Yasiel Puig becomes a free agent at the end of this season. One of the decisions the front office has to make is what do with him. The Reds have a few options. They could try to trade Puig to a team looking for an OF (ahem, Cleveland) or a big RH-bat off the bench. The Reds could try to keep him next year and beyond by negotiating an extension. They could do nothing, planning to make a Qualifying Offer to Puig at the end of the season.

[Qualifying Offer? Short version: Reds offer Puig a 1-year deal for about $18 million. If Puig accepts, he plays for the Reds one more year at that amount. If Puig turns down the Reds offer, he becomes a free agent and the club will receive a compensatory draft pick after Competitive Balance Round B which follows the second round. Learn the details of what a Qualifying Offer means. ]

Or the Reds could just let Puig walk at the end of the 2019 season. We asked a panel of Redleg Nation writers what they would do, including describing the terms of the extension they would offer Puig if that was their preferred course. Here’s what they said.

Question: What should the Reds do with Yasiel Puig?

Jeff Carr: I would see if he’d be receptive to a 2-year, $30 million deal. I don’t think there would be a ton of return value, if the Reds were to trade him before the deadline (at least no more than they gave up to acquire him in December) and the more I look at the option of a qualifying offer the more it seems like a fall back. He’s a solid bat (.278 career batting average) and defender for this team and, at least apparently, is a good teammate. Plus, it’s not like he’s old. Sign him for a few years, so they can figure out Trammell’s role, and stabilize a third of the outfield.

Chad Dotson: There are a bunch of different ways the Reds could approach their decision-making when it comes to Yasiel Puig’s contract status. But before you consider any of them, you have to recognize one incontrovertible fact: If the Reds trade the Wild Horse at the trade deadline, a large segment of Cincinnati’s fan base will revolt. It’ll look like the same old Reds, dealing a popular player — for what? — and opening a huge hole in a lineup that is already struggling to score runs.

I’d be attempting to swing a bigger deal that may or may not include Puig. Puig alone is unlikely to return much on the trade market, I’m guessing, but if the Reds could acquire the ever-elusive “controllable” hitter, I wouldn’t hesitate to include Puig in that deal. But I’m also happy with keeping him around all season and attempting to sign him to a contract extension. Discussion of specific numbers kinda bores me because I’m of the opinion that the Reds can afford whatever they want to afford, so I’d love to see Puig signed for 4 years at whatever the market rate is. If you can’t swing that deal, make Puig a qualifying offer for 2020 and see what happens from there.

Matt Habel: So much for the new and improved Reds outfield. While Puig struggled to start the year I do expect him to continue to be a key contributor for at least a few more years. Now that he has gotten his overall production above average for the year, his trade value should be pretty decent. However, Dick Williams recent comments about wanting to add to the current squad imply the haul would have to be pretty decent to let anyone go. That said, it seems unlikely Puig gets traded in the next month.

Extending Puig would go a long way towards finding a strong outfield lineup for next year and beyond. If Puig walks and Senzel gets moved back to 2B, Winker and Ervin would be the only immediate options. With Trammell still at least a year away, a qualifying offer might be the lowest risk option that could buy the team more time and probably get Puig a higher AAV amount than a multi year deal would. If he declines, an extra draft pick is never a bad thing. My preference would be:

1. Qualifying Offer
2. Extension (3-4 years, ~$10MM?.. not sure what it would take, just a guess)
3. Trade at deadline
4. Keep him for 2019 but let him walk for 2020

Bill Lack: I’d like to see the Reds offer Puig an extension. He’s 28 and should be in the midst of his peak career years. I’m not sure that he’d be willing to sign with the Reds without testing the waters, but I think they should make the effort. I also believe they should make him a qualifying offer. The first would make him know the Reds want him back, the second would either give them Puig for a year (hopefully while they find a long term outfielder) or, if he signs elsewhere, a draft pick to compensate them for his loss. Plus there is always the possibility that, with the uncertainty of the free agent market, the Reds could make him the best offer or that he decides he’s not going to do better than playing in Cincinnati.

Puig’s comments, while in the midst of his current contract, admitting that he didn’t always play as hard as he could, concern me. An extension could mean that the Reds could end up facing some of the same type issues the Dodgers were dealing with Puig, but I’m hoping that he’s matured and wants to be the best player he can possibly be, which is a pretty good player.

