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Saturday, December 17, 2011

MLB.com: Reds acquire Latos from Padres

There is a whole lot of talent changing hands here.

The Reds and Padres announced a five-player deal Saturday, as Cincinnati sent right-hander Edinson Volquez and three of its top 10 prospects to the Padres for right-hander Mat Latos.

Along with Volquez, the Padres acquired right-hander Brad Boxberger, infielder Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal. All were recently named among Cincinnati’s top 10 prospects by MLB.com (Alonso second, Grandal fifth and Boxberger sixth).

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2011 at 08:33 PM | 113 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues, padres, reds

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   1. Bourbon Samurai Posted: December 17, 2011 at 08:42 PM (#4018540)
I just submitted this. Seems like the Pads dead real well here. I wasn't expecting Latos to move.
   2. Boxkutter Posted: December 17, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#4018543)
I personally think Cinci overpaid for Latos. He is a fine pitcher, but they gave up a lot of young talent, and aren't getting an "Ace". Latos makes a nice psuedo-#1 right now, but I don't see him as a dominant pitcher yet. And moving out of Petco will make his numbers look worse.

Also, where does Alonso play? Are the Padres planning on moving him or Rizzo to LF? Do they now move one of the two for another piece? Playing either in LF sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, and they don't have a DH spot to hide one of them in.
   3. The District Attorney Posted: December 17, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#4018550)
Alonso's minor league stats are not nearly as good as I thought they would be.

Still, if we have to judge this right now (which is of course stupid), I call it a win for SD. One can certainly envision it working out for Cincy, though. Latos is really good, and he only has two years of service time. And there are question marks about everyone SD got: Volquez has a bad injury record and really only has the one good year, Alonso as described, Grandal is a catcher and they develop oddly, Boxberger is a reliever with one good year out of two in the minors. With four guys, though, I think SD has put the odds in its favor. If both Alonso and Grandal become quality regulars, it's tough to argue with that, and Volquez/Boxberger give them some "trade win" possibilities even beyond that. And naturally, Latos is not going to put up the same raw statline in Cincy as he did in SD, and SD will have a relatively easier time finding someone who at least approaches that statline.

Also, SD now has to trade Anthony Rizzo, and get something good for him at that. Playing Alonso somewhere besides 1B would waste most of his value.
   4. OPS+ Posted: December 17, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#4018552)
Latos OPS against

Home: .635
Away: .637

His whip and strikeout numbers are almost identical and he's actually pitched more innings on the road than at home.
   5. steagles Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:13 PM (#4018563)
latos is really, really good.


i think boxberger is just a guy and alonso isn't great, though his OBP-heavy statline should be tailor-made for petco. grandal looks very good, but cinci has mesoraco. volquez is a lottery ticket, but with latos going in, he's really not much of a loss to cinci going out.


it's a good deal for san diego--and it's a good deal for the players who are going to san diego--and if cincinnati really thinks they're in a position to make the playoffs, they're not losing much immediate production.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:19 PM (#4018570)
Also, SD now has to trade Anthony Rizzo, and get something good for him at that. Playing Alonso somewhere besides 1B would waste most of his value.


Seems like they'd do better to re-flip Alonso to someone else, given that he's hugely overrated and not nearly as good a prospect as Rizzo.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:19 PM (#4018571)
Lot's of potential for SD, could be a big win.

I think it's worth the risk given where they are.
   8. rr Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:20 PM (#4018572)
I think Reds gave up too much.Like it for the Padres.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:22 PM (#4018574)
Interesting trade. Latos is real good, but I wouldn't have given up that much for him.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#4018577)

Seems like they'd do better to re-flip Alonso to someone else, given that he's hugely overrated and not nearly as good a prospect as Rizzo.


What's so great about Rizzo?

Rizzo's mLB stat lines by wRC+ are A+:120,123, AA: 120, AAA 149 (with a .369 BABIP)
Alonso's are A+: 153, AA: 134, 121, AAA: 125,131

Alonso has a much better K-rate, and a similar BB-rate. Rizzo's advantage is ISO, and if a hitter is going to develop anything, it's power.

I'd flip either one, maybe to TB, if I could get a good young arm.
   11. philly Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#4018579)
Rizzo made the majors in his age 21 season. Alonso was drafted in his age 21 season is three years older.
   12. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#4018583)
In all fairness to the Reds, Alonso and Grandal were both blocked positionally. Grandal is probably blocked for six years, so that does reduce both players' value to the Reds. I still think the Reds overpaid, but it's not as bad as it first looks.

Of course I still think Jocketty should have dealt Votto for a package of prospects and put Alonso at first base. The Reds could have hopefully saved enough money to lock down Phillips for another four years and extended their window for contention by a few years.
   13. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:35 PM (#4018584)
I think Reds gave up too much.Like it for the Padres.


I echo the consensus here. Seeing the headline my first though was, "Wow, nice move by the Reds to acquire Latos. They could be contenders in the Central." But giving up Volquez, Alonso, and others seems like an awfully high price. Still a decent shot to be a win-win, though.
   14. andrewberg Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#4018586)
Seems like that package could have yielded more. I like latos just fine but it seems like a "4 quarters for a dollar" trade where the dollar might be worth 75 cents.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#4018588)
Rizzo made the majors in his age 21 season. Alonso was drafted in his age 21 season is three years older.

