What a night. A fight for the ages. A trade in the middle of the fight. I was on the phone with multiple friends and family discussing the fight and the trade that had been rumored to take place. I was yelling at the television. The bigger story is the EPIC three-team trade that took place.
On the surface it doesn’t look favorable for the Reds. The Reds traded both Yasiel Puig to the Indians and their top listed prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, in Taylor Trammell, to the Padres. Many felt if the Reds didn’t keep Puig than Trammell was going to be the person who eventually filled his role. In return the Reds got a great, and controversial, starting pitcher, in Trevor Bauer. The Reds who have had some of the best starting pitching in baseball, so why would they go after ANOTHER starting pitcher?
The overview of this shows the Reds front office trading away their most popular player in Yasiel Puig. He’s been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since mid June, after a slow start. He’s had a walk off hit and scored the walk off run earlier this month against the Brewers. The Red Warrior aka El Guerrero Rojo was willing to take on the Pirates by himself, and even did it after reports of him being traded. According to many, he was seen as the Reds biggest priority to resign for next season. He loved the community, his teammates, and is the reason social media was created.
Most people will read about the trade and only see the Reds trading away there top prospect in outfielder Taylor Trammell. Trammell, only 21 years old, had been the one man highlight reel at the MLB Futures game. In the 2018 game he hit a a massive home run and a triple in the game winning the MVP honors. This year he followed it up in the 2019 Futures game going 1-2 with an RBI and was caught stealing home (replay showed him to be safe). He’s young, confident, and very likable guy.
Trevor Bauer is a great, forward-thinking mentality, who always seems willing to learn how to improve. To many, though, he’s the guy who lost his mind Sunday and chucked a ball over center field from the pitchers mound out of anger from being removed from the game. He brings much more baggage, such as going after other people on Twitter, advocating conspiracy theories, and drone injury that messed up a playoff start to name a few things. While he’s not a rental player for a playoff push, he’s not far from it. Bauer only has team control through 2020. He’s eligible for arbitration next season making $13 million this year. That would make him the highest paid starter on the Reds for 2020. What does this mean for the rest of the Reds starting rotation, who have been one of the best in all of baseball this year? Castillo, Gray, Roark, Wood, Disco, and Mahle all vying for a spot.
Here’s the flip side of all of this. Taylor Trammell is presented as the Reds top prospects but has had two regressive years. His career slash line for the minors is .273/.367/.408. His 2019 slash line .236/.349/.336 in Chattanooga AA. Realistically at best he’d probably be an everyday starter not until 2021 or 2022 when he could make an impact at the major league level. That’s if he can figure out a way to improve his development. The Reds even with Puig gone have a bit of logjam in there outfield with Winker, Senzel, Ervin, and VanMeter. As a fan do you really want to bet your team being competitive again on a top prospect struggling in AA after four 90 loss seasons? I don’t.
Trevor Bauer was one of the bigger fish the Reds were rumored to be going after this offseason. 2018 he finished sixth in Cy Young voting and was an All-Star. He’s on pace to have pitched more than 175 innings for five straight seasons. He focuses heavily on improving his mechanics using high speed cameras. He’s actually developed new pitches in the past few years. He gives this staff a frightening front three in Castillo-Gray-Bauer for the 2020 season. If you want to know more about his focus on player development read MVP Machine because even if you don’t like him personally he’s definitely cutting edge when it comes to his insight on pitching. Most importantly I think the Reds are going to possibly flip him over to a team ready to win a World Series before the deadline tomorrow. They could get a haul for him by trading to him to someone like the Yankees.
Yasiel Puig was OUR dude. While his stent was short lived almost everyone loved him from the fanbase. As exciting as he has been to watch on the field these past two months Puig was still below his career numbers for .AVG, .OBP, and OPS+. Many also felt that he would try and test the free agency waters no matter what this offseason. The Reds only had two other options for potentially keeping him. A contract extension or a qualifying offer in which they were either compensated a draft pick if he didn’t sign or overpay him to stay an extra year.
Something not many people are talking about that is a real possibility being the Reds signing Yasiel Puig this offseason. Especially if they move Bauer. The Yankees moved Chapman to the Cubs. Chapman helped them win a World Series then he went back and signed with Yankees where he still remains. The Reds front office said they are looking to spend money to be competitive again. Meaning they should spend as much or more than they did in payroll this season. The Reds could have anywhere from $50-70 million to give out in contracts this offseason. So far the front office under the leadership of Dick Williams and Nick Krall haven’t disappointed. When I attended the photo day for season tickets I spoke with Dick Williams for about 30 seconds last Saturday. I told him that they haven’t really made a mistake in my opinion so far. His response “Then I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with what’s to come.” I think there is more to come. Trust the front office.
The Moose Stops Here
The Reds have reportedly signed Mike Moustakas to a four-year deal, per Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic
How we looking, Reds fans? I, for one, can’t stop randomly yelling “YES!” in my apartment. My neighbors may be calling the cops as you read this.
