The Reds’ 2015 campaign can be broken down into four separate segments:

Segment 1: The 4-0 start — remember Todd Frazier’s Opening Day thunderbolt? — and Bryan Price’s blow-up.

Segment 2: Season-ending injuries to Devin Mesoraco and Homer Bailey as well as a nine-game losing streak in May curtailed any chance the Reds possessed at playoff contention.

Segment 3: Frazier captures the Home Run Derby crown/other All-Star week fun.

Segment 4 (The present): The post-Cueto-and-Leake-trade slog to the finish line.

Keeping in line with the off-the-field storylines that have come to define the 2015 Reds, in the aftermath of the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31, general manager Walt Jocketty referred to the Reds’ modus operandi going forward as a “reboot” rather than a “rebuild.”

Less than a week later, when asked about his club’s chances in 2016, Jocketty said, “Our plan at this point is that we realistically have a real good shot in 2017,” while also noting that the “nucleus” of the club is in place.

In essence, while Jocketty and the Reds front office/ownership aren’t punting on 2016, they feel that 2017 is a more practical year for the club to seriously pursue a playoff berth.

Is a Reboot/Aim for 2017 plan realistic? Let’s examine the pros and cons of the Reds’ apparent strategy moving forward.

Con: The position players are aging quickly

Note: For each player’s age, I used Baseball-Reference’s measure, which goes by the player’s age at midnight of June 30.

Player Age in 2017 Contract status after 2017
Devin Mesoraco 29 Signed through 2018
Joey Votto 33 Signed through 2023
Brandon Phillips 36 Free Agent
Zack Cozart 31 Free Agent
Todd Frazier 31 Free Agent
Eugenio Suarez 25 Under club control through 2020
Billy Hamilton 26 Under club control through 2019
Jay Bruce 30 Free Agent

Counting on this particular position player core for sustained production in 2017 is a risky proposition. Mesoraco, Votto, Cozart, and Bruce have missed sizable chunks of time in the past with serious injuries. Phillips has accumulated myriad minor maladies over the last few years, and his declining power production/ability to hit the ball hard as well as his aversion to walks is certainly worrisome.

If the Reds do indeed push their chips to the middle of the table in 2017, the season will take on a Last Hurrah feel — not unlike 2015, to an extent — as the contracts of Phillips, Frazier, and Bruce are set to expire after the 2017 campaign, and Cozart’s last year of arbitration taking place in 2017. (The Reds picking up Bruce’s $13 million team option for 2017 would seem to be a cinch.)

The age-related decline of the older players should be offset by a handful of the other regulars (Mesoraco, Suarez, Hamilton) ideally entering or being in the middle of their prime years. One would think the Reds would have upgraded the bench into a more versatile and formidable unit as well.

The 2015 Reds offense is fifth among the 15 National League squads in fWAR and OPS, seventh in wRC+, and 11th in runs scored. Can what will likely be mostly the same group of regulars produce an average-ish offense to augment a potentially emerging pitching staff?

Wild cards: Prized outfield prospect Jesse Winker (age 23 in 2017) will likely — sensing a pattern with the italics yet? — make the Reds at some point in 2016, increasing the likelihood he can contribute in 2017. … Infield prospect Alex Blandino (24) was bumped from High-A to Double-A recently. There’s a chance Blandino could reach the majors at some point next season. … The Reds should be able to procure something out of outfielder Yorman Rodriguez (24), corner infielder/outfielder Kyle Waldrop (25), and corner infielder/outfielder Adam Duvall (28) by 2017, too.

Pro: Potentially superb pitching depth

Age in 2017 (currently in majors/on DL): Homer Bailey (31), Anthony DeSclafani (27), Raisel Iglesias (27), Michael Lorenzen (25), Keyvius Sampson (26), David Holmberg (25), Jon Moscot (25).

Age in 2017 (currently in minors): Tony Cingrani (27), Robert Stephenson (24), Brandon Finnegan (24), John Lamb (27), Cody Reed (24), Amir Garrett (25), Keury Mella (25), Nick Travieso (23).

As far as the current starters in the bigs go, Bailey should be back to full strength from Tommy John in 2017. DeSclafani, Iglesias, and Lorenzen could be in their third seasons as major-league starters. More than likely, Stephenson is embarking on his second go-around in the bigs.

