The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando. That’s where the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings take place next week. Front office personnel, player agents and reporters gather for five days, beginning Sunday.

Think of the winter meetings as the sport’s offseason starting flag. It’s a ritual more than a century old. The convention used to be an essential, once-a-year opportunity for baseball executives to talk with each other, a practice that seems quaint in a world of 24/7/365 communication technology. Still, front offices do take advantage of the proximity and get things done.

Last December in Maryland, the Reds didn’t do much other than pick up catcher Stuart Turner in the Rule 5 Draft. Against the odds, Turner stuck and now he’s an important piece of the Reds organization.

But doing next-to-nothing felt a whole lot better than the Opryland Fiasco of 2015. Remember Aroldis Chapman? The Reds went to Nashville intent on kick-starting a significant roster turnover. They had a trade all worked out with the Dodgers on Day One. It had even been leaked by a baseball insider. Then reports of Chapman’s domestic incident landed with a thud and torpedoed the deal.

It was easy to place blame from the Reds perspective: Chapman’s bad behavior, the unfortunate timing, old-school grinding by the Walt Jocketty front office and foot dragging by ownership. The stunning collapse of the trade seemed to rock the Reds executives. They came home with nothing accomplished other than a boardroom full of black eyes.

[On the other hand, the rumored headline return from the Dodgers in the Chapman trade was … Jose Peraza. So, with world-class hindsight, eh.]

It turns out we only have to go back one more year – to 2014 – to find the winter meeting template for the Reds brass to use in the Magic Kingdom. That was the convention when the club traded Mat Latos for Anthony DeSclafani and Alfredo Simon for Eugenio Suarez. Whether the front office moved the pair of starting pitchers for financial reasons, out of skepticism about their future performance or based on general disgust, the outcome was nothing short of terrific. DeSclafani and Suarez were ready to make significant contributions.

Dick Williams and his staff need to follow that playbook again if possible. Turn veteran players at peak value into meaningful pieces for 2019 and beyond.

I’ve outlined my blueprint for the club’s roster management heading into the 2018 season. Here are three specific examples of trades that would accomplish important goals for the Reds. Those are the types of moves the Reds should look to make.

The Reds should go to Orlando open — wide open — to trading Adam Duvall, Scooter Gennett, Billy Hamilton and Raisel Iglesias. Those players may not repeat their 2017 performances or represent injury risks. Beyond that, the Reds need to make room for Jesse Winker and Nick Senzel.

The team could trade Gennett in June when it’s time to call up Nick Senzel. But if the Brewers’ former second baseman reverts to his career numbers, the ones that got him cut by Milwaukee last spring, he’ll lose any trade value. Possible suitors for Gennett include the Angels, Mets and Blue Jays among others. Beyond creating major league space for their top prospect, the Reds need to get Dilson Herrera regular playing time at second base before Senzel’s arrival. Wouldn’t it be terrific if Herrera could establish trade value? If not, the Reds lost 1.5 seasons of Jay Bruce for nothing.

The San Francisco Giants are trying to acquire Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. The Reds should continue to work on the rumored trade of Billy Hamilton to patrol the Giants expansive outfield. How about Hamilton for SS Christian Arroyo, who may or may not be in the rumored Stanton deal? Ken Rosenthal wrote yesterday that Hamilton is drawing more interest than any other Reds player. Hamilton, for example, would have been a great fit for the Seattle Mariners who instead traded for Dee Gordon. Gordon is older, a lot more expensive than Hamilton and has to learn how to play CF.

The Reds should shop Raisel Iglesias. Shut-down relievers, particularly those who can pitch more than one inning, have outsized value in this market. The Reds could acquire a substantial piece of the future for Iglesias. They can’t get hung up on a player that fills the 70-inning role of “established closer.” Instead, the Reds front office should exploit other teams who are.

For that matter, the Reds should entertain moving Wandy Peralta. Too many analysts assume Peralta is a lock for success in the Reds bullpen. That’s not that way the vast majority of relievers work. After April, Peralta was 4.25 ERA, 4.67 FIP, 4.53 xFIP with a 6.79 K/9 and 3.74 BB/9. He’s a compelling regression candidate. If the Reds can find a contender willing to pay a good prospect for a LOOGY, the Reds should jump at it. Always be trading relievers, especially for years when you aren’t expecting to contend.

Who should the Reds target while in Disney World?

Their next centerfielder and shortstop. A young relief pitcher who isn’t a closer but projects to become one.

What moves should the Reds avoid?

The front office can’t repeat their biggest mistake of 2017. They shouldn’t acquire a mediocre starting pitcher on a major league contract. Conventional wisdom is light years behind the smart play on this. The Reds do not – do not – need to find an innings eater. The team is at a point in the rebuilding cycle where pitchers like Scott Feldman, Tim Adelman and Bronson Arroyo consume valuable starting opportunity.

The Reds have Luis Castillo, an optimistic Anthony DeSclafani and a healthy Homer Bailey. They should use the last two rotation spots to tryout and offer major league experience to a bunch of talented young arms.

They should hold off on acquiring a front line starting pitcher. That’s a move better left for next offseason or possibly the July trade deadline. There’s no point in wasting a year of that pitcher in 2018 as the Reds work their way back to contention.

Further, they shouldn’t acquire a veteran bullpen arm. The Reds have plenty of in-house options. Kyle Crockett and Kevin Quackenbush are new names to throw on that pile. The Reds should focus their resources on 2019. Searching for consistent bullpen value across seasons is playing whack-a-mole.

The Reds are heading into their second year with Dick Williams in charge. It’s been reported that the Reds’ President doesn’t seem eager to move starting players or Iglesias. That’s exactly what he should be saying to beat writers. Any other public position would be negotiation malpractice.

