Results tagged ‘ Reds ’
The Reds are facing some difficult questions this winter after a disappointing 76-win season that followed a run of three playoff appearances in four years.
On one hand, 80 percent of the team’s starting rotation — Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon — is entering its final year before free agency. Right fielder Jay Bruce and closer Aroldis Chapman both could hit the market after two more seasons. On the other hand, the club also faces large financial commitments to second baseman Brandon Phillips ($39 million through 2017), right-hander Homer Bailey ($96 million through ‘19) and first baseman Joey Votto (a staggering $213 million through ‘23), all of whom struggled and/or underperformed last season.
So what course does Cincinnati chart as it tries to compete in a division that features St. Louis, Pittsburgh and an up-and-coming force in Chicago? According to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the club could deal one or more of its starters with one year of control remaining, but also would consider shipping off Bruce. Doing so would be selling low, as the 27-year-old saw his numbers tumble during an injury-plagued 2014, but he still could fetch a nice return from a team such as San Diego.
It could make sense for the Reds to sell some pitching for immediate offensive help, or to try a mini-rebuild with an eye toward restocking for the future. However, in an appearance on MLB Network on Friday morning, Rosenthal also emphasized that Cincinnati could go in a different direction, gearing up for another run with its current core. In that case, it potentially could look to the free-agent market to add a bat such as Nori Aoki or Michael Morse.
– Andrew Simon
Former general manager and current Sirius/XM radio analyst Jim Bowden has sources that him reporting on Wednesday that the Reds and Phillies are continuing to have trade talks regarding outfielder Marlon Byrd.
The slumping Reds could certainly use Byrd’s bat, but probably not his contract.
Byrd is owed $8 million for 2015 and has a $8 million option for 2016 that vests with 600 plate appearances next season or 1,100 PA’s combined for 2014-15. He also only plays in the outfield and will turn 37 years old on Aug. 30.
A season ago when the Reds needed a bat and Byrd was passing through waivers, adding him would have made much more sense. This year, even with the offense in need of a jolt, not so much. That’s a lot of contract to be carrying for an aged player.
– Mark Sheldon
The Reds have been watching 1B Joey Votto play on a balky left quadriceps for several games of late, the same injury that had him on the disabled list from May 21-June 10. It’s possible that Votto could return to the DL, but they lack experienced backups at first base.
Jay Bruce started his first game professionally at first base on Monday vs. the Cubs.
Brayan Pena, who was on paternity leave Sunday and Monday, is the usual backup first baseman but is also the backup catcher.
Todd Frazier, the regular third baseman, is also a first base option for manager Bryan Price.
The organization has Donald Lutz at Triple-A Louisville but have been reluctant to use him. It appears that the Reds could use some help if Votto isn’t back in the lineup. But Price hoped getting outside help would not be needed.
“We’re going to kick the tires here on what we have in stock as opposed to going out there and looking around,” Price said on Monday. “I don’t know if there’s a different philosophy outside of this office. We’re going to see how it goes.”
– Mark Sheldon
One of the top remaining free agent starters is Bronson Arroyo, but his 2014 landing spot could come into clearer focus soon, ESPN.com‘s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Crasnick tweeted on Friday that the Dodgers and D-backs are “in the mix” for Arroyo, but the Orioles “still aren’t out of it.” He also said Arroyo “could have a clearer picture where he’ll land by the end of [Friday].”
The right-hander went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 32 starts for the Reds last season.
– Joey Nowak
In a free-agent market light on shortstops, Stephen Drew would figure to be a hot commodity, coming off a year in which he played solid defense at the position and produced a .777 on-base-plus-slugging percentage for the Red Sox. Yet the 30-year-old seems to be running out of options, with Spring Training rapidly approaching.
On Tuesday night, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo that it is “unlikely” his club will sign Drew. On Wednesday, our Bryan Hoch reported that the Yankees are not considering bringing in Drew, while Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network wrote that the A’s also are not interested.
