Andruw Jones? Chad Dotson 01/03/2009 62 The Reds are reportedly among the teams interested in the services of one Andruw Jones. I can’t explain that one. The Jones of five years ago…yes, please. The Jones of 2008? Not so much. Share this:TweetPocket 62 Responses Matt B. 01/03/2009 Maybe if he learns not to eat everything in sight. Really, though, for this to even be considered, the Reds must make sure he’s committed to getting into shape, which he hasn’t shown much inclination to do. Even then, the Reds better get him for next to nothing and also not guarantee him a spot on the roster. Unfortunately, there are too many “ifs”, and I don’t want any part of him. However, the Reds management hasn’t exactly been known to make smart decisions. KY Chip 01/03/2009 Heck, I’d even take the Andruw Jones from 2007 — .222BA, 26HR, 94RBI, .724 OPS — it’d be almost like having an Adam Dunn with a Gold Glove. However, if the Dodgers are willing to restructure his contract in such a way they’re agreeing to pay Jones for six years in order to get him off their team NOW, there’s gotta be something going on with him that no team, certainly not the Reds, should want a part of. And no GM in their right mind should offer more than a rented mule for Jones, considering the Dodgers need to dump him in order to re-sign Manny. Jones will be released in a couple of weeks once LA realizes no one is going to part with anything worthwhile in order to get him. Glenn 01/03/2009 No, Nay, Never KY Chip 01/03/2009 Thanks, Glenn — now I’ll be singing “The Wild Rover” all night. doug 01/03/2009 KY Chip…. I can’t believe you just compared a .724 OPS Andruw Jones to Adam Dunn. The difference between the two offensively is incredibly huge. Chris 01/03/2009 Doug, do you ever get tired of fighting that fight? I know I do. I can’t wait for a Taveras-Jones-Hairston outfield. It will be AWESOME. Y-City Jim 01/03/2009 It would be a gamble. I think the only way the Reds take the risk is if the Dodgers release him then sign him on the cheap. The Dodgers will likely end up having to do the release since they have the Manny fever right now. Matt Steele 01/03/2009 I said this in a different post but I’d rather have Andruw Jones out there instead of Willy Taveras. Jones isn’t the same defensively as he once was but he’s still above average. And I feel like he’s more likely to regain his offensive form from a few years ago than Taveras is repeating his 2007 season. So if he doesn’t cost much (which he doesn’t now since he restructured) I don’t see any reason why not take a chance. I mean look at our outfield right now. I’d take a Bruce Jones Taveras Hairston (if he signs) Dickerson outfield over what we have now. I mean there’s not too many good options out there. I mean, besides Adam Dunn but why would anyone want a guy who has hit the 3rd most homeruns, 2nd most walks, and 24th best OPS since 2002? I mean he can’t be any good can he? Haha but in all reality, there’s not a lot of good options out there on the free agent market and I don’t want to see us sacrifice any of our young players for an old outfielder like Jermaine Dye CeeKeR 01/04/2009 Jones? Please no. An outfield of Jones, Taveras, and Bruce would be one of the worst outfields the Reds could put together…even if Bruce has a monster season. zblakey 01/04/2009 anyone remember Kevin Mitchell? Jones can’t hit the low curve ball and reportedly can’t miss the dinner table Y-City Jim 01/04/2009 Just how out of shape is Jones, and is there any belief that he is willing to get into condition? Kurt Frost 01/04/2009 For the love of God… catcard202 01/04/2009 IMO, Taking a flier on Jones (via trade for a non-top 40 prospect) is well worth the risk…. Think about it…The REDS have taken chances on many other past-their-prime players & for much more $…(Stormy & Rhodes are the 2009 candidates)…And if the Reds are willing to pay LAYNCE NIX $600K(minimum) if he can make the club’s opening day roster…Why not take a shot at Jones for probably $400K & a prospect that years away??? It couldn’t get worse than CPat’s 2008 line for $3MM…And the REDS did just sign Taveras to a 2yr/$6+MM deal…and he wasn’t very good in 2008, either. At least w/ Jones, it’s for 1yr/$400K (Dodgers are on the hook for the rest)…and if he turns out to be washed-up…It wouldn’t be a financial killer to CIN, if WJ had to cut him at/near the end of ST…when other OF options become available. (Remember Mike Stanton??? We paid him $3.5MM to go away. Boy, that was money well spent!!!) If AJ re-applies himself to being the Andruw Jones of old…He’s an absolute steal, as a 1yr OF stop-gap (LF). And isn’t that what the REDS need to get to the guys in the farm system??? IINM, Stubbs needs a full year in AAA…The same for Dorn….And there’s a fairly good chance that one of Frazier, Valiaka, Francisco or Alonso could also be ready for 2010. Any of which would set off a chain reaction of potential roster/position moves. W/ that being the case…and reloading via the farm being the plan…A cheap, 1yr stop-gap sounds good to me…Especially one that has the upside potential of being a motivated 10x GG RHB OF w/ 30HR pop…(And isn’t that the kind of low risk-high reward deal that WJ’s been waiting on???) doug 01/04/2009 catcard, Gotta ask…. Why does Dorn need a full year in AAA? He posted a .944 OPS in AA over the last year and a month. He doesn’t have a strikeout problem, he walks plenty, hits for a ton of power and has never struggled anywhere. What makes you think he would need a full year in AAA? Of everyone in the system with the stick, he is easily the guy I think could handle the majors in April 2009 (that hasn’t already had MLB time; Rosales/Dickerson not counting). catcard202 01/04/2009 Doug, It is speculation on my part…and I know he’s hit where ever he’s been…But, minor league stats don’t always translate to MLB success…WTS, I doubt WJ allows him to move up to CIN w/o some amount of time in AAA…and w/ him being a LHB LF..It would seem, to me anyway, that Dickerson or Nix(who has proven himself against AAA talent) would get the shot at LF before Dorn. IMO, Dorn would have to have an explosively productive ST or dominate couple of months in AAA before WJ made that promotion. (Thinking of Bruce, last year) aaron 01/04/2009 All of Dusty’s playoff teams had a 40 HR bat. Bottom line we need a proven big bat, if he’s cheap go for it, he could rebound. What worries me is it’s would be up to Dusty to keep him OUT of the line up if he repeats his play like last year. earl 01/04/2009 At least Kevin Mitchell could still hit when with the Reds, he just couldn’t stay healthy. I think Andruw Jones is pretty washed up and the money that LA threw at him last year was insane. In Jones last year with the Braves, I saw him have some games that were unbelievably bad at the plate. There was a Saturday game with the Braves and Red Sox that I swear Jones had the worst batting performance I have ever seen a big player have. The guy was totally clueless. The guy probably still has some power and he was an excellent fielder at one point (not sure if he really is a center fielder now), but he has about as good a batting eye now as Corey Patterson. Maybe he has the drive to get it back together, but it seems like a bunch of guys that were pros that stuck at 19 burn out so much younger than guys who don’t make it until later on. They kind of ride their talent into some cash but don’t put in the work and when they hit their early 30s everything falls apart. I don’t know, it is seems a bit like trying to bet on Juan Gonzales from a few seasons back. You got to base the decision on what the player can do now, not what he did. GRF 01/04/2009 I have to believe this is Boras just throwing team names out there in an effort to generate interest. Really, I HAVE to believe that. Matt Steele 01/04/2009 Again, if we’re not giving up anyone to get him, I don’t see why we don’t take a chance on him. I think the Reds are in a position where they have to take a few fliers on guys that may or may not be completely washed up. His contract is much more manageable now. Let’s take a shot. I think he can still hit about .250 with 30 homers if he really is serious about getting back into playing shape like he says he is. jrs1972 01/04/2009 If they do not have to give up anyone substantial and the money is ok, it would be a risk well worth taking. If Jones could be 75% of the player he used to be, he’d be awesome for the Reds. The chances of that happening are slim however. KY Chip 01/04/2009 Doug — I was intending more of a comparison between Jones’ 2007 BA, HR, and RBI and Dunn’s recent production. You’re absolutely right that his OPS and Dunn’s are far apart — I should’ve left that out of my comparison and included the number of strikeouts instead. If I had to choose between the two, I’d rather have Dunn. Unfortunately, the Reds management has already burned that