There has been some good discussion in the thread below, some of it spurred by this article over at FSN. The author, Jon Paul Morosi, basically says that the Reds were hot and heavy on the trail of Mark DeRosa (who was traded to St. Louis over the weekend), and that they are working hard to procure a right-handed bat.

It’s nice to know that Walt Jocketty is not asleep, I guess.

The names mentioned, let’s be honest, don’t excite me very much (of course, I can’t figure out why they’d want DeRosa either). Josh Willingham. Ty Wigginton. Gary Matthews, Jr. (I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.) Julio Lugo.

(I’m not sure why the Reds would want any of those left fielders as a platoon partner for Laynce Nix. Are any of them substantially better than the current right-handed part of the LF platoon, Jonny Gomes?)

Use this as an open thread to discuss anything you want, but the interesting question is whether you think the Reds should be buyers or sellers right now? Or neither?

69 Responses

  1. -C-P-

    I can’t see them making a deal for a marginal improvements (or at least not give up anythign substantial in return for a player like Willingham or Wigginton). What’s the point? I think you either get an impact player or stand pat.

    The Lugo part seems to be pure speculation by the author. If they somehow managed to trade for Lugo, it’d fly in the face of all this “pitching and defense” the Reds have pushing.

  2. Brian

    Volquez’s situation I think makes it harder to make a move using Arroyo or Harang in a deal so they would probably have to wait till the off-season to move either of them, so any deal is probably only going to happen with what we have in the system.
    All of the above names are pure speculation in the article and it also mentions Holliday which would be a tough deal to make, since the cardinals were trying to get him but the asking price was to high.
    All in all, I think that the Reds will wait till mid-month at least before thinking about making a trade especially with the line-up finally hitting the past two games. They probably want to wait it out as long as possible to make a decision on going for the post-season this year or next.

    Of all the names it mentioned in the article I would only want Holliday and we would have to give up to much for him and would probably only be a few months rental as well.

    Wait it out till better options are available and hope we are still in it come midmonth

  3. GRF

    DeRosa played 3B for the Tribe at the start of the year, and Wigginton obviously has played there as well. I really wonder what they are hearing about EEs wrist and what they think of his chances of meaningfully coming back this year.

    I think I would describe myself as a cautious buyer at this point. I do not want to give up any of the top tier of prospects, but we have so much room to improve at 3B/SS and maybe even LF if they are convinced Gomes and Nix will continue to hit that even a small improvement could make a big difference. Someone like Mike could probably tell us the difference in expected wins just by getting to league average at 3B and SS, but I expect it would be significant. If you can make a small, low risk deal, akin Seattle’s pickup of that AAA 3B from the Nationals, then I would take a shot. I would not trade someone like Bailey for 3 months of someone like Holliday.

  4. Alpha Zero

    I’m not particularly interested in any of those guys.

    First of all, while I do think that LF is a bit of a problem, I also believe that the Reds have more pressing concerns at two other positions (3B and SS). I’m not much of an Encarnacion fan, but he’s the best option that the Reds have right now and could be back as soon as Tuesday. That could go a long way towards plugging that particular hole.

    With that in mind, I think that the Reds would be best served by searching for a legitimate major league shortstop. Brandon Wood (LAA) would be a heck of an acquisition and could help to put the Reds over the top. He hasn’t gotten much of a shot at the major league level due to the fact that he’s blocked, but he has been a force in the minors and is a decent fielder at a premium defensive position. He also has the power potential to possibly slide over to 3B if Cozart continues to improve over the course of the next season or two.

    To top it all off, I think that the Angels (who need tons of SP and RP help) match up pretty well with the Reds in a potential trade. It’d be an under the radar move that I think would improve this Reds team in a meaningful way in 2009 and beyond.

  5. GregD

    Wood! Yes, we discussed him briefly a couple of weeks ago and I had forgotten about him. I agree that he would be a nice upgrade.

    Re: Lugo – The Reds abandon pitching and defense every night that they put Hairston at SS and Hernandez at C instead of Janish and Hanigan.

    Edwin isn’t going to hit a buck twenty seven the rest of the season. I don’t understand why “everyone” has been so down on him for a 19-game stretch. He has three seasons of above average numbers at his position & he’s hitting the ball on his rehab assignment (286/412/536 avg/obp/slg). The talk shows were a little down on him when he first started rehabbing because he started off 1-for-9. Since then he’s gone 7-for-19. Obviously, the main question is whether his wrist is fully healed and his timing is back. If they are, then he needs to be up here on Tuesday.

