Everyone needs more pitching, no question. I’m not sure how the Reds are going to score any runs next year, but I’m not necessarily averse to seeking more pitching. And neither is GM Walt Jocketty. First, there’s news that he has made a contract offer to Arthur Rhodes. Then, we see this:

Kerry Wood answered the call from the bullpen last season for the Cubs, reinventing himself as a capable closer with 34 saves.

Will he pick up the phone when Dusty Baker from division foe Cincinnati calls him?

The Cubs decided to pass on offering Wood a multiyear deal to retain his services, so Baker says he plans to give Wood a call to check on his possible interest in signing with Cincinnati.

“We have a closer already in [ Francisco] Cordero, who we have under contract for a few more years,” Baker said Monday. “But somebody can use Kerry Wood. I am going to call him. I like Kerry Wood as a person, not just as a ballplayer, but as a person. I will give him a call and see what’s up.”

Of course, Dusty hasn’t discussed this with the general manager. In the article linked above, Dusty says he’s going to talk to Jocketty about it, but he had “to talk to Kerry first.” Seriously.

As one of our faithful correspondents put it in his email this morning: “I oftentimes lay in bed and wonder, ‘Why doesn’t Dusty have a GM job, dude?'”

Indeed.

UPDATE: The Reds have offered arbitration to RP David Weathers. I’d throw up, but I’m pretty sure Weathers will decline arbitration.

32 Responses

  1. David

    Paul Sullivan wrote on November 13, 2008:

    Hendry met this week with Wood and his agent, Pat Rooney, and told him the Cubs were going in a different direction.

    “I think we all feel that Kerry is certainly deserving of a three- or four-year contract,” Hendry said … “We’re just in a situation, as Kerry fully understands, that that length of deal, for the kind of salary he’d command right now, is not our first priority.”

    Hendry has a close relationship with Wood, and said the move was made in the best interests of the right-hander, who finished fourth in the NL with 34 saves and figures to command a deal worth up to $50 million for four years on the free-agent market.

    So there it is. The Cubs passed on Wood because the salary demand was too high as a closer let alone a setup guy. If the Reds invest close to 90 million dollars for the 8th and 9th inning I think I’ll puke.

  2. Dan

    Rhodes is 39, but he’s been very good. I’d be happy w/ signing him… as long as it’s just for 1 year! (Let’s not forget Mike Stanton too quickly now!)

    As for Wood… I assume we have no chance at him… but he did get a good bit cheaper when the Cubs surprisingly did not offer him arbitration yesterday! So you can sign him now and keep your 1st round pick! That’s a big deal…

    Same for Dunn by the way! Also Abreu, Burrell, and a few others.

  3. Chad

    Yeah, I agree. I don’t have any problem with Rhodes on a one-year contract. We could use another lefty in the pen.

  4. GregD

    Looks like Rhodes is the pure definition of LOOGY. 61 games and only 35 innings

  5. Josh

    My wish this Christmas is for Dusty Baker to stay out of personnel decisions.

  6. Sultan of Swaff

    I’d rather take a chance on Bobby Howry having a bounceback season on a one year deal w/ option than I would with Wood on a 2+ year deal. Howry could fill Weather’s role if he leaves. Howry has a larger body of work as a reliever than Wood as well.
    Anyone else suprised/not suprised how little mention has been made of Adam Dunn in the Hot Stove League?

  7. Phill

    Somewhat suprised about Dunn but at the same time I fully understand. There’s larger fish in free agency right now but with the D-Backs declining arbitration things might pick back up for him. Doubt he’s signing til after Texiera,Sabathia, and Manny.

  8. GregD

    Check out a few D-back blogs. They’re none too happy about the Dunn situation because they were sold on 6 weeks of Dunn as either (a) signing him to an extension or (b) getting 2 first round picks for him.

    Apparently there’s some financial issues with the team, and if Dunn were to accept arbitration, they may be forced to seek a bailout from the feds.

