Okay…I’m going to be the first to say it, I think…at least, I haven’t seen anyone else write it, or I haven’t heard anyone say it…

I think we need to deal Aaron Harang for a big bat.

Folks…we don’t get a big bat, at least one that will stay awhile, by trading a minor leaguer…even if it’s Homer Bailey. You get a half-season of rental property, and, like it or not, this dog’s (that is, this year’s Reds) not gonna hunt. A rental bat for this season will only cost us more cash and cost us future investment in a prospect.

However, trading a known pitcher with star power gives us leverage, and we may even be able to sneak out a shortstop from someone, too.

I haven’t researched any deals anywhere, and contrary to what Walt Jocketty’s publicly saying (he’s known to keep close to the vest…his style), the deal talking has begun.

But, why Aaron? The numbers are suggesting that whatever ailed him last year is still ailing him, and it may simply be he’s lost some effectiveness. When the season started I would have expected to be writing Brandon Phillips and Bronson Arroyo here because of their contracts. I’ve changed my thoughts to Harang (and Phillips) because I fear if we finish the whole year Harang’s trade value will decline as his salary requirements will go up, making him difficult to deal for a quality player.

Before last season, Harang was allowing around 9 hits per 9 innings. Last season and this season he’s allowing 10 hits per 9 innings. His home runs allowed ratio jumped 50% last season, and this season is up 25% from previous seasons (it is lower than last year’s ratio). His strikeouts per 9 innings have also dropped one per 9 innings this year and last year.

These are the signs of a pitcher in decline….

Phillips’s situation has been complicated by the injury to Chris Valaika in Louisville. In a similar vein to Harang, I think we need to deal Phillips before the trade deadline, but I believe everyone thought Valaika would be ready or close to ready by this time. However, Valaika, who’s a better hitter than fielder, was only hitting .161 in Louisville before a hand injury sidelined him. He’s supposed to be ready soon, but the Reds will want him hitting before making a deal. We’re already desperately short on hitters in Cincinnati and Louisville (and, yes, that’s Walt Jocketty’s responsibility), and dealing Phillips without someone ready to step in would bring this team to it’s knees, if it’s not on it’s knees already.

Phillips does have star power, his Gold Gloves are still shining, and folks remember the 30 homers, whether it’s stretched our perception of his actual ability or not. Alex Gonzalez is playing below replacement level at shortstop. We either need to give Janish a real shot or find us another shortstop.

We have pitchers; some unproven, but now’s the time to find out. Homer Bailey is in his last option year; he needs major league experience for him to be ready for next year; that is, unless he is just truly trade bait. He won’t get a bat that lasts more than a few months because we don’t have that much leverage with Bailey at this point.

So, I think it’s Harang and Phillips. Well, no doubt, I would have dealt Francisco Cordero last off-season, and I still think he needs to go, too, even if it’s at a loss due to his salary. We have relievers and can find many more since reliever effectiveness is so erratic. Mike Lincoln and Willy Taveras have no business being in the big leagues, and we’re into them for nearly 10 million dollars. If we’re not in contention at trade deadline time, and I don’t think we will be, David Weathers, and, especially, Arthur Rhodes should be made available, too, and could be in high demand. Alex Gonzalez would be a good reserve for a contending team with a high payroll.

Well, that’s my trade block list….who do you think we could get for these guys? It doesn’t have to be just one deal…..

60 Responses

  1. AnnapolisRed

    Good column. I agree with pretty much everything you said.

  2. Bogey

    Let me start by saying I have no idea who may be available for what is being offered. I am a Reds fan, period. I really do not pay any attention to other teams.

    But I do agree with your list of who should be shopped and your assessment of each. I might also add Arroyo to the list.

    Unfortunately, I have this nagging notion that none will bring much value. Although I was very pleasantly surprised what uncle Walt was able to get for Grif and Dunn.

  3. hoosier645

    The only “untouchables” on the reds would be Bruce, Votto, Volquez and Cueto. anybody else is fair game.

