Reds have avoided arbitration with Mike Leake.

The Reds and starting pitcher Mike Leake avoided arbitration early Wednesday morning when the right-hander agreed to a one-year, $3.06 million contract, sources told

The Reds have not made any announcements on the deal.

(though this was posted on the Reds website)

I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

Join the conversation! 49 Comments

  1. Wow. Good for Leake. I wonder what this signals for what Latos and Bailey will get??

  2. Man! 100 million payroll here we come!

  3. Wow, that was a steal!

    Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

  4. @seat101: I think this will be the biggest raise in payroll (by percent, and actual amount) in Reds history.

  5. I’m happy they avoided arbitration. I think it’s a reasonable price for Mike Leake, who has become underrated by Reds fans.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the Reds can work out long term extensions with Homer Bailey and Mat Latos or if they’ll have to settle for a one year compromise. I still wouldn’t be surprised if they went to arbitration with Choo, who they don’t consider to be part of their long term plans – they might not have the same concerns about alienating him.

  6. At least he won’t have to get his T-shirts from the Five Finger Discount bin anymore.

  7. I wonder if they would consider a six man rotation so it helps Chapman with his innings count. If it doesn’t work out for him, he can go back in the pen and we still have the five man rotation. We have some young arms in the wings to put more pressure on the starters.

    • I wonder if they would consider a six man rotation so it helps Chapman with his innings count. If it doesn’t work out for him, he can go back in the pen and we still have the five man rotation. We have some young arms in the wings to put more pressure on the starters.

      I don’t think so. I’ve said it before, if there’s a book on how to manage young pitchers I think they’ll follow it word for word rather than come up with some new plan to manage Chapman. They want Cueto, Latos, and Bailey to pitch every 5th day and they’re facing a roster crunch in the bullpen. If Chapman can’t fill the role of a MLB starter they shouldn’t ask him to start.

      I see two options:
      -Chapman to the bullpen and Leake into the rotation, like last year.
      -Chapman into the rotation, Leake to AAA until a rotation spot opens.

    • I wonder if they would consider a six man rotation so it helps Chapman with his innings count. If it doesn’t work out for him, he can go back in the pen and we still have the five man rotation. We have some young arms in the wings to put more pressure on the starters.

      Obviously you weren’t here when Redlegnation burned over this topic.

  8. Off topic: Has anyone heard about FSO doing Reds Rewind Classics this year? It’s kind of redundant with all the video online, but I still enjoy rewatching those games on the big screen.

    Bailey’s no-hitter and Votto’s 3-HR game would be obvious choices for the series this year.

  9. One other Chapman option would be to have him start the year in the bullpen and use Leake as the fifth starter. In May, move Chapman to the rotation. That’s a better way to keep his innings down but still allow him to pitch into the playoffs. I think the Harpers would have handled Strasburg that way if they’d have known they were going to make the playoffs.

  10. I think we should look at how the Braves used Medlen last year. While he did not win the play-in game, he was still able to pitch where Strasburg was forced to sit and watch all of the playoffs. The Braves were smarter about how to get the best use out of his innings than Washington was. Perhaps instead of starting the year in the pen like the Braves did with Medlen, we start Chapman at Louisville (if he has options) and let him start games under a strict pitch/innings limit. Leake can start the year in the rotation and come May, we can bring Chapman up after he is stretched out, conditioned and comfortable being a starter and all that entails. This should, to the best of the Reds’ ability, leave Chapman with enough gas to pitch into October without overworking him. Added bonus, Dusty can’t fall in love with bringing Chapman in from the pen during the first couple of months and keeps him there.

  11. @Steve Mancuso: I’ll agree with that post. See, we can agree on something. Converting him to the rotation midseason might be tougher but I’ll have no objection if the need arises.

    @DatDudeMP: I think starting Chapman in AAA just makes the Reds worse, and they know that. Removing him from the pitching staff is detrimental to both the rotation and the bullpen with little to no benefit. They won’t have to worry about October at all if they shoot themselves in the foot in April. Spring training is about getting guys stretched out.

