The Fay wonders if signing Jay Bruce to a long term deal this winter would be worth it
After a great year OPSing around .850 and playing the best RF defense in baseball (suck on that, everyone else!), the 23-year-old Bruce should be eligible for arbitration this winter as a Super-2 player. In arbitration he could probably command a salary around $4 mil or so.
I liken Bruce's season this year to the one Joey Votto had last season. He proven he's one of the best players in the game at his position. And next year Bruce is going to win an MVP, like Votto will this season (suck on that, everyone else!). That's why I think now is the time to get Bruce signed long-term. I would like to see something resembling what Grady Sizemore got before the '06 season (6 years $23 mil), but that's probably a pipe dream. That deal would be a steal, just like it was for Sizemore (even if he's been hurt for 2 years). Something like 6 years for $40 mil or so should be a reasonable offer. What do you think?
It looks like the Reds are going to give Orlando Cabrera the Ramon Hernandez Treatment
His $4 mil option is likely to be declined, but Walt says he's still interested in bringing him back at a more reasonable price. If Walt is to be believed (I think he is), the Reds were willing to play this past season with Paul Janish at SS until Lando was signed just before Spring Training. After the decent little season Janish had, I would think they would be even more willing to go with him for next season.
This gives the Reds some nice leverage in any discussions they may have with Lando. I'm kind of ambivalent regarding his return. He was not very good this past season and Dusty insisted that he hit in front of Joey Votto, which is not as bad as hitting Willy Taveras in front of Joey Votto, but not good nonetheless. I'm afraid if Lando comes back it will be as a #2 hitter, where he clearly does not belong. I'm actually open to the idea of Lando's return in general, but I think these particular circumstances give me pause. The SS position is going to be one of the most discussed of the offseason, but none of those will involve Paul Janish. We already had that conversation last week.
FanGraphs uses their handsome WPA stat to review the Reds/Phillies series
As WPA stands for "Win Probability Added", it's safe to assume the Reds don't feature much here. Joey Votto wears the equally unfortunate and unlikely "Grocery Sack of Failure" for the series, tallying up a -.237 WPA. Here's what they said about him:
"Pretty much the entire Reds team was flustered by Cole Hamels in Game 3, but Votto failed in one of the most important situations for the Reds. With the team down 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Votto grounded into a double play for a -.161 WPA, lowering the Reds win expectancy to 1.4% in what would be their final game...Simply an atrocious series for the likely NL MVP. Much of this came from that final game in which he was completely stymied by Hamels, but he couldn’t exactly put a game together against Halladay or Oswalt either."
While it was incredibly difficult to watch our boy have such a terrible series, we can take some small solace in the fact that most everyone had an awful or unremarkable series at the plate regardless of team. And Votto lead the universe in WPA in the regular season, so there's that.
The Reds have extended their development deal with the Billings Mustangs through 2014
The Reds have been in Billings since 1974 when Ali and Foreman Rumbled in the Jungle, the Rubik's Cube was invented, and OPEC ended their oil embargo.
The Cardinals have agreed to pay Tony LaRussa to make crank calls to the bullpen for at least one more season
The old fella's been in St Louis since 1996 when Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov, MLS played its inaugural season, and I got a detention for correcting my English teacher when she mistakenly said John Glenn was the first American in space.
Q With so many Reds players contemplating a long-term contract and with so many players having a history of performance drop-off after securing a long-term deal, might this be a concern in Redsville? — Dave, Miamisburg/Centerville/Beavercreek
A Redsville? There is a Redsville, Ga., where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent some time in prison, but I’ve never heard Cincinnati called Redsville. Redland, yes, but Redsville, no. Anyway, you’ve touched a nerve with me. I despise long-term contracts and many times players who sign them become liabilities. Can you say Aaron Harang or Eric Milton? But there is nothing teams can do under baseball’s current structure but sign ’em, pay ’em big and pray for a high return.