This week’s respondents are Nick Kirby, Chris Garber, Clay Marshall, Ashley Davis, and Steve Mancuso.

Our Daily Reds Obsession: What should be GM Dick Williams’ #1 priority this off-season?

Nick: I think the Reds need to start competing soon, and not only because my patience with the rebuild is wearing out. The Reds need to capitalize on Joey Votto while he is still one of the top five hitters in baseball. I think the Reds need to start making moves that will help the team in both 2018 and 2019. I would like to see the Reds target a legit SP (either FA or trade), a good right-handed platoon bat for the OF, and look at signing Zack Cozart to two year deal.

Chris: My heart says “pestering Bob Castellini for the money to sign Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta, to position the Reds for a 2018 pennant run.”

My head says, “nothing, other than figuring out the deal with Michael Lorenzen, Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, and Amir Garrett.” There’s no real reason that one or more of those guys couldn’t dominate the National League in 2018. The Reds should stick with the plan and devote all of their energy into realizing the potential of the in-house options.

Then they can go after Clayton Kershaw in December 2018.

Clay: Much as the Old Cossack recently suggested, I think it’s imperative that Bryan Price be given clear directives regarding playing time for position players and especially pitchers. For much of 2017, it seemed as if Price was managing to keep his job rather than see what the young talent he’s tasked with nurturing was truly capable of. To that end, the Reds’ unexpected hot start probably did more harm than good. If the primary goal of the 2018 season is to set the table for 2019, Price needs to be told in no uncertain terms that he needs to manage with an eye toward the future, or else.

Ashley: This offseason, Dick Williams’ #1 priority should be the pitching. Most fans will probably say the Reds need a veteran starter to complement the young ones, but I think Williams should try to sign one or two solid relievers. There were players who stepped up in the bullpen last season. We know what Raisel Iglesias can do. Wandy Peralta was solid for most of the season. Austin Brice showed flashes of brilliance and if Ariel Hernandez can learn to throw strikes consistently, he will be a top reliever in the future.

But, the Reds’ pitching needs to drastically improve if the team wants to compete this season, and that includes the bullpen, especially if the young starters don’t go deep into the game. I’m tired of watching Blake Wood continue to be mediocre. If Tim Adleman and Lisalverto Bonilla are both in the bullpen for the majority of the year, it’s not going to be fun to watch again. Williams should find better relievers to replace those journeymen pitchers where you know what you’re going to get.

Steve: The Reds will need long-term answers at SS and CF. Adding a front line starting pitcher is also important when they are ready to contend. They’ll likely need a bullpen piece or two at some point. But none of those things are urgent to do this offseason.

Instead, Williams’ #1 priority should be to get full value out of Scooter Gennett and Adam Duvall’s 2017 seasons by trading them. Those moves create important playing time opportunity. Plus either of those guys could provide value to the right team. I’d put Raisel Iglesias in that same category since I think he’s at his high point in value and always an injury risk. He’s undoubtedly worth more to some other team from 2018-2021 than he is to the Reds.

Now, could trading those guys get the Reds a SS, CF or SP? Sure. Then fine. But the main point, especially with Gennett and Duvall, is to get something of value for them, regardless of position. In some ways, Williams’ #1 priority is not adding to the starting pitcher logjam by signing an innings-eating free agent to a major league contract. To stick the rebuilding, Williams needs to prioritize 2018 as another (better) year of finding answers. He can’t have a foot on both sides of the fence.

97 Responses

  1. Andrew

    I’m not really understanding the Red’s strategy in regards to Zack Cozart. If we were never going to make him a competitive offer, why didn’t we trade him? The Reds could have received something for him, instead the Reds get nothing. I understand that there wasn’t a strong demand for shortstops at the trade deadline.However, I’m sure the Reds could have received something.

    • IndyRedMan

      I think they would have if they got a decent offer, but he was too hobbled up.

      To me the #1 priority is CF and SS. They just can’t carry Billy and Peraza in the lineup any longer. Personally I’d try an in-house solution for SS w/Suarez? We also need a reliable late inning guy to help Iglesias. I am ok w/all the depth they have with starting pitching and Duvall & Scooter can be pretty effective if used correctly. How many years have they had a hole in LF? Duvall is good defensively and would be fine if they gave him more rest in the 2nd half. Same thing w/Scooter….a .930 ops vs righties, so just don’t wear him out and platoon him vs lefties. IF we know they have limitations then so do the other guys. They probably won’t bring what they could be worth?

      • sixpacktwo

        Duvall and scooter both have trade value and replacements behind them. Trade them for value or don’t trade them.

      • lwblogger2

        Love the idea of platooning Gennett. No idea why the Reds are so averse to platooning guys based on LH/RH splits over their careers.