  12. Outside the Reds I have not heard anyone who thinks moving Chapman to the rotation is a good idea. I still believe in the long run this franchise is better with him as the closer and Leake as the no. 5 starter this year.

  13. ESPN did a picture series of athletes recreating classic record album covers and Brandon Phillips was included in Devo’s “Freedom of Choice”.

    Pretty funny and at least from the posted photos BP hammed it up good with the flower pot hat.

  14. @earl: Whip It will now be his at-bat music.

  15. I can see a major trade on the horizon for the Reds near the end of spring training. Especially if Rolen returns. I can see a starting pitcher, a veteran reliever, a reserve 3B and an OF being packaged for something the Reds might need by the end of spring training. Or for a good AAA or AA prospect. Or for a player another team is marketing or making available.
    I don’t think the Reds will just simply cut or release the odd man out in the bullpen which could be Masset or Arredondo.
    Its a good problem to have, but the Reds have more good players than they have spots on the team. Something will give by the time spring training winds up.

  16. There is a good article on USA Today Sports baseball page this morning. It looks at the top 100 names to know in 2013. It is not the Top 100 prospects, but rather the top 100 players who will make a mark for their team in the 2013 season. The story tells what criteria they used. They did #81-100 today. #81 is the Reds Billy Hamilton. # 95 is Tony Cingrani. #97 is JJ Hoover.
    They think Hoover has the makeup to be the closer. I made a predicition on here a couple of weeks ago that by mid-May Hoover will be the closer in the bullpen by then.

  17. $3M is a pretty nice contract for someone that could theoretically spend part of the year at AAA.

  18. @dn4192: I’ve heard a lot of positive thoughts about moving Aroldis to the rotation, especially from the “numbers guys.” They’ve been talking about it on the ESPN baseball today podcast for a year now.

    I’m not suggesting they trade Leake now because he is a good insurance policy. But, he could be a valuable trade chip come May/June/July if Chapman does well. A league average-ish starter who can go 180 IP and who makes $3M is valuable.

  19. there is a third option redsfanman:

    you start Leake and Chapman on the same day, just like spring training. Chapman starts every 5th day and goes 3 for a month, then goes 4 for a month and then goes 4 for a month. He pitches every fifth day and you keep his innings down for the first 15 starts.

    Leake starts the second half of each game, or the first half. It really doesn’t matter. Chapman is a reliever now, so he could come in the 7th and finish the game in April, come in in the 6th in May and then in the 5th in June

    Then you get Chapman into a starters routine and keep him there. You skip his turn when 5th starter isn’t needed and skip him at the all star break.

    Our staff is deep and they could do this easily. Leake and Chapman would give the rest of the pen the day off.

    Pitching Chapman every 5th day is key, not having him pitch every other day in the pen for half a year

  20. @reaganspad: The options are letting Chapman start or close, I don’t think the Reds will consider using him as a glorified long reliever, which is what you’re suggesting. The pitching staff doesn’t become very deep anymore if two pitchers are reserved to getting through 7 innings every 5th day. That’s a crazy untraditional option which seems to contradict everything Jocketty, Dusty, and Bryan Price have valued in the past.

    I agree you need to get Chapman into a starter’s routine and keep him there. If he can’t handle the starter’s routine then don’t convert him. Taking it half way – 3 innings every 5th day – is crazy – it makes the rotation weaker, makes the bullpen pitch more (vs if Leake just started every 5th day), and weakens the closer Role by turning to Broxton. It doesn’t put the Reds in a position to contend in the playoffs, it makes them a longshot to reach the playoffs.

    @WVRedlegs: I really doubt we’ll see any significant trades in spring training, especially to give up the depth that they have. Last spring I believe we saw Juan Francisco and Paul Janish traded and I doubt we’ll see anything more significant. Useless expendable guys, like Neftali Soto, might be traded, but I think that’s it. Nick Masset, for example, probably doesn’t have much trade value right now.

  21. That is an April May schedule redsfanman, which is better than pitching him every other day in the pen.

    It is not a crazy idea. You have 6 starters, and you are easing one into a new role. Fortunately, I think Price is one great pitching coach, and your saying Chapman can’t start and my saying he can will mean nothing to him. He will do what is best for the team, who is losing Arroyo in a year.

