Blog Red Machine is reporting that the Reds have been in discussions with the Mets concerning all-star shortstop Jose Reyes. The blog says several “insiders” have reported the Reyes discussions.

Reyes is under contract for one more season with the Mets for $11 million. According to Reds public comments concerning budget, that would be a large contract to absorb, but if the Reds compete at a high level again next season attendance will continue to rise and additional ancillary items will also sell building the Reds revenue stream.

As Blog Red Machine says:

Jose Reyes is one of the best leadoff men in baseball when he is healthy. The last two seasons he has had some injury problems, but his speed on the basepaths scares anybody. Having Reyes and (Drew) Stubbs in the same lineup would put pressure on any defense.

Then there is this:

The Reds would almost certainly have to give up either Mike Leake, Travis Wood or Homer Bailey. And in addition, the Mets could be looking for two more prospects, one a top tier prospect and another lower level prospect. There has been much discussion regarding which of the three starting pitchers listed above would be most likely to be traded. Leake, I believe, would probably be Walt Jocketty’s last choice with Wood or Bailey going before him.

It is not believed that Jocketty wants to trade Yonder Alonso, and the Mets already have Ike Davis at first base.

If it were up to me, I’d try to move Edinson Volquez instead as he will be getting paid more than the younger guys which would help soften the blow on the salary issue. As for choosing between Wood, Leake, and Bailey, I believe Bailey has the highest ceiling of the three and we could use Wood as a lefty starter. I’m still not certain what to make of Leake. He had a very good rookie year and took everyone by surprise. Depending on your perspective it could be said he was mature in his development or it could be said that he’s walking a fine line with his skill set when it comes to long-term major league success.

My feeling all along has been that the Reds need a stud shortstop to take them to the next level. I’m a fan of Paul Janish’s glove, but I do think his offensive ability will be challenged as a full-time player. Reyes is almost a year younger than Janish and has played nearly 700 more major league games.

I don’t know what kind of package it would really take to get Reyes and I don’t know who the Mets would play at shortstop without him. Reyes missed about a month last season due to a thyroid problem and 20-year-old Ruben Tejada filled in, but hit only .213 in 78 games. The Mets drafted a second baseman, Brad Emaus, in the Rule 5 draft, but he hasn’t played shortstop in the minors. John Sickels, author of the yearly “Minor League Handbook”, wrote in November that the Mets’ farm system isn’t that bad, it’s just missing some top flight candidates. He rates shortstop Wilmer Flores as the Mets’ top prospect, but he’s only 19 and was still in High A ball last season.

I don’t know who the “insiders” are that are discussing Reyes, but I do think he’s the kind of player that the Reds should be pursuing to take the team to the next level.

The Reds have some shortstops in the minor league system, but I don’t know that last year’s AAA starter Zack Cozart has a high enough ceiling to improve the Reds. Cozart is an interesting blend of power with a little speed and a good glove, but isn’t projecting as an impact player. Cozart’s skill set reminds me of J.J. Hardy and — in my opinion — Hardy’s not the kind of player to carry a championship team (Hardy was traded to the Orioles yesterday, his third team in three years). The Reds younger prospects aren’t ready, and Billy Hamilton, who I thought may be the best of the lot, played 55 games at second base in 2010 and only 13 at shortstop.

81 Responses

  1. lukeukcrazy

    Jose Reyes would make an impact on the Reds. The Reds lineup would scare me if they got Reyes. Good Post!

  2. Jason461

    He’d have to stay healthy for me to like the deal and he’s been hurt a lot lately. Also, I’m concerned about last year’s drop in his walk rate, but yeah, it would be nice to see someone legitimately good at SS.

  3. Dave Lowenthal

    I would be unwilling to trade Wood or Bailey for one season of the recently oft-injured Reyes.

    As I’ve said before, I just really feel these kind of guys are guys the Reds should go after in late June or July so that the price is lower. The Reds aren’t competing with the Yankees for a division title. They are competing with in my mind a lesser team, the Cards. They should be able to hold them off by late June, meaning that they are either winning the division or only slightly behind. So they don’t really have to have a Reyes in April through late June.

  4. Dave Lowenthal

    Also, I haven’t followed the AGon trade to the Sox closely, but if the Reds gave up Bailey, a top tier prospect, and a low tier prospect, wouldn’t that be close to 3/4 of the package the Sox gave up for the same contract situation?

    Again, I really don’t know how good the Sox prospects were.

  5. hoosierdad

    Don’t know that I’m on board with this trade. Seems like an awful lot to give up for just 1 year. If they would take Coco as well I could see it making sense financially. Honestly, if you compare their stats they aren’t THAT far off offensively. PJ fares pretty well in relation to Reyes. His glove is better. His BB rate is better. Power rates are about the same. The only thing Reyes is better at is SB and that is down to 1/2 of what it used to be. The big question, is Reyes worth 10.5 million MORE than PJ to get his services for 1 year? I don’t think so.

