The Seattle Mariners, who are managed by some really brilliant people, are on the verge of committing robbery to get Cliff Lee.

The Cincinnati Reds, meanwhile, have spent the off-season rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

We’d better hope some of the young guys on our roster take a huge step up in performance this season.

55 Responses

  1. preach

    Wow. And even though Seattle probably won’t be able to resign him, someone will so the comp picks should be pretty good.

    But why should we complicate things with creativity when we like the team we have?

  2. brublejr

    I don’t understand Philly’s thinking in this whole deal. They are not getting near enough for Lee…just crazy!

  3. JustTheFacts

    @brublejr: I tend to agree. But getting two prospects may be better than a supplimental pick. The Phillies don’t seem to think they’ll be able to resign him.

  4. JustTheFacts

    I hope Seattle does do well. I’d love to see Jr. get a ring. Can I say this without upsetting anyone? I am still a Griffey fan. I love that guy. I loved watching him play. And I hope IMO the best player in my lifetime at least caps off a brilliant career with a World Series win. Then he can retire without regret and without further reducing his legacy and go into the HOF in 2015.

    • RedinFla

      JustTheFacts: I hope Seattle does do well. I’d love to see Jr. get a ring. Can I say this without upsetting anyone? I am still a Griffey fan. I love that guy. I loved watching him play. And I hope IMO the best player in my lifetime at least caps off a brilliant career with a World Series win. Then he can retire without regret and without further reducing his legacy and go into the HOF in 2015.

      When was it — a week or two ago — some of us Junior fans came out of hiding here at the Nation. Ditto to all you said about him.

      Also, we could debate this trade and that signing, old guys, prospects, etc…. till April but I still think the biggest need the Reds have is competent coaching and management.

      Until we start putting the best we have on the field (and don’t get me started about lineup construction!) we’ll just be rearranging those chairs Chad mentioned up at the top. 😡

    • pinson343

      JustTheFacts: I hope Seattle does do well.I’d love to see Jr. get a ring.Can I say this without upsetting anyone?I am still a Griffey fan.I love that guy.I loved watching him play.And I hope IMO the best player in my lifetime at least caps off a brilliant career with a World Series win.Then he can retire without regret and without further reducing his legacy and go into the HOF in 2015.

      I’m rooting for Seattle to win a WS for the same reason. 2010 will be Junior’s last season. If he gets his ring, I’ll be happy, and no one will fault him for hanging around a little too long.

      As for the Reds, the thought of them right now just makes me sick to my stomach. I’m not looking for the Reds to do something stupid in the hopes of contending in 2010. But with a little creative thought, and some ACTION, the team could be improved. Jocketty doesn’t have a creative bone in his body.
      He thinks small and acts even less.

      • brublejr

        pinson343: Jocketty doesn’t have a creative bone in his body.
        He thinks small and acts even less.

        That is sad, but so very true.

      • Drew Nelson

        What exactly can he do? What player out on the market can we get? Sure Jason Bay is available, but do you believe we have a shot in heck to outbid teams for him or Holliday? If we make a trade whom are you willing to give up and what do you want in return. I am sorry you dislike the team so much, I on the other hand see a ton of talent on this team if used correctly and a good chance to compete for the division.

        As for the Reds, the thought of them right now just makes me sick to my stomach. I’m not looking for the Reds to do something stupid in the hopes of contending in 2010. But with a little creative thought, and some ACTION, the team could be improved. Jocketty doesn’t have a creative bone in his body.He thinks small and acts even less.

  5. jason1972

    You’d have been ok with the Reds giving up say Stubbs, Wood, and Boxberger for one year of Cliff Lee added to the current roster? That seems about what Seattle gave up in terms of minor league talent.

    • Kevin Mitchell is Batman

      jason1972: You’d have been ok with the Reds giving up say Stubbs, Wood, and Boxberger for one year of Cliff Lee added to the current roster? That seems about what Seattle gave up in terms of minor league talent.

