Kip Wells is gone! The sky is falling!

Wells is the only Red to file for free agency, but the Reds still have some decisions to make. They’ve already made the questionable decision to bring back Ramon Hernandez. Next up: Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix.

Should the Reds bring either of these guys back? You know I love Gomes and his sombrero, but I’m still wavering on whether the Reds should get him signed, and if so, how much they should spend to do that.

What about Nix? He isn’t as good a hitter as Gomes, but he’s more versatile; he can play all three outfield positions credibly.

Heck, maybe the Reds should just give the LF job to Chris Heisey.

34 Responses

  1. RiverCity Redleg

    Wells wouldn’t be the worst guy to have for long relief/spot starter/AAA call-up if he’ll stay for cheap. I can’t imagine too many clubs out there ready to beat his door down.

    Between Nix and Gomes, I think I would rather keep Gomes.He’s too good of a hitter to give up on.

    I got no problem with giving Heisey the LF job and seeing what he can do with it.

  2. brublejr

    I think Nix will be gone, Gomes is still on the fence. I am not sold that his production from last year was the norm over an abnormality. He has never been that consistent in the majors, but he was great last year, worthy of a 1 year deal. There are plenty of young cheap, possibly productive players who could fill that spot easily (Dickerson, Heisey, Fransisco, Frazier).

    I also wouldn’t be opposed to signing Wells on a deal like last year. He did well when they had all the injuries. I don’t imagine too many teams coming after him, but the important thing here is that it frees up another 40 man spot…

  3. Glenn

    I like Nix but if it comes down to him or Gomes, its Gomes in my book.

    While Nix has a good deal of power, I think the team can come up with someone with a lot lower price tag that will be able to contribute at the same level as Nix.

    I hope they can keep Nix but arbitration will probably make him too expensive for the Reds.

  4. Travis G.

    I would not offer Nix arbitration, but a case could be made for Gomes. However, I think I’d rather non-tender him and take our chances on the free agent market. There may be some bargains out there, and inking Gomes would prevent us from taking advantage of those. He’s a good, but very inconsistent, hitter, and his defense is pretty terrible.

    I think the Reds could probably come close to matching his WAR production with an in-house candidate, who’d be a lot cheaper, or see if someone better falls into our laps in January or early February. Heck, Gomes might still be out there again.

  5. Steve Price

    Sign Gomes; find a way to keep Wells around at AAA…he pitched pretty well for the Reds this year.

    I think Heisey needs to do more at AAA….he tore up AA last year, but didn’t fare as well in AAA.

    • RiverCity Redleg

      Steve Price: Sign Gomes; find a way to keep Wells around at AAA…he pitched pretty well for the Reds this year.I think Heisey needs to do more at AAA….he tore up AA last year, but didn’t fare as well in AAA.

      I agree. As much as I like Heisey, I would rather him start the year in Louisville. I would, however, like to see what Francisco can do in LF. The way he hit after the call up was nothing short of spectacular. If they can find a spot for him in the field I think he can be special.

  6. preach

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I think we should keep Nix around. He plays solid defense in all the outfield positions and I like having some left handed power coming off the bench. Cut bait on Willy and keep them both, at least through the battles in spring training.

  7. GregD

    If Stubbs & Bruce are the starters, you’ve got Gomes, Nix, Balentien, and Dickerson on the 40-man roster. Only 3 of those 4 will be retained. If they make the wrong decision and keep Taveras, only 2 of those 4 will be retained.

    I think it probably comes down to Gomes vs. Balentien. Do they have the money for Gomes after signing Hernandez and having the unexpected arbitration cases of Burton & Masset? Can Balentien play well at this level for a full season?

  8. Glenn

    I’m with you Preach. I’d love to keep Nix for all the reasons you mentioned. However, it always comes down to the budget. If he’s affordable, I hope they keep him, but I don’t think its going to work out that way.

