It has been a crazy afternoon, but Jay Bruce is now officially a member of the New York Mets. The Reds got a different main piece in return however, after initial medical reports failed on one of the lower level prospects in the deal.

Here is the official deal:

Mets get: Jay Bruce
Reds get: Dilson Herrera (2B/SS), Max Wotell (LHP)

Herrera 2

First off, Dilson Herrera. He is only 22 years old, however he has already appeared in 49 big league games between 2014-2015 (he made his debut at just 20 years old). Herrera didn’t hit well in 169 big league PA (.215/.308/.383), but most 20 year olds don’t. Herrera was the #46 prospect in all of baseball following the 2014 season according to Baseball America, and was seen as the second baseman of the future for the Mets. He was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010 as an international free agent signing out of Columbia. He was traded to the Mets in 2013 for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.

Herrera is hitting .276/.327/.462 in 86 games at AAA this season (he has not played in the majors in 2016). Including last season, he has a .839 OPS in 167 games at AAA. Obviously, the initial response is to compare him to Brandon Nimmo (the guy who was originally in the Bruce deal before the complications). Nimmo does have a higher career OPS at AAA (.898 in 104 games). However, Herrera is seen as a much better defensive player, and will land at a tougher defensive position. He also likely has the higher ceiling.

It appears like the Reds had a choice of Herrera or Nimmo after the deal initially fell through, and they chose Herrera. The deal would have made more sense if Cozart would have been moved too, and the Reds could play Peraza at SS, and Herrera at 2B. The Reds could still try to move Cozart along the waiver wire, although that could be tough. They may simply wait, and try to trade Cozart in the off-season. Either way, at some point I would expect at Peraza-Herrera double play tandem. The Reds will control Herrera for five more seasons.

Max Wotell

Now for Max Woten. He is only 19 years old, and was a third round pick back in 2015. He was the Mets #16 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He has only pitched a total of 40.1 innings professionally. This season, he has a 3.94 ERA/3.98 FIP in 6 starts, with 31 strikeouts and 12 walks in 29.2 innings pitched. Here is some video of Max that was prepared for the 2015 draft. Here is the Fangraphs scouting report on Woten from Dan Farnsworth from back in March:

19. Max Wotell, LHP, VIDEO, Rookie

Wotell may be the pitcher I’d least like to face as a hitter from last year’s draft class. He has a funky delivery with a lot of side-to-side movements, but has a three-pitch mix the Mets think could all be above-average offerings. He’s very athletic, so the mechanical work he has in front of him is more likely to help than most. Club officials praise his on-field makeup and competitiveness. He’s definitely one to watch at the lower levels. Like many young pitchers, his command shows the biggest need for improvement.

Fastball: 45/50/55 Curveball: 45/50/55 Changeup: 40/45/50 Command:40/45/45+
Overall: 30/40/45+

We will have much more analysis on this deal, as well as posts celebrating the Reds career of Jay Bruce coming up this week on RN. I personally wish Jay nothing but the best in New York. He has been an absolute class act, especially during nearly two years of non-stop trade rumors.

About The Author

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

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201 Responses

  1. CI3J

    This is an ok trade that could end up being a great trade in about 5 years. If Nimmo had been included along with the other 2, I’d say this was a phenomenal trade.

    But I’ll take “ok” over horrible. Sad to see Jay go, but such is the business of baseball.

    Now, who plays OF? BHam, Winker, and………………………..


    • DocDirk

      Maybe get Peraza some ABs there before Winker comes up. Maybe Schebler comes back up?

    • Aaron Bradley

      From what I heart Nimmo is from Wyoming where they didn’t have highschool ball.. scouts feel his development may be stunted as a result and he currently projects as a 4th OF. His numbers in Vegas suggest otherwise, but I go to games here at Cashman field and everygame seems to go to double digits offensively, so I take his numbers with a grain of salt. Herrerra projects to be a starter and had good power numbers in Vegas (again take with grain of salt)… Peraza can play LF perhaps and it sounds like Herrerra is going to AAA.

  2. Hotto4Votto

    I know he’s not eligible for prospect status, but with only 49 big league games (don’t know how many days that includes) and with 172 days being a full year, isn’t it possible (or even likely as the Reds don’t have anywhere for him to play currently) for the Reds to get Herrera an additional year, possibly at Super 2 status starting in 2018?

    • earmbrister

      I like this trade. It seems that when the medicals became an issue for the Mets, the Reds were able to upgrade from Nimmo and 2 lesser prospects to Herrera and 1 lesser prospect.

      Baseball Prospectus had Dilson Herrera as the #6 NYM prospect a year ago, saying the following:

      Strengths: Excellent athlete; fast-twitch muscle; plus bat speed; quick wrists, with strong hands for size; gap-to-gap power; drives through the ball; can put a charge into it for over-the-fence pop; quick feet in the field; ranges well at second; strong reactions; flashes defensive instincts for the position; plus runner; ability to impact the game on the bases.

      Weaknesses: Aggressive approach; will try to sell out for power; swing loses fluidity in those instances; likes to get the head out in front of the ball; leaves him prone to off-speed stuff; swing on the long side; hit tool can play down as a result; learning how to slow the game down on both sides of the ball; needlessly rushes plays in the field; still raw overall.

      Nimmo would have created a prospect logjam at the corner OF positions. Herrera does the same in the middle IF.

      In the end, the Reds are wise to stockpile superior talent and let it sort itself out on the fields of AAA and MLB.

      • lwblogger2

        Your last sentence says it all really. I hate that Bruce has been traded but that’s because I’m a big fan of his. I’m not jumping for joy at the return but this trade looks like a decent return and I like it much better than the Frazier trade.

  3. Hotto4Votto

    I think the Reds did well to find value for Bruce. Herrera’s floor is said to be an above average bat for 2B with average-slightly above average fielding (from a BP article in 2015). Getting a guy you can slot into the line up every day is nice, add in a high upside SP in RK ball is a nice addition as well.

    I’m sorry they couldn’t get something worked out for Cozart, but Bruce was the more important piece to be moved today. Glad they got it done.

    • earmbrister

      I meant to make my above comment here …

      Hotto 4 Making Commento

  4. DocDirk

    I was there that night, one of the reasons I hate to see Jay go. But life has to go on if we ever want to win again. Good luck Jay!

  5. Shchi Cossack

    “The Reds will control Herrera for five more seasons.”

    I could only find ~120 days MLB service time from 2014/2015. Unless the Reds foolishly add Herrera to the 25-man roster, Herrera won’t accumulate any more MLB service time in 2016, leaving him with less than 1 year MLB service time going into next season. That should leave six years of player control remaining.

    • Hotto4Votto

      That’s how I see it as well. Even a Sept. call up shouldn’t put him at more than 150 days. I see Super Two in his future.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Yeah, it looked like Herrera had a couple of MLB DL stints that ate up a lot of MLB service time, but it still comes in right around 120 days, maybe 130 days at the very most.

  6. I-71_Exile

    I like this deal. Nimmo may turn out to be something, but I’ll take a 2B who can hit any day. I’m also excited by the throw in with some upside. Jay, I’ll miss you and hope you win it all this year with the Mets.

  7. lwblogger2

    I hate that he’s gone but the Reds aren’t winning anything next year and they can’t afford to extend him. It’s possible that he doesn’t even want an extension here after all the trade talk of the last year plus. It was the right move to move him for what they could get and the Reds did so. I like this better than an injured Wheeler, which was the alleged return last year.