  6. doctor

    Reyes is intriguing and he can be a highly impacting player, especially for a guy playing for a big FA contract. However, I agree with Dave. if the story/rumor is close on the aspects of the deal, then that is way too much to give up for only 1 year player. that type of deal would most likely net them SS Stephen Drew, who has 2 years of arbitration left, with no injury history that i am aware of.

    Go 2011 Reds! Defending NL Central Champs.

  7. Doug Dennis

    I might trade Leake straight up for one year of Reyes. I might add a mid-level prospect or two for cash to help pay Reyes. But that’s all I would do. No Bailey, no Wood, no top-tier prospects.

  8. Y-City Jim

    No thanks! Price is too high for one year of a player who has become injury prone. I’d rather keep the pitching and have Janish’s glove at SS. Somebody has to bat 8th. It might as well be Janish.

  9. Steve Price

    First, it may not be for just one year. The Reds could ask for a negotiating windown on that note and Reyes has had two health-issue seasons that would drive down his negotiating power. One season was due to injury, one was a thyroid issue.

    However, to think that Paul Janish is in the same universe offensively as Reyes is the one-season Pokey Reese syndrome. Janish is a .190-.210 hitter, not the .260 hitter we saw in half-time play last season.

    I’m not looking for a one-year rental. I’d trade Volquez plus prospects myself.

  10. Matt WI

    @Dave Lowenthal: I’m with you. Feels like too steep a cost. But if the Reds are willing to do that for a SS, how about, ahem, LF?

  11. Aaron Lehr

    Interesting stuff from Fay. He makes the same point I was trying to make earlier (though I did a poor job of it) that you don’t want developing guys as your bench players. Fans may think that Cozart of Francisco could do as good a job as Cairo or whoever, but you need those cheap veteran guys. They have roles to fill.

    Deferred money is nice but I’m not looking forward to the Reds paying a 36 year old Arroyo $18M.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but to me, that 4 year deal for Votto seems like more risk that it’s worth. You’re buying out only 1 year of FA, not really getting any discount on the arbitration years, and committing $18M to a 30 year old 4 years from now.

    And to rein this is, I’m conflicted on the Reyes thing. Like others, I wonder if the price is too steep, and Reyes’ health is troubling. It would be exciting though, and encouraging that the Reds are still trying to do something to improve.

  12. per14

    No way. Too high of a price. Let’s face it: Jose Reyes isn’t singing here long term and all three of those pitchers have too high of a ceiling. While I think that the team is maybe one positional player away from being a serious contender, that’s too much for the Reds to give up.

  13. Steve Price

    Teams do not get better by standing pat. The Third Law of Thermodnyanamics ( applies to baseball teams, too. Even the Big Red Machine made yearly adjustments.

    I think a shortstop need is more important than the LF situation. I also think it’s next to impossible to find free agent shortstops and much easier to find a LF both internally and externally

    Secondly, I’ve been a fan of Janish for longer than most Reds fans. I’ve seen him play with the “big squad” in Louisville on the way back to Cincinnati before opening day and I’ve seen his (and Danny Dorn’s) name listed in Reds boxscores in spring training long before we discussed their names.

    However, Janish will not hit over a long season. Dusty Baker knows that and so do the Reds’ brass. That’s why they got Cabrera last season and I think that’s why we’re starting to hear shortstop-talks leak now.

    AND quality players don’t come for free. Yes, we can never have too much starting pitching, and the young players have relatively high ceilings (I question how high Leake’s and Wood’s ceilings actually are, but they can have good careers).

    Fans typically overrate their own players while devaluing the opposition. The match is somewhere in between.

    Volquez is sort of Reyes-like when it comes to question from fighting back from injury with something to prove in contract-like years. However, Volquez has one-half year of quality from which to boast and Reyes has many.

  14. Jason1972

    I’d not give up Bailey, Wood, or Leake for one year of Reyes. I’d give up Volquez and a couple of middling prospects. If we could get Reyes on a longer deal then it might be worth considering.

  15. RiverCity Redleg

    @Matt WI: I’m with you, I would much rather have a solid LF rather than SS. That being sais, Reyes would be a welcome addition if the price wasn’t so steep. If WJ can figure a way to soften the blow, I’m all for it.

    I think this confirms our sentiments that WJ is indeed more worried about finding a lead off hitter than he is any particular position.

  16. preach

    Jose Reyes is a premier offensive SS. Paul Janish is Doug Flynn Lite. Please. Just for giggles, someone throw out a potential lineup.