Jason Linden: Trading him at the deadline is a non-starter, I think. Unless the bottom falls out for the Reds over the next two weeks, they’re going to enter August in some form of contention and this is an organization that needs a solid season to build on. Now, what to do after the season is interesting. It depends entirely on what they think of Aristides Aquino and Taylor Trammell. The Reds need an outfielder next year and there is not going to be anyone else on the free agent market better than Yasiel Puig (though trades can always happen as well, I suppose). Given that second base is decidedly up in the air, two outfielders wouldn’t be a bad idea, since that would allow Senzel to slide to second. Now, what kind of contract should the Reds offer Puig? I have absolutely no idea. The market from the last two years has completely derailed the free agency process. It seems like Puig, the notoriously slow starter is headed toward a 2.5-3 WAR season and that’s what’s reasonable to expect of him for the next several years. Under normal conditions, he’d probably get a 5-year deal worth about $100M. Now? Less than that, I’d guess, but I genuinely have no idea.

Jim Walker: Hopefully the Reds are trying right now to extend Puig. He brings a needed blend of speed, power and defense to their outfield that is not clearly present in the near term future from their farm system. At age 29, he should not entail a serious risk on a 4 or 5 year deal at market value; and, he could be dealt in a couple of years if youngsters coming up through the farm blossom at the MLB level.

However, concurrently the team needs to be covering its options by looking into what Puig would bring on the trade market at the deadline as a rental if he cannot extended by then.

Alternatively the Reds could keep Puig through the end of the season and make a Qualifying Offer to him. They would be betting that Puig would decline the offer and sign a lucrative free agency contract thus qualifying the Reds for a compensatory draft pick next June which in the long run could be more valuable than the rental level return from trading him. Or if Puig accepted the offer at least the clock would be reset for the Reds to replay the scenario all over again next year while paying him an amount that looks to be close to his market value.

There is risk for the Reds with this alternative. They would end up with nothing for Puig if he remained unsigned up to the draft next June like Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel this past year.

Regardless of the risk with the qualifying offer scenario, I would not sell short on Puig. Unless somebody makes a very strong offer ahead of the trade deadline, which addresses a Reds need, I would follow the qualifying offer route if he is not extended ahead of the deadline.

Redleg Nation, what would you do?

81 Responses

  1. matthew hendley

    I hope an extension is in the cards as well. Nothing past the Age 35 season. Market Value has changed soo much over the last few offseasons that I am not even going to throw a number out there.

    At the minimum I think he is staying put through the season, and short of a massive injury or a cratering of ability the QO can be assumed at this point. A trade is not going to fill the holes and will just create another one.

  2. Pete

    Best reply was Jim’s. It would be a travesty to not get anything back for Puig. A RH pinch-hitter? Really? I’ve made my argument until I’m sorevin the throat. Onr comment that struck me as false:

    “you have to recognize one incontrovertible fact: If the Reds trade the Wild Horse at the trade deadline, a large segment of Cincinnati’s fan base will revolt. It’ll look like the same old Reds, dealing a popular player — for what?”

    When?” Tony Perez? Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Chapman, Mike Leake? No. Homer Bailey? No. Johnny Cueto? I don’t think so. The problem is not they turn these guys loose before their time but wait too long stifling the necessary rebuilding process. I don’t live in the Queen City, so maybe there was a major fan revolt, I don’t recall it. Otherwise, fables like this depress a critical renewal process.

    I hope I’m wrong but signing Puig to anything but a 1 year contract adds too much payroll, blocks younger/cheaper guys from getting an opportunity and is taking a major risk he isn’t more like the guy we saw the first 6 weeks rather than the last 6. Maybe I’m crazy and the team is on the cusp of making a move to a WS in the next 2-3 years but I don’t see it. Trade him soon to avoid any loss of his trade value.

    • Ed

      I totally agree folks end up getting dealt way too early. In fact, just about any of the current players you listed would be an asset now, and they’re crushing it in the majors for contending teams. I realize you can’t keep all those guys around, but at the same time, they compete at an elite level. I think any rebuild should include more known, successful quantities like Puig. I think the LA press gave him a bad rap, but the fans out there know he played hard out there, which is exactly what we are seeing here. Aroldis Chapman seems like someone I wouldn’t enjoy spending my time with, and he was with the team before my time. Who did we get for him, and how has that shaped our last few years?

    • Mason Red

      The thing is had they held onto Bruce,Frazier,Chapman,Leake,Cueto they certainly wouldn’t have been as bad as they have been. They may have not have won a WS or even had made the playoffs but I don’t think they would have lost 90 games for several seasons. They saved money by trading them but how did it help the franchise as far as winning? The rebuild is a total bust even though some here believe the phantom plan is actually working. Puig was brought here to trade but they will screw it up someway somehow. They will turn down a decent offer for him and then he will destroy his shoulder or knee running into a wall. That’s the Reds luck or their natural way of doing things.

      • Pete

        Mason, I’d like to know the goal? Say a .500 team that might sneak into playoffs every blue moon or make a serious effort to win a WS?

        If the former, sign Puig, J. Iglesias and Roark, trade some prospects to upgrade C and add a couple of good bulllpen arms and probably get a new hitting instructor. I’m getting too old to settle for low expectation for my sports teams, I’d like to live long enough to see another World Championship in Cincinnati.

