’s from Pusan, South Korea and was signed by the Seattle Mariners in August, 2000. In July 2006, he was traded to Cleveland for Ben Broussard. Choo led the South Korean team to the gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games, earning himself and all his teammates an exemption from their nation’s mandatory military service requirement.

Contract Status: Choo will be a free agent at the end of the 2013 season. Last year, in his second year of arbitration he earned $4.6 million.  Matt Schwartz at MLBTR estimates that Choo will earn $7.9 million via arbitration this year. Drew Stubbs was estimated to make $2.9 million. Choo’s agent is Scott Boras.

Power Stats: Excluding his injury shortened 2011 season, Choo has averaged 19 home runs and 37 doubles since 2009.  Last season he was 10th in all of baseball with 43 doubles. Choo’s career ISO (isolated power, the difference between his AVG and SLG) is .176. MLB average ISO is .151. Choo gives the Reds another powerful left-handed bat in the lineup. And batting first, there’s no risk of the streams crossing with any other Reds LH hitter.

Stolen bases: Again, excluding 2011, Choo has averaged 21 SB and 5 CS since 2009.

Plate Discipline: Shin Soo Choo’s walk-rate is 11.4% – well above the league average of 8.4%. He sees an average of 3.97 pitches per plate appearance with the MLB average being 3.79 PPA.

Clutchiness: Choo’s hitting with RISP: .289/.374/.466.  This one makes Marty happy, but the rest of you should ignore it.

Yes, there are plenty of legitimate concerns. Choo will probably only be with the Reds for one year (but what a wonderful contract year it could be). He hasn’t really played much CF in the past half decade and he may have lost a step on defense at that. A few balls that Drew Stubbs would have caught in the alley will go for doubles. Choo’s once-feared arm may have dropped off a bit last year. What now if Zack Cozart gets hurt?

But for now, just think of that sweet, sweet OBP batting first and getting the most AB for your Cincinnati Reds.

 

140 Responses

  1. rfay00

    One other concern:

    His agent is Scott Boras.

  2. Hank Aarons Teammate

    If Choo plays well in 2012 the Reds will certainly offer him 12M to get the draft pick. Hell, if the guy’s good, there’s not that much risk if he accepts it. He could always be traded in June of 2013.

  3. hermanbates

    @redsfanman: Lance McAllister just retweeted a man who claims to have interned with the Indians in 07 and says Choo speaks perfect English. Crisis averted.

  4. vegastypo

    are the other players in the trade known yet? was it 7 total? 9?

    • ToddAlmighty

      I love this trade, but I’m going to miss watching Drew Stubbs play CF. Seriously.

      Well, admittedly the GABP will certainly be a lot more stuffy without all that air circulation happening at the plate.

  5. AlphaZero

    Just a great deal. I really didn’t think the FO would be creative enough to acquire a quality corner OF with the intent of moving him to CF. It could backfire, but it’s a risk worth taking since Choo’s offensive output is exactly what this team needs.

    It hurts to lose Didi because he could be really special, and I honestly wish Stubbs the best. However, I think the Reds really won this deal. They get a year of Choo and are in line for a supplementary pick even if they are unable to resign him at the end of the year. They’ll also get a few years of decent utility work out of the 28 year old Donald. He’s not great, but I think he’s a solid upgrade over Valdez.

    This is the kind of move that the Reds needed to make to push them over the top. I’m also extremely impressed that they didn’t have to surrender any precious pitching depth to make it happen. Hats off to Walt and company.

  6. vegastypo

    @Steve Mancuso: Yeah, but I won’t miss all of the strike-3s called, often right down the middle. (Not that I’m bitter.)

  7. BenL

    Awesome!!! That’s all there is to say.

  8. vegastypo

    By the way, didn’t the Latos blockbuster trade also come about a week after the winter meetings? An early Christmas present …

  9. Steve Mancuso

    This really wasn’t a three-team deal in the end. We sent two players to Cleveland for two players. The Arizona-Cleveland part of this is still being finished.

  10. rhayex

    F YES

    IM SORRY FOR DOUBTING YOU WJ!!!

  11. Steve Mancuso

    Gregorius tweets to Reds fans: I want to thank the @Reds nd the fans for everything 🙂 but Now I’m heading to the Dbacks… Same life new team 😀

  12. CFD3000

    I’ve been a Drew Stubbs fan since he came up. Some guys you follow because they can flat out play, others because of various intangibles, and some because for whatever reason you really just want to see them do well. Stubbs has always been one of those guys for me. Like Steve, I think it’s a big downgrade on defense, but the implications for the offense are really big so I’m very excited about this trade. In fact, it’s a double bonus for me.. My Cincinnati Reds just got a big upgrade, and I still get to root for one of my favorites to play really well. I hope he and Adam Dunn tear up the American League. A tip of the cap to you Drew Stubbs and best wishes in the AL. Now let’s get down to the business of scoring runs!

  13. rfay00

    The Reds seemed to get away cheap here…anyone else think that?

    • vegastypo

      The Reds seemed to get away cheap here…anyone else think that?

      When I heard three-team trade, I thought Leake would somehow be involved and going to the D-backs. Quite a day this has turned into.

  14. rhayex

    Whew

    Now that that’s out…

    It’s a good deal from all sides. The Reds fill two desperate needs (one more desperate than the other), while the Indians get the chance to trade for Trevor Bauer, one of the top SP prospects in the game. The losers? The Pirates, Cardinals, Phillies, etc. who missed out on this fantastic trade.

