ESPN’s Buster Olney is among the best in the business. I’m not exaggerating when I say that. (Okay, you got me, I didn’t actually say it. I wrote it. But I just assume you’re all hearing my lovely voice in your head when you read any of the dumb things I write here at RN.)

Whatever. Buster Olney is very good at his job. So when I saw his most recent piece — entitled Could Billy Hamilton be on the move from Cincy? — my Spidey Sense started tingling. After all, as you know, I’m a fully-paid member of the Billy Hamilton Fan Club, and I think he’s poised for a big year in 2017.

So Olney’s piece is for ESPN Insider (which is a pretty good value, if you ask me), but here’s the lede:

The Reds are listening to offers on all of their players, including — sources say — center fielder Billy Hamilton, an elite defender who seemed to turn a corner in his development as a hitter last summer before suffering a season-ending injury Sept. 4, a few days before his 26th birthday.

In Hamilton’s last 47 games, he has batted .286 with a .360 on-base percentage, with 32 runs scored and 36 stolen bases (in 40 attempts). His on-base against right-handed pitchers jumped from .276 to .340. Hamilton ranked seventh among all outfielders in Defensive Runs Saved. He led all major leaguers — by far — in Fangraphs’ baserunning efficiency metric.

Let’s unpack that a bit. First of all, the Reds are listening to offers on all of their players. That’s a good thing. No one on this club should be untouchable. If the right team comes along with the right offer, make the trade. If the Angels want to trade Mike Trout for Joey Votto, let’s do it.

Next Olney says that the Reds are listening to offers on everyone, but that “sources” specifically include Hamilton among the list of “everyone.” Yes, that’s redundant. But I suppose I should be upset that Hamilton is reportedly on the trading block, right?

My reputation as an irrational Billy Hamilton fan — though well-deserved, admittedly — is getting out of control. Yes, I think Hamilton is a special player who can do things that no one else can. Yes, I think he’ll be an All-Star in 2017 if he can remain healthy. No, I don’t think he should be untouchable. As I always say, everyone should be available in the right package. I really don’t believe there’s any such thing as an untouchable player.

So far, there really isn’t much news to report in Olney’s piece. The Reds are listening to offers. That’s precisely what GM Dick Williams should be doing. Good work, Reds management.

Then there’s this:

For a big-market team with payroll and resource flexibility, Hamilton could be an incredible and devastating weapon, because of his once-in-a-generation baserunning skills. He could be used as a starter on some days.

But on other days — depending on the matchups — he could be used offensively in the same way that a closer is used to impact games, in being placed in high-leverage situations as a pinch-runner. Nobody is better at stealing bases. Nobody is better at taking the next 90 feet. The Royals demonstrated the potency of a dangerous baserunner over the last couple of years.


I’m not sure I can put it better than Chris did:

I don’t get it. I know I’m probably irrational when it comes to Hamilton, and I see the flaws in his game that are readily apparent. But honestly, this sentence doesn’t make sense to me: He could be used as a starter on some days. What?

Billy Hamilton just turned 26. He posted 3.1 WAR in only 119 games in 2016. His on-base percentage was almost exactly league-average last year, and he’s an elite defensive center fielder with off-the-charts baserunning skills. He’s under team control for three more seasons. Hamilton is a legitimate big league center fielder who continues to improve. As Mark Sheldon pointed out, however, the Reds should be listening to offers because Hamilton’s value right now is higher than it has been:

If the Reds were willing to move Hamilton, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, they would be selling high. That is based on his offensive improvement in the second half of 2016 following two down seasons. Overall last season, the 26-year-old batted .260 with a .321 on-base percentage and 58 stolen bases. He did not play after Sept. 4 because of a strained left oblique.

After the All-Star break, Hamilton batted .293 with a .369 on-base percentage and regained his spot at the top of the order following a demotion to the back of the lineup.

Defensively, Hamilton was a Gold Glove finalist for the third straight year. He led National League center fielders with 15 defensive runs saved and a 13.3 ultimate zone rating, according to

Perhaps some team with deep pockets will want to acquire Hamilton to serve as a pinch-runner and occasional starter. But that’s selling Hamilton short, isn’t it? He’s capable of much more than that, and you have to think the club would demand more in return than you would expect to get for a glorified pinch runner. Right?