  4. Steve

    I wrote this on John Fay’s blog a couple of days ago. Trading Harang absolutely makes sense. Bring up Homer for the 5th SP spot and try to get it done. Only Harang can get us a solid hitter in exchange. Plus we get out of a huge salary for next year which can help pay for whomever we pick up. Even if he wasn’t in decline – and I suspect he is – it makes sense to trade him.

    We couldn’t trade Cordero last year because of a short-term no trade clause in his contract. I don’t remember whether it was one or two years, but I know it wasn’t for all four.

  5. justcorbly

    Package Homer with Harang and go for a really solid and established hitter. Time to accept that either Homer can’t cut it or that the organization can’t fix him. Use Maloney instead.

  6. Jose

    trading Cordero would be moronic
    Cordero has been brilliant this season
    without him and Rhodes who would close out the games?
    we’d be screwed with another crappy bullpen

    Harang makes some sense
    but Harang is still the most consistant pitcher on the staff
    and brings a REAL veteran presence to the staff, unlike Arroyo who is treated like a god, but blows up every start.

    Now I would love the Reds to trade for Ian Stewart from the Colorado Rockies
    I bet it would Take Arroyo and a prospect or so
    but he would be worth it
    He’s a Todd Frazier type
    and he can play 3B, RF, LF, 1B, and 2B

  7. JerBear

    Trading Phillips is a little questionable to me. I wouldn’t totally be against it, but why would we trade him? My main beef with Phillips is his attitude at times. He is reminding me a little more of Chad Johnson which worries me. I don’t think he’s that crazy, and I don’t mind a somewhat flashy player, but for instance his questioning of Dusty telling him to take the 3-0 pitch the other day is bothersome even though I disagree with Dusty many times…and maybe that speaks to Dusty not being the type of manager this team needs. He seems to not have a firm grip on the whole roster. Different rules for different guys.

    But what would we try to get in return for Phillips? He should bring back either a quality major leaguer or 2-3 pretty good prospects.

    Interesting article…but sad also, because it sounds like you are conceding this season. And I don’t blame you for that! lol…it would just be sad if another year went by under .500, especially with a team that has good enough pitching to win the division when healhty.

  8. Travis G.

    So are you plowing this under for the future, Steve, or trying to make a push for the playoffs this year?

    Harang likely has more trade value now than Arroyo, but I suspect Arroyo will be more effective through the life of his contract. He’s remarkably healthy and durable, and he gives you a solid 200-plus innings year after year. Harang does appear to be in decline.

    The question is, who needs Harang and who has a ML-ready hitter available? First team that comes to mind is Colorado, with Brad Hawpe, but I’m not sure they need a SP enough to do this. Besides, they probably need a couple more weeks to decide if their recent win streak is an outlier or a trend. Who else? Angels?

  9. JerBear

    I don’t know how often you see a team trading one of their best offensive players for one of your best pitchers midseason. Maybe Colorado needs pitching, but I’m not sure how trading Hawpe who is having a good year helps them immediately. I just don’t that type of trade happening very often.

    If I was another team, I’d actually prefer Arroyo…but a team that is basically guranteed to make the playoffs, not a team like the Reds, Cubs, Braves, who is gonna be chasing most of the year.

    If it’s a one game playoff or a playoff game in general, I want Arroyo on the mound rather than Harang. Arroyo is strange in that he just stinks every couple starts, but he has more ability in my opinion to shut down a team in the playoffs then Harang would.

  10. Matty G.

    I love Harang but I feel that trading him is probably inevitable. Looking at it for his benefit, it’d be great for him to play on a team that’ll give him some run support!

  11. Jose

    JerBear might be crazy
    if your a major league hitter
    would you rather see a 93 MPH fastball coming in?
    or would you rather see a 85-88 mph fastball coming down the middle?
    Harang has way better stuff
    Arroyo pitches everything right there
    thus his ERA is over 5

  12. Travis G.

    Hawpe’s probably a little ambitious, yes.

