“I’m looking forward to embracing the opportunity to go to the Reds and have a chance to really compete and win a division, and hopefully come home after the season with a World Series ring.” — Sean Marshall, 12/23/2011

“World Series ring.”

I’ve read the hundreds of thoughtful posts written here the past few days debating the merits of sending Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes to the stupid Cubs for Sean Marshall.  Many of the arguments opposing the trade are persuasive.

Over the next few years, Wood might again become a valuable #4 or #5 starter.  Sappelt might have contributed to the Reds in LF this year.  Few relief pitchers are consistent from one year to the next.  Only one year of Marshall.  Solid points, all.  But I’ve found myself drawn to the other side.

Yes, Dave Sappelt may become a nice player and Travis Wood likely already is a nice player.  And it’s not that nice guys finish last.  In 2010, the Reds’ collection of nice players won the NL Central Division.

I loved 2010.  I’ll never forget witnessing Jay Bruce’s dramatic, division-clinching home run, the post-game elation, and catharsis.  I was there for the glorious, but far-too-brief playoff run.  I don’t discount how 2010 was vastly better than the years and decades that had come before.  But the team and fans have been there, done that, two years ago.

“World Series ring.”

It’s time for the Cincinnati Reds to take the next step, to move beyond being an above-average team with an abundance of nice players and promising prospects.  To win the World Series you need more than a 40-man roster of good/great players, you need a 25-man roster studded with elite players.

Mid-level payroll organizations like the Reds must assemble a roster of elite players through a combination of development and trading from depth.  Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Johnny Cueto are examples of the former.  The Latos and Marshall trades are the latter — they consolidated several promising-to-good players into a top-tier pitcher.

Without Mat Latos and Sean Marshall, the Reds certainly were capable of winning the NL Central.  But with those two pitchers, the Reds have a stronger chance to compete with teams like the Phillies, Rangers and Yankees.  Yes, crucial moves still need to be made, the players must stay healthy and perform.  But, compared to ten days ago, the Reds have two more players who are elite, difference-makers.

This is how I feel (with emphasis on emotion, note the lack of a single statistic in this post).  It’s a bit of a gamble, but I’m eager for the Reds to go for it.  Ultimately, I’m far less interested in having the best farm system than I am the best major league team.  That’s why three words, spoken by Sean Marshall, sold me on the trade.

“World Series ring.”

98 Responses

  1. RedLeg75

    Agree 100% Flags fly forever. All in in ’12!

  2. Sultan of Swaff

    To me the elephant in the room is the budget and how it is affecting the personnel decisions. It seems the only reason we jettisoned Wood and Sappelt was because Bob C. seemingly won’t increase the payroll to acquire talent, so we overpay in prospects to acquire that talent while remaining budget neutral. If any of our LF or SP options fail or get hurt, we’ll be forced into the open market where we’ll have to overpay (see Kubel and Cuddyer), with money we apparently don’t have, for the same talent we traded away.
    That’s all in??

    • redmountain

      To me the elephant in the room is the budget and how it is affecting the personnel decisions.It seems the only reason we jettisoned Wood and Sappelt was because Bob C. seemingly won’t increase the payroll to acquire talent, so we overpay in prospects to acquire that talent while remaining budget neutral.If any of our LF or SP options fail or get hurt, we’ll be forced into the open market where we’ll have to overpay (see Kubel and Cuddyer), with money we apparently don’t have, for the same talent we traded away.
      That’s all in??

      I find it amazing that you think that Castellini has all this extra money. Do you understand that he is principle owner, but not the only owner? He has partners and limited partners who also get a vote in how much money is being spent. What you are proposing is not good business, spending a lot more than you have is just not smart. Therefore, if he starts spending more money than he has he puts his business in jeopardy. Other minority owners would be doing the same thing. If it were your money would you do that? From what I understand of the ownership agreement Castellini does not take money out of the team, but he and the partners are responsible for all losses. Therefore, if they say they project 80 million as being the money available, then they would all have to pony up the money if they lose money. I cannot speak to other teams and how much money they have, but a team like the D-Backs had a budget that was in the 40-50 million range last year and now they have spent a whole lot more. they got to that budget by letting a lot of payroll come off the books, and winning a championship this year. They now are spending that much more money getting players. Whoever is in charge thinks they have the money in the budget and everyone is on board. Still they had to spend almost 35 million to get to a budget similiar to the Reds. When you have 30million to spend, then you can overspend for players and give them ridiculous deals. The Reds have improved their team by spending wisely, but you want them to become irresponsible.

  3. CKeever

    I agree as well. The Reds don’t have the money to go out and get valuable free agents like other clubs. Having lot of prospects is a very good thing. But there’s only so many guys who can play at the big league level at once. The Reds used some prospects to acquire some very good major league talent because they don’t have the payroll to sign many big name guys. The Reds have gone through years of “building for the future”. You can plan for the future for only so long…the future eventually will come. The future is now. So instead of another average or slightly above average year, it’s time to be a legit contender. I like what the Reds have done. I’m excited to see Latos and Marshall pitch. I’m sick of seeing disappointing baseball seasons in the Queen City. The Reds are trying to win and win now. It’d be nice if the part of the fan base that is always disgruntled supported the team instead of whining about every trade or transaction that is made. The Reds team last year was very ordinary and I for one would rather see a contending team on the field than another ordinary team. I’m pumped for this season and the moves the Reds made. I can’t wait to see the Reds with a better roster. It’s time to change the mentality and the culture of losing in Cincy and get back to winning.

  4. RedLeg75

    Yes, correct. If it were truly an all-in effort, Bob would spend some more cash.

  5. Jason Linden

    I get what you’re saying, Steve, but I couldn’t disagree more with the trade. Put simply, Travis Wood is probably something approaching an average major league starter. That is always more valuable than a relief pitcher. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the Yankees or the Royals. A starter who can give you 200 solid innings is worth more than a reliever who can give you 70 great innings.

    I felt at the time and still feel that this trade made the 2012 Reds worse. Never mind the 2015 Reds.

  6. secondguessingfanbase

    Part of the reason the Reds competed in 2010 was the stout bullpen. With Rhodes, Cordero, Masset and later Chapman, the Reds were able to shorten games. The cumulative value of #1 starters and top-flight relievers is why you sign and trade for them. On most days with Cueto, Latos and Leake on the mound, the Reds will look absolutely dominant in comparison to the competition, that’s if they play better defense. Cozart will certainly help, but Votto needs to improve. First basemen are the glue that keeps infield defense together. The defense was very poor in games vs. St. Louis. Those jitters are a concern.

    If they would have signed Beltran and really went for 2012, I would have chose the Reds as the definitive favorites at the moment to win the NL Pennant. Not as a Reds fan, but as an observer of the game. High-end, difference-making talent is what wins in pro sports, and the Reds just added two difference makers to a club that already had Votto, Phillips, Chapman and Cueto, with potentially three more in Bruce, Stubbs and Rolen. Odds say one of the three plays up to that level this year seeing how none of them lived up to that plateau last season. Seven difference-makers on a 25-man roster is a strong resume for World Series Champion, not just contender.

    The Cardinals won with Pujols, Carpenter, Freese, Holliday, Molina and Berkman. This year they’ll have seven with Wainwright back and Beltran added to the mix. The Brewers will be terrible with no Fielder at all and no Braun for 50 games. Barring injury, Reds are a lock to win 90, and likely more as their young players begin to hit their stride in late summer, as well as facing teams well out of it in August and September.

  7. pinson343

    I’m with you Steve, 100%, and I’ve said so. As far as 2012 goes, Wood was the number 6 or more likely no. 7 starter on the Reds depth chart. That does not translate into 200 innings for the Reds. It translates mostly into innings at AAA or in the bullpen.

    Prior to the trade for Marshall, the Reds did not have enough depth in the bullpen. He’s the best reliever in the pen right now. Having a solid rotation does not mean squat if the bullpen is blowing the lead in every close game. Hopefully from here the Reds do not squander money on CoCo.

  8. TC

    Ohhh! I just hate it when the other side makes such a strong case it changes my mind. All in and let the chips fall where they may. We’ll worry about 2013 in 2013.

  9. pinson343

    @secondguessingfanbase: Good point about the importance of the bullpen in 2010. Rhodes was unhittable before the All Star break, Masset had a strong season after April and Chapman helped at the end of the season. CoCo did not have a good season but was effective in stretches.

  10. jholcomb

    I agree with Steve completely. The Reds needed bullpen depth (see Nick Masset) with the move of AC to the rotation and Coco gone or in limbo. We know Marshall is a stud. I saw my brother in law from Chicago last night who is a die hard Cubs fan and nothing I could tell him about the guys the Cubs got made him feel any better about the deal….he thinks the Reds will be very happy with the Marshall.

