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Josh Hamilton traded to the Rangers

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[quote][b]Hamilton dealt from Reds to Rangers[/b]
Cincinnati gets Volquez, Minor League pitcher in return
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com

The Rangers acquired outfielder Josh Hamilton from the Reds on Friday in exchange for right-hander Edinson Volquez and
Minor League left-hander Danny Herrera. Texas will have a press conference later in the day to announce the deal.

Hamilton was quite a feel-good story early last season. Acquired by Cincinnati from Tampa Bay via a Rule 5 Draft trade,
the 26-year-old -- who had been troubled throughout his career as a professional by drug and legal problems -- got off to an impressive start.

A sprained wrist and a hamstring injury caused him to miss a good chunk of the second half of the season.
He finished the season with a .292 batting average and had 19 home runs and 47 RBIs in 90 games.

The hard-throwing, 24-year-old Volquez fanned 166 batters while going 14-6 at three Minor League stops last season.

Herrera, 23, appeared in seven games for Class A Bakersfield and 34 games for Double-A Frisco. All of his appearances for Frisco were in relief,
and he allowed 43 hits and struck out 64 in 52 1/3 innings.[/quote]

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[quote name='IKOTA' post='612315' date='Dec 21 2007, 05:04 PM']Booooooooo[/quote]



hiss !

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[quote name='BengalsFREAK' post='612322' date='Dec 21 2007, 05:09 PM']Apparently some of you thought we could come by decent pitching for free?[/quote]


I thought we could at least get something better than prospects.

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I can't believe we traded Hamilton for vapor.

A prospect? Really.

Fuck.

I wanted to trade him, but i think we got hosed on this one.

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[quote name='BengalsFREAK' post='612322' date='Dec 21 2007, 06:09 PM']Apparently some of you thought we could come by decent pitching for free?[/quote]
No but why Hamilton??? Last season he looked like he had an incredible upside... Could this mean Jay Bruce starts on opening day??

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If Jay Bruce isnt starting opening day, or at least on the big league roster Ill be very dissapointed.

This volquez guy better be a stud.

Ill be cautiously optimistic and hope bruce and volquez turn out to be sweet, but im not feeling too great about this trade.

Wont be surprised to see Hamilton a regular all star for the rangers.

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From what I understand, Volquez is ready for the majors right now.

I know Hamilton was a sentimental favorite around here, but he was anything but a proven commodity. He had 65% of a good year. Not a great year, a good solid year. What exactly did you all think we'd get out of him? Before we all freak out over this deal, go check the reports on these two guys that we got for him.

We arent the Yankees. We aren't going to get Santana, or any other top tier pitcher. We had a glut of outfielders, including some up and coming stars....so we made a deal. Hamilton has a high ceiling, but we all know how quickly all of that can come crashing down for him. He's a high risk/high reward guy....which doesn't make a lot of sense for a team that can't afford to replace him on the spot if he has a relapse.

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And whatever happened to us trying to get Erik Bedard from the O's? I would rather have seen hamilton part of a trade to get him than 2 prospects

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[quote name='CJandRudiJ' post='612336' date='Dec 21 2007, 06:25 PM']If Jay Bruce isnt starting opening day, or at least on the big league roster Ill be very dissapointed.

This volquez guy better be a stud.

Ill be cautiously optimistic and hope bruce and volquez turn out to be sweet, but im not feeling too great about this trade.

Wont be surprised to see Hamilton a regular all star for the rangers.[/quote]

Soooo, you're going to go ahead and annoint him a regular all star based on what we saw last year? It would be just as easy to say he'll be broken down 40% of the time as well....because that's what I saw last year too.

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To get something, you have to give something. Not one of you, hell, not anybody in baseball can say if this is a good trade or not. But I can't see how its a bad one at this juncture. We have Josh Hamilton still, only his name is Jay Bruce, he's fourish years younger and has no injury or drug problems in his past.