As for Sampson, Holmberg, Moscot, Cingrani, Finnegan, Lamb, and Reed, most of them will probably be with the Reds, either in the rotation or the bullpen, by 2017. Garrett, Mella, and Travieso, all of whom are pitching at High-A, should be in Triple-A by 2017 and waiting for a taste of the big leagues.

If the Reds can sort everything out, they should possess an impressive collection of young, controllable, and cheap (with the exception being Bailey, of course) pitching, which is why it’s also feasible that a handful of the aforementioned pitchers will be packaged together in a trade for young hitting talent, something the Reds are in dire need of.

Con: There are three teams in the NL Central with better young players, better coaching, and better front offices

Pirates: Pittsburgh isn’t going anywhere, the chief reason being Andrew McCutchen is under contract through 2018, his age-31 season. … Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco are just scratching the surface of their respective potentials. … Jung-Ho Kang, Neil Walker, and Josh Harrison will soon be joined in the infield by the club’s top hitting prospect, first baseman Josh Bell. … Top pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow will join Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano in the rotation next year. … The front office has proven itself to be more than savvy enough (Liriano, Kang, Russell Martin, Francisco Cervelli, A.J. Burnett) to locate and fill their weaknesses on a cost-effective basis. … The Pirates went 94-68 in 2013, 88-74 in 2014, and are pace for 95 wins in 2015.

Cubs: Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, and Kyle Schwarber are locked up for years to come. … Jon Lester signed a long-term deal last offseason. … Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel are under club control through 2017. … Everyone in the world knows Theo Epstein will secure a top starter (David Price? Johnny Cueto? Zack Greinke? Jordan Zimmerman? Jeff Samardzija? Scott Kazmir?) and at least one impact bat in the offseason as the Cubs begin to flex their financial might.

Cardinals: Adam Wainwright stands to age well and mesh with eventual ace Michael Wacha atop a rotation that also sports the rapidly-developing Carlos Martinez and often-overlooked-but-very-good Lance Lynn. … Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, and Matt Adams aren’t going anywhere. … The inevitable age-related decline of Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday, and Jhonny Peralta is a concern. Holliday is likely gone after 2016, while Molina and Peralta’s contracts expire after 2017. And yet, impact position players always want to play for St. Louis, so even if Jason Heyward departs this offseason, the Cardinals will fill the gap ably.

Pro: With a new TV deal on the horizon, an everything-must-go rebuild wasn’t/isn’t a feasible financial option for the Reds

Within the confines of Great American Ball Park, the fact that the Reds’ television agreement with Fox Sports Ohio expires after the 2016 season could have been the single most important reason the Reds eschewed a scored-earth rebuild — i.e. the trading of Bruce, Frazier, Aroldis Chapman, and possibly even Phillips at the non-waiver deadline last month — in favor of The Reboot. (Obligatory mention of Bob Castellini’s well-known competitive streak.)

Leverage always plays a big role in any sort of financial agreement. Quite obviously, if the strip-mined Reds were on track for somewhere around 100 losses in 2016 and 2017, that would harm their negotiating power. The powers that be at GABP want to broker the best possible deal before the TV bubble bursts.

Conclusion

It’s possible the Reds are victims of bad timing with the All-Star Game and the new TV deal. (Would’ve been nice if both of those events took place in 2012 or 2013, eh?) The circling of 2017 as a return to contention is not unlike the club’s plan this past winter to push for the postseason with All-Star Game on the horizon: it can work, but it has to be done right without obvious mistakes (Jason Marquis, Kevin Gregg, Brennan Boesch, the bench) while employing some defensible (Marlon Byrd) and inspired (DeSclafani, Suarez) moves. Player health is obviously the biggest unknown/swing factor.

In a hypothetical world, if there was no new TV deal to worry about, the Reds would heavily weigh the aging/injury history of the club’s position player core and the strength of the NL Central and decide to execute the following: the already-completed Cueto and Leake trades; sell high on Bruce, Frazier, and Chapman, and get whatever they could for Phillips either at the trade deadline or this offseason; move bit parts (Byrd, Manny Parra, Brayan Pena, Skip Schumaker); and promote the ready/near-ready youngsters (Stephenson, Lamb, Rodriguez, Waldrop, Duvall) from Triple-A.

