I’m not sure if you’ve heard or not, but the Reds made a pretty big trade over the weekend, and people disagree strongly on the question of whether or not it was a good deal. Some people don’t think Mat Latos is good enough to merit the cost the Reds paid to acquire him, some people seem to think no one is good enough to merit trading Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger in the same package, while other people think the deal was reasonable. I don’t necessarily have a strong opinion on the question, but at first glance I thought it was a very reasonable trade for both sides, and two days later I’m even more confident in my initial reaction.

Here’s the thing; “value” is not a static number. Rather, it’s a moving target that’s affected by any number of different factors and personalities, and in the case of the trade in question, you can’t asses the value on each side while divorcing the move from the organizational strategy the Reds are implementing.

Obviously I don’t need to tell you this, but Joey Votto will most likely be playing baseball for a team other than the Reds in 2014. That’s not guaranteed by any means, but the most likely scenario, by far, is that the market for Votto will get away from Cincinnati when the first baseman hits free agency after the 2013 season. As a first order of business, the organization has to decide how they’re going to deal with that fact, and the choice is mostly between trading Votto before then in hopes of getting a large return and going all-out to win while they still have Votto on the roster. There’s no inherently right answer, but the Reds have clearly chosen to follow the lead of the 2011 Brewers and go with door number two. To that end, any deal the Reds make needs to be viewed primarily by how it affects the team over the next two seasons. It’s certainly fine to disagree with the organization’s chosen direction, but what’s done is done, and once the path is chosen you can’t get cold feet.

So, back to the trade itself. Prospects are a tricky creature, with multiple ways of assessing their value, but considering the strategy the Reds are taking now, we’re going to look at the package the Reds gave up in terms of their marginal value to the big league roster in the near term. Alonso may be a heck of a hitter, but he has nowhere to play, and if you’re not playing you’re not providing much value. Grandal is in an even starker situation, as he’s probably a year away from the big leagues, and has a rookie ahead of him on the depth chart. Unless Mesoraco is a bust, Grandal doesn’t figure to be anything more than a backup catcher for the Reds for the better part of the next decade. Edinson Volquez is, well, Edinson Volquez, and if nothing else including him in the deal means the Reds also save a decent chunk of change on payroll this year. Boxberger is the guy who might have provided the most marginal value to the Reds in the near term, but that lost value is at least partially offset by the financial savings of dumping Volquez (and the fact that you no longer have to worry about Dusty Baker starting Volquez in Game One of the NLDS).

So, in short, this deal is almost pure windfall for the Reds, at least in terms of the next two seasons. They’re trading away talent, to be sure, but talent that wasn’t likely to provide much help in their quest to win big while Votto was on the roster, and they’re trading that talent for a young guy who can be the front of the rotation starter with the potential to dominate hitters they’ve desperately craved for a while now. And as an added bonus, he’s 24 years old with plenty of potential to get even better, he isn’t eligible for free agency for four more seasons, and he’ll earn well below his market value in salary during that period.

And you know what? A 26 year old Mat Latos sounds like a fine piece to start with when it’s time to build a post-Votto roster.

58 Responses

  1. Steve Mancuso

    Brien: and the fact that you no longer have to worry about Dusty Baker starting Volquez in Game One of the NLDS

    Good point. Notice how Dust-proofing the lineup is part of either long-term strategy? 🙂

  2. Sultan of Swaff

    Good point Brien–once the franchise chooses a direction you can’t get cold feet or look back. Now that we have Latos, I’m inclined to keep Joey and be all-in (with one exception–a swap for Bautista), all the while knowing that draft compensation won’t come close to reimbursing the Reds for what they’ll lose when he walks. I don’t think we as fans have a right to feel ripped off when he walks. Like Fielder, he has outperformed his contract and been a standup guy while doing it. Enjoy it while it lasts, folks. This is gonna be a great year. Not only will the Reds be exciting, Barry Larkin might be the only player to get into the HOF!!

  3. hermanbates

    Joey Votto will retire a red. Why is it so far-fetched to think that?

  4. Dan

    @hermanbates: Because we have one key indicator so far, and that is that Votto (unlike Bruce) was only willing to sign a contract w/ the Reds that did NOT push back his free agency at all.

    That says to me that he wants to be on the open market ASAP (which is his right).

    And on the open market, it’s unlikely the Reds are going to put up the highest offer.

