From Lance McAlister’s blog:

Things I’m told
MLB sources tell me the White Sox and Reds have been involved in trade talks.
I’m told the White Sox initiated the talks. The potential deal involves the Sox sending RF Jermaine Dye to the Reds in exchange for Homer Bailey and another player.

What do you think?
Dye is a right handed run producer that plays RF. He will be 35 in January.
He leads all AL OF in HR’s since 2005 with 137.
He has a gun for an arm, but does not move well in the OF.
Money wise: Here is his contract situation.
20009:$11.5M
2010:$12M mutual option ($1M buyout)
He has a limited no trade clause
Homer is 22-years old and has thrown just 81.2 major league innings.

Thoughts?

86 Responses

  1. preach

    First question: Who’s the other player?

    Yes, Dye is 35, but we desperately need a right handed power bat and if he hit 35 in the AL, he would be good for 45 in our bandbox. I could see moving Homer for him, but given his age, I would hope that the other player wouldn’t be a top prospect. That would put Bruce in CF. The defense would not be very good, but the offense might make up for that. If we go with that deal then we need to make sure we shore up our infield defense to help compensate. I really like Dye, but at 35 I wouldn’t give up a top prospect along with Homer.

  2. Mike

    Can he play left? A Dye-Dickerson-Bruce outfield Left to Right, or even Right to left would be pretty impressive I would think.

  3. GRF

    There was a point in time Bailey would have been untouchable, but I think that time has passed. If it were “only” him for Dye, I might make that deal.

    That having been said, the Twins are supposedly trying to move Delmon Young. Given how far we may be from contendng (which is the 11.5 million dollar question to me about acquiring Dye) I might be more interested in him than I am in Dye. Maybe a swap a former top prospects needing a change of scenery?

  4. Phill

    Is a poor defending corner outfielder with power really what the Reds need?

    It would be interesting but Homer +1 for Dye and taking the contract? I don’t know that would sound too much like a steal for the White Sox.

  5. Aaron

    Eh, I wouldn’t be too opposed to it, but given the luck of the reds and this city, here’s what would happen:

    Dye would play pretty good ball in April giving us all a warm fuzzy, the reds jump out to a great start. May, Dye pulls a hamstring and goes on the 60 day DL. By the time he comes back just after the all star break, the reds are 10 games under 500 and are for all intents and purposes done for the year.

    Meanwhile, Bailey would go to Chicago and post a 2.34 ERA and win 17 games and be in the discussion for a Cy Young award. He would become one of the dominant pitches in the AL and prompt everyone to ask why the heck the reds got rid of him.

    Now, if we keep Bailey, he’ll stay in AAA with a 6+ ERA. And Dye will go somewhere else, hit 45 homers, and be in the discussion for league MVP.

  6. GRF

    Wow Aaron, don’t let your optimisim run away with you! 🙂

  7. mhopp

    If we’re not going to contend…why spend the money? I say take that money and dump it into the farm system so we can be like the Marlins or Twins! Dye is pretty good but he’s like a Right Handed Griffey who’s getting older and costs a lot. Bailey still has a big upside so I say forget that, unless the Sox want to eat half his contract for the next two years.

  8. Josh

    Why does everyone say we’re “far from contending”? I think a guy like Dye is what the Reds are missing to be contenders. A rotation of Harang, Volquez, Arroyo, Cueto, and Owings could be strong and deep. We need some bullpen help but can be aquired creatively. If Gonzo is back at SS I don’t see why Dye doesn’t put us into contention.

    This time last year everyone says we should be gearing up for a run in 09. Now everyone is saying a run in 10. At some point the Reds have to shove in and try to make a move. Perhaps this is that move.

    This isn’t to say I love a 35 year old outfielder for 11.5 million, but this gives the Reds what they need and allows another year of development for Stubbs.

    I say pull the trigger (depending on the “other player”). I’m tired of “waiting to make a run”. At some point you have to be ready to contend. Why not now?

  9. Dan

    I am 100% opposed to this deal, and I hope it’s just a wacky baseless rumor.

    Talk about sell low, buy high… just a terrible idea in my opinion.

    The ONLY way this would be defensible (in my opinion of course) would be if the Reds were one player away from being the favorites in the NL Central. So if you need Dye to move you from an expected 87 wins to an expected 90 wins (or something like that), maaaaaaaybe you do it.

    But if Dye would move you from 76 wins to 79, what’s the point?

    If the Reds braintrust continues to delude themselves that they’re ready to be competitive next year, and if they make long-term for short-term deals like this, the Reds are in for a long-term run of mediocrity.

