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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sherman: How Reds react to second-half swoon will be major factor in offseason

Leitch is scared of the Cubs also! Hop on the el train, choo choo!

the club that faces the most daunting hurdles [this offseason] is the Reds because: 1) Four-fifths of their rotation will enter their walk year to free agency in 2015. 2) They have huge investments in a right side of the infield, with Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto, that has significant indicators of diminishing returns. 3) They play in arguably the majors’ toughest division, with the Brewers, Cardinals and Pirates all still vying for the playoffs, and the scariest element for every team in the NL Central the behemoth growing at Wrigley…

“We still have a small window,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said by phone. “This year is disappointing because of the injuries. From the very beginning, we had 11 DL guys and eight were key. … I feel we still have a small window if the guys come back healthy.”

That could be true. But I think Cincinnati has to be proactive and shop Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos, and maybe [Jay] Bruce, too. Even at full health, the Reds would not be the favorites to win the NL Central next year — maybe not even be picked for second or third… Phillips and Homer Bailey have big contracts that can’t be moved or only can be moved by eating large sums and/or taking back equally bad pacts. Having those contracts means the Reds do not seem positioned to sign their ace, Cueto, and maybe not even Latos, at a time when that duo plus Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon are all free agents after the 2015 campaign. And to make bad worse, Cincinnati is viewed as having a bottom-tier farm system at a time when the Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs have among the best…

“We are certainly aware of the strength of our division and the emerging strength of the Cubs,” Jocketty said. “We have obviously kicked [what to do moving forward] around some, but once the season is over we will sit down and really focus on it. I don’t know that we could sign everybody. That would be tough to do. We will do the best we can to retain the pitching we have and make the right choices.”

The District Attorney Posted: August 31, 2014 at 11:03 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds

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   1. Sleepy supports bring your goat to work day Posted: August 31, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4782875)
Couple of thoughts.

1) Why in the world would Jocketty say something like "I feel we still have a small window if the guys come back healthy"? He's the GM; his public position should be much more positive, regardless of what he personally feels or thinks. I'm not even a Reds fan and this pisses me off.

2) CIN has 7 games with STL, 6 games with MIL and 4 games with PIT (well 3 now) remaining this season. CIN's performance down the stretch could very well make the difference in the Central. To me this kind of trade (in-division, to a rival, talent for what appears to by just money, late season) is slightly immoral for that reason. Not something I'd scream about, or censure Jocketty, or anything like that, but it feels wrong. I guess from Jocketty's perspective he had no leverage in the trade- he can take the weak offer or pull him back and keep him, and his priority now is probably getting out from under the contract. Hmm.

3) I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the STL front office right now. Are they laughing, scratching heads, or throwing chairs?
   2. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: August 31, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4782926)
The Reds have more reason than most to be scared of the Cubs, because they aren't very good.
   3. greenback changed his travels Posted: August 31, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4782933)
Holy cow, that Homer Bailey contract is awful.
   4. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: August 31, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4782949)
Yes, awful and brand new. It was a bad contract before the ink was dry.

As for the in-division trade being morally questionable: Selig can veto it in the best interests of baseball, if he wants. Regardless, it was a good trade for the Reds, Broxton isn't worth that kind of money.

The window for the Reds is still open next year. Votto won't be legitimately old yet (and, with any luck, will be healthy), the pitchers are still around, Hamilton will have had a year to get used to big league pitching and playing centerfield. They could be in it next year.

One piece that is, I think, too often overlooked is Tony Cingrani. He's been injured for a while, but he was good last year and utterly destroyed the minor leagues. I know scouts don't like him, and lots of people are suspicious of guys who get by on deception, but the guy had a 1.65 minor league ERA with 11.8 K/9, as a starter. (2.92 and 10.3 in the majors last year.) Yes, this has been a lost year for him, but the 2016 rotation isn't going to be just Bailey and the ghost of Jose Rijo.
   5. Select Storage Device Posted: August 31, 2014 at 09:46 PM (#4782974)
3) I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the STL front office right now. Are they laughing, scratching heads, or throwing chairs?

Delicious sentiment aside, one of those three is easily eliminated without having to be Innerspace; no one is throwing chairs in STL over CIN's decisions.
   6. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: September 01, 2014 at 06:06 AM (#4783040)
I was listening to the MLB Network Radio on my drive the other day, and they were speculating just this, that no team will have a more difficult offseason this year than the Reds.

They really are in a shitty situation. On the one hand, they will still have a ton of talent and could be favorites in 2015 (it's really hard to project Votto and Phillips and Bruce). On the other....if they stand pat they could very easily turn into the Phillies
   7. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: September 01, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4783089)
I don't know that there's much the Reds can do to shed their bad contracts. Philips is going to be hard to move, so is Bailey. You can, of course, pay the freight on them, but that's only good for opening up roster spots, which isn't the Reds' problem right now. (It's not like anyone is blocked.) It's clear that there are some dismal years coming, but there's nothing they can do to prevent that (short of developing a slew of good young players). Next year, however, could still be bright.
   8. Chris Fluit Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4783101)
Philips is going to be hard to move

And last off-season, Reds fans dumped all over me when I stated that Phillips was getting old and wouldn't be a worth trading for.
   9. Rickey! a typical content-free blanket of vomit Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4783106)
I'm sort of happy the Braves didn't flip Uggla for Philips last winter.
   10. greenback changed his travels Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4783114)
It's not like anyone is blocked.

It might be a good idea to move Chapman to the rotation.
   11. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4783163)
I bet it would be a good idea to move Chapman to the rotation, but I think that that ship has sailed.
   12. greenback changed his travels Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4783165)
I agree, but when you start talking about windows, then it's time to question past plans. Jocketty probably isn't creative enough to move Chapman to the rotation or make similar changes though.

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