    Frankly, Sappelt’s “tools” reminded me too much of Eddie Milner…

  11. TC

    Sultan and Jason, you are echoing the little voices in my head. (And yes, I’m standing on the grass.)

  12. pinson343

    @secondguessingfanbase: You have the 2011 Reds vs. Cardinal games backwards. The Reds won 9 out of 15 last season from the Cards due to weaknesses in the Cards defense.
    Their middle IF (this was prior to Furcal’s arrival) handed the Reds a couple of games and Berkman helped the Reds a lot in RF early in the season.

    And yes of course Joey Votto’s defense can improve but he did win a Gold Glove in 2011.

  13. pinson343

    @TC: Good to see you active on the blog, TC. I hope you stick with it.

    BTW last year I said Jim Bowden was surprisingly good as a commentator and you said he’s a complete ass. You were 100% correct.

  14. pinson343

    @jholcomb: You remind me that Cubs fans are miserable over this trade.

    And Eddie Milner played better defense and had more pop than Sappelt. Also a better baserunner.

  15. Bill Lack

    I hate this deal, period. Gave up too much for one year. In 2013, I don’t want to hear anyone that was in favor of this deal complaining about the Reds lack of depth….

  16. RedBlooded

    Not sure whether it has been said elsewhere but the happiest camper in all this, at least at the moment has to be Todd Frazier.

    • OhioJim

      Not sure whether it has been said elsewhere but the happiest camper in all this, at least at the moment has to be Todd Frazier.

      @RedBlooded: Yes, and what happened to all those Todd Frazier fans ?

      Yes. I’ve been wondering if Frazier is still a Red because the Reds wanted him to remain a Red or whether it is because the other teams held out for Grandal and Sappelt and/ or
      Torreyes over Frazier.

      I’d guess we will learn a lot about that answer based on how the Reds spend (talent and $$$) and just who they get to be the right handed LF bat or back up middle infielder.

      Personally I see a lot of the same offensively in Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier. Frazier brings more to the table on the other side of the ball because he plays passable defense at all the infield spots in addition to playing LF.

      However, I’m not sure either is a starter on a championship caliber club. If it is the case that neither starts, then can the team really afford to have two roster spots held down by these two?

  17. lookatthathat

    @Jason Linden: I’m with the rest that Wood probably wouldn’t have given us 200 innings. Not with BArroyo around. What I don’t understand, however, is the logic behind getting a 3 mil dollar lefthander for the pen by trading away another (cheaper!) lefty that has shown good stuff in the past. I guess I would have given Wood a shot in the bullpen at some point last year and or during Spring training before trading a mess of prospects for another starter turned reliever that they insist won’t close.

    • pinson343

      lookatthat: I guess I would have given Wood a shot in the bullpen at some point last year …

      This is a good point. A number of us wanted to see Wood used more in the bullpen last season, given that he wasn’t starting. He spent time on the Reds’ roster at Dusty’s forgotten man. He only pitched relief in 4 games. He pitched well in relief, but way too small a sample size. If he’d pitched more in the pen in 2011, that option would have been better understood on 2012. But that was 2011, that ship has sailed.

  18. hermanbates

    I’ve always liked the trade, but this post gave me chills. Nice post Steve.

    Just a side note, i understand one can disagree with the marshall trade..but this post in itself was a fire-inducing, emotionally filled expression of fanhood, well beyond the marshall trade. How someone can read this and still only think about the trade is hard for me to fathom. Dislike the trade, fine. But this isn’t an argument for the trade. It’s a simple proclamation of excitement and hope. Dislike the trade, sure, whatever. But get excited, and be hopeful. It’s what makes baseball great.

    • TC

      I’ve always liked the trade, but this post gave me chills. Nice post Steve.

      Just a side note, i understand one can disagree with the marshall trade..but this post in itself was a fire-inducing, emotionally filled expression of fanhood, well beyond the marshall trade. How someone can read this and still only think about the trade is hard for me to fathom. Dislike the trade, fine. But this isn’t an argument for the trade. It’s a simple proclamation of excitement and hope. Dislike the trade, sure, whatever. But get excited, and be hopeful. It’s what makes baseball great.

      Geesh, you step out for a few hours and you miss great posts like these. WELL SAID!

  19. justcorbly

    As they say in another profession, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    That applies to baseball, too. That’s why statistics only help so much when you’re making a decision. Players follow bad years with great years, and the other way around.

    If you are consistently bad year in and year out, you aren’t in the majors for long.

    If you are consistently good year in and year out, you’re one of the elite players and probably out of range for the Reds in a trade.

    Latos and Marshall are not in baseball’s elite. But, they probably stand a better chance of getting there than the players the Reds gave up. We can quibble about depth and this and that, but I can’t see that keeping any of those traded players would have made this team better than it is with Latos and Marshall instead of them.

  20. Truman48

    I don’t really have a problem with the trades. Wasn’t really sold on Wood. I think we as Reds fans tend to overrate our talent and underrate theirs. I do think if Bob C was “all-in” he wouldn’t have closed the checkbook when he did. Again, 84-86 wins for the next two years by mortgaging the future is somewhat questionable. I don’t believe this team is going to be as good as some are implying.

  21. pinson343

    @Truman48: By your own observations above, it doesn’t follow that the Reds have “mortgaged the future.”

  22. pinson343

    @pinson343: So many typos, I need a nap. “Wood spent time on the Reds’ roster as Duty’s forgotten man.”
    “If Wood had pitched more in the pen in 2011, that option would have been better understood before the offseason.”

  23. SFredsfan

    I like the trades a lot. My main question is are we able to replace some of the talent we traded away? Tucker Barnhart at catcher is a strong candidate in the future and will Phipps replace Sappelt? Who else is on the farm that will contribute in one to two years?

  24. earl

    Reds needed a better starter and a good pitcher for the end of the game, they got both. They had to pay for it with some potential talent, but how it plays out ultimately decides if it was good or bad deals.

    Budget is what the budget is, until the Reds attendance goes up into the higher echelon of the league, i’d say it is going to be pretty static. It jumped up pretty good last year and I think it is possible to still grow provided they don’t faceplant out of the gate or the weather is total junk.

    One thing I did look on the schedule that made me wonder was that the Reds have no marquee team playing at home on a weekend until like June. (Really you could argue July when the Cards come to town, unless you count the Tigers or Twins interleague series or the Giants as marquee clubs.) I don’t know if this is bad or not to have the clubs that usually draw better there Monday to Thursday or on a weekend. Maybe it is better to have the Cubs and Cards in there during the week which will automatically draw somewhat well, as they are more likely to get a bigger weekend draw with the Nationals or Pirates which could be pretty empty on a Wed night.

  25. LukeSho

    At the end of the day, Walt’s moves have given us Reds fans hope for the ‘now’. You can only play on hope for the future for so long. Prospects become prospects become prospects. I’m ready to compete now, and Walt is doing that with these moves.

    There are always prospects. Walt is a smart guy. We will replenish, it’s what we do.

    I have hope for the now, for this year. And that sure feels good.

  26. Dave Lowenthal

    Steve’s post seems too simplistic to me. Why stop? If the goal is really 2012, then why not empty the farm system?

    Obviously, I’m being extreme—the goal isn’t *just* 2012, so it’s a tradeoff. So it’s not unreasonable to wonder about beyond 2012. Furthermore, some of us, at least me, won’t come down with a 100% definitive opinion of this trade until I see what other moves the team makes. If they stop here, I’m a lot more positive than I would be if they sign Cordero for 6-8M per year. (A lot more positive doesn’t mean “positive” mind you.)

    I’m also very tired of the Latos trade being lumped in with the Marshall trade. Whatever you think of the two trades, they are very different trades. Also, I love the Latos trade.

  27. Dave Lowenthal

    @Jason Linden: Obviously based on my prior comment I agree in principle with you Jason—except with Dusty Baker, Walt Jocketty, and Bob Castellini, Travis Wood wasn’t necessarily going to get 200 innings because of their need to justify Bronson Arroyo’s salary.

    Moreover, I still would have first offered Beltran 27M for 2 years, and if accepted put Wood in the pen and given Bray Marshall’s role. That’s just me, though, and assumes they have 8M/year for Cordero. Maybe they don’t.

  28. RedLeg75

    He might be the answer to LF. I like him over Heisey. Heisey is a great 4th OF.

    • preach

      He might be the answer to LF. I like him over Heisey. Heisey is a great 4th OF.