  8. thecoastman

    This makes me feel a little better. Thanks for talking me off the cliff, Nick, but no one is going to get a shot at 2nd not named BP until 2018. Same at SS until we can move Cozart. At his salary, the waiver wire is out so that position is also blocked (not that it should be any more than 2nd) until the off season.

    The thing that really chaps my behind is that the league RBI leader has never been dealt at the trade deadline. Is this truly the best we could have done? With the year Jay is having I really expected a lot more. As in Nimo also being part of the deal.

    On the other hand, if Bruce hits one of his funks for the last two months of the year we wouldn’t have gotten a stale bag of chips for him in the off season and would have been between a rock and hard place deciding whether or not we should chance getting something for him in a trade by picking up that 13M option. With Big Bob crying about being in the poor house I have to think that the FO already had decided to let him walk if they couldn’t trade him by then.

    Maybe I just need to get in touch with my inner self with a couple of silver bullets at happy hour and think about this whole thing a little more.

    • Michael E

      Waiver is NOT out for Cozart. You can place on waivers, see if anyone claims him. If not, you can trade him anywhere. If so, you can still trade him by working out a deal with the team claiming him. If trade isn’t worked out, you pull him back and wait till off-season.

      • thecoastman

        True, technically not out, but at his salary he’ll get a bunch of claims from teams blocking other teams from getting him and then not being realistic as far as value. If it was a high salary then you’d have a better chance of working out a deal because there would be far fewer claims. That said, there is not doubt they’ll try, but the odds are slim they’ll be able to actually move him.

      • lwblogger2

        I concur. For whatever that’s worth 😉

      • Scott E. Disney

        Waiver could hopefully be good option for getting something out of some old relievers, but more I think about trading bullpen pieces in waiver trade I am not so sure. Would anybody want Ohlendorf? Jumbo? Maybe but it looks like Reds may not have any waiver trades.

    • Michael E

      I don’t know that the final two months require a dump of Cozart or Phillips, but I certainly hope at start of 2017, one or both are moved on in same way, shape or form…even if we have to eat a few remaining million of Phillips deal.

    • Brian

      I love Jay but you way over-value his trade value.

  9. TR

    Here’s hoping Herrera/Peraza works out since strength up the middle is a key to a winning team. All the best to Jay Bruce except when he faces the Reds. I wonder if Jay will be in uniform tonight as the Mets face the Yankees.

  10. Darrin

    I was giddy when I thought we were getting nimmo and Herrera, should have realized that was a pipe dream. I feel this shows with 100% certainty that cozart is gone in the offseason. Good luck to you Bruce, a total class act from start to finish.

  11. IndyRedMan

    I’m not too excited but time will tell! I wouldn’t think Jay would be excited about NY being a Texan and a transplanted Midwesterner. Oh well…its finally done.

    Long term though….Senzel at 3B. Where does Suarez go? Surely they’ve seen enough by now to figure out that he has to play 2B.

    I don’t know why I was able to give up fairly early last year and move on but I’m stayed glued to this “rebuild” this year? If BP is a regular next year then I’m not hanging around. Either you’re all-in or you’re not? Its like pregnancy

    • I-71_Exile

      I think Suarez has played himself out of any position that requires a glove.

      • Michael E

        Seems like that. OF is only shot and that looks unpromising. He is either a PH, utility guy or to the AL where he can DH once or twice a week (on a team with poor DH candidates) and spot start in the IF (basically utility with more ABs as a DH).

        We’ll see. He could improve his fielding enough, but the reality is, the future of 3B, 2B and SS seem spoken for so long as most of Senzel, Rodriguez, Peraza and/or Herrera meet even modest projections.

      • JoshG

        I think he will settle in as a very good super utility guy.

      • earmbrister

        My guess, and it’s only a guess, is that Suarez is traded when Senzel is ready for MLB. Suarez will be into his Arb years, and the Reds will have a starting 3B making league min. in Senzel. The Reds won’t and shouldn’t pay 2nd or 3rd Yr Arb money to a utility player.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Odds are that at least one of Senzel, Peraza, Herrera, or Suarez won’t be any good. If the Reds do have a log-jam, then it’s a good problem to have.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Indy, now I’ve got an issue to address with Mrs. Cossack! She swore that she was only a little pregnant…

    • lwblogger2

      I think you’ll see him at 3B at least through next year. I’m not as down on him with the glove as some folks, especially if he finds himself back at 2B at some point. I think that’s probably his best defensive position.

      • greenmtred

        Suarez does show flashes of okayness, and sometimes more than that. But he seems to have bad hands (eye test only) at both short and third, so I feel little optimism. A number of his throws are off-target and get saved by Votto.

  12. DHud

    Herrera and Peraza can keep each other company on the bench while BP does his victory lap

    • ohiojimw

      Herrera will likely go to AAA. If Peraza is (now) seen as the eventual SS given the acquisition of Herrera, then Cozart needs to find a seat on the bench to allow Peraza to play SS.

      • DHud

        With the current management and the track record they’ve showed, don’t hold your breath

      • ohiojimw

        The most ideal situation would probably be to send Peraza back to AAA and let he and Herrera play everyday as the SS/2B combo for the next month then in September bring them both t6o MLB and install, them as the regulars there.

      • thecoastman

        You make too much sense, which is why it will never happen with this FO.

        Jocketty and Price both as recently as 2 weeks ago stated that there is no competition at those positions as long as BP and Cozart are on the team and that the best we could do is use Peraza as a super utility player to give him somewhat regular playing time.

  13. Darrin

    So does schebler get called up now? Or does peraza play in the outfield to get him playing time and not hurt BPs feelings?

  14. Basik

    Paul O’Neill trade again. I hate being a Reds fans sometimes.

    • Chuck Schick

      Yeah…the fact that Paul O’Neill was traded to a team that played in a stadium that was perfect for him made no difference….or that he was surrounded by talent and didn’t have to be ” the guy” made no difference.

    • Patrick Jeter

      O’Neill’s highest wRC+ with the Reds was 127. He matched or beat that 6 straight years with NYY.

      I don’t think the Reds could have forseen that.

      If Bruce has 6 career years, good for him… but odds are that he won’t.

      • Michael E

        Yeah, O’Neill was only solid hitter (at best) with the Reds. He had a great arm with lots of outfield assists, but the park, and the team around him seemed to boost him to another level.

        At the time he was moved, he seemed like a 6th or 7th hitter with some pop (15 HR type) and decent (not great) average. He simply blew past that AND our return (wasn’t that Roberto Kelly?) pretty much sucked, which made it appear even worse.

      • MrRed

        Robbie Kelly it was. And I remember being so disappointed that he never really worked out for the Reds.

  15. Lloyd Black

    Reds demanded too little in this trade maybe ok in time but Reds were in a hurry and that is about too little interest in players About the money period

    • Gaffer

      They waited u til the deadline, when his offense was his highest point a t ever. That is not too early or desperate.

  16. Old-school

    Dick Williams just said multiyear process and Brandon playing well and under control next year.

    • Darrin

      Brandon Phillips? Is he talking about Brandon Phillips? The Brandon Phillips that plays for the reds? That Brandon Phillips? For next year? Brandon Phillips?

      • thecoastman

        Yea, the one that hasn’t hit a HR since May 7th and has a .301 OBP. Dat Dude is ripping the hide off the baseball!

      • preacherj

        And yet we keep trading for second basemen….

    • I-71_Exile

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. When will BP ever leave!!!

      Just. Not. A. Fan. Sigh.

    • David

      Yay! Let’s play the old 2nd baseman with the declining talent …ONE MORE YEAR!

      Yay! Dick Williams, brilliant new GM.