    • Ethan D

      Jose Reyes is a premier offensive SS. Paul Janish is Doug Flynn Lite. Please. Just for giggles, someone throw out a potential lineup.


      I’d love to have Reyes, but I’m not giving up Wood, Bailey, or Leake. I like the Volquez trade idea.

  17. RiverCity Redleg

    @Steve Price: I’m also a big fan of Soft J’s and tend to agree that he will not “hit” for a full season playing every day. I just think that if Fay is correct they are asking a little too much for him. If we can negotiate a contract extension first, and we don’t have to mortgage the future entirely, THEN yes, go for it.

  18. Sultan of Swaff

    @RiverCity Redleg: Exactly. The relative asking prices between a LF and SS are way different. You can get a lot more bang for your buck by focusing on a LFer, preferably a cost controlled one. Gardner, Sizemore, McCutcheon, Choo. Those are the guys I’d be willing to part with 3 top 15 prospects for.

  19. Jason1972

    There are more seasons to be played than 2011. You don’t give up a bunch of your chips for one season of a guy that could be great or could play 60 games before his legs break down.

  20. Steve Price

    Also, concerning the bench. What Fay is writing is not that the Reds young players are not all old enough; it’s that the Reds don’t think they’re good enough.

    Cozart will be 25 next year. Frazier will be 25 next year. Valaika is 25. Prime baseball age for when they’re best is 25-29. If they’re not good enough in their best seasons, it’s time to mark down their value.

    Now, playoff teams like to have a veteran presence on the bench for they think they will be more consistent due to knowing their way around the league (think Janish, Cairo, Nix). Francisco is still young. Yonder and Sappelt’s clocks are now ticking….

    Most prospect books drop you off the list at age 26 (pitchers, catchers can get a break…). Usually, if a player is 25 and playing AAA, that’s a future reserve. Janish was 25 when he got his first taste and he’s a questionable starter. That should give us some idea of how to rate our current 25-year-olds (2011 ages now that we’re discussing 2011).

  21. Steve Price

    I haven’t seen anyone mention giving up a ton of prospects. I’ve seen a requirement of one plus some other mid-level prospects.

    In all fairness, though, the top line of the Reds farm system is somewhat weaker than a year ago. Most of our top “prospects” are now on the 25-man roster. The Reds have a strong youth corps, but the top level may be a bit weak for a year or two. I have to think Alonso will be back at AAA and Mesoraco, too. Sappelt will be there; it would be good for Francisco, too. We wasted him last season. I feel like we were hoping someone would take Francisco from us since he was already in teh big leagues.

    Cozart, Valaika, and Frazier—we now how too many of them…if we don’t find someone interested in them, their value will decline greatly in the next season, even as trade chips. To get quality, we may have to go lower in our farm system, which ironically, which probably wouldn’t bother most fans but is probably a bigger hurt on the overall health of the team.

  22. Brien Jackson

    That price is insane. The Red Sox just got Adrian Gonzalez for 4 players without any Major League experience, and the Mets want more than that for Reyes? Whatever you think of Reyes, that’s just way too much to give up.

  23. Steve

    Jose Reyes hasn’t been a premier offensive shortstop since 2008. Even when he was scoring over 100 runs, his OBP was in the .355 range, nothing elite.

    He only stole 30 bases last year. He looks a lot better through the old school lens for a lead-off hitter (“ooh, he’s fast”) than he does in the modern school.

    Reyes also isn’t as good of a shortstop as Paul Janish. He also costs $11 million more than PJ.

    Even the less-spectacular Reyes will be an upgrade over PJ at the plate, particularly in the area of batting average and SB. Their power numbers are probably about even. Their walk rates are similar, with a slight edge to PJ.

    As RCR says above, if this isn’t a very costly deal for the Reds, I’d be OK with it. But if we have to give up more than Leake plus prospects, I’m against it.

  24. Brien Jackson


    If they’re looking for a majors ready pitcher, I’d tell them they can have Leake straight up, and that’s it.

  25. doctor

    Steve, the article itself mentions. A Major League ready starter, plus a top prospect plus another lower level prospect. For one year of a SS. For some, that seems to be too much as that can be interpreted as being Travis Wood, Mesoraco, and Hamilton.

    I agree with you the Reds are “stacking” up on some of thes 24,25,26 age year players. This should be the year to find out what they can do. There should be playing time available at SS, LF and 3B. All 3 of the “starters”(Gomes, Janish, Rolen) should not be playing every day but in some sort of platoon or because of age/injury in case of Rolen.

    • Steve Price

      Steve, the article itself mentions. A Major League ready starter, plus a top prospect plus another lower level prospect.

      On our team, a top level prospect is one of our 25 year old utility players.

      That’s a fair deal. Especially if it’s Volquez which means we trade some salary dollars with the Mets.

