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TheBee

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"They're going to continue to try to land a starting pitcher. That's Wayne Krivsky's mandate from ownership.The only limitation is he has to do it without giving up Jay Bruce. So far, that's what has kept the Reds from completing a deal with Baltimore for left-hander Erik Bedard.They continue to try to swing the deal without Bruce included. The hope is the Orioles will ease off their demand for Bruce and accept a package built around Homer Bailey.The Reds had expressed interest in Haren but thought the price was too steep. The A's apparently wanted a package that included Johnny Cueto.The Haren trade makes the competition for Bedard stiffer, particularly since it upped the ante for the National League West. The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly are leading the race to land Bedard.If the Dodgers land Bedard or the O's don't back off wanting Bruce in the deal, the Reds will have to turn elsewhere."

Certainly nothing earth-shattering here, but I thought the Cueto tid-bit was interesting. I know some people here hoped they might package Bailey and Cueto together if we backed off Bruce demands. This would suggest that is unlikely. I assume the Dodger piece just hasn't been properly updated now that Kuroda has signed.? Mariner fans are blogging that we will sense blood in the water when they call about Bedard now. They seem generally unconvinced Bavasi will swing a deal for Bedard. Is that because the M's won't package the likes of Jones, Morrow, Tillman, and Balentien or do they feel (like some of you) that they don't have enough?

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New article today from John Fay, who I believe is the Reds' beat reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Fay wrote the article last Sunday that got a lot of discussion here. What's interesting to me is that his views seem to reflect those of the Reds' management.

This is probably the closest insight I have seen to how Krivsky is thinking.

Cincinnati Enquirer article

No new details, but he makes the case that Haren and Bedard are the only two pitchers (apart from Santana) who could help the Reds in 08, and with Harden gone it is down to Bedard. He throws Blanton's name out there, but without much enthusiasm.

He saves the best for last:

My sense is the Reds will get something done. Going into the season with Matt Belisle as the No. 3 starter isn't a good plan. Belisle might develop into a consistent winner. But "might" is the operative word. The same can be said of Bailey.

The stakes in the NL Central got a little higher last week when the Houston Astros added Miguel Tejada (speaking of the Mitchell Report) and Jose Valverde, the major-league saves leader.

Reds ownership doesn't want three question marks in the rotation. Krivsky, in the final year of his contract, knows winning is essential to his job security.

That sounds like a recipe to get a deal done

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I truly think that dealing Bedard to Cincinnati is our best bet. There are a number of ways to go with them.

These are the guys that interest me in the order of preference:

Bruce

Cueto

Votto

Maloney

Hamilton

Encarnacion

Stubbs

Bailey

I put Bailey at the bottom of the list because I'm concerned about his walk and strikeout rates.

What if Cincy offered just Bruce and Cueto?

I like a Votto, Cueto, Maloney, and Stubbs deal for Bedard and a relief pitcher or two.

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"They're going to continue to try to land a starting pitcher. That's Wayne Krivsky's mandate from ownership.The only limitation is he has to do it without giving up Jay Bruce. So far, that's what has kept the Reds from completing a deal with Baltimore for left-hander Erik Bedard.They continue to try to swing the deal without Bruce included. The hope is the Orioles will ease off their demand for Bruce and accept a package built around Homer Bailey.The Reds had expressed interest in Haren but thought the price was too steep. The A's apparently wanted a package that included Johnny Cueto.The Haren trade makes the competition for Bedard stiffer, particularly since it upped the ante for the National League West. The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly are leading the race to land Bedard.If the Dodgers land Bedard or the O's don't back off wanting Bruce in the deal, the Reds will have to turn elsewhere."

Certainly nothing earth-shattering here, but I thought the Cueto tid-bit was interesting. I know some people here hoped they might package Bailey and Cueto together if we backed off Bruce demands. This would suggest that is unlikely. I assume the Dodger piece just hasn't been properly updated now that Kuroda has signed.? Mariner fans are blogging that we will sense blood in the water when they call about Bedard now. They seem generally unconvinced Bavasi will swing a deal for Bedard. Is that because the M's won't package the likes of Jones, Morrow, Tillman, and Balentien or do they feel (like some of you) that they don't have enough?