Teams don’t have to make their moves during the winter meetings. In fact, the Reds have finalized many of their best deals right after the convention. Todd Frazier was traded a week after the Chapman debacle. Shin-Soo Choo was acquired in 2012 just after the meetings ended. Dan Straily for Luis Castillo took place in mid-January. But even if no trades are struck next week we’ll get some clues about Dick Williams and his front office. Orlando isn’t a deadline. But if done right, it’ll be the much-awaited dawn of a Reds era of winning.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 132 Comments

  1. I wrote about this in another thread, but if the Marlins are going into full rebuild mode, do you think they would take Siri, Bob Steve, and a low level prospect for Christian Yelich? Then trade BHam and Duvall for other pieces.

    In all honesty, I don’t think the Reds are that far away from competing. Their offense is already good and is going to get better with the growth of Senzel and Winker. Adding Yelich would make the offense very good. I’m actually expecting big things from Peraza this season.

    That, plus the emergence of Castillo, Romano, and Stephenson late last year plus the return of a healthy Homer and Disco gives me hope the Reds might actually push past .500 this season.

    …..Then I remember Price is still the manager……

    • I’d sign off on that Yelich deal in a heartbeat but I doubt the Marlins would. But I hope DW is at least putting it in front of Jeter to start the talks. And I’m almost as skeptical about Peraza as you are about Price but I’d love it if you were right and I was wrong on that one.

      • Depends on how committed the Marlins are to the rebuild. But you’re probably right in that the Reds would need to sweeten the deal a bit, but if Yelich can be had for anything other than Senzel, the Reds have to do it. Putting Votto/Winker/Yelich/Suarez/Senzel on the same team would be dynamite, and Barnhart/Schebler are perfectly capable offensive players in their own right.

        I really hope the light switched on for Peraza and he’s learned how to take a walk. The “eye test” in the second half of the season last year told me he looked more relaxed and was starting to understand the concept of “let the game come to you”. He was staying back on pitches more and driving from his legs, unlike in the first half where he was throwing his bat out at anything within a mile of the plate.

        I really think Peraza might surprise people this year. I could see him putting up a .270/.330/.370 line. He’s entering his age 24 season and he’s maturing mentally and physically, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he suddenly started hitting a ton of doubles with his speed. Combined with about a 7% walk rate, and you could have a pretty useful bottom of the order hitter.

        But we’ll see. I could be totally off-base, but I think at bare minimum, Peraza is going to be better than last year.

        • I’ve mentioned this before. In a Yelich trade deal, the Reds could also take reliever Brad Ziegler for the bullpen and the $9M he is signed for in 2018. Yelich is owed the bulk ($44.5M/4 yr.) of the 7 year/$49.6 contract he signed, $7M in 2018.
          The Reds take on 100% of the money and the Marlins would have to take a serious look.

          • I’ve thought that Yelich is exactly the type of player (hitter) the Reds need to complement Votto. Votto is not getting any younger.

            Intriguing thought on Zeigler.

    • Word is that the Marlins are legitimately and possibly seriously cash strapped; or, I guess in high finance terms, over leveraged. The (new) ownership is said to already be looking for additional investors. At this point they may well be more interested how much payroll they dump than what they get back as long as the return is dirt cheap.

      • That’s encouraging for the Reds. But certainly other teams know it too. Hopefully Williams moves quickly, if he’s thinking this way at all (which he should be).

        • With the Stanton deal, seemingly stalled, moving “quickly,” Is just what Williams should do. But, alas this is the Reds, they’ve proven that they are not an aggressive front office. They like potential suitors to come to them. This is why they’re always left with the crumbs.

      • Jim, you’re exactly right. The Reds should take advantage of the Marlins financial situation to pry Yelich loose by taking on bad prospects rather than offering a prospect haul. In addition to Zeigler, Tazawa ($7M relief pitcher) and the injured Edison Volquez ($13M) are possible contracts to take on. Zeigler and/or Tazawa could make trading Iglesias or Peralta more palatable. Avoid free agent contracts this year and acquire a top talent at CF (Bradley from Boston or Inciarte from Atlanta are other potential targets).

        • No Jackie Bradley Jr. please. He’s Hamilton Lite (or Hamilton is Bradley Lite). Inciarte is a yes, though.

          • Agree the Jackie Bradley Jr is not a superstar, but he does have a career OPS of 100 points better than Hamilton and generates more than one full WAR per year better than Hamilton. He would be a discernable upgrade CF With 3 years of team control, his FA status lines up nicely with anticipated arrivals such as Taylor Trammel and other CF prospects percolating in the Reds lower minors. Wouldn’t be the first thread I would hope the Reds would try to pull, but he is definitely someone the Reds should consider to upgrade CF.

  2. Williams is difficult to read at this point. Agreeably, his intentions will not show up in a beat writers column. I personally lean toward preserving the young talent, and dealing Votto, Bailey, Mesoraco, Cozart, and Hamilton. ( I know, the first three, but at least Cozart and Hamilton)

    • Cozart is a free agent, so not the Reds to deal. And if you could get a whole bucket of balls for Mesoraco I’d be surprised.

      • Plus, Votto is going nowhere and I don’t think Bailey has shown enough yet for any team to be willing to take on his contract. Call me crazy but I think Bailey is going to be very good in 2018.

        • Okay, you’re crazy, 🙂
          But I do agree with you about Bailey, so that makes me cray-cray too,

  3. I completely agree on the trade ready status of Gennett, Hamilton, Duvall, Iglesias and Peralta, Steve. I’d also include Schebler if it turns out, as it well may, that he will bring more in return than Duvall. But if Duvall stays Price and the Reds medical staff will need to figure out how to manage his playing time to maximize his effectiveness. In any case there is no need for both Duvall and Schebler in 2018. And as I’ve said before I also hope Dick Williams is at least talking to Cozart’s agent on a possible two year deal for his return. If the SS of the future does not arrive in trade this offseason then Peraza is a huge downgrade from Cozart, and Zack wouldn’t be blocking any prospects for at least two years. In any case I hope Williams moves most or all of the five established major leaguers listed at the top. If he does, and especially if he targets CF and SS upgrades, the Reds will improve for the long run.

    Finally, on a minor side note, didn’t I see that the Reds have already released Crockett? Perhaps I misunderstood the blurb I saw but I think he’s gone and there is once again one open slot on the 40 man roster.