      As for Leake vs. other young starters…he was hit pretty hard there at the end. I can’t help but wonder if he was being figured out–he may need minor league time to develop more.

  26. Chris Garber

    (Several of) You guys are too attached to our prospects, IMO. Reyes carries injury risk, but he’s an elite player (if he’s playing). NONE of the guys mentioned in our list are elite players, or elite prospects. (I do think Steve slightly underrates Leake – the guy *was* a top-10 pick, after all).

    But if the Reds can make the money work – and I think they can – they should pull the trigger on a package that looks like this: Wood + prospect in the 6-10 range (Francisco/Frazier/Boxburger/Sappelt) + a guy in the next tier, like Cozart. If it takes Leake instead of Wood, I grit my teeth and make the deal.

    Frankly, whichever of Wood/Leake/Bailey ranks lowest on the Reds internal scouting list should ABSOLUTELY be out the door this winter, if they can bring a starting LF or SS in return.

    • Bill Lack

      (Several of) You guys are too attached to our prospects, IMO.Reyes carries injury risk, but he’s an elite player (if he’s playing).NONE of the guys mentioned in our list are elite players, or elite prospects.(I do think Steve slightly underrates Leake – the guy *was* a top-10 pick, after all).But if the Reds can make the money work – and I think they can – they should pull the trigger on a package that looks like this:Wood + prospect in the 6-10 range (Francisco/Frazier/Boxburger/Sappelt) + a guy in the next tier, like Cozart.If it takes Leake instead of Wood, I grit my teeth and make the deal.Frankly, whichever of Wood/Leake/Bailey ranks lowest on the Reds internal scouting list should ABSOLUTELY be out the door this winter, if they can bring a starting LF or SS in return.

      I’d give up Leake before Wood…but that’s just me.

  27. Sultan of Swaff

    The Mets are looking to fleece some unsuspecting team because they’ve already decided not to re-sign him. On top of that, Reyes can hold his new team hostage for big money knowing they’ll overpay because they have to justify what they gave up to get him. It’s a trap, plain and simple.

  28. Python Curtus

    Jose Reyes is good—-I saw him hit for the cycle in a game against the Reds that the Mets lost a few years ago. But he is LAZY and can have an awful attitude problem. I’ts not a matter of can-do with him, but of will-do. While a big trade like this will clear up a few problems, fans will be screaming before the All-Star break for Reyes to get moving

  29. doctor

    @Steve Price:

    the article states Mets looking for two prospects, ” one a top tier prospect “, i guess i interpret “top tier” much differently than you do (“top level”).

  30. per14

    I think many of you are overrating Reyes. Yes, he’d be better than Janish. A lot better. But, he’s not been an elite hitter for at least two years. He wouldn’t be much better than BP was as a lead-off hitter. I think one season of him (at 11 million) is not worth the young pitchers. And they’re not prospects. Wood, Leake, Bailey, and Volquez have all proven they can pitch. And if the Reds are going to commit to 11 million dollars, there are much better ways to spend it, I think. And if not, then bank that money for a mid-season pick-up or a big splash next off-season.

    All this being said…if it happened, I’d probably be excited. But I think the Reds would really regret it in a year or so.

  31. Dave Lowenthal

    @Aaron Lehr: I saw that…Arroyo takes less this year so we can make the 80M budget, but he costs EIGHTEEN MILLION in 2013. Jesus. The Reds are acting like the federal government. I hope Castellini is going to increase
    the 2013 budget by 10M just to account for Arroyo.

  32. Dave Lowenthal

    @Chris Garber: Chris, I feel you are arguing a case that isn’t there. I am fine with giving up PROSPECTS for Reyes (depending on who they are, I suppose, but including a top prospect).

    The fallacy is that Travis Wood is a prospect. I guess I don’t know the definition, but a guy who should have been starting a playoff game seems like a major league pitcher to me, not a prospect.

    The typical prospect ends up, on average, as less than Travis Wood, I’d bet. Wood’s already proven himself to be a #4 starter and a good one at that.

  33. Dave Lowenthal

    @Steve Price: Volquez carries a ton of risk and is about to get pricey (or be terrible)…I find it hard to believe the Mets would target him. But that deal seems more fair to me. It’s Wood/Bailey I don’t want to give up for a year of Reyes (not knowing what contract they could work out).

  34. brm7675

    I am still baffled by this love affair with Bailey. Sorry but I don’t ever see him being anything but a middle of the road pitcher. While I do see more possibility out of Wood and Leake. Sorry I also want no part of Reyes, players with the injuries he has suffered seem to continue to have that and he is not getting any younger.

    • Steve

      Sorry I also want no part of Reyes, players with the injuries he has suffered seem to continue to have that and he is not getting any younger.

