2017 Reds

The Todd Frazier trade is working out just fine for the Reds

A year ago today, the Reds traded third baseman Todd Frazier, the 2015 Home Run Derby champ and once-future mayor of Cincinnati, to the White Sox in a three-team, seven-player swap. Here are the particulars:

  • Traded from the Reds to the White Sox: Todd Frazier.
  • Traded from the Dodgers to the Reds: prospects Jose Peraza (INF/OF), Scott Schebler (OF), and Brandon Dixon (INF/OF).
  • Traded from the White Sox to the Dodgers: prospects Frankie Montas (SP), Micah Johnson (2B), and Trayce Thompson (OF).

I think the past and still-present angst over the Frazier trade stems from two indubitable truths:

  1. The Reds prioritized MLB-ready or close-to-MLB ready talent over taking the best prospects available, big-league readiness be damned.
  2. The Reds failed to move Frazier at the apex of his trade value, which was in the aftermath of his pre-All-Star Break outburst in 2015.

Yeah, it’s still hard to believe both of those things happened. But, let’s press on and examine how the returns from each club are turning out a year later:

White Sox

In exchange for surrendering three of the organization’s top-10 prospects (per Baseball America), the White Sox received two years of control over Frazier. Prior to trading for Frazier, the White Sox had also acquired Brett Lawrie. As it turns out, acquiring Frazier and Lawrie were simply two additional ill-conceived maneuvers by a front office that doubled down on its pursuit of short-term contention after shelling out $128 million for Melky Cabrera, Zach Duke, Adam LaRoche, and David Robertson prior to the 2015 season.

In return for their splashy efforts over two winters, the White Sox lost a combined 170 games from 2015-16. (The writing was on the wall when Chicago started 37-year-old Jimmy Rollins at shortstop on Opening Day 2016 and batted him second.)

As for Frazier, his production waned for a third straight year in what was his age-30 season. In 2016, Frazier slashed .225/.302/.464 with a wRC+ of 102 and an OPS of .767, with the latter two numbers being his lowest totals in the two all-encompassing hitting statistics since 2013.

The good news for the South Siders is that management has realized that the club is going nowhere fast and has recently rebuilt their bottom-tier farm system on the fly by trading ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton. Frazier (and a host of other players) could be on their way out, too.

The Frazier trade was a big ole whiff for the White Sox.

Dodgers

Montas (averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings for his minor league career) was the prized prospect in the entire swap, and though he only pitched 16 innings in 2016 due to injury, the Athletics thought enough of Montas to want him in the package that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers at the trade deadline.

In October, Baseball America slotted Montas as the Athletics’ fifth-best prospect. Also worth noting: the 23-year-old Montas is now with his fourth organization, and it’s unclear if his still-developing repertoire will allow him to stick as a starter.

As for Johnson, the 25-year-old second baseman slashed .261/.321/.356 with a 82 wRC+ in his third stint at Triple-A with at least 300 plate appearances. Johnson has appeared in 43 MLB games and logged a .563 OPS. He looks like a fringe starter at best.

Thompson (who turns 26 in March) has held his own in 397 MLB plate appearances, posting a wRC+ of 101 and a .792 OPS to go along with good power numbers. With Andrew Toles and Yasiel Puig appearing to be the Dodgers’ starting corner outfielders at the moment, Thompson should see some playing time if things hold steady.

In less than a year, the Dodgers used the prime prospect they acquired (Montas) in the Frazier deal and flipped him in another trade that netted them one player (Hill) that was instrumental in their run to the ALCS and another (Reddick) that played a useful complementary role. Johnson and Thompson appear to be on the role player track.

Reds

For the Reds, this swap was and will always be about their love affair with Peraza. Peraza’s profile as a contact hitter and speed demon fits the Reds’ affinity for players of that ilk. Peraza, who won’t turn 23 until April 30, didn’t walk a lick in 256 plate appearances last year (2.7% walk rate), but he did slash .324/.352/.411. Peraza’s BABIP (.361) screams regression, but it’s also noteworthy that Peraza’s lowest BABIP at any extended minor league stop was .310.

The sample size on Schebler’s time in the bigs isn’t where it needs to be to draw massive conclusions, but early returns suggests the 26-year-old could be productive in a platoon role in a corner outfield position. As a left-handed hitter, Schebler struggles (.571 OPS) vs. southpaws but mashes against righties (.806 OPS)—just ask Seung-hwan Oh.

Dixon’s OPS though four minor league seasons is .697, but 24-year-old does offer positional flexibility, having played second, short, third, and every outfield slot in the minors.

Conclusion

Aside from justifiable angst over the trade’s timing and the return from the deal, the Reds have made out well in this trade—so far. It’s too early to tell if they *won* the deal—though it’s not too soon to say the White Sox were are clear *losers*—but I’d wager the Reds are, at minimum, a close second to the Dodgers, who displayed impressive asset-maneuvering, but also had the benefit of actively trying to put the best possible team on the field in 2016, a strategy the Reds were not interested in employing.

109 thoughts on “The Todd Frazier trade is working out just fine for the Reds

  1. 3rd indubitable truth: EVERYONE loved Frazier, he was the kind of guy who was a clear clubhouse leader with his play and he is a gamer, plays hard all the time. THAT is the biggest reason fans didn’t like the trade for the genpop of fans. Had nothing to do with his value relative to when or how he was traded.

    I hated to see him go, wanted him in Cincy more than Cueto or Chapman. THankfully, the trade looks a lot better at the end of 2016 than it did at the beginning of 2016 season.

  2. I would add another bullet point to your fan’s angst over the trade. The fact that the Reds became so zeroed in on a certain player(s) that they seemingly panicked when the Chapman deal fell through. They then traded their best remaining trade chip for the same deal they were going to get for Chapman. Frazier, as an every day player, good defender at 3B, and All-Star level production should have been worth more than Chapman, a elite reliever, but still only good for 60-70 innings a year. Especially considering that Frazier came with two years of control versus one for Chapman. The Frazier and Chapman deals cannot be extracted from each other because they are so intertwined. Once one domino fell, the other Reds offseason plans came unraveled. That has to be taken into consideration when it comes to past and present angst over the deal.

