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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

On the starting pitcher front

After speaking to some baseball people the last few days, I'd say the Reds will likely go to spring training with what they've got as far as starting pitchers.

Nothing new has happened on the Erik Bedard front: The Orioles want more than the Reds are willing to give. As far as free agents, the Reds have talked to some agents for some of second-tier guys. Josh Fogg is one I know of. But unless someone can be had at a reasonable price, the Reds aren't likely of sign any of them.

All that is subject to change, of course.

Remember, the Bronson Arroyo trade didn't happen until March 20. Teams have a better sense of their needs toward the end of spring training than they do now. If Ryan Freel shows he's healthy, it gives the Reds another chip to trade, particularly if Jay Bruce wins the center field job.


at 5:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - there are rumors on other websites that the Reds are back in the Bedard race. Supposedly they are willng to trade Bailey/Cueto/Votto and a fourth prospect to the Orioles. I'm guessing this isn't true, or you'd be all over this.

at 5:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am actually very ok with this, most fans on this blog are pressing and pressing for the win now and I don't blame them, i understand why after 7 losing seasons you're getting restless, i am too. With what we have in the weak central I am pretty happy, good offense, decent defense, and deep young pitching. I'm pretty sure a lot teams would LOVE to be in our position. I mean we finally get a prospect that has a chance to do some real big things and you all want him out of town for a pitcher who will probably hate GABP?? You all forget we root for a small market team, this isn't the boston red sox damnit. This approach is the only way to win. And besides WE CAN MAKE TRADES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON. I'm looking forward to another entertaining season, and after sitting through the entire season last year (No fair-weather fans are allowed to complain) I have a lot to look forward to this year. Do we have to win a series now? hell no I look forward to this team a year down the line, we have to learn to be a winning team first. Thats how major league teams win championships.
eric in nevada

at 5:53 PM Anonymous Ken in NY said...

I think that is good news. Fogg offered no likely improvement over what the young pitchers would deliver and it sounds like the Orioles are expecting too much in return for Bedard considering he is only signed for two years and he could hardly be considered durable. Now if the price comes down that is a whole different story.

at 6:10 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The Reds insider I talked to said that nothing had happened recently as far as Bedard. Baltimore asked for Bailey, Cueto and Votto in December. The Reds wouldn't do it then.

at 6:57 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

The A's trade their best two players to get talent like Bailey, Bruce, Votto and Cueto. If the A's had those 4, they probably would not have traded Harren and Swisher. Nor should the Reds trade Harrang and BP to add young talent today.
Just reading Beane's comments, he did not have the 1999 nucleous to build around, so they were signing retreads.

Glad that we are a long way from the A's and O's and cheers to holding onto our talent and building our own multi-year run

For all the props that Beane gets, it seems like Arizona and Florida have done a better job retooling after being good

at 7:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just say no to Josh Fogg.

at 7:25 PM Blogger mrtonyb40 said...

mlb rumors says that the o's want Bailey,Cueto,Votto and Encarnacion. for bedard. would love to have him but not at that price. San Fran has a terrible offense. Wayne,take another shot at lincecum !!!!!

at 7:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just say no to trading Votto

at 7:47 PM Blogger Don said...

To me, the issue isn't the price of the remaining free agents, but what they don't bring to the table. I wouldn't pony up much more than a case of sunflower seeds for the guys that are left. Just because a guy is cheap, doesn't mean he could be a positive addition to the staff.

at 8:10 PM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

John -

I have to give you some friendly advice.

In the past when I posted a comment saying that I thought the Cordero signing was the last big move the Reds would make, and that none of the big name starting pitchers rumored to be on the block would be coming to Cincinnati, I was ripped up one side and down the other as being negative, a downer, "raining on people's parade", not a Reds fan, etc.

I've learned it's best not to be realistic when discussing the Reds.

at 8:31 PM Anonymous redsfan45 said...

i am glad they said NO to BOTH Bailey and Cueto.. I cant see Wayne trading those two pitchers for Bedard! I would be all for Bailey NOT Cueto!!! also if they were going to trade Votto in a deal, why did they release Cantu?? I thought they would keep him and trade Votto..!!
Anyway, Do you think Baltimore would take, say Bailey, Stubbs, Woods and even Pellard for Bedard? even throw in Freel?

at 8:42 PM Anonymous seadog said...


please trade Bailey,Cueto, and Votto for Bedard.....

Two young pitchers ie Wagner
One young fielder ie Larson

One bonified stud pitcher Bedard

Need i say more just win..

at 8:43 PM Blogger HoosierRedsFan said...

Al, it's still just the second week of January. Wait until the end of spring training before you say "I told you so". Nothing may happen. But with Krivsky, you never know.

at 8:48 PM Anonymous seadog said...


Bailey,Cueto,and Votto for Bedard...

I would do it in a heartbeat...

Two young pitchers ie Wagner

One young hitter ie Larson

For a stud pitcher....