Nice first post, and welcome to the Hangout! :)

AM seems to be holding to a demand for Bruce, which is interesting.

Who knows what Bavasi is willing to package? We need Jones and Morrow likely along with at least a 3rd guy.

Hopefully something big will go down with Johan Santana in the near future, then the Bedard situation will really heat up and we'll get the resolution most of us hope for.

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I truly think that dealing Bedard to Cincinnati is our best bet. There are a number of ways to go with them.

These are the guys that interest me in the order of preference:

Bruce

Cueto

Votto

Maloney

Hamilton

Encarnacion

Stubbs

Bailey

I put Bailey at the bottom of the list because I'm concerned about his walk and strikeout rates.

What if Cincy offered just Bruce and Cueto?

I like a Votto, Cueto, Maloney, and Stubbs deal for Bedard and a relief pitcher or two.

I'd make that deal.

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Thanks for the clipping. I think we should hold out for Jay Bruce, but that we won't get him. Bedard is an ace lefty. Bruce has a lot of talent and solid stats at a young age, but he still has a lot to prove. That he's not touchable shows me that the Reds aren't likely to offer the best package. And I want no part of Hamilton in a trade for Bedard. When you give up a lefty ace, in his prime, two years from FA, you get solid young players with strong credentials in return. By his own admission, Hamilton will always be one bad day away from total meltdown with drugs. Too much risk when you're giving away the 2nd best lefty in baseball. I think we need to be patient and be the last man standing.....meaning, wait out the Santana situation.

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Just some food for thought. Joe Jordan wanted to draft Bruce but the Reds had the pick before us and took him. Then we took Snyder.

I remember this well. I have to think that this is the reason we are pushing so hard for Bruce. While I don't think Bruce should be a deal-breaker, I'm at least glad to see that MacPhail is taking input from Jordan, and taking it to heart. Same goes for Patton from the Astros.

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I think with Cincinnati's objective being to 'win now', I'd imagine they'd prefer to keep the nearer-to-ready Bailey over Cueto, but that's just my view.

Cueto, Votto and Hamilton seals the deal, but I can't see the Reds doing both Votto AND Hamilton. So.... where can we meet the Reds to make us both happy?

RHP Cueto, 1B Votto, 3B Francisco, RHP Roenicke

From BA (Baseball America): These guys are the 3rd, 4th, 8th, and 9th best Reds prospects...

3. Joey Votto, 1b/of Born: Sept. 10, 1983 • B-T: L-L • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 200

Drafted: HS—Toronto, 2002 (2nd round) • Signed by: John Castleberry

Background: Votto was the Double-A Southern League's MVP in 2006 and the Triple-A International League's rookie of the year in 2007. He didn't watch any Reds games or highlights in 2007 because he vowed to see the Great American Ballpark in person by earning a promotion, then went 3-for-3 with a homer in his first big league start in September.

Strengths: Votto has turned himself into a tough out. He uses the entire field, has natural power to both power alleys and has developed a feel for the strike zone that allows him to lay off pitches off the plate. He makes good adjustments, which allowed him to fix his swing after he hit .197 in April. He shortened his stroke and closed off some holes. He projects as a .270-280 hitter with 25 home runs. In a move to increase Votto's versatility, the Reds started playing him in left field last season. He took to the position more quickly than expected, showing average range with a plus arm. At first base, he's average with adequate range. He has shown the ability to steal bases, more with aggressiveness than speed.

Weaknesses: Votto isn't a natural athlete. Because he lacks awareness of his body mechanics, he has to take plenty of swings in the cage every day to keep his swing in tune. He does most of his damage against righthanders, but he has been decent against lefties. His speed is slightly below average.

The Future: Though Votto has done everything he can in the minors, the Reds picked up the 2008 option on starting first baseman Scott Hatteberg. Votto will challenge for Hatteberg's job in spring training. He was fitted with contact lenses after his slow start, but planned to have laser eye surgery during the offseason to improve his vision.

