Ken Rosenthal demonstrates an astute command of the obvious in this piece for Fox, entitled “Reds need to pull trigger on trade.” Ya think?

Joking aside, it’s actually a fairly interesting piece:

“We have to keep being aggressive and try to improve,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said Wednesday. “What we thought we had to do for 2012 was really address our pitching. That’s what we’ve been busy trying to do, but without success so far.”

It’s only mid-December. Opening Day is 3 1/2 months away. A number of quality starting pitchers — Gio Gonzalez, Wade Davis and John Danks in the AL; Matt Garza, Jair Jurrjens and Wandy Rodriguez in the NL — remain available in trade.

The Reds can dangle two especially attractive prospects, first baseman Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal, and they’ve got other chips as well. Jocketty, while acknowledging that other teams like his players, added, “They just want too many of ’em.”

I’m not sure any of the names mentioned above (as targets for the Reds) would entice me to trade the farm. At least Jocketty and the Reds are making the effort, right?

Then there’s this:

“There’s an opportunity,” Jocketty said. “But we feel that if we did nothing, we’d still have a club capable of contending and competing in our division all year. We felt that way last year. We just had some things that didn’t go well for us.”

Is this a joke? No way this club can contend without improving. I know why Jocketty has to say that, but he can’t really believe it. Can he?

Sigh…

51 Responses

  1. Steve Mancuso

    The really telling thing about that last statement is the organization apparently is satisfied with competing for the division title. What about the pennant and World Series?

    Are we sure this statement wasn’t made by Mike Brown?

  2. Greg Dafler

    1. I agree about not trading the farm for the pitchers Rosenthal mentions. These are most of the same pitchers rumored during the winter meetings. Maybe these are the best pitchers available in the trade market at this time, but the best this year just isn’t on par with the best from prior seasons. I see no Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee in this group. I’m not really sure I see any significant upgrade over the 7-8 rotation options the Reds currently have on their roster.

    2. I considered a thread specifically on the Jurrjen rumors that floated earlier this month, but Jocketty has already stated that they aren’t interested in Jurrjens. Jocketty must agree with this fangraph’s piece, “Jurrjens Isn’t Worth Top Prospect.” I see that while his name is brought up again here, it is “pitcher that is available” not pitcher that the Reds have inquired about.

    3. They can contend in the division, yes. Their team, especially on offense, is practically the same as it has been the previous 2 seasons. They led the NL in runs scored in 2010 and were 2nd in runs scored in 2011.

    4. However, I doubt they could have much success in the playoffs when they’re forced to put their best 3-4 starters up against other team’s best pitchers. They continue to have solid depth, but lack the cream of the crop, IMO.

    5. That said, the Reds pitching rotation is in an interesting pickle. They have depth. They have a lot of guys who performed worse in 2011 than they did in 2010. They have a lot of talent that could outperform their 2011 season. Going into the 2011 season, they had 6 returning starters from the 2010 season who all had ERA’s under 4.50. You had Cueto, Arroyo, and Wood, who all posted ERA’s under 4.00. Then, you had some promising talent with ERA’s between 4.23 and 4.46: Leake, Volquez, Bailey.

    In 2011 only Cueto took a step forward, but he missed about 8 starts with an injury. Leake had to spend some time in AAA, but came back to improve his ERA a little. The other 4 pitchers + newcomer & 7th starter Willis all finished with ERA’s worse than their 6th best pitcher from 2010.

    They obviously need better pitching results than they had last year, but how much can be gained internally vs. how much would they have to spend for what appears to be small incremental growth externally?

  3. littleleo1

    @Greg Dafler: You are right on with your comments . There just is not enough qualify out there to trade for our best prospects. I am willing to be a fan of a small market team that can contend over a number of years .. I have no interest in a “go for broke” trade or free agent overpay(we know the Reds can’t do that anyway) which might pay off for a single year and destroy the franchise for the next five or ten years out . I know I am in the minority … But I believe Walt Jocketty is running the club from that prespective .. As a 40 plus year Reds fan I am satisfied with that.

  4. David

    I’m actually kind of surprised that Jocketty didn’t pull the trigger on Gio Gonzalez if the A’s really were looking for a package centered around Alonso and Grandal.