Get real...

at 8:54 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

In 2011 let's trade Bailey for 3 top prospects; Bruce for 3 top prospects; Votto for 3 top prospects; Cueto for 3 top prospects. That's 12 can't miss dudes to start 2012 after having won 3 divisions, 2 pennants and 1 WS over the next 4 years. So let's keep our guys and turn them into cash cows and win a bunch of games at the same time while insuring the future even beyond. I'd much rather be the team taking a chance on 4 can't miss guys then trading them away for 2 years worth of 15 win seasons max.

at 8:54 PM Blogger Gale said...

John - don't you think that this is just someone from the O's camp trying to get the price of Bedard driven up? There is no conceiveable way Wayne is that stupid to trade 4 quality guys for a two year rental. Bedard is free agent in 2 years and the Reds are not that close to competing. Plus, he's a pitcher and pitchers get hurt. Looking at Bedard's track record he gets hurt quite a bit. No, the O's are trying to get someone to bid against a ghost report. Does anyone in baseball front offices ever fall for this stuff?

at 9:04 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Al you also said they'd never sign Cordero, and it really doesn't sound like any other posters are clamoring to get this deal done or add another pitcher currently, so why the need to be so condescending? I guess I'll just never understand.

at 9:12 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

What kind of return could they expect for a healthy Freel? I can't imagine much...

at 9:22 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I don't think this talk came out of Baltimore. McPhail is as tight-lipped as Krivsky, I hear.

at 9:43 PM Blogger mrtonyb40 said...

Gale? not close to competing? we already have a team that can compete for the central. We are just a move or two from being the favorite.the farm system is thriving, good days are coming.kudos to krivsky.

at 9:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many games did we lose in the 8th any last year? John--refresh my memory on what the Reds would have done with a decent bullpen. I would love to have Bedard just for my stove to get warmer but heck--not for any of the young talent. I still see Spring being the time to check out the market. Patience is a virtue Reds fans.

at 9:44 PM Blogger Mark T said...

I am so glad the fans don't run the team. I love them all, but cooler heads must prevail. The Reds have apparently elected to hang on to their young talent. It's a gamble. I hope it pays off.

at 9:55 PM Blogger 24/7 said...


the question is, are the reds wrong for rollin with what they have, and hoping for a run?

harang will be harang
bronson will be in the low 4s

bailey and cueto are two guys im seeing having good years. its belisle people should worry about.

call me optimistic (and this blog will),
but considering how bailey pitched when healthy and comparing his numbers to garza's looks like he may be poised to make a jump. and if cueto is as competitive as people say, the reds' mistake may not be staying pat with unprovens (conceded), but the wrong combination of belisle/bailey/volquez/cueto/maloney that they pick out of spring training.

at 10:12 PM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...

I am not at expert,but watching Votto hit last year, he hit a hell of a lot better than Larson. All anybody had to do to Larson was throw inside and he'd raise his arms like someone stuck a gun in his back.

Give the young ones a chance before you decide they are worthless.

at 10:16 PM Anonymous seadog said...

Please trade for Bedard.....

cf Hopper/Freel
ss Keppiger/Gonzalez
rf Griffey
2b Phillips
1b Dunn
3b Encanacion
lf Bruce
c Ross/Valentine

at 10:24 PM Anonymous seadog said...

Please trade for Bedard...

#1 Harang
#2 Bedard
#3 Arroyo
#4 Belisle
#5 Volquez/Malloney


#1 Cordero
#2 Weathers
#3 Coffey
#4 Burton
#5 Coultlangus
#6 Bray
#7 majewski

at 10:34 PM Anonymous seadog said...

We don't need

We need Bedard
We need Santana
We need Lincume
We need Blanton

etc... etc...

at 10:39 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Why do fans insist on trying to move Dunn to first base? He's even worse defensively there than he is in left. And you can hide him even less at first. The only defensive position he can play is left. Or DH, which isn't a defensive position at all.

at 12:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it more when people give their rosters and spell 5 names wrong...

Seadog, what do you see as being the difference between Lincecum and Bailey/Cueto?

I can see trading one of those two, and either votto or encarnacion, but not all 4...

at 12:22 AM Anonymous rickNmd said...

This Bedard pining stuff is nothing but fantasy league meanderings.

at 12:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really hoped the Reds would compete this year. Without Bedard honestly I don't see it happening. If you had told me we had a chance at Bedard without giving up Bruce I'd have thought Krivsky would be all over that. Instead we are going into the season with loads of big maybes. Well, after another losing season he'll be replaced next year.

at 6:12 AM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

24/7 -

I think if Krivsky has decided not to bankrupt his farm system to acquire one of the big name starters who are supposedly out there, he's doing exactly the right thing for the Reds. Unlike fans, owners and GMs can't operate on a single-year basis (unless they're the Red Sox, Yankees, etc.). WK clearly understands that the Reds have a lot of question marks, and it makes no sense to finally start to produce some quality out of your minor league system, but trade the best prospects before you ever see what they can do in the majors.