    • The Reds released him and then re-signed him to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. That opened up a spot on the 40-man roster. But I suspect Crockett has a great chance of making the Opening Day roster.

      • I missed the resigning. It didn’t make sense that they claimed him and released him completely – thanks for the update.

  4. and how!

  5. Further, they shouldn’t acquire a veteran bullpen arm. The Reds have plenty of in-house options. Kyle Crockett and Kevin Quackenbush are new names to throw on that pile. The Reds should focus their resources on 2019. Searching for consistent bullpen value across seasons is playing whack-a-mole

    I understand what you’re saying and we’ve obviously been burned thru the years with Sean Marshall, Majewski, etc, but just having a bunch of arms doesn’t mean they could fix the pen? The Yankees have shown interest in Schwarber to their DH. I think the Cubs would be stupid to give up on him, but maybe the Reds could put something together with Scooter or Schebler to get Tommy Kahnle. He’s only 28 and throws bullets! He could potentially help for the rest of the Votto era. They already have Chad Green, Betances, and Chapman. My preference would be to move Suarez to SS, but if that’s not the move then somebody has to go to make room for Senzel.

  6. Good article. I agree with the positions of need the Reds should target, especially trading for bullpen pieces. Not sure how Herrera ‘needs’ to play though. Handing guys playing time w/o doing anything to earn it is the Peraza situation all over.

    It’s important to note that there’s no budgetary pressure to dealing any of the 4 you mentioned and that having a bench of solid contributors is often what separates the big and small market teams. I don’t see why they couldn’t keep all but maybe one and instead deal surplus prospect talent to acquire the upgrades that will allow the team to move into the window of contention.

  7. DW should listen to all offers but if he does anything he needs to make decisions on CF and SS.If we go the year with Billy and Peraza getting 4 or 5 at bats a game then I would be really disappointed.Our pitching will be better barring a repeat of the last two years but if Cozy leaves and with Tucker and the pitcher along with the two guys I mentioned our offense will be exposed.I know I have along with others have pointed this out several times but it needs to be fixed unless we want to waste what I expect to be much much better pitching.If not we go from talking about how we lost 12-7 in 2017 to talking about losing 4-3.We lost a bunch of one runs games in the last 20 or so games last year which is a bad omen at least to me going into 2018.

    • I certainly don’t like both Hamilton and Peraza in the lineup next year. I can live with one. Hamilton’s elite speed and defense will entice others. Peraza is younger, cheaper and has more control remaining. I would prefer to see the Reds target a CF first and look for competition for SS (maybe Hamilton to the Rangers for Profar and a lower prospect).

  8. I do not believe Dick has enough confidence in himself yet to make any risky moves.

    • Trading Dan Straily for prospects was a risky move from a PR standpoint. Even if privately the baseball people knew what a favorable deal it would turn out to be, the average Reds fan saw Straily (incorrectly) as “the Reds best starter last year.”

    • I don’t doubt the current GM has enough confidence, but as the front office, in my opinion, is a family affair with Dick Williams related to the Williams Brothers who were the Reds majority owners in the 80’s and still have a financial interest, I think present majority owner, Bob Castellini, has the last word on any trade.

  9. Any deal that brings back OF Christian Yelich, I am for.
    I could envision a blockbuster trade between the Reds and Toronto materializing.
    Duvall or Schebler, Hamilton, R Stephenson, and Gennett going to Toronto for SP Marcus Stroman, CF Kevin Pillar, and RP Dominic Leone. Re-sign Cozart for 2 years at SS and both teams are ready to roll.
    Stroman, Bailey, DeSclafani, Castillo, and Romano make for a great rotation.
    Iglesias, Leone, Lorenzen, and possibly Finnegan and that is a stellar back end of a bullpen.
    The defense won’t necessarily go backwards with Pillar in CF and Cozart back at SS.
    The only problem is Pillar has not been a leadoff hitter.
    If the Reds cannot make something work with Toronto, another avenue could be the Tampa Bay Rays and going after a package of CF Kevin Keirmaier and SP Jake Odorrizi. I don’t think the Reds will pay the price for Archer. Tampa Bay would have to be in rebuild mode, which may be the case, and a Reds package would have to be more prospect laden. Stephenson and Schebler could probably be a part of that package.

    • Kiermaier would be awesome! He’ll be 28 next spring and the Rays almost always deal them off before they can demand the big bucks. He had a .851 ops vs RH pitching and is on the upswing in his career. They would prob want Mahle or Stephenson or someone though? I agree with James Garrett completely….our offense was only 14th in runs scored and if you subtract Cozart while giving Peraza more atbats and keeping Billy then they’ll make no progress whatsoever!

      • Kiermaiefr is signed for $48MM through ’22.

      • Kiermaier is signed through 2022 season with team option for 2023.
        ’18= $5.5M, ’19= $8.0M, ’20= $10.0M, ’21= $11.5M, ’22= $12.0M, ’23= TO $13.0M with $2.5M buyout.
        Yelich: ’18= $7.0M, ’19= $9.8M, ’20= $12.5M, ’21= $14.0M, ’22= TO $15.0M with $1.2M buyout.
        Take your pick.

    • Yelich, Keirmaier, Winker, left to right would be nice. Odorizzi is a nice pitcher in a big ball park. He’s an extreme flyball pitcher.

  10. I didn’t particularly like getting rid of Straily, but 99 mph with control doesn’t grow on trees. Any scout that signed off on that trade needs to be barred from the facility. I don’t know if Castillo will be a superstar, but everyone is looking for that kind of arm!

    What risk is DW willing to take? We’ll find out? They can’t sit pat again if they want to play Winker and Senzel. Its a little tricky though because guys like Scooter and Duvall were productive and popular in the clubhouse and local heroes for the hundreds of excited Reds fans:)

    • They have to make deals so there will be Thousands and Thousands of excited Reds fans.

  11. “The Reds have Luis Castillo, an optimistic Anthony DeSclafani and a healthy Homer Bailey. They should use the last two rotation spots to tryout and offer major league experience to a bunch of talented young arms.”