    With that said, I’d much prefer the Reds include Chapman, Volquez, or Bailey in a deal over a multitude of prospects. I think with Mesoraco, Grandal is the most expendable prospect in the Reds’ system. I have a hard time believing a Chapman/Grandal package wouldn’t bring back as much as a Alonso/Grandal package.

    I am becoming more and more of the opinion that the Reds should trade Votto.

  5. BubbaFan

    I really think Jocketty is kind of counting on the Brewers and Cards to be worse this year.

    As for the post-season…well, it’s kind of a crapshoot anyway, with those short series. Maybe he thinks if the Reds can make it to the playoffs, they have as good a chance as any. Worked out for the Cardinals. 😕

  6. Sultan of Swaff

    @David: I concur. The Chapman/Grandal package is far more palatable to me as well. Moving those two improves the club now and wouldn’t harm us long term. Same goes for dealing Votto. You probably could swap him straight up for Bautista, who is cost controlled for many years and opens up first for Alonso. Makes too much sense not to do IMO. My gut tells me Castellini has been the obstruction to that deal.
    As for the division, (barring the Cubs landing Fielder and Darvish) it’s us and the Cardinals. They need 3 things to go right–avoid the hangover effect from playing an extra month, their young guys will have to avoid the sophomore slump and their vets (Berkman, Furcal, Carpenter) will have maintain. Easier said than done, as we found out this year.

    • David

      @David: I concur. The Chapman/Grandal package is far more palatable to me as well. Moving those two improves the club now and wouldn’t harm us long term. Same goes for dealing Votto. You probably could swap him straight up for Bautista, who is cost controlled for many years and opens up first for Alonso. Makes too much sense not to do IMO. My gut tells me Castellini has been the obstruction to that deal.As for the division, (barring the Cubs landing Fielder and Darvish) it’s us and the Cardinals. They need 3 things to go right–avoid the hangover effect from playing an extra month, their young guys will have to avoid the sophomore slump and their vets (Berkman, Furcal, Carpenter) will have maintain. Easier said than done, as we found out this year.

      It’s nice to know that I’m not alone on the island when it comes to trading Votto.

      The way that small to mid-market teams win long term is to extend young players early. That’s the Rays’ model. They committed to Longoria early. They locked up David Price. They just signed Matt Moore for $14 over the next 5 years, but have him under control for 8. This after only 9.1 big league innings.

      The Reds failed to sign Votto early enough to capitalize and squandered any potential value in signing him beyond arbitration years. In using Chapman in relief, the Reds wasted any value in his deal. To maximize bang for the buck, the Reds need to extend Alonso, Leake, and Mesoraco making them, along Bruce and Cueto, the long term core.

      The Reds could potentially trade Votto, Chapman, and others for young star players under team control. A Votto, Chapman, Grandal package could get you just about anything.

  7. Aaron Lehr

    I’m a little surprised people are more willing to give up Chapman than Alonso. Alonso is 26, had no place to play, and overachieved last year. Not only can we expect a regression, but his trade value can go nowhere but down.

    Also, I assume this has already been done but I did a little of my own digging into just how much better (or worse) these trade targets are versus what we already have. Below is Pitcher, total WAR for ’10 and ’11, and xFIP for ’10 and ’11:

    Cueto, 5.6, 4.09, 3.90
    Leake, 2.5, 4.16, 3.68
    Bailey, 3.4, 3.75, 3.77
    Wood, 3.3, 3.97, 4.61
    Gio, 6.7, 4.04, 3.64
    Shields, 6.9, 3.55, 3.25

    Obviously just one snapshot. WAR definitely illstrates advantage to last 2. Bailey’s xFIP numbers are surprisingly low, though I know another thread from yesterday addressed his tendency to underperform those.

  8. Dave Lowenthal

    @Dave Lowenthal: To expand, I see Alonso’s value going down, and Chapman is so highly variable but might have some value to another team, that a package of these two for a Shields type would be great. It would leave us with Grandal to bring a top player midseason in the push for a pennant.

  9. Dan

    Finding catchers who can hit (and play credible defense) is much harder than finding first basemen who can hit.

    Plus, Votto’s trade value is sky-high right now. He might be the most sought-after guy on the trade market if he were being offered. He might be able to bring us a true ace (rather than just a good #2 or #3 type guy like Shields or Gio).

    Plus, Alonso would likely be almost as good as Votto… and is cheaper… and would be around longer. (And Alonso really shouldn’t be an LF.)

