Cleat Geeks

Reds Get Nice Haul/Others Contenders or Pretenders at Trade Deadline

Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty talks on a cell phone during batting practice, Monday, April 1, 2013, in Cincinnati. The Reds open their 2013 season against the Los Angeles Angels Monday.(AP Photo/Michael Keating)

Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is now past us. Cincinnati Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty did what he needed to begin the rebuild…err…the “reboot” of the team.

Everyone appears pleased with the haul Jocketty received from both the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants for dealing the ace of the pitching rotation Johnny Cueto and innings eater Mike Leake, respectively.

What left a lot of experts and fans scratching their heads at the end of Friday’s frantic and dramatically-intense deadline of 4 p.m. is why Jocketty didn’t pull the trigger on trading closer Aroldis Chapman and right fielder Jay Bruce.

It seemed like Jocketty put Chapman and Bruce out there as possible trade bait to see if a buyer would be in the emotional state to win now so desperately they would take the Reds asking price for the two.

None of the teams mentioned in the final-hour talks – Astros, Diamondbacks, Mets, and Yankees – blinked and Bruce and Chapman are still on the Reds roster for the time being.

Can we say the Reds won during the trade deadline? Yes and maybe, because the Reds got five players with organizational control for two, who likely will not be with the teams they were traded to once the post season is over.BrandonFinnegan

Jocketty won by taking the top three pitching prospects from the Royals in Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, and John Lamb. The veteran GM also took two top talents by getting top pitching prospect Keury Mella and power hitter Adam Duvall.

In today’s game of baseball, there are plenty of young arms and a shortage of bats. When the Reds become contenders again in the National League Central it will be easier to deal the arms to obtain bats to make it into the post season.

Which is the big question when will the Reds contend again for a chance in the post season? Next year doesn’t seem reasonable especially when you’re trying to rebuild the entire rotation. In the last five games, the Reds have started a rookie, pitcher. The first time that’s happened since 1935.

If it doesn’t happen during the waiver-trade period this month Jocketty needs to put serious consideration in dealing Chapman during the off season. With a pitching staff, which lacks experience and a middle relief that is shaky at best, having Chapman sit in the bullpen would be a waste of his talent. More importantly the Reds wasting money having him sit in the bullpen with nothing to do. They have experimented many times in spring training’s past with Chapman becoming a starting pitcher only to relegate him back to the bullpen to be the closer. It also seems the “Cuban Missile” prefers coming out of the bullpen.

To contend you have to have solid pitching and the Reds aren’t going to have it next season and might not have it 2017. Best to deal Chapman and continue to load up the farm system. Cincinnati acquired potential closer Miguel Celestino from the Red Sox at the beginning of July. He could become the heir apparent if Chapman is dealt.

The Reds won in getting what they could get for Cueto and Leake. Whether they got it right may not be known until 2017 season at the earliest. If it’s 2020 and they aren’t contending then the aforementioned maybe in winning this trade deadline will be changed to a definite N-O.

Now looking at the other teams who made significant deals prior to the deadline on Friday.


troy-tulowitzki3-JaysToronto: Normally at the trade deadline in the American League East you’re talking about the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees being the ones in bidding wars for the top players possible. Then entered the Blue Jays, who shocked the baseball world first with the trade for Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies, which also included LeTroy Hawkins and made “Late Night with Twitter” a lot of fun Monday night. It also set up the rest of the week having everyone not wanting to go to sleep afraid they would miss another blockbuster trade. Fortunately with their final big jolt, the Blue Jays traded for David Price from the Tigers during normal-business hours. With the power and glove of Tulowitzki added to the already explosive offense – the best in baseball – and the addition of Price to the rotation and Hawkins and Lowe to the bullpen, all the Blue Jays would need is what the Giants did last season: get one of the wildcards, win that game and then carry it through to the World Series championship.

Kansas City: The missing piece for the Royals – a solid ace. The answer: Johnny Cueto. The Royals have him and they added the bat of Ben Zobrist to help with the loss of Alex Gordon. Last year the Royals came within inches of obtaining their first World Series in 29 years. With these two additions, the Royals took it a step further to possibly ending the drought at 30 in October.

