Nothing else going on, so how about the rumor mill? Coupla quick ones:

–Some voices within the Boston organization want to pursue Brandon Phillips, and move him to shortstop. That’s according to Peter Gammons. Gammons got something right once, I’m sure, but I can’t remember when.

Whether that’s a bunk rumor or not, moving BP to shortstop is a great idea.

–I can’t link to the individual item, because ESPN is still in the dark ages of web design, evidently, but on this page, Jayson Stark says the Reds are one of the clubs pursuing pitcher Noah Lowry.

33 Responses

  1. Doug Gray

    It actually sounds like they were willing to get Phillips and move Pedroia to shortstop. I am still not in favor of moving Phillips to short.

    • Tom Diesman

      Doug Gray: I am still not in favor of moving Phillips to short.

      As long as Jockerty is around we won’t have to worry about it. “The roster could look very similar to where we are now.” Does anyone else think that he doesn’t even know the waiver wire exists? The quest for .500 continues. Nine years and counting.

  2. jason1972

    I was hoping beyond hope I would open this and see “Reds talking with Marco Scutaro”

    I know, I know.

  3. Greg Dafler

    I think the right move the past four season would have been to move Phillips back to SS. Unfortunately, I think it is past the time to move him to SS, given his age, attitude, etc.

    It would be nice to see them try that last season. The Dodgers did not offer arbitration to Hudson yesterday, so he could be acquired w/o costing his new team a draft pick. He would solve the middle infield problem (if a Phillips to SS experiment would have worked) and filled in nicely as the #2 hitter.

    I like Lowry and hope the ESPN rumor is true. I mentioned him as a possible pickup back in early October.

    Looking back at my list: Shoppach was acquired by the Rays. They also offered arbitration to FA catcher Gregg Zaun.

    The Red Sox did finally get Hermida.

    And the Cubs traded Heilman to the D-backs.

  4. Travis G.

    Scutaro is going to cost real money over multiple years, in addition to costing the Reds their second-round pick (their first rounder is protected). He just turned 34 and had an apparent career year, so no thanks. The Reds can’t afford that kind of mistake.

    I’ll withhold final judgment until I see who the Rays gave up for Shoppach, but seeing the market develop for Zaun makes me more certain that bringing back Hernandez was a smart move. No sense competing with other teams for your backup catcher.

    I would have loved to get Hermida, and I think the Reds could have matched what the Red Sox gave up, but he’s going to get something like $3 million-$4 million in arbitration. Sure, the Sox can afford that as a backup, but that might be out of the Reds’ price range for their starting LF. (Sigh.)

    Depending on what sort of incentives Lowry would command, I like taking a flier on him and putting him in the mix for the fifth starter.

    • jason1972

      Fair enough. The Reds have holes in their lineup right now at LF and SS. They can either upgrade SS and use an internal solution in LF, or get a legitimate hitter in LF and leave Janish at SS. To me this is the key to the Reds fielding a tam with even a chance to compete in 2010.

      Travis G.: Scutaro is going to cost real money over multiple years, in addition to costing the Reds their second-round pick (their first rounder is protected). He just turned 34 and had an apparent career year, so no thanks.

  5. JustTheFacts

    Two problems with taking a flier on Lowry. First, I don’t believe he’s spectulative. You pretty much know what you’re going to get: a slightly better than .500 middle of the order pitcher. Plus, he’ll probably get a 2 year 5-6 million dollar contract. I think that’s more than the Reds want to pay, which is a shame. He’s exactly what we need. He’s exactly what a lot of clubs need.

  6. JustTheFacts

    Brandon is an elite second baseman. He may wind up (if they moved him) being an elite SS, but he may also be an average SS. Why mess with a good thing? If we are going to move BP, then move him out of the 4 hole and put him some place which tends more to his abilities. I’d say 2 hole, but his OBP is in the lower .300s. Where do you put him? 6 hole? Not in this lifetime.

    • GregD

      @Travis G.: I agree. Just say no to Scutaro.

      @JustTheFacts: Sure, everything depends on what he’s asking for and what other teams are willing to pay. After playing a injury-filled 2007 and not playing at all the past two years, I doubt anyone else gives him a 2-yr deal. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up with nothing more than a minor-league deal. I think anything the Reds offer him should, at most, be an incentive-laden deal.

      JustTheFacts: Brandon is an elite second baseman. He may wind up (if they moved him) being an elite SS, but he may also be an average SS. Why mess with a good thing?

      I know you are referencing that “good thing” as Brandon at 2nd base, but your comment made me think that the TEAM hasn’t had a “good thing” since 2000. Would moving Phillips to SS be a good thing for the Team Cincinnati, regardless of whether it is good individually for Team Phillips? Would Phillips + Hudson (or insert 2B of your choice here) be better for the Reds than Janish + Phillips?