      Don’t know if Frazier is the answer, but I whole heartedly agree that Heisey’s best role is as a 4th outfielder/pinch hitter.

  29. preach

    “I’m also very tired of the Latos trade being lumped in with the Marshall trade. Whatever you think of the two trades, they are very different trades. Also, I love the Latos trade.”

    Indeed. Also, I would like the Marshall trade a lot more if one of two conditions are/were met:

    1. Marshall was named closer and the saved money was spent on a need (Left field, I’m looking at you)

    2. The prospects were sent to the Stupid Cubs with cash considerations coming back to us that we could use to immediately extend Marshall for at least another season. Doesn’t look like that happened, but that was my initial hope.

    Are we better now? Yes. Are we thinner now? Possibly. Could we have done better on these trades? Don’t think so for Latos, I think so for Marshall.

    Still, I am excited about what this season may hold. To my memory, this was the first quote a player has mentioned about the World Series. Gotta love that optimism. And in the post season you are most likely to be successful with two or three solid starters and timely hitting and defense. We have several gold glovers around the infield, one more bat will give us a wicked middle of the order, and Marshall can definately shorten games.

    How long until pitchers and catchers report?

  30. Brian Erts

    Prospects are prospects,, in short unproven at the upper level.

    The Reds historically have had as much luck finding pitching as the Pirates have had finding wins.

    When considering Marshall consider one thing:

    He’s a top 5 (area) reliever in the NL going to a team with only one current guy in he top 25 (looking at the important rate stats)

    The Reds need pitching NOW more than they need a LF, more than they need smallish minor league phenoms over 24, more than they need 140 pound Class A players, more than they need tweener 5th starters, more than they need to worry about where guys might play in 2013, they need viable shutdown arms and they just got one, sure it cost something, it was brokered by folks who don’t pretend that every trade is an easy rip off of the other team in a bubble created by a false reality.


    NATIONAL LEAGUE
    CAREER
    2010-2011

    GAMES STARTED <= 3
    INNINGS PITCHED displayed only--not a sorting criteria

    BASERUNNERS/9 IP BR/9 IP GS IP
    1 Rafael Betancourt 8.23 0 124.2
    2 Edward Mujica 8.96 0 145.2
    3 Tyler Clippard 9.33 0 179.1
    4 Jason Motte 9.65 0 120.1
    5 Luke Gregerson 9.67 0 134
    6 Sean Marshall 10.18 0 150.1
    7 Drew Storen 10.33 0 130.2
    8 Joel Hanrahan 10.47 0 138.1
    9 John Axford 10.53 0 131.2
    10 Kameron Loe 10.63 0 130.1
    11 Heath Bell 10.65 0 132.2
    12 Wilton Lopez 10.70 0 138
    13 Matt Belisle 10.81 0 164
    14 Jonny Venters 11.00 0 171
    15 Leo Nunez 11.27 0 129.1
    16 Francisco Rodriguez 11.37 0 129
    17 Francisco Cordero 11.38 0 142.1
    18 Logan Ondrusek 11.55 0 120
    19 Brian Sanches 11.56 2 125.1
    20 Guillermo Mota 11.66 0 134.1
    21 Brian Wilson 11.94 0 129.2
    22 Burke Badenhop 12.20 0 131.1
    23 Todd Coffey 12.32 0 122
    24 Mitchell Boggs 12.38 0 128
    25 Carlos Marmol 12.52 0 151.2
    26 Nick Masset 12.61 0 147

    HITS/9 IP H/9 IP GS IP
    1 Carlos Marmol 5.58 0 151.2
    2 Tyler Clippard 5.87 0 179.1
    3 Jonny Venters 6.00 0 171
    4 Jason Motte 6.73 0 120.1
    5 Brian Sanches 6.82 2 125.1
    6 John Axford 6.90 0 131.2
    7 Luke Gregerson 6.99 0 134
    8 Rafael Betancourt 7.07 0 124.2
    9 Drew Storen 7.16 0 130.2
    10 Heath Bell 7.26 0 132.2
    11 Francisco Cordero 7.40 0 142.1
    12 Joel Hanrahan 7.42 0 138.1
    13 Sean Marshall 7.42 0 150.1
    14 Edward Mujica 7.60 0 145.2
    15 Brian Wilson 7.77 0 129.2
    16 Logan Ondrusek 7.80 0 120
    17 Francisco Rodriguez 7.81 0 129
    18 Guillermo Mota 8.04 0 134.1
    19 Kameron Loe 8.22 0 130.1
    20 Leo Nunez 8.28 0 129.1
    21 Nick Masset 8.57 0 147
    22 Mitchell Boggs 8.58 0 128
    23 Burke Badenhop 8.70 0 131.1
    24 Matt Belisle 8.84 0 164
    25 Todd Coffey 8.85 0 122

    STRIKEOUTS/9 IP SO/9 IP GS IP
    1 Carlos Marmol 14.06 0 151.2
    2 Rafael Betancourt 11.70 0 124.2
    3 John Axford 11.07 0 131.2
    4 Tyler Clippard 10.84 0 179.1
    5 Joel Hanrahan 10.47 0 138.1
    6 Brian Wilson 10.20 0 129.2
    7 Francisco Rodriguez 10.19 0 129
    8 Sean Marshall 10.12 0 150.1
    9 Jonny Venters 9.95 0 171
    10 Heath Bell 9.29 0 132.2
    11 Nick Masset 9.00 0 147
    12 Leo Nunez 8.77 0 129.1
    13 Jason Motte 8.75 0 120.1
    14 Drew Storen 8.68 0 130.2
    15 Edward Mujica 8.34 0 145.2
    16 Luke Gregerson 8.26 0 134
    17 Matt Belisle 8.18 0 164
    18 Guillermo Mota 7.70 0 134.1
    19 Brian Sanches 7.61 2 125.1
    20 Todd Coffey 7.52 0 122
    21 Kameron Loe 7.39 0 130.1
    22 Mitchell Boggs 7.03 0 128
    23 Wilton Lopez 6.91 0 138
    24 Burke Badenhop 6.72 0 131.1
    25 D.J. Carrasco 6.49 1 127.2
    26 Francisco Cordero 6.39 0 142.1

    STRIKEOUTS/WALKS SO/BB GS IP
    1 Rafael Betancourt 10.13 0 124.2
    2 Edward Mujica 6.75 0 145.2
    3 Matt Belisle 4.97 0 164
    4 Wilton Lopez 4.61 0 138
    5 Sean Marshall 4.02 0 150.1
    6 Joel Hanrahan 3.83 0 138.1
    7 Kameron Loe 3.45 0 130.1
    8 Jason Motte 3.44 0 120.1
    9 Luke Gregerson 3.32 0 134
    10 Tyler Clippard 3.22 0 179.1
    11 John Axford 3.12 0 131.2
    12 Francisco Rodriguez 3.11 0 129
    T13 Drew Storen 3.00 0 130.2
    T13 Leo Nunez 3.00 0 129.1
    15 Heath Bell 2.80 0 132.2
    16 Brian Wilson 2.58 0 129.2
    17 Todd Coffey 2.37 0 122
    18 Carlos Marmol 2.37 0 151.2
    19 Jonny Venters 2.30 0 171
    20 Nick Masset 2.30 0 147
    21 Guillermo Mota 2.21 0 134.1
    22 Burke Badenhop 2.18 0 131.1
    23 Mitchell Boggs 2.08 0 128
    24 D.J. Carrasco 1.84 1 127.2
    25 Francisco Cordero 1.74 0 142.1

    WALKS/9 IP BB/9 IP GS IP
    1 Rafael Betancourt 1.16 0 124.2
    2 Edward Mujica 1.24 0 145.2
    3 Wilton Lopez 1.50 0 138
    4 Matt Belisle 1.65 0 164
    5 Kameron Loe 2.14 0 130.1
    6 Luke Gregerson 2.49 0 134
    7 Sean Marshall 2.51 0 150.1
    8 Jason Motte 2.54 0 120.1
    9 Joel Hanrahan 2.73 0 138.1
    10 Drew Storen 2.89 0 130.2
    11 Leo Nunez 2.92 0 129.1
    12 Burke Badenhop 3.08 0 131.1
    13 Todd Coffey 3.17 0 122
    14 Francisco Rodriguez 3.28 0 129
    15 Heath Bell 3.32 0 132.2
    16 Tyler Clippard 3.36 0 179.1
    17 Mitchell Boggs 3.38 0 128
    18 Guillermo Mota 3.48 0 134.1
    19 D.J. Carrasco 3.52 1 127.2
    20 John Axford 3.55 0 131.2
    21 Logan Ondrusek 3.60 0 120
    22 Francisco Cordero 3.67 0 142.1
    23 Nick Masset 3.92 0 147
    24 Brian Wilson 3.96 0 129.2
    25 Jonny Venters 4.32 0 171

  31. Brian Erts

    Prospects are prospects,, in short unproven at the upper level.