bridge. jrs1972 01/04/2009 Andruw Jones in his hay day was a much more complete and valuable player than Dunn will ever be. Jones’ best years are well behind him though. Kurt Frost 01/04/2009 After the Tavares signing I wouldn’t put anything past this team. Redjack 01/04/2009 The way Jones fell apart so fast I half suspect he was on something. No way I trade for him, the Dodgers will drop him. If he wants to come to spring training and prove he is physically in shape then I might let him play for a contract. Hopefully some other team will jump on him before Walt does. This is so reminiscent of the Reds of the past 10 years, wasting a couple here and couple million there on reclamation projects or never weres. Tom 01/04/2009 No way I’d deal with them for Andrew Jones unless they threw in Juan Pierre and his contract of 09:$10M, 10:$10M, 11:$8.5M. That way we can corner the market on speed. GRF 01/04/2009 According to LA times (don’t have the link) thw eorkout reduced Jones salary to 5 million. That is still a ridiculous amount for someone coming off the season he had, and as someone pointed out up the thread if the Dodgers are willing to pay him to just go away, I don’t want him near us. If he gets released and we can sign him to a split contract, maybe (and even then I would worry he would take spring training ABs from the younger guys) but if they traded for him now, words fail me. GRF 01/04/2009 As an aside, one of Ramirez to the Giants articles yesterday said the Giants had been looking into EE. Had anyone else heard that? I am not sure what they have that would work for us Slattspub 01/04/2009 I hope the Reds stay away from trading for his 5 million dollar salary but if we’re able to pick him up and pay him equal or less than we payed Outterson last year I say let’s roll the dice. david 01/04/2009 GRF – The Giants contacted the Reds prior to the winter meetings about E5. The Giants need a corner infielder in a bad way. I am purely speculating here, but I think the Giants were floating one of Rowand, Winn, or Roberts which obviously wouldn’t have gotten the job done. The Giants are now rumored to be after Crede to fill the 3B role. As for Jones, I don’t think a flier would be bad at all. For all you stats guys out there – defensively, his UZR/150 was better than Beltran. The year before (even with a knee injury) his UZR/150 was 20.5. If he moves to LF, you could expect his defense to be even more valuable. Offensively Bill James projects him at .233/.328/.774 with 16 HRs and 45 RBI as a Dodger. I would expect his run production to jump if he is traded and hit 3rd between Votto and Bruce. I’m not saying it is ideal. It’s not. But I am saying that it’s not the end of the world. What I really like is the intangibles: it’s a contract year and Jones, who is still only 31, wants to prove he hasn’t lost it. Those are big motivating factors. He could take a dump in LF for the Reds and considering he was actually worth -1.6 million last year, it’s a possibility. BUT, like Taveras, if Jones can put up offensive numbers closer to 2007, he’d be well worth a flier. Brian 01/04/2009 everyone is now saying that the reds are not interested because of them signing willy. Matt Steele 01/04/2009 http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3ab0846c2d-4570-4e23-b865-2ad084c175c0&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com John Fay says that there’s many reasons as to why we wouldn’t sign him. However I disagree with most of them. 1) He’s not a CF anymore. He’s a corner outfielder 2) He’s definitely not going to find any team where he could start 3) valid point and one that’s the big question…. Is he finished? catcard202 01/04/2009 “Everyone” is not saying the Reds are not interested… They are just running w/ John Fay’s “personal opinion” piece from his blog…Until Walt comes out & says he’s not interested…I’ll keep a open mind to the possibility. doug 01/04/2009 I would just rather the Reds stop acquiring guys that suck and have for years and actually bring in some talent. Thats what I want. The Reds went out and brought in a downgrade to CF and still don’t have a left fielder that projects to be league average while having a huge question mark at SS still. catcard202 01/04/2009 Doug, While I agree…I don’t see who’s out there to bring in. Young SS: Back during the Rule V…I REALLY wanted to see CIN go get SS prospect Hainley Statia out of the LAA system. I think he has a shot at