Titanic Sweep Recap

Recap: Keepin’ it 100 with Johnny Cueto

It’s been almost two years since we’ve seen Johnny Cueto on the mound in a Reds uniform at Great American Ball Park. The date was July 19, 2015, a Sunday afternoon like today, and it felt like walking the Green Mile. Cueto only made it through four innings. That’s what happens when you pitch while your heart is breaking. As fans, we fought back the tears and felt emptiness that comes with inevitable loss. Not the loss of a game, but the passing of a joyful era.

Our enduring affection for Cueto is due in no small part to how his trajectory of success tracked that of the club itself.

Johnny Cueto entered our consciousness a lightning bolt. The 22-year-old retired the first 15 batters he faced on April 3, 2008 at GABP, striking out 10 Arizona Diamondbacks and walking none through 7 innings. But Cueto’s subsequent struggles that season and the next (61 starts, 4.61 ERA) matched losing records for the Reds under new manager Dusty Baker. The starting lineup on Cueto’s first day at work: Freel, Keppinger, Griffey, Phillips, Dunn, Encarnacion, Hatteberg, Bako and Cueto. But many better days were soon approaching.

From 2010 to 2013, the Reds run of success began with Johnny Cueto throwing a one-hitter against the Pirates. And it ended with him dropping the ball in that same PNC Park. Over those four seasons, Cueto managed a glittering ERA of 2.92. His shocking injury after throwing eight pitches in Game One of the NLDS haunts the organization and its fans to this day.

But winning two NL Central Championships is a big accomplishment. Cueto’s return today should serve a reminder of those oversized, consequential times.

The Reds traded half a season of Cueto to the Kansas City Royals for a fair return of Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed and John Lamb. Cueto made 13 regular season starts for the Royals (4.76 ERA, 4.06 FIP), threw a complete-game, two-hitter for Kansas City in the World Series and then left for free agency. He signed a 6-year deal with the Giants for $130 million, covering Cueto’s age 30-35 seasons.

Today’s game wasn’t Johnny Cueto’s first at GABP for a team other than the Reds. A year ago, wearing the same San Francisco Giants uniform, Cueto faced the Reds. The home team, led by Joey Votto’s 3-run homer, scored 6 runs off Cueto in 5 innings.

(If you’re imagining the Reds won that game, you’re probably suppressing memories of their calamitous May bullpen.)

A couple years ago, Nick Doran made a detailed case that Johnny Cueto was one of the best pitchers in Reds history. It’s hard to take issue with that.

Today, in his 100th start in GABP, Johnny Cueto struck out ten batters in 7 innings, just like he did in his first.

And our Cincinnati Reds (17-14) swept the Giants, have won five in a row and are 6-1 on the home stand. They remain atop the NL Central. Bring on the Yankees.

Cincinnati Reds 4  San Francisco Giants 0 || MLB || FG || Statcast

Boy, the Giants’ offense is awful. The only reason they aren’t last in runs scored is because the Kansas City Royals are a historically inept thing. But the Giants are dead last in skills like hitting home runs, with only 19. The Reds have 43. A rookie for the Yankees has 13. The Giants’ futility at the plate seemed to sap their intensity toward the end of the game. Perhaps you could say they … left their heart …

Today’s direct beneficiary of the listless Giants offense was Scott Feldman, who pitched a complete game shutout, striking out five and walking one.

The Reds managed six hits off Johnny Cueto in seven innings. Zack Cozart and Scott Schebler hit solo home runs. Billy Hamilton had a triple and a walk.

A final word on the Amir Garrett demotion. It was heartening to hear Chris Welsh make the point twice that there’s no convincing science behind the notion that conservative innings limits prevent pitching injuries. Bryan Price has worked closely with pitchers for years and we know what he thinks about innings limits:

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this question,” Price said. “I don’t think it’s a problem. I think the problem is that what we’ve done with baseball is we’ve gotten to the point [where] we think we’re solving our arm issues by decreasing innings and pitch workload and there’s nothing in the data that suggests we’ve [done] anything other than to continue to cut open the arms of young pitchers that we are extremely cautious with, extremely cautious, to a fault cautious. And it is not helping.

