According to Jerry Crasnick, baseball writer at ESPN.com, Chris Heisey has been traded to the Los Angels Dodgers. John Heyman, baseball writer at CBS.com and MLB Network correspondent, reported later that the Reds will be receiving relief pitcher Matt Magill for Heisey. Magill has only appeared in two career games in the majors, both coming back in 2013. He has a career 3.92 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 157 games in the minors (114 starts). In 2014, he posted a 5.21 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in 36 games (12 starts) all at AAA. Magill was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 31st round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft from Royal HS (Simi Valley, CA).

From Steve Mancuso’s article yesterday Will the Reds non-tender Ondrusek and/or Heisey:

Chris Heisey turns 30 in two weeks and the Reds have two years’ control of Heisey. He has a career line of .247/.299/.422 over 1452 plate appearances. He has played strong defense at all three outfield positions. Heisey has also been successful as a pinch hitter. In 299 PA last year, Heisey earned 1.0 WAR (average of FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference) and was paid $1.76 million. On the other hand, the Reds have Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton coming back and Skip Schumaker signed to a 2015 contract. They are also seeking another OF this offseason and have Donald Lutz, Jason Bourgeois and possibly Jesse Winker who would play for nearly $2 million less than Heisey.

Anyone who knows me or follows me on Twitter knows that I am a big Chris Heisey supporter. Back in June, I wrote The Curious Case of Chris Heisey, stating that I felt Heisey was undervalued and under-appreciated in the Reds organization. This move certainly seems like a move in preparation to acquire a left-fielder, and the Reds are probably looking to shed some payroll.

I however don’t really like the move. I think the Reds should have certainly kept Heisey on the roster over a guy like Skip Schumaker, because Heisey is much more valuable because of his power and defense (Heisey would have only made about $0.5 million more than Schumaker). This move doesn’t come as too big of a surprise though, as I alluded back in my article in June, that this organization has never really believed in or given Heisey a legitimate chance to play everyday. So long Chris.

UPDATE: The Reds officially announced the Heisey trade, and also announced that Logan Ondrusek and Curtis Partch have been non-tendered, making them both free agents.

 

228 Responses

  1. jas428

    Stupefying! Is this the best the Reds could do/get for Heisey? And what in the world do the the Dodgers want with him?

  2. vared

    Wow. If nothing else Heisey was a solid fixture on the bench to provide decent depth – something this organization has had a tough time accumulating.

  3. Tom Reed

    I hope it works out well for Chris Heisey, except when he goes against the Reds. In general, I liked the way he played the game.

  4. I-71_Exile

    I like Chris Heisey and wish him well in LA. In my opinion, he was given a chance with the Reds—he just wasn’t given a Corey Patterson/Willie Taveras chance. Frankly, I’m not sure that he ever shook his 17th round draft selection status with the Reds brass.

  5. doublenohitter

    The Dodgers now have a glut of outfielders.
    Reds should make a push for Michael Morse.
    A lineup of…
    Hamilton
    Votto
    Frazier
    Morse
    Bruce
    Mesoraco
    Phillips
    Any SS
    …would look pretty good

    • jessecuster44

      I think they can do better than Morse.

    • sezwhom

      Morse is a FA who last played with the Giants. I watched him a lot this summer at AT&T. His “D” isn’t the best but I like him and would welcome him to the Reds. Has a swing like Jack Clark but I’m not sure what you mean by the Dodgers now have a glut of OF’ers? What’s that have to do with Morse?

    • Redsfan48

      Some other options that would look pretty good: Markakis, Melky Cabrera, Cespedes

  6. earl99

    Chris Heisey always played hard and he is really one of the best pinch hitters the Reds have had. The guy got some key hits in a TON of games, it wasn’t just a fluke thing. I guess the mystery is why he couldn’t perhaps take that bat into starting roles. It’s probably because of being in key at bats and seeing a whole lot more fastballs.

    Heisey’s best game as a Red had to be the 3 home run game in Yankee Stadium. If the Boss would have been around, that’s the kind of game that gets you traded to the Yankees. Steinbrenner always seemed to get obsessed with players that had odd success against NY.

    I won’t be surprised if Chris Heisey does well with the Dodgers.

    • RedsFaninPitt

      I am going to play optimist here and interpret this development as the Reds having something brewing that will bring them someone who can be at least a serviceable backup to Hamilton in CF – Victorino, Fowler, Jennings, Betts, Bradley – maybe? They don’t have anyone close besides Rodriguez who can do that at the start of the season do they. Bourgois, I hope not.

    • RedMountain

      Because it is a known fact that Heisey cant hit the off speed stuff with any regularity. This is what made him a better PH than a starter. Most relievers come into the game trying to establish the fastball. Heisey can hit that.

      • earl99

        I think the change Chris Heisey did going for the more upper cut swing to make more contact and take the ball the other way might have cost him a bit of his grip it and rip it pull hitter power showed early on. I remember that change in Heisey’s swing being described as “it’s a swing not unlike Barry Larkin” both in print and repeated on radio/tv.

  7. jessecuster44

    Unbelievable – check that, believable. I don’t want gritty Skip Schumaker as the 4th OF. This trade weakens an already weak bench, and adds (mediocre) pitching, which the Reds don’t really need. Was this really a salary dump? I can think of more expensive players who I’d rather trade than Heisey.

    And what do the Dodgers need with another OF?

    I liked Chris Heisey and his 1st pitch PH homers. This better be a precursor to a bigger trade.

  8. ohiojimw

    Trading Heisey was basically a dump move to get something versus nothing if they did not tender him. For the first time, I’m starting to believe there is going to be more to come and perhaps much more.

    • lwblogger2

      I agree with the first part of what you’re saying but unfortunately, don’t share your optimism about this being a precursor to a bigger deal. I think they feel they have Schu as a 4th OF and that a guy like Lutz or a waiver pcikup can be the 5th OF. Ugh.

      • RedMountain

        If no deal is forthcoming, who is to play in LF? Right now, there is no one besides Schu, Lutz, Yorman, and Winker. Seems to me something will have to be done. It also means that with Ondrusek and Partch both being non tendered, that some moves will need to be made in the bullpen or else some guys in the minors will have to step up. I also think this means Iglesias is a lock to make the team.

  9. Steve Mancuso

    I have to say, I don’t get this trade from either side. The Dodgers certainly have the money to pay Heisey where the Reds decided not to. But LA already has a million outfielders, including prospects that they have no room for. Even if they trade two of their starters, they still had four or five others. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up trading Heisey.

    And I *really* don’t get this from the Reds side. Nick makes the case for Heisey and I’d agree with the notion that he’s a good extra outfielder/bench player and probably worth the $2-3 million he’d get at arbitration.

    The move obviously signals that the Reds plan on acquiring not one new outfielder, but TWO, because right now they just have Bruce, Hamilton and Schumaker. And it’s hard to count on that third name. So my guess is the Reds expect to add two more outfielders through trade or free agency.

    I get that. What I don’t get is the lousy return for Heisey. Heisey obviously offers something of value to the Dodgers. The timing of the trade indicates the Reds were considering non-tendering him. So the Dodgers could have waited and negotiated with Heisey on the free agent market in that case, or trade later.

    Matt Magill isn’t even a decent prospect. He’s got a 91-mph fastball. He has terrible K/BB numbers, especially last year. He hasn’t been decent since 2012 in AA, and even then he was nothing to get too excited about. And he’s already 25 years. old. Maybe I’m wrong about him, but I don’t see him adding anything to the Reds organization. They should have received *something* of value from the Dodgers, given LA’s interest in Heisey.

    • jessecuster44

      Who was that stiff we got from Pittsburgh for Sean Casey? Hope Magill is better than he was.

      • lwblogger2

        Indeed it was. I was going by memory when I should have looked it up. Doh.

    • ohiojimw

      Perhaps a preshock to a much bigger deal between the teams with the tender deadline forcing the timing when the rest isn’t quite settled (maybe a 3rd team involved)?????

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I have to agree. It isn’t as much as Heisey’s value compared to any other OF but his value to the Reds as a 4th OF, being able to play any OF position, play it well, good D, run the basepaths, hit with power. It was only his approach to each AB that needed “a lot of” work on. But, then, that’s why he would be a 4th OF, a bench player. Bench players most likely are missing something.

      • lwblogger2

        Yep. He’s a bench guy for a reason but he’s a pretty good bench guy.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Oh, entirely agree. I am a Heisey fan.

      • lwblogger2

        Yeah, I was pretty much agreeing with your sentiment that bench guys are flawed in one or more parts of their games. I like Heisey too. Not to say I didn’t think trading him should have been in any way off the table. I more think that they just didn’t seem to get much value out of a guy who’s a pretty good bench guy.