    • Hanawi

      The shortstop market is basically zero at the moment. Nearly every team is set there, with the Reds being a major exception. I think they can sign him back for a very team-friendly two-year deal, because opportunities are so limited.

    • Kyle Farmer

      They actually did have him traded to Seattle the same day that they traded Jay Bruce to the Mets, but the Reds front office went into full Browns mode and didn’t get the deal submitted to MLB in time. A monumentally stupid move given that they never were able to trade him for any type of value.

    • lwblogger2

      The market just wasn’t there. The timing of his quad acting up and shelving him was horrible, as it happened right about at the deadline. Teams weren’t even sure if he’d be able to play at all the rest of the season. That’s why the Reds couldn’t move him.

  2. cfd3000

    Addition by subtraction. Peraza and Hamilton were two of the worst hitters, by some measures the two worst hitters, in the NL last year. With Winker and Senzel and Ervin available to take the at bats that should never go to Peraza and Hamilton in 2018, upgrades to the lineup are imperative. Resign Cozart or trade for a productive young shortstop. Trade Duvall and Hamilton and Gennett. Christian Yelich would be great in CF, but I don’t think it’s necessary to add him to make a big step forward for 2018. And 2018 is not the year to acquire pitching, it’s the year to identify it. Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan, Castillo, Mahle, Lorenzen, Romano, Stephenson, Reed, Garrett, Stephens, McGuire. There’s a good rotation and a good bullpen in there (with Iglesias and Peralta). Figure out who will thrive and who will not in 2018. Find the last pieces of the pitching puzzle in 2019.

  3. Klugo

    Bullpen help through any means necessary. This team has shown it can score, even with Hamilton hitting leadoff everyday. We have promising young starters who need the opportunities to show their stuff. If they come through, this team can contend with a solid bullpen in place. Now we do lose Cozart. That’s a big cog-the way he produced last season. His replacements need the opportunity to show if they can fill those shoes or not. There are certainly a lot of questions to be answered before we see a contending team. A balance must be struck between upgrading and testing the talent. The picture will be clearer in ’19.

    Clearing some space in the OF should be up there. *cough*hamilton*cough*. I see Duvall as possibly a valuable trade chip, too. It all depends on what the return is-on all trades.

    • IndyRedMan

      14th in runs scored and then you subtract Cozart? They can’t carry Billy and Jose any longer!

      • Klugo

        I agree on Billy. I’d like to see Peraza get the same opportunities Billy got. I’m a believer in Peraza. Not sure why. I see better tools at the plate and get the feel he has a better mental approach, maybe makeup, too.

      • Scott

        I agree with you. I think its because Peraza seems to take direction and work on his game. For example plate discipline and taking more walks while Hamilton has been the same ole crappy offensive player for numerous years now.

    • IndyRedMan

      I totally agree about bullpen help. I like Peralta but Iggy is about it from the right side. We need another reliable late inning guy. Lorenzen is a question mark at this point?

  4. sultanofswaff

    There is enough depth in the farm system to begin leveraging it to improve the big club. Offering up any combination of prospects outside our top 6 with Hamilton will likely net you an upgrade in CF. They should also trade for a controllable reliever. Free agent money should be spent on the bullpen and a 2 year deal w/ option for Cozy.

  5. Scott Carter

    I am not against obtaining a “good” solid starter. The emphasis on good, no more bargain basement, “we hope he will eat up innings” guys. If just getting innings, we have enough young pitchers that can be moved around to cover that, even without Desclafani, Bailey and Finnegan. I would not be against standing pat on our position players, if I trusted Price to play the young Winker full time over Duval and then platoon Duval and Schebler. But regardless we need to do something at either CF or SS to get an OBP bat for at least one of those positions. If Court resigns at a team friendly contract, I am OK with keeping Billy for CF, if heats at the bottom of the order. But again I don’t trust Price to do that. I think Ervin could handle CF well enough and get on base enough to provide an upgrade.I think second base will sort itself, Gennett will come back to earth after one good year (remember Ryan Ludwick) and Senzel will be up soon.

    • IndyRedMan

      Scooter has a .809 career ops vs righties and .885 career ops in GABP (316 atbats). He’s also a local kid and good in the clubhouse. Plus the same theory applies….he has some downside so won’t bring a ton in a trade? One partner that makes sense on paper is the Yankees! They have a ton of good arms and young talent and he might go crazy with that short porch?

      • Scott Carter

        Good points, still the GABP number is a small sample size and both numbers were increased over his career numbers before last year. I do like Scooter, like the local boy and I am sure he is a good influence in clubhouse, but would trade him if opportunity comes.

  6. WVRedlegs

    1. Pitching.
    2. Pitching.
    3. Leadoff batter.
    4. #4 clean up batter.
    5. Declare the sorting mostly over and compete in 2018.

