From the Enquirer’s website:

Brad Kullman, the Reds interim general manager, said today that there are no ongoing trade talks with the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians regarding outfielder Austin Kearns.

“All the rumors are about what happened in the past,” Kullman said.

The Reds reportedly turned down a trade last week than would have sent Kearns to Cleveland and Matt Clement to Cincinnati in a three-way deal. The Indians also reportedly offered Jake Westbrook for Kearns straight up.

Former Reds GM Dan O’Brien said no to both deals.

Kullman said he has been talking trades pretty much non-stop the last two days. He’s contacted nearly every team in baseball. He’s brought in all his top advisers.

But that does not mean something is about to happen.

So, while I don’t think this rules out a Kearns deal, it doesn’t sound like anything is imminent.

And then this comment:

There’s a chance,” he said. “But I don’t want to trade Austin Kearns. I don’t want to trade Adam Dunn. There are a lot of players on our team that I like.

“But, the fact is we won 73 games last year and 76 two years ago. Do we want to bring back the same team, minus Sean Casey?”

I don’t even like hearing Dunn’s name mentioned in the same sentence with the word “trade”.

26 Responses

  1. ohiobobcat

    I know that everyone wants Kullman to make a move, sooner rather than later. My question to the masses is: Who goes?

    Knowing that you have to give up value to get value, who can reasonably be expected to be moved?

    Griffey? Nah, maybe at the trading deadline if he is having a repeat of ’05.

    Dunn? (cold shiver)

    Wily Mo? That would be my guess.

    Kearns? I think he sticks, Dunn pulls the free agency string.

    Freel? Maybe. He has value.

    Lopez? Are you kidding me? I think he is as close to untradable as we got, as there are NO SS’s in the pipeline.

    EE? I’d move him for the right arm, no doubt.

    LaRue? Valentin?

    That said, the only player assured of a ’06 roster spot is Tony Womack. My wager is he will cash each and every Reds paycheck. He is pretty Wilton Guerrero-esq right now, and no one will take him off the Reds hands.

  2. al

    GMs are always saying things like “i don’t want to trade X,” since it wouldn’t do them much good to say “we really want to move this guy.” Doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The important thing from what Kullman said was that he understands for this team, no moves is a bad move. You can’t just bring back the same team and expect to get better, so he’ll do something if he can. The more he can do as GM, the more likely for him to stick around i would think.

    I think the mostly likely person to go is Kearns. I don’t think they believe he’ll ever be the player he could have been before the injuries, Wily Mo is still getting better, and Kearns has more value for the time being. It’s taking advantage of the market to trade Kearns.

    The deal i’ve seen discussed with the Red Sox involved a decent looking 2b prospect named Brandon Moss who put up a .780 ops at AA at 22, after a .900+ ops at high a. He’s not a blue chip guy but he might be ready to be a regular/cheap contributor by mid ’07 with a good year.

    I can see a deal like Clement/Moss/Cash for Kearns working pretty well for both teams, with the Sox dealing Kearns for Crisp.

    It may very well not be that deal, but i think it will be something like that.

  3. Tom

    I give. Who’s Cash, and what on God’s green earth would make us think that Kearns, an unfulfilled prospect, would be worth a top of the rotation pitcher like Clement, and two prospects?

    Later,
    Tom

  4. Jim McCullough

    Clements is not a top of the rotation pitcher. I would rate Jake Westbrook ahead of him. Westbrook pitched more innings and has an outstanding ground ball to fly ball ratio.

  5. Tom

    Clement’s XERA the last two seasons was 3.71 and 4.06, Westbrook’s was 3.73 and 3.97. I’d call them both #2 SPs, but I too would prefer Westbrook.

    Later,
    Tom

  6. Jim McCullough

    Plus you have to factor in the ERA inflation since Westbrook pitches in the AL with the DH rule.

  7. Chris

    Go take a look at Westbrook’s K-rate. It’s horrible, and a sign that he’s very unlikely to be effective going forward.

  8. Chris

    XERA does factor in league and park factors.

  9. Jim McCullough

    Tommy John’s K-rate was horrible as well but hitters beat the ball into the ground for years against him.

    Best of all, he is a groundball pitcher!! On the other hand, Prior and Clement are not.

  10. Bill

    Jim, surely you’re not saying you’d rather have Westbrook than Prior…are you?

  11. Jonathan G.

    I agree with Tom – Kearns will not command a Clement plus prospects. Not even in a package deal.

    Clement deal was more intriguing to me than Westbrook, though neither are highly desirable. Clement’s definitely better then anyone we have right now, but the nagging injuries are worrisome.

    Have no faith in Westbrook without Cleveland’s field behind him. And now that Crisp is moving on, I have less faith in Cleveland’s field. You can have Westbrook’s career 4.40 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. Clement ran a 6.88 K / 9 last year – HURT. Yikes.

  12. Chris

    Tommy John is just about the only guy you can say that about. I literally don’t know of one other example (there may be one other that I’m forgetting) of a guy with an abysmal K-rate having long-term success.

    One other point: Given the Reds’ defense, I’ll take all the strikeouts I can get. “Pitch to contact” takes a legitimate major league defense.

  13. Jim McCullough

    Millwood, Silva, Buehrle, Washburn, Rogers, Garland, T. Hudson, Glavine, Suppan, Mulder

    All low strikeout but very successful pitchers last year.

    Defensives play better when the ball is put into play consistently.

