Daedalus is torn, as you might expect with a Reds/Nats trade.

Marc thinks the trade is questionable, at best.

Red Hot Mama is baffled. Me too.

Daryl at Raising Reds trusts Wayne Krivsky. After yesterday, after Joe Mays, after Juan Castro…I’m finding it hard to trust the man.

Some Reds hearts are aching today.

As of press time, JD hasn’t really weighed in with an opinion, but there is some good discussion in his comment section.

Meanwhile, there are some great comments at the Baseball Primer link mentioned below:

I believe I have strong powers of empathy; I can imagine why people do awful, unspeakable things. I cannot imagine why the Reds made this trade. Literally, I can’t even come up with a bad reason they might have used to justify it. Royce Clayton’s hair?

As a Cardinals fan, this is awesome. But this isn’t one of those trades where you can see how somebody without a sabermetric background might like it–I don’t know how anybody could possibly think this makes any sense whatsoever for the Reds.

Until now, I thought Krivsky had made some nice, small moves in his short tenure. This is mind boggling.

I just traded my dirty undies and a big ball of lint to the Reds for Adam Dunn, Brandon Phillips and Bronson Arroyo.

Wow. Just wow. How dumb does one have to be to lose to Jim Bowden ?

Is this the worst trade ever?

I’m having a tough time thinking of a trade LESS defensible than this one… Even the Kazmir trade – at least you could wiggle out using the TINSTAAPP principle.

Certainly – there are bad trades in retrospect, but I honestly cannot recall a trade a that looked this god awful when it was made.

If nothing else, I think this guarantees that no matter how bad the Cubs get, there will always be the Reds to show they can get worse.

If this trade happened in my strat-o-matic league, I’d protest.

As a Reds fan, I appreciate the effort to explain what the Reds were thinking. But this seems to be the equivalent of a sixteenth-century physician bleeding the patient to death in order to try to save him. It’s indefensible. As a trade, I know it doesn’t compare in historical importance, but the feeling in the pit of my stoumach right now is probably similar to how you felt when the Mets traded Tom Seaver to the Reds…

Indefensible. Bray and Majewski are both young relievers, true, but they are still just relievers. Majewski’s BB/SO ratio is unimpressive, as is Bray’s. Royce Clayton is an old and getting older shortstop who does not hit and whose defensive reputation far outstrips his actually contribution with the leather. Brendan Harris is a 25 year old bad 2nd baseman who has shown little ability to hit well enough to play anywhere else (he has hit well in the past in the minors, but last year posted a .270 .329 .417 line in 517 AB), and Brandon Phillips blocks the way at 2nd, Encarnation at 3rd (I think there’s a good possibilty that Clayton is now the starter at SS and that Freel, not Denorfia will take over for Kearns). Daryl Thompson is not a can’t miss pitching prospect and has some definite injury concerns.

The Nationals get an excellent corner outfielder who can probably handle center whose hitting .274 .351 .492 and is still on the upside of his career. A shortstop whose putting up a decent offensive line, and whose defense is comparable to the person he’s replacing and a minor-league reliever who throws hard, but is otherwise unimpressive.

In other words, Bowden fleeces his former team.

I have no feelings about the Reds. I neither like them, nor dislike them. But this is so bad I feel sick. I will never hear or read Wayne Krivsky’s name again without getting this feeling.

I will say one thing. I am going to watch Baseball Tonight for the first time since Valentine left, just because I know these guys will say the Reds are making a push and you have to have a strong bullpen down the stretch. They will love this trade. It will be classic.

But while the Reds had “some” offense to give it really isn’t as much as folks think. The Hatteberg/Aurilia platoon has wildly exceeded expectations as has Brandon Phillips AND David Ross. That’s FOUR guys playing way over what anyone anticipated. As much as I want to think otherwise Junior is an injury waiting to happen. That’s five. Kearns and Lopez are now gone. That’s seven.

So four players are likely to regress, one will be lucky to maintain based on previous history, and two have been eliminated. The kid from Triple A looks good but will have an adjustment period. Clayton is cipher. So that dumps it on Dunn, Encarnacion, and Freel to hold the fort on CREATING runs. That’s a lot to ask.

I have been a Kearns believer since I first saw him in Dayton. Injuries, the Reds jerking him around, and being stupid about his weight have cost him. But if he drops 15 and maintains his health Kearns is a .290/.370/.550 season waiting to happen. Lopez ain’t the greatest out there with the glove but he sure does do a lot of GOOD things elsewhere. Mike nailed it on Wager. Kid’s fallen down and can’t get up. But it being the Reds organization maybe he finds himself. Maybe.

Between Krivsky’s acquisition of Castro and Steady Eddie and now this Reds fans have to wonder.

