Trade Bait?

Here’s a familiar tune. The Reds own some extra starting arms. This is old news for any Reds fans and it might be time to use those arms to acquire necessary pieces of the puzzle that will be the 2012 Reds.

Yesterday,’s Anthony Castrovince cited the Reds overall depth at the position. With the proposed move of Aroldis Chapman joining the list I touched upon the day before yesterday. Well, Castrovince has a solution – trade ’em. He even has a couple of those pitchers in mind: Edinson Volquez and Homer Bailey.

The Volquez mention should shock practically no one. Reading Bailey’s name is a little different although I would bet some aren’t shocked at his inclusion.

One point brought up within the linked post by Castrovince is that neither Volquez nor Bailey have “lived up to expectations”. Quite lofty, they have been. Volquez as a 2008 All-Star and Bailey was a first round draft pick.

After a brilliant first half of 2008, Volquez has had Tommy John surgery and struggles with his control since returning to the mound. 2011 was to be the year after the procedure where Volquez would reclaim his 2008 form. It didn’t even come close to materializing.

Despite what we all might be thinking, there is a plus with Volquez. The TJ procedure did not take away from any of his pitch velocity. Of course, his control has gone a little haywire and that might serve as the reason why he has more movement on his four-seam and two-seam fastballs.

Volquez is entering his second year of arbitration. MLB Trade Rumors estimates that Volquez would receive $2.3 million for the 2012 season.

Bailey has not found the consistency in his game, but I do believe that is slowly creeping into his game. Before Bailey hit the disabled for his second time in 2011, we saw the pitcher we thought the Reds had drafted back in 2004. His first four games of 2011 were, in a simple word, brilliant. He was 3-1, owned a 2.08 ERA and a WHIP of 0.885. He struck out 20 while only walking 4. Opposing batters were hitting a meager.198 against him.

Ever since the day Bailey first donned a Reds uniform, tremendous expectations have been place on his shoulders. Maybe those were too much of a load although Bailey has continually denied that he was thrown into the fire too soon.

Maybe, maybe not, but one thing is for certain, Bailey has shown more improvement. While that might not be saying much for some, it is a positive trend.

While Volquez has not found the strike zone, Bailey has. In each of the last two season, Bailey has increased his strikes thrown percentage. In 2009, it was 62.3%. For 2010, it rose to 64.3%. Lase season, the percentage was at 65.1%. On the surface, that might not be too exciting. Making the hitter miss can be, and Bailey has also shown the improvement over he same period of time (7.9% to 8.4% to 9.3%).

MLB Trade Rumors guesses Bailey will see about $1.8 million for 2012.

If one does go, my guess it would actually be Volquez. We have constantly heard that he has “ace stuff”, throws a little harder as well. Maybe just another year after TJ is needed added to a full spring training might be the best medicine for EV.