Tag Archives: Walt Jocketty

Steve Berthiaume: “Cincinnati Reds tried for Albert Pujols.”

I’m going to have to credit a Cardinals blog with the assist on this one.

Last week on the Jonah Keri podcast, ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume (whom we love) was the guest. He spoke about the Cincinnati Reds coming thisclose to acquiring former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols:

“I think, think they (the Reds) were a lot closer to getting Albert Pujols than anybody knows or anybody talked about. I think the Votto money was targeted for Pujols in the off-season and when that didn’t pan out that they said, OK, let’s keep our guy, let’s give it to Joey Votto. I think those two were more connected than anyone realizes.”

Alright, before you start with the ‘I don’t buy it’ business, remember that Berthiaume is way more connected than you or even I. I do buy it.

Look at the money the Reds gave Votto. I think there were rumblings in the Reds front office about going after Pujols. And I think that Walt Jocketty used Pujols as a way of convincing Bob Castellini that the Reds could write a contract like this up to begin with.

When the Reds missed the mark of how much Pujols wanted, those numbers still worked for the guy already under contract and all the Reds needed to do was change the name written on the deal. A right handed hitter like Pujols helps the Reds more than Votto does.

Guest Spot: MTD weighs in on the Phillips Extension

Walt Jocketty is 1/8 Mayan. Did you know that? I didn’t either until he started handing out massive contracts over the past week. With the end of the world looming later this year, the Reds general manager extended Joey Votto for 10 years and $225 million and came to a six-year agreement with Brandon Phillips on Tuesday.

Six years and $72.5 million is an awful lot of time and money to give to a 30-year-old second baseman whose defensive metrics are all over the place. UZR/150 likes him as an above average to excellent defender. FRAA sees him as an alternating version of terrible and good. That helps explain the wild variations from site to site when looking at his wins above replacement and, subsequently, his value.

With no real rooting interest in the Reds, I don’t have to share Mevs’ bright-eyed optimism about locking up one of “our guys.” Unless the Reds signed a cash cow of a radio deal with WKRP, they don’t have the big boy money to make mistakes. And signing veteran players to long term contracts is almost always a mistake.

So let’s press our luck and see if the Reds are going to come up with a Whammy or that deluxe cruise to 1978 San Juan. Phillips had his career year in 2011 according to a 6.0 fWAR (Fangraphs wins above replacement) and 4.1 bWAR (Baseball-Reference wins above replacement). His 3.3 WARP (wins above replacement player) was a tick behind his career high 3.4 in 2010.

Assuming a win is worth $5 million of the free agent market, Phillips would have to be worth ~12 wins over the course of the extension. Let’s call it 15 for the sake of inflation. The good news is that 30 second basemen have accumulated a 15 WAR or higher from their age 30 to 36 seasons. The bad news is that list is led by names like Joe Morgan, Nap Jajoie, Rogers Hornsby, Craig Biggio and Ryne Sandberg. Chase Utley comes in at 30 on that list and he was one of the most undervalued players in baseball for years.

For Phillips, the value will come down to how you measure him defensively. If you see him as an above average/plus defender at second, he should hit enough to make the contract and perhaps exceed the $72.5 million. If you see him as a replacement level defender who can’t last six years at second and can’t move to first base, well now things don’t look so hot.

I might be more in the latter camp than the former but I don’t have access to Field/FX data nor am I John Dewan. My initial reaction to this deal is that’s about where I’d have set the over/under on value. I wouldn’t give a 30-year-old a six year deal, or five for that matter, but Phillips has a much better chance to give the Reds their money back in value than Votto. He’s also pretty good at Twitter. Which is at least worth .03 wins.

M.J. Lloyd is the owner and creator of Off Base Percentage. He also writes for Halo Hangout and Baseball Prospectus. Follow him on twitter, @mnkysthrwndrts for more goodies.

Reds offering Francisco Cordero one year, not two

Cincinnati Reds MLB.com beat writer Mark Sheldon recently let us know that the Reds are looking at a one year contract with an option year for closer Francisco (Coco) Cordero.

This is what GM Walt Jocketty had to say about it:

“We’re looking at one year or one year with an option,” Jocketty said. “That’s all it could be, right now — one year guaranteed.”

This is positive news depending how you want to look at it. If you’re like me you view Cordero as the guy who probably threw away the Reds season just before the All-Star break in that series in Milwaukee. He’s the guy who is responsible for your late-night obscenities, broken remote controls, and hard returns to your office on Monday mornings.