    And I agree the trade has initially looked better than it did originally did on paper it still hasn’t done much to alleviate the primary concern about Peraza was that his OBP was directly tied to his ability to hit for average. Relying on batting average to get on base isn’t a sound plan. Batting average can fluctuate and over time the speed that Peraza demonstrates to carry a higher BABIP will eventually decline.

    • To be fair, Peraza’s speed didn’t factor much in his high BABIP. His insanely high line drive rate did, however. That “skill,” is even more subject to variability unless you name is Votto, Joey.

      Either way, a guy with Peraza’s swing plane and contact skills likely won’t ever hit below .270 in extended time. Now, if he walks enough to have an OBP of .310 or so, and plays above average defense (at SS/2B/CF) while providing above average base running, that’s a 2 WAR player, which is actually pretty decent. I view that as his 50th percentile projection, with the 20th and 80th being something like 1 WAR and 3 WAR. Hard to imaging him ever going above 3 WAR given his hitting profile or below 1 WAR with his speed/defense.

      • There is such a thing as bat control…as in that Yogi-ism hit ’em where they ain’t and some players have that talent.So their BABIP,BA and OBP will all be high even with fewer base on balls…and the reality is a base hit is always better than a walk. 2015/2016 Kansas City Royals team BA was among AL leaders but they only had mediocre team OBP,league average or below and both years they were dead last in AL in walks.And they did pretty good….

        • Lots of cliché here to disagree with. I’ll settle on this one. The KC Royals mainly won because of their defense.

        • Base hit isn’t “always” better than a walk. With the bases empty, a walk and a single are the same thing.

        • Can’t agree Patrick….a base on balls is simply that 99% of the time.But how many times have we seen a single turned into a double or more when it was misplayed by a fielder?? A ball in play puts pressure on defense…a walk rarely if ever does.As I see all this a walk is a nice consolation prize but doesn’t have near the value of a single in almost every situation I can think of…

      • Good points about the BABIP. I didn’t realize his line drive rate was so high. At least I thought the speed would be around for the next 5-6 years, if line drive rate is even more unlikely to be sustained, that doesn’t exactly paint a rosy picture.

        • Depends on how “rosy” you want that picture. He’s a high-floor, low-ceiling player. Some will argue that is the wrong kind of guy to target for starting a rebuild (and probably correctly), but he’s pretty likely to provide some positive value for very cheap over the next 6 years.

    • The idea that Frazier had so much more trade value than Chapman does not reflect the reality of the market over the past year. Look what the Cubs gave up for just 2 months of Chapman. Look what Andrew Miller returned.

      Logically, 2 years of Frazier should have been worth more than one year of a reliever. But it just wasn’t the case. Relievers are bringing back big packages in trades right now.

      • I get what you’re saying. At the same time, both Chapman and Miller were traded for big returns at the deadline. For whatever reason, probably proximity to playoff success, teams tend to pay more at the deadline than they do in the offseason. We’ve seen this to be true with several of the Reds trade chips over the past couple of seasons. If the Reds held onto Chapman until the trade deadline this year they would have had a better return. If the Reds had flipped Frazier at the 2015 deadline they would have had a larger return. If the Reds would have completed the Cozart trade they would likely have maximized on his trade value and will likely have to settle to trade him this offseason. Bruce’s deadline value in 2015 and 2016 appears to have been better than either of his offseason’s values. And so on. (Which really highlights the missed opportunities the Reds FO has made)

        Frazier was cheaper and controlled longer and was coming off a season where he put up 4.5 WAR compared to Chapman’s 2.5 WAR in 2015. I just don’t see a scenario outside of the trade deadline where you are looking for the missing piece that Frazier wasn’t more valuable than Chapman. For that reason, in my opinion, I don’t think the Reds maximized Frazier’s trade value by accepting what they would have taken for Chapman.

        • Maybe teams incorporate expected regression when evaluating trades. Frazier generated 4.5 war, true, but that was for some other team (reds) the previous year. The idea is to acquire future war right?

          I do agree that July 31 trades tend to be more about team compliment and perceived weakness than generating war.

          Btw, hard to argue with the white sox valuation or the reds: the Reds traded a player who then never duplicated his perceived value, and the sox obtained him by getting the dodgers to give us a player that they apparently didn’t want any longer.

          At the time the reds were criticized for their apparent ineptitude. Now that Frazier has regressed – not so much right?

        • I think it’s fair to assume some amount of regression for any player on the wrong side of 29. Teams should definitely consider that when they are trading for a veteran player. I agree that future WAR should be the point, or at least a large consideration. I do think it’s easier to predict from established players than prospects making the riskier side the team acquiring the prospects. At the same time, the market is set up to pay for past production. FA’s tend to get paid on what they’ve accomplished or established as a track record, to a certain point. It should also be noted that Frazier didn’t drop off a cliff.

          In fact, I wouldn’t say Frazier has regressed necessarily. As Steve pointed out below he posted career highs in HRs and BB%, and had an ISO that was up there with his best seasons. The main issue was BABIP which was 40 points below his career and drug down his average. That could be accounted for by adjusting to a new league or just bad luck. Based on WAR and wRC+ he was better than average even with a dramatic drop off in batting average. He had one area of his batting profile see a decline and it is the most volatile area year to year.

        • Frazier has the worst BABIP in all of baseball the last 2 years…..because he also has the highest infield popup % in all of baseball and tends to pull the ball with a lot of rollover ground balls.
          Todd Frazier had 39 infield pop-ups in 2016. He also struck out at the highest rate of his career- 24.5%. Those are 2 very poor trends for a 31 year old.
          Joey Votto has 15 infield popups….in his CAREER. He also hits the ball hard to all fields. Not coincidentally he also has a very high BABIP.

        • Frazier’s BABIP in 2015 was .271. His career is .278. In 2016 it was .236, which is well below his career average and adequately explains why his overall numbers were lower. HIs power and BB% numbers did not regress, and let’s be honest, Todd Frazier’s offensive value is derived primary from his ability to hit for above average power. Which he did in 2016.

          For his career he’s been below average in BABIP, so there probably is something there in his batted ball profile that leads to that. From the eye test, he probably sells out for power a bit much, which would explain rolling over balls and popping it up to some degree. The K% did tick up some, but he’s a career 21.8%, so it’s like it the change was dramatic. I still think most of decline can be explained by switching leagues, and seeing many pitchers for the first time combined with some poor luck. I certainly don’t believe he dropped 40 points in BABIP solely based in a decline in skills, especially when the decline is not evident anywhere else in his offensive profile.