    Honestly, there aren’t that many teams who: a. are in contention, b. need Harang, and c. have what the Reds need. The Angels meet all three of those, I guess, but would you really trade Harang for Bobby Abreu, Chone Figgins or Brandon Wood? Not sure I would.

    Detroit could use him, but you’re looking at Magglio Ordonez in return. The Yankees could offer something that involved Cabrera, Cano or Swisher. If Halladay hits the DL, Toronto’s more likely to pack it in than replace him, but would you deal Harang for Alex Rios?

  13. pinson343

    I read the same argument (same numbers and everything) for trading Harang a couple of days ago. It must have been Steve’s post on Fay’s blog.

    I like Harang but the argument makes sense. If we could trade Arroyo and get almost as much, I’d prefer that. It wouldn’t seem possible, but as pointed out, Arroyo would have value for certain teams, like the Yankees. They need both starting and relief pitching (Arroyo can do either) and they would appreciate his positive postseason experience and he’s been there/done that as far as their intense rivalry with the Red Sox goes.

    I don’t like or understand the idea of trading Phillips. It would hurt our defense and our already pathetic offense. Trade him for what ? I suppose some combination of trades is being considered here but to make sense we would have to end up with a middle infielder who is a better all around player than BP.

    Don’t trade Homer. We wouldn’t get that much in return right now, and he still has tremendous upside.
    I read his recent success is due in part to his having developed a splitter, he’s needed a 3rd pitch.

  14. Mr. Redlegs

    The problem with this sort of conjecture is the economy vs. contract of the player.

    For the Reds to deal off their high-contract guys–essentially, their players with market value–means they have to find a team willing to take the contract. There’s almost no one in baseball willing to do that right now. But let’s say they do find a trading partner, the more contract that partner has to eat, the lesser the talent return for the Reds.

    So what would happen is the Reds would still have to eat substantial contract, get rid of a serviceable player (or two, or three) and still not get the return they should for the quality of player they are dealing.

    That’s why none of this conjecture makes sense. That’s why it won’t happen . . . perhaps at least until the winter meetings. But the Reds also need to see where they stand with Voltron’s health and the progress of some of the high minors guys. But they’re not exactly flush with proven talent.

    Plus, any dealing incumbent upon the economy, folks, and it’s also reality of the game vs. fantasy league desires these days.

  15. Matt Steele

    I wouldn’t mind trading Harang or Arroyo, nor would I be that upset by trading Phillips

    Oh and the closer is the most overrated position in baseball, there’s no reason why we should pay so much for a closer. So I have no problem trading Cordero either.

    The problem is who are we going to get and what position will they play?

    If we get a guy that’s going to be here longer than half a season, he’s goign to have to play CF probably if we move Votto to LF for Alonso at 1b. Unless of course, we can put Bruce in CF I guess if we have to…

    If we trade Phillips we’re going to need to get someone back who plays in the middle infield and has some offensive skill.

    I agree that we need some offense, I’m just not sure who’s available for us to get

  16. earl

    I went roster by roster and looking at starters, I just don’t see much that links up. I don’t see an NL club in the other two divisions (being that you won’t trade in the central) that have an outfielder that is worth dealing for that we could get for Harang without going the prospect route. The Yanks I think at one time inquired about Harang a few years back. Tampa could perhaps use another starter, but you would be looking at either Crawford or Upton.

    Is it me, or does it seem like there is a bit of a drought on good outfielders? I guess the evening out of the power numbers is thinning out the power numbers or something.

    I tend to doubt Phillips is going anywhere.

  17. Dennis

    We’re still in contention, and I can’t see doing anything that hurts our chances this year. I would not trade Phillips or Cordero. I would only trade Harang for a great young hitting prospect, someone about the same age as Jay Bruce and someone as highly regarded, who is ready to make a rookie impact in the majors, preferably a third baseman who can both field and hit.

