If the rumors are true, the Reds have traded Drew Stubbs and Didi Gregorius for who would now be former Cleveland Indians Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald. Gregorius was moved to the Diamondbacks after this deal.

From the Reds side

Losing Drew Stubbs at this point in time isn’t a big deal. While I fully believe he is better than he showed in 2012, he isn’t exactly someone you worry about losing. Gregorius is more of a concern at this point. Zack Cozart is going into his age 27 season and has a career OBP of .290 in the Majors. That isn’t good. Gregorius projects to be better than that, perhaps even an above-average shortstop at the Major League level.

From the Indians side

Acquiring Shin-Soo Choo, the Reds add a true above-average bat to their lineup. While he struggles with lefties, he crushes righties and they make up a majority of the league. The one cause for concern is that the Reds reportedly plan to play him in center, where he has all of 10 games in his career as a soon to be 30 year old Major Leaguer. That isn’t a good sign and could significantly cause issues for the pitching staff who will have to throw more pitches and fewer innings because of it. Choo does represent a huge offensive upgrade at the position though.  With Jason Donald it is interesting. He has hit in the minor leagues and shown good plate discipline. In the Majors? Not so much. Over the last two seasons in the Majors he has 12 walks and 75 strikeouts. That is Juan Francisco bad. He could be a back up, but showing the plate discipline he has shown in the minors would actually give him value. With what he has shown in the Majors over the last two seasons, he probably doesn’t have any value to the team at the Major League level.

I like the deal, but I don’t love the deal. The Reds gave up a lot for a one year rental of a very good baseball player.

I will update this if any of the rumors change.

95 Responses

  1. Justin

    i personally like him alot better than Wilson Valdez. I dont know how good Donald is at the defensive side of things tho. anyone care to enlighten me? also he can play multiple positions which is a plus.

    • Doug Gray

      Offensively, at least in the Majors, he hasn’t really done anything that says he is better than Valdez. Defensively, older BA reports say he is more suited for 2B than SS, but that tells me he can cover SS when you need him to every now and again.

      • MK

        Tells me Burris makes the team to take Valdez spot. Donnel takes Cairo’s

  2. Eric

    Do the Reds get a pick if they offer Choo a qualifying offer? I know you don’t get one for midseason trades but wondering about this situation. If they get the pick (and as importantly, the slot money) I love this deal.

    • Ron

      Reds would get a pick if they make the qualifying offer. Usually its a risky proposition to offer it to anyone but the top players, but since Choo is a Boras client there is a good chance he’ll decline it. It’ll be interesting to see what the Reds decide to do next off season if this trade goes through

    • Doug Gray

      As Ron noted, if they make the offer, they will get the pick. Unless Choo completely bombs, they will make the offer.

  3. CMT

    Getting him before the season starts, I think Choo would be eligible for draft compensation, right? And if he has the kind of season the Reds hope, making him a one-year qualifying offer would be pretty low-risk. If that holds true, it’s one year of Choo + a comp pick, which with the way the Reds draft makes this a really good trade in my opinion. I like it even without possible compensation. With it, it’s a no-brainer.

  4. Brett S

    There’s at least a chance that the Reds get Choo a longer deal. Maybe it’s less than 20%, but it exists. The Reds have traded for several players recently who later signed extensions. Not to mention the Votto and Phillips deals, which both surprised me at least. I might be underestimating the Boras factor, but the Reds have been good at keeping the free agents they want to keep (even if fans sometimes disagree).

    The idea of Choo in LF batting ahead of Votto with Hamilton is so enticing that I think Walt will at least try to make it happen.

    • Alan Horn

      The timing would also be close. Ludwick going and Hamilton coming. Like Doug mentioned earlier, he is a Boros client, so that could complicate things. Also, we need to wait and see how well he performs for the Reds. He will be changing leagues and facing new pitchers. That could be a challenge at least to start.

  5. MK

    I’ve heard the Rockies are also involved, with Fowler coming to Reds and Choo to Rockies, but Leake going to Rockies as well.

    • Brett S

      What! My head hurts… Can we get Fowler, Choo, and Bruce to be our outfield this year? I’d like that best.