    The Reds historically have had as much luck finding pitching as the Pirates have had finding wins.

    When considering Marshall consider one thing:

    He’s a top 5 (area) reliever in the NL going to a team with only one current guy in he top 25 (looking at the important rate stats)

    The Reds need pitching NOW more than they need a LF, more than they need smallish minor league phenoms over 24, more than they need 140 pound Class A players, more than they need tweener 5th starters, more than they need to worry about where guys might play in 2013, they need viable shutdown arms and they just got one, sure it cost something, it was brokered by folks who don’t pretend that every trade is an easy rip off of the other team in a bubble created by a false reality.

    NATIONAL LEAGUE
    CAREER
    2010-2011

    GAMES STARTED <= 3
    INNINGS PITCHED displayed only–not a sorting criteria

    BASERUNNERS/9 IP BR/9 IP GS IP
    1 Rafael Betancourt 8.23 0 124.2
    2 Edward Mujica 8.96 0 145.2
    3 Tyler Clippard 9.33 0 179.1
    4 Jason Motte 9.65 0 120.1
    5 Luke Gregerson 9.67 0 134
    6 Sean Marshall 10.18 0 150.1
    7 Drew Storen 10.33 0 130.2
    8 Joel Hanrahan 10.47 0 138.1
    9 John Axford 10.53 0 131.2
    10 Kameron Loe 10.63 0 130.1
    11 Heath Bell 10.65 0 132.2
    12 Wilton Lopez 10.70 0 138
    13 Matt Belisle 10.81 0 164
    14 Jonny Venters 11.00 0 171
    15 Leo Nunez 11.27 0 129.1
    16 Francisco Rodriguez 11.37 0 129
    17 Francisco Cordero 11.38 0 142.1
    18 Logan Ondrusek 11.55 0 120
    19 Brian Sanches 11.56 2 125.1
    20 Guillermo Mota 11.66 0 134.1
    21 Brian Wilson 11.94 0 129.2
    22 Burke Badenhop 12.20 0 131.1
    23 Todd Coffey 12.32 0 122
    24 Mitchell Boggs 12.38 0 128
    25 Carlos Marmol 12.52 0 151.2
    26 Nick Masset 12.61 0 147

    HITS/9 IP H/9 IP GS IP
    1 Carlos Marmol 5.58 0 151.2
    2 Tyler Clippard 5.87 0 179.1
    3 Jonny Venters 6.00 0 171
    4 Jason Motte 6.73 0 120.1
    5 Brian Sanches 6.82 2 125.1
    6 John Axford 6.90 0 131.2
    7 Luke Gregerson 6.99 0 134
    8 Rafael Betancourt 7.07 0 124.2
    9 Drew Storen 7.16 0 130.2
    10 Heath Bell 7.26 0 132.2
    11 Francisco Cordero 7.40 0 142.1
    12 Joel Hanrahan 7.42 0 138.1
    13 Sean Marshall 7.42 0 150.1
    14 Edward Mujica 7.60 0 145.2
    15 Brian Wilson 7.77 0 129.2
    16 Logan Ondrusek 7.80 0 120
    17 Francisco Rodriguez 7.81 0 129
    18 Guillermo Mota 8.04 0 134.1
    19 Kameron Loe 8.22 0 130.1
    20 Leo Nunez 8.28 0 129.1
    21 Nick Masset 8.57 0 147
    22 Mitchell Boggs 8.58 0 128
    23 Burke Badenhop 8.70 0 131.1
    24 Matt Belisle 8.84 0 164
    25 Todd Coffey 8.85 0 122

    STRIKEOUTS/9 IP SO/9 IP GS IP
    1 Carlos Marmol 14.06 0 151.2
    2 Rafael Betancourt 11.70 0 124.2
    3 John Axford 11.07 0 131.2
    4 Tyler Clippard 10.84 0 179.1
    5 Joel Hanrahan 10.47 0 138.1
    6 Brian Wilson 10.20 0 129.2
    7 Francisco Rodriguez 10.19 0 129
    8 Sean Marshall 10.12 0 150.1
    9 Jonny Venters 9.95 0 171
    10 Heath Bell 9.29 0 132.2
    11 Nick Masset 9.00 0 147
    12 Leo Nunez 8.77 0 129.1
    13 Jason Motte 8.75 0 120.1
    14 Drew Storen 8.68 0 130.2
    15 Edward Mujica 8.34 0 145.2
    16 Luke Gregerson 8.26 0 134
    17 Matt Belisle 8.18 0 164
    18 Guillermo Mota 7.70 0 134.1
    19 Brian Sanches 7.61 2 125.1
    20 Todd Coffey 7.52 0 122
    21 Kameron Loe 7.39 0 130.1
    22 Mitchell Boggs 7.03 0 128
    23 Wilton Lopez 6.91 0 138
    24 Burke Badenhop 6.72 0 131.1
    25 D.J. Carrasco 6.49 1 127.2
    26 Francisco Cordero 6.39 0 142.1

    STRIKEOUTS/WALKS SO/BB GS IP
    1 Rafael Betancourt 10.13 0 124.2
    2 Edward Mujica 6.75 0 145.2
    3 Matt Belisle 4.97 0 164
    4 Wilton Lopez 4.61 0 138
    5 Sean Marshall 4.02 0 150.1
    6 Joel Hanrahan 3.83 0 138.1
    7 Kameron Loe 3.45 0 130.1
    8 Jason Motte 3.44 0 120.1
    9 Luke Gregerson 3.32 0 134
    10 Tyler Clippard 3.22 0 179.1
    11 John Axford 3.12 0 131.2
    12 Francisco Rodriguez 3.11 0 129
    T13 Drew Storen 3.00 0 130.2
    T13 Leo Nunez 3.00 0 129.1
    15 Heath Bell 2.80 0 132.2
    16 Brian Wilson 2.58 0 129.2
    17 Todd Coffey 2.37 0 122
    18 Carlos Marmol 2.37 0 151.2
    19 Jonny Venters 2.30 0 171
    20 Nick Masset 2.30 0 147
    21 Guillermo Mota 2.21 0 134.1
    22 Burke Badenhop 2.18 0 131.1
    23 Mitchell Boggs 2.08 0 128
    24 D.J. Carrasco 1.84 1 127.2
    25 Francisco Cordero 1.74 0 142.1

    WALKS/9 IP BB/9 IP GS IP
    1 Rafael Betancourt 1.16 0 124.2
    2 Edward Mujica 1.24 0 145.2
    3 Wilton Lopez 1.50 0 138
    4 Matt Belisle 1.65 0 164
    5 Kameron Loe 2.14 0 130.1
    6 Luke Gregerson 2.49 0 134
    7 Sean Marshall 2.51 0 150.1
    8 Jason Motte 2.54 0 120.1
    9 Joel Hanrahan 2.73 0 138.1
    10 Drew Storen 2.89 0 130.2
    11 Leo Nunez 2.92 0 129.1
    12 Burke Badenhop 3.08 0 131.1
    13 Todd Coffey 3.17 0 122
    14 Francisco Rodriguez 3.28 0 129
    15 Heath Bell 3.32 0 132.2
    16 Tyler Clippard 3.36 0 179.1
    17 Mitchell Boggs 3.38 0 128
    18 Guillermo Mota 3.48 0 134.1
    19 D.J. Carrasco 3.52 1 127.2
    20 John Axford 3.55 0 131.2
    21 Logan Ondrusek 3.60 0 120
    22 Francisco Cordero 3.67 0 142.1
    23 Nick Masset 3.92 0 147
    24 Brian Wilson 3.96 0 129.2
    25 Jonny Venters 4.32 0 171

    • Travis G.

      The Reds need pitching NOW more than they need a LF, more than they need smallish minor league phenoms over 24, more than they need 140 pound Class A players, more than they need tweener 5th starters, more than they need to worry about where guys might play in 2013, they need viable shutdown arms and they just got one, sure it cost something, it was brokered by folks who don’t pretend that every trade is an easy rip off of the other team in a bubble created by a false reality.

      EXACTLY.

      I’m not the biggest fan of Heisey as an everyday player, but there just aren’t that many LF on the market (via trade or free agency). There’s no sense in overpaying now for a marginal upgrade when offense hasn’t been the problem, but the market is glutted with relievers who represent substantial upgrades over our current guys. That includes Marshall. Someone else good (or better) is going to be available cheap, but probably not for a couple of weeks.