        If the goal is to win a WS, the teams you we are really chasing are the Dodgers, Yanks and Astros not Cubs, Brewers and Cards. It means building a high-quality organization starting with drafting and developing young players to form a base.

      • Mason Red

        Pete I believe the Reds decided to follow the Bengals way of doing things. Strive for some success but not too much because winning can be expensive and messy when it comes to player contracts. To me this year is going as planned for the Reds. They made some offseason moves to make it appear they were doing “something” and then hope for .500 so to be able to say “it’s working so let’s stay the course”. There’s absolutely zero plan for actually winning or striving for a WS title. Maybe make the playoffs or get close but certainly not to win the whole thing. I’m almost 60 and been lucky enough to see the Reds win 3 WS titles. But as it stands now it would have to be an absolute miracle or a fluke (much like 1990) for this franchise to win another WS.

      • Curt

        Puig’s pretty much made of rock, not much of an injury history. The guy i’m worried about crashing into the wall is Senzel. All agree Senzel’s a keeper, so if we want to keep him healthy and here a long time, move him back to the dirt where there’s less chance of injury.. as soon as possible. Would help clarify teams needs.

      • Mason Red

        I was being sarcastic about Puig. It was more about how the Reds will wait too long to trade him based on recent history.

      • Curt

        I’m with ya Mason Red, good comments. Your sarcasm just sparked my thoughts on Senzel, so I ran with it. I like your “phantom plan” wordage. So true.

      • Mason Red

        Good sarcasm yourself Curt with how you “ran with it”. Sarcasm and humor is the only way I can deal with the Reds. I’m a lifelong fan who remembers the glory days but it just seems as if this franchise doesn’t have a clue or they aren’t interested in competing.

    • Indy Red Man

      Blocks who? They don’t have anyone? Puig is destroying the ball and his arm really makes a difference in the small GABP outfield.

      Adds payroll? They have Homer/Kemps $20 mil coming off the books. Roark at $10 mil plus they don’t need Scooter either. He’s at $10-$12/mil….something like that.

    • Lwblogger2

      A lot of fans threw in the towel around here with those trades. No, none of the players have set the world on fire since we let them go but a lot of fans don’t know that. They don’t watch a lot of other non-Reds games. They see Frazier or Bruce hitting HR against the Reds and they seeth.

      Puig is possibly more of a fan favorite then either of the 2 I just mentioned and that’s saying something. The number of Puig Jerseys and kids crying out “PUIiiiiiggg PUIiiiiiggg!” is actually a little startling. If the Reds can get a haul moving him then they should but I wouldn’t make light of the fan infatuation with him. The Reds need to make sure the return would be greater than the QO while considering the PR impact. They can’t simply ignore it.

  3. Ed

    I’d absolutely try and extend him, and if he turned out not to be interested- it’s tough to say whether I’d trade him now, but probably not! He’s electrifying the fan base, he’s our best outfielder and our biggest bat.

    If the goal is to contend, gambling on bringing up minor leaguers isn’t the answer, I don’t think. Not everyone who performs well there is able to make it work against big league pitching. I am definitely not an expert, but I do think it’s easy to overestimate prospects, who likely have more value as trade pieces than on the field. Pushing our expectations off on to waves of incoming players will never be a sure thing- we need a core of elite fielders who crush the ball, now. Puig fits the bill imho!

    As an aside- there’s lots of articles about the Yankees scouting various starting pitchers… Does it appear that we’re actively scouting anyone heading into the deadline?

  4. RojoBenjy

    “If the Reds trade the Wild Horse at the trade deadline, a large segment of Cincinnati’s fan base will revolt.“

    Not sure this is an incontrovertible fact, as Chad states. If there is a segment of Reds fans that would “revolt,” I would wager they aren’t the ones buying a lot of tickets.

    Furthermore, IF the above is an incontrovertible fact, the Reds owners should ignore it when it comes to making decisions to the team better for the next few seasons. In the past, it has been weighing emotional factors like this too heavily that has gotten them where they are today.

    “Leave emotion at the door.”

    I’d rather the Reds build fan emotion by building a perennial winner.

    Lastly—my preference, since it was asked what I would do—if no very good trade for Puig is available, and he won’t sign a team friendly or friendly-ish extension, give him the QO. If he takes it, there is another year of cushion while the AAA sluggers show what they really are. Plus that gives potential for trading him again in 2020.

    • Ed

      Serious question- what types of “making the team better” decisions have put the Dodgers, Yanks, Phillies, Astros, etc into a place where they’re perennial winners? I realize those teams have the budget to court elite levels players. I took a big break from baseball but I’m all in this year so I don’t know. Have those teams been relying on their AAA rosters for the core of their lineups? Or do they just make better trades for established ball players than we do?

