Cincinnati Reds considering extension for Scooter Gennett Doug Gray July 14, 2018 107 Comments Friday night during the Cincinnati Reds game Mark Sheldon tried to break Reds-twitter this this tweet, saying that it seems more likely that the Reds extend Scooter Gennett than trade him. Breaking news: It now appears unlikely Gennett will be traded by the #reds … and an extension appears possible https://t.co/afzFEgnyLt — Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) July 14, 2018 This got both sides of the aisle going. Some people loved it. Some people hated it. And truthfully, both sides of the argument can make a reasonable defense of their side. To those on the side who love the idea of extending Scooter Gennett, they can point out that he’s one of the best hitters in baseball at his position. Heading over to Fangraphs and looking back to the start of the 2017 season, Gennett is the 3rd best hitting second baseman in baseball – essentialyl tied with Jed Lowrie. There’s a huge gap behind them to the next guy on the list. Jose Altuve and Jose Ramirez are both significantly ahead of them. No matter how you slice it, though – Scooter Gennett is EASILY the best offensive second baseman in the National League since he joined the Reds, and it’s not particularly close. He’s literally been 50% more valuable on offense than the next closest second baseman in the league – Javier Baez. Some on the side who love it have also pointed out that Scooter Gennett is a proven commodity. And that the prospects you would be replacing him with, even the internal ones – not the ones you’d likely acquire for him in trade – are not proven and involve some risk. They aren’t exactly incorrect with that, either. The side that isn’t exactly a fan of extending Scooter Gennett also have some good arguments. First is that he’s under team control through 2019 as things stand right now. And he plays a position that the organizations best prospect – and one of the top prospects in all of baseball – also plays. And Nick Senzel, while out for the rest of the season with a finger injury, is ready to step into the Major Leagues on Opening Day of 2019. There’s nothing left for him to do in the minor leagues. That also doesn’t account for guys like Alex Blandino or Dilson Herrera who are both in the Major Leagues right now and capable of playing second base today. Or Shed Long who is one of the organizations Top 10 prospects who is in Double-A. Or Jeter Downs and Jose Garcia who are down in Dayton splitting time in the middle infield positions. The Cincinnati Reds are absolutely loaded at the second base position in the minors. Extending Scooter Gennett would probably mean adding, what, four years to his current control? That would take him through his age 33 season. That’s not old by any standards, but it would likely be the start of the decline. But it’s not just the aging curve, it’s also the money it would take. With how he’s hit the last two seasons, he’ll probably get around $10M for 2019 in arbitration. And he’d be crazy to take less than $14M a year for an extension, wouldn’t he? Between replacing him in the field with Nick Senzel, and having huge monetary savings to spend elsewhere on the roster, AND acquiring talent by trading Scooter Gennett, there’s a good argument to be made that it would be a smarter plan of action for a team that has to be wise with every last dollar spent. All of this is to say: The Reds don’t have an easy decision. Right now they control the best hitter at second base in the league that they play in. And he wants to stay. The team seems to want him to stay, too. Bird in the hand and all of that. But, they also have the guy who projects to be the next star at the position in the minor leagues who is ready as soon as April 2019. And he will be significantly cheaper over the next six years. The guys at Red Reporter posed a rather interesting tweet-thread thought about how you can sort of do both. Point being, getting any sort of positional flexibility from a few guys who have shown that they’re capable of doing so suggests there’s plenty of playing time to go around to a) keep Scooter’s bat around and b) get Nick Senzel everyday playing time. Just takes creativity. — Red Reporter (@redreporter) July 14, 2018 If the Reds could be creative and the players were flexible enough to make such a plan work, it could be great. That offense could be an absolute disaster for pitchers in the league. We don’t have a choice but to wait and see how this plays out. But right now, things could go in eleventy-billion different ways, and a lot of them make some sense. 107 Responses Cguy July 14, 2018 Kinda remember similar comments made by Reds FO a year ago in regards to signing/extending Cozart. If I were Scooter, I would pay my rent 1 week at a time. Don Ho July 14, 2018 Cozart’s situation is way different. He had 1 year that was widely disparate from the rest of his career. He has been injury prone his entire career and he was much older than Scooter as well. Cguy July 14, 2018 The situation is different. But sincerity shouldn’t be situational. theRickDelux July 14, 2018 Just going to throw this out there… does management believe (inside knowledge) that the NL will be adding the DH by 2020/21? Doing so in 2020 would provide the Reds with A LOT of flexibility that maybe is not there right now. Simon Cowell July 14, 2018 very interesting insight. Norwood Nate July 14, 2018 I would love for that to be the case. Fingers crossed. AirborneJayJay July 14, 2018 No. The NL is going to a 28 man roster, but only 25 can be eligible to play in a game. Teams will be able to de-activate 3 players each game and a player cannot be de-activated more than 3 games in a row. Starting pitchers cannot be de-activated. This will help bullpens and benches stay full and fresh, hoping to keep injuries down. The AL will be intrigued, and it will lead to the demise of the DH. MK July 14, 2018 Think they should have a third catcher rule exactly like the third QB rule in NFL. Scott Ledridge July 14, 2018 Clearing room for Winker and Senzel and Gennett should be the focus. Duvall, Hamilton, and Schebler better serve the Reds being traded for assets. Packaging current assets to improve weaknesses in the current roster and bridge the gap to future prospects is sustained success. Don’t undermine the future for a misguided playoff run this year or next. If the Reds play this trade deadline and offseason correctly, we could see winning baseball for several more seasons. Stock July 14, 2018 Why would we keep Winker over Schebler. Schebler is more versatile. Schebler is better defensively. Offensively they may be equal but when you consider