The baseball winter meetings are taking place this week in Phoenix. With all 30 general managers in attendance, it’s a great time for unfounded rumors and rank speculation, as well as solid reporting, concerning the Reds. Highlights from the last 24 hours:

Player Health

Walt Jocketty says the reports on the health of Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Sean Marshall are good (Rosecrans).

Front Office

The Reds are close to announcing Kevin Towers will join the front office (Rosecrans).

Trading a Starting Pitcher

Numerous reports from baseball executives are circulating that the Reds are willing to discuss (Passan) and listening to offers (Heyman) on their starting pitchers. But Walt Jocketty says plainly that Johnny Cueto is as close as there is (Rosecrans) to untouchable. Reds would have to be absolutely overwhelmed (Heyman) to deal Cueto. The feeling is Cueto is likely to stay (Passan) with the Reds. Trading Cueto would be a big step back (Rosenthal). This is an indication the Reds will look to extend Cueto (Bowden).

Latos, Leake and Simon, for various reasons, wouldn’t bring anything near what Cueto would (Heyman). The Reds are willing to trade Mike Leake, Mat Latos or Alfredo Simon because with Tony Cingrani, Robert Stephenson, Michael Lorenzen and Ben Lively, the organization has several young, cheap arms (Passan). [I’d add Rasial Iglesias to that list.].

Left Fielder

The Reds will need to spend on offense (Rosenthal) if they want to compete next season.

Walt Jocketty acknowledges that Nori Aoki and Michael Morse are on the list of possible LF, but notes the Reds aren’t limited to them. Offense is first priority. Trades are in play.(Rosecrans)

The Phillies are in sell mode. Outfielder Marlon Byrd might be a match with Cincinnati. (Salisbury)

Wick Terrell at Red Reporter adds Alejandro De Aza to the list of outfielders who might interest the Reds. De Aza may be the odd man out for the Orioles if they can resign Nick Markakis.

Should the Reds look further than AAA Louisville for their next LF? That’s the question Doug Gray asks at his great site, RedsMinorLeagues.com.

 

181 Responses

  1. redsfan06

    Well, that’s one stop shopping for reading material. Thanks for all the links.

    With Byrd’s stats.he looks like an older version of Cespedes hitting-wise, maybe even a little better at getting on base. At 37, the Phillies shouldn’t be asking as much for him as Boston would want for Cespedes. What do you think about him as a 1 year fill in?

    • Dale Pearl

      I like it it gives the one year deal that we need. I also like the idea of Ichiro. Why not both and have one spell the other?

      • chezpayton

        I’m an ichiro guy too. I don’t know why. I just think he’ll dominate with the Reds.

      • HELLSBELLS

        Byrd is for 2 years, as a trade vests his option. He will be nearing 40 by the end of the deal.

      • geneo75

        lchiro is a bad ideal. l’d rather have Aoki. and the reds have hiesey.

  2. droomac

    Is there any speculation/innuendo related to Walt’s timeline to do something?…..If they have intentions to pursue Aoki or Morse, I’m guessing they will have to strike early. Or, is it possible that Walt will wait until things shake out after the winter meetings?

    • preacherj

      Have no fear: Walt has the sundial all fired up.

  3. redsfan06

    Just took a closer look at Byrd’s stats. His 110 OPS+ was a pretty good drop from about 135 the previous couple of years. And his strikeout/walk ratio of 185/35 is awful. Maybe he is experiencing the aging curve.

      • lwblogger2

        I think it’s mostly age. Of course no PED usage may be compounding it.

  4. Chris

    Byrd should have been signed two season ago. Sigh. What could have been.

    • Tom Reed

      You nailed it. But, better late than never if Byrd is the one-year rental we need.

  5. George Mirones

    Hey Steve dig in to your piggy bank and pull some of those old 20’s and 50’s out and be at the meetings. Can’t be much more than $3000 or so. 🙂
    That way you don’t need to rely on others. You never know maybe you and Walt can have a conversation about team building.

  6. redmountain

    I think there is a lot of validity in what Gray is saying. I would not be surprised to see any of three or four OF will be ready this year, especially for LF.

    • tct

      Love Doug’s site and I am a big believer in building a strong farm system. But I think you may be over rating the system as a whole, or over rating prospects in general.

      There have been several studies over the past ten years that look at the success and bust rates of Baseball America top 100 prospects. All of them have come to similar conclusions: that 2/3 of position player prospects bust and 3/4 of pitching prospects bust. They define bust as less than 1.5 WAR yearly in the cost controlled years. So, some of these busts may have been decent bench players or relievers, or had one or two good years before falling off. An interesting thing is that the top 20 prospects only had a bust rate of 50%. But once you got past 40, there was virtually no difference in success and bust rates. The 95th best prospect has about the same chances as the 45th.

      So, 2/3 of hitting prospects bust. And those are top 100 guys. Winker is the only reds position player who is a top 100 guy right now, so you would expect the bust rates for the other guys to be even higher. Realistically, the reds will be doing well if just one of the Waldrop/Ervin/Yorman trio end up being average major leaguers.

  7. ToddAlmighty

    I really hope the Cueto thing is just posturing for a better offer. Otherwise what I read from all of that is….

    1. The Reds aren’t looking to trade one of the two guys who’ll get them the most in return despite being gone in FA in 2016 anyway.

    2. They might trade for a 37-year-old PED user who hasn’t had a BB% over 5.5 since 2008 (Really), and is 550 PA in 2015 from having an $8m vesting option for 2016.

    Not a good start to the day, or to the winter meetings rumors.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I still don’t think they will consider trading one of them until the trade deadline. Because trading one can directly mean they will extend the other. I would think they would want Latos to prove he’s healthy. So, they will give him time to do that. If they prove Latos is healthy and effective, they will look to extend him and trade Cueto. If Latos proves not healthy and/or effective, then they will look to extend Cueto.

      As well as, if they were to trade Cueto, who takes his starts? I honestly don’t think the club gets significantly better by trading Cueto. The offense may, but the pitching would take a significant drop.

      And, also, like you alluded to, there are many parts to consider when trading someone. Remember, we have to want what the other team has, the other team has to be willing to part with that/those player(s), and both teams need to be able to agree on dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. Trading is never “The best thing to do is to trade that player” and it gets done. That’s one reason why I don’t think we were able to trade BP and Homer the other season, we were asking for too much. So now, we are stuck with Homer’s poor contract and BP’s poor contract.

      • ToddAlmighty

        Sorry, should have been more specific. When I mentioned the two guys who’ll get them the most in return, Cueto was #1 and Chapman was #2.

        I know Latos is available for trade, but they’d be silly to do it because they wouldn’t get enough back since there’s a lot of question marks about his health, conditioning, and his velocity right now. That’s why Walt will probably do it. Lol

        No matter who they trade, Cueto isn’t getting extended. They can talk otherwise, but the Reds simply don’t have 6yr/$150m to pay him.