    They seem to be on the verge of so many guys who could help from within (Stubbs, Heisey, Frazier, Cozart) that I’d hate to see them sacrifice too much just because the rest of the division has been hanging back with the pack.

  6. Travis G.

    Willingham is a pretty good player and would be a great fit for the Reds’ lineup, but he’d likely cost too much.

    Honestly, I thought Wiggington would have been a terrific FA signing as a veteran role player with a little pop and some deadline trade value. Mark Teahen could be a nice acquisition as a poor man’s Mark DeRosa, depending on the cost.

    But I think they need to see how Encarnacion looks when he returns and whether they’re still in the hunt at that point before they make any moves, unless they can somehow pick up a versatile player at little cost.

  7. Glenn

    I’m with you Alpha. How about now of the above.

  8. Chris

    At this point in his career, Lugo’s not significantly better than Jerry Hairston, either at bat or afield.

  9. West Coast fan

    I agree that I’d be reluctant to trade away future talent when it seems that Nix/Gomes are getting the job done in LF. I’m also o.k. with Janish at SS especially if EdE can come back and produce. If that isn’t the case, we could really use another hitter from the infield. Of course it would help if Dusty would play Hanigan more. I personally am not so opposed to playing Hernandez (definitely an improvement over years past) except Hanigan is so good.

  10. Matt W

    After sweeping the Dbacks earlier to excite us all and playing well against the Cards; anyone got any predictions for the upcoming homestand?

  11. nllspc

    I’m not looking to contend this year, but I’m not necessarily a big seller either. Alpha’s Wood trade sounds really smart to me. Not sure if Harang’s got any kind of trade clause in his contract, but I’m sure, being a california boy, contending and not being the ace, going to the Angels would be appealing/a relief to him. Throw in Janish to take Wood’s spot and Bob’s your uncle. A Matthew’s deal would probably doom us for years to come given Dusty’s stubborn nature. Ewww..scary, don’t want think about that too long.

    Unfortunately I doubt anything significant gets done (as mentioned in the previous posts) until the status of EE, Volquez, and even Bailey can be determined. Injuries really screwed us in terms of contending and evaluating our personnel before the all-star break.

  12. RiverCity Redleg

    Rick Sweet was quoted in the Louisville paper the other day as saying Edwin’s wrist is 100% healthy. It’s just a matter of getting some at bats and getting his timing back before he comes back up.

  13. Plowboy

    I’ll go out on a limb here and gamble that they shouldn’t do anything if it’s going to cost any top tier prospects.

    Frankly, I think EE is the best addition to the offense that they’re going to find anyway, and he won’t cost them a thing. DO NOT mortgage the future for any of those guys – even Holliday.

    So what I think is if Dusty would SIMPLY do the following:

    1. Start Janish AT LEAST half the games at SS.
    2. Start Hanigan AT LEAST half the games at C (though it should always be for the “non-English speaking guys” IMO, even though I was more than satisfied with how Hernandez handled 1B – like a real pro). Regardless, Hanigan is so far beyond him statistically both on offense and defense, it’s hard to justify him sitting on the bench as the potential ROY (oh, forgot about the money and the “veteran leadership” provided by Hernandez and Gonzalez. Duh.
    3. Platoon T-Virus and Dickerson in CF (I can live with that – sort of…)
    4. Platoon Nix/Gomes in LF

    So will Duncety do this? Ummmm….Why did I just waste 5 minutes writing down a fantasy?

  14. Matt WI

    I think the off season is a better time to make some moves. Trade deadline usually means paying a premium… so unless they find a deal they’d want to make regardless of contention or not, I say stand pat and slog on. This team is just too streaky and prone toward losing lapses to warrant doing anything that would involve losing good prospects for a quick roll of the dice. Getting Edwin and Volquez (whenever that is) will be like upgrading in and of itself.

  15. Bill from Florida

    I wouldn’t expect too much from EE at his return, he has let everybody down since his arrival back in 2005. I think the hardest work for WJ now is find a way to trade away guys like Taveras, Encarnacion, Nix, Gomes, Lincoln, Harang and Arroyo and get something in return, yet opening spots for future stars like Stewart, Bailey, Maloney, Heisey, Stubbs, Frazier and Alonso.

