Reds still searching market

The latest free agent outfielder to sign a contract — Torii Hunter — is having a press conference in Minneapolis as I type this blog entry. Hunter, 39, was signed to a one-year, $10.5 million contract to return to the Twins. I wrote last week that Hunter would have been a good fit for the Reds. Even though Cincinnati was not in the running, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty apparently was thinking the same thing.

“We had a lot of interest in Hunter,” Jocketty said on Wednesday. “He would have been a kind of dual role for us – leadership in the clubhouse and his abilities on the field. That was one of our targeted guys.”

The search will continue for a starting left fielder.

“We’re still hopeful of getting something done,” Jocketty said.

To this point, there hasn’t been progress towards signing two other target free agents, Nori Aoki and Michael Morse.

“Nothing yet,” Jocketty said.

Tuesday’s trade of Chris Heisey to the Dodgers added to glut of outfielders in Chavez Ravine.

“I think they see a role for him there, eventually,” Jocketty said. “We wanted to make sure we got some quality in return. We picked a good one, we think, with [pitcher Matt] Magill.”

Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford have been viewed as tradeable for Los Angeles. Don’t expect the Heisey deal to be a precursor to another trade between the Reds and Dodgers. Kemp is owed $107 million over the next five years. Crawford will make $62.25 million over the next three years and Ethier is due has $56 million over the next three seasons.

“That’s too expensive,” Jocketty said.


when are these guys going to be grown up enough that they do not need an aging player to be a leader and role model in the clubhouse? these guys have been in the majors long enough that they should be able to know what to to do and how to do it by now without a some veteran telling them what to do.

As a long time Reds fan I will miss Heisey. Good defense and just couldn’t have an offensive break out. Best wishes to this good guy.

Walt Jocketty’s act is wearing thin !!! Still looking , too expensive , bla bla bla bla bla . This front office is filled with nothing more than LOSERS !!!

Jocketty has blew so much of the reds payroll allotment by signing hannahan, Ludwick and the enormous money given to Votto, Bailey, Phillips, and Schumaker and others. Maybe his next big deal will be Delscalso or another ex Card. Jocketty has totally destroyed the future of the Reds, he has my vote for the Hall of Shame

Jocketty has done a very good job with the Reds. Cincy is a real small market, compare our local tv contract with that of LA. What do you all expect? You just saw what the Reds look like without Votto. Hopefully he will be back 100% this coming season. Pitching is the name of the game but I do admit our hitting was lousy last year. I personally trust Jocketty and I believe the best is yet to come.

Ifs ,ands & buts . Same old lines every time he speaks . Other small markets se to be getting things done . If they don’t have money then they had no idea what they were doing when they handed out all the big contracts . You know what they say about e x causes .

Jim, I have been following the Reds since I was 11 years old, all from LA. I’ll be 70 this April. Tell me how has Toronto and LA and Anaheim been doing with all that money. How about the Mets? Other small market teams, Seattle, Cleveland, Pittsburgh (just lost Martin for $$), San Diego. Now look at the Reds, they have become a winning team and I suspect next year could be a lot better. I respect the mgmt and ownership. They do what they can with what they have.

how can you say he has done a “very good job” when he blew it by not claiming Byrd and even if not trading for him, keeping him from the Pirates above your own team. in 2013?. then the yearly excuses to not help the teams needs… the Cubs are coming.. all I see is the reds replacing them as the last place team in the division.. funny how the Cards ALWAYS get what they need, and the Reds just make excuses…I have been a fan since 1972,, I haven’t been this disappointed in a ownership since 82-83..your supposed to take steps to get to the next level, not make dumb signings and then do nothing else and expect reds fans to be satisfied with losing being accepted.

Jim, you think the Cardinals are a small market team? They don’t act like that. They drew 1,000,000 more last year than the Reds, actually the number 2 team in attendance in MLB. Also consider who owns them, money, money, and more money. Every time you have a Bud you vote for the cards. Reds payroll will continue to climb upward. I don’t see them letting Cueto go, he is as good as it gets. Did you ever see the dodgers get rid of their great pitchers. With payroll escalating we have Todd F. and Devon M. to consider. Look for the Reds to trade Latos and Leake and keep Cueto. Chapman is also an endangered player.
We can only hope our ability to draft future major league players will be successful. In the final analysis successful drafts are the only major tools small market teams have.

