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  1. It’s the Reds. Just because the contract is in line with market rates for free agents doesn’t mean they should lock themselves into paying retail for years and years of players. The Reds are an organization that has to work extra hard to avoid paying the going rate for talent.

    Comment by Cardsfan — April 11, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  2. Insane deal for a team in the Cincy market. Unless they want to jack their payroll up to $110M annually they won’t have any money left for any pitching, not even to re-sign Cueto and Latos.

    Comment by stan — April 11, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  3. i’m curious as to what you think constitutes market rate. the Reds offered Votto market rate, the Cards failed to offer Pujols market rate.

    Comment by LookingInTheMirror — April 11, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  4. You say he’s a good baserunner and I know there are more ways to measure this than just SB%, but his last two years have been pretty bad – 57% and 61% – with declining attempts as a result.

    Comment by eastsider — April 11, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

  5. Matt, can you provide some examples of a 2B that was moved to LF late in their career? Definitely lower in the defensive spectrum, but I can’t think of an example.

    Also, does “market value” under-represent actual value? According to his player page, Phillips has been worth an average of $19 million per year from 2007-2011, and he has just been signed for an AAV of $12 million per year. That makes this deal look pretty good for the Reds, even keeping in mind expected age regression in performance.

    Comment by gweedoh565 — April 11, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

  6. Todd Walker?

    Comment by stan — April 11, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

  7. That’s exactly what they plan on doing. As John Fay has reported, “Castellini plans to move the payroll toward $100 million over the next couple of years” because the Reds expect “get a new local deal with Fox Sports Ohio before the current one expires in 2016.”

    Comment by Craftcj — April 11, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  8. $4.5 million or so per win? Votto and Pujols did get roughly market rate deals if you use the standard aging curve and estimate salary inflation at 10% a year. The question is, should a small market team lock itself into paying full price for 10+ years?

    If a team goes out and signs, say, Carlos Pena, to a 1/10M it’s generally seen as a “taking your medicine” kind of a move – ie the organization failed to develop a cost controlled first baseman so it has to pay full price. Here the Reds are agreeing to do that all over the place and for many, many years down the road.

    Comment by Cardsfan — April 11, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  9. These moves are excellent for the purpose of convincing the market that this team is serious and worth going to see in the park. What a lot of people forget when they talk about the Cincinnati market, or any market, is that they are not drawing to their potential. Drumming up excitement and goodwill with fans will allow their payroll to expand considerably.

    Comment by Frank — April 11, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

  10. Kelly Johnson did for a bit

    Comment by nittany87 — April 11, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

  11. How do you figure the Cards didn’t offer Pujols market rate? They offered him $22M a year for 10 years, which is what he’d be worth if he didn’t decline at all from here on out. (a vain hope of course). Arguments like these just drive me nuts. Its like people just refuse to look at his performance the last two years and then assume that he’s still an elite player. Please take a peak at his player page before making an argument. Scroll down to the bottom at the value setting and then tell me the Cardinals didn’t pay market value.

    Comment by stan — April 11, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

  12. “toward $100M” is not the same as $110M. Heck, its not even a guarantee of $90M.

    Reds fans everywhere are placing a lot of faith in this new local TV deal too. I realize their ratings are high, but in that teeny market how much could they possibly get? Its not like they’d have leverage to ask for the moon.

    Comment by stan — April 11, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

  13. Soriano? Although I don’t think it’s as common as it was implied in the article.

    Comment by Franco — April 11, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

  14. Not that the fans have shown any interest as of yet. I’m not sure about today, but their first 2 games against the Cardinals had very low attendance for a team expected to compete this year.

    Comment by Sharks2431 — April 11, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

  15. Have you seen the crowd at GABP for the three game series that is wrapping up today against their arch-rival, the hated Cardinals? They won’t touch 50,000 combined for the series. Is this number going to increase when Votto and Phillips are old?

    Comment by Cardsfan — April 11, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  16. Despite that, BP has him at an average of +5 runs per season from 2009 to 2011. Taking those extra bases can add up pretty quickly.

