Trevor Bauer made his 10th start of season for the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. Overall he allowed five runs in 7.0 innings, walked no one, and struck out eight batters. His ERA currently sits at 6.39 with the Reds. That is less than ideal and certainly not what the organization was hoping for when they acquired him.

The Reds have probably gotten some of what they thought that they would. Trevor Bauer has struck out hitters at an elite rate since joining Cincinnati. He’s fanned 27.5% of the batters. That’s down a fraction of a percent from his rate in Cleveland this year when he had a 27.9% strikeout rate. His walk rate has improved from earlier this year with the Indians, too. From those standpoints, the Reds have gotten what they expected.

Where the Reds haven’t gotten what they expected was in the ERA department. And that seems to come down mostly to his home run rate. On Sunday he gave up two more home runs. That gives him 12 home runs allowed this season in 56.1 innings for the Reds. If we extrapolate that home run rate to the same number of innings he threw in 2018 when he was a Cy Young contender for Cleveland, he would give up 37 homers. In 2018 he actually gave up 9. His walk rate was slightly better and his strikeout rate was a little better in 2018, too, but the biggest difference is the incredible difference in home runs allowed.

Trevor Bauer’s got a home run per fly ball rate that’s the second highest of his career (2017). But unlike the other season in which his rate was very high, he’s coupling that with a high rate of fly balls, too. That combination has led to a higher overall rate.

As we know, the baseball is juiced to the gills this year. What we don’t know is if Major League Baseball is going to correct the baseball. If they do we should expect his home run rate to come down, but planning for that simply because of that isn’t a good plan.

The Reds traded for a pitcher coming off of a Cy Young caliber season who through 24 starts this season had a 3.79 ERA in the American League where pitchers don’t hit. In theory he should have probably saw a slight improvement thanks to swapping out the designated hitter for pitchers hitting and pinch hitters. But that hasn’t happened at all. His ERA with the Reds has been 2.60 runs higher.

But aside from it just not feeling great, none of that really matters. The Reds playoff chances when Trevor Bauer made his first start for the Reds was 4% according to Fangraphs. The Cincinnati front office knew that their odds were slim-and-none, basically, when they made the trade for the right-handed pitcher. They certainly expected and hoped for better in 2019 than what they’ve gotten from his performance. But the trade to acquire Trevor Bauer was about 2020.

The team traded a valuable prospect in Taylor Trammell, as well as adding in a solid prospect in left-handed pitcher Scott Moss and big leaguer Yasiel Puig to get the deal done. They were taking the gamble that 2020 is a year in which they can compete. Bauer is a free agent following the 2020 season and he’s made it clear he’s not signing extensions before free agency, too. Things haven’t been smooth for Bauer and the Reds so far, but it’s more about what happens in April through September of 2020 that’s going to matter for Cincinnati, not what’s transpired in August and September of 2019.

67 Responses

  1. Ed

    First of all, the Bauer interview in the Atlantic shows he doesn’t understand what’s up- he claims, amazingly, that he thinks he “threw the ball well” over and over again, as if it’s all just bad luck. Insane.

    Further, and I don’t really have actual numbers to back this up- but with a slightly stronger offense and Roark performing about how he has been in Oakland over 6 of his 8 starts- I believe the Reds could have crushed the Cubs and Brewers- especially the way those teams have been sidelined with injuries, and that isn’t something those Fancast probabilities can take into account. Reds just needed to stay in course and the record would easily be several games better. I’m not saying Roark is ideally suited to GABP, but the starting rotation was already one of the best.

    Further- whether he’s below average or not, Puig was a core element of the Reds offense and contributed in June and July. the tremendous lack of run support over the last few weeks, even with Aquino and Suarez setting club records, shows the wrong move was made in Bauer. This team is clearly inferior to the team that was barnstorming the division heading into July and the deadline. The deadline, Bauer and a confounding reliance on folks like Hernandez or Romano. turned this team from one that accumulates one-run losses, to a team that is consistently blown out. The huge shift in the Pythagorean record reflects that also.

    I’d be curious to hear how we can get bck on track in the off-season. Aside from a big and unlikely FA signing like Grandal or Rendon- both of which kinda seem unlikely to me- we’ve now seen a miserable few weeks of losing baseball, and I’m not sure where upgrades come from.

