It wasn’t the cannonball many fans hoped for, but the Reds finally made an offseason splash by dealing for former Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark last Wednesday.

No, Roark won’t instantly turn the Reds’ starting rotation from a glaring weakness to a strength. But he does provide stability and experience the group needs. For the low price of Tanner Rainey, a reliever with a big arm who struggles to throw strikes, the move was likely an easy one for Dick Williams and company.

Why the Reds made the deal

The affordable price tag aside, the move made sense on multiple fronts for the Reds. The first, and most obvious, is his ability to stay healthy and pitch deep into games consistently.

Roark spent his entire six-year career in Washington, where he was overshadowed by bigger names such as Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. He still provided plenty of value as the No. 5 starter, earning the highly sought-after “innings eater” tag. The right-hander threw at least 180 innings in each of the last two seasons and tossed 198 in 2014. He largely pitched in relief the season in between.

In 2018, he made it through the sixth inning in 21 of 30 starts. As a team, the Reds got only 53 such outings from their starters. Only one team was worse: the Rays, who used a reliever to open a large portion of their games. Baseball is trending away from innings eaters in general, and teams are finding success by leaning heavily on their bullpens. Look no further than the division rival Brewers for evidence of that. But not all teams are built for that approach. Barring a surprise signing of Craig Kimbrel, Cincinnati doesn’t and won’t have a bullpen as talented as Milwaukee.

Roark’s dependability makes for a valuable addition to a Reds rotation that has lacked continuity as much as it’s struggled to keep runs off the scoreboard. For reference, only two Cincinnati pitchers have reached the 180-inning plateau since the team dealt Johnny Cueto away: Anthony DeSclafani in 2015 and Dan Straily in 2016. Only one pitcher (Luis Castillo in 2018) even made it to 150 innings in the last two seasons. Even if there’s more work to do, the Reds took a step toward fixing that problem.

The trade also gives the Reds a middle-of-the-rotation arm without making the multi-year commitment a pitcher like Matt Harvey is likely seeking. Roark is in the final year of his rookie deal and projects to earn $9.8 million in arbitration. While that’s not exactly pocket change for a No. 4 starter, it beats potentially paying a guaranteed $20 million or more to Harvey or a similar veteran pitcher.

The Metrics

Aside from the ability to simply take the ball every five days, what else can we expect from Roark?

You won’t see flashy stuff or gaudy strikeout numbers, but he misses enough bats to get by. For his career, the right-hander holds a 19.0% strikeout rate — below average but not by enough to kill him. Over the last three seasons, he bumped up that percentage from his early days (20.2%). The strikeout numbers stay in line with his raw ability to miss bats (career 8.6% swinging strike rate) and force batters to swing at bad pitches (career 30.2% chase rate). Although Roark’s walk rate has jumped a bit as his strikeouts have in the last three seasons, it’s nothing to get overly concerned about (7.8%).

Pitchers who find success despite not missing many bats usually have one key trait: limiting hard contact. In 2018, Roark allowed an average exit velocity of 87.2 mph. Among 139 pitchers with a minimum of 300 batted ball events, that ranked 45th. His soft-contact rate of 20.0% was 14th among 57 qualified starting pitchers and put him in the company of J.A. Happ (20.5%), Justin Verlander (20.1%), and Kyle Freeland (20.0%).

That ability is especially important for a pitcher who doesn’t generate many ground balls. After three straight years of forcing grounders better than the league-average pitcher, Roark managed a 40.7% ground-ball rate in 2018. Fortunately, his 37.6% fly-ball rate was somewhat offset by a 10.7% infield-popup rate, his highest since 2014. He wasn’t immune to the long ball, though. He allowed a career-high 24 home runs in 2018 and is giving up just north of one dinger per nine innings the last two years. That number figures to go up in Great American Ball Park, particularly if his ground-ball rate stays down.

The Repertoire

Roark’s bread and butter is throwing inside, as he put it on the day of the trade:

“I’m excited to go in there and do my thing and just attack, attack, attack.”

