Dilson Herrera

Manager Bryan Price discussed Cincinnati’s young second baseman Dilson Herrera — acquired in the Jay Bruce trade last July — and where he fits into the 2017 Reds:

“Very much so because I know we were excited to get him,” Price said. “I think he’s a strong, offensive second baseman who defends well. He’s 22 years old. So to have a couple of young 22, 23-year-olds over the course of the 2017 season that could potentially be playing with some regularity is exciting, because we’ve talked about the rebuild. And the rebuild is being able to feel like we can go out there and compete for postseason and championships moving forward. And in order to do that, you have to define who is going to be there during that stretch of time and who isn’t.”

While Peraza is expected to be on the Opening Day roster and play regularly in some fashion, Price didn’t plan on having Herrera sit on the bench.

“I don’t think that’s going to help his progress at all,” Price said. “I think between Dilson and Jose, they’re in a little bit different spot going into Spring Training.”

There are two ways to read that, I suppose. The way I read it is that Dilson Herrera will likely be in Triple-A to begin the 2017 season, while Brandon Phillips will be starting in the big leagues.

And that will be a huge mistake.

But maybe I’m reading more into Price’s comments than is actually there. Because there’s no competitive, rebuild-related justification for starting Phillips over Herrera in 2017. None. And you know the Reds must know this, if some dumb guy on the internet (like me) knows it.

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 chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 99 Comments

  1. I think he’s hedging a bit in case nothing transpires in trade talks. Things appear pretty cold right now for either trade pieces. Peraza will be with the Reds, Herrera has an option and can stay down. Cozart appears to be the easier piece to move, so it makes sense for Price and the FO to back pedal a bit from their initial statements about opening up playing time for both. I expect to see more of these statements as ST approaches. We’ll see if the new FO has any cajones if it’s February and both are still Reds.

  2. Just buckle in now. Phillips will start 140 games at 2B hitting cleanup while Peraza gets shuffled around the diamond and Herrera wastes everyones’s time at AAA

    • And Phillips will slash a Phillips-ian .268/.301/.411 while driving in 90 runs (because Votto will have a .490 OBP) and be declared TEAM MVP.

      • But that slash isn’t bad for a 2B, even one who may be slightly below average defensively. This is exactly why if the Reds can’t trade BP, the almost have to play him because his release or his benching in the name of rebuilding isn’t going to sit well with the fans or with other players.

        • I agree LW especially since I have them in the playoffs in 2017 ahead of schedule. We have a healthy staff, the bullpen comes together, Meso catches 125 games, and Phillips has a late in life resurgence. The rebuild is a year behind but who cares as they make the playoffs. And Brandon rides off into the sunset as a playoff MVP. All naysayers feel great shame.

          Who Hooo!

        • Part of the Reds middle IF issue is that the vet who has appears to have marketable skills also carries 10/5 rights and a large (salary) price tag while the other vet guy due to his injury situation at year’s end is pretty much a total roll of the dice as to whether he can get (and stay) on the field and what he will do if he can.

        • I’m a fan. It’ll sit well with me.

          I’d rather see Herrera produce that exact same slash line than BP. Herrera is the future; BP is not. Herrera needs to get his lumps in now so when we’re in a competitive window he’s ready to go

          • If enough people think like you, it won’t be as bad a move. This is especially true if the players are on board with the idea. I just know a lot of more casual fans who would take it as a very hard pill to swallow. This isn’t like the Frazier trade as the Reds will simply let him go, while paying his salary. There is no ‘prospect’ coming back. Hard for Joe Fan to see the upside.

        • Actually, that line would make a defensively-slipping BP basically a replacement player.

      • .255/.292/.373 and 5 home runs 32 RBI’s. 2 DL stints.

    • It is not a waste, when you have options on the clock.

  3. Starting Herrera at 3A makes sense for the following reasons: First, it doesn’t make sense to waste his service time on a non-competitive season. Second, it makes sense to try and build some trade value for BP and ZC. The latter reason is less important as I can’t see either of there values changing all that much regardless of how things transpire. What should absolutely not factor into the decision making, is the happiness of either of the vets, or any perceived competitive advantages that they provide.

