Billy Hamilton has been the Cincinnati Reds center fielder since the start of the 2014 season. He’s been incredible in the field. He’s been incredible on the bases. But, he’s been terrible at the plate. Over the last three seasons only JJ Hardy has posted a worse wRC+ with the bat. By one point. Essentially, Hamilton is arguably the worst hitter in the Major Leagues, and there haven’t been any signs of improvement along the way.

Despite the clear struggles with his bat, teams are very interested in his services according to Ken Rosenthal.

Billy Hamilton’s skillset may be better suited for larger ballparks. With bigger gaps, both his defense, and offense, could play up. Defensively his range would shine, and more space in the gaps could allow a few more hits to find the grass, and with his speed, maybe a few more extra-base hits, too.

As Ken Rosenthal notes, the Giants are very interested. They have an enormous center field to cover, and Hamilton would certainly help with that. At the same time, the Giants had one of, if not the worst offenses in baseball in 2017. Billy Hamilton doesn’t help much there.

Of note in the tweet is that Rosenthal said the Reds outfielders, with an s. You’d have to imagine that means teams are asking about Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler, too. They are both under team control for longer than Hamilton, and are still making the league minimum. That gives the Reds a little more room to not “need” to trade either of them. But, it also gives both players more value because they are cheap and locked up for a handful of years.

The Cincinnati Reds, if they do trade Billy Hamilton, would need to likely acquire a center fielder from outside of the organization. While they’ve talked about the idea of Scott Schebler in center field, I have seen nothing that suggests they believe he should be out there every day. With how they used Phillip Ervin when Billy Hamilton was hurt late in the season, it doesn’t seem they believe he should be playing out there every day either. There’s no on in the upper minor leagues that’s a true center fielder in the organization at this point. If Hamilton is moved, finding another center fielder would be an absolute must.


Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer just posted a report that says the following about a Billy Hamilton to the Giants trade:

The source said that talks are advanced enough that something could be completed before the Winter Meetings end Thursday at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. However, the source said that’s no guarantee a deal is ultimately struck.

Hold onto your butts.


63 Responses

  1. Hoyce

    I vote yes. Seeing him try to bunt and wrap his fingers around the bat. Eventually to break them on a bunt was last straw for me. That’s a little league mistake. Hard to watch his ineptitude at the plate.

  2. Datdudejs

    Package Hamilton and schebler to the giants for some pitching (Cueto?) and sign Lorenzo Cain maybe? Or go after a guy like Dyson?

    • Colorado Red

      Based on the cost, and last season, not sure we want Cueto back.

      • reaganspad

        I was thinking Hamilton and Duvall but I would take Johnny back in a nanosecond

  3. Wes

    I honestly can’t find one giant worth trading for; system is filled w mid 20 yr olds who aren’t performing very well. I’m super high on cuato and believe he’s an ace and durable but he’s making 20 mil for next 5 seasons. Reds can’t afford that risk even if they take homer who has 2 seasons left. That being said if they trade homer and billy for cuato I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

      • Doug Gray

        He’d be a Top 10 guy. I’d have to dive deeper to see exactly where he slots in, but I’m not doing the work for this as a hypothetical.

      • The Duke

        Williams isn’t a top 10 guy in their system, but he’s a power armed lefty with an above average curveball.

      • The Duke

        My unprofessional off the cuff ranking of Ramos in my top 10 would be at 7

        1. Senzel
        2. Greene
        3. Trammell
        4. Winker
        5. Mahle
        6. Santillan
        7. Ramos
        8. Long
        9. Vlad Gut
        10. T Steph

      • Wes

        There’s no way giants trade Ramos for billy straight up. That’s what I’d ask for if I was management and that’s where conversation would end when they say no. I don’t think they’d even take billy along w blandino or pelatra for Ramos. Not sure what else I’d give up if I was reds ?

    • Greenfield Red

      In my opinion, they should get no less than Ramos and Williams. It’s not like Ramos is top 100.