    • kmartin

      With regard to acquiring two outfielders. I wonder if Kris Negron is being considered as a backup outfielder so they would only need to acquire a starting left fielder. He has the speed and played a few innings in the outfield in 2014.

      • ToddAlmighty

        Bruce, Hamilton, Somebody, Negron, Schumaker….. championship!

      • lwblogger2

        Certainly possible but I don’t see either Negron or Schumaker giving you enough production with their bats off the bench in say 250 PA or so. Neither of them are good defensively in CF either, though Negron is probably a little better in CF than Schumaker.

    • lwblogger2

      I agree with pretty much everything. I do however offer a reason for why the Reds didn’t get more in the deal. I think the reason they didn’t get anything better from the Dodgers was that the Dodgers had the advantage in negotiations. They knew the Reds didn’t really want to tender him a contract and knew that they’d have a decent chance to get him as a free agent once the Reds did non-tender him. So, they played on this knowledge and the Reds end up with Magill. I see the same things in Magill that you do and don’t think he’s good value for a solid MLB 4th OF. Maybe WJ thought “I’m non-tendering Ondrusek. I better get a pitcher.” Who knows? I’m so frustrated right now.

      As for the Dodgers, like you said, they have a glut of OFs. I expect them to move a couple in trades, perhaps even flipping Heisey.

    • PRHOF

      In announcing the trade Walt Jocketty was quoted as saying Magill brings another power arm to the pitching staff. A 91-mph fastball is a power arm???

  10. Moses

    It wasn’t really a choice between Heisey and Schumacher as the latter couldn’t be non-tendered. I’m sure the Reds would love a do-over on that signing but they’re stuck with him for another year. I think that the Reds are well aware that Heisey could have helped the club a lot more than Skippy but one was tradeable and one was not. Let’s get ready for the other shoes to drop.

    • CaptainHook

      That is correct. So it was not just a matter of paying Heisey $.5 million more. Tendering Heisey and cutting Skip would have cost about $5 million.

    • lwblogger2

      And who knows if the Reds tried to trade Schumaker instead and there were no takers?

    • sezwhom

      Now Steve, give the LA Times a break. It’s been raining in SoCal. :o)

  11. jessecuster44

    “We are excited to be adding a player with a power arm who has a chance to help our club next season,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said in a statement.

    POWER arm? last time I checked, a 91 MPH heater is not power. I am disliking Walt more and more…

    • vegastypo

      Walt also said the two guys the Reds got when they dumped Broxton on Milwaukee would be in the mix to help the Reds at the major league level. I don’t recall being too impressed with their credentials, either. Just stuff that Walt is obligated to say, I guess.

      • RedMountain

        JJ Hoover came from the trash heap and had not played above AA with any success. Forgetting his bad last year, the Reds got pretty good value. He was not highly thought of until the Reds coaches (pitching) got hold of him. Simon somewhat the same way. Let us also remember that Simon was not going to make it through last season as a starter. Though he was not particularly consistent in the second half, the critics were wrong.

    • lwblogger2

      Does WJ know that there seems to be a bunch of guys throwing in the mid-90s out of everyone’s pens these days?

  12. charlottencredsfan

    Well, Walt made a move.

    • lwblogger2

      Yeah, guess he isn’t sleeping after all. In my opinion, he made a move that makes the team weaker in 2015.

  13. ToddAlmighty

    What was the Reds weakness last year? Offense. So what is the one move Walt finally makes? He trades one of the better 4th OF in the league/one of the best PH in the league/plus defender at all three spots… in exchange for a pitcher who got lit up both in AAA and in the majors.

    Sounds awesome. Worst OF in MLB just got worse. In exchange? Pitching, of which the Reds already have a glut of in higher quality.

    • JohnU

      I think I am going to hold up on criticizing this trade. Heisey is clearly not the future of the franchise and having him around is somewhat redundant if the Reds intend to find a real left fielder. Calling this a bad trade is quite premature. A glut of pitching is really not what I saw coming out of the bullpen last summer.

      • jessecuster44

        Only way this trade is good is if it is the part of something bigger. For now, Broxton and Heisey were traded as a salary dump. Walt would KILL it in the NBA.

      • charlottencredsfan

        You would like to think the Reds could have at least acquired a serviceable bullpen arm for Chris. It is probably not a money issue but it sure feels like one. Let’s see whats next.

      • JohnU

        I have absolutely no real reason to be interested in a middle relief pitcher the Reds get in a trade for a guy who isn’t part of the future of the franchise. Magill is just a name. He will pitch in the minors, probably. Heisey was going to leave anyhow, might as well get a warm body for him.

        I think what bugs me is this team is a year away from the post-season and spent half the year with half the team missing half the season … and we pretend we’re the NL version of the Twins.

        We need a left fielder and a healthy batting order.

        I just think we need to stop rapping on the GM over this sort of trade. I looked at most of the trannies lately and a lot of mid-line players are being shuffled around,.

        I like Chris Heisey, and advocated him for CF until they got Choo. He was a nice piece of the Reds. But Magill is not big deal to me. If he can get people out, he can be like Sam LeCure all day long.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Yeah but the guy looks like he can’t get guys out at AAA. Heck, it’s not like the Reds are overstocked with relievers. This is a real head scratcher. Time will tell: if it’s money or part of a larger plan.

      • ToddAlmighty

        Not somewhat redundant at all. Bruce was a injured shell of himself last year. Hamilton had like 7 different injuries and finished the season on the DL. They don’t even have a LF right now.

        When one of those three get hurt or need a day or two off, and Skip Schumaker is your 4th OF rather than Chris Heisey, we’ll see how redundant we all think he is then.

        Skip Schumaker 2014: -1.2 WAR (avg)
        Chris Heisey 2013: 1.0 WAR (avg)

        That’s a 2.2 WAR difference. That’s a whole MLB caliber starter between the two. To give better context, Cozart had 2.4 bWAR in 2014. Mesoraco had 4.8.

        So the difference between Heisey and Schumaker is only 0.2 less than Cozart and Mesoraco. Heisey was a quality 4th OF in a really poor OF. He was also a quality bench bat on a really poor bench. Getting a garbage arm in return was the Reds getting worse. There’s a reason why the Dodgers wanted to make the trade despite already having like 10 OF on their roster.

      • JohnU

        The problem with this is you are comparing Heisey to what we have.
        I am comparing it to what we might have.
        In that case, Heisey could conceivably be redundant. Facts based on a lack of evidence. I am also not sure why I want to discuss Mesoraco’s WAR since he isn’t a left fielder.

      • ToddAlmighty

        I am comparing him to what we have, because as of right now, they don’t even have a starting left fielder, let alone a replacement 4th OF. What will getting that 4th OF cost? Probably more than Matt Magill is worth.

        The OF was already an issue. Now it’s a bigger issue. Even if they go and get a great starting LF, they still need a guy who can fill the 4th OF role well.

        He might conceivably be redundant, but highly unlikely. Lets get a LF starter before we worry about a quality 4th OF being redundant. Either way you cut it, losing Heisey and putting Schumaker in line to get more playing time just made this an even worse team. It’s not like the Reds had offense to spare.

      • misconcepcion

        Todd’a’mighty–You’re kickin’ it big time across the board. I have always loved Heisey above and beyond the normal value ratings. He just always looked like he belonged–and NO ONE could ever say that about Skippy Shoe. The Skipmeister can’t leave fast enough for me. Heisey was short-changed too often. Like many folks, I hoped Heisey would slip into a full-time OF slot, but that didn’t cut it. Still, all that he brought to the defensive slots, pinch-hitting punch etc. is hard to diminish.

        I do hope we can cut down on the personal/quality bleed as we (advance) in WJ’s readjustment.

  14. jas428

    Is it conceivable a trade involving Ethier or Van Slyke fell through and they decided on a lesser deal?

  15. charlottencredsfan

    I’m wondering if the team’s money issues are greater than we aware. Puzzling.

    • jessecuster44

      Must be a recent issue, given the Bailey signing last yr.

    • Steve Mancuso

      It can’t be a money thing. Heisey has enough value with his defense and versatility to be worth $2.5 million. And even if it was a money dump, they should have gotten more for him than Matt Magill.

  16. Mark Bradford

    Obviously the a Reds have money issues. The. Votto Bailey and Phillips contracts are killing them.Heisey had his shot in 2013 at starting and didn’t do the job. He will not be missed.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The Votto and Bailey contracts can’t explain the Heisey moves. Votto is making $14 million this year which is less than he made two years ago. Bailey is making $10 million, which is barely more than his arb3 year last season. The Reds will spend $125 million on payroll this year, so there’s another $100 million out there.

      Those contracts will get more expensive in outlying years, but they don’t explain choosing to not pay Chris Heisey $2.5 million this season.

      • JohnU

        If you want to sign somebody to a contract of … say $12M over 2 years and you only can free up $10M, you cut $2M from somewhere and add it to the $10M … and you have your ballplayer under contract. It’s just shifting money. The $12M guy is worth a lot more than the $2M guy is. So you trade the cheap guy.

