David Bell and Dick Williams said today that assembling the club’s coaching staff would be the topic of this afternoon’s meetings. 

Bell and Williams can start with current Reds employees, including the major league staff and minor league affiliates. Beyond that, Bell has worked with dozens of people in other organizations. Perhaps one or more of the candidates the Reds just vetted for the manager’s job might fit as the all-important bench coach. 

Rest assured David Bell has given this a lot of thought. Every guy with his heightened ambition, who sees himself a hair’s breadth away from being a major league manager, spends plenty of time thinking these things through. In Bell’s case, for the past ten years. He has a list.  

Selecting the coaching staff is also of interest because it will give us insight into the inner workings of the front office going forward. 

It will help answer this question: Was the hiring of David Bell a clear-cut break from the past or a compromise between old and new? 

Here’s where we get into so much Kremlinology: modern day analysis of grainy pictures of old and older guys wearing fur hats standing behind a wall in Red Square. It’s guesswork wrapped inside speculation hidden within public relations statements. 

If — note the use of the word “if” — if there is a split among the front office, including ownership, between Old School and New School, the pro-modernity faction was ascendent today. The word “analytics” was never spoken, but euphemisms poured out like a mighty stream.

Examples: The Reds sought a manager who valued “all information” as a way to prepare players. David Bell said in a post-conference interview he was “excited in this job to bridge that gap, to make sure that everything that is worked on in the front office is part of what we do on the field. There’s a real edge to be had there.” 

That was good to hear. Great, really. 

Yet, who the Reds choose for David Bell’s coaching staff, particularly the bench coach, will reveal multitudes about whether they are 100% committed to much-needed change.

The correct answer is crystal clear. Use the same criteria the organization did when it hired Bell. If David Bell met the club’s test for manager — smart, organized, great communicator with players, enthusiastic about new information and new understanding of how to win games — then use that standard for the person who is second in command and the rest of the coaching staff.

If Bell is the right guy as manager, don’t “balance” him with an opposite voice in the dugout. Instead, the Reds should reinforce their decisive step in hiring Bell with a bench coach who pushes the team that same direction. Someone like Rocco Baldelli, for example, assuming he doesn’t get a manager gig somewhere. 

Those who have written that Jim Riggleman is a “no-brainer” choice as Bell’s bench coach are as wrong now as they were when they said Riggleman was the right choice to be the 2019 manager. 

The last thing the Reds need is one of the olds, with or without a fur hat, whispering outdated strategies into David Bell’s ear during games. 

85 Responses

  1. Matt Hendley

    I cant load the twitter link but why do i sense steve is talking about john fay.

    • Jeff Reed

      I doubt Riggleman would accept the Red’s bench coach job again, but he might be bench coach for another team. I’d like to see the pitching coach, Danny Darwin, and the hitting coach stay, but Bell will probably use a new broom.

  2. Alex

    Do the Cubs, Cardinals or dogers “allude” or make “euphemisms” to modern baseball thinking? I’m starting to think they are so vapid and separated from reality they think hiring a manager from a Cincy family is something the fan base cares about at all…. All these strong statement about all the things that do not matter about bell and only subtle allusions to the things that do. They are so completely pathetic. Your going to get a Harvey overpay, gennett extension, 90 losses and a record 117 million dollar payroll and like it!!!!

    • greenmtred

      Interesting point. I hope that the reality proves to be that Bell was hired because he is qualified and that his family ties and Cincy connections are worth mentioning but not factors in his choice. We’ll see, maybe. If the roster isn’t significantly strengthened, he’d better have a big cache of smoke and mirrors.

    • lwblogger2

      The thing is though, a lot of Cincinnati fans do care about those ties to the city. It’s one of the reasons that folks love Scooter so much. Cincinnati has a bit of an odd fanbase. Sure, first and foremost the fans want the team to win but there are so many fans that embrace all the Cincinnati connections with the players, coaches, front-office, and ownership. While I think most here don’t care so much about the Bell family being a part of why David Bell was hired, there are almost certainly a lot of Reds’ fans who do care that his family ties were considered.

  3. James

    Hiring bench coaches from an earlier generation of managers worked out well for this year’s WS teams. So let’s keep that in mind if Bell hires someone who has managed before–it’s not the end of the world.

    • Sliotar


      “Olds”? C’mon.

      Geren (Dodgers) and Roenicke (Red Sox) have different profiles as “baseball men”, but both are considered “olds” by 2018 MLB standards.

      With all the analytics guys the Red Sox now have in the dugout, Cora’s bench coach is a guy who he played for in the minor leagues. And was fired as Brewers manager at age 59.

      There are plenty of ways to fill out a staff. Dismissing “balance” is something I would not recommend in any business. The Reds suffer from lack of outside thinking as it is. Need more non “family” members at all levels, IMO.

