Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Profiles in GM'ing: Wayne Krivsky (part 2)

We've already explored the intimate nature behind Wayne Krivsky and Timo Perez, but we also ran into some paradoxically good moves that he made by going the opposite way, such as the Brandon Phillips and Dave Ross moves. Perhaps looking at the standings will help us further understand Krivsky's transactions.

The Fodder
April 14, 2006 - Released Jacob Cruz, Released Frank Menechino, Signed Mike Venafro as a free agent.
April 21, 2006 - Sold Timo Perez to the St. Louis Cardinals.
May 2, 2006 - Released Tony Womack.
May 5, 2006 - Released Terrence Long.
May 30, 2006 - Traded Kyle Edens (minors) to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Received Esteban Yan and cash.
June 1, 2006 - Released Darrell May.
July 14, 2006 - Released Quinton McCracken.
July 17, 2006 - Released Mike Venafro.
July 24, 2006 - Released Esteban Yan.

Tony Womack - A holdover from the Dan O'Brien administration, Womack was acquired from the Yankees for non-prospects. The Phillips signing made him largely worthless (okay, moreso), as he got off to such a huge start (.349/.382/.587) in April that Womack received little playing time. This was a boon for the Reds.

Jacob Cruz - Consistently solid for a pinch-hitter prior to 2006, was removed because he wasn't Quinton McCracken and had never appeared in the playoffs. Picked up by the Mets late in the season and probably would've been better than Ricky Ledee was.

Mike Venafro - A bit of a head-scratcher how he got no work for the Reds, as he had a 2.45 ERA in 22 Louisville innings and a 2.20 ERA in 20 Colorado Springs appearances before putting up a similar 2.45 ERA for the Rockies. Oh wait, all the spaces for Venafro were taken by "sexier" options that Krivsky had to trade for, forgot about that. Anyways, he's a spring training Met this year and if we go to two lefties, I'll always have a spot in my heart for anyone who loses his AIM name in an hacked AP Press Release (mrven1)

Esteban Yan - Had a 3.6 ERA for the Reds in limited time, after getting bombed for the Angels. Was released after it became apparent that Gary Majewski was much better and was healthy.

Rick White - Defensible move, White was getting murdered (6.26 ERA), but rebounded slightly for the Pirates (albeit with worse peripherals, 4.34 ERA with 15 walks to 23 K's)

Slightly More Important. Slightly.
April 24, 2006 - Traded a player to be named later to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Received Cody Ross. The Cincinnati Reds sent Ben Kozlowski (June 1, 2006) to the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete the trade.
May 19, 2006 - Signed Joe Mays as a free agent.
May 25, 2006 - Traded Dave Williams and cash to the New York Mets. Received Robert Manuel (minors).
May 26, 2006 - Sold Cody Ross to the Florida Marlins.

The Cody Ross saga is here just because I'd like to point out that the Florida Marlins bought someone. Really. Considering Ross' stellar triple A record (.273/.328/.538 in 2004, .267/.348/.509 in 2005) and his penchant for the strikeout (78 in only 313 MLB AB's), his upside is probably that of defensively challenged fifth outfielder. Kozlowski hasn't been anywhere near as good a prospect as he was before Tommy John in 2003, making him one of the few victims of it. He dominated AA hitters last year (2.85 ERA in 60 innings for Jacksonville, 1.17 in 23 innings for Chattanooga), but was unable to take those to AAA, where he had two stints of double digit ERA's. This will probably be his last year to establish himself as some kind of relief status before he takes up residency at the Can-Am League or Wal-Mart with Matt Harrington.

Dave Williams had quite a few quality starts for the Mets down the stretch despite a high ERA. He's being groomed for the Darren Oliver long lefty relief role this year.

Joe Mays non-2002 big league ERA is 5.62 in 763 innings. I'll let that speak for itself.