      • Pete

        In the case of the Dodgers, Yankees and Astros? Yes. They have very strong farm systems. Take some of the money many want to pay Puig and invest in scouting and player development. The Reds have been in the drivers seat through several draft cycles and so far the results have been underwhelming.

      • RojoBenjy

        The most recent fails were hanging on to Cueto after 2013 and 2014, and then keeping him in 2015 past the all star game so he’d be in a Reds uniform. Failing to trade Frazier at peak value because he was a fan favorite that won the HR derby, dumping Chapman for a box of pebbles, getting hosed by Mets with damaged players on the Jay Bruce trade (Nimmo was in the deal and the Reds asked for Herrera with a bum shoulder, the pitcher they got didn’t tell anyone his shoulder blew out the last game he pitched with the Mets), getting nothing for Cozart, getting nothing for Harvey. I’m sure I missed some other good examples.

        Rebuilding teams check emotion and flip players for as much value as possible at their peak. This Reds ownership hangs on until the value is low and then sells.

        You would think a businessman that probably knows a thing or two about the stock market would not be selling low.

      • Ed

        Yeah that’s all just amazing- losing players like Bruce and Chapman for peanuts is the type of stuff that blows my mind. Shin-Soo Choo as well? I know you can’t keep all these guys around forever and salary costs rise… but sorta feels like the Marlins or something over here, with former Reds succeeding on other teams all throughout the MLB while we get dealt pretty useless hands in return

      • VaRedsFan

        @Ed…. Besides Chapman, what former Reds are succeeding? Bruce has been awful for 3 years and been on 5 teams…Frazier the same…awful. Cueto?? Nothing, out for the year… Cozart??? Nothing. Leake?? 4.60 ERA in a pitchers park. Bailey??? hilarious.

      • Ed

        Bruce seems to be doing fairly well now for the Phillies, batting in about 1 run per game at least, plus Chapman and then Shin-Soo Choo is having a great year with the Rangers? I think anyway? Cozart is definitely struggling.

      • Ed

        Plus the Reds gave up Grandal, Yonder Alonso for Latos years ago…

  5. Reaganspad

    Trade anyone at any time if it makes the team better. QO is a no brainer.

    I would say that Puig has improved the team. He has swagger, and yesterday you could just feel the moment with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th and the 3-1 count that he was going to come through. He smoked the 112 mph liner in a big moment in Mile High. We need players who can do that and I would pay for his big time, big moment experience on an extension or QO. But if he and Tyler Mahle brought me back Bauer? I would have to consider that.

    I think the bigger questions are the ones raised by Jason. What do we think of Aristides Aquino? Where does Van Meter fit? Is O’Grady ready for more than AAAA? Do any of these names have trade value with another piece to get something fun that we need?

    Can Aristides Aquino do what Puig does? I know that a few years ago, Doug might have projected that (less the swagger and experience).

    I get that Trammel will be in the show late 2020 and I anticipate he will be Nick Senzel on arrival, with the need to maximize his years of service, etc but assume he will be a plug and play.

    Phillip Ervin needs some extended time now. And Peraza looked good in Denver as well.

    I would really have to be impressed with the return for Puig right now. We do not need any more fringe AAAA outfielders as we still have Scott Schebler on rehab.

    My 2 biggest changes in this roster right now would be Deitrich and Hernandez. I would rather see Van Meter than Deitrich and Stephenson than Hernandez, so I hope that we see something there. Gennett looked better yesterday, but I wonder if he will be 100% at all this year.

    I am hopeful for this trade season as i would love a shiny new trinket for my Reds. This is fun

    • RojoBenjy

      Puig will give you moments like that.

      For instance in the last series at GABP against the Brewers he played like Mike Trout and willed the team to win.

      Then in the Indians series he moped around right field when they started losing. I was there and watched him.

      I totally believe him that he doesn’t always play hard. What I don’t understand is that when he is at his best, he is on another level like a Trout-type player. Why wouldn’t he go all out all the time if he could perform like that?

      There is a lot between the ears of this player that makes him unpredictable.

      • RojoBenjy

        Oops I think that last Brewers game was in Milwaukee.

      • Indy Red Man

        I’d mope around too if I was the only one that cared against Cleveland. He hit the 2 run hr in that series….did they score other then that? Yeah…he’s crazy but so is Rob Dibble & Norm Charlton. Pete was obviously a couple cans short a 6-pack too. So what? Its about production! Puig is FAR AND AWAY their best chance for production in the next 3-4 years.

  6. CI3J

    I would sign Puig right now. I think he has proven that after he got his feet under him, he’s still an All-Star caliber player. You don’t get many chances to sign players like that, especially in their peak years. Sign him while he’s still under the radar a bit, and then watch him these next 5 years as he becomes one of the key offensive forces in the Cincinnati lineup.