        • I hope you are right…..Would love to see 40 more HR and BABIP at .270 and lower K ℅. He’s a class act.

  3. I liked Frazier. I just never saw a fitting role for him on the Reds. Obviously the Reds front office thought as much. Peraza for Frazier was a great move in my opinion.

  4. The difficulty in moving Zack Cozart and Brandon Phillips (everyone has their middle infield set) is evidence for the notion that 2B/SS aren’t hard positions to fill in the major leagues. How hard is it to find a guy who hits for average, plays average middle infield defense, hits for no power and has not plate discipline? That was part of my disappointment with the Frazier-for-Peraza trade.

    • Were there better players out there? Sure. I am not sure Frazier’s value commands the player you believe would benefit the Reds. I think Peraza’s bat fits better in our lineup than Fraziers.

      • Don’t know. But not sure the Reds found out either. Locked in on Peraza after the Chapman negotiations.

    • Doesn’t the availability of particular positions fluctuate? I seem to recall that a few years ago the Reds were looking for a shortstop (or we thought that they should be), and there weren’t any reasonable candidates available. In any event, the Reds are now more in need of a shortstop than a third baseman, and that should be factored in.

      • Yes, in specific time periods (like at a trade deadline) when there are a few teams selling and a few teams buying, shortages of specific position players can pop up and do. That can also happen in the offseason. When the Reds traded Frazier, there were no other 3B anywhere near that good on the free agent market or the rumored trade market.

        What I’m referring to is the sense that athletic middle infielders who are OK on defense, OK on contact and poor on power and plate discipline just aren’t that hard to find. Every organization seems to have them. I’ll admit I saw Frazier as having huge trade value given his contract, 2 years left on his deal, big power, good defense, scarce position. But markets do change and its certainly possible we saw TF through Reds-colored glasses.

    • “How hard is it to find a guy who hits for average, plays average middle infield defense, hits for no power and has not plate discipline?”

      That’s not the most a generous assessment of Peraza’s skill set (I expect his speed to add value once he figures out the league a little). Anyway, Fangraphs projects a .302 wOBA next year. That would’ve put him just behind Cozart at SS and a bit behind Phillips at 2b. Add 28 steals (projected) and assume he’s closer to his minor league 80% success rate, and there’s a little more value.

      If you assume he’s a 1 WAR player, by definition he’s not super easy to replace.

      • That’s fair. Hopefully the speed adds net value as he matures.

        Still expected more from Frazier trade.

    • Presumably if you did everything average, ina league mixed with superstars, average players, and backups, you’d be average, which generates 2-3 war per year. If it’s so easy to find this then why isn’t there more of it?

      (Btw that’s an impossible question to answer because averageness and WAR therefore are always relative).

      • I get your point. And if Peraza turns into a 2-3 win player per year, the trade will work out OK. Or if Schebler becomes more than just a bench player. I just had hopes of getting a better return for Frazier.

    • I am unsure if the numbers bear this out but I would say 2016 BP finally dropped off to an average 2nd baseman before that I would say better than average with a flair for the ridiculous. I think Cozarts glove is still slightly better than average. I am not infatuated with either defensively that I want to see them in a Reds uniform after ST. I am not saying give them away for nothing but value them properly which isn’t a lot. I will say there has been nothing to give me the warm fuzzies about the defense the youngsters will play but at least it will be cheaper. Suarez definitely has the arm for 3rd and SS but his position might be 2nd base if he could play a little deeper and have the shorter throw he might relax and actually field better!

  5. I was always a fan of Todd Frazier…..always thought he should have been ROY in 2012 and still a little cranked Dusty Baker started Scott Rolen in post season and not Todd. 29 HR’s and 20 SB in 2014 made Todd the third 20/20 third baseman in Red’s history.Guy just was the total package…..good at plate,great 3rd baseman,good on base paths and just a great team mate.But what got Todd traded was his favorable contract….Todd had value and that made him an easy trade chip.Hated seeing him go but happy with results too….Reds get 2 players with big potential under club control and with Todd becoming FA in 2018,out from under that too…

  6. “Peraza’s profile as a contact hitter and speed demon fits the Reds’ affinity for players of that ilk. ”

    Who are these other high contact, speed demons that the Reds have gone after? Billy is a speed demon, but he needs to make more contact. Still, the Reds got him in the 2nd round, 7 years ago. I don’t really think that is enough to prove a trend. And Billy has put up over 9 wins in his first 3 years, so it was a very successful pick.

    I just really don’t understand why people keep repeating this. Of all the position players the Reds have acquired over the past 2 years – Suarez, Duvall, Schebler, Senzel, Stephenson, Okey, etc..- Peraza is the only one that fits the high contact, speedster profile. So because they have Peraza and Hamilton means that they prioritize speedy, low power players? I could just as easily say that since they also have Votto, Winker, and Senzel then they are prioritizing plate discipline.

    • Here’s my opinion: The Reds tendency to go for speed over power has grown with the increasing influence of Dick Williams. You seem mystified why it gets repeated here by me and others. It’s almost as if this is a sports team website that I write for where my job is to share my opinions. What amazes me is readers who don’t understand how silly it is to *voluntarily* come here to read what we have to say about the Reds and then say we shouldn’t be writing it.

      Disagree all you want. We love that. Provide your evidence. You’re doing that. But don’t play “you guys shouldn’t write this.” 🙂

      Jocketty was never that big on speed, dating back to his teams in St. Louis and Reds 2010-12 postseason teams. Duvall and Schebler were second-tier players in their trades, not planned to be starters at the time.

      I’d add Alfredo Rodriguez and Taylor Trammell to recent important acquisitions that are about speed over power. Of course they’re going to draft catchers.

      The Rodriguez signing prompted Doug Gray to write an article for us titled “What’s the fascination with no-power speedsters?”
      https://redlegnation.com/2016/01/12/whats-the-fascination-with-no-power-speedsters/

      You keep implying we’re making this up. Of the two of us (you and me), I know one of us has talked to someone in the front office about this. When they traded for Peraza, the case was made for baseball turning into a game of “base running and defensive shifts” where well rounded players (read: athletic) would provide solid value. That’s how they saw Peraza. I see evidence of that in other moves since then. That’s my opinion.