    • Alan Horn

      I don’t know how I feel about Choo versus Fowler. If you check Fowler’s stats, his only really good year with the bat was this past season. That could mean he is just taking off, but Choo is more proven with a series of good years with the bat. We would have control of Fowler much longer which offsets some of the sting of losing Didi. Then when Hamilton arrives, we have 2 lead off hitters. I guess Fowler could be traded at that point.

      • MK

        They would at least have more control of Fowler and he would definitely play better defense.

      • Alan Horn

        Maybe Choo will play well enough that the Reds will extend him and eventually move him to LF. If not, we will get the draft pick.

      • Doug Gray

        The Indians have tried extending him and he wants no part of it.

      • Justin

        Maybe he will be open for an extension with a winning club. Cleveland sucks. i would gladly sign a two or three year extension

      • Alan Horn

        A lot of others have wanted to stay with the Reds. Marshall, Broxton and Ludwick. Cueto, Votto and Bruce
        resigning. I agree though, Boros could throw a kink in things.

      • Doug Gray

        Guys don’t sign with Boras to sign with teams like Cincinnati.

      • Alan Horn

        Do you think the Reds being a winning team might change his mind? Again, Walt uses a good, but blocked, young player to improve the team. Grandal, Alonso, Sappelt, Wood and now Didi. If the Reds want a SS who can play great defense but not necessarily hit(for a bench player), what about Rojas. He can’t hit, but he can flat out play SS. Do we still have him?

  6. sultan of swaff

    Didi’s minor league numbers closely resemble Pokey Reese. In my heart of hearts, I preferred Cozart. I’m just not convinced Didi’s offensive floor is as solid as Cozart. I mean, a slight upgrade to Cozart’s walk rate and we’re talking an above average SS……and it’s not like he’s bad now, simply middle of the pack. On a team like this, that’s plenty.

    • Doug Gray

      Pokey Reese in todays game, at least the guy from 99-02, is an above-average shortstop when you consider all facets of his game. He just happened to play in an era where shortstops all hit like Tulo. In that time frame, Reese was basically Cozart, with a little more OBP and a little less pop to go with better defense.

      • Foxbud

        Didi is no sure thing to hit at the MLB level. Same with his OBP. This trade to me seems like the least damage to the minor league system while filling a major void. Gaining the compensatory pick seals it for me. Great trade!

        Forgotten in this is you now have a perfect role for Heisey to fill against some LH pitching (Choo’s weakness).

      • Doug Gray

        Sure, but I think Didi is a higher average/higher OBP guy and is without a doubt a better defender.

        Choo can play against lefties. He just doesn’t have power against them. He does get on base against them.

      • Doug Gray

        And for a while there, he was a better hitter too. He just played in an ERA where most shortstops hit like Tulo and not like Cozart.

  7. Keith

    I like DiDi, and I kept wanting to not like the deal because of losing him… but Choo gives us a legit top of the lineup bat, and I think he makes this team much better in 2013. DiDi may turn out to be much better than Cozart in the end, but any other outfielder of Choo’s quality would have cost far more than that, so I’m pretty happy with it. Dexter Fowler wasn’t walking through that door this cheaply, and neither was Span or Revere. I like the move–makes the team much better this year. Hopefully Cozart will continue to improve and we can worry about 2014 a year from now, while we’re savoring a World Series victory!

    Oh, and I wish Stubbs the best. Hopefully the change of scenery will do him good. I will not miss his flailing and hopeless at bats.

  8. Randy in Chatt

    The General has his marching orders and is no more. The Choo Choo has arrived…………..sorry from Chattanooga couldn’t resist and had to get that one in for Duke one last time.

    • The Duke

      I wish the General well, he still has the coolest name in professional baseball: Mariekson Julius Gregorious

  9. Krozley

    I like the deal for Choo. Indians are throwing in money as well so that the Reds are not taking on any additional salary. I like Donald better than Valdez too, so I think that is a slight bench upgrade. I still think Stubbs has value and hopefully will turn it around in a new environment. With Donald being able to play anywhere, I wonder if they now look to bring Rolen back. I think I’d rather see them get another lefty with pop for that last spot (not Burriss).