    He has done very well with all of the pitchers on this team. He can easily handle making Chapman a starter.

    And Broxton is more than capable of converting 38 of 44 with this team

  22. @reaganspad: If the Reds struggle in April and May they might not have to worry about October and the playoffs, like I said. If they have an overworked bullpen with 6 relievers and a mediocre closer in Jonathan Broxton they can blow a lot of games early on. All this to block Mike Leake.

    I agree Price is a great pitching coach. I think he’ll be really protective of Aroldis Chapman though if they try to convert him, which isn’t consistent with filling a long relief role (innings 1-3) of a game. If Chapman isn’t capable of filling the role of a starting pitcher on opening day it seems unlikely that Price will let him start.

    The Reds are likely to break camp with 13 hitters, 5 starting pitchers, and 7 relievers. Starting off with 6 starters, 6 relievers, and a voluntary downgrade in the closer role seems very inconsistent with what they’ve always done. Is that what’s best for the team? I guess we’re in disagreement.

    Bronson Arroyo will be gone one day but he isn’t gone yet. Neither is Mike Leake. Or Tony Cingrani.

    We’re all hoping to see Jonathan Broxton at his finest. I never understand why his 2010 and 2011 seasons get completely ignored. His ERA for a season can range anywhere from ~2.50 to 4+. In my opinion he’s a big question mark – will we get the star Dodgers’ closer or the guy the Dodgers dumped from the closer role? The Dodgers dumped him from the closer role, how much leeway would the Reds give him?

    • @reaganspad: If the Reds struggle in April and May they might not have to worry about October and the playoffs, like I said.

      They struggled last April and May. They still made the playoffs.

      They will more likely come in Opening Day with 14 hitters, 4 starters, and 7 relievers, since the 5th man won’t be needed until the 5th game. That gives Baker another hitter he can use during those games. This isn’t an uncommon strategy for teams to do.

  23. @reaganspad: I choose to believe that with Choo getting on base every at bat, and the rest knocking him in, the Reds will never need a closer all season… with the starting pitching they have, they’ll be up by so many runs that Dusty will be rendered helpless by the scoreboard to use a closer! 🙂 Everybody can start!

  24. @redsfanman:

    The Reds do not need to have Chapman as the closer. If Broxton starts to get shelled, the Reds will turn to JJ “Dy-no-mite” Hoover to close out games. I couldn’t resist the “Good Times”/Jimmie Walker reference.

  25. @WVRedlegs: JJ Hoover had a great season, no question about it. The Reds, however, have been through a bunch of closers of the future though, including Ryan Wagner and Nick Masset. I think it’s also premature to decide that Hoover deserves that job, but we’ll see! He should be fun to watch.

    In my humble opinion if Broxton and Chapman are both out of the role I’d want (and expect) them to turn to Sean Marshall next. I think his big problem in his brief stint as the Reds’ closer wasn’t that he pitched badly, it was that Aroldis Chapman was unbelievably good. In my opinion Parra’s acquisition makes Marshall a more appropriate candidate to close. But we’ll see. Maybe Hoover can pick up where he left off and continue to improve.

  26. sending mike leake to the minors for a while is fine, and $3 million this year doesn’t change that fact.

    first, leake has been worth about 1.5 wins per year since he’s come up, and at free agent rates, that would be worth about $7 million. so if leake makes half a season worth of starts he’s still likely to be a value.

    second, the reds HAVE to try chapman in the rotation. they HAVE to. they don’t have to keep him there if it doesn’t work, but there isn’t a reasonable argument for why they shouldn’t try him. the cost of trying him is too small for the possible benefit.

    if they give chapman 8 starts and he bombs the reds are still likely to win a few of those games. if leake made those starts they’d probably go about .500. so to find out whether you have the next david price, all you have to risk is maybe losing a couple extra games. they HAVE to try it.

    third, and most importantly, the reds had 5 starters not miss a start last year, and the odds are they won’t be that lucky this year. going into the year with 6 starters is a GREAT idea. having a league average starter waiting in the wings in AAA is just good business, because we have to assume that someone in the rotation is going to miss some starts.

    a good insurance policy, that allows you to make a move you HAVE to try, at a reasonable price even if he starts half the year in AAA. i like it.