    • Ed

      The Athletic not the Atlantic. Doh.
      Meanwhile thanks for all the work you put into the site.

    • Pete

      Little premature to claim the Bauer trade was the wrong move. Aquino>Puig, it’s only a matter of by how much. Reds don’t develop talent so no big worry on Trammel – he may develop into a superstar in SD but highly doubtful he would be a serviceable major leaguer as a Red. Hurts I know but it’s the facts. Now, one doesn’t excuse the other but such is life.

      Moss looks good, very good from what I’ve seen so far and the way the Indians develop pitchers, this could be the deepest cut of all. Once again it is very unlikely the Reds could do anything with the kid but there it is.

      Bottom line: the Reds have to be able to develop talent, nothing else can substitute. The team can’t spend enough FA money to be successful. There are no shortcuts to success, our cupboard is bare and has been for several years. So in the short term I’m good with trading the prospects while they have value. They’re going nowhere in this organization. Maybe Doug can list all the top Reds prospects over the last decade and give current status. Unmitigated disaster.

      • Ed

        Sure- Aquino better than Puig is fine and I’d agree. I’m pretty sure you were letting us know about Aquino’s power months and months ago, and you were totally right.

        That said- the team is worse now, without Puig, with Bauer. That was the trade— ideally, Bauer will afford us the opportunity to improve something that was already really good- starting pitching. I think at his pay grade, it seems an absurd acquisition, when Derek Johnson could just as easily help someone with good stuff at a much lower price point- I.e. Sonny Gray.

        And you’re totally right- it’s dark. Bringing up the young guys did nothing for run support. That doesn’t leave a lot of options. I agree- are there prospects left to trade?

        To me it makes no sense for Bauer to be the third highest paid player on the team. Is he paid the same as Suarez? It’s a head scratcher to me

      • Pete

        It’s a toss up: Aquino + Bauer > Puig + Roark? The team most likely would have melted down in either case. Ed, the organization is a mess, no easy way to sugarcoat it.

        Unlike Doug, might life’s work is not invested in the Reds so I understand his optimism, if somewhat forced, and looking on the bright side but I believe the truth is the Reds are in real trouble. Trouble that runs very deep.

        Two of the best, and only, prospects to emerge over the last several years are now legit question marks due to health: Senzel & Winker. We have a hitting coach who appears to be doing more harm than good. Other than all I have mentioned in both my posts this morning, everything is peachy in Reds land. The 2019 season ends on the sourest of notes.

      • greenmtred

        Aquino>everyone, for a little while. He’s tailed off, though, and his numbers since that incredible start are not other-worldly. But mainly, it’s too small a sample size to anoint him better than Puig, who hit well after the very slow start shared by most of the batting order.

      • John

        Totally agree Pete. Heck even Homer Bailey looks good for the A’s.

    • BigRedMike

      The Reds need offense as you noted. Puig was not doing well for the Reds and if he was still with the Reds then Aquino would not have been playing. Other teams are hitting home runs at the same levels as Suarez and Aquino. The Reds issue is running Iglesias, Galvis, Peraza, VanMeter, and I guess the catcher spot out there each game. An aging Votto is not helping.
      In addition, Roarke has 0 WAR with the A’s and Bauer has 0.1 WAR with the Reds. Not sure how that would correlate into competing with the Brewers when they are 13 games behind them.

      As noted before, the Reds are not in the Top 10 at any position in WAR. There will need to be significant improvement at the majority of the positions. Also, the pitching will need to be as good with no injuries.

      • Ed

        Baseball reference has Bauer at -.4 and Roark at +.5 but I understand what you’re saying. Those numbers make no sense to me because Bauer is being creamed and most of the time, pulled after 4 miserable innings. Roark is not. How 4 innings of 8 run baseball is only half a game below replacement value only makes sense if Baseball Reference is thinking of replacing him with say, me.