other things Schebler is far more valuable to a team not quite sure which prospects will make it to the next level. For example I would rather have an OF of LF Trammell, CF Siri and RF Schebler than LF Trammell, CF Siri and RF Winker. Scott Ledridge July 14, 2018 Because Schebler has more trade value now, than does Winker. Schebler in a package could bring back something substantial. Trammel and Siri are a couple years off. And if your OF includes Trammel and Siri, Winker’s defense is even less of an issue. But, I don’t think Schebler’s value will ever be higher than it is right now. AllTheHype July 14, 2018 Siri will never be a MLer. GM Nep O'Tism July 14, 2018 Stock Schebler is 27 and a career .254/.326/.469 hitter. Winker is 24 and a career .296/.396/.464 hitter. Winker 100% needs to be a LF only, so Schebler does have him in defensive versatility. Trammell will play CF, not LF. He has already played 32 games in CF this season, the most of any of the OF spots for him. I wouldn’t hold your breath on Siri. He was bad in A+, and is terrible in AA. Stock July 14, 2018 Who is in RF? Schebler has little trade value. 2 good months does not suddenly bump your trade value through the roof. Fact is though he is better than Winker. If we are in the business of trading our good players we can never win because the players that would help us are gone. Schebler has little trade value so don’t trade him. Simon Cowell July 14, 2018 Here’s the deal. There are no teams wanting Scooter Gennett that we know about. Announcing that the Reds are considering an extension is advantageous for several reasons 1) extend him if nobody wants him but us. He is to good to allow to walk away in free agency 2) We want to avoid final year contracts whenever possible. Next year he would be even more expensive and less teams interested in a 3 month player 3) Gives the Reds options to trade some of their other second base options. Nick will not be trade but if the Reds extend Scooter it means more than likely Nick is going to learn a new position at Arizona. Votto isn’t getting younger… Justy sayiin’ MK July 14, 2018 Sign him with a home town discount only, then trade him. Jim t July 14, 2018 Have no issue bringing Scooter back as long as it doesn’t interfere in the reds finding at least one top of the rotation pitcher. This team can contend if they get some starting pitching. Improve defensively and fix the rotation. The window is opening. Trading Senzel to get that pitcher will not kill this organization. We have Herrera and Long in the pipeline as well. Some of that talent has got to be turned into positions of need. Pitching,Pitching, Pitching. RedsinWashst July 14, 2018 How do you improve defensively if Scooter is playing 2nd base for you. If we trade Senzel most of you will be complaining about how this team could let such a great player go. In a few years I think he will be an all-star, and the Reds will have blundered again. Andy July 14, 2018 You could improve defensively by flipping Senzel for an ace pitcher that gives up fewer runs than our current fifth starter. I assure you this will prevent more runs than switching 2B from Scooter to Senzel. RandyW July 14, 2018 It doesn’t hurt to find out what it would take to extend scooter. After last offseason, the climate is good to get a favorable deal for the Reds but I’m worried that with castellini involved he will pay whatever it takes to keep him and they need to be smart with their money. Wes July 14, 2018 I have said this a couple times- if u subtract scooter and add senzel the offense takes a step back. He will make 12 mil or so in arbitration next year but if reds extend him it won’t be for that. It will super team friendly like the last to 2 deals. Prob 4 for 40 million. Worth every cent of that! And it’s a way better move than giving him away for a couple no name prospects or major league subs. I try to judge management on big decisions like this one. They get this done on a super team friendly contract- big props to management ! From drafting to extending- they are on fire. Just need that excellent manager choice and this team rolls into 2019! Joe July 14, 2018 I’m in the trade scooter camp but I can handle an exstension if that’s whats best for business jus hope it’s nothing crazy and it turns into a black hole of a contract the last few yrs. the COO of the reds definitely falls in love with his players.. Dave July 14, 2018 THE problem here is that Bob Castellini is making baseball decisions. Colorado Red July 14, 2018 Dave, That is what I thought the first I heard of this. Norwood Nate July 14, 2018 I’m right there with you on this. victor vollhardt July 14, 2018 It is his money and his team and his other partners have made him the “head guy”. If it works out that is fine (I believe it will) if it doesn’t then the fans ,the “baseball people” in the Reds organization can blame him. If you get to his position (controlling owner) then that is what you do—control. In any walk of life I hope that never changes. RedsinWashst July 14, 2018 Since when can anyone blame their boss for anything. You won’t work there very long if you blame your boss. Joe July 14, 2018 How bout th atbat dilson put together he put a charge in that ball lastnite. The guy definitely can hit he needs regular playing time to develop and keeping scooter keeps him and Blandino from getting it. They should get yr or so of steady playing time b4 being pigeon holded to being bench bat mop up duty seems a waste for 23,24,25 yr olds. RedsinWashst July 14, 2018 His last couple of nights he has put together great at bats. Extending that 7 run inning by walking. And last night he showed he has a great eye, not swinging at bad pitches and fouling tough pitches off. I know it is a extremely low sample size but he needs to get more at bats and with Scooter extended it won’t happen, not with this manager. Joe July 14, 2018 No way u go over 3yrs or 40 mill on a contract for him right..right? Stock July 14, 2018 No way does he accept 3 yr/40 million. I would not hesitate to give him 5 years and 70 million. Brad July 14, 2018 1) Dilson Herrera has been impressive in a small sample size. We know Senzel will be good. 2) No sympathy for Reds crying payroll poor if you extend Scooter. Say $10M/year extensions takes Reds starting 2019 payroll to ~$115M. Reds can afford far more. 3) I love the way Scooter plays. Would love for him to stay a Red. Not sure that is best thing for club in 2019 or beyond. Keith July 14, 2018 I think it’s important to note that his poor defense offsets some of his offensive production. Jasonp July 14, 2018 I hope this isn’t true. Senzel should be able to do 90% of what Gennett is doing