It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake.

It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake. It’s the right decision to trade Mike Leake.

But I’m sure gonna miss seeing him play for the Reds.

Reds 6 Indians 1 | FanGraphs | Who’ll Stop the Rain

In Mike Leake’s previous game, he pitched 8 shutout innings against the Miami Marlins. Tonight, Leake added 5 more scoreless before giving up a run in the top of the sixth. He struck out two and walked two. Leake also contributed at the plate. He knocked in three runs, two on a two-out double and one on a safety squeeze bunt. He pitched four-hit, one-run baseball.

Mike Leake pitched his first game for the Reds on April 11, 2010 against the Chicago Cubs. He pitched four-hit, one-run baseball that afternoon. He also went 2-for-2. If tonight is Leake’s last game for the Reds, he’s got a nice pair of bookends.

Marlon Byrd was 4-for-4 with a home run, double and two singles. Trade value up.

Joey Votto hit a no-longer-elite 418-foot bomb to center field, his 16th home run of the year. The pitch was up and outside and a reminder why pitchers have quit pitching Votto on the outside part of the plate.

The Reds sixth run was a template Hamilrun. Billy Hamilton singled on an infield hit, stole second, advanced to third when the catcher’s throw went into the outfield. He scored on a ground ball to the third baseman when the 3B fielded the ball – looked him back to make sure Hamilton didn’t break to the plate – and then threw to first. Hamilton broke home on the throw and scored easily.

Ryan Mattheus, J.J. Hoover and Burke Badenhop pitched three shutout innings in relief. Good start to the post-All-Star break period for the bullpen.

Todd Frazier has gone 84 plate appearances without drawing a non-intentional walk. Not good. His walk rate in April and May was about 10 percent. His walk rate in June and July is about 1 percent.

Trade Rumor Updates

Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated): Johnny Cueto has tremendous trade value. I think he’s a great fit for Toronto. Cueto would be a perfect addition there, as a rental.

Buster Olney (ESPN, 33 min. mark): In my conversations with various team executives in the last 48-72 hours, it doesn’t seem like necessarily there is a lot of traction on specific talks with specific teams. The Reds aren’t going to tell us exactly what they’re digging into. But one evaluator, for example, noted that his guys in the field have not noticed a lot of Reds people out scouting other organizations.

Jon Morosi (FOX): Heard today that as many as a dozen teams are actively looking for starting pitchers. Complicated market.

Jon Morosi (FOX): The Reds are prepared to trade prospective free agents Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake now that All-Star Game is over, sources say.

Bob Nightengale (USA Today): The Reds have not packaged Cueto and Chapman in any proposals so far, preferring separate deals, if they do decide to move their closer.

Steve Adams (MLB Trade Rumors): Chapman would still fetch a haul this winter or even next July, but when considering the number of teams needing bullpen help and the lack of clear sellers on the market, it’s easy to see that Chapman would be among the game’s most coveted trade targets.

Jon Heyman (CBS): Cueto, meanwhile, remains the Dodgers’ main rental target. The Astros, who also have Cueto atop their list and possess many fine prospects, much like the Dodgers, had multiple scouts at some of Cueto’s recent starts. The Reds signaled before the break that they expect to seriously start selling after the All-Star Game, which was a big hit in Cincinnati, and the beloved Cueto, following a blowup after his early removal from his recent start in Miami, is said to be ready to go.

Jon Heyman (CBS): Cueto and Leake will almost certainly go (in fact, Leake’s been told the Reds intend to deal him, though apparently not Cueto, not yet, anyway). Leake is beloved for his athleticism, and some AL East teams also appreciate that he keeps the ball down. The Blue Jays, Astros and Royals are among many interested teams, while the Orioles, Red Sox, Dodgers, Rangers, Cubs and Giants among other teams to show some level of interest at some point

Jon Heyman (CBS): Lefty reliever Manny Parra will likely go, as will veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd.

56 Responses

  1. Evan armstrong

    Until an actual deal is finalized I believe Bob will sign either Cuteo or Leake. I think only if a stunner of a deal comes in will Bob allow both to be traded.