“My personal opinion is I don’t care, at all, about innings workload as they’re written up right now. We’ve prescribed a very similar philosophy that the rest of Major League Baseball does for the most part in the industry. I don’t agree with it, but we tend to follow it. For me, if we said, ‘Hey, he’s going to be a starter.’ I’m giving [Lorenzen] the ball 30-plus times and letting him pitch. That’s what I would do.”

Yes, in the middle of his interview with Jim Day, Pete Rose did say, “Do you want to bet that Billy Hamilton steals this time?”

90 thoughts on “Recap: Keepin’ it 100 with Johnny Cueto

  1. The Yanks series is going to be fun to watch. How many HR’s will we see combined and how many of those will Aaron Judge hit?

  2. Reds might see some bench guys tomorrow night as the Yanks are playing national game @ 8pm Eastern in Chicago. Short flight, but they probably won’t get out of Chicago at least until midnight.

    • Not by much, I don’t think. The Giants are an awful team, the Reds will probably end up being somewhere on the mediocre side, although if a few players breakout, they could surprise and win about 88 games.

    • I think they just ran into some struggling teams at the right time, put together a good week of baseball, and are playing up to their skill level. They probably wont win 89 games but I would be surprised if they dont get close to .500

    • Suarez has been a game changer. His defense & hitting make the Reds a much better team. Their “waiver-wire” bench: Kivelehan, Gennett, Alcantara, & Turner -have been great (especially lately).Their bullpen is not only effective, but very deep. I don’t think they’re playing over their heads as much as they’re just getting their feet wet.

    • They’re just playing. This is the best day-to-day lineup Price has had to work with so far. Bullpen’s solid. The starting pitching will be the answer to how many games they win.

      • Agree about the starting pitching. It’s hard to see a scenario where that becomes a strength this year.

    • It is not like we are handicapping a race yet to be run.
      The facts speak for themselves. Playing weaker teams has helped get the Reds to where they are but still the team has done what was needed to win.
      On the expression “playing over their heads”, if the Reds were several games under five hundred and near last place, would anyone be asking “How far under their heads are the Reds playing?”

  3. Feldman deserves a little more kudos for a complete game shutout. They seem a little rare these days.

    • The fact that his “fastball” rarely breaks 90 MPH and he pitched a 4 hit shutout, says a lot about the Giants! I will say it shows that Feldman can pitch also!

  4. You got to beat the bad teams usually before you can beat the good ones, neither of these teams this week can hit and the Reds do have a decent offense. That bad streak was against the O’s which have a good lineup and the Brewers hotter than a firecracker.

    Can’t get excited about any Reds team until at least usually after the first long trip out west, as I have seen way too many Cincy clubs go out there and have their good playing ways seemingly ended and the season head straight to the rocks.

  5. So after this Pirates and Giants series, here are some irrefutable and conclusive observations we can make. And I don’t wanna hear yer yappin’ about small sample sizes and irrational exuberance.

    1. Billy Hamilton is the best leadoff hitter in baseball and these last few games are a representative example of his abilities. Nonchalantly slapping triples all over the yard and getting on base nearly 80% of the time. And some of you thought he couldn’t crack it as a leadoff hitter.

    2. Feldman and Arroyo are absolutely earning their keep. In fact, they are the solution for the rotation going forward. Let’s see Garrett (oh wait, maybe we won’t for a while), Reed or Stephenson throw a CG shutout like Feldman just did. Not gonna happen.

    3. Who needs Freel, Keppinger, Griffey, Phillips, Dunn, Encarnacion, Hatteberg, and Bako in your lineup when you have Hamilton, Cozart, Votto, Suarez, Schebler, Gennett, Peraza, and Barnhart? Fine, if you don’t like Gennett vs. Dunn? You can have Duvall. But can’t we all agree that Barnhart/Mesoraco > Bako?