      Boxberger and Wood, maybe, since they gave up a AA and A player, not a MLB player (Stubbs). Clearly a win-now move since the other 2 players are 1.5-2.5 years away from the club.

    • preach

      wow. 2 High A guys and a AA guy. Not exactly the same comparison. True, they are all outstanding prospects, but they are exactly that: prospects. Lee is an established top of the rotation guy. So, if I’m trying to immediately better my club, yeah, I make the deal.

      jason1972: You’d have been ok with the Reds giving up say Stubbs, Wood, and Boxberger for one year of Cliff Lee added to the current roster? That seems about what Seattle gave up in terms of minor league talent.

  6. JustTheFacts

    Actually, no, I don’t give up those guys for Cliff Lee. The Reds farm is not deep anymore since it was emptied last year through trades and call ups. You are giving up the next 5-7 years for a remote shot at one. No way.

  7. Drew Nelson

    It isn’t what Seattle is giving up, it is what it will cost them to keep Lee long term. Lee wants a 5 year deal, the Phils don’t believe in giving pitchers 5 year deals and are only giving Halliday a 3 year deal with an option year. Yes Seattle improved themselves, but not enough to compete with the Yanks or Red Sox and how much money is it going to cost them?

  8. Dan

    @Drew Nelson: “What it will cost them to keep Lee long-term” is the same as it’ll cost any team. He’ll be a free agent on the open market a year from now.

    So what Seattle gets is: one year of Lee, perhaps a slight advantage in re-signing him if he really likes it out there this year, and draft picks if he leaves. (Possibly very good draft picks — assuming he’s a “Type A” free agent, it’ll be a first rounder plus a supplemental pick.)

    I agree that I want to keep our horizon as LONG as possible. I don’t want to sell it all off on a long-shot go-for-broke move for one shot at it. (Sort of like the Rolen trade — which I HATED. And I’m saying that despite the fact that I do like Rolen. He’s a lot better than EE. But still…)

    • Drew Nelson

      I am still wondering how and why the Rolen deal is bad? We gave up nothing for him. There is no proof that either of the minor league pitchers will ever do anything on the major league level. In fact there is more history that shows overall pitchers drafted by the Reds are more often going to fail on the major league level then successed.

      Dan: @(Sort of like the Rolen trade — which I HATED. And I’m saying that despite the fact that I do like Rolen. He’s a lot better than EE. But still…)

      • preach

        “Also lets say the Reds had been the third team and not seattle, how many here would have been up in arms for either giving up young talent for a 1 year rental”

        So should young talent be given up for established vets or not? Sounds a little confusing to me. I don’t think it’s about giving up talent, it’s WHEN you give it up that matters. The M’s are trying to win a division. They acquired Figgins (who I really, really like) and an outstanding starter. The Angels appear to be in trouble, and the division is theirs. Deal the kids and win the division. I get that. We were already going nowhere when we acquired Rolen and added no other pieces to get us going anywhere. In that case, I don’t think it was the best use of resources. If we were to add some other parts, by all means do it. But since that’s not happening and we are waiting for the youngsters to mature we might as well have as many youngsters as possible. Seems pretty simple to me.

        Drew Nelson: Also lets say the Reds had been the third team and not seattle, how many here would have been up in arms for either giving up young talent for a 1 year rental,

  9. brublejr

    @jason1972: I think it would be more comparable to Heisey, Broxberger, and Ondrusek. And yes, I would make that deal if I thought he would make the difference in making the playoff’s or not. But in the Reds case, even with Lee, they would not make the playoffs, most likely.

    I would also say, Seattle has taken over as the front runner in the AL West right now with adding Lee and Figgins. If somehow they get Bay like they are trying, they will be a tough team to beat.