That’s a smart strategy when 61% of your pitches are fastballs. The sinker is far and away Roark’s go-to pitch. It gets plenty of ground balls at its best, though Roark struggled to get grounders with the offering in 2018. The pitch looks quite similar to a Tyler Mahle fastball, getting a lot of horizontal movement that can prove especially tricky to lefties when located well.

He also mixes in a four-seamer and, on rare occasions, a cutter. Neither is a particularly flashy pitch. He doesn’t light up the radar gun, averaging 91 mph on his heaters while topping out at 95.

Roark’s breaking balls bring a bit more intrigue. The slider was his best pitch for whiffs in 2018 and has generated a 15.4% swinging-strike rate for his career (15.5% in 2018). He throws it almost exclusively to righties (89% of his sliders in 2018 were against right-handers), burying the pitch down and away to generate weak contact and whiffs.

Roark’s curveball is his most aesthetically pleasing pitch. He prefers to throw it versus lefties, although he’ll use it plenty against right-handers too. The pitch gets a ton of drop — it averaged nearly 10 inches of vertical movement last year — which makes its low whiff rate (13.9% career) surprising. In 2017, he had that number up to 16.9%, but it fell back to 13.8% last year. He does, however, get a ton of chases on the pitch. Batters swung at curves outside the strike zone 40.8% of the time in 2018.

Inconsistent command keeps the curveball from becoming an elite pitch. He’ll leave it over the heart of the plate from time to time, and it resulted in four homers allowed last season. Below, you can see the difference in the pitch’s location between 2017 (left) and ’18 (right) — the increase in mistakes up in the zone is evident:

Roark mixes in a changeup as well. It boasted a whiff rate bordering on elite in 2017 (19.6%) but fell off the map in 2018 (11.4%). The pitch was always reliable for him before last year, but it was rated among the worst in the game in 2018 according to FanGraphs pitch value. The pitch had almost identical horizontal movement and more drop in 2018, but hitters were less inclined to offer at it outside the strike zone. The change’s chase rate fell from an incredible 46.7% in 2017 to a pedestrian 34.3% in 2018. Perhaps the increased vertical movement helped hitters identify it better. It’ll be interesting to see if pitching coach Derek Johnson can help Roark revitalize the changeup.

Final Thoughts

Roark isn’t flashy. His starts aren’t always must-watch affairs. He’s a one-year rental. He’ll have some bad games. But he’s more valuable than the Scott Feldmans of the world and makes more sense for the Reds than signing an aging free-agent pitcher to a multi-year contract. Roark has some intriguing pitches to work with and could become a true steal if Johnson can work the same magic he did in Milwaukee. Even if Roark doesn’t return to a three-win pitcher like he was in 2014 and ’16, his ability to give the Reds consistent innings will prove valuable.

62 Responses

  1. Mason Red

    I can only speak for myself but I’m getting tired of “affordable” and “one year rental”. The Reds are painting the picture that they HAVE to do things this way because this is a “small market” franchise. And it might be but that doesn’t mean they must always have that mentality. I don’t think small market means going through a 5 year “rebuild” in hopes of having 2-3 years of prosperity and then start all over again. This team isn’t the Yankees or the Red Sox in terms of money to spend but they’re not strapped for cash either. I don’t feel the urgency by this franchise to put a winner on the field. They have collected “prospects” but are afraid to make a trade to bring veteran starting pitching here. And I keep hearing here from other posters that doing things that would take away from possible success in the 2020-2023 time frame. With all do respect,as fans do we have really have to wait and hope for 2 years or more? And if moves don’t work at least the attempt was made to do SOMETHING and at the very least show the fans that the Reds are at least trying. It’s late December. In reality the season is just around the corner. To say the least I’m pessimistic based on what I’ve seen this offseason.

    • Colorado Red

      I agree with what you said, but the rest of the off season will tell.
      If we sign Dallas or trade for Kluber, then there is a big difference.
      If we do nothing else, it is another 90+ loss season, and a lot of fans are turned off forever.