        • I know that the writers here need no defense, but this is one of the most respectful places on the internet. I don’t write comments much, but I have never read an article or comment by the proprietors here that has come anywhere near offensive or inconsiderate.

          You’re comment, on the other hand. Ill considered.

        • Here’s my opinion: Steve reacts to statements not based upon facts. He writes well and with authority, and you apparently find that troubling.

      • I never said, or even meant to imply, that you shouldn’t be writing what you believe. I’m a libertarian for God’s sakes!

        I just don’t see the evidence. The thing is, most players who play up the middle positions are fast and have below average power. Yes, there are some who hit for big power. But most of those guys get moved to the corners pretty early in their careers. So when the Reds, or any team, draft or sign a center fielder or shortstop, chances are he is gonna have average to below power and good speed. I don’t really think that indicates a trend or an over valuation of speed.

        I don’t doubt that a Reds official talked up speed and defense after trading for Peraza. Why wouldn’t they? A team that emphasized those things had just won the World Series and the Reds were taking heat for the Frazier trade. It’s an easy way to try and justify it. But looking at all the other moves they have made, I don’t see them over valuing speed and contact skills.

        • I agree with what you said it is the part you didn’t mention that is the giant elephant. The Red play 81 games a year in an absolute launching pad why would they not draft and trade with that in mind. The speed guys they bring in don’t have a clue about the zone or the situation so why not trade for some pop that has a terrible OBP.

        • I didn’t see anything along those lines either. Steve tends to lash out if anyone challenges his obvious baseball genius. I do appreciate a site with articles and a place for us to engage in discussions, disagreements and even arguments and Steve certainly loves to stoke a good fire. While GYCINCY was a bit over the top and attacking, he did have a few points that were accurate, whether offensive or not.

          Lord knows Steve are rarely on the same page, and he irritates and agitates me (and I him I am sure), but I still appreciate him taking time to write. I admit I go into his articles now, sure I will disagree with most of it. Maybe I need to reset with the new year and hold back my abrasive comments? I can try, but I don’t promise anything.

      • I’ll jump in here and say that Taylor Trammell is not a guy that fits the speed/no-power thing. He may not have much power right now, but he projects to hit for a decent amount of power.

        • I’ve read a bunch of scouting reports on Trammell. I’m not saying he wasn’t a good pick for the Reds. But the most common descriptions of his game are speed and athleticism. Scouts are split on whether he’ll develop much power. Gap power, maybe. He *may* develop some power, but he may not. What the Reds have for sure is a good athlete who is fast and can steal bases.

          • I’ll just say this…. Any scout saying he’s only got gap power is one who is looking only at him today and not towards his future.

          • Maybe a few were. But most of the scouting reports were from this summer in relation to the draft. So they were projecting him. His power is speculative. He’s really young with a long way to go, and only hitting 2 HR in 250+ PA last year doesn’t mean home run power won’t appear, it’s just not a sure thing. Speed and athleticism are the tools that can be counted on.

        • Clearly, the Reds drafted size, speed, frame and ceiling. Juan Duran had all that at 16. In my view, the Reds need more proven mature elite hitters. I am sure the Reds scouts and player development folks feel they can “coach him up”. Hopefully he can develop into a top OF prospect for the Reds. Does he start at Dayton next year?

  7. Frazier is eventually headed for the NY area after this season anyway. After the Chapman fiasco at the beginning of last year’s winter meetings, Reds front office credibility was spiraling downward. In that scenario the Reds found themselves in, it is probably the best return they could have gotten. They were lucky the Dodgers even entertained their conversations, let alone make a deal. My gripe has been that I thought the return was a little light, even considering the plight they were in. That Peraza was the centerpiece was fine, but it was that Schebler should have been the third player, not the second. Omit Dixon and add a prospect between Peraza and Schebler would have been better. If I recall correctly, Peraza was in the top Dodgers prospects, but Schebler was ranked down around #20. Another prospect between them would have been better than Dixon was, but Dixon isn’t all that bad though. He has chance, albeit a small one, to make it to the ML someday.

    • I think the love affair with Frazier from the fans doesn’t allow them to see that he is a very flawed player and other teams don’t value him the same. Yes they could have traded him all star break 2015 and that would ha e been a great idea. But they didn’t, and then Frazier tanked to what he really is, flinging his bat for home runs and no plan. He hits terribly with risp and his home/road splits tell you he was largely a creation of the ball park. That factored into the trade talks. Great guy it seems, super nice to me at the grocery store, but in a hard trade negotiation he is just a flawed player and it tells you everything about him that the white sox wanted him cause I’m pretty sure they check no stats other then home runs so that their stupid announcer can scream put it on the board like it’s a goal in soccer.

    • On another post, I was calling the Frazier trade (amidst a larger conversation about a number of trades) a TBD in talking about whether it was a win or a loss for the Reds. I was leaning towards calling it a win for the Reds, and it’s a good chance it will be. If the Reds walk away with an above average SS, who is team controlled for six years, it’s a win without considering the other players received.

      Schebler was ranked 13th on MLB.com’s Dodgers Top 30 and 14th on the same list from BA. I believe that Peraza was ranked 4th on both lists. Considering how strong the Dodgers farm system was, getting their 4th and 13/14th prospect, as well as Dixon, for a downward spiraling Frazier was a good haul IMO.

      • Ok, downward spiraling is a bad choice of words. For a player who had a bad second half of 2015, and who struggled to hit for average this year.

        It’s more about trading 2 years of Frazier for 6 years of Peraza and 6 years of Schebler.

  8. Frazier ended the season with a wRC+ of 102. Just above average. He hit 40 home runs, 8th best in the major leagues and more than he’d ever hit for the Reds. His overall power (ISO) was .239, 22nd in the major leagues, just a bit below his best season for the Reds. Frazier walked 9.6% of his PA for the White Sox, well above his career and league average.

    Where he slipped was batting average. He hit .225, well below his career average of now .250. The culprit was his BABIP, 40 points below his career average. Maybe he was making worse contact (there is evidence for this). Maybe part of it was being unlucky.