    Take emotion out of the equation, and I also think Votto is the one to trade.

    I really want the Reds become like Tampa also – just ridiculously deep in good, young players. Finally almost getting there, and then trading most of them for someone like Shields (who’s good but not great) seems like a waste to me.

  10. Dan

    What if we could trade Votto for someone like Michael Pineda of Seattle? (We could probably get more than just Pineda, in fact.)

    Pineda’s numbers are kind of Jose Rijo-like, in my humble opinion. And also, we got Rijo just before he turned 23. Pineda will turn 23 next month.

    Just a thought. (And Seattle needs offense BADLY. In fact, a Seattle columnist advocated some huge Votto-for-Pineda type deal a couple months ago.)

    I mean, it’s probably only 2 years of Votto we’d be trading away. (And one of those years – next year – he’ll cost $17 million.)

    I love Votto, but to me that’s the smarter move.

  11. dn4192

    I don’t see Chapman as a player Walt would trade. Chapman was a big score for the Reds when they got him, has some real nice upside and is a draw for fans to come to the game.

    I think Walt is trying to “wait out” the teams he is talking with in hopes as ST approaches they will drop their offers and he can in his mind make a “steal” of a trade to boost the pitching staff. Should that steal not happen I think he will go with whatever FA talent is left on the market and make up some excuse. 🙄

  12. Bob Purkey

    @dn4192: Sorry to disagree, but I would trade Chapman in a minute, if a deal hinged upon 2 of he/Alonso/Grandal. As I have said before, Chapman is a rich teams’ luxury-not a team with an $80MM payroll like the Reds. He is too inconsistant to be a closer, and not stong enough yet to be a starter – Heck, they had to shut him down after he threw 1 inning a month or so back. A $5MM middle reliever is just not something that the Reds can afford, period. By the time he becomes; 1. Consistant with his location, or 2. Strong enough to become a starter and develop a 3rd pitch, he will be a FA and the Reds will have wasted $25MM on a 1 inning middle reliver.

    If he is someone a team is holding out for to make a deal for someone like Shields, I would do it in a minute. . .I would even throw Dusty in for free:P

  13. Travis G.

    If the Mariners would give up Pineda and Dustin Ackley for Votto, now that would be something to consider. But giving up an MVP-caliber position player for a talented young pitcher (plus spare parts) is like Hamilton-for-Volquez redux.

    I really like Shields, and think he’d be a great fit for the Reds, but none of the other pitchers we’ve been linked to are a huge improvement to our existing staff, given the likely cost in prospects. (Giving up Chapman for someone like Gio Gonzalez is sheer lunacy, in my opinion.)

  14. Matt WI

    It really bothers me that Walt is willing to play to the average of the division. Why not separate the Reds from the rest right now if it’s possible. Make those other teams have to work even harder to compete. Look what happened at the All-Star break last season: Milwaukee and St. Louis sought to improve themselves, the Reds got rid of Gomes (an improvement, but only by subtraction). If St. Louis or Milwuakee gets brave and makes a big move, the Reds are playing catch-up all over again. No thanks.

  15. Aaron Lehr

    1. Trading Votto for Pineda is NOTHING like the Hamilton-Volquez trade. Pineda is a 5 star prospect. Volquez was nothing close to that. And Votto is one of the top players in baseball while Hamilton had alot of question marks (still does, and has missed alot of time due to injury).

    2. I was feeling very frustrated over the lack of action as well. However, I think ultimately it is smart of Walt to slow play his hand rather than jumping into a trade. Prices will probably go down and while the idea of not doing anything drives me crazy, it is better than foolishly rushing into a trade for a marginal player.

    3. I don’t want to pay Votto $17M in 2013. I think people acted like it was crazy to even consider trading him a couple months ago, but more and more people are on board now. I hate to sound like a broken record, but we should be emulating the Rays. Would they even consider paying 1 player $17M for a single season? Maybe it sets us back initially but at some point we need to get enough guys in the pipeline that we can make a trade like that and hardly feel it. At some point you have to take the first step (plus I would love to have Pineda on this team).

  16. CP

    @Aaron Lehr: I too think the Reds should be emulating the Rays.