Diamondbacks Astros Baseball

Houston: The Astros literally gave away the farm and we’ll know if it was well worth it if they are hoisting the World Series trophy this October or future Octobers. They gave away six of their top prospects, but in return they got Mike Friers and Scott Kazmir to the rotation and then the bat of Carlos Gomez. The Astros are probably a year or even two ahead of schedule. They entered the week dead even with the Angels in the American League West. They ended it with a sweep of the Angels and a four-game lead.


Los Angeles Angels: The Angels made some moves, but it looked more like to only add depth to the outfield for the post season run. The farm system is depleted and there isn’t much to gain by getting rentals at this point. The LA Angels made a nice pick with Shane Victorino from the Red Sox. They also added David Murphy and David DeJesus for the outfield, which seems to be a revolving carousel in left field.

wilmer-flores-watches-bpNew York Mets: Thanks to social media Wednesday night we watched a deal happen and then completely fall apart and put egg on the face of GM Sandy Alderson. Alderson had sent Wilmer Flores and Zach Wheeler to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez. The deal fell through because of questions about Gomez’s health. Then at the very last possible moment Alderson saved face and got a better deal for less in landing Yoenis Cespedes. Throw in Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe along with Cespedes to what was a woeful hitting lineup and add the arm of Tyler Clippard to a questionable bullpen and the Mets could be miraculously in the World Series in October.

San Francisco: The Giants needed to upgrade the rotation. They successfully did that by adding Leake. The righthander, as mentioned, will be an innings eater and save the bullpen. Leake also will enjoy his home starts in the wide open space known as AT&T Park.

St. Louis: The team with the best record in baseball need two bats and an arm to be successful in October. Matt Holliday made his return and abruptly reinjured his quadriceps muscle running to first base Wednesday night against Cincinnati. They gave up a huge promising arm in Rob Kaminsky to get Brandon Moss, who is having one of his worst seasons while playing for Cleveland. Then Friday morning they picked up Jonathan Broxton from the Brewers. It’s a roll of dice considering Broxton has been under-performing the past couple of seasons. As we have seen in the past it’s only a matter of the Cardinals getting to October and then seeing them do their magic from there to another possible World Series appearance.


MatLatosDodgersLos Angeles Dodgers: They wanted Cueto and then he was off the board to the Royals. They wanted Cole Hamels and then he went to a non-contender in Texas. Then Price went to the Blue Jays. So what did the Dodgers do? They threw out a lot of money and put together a complexed three-team-13-player deal that looks more like they threw spit balls at a wall to see what would stick. Latos has been injured more often than not lately. One only has to look at the fact he became injured or was scratched right before his two scheduled starts against his former team, the Reds, earlier this season. Wood could be labeled a poor-man’s Mike Leake. He can eat up innings and save the bullpen on some occasions from needed use. If the World Series was a best of five the Dodgers would be fine with just Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke, but it isn’t and the three and four spots could be issues for them in October. If they don’t win this October, opponents best be ready for future seasons the Dodgers and their endless cash flow plus their current loaded farm system could spell doom for years to come.


New York Yankees: The normally spend heavy and win at all costs Yankees have taken the most conservative approach to the stretch run for the playoffs. General Manager Brian Cashman made one move and that was getting Dustin Ackley. As stated above the Yankees were one of the teams in talks with the Reds about Chapman, but the thought of giving up some prized prospects at the end wasn’t worth it at the time. They also tried for San Diego Padres closer Craig Kimbrel. For the Yankees to make a deep run in October Cashman must shore up the rotation, which was delivered a blow middle of last week when Michal Pineda was placed on the 15-day-disabled list. Likely, Cashman and his staff will make a move with the waiver-wire trades, but it will have to be one they expect to make enough of an immediate impact to do it.

We Gave a Vote of No Confidence

Washington: With the trade for Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies, the Nationals front office essentially told Drew Storen, who was 29-for-31 in save opportunities this season, he was nothing more than the Peyton Manning of closers.

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