  16. Plowboy

    I guess what I was trying to say is that I think they can win the division simply by standing pat, BUT ONLY if EVERYTHING goes right, such as:

    1. Volquez can come back.
    2. EE can come back.
    3. And nobody named Taveras or Gonzalez gets hurt for the rest of the year! (okay, wishful thinking)
    4. Duncety actually puts out his best lineup everyday (okay, even MORE wishful thinking)

    If they could get a guy look Wood without giving up the farm (literally) then maybe I’d go for that, but if Janish can hit at all, I don’t they should mess with it for now. Of course, I realize that’s a big gamble, but with his D, I’d take the chance, for this year anyway.

  17. al

    the names suggested aren’t worth thinking about. the position they really need to upgrade is cf, and to me i’d say just bring up stubbs. i’d put money on him outperforming willy right now. that or wait and hope someone else decides to become a seller at the deadline with a real impact outfielder.

  18. Matt WI

    The Reds have 88 games left. The next 20 are against AZ, St. Louis, Philly, the Mets, Milwaukee, and the Dodgers. Yikes. That gets them to July 23rd and and off day before the Cubs. If they win 13 or 14 games of those 20, then I can visualize making a go for it, otherwise, spend your money and prospects when it’s worth more in the off-season. I guess it depends if the the division or WC can be won by being 5 or less games over .500.

  19. preach

    I like the platoon of Nix/Gomes and cannot imagine a true upgrade there without major investment. Pass.

    Shortstop and third base. I like Tehan and Figgins a lot. Both guys are very versatile and do not have the prima donna mindset of only being comfortable playing in one position. That would open up some options. With Figgins it would take ‘havoc’ to a whole new level, for not only is he fast but he actually gets on base and, you know….runs.

    I think Wood would be nice. The Angels may have several players we might be interested in who are blocked and as was noted earlier in the thread we match up quite nicely with them.

  20. JerBear

    I think 3b and SS are where a trade would be most beneficial.

    I think what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna ride it out with Encarnacion, Hairston, and Janish on the left side of the infield…and then maybe Gonzalez when he comes back. I don’t see a contender with those guys holding down the left side of the infield.

    I just don’t believe Encarnacion makes a difference. I’ll believe it when I see it. Right now in his career he is an inconsistent hitter who strikes out a lot, and makes some costly errors. I guess a lot of people choose to see the positives that EE brings…I guess I am a pessimist in some areas!

    But if they hold pat, the success of this team will depend on Encarnacion, Taveras, and Hairston Jr. largely in the summer months.

    Nix and Gomes have done alright in left field. If that is the area they address I think I will lose a little more faith in the Reds organization.

  21. Dan

    I feel like there are 2 issues in here:

    1) Should we be buyers, sellers, or hold pat?

    2) If we’re buyers, what are we trying to buy?

    The two things get blended together at times, but I think we need to talk about them separately.

    The most important question is the “buyer or not” question, and I’m just not seeing it with this team. We have a -11 run differential and are headed for about a .500 season right now. Getting a player for half a season isn’t going to change that by all that much — probably 2 wins tops. So if we get Holliday (for example) and win 83 games instead of 81… is that really worth it?

    I don’t think it’s worth it. Sure, there are examples of bad teams winning it all (like the Cardinals a few years ago), but it’s still a very VERY long shot.

    I don’t like the idea of selling off 2 or 3 prospects for a rent-a-player in a longshot sort of season.

  22. David

    Where are the real holes on this team? Three of the holes are obvious – CF, SS, 3B. CF, SS, and 3B happen to be the holes of most teams. Are there any upgrades at those positions on the trade market?

    To me EdE’s offensive potential is no longer potential. He is what he is. An average offensive player and a below average defensive player. Having him rather than Hairston doesn’t spark this offense. So are there third basemen out there? Who is out there that would be an upgrade on a non-contender. Wiggington and DeRosa were obviously available. Would Ryan Zimmerman or Mark Reynolds be available?

  23. Mark in CC

    I think Willingham would add some strength to the bench but am not sure it is much of a starter upgrade. If he can still catch some it would make some roster flexibility.

    If this is about winning, I don’t think we should assume that the person is being acquired to platoon in leftfield as the rightfielder hasn’t been lighting up scoreboard, expecially versus lefties, either.

    I would rather have Janish than Lugo, Matthews is Corey Patterson on HGH, and Wiggington isn’t an upgrade.

  24. Dan

    By the way, when it comes to dealing, I’m an ardent supporter of “buy low” — I don’t want to pay for someone in the middle of a breakout year. I want to go for someone who’s underperforming (but has performed before, probably in the minors).