  27. @WVRedlegs: not to rain on the parade, as i’m excited about seeing what hoover can do, but i think more guarded optimism is appropriate.

    if you look at his peripherals, his predicted ERA was a lot higher than his actual ERA. mostly he walked a fair amout of guys, had a very low BABIP, stranded more guys than average, and gave up very few groundballs while giving up very few HR (tough to do).

    i think he can still be an effective reliever, but let’s see if he can do it for a full season before we give him the closer job. if he keeps walking 4 per 9, a few more hits drop in, a few more of those flyballs (76% of balls in play) go over the wall, and a few less guys get stranded, he could be sporting an ERA closer to 4.00 than to 2.00.

  28. Lest we forget, a slash line of .295/.306/.443 ain’t bad. Mike Leake can hit and he hits lefties and righties equally well. It’s just a matter of making a decision to utilize him in such a capacity.

  29. 3 mil for even a mediocre starter who can do some things from your bench isn’t bad. Even if he doesn’t start, that’s a good problem to have. He’s earned a little cash. He is athletic enough to use in other ways. Maybe an Ankiel in the making. I understand that someone is trying that with Micah Owings right now. I still think we should have.

    I second the motion to turn to Marshall if Broxton struggles or is injured. We have already mishandled Chapman enough without jerking him out of the rotation and back into a closer role. I am still in the camp that thinks Marshall is a superior pitcher to Broxton and has a much longer future. If Parra pans out, he and Jose can handle the lefty duties and let Sean close.

  30. @preach: The solution to having too many starting pitchers for a team with a history of failing to draft and develop starting pitchers isn’t to start converting them to hitters to get them out of the way. Mike Leake has been reasonably successful and is years of struggles away from having to make a switch like Ankiel and Owings.

    Thanks for seconding the Marshall for closer motion. I think Dusty already showed last season that Marshall is near the top of the list of candidates, behind Chapman and Broxton. Sean Marshall also has the benefit of being very consistent, putting up comparable numbers every year (ERA around 2.5, WHIP around 1.15) since he became a full-time reliever, while Broxton has had questionable seasons to get him dumped from a closer’s role.

    @steveschoen: They struggled in April and May of 2011 – partially due to injuries to starters – and it was downhill from there, in my opinion. I don’t want to see that happen again.

    @al: The Reds’ starting pitching options aren’t just 6 guys, the caliber doesn’t just drop off a huge cliff after Chapman and Leake. Tony Cingrani is probably ready. Chapman is one of 7 decent rotation candidates for five spots but, without question, the best option for closer.

  31. @Shchi Cossack: @preach: Love the way you guys think.

  32. They need to have chapman pitch about 120-130 innings as a starter. then move him back to the pen. That way they can still get some use out of him during the playoff.

  33. I was a big proponent of Chapman to the rotation but am beginning to be swayed in my opinion. I look at a blend of sabermetrics and traditional thinking and try to form my own opinions from all the available data. Several of the more traditional types are suggesting that moving Chapman to the rotation carries very significant risks. They don’t feel it would be a simple matter to put him back in the bullpen should he start the season as a starter and they aren’t sure he has a good enough secondary pitch, let alone a tertiary pitch, to be very successful as a starter.

    Perhaps if the Reds were on the border of being a potential playoff team, the move would make a lot more sense to me. The Reds have a good team this year, with a goal of making a deep playoff run. For a team that is eying the World Series, you have to wonder about taking one of the most dominating closers in the game out of his role and into a rotation spot where he may or may not succeed. I rarely agree with Redsfanman but I think he’s right that this may not be as good of an idea as it would seem to be on paper. The Reds sound like they are determined to give him a full shot at starting. The Reds’ brain-trust has been considered old-school and too traditional, but putting Chapman in the rotation goes against traditional thinking. The question is, will it work? If it does, then I will happily be wrong about thinking Chapman should remain the closer.