      I guess this is a good trade. I would think Schebler would be up first, before Winker. Winker can only play left field, from what I understand, and we have this guy Duvall out there who will probably bat cleanup now.
      Or maybe Duvall goes to right, Winker in left and Schebler gets to tear up AAA for another month.
      So now we have the Cuban we just signed to play SS for big bucks, and we have Calten Daal in AA, who is batting over .300 at SS, and Peraza and now this guy.

      And yes, where does Suarez fit in when Senzel arrives sometime in 2018? Nowhere?

      And sorry, not a big Winker fan. I think in three years a lot of people are going to be disappointed with Jesse Winker.

      • Patrick Jeter

        You bring up Daal and worry about his playing time and then say you think Winker is going to be disappointing?

        Interesting perspective…

      • I-71_Exile

        I think has a chance to be Votto-lite. I’d take that. I am worried about his wrist, though.

      • David

        Yes, his wrist is a continuing chronic problem. And he does not have anything like Votto’s extra base power. He is an average outfielder in speed, so I’m told. He makes contact and has a good OBP. There is nothing remarkable about him. When he was 19-20, there were high hopes for him, but he played two years in AA (wrist injury again), and again, nothing remarkable about the last two years for the organizations “top prospect”.

      • Patrick Jeter

        I’d say putting up above-average numbers while being below-average age at both AA and AAA is remarkable.

        He’s not going to be Votto. So if people really thought that, they’ll be disappointed. But he’s got a very, very high likelihood of being an overall above-average major league player, which is a good outcome for a prospect.

      • Jay King

        This is still jocketty running the show he was the only one talking to everyone. Dick doesn’t take over until this winter I believe.

      • lwblogger2

        It was Williams that apparently basically said that Phillips is the 2B going into next year too.

    • Carl Sayre

      I think that the age curve has made BP a wash up until this season his production has easily matched his contract I am not so sure this season. The very least he is close to being less than his salary mandates. The way to get BP to move is as ridiculous as it is simple sit him as crazy as it sounds they are on the hook for the money regardless a position player short doesn’t make any difference to this very bad ball team. He is a professional when he sits if they can find a partner he will go so he can play if not at least you get to see what these kids have. I would have given him a chair to chart pitchers and left him there at the start of the season he controls if he goes he doesn’t control if he is in the lineup.

    • Chad Dotson

      What’s he supposed to say? He’s certainly not going to run down one of his players on the radio.

      If he really believes that, then we have another problem entirely.

      • earmbrister

        Ding ding ding. We have a winning answer from Mr. Dotson. Management can’t undercut their players publicly.

        BP is the starting 2B until he’s not.

    • lwblogger2

      So much for what little faith I had in Williams. You’ve gotta think that there was no way BP was the starting 2B on this team in 2017. You’d be wrong.

      • greenmtred

        It’s still 2016, LW. I won’t worry too much until opening day, 2017. Front offices don’t always show all of their cards.

      • ohiojimw

        I’d bet BP and Cozart will both soon be featured on the waiver wire. If anybody bites, Cozart will be gone; and, BP will have the opportunity to again exercise his no trade (movement) rights. Even if nobody nibbles on the wire, I expect the Reds will shop Cozart for whatever somebody will send for him.

  17. Eric The Red

    I don’t understand the economics of baseball. The franchise is worth hundreds of millions. The value will go up (or down) by tens of millions based on good team performance and a rich television contract that will be worth more if more people watch the games. How does it make sense to save a few million here or there on salary when it will cost you many millions more if the team stinks?

    If we “couldn’t afford” the next 5 years of a guy who will hit 150+ homeruns and drive in 500 runs or so, while patrolling a small right field with a strong arm….then I don’t understand the economics of baseball.

    • David

      I have one word for you. Plastics.

      It has nothing to do with baseball, but then, it’s the only way I can sum it up in one word.

    • Patrick Jeter

      There’s a reason baseball owners are millionaires. It’s because they understand economics.

      To be honest, the product on the field has very little to do with how profitable your organization is.

      Yes, winning is better than losing in vacuum, but Bruce will cost over $100M when he signs his next FA contract (assuming he does OK this year/next), The Reds can get the same production (2 WAR [RBI are worthless…]) for a fraction of the cost.

      That’s why those guys own teams and we don’t. They are smarter at money than we are.

      • Indy RedMan

        You’d think that was true….and it usually is but then a 7th grade kid understands buy low/sell high but they sold low w/Chapman anyway? For no reason? He was only the hardest thrower in the history of the game! I guess you could call that a good arm!

      • Patrick Jeter

        You are judging that with knowledge that wasn’t available at the time. Chapman could have been suspended 162 games or somethign silly. They didn’t know. The Reds were cutting their losses by being risk averse.

        Buy low-sell high is rarely the guiding principle in the real world.

      • MrRed

        I got to side with Indy on this one. Yeah, it could have been a severe suspension but nobody was really thinking it would be anything like that at the time. And remember, if the suspension ended up being long enough, Chapman would not have accrued enough service time this year to become an FA, thus giving the Reds another year and another shot at trading him.

        Bottom line: they panicked and sold low, when even at the time, there was no reason to do so.

      • greenmtred

        Regardless of Chapman’s domestic problems, which almost certainly decreased his value, he was (and is) still a very hard thrower for 60-70 innings per season. A pricey closer for a team that needed few games closed and wouldn’t have been able to afford him.

      • Eric The Red

        The product on the field will help drive the price of the TV deal. And if your 2 WAR includes the defensive component, I respectfully disagree with how the metrics are currently valuing JB.

        I don’t see anybody in the organization that will replace Bruce’s power, and I’m not convinced having a couple of bats that pitchers fear is such a devalued asset in today’s game.

        But I definitely agree…they are smarter at money than I am.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Market size is the main driver in TV deals. It will be a long contract, so I think they understand the Reds won’t be bad forever. You can’t judge a 20 year deal on what the on-field product is in Year 0.

      • ohiojimw

        If the various reports and what has happened in other markets run true in Cincy then either the Reds as a legal entity or the Castellini family are going to end up with an equity stake in the next TV contract. I would think that changes the dynamic immensely because when this happens, every dollar spent on the team has increased capacity to earn them more money; and conversely, if the team is terrible, they will earn less.

      • greenmtred

        It may be useful to recall what many of us were saying about JB the past few years. This half season may well be an outlier. When Jay is in one of his swoons, I doubt that pitchers fear him much. And, as others have said, resigning him would likely have been costly and would have involved paying him for his declining years. I like him and wish him the best, and am never comfortable with realistic decisions about the Reds’ roster, but I don’t think that keeping him was a viable alternative.

      • Old-school

        Help me understand defensive WAR calculations. Is Joey Votto really only 0.6 WAR better of a player than Billy Hamilton. IS Billy Hamilton worth $12 million more a year on the open market than Jay Bruce for his superior WAR? Andrew McCutcheon is having a down year but is he really a negative defensive WAR and a full WAR below Billy Hamilton? Ill take McCutcheon and Bruce and Votto….You can have Billy Hamilton and his WAR.

      • Patrick Jeter

        WAR isn’t a measure of talent. It is a measure of accumulated value. Sometimes, those things align.

        For example, Mike Trout is the most talented player and he always has the most WAR.

        Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Willy Mays, Hank Aaron… these are the best players ever… they also have the most WAR.

        I don’t know why so many people can’t get on board with it. Look at the career leaderboards…it’s a who’s-who of the best players ever. Sounds like a pretty darn accurate stat to me.

        And yes, so far this year Votto has only been marginally better than Hamilton. As it stands now, Hamilton has been worth about 18 runs more than Votto on the bases and in the field… Votto, of course has a 23 run lead on Hamilton at the plate. That 5 run different is about six-tenths of a win based on the WAR methodology.