  4. I agree with 44Reds. If you assume the Reds are not competing for the pennant in 2017 (a fairly safe assumption), is there a real need to rush the 22-year old and waste a year of control? If we can move BP to another team and open the position, then Herrera starts at second for the Reds. If not, there is no tragic loss. Just build BP’s trade value and have Herrera play at AAA until the service-time consideration passes.

    • Herrera already has some service time. So to get that extra year they would have to keep him down for a while. Probably until after the all star break. If the Reds are really trying to compete starting next year, then Herrera getting those few extra months in the bigs at the start of this year could be invaluable. There is a real opportunity cost to keeping BP.

      And I hate to be the ” Bryan Price is an idiot” guy, but dang, he is kind of an idiot. That interview they had posted on Fangraphs the other day was just cringe worthy. Yes, Bryan Price has forgotten more about pitching than I will ever know. But it seems pretty clear that he does not have a head for baseball tactics or long range strategy. What’s worse is that he doesn’t seem to know what he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t seem interested at all in trying to find out.

      • Certainly agree about Herrera WRT service time.

      • Those were my thoughts too. Herrera has played in 18 games with the Mets in ’14 and 31 games in ’15. Peraza played in 7 games with the Dodgers in ’15 and 72 games with the Reds in ’16. Service time considerations are small with both of these 2. With Winker, there will be those considerations. Just think, three 22-23 year olds that should see plenty of playing time in 2017.

        • Not the number of games played, but the number of days on the MLB roster. Herrera’s service time is 119 games. Peraza has 141. That’s why Price says Peraza will be on the major league roster whether or not the Reds can find him regular playing time.

  5. “Because there’s no competitive, rebuild-related justification for starting Phillips over Herrera in 2017.”

    Playing Devil’s Advocate, reasons for Price to say that:
    1. Make it seem like the Reds are giving up a their “starting” 2nd baseman in a trade
    2. Build Trade Value (at this point I think everyone knows what they’ll be getting in BP) or show the fans a reason to bench BP if he isn’t playing well
    3. The FO feels BP will be a terrible teammate if he’s not starting
    4. Keep Herrera’s clock from starting
    5. Motivate Herrera “earn” the spot in spring training/during the season
    6. Afraid to hurt Herrera’s ego by having to send him down if he isn’t playing well
    7. The Reds don’t want to win because they are trying their best to be the next feel good story by not winning a World Series in 50+ some years (Half way there!)

    Best I could come up with.

    • Well, #3 can be solved by releasing BP.

      #4 isn’t a big concern because Herrera has already played some MLB with the Mets (perhaps part of the reason why he could be had for Bruce, 5 yrs vice 6 yrs).

      • Amplification: Herrera already has 119 days of MLB service time, so being on the roster for at least 53 days (for a total of 172) is the same as being on the roster the entire season. (“The same” as long as we ignore Super Two implications…)

      • Releasing BP is a really bad idea for the front-office. I’ve given my reasons in the past so no sense rehashing them here. The situation isn’t like with some other players who are just bad players at this point of their careers and the player is released because they are no longer productive. Maybe, if BP is non-productive into May/June, you can release him then. There’s certainly a chance of that happening and they’d have a “playing winning baseball” reason to release him. That would sit better with the fans and with other players.

        • The Jay Bruce Syndrome…. hoping your guy has a career year right before you trade him.There is some logic there..

          • Or, if he stinks, you have a “trying to win baseball games” reason to release him.

        • Maybe they could smoke-screen the fans by promoting Peraza’s far superior batting average to those same fans? I wouldn’t put something like that our of their wheelhouse! 😉

          • Ha! Well, the season ticket rep did try to sell me on “Frazier is one of the reason they were bad. He had an awful 2nd half!” when trying to get me to renew my modest package last year.

    • Nicely done. In theory I love #2 – that this is posturing to keep BP trade value above zero. The flip side is that I’m finished with posturing on this issue. Let his market value plummet to final sale 90% off. The idea is not to convince some other team he’s still a starting middle infielder with value, it’s to find ANY team to take him. Any MLB team.

      The only posturing they should be doing relevant to that goal is to gloat about how he can play SS better than cozart in practice (a lie, but again, its posturing) or how much of a gutty team oriented veteran presence he is (also likely false).

