2018 Reds

Three trades to fix the Reds roster

 

Linus was surprised by what his friend had just told him.

“You would trade your own dog just to win a few games?” he said.

Charlie Brown’s eyes grew wide.

“Win!” he said. “Have you ever noticed what a beautiful word that is?”

[From Make a Trade, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schultz, for ages 5-7]

*          *          *    

Reds fans empathize, Charlie Brown.

We long to see rebuilding in the rearview mirror of the Next* Red Machine.

/ * size indeterminate /

Yet, the roster still has pieces that don’t quite fit. Weak spots remain. There’s the jam in the outfield. The departing shortstop. The fleet centerfielder who can’t hit or get on base. Uncertainty from the young and not-so-young on the pitching staff.

The closer you look, the more difficult it is to find satisfying solutions to these problems within the organization. Prospects are too far away or iffy. That might mean more rebuilding. Yet, the Reds have assets at peak or near-peak value that need to be moved.

Shipping off our own dog just for more prospects.

Who has the patience for that? Not many Reds fans.

Fortunately, the Reds front office can work a different kind of trade. And this post has three friendly suggestions to offer, at no cost or obligation to the reader.

Yes, we have self-imposed guidelines: (1) trade for other established major league players; (2) acquire no past-their-prime veterans; (3) add nothing net to payroll; and (4) trade no significant prospects. The offers must be realistic and fill legitimate needs for the trade partner.

Let’s go.

SHORTSTOP

We know the dilemma regarding Zack Cozart. He’s over 30, been injured, expensive to re-sign assuming the Reds could win the bidding. If you squint hard enough Cozart might make sense for the Reds in 2018. But an 8-digit annual contract would be a huge, needless risk in subsequent seasons.

On the other hand, the organization doesn’t have a suitable replacement shortstop ready. In-house options are of the square peg/round hole variety. Eugenio Suarez belongs at third. In his chances at short, Jose Peraza hasn’t quite seemed the part.

Solution: Look elsewhere for the next Reds’ shortstop.

But what major league team wants to give up their shortstop? Answer: A club that has three of them.

Trade One: Scooter Gennett to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Ketel Marte

The Diamondbacks need a second baseman. They’ve been playing Brandon Drury at second and he’s really a utility player. In 2016, Drury played mostly in RF, LF and 3B. He’s been a make-do second baseman in 2017. Drury hasn’t been terrible (93 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR), but the D-Backs could use an upgrade and put Drury back in a utility role. Scooter Gennett would be that.

Meanwhile, Arizona has three shortstops. Their starter, Chris Owings, and second-string guy, Nick Ahmed, are sidelined with broken fingers. Ahmed is expected back soon and Owings may return for the post-season. Their injuries have given Ketel Marte an opportunity. Marte (about to turn 24) was part of the Jean Segura-for-Taijuan Walker trade last Thanksgiving with the Seattle Mariners.

Marte has hit pretty well for his age (wRC+ of 93 and xwOBA of .343). He defensive rating is positive at FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference. He’s hit for decent power (.133 ISO) roughly equal  to Tucker Barnhart. Marte has an above average walk-rate and there’s that highly promising xwOBA.

Marte will be pre-arbitration, league minimum salary in 2018 and under team control through 2021.

The trade addresses the Reds shortstop need without spending long-term big money on Zack Cozart. Marte is a solid shortstop who could become a multi-year player for the Reds. The trade is realistic. Scooter Gennett is unlikely to repeat his outlying 2017. We know that, other teams know that, hopefully the Reds understand that. The return for Gennett isn’t going to be great. An organization with a solid, second- or third-string shortstop was the target here. Arizona fits the bill nicely.

With Gennett no longer at second base, Jose Peraza plays there until Nick Senzel is ready in mid-2018. Senzel was a nationally ranked second baseman in high school and played second, short and third at Tennessee. If he has the arm strength and range to play shortstop, Senzel has a good shot to make it at second base. Eugenio Suarez can stay at third.

CENTER FIELD 

The Reds also have a quandary in center field. Billy Hamilton’s strengths and weaknesses are well known. The Reds centerfielder is about to reach his second year of arbitration and start to cost real money. Despite our sincere hopes, Hamilton isn’t getting better. This has been his worst year since that electrifying September call-up in 2013.

Thirty-three major league centerfielders have a higher WAR (which includes base running) than Hamilton this season, and that’s using FanGraphs WAR, the more generous of the two references. On a per-AB scale, Hamilton would fare far worse.

Again, the Reds don’t appear to have a suitable replacement yet in the organization. Scott Schebler kinda/maybe/not really fits there. The Reds could use a legit CF upgrade.

Solution: Look elsewhere for the next Reds centerfielder. Trading Hamilton, who is a fan favorite, would be controversial. The deal needs to be a WOW!

So, deep breath, here we go …

Trade Two: Raisel Iglesias and Billy Hamilton to the Miami Marlins for Christian Yelich

Billy Hamilton would be a terrific fit to roam Miami’s gigantic outfield. The Marlins also need a closer. They traded theirs — A.J. Ramos — to the New York Mets at the recent deadline. Miami hasn’t found a replacement for Ramos. Brad Ziegler has received most of the chances, but he’s 37 (!), shaky and has a bad back. That trifecta doesn’t scream reliable future closer.

Raisel Iglesias would be the Marlins long-term answer to close games. He has the added attraction for South Florida’s community of being Cuban. Losing Iglesias would be a blow to the Reds, as he may be the team’s best pitcher. But stuck in a relief role due to shoulder issues, Iglesias’s value will remain limited.

Christian Yelich came up the Miami organization as a centerfielder. Before 2017, he played left field for the Marlins – and won a Gold Glove – but he has been their full-time centerfielder this year. Yelich is average (Baseball-Reference) to just above average (FanGraphs) defensively in center, playing in a big park.

Hitting is where Yelich shines. His .285/.369/.447 overall line masks a tremendous .302/.375/.468 career line away from cavernous Marlins Park. Yelich has hit 41 homers on the road and just 17 at home. He has a well above average walk-rate (10.6%) and steals a few bags (14 this year). Yelich has been a steady offensive producer, averaging a 121 wRC+ over 4.5 seasons in Miami.

And Yelich is a huge upgrade over Billy Hamilton.