  10. preach

    It’s not like Seattle gave up guys who are ready for the MLB, or even close actually. And with the Angels not appearing to improve themselves, I think this is a good move for the M’s. Two solid top of the rotation names along with a first ballot HOF’er will excite the fan base, draw more crowds, and bring more revenue. A solid rotation goes a long way in short series post season play. I think it’s a ‘win now’ move, and even if they miss the post season, they still win in attendance. And it’s already been mentioned that the M’s will also have first shot of locking up Lee long term if they desire and can afford it.. The argument is ‘would you give up Stubbs and Wood et. al.?’ No, but they didn’t either. I would make this deal every day of the week. I would add “and twice on Sundays” but I am already busy enough on that day

    The real point is that creative deals are out there.

  11. mike

    I’m just glad we have a veteran leader playing 3B

    that should be enough for the Reds to have a winning record for the 1st time in the decade.

    we don’t need good players like Lee. We have veteran leadership

    • preach

      and havoc. Don’t forget the havoc. Remember: Speed kills (rallys).

      mike: I’m just glad we have a veteran leader playing 3Bthat should be enough for the Reds to have a winning record for the 1st time in the decade. we don’t need good players like Lee. We have veteran leadership

    • Drew Nelson

      The other players on the Reds seem glad the Reds got him, so that is all that matters. By getting Rolen we gave up no Major league talent outside of EE. There is no way the Reds will spend the monies needed to get the high impact free agents. Also lets say the Reds had been the third team and not seattle, how many here would have been up in arms for either giving up young talent for a 1 year rental, or signing a pitcher for 5 years (which is what Lee is demanding and why Philly traded him)

      Also as of right now, what has any other team in our division done that makes them THAT much more improved over their team last season?

      mike: I’m just glad we have a veteran leader playing 3Bthat should be enough for the Reds to have a winning record for the 1st time in the decade. we don’t need good players like Lee. We have veteran leadership

  12. preach

    Also, I think that if you are equating Lee and Rolen at this point in their careers (and of course I have a personal bias toward starting pitching)and compare them to their respective trade deals, it is crystal clear to me who got the better deal.

  13. JustTheFacts

    Zach Stewart will one day be an All Star for Toronto.

    • Drew Nelson

      He might be, but the given the history of Reds drafted pitchers the chances are thin.

      JustTheFacts: Zach Stewart will one day be an All Star for Toronto.

  14. JustTheFacts

    Last thought. It was worth it to get rid of EE.

  15. Matt WI

    Also as of right now, what has any other team in our division done that makes them THAT much more improved over their team last season?

    Even if that’s true, isn’t the onus on the Reds to get about, say, 13 games better (that’s what they finished out of first place)?

    What have they done/will they do to get there? We finished behind three teams. If it’s status quo all the way around, maybe we swap places with the Brewers and the Cubs win some more games because they acutally had a more talented team. Reds finish 81-81? Well thank heavens for progress.

    • Drew Nelson

      I believe the Reds can be those 13 games better if Bruce stays healthy and produces like we believe he can. I also think you add in a healthy Votto and the non playing of Willy T and the rebound of Aaron Harrang and the continued growth of Bailey can give you those extra wins over last season.

      Matt WI: Also as of right now, what has any other team in our division done that makes them THAT much more improved over their team last season?Even if that’s true, isn’t the onus on the Reds to get about, say, 13 games better (that’s what they finished out of first place)?What have they done/will they do to get there? We finished behind three teams. If it’s status quo all the way around, maybe we swap places with the Brewers and the Cubs win some more games because they acutally had a more talented team. Reds finish 81-81? Well thank heavens for progress.

  16. RedinFla

    @inFla:
    …meant to say: “putting the best we have on the field AND getting the best out of the players we have”

    _and still don’t get me started about the lineups. 🙄

  17. brublejr

    @preach: I agree with you on the fanbase as well…Everyone is going to expect a good season, so the turnout should be excellent. They gave up three good/solid prospects but not their top prospects (can’t believe Morrow wasn’t included).