  15. Larry1980

    I just worry about the Defensive drop off other than than Christmas is 2 weeks early.

  16. gosport474

    I love this trade, but still don’t know why the Reds didn’t trade Stubbs to Angels for Trout straight up. 😉

  17. rhayex

    @rfay00:

    Not at all. The Reds gave up 9 years of team control over two young, high potential players to fill a need. It was a good trade, but not one that should be despised by either side, especially if Cleveland can get Bauer.

    • Hank Aarons Teammate

      @rfay00:

      Not at all. The Reds gave up 9 years of team control over two young, high potential players to fill a need. It was a good trade, but not one that should be despised by either side, especially if Cleveland can get Bauer.

      The Reds gave up 6 years of team control over a 22 year old SS, and 3 years of team control over a player who’s deteriorating despite being in what should be his peak years; he’s not young. Stubbs has little value today. The Indians can afford to take him, because they’re not winning any time soon, and they really wanted Bauer. For them Stubbs can play, and if he sucks, he sucks, but if he has a resurgence, they can trade him for something, or play him. The Reds do not have the luxury of that.

  18. Shchi Cossack

    The last time Choo played any significant time in CF was 2002. The last time Bruce played any significant time in CF was 2008. I’m not convinced that the CF decision has been etched in stone.

    • pinson343

      The last time Choo played any significant time in CF was 2002.The last time Bruce played any significant time in CF was 2008.I’m not convinced that the CF decision has been etched in stone.

      Cossack: I’m wondering about this part of it too. The Reds might have to rethink where Bruce plays. Jay in CF and Choo in RF might be best.

  19. rhayex

    Btw, how long did you have this article ready, Steve?

  20. Hank Aarons Teammate

    I’m trying to understand how Gregorious is worth Bauer. Can someone explain that to me?

    I’d have almost been tempted to trade Gregorious for Bauer and see what the Reds could get for Bauer. I’m not saying I would have done that, but geez, I am confused as to what Arizona is doing.

  21. hermanbates

    Everything is final. Good deal for everyone it seems. I’m pretty excited for this year. Like…I refuse to accept that Opening Day is 110 days away!

  22. rfay00

    @rhayex: It’s pretty much Stubbs for Choo if the Dbacks get Gregorious. I guess being a three team trade kinda made it happen, otherwise the Indians may not have done it.

  23. SFredsfan

    Just a thought- if Choo sucks wind in spring training- Do you move Bruce to center field and let Choo play right? I like that idea more than Choo in center field. Let him be great in right field and let Bruce bet above average. then you drop cash on Bruce for taking one for the team

  24. rhayex

    Stubbs is still a high potential player. He’s in his prime, and I he fulfills the potential (a big if, I know), he can be a great player. I’ve said before that I thought he’d never be able to do so with the Reds; I hope he will with the Indians.

    • Hank Aarons Teammate

      Stubbs is still a high potential player. He’s in his prime, and I he fulfills the potential (a big if, I know), he can be a great player. I’ve said before that I thought he’d never be able to do so with the Reds; I hope he will with the Indians.

      All of that is true, but on 12/11/12, Stubbs is worth a non prospect. Just because we think he might return to 2010 level has no bearing on anything—the market value for a player like Stubbs is about nil.

      Also, like Volquez last year, what if Stubbs has a pretty good year in 2013? Then he’d become really expensive in arbitration, and you’d have to wonder if he’d have another 2012.

  25. rhayex

    Indians are including more players. That’s why it was a 7-9 player trade and not just a 5.

  26. rfay00

    Indians and Dbacks had more going on…total of 9 players moved.

  27. redsfanman

    I’m also thrilled. If anybody doubted that the Reds were serious about 2013… they should be satisfied now! Choo and Alex Gordon were the best OBP guys available and they got one of them without giving up any important part of their present or future. They retained all the pitching and starting hitters (except for the one who was replaced in CF).

    Dusty’s job of writing out a lineup card just got much easier and more straightforward with Choo, Phillips, and Cozart sliding into spots. Stubbs is gone. Those are two of the most common complaints or objections amongst fans last year. Also the starting lineup is more balanced with three lefties.

    I couldn’t care less about Didi Gregorius being gone. Buy low, sell high. They bought low on Choo and sold high on Gregorius. I think Gregorius’ value can only go down from here. Viewed in another way, that’s another question Dusty and Jocketty won’t have to answer anymore – “when will we see Gregorius? Is he going to AAA?”

    I wish Stubbs well but I doubt I’ll miss him. If the replacement was crummy, maybe, but I think highly of Choo. I still expect Stubbs can turn things around and do well… albeit in Cleveland.

    I doubt Jason Donald is a notable improvement over Wilson Valdez. They just put a different name on a jersey on a roster spot reserved for a backup shortstop. I never minded Valdez though, and I’m sure I’ll be fine with Donald. Fortunately it’s unlikely that he’ll be asked to hit first or second in the lineup.

  28. vegastypo

    @SFredsfan: I don’t see them moving Bruce to CF for one season, then moving him right back to RF, but who knows?

  29. nllspc

    Mancuso,
    Where do you get your “MLB averages?” I know Fangraphs has some in their glossary pages but they’re outdated. Is their some nook or cranny on Baseball Reference that I’ve overlooked?
    Thanks in advance.

  30. rhayex

    Ultimately, it was a 10 player trade, with Sipp, Gregorius and someone else going to D-backs for Bauer and two pitchers.