Apparently Volquez, 24, is a hard throwing righty, 92 - 94 range consistantly...hit as high as 97 at times. Struck out 166 in a little over 100 innings in his way up through the minors. When/If he finds his control he's probably going to be very good (averages like 3 walks per 9 in the minors, which would obviously translate to a few too many walks in the Bigs). And more than likley with experience will be an above average to stud pitcher for the Reds. The only reason I say this is because talent is talent, and this guy from all accounts I've read just plain has it. Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Harang, Arroyo in two years should be very nice...but who knows...way to early to tell.


All that said, I liked Josh Hamilton a lot...I hope he dominates for Texas and stays healthy and clean. Good luck to him.

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I wish we would've gotten rid of Dunn to make room for Bruce. Hamilton and Bruce could've made for a great outfield for years.

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[quote name='BengalsFREAK' post='612341' date='Dec 21 2007, 06:34 PM']Soooo, you're going to go ahead and annoint him a regular all star based on what we saw last year? It would be just as easy to say he'll be broken down 40% of the time as well....because that's what I saw last year too.[/quote]

Im just saying I wont be surprised if he is a stud and makes several all star games, im not guaranteeing it or anything, just my opinion. Anything wrong with that?

Also Im not hating on this trade too much, I dont know how its gonna turn out, and if volquez turns out to be a stud I think the trade will be worth it.

Does anyone know if this Volquez guy is gonna be a starter or RP?

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OK. After doing a quick search, I`m not hissing so loud anymore . . .

[quote][size=5][b]Pitcher of the Year: Edinson Volquez [/b][/size]

By Lone Star Dugout Staff

Posted Sep 10, 2007


Lone Star Dugout names 24-year-old fireballer Edinson Volquez as the minor league pitcher of the year for the Rangers organization in 2007. Volquez had a gut-check season that began in High-A Bakersfield and ended with another crack at the Major League starting rotation.

With prospects such as Eric Hurley, Omar Poveda, Zach Phillips and Kasey Kiker, there was certainly no shortage of exceptional performances from the Rangers’ minor league pitchers in 2007. However, none accomplished more than Edinson Volquez.

Volquez – who had logged 225 1/3 innings since departing Bakersfield in mid-2005 – was sent back to the High-A club to open his 2007 campaign.

Four teams and 1,837 miles later, Volquez found himself right back in the Major Leagues, where he has posted a 2-0 record with a 2.45 ERA in two starts this season.

The Rangers chose to send Volquez to Bakersfield out of spring training in an effort to fix his mechanics, improve his fastball and curveball command, and to become a more mature player mentally. The plan got off to an inauspicious start, as Volquez gave up 28 earned runs and walked 20 batters in only 35 1/3 innings with the Blaze. The right-hander was also tossed from one game after arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire.

Regardless of his statistics, Volquez was moved up to Double-A Frisco, where he first broke out as a big time prospect in the summer of 2005. The Dominican hurler posted an 8-1 record with a 3.55 ERA in 11 starts for the Frisco RoughRiders. He held opposing hitters to just a .212 batting average and issued only 19 free passes in 58.1 innings. More importantly, Volquez was beginning to show the improvement the Rangers had hoped to see from him.

“I’m starting to figure out how to throw strikes with my mechanics,” said Volquez after he joined Double-A Frisco. “I used to step back, but now my first step of my windup is on the side. It is working better now.”


Volquez was virtually unhittable in Triple-A.
When Lone Star Dugout spoke with minor league pitching coordinator Rick Adair in mid-season, he appeared to be most impressed with Volquez’s mental maturity, another aspect the Rangers had hoped he would improve on.

“We’re more pleased with the things you don’t see,” said Adair of Volquez’s progress. “He has matured, he’s learning how to process things, and he is learning how to think a lot more clearly in competition.”

Volquez earned a late-season promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma, where he appeared to put an exclamation point on his eventful 2007 minor league season. The 24-year-old made eight starts with the RedHawks and went 6-1 with a paltry 1.41 earned run average. He tossed 51 innings and surrendered only 25 hits (.146 BAA), walked 21 and struck out 66.

One of the keys to Volquez’s Triple-A success was the improved command of his fastball. Another key was the development of his curveball as a legitimate strikeout pitch, giving Volquez three quality offerings.

“I can tell you right now my curveball is a lot better,” said Volquez when he was with the RedHawks. “It got better and better during my last four games with Frisco.”