      The 2019 Reds have far, far more problems than the composition of Bell’s coaching staff.

      • Ghettotrout1

        I concur I would be fine with Riggleman as bench coach I don’t know why everyone acts like the guy is trash. Ok so he bunted a few too many times at least he pulled guys too early rather than too late like dusty with arroyo and leake and at least he didn’t drop 70 some f bombs on c Trent like old price. And let’s just call it like it is baseball managers do the least of any pro sports manager, unless this team rids themselves from the shackles of billy in CF and gets some real pitchers you will see another awful season.

      • Colorado Red

        Since Riggleman did not get the job, he could be a distraction, especially since he was the manager last year.

      • lwblogger2

        This is kind of how I see it too. I think having a guy with some grey hair and experience under his belt wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. I would want someone who isn’t just going to dismiss the analytical data as “a bunch of fuzzy math done by people who never played the game” but he wouldn’t necessarily have to be “analytics driven” as the bench coach. Sometimes a former catcher or pitcher who is a “baseball guy” may notice something with a pitcher before the data says the pitcher should be pulled, for example. Maybe that guy’s experience with handling a clubhouse will be valuable to a “young” manager in his first MLB Manager’s office. I don’t think that guy should be Riggleman but I’d be ok with a guy who may be perceived as being “traditional” or “old-school”, assuming he is at least on board with the concept that the team will make most its decisions based on data.

  4. Old-school

    I could see new dugout positions created or MLB coordinator roles materializing.

  5. Scott C

    Having someone working under you who does not buy into your plan is always a bad idea. A house divided cannot stand.

    • greenmtred

      Wouldn’t it depend upon how the failure to buy in manifested itself? A plan that can’t stand up to discussion and constructive criticism is not a good plan. I agree, though, that griping and grousing and undermining are negative.

  6. CP

    Bell should choose his own bench coach. If that’s Riggleman, so be it.

  7. Scotly50

    The Reds hiring Bell does not move the needle in any way. Just tried to stay in the middle, not fully committing in either direction. Like I read elsewhere, ‘It’s just the Reds being the Reds”.

  8. Jim Walker

    I would qualify as an “old”; but, I believe the broom needs to sweep clean. In the end, a team is its record. While there are are any number of rationalizations for saying the Reds are somehow better off than 2 or 3 years ago, the record says the team has not progressed. That’s the bottom line which matters. Get an entirely new dugout crew in and see what they can do.

  9. Jim Walker

    For those who did not see the FoxSports coverage of the Bell presser, it might be worth your time to try and find it in their streaming app. Fast forward thru the formal stuff to the after interviews Jim Day did with Bell and particularly DW. DW talked about matching skill sets among the coaches to cover all the necessary areas. I felt like he all but said they were not going to be able to bring back the incumbents and accomplish that goal at the same time.

    • David

      Yeah, I really think that Dick Williams wants to guide the team and organization in a different direction than it has been running in. Bell is a “compromise” hire, in that it seems to be acceptable to different factions in Management, but he really has to be on the same page as Williams in terms of running the team
      Bringing back the former manager as a “bench coach” is a mistake in having divided authority.

      Would it be good if Bell brought back Bryan Price as a pitching coach or bench coach? To me, that sounds kinda nuts.

      I would like to see Danny Darwin come back as pitching coach, mainly because he seems to have a really good connection with Luis Castillo. He also seems to have a connection with Matt Harvey, but no one knows if Matt is coming back with a new contract.

      Freddy Benavides seems to be a really good infield coach/teacher.

      But it all has to be up to Bell. Bell and Williams should (imho) bring in all the coaches and have long interviews/discussions about where the team is going, and what they bring to the table.

      And Bell should bring in people he wants as coaches, and do the same thing.

      Bell deserves to have coaches who connect with him, and will work in the same way he wants to form the team, just as Bell SHOULD be working closely with Williams on personnel strategy.

  10. Jason

    I care less about “old” vs. “new” and more about getting a group of coaches pulling in the same direction. Commit to Bell and let him pick guys he is comfortable with. Obviously Bell has a plethora of connections throughout baseball. Let him choose guys to work with who have his same vision that the organization just bought into. As far as carryovers, I’m much more interested in what will happen with Hatcher, Farrell and Larkin than Riggleman.

  11. Steve Mancuso

    Yes, David Bell should get the coaches he wants. I have a hard time imagining him choosing Jim Riggleman as his bench coach if he had taken the Rangers job instead.

    Diverse viewpoints are important in an organization, but they have to be working in the same general direction. And they have to be up-to-date. Would you want to hire someone who believes the Sun travels around the Earth for a college science department in the interest of balance?

    I’d rather have a coaching staff who can help accomplish Bell’s stated primary goal of effectively bringing front office information to the players.