Sure, the Reds should be listening to offers for Hamilton. But let’s not forget what he can bring to the next good Reds team: He’s young, scrappy, and hungry — a diamond in the rough — and the Reds don’t want to throw away his shot at being a productive — possibly All-Star — center fielder for this club.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at

Join the conversation! 55 Comments

  1. Good grief. Don’t trade Billy unless you get a HAUL of cost-controlled players in return.

    Besides Votto, he’s the second most exciting player the team has.

    I’m still in shock from the Chapman fiasco, and don’t want that repeated.

    • Chapman fiasco was taken and rubbed in our faces by the Yankees, who just a couple of months later trade him for the top prospect in the Cubs system. So sad. It’s like Jocketty and Williams go into talks already having negotiated themselves down. Do they wake up thinking “we don’t have a single player anyone wants…well, time to get on the phone and make a deal”?

  2. Agree. And I think that Hamilton is EXACTLY the type of player who will continue to improve. Bill James did a neat thing on his website over this past summer (you have to pay for access) called his PGSP, or Player Growth and Sustainability Profile. It tried to predict a player’s growth based on his first season, not based on how “good” that season was, but based on the type of player/skills he demonstrated (slow v. fast, plate discipline, handedness, etc).

    The findings? After looking at hundreds of players’ careers, he concluded that (while the effects might be kinda small) all things being equal, being young (for a rookie), fast, switch-hitting, but not-very-good hitters have the “best” potential for long term growth. Slow, right handed, “old for a rookie”, but good hitters have the least potential for growth.

    This seems intuiative, but it is something to see it quantified. Anyway, while reading this stuff, I could only come to one conclusion over and over again. Billy Hamilton fits this profile perfectly, and, well, Adam Duvall probably does not. I’d be reluctant to trade Billy, but kinda hope they “sell-high” on Adam.

    • I’m not certain that the description fits Duvall like a glove. He’s not really a “good” hitter, but he does have power and was showing signs of improved plate discipline. I’m also not sure how slow he is, and he proved to be a very decent left-fielder, something the Reds haven’t had in a very long time. You could trade him, certainly, just as you could trade Billy, but what could you reasonably expect in return that would be an improvement? At some point, the team has to try to win (while always acquiring prospects, of course, for sustainability). Concerning Billy, I can’t imagine what the return would have to be that would keep me from raging for years to come.

  3. I think the only way something like this happens is if a team decides to way overpay like Arizona did for Shelby Miller. There may be a team who has projected him as the next Rickey Henderson, and if so, they may wish to “overpay.” That’s also the big question for Dick Williams and Co.: Will Hamilton maintain or even surpass his 2016 second-half production, or will he revert to what the back of his baseball card shows?

    If you’re a contender this coming year, there’s no way you trade a Gold-Glove-caliber center fielder. But they’re not a contender. I’m for trading anyone if it makes the team better with the timeline for contention still being 2018.

    • Obviously they would have to get a large return to move Hamilton. I think, though, that the most likely player to be moved other than Cozart (or Phillips if he waives the no-trade clause) is actually Anthony DeSclafani. The reason for that belief is the fact that the starting pitching on the free agent market is very weak this season, and because of that, I think a team may be willing to make a Shelby Miller-type deal. If I were the Reds, I wouldn’t trade Disco for anything less than that kind of megadeal, and would hesitate to trade him at all, but I do truly believe someone could make an offer that the Reds can’t refuse.

  4. Chad, your column is spot on. The reds would need to get a haul to trade him. Who needs a center fielder the most? Probably the hated cardinals. It seems that a trade between these two teams for a front line player last happened…never? WWll? I don’t recall any major trades between these hated rivals…but if the return was overwhelming…maybe.. The cubs could also use Billy, and reds do have a trade history with that president of baseball operations, and they do have a strong farm system. My crystal ball also could see the dodgers as a player here, another team with a strong farm system. Still, if we don’t get absolutely overwhelmed by a offer, lets keep Billy.

    • had a “Christmas Wish List” for contending teams and the #1 player it had listed for the Cardinals was Billy Hamilton. I definitely don’t think the Reds would trade Hamilton to a division rival, and they shouldn’t unless the Cardinals make a crazy offer. If I were the Reds and the Cardinals called about Hamilton, I would absolutely insist that Alex Reyes be included to make a deal, which would possibly end the conversation before it even got started. But the article is definitely worth a read.

    • Pinson for Tolan & Granger in October ’68

      • I forgot about the other OF trade with the Cardinals before the Pinson deal. In Jan of ’68 the Reds traded Dick Simpson for Alex Johnson.