      • Mark Bradford

        When you have money problems you save money anywhere you can. They are choosing to save with Heisey. Let’s not act like he was any good.

      • Steve Mancuso

        I think it’s more likely the Reds have plans to acquire two more outfielders and have a decent idea who they will be than it is that they decided Heisey wasn’t worth $2.5 million.

      • earmbrister

        Steve, I think that line of reasoning makes more sense. If they are really close to making a move, shedding salary and/or players makes sense.

        Stay tuned.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Businessmen have to consider long-term costs as well as short-term. You buy a house for a $1M and take out a mortgage which you will pay over 30 years. 5 years in you discover you live within a couple of miles of Love Canal. The $1M house is now worth $100K because that is all the market will pay, regardless if you pay for it in whole today or spread out over the term of the mortgage. If you fill out an income statement for another loan, its there. For a business, as with individuals, this can be devastating unless the pockets are very deep.

        Bob C. is not as concerned over the 2015 salaries as he is the years in the future. If he can’t move those contracts for the value he is paying, and will pay, he is in a bad way. Reds payroll will not be $125M in 2015, I’d bet on it. Their upside down as I explained in the first paragraph.

        Heisey is not good enough to bring a real low cost prospect who has a chance to help anytime soon and it appears the Reds can not, or will not, pay a decent salary for a comparable player at the same projected salary as Heisey’s in 2015. Obviously I don’t “know” this but it looks like it to me or is there a more plausible scenario?

      • JohnU

        We don’t know what Bryan Price wants. All we know is what we see. Heisey is a RH batter. Is that what the Reds need? I think there are a lot of variables inside a trade and the least useful explanation is that the Reds are dumping the guy because they can’t afford him. Anybody they get is going to cost that much money, unless it’s Winker.

  17. jas428

    Do the Dodgers have to tender Heisey tonight?

  18. Steve Mancuso

    More pitcher stockpiling by Jocketty. Very 2005. On the one hand, more plausible arms increase the chance of finding a few solid ones for the bullpen. On the other hand, how about the lack of depth of other position players. Hopefully Magill will surprise.

    • jessecuster44

      Maybe he’ll pull a Rick Ankiel and play a little OF. Is that what you mean by surprise?

      It’s been widely written lately that good hitters are very hard to find these days – Exhibit A is Boston overpaying for Hanley and Sandoval. So Walt trades away one of the better hitters on the bench for a meh pitcher. In a vacuum, this makes NO SENSE.

    • JohnU

      Walt was not in Cincy in 2005 but I think the issue with the Reds back then was they were signing 6th round picks, telling the fans they were 1st round picks and signing them cheap. I just don’t see the Magill deal as anything other than just a pitcher.
      One part of this that we aren’t discussing is what Price and Pico have to say about it. I would assume that they were consulted. If not, it’s really bad form.

    • JohnU

      And Juanderful Juan Francisco could be brought back too. Just joking.

      • jessecuster44

        That’s actually not a bad idea. He could play 1B in case Votto gets hurt again. Of course, Juan probably burnt a few bridges, so very unlikely.

      • JohnU

        Frazier plays better 1B than Juan does. He’s been with several teams despite having amazing raw power. I see why Boston cut him. They are retooling.

    • Nick Kirby

      Great question. I’d probably say yes, unless the Reds were overwhelmed with an offer for him.

  19. ohiojimw

    Agree or disagree, it appears the Reds had simply reached the end of their road with Heisey. He was always a lightning rod, why should it be any different tonite.

    Maybe if there is a following trade with the Dodgers that’s not quite worked out yet some of the apparent loss of value by the Reds in this trade gets evened out in it. What is clear is that the Reds did not want to risk being on the hook for Heisey’s salary; thus, this move had to come before the tender deadline.

    • JohnU

      Obviously the Reds have a plan for left field that is more than Schumaker, who did have a shoulder surgery. Heisey was a guy I’d have run off the plank most of the time, right before he did something that would make me love his game. I suppose most 4th outfielders are like that.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        That’s why he was a 4th OF, a bench player. Most bench players are missing something.

  20. JohnU

    Partch and Ondrusek not tendered, being replaced by Magill. A bizarre set of transactions, to be sure. There HAS to be an outfielder coming into Cincy. Which pitcher do we deal?
    I am calling it here 6 minutes after the polls close:
    Aoki signs for 2 years.

    • lwblogger2

      Aoki’s camp is talking 4-year deal. I think it will end up being three and I hope the Reds don’t sign him… Funny thing about Partch not being tendered. He isn’t arbitration eligible and could be tendered a tiny contract in the grand scheme of things. It also seems like he has a better arm than Magill. Really, not sure what the Reds see in Magill. I’m sure they’re smarter than me though.

    • VaRedsFan

      Yuck on Aoki. Dream bigger…KEMP

  21. cfd3000

    I’m also puzzled by the timing of this. If moves are in the works for the Reds to acquire two new outfielders then Heisey is expendable. And if every other team knows that, his value goes down. So you trade him first while his value is higher. But then all you get is a questionable minor league middle reliever? So it clearly wasn’t a “trade him now while we can still get a lot in return”, and it wasn’t a salary dump. 2.5M isn’t that much more than league minimum anymore, and Heisey is arguably one of the best pinch hitters and 4th outfielders around so he still had real value, especially at that salary. So if it’s not a salary dump and he wasn’t washed up and it wasn’t timing then… I don’t get it. Sorry to see him gone for no return…

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      But, yes, working on two “ifs” here, one most likely wouldn’t exist (if other teams know the Reds are acquiring 2 new OFs). I doubt anyone would divulge their intentions to other teams, since that could bring down a player’s value, like you said.

  22. GeauxReds

    Guys, you are all looking at this the wrong way. Clearly the Reds were going to no tender Chris. Meaning we get nothing to show for him. Now we got something. This wasn’t a bad trade; it was a better way of parting with Heisey.

    • ToddAlmighty

      If they were going to no tender him, then they’re even worse run than we thought. Guy has a career .922 OPS as a PH, including a .957 OPS as a PH last season. He also is a plus glove in all three OF positions. That’s the two things you should be looking for most in a 4th OF. Versatility and power off the bench.

      You’re not going to find that for $2.5m on the free agent market. It’s why the Dodgers wanted him despite having like 4 All Stars and 1 America Top 20 prospect in their OF already. So if they were going to non-tender him despite the team being desperate for offense both starting and on the bench, then it’s time to start gathering our pitchforks in preparation.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Agreed, nothing clear non-tenduring Heisey. Like I’ve said with others, if not Heisey for your 4th OF, then you need to have a plan B. And, while I can respect him for it, I just don’t think Schumacher is up to that point anymore. I don’t think any of the call-ups impressed them enough after being called up. As well as, before being called up, none really showed being ready yet, at least from AAA. Going down to AA, you would be looking at Lutz and Selsky.

        Nope, I can’t see the Reds going into the season with this OF at all. They needed one OF before. Now, they need 2, a starting and a sub.

      • Drew

        Why do people overreact to minor deals…

      • charlottencredsfan

        Because it’s the offseason and it’s the only action in town??

      • tct

        Because it is the bottom of the roster that has really hurt the Reds the last few years. The bench has been awful for the past three years and the bullpen was horrible last year. This trade gives away a solid bench player and fourth outfielder for a guy who doesn’t appear to even be a good bullpen option. The Reds outfield was horrible last year and they had no depth. This trade makes their outfield worse and takes away from the little bit of depth they did have. If they had gotten a decent reliever, I don’t think people would have minded as much.

      • JohnU

        In the case of Heisey, he was on the cusp of being an everyday outfielder. Meaning that his role is more of an 8 and a half guy. If you have the BRM, a Heisey is somebody who plays on getaway days. With this Reds team, he was also a fairly big part of an otherwise inert offense.
        So as minor deals go, yeah … if you are the big-market franchises … but this team needs to re-tool its outfield and its bench. Heisey is 2 parts of that mixture.
        I do agree, that it’s the only story in the ‘burg’ today … but this team is trying to amp up its game in the one position that Heisey plays — left field.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        TCT, it hasn’t been the bottom of the roster as much as other things. Remember, bench players are bench players for a reason; they are missing some tool that starters don’t have. With Heisey, it’s been hitting for average. If Heisey could also hit for average, we don’t see Ludwick on this team the last 2 seasons. If we were to pay more for bench players who had all the tools, this team’s payroll possibly rockets right past the Yankees. Fact is, our bench has been right about where a bench should be.

        Fact is, what hurt this team last season were the injuries. And, the years before that was Baker and his managing “a marathon” and not being able to motivate his players to put everything they have into specific games. What was the talk the season with Choo? Baker’s inability to put any kind of urgency into the players.

