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Friday, August 12, 2011

Daugherty: Blame Baseball if Votto leaves

Break out the gravitational beam emitter if he dares to pull away!

He’ll be 28 in a month. He’s in his prime. He’s the Reds best player. And they will have to consider trading him over the winter.

There is something fundamentally messed up about a sport which doesn’t allow all its teams to keep their best players. Joey Votto will make $17 million two years from now. It says more about baseball economics than about snarky sportswriters that trading Votto is a conversation topic already.

No one is clamoring for an NFL-style socialism. That might encourage the sort of subsidized mediocrity we’ve endured at Paul Brown Stadium. But there ought to be a way Baseball can spread enough wealth so trading a player like Votto is an option, not a mandate.

I asked Votto about it. Not surprisingly, he was thoughtful and candid. Also not surprisingly, he had no problem with the way things are. He’s a wealthy man because of it.

“As ridiculous as it sounds, it would be unfair to the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies to have the same salary structure as Kansas City, Pittsburgh or Cincinnati. We’ve got 500,000 people to please here. They’ve got 18 million to please in New York,’’ he said.

 

Repoz Posted: August 12, 2011 at 11:12 AM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, media, reds

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: August 12, 2011 at 12:33 PM (#3898571)
There is something fundamentally messed up about a sport which doesn’t allow all its teams to keep their best players.


Other than, you know, those first six seasons.
   2. ColonelTom Posted: August 12, 2011 at 01:19 PM (#3898580)
Replace "Votto" with "Teixeira." Imagine how much better the Rangers would be if they could have re-upped him instead of trading him.
   3. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 12, 2011 at 01:34 PM (#3898586)
Other than, you know, those first six seasons.

From TFA:

Votto isn’t an expert on moneyball, but he’s well versed. He has thought about it. He knows that ownership gets the better deal for the first six years of a major leaguer’s career, before the pendulum swings dramatically. He knows that NFL and NBA players reach some form of free agency at least two years sooner than baseball players do. He says, “Over that first six-year span, you’re probably paying a guy 15 to 25 percent of what he’s worth. He’s getting the minimum for three years, then 40, 60, 80 percent, roughly’’ of what the market says he’s worth. “You get to call a player up, whenever you want. You get to delay his (arbitration) clock. It can be very fair for all the small market teams. Look at Minnesota. Tampa Bay has had a pretty good stretch. Payroll matches market (size), with some exceptions. Baseball is doing a pretty good job,’’ Votto says.


Votto is an interesting guy. Fairly guarded about his privacy, but also surprisingly candid for an athlete if you ask him the right question. And pretty intelligent, too.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 01:35 PM (#3898587)
Replace "Votto" with "Teixeira." Imagine how much better the Rangers would be if they could have re-upped him instead of trading him.


Replace "Votto" with Longoria....um I mean Miguel Cabrera(ok, maybe not the best choice)...um I mean Pujols(Cardinal for 11 years)...or Braun..etc... Teams can usually keep one or two of their best players no matter their market size, just smaller markets can't keep 3 or more, but how many teams have really developed 3 or more franchise level players at the same time?

I'm not sure why the Reds couldn't keep Votto to be perfectly honest, they have him signed until 2013, Arroyo's contract comes off the book that year and the only other big contracts they have is Bruce and Cueto for 10mil each.
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 12, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3898589)
The only reason anyone broaches trading Votto is because Alonso plays the outfield like a rhino rushing a jeep. Nothing good comes of all that wild activity
   6. fra paolo Posted: August 12, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#3898590)
This is all snooze-button stuff. Until your team loses its best player because of it.

Maybe it shouldn't be snooze-button stuff, then.
   7. Gamingboy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3898599)
I have to say one thing: If Votto leaves Cincy, I sure as hell hope he goes to Toronto. If my visit to the WBC was anything to go by, he would be worshiped as a golden god if he went to his hometown.
   8. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3898600)
The only reason anyone broaches trading Votto is because Alonso plays the outfield like a rhino rushing a jeep. Nothing good comes of all that wild activity

That's certainly true. But I think Alonso would've been traded by now if Votto had been more agreeable to a long-term rather than a medium-term deal this past winter. Votto wasn't open to including any FA years in the deal. That's certainly his right but it opens the door for conversations like this. Not that I agree with it - the Reds have a much better shot of contending in 2012 with Votto unless the return is overwhelming. This is unlike San Diego's situation with Gonzalez last winter.
   9. RJ in TO Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:09 PM (#3898603)
I have to say one thing: If Votto leaves Cincy, I sure as hell hope he goes to Toronto. If my visit to the WBC was anything to go by, he would be worshiped as a golden god if he went to his hometown.