  18. Kevin Mitchell is Batman

    Try to package Harang + young cheap pitching prospect (Masset?) to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp and a pricey 1 year reliever or bad pitching contract (Mota, Schmidt, Kuroda).

    Manny will be coming off the suspension and they’ve got to move somebody with Pierre playing so well, and his contract makes him basically unmovable. Make Kemp the odd-man out and get a young CF and sign him with the $$ difference. There’s your impact RH bat.

  19. Steve

    Hawpe is left handed, so he’s not an optimal choice. But he sure is a great hitter otherwise. If we could get him for Harang straight up I’d make that deal in a second.

    Trading Harang and/or Arroyo is 100% inevitable before 2010 as their salaries are too high for us to cover both next year. The question is only whether we trade them now or at the end of the year.

    The reason to trade Harang and not Homer Bailey is that we presumably could get an established, signable player in return, so we could contend this year.

    Those of you who have given up on Homer Bailey are really short sighted. He’s had one chance to start this year was nervous and had to deal with a small strike zone that night. If you notice, David Price, the Rays parallel pitching super-prodigy (and who is older than Homer), is having similar inconsistency in his starts. At age 22/23 Edinson Volquez was a disaster in the majors – but at age 25 he won 17 games and struck out 209. Homer looked great this spring. It is WAY too early to give up on him.

    We should give Nick Masset some closing opportunities and if he does well we should definitely consider trading Cordero while he is at peak performance. It has been great watching him pitch so well this year, but remember that he has a career of ups and downs, so it is unlikely that he’ll be able to keep this up. But I agree we shouldn’t trade him until we have pretty good confidence in a replacement (who isn’t 40 years old).

  20. brublejr

    I like Harang but it does make sense. I have that feeling he is in the decline but he does still put out solid outings. I would prefer to trade Arroyo over Harang but in my opinion one of them will be gone by next season.

    As far as Cordero…You can go back and see, I have been driving the trade Cordero wagon for a long time. I just don’t think a team in a mid to small market can afford to spend 12 mil per on a CLOSER! Closer is a joke most of time…they all come and go. Besides half the time the tougher outs are in the 8th inning. Anybody should be able to come in a get a save under most conditions. (3 runs lead, etc…) It makes NO sense paying that much money to one and then leave your offense with many holes because there is no money to throw around.

    As far as Phillips…I would not be against that either, really. His act wears old on me real fast. BUT, for him to be full value for me, he has to be moved to SS. There is no minor leaguer ready to move up and virtually none on the trade or FA market. (the only one I would consider is Perralta from CLE, but not sure if they would give him up)

    Furthermore…I think Weathers and Rhodes are great candidates to steal some nice talent away from teams needing bullpen help. Could a guy like Ramon be an interest for a team who losses a catcher near the deadline? I would trade him too, because there is no way in hell I would re-sign him to much of an extension if at all.

    If I trade one of the big guys, however, I would force the other team to take either Taveras or Gonzalez just to get rid of them. (I would take a bag of balls and a bucket of sunflower seeds for either one of those guys)

  21. brublejr

    Amen Steve…you are all over it on this whole issue.

  22. preach

    Figgens is not a ‘big’ bat, but he is a legit leadoff hitter who can play a solid defense at absolutely every positon short of the battery on the field. To me a player like that makes sense, especially if we are not sure how long it will take to get some guys back. However, I would like some pop who could bat cleanup as well. But however it goes, we need to make a move now and win this division.

  23. Glenn

    The need is for a 25 -30 HR, 75+ RBI, .270 avg. player who hits from the right side. These guys don’t grow on trees anymore. At least not since they started roids testing.

    I’d resist trading most of the guys mentioned but you’ve got to give up quality to get quality, so I’m coming to the sad realization that someone I like on this team is going to have to go for the Reds to get any better. Harang might be that guy, but I’ll sure miss him.