    But the Reds don’t have to behave exactly like them either, because they have additional funds to play around with. I don’t know how practical this is to implement, but paying Votto isn’t crazy imo (within reason obviously). Votto is basically in his prime and plays a position that is less injury prone than others playing other positions where speed/quickness matters. I’m not saying the Reds should give him $200-$250 million for 8-10 years, but I’m not 100% against giving him a $20-25 million a year for 6-7 years, either.

    The crazy part is paying guys like Rolen, Bronson, Alex Gonzales, Gomes, Aaron Miles, Renteria, Cordero, and yes, probably Brandon Phillips, too much money. The Reds basically paint themselves into a corner by always operating exactly at their payroll max each year because they sign guys that are at, or past their prime to costly contracts.

  17. BubbaFan

    The Rays have found a way to succeed in the cutthroat AL East. But I don’t know if we, the fans, would really want the Reds to emulate them too much. They are absolutely ruthless when it comes to getting rid of players once they are too expensive. I can’t help thinking that that may be one reason the Rays have terrible attendance. They even had trouble selling their playoff tickets.

    • dn4192

      The Rays have found a way to succeed in the cutthroat AL East. But I don’t know if we, the fans, would really want the Reds to emulate them too much. They are absolutely ruthless when it comes to getting rid of players once they are too expensive. I can’t help thinking that that may be one reason the Rays have terrible attendance. They even had trouble selling their playoff tickets.

      The reason TB doesn’t draw well is location, location, and location. They have a bad stadium, located in a bad place and tough to get to. Move that team over to TB near where the Bucs play and watch attendance increase

      • BubbaFan

        The reason TB doesn’t draw well is location, location, and location.They have a bad stadium, located in a bad place and tough to get to.Move that team over to TB near where the Bucs play and watch attendance increase

        I’ve heard that, but I don’t really understand it. I’ve never been in Florida during the regular season, but I go down for spring training from time to time, and it seems like the Trop is very conveniently located.

        There are a lot of things wrong with the Trop, but the location seems fine to me.

      • dn4192

        I’ve heard that, but I don’t really understand it. I’ve never been in Florida during the regular season, but I go down for spring training from time to time, and it seems like the Trop is very conveniently located. There are a lot of things wrong with the Trop, but the location seems fine to me.

        The Trop is located in downtown St. Pete. St. Pete is retirment central where a majority of it’s residents are in bed by 9pm and cherish the early bird special over anything else. If you live in Tampa it’s to far to drive over during the week and there is NOTHING around the stadium to do pre and post game. The stadium is cold and horrible for baseball. I grew up in Tampa and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why in teh world they would put a stadium there.

  18. Aaron Lehr

    @CP: Agree with your last paragraph. I think we’ve all kind of made our peace with it but every time I think of Arroyo’s contract it pisses me off all over again. That was 4 long years of Cordero too.

    It’s hard to discern this organization’s philosophy. Obviously the Bruce contract, and to a slightly lesser extent, Cueto’s contract, were steps in the right direction, but then we get caught up in “signing all our guys” and sign the ones that need to be let go.

    I don’t think I could stomach that type of contract for Votto. I love the guy and we’d be nowhere without him, but most $100M contracts don’t work out, especially ones that don’t kick in until the player is 30. I admit it’s hard to imagine, but Votto won’t be invincible forever. Though I agree we may not need to be as stingy as the Rays, and I probably overstated the issue with $17M. Luckily we on the internets have the luxury of overstating and then taking it back.

  19. dn4192

    @Bob Purkey:

    I am not saying “I” wouldn’t do, I am saying Walt “won’t” do it.

  20. al

    @CP: This post is right on to me. The Reds have an $80mil payroll, it’s not at all unreasonable to give $20mil of that to one player, when that player is the MVP and putting up 6+ win seasons. Votto looks like the type of guy that’s going to do that for a while, and I’d be trying to extend him for a few of the FA years right now.

    The problem is paying Arroyo $13mil to be the worst pitcher in baseball, and Rolen $6mil to be the oldest player in baseball. That’s your $20mil right there. Frazier and Wood put up better numbers than those two, and cost you $1mil.

    So to say we can’t afford Votto is just accepting terrible management.