      While in general I support only trading for players who are getting younger, in this case there’s a chance the All-Star 27-year old might have a few good years left and we should consider it if the cost isn’t too high.

    • Steve Price

      I am still baffled by this love affair with Bailey. Sorry but I don’t ever see him being anything but a middle of the road pitcher. While I do see more possibility out of Wood and Leake. Sorry I also want no part of Reyes, players with the injuries he has suffered seem to continue to have that and he is not getting any younger.

      Reyes is yonger than Janish and been in the big leagues nearly 800 games longer with a higher record of succss. that would suggest, using normal career arcs, that he will also be playing after Janish is gone.

      As for Bailey, why is he penalized by fans for learning the game at the big league level rather than in college or in the minors like Leake or Wood?

  35. Steve Price

    Fay is who reporting the Bartlett situation. From what I’ve read online, the deal is not finalized…it was left open at the end of winter meetings, but is still under discussion. Has anyone seen anything else? If the Reds are in the discussion, that may be part of the hold up. Anyway, I’d rather have Janish…I don’t think we need to add a 31-year-old on the downhill OK shortstop.

    As for comparing the hitting of Reyes to Janish, another comenter (Hoosierdad) said there wasn’t much difference.

    As for prospect semantics…that’s all semantics in terminonlogy…the Mets won’t get as much as they want anyway…that’s posturing.

    Volquez has only had one good half season…in my mind, he is a bigger risk than the other pitchers. However, that would also be the negotiating ploy against the Mets and Reyes, too. Reyes has a much stronger record of success, though.

    As for Reyes injury….it didnt’ recur last year. It was a thyroid problem last year, but he did have difficulty in 2008. He would still be an upgrade, make us stronger where we need it most and give us a quality defensive player on the bench where he can be best utilized (Janish).

  36. Steve

    Looks like the Bartlet trade is being held up because of health concerns on one of the players the Padres are sending to the Rays. The Rays are looking for a second opinion. I haven’t really seen any mention that the trade won’t take place, just that there is uncertainty about the players coming back.

  37. Bob Purkey

    Leake is the only pitcher that I would give up, and that would be straight-up for Reyes. He(Reyes) just has too many issues right now. Even if you do like him, you won’t WANT to lengthen his current contract of $11MM-just too many health issues for a small market team to take that chance right now.

    Yes, he could have a great year-We know how well many of these guys do in their option year when they are posturing for their next BIG contract. If he does poorly, you won’t want him. If he does great, he won’t want to stick here in Cincy.

    The only way I would do this trade is if you could expand it in some way and dump the Coco money to NY.

  38. RedsManRick

    @Steve Price:
    “Janish is a .190-.210 hitter, not the .260 hitter we saw in half-time play last season”. This statement of supposed fact is completely unsupported by the actual evidence. There is absolutely nothing in Janish’s past performance which suggests he’s a .200 hitter. His weak 2008 & 2009 seasons were marked by insanely low BABIPs relative to his LD% (the strongest predictor of BABIP). Last year, he finally saw a BABIP that was in the realm of normal and lo and behold, he hits like he did he last season in AAA. The guy has barely a full season’s worth of PA at the major league level and people want to write him off completely offensively when there’s really no justification for doing so other than a reading of the data based in confirmation bias.

    • Steve Price

      There is absolutely nothing in Janish’s past performance which suggests he’s a .200 hitter.

      You are kidding, right?

      There’s little (I shouldn’t say nothing) in his historical performance to suggest he’s more than a .190-.210 hitter.

      Even his “good” AAA season, normal to major league averages, was .225…that came following a normlized .205 in AAA, a .194 in AA, a .221 in A+, and a .287 normalized in 108 plate appearances as an older 23-year-old in Rookie League ball.

      Janish can pick it at short…but, he’s not a hitter, and saying his one .260 major league season (in 228 plate appearances) is what I was comparing to the season that Pokey Reese hit .285…and everyone thought he could hit. Pokey had one lucky season and his real ability was ignored…his minor league record said he couldn’t hit and his major league OPS+ was 68.

      I suppose it’s easy to fixate on one or two stats and look for hope. And, I would suggest that BABIP might seemingly be one of those stats that looks for ability above and beyond the normal stat lines. But, line drive % is a great example…Janish’s has been consistent over time…he makes out because he has no power and his ground ball rate is 53% compared to a major league average 79%. He pops up too much…

  39. RedsManRick


    To clarify, Reyes would still be a nice step up over Janish. I just think we’re doing ourselves a disservice by continuing to denegrate the value Janish can provide. It’s reading to much in to his batting average in small samples sizes while ignoring the peripherals that leads to decisions like bringing in a clearly declining Orlando Cabrera. I would hate to see us overpay for Reyes on the premise that his addition is a game changer when it’s really only on the order of a 2 win difference (assuming he’s completely healthy).

