Lots of interesting new Reds-related reading material today. C. Trent Rosecrans started the morning off with a long article on Bryan Price. It’s based on an interview with San Diego Padre manager Bud Black, who is a former pitcher/pitching coach. There are also a few quotes from Mat Latos, who likes the idea of Price as manager of the Reds. Here’s the conclusion:
It’s not just that Price is a great pitching coach, Black said, it’s that he’s shown to be a good communicator and leader. That’s what makes a successful manager, not what position he played or his area of expertise.
“The whole thing boils down to whether a manager has those qualities to lead men,” Black said. “And I think that can come from any position.”
John Erardi proposes the Reds consider trading Aroldis Chapman to the Tigers for 21-year-old super-prospect Nick Castellanos. Or maybe starting pitcher Rick Porcello. Erardi bases his argument on the notion that the Reds have basically lowered Chapman’s value for 2014 and beyond by creating a closer-to-starter transition that is fraught with peril. So maybe they should be looking for teams that would use Chapman as a closer and the Tigers fit that bill.
I’d rather have this closer-to-starter conversion be someone else’s problem because:
(1.) I’m not convinced that it will work (the Missile loves the stage and the adrenaline rush of finishing things off, and would prefer being a closer, even though the real money is in starting. Also, he doesn’t yet have a reliable third pitch).
2.) His innings are going to be somewhat limited in 2014, meaning that he doesn’t give you maximum impact as a starter.
Obviously, every other team in baseball knows this, too. But there is at least one place he could go and remain a closer, and it’s the place where his presence would – overnight – change the saddest words to the happiest words: ‘‘The Tigers manager is going to his bullpen.’’
The folks at MLBTR have formulated their estimates of the paydays for the nine Reds eligible for arbitration. My guess for Homer Bailey of being paid between $8-10 million was backed up by MLBTR with their estimate of $9.3 million. They also estimate Mike Leake at making $5.9 million. We’ve discussed Bailey’s situation plenty already. Here’s what MLBTR had to say about Mike Leake’s future:
Leake is also looking at a large salary bump after posting a career-best 3.37 ERA in 192 1/3 innings. He lacks the upside of Bailey, but with two years of control some teams might prefer him. An extension is another option, though there are few recent comparables from Leake’s service class. A five-year contract worth $40MM+ could be fair, though Leake’s low strikeout rate should give the Reds pause.
If Leake really could bring more than Bailey in a trade package, that’s the direction I’d go if I were the Reds, regardless of whether they can resign Bailey.
Red Reporter has a detailed post about possible trade partners for Phillips. Interestingly, one of the leading candidates is the aforementioned Detroit Tigers. Hmm.
And in case you missed it, last Friday Matt Klassen at FanGraphs posted about the on-field case for trading Brandon Phillips. His conclusion about Phillips’ performance is pretty middle-of-the-road, which leads to the conclusion that Phillips has some modest trade value.
This is not to say the Reds would not have a taker, or that they would have to eat most of the contract. Teams need players, second base is not terribly deep, and contenders with money and a hole at second (the reader can make her or his own list) might feel it is worth the investment. They might not give the Reds much back, but if the Reds feel they can fill second for less money, it might be worth it to move the contract and use the money for something else. Yes, Phillips had a down year, but he is still a very useful player, and the contract isn’t an albatross.
Dusty Baker would be flattered to be considered for the Tigers manager’s job, as per an interview with John Lowe at the Detroit Free Press. While another high-profile hire in Motown wouldn’t surprise, it’s hard to imagine them hiring another version of Jim Leyland.
In a short note that throws cold Gatorade on the idea floated by Paul Daugherty this weekend that Chris Speier would be the best candidate for the Reds manager’s job, John Fay rightly points out the Reds have a tight window to announce their manager before the World Series begins (Wednesday). He says they’ll likely wait until after. Then again, Fay also said he thought Dusty Baker’s job was safe the day before the Reds’ manager was fired.