    • Ghettotrout1

      I understand your point of view but the truth of the matter is. When a team is as bad as the Reds has been no free agents really want to come here unless you drastically over pay them. I mean probably somewhere in the range of 20% more than market and to me that makes sense if your a fringe WS team (we aren’t even a fringe playoff team). If the Reds can show some progress next season this place will look more palatable to free agents also you can make some trades next season with more certainty that they will be good. My fear would be Reds sign Keuchel if he would even come here. We trade for Realmuto and possibly Bauer or something. That makes our team pretty awesome. But with that being said after 2 years we are in real trouble. Votto is 2 years older, Keuchel will regress, Realmuto will be a free agent, because of those trades we likely won’t have Senzel, Greene or Trammel to come up and help and the Scooter will be gone or old. It just doesn’t make sense to go crazy this offseason. Also even with all that “doing something” I just laid out they still probably will only be a wild card team. So we are willing to do all of this to possibly make the WC for 2 seasons. Yikes yikes yikes. I would rather just do value signings again and then trade next year and sign everyone next year. I hate losing but to do it all for a really short window no thanks.

    • bmblue

      Huh? Only way its a 2 year window is if they do the things you want them to do and get too much urgency. The reds will have 5+ years of control over senzel, trammel, india, greene, santillan, etc. The window is 2020-2025. Why would you go gangbusters this year and make that window 2019-2020? Patience, people. I’d rather have a few shots at the WS in 2020’s than a wild card in 2019.

    • jreis

      I Agree Mason, these past 5 years have been frustrating and what is more frustrating is that our reds don’t seem to have a plan or strategy for the future. I look at the Kansas City Royals and I see a small market team that gets it. they have a huge ball park where even mediocre pitching can dominate and then they get a Billy Hamilton to roam centerfield. 2 world series appearances this decade and I would venture to bet they will be in another one before the reds even make the playoffs.

  2. wizeman

    Let’s not sing the blues quite yet
    New forward thinking manager. New… respected hitting and pitching coaches. Jettisoned one of the worst hitters in the game. Solid Major League starter for past 4 years.
    Have had worse beginnings to offseasons.

  3. patrick mcclellan

    Just be patient, what’s another couple months. I have a strong feeling that ther will be a significant trade sometime really soon, whether it be with the Yankees or Dodgers time will see. I don’t foresee any trade with you he Indians transpiring. I also feel like Matt Harvey will return too. The Reds k ow the fan base is decking significantly , and without an attempt of improving quickly the fans may take years to return to the park. I keep hearing Roark as being a 4 or 5 starter but in reality he’s probably a legitimate 2 or 3 starter. I hope they offer him an extension for three years. With the endurance and lack of dL episodes he will be an ideal pitcher for years to come. I feel that one of the three will be on the opening day roster. Stroman,Gray, and Wood. In order to acquire these player the Reds will either lose Scooter or two of their top ten prospects. If they go out and sign someone like Harvey too then they will have an adequate rotation to compete for the season. My true feeling is that Alex Wood will be playing for the Reds too. I know all of this is speculation, but it’s also being optimistic. Tanner Roark is currently a one year rental, but with a good season I see the Reds signing to a long term deal. Also, their bullpen may not be as good as the aBrewers as of right now, but with the acquisitions of two of the above mentioned starters , the bullpen improves substantially. Having Iglesias, Burton, Lorenzen, Reed, and Peralta and adding someone like Boxberger and Miller and you will see a team is better than the Brewers. Just be patient An example of being impatient is signing someone. like McCutchen the price he made. If he waited another month his salary would have been half of what he received. Another thought to consider as far as the catching situation is in regard to Realmuto is that if they do trade for him they will be giving up higher prospects. I don’t think that’s needed. Sign Mesoraco and sign him for two years for cheap. I think he’s finally away from injuries and if he rebounds like I expect him to then the Reds will be able to deal him or Barnhart and by next year the Reds will be able to have Stephenson as either the starter or as the backup. If they do get Realmuto then they will have a gold Glover in Barnhart as a very, very decent trade chip. Just my thoughts. Think positive and try and avoid being a pessimist.