    I wasn’t sure if I agreed with the premise until I saw it spelled out this way. Now, I’m sure that they DO need some sort of veteran arm. Let me rewrite the paragraph and explain why:

    “The Reds have three pitchers who combined for 180 IP last year. They should use the two rotation spots to cycle through a bunch of guys who’ll be on innings limits (and who showed a marked inability to last more than 5 innings last year).”

    Pitching staffs are more than just the 5 starting spots, and a long series of 3-, 4-, and 5-inning starts will quickly affect the bullpen, the AAA rotation, and lots more. One way or another, you’ll see journeyman/scrub/retreads on the major league mound. The only question is whether you proactively pick which ones you’ll see.

    • As I’ve written, the Reds have a large group of pitchers – Robert Stephenson, Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, Cody Reed, Brandon Finnegan, Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen – who could benefit from major league starting opportunities. If the Reds are committed to development of their own pitchers, even if DeSclafani and Bailey have setbacks, they have plenty of arms and don’t need to bring on a journeyman/scrub/retread. And in any case, they sure don’t need to sign one to a guaranteed major league contract now, at the Winter Meetings. My experience is that journeymen, scrubs and retreads can be signed anytime. Castillo and Bailey threw almost 100 minor league innings last year, on top of the 180 you mention. DeSclafani made five healthy starts in the instructional league.

      • Steve you mentioned 7 pitchers that could use starts, why couldn’t you try something different & use a 6 man rotation. Then when 1 couldn’t hold his own bring in another.

      • I agree signing any starters doesn’t make sense to me this season. Romano, Stephenson, mahle et. al. need all the starts that are available. If everyone is healthy that becomes quite difficult. There is a long line of potential starters that needs to be sorted. Fangraphs still rates Reed as high as any of our candidates and he appears to be around 8th on the list based on last year.

    • I believe Homer is over the hump and probably no more of an injury risk than a typical guy his age who has thrown the number of innings he has in his career.

      Disco’s situation seems entirely different to me. I’m guessing he felt pretty optimistic this time last year coming off his 2nd half of 2016; and, look how that turned out. So what’s the justification in his optimistic feeling for 2018?

      The Reds don’t need a middle to back end rotation guy; but, I believe they would be well served to parlay some of the marketable talent for a solid #2 type to assure they don’t find themselves repeating the rotation comedy of the last two seasons. As has been said for generations, a team can never have too much pitching. If the pieces all fall to the Reds favor, they can sell high on the guy of their choice at the deadline.

  12. I know there is a large contingent here set on trading for Yelich, but I am not convinced it is even a possibility at this point unless there is a serious overpay on the behalf of the Reds. The Marlins have stated he is a piece they want to keep and unless they cannot move Stanton. The Marlins appear to have some deals in the works for Stanton and just got rid of Dee Gordon so a deal for Yelich seems less and less likely

    • Agreed – and he is a piece that is young enough, productive enough, and cost-controlled enough to be easy for the Marlins to keep, and who is valuable to other teams, as well. But the public statements of both sides (and all teams) rarely telegraph their internal evaluations and strategies – revealing too much is detrimental to trade negotiations, so all we in the public know is a small portion of what is being pursued behind the scenes. Even if the Marlins want to move Yelich, they won’t telegraph it. Same for the Reds and their interest in him. We just don’t know – and won’t, unless a deal is made. If there is interest and a deal is almost made, we rarely learn of it, and that is often the case in trade negotiations.

    • Reading this morning’s message traffic on Stanton reveals that it doesn’t seem like he’s doing back flips over moving to SF of StL. With the Gordon deal, the Fish seem to be moving on while Stanton holds out for what’s best for him. I read that: Hou, Chi, NNY and LAD are his preferred destinations now.

      I think the Marlins will move anyone, if the price is right.

      The Red’s have the players to get Yelich. The problem is that this front office has the “Slows.”

      • Stanton could veto a trade to anyone and be stuck with the Marlins, but that doesn’t mean Yelich is being given away for free. Multiple teams have inquired on him and not gotten the trade so being slow has nothing to do with it.

        • I never implied that the Marlins would give Yelich away for free.

          Every team needs something. Why is it that every year the same teams are making trades to fill their team’s need, but the Red’s front office sits on their ass doing basically nothing?

          You’ll have to excuse me, I grew up spoiled watching the BRM and a front office that spent more time doing what needed to be done, not spewing the same lame bromides every off-season.

          Please don’t defend the present Red’s front office to me, it won’t work. Also, please excuse me, when it comes to this front office, you’ve found my trigger.

          • There are plenty of examples of the Reds making trades some good, others questionable. Where they have failed at trades in recent history is at the deadline. Either by not making a trade or holding onto Frazier, Chapman, Cozart, and others. Free agency has also been a struggle, but without the pockets of the Yankees and Dodgers it never will be

            Just since 2013: Latos for Disco, Simon for Suarez, Leake for Duvall, Strailey for Castillo were all good trades. Frazier for Schebler and Perazza and Cueto for Finnegan and Reed could still turn out positve. Bruce, and Chapman traded, but haven’t provided much value. Strailey and Gennett where both waiver claims. The BP trade was addition by subtraction

      • Looks like he has agreed to go to the YANKS.
        So I doubt the mullets want to trade Yellech.

        • Never, say never. I hold out hope that one of these days there will be a Red’s front office that does what needs to be done.

          Votto is not getting any younger. They need to build a team around him that is capable of getting at least to the playoffs, not last place again.

  13. No more scrubs!!!! Please???? For most of the season Price banished BobSteve to 1-2 innings every 10 days while wasting time with Arroyo, Feldman, Bonilla, Adleman, blah blah blah. No more of that nonsense!!! Reed is the only one of all those that I think won’t/can’t make it and he has good stuff atleast.

    • Yeah, I know we had injuries, quite a few, to SP candidates, but the steady stream of CRAP that Price loved to go to was maddening. Maybe it was shrewd to save young arms the stress or getting them more instruction in the minors, but it seemed more like a manager completely afraid to let a young pitcher work through struggles and get some experience.

