To trade or not to trade? That’s the question.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous run production, or to take (pitching) arms against the sea of troubles, and by opposing end them.

Not to Trade

Keep in mind, the Reds don’t have to trade anyone this offseason, comfortable with the heartache of low on-base percentage and the thousand natural outs that flesh is heir to.

They could instead choose to take their limited payroll room, sign an inexpensive, low-impact free agent, like Nori Aoki, to play left field and fix-up the bullpen. Sweat out another weary run with basically the same team.

It would amount to an all-in strategy that relies on immaculate health, elite defense, first-class starting pitching and Aroldis Chapman to close out games — peak status quo — the most passive version of 2013 + 2014 = 2015.

Meanwhile, the Reds could negotiate with all three of the pitchers and use leverage of the triple-track against each of them. Sign Mike Leake, say to a $56 million/4-year extension and retain Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos, at least until the trade deadline. If a sufficient number of body parts have held up, keep them all and go for it.

Rumors of CEO Bob Castellini’s love for current players and reluctance to make moves that smack of rebuilding reinforce the likelihood of this reactionary play. Modern-day insolence of office.

To Trade

Last offseason, Reds fans held out hope for trades that shook up the clubhouse and all we got was a new guy filling out the lineup card with a worse roster. But financial realities point to action this winter.

C. Trent Rosecrans reports an obvious but important perspective from said new guy, manager Bryan Price, “As much as I think we’d like to be able to keep every single guy and pay them what they deserve, it’s impossible to do it here. … Some of them may be able to command a six, six-plus year top-level salary and maybe are more in what you’d consider the affordable range. It doesn’t look good when you’re not trying to sign your best players, and you can’t sign them all. It’s impossible to keep them all.”

Further, there’s hope that the whips and scorn of the past two seasons will force the front office to the realization that hitting is now more scarce (and valuable) than pitching, leading the Reds to cash in on their surplus of quality hurlers. Enough teams are desperate for pitching, like the Yankees and Red Sox, or others that remain prisoners of obsolete “can’t-have-too-much-pitching” thinking, that the Reds should receive a lucrative and enticing return.

Of the two rationales for trading a starting pitcher — (1) exchange for current major league hitting, presumably a left fielder; or (2) exchange for top prospects, restocking with less expensive players and creating salary space to sign free agent hitting — either way, the Reds end up with needed bats.

Should the Reds be concerned about who fills in for departed starters? Of course, but only so much. Tony Cingrani replaced Cueto in 2013. Simon covered for Bronson Arroyo, Latos and Cingrani in 2014. And even Dylan Axelrod and David Holmberg stepped in capably for Homer Bailey at the end of the season. The large mitigating factor is defense. Whoever takes the mound in a Cincinnati uniform benefits greatly from Gold Glove defense, especially up the middle.

Steven Goldman wrote in Baseball Between the Numbers that defense is the invisible hand (in glove) that affects much of what we perceive as pitching. Reds starters enjoyed the largest benefit of any rotation from their defense. The Reds starting pitcher ERA was 3.37 (3rd best in the majors) while their fielding-independent score was 4.03 (25th best). The Reds can’t throw just any pitcher out there, but Billy Hamilton, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips will help keep ERAs down.

Trading pitching away means taking a chance. And here’s where last season’s injuries continue to hamper the Reds in the offseason. If Tony Cingrani, Homer Bailey and Mat Latos were healthy, trading away pitching would be easier. But not acting boldly is taking a chance as well, one that haunted the Reds in 2013 and 2014.

Ay, there’s the rub!

To sleep Mr. Jocketty, perchance to dream. Calamity of so long life these past two years. For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come? With the Reds much the same, as their fate once again shuffles off their mortal quad muscles and flexor masses, what games not won? Conscience (and fear of the unknown) does make cowards of us all.

The Reds head into 2015 an enterprise of great pith and moment. Be concerned if their currents turn awry and lose the name of action.

 

Tomorrow: The Reds’ Trading Chips

70 Responses

  1. REED BERGEN

    Thus doth conscience make cowards of us all.