    4. On a serious note, sending down Garrett is nothing more than service time issues. And with all of the good feeling we’ve had watching the Reds these last several days, knowing that takes a bit of the luster out of things. What a clumsy, ham-handed way of handling a key component of your future roster,despite Marty’s pontifications otherwise. The Reds had to have known this was a risk. Just because Garrett’s performance exceeded expectations does not mean that you have to take such a calculated but thinly-veiled tactic to try and limit his service time. Shameful.

    • On 4
      The Cubs made an equally obvious transaction with Bryant and look how that turned out.He merely turned around and signed an under priced long term deal.Im sure that AG and his agent are big boys and can clearly understand the move and were possibly talked to in advance about it.I wouldnt fret over the move and likely will see Amir 10 games from today.

      • I would hope they would have communicated to Garret in advance. And reports from the Enquirer this morning indicate that Price did say something to the effect that the young pitchers were told early in the season that they may be demoted to save innings. It’s still not a good look for the Reds. Granted, they were strapped for starting pitching and perhaps their hand was forced to start Garrett. But, even at the time, they had other options for the rotation. Once they went with Garrett, the right thing to do was to ride things out. If he didn’t perform, no one would question a demotion. But, he’s been their best starter. Sending him down because of innings concerns in May just doesn’t look good at all.

        And I don’t see the point you’re trying to make with Bryant? He’s a pre-arb player. True it he just signed the largest 2nd year deal in history but we’re still talking just 1 year and $350,000 over the pro-rated minimum salary. That’s not a “long term deal.” And it doesn’t really says anything for how the Bryant camp feels about the Cub’s front office tactics.

        • What do you mean it doesn’t look good at all? Literally every MLB team does this with prospects. It gives them more time and saves millions of dollars in the long run, I don’t think that people will get angry. These are not “front office antics” as you put it, this is what is called baseball economics. Players understand that they may be moved around for the team to operate efficiently. Regardless is he has been their best starter, why would you sacrifice years of him being a potential “Ace” for ten days of minor league work in his rookie season, that makes no sense at all. He and his agents understand that the team wants to operate the most efficiently, and keep the guys who have rare talent like AG for as long as they can under team control.

          This is the exact reason the Cubs did this with Bryant, who came up about a month later. Now they have the current NL MVP in the fold for several years to come, and don’t have to pay him 30 million.

          • To be clear, KY. I’m not actually advocating against the strategy of maximizing service time. In fact, I was in the camp that said don’t start Garret at the beginning of the season. For the very reason that it puts the team in the situation it finds itself now. He’s pitching well. He’s developing against MLB competition. And to this point, it’s only May and it’s really not evident at all that he will be in danger of pitching more than 190 innings this season anyway.

            I’m simply arguing against the tactic being used now. Demoting your best starter to “save his innings” in May isn’t really what’s going on here. So there’s no reason, other than PR, for the Reds to say otherwise.

            Sure, the Reds are well within their rights to manipulate service time. But I don’t think I would go so far as to conclude that ham handed practices like demoting your best starter or keeping a sure-fire guy like Bryant down just long enough so that he doesn’t reach a full year won’t eventually backfire for ownership. True, the MLBPA doesn’t have as much interest in protecting minor leaguers and rookies as they do their veteran constituency, but if $s become tighter through flattening revenues, then this will become a battle ground. Whether it will become a catalyst for any particular player who feels he was snubbed remains to be seen. It’s probably a dubious argument anyway because once a player is eligible for FA, there are a lot of factors at play (i.e. $) that will determine if they’ll stay with their original team or move on. Maybe they’ll be less inclined to sign a team-friendly deal before FA or not. It will depend on each player’s given situation. But if that player turns out to be pretty good, then this type of treatment could shut the door for such a deal. And really, that’s what the Reds should be focused on. Not trying to extend control for an additional year at the front end.