    • Matt Wilkes

      Agreed. I think it’s way too soon to start bemoaning the Reds for sitting on their hands. They’ve already been way more active this offseason than any of the last three years. Yeah, they’ve missed on a few free agents, but the market as a whole has been slow to develop just like last year. If Roark is still the only addition made by February or March, then the team will deserve all the criticism it gets.

    • Optimist

      Finally a Mesoraco reference. Why won’t he be the best backup C in MLB wherever he lands? Has he lost anything defensively? A power bat on the bench, probably an emergency 1b fill in, and 20-30 games catching. He’s still only 30. Awful luck, but think he’s a tremendous value now.

      Still, need the pitching, but unless he’s permanently wrecked physically, he’s useful.

  4. Ghettotrout1

    I also want to make the point that if we all can remember back in 2010 through 2014 the main reason the Reds were good is because they had a crop of really good internal talent come up. (Homer, Cueto, Leake, Bruce and Votto). If we can’t get anyone other than Castillo to be a viable solid everyday starter (#3 or better) there is no way we are going to be able to trade or sign our way into a good team. So unless two of (Mahle, Stephenson, Reed, Romano, Santillon, Lorenzen or Garret) can come up and even replicate Leake I really see no way we can honestly expect this team to make a sustainable winning 3 year window.

  5. scotly50

    Roark doesn’t push us any nearer to the top three the division, but the Reds have not fallen further behind them, thus far.

    Statistically his numbers will look worse, based on the difference pitching in Great American. But right now he will be projected as the Reds two starter, where he was the 4 starter on the Nationals.

  6. WVRedlegs

    Great review Matt. If Roark is going to be the Reds #2 starter, then heaven help us. It will be another year of pitching doldrums.
    I am warming to the idea of the Roark acquisition, but as mentioned above, if this is the extent of the mandate to “get the pitching” the Reds are in trouble. T-R-O-U-B-L-E. He should only be viewed as a #4 starter and proceed from that. Castillo at #2 and DeSclafani at #3 along with Roark make for a pretty decent 2-3-4. Plenty of options in-house for the #5 spot, but no options on hand for the top spot. None, zip.
    Are the likes of Mike Fiers or Anabal Sanchez make sense for the Reds as they need that top of the rotation arm? That is a deafening NO. Matt Harvey?? Again no. Sonny Gray?? No. There is only 1 pitcher left on the open free agent market who can fill that top void. Keuchel. And if it isn’t going to be Keuchel, then the Reds must trade for that top arm. Signing another starter to fill in the #3 or #4 role again and then bump up Castillo to #1 and so forth would be pretty stupid and careless.
    Getting Roark was picking the low hanging fruit, it wasn’t all that much of a skilled move.
    However, I don’t think the Reds front office has it in them, no moxy at all, to obtain a top rotation arm via free agency or by trade. Be that this winter or even next winter.
    Dick Williams is no Brady Van Wagenon. Dick Williams is no Brian Cashman. Dick Williams is no Dave Dumbroski. Dick Williams is no Jeff Luhnow. Dick Williams is no Andrew Freidman. Dick Williams is no David Stearn. Dick Williams is no Mike Rizzo. Dick Williams is still operating with training wheels on and has to run each and every whisk of an idea by Jocketty and Castellini for their stamp of approval first. Of all the GM’s and POBO that are out there, Dick Williams is still sitting at the kiddie table.
    Williams walked way, way out on the limb when he proclaimed he wasn’t going to wait until late in the winter for prices to tumble in January or February before he was going to “get the pitching”. But he we are a week away from Christmas and it looks like Williams has made a liar of himself. Very little happens the week of Christmas and New Years. Very soon it will be January and Williams will find himself in the exact spot he said he wasn’t going to be in. Just more front office / ownership lies from Williams, Jocketty and Castellini. One thing the Reds front office / ownership is quite adept at, lying directly to the fans.
    The lack of activity by the Reds front office after such loud proclamations is typical. As that southern philosopher Gomer Pyle once said, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”
    And another classic Pyle quote goes directly to Williams and Castellini, “Shame, shame, shame!”