  7. Jim Walker

    DW has already taken a huge step forward by settling his catching situation with the extension of Barnhart which was essentially the start of the Reds off season even though it came with a week remaining in the 2017 season.

    Looking forward he cannot let the starting pitching be a three peat of the chaos it has been the last 2 seasons. I believe he needs to be more proactive than simply trying to put together a better rebuilding year and process for the starting pitching, He needs to target a starting pitcher who is in a similar situation to what Mat Latos was when the Reds acquired him.

    • lwblogger2

      No easy task but that’s exactly what needs to happen. People complained about the Latos trade but he was key to the 2010 season and you have to give up good players to get good players. I’m not sure who that guy is in today’s market but that’s the kind of guy they need; a pitcher with 3-4 years of team control and #2/#3 stuff and track-record. For a couple years it was #1 with Cueto and #1a with Latos. He was that good.

  8. WVRedlegs

    For those, and there are many, who think the Reds should wait until next winter to sign a free agent pitcher, bad strategy! This winter will be the time.
    I keep saying RHP Miles Mikolas will be in the Reds price range and a good fit for GABP. He can also be a reliever if a younger pitcher beats him out of a rotation spot.
    Many bats in next year’s free agent class. Get a pitcher this year.

    • IndyRedMan

      Dilly Dilly on Mikolas! I would also target Stroman, Clevinger with the Indians, or lefty Blake Snell. We have the 10th rated farm system plus some young arms if we need to do a 2 for 1 trade or 3-1 in Stroman’s case

    • lwblogger2

      What about just trying to go for something simple, like Tyler Chatwood? He’s probably a #5 starter or swing-man as it stands right this minute but he’s got very good stuff and I think there is a #3 kind of starter in there somewhere. He’ll likely be cheap. He turns 28 in a month so in his prime. I think “change of scenery” candidate is written all over him. Thoughts?

  9. Shchi Cossack

    Everyone and their mother is looking for good starting pitching. Obviously Darvish and Arrieta are out of consideration, but the next tier of starters will almost certainly become priced out of consideration. DW has two priorities for this off season: SS and CF.

    If the Reds are not going to resign Cozart (best option) for a 2-4 season bridge to the next legitimate SS prospect, they need to find a controllable, young major league ready prospect to fill that hole. Peraza can be utilized as a super utility option or traded, but I just don’t see him as a starting option at the major league level. Hamilton’s defense is minimized playing in GABP and his speed on the bases is minimized by his inability to get on base. Hamilton is too expensive as a utility player and with two seasons of team control, now is the time to cut bait and find the next starting CF option. The in-house prospects for CF are stil 3-4 seasons away from major league readiness.

    While those priorities supercede other considerations, obtaining 1 or 2 quality bullpen arms along with those priorities should also be manageable, but filling those two holes maust be accompliched.

    And yes, DW must address roster management and utilization with Price.

    • IndyRedMan

      Lorenzo Cain? He’s the best free agent CF and some say his contract will break the bank, but he’ll be 32 and doesn’t have that much power? $65 mil for 4 years? He reminds me of Torii Hunter and he played really well til he was 38. Cain is a winner and obp was at a career high! I just don’t think a guy w/15 HRs gets $20 mil a year in todays game but I’ve been wrong before?

      • lwblogger2

        That figure may not be too far off. MLB TradeRumors were close on their predictions on earnings for top free-agents last year more often than they were way off. They have Cain getting 4yrs/$70-million. Not sure he’s the guy I’d go after if I were the Reds, especially as speed generally doesn’t age well. Even Hunter had to move off CF as his range declined and Hunter was a better player to begin with.

    • WVRedlegs

      Don’t rule out a Rule V pick at SS as a part time starter and backup. The Yankees have a 40-man roster crunch coming as the 40-man rosters have to be set by next Monday. Let me introduce you to SS/2B Thairo Estrada. Jorge Mateo played SS for Yankees AA team until traded in the Sonny Grey deal. Estrada moved back to SS after trade. Defense may be a small issue. Offense isn’t. Yankees most likely can’t protect him on the 40-man.

      • CP

        That guy would be a great pick-up for some depth. Never know if give the kid a chance.

      • WVRedlegs

        That is in case they can’t or aren’t going to sign Cozart. If they do re-sign Cozart, I don’t think they could hide this guy on the bench all year with Peraza also on the 25-man roster. But they might.
        Estrada in 2017 made 17 errors at SS in 94 games. He 0 errors at 2B in 32 games.
        Then there is the issue of Dilson Hererra not having any options left and needs to be on the 25-man roster too. The question might then be, is Estrada a better choice/option for 2B than Herrera going forward?

