The Reds, we all know, have certain pieces they should be looking to trade in order to free up spots for other players and/or because they players are unlikely to produce as well as they have in the future.

The two most frequently mentioned pieces are Adam Duvall and Scooter Gennett.

However, if those players are traded, I would imagine many Reds fans who still pay too much attention to traditional stats and who assume those two are likely to repeat their recent performances will be upset.

Take the case of Todd Frazier. Many people believe the Reds didn’t get enough in return for him. But Frazier was coming off an insane year that he almost certainly would never duplicate. And he hasn’t. He has been okay in the two years since the trade and is currently unsigned. There is still a very good chance that Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza produce more than Frazier did in the time he was controlled by the White Sox.

One reason the Reds didn’t get more for Frazier might be that analytics are everywhere now. This has been publicly acknowledged in various places throughout baseball (here’s a good example). No front office thinks Duvall or Gennett are above-average players going forward and they aren’t going to pay for below-average players. They are valuable to teams who really need to fill a hole in a cost-controlled fashion or are looking for bench help.

The reason there have been actual Billy Hamilton rumors is that he’s the most valuable piece likely to be traded. His speed and defense make up for his bat enough that he COULD be above average. And he has been above average in ways that Duvall and Gennett haven’t been. And this is the most important part: EVERYONE KNOWS THIS.

The war is over. Analytics won. Every team uses them. Every team knows which players are likely to provide value going forward and how the players are likely to decline and how much you can expect them to duplicate past performance. Teams aren’t paying someone based off past results anymore. They’re now paying based on projections for the future.

So don’t be surprised when guys like Duvall and Gennett don’t bring much in return, and don’t be surprised if the Reds don’t make a trade because no one is offering anything worthwhile. We all have mostly the same information now. There are secrets, but they are generally not big secrets once a player is in the majors. Everything we’re aware of, every GM in the game is also aware of. It’s getting harder and harder to make a genuine steal.

32 Responses

  1. Jim Franks

    Are you willing to walk me through this scenario? When Gennett hits .285 with 25HR and 90 RBIs this year and doesn’t further damage himself defensively, will the metrics all the teams look at say he is the player from the last two seasons?

    • Jason Linden

      The odds of that happening are not good. It might, but it probably won’t. Which is why teams won’t offer the prospects they would if they thought it was likely.

      If he DOES duplicate what he did last year, it will improve his standing, but there will also only be one year of team control left. Which is irritating.

      • Russell Stoner

        ‘The ppl who care too much abt traditional stats” LOL, what abt the ppl who care too much abt the myriad of sabermetrics or is that possible in the under age 45 demographic? Some metrics are great some are worthless. Arod, Votto, Albert; none were signed for their OBP. They all were signed for other productive stats. GMs use sabermetric more but they are in NO way buying into these stats like 90% of the sports writers… thank god! Those sports writers…. they’ve got it all figured out.

    • Seth R

      Because he is a platoon player with no history behind the breakout. RBIs are discounted because they are a team context stat, not a pure skill stat. If he bats 8th, he gets less RBIs than if he bats 5th.

      2017 splits:
      vL: 248/287/404
      vR: 310/359/571

      He is also a sub-par defender in the outfield and 2B. He was a great waiver wire pickup, and could provide a solid bench bat/utility guy for a contender, but those guys aren’t going to draw any big prospect returns, especially with limited team control. I think our best case would be something like what the Giants got for Eduardo Nunez (

  2. Jason Linden

    The timing complaints are legit. I was banging the drum to have Frazier traded, but the PR for that would have been terrible.

    Anyway, that was Walt. We don’t know how Williams will behave with this stuff.

    • Jack

      You also need 2 people to tango. You, me or anybody else knows what was offered at the time.

  3. Indy Red Man

    Duvall had a .845 ops on Aug 19th. He had a .923 ops vs lefties. Wasn’t he also in the running for a Gold Glove and an assists leader? I think there is a good player in there with 425 atbats or so? The old saying is true…play a bench player enough and they’ll show you why they’re a bench player. Just one reason of 1000 why Price has got to go and should’ve been gone long ago! If you don’t know your own personnel then you’re worthless to the organization!

    Scooter to the Yankees for a reliever. They dealt Castro and they’re the kind of team that will pay multi-millions to a platoon player without batting an eye.

    • james garrett

      Price continued to play him in both seasons when he was worn out when he could have used somebody else like maybe Winker or Ervin last year or even in 2016.Price is clueless and as long as he remains he will continue to show it on a daily basis.