  24. rpa

    nobody is going to be taking on payroll this year. the picture in 6 weeks does not look that different from today in that regard.

    any moves the reds make will have to be more or less salary neutral. i can see somone without additional years going near the deadline, but a guy like harang or arroyo, for better or worse, is here for 2010.

  25. Chris

    I am in denial that Harang is in decline, and am blaming it on last year’s injury and a small sample size this year.

    As for Cordero, you ABSOLUTELY trade him if you can. Rather, you don’t commit $40-odd million to a closer to begin with. Cordero’s been pretty good (his failures in tie games still stick in my craw), but there are plenty of very good closers making less than the league average.

    All of these guys are in the top 10 in their league, and most of them make less money than Mike Lincoln will make next year:

    Heath Bell $1.255M
    Brian Wilson $480k
    Matt Capps $500k
    Jonathan Broxton $1.825M
    Ryan Franklin $2.5M
    Chad Qualls $2.535M

    George Sherrill $2.75M
    Fernando Rodney $2.75M
    David Aardsma $400k
    Scott Downs $2.25M

  26. Chris

    KevinMitchellisBatman has a great handle, but I can’t imagine trading Harang to SD for a “bat.” The Padres are one of the few teams with a more feeble offense than the Reds.

  27. Kevin Mitchell is Batman

    I suggested he be traded to the Dodgers, actually.

    The fact that he’s from San Diego was a response to my prior post, and implied that LA is much closer to home than Cincinnati.

  28. aaron

    There were plenty of “Big Bats” this off season and we signed Willy T. We also dont have a quality starter to replace Harang. Instead of trading the talent we have how about we use Dunn’s money savings to actually replace Dunn. And trading Phillips is one of the craziest things I’ve read he plays what he’s worth and actually HUSTLES. Attitude….if swinging at a 3-0 pitch after driving in 30 runs last month is attitude gimmie that attitude, suppose he takes the walk the next hitter would probably just GIDP.

  29. Dan

    By and large, I am totally with you, Steve. The basic mantra is “buy low, sell high.” It sounds simple but it isn’t. No one wants to “sell high”! But you’ve hit the nail on the head when you explain why you’d rather trade Harang and Arroyo — Harang is better, so we’d probably get more for him. (Most people seem to only want to trade players after they stink — at which point, you’ll get nothing for him.)

    But here’s a thought… What if Gomes could be what we’re looking for? I know, it’s unlikely, but I think it’s possible.

    I’d say, sniff around on deals and get talks going. But I’d like to get Gomes 150 AB’s or more and see what we have there before we pull the trigger on anything. (As you all know, I really like him! Possibly to an irrational degree, but hey…)

  30. Dan

    Actually, Aaron, I can’t let this go… The most likely person on this whole team to GIDP is Phillips himself!

  31. Dan

    Speaking of Phillips, I do think he’s talented but overrated — which does also make him a trade candidate. Not b/c he sucks, but b/c his perceived value is higher than his actual value. He’s a perfect “sell high” candidate.

    However, I’d be just as happy to get him working on playing SS and then figure out who our best 2B candidate is to replace him there. (It’s SO much easier to find a 2B than a good SS.)

    I for one am tempted by Drew Sutton (the guy we got for Keppinger). He’s a switch-hitter with some pop — putting up pretty good numbers at Louisville. I’d like to see what he can do. (I guess it’s nutty to make a major switch like this while we’re still in contention, so maybe now isn’t the time, but I do like moving toward this if Phillips is going to be here for a while.)

  32. Dan

    Just looked this up… Phillips is on pace for 26 DP’s! Oy! That is terrible. And the guy is fast, too!

    Sean Casey only had over 20 DP’s once in his career!

    Ramon Hernandez is slow as dirt and he has 6 DP’s in the same number of PA’s as Phillips. No one else on the team has more than 4.

  33. Glenn

    Maybe they could sign Sean Casey to a 10 day contract like the NBA has until Votto gets back.