  12. Eric

    Steve, I appreciate you staying on top of this, and have enjoyed your writing on the whole managerial hire process.

    To what Jason just said up there, yeah…bench coach, schmench coach. Hatcher needs to stay. I think they need to provide the players with some sense of continuity, even when everything is about to change…hopefully…and that rightfully so…but I think Hatcher’s longevity with the club — through how many managers now? — is reason enough to say he’d be working in the same direction, like you said.

  13. davemoorewvu

    I’m a firm believer that Bell should be able to pick who he wants.. but it’ll have to come with the clubs approval.

    More importantly… Get The Pitching, and everything else falls into place.

  14. Old-school

    C Trent in an article today describes the physical locations of the Front Office(s) relative to the managers office near the clubhouse at GABP…. they are far away. Bell has asked for additional space near the front offices- brilliant.

    Also – Castellini was defiant they are getting pitching. It would be a huge mistake for the owner to blow the rebuild by trading away it’s best prospects. Senzel and Trammell and Winker and India are the way to sustained success. Joey Votto for Erik Bedard in 2006 was a Paul Daugherty article . Let’s not revisit that nonsense.

    • David

      Joey Votto for Eric Bedard? And that would have worked, if it hadn’t been for those dang fool kids!!!

      I recall “Eric Bedard” fever from Another Reds Fansite, and then he did get traded by the Orioles, and it all ended in flop sweat.

      Really, trading for pitching can be a crap shoot. Just ask Milt Pappas and Frank Robinson. Yeah, but Frank was over the hill when the Reds traded him in 1966.
      Really, the Reds should never make trades with Baltimore. They traded Ross Grimsley for Merv Rettenmund, and then Ross won 20 games with the Orioles the next season. Of course, then his arm went SPLOOOSH!

  15. Sliotar


    Good post.

    Big Bob suggested the additional space to Bell to shorten his walk to discuss strategy on a nightly basis with Bell. (I wish I could put the /s sarcasm tag to that previous sentence.)

    I could easily present a counter-narrative that nothing has really changed of substance with Bell’s hire, and the team is still going to make decisions on Castellini’s whims.

    The press conference had “tells”, Bell’s continued talking about “openness” to analytics is a “tell”, Castellini’s insistence on acquiring pitching is a “tell”, etc, etc.

    Spending four seasons to tank, only having 67 wins at the end of Year Four and a not fully-sorted stable of young arms….and thinking throwing $15 million per at an over-30 SP is going to change things in the current NL Central…is a classic example of knee-jerkism.

    Which means likely Ol’ Big Bob is dead set on doing it this winter……

    • greenmtred

      We’re nearly unanimous in our agreement that the Reds need pitching. Less so about the best source for that pitching or the resources that should be spent for it. It all boils down to how directive BC is about these issues. If, as you say, he insists upon trading some of our best prospects for an older starter or two, it’s hard to imagine a good outcome, even if it leads to a better record in 2019.

    • David

      Oh, I think that the Reds young pitching is fully sorted. Almost all of them stink as starters. There is some promise in Castillo and Mahle. Maybe Cody Reed has turned the corner. Who knows?
      Keury Mella deserves some starts in 2019, as does Santillan in another year (2020). But I predict more of the same. This is really not that hard.

      I don’t think it all being a knee-jerk reaction. I think this has been discussed in the Front Office for months. They didn’t invite me or Chad Dotson (future Reds Bench Coach) in for the discussions, but I’ll bet thousands of words have been spoken and written by the Reds Top Men.
      Top. Men.
      Knee-jerk? No. Maybe a little desperate. I would bet they have some good written reports on just what certain teams actually want for certain starters, and some good estimates of what Free Agent pitchers will command.
      Maybe they have negotiated some with Scott Boras about Matt Harvey, and he looks like a bargain.

      • Scott C

        I would say that if they get Castillo as a #2 or #3 and Mahle as a #3 or #4 and Cody Reed who looked like he figured it out in Louisville and looked pretty good in his September starts and Lorenzen who had 2 out of three good starts and Romano as late inning reliever that is not bad sorting. Do we need another solid starter? Yes but certainly they don’t all stink. I may in the minority but I still have not given up on Stephenson.

      • lwblogger2

        I have been a staunch Stephenson supporter but I’ve thrown in the towel on him. Maybe I’d give him more starts if 2019 is going to be another sorting year but if the man in the corner office said “We need to start winning!!”, I’d be hesitant to give Stephenson meaningful work.

      • reaganspad

        Lorenzen has to be a starter. There is not a better young pitcher in the system. It will be fun to see if new minds see a way for Lorenzen to get more at bats as well.

        We may well chase a veteran who has a 3.0 ERA for millions per month, or we start Lorenzen.