        It all makes a lot of sense if you get down into it and really try to understand what it is measuring.

        What it is NOT measuring is talent. It’s measuring results. Honestly, old-school fans should like it… hit home runs, get on base, play good D, don’t make outs on t he bases, and you’ll have good WAR.

      • Chad Dotson

        Billy Hamilton is better than Votto. Billy Hamilton is better than every player on earth.

        That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      • Patrick Jeter

        And yes, watch 5 Pirates games and tell me McCutchen isn’t a disaster in CF. I’m not sure what happened, but he isn’t good.

      • preacherj

        “Help me understand defensive WAR calculations”

        Ok, take the Pythagorean theorem and add some eye of newt…..

      • Old-school

        agree with 90% of that…but then WAR fails when it egregiously cant quantitate defense….It CANT….when u tell me Joey Votto is barely better than Billy Hamilton because WAR says so….sorry….and when you say Billy hamilton has won more games for the reds than Jay Bruce has….Really????/ Bruce hit 5 home runs in consecutive games….he’s the most sought after bat in the game….yet Billy Hamilton has won 1 more game for the Reds than Jay Bruce has ????? nonsense….Joey Votto is 10x the player Billy Hamilton is and Jay Bruce is 5x the player he is and Im quite sure their isn’t a sane baseball fan anywhere who would take Billy Hamilton over Andrew McCutcheon. I don’t need WAR to tell me Mike Trout is good. You apparently need it to tell you Billy Hamilton is better than Jay Bruce and Andrew McCutcheon.

      • pinson343

        Old School: I think WAR is promising, but has a long way to go before it measures what it claims to. Offensive WAR is already a useful measurement. The problem with defensive WAR is that it is based on defensive metrics that are still primitive.
        Not a single scout who has watched Bruce has agreed with his horrible defensive metrics. One observer had a simple explanation for them: with Hamilton in CF, Bruce defers to him, not catching many balls he could.

        It reminds me of Junior Griffey’s FIRST YEAR in RF. At that point Jr. was not so bad in RF. I watched a lot of games, and he would make good plays toward the RF line. But with a speeding projectile in CF (Ryan Freel), Junior refrained from moving much to right center field, resulting in very poor defensive metrics.

      • Patrick Jeter

        I’m going to try and explain this as thoroughly as I can, using the Billy vs Votto comparison.

        WAR does not measure talent or skill. It measures accumulated value over a replacement level player at each position. If that point doesn’t make sense to you, then I suggest you do some reading on replacement level. Just because two players have similar WAR does not mean they have similar talent.

        One important factor of WAR (perhaps the most important) that hasn’t been mentioned yet is positional defensive adjustment. The idea is this: It is easier to find a replacement first baseman that can play decent 1B defense than it is to find a replacement center fielder than can play decent CF defense. That should be an easy to accept fact. Playing CF is physically more challenging than playing 1B. No one disagrees on that. So, WAR accounts for this with adjustments. Just looking at CF and 1B, we have the following adjustments:

        1B Adjustment: -12.5 runs
        CF Adjustment: +2.5 runs

        So, over a full season, Billy would need to produce 15 fewer offensive runs than Votto to be equivalent, simply because he plays a position that is more difficult to find a replacement for.

        Also, saying the difference is 15 runs assumes each player is average at their respective positions. I think it is safe to say at this point Votto is below average at 1B and Billy is well above average in CF. That is why the current difference through 2/3 of a season is 22.6 runs.

        Point #1: Billy plays a harder position and he’s better at that position than is Votto. If you have issues with this statement, I don’t know what to say. This should be immutable fact if you have eye balls.

        Next, base running. Base running is by far the least valuable thing of all 3 factors. The most important is offense (by far), then defense, then base running. But, it still counts. Billy Hamilton has 35 steals and has been caught 5 times. Since being caught has a larger negative effect than being safe has a positive effect, his “net steals” is something like 25. So, take away 25 singles/walks from Billy’s line at add 25 doubles. All of a sudden, he doesn’t look so bad offensively, does he?

        Currently, WAR puts Billy’s base running value at 8.0 runs above average, while Votto’s is 0.5 runs below average. That 8.5 run difference is almost worth a win itself. Billy is very, very good on the bases.

        Point #2: Billy accumulates a decent amount of value on the bases. Votto does not.

        Finally, offense. No surprise here that Votto has a 25.2 run lead on Hamilton at the plate. Over 2/3 of a season, especially one that Votto is about 10% worse than his career averages, that’s still a big, big difference.

        Billy’s mark of -3.7 runs on offense is actually above replacement level. He’s below “average” but above “replacement.” That is an important concept to grasp. Essentially, a player who is deemed “replacement level” and would put up 0.0 WAR is a below-average major league hitter. An average major leaguer puts up about 2.0 WAR on a full season, taking all things into account. So, the fact that Billy doesn’t hit that well doesn’t hurt him that much because the comparison is to a AAAA replacement player, not an average major leaguer.

        Point #3: Votto is miles ahead of Billy on offense. Enough to make up for their immense difference in defense and base running, but not by some ridiculous amount like 10X.

        Disclaimer: As some have said, defensive metrics have noise, especially on the single-season level. Because of this, analysts agree that WAR should not be taken as 100% precise. For example, a 5.5 WAR player should be considered to be actually between 5.0 WAR and 6.0 WAR. Two players that have 1.5 WAR and 1.6 WAR are the sample player.

        Point #4: WAR was never meant to be a measure of talent. It was meant to be a way to evaluate players against each other who play different positions and even compare batters and pitchers.

        I typed so much I doubt anyone will read it all, but simply saying WAR makes no sense and throwing your hands up and dismissing it is doing a disservice to yourself. Understanding the nuance of WAR can be tricky at first, but once you start thinking in WAR terms it makes perfect sense.

      • Patrick Jeter

        And to PINSON:

        Bruce deferring balls to Billy has ZERO effect on Bruce’s numbers. If a ball is caught by another fielder that you could have caught, it is eliminated from you numbers.

        Also, catching fly balls in the gap that were easily caught by either player does not positively change your numbers, since those are balls that SHOULD be caught and are caught a majority of the time.

        If your point is that Bruce is missing chance to make diving, spectacular plays in the gap because of Billy, then perhaps that has an effect, but honestly, do you expect Bruce to make diving, spectactular plays more often than he should? Honestly, Billy in CF is just as likely to be bringing Bruce’s numbers up than it is to be brining them down.

      • Old-school

        Thank you for the thoughtful response. I still think that WAR should be isolated to offense as it is too hard to quantify defense in my opinion. I have been a critic of Billy Hamilton for his offense, but I do not deny that he is a superb defensive CF and an elite base-runner. He also seems to have taken the challenge a bit to improve so I will be open-minded the next 2 months. His performance recently at the plate has made me pause a bit…. so I will be eager to see if he can sustain this momentum and stay healthy.

    • I-71_Exile

      I don’t know that the Reds couldn’t afford Jay, it’s just that they can probably get similar production for a lot less money in two years when they need it. That money can be spent elsewhere…theoretically. It’s important to reorient your age-related decline glasses back to the non-PED era. I know I’ve had to make this adjustment. Peak year is 27 again and then it’s a steady slide down. My biggest disappointment for Jay is that injuries robbed him of what should have been his best years offensively. That he’s hitting so well this year just fuels the what might have been fires.

    • thecoastman

      Guess you haven’t heard — Big Bob is in the poor house — at least according to him and the front office. We can only afford stale peanuts at the game. Not a big enough return on fresh peanuts.