He made the majors and was embarrassed. 30.1% K-rate. 141/281/242 line. 59 wRC+. Only 153 PAs, sure. But still ugly.

I don't think that's a point in his favor. If you stuck Alonso in MLB straight out of the draft, I doubt he does any worse.

More like 2 yrs. 4 month.

Alonso in a similarly small sample (98 PAs) went nuts. 330/398/545 160 wRC+. 21.4% K-%, 10.2 BB-%.

If i had to guess, I'd say Alonso's the better hitter right now. Similar minor league numbers, much better contact skills, similar BB-skills, and wasn't embarrassed by MLB pitching.

Maybe Rizzo has more upside b/c of age. But I think that's limited by the poor contact skills. Guys who K 20% of the time in the low minors worry me.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:43 PM (#4018592)
The Reds paid a lot, but they also have a farm system that's pretty well stocked with close-to-MLB talent with many of those guys blocked at their positions, and they have a MLB roster without a lot of holes other than top-flight MLB pitching, so it makes sense for them to cash those chips in for a guy like Latos. Frankly, I'm not real high on Alonso, I think Grandal's upside is okay for a catcher, Volquez is a bit erratic although I've long been a fan and I do like Boxberger, but his upside is a future closer. But Latos is young, cost-controlled, not a product of Petco, and a frontline guy. And you potentially have a two-year window here where you have one of the best hitters in the NL, so now is the time to make your move. So I think its a great move for the Reds.

The Pads get a lot of guys that can fill holes and help them achieve their goal of fielding a young low payroll team. I don't really get them. I get the A's and the Rays are trying to keep costs low because of a bad ballpark, but the taxpayers of San Diego built the Pads a gorgeous stadium downtown in a beautiful area and this is how they repay the fans. The NL West is wide open and the NL frankly is kinda wide open too. You put AGone and Latos on this team and add a FA like Jose Reyes - that isn't a contender? Padres fans should be irate.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:43 PM (#4018593)
Of course I still think Jocketty should have dealt Votto for a package of prospects and put Alonso at first base. The Reds could have hopefully saved enough money to lock down Phillips for another four years and extended their window for contention by a few years.

Totally disagree. Spend the money on Votto, not Phillips. But, they can afford both.
   18. rr Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:44 PM (#4018595)
Latos is very talented, as noted, and cost-controlled, as noted. Adding in the positional issues, I can see what Jocketty was thinking. But the price is high, and I believe Votto will test the market regardless of what Jocketty does.
   19. Sam M. Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:49 PM (#4018598)
I REALLY love this deal for the Padres. I liked it well enough when I didn't even realize that Grandal was in the deal, but with both Alonso and Grandal? I saw enough of both of Alonso in Louisville, and am high enough on Grandal, to be convinced that that is an excellent return on Latos. Boxberger needs to throw strikes, but he's got a good chance to give them useful innings help them replenish their bullpen.

Which isn't to say it's not a good deal for the Reds; how often can you get high-quality, low-cost, well-proven major league starting pitching on the trade market? That has to be seen as a good, solid return on your minor league assets -- and a strong endorsement of the quality of the Reds' farm system that it has the kind of quality and depth that it can produce guys like Mesoraco and Cozart to help the Reds directly, and these guys to trade. Impressive.
   20. PreservedFish Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#4018603)
I like latos just fine but it seems like a "4 quarters for a dollar" trade where the dollar might be worth 75 cents.


Well, this might turn out to be true, but I think a young and healthy starter that strikes out one per inning is probably just about worth his weight in gold. Any team would be real happy to land Latos, and I think the Reds have a solid chance of winning the trade.
   21. Farva Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#4018604)
I think that this is a trade that will benefit both teams. While this may seem a lot for the Reds to have given up, these are pieces that would not likely have helped them all that much. Alonso was still looking for a position and his minor league numbers were not as impressive as one may have expected. Grandal is behind Mesoraco and was blocked. Volquez has a lot of question marks and was terrible last year.

While each of these parts may be intriguing, they were traded to one of the better young pitchers in the game who was not a product of Petco and is cost controlled. I think this is a deal that makes sense for both sides.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:54 PM (#4018605)
Why do you think there has been a rash of deals involving good young frontline pitchers with 2+ years of cost-controlled years left - Haren, Greinke, Garza, Ubaldo, Cahill, now Latos. Such players used to be hoarded like gold at a Tea Party rally. Now they can be had for the right price. Gio Gonzalez will probably be next. What is the reasoning?
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:54 PM (#4018606)
But the price is high, and I believe Votto will test the market regardless of what Jocketty does.

The Jocketty should pay market price for him.

I'd offer him a 6/150 extension right now and make him think.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#4018607)
Why do you think there has been a rash of deals involving good young frontline pitchers with 2+ years of cost-controlled years left - Haren, Greinke, Garza, Ubaldo, Cahill, now Latos. Such players used to be hoarded like gold at a Tea Party rally. Now they can be had for the right price. Gio Gonzalez will probably be next. What is the reasoning?

Injury fears?
   25. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:02 PM (#4018613)
Snapper, as a Reds fan I'd love to see Jocketty extend Votto, but I remain skeptical. The Reds constantly say they have no money, and I don't think Walt is going to pay market price for him. I'd love to be proven wrong though.
   26. Squash Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:19 PM (#4018625)
Why do you think there has been a rash of deals involving good young frontline pitchers with 2+ years of cost-controlled years left - Haren, Greinke, Garza, Ubaldo, Cahill, now Latos. Such players used to be hoarded like gold at a Tea Party rally. Now they can be had for the right price. Gio Gonzalez will probably be next. What is the reasoning?