    Don’t sell low on Homer. Give him a chance to turn it around. His value is at an all-time low right now. You can’t choose now to sell.

  10. Bill

    Dan,I agree with your philosophy, but what if Homer never does more than what he’s done…and thus, this could be the last chance that he’s worth anything? How does missed opportunity (not necessarily this one particularly) fit into that philosophy?

  11. Dan

    Hey Josh (or anyone else who thinks the Reds can be contenders in 2009)…

    In 2008, the Reds scored 704 runs and gave up 800. They won 74 games.

    Out of the 8 teams to make the playoffs in 2008, the worst run differential was the Dodgers at +52.

    Talk me through where you see the improvement coming from to go from a run differential of -96 to, say, +50. That’s an improvement of 146 (about a run a game) from one year to the next.

    Where do you see that coming from?

    Serious question…

  12. Dan

    Bill, if Homer is really toast, then you’re right, now would be the best time to deal him.

    But for someone who is 22 and a former 1st round pick (#7 overall), I am just not ready to pull the plug.

  13. Bill

    But I don’t think anyone would disagree that the signs of concern about Bailey’s future vastly outnumber the signs of progress.

  14. Sultan of Swaff

    Living in the Chicago area, I see Dye a lot. This guy has an above average arm and still moves quite well for his age–he is not Griffey. If we bump him to left and keep Bruce in right, we will have an above average defensive outfield. Factor in the production he’ll give, and this makes sense. I’m with the lot who say it’s time to shove off and go for it. The point is not to be the favorites in the division, but to be in a position to contend and let the chips fall. This trade would do that. Worst case scenario, we part ways in a year and let the kids take over. As for Homer, I think Walt has soured on him. I have too. I just don’t believe his command of his offspeed pitches will allow him to blossom in the next 2 years. Just don’t throw in a top 10 prospect to go with him.

  15. justcorbly

    If Bailey is going to be considered for a trade, this is probably the best time.

    I’d be inclined to wait until late in spring training, and shop him only if I don’t see enough improvement to get him in the rotation. I don’t see Bailey in the bullpen or back in AAA. This year is his make it or break it year for me.

    Expectations of Bailey’s potential value to the club have certainly diminished. But he is still young enough that he’s attractive trade bait. I.e., most of his woes can, charitably, be blamed on lack of maturity. Less charitably, they can be blamed on unrestrained hype: The Bailey we’ve seen may be all the Bailey there is.

    Yes, he might go elsewhere and blossom into the pitcher we all hope he is. Or, he might stay with the team and have another disappointing season. If the latter, his value in a trade will be neglible.

  16. Travis G.

    I’d move Bailey, but only for another player with some upside. Dye or someone like Magglio Ordonez have none at this point, at least for a team a year or two away from legitimacy.

    I’d rather do something like build an Eric Hinske-Gabe Kapler platoon in RF this season than give up talent for an aging and expensive injury risk.

  17. Josh

    Dan,

    I don’t have any statistical analysis to back up anything about where I think they improve, but I think Arroyo does about the same things as last year, I see regression in Volquez, big improvement in Harang, slight improvement in Cueto, and a vast improvement in our number 5 pitcher over Josh Fogg, et al.

    The bullpen should still be fine with Burton and Coco to round out the back end assuming they can pick up some spare parts (Rule 5?) and cheapies to fill the gaps of guys like Lincoln.

    Our lineup should be better with more experience for Bruce and Votto. I think EE continues to get better at the plate and hopefully the departure of Corey Patterson acts as “addition by subtraction”. Dickerson will easily be an improvement over CPat and I think Dye would replace Dunn fine in an offensive capacity. Little less power, and OBP but with better BA and a better ability to advance runners.

    Defensively the Reds will still be suspect, but with Gonzo back at SS I hope for improvement there. BP of course is solid. EE is still a concern but I think Votto should show some growth in his ability to dig the ball out of the dirt (which probably cost EE a couple of errors).

    It’s optimism, yes. I’m not saying the Reds will be far better, but there is little question, I think, that the rotation will be improved and we’ll only see growth at the plate from Votto and Bruce.

    My personal feeling is that too many fans want to hold on for next season because they don’t want to mortgage a future that may never happen anyways. I think the Dye thing would be a calculated risk and could push the Reds into contention and I’m all for trying to win rather than sitting back and hoping it falls into our laps, because we have no way of knowing whether we’ll be any more “ready to win” next year or in 2010, 2011, etc etc.