        – – –

        I don’t think they were ever interested in trading Homer. They believed in him far too much. More than they should have. It’s why he got overpaid. Same with BP. For some reason this team views him as a #2, #3, and #4 hitter, which he is none of.

        As I said, I hope the whole holding onto Cueto thing is just a ploy to position for a better offer, because I know the Red Sox are in the market for a #1 pitcher and if I were Walt, I would try with all my might to try and pry Betts from them, who is surrounded by a lot of trade talk.

      • Steve Mancuso

        >>No matter who they trade, Cueto isn’t getting extended. They can talk otherwise, but the Reds simply don’t have 6yr/$150m to pay him.

        Yes. And even if they could find the money, they shouldn’t pay it.

      • Timberghost

        Cueto and Lutz for Stanton…Cozart/Chapman/Simon for Simmons

      • tct

        I keep seeing people asking the question of who will take Cueto’s starts if they trade him. The thing is, there are a bunch of decent starting pitchers on the free agent market. I think the reds would be better off filling their offensive needs by trading Cueto for a young hitter, or hitters, with team control and then signing a starting pitcher with the money saved. There are a lot of guys who could be had on one or two year deals for less than ten million per. AJ Burnett.or Ryan Vogelsong won’t be getting much because of their age. Justin Masterson is a ground ball guy who might fit in well in GABP. He had a bad year last year, but the Indians also had one of the worst defenses in the majors. He goes from the worst to one of the best and he could see a bounce back. There’s lots of others: Gavin Floyd, Brett Anderson,etc.

        I would rather the reds try to get someone like Pederson or Bogaerts for Cueto and sign Masterson rather than keep Cueto and sign Aoki for three years.

      • lwblogger2

        Good call on Masterson. It was only a short time ago that he was considered a good comp to Bailey. If he can bounce back, the Reds have a legit starting pitcher at a bargain rate by signing him. Of course I’m sure that there are at least a few other teams that might feel exactly the same way about him and that could drive the price up some.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        But, then, why not keep Cueto for this season and sign a FA LF?

      • tct

        Because Cueto can bring in talent that will be in Cincy for years to come. And because I think it would be much easier to find a decent pitcher at a good price on the free agent market than it would be to find a left fielder.

        In other words: the return for Cueto+ a free agent pitcher is greater than one year of Cueto+ free agent outfielder.

    • jason

      if the Reds keep Cueto that means they are going to lock him up long term since they will have more cash flow with the new tv deal

  8. gusnwally

    I keep wondering why a Chapman to Detroit trade never comes up. They are a closer away from winning at least 2 WS. I think Nick Castellanos would look good in Red. Anybody agree???

    • Jeff

      Nick would look great in any uniform. No way the Tigers do Chapman for Castellanos straight up.

    • Mike Elswick

      I think you keep Chapman and make him the starter you got him for. Trade Simon, Leake or Homer. Can you imagine the big 3 Queto, Latos, and Chapman followed by whoever is left.What about the other kid they signed this year? throw him in the mix and WOW.
      The Red’s need to be either all in to win or start getting rid of some of the everyday players. Votto has not played like he could since he got his contract.He would bringthe most for what the Red’s need. I don’t like quitters and to me that is Votto

      • lwblogger2

        What? Quitter? Dare you to say that to his face.

      • charlottencredsfan

        No kidding – the face part.

        JV strikes me as the tough a guy on this team, with the exception of Johnny Cueto and Devon Mesoraco.

        Mike E. , this guy is broken in down. Did you see him try to play on one leg last year? My fear is, it’s far greater an injury than we suspect. Never, ever questioned JV’s effort but I sure do his health. Try to worry about real stuff like adding more over-the-hill players for money the team can not afford.

      • tct

        Votto signed his contract after 2011. He then put up 6 win seasons in 2012 and 2013, leading the league in OBP both years. He played in every single game in 2013. What do you expect of him? It’s sad that reds fans like you don’t appreciate Votto while he’s here.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yep. Describing Joey Votto as “a quitter” might be the most wrong thing ever written at this blog.

      • Kyle Farmer

        My goodness, the man played on one leg last year. He’s the farthest thing from a quitter.

      • jason

        Chapman throws to hard and is a bit to wild to be a starter…6 or 7 innings at 95 mph plus would be to much on his shoulder he is clearly an elite closer

      • SPRO

        Did you see Yordano Ventura in the playoffs?

  9. VaRedsFan

    If they are dreaming small, then I’d much rather have De Aza over Aoki.

    • VaRedsFan

      Dream BIG if LA is willing to eat some $$$, then yes to KEMP.
      From Ken Rosenthal:

      Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal · Nov 9

      #Dodgers willing to include anything from no money to significant money depending upon return.
      0 replies 167 retweets 91 favorites
      Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal · Nov 9

      Sources: #Dodgers aggressively trying to move Kemp, Crawford or Ethier. Puig not in play.

    • HELLSBELLS

      De Aza is horrible, look at his WAR its below replacement. He may be the worst non-fat huy defender in the league.

      • HELLSBELLS

        OK, even worse. Kemp is the worst defender in the NL. And he is guarenteed to play no more than 100 games a year.

      • lwblogger2

        See, I watched a lot of De Aza and I think the metrics got it wrong as far as his defense. He’s certainly better than Morse out there. With Hamilton in CF, I think the Reds could live with De Aza’s defense in LF.

    • lwblogger2

      De Aza at least has a little pop. His defense is probably on par with Aoki’s.

      • jason

        the Reds dont need a LF’er for defense they need offense and De Aza is not going to cut it

  10. jim t

    The reds must have a very good feeling the can extend Cueto.I hope they are correct. A future rotation of Mike Lorenzen, Robert Steph,Bailey,Cueto and Lively could be very good. i have moved Cingrani to the bull pen. INJURIES AND SECONDARY PITCHES HAVE DETERMINED HE CAN NOT BE A EFFECTIVE FULL SEASON STARTER.

  11. sultanofswaff

    Crosspost—My hot stove thought of the day—the ChiSox are looking for a right handed starting pitcher and would be willing to trade Alexei Ramirez, who has one year left on his deal. I think the Reds match up very well in this deal because we have a surplus of pitching but a deficit of offense, and they’re the exact opposite. I’d offer Leake and Cozart (placeholder for one year until their top prospect is ready), and ask for Ramirez and a bullpen arm as a sweetener.

    • sultanofswaff

      Correction, the ChiSox are also looking for catching. Let’s go big! I’d offer Leake, Cozart, and Pena for Ramirez, Viciedo (21 HR, 122Ks), and Guerra (2.91 ERA in 46 IP).

      We get a stopgap LF, a SS, and a 7th inning bullpen arm.

      • lwblogger2

        I think when you factor in Viciedo, the ChiSox balk at that point. I’m pretty sure that Leake/Cozart would get Ramirez/Guerra though. Assuming that’s a deal the Reds really want to do. Leake has a lot of value as an innings eater and should be a relatively inexpensive and low-risk signing for a starting pitcher. I think he could be signed for Matt Garza or Kyle Loshe money, or even a bit less.