    • sixpack2

      Dick Williams is Dick Williams and I see a lot of positives since he took over. I’m sorry you can’t see them. Most of the GM’s you mentioned have almost unlimited budgets and Williams would have a lot of easy decisions if he had the same.

      My, advise, wait until March, and then August for your criticisms.

    • greenmtred

      Shazam! I haven’t given up on the off-season yet, but I could, no problem, by Spring Training.

    • LWBlogger2

      I have no doubts about Peraza’s work ethic. The guy is by all accounts a hard worker. I’m just hoping he can see his walk rate trend up, while still hitting for average and displaying the power he flashed. I was very surprised at his HR total in 2018 and he may yet hit 20 HR in a future season. I never thought that could happen. Hopefully his defense improves as well. He wasn’t as brutal at SS as some would like to make him out to be but he was bad. He needs to be at least an average defensive SS if the Reds want to keep him there. He can’t be Felipe Lopez.

      • Seat101

        I believe you were the one who pointed out his annoying habit of fielding the ball as though he were going to do a standup slide.

        That’s got to go

      • doofus

        Peraza had over 180 hits least season and an incredible contact rate in the 80+% during his career. If he can improve his defense I’m behind him.

      • LWBlogger2

        I agree with you Doofus. If he can get to average defensively, he’s very valuable, assuming the hitting continues.

  7. Tom

    This was a smart move, period. The Reds needed a solid pitcher on staff and they got it.

    They also need a top of the rotation pitcher. Having Roark doesn’t really affect that need or making that deal.

  8. Phil

    If Roark can duplicate his 2018 numbers that will be 180 innings worth roughly 2 WAR.
    DeSclafani has been worth 5.7 WAR in 422 innings pitched over the last 3 seasons. If he can repeat that kind of success over 150 innings this coming season, that would be another 2 WAR.
    Castillo has been worth 3.6 WAR in 259 innings pitched over the last 2 seasons. 175 innings from him at that rate would be worth 2.5 WAR.
    League average last year from the starting rotation was around 10-11 WAR. The Rays, Pirates and Twins were ranked 14, 15 & 16 in team WAR from the starting rotation with 10.8, 10.1 and 9.6 WAR.
    I’ve got Castillo, DeSclafani and Roark at 6.5 combined WAR. So that’s leaves around 4 WAR for the remaining 2 spots to get to league average.
    I don’t want to count on some combination of current Reds pitchers to be worth that 4 WAR. Signing Keuchel (steamer projection 3.2 WAR) or trading for Stroman (steamer projection 2.7 WAR) then counting on Reed, Mahle, Romano, Lorenzen, Stephenson, etc for the 5th spot and additional 1-1.5 WAR seems like something that would work.

  9. Tom Mitsoff

    Bottom line, the Reds got better (at least on paper) in this trade. All other considerations aside, that’s the one to remember. They got an established MLB starter for a bullpen prospect.

    The disappointment will come if there are no other starting pitching acquisitions.

    • LWBlogger2

      Agree 100%. I think that it needs to come via free-agency though because trading for a #1/#2 arm is going to cost one of Senzel/Trammel and other prospects, probably at least 1 more from our top 10. It’s going to cost as much as Latos did and people are still complaining about that trade (I’m not one of them).

    • Hotto4Votto

      I agree. Roark makes the Reds better and the acquisition cost was pretty low.

  10. gusnwally

    I no longer see any good reason to target Kuechel. If the Astros are pushing hard for starters, why do they not want DK. It has come to light that he is asking for 20 mil per and a 5 or 6 year deal. that is absolutely preposterous. Even a 4 year deal at that figure strikes me as stupid. Yet, people are still screaming for him. So we should make a big deal, just to make a big splash. And then sit here broke for the next half decade. We already have one of those pitchers on the payroll. How is that working out. I am all for DJ working with the plethora of pitchers that we have traded for and groomed over the last few years. Although adding another solid starter in the Roark vein would be nice.

