Some of you have referenced the piece in the comments already, but over at the Enquirer, John Fay decided to play GM. The moves he suggests basically boil down to this:

1. Thank CoCo Cordero and tell him you won’t be making any more offers.
2. Sign Josh Willingham to play LF.
3. Package Yonder Alonso to get some reliable starting pitching.
4. Make Brad Boxberger the closer.

I don’t have any problems with any of those, but #4 is simply unrealistic. No major league team is going to install a rookie at closer, right out of the box.

Also, I just had to point out this paragraph:

As for Yonder Alonso, I’d try to package him to get a reliable starting pitcher. Sports Illustrated proposed trading Alonso and Edinson Volquez to Tampa Bay for James Shields. If the Rays would do that, I’d go for it. But my guess is they wouldn’t.

If the Rays were willing to do that, someone (namely, Walt Jocketty) should be fired immediately for not pulling the trigger. There is, however, no chance in the world that Tampa would make that trade. It’s just an absurd suggestion.

I may not have 100% confidence in Walt Jocketty as GM, but he’s certainly smart enough to make that trade if it were available.

Back to reality: the Fayman is right that Alonso* needs to be part of a package to acquire a pitcher. With Alonso’s performance last season, you’d think his value on the trade market would be high. Now’s the time to get some value for one of Cincinnati’s top assets.

*Apropos of nothing, I love how the Reds have Alonso listed as an outfielder on their 40-man roster.

Honestly, I haven’t really given too much thought to the moves the Reds need to make to improve for 2012. Frankly, the 2011 season wore me down and I haven’t been able to muster up the energy to focus on 2012 yet. This article has me thinking, though. I’m going to have to mull it over and make some recommendations.

I’m sure Walt Jocketty will be waiting anxiously for my forthcoming post on the subject.

27 Responses

  1. RedLeg75

    Kimbrel and Papelbon saved a lot of games in their first full seasons in the bigs. They did have 20 and 34 innings with the big club the year before, while Boxberger hasn’t been to GABP yet.

    If he shows something in camp, I’d give it a shot. At the very least, don’t sign a “proven” closer so that the best option over the course of the season can earn the job.

  2. Jason Linden

    Speaking of playing GM, has anyone else seen the article over at the USS Mariner where Dave Cameron asserts that the Mariners should trade Micheal Pineda and a bunch of spare parts to the Reds for Votto and Grandal. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George tells Steinbrener he figured out a way to get Griffey and Bonds in the same outfield without giving anything up.

    He tries to justify it in the comments by saying the expected WARs are equal, but he doesn’t mention that, you know, Votto puts all those wins at one position. Totally absurd.

    Here’s the link if anyone once to see it:

  3. MikeC

    I would consider the Votto trade proposed in the blog if the Mariner’s threw in King Felix.

  4. RES

    Alonso has an obvious extra value to the Marlins and Rays because of his superior BiS (Bums in Seats) factor, but how would you quantify that? Would an extra 5K season tickets (equivalent) be unreasonable?

  5. Travis G.

    I’ve been hoping they’d go after Willingham for about four seasons now; I think his skill set would play really well at GABP. But the downside is, he’s gonna cost somewhere in the neighborhood of two years, $16 million, in addition to the Reds’ second-round pick (assuming the A’s offer arbitration). I’m not sure the Reds would be willing to risk all of that. David DeJesus might be a cheaper option, but he couldn’t bat cleanup.

    I like the idea of giving Boxberger a chance to close out games, but I don’t think they can necessarily count on him.

  6. rightsaidred

    That Mariners thread is hilarious. The one voice of reason is shouted done b/c he does not buy the supremacy of the WAR in that trade proposal.

    The moderator/OP does not seem to realize that 4 players with 1.5 WAR will never equal 1 player with 6 WAR. Consolidated WAR in a single player is inherently more valuable than the aggregate value of a random group of hitters and pitchers.

  7. Matt WI

    @rightsaidred: Especially since any regression of 1.5 WAR players brings you right back to replacement level. If Votto drops off from 6 WAR, you’re probably still getting 4.

  8. rightsaidred

    How can Yonder bring reliable starting pitching? Even with his current high value, he would likely comprise no more than 35% of package for a #2 pitcher with reasonable cost control.

    Yonder/C/SP is the package it would probably take for someone ‘reliable’ and it would mean additional cost to boot. I am not convinced that this deal is worth it.

  9. rightsaidred

    @Matt WI: Good point. There is no room for error on the 4 sought as replacements!

    When semi-knowledgable fans can convince themselves of the reasonability of that trade, it demonstrates just how hard it is to sell a ‘yonder package’ to a team for a SP of 3 – 4 WAR or so and decent cost.

  10. Matt WI

    @rightsaidred: They are also funny in trying like hell to get rid of Figgins (albeit picking up pretty much his whole salary) but then pitching him to the Reds as “a great rebound value.” Sure. Let me trade my MVP for a guy who might get his head out of his rear.