      • How could anyone interpret a 1 year contract as an underpriced long term deal?

        • This is what happens when people type without looking things up for verifying anything.

          • I apologize
            I could have sworn they signed him to a multi year deal.
            Wrong again
            On the subject of Amir,I dont think that his demotion has anything to do with innings
            and everything to do with service time.I feel comfortable saying he will take his turn but at AAA.

  6. Congratulations to Feldman on a great game. In spite of the questionable situation with the SP, I get a hint that this Redleg team is starting to jell.

    • This team is now third in baseball in runs scored! Let’s face it they have beaten decent teams as well. And they are without their top three starting pitchers. Imagine their record with a healthy Descanfani, Homer and Finnegan?!

  7. While the science behind innings limits is debatable, the politics is not. No manager or front office wants to be the one accused of abusing a young arm if/when it turns to jello or injury occurs. Limiting innings is the prudent thing to do, even if it’s not the necessary thing to do.

    • Really, no one “knows”. It could be a case – to – case thing. A lot of it depends on what kind of pitches the pitcher in question throws, and how it affects his fatigue, how he actually feels between starts, etc. If after 30 starts a young pitcher is not rebounding well between starts, then maybe you should have taken him down a couple of turns in mid-season, but by then it is too late.
      Amir Garrett is a very good all around athlete. When he is on his game, he appears to have very fluid mechanics. He is not a developing athlete of 20 or 21 years old, but probably a very physically mature man.
      You have to be something of a freak to go out and throw a hundred pitches every fifth day. It would cripple most of us.
      And I don’t think it is “shameful” to send down Garrett to preserve another year of team control. I don’t know where Garrett will be in five years time, but this is the nature of the players collective bargaining agreement with MLB. If it were my team, I don’t know whether I would do it, but this is the nature of how teams have to manage their players and contracts these days.

  8. 6 of 7 in May? yadda, yadda, yadda. Sweep San Fran? Bah humbug. Sign Luis Robert? Now you’re talking.

  9. Just returned from Las Vegas, head a little swelled from the Giants sweep. While in Vegas, saw that the future book had the reds at 50 to one to win the pennant, and 100 to 1 to win the World Series. Couldn’t resist the urge, and put a few pesos on the reds to win both the pennant and world series. A dream ,but what a dream! Go reds!

  10. If Price doesn’t like or even believe in innings limits, then why do the Reds continue to practice it? Is it his superiors that are making him do this? Has anyone asked Williams/Jocketty/Bob C. if they believe in this practice? If Dick, Walt & Bob don’t believe in this practice, then it would seem to be idiotic to continue to practice this just bcuz it’s being practiced industry wide. Now, if one of Price’s bosses are making him do this bcuz they believe in it, then that would make a little sense anyway. Honestly, if anyone has any info as to whether or not the brass believe in this practice, could you let me know…thank you.

  11. The fun thing is after this brief series against the Yankees, the Reds get 4 more against the Giants, this time in San Fran. I’m a little wary, though, because West Coast, but this Giants team seems to be completely lost at the moment. Hope for a split at minimum.

    • Also, a good portion of the GABP homers turn into SF outs. Hopefully the Reds can avoid trying to slug their way to wins in that stadium.

      • A couple of those HR would have still be HR but there were 3-4 that were outs or perhaps 2B out in San Fran.

  12. Lineup looks like a contender. Bullpen looks like a contender. Rotation: not so much. If the Reds have another >.500 month, should we start thinking about trading for a starter and promoting Lorenzen to rotation? Also promote Gennett to starting 2B and sign Cozart to extension. 2nd half rotation: Garrett, Desclafani, Lorenzen, trade acquisition, Feldman. Maybe Bailey. Bring back Ariel Hernandez to bullpen. Am I crazy or is this a contending team?