I think Krivsky's non-trades will be vindicated in the next couple of years.

at 6:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Bedard fans have got to go back and check this guys record. He had a good year last year. Not a great year, but a good year. He is avraging about 12 wins and 185 innings over the last three years. He has never pitched 200 innings. He is not that good, period. He does not change a good team into a great team, and more importantly to the Reds, he does not change a bad team into a great team. You cannot trade three or four top prospects for a guy like this. I like the guy. He could help our team. But to give up all of that to get this guy for two years is foolish.
Speaking of prospects, if you complete this trade the Reds have one, count'em, one prospect left in the organization that is likely to make an impact on the major league roster in the next two or three years.
I would consider one of these guys for Bedard, two of them probably not, three of them no way, and if you asked me for all four we would go straight to fistacuffs.

at 7:10 AM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

And Griz, deciding that you're willing to spend a lot of money for a free agent is a very different thing than deciding to trade away guys that you drafted and developed, especially after years of getting next to nothing from your farm system. They're both ways of acquiring players, but they have completely different impacts on your organization.

at 8:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the projected line-ups that list Bedard as the #2 starter behind Harang. Absolute hilarity.

People, if Bedard winds up in the National League, he'd be the number one starter on any team. That includes Arizona and, without question, Cincinnati.

I can certainly understand not wanting to part with Bruce, but I don't think Bedard will go to the Reds unless Bruce winds up in the Baltimore outfield. To get the best, you need to give the best.

at 9:32 AM Blogger jdeezman said...

It all comes down to wanting to be good for the lonr term and not just "competitive" for a year or two.

I'd rather see a consistently winning Reds team than try to blow the wad on one year.

Al in Ohio... could you stop whining already? Move on already, we're so sorry that you can't take a little constructive criticism.

at 10:30 AM Anonymous Red at the Beach said...

If Wk can't even add a veteran arm, then this offseason was a Failure.

You don't sign a closer for $12 million a season for a club that will not be competitive. If we go with Bailey, Belisle, and Volquez we will not compete this year. Maybe it helps for future years, maybe not.

Either way, the Reds could be ok without Bedard if they could get someone like Livan to eat innings. If not, it could seem like the 8th inning of last year has been transferred to our 3rd, 4th, and 5th days of the rotation.

Getting Livan doesn't mortgage the future, but would give the Reds a shot at the playoffs. I for one am just tired of the Reds going half-arsed every season.

One positive -- if WK fails to sign an arm and the season goes as I predict, we won't have to deal with WK's 'dick cheney lite' version of running a ball club...

at 10:50 AM Anonymous Kramer1 said...

"Just wait til next year." Frankly, I'm sick and tired of this mantra. It's just a cop out used methodically and intentionally by cheap ownership to mask the fact that they are unwilling to spend competitive dollars to put a winning product on the field. Yet, here we are. Same old story, different year. Do you folks actually realize the what the likelihood of all of the young pitchers actually turning out to be anything decent are? About ZERO. MAYBE one becomes a stud...MAYBE one becomes serviceable...the otehr 2 will fail. Those are just the numbers. And what happens when these guys get a few years experience? We can't afford Harang and Arroyo anymore and we start all over! It's a vicious, never ending cycle that only ends with a legitimate commitment from ownership. A commitment I'm positive we will never see.

at 10:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Bedard haters are crazy...You realize that he pitches half his games a year against the Yankees, Red Sox, Jays and Rays? Of those teams the Jays probably have the weakest lineup and they are probably better than all but 1-2 lineups in the NL. Gotta believe that facing the pitcher spot and the weak lineups results in a CY Young if you guys can score any runs for him. Remember the difference between RC in Houston and the previous year in NY. Go back and do you work...What is the success ratio of even highly touted prospects? 25% if you're lucky. Remember Kerns and Wily Mo? Nothing better than 4th outfielders...Trade the prospects and be done...If the Reds arent in contention at the trading deadline you can always flip Bedard elsewhere and get the prospects back...What is a playoff appearance worth to the owner and fan base?

at 11:07 AM Blogger 24/7 said...

its gonna be interesting to see that bullpen outta s.training.

house money...


sad part is, i got more faith in valenzuela than stanton already. yikes!

at 11:09 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Kramer1: Your perception is shared by a lot of fans. But I don't see it as a money issue. The current ownership went from $58 million to $68 million to about $75 million since taking over.

I think they'd go higher on '08. But which starting pitcher out there would you give a $20 million, three-year contract to?

What happened was the Reds thought they'd be able to pull off a trade for a starter. They haven't been able to.

And, you're right, it's unrealistic to think all four young starters will be successful. But there's a decent chance two of them will be.

at 11:16 AM Blogger 24/7 said...


do you think cueto should make the team out of camp, despite his lack of AAA experience?

at 11:20 AM Anonymous tntoriole said...

As an Os fan, the discussion is interesting. I hope the Os keep Bedard and continue to build with him, Jeremy Guthrie, Adam Loewen, etc for 2010 run. But the comments that somehow want to make Bedard out to be less than an ace are just reflective of people who have never watched Bedard pitch. He is better than Dave McNally was in his prime, he pitches in the toughest division in baseball against nine hitter lineups, not the AAAA (National League. He broke the season Orioles record for strikeouts last year and his 13 wins included 8 no decisions in which his ERA was under 2.51 due to the woeful bullpen/anemic offense of the Os.
If you want to think again about Bedard, just go the MLB video highlights page and watch all the July starts for Bedard including the fifteen strikeout, two hit shutout over the Rangers. And while you are watching them, just ask yourself whether Harang can do that.
If you want a Cy Young Award winner, then it will cost talent- not people you just want to move.

at 11:21 AM Blogger Joseph said...

