I have a number of things I thought were interesting, so I thought I’d just toss ’em all together in a link roundup post…

–The Reds signed Jonny Gomes to a minor league deal. Now, this is a signing I like. Very little risk, and Gomes is a decent bet to be okay in a platoon with Chris Dickerson (more on him later).

— GM Walt Jocketty says the Reds aren’t going to be able to sign Bobby Abreu.

When you add these two items together, it’s becoming apparent that the Reds intend to go with what they’ve got in terms of manning left field.

–More on Chris Dickerson, as John Sickels has given him a C+ grade in his latest prospect book:

I wrote last year that Chris Dickerson struck out too much and wouldn’t hit for average in the majors, but that his speed, willingness to take walks, sparks of power, and excellent defense would make him a valuable fourth outfielder. That’s still my analysis, and I don’t think you will see him hit .304 in a full season. I think he’s a .240-.250 hitter in the Show, so he’s likely due for a correction. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him hit .220 in 2009, causing everyone to get down on him, but then stabilize at his real level of ability in 2010. And his real level of ability is pretty good: he’s made strides turning his excellent tools into skills. He could help a lot of teams as long as his weaknesses are accounted for. Grade C+.

Pretty much exactly what we’ve been saying here at Redleg Nation for a while.

–Now go buy Sickels’ prospect book. I get it every year, and it’s always worth the money. Great stuff.

–Lots of Reds on the rosters for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. On that subject, however, Red Hot Mama has a message for the WBC.

–CTR has a pretty good interview with J.J. Cooper of Baseball America.

31 Responses

  1. Matt B.

    So Gomes+Dickerson platoon in LF? I’m fine with that as long as it’s only for 2009. Barring some miracle trading or signing (and Abreu is apparently out) or flat-out miracle, the foregone conclusion is that the Reds are not going to contend in 2009.

  2. World

    Fifth place. Fighting for fifth place with the Pirates.

    I sat in a restaurant in Sarasota with my dear friend Joe Nuxhall in 2007 and heard Big Bob say to all assembled that he wanted to win right away and that he would do whatever was necessary to put that in place. Joe looked at me after that comment and uttered one word. Guess what that word was and you win the grand prize.

    Fifth place.

  3. Dan

    I love the Gomes signing! Seriously. I’ve been plugging it for a long time. It’s totally low-risk, and could actually pay off. I’m optimistic about him.

    I like the fact that it’s a sign that Jocketty does at least somewhat appreciate the value of OBP and power.

    Also, I much prefer getting Gomes at almost low cost rather than someone like Nady who would cost quite a bit more — both in terms of $$$ and players needed to trade for him.

    Thumbs up, Walt.

  4. Dan

    Oh yeah, I should also add that he’s only 28 — admittedly, not really young enough to be a true prospect, but there weren’t many free agents under 30.

    When you have a freely available 28-year-old with these numbers, you go for it and roll the dice:

    Gomes (majors) – .235/.329/.455
    Gomes (minors) – .272/.398/.529

    He does strike out WAY too much, but he has prodigious power, and with his walk rate all he has to do is bat .250 or so to be a very productive player.

    Perfect buy-low move…

    Next let’s roll the dice on 3B Morgan Ensberg as a super-low-cost no-risk move.

  5. Tom

    A combination of the James, Marcel, and Chones projects the following for Gomes:

    Last AB HR AVG OBP SLG OPS
    Gomes 282 14 .241 .340 .450 .790

    A nice pickup of a guy coming off of a down year who has a good shot at a rebound. This guy has a pretty good shot at helping the Reds this season. Good signing.

  6. David

    “GM Walt Jocketty says the Reds aren’t going to be able to sign Bobby Abreu.”

    Umm… Chad, how is “I talked to his agent,” Jocketty said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a fit” not being ABLE to sign Abreu.

    You are feeding into the misconception that the Reds cannot afford to add a big bat. There is absolutely no indication that the Reds cannot afford Abreu or any other player out there. The only thing it shows is the Reds are not going to spend more on a player than the player’s win share is worth.

