Another year, another sub-optimal season for Billy Hamilton at the plate. Hamilton, who owns the most plate appearances of all the Reds outfielders, is having the fourth worst offensive season among qualified players with a wRC+ of 64. His sub .300 OBP has seemingly put an end to his days as a leadoff hitter. He’s seemed hesitant to steal bases at his historical rate (although he has a respectable 27 swiped bags), and although defensive metrics aren’t the most reliable statistics, he’s on track to have one of the worst Ultimate Zone Ratings (UZR) of his career.

At this point in his career, Billy Hamilton is what he is. It’s really a shame – there was a lot of hope for his career. We saw the tweets and the articles and the hot takes every offseason. If only Billy could get on base. If only he could learn to drop a bunt. If only.

Despite this potentially being the worst season of Billy’s career, he’s still in line to get a very hefty raise due to MLB’s arbitration system. The Reds, of course, have options outside of riding the wave of arbitration. That’s what we’ll discuss today.

One Year Extension

Just last season, the Reds and Hamilton reached an agreement on a 1-year extension, avoiding arbitration. The price tag on these one year extensions are generally pretty close to what a player might expect to get in arbitration, without the potential of hurt feelings.

Outside of Billy moving teams, this is the most likely outcome. It’s been a trend not only for the Reds, but of most teams in the MLB. Of course, the Reds failed to reach this type of agreement with Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez in the 2017 offseason. If Billy’s agent believes he’s worth more than the Reds are willing to offer in this format, they can force an arbitration hearing.

Arbitration

An arbitration hearing is unlikely to go well for Billy Hamilton. A traditionally outdated system, arbitration debates are generally settled using production statistics like RBIs, Wins, Saves, Home Runs, etc. While these are all fine and good, anyone reading this blog knows they’re rarely good indicators of player value.

Billy is shooting himself in the foot here, as he’s on track to steal the fewest amount of bases this season than any other season in his career. In a process that requires you have a few trump cards, Billy Hamilton has none.

This could be appealing for the Reds, and if they’re set on keeping Billy around, might be the smartest option. The Reds have a pretty good case for not giving Billy a raise at all, and while that won’t be the case, they’ll surely come out on top of just about any arbitration hearing.

Long Term Extension

Although we covered a potential long-term extension for Billy Hamilton in our Contracts for the New Core series, we didn’t discuss whether or not it’d be a good idea for the Reds. Certainly at this point, after another awful offensive season, the odds of a long term extension for Hamilton have to be at an all-time low. This option is probably now safely in the realm of “not gonna happen.”

Trade

Billy was at the center of a few separate trade rumors before the deadline, with many teams seeking him out for his baserunning and defense. The Reds, likely the only team believing him to be an every day starter, were reportedly asking for too much in return, and nothing got done. Not surprising from a team with an owner who’s been known to want Hamilton to be a Red forever.

Billy’s skillset is exactly the type of thing that sells at the deadline, but not so much in the offseason. Baserunning and defense can fill some holes in a playoff bound roster, but aren’t likely to be enough to get a trade done in the offseason.

Non-tender

Let’s use some logic here. Billy Hamilton has been a pretty consistent ball player over his career. Unfortunately, he’s been consistently awful at the plate. His career is no longer young enough to bank on hope that he’ll suddenly change. As we mentioned earlier, Billy is who he is at this point.

Therefore, unless the Reds truly believe that Billy Hamilton is going to go against all odds and learn how to get on base, they must believe that he’s a below average MLB player. A below average player is not worth the contract Billy will get in either an arbitration hearing or an extension.

Therefore, the logical option would be to not pay him, and let Billy become a Free Agent. This is the black and white answer. But, as we know, the Reds as an organization have really struggled in the past to cast sentimentality aside and make sound baseball business decisions.

This move would be ridiculously easy to pull off. The Reds wouldn’t need to release Hamilton or take on any penalties for removing him from the roster. They simply only need not to tender Hamilton an arbitration offer, and once the deadline hits, he’ll be a free agent. The Reds won’t be forced to pay $6M+ for the fourth worst offensive player in the league.

I understand that it’s tough not only for the front-office, but for Reds fans to think this way. However, if the Reds are ever going to win another World Series, they’ll need to start thinking a little bit more like the teams that are winning championship. I’ll never refute the fact that Billy Hamilton can be absolutely electrifying to watch, but he simply isn’t valuable enough to take up the roster spot of a more complete player.