with better defense, speed, and has room to get better. Senzel career average in the minors is .314. Career OBP 390. The only thing that Gennett might be better at is power but if Senzel can hit 18-25 and Gennett can hit 20-30 how much of a difference is that? 5-6 years younger and cheaper. If there was a big difference between the two I could see signing Gennett long term but there isn’t. That extra money can be used to upgrade the pitching or sign someone else long term. Alex Reds July 14, 2018 Totally agree Jason. Sadly the Reds strong month has everyone thinking the Reds are a playoff team. They need pitching in the worst way and signing Gennett doesn’t do that unless you trade Senzel. I think trading Senzel and resigning Scooter would be gross mismanagement. Scooter’s BABIP is about .380ish which is not sustainable. His walk rate is low and defense is poor. Makes no sense to resign him unless he wants to play for his hometown team for $6M a year. Nobody is going to care about Scooter when the Reds are still losing for another 5 years, and Scooter is 32 years old hitting .290 with a .340 OBP with poor defense. Scooter is peak value right now and 2B is the most in demand need position across contenders other than pitchers. Let’s please not repeat the Cozart and Chapman wait to trade which killed their value. Thank you Scooter and goodbye, and hello a 3-4 year window of playoff competition in 2020-2024 and longer if the Reds are patient and keep their prospects. The Reds management has to be patient, otherwise we will be starting all over again and rebuilding in just 2-3 years instead of having a 4-6+ window of sustained success. Let the prospects grow and give them the 1.5 years through 2020 to have everyone established and experienced. You’re now seeing it with Peraza and Winker, which so many people had written off. Please do not resign Scooter for $10M plus a year. Save the money as we’re going to need a lot of it to sign or acquire a top notch starter. Alex July 14, 2018 I agree. The ONLY goal should be to contend for the world series starting in 2020/2021. The Reds don’t have the pitching for that now. The Reds starting pitching ERA is 5.09. That is 26 out of 30 teams. But even more telling is that they rank last in the national league. The closest national league team is Miami at 4.68 ERA for starting pitching. I wish we had a surplus of starting pitching rather than a surplus of second baseman. If they Reds are going to have a real chance at being world series contenders for a run of several years, somehow the Reds have to end up with a solid group of young, cheap starting pitchers that they can control. Get busy trying to collect and groom that young starting pitching. Any talk of the Reds contending now with the current state of the starting pitching is crazy talk. All moves should keep in mind the goal of putting the best possible team on the field come 20/21. jay johnson July 14, 2018 alex That era of 5.09 includes Homer and Finnegan Take them out of the equation and what do you think it improves to? Between those 2 guys they were 1-16. The current rotation is well over .500. Not saying to stand pat but your stats are not the appropriate way to look at the numbers.Sign a top notch starter/sign Harvey and we are contenders. I constantly question why reds fans think that we cant afford to spend significantly more $.This franchise is valued at over a BILLION dollars.We should NEVER be hamstrung by the WE CANT AFFORD to pay.Its 2018.The baseball salary structure has changed since Bob and Co bought this team.Its time to spend some of their wealth and get a winner.We are very close. Tom July 14, 2018 I think your comment may further add some insight. Suppose we did take out the 68 innings Homer pitched and the 20.2 innings Finnegan pitched. By my calculations, that drops the starting pitching ERA from 5.09 to 4.73. That is still 25th in the league (instead of 26th) and still last in the national league behind Miami’s 4.68. To be fair, I think one should also take out Harvey’s stats as Harvey is not among the group of young starting pitching the Reds need. Because Harvey has been the Red’s best pitcher of late, that would drive that ERA calculation back upward. Adding pitchers is going to help, but as a small market team there is no getting around the fact that the Reds need a group of cheap young starters. I think the question I have for Doug is, if the Red’s sign a really good free agent starting pitcher would they loose their first round draft pick? If so, maybe that would be a reason to wait or find another way because they may still end up with a pretty good pick in next year’s draft. Eric July 14, 2018 In my opinion, the first course of action is to trade a lot of the good relivers the Reds have (Iglesias, Hernandez, Hughes, Lorenzen). Not all the young starting pitchers are going to make it as starters so the Reds can convert some of them to relievers in the years to come as they did with Lorenzen and Garrett. This also allows the Reds to keep these starting pitcher candidates and possibly give them another chance at starting again in the future (as some have suggested with Lorenzen and Garrett). Meanwhile they gain experience. Lots of contending teams are in need of bullpen help. Michael Smith July 15, 2018 In theory the reds could lose their supplumently first round pick. Colorado Red July 14, 2018 Bottom line still comes to Nick and Dilson. What are we doing with them. Nick may be starting to get irritated stuck in AAA. If he does not come up next year early, he agent is going to start taking trade. This Bob’s hands all over it. I really like Scooter, but still not sure what to do. RedsinWashst July 14, 2018 Agree has to be the owner. Tampa Red July 14, 2018 The best course of action would be to wait and see what the extension looks like before making a judgement on it. If there even is one. Of course that won’t happen lol. To the great annoyance of many on this board, I’m on record for the last year or so of being in the extend Scooter camp. He’s one of the best hitters in the NL, period, and he literally just turned 28 two months ago. If the extension that Scooter would sign looks something like a 4 year/$50 million deal that buys out his last year of arbitration, the Reds would foolish not to offer it. He would only be 32 at the end, and there’s nothing that would prevent them from trading him at any point in the future if the plan doesn’t work out and/or you have guys busting down the door for playing time and/or you get overwhelmed by an offer. The tweet Doug linked to is virtually the same thing I’ve been saying for months. You have a bunch of young, athletic guys