  31. rhayex

    Still wondering how long you had this article ready, by the way. Lol.

  32. Hank Aarons Teammate

    @redsfanman: I agree with almost all of that. Gregarious hasn’t even stepped on the field at the major league level, and his minor league numbers do not scream “great player”. I like Alonso and Grandal over him as prospects by a mile, and I loved the trade of both of them last year.

    On Donald, though, he’s quite likely to be better than Valdez at the plate. His 2010 and 2011 were better by far than any year of Wilson Valdez. He sucked last year, but it wasn’t that many plate appearances compared to the sum of 2010/2011.

    This move, like any move, could bomb out on Jocketty, but it’s really an excellent move. Votto must be dancing a jig to have Choo and Phillips batting ahead of him.

    • redsfanman

      This move, like any move, could bomb out on Jocketty, but it’s really an excellent move.Votto must be dancing a jig to have Choo and Phillips batting ahead of him.

      Unless Votto likes Stubbs as a person and misses him after being his teammate for years. I agree that the move helps Votto’s baseball career but I doubt he’s excited to have Stubbs gone form the clubhouse. But who knows? Oh well. He’ll get over it.

  33. GoCats

    Let’s start it now – WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Damn glad I got season tickets on order!

  34. L.A.Red

    @rfay00: Why is everyone concerned about Scott Boras, there is no way Uncle Walt plans on resigning Choo.

    • Hank Aarons Teammate

      @rfay00: Why is everyone concerned about Scott Boras, there is no way Uncle Walt plans on resigning Choo.

      Indeed. Boras only helps the Reds because they can offer the 12M and Boras will tell Choo to decline it, giving the Reds a nice draft pick. Assuming that’s what happens, it makes the deal even better.

      • CP

        Indeed.Boras only helps the Reds because they can offer the 12M and Boras will tell Choo to decline it, giving the Reds a nice draft pick.Assuming that’s what happens, it makes the deal even better.

        Or, if the Reds have a disappointing season, Choo and maybe Ludwick are both attractive trade pieces.

  35. Jason Linden

    @nllspc: Go to any FanGraphs stat page and click on the “League Stats” tab at the top. That will get you what you’re after.

  36. CP

    I have no clue what the D-Backs are thinking. Bauer will be a star.

    I kind of respect Towers for going with his convictions but Didi + Anderson + Sipp isn’t enough.

  37. redsfanman

    If I were Jay Bruce I’d spend some time this winter taking flyballs in centerfield in Texas. Maybe as part of the honeymoon. I assume which guy – Bruce or Choo – gets moved to CF in 2013 will ultimately be Dusty’s decision.

    Remember when the Reds stole Brandon Phillips from the Indians for practically nothing? Maybe the Indians can also score big on this by fixing things for Drew Stubbs.

  38. rfay00

    @L.A.Red: There is just nothing to like about Scott Boras. He will end up getting the Reds to pay an extra 1-2 million for Choo this year and adding to his total of screwing other GMs with high price tags. I mean, he is good at what he does, but he is a greedy man.

  39. CP

    This trade isn’t without risk, but Walt Jocketty deserves credit for finally getting creative.

  40. Jared Wynne

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaalt.

    You are KILLING me.

    I’ve got finals tomorrow! How am I supposed to do anything but stare at computers now????

  41. Steve Mancuso

    @nllspc: For those two stats there is a cranny at BR. On any player’s page, when you click on “More Stats” it brings up a series of tables. For some of the stats, the bottom row is the league average. Here’s the page for Choo. The fourth table down has the PPA and BB% columns.

  42. L.A.Red

    @rfay00: I did not know he could drive up the Arbitration numbers, that’s not good. But as “Hank Aarons Teamate” (by the way I’ll be calling you “HAT” from now on) just pointed out his greed will drive Choo to decline a 12million dollar offer that will net the Reds a nice draft pick.

    In the immortal words of Gordon Gecko “Greed is Good”

    Go Redlegs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Steve Mancuso

    Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis tweets: Cincy… You’re not gonna find two better teammates then the ones you just traded for. #choo #donald

  44. SFredsfan

    Does Billy Hamilton need a full year at AAA? If a half season will prepare him after the AZL Fall League who knows. The kid is a freak of an athlete and I cannot wait to see the highlights. We do not need to rush him, yet what if he rushes us with unreal numbers in AAA. Nice chip to trade at the deadline- Choo

    • redsfanman

      Does Billy Hamilton need a full year at AAA?If a half season will prepare him after the AZL Fall League who knows.The kid is a freak of an athlete and I cannot wait to see the highlights.We do not need to rush him, yet what if he rushes us with unreal numbers in AAA.Nice chip to trade at the deadline- Choo

      If Billy Hamilton tears up AAA pitching and Jocketty starts having trouble justifying keeping him in the minors, that’s a good problem to have. Keeping him in Louisville longer than he needs isn’t like locking an animal in a cage. Wil Myers, the former Royals prospect who’s gotten so much attention lately, spent all year in the minors despite hitting well – he won Minor League Player of the Year or whatever. Hopefully Billy Hamilton can do that in 2013.

      @Steve Mancuso: Yay for adding good people to the clubhouse!

  45. Steve Mancuso

    Wow. Rosenthal: The Indians are also sending the Reds $3.5 million to pay the salary difference between Stubbs and Choo. That will pay for a great fourth OF. Nice.