  • Yelich WAR: 4.3 (FanGraphs) and 4.0 (Baseball-Reference)
  • Hamilton WAR: 1.2 (FanGraphs) and 0.8 (Baseball-Reference)

Christian Yelich is 25, Billy Hamilton is 27.

Like Raisel Iglesias, Yelich is signed to a mouthwatering team-friendly contract through the 2021 season, at which point Yelich will be just 29 years old. He’ll make $7 million in 2018, followed by salaries of $9.75 million (2019), $12.5 million (2020) and $14 million (2021).

Yelich would bat first or second in a newly Price-proofed lineup and belong there.

CLOSER

Trading Raisel Iglesias would leave the Reds with a hole at the back end of the bullpen. While there might be able (but unproven) candidates for that job already in the organization, let’s plug the gap with one last trade.

Trade Three: Adam Duvall to the L.A. Angels for Cam Bedrosian

The Angels can afford to part with Bedrosian. They have veteran Huston Street available to close on a $10 million option next year, as well as Blake Parker who has recorded a half dozen saves this summer.

What the Angels need more than Bedrosian is a solid, everyday bat. They rank 23rd in run scoring and 26th in power. Adam Duvall would have plenty of opportunity with L.A.

The Angels could easily need a left fielder. They traded for Justin Upton from the Detroit Tigers at the recent deadline and Upton has played LF in L.A. But Upton has an opt-out clause in his contract after 2017. He’s having an outstanding season (31 homers, 140 wRC+, .358 xwOBA) and young enough (just turned 30) that he’s likely to increase his total career earnings if he exercises it. Kole Calhoun (29) is a below-average hitting right fielder. Albert Pujols (37?) is the Angels DH and his production has plummeted. At some point, the club could just eat the $100 million-plus owed to him through 2021.

Cam Bedrosian is a 25-year-old right-handed relief pitcher who could slot in as a closer for the Reds. His father, Steve Bedrosian, recorded 184 saves in his major league career. A nagging groin injury has prevented Bedrosian from locking down that role for the Angels in Street’s absence.

The Angels have used Bedrosian in high leverage situations, including the 9th inning. He has recorded 6 saves in 43 appearances. In his 40 innings pitched, Bedrosian has 47 strikeouts and 17 walks. Bedrosian’s 2.73 FIP in 2017 is in line with his 2.13 FIP in 2016. Only Raisel Iglesias (2.51 FIP) is close to that in the Reds current bullpen.

Bedrosian throws just two pitches – fastball, slider – so no doubt he belongs in a relief role. He throws the fastball (94 mph) about 60% of the time.

Bedrosian will start his first of four arbitration years in 2018. He won’t be a free agent until 2022.

At first glance, a reliever may seem like a light return for Adam Duvall. But the outfielder’s offensive production has sunk at the end of 2017 and there is evidence he may not sustain his numbers. Realistically, a strong, young reliever is about all the Reds can expect to get back.

Trading Duvall resolves the Reds crowded corner outfield situation. They can put Jesse Winker in left to play alongside his new teammate Christian Yelich and right fielder Scott Schebler.

Summary

We adhered to our stated guidelines. We didn’t trade prospects. We acquired only established major league players. We didn’t bring on any past-their-prime players (or former Cardinals). In fact, the ages of our three new players are 23, 25 and 25. How about that! Yet, the trades offer legitimate value to the proposed partner. That said, there’s cushion to add a prospect if necessary to make them work.

What about not adding payroll?

The three moves reduce payroll by $10 million. Here’s a table with salary numbers that spells it out:

The figure for Zack Cozart is his 2017 salary. If the Reds re-sign him, he’d easily make twice that per year and so you could view these moves as saving $15+ million.

The trades bring in three young players, controlled through 2021, at the key positions of CF, SS and closer.

Here’s a new Reds batting order that our moves have produced:

  1. Jesse Winker (LF)

  2. Christian Yelich (CF)

  3. Joey Votto (1B)

  4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)

  5. Scott Schebler (RF)

  6. Nick Senzel (2B)

  7. Ketel Marte (SS)

  8. Tucker Barnhart (C)

  9. Pitcher (P)

Flip the first two if you want. Swapping Senzel for Winker might wait for 2019.

With the extra $10-$15 million, the Reds can shore up the bench and invest in relievers or a starting pitcher. Since we didn’t trade any of the Reds pitching prospects, those chips remain. If the front office is inclined, they could still load up the prospects fire hose and try to find a top-end starting pitcher. More on that idea and sorting out the rest of the pitching situation in a later post.

This was fun. It’s also just an exercise. These specific trade fits were found by a hobbyist with a few hours of hunting. They aren’t perfect. Imagine the moves the Reds front office can devise with a team of smart, informed people working on it every day.

But they need to be looking for the right type of deals. Established players for established players. The Reds can quit rebuilding and get to work fine-tuning.

The point is, the Reds have options for resolving difficult position questions that no one seems to be discussing. Upgrade center field. Find a real shortstop instead of forcing Suarez or Peraza into that role. Look for a solid closer in other bullpens.

And traipse through the dreary, expensive free agent market, overflowing with bleh thirtysomethings, only as a last resort.

127 thoughts on “Three trades to fix the Reds roster

    • I like it sound’s good . Now what about Devin ? Poor Guy can’t stay Healthy . Unload alot of So, So Pitcher’s .

  1. This is a “we can dream, right?” list Steve but I’m fine with the two sides of the equation. Expendable (or in GM speak, willing to part with if we absolutely must): Cozart (gone in free agency), Gennett, Duvall, Hamilton, Iglesias OR Peralta. I’d add Peraza and Herrera to that list as well, plus all the following pitching prospects that might help clinch a deal: Stephens, Moscot, Davis, and either one (but not both) of Stephenson and Romano. Positions of need: short, center, closer (assuming Iglesias goes) or setup man (if Peralta goes). I doubt you’d get Yelich for just Hamilton and Iglesias or Peralta but if you could then pull that trigger right now. But most of all I’m encouraged that six of eight positions in the field are solid, the bullpen is decent, and the starting rotation is taking form with more arms than spots. I do think the Reds can be competitive next year, and for the first time in a while that’s more than just hope. Now who can the Reds get back in trade for Bryan Price?

    • Let’s see… For Price?? How about a case of batting-practice balls, some pine tar, and a case of Old Milwaukee?

  2. Yelich would be a coup. Not sure he can be had so “cheaply”, but it’s worth a discussion. Might involve a third prospect-rich team delivering prospects for Iglesias (especially if the Marlins go into full sell-mode).