    • Steve Mancuso

      You should read the trade rumor updates. Leake has been told he’s being traded. Reds sources were telling people at the ASG that they weren’t going to resign Cueto. They haven’t even made him a multi-year offer in the past year. When Cueto’s agent told the Reds he wasn’t going to give them a hometown discount, the Reds said they wouldn’t insult him with the offer they were planning on giving him. Cueto will get $30 million for 6 years. No way the Reds (or anyone else) should pay that. I’m glad to see the Reds walking away from this one. If it was 4-5 years and $20 million/year, then yes. But Cueto has priced himself out of the market for any team other than those for whom money doesn’t matter.

      • Tom Gray

        The market has priced Cueto rather than the other way around.

        Reds cannot afford $100 million contract for Bailey much less similar for Leake or more for Cueto.

      • Steve Mancuso

        I think it’s fair to say that Cueto’s performance the past two seasons has influenced his market price.

      • Jeff Morris

        Hi Steve. I am trying to figure out why the Reds would trade Leake? He is durable, generally pitches pretty well, he can Hit for a Pitcher, and is Athletic. Maybe they just can’t afford him? I can understand trading Cueto, Byrd, and Bruce…but maybe the Reds should try to keep Leake??

      • Steve Mancuso

        Leake will probably get a 4-5 year deal at $13-15 million, maybe more. The Reds have (rightly, in my opinion) come to the conclusion that it won’t be long until Leake wouldn’t be one of the Reds best five starters. More than anyone, Leake is a casualty of the youth movement on the pitching staff.

        I’ve also heard that Leake has a strong preference to pitch next on the West Coast. That doesn’t mean the Reds couldn’t sign him (see Homer Bailey and preference to pitch in Texas) but it does mean that Leake wouldn’t have given the Reds a discount to stay.

        The opportunity to get hometown discounts is a couple years before the player reaches free agency, where they are willing to trade off a bit of money for security. Once they get this close to free agency, where the risk of injury is lower, they almost always look to cash in. In the case of Leake (and Cueto) it doesn’t sound like the Reds were interested in bidding at the open market value.

      • ohiojimw

        Directed to Steve….

        I get what you are saying about Leake dropping from the top five starters for the Reds; but, I think you are being too optimistic about how quickly that would come to be the case.

        Was Bronson a top 5 guy for them to the end of his tenure? I think so. Then consider all the guys tho looked to have the stuff and make up to replace him that came and went and washed out or ended up in the pen over BA’s tenure in the Reds rotation.

        Rotations can be like line ups and I think there is almost always a place for a guy who can be relied upon to be a healthy and effective innings eater. Leake would seem to fit such a profile. But I’m guessing he is gone for the other reasons you have cited. In particular, I’d think he’d love pitching in SanDiego or SanFran

      • Hotto4Votto

        I think Steve’s right in that Leake will be the victim of a youth movement. When Bailey’s healthy he’s a better pitcher most nights than Leake, and he’s under a substantial contract, so he won’t be traded. After that Stephenson and Lorenzen project to top of the rotation starters. Then there’s Iglesias and Disco, not to mention Moscot and anyone who may come back in trades. A few years down the line Travieso, Romano, and Garrett all project to be ready. That’s quite a lot of youth coming up the pike in the next 2-3 years. All of those guys are going to be cheap (except Bailey) and controllable. There’s too many of them, that are close or already here, for some of them not to work out. The Reds would be wise to use that 13-15m (or more) a year that they would use to keep Leake and fill an hole or two that may appear due to injury/non performance.

      • Jeff Morris

        Also…Leake went to College at Arizona State. So….he probably indeed wants to pitch closer to the West Coast. His family probably still lives on or around the West Coast.

    • sezwhom

      If they “must” sign one or the other, I’ll take Leake. Younger, less strain on his arm. Solid #3 starter. Hard to find then hold onto these days. Cueto can go. Thanks but a long term deal for him now would be foolish.

  2. Kurt Frost

    Red Sox have screwed a lot of teams with that Porcello deal.