  18. Dan

    By the way, I’m not saying that Bailey will ever be as good as Volquez… but look at how bad Volquez got torched at the MLB level at age 22… and look at what Texas did with him for his age-23 season… They sent him back to high A-ball and he dominated and worked his way back up.

    By age 24 he had an excellent season at the MLB level.

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/V/Edinson-Volquez.shtml

    No clue whether anything like this would work for Homer or not. I’m just saying, at age 22, it’s too early to sell low on him.

    Heck, if Homer had gone to college for 4 years, he wouldn’t have been drafted til this past June. The guy is young.

  19. Y-City Jim

    Trade Bailey and another player for someone who is not going to make this team much better? I think not. Stick with the plan, Walt. I can wait a year or two for this team to mature. While the pitching situation is better than in the past, it is not as deep as it needs to be.If you want a RH LF so bad then dip into the free agent market.

  20. Dan

    Ooh… just thought of something…

    This rumored deal reminds me way too much of this deal:

    December 8, 1987: Dave Parker traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Oakland Athletics for Jose Rijo and Tim Birtsas.

    Parker – age 36, had finished in the top 5 of the NL MVP race at ages 34 and 35, then had a so-so year at age 36 (.253/.311/.433), but still had 26 HR and 97 RBI for the Reds.

    Rijo – age 22, and had just pitched 82 IP for the A’s, going 2-7 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.

    We all know who got the better end of that deal.

    Come on guys, be patient… let’s go young and roll the dice.

  21. per14

    I’d much rather have Dunn than Dye.

    Just saying.

  22. nycredsfan

    I think I might do this deal, but per14’s comment is right on. Kind of sucks thinking about giving away Bailey for Dye when we could’ve had Dye’s production and then some for probably only slightly more money, and in a player 6 years younger. Unless of course Owings turns it around and is a solid 5th starter/pinch hitter.

  23. Dan

    Dunn is a free agent – anyone can sign him. This situation would be no different if we had not traded him.

  24. Dan

    I’m going to go a step further than my above comment, having thought about it a little…

    If I had the choice between a 22-year-old player and a 35-year-old player, all else being equal, I’d take the 22-year-old like 98 or 99% of the time. It would take an extreme situation to choose the 35-year-old. The decline is just so certain, and so soon.

    And in this case (Bailey vs. Dye), we are far from “all else being equal”…

    Bailey was a 1st round pick, #7 overall. You’d get like 5 more years of him under team control, and he’d be near the minimum for a couple more years. He’ll likely be able to play baseball for 10-15 more years (not necessarily all for the Reds of course).

    With Dye you’d either get one more year at a cost of $12.5M, or you’d get two more years at a total cost of $23.5M. He’ll probably be able to play baseball for something like 2-5 more years.

    Picking Dye would be very short-sighted, IMO.

  25. GRF

    I think Dan in post 9 hit it, if you think we are an 80+ win team needing a RHB to make it over the hump you make this deal. If you few us as a 70 win team, the few extra wins Dye would bring us aren’t worth giving up Bailey, even with his value down somewhat. I lean towards the latter, but I can see
    Josh’s point. Hopefully, the big money guys in the front office can evaluate where we are at and then act accordingly.

    One other thing to throw into all this. The Baseball Prospectus top prospect list for the Reds came out last week and after the usual suspects they did not see a lot of depth in the system. I will be interested to see what BA has to say, but that other player beyond Bailey may not be someone we can afford to give up (and I still would jump on Young if the Twins are in “sell low” mode).

  26. GregD

    1 – I’m pretty sure Chicago’s ballpark has HR factors comparable to GABP. If so, I wouldn’t expect a big HR boost from Dye just by switching to GABP.

    2 – Where does Bailey play on this team? Do you move Arroyo (or another starter) to give him a spot?

    3 – Beyond Bailey, what value do any of the other guys have who are fighting for the 5th rotation spot?

    4 – How can the Reds run differential improve in 2009 (without big trades/free agency moves):

    (4A)Patterson (299ab’s .582ops) Bako (366ab’s .626ops) and Keppinger(459ab’s .657ops) are all hopefully replaced (or improved) in 2009.

    (4B) Harang was a full run worse than his last 3-yr ERA and Arroyo was a half run worse than his career ERA. The 5th starters role was primarily 3 guys with combined ERA over 7.50. In the bullpen, replace the 75 innings of Majewski/Coffey/Fogg with someone who sports an ERA less than what they combined for (6.00).

  27. BenL

    I agree with Dan. In Bailey we have a former top prospect. He hasn’t put it together just yet, but he’s still young. Two things could happen this year:

    1) He puts it together, and his value goes up, both to the Reds and to trading partners.