    • Frazier was an AL leader in infield pop-ups and also lots of rollover ground balls to 3b. That, coupled with his strikeouts, made him a bad hitter.. he simply didn’t square up many baseballs. l root for the guy so I hope he turns it around.

        • Guy had just changed leagues too….so most of opposing pitchers were new to him.Give Todd some time to adjust,he may surprise us all….

      • Yeah, that’s what I was hearing from my friends who are White Sox fanatics. Will be interesting to see what Chicago gets for him in the trade market this offseason.

      • In other words, a typically Reds hitter of the past 20 years. Frustratingly bad hitter that happens to have lots of power.

  9. I disagree on the entire conclusion of this article. Its basically like saying that I had a diamond ring and I could get ANY girl to marry me. I waited to too long and when I went to alter the only person that showed up was homely and had a “great personality” but I put the ring on her anyway. Later I grew to love her and it all worked out. That’s called RATIONALIZATION.

    The really interesting thing is that the question of the difference in value between Frasier and Aroldis is not up for debate as the Dodgers recently confirmed that the players in the Frasier trade were the exact same as the earlier failed Chapman deal (before the knowledge of the “event”). So, actually this article is saying the Reds did OK on the original Chapman trade, but where we lost out is what we could have gotten for Frasier (say in July 2015 or WInter 2016).

    • I disagree that this is rationalization.

      The correct time to evaluate (and re-evaluate again and again) a trade is each time you know significantly more about the players involved.

      Evaluating a trade the day its made could just as easily be called “speculation” as this analysis is called “rationalization.”

      • Just because Frazier didn’t do that well after the trade doesn’t mean we did well in the trade. Just because Peraza had a high BABIP doesn’t mean we did well on the trade. The issue is did we maximize the return. There is no one outside the Reds and Reds fans who thinks that is the case.

  10. Peraza is 22 years old, 6′ tall and 180 pounds; he slugged .477 in the second half of the season. Why assume he will never develop power? He hit 3 HRs in his last 172 ABs, so how is it hard to project that he would get at least 10 in a full season now, much less as he gets older and gets better?

    • Yeah, I definitely believe that’s possible. I think the reality is that we don’t know what type of player Peraza will develop into. He clearly should have had more playing time last year in multiple positions so we could have found out more. If you zero in on a guy during a trade like the big package under the tree Christmas morning, wouldn’t you play with it the most?

    • Agree. Whoever thought Cozart would hit 15+ HRs? Talented players evolve, especially when they put the work in. Peraza, as suggested by his affinity for consistently hitting line drives, can basically flat-out hit. If his fielding incrementally improves year-to-year, best ss for the Reds since Larkin, which would turn out to be a great trade, with Schebler as a throw-in.

      • Larkin had a high walk rate and rare power for his time. He also was great at working counts and hitting behind runners. We are in a whole different league here.

    • Even though I shy away from the body-type scouting stuff, I agree 100%. Peraza, to me, looks like an athlete that can/will get stronger as he ages and starts eating better since he’s not on minor league meal plans any longer.

      Why teams pay their future potential players so little as to hurt their nutrition baffles my mind. You a mid-level AA prospect is going to Whole Foods and buying veggies and lean meat? Nope, he’s probably at McDonalds because that’s all he can afford on his sub-minimum wage salary. Seems negligent, at best.

      Ok, sorry… didn’t mean to get into the minor league salary thing! 🙂

    • Remember that Slugging Percentage includes batting average (singles). Peraza’s batting average was .355 in the second half. So even then, his power (ISO) was only .120. Overall, his power was about the same as Billy Hamilton’s last year.

      • I don’t see Jose’s power or lack of power to be a big deal. Guy makes good contact and has good speed…seems like the ideal transition between Billy Hamilton and Votto to me.Opportunities for Price to put plays on depending on who gets on base and get runners in scoring position in front of JV.

        • He has hit well in the minors even very well but to hit that well and not have a higher OBP is scary. Those line drives can and will turn into wiffs and pop outs facing major league pitching! The question is will the higher quality pitching affect his hitting to the point he is what the majority of other teams thought about him? The articles I read when this trade happened had multiple references of FO not putting much value on him!

  11. You said that the angst Reds fans feel over the Frazier trade is it’s timing. I find that a little funny, I don’t know why. I guess it’s bcuz the angst I feel over his trade is completely the opposite which I guess puts me in the minority. I didn’t want to see him go. I hate that Frazier has declined offensively bcuz a part of me wants him to start hitting the way he’s capable of or better so I can rub it in the faces of everyone who wanted him traded and gone. I think he’ll rebound. I’m chalking this past season up to the fact that he didn’t want to be traded and he was struggling to get used to his new surroundings. It still ticks me off a little when I remember reading how he offered several deals to stay but stupid ass Jocketty wasn’t hearing any of it. I think that with all the other trades the Reds made they could’ve afforded to keep Frazier. But I guess that’s a moot point for some of you bcuz of his apparent regression. For others it’s probably a moot point bcuz what’s done is done and we shouldn’t bellyache over it anymore. And then there are those for whom it’s a moot point bcuz they wanted him gone and they got what they wanted so they win! Some of you will probably say that, “it’s not about winning, it’s about moving on!” Whatever! But I hope Frazier starts hitting well again, boy do I hope so.

    • I’ll have to admit I was a little surprised when Reds traded Frazier…..as end of 2015 season was winding down Reds were gonna need a LF for 2016 so I thought Cincy might try and fit Suarez in LF if for no other reason…he was a really bad shortstop. Or maybe put Eugenio at 3rd and put Frazier if LF…Todd had played a little LF at one time.But as end of 2015 season approached and none of that occurred I figured something was up.Hated to see Todd go but I am good with trade….I think Peraza and Schebler can be key pieces to Red’s puzzle.

    • We seem to have conflicting versions of reality in play here. Frazier’s “decline,” as mentioned by others, appears to be largely tied to his reduced BABIP, over which he has minimal control. Otherwise, he wasn’t so different from the Frazier we know: Hits for power, strikes out quite a lot, and is streaky. His age and what he was going to cost made trading him important, and the net benefit of the trade for the R eds can’t really be assessed yet, given that the guys we got are young.