      • Ed

        Hah I sound snarky but I don’t mean to be. Just sorta flummoxed

      • Scott C

        You are absolutely right Ed, the issue is not Aquino over Puig or visa versa. The issue is that we have so many batters in the lineup that don’t have any plate discipline. We get runners but can’t get them in. Suarez and Aquino can hit homers but when Barnhart and/or Iglesias is hitting behind them there is no protection. There is no need to throw in the strike zone. Either let them get themselves out (which happens all to frequently) or walk them because there is no one of any consequence hitting in the 5 spot. Some of that is due to injury (Senzel, Winker) but we need more hitters who can hit and understand the strike zone.

    • RedNat

      I agree Ed. the wind really went out of our sails when Puig was traded. Fan interest was really high and I agree, had we just kept Scooter, Puig and Roarke This upcoming Brewers series would be a lot more meaningful.

      • Broseph

        Scooter Gennett who was released by the Giants after basically no play and has offered up -.7 WAR?

        Puig has been marginally better since leaving the Reds, only hitting some more doubles in his ABs than with Cindy.

        They would not have been making the Brewers series more worthwhile. Still lost with them

    • Jeff

      It is time to get Votto out of the second spot and move him to the eight spot in front of the pitcher. He has been killing us all year.

      • Pete

        Joey has been one of two hitters producing in September:
        .311/.456/.508, wRC+ = 153

        If his new approach at the plate garners these type of numbers in 2020, I’d bat him between Suarez and Aquino, certainly not eighth.

      • Tomn

        As much as I want to believe that Bauer will return to his 2018 performance level, what bugs me also is his self-delusional explanations for his poor performance. After an earlier beat down, he refused to acknowledge an obvious hanging slider in the middle of the plate as the reason the ball was crushed. He had a similar b.s. explanation of a 2nd homer in that same game. That’s disappointing more than his performance because if he truly believes this, how can he improve? Does the Reds pitching coach talk sense to him two days later during a bullpen session or does Bauer reject opinions other than his own? Is he pricklish and above it all? I can’t tell.

        As for the offense, I just pray at this point that Senzel and Winker play up to their ballyhooed youth, which I think they can, while staying healthy which worries me. Im hoping that Van Meter tailing off is due to a longer season than he’s played before and that he can show the promise he was showing at AAA and early with the Reds. Beyond that, I hope the Reds invest in a couple of key bats to join the Reds. Even with an only mediocre Bauer, the Reds SP will be a strength next year if Disco has found himself. I believe Mahle WILL become at least a solid #3.

        Finally the bullpen. Iglesias (if not traded – though he still might be the Reds best trade chip – with Lorenzen, Garrett and Sims is a very good back end. Throw in Reed who was looking really good and you then need 2 or 3 free agents. That seems doable.

        Hope springs eternal and I guess I’m a sucker in that way.

        Go Reds.

    • Sean

      I don’t feel like this a valid argument. I think Aquino and Roark is weaker than Bauer and Puig and either way the point isn’t to contend this year. We all know Bauer is a better pitcher than what he has shown. It’s all about next year if Bauer goes out and has a 6 ERA for next year then sure it was bad but we know he’s also capable of being a very very solid #3 starter the stuff is certainly there so let’s see how a spring training with Johnson works out cause it’s also changing teams and his whole routine mid season which is tough.

  2. Vance

    Signing Puig is a must for 2020! His presence on the field and in the clubhouse was game changing! He’s the perfect Red and he’ll be the difference in winning vs championships

    • VaRedsFan

      Except he wasn’t for 3 out of the 4 months he was here.
      He can hit hit 1 pitch…the down and in fastball.

      • Indy Red Man

        He’s hitting .300 with Cleveland with .378 obp so maybe thats not quite accurate.

  3. Ed

    More and more Bell seems to be a problem too. At the game yesterday, after some good work in centerfield over the last few starts, O’Grady was up and signing autographs before the game. Then he road the bench, with Peraza in left field. Bless him, but Peraza made doubles out of a single and an easy out. He clearly just doesn’t take well to the outfield. It is logical baseball as viewed through funhouse mirror

    • VaRedsFan

      O’grady hit the wall hard the other night…had to be removed from the game.