    Comment by RMR — April 11, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

  17. They got 20K to show up today. That puts them just over 50K for the series.

    Comment by stan — April 11, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

  18. well obviously EVERYONE must be watching on television….because no one is showing up to Great American. They are drawing about 18k on average through the first week…

    I’m sure that’s encouraging for the ownership group knowing that they have a competitive team and people still won’t show up, as they are racking up the long-term contracts…

    Comment by the hottest stove — April 11, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  19. Maybe not extremely common, but I looked at the top 2B by WAR since 1980 and saw several that moved to LF at the very end of their careers: Biggio, Knoblauch, Soriano, Deshields, Sax. Most didn’t play much LF though (perhaps due to a dropoff in offense). Not many second basemen who played a lot of second, moved to LF and succeeded there (Soriano, sort of).

    Comment by DL80 — April 11, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

  20. What about Billy Hamilton? Shouldn’t he be ready before this deal is over for Brandon? Billy Hamilton looks to be a better prospect than Brandon ever was; however, many prospects never pan out and the Reds know a lot about that.

    Comment by Jonathan — April 11, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  21. $300 million for phillips and votto’s old years? yeah, no thanks

    Comment by jim — April 11, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  22. 18k through the first week? The Reds averaged around 28,500 for the first week.

    Comment by RiverRat13 — April 11, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

  23. The Reds will be regretting this contract, just as they will the Votto deal. This is a highly inefficient way to build a small revenue club and just to make sure that the team does not get its money’s worth, I suspect that a long term deal for Dusty Baker is next.

    Comment by Monroe — April 11, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

  24. I have no idea where all this money is coming from for the Reds. It’s not like these moves put them over the top in winning a championship. The Votto deal was an overpay but at least he is a MVP-caliber player. Phillips will barely be league average in a couple of years.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — April 11, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  25. I don’t think Billy Hamilton is a better prospect than Phillips was, and if he became as valuable a player as Phillips is right now the Reds would be very pleasantly surprised. He’s really fast. Other than that, he’s not much of an offensive player. He doesn’t walk much, has very little power (30 extra base hits, only 3 homers in 135 games last year), and doesn’t even have particularly great contact rates. In addition, the only way he affects Phillips is if he moves to second, or forces Cozart to move to second.

    Comment by Ben Hall — April 11, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

  26. I think Phillips is being unfairly victimized by 30/30 expectations that were unreasonable. Let’s compare him to another age 30 plus defender with six years left on a deal:

    From 06-11:
    Player A: Total UZR: 57.1, Total WAR: 24.6
    Player B: Total UZR: 51.1, Total WAR: 23.9

    A is Carl Crawford, B is Phillips.

    Phillips may never have achieved what we thought he could be, but he’s still pretty good…

    Comment by cable fixer — April 12, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  27. Comparing a guy to Carl Crawford to say that his contract is worth it is… a good way to get torched.

    Seems like a lot of money. But I understand the logic. After signing Votto, Phillips is worth more. It’s like throwing good money after bad, except that in this case, Phillips is actually worth more to them when they have Votto, what with the win curve and all that.

    I personally don’t think the Reds’ window is as open as they think it is. But what do I know?

    Comment by CJ — April 12, 2012 @ 9:24 am

  28. Its a mid-week series during April in a cold-weather city. Of course attendance is going to be low. They set a record for Opening Day sales, and Opening Night was another sellout. Don’t judge the attendance by what are always the lowest attended games.

    Comment by Jake — April 12, 2012 @ 9:50 am

  29. That’s crazy talk. Cincy is south of New York, Boston, Detroit, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, Minny, Cleveland, Denver, and Seattle among non-dome teams and is about the same as SF. It provides warmer weather conditions than any of those listed by far. Fans in Detroit or Minny can use weather as an excuse but Cincy is a warm weather city whose average attendance to date is almost exactly what it was last year.

    Comment by stan — April 12, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  30. I’m not saying his contract is worth it or not. I’m saying people are underselling how good brandon phillips has been for the last 6 years.

    Comment by cable fixer — April 12, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

  31. Gotta spend money to make money!

    Though I wouldn’t spend $70mil on Brandon Phillips.

    Comment by Shaun Catron — April 13, 2012 @ 5:50 am

  32. Sorry Stan, That’s just wrong. Cincinnati is not a warm weather city. Having lived there for half my life, and Boston for the other, they’re a lot more similar than you might think.

    Comment by Doug — April 13, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  33. This is un-heaithy to the Reds in the future same as the Votto signing it’s a disgrace for the Reds if they don’t draw enough for future considerations that include Cueto and Latos , also Soriano reference should be heeded.

    Comment by Dave Silverwood — April 29, 2012 @ 10:54 am

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