    2) He doesn’t put it together. Then we still have a former top prospect. He still hasn’t put it together just yet, but he’s still young. His value remains about the same as it is right now.

    Right now keeping Bailey is a low risk-high reward decision. Trading him for an aging outfielder who’s value is sure to decline would be a mistake.

  28. Y-City Jim

    Why not Arroyo for Dye? It’s a salary swap.

  29. RiverCity Redleg

    Do it! Dye is really good.

  30. Jared

    Dan –
    “Talk me through where you see the improvement coming from to go from a run differential of -96 to, say, +50.”

    Dumping Patterson and Coffee has to be good for a couple. A full year of Jay Bruce, no Dunn or Griffey in the outfield, Harang returning to form, Cueto with a year of experience, maybe even Encarnacion getting his act together and throwing the ball to the glove?

    For the people who gave up on the 2009 season 6 months before it’s even started, I don’t understand what the appeal of the Reds (or baseball) is. I don’t see any reason to doubt the Reds will be better in 09 than 08, and there were points in 08 that everyone was hopefull. With the money they have to spend — and I think this is the biggest point — it’s going to take some magic to win. It’s going to be a surprise. Never increase your odds for this year and it’s less likely to ever happen.

  31. Dallas

    Putting your faith in a guy that had nearly a 5 ERA in AAA because a couple other pitchers got better down the road is silly. For every one example of “he didn’t get better until he was 24-28” you’ll have thirty examples of “he only got worse and was a lifer in single A by 25.” It’s a much bigger risk to keep him when he can be dealt for a proven asset that will actually score runs instead of giving up 8 runs per 9 innings like Homer’s been doing in the majors.

  32. Dan

    Jared,

    I’m a Reds fan, of course, and once the season starts I’m going to root for them to win every game.

    But at this time of year, considering deals and signings, you have to be realistic about where your team is – REALLY. It affects whether you’re going for it now or more longer term.

    If we could stockpile some impressive talent under the age of 25, I’d be more than happy to wait through 2 or 3 lean seasons before it comes together.

  33. Mark T

    Maybe the Reds have given up on Bailey? If that’s the case, then the move would make sense.

    There’s always the Lohse factor – teh ability of other teams to turn potential into talent where the Reds fail.

  34. Dan

    Anyway, as for your argument about where the Reds will improve, I think you’ve hit on most of them. And yes, there are certainly spots where they can improve. (I would not put “no Griffey or Dunn” on the list, however.)

    At any rate, I did just stumble across one very interesting thing:

    The 1989 Reds had a record of 75-87 and had a run differential of -59.

    The 1990 Reds went 91-71 and had a run differential of +96 and, obviously, won the World Series!

    Basically, the offense scored 60 more runs, and the pitching/defense allowed 100 less.

    Wow!

    That is a huge swing in one season.

    I don’t have time right now to dig into how that happened all in one year, but I’m intrigued to find out:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/1989.shtml

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/1990.shtml

  35. BenL

    With the red’s payroll they can’t afford to win by renting aging players. Teams with more money can always afford higher quality “proven” talent. Unless the Reds know something about Bailey that I don’t (an injury, for example) I’d rather bet on him improving than rent a veteran for a year or two (at more than ten times the cost). I’m not writing off 09, just being realistic about the resources the Reds have.

  36. per14

    My glib comment aside, I wouldn’t make this deal. Dye is a very solid bat but nothing more and he’s 35, an injury risk and a natural career-decline risk.

    Bailey is a potential stud, number one starter. Granted, he has really struggled at time, but he’s young.

    If Dye were even 2 years younger, it would be a different question. Or, if the Reds were on the verge of being a contender. But neither of those things are true.

    And, still, if you would trade for Dye, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t have resigned Dunn last year if you could have gotten him for 13ish million/year. Maybe that wasn’t possible.

  37. Dan

    Even if Bailey winds up being nothing more than, say, a #4 quality starter… I’d still MUCH rather have a 22-year-old #4 starter than a 35-year-old outfielder.

    It’s really not even close, IMO.

  38. NickP

    We shouldn’t do this deal if we get Dye for NOBODY-.

    His value is like 1.5-2 WAR max. You don’t pay $11.5 M for that kind of production. Unless the ChiSox are going to pay part of his salary, this is the easiest “Just say no” decision we’ll see this offseason.

  39. Jared

    Dan, that’s “no Dunn or Griffey in the outfield,” not just “no Dunn or Griffey.”