The result would’ve been some lean, lean years in 2016 and 2017, but as the end of the decade approached and the Cardinals, Cubs, and Pirates respective cores aged and/or became too expensive to keep together, the Reds could have primed for 2010-esque uprising. Having said that, the Reds can realistically chase a playoff berth as soon as 2017, but the margin for error — not unlike this past winter — will be very slim.

80 Responses

  1. gaffer

    While it is possible, a better play could have been. 1) Trade Chapman now for 2-3 starting caliber players in 2017. 2) Trade Byrd for anything 3) Trade Bruce (just not for Zach Wheeler unless he is healthy) and probably 4) Trade Frazier if you get 2-3 starting caliber players.

    If 2017 is the goal (as Walt stated) what the heck is Chapman here now for? Also, why go all in for 2017 and then have 3-4 major players being free agents after (are we giving up on 2018-2020)?

    • Tom Gray

      No NL or AL team would trade 2-3 MLB starters for Chapman. Now or ever.

      Byrd has been a good power hitting OF the last 3 years.

      Bruce averages 30 HR and 90+ RBI (on 162 G basis) in his MLB career. Who wants that kind of player on the Reds? (dws)

      No NL or AL team would trade 2-3 MLB starters for Frazier, either.

      If you can pull those off, YOU should be the Reds GM immediately.

    • Jay King

      I have this strange feeling that Chapman will remain a red even if he is expensive, which he will be… Kinda like Votto deal Castellini will step in cause he knows Chapman is filling seats. Is it a smart move… No so sure… I too love watching Chapman blow down players and make them look like they are from single A, but realistically I doubt we will have him when his contract comes up.

      • Ken Goldsberry

        I can’t imagine anyone actually goes to a Reds game for the sole reason of seeing Chapman pitch. The whole package contributes to ticket sales, not a one man show. Well… unless you’re the 80s Padres and talking about Tony Gwynn. They were awful with the exception of Gwynn.

  2. cory (@thecvail)

    Actually being anywhere near the 2017 race could spell disaster for the 2018- Reds, as the front office will have to at least pretend to go for it.

    They won’t be able to trade Frazier, Bruce, BP, and Cozart, leaving them with maybe 2 picks.

    • RedsFaninPitt

      I would prefer the blow-it up strategy really recalibrate a team that needs to be recalibrated. They are a slightly above average hitting team with everyone healthy – probably not top 10 in the league. And, there pitching is a huge question mark on the pitching for 2016 at least. Given the concerns over the TV deal, I expect them to trade Chapman and Bruce during the offseason (hopefully, the no brainer of not having Byrd around in 2016 will be figured out as well) along with one or two young pitchers and seek to obtain a LF and leadoff hitter (probably young and cheap). I think all the chips are being piled on for 2017. I could also see a free agent starting pitcher being added to provide veteran experience to the rotation.

  3. WVRedlegs

    Is it any wonder that Jocketty would say that? His contract is over after the 2016 season. So, is he saying once he is gone, the Reds should contend? If that is the case, then move that plan up by one year.
    Actually, with a competent front office, the Reds “re-boot” should have them contending in 2016. But we know the Reds do not possess a competent front office, nor a competent GM.
    With the Brewers 86-ing their old-school GM this week, the Reds are the only team left in the NL Central with an archaic paleo-front office. Dinosaurs roaming the range at 100 Joe Nuxhall Way. Reds next year will do away with the GABP name and will re-name the stadium Jurassic Park.

    • cory (@thecvail)

      I don’t see any way a 2016 contender is likely. They’d have to add significant pieces in left field and a mid-to-high level starting pitcher. I’d find it hard to believe they have $30 million to add those pieces.

      Even then, they’d be just as paper-thin as this year, and be counting on multiple rookie/2nd-year pitchers to break through in a big way.

    • CP

      It took Epstein 3 years to turn around the Cubs, but you’re probably right, a competent GM would have the Reds competing in 2016. /s

      • Tom Gray

        Walt Jocketty built the Oakland A’s farm system in 1980’s that made 3 straight WS appearances in 1988-89-90.