that can be moved around as needed. The Cubs have been doing that for years with guys like Bryant, Happ, Báez, Zobrist and Schwarber. They all get plenty of AB’s, it hasn’t stunted their development and the Cubs are a better team for it. The Reds would undeniably, I think, be a better team with both Gennett and Senzel on the roster. The only scenario that would cause me to change my position on this is if prevented the Reds from making other moves to sign and/or trade for 1-2 more SP’s in the off season. And there is no hard evidence that that would be the case. Williams has said there will be a payroll increase for next year, Mesaraco goes off the books and there will only be one more year to pay Bailey. I’m ALL for signing Gennett to a mutually beneficial extension. Make it happen. victor vollhardt July 14, 2018 Tampa Red’s thoughts and comments are—–Right On!!! Midwest Red July 14, 2018 I agree with Tampa, it all comes down to what kind of money are the Reds willing to put forth into the major league roster in the up coming years. If we are going to settle for cheap players to put in the rotation…then no, don’t extend. Hoosierbadger July 14, 2018 You and Scooter’s consistent excellence this season have convinced me. Sparky Anderson (speaking from the beyond) July 15, 2018 Right on Tampa Red as Scooter, in a short period of time, has become the very heart and soul of this Reds team – the same way Doggie (Tony Perez) was back during the days of the Big Red Machine. And I almost choked last night when I heard the announcers state on the telecast that Scooter wasn’t the hitter that Joey is (as they seem to be caught in a time warp). Truth is, Joey is no longer the hitter that Scooter is (just look at the damn numbers). So Reds, don’t make the same mistake the Reds front office did over almost 40 years ago when they traded Tony Perez to play Danny Driessen at 1B. Keep Scooter!! D Ray White July 15, 2018 Basing your opinion over what, th last year and a half? If so, Joey’s numbers are better across the board. Scooter has had a great year this year, and a good one last year. But c’mon, he’s not Votto. Stop it. Votto finished second in the MVP last year, and has s having a decent year so far with the second half (traditionally his best) left. MuddyCleats July 17, 2018 Amen! MuddyCleats July 17, 2018 Votto likes to walk; Scotter likes to drive n runs like Tony did. Reds need them both, but need Vottos 25M more ! Fish July 14, 2018 I’m in the trade scooter camp. An acceptable alternative is to play him in left field with schebler in CF and winker in RF. Thats a terrible defensive outfield but it gets your best bats in the lineup. I’d echo what others have said, if he’ll take 3 years for no more than 40 million, its probably worth it. I worry that he’s going to Todd Frazier and fall off a cliff, kill his trade value and the reds will be stuck with him. His BABIP suggests a .280 hitter, not a .325 hitter. I also think the reds need to be playing herrera every day to see what they have. Looking at the “bright side” I could see a few reasons for this: A) no team has offered anything of substance for Gennett. I’ve read the dodgers are interested but maybe they didn’t offer any prospects with upside in areas of need (I read an article saying they should build a package around Verdugo, I’d take that in a heartbeat). B) this is posturing to drive up his market value. Saying they want to keep him could increase the deals they’re being offered (although thats a dumb reason IMO, a player is worth what he’s worth, which is to some degree the market, but there’s no market transparency so he’s really worth what he’s worth to you). C) This is posturing to not hurt fan support. He’s popular and from cincinnati. The front office can say “we tried but the economics of baseball blah blah blah.” D Ray White July 15, 2018 My fear as well. Scotter is already a subpar defender. Scotter has 1.5 years of very good play balanced against 3 or 4 years of middling play prior to the 1.5. Can he keep up the 1.5, or is it his zenith and he will come back to earth while making 10-15 million per year? I’d let someone else take that risk in return for pitching prospects. RandyW July 14, 2018 Let’s remember that no one from the Reds has said that Senzel can’t handle short. The obvious move if the Reds extend Scooter is to put Senzel at short and move Peraza to center. Ghettotrout1 July 14, 2018 I agree with Randy Norwood Nate July 14, 2018 I would be in favor of giving that lineup a try, and I think it’s more viable than playing an OF of Gennett, Schebler, Winker. The downside I see is if Senzel is slightly below average SS and Gennett is slightly below average 2B that creates quite a defensive problem in the INF where defense is of utmost importance. Peraza is quietly making himself into a quality SS and I seem to recall there being concerns about the routes he took in the OF when he played there before. Of course he playing CF full time one would assume he would adjust and get better. Definitely an intriguing possibility. redlegs4ever July 14, 2018 There isn’t a planet in the cosmos that Jose Peraza would be a better option than Billy Hamilton is in center. Peraza was traded twice for a reason, but that’s another story for another day. Bred July 14, 2018 Lorenzen in CF! EV on his line out 105.7. They are wasting him. He would have been an all star CF. redlegs4ever July 14, 2018 I wouldn’t mind Lorenzen getting some playing time in CF. I haven’t seen him play there since college but I would feel safe in saying he’s the 2nd best CF on this team. MuddyCleats July 17, 2018 Agree RedLeggs, but it looks like Peraza has relaxed & is playing w/ confidence. Someone deserves a lot of credit 4 improving his approach AB & he has shown he is more than adequate @ SS. He’s having a very good yr. I’d leave it/him alone & let good times keep rolling. How about adding a SP & make things real interesting in 2nd half! redlegs4ever July 17, 2018 We’ve seen this before Muddy, I do give credit to Jose for taking a few walks and playing mostly passable defense for the last month or so. But end of the day were talking about a guy at his best, that gives you league average on base, little to no power, league average defense (that’s generous), and league average baserunning ( his stolen base numbers look nice but his actual baserunning is very pedestrian). I’ll be generous again and say slightly above average baserunning, but he’s no Billy. The Reds could and should certainly do better than Jose Peraza at short even at his “best”. redleggingfordayz July 14, 2018 Personally I still don’t see it. I like Scooter a lot but he will still regress at least a