Results tagged ‘ Reds ’
The Reds have added a closer, a left fielder, a starting pitcher and a lefty setup man. What’s next?
Infielder … maybe.
The free-agent market for infielders who can play shortstop and back up rookie Zack Cozart is rather thin. It’s thin enough that Reds general manager Walt Jocketty is thinking trade rather signing someone from the open market.
“We’re still talking to a couple of clubs,” Jocketty said late Friday. “We’ll know something by next week, hopefully. I don’t think there’s a lot of guys out there free agent wise.”
Jocketty did not divulge which clubs he was chatting with.
Of the free-agent shortstops, there’s only Ryan Theriot, Miguel Tejada and former Red Edgar Renteria. In recent days, ex-Red Orlando Cabrera retired and Jack Wilson signed with the Braves.
Jocketty said that there has been some interest shown to Theriot.
“We’ve talked to him, had some conversations,” Jocketty said.
Asked if he was optimistic something could get done, Jocketty responded “not today.”
• If the Reds sign nobody and don’t pull off a trade, Jocketty said he’d be comfortable going with what is already in house. That would mean Cozart and Paul Janish would be the team’s shortstops, with Cozart on the inside track to start.
• The Reds are continuing to look at adding to their depth with possible Minor League contract offers. One player they’re taking a look at, Jocketty confirmed, is pitcher Jeff Francis. The left-handed Francis, 30, was 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA in 31 starts last season with the Royals. He was with the Rockies from 2004-10 and was a 17-game winner in 2007.
– Mark Sheldon
MLB.com has learned via a source Monday night that outfielder Ryan Ludwick has agreed to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2013. The dollar figure remains unclear, but the Reds weren’t expected to spend a lot to fill their opening for a fourth outfielder.
Ken Rosenthal at FOX and MLB Network was first with the story.
Ludwick, 33, batted .237 with 13 home runs last season in a combined 139 games with the Padres and Pirates. He has a history with Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, having played for him with the Cardinals. Ludwick spent the 2007-09 seasons in St. Louis and hit a career best 37 homers with 113 RBIs in 2008.
This fills the Reds need for a fourth outfielder that can mainly play left field in a quasi-platoon with Chris Heisey.
– Mark Sheldon
UPDATE — A baseball source confirmed to MLB.com that the Reds and Ryan Madson agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract.
According to several reports, the Reds have agreed to terms late Tuesday on a one-year contract with free agent closer Ryan Madson. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported it first. I am still trying to confirm this myself and have several calls out.
Citing sources, Heyman earlier in the evening that talks between the two sides were heating up and in the serious stages. However, a source familiar with the situation had downplayed the report to MLB.com, saying it was unlikely the Reds would get Madson unless his agent — Scott Boras — came well off the demand of a four-year, $44 million contract he had been reportedly been wanting.
And with this seeming to be a one-year deal for Madson, that certainly appears to be the case. USA Today reports the deal is worth in excess of$10 million.
The Reds have not announced any agreement. A message was left with general manager Walt Jocketty.
– Mark Sheldon
There is a CBSSports.com report that the Reds are in the serious stage of talks with free agent closer Ryan Madson, even saying that things were “heating up.”
A source told MLB.com on Tuesday night that the club has contacted almost every player on the market at one time or another. The source downplayed the report on Madson, saying it was unlikely unless Madson’s agent — Scott Boras — came well off the demand of a four-year, $44 million contract he had been reportedly wanted.
The Reds have maintained talks with the other free agent closer on the market — Francisco Cordero. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said last week that the offer for Cordero would be for no more than one guaranteed year.
– Mark Sheldon
The Angels have recently had dialogue with the representative for veteran closer Francisco Cordero — though they may only be in the periphery right now — an industry source familiar with the discussions told MLB.com.
The source pinned the market for Cordero as down to three or four teams, with the Angels and Reds being two of them. At this point, however, it’s hard to gauge where the Angels stand in that race considering the money they’ve spent this offseason and general manager Jerry Dipoto’s recent statements — that he already has a good ninth-inning man in Jordan Walden, and that finding a closer has never been a priority this offseason.
Cordero is only looking to go into a situation where he can close, and he’d probably have to take a big paycut or backloaded deal — or both — to find a fit in Southern California. All along, his former team, the Reds, have seemed to be the favorite for Cordero (as Reds reporter Mark Sheldon outlined recently). But the Angels checked in with his agent, Bean Stringfellow, within the first 24 hours of the free-agency period and up until two days ago, the source said.
Asked on Thursday about the chances of landing high-profile closer Ryan Madson, Dipoto called it “very unlikely,” adding: ”Through the course of this offseason, we have never prioritized a closer, and while it’s certainly appealing to think about the option of adding a guy like Ryan Madson, it just doesn’t fit what we’re trying to do right now, and that’s from a variety of different perspectives.”