  40. Python Curtus

    What the hell is BABIP? Sounds like Korean food. And LD%? Isn’t there a more concise way to put things? Like saying Janish had low averages his first 2 years because he had very few plate appearences between games played, or something like that?

    If I were making this deal, I would give them Volquez, preferably straight up, but if I had to include a prospect I’d try to sell them on someone like Sappelt or Darryl Thompson. Or, if they had no use for Alonso, I’d offer Francisco

  41. brm7675

    @Steve Price:
    I don’t see any progress in Bailey. He is great against the bums, has a nice game here and there, but I don’t see greatness in him. I don’t see him being someone who can consistantly go out there and give you quality starts.

  42. Y-City Jim

    @Steve Price: No way is Janish a .190 – .210 hitter. Outside of his first two years in the majors, he has never hit that low. He has decent plate discipline. I take his superior defense and let’s worry about the current offensive abyss in LF.

  43. Steve Price

    In the last three seasons, Bailey’s k-rate has increased from 4.5 to 6.8 to 8.3.

    His WHIP has declined each season from 2.092 to 1.474 to 1.367.

    His home run has declined each season from 2.0 to 1.0 to 0.9

    His walk rate has declined four consecutive seasons from 5.6 to 4.2 to 4.1 to 3.3

    His hits rate has declined three straight seasons from 14.6 to to 9.1 to 9.0

    Line drive rate has declined three consecutive years from 28 to 21 to 20%

    The only stat that Leake surpassed him this past season was walk rate…Leake was 3.2, rather than 3.3.

    Also..super important…on ERA..Bailey allowed only one unearned run (54 of 55 earned). Leake allowed 12 (65 off 77 earned)….

  44. Y-City Jim

    We trade Cordero straight up for Reyes. 😀

  45. Steve Price

    YCity Jim…check out Janish’s minor league equivalents I listed above..I didn’t cherry pick, I listed them all…I guess I’m off a bit…would saying he’s a .195-.220 hitter make any difference?

    He’s been our best shortstop the last two years and I’ve said that for two years. However, I’ve also said we need improvement there and we still do.

    He’s an asset…but, he’s not a hitter, and anyone trying to stretch that is looking for lightning in a bottle…I’m not taking small sample sizes…I’m taking his career, including improvements.

  46. RedsManRick

    @Steve Price: So is it fair to say you expect him to put up a BABIP south of .250 next year? The Pokey comparision is interesting, but not really germane except as a counter point to those suggesting last year was proof he can hit. That wasn’t my argument. I’ll accept that I perhaps overstated my position when saying “absolutely nothing”, but I think placing one’s faith in MLEs from 3, 4, 5 years ago rather than more recent performance is not the strongest argument.

    As for the MLEs, do we have any assessment of their predictive value? I ask that earnestly. We have enough trouble projecting major leaguers who are more or less fully developed. Yes, Janish hits too many fly balls for a guy with so little power Yes, a Janish line drive is likely weaker than a Votto line drive. But compare Janish to other low BABIP players from the last 3 years. OF guys with at least 600 PA since 2008, 34 players have a collective BABIP over that time frame of less than .265. How many of those 34 have a LD% equal or better than Janish’s 19.5%? 4. I’m not suggesting that Janish is going to have a .300 BABIP, just that it will be closer to last year’s .283 than the .243 he put up in 2008-09.

    • Steve Price

      : So is it fair to say you expect him to put up a BABIP south of .250 next year? The Pokey comparision is interesting, but not really germane except as a counter point to those suggesting last year was proof he can hit. That wasn’t my argument. I’ll accept that I perhaps overstated my position when saying “absolutely nothing”, but I think placing one’s faith in MLEs from 3, 4, 5 years ago rather than more recent performance is not the strongest argument.

      These are the srongest arguments. Quoting last year is using a small sample size. As for predicting the player’s performance, let’s just say Bill James who made all this public is now employed by the Boston Red Sox and there’s a lot of money changing hands on this subject matter.

      These figures are used in arbitration cases and have been for years (James was a common “witness.”) Depending on who’s side of the fence called first, future stats and past stats are compared in the discussions. Teams and players really don’t want to do that anymore.

  47. RedsManRick

    @Steve Price: Another observation. Janish has hit .226 in his time in the majors so far. Do you think he’s over-performed his talent? That’s not to say we should be terribly excited about a .220-.240 hitter. Janish is not a good hitter, but I see no need to overstate the case.

  48. TheNatural

    I’m pretty sure there’s no validity to these rumors.

    • Steve Price

      I’m pretty sure there’s no validity to these rumors.