little bit over a full year. Take that, his defense, and his age, I feel like this is a risk the Reds might not need to take. If this really is going to be a very team friendly deal I might rethink my positioning, but from what I can see Scooter might command 15M AAV and I just think that would be better spent on SP. The other side of that, is if they do end up signing Scooter, Senzel had better be trade bait for an elite SP because I think we all realize that is what this team desperately needs. Pete Rose III July 15, 2018 A lot of fans thought Scooter was going to regress this year (how do you like those apples). So the fans that are waiting for him to regress may be waiting a long time. Gennett at 4 years at $10M a year gets it done. Do it! Chris July 14, 2018 Doug, You think any chance either Harvey or Reds would consider 3-4 year deal for him? He’s got attitude, I think he’s needed. Stuff seems “back.” Im wondering if Williams’ comments on payroll increasing wasn’t just talking extending Scooter but also perhaps trying to sign The Dark Knight!? Keith July 14, 2018 Trade him now and re-sign him in offseason if he really wants to come back. No reason for him to take a discount now if he believes he will only look better by end of season. MK July 14, 2018 I’d rather have Harvey than Scooter. If you would trade Scooter for a possible 1 or 2 type pitcher. Then sign Harvey not Scooter and it is the same thing. WVRon July 14, 2018 There is simply no reason to extend him this year. This smells like a ploy to drive up the return on a trade. Earmbrister July 14, 2018 IMO, trade Duvall now, then move Scooter to left and play Herrara every day for the rest of the year. Start Senzel in AAA next spring until an early June call up to the Reds. In the meantime, assuming that Herrara establishes some trade value, shop Dilson next spring /summer. This keeps Scooter’s very valuable bat in the lineup, while clearing the logjam at 2B. As an aside, I’d keep Billy as the everyday CFr. It helps to cover some of the defense you’re giving up by trading Duvall. George Scherger - a long time Red from the great beyond July 15, 2018 Back in April and early May never thought I would be thinking this but the Reds are loaded with quality position players. Winker and Schebler are hitting (and even Billy is – maybe a light has finally come on – we can only hope), Suarez, who I said before the season began the Reds really needed to extend, has quickly become a superstar, Gennett has not regressed and is actually putting up better #s then last year, Pereza is becoming a very solid SS at a young (24) age… the list could go on. So the Reds only need some solid front line SP to contend year in and year out. Don;t envy the position the Reds FO is in – as the trades they make going forward will certainly make or break the Reds for the next 5 years +. Here’s hoping they make the right ones. earmbrister July 15, 2018 Never thought I’d be communicating with someone from The Great Beyond … First, how are you finding things? Any advice? Lastly, Scooter. I’m hesitant to trade him, but by no means would I’d be upset if we got some serious starting pitching in return. The moves I suggested above leave one problem: where does Winker play. If the Reds get a good starting pitcher for Gennett, play Dilson, trade Duvall as well, and put Winker in LF. I agree that the offense has come around nicely. I was more bullish on the lineup than some, but I was also too optimistic about the starting pitching. If they can add a starter now, and another over the winter, the Reds may very well make some serious noise next year. Norwood Nate July 14, 2018 The one thing that bothers me the most about Sheldon’s report is that this is seemingly coming from Big Bob himself. I’m super tired of Big Bob dictating baseball decisions. It’s (mostly) his money, and he can do whatever, but why hire baseball people to do a job and then direct them on what moves to make? I feel his meddling in baseball operations is probably the thing that frustrates me the most this whole situation. He acts too much like a fan and not an owner and makes emotionally charged decisions. But that tangent out of the way… I think Doug is absolutely correct that there are valid arguments to both sides of the coin. I have long been in the trade Gennett camp. I have also understood those who have suggested a 4 year extension if the cost is around 40-50M it would be reasonable to consider. ($10M ARB3, $14M x 3 years would equal to $52M which is about the top of what I would consider) I will try to list my reasons of being in favor of a trade in order of importance to me: 1. Extending Gennett complicates things positionally. Gennett is at best an average defensive 2B. We have (projected) good hitting, better fielding 2B coming up. The only other position Gennett would likely play is LF. That happens to be the best spot for Winker, who out of the 4-man OF rotation is the guy we need to find a spot for the most. You could continue to play Winker in RF and Schebler in CF with Gennett in LF but that’s a really poor OF defensive alignment. I believe it would be a bigger detriment on defense than advantage on offense. No matter where you pencil in Gennett in on defense, his presence complicates things with the parts we have in fold. 2. Cost. The money spent on Gennett is money not being spent on other areas, mainly starting pitching. It also subtracts the value we could have returned by trading Gennett. In the very short term, it also takes playing time away from Herrera who could end up being a nice trade chip if he could establish himself with regular playing time. 3. Can he sustain it? I buy that he’s made himself into a very good hitter. I don’t buy that he’s a .320+ hitter over the long haul. He doesn’t walk quite enough that he’s not going to be reliant on sustaining a high batting average of balls in play. Will he fall off a cliff offensively by the end? Probably not. At the same time I’m still fully expecting his production to come down a lot closer to average than where he is now throughout the course of his contract. The Reds are in a tough spot. He’s a hometown kid who’s been raking, who wants to stay, and who seems like a good clubhouse guy. At the same time the fit just isn’t obvious to me. The Reds Reporter tweet doesn’t necessarily take into account that the Cubs players have more flexibility across positions. Happ is a lot more versatile than Winker, Zobrist than Gennett, etc. Also, as they suggested it takes creativity, but the Reds don’t have Joe Madden managing them (I wish they did). Maybe they’ll hire someone in his mold, but Riggs isn’t it, neither is Larkin or probably