      I’d prefer the Reds spend a little on a very good closer as prices drop and make the bullpen a legitimate strength and look for their LF upgrade during the season, when it becomes more clear whether they need a cleanup hitter or leadoff man.

  32. RedLeg75

    And know this- Marshall’s CubStink is eliminated because of the presence of Billy Hatcher. Hatcher, against all odds, won the 1990 World Series with Cincinnati despite once upon a time being a Cub.

    Therefore, as long as Billy Hatcher is first base coach for the Reds, or employed by them in any capacity, the Reds are protected against any CubStink.

  33. MikeC

    @RedLeg75:

    Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko came up with the curse of the Cubs rule:
    If any team has 3 or more ex-Cubs on its roster, then this team shall not win the
    World Series. At the time of his death several years ago,the rule had always worked. Not sure if it is still true to this day.

    I remember reading his column before the 1990 WS in which he pointed out the Oakland A’s were violating the rule by having too many ex-Cubs on their roster. He predicted that “even the mighty A’s shall fall.” We all know how that one turned out.

  34. BubbaFan

    I’m all for going big or going home, and I think that’s what Walt is doing.

    I just don’t think a relief pitcher is the best way to spend limited resources (cash or prospects).

    As for Frazier…I don’t see how this is good news for him. The roster math is brutal. I think the only trades that would help him are 1) his being traded to another team or 2) Juan Francisco being traded. Otherwise, there’s just no room on the roster.

  35. David

    “It’s a bit of a gamble, but I’m eager for the Reds to go for it.” THIS is not “going for it.” I’m sorry, but adding Latos and Marshall does not make the Reds a World Series contender or a contender for the NL pennant. The NL is loaded with good teams. The Phillies (Halladay, Lee, Hamels) Giants (Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner), Cards (Carpenter, Wainwright, Garcia), Nationals (Strasburg, Gonazalez, Zimmerman) and Marlins (Johnson, Sanchez, Buehrle) all have rotations I’d take over the Reds’ rotation.

    In the Reds you have Latos, Cueto and who? Leake? He’s not better than any of the No. 3s listed above. He’s certainly a nice pitcher, but elite? No. The Reds need another young talented arm to put with Latos and Cueto.

    Votto, Phillips, and Bruce can be put up against any big three on any other team, but let’s not go crazy here. After those three, there are WAY too many question marks. Too much reliance is being placed on Cozart, Mesoraco and Rolen. And if Heisey is the starting LF, then this off season was a failure because the Red only kind of went for it.

    The only option I see is trading Chapman, Hamilton, Bailey and various spare parts, to acquire a legit LF bat and a power arm. Add Madson in FA. Add Kuroda in FA. THEN the Reds may be “going for it.”

    • Myles

      “It’s a bit of a gamble, but I’m eager for the Reds to go for it.”THIS is not “going for it.”I’m sorry, but adding Latos and Marshall does not make the Reds a World Series contender or a contender for the NL pennant.The NL is loaded with good teams.The Phillies (Halladay, Lee, Hamels) Giants (Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner), Cards (Carpenter, Wainwright, Garcia), Nationals (Strasburg, Gonazalez, Zimmerman) and Marlins (Johnson, Sanchez, Buehrle) all have rotations I’d take over the Reds’ rotation.

      In the Reds you have Latos, Cueto and who?Leake?He’s not better than any of the No. 3s listed above.He’s certainly a nice pitcher, but elite? No.The Reds need another young talented arm to put with Latos and Cueto.

      Votto, Phillips, and Bruce can be put up against any big three on any other team, but let’s not go crazy here.After those three, there are WAY too many question marks.Too much reliance is being placed on Cozart, Mesoraco and Rolen.And if Heisey is the starting LF, then this off season was a failure because the Red only kind of went for it.

      The only option I see is trading Chapman, Hamilton, Bailey and various spare parts, to acquire a legit LF bat and a power arm.Add Madson in FA.Add Kuroda in FA.THEN the Reds may be “going for it.”

      There are a couple of options:
      (a) Pray that Chapman can go more than 100 innings in 2012 and be a #3 guy. This option would have been more plausible had the organization not screwed up by using Chapman out of the bullpen in 2011.

      (b) Trade Chapman and a couple prospects for a #3 starter. The guys on the market right now are not that good… Latos was the best arm available.

      (c) Trade for a bat. But without a solid #3 starter that bat needs to be near-MVP level… there’s nobody out there.

  36. littleleo1

    @pinson343: I don’t like any trade which brings a small market team a relief pitcher for one year for three good prospects .. But I agree with you guys about Jim Bowden and his buddy Casey Stern .. They are TERRIBLE. MLB radio is a constant for me except for the 2-6 hours .. Thses two are just blowhards .. Bowden has proven over the years how little he really knows about the game .. and Casey Stern please??? .. Mlb Radio is great except for the 2-6 pm slot .. I just turn it off. Others should too .. Lets get these clowns off the air

  37. Bob Purkey

    Of course if you didn’t have Chapman(1 inning pitcher) at $5MM and Arroyo(5 inning pitcher) at $13MM there are a lot of things that the Reds could afford. The problem is, you have both of them for a few more years eating up about 22% of your payroll(based upon a $80MM total).

    Just think that in 2013 when Phillips will probably be there around $12MM, Votto @ $17MM along with Chapman and Arroyo, you’ll have just shy of 60% of your payroll in those 4 players-ouch!

    As much as I love Phillips he’s 30+ and you can’t spend that much on a 2B that will have declining skills soon, simply due to age. While I love Votto, the Reds can’t afford any 1 player @ $17MM. Arroyo and CHapman speak for themselves. . .Sorry if this sounds negative, but that’s the way it stands.

  38. Travis G.

    * meaning, Marshall represented a substantial upgrade over anyone else in the Reds’ bullpen. I’m not sure there are any free agents a whole lot better than him.

  39. BubbaFan

    I’m just not sold on the value of relief pitchers. I don’t know if it’s because the sample size is so small or what, but they seem to be very unpredictable year to year. I wouldn’t bet that Marshall is going to be more valuable than Bray, just because relievers are such a crap shoot.

    I think a big part of the problem with the pen this year was the starting pitching. The pen was overworked. Getting new guys to overwork isn’t the fix.

  40. pinson343

    @littleleo1: @BubbaFan: I like your comments but I feel that Marshall is just not your usual relief pitcher. FanGraphs had his WAR at the third best in baseball last season. Plus, unlike almost all relief pitchers, he has been consistent from season to season.

    I have my own cynicism about relief pitchers. I say sometimes that except for Mariano Rivera, a reliever is just a failed starter. And Marshall himself did not live up to the Cubs hopes for him as a starter.

    Bottom line: I believe, rightly or wrongly, that Marshall is a better pitcher than Wood and a better pitcher than anyone currently in the Reds pen. And the obvious fact is that – say what you want about the value of individual relief pitchers – without a decent bullpen a team cannot contend, and its fans are in for a whole lot of frustration, watching a lot of late leads evaporate.

    • David

      @littleleo1: @BubbaFan: I like your comments but I feel that Marshall is just not your usual relief pitcher. FanGraphs had his WAR at the third best in baseball last season. Plus, unlike almost all relief pitchers, he has been consistent from season to season.I have my own cynicism about relief pitchers. I say sometimes that except for Mariano Rivera, a reliever is just a failed starter. And Marshall himself did not live up to the Cubs hopes for him as a starter. Bottom line: I believe, rightly or wrongly, that Marshall is a better pitcher than Wood and a better pitcher than anyone currently in the Reds pen. And the obvious fact is that – say what you want about the value of individual relief pitchers – without a decent bullpen a team cannot contend, and its fans are in for a whole lot of frustration, watching a lot of late leads evaporate.

      Marshall has had two very good years, being pretty consistent. However, look back on his ’08-’09 seasons. He’s put together two great years and two average years. I’m not saying he isn’t one of the better setup guys in baseball, I’m just saying that it changes that quickly. He’s really not that much different from Arthur Rhodes when he was a Red, and I wouldn’t trade a year of Arthur Rhodes for Travis Wood plus two top 25 prospects.

  41. No Smoke n Mirrors

    UNBELIEVABLE!!

    R U SERIOUS!??

    Some of the posts I have seen are scaring me. I didn’t realize the extent of stupidity of Reds fans!!

    You call, Marshall and Latos going all in for 2012!!??