  4. sultanofswaff

    The existence of Billy Hamilton rumors doesn’t affirm he has value any more than the lack of rumors affirms the lack of value for Duvall or Gennett. Or am I missing the premise?

    ……and anyone buying on Billy because they think he COULD be above average is ignoring 4 years of data to the contrary. No one is going to pay him for untapped future potential because he has reached his ceiling. Billy’s a poor example IMO, but I get what you’re saying.

    I agree with the others, timing is critical. Non-performance and injuries (Billy’s inability to play a full season, Cozy’s quad barking at the trade deadline, the death of Jose Fernandez which forced the Marlins to trade for starting pitching which netted us Castillo…..) can trump the analytical value judgments. It’s winter. With no games to play, teams are operating from a position of strength and the analytics will win the day, but at soon as the season begins the math changes.

    • Jason Linden

      In terms of WAR/150 games, Hamilton has been well above average as a player every year except last year if you go by FanGraphs. 2 out of 4 total years if you go by baseball-reference.

      • Indy Red Man

        I see a 150 lb stringbean….same as when he came up. He hasn’t played 140 games since 2014. The first ingredient of ability is availability. He keeps costing more every year as well. Adios amigo! Ve Con Dios!

  5. Jason Linden

    1 year of weird home/road splits doesn’t tell you anything useful. Also, of course, you should pay attention to a player being hurt in a way that seriously impacted his performance.

    • Jason Linden

      I’m in no way saying I think Schebler is a great player. What I take issue with is your assessment that Duvall is superior. The data don’t support that. And when you talk home/road splits, you’re talk half a season, at best, by definition.

      • Indy Red Man

        Adam isn’t necessarily superior, but I think he’s a better fit for the Reds….atleast how they’re currently constructed. Scooter, Billy, Tucker, and prob Winker are all worse against lefties. Adam had a .923 ops vs lefties plus he’s much much better then Schebler defensively. I think Schebler walked once in 75 atbats or something vs lefties last year? Have to leave or I would look it up again. Something has to give? Winker needs 500 atbats….something we can all agree on!

  6. Indy Red Man

    Dump Billy for whatever and get Kiermaier/Yelich for CF and everything else could work out! If they keep Duvall/Scooter…then Scooter could help out in LF vs tough righties. Kiermaier is the highest rated defensive CF in baseball so he could help their efficiency even though Scooter is a hack in LF. Winker gets his 500 atbats. Ervin is interesting to me…7/17 with 2 walks vs lefties. I couldn’t get his stats in the minors vs lefties, but he could help out if KK or Winker struggled vs lefties. Some have suggested Senzel to SS which is interesting to me as well? The pitching should improve greatly, but to assume the offense (14th in runs) with Cozart/Scooter exploding, will keep up is not a sound strategy imo.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      The Marlins can hold out for a steal of a deal for Yelich. Their starting point with the Reds would be asking for Senzel and-or Greene. The Reds should not make that trade.

      • David Diez

        From today’s Miami Herald:

        “One team said the Marlins, in Yelich talks, expressed a preference for more developed prospects who are in Double A or above. The Marlins want multiple prospects from a team’s list of Top 10 prospects.

        But the Braves have plenty of competition. As ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick noted, the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Phillies, Padres and Angels are among other teams that have inquired about Yelich, 26, who’s a career .290 hitter.

        ▪ One team that spoke to the Marlins said Miami tried to get a third team involved because it liked that team’s prospects better. But a two-team trade seems more likely.

        Yelich is due $7 million, $9.75 million, $12.5 million and $14 million over the next four seasons, with a $15 million team option in 2022.

        â–ª If the Marlins trade Yelich, they likely would need to sign a cheap free agent outfielder to replace him unless they get a big league-ready prospect back in the deal or any other trade in the next two months.

        Read more here:

        – Why aren’t the Reds one of the teams that have inquired about Yelich? That would be FO malpractice if that is true.

        – Perhaps a package of Billy H, Vlad Gutierrez, Shed Long is enticing for a Marlins that is desperate for payroll reduction, profitability, and farm replenishment.

        – Nevertheless, the Reds have the prospects to sweeten a deal a young, economical, already-established batting stud with good-enough defensive skills. Make the deal!

      • Reaganspad

        I will play what we have versus give up Greene or Senzel.

        We have 31 pitchers going into camp. We will need to be trading them. Maybe we need to shoot lower than Yelich for now.

