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Cincinnati Reds

Pitching Opportunity Cost

Jeff

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© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds are going to get the pitching this offseason. You may be wondering at that statement, considering some options that have been taken off the table, but let’s take a look at those no longer available to the Reds.

Matt Harvey

He is the pitcher who prompted my posting this. A lot of fans will be disappointed to see him move on from Cincinnati, but there are two reasons why this is good. The first reason is money. Now, I know what you’re thinking, baseball contracts and money are completely made up. I mean, Giancarlo Stanton makes, what, a billion dollars? Ok, it’s a bit less than that, but still a bit more than you and I will ever see in our lives. There is something to be said about value relative to production, though. My point here is, I would have been ok with the Reds bringing Harvey back, if the money made since. He is a 4.50 – 5.00 ERA-guy. Back of the rotation. Is that worth the $11-$14 million the Angels will pay him? In my opinion, no. The Reds have plenty of talent to fill the back of their rotation that costs far less. They need aces. Harvey isn’t an ace.

The second reason Harvey’s departure is good is this continues to show that the front office now has control. Would Bob Castellini really let Billy Hamilton AND Matt Harvey leave Cincinnati in the same offseason? We will never fully know that answer, but my guess is no. Dick Williams and Nick Krall looked at Harvey’s work in 2018, looked at his history of injuries and mediocre performances, and decided the number Los Angeles put on him was not worth matching/beating. Good on ya, front office, and good on ya Bob for letting them do the job you hired them for.

Lance Lynn

I wont be quite so wordy with these remaining names, as they don’t cause quite the stir that Harvey does, but Lynn was among the rabble of rumored reinforcements. Today he signed a three-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Lynn was a nice name, and some Reds fans will remember his tenure with the rival Cardinals, but he is not that pitcher anymore. Last year his ERA spiked to 4.77 and he tossed 30 innings less than 2017, despite appearing in just two-less games. Fangraphs.com projects Lynn to 138 innings with a 4.45 ERA. Not terrible, but if the Reds are looking to make a leap, that sort of performance has little chance of springing them forward. The Reds not allocating $10 million toward him made a good move.

Nathan Eovaldi

The last pitcher I’ll look at in this post got $17 million a year, on a four year deal. While age is not a factor with this 28-year old, $17 mil for, what would seem to be, one playoff performance is a bit steep. He had a 3.71 SIERA, last year, but the opportunity cost of a pitcher that doesn’t necessarily keep the ball on the ground and relied on a below-league average batting average on balls in play would have been tough. Plus, the Red Sox are not a team the Reds could win a bidding war against.

The thing that will make all of this feel great is if the Reds end up signing Dallas Keuchel. Then all of the savings outlined in this post will pay off.

Big changes are coming to Locked on Reds! Stay tuned for more details, and keep an eye on @jefffcarr and @lockedonReds on Twitter, as well as @lockedonreds_jeffcarr and @lockedonreds on Instagram!

Jeff has spent his entire life around sports. From playing baseball and golf in high school to traveling with college softball, volleyball, and men’s basketball teams as their media relations guy, sports have always been his focal point. He’s pumped to be bringing Reds content to the Locked on Sports Podcast Network!

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