Red Reposter - Gomes trade bad for defense (and fielding too)

Jonny Gomes #31 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on from the dugout against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Colby Rasmus ran up the tunnel and demanded to be traded after locking eyes briefly with Gomes.

"He was a big part of our family." - Dusty Baker

Cueto screwed over by offensively deficient defense
The Reds did seem to play as if they were distracted last night. It's true Jonny Gomes was being physically packaged up for shipment to DC in the owner's box, visible from the field. But three charged errors (and probably five real ones total) is overkill. That hung 6 unearned runs on Cueto, who wasn't being hit particularly hard and only issued one walk, though he threw a lot of pitches, which wore him out early. Cueto tipped his hand to his tweaked '11 strategy - a highly successful one so far - which is to "put the ball into play." Cueto actually struck out more than he had in a month (5 Ks in 5 IP), but the defense was efficient with its inefficiency.

Despite an 8-6 loss, Cueto's ERA sunk to 1.88, though he's still about 2-3 innings shy of the minimum to qualify.

Mark Sheldon has reax from Jocketty, Gomes on the trade
No "pursuing other opportunities" here. Jocketty reaffirms that the club thinks highly of Gomes, but seemed eager to find a place for Alonso. He outlines the post-Gomes plan in almost micromanager detail:

"[Yonder will] be able to spell Joey [Votto] from time-to-time at first base and he'll play some left field. He'll be a left-handed hitter off the bench. The one thing we do know about Yonder is he can hit. He can flat out hit. That's what we want to see. That's what we need."

Gomes was palpably sad to leave, but quick to show his gratitude for the chance he had in CIncinnati. He acknowledged that it's a "results-driven industry," unlike, say, any of the industries located in the town where he's headed. Gomes had a level-headed take on his performance:

"The name of the game is on-base, if you can get it 100 points higher than your average, it's great. I had that. I had 11 homers in 220 at-bats, I think that's good. 30 RBIs is pretty good. Runs scored were there. The first thing there is average and that's what everyone looks at. It would have been nice to have an opportunity to turn it around"

This is the usual mix of thoughtfulness and emotional depth from Gomes. It's not quantifiable, it may not even have any effect on his own baseball performance or teammates, but it's not negligible.

Gomes, of course, doesn't mention defense. Theguy who replaces him on the roster, Yonder Alonso, is not going to be an improvement in the field, nor will he hit lefties anywhere close to the level at which Gomes does. The move doesn't cover up Gomes flaws in a 1:1 way. Instead, it lets Heisey improve the position and (hopefully) get a full field test for next year, while Alonso improves the bench and serves as a credible back-up for Votto. Any time Yonder spends in LF, in my mind, is dipping a toe in the water. I know it's absurd to talk about a player being showcased for less than a week before the deadline. And Yonder has been thoroughly scouted both in college and the minors. But I think the Reds are also sending a message that they're willing to promote him while still being nominally in contention. And they're not afraid to send him out to play left field in the majors. That may count for something.

FanGraphs sizes up the trade
The move doesn't make a ton of sense for the Nationals. If they want a compensation pick, Gomes will need to qualify as Type B and refuse arbitration. They'll be able to draft talent with a better ceiling than the two players they gave away, but possibly a lower floor.  I'd Gomes as likely to accept arb, unless he really doesn't want to stay in DC. Then they'd have him for $2-$2.5M.

Fangraphs' Trade Deadline Necessities #7: Reds
I'm a little surprised at FanGraphs. The names they throw out are kinda silly, though this is about who's left after Shields is off the table and you put aside Jimenez. Aaron Harang is not coming back to Great American Ballpark. The irony alone would put the spacetime fabric at risk. Jeremy Guthrie? I still don't get it. Brett Meyers? Barf City. And Wandy Rodriguez? Why would the Astros surrender their one remaining tool to stave off complete humiliation by keeping him in the division> looks over the prospects in the Gomes deal
Chris Manno and Bill Rhinehart are their names. Manno seems to be the player with Expectations. He's been completely lights out at A Hagerstown, though he's definitely old for the level.

Nats reax collected over at Federal Baseball
It's hard not to feel a twinge of jealousy when you see that checkered cartoon suit from the Fountain Square celebration. But it's still the Cincinnationals, forever staging 2 Year Reds Outfield Reunions. Mike Rizzo has finally assembled that Nix-Gomes platoon the Reds toyed with over the past few seasons.

MLBTR reminds GMS that Mesoraco and Hamilton are Untouchable
This means, among other things, that a Jimenez deal would almost certainly include Chapman.

John Heyman thinks teams are still in on Upton
BJ, that is. Maybe that's what the Reds need to de-stress. GMs have it back down to a 20% chance that Jimenez is traded.

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