  34. I actually agree with redsfanman a lot. Just not on the Chapman issue.

    He was our best pitcher in Spring Training where he was starting. He was our best pitcher ERA wise during the season. He came to the club as a starter in Cuba.

    Leake came to the club a once a week starter for ASU. They know how to do this stuff.

    Stud players make these moves all of the time. Chapman is the best athlete on the team. He will be fine.

    Championship teams need a lock down left handed starter. We are too right handed in our staff.

    Mario Soto did just fine with 2 pitches. Chapman has a good slider that buckles knees, but he didn’t throw it a lot in the 9th. You get him to add a change that is in the 80’s anywhere and he is a 20 game winner that splits Cueto and Latos.

    Cingrini is a reliever with closer stuff also

  35. I like this thread a lot, people implying they might agree with me on things sometimes.

    @LWBlogger: Again, in my opinion the logic of converting Chapman depends where the Reds are and what they need. If they were rebuilding and needed to add an ace to become a contender gambling Chapman’s career on a starting experiment would be an easy decision. For the Brewers, Cubs, or Pirates it might make sense, or the Cardinals as they attempt to replace Carpenter. If they had Craig Kimbrel in the bullpen that would be important, but instead they have Broxton. The Reds are the favorites to win the NL Central without converting him to the rotation, and they’ll miss him in the bullpen if he leaves the closer role.

    I don’t think putting Chapman into the rotation goes against traditional thinking, but I believe that managing him in different way than Stephen Strasburg does. 6 man rotation, tandem starters every 5 days, cutting his innings and starts so he’s rested in October, those all go against traditional thinking. I do NOT believe that there is a realistic way for him to get a real chance as a starter in April AND start in October.

    @reaganspad: Starting in spring training is like long relief, 2, 3 or 4 innings, against hitters who are in spring training to get their swings back. Often times against scrubs competing for final roster spots. Spring training performance provides no indication into how a player will perform over a full year, especially related to key factors like endurance.

    Chapman was a starter in Cuba, yep. That was years ago. Most MLB pitchers were starters as teenagers. Sean Marshall, for example, was also a starter a few years ago, but he found a home in the bullpen as a dominant reliever… just like Chapman. Alfredo Simon and Sam LeCure were also starters. The argument that Chapman used to be a starter and therefore should be today, in my opinion, is nonsense.

    Leake came to the club straight out of college, yep. He doesn’t throw very hard, relative to Chapman, but they were still extremely protective and shut him down early in his rookie season. They raised the inning cap after that, but only this year would they have allowed him to pitch a full season, 200+ innings, if he’d been able. That’s old school managing, traditional thinking, whatever you want to call it, same thought processes that resulted in Strasburg getting shut down early. If it happened to Leake and Strasburg it’ll happen to Chapman.

    I never saw Mario Soto pitch but my impression is that he’s really different from Chapman, enough that I don’t see a reason for comparison. Soto was a righty renown for his changeup, Chapman is a lefty who relies almost entirely on his fastball. Tim Wakefield got by with a knuckleball, so what? Chapman isn’t Mario Soto or Tim Wakefield, he’s Aroldis Chapman.

    Championship teams need a lock down left handed starter? Why? I agree that it’d be nice to have more of a variety – not just righties, but I don’ think it’s necessary. I’m concerned with things like ERA and inning totals, not what hand a guy throws with. Maybe Tony Cingrani can be that guy.

    In Cingrani’s professional career with the Reds he’s been a starter, and he’s been dominant. In Chapman’s professional career with the Reds he’s been a reliever, and he’s been dominant. I don’t think they’re about to flip-flop as punishment for excelling in their roles.

    • I like this thread a lot, people implying they might agree with me on things sometimes.

      (Chapman discussion ensues)

      Our argument with you this winter was not any statement that Chapman was best suited for the bullpen. That may very well be the case. It was your “all signs point to Chapman going to the bullpen” statement that completely dismissed the possibility of them even trying him as a starter. I’m not going to let you revise the nature of the discussion.

