Please do us all a favor. If you can come up with a proposed trade, please make sure it makes sense for both teams on all grounds.
The other day, EPSN SweetSpot’s David Schoenfield had the following proposed deal involving the Reds and the Minnesota Twins.
"Cincinnati Reds trade CF Billy Hamilton, C Devin Mesoraco, RHP Mike Leake, RHP Sam LeCure and RHP Daniel Corcino to the Minnesota Twins for CF Denard Span, LF Josh Willingham, IF Jamey Carroll and IF Daniel Santana."
I see you already shaking your head, but there are some interesting aspects to this proposal that Schoenfield does not mention. Let’s go over this.
First of all, the Reds are one of baseball’s more fiscally sound organizations. I imagine this is how it goes. Bob Castellini walks into Walt Jocketty’s office. Hands him a speadsheet and tells Walt “Here’s the budget. Stick to it unless I tell you otherwise. Any deviation requires my approval.” Walt replies, “OK”.
In looking at this trade, there is little fiscal responsibility from the Reds view. Willingham will make $14MM over the next two seasons, which is possibly along the lines of what Ryan Ludwick is wanting. That part would, in essence, become a wash. It is the one aspect of this that does make sense…financially. More on this in a bit.
September 16, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins outfielder Denard Span (2) during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. The White Sox defeated the Twins 9-2. (Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE)
Span is due $11.25MM over the nest two seasons, with an option of $9MM for a third year (2015). Carroll will be paid $3.75MM next year and is 39 years old. There is a potential cheaper option available, although some will say he can’t play short any longer: Jeff Keppinger. He made a little over $1.5MM last season. With Span and Caroll, that’s $15MM you have to commit.
Then you look at what is proposed for going to Minnesota. The biggest “money maker” would be Leake. On MLB Trade Rumors, he is projected to make $2.9MM though the arbitration process. The clock hasn’t even started ticking on Hamilton and Corcino. Mesoraco is pre-arb until after the 2014 season. LeCure will be arbitration eligible after the 2013 season.
Financially, this deal makes no sense at all, but there are other reasons this doesn’t sit right. Why would Walt deal his top prospect, whom Schoenfield claims has no power, for a player that…has no power? Sure, Span is more likely to hit a legit home run than Hamilton. I don’t think anyone would argue that case. Span doesn’t exactly own a track record of busting fences either…unless he’s running into them.
Schoenfield also makes this claim…
"As the Twins rebuild, depth is a priority. They have several good-looking hitting prospects on the way up, but little in the way of pitching. Leake and LeCure are solid back-of the-rotation arms — which means they’re front-of-the-rotation arms for the Twins."
He must not have read my piece on LeCure. Sam has become an important piece within the Reds bullpen. Yes, he was a starter when he was drafted out of Texas and had been used primarily in that role until 2010. Had success in that role, too, but I believe LeCure has found his niche.
Schoenfiled’s statement is true in regards to Leake…and add Corcino in with that as I think the Twins would have Corcino in its starting rotation sometime during next season. I do think, at some point, Corcino could be on the move.
Aug 29, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Twins left fielder Josh Willingham (16) hits a single in the second inning against the Seattle Mariners at Target Field. (Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE)
Back to the whole Willingham/Ludwick thing. A couple of days ago, Brad Swanson, a cohort from Puckett’s Pond, FanSided’s Twins site, had mentioned a Reds-Twins deal. The pair of shortstops (Cozart and Gregorius) and Span are mentioned while Willingham isn’t. There was this was in regards to Willingham…
"Willingham is barely an outfielder at this point, so going to an NL team seems unlikely."
On more than one occasion, Dusty pulled Ludwick in favor of Chris Heisey for defensive purposes. Same could be done with Willingham. I doubt that would create an issue.
And consider this…
Recall the other day when the chatter was that the Reds were reportedly interested in Michael Bourn? Some consider another free agent, Shane Victorino, a downgrade in relation to Bourn. Well, Span is considered similar to Victorino (per Span’s page on Baseball Reference). And so is Quinton McCracken for that matter.
Comps can be tricky, though, but I believe we can use this one and take it for what it’s worth.
So, too, is this trade as proposed. It is a tricky one. One that simply does not follow the historical footprint the Reds use in regards to trades…or any deals they have made with Walt Jocketty as GM.