      I wonder about them, too, but my rationale is who would be playing shortstop for the Mets if Reyes doesn’t, unless they’re willing to take a flyer on Cozart (or Janish).

      A player like Reyes may be really annoying if your team is losing, the Mets’ bad contracts over the years have left them short on operating capital, and Reyes hasn’t been the the same player the last two years as before. I think the Reds are re-distibuting their contracts to free-up salary because they know they’re close to contending…not just for a division title, but if Bruce hits like he should and the young pitchers take another step forward, really big things could happen.

      The shortstop issue for me goes back to before last season…I linked it above in the post. It is difficult to win a World Series without a top flight shortstop. And, now two shortstop rumors have popped up.

      There’ getting to be a lot of smoke to have no fire…

  49. brm7675

    Those are some nice numbers for Homer, but he has been in pro baseball now going on now 6 years, so he has had to me more and better training then either Leake or Wood have and yet he just doesn’t seem to show me to be much more then a midlevel pitcher on the major league level. His inning count is low, his ERA is not grand, his win/loss record is questionable. Again I am not saying he is not a major league pitcher, but this idea that he rates higher then either Wood or Leake just baffles me.

    • Steve Price

      Those are some nice numbers for Homer, but he has been in pro baseball now going on now 6 years, so he has had to me more and better training then either Leake or Wood

      Wood has been a professional for six years and Leake came through the major league training program, (pardon, uh, I mean, Arizona State); they’ve had the same training as Bailey, only not under a microscope, with little pressure.

  50. David

    I haven’t been posting much this offseason, but I am regularly checking in… This topic demands a response.

    The Reds have the ammo to make A (one, singular, uno) major trade which would significantly upgrade the overall roster. The question is where to put the resources. In my opinion, neither LF nor SS is the place to make the addition. Starting pitcher is the where I want to allocate our excess young talent.

    Here’s the logic. I think the driving force behind “uprgrade LF and SS” is the Phillies series. Don’t let one series erase the fact that the Reds were the best offense in the NL, leading in OPS, AVG, runs, HRs, and OBP (ok actually 2nd in OBP, but for .001). So, while it would be easy to look back at the Phillies series and think TOS, it is an irrational conclusion.

    Here’s my impression of the Reds/Phillies series. “I want THAT,” and by THAT, I mean Roy Halladay. The playoffs actually highlighted the Reds’ weakness last season. When the bats weren’t clicking, the Reds couldn’t rely on that ace to make things happen. Instead, the Reds have a good, not great, rotation. While the rotation is deep, it is without a proven front of the line starter. If we don’t get that guy, then we aren’t going deep into the playoffs.

    So in the end, why waste Alonso, Wood, Leake, Bailey, Francisco, etc. on a left fielder when replacement level LF would be an upgrade? Why waste are youth on a moderately better offensive SS when the offense was not the Reds weakness?

    Guys like Reyes and Choo are fun to play around with, but in the end, neither is going to win the World Series for you.

  51. brm7675


    I don’t see a “stud” of the likes you are speaking of out there to go get.

  52. TheNatural

    @Dave Lowenthal: There is only one Roy Halladay. The closest pitcher available on the trade market is Greinke.

  53. RC

    Three things:

    1) Go look up Joey Vottto’s minor league MLEs, and tell me how well they predicted the last two years. Yeah, I know, PJ ain’t JV, but I have problems with the idea that 3-5 year old minor league stats are as important as last year’s full season stats. That’s the kind of thinking that says Brandon Phillips can’t play shortstop because his fielding numbers from eight years ago weren’t so hot. A lot’s happened since then.

    2) I just don’t *get* Homer Bailey.

    3) We will never outbid the money teams for an “ace” pitcher, when there’s rarely more than one available at a time (unless you consider Greinke one, about which I have my doubts). Not to mention that any “ace” pitcher who can choose his destination is *not* going to choose to pitch in GABP. Our ace is going to have to be grown internally.

  54. Steve Price

    Joey Votto had excellent minor league equivalents and his one down minor league showed, too. It also showed his progression as a hitter.

    In 2005, his average equated to .213 at the big league level (A+), AA in 2006 it showed .310, in 2007 at AAA it was .285. It showed development ins slugging percentage from .348 in High A to .541 in AA, then was .471 in AAA. His 2006 season.

    Remember, those numbers would have been what he would have done had he been in the majors at that age. He was a major league capable hitter while in AA.

    Every similulation and projection I saw projected Votto as a big time hitter from his AA days forward.