The Reds need to add more than one guy to be competitive beyond 2015. Trade Cueto while he is at his peak please! Get a run producing LF plus a couple top level AAA/major league ready players who’ll contribute & be team controlled for the next 5+ years. If we keep him one of two things will happen: 1) He’ll walk away after next year for a big dollar longterm contract and all we’ll get will be a draft pick, or 2) We’ll sign him to a big dollar long-term contract into his mid 30’s and he won’t be worth the money after a couple years + the team will be “payroll hamstrung” worse than they are now due to the Votto, Bailet, etc deals.

Paul. I respect your opinion . You sound very knowledgeable . However , we keep hearing the old company lines over and over . I guess it depends on your definition of winning . I would like to see the Reds compete for championships . This team , as it stands, will be very lucky to make the playoffs . Let alone win a championship .

As I read notes from people close to Hunter you could read from the start that he was not really looking to a NL club. He may have been one of the targets of the Reds but he wasn’t really interested from the beginning. The player has to want to come here too when a free agent, some of us forget that. It is not always about the money, some have many different reasons for their choices. It is not like you can go to the local Walmart and pick a left fielder off the shelf, there are many factors involved and many which we have no clue about and also which the GM has no control no matter who he is, sometimes it is the luck of the draw. Many Oakland fans are unhappy with Billy with his trade of Donaldson which may become more pronounced if the rumor of the blowup between he and Donaldson during the season is true. As baseball fans we are lucky in a way to have a halfway stable team to follow that has been VERY competitive during recent years.

Would anyone say that the Cardinals are a big market team ? Do they get things done ? Are they more than just competitive ? Are they in the Reds’ division ?

Well put Jim. With four sentences you’ve put an end to any further comparisons, nicely done. Injuries happen to teams in all sports, front offices make decisions that please some and frustrate others. Perhaps what separates the red birds and the reds is player development, just a thought

The Cardinals are arguably one of the premier franchises in the major leagues always have been and probably always will be. Mr. C is trying to bring the Reds to that level hence one of the reasons he brought Walt here. He is trying to mimic the business and winning culture of the Cardinals here. He is trying which is all anyone can do it takes time and it doesn’t always work. As I said we are Very competitive now so obviously the Reds are doing something right.

I can live with that. I think we all want the same thing and hopefully things will happen .

I do think the Cardinals are a small market team .

In recent years, they have kept their spending to a minimum, while the Reds have clearly overspent. Pujols’ outcome versus Votto’s albatross of a contract is a measure of that difference. But the Reds are the third smallest market in all the game, while the Cardinals are mid-size as their healthier media contracts reflect. And their attendance is just phenomenal and out of all reasonable proportion, reflecting the incredible loyalty and enthusiasm of the surrounding Heart of America’s Midwest!

I feel the Reds cant really do anything right now because someone completely missed on the payroll a couple of years back. Way too many high salaries. I like the Votto signing but they should have known then that because of that they could not sign Phillips, Ludwick, or Broxton. If they would not have dont those three we are in a completely different spot. Didnt like all three at the time and still dont like them. oh and hated the trade with the Cubs a few years back for Marshall. If they take all those back we dont need the Latos trade because we still have Travis Wood and still have a lot of money. Sometimes making signing and trades is not always the best thing. Sometimes you work with what you have in the minors. I think this is one of those times more by necessity and not by choice. Even if they just trade Latos or whoever for prospects I am ok with that.

A’s looking to trade Brandon Moss. That would be interesting. He has a couple of years left before FA. Wonder what you would trade? Would Latos work? Would we need more in return from A’s for Latos?

Another issue with the Broxton signing is the indecision by management on what Chspman’s role was supposed to be . The Reds ended up paying for two closers .

Right that was just plain stupid.

They need both closers.

Justin Upton is a fit for Reds – but pricey
Reds Blog
John Fay, 2:04 p.m. EST December 4, 2014
This doesn’t mean it will happen — or that either side is even interested — but Justin Upton of the Braves seems to be a fit for the Reds.
The Braves just signed Nick Markakis. Jayson Stark Tweeted that an executive told him the Braves have fielded a more than a dozen calls on Upton. Was one from the Reds? I’m guessing they’ll at least inquire.
Upton would give the Reds a big right-handed bat in left field. He hit .270/.342/.491 this year with 29 home runs and 102 RBI. He’ll make $14.5 million in 2015 and becomes a free agent in 2016.
The Reds would likely have to move Mike Leake or Mat Latos in such a deal. (Again, I don’t think the Reds will trade Johnny Cueto.) Both Leake and Latos will make almost $10 million in ’15 and, like Upton, are free agents after the year.
The Reds have shown interest in Nori Aoki and Michael Morse, so they have some wiggle room in the budget.
With the shortage of premium bats, it would likely take a lot to get Upton. I’m guessing Latos would have been enough if he was coming off a healthy year. Leake probably would not be enough. The Reds would have to sweeten the deal with a prospect.