      • Eric The Red

        That’s part of what I mean. If the Reds lose $10 million or $20 million next year, it doesn’t really “matter”. The price Big Bob could get for the team is many hundreds of millions. A baseball team is more like Amazon–it’s OK to not make an operating profit if it’s driving up the value of the company–then it is like a restaurant where losing money for a year or two means you’ll have to shut down. Sigh.

    • Chuck Schick

      The “value” of the Reds is completely unknown as there have been no comparable sales (Pirates, Brewers, Royals, Indians) in recent years.

      Do the Reds draw more fans when they win? Yes. Does it make that much of a difference? No. The difference in attendance revenue between a 98 win team and 98 loss team is about 17-18 million….or about the cost of Homer Bailey.

      If the Reds win will it help cable revenue? Perhaps…in an extremely modest way. The Reds generally have high tv ratings….they also have one of the smallest markets in baseball and horrible advertising demographics.

      The Reds will pay Jesse Winker 1/28th of what Bruce will make next year. If Winker is 75% as productive for 4% the cost then the Reds made the right move.

      • Patrick Jeter

        I have a feeling Forbes does something like the discounted cash flows method off of estimated cash flows.

        Really, the value is whatever someone will pay for the team on the open market, which we have no idea of. A single team for sale is the ultimate supply-demand case study. Supply of 1, demand of a few, perhaps.

  18. Carl Sayre

    I wish Jay Bruce well. I am of the wait and see mode for this trade you get a plus triple A player that is controlled for at least 5 years for next to no salary for a ball player who has some injury issues. Then I think the throw in piece has some pretty good value, maybe this ends up being a good deal. I would have thought with that many teams rumored to be in the mix and the year Bruce is having the return would have been better but then you look at what teams that made deals giving up young studs. Rangers get Beltran and Lucroy and a RP, then the Dodgers got an OF and a SP if he can stay healthy maybe the Reds got what Bruce was worth. I am pretty sure I like this better than the initial deal for the outfielder.

  19. streamer88

    I like this trade… as long as this kid can hit (or more importantly, identify early, and if a ball then take) a breaking ball.

    I suspect this trade was market value. We had multiple suitors, a 3-team trade in the works at one point, and in fact, two trades ‘finalized’ from the same team. We may surmise our FO is suboptimal, but they aren’t malignant. I assume they took the best deal they received, amongst a bevy of them.

    This kid has the potential to be an NL All-Star 2nd baseman. And we got him when everyone in the world knew we wanted to trade Jay Bruce. Not bad.

    • Gaffer

      This is by definition market value. Look at the other teams interested, they had young pitchers to offer. This was a borderline steal if you value MLB ready hitters.

  20. WVRedlegs

    This is a mediocre trade. Nothing more, nothing less. This is what Bob Castellini, Walt Jocketty, and now Dick Williams do best. Mediocrity.
    The best mediocrity in MLB since 2011.
    Now the Brewers came out big winners today. Jocketty and Williams, pathetic.

    • Indy RedMan

      Milwaukee knows they’ll have that revenue coming in too because of the dome! That was very smart. How many Reds games are miserable or rained out in April or too hot in July/August

      • Daytonian

        Indy…. Maybe you will pay for the dome rather than stick it to the taxpayers! Maybe not, if your name “Indy” indicates you are not from Cincy or Hamilton County. This city and county have been ripped off enough in stadium deals, even without paying for an expensive dome! If a dome is profitable, let the team owners pay for it! If it’s not, why make the locals pay for it? BTW I’m a loyal Reds fan who would love them to win, as my avatar indicates–but I won’t force non-fans to pay for my pleasure..

      • Indy RedMan

        Have to pay to play! You could put a B+ roster together with the Bengals but then stick them with a ginger choker at QB every year. Not only do they still fill Cincy but they flood to Indy every time too and the Colts win easily every time! To each his own::))

    • citizen54

      It was a great trade for the Reds. Going into 2015, Herrera was ranked #41 by Sickels and we got a lefty with some upside as a throw in. A #26-50 hitter is worth on aberage 8.1 WAR or $38 MM in surplus value. Even if you move him into the next tier (51-75) you are still getting 4.9 WAR or $22MM in surplus value. Bruce has been worth .7 fWAR so far this year he is on target to be close to being worth his salary of $12.5MM. In other words, we got $38 MM in surplus value for free. And this is assuming Max Wotell pans out to being worth nothing.

      • Indy RedMan

        Jay Bruce is one of the top 10-15 hitters in mlb and that’s only worth .7 war? Where were you guys when the White Star Line needed you? You guys could twist numbers around and prove the Titantic was actually profitable.

      • Indy RedMan

        Bruce’s 2016 production made him an All-Star anyway

      • citizen54

        I know it seems counterintuitive but even with his 125 wRC+ his defense has been so bad that it only nets out to .7 fWAR and regardless he is not a top 10-15 hitter. He comes in at #41 at wRC+ You could definitely argue about the validity of his defensive metrics as some scouts thinks his defense plays average but both Fangraphs and Baseball Rederence are in agreement about his overall value at .7 WAR.

      • MrRed

        I’m just wondering, where are you getting that Jay Bruce is one of the top 10-15 hitters in mlb? Is this only accounting for home runs? Because I’m just not seeing anything else in his numbers that warrants that type of ranking.

    • earmbrister

      The Brewers were trading a more valuable asset: a “two way” catcher vs an offense only corner outfielder. And how many other all star catchers were available at the trade deadline?

      Thus they (seemingly) got a better haul.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Yeah. Lucroy is miles more valuable then Bruce.

      • lwblogger2

        This is especially true when you factor in his contract.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Indeed! Contract and $$$ are the things most fans forget. They only look at on-field production.

        The idea that an average player making league minimum is a more “valuable” asset than a superstar making $20M a year is foreign and hard to understand for most.

    • doofus

      Agree. A’s received 2 hard throwing RHP (Holmes and Montas) and a PTBNL later for a 36 year old LHP (Hill, whose on the DL) and Josh Reddick, whose offensive bonafides are not even close to Bruce’s.

      • Nick Kirby

        Josh Reddick has a 121 wRC+, Jay Bruce is at 125…Reddick also had a 117 wRC+ in 2015, and 117 wRC+ in 2014, while Bruce was at 78 and 91 those years. Rich Hill may be 36, but he also has a 2.25 ERA/2.53 FIP this season. That is pretty darn good. I also don’t even think the A’s haul was that much better than the Reds.

    • greenmtred

      Couldn’t we wait and see how Herrera works out before we make a final decision?

    • DEN

      And you know this how? Do you have a crystal ball and look into the future? No one knows how this trade will be for at least 2-3-4 years.

  21. WVRedlegs

    I am not a Yasiel Puig fan in the least, but maybe the Reds can buy low on him now during the waiver trading period and flip him out next year.
    Puig stormed away from Dodger Stadium and did not make the team trip to Colorado. The Dodgers told him he would either be traded today or sent to AAA and when the Dodgers picked up Reddick for their OF, Puig went AWOL. Dodgers can’t be happy about that.

      • reaganspad

        in that scenario, I am in.

        I love buy low, sell high. Just miss Wayne Krivsky, a great buy lower

        I feel Walt has these two theories mixed up

      • Chuck Schick

        The Reds don’t have a margin for error where they can get stuck with someone that is owed 20 million over the next 2.5 years that can’t play and is a complete jerk.

      • MrRed

        Pretty much where I stand on this. Even if he plays to the value of his contract somehow, big if that, the Reds really don’t need to being paying a corner OF that much money on a team won’t be competitive for the remainder of his contract.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Wow, just heard this for the first time here.