===

What do you think the Reds should do with Billy Hamilton in 2019? Let me know in the comments!

Jordan has been a lifelong Reds fan, attending games since before he can remember. When he’s not watching, listening to, or writing about the Reds, he’s designing websites, photographing weddings, and hanging out with his friends and family.

Join the conversation! 85 Comments

  1. Trade or non tender. He will probably get 6M next year which is way too much for a player that can’t hit.

    Reply
    • Shawn is correct. His career stats are similar to Drew Stubbs and I don’t think Stubby ever made over like 600k with the Reds. 6 M or more is insane if they can’t trade him non tender him quicker than you can blink in my opinion.

      Reply
  2. Nice breakdown, Jordan. The Reds can almost certainly find a CF better overall than Hamilton on the free agent market for less money next offseason. For one or two seasons. From what we’ve heard directly from the owner and from reports from potential trade partners that the Reds didn’t seem interested in trading Hamilton, I doubt the owner will allow it.

    A related topic – given the logic of the case as you lay it out here – why in the world are the Reds playing Hamilton every game in CF? It would be nice to learn if Ervin or Williams could hold down CF. Again, don’t see Riggleman doing that.

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    • Exactly! And that’s why Riggleman you’re killing me.

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    • Just a quick clarification.

      BHam averages 1.5 WAR per season per Base Ref, and will be paid $6M next year, let’s say. That’s value very technically.

      Are you saying the Reds can find a 2WAR player almost certainly for 6M per year on the open market this offseason? That’s a very favorable view of Dick’s talents, no?

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      • Yep. I’m saying that. Hamilton’s WAR is declining. He’ll cost closer to $8 million. Reds can get that exchange from in house or on the collapsed free agent market. His irreplaceability is a big part of the Hamilton mythology. Other options include spending more (trade or $$) to get a 3-4 WAR CF.

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    • With Schebler and Winker out, they aren’t flush with outfielders. That’s a reason for playing him, but it’s certainly possible that other factors (Boss’s favorite) come into play. It would be good to know whether Ervin or Williams could play center acceptably, because the Reds need a bridge there until Trammell, Siri or somebody else currently in their system is ready. They have in-house candidates for the not-too-distant future, so they might be understandably reluctant to trade valuable assests for an established centerfielder when pitching, despite our evident conviction that Billy the AntiChrist is the ruining the team, is the biggest area of need.

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      • I don’t think anyone on here really hates Hamilton. They just see an awful lot of shortcomings with his game. His hitting is as bad as ever and his defense and baserunning are declining a bit. You have Ervin and Williams who could both be playing. I don’t see Williams as an every day CF because I think the ratio of defense-lost:offense-gained will be too low but lets at least see if he can play out there and what he has. I think Ervin can be a CF in MLB as I think the ratio of defense-lost:offense-gained will be much more favorable. Ervin’s defense is a lot better than we’ve seen so far. Multiple people who’ve seen him play in the minors can verify that.

        Hamilton still would get starts, just not as many. He wouldn’t get many home starts though, especially against LHP.

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      • I also don’t see people making him out as the lone scapegoat. Everyone knows the pitching is horrid and that’s the root of the issue. A better overall CF wouldn’t move the needle much as far as W/L. Maybe a 1-3 game swing.

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  3. Riggleman’s probably doing what ownership/FO wants him to do by playing Hamilton and not the pothers.

    Reply
    • For me this is the scary part every time we start critiquing Riggleman. What if he is running games exactly like the FO wants them run.

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      • Especially with that interim tag. Riggleman has to be thinking that there’s no realistic shot at another manager gig in MLB…except with the Reds. So, if he wants to stay, he’s listening to what the FO is telling him. And that could very well mean that they want Hamilton out there everyday. Yay!

        Is there still room for me on the bandwagon of folks who think this FO is capable of pulling off a successful rebuild?

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      • Whst makes you think he is not? Bryan Price ran the team through the front office and it got him canned.

        Reply
        • Price’s unwillingness to play Blandino when called up was one of his offenses if I recall correctly.

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  4. The baseball decision is trade or nontender. The Reds could probably sweeten the trade pot by throwing in a lottery ticket prospect along with Hamilton for somebody else’s aging middling fringe prospect and let the receiving team do the dirty work of nontendering him. This seems to happen a time or 2 every year. But that’s the baseball decision.

    With the Reds who knows?