    • Nice article.

      Tampa Bay, among others, are big into using surplus value (by how many $ is a player going to outperform their contract) to determine if a trade is feasible.

      Yelich is a proven 4 WAR player. Assuming 4 more years of WAR, that is $160 million of production (roughly), and he will be paid $43 million through the next 4 years.

      That is a lot of surplus value. Given his age and contract, and Hamilton’s flaws/Iglesias’s injury history, seems likely that Miami would want a lot more to trade Yelich away.

      • I agree; I love the trades from the Reds’ perspective. I think the Reds would have to sweeten the pot with a few prospects to get Yelich. How about Iglesias, Hamilton, Siri, and Garrett? They would probably want Trammel but I would resist the urge and counter with Siri.

    • Agreed. I think Hamilton and Iglesias is too low for Yelich.

      As long as they didn’t ask for Luis Castillo back, I’d be fine giving them almost anyone in addition to Iglesias and Hamilton. Well, not Senzel either, of course.

    • Yes, “full sell” mode is what will probably make any sort of deal like that for Yelich unlikely. They are going to want a prospect haul for him if they are selling as I suspect they will.

      • He’s the guy batting behind Giancarlo Stanton. I don’t think the Marlins will want to mess with that combo.

  3. Outstanding.
    You should consider partnering with another die hard reds fan with great writing skills and humor and start an independent blog or something for Reds fans who want to win faster?!?!???

    Yellich is outstanding.

  4. I would probably make all three of those trades from the Reds perspective. If I’m the Marlins, Iglesias and Hamilton don’t come close to getting Yelich.

    • That’s where I’m at, Nick. I would think the Marlins are quite happy with Yelich in their long-term plans and I don’t see how trading to get just Hamilton and Iglesias makes them better in the long run. Hamilton represents a big overall drop in value and production compared to Yelich. Iglesias is a nice pitcher but it sure does seem that he’s limited to being a reliever (and one who’s had some injury history).

    • Agreed, especially since the Marlins gave up Castillo, the potential ace of the Reds staff, for Straily. And Yelich has the look of a future MVP winner. If it got done, I think the Reds would have to include at least one young starting pitching prospect.

    • This kind of reminds me of Chad’s tweet last night about hoping the Reds trade Taylor Trammel this offseason because it means they will be getting back a great player. If you are the Reds, do you throw in Trammel with Iglesias and Hamilton? Would Miami accept Billy as the “bridge” to Trammel? That’s probably the only way it makes legitimate sense for the Reds to trade Trammel if you are getting a superstar CF for the next 3-4 years.

      Miami is always both perpetually rebuilding and perpetually “going for it” at the same time. I cannot understand for the life of me why, if you are Miami, you trade for a dominant closer like Iglesias and simultaneously downgrade your CF that much.

  5. Those would be nice to see in our reality, but I wouldn’t bet on any of them coming to fruition.

    I would also say that any trade for a “closer” doesn’t make a lot of sense, given that we have a multitude of options for the role (and some of those options still trying to start as of now).

    • Yeah but GOOD closers don’t grow on trees. (See 2016 Reds). Remember when everybody thought Hoover and Cingrani could close games?

      • I was not among those that thought Hoover or Cingrani could close. I subscribe more to the theory that good pitchers can make good closers.

        • This. Cingrani and Hoover weren’t that good. So they’d be “not that good” closers, too. Teams put their best pitchers as closers because of a misguided view of value and leverage.

          Same as the Votto lineup conundrum. Votto is the best leadoff hitter, 2-hole guy, 3-hole guy, clean-up hitter, etc. Doesn’t mean someone else can’t bat 3rd juts because they aren’t as good as Votto.

  6. I like the thinking. Who knows if the specifics would work out except the people in position to actually try it.

    Adam Duvall has been one of my favorites; but after seeing him wilt again in this second half, I’m doubting his ability to physically endure a season starting every day and playing virtually every inning.

    As coincidence would have it, I had Duvall’s game log up for the first half of the 2017 season when I saw this piece come up on RLN. AD’s OPS thru the fist 81 games was .895. His WPA was +1.2 (0 is neutral). As of this morning his matching figures for the second half are OPS .648 and WPA -3.4.

    Like I’ve said about Zack Cozart moving forward, there’s a case that for his own good, Duvall needs to be in the DH league where he can bat everyday but only have to play field a couple days a week if at all. Moving him to the Al for value could be the best for all involved.

    • For those familiar with Run Expectancy , Duvall’s first and second half comps for 2017 are beyond brutal in pointing out his drop off. For the first half his RE24 was +15.4 (0 neutral). In the second half it is -45.4

      • Holy moly. Good find, Jim.

        Duvall is 14th worst in MLB in RE24. Hamilton 4th worst. Peraza 10th worst.

        Votto best. By a lot. Of course. Who else would be?

        • Patrick, to save me looking up and figuring out for myself…. Does the fact that Duvall for the most part has batted immediately after Votto increase his exposure to potential negative RE24 versus it the guy immediately in front of him was a .330 OBP guy? Thanks

    • Jim,

      Good thoughts (as usual).

      Unless the offer is overwhelming (like Cam Bedrosian), I would like to see Duvall better managed and brought back for next year for the following reasons:

      -league minimum contract in 2018 (arbitration after next season)
      -back to back 30 HR seasons
      -that arm and those assists

      If the Reds are planning on contending in 2018 (of which I remain very skeptical) who is replacing those HRs, in such a hitters’ park?

      Duvall/Schebler could man LF in 2018, while raising their trade value.

      Scott Verplank was a PGA golfer who was a diabetic, and the PGA make exceptions for him, such as taking on food and medication, to complete rounds. IMO, seems worth it to try specialized management with Duvall, while he is so cheap next year.

      • The Reds are lefty heavy too. They need to keep the right-side pop to go along with Suarez. Schebler should be the one that goes IMO.

      • I don’t disagree with except that it is likely I might settle for slightly less return value. I’d still insist on Steve’s criteria #1, 2 and 4. I might take on some net payroll increase (#3) to get the talent I wanted.

        We don’t know what if anything the Reds and Duvall have done or trying to do to manage his situation; but, it seems dubious to me that he continues to start and play almost every inning when he is clearly foundering. Maybe he is playing so much because they are working on potential regimens now need to see how his body responds.