    Seattle has really put a LOT pressure on the Angels. LAA already missed out on Halladay, Lackey, Figgins, and Lee with 2 of them going to Seattle. There isn’t another “Ace” on the market now and Figgins value to their team is not going to be replaced.

    So I think this was an excellent move by Seattle. Like I said earlier if they could get one more bat (Bay), watch out because they will be nearly as good as anyone.

  18. preach

    So, put out an exciting product, drive up revenue, and add more product to get better.

    That’s so crazy it just might work.

    • Drew Nelson

      If you don’t ever play Willy T again, how are the Reds not an exciting team to watch? We have good/great young talent in Votto/Bruce/Homer/Drew/Johnny/ along with some strong good vets in Harrang/Bronson/Rolen/Hernandez.If Dusty will wake up and play the right combination, to me the Reds are exciting and fun to watch.

      preach: So, put out an exciting product, drive up revenue, and add more product to get better.That’s so crazy it just might work.

      • preach

        Drew Nelson: If you don’t ever play Willy T again, how are the Reds not an exciting team to watch? We have good/great young talent in Votto/Bruce/Homer/Drew/Johnny/ along with some strong good vets in Harrang/Bronson/Rolen/Hernandez.If Dusty will wake up and play the right combination, to me the Reds are exciting and fun to watch.

        Not to be picky, but couldn’t this quote (with the exception of Rolen, but add Volquez) be said LAST year? That didn’t turn out so swell. Sometimes it’s not the players, but the management.

        “Are we really so impoverished compared to the other teams in the NL Central ?”
        Well, maybe not compared to the Pirates.

        I really, really hope that everyone performs to and exceeds expectations. With that scenario, we could win. But we need some help from our management, and unfortunately that makes this team less exciting to watch.

  19. preach

    “Also as of right now, what has any other team in our division done that makes them THAT much more improved over their team last season?”

    The Brewers resigned Craig Counsell. Of course they had him last season, but they should be in the series for sure now. Check out our earlier thread……

  20. art

    So how likely is Dusty to play the right combination?

  21. pinson343

    From John Fay’s blog:

    “It’s not easy being a Reds fans these days. Look around the NL Central.

    Shortly after the Reds non-tendered Jonny Gomes because he was due make $1.5 million or so in arbitration, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Cardinals offered Matt Holliday a deal that would pay him $16 million a year and could run as long at eight years.

    The Cardinals already added Brad Penny at $7.5 million for one year.

    The Brewers are spending too. They signed Randy Wolf ($29.75 million, three years), LaTroy Hawkins ($7.5 million, one year) and Craig Counsell ($2.1, one year). By the way, I think they overpaid for Wolf. He had a nice year last season (11-7, 3.23 ERA) but he was 12-12 with 4.30 in 2008.

    The Astros signed Brandon Lyon for $15 million over three years.”

    You could argue that every one of these moves is a bad move, in fact I can’t believe what the Brewers are paying for Wolf and Hawkins. But that’s not the point. Are we really so impoverished compared to the other teams in the NL Central ? We do have needs.

    PS How is St. Louis going to afford to extend Albert ?

    • Travis G.

      pinson343: Look around the NL Central. Shortly after the Reds non-tendered Jonny Gomes because he was due make $1.5 million or so in arbitration, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Cardinals offered Matt Holliday a deal that would pay him $16 million a year and could run as long at eight years. The Cardinals already added Brad Penny at $7.5 million for one year.

      The Brewers are spending too. They signed Randy Wolf ($29.75 million, three years), LaTroy Hawkins ($7.5 million, one year) and Craig Counsell ($2.1, one year). By the way, I think they overpaid for Wolf. He had a nice year last season (11-7, 3.23 ERA) but he was 12-12 with 4.30 in 2008. The Astros signed Brandon Lyon for $15 million over three years.” You could argue that every one of these moves is a bad move, in fact I can’t believe what the Brewers are paying for Wolf and Hawkins. But that’s not the point. Are we really so impoverished compared to the other teams in the NL Central ? We do have needs. PS How is St. Louis going to afford to extend Albert?