    (Plus – I don’t know how much he cares about this – but if there’s a hometown allegiance, that would be for Toronto.)

  5. Sultan of Swaff

    Looking around baseball, the Latos trade set the market this offseason for starting pitchers. I bet you’ll see Gio, Danks, etc. move pretty quickly now. As for closers, Walt said that is his next priority before shoring up the outfield. He should be very patient. The Papelbon deal was a huge overpay and skewed the market, at least in the eyes of the agents. It’s a buyer’s market, wait a month and you’ll find better deals.

  6. littleleo1

    I really don’t care for the “Win now mode” . I hope it works out. But I am not very confident. Building up the farm system is what got us to “contending status”. I just don’t agree with the shooting the works in a effort to win it all over the next two years while Joey is here .. And then start over again in 2014 .. It doesn’t work for small market clubs. The Brewers have tried twice now with not much to show for it. I don’t want to root for a 33 year old weak knee Carlos Beltran. I’d rather wait for a Jaun Duran or root for a Dennis Phipps to emerge on the scene.. I will root for Matt Latos. He is really a product of our farm system ..not an over the hill Carlos Beltran

    • Matt WI

      It doesn’t work for small market clubs. The Brewers have tried twice now with not much to show for it.

      They made the playoffs both years they made big moves (Getting CC and getting Grienke and Marcum). You can’t ask for much more than that. Even great teams can lose in the playoffs. Remember the Mariners team that won well over 100 games and didn’t get to the WS? Stuff happens.

      Besides, as I think Brien pointed out wisely… the Reds didn’t really shoot themselves in the foot and leave the cupboard bare here: Grandal was likely blocked for his career. Yonder, we might miss,sure.

      Boxberger… short of him becoming elite, relievers are a dime a dozen. Case in point: Is anybody missing Josh Roenicke terribly right now from the Rolen trade? The Reds are pretty much in the same shape now after the trade for the long term than they were before the trade, simply because of the positions they already have filled.

      Certainly it’s possible that Grandal becomes better than Meso… but you can’t know that for a long time and that’s a lot of roster space waiting to find out. So really, we might miss Yonder the most here if Joey leaves. That’s about the only thing that might impact the Reds ability to stay competitive long term. But they’ve also hedeged that by locking up some good pitching: Cueto, Latos, and Leake will be here for awhile kids. We’ll see what happens with Chapman.

  7. eric nyc

    I completely agree with everything in this post. And, in addition, I think it’s the PERFECT argument for bringing in Carlos Beltran on a 2 year $30 million contract. You might be able to get him a BIT cheaper on a 3 year deal, but pay the premium to just hold him during the “Votto Years.”

    In addition to losing Votto, odds are at least pretty good you’re also going to lose Phillips after this year. That makes THIS season the really important one. I can’t believe that with the salary we’ve freed up between Cordero, Volquez, Alonso, Hernandez, Grandal, and Renteria that we can’t find $15 million to make this the most dangerous offensive lineup in the MLB. What on earth is any opposing pitcher going to do against a lineup that goes Phillips-Votto-Beltran-Bruce-Rolen? We could average 5-6 runs a game on a bad day. And with Latos and Cueto at the top of the rotation, Arroyo-Bailey-Leake-Woods could all have just marginal seasons and you could still be looking at 100 wins. Plus it wouldn’t even matter WHO is closing. In fact, I’d be all the more inclined to accept Chapman as a closer since I dont’ think we’re ever going to get true starter value out of him before it’s time to consider trading him just to free up his salary money.

    So Maybe Bob has to pony up an extra $2-3 million to make the numbers work with Beltran. That is what, about an extra 3% added to the payroll? To create a dominant team that is SURE to fill the ball park all season and will absolutely be a WS contender for 2 years? I’m not a businessman, but that sounds like a no brainer to me.

  8. hermanbates

    Joey Votto was a free agent after his mvp season. I remember joey saying he didnt want to set a precedent for mvp players and contracts by taking a little one. So he takes a healthy three year deal so he didnt end up crippling the reds later. i still see him signing a discounted extension because theres no way he wants to go play big market. the dude has anxiety issues. He wants to stay small market and outside of toronto, theres nowhere else i can imagine him playing. He’ll retire a red.

    • Dan

      Joey Votto was a free agent after his mvp season.