    Suarez/Winker/Puig/Senzel, and possibly Scooter is a good core to build around. Scooter/Puig/Suarez are in/near their primes, and Winker/Senzel will be there in about 3 years, just as Suarez/Winker/Scooter are in the tail end of their primes. With the right sprinkling of young players exploding on the scene and trading for/signing the missing pieces, that’s a team that can compete for a few seasons, at least, and could be the start of perennial contention if the front office is smart about selling high on assets.

    • Jim Walker

      The easy part is to say extend Puig now. Where it gets sticky is if he doesn’t want to commit at this point. What if he is Bread or Bob in mindset?

  7. Jim Walker

    I share much of Chad’s thinking; and, those thoughts shaped my response.

    I was also driven by the belief we need to get away from the mindset that the every player has to seed the next generation by bringing a return as he takes off his Reds uniform for the last time.

    Sometimes the inspiration a guy provides to his team mates and the fan base is worth more than the middling return he would bring.

    For instance, I wonder how much of the growth we are seeing right now in Phillip Ervin comes from him seeing Puig play everyday? Crashing fences and barriers to try and make plays. Scoring from first on a single after a slight bobble on the throw back to infield. 2 triples in as many games. We didn’t see that kind of all in play from Ervin in the past.

    • Grand Salami

      A very fair point on Ervin. Puig is lightning in a bottle and a young OF like Ervin is seeing this for the first time. Does seem to be rubbing off.

      Jim you gotta think Puig is 28/29 and this is quite likely his ‘career defining’ contract. I think he’ll want 4 years at minimum and 20 million avg. per year. If so, that’s just too much.

      Push hard for the trade but don’t sell cheap bc the QO is a better option than taking a #12 organizational prospect from some random team. If he won’t take 2-3 year deal, I am willing to bet he doesn’t even think about playing out on a single year contract.

      • VaRedsFan

        4/80 is not too much. JD Martinez is older and got 5/109

  8. SteveLV

    The Reds need 4 position players who are top 10 at their position/potential all-stars to really compete, not only for, but in, the playoffs. Puig is one of those. Suarez is on the fringe of that, primarily because 3rd base is so strong, and Senzel could get there.

    I think I’d rather somewhat overpay Puig for a somewhat shorter contract, but keeping him sure makes sense to me – so sign him, and if that doesn’t work, QO him. I’m fine trading him if the trade really makes sense, but the odds of that happening now seem very, very low.

    • Pete

      Steve, your comments are reasonable. It seems odd none of the RLN writers, other than Jason Linden, quote any of Puig’s 2019 statistics and these guys can quote stats like no ine I know of. Tere may be a reason for this. Among qualifying MLB right fielders Yasel is tied for 20th in WAR and 25th in wRC+. For 3B, Suarez is 22nd and 19th. I assume most of us probably think they are two critical components of the starting eight. No one values Puig more than the Reds and that’s a problem. He plays very hard and with a lot of passion. He is a joy to watch but facts are stubborn things. We don’t have to deal with facts but the Reds FO must for the team to succeed. The team is desperately weak in its everyday position players. To consider paying him $15-18M/yr is probably not wise. Let me quote the venerable Steve Mancuso:

      “They could try to trade Puig to a team looking for an OF (ahem, Cleveland) or a big RH-bat off the bench.” This is a lot of money to pay a pinch-hitter, even a great one. Yankees, perhaps; Cincinnati Reds? No way.

      • Indy Red Man

        Well for one….Puig’s arm plays huge in GABPs small outfield. Secondly he was swinging at everything in April-May. He was trying too hard. His lifetime obp is much higher and he’ll improve that and draw a decent amount of walks moving forward.

        I’m not arguing it that much though. The Reds FO sees the spirit he brings to the team and the fanbase. They’re going to pay him. Have half-season rentals had bobblehead nights before?

    • doofus

      I am with you that the Reds need 4 posit players that are in the Top 10 of their position to be a competitive team. We just need to look at the contending teams to see that.

      Hou: Springer, Altuve, Correa, Bregman
      NYY: Judge, Gregorious, Torres, Stanton, DeMahieu/Gardner/Hicks
      LAD: Bellinger, Seager, Turner, Pollock/Pederson
      Bos: Betts, Boegarts, Benintendi, Devers
      BRM: Rose, Bench, Morgan, Perez, Foster

      Presently, which players on the team fit that scenario? Suarez, on fringe? Votto, nope in decline? Senzel, next season or two? Puig, too inconsistent, but possible?

      On the pitching side I would say at a minimum 3 starters and 3 relievers.

  9. Klugo

    This is a tough one. I have to go with trading him, if someone is willing to overpay; and I want to believe someone will be. His value is growing for someone looking to play him regularly. He may disrupt the apple cart if he goes somewhere to mostly sit.

