2014 Reds

202 thoughts on “Report: Reds to offer Arroyo one-year contract

  1. PS the managing change in Cincy will be worth a few more wins. Just like the Reds do not know what they might get if Hamilton plays, the Cards do not know what Wong will give them.

  2. It’s close to Christmas, so best yuletide wishes to all of you. In the spirit of the season, I point out the following, apropos the cost of mlb contracts: If all of the 1000 Bangledeshi garment workers killed in the factory collapse had lived and worked for another 25 years, they would, collectively, have made less than R. Cano will in 2014.

  3. Just throwing this out there; the Reds were able to go to a certain point with Choo. He turned them down; could they reallocate the money and go after Masahiro Tanaka instead? Everything I’ve seen about him makes him out to be a future star. Sure, it’s risky, but so was the Chapman signing and that at least got us an “electrifying” closer and trade chip (not going into anything more there).

  4. From Sheldon’s report on mlb.com…

    New Reds manager Bryan Price has yet to divulge what his 2014 lineup might look like, but it’s possible that Mesoraco could have a higher profile. After he batted mostly seventh or eighth the past two seasons, he might shift closer to the middle of the order

    “That’s what we anticipated with Devin as he was progressing through the system,” Price said. “I think with Devin, [he had] a very pull-oriented approach. As a younger guy coming up through the system, he had a lot power to right-center. I’d like to see him revisit that.”

    You gotta like hearing that comment from the old pitching coach turned manager!

    • @Shchi Cossack: Bam! the Old Cossack knows that of which he texts about.

      All the Reds hitters are better when they go the other way. Jay Bruce emerged last year hitting to left field.

      One thing Phillips does well is go to right field. If Frasier can stay back and go the other way, it will raise his average 30 points also from last year.

      You do not need to pull the ball in GABP

    • @Shchi Cossack:

      I like hearing that. I think Mes starts out in the 6 hole, maybe #5 if Bruce bats 4th.

      But make no mistake, the Reds 40-man roster, let alone the 25-man roster, with the exception of Bruce, does not have a legit #4 hitter as it is currently constructed.
      The acquistion of that #4 hitter to give Votto protection in the lineup has been fumbled horrendously by Jocketty, the Castellinis, and the entire front office this winter.

  5. From what I was reading, it looks like Choo might have missed his turn at the Yankees 100+ million slot machine.

    It will be interesting to see how that shakes out.

    One that that I notice, there just isn’t that many big bats coming to market anymore. It seems that the draft and player development for the greater portion of MLB is really the only place to make a big move towards improving your club.

    • @earl: Maybe Choo will take less money because he really doesn’t want to go to NY. He’s spent most of his MLB career in Ohio. Not that he may take a lot less, but if he doesn’t want to go, than ask for a huge figure. The coasts aren’t for everyone.

      • @preach: I was thinking the same thing. Lots of money, but lots of pressure. (and lots of Koreans. He’d have no personal life.)

  6. The Old Cossack understands the arguments against commiting $100MM+ to an OF entering his age 32 season, but Choo is a truly unique talent that just isn’t available under normal circumstances. I don’t think the Reds can afford to miss out on Choo for any reasonable amount.

    Phillip Ervin is a talented prospect with big upside potential. In his only season of pro ball, Ervin slashed .331/.425/.564. He is entering his age 22 season but he hasn’t played a single inning above A- ball and only has 12 games at the A- level. I would be cautious about declaring him major league ready to start in GABP by 2015.

    Yorman Rodriguez made significant improvement during 2013 (finally!), but in a half season at AA, Yorman produced a .714 OPS. Yorman is entering his age 22 season also and is still developing. He’s a real stretch to be major league ready to start in GABP by 2015 or even 2016.

    Jesse Winker continued to mash the ball by following up his .943 OPS from 2012 in ROK ball with a very solid .841 OPS in A- ball. Winker is entering his age 21 season and has not played an inning above A- level. I can see him being major league ready by 2016 if he continues with his superb development, but he is still young and raw and more likely major league ready by 2017.

    Then we have Billy Hamilton who still hasn’t produced consistently at the AAA level yet and is entering his age 24 season.

    The chance of Hamilton or Ervin being ready to make a serious impact playing CF in GABP at the major league level in 2015 is very good, but the chance of both being major league impact ready by 2015 is still pretty shaky.