4. Johnny Cueto, rhp Born: Feb. 15, 1986 • B-T: R-R • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 192

Signed: Dominican Republic, 2004 • Signed by: Johnny Almaraz

Background: Cueto was the first player signed out of the Dominican Republic after Cincinnati reworked its international scouting department in 2004. Thanks in part to working with former Reds star Mario Soto, Cueto hasn't taken long to become one of the system's gems. He rose from high Class A to Triple-A in 2007.

Strengths: Cueto pitches like a 10-year major league veteran, not a fresh-faced 21-year-old. He features a 93-94 mph fastball that touches 96, a tight 83-88 mph slider and a solid changeup that he, like many Reds prospects, learned from Soto. He'll pitch off his fastball one time through the order, then baffle hitters with his slider and changeup the next time. He also can add and subtract velocity to confuse batters. His makeup is impeccable, which is why the Reds have felt comfortable keeping him on the fast track.

Weaknesses: Cueto has above-average control is but he sometimes struggles with command in the strike zone. He found in his brief exposure to Triple-A that more advanced hitters will punish pitches up in the strike zone, even 94-mph fastballs. Because of his small stature there will always be concerns about his durability, especially if he remains a starter, but his clean delivery helps alleviate some of those worries.

The Future: The Reds plan on acquiring a veteran starter this offseason, which would leave Cueto without a clear spot in the rotation. He could bide his time waiting for an opening by helping out the Cincinnati bullpen or getting more Triple-A seasoning.

8. Juan Francisco, 3b Born: June 24, 1987 • B-T: L-R • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 180

Signed: Dominican Republic, 2004 • Signed by: Juan Peralta

Background: One of the products of the Reds' renewed emphasis in pursuing Latin American talent, Francisco led the Midwest League with 25 homers. A temporary requirement that he choke up on the bat helped improve his bat control, and he hit 10 homers in the final month.

Strengths: Francisco has long arms that generate exceptional leverage and raw power that compares with that of Jay Bruce and Joey Votto. He also has the system's best infield arm, a cannon that allows him to turn infield hits into outs. He also has good first-step quickness and is an average to slightly above-average runner, especially underway.

Weaknesses: When pitchers don't challenge Francisco, he's so aggressive that he'll get himself out by chasing pitches out of the zone. He'll have to cut down on his strikeouts to keep his average up as he faces more advanced pitching. As he fills out, he'll lose some of his speed and will have to watch his weight if he's to remain at third base. First base and the outfield corners are the alternatives.

The Future: Francisco is developing nicely and will head to high Class A at age 20. The Reds are shaping up to have a logjam at the hot corner, with Edwin Encarnacion in the majors and Todd Frazier, Francisco and Pioneer League home run champ Brandon Waring in the minors.

9. Josh Roenicke, rhp Born: Aug. 4, 1982 • B-T: R-R • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 195

Drafted: UCLA, 2006 • Signed by: Rex de la Nuez

Background: Roenicke originally went to UCLA as a wide receiver, but after failing to catch a pass in two seasons he chose to emulate his father Gary and uncle Ron, former major league outfielders. Roenicke didn't hit much for the Bruins, but area scout Rex de la Nuez saw enough in his 13 innings as a reliever to get the Reds to draft him in the 10th round. After signing for $20,000, Roenicke has flown through the system, reaching Double-A in his first full pro season.

Strengths: Roenicke dominates hitters with a live 93-95 mph fastball that he'll run up to 98 mph on occasion. His fastball has late movement that adds to its effectiveness. He pairs it with an 87-89 mph cutter that has so much action that one opposing manager described it as a splitter. He's an excellent athlete and has the fearless approach to close games. His mechanics are clean.

Weaknesses: As expected from a recently converted outfielder, Roenicke is still an unpolished pitcher. His control is just adequate and he'll have to sharpen his command before he makes it to the big leagues. He's still learning about setting up batters and proper pitch selection.

The Future: He's already 25, but Roenicke is making up for a lot of lost time with his rapid rise. He could be in Cincinnati by September and should be at least a big league setup man with a chance to develop into a closer.