        I am not done with Stephenson. that would be like the Brewers being done with Scooter. Some team will find a place for a cheap good arm. We have been scrap heaping pitching for years. What if Bell is the right guy to flip the Stephenson switch? I think we are looking at the development of a Homer Bailey type starter.

        Unless they bring in someone better. But I do not think Scott Feldman was better. just different with no upside

      • greenmtred

        I’ve become pessimistic about Stephenson, but I haven’t quite given up, not that it matters at all whether I have or not. As everybody has observed, the problem is not his arm or the quality of his stuff. Does he get the yips on the big stage? He did pitch pretty well at the end of 2017, so there is some evidence that he can overcome whatever demons are holding him back, but it was very frustrating watching him this year. It seemed as though he fell apart when he stated to get in a jam.

  16. jreis

    I’M not sure if the mentality of his bench coach is as important as the personality. Bell seems like such a mild mannered nice guy. I think we may need a good cop/bad cop situation. I’m thinking we need someone fierce and bold in the dugout. maybe a guy like Ron Oester or Eric Davis would be a good contrast to Bell.

    for next year, as a fan that goes to 20 games a year and pays 8 bucks for a pretzel and a dollar for a cup of cheese I AM just looking for more hustle and more focused play out of our reds. no more granny shuffling around the bases, no more missing cutoff men by 10 feet and no more getting picked off at first with a 2 step lead. I am not as concerned with the analytics and the line up construction and the lefty/righty matchups. just give me some old fashioned hustle which was sorely missing last year. I hope Bell can inspire hard nosed play but it would be nice to have a hard nosed bench coach as reinforcement.

    • Mason Red

      I commend you and all Reds fans who still go to Reds games. I just can’t make the investment of time,money and emotion to watch a train wreck. Attendance is down and it shows despite promotions of all sorts the bottom line really is about the quality of the product on the field. It’s unfortunate that sports fans in the Cincinnati area have to try and support two professional sports franchises who have shown little love to those who still support them especially those who go to the games.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I understand Mason Red. My attendance the last 5 years has gone in this order: 26, 16, 3, 0, 0. I’ve been a season ticket holder to FC Cincinnati the last two years and my entertainment bang for the buck has been much higher with them than the Reds. And I say that with a fair amount of sadness.

    • vegastypo

      Nowadays, I don’t think the ‘bad cop’ mentality works. If a player or players don’t want to learn to do things differently, all the shouting in the world isn’t going to change it. Our last two managers have preached ‘accountability,’ and did the shabby baserunning, lack of strike zone recognition and defensive fundamentals change? From what I saw, not much.

  17. WVRedlegs

    Yes the coaching hires will be but one indication of where Big Bob’s banana Yugo is chugging towards. The free agent pitching this winter looks to be very lackluster, much like last year. The pitching free agent market really opens up after the 2019 season. This winter is the time to make a big trade. Next winter will be the time for a big free agent. It lines up well with Bailey’s $$$ coming off of the books.
    As for the coaches, getting rid of most would be the best route to go. Billy Hatcher is a nincompoop as a 3B coach. How many outs have been made at 3B or home plate because of him? Too many. If they move him back to 1B coach, then that might work out better. But for new beginnings, Hatcher must go. Freddy Benevides might have some value as an INF instructor, but that is about it.
    Get new base coaches.
    The Hitting coach, Don Long, seems like he should be kept. He has worked wonders with some of the players. Bell, who was a batting coach once, might want to keep some continuity there, as the offense was not a big problem. It needs some help with player personnel though. Long should be retained.
    The pitching coaches is where the house needs to be swept out. Get rid of Darwin and Power. New blood needs to be pumped into this unit via new player personnel and new coaches.
    If the bench coach will be Bell’s most important hire, the pitching coach will be a very close second important hire. A whole new pitching philosophy needs to be incorporated, and that probably can’t happen with Darwin and Power still on board.

    • David

      My impression, and it could be wrong, was that Danny Darwin was instrumental in getting Castillo straightened out after a bad start to the year. Darwin coached him in AA ball before he came up to the Majors. It also seems that Matt Harvey responded well to him (Darwin). Could be wrong, who knows?
      When Chad Dotson is hired as the Bench Coach, I think that we will really get an inside look at how the Reds really work. Go Chad!

  18. WVRedlegs

    MLBTR has finally put up their starting pitching market snapshot. Not much to like for the Reds. The free agent market just doesn’t line up well for the Reds here. Nathan Eovaldi looks like he might be the best the Reds could do. But with his post-trade and post-season play, he has surely upped his free agent price tag. Maybe out of reach for the cheap miser Castellini.
    It makes this off-season look more like a trade is where the Reds should concentrate their efforts. Top 3 Reds targets should be Syndergaard, Stroman, and the Phillies Nick Pivetta.
    With the way Eovaldi looked last night coming out of the RedSox bullpen, it sure makes the possible move of Sal Romano to the bullpen next year look like it could be a winner of a move. I am hopeful that Rookie Davis can also be a viable bullpen piece in 2019. I’d still like to see the Reds get a solid LHer, or 2, for the bullpen next year. Peralta is done and Garrett faded in the second half like a cheap pair of jeans.
    Castellini only stated that they wanted to go “get the pitching”. He didn’t state what kind of pitching he wanted to go get. Buyer Beware!!!