    Reply
    • I think the Reds fear they will get “Scootered”, in that Hamilton will move on and start raking. I don’t see it happening but I think that’s the fear of letting him go. I’d try to trade him in the offseason. If I failed to trade him, I’d likely be forced to non-tender him as he’s simply going to make too much in arb for the Reds as a 4th OF.

      Reply
  5. Maybe offer a short term extension at a value less than what arbitration will bring. If he accepts Catellini will be happy, Reds have a good late inning replacement and can still trade him if Castellini changes his mind.

    If he doesn’t accept hopefully Catellini won’t force the issue, let arbitration happen, thank Hamilton for his services and let him explore free agency after 2019.

    The correct answer was trade him last year, but that didn’t happen. Trade value is even less this year and according to reports ownership doesn’t want him traded. If the Reds had a legitimate CF ready to play that could force the issue. Unless Ervin or Williams shows something spectacular the rest of the year Billy gets another chance to figure it out

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  6. I find a common denominator when I read about what baseball pundits are saying around the sports world about the Reds. They all insinuate that Bob Castellini meddles in front office baseball op decisions and it has become counter-productive to achieving a successful rebuild.

    Reply
    • Yep, this. It’s a problem and why the Reds too often come off running things like a mom and pop store rather than a billion dollar business.

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    • It is, of course, his business. I’m sure that Mark Zuckerberg “meddles” with decisions about how to run Facebook.

      However, there is no evidence that Castellini actually does meddle in baseball decisions. It generally stems from a statement of his to the effect that “I hope Billy Hamilton is a Red his entire career.” The owner OUGHT to say that about all of his players, else it is interpreted as “We need to trade that fat toad.” But it has been interpreted to mean that Bob has a man-crush on Billy and will not allow him to be traded.

      As a general observation about self-made people worth hundreds of millions of dollars, they did not build their businesses by making overly sentimental personnel decisions. They made their fortunes by being hard-nosed businessmen, listening to good advice, and generally running a tight ship. I don’t understand the assumption that Castellini is now a doddering incompetent, unable to understand that a player hitting .225 with no power isn’t very good offensively and that he shouldn’t pay that player $6mm/year.

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      • How about his as evidence of meddling, “I will come in and say, this is what I think we ought to do. If I don’t get a lot of opposition, we make the decision based on what I say.” – Big Bob

        Or this tweet from Jerry Crasnick “The #Reds have listened to Billy Hamilton trade offers all winter (most notably from #SFGiants), but owner Bob Castellini would have to approve any deal.”

        Reply
        • The Crasnick example is hearsay.

          And I’m guessing he would get plenty of “opposition” if he wanted to sign Hamilton for 3 more years

          Reply
          • Baseball pundits besides Crasnick have pointed at BC’s interference as a detriment to the Reds rebuild. Thirteen seasons and counting. Where is the winning baseball he proclaimed in 2006?

          • It’s possible–likely–that the “pundits” are relying on hearsay and guesswork, just as we are. Pundits abound, but veracity does not. I’d need to hear this stuff from somebody (Deep Throat?) in the Reds’ FO, to view it as more than speculation. We’re all pleased to write post-mortems for the “rebuild,” but the Reds have actually amassed a fair amount of young talent while we’ve been complaining about nepotism, sentimentality and stupidity. Imagine what they might have managed had we been running the show!!

      • And to make matters worse, Castellini said the there day that he really like Riggleman as a manager.

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      • I’m not sure the Reds are truly a business to BobC in the same sense as his primary business was/ is. There are a number of hints he may see running the Reds as more of the fruition of a lifetime avocation. He isn’t likely to throw money away but neither is he likely to squeeze the last dollar. And besides, just look at how the value of the team has appreciated since his group took over. He or his heirs are eventually going to make a huge haul when they cash out.

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        • They would make a bigger and huger haul, though, if the Reds are good, are drawing crowds and running up big ratings. Why would BobC take less money for his family just to see Billy play? Remember the look on his face when they lost the Giants playoff series?

          It comes down to people believing that Bob is a Bozo. I don’t believe it.

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          • Neither do I think he is a bozo. I do think perhaps there is a certain thrill in watching a guy do things nobody else can do and being able to feel and say this is your guy on your team. And ultimately don’t we all want to spend our money for the same sort of unique experience and thrill and not just to see how much it looks like on the balance sheet.