"What kind of return could they expect for a healthy Freel? I can't imagine much..."

Finally, some sanity regarding Ryan Freel's trade value.

Here's a fun game for long car rides: Hold a contest to see who can come up with the most ridiculous Ryan Freel trade proposal. Don't limit yourselves to baseball, either! Here's an example of a three way deal President Bush could broker.

USA gets: Major break-through in Arab-Israeli peace process.
Palestinians get: Independent state.
Israel gets: Ryan Freel.

at 11:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The longer we wait, the LESS valuable Bedard will become. I agree, wait it out. I'd like to get him in JUNE if I could.

at 11:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

2008 predictions:

*Reds go 2-8 for first 10 games
*Fatex gets fatter and slower
His leads are even shorter at first base, to prevent getting picked off.
*Votto and Bruce have exceptional seasons, Keppinger makes the all-star squad batting .412 at the break, B. Phillips also an all-star along with Bailey, who has the only two wins during the first ten games.
*Cordero doesn't even make it out of spring training, suffering a career-threatening injury when Fatex steps on his foot.
*Wayne Krivsky signs more useless washed up outfielders, young and old, because they're "bargains."
*Stanton tests positive for cottage cheese and corn dogs
*Newly rugged Junior spends the off-season lifting weights, hits 24 Home Runs and .340 by Memorial Day, and is traded to Seattle for Catcher Rob Johnson and Pitchers Ceasar Jimenez and Brandon Morrow
*The Reds make another late run, and miss the wild card by 3 games

at 11:37 AM Anonymous Red Faced said...

Man o man I'd love to have Bedard on our staff. You have to give something in order to get something but let's face it guys and gals the O's are asking for WAY TOO MUCH. If we can make a deal involving one of our top 4 up and coming guys or maybe 2 depending on who we are getting then great but when clubs start demanding 3 or even 4 guys, especially our top 2 pitching prospects then forget it.

I would much rather see Cueto and Bailey and even Volquez get a chance then give up the farm for one guy who isn't even guaranteed past 2 years. Why, why why why would you be willing to sacrifice 2009, 2010, 2011 and beyond for 2008? Would Bedard make that BIG a difference on this team if it's just him, Harang and Arroyo with Belisle and someone else in the lineup depending on who was left? Plus an aging Hatteburg would be left to play first every game and an injury prone Freel to play Center? No Bruce, no Votto, no Bailey and no Cueto = no future and no chance. If you think Bedard wins us the Series then let's make the deal but I'm not sure that Bedard for these guys even gets us the division.

Let the young guys play I'll put my faith on them for the next 5 years or so and take my chances without superman, I mean Bedard.

at 11:40 AM Blogger Aaron said...

Bedard is NOT better than Harang. Harang has proven to be a durable work horse that gives you 220 innings. Bedard cannopt be an ace on this staff because he has never reached 200 innings.

I know he's good, but its the durability that is a question mark. As for your condescending AAA comment the national league is pure baseball. The DH is retarded. Pitchers are on the field they need to be in the batting lineup. That is real baseball.

Again, I know Bedard is good, and I know he faced the almight Yankees and Red Sox multiple times (I am not at all impressed by either the Blue Jays or Devil Rays) but nontheless the Reds are way too smart to mortgage their future on a 2 year rental when the guy has durability issues.

at 11:56 AM Blogger maus said...

John, do think the o's would go for Bruce, Votto and any 2 other minor leaguers not named Cueto or Bailey for Bedard? I figure we can always pick up a decent 1st baseman or outfielder free agent. Look who's in trade demand this and other off seasons -- great pitchers. I don't know if I've heard even one rumour about a big trade for a great outfielder.

So its obvious, great pitchers are much harder to get then great hitters. So if we can get the O's to accept mostly hitters for pitching, I'd do it 8 days a week!

Pitching wins championships. If we have Bedard, Harrang, Cueto and Bailey with Cordero, Bray and Burton in the pen, we're not going to need a stud outfielder. If we get lucky and Cueto and Bailey are both good, we trade Bedard at the deadline in 09 for what we need at the time or more minor league prospects.

I agree with what someone else said...Bedard will dominate for a NL Central club. Milwaukee is the only club in the division (other than the Reds) in the top half of all MLB in runs. ALL 5 AL East teams are 17th and above with NY and Boston at 1 and 4. Bedard will have a 3.00 ERA, 18+ wins and lead the league in KO's.

at 12:03 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The Reds aren't going to trade Bruce. Freel's value alone isn't much. But he could sweeten a package.

at 12:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds may need another starter and also have the product to trade in Bronson Arroyo. Seems that he wants out of Cincy according to this article about a recent concert appearance in Boston.


at 12:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a direct link to the article on Arroyos Boston appearance.


at 12:07 PM Anonymous Kramer1 said...