      • Greenmtred, BABIP may (key word there) be the most useless sabermetric stat bcuz I think that you’re right when you said that batters in general have very little to no control over that. I’m not sure about that though until I hear the argument for the validity of BABIP. But as of right now, it would seem to make sense that batters have little to no control over BABIP.

        • Players have plenty of control over their BABIP.

          Some players (Votto) can maintain a BABIP north of .350. Some players (Old Pujols) can’t maintain a BABIP above .250.

          If you prioritize hitting fly balls, and you swing at pitches up-and-in (the most commonly popped-up pitch), you will have a low BABIP. You can control over both of those things.

          The confusion comes in here… you could have 2 players who both hit, say, 20% line drives, 50% grounders, and 30% fly balls. And, say they both have an average EV of 90mph. One player could have a BABIP of .315, while the other has a BABIP of .285. That’s because there is inherent randomness with batted balls, BUT, that doesn’t mean each player didn’t control a large portion of their valid range of BABIP… just that they don’t control where they fall within that range.

        • Fair point, Patrick. A hitter’s control of BABIP can be more than minimal, then. I would imagine, though, that guys who swing at a lot of bad pitches (the Frazier we knew) have less control over it, regardless of what else they do, than do players (Votto) who tend to make pitchers throw strikes?

          • Has mostly to do with the kind of balls batters tend to hit (line drives, grounders, fly balls). Votto hits a bunch of line drives, long and short. Swinging at bad pitches does reduce the quality of contact, as you suggest.

            There’s a formula where you can take the batter’s percentage of LD, GB and FB and figure out what his expected BABIP (xBABIP) should have been. From there, you can see where good/bad luck played in a role by looking at the difference between xBABIP and actual BABIP. Remember, home runs, strikeouts and walks aren’t factored into BABIP.

        • Pitchers on the other hand don’t have as much control or don’t seem to have as much control over their BABIP.

  12. I see this morning that Aroldis Chapman is complaining to press that Maddon didn’t use him correctly during World Series….there may have been more to that trade (from Reds) than meets the eye NEW YORK (AP) — Aroldis Chapman says Cubs manager Joe Maddon misused him during the postseason, putting the hard-throwing reliever on the mound too often in Chicago’s successful effort to win the World Series for the first time since 1908.

    Traded from the New York Yankees to Chicago in late July, Chapman got the victory in Game 7 against Cleveland after wasting an eighth-inning lead. He became a free agent and agreed to an $86 million, five-year contract to return to the Yankees, a deal finalized Thursday.

    • He was misused with the Reds alright. He was underutilized and coddled in his desire to be the closer while here. So that may explain why he didn’t complain about how he was handled by the team. The Reds were correct to trade him though. But they were wrong to trade him when they did.

      • Maybe all these years fans have been blaming Dusty Baker,Bryan Price,Reds Front Office,etc for not pitching AC multiple innings….when truth may have been it was Aroldis who dug in and wouldn’t cooperate.It’s possible Reds could have forced him too but didn’t work so well when Joe Maddon tried…

        • I’ve had the same thought about Chapman, and would add a little more speculation: He may know that can’t pitch effectively for multiple innings. He’s the only one who really knows how much that velocity takes out of him and be justifiably reluctant to devalue–and possibly injure–himself trying to be what he isn’t.

        • exactly what I was thinking too…and with Reds going to this format in ‘pen of pitchers pitching more innings per game,AC just wasn’t gonna fit.Easy to forget these guys are more than stats…they have their opinions,egos and goals too. Still doesn’t explain why Reds settled for so little in that trade.Although I like what I’ve seen from Rookie Davis so far despite his poor AAA numbers…

  13. 1) Trading Frazier also allowed them to move Suarez to 3rd, which allowed him to develop last year, during the rebuild. Which appears to have been a pretty good move.

    2) Given what the Yankees got for Chapman, I’m not sure the Chapman for Peraza Package was all that great, either. And I’ll never for the life of me understand why the front office panicked the way they did and dumped Chapman for nothing; there was no way MLB was going to suspend him for the year, and if they had we’d have had him under contract a year longer anyway. And don’t tell me it was an ethical issue, with Simon on the team and a town full of people happy to root for the Bengals all these years.

    • After watching Eugenio play SS in 2015…I sure had my doubts about his ability to field 3rd base in 2016 but as season went on he definitely showed signs of improving. I can take a few errors if he really contributes offensively….I’m hoping he’s a young Edwin Encarnacion…

      • I’ll add to that…a young Edwin Encarnacion who can actually play 3rd base.Because as we all know,when Edwin was with Reds he definitely could not play 3rd base…

  14. I posted this on RML as well. But for discussion sake on a slow Sunday morning I thought I’d post it here as well.

    I decided to look at potential trade spots for both Phillips and Cozart. I first started looking at fantasy rankings for both 2B/SS to see where either may be an upgrade. Then I considered stats, age, etc for each player. I then also looked at each team’s top prospects (MLB.com, just for convenience) to check ETA’s for top 2B/SS prospects for those teams. Obviously, still other things need to be considered such as that status of the other team in regard to playoff contention. Obviously teams in full rebuild won’t need a one-year stop gap.

    So, without considering the return, which in my opinion is inconsequential to the Reds primary objective of opening up playing time for both Peraza and Herrera, here are the best options I can find.

    Phillips:
    #1 spot – LA Dodgers. The Dodgers do not have an obvious answer at 2B for the moment. They are trying to trade for Dozier of the Twins but will have to pay a steep price in prospects (likely DeLeon + another top guy). Micah Johnson looks to be a fringe prospect and Willie Calhoun is probably a year away as their best 2B prospect. They have an immediate opening and are contenders. Due to their luxury tax situation the Reds may have to pay a good portion of Phillips salary to move him, or take an unwanted contract back. But anywhere Phillips goes that may be the case. The upside for the Dodgers is that they find a stopgap 2B without giving up prospects.

    #2 spot – KC. The Royals finished 81-81 last season and a year removed from a WS. They should attempt to compete this year. Raul Mondesi is the future at 2B but he was pretty dreadful in his debut last year (149 PA, 32 wRC+) albeit at age 21. He only has 14 games under his belt at AAA so it makes sense to get more seasoning. Phillips would be a solid option as a stop gap and should fit into the Royals teams philosophy of defense and contact oriented offense. If the Royals wish to be competitive in 2017 Phillips would be a good option for them.