    In the spirit of “buy low,” it looks to me like Brandon Wood is a great idea!

    Eyepopping power in the minors, but he’s done NOTHING in the majors so far. But he’s still only 24.

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/W/Brandon-Wood-1.shtml

    Anybody know if he’s viable as a shortstop?

  25. pinson343

    Like others above, I’d go with cautious buying for now. If we can get help at SS without giving up any top tier prospects, go for it.
    Otherwise let’s see what happens over the next few weeks. We’ll know more at and after the All Star break.
    1. How well is Homer Bailey pitching ?
    2. Is EE OK ? I think he is, and that he’ll hit as he did last year. The real question is how much impact his return will have on this offense.
    3. When do we expect Edinson Volquez back ?

    As of today I am adamantly opposed to selling. Hang on to Harang, Arroyo, Weathers, Rhodes, etc. while we’re still in it. And we are definitely still in it. 85 wins could win this division, and we have a good shot at that.

    If we stink it up over the next few weeks, then it would be selling time, but no fire sales or 3 year plans please. We can contend in 2010 if management doesn’t screw up.

  26. blazers34

    I’d only make a trade if we get Steve Nebraska in return

  27. earl

    Unless they could somehow come up with Michael Young, Ryan Zimmerman or Troy Tulowitzki, I’d deal for top prospect depth and try and rip off some high quality talent from one of the money clubs. The Reds have some core talent that is going to be around for a few seasons, so I would try and just pack the club with young talent.

    I think Nix and Gomes are about a perfect match for a lefty/righty platoon. Combine their stats and it is a pretty good offensive player. Neither one is a gold glover in the field, but they are both an upgrade defensively on Dunn.

  28. AnnapolisRed

    Stand pat for right now. Because of all the injuries we don’t know where we stand. I would like to see Hanigan and Hernandez splitting time at C, Janish at SS, EE at third, Gomes and Nix platoon in LF, Dickerson/Taveras in CF and Hairston filling in everywhere. Let’s see where we are come July 15.

  29. doktor

    excellent topic, something just discussed at my work at lunch, with some Cub/Brewers fans, the Pirate fan stayed quiet. 🙂

    Anyway, I am in the “stand pat” group. As others have mentioned, EE is close to being back, looks like Dickerson is forcing to get playing time, A-Gon lousy bat is Gon-Gon for a month and Janish might hit .250, plus his D, would seem to be a gain. Also, Votto is back in the line-up, I would think Bruce can’t struggle all year (can he?!?!?) all those things would indicate the lineup to improve offensively. Plus the reds rotation seems to be a bit shaky right now and any deal probably includes pitching. Use the off-season to make a bigger deal( ie as mentioned in other threads packaging among others, a Bronson and/or Owings) for a needed impact player.

  30. David Lowenthal

    I would be a seller. This team might be good next year, especially if they add an offensive player (what a concept) and get rid of some useful deadwood. As buyers, what is the chance that an acquired player will lead to the playoffs? It’s extremely, extremely low. Keep in mind that in trying to figure out the impact on the wildcard or division race that, say, Matt Holliday would have, that some other teams will also make moves to at least to some degree counteract that. And, if they do not get Holliday, some team will probably get him and then get a bigger boost.

    Then there are the Dusty specials like Gary Mathews. My god. He’s barely better than Taveras. Well, at least they realize that they screwed up signing that bum.

  31. brublejr

    I would not be much of buyers…especially if we have to choose from those guys :poke:

    The only guys I target Wood or Peralta. That’s basically it at this point.

    I would not be sellers if they were within 3-4 games at the deadline. The guys I would want to trade nobody is going to want(Taveras, Arroyo, Gonzo), so ultimately I would stand pat if I could get one of those guys above.

    NO WAY I sell the farm for a 3 month rental that has 0% chance of signing in the offseason (Holliday, etc…)

  32. BigRedMike

    The Reds need to trade Arroyo. That contract will hurt in 2010. The problem is trying to find someone to take him.

  33. Glenn

    I haven’t heard a single player mentioned yet that I’d trade one of the Reds prospects or Arroyo or Harang either. Talent wise Holliday would someone that could help the team contend but it would cost too much in return and Brublejr said, we’d never be able to sign him in 2010.

  34. sufferingred

    TRADE Arroyo and his wins to the Angels for anything but Matthews!
    See if Homer can win giving up 7 walks a game for the rest of the year and TRADE HARANG this winter.
    STUBBS is a BUST but better than Willie!
    I say BUY, SELL and HOLD and get Travis Wood to Louisville.