      I bet the Dodgers send him down and start working a deal for the off-season.

    • Michael E

      I’d be fine with nabbing Puig for one or two lower prospects. Lord knows the Dodgers have little leverage in this. They’ll take something for Puig to get the salary off the books, remove the cancer from the clubhouse and move forward.

      I don’t know the remaining time of Puig’s deal, but if it’s palatable, then maybe grab him, start him every day (that he is healthy) and see how it plays out.

      • DEN

        No body wanted him at the trade deadline, to me that says a lot…

    • Michael E

      Then again, I’d also be fine if they don’t kick those tires, because Puig has been more trouble than he is/was worth to the Dodgers. Those first two months of mashing aside, he has been either BAD or injured or both or just bad attitude. We’d need to have an out plan if it backfired (how would WE get rid of him if he is blowing up the chemistry and locker room and field results?)

    • MrRed

      Nah, the only flipping out that will be going on will be Puig all over the Reds clubhouse. Pass on that one. Let someone else take on that baggage. And it’s not just his attitude, his performance has slipped too. Just not enough upside to be taking time away from guys that the Reds ought to be giving a try.

    • greenmtred

      Sounds like a perfect addition to the team chemistry.

  22. Chad Dotson

    I really didn’t want the Reds to trade Jay Bruce. I’ve been pretty vocal about that.

    But I’m okay with the return for Bruce. I really think Herrera has the chance to be an All-Star second baseman.

    I dunno, maybe I’m just trying to look at this through rose-colored glasses. But I like this kid. And if the Reds were going to trade Bruce, this seems like a reasonable return.

    • Old-school

      I agree. What do you suggest Major league ready prospects Herrera and Peraza do the next year and half waiting on Phillips to collect his 20 million?

    • WVRedlegs

      I was the same. I was OK with Herrera, but lukewarm of the total package. As it turns out, Herrera played his A level ball here for the Pirates a few years ago. I called up a couple of people I know here to ask about Herrera. I can vaguely remember him. But both of the folks here who go to many a game say the Reds are getting a dandy infielder in Herrera. They think he’ll be a fine 2B in the Majors. I’ll have to adjust my attitude some on this trade now.

    • RedInTenn

      So now Jay can help the Mets knock the whiny little (babies) out of the wild card…

  23. StillRed

    I understand all this declining production per salary stuff. But, man, it sure feels like we are selling the farm for pigs in a poke. Selling off proven MLB players for unknown youngsters, none of whom may pan out as MLB stars or find their way into the Reds Hall of Fame. I can’t believe their couldn’t have been a more orderly transition for the team.

    • Ben

      This is pretty standard for teams that aren’t in the playoff hunt. Would it be fun to watch the Reds win 80-85 games the last two seasons? Sure, but that doesn’t get you to the playoffs. Most teams, especially smaller market teams like the Reds, go through cycles like this.

    • Patrick Jeter

      LIke Ben said, this is how you do things.

      As players age, they become less valuable. As players perform better, they become more valuable. Generally as players age, they do better to a point, then decline in performance.. so it’s a delicate balance of value and production.

    • Michael E

      All proven MLB’ers were once unproven youngsters. If you collect enough of them, you should have a fairly talented team in a few years. The right coaches and staff can make good prospects even better. Let’s hope the money saved on players salaries are dumped into better fitness tools, better coaches and instructors and better diet/health programs during the season, etc.

  24. Chad Dotson

    Honestly, it’s very possible that most of us underestimated Bruce’s value on the trade market. He’s coming off two awful seasons, and his defensive metrics are not good.

    Yes, he’s been great this year, but it’s not like there aren’t reasons that other teams would be suspicious.

    • Scotlykins

      The Reds are dumping their veteran players for a reason.

      • Patrick Jeter

        They didn’t “dump” Bruce. They traded him for what seems fair value.

        They converted current wins into probably future wins. That’s how teams become (and remain) relevant in modern baseball.

    • reaganspad

      Which is why I would have let him hit his 40 HRs in Cincy this year, pick up his option and then trade him next year if need be.

      He hits 40, 45 and 42 the next three years, we look really bad because we have sold him low.

      and then we wonder why teams feel they can run over us in a trade. because we do.

      This is not about the 2 prospects we got today who I will love, this is because we didn’t get both of them and one more like Nimmo and had everyone on this board giddy.

      there is only semi giddy here, quasi giddy…

      • Patrick Jeter

        I’ll give you $6,000 USD if Bruce hits 127 homers over the next 3 years.

      • Chuck Schick

        I’ll match your 6k…:.Bruce -A-Thon

      • Old-school

        what if he hits 37/33/29 and is a top 50 player?

      • Reaganspad

        There is no downside. I will take your $6,000 usd, come into Cincy and host a Redleg Nation happy hour (on you). All the nation would be welcome

        Thanks and come on Jay

        (Rats, now I kinda want him to hit HRs even agin us). And if the nation wants a cold one, they are also in flux now when we play the mets

      • lwblogger2

        Wow! I only offered him a steak dinner if Bruce hit 40 with 120 RBI this year. There is a decent chance I’m going to have to pay up on that one.

      • Patrick Jeter

        If he’s a Top 50 player, no soup for you!

        I expect him to be somewhere around 50-75 the next few years.

      • Jack

        He won’t hit that at Citi field. Guarantee.

  25. Botchy

    Haven’t read the article yet, but I really don’t think I need to (still will because I love RLN). I swear all I know is 19 year old pitcher 21 year old AAA hitter. I swear on Joe Dan Votto’s knees.

    Can guess the rest with the Reds’ brass predictable trades that keep happening over and over without bringing the right talent to the org.

    Pitcher: Hard-thrower, 95-96, lacks a secondary pitch and a bit wild. Reds want a starter. Overall solid grab, but Reds don’t need more pitching.

    Hitter: Reds just could not pass up that power. Salivating at a 20 HR guy. Can’t walk, can’t hit to all fields, zero plate discipline. But, hey, we gotta get a guy who can be ready next year for a team that won’t compete.

    Reds desperately need OBP talent, but refuse to get it.

    How’d I do guys?

    • Botchy

      Ha…was a bit wrong. Pitcher looks well-balanced, with an odd delivery. Something the in the epicenter-of-proverbial-box-of-thinking Reds don’t typically do.

      Was wrong about the hitter. But, looks like another defensive-first, mediocre at best hitter. Bonus points for speed! Hey, reds only have 15 of those guys…

      • Nick Carrington

        Depends on your definition of mediocre. I wouldn’t say that a guy that has slashed .300/.354/.485 in 167 career AAA games and is still 22 has only mediocre potential.

      • Ben

        Don’t throw sunshine into this guy’s rainy day!

      • Patrick Jeter

        At least you came back to correct yourself! 😉 Haha! Thanks for reading, Botchy!

      • Indy RedMan

        Unrelated to the trade but Patrick wasn’t it you that said I was making too much of Chapman saying he’d rather close then start? That it might be on Dusty. Well now he’s already complained that he doesn’t like 4 out saves either….lol. If it wasn’t you then I apologize. He’s a coward and a loser and I hope his arm falls off!!

      • Chuck Schick

        People who excel in pressure packed situations aren’t cowards. People who perform their role better than anyone else aren’t losers.

        He prefers to close. There is nothing wrong with that.

      • kmartin

        Indy, is the following quote from Chapman your definition of complaining, because it sounds like a very professional response to me.

        “It’s not [my] favorite thing to do, but that’s [my] job,” Chapman said via Strop, who translated. “He’s the manager. The decision that [put me] out [there] in that situation, [I’m] just ready to do anything.”