  9. Steve

    The issue with Gomes is the amount of money vs. the role he would best have with the Reds.

    I’m against installing him as the everyday LF. His defense is too shaky and I don’t think it would be smart to count on him having as good of a year at the plate.

    I like the role of him playing against tough LHP and as a HR threat off the bench. The problem is that his salary will likely be too high – whether through arbitration or FA – for that role.

    Also, I hate basing the wisdom of signing specific players (like Hernandez) on the assumption that Baker will figure out the best way to use them. If nothing else we know that is a recipe for failure.

    I’d like to see Dickerson, Heisey and Stubbs receive most of the LF/CF at bats this year. Great defense all around.

  10. brublejr

    @GregD: I forgot to mention Balentien. If you check out the 2010 CHONES projections, they have Balentien outproducing Gomes over the course of the year…

    • brublejr

      brublejr: @GregD: I forgot to mention Balentien.If you check out the 2010 CHONES projections, they have Balentien outproducing Gomes over the course of the year…

      Correction, they are about dead on..so if they want cheap, they could have the same production from Balentien as Gomes.

  11. Sultan of Swaff

    Gomes is under our control. You don’t give him away for nothing. At the very least you sign and trade him.
    If Heisey is our everyday LF, we’re screwed.
    I’d keep Balentein over Nix—similar profile, but Balentein is healthier.
    Does anyone have numbers on where LF ranked offensively compared to the league?

  12. Sultan of Swaff

    I like Well’s stuff more than Owings. I’d favor keeping him in AAA or as a long man. If either one of them knew how to throw strikes, they’d be dangerous.

  13. Kevin Mitchell is Batman

    I’d let both Nix and Gomes walk. Gomes has proven to be less than adequate on defense, and his career numbers as a platoon player and pinch-hitter are SIGNIFICANTLY worse than this career averages when he plays regularly.

    I’d roll with a rotation of Dickerson/Heisey/Stubbs in LF and CF with Balentien as the option with some pop. Let Francisco start at LF in AAA with the opportunity for a call-up mid season.

    Oh yeah, I’d give T-virus a coke & a smile and tell him to take a hike.

    • Dan

      Kevin Mitchell is Batman: Gomes has proven to be less than adequate on defense, and his career numbers as a platoon player and pinch-hitter are SIGNIFICANTLY worse than this career averages when he plays regularly.

      Excellent point, Kevin Mitchell! (Who knew you were so cerebral?) 😉

      Gomes 2009 (as starter) – .277/.345/.565
      Gomes 2009 (as a sub) – .143/.250/.238

      Gomes career (as starter) – .245/.334/.480
      Gomes career (as a sub) – .160/.250/.293

      Granted, these are small samples for him coming off the bench (24 PA’s last year, 84 PA’s career), but that is looking like a LARGE difference. He’s just not so good off the bench.

      I think we can commit to Gomes if we really plan to give him 400+ PA’s, mostly as a starter, but if not, it may not be money well-spent.

  14. Shawn

    You sign Gomes if you play to make a run at the playoffs. Otherwise, you don’t spend the money. Nix is unnecessary, and should be released.

  15. JasonL

    Both players have value, to me the questions go like this:

    1. Do you have someone in the system or are you confident that you can sign someone more cheaply who can do the job just as well?

    2. If the answer to #1 is “yes”, then ask yourself if you think you can reasonably trade either of these players.

    My guess would be that the answer to #1 is yes for both players. Correspondingly, I would cut Nix (who I doubt is tradable) and keep Gomes as I’m sure somebody would send a low level prospect or two our way in exchange for his services.

  16. preach

    “Oh yeah, I’d give T-virus a coke & a smile and tell him to take a hike.”

    Make it a Faygo. He’s not worth the name brand.