“Coco” does not discriminate. He can blow any save, on any of the seven calendar days of the week. When your team is firing on all cylinders, he can come out and be up to his absolute worst.

That said, if 2012 is your ‘all-in’ year you’re going to need a dependable arm at the back of the bullpen that can save a lot of games and get the last three tough outs for you while you file away 95 wins in the left column. At this point, I don’t know if Cordero can be that guy but the closer market is thin–Ryan Madson is the only other credible name out there. To have a season of Cordero playing for a contract isn’t entirely bad. The Reds have all the leverage in these negotiations I would think, and they’ll be able to land Cordero for an amount he deserves. If you can save and scrimp on your closer for this season, that’s more money you’ll be able to throw at a left fielder or reserve when the time comes.

If we were betting men, and we are; we would wager that Cordero will be back blowing games for the Reds and being the causation of you breaking your remotes and wanting to kick your pets next summer.

Walt Jocketty is Having Problems Improving the Reds

Frustrated by this Reds off-season? You have no idea.

I’ve felt all along that based on the nucleus the Reds have in place, and relative MLB experience; 2012 would be the Reds ‘all in’ year. I’ve stated it multiple times. With Albert Pujols leaving St. Louis and Prince Fielder leaving Milwaukee–along with the problems that may arise from Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension–this should be the Reds time to emerge as the frontrunner in the NL Central and really kick the door down.

Their biggest off-season move thus far (and by biggest we mean ‘only’)? Signing former local product Andrew Brackman to replace Dontrelle Willis.

The Reds have been beaten to the punch on absolutely everyone. Huston Street to Josh Willingham. Willingham was the guy in particular who I wanted, because he’s productive and affordable and shares the same agent as Jay Bruce. He was virtually a perfect guy for the Reds.

Now Jocketty has his sights set on Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Theriot, and Joe Saunders. Yuck!

I don’t know what is going on in Cincinnati’s front office; but since the moment they won the 2010 NL Central crown by default they’ve operated like they don’t have a clue what is going on in the game of baseball.

Ryan Theriot? Joe Saunders? I need to finish this post or it’s going to turn into a rant.

Rockies Sign ‘Razor’ Ramon Hernandez

Razor Ramon was a good Cincinnati Red. I’ll never forget the Opening Day 2011 home run that he hit to send us home 1-0 in a year I thought we were on our way to a possible title. Hernandez is now a member of the Colorado Rockies. This move was a follow up for Colorado; having traded Chris Ianetta to the Angels for Tyler Chatwood.

There is some good news for the Reds, however.

Hernandez, 35, started the offseason as a Type-A free agent, but he was reclassified as a Type-B as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. The Reds will receive a supplemental first round pick for losing Hernandez, but the Rockies will not lose a pick.

At the end of the day, Hernandez was probably the biggest free agent pick-up from the Walt Jocketty era thus far, aside from Aroldis Chapman who was a slam dunk.

Good luck to you Razor. Thanks for the solid seasons of service from a position where productivity has really dried up.

Are Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty on the same page?

Just a random thought after reading this snippet from John Heyman of Sports Illustrated:

Sources suggest there has been some difference of opinion over playing time between Reds GM Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker, who has a year to go on his contract. The Reds are over .500 for the first time since early July, but it is curious how much playing time veterans Miguel Cairo and Freddie Lewis are getting in a lost season. Rival execs say they also would have traded Ramon Hernandez before the July 31 trade deadline and employed Devin Mesoraco as catcher. Hernandez was claimed on waivers by a competitor and pulled back by the Reds. He would have helped the Giants, among others.

Our take: With the non-trade of Hernandez, how can you blame anyone but the GM and the GM alone? It isn’t likely that Dusty Baker was in the room fielding the calls and said ‘keep Ramon’. That’s on the GM. And that shows that the GM is somewhat on Dusty’s page of keeping the veterans and playing veterans until the bitter end to try and accomplish something salvageable in terms of record this year. In that light, we have to disagree with Heyman a little bit.

Another scenario is ownership telling each them what to do in regards to the non-move of Ramon Hernandez. If the Reds want to draw well attendance-wise until the end of the year–or even respectably–they’ll need to win and win often down the stretch to even keep a fair amount of butts in the seats at Great American. Maybe ownership said to hang on to Ramon Hernandez for this reason. That’s the only thing that would even kind of make sense at this point.

From any other standpoint, the move (or lack thereof) makes no sense.