The dominant performance gave the hard-throwing right-hander a third crack at the big leagues. In his first two tries, Volquez combined for a 1-10 record and a 9.20 ERA. But because of his improved command and maturity level, Volquez’s 2007 season has been much different. With credit to the Texas Rangers’ player development team and Volquez himself, the young hurler finally looks like he belongs in a Major League uniform.


Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
2007 Bakersfield (A+) 0-4 35.1 27 20 38 7.13
Frisco (AA) 8-1 58.1 46 19 62 3.55
Oklahoma (AAA) 6-1 51.0 25 21 66 1.41
Total 14-6 144.2 98 60 166 3.67[/quote]



[url="http://rangers.scout.com/2/678280.html"]http://rangers.scout.com/2/678280.html[/url]

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[quote name='Go Tory Go!' post='612343' date='Dec 21 2007, 06:44 PM']I wish we would've gotten rid of Dunn to make room for Bruce. Hamilton and Bruce could've made for a great outfield for years.[/quote]


Give up a guy that plays every day (to Hamilton's 60% of the time), has better statistics in almost every offensive category, and is like two years older? For what reason? You THINK he's going to be good and not get hurt? Adam Dunn is a proven, year in year out, offensive STUD at the age of 28.

Hell, Keppinger almost had better statistics than Hamilton in 20+ less games.

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I can't believe you guys all hating this trade before you even look into it, just because you havent heard a name before doesnt mean its a bad trade, look at the scouting reports for the two guys we got!

[b]Volquez, 24, is also immensely talented. He kept stalling at the big league level but finally seemed to figure it out in September. Baseball America calls his stuff "electric," describing a mid-90s heater paired with a mid-70s change-up. One concern here is that Volquez is a flyball pitcher. Wayne Krivsky took an interesting route to add an intriguing starter; I wonder if the move takes them out of the Erik Bedard sweepstakes. It's been speculated that the Reds could go after Mike Cameron to fill their new center field void.

Herrera, 23, is a southpaw relief prospect. Check out this info from Baseball America. He barely registers 5-foot-7, 145 pounds. He tops out at 84mph but throws some kind of screwball to offset the weak heat. This trick helped him post an 11.0 K/9 in Double A this year.[/b]

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My earlier dissatisfaction was made out of ignorance.

The more I read about these guys the better I like it..

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a lot of the people on the rangers forum were not pleased with this deal . . . for what its worth

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[quote][size=5][b]Glut in Reds' outfield makes Hamilton expendable[/b][/size]
By Hal McCoy

Staff Writer

Friday, December 21, 2007

Josh Hamilton is a casualty of the coming of center fielder Jay Bruce.

Hamilton, arguably the most popular member of the Cincinnati Reds with the fans last season, was traded Friday to the Texas Rangers for two pitchers — Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera.

"This trade would not have been done if we didn't think Volquez was ready to win a job in our rotation," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said.

Hamilton, 26, was vulnerable because of the plethora of center fielders on the roster — Bruce, Chris Dickerson, Norris Hopper and Ryan Freel.

"Trading Hamilton was more because of the availability of Volquez," said Krivsky. "Outfield is the depth of our organization with guys like Bruce, Dickerson, Hopper and Freel. What's coming back is what we're looking at."

Krivsky said Volquez, a 6-2, 210-pound native of the Dominican Republic, throws 92 to 94 miles an hour, "And can get it up to 97 when he needs it. He also throws a curve and an above-average fastball and has charisma and animation on the mound."

The 24-year-old right-hander was named the best minor-league pitcher in the Rangers' organization last season. In 26 starts at Class A Bakersfield, Class AA Frisco and Class AAA Oklahoma City he was 14-6 with a 3.67 ERA while allowing minor-league opponents to hit .190. He was 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in six starts for Texas.

Herrera was a 2006 draft pick out of the University of New Mexico and Krivsky said, "He is a finesse left-hander with a good screwball and a good guy to add to our inventory of minor-league pitchers."