anyone else Walt and Big Bob will suggest. Bill July 14, 2018 Nate, that was my first thought about ownership, too. I don’t want to see the Reds extend Gennett for sentimental reasons. However, if we give them the benefit of the doubt, its also possible ownership understands they will need to address other areas of need and is comfortable doing so while extending Gennett. That would be very positive if ownership is willing to support a front office proposal to extend Gennett and use financial resources to address other team needs. Norwood Nate July 14, 2018 You’re right the finances probably do work out. I did a quick check on Cot’s and it looks like the Reds have roughly $68M committed to 7 players (Votto, Bailey, Iggy, Tucker, Suarez, Hughes, Hernandez) with Hamilton (3), Lorenzen (2), Disco (2), and Duvall (1) eligible for arbitration, along with Gennett (3). In 2020, assuming a Bailey buyout and Hughes option picked up the Reds have roughly $51M committed to 5 players. Lorenzen (3), Disco (3), Duvall (2), and Schebler (1) will be arbitration eligible. The Suarez, Barnhart, and Iglesias deals are of really great value. Kudos to the Reds FO for those deals. Adding Gennett based on around $14M/year after his ARB year leaves room for adding a frontline SP for the Reds. They will have a lot of the roster comprising of rookie scale salary guys for the first two years, and alleviating themselves of Bailey’s salary will help a lot in 2020. I see the Reds comfortably getting to about $130M in payroll if they choose to, and their current contract structures allow for plenty of room to grow towards that, even with a Gennett extension. Tampa Red July 14, 2018 Fair points. I would just add that Senzel and Peraza are athletic enough baseball players to play 4-5 different positions. If you’re going to compare position flexibility of Happ and Zobrist, using Gennett and Winker is not who you should be using, IMO. There is an odd man out of the 2019 roster that I personally would like to see, and maybe 1-2 more. As much as I like the guy, the Reds probably need to find a trade partner for Duvall. And I don’t think Herrara has much of a shot at being the starting 2B over both Gennett and Senzel, and doesn’t offer much position flexibility that I’m aware of. And lastly, unless you use Hamilton as a defensive and base running specialist, I don’t seen much room for him either. Norwood Nate July 14, 2018 I was only basing that off of the comparisons for playing time in the tweet. You are correct, Senzel and Peraza have much more flexibility and it’s much more comparable to Happ and Zobrist. At the same time, taking a deeper dive Baez and Bryant come with some flexibility as well and in general I think the Cubs lineup offers more ability to move players around the diamond than the Reds will be able to with these specific parts. I do agree I don’t see much room/need for Duvall, Hamilton, or Herrera moving forward if the Reds bring Gennett back. All three could be bench pieces, but as far as regular contributors, it’s hard to see where they would fit. Schebler and Winker have separated themselves offensively from the other two OF’er and should play regularly in my opinion. Bill July 14, 2018 This is a really nice dilemma for the Reds: Option #1: trade from a position of strength and improve CF and starting pitching while growing overall long-term depth on the farm. Of course need a trading partner to make that happen and overall value returning needs to be there. Several competitive teams would benefit from Gennett so a match is likely available. Option #2: extend a local player/fan favorite at the peak of his career as the Reds enter a window of competitiveness. Once Senzel arrives the Reds would have 9 legitimate major league players for 7 spots in the lineup. This keeps everyone fresh and insures against inevitable injuries. Of course ownership needs to commit to addressing other needs through FA (preferable) or trades with the understanding that each trade diminishes the Reds ability to reinforce future teams and shortens the competitive window. Doc July 14, 2018 When Scooter won his arbitration hearing, he made a comment to the effect that he needed to do it to protect the contracts for those who come after him. Not the kind of attitude that is likely to get the Reds a team friendly contract unless he has undergone a huge mea culpa. I would trade him while his value is highest. We are still rebuilding, with no guarantee that the current performance of the team is what we’ll have the next couple of years. Aren’t we already close to being at risk for losing Stephenson due to time/options considerations, yet we are still hearing Bailey and his 6 ERA at Louisville is coming back to the rotation as soon as rehab time runs out. We’ll be blocking a young SP who is performing in AAA and may lose him; Gennett blocks a whole string of young position players. How many of them will we lose? Small market teams need to be masters at drafting and managing turnover, along with managing payroll. Reds owe Gennett nothing. They retrieved him from the waiver pile and provided him an opportunity that will make him wealthy. Be thankful for the two years he bought us for Senzel to develop and wish him well with his new team. If Senzel turns out to be as expected, spend money on him six years from now. Alex Reds July 14, 2018 Well put Doc! Stock July 14, 2018 The Reds are not in risk of losing Stephenson. If he remains in the minors all year the Reds control him through the 2024 season. If he is called up at some point this year the Reds control him through the 2023 season. The Reds can not send Stephenson back to the minors in 2019 but he can spend as much time down there this year as the Reds management chooses. I personally feel the Reds should bring him up after the break to see what they have. Not trading Harvey will be bad in two ways. First, no trade means no Stephenson in the Reds rotation. Second, no prospects coming to the Reds. redlegs4ever July 14, 2018 The Reds aren’t that stupid, are they?? Stock July 14, 2018 I think there are three constants on this site that make me feel people are not watching many Reds games. 1. Gennett was a below average fielder last year and in April of 2018 he was terrible. But something clicked last year and he went from a poor hitter to the best hitting 2B in the league. This May he went from a poor defensive player to above average. Watch the games. His defense has been pretty good. Maybe we are spoiled from years of Phillips at 2B but I take what Gennett has done the last 2 months in a heartbeat. 