  2. droomac

    For if Walt does nothing or goes “all in” and trades away the farm, be all his sins remembered.

  3. cfd3000

    Present mirth hath present laughter; What’s to come is still unsure: In delay there lies no plenty. And Mr. Jocketty we are forlorn in the absence of plenty. Haste now to the phones and end our misery.

    • cfd3000

      Also Steve, you are so facile with a wide range of references (I’ve seen Shakespeare, Network, and if I’m not mistaken some heavy metal too just in recent posts) that I can’t believe you didn’t drop a “to trade, perchance to dream” on us.

  4. droomac

    By the way, thanks for the piece, Steve. I always enjoy your perspective.

    On the trade front, the news of Friedman to LA and the Royals continued march toward the World Series are not necessarily good things for the Reds. Friedman’s hire lessens the chances that LA will be bamboozled out of a prospect or two and Aoki’s stay in KC is likely to continue because he is making playoff memories and GMs typically don’t jettison players after winning a World Series and/or pennant.

    • tct

      This is true. One upshot of the Royals getting to the WS, though: teams will see that Dayton Moore’s gamble of trading his top prospect, Myers, for two years of Shields has worked out for them. Combine that with Myers having a rough year and maybe there will be some teams who would be more willing to part with a major league ready, or nearly ready, stud for one year of Cueto or one of the others.

      • preacherj

        I agree, but it should also be noted how good the Royals minor leagues are. I’m not sure what they are currently ranked, but by my eye test they are stocked and are set to compete for years to come. That is one org that doesn’t have to mortgage the future to ‘win now’.

  5. Grand Salami

    I fear that Jocketty’s thought process is more in line with Polonius than Hamlet. Just a bunch of proverbs he lives by . . .

    To thine own pitching staff be true.

    • lwblogger2

      Right. Jocketty IS one of those guys who expounds that “You can’t have too much pitching.”

      • ohiojimw

        Right. The first thought that popped into my mind when I read the words that it didn’t matter that much whether the Reds traded for an established LF or for prospects because either way they would get bats was that no, that isn’t necessarily true with this org. They could end up trading Cueto et al for a major league ready starting pitcher and several solid pitching prospects…….

  6. greenmtred

    “…hitting is now more scarce (and valuable) than pitching…” I can’t argue, unless the value imputed to hitting is not simply referring to trade value but also to a team’s success. The Royals, 8-0 in the playoffs as of this morning, stand as a challenge to the new orthodoxy, with their reliance on pitching, speed and small-ball and defense. Contained in your article, Steve, is, if not a refutation of the rest of it, at least a point to ponder: If the Reds’ pitching, independent of fielding,is 25th in mlb, do they really have enough to trade away (probably) the best of it? I certainly agree that the offense needs serious improvement, and I, like most fans, tire quickly of the off-season and thirst for trades, but I’m very skeptical that trading Cueto and Chapman for a bat, as many here suggest, would leave us better off.

    • tct

      The point would be that many of the reds pitchers look better than they are because of the defense. If you can take an average pitcher and get above average production, then trade that pitcher to a team that believes he is above average for other above average talent, then bring in another cheap average pitcher and get more above average production then you are improving the team. This scenario depends on your trade partner believing the pitchers are as good as their production and that the reds defense really can turn a below average pitcher into average production, or an average guy into above average production. I understand if people are skeptical of this because a large part is based on defensive metrics and FIP. But I think anyone who watched the reds this year knows their defense was really good, it’s just a question of how much their defense affected their pitching. And if it’s true, it is a good case for not over valuing their own pitchers.

      • RedsFaninPitt

        To add to this very point, Cueto’s babip was .238 in 2014 which is extremely low. It was also quite low in 2013, but he only had like 13 appearances that year.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The defense is real, spectacular and not going anywhere. It’s all a part of run prevention. Trading Cueto (or Latos or Leake) will hurt, to be sure. But they presumably bring equal or greater value back. Chapman pitches about 30 important innings/year, maybe. And he doesn’t have elite save-conversion rates over his career. Assuming he keeps his current role (sigh), trading him would almost certainly bring back greater value to the Reds.