          • He can’t help himself. He’s not the first professional sports owner to think he knows how to build a roster. He even said he knew how to do it in his 2006 proclamation to the fans.

            This team will not contend until Castellini backs off or is gone.

        • Agree. You hit the proverbial nail on the head.

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      • BC has made numerous statements that indicate that he meddles in the front office. He is the NL version of Peter Angelos.

        Peters and Waterman’s #6 principle of management: “Stick to the knitting – stay with the business that you know.” Bob Castellini DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO BUILD A MLB BASEBALL ROSTER!

        Reply
    • Yep, and Walt still has WAY too much sway in the day-to-day baseball operations of the club. Advisor my buttocks.

      Reply
  7. There’s no question that Hamilton gets it done defensively and he can be exciting on the base paths. I doubt he would bring much in a trade and I doubt Big Bob would agree to a trade. I would extend him for a couple years to be used defensively later in the game or as a pinch runner. This would allow Schebler Williams or Ervin to start in centerfield until the young guys are ready who are now in A or AA.

    Reply
    • I agree with this – extend for a 2 (maybe 3) years at a discount from his likely single year compensation. Billy should see longer term security as more valuable than short-term dollars. And use Billy strictly as a 4th OF – late game sub and PR. This is the questionable part – can the FO/manager be trusted to use him appropriately?

      Reply
  8. One of the reasons teams reach 1-year agreements (sometimes 2 years in the case of Nolan Arenado and George Springer) and avoid arbitration, is that arbitration awards aren’t not guaranteed, contracts are.

    Combine this with the idea that the Reds contention window does not really start until 2020 and the solution could be the following:

    Sign Hamiltion to a 1 year contract, $6M/6.5/7M…somewhere in that range.

    This would seem to tick off all the boxes of competing factors…

    1) Give the owner one more season to see his beloved player and realize that speed declines worst of all, and that the Reds truly have gotten the peak of Hamiltion’s career.

    2) Avoiding arbitration again is a “thank you” to Hamilton, who would have 2 years of guaranteed money, over $10 million, for his career in the bank.

    3) Still gives the team a fixture in CF to start next season, while Senzel, Winker and maybe now Schebler all return from season-injuring injuries.

    4) Hamiltion presumably could be flipped at next year’s deadline, if only for a bag of baseballs, to get the outfield re-aligned and ready for competitiveness in 2020.

    Reply
    • 6m is way to much. 1 year 2 million . Take it or leave it. He is a bench player nothing more. To me I would cut him loose. It’s amazing to me there are 3 other guys worse than him offensively. Are they 3 ex reds?

      Reply
      • I agree it is too much if he is a bench piece. However I don’t think he takes that offer. If he is non tendered he could sign a multi year with someone else or if he goes to arbitration he isaking more than that. If we believe the reports about the front office I don’t see non tender as an option, which is why a three year extension for something like $3-4 million a year makes sense. It gives Hamilton financial stability at the same time limiting arbitration from giving him a huge raise. It also keeps the owner happy while not causing a huge impact on the budget.

        It’s not the best solution, but it might be the best solution realistically available for all involved.

        Reply
        • The only thing that worries me about giving him an extension is Billy starting every game. Reds could have trout and Bob C would have billy in center every game.

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  9. Really have a hard time buying into the whole BoB C puts his love for Billy above his business sense. Guys who have done what he has done in business world do not make those kind of decisions based on that kind of logic. If they do they end up broke. I think had the reds been offered a good deal and they had a CF’er currently on the roster Billy would have been traded. The Giants were rumored to be involved in the off season. The reds have two options going forward in Trammel and Siri that are getting close. My guess is the reds either trade him or do not offer him. I hate to see Billy not be able to fulfill his potential but it happens. This will be his last season in a reds uniform unless he excepts a deal for considerably less then what he is making now.

    Reply
    • Schebler would’ve been fine if he hadn’t smashed into the wall. I also would’ve suffered with Ervin in CF as long as he got 400+ atbats. He can really hit! Surely he’ll get better in the outfield? He couldn’t have been that bad at Louisville or it would’ve been brought up. Winker improved somewhat.

      Reply
      • Ervin’s troubles in the field seem to have been mostly in LF. I don’t recall him having the throwing issues in RF at GABP; and, he ran down some difficult balls there.

        I wonder where he has played the most at in the minors, especially AAA this year. I’ve been looking for a site which details where he played each game at AAA without having to grind through the box scores to tabulate it. It probably exists but I haven’t found it.