    • Tom Mitsoff

      Spending a boatload of money on any of these guys is a risk I wouldn’t be willing to take if I was the owner — not after the Bailey fiasco. If free agent spending is as suppressed this off-season as it was last off-season, there’s a chance the Reds can grab one or two of the top 10 at what I would call a reasonable price — 2 or 3 years at no more than $10 to $15 million per year. Everyone on that list is on the wrong side of 30, and none of them has an extensive track record as a number one or two starter (with the obvious exception of Kershaw, who probably isn’t going anywhere). I agree with the sentiment expressed above that trading is more likely to produce the needed pitching than free agent signings. Best bet is one pitcher via trade and one via free agency.

      • WVRedlegs

        Yes, it is a roll of the dice. It is with any pitcher pretty much nowadays. But it is a bigger roll with free agent pitchers and the big money and number of years they command.
        I was getting enamored with Eovaldi as the season came to a close. But he is pitching his way out of the Reds price zone. On MLB Network radio this morning, they were saying that there would be more than a few teams that will go 4 years and about $80M with Eovaldi. And that there might be a team to give him a 5th year for a total of over $100M. That is equivalent to the Bailey contract, which the Reds should absolutely avoid. The Reds can’t go there. That is just absurd. That scares me off of Keuchel and Gio now too. They will be much higher than anticipated. Keuchel will be in that 4 year, $70M to $85 range. Gio is probably looking at 3 to 4 years and $60M to $75M. It looks like Eovaldi now is in the top tier with Kershaw, Corbin, Keuchel, Morton, and Gio. J.A. Happ probably deserves a top tier placemant too, even at 36.
        The Reds will have to set their free agent sights a bit lower. Higher than Matt Harvey, lower than the top tier. And the Reds shouldn’t go after a pitcher that will have draft pick compensation tied to them by declining a qualifying offer. It would be the Reds second highest pick, which will be their Competitive Balance pick around the mid-30’s overall. Eovaldi, Gio, and Happ won’t have that compensation tied to them as they can’t be offered a QO since they were traded during the season. So there is that.

    • JoshG

      big NO on Stroman, too big of a gamble
      one of the mets starters might be good.. but you are going to be giving up a LOT in prospects
      Robbie Ray from Arizona is intriguing

      • WVRedlegs

        I like Robbie Ray very much. If Arizona tears it down, then add him to the top of the list. I don’t see Arizona moving him unless they tear it down to rebuild. He is a LHer, which the Reds need. He only has 2 years left under team control. Same as Stroman.
        The prospect price for Ray will be high too, almost as high as it will be for Syndergaard. For either Syndergaard or Ray, the Reds will more than likely have to give up one of Hunter Greene or Tony Santillan in their trade package. And that will hurt. I think you would have to keep Santillan and then deal Greene. Santillan is closer to the majors than Greene is.
        If Arizona does tear it down, maybe the Reds could get a bullpen piece to go along with Robbie Ray. Maybe Yoshihisa Hirano, a RHRP. The Reds are still the only MLB team not to have a Japanese player on their 25 man roster. He has 1 year left at $3M.

  19. vegastypo

    Good read and some interesting comments, although I got a kick out of the thought of Riggleman as the bench coach, as if he were again going to be “in waiting” for the managerial job to open up in case things don’t go well for Bell. … And Price as a pitching coach? You don’t hire a guy back at a lesser role. lf he’s as good of a pitching coach as he has been given credit for, he won’t be unemployed for long.

    I think Steve cut to the heart of the matter quite distinctly when he responded to a comment by saying that you can have diversity within the coaching ranks while still having an overriding focus. Which, in this case, would be to have as much information as possible to use when appropriate.

    Should be an interesting offseason.

  20. Sabr Chris

    I like the idea of Happ whom won’t cost too much in dollars or years and a buy low trade for Sonny Gray. I think we already have our number 1 as Castillo continues to improve.

    But if we think outside of the box, how about Bailey and two of our top ten prospects not named Senzel for Greinke.

    • David

      Yeah, let’s trade Bailey. As if we could sneak in a bottle of Folger’s Coffee Crystals for the scouting report that every team has on him. Let’s see what happens!!!

      Really, Bailey, Hamilton, etc really don’t have much trade value…..at all. And Bailey, especially with what is still owed him in 2019. Do the Reds PAY someone $19 MM to take Bailey off their hands?