      • tct

        No,Steve, the bench has been horrible. Pena, Skip, Hannahan, and Ludwick combined were worth almost three wins BELOW replacement level last year.If the Reds had just used replacement level players instead of those guys they would have been 3wins better.

        Bench players shouldn’t be stars, obviously. But they should not be below replacement level. The difference between Heisey and Skip is about two wins every 250 pa. 2-3 million seems cheap for 2 wins.

      • lwblogger2

        @TCT – I wouldn’t lump Pena in there. His WAR value was killed by his time playing 1B. He’s fine as the 2nd catcher and his WAR would have been higher had he not had so may games at 1B, where his bat is WAY below what you want there. Also, exclusively looking at WAR, especially for bench players is taking too much of a shortcut. It is never as simple as looking at the WAR numbers of two players. This is especially true when we are looking at bench guys who don’t get a ton of playing time.

      • tct

        LW, I agree with you about Pena being sub replacement level because of the Reds playing him at first. But the reason they played him at first is because they had no depth on the bench or in the minors. That is my point: Jocketty has been ignoring the bench and depth for years now. It’s like he thinks if the Reds ten best players are better than his rivals ten best, then the reds will win. That only works if everyone stays healthy and produces. If you have injuries you get a year like 2014.

        As for not using WAR to evaluate bench players: what stat do you want to use? All those guys were bad hitters and none of them were good defenders. There isn’t a stat in the world that would make the Reds bench look good.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I never said the bench was good or bad, TCT. I said they are about right where a bench is. That’s why they are called bench players, they aren’t a good as regular starters. If they were as good as regular starters, then they would be starting somewhere getting paid more money.

        Make no mistake, injuries hurt us last season. And, the seasons prior, it was Baker and his ineptness, except for 2011 when we also had another injury bug and finished below 500 again “with Baker”.

      • lwblogger2

        @TCT – For the most part, I agree with what you are saying. The Reds bench and lack of depth was a problem in 2014 and has been a problem. It is worse than a lot of benches in my opinion. What I’d like to explain is why I struggle with WAR, especially when used in a vacuum, to evaluate players, especially bench players with limited playing time. In general, I like to use WAR as a reference and evaluation tool, but not as the only or, even primary means of evaluation. The debate about rather WAR evaluation is valuable really is well beyond the scope of my point however.

        Why I really don’t I like WAR for bench players? It places a good amount of emphasis on defensive metrics, which have some issues of their own, especially over the small sample sizes that part-time players are in the field. WAR has a heavy baserunning component that I think is overemphasized in the formula. Most importantly however, WAR doesn’t take into account a player’s expected role. Therefore, when you get a player like Pena who is playing outside of what he should realistically be expected to do, it penalizes the player. Pena provided decent defense behind the plate by defensive metrics (slightly below average) and the eye test (slightly below average). He actually was a better defensive catcher than I thought he’d be when the Reds signed him. His batting line .253/.291/.353 and wRC+ of 77 were nothing to write home about, but for a #2 catcher, in comparison to what a #2 catcher is expected to do, those numbers are alright. Had it not been for way too much work at 1B and that high emphasis on baserunning, his WAR number would have been positive. His wRC+ of 77 is what one might expect from their backup catcher but not what one would want from a backup 1B. The Reds misuse of Pena made him seem below replacement but the player himself, in the correct role, would not have been below replacement.

      • Matt WI

        @LWB… You make some good points. And along with not using WAR for bench players, I retreat to the idea that most of the time, there is a reason they are not going to be valuable everyday players… each member of the bench should have an area or two of strength, but should not be expected to have the full set of tools that WAR would be taking into account. I want at least one bench guy with some ISO, a bench guy that can play good defense (which is where they’ll miss Heisey), maybe a guy that can take some walks but isn’t going to hit for average. If a bench guy was going to put up a 3 WAR, he isn’t going to be on the bench. I’d ask, what’s his strength inside the overall formula?

      • tct

        LW, I agree with what you are saying about Pena. But I don’t see the problem. The Reds got below replacement level production out of Pena last year. Is it because of how they used him? Absolutely! But that doesn’t change anything. Choo would have possibly been more valuable in 2013 had they used him in left instead of center, where he was one of the worst defenders in baseball. Frazier would have had more value last year if they hadn’t played him so many games at first. But so what?

        WAR is not meant to be a measurement of true talent level. It is supposed to represent how much value a player added to his team in a given season. That value is heavily dependent on how the team uses said player. That is true for every player in the league. Wouldn’t Chapman put up more WAR if he was starting? Yet, we all recognize that the Reds aren’t actually getting much value out of Chapman because of the way they use him. He could possibly be a 4-5 win starter, but the way the Reds use him makes him worth 1-2 wins per year. We all accept this premise, so why should it be different with bench players?

      • lwblogger2

        @TCT – I see where you’re coming from and you seem to understand what WAR really is as opposed to some other folks who simply say “Player A is a 2.2 win player.” and that’s the end of their discussion. They don’t ask “Why?” They over simplify things and don’t look at the circumstances and individual components behind the WAR number. They don’t look at the role a player was expected to fill or will be expected to fill in the future. What they should be saying is “Player A was a 2.2 win player last year and this is why…” That is much more powerful in support of a position and also helps those who aren’t so analytically driven to understand someone’s position outside of just throwing a number at them that most likely means nothing to them. I guess I did a whole lot of writing when I could have just simply made that point 😉

      • tct

        LW, I think you saw me lump Pena in with Skip and Hannahan and thought I was criticizing him as a player. That’s not the case, and I should have been more specific. I like Pena fine as a backup catcher. I think they could get good production out of him if they tried to use him as little as possible vs. lefties. If he got 95% of his pa against righties, I think he could be close to a league average hitter. My criticism was against management and the way they construct and use the bench.

  23. JRS1972

    The padres non-tendered Everth Cabrera. He has some baggage, but he’d be an intriguing middle infield option for the right price.

    • lwblogger2

      The only thing I might give Cabrera if I were the Reds is a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. The guy was brutal last year and is coming off a PED suspension and a marijuana charge.

      • VaRedsFan

        Former PED use should not be a scare factor….Nelson Cruz, Melky…ect

      • lwblogger2

        His batting line from last year is the bigger scare.

  24. sezwhom

    From the LA Times: This is what you might call a curious move, what with the Dodgers already having outfielders Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Scott Van Slyke and potential star Joc Pederson.

    Curious move from LA, head-scratcher from the Reds side. Probably a precursor to other moves. I always liked Chris but honestly, I don’t think he’ll be missed.

  25. Kyle Farmer

    I have no idea what to make of this trade. It makes virtually no sense from either side. I’m left to believe that this must be a part of a much bigger trade that had to be done yesterday because of the tender deadline with the rest of the details being worked out (physicals, maybe?).

    I was a fan of Heisey and saw him as a real asset in a bench role. I wish he had developed into a starter, but I felt he was given opportunities and didn’t seize them. I hope he does well in LA or wherever he ends up next season.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      This could be an interesting idea. It makes sense. I mean, the Reds don’t need another #6 man. And, the Dodgers don’t need another major league level OF.

      I believe the Dodgers did get the upper hand of this trade, looking at this solely. However, it wasn’t very productive for either party.

    • big5ed

      I agree with the “precursor” theory here, too. The Dodgers don’t need another outfielder, but may have liked Heisey at the price as a 4th or 5th outfielder. In other words, the Dodgers have a trade (or 2) in play involving one (or more) of their outfielders (Kemp?), perhaps even to the Reds, but they needed to get Heisey before the non-tender deadline, when he would have been a free agent.

      Cueto for Kemp and bags of money?

      • jim t

        Cueto is not getting traded. More like Leake or Latos to Red Sox. or Will Myers to reds from the reds for a package.

  26. Gomer Pyle

    What about a RULE V draft pick?

    • jessecuster44

      Good thinking. 2 spots open.

  27. jim t

    Very simple. Heisey was going to be non tendered and the reds got a body for him.

    MaGill was used mostly as a starter in the Dodger organization. He will be in the Pen here. He is a two pitch pitcher and his fastball is clocked between 90-94 and occasionally hit 96. It will play up as a reliever. We basicly got something for nothing.

    • earmbrister

      Exactly. Hersey was either a mini salary dump and/or not part of their 2015/2016 plans.

      If they’d non-tendered him they would have gotten nothing in return. Instead they took a flyer on a middling prospect.

      It’s more apparent than ever that the Reds are going to be adding an OF’r.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Either way, for the first Reds trade of the 2015 Season, it is less than impressive. Hopefully Magill is a diamond in the rough. Best case, the Reds projected bench just took one to the gut; if any one can show the bright side, have at it.

        Hopefully better things are to come but at the moment, this looks like a ship without a rudder.