      • lwblogger2

        If they end up signing Cozart, they could always just offer him back at the end of Spring Training.

      • WVRedlegs

        And then the big question mark regarding Nick Senzel at 2B, Or 3B. Or LF. Or RF. It might not work very well if Estrada can’t play SS, or moving Senzel to the OF.

      • Bill

        WvRedleg I mentioned Estrada in another article for Duval & was told I was crazy if I thought the Yankees would do that. And if we’re worried about the pitchers let them used a 6 man rotation, it may sound stupid but u don’t know till you try.

  10. scottya

    The # 1 priority this offseason should be the acquire a long term solution at SS and Long term solution in CF.

    I don’t mind them taking a chance on someone (Christian arroyo or tim beckham) (zack granite etc) that is a low floor/low ceiling pickup without giving up much. Of course we would all prefer Christian Yellich or Victor Robles.

    A close #2 priority leave plenty of space for the starting pitchers we already have to get opportunities.

    I agree with Steve’s approach.

    • scottya

      Not low floor/low ceiling, but low floor, i.e. almost a sure bet to be a 2 war player.

    • JoshG

      any chance a Hamilton for Arroyo deal happens?

      • scottya

        No idea, I’ve read there is some concern that he could handle SS defensively. If he can’t 100% handle it we should move on, due to how many 3b/2b options we have in our system.

  11. Kap

    1. Definitely trade scooter. Had a great year and is a great dude but that money needs to be freed up and I doubt he can replicate this past season. Plus he have Senzel, Blandino, and Herrera who can fill in almost right away. Possible Suitors: Angels, Blue Jays, Dodgers

    2. Try their best to trade Billy, freeing up more money. He will never hit enough and is costing too much. Possible suitors: Giants, Rangers, Mariners

    3. Try and find the best deal for Duvall. Possible suitors: Indians, Red Sox, Rockies

    4. Resign Cozart with the now freed up money. I HAVE NO FAITH IN PERAZA.

    5. Try to acquire a centerfielder in one of the trades. If not, sign a free agent who can platoon with Ervin in center. Possible targets: Austin Jackson, Jarrod Dyson, Jon Jay

    6. Sign a “sign and flip” type of reliever and hope they rebuild their value. Possible targets: Huston Street, Andrew Bailey, Tyler Clippard

    7. Possibly sign another reliever to a multi-year deal. Possible targets: Matt Albers, Tommy Hunter, Seung-hwan Oh

    All of these moves are not necessary, but I think they will help this next season and in the future

  12. james garrett

    I agree.Are we ready to win?Nope so a starter just takes innings from a young guy.Remember the fiasco of giving all of those starts last year to Bronson,Feldman etc etc etc.Lets don’t do that again please.We need a SS and a CF that make the routine plays and get on base at league average.

    • greenmtred

      What about the plays that aren’t routine? League average seems like a low bar if you are sacrificing a lot of defense. I bet the pitchers would agree with me.

      • james garrett

        Maybe I should have said at least make the routine plays and at least get on base at league average.Billy and Peraza have set the bar so low that average looks really good to me.

      • lwblogger2

        I actually don’t like a lot of the position changes that people propose because I believe in a lot of the cases presented, the drop-off in defense would be too great in relation to the offensive increase. However, this is mostly do to the fact that in a lot of those cases, they are suggesting a move of more than 1 player and players they are keeping in are moving from a position where they provide average or better defense to a position where they will likely provide below average defense (in my opinion). It is also, often multiple changes that will add up to more than simply the sum of the parts. In the case of replacing Peraza and Hamilton with guys who provide average defense at their respective positions, I don’t see the dropoff as being as large compared to the potential offensive gains. Especially true since Peraza is likely not much better than average defensively and in fact historically has been below average at SS. Hamilton’s defense is otherworldly but his bat is so poor that I have doubts his net defensive gain over the average defensive CF is enough to outweigh what the boost would be of having a CF who’s overall offensive contribution is close to average. In this case, the plays that aren’t routine just don’t save as many runs as the new CF will create with his bat. I was a catcher and respect the value of defense more than most but still would still back James Garrett in his idea.

  13. CP

    I also agree with Steve here. I do think we have needs with both SP and in the bullpen, but we have a much better chance of filling those needs internally. It will just take time and growing pains to see who steps up.

    But what we don’t have internal solutions for, in the near term, are SS and CF. I think the #1 priority should be to deal from our positions of depth, 2B and corner OF, and try and address at least one of those spots.

    I love the idea of trading with Atlanta. I think they would be open to dealing Inciarte for Duval plus a little. It opens up the CF position for their #1 prospect (Acuna), and upgrades one of their corner outfield spots. Plus they get another minor leaguer or two for their system. Reds get a serious upgrade offensively at CF, with little to no drop off defensively to boot, and is under team control for 4 years and a team option on the 5th! Logjam for Winker is opened up, and Hamilton can be traded (Giants?) or utilized in what may suit him best (4th OF).