    I love Griffey but it was clearly time for him to go, and I’ll miss Dunn (and his bat and runs) as much as anyone else. But there’s no questioning that the outfield defense has nowhere to go but up with someone else in the corners.

  40. Mark in CC

    Bailey is in a similar position career wise as Volquez was last winter. Would anyone trade Hamilton for Dye, even knowing only what you knew then?

    Keep Bailey!!

  41. Travis G.

    Actually, Dye was worth 7.4 WARP last season, not an estimated 1.5-2.0, according to BP.

  42. Jose

    i say go for it
    we’re deep in young pitching
    and homer’s our weakest link
    so if we can give him and another piece of junk up for Dye i would be happy

  43. goodenchiladas

    Using Bailey for Dye removes the possibility of using him for a good young catcher, middle infielder or centerfielder prospect. We don’t need another old and expensive corner outfielder.

    The Reds were the second worst defensive team in Baseball last year. No Griffey, improved defensive play by Bruce and Encarnacion (who were NOT good last year) and never letting Keppinger get near short ever again could make the Reds a contender next year WITHOUT Dye. And if not ’09, probably in ’10.

  44. Y-City Jim

    We’re not that deep in pitching. It drops off pretty sharply after Bailey, Maloney, and Thompson plus Maloney and Thompson are even more questionable in potential than Bailey.

  45. Jose

    Thompson already pitched in the majors better than bailey and maloney has gotta be better

  46. justcorbly

    As I alluded, I think the key is Bailey’s performance in the spring, so I would hold off on entertaining a trade until just before the seaon opens. If Bailey is going to turn it around this year, we will likely see it in spring training.

  47. Y-City Jim

    Thompson already pitched in the majors better than bailey and maloney has gotta be better

    Thompson’s 6.91 ERA says he is still a work in progress plus there is his arm history. Maloney was hardly lights out at Louisville, and is two years older.

  48. preach

    Don’t forget: I think since Hannigan got to play on the regular we will be improved there as well. If we were to add a bat like Dye, address our SS situation if Gonzo isn’t healthy, and pick up a good middle relief arm, I think we could contend this year. Our rotation is pretty solid, we have a closer who is due to bounce back, our defense would be improved (with Dye and Bruce flanking Dickerson and Gonzo back at short), we would have a good bench with Keppinger, Hairston, and Freel. Our lineup would be more balanced. I think EE will improve his throwing, don’t know why, maybe it’s just winter optimism. Also, this division isn’t exacly the AL East. Call me a hopeless optimist, but I could see us definately progressing into a, dare I say it, post season spot. Depending on who the other player is and how much salary we inherit, I say make the deal.

  49. Josh

    I’m with you, Preach. To follow up on my previous post, I’m not necessarily sold that Dye makes us a contender, but I think the Reds COULD be contenders with a move like that. The future is so uncertain, how do we know if we’re every truly *ready* to make an acquisition like this. I think that 1) our rotation and 2) the experience our youth got in 08 could make us as *ready* as we may ever be.

  50. Danny

    I’m tired of the wait till next year wait till 2010 lets do what we can to win now.

  51. rob in stl

    Just logged on, so I missed most of the back and forth. I don’t like a Dye for Bailey plus 1 swap. My biggest fear is Bailey will turn into a top notch pitcher and the Reds get what, one year of Dye? Dan nailed it when compared Bailey do Gavin Floyd. Remember, he is only 22 and 2 years ago at this time was being hailed as a franchise savior.

  52. Jose

    Thompson only had one bad game
    thats what inflated his ERA
    dont look at the season stats look at game to game stats.

    Bailey has had many bad games

  53. andrew

    Dye’s not 7.4 WAR. Baseball Prospectus uses the wrong replacement level.

  54. Brothers

    Dan, in response to the difference between the 1989 Reds and the 1990 Reds…

    1) Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo, and Jose Rijo actually played the entire season in 1990.

    2) The bullpen was significantly stronger, partly due to Norm Charlton’s 154.3 innings with a 2.73 ERA

    3) Hal Morris played a lot of 1B, batting .340 and slugging .498 in 300 at bats, compared to Benzinger who batted .260 and slugged .340

    4) Duncan repleced Oester at 2B and batted .306 (Oester slugged .305) and slugged .476.

    So yea, the Reds played their young guns and thats how they

    So yea, basically the young guns got the chance to play,

  55. Brothers

    So basically, the Reds improved from within by playing their younger players, and with them paying off handsomely combined with a career year from Charlton. In this instance, I would recommend the same and stick with the youth movement over trading for one year of Jermaine Dye and two draft picks (when he leaves).