      • jim t

        Just becasue the reds haven’t made a significant move to this point doesn’t mean they won’t. The reds will have a new LF on opening day. You can take it to the bank. If Latos is involved wouldn’t it make sense to make sure he is healthy? Gauging the health of the other players could also be a concern. They may be trying to see who they can sign longterm before they trade people. Find out who was non tendered potentially creating needs for other teams. In the words of Aaron Rodgers RELAX. Walt has forgotten more baseball then anyone posting on these boards. Bob C wants a winner. Especially with the All Star game coming to town. A trade will be made to improve the club.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Tee question isn’t how much more Walt knows about baseball talent and building a team than RLN readers, rather how does he stack up against his 39 peers.

      • Robby20

        Having faith in Walt seems a bit misplaced to me. Heisey is no big loss but when Walt is quoted as saying the fourth outfielder spot is in good hands with Skip he loses all credibility. The Reds are a mess.

    • Swayne1

      I agree. Something > Nothing if you are going to non-tender him anyway. I also agree with other posts on this thread that this is a precursor to several more moves. Walt said at the beginning of the offseason that the Reds need more high OBP guys, Heisey’s career .299 does not fit that bill. While Heisey was solid off the bench, I think they trade for an everyday LFer and as well as signing an OBP guy like Aoki, using him as a 4th OFer (similar to KC in the playoffs).

      Regardless, I enjoyed watching Heisey play and wish him luck in LA.

    • tct

      The point is that most people think that non tendering Hesiey would have been a dumb move. Just because this is better than letting him go and getting nothing doesn’t make it a good move

      Let’s say I have a 10,000$ vehicle and I decide that I am going to give it away for free. Then someone comes along and gives me 500 bucks for it. Just because I got 500 dollars instead of nothing doesn’t mean it was a smart move because giving it away for free was a dumb idea in the first place.

      • Swayne1

        I understand the sentiment but disagree with the basis of your analogy. Using your example, the Reds had 3 options: Pay $10,000 for something (that they do not want) that may or may not be worth $10,000 (thereby risking $10,000); not buy the $10,000 car (thereby saving $10,000); or receive something that might or might not be worth $500 for something you weren’t going to buy away (AND STILL have $10,000 to spend on something else that they really want).

        I’m not saying this is a smart move, but you can’t yet call it dumb. It’s a business decision that may not work, but it is predicated on what happens next (i.e. what they do with the $10k they saved).

      • charlottencredsfan

        More so, what they do with Heisey’s role on the team: reserve OF that can play at all three spots as a + fielder, an elite PH, and a decent PR. Chris wore quite a few hats. I think he will be missed more than many suspect.

        My question is: how long did they know that CH would be non-tendered? This looks like a move that was not very well planned out. If Chris i only worth Magill, I feel bad for him and even worse for the club.

      • ohiojimw

        I tend to agree with Swayne1. If they are pinching dollars to make ends meet on a large deal, trading Heisey under market probably saved them around $1.5M. They will fill Heisey’s spot with Bourgeois or a another minimum salary guy and Magill will likely end up making $100K or less (whatever the low end is on a MLB/ MiLB split contract) if they don’t just wait until events create a diversion and release him. I think this whole deal was about the Reds saving money while showing a bit of class by finding a soft landing for Heisey which preserved his arb rights/ earning power for 2015.

        The suggestion has been made why Heisey instead of Schumaker? Schumaker is a sunken cost unless somebody would take him in a trade. The situation likely was that nobody would; so, that put Heisey on the bubble.

  28. Dean Ferguson

    whole heartily agree. thanks for the post

  29. dradg

    I’ve never been a huge fan of Heisey, but I am excited about this trade because it basically means WJ HAS to do something big to help in the outfield.

    • jim t

      it has always been his intention to improve the club.

      • jessecuster44

        The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    • Kyle Farmer

      I’m not sure it does, unless you see signing Aoki or Morse as something big. I can see a situation where one of them is signed and Schumaker is the 4th outfielder. That scenario worries me.

      • dradg

        I always figured Heisey would platoon with either Aoki or Morse (or Hamilton). To get rid of a potential platoon guy to me signals something else is on the horizon.

      • Brian

        I think you are going to see a trade not a FA signing. The Cruz signing and Markakis situation has put the Orioles in an odd position and if they are really going after Morse in a big way the cost for Morse will quickly increase beyond what the Reds are willing to do. I think that the way FA overall is going the better and more realistic route is the way of Trades, whether it is another deal with LA or one for Wil Myers.

    • Robby20

      You think? Why is that a given? Left field has been a disaster and nothing was done about it last year.

      • Brian

        It isn’t a given, with what people are giving in terms of $’s and/or years to FA’s trade is the most viable option for the Reds.

      • dradg

        I do think. First, re LF: The Reds had every reason to think Ludwick would bounce back some following a full offseason to recover from surgery. So I’m OK with them giving Ryan a little time last year. By the time the Reds realized LF was truly going to be a disaster and it probably was not going to get any better, the Reds had other injuries and issues to deal with. Fixing LF alone was not going to get the Reds in the playoffs last year.

        Back to Heisey – I don’t think you trade a player capable of playing LF in a platoon/backup situation, unless you have a deal simmering that solves your LF problem, largely eliminating the need for said backup/platoon guy.

  30. WVRedlegs

    Now, if the Reds could have gotten Van Slyke in return, I could see the benefits. Maybe this paves the way for Donald Lutz to be the 5th OF/back up 1B/ and PH pop off the bench. Lutz is starting to come into his own.

  31. jim t

    charlottencredsfan he has built winners other places. i’d sy he is well respected by his peers

    • charlottencredsfan

      Agree but Don Shula was one of the greatest head coaches in the history of the NFL, how did he do in his final seasons? Has Wat lost his touch, has the game changed and passed him by? Could Bob C. be tying his hands with the Votto, Bailey and BP contracts? Is it even worth discussing?

      This trade still makes no sense to this reader. Maybe, just maybe if Walt has two OFers lined up but that seems to be a reach. We’ll see.

  32. charlottencredsfan

    Super sub Adam Rosales was non-tendered by the Rangers. If you are all in for 2015, is this guy worth a flier?

    • lwblogger2

      Ok season with the Rangers last year but he’s never been much of a player. I don’t think I’d bring him in. He’s basically a Negron type player who would cost more than Nagron.

      • droomac

        He and Negron could race each other around the bases after home runs.

      • preacherj

        Add Billy Bates and a horse and I’ve got a great idea for a promotion.

  33. earmbrister

    The Blue Jays non tendered 2 outfielders (Mayberry and Dierks) which also leaves them with just 3 outfielders on their roster.

    If Boston is a likely source for OF help (they have about 9) the Reds would seem to be a more likely trading partner than a division rival.

  34. WVRedlegs

    Jon Heyman at CBS Sports says the Reds are 1 of 6 teams in on Melky Cabrerra. Reds only NL team mentioned. Other 5 are Mariners, WhiteSox, BlueJays, Royals and Orioles.

    • JohnU

      I don’t buy Heyman. He’s rarely right on anything. He’s guessing at it and he only mentions the Reds because it’s obvious.

      • Captain Hook

        I wouldn’t say that Heyman is usually guessing as much as he is usually reporting disinformation, usually from agents who want to create the perception of a bidding war for one of their clients.

  35. JohnU

    We all know what the team needs and I can be fairly certain the front office is aware of what we are telling them. After all, why not?

    Basically, the Reds are one season removed from being relevant in the NL-C, and Price came into a mess last spring that never got better as player after player got hurt, had to change positions, spots in the lineup (I mean, Pena in the No. 2 spot? Get real.) … and we’re all doom and gloom because we don’t have a left fielder yet.

    If the guys we have actually suit up and play, we need somebody who can get on base, drive a few guys around … Frankly, I am all for getting Aoki to accomplish that. With Hamilton on base, Aoki at the plate and Votto on deck … I will take my chances.

    As for the bench, I think the team sees its needs. We will have Negron as a supersub, Schumaker (I don’t much like this guy) … and Pena or Barnhart.

    I look for Pena to be traded.

    Iglesias makes the big club. Simon will be dealt.

    I accept donations.

    • jessecuster44

      There’s been no LF for 2 years. One of the possible LFs has just been traded. So now the Reds are down one LF and one bench piece. How are things improving?

      There’s doom and gloom because the clock is ticking, moves are being made by other teams, and the Reds seem to be standing still.

      If Aoki is all the Reds get, it won’t be enough.

      • JohnU

        It’s December 3. The clock is ticking?

      • jessecuster44

        … YES. Other teams are improving, and the Reds most certainly are not. The Braves just signed Markakis. If Walt continues to sit on his hands, there may be no one left to dance with. I find all this lack of urgency disturbing.

  36. charlottencredsfan

    Unless another trade is forthcoming in short order, this is a deal that will unite the “all in” Reds can compete in 2015 crowd and the start rebuilding pronto side. Doesn’t appear that it helps in either the present or the future.