Huh. For whatever reason, I always assumed he was from somewhere out in BC.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#3898629)
Boy, I can't wait to see him on the Yankees.
   11. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#3898630)
Huh. For whatever reason, I always assumed he was from somewhere out in BC.
No, that's Johnny Damon.
   12. formerly dp Posted: August 12, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3898635)
If my visit to the WBC was anything to go by, he would be worshiped as a golden god if he went to his hometown.

That would be pretty awesome, but I really can't see the Jays paying for him.
   13. Paul D(uda) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#3898637)
That would be pretty awesome, but I really can't see the Jays paying for him.

Why's that?
   14. formerly dp Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3898644)
Why's that?

$20-25M for a 1B who will likely want a contract that takes him into his mid-30s just doesn't seem like their type of deal.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:18 PM (#3898646)
There is something fundamentally messed up about a sport which doesn’t allow all its teams to keep their best players.
...... But there ought to be a way Baseball can spread enough wealth so trading a player like Votto is an option, not a mandate.


Oh man I missed this new rule! Holy crap! Have the Reds sued MLB yet because this mandate sounds illegal!
   16. Greg K Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#3898649)
I have to say one thing: If Votto leaves Cincy, I sure as hell hope he goes to Toronto. If my visit to the WBC was anything to go by, he would be worshiped as a golden god if he went to his hometown.

Frankly I'm tired of Etobicoke passing itself off as Toronto. There's only room for one suburb with a deep-set insecurity problem that lays claim Toronto status and that's Scarborough!
   17. spike Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#3898653)
Imagine how much better the <strike>Rangers</strike> Braves would be if they could have re-upped him.

Sure, there's Freeman now, but 2009/10 would have been a lot better.

Weird - that looked fine in preview.
   18. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:33 PM (#3898659)
Try removing the "trike"s.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#3898660)
Weird - that looked fine in preview.


Don't use strike, use the del to strike option...
   20. Gamingboy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:45 PM (#3898668)
Huh. For whatever reason, I always assumed he was from somewhere out in BC.


No, although I can't blame you since BC seems to be the cradle of Canadian MLBers (Walker, Morneau, Bay, Dempster, Harden, Lawrie now, etc.).

I have to think it's because BC has a more temperate climate than the rest of Canada.
   21. Brian C Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#3898670)
And they will have to consider trading him over the winter.

But there ought to be a way Baseball can spread enough wealth so trading a player like Votto is an option, not a mandate.

Just thought I'd point out that these two sentences are contradictory, unless the words "consider" and "option" mean something different than what I've thought all these years.

I don't see why they wouldn't hold on to Votto as long as they can, provided they have a decent shot at contention. See what the Brewers have done with Prince, for example - I don't see an argument for why holding on to him was a bad idea.

On the other hand, if they don't see much hope for being very good the next couple years, then yeah, trade him. But that would be a good idea anyway - being a small market team might make screwing up big decisions like this more punitive, but it doesn't suddenly turn good ideas into bad ones, or vice versa.
   22. McCoy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#3898671)
I'd like to blame the Cubs if Votto leaves the Reds this offseason.
   23. Greg K Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#3898675)
No, although I can't blame you since BC seems to be the cradle of Canadian MLBers (Walker, Morneau, Bay, Dempster, Harden, Lawrie now, etc.).

I have to think it's because BC has a more temperate climate than the rest of Canada.

It's probably related to the climate, but I think there's a pretty well run baseball academy in BC. Not sure how many of these MLBers have gone through it though.
   24. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#3898676)
Neither the Yankees nor Red Sox will be in on Votto. If you're going to lament that you *still* can't sign Votto in that environment, you might want to get out of the business.
   25. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3898678)
By the time the Reds could unwillingly lose Joey Votto, they will have had his exclusive services for just over 11 years. Just how long should a company be able to draft a person and tell him to work for their company or find a new profession?
   26. Zoppity Zoop Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3898681)
I guarantee, if the internet existed in 1850, there'd be a vocal minority of idiots complaining how society has lost its way because small plantations had to sell all their best slaves to the big plantations to keep up.
   27. TDF, situational idiot Posted: August 12, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3898682)
Shockingly, Daugherty's arguement makes no sense. Votto staying or leaving has nothing to do with Cinci being able to spend the money - if Castellini and Jockety think Votto will be worth what his agent demands, I have every reason to believe they'll make a run at him (I've yet to hear either once say they couldn't afford a player).