    #3 spot – NYY. Castro played 2B for the Yankees last year and put up eerily similar numbers to Phillips (Castro: 1.1 WAR, 94 wRC+, Phillips: .9 WAR, 92 wRC+). Phillips would be an upgrade defensively over Castro and similar offensively. It would also allow NY to use Castro as a Zobrist-like super sub at 2B/SS and possibly the corner OF, DH, or even 3B. It’s not an ideal fit, but NY as a destination seems like a good fit for Phillips and stranger things have happened. It would go along way in deepening the Yankees as a team and give them more options to play with.

    Other spots: LAA – Phillips is an upgrade offensively to Espinosa. It’s unlikely as the Angels just acquired Espinosa who was reportedly unhappy to move to a utility role.

    Cozart:
    #1 spot – Miami: Hechevarria is coming off a dreadful year at the plate (56 wRC+) where he’s never been above average. Cozart (2015/16 version) is an upgrade at the plate and won’t give up any ground in the field either. Miami is bolstering their rotation and looks to try and compete. Cozart would help them and won’t cost much in prospects or dollars.

    #2 spot – KC: Likewise, Alcides Escobar is coming off a two pretty rough years at the plate (65 and 68 wRC+ in 2015/16 respectively). Like the situation in Miami, Cozart should represent an upgrade at the plate without taking away anything in the field.

    #3 spot – TB: The Rays don’t really have anyone lined up to play SS. Brad Miller is technically listed as a SS but he’s played all over the field recently and could be utilized elsewhere. Cozart would be an upgrade defensively. The Rays have the rotation to compete, adding Cozart would solidify the SS position and their infield defense and would also act as a 1-year stop gap to their top prospect SS Willy Adames.

    Other spots: DET if they want to upgrade over Iglesias and wait longer on Dixon Machado. SD, BAL, ARI may also be landing spots, but less likely either due to rebuild status, or in BAL case not wanting to move from Hardy.

    What do you guys think?

    • Hotto4Votto

      I think this is an interesting analysis.

      Cozart would be a good fit for KC or Tampa Bay. For some reason, I don’t see the Reds and Miami making that trade. I think we may have to wait for Spring Training for Cozart to show he is healthy and be tradeable. Price over played him last summer and wore him down.

      I could see Phillips in LA, or NY (Yankees). But I think the Reds will have to swallow part of the salary of 14 mill. Maybe half? Seems weird for the relatively poor Reds having to pay part of the payroll for the Yankees or Dodgers.

      I frankly do not expect Brandon to be traded. He will play out 2017 with the Reds and then take his glove and bat elsewhere.

      • “Seems weird for the relatively poor Reds having to pay part of the payroll for the Yankees or Dodgers” got a chuckle out of me.Just like for all of us,when you make poor business decisions they’ll always be someone there to help lighten your wallet….

        • The Yankees would likely eat his contract and send long A fodder if they have an interest. They did a pretty good job reloading their farm system with the Chapman deal I see them being more likely to waste the money than talent. The Dodgers would probably approach it the same way rather spend the money than give up talent! I don’t see hardly any return and I can’t see the Reds eating a big piece of his contract unless it meant getting some young talent in return.

    • Hotto4Votto, this is all well and nice, appreciate the work and research you put into this, but my question is this: How disappointed will you be if neither Phillips nor Cozart go anywhere? I mean, in spite of your research, teams don’t seem to be jumping at the bit for either of them. I guess it could be due to Williams high asking price. He said that he’d have to be wowed and if not he’d be more than happy to hang onto both of them. Perhaps Williams first mistake as the solo GM? Inexperience may be showing there.

      • Personally, if both are still here after ST I will be disappointed. Williams has stated that they need to open playing time in the middle infield. It is the prime objective of the offseason. I would say it is the only important move the FO needs to make. Finding a trading partner is ideal, but if no one can be convinced to take on one of them, then the hard decision to release one will need to be made. The Reds aren’t doing anything positive for Peraza’s development if he does not have a starting spot in the MIF. He’s proven he deserves the chance to play every day at this level. One way or another it’s the FO’s job to make that happen.

        A side note, I was under the impression Williams had to be wowed to trade Hamilton, Disco, Straily, etc

        • Williams said that he’d have to be wowed about any Reds player, not just the young guys.

      • If you can believe what you read in trade rumors, you can learn about which players other teams REALLY see value in. The names rumored that teams were asking about during the winter meetings are Hamilton, DeSclafani and Straily. Their value is based on their combination of age, baseball abilities and contract control remaining.

        That being said, you saw what the Nationals did when Danny Espinosa complained about possibly being relegated to a utility role — they shipped him off to the Angels for a couple of prospects in literally a matter of hours.

        Anyone can be traded — in this case, Dick Williams is still holding out for more value than other teams are willing to part with. He sees Cozart and Phillips as assets with value that should bring some return.

      • I was in the, both must go, camp, but now if we can not get value we wait until July. At the end of the year it will not be a problem anymore. Herrera has an option and there will be plenty of play for Peraza.

    • Nice write-up! You did some homework… BP does make some sense in LA but I think that ultimately, Chase Utley is going to be back with them. He’ll cost less money and the Dodgers don’t need to give up anyone to bring him back. BP to the Royals makes more sense to me assuming they are going to try to win enough ballgames to compete for a playoff spot this year. The Reds would have to move some salary money too and of course BP would need to want to play for the Royals. I don’t see BP to NYY as a good fit for the Yanks and as far as the LAA, I’d take Espinosa at this point of their careers every day and twice on Sundays over BP.

      Cozart to Miami makes a ton of sense. Cozart to KC makes some sense as well. Cozart to the Rays could also make sense. I don’t see him going to Detroit and I think that Baltimore is good with Hardy. Not sure SD wants to spend any money at all and honestly have no idea what Arizona is up to.