    • VaRedsFan

      I like that SOS…but I’d start with offering Simon/Cozrt then work up to Leake

  12. WVRedlegs

    The GM meetings get some conversations started. Not much will happen this week. The week of Thanksgiving things will heat up. The week before the Winter Meeting in Dec. last year saw an avalanche of deals happen and that will probably be the case again this year. The week of the Winter Meetings last year was a little anit-climatic. This year may not be that way.
    Are there really any Free Agents the Reds can put in LF that can get them over that perverbial offensive hump?? It’ll take a trade I believe to get a good LF. When you shop the bargain basement bin, you have to take whatever you can find. The Reds should be choosy. Go get the best match available for what the Reds need. Just don’t settle for a re-tread.
    Aoki? No.
    Byrd? Please NO!!
    Ichiro? Oh H*ll NO!
    Delmon Young? NO!
    Willingham? No.
    Mark Reynolds? No.
    Colby Rasmus? NO.
    Scott Hairston? No.
    There are only two FA OF’s that I beleive the Reds should kick the tires on. Where the Reds can offer a one year deal and that player would accept a one year deal to re-establish themselves in the friendly hitting confines of GABP. That would be Alex Rios and Kendrys Morales. Rios actually had a nice first half last year before his season was devastated by injuring his thumb and hand. Morales was tagged with the Qualifying Offer/Draft Pick Compensation bug and it seem to devastate his season since he couldn’t sign until June 1. Rios is RH and Morales is a switch hitter. other than that, the trade route seems like the best option.

    • VaRedsFan

      Agree with all of your “NO’s” Would be OK with Rios for 1 year.
      I’d much rather trade for Kemp if LA cut eat some salary. They would, according to Ken Rosenthal.

      • wvredlegs

        When you start to peel back the onion layers on both player’s stats, Rios would be a decent choice over Morales. Morales hasn’t played OF since 2007. Rios has good speed and a pretty decent arm. Not a bad OF at all. One negative about Rios is he hits into a boatload of DP’s for some reason. Another one is Rios has primarily hit in the #3 and #5 spots. Those seem filled with the Reds. But it could allow the Reds to bat Votto second. At first I didn’t think Rios was a good match with the Reds. But as you look at what he could bring to the table, he’s not a bad choice. I would be a bit hesitant to bring in another player who had injury issues last year as the Reds have enough player question marks on players coming off injuries from last year.
        I still think a trade is the best route. I’d rather see the Reds get a younger player than what is available through Free Agency.

      • HELLSBELLS

        Morales? What would he be useful for in the NL?

    • droomac

      I’m not sure why Rios would be the choice over Rasmus. Rios was essentially replacement level in ’14, is older, makes $12.5 million next year, and the Reds would have to send players to Texas to get him. Rasmus is five years younger, can play CF as well as the corners, doesn’t have to be traded for, is one season off of a 5 WAR season, and will likely take a bit less than $12.5 million next year. Plus, if he does really well, the Reds can give him a QO and get a pick out of the deal.

      Now, I am as sick of the whole former Cardinals obsession that Walt has as the next person, but Rasmus may be the best free agent option, all things considered.

      • WVRedlegs

        You need a platoon situation with Rasmus. No offense, but he is brutal offensively. He hasn’t had a good year since 2010. The only 2 things Rasmus has going for him concerning the Reds front office (WJ) is that he is an ex-Cardinal, and that he is 28 years old. Even though Rios is 33, you wouldn’t need a platoon situation, his defense is better, good speed, and his bat is superior to Rasmus. Rasmus usually has more errors than OF assists, not that way with Rios.
        I’d take Rios everyday and twice on Sunday before I would even look at Rasmus. Offensively and defensively, there really is no comparison. If the Red were to sign Rasmus, they might as well put up a 100 ft., neon sign above GABP declaring they are throwing in the towel for the 2015 season.
        Holy jumping catfish, man, Ludwick had much better offensive numbers than Rasmus and Ludwick was shown the door.
        I’m not necessarily advocating signing Rios, but I think he is the best affordable Reds option on the FA market. My preference is to go get a young stud OF who could be moved to RF if Bruce doesn’t rebound in 2015. Then in 2016 Bruce is gone and Winker takes LF.

      • droomac

        Rasmus had a 127 OPS+ in 2013! I believe that is a pretty good offensive year. Steamer also has him projected better (2x the WAR) than Rios for ’15, he can play CF and his defense, though not otherworldly, is adequate for someone who can play all three OF positions. Also, I actually like the idea of sitting Rasmus against lefty LHPs, as I think that Frazier should be playing some LF as well as 3B. Also, since speed is a part of Rios’ game, it is worth noting that his 17 stolen bases came at a 60% clip.

        I am not fervently in favor of signing Rasmus and not totally against signing Rios. None of the free agent options are particularly attractive and there is a good chance that signing Morse, Aoki, Rios, or Rasmus will not actually solve the LF problem for 2015 (I am not sure why I thought Rios was under contract with Texas in ’15). With regard to affordability, I am guessing that Rios is looking for two or three years while Rasmus may well take a one year deal in order to rebuild his value. Of course, avoiding a repeat of the Ludwick contract would be a good idea, so I am all for the one year deal. A bad one year deal is much better than a bad three year deal.

      • WVRedlegs

        I’ll quote WJ, “We have enough guys that strike out. We need to look at guys that get on base.” Rasmus has a 30+ K%. He’s been hurt alot. No thanks.
        2011- .225/.298 129 G’s.
        2012- .223/.289 151 G’s.
        2013- .276/.338 118 G’s.
        2014- .225/.287 104 G’s.
        One decent season out of 4 ain’t bad, I guess. It’d be like having another Cozart bat in the lineup, with a little extra power. I think the Reds should go in the opposite direction from Rasmus.

      • droomac

        I wish the Reds could go in an opposite direction from Rasmus, Rios, Morse, or Aoki. None of these are actually likely to solve the LF problem. It would be nice if there was a great free agent option. However, there are only bad and worse options when it comes to the whole package (price, length of deal, production, etc.). The one thing that I do not want Walt to do is to give more than a one year deal to any of these guys. Morse, Aoki, and Rios are each likely to get more than one year. Rasmus may be willing to settle for a one year deal and, if he has a year like ’13, the Reds will get both the production and the pick that follows his departure. If he craters, well then, see you later and it is tabula rasa for ’16.

      • wvredlegs

        I concur. Agree. Lets go the trade route. I’d rather go younger. But the whole idea is to be much better in LF than the last several years have been. I don’t want to rush Winker. Remember what happened to Bailey. Homer struggled for a few years before he hit his stride. Reds cannot afford to do that with Jesse Winker. Winker may not be the Reds #1 prospect on some charts, but he should be in the eyes of the front office.