      Keeping in mind the peril of extrapolating from a small number of games, the other way of looking at the Royals postseason success is they’ve won on hitting – they’ve been the one team scoring, nearly six runs per game. They’ve given up over three runs per game the past two weeks.

      • VaRedsFan

        Chapman will pitch more innings when the low level relievers ahead of him stop blowing leads and close games out of reach. Let’s also not forget that he missed the 1st month of the season.

        For all of the people that don’t like bullpen roles…see the KC bullpen. (and most every successful over the last 30 years for that matter)
        Herrera pitches the 6th-7th, Davis pitches the 8th, Holland pitches the 9th. They pitched in all 4 games. Nearly flawless. Holland saved all 4 games. Would we be saying “Chapman and his 53 innings” if he were closing pennant winning games for the Reds? NO…but I bet a dollar to a box of donuts that we would be boo-hooing if Hoover, Lecure, Parra, Ondrusek, were coughing up hard earned leads and costing us series wins.

        Purge the bullpen except for Diaz and Chapman, and you are two-thirds of the way to a successful pennant winning formula.

        To think that you can just put any arm in the bullpen and he will succeed is silly.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yes, let’s base our decisions on the Kansas City Royals, a team that hasn’t made the postseason since 1985 and almost didn’t make the postseason this year because of Ned Yost’s slavish devotion to bullpen roles. Are you saying the only reason Herrera, Davis and Holland are great is because they know the inning when they’re going to pitch? Might have more to do with 100 mph stuff.

        No one thinks you can put any arm in the bullpen and succeed. Some pitchers are better than others. Chapman is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Last year, he pitched 24 innings in games that were tied or were within one run. Give him that extra month and a half, and you’re at 30. I’d rather him start and pitch more than a hundred important innings. 100 > 30.

        We’re mesmerized by Chapman’s strikeouts in the ninth, but his save-conversion rate isn’t that different from most closers. If Chapman were a starter, the Reds could trade a pitcher for a good hitter. The Reds lost a lot more games last year because of a lack of hitting.

      • VaRedsFan

        94.7 save percentage was 2nd to only Greg Holland. That’s not average, that’s elite.
        We all know that the Chapman starting ship has sailed. We we have left going forward is a MLB top 2 (1st in my book) reliever.

        There…you solved our bullpen woes…get more pitchers with 100 mph stuff. Delete the soft tossers lecure/parra/ect…

        We have depth at starter that can be swapped away for hitting. We can’t afford losing our best performer at our weakest area. (bullpen)

      • lwblogger2

        You can certainly debate Parra’s effectiveness but he isn’t exactly a soft-tosser. His fastball sits at 93-94 consistently and touches 95. That’s darn good velocity for a LHP. His stuff has never been an issue. It’s why he drove the folks in Milwaukee nuts. Great stuff but never could get it together.

      • greenmtred

        Your point about the Royals is well taken. Clearly, the best way to be successful is to have strength in all areas of the game. My point was not that the Royals don’t hit (though they weren’t hitting homers all year), it was more that they seem to have been constructed not very differently than the Reds: Pitching, defense, etc. It’s a fool’s errand to compare them–different leagues, different injury situation–but they do seem to provide some evidence that being superlative in some areas other than hitting can lead to success. As long as the hitting isn’t as poor as the Reds’.

      • VaRedsFan

        The biggest difference in their offense and ours is that they struck out only 985 times this year compared to 1252 by the Reds

  7. WVRedlegs

    On waking, he found himself on the green knoll whence he had first seen the old man of the glen. He rubbed his eyes – it was a bright sunny morning. Rip Van Jocketty found himself in the same place, but a different time. When he came down the mountain and into the village, the names on the houses were different. There were no RBI’s, ERA’s and the like. They were replaced by OBP, FIP, ISO, and WAR. It was no longer the time of We Can’t Have Enough Pitching.