2. Peraza is a weak link. I think quite the opposite. I think he has progressed well this year and is set for the next 8-10 years in the majors. I would love for the Reds to sign him to a 7 year extension this winter. 3. Hamilton is a liability. Hamilton has been pretty fantastic the last month or so. Very valuable. I know this is over a short period of time but I am hoping his demotion from the leadoff spot has sent him a message that nothing is guaranteed in the big leagues no matter how fast you are. If he has a .375 OBP post all-star break this year I try to extend him 2-3 years. Norwood Nate July 14, 2018 May just be difference of opinions. I watch about every game I can, much to my wife’s dismay sometimes. I don’t think Gennett is horrible, but I don’t think his arm is very good, maybe the reported shoulder issue plays a part there. I don’t think his range is very good either. I think he’s below average at turning double plays (probably because of the arm). Those are what my eyes tell me. He hustles, which is why I think he’s playing an average 2B right now. But there’s a noted difference to me when Blandino plays 2B in defensive upgrade. Peraza is slowly changing my opinion of him. At this point I prefer him to Hamilton because I see more potential to grow and develop offensively. But all along my three main concerns have been he doesn’t walk enough, there’s very little power in his game, and he didn’t have a defined position. The last concern has been answered. I think he’s a fine SS as he’s improved a lot there. While both the BB rate and ISO have taken steps forward, he’s still is considerably below average in both. That said, he’s 24 and there’s reason to believe he will improve and even as of now, as your 8th best hitter in the lineup he’s pretty good. With Hamilton, my concern is that he still talks about getting back to the lead off spot. I am fine with him in the 9th spot, rotating with Schebler in CF. Otherwise, he’s still not going do much on offense, he’s currently posting a 75 wRC+. I’ve never thought he was a liability, I’ve thought that he and Peraza can’t exist together in a lineup and that lineup remain offensively viable night in and night out. Peraza’s made that less of an issue with his improvements, but as I said above Peraza is great as the 8th best hitter in the lineup, less so as the 7th best hitter. Colorado Red July 14, 2018 Basically agree. Scotter is not Above Average, but he is no longer stone hands, and terrible. The way he hits, if he D is ok, is is a WAR play (3 currently) Bill July 14, 2018 Great points. Defensive metrics show Gennett only slightly below average at 2B. He is by no means “poor”. Peraza is certainly improving and young–he appears to have come into his own this year. Billy Hamilton is my favorite player to watch–he can definitely help a contending team with his defense and baserunning. We need to be careful not to expect too much from his bat as he has a 5 year track record of below average hitting. That said, if employed to maximize his elite skills, he’s an asset. redlegs4ever July 14, 2018 On another note, the Reds just can’t seem to quit Austin Brice for some reason. He was DFA material since the day they traded for him. Stock July 14, 2018 I may be alone here but Bailey may be pretty good next year. It is his contract year and his attitude will be to focus on getting a new contract. I have no problem spending April of 2019 finding out the truth. If he still sucks DFA and bring up Gutierrez (assuming he is for real his last 7 starts). Wes July 14, 2018 If last year was his contract year homer would no longer be a pro. He’s arguably the worst player in mlb w the worst contract. He’s toast And reds don’t make that mistake again. No way scooter gets more than 14 and prob closer to 10 or reds won’t sign him. Johnny Bench July 15, 2018 Your credibility just went out the window – because Bailey is officially toast (and the Reds and most fans are tired of him and just want to see him go). Stock July 14, 2018 I think the Reds are in a fantastic position in the trade market right now. They should sit back and see there the market goes. If it goes like 2016 and Chapman/Torres trades are in the offing then the Reds should trade Iglesias and Gennett for the likes of prospects such as Whitley, McKenzie and/or Gohara. If the trade market is like earlier this year then trade Senzel and other prospects for DeGrom and/or Syndergaard. Stock July 14, 2018 Prospects are cheap Iglesias, Hamilton and Duvall to Houston for Whitley Scooter and Hernandez to Cleveland for McKenzie Prospects are valuable DeGrom for Senzel and Long DeGrom and Syndergaard for Senzel, Trammell and Long 2020 Rotation: Whitley/DeGrom, McKenzie/Syndergaard, Mahle Disco Stephenson, Gutierrez or Santillan Bullpen: Closer Castillo/Iglesias Set up men: Romano, Garrett, Lorenzen, Rainey, Gutierrez or Stephenson/ Those 5 plus Castillo Stock July 14, 2018 Just looked at DeGrom’s stats. He doesn’t come that cheap. DeGrom for Senzel, Santillan, Long and Stephenson may work though. Throw in Trammell and get Syndergaard. If I am all in like this I also extend Scooter and go after Keuchel this winter. Rotation: DeGrom/Syndergaard/Keuchel/Disco/Stephenson Mahle in AAA waiting for injury or forget Syndergaard. Gutierrez and Santillan behind him. Bullpen: Iggy/Castillo/Garrett/Romano/Lorenzen/Hernandez/Hughes DFA Bailey ohiojim July 14, 2018 Lots of good stuff here already from many differing angles. I think in the end the Scooter decision comes down to the budget and how quickly they want to compete. Those are questions we can only surmise about and try to figure the answers based on public moves and statements. If they’ve got money and want to be in the mix by 2020, they need to keep Scooter. I’d hope any contract for him would be 4 years guaranteed starting with 2019 with an option year on the back end. He should still carry enough value into the back end of such a deal that he could be moved should the young guys come along strongly enough to make him expendable. Mesoraco ($13M) comes off the books at the end of this year (recall the Reds are paying the ~$7.4m difference between he and Harvey ). Bailey comes off after 2019 ($28M counting the 2020 buyout). Suarez and Barnhart are both signed to very club favorable deals. They should be in a position to extend Gennett without breaking the budget. jay johnson July 14, 2018 Y not keep Scooter.If we hire a manager that has a clue. Whats wrong with having players with talent that basically play the same position.Look at the Cubs.Madden moves Zobrist,Happ,Bryant,Baez all over the field from game to game.It gives you a deep team when you do.None of those guys are stick outs defensively at any the spots that they have been playing.Well