  35. pinson343

    Matt W. asked for a prediction about this coming week in (10).
    My first feeling is optimism, these are 2 teams we can beat, especially at home.

    But then I look at the piching matchups and don’t feel as good. Haren pithces against us tomorrow nite, that’s not good.
    Doug Davis pitches against us Thursday, that’s not good either. He’s been tough on the Reds thru the years and as of now we’re weak against lefties.

    As for the Cardinals, I always think we’re going to beat them but until this year we hardly ever do. Bailey is iffy on Friday, then Owings is iffy on Saturday. One or both of them needs to come thru.

    But with Joey V. back, I’m filled with optimism – I say we go 4-2 this week.

    I hope the stands are filled tomorrow, welcoming Joey back.

  36. RedBlooded

    Bill from Florida says that EE has let everyone down. Thanks for speaking for “everyone”. You don’t speak for me, Bill. EE has been a pretty good young player. He is not an average hitter. He is an above average hitter for his position. You can look it up. He is actually a pretty good fielder. He makes some great stops at third. Unfortunately he messes up the easy part, the throws to first. That seems correctable. I look forward to his return. I do not see anyone out there right now for a sane price that would be an upgrade. Also any rent a player right now would be a huge mistake. This is not our year. Any trade should only be for someone who can be here for a while and only at short. Votto is going to Left. Frazier is going to challenge at 3rd.

  37. Tyler

    What about trading for Alex Rios of the Jays? I’ve seen some rumors that they might want to get rid of him cheap. He’s cheaper than holliday, in contract and prospects (probably), and only a couple million more than derosa would have been. I believe He’d be a big improvement in leftfield, good speed hitting and defense. and playing here will only give him more power. I think would should try for him, if he is actually available.

  38. Steve Price

    Radical thought, and anathema to most of us here, but something to consider…

    In his “ask Bill” section, a “Reds fan” asked Bill James what to do with Jay Bruce and his low BA and OBP…

    James’s answer was back to the minors…his rationale, and it should resonate with us. Here’s his reply:

    “I’d send him to the minors and let him figure it out there for at least a year. The clock is running. He’s going to figure it out, and he’s going to be great, by the time he’s 26. But the Reds only control his career for six years, and the last two years of that, they have to pay him market value for whatever he does. I don’t see the point of letting the clock run on those six years while he’s not producing.”

    The Reds have a history of rushing young (stud) players to the majors to maximize marketing opportunities since we are a “small market” team. (ex: Dunn’s defense and bat control, Bailey’s high profile starts, Bruce’s bat control). Players don’t learn to hit in the big leagues, especially under the pressure of a pennant race. Other examples are signing players to major league contracts (Espinosa, Sardinha, even Yonder)which forces them to be in the big leagues within three years due to player option rules whether they are ready for the majors or not.

    Analogy: players are often told to let the game come to them, instead of forcing things to happen. Shouldn’t the same thought process apply to developing young players? Could we be wasting our investment monies?

  39. Lightning

    I think there is something to be said for learning to hit MLB pitching by seeing MLB pitching.

    Alonso demanded a major league contract. The Reds didn’t want to give him one and he wasn’t signed until the last minute. He is 22 and in AA, certainly not being rushed.

    I wonder how Stubbs feels about Cincinnati rushing players?

  40. Lightning

    On the buying and selling topic, I would say be buyers for 2010. That sounds more positive than being a seller and sellers tends to imply rebuilding. Of course the next couple of weeks might have something to say about that, but I think the best approach is to build for the near future, not this year nor long-range future. With that in mind, there is little need at CF. Dickerson, Stubbs, and Heisey should be plenty.

    An interesting trading chip may be Masset. I am by no means advocating trading him now, but if this team remains .500 by the end on July, Masset may never have higher value than he does now. His BABIP is an absurdly low .188.

  41. GRF

    Just wanted to say this has been a great thread. Lots of analysis and almost exclusively reasoned debate. Thanks everybody.

  42. preach

    Hey, whether you agree with pursuing DeRosa or not (I much rather would go after a shortstop or centerfielder), it sends a signal to me that Walt and Co are not simply mailing it in this season. I appreciate the aggressiveness. I still think we should look at the Angels for something. They really need what we have and have some nice pieces that could make a difference for us.

  43. Steve Price

    I like the idea of grooming Masset as the closer to replace Cordero and his $12 million contract….