  4. Eric

    Trevor Bauer 2019 w/ CIN: 10 starts, 56.1 IP (~5.2 per start)
    10.86 Ks per 9
    3.04 BBs per 9
    17.9% HR/FB rate
    4.45 xFIP

    Trevor Bauer 2019 w/ CLE: 24 starts, 156.2 IP (~6.2 per start)
    10.63 Ks per 9
    3.62 BBs per 9
    14.2% HR/FB rate
    4.30 xFIP

    And, for reference, during the aforementioned Cy Young-caliber 2018 season:

    Trevor Bauer 2018 w/ CLE: 27 starts, 175.1 IP (~6.2 per start)
    11.34 Ks per 9
    2.93 BBs per 9
    6.2% HR/FB rate
    3.14 xFIP

    It would appear that Derek Johnson needs to tap into “whatever was working in Cleveland last season,” but I’ll acknowledge the small sample size for this season in Cincinnati, hope for the MLB geniuses (genii?) to re-engineer the ball back down to this solar system, and wait until this time next year (assuming he’s here that long) to say whether that trade was a long-term success – whaddya say?

    • greenmtred

      I think the genii are the things in the magic bottle who, with proper persuasion, might hand over some good players to the Reds.

  5. Alex

    While the broke and fanbase-less A’s and Rays win 90 games on shoe-string budgets, the Reds make winning look like the most difficult achievement.

    • jim walker

      Maybe the A’s and Rays are fanless at least in part because they don’t hold onto any players long enough to build a marketing program around them? The key is to find a sweet spot vector of winning and drawing fans.

  6. jim walker

    You pay your money and take your chances. What else is there to say about Bauer?

  7. TR

    I’m puzzled by some with the desire to bring Puig back to the Reds. The first couple months of the season, when the Reds fell back early, Puig’s offense was not there, although it did pickup some later around the time of the scuffles when he physically stood up for the team. But I think Aquino is the future in right field. The guy is very capable of getting a hit where needed and not only a home run. I also like his defensive ability. Give him some time to acclimate to the Big Show.

    • jim walker

      I agree with you on Puig specifically. I think what fans want to see is the desire, fire and hustle he brought. Also, the team needs a leader from within its own ranks in the clubhouse. Folks see the qualities Puig demonstrated on the field and think he could be that leader.

      • Matt WI

        Puig is not urgent/necessary. But if they had Puig RF, Aquino LF, and a (healthy) Senzel/(Lorenzen?) CF and then Ervin as the floater— I’m not going to be sad.

      • Pete

        Matt – I would be. Is another league average hitter the best use of resources? How many at league average hitters, or lower, are good for a team? I say we have plenty already. By my count we have: C, 1B, 2B, SS, CF. Do we want another? Really? You guys with Puig fascination are killing me. No mas!!!

      • jim walker

        Matt>
        I don’t think bringing back Puig fills the need. IF (big if) the Reds were willing to go all in on Lorenzen in CF and IF (also big) ML could get up to speed on hitting breaking balls, I think he is a guy who could light a fire under the rest of the team with his play and attitude.

        Just to begin with, here’s a guy who could have just kept his mouth shut and become a millionaire by doing what he was told (pitching); but instead for what, 5-6 years, he has kept pestering various powers that be to let him be his complete self.

        Something tells me he would mostly lead “by example” but there is just enough of a hint of an edge to him, it wouldn’t take more than a cross look or a word or two from him to get the ducks in line and keep them there.

      • TR

        No mention of Winker. A lot of offensive potential there that hasn’t really been actualized yet. If Winker could work on hitting left handers in the offseason that would be a plus. I understand why many fans like Puig. He has personality, and I’m one that believes in team chemistry which since the departure of Brandon Phillips that has seemed to be lacking until Puig arrived. Whatever happens in the offseason, the Reds need offense and leadership.

      • Matt WI

        I can hear all that… it would certainly be going all in on “feast or famine”… which is kind of where the game has been trending, for better or worse (worse, IMO). And I fully admit I forgot about poor Winker. Out of sight out of mind!

    • Scott C

      I am not on the “bring Puig back.” I enjoyed watching him play, and it seems he is on Quick Pitch highlights every night. But the cost it would take to keep him is not worth the value he brings back. So far this year Aquino has supplied has replaced Puig, although he needs to learn to lay off those low and outside breaking ball. But also Aquino’s defense in right and his arm is equal if not above Puig’s. And his cost over the next five or more years will be a lot less, which means money can be put in other places. Can anyone say Lindor?