      At least some young pitchers DID get some starts. Nearly all struggle their first MLB season or two, so why not get those butterflies and warts out of the system now, instead of waiting until ready to contend and blowing a potential division title in 2019 or something.

  14. Here’s a thought for DW and company. If you don’t know what the bleep you’re doing then copy off the smart kids homework!!

    Andrew Benintendi skipped AAA and played with the big boys last year at 23. Eduardo Rodriguez was 22 at the time and made 21 starts for them in 2015. The Reds sit on guys like they the BRM in front of them at the big league level? Play your most talented players…its really not an advanced concept???

  15. The type of trade the Reds, I am sure, are looking to make is something along the lines of the Latos trade. Moving their excess position players for Yelich does not make sense, but moving them for a young, cost controlled, fairly reliable SP would be ideal. I’d over-pay for that; the Reds offense is fine.

  16. Amen Indy please no more of this wasting time with innings eaters.We have so many arms that need to start games that nobody outside of this organization should even be considered,We should have 5 good starters after the spring competition and 5 more waiting in the wings in the minors.Lets find a CF and a SS and play ball.

  17. “Dick Williams, Orlando and Dawn” .
    Maybe we all should go out and ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree’ for good luck for Dick Williams next week. He needs it.
    After the Dan Straily trade it wasn’t such a great year for GM Dick Williams. He lost out big on the Cuban OF phenom, Luis Robert. He got shut out at the trade deadline, again, and couldn’t deal Cozart for the second consecutive year. The year before, he traded Jay Bruce for not one, but 2 bum shoulders. He drafted The Baseball Diva, Hunter Greene with the second overall pick in a draft that wasn’t particularly a good Reds draft selecting 2nd in each round. The trade flip candidates he signed for 2017, Feldman and Storen, both got hurt before the trade deadline. He lost out big time on the Ohtani sweepstakes after spending too much time on a cockamamie proposal, thus letting the Cardinals steal a pitcher right out from under his nose.
    About the only thing that went right for Williams in 2017 was picking up 2B Scooter Gennett.
    Will Dick Williams be a Trader Jack, or a Stand Pat Walt at this year’s Winter Meetings? My money is on Stand Pat Walt and a very lackluster non-event for the Reds next week.
    Williams needs to do something to create some fan buzz and excitement this winter for the Reds 2018 season. Just after Redsfest, and the fan buzz is barely at a whisper level. That’s OK, if you want to average 15,000 fans a game April through June and you want to hear a bunch of drunken idiots yell out “Wooo” every 15 seconds in a near empty stadium.

    • ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree’

      Its been 3 long years and I still want them:)

    • greene is going to be a star and is Nick.
      DW did mess up any trade of Cozart.
      Jay Bruce, was a salary dump, no more, no less.
      Quit being so negative.

      • Greene a star? Maybe, maybe not. But that will be in a time that is far, far away.
        However, I would trade him in a New York heartbeat to Miami for Yelich or Ozuna. For a bonafide star in the present and very near future.
        Or to the Indians for SS Francisco Lindor. Or back to his hometown LA for SS Cory Seager.

        • I could get used to watching Lindor, or Seager every day. Yelich or Ozuna would do in a pinch. 🙂

      • Ok Polyanna, What is there on the current 40 man roster to be excited about?

        • Votto, Castillo, Disco, Iggy, Geno to name some examples. You walked into that one…

          Honestly, why do you bother following the team if you feel that way?

          • Team has had those guys on the 40-man and absolutely been awful. I love watching Votto. Jury’s out on the rest. I guess its fun to see them develop, but we’ve had a few years of that already. Tired of rebuilding. Make a damn trade and get fans excited about this team again.

            Honestly why do you blindly defend a team that has shown no desire to improve for 4 years?

          • You asked who was on the 40 man roster to be excited about and I gave you some examples.

            It’s not defending anything. Just pointing out the negativity cited above is misguided and in some cases flat out wrong. If you want to be critical of their inability to acquire or develop pitching, find useful bench pieces, and the botched trade of Chapman, as some examples, then I’m right there with you. But I’m not going to be negative for made up reasons or just for the sake of being negative.

    • Ohtanin was never coming to the Reds and the Cards are not getting him either. His list is almost entirely West Coast teams. Greene could be a complete bust, but after throwing a few innings at Billings there is nothing that concludes he is either a star or a bust.

    • Some accuracy, some leaps in logic here, WV. Bum shoulders, bad luck in the sign and flip sweepstakes, inability to get something for Cozart were all indeed negatives (although we don’t know what options were pursued or what the Reds choices were in each case – their leverage was certainly rather low in each). But your comment on Ohtani? Where is that coming from? You yourself posted that the Cards had the inside track to sign the pitcher due to where he lives, and that they paid a premium, so how in the heck were the Reds supposed to sign him? And if the front office at all agrees with Steve here, they aren’t pursuing that kind of player and contract, period. As for the draft comments – you have been a fan long enough to know that evaluating a draft as a bust a few months later is off base.

      • First off, I placed The Straily trade and the waiver pick up of Scooter in the + column. The fact is, there isn’t much else to place in the + column for 2017 for the front office. I did however, neglect placing in the + column the re-signing of Price as Manager. That should go there, and duly noted.
        As for Ohtani, every team should have made a serious proposal. But maybe the Reds unrealistically put everything else but minor league signings on hold until that was settled. The Cards picked up a good pitcher, one the Reds were interested in at a lower cost. He signed for $15.5M for 2 years, but maybe the Reds could have offered $16.5M and he signs here. Maybe the Cards come back with a higher offer. Was $16.5M over 2 years affordable for the Reds in 2018 and 2019? I would think so. Would $18M have been affordable if it went to that? Probably, if Gennett is traded this winter and Mesoraco coming off the books after this season, or possibly at the trade deadline saving more $$.
        Coincidently, there was hardly a word spoken about Ohtani and St. Louis. But St. Louis stayed focused and got a solid pitcher too. Cincinnati did not. Mikolas didn’t make a connection with him signing with STL and their spring training facility in his hometown. The sportswriters did, so maybe it came into to play some, maybe not, but playing for a team ready and willing to win was probably the main overriding factor. It may have come down to which team was playing to compete and win in 2018 and which team was sitting around sorting out the laundry all over again.
        As for Greene, I never said bust. He may be a star, he may not be. Only time will tell. Lots of time. I did say that I would trade him in a heartbeat though for a present day and into the near future star with 4-5 years of team control. The Reds, if need be, can replace him with the #5 pick in next season’s draft.