      Well, while I would love to see him retire a Red, this part just isn’t true. He was just entering his arbitration years, but he was not a free agent. Players are under team control for 6 years, I believe, of MLB service time before they hit free agency (3 years their contracts can be renewed, and 3 years of arbitration).

      So the Reds just bought out his arbitration years. But Votto can still become a free agent after the 2013 season, just like before he signed the 3-year deal.

  9. hermanbates

    translation: little one in regards to contract, as in a hometown discount for mvps.

  10. Aaron Lehr

    @eric nyc: (Grimacing and shielding face) too… much…. hyperbole………. must….. power… through……………

  11. Matt WI

    @Dan: Correct… the only way Joey could have left the team is if the Reds had declined to offer arbitration once he hit years 4-6 of mlb service. Instead they bought him out instead of having to go the table each year. 2013 is his first chance at being a free agent.

  12. Dan

    @eric nyc: Ha – yeah, easy there, Sparky. 😉 100 wins is a bit much. Someone will have a bad year. Someone will get hurt. We’re much more than a Carlos Beltran away from 100 wins.

    I like the enthusiasm though. 😉

  13. BJ Ruble

    It’s about time we are in a win now mode. Seriously, I am tired of waiting two more years for guys to develop. I tired of hearing about how Homer Bailey is the savior of the pitching staff because of his “stuff”. I’m tired of HIGHLY touted prospects coming up and amounting to absolutely nothing!

    I am excited about established stars like Joey Votto, leading a team who I think is now the favorite of the division. This is the most solid all around team that Cincinnati has had in a long, long time and I for one am excited for it. If the Reds make the playoffs and get to the World Series, lose Votto, and end up in the bottom of the division; I am fine with that because at least they tried to go for a two year window of excellence instead of waiting on the young guys to be ready.

  14. Steve Mancuso

    Trading Yonder Alonso sent a clear signal that the Reds aren’t going to trade Joey Votto before the end of his contract. Fans, other clubs, and Votto himself, needed to know that was their intentions.

  15. BubbaFan

    I don’t think Joey will retire a Red. Even if the Reds can afford to keep him after his current contract, he’d move to the AL as he reached his DH days.

    Brien’s right. The Reds are going all in for the “Votto window.” Hopefully it works out better for us than for the Brewers. It’s a gamble, but kudos to Walt for taking the risk. IMO, it’s the right thing to do.

  16. dn4192

    To me the “key” to this deal was Latos age and contract status. Now only did we add a quality guy, but he is cheap and not going anywhere for a while. We added youth, talent and subtracted money off the books and only loss 1 player who “might” have made a marginal impact on the Reds this season and next. How is that bad?

  17. eric nyc

    @Dan: I will admit there is some hyperbole in there, but let me ask you this: Is this team with Mat Latos and a more developed Jay Bruce better than the 2009 team? Even if you say marginally so, which I think is the least you can say, that should mean an improvement on that 91-win season. Could we say maybe 93-94 wins conservatively? Now replace the Gomes/Heisey platoon of that year with Carlos Beltran. Shouldn’t that be good for at LEAST 4-5 wins? So while this is all just a silly number game full of hypotheticals and comparing two teams two seasons apart, I don’t think I was really exaggerating THAT much by saying 100 games. We should all be able to agree that, on paper, this team has the potential to be better than the 2009 club, and that isn’t even taking into account the weakened state of our two of biggest divisional rivals that account for 20% of our schedule. So am I being THAT unreasonable?

  18. Steve Mancuso

    Interesting article at Grantland about trades involving prospects.

    It concludes this about the Latos trade: “That’s a lot of talent to give up, but frankly, Latos is worth it. Latos has ranked in the top 20 in the majors in both ERA and strikeouts over the past two years, and he just turned 24. The Reds have him under control for the next four years. Potential no. 1 starters don’t hit the trade market very often, and when they do, this is the kind of return they ought to bring.”

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7370324/the-mlb-prospect-bubble

  19. Dan

    @eric nyc: I think you mean 2010, right? The 91-71 team?

    Well, take a look at the seasons that everyone had that year:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2010.shtml

    I think many key guys on the teams could be reasonably expected to do worse in 2012 than they did in 2010. (Votto, Bruce, Stubbs, Rolen by a LOT, Arroyo by a LOT. Also Mesoraco/Hanigan will likely not be quite as good in 2012 as Hernandez/Hanigan were in 2010.)