What Daugherty is really arguing for is some form of restricted free agency - forcing the player to stay if the team wants him badly enough. When he signed his extension, Votto didn't say he wanted to leave or even that he wanted to test free agency(and doesn't say that in this article, either); he said that just wanted to see what the landscape was (something to the effect of "I don't know what I'm going to want in 3 years"). That's not good enough for the Daughertys of the world - they want the best players to be indentured servants, until they aren't good anymore and then they bemoan the fact that the team is stuck with an albatross contract.

And what Harvey said - if they hadn't wasted a draft pick on a guy who could only play 1B (and from what I've read, he sucks there too), there'd be a near zero chance anyone would be talking about trading Votto.
   28. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3898684)
What Daugherty is really arguing for is some form of restricted free agency


He'd be singing a different tune if the Reds' farm system were terrible.
   29. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#3898686)
Neither the Yankees nor Red Sox will be in on Votto. If you're going to lament that you *still* can't sign Votto in that environment, you might want to get out of the business.


Hmm, I don't know, the Sox could go after Votto as a replacement for Ortiz, and after passing on Youkilis, allowing Youk the chance to replace Votto.

You all read it here first. I expect praise and adulation when this happens.
   30. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3898687)
And what Harvey said - if they hadn't wasted a draft pick on a guy who could only play 1B (and from what I've read, he sucks there too), there'd be a near zero chance anyone would be talking about trading Votto.


I don't really agree with this. I think you should pick the best available players. You can always trade the prospect away if he's blocked by somebody like Votto.
   31. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3898689)
I have to think it's because BC has a more temperate climate than the rest of Canada.


Talk about damning with faint praise.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3898691)
I don't really agree with this. I think you should pick the best available players.


There's a balance. If Alonso is head and shoulders above anyone else, you take him. And you don't ever draft Jason Tyner just because you have a need in centerfield. But I think you can let the shape of your MLB roster inform your choice to some degree.
   33. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:09 PM (#3898695)
TDF! Don't know if you're still angry with me, but I'm glad to see that you're around!
   34. BDC Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#3898698)
if the internet existed in 1850, there'd be a vocal minority of idiots complaining how society has lost its way because small plantations had to sell all their best slaves to the big plantations to keep up

That's actually the opening scenario of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
   35. TDF, situational idiot Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#3898706)
TDF! Don't know if you're still angry with me, but I'm glad to see that you're around!
Shockingly, I may have overreacted; I've gotten over myself.
   36. Bob Tufts Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3898708)
A native of Washington D.C., Paul Daugherty is one of the best sports columnists in the country. While working for newspapers in Cincinnati, New York, Dallas, Baltimore, and Norfolk, Virginia, Daugherty has covered almost every major sports event in America.


I just hate the fact that sportswriters have free agency and through this freedom they have driven up the price of newspapers, causing the industry to go into economic collapse and contraction.
   37. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:29 PM (#3898710)
if the internet existed in 1850, there'd be a vocal minority of idiots complaining how society has lost its way because small plantations had to sell all their best slaves to the big plantations to keep up

That's actually the opening scenario of Uncle Tom's Cabin.


Not owning people is the new market inefficiency.
   38. TDF, situational idiot Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:30 PM (#3898711)
I don't really agree with this. I think you should pick the best available players. You can always trade the prospect away if he's blocked by somebody like Votto.
While that's generally true, the Reds don't have the option of keeping Alonzo if they don't get an offer they like - he can't play anywhere else. As such, they're unlikely to get fair value for him (or Votto, if they choose to keep the cheaper player).
   39.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#3898716)

Talk about damning with faint praise.


31*C today for about the 9th straight day. I'm not complaining...
   40. JRVJ Posted: August 12, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3898721)
Having visited Vancouver and its environs for a week last October, I can say that it's an astonishingly beautiful city (as is Victoria). The climate was a bit overcast and nippy, but I don't feel comfortable extrapolating from one specific week in October.
   41. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 05:13 PM (#3898727)
but I don't feel comfortable extrapolating from one specific week in October.