All of those factors could make a return to Boston more likely for Drew, who is tied to Draft pick compensation after receiving a qualifying offer.
In other news from around the league:
- The Phillies could be a team to watch in the competition for veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett, a free agent who recently decided to pitch this season. Signing Burnett would be a great move for Philadelphia, one that just might get it back to the postseason, writes MLB.com columnist Richard Justice. Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Tom Singer offers an idea for how the Pirates could manage to bring back Burnett.
- Bronson Arroyo told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that while 12 teams have contacted his agent this offseason, he has not come close to a deal with any of them. Arroyo and Burnett are drawing some interest from the Blue Jays, but Toronto appears more focused on fellow free-agent right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, according to Rosenthal.
- After a 15-year career that included six All-Star teams, a World Series title and 366 home runs, Lance Berkman told MLB.com that he has decided to retire. Berkman spent an injury-plagued 2013 with the Rangers.
- Right-hander Scott Baker, who returned from Tommy John surgery at the end of last season, signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners and figures to compete for a spot in their starting rotation.
- Former Phillies closer Ryan Madson, who has missed the past two seasons due to injury, held a private workout for an unknown team on Tuesday and is planning a public audition for more clubs on Feb.7 in Phoenix, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- The Cardinals and infielder Daniel Descalso agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration, while the Cubs did the same with outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
- The Reds bolstered their infield depth by signing veteran Ramon Santiago to a Minor League contract.
- For the third time this offseason, the Twins signed a former member of the organization to a Minor League deal, this time bringing back reliever Matt Guerrier.
- The Angels added Chad Tracy to the mix in their crowded competition for bench spots.
- The Royals acquired outfielder Carlos Peguero from the Mariners for a player to be named later and designated left-hander Everett Teaford for assignment.
– Andrew Simon
This Hot Stove season is still going strong, but some already are looking ahead to the next one.
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is among those, saying in a Sunday night TV interview that “it might be time to move on,” if Boston doesn’t give him a multiyear extension. The 38-year-old slugger is heading into the final season of his current deal, but MLB.com’s Ian Browne writes that it “seems more likely than not” that Ortiz will remain with the Red Sox for the remainder of his career.
In other news from around the league on Monday:
- MLB.com’s Doug Miller looks at the offseason’s unfinished business in The Week Ahead.
- One of the few impact bats remaining on the market belongs to outfielder Nelson Cruz. As MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez writes, Cruz has been linked to the Orioles and Mariners, although it’s not impossible that he could return to the Rangers on a one-year deal.
- Veteran infielder Michael Young, currently a free agent after finishing 2013 with the Dodgers, likely will retire or return to Los Angeles for another season.
- As part of his latest inbox, Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch throws some cold water on the idea of free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew coming to the Bronx.
- Left-hander David Huff could make a run at the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ starting rotation or fill a long relief role after the club acquired him from the Yankees last week.
- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is still looking for a center fielder to back up Ben Revere but might have to turn to the trade market for a solution.
- The Indians and right-hander Justin Masterson have halted negotiations on a long-term extension while they try to compromise on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.
- A handful of utility infielders signed Minor League contracts on Monday. The Indians picked up Elliot Johnson, the Brewers landed Pete Orr, and the Reds acquired Chris Nelson, while CBSSports.com reported that the Rockies agreed to a deal with Paul Janish.
– Andrew Simon
The theory went that once Masahiro Tanaka signed, the rest of the free-agent market would loosen up after weeks at a near standstill. Well, the Yankees won the bidding for the Japanese right-hander on Wednesday, and on Thursday — as if on cue — more action followed.
Although several significant free agents remain available — pitchers such as Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, for instance — the chips began to fall in Tanaka’s wake. With the Rays signing closer Grant Balfour and the Brewers drawing close to a deal with starter Matt Garza, Thursday was a signal that the Hot Stove could once again be sizzling.