    Even in LF, Gomes/Heisey were not that bad in 2010. They combined for roughly .260/.325/.430. Beltran would likely be better than that, but not by 4-5 wins. Maybe 2 wins better? Guesstimating there.

    I’ll grant you that Cozart in 2012 should be better than Cabrera was in 2010.

    All in all though, that 2010 team had an amazing lack of bad years. Hard to replicate.

    Anyway, I do agree that the Latos trade has made us better for 2012. (Better than we would’ve been w/o doing the deal, that is.)

    I just can’t see that we’re now close to being the best team in all of baseball. (That’s what 100 wins would be.) I am totally ballparking it, but I feel like this is still maybe an 85-88 win team?

  20. Matt WI

    @eric nyc: I’d love it you’re right, but pretty much the same team that you point out won 91 games in 2010 only won 79 in 2011. So perhaps their “true win” potential starts somewhere in the middle of that.

  21. eric nyc

    @Dan: All fair points. I’ll also agree with Matt WI that it’s probably fair to say that 2010 was a particularly good year for the whole club and 2011 a particularly bad one, so meeting in the middle somewhere around 84-85 wins before the Latos trade seems reasonable. I’ve seen Latos projected at being worth about 4-5 WAR, so I’d agree with the high end of your projection that this is something like an 88-win team RIGHT NOW. So add Beltran in LF. I have to believe he’s worth at least 5 wins over a Heisey/Whoever-we-drag-off-the-street platoon, and that might be conservative because I don’t think you can accurately measure the effect of having a true 4-hole power hitting threat on Votto’s production, which could easily skyrocket back into MVP territory with proper protection. So could we agree that this team+Beltran is at least a 90-95 win team? Again, 100 might have been me getting excited, but I don’t think it’s THAT much of a stretch, especially if this is the year Jay Bruce finally makes a leap and we don’t have to worry about a Dusty/Renteria love affair. We were already the best offense in the NL. Adding Beltran could easily make it the best offense in baseball. An uptick in the rotation to even slightly above-average status (that hard to imagine?) could easily make us one of the best overall teams in baseball.

  22. al

    @eric nyc: beltran will be a 4 win player this year (if he can stay healthy at 35) and heisey will be a 3 win player. that’s a win, maaaaaaaaybe 2, if beltran blows up. he would have to play like votto to be worth 4 more wins than heisey. and he hasn’t done that in 10 years.

    i love the optimism, but i think there are just too many holes on the team to think that we’re a playoff powerhouse. i think the reds are now the marginal favorites to win the weakened central, but the projections will still be pretty close.

    consider:

    who’s the closer? what relievers were really good on the reds last year? bray and lecure were good, chapman’s gone, cordero’s gone, masset, areedondo, and ondrusek were iffy at best (all walked 4+/9). that’s not really a shutdown pen and we just traded our best relief prospect.

    the rotation is still going to have arroyo in it, who was the worst starter in baseball last year. sure he may be better, but being terrible would be better, and that still means we have a terrible 5th starter.

    jay bruce probably is what he is. what he is is good not great. ditto drew stubbs. i’m holding out that both can be better than last year, but really expecting more of the same. combined 6-7 wins.

    phillips isn’t likely to put up another career year.

    the bench is mostly a mess. what’s cairo’s role? can juan francisco provide any value if he’s not playing every day? dave sappelt?

    now, don’t get me wrong, there’s way more to be excited about than bummed about. i’m just saying, if you start picking at the edges of this team, there are some pretty big question marks still.

    hopefully less by the time ST starts, and we can all agree on a 90+ win projection.

  23. eric nyc

    @al: The thing I keep coming back to is that we’ve never seen what Votto is capable of doing with a real cleanup hitter behind him. The closest he’s had was Rolen having a really good (but not fantastic) year in 2010, and what happened? MVP. Beltran should still be able to put up similar numbers to last year, probably even slightly better playing in GABP. That would open up Votto to have a monster season. I don’t even think we saw his ceiling in 2010.

    I think Beltran could be worth, all things considered, significantly more than 1-2 wins over Heisey. If you don’t believe that, or more importantly if Walt and Bob don’t believe that, then you can’t spend $15 million on him. But if he’s worth 4-5 is that worth the money? I’d say so.

  24. Dan

    @eric nyc: But is there really any evidence that this “you hit better when you have a good hitter behind you” thing actually works? I can’t remember where I read it, but I think I read that this is mostly a myth.