  36. Congratulations to Todd Redmond for getting claimed by the Baltimore Orioles. Hopefully they’ll give him a chance for a spot on the major league pitching staff.

  37. Looking at the Reds bullpen situation. Most agree the Reds will take 7 relivers out of spring training. It isn’t a given, but its the most likely scenario.
    Barring injury, we have Broxton, Marshall, LeCure, Simon, Ondrusek, and Hoover. That is 6. So we’ll have Masset, Arredondo, Parra, and possibly Mike Leake fighting for 1 spot. And a host of non-roster invitees and AAA an AA pitchers like Josh Judy and Christiani all vying for a spot. The battles for the bullpen, the last two bench spots and the battle for back up C will be interesting in how they unfold.

  38. @WVRedlegs: I think 12 pitchers is a pretty sure thing. The four starters, Chapman (regardless of role), Marshall, and Broxton now seem like the only guarantees, barring injuries. I believe that LeCure and Simon will now have to compete for spots, due to Parra’s arrival, and Ondrusek and Hoover were shipped out to AAA last year and I doubt their roles have become more secure over the winter. Arredondo has a quiet advantage of being the best guy against lefthanded hitters other than Marshall and Chapman.

    I’m predicting Leake as a starter with Chapman, Broxton, Marshall, LeCure, Simon, Hoover, and Arredondo out of the bullpen with Nick Masset trying to reestablish himself in AAA and Parra designated for assignment. It’ll be fun to watch!

    I’m not sure why some pitchers (Christiani, De La Rosa, Freeman, Hayes) were even invited to camp. Batting practice, I guess.

  39. The Cincinnati Reds’ website has a depth chart up, listing Chapman as 6th on the starting pitching depth chart behind Mike Leake. I’m surprised they admitted that.

    • The Cincinnati Reds’ website has a depth chart up, listing Chapman as 6th on the starting pitching depth chart behind Mike Leake. I’m surprised they admitted that.

      They admitted it because very few if any people have been declaring Chapman as “in the starting rotation”. All the Reds moves have been directed at giving Chapman a shot at starting, exactly like what many teams do with having 2-5 guys vying for the 5th man if not the 4th man in the rotation, also. The others would be 6th man down. Make no mistake, Chapman will get a chance to start. But, he isn’t there quite yet.

      If he does make it, we have Broxton closing. If he doesn’t make the starting rotation, we may direct him back to AAA for more starting experience (Cuban starting experience doesn’t necessarily equate to major league starting experience), we may move him back to the pen, we may even trade him or Broxton.

  40. redsfan, the comparison with Soto was that Chapman is also a 2 pitch pitcher at this point. He has a good slider. What he needs to be effective is anything that comes in at a different mph. Change ups are easier to develop in the bigs than breaking pitches are. We see guys every year (Homer Bailey) who develop some new pitch that makes them unhitable, like his spliter has.

    I do not remember how you argued about Homer a few years ago when many wanted him out of town. I never did

    The Wakeman comparison is only for your enjoyment and makes no bearing on the discussion.

    Cingrini was a reliever in college 2 years ago, it is relevant.

    By the end of spring training Chapman was still starting and was still our best pitcher. sure early, guys are getting their swings back

  41. I agree with TC.

    Chapman may end up in the bullpen (which would make the Broxton signing a complete waste, worse that the Cordero signing ever was).

    All signs do not point to Chapman going to the bullpen

  42. All signs did and do point to Chapman returning to the bullpen. Reds personnel only reinforced Chapman’s role as closer during the Reds Caravan. Optimism and blind hope that certain fans will get what they want is the ONLY reason anyone expects Chapman to convert. Fan opinions and who fans want to see (see 2012 Heisey vs Stubbs and Frazier vs Rolen, or fans demanding that Miguel Cairo and Wilson Valdez be released) don’t have much of a bearing in big decisions.