being a very good everyday SS in a year or 2…and w/ him already being a very solid defensive glove and improving SHB w/ speed…I thought that the Reds could have hidden him on the 25 & only used him as a defensive replacement, PH/PR…Until a mystery injury(wink wink) put him on the DL. On the trade front for a RHB LF…Nady, Rios, Dye and Holiday would take more than WJ seems willing to give up or pay for. As for FA’s…There is only Burrell & Baldelli(I think Bradley is a Cub)..Both of which have their own issues & seem unlikely to come to CIN anytime soon. A guy like Matt Murton makes some sense from a defensive stand point & he did show some offensive upside w/ the Cubs before being traded to the A’s…And now that he is squarely the odd man out, he may be available for a reasonable price. I would even take a shot at getting Marlon Bryd (Rangers)…but I have no idea if Nolan would move him for what we’d pay…And the NATS have a couple extra OF pieces, but I hate the thought of dealing w/ Leatherpants for ANYTHING. Unless WJ is willing to part w/ young players or over-pay on bloated contracts…We will have to take our chances w/ reclamation projects & risk/reward deals. Mark T 01/04/2009 Well, Jones for sure would not clog up the bases. David 01/04/2009 Cat – I completely agree. The future success of this franchise is the growth and development of position players Bruce, Votto, Frazier, Alonso, and Francisco with pitchers Volquez, Cueto, Thompson, Owings and Bailey. The worst thing that the Reds could do is mortgage the future and trade in an attempt to “win-now.” Most here cannot stand that the Reds have had 8 straight losing seasons. I could personally care less. If the Reds are 83-79 or 79-83 and miss the playoffs – who cares? A World Series is all that interests me, not a meaningless season where the Reds miss the playoffs, trade Bailey, Frazier and God knows who else just to win 82 games. doug 01/04/2009 catcard, I guess it just irks me that the only guys that the Reds seem to be truly interested in thus far have nearly all been guys that need a ‘rebound’ of some type. The fact is that there are guys out there that only cost money who have good skillsets. The only positional free agent we have brought in though has a bad skillset at the plate and is a downgrade versus what we had already. If you don’t want to pay for the price to acquire a guy via a trade, then stick with what you have and acknowledge that you are going to stick with what you have. But don’t come out in December and say you have money to spend, then bring in Willy Taveras and call it a day. We could have had Juan Rivera for 3 years for what we are paying Willy Taveras for 2010. At least Rivera has an upside and a good skillset, oh, and he would have filled a need. Where it sits now it looks like we are going to fill our 2009 needs with Willy Taveras, Arthur Rhodes and maybe JHJ. So we have two guys who should be bench players and a loogy. Just something that disappoints me with all of the talk about having money to spend that they go out and are targetting two guys who have zero track record of being good starters and a loogy when this team was one of the worst offenses in baseball last year and a bunch of good free agent hitters on the market who can play a position that we need to fill (LF). preach 01/04/2009 What about the possibility of Marcus Thames or Gabe Gross? The Rays acquired someone recently (slips my mind who) who makes him expendable and the Tigers were trying to shop Thames earilier. Neither are long term solutions but I sure would like to sign one of these guys for a mil or two over Jones. Heck, what about Bonds? If he can still hit I really don’t care about his defense. Let him play LF on a loveseat. But if he can still drive the ball I would rather have him. Deaner 01/04/2009 No way on Jones… I like preach’s idea about Thames or Gross. j rock 01/04/2009 If the price is not too high, I think Nady would be an excellant fit in LF, if not Jones would be a decent gamble to bounce back until the kids were ready. Dan 01/04/2009 I’d love to find a way to bring in these guys: Milton Bradley (free agent) Jonny Gomes (free agent) or Nelson Cruz (trade) Rickie Weeks (trade) The offense would look a lot better w/ these guys around. Willy Taveras as the solution to the OF problem is a joke. It isn’t 1968 anymore. Bring in some guys who get on base and can HIT. Come on, Walt, impress us. Where’s the Edmonds-like