      The argument for moving Phillips is that the improvement from Janish to the acquired player on the team is greater than the potential negative impact to them team of moving Phillips to SS.

  7. preach

    “I think the Reds could have matched what the Red Sox gave up,”

    One thing the Reds can’t match is the opportunity to play in the post season year in and year out. That probably adds 20% to the price of anyone we would be able to sign.

    I like Lowry and think he would do well in the Central.

    • David

      preach: “I think the Reds could have matched what the Red Sox gave up,”One thing the Reds can’t match is the opportunity to play in the post season year in and year out. That probably adds 20% to the price of anyone we would be able to sign.I like Lowry and think he would do well in the Central.

      That may be true for an older player looking to add a ring to an already impressive career, but I would imagine for most it comes down to dollars and cents.

  8. per14

    I think the 6th hole is exactly where you put a player with decent pop but little on base skills. That or the 7th hole.

    I understand the logic of those opposed to moving BP at this point in his career. But if he can just be an average glove at SS, moving him makes sense for this team (if you have another competent 2B around) b/c there is no other SS option that can even come close to having a league average bat. The BP/Hudson combo would really make a lot of sense.

  9. Wire to Wire

    Looks like the Reds signed John Adkins to a Minor League deal.

  10. Andy

    @Travis G.:

    Couldn’t agree more. Scutaro had a career year in his 30’s, he is exactly what we don’t need.

    That is a 100% buy high move and a contact that would hamstring us BADLY the last few years.

    • Dan

      Andy: @Travis G.: Couldn’t agree more. Scutaro had a career year in his 30’s, he is exactly what we don’t need. That is a 100% buy high move and a contact that would hamstring us BADLY the last few years.

      I agree w/ this comment, 100%.

  11. preach

    “Fair enough. The Reds have holes in their lineup right now at LF and SS. They can either upgrade SS and use an internal solution in LF, or get a legitimate hitter in LF and leave Janish at SS. To me this is the key to the Reds fielding a tam with even a chance to compete in 2010.”

    I agree, and with an addition of a dependable power bat they can compete this year, IMO.

    This might be the season to get a placeholder first baseman and shift Joey to LF. That might be a cheaper way to improve our lineup now, and if Alonso is truly ready to play with the big boys it will have him a spot prepared.

  12. jason1972

    From MLBTradeRumors FA section, these are more or less our choices (unless we make a trade):

    First basemen
    Rich Aurilia (38)
    Jeff Bailey (31)
    Hank Blalock (29)
    Russell Branyan (34)
    Miguel Cairo (36)
    Frank Catalanotto (36)
    Tony Clark (38)
    Carlos Delgado (38) – Type B, not offered arb
    Nomar Garciaparra (36)
    Ross Gload (34)
    Eric Hinske (32)
    Nick Johnson (31) – Type B, not offered arb
    Adam LaRoche (30) – Type B, not offered arb
    Doug Mientkiewicz (36)
    Kevin Millar (38)
    Fernando Tatis (35) – Type B, not offered arb
    Chad Tracy (30)
    Daryle Ward (35)
    Dmitri Young (36)

    Shortstops
    Eric Bruntlett (32)
    Orlando Cabrera (35) – Type A, can’t be offered arb
    Craig Counsell (39)
    Bobby Crosby (30)
    Adam Everett (33)
    Chris Gomez (39)
    Nick Green (31)
    Khalil Greene (30)
    Jerry Hairston Jr. (34)
    Marco Scutaro (34) – Type A, offered arb
    Miguel Tejada (36) – Type A, not offered arb

    Left fielders
    Garret Anderson (38) – Type B, not offered arb
    Marlon Anderson (36)
    Jason Bay (31) – Type A, offered arb
    Emil Brown (35)
    Marlon Byrd (32) – Type B, offered arb
    Johnny Damon (36) – Type A, not offered arb
    David Dellucci (36)
    Cliff Floyd (37)
    Joey Gathright (28)
    Matt Holliday (30) – Type A, offered arb
    Reed Johnson (33)
    Laynce Nix (29)
    Greg Norton (37)
    Wily Mo Pena (28)
    Dave Roberts (38)
    Gary Sheffield (41)
    Fernando Tatis (35) – Type B, not offered arb
    Marcus Thames (33)
    Randy Winn (36) – Type B, not offered arb

  13. preach

    Nick Johnson would be pretty sweet. Several ex Reds on that first baseman list.

  14. Dan

    Noah Lowry scares me. I look at his numbers and I see that he averaged better than 7 K per 9 IP in 2004-05, and then less than 5 K per 9 IP in 2006-07. And then 2 years of not pitching at all.