    That makes 2016 or 2017 realistic timeframes for some serious OF crowding with emerging talent available and Bruce becme a FA in 2018. The Reds may also be looking for young talent at 3B, SS and starting pitching during the same timeframe. The minor league options for Ervin, Rodriguez and Winker will take care of any need to promote until the player and the Reds are ready in 2018.

    What about a compromise with a 5 year guaranteed contract for Choo at $18MM per with 2 club/vesting options following the 5 guaranteed years, also at $18MM per? The vesting could be something like 600PA & .800 OPS for the prior season with a $5MM buyout if the club doesn’t exercise the option. That gives Choo the big bucks and offers the Reds some relief if Choo regresses significantly or suffers a serious injury.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I agree wholeheartedly with this. I’m not really sure how ‘can’t miss’ any prospects are, much less guys who have struggled. Choo is not a speed guy, and his defense comes from a strong arm. I think he will age pretty well. He’s established and seems to do OK in Cinci. While 5 years from now he may have a regression that will spell some trouble, I think he’s the best shot we have at winning in the near future.

      • @preach: Contending for the near future is as important as 2017, IMO. Dropping back into mediocrity will set the franchise back more than it would cost to spend the extra on Choo.

        • @Johnu1: Agreed. I also think that the front office needs to give Price all the parts necessary to win right now. The name recognition that Choo has helps provide that. This is important even if you could possibly find other avenues that can produce close to the numbers that the name players can. Call it what you want, but there is some pressure to win right now and there has to be a move to support Price by bringing in the perceived best possible.

          • @preach: Nice analysis you old Cossack you. I agree that you can never count on a player until they have done it at the ML level.

            Chris Heisey was a player who looked a lot like the trinkets that we have in the minors. He has never learned to adjust at the ML level. Heisey is another player who needs to discover Right Field and when he does, he will hit better. Now ML pitchers know that he will pull so they pitch him that way. And Heisey swings for the fences.

            If Ervin and Hamilton come to the ML and try to hit like Heisey does and pull the ball to Left Field only, they will fail.

            Walk to Strike out is a big deal for me. Ervin played ball in a major conference in college and is breezing through the minors because they probably started him too low given his talent. But he is on a rocket through the system. Mike Leake went from ASU to the Reds. Big time college players can easily do this these days.

            It would not surprise me to see Ervin in the show in 2014. Maybe not out of camp, he is not an 18 year old kid we are talking about who needs to grow into his body. He is much more like Leake.

            now Hamilton might be me more on the hope side, but I FEEL like he will be ready in 2014 at some point.

            So based on that, I say keep your powder dry Walt. We we have Pitching to pay for soon

            I am fine with Choo for one year and $22.0-25.0 mil. Shoot, we have a need for 1 year. Pay him above market for one year, something that he will not turn down (once his market floats all the way to the bottom)

            make it hard for him to say no for one year.

            I am just not a fan of him for 5-7 years in a Reds uniform. I like Brandon Phillips current contract more than that one

          • @reaganspad: This is the most optimistic post about a Reds prospect I may have ever seen.

            You’re talking about a 20 year old with 200 total plate appearances, most of them in rookie ball. He “breezed” through the minors by going up one level and getting into 12 games.

            I would be pretty shocked if Ervin started at high-A this year, since he only played 12 games at Dayton. But, even if they did decide to just promote him, he needs a lot of ABs. If they started him at high-A and then promoted him to AA in the same season, then he would be officially “rocketing” through the system.

            And that only has him getting to AA.

            Only a minor miracle or total disaster will have Ervin anywhere near the Reds this year. If I had to guess, I would say they are hoping he gets to high-A this year, and can start in AA next year. Then, if everything goes well, he could possibly be a mid-season call up in 2016.

          • @al: you say that as though he came straight from High School. If he had, I would tend to agree with your assessment.

            Major college baseball is not high school. We draft college athletes to get them to the bigs sooner.

            If it takes Ervin 2 and 1/2 more years before he is ready for the bigs then we made a mistake.

            he is 22 in July

            Robert Stephenson will be 21 in February and will hit the big club this year

          • @reaganspad: There are contractual reasons to not move too fast on a guy who might not be ready. The so-called arbitration clock, and all that.