      • lwblogger2

        @Indy – You don’t flee Cuba like he did if you’re a coward. I mean the guy has plenty of valid character flaws you can pick at. That isn’t one of them though.

      • Patrick Jeter

        It might have been me, Indy. I honestly can’t remember. I say a lot of stuff. 😉

      • greenmtred

        The pitcher is 19. By the time he’s ready, if he ever is, who’s to say that the Reds won’t need him? Herrera, by my reading, actually sounds to be offense first, average fielder. I’ll wait and see.

  26. Chuck Schick

    Last year at this time, I don’t recall any of the Internet GM’s predicting that Duvall would be on pace to hit 40 HR’s and would make the All Star team.

    The Cuban Missle Crisis produced less angst than the Frazier trade. Odd that the Reds are on pace to score more runs without Super Todd than with him. I guess there’s a reason Dave Kingman was traded every couple of years.

    The Reds made progress today. They’ve made tremendous progress this year. I’ve enjoyed reading who disagrees with today’s trade as fan sentiment is ofen a contrarian indicator.

    • Old-school

      agree….except who are you suggesting plays SS and 2b the rest of this year and in 2017 based on the 40 man roster and the roster of coaches and front office personnel and ownership?

      • Chuck Schick

        Why would “the roster of coaches and front office personnel and ownership” matter as to who plays 2B or SS? I’m reasonably sure I’d rather have BP over Bob 2nd and Cozart over Jocketty at short.

      • lwblogger2

        Stop that! You about made me shoot coffee out my nose!

      • Patrick Jeter

        I would, however, pay large sums of money to see that in an actual game.

    • David

      The progress is more apparent when they have had decent pitching, which started at the end of June, with Iglesias and Lorenzen returning to fill holes in the bull pen.

      They have a decent offensive team. They can score runs. If their starters are solid and the bullpen continues to perform, there is no reason they cannot keep winning (not necessarily at a .667 clip) for the rest of the year. They still have problems.
      Getting rid of Brandon Phillips. Sad, because Brandon has had a great career with Cincy, but now he’s an impediment to the rebuild.
      Improving offense at catcher. No changes coming soon.
      Improving defense. Brandon has regressed a lot (as has Cozart slightly), as has Votto, and Suarez has been pretty disappointing at 3rd base. I would give him another year, he might get better.

    • Reaganspad

      The Reds did not need to trade Todd when they did. We would have more wins with him as our 3rd baseman than we do today.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Likely, yes. But how many more wins? 1? 2? Is that worth millions of dollars?

    • lwblogger2

      You’re right on Duvall. I’m still not convinced he’ll be anything more than a one-year wonder but he’s having a great year. I could also be wrong and he may have a solid career as an MLB starting outflelder… As for the Frazier trade, I still hate it. I know he hasn’t been particularly good but he’s still under team control for a reasonable contract and Peraza couldn’t have been the best player out there. He isn’t going to hit consistently and with no power and very few walks, he is looking like the kind of guy that puts up .260/.290/.355 or so. That’s not good.

  27. WVRedlegs

    The one thing that bothers me about getting Herrera is his dropoff in his 2016 AAA stats from his 2015 AAA stats. In 2016, his numbers are over .050 points lower in batting average, over .050 points lower in OBP, and over .050 points lower in slugging %. That makes his OPS over .150 points lower this year on the same team and same league.
    Was Herrera injured earlier this year that would make this much decline from last year?
    Anyone have any info or reasoning about this??

    • pinson343

      That was the one thing that bothered me too. I can’t find any info about that. I would hope it was due to some nagging (but not serious) injury.

    • Patrick Jeter

      His BABIP was 56 points higher last year than this year. Probably got a little better luck in 2015 than in 2016.

      Also, he’s striking out 2% more often, so that doesn’t help.

      But, both of these data sets are like 60% of a full season (360-ish PA), so there’s really no reason to worry.

      Votto was terrible for 100 PA and has been great for 300 PA. The same thing can happen in arbitrary endpoints like seasons. 😉

  28. jessecuster44

    None of this matters at all if Cozart and BP don’t step aside soon. What’s the point of trading for MLB-ready players (Peraza, Herrera) if you’re not willing to play them?

    The philosophy of this organization is utterly confounding.

    • Darrin

      At this point, I’m not sure this organization has a philosophy. Tho it might have a tell the fans what they wanna hear and do the opposite philosophy.

  29. pinson343

    Very nice coverage of the trade, Nick. Looking forward to reading more analysis here in future posts.

    I very much look forward to the posts that will pay tribute to Jay Bruce’s career with the Reds. He’s been my favorite Reds player since Griffey Jr. was traded, and appreciate the opportunity to pay my own tribute to him.

  30. pinson343

    I agree with the consensus here that this was a good return for Bruce. It’s good luck that the Reds weren’t able to trade him last year or in the off-season. The Reds are all too willing to trade players when their value is down, but got lucky here.

  31. pinson343

    I’m looking forward to seeing Schebler come up, the International League Player of the Month for July. He’s already won me over, by entering that early season game against the Pirates and twice hitting doubles to give the Reds the lead. That was the extra inning game that the Reds won by taking a late lead on the Pirates 4 times before the bullpen finally held the lead.

  32. pinson343

    I agree with Nick that the Reds see Peraza-Herrara as their middle IF combo of the future, with Peraza at SS. The thing is, they are both major league ready. For the rest of 2016, we know the Reds will continue to play BP and Cozart a lot. It makes some sense in the case of Cozart, as they want to keep his trade value up.

    But in 2017, they simply don’t have that option. Cozart will be traded in the off-season. And BP ? It would be very hard to find a trade partner and he might refuse it again.
    If so they have to use him as a bench player, I don’t see any choice.

    I have nothing against BP, I’ve enjoyed watching him all these years, but he should (as many here have said) be benched right now. For one thing, that might make him amenable to a trade in the offseason.

  33. ohiojimw

    I just want to see more of these new guys start playing at MLB level (the pitcher in this deal obviously excluded). That’s the only way anyone can figure out if they are good enough or if the Reds need to keep bringing in more guys.

    Neither Phillips nor Cozart are going to be part of the next Reds contending team. There is little to nothing to lose in the way of trade value by sitting them on the bench and playing Herrera and Peraza everyday. It is past time to get on with things.

  34. John Gattermeyer

    You know what, this trade might workout and it might not. We weren’t getting a better package for Jay, and it’s not surprising Jay’s patience with the organization wore off after being under the trade cloud for the better part of the past two seasons. And Walt and Co. Really deserve the criticism they get for the offseason trades they made and the in-season deals they miss on or don’t even take (*cough* Cozart *cough*).

    However, the FO has made a few impressive moves that merit some kudos. First, and most obviously is Dan Straily. He’s not going to be a rotation anchor, but he can give solid quality innings and could likely work just as well out of the pen. Secondly, claiming Abel De Los Santos. He’s not a top prospect, but he’s a top 30 guy who will also likely make a big league pen. It was a saavy move to add basically a second piece in a trade for nothing more than a roster spot. And finally, the signing of TJ Freidl. I’m not sure it’s official yet, but I haven’t seen any indications it is not happening. If people had been aware of his draft status, he was a sandwich/second round talent this year. Had he gone back to school, had a similar or better year, he’s a surefire first rounder his redshirt junior year. And the Reds were frugal enough with their pool that they could reap those rewards. They added probably a top 5 org prospect as an undrafted free agent. The organization deserves its fair share of criticism. But it’s not ALL bad. There’s some really solid to good moves in there as well.