        As GM for STL he won 7 NL Central titles, 2 NL pennants, and 1 WS championship. He hired Tony LaRussa as manager and traded for Mark McGwire among others.

        As GM for CIN he won 2 NL Central titles in 2010 and 2012 (prior 2 were in 1995 and 1990) and made 3 NL playoff appearances in2010, 2012, and 2013 (prior 3 were in 1995, 1990, and 1979).

      • jdx19

        Walt Jocketty benefitting from juiced-up Bash Brothers and hitting the jackpot on the best player in baseball history through his first 10 seasons (Pujols) doesn’t make him a good GM…

        The easiest way to refute anything about Jocketty being good is the folling statement: Kevin Gregg, Jason Marquis.

      • jessecuster44

        I don’t care at all what he’s done before he got to Cincy. Are you and he related?

        Has Walt delivered a postseason playoff series win for the Reds? No. Has he made intelligent in-season moves designed to strengthen the team for the rest of the year? No. Has he fixed the hole in LF? No.

        And most of the talent that got the Reds to the playoffs in 2010, 2012, 2013? That came before Walt got here. Look it up.

        We can thank Walt for getting Scott Rolen, who was very good for half of 2010, and a leader in the clubhouse. We can thank Walt for getting Latos and Choo (very nice moves that happened in the offseason), but ultimately he’s underdelivered here. The Gregg and Marquis moves were pure idiocy. I can’t wait until he steps down or is canned.

  4. Nick Kirby

    Nice article Grant. If the Reds want to seriously compete in 2017, there is no way Brandon Philips can be the everyday 2B. The Reds probably will not be able to move him, but they will have to bench him. Phillips will probably be around a 70-80 wRC+ hitter in 2017.

      • lwblogger2

        Right now he is very-good and bordering on elite. In 2017, I think he’ll be right around average. That’s assuming he can avoid an injury that permanently reduces his effectiveness. I really like Phillips but at 36, he’s likely not going to be good enough to be an every day player.

      • CP

        He’s pretty close to average right now isn’t he? He’s basically middle of the pack. His defense is still good, but his range has declined so he’s no longer top 5 (FG says 11th UZR, but whatever, the range in 2B UZR/DEF is fairly tight so not much separation there and I assert that he is still a great defender via the eye test).

        But that drop in power is still pretty staggering. The 2Bs just disappeared.

      • lwblogger2

        @CP – Strictly defensively speaking in my above comment. I would say he’s still very good defensively; well above-average. Most the metrics have him on the high-side of average I believe, so the metrics say he’s slipping. That would seem logical.

        At the plate, he most certainly isn’t the player he once was. The lack of doubles is indeed troubling. By 2017, I’d have to think that he probably shouldn’t be a starting 2B anymore.

  5. Tom Gray

    Depends on trades over the winter or perhaps waiver trades in August, not to mention 3 key players returning from surgery and/or serious injuries.

    Ignoring all that:

    Good lineup. Bad bench. Young, inexperienced SP. Good bullpen at top but no depth. Terrible manager.

    That adds up to No. Reboot won’t do it.

    • IndyRedMan

      They now have all kinds of depth in the pen. Cingrani for one can still be pretty nasty when his velocity/should is right. Finnegan might be good in the pen….not too many power lefties out there and he throws much harder than Cingrani. DeJesus and Cozart make up the beginning of a much better bench. The big questions are how fast the young starters grow up and improve and if Meso can catch…..and hit like he did in 2014?

    • IndyRedMan

      If Jocketty could take the $ saved from Cueto, Leake, Byrd, and Marshall and pickup someone like Adam Eaton (.350ish obp) then the lineup could be pretty dangerous next year. I would get Hamilton on squats about 2 weeks after the season ends. Its impossible to do heavy squats and not gain weight.

      • Tom Gray

        The $ saved will already have been spent on other contracts (that increase automatically) or in arbitration hearings.

        I’ll be happy if the everyday is healthy next year and has 8 MLB caliber players in it.

    • Ken Goldsberry

      Who hired the terrible manager? Go ahead and say it, although it will pain you greatly to say so.

