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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Reds - Signed AGon
Cincinnati Reds - Signed SS Alex Gonzalez to a 3-year, $14 million contract.
The hi-larious relationship between the defensive improvements the team makes and the pitchers the team has continues.
In this case, they get a really good defensive shortstop who can’t hit very well. The Reds continue to be obsessed with the defensive infield while happily accepting a horrific defensive outfield as if they have a staff of groundballers. Looking at 2006’s starters:
It’s even more unbalanced than that looks - Germano and Mays are out of the organization, Michalak shouldn’t ever pitch in the majors again, Belisle’s a reliever, and Elizardo Ramirez appears on the outs.
This is an example of what seems to be the worst aspect of Krivsky’s tenure with the Reds so far - no moves go together. There’s no underlying logic behind moves, each player move is made in complete isolation with every other player move. The net effect is that sometimes moves turn out good (picking up Guardado and Lohse, acquiring Ross and Phillips, and the signing of Hatteberg), sometimes they turn out badly (Womack, various 4th/5th otufielders, the infamous Kearns/Lopez trade) and since Krivsky only deals with tactics and not strategy, the bad moves aren’t minimized and the good moves aren’t maximized.
This is, in effect, Dan O’Dowd Syndrome, in which good transactions and decisions are rendered irrelevant and a bad way to run any business. It doesn’t really matter if Alex Gonzalez is worth the money or not; the Reds have not put themselves in a position in which they could reap the benefits of Alex Gonzalez living up to his salary. There are fewer and fewer high-OBP guys in Cincinnati by the day that would make a low OBP shortstop with some pop useful. There are no Brandon Webbs or Derek Lowes for whom a really good defensive shortstop could balance a weak bat. It’s not a mindbogglingly dumb move, just a mindobblingly irrelevant one.
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