    I’d also like to note the change of rhetoric in the past couple weeks. Jocketty made it known that he was looking for a big bat. Basic theory of supply and demand drove the costs sky high. He may very well still be looking, but is simply changing the rhetoric so prices come down.

    Most football bloggers disregard everything said by GMs, coaches and owners during the spring. It’s just a given that it is disinformation or rhetoric. Why then do so many baseball bloggers eat up everything that Castellini or Jocketty say and treat it as truth? It’s an interesting paradox.

    As for Gomes, I think he would make a fine platoon player with Dickerson if forced into that role. However, I think he is more the bench player/”pinch hitter with some pop” that Jocketty was looking for recently.

  7. Dan

    Gomes’s career line in the majors vs. LHP is .266/.369/.510. That’s good enough to bat 4th or 5th vs. lefties in my book.

    He’s a perfect platoon partner for Dickerson.

    If the plan is to have him pinch hit and play Hopper or someone like that ahead of him, that’ll be a bad use of Gomes, IMO. As I said, I’m very optimistic about Gomes… if he’s given a fair chance by Dusty!

  8. Chris

    Great signing.

    Jocketty made it known that he was looking for a big bat. Basic theory of supply and demand drove the costs sky high. He may very well still be looking, but is simply changing the rhetoric so prices come down.

    What went “sky high?” This statement completely contradicts what is going on. Burrell signed for next to nothing. Dunn, Manny, and Abreu are still sitting out there without jobs. NOBODY is getting the money they want.

  9. NickP

    Gomes defensive numbers are atrocious. He looks like Adam Dunn out there with a worse bat.

    Still not an awful signing, and I agree it’s low risk.

    Though, I don’t think there’s anyway this team is even .500 as currently constructed.

  10. Dan

    You know, for the cost, if he brings a big bat, I can live w/ some adventures in LF.

    Where did you find his defensive numbers, Nick? How bad are we talking?

  11. GregD

    After the last WBC, did anyone examine if there was a correlation between WBC players (esp pitchers) and regular season injuries?

    I don’t like to hear about so many Reds pitchers, especially Volquez and Cueto, participating in this event if it does increase the injury risk.

  12. GregD

    “Umm… Chad, how is “I talked to his agent,” Jocketty said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a fit” not being ABLE to sign Abreu. ”

    They talked to his agent with an interest in signing him. They didn’t sign him. They weren’t able to git-r-done.

    Jocketty can use whatever spin words he wants, but what do you think they talked about that gave Jocketty new insight that Abreu wouldn’t “fit” with this organization?

  13. David

    Chris – It’s very basic, and I apologize if I confused you with being conclusory. Here is the analysis.

    There is a shortage of middle of the order RH OF on the FA market. Manny and Burrell are the top two guys. Even under normal conditions, these players don’t fit what the Reds are trying to accomplish. Manny is a headcase who is worth the moon. Burrell can’t play a lick of defense. Aside from those two guys you are talking about second tier players (Baldelli and Rivera) which may be intriguing but are less than solid cleanup hitters.

    Additionally, as you noted, GMs are staying away from high priced and more importantly LONG TERM FA contracts.

    When you combine these factors the trade market demand has sky rocketted. The White Sox wanted Bailey+1 for a year of Dye, and the Sox were going to add no salary relief. The Rocks wanted a package similar to what they got for Matt Holiday for Garret Atkins. The Pirates, Reds, and others have scoffed at the Yankees’ asking price for Nady and Swisher. The list goes on and on and on.

    There is a premium for middle of the order bats under team control at a reasonable rate (much more so than in a normal year).

    Jocketty has said a dozen or so times since the season ended, he prefers trades over FA. We don’t have that middle of the order RH bat, because the demands from rival GMs are out of line and there are no FAs who really fit.