      • Agree, cozart nor Phillips have any trade value and playing everyday til the all star break won’t change that. Phillips is old and cozart is broken down. The only value they give the reds is from sitting and watching. But they won’t, they will be out there everyday no matter how bad they are. If we don’t sign any ex cards where are we going to get the veteran grittiness that grits out wins? Phillips and cozart are the best hope for no production but all grit. They must grit every game while herrara and peraza sit on he bench and learn to grit.

        • Disagree on Cozart’s value. I think the Reds could move him. They just aren’t going to get much back. Also, if they are both on the team going into 2017, there are no certainties that Cozart will open as the starting SS. I think he would be a fair bench player at a 1st-year arb salary that shouldn’t break the bank.

  6. Dilson has 119 days service time..if I understand this right if Reds hold him back 50 something games in AAA,they gain a year before Free Agency.Is that right or am I missing something??

    • You’re right that he has 119 days service time. So he needs 53 more days to get to a full year (172 days = year). The season is about 183 games long. The Reds would have to hold Herrera back until the middle of August to make sure he didn’t get to a full season in 2017.

      Here’s an article that discusses service time: https://redlegnation.com/2016/03/30/time-is-money-and-time/

      • Thanks Steve…saw my error soon as I posted that.I was the kinda math student that wore the eraser out before the pencil 🙂

  7. I’m looking forward to watching Herrera play.

    I agree with Chad that Price appears to be laying the groundwork for starting Herrera in AAA if they can’t move Phillips before the start of the season.

    The Reds bungled the Phillips situation before he reached his 5/10 rights and they’ve been paying (and paying and paying) for it since.

    • Hindsight is great. If Cueto stayed, homer didn’t get hurt, JBruce became an even bigger monster, devin never got hurt, Cozart never got hurt, Aroldis won two Cy Youngs as our 3rd #1 quality starter, and Super Todd Frazier did his thing then having a veteran like BP during our great run through 2010-2016 would’ve been ideal.

      Despite all this BP has generated enough WAR not to be too critical of his contract I’d say.

      • I don’t think it’s hindsight for most people in regard to Phillips. Plenty of people questioned the length of Phillip’s contract when he received it, noting the decline due to aging that happens from early mid-thirties and beyond. Plenty of people were calling for the Reds to trade Phillips before he reached 10/5 rights. There have been people saying for years that the backend of this contract won’t hold value. That’s not hindsight it’s projection, and those people were correct at the time as they are today.

        • I just don’t see the contract as being that upside down. I mean, I didn’t like the length of the deal but BP, so far, has been worth the money the Reds spent on him.

        • LW is correct. The contract has not been anywhere close to an albatross from a fiscal perspective. However, the angst I have always seen with regard to his contract, especially now, is the opportunity cost. I hope the team has the fortitude to do what’s best for the roster going forward. If BP needs to be benched or released to free up space for younger players who could form the nucleus of the next competitive team, then they need to make that decision. There is little to be gained from playing him this year.

        • The early part of the contract was for fair market value, almost exactly. The last two years have been an overpay.

    • Your right the Reds bungled it etc, that is why Herrera is in AAA if Phillips is not traded and wait until July. No other smart choice.

  8. What this says, to me, is that Dilson Herrera is going to have to force the Reds hand in spring training by his play. If Herrera plays very well, then the Reds look at trading BP and eating much of his salary or just release him. Either way, they eat most or all of BP’s salary, which they are not prepared to do at this time. If Herrera plays just OK, then the Reds keep BP, and Herrera starts out at AAA.
    The Reds are walking through a minefield with this strategy of preparing to play 4 middle IF’s for 2 spots. If BP isn’t in the lineup every day, there will be voices of dissention.

  9. How about loyalty to your Veteran star. I know you guys likely don’t consider BP A Star anymore, but I’m not gonna quibble over semantics. But from what I’ve seen on social media, there aren’t too many fans and/or writers out there who have any loyalty left in them (if they had it at all) for BP. After what he’s done for this franchise and all he’s acomplished on the field I say he deserves to finish his Cincinnati career as the starter. He deserves more respect than what he’s being shown by everybody who wants him gone and/or benched. “It’s about moving on”, I don’t wanna hear that! That’s just an excuse for disrespect.

    • I don’t think he “deserves” anything. He’s been paid multiple millions of dollars to play a game. His inability to produce and his desire to stand in the way of being traded to a contender last year has put his personal desires at odds with the team’s best interest.