    • scottya

      I like this trade idea! Inciarte is a big upgrade in CF.

      • scottya

        I like the idea of trading Adam Duvall for Wilmer Difo and maybe Michael taylor, but I doubt they’d give us that much just for Duvall. But Inciarte in CF would be pretty nice.

  14. James H.

    Reds should trade for CF Chris Yelich, giving up Hamilton, Iglesias, and a minor league player, and then go out and sign FA Jake Arrieta (sorry about spelling).

  15. MichaelA

    I’m of the opinion that it is time to be bold. Joey Votto is entering his age 34 year and Father Time will catch up at some point. If not now, the Reds have wasted a bulk of a generational players peak years rebuilding. I am of the belief that 18’ is the year to take a chance and push out of rebuilding mode and into winning mode. If I’m the Reds front office, I figure out a way to acquire Christian Yelich to play center. I then explore SS. Is this bringing back Cozart or trying for another trade, I don’t know. The teams scouts, doctors etc. lead the path on this one. If Cozart is too much money or his injury history just doesn’t make it practical, you move on to someone else. Next is the bullpen. Iglesias needs to stay and the pen needs 2 other reliable arms; one being a lefty. Trade or FA, go get them. Finally, the Reds need a front line starter. My first choice is Darvish. He is a front line starter with WS experience. Yes, it was shaky at best, but he is the front line starter the Reds need.
    All of this will come with some pains. The Reds minors will take a hit to make some trades happen. Not to mention the cost involved. If I’m playing GM, I don’t waste the taking a shot while Votto is still Votto.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Four more seasons before Votto can’t adjust to maintain his superior performance at the plate and sees any unvoidable age regression, but your point is valid. The Votto years will soon come to an end. That will be a bittersweet day, similar to the day JB played his last game.

      • MichaelA

        Aaah, the home run on Johnny Bench night. Very bittersweet night. I simply hope Joey gets a chance to have his 75/76 moment before Joey Votto night.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Someday we will be able to claim we saw the entire career for JB, the greatest catcher in history of the game and the entire career for Ted Williams, err Joey Votto, the most effective, cerebral hitter in the history of the game.

        I just realized that neither Bench nor Votto have a nickname to rival that of the Splendid Splinter.

      • greenmtred

        Ted or Joey? I’m not convinced that reincarnation is real.

  16. Ethan L

    Tell Walt to take a hike. Take total control of operations.

    • Shchi Cossack

      That’s not something DW can do. That proclamation must come from BC, but your point is valid. Both BC and WJ need to be removed from decisions within Baseball Operations.

    • WVRedlegs

      Winner, winner chicken dinner.
      The Enquirer article about the Twins contacting the Reds about Iglesias was a bit amusing. Williams confirmed that the Twins talked to “somebody” in the front office about Iglesias’s availability, but it wasn’t him. He had yet to talk to the Twins.
      That “somebody” had to be Jocketty.

      • lwblogger2

        Could have been Nick Krall, Sam Grossman, Eric Lee, or Haley Alvarez… Could also have been Walt Jocketty… Having played devil’s advocate there however it wouldn’t surprise me and in fact I suspect that Walt still wields a lot of influence over baseball decisions. I hate the idea.

  17. IndyRedMan

    I’d move Suarez to shortstop and install Senzel at 3B immediately after the Kris Bryant style start at AAA. Benintendi skipped AAA and he did ok. Senzel is closer to big league ready then the Reds are anyway. More .330 clips from him in the minors would be stupid? Scooter at 2B and they could platoon Senzel to 2B vs lefties w/Kivlehan or Blandino/Herrera at 2B. I like Senzel getting some time at 2B, because if Suarez bombs at SS then they could move him back to 3rd. Scooter is going to put up atleast .800 vs righties, but if he fizzes out then trade him at that point, but its crazy to assume that Herrera or Blandino are just going to come in and put up his offense? If you go get a SS then are you just carrying a weak SS/CF combo again? I get a CF and I can fix the rest in-house!

    • sixpacktwo

      Suarez is NOT an SS anymore. He beefed up and is now a solid 3nd base. He can not go back, within reason.

      • greenmtred

        Nobody knows about Suarez at short, and I tend to think he should stay at 3rd because he’s so good. But is beefed up the problem? Remember Ripkin? Tulo isn’t scrawny, either.