  6. susan WILTSHIRE

    U r wrong that infield is so tight got votto has only had 2 injuries

  7. lwblogger2

    It really depends on the moves the team makes in the off-season, during the 2016 campaign, and in the 2016 off-season. It also depends on the development of the young guys.

    “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future” – Yoda

  8. james garrett

    First of all great article by Grant which covers every reason to be optimistic and every reason not to be.The one con that sticks out to me is the other teams in our division are just better and unless they under perform and we catch lightning in a bottle and over perform we are no better then a fourth place team.We could be a 500 team and still finish fourth.

    • PDunc

      3 of the 4 best records in all MLB are by teams in the NL Central. Based on recent history and/or the young talent on those teams, there is little reason to expect them to take a step back in the next 2 years.

  9. Travis Bailey

    “myriad minor maladies” well played Padawan!

    • jdx19

      And +1 for avoiding the common error of saying “a myriad.” It’s just “myriad.”

  10. Travis Bailey

    I think we can be more optimistic about 2016 and I don’t think it builds team chemistry for a GM to say we won’t contend next year. Next year we will have a healthy Meso, Cozart & later Bailey. We will have seasoned young pitchers and an abundance of bullpen arms. All pitching is cost controlled with the exception of Chapman & Bailey. We should have a better contribution from Billy after a sophomore slump and more depth in the infield. KC caught lightening in a bottle last year with some prospects and there is no reason to think we can’t. We have a good core and a decent coach that is willing to change. We have some money to fill holes and strengthen the bench. Lady luck should smile on us next year with the string of bad luck the last 2 years the stat heads would say we are due.

    I am optimistic about next year and I hope Castellini can find a new GM that can be too.

    • Tom Gray

      All due respect but.

      MAY have healthy Mesoraco, Cozart, and Bailey.

      One year (2015) does not “season” young P enough.

      The Reds best young P over the years (Jim Maloney, Mario Soto to name two) tools a few years of seasoning.

      The Reds have nothing resembling a decent manager. Bryan Price is a decent man but not manager.

      Walt Jocketty is a quality GM with a proven track at STL and CIN. I don’t another Bob Howsam waiting to come aboard.

      • Evan armstrong

        So you are OK with Walt who brought how many bad retreads, but not Price who has not had a healthy roster at any point in his short tenure? You make no sense.

      • Tom Gray

        Jocketty brought plenty of good additions to the Reds. The 2010, 2012, and 2013 teams all had good players added by Jocketty. Look at those rosters.

        Price is worthless as a manager but was good P coach. He should be fired.

      • reaganspad

        Tom, Walt has been worthless as the Reds GM. He has made 2-3 moves in the time he has been here but has missed several opportunities to improve the team each year.

        I count Alfredo, Keyvius and DeJesus over the years. Krivsky did that every year which is how we got guys like Josh Hamilton and Brandon Phillips. Walt just does not know hitting.

        Walt for all the experience you site is just really really bad.

        I am pretty sure he does not know what re-boot means

      • Evan armstrong

        For every good trade Walt has made you can point to 1-2 poor player moves he has made while with the Reds. Also if Walt is so forward thinking then why did the Cards fire him.

        Also you continue to hammer on Price. But you praise Sparky. Sparky was very good, but given all the talent he had shouldn’t the Reds have won more then just two WS titles while Reds manager?

      • Michael E

        Walt DOES know hitting. How else did we STEAL Schmuckmucker?

        We have the best bench in the league, just terrible players sitting on it.

    • citizen54

      Ya I don’t see why we shouldn’t at least be average. Our rotation looks like it is going to be Bailey, Stephenson(assuming his wrist doens’t fall off), Iglesias, Disco and a bunch of young talent fighting for the fifth spot (Lorenzen, Lamb, Finnegan, Moscot etc), so that looks decent. Left field looks to be the only hole in the line up and I’m sure with that surplus of starting pitching they can scrape together a decent bullpen. As long as we fill out the roster with over the hill ex Cardinals we should be okay.

      • citizen54

        S/b don’t fill out our roster…

      • citizen54

        I’m curious. If a sentence makes no sense then how could it “fit the mantra of some.”

