Sunday, December 2, 2012

One trade the Reds should consider to help solve woes at leadoff


The Cincinnati Reds really, really need to acquire a leadoff hitter this offseason. You don't believe me? Well, the numbers speak for themselves. Reds leadoff hitters finished dead last in the National League last year in average (.208), on-base percentage (.254), OPS (.581), hits (146), stolen bases (10), and walks (37). Yes, one would be absolutely correct in saying that the biggest weakness of the team in 2012 was the top of the batting order. And since adding a serviceable leadoff man through free agency seems too pricey, executing a trade may be the only viable way for the Reds to get what they need.

With that in mind, here is one deal GM Walt Jocketty should consider if the other team is willing:

Mike Leake & Drew Stubbs to Colorado for Dexter Fowler

+ Leake, the 2009 first round pick by the Reds, has all the sudden become expendable due to the re-signing of closer Jonathan Broxton. Current closer Aroldis Chapman is expected to transition into the starting rotation, which leaves Leake on the outside looking in. Although not dominant, the right-hander has proved to be a decent guy to have on the staff. And at just 25-years old he still has plenty of potential to improve. Meanwhile, the Rockies are in desparate need for pitching after tallying the league's worst starter ERA last season at an astronomical 5.81. Leake may not be the guy to anchor their rotation, but he would certainly be a welcome addition.

The other part of the exchange would basically be a swap of center fielders. Cincinnati needs a guy at the top of their lineup that can get on base and the 26-year old Fowler has proven to be able to do that. The switch-hitter batted an even .300 with a .389 OBP in '12, which isn't too far off his career averages of .217 and .364, respectively. Fowler remains relatively inexpensive (for now) and is under team control through the end of 2016. All in all, Fowler would be a great addition to the reigning NL Central Champions.

Of course, this proposed deal would officially have the Reds cut ties with Stubbs. The club had high hopes for the University of Texas product when choosing him with their first round selection back in 2006. Unfortunately, Stubbs hasn't quite lived up to those. As his numbers indicate, the 27-year old has actually regressed across the board over the past three seasons. This deal would go against the old thinking of "buying low and selling high", but if the Reds want to seriously upgrade their odds of winning the World Series, they must find an alternative solution in center.

Perhaps a change of scenery would benefit everyone at this point anyway?

8 comments:

TGinthe'Ville said...

Do you really think the Rockies front office is that dumb? You're not acquiring a good lead off hitter by trading away your unusable spare parts.

Jimmi Adair said...

Stranger things have happened, my friend. Besides, one man's undesirables may be another man's treasure. Who knows? Stubbs could turn it around in the thin air of Coors and eventually become the player the Reds though he would. Leake has plenty of MLB life left as well.

Steve Mancuso said...

Dexter Fowler's home/away splits are a concern. His career slash outside of Coors Field: .248/.331/.367

Despite his speed he's not very good at stealing bases (12 each of the past two seasons, along with 5 and 9 caught stealing those years).

Anonymous said...

I know it's too much to ask, but I want Carlos Gomez in CF this season. That would be a great pickup for the Reds!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah and if they're just giving away CarGo we should throw in some cash considerations and maybe they'll send Tulo our way as well...

Anonymous said...

How about a logical trade... Stubbs and Leake for Dexter Fowler would not be ideal, the rumors are for Homer Bailey, and the Reds will probably have to throw in Stubbs and Leake with that and a possible prospect. Let's make some sense here...

Anonymous said...

The problem with Stubbs is we have forced him to be a lead off hitter because of his speed. He is not a lead off hitter. He has great power, great defense and, when he is on, great speed. I don't want to get rid of that. If we can get a lead off hitter to keep Stubbs down in the lineup (away from lead off and second) we will be set. Keeping him for his defense is huge!

Joshua Bethel said...

The Nationals got Span for a minor league arm, a promising one no doubt, but still an A ball arm. I think Leake and Stubbs could absolutely get it done. The Rockies wanting Bailey in return is wishful thinking. The Rockies are didn't go anywhere last year with that rotation. The Reds went to the NLDS with the top of their current batting order. The Rockies situation is way more desperate than the Redlegs.