  5. I think it’s well established that Chad and I are on opposite ends of the Billy-worship spectrum. Hamilton’s defense and speed on the bases plays for me. I don’t put a lot of value in his base stealing threat and am skeptical that this (or any other) year will be the year he becomes a solid contributor at the plate. I think it’s reasonable that a team with Billy Hamilton might not start him every game, despite the defense, if they have a CF who hits really well and is average in the OF. There’s no scarcity of those players. 13 CF had a higher fWAR than Hamilton last year.

    That said, I don’t think the Reds will trade Hamilton because the new regime seems to place great value on speed and stolen bases. That’s been apparent in a series of moves they’ve made the past year, dating back to falling in love with Jose Peraza. Maybe that was the old regime. But Jocketty never put too much stock in speed/SB in building his previous successful clubs. So my guess as an outsider is that the new front office is trying to build a team around speed and SB.

    The wild card about a Billy Hamilton trade is that I bet there is a super-gigantic variance in the way clubs value his skill set. Boy, if they could find a trade partner that put a huge value in 70 stolen bases, the Reds should deal.

    So, if the Reds get to the point where they thought they had another player who could cover CF and hit at least (or likely better) than Hamilton, why not float all those stolen bases out there and see if another club pulls a Diamondbacks and makes the Reds an offer they can’t refuse.

    Right now though, I suspect the Reds are on the extreme BillyValue end of the range, making a trade unlikely.

    • Saying he was 14th in WAR among CF is true, but it is very misleading. WAR is a counting stat and he was something like 7th or 8th when he went down. Plus there were only 4 CF who put up over 4 WAR last year. Then there were a bunch of guys in the 3.1 to 3.9 range and almost all of those guys played a lot more than Billy. It is not a deep position around the league right now and Billy is at least a top 10 CF.

      I still don’t know what your issue with stolen bases and baserunning is. An extra base is an extra base whether you get it with the bat or your legs. The key is efficieny and Billy has been very efficient over the last 2 years. He put up something like 12 runs above average with his legs last year. Nobody else was even close.

      Then you repeat your statement about the Reds over valuing speed and stolen bases based solely on Jose Peraza. He is the only player they have acquired that fits that narrative but you keep repeating it. And you ignore any other reasons the Reds may have liked him, such as a strong hit tool and ability to play a decent shortstop.

      • I’ve written a lot about it as have others. Sorry you still don’t get it. I don’t have a big issue with the value of speed and base running. I have an issue with the value many people perceive in stolen base attempts. Caught stealings substantially limit the net value of SB. They are twice as bad as stealing is good. Lose a base runner, lose an out. Runners have to be 75% just to break even. Being a few percent above that barely adds to runs created. Your stealing second after a single isn’t the same contribution to runs as you hitting a double. Obvious. If you don’t believe me, ask the runner who was on first.

        Your Hamilton/Posey/Marte statistic is about base running, not stolen bases. There were other acquisitions beside Peraza that showed value for SB. Peraza will be lucky to hit .270. So there’s the hit tool. No power. No plate discipline. Ability to play SS? Two other organizations had him at 2B and thought he couldn’t play SS. We’ll see. I’ve been through all this and written entire posts about it. Not going to repeat it all every time you decide to drop in and repeat your misunderstanding and misrepresentation. I hope you’re right and I’m wrong about the organization’s inclination toward speed and stolen bases above power and plate discipline.

        Hamilton had 490 plate appearances. He’d have probably caught a few guys ahead of him with a full season. But there were CF behind him who would have passed him in value with a full season: Dyson, Naquin, Cain, Jankowski, Keon Broxton. There were several guys ahead of him with fewer PA: Kiermier, Pederson, Trea Turner.

        12 runs above average “with his legs” – your statistic – includes all base running, not just stolen bases. Proves my point. That’s worth *one* game above replacement. Not nothing, but nothing breathtaking, either. The fact he was way ahead of others just proves that overall base running doesn’t contribute much to run scoring and wins.

        Billy is great defensively. Not saying he has no value. Not saying he has no value. Not saying he has no value. Maybe he gets to 3.5 WAR with a full season, maybe he slips to 2.5. Point is, Billy has value, but he’s not a snowflake. Half the teams or more will start next year with a CF projected for more value. One projection already has him at 1.5 WAR in 2017. He might be a top 10 CF. Or top 15-18. That’s all I was saying.