      I don’t care how loyal we think we ought to be, no one’s personal swan’s song is more important than the team’s rebuilding efforts.

      And not to you specifically, Sandman, but just a comment in general… why do so many people have the attitude that an athlete has “done something” for a franchise? The Reds won zero playoffs series during his tenure. He provided good value at 2B and was paid handsomely for it. Seems like a neutral transaction to me. The idea that he is owed anything for “what he’s done” is mind-boggling to me.

      • Agreed. The Reds owe nothing to Brandon Phillips. He’s been a fine player along with being well paid. What is owed the fans of the Cincinnati Reds is for Herrera and Peraza to be starters in rebuild year three.

      • He gave us swag and attitude and highlight reel defensive plays. More importantly, he’s been loyal to the Reds. What some people perceive as selfishness could just be staunch loyalty. What if we don’t win any playoff series with this new group of kids? From what I hear, we didn’t exactly get a bunch of top prospects. If that’s true then we didn’t exactly get a bunch of barn burners. Not really feeling good about the future with this new group. I know you will probably say that they deserve the chance to prove themselves and all that cookie cutter philosophy stuff. They’ll get a chance to prove themselves soon enough. Just freakin drop it already everybody, damn! No respect! Ain’t nothing mean anything to anyone anymore!

        • Did Brandon Phillips deserve a chance in 2006? He was a toxic player in the Indians organization….the Reds saved him off the scrap heap. No one wanted him…He had proved nothing. Ryan Freel had a phenomenal year at 2b in 2004 and was rightly a fan favorite. Felipe Lopez was coming off an All Star year at shortstop in 2005. Rich Aurilia was the steady veteran in his 30’s who had 2 great years for the Reds as a utility infielder and Edwin Encarnacion was starting his career at 3b. Yet, BP, a young talented athletic player came in an still played 147 games at 2b. I guess you are saying Ryan Freel and Rich Aurilia, loyal proven guys, were owed that spot and owed respect and BP should have waited his turn? I think the Reds were right in giving a talented young elite athletic 2b an opportunity.

        • Loyal to the Reds? Give me a break. He’s been loyal to his wallet. He called the owner a liar and dissed Joey Votto, all because he wanted more money. Absolutely laughable that you can consider BP loyal to the Reds.

        • Sure, he had swag and attitude. No one disagrees. For what it’s worth, I’ve enjoyed watching Phillips for all but last season. I respected him for what he was. An all-star-level second baseman. He’s not that anymore. Baseball is a business. You don’t become a billionaire by sticking with non-producing assets longer than you need to, and Reds FO shouldn’t let him get in the way of evaluating their current crop of talent in a likely-to-be-lost season.

          It’s not a dig against Phillips, per se, it’s just reality. Everyone gets old. Everyone gets in the way at some point.

      • Patrick: I’m pretty certain that, if somebody used the no-playoff-appearances argument to discredit, say, Votto, you’d be quick to point out the inherent fallacy. And I agree, to a point, with Sandman, that money doesn’t, by itself, equate to good or honorable treatment or human decency. I’m not so sure that, from there, I can get to starting BP for the rest of his contract.

        • Perhaps it is an actual logical fallacy (I skipped my symbolic logic class quite a bit), but I would use the same thing on Votto if the argument were against him.

          If someone tells me, during Votto’s last year, that he is OWED and DESERVES to start (even if he sucks) over a promising young guy, I’ll be driving the “kick Votto to the curb” bandwagon. Like I said… no one’s personal swan song is greater than the team, especially if that player is no longer productive.

          And regarding your statement about honorable treatment and human decency… I would also say that money doesn’t check that box. However, benching someone in a baseball game also does not mean someone was treated dishonorably or without decency.

          That is our disconnect. I see nothing wrong whatsoever (from a “decency” standpoint) with benching/trading/releasing/ Brandon Phillips. He is “owed” nothing.

    • How about loyalty to your owner instead of calling him a liar?

      • I think too much is made of that. The Reds could have traded him right there and then if the big guy would have been offended by the comments as much as many fans are.

      • Who’s calling our owner a liar?

        • BP did after Joey inked his big deal (which was not long after BP got his own, albeit lesser deal)

      • Maybe he lied.

    • We are rebuilding. You can not keep Players just because we like them . It is a youth game and all these players know there is an end. (and then they go fishing) I like Phillips and Cozart but we must move on or win 70 games a year forever.