    (If it were not a myth, wouldn’t the Reds #2 hitters have been totally raking these past 3 years?) 😉

    I find myself agreeing w/ Al on the 1-2 wins projection for Beltran.

    • preach

      @eric nyc: But is there really any evidence that this “you hit better when you have a good hitter behind you” thing actually works? I can’t remember where I read it, but I think I read that this is mostly a myth.(If it were not a myth, wouldn’t the Reds #2 hitters have been totally raking these past 3 years?) I find myself agreeing w/ Al on the 1-2 wins projection for Beltran.

      Not when your number two hitters are all washed up vets. I’ve seen the studies on ‘protection’, but I still have to believe that over the course of a season someone like Votto will have to see more pitches with a hitter like Beltran on deck.

      I also think that the projections of Heisey being close to Beltran in production are false. Think of the ballpark factor alone. Health is the only concern I would truly have here. No way Heisey comes close to Beltran in GABP if each is healthy. And do you think Heisey is a cleanup hitter? Nope. He’s a solid fourth outfielder and valuable in that role. If he plays a lot he will be exposed like everyone’s favorite SS Janish (Yes, I told you so on that one too).

      I would be excited for them to sign Beltran and let the chips fall where they may on the closer market as we close in on spring training. Or for that matter, take a flyer on Bray/Arrodondo (although I know both Walt and Dusty hate committee closers). Unfortunately, I think the Reds are targeting Madsen and will overpay.

      I still think it’s a shame Massett is such an inconsistent head case. His stuff would translate into plenty of saves.

      I would be content siging Beltran for 2/$25.

  25. BJ Ruble

    If Beltran would sign a 2 year deal worth in the neighborhood of 16-20 mil, then they have to do that and use a mix and match bullpen. If you insert Beltran into the Reds lineup, it would be outstanding to say the least and should make up for starters like Bronson. Signing him to that deal might mean, no BP after this year, but this is the year to go all out. Pujols and maybe Fielder are leaving the league, Howard is out for a significant time, and Braun might be out 50 games. The D-Backs should regress a little, the Dodgers have question marks, and the Giants have no offense. The Reds stand in a very good position to be the dominate team in the NL, IF…they make the right moves. Latos was a great start, we will see what else happens.

  26. George Culver

    IMO, Chapman + Stubbs make an interesting trade opener for some RH power hitting LF that will be the low cost option that WJ will pursue instead of Beltran or another cost prohibitive option. Reds will not commit that much payroll at this time. Even having trouble getting Phillips signed for the $$$ he wants. Beltran ain’t happening. Who would you trade for?

    • Travis G.

      IMO, Chapman + Stubbs make an interesting trade opener for some RH power hitting LF that will be the low cost option that WJ will pursue instead of Beltran or another cost prohibitive option. Reds will not commit that much payroll at this time. Even having trouble getting Phillips signed for the $$$ he wants. Beltran ain’t happening. Who would you trade for?

      This is apropo of nothing, of course, but I dreamed that the Reds traded Votto and Chapman for Bryce Harper. That would be an exciting trade!

      In real life, though, I wouldn’t mind Nick Swisher. I wouldn’t give up Chapman for him, of course.

  27. eric nyc

    @Dan: I think it’s pretty easy to see that, especially last year, Votto went incredibly long stretches without seeing a hittable pitch because no one was particularly afraid of Jay Bruce behind him. Not that Bruce couldn’t knock it out of the park, but he also struck out way too much. Put a .300 power hitter in that spot? They can keep walking Joey all they want, it’s just going to mean Beltran’s going to have 140 RBI’s. One way or another, it’s putting a lot of runs on the scoreboard. They’re either going on the back of Joey’s baseball card or Beltran’s.

    If you’re right and he’s only worth 1-2 wins then he’s not worth the money. I think that’s being pessimistic though. All hypothetically, of course.

  28. eric nyc

    One other point, to continue beating the Beltran dead horse (well hopefully it’s not dead at all…) – As was pointed out in the post last night, Beltran fits every one of Dusty’s criteria. He’s a solid veteran who’s been successful everywhere he’s been, he can still field and hit, and he bats right handed. I’ll never understand why that last one is such a sticking point for Dusty, but it clearly is. If we brought in Beltran, he would CLEARLY be our best LF and CLEARLY be our best option at cleanup. So Dusty would have no reason or excuse to every go messing with that forumla EVER. How many games do you think Dusty cost us in the past year or two from just Dusty-ing around with the lineup, making absurd double-switches in the field, and “spit balling” every couple of days? Someone like Beltran would mean no chance of another Renteria being on the roster and would effectively Dusty-proof the entire roster. That might be worth a couple wins all by itself.