Injury fears?


I think it's pretty simple - every one of those teams that traded those guys were in tough financial spots and didn't consider themselves contenders. (I assume you mean the first Garza trade, although the second obviously qualifies for the financial provision.) They're young pitchers, which means everyone thinks they're injury prone, yet you can still get a lot for them and they're about to get expensive. The day Boston starts moving Jon Lester for prospects, or the Angels move Weaver, then we'll know something's up.
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:22 PM (#4018627)
(I assume you mean the first Garza trade, although the second obviously qualifies for the financial provision.)


I mean the Garza to the Cubs deal.

I think this is probably right, although the Haren (to the Angels) and Ubaldo deals don't quite fit that theory.

Also, why wasn't this done before? Obviously we've had teams in tight financial conditions with good young pitchers before.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM (#4018628)
He made the majors and was embarrassed. 30.1% K-rate. 141/281/242 line. 59 wRC+. Only 153 PAs, sure. But still ugly.

I don't think that's a point in his favor. If you stuck Alonso in MLB straight out of the draft, I doubt he does any worse.


There's also the portion of the year that Rizzo spent at AAA, where he was one of the best hitters in the minors. .331/.404/.652 as a 21-year-old in AAA. Could Alonso have done that as a 21-year-old at that level? Nothing in his record suggests he would've been capable of it.

Alonso has a much better K-rate, and a similar BB-rate. Rizzo's advantage is ISO, and if a hitter is going to develop anything, it's power.


Alonso's going to be 25 next year, and his single-season high for HR is 17. For a power-hitting first base prospect, he hasn't shown much in-game power. Maybe he can rely on walks and OBP, and be the next Daric Barton. That sure worked out well for Daric Barton, didn't it?
   29. ColonelTom Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:34 PM (#4018636)
A solid deal for both clubs. The added bonus for the Padres is that they can now deal Nick Hundley, who is just hitting arbitration and should bring back a very good return. I'd imagine Tampa Bay would be all over him (and the Padres' many young 1B prospects) and could send back young starting pitching in return.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:35 PM (#4018637)
I think Reds gave up too much.Like it for the Padres.


So it's safe to say you have mixed feelings on it.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:42 PM (#4018643)
Pads GM Josh Byrnes:

Rizzo will be in the minors. Alonso is a 1B, not a LF.

Grandal will be in the minors. Hundley will be starting catcher.

Four teams had a package the Pads were willing to work with - Reds had the best offer.
   32. Tricky Dick Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:43 PM (#4018644)
Alonso's going to be 25 next year, and his single-season high for HR is 17. For a power-hitting first base prospect, he hasn't shown much in-game power. Maybe he can rely on walks and OBP, and be the next Daric Barton. That sure worked out well for Daric Barton, didn't it?


Perhaps the Padres hope to have the same luck that they had in acquiring Adrian Gonzalez from the Rangers. Although Gonzalez was well regarded as a prospect, I recall that the prospect scouting reports at the time projected him as a line drive hitting 1st baseman rather than a HR hitter. Gonzalez never hit more than 18 HRs in a season in the minors. Gonzalez's minor league career OBP and SLG was .365 and .448, respectively. Before Gonzalez was traded to the Padres at age 24, he had two brief seasons at the major league level for the Rangers which were not overly impressive and in which he showed almost no power. I'm not saying that this means Alonso will turn into Gonzalez, but I do see some analogies.
   33. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:44 PM (#4018645)
Why do you think there has been a rash of deals involving good young frontline pitchers with 2+ years of cost-controlled years left - Haren, Greinke, Garza, Ubaldo, Cahill, now Latos. Such players used to be hoarded like gold at a Tea Party rally. Now they can be had for the right price. Gio Gonzalez will probably be next. What is the reasoning?


The fact that they're so highly valued may be the reason that it's happening. Teams know that trading them can bring back a significant return so letting a good young pitcher go is an easy way to gain multiple players to fill holes.
   34. rr Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#4018646)
So you're saying you like it and dislike it.


You seem to have a problem with my liking two teams. Just don't cuss me out and call me a fat troll and we'll be fine, though. ;-

And not entirely. I think Jocketty sees it this way:

Pujols is gone
Fielder may well be gone
Braun may miss a chunk of season
The Pirates are still working on it and are not there
The Cubs will probably move methodically under the new management team and not make a big 2012 push
He has Mesoraco and Votto

Adding it up, Jocketty figures this is a good moment to go for a division title, and Latos can help him do that--cheaply.

I am skeptical that a division title will keep Votto in town, however.
   35. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:02 PM (#4018653)
#34

I don't think a division title will keep Votto in town, but an increase in revenues might. The fans were slow to respond to the 2010 division crown after a decade of terrible ownership and baseball. Maybe they would be more willing to come out to the stadium if it looks like the success might stick around a while?
   36. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:26 PM (#4018666)
Regarding Votto, folks have to listen to Robin here. The few times I have heard Joey interviewed and this topic comes up he doesn't dance around it. He says flat out he is testing the market.