      • You see, there’s the freakin problem right there! Everybody thinking we’re gonna be losing forever if we keep BP another year or until he retires. Grow up people! Maybe y’all don’t have faith in these kids! Everybody treating these kids like they’re delicate flowers that need to be coddled and watered or they’ll wither and die. They’re grown ass men! They’ll be fine.

        • It’s not about coddling them, good lord. Don’t try to make this some anti-millennial anti-PC bull crap

          It’s about letting the best players play the freaking game.

          Talent wins games. Not loyalty.

        • Also how is telling a grown man that has gotten paid millions of dollars to move on “coddling kids?”

          Really just a bizarre comment

        • I don’t think you understand our argument about getting the young guys playting time. It has nothing to do with coddling anyone. It has to do with the timeframe in which the Reds say they are trying to complete…so I’ll try to rephrase it.

          Most players cannot succeed at the MLB level until they have some experience. Some of it has to do with actual on-field stuff (like pitchers are better), some of it has to do with off-field stuff (adjusting to more travel, having more money [dangerous for some young men who grew up poor], more expectations, etc).

          Let’s just assume an average player needs 1/2 a season to get “comfortable” before he can really start being himself and producing as his true-talent level. This number will differ for every player. But regardless of the player, you need to work through that initial, less-productive phase before they can blossom.

          So, if the Reds are serious about competing in 2019 (I think we all agree 2018 is probably a wash), you need to do 2 things. First, you need to find out what players have a good shot at being contributors. You can only do that through playing time. Second, you need to take those players who you think will contribute and get them through their initial “struggling” phases.

          Just look at last year’s Cubs. Bryant, Russell, Baez, etc all got a bunch of PT in 2015 that helped them become even better in 2016. If the Reds want to compete in 2019, they need to use 2017/18 to indentify what they have, and get those guys those most PT possible so they are ready to rock and roll in 2019.

          That’s the argument, as I see it in my head. You don’t know what you have until you play them, and you can’t get max production from those guys until they get comfortable and get the reps and MLB level.

          Hope that wasn’t too meandering.

        • What I mean by coddling is that everybody’s so freakin worried about the development of these young kids if BP sticks around 1 more year. What’s the harm in 1 more year? It ain’t like we’re gonna be competitive this coming season! At the end of this coming season BP will likely not be brought back. So, if anything, the kids’ development will be delayed by 1 year. If these Kids’ talent is destroyed bcuz they had to wait 1 more year, then maybe they weren’t that talented to begin with. Now, with this being said, I’m not saying that IF BP struggles at the plate and/or in the field that he shouldn’t be benched. But at least give BP the chance to struggle in his last year with the Reds before you freakin crucify him. And, hey, the bonus being that if BP DOESN’T struggle in either area then we get the pleasure of seeing BP do his thing one last time. So for Heaven’s sake everybody, just freakin chillax. One more year is all we’ll have to wait if BP stays. If BP does well then MAYBE he’ll be traded during the season. I don’t even see that happening if the LAD sign Dozier unless a contender has an injury to their second baseman. But if he plays well and does get traded during the season…win! If he struggles and is benched and we have to keep him the whole year…win! That last one’s a double bonus for y’all bcuz he’ll be gone next year regardless. If we trade BP now, we won’t get value for him. So just relax everybody and let this play out. Some of y’all are gonna run yourselves into an early grave from the sound of it with all this stupid worrying about the freakin kids. One more year…. If that! Geez!

    • This is mindset is an absolute cancer to any organization. There have been an endless number of teams who have shown your “loyalty” to veterans over the past decade and they have all been disasters. Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Rockies, the cardinals and Giants are now getting to that point where their roster is aged

      Teams that turn over the roster with young talent win games. I guess the Cubs should’ve just been more “loyal” to guys like Jeff Smardzjia and Starlin Castro and not won their first World Series in 108 years

      • I wish the stupid Cubs had remained loyal to their previous players bcuz maybe then they wouldn’t have won the WS. I hate that the Cubs have won a WS and are considered the best team in MLB. Makes me sick! But I guess the Reds shouldn’t of remained loyal to Barry Larking and Vice Versa?