    • Michael E

      Didn’t know about Friedl, thanks for that heads up, seems like a good move. We’ll see what scouts think soon enough I guess.

      • Cory

        This team needs to thank Phillips for his years and now move on. A rebuilding team doesn’t need to let an aging second baseman block all its young middle infielders. Walt has made some good moves with the Reds but then again he’s the main reason that this rebuild hasn’t even gotten off the ground yet. From 2011-14 they drafted Stephenson, Ervin, Travieso, and Howard. Not one of them have contributed anything to the big league club and at least two of them never will. Also he’s made some good trades but then again hasn’t brought back one blue chip prospect with all the quality players he’s sent out. Look at the Yankees, they’ve rebuilt they’re entire system in one week. Why couldn’t the reds have done that. Even the mighty Yankees know when to shut it down and start over. Not at all saying that they didn’t get any good players back. They just fell in love with they’re players and held on too long. I always joke and say the the Reds can’t do more than one thing at a time. I read an article from the Mariners this morning and it says the were confident in a Cozart trade. Didn’t happen cause Reds were so focused on Bruce that they couldn’t do both. Pretty sure that Texas made two huge trades at almost the same time yesterday. The quicker this teams distances itself from Walt the better it will be. St. Louis felt the same way and look where they’re at every year now. Reds are smaller market but they must draft better and start making some shrewd trades. They’ve only ever traded players that they had to deal. Never anything outside the box. Never any surprise moves. They have talent on the team but they need the rebuild to start now from upper management on down.

      • IndyRedMan

        Omar Infante just played in back to back WS with the Royals and they cut him loose earlier this year. I think they ate about 14 mil! Meanwhile…the Reds trade 35-40 HR guys in Bruce/Frazier for middle infielders and then can’t even find them any atbats? Peraza could be subbing in for literally everyone but Votto and the catcher but Price won’t do it! Its hard to stay positive when you see the same mistakes year after year after year!

      • ohiojimw

        I’ve always thought WJ summed his philosophy and mode of operation perfectly with his infamous “We’ve got Jack (Hannahan) for that” quip. He is an ultimate set piece guy in a world that increasing requires flexibility and fluidity within a general framework which defines objectives but leaves day to day operations open to adjustment on the fly.

      • jessecuster44

        Totally agree that it is hard to be optimistic when the same management mistakes keep happening.

  35. james garrett

    You either got it or you don’t and Walt and crew doesn’t have it.The game is still the same but how you run the organization has changed.You have to be ready because everybody that’s successful got that way by being ready.You have to stay modern and up to date in all areas and stay up with your competition on and off the field.The Reds are way way behind and playing catch up in a sport that is changing every day,not on the field,off the field.Walt is just part of the good old but network that only is alive and well in his mind.What used to work doesn’t work any more.He is not a bad guy or a bad GM he is just way way out of his league.You are either all in or your not rebuilding and he is just trying to hang on to the past.As Cory mentioned above regarding the BP situation which is classic hanging on to the past and good old boy thoughts etc etc.Problem is it don’t get you where you need to be.As far as the Bruce trade it is what it is and we will see down the road how it works out for the Reds.Let the auditioning begin in right field,second base and short stop.Its time to move on from the past.

  36. WVRedlegs

    Here is a little bit of background info on Dilson Herrera.

    “Herrera signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent in 2010. He received a $220,000 signing bonus. He then spent the next three years in the Pirates’ farm system, advancing as far as the A-class West Virginia Power. Herrera, along with Gregory Polanco, represented the Pirates at the 2013 All-Star Futures Game.”

    “On August 28, 2014, after an injury to All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy, Herrera was called up to the majors. He became the first Met player ever to start the season in single-A and get to the majors by the end of the season.”

    Not too shabby.

  37. Scott E. Disney

    I am starting to think the only way the logjam in the infield clears is through the use of platoons. The most realistic one of happening is Schebler/Peraza, however neither seem to hit lefties well (small sample) so I guess they would each play half of the games left? If you try to platoon Peraza w/ Cozart or BP then it is still a bad fit in terms of L/R splits. I guess best thing besides just playing either BP or Cozart less is to alternate Peraza and Schebler, and maybe have only Schebler hit lefties.

    • Cory

      Cozart needs to play ss to finish out the year. I believe he can be packaged with another player this winter for a decent return. Let Peraza and Herrera play middle IF at Louisville so that they come to ST next year as startes for big club. I think the pen has a shot to be really good next year. Tony, Raisel, and Lorenzen r transforming the bullpen now. Add a few more next year and then u can shorten the game for the young starters who r only gonna give u 5+ innings. Gotta start figuring outs who the starters r and who the relievers r soon.

      • lwblogger2

        Honestly, AAA makes sense for both of them. Let them get 90% of the PT at SS/2B down in L’ville. Then when the season is over down there, give them some ABs and work in MLB in September.

  38. Jeff Gangloff

    I feel like most of you. Not completely thrilled and not completely upset about this trade. Its just a wait and see at this point. A good prospect with nice upside with a lot of controllable years and who is still young.

    One of the kickers though is playing time being blocked with Peraza and Herrera. Phillips and Cozart need to sit or Peraza and Herrara need to be sent down so they can build chemistry and get more ABs.

  39. Scott Carter

    Little late reading all of this but thanks Patrick for the detailed explanation of WAR. It was very helpful.

    • Patrick Jeter

      I’m just glad someone read it.

      I think I’m going to do a post on it soon.

      • lwblogger2

        WAR is interesting. Where I think people make mistakes is when they use WAR and pretty much WAR alone to compare two players as far as value. A lot of people also assume that teams should be doing this. I’d think that most teams have their own value metrics that they use. They may look and function like WAR but they aren’t WAR. Bill James’ “Win Shares” kinda got the ball rolling on value and was used as a way to compare players of different eras and at different positions on the field.

        WAR is great for a quick and dirty comparison and certainly is valuable as an analysis tool. It’s fairly cut and dry when looking at player values that a 5 WAR player is much, much more valuable than a 3 WAR player.

  40. Andy

    I hate the trade. I think the Reds did the right thing given the economic reality; I think they got roughly fair value for Bruce; and I think baseball’s salary scale is off-the-charts stupid. I do not envy the millions they make, the players have an elite skill that millions pay tickets for or watch on TV. If the Reds payroll is $150million-plus, so be it. My issue is with the distribution of those millions. Simply put, players who have reached free agency make way too much money, and those who haven’t make far too little. I wish the players union would work harder for the up-and-comers. 500K sounds about right for DeJesus or Blake Wood, but is criminally low for Duvall or Hamilton. Even Cozart’s arbitration-enhanced salary is too low. The Reds traded Bruce not because they couldn’t afford him, but because they could replace 75% of his production for 1/40th of the price, and that extra 25% production only matters to teams in the postseason hunt. The problem is, baseball loves its tradition and retired numbers and team records. Trading the players that start to climb the record books hurts the ability of parents to sell the team to kids; my 8 year old daughter still doesn’t understand the Frazier trade. I understand moving on when a player declines, but trading fan favorites who are still young, playing well, and paid fairly will cause damage to the team’s connection to the fan base. The minimum salary needs to be increased for starting players so that teams looking to shed salary won’t save quite so much, and so that young stars can earn their share. And if the younger players earn more, their won’t be as much to pile into ludicrous free-agent deals for the currently great players about to start declining. Bruce is likely making fair value for All-Star caliber play, but once he hits free agency his price tag will inflate way beyond fair value. I think the trade never happens if the Reds think he would sign for 4-5 more years at $10-12M/year.