  3. ProspectCincy

    Cingrani starting Wednesday … wooo hoo!

    14 scoreless rehab innings. Carry it over Tony.

    • Vicferrari

      So what is the take…Do we get more of the same…51/3 outstanding innings for 3 starts, then an awful one then a trip to the DL or has he developed a dependable secondary pitch and can get to the 7th inning? The injuries have sidetracked a promising career but with everybody raving about Stephenson, Cingrani’s minor league number dwarfs his…I just hope they have not squandered a major talent

    • Redsfan48

      From the article I saw, Cingrani has developed good secondary stuff so he should be better as a starter this time compared to the last time. I think it said he has a fastball, changeup, and curveball now.

      • wizeman

        big ssuue for cingrani the same last night.
        5 innings…. 93 pitches.. has always been the case.

  4. Fish

    I could see the wisdom of not packaging Chapman and Cueto. The exception would be getting a package headlined by Seager or Urias (IMO). I’d love to see LA, Houston and Toronto get into a bidding war for Cueto, that should bring a decent return for the reds. I was listening to MLB radio and they were saying the Yankees could get him but I don’t care for Judge as a prospect and unless they’re going to give up Severino, I just don’t like their system much. I’ve read speculation about the Royals, don’t care for their system either. Bubba Starling, who a lot of people see them including, is like a slower Drew Stubbs, I’m not convinced he will hit in the majors.

    If I had to guess I’d say Cueto to either the Dodgers or Houston, Leake to Toronto maybe with Chapman. (They said they wouldn’t package cueto and chapman, didn’t say anything about Leake and chapman).

    If I could cherry pick, A package headlined by either DeLeon (dodgers) or Phillips (Astros) with the Jays giving us a package headlined by Norris & Pompey for Leake & Chapman. That’d be 3 top 50 players along with some high upside prospects, and a replacement (or 2) in the rotation.

    • ohiojimw

      I agree about not packaging Cueto and Chapman unless it results in a legitimate blockbuster that directly and significantly impacts the Reds MLB roster no later than spring 2016.

      They are in a corner where Cueto is concerned and no matter what window dressing and resultant oohs and ahhhs there are about the eventual return on him, the changes in the CBA which make him a zero equity two+ month rental will significantly decrease the value he returns.

      Bundling Cueto with Chapman depreciates the value of both unless someone is willing to make an insane offer. In that sort of situation, it is going to be the insane offering team who will have have to initiate the action, not the Reds

  5. pinson343

    I knew all those “But I’m sure gonna miss seeing him play for the Reds” would be followed by “But I’m sure gonna miss seeing him play for the Reds.” Yep.

    I’m going to miss his pitching, his hitting, his defense, his baserunning. I’m going to miss the way he goes about his business, fearless, always on the attack, even during a bad outing.

    I saw one of his first major league starts in Houston, sitting right behind the Astros dugout. He shut them down nonchalantly. All the Astro fans around me wanted to know who this kid was. Mike looked like he had just graduated from high school.

    When he signs long term, I hope it’s for a NL team (not in the Central of course), so he gets to hit.

    In his post-game interview, he spoke as if he had already been traded. I can’t recall another player doing that. Like his mentor Bronson, Mike doesn’t try to cover up what he’s thinking.

  6. pinson343

    I expected Joey to come out strong for the 2nd half. Why ? Four days off. After mostly doing a season in rehab, the grind of playing every day is very tough, and Joey needs to keep his legs, his source of power, fresh. You’d think Price would know to give him a day off more often.

    • tct

      I agree, Pinson. One of my biggest grievances against Dusty was that he played Votto in all 162 games in 2013 after he had a major knee injury the year before. The guy had nothing left in Septmeber. Dusty always blew off the question saying that it was ok because Joey played first base and you don’t have to run much at first. Just ridiculous. Joey was getting on base at a 45% clip for most of the year and scored over 100 runs. He was running every day.

      I really think Joey is the type of guy who sometimes overtrains and doesn’t let his muscles have enough time to recover. I think that was the issue last year with the quad. Price needs to make sure Joey is getting some regular rest.