I don't know anything, but I sense there is something lurking between him and the Reds and the boy is carrying some kind of ill will. Grudge is too strong a word.

Anyway, that boy has set his jaw and made a plan. And that plan doesn't seem to include the Reds.
   37. Sam M. Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:42 PM (#4018671)
And that plan doesn't seem to include the Reds. 


Testing the market doesn't have to mean ruling out the Reds. It just has to mean the Reds need to step up and be market participants.
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#4018673)
Sam

True. But if you listen the boy that ain't his underlying message.

It's more along the lines of, "F*ck these f*cking guys, I am SO leaving this f*cking place"
   39. Lars6788 Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#4018674)
I don't get the Alonso hate - he may not be the next Joey Votto but he seems like he can be a high average, 15-20 home run guy with a good eye at the plate - which would be perfectly fine for a team like the Padres.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:47 PM (#4018675)
And robin or traderdave is free to correct my interpretation of the radio interviews.

Others reds fans I wouldn't lend much credence. Too many think cincy is a great town for baseball.
   41. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:47 PM (#4018676)
Lars

He is sure is one clumsy guy with a glove on his hand.
   42. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:52 PM (#4018678)
Wallbangers

Reds fan here, and I agree with you. I think Joey would rather go somewhere else all things equal, so the Reds are going to have to match the dollar amount and show that they mean business when it comes to winning.
   43. Sam M. Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#4018680)
He is sure is one clumsy guy with a glove on his hand.


As a left-fielder, he's a mighty fine DH.

As a first baseman, he's passable. If the Padres play him there, his defense won't detract from his value, and his offensive value (as a line drive, all-fields hitter in Petco) will be optimized. Alonso will be a very fine player for San Diego.
   44. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: December 18, 2011 at 12:04 AM (#4018682)
It's more along the lines of, "F*ck these f*cking guys, I am SO leaving this f*cking place"


Can you blame a man wanting to get out of a town 20 years behind the times?
   45. formerly dp Posted: December 18, 2011 at 12:15 AM (#4018686)
I don't get the Alonso hate - he may not be the next Joey Votto but he seems like he can be a high average, 15-20 home run guy with a good eye at the plate - which would be perfectly fine for a team like the Padres.

I think the "hate" is a reaction to the (over) enthusiasm for him. He hit exceptionally well in the majors this year, but that performance far exceeded anything he did in the minors. After the trade, I e-mailed a Reds fan I work with and he called Alonso a better hitter than Bruce. There's just nothing there to support that kind of opinion, other than the 83 ridiculous PAs he had against righties at the end of 2011. And even putting up those numbers, he struck out 17 times...
   46. spike Posted: December 18, 2011 at 12:30 AM (#4018690)
Why do you think there has been a rash of deals involving good young frontline pitchers with 2+ years of cost-controlled years left

Because those guys are now SO valuable that you can get multiple high level prospects for them - the other current gold standard of player on the market these days.
   47. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 18, 2011 at 12:45 AM (#4018694)
True. But if you listen the boy that ain't his underlying message.

It's more along the lines of, "F*ck these f*cking guys, I am SO leaving this f*cking place"


Harvey, interesting. What are your thoughts on why he feels this way? Is it because Cinci's a "town 20 years behind the times"? Dusty Baker? Wants big time smoozing and free-agent cash?
   48. PreservedFish Posted: December 18, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#4018697)
Because those guys are now SO valuable that you can get multiple high level prospects for them - the other current gold standard of player on the market these days.

I was thinking about this, but it's sort of a microeconomic puzzle. Does it matter how much they're valued? If they are considered less valuable, then teams will be more willing to move them for lesser packages. If more valuable, teams will want to hold onto them more, but other teams will want them even more, and offer bigger packages.
   49. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 01:18 AM (#4018702)
I keep reading on twitter that Latos is a head case. What's that all about?
   50. MM1f Posted: December 18, 2011 at 01:40 AM (#4018709)
I keep reading on twitter that Latos is a head case. What's that all about?


He has had that rep since high school. I think he might have been kicked off his high school team. Something happened that made Oklahoma pull their scholarship offer from him, I believe.
   51. asdf1234 Posted: December 18, 2011 at 01:43 AM (#4018711)
Outstanding return for the Padres, as others have noted. Between this trade and the Mike Adams deal, San Diego has an impressive array of young talent about to break through to the majors. Byrnes continues to shine as a GM, and it wouldn't be a surprise if this team made another run at the NL West in 2014 or so. If Volquez--the least important player in the deal--can manage to keep the ball over the plate for four months in San Diego, this could turn out even better than the Adams trade.

Understandable from the Reds' perspective: they couldn't afford to risk a rotation slot on Volquez, and as good as Grandal might turn out to be, Mesoraco looks just as good. A healthy Latos gives them a reliable 2+ win pitcher with a considerably higher ceiling, a decent front three in Latos, Cueto, and Leake, and should push them into the 85+ pythag win range even if the rest of the club treads water. Don't know that I'd be comfortable putting all my eggs in one basket, particularly a 24-year-old pitcher, but Jocketty has never lacked a willingness to make gutsy trades.
   52. Hecubot Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:10 AM (#4018732)
As a Giants fan who had to watch Latos a lot, I can say he's a stud. I'm glad he's out of the NL West. He's a very tough pitcher and as an A's fan, I have no problem saying he's quite a bit better than Cahill (who I like).