deal, like you did in St. Louis? Chris 01/04/2009 I’m with Doug. The endless bottom-feeding and rationalizing third-rate acquisitions are agonizing. But even worse, they’re boring. I’d wildly prefer they to just suck with young, home-grown talent (who might develop) than to fart around with the Willy Tavareses and Gabe Grosses of the world. (Doug, you did forget our new washed-up catcher. Some of the money is going there, next year if not this). Chris 01/04/2009 On the other hand, who knows – the Cardinals have lived for years on the backs of reclamation projects. How many stiffs had career years for LaRussa/Jocketty. The retreads were backed by a much better core of stars (Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds, etc), and they were tough to cheer for, but they did win. doug 01/04/2009 I wouldn’t go as far as calling RH washed up just yet Chris. I think he will rebound a little bit going from the AL East to the NL Central and I am not sure his defense is truly as bad as it seemed last year. Still, the overall sentiment is the same…. bland moves that don’t really improve the overall team. catcard202 01/04/2009 Doug, I completely agree on Rivera. He seemed to be the ideal RHB LF FA for GABP and our #1 FA option…30yrs old w/ solid upside potential after playing in the shadow of stars (w/ NNY & LAA) and wasn’t too expensive…Then when WJ stated he wouldn’t go 3yrs & let him re-up w/ the Angels for 3yr/$12.75MM…I almost puked in my mouth. 3-12.75 seemed quite reasonable, even in this market. I understand CIN would have to pay maybe a MM better than that…but to not even consider 3yrs…Unfreakin’ believable. All that post 2008 talk about “we have X amount of $$ & plan on putting a contender on the field in 2009” was a bunch of BS in my mind… We all know they aren’t going to stick to the plan..They’ll do minor moves (Getting Hernandez… signing Rhodes, Taveras & Nix) & try to sell it as major improvements… It’s just the same half-ass BS from the Reds, year in-year out. No matter who’s running the show. Jose 01/04/2009 i wouldnt mind this if we could get him back in shape it may be a good move and a change of scenery? idk could be good i still would rather have him and Pat Burrell that would be sweet but im worried now with only 2 lefties brublejr 01/05/2009 I wouldn’t trade for him, maybe pick him up in the middle of ST after he is released (I’d really rather not). Right now he is playing winter ball and not hitting there either, I think he is toast. The biggest question is ‘how does someone fall so fast?’ It is crazy to think this is the same guy that 3 years ago had a monster season, and now he is trash, amazing. David 01/05/2009 Jocketty has done very well finding good players with the Cardinals. If anyone expected Ryan Ludwick to be half the player he was when he joined the Cards from the Indians at age 28 they are fooling themselves. How many organizations would have the patience to move a flamed out pitcher to OF rather than DFA him? That’s why I’m not opposed to the Taveras or Hernandez signings. Jocketty obviously saw something in these guys and decided to buy low. Jones, if he can trim down his frame and start laying off low and outside curves could be a great gamble. Mark in CC 01/05/2009 For 400K I don’t see the big gamble. Sign him as a possibility to platoon in left with Dickerson. If he performs you have a bargain. If he doesn’t send him packing at mid season. We have sure wasted mor than 200K on bigger long shots than this. Dorn or Stubbs mat be ready by then. He isn’t in much of a bargaining position. I have seen no comments on the MLB Channels report last night that the Reds are one of the teams in the hunt for Oliver Perez. Chad 01/05/2009 David (comment 48)…I don’t necessarily disagree with any of what you wrote, except this: were the Taveras and Hernandez transactions really buying low? Seems like both of those guys are getting paid much more than they’re worth, IMO. The general thrust of your comment is reasonable, though. Of course, the Reds organization has lost the right to demand the benefit of the doubt on any transaction after years and years of terrible decisions. Yeah, I have hope for Jocketty, but I’ve been underwhelmed so far. Travis G. 01/05/2009 According to this report, Jones showed up in better shape to play in the winter league, but his swing still seems broken in an admittedly miniscule sample size: “Playing for Aguilas Cibaenas, Jones is hitting .188 through five games with three singles and eight strikeouts in 16 at-bats. Jones has twice struck out three times in a game and has yet to collect more hits than strikeouts in the same game.” Some team will probably spend more than $400,000 to find out if he’s still got anything left, but I hope it’s not the Reds. Stay away. GregD 01/05/2009 A Jones acquistion would be similar to the Hernandez trade, although Jones’ dropoff has been on a much larger scale. If it were an either/or situation, either Jones for $5M or Taveras for $6.5, then I think I’d wager on a Jones revival. I really don’t see how Jocketty could justify $11.5 million for both of those guys in the outfield. (yes, I realize Taveras 2009 salary is only $2M, but I’m assuming the Reds will have to eat his 2010 salary.) Even if the Reds aren’t competitive in 2009, these are the types of players, if they were to bounce back to some semblence of their former selves, could net some nice return at the trade deadline. Steve Price 01/05/2009 It’s truly sad that our team has become trollers of the depths of baseball talent in order to field a team. It seems the Big Red Machine has become the Little Red Marshmallow Shooter (the manufacturers recommend old stale marshmallows, by the way, to shoot through them…) Andruw Jones signed (not acquired through trade) to a $400,000 contract with incentives is good (reminds me on Ron Gant several years ago). Andruw Jones acquired for a live body and declared the starting outfielder makes me sick. (could Dusty even refrain from playing him?) For the record, I think Kevin Mitchell could still hit .350 today if he had a designated runner…. Frankly…of all the things mentioned, and if it’s really for a stopgap…I’m all for signing Barry Bonds. I think that’s a real idea, like him or not. Take a chance on him…at least, it could be assumed the Reds are for real. Oddly…I’m really missing Jim Bowden. For all of his cockamamie ideas…at least we had a chance… I miss the days when we’d invite 72 pitchers to training camp…and come out with a good bullpen and a AAA taxi squad of pitchers made of retreads. We could find someone to pitch. Now we’re scratching for position players? Dickerson is a fourth, probably a fifth outfielder on a good team. So, is Taveras…. Bruce bats seventh on a good team (for now…). Joey Votto bats sixth…possibly second. We have no power, speed without the ability of getting to first base, poor defense (infield and outfield), a newly acquired catcher who was run out of Baltimore for having a bad attitude, and our biggest star position player is an overrated second baseman (whom I love having on the team, but is not really a star player). As for out starting pitching, we have possibilities, but who’s following them now in AAA? Starting pitching is amazingly fragile. Harang showed signs of wear last year; I think he’ll come back, but there’s cause for concern. (I saw him rocked on his return and it was purely batting practice). Arroyo is solid, but is consistently inconsistent (aside: did you guys know that Arroyo and Harang are in the top three for each other’s most comparable players’ lists on the baseball-reference website?). As for Volquez and Cueto, they are both young and talented, but as pitchers go, they are both young and talented, which means there’s a long ways to go in proving extended quality service, and now will be their second year in the league. How will the league adjust to them and vice versa? Darryl Thompson is being touted as the next new guy, but with pitching, the more the merrier… I feel, at present, the money being thrown around is only for press release, and not to improve the team… David 01/05/2009 Chad, I guess that’s the question really – did the Reds overpay for either of these guys. I guess it depends on your analysis. According to FanGraphs Ramon Hernandez was worth 1.6 Value Wins last year. With the market value of wins being approximately 5 million in FA if he repeats last years numbers the Reds get a bit of a bargain. If he loses a half game like Justin projects (http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/2008/12/reds-acquire-ramon-hernandez.html) then the $2 million offset means the Reds paid exactly what the guy is worth. Here’s what FanGraphs said about the Taveras signing: “At the 2009 fair market value of $5 mil/win, this makes Taveras a $4 mil player. He signed for a two-year deal, which would be valued at anywhere between $7-8 mil based on these projections. We will know more about the contractÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s terms this week, in order to compare his actual received salary to the fair market value. If Willy can find and harness his offensive numbers from 2007 while reverting to the defensive performances seen prior to the same year, these numbers vastly shift. With a .332 wOBA and +5 run defense, and the same number of plate appearances, Willy becomes a +2.4 win player. His fair market value in this case is closer to $12 mil.” With his $6.25 million dollar salary over two years, the Reds paid less than Taveras’ projected value of $7-8 million over two years. It seems that what they paid was exactly right. You can maybe argue that the players aren’t a “fit” or don’t “improve the team” but you cannot complain about the dollar amounts. This is especially true given that “market value” is not what’s always earned i.e. C.C. Sabathia = 12 million per year. There were a number of clubs looking to get a catcher and we know that the Reds won a “bidding war” of sorts for Taveras who had the Yankees, Nationals, Red Sox, White Sox, etc. interested. David 01/05/2009 Steve, Bruce and Votto are not 7-8 hitters. I’ll leave it at that. GregD 01/05/2009 Apparently, Jocketty has a similar opinion of Dickerson. But why acquire players worse than him to bury him on the depth chart? I’d prefer him in CF to Taveras or Jones. If Jocketty doesn’t trade AAA starters to get Jermaine Dye or another OFer, as it stands now the 5th spot in the rotation would likely go to Micah Owings with Bailey, Thompson, Maloney and Ramirez in the AAA rotation. They’ve signed so many free agent relievers that it seems unlikely that the losers for the 5th rotation spot would make the team as a long reliever. David 01/05/2009 Dickerson may and up being a better player than Taveras and I argued for awhile to platoon Dickerson and Stubbs in CF. I would imagine you’d get better production out of CF than with Taveras. BUT you can’t blame the Reds for not trusting the 102 AB sample size. You also can’t fault the price, which I suggested above is actually under what Taveras’ market value should be. Could a better player have been had? I don’t know. If I see Grady Sizemore traded for a AA prospect then yeah, I’ll be pissed. But until then, I’m fine with it. GregD 01/05/2009 I’m not basing it on Dickerson’s 100 MLB at-bats. I’ll take what he’s done in the upper minors the past season or two. Steve Price 01/05/2009 I didn’t say Votto and Bruce were 7-8 hitters…I said 6 and 7 hitters, Votto may be a # 2. Bruce will improve, but he won’t be a middle of the line up hitter THIS year. In fact, I’d bat him leadoff right now on this team. I’ll say it (ask it) another way? Where would Votto and Bruce hit in a Red Sox or Yankees lineup? I’m glad they are both on our team, and they continue to improve….but, to think they are middle of the line up guys at this point for a championship calibre team is kind of like saying Dmitri Young was an all-star when the Tigers were bad. As soon as their team improved, they didn’t need him. Don’t misread what I’m saying….I think both Votto and Bruce are better than Young (and I think we need both of them), but I’m tired of rebuilding…. Votto and Bruce are cornerstones of the future…but, this team has been rebuilding for over a decade…until they decide to spend money in the RIGHT places (which is not multi-million dollar contracts for relievers, back up catchers, and fifth outfielders), the Reds will not win. Steve Price 01/05/2009 Something about average dollars/win share…. It also includes the big money spent by the Yankees, Red Sox, and others. For our team to be successful, we must get better than average results out of our players. Baseball Prospectus published a great column about the Reds a few years ago, and how they can win. You find your two cornerstone veterans, pay them BIG money to play well, and build your team with young players. AS these young players reach arbitration age, you decide which one or two you want to build the future around (for this team, we choose between Bruce, Votto, and Volquez in my opinion). You pay those guys big money to stay. You move the others for other young players. When BP wrote the story, the Reds had Griffey/Larkin as the vets, and Dunn/Kearns as the future. Unfortunately, Griffey and Larkin were too far along and too injury prone for that model to