  15. The Reds have the potential for 2 speedsters on the team not counting future trades. Not sure that is enough to warrant calling speed as a movement plan for the Reds.
    Nick will bring power at 3B in a few years, Winker will bring high plate discipline so that will give us 2 of both hight contact (Votto) and power (Duvall) so why aren’t we saying that those are trends as well?
    Here is what I think that the Reds are doing and going to do. They are getting the best players available without playing the free agent market. When was the last time the Reds went after a high profile name in free agency? They just don’t do it. When players get close to free agency the Reds dump them and go for prospects. It would be nice to at least be rumored in a major trade once every 10 years. I wonder how many fans have lost interest in the team since the 90s because the Reds refuse to play in free agency at a high level?
    Let’s face it. Big league names fill big league seats.

    • Dan…I guess I am in the other camp,I am thrilled Reds have stopped playing FA market and starting to look for young talent to develop in their farm system.Cincy did sign Homer,Votto,Phillips,Bruce to long term contracts with less that stellar results.And because of previous financial commitments then have to settle for players like Gregg,Ludwick,Hannahan,Parra,Broxton,Byrd a long list of low cost/low talent players to fill in the holes.IMHO putting a winning team on the field will bring fans back to GABP,not big names.Hopefully present building plan will break that economic cycle of losing season,resulting low draft picks with period of winning followed by losing players to Free Agency and back to losing season again.St Louis Cardinals find a way to do it,no reason this team can’t do it too…

      • I’m with Bob on this. Paying for a high level free agent isn’t a good idea for the Reds.

        • Still would like to see the Reds go after high profile fa’s. Think they should. After so long acquiring prospects and agonizingly waiting for them prospects to develop or bust gets old. I understand the Reds are a small market team and this is supposedly the smart way to do business but, frankly, I hate this process. It’s not fun for me to watch a prospect develop (or bust). It’s about as much fun as watching a pot of water boil. It’s an excruciating and nail biting process that may or may not pay off….a gamble. I hate gambling, it’s against my religion.

        • High profile FA’s might help a team on the brink of being a serious contender, particularly one with a particular weak spot. That isn’t where the Reds are now, though, and since most free agents have been around for awhile, you’d have to wonder whether you’d be paying for the declining years just at the point when the prospects started to make some noise. On the other hand, the off-season can certainly be boring when your team makes no splashy moves.

    • Winning fills seats and the Reds can’t win with a UFA focused strategy.There are about 28 teams that can outspend them so developing players is the only way to win.

      If big names filled seats, the Reds would’ve drawn 3 plus million in 2000 with Griffey and they didn’t. A winning Reds team draws about 2.5 million….an awful team draws
      1.9 million….. that 600k difference represents about 18 million in revenue. Can the Reds add enough UFA’s for 18 million to improve by 20-30 games? No.

      • Agree Reds shouldn’t be looking for expensive (or other) free agents this year. But you’re unduly pessimistic about money. 28 teams can’t outspend the Reds. The Reds were in the top half of payrolls for several years. Declining spending on major league payroll doesn’t account for spending more on the draft and international signings. You focus on only one aspect of revenue – attendance – when there are several others that are increasing.

        • Steve, you consistently downplay the revenue constraints facing the Reds in 2016 and beyond. It’s your opinion, and I respect that. But, judging by the comments, plenty of people, including me, feel differently.

          Here’s Bob Castellini’s own words from 2014:

          “It’s David versus Goliath,” Castellini says. “It’s tough to be competitive.” But ticket sales can help make up the difference. Get people in the park, and they also will spend money on merchandise and concessions. “There’s a lot of revenue potential there, tens of millions of dollars,” says Castellini.

          http://magazine.babson.edu/2015/05/29/the-man-who-makes-the-cincinnati-reds-run/

          28 teams may not outspend the Reds, but realistically, only a few high-spending teams (less than 10) can effectively control the free agent market.

          Sorting out who to keep and selling off others to fill holes is a realistic approach for the Reds, but I think that will take a couple of seasons to do correctly.

          • Not saying the Reds could or should spend for pricy free agents, either this year or the future. Yes, there is tremendous inequality in baseball spending. I’ve been writing/complaining about it for years. Big spending, however, has mattered less the past 10 years than before as big, long free agent contracts have more frequently been busts in the post-PED era.

            I’ve backed my view on the Reds $$$ situation with thousands of words of documented numbers and analysis about MLB revenues, BAM revenues, revenue sharing, local radio and TV contracts, etc. Those aren’t opinions, they’re facts. You can believe me or you can believe the “woe is me” crowd based on attendance. Seems obvious to me that it’s incomplete to look at one element and conclude from that the Reds don’t have enough money. They can afford nice things if they spend it wisely. I don’t consider paying big money for a closer or other free agents “nice things” btw.

            Dick Williams has said a couple times the Reds will have more to work with this year.

            Repeat:
            (1) Reds won’t/shouldn’t spend big money on free agents;
            (2) Lots of teams have more money than the Reds;
            (3) Reds have spent in the middle of the pack recently;
            (4) New revenues (TV contract, MLB, rev sharing) will offset the attendance decline;
            (5) Reds have enough money to be competitive if spend wisely.

        • The Reds can’t continue to make bad decisions they don’t have Yankee or Dodger money. The biggest problem I see outside of they have to right on every contract to stay competitive is the development money. They are among the last in MLB in Latin America and non existent as close as I can find out in the Pacific Rim. The small revenue teams will continue to be playing from behind until all players are put in the amateur draft!

      • Another advantage of building your system from bottom up is quality of players you have for depth.When Cozart goes down you have a Jose Peraza to step in…no more career AAA players like Henry Rodriguez please.IMHO Walt didn’t use farm system like he should have…instead of using it to develop young players he used it as a reserve for career AAA players,guys who could step up to MLB in a pinch but you knew they didn’t have the talent to stay.

  16. Looking for 2 inning relievers, Dick Williams?
    Look at the RedSox and trade for RHP Joe Kelly. Don’t just look at his seasonal stats from 2016. His Starting #’s skew his season #’. Look at the last week of July and after a Sept. callup, look at those numbers. And he doesn’t figure in the RedSox’s bullpen plans. He could for the Reds.

    • He fits but who would the Reds need to give up? I like Joe Kelly. Heck, I’m still not sure that Kelly can’t start.

  17. I must be missing something. If Frazier had not been traded we would not have won any more Games this year or next. With Peraza and Schebler the next five years where have we lost? of course you can always feel we should have got more but you have to have a trade partner.

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