He's a legitimate 1-2, top of the rotation pitcher.

I wish the A's could've gotten something like Alonso/Grandal for Cahill, or Gio even.
   53. alilisd Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#4018733)
.331/.404/.652 as a 21-year-old in AAA.


Take those numbers with a big grain of salt. The PCL and Tucson are hitter's havens. Tucson is dry and at a pretty decent altitude; it's not like Death Valley, below sea level, but at 2,643 feet. The balls fly there!
   54. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:16 AM (#4018735)
47

Not even a whiff as to why

Everyone in Cincy adores the guy and sings his praises
   55. alilisd Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:18 AM (#4018736)
The added bonus for the Padres is that they can now deal Nick Hundley


You think Grandal is ready to start at the ML level? I'd like to see what he does at AAA for a full season before Hundley gets moved.
   56. alilisd Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:21 AM (#4018737)
Perhaps the Padres hope to have the same luck that they had in acquiring Adrian Gonzalez from the Rangers.


Doubtful as Byrnes was not in the organization when that trade was made (Wow, has there been a lot of turnover in the Padres Front Office in the past few years!). The rest of your post was right on. Hope Alonso develops along those lines!
   57. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:56 AM (#4018748)
I don't get the Alonso love the average MLB starting 1b hits for a 120 OPS+ I wouldn't be surprises if he doesn't clear 100 by much given 600 PAs
   58. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:04 AM (#4018751)
In what way is Cincinnati twenty years behind the times? Do they not have the internet there? Does everyone have a mullet?
   59. rr Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:29 AM (#4018761)
Cincinnati is in many ways a pretty little city (I was born in No KY and spent the early years of my life in that part of the country, prior to moving to SoCal while still a kid--hence my CIN/SD fandom).

But it is a conservative, kind of provincial town--not a huge night life or media hub, obviously. Hot in the summer, humid as hell, pretty cold in the winter. Every team that plays there, even 35 years later, plays in the shadow of The Machine. My guess is that Latos won't like it there.

My contact with the Reds comes from checking out games on MLB Extra Innings, so I have never heard Votto interviewed on the radio. Eveything I have heard him say, however, indicates he is going to test the market. Can't speak to whether he hates Cincinnati per se.
   60. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:31 AM (#4018763)
Joey Votto hates America.
   61. MM1f Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:34 AM (#4018764)
In what way is Cincinnati twenty years behind the times?... Does everyone have a mullet?


Actually, that isn't so far off.
   62. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:43 AM (#4018766)
#59, Cincinnati sounds a lot like St Louis minus the horrible crime rate, and I can see why someone might not like that, although I'm perfectly happy in St Louis (or Hong Kong). It's just a question of what you're used to.

I'm kinda surprised the Reds gave up Volquez. It's not like they only need one starting pitcher. Right now their rotation looks like Latos, Cueto, Leake, Bailey and Chapman with Wood in the wings. That doesn't sound all that great to me.
   63. hokieneer Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:43 AM (#4018767)
The Reds paid a lot, but they also have a farm system that's pretty well stocked with close-to-MLB talent with many of those guys blocked at their positions, and they have a MLB roster without a lot of holes other than top-flight MLB pitching, so it makes sense for them to cash those chips in for a guy like Latos. Frankly, I'm not real high on Alonso, I think Grandal's upside is okay for a catcher, Volquez is a bit erratic although I've long been a fan and I do like Boxberger, but his upside is a future closer. But Latos is young, cost-controlled, not a product of Petco, and a frontline guy. And you potentially have a two-year window here where you have one of the best hitters in the NL, so now is the time to make your move. So I think its a great move for the Reds.


This pretty much sums it up for me. The Reds gave up a lot, but none of the 4 guys going to SD have a high ceiling to the point where this would look really bad for Cincinnati in 2-3 years. Alonso and Grandal more than likely will become quality contributors, but not the type of people you build a team around. With the NL central up the grabs, and the only real hole this team has is a front-line starter, Jockety filled that problem without sacrificing anything off the 12-13 team.

When I first heard about this trade I was a little nervous about a pitcher moving from Petco to GABP, 2 extremes on the spectrum. Digging into Lato's numbers, it appears Latos is for real. A 24 year old pitcher under team control for 4 more years, with his kind of peripherals is an amazing addition for any team.

I'm so glad Volquez is gone. Now I don't have to be reminded about Josh Hamilton every 5 days. I also don't have to wonder if he'll ever find the strike zone again.
   64. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:46 AM (#4018769)

#59, Cincinnati sounds a lot like St Louis minus the horrible crime rate, and I can see why someone might not like that, although I'm perfectly happy in St Louis (or Hong Kong). It's just a question of what you're used to.


St. Louis seems like a midwestern city trying to be an East Coast city. Cincinnati seems like a midwestern city trying to be a southern city.


I'm kinda surprised the Reds gave up Volquez. It's not like they only need one starting pitcher. Right now their rotation looks like Latos, Cueto, Leake, Bailey and Chapman with Wood in the wings. That doesn't sound all that great to me.


Its not great, but its pretty good (could be great if Cueto doesn't regress too much and Chapman can become a full time starter and come close to his potential), and Volquez wasn't going to make it "great."
   65. Tripon Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:06 AM (#4018773)

The Jocketty should pay market price for him.

I'd offer him a 6/150 extension right now and make him think.