      • David

        By the way, I do think trying to get Sonny Gray is a good idea. His pitching outside of Yankees stadium was good, and he may be due for a bounceback year, or something like that.

  21. Matt Hendley

    Happ might end up in NY but it works for 3 years. Like the grey idea better and he can be got for peanuts right now. Bailey and a mid level for Greinke would work to. The Snakes are on the verge of a rebuild and would love to be rid of that contract for a guy they could dump mid season. Even a regressing grenkie is miles better then what we have now.

    • greenmtred

      I’m leery of going after older starters. The Reds are not likely to be in contention next year, so trading for younger pitchers–prospects, really–carries more risk but is also more likely to work from a timing standpoint. Of course, there are good reasons to oppose each possible course of action, and the worst thing the Reds can do is nothing.

  22. Shchi Cossack

    Rocco Baldelli has accepted the Twins’ offer to fill their managerial vacancy, the club announced today per Manny Randhawa @ MLB.com.

    I really like that decision by the Twins. According to published reports, Rocco didn’t even make the 2nd tier of interviews for the Reds after having an impressive 1st interview. That speaks to the discord and dysfunction between ownership and baseball ops that Girardi and Ausmus passed thru to the 2nd tier of interviews along with Bell to the exclusion of Rocco.

      • David

        Rocco kind of screwed up by not having his Dad get a job with the Reds sometime in the past.

        That would have made all the difference to Bob Castellini.

  23. Matt Hendley

    New financial considerations to concern ourselves with. Super two cutoff was announced and part time leadoff full time homerun hitter scott schebler made the cut. Obviously this will start his arb clock early

    • Matt Hendley

      I am a liar ignore my last post, he landed just outside….we get him for cheap again.

  24. Shchi Cossack

    The Reds should be focusing their off-season trade efforts on pitching (SP or RP) targets that might be available for current 40-man roster players who are duplicated by organizational position depth, especially those lacking options:

    Finnegan, Hernandez, Hughes, Iglesias, Peralta & Stephenson
    Gennett, Herrera & Long
    Aquino, Ervin, Hamilton, Schebler, Siri & Winker

    There is no reason to move any top 5 prospects, or even top 10, prospects for starting pitching this off sseason, unless the target is a top prospect or proven starter with 4+ seasons of team control.

  25. Shchi Cossack

    The Reds should be looking for a single off season SP FA target unless that market falls and two SP FA targets becomes not only cost effective, but an opportunity to good to pass up.

    Trevor Cahill, age 31, GB=55.0%, K/BB=1.84, HR/9=0.92
    Nathan Eovaldi, age 29, GB=46.8%, K/BB=2.47, HR/9=0.85
    Jeremy Hellickson, age 32, GB=39.3%, K/BB=2.46, HR/9=1.28
    Lance Lynn, age 32, GB=45.1%, K/BB=2.43, HR/9=0.79
    Wade Miley, age 32, GB=49%, K/BB=2.27, HR/9=0.98
    Tyson Ross, age 32, GB=53.6, K/BB=2.14, HR/9=0.68

    I agree with many posters that Eovaldi has probably priced himself out of the Reds affordability with both his regular season and post season performances.

    • lwblogger2

      I wonder if Tyson Ross has made it back to healthy? Of course, would he be a better option than Harvey? I’m not so sure he would. Wade Miley is a big no-thank-you. I’ve always liked Hellickson but don’t like his flyball tendencies. Lance Lynn could probably help but again, how much of an upgrade would he be AND he got a little lucky on the HR/FB% this year. I could see him giving up a lot of long balls at GABP.

  26. Shchi Cossack

    How often could a one-inning reliever pitch effectively? A reliever pitching 1 inning and receiving 1 day off between appearances would pitch 81+ innings. If a reliever pitched 1 inning on two consecutive days with 1 day off between appearances, he would pitch 108+ innings. Of course, pitching 2 consecutive days with 1 day off would also include 27 additional days of warming up in the bullpen in addition to the 27 additional innings. Color my glasses rosy, but 108 innings over the course of a 162-game schedule doesn’t seem like an unreasonable expectation. Did I forget to mention, that the 1 inning appearance would always occur in the 1st inning of the game? That role puts a pitcher on a set schedule with a strictly defined role. He knows when and how long he will pitch every time out and can prepare as needed for every appearance. Mr. Bell, introduce yourself to Mr. Bailey and his role for the 2019 season. Since Homer’s $20MM contract for the 2019 season represents a fixed, sunk cost, the Reds might as well try to recover as much effectiveness as possible and 108 innings would be a good alternative if Homer could be effective in 1-inning stints with as much preparation as needed before he took the mound.