  7. truman48

    Seriously, why are we not talking about moving Frazier. His value will never be higher and he is having a career year!

    • greenmtred

      Because they almost certainly would not get a player of equal value in return. This is not Monopoly.

      • truman48

        How do you know that? He will never have another season like this one. Surely someone is salivating over him. If your goal is long-term than he should be on the table like everyone else.

      • David

        It doesn’t matter if the Reds lose 80, 85, 90, 95, or 100 games in 2015. Sell him at his peak.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yes it does matter. Everyone who is concerned about revenues should care about the difference between 80 and 100 wins. Season ticket sales, walk up sales as the year goes on, the television contract – all of these things are affected by the win-loss record. And revenues determine how much the team will spend on payroll. This isn’t like a keeper league in fantasy baseball.

  8. Eric the Red

    1) The Cleveland pitcher Hamilton faced in the 8th has lousy control. Yet Hamilton swung at a 3-1 pitch well off the plate, and then again at Ball 5 when he picked up his single. How has he not learned to take pitches in that sort of situation? I’m glad he got on–I’d love to see the percentage of time he scores when he gets on leading off an inning–but he should have been on with a BB with even a tiny bit of baseball IQ.

    2) If I’m not mistaken, a guy in his 3rd game as an MLB ump will be behind the plate for Cueto’s start on Wednesday. That’s probably not a good thing.

    3) Badenhop is a lucky man. He’s pitched terribly–he’s supposed to be a ground ball machine–but lately he’s been hurting other pitchers’ ERAs, or getting lucky like he did last night where Cleveland didn’t risk scoring since they were down by 5. Unlike some of the other signings, this looks like a case of a guy who probably should have been good but isn’t.

    • Vicferrari

      1. Kind of see your point but season being what it is, for future seasons Hamilton needs to show the league he can hit, he puts the ball in play keeps it on the ground good things happen.
      2. I assume you mean Sunday, someone else states Cingrani starting Wed
      3. Badenhop has an ERA near 2 since an awful first month. I know he has allowed inherited runners to score but at lot of times he comes and gives up only 1 hit after facing 3 or 4 batters. I am not saying he is an All-star but a decent enough 5th option heading to right about his career number despite one of the worst April’s you will ever see. He can thank Jumbo, Gregg, and Marquis for being even more awful so he had sometime to turn it around

  9. jay johnson

    I am very tired of hearing about small market,no money.Thats just a crock.Every,and I mean every,major league franchise in all sports,is making huge amounts of money.The value of major league franchises is going through the roof.Look,for instance,at the lowly Clippers.2 BILLION $.What was the value just 5 years ago?No where near that amount.Thats just one example.Every,and again I mean every,franchise sold in the past decade has been sold for HUGE profits.Why is it looked at as a year to year financial gain or loss?BobbyC will reap gigundo rewards when he sells the Reds.Why cant he throw down about 25-30 million more and sign the talent that we grew from scratch.The talent that have become successful.The talent that we’ve underpaid from scratch.The talent that may make us winners.We the fans deserve that.Bob’s going to make his money,why shouldn’t the fans get a winner?

    • Indy Red Man

      I just looked it up….they’re 14th in payroll. That’s as good as its going to get for the Reds. KC has a lower payroll and Pittburgh is 25th or something? Bob is spending enough…its where its going (Homer, BP, Sean Marshall, etc.). Who pays 6.5 mil for a lefty setup man? Has he even pitched in the last 3 years?

      Leake was insane against the Marlins last week….91 mph cutter was moving 2 feet? It seems like if they could somehow move BP….along w/Cueto that they could sign Leake but in reality a 3.60-4 era isn’t that good anymore….not even when half your games are in GABP.

      • Vicferrari

        I agree the contract choices have not been wise. But I am surprised at how many people have got so enamored with Leake, he has done this the past few years. He will have great outings and then there will be starts like the one against Minnesota or the May starts or the 1st 2 of this season. The Reds have 5 starters on their current roster who should be able to put up similar numbers if they can get the innings up to his range that will cost less than Leake combined next season.