        I thought the sac fly Duvall hit last night was telling. The Cards pitcher winced, flinched, and jerked his head around to pick up the flight of the ball like pitchers do when a ball has been absolutely barrelled and is headed to the far reaches. Yet the ball ended up being no more than a medium depth fly out. Just like in the closing part of last year, it seems Adam’s power has totally left him.

        • Please excuse my sloppy train of thought writing above. Juggling “breaking news” here at home while with trying to write coherently is not recommended. 😉

  7. We should always be attempting trades with Marlins, but I don’t think even they listen to this offer. Young, cost-controlled 4-5WAR outfielder is worth more than bullpen stud and 1WAR OF. I don’t think the Marlins even answer the phone on Yelich unless Senzel or Greene is in package. This is someone they not only drafted but already signed to an extension; they’ve marked him as a core player. If I’m the Marlins I likely still reject Steve’s deal even if Reds throw in Taylor Trammel.

    I wonder if community business relationships affect roster/trade issues; St. Elizabeth is the largest employer in northern Kentucky, sponsor the post-game show on radio, and buy advertising space in the stadium. They also started using Adam Duvall as a spokesman in advertising this year. Could that impact Reds thinking? Just wondering.

    • I would certainly hope not. Duvall would still have value for StE as a marketing guy whether or not he was in a Reds uniform or another uniform. He is a Kentucky guy. His struggle with diabetes is well known and provides another tie in to StE. He’s been a Reds long enough to be a recognizable figure. He could work out as their spokesperson regardless of uniform I’d think.

    • If the Marlins want Hamilton, Greene and Trammel as the keys to a Yelich trade, I’m all in. I’ve been a huge Yelich fan since before he sniffed his first MLB AB.

      • I don’t think that the rules allow a team to trade recent draftees, for the same reason that teams cannot sign draft slots/picks. I therefore do not think that they can trade Greene.

        Plus, I don’t see Derek Jeter wanting to trade Yelich. Jeter would want him for the same reason that the Reds would want him. And the Marlins already have Dee Gordon. Why would they want Billy Hamilton, too?

        • I believe they can trade Greene after the World Series ends. Previously, it was 1 year I think, but the silly Trea Turner saga helped usher in the new rule (I think…).

          • I wouldn’t even think about trading Greene ! This guy is an ace of the future for the organization ! You don’t even THINK about including Greene in any deal period!!! Greene and Senzel should be untouchable in any trade !

        • High school pitchers… not a very high % of them actually make the bigs. If someone was willing to give proven talent for a high school pitcher, I’d be all over it.

          • That’s my thinking Patrick. When Bob Stephenson was going through the low minors as a high school draftee, he was the untouchable ace of the future. Not so much now.

          • Not so much now, but he is certainly showing signs of being a valuable starter. I take the point about high school pitchers, though. It’s a very long way from high school to the MLB.

  8. Although your reasoning is very sound, insightful, and would be delightful if the team made bold, forward thinking moves such as this, but I just have no faith in this team’s front office. ’tis a dream, my man. Thanks though.

  9. As usual, a well thought out plan. I’m a Billy fan, but if they could get Yelich, that would be outstanding. If Senzel can move to 2nd, would it take him a year at AAA to learn the position at a MLB level? I hate losing Iggy, and would rather substitute a high prospect or 2 in his place.

    Can someone forward this to Dick Williams?

  10. I disagree with others on these trades. Here is what the Reds would lose:

    Starting shortstop by not re-signing him.
    Starting left fielder who is a 30/100 hitter and good fielder
    An elite closer- one of the best in the majors
    A super sub, platoon second baseman
    A great defensive outfielder and base stealer.

    But none of those trades bring the Reds a veteran top line starting pitcher (which is the Reds greatest weakness). The Reds didn’t lose this year because of their starters. They lost because of their starting pitchers.

    The Reds would be weaker in the bullpen, no better in the starting rotation, weaker on the bench, and weaker in the power department and probably run production department.

    I don’t like the focus of these trades and I don’t believe it would make the Reds a winner. It would only change the makeup of the team while still leaving it stuck in quicksand. The balance of the team would not be improved with these trades.

    • I agree, but I think the proposed trades are based on the premise that improved starting pitching is already here, probably, and it’s hard to argue with them in that context. Not sure any of them would fly with the other teams involved. Scooter, for instance, is probably still viewed as a utility guy by other teams unless he replicates this season’s production next year.

  11. I’m thinking the Angels need a lefty hitter more than a righty. I think I’d rather depart with Schebler anyway. The Reds have to take these last 2 years of Duval data, and adjust his playing time accordingly.

    • I also have a concern that the Reds could be headed towards being too LH in terms of their power. Even with Senzel pencilled in, without Duvall and Cozart they appear short on RH power and Yelich wouldn’t help department either if he were acquired,

      I’m not as sold on moving Duvall for the specific deal Steve suggested as I am in believing they need to look at moving him because of his history of second half issues. If they keep him and try to manage his use, where is the sweet spot of productivity and playing time? Who picks up the increased playing time if Schebler is moved?

      Lot’s of questions and no one right way to answer them. Numerous scenarios might work. It is a matter of assembling one which will.

  12. Before the Reds make any moves this off season, I believe Nick Senzel’s health status must be definitively confirmed. From an organization perspective, the Reds could lose Senzel with a career threatening injury. If that happenes, this rebuild tanks and the Reds probably need to start planning on the next competitive team without Joey Votto after three more seasons mirroring the previous three seasons.

    • The reds know this now.
      Senzel should be 100% right now. A good journalist could ask a simple question- How is Nick Senzel? Is he feeling 100%?

      Unfortunately, The media work directly or indirectly for the Reds and information comes out when the Reds want it to come out.

      • might be too soon to know for sure on Senzel. I did a bit of Googling on vertigo resulting from inner ear infections (which seems to be the Reds story). What I found indicated it can take a month to 6 weeks to resolve. I said that here; and, someone replied that a relative had experienced the issue and it took longer than that (several months I believe he said) to clear.

        On the other hand my wife experienced a sudden onset of general vertigo several years ago; and after a night at the ER and some meds was back to normal in a week or two with no recurrences since. It is a tricky condition

  13. I like the first two trades, but not necessarily the third.

    I would hate to lose Iggy, but that is fine if it brings in Yelich. Love the prospect of Yelich as an everyday part of the Reds OF!

