Sheldon wonders what the Prince Fielder deal means for Joey Votto
His conclusion is "not much". He's right, in that we all knew Votto was going to command a princely ransom in two years long before the news of Fielder's deal. I think the news is still a bit of cold water on the face of Reds fans though, as the actually dollars and cents of keeping him here in Cincy have come into a sharper focus.
Votto is one of the elite 1Bs in baseball, right up there with Prince, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Teixeira, and Miguel Cabrera. All of these guys are making something between $20 mil and $25 mil per year over seven to ten year deals. Votto will be 30 when he hits free agency, so he's not likely to get a nine or ten year deal like Prince (who's 28) and Albert (who's a demi-god), but Tex's eight years and $180 mil seems a very realistic possibility for our guy. That's not strictly-speaking impossible for the Reds to pull off, but yeah, it's kind of unlikely. But who cares about that. They're gonna win two World Series before then and make everything totally cool.
Blog Red Machine weighs in on the Roy Oswalt rumors
and makes the case that the Reds would be better off with Homer Bailey than Roy Oswalt. Problem is, he did a poor job of making that case. Mostly because that case isn't really there to be made. His basic argument is that RoyO's ground ball rate is down the past few years, and that he will cost more money than Homer.
I think some of us are forgetting just how great RoyO's been over his career. He boasts a career FIP of 3.35. His career ERA+ is 133. Though his strikeout rate and groundball rate are down from his prime years, he's still as stingy as ever with the walks. As for the injury concern, it's certainly legitimate. A pitcher with a bad back is always going to give me pause. But last year was the first year since '03 that he missed significant time. He's been remarkably healthy his entire career. And he's only going to be 34 next season. That's no spring chicken, but I'm pretty sure there is still some left in his tank.
It's all probably moot, as the Reds don't really have the cash to give Oswalt. So this conversation is almost entirely hypothetical. But make no mistake about it: Roy Oswalt would easily be the 3rd best starter on this team if he were signed tomorrow. He is better than Homer Bailey. He is better than Mike Leake. Hell, I even made a bet yesterday that his '12 season will be better than Johnny Cueto's. I realize that's something of a reach, but jeez louise. This guy has been one the best and most durable starting pitchers of the last decade. It should go without saying that the Reds would be extremely fortunate to have him.
Coco to go-go to To-To
Francisco Cordero signed a one year deal with the Blue Jays for $4.5 mil. He'll serve as the set-up man to their newly-acquired closer Sergio Santos. If reports from earlier in the winter are correct, Coco turned down a two-year deal from the Reds worth something like $12-14 mil. That was most definitely a mistake. Instead, the Reds got a superior pitcher in Ryan Madson for half the cost. Also, the Reds will receive a comp draft pick this coming June. Put another tick on the chalk board for ol' Walt.
Blog Red Machine lists the keys to success for the Reds in 2012
Included on the list are Mat Latos ascension to the top of the rotation, Aroldis Chapman's development, Jay Bruce smoothing out his slumps, and the development of young position players like Devin Mesoraco and Zack Cozart.
David Bell, new manager of the AAA Louisville Bats
spoke with The Fay about two of the prospects he'll have in his lineup this season.
On Neftali Soto: "He had a big year in a lot of ways. You see the offensive numbers with the home run total. It’s really impressive because he missed a substantial part of the year. But he really improved defensively at first base. I think part of that is because he moved around in the past. He played third and caught, which will help him in the long run. But this year he settled at first. He really improved. He’s capable of playing first in the majors right now."
On Denis Phipps: "I’ve had him for parts of three years. He really struggled. But he kept at it and it just finally clicked. It was fun to watch. That’s what the minor leagues are about. He can do everything. I think if he continues to build on what he did last year, you’ll see him in the major league sooner than later."
Three truths and a lie: Ryan Ludwick
In 2009, Hardball Times rated Ludwick No.9 all time among a very rare group of major leaguers: position players who bat right-handed and throw left-handed. No.1 on the list: Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson.
Ludwick attended Durango High School in Las Vegas, alma mater of NASCAR brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch. Ludwick and Kurt Busch were classmates, and Ludwick went to the NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway last year.
Ludwick is known around baseball as the life of the party, most notably for his impressive abilities in magic and illusion. He once made Troy Glaus disappear in his famous "Chamber of Infinity" trick. Glaus was not heard from for four days and when he reappeared, his chronically injured shoulder was fully healed. Unfortunately for Glaus, he re-injured it a few weeks later attempting to pop a wheelie on his four-wheeler.
Ludwick’s at-bat music in St. Louis, San Diego and Pittsburgh was the Beastie Boys’ "Brass Monkey."
Redleg Nation points out that Wily Mo Pena recently turned 30
Remember when he was 22 and hit 26 home runs?
Jonathan Mayo at MiLB.com has been running his prospect lists by position
and the Reds are well-represented at catcher. Though they traded Yasmani Grandal, #6 on the list, they are pinning their hopes on #2 on the list, Devin Mesoraco. Here's the blurb:
"Ramon Hernandez is gone. The prospect who might have pushed him, Yasmani Grandal, was dealt to San Diego. It's clear the Reds believe Mesoraco is the future behind the plate in Cincinnati. His game has come together over the past two years and he made his big league debut last September. Mesoraco has good power at the plate and a good approach that should allow him to hit for average as well. A plus arm has led to some high caught-stealing rates in the Minors, and he's a natural leader behind the plate. Even if Mesoraco shares time with Ryan Hanigan at first, the job should be his for a long time."
A Super Bowl viewing guide for people who don't want to watch the Super Bowl
Are you like me and have grown tired of the NFL? Does watching football only remind you of how much it is not baseball? Good news! Since the Patriots-Giants Super Bowl is going to be so stupid and dumb, Jon Bois has taken it upon himself to list the best alternative viewing for that particular evening.