Here’s a look at news from around the league:
- Garza reportedly had agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal with the Brewers on Thursday, but the club later announced that negotiations were “ongoing.” If the contract goes through, it will qualify as a strong move for Milwaukee, writes MLB.com columnist Mike Bauman.
- Balfour had a deal with the Orioles fall through earlier in the offseason after issues arose with his physical, and that allowed the veteran to wind up back with Tampa Bay, on a two-year deal. Balfour was a setup man for the Rays from 2007-10 but returns as the club’s ninth-inning man after a successful stint in Oakland.
- Tanaka held a press conference with the Japanese media in Tokyo and said the Yankees gave him the “highest evaluation,” and he is “going there to win the World Series.”
- Tanaka’s new general manager, Brian Cashman, said his offseason “heavy lifting” likely is complete, although there still are areas for him to address. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network, the club is considering adding free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, now that it won’t be able to stay under the luxury tax threshhold. Drew could play second base or move back to short if Derek Jeter is injured.
- With Clayton Kershaw’s massive extension with the Dodgers now about a week old, two other All-Star pitchers expressed their desire for long-term contracts that would allow them to stay put. Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer told reporters at the Tigers’ Winter Caravan that he hopes to get something done by this spring, or if not, after the season. Meanwhile, Red Sox lefty Jon Lester stated his desire to remain with the only organization he has known for the rest of his career.
- On the topic of extensions, the Marlins have interest in signing slugger Giancarlo Stanton to one, now that they have avoided arbitration with a one-year contract for 2014.
- This has been a much more patient type of offseason for the Angeles, writes MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, who also takes a look at five free-agent starters whom the team could target.
- Elsewhere in the AL West, the Mariners also are looking to add a starter, preferably a veteran who could fill the No. 3 slot in their rotation behind Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.
- Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said he thought his club was going to be able to sign outfielder Grady Sizemore but that Sizemore, “changed his mind at the last minute,” before signing with the Red Sox on Wednesday.
- Thursday also brought some Minor League deals for veteran players, with righties Jon Rauch and David Aardsma signing with the Royals and Indians, respectively, lefty Aaron Laffey going to the Orioles and outfielder Endy Chavez returning to the Mariners.
- The Giants avoided arbitration with infielder Joaquin Arias, signing him to a two-year deal.
– Andrew Simon
On a day when the Dodgers announced their seven-year, $215 million contract extension with ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw, numerous smaller deals were completed across the Major Leagues.
Friday was the deadline for teams to exchange salary figures with arbitration-eligible players, leading many to work out compromises, albeit none that carry the financial impact of Kershaw’s. For those who didn’t reach agreements, negotiations can continue until hearings take place from Feb. 1-21, at which point the decisions will be in the hands of three-judge arbitration panels.
Here is a look at some of Friday’s big arbitration-related news:
- The Nationals signed five of their seven eligible players, including All-Star right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and shortstop Ian Desmond. Washington bought out the final two years of arbitration for both players, locking them up for $24 million and $17.5 million, respectively.
- Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer agreed to a $15.525 million contract with the Tigers, who still have a lot of work to do if they want to prevent him from reaching free agency next offseason.
- Chris Davis headlined the Orioles’ five signings, getting a raise of roughly $7 million in his second year of arbitration after leading the Majors in home runs and RBIs. Catcher Matt Wieters, also two years from free agency, has yet to reach a deal.
- Third baseman Chase Headley was among the players to settle with the Padres as he readies for his final season before free agency.
- While the Braves were able to sign four arbitration-eligible players, they will have to exchange figures with closer Craig Kimbrel, first baseman Freddie Freeman and outfielder Jason Heyward.
- The Marlins put a stop to all three of their arbitration cases, handing $6.5 million to slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the process. Stanton’s salary will jump from $537,000 in his first year of arbitration.
- The Yankees also locked up all of their arbitration-eligible players, as outfielder Brett Gardner led the way with a $5.6 million settlement.