Reggie Jackson would like to disagree with this statement.
   42.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 12, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#3898731)
Vancouver is overcast and rainy, but Vancouver is not BC. The interior is quite a bit different.
   43. Shrike Posted: August 12, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#3898733)
There's no rain here today, and really no cause to complain about Vancouver's climate for the most part. I know I'm not inclined to move away from my hometown.
   44. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3898734)
While that's generally true, the Reds don't have the option of keeping Alonzo if they don't get an offer they like - he can't play anywhere else. As such, they're unlikely to get fair value for him (or Votto, if they choose to keep the cheaper player).


There's always a trade to the DH league. Also, Votto's value is so high that I imagine they'd get a bevy of top prospects in return.
   45. asdf1234 Posted: August 12, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3898741)
Chalk me up as another who doesn't see a massive problem here. The Reds have a $75M payroll, $30M of which is going to Cordero, Arroyo, and Phillips, who have a grand total of 3 WAR between them. Votto may not continue to be a 6-win player into his early 30s, but it's a smarter move to give him $20+M a year than to divvy that up between two vets who averaged 2 wins in their prime.

And is Alonso really thought of so highly that the Reds would consider dealing Votto? His minor league numbers and tools aren't overwhelming, he's not particularly young, and you can't project Votto-ish gains for him any more than you can for Wallace or Smoak. He couldn't possibly be any worse than Gomes, so why not deal with his defense in left until you see what kind of bat you have, which would conveniently coincide with Votto's FA?
   46. hokieneer Posted: August 12, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#3898746)
And what Harvey said - if they hadn't wasted a draft pick on a guy who could only play 1B (and from what I've read, he sucks there too), there'd be a near zero chance anyone would be talking about trading Votto.

I don't really agree with this. I think you should pick the best available players. You can always trade the prospect away if he's blocked by somebody like Votto.


At the time Alonso was drafted in June 2008, Votto had only accumulated around 290 PA for the major league team. Votto posted a .294/.381/.478 at AAA L'ville at age 23 in 2007, before he was called up Sept 1. That looks good, but no where near good enough for a franchise to alter their draft evaluation and selection. Hell in their 2009 and 2010 preview, BA, still had Alonso projected at first with Votto projected to LF (obviously defensive evaluations play into this).

Votto became a much better hitter, esp with power, than was projected. I've seen nothing anywhere that eludes to the Reds not willing or not able to sign a long term FA deal. I believe a lot of this talk is because everyones assumes Votto would like to play in Toronto, and they are projecting he might even take a "discount".

EDIT: I know it's unheard of to move a MVP in his prime to another position, but the team would probably be better if Votto played LF. I have a lot more faith in him playing a corner OF than Alonso. From all accounts, Votto is a class act and a team-first guy, but I don't even know how a GM/manager takes this idea from the whiteboard phase to actually talking to Votto about it. I'm not sure if the potential risks (Votto sulking, hitting slumps because of new position, injury playing out position, Alonso isn't that good to begin with) out weight the gains (Votto + Alonso 150 games, potentially improved defense in LF).
   47. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3898752)
Isn't Votto still a good 1B-man?
   48. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#3898753)
hokie

So you are asking the Reds to go the Tigers route of many moons ago when they stuck Hank Greenberg in left so that Rudy York could play first.

It could work. But unless the guy who cannot really play even first can REALLY hit it's a real drag on the team. When Prince isn't having a superlative year at the plate his defensive issues become VERY pronounced. The ball seems to find bad defenders. It's uncanny
   49. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3898758)
Harveys, who do you think would be worse at 1B: Fielder or Gamel? I'm assuming that Fielder gets dealt.
   50. TDF, situational idiot Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#3898760)
The Reds have a $75M payroll, $30M of which is going to Cordero, Arroyo, and Phillips, who have a grand total of 3 WAR between them.
Cordero is likely gone after this year. Barring disaster (say he doesn't recover from his injury), Phillips will end up a 3+ WAR player this year (per bWAR; fWAR thinks he already is 3.5 WAR) - well worth his salary. Arroyo sucks this year.