      • Tom Diesman

        But yet Dick Williams says “He certainly can play it (SS). …. I don’t doubt that he could go back and play shortstop… ” Williams definitely for whatever reason prefers to keep him at 3B. But that presents him with other problems he needs to go fix.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m up in the air on rather he could play a solid SS. Maybe he can but would he play at solid SS in 2018 after not playing the position? Maybe. I personally would keep him at 3B but if I was GM and the other people in the room thought 1) He could play a solid MLB SS and 2) Those people thought it was definitely the best thing for the team; then I’d talk to Suarez about it. His play at 3B was so strong last year that I woudln’t want to force him to move. If 1 and 2 were true and he was good with the switch, I’d do it.

  18. TR

    I’m with Nick on this one. Rebuilditis is setting in for me and I think for many fans also. As a Reds fan since the mid 1940’s, I’ve been through numerous seasons of no contention and just the simple joy of baseball. But now, with Votto still in his salad years, the Reds should make some big moves somewhat akin to the early 70’s when they acquired Joe Morgan and others. The Reds now have a good farm system to work with and many prospects will remain prospects. Whether it’s pitching or filling the needs at SS and CF, action by the FO is needed to again have more 30,000+ crowds in the seats at GABP.

  19. big5ed

    The Reds can survive with Hamilton in CF versus RH pitching. His OBP a/g RHs was .322, with the MLB average being .324. His .241 OBP a/g LHs is the issue.

    I’d start Hamilton against righties, but use him situationally against lefty starters. He would always be a good pinch runner or defensive replacement in games started by lefties. This would give Hamilton about 400 PAs, plus some extra use late in games. The Reds would need a fifth outfielder who could play center, which I assume will be Phillip Ervin, to start against lefties.

    This is a RLN thread, so by rule there MUST be some discussion of Christian Yelich. His named spelled backward is pronounced “Silly,” which is what the idea of the Marlins trading him to the Reds is.

    • IndyRedMan

      That’s a good point on Hamilton. If they trade him, then they better have a replacement in place and ERvin and/or Schebler can’t deal with CF other then a game here or there. They could bat him 9th and platoon him w/Ervin. I thought Ervin might platoon with Winker, but Winker would prob be ok vs lefties. Just don’t give me the Billy/Peraza/Tucker trifecta vs lefties again? You can’t count on Mesoraco to help either?

    • greenmtred

      Big5Ed may have identified a new analytical tool.

  20. cfd3000

    Unrelated to the offseason but I’d like to vent for a moment if I may. Votto got robbed, again. Votto finished ahead of Paul Goldschmidt in 2017 in: Batting Average, Slugging Percentage, On Base Percentage, OPS (obviously), hits, walks and WAR and had the same number of doubles and home runs. Goldschmidt had more RBI (thanks largely to Billy Hamilton’s anemic OBP) and scored 11 more runs. Votto reached base 43 more times than Goldschmidt. But once again Votto doesn’t win his first Silver Slugger award, and Goldschmidt takes home his third. That’s ridiculous. Better batting average, better on base percentage, higher slugging percentage and on base 43 more times but not worthy. Please Mr. Williams let’s get rid of Peraza and Hamilton and not squander any more amazing Votto years.

  21. Bill

    Just read DW said he was going to be “opportunitistic”. Does that mean he will wait till everyone else have filled all there needs then try to make a deal. When you have player that just had a great year & you can get good return on, you want to wait till the trading dead line when those players may be having a bad 1st half or injured to try to trade them.

    • doofus

      “Opportunistic” sounds like bottom-feeding to me. I don’t think being aggressive and audacious is in his (DW’s) DNA.

  22. Joel Herzig

    I heard that the Marlins want to trade Giancarlo Stanton. Doesn’t the prospect of having the nearly impossible lineup to pitch against of Votto followed by Stanton with guys like Duvall, Schebler or Winker, Suarez, etc. around them make a GM at least want to put an interesting offer out there? Sure, Stanton has a no trade clause, and the Reds’ priority is obviously pitching, but that line up would be very interesting to watch.

    • IndyRedMan

      $75 mil or whatever tied up in 3 players? The Reds?

    • greenmtred

      To get Stanton, the Reds might conceivably have to send the Fish most of the rest of the lineup or mosst of the top talent in the minors.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Unless the Fish eat a significant portion of Stanton’s contract (which is counterproductive to their reason for trading him), the return they can expect in trade is not that significant.

      • Old-school

        Stanton has a no trade clause. Mlb traderumors has extensive info on this….but it’s believe Stanton wants to his native Calif and not St Louis…the Giants will need to avoid the luxury tax ….meaning they will need to unload a high priced pitcher( semardja 3 years 54 million is fair value). The marlins will need to pay 5 mil per year for the duration of the contract to get any prospects.

        The reds can supply the prospects….to the marlins…the Giants can provide the money…and the reds can effectively sign a FA solid pitcher for 3 years…54 million and get Yellich.