  8. George Mirones

    Yesterday I posted this question;
    George Mirones says:
    10/15/2014 at 7:08 pm
    Steve; Please interpret Walt J. comment to P.Doc about “tweaking the line up a little” for 2015.

    Your “Soliloquy” article seems to tell me that you think that any off season action by the Reds will be to reinforce the belief that the 2015 Reds will be a good team with minor adjustments based on the contract status of current roster players and that a major acquisition is beyond the current needs. Walt is talking about “contracts ” being “tweaked” not positions. Yeah I know that the two go hand and hand but only if they fit the budget.
    At this point the success of the Royals and Giants (pitching, pitching, defense) would seem to be a major factor in defense of Walt’s and Bob’s approach. They may also be looking at the fact that in 2014 the starters had 103 quality starts and the bullpen cost the Reds 31 games. Even with the injuries, extended slumps, and poor bench if the bullpen wins or holds 15 games the Reds finish at 91-71. So much for the 2015 “Dream”.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Yes, I think the Reds front office will take the view that the 2015 Reds can be built on the shoulders of the healthy parts of 2013 and 2014, with relatively minor changes. I don’t disagree with that perspective, as long as trading one pitcher is a minor change.

      Those hoping for a “blow up the team” offseason will be disappointed.

      The real question, as I posed today, is whether they will trade one of the five starters. If it wasn’t for the twin constraints of payroll and four of the SP reaching free agency in 2016, I don’t think they would trade any. But given those factors, I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade one for hitting or budget relief (that they use to sign a hitter).

      Bottom line: The Reds will make moves because $$$ and free agency that they should be making anyhow because hitting > pitching.

      The Royals aren’t winning in the postseason on pitching and defense. They are scoring almost six runs per game, while giving up more than three.

      • George Mirones

        Trying to out think Walt from the outside looking in can be very frustrating. His “poker face” approach must drive other GM’s nuts. One thing that could fall into “tweaking” would be contract extensions of 2 starters (Latos and Leake) for about 2 years which would add to their future trade value. Yes it is kicking the can down the road but it gives this team a firmer base. With that thought It may not be out of the realm of possibility that extending Ludwick and Chapman.(“The better the enemy you know than the one you don’t” concept of decision making).

        Too much coffee this morning 🙂

    • tct

      I don’t think these playoffs have proven Walt’s approach at all, because Walt’s team is not there. The reds had good defense and starting pitching and were a losing team. This year it seems like offense is more connected with winning than pitching is. Consider:
      Of the top 10 teams in runs scored, 7 made the playoffs.
      Of the top 10 in ERA, 6 made the playoffs.
      Of the top 10 in FIP, 4 made the playoffs.

      On this topic, I agree pretty strongly with Steve. I’m not saying that you don’t need good pitching. But I think you do that with depth, instead of signing a veteran pitcher to 100 million dollar contracts. Draft and develop good, young pitching, then let it go when it gets too expensive. Trade Cueto for some good, young talent. Individual pitchers are too risky for the reds to be investing 100+ million into. They need to build their depth back up, especially on offense as they have some decent pitching depth on the farm.

      • droomac

        Let us not also forget that the starting CF (and ALCS MVP) and SS for the Royals were acquired when the Royals wisely decided to trade Zach Greinke to Milwaukee. Also, a pitcher acquired in the deal (Odorizzi) was part of the package that brought the Royals Shields.

      • doctor

        I get the point and the logic but the fan in me says, “no not cueto” as him being one our own who was followed all the way from minors as opposed to changing the name to Latos. Dont get me wrong, Latos has been heck of pitcher for the Reds.

      • droomac

        I also like Cueto, both as a pitcher and as a product of the Reds system. However, I think it is very dangerous to begin making decisions regarding player personnel based upon what a player has done as opposed to what he is going to do. The Reds already did this with BP and I sure hope they think strategically moving forward.