  11. Travis G.

    The Pineda-Votto suggestion is basically Hamilton-for-Volquez redux, but after the 2008 season, which I don’t see the Reds pursuing again.

    But at least Pineda has some value; I’ve seen threads on Blue Jays message boards suggesting that Toronto could acquire Votto for a package centered around Adam Lind and which didn’t include Bautista, Romero or Lawrie. Yeah, good luck with that.

  12. Sultan of Swaff

    I don’t like any trade centered around Alonso. We’ll need him at 1b as soon as 2013. Willingham is a non-starter when you can get the exact same production from Heisey for peanuts. Without touching a pretty good offense, I’d look to acquire a SP and RP. Here’s how:
    1. Trade for a Shields/Latos-type guy. The talks would center around Chapman and Grandal.
    2. Use the ~$7mil we have to spend on two high stikeout setup men, or, all of it on KRod if the saturated market for closers brings his price tag down. Mix in Boxberger, and the bullpen will be solid and controlled.
    3. Wait one more year to trade Votto. Yes, it diminishes his trade value, but in the event we acquire the SP we need, there’s no reason we cant get to the playoffs and make some noise.

  13. lookatthathat

    The Royals just got Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera. You must be kidding me. You can’t tell me that Stubbs wouldn’t have brought Sanchez plus a couple of their very good relievers.

    • Ethan D

      The Royals just got Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera. You must be kidding me. You can’t tell me that Stubbs wouldn’t have brought Sanchez plus a couple of their very good relievers.

      I have no faith in Sanchez. He is Volquez with a way bigger home ballpark

  14. little klu

    Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Walt pull the trigger at a much faster rate in St. Louis. I know any deal the team makes is predicated on money but we can deal from strength now with our deep minor league system. WIN now. I worked for the Brewers.

  15. Travis G.

    @lookatthathat: The Sanchez-for-Cabrera deal makes a lot more sense from SF’s vantage point than weakening the bullpen to land a fairly similar player in Stubbs. He’s got more upside, sure, but they’re not looking down the road. Besides, Sanchez would have only added to our logjam of mid-rotation starters.

  16. Aaron Lehr

    I wouldn’t say you can get the *exact* same production from Heisey as from Willingham, though the difference may not be worth the price increase (average WAR per 150 games over last 3 years for Willingham: 3.1 – last 2 years for Heisey: 2.2)

  17. ckeen881966

    OK after screaming all last season for the Reds to trade for Jacoby Ellsbury on The Enquirer site, I realize none of this will happen but if I am Uncle Walt, these are the moves I try to pull off, and I know I am going to get beat up for the first one. I would trade Joey Votto to Toronto for jose Bautista giving the Reds a RH clean up hitting OF and supreme power in the middle of the order. I would then try to package Hiesey, Grandal, Hamilton, Wood for James Shields and try to sign him to at least a four year extension immediately. I think we are good at all the position spots after moving Votto for Bautista. We have good young utility players in Fraizer, Francisco and keep Janish in case Cozart doesn’t pan out but my money says he will. I’m sure we can find a reasonably priced FA to be the closer but we also have Chapman to fall back on. Rotation of Shields, Cueto, Leake, Arroyo and Bailey is pretty darn good IMO.

  18. Dave Lowenthal

    @Ethan D: Yeah, what would the Reds do with Sanchez anyways? He walked 5.9 per 9 this year, and his *best* ever is 4.3 per 9. He does strike out a lot, but it’s just too many walks.

  19. rightsaidred

    @Aaron Lehr: In addition to the 1 WAR, the trade for an everyday left fielder would be worth it b/c Heisey may need to platoon in CF if Stubbs has not improved this offseason.

  20. dn4192

    People keep pushing this idea of Votto to the Jays for Batista. My question is why would the Jays do it? What do they gain?

  21. jrob45601

    I have a couple questions about the whole Votto for Batista thing.

    1) Would anyone here trade Votto for Alonzo, straight up? Cause that is pretty much what it would be.

    2) No one has noticed that a large portion of Batista’s 2 year power surge has been at his home stadium? At about the same time that there is sufficient evidence to say that someone was giving him signs from the stands? He just doesn’t seem to be a game-changer away from Toronto, and I expect his numbers to dip a bit next season now that the whole league knows they were stealing signs.

  22. jrob45601

    I just looked it up, and Bautista was actually the same player on the road as at home. Must have been some other Jays that I heard had horrible home/road splits. I still have concerns about his production dropping off without white t-shirt guy. It just seems too obvious that the guy was giving Jays players signals. And if he is doing it for other players, why wouldn’t he have done it for Bautista too?

  23. dn4192

    I missed that story, when did MLB state that the Jays were stealing signs and giving them to their players at all games?