  34. Y-City Jim

    Quite honestly, I have no problem with moving Arroyo and/or Phillips but I don’t see a big bat having the impact some expect. This team needs a least a couple of bats.

    Dusty and Walt are also going to have to make some tough choices. Taveras and Gonzalez are hurting the team. They either need to be dealt or sat. We can argue until the end of time as to whether Janish can be a decent presence at the plate or not but he is no worse than Gonzalez, and is a big upgrade defensively. Taveras presents no argument. He is just not an everyday MLB player. Dickerson may not be either but he certainly is s better one than Taveras. Besides, even when Taveras was getting on base he wasn’t the great base stealer he was portrayed to be.

  35. shane

    I don’t think Phillips’ ‘potential’ is overrated, but what he’s being allowed to do right now is a shame. He needs someone to kick him in the butt a few times and tell him to RUN! I’ve seen at least 2 double plays he’s hit into in the last couple of weeks that would have never happened if he had run it out. He sees what is ‘probably’ a double play ball and half a$$es it to first then. Thats unacceptable but he’s getting away with it and it seems to be getting worse.

  36. Shawn

    Taveras is a decent player if he is healthy. He is certainly not at 100% right now with the hamstring problem, and a speed player without his legs is nothing.

  37. Mr. Redlegs

    You guys keep yapping about all these scenarios and who YOU will or would trade, but you continue to ignore the basic facts of the money, the sports economy and the lower return value in order for the full contracts to be swapped (based on roughly half season monies for 2009):

    Harang: $32.7 million or $20 mil with buyout
    Cordero: $29 mil
    Arroyo: $27 mil or $17.5 mil with buyout
    Phillips $21 mil

    Sure, there’s merit in the idea of trading some of these guys, but it’s not likely very realistic. The talk throughout the game is the likely lack of trade movement this year because no one–but no one–can afford to spend. Not even the Yankees.

  38. Dan

    One more thing to add to my comments above, b/c I don’t want to contradict what I said yesterday…

    I am on board with what you are saying here, Steve, in that I think it’s smart to think about trading away guys w/ actual value (like Harang, Phillips, Cordero, Rhodes)… *IF* you are going to trade.

    However, I remain convinced that this is basically a .500 team we have here and so let’s not get crazy here. I don’t want to trade away significant future value just for a rent-a-player so we can win 83 games instead of 81. It’s not worth it.

    Let’s be patient. For the first time in a long time, we actually do have a very good young core coming along.

  39. Sultan of Swaff

    Most of these proposed moves are addition by subtraction in the service of some grand 3 year plan that may or may not pan out. How do you win more games by getting rid of established major leaguers? We wouldn’t even be having this conversation had Votto and EdE been healthy the last 3 weeks. Rather, we’d be talking about which minor leaguers to trade to get that big bat that will put us over the top in this utterly winnable division. We have the best pitching, period, and we just need to get to the dog days for it to bear fruit. Tweak it, yes, but wholesale changes for the sake of change is what got us into this mess (umpteen GM’s in the last 10 years).

  40. RiverCity Redleg

    I think getting Votto and EE healthy will make all the difference in the world and it’s not time to panic. With that said, I could understand trading Harang or Arroyo for a legit bat. I wouldn’t trade CoCo. We struggled so long to find a legit closer and I’m not willing to give it up now that we have it, even if he is slightly overpaid. I wouldn’t want any of the closers Chris mentions over CoCO. Moving BP to short makews sense, but I don’t see them doing it.

  41. RiverCity Redleg

    SoS, my thoughts exactly. You beat me to it.

  42. Chris

    I wouldn’t want any of the closers Chris mentions over CoCO.

    Would you want one of those closers PLUS $8-10M?

  43. Matt Steele

    A couple things

    #1 – did someone seriously suggest that it was better that Brandon Phillips didn’t take the walk because someone might have grounded into a double play?!