    • Hank Aarons Teammate

      Wow. Rosenthal: The Indians are also sending the Reds $3.5 million to pay the salary difference between Stubbs and Choo. That will pay for a great fourth OF. Nice.

      Wow. The Indians really must have wanted Bauer. I don’t blame them.

    • RedLegHerrm

      Wow. Rosenthal: The Indians are also sending the Reds $3.5 million to pay the salary difference between Stubbs and Choo. That will pay for a great fourth OF. Nice.

      We already have solid 4th and 5th outfielders in Heisey and Paul, don’t we?

  46. Hank Aarons Teammate

    The sad fact is that the Reds, if they make the postseason, will have only a slightly higher chance to win the World Series as they did this year. That’s just the nature of the postseason.

    However, if this team makes the postseason, and they have to be the favorite to at least get the wild card (I suppose the Cards could be very good also), if they go in healthy with that rotation and that lineup, teams are going to be scared of them.

    • redsfanman

      Is there a chance that Walt instructs Hamilton to play both SS and CF in the spring and at AAA to prepare for a second half/postseason utility/pinch runner position on the roster?

      No. They already started his conversion and they don’t have a leadoff hitter or centerfielder for 2014 while Cozart will remain under team control to play shortstop. I believe that part of the idea of converting him to CF was accelerating his progress towards the majors (focusing on hitting rather than crummy fielding errors at shortstop).

      The sad fact is that the Reds, if they make the postseason, will have only a slightly higher chance to win the World Series as they did this year.That’s just the nature of the postseason.

      However, if this team makes the postseason, and they have to be the favorite to at least get the wild card (I suppose the Cards could be very good also), if they go in healthy with that rotation and that lineup, teams are going to be scared of them.

      SSSHHHHHH. Cross that bridge when we come to it.

  47. Steve Mancuso

    Choo has declined to play in this spring’s World Baseball Classic out of concern for getting fully prepared to play in his contract season.

  48. rhayex

    The Indians STOLE Bauer from the D-backs. It’s hilarious. First Dayton Moore, now Towers. Not only did they get Bauer, they also got two excellent relievers. For Gregorius and two nonfactors. Wow.

    • Hank Aarons Teammate

      The Indians STOLE Bauer from the D-backs. It’s hilarious. First Dayton Moore, now Towers. Not only did they get Bauer, they also got two excellent relievers. For Gregorius and two nonfactors. Wow.

      I don’t know much about Sipp or Anderson, but unless they’re really good, the DBacks made a bad deal.

  49. Jmac84

    @Hank Aarons Teammate:

    All you can ask is for is a seat at the table. This team could beat any team in baseball in a 7 game series, no doubt. This trade is almost perfect to me. I am ecstatic.

  50. Steve Mancuso

    Cleveland and Cincinnati share the spring training stadium in Goodyear, AZ and because of that they play each other a half dozen times or more. The trade should make those games a bit more interesting, not to mention the four Ohio Cup games in the regular season.

  51. L.A.Red

    @Steve Mancuso: That is great news. He is going to play his %$# off. To make sure he earns top dollar on the open market next year.

  52. Sultan of Swaff

    I absolutely love this deal. Why?
    –I needed Stubbs gone yesterday.
    –Takes pressure off Cozart. He can move down in the order, possibly bat 8th, and increase his walk rate.
    –Didi’s minor league hitting numbers closely resemble Pokey Reese. All glove, no bat. I can live with losing that.
    –Jason Donald has hit all thru the minor leagues. He’s a big time upgrade to Valdez and is pre-arb.
    –The lineup has finally been Dusty-proofed.
    –It takes the pressure off management to rush Hamilton. More ABs in the minors will pay dividends. We’ll see him on the playoff roster stealing bases.
    –3 balls every 2 games. That’s how little a CF is called upon to play defense on average. We’ll be fine with Bruce or Choo out there. The offensive upgrade is tremendous.

    Great job Walt!!!

  53. RC

    Goodnight, Reds people. It’s been a good day, hasn’t it?

    😀

  54. Drew Mac

    Is there a chance that Walt instructs Hamilton to play both SS and CF in the spring and at AAA to prepare for a second half/postseason utility/pinch runner position on the roster?

  55. rhayex

    You remember Matt Laporta? Similar player, but Anderson is WORSE.

  56. SFredsfan

    For those of us on the left coast- let’s think of the number of times Votto is batting with men in scoring position. Who takes the over and under for the half season? I’ll take my birth year- 64. His numbers and Bruce’s will be unreal. Hello Cincy we have a very good team. BOOOYAHHHH

  57. zab1983

    wait wait wait rotoworld.com is reporting something different??? : Reds acquired OF Shin-Soo Choo, INF/OF Jason Donald and cash, Indians acquired RHPs Trevor Bauer, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers and Diamondbacks acquired SS Didi Gregorius, LHP Tony Sipp and 1B Lars Anderson in a three-team trade

    did you guys mention bauer?

  58. zab1983

    i’m just confused: no mention of stubbs. that’s all and i’m sorry i now remember bauer is D-backs pitcher

  59. CincyGuy

    @Sultan of Swaff:

    Your analysis is spot on. My favorite point? The lineup has been Dustyproofed. Incredible plaudits to WJ.

  60. earl

    Got to say it looks like Uncle Walt got most of the Reds needs pretty much done for now. Even if Choo or Bruce struggles some in center, you still got Heisey for late game defensive swaps.

    I think the only that would be nice to get is a left handed bat with some pop for the bench and maybe Xavier Paul can handle it as well as he did last year.