    • CP

      The Reds should just get better hitters, period, and not expend too many resources doing so. Pretty solid chance they get a retread, but as long as it is an improvement, it’s a step in the right direction. Stop thinking all-or-nothing…

    • sultanofswaff

      Agreed. The article also goes on to state that the Cardinals don’t want to make commitments to free agents that would block the progress of their prospects. Exactly the right approach. What concerns me from all this talk about our search for a LF is that the Reds could potentially be creating a situation where a replacement level bat would be blocking Winker by mid-season.

      Again, the first priority should be on upgrading SS.

      • tct

        The reds don’t have anywhere close to the same depth as the cardinals do, though. The reds don’t have to worry about blocking prospects because they don’t have any who are major league ready, except for possibly Winker.

        They shouldn’t worry about blocking Winker either. As I’ve said before, the reds had the worst outfield in baseball last year and history shows us that there is a 70% chance that Winker will be a bust. Not upgrading the worst outfield in baseball because you don’t want to block a prospect who hasn’t mastered AA yet seems silly if you want to win this year. On the other hand, if Winker is ready but your new left fielder is also hitting, well, that’s great! You can always trade the new guy if he is producing. Nothing wrong with outfield depth; it’s a good thing.

      • charlottencredsfan

        A young OF would be very welcome if he had it – Christian Yelich. An old guy, forget it. He would absolutely block a better, younger option. Think Frazier-Rolen, Mesoraco-Hanigan, Ludick- the world. Once the Reds hand a guy a position, they are tardy to make a change when one is due. This is the Reds not the Giants.

        You have to be realistic about where you’re at. If an old guy like Rios Aki or Morse sign on; you are stuck with them for at least 2014, regardless of what Winker does at AAA. Sad but true. Getting older is not the answer fellows.

      • tct

        Those were all dusty’s decisions though. Walt called Frazier up in 2012, put him on the playoff roster. Starting Rolen at third, once Votto got healthy was all Dusty. Hannigan over Mesoraco was all Dusty as well. Walt put him on the opening day roster in 2012 over the veteran, Dioner Navarro. Dusty was the one who only played him twice a week. In 2011, Walt got rid of Gomes so that Alonso could get some time in left. Dusty played him in a handful of games and decided that he couldn’t handle it. Maybe he was right, but Alonso never got a fair chance to prove it. And Ludwick didn’t block anybody. He just prevented them from bringing in anyone else.

        I’m often critical of Walt, but the playing time decisions were all up to Dusty when he was here. Now maybe Price doesn’t have the same pull with the owner. Hopefully it won’t matter and Price will give playing time to who ever deserves it, although I will grant you that the playing time Skip, Hannahan, and Ludwick got this year wasn’t encouraging but Price also didn’t have many options.

      • CP

        It’s unlikely Winker is ready in 2015, but having depth in the OF is not a disaster either.

        It’s the extra years that WJ tends to give out that is worrying…

      • charlottencredsfan

        My problem is that “if” Winker “is” ready in 2015, he won’t get a shot because we already have Morse, Aoki, Willingham, etc. for that.

      • tct

        How can you know that though, Charlotte? I’m with you about the reds needing to get younger. I would rather them trade Cueto for young talent. But if they don’t, I would expect them to at least bring in a free agent outfielder for a year or two. I don’t understand why you are so sure that would mean that Winker would be blocked. If they bring in somebody like Morse or Rasmus and they are producing, then the reds would have the option to let Winker take his time in AAA or they could trade the new guy and bring up Winker. If the new guy is producing, what does it matter if Winker has to sit in AAA until Septmber, or even next year? If the new guy isn’t producing, and Winker is ready, I don’t see any reason to believe the reds would not call him up.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Just not their MO but I hope you are right.

      • CP

        Personally, Winker is the least of my worries. Outside of the hole in LF, you have a RF coming off of knee surgery and who struggled, and a CF who may or may not be a pure defensive specialist. If I’m WJ, I cross my fingers that Bruce and Hamilton perform well, but I also look to get some insurance in case Bruce struggles again, or Hamilton’s offense is really that bad.

        WJ shouldn’t invest too many years in an OF so Winker isn’t blocked, but talent ultimately rises to the top. Those situations usually work themselves out.

  13. jessecuster44

    Let’s trade for Gattis and sign Bonifacio for the bench. One idea.

    • PDUNC

      I’ve posted in other threads that I like the idea of Bonifacio for the bench. The defensive flexibility he has to play multiple positions I think would be a big benefit.

  14. wvredlegs

    The bullpen is an area to address this winter. Two moves that would get the Reds away from being one of the worst BP’s to one of the best BP’s. Trade Marshall at all costs. Then sign FA LH reliever Andrew Miller to a 3 year deal at the price it takes to sign him. I know, I know, a multi-year deal for a bullpen guy. Miller would be the only one worth that and to do that with. Miller and Chapman shut down the 8th and 9th innings. Makes it a 7 inning game then. Cingrani can be a starter and work on that at AAA. Iglesias, Jumbo, LeCure, Parra (LOOGY), round out the BP with the last position filled from within.
    We all saw how important the BP is in the post season again this year.

    • HELLSBELLS

      So pay 30 million for a bullpen?

    • charlottencredsfan

      WV, agree with you more times than not but what are you thinking? Another 30+ reliever signed to a 3-year mega dollar deal?? Really? You want to do that? The Reds can stop doing this kind of stuff if they want to.

      • lwblogger2

        I agree with you. I mean, Marshall was a shutdown reliever when signed and had a very positive track-record when it came to his health. There is no way I sign Miller to a 3-year deal.

      • wvredlegs

        Zach Duke is a free agent. Would the Reds bring him back on a ML contract that is affordable??

      • charlottencredsfan

        I like Duke at $800K for 1 year as opposed to Miler at $3-5M/year for 3 years. Some idiot will sign Miler to that type of contract, I bet you. Decent lefty specialists should not be impossible to find at a “very” reasonable contract. What’s Jesse Orosco up to theses days??

  15. wvredlegs

    Want a high OBP player for the bench? Check out former A’s player and free agent Daric Barton. Could be a good signing on a minor league contract. He has been in the A’s system for many years. Double digit BB%. Very good OBP.
    He has bounced between the A’s and AAA for a few years. He had a rough 2014 in Oakland (.158/.264) in very limited AB’s. But at AAA (.261/.371) he was much better. He had a very good 2013 at Oakland (.269/.350) and at AAA (.297/.423). Down a little in 2012 at Oakland (.204/.338) and at AAA (.255/.411).
    Being from the A’s system he could be a good addition to the Reds bench. And he is a former 1st round (2003) pick of the STL Cardinals when WJ was there.
    It could be a slam dunk now, lol.

    • Dale Pearl

      Baron does look good but isn’t he exclusively first base? I suppose he would make for a great Votto backup but not sure if you waste a 25 man slot on him. Teams rarely do on a full time exclusive first backup guy. If he can play some Left or another infield slot that would be an excellent choice.

  16. John smith jr

    Hey why not kick the tires on mark Trumbo d-backs our in rebuild mode trade for him. He can play Lf and if votto keeps staying hurt he can play 1st base.

