The Reds are looking at Dexter Fowler, Barry Larkin is riding his high horse, and we discuss once more what we should expect from Homer Bailey.
Rumor du jour
The Reds could be exploring a trade that would send Mike Leake and prospects to the Rockies for Dexter Fowler. It's makes good sense for both sides, as the Reds need a lead-off man and the Rockies need pitching.
Of course, the quality of the deal would be contingent upon which prospects the Reds would be sending to Colorado. Fortunately, two similar deals have already been made this winter, so we have some good analogs. Denard Span was traded for Alex Meyer and Ben Revere was traded for Vance Worley and Trevor May. I think the Span deal was fair for both sides, but I think the Phillies overpaid for Revere. Worley is a decent analog to Leake, but adding a good pitching prospect to the deal tips the scales.
Personally, I would be very pleased to get Fowler. He's young and cost-controlled for four more seasons, and he also has a much better bat than either Revere or Span. Some are concerned about Fowler's defense, but honestly I couldn't give two cares. He gets on base, and that is something the Reds haven't had in a top-of-the-order bat in a good, long while. If the Rockies want to do Leake and Cingrani, I'd be okay with that. If it's Stephenson or Corcino, I would balk.
FanGraphs discusses what we should expect from Homer Bailey moving forward
Oh man, am I tired of this canard. It seems every winter for the past decade we've seen about 15 of these projection pieces from various internet baseball outlets. Nevertheless, it's a decent read if you need some 10 minutes to kill on your lunch break. There is nothing really new here, but his conclusion is positive:
"Although he is coming off a breakout season, Bailey does seem to have a bit more upside left in him. He posted an 8.3 K/9 back in 2010 and he does appear to still have the ability to push his strikeout rate back toward 8.0 for a full season. Combine that strikeout ability with sterling control and a slight ground ball tilt, and I think Bailey has a strong chance of maintaining a sub-4.00 ERA."
Barry Larkin thinks drugs cheats do not belong in the Hall of Fame
''I think if you cheated, no, you don't deserve it because I know how difficult it was for me to get there and how difficult it was for me just to compete on an everyday basis,'' Larkin said. ''I think if you cheated I think you made a decision and I don't think you belong.''
Raise your hand if you think dudes already in the Hall of Fame are the worst arbiters of who belongs.
Doug at Reds Minor Leagues has a good rundown of the state of the pitching depth on the farm
It's good for a nice primer on the young arms the Reds have been stocking the past few years. Robert Stephenson tops the list, but he also profiles Daniel Corcino, Nick Travieso, and Tony Cingrani, among others.