This would be roughly more than what Matt Kemp got. (2 years less, and only $10 million less than Kemp's overall deal). This would be an overpay.
   66. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:07 AM (#4018774)
I keep reading on twitter that Latos is a head case. What's that all about?


ESPN article from August, 2010.


No one can quite pinpoint exactly when Latos' pro prospects derailed either.

Placencia believes it was during a game in Latos' senior year when the team's second baseman misplayed a ground ball late in the game and Latos yelled at the player in disgust, "What's wrong with you?!" while throwing his hands up in the air.

Perhaps it was when Douglas High School coach Dean Florio asked his players to bunt often to force Latos' infielders to make mistakes that would rattle Latos. Sure enough, Douglas beat Latos twice in two years after Creek infielders made errors.

Or better yet, maybe it was the game against Douglas in Latos' senior year when he threw at the opposing team's third base coach. During the game, Latos believed the coach had been stealing Placencia's signs and had been calling them out to Douglas' batters. After one sequence when Latos believed he heard the coach tell one of his players that a changeup was coming, Latos stepped off the mound and hurled a ball that pegged the coach in the chest.

Latos sneered at the coach and said, "This is what is going to happen if you keep doing it."

All 50-plus scouts in attendance had taken note.

In reality, it was probably not one specific thing, but rather a collection of incidents, that railroaded Latos on draft day. On that day Latos, who many had predicted would be selected in the first 10 picks of the draft, waited and waited all day until his name was finally called in the 11th round by the San Diego Padres.

"[Latos] always had an excuse," one executive of a team who had scouted Latos said.


TFA discusses the effort Latos made to change his attitude and the way he related to teammates before the 2010 season began, not sure if there are any incidents after that, or if his earlier reputation is still dogging him ...
   67. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:10 AM (#4018776)
What are your thoughts on why he feels this way?


It's gotta be the chili. That Skyline ####'s an abomination ...
   68. The District Attorney Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:14 AM (#4018777)
After one sequence when Latos believed he heard the coach tell one of his players that a changeup was coming, Latos stepped off the mound and hurled a ball that pegged the coach in the chest.
Wow, I can't believe I never heard that. That is ###### up. You could seriously maim or kill someone that way.

(I'm not aware of any solid reason why it should play a role in how we evaluate Latos now, however.)
   69. MM1f Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:24 AM (#4018781)
DA:
Holy shat, I had no idea Baseball Prospectus existed as far back as '99.

It's gotta be the chili. That ####'s an abomination ...


Agreed. Good God, you're gonna add cinnamon and chocolate and then pour it on spaghetti? That is a gross enough sequence of events as it is, but then a whole city has the nerve to call this perverted concoction "chili"!?!? Ugh.
   70. Textbook Editor Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:46 AM (#4018784)
St. Louis seems like a midwestern city trying to be an East Coast city. Cincinnati seems like a midwestern city trying to be a southern city.


I laughed.
   71. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:52 AM (#4018787)
I don't get the Alonso hate - he may not be the next Joey Votto but he seems like he can be a high average, 15-20 home run guy with a good eye at the plate - which would be perfectly fine for a team like the Padres.


He's a perfectly fine second- or third-tier hitting prospect (like Mitch Moreland, say), but in trade discussions this offseason he's been treated like a future impact bat, purely on the strength of a hot streak during a cup of coffee at the end of the season. People are ignoring the evidence of his minor league career and seeing what they want to see.

He's also a stupid pickup for the Padres, who have lots of holes and just spent their best trade chip to get a B grade 1B prospect when they already have a significantly younger and better prospect in Rizzo AND a palatable youngish veteran stopgap in Kyle Blanks AND a decent upper-minors talent in Matt Clark AND another strong hitting prospect who could be used at the position if necessary in James Darnell. With the exception of Darnell, none of these guys (including Alonso) can play any other positions.

There's still a good chance that this works out for the Padres thanks to Grandal, but it's hard to know what they were thinking by asking for Alonso instead of a player who'd actually make them better.
   72. shoewizard Posted: December 18, 2011 at 06:04 AM (#4018795)
Echoing the fangraphs article the only thing that is keeping Latos from being an elite top 10 pitcher is durability. If and when he can go over 210 IP AND give you another 20+ IP of post season work and not come up lame THEN you have an elite ace.

Latos isn't that yet but if he was and still this cost controlled at the same time the acqusition cost would be even higher .

Looks like a fair trade but risk is of course higher for reds
   73. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: December 18, 2011 at 07:41 AM (#4018809)
Latos sneered at the coach and said, "This is what is going to happen if you keep doing it."

So Latos threw the ball into the third base coach's chest as a warning that he was going to throw a ball into the third base coach's chest?
   74. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 18, 2011 at 08:39 AM (#4018820)
St. Louis seems like a midwestern city trying to be an East Coast city. Cincinnati seems like a midwestern city trying to be a southern city.

Really? St Louis seems more southern than northeastern. We were a slave state and some people have a southern twang in their accent. Hunting and fishing are a lot more popular than skiing and sailing.

Its not great, but its pretty good (could be great if Cueto doesn't regress too much and Chapman can become a full time starter and come close to his potential), and Volquez wasn't going to make it "great."