  29. dn4192

    Beltran is just to expensive and I just don’t see Bob approving the additional monies for a questionable player. Second there is zero chance Bob would approve a trade sending Chapman out, that was a key signing for Bob and he isn’t going to let it go.

  30. CP

    2 or 3 wins is a massive improvement from one position. Plus, giving Heisey a 3 win season is a pretty optimistic projection.

    Not saying the Reds will actually grab Beltran but I’d rather spend the remaining $9 million or so + $4/5 million extra on Beltran than a lame closer.

  31. Brien Jackson

    @eric nyc:

    If Beltran is worth 2 wins, that’s worth somewhere in the $8-12 million range holding all else equal. Consider that the marginal value of each additional win maxes out somewhere right around 88-92 wins, and you could make a case that a 2-2.5 win season from Beltran could justify a $15 million salary from the Reds. Not that they can necessarily afford that, of course.

  32. Dave Lowenthal

    My favorite thing I recently read was Fay ripping Bowden, bringing up his praise of the prospects he drafted (e.g., “Gruler, the next Tom Seaver….”)

  33. Dave Lowenthal

    @CP: Right. That’s the first thing that occurred to me. Beltran is a 1-2 win player over Heisey using projections for Heisey based on last year. Heisey has a lot of variance. Beltran has much less (except for injury, of course). Bringing in Beltran also provides insurance against a Stubbs meltdown even though Heisey’s defense isn’t great. So there are a lot of residual benefits. I think it’s much more than a +1-2 win benefit. I’d put it more at 3-4, but only after downgrading by 1 or 2 whatever everyone else is projecting (due to Heisey).

  34. TC

    I’m ignoring the general discussion on Heisey and addressing the post in general.

    I’m not as at ease as others about this trade. But my problem really isn’t with the trade but with the drafting practice if three years of first round draft choices can evaporate away by a single pitcher who can only help the team win 15% of the time (that’s 1 game per 5, average 7 innings per game).

    Pardon my grade school math, but I’m not a fan of that equation.

    (What also irritates me is the 2 spots Alonso and Grandal occupied on the 40-man while they were waiting to be traded. What a waste! But, at least that can’t happen anymore thanks to the new CBA.)

  35. George Culver

    Travis Wood to the Cubs for Sean Marshall? Would Ya? Should Ya?

  36. George Culver

    Agreed. Have to have more. Just repeating latest Rosenthol rumor.

  37. RedLeg75

    Marshall’s a high-quality reliever, but he would be a free agent in ’13.

  38. Dave Lowenthal

    @CP: I wonder if they are thinking Marshall as closer? I wouldn’t do that trade, but Marshall is good. I just wonder if Baker would be willing to have someone who hasn’t been sprinkled with magic pixie closer dust as closer. He’s got the numbers to do it, it seems to me. He’s also cheap.

  39. Dave Lowenthal

    I really hate the idea of Jocketty dealing with Theo Epstein.

  40. CP

    @Dave Lowenthal: He would have to be the favorite to win the closer job. Cubs fans apparently hate the trade. Trying to figure out if 1) they are idiots or 2) I’m overvaluing Travis Wood. (1) is usually applicable, but maybe I’m wrong?

    I think as/of 2010, Wood was rated #3 in the Reds’ farm system. He doesn’t seem to have ever been a top 100 prospect, but we’ve seen excellent performances from him. He’s under team control for 5 more years. He was pretty dreadful last season because he was uncharacteristically wild >3 bb/9.

    Marshall is a very good setup man…but he has only one more season left on his contract. If he successfully transitions to a closer role and the Reds struggle for whatever reason, he’ll be a perfect trade piece at the deadline.

  41. Dave Lowenthal

    One more thing: the article by Rosenthal said Marshall would set up for whoever they get as closer. Consider me NOT INTERESTED. What a deal: trade Wood to get Marshall to set up for freaking Coco Cordero. Sorry. I’ll pass.

  42. Dave Lowenthal

    @CP: Wood’s under control for 4 more years I think. My opinion is he’s a #3 ceiling. I’m not sure how to value him. If Marshall were cheap for 3 more years, say, I might do the deal. For one year, I can’t see that straight up, especially since Baker will foul it all up by wasting him as a setup man. I’m just getting ready to pull my hair out over a Cordero signing.