        • The Reds have acquired a lot of players over the past 2 years. They have acquired catchers with power potential like Stephenson and Okey. Middle infielder with average power and OBP skills in Herrera and Suarez. Slugging corner outfielders in Duvall and Schebler. A third baseman with a big time hit tool and solid power in Senzel. A potential 5 tool teenager in Trammell. And pitchers. Lots of pitchers.

          Only 1 player fits your narrative of the Reds drastically over valuing baserunning and that is Jose Peraza.

          Look, I am not ecstatic about how the rebuild is going either. The Reds should have unloaded their chips sooner. But the only trade i can actually complain about is Chapman. The rest look pretty good at this point. They just held onto some guys for too long. I know you don’t want to argue about this. But you made this narrative up. I am not the only one to call you on it. Even Doug Gray called you on it in the post you linked. Yet you keep repeating it. Your only evidence is the post you yourself wrote.

        • Peraza will hit .300 in at least one full season for the Reds. His OBP may end up being .325 that year, but that year will come. He’ll generate almost 4 WAR that year too.

          His ceiling may not be Bryce Harper’s, but he’s a decent all-around talent (minus power) and oh by the way, he’ll *still* be 22 when he reports to spring training.

        • The Braves never Though Peraza couldn’t play SS……

        • the other thing all the SB attempts create is more Fastballs for the hitter that is at the plate when Hamilton is on base

          • Doesn’t show up as a net positive in studies about the effects of base-stealers on hitters. Theory is that positive effect (and that pitcher is distracted by runners) is cancelled out by the batter being distracted by worrying if the runner is going to steal and the pitcher throwing over to first base. Like I said, studies don’t find a net positive effect, it’s neutral.

        • Re: The Braves and Dodgers not thinking that Peraza could play SS. It is more than fair to note here that the Braves had Simmons at the time and the Dodgers had Seager. Those are some pretty good SS. So, each of those teams could very well have believed that Peraza can play SS (maybe even well) but not as well as their top options.

          All of this is to say that the Reds weren’t wrong to target Peraza. My beef is that they may have paid too much to get him. First they tried to use Chapman to get Peraza. A move that would have been more than dubious but nonetheless fell through because of Chapman’s off the field issues (don’t even get me started on that subsequent fiasco) and then they rushed to a backup plan of using Frazier to obtain him. Still not a great use of trade chips but not as egregious as their attempt to use Chapman. But it’s these collective decisions that have me concerned with the Reds wherewithal to successfully rebuild. Maybe the new leadership will prove more scrupulous. Let’s hope so. Because there are plenty more decisions to be made going forward in this rebuild.

    • In terms of runs above average this year, Billy Hamilton’s baserunning was worth the same as Buster Poesy, Will Myers’s, and Starling Marte’s bats. How is that not valuable?

  6. Buster Olney has to have something to write about on these very tepid Hot Stove League days. Reds listening, sure. Reds in active talks to trade BHam, isn’t going to happen.

  7. I thought this rebuild was over with. The statement, “The Reds are listening to offers on all players”, is eerily similar to the lines I’ve been hearing the last 1 or 2 yrs. I hate this seemingly constant state of flux we seem to be in. Question: How’re we supposed to build towards another winning team if we constantly put our players up on the chopping block? I thought we had the pieces in place that we wanted our next good teams to be made up of! What if Williams get inundated with offers for our good young stars and most everybody currently on the team gets traded…AGAIN! We’d then have another batch of young supposed stars who probably won’t be as far along in their MLB experience as our current group is (which ain’t much, I admit). But it’s my understanding that the ML experience a lot of our youngsters got this past season was a huge step forward in their development. Now, I don’t actually believe that ALL or even most of our current players will be traded, but the theory behind this philosophy would seem to indicate a constant state of flux. I’ve asked this before and I believe I had a satisfactory answer, but now that ALL our plyrs seem to be trade bait again, I’m kinda forced to ask it again…When’s it going to end? This seems like madness. Just say that most of our current young stars get traded and we have a whole bunch of new young stars on the team next year, how’re we gonna be playing competitive ball again in ’18? I’m not emotionally invested in the NEW Reds but if they’re as good as everyone’s freakin saying, then yeah, I want to keep them bcuz if we don’t we may never get back to winning ball bcuz we’ll be in a constant state of flux. Like I said, I don’t think ALL or even most of our current team will be gone by next year, but it’s a real possibility since it’s been put out there again that they’re listening to offers for all their plyrs. I hate this! BTW, Votto should be untouchable. Maybe the last untouchable Red, but untouchable nonetheless. I don’t care what y’all say or how logical your argument may be. So don’t try, ok! I’ve heard it all before anyway. Votto should be untouchable.