    As for learning to hit big league pitching in the majors, it rare (almost never) happens, and Bruce has been flailing since his first incredible week in the majors. Can the Reds really afford to waste the talent? We waste our opportunities by pushing too fast…I’ve been saying Bailey needs to be in the big leagues (Here’s a Rob Neyer link of handling pitching talent: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9729216/Tigers-taking-it-slowly-with-Porcello- )

    As for Yonder’s major league contract…if the only way he would sign, then my opinion is we should’ve passed…we have a first baseman and we need to do what’s best for the organization. He may make it in three years…but, we thought the same thing with David Espinosa and Dane Sardinha, too. High risk-high reward yes….but, can we afford high risk, if it doesn’t work?

    Someone compared Bruce to Dunn the other day…at age 22, Bruce is batting .214 with an OBP of .298, 18 homers, 40 rbi, and a .764 OPS through mid season. At age 22, Dunn batted .249 with an OBP of .400, 26 homers, 71 rbi, and an OPS of 854. Dunn was a better player at this age, and…his work ethic was never questioned until he was expected to carry the team.

    Rob Neyer posted a link on his weblog yesterday about Austin Kearns and his albatross of a career. The Washington Nationals were raving about how hard Kearns worked and his professionalism. The irony to the work ethic story was that Kearns was thought to be a slacker and the Reds would use Dunn to teach Kearns about work ethic and Kearns to teach Dunn (the football star) about baseball. Here’s the link:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/29/nationals-insider-determining-his-value/

  44. Steve Price

    Minor League Players of the Year since 2000:

    2000-2008
    2000 – Jon Rauch (P)
    2001 – Josh Beckett (P)
    2002 – Rocco Baldelli (OF)
    2003 – Joe Mauer (C)
    2004 – Jeff Francis (P)
    2005 – Delmon Young (OF)
    2006 – Alex Gordon (3B)
    2007 – Jay Bruce (OF)
    2008 – Matt Wieters (C)

  45. Dan

    Masset as closer? I’m not seeing it. We may have just witnessed the best 30 innings of his career (aided partially by good luck — see the .188 BABIP).

    Look at his minor league numbers:

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/M/Nick-Masset.shtml

    I mean, I hope I’m wrong and he’s actually found a new level of performance… but in most cases, that’s not what’s going on.

  46. jason1972

    Cincinnati fans are bizarre and nonsensical about certain players. They just fixate on them in negative ways and then ride that faulty opinion in the face of all evidence against it. EE averaged something along the lines of .260-20-75 over the past three years. That’s an above average NL offensive third basemen. He still has more upside considering the increase in his power numbers in 2008. And he hasn’t even reached his prime yet. Who are you going to replace him with that is better? David Wright? Aramis Ramirez?

  47. Dan

    A question for the “be aggressive… don’t mail in the season” crowd…

    How good do you think this team is now, as currently constructed? How many wins?

    How many wins would a Holliday or a Peralta or whoever add over half a season? (Likely answers here, I think, are 1 or 2. No one player makes THAT big a difference unless we’re talking something like Sabathia last year.)

    I’m all for aggressiveness, but I’m also all for having a realistic view of where we are.

    If this is an 81-win team, and we can give up 2 or 3 prospects to make it an 83-win team… is that really worth it?

    Our collective impatience aside, I say no. I think we should take a realistic view and keep the future (2010 and beyond) as rosy as possible. I want a long, extended run of excellence — 1990’s Braves-like. I don’t want to barely contend every 5 years and shoot our wad (pardon the expression) on a longshot and then sink back into obscurity for the next 4-5 years and just keep doing that over and over. Let’s be patient.

  48. GregD

    The Kearns article – while his HR totals took a hit his first season and a half in WAS, he was just as good in 2006-2007 as he had been in Cincinnati. His OPS+, which adjusts for ballpark factors, was 114 in 2006 (higher than Cincinnati before the trade) and 103 in 2007.

    He completely fell off in 2008. The article suggests that he had several injuries last year. He had a 908 OPS in April of this year, but has completely disappeared again the past two months.

  49. Matt WI

    I sort of like the idea of Masset going to closer. Interesting. I see what people are saying about his previous stats, but isn’t there something to be said for “figuring it out,” especially as a pitcher ages? Maybe he’s legit.

  50. Dan

    Yes, Matt, it happens. Maybe he’s legit.