As a Brewers fan, I will just hush and be d*mn glad for Doug Melvin………………..

That’s all I can take. I’m going to find a stiff drink.

16 Responses

  1. Pinski

    Reds has currently given up 8 more runs than they have scored. At most this deal saves 24 runs (that’s assuming a lot, 50 innings from each middle reliever and a 2.80 ERA compared to what we have now [Mercker and Weathers 4.8 to 5 ERA]). This also assumes that everyone preforms the same for the rest of the season, and while the Reds were slipping Arroyo was coming back to earth.

    So somehow to end up over .500 (following pythagorean predictions), we would have to score at a similar rate for the rest of the season, with about 16 runs leeway.

    Does Royce Clayton+Denorfia +16 runs = Kearns + Felipe?
    The talk of defensive advancement is hillarious. Clayton is only marginally better than Felipe. Kearns was our best OF defensive player, so I’m pretty sure that Denorfia is a decline. So there is no change in defense (especially considering the mish-mash of flyball pitchers on the roster).
    Clayton sucks. His best years are long gone. His power is below Felipe. His BA is about the same. His OBP is below Felipe (even considering Felipe’s down year).
    Denorfia is a different story. If he plays like he is right now in the minors I’d be flabbergasted. He’s hitting 350/410/450, what’s that correspond to the majors (even with the park advantages)? I see that as about 300/340/380. And those minor league numbers are off the charts because he is slapping (not crushing) right handed pitching. So he’ll hit as well as Lopez, but there is absolutely no one on this team to easily fill in for offensively Kearns.

    It comes down to this, did this team’s offense decrease by 14 runs? I think so, I don’t think there is any evidence to the contrary. And remember how many assumptions I had to make to come up with that number. If the bullpen changes save 10 runs, then our offense would need to probably improve.

    And its 3:30 and I still haven’t stopped vomitting.

  2. Glenn

    Its all going to come down to two things if this trade is ultimately going to work out in the Reds’ favor. 1. Denorfia has to quickly realize the potential we all think he has. 2. Of course, the bullpen has to be much improved.
    I wonder how much of this trade had to do with the maddening aspect of K and Narron continually watching good starts from Harang, Arroyo and Ramirez being ultimately lost by Weathers et al.
    BTW Standridge may have sent himself back to AAA after last night’s performance.

  3. Mike C

    I think they’ve gotten better for this year. Do you really think they’re going to miss a lot on offense with Kearns and Lopez? I’ll take my chances with Denorfia’s numbers and Lopez was awful this season. The pen improved big time and we have plenty of prospects in the OF for the future.

    While it seems like the Reds gave up a lot (known names), I think it gives them a better shot this season.

  4. Pinski

    Sure it makes him better offensively, but still not as good as Felipe. And have you watched Felipe field? He might not be able to pick or throw 100% perfect, but he gets to way more balls than Clayton does.

    There are three teams in the NL that had given up more runs than the Reds, one of them we just traded for their bullpen. How does that possible improve our team?

    Like I said before we have improved our pitching through these players by about 24 runs. That assumes everything else is constant and 50 IP each with a 2.80 ERA. Lopez+Kearns – (Clayton/Castro/et al + Denorfia) > 24 runs. We lost more runs on offense than we have saved, its not hard math.

  5. Tom G

    Count me among the non-Nats, non-Reds fans who think this one is a real head scratcher.

  6. al

    Pinski, if you look at the Win Probability Added research (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/what-wpa-can-tell-us-about-teams/) you’ll see that while pythagoras is useful, some plate appearances are far more critical than others for actually winning games. they don’t just have teams score runs for a whole season and then determine who has the best differential.

    It’s nice to be able to say these hitters add this much and these pitchers prevent this much and add them up, but it’s not actually how games play out. arizona was 11 games over their pythagorean projection last year, chicago 8, it happens.

    The above article shows that key relievers are put into situations that are sometimes twice as critical as normal AB’s (way higher than any other type of player) for win probability, so necessarily the runs they prevent would be twice as important for winning a game. And this is all just advanced statistical explanations of common sense.

    sure we may have taken a slight hit on run differential overall (though maybe not), but it seems clear that the runs saved in critical bullpen roles could end up winning a lot more games than the run given up at the plate end up losing.

    put another way: how many kearns HRs will come in blow outs? how many times will these two pitchers pitch in blowouts?

  7. al

    bowden said the same thing about a steep price to pay, it’s just talk, it doesn’t mean anything. Maybe they both feel like they paid a steep price, maybe they both feel like they won, who knows.

    Here’s what the reds are doing for roster space according to the ESPN transaction page:

    Designated pitcher Esteban Yan for assignment; optioned infielder William Bergolla to Louisville of the International League (AAA); placed pitcher Matt Belisle on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 10, with a strained lower back; claimed outfielder Brandon Watson off waivers from the Washington Nationals and optioned him to Louisville.

    so hey, we got another outfielder from the nats, who knew?

