There wasn’t much action at the Winter Meetings this past week. One of the rumors that was floating around was the Reds and Giants discussing a move involving Billy Hamilton, though. The Cincinnati Reds center fielder would be incredible to watch roam their enormous outfield with his speed and athleticism. The Giants weren’t the only team that was showing interest in Hamilton. San Francisco did seem to be the one most drawn in.

As I talked about earlier today in the podcast, exactly what the value of Billy Hamilton is, I’m not sure. But, we do have a better idea of how the Reds and Giants value Billy Hamilton at this point. Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports that the two teams couldn’t come to an agreement because the Giants weren’t going to let go of 18-year-old Heliot Ramos.

Who is Heliot Ramos? He was the Giants 1st round pick in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft. The right handed hitter went 19th overall and came out of Puerto Rico. He didn’t turn 18 until after the season was over. So, his season was played as a 17-year-old with the Arizona League Giants. And he tore up the league, hitting .348/.404/.645 as a center fielder. After the season he was named the third best prospect in the league based on input by the managers and coaches in the league at Baseball America.

There was some concern with his aggressiveness at the plate. He drew just 10 walks and had 48 strikeouts on the season, a rate that must improve. His tools jumped off of the page at you, though – particularly offensively. There’s still a lot of rawness to his game. That isn’t unexpected at all for someone who just turned 18-years-old in September. But, the Reds were shooting high in their request for Billy Hamilton. By asking for Heliot Ramos and not being willing to come off of that in a weak Giants farm system without many other options near the top, it showed other teams they wouldn’t just accept a lackluster deal.

The Reds seem to believe that Billy Hamilton is worth at least one Top 100 caliber prospect, though someone closer to 100 than 50. Right now it seems that the Giants aren’t willing to pay that price. We will have to wait and see if any other team is. With that said, it’s good to see that the Reds are sticking to their guns for now and looking for a high quality return. The target of a just turned 18-year-old is in contrast to many of their more recent trades of veterans which seemed to target “close to the Majors” players.

42 Responses

  1. Shamrock

    I could see if we were demanding Royce Lewis or sumthin.
    But we’re talking about a 18 year old kid who was passed over by eighteen different teams in this year’s draft.
    A guy who very much may never even sniff the majors.
    Sounds like a low price to pay for a gold glove caliber centerfielder who will not only anchor the spacious SF outfield for the next 5-6 years, but will also provide them with 50+ steals each season at the major league level.

    I for one don’t understand their hesitation here……

    • Wes

      I wouldn’t do it if I am San Fran. And that’s only guy I want if I’m cincy.

    • Greenfield Red

      While I agree the Reds should stick to their guns, Billy Hamilton is not under contract for the next 5-6 years.

    • Colorado Red

      Timing.
      There is a long time to make the trade.
      The Castillo trade took a few months (start at the WM, completed in Jan).
      Spring Training is not till Feb.
      Long time.

    • Jon Ryker

      They can not replace what Hamilton does, and why would you be trading him when he came off not a great offensive year? They’ve got two years before they need to make a decision on him.

      • RDriesen

        Has he ever come off of a great offensive year? He simply is just not a good hitter. Teams aren’t trading for him for his offense.

        I would trade him, because I don’t think his strengths bring enough value in our ballpark.

      • gaffer

        They can replace a player who doesn’t hit, they have plenty of those.

      • Doug Gray

        Hamilton is never going to have a great offensive year. And the longer you wait, the less value he’ll have because the closer he’ll be to free agency.

    • Hingle McCringle berry

      I think it’s what the reds have been running from over the last 4 or 5 years. Bottom line, gold gloves are great but if you can’t hit, they mean nothing. The reds sold the fans everything else on Billy Hamilton cause they knew he couldn’t hit. The media coined phrase run billy run.

      The other thing is, he’s so small, I would have put at least 25 pound on him. That’s why he gets over powered a lot by no name pitchers throwing 94-97 mph. Billy needs a steady diet of mashed potatoes and meatloaf. Lol.

      We have a recent history of terrible leadoff guys. Except shoo and Norris hopper.

      • asinghoff

        If only we had Norris Hopper back!

        I mean, who says the push bunt won’t work at age 39…..

  2. CP

    If anything, this is revealing of Dick Williams as a GM. He is sticking to his guns and doing exactly what he said he would, be opportunistic. He feels he has all the leverage, and to a degree he does. The Reds don’t HAVE to make this trade.

    Here’s to hoping some competition stir’s up for Hamilton and they can get someone to pay a decent price for him…

    • Doug Gray

      Apparently there is plenty of teams that want him. The bigger question is whether or not anyone is willing to pay the price. I’m with Wes on this: If I’m the Giants, I wouldn’t do it. But if I’m the Reds, that’s probably the only guy I’m asking for.

      • Rif

        For now the kid has a pass on his inability to make contact in the lowest levels of the minors. Perhaps if this was not the case18 teams would have not passed on him. If I was Giants I wouldn’t trade for a one year rental BH. If I was the Reds I wouldn’t trade for a kid who may continue to have contact issues and not see a day in the Big’s.

      • Kap

        1. Scouts say Reynolds can play an average center field. At great American ball park, that would do just fine. It’s his bat that is valued.

        2. Billy isn’t a worldbeater. Had a 1.0 WAR this past season while having well below average offensive numbers. Teams aren’t really giving up highly rated prospects for position players like they used to in the past.

        I think that would be a fair return for Billy. Maybe throw in a lower rated prospect in the deal as well to sweeten it a bit.