    #2 – RiverCity Redleg… you seriously wouldn’t want Heath Bell or Jonathan Broxton over Coco. I would take them over Coco for the 12 mil we pay Coco right now. At their salaries, they’re an incredible steal. There was a study not too long ago saying something like the team with a 9th inning lead of 3 runs or less would win somewhere between 85-90% of the time no matter who was pitching. Closers are overrated and paying 12 million for a closer is a bad investment by a small market team.

    #3 – I don’t think the Dodgers will give up Kemp. When Manny comes back, they’re going to bench Pierre again or trade him. Pierre has the least upside of any of those players for this current season and for the future. I sincerely hope we don’t try to trade for Pierre.

    #4 – If we are looking to get an outfielder, with Cleveland out of the picture, how about Shin Shoo Choo? He does a little bit of everything. Get on base, homers, steals, decent average. If the Indians are out of contention, though they’d rather trade DeRosa or Pavano I’m sure, maybe we can steal Choo away

    #5 – Finally I couldn’t resist linking this article about how great Griffey has been in the Mariner’s clubhouse. So many people here blasted him for “poor leadership” or a “bad attitude” well count Ichiro as one of the many people who would disagree. http://www.thenewstribune.com/1042/story/780073.html

  44. per14

    It seems to me we can both a) stay in this for the long haul this season and b) trade either Arroyo or Harang for a bat. Eventually, the team is going to have to trade one of them and right now, their value is probably the highest it is going to be.

  45. Travis G.

    I watched last night’s Milwaukee-Cleveland game after reading some of this thread, and they had Pete Pascarelli* in the booth talking about possible trade scenarios. He mentioned something about the Dodgers needing another SP and possibly attempting to sell high on Juan Pierre, and I got very, very scared. Still am, a little bit (not so much that Jocketty would trade Harang for him, because I don’t think he would, but just acquiring him at all).

    Pierre’s had a great six weeks, but he’s still aging and expensive Juan Pierre.

    *Who is Pete Pascarelli, and where has ESPN been hiding him? He actually knows what the hell he’s talking about, and expresses himself with humility and an entirely refreshing absence of shtick. He is literally the only on-air talent I’ve seen on that channel this decade who didn’t make me hate sports just a little bit.

  46. Mr. Redlegs

    Peter Pascarelli is a former Phillies beat writer and Philly columnist who has been ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball info guy for a number of years. He’s very, very highly respected, written a number of books, been around a long time. He’s often used on ESPN Radio shows for baseball insight and info.

  47. Glenn

    Whether its a trade or an outright release Mike Lincoln has got to get up on out of here. I can’t imagine that either he nor Taveras have much trade value at all but maybe the Reds could get a bag of baseballs for the two of them.

  48. Chris

    He is literally the only on-air talent I’ve seen on that channel this decade who didn’t make me hate sports just a little bit.

    That’s awesome. All I can say is that I agree, but haven’t heard Peter Pascarelli on air.

  49. David

    Why in the world do you want to be sellers at the deadline? BP is the only offense we have. Harang is arguably the best pitcher on the staff right now with Cueto being 1A. The Reds are only three out. Prospects are prospects. It is time to trade prospects for a Dye type and see if you can’t make a run at the post season.

  50. Glenn

    Shawn, I couldn’t disagree with you more. Taveras’ legs seem to be fine now. He’s ran pretty well in the OF lately. Its just that 0 for 30 something is not going to keep you in the starting lineup. If Taveras is not in the starting lineup then he is of no value to the team. In fact, its worse than that. His salary hurts the organization by keeping the team from signing better and more useful players.
    That’s just a purely baseball observation. I’m sure that T is a good guy and a good teammate. He just has to produce or find somewhere else to play…at a lower salary.

  51. shane

    Why do we need a closer at all if we aren’t going to score enough runs to be ahead in the 9th inning anyway?

  52. Travis G.

    Well I’ll be darned. I usually keep reading material close by when ESPN is on, but it seems I’ve actually missed out on something worth watching. An Internet search on ol’ Peter turns up a hodgepodge of unhelpful stuff I didn’t feel like sorting through.