  56. David

    The only way this deal makes sense is if the Reds continued to make acquisitions in an attempt to overtake the Cubs this year. To me, that means signing a Furcal type as well.

    Otherwise, what’s the point? You aren’t in contention next year and Dye can opt out. That’s a big, BIG gamble.

    As for Bailey, I’d rather see him placed in the pen, before the team gives up on him completely.

  57. preach

    From Fay:

    Something’s got to give eventually. The Reds have four outfielders on the roster — Jay Bruce, Ryan Freel, Norris Hopper and Chris Dickerson. Freel, Hopper and Dickerson are coming off season-ending injuries.

    You can only be so creative when the above statement is true. I’m all for ‘building the youth from within’, but if you do not have them on the roster you are forced to import talent. If I have to import, I would rather go with a guy like Dye who absolutely mashes left handed pitching and who can inject life and presence in the clubhouse (face it, we really don’t have that sort of positive influence, and while it is an intangible, it still leaves an impact that can be felt)than a retread or someone handed the job out of desperation.

  58. BenL

    What about Pat Burrell? We wouldn’t have to give up a prospect for him, and he’s much younger. I guess we’d pay a bit more for him, but at least we could expect him to have some trade value one or two years down the road. (All the ame things could be said about signing Dunn… but I won’t go there.)

  59. BenL

    Oops… I just looked it up and “much younger” is an exaggeration, but 2 years is still a big difference…

  60. Dan

    If we’re really considering having an $11 million outfielder (which doesn’t seem terribly wise to me), I’d strongly prefer Milton Bradley.

    The guy is 31, is athletic, is a switch-hitter, gets on base (career .370 OBP), and has some good power. He’s a perfect #3 hitter.

    Also, a few years back at least, he was a really good fielder. Not sure if that’s still true or not. (I know he’s had at least one knee surgery.)

  61. GregD

    Thompson only made 3 MLB starts last year. I’m not sure that you can say anything about his major league career based on any of those three starts:
    G1 vs NYY 5 ip, 0er, 4h, 4bb, 2k
    G2 vs CLE 5 ip, 4er, 8h, 2bb, 2k, 1hr
    G3 vs PIT 4.1 ip, 7er, 8h, 1bb, 2k, 2hr

    With Harang and Arroyo under control through 2011 and 7 youngs pitchers for the remaining 3 spots, they have some currency that they use to improve the club. Whether it’s this deal, moving Bailey at all, or making Arroyo as a centerpiece of a deal, I think they need to do something other than sit on 9 starting pitchers.

    Let’s say Bailey is the one who is moved. Owings the 5th starter. Maloney and Ramirez could be the 6th/7th guys in AAA and Thompson could add setup/closer depth to the bullpen. The outfield is Dye, Dickerson/Freel platoon, Bruce.

  62. Dan

    No way I would be willing to give up Bailey (or any good prospect) to get an expensive, mid-30’s outfielder though. No chance.

    This team is in no position to trade future for now. We’re just not that deep. We’ve gotten back to the point at which our farm system is respectable now. Let’s just be patient with it now. Did we really rebuild the farm just so we could get twitchy and trade for 1 or 2 years of Jermaine Dye?

    Be patient! And by all means, don’t “sell low” on Homer.

  63. GregD

    So you let Thompson and Bailey start the year in AAA? Or move someone like Arroyo to open a spot for them?

  64. Dan

    I’d let Thompson and Bailey start at AAA or, if they seem ready, in long relief. (Heck, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be a good idea to let Homer go back to AA or so and remember how to dominate… It’s unorthodox but it worked for Volquez.)

    This is a minor concern. Every team has starting pitchers go down here and there throughout the season. Even good teams! It is NORMAL to have 9 or 10 guys start games by the time the season is done. Look up any team you want.

    This year the Reds used 10 different starting pitchers.

    The Phillies used 7 SP and won 92 games.

    Tampa used 9 SP and won 97 games.

    Boston used 11 SP and won 95 games.

    Yankees used 13 SP and won 89 games.

    The Cubs used 10 SP and won 97 games.

    Really, this is normal and good. And if they all are healthy for a while, a few of them are either in the minors or in long relief. (I’d love to have a reliever or two who can comfortably go 100-130 IP in a season… 2 or 3 innings at a time!)

    The idea of a “5-man rotation” is a fallacy b/c it never stays that way.

    Anyway… sorry for the long rant… but I don’t want us to suddenly feel like maybe we have a surplus here, and then flip one of the promising young ones for a 35-year-old outfielder.