      • Bill

        Kap, I agree with your points and I think upgrading CF this offseason should be the Red’s #1 priority. But at this point, they have not brought in Billy Hamilton’s replacement. Reynolds is a fine CF prospect, but look at the list Duke put together below–CF is the strongest part of our minor league system from a position player standpoint. Securing Reynolds does little to advance the Reds long term at this point. If the Reds secure a better CF this offseason, then I would be fine “settling” for a reasonable return from the Giants. But without the replacement on our roster, I would only look to trade Hamilton for a player that is going to upgrade the ML roster or a prospect that is more “high ceiling” than most of the nice, but not great prospects in our system. Now is not the time to “settle” for anything less.

      • Kap

        I know he wouldn’t be the immediate replacement, but he could be by 2019. Heck maybe by September when rosters expand, assuming he starts in AA. Wherever Billy goes, I’m sure the Reds will sign some sort of stopgap player like Jarrod Dyson or Cameron Maybin. Plus, out of the Duke’s list, Reynolds will be the first player on that list to reach the majors. If that were to happen, All of those other minor league players became trade baits to fill other needs later. He may not be as highly rated as Ramos, but he is not that far beyond for a player who tore up advanced A this past season.

  3. Norwood Nate

    Ramos is the only guy that makes sense for the Reds out of the Giant’s system as a headliner. I think they’re right to stick to their guns. He’s really the only guy I’d want from SF at this point in a Hamilton deal.

  4. kevin z

    There is risk with all players as we know, but I am more iffy about Raw players.
    If made trade with SF I would take Slater Duggar Garcia.
    The LHH in shebby Slater Duggar would compete to see who the best
    Garcia could be a nice Cheap backup to tucker

  5. Simon Cowell

    The Giants aren’t going to trade their best prospect for Billy Hamilton. We need to find a time loaded with offensive talent and also has a massive outfield, both which witch to hide Billy Hamilton.

  6. bouwills

    Just asking. If Reds got Ramos for Hamilton, he would fit into our minor league cf depthchart behind Trammel? Siri? Heatherly? Friedl? Sugilio or Miles Gordon(if they play cf)? If I were Williams, I’d ask more than Ramos.

    • The Duke

      I’d only have Trammell higher

      Trammell
      Ramos
      Siri
      Fairchild (Heatherly is a pitcher)
      Gordon
      Sugilio
      Bautista
      Friedl

  7. The Duke

    I, for one, am happy that DW isn’t a reactionary GM that is swayed by fan response. By and large, fans are stupid. Don’t make a move just to make a move. He seems to be able to differentiate when there can be addition by subtraction (Brandon Phillips), when to seize an opportunity (Straily for Castillo), and when you don’t have to force it (Hamilton/Duvall). That’s very nice to see from the GM, as well as the ability to say no.

    • redleggingfordayz

      You and I could not agree more Duke. I really like DW patience throughout this. I know we all want to win and WIN NOW, but at the same time, I really want the Reds to be a perennial contender for a few years too. I think that is what Dick is targeting and personally I agree with that strategy.

    • wes

      I agree, but he needs to be doing his due diligence. IF Miami created a bar than they created a buyers market- so hopefully he’s doing his part to acquire talent. If they can get Yelich without giving up Trammell hopefully he’s exploring that.

      Red Sox are supposedly considering signing hosmer and martinez. That means they’ll pay 6 players over 140 million and be WAY over luxury tax. Reds match up good with Red Sox…hopefully DW is being very proactive in these cases.

      • The Duke

        I don’t see how we get Yelich without including any one of our top 3 prospects.

  8. The Duke

    I wonder with all the guys we have close to the majors now if DW is targeting guys in Low A and below to start making that second wave of prospects that will either fill the gaps in the roster when we’re competitive or are used as trade ammunition to get the bigger name at the trade deadline.

    • CP

      I was wondering the same thing when Doug pointed out the contrast to who they are targeting this time compared to trades in the past. This would show good foresight on their part to begin making this adjustment.

      It also may be nothing more than the Giants system is so weak, that Ramos was simply the best/only player to ask for.

      • The Duke

        It’s a weak system, but I think a deal for Hamilton could be worked out sans Ramos. I do like they are asking for Ramos though. Maybe something that included Garrett Williams, Bryan Reynolds, and Steven Duggar

      • wes

        What are reds going to with a group of mid 20 year old average prospects? Seems like Reds got all those spots filled. Giants system is terrible. The 3 1st rounds of Yankees that were drafted yesterday is prob a better return than anything from Giants that doesn’t include Ramos.

  9. Arnold Ziffle

    Great news that Dick Williams stuck to his guns on Ramos regarding Hamilton.
    Hopefully Williams will pivot and keep Hamilton and Winker. Then start shopping Schebler and Duvall to SF, Atlanta, Boston, Toronto, and the other AL teams.

    • Colorado Red

      It does not look like anyone is interested in Schebler at this time.
      He will need 1 more year of production first.

      • paul nyhart

        That or the Reds aren’t as interested in dangling him / putting him on the block, as they are seemingly doing with Hamilton and Duvall.

  10. Mustang John

    What is considered a great offensive year? Just asking.Keep Billy

    • Doug Gray

      For a center fielder, I’d say a great year would be an OPS over .875.

  11. Lawrence

    The Reds will not win more than 75 games in 2018.Siri is the future center fielder

    Move Duvall to third. He used to be a short stop. He has the hands and the arm. Suarze is the power hitter for short for the next year.

    Winker plays everyday

    Trade billy if you can, or use him as insurance for short stop.

    Senzel is in the wings

    If votto gets hurt move win!er to first base for his co tact skills

    Its all no sweat when you are a small mar!et team

  12. Scott

    I would like the Reds to pursue Fulmer. He would look nice at the top of the rotation for several years. I am certain that it would take several high prospects but I think it could be worth it.