When I said "not that great" I meant well below average. Volquez wasn't going to make it great, but he would have possibly made it quite a bit better. I also forgot about Arroyo, and he's certainly not going to make it better.
   75. toratoratora Posted: December 18, 2011 at 08:53 AM (#4018823)
I don't know about anyone else, and this is absolutely un-sabre, but I love Yonder Alonso's name. It has to be one of my favorite monikers of recent years and it's been that way pretty much since I first heard it.
I mean, Yonder Alonso. How great is that?
I'm rooting for the kid to have a long career just so I can get a kick out of hearing him announced for a decade or more.
   76. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: December 18, 2011 at 09:43 AM (#4018827)
St. Louis seems like a midwestern city trying to be an East Coast city. Cincinnati seems like a midwestern city trying to be a southern city.

Really? St Louis seems more southern than northeastern. We were a slave state and some people have a southern twang in their accent. Hunting and fishing are a lot more popular than skiing and sailing.


I've heard people call St. Louis the western most eastern city, and Kansas City the eastern most western city. You can basically use the James Carville saying about Pennsylvania to describe Missouri, it's St. Louis and KC with Alabama in the middle. St. Louis city is more East Coast/Midwest, but as you get farther out into the suburbs I'm guessing it gets more southern like. Missouri is a weird state.
   77. Swedish Chef Posted: December 18, 2011 at 10:26 AM (#4018829)
Really? St Louis seems more southern than northeastern. We were a slave state and some people have a southern twang in their accent.

From what I read about the civil war, St Louis was full of immigrants and not at all keen on slavery.
   78. kcgard2 Posted: December 18, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#4018843)
71:
He's a perfectly fine second- or third-tier hitting prospect (like Mitch Moreland, say), but in trade discussions this offseason he's been treated like a future impact bat, purely on the strength of a hot streak during a cup of coffee at the end of the season. People are ignoring the evidence of his minor league career and seeing what they want to see.


Alonso's minor league numbers are suppressed by a broken hand he suffered in 2009, which may have affected his power. I'm confident that he's a better hitter than Blanks, about on par with Rizzo too. Their lack of contact ability gets exposed to a greater degree in MLB. He's a legit hitter even at 1B (admittedly probably not elite).
   79. Lassus Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#4018845)
If Ike doesn't get any better, I'll gladly drag Votto to Queens from Ohio on a runner sled, in summer.
   80. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#4018846)
Regarding Alonso's hand injury sure it may have affected his minor league performances it also may have affected his performance permanently

Comparing Rizzo and Alonso minor league numbers side by side runs into a massive age relative to level issue

As a hitting prospect Rizzo is far superior ignoring that age difference or minimizing as some are doing is not analisys it is cannot wishcasting

Could Yonder turn out better than Rizzo? Sure he could follow the AGon path while Rizzo takes Marte's
   81. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#4018851)
Cincinnati sounds a lot like St Louis minus the horrible crime rate, and I can see why someone might not like that


Yeah, it really sucks when there isn't enough crime.

After one sequence when Latos believed he heard the coach tell one of his players that a changeup was coming, Latos stepped off the mound and hurled a ball that pegged the coach in the chest.


In high school? How do you not get permanently banned from HS sports for that?
   82. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#4018852)
When I said "not that great" I meant well below average. Volquez wasn't going to make it great, but he would have possibly made it quite a bit better. I also forgot about Arroyo, and he's certainly not going to make it better.

Do you have any idea how bad Volquez was last year? OPS+ of 68? Giving up multiple 1st inning runs in seemingly every start. No control, never seemed to care while he was on the field. I'm so glad he's gone.
   83. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:33 PM (#4018853)
True. But if you listen the boy that ain't his underlying message.

It's more along the lines of, "F*ck these f*cking guys, I am SO leaving this f*cking place"


I've listened to and read several interviews with Votto and don't sense any hostility by him towards the org. He's fond of Baker and seems to get along with his teammates. But he's been upfront about unwilling to sign away any FA years, so I have no doubt he wants to test the market. I suspect he'd prefer to play in a larger market where a baseball star could be somewhat anonymous, because he is a private man (especially after the depression issues a few years ago).
   84. Accent Shallow Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#4018855)
I suspect he'd prefer to play in a larger market where a baseball star could be somewhat anonymous

Non-snarky question: where could Votto go that he'd just blend into the background? If he keeps hitting like this, he'll be just about the best hitter on any team he goes to, and guys like that tend to get noticed.
   85. Greg K Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:18 PM (#4018862)
Do you have any idea how bad Volquez was last year? OPS+ of 68?

Pedantic jackass alert.
68 OPS+ is pretty good for a pitcher!
   86. The District Attorney Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#4018863)
Boy, I can't wait to see Votto on the Yankees.
   87. Greg K Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:22 PM (#4018865)
I suspect he'd prefer to play in a larger market where a baseball star could be somewhat anonymous, because he is a private man (especially after the depression issues a few years ago).

I'd say Toronto would be a great place to fit that bill.

If it weren't for the fact that it's his hometown. If the Lawrie love is any indication a Canadian star would be the exception to the generally low-key Toronto media attitude towards baseball players.
   88. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#4018868)
Non-snarky question: where could Votto go that he'd just blend into the background? If he keeps hitting like this, he'll be just about the best hitter on any team he goes to, and guys like that tend to get noticed.


Tampa? He'd probably be the No. 2 star on a team that hasn't exactly captured the public's attention yet.