    • dn4192

      @CP: This post is right on to me. The Reds have an $80mil payroll, it’s not at all unreasonable to give $20mil of that to one player, when that player is the MVP and putting up 6+ win seasons. Votto looks like the type of guy that’s going to do that for a while, and I’d be trying to extend him for a few of the FA years right now. The problem is paying Arroyo $13mil to be the worst pitcher in baseball, and Rolen $6mil to be the oldest player in baseball. That’s your $20mil right there. Frazier and Wood put up better numbers than those two, and cost you $1mil. So to say we can’t afford Votto is just accepting terrible management.

      when it comes to resign Votto, will Bronson and Scott still be on the books and if so for how many more seasons?

  21. al

    It also seems silly to me to talk about trading Chapman when what we need is pitching. That’s just going in the wrong direction.

    I agree that Chapman was mismanaged and should have been starting all of last year somewhere. But if he was still considered a starting pitching prospect, he’d be one of the top 20 prospects in the game.

    I have every confidence that Chapman in the rotation next year will be better than Bailey, Wood, and Arroyo, and almost certainly Volquez, though he’s a wildcard.

    By my count that makes him our third starter right now.

  22. Dan

    It’s not necessarily that we can’t afford Votto. It’s this:

    Here are your choices at 1B:

    Votto – .300/.400/.530 (estimating) for $12 million/year (averaging the next 2 years) and then leave after 2 years

    Alonso – .280/.360/.460 (estimating) for $0.8 million/year (averaging next 2 years) and he stays for, I think, 5 more years

    Also Votto would bring more in a trade, by FAR.

    That’s what I look at, and I think, Votto is the one to shop.

    • al

      It’s not necessarily that we can’t afford Votto. It’s this:Here are your choices at 1B:Votto – .300/.400/.530 (estimating) for $12 million/year (averaging the next 2 years) and then leave after 2 yearsAlonso – .280/.360/.460 (estimating) for $0.8 million/year (averaging next 2 years) and he stays for, I think, 5 more yearsAlso Votto would bring more in a trade, by FAR.That’s what I look at, and I think, Votto is the one to shop.

      This is pretty tough to argue against, but mainly from a business standpoint. most of the argument hinges on the saving of money, and unless there’s a clear way that you can see to spend the money that will help the reds more than keeping votto, i don’t really care about them saving money. they have a budget, let them spend it, you know?

      put it this way: votto looks like a solid 7 win player, and being generous alonso is a 4 win player next year. I think Votto could mostly bring prospects, but say he gets you a 5 win pitcher (who is that?). You’ve still only upgraded last year’s team by 2 wins, even though you’ve saved a ton of money.

      if you trade alonso and grandal for a 4 win pitcher, you’ve improved last year’s team by twice as much, but at a cost. i’m happy with the reds paying more for more wins.

      i do think that having a good firstbase prospect makes it so votto isn’t untouchable, and if a team was truely desperate for him, i would deal him. but only if the 2011 and 2012 reds would be made better.

  23. Aaron Lehr

    @al: Good point on Arroyo + Rolen = $20M.

    My counter would be… yes, assuming that ALL other contracts are appropriate, maybe that could happen. But when is that ever the case. And yes, paying Votto $20M the past 2 years would have still been a bargain. Is he going to still be doing it in 4 years? The Twins just signed their hometown guy, the best catcher in baseball, to a massive new contract that takes up about 25% of their payroll. It didn’t even take a year for that to start looking like a huge mistake.

    For the most part, it’s not paying superstar players alot of money that’s the problem, it’s the amount of risk you’re taking on by committing 25% of your resources. Sometimes it works out. But for a team with an $80M payroll I’m not convinced we can afford those risks. Especially when an extention doesn’t even start til his 30s. We have Votto through his peak years now already.

  24. al

    @dn4192: no, 2012 is rolen’s last season and 2013 is arroyo’s, so any extension of votto will come after they are off the books.

    @Aaron Lehr: i’m not saying they should extend votto for 10 years, and mauer was a catcher with an injury history, so the two cases are basically nothing alike.

    i’m saying i think paying votto 20mil for his age 30-33 seasons will probably be worth every penny. i don’t know if he’d be willing to accept that extension, but i’d offer it. if he doesn’t then the reds would have every reason to trade him, because he’s clearly looking for something else.

  25. Doug Gray

    Why wouldn’t he believe that last statement Chad? The Reds, as they are built right now, have more talent on their roster from top to bottom, than anyone in the division.

  26. al

    @Doug Gray: i think that’s a pretty bold statement for a team with the 4th highest ERA in the division.