"Fixing" The Team
June 15, 2006 - Traded Brandon Roberts (minors) to the Minnesota Twins. Received Juan Castro.
July 6, 2006 - Traded Travis Chick to the Seattle Mariners. Received Eddie Guardado and cash.
July 13, 2006 - Traded Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Wagner to the Washington Nationals. Received Gary Majewski, Royce Clayton, Bill Bray, Brendan Harris, and Daryl Thompson (minors).
July 14, 2006 - Selected Brandon Watson off waivers from the Washington Nationals.
July 31, 2006 - Traded Zach Ward (minors) to the Minnesota Twins. Received Kyle Lohse. Traded Justin Germano to the Philadelphia Phillies. Received Rheal Cormier.
August 7, 2006 - Traded a player to be named later to the Philadelphia Phillies. Received Ryan Franklin and cash. The Cincinnati Reds sent Zac Stott (minors) (August 8, 2006) to the Philadelphia Phillies to complete the trade.
August 8, 2006 - Traded PTBNL to the Cleveland Indians. Received Todd Hollandsworth.
August 16, 2006 - Traded cash to the Toronto Blue Jays. Received Scott Schoeneweis.
August 28, 2006 - Traded Mike Burns to the Boston Red Sox. Received Tim Bausher (minors) and cash.
August 30, 2006 - Signed Jason Johnson as a free agent.
September 5, 2006 - Traded Future Considerations to the Colorado Rockies. Received Sun-Woo Kim and cash.

I for one, am glad to be on the Colorado Rockies. I never liked Krivsky's harsh attitude towards caffeine. He said it was a performance enhancer and wouldn't permit us at FC to drink it. He forced us all to drink orange juice. Dan O'Dowd lets us drink Sprite. Good man, that Dan O'Dowd.

Anyway, we come up with a new characteristic for Krivsky here; he loves ex-Twins. Of the trades for ex-Twins, all of them ended up being moderately successful. Lohse ended up being his third-best starter down the stretch, while Guardado had a 1.29 ERA in 15 innings before having to undergo Tommy John surgery. Juan Castro, hit out of his mind (for him), with a .284/.320/.421 line for the Reds, but had clearly lost a step defensively.

I already covered the Kearns debacle here, so I won't repeat myself.

After the Kearns trade though, Krivsky just had to keep digging at it. He got Scott Schoeneweis, who was apparently government payback on the Canadian soil for losing Carol Shields. Schoeneweis turned it around for the Reds, but still had an ugly 1.4 WHIP. Cormier is aging, but was easily the best reliever for the Reds last year, even despite his ERA raising from the 1.59 it was with the Phillies. The Phillies, by the way, finished 2 games out of the Wild Card. Good work, Pat Gillick. Also, thanks for thinking Wes Helms is going to protect Ryan Howard. Todd Hollandsworth can tell us the price of Dutch goods and once won Rookie Of The Year. Ryan Franklin is a completely disposable left-hander who follows the Joe Mays path (2003: 3.57 ERA in 212 innings) of being allowed many second chances to discover past glory.

Of the many non-prospects surrendered, only Travis Chick appeared in the majors this year, and he got pounded just as his peripherals at AA would suggest (37 walks, 44 strikeouts in 67 innings).

One thing I want to bring up here that you can't cover in trades; Krivsky's caution with top prospect Homer Bailey may have cost his team the playoffs. The black hole that was his back 3 slots of the rotation could have possibly be patched by a man with such credentials.

What we can learn about Wayne Krivsky's first year at the helm
-He protects his actual prospects
-Brandon Phillips pickup was shrewd
-He loves to acquire ex-Twins and players with playoff experience
-Spent way too much time trying to fix bullpen holes last year, and was swindled pretty terribly in the Kearns trade.
-Other than Kearns trade, has very much fit the typical cautious GM prototype. Few Bold Moves (TM Ford) and very little straying from "conventional" 1970's baseball guy wisdom.

You can see the moves this offseason following into these ideals too. The Alex Gonzalez signing (too much money, but a good shortstop glove with playoff experience), Jeff Conine trade (playoffs), Mike Stanton trade (playoffs), and David Weathers re-signing all show the same pattern.

The Reds face many interesting dilemmas this season, foremost what to do about Adam Dunn, who seems to be everything they hate. But with a full year of Edwin Encarnacion, a similarly weak NL Central, and hopefully some Homer Bailey innings, the Reds have a chance to make the playoffs next year with or without competent GM'ing. It'd just really help if Krivsky could see the forest for the trees when it comes to playoff experience over actual talent.

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