    • “The Reds are listening to offers on all of their players”


      “all of our players seem to be trade bait”

      Listening to offers simply means that Dick Williams is taking the phone calls.
      And he should definitely be doing that for every player in the Reds organization, including Votto.
      If the Red Sox (a team that could arguably use an upgrade at 1B) call asking to discuss a trade for Votto would you not even take the call? They could potentially offers some combination of Bogaerts and Bradley Jr (1st year arb eligible), Mookie Betts (not arb eligible until 2018) and prospects Moncada, Benintindi, Devers, and Groome (the number 1, 5, 16 and 30 ranked prospects in all baseball). Odds are you won’t come to an agreement with them, but will all of the possibilities they have to offer you wouldn’t take the call? If you take the call, then you are “listening to offers” on Joey Votto.

      • Considering Betts is a better player than Votto right now, I’m not sure him name should be included there! 😉

        • Can’t really argue with that. The Red Sox are unlikely to be real willing to give up any of that group let alone some combination of them. Point was just that if a team with that amount of young talent calls asking about anybody, Votto included, then it’s worth your time to see what they are willing to give up.

    • Everyone is always listening on every player. The Angels are listening on Mike Trout, the Red Sox on Mookie Betts, the Blue Jays on Josh Donaldson, even the Cubs on Kris Bryant, every bit as much as the Reds are listening on Votto. That doesn’t mean any of these clubs are serious about trading them, just that if they get a crazy offer that they can’t refuse, well, then they can’t refuse it.

  8. If Phil Ervin could hit, he could make BHam expendable. There isn’t a CF in the Reds organization that could take BHam’s place until you get down to Taylor Trammell, and he is at least 3, and probably 4 years away.
    However, the Marlins would be an ideal trading partner for BHam with their expansive OF. BHam in between Stanton and Ozuna in the Marlins OF and at the top of their lineup with Dee Gordon. Could the Marlins get intoxicated by thought of such speed at the top of their lineup? That could make Christian Yelich a Red. But to get Yelich, the Reds would have to include a starting pitcher in the deal with BHam.

    • Dude, I’ll be the first to nip this in the butt, but the Marlins are not in the market for another OF. I’m actually a big Marlins fan (obviously behind the Reds), and they easily have the best OF in baseball. They need SP more than any team out there.

    • Peraza could play CF and hit better than Hamilton. How’s that for a solution?

      • Who plays shortstop then? Please don’t say Suarez. It’s also too early to say that Peraza will hit better, and it’s very unlikely that he will field as well, never mind better. Aside from that, though…

        • Definitely Suárez. We need to clear 3B for Nick Senzel in the very near future. Suárez has too good of a bat to take out of the lineup, and was an above-average defensive 3B this year that continued to improve all year. Long term, I see Peraza at 2B, Suárez at SS, Senzel at 3B.

        • Who is going to field for Suarez? He did improve at third, but third is not shortstop.

        • Exactly, Green. I can’t emphasize this enough. SS is way harder to field than 3B. While Suarez improved his fielding last year, he had only one way to go because he has been so bad with the glove. His range does not compare to the other options the Reds have, including Peraza, who no one questions is a competent SS.

          Long-term, Suarez either moves to 2nd or becomes a valuable bench/trade piece for this organization.

  9. (I love Billy.) I like this thought process from the front office, but it seems a year or so too soon. If Billy continues to put it together and has a full healthy impactful season, then sell high. At some point, his legs will start to age and his value is more tied to his legs than most. He kind of reminds me a bit of Drew Stubbs, as someone with flaws in their game but enough potential to fan the flames of hoping for next year.

  10. The only wrong answer here is to move Hamilton for a mediocre return. Keep him? Great – a gold glove center fielder with game changing base running skills, on the upswing for OBP, and under team control for at least three more years! Trade him? Great – a solid major league all-star or nearly young player (e.g. Yelich), or a few very high level prospects or young major leaguers (say, Bogearts and Benintendi). Either way I’m good. Just don’t sell low just to show that you’re willing to make bold moves to out your stamp on the Reds team.

    • *put your stamp…

    • I agree that the only wrong answer is trading him for a less-than-great return.