      • tct

        It’s one of the big differences between the philosophy of the cardinals and the reds. St. Louis does not pay for past production. They let Pujols walk when he got too expensive for an over thirty player. They brought Beltran in on a fairly team friendly deal, got some good years out of him, then let someone else pay for his late thirties. They traded WS and hometown hero, David Freeze because he seemed to have peaked. There is no sentimentality in their decisions. The reds seem to love to overpay “their guys” and reward guys for good production, and as a result they always seem to hold on to a player too long.

  9. Ohioindiaspora

    All Hail Steve Mancuso, Poet of Baseball!

  10. Steve Schoenbaechler

    The thing is, with our starting pitching now, so many of them are hurt, no one isn’t going to want them. If we trade any starters, it’s going to be Cueto, Leake, and Simon. How much would we get for Leake and Simon? Not much; we would need to sweeten that pot with more players. If we trade Cueto, who takes his 30+ starts? We would be left with only 2 of our top 4 pitchers healthy, the #3 and #4 guy. So, I don’t see us trading Cueto, either, unless it was a trade to include a starting pitcher to come to us, also.

    If Walt trades anyone, I believe it being more of a salary dump, like Broxton’s trade was. For example, I believe the reason we couldn’t trade BP last season was we were looking for too much in return. If we ask for less, we are able to dump the contract. Not that I am looking to dump BP; again, “for example”. I believe they will go with a FA LF that’s a 1-2 year rental, until Winker and/or Waldrop come up. Then, when one comes up, the Reds will turn their attention to Bruce and determine if the other “W” is ready or not.

    The salary I would like to dump is Homer’s first. Sorry, I just don’t think the guy is worth $18+ million average for, what, the next 5 seasons. The next ones, BP and/or Bruce, take your choice. I would even try to dump Votto if I didn’t have hope that he was going to be healthy. But, then, with all 4 of these, who’s going to want to take on their contracts when each of them finished the season hurt somehow?

    And, then, after the 2015 season, I believe Walt uses the 4 starters contracts against each other to try to keep their costs down, which I don’t think will work very well. I believe we will still keep 2 of those 4 starters, with hopefully a minor leaguer coming up, with probably a FA coming in.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Oh, with the bullpen, I hope we just don’t spend any money on it. We just dumped Broxton. We need that money to go elsewhere. Marshall should be coming back. That can help the pen right there.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m not convinced on Marshall. I’m a big fan and was ok with his extension, primarily because he’d been healthy his entire career. Shoulder problems are a killer though. If Marshall comes back and is near his traditional effectiveness, I’d be very surprised.

      • VaRedsFan

        Purge Marshall….60 day DL him…maybe they will get insurance money back for him

      • wvredlegs

        “Marshall should be coming back.” Man, that should go right up there beside the “We got Jack for that” statement.
        An $6.5M injured, ineffective when healthy LOOGY, that can’t get the one pitch he does throw over the plate. I feel better already about the bullpen.

      • George Mirones

        Steve, I think you got’em with that thought. 🙂

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Hey, I can certainly understand the thoughts on Marshall. I’ve said before I still don’t know why we traded for him, traded a left handed pitcher and a couple other players for a left handed pitcher that is going to cost us more, etc. But, if he can come back healthy, I would take him over who we have had out in the pen.

        As well as, with the pen, I can understand a makeover. But, we shouldn’t be spending money like we did with Chapman, Broxton, and Marshall all back there. I can understand (not that I would do it) having one higher priced pitcher out there as closer/go-to guy. But, any others should be on the lower end of the salary scale.

    • NCMountie1

      I am all for dumping a starter & Chapman. We are never going to use Champman correctly IMO and he’s got value. I don’t agree on Homer. He’s signed and has been effective. Leake is low value & been good 5. I would get ride of Latos, & try to keep Cueto but the injury is probably going to make that hard (we seem to be one of the few teams that takes damaged goods coming of injury).
      I’m all for trading BP & Bruce but WHO will help us with that? BP is just plain overpaid at this point in his career. Bruce frustrates me more than any other Red with his is incosistency. My guess is we’d ask more than clubs would part with. More than anything I’d like to see some players with a little fire in their bellies. We play with less emotion than any team I see.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Oh, I can even agree Homer has been effective. Average $18+ million for the next 5 seasons effective? I don’t see that at all.

