Here's some stuff to read as you wait for news about the inevitable trades that could happen at any time now. Rest assured that when the trades do happen, your crack Red Reporter staff will be ready and able to post analysis of the moves, just as soon as we sober up enough to find the home row on our keyboards.
Now that Johnny Cueto's days as a Cincinnati Red are numbered (and it's likely a very small number), I'm going to miss finding articles about how awesome he is, so here's one for the road: Craig Edwards of Fangraphs is Examining the Career Year of Johnny Cueto, Trade Target.
In an article that hit on one of Red Reporter's favorite topics, Richard Fitch discusses the decline of Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman for The Cauldron. The senior Brennaman's ever-increasing curmudgeonliness, disdain for modern statistical analysis, and tendency to scapegoat certain players has of course been analyzed thoroughly on this site, but I guess it's nice to see that other people agree.
Earlier this week, Bill Barnwell posted an interesting article on Grantland about the possibility of MLB instituting a player loaning system. One example he used was Chris Sale, suggesting that since the White Sox are unlikely to contend this year, they should be able to lend Sale to a contender in exchange for prospects, and then get Sale back at the end of the season to play out the rest of his contract. It's an interesting thought experiment, although I think it's unlikely to be instituted for a number of reasons. However, Deadspin's Tom Ley took notice of Barnwell's idea and had a different view on the matter, believing that Barnwell is unfairly dismissing the value watching Sale pitch for their favorite team has for White Sox fans:
What’s exasperating, though, isn’t just the creeping assumption that sports are as much about smart portfolio management as impressive athletic feats, but the way the present is routinely waved off as prelude to a hypothetical and ever-receding future.
It's an interesting take, and one that Reds fans should keep in mind this trading season. While it makes total sense to trade players like Cueto, Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman, who would be worth far more to contending teams than they would the Reds right now, the tendency to view players primarily in terms of the prospects that they would bring back in trade can easily be taken too far. One needs only to remember what Todd Frazier did last Monday night to realize his value, even to a non contending team. Put another way, even bad teams have to give fans a reason to tune in or head out to the ballpark. I'm interested in the community's thoughts on the matter.
Buried in the onslaught of questions about the Pete Rose situation he faced over the past week, Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed willingness to consider further expansion in MLB in the relatively near future. While this is a continuation of his clear trend in keeping an open mind about pretty much everything he's asked about, I have a hard time taking expansion talk too seriously for a few reasons, not least of which being it would upset MLB's carefully constructed system of two leagues containing three divisions of five teams each. The realignment that expansion would necessitate would be a major headache.
Finally, do you guys remember back in Spring Training when Will Ferrell spent the day playing for every team in Arizona? That feels like forever ago now. Anyway, the documentary about that day is called Ferrell Takes the Field, and it will be premiering on HBO on September 12. Here's the trailer. Looks pretty funny.