  14. Jim McCullough

    I’m saying that if the Prior deal exists then the Reds have to be sure that Prior will sign a long term deal first. Prior does have a history of injury problems to be considered as well. He has only pitched over 200 innings once.

    The question I guess that remains is whether a Kearns for Prior deal exists.

  15. Bill

    The article doesn’t say that a Prior/Kearns deal exists now. It says that the Cubs have floated the idea of trading Prior and that he’s the type of pitcher the Reds should get if they’re going to give up someone like Kearns, a pitcher that could be a difference maker, someone with a higher upside than Westbrook.

    I don’t think the Cubs would do a Prior for Kearns trade anyway, the Reds would have to throw in more.

  16. Chris

    Jim, I’m not disputing that pitchers can have good seasons with a low K-Rate. I’m saying the it is very rare for a pitcher to consistently pitch well with a low K-rate. I posted some quick research somewhere the other day (possibly the Reds list-serv), that showed that aside from Tom Glavine, no active pitcher with Westbrook’s career K-Rate has had more than one season with a park-adjusted ERA below the league average.

    What’s more likely? Westbrook is Tommy John or Tom Glavine, or he’s one of the other 30 active pitchers with his K-rate who’ve had one good season?

  17. Chris

    By the way, I’m not sure I agree with your assessment that these are all low-strikeout guys. Some are, but not all:

    Of 93 pitchers who qualified for the ERA title, by K-Rate (ERA rank in parenthesis):
    Millwood 30th (6)
    Buehrle 52nd (11)
    T. Hudson 57th (22)
    Suppan 62nd (26)
    Mulder 76th (29)
    Washburn 78th (13)
    Garland 79th (21)
    Glavine 84th (24)
    Rogers 90th (19)
    Silva 93rd (16)

    Yes, all those guys had good ERAs last year, but I have my doubts about how they’ll do next year.

    The low-strikeout guys on the 2004 ERA leaderboard were Carl Pavano, Al Leiter, Odalis Perez, Jake Westbrook(!), Brad Radke, Hudson, Glavine, Jason Marquis, John Thomson, David Wells, Buehrle, Steve Traschel, Bret Tomko, and Jose Lima. How many of them re-appeared in 2005? Two?

  18. Jim McCullough

    How about a comparison of the high strikeout guys? How many repeaters besides the obvious Clemens and Johnson types?

  19. Chris

    Well, I do have a job (for now). 🙂 Generally, there were more high-strikeout guys on the repeater list, but I didn’t go through all the specifics. When I get home tonight, I might run some numbers using my Sinins CD-ROM. Of course, tonight’s also the first night of playoffs in my softball league, so I may not have time.

  20. Jim McCullough

    No rush!

    Wonder if the White Sox would be interested in Kearns? They certainly have an excess of starting pitching.

  21. Brian

    Here’s a list from the last 3 seasons, it lists all the pitchers who have had 2 years with an ERA vs the league that was .025 better and less than 5 K’s per 9.

    Then a list of the gys with more than 5 K’s a game

    2003-2005
    ALL POSITIONS
    ERA >= -.025
    STRIKEOUTS/9 IP = -.025
    STRIKEOUTS/9 IP >= 5

    T1 C.C. Sabathia 3
    T1 Pedro Martinez 3
    T1 Barry Zito 3
    T1 Livan Hernandez 3
    T1 Greg Maddux 3
    T1 Freddy Garcia 3
    T1 Brad Radke 3
    T1 Roger Clemens 3
    T1 Jake Peavy 3
    T1 Carlos Zambrano 3
    T1 Brandon Webb 3
    T12 Carl Pavano 2
    T12 Roy Oswalt 2
    T12 Jon Lieber 2
    T12 Russ Ortiz 2
    T12 Mike Mussina 2
    T12 Mark Mulder 2
    T12 Kevin Millwood 2
    T12 Brad Penny 2
    T12 Andy Pettitte 2
    T12 Ted Lilly 2
    T12 Matt Morris 2
    T12 Al Leiter 2
    T12 Randy Johnson 2
    T12 Tim Hudson 2
    T12 Kelvim Escobar 2
    T12 Doug Davis 2
    T12 Bartolo Colon 2
    T12 Matt Clement 2
    T12 Chris Carpenter 2
    T12 Mark Buehrle 2
    T12 Esteban Loaiza 2
    T12 Johan Santana 2
    T12 Tim Wakefield 2
    T12 Jeff Weaver 2
    T12 Dontrelle Willis 2
    T12 Mark Prior 2
    T12 Woody Williams 2
    T12 Victor Zambrano 2
    T12 Jason Schmidt 2
    T12 Curt Schilling 2
    T12 Jeff Suppan 2

  22. Brian

    Here’s the guys with les than 5 K’s

    ALL LEAGUES & TEAMS
    2003-2005
    ALL POSITIONS
    ERA >= -.025
    STRIKEOUTS/9 IP

  23. Brian

    T1 David Wells 2
    T1 Carlos Silva 2
    T1 Tom Glavine 2

  24. Chris

    Gracias, Brian. Question: Can you search for >2 seasons, or did you just edit the results manually?

  25. Brian

    I’m assuming you have the encyclopedia, on the far right of the task bar is a category called “seasons with”

    I ran the query there and only queried the last three seasons.

    That’s why the list of only two shows up, there are quite a few guys who strike out less than five and have better than league average, however their are WAY more of the ghuys who K more.