  17. John smith jr

    I also think we could try and sign a.cabrera put him at ss trade leak and cozart for cespedes.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Thanks for sharing. I realize it’s not popular, around here, but I’m encouraged that Walt is possibly seeing the light. Honestly; I’d rather see a young, exciting team with a bright future that finishes 5th than an old old one that finishes no higher than third place.

      • HELLSBELLS

        I plan to watch the reds for 30 more years hopefully. This current group could make the playoffs, but has been pretty unimpressive in the postseason up to now and is only older.

        Would be fine with 2016 lineup:

        BHam
        Addison Russell or Betts
        Votto
        J. Peterson or Yelich
        Mesoraco
        Frazier
        Winker
        BPhillips

        Now, is that unreasonable? Plenty of pitchers on the way??

      • dradg

        I saw that too. The NY Post (and the Daily News, for that matter) is a rag. I don’t think Walt has a binary decision in front of him – to go all in or blow it up.

      • lwblogger2

        I don’t know. The NY Post is a gossip mag. I don’t know how much I’d buy into it.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yes, and the article is full of sloppy inaccuracies. It also doesn’t make sense or correspond to everything Jocketty has said up to this point. Sure, the Reds could go “all in” or “all out” but why does it have to be one extreme or the other? There are plenty of middle-ground solutions that would be logical. Trading a SP to get a LF seems like right down Broadway, not an extreme.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Agreed. That’s why I was more interested in this team with how they played. They seemed like they wanted to win, were trying to win every game. They seemed much more emotional, much more invested in each game, than the previous years, where they played “the marathon” that Baker admittedly managed for, where the team played more like waiting for a mistake by the other team that would result in us winning the game. Just the hustling made the game so much more enjoyable to watch. Now, I will admit, they need to learn to run with their heads now, not just run. But, I believe it was a lot more enjoyable than just waiting for things to happen. I don’t want to think again of “It’ll come, it’ll come”. I want to see a team attempt to take it.

    • droomac

      Good. However, I think a wholesale fire sale at this point would be counterproductive. Moving Cueto and Chapman this offseason is a no-brainer to me. With the salary freed up, sign a couple of FA position players short-term deals and do try to contend this year. If it doesn’t work out by the deadline, then Latos, Leake, and Simon could be on the move. By this point, Latos may have rebuilt his value a bit. Let’s be honest, with the long-term commitments already on the books, the team desperately needs more cost-controlled talent. Does every prospect work out? Of course not, but having more prospects should increase the odds a bit for ’16 and beyond.

      • greenmtred

        The Reds need more good hitters, whether via trade/free agency or returns to health by current Reds. I’m not in favor of sacking the pitching staff, though, on the theory that our prospects or cheaper free agents can adequately fill their shoes. The Reds could certainly find enough starters one way or the other, but it’s unlikely that they would come close to matching the talent currently on the roster. Creating a weakness to address a different weakness is not a recipe for success.

    • vegastypo

      And I’m having a hard time imagining a ‘fire sale’ — or anything that even remotely resembles one — in the same season that the Reds are hosting the All-Star Game.

  18. WVRedlegs

    The Pirates made an interesting trade yesterday. They parted with LH reliever Justin Wilson to go to the Yankees for C Francisco Cervelli. Does that signal that the Pirates won’t be able to re-sign C Russell Martin? I hope so. Hope to see Martin go away to the AL. I think that weakens the Pirates a little bit for the time being.

  19. 599mrichardson

    The Rays are apparently considering to trade off Ben Zobrist, and seeing how he can play every position (Other than Catcher and Pitcher) he could be a good fit for us. The only downside is that he only has one year left on his contract (But his salary is affordable for us, 7.5 million), but we would have a much better chance of resigning him than Cespedes. Also keep in mind that he had a .272 BA, 10 HR, and a .354 OBP…. Any opinions on trading for Zobrist?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Zobrist is a good player with a strong on-base percentage. Much of his value comes from his versatility. Joe Maddon played him all over the field and hit him in a variety of places in the lineup. I don’t see that virtue as having as much value with the Reds. Zobrist isn’t going to play 2B ahead of BP or SS ahead of ZC. He’s not going to play 1B or 3B or CF. Unlike the Rays, the Reds have established players in other spots. Zobrist would play LF for the Reds. He’d be an upgrade over last year’s LF to be sure.

      • 599mrichardson

        Thanks for the input Steve. And If the Reds were to trade for him, an emphasis on ‘If,’ then I could only assume he would play LF… maybe SS if we were to go through on a Leake/Latos with Cozart for Cespedes trade.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        But, his versatility is something that can assist if we get faced with injuries again. Such as, we could play him at 1st instead of Frazier, keeping Todd at 3rd. When BP went down, we could plug Zobrist in there. In each case, we could have plugged Heisey into LF during that time or platooned him with Schumacher, which I still believe we may do. If we traded BP, I would plug Zobrist there instead of Negron.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Versatility is always a good thing. But the Reds situation is different from the Rays (or your fantasy team). Zobrist was their best 2B, he was their best SS, he was their best 1B, he was their best LF. Because of their manager, he played those positions a lot, regardless of injuries. He only played 21 games in LF. Zobrist will only play 3B, SS, 2B, 1B for the Reds IF someone is injured, which may not happen.

        Zobrist is valuable. Versatility is valuable. He’s just far more valuable on a team like Tampa Bay where they have few stars and set players and an open minded manager. If he comes to the Reds, it’s not so that Chris Heisey can play 140 games in LF.

    • Dale Pearl

      There ya go. Maybe Cueto for Zobrist and a top 20 player? That is what I would ask for but then again maybe that 2.5 million savings from Cueto to Zobrist is what really matters to the ownership right now.

      • tct

        The rays are looking to cut payroll, and a Cueto for Zobrist would add a couple million. If the reds are going to get Zobrist, it will have to be with prospects or pre arb guys, which is basically just Cingrani and Hamilton. I don’t think it would take Winker, but it could take somebody like Lorenzen, Yorman, or Garett. I could see them being interested in Cingrani as well.

      • 599mrichardson

        I like the idea of trading Cingrani for Zobrist; for the Rays won’t be able to resign Hellickson because he is second-year arbitration-eligible, which prices him out of the Rays’ budget. So CIngrani seems like he would be a good fit in the Rays’ rotation, or is that just me?

  20. Tom Reed

    MLB.com lists Johnny Cueto for Justin Upton as ‘a blockbuster trade that makes sense.’ Upton, a free agent in 2016, will make fourteen and a half mil in 2015 at age 28. I’d rather see the Reds extend Cueto with the big bucks and go for a 1 to 2 year rental in left field.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Reds won’t extend Cueto. Simply not room in their budget to give Cueto 6yr/$150m, and still field a complete team. They’d be paying like ~$90m for just Cueto/Votto/Bailey/Bruce/Phillips in 2016 if that were the case. With 20 other roster spots to go.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Well, one thing is, isn’t that about when the current television deal ends? I mean, that was suppose to be a direct reason why the Angels and Dodgers were able to start spending so much on so many FA’s and trades, because they got a lot more money in a new television deal. Similar with other clubs. I believe I remember hearing the Reds unfortunately were one of the last teams to have an expiring television deal. So, just when did that expire?