Bruce, 20, the team's No. 1 draft choice in 2005, was Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year . He now probably becomes the team's center fielder, although Krivsky said, "We'll have good competition with Bruce, Dickerson, Hopper and Freel. Manager Dusty Baker will sort it all out in spring training."

Hamilton came back last season from years of substance-abuse problems, which led to a three-year suspension from professional baseball.

He hit .292 with 19 homers after the Reds acquired him from Tampa Bay through the Rule 5 draft.

His season was interrupted by an inflamed digestive track and a sprained wrist, but he still received 151,000 write-in votes for the All-Star Game, the top total in the National League.

And he was a finalist for the NL Comeback Player of the Year award along with Washington's Dmitri Young and St. Louis' Rick Ankiel, who won the award.

He was selected first overall in the 1999 draft by Tampa Bay, but alcohol and drug addiction kept him from making it above Class AA with the Rays.

But as a former substance abuser, the Reds feared he would be plagued throughout his career with nagging injuries, and with Bruce waiting in the wings and the chance to acquire two top pitching prospects, the Reds felt the trade was worthwhile.

Hamilton passed a physical in Texas on Friday before the trade was announced and said, "It shocked me, it really shocked me."

Of his year in Cincinnati, Hamilton said, "I was in the right place to come back to baseball. I was welcomed with open arms and it will always be my favorite place. I enjoyed the fans and the organization and I thanked (owner) Bob Castellini for taking a chance on me.

"God put me in Cincinnati for a reason and now he has found another place for me — I'm a Texas Ranger."[/quote]

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[quote][size=5][b]Reds Deal Away Hamilton For Pitching[/b][/size]

By J.J. Cooper
December 21, 2007

[b]The Deal [/b]
The Reds had spent most of the offseason looking to acquire a starting pitcher to fit into a rotation that is led by Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang followed by plenty of question marks. They had been linked to discussions for the since-traded Dan Haren and Orioles' ace Erik Bedard, but they ended up dealing away their outfield surplus for a less-accomplished, but also less expensive arm.

By trading away Hamilton, the Reds have opened up a spot for Minor League Player of the Year Jay Bruce, who now will likely join Ken Griffey and Adam Dunn in the Reds outfield. Volquez will join Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto to give the Reds the potential to have a trio of hard-throwing righties in the rotation.

Hamilton instantly upgrades the Rangers outfield, which didn't have a regular slug higher than .470 last season.

[b]The Big Leaguers [/b]
Josh Hamilton was once baseball's best prospect, but he seemed certain to become one of the game's saddest stories when he wasted away his immense talent during three lost years due to his addiction to recreational drugs. But he straightened his life out in 2006 enough to get reinstated by Major League Baseball. That December the Reds decided to take a $50,000 risk by selecting Hamilton away from the Rays in the Rule 5 draft. He quickly proved to be one of the most astute Rule 5 pickups since the Twins swiped Johan Santana from the Astros. Hamilton exceeded everyone's expectations, hitting .292/.368/.554 in 298 at-bats. The only downside to Hamilton's 2007 season was his struggle with injuries. He played in only 90 games because of wrist, hamstring and stomach troubles, and there is some worry that his years of drug abuse may have taken enough toll that he might remain injury-prone. But even now there are few players in the game with more athleticism than Hamilton. He has light-tower power, the bat speed to wait on pitches and the range and arm to play any of the three outfield positions.

[b]The Prospects[/b]
Edinson Volquez has had more highs and lows than your usual top prospect. The Rangers' top prospect in 2005, he fell apart in 2006, going 1-6, 7.29 in eight starts with the Rangers while showing no feel for pitching and poor command. The Rangers decided to start over in 2007, sending him all the way back to high Class A Bakersfield. At the time, it looked like a disastrous decision: Volquez went 0-4, 7.13 in seven starts with the Blaze, but he learned from the experience, found his command and was dominant during a late-season stint with Triple-A Oklahoma (6-1, 1.41). Volquez' newfound success came after he discovered a feel for his curveball. It's still only an average pitch, but that is enough to keep hitters off of his 92-94 mph fastball and his plus changeup. The Rangers have lauded his makeup at times in the past, but they canceled his callup to Texas last August because he overslept and missed a bullpen session. If he keeps his head on straight he has the stuff to be a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.