    I would be perfectly happy in an extension though. Color me impressed with Puig. If the right moves are made in the offseason, he could be a key part of a contending team in the near future.

    Of course, none of this is taking into account what those on the inside are hearing and feeling on his intentions. This would, obviously be a big factor in the decision making process.

  10. TR

    I would make a real effort to extend Puig in the next two weeks. He gives the Reds an identity beyond Votto, and an outfield built around Puig in the next few years would be outstanding. If he doesn’t agree to extend with the Reds, then trade him for a good relief pitcher or two.

    • Colorado Red

      If no one makes a good offer, a QO is one the table.
      Either way, get something for him (extension, trade or QO).
      Do not trade him for a bag of balls.

  11. Bill J

    Someone mentioned in an earlier post about Puig’s comment, ‘I’m going to play hard this year because it’s a contract year’, and wondered if that means he will not play hard after he gets a new contract.

    • greenmtred

      That comment of Puig’s looks bad, on the face of it, but I wonder if any player actually goes all out every game? The season is a huge grind, and I would think that a bit of rationing of energy would be necessary for survival. He was unwisely candid, certainly, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, based on what we’ve seen.

  12. Mark Burris

    3-4 year extension probably in the 10-15 $mil AAV range.
    Gennett leaves. Hope Senzel hasn’t misplaced his infield glove cause he’ll be starting at second base next year.
    Is Trammell the real deal or not? He’s the centerfielder even if they think he’s not quite ‘ready.’

  13. Steve Mancuso

    Reds should only make qualifying offer ($18 million-plus) if they’re ready for Puig to say yes. Given what we know it does to the free agent’s market, and the near collapse of the FA market in general, there’s a good chance it will be Puig’s best offer.

    The compensation pick isn’t worth what it used to be, because it comes later in the draft. And it’s not clear that a draft pick would be ready as soon as a potential trade return for Puig.

    • Jim Walker

      I agree. My thinking is that if the Reds don’t have Puig next year, they are going to spend the money on somebody else to do the same job he would do and pay just as much or more. Plus they may trade more future value to get that talent.

      Thus Puig taking the QO might actually be the best case scenario. It gives the Reds younger talent another year to mature while filling the hole that would be created by Puig’s departure. Once done, the accepted QO might also serve as a gateway to complete an extension since the player has set his value for year 1 at $18.xM

    • Scott C

      I do not like the QO scenario, I can see the advantages on Puig accepting the offer, gives another year to sort, but I like many Red’s fans are tired of waiting for prospects. Then if he doesn’t accept it and signs somewhere else then you have a prospect from the end of the first round, and again you are waiting. If you offer and he doesn’t sign until halfway through the year like Kimbrell and Keutchel then you get nothing. Trade for someone we need and can use now or sign to an extension. Prefer a three year deal but I think four would be acceptable. 60k with some incentives would be a good deal for both sides.

  14. Jeff Gangloff

    What are we doing here?

    The goal is to win. Puig is an above average/all star caliber player in his prime and a fan favorite.

    If the outfield in AAA is crowded, then trade a prospect or two to upgrade the team elsewhere. That’s a hidden asset of signing Puig long term. You then have outfield prospects to deal.

    This is a no brainer for me. The Reds have money to spend. I get tired of waiting on prospects that don’t work out 3/4 of the time. Puig is working out. Don’t overthink it.

    • CI3J

      This is a good point. Everyone keeps talking about Puig “keeping the seat warm” for Trammell, Siri, Aquino, et. al. But why? Puig is already doing what we hope those 3 will do. If you sign Puig to a 5 year deal, that gives you 5 years to draft and develop Puig’s replacement, while you can trade one of the aforementioned 3 in a package for a higher return than what Puig would bring.

      I know the current financial environment in baseball is all about “young cost-controlled players”, but this mantra if taken to the extreme can overlook some very talented players who are ready to help RIGHT NOW if you’re willing to pay.

      • Jeff Gangloff

        Agree 100%

        Odds are Trammell, Siri, Aquino, et. (with Trammell MAYBE being the exception) don’t end up being as good as Puig. Re-signing him gives you more flexibility with the players in AAA as well (trades/position changes).

        I’m not saying break the bank to re-sign Puig, but if he and the Reds can come to a deal that makes sense then it would be counter productive to let him walk.

    • Scott C

      Very true. I just wrote the same above before I read your post.

    • Jim Walker

      I agree Jeff. However it takes two side in agreement for a deal to be reached. The NHL team up I-71 from Cincy just had 2 of the top 5 UFAs of this season leave very substantial sums of money on the table to go elsewhere and play where their hearts were leading them for less money.