work for the Reds. Dunn performed as expected and Kearns did not. That being said, it’s also the margin of error for a small-market team (that is, a team paid by the Yankees from the luxury tax to remain a poor/weak team). If you guess wrong on the players, you gotta buy out the vet, and find another young guy. Yes, this is the Moneyball approach…and somehow it seems to work in Oakland and Minnesota… We must do better than average when signing a free agent…getting average production typically means overpaying since these guys that are available are typically past their prime and on the downhill slide. David 01/05/2009 Steve – if your measure of Votto’s and Bruce’s batting order is dependent upon where they would hit in those two lineups, then yeah, they would bat 6th or 7th. On the Sox, Adam Dunn would probably hit 6th behind Lowell. It’s completely irrelevant. Votto in my opinion givden his high OBP is best suited as the number 2/3 hitter and Bruce 4/5 independent of which team they play. As for the BP article, unfortunately, our system was full of turds until recently, and that isn’t a reflection on THIS ownership or Krivsky/Jocketty. It is now much better and I would expect to see big money paid out to Bruce, Votto, Volquez and Cueto as they inch closer to arbitration. Then other chips like Frazier, Francisco, Soto, etc. brought up to fill the roster. I very much doubt BP was advocating a small market team going broke and signing FA players like C.C. and Tex and filling in the team with Bruce and Votto. I would imagine it would be to keep guys like Adam Dunn. But, what if your veterans, who are reaching FA years, refuse to sign with the team. I am a firm believer – based on nothing but pure speculation – that Dunn simply didn’t want to be a Red any longer. If a player won’t sign a contract, then a team can’t really implement the plan BP advocates. Steve Price 01/05/2009 Votto and Bruce’s ability in respect to other teams’ lineups is ENTIRELY relevant to the quality of team that we have. After all, we’re trying to defeat these other teams. If we can’t beat them, we’re obviously not competitive. And, Dunn was a more productive hitter than Bruce or Votto (to this point). I didn’t say “better” since most equate “better” with having a high batting average. Dunn would hit be a middle of the lineup hitter ahead of Votto and Bruce. And, frankly, Bruce wasn’t that good last year after his great start. While I think Bruce will be a great player, and Votto is a very good hitter, at this point in their careers, they would not be the stud hitters of a championship team. They would be the future, as we wish for our team. However, I think this offseason did prove what our ownership does or does not wish to do. There were players available that could help us improve for a couple of years; instead we settled for too expensive overvalued players again…then we’ll whine about not being able to compete against the larger markets. And, yes, BP’s article specifically discussed these measures. Those were exactly the kind of guys that BP mentioned…. If Dunn wouldn’t re-sign, and we don’t know this, it probably had as much to do with the lack of vision the ownership group has, and the lack of support from the current manager…. As for signing players as free agents…may be some goodwill from the team would go a long way toward keeping players….we’ve seen in the past where guys were happy to take less and play here because they didn’t want the big city spotlight or wanted to be here(Griffey and Larkin, for example). Sadly, it sounds like the organization has successfully gotten our fans to be happy with settling for a dream, rather than winning. It kind of reminds me when little Jimmy Bowden called for the FANS to buy MORE tickets for a LOSING team so that the TEAM could afford to go after bigger players rather than the owners providing a team that had enough ability for the FANS to SUPPORT. While Larkin took a beating for “removing the C” from his uniform in protest, I applauded him for standing up to the status quo and demanding change. The Reds went and got Greg Vaughn, and lo and behold, we got some production and started winning. As long as the Reds, one of baseball’s most profitable teams by all measures I’ve seen, continue to cry wolf, willingly accept the “donations” from the teams that win, get brand new stadiums for free, and somehow get goodwill from their fan base….well, we’ll be second division.