    • lwblogger2

      Unless something else is in the works, this deal just tells me the Reds don’t know what direction they are going in and/or think they can compete with what they have in 2015.

    • Kyle Farmer

      You may be 100% correct on this. I’ve been as big a Jocketty supporter as there is around here and a big “all in” guy as well, but this trade just leaves me perplexed and wondering what the heck the Reds front office is doing. It just seems like madness to trade away a serviceable 4th outfielder with a plus glove and a little pop off the bench for a 5+ ERA minor leaguer.

    • JoshG

      the deal just says they decided to get something for a player they had no plans on tendering a contract instead of letting him walk away with nothing to show for it

  37. lwblogger2

    Looks like the Twins signed Tori Hunter. That’s the guy I would have gone after if I were the Reds. He ended up signing for 1yr and $10.5-million. The Reds may have gone after him, who knows? I do know that it makes sense that he may have given the Twins a discount and really wanted to play for the Twins because of his past ties to the team.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Not an All In guy but if I were, this would have made the most sense – one year place holder for Winker. Oh well, next!

    • Kyle Farmer

      Man, I was really hoping the previous media reports that the Reds weren’t in the mix were wrong. He would have been a darn near perfect fit.

      • lwblogger2

        For a 1-year LF solution, yes, he would have been a very good fit. His defense in LF would probably be better than it was in RF, in comparison to his peers in LF as opposed to his peers in RF. He also can still hit the ball. He’s kept himself in outstanding shape. Sure there are concerns with him being almost 40 but his production the past few years is impressive. He’s also a good character and good clubhouse guy. He’s looked upon as a good leader. Other than his age and some shortcomings defensively in RF, I don’t see a lot of negatives.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Also under a 1-year contract he wouldn’t block Winker. Win, win really.

      • Kyle Farmer

        Yes. Good clubhouse guy. Only looking for one year. Would have loved to see his bat at GABP and his defense would improve in LF. Not sure what else you could be looking for?

  38. lwblogger2

    Interesting name in the non-tenders and that’s John Mayberry Jr. He could be a 4th OF option coming at a cheaper price than Heisey. He can also backup 1B.

    • WVRedlegs

      I saw that too. He does have a .304 career BA as a pinch-hitter, 34/112, going for him.

    • JohnU

      I was of the (perhaps misguided) belief that the Reds are not looking for a 4th outfielder.

      • jessecuster44

        After trading Heisey, then need a 4th OF. Skip ain’t the 4th OF. No way.

      • lwblogger2

        Unless you think Schumaker has been penciled in as a 4th OF, then they’d probably be looking for a 4th OF and a starting LF. The Reds currently don’t have a 5th OF at all, unless Negron is being considered there. He can play the OF a bit. Mayberry is a lower cost option than Heisey would have been and if indeed the Reds are looking for outfield depth after moving Heisey, Mayberry might be an option. He was non-tendered so stands to make under $1.5-million if he signs somewhere.

    • lwblogger2

      I’d call and ask about him but honestly, I think M. Cabrera is going to cost too much.

      • ohiojimw

        MLBTR’s Steve Adams says he is projecting Melky at $65M-70M over for 5 years. Is that really too much for the Reds? However they might not like the 5 years given their apparent emerging OF talent.

      • C-bus Chris 14

        A bad trade by Walt. He is still stockpiling arms like its 1970 while other successful clubs are stockpiling bats like its 2015.

        We need a LF so of course we trade OF depth. But Heisey wasn’t an old washed up Cardinal so he had no value to Walt.

        Bad trade. Bad move. Giving away OF depth, bench depth, a good glove, and a reasonable, controlled contract for……….a high ERA minor league middle relief bullpen arm.

        YEESH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • jessecuster44

        have you read all the comments? Start there.

      • tct

        A lot of people have already chimed in on this, myself included, but I’ll give it one more go.

        The Reds had the worst outfield in baseball last year, their season was derailed by a lack of depth, and their bench has been horrible for the last three years. Heisey was a solid fourth outfielder, their best bench player, and provided some depth. They gave him away for a 25 year old pitcher who walks a ton of guys and couldn’t get triple a hitters out last year. Maybe the Reds see something in this guy that they think they can fix. But if they couldn’t get at least a reliever that they didn’t have to fix, then they should have kept Heisey.

        The philosophy behind it is what really bothers me. Walt gave Schumaker a multi year deal for about 2.5 per last year, and now he would rather give Heisey away rather than pay him 2.5 million. Now I know the budget concerns were a little different last year, but still it seems like Walt thinks Skip is at least as valuable as Heisey, if not more so. That blows my mind. There was a 2.5 win difference in those two last year. Walt just doesn’t seem to think getting production from the bench matters and he doesn’t seem to place any value on having depth. I just don’t understand why.

      • Kevin J. Brown (@ZebtheRed)

        Skip is a sunk cost. Why spend $2.5 million this year for a 30 year old OF who can’t start? Heisey has had numerous chances to win the LF job and has never delivered enough as a starter to do so. His slash line in his 55 starts last year: .212/..260/.325. Maybe the Dodgers can afford that non-production out of an OF but the Reds can’t.

        He was a nice guy, a good fielder and a decent baserunner but he never established himself and his stats have declined every year. Goodbye.

      • charlottencredsfan

        You’re comparing Hesiey to Hesiey, you should compare Hesiey to who his eventual replacements are. I say replacements because Chris wore more than one hat.. I don’t care who the Reds trade as long as it is an upgrade to the team. The upgrade here is not obviously apparent – time will tell. Otherwise it’s a salary dump, in my mind.

      • earmbrister

        How about another comparison? And by the way, I’m not necessarily responding to you, or your point, but you gave me a nice segue.

        Many here are getting all torqued about letting Heisey go, as if the Reds are in a position to pay more and more for a marginal player. Heisey does provide above average, not great, defense and can cover all 3 OF spots. However, he’s a below average hitter, and is on a 3 year offensive production slide since his high water mark in 2011.

        Meanwhile, many here rip Schumacher and Cozart. Yes, Skippy is a below average defender, but as a 4th OF’r are we looking for offense or defense? You’re not going to pull Hamilton or Bruce for a Heisey defensive replacement late in the game. And Cozart is one of the best defensive SS’s in all of baseball; a much better defender than Heisey could ever dream of being.

        But to stick to the “offensive” numbers for the moment:

        Heisey ’13: .237/.279/.694
        Heisey ’14: .222/.265/.643
        Heisey Career: .247/.299/.721

        Schumacher ’13: .263/.332/.665
        Schumacher ’14: .235/.287/.595
        Schumacher Car: .281/.339/.705

        Cozart ’13: .254/.284/.665
        Cozart ’14: .221/.268/.568
        Cozart Car: .243/.281/.646

        Heisey’s offensive production was “ok” (at best) when he was making .5 Mil, 1.3 Mil, and 1.8 Mil the last 3 years. For 2.5 Mil this year, and who know’s what for 2016 (prob well over 3 Mil), his cost doesn’t exceed the benefits he provides. The Reds could probably get similar, if not better, production right now from Yorman Rodriguez for .5 Mil (though they’d probably prefer for him and Winker to get some extensive time at AAA). Likewise, a far more productive Todd Frazier will eventually become too costly to keep or sign when he hits free agency.

        Heisey’s departure is unfortunate, but it’s part of the payroll climate in MLB. And instead of non tendering him, they got something (a middle reliever prospect – no middle relievers are ever ranked high as prospects in the minors) in return.

      • jessecuster44

        this is a good POV for the other side of the coin. I’m not sure the Reds would get similar production from Rodriguez, but I see the argument.

        The problem I see is that the Reds traded away a bat with pop, and a good bench piece, for a pitcher who may never see major league time again. The team has been looking for offense for four years, and they shed another offensive piece, leaving a void of two OFs. That’s why I’m frustrated. Maybe Walt has a major deal in the works, but after the last two years, I don’t have much confidence that he can cook up a good trade.

        And, if the Reds had managed their money wisely (no bad contracts, to Hannahan, Ludwick, Marshall, Schumaker, Phillips, Bailey, etc) they wouldn’t have to non-tender Heisey.

        This front office is terrible.

      • earmbrister

        I’m not so sure that YRod couldn’t match Heisey’s so called production, and at a fraction of the cost. Heisey is a below average offensive player, and has been for the last 3 years, with only a little bit of pop. And shouldn’t the Reds be filling their roster and bench with higher OBP guys? His OBP blows.

        A comment on an earlier thread by Steve M. that Allen Craig might make a nice bench player (betting on the rebound) was seconded by me. Someone else pointed out that the Reds wouldn’t, couldn’t, and shouldn’t spend $ 25.5 M for a bench player. He’d have to be the opening day starter, and again, the Reds really only need a 1 year bridge to Winker/YRod. The Reds have a good amount of OF depth in the middle to upper minors, no need to invest in a long term roadblock to these players.