Danny Ray Herrera is the little lefty that could. Despite an 80-82 mph fastball that is slower than many pitchers' changeups, he's survived and actually thrived at times because his changeup is so good. It has a screwball action as it arrives at a bugs-bunny slow-ball-esque 55 to 60 mph. The changeup and a sharp, late-breaking slider have been enough to allow Herrera to get in hitters' heads. There are clearly questions whether his well-below-average velocity will play in Triple-A or the big leagues. At best he's a middle reliever and many will be surprised if he even has that much success, but Herrera has been surprising people ever since he was an All-American at New Mexico.

[b]Quick Take [/b]
There's plenty to like for the Rangers here. Texas turned a pitcher who has overstayed his welcome into a potential impact middle-of-the-order bat who fills one of their bigger needs.

For the Reds, it's a more risky move since they're gambling on being able to turn Volquez into a solid member of the big league rotation, something the Rangers failed to do in six years. But at the same time, in one year the Reds turned a $50,000 investment in Hamilton into a potential member of their starting rotation. By dealing away Hamilton, they trade away a rather injury-prone player from a position of strength to fill a clear need at another position.[/quote]



[url="http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/majors/news/264581.html"]http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/majors/news/264581.html[/url]

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[quote][size=5][b]Texas Rangers power up in deal with Reds[/b][/size]
[size=3][b]Team sends Edinson Volquez to Cincinnati for promising outfielder Josh Hamilton[/b][/size]

12:03 AM CST on Saturday, December 22, 2007
By EVAN GRANT / The Dallas Morning News
egrant@dallasnews.com

The Texas Rangers spent most of 2007 trying to build up the starting pitching depth in the organization.

Friday, they put that depth to use.

Strange as it may sound, the Rangers reached into their inventory of young starters and used one, Edinson Volquez, to address one of their more pressing needs, the outfield. For Volquez and diminutive lefty Danny Ray Herrera, the Rangers got power-hitting center fielder Josh Hamilton from Cincinnati.

"We had two priorities going into the off-season," general manager Jon Daniels said late Friday afternoon at a hastily-arranged news conference. "We wanted to address the outfield and we wanted to get an impact bat. At no point did we expect to fill that void with one player. But we definitely think we did that with this deal."

In a way, it's a trade of one successful rebuilding project for another. While Volquez worked his way back from Class A last year to have a successful September for the Rangers, Hamilton overcame a long history of injuries and addiction issues to have an impressive rookie season for the Reds.

Hamilton, who turns 27 in May, hit .292 with a .922 on-base-plus-slugging average in 90 games. He also hit 19 homers and drove in 47 runs.

It was the latest chapter in a comeback for the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft that included going three seasons without playing due to recreational drug problems. Failed drug tests also led to a year-long suspension by Major League Baseball in 2004. Hamilton has said in the past that drug problems arose after several seasons in the minors ended prematurely because of injuries that left him with lots of time on his hands.

"I've never met anybody who hasn't made a mistake in the past or wrestled with demons," Hamilton said. "The main thing is you learn from it and you don't repeat it. I've taken some steps in my life to put God and my family first. I have a good support system in place, and I'm very comfortable in saying that the past is in the past and the future is brighter."

While Hamilton was suspended for a year after his fourth failed test, another failed test wouldn't necessarily mean a similar suspension. According to the MLB drug-testing policy, the punishment for another failed test would be up to commissioner Bud Selig's discretion.

Hamilton currently undergoes drug tests several times a week. While much of the trade had been agreed to several weeks ago, the Rangers spent significant time doing background checks.

"We did as much homework as we could without moving in with him in Raleigh [N.C.]," Daniels said. "We feel very confident that he fits not only with what we are trying to do on the field, but what we want to do off it."

In 2006, after getting clean, he started on the road back by playing 15 games at short-season Class A ball. His talent was judged mature enough that Cincinnati traded up during the December Rule 5 draft to get him when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays declined to put him on the roster. Hamilton then won an outfield job. He missed two weeks in May with gastroenteritis (an inflammation of the intestines), another month with a sprained wrist and the final three weeks of the season with a sore hamstring.