Or maybe I should be yelling “Moooooooose!”
The Reds began their offseason of acquisitions by signing Mike Moustakas to the largest contract in franchise history. The Moose is coming to Cincinnati for four years, $64 million dollars. He compiled 3.2 bWAR last year and had a 113 WRC+.
The big key is that he will be the Reds second baseman. Per Baseball Reference, the group of players who combined to shoulder the second base duties in Cincinnati put together a -0.6 WAR. Clearly it was one of the most important positions to upgrade during the offseason and the Reds have done that.
There are two ancillary considerations from this move. One is that Nick Senzel will remain in center field in 2020. One can figure from this move that the Reds have complete faith in his ability to rehab his surgically repaired shoulder. The other is a possible Plan B at first base as Moose has shown an ability to play all infield positions with some degree of aptitude. Now, that’s not to say there are rumblings of Joey Votto retiring or going anywhere, but it does not hurt to have a plan B.
All this is to say, I am excited. I also believe this is just the start. More to come from this front office that is clearly putting money to their words. For now, get ready to chant “Mooooose” all summer long!
Reds All-Decade Team: Everyday Eight
Introducing the blog post about the Locked On Reds All-Decade Team!
We are coming to the end of the 2000-teens. Weird, isn’t it? This decade started with a lot of success for our Redlegs and ended with lots of questions. Maybe they can regain their winning form as we head into the 2020’s, but for now let’s look at the players that made the past ten years what they were.
To set only a few parameters, this will be based on impact and not necessarily longevity. For example, based on their time on the Reds and performance, my thought on the best center fielder, for the past 10 years, is Shin-Soo Choo. Now, I get it, he was only here a year, but that what I mean when I’m looking at the All-Decade Reds. Who had the greatest impact during his tenure with the Reds from 2010-2019?
I also want this to be interactive. Comment, tweet (@lockedonreds), and call/text the Locked On Reds Line (513) 549-0159. This post will be finished on December 31, 2019.
I don’t know why anyone would argue this. He is the Reds Player of the Decade, and arguably the National League’s Player of the Decade. If you don’t believe me, look at this.
Dat Dude was electric at second and a constant stand-in as an argument to everyone’s favorite Red, at the time. I forgot to mention him as a lock on the first All-Decade podcast, so that’s a bit embarrassing, but no second baseman deserves it more. He could hit anywhere in the lineup, and perform well to boot. There was no other second baseman that was better from 2010-2019 in Cincinnati.
Few Reds have provided such iconic moments as was Clinchmas which got this past decade started off with a bang. Beyond that, Bruce was a constant force in the middle of the lineup. His arm was a lethal and gunned down anyone foolish enough to try and run on him. No outfielder eclipsed him and he is definitely a lock for this All-Decade team.
Cozart could do it all. He had a good bat, a great glove, and the ladies loved him. Find another Reds shortstop from this past decade and I’ll tell you why they aren’t as good as Cozart was.
Your first thought on this is going to be “but he only was a Red for a year?” Here’s the thing, no centerfielder had a better year. Does he get a bump because he may not have been here long enough to leave a bad taste in our mouthes? Sure. Did he absolutely kill it his one year and is still talked about? Absolutely. If I’m building an everyday eight that is the best of this past decade, he’s on that team.
The options at catcher are Tucker Barnhart, Ryan Hanigan, and Mez. Maybe you include Ramon Hernandez for the two halfway decent years at the start of the decade. This is a position that can be hotly debated, but I am throwing my hat in the ring for Mez. When he was healthy and got regular at-bats (2014) he was the best Reds catcher this decade. I’ll take those numbers he posted that year and pretend that he isn’t injured when named to the All-Decade Team. A healthy Mez was worth slotting 5th or 6th in the lineup. That’s not something I’ve never said about Tucker.
My rationale behind this is two-fold. Unless they were just absolutely amazing (like the next lean) then I’m looking at the playoff teams. Ludwick had a great first year as a Red. His final two years soured some fans to remembering him, but he was money in 2012. When faced with the options, I lean Ludwick.
This one took some thinking because I really liked Scott Rolen, but I think Suarez has outperformed him. He has the misfortune for playing on the bad Reds teams, but he has become the face of the franchise, heading into 2020. The thing that keeps him from being a lock, to me, is there is an argument for Rolen over Suarez…but I will argue Suarez is the Reds third baseman of the decade.
Reds All-Decade Team: The Pitching
Here’s the blog post accompanying the idea of the Reds All-Decade Team, the pitching side of things.
We got things started with a blog post about the everyday eight, now let’s start thee pitching. For this, we’ll do a starting five, a closer, and two relievers. I’m not sure we have any locks, but we have some really strong cases, here. Okay, maybe one lock. Johnny Cueto is a super lock for the rotation, maybe the Reds Pitcher of the Decade.
You know the drill, comment, tweet (@lockedonreds), and call/text (513) 549-0159. We’ll finalize it on December 31, 2019.