        As for the bad contract suggestion, isn’t that a bit of cherry picking? Anyone think that Bruce was signed to a bad contract? Chapman? Iglesias? Most of the “bad” contracts that you cite were rendered bad by player injuries: Ludwick, Marshall, Schumacher, and to a lesser extent Bailey.

        The completed trades have been on balance favorable to the Reds, the drafting of players has been quite good, and some of the “waiver wire” pickups have been excellent, as in Alfredo Simon. People here are generally not excited, if not critical, of the Matt Magill trade, but he seems quite similar to Simon. Older than some prospects, though not nearly as old as Simon who was 30 or 31 when he became a Red. “Mixed” success for both, yet both have good stuff. Simon’s ERA (for simplicity) was 6.23, 9.95, 4.93, and 4.90 in the 4 seasons leading up to WJ signing him. Again, the Reds got something in return for Heisey instead of just cutting him loose.

        On balance, there’s been way more good than bad, and long term Reds fans have had their share of bad.

      • lwblogger2

        Nice call about Simon. I wasn’t too thrilled when the Reds picked him up. I watched him pitch for the O’s and saw good velocity, a good split, but zero command. I especially didn’t like it when he pitched poorly in his 1st appearance. He turned out to be a good pickup.

      • earmbrister

        Thanks. As I recall he bounced from team to team, with no one able to harness his talents, and that he was picked up off the scrap heap maybe a few days before the regular season started. He’s been great in the pen and more than serviceable this past year in the rotation.

      • jessecuster44

        Short term has been Bad with a capital B. The core that showed up in 2010 and peaked in 2012 should have competed for a title, but Dusty and a bad front office who could not/would not get one more bat sunk their chances.

        Any multimillion contract to a middle reliever/set up man is a bad contract, DatDude’s contract was bad, and so was Bailey’s. You could say I’m cherry picking on the rest. Chappy has a horrible contract due to his lack of use. Jay Bruce? not such a bad contract.

        Very much enjoy the counterpoints. Food for thought. Hope you’re right.

      • lwblogger2

        There are a handful of those multimillion contracts for middle relievers and setup men already given out this off-season. Zach Duke 3yrs/$15-million, Luke Hochevar 2yrs/$10-million both stand out. A lot of single year deals too though but many for higher annual value.

      • Drew

        How exactly do we know what Walt is thinking?

      • Sam

        I believe Walt’s thinking on Magill is that he is not suited to be a starter. He views him as a relief pitcher. From what I have gathered from all my podcasts, Walt thinks this guy can help the team as a reliever in 2015. Seems like they see this guy similar to how they saw Alfredo Simon when they picked him up. I heard that listening to Kelch on a local radio show on 12-5.

      • Kyle Farmer

        It’s hard to come to any other conclusion. Man, I hope we’re wrong.

      • JohnU

        Heisey is replaceable. Believe me, he is very replaceable.

      • ToddAlmighty

        I wouldn’t want any part of that. Melky scares me. 30-year-old terrible defender, a BB% in the 6 range, and a decent but not great ISO, and confirmed PED user.

        So much of his value is highly dependent on a high batting average that if he doesn’t hit over .300, he’s a negative WAR type player, like he was in 2010 and 2013. It’s not like the Reds can DH him, either. So he has to play a position on the field.

        Fielding and bad walk rate aside, the age and the PED thing are what worry me most. 5 years is too long.

      • CP

        Are people still pretending the PED use wasn’t league wide? How cute…

        I think Melky would be a pretty good upgrade for the short term. It’s those extra years that scare me. Still, everyone is looking for the unicorn who is entering his prime, is cheap, and plays great defense. Melky’s defense according to FG, was similar to Jay Bruce. I’m not crazy about the defensive metrics, so I’m just throwing that out there…

      • Brian

        could also look at it as sign Melky to a 4 year contract and then look at it as an area of wealth moving forward if Bruce bounces back. Gives you Hamilton, Bruce, Melky, Winker, Yorman, Waldrop, etc.. If Bruce doesn’t bounce back you still have a strong young core to work with (I think Bruce will be more than fine moving forward) Becomes a strength moving forward that you could use to grow other areas of weakness (SS).

  39. al

    At the end of the day, one move like this doesn’t sink your team. The problem to me is that this Reds front office doesn’t seem to have a sense of how the little moves can add up. We give money to guys that aren’t good (Ludwick, Schumaker, etc) and don’t seem to recognize value when we have it.

    Heisey’s put up 2.3 WAR over the last two years, and was about to get paid $2.5 mil. Ludwick got paid $15mil over two years and put up -1.4 WAR.

    It’s just about value. There are plenty of roster issues to disect, and I assume that at the end of spring training the Reds will have 25 players on their roster, and 3 outfielders on the field on opening day. But to me, it’s too bad that they let Heisey go, because it shows that they don’t have a great idea about the value of players.

  40. sultanofswaff

    Andrew Miller is on the verge of a 4 year/$40mil deal with someone. That’s Aroldis Chapman money.

    I doubt anyone on this site would advocate signing any closer for that kind of money right now, and yet we chatter about endless trade scenarios that don’t involve trading Chapman to free up salary and rebalance the team payroll away from the bullpen.

    To me, it’s the elephant in the room. You can’t get a legit LF because you have no money. Well, there’s the money…….wasted on a guy who’s gonna throw 70 innings at best.

    • JohnU

      It’s not wasted money if they put AC in the rotation, but that’s apparently never going to happen. Chapman is the best trade piece the Reds have and I’d hate to see him go. But saving 34 games a year isn’t the biggest issue this team faces.

      • Zac Oldham

        Why wouldn’t it be feasible to sign Lester with Cueto’s money plus some sugar? Then trade Cueto for Cespedes and Boegarts. Outfield: Cespedes, Hamilton, Bruce. Infield: Frazier, Boegarts, Phillips, Votto, and Mesoraco. Rotation: Lester, Latos, Bailey, Leake, Simon. Sign Leake if cheap if not let rest walk and 2016 brings, Cingrani, Winker, Stephenson, Lorenzen.

  41. JoshG

    Don’t get me wrong I’d be happy if the Reds picked up Melky Cabrera, I’m just not a big fan of his, I’d rather have Aoki for 2 years than Cabrera for 4 or 5.
    I still think a trade is the best idea, If the Braves Sign Markakis, does that make Upton even more likely to be dealt? I also like the idea of Fowler in left hitting 2nd, and if Hamilton’s 2nd half fade from last year continues (I don’t think it will, think he just ran out of gas) Fowler can Leadoff and even slide to center if need be.

  42. JohnU

    I still have money on Aoki getting a 2-year deal.
    I am in the distinct minority who believes Aoki — in a healthy, improving Reds lineup — would be be a very big piece of the puzzle, hitting in the 2 spot (or the leadoff spot from time to time.)

    • Redgoggles

      I agree with this. But no more than 2 years.

  43. ohiojimw

    Markakis to the Bravos. Talk about dual personalities and tracks. The plot thickens.

  44. Mark Bradford

    Please tell me when Heisey became this great player? He deserved to be non tendered, so getting anything for him is a positive. He had his chances and failed.

    • Kyle Farmer

      We have no idea how Bruce’s knee is, Billy is always going to be prone to nicks because of his size and style, and we’re probably looking at an aging LF for a year. I can’t imagine a scenario where having a good 4th outfielder would be more important. Heisey certainly never earned a starting job, but he is a valuable asset in the proper role and we just gave him away.

      • Kevin J. Brown (@ZebtheRed)

        A “good 4th outfielder” doesn’t do what Heisey did last year:

        His slash line in his 55 starts last year: .212/..260/.325.

      • Kyle Farmer

        I’m not arguing he should start. There’s only 3 outfielders in baseball. He’s got pop off the bench and gives a plus glove at all 3 positions. That’s valuable and not overly expensive at $2.5 million.

      • ToddAlmighty

        His PH OPS last year: .957
        His career PH OPS: .922

        That is what a good 4th OF does. He’s a good bat off the bench, and can play all three OF spots with plus defense. Nobody is arguing for him to be a starter right now, but your bench players do impact how your team does.

    • vegastypo

      yikes, I missed this: Saunders traded to Toronto. Wasn’t there interest in him by some commenters here?

  45. redmountain

    Do I know what Jocketty is up to? No, I could try to say that I know, but everyone would know it is a lie. However, lets do some supposing about things that could be in the future. Jocketty likes to keep what he is doing very quiet and he is not above saying something to throw you off track. Suppose he is thinking about where Winker, Yorman, Waldrop could be in Spring Training. What if one or more is ready? Any combination of them lowers your LF cost. It should also be remembered that money was also sliced off by the guys that were allowed to walk. So it may not be a discounted player that is being look at to sign or or get in a trade.