    A possible closer, however, is not good value for Duvall, Duvall is now a proven bat despite the constant harping of “regression” etc. I’d hate to lose his pop (which is not a one-year aberration) and good fielding under the assumption that a youngster can step in–something that remains to be seen. I’d rather keep Duvall and let one of the young arms close (or even rely on closer by committee). Cody Reed and a few other pitchers will be valuable in late-innings coming in from the bullpen, even though if they are suspect as stable additions to the starting rotation.

    • Point is, Duvall is super expendable if the Reds had Yelich, Winker and Schebler. Need to trade him for something that the ML team needs right now. I would probably shoot more for a starting pitcher than a closer though.

      • However, you’re not going to get a starting pitcher for Duvall (at least not a useful one) unless you throw something else in the trade (such as a prospect). But that was one of Steve’s criteria, not to trade prospects.

  14. Definetly going to have to rethink the Catcher position, Tucker has the Right to be the Everyday Catcher he’s Earned it !!!

    • I agree with this. Until a better option comes along (Stephenson in 3-4 years, maybe), I’m fine with Tucker as my starter.

    • I’m not privy to any inside information but I’ve got to believe that the Reds already view Tucker as the #1 catcher after what he did in 2016 and his improvement this season. I think you’ll see Mesoraco catching 25-40% of games and he probably should start against any LHP the other team throws.

  15. I’m obviously on Duvall’s bandwagon, but the guy still had a .879 ops on July 15th! That’s 3.5 months of very strong production. He was among the NL league leaders in extra base hits as well at that time. Joe Maddon would’ve given him a lot more rest and dropped him to 6th-7th 2 months ago. He may be what he is, but hes still worth more then a middle reliever?

    Its not a trade, but why not consider signing Lorenzo Cain for CF? He’s a winner and 4.4 WAR this year. He’ll be 32 next season, but still has some strong baseball ahead. He had an OPS from 2014-16 of .929 vs lefties and we’ve struggled there! I don’t like the Reds chances of landing an top-flight pitcher and Cain makes the Reds a much better on the field and provides veteran leadership for a young team! You put Cain in the lineup with Senzel/Winker and you are going to pile up the runs!!

    • Good idea….x small market reds can’t afford to be winning players in FA for their last big contract …Cain would be great…x AAV would be 15 million and term 4 years….same with cozart….then they get hurt or fall off in year 3 of the deal and then you have sunk costs at 15 million a year.

      I like getting younger and letting contracts expire such that Joey Votto is the only huge contract…..take that money and extend Suarez instead.

  16. If and it is a big if Desclafini is healthy… I see no need to wait at night seeing what starter we are going to add. I think Bailey has been solid… Castillo has been a stud and Romano, Mahle and Stephenson have pitched well. Desclafini and Finnegan are 6 and 7.

    I love Yelich… but I don’t agree with Mr. Cossack that Greene be on the table. Iglesias…Hamilton, Trammell, and one other solid prospect gets that done. Perhaps Rookie Davis or Jose Lopez. Herget and Weiss will be here soon.

    I think that Gennett will never match this year and if Senzel is healthy… we have to find a spot for him.

    I have diabetes. Am pretty active and get absolutely wiped out. No fault of Duvalls but this split year pattern will continue the rest of his career. Maximize his and Gennetts value.

    Just my humble opinion.

  17. Not loving the first trade idea (I think Suárez can go back to SS and I like Scooter over Marte at least in the short term until Senzel is ready, and we have plenty of IF depth to fill out the positions one way or another for the long term). But the second trade would be absolutely fantastic for the Reds if they could pull it off, and the third trade seems fair in its own right.

  18. Random, semi-related question. What do you think the Reds would have to give up to get someone like Julio Teherán? Coming off a down year, but a proven ML starter on a fairly affordable deal, and I know Atlanta will be shopping him.

  19. Good discussion so far. Just throwing this out there as a suggestion. Seems like people are split 50/50 on whether Suazez or Senzel should be at 3B, Suarez is my pick since he already producing at an all star level there with 4.6 fWAR. Love to see a separate post on that topic.

  20. I don’t want to start a spitting contest but given the Reds’ history this century, I’m not sure that a three player trade for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost would result in a Reds’ winning season.

  21. I am not as convinced as many on here that Billy Hamilton is hopeless offensively. I like the Ozzie Smith comparison, made in an article here this spring. In his age 26 year (1981, his fourth full season), the Wizard had a OPS of .549 and a OBP of .294, while leading the league in PAs. A switch-hitter, Ozzie had a OBP of .318 v. RH pitching, and .240 v. LH.

    Hamilton this year, in his fourth full season at age 26, has a OBP of .319 v. RH and .245 v. LH, while among the league leaders in PAs. His overall OPS is .632 and has OBP is .299.

    Smith was listed at 5’11”, 150; Billy is reputedly 6’0, 160. Through age 26, Smith had topped out at 57 steals; Hamilton, 58. Smith went on to become a very serviceable offensive player, topping out at age 32 by slashing .303/.392/.383 (no homers that year).

    There are, of course, plenty of guys who couldn’t hit at 26 and did not hit thereafter, myself included.

    I have thought all year that the Reds, in the Year of Sorting, made the organizational decision to hit Hamilton high in the order for the specific purpose of giving him as many ABs as possible. When drafted, Hamilton had played far less baseball than a guy like Jesse Winker or Taylor Trammel had played, and is still fairly green. Hamilton has a chance to come back in the spring quite a bit stronger, and quite a bit better hitter.

    • I like him but he’s another guy that might not be much better then what we have? He struggled w/HRs like 75% of all pitchers this year, but in the 4 previous years, he had a 3.20 or lower era in 3 of them. He also racks up the innings and seems to be very durable! That was in pitcher-friendly Turner Field though. He’s like a poor mans Marcus Stroman at this point except he makes a lot more.

      • Responding to Julio Teheran.

        As for Billy…..they have weights in Mississippi or wherever he is in the off-season. To keep coming to Arizona every March at 155 lbs or whatever is unacceptable! Lack of dedication to his craft! He would still run like the wind at 175…maybe even faster?

        • Indy: We’ve had this conversation before, but I’d be very surprised if Billy doesn’t lift now. I expect that all players have specific conditioning programs. There are people who don’t gain weight easily, and Billy may be one of them. He needs to get on base more often and probably shouldn’t lead off unless he does–much more often!–but there’s a lot of power on this team, so it isn’t necessarily required of him.