        • Ohtani signed with the Angels for the major league minimum plus bonus and $20 million posting fee to his previous team. Again the Reds had no chance, he wanted to be on the west coast and money was not a consideration

          • That is my point. They spent too much time putting their proposal together and let the Cardinals sign a pitcher they were also courting.

    • I am confused. So after a spectacular trade and taking a 900+ ops guy off waiver wires you are complaining about what? A weak trade market for ss at the deadline and ???

  18. I wouldn’t trade Iglesias for anyone other than a MLB-ready SS or CF..

    • Agreed.

    • Rockies best prospect is a SS and is expected to arrive this year (MLB Pipeline). They also have a need for bullpen help and should be in a contending mode/plan.

      Iglesias Trevor Story and a prospect(s) like Riley Pint.

      Don’t know a ton about Story, except it appears he had a decline last season. Still really young at 24 and has shown success before.

      Even if this specific trade doesn’t quite fit for the Reds, I find it intriguing to look for teams that have a blocked prospect or logjam of talent. NYY has Didi, Torres, and Torreyes in the middle infield, so they will probably have to make room somehow. Castro if traded to the Fish will make some room in the IF, but maybe Reds could acquire Didi? Might be dreaming, but it would open up playing time for their young stars.

      • Story ties to hit every ball to the moon. Strikes out way to much.
        Cannot lay off of the slider low and outside.
        I would want Rodgers instead. Without Rodgers no deal.
        PS, I live about 1 hour south of Denver, so I see a lot of Rockies BB.

        • Many young ball players try to do that. He’s not the only young player to K too much.

          I thought the same about Rodgers until I studied his defensive numbers. It seems that Rodgers’ defense will dictate a near-term move to 2B. To be brief: 45 errors in only 1400 innings at SS are way too much. I would want defensive first at SS.

          Story does that plus he’s hit 51 HR’s and plated 154 RBI’s in 2 seasons before he turned 25. In addition he’s averaged 14 errors and 489 assists over a 1400 inning season in his first two years. I’ll tolerate the whiffs. Voda will take him under his wing and teach the Young Jedi patience at the plate.

          Also, I would want MLB talent or very close to MLB ready talent for Iglesias.

  19. It is disappointing that the Reds don’t go after what they want to compete. Christian Yelich in CF would be a good player to have. It would allow the Reds to have a 7 or 8 hitter for SS. Clearly it is time for Winker to play full time. The four man rotation is BS. When the Reds make trades they usually do pretty well, but they don’t seem to do it enough. It is time to trade Duvall and Scooter while their value is high, and BH because his contract status and his inability to hit.

    • The more I think about an earlier post involved Kevin Kiermaier…the more I like it!
      Kiermaier could be a poor mans Yelich and he actually bettered Yelich and Inciarte in ops vs righties last year. KK .851, Yelich .837, and Inc .773. I think the Reds could possibly do something there and get value for Billy by sending him somewhere with a big outfield to roam! A win-win if DW can pull it off?

    • How do you know that the Reds haven’t pursued Yelich? They could be pushing hard – or not. We just don’t know, and neither side is going to show their hand and lose leverage. It also makes sense that the Marlins are waiting for their Stanton deal to be resolved before making a move on Yelich, unless they get an overwhelming offer – which few of us would want DW to do.

      • Hi TJ,

        What would an “overwhelming” offer from the Reds be that you would think could get Yelich?

  20. Great article and your prior trade suggestions address short and long term priorities.
    That said…I do not believe the reds are focused on position players or 2018. They are focused on pitching and 2019. For that reason I don’t see them trading Billy Hamilton or Adam Duvall. I don’t see them trading scooter and no way they trade Iglesias. They will let 2018 play out and then see what trade deadline moves they can make.

    I hope I am wrong. But, Hamilton and Duvall and Scooter are marketable players and in a season that projects below .500…. They will want to promote those players through at least the All start break to sell tickets. They also won’t admit failure on Peraza by trading for someone yet.

    • Agree with your thoughts Old-School.

      The Indians President of Baseball Operations, Chris Antonetti, had a quote recently that stated because teams are valuing players similarily, it is getting harder to complete trades.

      https://twitter.com/MLBastian/status/938162532937846784

      If the Reds view Duvall, Gennett and Hamilton as at their peak, and likely to decline, most likely other teams have that view as well.

      • As Steve suggests in his trade scenarios…it would take Iglesias plus a Hamilton to land a franchise type cf. I don’t see the reds doing that.

        The Duvall for Bedrosian brainstorm is one I can see happening….( Or simply duvall.for good young pitcher)

        It opens up LF for Winker…and fits the Reds desire to add young controllable pitching. Phil Ervin could slot into the #4 OF role.

        • The Red’s don’t need a “franchise” type CF. They just need someone who can catch the ball and be better than Hamilton at the plate.

          I would not consider Inciarte a franchise type player. The Red’s have the player(s) that would match up with the Braves for Inciarte.

  21. Listened to a SF beat writer say that Hamilton was still in play for the Giants a couple days ago.

  22. Yelich for R Stephenson, Winker and Gennett. Stephenson b/c they’re looking for starters. Winker takes over in LF for the Fish and Gennett fills their 2B vacancy.

    Then the Reds move Igelsias for multiple pieces with a SS headlining the deal that also includes pitching.

    I can dream…

    • I’m thinking Trevor Story, Kyle Freeland and either Ryan McMahon or Ryan Castellini. The later Ryan would probably seal the deal.

      • Good call, Doofus, on the Rockies as a trade partner.