  10. Service time considerations make sense when you are dealing with a sure-thing or near sure thing. No need to waste service time on a Kris Bryant or Carlos Correa or Francisco Lindor. The Reds don’t have one of those. The Reds need to figure out who, out of their self-imposed logjam of middle infielders, will be able to produce for a winning team. The only way to find that out is to let them play.

  11. Kinda shocking to me to see Red’s fans turn on Brandon Phillips….although I’ll be first to admit I’ve never been a big fan of his.But in his defense Reds accepted that no trade clause in his contract….Reds agreed to pay him those millions….Reds agreed to that overly long term contract.Cincy can’t sit back and complain now that it’s all coming back to haunt them.Ya mean….you really didn’t see this day coming?? Now I’m wondering what fan’s attitude will be towards Joey Votto in 2023….

    • In some circles, the fans will still like him but a lot of fans will be hating Joey and that contract after 2020. Heck, a lot of “Joe Fan” types hate that contract now.

      • The frustrating thing, when it comes to the Votto contract, is that the Reds decided to stop fighting and go for the rebuild, right as Votto continues to excel. Just think of what 2015 and 2016 Votto could have done with some really good players around him. I think they needed to keep pushing, even if it meant losing some money.

        • I’m thinking the cost to keep Cueto,Leake,Frazier,Chapman,etc on top of previous financial commitments put that team out of reach .But those 4 guys had value and Reds minor league system had been depleted (thanks Walt) so I guess Reds powers to be decided the time had come to shift gears and start rebuild.And I am good with this….losing and picking up good draft picks combined with the new guys Suarez,Peraza,Herrera,DeSclafani,etc seems like only way to build a (hopefully) good team on Red’s shoestring budget.

    • It’s not so much “turning on him,” it’s simply an aknowledgement that it’s time to move on. BP isn’t getting any younger or better. If we weren’t competive the last 2 years with a younger BP, we’re not going to be better this year with an older BP. No Herrera is not a guarantee. No we don’t know for sure we’ll win with him instead of BP. But we know for a fact we aren’t winning WITH BP, and Herrera is on the opposite side of the time/skills progression

      Also no, the reds did not “agree” to a no trade clause in his contract. Phillips has 10/5 service rights, which is a CBA provision, not a no trade clause. And many fans saw this coming and didn’t like the contract at the time exactly because it took him into the 10/5 time window

      • my understanding is BP has both…a no trade clause from his 2012 contract and 10-5 rights which kicked in in 2016….

      • Actually, his prior contract also contained a more limited no-trade clause. It’s how he was apparently able to block a trade to the Yankees before his 10/5 rights kicked in.

      • Well, some people “acknowledge” this with extreme prejudice and hatred.

  12. Keyveus Sampson is a Diamondback. Looks like he’s been signed to a MiLB contract with an invite. Always liked his arm and am of the belief that the Reds have given up on him too soon. He’s still only 25 years old.

    • There had to be things going on around KS that we don’t know about. Since we don’t know, it is impossible to say if they mishandled him or not. I wish him luck as long as it isn’t versus the Reds.

      • I think he hurt his arm at the end of the 2016 season, and the Reds just thought there wasn’t that much upside to his potential to hang on to him. Sure, he pitched great in AAA, but he didn’t really bring it to the Bigs in 2016.

        • This is very true. He’s never pitched even marginally well at the big-league level. Maybe he’s just a AAAA pitcher who can’t make that cutover. I just see the stuff and wonder if perhaps the Reds cut bait too soon. The Reds front office does have smart people and maybe letting him go was the right thing to do. Really, we just have to wait and see. The Reds front-office is often right and I am often wrong about stuff like this.

        • The Reds front-office did a pretty good job of managing the 40-man roster going into the rule 5 draft this season. Many fans, the Old Cossack included, saw doom and gloom with the decisions made to not protect some of the youngsters prior to the draft and expected significant losses in the draft. The only losses of any significance were Josh Smith and Keyvius Sampson and both of those losses may amount to nothing more than minor significance.

        • I agree with LWBlogger2. Keep in mind that Sampson had already been let go by the Padres a few years back before the Reds picked him up. He looks like someone whose absolute ceiling is as a #5 starter or long man in the bullpen. If you have to protect him or someone who is much younger with potential, I think you go with the younger player — particularly in the Reds’ situation.