    But if I were a betting man, I’d think it’s MUCH more likely that he’s gotten pretty lucky for 30 innings.

    Look up good closers and see if any of them had a 4.50 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in the minors, with more hits than innings. My guess would be that NONE of them look like that.

    I could be wrong about all this… I hope I am… but this is the classic argument that keeps people from ever “selling high” on someone. You always want to think that they’ve actually reached a new level! Usually, they haven’t.

  51. preach

    Obviously I disagree, Dan. I believe that a player the caliber of the ones you mentioned are worth much more than one or two wins a season. I also believe that this division is ready for the taking and we should make a move now. I also believe that with the core of young talent that we have we could remain in contention for many years to come by changing a couple of pieces around on a seasonal basis. I for one am tired of being patient and waiting until next year. I was promised a winner this year, we are close to that right now, and I think with an addition or two we could be in the post season. We also don’t have a manager who is at his best with talent that is still trying to find it’s identity. Dusty is proven managing proven vets. Give him some more of what he is best with and that is worth a few wins itself. I think that his lineup construction has cost us more than a couple games. Add that to a few games a strong bat can make a difference to and we are in the thick of it. With the pitching we have I like our chances in any short series.

    I’ve been patient. I’ve been so patient to the point of becoming agitated anytime anyone tells me to be patient.

  52. Dan

    Anyway, back on the buyers vs. sellers thing… FWIW, Baseball Prospectus currently has the Reds headed for a 79-83 record, with an 11.6% chance of making the playoffs.

    The “PECOTA-adjusted” version of that likes us a bit more — headed for about an 82-80 record, with a 14.4% chance of making the playoffs.

    I know this is buzzkill stuff, and believe me, I’m a Reds fan first and if they make a run I’ll be thrilled!

    But I want to be realistic with where we are. I just don’t think we’re one player away from being a World Series threat.

  53. Dan

    I hear you, preach, and I see your side of the argument. Perhaps I’m erring too much on the side of caution.

    But keep in mind where we are now — the season is half gone. If Matt Holliday is a 4-win player, now at this point he’s only a 2-win player (and I doubt he’s even that when you factor in Nix/Gomes being relegated to bench duty).

    Anyway… I’m glad we’re arguing both sides here. It’s a very good debate.

  54. Matt WI

    I agree with you in general. Trading high also depends heavily on making a good trade in the first place. One of the only reaons the Reds are even .500 is because of the bullpen. Start tinkering too much and then what happens? Trading Massett would depend heavily on the plans for the rest of the staff. Are they also trading Arroyo and Harang? Cordero? I definitely feel better about Massett than I ever did about the Mike Lincoln Recovery Project.

    I also hate that one always has to consider econcomics into many of the moves the Reds might make… Steve’s point about Cordero’s $12 million contract isn’t insignificant. We shall see.

  55. preach

    That I can agree with, Dan. I guess I really needed to preface my comment by saying we need to make CORRECT moves. I have no problem with the job Nix/Gomes have done in LF. Could it be better? Sure. But it’s not our glaring problem. Shortstop and center field are much bigger concerns with me. I very much appreciate having both Nix/Gomes because that gives us two bats that can play more than one position. I wouldn’t mind seeing Nix in CF more often, or maybe Gomes spelling Bruce in RF. You have to give those two guys some real playing time if you think they could be long term contributors. And then you have Dickerson. With what we have out there, I think outfield can be manned appropriately. It’s the left side of the infield I am most concerned with.

    I also appreciate the civility of this discussion.

  56. pinson343

    This has been a great thread.
    I don’t expect Masset to continue to pitch as well as he has, but I don’t think his pitching well has been a fluke. The Reds traded for him because their scouts liked his stuff, sometimes the scouts are right. In the spring Dusty said he’s had a confidence problem that he can get over. Sometimes even Dusty is right.

    I don’t completely buy into BABIP. Masset has consistently made good pitches that have resulted in weak grounders and lazy fly balls, that’s not luck. I haven’t seen a lot of scorched line drives right at someone.

    Don’t make him the closer (for now) and don’t trade him either. We finally have a good bullpen. After years of suffering thru no lead being safe I’m amazed at peoples’ eagerness to break up this bullpen. It’s the reason we’re not below .500.

  57. Dan

    Pitchers — all of them — have less control of BABIP than you’d think. (Not none, but less than you’d think.) It isn’t a repeatable skill, so when you see crazy number like this (Masset’s BABIP is .188), you have to chalk that up to mostly luck.