    Decent outfielders are MUCH easier to come up with than decent starting pitchers. Let’s stock up on what’s rare and valuable for once.

  65. Bill

    Bradley’s a good offensive player, but he’s only played over 130 games one time in 9 ML seasons. And hasn’t he been an attitude problem in the past?

  66. Dan

    You’ve hit on the issues w/ Bradley. He has been injury prone, for sure.

    He also does have a temper, and it’s flared up in some embarrassing ways in the past. But no one has ever accused him of not caring. Actually, I think his teammates have liked him. (I think… it’s something to do homework on.)

    Milton seemed mighty nice and jovial while Josh Hamilton was hitting bombs in the HR Derby this year. Remember that?

    All in all, I think it’s a chance I’d take. He’s the only free agent who really intrigues me.

  67. GregD

    Bill, yes, Bradley is prone to injury and attitude issues.

    Before we compare Bailey to Volquez, we’ll need to see who Volquez really is. He did have a great 1st half last year, but I’d like to see him bounce back from his 2nd half fall-off.

    I didn’t have time to look up all those teams, but the two World Series teams largely had a regular 5-man rotation.

    4 of the 9 Tampa Bay starters combined for 9 total starts. The Phillies had 5 guys until they traded for Blanton and moved Eaton to the bullpen (then AAA.) Their 7th starter made 2 July and 2 September starts.

  68. Josh

    Bradley is a nut job and has only played over 100 games 3 times in his career. He is hurt every year. There is a reason he’s been on 6 different teams in his 9 year career.

  69. Dan

    If he were perfect he’d cost too much. (And I’ll disagree about “nut job”… but you’d definitely want to talk to some former managers and teammates, no doubt.)

    Like I said, I lean toward it being a risk worth taking. (Don’t know how much he’d cost, of course.)

    He’s 31, he switch-hits (I still think that’s cool), and his career line is .280/.370/.457. (And actually, if you throw out his first couple years, that would probably come out more like .290/.380/.480.)

    Unless his former managers and teammates give him a big thumbs down, and unless he fails a physical, I’d make him an offer… and KEEP Homer Bailey!

  70. Brian

    All this talk about 2010 is annoying. I mean what are we the New Jersey Nets or New York Knicks and Lebron James now plays baseball.

    Lets be honest we have a good young core, good rotation, good bullpen (with a few holes to fill due to FA) and good prospects who are a year or two away.

    Two Years ago our bullpen was awful and one of the worst in the majors and this past year they were one of the best in the NL with the only additions of significance being that of Coco and Affedlt (Lincoln wasn’t and is not essential to the bullpen).

    So if we can shop Bailey for someone like Dye for a year or two then I’m all for it. Because it isn’t like we only have Bailey in the minors for pitching depth. Plus we have Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez and Owings still under the Reds control for a few more years. I am more worried about who the +1 player is in these talks. If it is simply Bailey and a prospect down in A ball I would do it in a heart beat.

    I mean come on be optimistic look how much better the bullpen was this year with just a few additions and we have a good potential starting rotation.

    Call me Crazy but I am going to go out on a limb right now and say that the Reds will be in the playoff race atleast until september in 2009.

    Have a little faith.

  71. GregD

    I think Bradley would be the answer to the question “Why did Wilkin Castillo get so much playing time in LF this year?”

    Games played in
    2005 – 75
    2006 – 96
    2007 – 61
    2008 – 126

    Milton Bradley 2008 transactions – his healthiest season in the last 4:

    10/30/2008 Filed for free agency.
    9/19/2008 Missed 2 games (left wrist injury).
    9/16/2008 Left wrist injury, day-to-day.
    9/12/2008 Missed 2 games (wrist injury).
    9/06/2008 Wrist injury, day-to-day.
    8/18/2008 Missed 2 games (illness).
    8/16/2008 Illness, day-to-day.
    8/10/2008 Missed 5 games (strained left quadriceps).
    8/05/2008 Strained left quadriceps, day-to-day.
    8/04/2008 Missed 5 games (quadricep injury).
    7/30/2008 Quadricep injury, day-to-day.
    7/12/2008 Missed 1 game (left knee injury).
    7/11/2008 Left knee injury, day-to-day.
    6/24/2008 Missed 1 game (strained left quadriceps).
    6/22/2008 Strained left quadriceps, day-to-day.
    6/20/2008 Missed 2 games (quadricep injury).
    6/18/2008 Quadricep injury, day-to-day.
    5/31/2008 Missed 1 game (dizziness).
    5/30/2008 Dizziness, day-to-day.
    5/16/2008 Missed 2 games (right shoulder injury).
    5/13/2008 Right shoulder injury, day-to-day.
    5/02/2008 Missed 1 game (hamstring).
    5/01/2008 Hamstring, day-to-day.
    12/10/2007 Signed as a free agent by the Texas Rangers to a one-year contract.