    Can someone remind me what his injury was?

    Anyway, guys with K rates that low really scare me, especially in our bandbox home ballpark. I’d really like to see us stock up on guys who can blow you away.

    One other red flag I see in Lowry’s splits — home/road splits. At home (SF) he’s got a career 3.42 ERA and has given up about 1 HR per 12.2 IP. On the road, he’s got a career 4.85 ERA and has given up about 1 HR per 7.5 IP.

    He does seem like a good “buy low” candidate, but I’m not sure I see good upside in him to get back to his good years.

    I think I’d be more excited about Justin Duchscherer… but he seems to have more “buzz” so I’m not sure he’s going to turn out to be a real “buy low” guy.

  15. GregD

    Lowry missed the first month of 2007 with an oblique strain and the final month of 2007 with what was diagnosed as a strained forearm. That situation eventually led him to miss all of 2008 & 2009.

    According to his agent in the linked article above, the Giants did the wrong surgery and the wrong rehabilitation.

  16. brublejr

    @jason1972: I know he isn’t great but why not try to get Wily Mo on a minor league deal. The guy crushes left handed pitching and when you have guys like Dickerson and Bruce who don’t hit lefties well, isn’t this the type of guy you want on your bench to pinch hit? He didn’t play in the majors last year at all and could surely be very cheap. That way you could keep Fransisco and Frazier in AAA to develop more, and if doesn’t work out, you simply cut him…I may be a little biased because I love watching his bombs and he was pretty good as a pinch hitter with his days on the Reds. Plus he is only 28.

  17. jason1972

    I was a Wily Mo fan. Whatever happened to that guy?

    • Dan

      jason1972: I was a Wily Mo fan. Whatever happened to that guy?

      In my opinion, Balentien is very similar to Wily Mo, but better, and younger. And probably cheaper too.

      Balentien is a good option in my opinion. Let’s not forget about him, and let’s not let him get away for nothing.

      I don’t think we have room for Gomes AND Balentien, unfortunately, but I do like both of them. And Balentien will be significantly cheaper at this point.

      But w/ those 2 guys already here as options, I don’t see the need for Wily Mo, personally.

  18. Drew Nelson

    What I think is the most interesting thing out of Boston is how the owners of the Red Sox basically called out the lower level teams. They basically said the lower level teams are pocketing the monies they get from the tax paid by the higher end teams and not using it to sign players or resign their own good talent.

  19. Kevin Mitchell is Batman

    So do we offer arb to Gomes, sign him, and then shop him?

  20. brublejr

    @Dan: I forgot about Balentien a little bit. Can he hit the lefties as well as Pena did? I would love for Balentien to succeed this year. BTW, I think Gomes and Balentien can both stay as long as they get rid of Taveras…

  21. Dan

    @brublejr: True. I think my favorite choice for 5 outfielders (unless I’m forgetting someone) would be Gomes, Stubbs, Bruce, Dickerson, Balentien.

    Am I leaving anyone out?

    • David

      Dan: @brublejr: True. I think my favorite choice for 5 outfielders (unless I’m forgetting someone) would be Gomes, Stubbs, Bruce, Dickerson, Balentien.Am I leaving anyone out?

      I’d try to sign Gomes and then trade him. Personally, my outfield would be:
      LF – Francisco
      CF – Stubss
      RF – Bruce
      OF – Dickerson
      OF – Heisey
      IF/OF – Frazier

      Balentien is intriguing cause he was a pretty highly regarded prospect, but I’d much prefer to keep Heisey and Dickerson as they can play all three outfield spots.

  22. brublejr

    @Dan: That would be my five unless someone in the minors beats one of them out…

  23. hoosierdad

    The Reds need Willy no mo. 😉

  24. pinson343

    @Dan: That would be my 5 too.
    The Reds need Willy T. no mo.

  25. Dan

    @David: The trouble with this plan, in my opinion, is that Balentien is out of options, while Heisey, Francisco, and Frazier are not. So if we do this, we lose Balentien.

    If we keep Balentien (in the majors), then any or all of these 3 (Heisey, Francisco, Frazier) can keep honing their craft in Louisville. Really, none of them have played above AA ball much at all yet.

  26. Travis G.

    I like David’s setup, but I’d swap out Heisey for Balentien and possibly platoon him in left with Francisco, unless one of them separates himself from the other. If both of them stink it up, then Frazier could take over full time.

    I just don’t think Gomes is going to be worth what he’ll cost in arbitration, at least not to a cash-strapped team like the Reds. I’m wary of his chances of repeating what he did last year in limited duty.