    • They’re not going to make any moves to compete this year ( nor should they). They were smart enough to not make panic moves when they were getting crushed last May and I don’t think they’re dumb enough to do anything that could impede the long term so they could possibly finish only 20 games behind the Cubs and have a 20% chance of playing in the wild card game. They finally seem to be tuning out the media/fans.

      • That’s why I say wait another month… but if core of Votto/Suarez/Cozart/Duvall/Schebler can sustain this level of play through end of May… that’s an offense that can compete for WS. The rotation is not there, but if the starting 8 can mash like these guys are, I don’t think you wait until Senzel is ready to starting pushing chips in.

        • What would you need to give up in order to acquire some one good enough to make an immediate difference? How would that impact the future since you’re likely giving up guys you control for years to come to acquire someone with a shorter window? How does that impact chemistry, future payroll?

          Wouldn’t they likely be shortening their overall competitive window? Isn’t that kind of dumb?

          • Kansas City came out of nowhere and went to Gm 7 in the WS. The Yankees look like they might have a decent team this year. Sports are full of teams that everyone thought were a year or 2 away and they made it. I lived in Texas during the Aikman/Emmitt Smith teams and everyone thought they were too young to get it done but they did. I’m not saying this Reds team is in that boat but they could pickup a serviceable guy like Cahill from SD and wouldn’t have to mortgage the future. The Cubs have had no problem dealing their farm system. They’re trade pieces basically!

          • The ” too young” Cowboys didn’t trade anyone. The Reds existing team just happened to be good enough to beat Buffalo by 50.

            The Cubs have organizational depth and Yankee like financial resources. The Cubs have excess pieces to trade…the Reds really don’t. The Cubs can financially compete with anyone. The Reds can’t . The Cubs can overcome mistakes by having lots of money. The Reds can’t.

            The Reds have a very modest margin for error. Taking chances to compete this year would be silly.

          • In general I agree. The only exception to that would be as we get near the trade deadline and the Reds are in playoff position. At that point, you need to go ahead and go for it because you don’t know what will happen 2, 3, 4 years down the road and you only need to hold on for a couple more months to make your playoff run.

            I think this will be a moot point though. I’d be surprised if the Reds were still above water at the deadline. They should maybe be sellers depending on what’s out there or stand pat. The past week has been fun though and it is nice to see some optimism on here from the commenters at the nation.

          • Prospects are nice. But parades, rings and championships are better.
            How are Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan, Garrett, Romano, Reed, Stephenson, Adelman, Davis, Mahle, Castillo, Gutierrez, and the probable return of Lorenzen to the mix going to slot into 5 open rotation spots? They all cannot slide into bullpen roles or be hidden at AAA. That is 13 starting pitchers with more on the way, and several bullpen only arms on the way. Some very close.
            2017 should be the time to bundle some for an upgrade at a position of need.

    • Nah. Trading for a starter isn’t very smart at this stage. They’ve come this far and have gotten Finnegan, Disco, and Garrett lined up for the future. If Reed, Romano, Lorenzen, or Stephenson figure it out this year, that’s a formidable young rotation that might have the potential to match Hudson/Mulder/Zito, Wood/Prior/Zambrano, Glavine/Smoltz/Maddux, etc etc etc.

      Ok, honestly, probably not, but that’s what the Reds are aspiring to: Having some of these kids pan out and becoming dynamite, young, cost controlled starters for years to come. Romano has amazing stuff, Stephenson looks absolutely filthy, Reed has shown flashes of brilliance, and that’s on top of the already good performances from Disco, Finnegan, and Garrett.

      So no, don’t trade any of these guys. Let’s see what we got. This is, after all, still the season of sorting.

    • Ariel really impressed me. Just his presence and how he just seemed in complete control of his pitches was quite impressive. I look forward to seeing more from him soon.

    • Trade what for a starter? A difference-making starter is going to cost either some of the current lineup or some of the top prospects or a combination of the two. If the Reds minor league pitching cupboard were bare, it might be worth considering, but I think they’d be fools trade away much talent before they know what’s what with the young pitchers.