      • Tom Gray

        Some mantras (Jocketty sucks, Baker sucks, etc) make no sense yet they continue to chanted.

      • citizen54

        So perhaps you can explain how the statement “Baker sucks” makes no sense.

        I think what you mean to say is that you don’t agree with the statement, not that it doesn’t make sense.

      • Tom Gray

        Sure. He led three NL teams into the playoffs. He was NL MOY 3 times. He has a .524 W-L (%) as a manager over 20 years. He managed the Reds to their first NL Central title and playoff appearance in 15 years.

      • citizen54

        You realize that managers don’t have that much effect on one way or another right? And still that does not explain how the statement, “Baker Sucks makes no sense.” You are confusing opinion with fact.

      • citizen54

        There have been several studies showing that managers have little effect on a team’s record, at most 2-3 wins. I’m not sure if I am allowed to provide links but I am sure you can find some of these studies yourself. A teams’ total talent has a much greater effect on a team’s record than the manager does.

        And you still have not explained how the statement “Baker Sucks” makes no sense.

      • jdx19

        Don’t even try, Citizen. His mind is made up. He doesn’t understand the immutable fact that a wet paper bag could, quite literally, succeed as a manager with the 1927 Yankees, despite being an inanimate object.

      • bobandtom

        there must be some statistical analysis that can defuse your argument, tom. The boys on this site are elite, so they will tear you down.

      • Michael E

        Tom, you don’t like Price, yet Baker managed the exact same way. I think it safe to say Baker had a much better roster, which Jocketty has slowly ruined over the past few years.

        We HAD very good pitching, top 1/3 of the league, when Baker was manager. It would have been almost impossible to not have winning teams. Still he never added anything that got them over the hump. Now that Walt is near completing the demolition of the roster (with some pitching upside a few years from now), no manager on the planet could make the Reds a winning team.

        Notice how Maddon has made the Cubs a winning team? Yeah, me neither, it was the TALENT that has done that. Maddon hasn’t screwed it up, but if he were managing the Reds and Price managing the Cubs, you would see no change in records.

      • Michael E

        …and if Baker were managing this year, you think the Reds would be better in any way? Yeah, me neither.

    • jessecuster44

      There’s no reason the Reds cannot compete for the 2nd wildcard next year. Sure, on paper, the Cubs, Pirates and Cards look tough to beat. But the 2011 Reds looked tough to beat on paper as well.

      Address the major issues (Price, bullpen, LF, increasing Billy’s OBP, get Mes and Cozart healthy), and there’s a good chance the Reds will be relevant in September.

      Or rebuild. But don’t pussyfoot around in the middle ground. Have a plan, and execute it. For the past three seasons the Reds have had no plan whatsoever.

      • CP

        “Address the major issues (Price, bullpen, LF, increasing Billy’s OBP, get Mes and Cozart healthy), and there’s a good chance the Reds will be relevant in September.”

        Oh, is that all?

        Playing for second wild card is probably worst case scenario.

      • jessecuster44

        Still the tricky issue of the Starting Pitching. They’ll still be developing.

  11. Victor Vollhardt

    Very good article— sensible and to the point with a lot of fair minded suppositions(nobody knows the future we are all just guessing) thrown in. As to most of the comment makers–well I don’t think I would want them deciding the future of my current assets –blow it up–tear it down–start over–do something for the sake of just doing something etc. In any business “strike while the iron is hot” is a important guideline, but so is” make haste slowly” and don’t jump in until you know where all the underwater rocks are.—-TRAVIS BAILEY’s post is right on–not exciting but very business like and over time that is usually the right way to go.

    • Tom Gray

      The Reds “blew it up” after 1981. BRM was getting old. Reds didn’t want to pay their FA so they traded them.

      The Reds stunk in 1982 and were not competitive again until 1985. The 1981 Reds had the best W-L record in all of MLB.

      • seat101

        I understand that Brian Price was seen smoking near the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory just before the fire started.

      • Tom Gray

        How does that relate to the Reds of the early 1980’s?

        Dick Wagner was GM. He hired one manager after another until Pete Rose came back under Bob Howsam in 1984.

      • jdx19

        Every post you make has a reference to teams or players of the past. You know there is zero correlation to what happened in the past and what will happen in the future, right?