The 36-year-old Cordero, a three-time All-Star, has compiled a 3.17 ERA and 327 saves in his 13-year career. With the Reds in 2011, he posted a 2.45 ERA and a 1.019 WHIP while converting 37 of his 43 save chances.
There could be some movement, one way or another, in the next few days on free agent closer Francisco Cordero. The Reds are still in the running.
“We’re still talking with [Cincinnati] and a couple of other clubs,” Cordero’s agent, Bean Stringfellow, said on Tuesday. “We’re making progress on a lot of fronts. Multi-year contracts are definitely involved.
“The Reds are involved and are still interested in bringing him back. I am talking with them on a regular basis.”
Stringfellow declined to detail the specific numbers being bandied about with the Reds in negotiations. It seemed like he was optimistic about where talks were going with the different clubs and that a deal was possible.
“It could be today or 10 days from now. I don’t know,” Stringfellow said. “I do know that we’re closer now than we’ve been. I don’t think it will carry on too much longer.”
– Mark Sheldon
Could the Cubs deal Matt Garza? They are apparently still listening to teams interested in the right-hander. The Cubs are most likely looking for a package similar to what the Padres received from the Reds for Mat Latos and what the Athletics received from the Nationals for Gio Gonzalez, which means a lot of talented prospects. According to reports, the Blue Jays and Yankees may be the front-runners. What makes Garza attractive to the Jays and Yankees is his 23-15 record, 3.34 ERA in 56 career games vs. the AL East. Plus, he’s 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 19 games against the Red Sox.
Chicago helped its system by dealing Sean Marshall to Cincinnati for Travis Wood and two other players. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has said Garza is “exactly the type of pitcher we want to build around” but is willing to listen as the team re-tools. They’d have to be overwhelmed to move Garza, who is under team control through 2013. Gonzalez, 26, and Latos, 24, will be under team control for at least four years.
– Carrie Muskat
The Reds appeared close Wednesday to completing a trade that would land left-handed reliever Sean Marshall from the Cubs in exchange for young lefty starter Travis Wood and two Minor Leaguers.
According to ESPNChicago.com, the deal was agreed to pending physicals. A source confirmed the Reds’ interest in Marshall to MLB.com, but did not expect the trade to be consummated on Wednesday.
Cincinnati currently has a vacancy for the closer’s role, but are looking at Marshall as a lefty set-up man.
– Mark Sheldon
Despite a lack of financial flexibility, the Angels continue to seek ways to address their bullpen situation.
Depending on his price, one option may be veteran closer Francisco Cordero. His agent, Bean Stringfellow, told WEEI.com on Tuesday that the Angels are one of four teams in play for the right-hander, along with the Reds — his former team, which reportedly wants him back — the Red Sox and a fourth, unidentified club.
Cordero is perhaps the best — and most expensive — free-agent reliever remaining after Ryan Madson, making the Angels the least likely fit among the above-mentioned clubs. Stringfellow told WEEI.com Cordero is looking for a multi-year deal and is only interested in going into a situation where he’s the clear-cut closer (which, in Anaheim, would mean the young Jordan Walden is supplanted).
The Angels have also reached out to the representative of former reliever Darren Oliver, a source familiar with his thinking told MLB.com. Oliver’s preference is to return to Texas, but is “not ruling out other contending teams,” the source said, adding that in order to accommodate the Angels, Oliver would be willing to defer most of his salary. Oliver put up a 2.29 ERA in 61 appearances last year, but is 41 and would give the Angels three lefties in the bullpen — along with Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi.
Another interesting candidate is Joel Zumaya, the former Tigers flame-thrower who missed all of 2011 after undergoing exploratory surgery on his right (throwing) elbow. Zumaya performed in front of what was believed to be about 50 scouts in Houston last Wednesday, and some of them were members of the Angels, general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed. Someone in attendance told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal he threw his fastball from 93-96 mph and had a decent curveball and OK command.
Some other, cheaper, right-handed options in the free-agent bin: Luis Ayala, Juan Cruz, Scott Linebrink, Dan Wheeler and Jamey Wright. Most of them, however, may not sign deals until more materializes later in the offseason. Sources told MLB.com the Angels have yet to reach out to Ayala or Wheeler in particular.
The Angels previously added LaTroy Hawkins – on a one-year, $3 million contract — in hopes of improving a bullpen that was tied for the American League lead in blown saves last season. Dipoto previously said he’s looking for someone to “complement Jordan Walden; not replace Jordan Walden.”
– Alden Gonzalez
The Cubs and Reds are reportedly close to a trade which would send reliever Sean Marshall to the Reds for starter Travis Wood and two Minor Leaguers. FOX Sports and ESPN.com are both reporting the possible deal. Wood, 24, was 6-6 with a 4.84 ERA in 2 games, including 18 starts last season. He became expendable after the Reds acquired Mat Latos from the Padres. Marshall, 29, has been one of the top left-handed relievers in baseball the last two seasons, posting a 2.26 ERA over 75 2/3 innings in 2011.
– Carrie Muskat