          • Yeah I agree… That drum has been beaten so much that the drum-head is broken. Some guys don’t build muscle mass easily. I think Hamilton is one of them. Some guys also don’t really want to bulk up, and in fact sometimes bulking up is counter-productive for execution of baseball activities. In fact, I think it sometimes leads to more injuries as the ligaments and tendons just can’t keep up with the stronger muscles pulling and pulling on them. When I played, I was very well conditioned but it didn’t help me much, especially when it came to injuries. Of course back then, we didn’t really lift at all during the season. We just stretched and some people did some cardio.

          • You don’t need to be a muscle man to hit the ball hard (far maybe, but not hard)…he needs to be able to barrel-up line drives…alot of that is pitch selection, something he should be able to learn (and master) as other Reds have done.

    • He is a keeper only if he gets his obp up to 320 or higher.He is 299 for his career and he will not get any faster.Only hope is to get stronger and hit the ball harder so the defense at least plays him honest

      • He is .320 as a lwfty….just don’t let him play against lefty pitchers…problem solved

    • Major league baseball has changed. They set a record for homers last night.
      Its walks and homers and strikeouts. Hamilton isn’t as valued because the game has changed. This isn’t astroturf with Willie Mcgee and Vince Coleman in 1984. Its big strong men who hit lots of home runs and big strong pitchers who throw 98. Hamilton is irrelevant in a 7-5 game.
      Taylor Trammel and Joe Siri have power and speed and defense and hitting and obp. WInker doesn’t need to steal bases because he also hits doubles and home runs and walks a ton.

      Hamilton is a role player.

      • He would have been pretty relevant last night in the 8th inning, catching that homer by Dexter Fowler that the big, strong Schebler was too clumsy to reach.

        And big, strong Jose Altuve is going to be AL MVP, having passed 30 SBs for the 6th straight year.

        Baseball shouldn’t be too proud of this technological terror it’s constructed. The juiced baseballs will change, just like they have before.

      • Changes last until the next changes take over. The Reds have excellent power hitting and are in last place. They also have pitchers who throw hard, so there’s more to it than that. I betcha that a consistently successful team can pitch, hit, hit with power and field. Now just as much as then. The Reds’ deficiency this year has been pitching. Staff this team with good pitchers and they would have been contenders.

  22. reds have ss. Move Saurez back to ss, promote Senzel to 3b. don’t trade anybody on offense. trade Iglesias for a mid rotation starter team controls for 4 years.

    Team is 2 veteran mid rotation guys away from competing.

  23. How about this…?

    – Reds get Kelvin Herrera from Royals for Duvall or Schebler
    – Reds gets Sean Manaea and Marcus Siemen from Athletics for Scooter, Stephenson, Garrett and a mid level prospect.

    I love doing trade ideas. You’re right Steve, it is fun.

  24. I am all in on trades 1 and 2.As you said a reliever isn’t much of a return for Duvall so I will pass on that one.I have always liked Yelich and actually thought this would be his break out year but it was Ozuna instead.

  25. Jose Urena improved his record to 14-6 today and lowered his era to 3.55. He’s only 26 and sold me when I saw him for the first time this year at GABP throwing 97 mph sinkers!
    Make the call….Derek Jeter is ready to wheel and deal!

    • I think its hard to trade for young stud pitchers. Just like we aren’t trading Luis Castillo, the Yanks are trading Severino. Steve gave some options to adjust the 25 man roster to balance things better going forward using parameters that value the short and long term.

      • Castillo is better then Urena and they traded him….but Jeter is a little brighter and more motivated then the other scammers that ran that organization.

        • That’s the part I don’t get. The Marlins traded Castillo TWICE. He was originally part of a trade with the Padres but was returned to the Marlins when the Padres weren’t being honest about players’ medical conditions. ……..

          I don’t know whether the Marlins’ front office would bite on Yelich. But you don’t know if you don’t ask. And if the Marlins do say no, you look elsewhere. Steve’s point is that there are options out there.

        • Biggest difference is that Castillo was still playing in the low minors when they moved him. Urena has been dealing and doing so at the MLB level. Urena has more current value than Castillo had at the time. I don’t think the Marlins move Urena unless they are overwhelmed by an offer.

  26. Christian Yelich doesn’t have infinite value. He’s been a 4 WAR player for four years. Raisel Iglesias is a 2 WAR player and Billy Hamilton has averaged more than 2 WAR for four years. He’d be worth more in Miami. Yelich would be worth more in Cincinnati. Maybe the Reds could add a young pitcher to the deal. But it’s not crazy. Young, cost controlled closers in their prime with experience are really hard to find.

    Debating the details of a Yelich trade misses the broader point, which is the viability of finding a CF to replace Billy Hamilton through trade. The Yelich trade is a big example of that, but it would be easy to find a dozen more, although not for an All-Star.

    • If the Reds can’t match up with Miami, there is the NY Yankees to look at. Ty need starting pitching. RHP Robert Stephenson and F BHam to NY for OF Aaron Hicks and RHP Jonathan Holder. New Yankee Stadium has a big CF.

    • It *is* crazy though. Back before Votto signed his extension, a Blue Jays blogger posited a trade that was roughly equal from a WAR perspective. Votto was worth around 5-8 WAR, the players coming back were as well.

      That trade suggestion was panned because single player WAR > multiple player WAR in almost every single situation. You can’t simply say that “These two players add up to 4 WAR and Yelich is worth 4 WAR, therefore it’s a fair trade!” That’s absurd. That isn’t even considering the value of Yelich’s contract!

      I understand what you mean by “broader point” in that the Reds need a new CF. Hamilton clearly isn’t the answer; however, suggesting a trade through a fans eyes’ is a foolish thing to do. The reason why everyone on this board would take all three trades in a heartbeat is because none of them are fair to the other team.

      Gennett has been an average-slightly above average player for much of his career and is coming off a career year. You’re suggesting to trade him for the player that is viewed as the future SS and franchise cornerstone for the Diamondbacks.

      Again, I understand what you mean by “broader point” in that these are needs that MUST be addressed somehow. You still need to look at it from the other teams’ perspectives, though.

      • I don’t think you could find anyone who thinks Ketel Marte is the future franchise cornerstone for the Diamondbacks. He was in the minor leagues until the two guys ahead of him got hurt.