  10. Beard

    Why did the DBacks trade Bauer in this deal. I love DiDi but Bauer is a top 10 overall prospect isn’t he?

    • Doug Gray

      No, he isn’t. Top 75 guy. Rumors I have heard, but have no true how accurate they are, is that they weren’t a fan of his coachability at all and that he had his run ins with their coaches over things. They also REALLY love Didi.

      • Tim

        if the DBacks really loved DiDi that much i wish we could have used him towards getting Upton from them then. Arizona GM compared DiDi to a “young Jeter”

  11. Scott from upstate NY

    Remember the Reds faced Trevor Bauer in July. He is the pitcher that likes to warm up throwing fastballs from the warning track. He had major control issues in the game against the Reds which is hard to do against the Reds free swingers.

    • Jimmer

      He’s 21. Homer Bailey had “coachability” issues as well. He’s a much better prospect than just a “top 75” guy. Dominated AA and AAA this past year.

      • Nick

        Bauer’s warmup = major injury concerns not a big guy to begin with.

      • Nick

        You obviously haven’t seen Bauer’s warmup if we’re compairing it to Bailey’s. Homer 6’3 225 Bauer 6’1 185.

  12. Beard

    Assuming Choo plays CF (or RF with Bruce sliding to CF) what are the defensive projections for what that does interms of wins?

    Also what do you guys think the projected lineup becomes? My guess:

    1. Choo
    2. Phillips
    3. Votto
    4. Ludwick
    5. Bruce
    6. Frazier
    7. Hannigan
    8. Cozart
    9. (Pitcher)

    • Rick D in Chicago

      You can probably count on Dusty flipping Hanigan and Cozart, not that I would. 1-6 is solid and if the bottom of the order can get on base it’s as good a lineup as I have seen in a long time in Cincy. Dusty is wetting his pants with the LRLRLR batting order =)

  13. wanderinredsfan

    So, Did Walt play his cards wrong on this one?

    It seems to me that Walt could have traded Didi straight up for Bauer, then sent Bauer (plus maybe some lesser in-house prospects) for Choo, while still controlling Stubbs.

    Either way, I’m kinda torn over the trade. I love having Choo, but I sure would love him in the corners instead of in CF. Not a fan of one-year rentals, either. More importantly, I hate giving up Didi. I truly would take him over Cozart right now. Not a huge fan of our defense at the two most important positions on the field, but I sure do like our offense a whole lot better right now.

    • Jimmer

      I’d rather have Bauer for the next 6 years and roll with Stubbs this year.

      • RobL

        Jimmer, I agree that Bauer is still an elite prospect. And at first blush, I wanted him. But Bauer has more than coachability concerns. He truly believes that the methods his father taught him are the best way. He is out to show people he is right. Last year in the bigs can easily be rationalized as small sample size. He is going to do things his way. Arizona tired of him very quickly. I have no problem if the Reds don’t want to deal with all of that. Plus, there are concerns that his routines will lead to arm problems sooner than latter, I believe the Reds try to steer clear of increased injury risk cases.

      • Herbie

        That’s fine, but usually when someone says something that is a non-truth according to both traditional knowledge and modern statistics(catcher) they qualify it with “in my opinion.”

  14. MK

    A year or so ago we wondered where all of the middle infielders were going to play. Within a year the minor league organization has lost a lot of its shortstop depth:

    Cozart and Frazier to Reds
    Janish to Braves
    Valaika to Florida (formerly a shortstop)
    Didi to Arizona
    Hamilton to outfield
    Rojas to Dodgers

    Makes Negron the AAA shortstop

    A position of strength is now pretty bare at the upper levels (even at lower levels as I am not sure Lohman or Perez are serious prospects)

    • Krozley

      Yes, Cozart is probably feeling pretty comfortable now for a few years. They have some guys from this year’s draft (Vincej and Rahier) to go with Perez as lower level SS prospects to watch. I wonder if in the back of their minds they feel Hamilton could always go back to SS if circumstances dictate.