      • Doug Gray

        Ramos very well may be at this point. But even if he’s not, he’s real close. 1st round pick who hit .348 and slugged .600+ as a 17-year-old center fielder?

  4. Jasonp

    Not sure if we could get him for Billy but I would like to get Christian Arroyo. He could play short for us until someone comes up from the minors that is better. We could then use Jose Peraza to back up short/second/center or even play 80-90% in center until we get a better option there as well.

    Arroyo is blocked at short by Brandon Crawford and they just got back Pablo Sandoval so he maybe blocked at third as well.

  5. CP

    I like that the FO is potentially making things happen, but I just hope they are doing what they said they would do. Which is being advantageous. The Giants are in the greater position of need, so I would hope that they would overpay a bit.

    Not sure what a good overpayment for them would be though…

    Duke you mentioned Heliot Ramos and Garrett Williams. Would that be a good haul for Billy?

    • The Duke

      Ramos is probably a pipe dream, but we should be thrilled if we got him. Some of the best raw power in the 2017 draft, big time athlete.

  6. CP

    Perhaps the Reds can get the Rangers involved and drive the price up a bit too…

  7. Hoyce

    Pitching from San Fran is what I would ask for. Maybe multiple RP

  8. Jim Delaney

    If they trade Hamilton, hopefully they have a 2nd move in the offing to acquire a CF and plans to utilize any of the surplus CASH with this move to improve the pitching staff. Reading Dick Williams comments that the REDS have plenty of starting pitching is scary… They have a lot of bodies, that doesn’t mean they are QUALITY starters… Maybe he is looking at some VOO DOO advanced analytics that is telling him the REDS starting pitching wasn’t the worst in baseball in 2017…. From what my eyes SAW the starting pitching was a HORROR show….

    • The Duke

      We’re not going to get a lot of top shelf pitching unless you’re keen on trading Senzel and Greene.

    • Greenfield Red

      I agree with DW. The top 3 starters were out most of the year. All three are supposed to be full strength… although I won’t be the least bit surprised if AD is not. We know Garrett pitcher hurt. Rookie Davis got hurt. Castillo, Stephenson, Romano, Mahle all showed promise. And there are others too. I think the Reds have tons of starting pitching. And, I think it will be much improved as long as they don’t go off a cliff health wise.

    • Doug Gray

      The 2017 Reds pitching staff isn’t going to be the 2018 Reds pitching staff. I don’t like the argument that I keep seeing that talks about they need to go get pitching because of 2017.

      The Reds rotation in April and May consisted of Scott Feldman, Bronson Arroyo, Asher Wojciechowski, Tim Adleman and a mix-match of Garrett/Romano/Stephenson.

      The Reds rotation heading into spring training includes: Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan and Castillo. With Mahle, Romano and Stephenson seemingly in a battle for the #5 spot. The talent disparity between the first half 2017 Reds rotation, and what the team is heading into 2018 spring training with is like the difference between 100 bucks and 10000 bucks.

      Now, we can wonder about the health of DeSclafani and Finnegan, and rightfully so. But the Reds shouldn’t be expected to be willing to replace those guys with free agents or trades, either.

    • victor vollhardt

      Billy Hamilton is a unique player with abilities that does not come up very often in the lifetime of any baseball team. I would not trade him. But I would bat him in the nine hole and I would go out and hire Norris Hopper and force feed the art of bunting(and order him to do it two times a game (depending of situations of course).**** If they would trade Duvall (a fine left fielder ,but also a third baseman who can play first)–I think they would get a fine return, but it would also make the Reds a left hand hitting team. ****Schebler is a feast or famine hitter, but he improves his defense each year and is a great hustler. All of this depends on how you believe Winker will do full time and what’s the return for each player. If the team is committed to Winker –then Schebler is the man to go as Winker would slide right into RF in Schebler’s place. You would lose a little power, but would gain a more consistent hitter. As I posted on this site the other day Cueto should not be part of any package–even if the Giants paid most (on even all) of his salary as I believe him to be a “hurt Player” (arm). Everything else about Cueto remains the same. A truly, good guy– wonderful player, but his arm is not the same.I think if the team trades with the Giants–a third team needs to be involved if you are after prospects.