  8. centerfield

    Ultimately, any improvement needs to start at the top (and maybe it already has).
    Evaluation and development of talent seems to be where the Reds fall short. Bell is a rookie manager and it has been painfully obvious, but he may improve. He does seem to still “have” the clubhouse. The Reds have suffered from cronyism for years.
    New ownership might be the best way to improve the product. It isn’t only about how much money you spend, but also the standards and expectations of the organization. As things stand now, I only envision marginal improvement for 2020.

    Bauer and almost everyone else should be viewed as trade chips. Let’s hope Mr. Williams can make a few smart trades.

    • Sliotar

      @centerfield

      Good post…except I would disagree about Bauer as a trade chip.

      The Reds did not trade $50 million of value (expected, mind you) in Trammell to flip Bauer in the off-season. His performance/attitude/interview(s) in 2019 haven’t increased his trade value, either….plus, only one control year left at over $15 million.

    • RedsFaninNC

      The Reds are going to have to figure out who has the most value to trade to get the bats they need. There ‘s not a lot of good options at catcher or SS in free agency – Grandal will cost too much and why do that when you have a very good catching prospect in Stephenson so close now. Gregorious maybe, but I don’t think he will be enough. As it stands right now – Suarez, Senzel, Winker and Aquino probably have the most position player value. Trading any of those just creates another bat you need to replace. The best option might be to trade Bauer or Mahle, and I would strongly consider one of those trades if we could sign Desclafani to a 2-3 yr extension and get Alex Wood on a pretty cheap one yr contract (hoping for a rebound). I would love to pickup one one of Max Muncy or Gavin Lux to play 2B, but the Dodgers won’t need pitching. The Yanks and Cubs will need starting pitching. Would Clint Frazier or Ian Happ help? Not sold enough to feel confident they could. Frazier is a bad OFer and Happ strikes out too much. 1 yr of Bauer is not going to get you what we gave up.

      • RedsFaninNC

        Would Whit Merrifield for Mahle make sense?

  9. Sliotar

    To tie into @Centerfield’s “standards and expectations” theme….

    IMO, I think Bell/Williams/Krall know the Reds whole organization needs to overhauled, but that means another 5 or so years before results are seen.

    (Weren’t some of the scouting executives “promoted”/moved out of way recently?)

    So…. try and make a playoff run in 2020, maybe extend to 2021….knowing that things won’t be consistently competitive until after the end of the Votto/Suarez era.

    Pacify the fans, those of us who still have some passion for such a mismanaged franchise.

    Just a theory of mine, but it would help explain why so much farm system “seed corn” has been used for a short playoff window, after years of trying to collect it.

    • ToBeDetermined

      Sloi
      Agreed. Unfortunitely, it does appear that the rebuild is actually just getting underway. There was a teardown but no solid foundation was laid.

      Just my not so humble opinion.

      • greenmtred

        The next rebuild SHOULD be getting underway, but have I missed the evidence that it actually is? The Reds have a depleted farm system and a small number of promising players who are young enough and have enough years of control to be viewed as a potential emerging core. They don’t have enough surplus talent to trade for serious difference-makers (now or in the future) without creating crippling weaknesses, probably to the rotation.

    • jim walker

      My belief is they are working toward a fusion of the Oakland/ Tampa paradigm and “the Cardinals way”. The goal is to have a small reliable and recognizable core group which they augment yearly to stay competitive.

      A larger number of viable, even good players will move in and out each year in response to outcomes, cost and future needs. And even the core guys for the most part may move a year early rather than a year (or more) late.

      I don’t see any other explanation for giving what they did for a season and a half of Bauer

    • Pete

      I hear you but weren’t Williams & Co. the guys who did the previous rebuild? Tell you what: if a construction crew builds you a house that falls down, you don’t have them build the next one. Expect the sames results as the previous rebuild. Here’s a question for you: if Williams and the boys get the ax, how many teams will be shopping for their services? The answer will explain their worth. How many teams would have hired David Bell as a coach let alone a manager? Nothing against Bell & Williams but they are out of their league.