maybe Baez. Move Nick around,Peraza,Herrera,etc.Even Suarez a bit in the OF would be ok,but you need a manager with a brain and a little imagination.Just because the back of his baseball card says 2nd base doesnt mean thats all he can play.These are major league ballplayers. I am also in favor of keeping Harvey on a 2 or 3 yr. deal.We need a starter like oxygen and he is a very professional pitcher,a former all star.Its no coincidence that the team is playing so well since he has been put in the rotation,yet everyone wants to trade him for nothing and go and sign or trade (even worse idea) for a pitcher in the off season.We already have the guy and it appears he likes being a Red. madd July 14, 2018 I do not understand the logic behind sigining him to an extension. He is peaking now, trade him for younger assets. Herrera can fill in the remainder of the year and see what you got with him and balendino. Then Senzel starts the year as your starting 2b next year. Senzel is clearly the better all around player and younger compared to Scooter. No brainer for me if you think logically. Hope the Reds don’t get caught up in the moment again… IndyRedsFan July 14, 2018 The Scooter extension for me comes down to money. (how much of a discount is he willing to give?) I’m a yes at 4 years for 40, but a no at 5 for 70. Joe July 14, 2018 They got a whole yr and a half before they have to even talk contract .jus pay him his 10+ mill in arb he’s definitely earned it and see cause a lot can happen in That time period and if both sides still feel same way then extend him Bryant July 14, 2018 So hard to have this discussion not knowing current trade market and which prospects are available. Be interested in people’s sense of that. (And Dilson Herrera looked unbelievably poised at the plate even before the home run.) Doc July 14, 2018 Appreciate the correction re BobSteve. Sitting here near Houston my Reds resources are more limited and I must have heard or read something inaccurately. Though I left Cincy before Crosley Field did, the Reds still hold a special place. I like Hamilton. He is exciting; his defense is second to none. I would pay to watch him. Can’t say that about anybody else but judging from the attendance figures, a lot of people won’t pay to watch any of them. That is a shame. Of course, easy for me to say from 1,000 miles away. Colorado Red July 15, 2018 Feel your pain, living 1 hr south of Coors field. MLB.tv 1 team is about 90 bucks if I recall. Watch on the computer, no pre or post game, but it good. What do the locals think Iggy is worth? Jon Ryker July 14, 2018 As a left fielder, this is an excellent idea…..as a second baseman, it’s a bad one. RedsinWashst July 14, 2018 While Riggleman has done a nice job taking over for Price. His strength does not seem to be in getting bench players at bats and playing time. If they keep Scooter I am not sure why they brought Herrerra up. Getting him 2 at bats a week is not going to help anyone. Maybe big Bob has blindsided the FO because nothing else makes sense. Tom July 14, 2018 As a small market team they need to get great deals done, whether keeping the right vets or acquiring talent in trades. We will seldom know what offers they get for Scooter, but if he signs, can play OF, and hinders not one cent from improving the starting pitching, it’s a great move. AllTheHype July 18, 2018 This may surprise some, but since start of 2017 Gennett has a higher avg exit velocity combined with lower BABIP than Jose Altuve. Yet according to most analysts, particularly at mlbtradrumors.com, Gennett’s high BABIP means he is lucky and a regression candidate, but Altuve’s high BABIP classifies him as a great player. Altuve does have a slightly higher BB% over that period, but not much higher. To me, Gennett is starting to look less like a regression candidate and more like a great player himself. redlegs4ever July 18, 2018 Watching Scooter this year I’m buying into the bat being real. He’s really going with the pitch and hitting it where it’s thrown. The pop is also legit especially if you throw him a first pitch fastball, why teams don’t throw more first pitch offspeed pitches to him and everyone for that matter, is baffling to me. End of the day we have to ask ourselves though, is Scooter really worth 10+ Mil for even next year, let alone beyond, with all the other capable options we have that are big league ready or close now? Not to mention we’d be punting any potential return we would get for him in a trade. As much as I love Scooter, I can’t reasonably say even holding on to him at the deadline is a good idea, let alone extending him. The Reds could spend that money in several different areas of far greater need. AllTheHype July 18, 2018 Where you are now, I was there too, even last month. But I’m shifting as I’m analyzing stats and comparing Scooter to elite 2B in MLB. Defensive metrics even have him trending to a league average 2B level now. If the trade market is not there, and we can’t get better than a B prospect, the Reds are much better next year with Scooter than without. Extension aside, he makes the 2019 Reds much better. I’d rather the yutes, Senzel et al, make the OF better if he needs a place to play. Now on the other hand, if Scooter could bring back an arm which has the potential to make the 2019 or 2020 Reds much better, you’d have to consider that. But his value to Reds > some other team’s B prospect, imo. Needs to an “A” arm….and I just don’t see that happening really. redlegs4ever July 18, 2018 I really don’t see anyone giving up much value for Scooter but I’m fine with a B prospect. I think more than anything I legitimately believe in Dilson Herrera, he may not be Scooter but he’s going to hit. Senzel we can/will find another place for, but if we don’t clear 2B for Dilson the rest of this year we will lose him for nothing and that’s going to be a tough pill to swallow when he’s raking in another city. Again I love Scooter, nothing against him, and he’s better than all his replacements, but it’s almost the butterfly effect of the events he sets in motion that could drastically hurt this team moving forward. AllTheHype July 18, 2018 I guess I’m starting to see some parallels to the Josh Hamilton situation, where Reds traded a superior OF (to anything else on roster not named Griffey) to clear space for Bruce and others, only to see Hamilton become an MVP and 5 time all star. Not saying Scooter is that, but trading a superior 2B, and not getting much, in order to clear space for a lesser 2B is not ideal. redlegs4ever July 20, 2018 Yea I guess I can see it that way too, guess this is just a situation you have to file under good problem to have.