Interest in Justin Upton has increased since the Braves signed Nick Markakis, Heyman tweets. ESPN’s Jayson Stark hears that the Braves have fielded more than a dozen calls on Upton, who is considered by many to be the best available bat on the trade market. Atlanta is still in no hurry to move Upton, Stark adds.

Forbes…values calculated: March 2014
Current Value
St. Louis…..$820m (#8)
Cincinnati…..$600m (#20)
St. Louis…..$283m (#5)
Cincinnati…..$209m (#18)
Operating Income
St. Louis…..$65.2m (#1)
Cincinnati…..$-11.6m (#27)
Attendance; 2014
St. Louis…..3.540m
The Cardinals has a die-hard and staunch fan base. Of the last 17 seasons, they
have attendance of 3m+ in 16 of them; 2.9 the year they missed.

Who are some playing well so far in winter ball?
Felix Perez was someone that many fans wanted to see the team call up early in the season to help out with the bench after getting off to a strong start in Louisville. He cooled off as the season went along though and finished by hitting .280 for the Bats. Now in the Venezuelan Winter League the Cuban outfielder has been raking, hitting .356/.377/.568 for Caracas. He’s been very productive though it’s come with pretty poor plate discipline as he has just five walks and 34 strikeouts.
Sebastion Elizalde is playing at home in the Mexican Winter League. The outfielder is hitting .310/.363/.475 in 158 at-bats and is 7th in the league in OPS. That only places him third among Reds players in the league though. Donald Lutz is in 6th place on the OPS list in the league with a line of .278/.365/.479 on the season in 169 at-bats. Marquez Smith is 2nd in the league with a .270/.357/.553 line over 159 at-bats. He’s leading the league in extra-base hits as well.
Dylan Axelrod is pitching in the Dominican Winter League this offseason and has a 3.23 ERA in 30.2 innings. He has seven walks and 23 strikeouts in that time and has allowed just two home runs. The league ERA in 3.89.

Where Did The Dollars Go?, Part 1
by Steve Engbloom 1w ago
One word that’s practically a guarantee to spin the heads of some of the Redleg faithful is payroll. Over the past few seasons, the club has elected to increase the payroll dollars in an attempt to bring a winning and contending team to the city. Along the way, there have been and will continue to be snags, mistakes and what appear to be downright blunders. It’s part of the business. We may not always agree with the moves the front office makes, but as diehard fans, we “deal” with them.
Last season, the Reds posted their highest Opening Day payroll in club history by posting proposed payroll of $114,170,439. While it was only an increase of $8M compared to the previous season, it marked an increase of some $27M compared to just two seasons prior.
Let’s look at all facets of the 2014 team. Below is a breakdown of the starting eight and the bench. You will notice some players named in the table were not with the club at season’s end due to various transactions.
votto $12,000,000 schumaker $2,000,000
phillips $11,000,000 heisey $1,760,000
frazier $600,000 santiago $1,100,000
cozart $600,000 bernadina $1,000,000
ludwick $8,500,000 hannahan $1,000,000
hamilton $500,000 pena $875,000
bruce $10,041,667 barnhart $500,000
mesoraco $525,000 soto $500,000
total $43,766,667 total $8,735,000
avg $5,470,833 avg $1,091,875
% 38.33 % 7.65
You obviously notice the inclusion of average salary and percentage. That percentage is based on total payroll, and keep in mind this is the 2014 Opening Day payroll, not that of the end of the season.
And look at the starters. Four of those drew a salary of $600K or lower. Consider the seasons produced by Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco. They certainly earned their paycheck in 2014. One “stat” that I like to look at on Fangraphs is their Value stat. I’ve previously mentioned that here and I use that as guide of sorts. Take a player’s FG value and compare to what the club paid him. It’s not exact by any means, but sometimes the differences are mind-blowing. More on that in a bit.
Per the table above, you may be taken aback that there are more players that earned $1M+ this past season than the starters. Then you should think of two words: team control. Frazier, Cozart, Mesoraco and Hamilton all fall under that. Their total salary is barely over $2.2M which slightly eclipses what Skip Schumaker made this past season. Think about that for a moment.
But as you could have easily determined, the starters are generally paid a fair amount more than bench/role players especially those that have produced on a somewhat consistent level in their playing days. The Reds had a few subs collect a higher paycheck than some regulars, but we all know one reason why that is the case. When we look at the pitching staff, the same will also occur, but I believe you already are aware of that as well.
Why does this single number, the value stat, fascinate me? One reason is that we will hear or read that 1 fWAR or bWAR is worth x number of dollars. In a way, this can provide you an instant “analysis” if a player has performed on the level with his salary. Grated, as with some stats that appear these days, there can be a flaw or two in how is it determined.
Let’s bring a little of the value into scope, just for fun.
Best values
1. Todd Frazier: FG value = $25.6M
2. Devin Mesoraco: FG value = $24.1M
3. Billy Hamilton: FG value = $19.5M
Worst values
1. Skip Schumaker: FG value = ($7.0M)
2. Jay Bruce: FG value = ($5.9M)
3. Ryan Ludwick: FG value = ($3.5M)