    I wish good luck to Drew Stubbs, it didn’t pan out at the plate, but I think he came to play and he did provide a few exciting moments over the past few years. Reds castaways have had a pretty good run of luck of late, even ole’ Eddie finally figured it out at the plate in Toronto (although the Jays got smart and let him just hit or play first most of the time taking that long throw out of the equasion).

  61. pinson343

    The happiest person on the planet right now is no doubt Bronson Arroyo, not having to face Choo in 2013.

  62. pinson343

    I loved watching Stubbs play CF and Gregorius is otherworldly as a defensive SS, but as they say, “You’ve got to give up something …” Best of luck to both of them, they seemed like good guys.

    • OhioJim

      I loved watching Stubbs play CF and Gregorius is otherworldly as a defensive SS, but as they say, “You’ve got to give up something …” Best of luck to both of them, they seemed like good guys.

      This pretty much expresses my feelings too. Like I said 10 days ago when Bailey’s name name up in rumors, sometimes you have to do what you have to do (trading Gregorius) to get what you need to get.

      Playing on a team that us going to be using a DH nearly all the time, Stubbs may be a serviceable guy; but I would not be surprised to see Gregorius emerge as a premier SS in several years (remember he is only 22/23).

      With the core talent WJ has traded away in the last two years (Alonso, Grandal, Boxberger, Gregorious; and a person could even make a case for including Wood and Sappelt, the Reds best start moving beyond losing in the first round of the playoffs or there should be hard accounting for his actions.

    • redmountain

      I loved watching Stubbs play CF and Gregorius is otherworldly as a defensive SS, but as they say, “You’ve got to give up something …” Best of luck to both of them, they seemed like good guys.

      I have finals tomorrow as well, but I have to grade them and then figure out grades. I may not be able to concentrate for several days.

      Gregorius is not otherwordly as a SS, his best attribute is his bat, not his glove. i have no doubt he will improve, but he is not as good as Cozart at SS. Taking Cozart off the lead off spot will help him with his hitting. I am thinking 7 or 8.

  63. pinson343

    Getting a leadoff hitter with pop, who would have thought ?

    The lineup has been Dusty-proofed, except for on day games after nite games. We don’t know who the bench players are yet.

    • redsfanman

      Cossack:I’m wondering about this part of it too. The Reds might have to rethink where Bruce plays. Jay in CF and Choo in RF might be best.

      Ah, the controversy Dusty Baker now face for spring training. I expect they’d make a final decision in the spring.

      The lineup has been Dusty-proofed, except for on day games after nite games. We don’t know who the bench players are yet.

      I think we have a general idea of who the bench players are – Jason Donald is the backup shortstop. Xavier Paul, Chris Heisey, and Devin Mesoraco are returning. The final spot (1b/3b) has apparently been offered to Jack Hannahan, if he wants it. Or Emmanual Burriss.

      As far as day games after night games, wasn’t Scott Rolen the only guy who took those off? Choo can apparently be counted on for 155 games a year and all the other guys should hopefully be pretty consistent.

      • pinson343

        Redsfanman: As far as day games after night games, wasn’t Scott Rolen the only guy who took those off?Choo can apparently be counted on for 155 games a year and all the other guys should hopefully be pretty consistent.

        Scott Rolen was the only guy who regularly took off the “day after nite” game, but there were often 3-4 backups, including Cairo and Valdez, for those games. Dusty’s giving the regulars a day off now and then is a good thing, can’t argue with it. But a number of times in 2012 he gave a bunch of them a day off on the same day.

  64. centralkyredsfan

    Excellent trade. I’m all for keeping Choo if he can get a real agent and fire that hack Boras. I’m reading a lot about Jason Donald being a throw in on this trade. He’s hardly that. He’s an outstanding defensive player who has actually put up great offensive numbers in the minors. Cleveland never gave him a particular position and he never got regular playing time. Check the minor league stats folks. He was sent to Cleveland in the Cliff Lee deal and was a 3rd round draft pick of the Phillies. Great insurance for 3B/SS if Frazier or Cozart struggle. Good baseball trade!!!

  65. steveschoen

    I like it. Not perfect, but few things are in life. If Didi had one more year in at AAA, if it could have come after next season, Hamilton may need as many as two seasons.

    As far as the quality of play, we lose some D in CF, but we gain a lot on offense. Expect some more balls to reach more walls, ladies and gentlemen. But, also, you may expect Votto to get well over 100 RBI’s, if not 120 RBI’s.

    I would prefer to have a 4 hole hitter, but I will take it.

    Trying to consider “if” we can sign Choo. Let’s see. Bronson and Masset would come off the books. There is that part about deferred monies for Bronson, but I couldn’t find anything. And, on baseball-reference.com, they actually have Votto taking a pay cut for 2014 of $5 million. Anyone thing we would try to use some of this money for Choo after this season?

  66. I-71_Exile

    What an unbelievable gift. I Choo-Choo-Choose Choo.

    Wow.

    Thanks Walt.

  67. vermilion red

    @pinson343: Happy nothing. It’s one thing to rake off a guy, but it’s a whole ‘nother matter to steal all his double ear-flap batting helmets. O-dog to round out our bench?

    Good luck to Drew Stubbs, it was really fun for me to watch him run. Living up here on the North Coast, I won’t mind catching him patrol center.

  68. seat101

    @ToddAlmighty:
    That’s funny!