  46. WVRedlegs

    Reds may be getting some veteran bullpen help. Free agent RH reliever Tim Stauffer. He did pitch out of SD’s respected bullpen last year. He could take the role that Simon used to have.

    What would you guys think of the Reds taking a flier on former Miami ace Josh Johnson on a minor league deal if he doesn’t get a ML contract? He had TJ surgery about a year ago and didn’t pitch last year. He could be ready for spring training. He’s a big dude and had a big arm. If TJ surgery corrected what was wrong with him, he could become a nice asset at AAA or the bullpen. As far as reclamation projects go, this one could be a good one for WJ.

    • Matt WI

      I could have sworn I saw somebody just signed him, but now I can’t find anything. Huh. Oh… it was the Braves signing Jim Johnson. Stupid J names.

      • wvredlegs

        Yes, that was Baltimore’s former closer.

      • lwblogger2

        I was hoping Jim Johnson would slip to the point of being a guy who’d accept a minor league deal.

  47. jas428

    Walt’s love for ex-Cards got the Reds in this mess. Then, there’s the wasted money on some other players. I have a hunch Price wanted Heisey gone – was in his doghouse too often last year. Still thinking that this was a bigger deal that fell apart. If Reds cared about Heisey, then the should have allowed him be a free agent. If Magill even gets on 40-man roster, and I highly doubt it, then there are no savings versus a myriad of mid-relief options in system or across the league. LA seems like one of the worst places to go with their OF glut. It’s fine if you don’t want to pay Heisey, but let him sign where he wants. It really wouldn’t have cost the Reds anything. It’s insulting to trade him, not let him decide, and have the legacy of being traded for a player who NEVER contributed anything in the bigs. For the Heisey detractors, you cannot say the same thing. Just ask Cueto about August 31, 2014.

  48. al

    In the past week the Blue Jays have acquired Josh Donaldson and Michael Saunders and gave up Brett Lawrie, J.A. Happ, two back of the rotation prospects, and an 18 year old shortstop prospect.

    Last year, Donaldson and Saunders put up about 10 WAR.

    The players that the Blue Jays gave up would be roughly equivalent to:

    Todd Frazier
    Alfredo Simon
    Ben Lively
    David Holmberg
    Phil Ervin

    Donaldson has been the second best player in the AL the last two years and has 4 years of control. Saunders put up 2.5 wins last year and has two years of control. Frazier is clearly better than Lawrie, so maybe the Reds wouldn’t have had to give up Lively or Homberg.

    I think that should give Reds fans a good idea of how a team could go about improving it’s offense, and a realistic idea of what it would take to get quality players in trades with multiple years of team control.

  49. User1022

    Heisey was always a bit over-valued on these boards. True, the Reds need offense and Heisey brings some offense, as others have pointed out the value, which was barely there before, is no longer there.

    Heisey was never going to be a full time player. Heisey was never going to develop into anything more than what he is now.

    Better to cut costs and find the next Heisey than cling to an aging and soon to be much more expensive asset. Before Heisey, Jacob Cruz filled that role. I have no doubt another AAAA type player can fill the role going forward as well.

    You can criticize Walt for giving two year deals to washed up players that end up being horrible value, but don’t use that raitionale to say he should have done the same with Heisey. This is a move that should be praised for finally being forward-thinking.

  50. Grand Salami

    The A’s are looking for takers for Brandon Moss. Per Billy Beane’s M.O. I am sure they are looking for prospects and perhaps a starter to help them make a playoff run again next year.

    Would 1 year of Moss be worth trading 1 year of Leake for? His big negative is that he bats leftie.

    • earmbrister

      According to Baseball Reference, Brandon Moss is controlled for two more years, not one. Even with the hip injury, he’d cost a lot in return (so far as players), $ 7 M in ’15, and I’m sure a good deal more in ’16.

      Great player, not a great fit. Like you said, he’s a LH middle of the order bat, and he blocks access to cheap OF talent in late ’15 and in ’16.

  51. Michael E

    Heisey was nothing more than a middling bench OF. The extra love shown for a few HRs off the bench is mind-boggling. What about the rest of his play? I wanted him to start full time a few years back, because he looked solid starting once a week and pinch hitting. Then he got starting duties for extended periods, here and there, and stunk.

    I think Schumacher is better than we give him credit for…having a bad 2014 with some injuries. He isn’t great, power is limited, but he does battle in his ABs more than most Reds. Assuming he can be healthy in 2015, I see a utility player and spot starter that will make a pitcher work a little bit.

    Heisey is not any better than Skip, yet many seem to think he is the best 4th OF in baseball. He isn’t.

    Magill? Hey, all this hate of pitchers now is mind-boggling. The easiest way to win in today’s game is a solid rotation and bullpen. Finding 4 or 5 consistently good hitters (minimum to have an above average hitting team) is quite hard. I’d rather be the Braves of the 1990s than the Reds (all pitching vs all hitting and no pitching). Magill has some solid stuff. We have a VERY good pitching coach as manager that has a good track record of improving most every pitcher he works with…I bet Magill improves and could be a key piece to a playoff run in a year or two…you never know.

    I am intrigued by what the future holds for OF for the Reds. We KNOW we have to add something, is it trade, FA, promoting a prospect? Given the mediocrity being mentioned, such as Aoki, Morse (too injured) and others, I’d be willing to sit through some growing pains of Yorman, Jesse or Lutz. Hopefully we find a solid LF on a short contract to bridge us to the prospects. I’d love to have a big trade that pulls out two top 5 prospects with big upside, but not sure that will happen.

    Heisey was below-average OF. Skip is below average, but no worse than Heisey. They’re both once-a-week starter types in the OF, Skip might have more value in INF roll if they move someone.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Skip Schumaker isn’t better than we give him credit for. He’s terrible. Last year he was a -1.2 WAR player. The year before he was a -1.0 WAR player. That means in the last two years, playing a REPLACEMENT level player would have netted his teams 2.2 more wins.

      Heisey has been worth 1.0 WAR both last year and the year before. So the last two years, the difference between Heisey and Schumaker has been 4.2 WAR.

      So Schumaker over Heisey means you’re basically giving away slightly over 2 wins a year. So a 90-72 team becomes a 88-74 team.

      A solid part of why the Reds team was so bad was due to lack of depth. Schumaker had -1.2 WAR, Pena had -0.5, Hannahan had -0.3, Bernadina had 0.0 WAR, Bourgeois has 0.2 WAR, Santiago had 0.6 WAR. Soto had -0.3 WAR, and Lutz had -0.4 WAR. That’s -1.9 WAR.

      Now assume you have 5 bench players (2 OF, 2 IF, 1 C) one of them is Heisey as a “middling bench OF” 1.0 WAR. If the other 4 players all put up Heisey’s 1.0 WAR for a total of 4.0 WAR instead of the -1.9 WAR or so they did, that is a six win difference. The Reds would go from a 76-86 losing season to an 82-80 winning season and probably from 4th in the division to 3rd. Price would have been praised for that record with all those injuries.

      That difference is the difference between the Reds having the 5th worst record in the NL to the 6th best. It’d be like adding Andrew McCutchen (6.4 WAR) to the team by just having a bench full of Heisey-caliber players instead of what they had.

      Saying “Skip is below average, but no worse than Heisey.” is just so so wrong it borders ignorance.
      – – – – –

      As for Magill, he is pretty terrible man. 5.21 ERA, 1.642 WHIP, 6.3 BB/9, 7.4 K/9 in AAA last year.

      Then he went to the majors and put up 6.51 ERA (7.13 FIP), 1.988 WHIP, 9.1 BB/9, 8.5 K/9 in 6 major league starts.

      He is not good. To give you an idea of how atrocious his walk rate is… do you remember how awful it was watching Volquez walk everyone? Volquez had a 4.9 BB/9 while in Cincinnati. Now imagine a 6.3 or even a 9.1…

  52. Dale Pearl

    Heisey will not be the reason we either make the playoffs or dont make the playoffs. He was always the backup so in my mind totally expendable.

  53. Eric the Red

    Heisey>Schumaker. I’m sorry that resources that could have been spent on Heisey were spent on Schu instead. That is all.

  54. redsfan06

    Heisey’s best opportunity with the Reds was to start him in CF during Stubb’s last year of flailing away. He could have provided improved offense back then. Now he is 30, and his hitting has been on a downward slope the last couple of years with a Cozart like OBP of .265 last year.

    My initial reaction was that Walt didn’t get much in return for him. But, like others have pointed out, the Reds did get something in return in trading him rather than non-tendering him. I would rather have Heisey for $2.5 million than Schumaker, but Walt tied his own hands with that contract.

  55. lwblogger2

    We are in need of a new thread. Come on Reds, do something amazing!!