    • Goat

      I agree totally! Sign Harvey 3/36 and the staff will be respectable for next season. Go after a stud next year, someone like Sale!

      • Michael E

        Ugh, Harvey is garbage. Why do so many Reds fans want him? He barely gets to the 5th inning on 100 pitches and will be a 4.00 + ERA pitcher the rest of his career.

        Roark I like. Stats don’t tell the whole story. He has much better pitches than Harvey, only lacking that extra velocity. He had a near Cy Young year two seasons ago. I think with new pitching coach, we may have a gem on our hands. Worst case scenario is him repeating last years numbers. Best case is subtle top 10 SP in NL and a trade candidate if Reds are dragging up near the rear at the all-star break.

        I like that he has a slider and curve and main pitch is a 2 seamer. I am growing tired of Reds starters that all seem to have straight-as-an-arrow 4 seamers and not much in the way of breaking pitches.

        I am GLAD Harvey signed with L.A., so glad. I did not want him. He doesn’t move the needle in a positive way. He isn’t even an innings eater given completing 5 innings is a chore for him.

        I hope, like many of you, we do make a trade or sign an FA. I’d be thrilled if we get Kluber or Bauer. I’d be somewhat happy if we got Stroman for somewhat cheap deal. I hope we don’t sign a Fiers, but I will say, if Fiers or Anibal Sanchez can go out for 175+ innings, they’d probably be worth it. I just hope though, we have one SP heading into Spring that could be legitimately labeled with the word ‘Ace’.

    • VaRedsFan

      @ Gus…how would they be broke paying DK 20 million per? Bailey’s 23 million for this year comes off the books after 2019. So after next year they will be in the same spot payroll-wise as they are now minus Bailey and Plus DK. Would you trade Bailey for Dallas equal salaries??? I would.

    • LWBlogger2

      It does beg the question “Why don’t the Astros resign him?” … I think the answer at this point is “The asking price is too high” … I’m in the minority in that I really don’t think Kuechel is an “ace”. He’d be the best pitcher by far on the Reds staff and he’d be a #1 for many other teams. I like Kuechel and I might even like him at $20-million per year. What I don’t like is a 5yr or 6yr commitment. If that’s the price, the Reds should look for their ace next year and squirrel away this year’s would be commitment. Bailey comes off the books next year and maybe the Reds could go very seriously in on someone like Sale in for 2020. I know people want to win in 2019 but I think the Reds are a legit #1 (Kuechel would work), a CF, and 1 or 2 top RP away from legitimately being competitive in 2019.

  11. WVRedlegs

    Are the Reds seriously targeting a Cleveland starting pitcher? Over at the Cleveland fan site, Let’s Go Tribe, similar to Red Reporter, they took a look at Cleveland’s rotation for 2019 using 3WAR. A little different spin on WAR. It is interesting.
    According to Let’s Go tribe, Cleveland has 4 aces in their rotation by using their 3WAR method.
    If not Kluber or Bauer, then Mike Clevinger should also get some attention from the Reds front office. He has 4 years remaining to Kluber’s 3 and Bauer’s 2. Clevinger is much less heralded, but his stuff might be better than the others.
    IndyRedsFan has been a big Clevinger proponent on here for about a year now. He and Castillo would set up the Reds rotation for some time. Everything else would fall in place. Clevinger can be that #1 or #2 if he gets out of Cleveland. OF help, bullpen help and prospects are what Cleveland needs.

    https://www.letsgotribe.com/2018/12/17/18143789/3war-as-a-way-to-measure-player-value-wins-above-replacement-cleveland-indians-starting-pitchers

    • VaRedsFan

      I’d take Clevinger for sure. He might cost less in salary and prospects.

    • LWBlogger2

      What do you think it would take to get him? May be as high or higher than the other 2 because of the control and also assuming that the Tribe see the same qualities in him that you pointed out. He should be in the discussion though. For significant prospect cost (Trammel/Senzel + more), I think only a 3 or 4 year, very cost controlled SP makes any sense.

