While watching A.J. Burnett pitch this afternoon, I had an interesting thought pop into my head; would I be happy with Homer Bailey if he became AJ Burnett? If I could guarantee that Homer became a 25-start-a-year guy who approximates a #2 when healthy, would I cash in any further upside he has?
Then, I started extending it to the Reds' other young players. What kind of career would you have to guarantee to make me cash in any further upside? I thought this would be a game that the rest of the board would find interesting. The question is, would you cash in the upside that the prospect has in order to guarantee the established player's career (Deal)? Or would you prefer to go with what the young guy gives you for his career, thinking that the upside of the young player outweighs the guarantee of the established guy's production (No Deal)?
Homer Bailey - AJ Burnett - A 25-start-a-year guy who is a solid #2 when healthy.
Johnny Cueto - Tom Gordon - Several years as a league-average starter, followed by a long career as a very good short reliever.
Jay Bruce - Jim Edmonds - 15 years as a 130 OPS+ guy, but only 5 seasons with 30+ HR, only 4 with 100+ RBI, and only 4 with 100+ Runs. Textbook "Hall of Very Good" guy.
Joey Votto - Eric Chavez - Several 30-100 seasons at his peak, but finished as a productive player by age 30.
Edinson Volquez - Jack McDowell - Several years of good, consistent production, contends for a Cy Young or two, done by age 30.
My initial answers would be Deal on Bailey and Volquez, No Deal on Cueto, Bruce and Votto.