  11. Art Wayne Austin

    The Reds have a couple of players who have the Ken Griffey Jr attitude where being comfortable, low key, this game is only 1 of 162 games, etc. They either need to be traded or Price needs to remind them to rev it up for the good of the team. Having a nervous break-down is 2nd to a winning attitude.

    • lwblogger2

      Huh? Playing with a little fire is one thing but being too wound up in baseball is really, really counter-productive.

    • tct

      You’ve got to realize that baseball players in general have a little different personality than basketball or football players. They have to be a little more laid back because you cannot play baseball at a high level nervous or all pumped up on adrenaline. You have to be relaxed. Also, because there is so much more individual failure in baseball because of the one on one nature of the batter-pitcher matchup, they need to be able to accept failure more often and not let it eat at them. A lot of the high energy, pumped up, crazy guys are the closers, who can come in for one inning and throw as hard as possible. Everybody else needs to be more relaxed and calm to be successful over a 162 game season

      • I-71_Exile

        Well said. This post needs to be copied and pasted every time someone starts up the “fire in the belly” routine.

    • pinson343

      Ken Griffey Jr. did extremely well with his low key attitude when he had the opportunity to play playoff baseball.

      • Grand Salami

        Good point. Maybe the best non-steroid power streak in post season history back in the ’95 ALDS. The Kid had 24 total bases on 23 ABs against the Yankees for a 1.448 OPS.

        I am not seeing the Adam Dunn types in the club house anymore. Hunter Pence is a nice component but no one would want a club house full of him.

    • redsfan06

      WV, I looked at both of those guys hitting and was unimpressed with OPS+ around 100. Until I looked at Cozart’s hitting. Cozart has a steady decline in OPS+ from 116 in 11 games as a rookie in 2011 to 82, 82 and then 61 in 2014. That kind of hitting is painful.

      Both Miller and Taylor had pretty strong minor league hitting stats. I have no idea what the trade off would be in fielding, but the Reds could easily improve the hitting at SS. Add a LF and the line-up could be improved at two positions. That should help offset the loss of a starting pitcher.

      • greenmtred

        Don’t forget Steve’s point about the effect the Reds’ great defense has on the pitching. Cozart doesn’t hit, but without his glove the pitching will likely suffer.

    • droomac

      Getting a RH or switch hitting SS who can also play 3B also helps to solve the LF problem, as Frazier could spell a lefty acquired for LF against RHP. I also like the idea of starting Cozart no more than 120 games next year at SS, with a better hitting SS (ahem, Jed Lowrie) getting 40-45 starts at SS, some at 2B, and some at 3B. While I like the idea of a Miller or Taylor, the problem is that if he does not supplant Cozart outright, then he would be better off, developmentally, at AAA. Also, I just don’t see the Reds using Cozart in the utility role at this point in his career. So, if they were to get a young SS, Cozart would likely be on his way out.

      • doctor

        I endorse this! LOL. Most of my angst versus Cards are no longer there and appreciate several of thier players. But then they signed cheater Peralta after all the crap talk about the Cardinal Way. an enjoyable WS, no dodgers, yanks, red sox, cards, mets.

  12. pinson343

    I had an odd feeling that Neshek was finally going to give one up when he came in. When Wacha came in, knew it was over. The other day I was saying that if Morse is expected to be cheap next year, why not get him as a power bench bat who can play first base and LF ?

    • lwblogger2

      I like Morse. I don’t think he’s an everyday answer in LF but as a bench player, he reminds me a lot of Gomes. That pitch Morse hit last night was very un-Neshek like. He left it up and right over the plate. Morse isn’t going to miss too many of those.

  13. pinson343

    It ticked me off when one of the tv broadcasters tonight said that “If it weren’t for Kershaw, Wainwright would probably be the NL Cy Young this year.” If Wainwright had a decent postseason, we would have been hearing that for the last two weeks.