John, they've increased spending a little over the years but they haven't spent the money very judiciously. Also, we need look no further than the attendance figures to figure out just how simple the concept of "you gotta spend money to make money really is." The Reds average around 23,000 - 24,000 fans a game...near the bottom of the league...in a supposed baseball town." The fans don't come because the team is awful. Loyalty, traditon, and the chance to see a few dingers and watch the smoke stacks blow are the only draw. Good baseball certainly isn't unless you're tehre for the opposing team. Sp, what would happen if the Reds increased the payroll by another 20 million? Would they be more competitive? If so, wouldn't they win more games? If they won more games, wouldn't more fans come? To offset 20 million more spent on payroll you'd have to average about 5000-7000 more people a game. A number that is not unrealistic AT ALL. This is not rocket science. Factor in the money saved from letting Jr. and Dunn go next off season and we're looking at over 40 million to spend on free agents. That's 2 stud pitchers and an outfielder. Again, not rocket science. Will they do it? Of course not.

at 12:13 PM Anonymous Kramer1 said...

Red faced.....Sacrifice what? A few more losing seasons? The fact of the matter is this. A team liek the Reds which refuses to conform to the proven, winning strategies of major league baseball can only be competitive and win in a short little window of time. This year was that window. Bedard should already be on this team. I gurantee you we could have traded Hamilton, Bailey/Cueto, and EE/Votto for Bedard. I guarantee it. Harand, Bedard, Arroyo, Bailey/Cueto, Belisle. One of the best rotations in the NL. Put Keppinger at 3rd or Hatty starts at first all year...you lose one of your pitching "prospects." BIG DEAL. Do you folks realize that Bedard is a Cy Young front runner in the NL and would tear the weak NL Central to shreds? Instead, we got Volquez for Hamilton...one of the worst trades I've ever seen. Typical.

at 12:16 PM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

Joseph, that was BRILLIANT! LMAO!

If Josh Hamilton hadn't already been traded, I'd say we could do the same with him. There's still Edwin Encarnacion, though.

I've just e-mailed Orioles GM Mike Flanagan and asked him to please either hurry up and trade Erik Bedard to someone, or else announce that they 100% will NOT be trading him so we can be spared this ridiculous speculation.

at 12:19 PM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

People, if Wayne Krivsky were inclined to trade Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Votto, etc. as parts of any sort of package for Erik Bedard, he would have done so by now. He's not going to wait until after Homer Bailey's first spring training start, or after Jay Bruce gets 15 ABs in the spring to say, "OK, we're ready to trade now!"

at 12:23 PM Blogger BTB Reds Fan said...

Thank you Aaron for defending the best unknown pitcher in baseball. And also for calling the AL what it is, arena baseball so much more strategy exists in the NL.

Harang had so many of the same pitfalls as Bedards 8 no decisions how about 9 innings 1 run baseball against SD for a ND, 7 innings of no run baseball against the Tribe for a ND, 8 innings 1 run vs D-Backs for a ND, 7.2 innings 2 run vs Braves for a ND, 10 innings (which I doubt Bedard could ever hope to achieve in one game) 1 run vs Brewers for ND, and 7 innings 2 runs vs Brewers for ND, 8 innings 2 runs vs Pirates.

So thats 7 ND's in clearly well pitched games and you can cut down some of those lineups but not the Brewers, Braves, and Indians.

Then we also throw in the fact Harang was 16-6 with 218 strikeouts with 231.2 innings. He is a stud and an Ace over Bedard because he pitches deep into games, pitches a lot of innings strikes out a lot of guys you need a guy you can count on to get the job done and Harang is that guy. Still in the opinion he is the 2006 NL Cy young winner.

I believe we sit on our young talent I have watched Bailey pitch he is good, he was brought up to early and needs to get his control down walking 4-5 guys a game in AAA you can slide by with but in the majors there going to burn you. I want to see what the kids can do and have some faith we have a dangerous lineup and hopefully Baker doesn't do to us what he did to San Fran and Chicago why didn't we go for Frank Robinson.

at 12:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - What do you think it would take to get Cliff Lee from the Indians? I am a Reds fan in Arkansas and with him being from here, I am a huge fan. The guy can pitch. He battled injuries last year but before that he was a good quality pitcher. Please let me know what you think it would take and if it is a strong possibility.

at 12:24 PM Blogger JimmyD said...

why is everyone obsessed with Bedard. He'll be gone in two seasons. Why not try to find another partner to dance with. Joe Blanton, left handed pitcher is a solid #3 pitcher. He could be had for less than Bedard and would significantly improve the rotation. We'd probably only have to give up EE and Homer, which I'd do. I would rather hold Cueto and Votto and Bruce. Billy Beane would see parlaying a SP he can't keep into two MLB ready everyday players as a feather in his cap. Plus, how hard have they pursued Lincecum from the Giants or even Lowry from the Giants.

at 12:28 PM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

And Anonymous at 8:09 AM:

Bedard would be a #1 starter immediately in Arizona? With Brandon Webb AND Dan Haren? I'm gonna have to disagree with you there.....

at 12:29 PM Blogger maus said...

Yes John, I know the Reds have SAID they aren't going to trade Bruce. But just for the sake of hot stove banter -- do you think the O's would accept such a deal?

Guy from Baltimore -- any comment?

at 12:40 PM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

jdeezman, I wasn't "whining". I was gloating.

at 12:42 PM Anonymous Mike K said...