  7. JoshG

    might be putting a little too much faith in a guy with less than 250 AB’s above A ball, and asking him to switch positions

    • JoshG

      I agree, I think he is going to be great, just that would be a big jump/gamble to trade everyone and have to have him out there from the start with no real alternative

  8. Kap

    The only team that could be a match for Duvall is the Diamondbacks.Arizona is penny pitching right now because of that monster contract signed by Greinke. Not to mention that they REALLY want JD Martinez but will come up short. The return won’t be great, like you said Jason, but could have some value. An unspectacular yet intriguing return may look like Marcus Wilson (Possible center fielder in the future) and Jack Reinheimer (possible bench bat or competition for Peraza)

    Like I said, decent but underwheming. The goal should be to clear a way for Winker

  9. Andy

    I don’t think Duvall or Gennett is going to net the Reds player better than Duvall or Gennett, or a prospect that is likely to be better. Keep them! Use them in platoons. Duvall/Schebler in right and Gennett/Herrera at second. We need to see if Herrera can play this year.

    • Redlegs64

      Best comment yet… we’re in such a rush to play GM but really we don’t have strong hands to play (outside of trading young superstars). Any “steals” are going to come in the form of young players that bloom on their way through the farm system (years away).

      From a specific point (trade deadline 2018) we can make some smarter moves and trade with contenders that have a demonstrated need. Or we can play in FA market when we have a demonstrated need to fill (after 2018 season). But for now, we don’t have the money or the chips to play in either market.

      Let’s be patient, utilize the resources we currently have, let the every day roster fill out while it learns to compete in 2018. The same holds true for the young/injured pitching. We have a bevy of arms that need to marinate (or recover) some more at the ML level. Let’s watch and see them mature then make decisions based on growth.

      If 2018 is good the Cincinnati Reds, it will be in the fact that more moneys become available for the 2018/2019 FA market and that trading chips develop through the course of the season. My greatest concern is that the latter won’t happen (current coaching staff).

    • sezwhom

      I agree. Everyone’s in a rush to play GM and get rid of Duvall. Our LF situation was crickets for years until Duvall arrived. Let me guess: let’s trade both AD and Scooter for “prospects”. How’d that work out for Bruce?

  10. cfd3000

    I’m resigned to the likelihood that Duvall, Gennett, Hamilton and Peraza will all be Reds in 2018, largely based on the valid point you make about analytics Jason – everyone has the same information. What I cannot abide is another year of the Reds ignoring that information when it comes to playing time. If those four all play at the expense of Winker and Senzel (who almost certainly ARE better options) and Herrera, Blandino and Ervin (who certainly COULD BE better options) then my resignation turns to disgust. It’s fine that there are no overwhelming offers coming in for those four since they don’t really have overwhelming value. But it will be a shame if those fairly ordinary players steal time from players who will be or might be much better. Free the prospects!

  11. scotly50

    ” neither Duvall or Schebler are going to bring any significant improvements back in a trade”

    There is a reason this group of players has not been above 500 for four years.

  12. AMWills10

    Random thought that I wanted to bounce off of you guys, if certain free agents stay available late into winter and into spring, what do you think are the odds that the Reds jump in on them? I’m not a strong believer in Peraza at SS, so what if a guy like Alcides Escobar stays on the market until late? Our Mike Moustakas or bring back Frazier and move Suarez back to short? Or even some well established pitching like Chris Tillman/Jason Vargas/Clay Buchholz/Tony Watson, who are still pretty good themselves, to mentor young pitchers?

    • AMWills10

      Very unlikely odds, but a great middle-of-class-boredom thought. Safe to say Escobar’s asking price will be much lower in late February than it is now, though.

  13. JoshG

    I think they went after Junior because he was the best (or close to it) player in baseball at the time, it was a good trade that just got derailed by his injuries

  14. Brian

    I do not want the Reds to trade anyone who is a starting player now,they have done terrible in trades and basically traded away great and fan favorite players. The current Reds front office would have traded Larkin in his prime for cash or a player to be named later who would be a Class A middle reliever. This rebuild is taking way to long and the GM should be the next to go.

    • Brian

      I still say the quality of players they have gotten in return regardless of the guys impending free agency has been a joke.

      • bouwills

        The Bruce trade looks bad, with both Hererra & Wotell being injured.The Chapman trade was bad, mostly because of the timing (initiated by Castellini). However at least they pulled the trigger & got something. Getting nothing for an All-Star shortstop (ZC)& next to nothing for one of this franchises best 2nd baseman (BP) is just lousy. A small market team simply can’t afford to get no compensation (in talent) for the loss of such players.