  13. Steve. I have a hard time figuring you out. If the Reds do good then you say it is because the other team is bad. If the Reds do bad then it is poor decision making by Bryan Price. If Joey Votto walks is it because the other team has a poor pitcher or is it because Joey Votto has advanced skill at plate discipline? Help me out here. You come off way to negative on the Reds bro. Just trying to figure you out.

  14. Won’t defend Steve here. He doesn’t need to defending. I don’t find him difficult to figure out if you read him regularly. He loves the Reds, but is a loving critic when he sees something that doesn’t make sense…..Now, the reason I’m gaining confidence in this team is that 5 out of 8 of our offensive starters are in the top 22 in the NL in OPS, which is the real measurement, not the meaningless batting avg. as we all know. 5 out of the top 22! We’re getting on base and we’re slugging when we’re on base. And Suarez has the highest WAR in the NL which no fluke. Only the Nats have better offensive metrics from their starting 8. They’re 4 legitimate teams in the NL Central this year. It’ll remain the most competitive division through October.

    • 2 with the Yankees and 2 or 3 with Boston. They have 15-16 more with the Cubs and 4 with Cleveland. Haven’t played the Nats bombers yet either. Don’t make your playoff plans yet:)

    • Baseball Refernce’s DRS-based WAR is “predicting” Suarez to have the greatest (most valuable) defensive season by any 3B in baseball history by a wide margin.

      Early season defensive metrics screw with WAR.

      Not to knock on Eugenio, but that’ll come back down to earth with a larger sample.

  15. A sweep is a sweep regardless of who the other team is.We go out there soon and it could go the other way.Its a long season and I am hoping all 3 starters we have injured come back and can pitch.Would love to see what we look like with all hands on deck just to get a feel for next year and beyond.

  16. Looking more like 1st place all alone. The Stupid Cubs will drop to 3rd place thanks to the Dirty Birds winning in a bazillion innings.

    No, we’re not going the the WS, but this week of May is very fun to watch.

    • Yankees vs Rookie and Adleman scares me….someone may get maimed if Judge hits one back thru the box!

      • Judge is a legitimate beast … I’m looking forward to watching him play. Saw the triple he hit Sunday.

  17. Someone on the WLW postgame said the Reds are the #1 defensive team metric wise! Billy, Cozart, and Eugenio!

    • Votto and Tucker have been good too! (Disclaimer: Haven’t looked at any stats, just “the ol’ eye test”)

      • While watching all the Brewers / Reds games this season… aka viewing area. sigh. Miss Ohio and Indiana, But their announcers kept bringing up how good the Reds defensive numbers were in almost every game.

      • Barnhart is 1st in DRS for catchers (5) and has the 3rd highest FG Def in baseball.

        Votto is 10th of 30 first basemen in UZR/150, which is a nice improvement from last year, and is tied for 6th in DRS.

        Your eye test is correct.

  18. Chapman season high pitches tonite with a blown save. I doubt we see him on the mound in Cincy.

  19. I second the notion that Feldman deserves much more than a cursory mention in this recap that the Giants for his accomplishment today.

  20. I commented to my better half yesterday about the scheduling of this game! I know MLB had to be aware of the marathon being ran why would they schedule a west coast team to have the late start on their get away day? The Cubs Yankees I know was an ESPN decision but I bet we won’t see many Yankee starters in tonight’s game! They can’t schedule all get away games for an afternoon start the Yankees 18 inning game was a fluke the Giants with the late start was just poor planning!

  21. Thank you all for your opinions on how the Reds are doing.

    Seems there are several levels of optimism.
    I am now at the level of there’s a chance they could still be within a game of 500 by the Fourth of July. I love how the starting outfielders are being pressured by the bench and I hope and think it will keep up.

    The inchoate shape of the starting pitching is what’s holding me back from real optimism.

  22. I went to bed last night convinced that the NYY and Chapman would finish off the Stupid Cubs. I just read the headlines and box scores … WOW!!