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        • Not what I expected. This year he’s played a lot more LF than RF or CF:

          LF – 35 starts
          CF – 8 starts
          RF – 3 starts

          For his minor league career:

          LF – 195 starts
          CF – 159 starts
          RF – 59 starts

          Reply
          • I think he has looked more comfortable overall in RF with the Reds; but we haven’t seen any throws direct or relay from there 😉

  10. The giant elephant in the room with any discussion of Billy is Bob C. In a sane world, the Reds sign Billy for next year, paying $6-7 million or whatever (they aren’t getting anything else with that money anyway) and relegate him as the late inning PR/defensive replacement who maybe starts 1 game per week.
    We should probably stop right here and say this wouldn’t be an issue for literally any other team in baseball. If another team traded for or signed Billy that’s exactly how they’d use him. He’d spot start but mainly pinch run in close games after the 7th inning and just stay in CF for the last inning or 2.
    The Reds problem is that Bob won’t allow that to happen. And for as meddlesome as he is in player personnel decisions you better believe he is going to be all up in naming the next manager. You can guess how likely it is he allows someone to be hired who recommends benching Billy.
    Bob Castellini is Mike Brown with better PR.

    Reply
  11. The Reds have failed on Billy Hamilton in so many ways. They’ve known for years now that he wasn’t going to be a productive major leaguer. The only reason to start him is for highlight reels and ticket sales. But they’ve failed that too. He should be racing Gapper and Mr Red every Sunday and selling Jimmy Johns and JTM Hoagie Beef Kits with Bronson and Chris. While he’s missing bunts and striking out he should be racing Cincinnati Zoo Cheetahs and winning Skyline Cheese Coney Eating contests (assuming he’s a fast eater too). He should be racing at stock car at Kentucky Speedway (assuming he drives fast) or the Cincinnati Bell Connector from GABP to Findlay Market (Billy would probably win that one). I love Billy, but as a marketing machine not a run producing one.

    Reply
    • He actually has been a productive major league outfielder. Averages 1.5 WAR for his career. He doesn’t hit well, which is where the discussion stops in these parts.

      Reply
  12. Speaking of outfielders, what the heck is going on with Schebler? Is he shut down for the year or what?

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    • He can’t throw. Shoulder issues never seem to go away either. He needs to go to the AL to DH unfortunately.

      Reply
      • I’m glad the Reds have you for medical expertise

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        • I think Indy made a cogent comment.

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          • Based on his extensive medical knowledge and his evaluation of Schebler’s shoulder? It is a little premature to deem a guy incapable of ever throwing a ball again and being relegated to DH duties, because he has been on the DL for a couple of weeks. If a shoulder injury can never be overcome the Reds need to start trading from their DH depth of Hamilton, Scooter, Schebler, and Herrera since they have all suffered shoulder injuries

        • Where did Indy “…deem a guy incapable of ever throwing a ball again…?”

          Since we’re on the topic, it seems that Indy has as much medical knowledge as you or I or any of us.

          Reply
          • “He can’t throw. Shoulder issues never seem to go away either. He needs to go to the AL to DH unfortunately.”

          • I’m not the one one making statements on a shoulder injury or the long term affects of it. Since we are on the topic I would guess I know more about shoulder injuries than him based on his comments and my multiple shoulder injuries, but I could be wrong. Then again I am not claiming to know anything about the severity of his injury or how it will impact his future

      • Is there actually an AL team that would offer Billy a job as a DH?

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  13. Trade him or nontender him. Offering a one year deal for 3-4 million would probably be fine for a back up with his unique skill set. 6m is too much for Hamilton when he’s more of a 4th OF type on a good team.

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  14. Didn’t know where to put this so I’ll just drop it here. Being reported that Riggleman has a good chance of being skipper next year because Bob is a fan.

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/08/heymans-latest-donaldson-braves-machado-wheeler-harper-fiers-riggleman.html

    Reply
    • Ugh. Yeah I read that. I’m sure that’s what is going to happen if Big Bob wants it. So much for an expansive search outside of the organization. More like Price, Williams, Krall…etc. Keep all Big Bob’s favorites around like Billy, Scooter, Walt, and Riggleman regardless on whether that’s the path back to winning baseball or not. What’s it matter if Big Bob and Joe Fan are happy with their sentimentality.