Where Did the Dollars Go?, Part 2: Cincinnati Reds Payroll
by Steve Engbloom 6d ago
A couple of days ago, we looked back at the payroll dollars, average salary, and percentage of the overall payroll for the position players. We also “established” which players were of good value and those that weren’t encompassing the 2014 season. This post will take the pitchers into consideration.
In the table below, you will find the salaries of those pitchers that were on the Reds 2014 Opening Day payroll. Some names weren’t on the roster all that long, but a few points can be made in looking at these.
cueto $10,000,000 chapman $7,835,772
bailey $9,000,000 broxton $7,000,000
latos $7,250,000 s. marshall $5,500,000
leake $5,925,000 parra $2,000,000
simon $1,500,000 ondrusek $1,400,000
cingrani* $481,750 lecure $1,200,000
total $34,156,750 hoover $520,000
Starters: % 29.92% /partch $500,000
avg $5,692,792 /bell $500,000
christiani $500,000
Cingrani (S) $481,750 b. marshall $500,000
cingrani (R) $30,750 cingrani $30,750
Relievers: $512,750 total $27,486,522
% 24.07% avg $2,290,544
Overall, the pitching staff represented roughly 54% of the total Opening Day payroll. There are 16 players in the table above whose salaries contributed to the total for pitchers. As a comparison, position players accounted for the other 46% with also 16 players falling on the Reds’ ledger at the start of the 2014 season.
But what got a little interesting, or may be not so interesting to a few, was the average salary for the four different “areas” of the team.
Starting 8: $5.47M
Bench: $1.09M
Starting pitchers: $5.69M
Bullpen: $2.29M
To me, I wasn’t surprised or shocked to see that the average salaries for starting pitchers was higher than those of the position players. We’ve seen over the past few years, and more in particular the last two offseasons, that teams appear to value starting pitching a little more than that of position players. Of course, the recent signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez certainly made you lean the other direction.
But think what the Minnesota Twins doled out for Ricky Nolasco (4 years, $49M). Heading into 2014, Nolasco owned a record of 89-75, which we can get into the value of wins some other time, but he was 14 games over .500. But his ERA was 4.37, had a WHIP of 1.288, ERA+ of 94, and FIP of 3.76. Do you think he was worth $12M+ per season? Did anyone? I know some felt it was a value signing.
And the Reds have a few players, but the big news prior to 2014 was the deal provided to Homer Bailey. Did he live up to his $9M salary? According to Fangraphs’ value, he did not.
Back to our beloved Reds. So what of the value of these pitchers? Among the top three, three may be a slight surprise.
Best value
1. Johnny Cueto: FG value = $22.8M
2. Aroldis Chapman: FG value = $14.7M
3. Mike Leake: FG value = $10.2M
Worst value
1. David Holmberg: FG value = ($4.9M)
2. J.J. Hoover: FG value = ($3.2M)
3. Tony Cingrani: FG value = ($1.8M)
If you did not read the post on position players, you might be wondering where the “FG value” comes from. I briefly mentioned it above, but you can find those for every team member if you go to the Reds team page on Fangraphs. Now, I do have a question…
Did you honestly suspect Mike Leake would be the third best pitching value?

No, not really . Maybe it’s because he can eat up innings . He stays healthy for the most part .

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