Of course, when the Longoria-Votto Rays win the World Series, he may lose a little anonymity.
   89. Greg K Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#4018872)
His best course of action is to just be a little worse at baseball. Bring himself down to say, a Paul Konerko level of production. Still make around $100,000,000 in his career, but avoid the superstar level of scrutiny.
   90. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#4018881)
Non-snarky question: where could Votto go that he'd just blend into the background? If he keeps hitting like this, he'll be just about the best hitter on any team he goes to, and guys like that tend to get noticed.

The Yankees. After the novelty of being the new guy wears off, he'd be just another hitter in that lineup, especially if he's just a relatively uninteresting 1B slugger. I live in NYC and no one really talks about Mark Teixeira.
   91. Tripon Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#4018894)
Los Angeles (Both the Dodgers, and Angels) is surprisingly low key for baseball players. Votto could do his partying or read a book during his off time, and nobody would care. The only time the entertainment reporters/parazzi care about sports players is if they play for the Lakers or are dating a celeb.
   92. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 18, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#4018904)
It's being reported that the Cubs and Padres are discussing a deal which includes Garza and Rizzo swapping teams.

This doesn't make sense to me for one particular reason.

The Cubs have a bunch of payroll coming off the books for 2012. Based on what's being reported it appears that the Darvish posting auction was won by Toronto which leaves Fielder as the lone remaining prime FA on the market. The Cubs could sign Prince and still be below the 2011 payroll level. Getting Rizzo would suggest they aren't acquiring the FA first baseman. It's going to be a rough offseason PR-wise if the Cubs decide to reduce payroll by $30 million in 2012.
   93. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#4018913)
Does Theo seem like the kind of GM swayed by PR? He's got political capital and a honeymoon phase. This is the time to remake the roster, even if it means a shitty, cheap roster in 2012.
   94. Tripon Posted: December 18, 2011 at 06:14 PM (#4018916)
Garza to the Padres doesn't make sense. The Padres just traded their best pitcher whom they controlled for 4 years, so they're going to trade for a comparable pitcher that only has two years left?
   95. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 18, 2011 at 06:18 PM (#4018918)
Does Theo seem like the kind of GM swayed by PR? He's got political capital and a honeymoon phase. This is the time to remake the roster, even if it means a shitty, cheap roster in 2012.

Generally speaking? No... but ownership and marketing are going to be concerned about plummeting attendance and so forth if the Cubs are viewed as giving up in 2012.

By Cot's here is the payroll the last three seasons:

2011: $134,004,000
2010: $144,359,000
2009: $134,809,000

My quick analysis (which may be completely wrong, BTW) is that Chicago has about $73 million on existing contracts and if I replace Garza with a league minimum guy and ballpark some arb awards, the Cubs payroll obligations are below $95 million. That seems to be a tough sell to the fanbase when C.J. Wilson, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Yu Darvish were all available on the market.
   96. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 18, 2011 at 06:20 PM (#4018919)
Garza to the Padres doesn't make sense. The Padres just traded their best pitcher whom they controlled for 4 years, so they're going to trade for a comparable pitcher that only has two years left?

Maybe it was more about how other teams valued Latos rather than part of some larger plan to pass on contention in favor of some other time frame.

At any rate, Jim Bowden was reporting it and now Peter Gammons is saying a Garza/Rizzo deal is unlikely to happen.
   97. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#4018920)
The Cubs have been crappy and aimless before and people still came out. Now they actually have someone competent with a direction. Prince Fielder and Matt Garza aren't going to make the Cubs contenders. Theo should work on acquiring players that will be part of the next Cubs contendr.
   98. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 18, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#4018923)
The Cubs have been crappy and aimless before and people still came out. Now they actually have someone competent with a direction. Prince Fielder and Matt Garza aren't going to make the Cubs contenders. Theo should work on acquiring players that will be part of the next Cubs contendr.

They have been crappy and aimless. What they have not done is announced they have no chance to win. The Cubs have had a recent history of placating the fans by purchasing big FAs after bad seasons. They really haven't had a season where they were 1) really bad, 2) failed to add a FA perceived as a star - to provide hope and 3) significantly reduced payroll.

Obviously (1) has happened more than a few times but they have never had (1) and (2), much less (1), (2) and (3) at the same time.

I'm not saying it's a good strategy to follow every losing season with a big signing (that's how the Alfonso Soriano contract happens) but I am saying the Cubs are taking a risk here that they've never really tried before. They are electing to be bad, cheap and have no positive distractions to hide behind. Casual observers who parrot the notion that the Cubs will always sell out don't follow the team and see how carefully the image of a contender is crafted each season.
   99. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 18, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#4018924)
My quick analysis (which may be completely wrong, BTW) is that Chicago has about $73 million on existing contracts and if I replace Garza with a league minimum guy and ballpark some arb awards, the Cubs payroll obligations are below $95 million.


That assumes that they don't sign a 1B and don't sign any more pitching. I don't realistically see payroll below $100 million with Garza gone and likely above $110 million with Garza.
   100. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 18, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#4018928)
That assumes that they don't sign a 1B and don't sign any more pitching

Well, yes, I'm assuming they are trading Garza in order to start Rizzo at first base.

As for pitching, I have no idea what they plan is there. I'm sure they are not done with the FA market for arms but what expensive pitchers are out there who Chicago might want?

EDIT: Who is the biggest name left out there? Javier Vazquez?
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