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Last I heard from our insiders the best deal that the Reds were offering was Bailey, Hamilton, and some minor league SS. If that is what they are offering than I say pass. I would rather hold on to Bedard than make that deal. I do not think that we need to get Bruce back in the deal. He is their top prospect and I understand not wanting to give him up. I wouldn't want to give up Weiters in any deal either. I would def trade Bedard for a Votto, Bailey and 2 prospects like Stubbs and someone else. I am not big on Hamilton as the second player. Especially now that I have learned that he had a past drug issue, which I didn't know before.

Bedard for Votto, Bailey and Stubbs = done deal for me that is REALISTIC

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one last thought about patience. We've got the goods here. I think from our recent trading history that we're not accustomed to being in this position of strength. I think a lot of Oriole fans think of the Bedard trade as the kickoff to a mountain of smaller deals, that everything else is on hold until this resolves. I think it should be the opposite if we want the best return for him. Haren is out, Kuroda is out, Santana is next. We want to be last! We can take calls from NY and Boston, help set the market higher for Bedard. Doesn't mean we have to deal with them in the end, but ultimately, their involvement will help one or two of the smaller market teams sweeten the pot. There is no reason we should not be demanding most any teams #1 prospect in trade for Bedard.

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Just some food for thought. Joe Jordan wanted to draft Bruce but the Reds had the pick before us and took him. Then we took Snyder.

I recall that vividly... funny how one higher draft slot can make all the difference. Hopefully Snyder will work out and we'll be pleased. :)

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I think with Cincinnati's objective being to 'win now', I'd imagine they'd prefer to keep the nearer-to-ready Bailey over Cueto, but that's just my view.

Cueto, Votto and Hamilton seals the deal, but I can't see the Reds doing both Votto AND Hamilton. So.... where can we meet the Reds to make us both happy?

RHP Cueto, 1B Votto, 3B Francisco, RHP Roenicke

From BA (Baseball America): These guys are the 3rd, 4th, 8th, and 9th best Reds prospects...

3. Joey Votto, 1b/of Born: Sept. 10, 1983 • B-T: L-L • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 200

Drafted: HS—Toronto, 2002 (2nd round) • Signed by: John Castleberry

Background: Votto was the Double-A Southern League's MVP in 2006 and the Triple-A International League's rookie of the year in 2007. He didn't watch any Reds games or highlights in 2007 because he vowed to see the Great American Ballpark in person by earning a promotion, then went 3-for-3 with a homer in his first big league start in September.

Strengths: Votto has turned himself into a tough out. He uses the entire field, has natural power to both power alleys and has developed a feel for the strike zone that allows him to lay off pitches off the plate. He makes good adjustments, which allowed him to fix his swing after he hit .197 in April. He shortened his stroke and closed off some holes. He projects as a .270-280 hitter with 25 home runs. In a move to increase Votto's versatility, the Reds started playing him in left field last season. He took to the position more quickly than expected, showing average range with a plus arm. At first base, he's average with adequate range. He has shown the ability to steal bases, more with aggressiveness than speed.

Weaknesses: Votto isn't a natural athlete. Because he lacks awareness of his body mechanics, he has to take plenty of swings in the cage every day to keep his swing in tune. He does most of his damage against righthanders, but he has been decent against lefties. His speed is slightly below average.

The Future: Though Votto has done everything he can in the minors, the Reds picked up the 2008 option on starting first baseman Scott Hatteberg. Votto will challenge for Hatteberg's job in spring training. He was fitted with contact lenses after his slow start, but planned to have laser eye surgery during the offseason to improve his vision.

4. Johnny Cueto, rhp Born: Feb. 15, 1986 • B-T: R-R • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 192

Signed: Dominican Republic, 2004 • Signed by: Johnny Almaraz

Background: Cueto was the first player signed out of the Dominican Republic after Cincinnati reworked its international scouting department in 2004. Thanks in part to working with former Reds star Mario Soto, Cueto hasn't taken long to become one of the system's gems. He rose from high Class A to Triple-A in 2007.