    Seriously, three times this last season, at games I attended, I saw Drew Stubbs make a spectacular catch on a ball hit in front of him that he started to back up on.

    Yeah, he’s fast, really fast but his baseball IQ is up there with Jamarcus Russel’s football IQ.

  69. rfay00

    Reds need a lefty reliever…the only one left is the setup guy.

    Something tells me that Walt isn’t done…:)

    • redsfanman

      @steveschoen: No, I don’t see any chance of extending Choo. He’s a one year stopgap until Billy Hamilton is ready (who will provide draft pick compensation when he leaves as a free agent), nothing more. I think Jocketty shot down the possibility of him being extended. In 2014 Choo is likely to get a lot of money and a long term deal to play a corner outfield spot, which I doubt the Reds can offer.

      Reds need a lefty reliever…the only one left is the setup guy.

      Something tells me that Walt isn’t done…:)

      With six guys (with real chances of getting a job) competing for five rotation spots there’s still a real chance that Chapman could return to the bullpen. Jocketty almost has to trade Todd Redmond at some point – he’s pretty worthless except as trade bait. Maybe he’ll be moved for a lefty reliever.

      • steveschoen

        @steveschoen: No, I don’t see any chance of extending Choo.He’s a one year stopgap until Billy Hamilton is ready (who will provide draft pick compensation when he leaves as a free agent), nothing more.I think Jocketty shot down the possibility of him being extended.In 2014 Choo is likely to get a lot of money and a long term deal to play a corner outfield spot, which I doubt the Reds can offer.

        But, then, what if Hamilton isn’t quite ready? A season is awful quick for a player learning a new position to get from AA to major league ball. We would have to do this all over again next off season. And, there is no guarantee Hamilton will develop at all past AA.

        Whether we keep him or not, I still think a good trade. I sort of hope we can get him for one more year anyhow, maybe even longer. Then, Ludwick’s contract is up, and we could move Choo back to a corner. By that time, Hamilton could be ready.

      • redsfanman

        Another question is whether BP or Cozart bats #2.

        WJ’s statement referred to BP as one of the “run producers” in the line up. That hints at slotting him 6th or perhaps alternating him between 5th and 6th depending on whether they are facing a righty starter or a lefty starter.

        Phillips frequently alternates between roles – anywhere from 1st to 4th in the order, when needed. I really doubt he’d move lower. I assume Jocketty was referring to Phillips producing runs by driving in Shoo and getting on base before Votto.

        But, then, what if Hamilton isn’t quite ready?A season is awful quick for a player learning a new position to get from AA to major league ball.We would have to do this all over again next off season.And, there is no guarantee Hamilton will develop at all past AA.

        Whether we keep him or not, I still think a good trade.I sort of hope we can get him for one more year anyhow, maybe even longer.Then, Ludwick’s contract is up, and we could move Choo back to a corner.By that time, Hamilton could be ready.

        If Hamilton isn’t ready next year I guess they pursue another one year stopgap solution. Maybe Brodie Green (who?) can build up crazy trade value like Didi Gregorius did. Maybe a free agent. Maybe Stubbs will not be tendered a contract.

  70. steveschoen

    Oh, for those, I do like the trade and am glad WJ pulled the trigger.

  71. OhioJim

    @rfay00: They also need a back up catcher/ tandem mate for Hanigan. There is no reason to believe Mesoraco will suddenly start doing the job without a stint in AAA to rediscover himself.

  72. redsfanman

    Does Redleg Nation Radio get a podcast regarding Shin Shoo Choo’s acquisition and it’s meaning for the Reds? I hope so.

  73. Greg Dafler

    @rhayex: I’m not sure about all 3 years of team control for Stubbs…yes, they have the 3 years, but he’s a good non-tender candidate the last 2 of those seasons if he cannot get his offensives numbers up.

  74. TC

    When Mo mentioned the rumor at 4:30 this afternoon I gasped in excitement. It sounded so good I thought it was a wild rumor. It’s a great deal for both the Reds and Indians. Arizona is the lesser winner IMO.

    Anyway, item number one on Mr Jocketty’s checklist:

    Dusty-proof the lineup….. Check

  75. Greg Dafler

    Pretty good deal overall for the Reds, IMO. I’m jealous that the Indians were able to get Trevor Bauer, though.

  76. OhioJim

    It will be interesting to see how Dusty will manage his end game without a true CF and presumably without Chapman closing. Heisey and Broxton are credible in those roles at the end of a game but not I think in the same class as Stubbs and Chapman.

  77. seat101

    JBruce was looking tentative in RF occasionally last season. I have no idea whether a season in CF would be good or bad for him.

  78. OhioJim

    @seat101: The reshaping of his body in the last off season would bode well for him as a CF but I think if they want to have a look at him there, he still has some work to do in that department. Choo’s not exactly a splinter himself. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    I saw up the thread that someone was suggesting that perhaps neither Bruce nor Choo would end up in CF. However I don’t see them trading Bruce or Choo or Ludwick; so, one of those three is going to be the primary CF which is really saying either Bruce or Choo will be the CF.

  79. seat101

    @OhioJim:

    Agreed. My first thought when hearing the rumor was “JB to CF!”, now I amon the fence. All the more so ’cause everyone else thinks it will be Choo.

    Btw, I love this trade!

    And I am even ever more grateful for this great website!

  80. vegastypo

    did the Dodgers just pick up Schumaker from the Cardinals?

  81. OhioJim

    Another question is whether BP or Cozart bats #2.