          • @Johnu1: I get that John. And I do not want to see them move someone faster than they can handle. But some guys can jump from AA to the Majors like Sir Albert. My point is that college players are much more ready for the ML’s than most fans think because the college game has gotten so much better. When a guy like Leake moves from ASU to the Reds, you know that others are capable of doing that also

            There are also reasons to do that though if they are ready. 20 million of them per year for 7 years of Choo.

            I think the lack of movement by the Reds to date on this is that they are comfortable with the team go forward and will introduce a few kids soon, like the Frazier, Cozart, Mesaraco class

          • @reaganspad: I’m with you generally on this. I think the Reds are too slow moving their players up. All I am suggesting is that the front office sees this differently. If a guy is ready to play, give him a number and a spot on the roster. Piddling around in Pensacola doesn’t get it for me — when we have guys like Izturis and Hannahan taking up spots on the team.

    • @Shchi Cossack: After looking at the potential free agent outfielders or bats in general the next couple of seasons, Choo is about the best of the whole lot.

      I’m not so sure at this point whether betting 5 years on him might be cagier than believed.

      I know I would bet on him more than Ellsbury, straight up as a player. You never know when injuries are going to happen, but all those missed games in the last 2 out of 3 years would have scared me a bit about Ellsbury, but hey, it’s not my money.

      • @earl: Just for giggles, let’s say the Reds lock up Choo on a multi-year contract and ALL of those OF prospects (Hamilton, Ervin, Rodriguez & Winker) pan out even better than hoped as they reach major-league readiness. The Reds are stocked with an OF to fill any role another club needs and WJ can just let the phone ring until he feels like answering it. WJ’s opening comment on each call will be, “I want your best young starter with at least 4 years of team control.”

  7. Looks more and more like a starting pitcher will be getting dealt as we aquire more sp depth.

    • @Matt WI: WJ seems to be adding starting pitching depth, with this signing and the mulling of another year for Arroyo. Could he be considering trading Homer? We can’t afford to resign Homer for 2015, as well as Latos, Cueto, and Leake for 2016.

      Homer for a bat and a high end pitching prospect? Sign one of the remaining 3 (preferably Latos) and have a 2016 rotation like this?

      High end prospect rec’d for Homer
      Travieso or Contreras ???

      Just when it seemed like we had pitching depth …

      • @earmbrister: Crap, forget Cingrani.

        Take 2:

        High end prospect rec’d for Homer
        Holmberg,Travieso, or Contreras ???

        Well, that looks a good deal better.

        • @earmbrister: You beat me to correcting you about forgetting Cingrani. If Cingrani can develop a legit 3rd pitch I think he can be better than Homer and be at least as good as Cueto and Latos. I don’t really know about any of the other guys, but if we can keep Latos and Cingrani can continue to develop, then that will be a pretty good top of the rotation.

      • @earmbrister: If Arroyo comes into the fold, you’d think that really would signal Leake or Homer being very tradeable. Maybe Walt has some contingency trades lined up if things fall in place.

        And, depending on how the season goes (presumably) without Choo and somehow the team is out of serious contention, Homer may still be a mercenary trade in July for a pretty penny.

        • @Matt WI: I think Leake is the most expendable right now, but I don’t think he’d bring enough to really impact the team immediately and I think that’s why the Homer trade ideas are being talked about.

          • @DevAJS: I’d sell all kinds of high on Leake. There’s fair reason to believe he’ll never have as good as a year again.

        • @Matt WI: If you trade Bailey, you save $9 Mil upfront, less what you pay the players in return. That’s about half a Choo (bless me) for 2014. Ludwick coming off payroll and Hamilton coming on is half a Choo in 2015. Broxton coming off in 2016 is yet another half a Choo. Of course, no one else’s salary will be going up in the meantime (lol), but you get the idea.

          If Bailey is traded for 2 high end, low cost prospects, can the Reds afford to resign Choo?

          • @earmbrister: I don’t think so… it’s a years issue. If they were talking 2-3yrs of paying Choo, that’s one thing. But if Boras is sticking to his guns on 6 or 7, then it would really knock me over to see the Reds pull it off. Seems like if you have Boras as your agent, you’re not really the “hometown discount” kind of guy in the first place.