      And to my knowledge neither of these 2 have nothing but good comments to make about org or city they left behind. They just knew there was somewhere special it was their dream to play and took the opportunity to do so,

      I can see that very easily being the case with Puig too.

    • Indy Red Man

      You said it brother. The guy is entertaining and its hard to entertain with a last place team every year. Who are they going to find that has his ceiling? The guy could be a borderline MVP. He’s that talented! That arm doesn’t slump either. If they want a sac fly to RF in gabp then they better hit it to the track!

    • VaRedsFan

      @Jeff…best comment yet.
      I’ve said it many times…2 years ago with Yelich (for Senzel), and last year with Realmutto (for Trammell). What would this team look like now with those 2 all stars on the team?

  15. John Mc.

    I would sign Puig for a four year, 80 million contract, with an option for a fifth year. The Reds continually shed their best players in their prime. The organization needs to find a way to create more income, so they can hold on to their star players. There has to be ways a small market team can increase revenue to keep key players.

  16. SultanofSwaff

    I’m not opposed to an extension, but not until I assess the entirety of the free agent market. This applies to Gennett and Roark as well. The Reds have gotten burned repeatedly by hiring based on proximity without doing their due diligence. Second, there are specific issues with the Reds offense that need to be addressed. Puig needs to be part of the conversation about what the heck is wrong and what their identity is going to be. The team is 24th in walks. Puig has just 18 (Peraza just 11, Iglesias just 13). They’re 20th in home runs, (with Puig carrying his weight). This is a recipe for feast or famine offense, which is exactly what we see day after day. It kills the potential for winning streaks. The Pirates have a better team OPS and they don’t hit for power, instead relying on batters with solid contact skills. The Cubs are 1st in the division HRs/Ks/BBs—a three true outcome hitting team.

    There’s more than one way to get to the same endpoint, but first they need to decide which direction to go!

    • Roger Garrett

      Very good points.Especially the feast or famine offense and how it kills the potential for winning streaks.Reds hitters start swinging in the dugout.

  17. George

    Pete writes, “No one values Puig more than the Reds and that’s a problem”.

    Based on my limited baseball background, that statement is sooooo true. The Reds front office has demonstrated that mentality more than once.
    In looking around MLB, winning teams get that way by bringing in winning (FA) players. Let’s face it Tanner R. is a strong #3 starter and maybe gone soon; S Gray is just a notch above Tanner (age) and Castillo is a strong #1, after those 3 who else do we feel good about. If the Reds are going to really contend (instead of the current hope and prayer mode) they will need to get 2 more wining starters (FA) and come up with a catcher (FA) who is the future (8-10 years).
    Keeping Puig does not resolve any of the listed needs.
    Build pitching, catching, SS and 2nd, and CF. (Yeah I know Old school thinking).
    Ownerships under lying concern has been and always will be money. My guess is it will take a yearly payroll of plus 135-145 Million to start winning every year. If ownership can’t commit to get that done, then the Reds will become the Mets or Tigers every year.

  18. JJeff

    Do whatever it takes to sign Puig and anyone else that is helping the team..Don’t insult them with a cheap offer.

  19. Bob Purkey

    The Reds need to put a dent in their current record over the next 10 days against some healthy competition. If they don’t ANYBODY accept Castillo and Senzel should be made available I would try to sign him if he is interested, if not trade him.

    The real problem in trading him at this point is that besides Iggy, nobody on this team can catch and throw the ball with any regularity.

  20. jreis

    I would definitely try to extend him. Man if Ervin can continue to develop and be more consistent and Trammel becomes the outfielder we expect him to be, we may have our best outfield since the 1990 club with Davis, Hatcher and O neil.

    Puig reminds me a lot of Dave Parker who was such an influence on the young players at the time. In a lot of ways the cobra was the mvp of the 1990 reds world series because he was such a positive influence to guys like Larkin and Davis.

    • doofus

      Uh, Dave Parker was not on the 1990 team.

      • Jreis

        His influence on the young players was a big factor in their development is what I meant

  21. Pete

    The Reds relationship with Phillip Ervin is hard to understand. Phil is out of the line up and DD is in LF. Peraza is not playing either. PE and JP should be playing everyday, IMO.

    • Jim Walker

      Bell is sticking with his platoon system. After running into a buzzsaw with 3 lefties in GABP, they are throwing 3 RH starters at the Reds in Chicago. All the more reason to bite the bullet and sit Winker down for 10 days and get VanMeter back up in his stead.

      • RedAlert

        Sorry Don – I just don’t think that is a
        realistic expectation. Reds are just too inconsistent. I do agree that they probably don’t need to go worse than 6-4 , 5/5. I would love for you to be be right though friend !