  9. Matt B.

    Dusty’s lack of intelligence simply baffles me.

  10. Josh

    I’m through being baffled by Dusty. It’s just his nature. Nothing short of trying to bring Ted Williams’ head back to life would surprise me from that guy.

  11. GregD

    An updated list of FA‘s including the Type A/B status. I mentioned Raul Ibanez the other day, but he’s a little less appealing as a Type A who was offered arbitration.

    From a Reds perspective, if they still had Dunn would you offer him arbitration? And if so, (and he declined) would you prefer a 1st round pick plus a supplemental pick or the package of three players the Reds received (Owings, Buck, and Castillo)?

  12. Phill

    Matt and Josh….what exactly did Dusty do this time? He said he would call a guy who was really good last year to see if he’d come play. I don’t think anyone can realisticly see Kerry Wood coming here but it never hurts to ask if he’d be willing.

  13. Josh

    There’s nothing wrong with a call, which is why I didn’t mention it. I just don’t want him involved in personnel decisions.

    As to my most recent statement, nothing he does would surprise me. He’s done some really really questionable things and I’ve grown immune to the shock of a boneheaded maneuver.

  14. Chris

    Dusty needs to stay in his own lane, that’s what. His forays into talent aquisition were almost entirely horrific (Patterson, Bako, the exception Hairston).

    Rhodes has been pretty erratic:
    2008: 2.04
    2007: DNP
    2006: 5.32
    2005: 2.08
    2004: 5.12

    I’m not sure this is a very good idea.

  15. mhopp

    I remember Rhodes when he was with the O’s and it seemed he gave up runs at the worst of times. Righties kill him and he’d only be good as a situational pitcher vs. lefties. Dusty has made some of the most bonehead moves I have ever seen, I don’t think I’ll ever be totally immune to it…hopefully desensitized by the spring.

  16. Dan

    Rhodes was used totally as a LOOGY last year, but I’m not sure it’s entirely merited. He does crush lefties, but he’s not bad vs. righties:

    Rhodes (career)
    LH batters hit .221/.289/.325 vs. him
    RH batters hit .245/.333/.402 vs. him

    Also, my goodness has he been bad as a starting pitcher (a long time ago) and FAR better as a reliever:

    Rhodes (starter) – 5.81 ERA, batters hit .271/.359/.446 vs. him
    Rhodes (reliever) – 3.53 ERA, batters hit .222/.300/.346 vs. him

    Anyway, for 1 year at a reasonable rate, seems like it would be a good signing to me.

  17. GregD

    Perhaps having Rhodes would allow Baker to use Bray vs both LH and RH batters.

  18. pinson343

    I’d like to see Rhodes signed, we haven’t had a good LOOGY for a long time. No problem at all with Dusty talking with Kerry Wood, Walt Jocketty is not an idiot.

    Weathers had 2 good years (2005 and 2007) and two decent years with the Reds, I don’t like seeing his name associated so often with vomit.
    Having said that, he’s declining and will turn 39 next year.

  19. Mr. Redlegs

    This team’s list of needs is so long and wide it’s hard to decide where to start, thus it’s hard to decide where to start the complaining.

  20. NickP

    Wood being declined arbitration does not make him cheaper. It should increase his payday. Teams who would have been unwilling to give up a 1st round pick can now bid without worry.

  21. GRF

    A question for the locals, is there some reason to believe that Affeldt would not resign with the Reds? I am ok with talking to Weathers and Rhodes with the obvious caveats the deals need to be short and reasonable, but the deal that Affeldt signed with SF seems reasonable and I would rather have used the money to lock him up than offer on Weathers and Rhodes. Was there some reason Affeldt was not going to come back?

  22. Josh

    This is merely speculation, but I thought I read that the Giants told him he can compete for a spot in the rotation. It looks like the ship had sailed on that option if he were to remain a Red. Just a theory of mine, though.