    So the Yank’s bullpen is completely gassed and they all stayed up WAAAAAYYY too late. Game in just 10 hours against our well-rested Reds who are also on a major hot streak. Could be fun to watch.

    • Yeah, that game in Chicago couldn’t have been much better for the Reds.

      Just hope we can get to their starter early tonight. But Tanaka was really good in his last two outings.

      • Oops, I didn’t see his last outing against Toronto, which wasn’t as sharp. He did have a complete game against Boston though at the end of April.

      • Yep … Tanaka is one of their steady regulars. Of course, Mr. Cueto had a 4-1 record before we beat him yesterday.

  23. We will continue to do the roller coaster ride as long as our rotation is what it is now.That won’t stop me from dreaming about what could be down the road once everybody is healthy.I am anxious to see what happens to Cozart since he may be our only trade chip unless we get blown away for an offer on somebody else.Never know until the deadline what team or teams are willing to go all in for a title and may over pay for a chance to do it.Most teams operate within a small window to make it happen so we will see.Feldman did a great job yesterday and I know it was against a team that is struggling big time to score runs he got it done.He deserves the thumbs up just like he deserved the thumbs down in his last start.The roller coaster continues but lets set back and enjoy the ride.

      • Storen and Feldman may be extra pieces by the trade deadline. I think you listen to any and all offers, but if Storen, Feldman and Cozart are playing important, if not critical, roles for the team when the offer(s) start rolling in, the risk/reward tradeoff must justify pulling the trigger. If the offer is right, yes.

  24. Cozart made two incredible plays in this game. The problem for him is that he makes them look so easy!

    As I’ve said before, the Reds should at least do their due diligence and explore the parameters of an extension. How many years? Does he want starter money? Is he open to playing 2b/3b as well as SS?

    Tricky business. I’d love to have him for a couple more years, but not if he’s deemed the starter and can only play SS. We don’t need another Brandon Phillips situation.

    • Cozart is playing great and a big part of their #1 rated defense! The hitting looks good and the bullpen has a lot arms. They’re not 3 years away any longer so why not re-sign Cozart for 3 years if he would take it? I was all for giving him away like BP but he’s finally healthy and his approach at the plate has totally changed! If we lose him then that’s a loss on the field and with team chemistry!

  25. I believe the new CBA retained the comp pick for a rejected qualifying offer but eliminated the penalty for the signing team (please correct me if I’m wrong), making the comp pick less valuable since it will be a slightly later selection. With the way Cozart is playing, a qualifying offer becomes more and more viable so the Reds are not necessarily in a position to just lose Cozart after this season and Cozart can still pursue FA without the enalty reducing his value to any signing club.

    I would still rather have a windfall return in a trade or a 3 year extention rather than a comp pick, but a one year market value contract or a comp pick make for a nice alternative.

    • The new CBA kept the qualifying offer rule ($17.2 million in 2017) but the reward for teams who lose a QO player was lessened. Instead of getting a compensation pick sandwiched between the first and second rounds, they will now come after the second round, so considerably less valuable. I expect more mid-season deadline trades as a result. Feldman and maybe Cozart.

    • There is no way that the Reds will offer Zack Cozart $17.2 million, nor will any team who trades for him. He is therefore a rental, and probably won’t fetch much in a trade. To receive any value, they’d have to do it with a team that (1) has a good farm system, (2) a major injury to their starting shortstop, and (3) a legit chance to make the playoffs. If the Reds stay close to .500 through July, they will be in the wildcard hunt and would want to keep him. And I suppose it’s possible that he re-ups with the Reds for another year.

      And if the Reds continue to hover at or above .500, I don’t see them trading Feldman. He is 34, and his trade value is minimal as well. They don’t pay him much, plus he throws shutouts every 7 starts. May as well keep him and get the extra 3 shutouts.

      I’m not real sure if this team has any major holes, other than established starting pitching, which they aren’t going to trade for this year.

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