    Oh please!! I bet the Phillies, Cardinals, Rangers, Yankees, Angels, and Rays are shaking in their boots!!

    You must be joking!! I think Castellini, paid some of you nice folks to make these “World Series” comments!! Castellini has more money than you know. All owners do!! That is how they became rich! His intelligence is in figuring out how to blow smoke up fans arse in order to sell more tickets! Doing this with out spending his money is what he is a master at apparently. Because it isn’t at being in the post season.

    Only way Reds are going to the Series is if, Dusty buys them tickets to it!!

    Reds won 79 games last season, and still have not addressed the all important lead off spot! SS is a major ??? mark. 3rd base is a big question at best.
    LF is a big ??? mark also.

    Reds have no big RH power hitter.

    Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs strike out all the time making it easy for opposing pitchers all year long!!

    And half the pitching staff couldn’t find the strike zone with a Tom-Tom!!

    And then you have Dusty taking 4 hours to make out a line up because he has no clue!!

    Please Reds fans, quit drinking the cool aid!!

  42. lookatthathat

    @pinson343: I just wish that Wood had gotten his licks in the pen last year. Chapman and he should have switched spots in my opinion. Marshall generates more groundballs than Wood has, but otherwise they seem to have very similar pitching profiles though their “starter” seasons. I think that a converted Wood could have been a heck of a reliever.

    Let’s also go on to say that Marshall has been very good for 2 years in a row. That’s a pretty low standard for consistency. I mean, Richard Hidalgo was a great hitter for two years in a row and Live had two popular songs. We can’t get carried away here.

  43. No Smoke n Mirrors

    By the way, what do the Reds see in Baker, Price, and Jacoby??

    I just am not getting it!!

    Must come down to money, as it always does with the Reds! They must be cheap!

    Ever notice when a player is on his last leg, the Reds find a way to sign him. Then after that he is out of baseball!!

    Is that right, or is it just me again!!??

    Comes down to $$$$ again, keeping the Reds fans interested enough to buy a few tickets……and then end up in 3rd place again!!

    HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

  44. BloodyHo

    During 2010, the bullpen was an absolute strength of the team with Rhodes and Masset pitching lights out. The bullpen performance dropped significantly during 2011. Masset did not follow up on his 2010 performance but Bray made significant progress and Cordero regained his edge as a closer. IN order to compete in 2012, the bullpen has to again perform at a lights out level. Marshall provide the bullpen upgrade that makes this possible. Heisey is a GREAT 4th outfielder and PH and will have a long, illustrious career in that role, but he is not an everyday starting outfielder. Frazier may become the next super-sub (lf, rf, 3b, 1b, ss) and PH, but I don’t think he is an everyday starter either. I believe Cozard will at least be a serviceable SS this year and well above the 2011 production at SS. Rolen is Rolen. He will play healthy or someone else will play 3B. Stubbs swings a more intelligent, effective bat or someone else plays CF. I’m comfortable with the Hannigan/Mesoraco platoon at catcher. Votto, Phillips and Bruce are solid. Give me two shutdown starters, a shutdown bullpen and get me to the playoffs and I’ll roll the dice with this lineup, if we can land a solid LF as a good leadoff hitter or cleanup hitter to protect Votto. I also think we have serviceable backup/replacements in place for 2012 should minor injuries take down a starter. I think the Redbirds and Brew Crew have many more concerns about the injury factor with the lineups they are fielding.

  45. Dave Lowenthal

    @redmountain: Do you have access to Bob Castellini’s books? I mean, do you really believe that Castellini is going to lose money at 90M? Personally, I simply do not believe the owners are losing money.

  46. BubbaFan

    @BloodyHo:

    That’s the volatility I’m talking about. Rhodes and Masset were lights out in 2010. In 2011, Masset put up a similar ERA but a terrible WHIP. Rhodes was nowhere near the pitcher he was for the Reds (I’m so glad we didn’t re-sign him). OTOH, Cordero and Bray improved.

    It just seems like with that kind of unpredictability, you might as well stay with the cheap homegrown guys; they have just as much of a chance of turning into the winning lottery ticket as the expensive guys.

    Though I hope Marshall is an exception, as Mariano Rivera is. (Though I wouldn’t want Mo, either. He’s a stud, but he makes more than Derek Jeter. That’s a lot of dough for a guy who plays 60 innings a year.)

  47. David

    @redmountain: This is sort of an obtuse understanding of the economics of baseball. Your premise is based upon the assumption that Castellini owns the Reds because he wants the Reds to be profitable. The assumption is really incorrect.

    “To me, NBA franchises are like pieces of art. There are only 30 of them. They aren’t always on the market, especially a franchise that would have been such a natural fit. … If you just looked at the Cavaliers in terms of revenues, profits and balance sheets — and you paid this amount for it — people would say ‘You’re insane! You’re nuts.’ But if you look at all the tentacles, the impact on our other venues, it makes tremendous sense.” Dan Gilbert.

    What Gilbert is describing is what economists call the psychic benefit i.e. the joy someone gets from owning something. Owning a sports franchise is an investment, and the investment appreciates in value over the long term. When Castellini sells the Reds, he will make money. Until then, he has the joy of owning the Reds, as any fan of sports would.

    There is a desire to make short term profits as well, however, as Gilbert points out, owners aren’t looking at the team’s balance sheet alone when judging profit.

    Take the Yankees for example. According to Forbes, the Yankees lost $50 million in operating income in 2010. Operating income is income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. How then could the Steinbrenners lose 50 million a year and still want to own the team? The answer is because the Steinbrenners also own 34% in YES Network which grossed $400 million in revenue. The Steinbrenners can lose a little from this pocket because their other pocket gets fatter. No matter which pocket, it’s still the same pair of pants.

  48. TC

    BTW Pinson343… you and Preach have always been my favorite posters here. I never stopped reading it, just lost interest in having my opinion out there. You guys are great.

    • preach

      @Brian Erts: Great stuff. Makes me want to go out and pick up Todd Coffee. lol.

      Hey, if he sprints in from Washington (or wherever he is as a FA)he might report in better shape!

      You mentioned the TV time for the Reds: I don’t know if they can do a network, but as a resident of Columbus it bothers me to see such in-depth coverage of the Indians, including a lot of their behind the scenes stuff and ‘flashback’ coverage throughout the season and even into the winter, but the only time we have anything Reds related is during the actual broadcast. The Tribe’s coverage is really on a different level. I’ve even gone into BW3’s during December and on one of the TV’s they had Manning and some of their other announcers doing a round table thing about the team’s playoff success in the 90’s. People were watching as they were chowing on their spicy garlic boneless wings. It has to have an impact. We have a superior product, but from my viewpoint have much inferior marketing. And Columbus has always been a Reds town (a Browns one too, but no one is perfect).

      Also, I appreciate the nice words. I’m not a big ‘stat quoter’ and don’t stay up on the minor leagues too much, and sometimes I almost feel ‘in the way’. I just love the game and watch an awful lot of it (ask the wife) and tend to look at things from more of a scout type viewpoint. Thanks.

      • OhioJim

        You mentioned the TV time for the Reds: I don’t know if they can do a network, but as a resident of Columbus it bothers me to see such in-depth coverage of the Indians….

        We have a superior product, but from my viewpoint have much inferior marketing. And Columbus has always been a Reds town (a Browns one too, but no one is perfect)……

        I think it was a huge coup for the Indians to get the Clippers as their AAA farm team. They make a great marketing tool for the parent team just as you described.

        I live in the Dayton area; and, I would have to say that it doesn’t seem to work that way for the Reds/ Dragons tie in. I’m not sure if the issue is the Reds marketing or perhaps because the guys in Dayton are still so far down the chain that the connection wouldn’t work regardless. Maybe it is because Dayton has always been seen as part of the Reds primary market. I know my bottom line feeling is that some significant portion of those folks who help sell out the Dragons every game used to go to Cincy to see the Reds a lot more than they used to.

  49. TC

    After last years bullpen results, one relief pitcher does not a great bullpen make. They need another reliever and an every day top of the order or 4 hole hitting left fielder.

    I like Heisey as the 4th OF because he’s pretty good coming off the bench and he can play around the outfield. I also like him as a defensive substitute in late innings. But as far as I can tell, the Reds are short an OF so something will have to be done.

    Daniel Dorn is a possibility as a 5th OF, but (I think, just an impression, not checked the stats) he has more time at 1st base.

    Juan Pierre is still my vote as a free agent pickup. for leadoff I assure you, he would not be a Corey Patterson or Willy Taveras (ringing my collar with my index finger, gulp).