Phillips may get resigned (either reworking his option for next year, or after next year), depending on his demands and Billy Hamilton's (or someone else's) progression in the minors. Even at that, if I get your point (which is that the Reds should still be willing to pay Votto), I agree.
He couldn't possibly be any worse than Gomes
You haven't seen him; "wretched" isn't strong enough of a word. Honestly, I think most fans (as much as they hated his defense) would rather see Dunn in LF.
There's always a trade to the DH league. Also, Votto's value is so high that I imagine they'd get a bevy of top prospects in return.
My point is that one of them has to be traded, which weakens the Reds' negotiating position.
   51. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#3898765)
The certainty of multiple bidders works against that theory.
   52. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:32 PM (#3898769)
By the time the Reds could unwillingly lose Joey Votto, they will have had his exclusive services for just over 11 years. Just how long should a company be able to draft a person and tell him to work for their company or find a new profession?

What if they lessened the time it took to become a free agent (dump one of the min years or some other alteration) in exchange for some type of (very limited) restricted free agency? Or, rather than restricted free agency, condition revenue sharing dollars (to some degree) on commitments to a team's players such that the Reds (assuming they're eligible for such) get some portion of Votto's contract from revenue sharing instead of simply getting a check to spend as they wish.

I'm not sure exactly how it would work, but it seems like the existing structure could definitely be improved in all directions. Players are locked in for too long and their accrual of service time isn't always based on performance(bad for players), there are too few free agents and they hit that status when their a bit too old for the length of deals they tend to receive (bad for owners), prospects are becoming too valuable thereby making trades more difficult (bad for everyone IMO.) I don't really have a specific recommendation (the ones above are just quick thoughts) but it seems like there is room for everyone to get a better deal in this context.

More generally, I really dislike a team having to part with its homegrown players (be they stars or otherwise) for purely financial reasons. At the same time, I don't want players to have to sacrifice their earnings in order to stay in city X. Obviously the former concern can't be completely eliminated under any scenario (and I'm not saying that the Reds have to trade Votto but they do have to engage his situation differently than the Cubs, for example, would have to.) However, a situation where teams that can't generate as much as revenue as others are penalized less severely in that context would be appealing. I'm not sure it's feasible, but it does seem like there is some room for improvement.
   53. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#3898772)
But there ought to be a way Baseball can spread enough wealth so trading a player like Votto is an option, not a mandate.

Isn't that already the case, or is Bud keeping all the money for cocaine & hookers?

I'm not sure teams like Cincinnati ever had that much difficulty keeping their players, but certainly it should have become easier in the last decade. In addition to the luxury tax & revenue sharing, there has been a massive increase in the shared revenue pool. Extra Innings™ & MLB.TV rake in huge amounts that just weren't available 10 or 20 years ago. The MLB Network may not have reached it's potential yet, but I doubt it costs much to have guys sit on a TV set and talk baseball. Has MLB ever divulged how much they're making off these sources? Anyone wonder why? Internet merchandise is another significant revenue stream that just wasn't there before. All this growth has come without any reduction in the traditional sources or revenue - ticket sales, local TV & national TV. The Reds have a nice new ballpark (attendance could be better, now 16th at ~ 27,500), so I'm at a loss as to how they can claim an inability to pay.

Votto can easily be a Red for life, unless the team prefers to just pocket the money.
   54. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:53 PM (#3898779)
Votto can easily be a Red for life, unless the team prefers to just pocket the money.


Agreed. And they don't have to trade Alonso--he's newly arrived to the bigs, which comes with a bazillion options. If some team wants him "now" or "soon", the Reds could simply hold out for a strong deal and let Alonso rot on the bench or the minors.

Heck, if Alonso is really that bad of a defender, his stats indicate a second-division starter at best. So losing him--or stashing him on the bench--isn't a huge deal.
   55. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 06:54 PM (#3898780)
But there ought to be a way Baseball can spread enough wealth so trading a player like Votto is an option, not a mandate.

Isn't that already the case, or is Bud keeping all the money for cocaine & hookers?

I think #15 covers it.
   56. JE (Jason) Posted: August 12, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#3898782)
I am a bit confused: when Votto signed a contract extension last January that did not encompass even a single free agency year, what was Jocketty thinking? Was he frightened that Votto would receive outrageous sums in arbitration?
   57. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 12, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#3898785)
The Reds drafted Alonso in 2008. At the time Votto was in the middle of his first full year in the majors, and he was putting up around an .850 OPS, which is decent but not necessarily anything special for a first baseman. His minor league performance was similar - decent, but not anything spectacular, except for one year at Chattanooga (which is a decent hitters' park). The scuttlebutt at the time of the draft was that the Reds could always move Votto to a corner OF position to make room for Alonso, the thought being that Votto had more athletic skills than Alonso.

