About four months ago I
entry focused entirely about the stupidity of the Cincinnati Reds front
office. San Francisco, Atlanta, Kansas
City, and Washington have all challenged that title since, but the combo of
Baker, general manager Walt Jocketty, and owner Bob
Castellini has proved to be tough to overcome.
As Baker continues to
completely ignore any factual information given to him, and Bob Castellini (nice button)
continues to oversee a baseball system pounding itself into the ground, Walt
Jocketty is still signing incompetent players to ridiculous contracts, and
trading away top prospects at the time when they are most needed.
The past two Reds
transactions may be Jocketty’s worst yet.
Let’s start it off with this trade, and on the next entry I’ll wrap up
the other horrific transaction made by Jocketty.
The Reds trade away Ryan Freel, Brandon Waring,
Turner to BAL for Ramon
Wow. Where do we begin? This is just a mess of a trade for Cincinnati. Now before I start getting into the players
involved, one must realize that the Reds also received $2 million from the
But that’s only the case because
Ramon Hernandez’s salary is ridiculously high at $8.5 million. I still think $6.5 million is way too
much to pay for Hernandez. However, in
the end, money can be recovered one way or another, but losing top prospects
cannot (especially when you have such a poorly managed front office, as the
Reds do). I cannot assess Walt
Jocketty’s scouting department very accurately yet, since he has only been at
the GM helm for a little less than nine months. But judging from his time with St. Louis, he didn’t have a very
good eye for scouts. Basically,
Jocketty is slowly but surely using the talent [gulp] Jim Bowden, [gulp] Dan
O’Brien, and Wayne Krivsky (not bad enough for a gulp) found and/or drafted,
and Walt is trading them away for his own “preferred” players.
The Ramon Hernandez trade
is a perfect example of that. You can’t
blame Jocketty for not having drafted the prospects currently in Cincinnati’s
farm clubs, but he is single-handedly destroying what little pieces of talent
the Reds had left to begin with in the minors.
Justin Turner and Brandon
Waring may not be Grade-A prospects, but both have a bright future, judging
from their minor league statistics, especially Waring. Just by taking a quick look at his 2007
statistics in Low-A, you can see Waring’s massive slugging potential.
Heck, including college, he hit 57 home runs
in 2007…in 489 at-bats! Not that it has
that much meaning, but The Baseball Cube’s scouting report on Waring has
his power ranked at 100 (of out 100).
However, Waring’s output
fell drastically in 2008 (20 HR), and predictably, so did his OBP
(.346). I don’t know what caused the
drop in power, but the cold hard fact is that his slugging percentage fell 147
points, and that is probably why the Reds were willing to give him up (not to
say they were right to do so).
Waring may never get back
to the serious upside he showed with rookie-ball Billings, but a .340 OBP with
twenty dingers a season is still pretty solid.
Turner looks like he may wind up being Brian Roberts’ replacement in
2010 (when Roberts’ contract runs out).
Maybe a more realistic expectation for Turner may be a poor man’s Chuck
Knoblauch (which is not as bad as it sounds) or that of a Ryan Freel-type,
without the ability to play outfield. Of course, one of Ryan Freel’s main assets is his immense
versatility (2B, 3B, LF, CF, RF).
I’m not exactly sure where
Freel fits in with the O’s next year.
The O’s have a logjam of outfielders already (Scott, Jones, Markakis,
Pie and Montanez), and capable infielders as well.
Baltimore’s only major hole is at SS, which is the one position
Freel doesn’t play. General
manger Andy MacPhail should trade Melvin Mora, Brian Roberts, and Luke
Scott this off-season. But seeing the
slim chances of that happening, the 33-year-old probably will just be a
super-utility guy. I understand that
Ryan Freel is a name more recognizable than Brandon Waring or Justin Turner,
but I frowned whenever I saw an article refer to it as “Ramon Hernandez for
Ryan Freel, and two other prospects”.
If nothing else, the Reds forced Baltimore to take Freel, because
of the four million dollars he is owed next year.
This was DISASTROUS
for Cincinnati, and I was just stunned that Baltimore could get anything for
Ramon Hernandez, let alone two good prospects from an equally awful team such
as the Reds. Bottom, bottom Line: Andy
MacPhail is either a genius, or Old Jock’ had lost his meds. Yeeaahh, most likely the
Reds – D-
Orioles – A
OK, so in a future post
I’ll go over the other transaction that cements my claim that Cincinnati has
the worst management in the game. And
if you are a disgruntled Reds fan, or just simply depressed by the sheer
incompetent nature of the organization, I have the thing for you!
–Brian Sabean, GM of the San Francisco Giants,
signed Edgar Renteria on December 3rd 2008, and now, 28 days later, I assess
the damage. A while back, I wrote off Sabean as the worst GM in baseball. Although I’ve switched positions since then, Sabean is showing why he has
always been in my bottom five.
The Mike Jacobs trade was
bad. Raul Ibanez and A.J. Burnett got
overpaid, and the Kyle Farnsworth signing was just stupid, but the worst deal
made this off-season is undoubtedly the Edgar Renteria
signing. Forget the fact the Giants
already had a young, worthy shortstop, and forget the fact the Giants are in
rebuilding mode. Renteria just got flat
His hitting has
deteriorated; he has no range, and is 33 years old. Why on earth would a GM sign him to a two-year contract worth
$18MM? Since that’s too much money to
be an “insurance” player in case Manny Burriss
doesn’t perform, Renteria is going to be playing every day.
Now, if Brian Sabean had
serious doubts about Manny Burriss being ready to play in the bigs, then I
would have respected his decision to sign a veteran free agent shortstop,
because I hate it when teams rush their prospects (hello J.R. Towles). I’m not saying Manny Burriss or Ivan Ochoa
aren’t ready, but if the Giants signed a consistent, inexpensive shortstop like
Berroa I would not have disagreed.
But Renteria is way too expensive, and was signed to a multi-year
deal. Seriously, what is Brian Sabean
thinking? I hope his plan isn’t to wait
for Renteria to have a comeback year and then trade him away for prospects
because Renteria will never have an OBP higher than .350 ever again, his range
is gone, and his power will only get worse in spacious AT&T Park.
I hope Edgar Renteria
realizes how lucky he is. I struggle to
find a single team that would have given him half the contract he signed for
with San Francisco.
The only way San Francisco
could screw up their situation more is if they keep Manny Burriss in the majors
as a backup. Because the only
silver lining in this signing is the chance Manny Burriss would have bombed in
the majors. This signing gets rid of
that risk. Perhaps he can develop
better in Triple-A Fresno rather than with the Giants. But still, Ivan Ochoa could’ve filled in for
Burriss. Besides, Renteria is signed
until 2011, and it won’t take that long for Burriss to develop. That is why this deal is so idiotic.
So now I present to you my list of the ten worst current general managers:
(Only counting time with their current club)
10. Ruben Amaro Jr. – PHI (He’s really only made one move, but it was bad)
9. J.P. Ricciardi – TOR
8. Dave Dombrowski – DET
7. Ed Wade – HOU
6. Kevin Towers – SD
5. Frank Wren – ATL
4. Brian Sabean – SF
3. Jim Bowden – WASH
2. Walt Jocketty – CIN
1. Dayton Moore – KC