  17. dfs

    I can’t see any circumstances where the reds would be better off keeping Nix on the 40 man roster all winter long.
    He’s the definition of replaceable talent.
    It’s a great story, but once you look over the number, there’s nothing there but the story. With Stubbs and Dickerson (and potentially Taverable) on the roster the reds don’t Nix to cover centerfield. His bat won’t play in left of right.

    Frankly, he’s part of the problem, not the solution.

    Gomes on the other hand…..I can see them bringing back Gomes. If he plays well they can pat themselves on their heads for identifying cheap talent. If he plays poorly they can promote whoever of Dorn/Heisey/Fransisco is hot at midseason.

  18. Redsfanx

    Let the reclamation projects go (Gomes and Nix). Go young with good defense in the outfield with Dickerson, Stubbs and Bruce backed up with Heisey and Balentien.

  19. Travis G.

    I guess it all comes down to how much Gomes would cost, but I wouldn’t spend $2 million on him. Not even sure I’d spend $1.5 million, and it’s not even my money!

  20. Kevin Mitchell is Batman

    Thanks Dan. When I’m not slamming hot dogs by the dozen or making spectacular barehanded catches, I often read some stats in my free time.

    The caveat with Gomes (as it often is with players these days) is the transition from AL pitching to NL pitching. How much of last year was a rebirth, and how much of it was facing different (weaker?) pitching staffs? We know what it’s done for Holliday, maybe Jonny Sombrero is another example, albeit on a moderate scale.

  21. Drew Nelson

    These would be great questions to pose to our GM at Redsfest this year….

  22. earl

    I think Jonny Gomes did enough to warrant a second season. He would be good to split time with Chris Dickerson in left. It wouldn’t need to be a straight platoon, as they could start Jonny and then go with Chris in the later innings getting an at bat and giving defensive support. If Jonny can just do what he did last year again, I think we would be smart to bring him back.

    Nix did some good things and all of those extra base hits for the at bats was kind of impressive. Problem is the guy doesn’t hit for much of an average and he doesn’t walk at all. The Reds are not as thin now in the outfield, so I figure Nix will move on. If Nix is kept around and is on the roster, I won’t be upset. He plays hard and is a decent defensive outfielder. I think he has more upside than McDonald.

  23. broadwaydave

    nix should be non-tendered. gomes should be tendered if, and only if, a sign-and-trade is in place.

  24. aaron

    I can’t help but think Joey Votto needs to be considered in the outfield mix in the long run anyway. Better to move him to left now and go after a Hatteberg/Casey type veteren 1b on the cheap until Alonso’s ready and set Gomes, Taveras, and Nix free.

  25. David Kaiser

    no it does not matter if they bring either of them back because they will not play everday.apparently in order to do that in dusty’s lineup you have to have speed and not be able to hit or field like taveras so why waste money?and hiesly is young so we can’t play him or he might become a good player and that’s a no-no under dusty.I will bet taveras will be the starting centerfielder over stubbs on opening day because they need his vetern prescense in the lineup.only baker amd the reds could screw developing the young talent they have up.

  26. preach

    “I can’t help but think Joey Votto needs to be considered in the outfield mix in the long run anyway. Better to move him to left now and go after a Hatteberg/Casey type veteren 1b on the cheap until Alonso’s ready”

    Agreed.

  27. JustTheFacts

    I was surprised by Travis G.’s analysis of Gomes’ defense. How can you classify his defense as terrible. Check his fielding percentage (.991) and UZR (-9.1) before making a statement like that. I’d like to see his UZR come up but I watched the games too and never thought of his defense as anything but stellar. Especially the way he mowed guys down at second from deep in the left corner. Gomes’ defensive is pretty stout. Certainly respectable enough to be the front runner for LF.

  28. GregD

    I don’t think Gomes’ defense is terrible either, but I wouldn’t call it stellar.

    I think he’s worth $1.5-$2 million, and if I had to choose between Hernandez & Gomes, for the money I choose Gomes.

  29. JustTheFacts

    You’re right, stellar was not correct. But certainly respectable.