  23. Bill

    DW made a big signing, Joe Mantiply, a “soft throwing” left hander who had a good ERA in the minors.

    • lwblogger2

      Ugh, I never could hit the crafty-soft-tossing LHP.

  24. bouwills

    I think Steve nailed it. Acquiring prospects for players is job 1 this offseason. Iglesias, Hamilton, Gennett are at about peak trade value & should be shopped. Not so sure about Duvall yet, but if he lands us a couple prospects that fit in Reds top 10, then fine. The point being the Reds don’t have the players nor the prospects to win a Division title yet. It’s depressing, but another 94+ loss season in 2018 is necessary.

  25. Sandman

    Question: has this rebuild gone longer than what they had originally said?

    • bouwills

      Absolutely. The original “retool” sp candidates just didn’t pan out. Bailey (injuries the last 2 -2.5 years), Iglesias (reduced to bullpen role because of injury issues), Lorenzen ( reduced to bullpen use the last 2 years), DeSclafani ( injuries for most of last couple years), Stephenson (lack of command has delayed his useage in rotation), plus a bunch of other guys that didn’t work out like Lamb, Moscot, Crawford- just to name a few. On the position player side, there’s Hererra & Jagielo, who appear to have been damaged goods when acquired. I’d say the Reds are no better than half way through the rebuild-part 2.

      • IndyRedMan

        I’d say they’re 75% of the way there. 2019 should be the year…hopefully? Just the fact that they won’t be throwing out punching bag/innings eaters like Arroyo, Feldman, Adleman, etc is a good start! We’ve been dealing with scrubs like Simon2, Marquis, etc, etc for forever it seems? That’s not to say that Stephenson, Romano, Mahle, Garrett, and company won’t get beat up at times, but atleast they have a chance to improve and have a future! Offensively…you have Winker and Senzel coming aboard! They’ll get Mesoraco off the books this year as well.

        I think it comes down to what DW and company do with SS/CF and they also need Disco and/or Finnegan to recover and be a solid part of the staff. I expect them to atleast approach .500 this year!

      • IndyRedMan

        Everyone seems to think that but he’s not the kind of guy to bring in with men on base? Too many walks! You’d really need to bring him in to start the inning. I still like him as a starter and we need a lefty badly! Amir Garrett got smacked down hard last year, but his velocity picked up and he has talent!

      • Sandman

        Bouwills, I thought so. I thought I remembered them giving a prediction of 3 yrs at the start of the rebuild which was 2015 I believe but it could’ve been 2014. That would mean that 2018 was supposed to be the year we got back to contention (or this just finished 2017 season if started in 2014).

        Here’s another question or 2: If this rebuild started in ’15 and we were supposed to be winning again in ’18 & since people seem to be predicting 2019 as the return to contention/winning, do you think being 1-year late is enough to crucify Williams/Reds FO if only just a little?

        Question 2: If the reds are 1-yr late in returning to contention, who’s fault do you think it should be…Williams or nobody bcuz injuries are what has delayed this rebuild?

      • greenmtred

        We’re not a year late yet, Sandman. 2018 hasn’t even started yet. Unexpected things happen.

      • Sandman

        Greenmtred, everybody seems to think that 2018 will be another rebuild/sorting year and that 2019 will be the year we realistically return to contention. Thus we’d be a year or two late (depending upon if rebuild started in ’14 or ’15).

      • bouwills

        I don’t blame Joketty for the pitching injuries. I do however believe 2015 was a mostly lost season. They had traded Broxton, Simon, & Latos. They added Marquis, a couple of re-hashed relievers, & traded for a left fielder(Byrd) that struck out as much as Bruce. they then claimed they could compete for the division title when the rest of baseball predicted a last place finish. Guess who was right. I believe had they taken the rebuild more seriously in late 2014 & 2015, they could be ready to compete in 2018. The best I see the Reds can do in 2018 or 2019 is mediocrity.

      • Michael E

        You nailed it Bouwills. I remember that year, and the futility of bringing/keeping mediocrity around because “you’re telling me there is a chance?” thinking.

        The other issue, WAITING too long to trade just about everyone. Frazier and Chapman at trade deadlines. Frazier’s value at an all-time high and Chapman with a year of control left. Cueto his last year of control was one year too late.

        All the more reason to trade Duvall, Iglesias and Gennett now. While values are high and the other team can’t discount for pending FA or for expensive contracts. We can extract near max value for each of them if traded this off-season. Waiting a year will only detract, greatly, from value. I NEVER discount the possibility of injury as well. Waiting on better timing, with players already near or at max trade value, will bite a GM in the hiney every time (see Cozart and his gippy legs in late July).