  27. MikeC

    What the Reds don’t need to do is make a BAD trade.
    This analysis is not that flattering of Gio Gonzalez:
    http://www.overthemonster.com/2011/12/14/2635333/red-sox-gio-gonzalez-athletics-trade

    This article says the A’s want a king’s ransom for Gonzalez, backing up Walt’s statement that other teams are asking for too many prospects in return for their pitchers:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/985591-gio-gonzalez-to-new-york-mets-trade-makes-no-sense

    Of the pitchers mentioned in the article, I would be most interested in Shields because his high K/9 and good K/BB ratio make him a different type of pitcher than any the Reds currently have (Cueto, Leake, Arroyo and Wood don’t strike out a lot of hitters and Chapman and Volquez struggle with walks, although Bailey’s figures in these categories are not too different). His HR total is a bit scarey; however, as another person posted, a high percentage of his starts last season came against good hitting teams like the Red Sox, Yankees and Rangers. And you are buying high after the season he had last year.

    Finally, this article says the Astros new GM is now in place and starting to make moves. It also says that there is not much interest in Wandy Rodriguez:
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/houston_astros/
    If the Reds could get a pitcher like Wandy without giving up the farm, I would pursue a trade. Maybe he doesn’t offer the potential upside of a Shields, but he sure represents more certainty. On the current staff, Wandy would be the Reds #2 starter and possibly #1 if Cueto falters.

  28. Doug Gray

    They also have the far and away best offense in the division now that Pujols is out of St Louis. And our pitching is going to be better this year. We aren’t going to miss 15 starts to start the year from Bailey/Cueto. The odds that Bronson repeats 2011 are slim. Same for Volquez and Wood. Our pitching is going to improve. Our hitting is easily the best in the division unless Fielder re-signs with the Brewers or goes to the Cardinals, neither of which is likely.

  29. BubbaFan

    I’m with Al. I don’t think a good offense can make up for poor pitching. Especially in the postseason.

    Walt can’t stand pat. Not if he wants to win in the “Votto window.”

  30. Dave Lowenthal

    @David: I don’t really agree with this. I understand where you are going, but frankly, the Rays decision to extend Matt Moore is to me an easy one. The guy is awesome. Mike Leake is in a zip code that’s three levels away. That’s a much harder call to make.

    I think the same thing goes for Alonso. The Reds have to throw long term deals around on players without missing very often. I could see them missing on all of the players you mentioned.

    Now, on Votto, you are right on. They screwed the pooch on that one. To me, that one was easier to see (and I’m not talking about waiting until after his MVP type seasons). I know people will say Alonso and Votto are basically equivalent, but I don’t see it that way personally.

  31. Dave Lowenthal

    @CP: I can’t believe we are worried about paying Votto 25M per year, say, but we’re willing to throw 12 or 13M per year at Phillips. Yeah, I know, they’re different contract lengths, and maybe the Reds shouldn’t do either one, but I know for sure that they shouldn’t say they can’t do Votto but then do Phillips’ contract.

  32. Dave Lowenthal

    @al: I have no confidence that Chapman will be able to throw the ball over the plate and remain healthy. Why should we?

    Obviously, I hope he does both. Obviously, he might. But there is a not insignificant chance that one or both don’t occur. That’s why I’d be more than willing for someone else to pick up that variance if it means the Reds get a great pitcher in return. I have to admit, this notion that Chapman might throw a no hitter every time out, I just do not see it. As a starter, initially anyways, he’s going to take a LOT off his pitches to throw consistent strikes. We’ll have to see how hittable he is. There are a lot of unknowns here. Lots of variance.

    I suspect the Reds will keep him, and please, I hope you are telling me “I told you so” around August.

  33. Dave Lowenthal

    @Aaron Lehr: Aaron, that’s a good point, but don’t forget that when you don’t sign Votto, you split his money into several players, each of whom has his own risk. I have no confidence in Reds’ management to spend that money wisely. I suppose the only advantage, really, is that the contracts are probably for less time.

    As Al says, as long as you don’t go too deep age-wise, I think Votto’s a great investment. I disagree with Al that 20M is gonna get it done. I mean, it’s gotta be more. Then there’s contract length, which is going to be an issue too. But they should try, IMO.

  34. Dave Lowenthal

    @Doug Gray: Once again, *the offseason is not over*. Man, I don’t understand why anyone thinks that the Cards are going to fold up shop. Can we at least take it on faith that they’re going to, say, make a run at Beltran?