      David Bells winning percentages, as manager, over the years in MiLB:
      2009: .438/.468 Two teams
      2010: .423
      2011: .381
      2012: .354
      These are real numbers I didn’t make them up. He has gotten worse with experience! So we have this and the fact he hadn’t managed since 2012. These are the qualifications? Williams should be canned on this maneuver alone.

      The problem with the Reds as an organization is the deeper you dig, the greater the disappointment. I didn’t follow the Reds farm system until this season, thanks Doug. So I purchased a subscription to MiLB.tv to see what was up. It’s a total disaster. Yes before they mess these young guys up, they do produce at the very low levels: A, A+ and Rookie ball. Trade all prospects now but don’t spend Bob C.’s nest egg, the next management team will need it.

      My prayer is these guys do not spend all the money. The draft choices will still be prime but this is investment money they’ll be wasting. If someone proves they invest your money in stocks that bust, you need another broker.

  10. Don

    We really will not know for another year if Bauer trade was good or bad for the Reds.

    He may only be a #3 or #4 starter for the Reds.

    For the most part the 2019 starting pitching has been tremendous.
    Gray, Castillo and Disco are all in the top 28 in the league in ERA, ERA+ and in the top 22 for WHIP.
    Entire pitching staff is in the league top 9 for ERA, ERA+ and WHIP.
    Reds starting Staff has a 7.8 WAR, 4th highest in the league

    Pitching is NOT why the 2019 REDS did not win more games.

    Reds need to make the same type of changes with the offensive approach in 2020 vs 2019 as they changed in their pitching approach in 2019 vs 2018,17,16,,,

    Have a coach whom figures out what a player does well and optimize and perfect that and tweak some as needed.

    This one size hitting approach to swing for the fences every PA and every swing regardless of situation and score is not winning baseball.

    Without an offensive change of strategy and approach whom is pitching will not matter for the Reds in 2020 as having the best offensive player on the team hit 48 HRs with 180+ K’s and a 270 average means that the offense will be all or nothing.

    Red got the pitching, not they need to fix the hitting approach (different players with same approach probably will not make any difference) or they will be another 73 to 75 win team in 2020.

  11. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Consider this. The only years Doug mentioned in the article about Bauer was 2017 and 2018. But, Bauer has been in the league regularly since 2014. That’s what I can’t help thinking that Bauer, at best, is simply a notch or 2 above Homer. I said long ago, Homer had one good season and one “decent” season. The rest were rather pedestrian, at best. It’s similar with Bauer, he had one good season and one decent season, each I would say is at least a step better than what Homer was in his better seasons. But, past that, Bauer has been rather pedestrian, imo. I mean, if he’s “an ace”, he would have been that good a lot longer than that. If he was that good, it shouldn’t make that much of a difference what the league is.

    For the sabers, just look at his ERA+. Besides last year, it’s been right around the league average.

    What we can hope for, though, is, if Bauer wants to play off one-year contracts from here on out, next year is a contract year for him. Either he comes in ready and puts on a real show next season, or it’s going to be hard for him to find a job in 2021.

  12. Daniel R Lang

    I am really sorry to say this, but anyone who thinks that Lorenzen is going to be a starting CF for this team, or any other team for that matter, is just plain crazy. He’s a nice story and certainly someone who can offer some interesting flexibility , but a starter in CF? Come on. . .

    He’s hitting .205 for God’s sake with a .295 OBP. Yes, I I know he hit .290 last year, but .167 the previous year. Admittedly, all small samples but do you honestly think that he’s a better hitter than Ervin or Winker?

    He’s had a few homers over the last 2 years, but a CF starter? I laugh like crazy when I see someone post that!

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s crazy right? Iggy can bat .290 but he is hated. But by all means lets start Lorenzen and his .200 avg in CF.

  13. centerfield

    The type of player the Reds should seek to acquire is a veteran, SOB, who doesn’t want to be your friend, but just wants to win at all costs. The team lacks this dynamic. I continue to hear what a great club house it is and that the players all like each other. Who cares! I would like to see someone threaten to break Peraza in half the next time he nonchalants a play. Any suggestions?

    • jim walker

      You may have a point here. Not sure how extreme a guy can be in this era but players need to hear it in no uncertain terms when they mess up.