        • It’s a fun thought experiment, to try and come up with deals to make the Reds competitive in 2018.

          Takao’s point is well taken, though. In all 3 trades, the Reds are offering .75 cents or less (way less in the Miami trade) and getting a $1 in return.

          RLN rarely agrees on anything, and virtually all the responses indicate that the Marlins return for Yelich is absurdly low. Plus, MLB front offices are mostly sharp.

          As Steve wrote back in July in “Subversive Thoughts on Trading Raisel Iglesias”…

          “Bullpens are important. Closers are part of that. Position players and starting pitchers are more valuable.”

          Even if Arizona and LA bit on the other 2 trades, there are 59 HRs going away in Duvall and Gennett and a starting pitching staff full of raw kids and some rehabilitated non-all star types..

          These full-on re-builds can take years and years sometimes. /s

        • That’s fair, I was looking at a couple other fan forums and some Diamondback fans were really hyping him up. I looked at his stats a bit ago and was really underwhelmed. That trade might actually be possible depending on how they view Gennett.

          I still disagree with Yelich. We’d need to give up substantially more for him and his contract.

    • These are some good clarifications/points. But I would say that the details are where the devil is always found.

      So, taking the Yelich trade as an example, what do the Reds have that they can afford to give up (using your criteria) that will net them a young, affordable CF’r that will improve the team overall? I think this discussion suggests that Hamilton and Iglesias might not get a player of Yelich’s caliber. And if not, how much less would the Reds be willing to accept for trading Hamilton and Iglesias and at what point does the trade not accomplish these stated goals?

  27. I’ve been a Yelich fan for some time. I would love to see him in a Cincinnati OF. It will take some starting pitching to get him. Not doling out any prospects makes it a little narrower road to travel. We’ll try it with just two trades.
    First, I am dialing up the re-loading Toronto Blue Jays.
    1. 2B Scooter Gennett, OF/1B/DH/3B Adam Duvall, RHP Robert Stephenson, and LHP Amir Garrett to Toronto for RHP Marcus Stroman and RHP Dominic Leone.
    2. Will go with your Yelich trade, but it will need to have a SP added somehow. I love this trade. Maybe add in one of those young Cuban SS to sweeten the deal. None should be ranked in the Reds top-20 prospects.

    Rotation: Stroman, Bailey, Castillo, Romano, DeSclafani.
    Bullpen: Finnegan, Lorenzen, Leone, Peralta, Reed, ??, ??.
    Lineup: Winker RF, Yelich (CF), Votto 1B, Suarez 3B, Schebler LF, Senzel 2B, Barnhart/Mez C, Peraza SS, P.
    Bench: Mesoraco/Barnhart, Ervin, Kivlehan, Blandino, ??.

    Mahle at AAA to start and insurance for DeSclafani. Two open bullpen spots filled internally or by free agent. One bench spot open for a LH hitter.

    Start printing 2018 playoff tickets.

      • We weren’t supposed to dip down into the prospect pool. I can’t give up Senzel. He is my 2B. Senzel, Trammell, and Greene untouchable, but I can bend on Greene at last moment if absolutely need be.
        Counter the counter with Scooter, Duvall, Stephenson, Garrett, Tony Santillan, and TJ Friedl.

        • Personally, I like Siri over Friedl but I think we’d be getting really close to a deal… If we were GMs for the respective teams… This is FUN! I’d only need to know what other teams were offering I suppose.

    • Ha. Playing Peraza in CF makes both my points about square pegs/round holes for CF and SS.

  28. The only one of those trades that I even remotely came close to liking is the second one because it involved getting rid of Hamilton. But I wouldn’t include Iglesias. I’d rather include a pitching prospect to substitute for Iglesias. I know you guys believe that you can always find a closer but I don’t believe that. I find that a revolving door at closer is akin to playing Russian Roulette, eventually you’re gonna catch the bullet. I know your guidelines were to NOT include prospects but I’d rather hold on to Iglesias…especially if the reds fo is gonna make push to be competitive next year…which is what they initially targeted. I don’t care what the Sabermetrics stats may “predict” about Gennett’s numbers dropping next year even if it’s only a slight drop I’d be ok with that. I’d like to keep Cozart…I don’t care. But I’d be lying if I said that having Marte (a young and offensively capable SS…don’t know about his defense) isn’t intriguing. I’d feel better about Marte than Peraza. I guess maybe I’d be ok with getting rid of Duvall but not for Bedrosian since, in my version, we’d keep Iglesias. Unless Bedrosian would be viewed as another plus arm to fill out the bullpen.

    • If the Reds keep Iglesias, a trade like Duvall for Bedrosian doesn’t make as much sense. Although Duvall’s value isn’t as high as people here think. If it wasn’t to acquire the next closer, I’d still look to trade Duvall for something. Making room for Winker is a big plus.

      • I can throw as hard as Schebler from the outfield. I’ll give him the accuracy. I have to admit though, I couldn’t stand Jay Bruce’s inability to adapt during a slump. Other then these last 2 months….Scheb has been much more streaky then Duvall.

        • August-September

          Duvall: .205/.246/.386
          Schebler: .260/.349/.533

          Run production, 100-point league average:

          Duvall: 58
          Schebler: 120

          • Thats what I’m saying if you took 2016 + 66% of this year then Adam has been more reliable.

            Overall….Duvall 776 ops and SS 787….so its close and Adam is much better defensively. We also struggle more against lefties w/Scooter, Schebler, and Winker being much more deadly vs righties.

        • His arm is really why he should be in LF and not RF. That’s also another reason not to use him in CF. It isn’t Johnny Damon or Juan Pierre bad but you’re right, it’s bad.

      • Steve, I think I can agree with trading Duvall to make room for Winker. Although I’d like to see a bigger sample size from Winker just to be sure he’s as good as his start would seem to suggest.

  29. How bout this one? Billy/Schebler/Reed to Colorado for Jeff Hoffman/Jake McGee/prospect

    Hoffman is only 24 and a 1st rd pick. Take him out of Coors and on the road, he had a 4.09 era, 1.14 whip, and .235 batting avg allowed with only 5 HRs in 44 ip. He’s got very good stuff! Jake McGee is a veteran lefty that’s had a ton of high leverage experience including closing. They’re getting old in the outfield! CarGo is about done at 32. Ian Desmond is always hurt and 31. Parra is 30…but may be 37 with the Tejada aging formula. Billy would be a monster in Colorado. Running all over the place and catching would-be triples plus you can’t really play shallow on him or he gets multiple stand-up inside-the-park HRs. That allows many of his dunkers to fall in.