  35. Dave Lowenthal

    @Doug Gray: You mentioned 5 starters: Bailey, Cueto, Arroyo, Volquez, and Wood. Essentially, you counted on improvement from all 5, either because they underperformed last year, or were hurt. That’s an incredibly bold statement. Cueto is going to probably perform below last year, even if you give him his extra 8 starts. Out of the other 4 guys you listed, half them won’t even start the season in the rotation! Chapman’s going to be in the rotation, a complete question mark. Sure, Arroyo will be in and might be better, but he isn’t likely to be any good. I mean, you’re talking an overall likely marginal at best improvement in the rotation is my guess, assuming: Cueto, Arroyo, Chapman, Leake, and then one of (Bailey, Volquez, Wood).

    So your improvement seems to me to mostly come from guys that won’t be in the rotation, unless the Reds are bluffing about Chapman being in the rotation, or are going to put Arroyo out to pasture. Those things ain’t happening.

  36. wildwestLV

    I actually really feel (fear) that the Cards losing Pujols & TLR, combined w/the Brew Crew (probably) losing Fielder and, now, maybe Braun for 50 games, gives the front office the idea that they now could make a run at it with who they have (or, what we may already have, in the system). Yeah.

  37. BubbaFan

    I fear the Reds have mishandled Chapman. I don’t think it was possible for him to learn what he needs to learn in the pen. He was not very good as a starter in Louisville. And, from what I saw, his problem was that he couldn’t pace himself. I just don’t see him being a useful starter this year. If the Reds are serious about him starting, he needs to go back to Louisville. They cannot count on him contributing this year.

  38. preach

    I don’t know guys, this article left me in the first sentence: “We need to KEEP being aggressive.” KEEP?!? When exactly did we start being aggressive? I understand it may be prudent to carefully weigh how to go about getting a top of the rotation guy, but with so many holes to fix, including our bench, shouldn’t we have done something….anything…outside of settling with guys who already have Reds uniforms in their lockers? It’s a long season, and even if our guys perform at expectations, our bench is such a mess it will cost us games.

    Anyone think a package of Stubbs/Grandal could land us some quality pitching? Lots of people (over?)value speed, and some team might fall in love with Stubbs power as well and think they can fix the strikeouts. A solid catching prospect is valuable as well. If it would bring a quality #2 type guy I would be satisfied. Put Heisey in CF and find a platoon partner (Might be a Laynce Nix type: LH power and good D all around the OF).

    I also agree with BubbaFan on Chapman. EVERYONE saw this coming. The only hope I have is that this offseason conditioning program along with working directly with Reds pitching coaches might leave him better prepared to begin Spring training. But he would have to be so completely dominant in Goodyear for me to bring him North (East)once the season starts.

  39. Greg Dafler

    @BubbaFan: I only saw him pitch as a starter live once…IMO it wasn’t pacing but consistency was his issue. He’d throw 3 consecutive bulleyes to 3B prospect Pedro Alvarez, striking him out. Then, he’d follow that up with three straight pitches that wasn’t in the same zip code of the stadium. From that perspective, I don’t think a move to the bullpen to get those sort of issues straightened out was a bad move…but to let him remain in that role for 2 of the club controlled seasons w/o moving him back to the rotation earlier, especially in last year’s “lost” season, was a bad non-move.

  40. Greg Dafler

    Rosenthal had another tweet on this stating the in addition to the regular rumor of names that the Reds were interested in that they had Mat Latos on their wish list.

    All I can say to that is YES PLEASE!

    His numbers do not appear to be Petco deflated numbers, as his career home/road splits are very similar.

    He is not arbitration eligible until the 2013 season, and not a free agent until 2016.

    If you’re going to be forced to give up a number of prime prospects, then you do it for a guy like Latos.

    The Padres have had little interest in their veteran players that they’re trying to move. If the Padres would be open to going that high up on the roster to turnover the roster and re-build, they may be more willing to take highly graded prospects that are a couple of years away instead of so many at the AAA or major league level.

  41. lukeukcrazy

    Reds acquire Mat Latos for Yonder Alnoso and three players to be named later.

  42. lukeukcrazy

    Reports from mlbtraderumors.com

  43. lukeukcrazy

    I like Latos but I think it will be interesting to see who the players to be named later are.