    So, Jocketty is playing the waiting game now. He’ll see if the price of trading for plus talent drops. If it does, we’ll have that big bat. If not, he isn’t dumb enough to mortgage the next 4 years by trading top flight prospects for a RBI guy who will be gone when the Reds are ready to contend in 2010 and beyond.

    As an aside, the reason Dunn and Abreu don’t have jobs isn’t because of the economy. The Dodgers are in a showdown with Manny. Both of those guys are plan B. Thus, everyone is waiting. Additionally, no team except for the Dodgers is even sniffing around Dunn’s contract demand of 4 years/$56 million. It has nothing to do with the economy, it has to do with Dunn being worth around 8 million a year and asking for 14.

  14. Deaner

    I like the Gomes signing too.

    I remember watching Gomes along with Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, and Josh Hamilton playing for the Rookie-level Princeton (WV) Devil Rays.

  15. GregD

    Market value is determined by the players actually signed and the trades actually completed. If the White Sox demand Harang, Cueto and Bailey for Jermaine Dye, that doesn’t mean that is Dye’s worth. Of the examples of high demand you listed in your comment, no other team in the league has agreed to these demands. To me that means that those trade propositions are not the market value for those players.

    Similarly, the free agent hitters that have signed, have signed below what similar players received in past years. Manny, Abreu, Dunn, etc can all ask for 2007-type contracts, but if no one is giving them, then that is not their current market value.

    It seems to me that the demand just isn’t there, regardless of the supply. Teams would rather rely on their own farm system, and cheaper patchwork alternatives than pay past years’ veteran rates.

  16. Pete

    I find it very hard to see the logic behind some of the moves they have made with this fine organization. In the past 10 years they have caused myself and the city of Cincinnati a good deal of distress as we have watched them take our beloved Reds and reduce them to a laughingstock, all for the glorification of their massive egos. (-: (-:

  17. David

    Pete… Who are “they?” Castellini took over in 2006. Jocketty hasn’t even been the GM for a year. How could “they” have done anything? Why is Castellini responsible for the Lerner regime? How is Jocketty liable for Dan O’Brien’s mistakes?

  18. Chris

    Lerner is running a different organization into the ground.

  19. Pete

    David…get with the program. It’s a joke. It is a quote from George Costanza to George Steinbrenner on an episode of “Seinfeld” I just substituted the Reds for the Yanks.

  20. earl

    Jonny Gomes fits the budget and he has played in the pros for a little bit, which is something most of the other Red outfielders have not done.

    I’m cool with them giving the guy a shot. I think it is all about holding it together for this year and hoping for the best out of the farm going forward.

    They will be in a better position a month or two into the year to maybe deal Arroyo towards some prospects or a bat, provided he doesn’t start off as terrible as last year.

  21. World

    John- You win the grand prize. Let me know how to contact you.

  22. KY Chip

    Pete — well played with the “Seinfeld” Costanza quote. Spotted it instantly and made me laugh. Out loud, even.

    Now, we’ll have to see if Walt’s car is the first one in the lot in the mornings and the last one there in the evenings. 🙂

    As for the Gomes signing, it’s a good move. Like Nix and Fultz, getting Gomes for a minor league contract is a low risk-high reward move.

    While Gomes may not be the everyday LF, he would give the Reds some options in the OF platoon situations and could provide a decent stick off the bench. Provided he makes the club out of camp, of course. But since the Reds don’t have many other bodies for the OF, it’s likely he will.

    But the Reds are still, at best, a 75-win club.

  23. Pete

    Wow, John! You have won a
    ………………………………………….BRAND NEW CAR!!!!!!!!!

  24. Mike Martz

    [Quote]Pete
    on Jan 21st, 2009 at 6:00 am
    Wow, John! You have won a
    ………………………………………….BRAND NEW CAR!!!!!!!!! [/Quote]

    A New Car?????
    Do they still make those?????????????

    May be some assembly required. 😉

  25. Dan

    If I post 2 more comments, that should bump me back into the top 10 commenters of the year.