      What I think is the best answer though is to try to sign him to an extension. Get some cost certainty through arbitration and hopefully a free-agent year or two.

      I would also look to acquire an outfielder that can start most of the time in one of the corners and also back up Billy in CF. Sitting Billy once a week while still letting him pinch run or be late inning defensive replacement might save some of the wear-and-tear on him while still maximizing his talents.

      • The Marlins are not trading Yelich. At all.

        • We should have traded for Yelich a few years ago when we had the chance. I know we must have had the chance because I wrote about how we should trade for him then.

  11. Listening is good … it should take a very nice return if it happens. As I watch him, durability is the biggest concern only because he plays all-out all the time.

  12. My arbitration model thinks Billy Hamilton will get $1.8M in Arb1, $3.0M in Arb2, and $4.2M in Arb3 if he continues to have similar seasons. That’s around $9M bucks for 3 years. If we take the whole free agent valuation of $8M per win and assume Billy is going to be a 2.5 WAR player for the next 3 years, he has a surplus value of $51M.

    Remember that weird ATL-ARI deal (not the Swanson one) where the Braves essentially bought Touki Touissant for $10M? Even though Dave Stewart is no longer around, $51M of surplus value can get a lot of prospect back.

    I don’t support trading him, though. I think having a cheap player who can contribute 2+ WAR is exactly the kind of thing the Reds need if they really are serious about competing in 2018/19, since it will keep money off the books for the inevitable FA signing that will happen once the Reds decide its time to “compete for real.”

  13. Hamilton improved this year as a hitter and Joey Votto seemed to be a big part of that. I was a big proponent of the niche role until he started to hit and get on base.
    What didn’t change is his inability to stay healthy.He’s played 114 and 119 games the last 2 seasons at the “peak” ages of 24/25. His body frame and style of play doesnt suggest he will be a reliable player long term. I would trade him to an AL team for a Baseball America top 50 overall prospect at the AA/AAA level- preferably a pitcher.

  14. Sign him to an extension now and buy up a free agent year or two. What are the chances the Reds sign him now before he gets too expensive?

    • Not a bad idea at all. He’d probably take something like 5 years and $27.5M. Guarantees him life-changing money for he and his family, and the Reds end up buying out two FA years for about $8M each, assuming he would have earned about $9M though the arb process.

      • I love the idea of signing Hamilton to an extension now. MLB Trade Rumors projects his arbitration salary to be $2.3M this season. A little higher than the $1.8M you assumed above. So lets go a little higher for the total he would earn through arbitration and say $12M instead of $9. Then buy out 2 FA years for $10M each for a total of say 5 years and $32M. If he continues at roughly 2.5 WAR per season (similar to numbers he has put up thus far) and we assume the $8M per win that you stated above that would be $100M worth of value over the 5 years for a cost of $32M.

  15. I’d hate to lose Hamilton, but it does seem that his value is lower in Cincinnati than it would be just about anywhere else. He’d be worth a lot more somewhere where a big outfield would really show off his defense, and where there’s more room for weak hits to fall in, gaps where the ball keeps rolling, etc. He’s got a skill set that’s perfect for San Francisco, for example.

    I hope we keep him, but he’s playing in the wrong stadium.

    • This is kind of what I’m saying. The Reds should value Hamilton, but not fall in love with what he offers. He’s a middle-of-the-pack value CF, probably at best. They should be open to the possibility that some other team would place substantially higher value on Hamilton for the reasons you mention, or also if they were crushing on stolen bases.

      • Pittsburgh shopping McCutcheon. Beat the pirates at that game and trade him to Washington ( or Giants or other)for a top 2-3 organizational prospect

  16. Billy Hamilton is going to have to repeat his 2016 2nd half performance in the first half of 2017 before I’m convinced that he’s turned the corner with his bat. Two good months after 3 1/2 years of being bad at the plate isn’t enough to sway me yet that this is his new norm. If other clubs believe that the second half of last season is his new norm and want to overpay for him, I’m all in on selling high.

  17. I’d be fine with a Hamilton trade, but be careful with the word “haul”. A haul to the Reds FO the past 7 years is four players outside the other teams top 10 prospects.

    My version (our version) of a haul is the #1, the #4 and #6 prospect. Is Williams like Jocketty, adding a 1 to everything (#11, #14 and #16 prospect)? If so, I hope they don’t make another trade for the next 5 years.

  18. Buster Olney tweet this morning: The Rangers are among the teams taking a look at Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at


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