      Reply
      • Joe Fan is not going to be happy with much more of a prolonged absence from the playoffs.

        I’d hate for them to become on par with the Bengals when it comes to the caliber of ownership.

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    • Uncle Bob Castellini will get what he wants for the Reds. The national search for a manager will be in name only.

      Reply
  15. Trade him and put Ervin in CF. Give up some defense/speed but addition by subtraction with BA.

    Reply
  16. I’m more of a BHam defender than most but it has been clear for a couple years that he should be traded because his value for some teams would be so much higher than it is for the reds. His speed/defense is great and plays much better in a bigger ballpark. Logically, the gap between his value to the reds and another team should give the range for a trade. If another team also thinks they can do a better job coaching his hitting, all the more so.

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  17. HIRE ROD CAREW AND TEACH HIM TO BUNT TO THE LEFT SIDE!

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    • If they keep Hamilton for one more year, which I don’t recommend, I would do so only on the proviso that he give up switch-hitting. It was probably a bad idea to start with, because he is so fast that it doesn’t make much difference what batter’s box he starts from. If he improves offensively without the switch-hitting, then he becomes even more flippable at the trade deadline.

      The one reason to keep Hamilton is that the rest of the defense (other than catcher) is simply pathetic. Having a super-elite defender in centerfield for one more year, with Siri and Trammell around the corner, would be tolerable to me. Schebler is not a disaster in right, and Senzel promises to be a good second baseman, but every other position is bad, bad, bad. Even Suarez is bad now. I just wince when the ball is hit at Votto, hoping nobody gets hurt.

      I am not convinced that Ervin would be not be as face-palmingly bad in right or center, as he is in left. He would stink defensively as a DH.

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      • I agree. The defense is bad and costly. Last night’s game was played at GABP, and 2/3 of the total outs came from balls in play, not strikeouts. Walks and homers are up, but neither is an out and the number of outs required to conclude a game remains the same. Defense matters. If the Reds had good corner outfielders, an average centerfielder who could hit would be fine, and hopefully, this will be the case soon. But it isn’t now.

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  18. Watch Uncle Bob negotiate directly with Billy’s agent and hand him a 6 year 60 million dollar extension. (He’d probably give Scooter 6 years for 120m).

    Sports History is ripe with owners whom were extremely successful is there primary business but had no clue how to ran a team. The Castellini family gets high marks for the business side from many MLB insiders. However, it’s becoming clear that Uncle Bob does not understand modern Baseball operations. He’s too much of a fan, and one guy whom he might listen, Uncle Walt, as also stuck in the past.

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    • I don’t see any factual basis for the “Castellini as Bozo” narrative. It doesn’t become true, simply because people say it over and over again. Vaccinations don’t cause autism, no matter how often it is repeated.

      But I will grant you that he appears to be drinking buddies with Uncle Walt, who otherwise should have no role with the team.

      Reply
      • http://www.espn.com/mlb/news/story?id=3363283

        He fired Wayne Krivsky less than 3 years into the prior rebuild and famously said we’re simply not going to lose anymore. The reds were 9-12 when he fired Krivsky.

        The reds are now ~ 90 under .500 since 2014 with soon to be 4 consecutive 90 loss last place finishes and the worst Reds Era since the Great Depression. Historically bad Reds
        with meddling owner with double standards and nepotism and cronyism is pretty accurate. Thats the same
        level of propaganda as vaccines causes autism???? Very very bad analogy.

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        • Nepotism and insularity it defines Bob Castellini, besides not having a clue on how to build a MLB roster.

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        • I believe you highlighted the fatal mistake of Uncle Bob. That was firing Krivsky for his buddy Jocketty. The Reds were headed in the right direction and I firmly believe it would have been vastly better that what has transpired. Rehire Krivsky!

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          • I agree whole hardheartedly. The Reds were on the cusp of a great run and Krivsky while not popular had the skills to keep them competitive. Bob wanted his buddy Walt from day one and Walt eventually sold out the future for little actual gain. The core was set and would have been successful.

    • There is definitely a lack of direction and initiative in the Red’s front office caused by too many Uncles occupying space.

      Reply
  19. Not wait until 2019. Hope a cf or 2 on contending teams get injured in the next 2 weeks & that situation creates a trading opportunity for Billy. If the trade goes through problem solved. If he doesn’t clear waivers, problem solved.

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  20. The Bailey contract and 2020 buyout and lack of 2018 SP development really make winning 88-90 games nearly impossible in 2018.