    • Greg

      Maybe the Reds should have drafted Devin Marrero instead of Travieso. Or maybe even Cory Seager

      • Jimmer

        Good organizations never draft for need. Take the best player avaliable and try to develop them. You can always trade excess for needs. The key is to have as many good prospects as possible, regardless of the where they play.

    • Keith

      Yes, the cupboard is pretty bare at SS & 2B, but the big league team is also set for at least the next 3 seasons, giving them plenty of time to restock.

      • Doug Gray

        “Set” is an interesting word to use. Cozart is 27 with a career MLB OBP of .290. That isn’t set. That is highly concerning.

      • Justin

        I dont know about Highly concerning. He was 12th among SS in fWAR last year, has some decent pop. Bat him 8th, and I think the Reds are in decent position.

      • Doug Gray

        Before 2012, he is basically a step down from what Drew Stubbs had been at the plate. That ain’t good.

      • RobL

        There’s a big difference in K rate. Give Cozart the babip Stubbs had before 2012 and he’s just fine. It’s apples and oranges.

      • Doug Gray

        Can’t give him that kind of BABIP because he has never been that kind of guy. Not in the minors or the Majors. Stubbs has been.

      • Jon Ryker

        He’s hitting 8th….they’ll get solid defense and the offense is a bonus….I like Gregorious better, but I just can’t get that worked up about an 8th hitter who’s cheap….

      • Doug Gray

        He will probably bat 7th because we all know the catcher bats 8th. But I get worked up at any starter who isn’t pitching who can’t get on base at least 31% of the time.

    • The Duke

      I expect we’ll see a college SS and a high school SS in the first 10 rds next draft. Maybe even in the top 5 rds.

      For now we have Vincej and Brent Peterson in the lower levels. Vincej is supposed to be a pretty slick fielder.

  15. MK

    I’ve heard we will hear about some minor league managers and coaches today.

  16. JIM T

    Nice off season by Walt. Gets a closer which enables him to give Chapman his long awaited chance at the rotation. Signs Ludwick to give us a middle of the order hitter for a two year deal. Trades for Choo a legit OBP hitter to hit in front of Joey. Also enables him to stay on budget and still frees spot next year for Hamilton while letting him have a full year to develope in AAA. The Cost a Arb eligible underachieving CF who’s defense will be missed and a SS prospect who still needs some seasoning and could be a very good player. We still ahve all our pitching entact and can now concentrate on our bench needs and a situational LH bull pen arm. It would be to good to be true if he got extensions done with both Latos and Bailey before season started.

    • Greg

      If i was either one of those guys there is no way I would sign an extension that went into my free agent years not after what Zach Grenkie just got. Those 2 have the potential to be either as good or better. But if Walt could do it that would be a perfect off season. They really need to start looking at extending Cueto as well because he will command more than all guys mentioned.

      • JIM T

        Greg, I think it will be tough signing both but by not taking the money now you run the risk of getting injured and getting nothing. You also have the possibility of your performance dropping off. I guess bird in the hand is better then risking everything. I’m sure there is a fine line there.

    • doctor

      JT, the key comment you made, “we still have all of our pitching”, is huge to me. Never thought Reds could get Choo without giving up an arm. I like the trade but would rather wish Choo was sliding over into LF instead, with idea CF being a platoon mix/hot hand. Looking at both BWar and fWar the last couple of years Choo is not so good on defense. and if Reds do move Bruce to CF, now weaken D at two OF spots. Still surprised Walt was able to sign Ludwick AND trade for Choo given rumored budget limits.

      • JIM T

        Doctor, with Ludwick signed either Choo or bruce will have to play CF. In a park as small as GAPB (for 82 games). Choo has good speed and a cannon for a arm I think the trade for offense is weighted in our favor.

      • jimmy

        Bruce is not a CF and Choo is a very average CF. They obviously got Choo for his bat, OBP, a little pop but he does strike out a lot!

      • doctor

        yes, agree that choo will start initially in CF. Hopefully he is close to adequate and dusty can manage around any issues in a bigger OF ball park.

      • Jon Ryker

        If you watch Choo play RF, he is beyond question a truly excellent RFer…..now, how that translates to CF, nobody knows….but face it, he’s here to hit leadoff….they’re taking the hit on defense for a year….