  21. John smith jr

    I say just like some others just kick the tires on a left fielder. The reds have some good prospects in the minors that’s just a season or two out from being big show ready. We need to win now or our window for a championship will be over then it’s rebuild time. I’ve been a reds fan my whole life I want to see another championship before I die. This team was hurt with injury last year we need to remember that.

  22. ToddAlmighty

    Also.. something I didn’t even thing about with Aoki. To just give a perfect picture of how severely he is lacking in power.. last year in 549 PA, Aoki had 1 HR. Last year in 74 PA, Mike Leake had 2 HR.

    Done.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I’m not worried about power with a person for the 1 hole. Just get on base. Having power in the 1 hole would be nice, yes. But, it’s never been a pre-requisite for me. We have power. We need people on base. That’s where Aoki could assist.

      • Matt WI

        But if Aoki doesn’t deliver significantly on OBP, then the Reds have Aoki, Billy, and Cozart all offering weak at-bats. I’d be higher on an Aoki type if there was indeed another more reliable power source out there.

      • ToddAlmighty

        Plus no matter who they get, they won’t be leadoff. Hamilton will be, regardless of terrible OBP. So Aoki would be #2 with zero power.

  23. WVRedlegs

    LW might find this interesting.
    My friend in Cincinnati who is in the banking/financial sector (with a couple of connections) tells me that the Reds and the Orioles have had some big discussions. It would involve a SP for a LF. Cueto not in the equation and O’s not interested in Simon.
    O’s like Leake’s solid steadiness. O’s also intrigued by upside of healthy Latos. O’s would need time to review Latos’ med. charts and rehab. O’s also have to re-sign Markakis and Cruz to trade Pearce, which they may be on the verge of doing. Reds ownership has to digest giving up one of their SP’s + might have to include a little cash.
    Reds want OF/1B Steve Pearce. Reds only interested in De Aza for a mid-level prospect. Many moving parts here, so if one doesn’t match up, it can collapse the whole thing. No wonder trading can be a difficult road sometimes.
    What Pearce has done in a part-time role for the O’s the last two years has been very good. How is that going to translate into 500-550 AB’s for Pearce is a big question mark and bit of a gamble and risk for the Reds. Is it one worth taking? Pearce isn’t going to command a very high salary if he is still in arbitration years. Maybe around $2.5M.
    Then you ask, what happens to Pearce when Winker is ready? Looking past 2015, Pearce certainly would be a much better bench option than Schumaker.
    Considering the risk/reward aspect of it, the Reds probably should take that gamble. Now if only the planets and the stars can align themselves up just right.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I can’t help thinking the Reds will be looking at more of a fill-in or rental type until Winker or Waldrop are ready. So, if we bring in Pearce, I wouldn’t see him up here after that. He would command too much probably for us to keep on the bench.

    • lwblogger2

      Very interesting. Thanks for the heads-up!

    • lwblogger2

      Pearce is a nice ballplayer. He’s not blessed with great speed but gets decent jumps and gets to what most LF get to; perhaps a few more than average. His arm isn’t great but it’s accurate and he makes good decisions on where to throw the ball. He’s a nice 1B, with sure hands and enough range. I’d like to see him on the Reds. I’d also like to see Leake in an O’s uniform. As an O’s fan as well as a Reds’ fan, if I’m going to lose a player from one of my teams, I’d rather be to another one of my teams… Honestly, from an O’s fan perspective, I’d rather see the O’s let Markakis go and keep Pearce but if you can sign Markakis and flip Pearce for Leake, then maybe that’s a go. That is if you can sign Markakis for less than what a pitcher like Leake will sign for. Not so sure about that one.

      Anyway, I’d like this trade from the Reds fan and the O’s fan perspective. I think it could help both my teams be better in 2015.

    • lwblogger2

      One more thing… If I am moving Leake, I’d probably want a little more back than Pearce. He had a career season last year and he’s 31 years old. I think he can put up another good season if given regular playing time in LF but there is enough risk there that moving an above-average innings eating starting pitcher for him straight up isn’t worth it.

  24. dradg

    Steve – you seem to have your finger on the pulse of potential trade scenarios. What, if anything, are you seeing WRT to DatDude?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Kristopher Negron (29) hit .271/.331/.479 and earned 1.9 fWAR/1.4 bWAR in about 50 games. Brandon Phillips (33) hit .266/.306/.372 and earned 1.8 fWAR/1.7 bWAR in 120 games. We know Negron outperformed his minor league numbers, so we couldn’t expect him to repeat fully. But you have to wonder how much, if any, drop off there would be overall if the Reds played Negron as the everyday 2B instead of Phillips.

      That said, I’d be surprised if BP was traded given his 10/5 status (10-year veteran, 5 years with the same team), which means he can veto any trade. His contract is close to underwater, if not already. Trading BP would help a lot with salary. The “he-called-the-owner-a-liar” urgency is probably less intense, a year later.

      • JoshG

        the only place I could see BP traded is Atlanta

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I have to agree. Even if we are able to trade BP, I can’t help question going with Negron based on the small sample he gave us last season. I have always said, if we trade BP, which I would be for, who’s plan B? Nothing against Negron personally, but I can’t help considering he would be a poor plan B. If I saw his numbers from last season up here for something like 2 seasons up here, then I would definitely say yes.

        Not that it would put me in a funk going with Negron, though. The thing I would probably be concentrating on is I believe Negron will at least be serviceable, aka no more than league average BA, OBP, etc., as well as costing us a lot less which meaning we have more to consider to spend on others.

      • dradg

        Steve – I knew all about 10/5 status, etc. I was just wondering if you’ve heard of any teams kicking the tires on a potential trade. Agree on Negron.

  25. WVRedlegs

    Are the Marlins about to blow the doors off of baseball? I heard on MLB Network radio at lunch Marlins offer to Stanton is 12 yr. / $325MM. Unbelievable.
    Lets hope Votto gets back and becomes a bargain at $22MM or so. Whew.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Need a hard salary cap to stop these kinds of things from happening.

      • ToddAlmighty

        Nope, agreed. It’ll never happen.

        Just think it should, is all.

      • lwblogger2

        An argument certainly could be made that it should happen.

    • Matt WI

      That is bananas. Especially after his facial fracture… I’d want to see that he was ok. They’re never going to know that until he’s really back in live game action. That Chapman recovered so well blew my mind. Might be different for a hitter.

      • RedInInd

        Agree with this. One of my first thoughts when Stanton got hit was “Tony Conigliaro.”

  26. ToddAlmighty

    I really think that the Reds shouldn’t go after a rental or an older player. They need to get a young controllable player for Cueto/Chapman/whatnot. Someone like Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich, Joc Pederson, or Corey Seager… a young guy of that caliber. Someone who can help in 2015, and continue to help for multiple years after.. because I am still not sold on their 2015 chances.