          • @Matt WI: Yeah, I really like the idea of Choo for the next couple of years, but not for 6 or 7. The Reds are really in an odd position where there is just a bit of a gap until the next group of players is ready for primetime. That’s why even a 1-3 year deal for Choo would be perfect as would a 1 or 2 year deal for Arroyo. As you said, that just doesn’t seem likely though as both are probably looking for the last contract of their careers.

          • @Matt WI: After 4 years, Cousin Brucie will be leaving for free agency (can’t imagine the Reds affording another extension), so years # 5, #6 + will be more affordable. Of course, this is under Master Cossack’s contract structuring of about $ 18 Mil per, which seems quite reasonable to me (chuckle), and assuming that the Reds are willing to take on the extended injury risk. If the market drys up on Choo, Yanks out, Rangers and Tigers looking iffy, can Choo fall back into our laps? I like a 2015 OF of Choo, Hamilton, and Bruce.

      • @earmbrister: High end starting pitching (i.e. Bailey, Latos, Cueto, Leake) is simply too expensive for small to mid market teams to sign as FA or extend just before FA. I do not see the Reds extending any of their starters so 2016 becomes the critical transition season. Cingrani and Stephenson will certainly be anchors in the 2016 starting rotation, but beyond those two pitchers, the 2016 rotation has some real ❓ that must be filled through top prospect development (Travieso & Holmberg), prospects stepping up and seizing the opportunity (Rogers, Contreras, Smith, Crabbe, etc.) trades, draft or international signings. A severe rebound season by Corcino could help that picture.

        Realistically, the next 2 seasons present the best opportunity to win before the pitching staff must be retooled for 2016.

        • @Shchi Cossack: I totally agree on the expense of pitching in general, but I think the Reds can and will be able to lock up one of their pitchers, and that that one pitcher will be Mat Latos. Based on tweets from his wife, it wouldn’t surprise me if that extension happened this off season actually.

          I’m going to just guess for fun here that it’s a 6 year extension. That would mean that our current starters would would be leaving in:

          Bailey 2014
          Cueto 2015
          Leake 2015
          Cingrani 2018
          Latos 2021

          I assume that we will let Bailey, Cueto, and Leake walk, or at least they should. In 2016, we should have three replacements in the form of: Holmberg, Stephenson, Travieso.

          Again, the question to me is, do the Reds think paying Bailey $9+mil in 2014 is worth it, or should they deal him to make the farm system stronger.

          • @al:

            I agree, indeed. If there is a trade involving BP, Bailey, or Chapman, the Reds will have to get a top young SP back in the deal. Now, they won’t get an Archie Bradley (ARI) type. Most every team holds on to those types. But that is why I keep banging the Alex Wood from ATL drum.

  8. Is the reason that Walt has said the Reds are out on Choo because the Reds do not have the money for that big of a contract or because the current market is over valuing Choo and he will not pay that much for him?

    • @cgramanFC: I’d imagine it’s a bit of both, but mostly the former. Already have Votto and BP to large contracts and significant pitching to lock up too down the line. Only Big Bob knows that the answer is of course.

  9. From a business perspective, winning is having a full stadium, top level ad money and great sponsors. The Cubs are winners, from that perspective.

    From a fan’s perspective, a World Series is going to happen once a decade at best, even for the top teams. For many, it happens once in an adult lifetime.

    So exactly what does the Reds front office see as “winning” with this franchise? If they make the playoffs every year, that’s a win, of sorts. Contending is always better than being 20 games out with 80 to play.

    So … can this team “win” with what they are going to take to camp? I’d say … maybe.

  10. Chien Ming Wang? Really, Walt. You’ve turned this off-season into a Dumpster Diving event. If you’re going to Dumpster Dive, let BP hold your ankles, so you can get down in there where the good stuff is.

  11. former cardinal alert:

    Rick Ankiel: The recent baseball nomad, who has played for five different teams since 2010, has decided he wants to play at least one more season, and is reportedly even “willing to sign a minor league deal with a spring training invite” in order to accomplish his goal, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

    • @reaganspad: Going off of the previous mention of dumpster diving, I say we sign him, or at least invite him to Goodyear. Heck, he could be an option for platooning in the outfield and perhaps he can give us some depth in the pitching department.

  12. Orioles have signed Xavier Paul to a minor league deal with a ST invite. He apparently had a good year at the plate in 2013, but is a below average fielder.

    Rotsa Ruck X

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