    WJ’s statement referred to BP as one of the “run producers” in the line up. That hints at slotting him 6th or perhaps alternating him between 5th and 6th depending on whether they are facing a righty starter or a lefty starter.

  82. seat101

    Plus I am trying to stay up til 12:12:12 on 12/12/12. Probably should have just waited til noon!

    • vegastypo

      Good night.

      yes, it appears it was a very good night

  83. vegastypo

    @MrRedlegs3900: I’d settle for about Feb. 15 or 20, just to begin to see what we have. But I hear ya, love the day’s events.

  84. redsfanman

    So, during the winter meetings there were rumors about the Reds and DBacks trying to work out a trade. What could it have been for? Kubel? Parra? Adam Eaton? Did anyone expect the DBacks were specifically targeting Didi Gregorius? I sure didn’t. Yikes! The Reds MIGHT have been able to trade Gregorius for Parra, but they’d be in much worse position than they are now with Choo. Good job to Walt Jocketty for not making any hasty decisions.

    It seems like Kevin Towers, the DBacks’ GM, has a crazy obsession with Didi Gregorius. I’ve been reading DBacks fan message boards and most of them are angry, considering trading Trevor Bauer as a continuation of the unpopular Jarrod Parker trade last year (isn’t it nice that Reds fans follow a team that values young pitching?). This is what the Reds could have done to punish Homer Bailey a few years ago – trade him as punishment for struggling at the major league level.

    • Hank Aarons Teammate

      So, during the winter meetings there were rumors about the Reds and DBacks trying to work out a trade.What could it have been for?Kubel?Parra?Adam Eaton?Did anyone expect the DBacks were specifically targeting Didi Gregorius?I sure didn’t.Yikes!The Reds MIGHT have been able to trade Gregorius for Parra, but they’d be in much worse position than they are now with Choo.Good job to Walt Jocketty for not making any hasty decisions.

      It seems like Kevin Towers, the DBacks’ GM, has a crazy obsession with Didi Gregorius.I’ve been reading DBacks fan message boards and most of them are angry, considering trading Trevor Bauer as a continuation of the unpopular Jarrod Parker trade last year (isn’t it nice that Reds fans follow a team that values young pitching?).This is what the Reds could have done to punish Homer Bailey a few years ago – trade him as punishment for struggling at the major league level.

      I don’t think Bauer was punished for having a bad 4 game major league debut. Kevin Towers is clearly obsessed with Gregorious. In his comments he compared Gregorious to a young Derek Jeter.
      Also, Bauer is a bit eccentric, and apparently he rubbed the DBacks organization the wrong way.

  85. MrSaturdayNite

    The real question: Between BRUUUUUCE, WOOOOO, and now CHOOOOO, how long until the entire city is hoarse?

  86. redsfanman

    I don’t know that fans will be making more or less noise, I think they’ll just replace booooooo with ‘Chooooooo’ when the centerfielder hits.

  87. Shchi Cossack

    With Votto coming back on two healthy legs, he has to now be the odds on, preseason favorite for the NL MVP in 2013. He will routinely have baserunners on base in front of him with less than two outs and a run-producing RH bat hitting behind him.

    20 HR
    60 2B
    90 BB
    120 RBI
    1.050 OPS

    In fact, I can see the 2013 Reds lineup with 5 legitimate all star candidates, just from the position players, going into the season.

    Now, about extending Latos & Bailey…

  88. hermanbates

    If the Reds are so ready and willing to roll with Choo or Bruce in center, I doubt Billy Hamilton’s call-up will be a result of his super-duper outstanding defense. He’s going to be expected to do one thing- get on base. Any way he feasibly can.

    As for Mesoraco, what he needs most right now is confidence. You tell him “you get 2 of every five games son. Go out there and MAKE me play you more.” Besides, he’s not going to learn how to handle the Reds rotation, nor will he learn how to handle major league pitching in Louisville. Being able to learn the nuances from one of the best defensive catchers in all of MLB is an invaluable resource for Mseo and the Reds. If you plan on sending him down, might as well trade him for something you’ll use. Meso needs to be with the big league club. Nothing will be better for him.

  89. Shchi Cossack

    I still see WJ having chips to play if he so chooses. Hoover and Simon have to be strong candidates for the 25 man roster out of the bullpen and Masset should be healthy so he would be another addition to the 25 man roster out of the bullpen. The bullpen is simply stocked with proven, quality pitchers (even if Chapman starts):

    Broxton
    Masset
    Marshall
    Hoover
    Simon
    LeCure
    Arredondo
    Ondrusek

    If Chapman closes, then one of those relievers must go. The starting pitching is also stocked with proven, quality pitchers (even if Chapman closes):

    Cueto
    Latos
    Arroyo
    Bailey
    Leake

    If Chapman starts, then one of those starters must go. This year, the pitching prospects are starting to line up at AAA:

    Cingrani
    Corcino
    Lotzar
    Redmond
    Villareal

    De La Rosa
    Freeman
    Partch

    Spring training can’t get here soon enough.

  90. rfay00

    The Dbacks GM needs fired. I love Gregorious as much as the next guy, but calling him the next Derek Jeter is stupid.

  91. per14

    I haven’t read all the comments (too many! :))

    I like this deal but I think we are kidding ourselves if we think Choo can play CF. (In fact, one commentator I read said the Reds are “delusional” if they think that.) So…..the Reds get a huge gain on offense and a huge lose on defense.