In the time he was healthy over the final four months of the season, he appeared to refine his game even more. He batted .313 with a .389 on-base percentage and a .964 OPS. Among the 144 NL players with at least 200 plate appearances in that span, Hamilton ranked 15th in the league in OPS.

The trade sprang up from the Rangers' expeditionary talks with almost every club about center field. After surveying a farm system that seems to be deeper in pitching than in advanced outfield prospects, the Rangers made themselves comfortable with the idea of dealing Volquez.

Volquez was sent to Class A Bakersfield to start the year under a strict rebuilding plan designed by director of player development Scott Servais. After a seven-start tutorial there, he went 14-2 at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma to earn a September callup. He was 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA.

"This trade, first and foremost, is about Josh and what he brings to our team," Daniels said. "But it's also clearly a commentary on the work of our scouting and player development staff. We have some depth."

The trade opens the door for another young pitcher, perhaps Luis Mendoza, Armando Galarraga, Josh Rupe, A.J. Murray or even Eric Hurley to win a spot in the rotation. Mendoza, Murray and Galarraga all had brief but impressive auditions as starters. Rupe went to camp last year with a good chance to win the fifth starter's job. Hurley is the club's top pitching prospect.

The Rangers have also expressed at least mild interest in veteran free agents Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and Jason Jennings, all of whom are recovering from injuries.

"If we don't add anybody else, I'm comfortable with any of our young pitchers," Daniels said.

[b]Briefly:[/b] Daniels said the Rangers are close to a one-year deal with LHP Eddie Guardado, who could serve as something of a mentor to LHP C.J. Wilson as he grows into the closer's role. The Rangers likely won't do anything until after Christmas. ... OF Jason Ellison and RHP Elizardo Ramirez have been signed to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.[/quote]





[url="http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/122207dnsporanglede.3b085d1a.html"]http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dw...e.3b085d1a.html[/url]

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[quote name='sm00th_kw' post='612349' date='Dec 21 2007, 07:01 PM']Give up a guy that plays every day (to Hamilton's 60% of the time), has better statistics in almost every offensive category, and is like two years older? For what reason? You THINK he's going to be good and not get hurt? Adam Dunn is a proven, year in year out, offensive STUD at the age of 28.

Hell, Keppinger almost had better statistics than Hamilton in 20+ less games.[/quote]

Hamilton killed Dunn's batting average, and as 'feared' of a slugger Dunn is, Hamilton matched his slugging pct. Hamilton also has an excellent arm and plays the outfield well, even better than his speed suggests he would. And this was in his first year, and more importantly, his first year above AA in a couple of years.

I don't want to knock the Volquez deal, but knocking Hamilton is silly. I wouldn't be surprised if his apparent fragility diminishes after a year or two with access to major league trainers. He is already a better all-around player than Dunn, who is tremendously powerful but tremendously limited as well. Dunn's contract is also quite large, and he may be gone by next year, when our rennaisance seems to be due with the current squad.

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[quote name='Go Tory Go!' post='612562' date='Dec 22 2007, 12:53 PM']Hamilton killed Dunn's batting average, and as 'feared' of a slugger Dunn is, Hamilton matched his slugging pct. Hamilton also has an excellent arm and plays the outfield well, even better than his speed suggests he would. And this was in his first year, and more importantly, his first year above AA in a couple of years.

I don't want to knock the Volquez deal, but knocking Hamilton is silly. I wouldn't be surprised if his apparent fragility diminishes after a year or two with access to major league trainers. He is already a better all-around player than Dunn, who is tremendously powerful but tremendously limited as well. Dunn's contract is also quite large, and he may be gone by next year, when our rennaisance seems to be due with the current squad.[/quote]

Hamilton is also a former crack addict who needs a personal babysitter in Johnny Narron whom the Rangers just brought onboard to watch him. It's a proven fact that most addicts have relapses. I'm rooting for Josh and wish him well but he is an unproven everyday player with a ton of baggage. The Reds have a surplus of outfielders on the roster and in the system. They need young pitching. Buy low. Sell high. Good trade.

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