        I would rather they trade the max value guys too soon, rather than missing an opportunity to land a top 3 or top 5 (team-wise) prospect or two.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m one of those that think 2019 or even 2020 will probably be more likely the year for contention. That said, Greenmtred is right, 2018 hasn’t happened yet and baseball is a funny game. Nobody had the Twins going to the playoffs this year. I mean nobody.

        As for who’s fault, I don’t see any issue with them being a year late on the rebuild. I mean, 1 year off isn’t exactly incompetence. Now iif 2019 and even 2020 goes by then yes, it falls to Williams and the rest of the front-office. Rebuilds are frustrating but failed rebuilds are even more frustrating.

      • IndyRedMan

        As far as Bob Steve goes….2nd half with a 3.30 era and .224 batting average allowed with only 5 HRs in 60 ip. I was ready to give him away for a 6-pack (warm was ok) so hopefully he’ll prove me wrong?

  26. JREIS

    in general we have to get more athletic with our position players. I like cozart, scooter, duvall, winker, sinzel,schebler but they are not athletic enough if we really want to compete for a championship.
    I really believe the urban youth academy In roselawn will be very beneficial for us as far as getting athletic prospects that want to stay in Cincinnati but obviously that will take a few years.
    I don’t see any players, yelich or caine etc really wanting to come to Cincinnati so a I Think we are basically stuck with what we have.

    I think the pitching is better so we will likely hover around the 500 mark the next few years.

    • IndyRedMan

      Being athletic helps but the Red Sox were better before the Mookie Betts and Bogaerts era. Manny Ramirez and those guys couldn’t run? The Cards never have any real athletes either and they’ve won 2 WS fairly recently. The Cubs don’t really have much speed either? Good pitching, hitting, fielding, and not being total slugs on the bases is enough!

      • JREIS

        well true. I think though that we had a unique style that really worked from the early 70s to 1999. we are always the top in stolen bases and overall faster than the rest of the league. I think we changed approaches in 2000, I hate to say it, with the trade of Cameron for Griffey. then came the Adam Dunns, Jay Bruces, Sean Caseys, Joey Votto’s. all great players but more along the line of the American League stars.

        just think we will never be the redsox, cardinals, Yankees or dodgers but we still can compete with them if we get better athletes. I may be wrong with the new style of analytics and sabermetrics but I think it is at least worth a shot to look at what made us great in our golden years.

    • lwblogger2

      Ok, this is getting to be an old refrain and this is the last time I’m responding. First off, Duvall, Schebler, and Senzel are pretty athletic. You are acting like they can’t run. They all have average or better speed and all run the bases pretty well. Actually, the larger issues with both Duvall and Schebler is that they don’t get on base all that much to begin with. In today’s game, getting on base and driving the ball to the gaps or over the fence is more important than pure speed. It isn’t all about fielding a fast team.

  27. WVRedlegs

    I was perusing the Reds 2018 schedule and the MLB schedule makers did no favors for the Reds. NL Central vs. AL Central in interleague may help the W/L column, but it won’t put fans in the seats. The weekend home stand games are nothing to write home about. That is where the biggest disservice was done to the Reds.
    In April, the Reds have weekend home stands with WAS and STL.
    In May, MIA and CHC.
    In June, STL, CHC, and MIL.
    In July, PIT and PHL.
    In August, ARZ and SF.
    In September, SD and PIT.
    Other than April, not much there to plan a weekend trip around. Was thinking of going back to a ticket mini-package. Not in 2018. Looks like it’ll be another year of playing it by ear again. Reds front office is in wait and see mode for this winter. Fans will be in wait and see mode about buying tickets in 2018. Not a good schedule if looking for an increase in attendance for 2018. More sorting won’t bring in any more fans.
    Mr. Williams, you gots to make some moves this winter to generate some fan buzz by improving the team.
    More Jocketty-type mediocrity and Jocketty-type standing pat and fans will look elsewhere to spend their entertainment money in 2018 and beyond.

  28. Hingle McCringleberry

    Left handed relievers and starters. This thing about it doesn’t matter about percentages is B.S. The struggles the reds have had is primarily due to not having the proper personnel in the bullpen. I remember when the Giants came here a couple years ago and they wore us out with an all left handed lineup. I think the tire Hoover a new one every night.

    Lefty, lefty, lefties!!!!!!

  29. Steven Ross

    Trade for Madison Bumgarner. He’s available plus has two years left on his deal. Maybe swing a package which includes Billy Hamilton and two young pitchers. Giants are going to be active and have mentioned Stanton and Hamilton as possible targets. Do NOT sign Cozart. Save the bank and use elsewhere.

  30. Abdul

    I don’t think the Red’s should try to sign any pitchers. They already have the players to win. They just need coaches that know how to win.