      • Nick Carrington

        I know it’s frustrating, JDX. You just have to let it go. You can’t tell someone the earth is round when they “know” for a fact that it is flat.

      • bobandtom

        but, but the math you use for all the analytic s is based on past performances. Hmm, a mathematical anomaly?

      • Victor Vollhardt

        Everything that has happened and everything that WILL happen has shown itself in the past..This is true in any endeavor baseball included. If you study the past and the decisions made then you will have a chance at being ready for whatever the future brings.You might not be the right person or in the right place or at the right time, but you will have a better than even chance at making a good decision.—no one can ask for anything more. Everything that comes along—the proponents think they have found the” magic thing”, but if they think they know it all from that magic thought, idea, or system or whatever they are using and everybody and every thought and idea from the past has no bearing or application now—well they won’t even have a “even chance” at making the right move or decision in the present or future.. And there is a 100% correlation to that turn of events..

      • Nick Carrington

        BobandTom, I think that JDX’s point was that just because the Reds traded away players in 1981 and didn’t compete until 1985 doesn’t automatically mean that trading away players now will lead to 4 or 5 years of losing before the Reds become contenders again. It could, but there is no correlation between those two events even if a similar result occurs. I don’t believe stats really had anything to do with his comment.

  12. Chuck Schick

    The TV deal will dictate a lot over the next 2 years. The Reds have very little leverage over FSO and it’s difficult to envision a situation where the Reds see the dramatic increase they likely anticipated a few years ago.
    They need to at least be mediocre next year or it could get ugly. The Cardinals new deal is a good bellwether and the Reds will be lucky to receive 75% of that deal.

    • Tom Gray

      I’d take 75% of the STL deal right now. The STL franchise is one of the top 2-3 in NL. The CIN franchise hasn’t been that since the 1970’s.

    • jessecuster44

      Chuck, who will you be clerking for until you pass the bar?

  13. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Regardless of the regulars, the pitching probably won’t be fully ready till this. And, that still is trying to predict the future; no one can do that. 2017 is probably the season to focus on. The young pitching studs just won’t be ready probably till then.

    The new TV deal should help a lot. I’m still not interested in going hog wild on FA and contract signings. But, I’m not concerned with filling in the holes shown on the table. I’d be more interested in seeing how they fill the other positions. As in, will Pena still be here? I like him for some reason. Suarez intrigues me; needs to improve the defense, but I believe easier to improve that for a player than the offense. Both Parra and Marshall will be gone.

    • lwblogger2

      Johnny Peralta is a great example of defensive improvement later in a player’s career. When did he become so good? His range hasn’t gotten any better but he’s playing deeper and making better use of his arm, thereby slightly increasing his range. His hands, footwork, and throwing accuracy have all improved. The guy used to be on the low side of average, and that’s being generous. Like you, I believe there’s some hope for Suarez. I think he can be a plus defender at SS.

    • Chuck Schick

      I wouldn’t count on the TV deal helping at all. While there will likely be an increase in revenue, it will likely be less of a jump than most other teams. They’ll get a pay raise but it won’t keep up with inflation.

  14. sezwhom

    There will be many changes between now and 2017 so it’s all conjecture. Lamb gets the nod Friday. I’d think Lamb, Stephenson, Garrett and Reed have higher upside than Lorenzen or Homberg. Maybe Mella too.

    • jessecuster44

      Behind a paywall. Care to write up an abstract?

      • Craig Z

        Sorry, I didn’t notice. Basically, Hamilton scores a higher percentage of the time when he’s on base than anyone in baseball this year, but overall his runs per plate appearance is lower than most of the other guys in the top 10 (the article didn’t go into detail on who was best or what was average on that stat). In another Reds connection, the lowest scoring percentage when on base of all time is Ernie Lombardi (the highest all time is Red Rolfe).

      • jessecuster44

        Sounds like Billy needs to get on base more often…

  15. Tom Reed

    Who knows about the effect of Jocketty’s reboot. Too many factors involved such as the maturing of young pitching, injured players returning after rehab, and changes brought about by off-season trades. It’s not likely, but we could see the Reds competing in 2016 contrary to the statement of the GM.