My wish list for 2008. Anyone agree?

1. Keppinger starting. How about this... Phillips to short (has the arm and range), Encarnacion to second (inaccurate arm but does have some range), and Kepp at third.

2. Matt Belisle in AAA (no good as a SP and crumbles too much under pressure and with runners on to be a RP).

3. Hopper gets more playing time at the top of the order. Bruce in center but with Hopper playing a lot in a rotation and on the corners.

4. David Weathers pitching the 7th inning. Lets be honest, last year was an anomaly for that guy. He was hit hard all year but got lucky. Cordero closes with Burton (who is a Gagne type guy) as the set up for now. Weathers pitches the 7th.

5. 4th and 5th starters are young guys. I am ok with them learning and taking their knocks. If I have to see Belisle start again, I will be upset.

6. Dunn actually laying down a bunt against the shift. He is slow as hell but all but it is worth a shot to keep them honest. He can fake a bunt as much as he wants but unless he actually lays one down, no one will believe him.

7. If Ross struggles again, let Valentin catch. The guy isn't as good defensively but I will trade a couple of passed balls and a lower throwing percentage for a guy that hits his weight.

8. Freel gone. We don't need anything and won't get anything for him but getting him in the lineup is not worth it. He is out of control and doesn't have enough quality at-bats to justify him at the top of the order.

Thanks guys. Anyone agree or disagree?

at 12:47 PM Anonymous Mike K said...

By the way, unless Coffey learns a pitch other than the fastball, he should start in AAA too. At least he is finally working out so we won't have to see his fat flying around when he runs in from the bullpen prior to blowing a lead on a first pitch fastball over the left field wall.

at 12:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


What are the odds that the Reds look for a smaller deal like Joe Blanton or Cliff Lee? You stated earlier in the off season that this team has question marks at #3-#5 and only added Edison Volquez.. someone who mirrors Homer Bailey in comparison to Major League experience. Both who also need a breaking pitch to be successful. Blanton and Lee are not Bedard but could preserve the farm system and still make this team a solid contender.


at 1:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Keppinger starting. How about this... Phillips to short (has the arm and range), Encarnacion to second (inaccurate arm but does have some range), and Kepp at third.

GO FOR IT! Good idea

2. Matt Belisle in AAA (no good as a SP and crumbles too much under pressure and with runners on to be a RP).

AAA or the glue factory.

3. Hopper gets more playing time at the top of the order. Bruce in center but with Hopper playing a lot in a rotation and on the corners.

Hopper playing often is fine.

4. David Weathers pitching the 7th inning. Lets be honest, last year was an anomaly for that guy. He was hit hard all year but got lucky. Cordero closes with Burton (who is a Gagne type guy) as the set up for now. Weathers pitches the 7th.

Weathers did get lucky last year. He's kind of like a Jenny Craig version of Stanton. Burton setting up Cordero is the hoped for effective stopper-closer duo we must have to even get to .500 this year.

5. 4th and 5th starters are young guys. I am ok with them learning and taking their knocks. If I have to see Belisle start again, I will be upset.

Go with youth, if they suck in spring training, we're sunk. But go with youth and keep Votto and Bruce and Kepp and Hopp.

6. Dunn actually laying down a bunt against the shift. He is slow as hell but all but it is worth a shot to keep them honest. He can fake a bunt as much as he wants but unless he actually lays one down, no one will believe him.

Slow as hell? Uh, dude, Dunn is not a graceful fielder and he sometimes gets slow breaks on balls hit to him but the guy has decent speed. He's much faster than Fatex Gonzalez, that's for sure!

7. If Ross struggles again, let Valentin catch. The guy isn't as good defensively but I will trade a couple of passed balls and a lower throwing percentage for a guy that hits his weight.

Ross needs to change his first name to "Pete" maybe that will help, since apparently diet, exercise, and batting practice do not...

8. Freel gone. We don't need anything and won't get anything for him but getting him in the lineup is not worth it. He is out of control and doesn't have enough quality at-bats to justify him at the top of the order.

If Dustyball for the Reds involves aggressive base-running then lets run Freel often, try to get him 2-3 SB/game, until he hits a wall, literally or figuratively. I like Freel and he's not worthless as trade bait either.

Nice propositions thought.

You left out making Wayne Krivsky first base during Grapefruit League games.

at 1:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I luagh when I read about those wanting to trade for Bedard. Think of this math...

Bedard plus a warm body for the #5 spot would probably equal the amount of wins bailey and volquez would have next season. So how does trading away three very talented young guys for guy who wouldn't actually give the Reds more wins next season benefit the team?

Lets be realist, until someone shows how the Reds will win more games by trading away their good #4 and #5 for a potential not Milton type stud pitcher, I don't see the benefit of any of this discussion. I don't remember Detriot or Cleveland trading their young talent away for one guy and look where they are.


at 1:26 PM Anonymous Dan said...

That bullpen is going to be pretty scary if Wayne stands pat on the current starters.

at 1:48 PM Blogger Moskau?!? said...