    However, paying Billy Hamilton 5-7 million as a backup and defensive/ baserunning wizard is a non-issue for the payroll. Scooter at $10 million with a Nick Snezel $500 k backup is a big. issue.

    The miracle 2019 hail Mary would be to exchange Scooters $10 million contract for that area which the Reds need . A RH hitting productive CF. Lorenzo Cain signed for 5 years and $90 million. AJ Pollack is a year younger…a gold glove center fielder and a good RH bat. 4 years and 60 million might do it.

    Winker LF Pollack CF Schebler RF
    Suarez 3b Peraza SS Senzel 2b and Votto 1b with Barnhart C

    Hamilton/Ervin/ blandino/ casali backups.

    That means Castillo and Disco have to be good and a big move for a top pitcher at 3. That’s too much to ask. It’s 2020.

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    • Impossible in 2019

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    • I like Pollock quite a lot. Good CF, gets on base, can hit. My question about signing him to such a deal is: Can he stay on the field? His injury history is pretty bad. I’d have a hard time giving him 4 years at an AAV of $15-million.

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  21. This’ll come as no surprise to those who’ve seen my comments on here before, but, I’ve never believed in Hamilton.

    You mentioned how his career is no longer young enough to bank on the hope that he’ll get better. All I kept hearing on here is how we needed to give him a chance in the beginning. While I understand the logic behind those statements I never wavered in my stance on Hamilton.

    And here’s why….if you follow this game long enough you’ll see the same types of players come through. It’s like they get recycled or something. Of course this isn’t true of all players. Some are unique. But I’ve seen players like Hamilton before…all speed and no hit. I wouldn’t be able able to name those other players I’ve seen like Hamilton but I know for a fact that I’ve seen them before.

    So, this is how I knew Hamilton wouldn’t hit. I understood the optimism ppl had in him bcuz of his speed and defense. But he is not a complete plyr. I’d rather have a more complete plyr.

    But, I end my dissertation (lol, I’m not entirely sure what a dissertation is and I really don’t care to learn at this time) with one last statement and a question based on that statement. Anyway, earlier this season I saw where Hamilton had mentioned possibly abandoning switch hitting. My question is this: has he done this yet? I ain’t heard no more about it since so my guess is that he hasn’t. But I leave the possibility that he did and, yet, he still sux offensively.

    Reply
    • Pretty close to being a dissertation, Sandman. Billy is not a complete player, but with Suarez having forgotten how to field his position, the Reds don’t have a single player who is.

      Reply
  22. I’m no longer a Billy fan. He’s getting to be a step slower & a few $MM too expensive for what he can do. Nevertheless, his bunt last night was a thing of beauty. Textbook. If he could repeat that effort a couple times per series, it could be a difference maker.

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  23. Non tender! good grief. it’s awful watching our team run like a family business.

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  24. I’ve been watching Billy Hamilton closely ever since he got us all excited about his potential at the end of the 2013 season. He’s worked at getting better and shown signs of it, then regresses. But he did hit .260 with an on-base average of .321 in 2016 and recently he seems to have figured something out. He’s not trying to drive the ball, his swing is more level and he has enough patience to work the count. AND since June 17 he has hit .291, with a .349 OBA. That’s over a span of 171 plate appearances. It’s a decent sample size and by the eye test I think he’s figured it out, and with his rate of scoring runs when he gets on base it makes him, along with his defense, worth keeping around.

    Reply
    • It’s really just too small of sample. Given his history, I can’t look at those 171 PA and surmise that he’s turned it around. Players go through ups and downs. Some guys are more “streaky” than others but all guys are streaky to an extent.

      Reply
  25. If this were my team, I’d try to trade him at the waiver deadline this year. Failing that, I’d try to trade him in the off-season. I would like to get something for him as he has some value. Failing that I’d non-tender him. He’d be my 4th or even 5th OF and the Reds can’t be paying a bench guy the likely $6-million to $8-million he’s going to get in 3rd year of arbitration.

    Sure, there’s a chance the Reds get “Scootered” and he goes on to have a few very, very good years but I think that’s quite unlikely.

    Reply

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About Jordan Barhorst

Jordan has been a lifelong Reds fan, attending games since before he can remember. When he's not watching, listening to, or writing about the Reds, he's designing websites, photographing weddings, and hanging out with his friends and family.

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2019 Reds

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