      I don’t like a single one of those moves, including Holliday (I’ve seen reports that the Cards only offered five years, which is much wiser). I can live with the Reds holding onto their cash if they plan to extend Votto and Bruce, and possibly Cueto and Bailey.

      • pinson343

        Travis G.:
        I don’t like a single one of those moves, including Holliday (I’ve seen reports that the Cards only offered five years, which is much wiser). I can live with the Reds holding onto their cash if they plan to extend Votto and Bruce, and possibly Cueto and Bailey.

        I don’t either, that wasn’t the point.

  22. brublejr

    @pinson343: To be honest, I don’t like any of those moves if I am a fan of their teams. The Cards way overpaid for Penny and by signing Holliday at the cost that has been discussed by Boras, it might ultimately cost them being able to sign Albert. The Brewers overpaid on all of them, Wolf could be good, but has not been consistent over his career. Hawkins has been the same way, but at least his and Counsel’s contracts are one year so not so bad a risk. Lyon signing was a little high as well considering how he handled the closers job in Arizona. And the Cubs not getting rid of Bradley is killing their offseason and I love that…

  23. JustTheFacts

    There are still too many question marks going on with the Cardinals to know how their winter is going. Right now, at least it seems, their payroll will still be about 10 million under their 2008 payroll. So, and I could be wrong, even if Holliday signs the MONSTER contract, they should still have room for Albert.

  24. daedalus

    Is the Mariner’s GM new? Seems like he’s had a good winter and suddenly Seattle looks to be competitive.

  25. david

    Dodgers are interested in Harang. The Reds require a player from the major league roster.

    Many of you may already know, but Chris Henry died at 6:36 this morning. I’m sure that his family could use your thoughts and prayers.

  26. Matt WI

    @david: Andre Ethier anybody? 2.1 Years of ML service according to Cot’s… perhaps not updated for the most recent season. Of course with Volquez out, that could be robbing Peter to pay Paul in terms of the damage to our pitching staff. But if it’s a payroll move that is going to happen anyway…

    • Kevin Mitchell is Batman

      Matt WI: @david: Andre Ethier anybody? 2.1 Years of ML service according to Cot’s… perhaps not updated for the most recent season. Of course with Volquez out, that could be robbing Peter to pay Paul in terms of the damage to our pitching staff. But if it’s a payroll move that is going to happen anyway…

      Matt I hope you’re right. We’d have to throw in either Frazier or Alonso, along with eating some of Harang’s salary to get it done, but I’d love to have him.

      What are the odds its for Rafael Furcal? He’s expensive for this year, but he’s not signed long term and would be a perfect addition to our lineup…

      One can hope.

  27. Matt WI

    @Kevin Mitchell is Batman: Yes, ignoring the other factors for a moment and focusing only on a potential OF Ethier, Bruce, Stubbs? Yahoo sports lists Ethier as a LF/RF Drool.

    But do you think we’d really have to throw in that much? Starting pitching is a premium. Plus it’s the Dodgers, not Oakland, they can take the payroll. But I’d do Alonso or Frazier if I had to, but no extra money.

  28. Dan

    Chris Henry – wow. Very very sad. Thoughts and prayers with his family and his fiancee’s family. Rest in peace, Chris.

  29. Kevin Mitchell is Batman

    Matt I’d love having Ethier in the outfield either way. I kind of muddled my words there in my previous post…I think we’d have to eat Harang’s salary OR throw in Frazier or Alonso to get it done, not both.

    Given the lack of production James Loney’s given them, I think they’re looking for an upgrade to their 1B position. Also, if we were to pick up a player like Ethier, we’d have an even bigger glut of corner OF’s, which would make our young ones easier to trade (and they’d want Frazier, especially given his versatility).