    From Baseball Prospectus 2005: “the best pure hitter in the Reds organization”. They predicted he would replace Sean Casey in 2007.

    then he had his down season in 2005, but still BP said: “ball-crushing power” in BP 2006

    In BP 2007: hits lots of flies to exploit his GAP environment; there’s more breakout potential than you might see

    in BP 2008: power-and-patience first baseman challenging aging (Hatteberg) who can’t hit same-handed pitching. They predicted he would hit .278 with a .357 OBP and a .494 SLP his rookie season. he hit, .297 wiht a .368 OBP and a .506 SLP.

    Their big question, was why didn’t the Reds bring him up in 2008, othar than Dusty blocking him with Hatteberg

  55. Steve Price

    Oh, sneaky secret….for a ground ball pitcher, Great American Ballpark is heaven.

    It’s the flyball pitchers (Aaron Harang) that suffer. reports that GABP scores a 99 for both hitters and pitchers. Baseball-reference says that over 100 favors hitters, under 100 favors pitchers. It scored a 97 for pitchers in 2010.

    When the Reds signed Eric Milton–big mistake–flyball pitcher….

  56. CP


    Unless I’m missing something, why would any MLB ballpark not be heaven for a ground ball pitcher? Unless you have Mark Reynolds/EE as your 3B, that is.

  57. CaptainTonyKW

    I wonder what Reyes’ price tag would look like come June/July when the Mets are out of the playoff race…? That might be the ticket.

  58. LVW

    I’d say wait til the ASB when the price would be lower both in terms of cost and what we would have to give up.

  59. BJ Ruble

    I would trade Leake, Cozart, and two prospects in a second for Reyes. I am not a huge fan of Reyes personally, but if healthy, he could put the Reds into a legitimate world series contender. I’m not sure the organization would be willing to take on his contract though.

  60. Steve Price

    A couple of “reported developments:”

    1) MLB trade ( is reporting that John Fay has tweeted that Walt Jocketty told him the Reds have had no discussions with the Mets about Jose Reyes. I don’t Twitter so I’m not a recipient. I could not find anything on the “Cincinnati Enquirer” page one way or another.

    2) However, I did find a John Fay posting on the “Cincinnati Enquirer” website that stated the Reds had scheduled a 1:30 press conference for tomorrow (Tuesday). He said the Reds would announce the details of the press conference was about on Tuesday morning. (

    My opinion…I normally prefer you guys to talk things through, but this conversation was too much for me to stay away from.

    Championship teams almost always have exceptional shortstops. I am not attempting to take anything away from Janish. I’m a huge fan of Janish’s defense. If this was the 1970’s, he’d have had a better chance for a better career. In 2015, defense may be that important again. I do think the defensive quotient is rising.

    However, Reyes is an all-star shortstop that has plus offense, plays average defense, and has star quotient in the field. He and Phillips would either be magic or oil and water from all the flash.

    If the Reds are winning, the Reyes “attitude” would be fun; it they’re losing, it would be truly annoying and a blue collar town that appreciates the likes of Chris Sabo, Aaron Boone, and Ryan Freel would not like it (well, Freel was a hot dog, too).

    I don’t think this deal is as crazy as I would have thought a year ago, especially if it included Volquez, if, for no other reason, so that Baker would not be tempted to think of the volatile Volquez as a number one starter. I thought Baker’s choice of Volquez for game one was his worst decision of the season. He won’t make THAT much money in arbitration and if the Mets really want to move Reyes, that would make the best match.

  61. Chad Dotson

    The press conference tomorrow is to announce the Bruce contract officially. He passed his physical, I suppose.

    This has been a great discussion today, but let’s be realistic. There is NO evidence that this is anything more than a rumor started by some guy in his mother’s basement.

    It’s fun to discuss, and I urge you to keep talking over the possibilities. It’s what we do here, and it’s fun to dream. Jose Reyes isn’t gonna be a Red anytime soon.

  62. CaptainTonyKW

    Now that is looks like the Phils are getting Cliff Lee maybe we should just fold!

  63. CP

    Chad nailed it.

    It should be pretty obvious to everyone by now that Reds fans aren’t going to see the trade coming. WJ is going to do his thing in the shadows and we’ll find out when ESPN/MLB tells us.

  64. doctor

    Cliff Lee signing with Philly sure does seem to bump the ante to compete. Glad he stiffed the Yankees but dang, on paper, that Philly rotation is impressive.

    regarding this discussion thread, i think its been great to read viewpoints and perspectives on players. good stuff.

    Now, Walt, go trade for Greinke and/or Josh Johnson. While you are at it, kick the tires on King Felix as well. at least thats how I feel right now given the Philly/Lee siging. 🙂

    Go 2011 Reds! Defending NL Central Champs!

  65. preach

    Yes, but Freel is a WHITE hot dog, so in Cinci, he’s SCRAPPY…..I really don’t think we will put any deals together prior to the season, more likely the all-star break, but it is nice to finally consider ourselves buyers, eh?