  13. Herrera needs 500 at bats in 2017 to be ready in 2018/2019… Baseball is too hard to pretend one can flip a switch and players will just hit from day 1. It takes 1000+ at bats to get truly settled in MLB…Suarez is progressing but still developing. Gotta find out what Herrera and Peraza and Schebler can do playing every day. The Reds can absorb growing pains in 2017…. They can’t in 2018…Unless the FO is targeting 2019 and isn’t telling anyone.

    • Old-School,
      I think the Reds front office has been “hinting without saying” that the target is really 2019 (or beyond). And, they will continue to do so in subtle ways.

      This is a from a recent FanGraphs chat:
      Jeff Sullivan: It’s almost impossible for me to imagine the Reds catching up to the Cubs within three years

      Jeff Sullivan: Their rebuild is going slowly. They need to hit on a number of their young pitchers and there’s not much left for them to sell. If I’m the Reds I just invest heavily in player development and I poke around for my own new equivalents of Keon Broxton

      Just my opinion, but I would guess the Reds front office is in agreement with this view. It’s just that ratings and attendance are already in free fall. It’s bad for business to acknowledge publicly the current competitive landscape. And, the hurdles the Reds face.

      • You don’t have to catch the Cubs or Dodgers or Nationals by 2018…..just the Cards and Pirates and Mets and Giants. But, you may be correct. I cant see a scenario where Brandon Phillips is healthy and not playing.

        • Who plays second base in 2017 is not irrelevant to how many games the Reds win, or how well they are positioned in 2018 and beyond to be competitive. But really, the status of their pitching staff is much more important. And I also think how healthy Devin Mesoraco is and whether he can play 80 or 90 games this year (2017) is more important.

  14. The Reds trade Phillips. The door is open for Herrera to play 2nd base in Cincy in 2017.

    The Reds don’t trade Phillips. He is still the starting 2nd baseman, and Herrera is better off in AAA playing every day. There may be a trade for Phillips tomorrow, or next week or in July before the interleague trading deadline. Or never, and his option is up at the end of 2017.

    Nobody really knows right now. Let’s not insult each other and the Red’s management over the real unknowns yet to come. I don’t think Bryan Price is dumb, but he doesn’t have absolute control over the Reds 25 man roster. He can’t come out in the middle of winter and say Phillips will ride the bench to play Herrera.

    There is the thinking that Phillip’s contract is a sunk cost, and they should just release him, and some other team picks him up and pays him the league minimum, and the Reds pay the balance of his 14 million. Is that really that smart, when there is a real potential for SOME trade in the future? And getting something back? Sure in 7 months or so some of us will feel smart and some will feel dumb because of what will actually happen, but until then, who know??

    • Another issue is Herrera’s health. His shoulder problem may be chronic and preclude him from everyday use anywhere.

  15. None of this matters bcuz ain’t no one gonna want a 36 yr old second baseman who according to these fancy sabermetric stats is on the decline both offensively and defensively. Especially if the LAD sign Dozier. And that’s just fine with me. So all y’all can go and lose sleep over this and bite your nails til they’re bloody stubbs. I’m confident that BP will be here the whole year. Then he’ll be gone after that and y’all can rest easy. If anyone does want Phillips I’ll be surprised and I’ll be even more surprised if he actually gets traded.

    • As I see things none of this is on BP….that guy has done just about everything Reds have asked of him.He has caused some small problems off the field but nothing major,mostly cases of talking without thinking things out first. 30/30 guy in 2007 (not many of those around) …multiple Gold Gloves… 1,614 games played in 11 years with Reds,that is eye popping. And Cincy signed off on that 6 years contract in 2012,I can’t blame BP for jumping at that.

      • Thank you for this. This is what BP has done for us .

        • Like I’ve said previously I’m not BP biggest fan but I think you do have to show him the proper respect…the guy really has played his heart out for this team and deserves some recognition for that. Look for a Brandon Phillips Bobblehead Day coming to your ballpark soon 🙂

      • If not for Joe Morgan, Phillips may be considered the best second baseman in team history. But this kind of transition happens in all sports — such as Ken Anderson to Boomer Esiason with the Bengals. The New England Patriots always say goodbye to a player, even long-time team members, before they are too far past their primes.