I'm seeing alot of praise for Keppinger, which is understandable considering how well he played in 67 games last year, but lets be a little more level-headed about him. The idea of counting on him as an everyday player is premature, and it is crazy to suggest that they can trade Gonzalez because of Keppinger! Let's remember that he was released by the Royals, and that David Ross was knocking the cover off the ball when he first joined the Reds! Now if he shows that he can be the same type of player every day in a long season, and that the NL is more suited for his talents, then the praise will be justified.

at 1:50 PM Blogger BTB Reds Fan said...

Actually Coffee would do a lot better if he stuck to the fastball. He tried to learn some change up off speed junk that was just a BP pitch at 70 mph across the heart of the plate. His fastball has some hair on it and his power slider is amazing look at 06 Coffee vs 07 he tried to add a pitch he should never have messed with relievers don't need many pitches I want to see him and Phillips on the winter caravan and tell him to just grip it and rip it like he used to. challenge the big boys like he can do.

Belisle can start as a number 5 starter I don't know what you are hopeing for but a number 5 guy who can go .500 is a good thing.

Also if I was to honestly move Eddie it would be to first his corner infield fielding ability is amazing and if he could learn to not get so excited when he makes one of the best stops ever seen take his time and throw the ball he would be gold glove caliber. He gets flustered and tries to hard and with age he will learn to just put the ball in his pocket sometimes and that he can't throw it harder to make a play at first out of nothing and air ball it. His bat more then excuses him though he is by far the best clutch hitter the Reds have his ability to hit with runners in scoring position is great and if anyone remembers the reason we competed in 06 was the last 3 guys in the lineup carried the club being Eddie, Phillips and Ross in his crazy alternate universe great offense season.

So I play Keppinger straight up at SS and have Gonzo as a back up an expensive back up but unless, and I'm not being insensitive because my good wishes and hopes go out to his family, but he has to show he doesn't have family problems lingering on his mind and it justifiably affected his performance last season anyone who has watched him knows he is a better defensive player then that.

On second thought I try to package something with maybe Freel/Hatteberg/Gonzo show it around and see what kind of offers could possibly come from it.

at 1:58 PM Blogger PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

Anon 11:31am, I would trade Griffey Jr. now for those three prospects. Why wait until June 1.
John, if the second tier pitchers are too high with their prices, why are the Reds talking trade with the Orioles? Would the Reds give Bedard $17 millions a year? With Griffey Jr., Dunn, Ross, Freel, Stanton, Freel, Valentin, Weathers and Hatteburg contracts up next year, I can see the Reds making this trade but how about Santana or any other pitcher?

at 2:10 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Someone pointed out earlier that the fans will come if the Reds win. Completely true. I live in Indianapolis for most of the regular season. As big of a fan I am, it's very hard for me to justify paying $60 for three tickets plus $25 in gas plus another 10-20 bucks in food to watch a losing team in August and September. It's a lot easier for people in this area to pay that kind of cash and make that kind of trip when this team is winning. I only attended 4 or 5 games last year, while the year before I made it to somewhere between 10-15. There are plenty of other Reds fans in the Indianapolis area, and plenty of other baseball fans that just go to Indianapolis Indians games cuz its close. The Indianapolis Star typically devotes its largest baseball section to the Reds, but only if they still matter as it comes to the divisional race. I'm sure it's like this in other fringe areas of Redleg Nation. If this team is winning in September, people will be there, it has nothing to do with fair-weatheness, it has to do with economics. I feel as though I am ranting so here's the point-Going into this season with this type of rotation sets the team up to have those awful attendance numbers again in August and September. A 3-4-5 of Belisle, Cueto, and Bailey isn't going to get you very far. Add in the fact that no rotation goes uninjured through a year, and then see that our spot starters are Volquez and Maloney, as well as maybe Livingstone and Shearn. The last time this team was winning(think 06 Divisional race with St. L, specifically the $1 hot dog series in which Ross hit the GW bomb), that stadium was rocking. Heck, when I left that game I went up to the ticket stand and bought the best two tickets left for the next days game, which were in the third section up down the foul line. Winning brings all fans to the ballpark. Losing means some fans stop caring completely, others watch on the TV, and season ticket holders go to the games waiting for next year.

at 2:22 PM Blogger John Fay said...

They'd be willing to trade for Bedard because he's not a second-tier guy. But I was told that nothing is going on that front.

No one is going to trade three prospects for Griffey at this point. He's down a year on his contract and he's coming off an injury.

at 2:42 PM Blogger maus said...

Yo Adrian...

Guess you didn't hear about the biggest trade of the winter... Detroit getting Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for 6 good prospects. Maybe you were sarcastic.