Alonso's pretty decent defensively at first, and I think that if he works at the outfield he'll be passable out there. The Reds really didn't commit to moving him; he played there some at the start of last season in Carolina, but very quickly moved back to first base, was at 1B during almost all of his time in AAA a year ago, and it wasn't until this season that he really got substantial time in the outfield.

-- MWE

EDIT: Coke to #46
   58. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 12, 2011 at 07:24 PM (#3898789)
is Bud keeping all the money for cocaine & hookers?

You make it sound like there's something wrong with that.
   59. smileyy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3898801)
[56] The Reds got cost control, which isn't a bad thing. MVPs tend to get more than the $7M Votto makes this year when they go to arbitration.

I guess they question is, did the Reds get Votto's arb years so cheap that he'll want to get more-than-future-value in FA?
   60. smileyy Posted: August 12, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#3898818)
I mean "control" in the "certainty" sense, though I do think they're getting Votto at a discount for those years because of the contract.
   61. Ron J Posted: August 12, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3898824)
#46 Hank Greenberg moved to the outfield so that Rudy York could play first. It's a moderately similar kind of situation. York had been catching but the Tigers wanted to go with Birdy Tebbetts there. They did try York in the outfield but didn't like it.
   62. BDC Posted: August 12, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3898828)
The privilege of paying Mark Teixeira (for example) $22.5M through age 36 is a mixed blessing, just as enjoying relative inexpensive good seasons from Teixeira at ages 23-27 has its advantages and disadvantages, too. (I am a rare Rangers fan who is still a big Teix fan; not really picking on the guy.) The Yankees and Red Sox have a certain structural advantage in that they can keep throwing good money after bad at the moment. But I don't think the Cubs are smirking it up over the contracts they signed with Soriano, Zambrano, Dempster, and Peña – and even Aramis Ramirez has had to hit about 20 home runs in the past two months to come close to earning whatever frightening amount they're paying him.
   63. Walt Davis Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:22 PM (#3898894)
eh, the Cubs are only paying ARam $15 M ... not a bargain but as long as he could get to league average, it's just an overpay, not a disaster. Dempster's worked out OK -- again, it won't be break even but it won't be a big deal. And Pena was a 1/$10 deal so who cares? And the Z contract ends after next year and that too will end up in the (bad) overpay category more than the disaster.

It's that f'ing Soriano contract that still has 3 years to go. It is within the realm of possibility that the Cubs will have gotten about 7 WAR for $140 M by the time that beastie is finished. A reasonable projection is probably 10 WAR and a bounceback maybe gets it up to 13. We're in Dreifort/Park territory here.

As to the Reds & Votto ... Reds current payroll is about $80 M. They've got a little over $50 M committed over the next two years and, when Votto becomes an FA, they have only $26 committed (Bruce, Cueto and Chapman). They've got a number of arb awards but, other than possibly Stubbs or Leake, none of those project to be very big. Affording Votto will be no problem; affording another very big FA or 2-3 medium FAs should be no problem. The question is whether the surrounding young talent will be good enough to make that investment worth it.
   64. NTNgod Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3898903)
While that's generally true, the Reds don't have the option of keeping Alonzo if they don't get an offer they like - he can't play anywhere else. As such, they're unlikely to get fair value for him


Matt LaPorta was basically the same situation (attempting to fake OF, blocked even when drafted), and he still had a lot of value when traded [not so much now!].
   65. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2011 at 12:21 AM (#3898953)
As long as Alonso keeps hitting 471, I think they'll be able to live with his defense. :-)

Anyway, I have little doubt that other teams would be more than happy to give up good value for a good-hitting cost-controlled 1B/DH, assuming that's what they think Alonso will be. Obviously you're not going to do any better than getting a top prospect of theirs in return, more likely a good veteran or a lesser prospect or two. A Josh Hamilton-Edinson Volquez type trade is quite possible. And it's almost certainly what the Reds should do this offseason. Even if you think he might become a decent enough LF, let somebody else take that chance.

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