    • lwblogger2

      Yeah, Cueto has been completely dismissed. It’s crap.

  14. pinson343

    How about trading Cueto to the Giants for Bochy and his bullpen ? Then all the Reds have to worry about is making it to the postseason, because if they do then they’re golden.

    Seriously, when Bochy takes out Vogelsong after 3 innings and his closer Casilla with the bases loaded and 2 outs, those are big moves. Let’s forget about the inevitable comparison with Dusty. Would Price have made those moves ?

    • charlottencredsfan

      Doubt no one would have. IMO, Bochy is way, way ahead of the curve. Another thing he places great value on: making contact.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Uh!! “Anyone” that is. Very early her in Charlotte.

      • doctor

        Same thing for the Royals, make contact. fewest walks and k’s by thier hitters.

    • VaRedsFan

      DEAL!!! Post of the week, Pinson. Couldn’t agree more with you two. Bochy makes a difference for sure

  15. pinson343

    Love to see the Cardinals lose, but I’m not a fan of the Giants either. They backed into the 2nd wild card spot when the Brewers collapsed. They consistently lost against the Dodgers, including down the stretch. They rest every other year. If they win 3 WS out of 5, that makes them a dynasty. They’re not good enough to be a dynasty. I’m rooting for the Royals.

    • Tom Reed

      With this pennant the Giants have a total of 23 which leads the NL. I’m not a Giants fan, but I would have preferred the franchise stayed in New York. After 29 years in the shadows, I hope the Royals win the World Series.

  16. pinson343

    Three NASTY guys in the bullpen, defense and speed, do the Royals remind people here of another team ? The Royals were the opposite of wire to wire, but their postseason play also reminds me of that team.

  17. Bred

    I doubt they make a move for LF. Winkler is the future and perhaps they plan on him being ready in 2015. It would not surprise me if he was on the 25 man roster when the team breaks from spring training. They rolled the dice on Bham. I think they liked the results. Is Winkler 100% ready? No, but neither was Bham, and he still isn’t. If the kid shows he can hit in in the fall league, then I bet their plan will be for him to be the every day LF by June. Leaving the fire sale of pitchers to July.

    • Dale Pearl

      Yup, I am thinking that is the strategy. Bring up Winker hope for the best just like they did with BHam, Bruce, Leake, Cueto, and Bailey. Reds have proven time and again that starting young unproven talent is no big deal. If Winker doesn’t pan out well then the fire sale can begin about 3 days after the All-Star game.

      • droomac

        I sure hope this isn’t the strategy. It would be a huge waste of trade value, as the draft pick compensation for Cueto, Leake, and Latos disappears if they are traded in their final season. This is part of the appeal of trading in the offseason for the Reds, as a team can essentially get, for example, Cueto and a prospect once he leaves.

      • redsfan06

        This is my concern – that Walt decides no significant changes are needed. The Reds are deficient in hitting at 3 positions – LF, CF and SS., with no one really suited for leading off. Counting on Winker for the future may be a consideration in making an off season move, but not doing anything is taking a big risk of facing that trade deadline fire sale.

      • tct

        If their plan is to not get any new outfielders because they think Winker will be ready, then they are more delusional than I thought. I like Winker, more than Stephenson really, but he has a total of 92 PA above A ball. Come on. And he hit .208/.326/.351 in those 92 PA. I’m not really criticizing his performance in Pensacola: it was a small sample, his walk rate was good, his K rate was up but not horrible, and it could have been some batted ball bad luck or the injury that eventually sidelined him. But still, he hasn’t mastered AA yet. What makes anyone think he is ready for the majors?

        The comparison with Hamilton is not really valid. Billy had something like 800 PA between AA and AAA, including an entire year spent in Louisville with a cup of coffee at the end of that year. Winker has 92. Plus, Hamilton didn’t have to be a really good hitter to add value because of his defense and base running. Winker’s value comes from his bat, and he has to hit to be valuable.

        There is no reason to start his service time clock and waste team control years when he is not ready.