      Each sport and each team are different. However, up the road in Columbus, CBJ Coach Tortorella has publicly put his “leadership group” on notice that he wants them to take the next step of immediately correcting guys who make in game errors, not waiting in his words to do it in the dressing room or the next day over lunch.

      Back when CBJ were doormats, we used to hear the stuff how everyone liked everyone. Now we a lot more about openness and honesty in the room which every one appreciates. And by the way, they’ve made the playoffs 4 of the last 6 years including 3 in a row.

      • RedNat

        Yes! Honestly I think Votto and Puig were trying to develop a god cop / bad cop type of leadership in the clubhouse before he was traded. I really think they had a special relationship which made the trade more questionable in my opinion

  14. Aaron B.

    One thing we have going for us is that Bauer will be looking to get paid in his free agency, so he should be doubly motivated to get on track next year. He works very hard and Ihope they spot some flaws they can remedy in the off season/pre-season and get him back on track. It was worth a flyer. Puig and Roark were heading to FA anyhow. The prospects weren’t blue chips. Add Lorenzen to the rotation and things are interesting. The lack of scoring after the 1st inning is a huge concern. We need guys in the middle of the order that can put the ball in play. Even Suarez with his great season goes down swinging far too often with runners on base. Yesterday he stranded like 8 runners or so it was truly awful. Maybe Dickerson is a player worth pursuing? He always seems to kill us. Maybe trade for Ian Happ whose stock has really plummeted, he kills us too.

    • Ed

      I’ve been entertaining the possibility of somehow landing Jorge Soler and sticking him in left field.

      • Indy Red Man

        KC has new ownership and I can’t see them starting off by shipping out their big boy. Its a shame cause he was available imo. I never got why the Cubs gave up on him so quickly? I was calling for Puig, Castellanos, or Soler 2-3 years ago.

  15. Old-school

    The Reds aren’t signing Yasiel Puig- Aquino is the same player x 20x cheaper and 5 years younger.

    If Senzel stays in Cf- trading away Trammell and moving India to 2b in the AFL – suggests he is , then the reds need a 2b and catcher. The Reds aren’t finding a 4 WAR SS .

    Sign Moustakis to a 2 year deal with high AAV to play 2b as a bridge to India. He’s averaged 34 HR last 3 years .Sign Grandal to a 2 year deal at high AAV as a bridge to Stephenson.
    The Reds took the Brewers pitching coach. Might as well take 2 of their top 3 hitters.

    • VaRedsFan

      That’s a REAL plan. Make it so!

    • Indy Red Man

      I’d take Moose in a heartbeat although I think JVM has potential. Also if Moose can play 2B then Suarez could play SS & move Moose back to 3B.

      Actually though…I loved Puig on the Reds! Imagine how their arms could play in GABP if you had AA in LF and Puig in RF. Both of them can throw on a line to 2nd from the wall. Puig has had kind of a weird stretch with Cleveland. He’s hitting .300 and has a .378 obp for them (19 walks/42 Ks), but only 2 hrs? Still though that obp is more like what made him look like a star when he came up with LA. I’d pay him! I don’t trust Senzel or Winker to stay healthy. How can you? They could also try to steal Castellanos from the Cubs. He’s been great for them, but maybe they need to throw a ton of $$ at some pitching.

      • Old-school

        I like Van Meter as a bench player. But, the Reds need professional hitters. Injuries ALWAYS happen. Ask cozart.gennett. winker.senzel ..Schebler.

        I loved watching Puig but respectfully suggest he is in the Cozart..Gennett camp. At 30 and expensive and replaceable.

        Gotta fix up the middle first. CF/ SS/ 2b and Catcher. Senzel is there…. But 2/3 other spots need replacement. I don’t have a problem with Iglesias hitting 8 and playing SS as long as Senzel plus new player plus new player man 2b / CF/ Catcher. Fangraphs has 2020 position prediction. The reds don’t have 1 player in the top 30 at 2b. Move Senzel or sign / trade somebody.