    • redmountain

      I think if you look into it, the Reds are not highly profitable, Castellini is not making huge amounts of money, they have a TV contract that is not very good (though it is about to be renegotiated) and that the Reds are spending more on salaries than other teams in the division. If Castellini were to throw 25 million into the money it would only sign Cueto. It should also be noticed that Castellini is the majority owner and does not receive all the money. Instead of looking at the Dodgers and Yankees, you should look at the Rays for an example.

      • Tom Gray

        TV is where the real $ is.

        Cincinnati will be in bottom half on TV revenue.

      • Tom Reed

        That’s not surprising since Cincinnati is the fourth smallest metropolitan area in MLB.

      • jay johnson

        Yes tv $ is important.
        But yes were going to get a significant increase in revenue with the new contract.Fox has been throwing $ around like crazy trying to cut into espn.It will certainly increase by more than Cueto’s yearly salary.

        No,him throwing in 25 million wont only get Cueto.We are paying him 10 now.
        Thats only a 15 mil difference from this year to next.
        Theres also quite a few $ coming off next year that could get both Leake and Cueto signed.Quality front office work could certainly get creative and keep our stars.

        The lost revenue of an empty stadium by being a loser would probably exceed the revenue that you would pay to be a contender,or god forbid a world series winner.

        You site Kansas City.A great example.How long had that team totally stunk?Its only since they’ve started paying there home grown talent at the appropriate time that they’ve succeeded.There time will be tested when those fairly priced contracts come up again.We will see if they let there stars go,and become garbage again.

        BUT youre missing the point.
        Stop worrying about year-to-year.
        Look at it as,”your profit will come in the end”.When you sell the team.Thats when you reap the big money.Like a 9 figure profit.And thats big $ in all caps.

      • Tom Gray

        I expect the Reds to be back above .500 W-L record by 2020 maybe 2018.

        Not this year or the next two.

      • Vicferrari

        Are we seriously looking at 2020, that is going to be near the time all the talent every one thinks will turn around the organization ( that Bruce, Votto, and Frazier supposedly cannot do next year) will be ready to get paid. Everyone will be screaming to trade them to get more prospects and rebuild for 2025

    • tct

      First off, Bob has spent money to extend the homegrown guys. When they have locked them up early, bought up their arb years and a couple free agent years, it has worked well. See the Bruce and Cueto contracts. Cueto would have been a free agent after the 2013 season had they not extended him. They got 2 of Cueto’s free agent years at a huge discount by signing him young..

      When they have waited until the player was in his late twenties and only a year or two away from free agency to extend them, the results have not been as good. See the Bailey and Votto contracts. Neither of those guys are overpaid right now, at least when their healthy, but there is very little surplus value and it’s easy to see how those contracts could become liabilities in the future.

      Signing Cueto or Frazier right now would fall into the latter category of contracts. Paying big money for a guy’s early to mid thirties is not how you win in today’s game. Even if the Reds had the money, I wouldn’t want them to do it.

  10. jay johnson

    How much larger,if at all,is the St.Louis market than Cincinnati?
    Market size is an owners excuse to be mediocre.
    Look at the Tampa’s,the Minnesota’s,the Oakland’s etc,
    They contend.
    Yet the Cubs,White Sox,Mets,etc don’t.
    Market size is a bunch of hooey
    .An excuse to be frugal.

    • Tom Gray

      The Reds contend with a good manager. Dusty Baker, Jack McKeon, Davey Johnson to name 3 from past 20 years.

      They DO NOT succeed or contend with bad managers. There are several in those last 20 years.

      • Vicferrari

        Dusty Baker had 3 losing seasons including his 1st 2, managers have very little impact if the talent is not there. I am not advocating keeping Price just not chasing a manager so you can pay him millions when he has proven he cannot win the big games. Just curious what your opinion is for the 2011 season in comparison to this season if you truely believe Baker is a superior difference maker as manager in comparison to Price.