      • Doug Gray

        John Dewan/Baseball Info solutions goes back and watches and charts every ball in play every year. Last year they ranked him as a well below average right fielder. I still think Bruce winds up in center when April rolls around, though that probably isn’t much better than Choo.

      • Jon Ryker

        I don’t see why you do that for one year, and I don’t see why you trade for Choo and say you’re playing him in CF if you aren’t…

      • Doug Gray

        Because you thought Choo could play center and it turns out he couldn’t. Jocketty has twice said since the original thing that Bruce would also be looked at in center in spring training.

  17. MK

    Jose Nieves will join the Dragons as manager. Tony Fossas will rejoin the Dragons as pitching coach. The hitting coach will be announced later .

  18. MikeD

    jim t, I agree with you for one of the few times. :) This move is about this year and this year alone. The belief that 2014 brings Hamilton to play center means that the Reds will only make a qualifying offer to Choo. I would not attempt to extend him as you would be tying up to much money and the Reds will need that for other players.

    I love Didi, but reading Kieth Law I feel better about letting him go. His swing is long and I thought that was Pokies problem as well. Long swings have to many holes. I wish Didi well and this will probably look like a bad trade down the road, but the Reds are all in for 2013. This morning on XM one of the announcers said that if you are a favorite to get to the world series you never go with a prospect. Not sure I agree with that, but maybe it makes sense. Also Dusty would NEVER do that unless he had no choice.

    I for one think that Cozart will improve as history has shown that he had improved at each level. Also, he will be batting down in the order and he will have less pressure and that can help.

    How many days till pitchers and catchers report?

    • JIM T

      MikeD, here is another rarity I agree with you on Cozart. LOL I don’t agree with you on Dusty. Many on this team got there chance in Bigs under Dusty. I’d also submitt that most managers would perfer players with ML experience.

  19. Shawn

    The Reds just signed Hannahan for $2MM. I had Mesoraco, X Paul, Heisey, Donald and H Rodriguez as our bench next year. Who is the odd man out. Hannahan played 7 games at SS last year

    • MK

      Great. Now we have the Indians back-up infield. That is certainly the stuff of champions.

    • Krozley

      Donald and Hannahan is a better infield bench than Valdez and Cairo (although still doesn’t blow one away). HRod I think needs a little more seasoning at AAA and will be in line for the first call-up.

      • Nick

        I’d say Burris makes it over Donald, Donald is below average defensively.

      • The Duke

        And will be the Reds next manager after Dusty IMO. Sure looks like they are grooming him for the job. The players love playing for him and respect him.

      • MK

        I asked him about that one time and he told me that he thought David Bell was the guy being groomed. Now that Bell is out of the organization who knows.

      • The Duke

        Perhaps he was just being modest and respectful of the guys who have been here longer.

  20. Shawn

    I have Broxton, Hoover, Marshall, Lecure, Arredondo, Masset, Ondrusek, Simon & Leake fighting for 7 jobs. Who doesnt make the cut? I think Masset, Ondrusek, Simon & Leake are fighting for last 2 spots unless there is a trade.

      • Rick D in Chicago

        Don’t count out Chapman in relief at the beginning of the year for at least a month or two. In that case you are probably looking at Simon and Chapman in the bullpen and Leake starting. Also, depends on injuries. I think Doug posted on Twitter that Walt mentioned what the Braves did to Kris Medlen as a real possibility (bullpen til July, then starter).

  21. MK

    Just saw on Facebook that Jim Riggleman has moved to Louisville for next year.

  22. Daryl

    I love these deals including Hanrahan. I am surprised we didn’t have to give up any pitching. We still have Leake/Bailey that we can flip for an area of need. Not sure where that would be exactly now but come deadline time we still have a bullet left in the gun. This should be an exciting season. I would say at this point we would have to be the favorite in the central and that is all we can really ask of Walt.

    • jim t

      Daryl, No way do I even consider dealing Bailey unless we can’t sign him. My opinion on him is after he the way he finished last year he is our No. 2 passing Latos.