  12. doofus

    Having attended BRM games I tend to use the Red’s teams of the 70’s as a benchmark. During that time I can say that they never had a starting pitcher that could be construed as a true “ACE” or #1 starter, until Tom Seaver in 1977, but they had starting pitchers that provided quality innings.

    Given that I am intrigued by any deal that includes Alex Wood; and, any effort to trade for Marcus Stroman. Both pitchers spin wormkillers at hitters and are capable of providing quality innings. A Gennett for Sonny Gray deal, I believe, will be beneficial.

    I would like to see free agent dollars given to the likes of Zach Britton and Marwin Gonzalez.

    If not Marwin, then I would move Robert Stephenson for Nicky Lopez. Call me crazy, but I believe it would come out the best for the Reds.

      • doofus

        Yeah, I agree, Gullett was the only starting pitcher that came close to being an “ACE” during the BRM days, but like you said he had both stuff and injuries.

    • Optimist

      Gary Nolan? Wayne Simpson? Injuries got both of them, Simpson in 6 months. Jim Maloney, or were the 60s too early?

  13. Old-school

    Roark is a nice pick up. Senzel and Trammell are super-prospects who need to stay.

    I believe the Reds are waiting out the Yankees on Sonny Gray…. Waiting out AJ Pollock and waiting out Kuechel. The first domino should be a revenue neutral Gennett for Gray trade. No one is giving up a top prospect for a rental in Gray. The Yankees need a MI with Gregorious out a long time and Torres changing 2b to SS. The second move should be AJ Pollock in CF at 4/60. The last move would be Keuchel to overpay at 4 years…. But not give in to 5. That’s 4/80.

    Kuechel/Castillo/Gray/Roark/ Disco would be a solid rotation. Winker/ Pollack/ Schebler/Suarez/Senzel/ Votto/ Peraza/ Barnhart a solid 8. The budget would be huge- but Bailey/ Gray/Roark are rentals and $48 million goes away in 2020 ready for another $50-60 million and prospects another year along.

    • Sliotar

      “Pollock, who turned 31 earlier this month, is reportedly seeking a contract similar to the five-year, $80 million deal Lorenzo Cain signed last offseason with the Brewers. Cain was nearly a year older than Pollock when he signed his deal, though the former Royals All-Star had something Pollock does not: a track record of staying on the field.”

      https://www.mlb.com/news/teams-likely-to-sign-free-agent-aj-pollock/c-301949532

      If the Phillies really are in on Pollock, as the article states, then he probably has the leverage to get a 5 year contract.

      The idea of the Reds being stuck with an age 35 Pollock, more than likely hurt more than healthy, in 2022 with another year still left to go on his deal…boggles my mind.

      Especially with Taylor Trammell having a MLB debut estimated for 2021.

      Plenty of bridge options, in-house or externally, could probably net at least 2 of Pollock’s 3 wins in 2019, without all the $ and years of committment.

      • Old-school

        The market will determine gray and Pollack and kuechel… The Reds are wisely very patient .

    • Bill J

      They can’t wait out Harvey, he is signing with the Angels.

    • LWBlogger2

      I’m going to be curious to see how close you are on Kuechel and Pollock. I think you’re probably close on Pollock due to his injury history. I think on a 4-year deal and considering the remaining SP free-agents, he’s going to land closer to $22.5-million per year. I don’t agree with trading Gennett for Gray, at least not straight up. I’d want a prospect back. The prospect may not need to be an “A” prospect but a legit prospect nonetheless. I’m also not completely sure about trading Gennett until I had CF sorted out. I think that’s where Senzel may start out. If the Reds land Pollock or another quality CF, then maybe I move Gennett to make room for Senzel at 2B. The Reds could also stash Senzel at AAA for a while until the inevitable injury comes up. At that point you bring him up and play him every day.

      • Tom Diesman

        Harvey can earn an additional $3MM worth of incentives based on games started and kick in at 15 starts before maxing out at 26 starts.

        He made 28 starts last season, so if he remains healthy, the contract will net him 14 Million for one year.