    • Old-school

      This is the type of approach for 2019 needed. But, the reds can’t win with Bailey/ Hamilton/ and Gennett costing $40 million with Bailey’s $5 million buyout still to come. Throw in Votto at $25 million and there simply isnt the budget to fix pitching in 2019 to pass the Cubs and Cards and Brewers.

      There is in 2020. Let Bell change the culture and build his team so that 2020 arrives with more young players, better clarity on internal pitching and 60 million more in payroll once 2019 is purged.

    • greenmtred

      Intriguing idea. He’d have to warm up, of course, but he’d only have to do it once per game,

  27. Scottya

    Here are the TARGET free agent SP targets, IMO.

    Career Sierra & xfip & last years sierra
    Trevor Cahill 4.18 & 4.03 : 4.06 (2 years 16 million)
    Brett Anderson 3.73 & 3.63 : 4.13 (2 years 14 million)
    Hyun-Jin Ryu 3.61 & 3.46 : 3.18 (3 years 33 million)
    Lance Lynn 3.99 & 3.91 : 4.26 (2 years 15 million)
    Nathan Eovaldi 4.18 & 4.03: 3.71 (3 years 36 million)
    Yusei Kikuchi ????? (5 years 45 million + posting fee)
    Anibal Sanchez 3.95 & 3.94 3.85 (2 years 18 million)
    Garrett Richards 3.83 & 3.70 3.88 (2 years 6 million) Tommy John Surgery July 18′.

    Charlie Morton stays in houston likely.

    Here are some of the trade targets, I’d be targeting to trade for using Reds prospects below our top 10 or 12 ranked prospects: (with years of control in parenthesis)

    Alex Wood (1 yr), Kyle Gibson (1 yr), Zack Wheeler (1 yr), Sonny Gray (1 yr), Kevin Gausman (2 yrs).

    Could we trade for Sonny Gray and Alex Wood for example with prospects that are ranked in the lower half of our top 30? I believe so.

    Here are the SP’s I’d target that would require a larger prospect haul:

    ROBBIE RAY (2 yrs), MARCUS STROMAN (2 yrs), ZACK GODLEY (3yrs), KENTA MAEDA (5 yrs), Steven Matz (3 yrs)

    Rotation with hypothetical moves:

    1. Luis Castillo 3.86 career sierra
    2. Anthony Desclafani 4.02
    3. Brett Anderson 3.73
    4. Alex Wood 3.66
    5. Trevor Cahill 4.18 use bull-penning method along w/ Romano, Reed & Lorenzen.

    Also sign Garrett Richards to a two year deal expecting him to pitch in September of 19′.

    • Bill

      I would be strongly against trading for someone with one year of control

      • Matt Hendley

        Likewise….unless the prospect is suspect that we send back.

      • old-school

        Unless we traded someone with one year control.
        Zach Wheeler for Scooter Gennett and Keury Mehla.

      • Bill

        I don’t see a huge benefit to that. If Gennett is traded I would prefer it be for a minor league player who could contribute beyond 2019. You just end up with a repeat of the Harvey situation, if he pitches well you could try to trade Wheeler at the deadline. Otherwise he walks at the end of the year with nothing in return. The only benefit would be getting Senzel’s defense at 2B, which could also be gotten by trading for a prospect who might help in 2020.

      • Scottya

        You only do this if we can win in 19′ and I believe we will with a rotation that can yield an era around 4.00 or slightly below. Here’s another plausible starting rotation, that puts us in a position to compete for a wild card in 19′.

        1. Marcus Stroman – Would require some more valuable prospects
        2. Alex Wood 3.66 career sierra
        3. Luis Castillo 3.86
        4. Brett Anderson 3.73
        5. Anthony Desclafani 4.02

      • old-school

        The Reds need lefty starters and this accomplishes that. Id prefer a hard thorwing slider strikeout guy but who wouldn’t? The 1990 team had Browning- an innings workhorse and strike throwing machine and Danny Jackson- a hard throwing K machine with a nasty slider. Lefty starters matter- just ask Boston and LA.

  28. WVRedlegs

    Trade a bad contract for a bad contract, that the could become a decent contract for the Reds.
    Trade Homer Bailey and a low level prospect to Boston for 31 year old Cuban OF/CF Rusney Castillo. Bailey is owed his $28M, $23M + $5M. Castillo is owed $26M for 2019 and 2020, $11.7M + $14.1M. Castillo has played CF at AAA the last 2 seasons and played well. He hit .314/.350/.507/.857 in 2017 and .319/.360/.416/.776 in 2018. There is just no room in the Boston OF for Rusney with Benentendi, JBJ, Betts, and JD Martinez. Those 4 are 4 of the top 5 offensive performers for Boston. Boston is paying a lot of money for him to sit in a holding pattern at AAA. Boston might be able to get something out of Bailey as they lose Pomeranz this winter, and the health of Sale and Price is always tedious. The Reds could better use Bailey’s 25 man roster spot. The Reds could then trade Hamilton this winter and turn CF over to Castillo for 2 years until one of Siri or Trammell arrive in late 2020. It also gives the Reds about $12M in budget relief in 2019 but it adds $14M to 2020’s commitment. It just spreads it out a little more.
    A little something left on the bone for both teams.