        Colorado’s window is right now, with Blackmon, LeMahieu and Arenado’s contracts all ending over the next 1-2 years.

        Reliever Greg Holland declared for free agency and the Rockies catching could be upgraded.

        Plenty of scope for Iglesias talks, maybe even find a way to unload Mesoraco.

        • Colorado would be a great spot for Billy. Huge outfield and they could move Blackmon to a corner spot.

          Please don’t let Price pull an Art Howe on us next year with Billy? Trade him and he can’t leadoff every day. Actually that’s an insult to Art Howe. He won 100 games and it takes Price about 10 months of Reds baseball to do that.

        • I think the Snakes would be more willing to deal for Iglesias than the Rox. Say Iglesias, Duvall and Reed for Ray, Shipley and Ahmed?

      • You do not want story.
        He tries to jack everything out of the park.
        Good defense strikes out way too much.
        PS I live about 1 hr south of Denver, so I see the Rox on TV a lot.
        Go Reds.

        • I hear you. If Iggy is moved for a SS it has to be for a MLB ready SS or one who is playing now; there’s not a large list out there. I’m not sold on Peraza as a starting SS. I’m aware of Story’s D and SO tendencies. He’s 25, I believe that he has time to improve his contact.

          A SS who has his defensive tools who has hit 51 HR’s and knocked in 154 RBI’s before he was 25 are hard to come by. Not every player is perfect.

          Maybe you forgot, I mentioned players other than Story for Iglesias to be included.

      • How about this? Iggy and Billy to the Rockies for David Dahl (who can play center), Freeland, and Garrett Hampson and you might have a deal

        • I would still like Rodgers for SS in any trade to the Rockies.
          Not sure the Rockies want Billy, as he only has 1 more year of control then Charlie.
          But Iggy and Duvall to the Rockies for Rodgers and Freeland I would jump at.
          Good thoughts.

  23. Ohtani is going to the Angels.

    Now that that domino has fallen, I expect teams who missed out on him to start moving in earnest.

  24. So, explore the trade market, but stay out of the free agent market for ’18. If the Young Guns can carry us to the playoffs-yipee! If they cant, then we have better idea where to spend that free agent $$ in ’19? I hate the thought of another year of rebuild, reboot, whatever. But, I guess we’ve endured this long. Why not do it right. Okay.

  25. There is some good news. Giancarlo Stanton has informed the Cardinals that he will not waive his no-trade clause to St. Louis, thereby, at least for now, eliminating the Cardinals as a landing spot for Stanton.

  26. It would be a good time to trade Duvall to the Angels. It is safe to say they will be all in. I don’t know if there is a bullpen arm or a solid prospect.

  27. Dick Williams, if you are listening, trade Duvall and Iglesias to the Nats for OF prospect Juan Soto and P prospect Nick Raquet. Nats get major league all-star contributors with control and Reds get solid prospects for the future.

    Next, Reds trade Billy Hamilton to SF Giants for Heliot Ramos. Giants get defense needed in cavernous CF (plus speed at the top of line-up) and Reds get young OF star (stud athete) prospect.

    Shebler and Irvin hold it down with Winkler then these two young OF studs show up in a couple of years (probably 3). Add that to Senzel, Greene, Castillo and others. I’d watch that.

    • On MLB Network, they were talking about the Cardinals and Marlins. They were saying that even though Stanton won’t waive the clause, the Cards and Marlins are still talking. Talking about Yelich and Ozuna. Cards are going to get better… and it ticks me off.

    • Maybe throw Kierboom in that deal for Iggy and Duvall and you might have…… the GMs talking at least. Don’t need to trade Iggy as he is under control for a few more years. Robles from the Nats or Rodgers from the Rockies or no deal in my opinion

    • Reds need MLB players or MLB ready players for Iglesias, Hamilton or Duvall. No more second rate prospects.

  28. Great article Steve … solid analysis across the board.

  29. A few trade ideas:
    1.SS Jose Peraza, 2B Shed Long, OFJose Siri, RHP Michael Lorenzen and LHP Scott Moss to the Marlins for CF Christian Yelich.
    2.RHP Raisel Iglesias and OF Adam Duvall to the Rockies for SS Brendan Rodgers and OF David Dahl.
    3. CF Billy Hamilton and 1B Gavin LaValley to the Giants for RHP Hunter Strickland and LHP Andrew Suarez.

    • I like these thoughts

    • I don’t think LaValley is Red’s property any longer.

      That’s about all I see from the Giants that have any appeal for Hamilton. Perhaps also Crick. maybe a 3rd team can be involved?

  30. Hamilton an Duvall aren’t going anywhere. They are fan favorites and let’s face lt ownership needs as many fan favorites as they can get until we become competitive again.
    Schebler seems like the odd man out here and l can see a package deal with him and scooter possibly for a veteran reliever.

    • Hamilton, I believe is probably going to be traded. Ken Rosenthal described trade conversations for hamilton as “Lively.” I like the idea of packaging Hamilton with another player to get a better SS or CF in return.

    • There will always be “New” fan favorites evolving from the players received in any deal.

  31. I will never get the obsession this board has with Christian Yelich. Nice player, but the Reds have waited way too long to build an excellent farm system to unload it all for Yelich. Yelich is not Mike Trout, although you wouldn’t know it from this board. He had a .808 OPS last year (in a big park; .852 on the road), and his career OPS is.801.

    The Reds have plenty of very good young outfielders who will start in Dayton or Daytona this year, with most of them on the fast track. The Reds have Jose Siri (age 22 season in 2018), Taylor Trammell (20), Andy Sugilio (21), Miles Gordon (20) and Stuart Fairchild (22), $600,000/year outfielders for 2019 or 2020 are a very good asset. Siri and Trammell both have higher ceilings than Yelich, and Trammell has a very high floor, as well. And don’t be surprised if Nick Senzel is in the Reds outfield next year.