    • preach

      @CP: Wood’s under control for 4 more years I think. My opinion is he’s a #3 ceiling. I’m not sure how to value him. If Marshall were cheap for 3 more years, say, I might do the deal. For one year, I can’t see that straight up, especially since Baker will foul it all up by wasting him as a setup man. I’m just getting ready to pull my hair out over a Cordero signing.

      I agee with you assessment, and I #3, especially a lefty, is more valuable than any set up man. Marshall might make a decent closer, and while the money is a little high, we still would have something left in the piggy bank to acquire a bat. The CoCo thing has me worried too. I might be in the minority, as I wouldn’t mind him closing again, but NO WAY FOR EVEN HALF the money he’s asking.

      Back to Wood: I am leary of giving up young cost controlled arms for an unproven quantity (Marshall in a role of closer). While Wood is not Latos, that deal shows what young starting pitching commands. We should be able to get at least a couple good bullpen arms or a big time prospect or two.

  43. Dave Lowenthal

    @Brien Jackson: I’d think that if I drafted a first round Mat Latos every third year, and me (I’m not good) the other two years, I’d be doing pretty well.

  44. CP

    @Dave Lowenthal: Yeah…this deal makes me more nervous than the Latos deal. At least if EV/Grandal/Alonso/Boxberger end up being elite, we have Latos till 2016 and don’t have to see Travis Wood in a Cubs’ uniform 16 times a year until 2017.

  45. Matt WI

    @CP: You’re talking Cubs fans… so the answer is always A) They are idiots. They’re too used to just signing “names.”

    I don’t do this proposed deal. No and no.

  46. Dave Lowenthal

    @preach: I think Marshall is a proven commodity and could handle the role of closer. The problem is that he’s not worth a cost-controlled #4 starter, even, when he’s signed for one year.

    The Reds also have a bum at #5 and a question mark in Chapman. Wood is going to be needed.

    But Jocketty and Baker do not like Travis Wood. I would not be surprised to see this deal go down.

    I would not hesitate to deal Wood in the right deal, as I just don’t think he’s Cliff Lee (training with a guy doesn’t make you as good as him), and I’ve always thought his ceiling was too low to get too worried about dealing him—for VALUE. This is the wrong deal, though. Very wrong.

  47. earl

    You don’t deal in the division unless you are ripping off your opponent. I’d figure that Travis Wood and Chapman both start the year in Louisville.

  48. CP

    @Dave Lowenthal: The deal makes way more sense if they sign a (good) LF imo. Though it leaves the cupboard bare for additional starting pitching or midseason trades.

  49. CP

    Of course, Theo could have initiated the trade and then leaked news of it to the press in order to generate a trade market for Marshall. Putting pressure on other GMs to match Wood is win/win for him.

  50. hermanbates

    Man you guys got me feeling down about the old redlegs. There are so many things that haven’t been taken in to account, that are really immeasurable. I cant imagine it was easy going to the ballpark knowing you were gonna be down consistently. Outside of Cueto and Leake, you could expect 4 runs guaranteed and then some. And leake and Cueto? consistently guys who have high run support. It’s gotta be a lot more exciting for the reds to go into a game for Latos than volquez or arroyo. Theres something to be said for motivation. Also, no one liked the reds chances outside of a few guys in 2010. the “us against the world” mentality that so often pops up in cincinnati sports. 20111, Reds had expectations and fell short. The Reds are looked at as semi-favorites, for the time being, but that doesnt mean theyre being respected. These stats are all well and good. The WAR and the FIP and all that. But theres something to be said for fire. Votto pkayed intensely in 2010. last year he seemed complacent. Let the media piss of joey votto. You could bat me behind him; he’ll have some kind of year. Piss these boys off and you can throw these stats out the window. Let’s watch these games play out. We’ll have new stats and WAR next year. The Reds will play this year. And my word, they’ll play well.

  51. al

    i’m really surprised at how high so many people are on a 34yr old outfielder with an injury history who’s put up one real good season in 3 years. that sounds like someone i’d take a flyer on, not someone i’d consider spending 10+ mil on for multiple years.

    do you really think the reds have the payroll flexibility to have a 1 win player making $10+mil? because that’s what he was in 2010.