  23. mhopp

    Remember how Affeldt was told the could compete for a rotation spot in 2008? well, despite the crappy #5 spot he really was never given a chance. He could have been replaced easily with Herrera and given a chance…but no not dusty Baker. That is probably why he didn’t want to return..that was part of the key to signing him last year and he probably didn’t like that.

  24. Mark in CC

    What a difference a year makes. Last winter people were excited about the player draw Dusty would be. He talked to Prior and Wood; and CoCo said Dusty was a reason he would be interested in coming to Cincy. What a great thing it was.

    Now everyone wants him to stay out of it.

    Of course the players he brought like Patterson didn’t help.

    On Dunn the Diamondbacks decision on arbitration speaks volumes as to why there is slow interest. His stats will command a higher salary than his ability to help a team win. The same would have been true had he stayed with the Reds. Even if Owings, Buck and Castillo don’t work out I would have to give Jocketty an A on that trade.

    Dunn probably had his prospects helped a little since teams won’t have to give up a compensation pick for him.

  25. GregD

    On Dunn the Diamondbacks decision on arbitration speaks volumes as to why there is slow interest.

    I don’t get the connection. Based on this FA transaction/compensation primer, draft pick compensation is automatically assigned for played signed prior to Dec 1. For example, the Reds get a sandwich pick for Affeldt signing with the Giants even though they didn’t offer him arbitration. (and it wasn’t a concern to the Giants because you don’t lose picks for Type B free agents.) If someone would have signed Dunn (or any of the Type A FAs last month) they would have automatically lost a draft pick. Now teams signing Dunn, Burrell, and others who weren’t offered arbitration can sign them without losing the pick.

    And Rosenthal already has a list of 5-6 teams interested in Dunn.

  26. Josh

    As one who has vocalized my preference for Dusty to take off the GM hat, I was never too excited to see the injury prone Prior or Wood be brought over. I do see the value he may bring in allowing Walt to seek out players and win them over.

    As for the Dunn lack of arbitration, you really have to wonder about what Byrnes is doing over there in AZ. Let Quentin go, moved for Dunn and got nothing out of it, and locked up Eric Byrnes to a long term crappy contract. I’m happy for Dunner if this works out better for him. Always liked him.

  27. GregD

    As for the Dunn lack of arbitration, it doesn’t change the outcome of the deal from the Reds perspective, but it certainly looks worse from the D-backs perspective. They planned to trade 3 young players for Dunn + potential for 2 draft picks, but they’re screwed up in the front office and lost the 2 draft picks.

  28. mhopp

    I wonder how much the economy has to do with all of this?

  29. Mark in CC

    From what I have read the reason they didn’t offer Dunn arbitration was that with the economy he might actually accept arbitration and get a big raise over 2008 and that gamble for two picks wasn’t worth it in their eyes.

  30. David

    Crasnick’s latest article has the Nats – surprise … surprise – as big suitors for a 1B and suggests Dunn as the best option. For Dunn Crasnick sees him having to sign in the 3 year $36 million range.

    An incredibly STRANGE note, the same article indicates that the Nats inquired about Joey Votto. They also inquired about Prince Fielder and James Loney, so they may very well be looking into every first baseman. Nevertheless, it again begs the question what to do with both Votto and Alonso.

  31. Dan

    Ack – new rumor that the Marlins might be about to trade Jorge Cantu (released by the Reds a year ago) to the Giants for Jonathan Sanchez!

    1) Makes the release of Cantu look even dumber. (And who did we clear space for? Oh that’s right… Sergio Valenzuela, in the Rule V draft, who was a flop without even throwing a pitch.)

    2) This is virtually identical to a trade I’ve suggested for over a year on here — Edwin for Sanchez!

    I think Sanchez is going to be good. He’s a lefty, and his strikeout rates are great. He just hasn’t put it all together yet.

    I’m reluctant to give up on Edwin – I do like him – but it’s a deal that made some sense I thought.

    Thoughts on this?