  92. redsfanman

    @per14: Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jay Bruce heads to CF in spring training. Also I expect Choo to practice in LF in spring training, in case anything happens to Ludwick long term or for late innings. Chris Heisey presumably wins big as a late inning defensive replacement, a role Stubbs previously blocked him from.

    @Hank Aarons Teammate: Yep – Bauer rubbed the DBacks the wrong way with his training routine and refusing to listen to the catcher. Apparently they thought he’d change his mind, come around, and listen to them, but he didn’t. Instead they got frustrated and traded him. Some of the stuff I read aboout him, about his bad attitude, reminds me of what I used to hear about Mat Latos from Padres fans.

  93. Bob Purkey

    Not sure why everyone is concerned about Scott Boras here, as he has minimal effect except on whatever pricetag he submits in arbitration. Choo’s est. arbitration number is $7.9MM – that’s why Cle included cash to the Reds in the deal. Beyond that, Boras is no issue to the Reds until Choo is a FA, and most believe that he won’t be here in 1 year with Hamilton taking over the position. Therefore, who cares about Boras. . .

  94. rfay00

    Let’s not worry about the OF defense. Look at the Cardinals, they have a decent CF in Jay, but Beltran is suspect and Holliday is probably the worst LF defensively in the game.

    If I can compare something we have that is worrying and find it better than what the WLBs have, I consider it a win.

  95. redsfanman

    I do wonder how Scott Boras feels about his client potentially being asked to play CF – does that help or hurt his free agent value?

  96. per14

    I have to now wonder about signing Ludwick. Take that 15M back, combine that with the 3.5M in this deal, and make a 1 one, 15M offer to Bourn. And yes I know that sounds a little far-fetched, but Bourn allegedly would be interested in that type of deal if the calendar turns and he is still unsigned.

  97. diehardfan06

    Jocketty did what the team needed. A one year player to fill center field until Hamilton is ready. The team just couldn’t continue on with Stubbs and his limitations. One player can really make a difference in a lineup that just got stronger. This should help Phillips who can focus on the hitting in the two spot most of the year. Jocketty still needs to acquire some players to strenghten the bench

  98. GRF

    Reds fan in Cleveland, so I have seen a fair bit of Choo. He still has a very strong arm, but he takes the most bizarre routes to the ball you have ever seen. He also loses what seems like an uncommon number of balls in the sun/lights, and I do not know how the change in parks might affect that. Still like the trade, but I hope Bruce gets a chance to play some CF, at least as a backup plan.

  99. Hank Aarons Teammate

    @per14: Yes, it’s a huge gain/loss in offense/defense. But a huge defensive loss is something I’ll take for a 100 point increase in OBP. That’s a lot of runs.

  100. earmbrister

    My hat’s off to Mr. Steve Mancuso who dared to dream about landing Choo. I assumed that the Reds would have to part with pitching, either from the MLB roster or a quality minor league prospect.

    The price for a one year rental was reasonable. My thoughts:

    * Stubbs could finally turn the corner, but he is no longer a youngster. His plate discipline just seems to get worse and worse with each passing year. What would a bounce back year from Stubbs look like?

    * Didi is a legit MLB defensive SS, but will he ever be able to hit MLB pitching.

    * Any concerns about giving up those two should be mitigated by the likelihood that neither Stubbs or Didi will ever be an above average, if not average, hitter.

    * Love the Reds FINALLY having a great OBP guy at the top of the lineup.

    * Love the Indians GM noting Choo’s good work ethic.

    * Love having 3 legit LH batters in the lineup.

    * Like Donald’s versatility, with experience at 2B, SS, 3B, and the OF.

    * Don’t know about Donald’s defense, but Wilson Valdez was far from spectacular, and Valdez gave you nothing at the plate.

    * Like the Rosenthal comment that the $3.5 Million to the Reds enables them to acquire a good 4 OF’r.

    * Hate to open this can of worms, but do the Reds keep Rolen now? He gives you quality defense, a veteran presence, quality AB’s, and some pop in his bat. The bench could be: Rolen, Donald, Heisey, that 4th OF’r, and Meso. Heisey gives you a competent backup in CF and in the corners. We could be saying goodbye to Xavier Paul, who had a career year last year for the Reds. Was it a one time thing for him? Do you need more pop out of a lefty bench player? Either way, you need a lefty on your bench.

    It’s a great day to be a Reds fan. Can the season start soon enough?

  101. Bob Purkey

    @earmbrister: You have to keep Paul under your scenario, simply to have a LH bat off the bench.

  102. wally mo

    I think the Indians and the Reds both just won big, and mostly at the expense of AZ. For the Reds, this deal makes their offense so much better, and they really only gave up a glove-first prospect who was already blocked.

    The Indians turned one year of Choo and some spare parts (like a weak hitting 1b) into 3 years of Stubbs, 6 years of Trevor Bauer, and 2 decent relievers. That’s a crazy haul. I think they will be able to help Stubbs more than Dusty could, and if Trevor Bauer even turns into a sold 3rd or 4th starter, they did great.

    The Dbacks get Gregorious, who their GM compared to a young Derek Jeter. That’s just crazy talk. Apparently they didn’t like Bauer’s attitude, but to cut bait like that seems very shortsighted. I’m sure he wasn’t great to be around, but at the same time, he’s 22, one year out from being drafted, and a millionaire. A bit of an attitude is hardly surprising. See Bailey, Homer.

    Seems like someone of his talent is worth giving a little time to mature. Maybe not if you get the next Jeter for him though!