  72. GregD

    PS – 18% of his at-bats last year were as an OFer. The rest were as a DH/PH.

    So, he got injured THAT MUCH and only played the field once a week?

  73. Dan

    That’s an impressive list of injuries, Greg… but even around all that he went to the plate 509 times and batted .321/.436/.563.

    That’s 1st in the AL in OBP, 4th in the AL in slugging, and 1st in the AL in OPS (.999).

    And lest you think it’s all b/c he played in Texas (which is a great hitters park), his OPS+ (that’s park adjusted) was 163 (63% better than average) – 1st in the AL.

    Look, I know he’s a risk. A pretty big one.

    I just think it’s a risk worth taking.

  74. Dan

    And if I have a choice between 35-year-old Dye (at a cost of $11.5 million and Homer Bailey) or 31-year-old Milton Bradley (at a cost of – I dunno – $10 million?), I’d take Bradley every time.

    Of course… I’m not sure we should be signing ANY free agents since so many of those wind up being albatross contracts…

    I’m not sure, but I *am* sure that I prefer Bradley to Dye.

  75. GregD

    Bradley wants a multi-year deal. Obviously doesn’t mean that he’ll get it. How many years deters you from signing him?

    “I just know I deserve to quit getting these one-year deals,” he said. “I need to have a long-term contract. I’m not just a rent-a-player for one year. I’m looking for fair value. I’m one of the better hitters in the game, and .320 hitters with .440 on-base percentages don’t grow on trees, so you need to take advantage of it when you got it.”

    He did have impressive stats last year…but he’s done that well how many times in 9 major league seasons? He’s ranked that high once. Pujols can call himself a “.320 hitter with a .440 on-base percentage”. Doing it once in a rare healthy year doesn’t make you that guy.

  76. preach

    How about this for some left handed relief help?

    Left-hander Eric Milton, who hasn’t pitched since having Tommy John surgery early in the 2007 season, is throwing and could reinvent himself as a reliever after starting 265 of his 266 career games.Yahoo sports.

    (Preach slowly backs out of room)

  77. GregD

    IMHO, taking a risk is going after a guy who had 3 good years, then had one poor year while missing time with an injury.

    Going after a player who had a very good year after three seasons of average performance while usually playing less than half a season is called buying high.

    Rather than Dye or Bradley, I liked some of the earlier ideas that would bring a good player to either 1B or 3B and play Votto or Encarnacion in LF. That assumes Votto or Encarncion could handle LF, though at this point we’re not sure how well Bradley or Dye could handle the OF either.

  78. Mike

    I’d trade for a good defensive right handed hitting 3rd. baseman. Then put EE in left field where we still have his right handed bat.

  79. Y-City Jim

    From the Denver Post:

    The Reds and the White Sox also remain interested in center fielder Willy Taveras.

    Please go to the White Sox.

  80. earl

    Milton Bradley might not be a bad bet for the money, but you have to wonder about guys that have been on a half dozen teams in less than ten years.

    If the Reds are interested in Willy Taveras, they can keep the check book in the drawer and just play Norris Hopper 140 games next year. The only difference between the guys is that Hopper hasn’t gotten to play like that.

    I wonder how much salary Toronto might eat on Scott Rolen to deal him off. It looks like he has a couple of years left on a contract. The guy has been pretty fragile, but if Toronto would take on a chunk of his pay, it might be worth a risk. Being a guy from southern Indiana, I would not doubt that he might have always wanted to play for the Reds. I realize that is a stretch and not any better than Dye.

    I’m probably more for just standing pat and maybe making a deal a bit later.

  81. Jose

    Dear Lord no
    your talking about dye being bad
    look at milton freaking bradley
    he is injured all the freaking time
    he is almost as bad as Griffey
    Bradley is a great player but a head case
    and is always pulling a hammy
    i am so sick of alway hearing so and so pulled a hammy.
    get someone who is freaking healthy!!!

  82. GregD

    And as Fay reported Jocketty saying, there’s not a lot of movement until after teams offer arbitration and you find out whether the Type A/B free agents will cost you draft picks to sign. Also, got to imagine that after CC, Sheets and Burnett settle where they are going, you’ll find out which teams were left out and how much they really want to trade for pitching.