- Another club set to sit out the hearings is Toronto, which rewarded center fielder Colby Rasmus’ strong 2013 with a $7 million deal in his final year of club control.
- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who bounced back in a big way after going through a rough ‘12, settled on a $3.6 million contract in his first year of arbitration.
- Josh Reddick is the only A’s player who remains unsigned after the club came to agreements with four more players on Friday, including offseason acquisitions Craig Gentry and Luke Gregerson.
- Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker were among the players to come to terms with the Pirates, who closed all of their arbitration cases.
- A day after settling with ace lefty David Price, the Rays avoided arbitration with each of their six remaining players, including righty Jeremy Hellickson.
- The Reds have negotiating left to do with starter Homer Bailey and closer Aroldis Chapman and are hoping to ink Bailey to a long-term deal.
– Andrew Simon
Lots of signings around baseball Friday ahead of the 1 p.m. ET deadline for clubs and arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures.
The Reds have three players who agreed to terms on contracts to avoid arbitration.
Reliever Sam LeCure: Two-year contract worth $3.05 million
Starting pitcher Mike Leake: One-year contract worth $5.925 million
Reliever Alfredo Simon: One-year contract worth $1.25 million (according to Rosenthal)
Leake’s deal was announced on Twitter by his agency, the Beverly Hills Sports Council, but the Reds have yet to verify.
Cincinnati still has two cases pending in RHP Homer Bailey and LHP Aroldis Chapman.
– Mark Sheldon
With Major League teams scheduled to exchange salary figures with arbitration-eligible players on Friday, Thursday’s most popular Hot Stove activity was finding a way to prevent the awkwardness of continuing the arbitration process.
The Rays’ David Price was the most high-profile of several players who agreed to one-year deals, thereby avoiding arbitration. The 2012 American League Cy Young winner will make $14 million in his second-to-last season of club control.
Price, the subject of frequent trade rumors, told reporters during a conference call that he wants to remain with Tampa Bay, although the deal does not guarantee the club won’t trade him before or during this season.
In other news from around the league:
- Others who avoided arbitration with one-year deals included Ike Davis with the Mets, Jim Johnson and John Jaso with the A’s, Chris Heisey with the Reds, Ross Detwiler with the Nationals, Wilton Lopez with the Rockies and Tim Collins with the Royals.
- Even with Clayton Kershaw locked up with a massive contract extension, the Dodgers could be far from done making big moves, writes MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. Los Angeles remains a possible destination for Japanese free agent right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, and shortstop Hanley Ramirez could be in line for his own extension heading into the last year of his contract.
- Kershaw’s seven-year, $215 million deal could have implications for the other defending Cy Young Award winner, the Tigers’ Max Scherzer. As MLB.com’s Jason Beck writes, Scherzer figures to benefit as he enters his third year of arbitration. The Tigers will have to pay up big if they want to keep him off next winter’s free-agent market.
- Cubs manager Rick Renteria said he was part of a contingent that met recently with Tanaka in California. Many MLB owners apparently are convinced the Cubs will “blow away the field and sign Tanaka to a monster deal,” according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
- The Orioles and free-agent righty Bronson Arroyo are engaged in “ongoing discussions,” according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, who adds that the Dodgers are also involved.
- The Brewers have drawn close to signing first baseman Mark Reynolds to a Minor League contract. Reynolds would figure to compete for playing time at first base, a weak spot for Milwaukee.
- The Indians announced their Minor League deal with outfielder Nyjer Morgan, who is bringing his Tony Plush persona back to the U.S. after spending 2013 in Japan.
- The Mariners added to their catching depth by signing veteran John Buck to a one-year deal.
- The Royals brought in a pair of veteran pitchers on Minor League contracts, signing righties Brad Penny and Guillermo Mota.
- Other Minor League signings on Thursday included catcher Michael McKenry with the Rockies, infielder John McDonald with the Angels, pitcher Henry Rodriguez with the Marlins and infielder Chris Getz with the Blue Jays.
– Andrew Simon