    Pitchers mostly can control their K rate, BB rate, and HR rate. Most of the rest is luck (or defense).

    But anyway… this is mostly off the buyer/seller topic.

  58. Mark in CC

    “Dusty is proven managing proven vets.”

    Who isn’t? I could manage proven vets.

    As I see it the strength of the team is catcher. We have two guys who should be in the line-up everyday and now that Votto is back and interleague is over it isn’t going to happen. So the guy to trade would be Hernandez, even though he has done a great job.

    Send a rent-a-player to a team who needs a catcher and has a rent-a-player available.

  59. Travis G.

    I wouldn’t go trading off Hernandez just yet.

    1. The Reds are still in it, 2. Hanigan can’t play every inning of every game without wearing down or forcing Corky Miller into the lineup, and 3. Hanigan hasn’t shown he can sustain this level of production over the course of a ML season.

  60. preach

    I’m not just talking about making out a lineup when I mention managing proven vets. There are issues dealing with players that Dusty deals with exceptionally well, by all accounts. Not every field general is as adept in those areas. That’s specifically what I am talking about. You play to Dusty’s particular strength when you put the vets and egos around him. I understand that it is a no brainer from a lineup point of view where to put Bonds and Kent, but dealing with those guys away from the game isn’t for everybody. No, I don’t think just anybody could do it.

  61. RiverCity Redleg

    Regarding Masset, I normally agree that most players revert to their mean. However, watching him pitch this year, his stuff has been absolutely nasty. He is a completely different pitcher than he was last year. He’s throwing in the high 90s and them throws a filthy slider the breaks right into a lefty’s shoes. I would want more than a DeRosa for Masset right now.

  62. Travis G.

    How about Masset, Encarnacion and one of our mid-level SP prospects for Chone Figgins and Brandon Wood?

  63. Mark in CC

    As far as Dusty goes, I don’t think his track record in Cincy has been that great on the proven vets, including the intangables. From all accounts the clubhouse is a much more positive place in ’09 without a couple of proven vets, and his penchant for keeping them around when they bring nothing to the table has also been there (CP for one). Quite frankly I am not sure he hasn’t done a better job with the young guys. Who are the stars here? Votto, Bruce, Phillips. And he did a great job bringing Dickerson around.

    As far as trading Hernandez I agree he has been very good and I would like to keep him even past this year. But if you decide you need to upgrade the offense and make a trade, from a depth standpoint if it comes between him and a AAA guy throwing 96+. I will keep the 96+ and roll the dice with Hanigan/Miller or Tatum. How will you ever know whether Hanigan can do it unless he gets the chance to do it. With the AAA/MLB 2008 season and 2009 MLB season he has put together what more does he need to show.

    Other than the pitching or top prospects what asset is there other than Hernandez, who will walk after this season, thatis surplus? Two quality catchers isn’t something this team can afford as that kind of depth is the biggest difference between big market and small market teams.

  64. GregD

    Mark in CC – I agree with your take on Hernandez. Will they keep him for $8.5M next year? I seriously doubt it.

    Travis – I seriously doubt the Angels trade their everyday 3rd baseman and leadoff hitter, but I think we should definitely pursue Wood.

  65. Mark in CC

    On Masset, I think we are seeing the birth of a relief pitcher and you can throw some of the past stats out the window.

    Although he has been in the relief role in the past he has always spot started and always had in his mind that he was a starter and prepared accordingly, both physically and mentally.

    Now he has accepted the bullpen role, is no longer conflicted and the performnce bears that out.

  66. Mark in CC

    If you are looking for pop I’m not sure Figgins is the answer. He has no power and doesn’t have much of a history of driving in runs. EE is better in both of those categories over the years and if you also add Masset and someone else that is way too much. The Angels just might take it.

    EE will be alright. I would like to see him in there tonight because even if he is 90% it will be an upgrade.

  67. Ramrod

    As much as I’m willing to be a member of the “don’t sell too much, so we’re in a good spot for the coming years” group, you have to look at it from a MONEY perspective. The Reds making the playoffs would do AMAZING things for ticket sales. All those empty seats on the weekends would be long gone, and it couuld be the start of a new era of baseball in Cincinnati. Everyone posting here is obviously a baseball person and looking at the big picture, but I just wanted to remind everyone, that in the end, baseball is a business. If Walt and Castellini think they can make the playoffs, they’ll do it. The numbers speak for themselves with the attendance improvement a team experiences when they’ve reached the playoffs the previous season.