    • BigRedMike

      This is great news. No Harvey on the Reds

      • Old-school

        So the angels have committed to Zach Cozart and Matt Harvey 53 million dollars. Wow. Good luck beating the Astros.

      • Michael E

        + 1

        Was sooooo afraid that would be the Reds “big” SP get…a sluggish SP4 – type like Harvey coming with SP3+ luxury price tag. PASS

    • Michael E

      Thank goodness… did NOT want the Reds to sign him and his 20+ pitches every inning struggle to get through 5 innings. A below average ERA and below average innings eater = well below average SP. No thanks, we already have about 10 of those, which hopefully PC Johnson will repair a couple and extract some nice value out of them for much less cost.

      • Tom Diesman

        While I’m sure there’s lots to debate about if the Reds might have wanted to resign Harvey. I’m not sure his P/IP and IP/GS are among the top reasons not to.

        MLB AVG P/IP 16.6
        2018 Harvey P/IP 16.4

        MLB SP AVG IP/GS 5.4
        2018 Harvey IP/GS 5.3

  14. Jeff reed

    Harvey was never really a part of the Reds move toward contention. Now they need a solid starting pitcher and a decision on centerfield.

  15. Michael E

    My favorite site the past few years, especially for fantasy baseball purposes. Here is Roark’s pitches in view and explained. Wish some of our home grown pitchers actually had functioning breaking balls. I sure hope PC Johnson can get some young SP’s a working breaking ball they can command and throw more often.

    https://www.pitcherlist.com/tanner-roark/

  16. Mason Red

    Harvey leaving explains the Roark trade. Definitely a lateral move.

    • Mark Moore

      My thought exactly. And I think it’s a slight upgrade given all the still unknowns with Harvey. Plus it saves about $2M if projected numbers for Roark hold.

      • greenmtred

        A moot point now, but it’s the unknowns with Harvey–specifically, whether he improves further as his surgeries recede further into the past–that had me hoping the Reds would consider him. We’ll see.

    • BigRedMike

      It may end up being a lateral move, it seems encouraging that the Reds are attempting to turn over the roster. Bring back the same players from last season is not going to work considering how far they already are behind in the division.
      No Harvery and Hamilton. If/when they trade Gennett, this is a good offseason.

  17. WVRedlegs

    Interested in Troy Tulowitzki at SS?? Or backup INF at SS, 3B and 2B?
    About his workout yesterday fromTim Brown at Yahoo Sports: “The guy I saw today is healthy and ready to play…”
    Jeff Passon at Yahoo: “What @TBrownYahoo saw from Troy Tulowitzki today dovetails with what a number in attendance told me: He looks fit, he’s moving very well and if he’s anything like he was today, he’s going to be able to help a contender. And for the minimum salary at that.”
    The Reds were not one of the 10-12 teams on hand for his workout in California. The Cubs and Pirates were the only NLC teams in attendance. I have this feeling that Tulo will end up with the Yankees after Machado goes elsewhere. But the Angels need a 3B if Cozart is going to play 2B. The Angels GM was in attendance.
    Tulowitzki killed the ball at GABP. But he doesn’t look like a fit for the Reds as he will want more AB’s than the Reds would have for him. Too bad, he might have been like a Ben Zobrist is with the Cubs, if he has any OF moxy on the corners.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      If he has any chance of being productive (read: healthy), why do you think Toronto jettisoned him? If he comes to Spring Training healthy and produces, they could have gotten some salary relief, at a minimum. When he was cut, I figured the Blue Jays knew for sure he is done.

  18. Daytonian

    I never harbored ill will to Harvey. And to have him back at a reasonable price would’ve been OK.

    But we now have $11-$14 million more to spend on a needed player. That price would’ve been way to much for the Reds to pay for Harvey, who, barring a miraculous recovery, would have been at most a mid- to back-end of the rotation starter.

    Roarke is presently the better pitcher–more consistent. With Roarke and minus Harvey, the Reds rotation is already improved. This is good, but not nearly enough.

    To shake off last year, the Reds still need to sign one more quality starter, not a back-of-the-rotation fill. Can they do it?