  50. Sultan of Swaff

    @redmountain: Spending comes in different forms. In the Marshall case, we spent prospects rather than money to acquire talent. I think it’s an overpay because the RP market is so glutted. But my point is that you can’t really be ‘all in’ unless you’re willing to take an operating loss one year in hopes of recouping the investment down the road. I don’t get the sense ownership is in that mode yet, but the Brewers tried it and have drawn close to 3million fans the last two seasons because they created a legitimate contender. This goes to the heart of Steve’s post, that for once we have a team capable of reaching the World Series. To that end, a smart payroll bump would pay you back with interest.

  51. TC

    If Steinbrenner makes money from the Yes TV network, I am convinced the Reds could have their own TV Channel. They’ve been a top 5 TV ratings team for the past two years. This past year they averaged a 7.44 market share (meaning 7.44% if TV viewers were watching the ballgame every night).

    The rest of the year could be full of local sports personalities such as Mo, Lance, and the hairy one, or coverage of other mid-level sports venues that don’t get any TV time, such as UC/Xavier basketball and the Cyclones.

    Local game coverage for Notre Dame football would be huge as well.

    The rest of the time can be dedicated to War movies and The Man Show (oh wait, this isn’t Spike).

  52. OhioJim

    @redmountain: Not saying that anything you said about the current ownership arrangement is definitely wrong because I don’t know for sure that it is.

    However much of what you related sounds like a description of the old ownership agreement which the Castellini/ Williams group bought out. My understanding is that they purchased all of the team except a very small portion that (the now late) Mr Linder held onto (less than 15%). They then turned around and tore up the old corporate structure giving themselves essentially carte blanche control (which they could do because they controlled over 2/3 of previous corporation which was the tipping point under its rules).

    Among part of the new arrangement that has been made public is that the “Reds” company the Casellini group has sold shares in is NOT the team itself but rather a holding company which owns some designated share of the the company that is the actual team; and the Castellini/ Williams group maintains control of both the holding company and the core corporation individually and in total.

    It is my belief that this arrangement allows the Castellini/ Williams group to invest whatever funds they wish into the team without being encumbered by “minority partners” as was the case under the old arrangement.

    Anybody else have a take on this?

  53. Dave Lowenthal

    @David: David: there are multiple different things you are describing, right?

    1. The enjoyment of owning a franchise; for example, if I’m worth 10 billion, and I lose 10 million per year, I don’t care, even if I sell the team at no gain after owning it for X years.

    2. The idea that an owner might lose a bit of money in operating income in some years (and make some money in operating income in other years), but who cares, since when they sell the team they make a huge profit, so when you bundle it all up, they make a huge annualized profit.

    3. The idea the owners are not actually losing money year to year because they are hiding things, like your YES example.

    I think (1) could be true but almost never is, and (2) is true except that teams almost never actually lose operating income in a given year because of (3). And if they do lose income, they blow up the team and take their socialized profits via revenue sharing, soak the city’s taxpayers for as much as they can get with sweetheart deals, and then claim to be free market capitalists to the bone. That last sentence to me describes Bob Castellini and probably many owners. Sorry, I’m sure that will offend pretty much everyone, but that’s my opinion. Note: more power to them if the cities will continue to fall for it. It’s just hypocritical, that’s all.

    • David

      @David: David: there are multiple different things you are describing, right?1. The enjoyment of owning a franchise; for example, if I’m worth 10 billion, and I lose 10 million per year, I don’t care, even if I sell the team at no gain after owning it for X years.2. The idea that an owner might lose a bit of money in operating income in some years (and make some money in operating income in other years), but who cares, since when they sell the team they make a huge profit, so when you bundle it all up, they make a huge annualized profit.3. The idea the owners are not actually losing money year to year because they are hiding things, like your YES example.I think (1) could be true but almost never is, and (2) is true except that teams almost never actually lose operating income in a given year because of (3). And if they do lose income, they blow up the team and take their socialized profits via revenue sharing, soak the city’s taxpayers for as much as they can get with sweetheart deals, and then claim to be free market capitalists to the bone. That last sentence to me describes Bob Castellini and probably many owners. Sorry, I’m sure that will offend pretty much everyone, but that’s my opinion. Note: more power to them if the cities will continue to fall for it. It’s just hypocritical, that’s all.

      1) Selling at a loss is almost never true, but that ooey gooey feeling owners enjoy from simply owning a team is a universal principle in economics. For example, if you buy a Picasso, when you sell, you’ll probably sell for a profit as works of fine art typically appreciate over time. However, the only short term benefit you get is the enjoyment of looking at it.

      2) Owners may not lose money in any given year, but organizations, as a separate entity, often lose money.

  54. MikeC

    @TC:

    “Juan Pierre is still my vote as a free agent pickup. for leadoff I assure you, he would not be a Corey Patterson or Willy Taveras (ringing my collar with my index finger, gulp).”

    I mentioned the other day that the Reds have thinned out the OF by moving Gomes, Lewis, Alonso and Sappelt since the beginning of last season. Pierre would be a good pick up as a 4th OF and possible platoon with Heisey, and he could lead off. Pierre had a .430 OBP against LH pitching in 59 games last year. The difference between him and Patterson and Taveras is that the other two guys were never was’s before the Reds got them.

    Others posted against getting Pierre with the opinion that if Dusty got him, Heisey would be sent back to the bench only to be seen on occasion. After thinking about it, that would be my concern also.

  55. lookatthathat

    @MikeC: Dusty would literally swallow his toothpick if Walt signed Pierre for him. He is the most small ballish player Dusty has ever managed right? There’s not a way across the Styx that Dusty doesn’t play him everyday. As I understand, both Pierre and Dusty are incredible people, they are just massively overvalued baseball men.

  56. TC

    @lookatthathat: I’ve always been impressed with Juan Pierre. He is a clutch player and one I hated seeing coming to bat when we couldn’t afford a hit. Is he the best leadoff guy in the game? No. IMO that honor goes to Michael Bourne. But I’d guess him to be in the top 4 or 5.

  57. TC

    @MikeC: I’m not sure why the last reply went to lookatthatthat.

    @preach: I love stats, but I don’t always trust them. Especially regarding defense. e.g. According to stats Gomes was a horrible left fielder. I watched every game and thought him to be okay most of the time, good to even spectacular at times, and of course bad at times as well. To my mind, the best way to judge defense is by using both stats and scouting. Start with UZR then verify with the EBT (Eye Ball Test). Stats show tendencies and averages which are always true given enough time and data. But they are not a predictor of what a player will do in a given AB, play, inning, game. People are only their average about half of the time.

  58. Travis G.

    @TC: I found a John Fay article from a couple weeks ago that addresses the Reds’ TV situation in as much detail as I’ve seen. Basically, they’re locked into a deal with Fox Sports Ohio until 2018, and it’s believed to pay them $10 million per year. So pretty lousy.

    While they’ve gotten great ratings for the game broadcasts, their market just isn’t very large — even when you include cities outside Cincinnati (oddly, Fay does not mention Louisville; not sure if that’s an oversight by him or what):

    Cincinnati is the 34th biggest market, representing 890,600 homes. A typical Reds broadcast draws between 60,000 to 80,000 in the Cincinnati market. When you add in Dayton, Columbus and Lexington the number goes to over 200,000.

    I’m not really sure which markets Fox Sports Ohio broadcasts Reds games, or whether they’re readily available throughout Kentucky, where there’s a lot of growth potential (and our AAA affiliate). But if I were the Reds, I’d be very interested in exploring a local sports network after the current deal expires. There are lots of colleges in this area, and high school sports are as closely followed here as anywhere in the nation. That’d be a great way to fill offseason programming.

    • preach

      @TC: I found a John Fay article from a couple weeks ago that addresses the Reds’ TV situation in as much detail as I’ve seen. Basically, they’re locked into a deal with Fox Sports Ohio until 2018, and it’s believed to pay them $10 million per year. So pretty lousy.While they’ve gotten great ratings for the game broadcasts, their market just isn’t very large — even when you include cities outside Cincinnati (oddly, Fay does not mention Louisville; not sure if that’s an oversight by him or what):I’m not really sure which markets Fox Sports Ohio broadcasts Reds games, or whether they’re readily available throughout Kentucky, where there’s a lot of growth potential (and our AAA affiliate). But if I were the Reds, I’d be very interested in exploring a local sports network after the current deal expires. There are lots of colleges in this area, and high school sports are as closely followed here as anywhere in the nation. That’d be a great way to fill offseason programming.

      Wouldn’t the broadcast area also include parts of Indiana and West Virginia as well? Not the biggest cities, I know, but Richmond area and all of WV that are not Braves fans support the Reds pretty steadily.