Winning teams not only draw fans, they draw players at a lower cost than they would be otherwise.

at 2:44 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

complaining about krivsky not making an all-time gamble with less than all-time odds/upside is absurd, but at least there hasn't been any "the reds are the same team as 07, so they'll lose 90" talk...yet.

of cueto, bailey, volquez and maloney, one will be bonafide ace, one will be #2, one a #4 and one a bust, and not necessarily in that order.

teams don't repeat. not since the yankees steroid squad.

bedard is signed for 2 years, CLEARLY wants a paycheck.

do you want to have the chance to win once in 08 or twice in 09-11

they say two is better than one

at 3:01 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Good point Maus..I was just trying to focus on the fan side. Speaking of players and winning-If the Reds rotation struggles mightily this season (see Cardinals rotation last year-while not exactly the same level of talent, when you don't have reliable, experienced arms bad things happen) and they lose 80-90 games again, do they think they can really re-sign Adam Dunn? And if they lose Dunn, do they then feel obligated to pick up Griffey's option just to not lose too much offense? Unless if Votto and Bruce can turn into those two guys overnight as well as the young pitchers turning into studs and not busts, not only will this team not win this year, they won't win next year.

at 3:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walt Jocketty is now a member of the Reds "front office".

at 3:12 PM Blogger Scott in NC said...


can you answer as to why the Reds let Hamilton go so early? If they were wanting to make a trade for a starting pitcher, why would they give up such a valuable commodity like Hamilton for a prospect when they did? It seems like they could have gotten someone like Volquez for him at any time, so why the rush?

at 3:23 PM Blogger maus said...

We need to strike while the iron's hot (i.e. very weak Central, Harrang and Cordero in their prime, decent offense now - even w/o Bruce). My plan (my post at 11:56a) gives them Bedard next year and more prospects when we trade him away in 09. By that time one of Cueto or Bailey will have proven himself (take Bedard's place) and the other will certainly be at least a 4 or 5. I'd say that's a chance to win now AND later.

If we wait a couple of years Harrang, Arroyo, and Cordero will be that much older. Pitchers don't age well.

at 3:34 PM Anonymous Mike K said...

Just for fun, lets play the addition by subtraction game...

No trade talk. This is just who would you cut today if you could knowing someone else on the current roster will have to fill that spot.

Name your two. Here are mine.

1. Mike Stanton
2. Todd Coffey

at 3:39 PM Anonymous MONEY MIKE said...

John, did you see that Reds draftee of the 70's Alan Schwartz, was appointed as CEO of Bear Sterns, the 5th largest investment bank earlier this week? I just thought it was pretty interesting.

at 4:30 PM Anonymous tntoriole said...

As is the case most of the time, most fans overestimate and overvalue their own prospects. The Orioles had a number one draft pick a number of years ago- the talk was just like that for Jay Bruce- stud, five star talent, etc, etc. - he turned out to be Darnell McDonald- nothing really at the major league level.
Most of the reaction is in the negative about the trade (which i hope doesn't happen as an Os fan)...namely, the point of view of what Reds fans don't want to give up, but I would be interested in knowing from those who have said don't do the trade, what would you give up for Bedard?
Or, what would you require from another team if they wanted your number one pitcher in a trade?
And, again, my point about the difference in leagues was not about purity of baseball (I, in fact, would love the AL to get rid of the DH) it was only about the reality as it relates to evaluating skills of pitchers in the AL vs. the NL- it is simply much harder to pitch day in and day out against nine hitter lineups. Harang's strikeout total last year was less than Bedard's and Harang's totals were in more innings and included who knows how many pitchers in that total.

Just take a look at the video and see if it looks like any pitchers currently on the Reds.


at 7:33 PM Anonymous redsfan71 said...

tntoriole is correct, I watched at least 3 starts by bedard last year & yes, he is the real deal. Good location, a lot of late break and he throws a heavy ball. Not to take away
from Harang, who is the most underrated horse in baseball. Who the heck is Fatex? What has happened with
Freddy Garcia? He was the best available of the free agents, or did I miss his signing with someone else? I read that the reds offered everyday Eddie a contract, would nice to have him back, he was starting to round into shape at end last year.

at 7:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey john what happened with bobby livingston. Is he expected to make the opening day roster.

at 8:10 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Livingston had surgery on his shoulder about halfway through last season. In my experience, that's at least a year of rehab.

at 10:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the Reds really need to focus on is ridding themselves of the scruff/cash cows like Griffey and Dunn. Trade Griffey for a AA pitcher and offer to pay 1/3 of his salary. If they could have dumped Griffey, they would have Dunn, Hamilton and Bruce in the OF. Instead, they have a shlub who does not hustle and two unproven pitchers from an organization (TX) that has never produced a quality pitcher.

at 11:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Guys... a new Reds blog has started.... CHECK IT OUT!


at 10:20 PM Blogger Greg said...

good grief. Belisle will make the rotation and will be much better than last year. Volquez should be the 5th starter, but the reds NEED to sign another arm, Livan Hernandez is, in my mind the right guy to fill in the 4th spot. Trading for Bedard would be the most idiotic move of the decade. I'd like to compair Bedard to the '06 Ross... career year, cash in and then flop... and i like Ross.. Bedard will be under .500 this year... don't want him. Give our kids some bullpen time, keep Bailey in AAA, if Volquez flops... move in the next... we have plenty to rotate through, and I bet more will be winners than losers.

at 3:22 PM Anonymous Kramer1 said...

LOL @ Greg. Our fans are the absolute worst. Please educate yourselves. Bedard is entering the prime of his career and dominated the toughest division in MLB last season. He hasn't had an arm problem since 2003. The guy is a stud and would be one of the few legitimate Cy Young front runners to start the season in the NL. According to ESPN Bedard had the most dominating starting performance of any game pitched last season...even Verlander's no-hitter.


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