    With the McCourt’s divorce, their lineup’s glut of arb increases, and complete lack of a rotation, I think the most likely combo would be for Furcal given the salary combo. At least, that’s the most realistic matchup.

    I’d be begging for Matt Kemp, though I know that’s not gonna happen.

  30. pinson343

    @Travis G.: PS I don’t appreciate your taking my quote from John Fay, merging it with comments I made about his quote, and making me appear to be the author of the whole statement.

  31. pinson343

    @Drew Nelson: I don’t dislike the team and I like our young talent, and I agree with you that we have a chance in 2010, but only if some deficiencies are addressed. I’m not suggesting we go for Bay or Holliday, that’s unrealistic. When I said “I’m not looking for them to do something stupid,” I was ruling out trading any of the core group of young talent. But let’s address some of the team’s weaknesses. We could improve the team’s depth for example with a second SS – or even just a good utility infielder who can play SS. WJ has talked about that, but will he do anything ? If we don’t sign Gomes, that’s OK if we pick up the slack with a power bat in LF. But will we ? Last year WJ said that was the team’s top priority, it should still be a priority now, but is WJ going to settle for something like a Balentien/Nix platoon ? What’s WJ going to do with Taveras ?

    The theme of this thread is about having an intelligent and creative GM, I was thinking about that and didn’t intend to make such a negative comment about the Reds. WJ has never had a reputation for being creative, though he did make some outstanding moves for the Cardinals, such as the Jim Edmonds trade. The bottom line is that I have diminishing confidence in his making even minor moves to help the Reds. But the offseason still has a long ways to go, and that could change in a hurry. I would love it if WJ proves me wrong.

    Time to look at the Harang thread, maybe something interesting brewing there ?

  32. preach

    Good point Pinson. If filling the void of a right handed power outfield bat was the main priority last season, and it’s still lingering, shouldn’t it still be important now? I know we all debated the logic of it then, but the bottom line is if management thinks it’s sooooo important, what are we doing about it? Is there a plan for 2010, or is it just going to be the lost season plugging in guys looking for lightning in a bottle? Maybe Nix and Balentien will have career years, maybe Janish will swing a decent bat, but I doubt it on all counts. Do we still have a plan?

  33. Graham

    We have some decent young talent, but the Reds are not a contending team in 2010. Unfortunately, general management can afford to wait a year or two before splurging on a player such as Cliff Lee. Money matters in MLB, but the correlation between spending and success on the field is 0.45 with 1 being perfect correlation. In baseball, the correlation is much higher than football or basketball but lower than hockey. If the Reds want to have a really legitimate shot at contending, they would need to spend at least $25 million more on their roster and perhaps more than that, but they would not get bang for their buck until they had demonstrated that they were at least a few games above 500. If the Reds could hit 83 to 85 wins and be where the Cubs were in 2009 and could put up these numbers in 2010 or 2011, then it would be worthwhile to go on a splurge for a Cliff Lee and someone else with a big bat. Indeed, it would be almost criminal not to do so….

  34. David Kaiser

    it does not matter what the other teams in the division have done to improve thier teams.the reds finished what 25 games out of first and did nothing to improve.what the cardinals are suddenly going to suck because they did not make any big deals?the cubs,brewers and astros are not going to be any good because they did not make a big deal?newsflash people they did not need to do anything to get get better in this division because they are already better than the reds!what signing somebody else’s reject to play left field is suddenly going to close the gap for the reds?getting rid of harang and arroyo and thier salaries are going to make the reds better how?doesn’t matter if they are off the the hook for thier salaries unless they are going to sign bay or matt holliday to play left field with the money they save. the reds just don’t have a plan and don’t understand you can’t win without one.they should play the young guys and let them develop and get experiance now,then in a couple of years when they have matured they will be still be young but with the expeirance and be able to contend for years to come like a good team should.nobody wants to lose but if they go this direction at least you can see a long term benefit.