Strengths: Cueto pitches like a 10-year major league veteran, not a fresh-faced 21-year-old. He features a 93-94 mph fastball that touches 96, a tight 83-88 mph slider and a solid changeup that he, like many Reds prospects, learned from Soto. He'll pitch off his fastball one time through the order, then baffle hitters with his slider and changeup the next time. He also can add and subtract velocity to confuse batters. His makeup is impeccable, which is why the Reds have felt comfortable keeping him on the fast track.

Weaknesses: Cueto has above-average control is but he sometimes struggles with command in the strike zone. He found in his brief exposure to Triple-A that more advanced hitters will punish pitches up in the strike zone, even 94-mph fastballs. Because of his small stature there will always be concerns about his durability, especially if he remains a starter, but his clean delivery helps alleviate some of those worries.

The Future: The Reds plan on acquiring a veteran starter this offseason, which would leave Cueto without a clear spot in the rotation. He could bide his time waiting for an opening by helping out the Cincinnati bullpen or getting more Triple-A seasoning.

8. Juan Francisco, 3b Born: June 24, 1987 • B-T: L-R • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 180

Signed: Dominican Republic, 2004 • Signed by: Juan Peralta

Background: One of the products of the Reds' renewed emphasis in pursuing Latin American talent, Francisco led the Midwest League with 25 homers. A temporary requirement that he choke up on the bat helped improve his bat control, and he hit 10 homers in the final month.

Strengths: Francisco has long arms that generate exceptional leverage and raw power that compares with that of Jay Bruce and Joey Votto. He also has the system's best infield arm, a cannon that allows him to turn infield hits into outs. He also has good first-step quickness and is an average to slightly above-average runner, especially underway.

Weaknesses: When pitchers don't challenge Francisco, he's so aggressive that he'll get himself out by chasing pitches out of the zone. He'll have to cut down on his strikeouts to keep his average up as he faces more advanced pitching. As he fills out, he'll lose some of his speed and will have to watch his weight if he's to remain at third base. First base and the outfield corners are the alternatives.

The Future: Francisco is developing nicely and will head to high Class A at age 20. The Reds are shaping up to have a logjam at the hot corner, with Edwin Encarnacion in the majors and Todd Frazier, Francisco and Pioneer League home run champ Brandon Waring in the minors.

9. Josh Roenicke, rhp Born: Aug. 4, 1982 • B-T: R-R • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 195

Drafted: UCLA, 2006 • Signed by: Rex de la Nuez

Background: Roenicke originally went to UCLA as a wide receiver, but after failing to catch a pass in two seasons he chose to emulate his father Gary and uncle Ron, former major league outfielders. Roenicke didn't hit much for the Bruins, but area scout Rex de la Nuez saw enough in his 13 innings as a reliever to get the Reds to draft him in the 10th round. After signing for $20,000, Roenicke has flown through the system, reaching Double-A in his first full pro season.

Strengths: Roenicke dominates hitters with a live 93-95 mph fastball that he'll run up to 98 mph on occasion. His fastball has late movement that adds to its effectiveness. He pairs it with an 87-89 mph cutter that has so much action that one opposing manager described it as a splitter. He's an excellent athlete and has the fearless approach to close games. His mechanics are clean.

Weaknesses: As expected from a recently converted outfielder, Roenicke is still an unpolished pitcher. His control is just adequate and he'll have to sharpen his command before he makes it to the big leagues. He's still learning about setting up batters and proper pitch selection.

The Future: He's already 25, but Roenicke is making up for a lot of lost time with his rapid rise. He could be in Cincinnati by September and should be at least a big league setup man with a chance to develop into a closer.

Gregg, that is an outstanding post! Thank You. I would do that deal for Bedard. I loved Gary Roenicke. He was one of my favorite O's all time. Gary was an outstanding LFer. One of the best in the game defensively. If we get his boy, I will hang on every pitch the kid makes. And hope he doesn't hang many of his pitches. LOL. Votto and Cueto are the keys to me. We need to steer clear of Homer, and get Cueto instead. My deal is slightly different. I want Votto, Cueto, Keppinger and Roenicke for Bedard and Hoey.

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