    My points, all the signs:
    -Reds kept all the starters, including Leake, Cingrani, and Corcino
    -The Reds have five starters, without a starting role for Chapman
    -Reds failed to add a lefty specialist (Parra doesn’t count, he’s a longshot to make the team and isn’t effective against lefties)
    -Reds failed to add a reputable closer (last year they added Ryan Madson, this year they added the questionable washed up former Dodgers closer who’d previously lost his job for ineffectiveness, Jonathan Broxton). Even Broxton has admitted that he’s fine with being a setupman, and he didn’t sign with the expectation of a closing role.
    -Reds players and personnel continued to publicly question Chapman’s conversion at Redsfest and on the Reds caravan, recently Jocketty mentioned the possibility of converting Chapman midseason. Nobody is showing any confidence in Chapman’s ability to convert.
    -Reds are trying to improve on last year’s team, which is inconsistent with dismantling the bullpen’s strength
    -In converting Chapman they’d limit innings like they did with Mike Leake (or the Nationals did with Strasburg), which is completely inconsistent with the goal of getting Chapman ready to contribute in October. Dusty and Price are both old fashioned by-the-book guys.
    -The Reds’ goal is to win the World Series in 2013, they’re not rebuilding.

    Signs to the contrary:
    -Some people want to see him start!
    -Chapman started in Cuba!
    -Chapman pitched well in spring training 2012 before emerging as a dominant closer!

    @steveschoen: I really doubt we’ll see Aroldis Chapman sent to AAA. He’s an important weapon out of the Reds’ bullpen and the Reds’ priority in April is to win games and contend. They won’t send Chapman to AAA if they’re serious about winning this year… and they are.

    @reaganspad: I’ve always been a supporter of Homer Bailey, I always though he could put things together and pitch well. For most of his time with the Reds they’d had trouble filling out their rotation as they worked through a rebuilding process, and for the most part he arrived at the right time for that. I was hoping he’d improve so that one day he could help the Reds contend. That time to contend is now though, and in 2013 I won’t be as accepting for a starter who struggles to adapt to MLB.

  43. Signs to the contrary:

    Broxton is a closer, 21.0 million for a middle reliever makes no sense at all.

    Some people only want to see Chapman close

    Chapman was the best pitcher on the team last year in Spring Training and during the season as well. Some would like to see more than 60 innings out of our best pitcher. 140-150 innings of Chapman improves the team. Left handed #1 starting pitchers cost 25 million per year. We have one under contract now who we will not be able to afford in 3 years

    The goal is winning in 2013: I agree. That is why I want Cueto, Chapman, Latos, Bailey in a short series

    The Reds lose 200 innings in 2014 when Bronson moves on. Depth is relative and fleeting.

    Minor league pitchers are just that. see your comments on Bailey’s development. Chapman needs not development to get outs at the major league level. He needs refinement as a starter

  44. @reaganspad: Broxton isn’t a middle reliever, he’s a setupman. Credible closers get paid about $11m/year, like Rafael Soriano. Top quality setupmen who can fill the closer role if necessary, like Marshall and Broxton, both get paid about $5-7m in 2013.

    Chapman isn’t starting in April and also starting games in the playoffs. It just won’t work that way. If he’s starting in April he’ll be shut down before the playoffs. It’s a fact that some fans want to deny.

    Yep, Bronson Arroyo will move on after 2013. They’ll deal with that then. For now the priority is winning in 2013, not preparing for 2014. Maybe that means Chapman starting in 2014, maybe it means Cingrani starting in 2014, but we can start worrying about that in October or November.

    I think Chapman, most importantly, needs to build up endurance while developing his second and third pitches. That’s an opportunity they were able to provide Homer Bailey at the MLB level, but the status of the Reds has switched significantly since then, from a losing team to a contender (in part thanks to Bailey). Unlike with Tony Cingrani the removal of Chapman from the bullpen severely weakens another aspect of the pitching staff.

    Oh well, fun conversation to discuss, but I guess we’ve reached the end of it. Only a few more weeks to find out Dusty’s final decision. Jocketty said on the Reds’ caravan that they’d consider converting Chapman to the rotation midseason if the need arises, which seems like the reasonable conclusion to the spring training rotation debate.

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About Bill Lack

I've been a Reds fan since the late '60's, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in '84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in '90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.


2013 Reds