    • Don

      Pete, I agree with you. Iglesias and DD were brought in to be veteran backups on minor league deals that played a day maybe two a week to give the starters a day off, pinch hit and be a late inning defense replacement.
      With Scotter back the team should go back to the original plan from the off season.
      JP at Short (Pereza is outhitting Igelsias since May 31 by a lot and Iglesias is going to his career average for a 9th position AL SS) and Scotter @ 2nd.
      Ervin should be playing as the primary replacement for Winker.
      Hendricks is not a fireballer so he is not someone to overpower right handed hitters. A patient hitter is needed to face hendricks and DD is not a patient hitter where Ervin is more patient.

      • Roger Garrett

        I agree Don but the Reds thought since they both took off well they thought they had found another Scooter.Reds leadership just loves veteran players and will keep throwing them out regardless of performance while younger guys watch.Iggy is a lifetime 270 hitter and a wizard with the glove that no other team wanted and he would fit well on a team that has 7 other legit hitters with power.I like Iggy and DD but they are bench players right at 30 years old.No need for them to block anybody younger on a last place team.

  22. Don

    All depends on next 10 days. Reds must go 8-2 against the top 3 teams, must sweep of the Cubs, 3-1 vs cards and 2-1 vs Brewers.
    If this occurs the team could have some magic in this team.
    An 8-2 next ten would probably put the Reds in 2nd or 3rd place with a 500 record and under 2 from 1st.
    This is a real chance and keep the team together and try to add in the 7 days before deadline.
    If they do not go 8-2 then trade anyone whom is not under team control until at least the 2021 season (2 years) or will not sign a extension which is small market financially acceptable.
    In the trade accept almost anything to clear the way for those with the potential to be solid to good players in 2020,2021,2022.

    • Indy Red Man

      2-8 is more likely. No way the Cubs lose 4 series in a row to the Reds. Not to mention St. Louis is waking up.

  23. RedAlert

    Rockies getting rolled 12-3 by Giants at Coors in bottom third . Figures – their pitching sucks

    • Colorado Red

      Rockies are very inconsistent.
      They are back to there old ways of win by scoring a lot.
      Coors field eats pitchers for lunch.

      I do think, they will be in the WC battle till the end.
      They are also afraid to make a move, at the deadline.

  24. burtgummer

    Obviously I don’t know Puig personally but I have doubts whether he’d even be interested in returning to a perennial last place team

    • TR

      I don’t see the Reds as a perennial last place team. Houston recently finished in last place 5 or 6 years in a row. I don’t see them either as a perennial last place team. The recent and current Dodger team is a team of stars and Puig was one of many among a lot of competition. Cincinnati is less glamorous but still major league and still in a building mode. I think Puig likes it here and sees it as an opportunity to standout. I think he’ll probably extend his time with the Reds.

  25. Pete

    Saw this in a Lance McAlister tweet. Reds 90 games in:
    2019: 42-48, 6.5 games out
    2018: 39-51, 15 games out

    Sure seems like this year’s version is greater than 3 wins better compared to 2018 but there it is.

    • Roger Garrett

      Hard dose of reality isn’t it but it is what it is.Being so bad for so long takes its toll on even us fans who want to win so bad we become just like the front office.Hope is a great seller and always will be but in the end it is often just hope.

      • Ed

        Yeah but if a lot of the operating budget is based on attendance, the narrative that we’re competing, driving people into the ballpark, is all good to me! More money means we can acquire more viable players. Hoping this week is a good one.

      • VaRedsFan

        Ticket sales is not a very big piece of the revenue pie.

    • VaRedsFan

      They had a strong June last year…But when July hit, the wheels really fell off the cart

  26. Hanawi

    Maybe a bit of good news for the Reds. Wheeler on DL so one less starter likely to be traded. May increase some value for Roark.

  27. RojoBenjy

    What is the reaction to Puig reneging on his appearance at the kids baseball camp? Jose Iglesias appearing instead.

  28. Curt

    I’m good with any decision on Puig as long as it’s a smart one.

  29. Steve Schoenbaechler

    First, I will say, I believe this is a good problem to have. For, even if we lose Puig, I believe we have the pieces we can fit in. Oh, not proven pieces, sure. But, pieces. I believe Ervin will improve with even more time. And, we seem to have some OFer’s hitting very well at AAA right now. And, these would be cheaper where we could put the money elsewhere.

    I would try to extend Puig first. If we can’t get it done before the trade deadline and someone offers us a trade we can’t refuse, so be it. After the season, we give a qualifying offer. If Puig takes it, great. If not, oh well, and we move on.

  30. Ron Payne

    As someone mentioned earlier, I think Puig is the best option in RF for the next couple of years, so I would probably try to extend him for 2-3 years.
    I think the Reds will be approached by a few teams interested in Puig, but I think most teams are looking for pitching help rather than more offense. Don’t see the Reds being offered enough in a trade.
    The next 10 games will determine what the Reds do or don’t do at the trade deadline.