    • Matt Hendley

      A very good example of how we could move Homer Baileys contract. Its funny because people are saying that it is unmovable, but yet.

      • Bill

        It’s not impossible to trade him, bad contracts are traded all the time. Reds either way his salary or pay someone else’s bad contract. Either way they are paying a lot of money for what is probably very little production. Of course it could be traded for someone who benefits from a “scenery change” and work out, it just isn’t all the likely

    • lwblogger2

      Exchanging bad contracts is an option that the Reds haven’t pursed much in the past and this is the kind of think they need to be looking at. From the Red Sox side though, I think it comes down to rather they think they have any chance of getting productive innings from Bailey; and rather that likelihood is better and more valuable than having Castillo in AAA as injury insurance for their regular OF? Most teams can’t afford the luxury of having that cash sitting at AAA but Boston is an exception to that. They may determine that having him down there in case of injury is worth the cost of the “insurance policy premium” that is his contract.

      • WVRedlegs

        Yeah, those were some of my thoughts too. Would Boston even want Bailey? Would they think that they could fix the non-movement on his fastballs? And if they could, would they think that his value at the ML level outweighed that value of the insurance policy of having Castillo at AAA in case of injury.
        You know, Bailey wasn’t terrible all season long. He had flashes of good pitching and didn’t lose any velocity. The problem with Bailey was his fastball sat flat and was out over the plate too often. If the RedSox think they could fix that, 30 to 32 starts from Bailey next year might give Boston pause to think the value could be in their favor then. Maybe.
        Other teams have bad contracts, but don’t see as much as a match with them and the Reds. Toronto has Tulo and Russell Martin. The Rays have mentioned looking at moving Kevin Keirmaier as he gets up to the high dollar mark in his contract. He could be their highest paid player and their 4th or 5th OF. But don’t think the Rays would want Bailey. That just isn’t their style unless a nice prospect would be included. The Rays had trouble with starters and their openers didn’t always work out. If Bailey could eat innings for them and they get a nice prospect, the Rays might be curious. The Giants have a roster full of bad contracts. Bailey might fair better in their bigger ball park.
        From a Reds perspective, Boston’s Castillo seemed like a better match up.

      • lwblogger2

        And like I said, it’s exactly the kind of thing that I hope the Reds are exploring.

  29. Matt Hendley

    MLB Traderumors just put out a thought and it wasn’t laughed down. Hamilton for Grey straight up.

    • Sliotar

      Hamilton needs to not be offered a contract, if the Reds have any serious intent of contending in 2019.

      Even if the Yankees would do it, I would rather see Mahle get the confirmed, no-sending-down starts that one season of Gray would get. Their stats aren’t that miles apart, considering age/experience levels.

      2017 Gray

      K/9 8.49
      BB/9 3.94
      HR/9 .97
      xFIP 4.10
      WAR 1.7

      2017 Mahle

      K/9 8.84
      BB/9 4.26
      HR/9 1.77
      xFIP 4.45
      WAR .1

      A win and a half to see a guy go free agency this time next year isn’t worth for this team. Start the kid.

      • Sliotar

        Those were 2018 numbers for Gray and Mahle. Off-season hasn’t kicked in yet, I suppose.

      • greenmtred

        The Reds would have to know that they could sign Gray for additional years for that trade to make sense.

  30. Sliotar

    I see Trevor Cahill referenced above as a free agent target.

    As 2018 went on, he could not pitch effectively away from that mammoth park in Oakland.

    It was so bad, the A’s chose to go the “opener” route in the wild card game at New York, rather than start Cahill, who was full rest. Cahill did not pitch at all in the WC game.

    WHIP – .91
    K/9 – 9.3
    xFIP – 3.15

    WHIP – 1.58
    K/9 – 6.6
    xFIP – 4.70

    Haven’t seen a great reason for this, if it’s fixable or whatever. Reds better review his situation closely before spending FA $ to bring him into one of the HR capitals of the world.

    • Scottya

      Why would a club go with there #4 in a one game wild card playoff?

      • Sliotar

        Cahill was the only starter at the end of the season that was healthy and had a WAR of over 1.0.

        Cahill was 2.0, Manaea was 1.8 but hurt and out for the year. The A’s had 15 different starters, including a couple of “opener” games.

        If it had been a New York/Chicago/Boston team passing on its best starter entirely in a Wild Card game, the whole country would have known it as a big deal.