    Still think that SS could be an upgraded position. Sure Cozart has great defense, but nobody’s defense is good enough to eat a .221/.268/.300 offensive output. Think about it. If they can get Seager or Betts, and they manage to put up a 122 OPS+ (Betts had a 128 OPS+ in 213 PA in 2014), it would be like getting an entire extra Cozart’s worth of production with the same amount of PA. Combine that with even a league average LF and it’s a significant increase to the offense.

    • wvredlegs

      When Colletti was GM of the Dodgers, I was hopeful a Cueto for Pederson and Seager trade would be tempting to them. But with Friedman in as GM of the Dodgers, I don’t think Pederson or Seager ever hit the market. I think Friedman would rather have his fingernails and toenails pulled out one by one than part with either Pederson, Seager or Urias. Thats the kind of return the Reds have to get back if they trade Cueto. Two of those 3.
      And Yelich probably never gets offered by the Marlins, as they would need his low cost to help offset some of Stanton’s upcoming mega-deal. And thats a bit disappointing from our view point.

      • ToddAlmighty

        Don’t need two of the three, I would do Seager for Cueto, straight up. Then I would give him a chance in Spring Training to win the Opening Day job. Know it was just AA, but he hit .345/.381/.534 in AA… as a shortstop.

        20-year-old SS who hit 50 2B and 20 HR in the minors last year. Yes please.

        I would take 6 years of Seager in a heartbeat over 1 year of Justin Upton. Or some of the other trades suggested. Heck, I would probably take 6 years of Pederson over 1 year of Upton as well. Sure he struggled a bit in his tiny sample size 38 PA in the majors, but his on base skills didn’t struggle. Even hitting .143 he managed a .351 OBP. Guy hit .303/.435/.582 in AAA last season.

        So yeah, don’t need both for Cueto, just one. If the Reds can get both a major upgrade at LF and SS, I might have to actually get a little optimistic for 2015.

    • Tom Diesman

      I think the answer to that will totally depend on what if anything the Reds front office does to adequately address the weak bench and to ensure adequate depth at each position. They failed miserably at this last season and thus far they have their hands positioned under their arses, as usual, as the low tier and minor league FA begin disappearing. They’ve proven that they are not good at this, and there are no signs yet that they’ve learned anything from past failures. So right now it’s looking like we would probably again replace an injured Votto with a less that league average bat and struggle to scores runs again this season.

      • ohiojimw

        Love your description of posture of the Reds front office. Now watch them pull a big blockbuster and make us look silly 🙂

        I think the issue is that they lack fluidity of thought and action. They take their good old time mapping a strategy then doggedly pursue it with oblivion to other developments going on around them. I guess it is a sort of home run or nothing approach; and they’ve been looking at a lot of called third strikes since the Choo deal.

  27. Dale Pearl

    Do you guys think that this is the season that is going to define Joey Votto? Sink or swim so to speak.

    • ohiojimw

      Votto is already to a large degree defined. Prior to the knee injury, he had put together several seasons which had earned him the tag as one of the best (as in top 5 probably, top 10 definitely) hitters in the game. He was one of those guys about whom was said that he was a sure fire hall of famer barring injury. Then the injury happened; but while the injury has changed what transpired since, it doesn’t take away or even diminish what he had done prior.

      In 2013, Votto demonstrated that he was still a premier hitter, although of a different ilk, i.e. with much diminished power. However when it came to keeping the train moving and saving outs, Votto remained among the best around. The Reds problem was that they had planned and budgeted for Votto to be a premier slugger and, they had nobody to take up the slack created by Votto’s loss of power. This problem was made worse because in the absence of a slugger, the Reds were also a hitter or two short in terms of having enough strong OPB guys to really reap the value of Votto’s OBP skills.

      In 2014, Votto was physically incapable of performing, start and end of story

      In 2015 if Joey Votto is healthy expect to see a premier hitter of one type or another. What type of premier hitter he is may well define how the Reds approach the future, whether they keep Votto and shape their future development around what they expect from Votto;or, perhaps they look for salary relief by sending him elsewhere such as to the other league where he might better contribute (and save his legs into the future) as a DH. If in 2015, Votto is unable to stay on the field, the Reds will likely get down to seriously researching what options they have under the terms of whatever sort of insurance coverage they have on Votto. For both Votto and the Reds, let’s hope that is not what is taking place.

      • ToddAlmighty

        Here’s an interesting question, Jim. What if.. in 2013 Votto was actually healthy and his diminished power was actually a matter of a league-wide drop? Sure when he came back in 2012 he didn’t have power, but in 2013 he hit 24 HR. Less than his average of 28.75 between 2008-2011, but not significantly so.

        The thing is, in 2013 there were only 3 people in the NL who hit at least 30 HR. Down from 10 in 2012 and 12 in 2011. So was his lower total in 2013 a product of diminished power from the injury in 2012, or the NL simply missing a lot of it’s power overall?

        If you take away June from 2014, where Votto was basically batting on one leg and falling down each swing, he hit 6 HR in 173 PA prior. If you figure his 726 PA in 2013, that would be 25 HR. Actually 1 HR above where he was at in 2013… considering that once again there were only 3 people in the NL who hit 30 or more HR in 2014, 25 HR would have put him tied for 8th in the NL.

        – – –
        So while it’s obvious that he has no power when he’s hurt, I think we might be overreacting about his loss of power when he’s healthy, because HRs have been down in the NL.

        In 2012, Milwaukee led the NL with 202 HR, with Washington second with 194 HR.
        In 2013, Atlanta led the NL with 181 HR, with Chigaco second with 172 HR.
        In 2014, Colorado led the NL with 186 HR, with Chicago second with ***156 HR***.

        I think so long at he’s healthy, a 25 HR Votto is the same Votto that was hitting 29 HR in 2011.. just that the landscape of the NL has changed.

      • charlottencredsfan

        This is an example of what makes RLN a cut above the rest. Great research, Todd.

      • lwblogger2

        If he played most the season, even with his “lack of power”, he would have been over 20HR and over 32 doubles. That’s not too bad. He also hit 3 triples in 2013. Reports are that he’s feeling well and that he’s doing well. I need to work up my projection for him but I think Steamer’s .280/.409/.470 in 541 PA is a little conservative. I think he’ll be better than that and I’d take the Steamer projection.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I also think the other teams had him figured out in 2013, as in how to minimize his effectiveness. They know he’s a batter who’s going to let pitches go by, take a lot of pitches. So, they get 2 strikes on him as quick as possible. Then, they start to pick at the edges, pitches that could go for K’s or BB’s, balls that would be difficult for anyone to connect with any power. If he connects on these, the ball more than likely isn’t going anywhere with any power. If he misses or lets it go for a K, “strike 3”. If he let’s it go for a ball, he only gets one base and moves one baserunner up no more than 1 base to 2nd base.