  16. Always easier to spend other people’s money….which is what fans are doing when they suggest releasing BP or trading him just to get out from underneath that contract and expecting little in return.Even in world of baseball funny money $14,000,000 is a chunk of change.If I was Big Bob I’d be expecting something in return and that means a trade of equal value.And then that has to be OK’ed by Brandon Phillips….meeting both those demands means Dick Williams has his work cut out for him,that might not be an easy trade to put together.Not end of the world if Reds start season off with BP on second base and then try and market him leading up to trade deadline….

  17. It’s sad that Phillips blocks Herrera’s development but hopefully Phillips had to earn the role. Realistically Reds are still 3-5 years from competing because their sticks are horrible.

  18. When the Reds signed Phillips to his contract extention, WJ had backed the Reds into an impossible situation with no replacement ffor Phillips anywhere within the organization and no trade chips to aquire a talented, young 2B. The contract Phillips signed was market value for a FA of Phillips talent and track record and the results provided by Phillips during the course of that contract extention pretty much covered the cost of a FA contract. The problem is that Cincinnati can’t pay FA prices on long-term contracts unless they expect to receive performance results well beyond the cost of the contract.

    Phillips’ reaction to his contract and Votto’s contract speaks volumes. Phillips’ knew he had the Reds over a barrel and he expected the Reds to break the bank in order to sign him. Even with the value of the contract he signed, the Reds had obviously drawn a line in the sand regarding the size of the contract they would offer Phillips. When Votto’s contract became public, Phillips absolutely went off that he didn’t get some of the money offered top Votto. Phillips was not giving the Reds a ‘hometown’ discount on his contract. It was a market-value FA contract.

    Bailey’s contract falls in the same category. Bailey’s contract was a market value FA contact. Had bailey remained healthy, he would almost certainly provided the performance value to cover the FA contact, but even then, Cincinnati would be paying FA prices on a long-term contract and the team simply can’t pay FA prices on long-term contracts, especially for pitchers due to the increased risk of major injuries for aging pitchers.

  19. 120 starts and 500 PA at SS & 2B at the major league level for Peraza & Herrera in 2017 is plenty of activity for both players in the 2017 season to give the Reds a good look at their abilities and prospects for future contributions and provides sufficient experience going into the 2018 season.

    I think the Reds have a manageable situation with Cozart and Phillips for 2017 and don’t have to rush a decision on trading or releasing either player. Injuries happen during the course of the preseason and regular season. An injury to a key middle infielder for a contending team requires tough decisions and actions. Both Cozart and Phillips will generate phone calls from contending teams to the Reds regarding their availability as a result of an injury to a key middle infielder. The Reds will almost certainly need to weat some of Phillips’ contract if they want any sort of significant return in trade or they may settle for just unloading his contract with minimal to no return value. The 40 starts and 200 PA for Cozart and Phillips can be squeezed into the 1st half of the season to keep both players sharp and ready to start. Both players would be prime utility infielders and pinch hitters along with their occasional, regular starts. This should be more than ample opportunity to showcase their readiness and capability for any interested tems. I’m completely good with keeping Phillips and Cozart on the 25-man roster, even for the entire season if necessary, as long as the roster is managed to provide Peraza and Herrara with 120 starts and 500 PA during 2017.

  20. Trading Dilson Herrera, moving Jose Peraza to 2B just might be the impetus needed to trade or release Brandon Phillips. Peraza has to play and making room at 2B solves to pesky problems. Bye-bye BP. Herrera and Robert Stephenson will get the Reds a real SS.

    • I’m missing who the “real” shortstop would be?

    • Still haven’t given up on Stephenson myself… Also, I think you’re trading the wrong middle infielder. My honest assessment is that assuming the shoulder is sound, Herrara is going to be a superior player to Peraza. But, that’s just my opinion.

  21. Without question, the most boring offseason I’ve seen from the Reds so far. Our weakest link is the bullpen and all we do is look for Rule 5 crap or Waiver wire castaways. At least show some interest in Joe Blanton or Travis Wood. Zero initiative out of this front office.

  22. Joey votto may be the best player the reds have, But for most our fan base BP is the true face of the organization and trading BP would be detrimental to the reds and the fan base. They trade BP and it will turn a lot of the fan base away not counting the effects it will have on the team. I for one will not forgive the reds reds if they trade Phillips. To me personally and I know my family as well, he means to us what Barry larking did for so many years. So I prey to god they don’t trade BP

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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 chaddotson@redlegnation.com.


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