      • Indy Red Man

        I wouldn’t write off JVM as a bench player already? He’s only 24 and had a .840 ops on Aug 27. He’s had a bad Sept, but he’s selective at the plate and he has some power/speed. I like his chances! Maybe 20/20 guy with a .360+ obp? They could do worse. They just tried to force Peraza on us for 3 years and he can’t do any of that so give JVM some time.

      • Old-school

        Van Meter has earned a roster spot in 2020… But not a starting spot if this team is serious about contending. One injury and he’s in the mix.
        I would not count out Scott Schebler. He hit 30 HR in 2017 and his exit velocity when healthy is elite. If he’s healthy, a good lh power bat who can play CF and RF.
        Ervin Senzel Winker Aquino and Schebler would be a balanced young cheap deep OF to allow FA spending elsewhere.

  16. RedNat

    I was looking at the reds recent first round draft picks and nobody is really performing like a first rounder should be either here or in the minors. And the question is why?

    Is it because of poor scouting and player development by the reds or is there another reason?

    Is USA baseball failing us both at the high school and college level.? Are the numbers inflated because less good athletes are playing baseball? Is baseball becoming too much of a ” rich kids” sport in this country which is diluting the talent?

    I mean if you look at Senzel, Ervin, India, Stephenson,Blandino,Winker they are all basically the same with very similar skill sets. I mean where in the world are the Eric Davises and Barry Larkins?

    Anyway I know this is off topic but somewhat related because in reality Puig should have been easily replaced in our farm system making the trade more palatable.

  17. RedNat

    Yes! Honestly I think Votto and Puig were trying to develop a god cop / bad cop type of leadership in the clubhouse before he was traded. I really think they had a special relationship which made the trade more questionable in my opinion

  18. Not Barry Larkin

    Had to stop reading after a few comments but regarding Puig: he is a huge, huge reason this club was never in contention for even a day this year. He was a legitimate black hole in the 4 or 5 spot in May. Fair or not, consistency is part of being elite, and that is not Puig.
    There is really no way, ZERO way to justify trading 3 or 4 top 10 prospects in a year, for rentals, when you finish below 500.
    There just isn’t. And if you say, “well the Reds would t have developed them” then there you go. Something is wrong. Hold the FO’s giblets to the fire and get answers.

    • Indy Red Man

      Except they never end up as top 10 prospects. Senzel is always hurt. Trammell was hitting .250 at AA. Aquino looks great, but he was never a top prospect. I liked the deal at the time. Puig didn’t exactly pan out, but he’s still only 28 with a high possible ceiling. Castellanos had the same kind of career numbers, but exploded for the Cubs. Thats what the Reds were hoping for. Also Puig’s arm played big in GABP. He could hold some guys to singles with balls off the wall and a fly ball better get to the track or he would have a shot to throw them out at the plate. For some strange reason Puig only has 2 hrs for Cleveland, but he’s hitting .300 (.378 obp). The obp portion would work for the Reds! He can run and doesn’t go 1 at a time like Suarez and Votto. He’s not a gamechanger, but who/what can the Reds get? He won’t cost a ton either….not with 2 hrs for Cleveland. Would you rather have Winker/Ervin again?

      • greenmtred

        I tend to agree about Puig. The Reds are close this year to setting a franchise home run record (unless I dreamed that), but they’ve been lousy at getting guys on base and, mainly, who are they going to get who is better? On the other hand, the Reds have settled into a pattern of adding bandaids instead of addressing the underlying reasons why the wound isn’t healing, and I’m not sure that Puig, at this point, isn’t a bandaid, albeit an engaging bandaid with a great throwing arm.

  19. Still a Red

    Addressing a few comments that have been made:
    Re: a tough SOB that can be a clubhouse presence…remember Scott Rolen (only one year though really).
    It was going to be hard to sign Puig ($$) so why not trade him for 1.5 years of Bauer. Seems like Bauers issue is going to be limiting HRs in GABP…transitioning to GABP and the National League hitters may take this half season to adjust.
    Looking at the Reds top position prospects IS disheartening. Perhaps all the best have been brought up already. Seems like many of the position players rank high in speed, but below average overall…only 1 highly rated power hitter….when he hits the ball which is not that often apparently.
    If Winker and Senzel can stay healthy AND JVM, O’Grady, and Aquino pan out…then maybe the Reds are poised for a few years.