        So, Votto’s OBP could be just as high as before, which the numbers show in 2013, his 2nd highest during the AS years of 2010-2013. He had career high in walks and K’s in 2013. And, his SLG and OPS was his lowest in his AS years of 2010-2013. The reason his RBI’s were down in 2013 were because of this and because poor batters batted in the 2 hole much of 2013 in front of Votto, since BP was being asked to bat behind him most of the season to drive in runs, which BP did with a 100+ RBI season.

        I believe it was a combination of the knees a bit and this

  28. vegastypo

    Based on Winker’s play in Arizona, I wonder if the next refrain is, ‘We’ve got Jesse for that.’

    • lwblogger2

      The kid can hit. I’d like to see him get some more time in the minors though. He also was a little banged up in the AFL and I’d like to see him get fully healthy the rest of the off-season. It’s not out of the question though that he could be up mid-season. Did I mention he can hit?

  29. JohnU

    Pay some attention to that minor deal the Braves made sending La Stella to the Cubs.
    They need a 2B.
    The Reds have one they’d like to unload to a team where the guy grew up.
    Not like that rumor didn’t get a little traction last winter.

    • ToddAlmighty

      BP (and his salary) to the Braves
      Cueto to the Red Sox
      Betts to the Reds
      Chapman and Holmberg or Corcino to the Marlins
      Yelich to the Reds
      $59m or so the Reds save from BP/Cueto/Chapman to Mesoraco and a 1-2 year FA pitcher

      Win stuff.

      …if only it were so easy.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Much better than going after Matt Kemp.

  30. JohnU

    Cheapest outfielder the Reds could get is Jose Tabata, who is not going to make the Parrots lineup.

  31. JoshG

    I am thinking the same thing about the Braves needing a 2B.
    what about a deal centering around BP for J. Upton, there would have to be more parts to it, but those would be the big names

    and the other thing that trade did was wayyy overload the Cubs with middle infielders, making Castro more available..

    • JohnU

      Arguably, Phillips isn’t a guy the Braves need going forward but he’s instant ticket sales. BP shores up their infield and adds a veteran.
      Frankly, I’d go for Kimbrell! Move Chappy to the rotation. Eeeeeee yow!

    • JohnU

      Any notion of a fire sale is ludicrous. The Reds already have a zillion dollars wrapped up in their main players. It’s not that hard to contend these days and make the post-season. Odd that making the post season sometimes leads to winning the W.S. (or coming close.) Writers need to pay attention to the notion that you only have to win 16 games a month.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I’m betting the move Cueto and at least a 25% chance, they do the same with Chapman. If that’s a fire sale, their going to have one.

      • JohnU

        It’s a fire sale if they actually do that. Otherwise, it’s budget control. Chapman is a nice piece to trade, which isn’t a fire sale.

  32. Drew

    I think it’s interesting how we like to play GM…but in the end, in all the moves Walt has made since coming to Cincy, how many were actually seen or predicted before they happened?

  33. JoshG

    crap, braves just traded Heyward to St Louis for Shelby Miller

    • sultanofswaff

      Quite interesting. Cards only control him for one year, the Braves control Miller for 4. The Cardinals must have intentions on locking him up long term. Heyward is only 24.

    • dradg

      My reaction indeed. I was dreaming of a swap with the Braves consisting of BP and JH.

    • lwblogger2

      Perfect example of making your team better. Braves needed the arm and knew they probably couldn’t resign Heyward. Cards needed a bullpen arm and a RF and they got both by dealing from an area of strength. I like this trade for both teams. The Reds may not have been able to make this move though. They don’t have a starting pitcher who’s both MLB ready and is under team control that they could have dealt.

      • JohnU

        What troubles me about the Reds as they compare to St. Louis in pitching is that the Cards can bring a guy up who has 18 months in the minors. The Reds are still 3 years into Stephenson and he’s not even likely to throw a pitch in earnest in Cincy for another season.
        I get it about the legs on a contract and the arb clock and all that, but the Cincy way is to leave guys in the minors until such time as … what? At least they gambled on Cingrani.
        Will Holmberg get a shot at starting? There is no good reason why this Reds franchise isn’t deeper in pitching than it is.

      • lwblogger2

        One of the big differences is that the Reds have tended to draft HS pitchers in higher rounds as opposed to the college pitchers that StL is drafting. The Reds have drafted guys like Lorenzen and Howard the last couple years though and I’d expect they have a quicker timetable to the Majors.

  34. sultanofswaff

    Russell Martin to the Blue Jays for $82mil.

    I like that this deal denies the Cubs and the Pirates a key piece for both of their plans.

    • lwblogger2

      Yikes, 5yrs/$82-million for a catcher who’ll be 32 when the season starts next season. I think the first 2-3 years of that deal may well be valuable but have a hard time seeing years 4-5 being worth the dough.

      • JohnU

        Martin will make the Jays relevant.
        So far the only team in the AL-E that isn’t is … um ….

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, Martin helps the Jays now and if that’s what they were going for then mission accomplished.

      • Earl Nash

        The Jays seemingly do one free agent signing every year that seemingly is going to make them relevant. I’d buy Martin’s 5 year deal playing out more than that 13 year lunacy Miami just signed.

  35. rfay00

    And the Cardinals fill their holes. They replace their setup man with someone with at least two years of control. Then they grab a 25 year old RF that has only one year, but I doubt the Cardinals did this without some sort of knowledge that Heyward would sign an extension.

    Meanwhile in Cincy, we released Carlos Marmol.

    • JohnU

      Finding a fix for the Taveras tragedy was a lot easier than I expected. But they have a pretty deep mix for pitching and they’ve done a nice job finding college-quality arms, unlike the teams that sign the high school superstars and wait … wait … wait ….
      Heyward also gives them the chance to fade Holliday out of the outfield eventually.
      Two years ago, Cardinals fans were on their knees in adoration of Shelby Miller. I’d like to have him.

    • Jake

      Sigh. As if the Cards weren’t already tough. Jocketty can talk all he wants, I actually want to see some trades or signings

  36. lwblogger2

    By the way, 13yrs/$325-million!! I’m stunned.

    • sultanofswaff

      Me as well. I’m just not sure he’s the type of body that ages well, especially given that he’s already a suspect fielder (bad routes/reads). The best thing for all parties involved would be the opt out clause.

    • Jake

      And everybody thought Votto was a bad contract

    • charlottencredsfan

      You have to wonder if Miami can ever be enough of a baseball town to cover that salary comfortably. My philosophy is that you never sign a guy to a contract that you couldn’t move without having to throw in money to cover part of the contract. That’s a pretty big number.

      • JohnU

        There’s evidence that Miami intends to be relevant in the NL-E.
        Even if they do become legit contenders, they still are Miami and they’d draw better if they played in Havana.

      • Tom Reed

        Two world series championships in the 22 years of the Marlins existence is not bad, but 1.7 million in attendance last year in a new ballpark is not good. Miami, overall, is a football town.