      • reaganspad

        I would never ever, ever let Hamilton bunt again.

        He is really bad at it, it destroys his hitting approach for swinging the bat.

        I also would not let him switch hit.

        Simplify. one batters box, no bunting, focus on strikes only

  9. Billy

    Ramos has to be out of the question in a deal with SF, right? We’re more likely to be looking at someone in the back half of their top 10 (and only that because their system is weak) and maybe another top 30 prospect, right? If that’s the case, Williams may be the headliner of the trade, not the throw-in.

    Of course, the Giants are the ones in a position of need here, so maybe they’ll overpay a bit. If we could get Arroyo and a good starting pitcher prospect (Beede, Williams, or Suarez), I’d be thrilled.

  10. CP

    So far giants and reds not matching up on billy Hamilton trade

  11. Billy

    In a Facebook Live interview a bit ago, Mark Sheldon was asked if the Reds are in on Ozuna or Yelich. He immediately responded, “No,” and dismissed it as if it were crazy talk. I’m not sure if he was saying that based on his knowledge of what the Reds were doing, or if he was saying it because his personal opinion was that they shouldn’t pursue such a move.

    For me, I’m kind of confused about what good all the depth of prospects is if you aren’t willing to consolidate some of those assets to acquire better players. I’d make a move if I could, and it would just be a question of the quality of the prospects included in a package in order to get a deal done. It’s time to consolidate some, whether that’s for this year’s team or for better quality prospects for the future.

    • The Duke

      Sheldon is never the one who breaks a story. He’s not that plugged in by beat writer standards.

    • DanD

      If the Reds we’re unable to get Ramos then I would want Garcia, Duggar and Williams. I think Garcia would be a good compliment to Burkhardt.

      • DanD

        Stupid spell check. I meant Barnhart. I would also would like Suarez. So 3 out of the 4 I mentioned.

    • kevin z

      I agree Duggar would be the starting point. If not injured this past year, he would be higher on Giants prospect list

  12. Kap

    Would like Jarrod Dyson on a two or three year deal if this Billy trade ends up happening. Underrated in my opinion and could possibly lead off

    • Kyblu50

      I agree about Dyson and the trade to SF take the SS Arroyo and number 5 prospect Reynolds who played center field for Vanderbuilt.

  13. MikeinSoCal

    Supposedly the Giants are interested in Reds OFs, meaning BH and Duvall. Can’t imagine us trading both. Would create holes at 3 starting positions when you include SS. Ozuna sounds like the guy to get. We would have to give up pitching prospects but that’s the way it goes. Hopefully we don’t give up BH to the Giants for junk. Don’t think the Giants would give us their best for BH.

  14. reaganspad

    Does Dilson Herrera factor into the outfield in 2018 if we trade both Hamilton and Duvall?

  15. Kyblu50

    I agree about signing Dyson and the trade to SF. Take the SS Arroyo which is their number 1and number 5 prospect Reynolds who played center field for Vanderbilt and is a switch hitter. He Can help Dyson in center and fill in with the other out fielders both right and left.

    San Fan would do this trade to get Hamilton for their defense in center, We could give them Erwin.

  16. Norwood Nate

    Outside of Ramos, I don’t see a headliner that makes sense. If the report is that Arroyo isn’t really a SS, but more of a guy who could cover there if needed then I don’t see how that’s a fit. The Reds don’t really need a guy like Beede because they have group of young starting pitchers that rate as good or better than him.