      • Travis G.

        Wouldn’t the broadcast area also include parts of Indiana and West Virginia as well? Not the biggest cities, I know, but Richmond area and all of WV that are not Braves fans support the Reds pretty steadily.

        I left out those two areas because I assumed that Cubs/White Sox territory began in the Indianapolis suburbs and Cards territory began in Evansville, but I wrongly assumed that West Virginians rooted for the Pirates, which just goes to show how much I know!

  59. BubbaFan

    I like Danny Dorn. If only because he’s always so nice to the fans.

    But the Reds don’t seem to think that much of him. He’s been left exposed to Rule 5 for a couple of years now. And no one has taken him, so I guess other teams don’t like him, either. Is his glove that bad? Seems like his bat is good enough that someone would take a flyer on him.

  60. CP

    @TC: On what planet? Slap hitters have some type of hold on baseball fans.

    Juan Pierre’s best season (in 2006!) had a WAR of 3.3. What was Drew Stubbs’ WAR last year (which has been described often on RN as terrible)? Oh…a WAR of 2.9?

    Unless a guy gets on a ridiculous amount of the time , higher than Juan has his entire career, there is no way he can overcome a .320 slugging percentage. Pierre doesn’t even play good defense.

  61. TC

    @CP: Perhaps you are right. I don’t feel strongly enough about it to defend JP. Obviously I misspoke. I guess I just got carried away looking at his career OPS+ of 84, average Stolen Bases per year of 54, average OBP of .345, and his UZR/150 of 4.4 (Drew Stubbs is 2.2).

    But you are right. He is a slap hitter which explains why he strikes out an average 5.7% of the time. Strange, though that he only averages 8.7 GDPs per 162 games. Truly, I find that VERY odd. Most slap hitters have HUGE GDP numbers. But like I said, I don’t feel strongly enough about it to defend the guy. 😉

  62. dn4192

    Well the Red Sox today just got there closer by trading for Bailey of the A’s. So we are just days away from reading..

    REDS RESIGN CORDERO TO 2 YEAR 10 MILLION DOLLAR DEAL.

    REMEMBER YOU READ IT HERE FIRST….

  63. TC

    @preach: I read once that 50% of the US population lives with 250 miles of Cincinnati. The Reds market could be a top market.

    I’ll also remind you, I am from Virginia originally. Virginia is a huges Reds area. (Chris Wilson and Chad Dodson are also from Virginia). Anyway, the very point of the Reds having their own channel would be to put it in marginal markets… such as Lexington, Louisville, Indianiapolis (where Cubs games are shown every game), Columbus, Charlestown WV, Richmond VA, Konxville TN, Nashville TN, etc.

  64. TC

    @dn4192: Yeah, I think I quoted those very numbers a few days ago. Don’t get me wrong, I will be happy to have Cordero back, but horrified at the price.

  65. dn4192

    @Travis G.:

    There are zero white sox games broadcasted in Indy and not sure but Cubs were on a lower end radio station here in Indy. With Indy being the home of the Pirates and WLW reaching here we don’t have a dedicated station for the Reds either.

    • Travis G.

      So……how do we start our own network?

      Step 1. Wait until the Fox Sports deal expires in 2018.
      Step 2. 😕
      Step 3. Profit.

  66. jrob45601

    I’m sure that Castellini and everyone else involved with the Reds know that they have a horrible TV contract. But the thing to remember is, before Castellini bought the team, people in some areas (mine for one, bout an hour south of Columbus) only got to watch a Reds game if they were playing the Braves (TBS) or Cubs (WGN). And the team had been pretty bad for more than a few years, so they didn’t really have any leverage to negotiate a good deal. It was basicly “do we want to be on tv or not?” So they took what they could get, and now I have access to well over 100 games per season (Fox Sports will drop Indians games for Reds games, in my area at least, as the former falls farther behind). So he did what he could do to get the team out there. Not sure how much it would cost to buy the rest of the contract out or renegotiate, it may not be enough of a difference to go through the trouble.

  67. TC

    Here is a simple answer to a TV deal, Fox Sports Ohio is an affiliate of Fox. I found one obscure referenced that Fox only owns 25% of the network. If the Reds purchased FSOhio that would solved the contract issues.

    FSOhio used to cater to the Cleveland Indians until the Indians launched THEIR own network. Are you telling me the Indians have more fans? Pardon me if I’m wrong, but I think the Indians’ market is limited to northern Ohio.

  68. TC

    Even so, I wouldn’t give up the affiliation with Fox. There are a lot of benefits with being associated.

    One way or another, it doesn’t work without Jim, Jeff, and (to a lesser extent) The Creeper.

  69. TC

    You know, it is entirely possible we will be fighting the Pirates for the division this year. Did you notice they picked up Erik Bedard? I think they intend to be taken seriously.

  70. preach

    My two cheap free agent signings to improve the Reds: 1. Wilson Betemit. Switch htter, plays everywhere, solid bench guy and insurance for Scotty. May also allow possibility of packaging a couple of youngsters for a known quantity elsewhere. 2. Jonathon Broxton. Yes, very risky with his elbow surgery, but he has worn out his welcome in LA and the change of scenary will do him good, even if that change is the GABP launchpad. He can be had on the cheap for a one year deal as he seeks to re-establish himself. If he can be dominant again, he can be a closer. If he is still decent he could be a good 8th inning guy to set up Marshall. If he’s not healthy he’s not too big of a gamble.

    Yes, the Pirates are improving and are trying to build on the first half of last year. Resigning McCutheon and adding Barajas were good moves. They recently added a guy on a minor league deal with a Spring invite who has over 200 ML games under his belt and hit .300 last year at AAA while playing pretty much everywhere but pitcher. He’s a switch hitter as well. Thought it was a pretty cool move. I like their direction.

  71. TC

    @preach: Actually, I was eying Broxton earlier this evening salivating as I remembered how truly dominant he seemed. It doesn’t seem like such a stretch to me.

    Regarding Betemit, I must admit I’m only familiar with his name but from his stats I like him. He can hit. His WAR worries me a bit and his left side fielding (a stat of little value btw IMO) seems like an adventure. But put him in Great American Small Park and he just might be scary.

  72. TC

    I was also eying Brandon Webb but it seems he is having a difficult time coming back from shoulder surgery. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Reds sign him to a minor league deal and send him down to rehab most of the season. The odds of a pay off would be long indeed. He took 2010 off and only pitched 12 innings last year in AA where he was shelled. It would be a shame, but there is a possibility his career is over.

    It is also possible he could come back and would not need a full year to get ready. He is only 32 and was considered one of the best sinker ballers in baseball. Seems the sinker should be the favorite pitch of every Reds pitcher but the only pitcher who seems to have one is Johnny.

  73. pinson343

    @TC: I was away today (yesterday now I guess) but thanks for the good word. It’s nice to have you back posting.

    I agree with you that the Reds potentially have a larger market than people think. It would be interesting to know how big an area was predominantly Reds fans in the 1970s.

    • Travis G.

      I agree with you that the Reds potentially have a larger market than people think. It would be interesting to know how big an area was predominantly Reds fans in the 1970s.

      It’s difficult to compare the 1970s media environment with today’s. There was no cable television back then, no Internet, fewer teams, fewer entertainment options in general, stronger radio signals, tuners that pulled in signals much stronger than today’s (I collect old stereo gear, and the difference is remarkable) and, I would argue, baseball was more prominent in the public imagination.

      But the Reds do sit in a fairly large region that includes several significant media markets without Major League Baseball teams. There should be some way to make sure their games are televised or broadcast in all of them.

  74. David

    @TC: He also had the lowest ISO of anyone who qualified. His OBP is heavily dependent upon his average, as he averages only 35 walks per year.

  75. lookatthathat

    @TC: Yeah, Broxton would have been a really good addition for us. He took a one year, 4 million dollar offer to set up for Soria in KC, however. Which is probably less than what we’ll be paying CoCo here in a bit…

  76. pinson343

    @Travis G.: Of course a lot has changed, but the question remains: in the 1970s, how big a chunk of territory was primarily Reds country.

    Even without the internet and cable, the Reds had a widespread fan base back then. I’d go to a Reds-Mets game in NY in the 1970’s and a lot of young people would have on Johnny Bench or Pete Rose jerseys. That of course doesn’t mean that the Reds had a tv market in NY, but that they had captured the imagination of the nation’s baseball fans.

    Getting back, I’m sure they’ve lost huge chunks of territory since the 1970s, but could reclaim some of that by winning. I wasn’t talking directly about tv, but that would obviously improve their tv market size.