Redsfest 2009 Bulk Report

Redsfest 2009 was an absolute blast. You know, we were trying to report. It was right up our alley from the entrance of things:

It’s obvious that the organization from a strategy standpoint try to treat Redsfest like a weekend long pep-rally. In essence, it’s to make you forget about the decade + of suckdome we’ve endured and get you excited about the 2010 season before it has a chance to get here and we jump out to a 5-13 start!

There’s an emphasis on the Bruce’s, the Votto’s, the Phillips’, the Cueto’s and Frazier’s. The young stars on this team is the standpoint the organization is taking to get you excited. I like it a lot more then rooting full of a team of aging stars. It should be mentioned that Homer Bailey was not in attendance, which is kind of a bummer. No reason stated by anyone, but it would be nice to have your young ace-to-be in attendance when we’re trying to get pumped up from an organization standpoint.

One of the best features we took in was the Q&A panel from Joey Votto, Danny Ray Herrera, Adam Rosales, and Arthur Rhodes. A bunch of kids lined up and asked these guys cool questions. It was neat getting to hear them talk about why they got involved with baseball, their favorite music and their favorite television shows. When it was finished I got to shake Arthur Rhodes’ hand and wish him good luck for the season, as well as Herrera.

And there he is, there he is, there he is! That little bald-headed General Manager of ours Walt Jocketty. I’d have loved to have had a word with him. I was asked if I thought he was a good GM. You know what, I think he is a good GM. All in all, we’re pretty lucky to have him. A lot of the moves that aren’t made aren’t his fault. He does the best with what he has to work with. He isn’t a guy who is going to trade away the future I don’t think. He won’t make a move to hurt you. I’m a lot happier with him in place than Wayne Krivsky; it simply just wasn’t an overnight fix here in Cincinnati. It’s still not going to be. If he’s given the time and a decent payroll to work with, he’ll build a solid contending team I believe. I think that a lot of times even myself view Jocketty as the bad guy because he is the bearer of bad news i.e. “the payroll will remain the same” but it’s important to remember that if it was up to him he’d probably spend big. It’s not his money.

This was another fan attraction at Redsfest. They had a couple speed pitch stations set up and I dusted off the ol’ throwing arm and hit 61 MPH on the gun. I swear those guns are broke. As I told the GF, if one of those big leaguers got up there and threw on that gun it would only hit 75, tops. Those guns are pure shit, and they’re at least 10-15 MPH off.

Pictured above is the batting cage, where you could take your cuts with old beat up bats. My feeling is, there’s so much cool stuff to do at a place like Redsfest, why do you wanna hit in the batting cage? Seems like it was put there as a diversion to cut down on the number of people interested in the cool shit. It’s like going to a baseball game and hanging out at the kidszone playground for a few innings.

The star of the 1990 Reds, and my first favorite Cincinnati ballplayer Barry Larkin. I guess he signed for the better part of two hours. I got to meet Barry and shake his hand at the original Redsfest I attended in 1996 or so. I still remember his play in the 1990 playoffs like it was yesterday, constantly on base and scoring runs. The guy is a legend in my mind. I don’t know if he’s a Hall of Famer or not, but he was a special player and a superstar. That isn’t a word I like to toss around.

MLB Network had a stand set up. We’re HUGE fans of MLB network and screw Insight Communications for not offering it! There was a feature where you are sat down and interviewed by Harold Reynolds as to why you are baseball’s biggest fan. The interview was supposed to be emailed you you. We never got the e-mail but we told Harold that we’re baseball’s biggest fan because we bring Diamond Hoggers to you fine folks every single day! That isn’t an easy job.

In case you haven’t heard, the Reds spring training is moving to Goodyear, Arizona this season. There wasn’t a lot of features about the Spring Training site but we did manage to catch this image of it above.

 

This is the closest we have ever been to Eric Davis or our facebook friend Glenn Braggs. It was cool that Braggs made the trip to Redsfest all the way from California. Braggs looks like he is a lifelong body builder, no shit. He is absolutely jacked, one of the biggest 40-something year old dudes I’ve ever seen.

Here’s just a shot of those lovable early 90’s Reds. And out in front, Schottzie. Those poor guys had to have their team photo ruined by a damn dog.

Joey Votto talking on the big screen during the panel.

There was a Chiquita Banana stand set up. A lot of people don’t know that the owner of the Reds also owns a very large produce company and some of Chiquita Banana (or they’re business partners or some shit). Just a random photo thrown in to this whole bit.

Bunny Arroyo ladies and gentleman. The mid 20’s women were lined up to get their photo with this dude. You have to imagine ol’ Bunny slapped a few on the ass or slipped the digits to them ala Big Ern Mccracken on their way past.

“I’m in 1103.”