    Yelich has a team-friendly contract, one that keeps him under control through 2022. He would be good to have, but he is also a left-handed hitter, one with a .715 OPS over the past three seasons against left-handed pitching. The Reds already have Schebler and Winker as lefty outfielders, plus Votto, and Barnhart, Gennett and Hamilton (if not discarded) have bad splits against lefties. I think either Duvall or Schebler may be dealt, and I think Schebler is the better asset. The Reds don’t need another LH hitter, particularly in the outfield.

    I think the Marlins keep Yelich.

    But Yelich for Reds fans is becoming the equivalent of Jon Gruden for Tennessee football fans, with a constantly turning “Grumor” mill. For us, it is “Yumors.”

    • I don’t get the obsession either

    • Agreed. Christian Yelich is a 4 WAR player. He is not an infinite WAR player. Plenty of other CF out there who would be clear upgrades over Billy Hamilton.

      • The question is, who, Steve? Yelich was 3rd in all of MLB last season in .OBP (1st was Trout, 2nd was Blackmon). The rest of the top 10 were names like Springer, McCutchen, Cain, Taylor, Inciarte, Span, and Herrera. Of those, the only names I’m interested in is Inciarte, but I doubt the Braves would be willing to move him.

        • (Hit reply too soon….)

          *Also, to edit the above post, I meant to say Yelich was 3rd in .OBP among centerfielders

          If the Marlins are really looking to tear their team apart and start over from scratch with a young, cheap core, that could mean Yelich could be had for a a reasonable package of prospects. Why wouldn’t you want to go after a CF with the 3rd best .OBP in all of baseball at his position?

    • I believe that this board has an obsession for acquiring talented ballplayers that will help this club go all the way. One, maybe 2 of the prospects mentioned above may sniff the big league.

      Votto’s clock is ticking. No way Schebler or Winker are even close to Yelich’s talent. Red’s don’t need to empty the farm for Yelich.

      Why is it that the teams that are competitive every year are capable of making trades for need, draft smart to build and maintain their farm, coach up their players and make smart FA acquisitions?

      No team has what I would call an “excellent” farm system. The Red’s don’t have that now.

      Why do so many Red’s fans believe the front office can’t make trades and then proclaim some fear for doing so?

      You trade multiple pieces for proven talent. Yelich IS a proven talent.

      • My mistake….Senzel is a lock; Trammell will make the Bigs, perhaps Fairchild in 3 or 4 years.

  32. The San Francisco Giants are trying to acquire Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

    Trying but he won’t waive his trade option to SF. Giants are now in full rebuild mold so after losing out on Stanton (unless something changes) and Ohanti, they need to make some moves. Hamilton makes some sense. They need a CF plus AT&T has a BIG OF to run around.

  33. During the first half of the season, the Reds need to see how well Senzel can play short at AAA and/if Peraza improves into the player they’ve envisioned. If both situations are positive there’s no need to look elsewhere. If not, there’s the trading deadline to make a move.

    • I still would love to see Suarez slide back over to short and have Senzel take over at 3B. Peraza/Herrera duke it out of 2B. Add Yelich, then run with this lineup:

      LF Winker
      SS Suarez
      1B Votto
      3B Senzel
      CF Yelich
      C Barnhart
      RF Schebler
      2B Peraza

      The first 5 hitters should all have .350+ OBP, and some of them .400+. Barnhart and Schebler are no slouches either, and if Peraza improves, you’re looking at one of the best offenses in the NL. No easy outs, no real weaknesses.

      Now, if the pitching could just come around….

      • I just think Senzel is more athletic. Suarez has worked himself into a damn good third baseman; like to see him stay there. And you can certainly get a better bat than Peraza at 2nd, Herrera and/or Scooter.

  34. Cannot deny what Stanton did this year as he has amazing power, but I know I kind of lost respect for him as a player watching him play bored out in the outfield into like three bad errors in a series against the Reds a few years ago.

  35. Iglesias, Hamilton and R Stephenson for N Mazara, J Profar and Y Mendez or C Hagans. The Rangers have some intriguing catchers close to the majors like Trevino that seem to be an upgrade over Turner.

  36. Iglesias for Addison Russell.

    • Suarez for Inciarte fills both team’s holes at their respective positions. Both teams have highly capable prospects to fill their places….Senzel and Ocuna.

  37. All great ideas by Mr. Mancuso but unfortunately our management is inept.
    I’m not a fan of Robert Castellini and I have no cofidence in Dick Williams.
    I would also suggest trading Peraza if possible.

  38. It appears once again the highlight of the winter meetings for Reds fans will be the Rule 5 draft. This organization is committed to neither going all-in on it’s rebuild or paying enough for established veterans to compete in this division. At this point, 2018 is just a re-hash of the last several losing seasons (with or without Christian Yellich). Failing to acquire 4-6 top prospects for the talents of Hamilton, Gennett, & Iglesias most likely just extends this rebuild to 2020. Yeah, you can throw Duvall in that equation also if you want. I see him as having only played 2 ML seasons while having shown both offensive & defensive skills during most of both seasons. Third time could be a charm, & for a half a million $ & a roster spot Reds should run the risk of keeping him. Jesse Winker will find plenty of ABs, if he earns them (& I hope he does.). If neither Dilson Hererra, Alex Blandino, nor Jose Peraza can succeed as an everyday middle infielder in 2018, the Reds outlook becomes indeed pessimistic. Here’s to hoping that Williams can get something for Scooter, giving the Reds the chance to prove that Joketty got something when he drafted Blandino & traded for Peraza (Chapman) & Hererra (Bruce).

    • Not sure Billy and Gennett would get you any TOP prospects.
      Iglesias would get a mint.
      Either way, 2018 is a lost cause.

      • MLB Top 25 prospects, probably not. but both Scooter & Billy should add a prospect easily in the Reds top 10 plus another in the Reds top 25. Iglesias should yield at least 1 TOP 25 (MLB), plus another prospect in the Top 50. If Williams can’t obtain that much talent for those 3 players, perhaps it’s not the players we need to move.

  39. “Should the Reds call the Marlins about their Outfielders?” Hell Yes!

    http://redsminorleagues.com/2017/12/10/reds-call-marlins-outfielders/

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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