    FWIW, mlbtraderumors linked two reports this morning that show the Phillies and Tigers would both be willing to add payroll. Not sure either team would have what the Reds need, though, should they consider dealing Harang. He wouldn’t net the sort of ML-ready impact bat they need now, unless the Reds took back a contract, and a lower-level prospect doesn’t fit their needs next year.

    I like the idea of a minor deal for a Matt Murton type, or finding some way to pry Chone Figgins away from the Angels.

  53. Y-City Jim

    t is time to trade prospects for a Dye type and see if you can’t make a run at the post season.

    I’m more interested in seeing the Reds build a powerhouse team then make a feeble attempt at the postseason. The Reds have some nice prospects but we’re not brimming over with them. Look what Milwaukee trading prospects for CC. Sabathia got them. If the Reds boot some old those career minor leaguers out of Louisville and get some of the Mudcats prospects up this year for some seasoning, next year could be what we have been waiting for.

  54. Dan

    Carlos Quentin 2 years ago was a perfect target — great minor league numbers, coming off a bad year due to injury, and stuck in an overcrowded outfield. They just didn’t need him, and they sold him cheap.

    Last year, Nelson Cruz of the Rangers was a perfect target. This year, he’s almost 29 (older than you think since this is the first time he’s gotten regular play), but he’s absolutely crushing the ball — .278/.343/.570 and on pace for 40 HR and 100 RBI. I really don’t think it would’ve taken much to get him last year.

    I do think Jonny Gomes has an outside chance of being this guy, by the way… I’d really like to give him a bigger chance!

    But at any rate, this is the type of guy we need to target, I think. Buy low! (Matt Murton is not a bad idea, by the way, in my opinion.)

  55. Matt WI

    I think Milwaukee did right by trading their prospects in that case. They got an amazing several months of pitching by CC, enthused their fan base to frequent sell-outs, and got to the playoffs. Once you’re there, it’s anybody’s game. And, here are the Brewers in 2009 right in the thick of it. LaPorta may end up being great, and maybe the Reds can steal him…. but anyway, a great original post by Steve. After having read the posts, I can get behind trading Harrang if we have to and get a bat. Other than that, I wouldn’t tinker with this team unless we can package Taveras off to Japan or something.

  56. JerBear

    Taveras to Japan…lol I think we may be stuck with what we got. Cleveland knows everyone is coming after Derosa, or maybe even Chin Shoo…They are going to demand a ridiculous return I bet. And someone will probably give them some nice talent for Mark Derosa…I would say look out for Cleveland in 2-3 years if they can make a few smart deals. They have some terrible years, but they know how to rebuild.

    The Reds are like in the middle of rebuilding mode. Kind of in a Catch 22 because they feel they are good enough to win with some veterans sprinkled in. But they’d probably be better served letting those veterans go and just going with an all out youth movement with the exception of holding onto a few of the veteran pitchers.

  57. Matt Steele

    I agree with JerBear about where we are… which is why I don’t see the logic in trading for people that are only going to be here a half year. Most players you get at the trading deadline are not going to perform like CC. Obviously if we could get someone right now for minimal cost it would probably be worth it, but we need to invest for the next 3-4 years.

    We should try to get Alexis Rios in my opinion… though people in Cincy would probably hate him since he’s not a squeaky clean character guy (see: Youtube)

  58. Cary Loughman

    [bold]”We have relievers and can find many more since reliever effectiveness is so erratic.”[/bold]If bullpens are so easy to build, why did we have crappy ones in the recent past? I agree that relievers are erratic, but I do not understand the logic you are using to make it sound like replacing a back end righty throwing from 95-98 with a good hard slider will be no sweat. Cordero is earning his keep, and unless we are offered a king’s ransom in trade by a desparate contender, we should keep guys who are producing commensurate to their salary, not trade them because “relievers are so easy to find.”