    The latest is that the Giants made a “semi-strong” offer to the Reds for Hamilton. I’m guessing semi-strong doesn’t include Ramos. The Reds are right to hold out as their other top guys don’t really move the needle any (although I do like Arroyo, just not so much if he’s not sticking at SS).

  17. LeRoy

    Before Chapman left, the Reds had the fastest pitcher and the fastest runner in baseball. If Hamilton is traded to San Francisco, I would probably throw in Schebler for Ramos and Arroyo. I would try to get another of either Duggar or Williams. The Giants need Billy’s speed and Schebler’s power both of which they would have next year which could help them compete in the West. If we could come close to this deal then maybe losing the most exciting players the Reds had will not feel so bad.

    • Shamrock

      It would still feel pretty terrible
      Ramos may be okay one day (but could just as easily bust)

      And, I hate to ask it, but is Arroyo really all that much better than Peraza??

      Schebler isn’t too awful shabby….and Billy is a hella entertaining player
      And, there’s nothing about this deal that will make me forgive ’em for giving away Chapman.

  18. Arnold Ziffle

    With the Yankees new RH Hitting murderers row of Stanton, Judge, and Sanchez maybe Boston will need to look into more RH pitching. Reds have huge surplus of RH pitching. R Stephenson, Lorenzen, and Duvall for Betts and Xander Bogearts.
    Then comes a 3 team deal with BHam going to SF for Arroyo and Duggar. Reds send Arroyo, Duggar, Shed Long, Vladimer Gutierrez, Jose Lopez, and Jeter Downs to Tampa Bay for OF Kevin Kiermaier and RP Alex Colome.

    • Bryce

      Well… couple things. Judge hit 33 homeruns off of RH pitching last year and the Red Sox would never ever trade Betts and X, none the less for 2 below average pitchers and an average outfieder.

      • Piggly Wiggly

        Judge actually hit 44 HR’s against RH pitching, not 34. Weird, Judge and Sanchez both hit RH pitching better than LH pitching.
        Stanton has a much longer track record, and hits LH better. There was an article out last month that Boston might consider moving Bogearts in the right deal. It is possible.
        Boston will get what they need this winter. Will the Reds?

  19. Michael B. Green

    Cedric Mullins of BAL would fit the bill as a potential replacement for Hamilton.

  20. Pokey Reese's Red Hot Bat

    The Reds’ issue in 2017 was pitching not offense. Getting rid of Billy Hamilton is not going to improve the pitching. It’ll actually make it worse. When pitcher durability is such an issue weakening the defense seems an ill-advised move unless the plan is to tank in 2018.

    He shouldn’t be batting lead-off but that’s not a reason to trade him. When the Reds get to the play-offs he’ll be a difference maker on the bases and with his defense.

    I’d be looking to shop Duvall instead.

  21. SmittyBoy

    I trust Dick Williams not to jump the gun. He seems like a Methodical GM and I love it. There is not urgency in trading “Billy Billy” during the meetings. Trading Duvall/Scheb should be first on the list. Reds will sign their rental CF,SP,RP as usual but I can eventually see Duvall/Scheb get traded for a couple hard throwing (worst case scenario) future Bullpen arms. It doesn’t seem like a lot in return, but our biggest need going forward will be the future bullpen.

    I’d say Ramos is a pipe dream and Arroyo as well. But I also was shocked Miami traded us Castillo, so we’ll see

  22. jim t

    First I am beginning the year with Perraza as my everyday starting SS. If I am running the team I look for a veteran utility type SS to back him up on a 1 year deal.

    Trading Gennett, Duvall and Hamilton is a must and the return has to lead us to acquiring a CF and some relief pitching. This will free up LF for Winker which is a no brainer. If Healthy Herrera is my starting second basemen until Senzel is ready.

    Starting rotation assuming everyone is healthy is

    Closer Iggy.


    • Colorado Red

      The Reds are not going to complete this year.
      2019, maybe a run at the wild card.
      Ozuna is 2 seasons away from FA, so not much help after that.