Okay, maybe there is some action today.

First, the bad news:

Jeremy Affeldt became the first play (sic) to switch teams during the free-agent signing period Monday as he inked a two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants.

That’s really disappointing. Affeldt was the one free agent that I was really hoping the Reds could re-sign.

In other news, the Reds have signed Ben Davis, who has played several hundred games as a catcher with San Diego and Seattle. Yeah, he’s an extraordinarily craptastic hitter, but it’s just a relatively harmless depth-at-the-catcher-position hiring, right? Not so fast, my friend:

“He’s coming to compete for a job on the (Double A) Carolina pitching staff,” said Terry Reynolds, the Reds player development director. “We’ll see. Whether something comes of it or not, you don’t know.”

Davis pitched a some independent ball late last year.

This is the type of stuff I love to see. I don’t know why major league teams don’t, before releasing a minor league player, give every one of them a look-see as a pitcher, if there’s any indication at all that they can throw hard. Even if you only find one reliever every few years, that’s great. All kinds of pro hitters have been pitchers their entire amateur careers. You gotta think a handful of them, after flaming out as hitters, might be able to catch lightning in a bottle.

It’s outside-the-box thinking, and I think more organizations should do it.

16 Responses

  1. Dan

    We should give credit where credit is due on Affeldt.

    Krivsky got him for 1 year, $3 million, and for that the Reds got one year of very good relief (78 IP, 3.33 ERA, 80 K), and now a “sandwich pick” in the upcoming draft.

    That’s not bad.

  2. Matt B.

    The sandwich pick is great, especially since it looks like Bill Bray can fill the role Affeldt leaves. If he can’t, Herrera might be able to.

  3. David

    Chad agrees with something the Reds did? It’s snowing in Wisconsin is it snowing in hell today too?

  4. David

    Just kidding Chad – all in good fun. I like the idea of the catcher to pitcher tryout too.

  5. preach

    Krivsky played it well I am forced to admit. We knew from the beginning that he wanted him for the pen and was playing along with the rotation thought. Hey, if it would have worked it’s a good move, since it didn’t it was still a good move.

  6. Tom

    Maybe it’s me, but even way back in May I didn’t figure that either Affeldt or Weathers would be back with the club for 2009. So why didn’t they deal them before the trade deadline for some prospects that are much further along in development than any draft picks that we’ll get with them leaving as free agents? I’d have preferred that option, along with getting to see Herrera and Roenicke more in the meantime, to watching them play out the season and letting them walk form draft picks. Will we even get a pick from Weathers leaving?

  7. Phill

    Weathers would be another Type B free agent like Affeldt.

  8. John of Muncie

    Meh. Relievers are a dime a dozen. Let ’em all walk.

  9. Dave from Louisville

    Josh Hamilton had a 95+mph fastball in high school. Once he flops as a hitter, maybe we can sign him as a reliever.

  10. Dale

    The kid that brings my sunday paper has a gun, he hits the door with force from 40 yards! I’ll get his contact info.

  11. Chris

    Ben Davis had a reputation for being unfocused and lazy when he came up with the Padres.

    That said, I LOVE the idea of converting failed position players. I’ve been on this soapbox for 10 years. (My other thing is teaching the knuckleball to every failed pitcher).

  12. Bill

    My only counter argument is that it wastes reps/innings for young pitchers coming up in the system.

    Even if he’s successful at AA, he’s still going to be 31 years old.

  13. GregD

    If he’s in AA or AAA, I would imagine he’s wasting reps of journeymen or organizational pitchers who are no longer prospects. Prospects will get priority for innings, and I doubt that Ben Davis will be blocking anyone in A+ that is worthy of a promotion.

  14. preach

    Middle relievers tend not to block anyone’s progress at any level.

    Also, he may be 31 but he’s not new to the bigs. True, it’s a new position, but he won’t have the adjustment problems associated with breaking in. He’s also a middle reliever type of guy. His age is not that big of a factor.

    I hope he makes it. If he does maybe we can eliminate that whole third catcher nonsense once and for all.

  15. preach

    From Sheldon’s blog:

    Walt called us on Thursday right before the opening of the market. It was the only conversation I knew of my agent having with him,” Affeldt told MLB.com by phone from Maui. “Nothing serious came out of it and we went from there.”

    If this is true, it sounds like we didn’t even try to sign him. That would be a shame.