Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

Tigers acquire Alfredo Simon from Reds

The Tigers have acquired right-hander Alfredo Simon from the Reds in exchange for infielder Eugenio Suarez and Minor League pitcher Jonathon Crawford.

Simon fills the void in the Tigers’ rotation left by the trade of Rick Porcello to Boston for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Simon, 33, was 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA over 32 starts in 2014. He had a great first half of the season, going 12-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 18 starts to earn his first All-Star selection.

Crawford, 23, was the 20th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He spent the 2014 season with Class-A West Michigan, going 8-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 23 starts.

Suarez, 23, made his big league debut this year and played 85 games with Detroit, mainly at shortstop. He can also play third base. Suarez hit .242 with four home runs and 23 RBIs with the Tigers.

“We are excited to be acquiring two players we think will have a positive impact on our organization for years to come,” Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty said in a statement.

–Austin Laymance

Reds deal Latos to Marlins

The Marlins made another big move at the Winter Meetings on Thursday, acquiring right-hander Mat Latos from the Reds in exchange for right-hander Anthony DeSclafani and catching prospect Chad Wallach.

Latos has been dependable when healthy, but is coming off an injury-shortened season in which he made a career-low 16 starts due to right elbow and left knee issues. Still, he’s won 14 games in three of the last five years and pitched over 200 innings in both 2012 and ’13. The 27-year-old will be a free agent after next season.

It’s the second major trade in a many days for Miami. The club completed a seven-player blockbuster with the Dodgers on Wednesday which netted second baseman Dee Gordon, starter Dan Haren and shortstop Miguel Rojas.

As for the Reds, they moved their second starter of the day. The club previously traded Alfredo Simon to the Tigers for pitching prospect Jonathon Crawford, a first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, and infielder Eugenio Suarez.

DeSclafani, 24, made his Major League debut in 2014, appearing in 13 games (five starts) with Miami. He’s considered the Marlins’ No. 2 overall prospect, according to MLB.com.

Wallach, 23, was Miami’s fifth-round pick in the 2013 Draft. He’s the son of former All-Star and current Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach.

–Austin Laymance

Reds steering interest away from Cueto

The Reds entered this offseason knowing that they might have to deal one of their starting pitchers in order to address their other needs. As far as who’s available, however, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the club is trying to steer inquiring teams toward Mat Latos, Mike Leake or Alfredo Simon instead of staff ace Johnny Cueto.

Cueto is set to make $10 million in his option year next season, while Latos, Leake and Simon are all third-year arbitration eligible. In other words, all four starters are set to become free agents following next season. Along with dealing with those impending free agencies, the Reds also need to free up some payroll to address their void in left field.

“I hope not, but we may. I’m still hoping that something works out where we don’t have to,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said regarding the possibility of trading a starter. “I don’t think that’s going to happen. We’re still going to have to move some payroll in order to do anything.”

Despite knowing a trade may be inevitable, the Reds are likely going to see what they can get in return for Latos, Leake or Simon before offering up Cueto. That said, the 20-game winner from a year ago would obviously bring back the most substantial return.

– Paul Casella

Reds willing to listen to offers for Chapman?

There’s been widespread speculation this offseason that the Reds would likely need to trade away one of their four starting pitchers entering the final year of their contracts in order to free up some payroll. What has not been discussed — but is apparently a possibility, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro — is moving shutdown closer Aroldis Chapman.

Though purely speculation at this point, Frisaro discusses the Marlins as a potential fit for the fireball-throwing left-hander. Chapman is projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to make $8.3 million in arbitration for next season and then has another year of arbitration eligibility before potentially hitting the free agent market following the 2016 season.

All things considered, it would certainly take a significant haul to land the 26-year-old Chapman, who is already regarded as one of the top closers in the game and is under team control — at an afforadable rate, no less — for the next two years.

The more likely scenario for the Reds is moving one of their starting pitchers. Staff ace Johnny Cueto is set to make $10 million in his option year next season, while Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon are all third-year arbitration eligible. In other words, all four of those starters will be free agents following the 2015 season.