      • Tom Gray

        Beg to differ. Dusty has led 3 teams to NL playoffs. He’s a good manager.

        Bryan Price has led 0 teams to NL playoffs. And he’s a bad manager.

      • Vicferrari

        So if he is so great why did the 2011 Reds have a losing record. It seems short -sighted to compare a manager in his 2nd year to someone who basically did nothing over several decades who had a lot of opportunity. The issue is not about Price being a good manager it is the issue that you are implying he could actually do a better job than Price

      • Tom Gray

        Never said he was great. Said he was MUCH better than Bryan Price.

        That’s a no brainer.

    • Tom Reed

      In terms of the populations of the metropolitan areas as of 2010, St. Louis is the 18th. largest (2,812,000) and Cincinnati is the 27th. largest (2,130,000),

  11. Brady

    Byrd is hitting .253.. I never thought I would see that.

    It would be awesome if we could parlay him into some sort of prospect. I’m thinking we will get something back equivalent to Lively (who is having a good-not-great season) and I’d much rather let his option vest with another team.

    • Vicferrari

      They better get something better than Lively otherwise it is a bad move to spend a lot of money on a player that essentially has not put your club into any scenario where they are a contender. Some would argue based on WAR he actually hurts the club

  12. Playtowin

    Market size matters. That’s why the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox can spend $190 million+ every year. The Cardinals put 40,000 in the seats for every game 3,200,000 for the season. They have done it for years. The Reds have not drawn more tha 2.,600,000 ever and most years they draw less than 2,500,000. The Cards spend about the same amount of $ as the Reds. The Reds are spending money from the future TV contract. Votto’, Bailey, Bruce, Phillips all get increases in 2017, Frazier rightfully will ask for the moon. A smart business person never spends more money than his/ her cash flow. Creating debt to sign left fielders is nuts. The big market teams are not spending more than cash flow….they just have a lot more cash coming in. Thinking the Reds are cheap is way off base. The Reds spend at the mid point in baseball but their market size is in the bottom 15%. The Reds will get a better TV deal in a couple of years but it won’t be close to what the big markets get. There are not enough eyeballs in the Ohio Valley. Finally small markets can compete but only for a few years then they fall back as their players get too expensive. The Reds will have a chance to compete again around 2020 providing they draft good talent.

    • jay johnson

      I can only repeat my point so many times.I’ll try it once more.
      Forget year to year profits,though I am sure the Reds are making a profit every year.
      My point is that the profit is at the back end when the team is sold.BIG profits.
      It was said in an earlier reply that big corporations cant ignore year to year bottom lines.Why not,if the end results dwarf your original investment and your yr.to yr. was still still keeping you making money.Happens all the time in business.All the time.
      The best analogy I could make would be to compare a sports franchise to a pharmaceutical company.During the time of research and development of a new drug you are spending huge money.But your company is still making money.When you finally get that drug approved to sell(like selling your team)you make all your money back plus HUGE profits.

      In response to one other reply it was said the cards draw 40,000 for every game.3.2 mil for the year.There market may be bigger than ours but not by much and per capital income, Cincinnati is significantly higher than st.Louis.Why don’t we draw as well?Simple answer.Quality of entertainment.

  13. Playtowin

    I will repeat myself again. No baseball team spends more than its cash flow. Yes drug companies spend R &D money to invent new drugs but that money is budgeted each year out of cash flow. All companies do that. It is clear you do not run a business.

    • jay johnson

      Just for your info,I own a company that employs 27 people and sells product to companies and governments from 2 continents,including the USA.
      My company makes yearly profits but I,like Bob,will make the real money when the company is sold.hopefully in the next 5 years.It has made a profit for 72 continuous quarters.Thats 30 years straight.

      I get your cash flow concept and am not saying they should be cash flow negative.They just shouldnt worry about “slaying the dragon”profits each year,when in the end the dragon will be slayed big time.

      The reds dont spend more than its cash flow and I am fairly certain that they will make double figure millions with the current payroll.I am also fairly certain that they could give both Cueto and Leake new contracts and with $ coming off next season could continue to be cash flow positive.