    I don’t get the belisle thing, he seemed dominant when he was back. I guess he must have reagrevated it or something, or maybe they’re just stalling to wait on balfour/claussen/wilson and see what they’ll do.

  8. Pinski

    I know what WPA is. I also know that Lopez had a positive one on the season and Kearns was negative. How many runs can two new relievers get you? Jin Az says probably about 5 or 6 up to 18. I saw if they throw 50 innings its going to save you 24. And yeah you’re right pythagorean isn’t that hot, but its a tool. Lets say its accurate to within +/-10 wins.
    So we could end up with anywhere between 92 to 72 wins. The average NL wild card recipient has won 92 games over the last 10 years. Ranging from 97 to 89. Remember that 92 assumes we don’t lose anything on offense and we save runs in critical situations.
    The step off between Lopez and Kearns to Clayton and Denorfia is pretty steep. Royce has a -190 WPA so he’s useless in the clutch. Majewski has a -67 WPA in leverage situations of 1.15. Only Weathers and White put up worse numbers (although White was used in low levarage spots so his LI is only .5). So I’m not sure if Majewski is really ready to be help this ball club as much as you think.

  9. al

    that’s all interesting info, and agree relievers are less predictable over a long stretch. but predictably great starters also price themselves out of reds range pretty quickly too, so you can’t hold these guys to 5 or 10 year standards because the number of any type of player that will stay with the reds that long and be good is almost 0.

    so say three years. If we get three good years from these guys as set up men, that will be worth kearns to me, and i’ll consider them part of the “core.”

    like foulke, you say he’s on his way out of the game, fine i agree. but in the middle there he was a key to a world series team and good for a playoff team, and that ain’t nothing.

    if bray turns into our brad lidge or someone, i’ll take it, even if in a few years he falls apart. It’s clear to me from watching this years reds team that set up guys are important, and just because they aren’t as predictable over the course of a long career, doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

    That just smacks of the way statisticians deal with defense. “well it doesn’t lend itself to our analysis and planning, so lets just sort or move it off to the side here and ignore it.”

  10. al

    pinski, you’re right, it’s a stretch on my part, i don’t know if maj and bray are going to take the reds to wildcard. honestly i’m just trying to find an angle on this deal i can live with, because i’m a reds fan and it doesn’t work for me to jsut say we’re f’d.

    Maybe we got hosed, i don’t know. i think there are some bright spots to this deal, and i’m not nearly as saddened by the loss of lopez as some people are. but i can’t defend this deal to the death, it might not be great.

  11. al

    chris, jesus, what did i just say: yes they are less predictable. I never blew off anything you said, i infact said it made sense, but that the long long term wasn’t that important to me.

    how many “core” guys are we really going to have? for the next two years we have grif, dunn, harang, arroyo, ez, ede, ross, phillips, coffey, belisel, maj, bray, with some good prospects on the way.

    sure it’s only two years, but the game just isn’t that stable anymore, and two years ain’t bad. again, i agree that position players are way more stable over long stretches, but if we have a good shot at the post season this year and the next two, we’re doing pretty well.

    and how do you know bray isn’t going to be as good as foulke? BP has him as the centerpiece of this deal, not maj, but people focus on maj because he had a strong season last year.

  12. Pinski

    Sure BP says he’s the centerpiece but they also say this

    He’s got the stuff to be a true high-leverage reliever, lefty or no, and should not be relegated to mere situational use. However, there’s very little guarantee that the former William & Mary closer will be that pitcher right now, when the Reds absolutely need him to be, both to make this trade work, and to keep the club in the race.

  13. al

    i don’t know chris, like i said to pinski, you’re probably right, this deal is probably terrible like everyone says and bowden probably just embarassed us historically.

    that’s just a tough pill to swallow, and there are at least some indications that this could work out, so i’m looking for those. I’m not trying to ignore facts, i’m just a reds optomist.

  14. Mark T

    All these negatives make me suspect that something good happened. Look at what the team was doing! They wre on their way to another fifth place finish. Then another winter of brash talk about the great defense. I was geetting tired of it myself, and especailly tired of seeing late inning relivers give up game after game.

  15. Mark T

    Imeant “another winter of brash talk about great offense”. In case anyone reads.

  16. Brian B.

    It was one hell of an offense. Now we’re going to be relying on guys like Castro and LaRue coming through in the clutch. AND the bullpen will now need to be much better than average to make up for the lack of offensive firepower. Say goodbye to 5-run ninth innings, 9-runs in the final two at-bats, and any hope when trailing whatsoever.