The Reds remain in the market for a left fielder, though it’s becoming increasingly likely that they will need to move at least one pitcher in order to free up enough payroll to either trade for or sign a player to fill that void. The four starters mentioned above make the most sense, but if the club ultimately ends up in firesale mode this offseason, Chapman’s name could enter the discussions.

– Paul Casella

Reds interested in Axford

A source told MLB.com at the Winter Meetings on Monday that the Reds have interest in signing veteran free agent reliever John Axford. No deal is close as of yet and the right-hander is also believed to be drawing interest from four other clubs.

Last season for Indians and Pirates, Axford was 2-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 62 appearances. He also pitched for the Cardinals and Brewers during his career. At Milwaukee, he was the club’s closer and saved a career-high 46 games in 2011 but ran into some struggles over the following two seasons and was traded to St. Louis.

Axford, who turns 32 on April 1, was signed by Cleveland to a one-year, $4.5 million deal last winter with the hopes he could regain his form as an elite closer. He had 10 saves, but early-season struggles led him to be removed from the role in May. Pittsburgh claimed him off of waivers in August.

– Mark Sheldon

Reds still searching LF market

The latest free agent outfielder to sign a contract — Torii Hunter — is having a press conference in Minneapolis as I type this blog entry. Hunter, 39, was signed to a one-year, $10.5 million contract to return to the Twins. I wrote last week that Hunter would have been a good fit for the Reds. Even though Cincinnati was not in the running, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty apparently was thinking the same thing.

“We had a lot of interest in Hunter,” Jocketty said on Wednesday. “He would have been a kind of dual role for us – leadership in the clubhouse and his abilities on the field. That was one of our targeted guys.”

The search will continue for a starting left fielder.

“We’re still hopeful of getting something done,” Jocketty said.

To this point, there hasn’t been progress towards signing two other target free agents, Nori Aoki and Michael Morse.

“Nothing yet,” Jocketty said.

Tuesday’s trade of Chris Heisey to the Dodgers added to glut of outfielders in Chavez Ravine.

“I think they see a role for him there, eventually,” Jocketty said. “We wanted to make sure we got some quality in return. We picked a good one, we think, with [pitcher Matt] Magill.”

Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford have been viewed as tradeable for Los Angeles. Don’t expect the Heisey deal to be a precursor to another trade between the Reds and Dodgers. Kemp is owed $107 million over the next five years. Crawford will make $62.25 million over the next three years and Ethier is due has $56 million over the next three seasons.

“That’s too expensive,” Jocketty said.

– Mark Sheldon

Melky Cabrera heading back to Kansas City?

Melky Cabrera is one of the top free-agent outfielders available, so it’s no surprise a number of teams are interested in the former All-Star.

The Royals have been in contact with Cabrera, while the Reds, Mariners, Orioles, White Sox and Blue Jays are also in the mix, according to a report from CBSSports.com.

Cabrera, 30, could help a number of teams offensively. He’s coming off a strong season with Toronto in which he posted a .301/.351/.458 slash line with 16 home runs, 35 doubles and 73 RBIS over 139 games.

The Royals are in need of a bat after the departure of designated hitter Billy Butler in free agency. The club is familiar with Cabrera too, as he spent the 2011 season with Kansas City.

Cabrera is reportedly looking for at least a five-year contract. He could be in line for a deal similar to fellow outfielder Nelson Cruz, who signed with the Mariners this week for four years and $57 million. Cabrera earned $8 million this season.

The Blue Jays could still bring Cabrera back, though. Toronto appears to be all-in this season after signing free-agent catcher Russell Martin and trading for third baseman Josh Donaldson. The club has holes to fill in the outfield after deciding to non-tender John Mayberry Jr. and Andy Dirks on Tuesday.

With the Winter Meetings set to begin next week in San Diego, the market for Cabrera could soon become more clear.

–Austin Laymance

A fork in the road for Cincinnati

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

Reds after Marlon Byrd?

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

Reds need 1B help?

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

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