As I type this post, the Cincinnati Reds are dropping the last of a four game set with the AAA San Diego Padres, one of the worst teams in baseball, and skidding even closer to the NL Central cellar. Home, sweet home! However, I must say that with the Pirates’ recent fire sale of talent, we may be duking it out with them to see who sucks less. But what else is new?
The other day I wrote that the Reds are now assured to be out of the “buyers” category at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, the Redlegs are assured to be out of the “sellers” category as well.
Bronson Arroyo always seemed to be the most logical piece to shop, but now it’s doubtful that anyone is interested. Anyone want a 32-year-old pitcher with a bloated ERA who leads the majors in earned runs and stands to make a ton of money? Anyone?
We all love Aaron Harang, but his name has also been mentioned as one on the block. Any takers on a guy who leads the league in hits allowed and losses and has a 4.50 ERA? I didn’t think so.
To say the Reds were altogether quiet on the trade front isn’t completely true. They did acquire Wladimir Balentien from the Mariners for reliever Robert Manuel. ‘Atta boy Walt Jocketty!
In 2008, Balentien was rated as the Mariners’ fifth best prospect in the organization by Baseball America. He’s hardly lived up to the hype.
In 2008, he batted .202./.250/.342/.592 in 71 games with the M’s. In 56 games this season, Balentien was hitting a whopping .213/.271/.355/.625 before being designated for assignment.
“He looks like a strong young man,” is what Dusty Baker had to say about him. I don’t know about you, but I’m sure that means Dusty is having visions of Corey Patterson dancing in his head. Reds fans are too. Except they’re not called “visions” they’re called “flashbacks.”
I’m not sure what to make of this trade yet. I do know that Robert Manuel appears to be a decent middle reliever. In the handful of innings he got in Cincinnati, he never yielded a run. Manuel also carries a 2.80 minor league career ERA, which isn’t too bad. Of course, Balentein carries decent minor league career numbers too: .273/.345/.526/.871 over six seasons. You can never tell what you’re going to get out of a player in the bigs based solely on minor league stats.
All in all, it’s obvious there are far more upsetting things going on in Redsland to be mad about than this trade.
Here’s to nine straight seasons of losing baseball.