    • Why would Colorado want Billy Hamilton when they already have the best CF in baseball (or second to Mike Trout)? A corner OF makes more sense and I looked there as a landing spot for Duvall. Had a hard time finding something reasonable in return. Trevor Story? Don’t know that they could give him up. Hoffman’s career Away numbers, the underlying stuff, aren’t great.

      • Blackmon can’t cover ground like Billy..obviously. Wouldn’t it be nice to have 2 CFers in that canyon sized outfield?

      • You don’t like Jeff Hoffman? I’d give them Reed and Billy in a heartbeat….or Billy, Reed, and Blandino

        He’s a month older then Bob Steve. Also a 1st rounder w/a great arm. Untapped talent that maybe the Reds could steal before he busts loose like Castillo. Average perceived fastball speed is 92.79 and Hoffman’s is 95.14.

  30. Outstanding Mr. Mancuso. I like all three players. Yelich would put up some big numbers playing 81 games in GABP. i also like Cam and Ketel..

  31. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Suarez came to the Reds as a 2B/SS, we moved him to 3B and with hard work he has excelled. Resigning Cozart would be a massive financial mistake and Nick Senzel will be at 3B come June 2018 barring injury. Suarez should be moved to SS at that point. Peraza is good there until Senzel comes up to stay.
    Billy Hamilton is definitely NOT an everyday player, let alone a lead off hitter. A career .246 avg .298 obp is not what you want in your lineup everyday and damn sure not at the top of it. Winker needs to play everyday, Schebler obviously won’t be Billy Hamilton defensively but he’s capable.
    Iglasias is fine at closer, don’t try to make him something here’s not.
    June 2018
    RF Winker
    3B Senzel
    1B Votto
    SS Suarez
    LF Duvall
    2B Gennett
    CF Schebler
    C Barnhart

    Super Utility 2B/SS/OF Peraza

    SP Disco
    SP Bailey
    SP Castillo
    SP Stephenson
    SP Ramano
    Bullpen
    Iglasias
    Lorenzen
    Peralta
    Finnegan
    Adelman

    Still a few spots left but I think this team will surprise a lot of people in 2018

    • Good post! Please subtract Adleman though….can’t take any more of him. Shackelford is improving and you have Hernandez, Wojo, and this guy I’m watching now McGuire. They all have 10x better stuff then Adleman.

      Personally, I sort of look at past decisions by big Bob and they resigned BP when it was more prudent to let him walk. I’m guessing its atleast close to 50/50 that they resign Zack. Even if they don’t, I think we’ll see a trade somewhere for a veteran pitcher or another CF or SS. Time will tell?

  32. I’d think Hamilton could be interesting piece to maybe KC, Mets, Colorado, SD or someone that has to cover a lot of ground in CF.

    I’d figure that Duvall might be decent trade piece to someone like KC that has pitching but could use some power.

    I kinda think Wojo and Reed both have arms that could get them into the bullpen mix next year.

  33. There often talk here wishing the Reds could be more like the Cardinals. A hallmark of the Cardinals over the last decade has been that they have not shied away from moving productive players via trade or letting them walk away as FAs when they felt they could improve their team by doing so.

    Steve’s proposals certainly reflect a Cardinal mentality in this respect.

    In the past such proposals have often hit a brick wall among RLN commenters because players we were used to and comfortable with as Reds were suggested as trade pieces. I don’t read or sense nearly the same amount or depth of resistance now. Perhaps progress isn’t limited to players on the field or the team management but can also happen among fans???

  34. Fun exercise, and some decent options. Yelich will never happen, though. Also, your lineup has exactly 1 righty in the top 4 (Suarez). Yelich is a lefty hitter, as are Winker, Votto, and Schebler…not exactly a balanced approach. Duvall over Winker is currently the balance-tipper there, with Hamilton switch-hitting (poorly on both sides) “helping.” Anyway, fun read, and maybe they think about the Yelich for Hamilton, Iglesias, and one other player – maybe we give up a prospect for the first time in a few years?

  35. Definitely a fun exercise, and none of it seems unreasonable.

    To me, what is most instructive is the idea that the Reds are at a point in the rebuild where dealing big league talent to get big league talent (rather than prospects) makes more sense. It’s a significant shift in thinking, and I think Steve is absolutely right that this winter represents the first time in a while that the Reds should be thinking that way.

    Everyone knows what I think about Raisel Iglesias and Billy Hamilton, but if they could net a Yelich-type…yes, please.

    Ultimately, there is not one single player in the entire organization that I wouldn’t trade this winter if the right deal came along. Dick Williams and company have a lot of options, in terms of trade chips at their disposal, and they should be on the phone constantly between now and next spring.

  36. I agree the team should be thinking about acquiring big league talent but will they do so.I think the telling sign will be what happens to Cozy.If he stays then the dominos should start to fall to fill in the holes needed to compete right now.If he goes it tells me they will try out Peraza for half of the year which continues the sort process.Need to be willing to say we are going to compete or sort and then do it.Didn’t happen this year because our division fell back to us early and for some idiotic reason this front office thought they could compete so they put the breaks on the sort process.Hopefully they won’t get caught up in it again.Should be an interesting off season.

  37. Maybe here’s how you solve the Duvall fade. Play him alot (maybe not everyday) the first half of the season. Alternate Erwin and Schebler in CF and Winker in RF. When Duvall begins his fade, move Schebler to LF for more playing time. This takes advantage of Scheblers late season rise over Duvall’s fade. Note: no billy (sad)

  38. The only on I agree with is the first one. After that you suggest we get rid of out closer for Christian Yelich to turn around and get rid of Adam Duvall? We have a hood offensive team our pitching is what has struggled and what has struggled for years. If we cam get a pitching staff that will actually keep us in games then we have a legitimate shot. Sorry but I don’t like this at all. I do not believe we would improve.

  39. Trading Scooter would be a huge mistake, the Reds should realize there loss in Dilson Herrera and Jose Peraza and trade them! I can’t understand why the Reds traded for Herrera last year knowing he had shoulder problems! They Reds don’t have a good scouting department!!!

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