Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

Reds still want leadoff help

The Reds – which entered Friday leading the National League Central by two games over the second-place Pirates — came into the Deadline silly season hoping to find a potential leadoff hitter, a cleanup hitter, a left-handed bat off of the bench and potential pitching depth. They very much remain buyers on the trade market, according to general manager Walt Jocketty.

As Cincinnati has hit a tear of late with wins of 14 of their previous 16 games, entering Friday, players like Ryan Ludwick and Brandon Phillips have stepped up well, especially during the absence of the injured Joey Votto. It’s made middle of the order help less of a need.

“It’s not as high a priority as the top of the order. We need to get guys on base,” said Jocketty, who skipped attending Friday’s game at Coors Field to huddle with his inner circle at the hotel and evaluate trade proposals.

Nothing is close to happening, however.

“Quite frankly, things haven’t changed much, but we continue to talk,” Jocketty said. “I get the sense from a couple of clubs that they’re not going to do anything until the deadline.”

The Reds have had high level scouts watching the Twins lately. Minnesota has a potentially available leadoff man in Denard Span, but is seeking a haul of talent that includes starting pitching. The Reds have also been linked in rumors to Shane Victorino and Juan Pierre of the Phillies.

– Mark Sheldon

July 25 Late Night Roundup

  • Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez suffered a fractured left hand on Tuesday and could miss at least four weeks. That led to speculation the team would look to address the situation with a trade, but general manager Brian Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com that he isn’t targeting a deal for a third baseman. Eric Chavez and Jayson Nix will fill the hole instead.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Brewers have “officially become sellers.” That increases the likelihood of a trade involving ace pitcher Zack Greinke, who has drawn serious interest from several teams but hasn’t shown any in signing an extension with Milwaukee.  The Brewers also could deal third baseman Aramis Ramirez, reliever Francisco  Rodriguez, catcher George Kottaras and starter Randy Wolf.
  • Not satisfied with pulling off a trade for Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate late Tuesday night, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti still will look for a starting pitcher and another bat, according to our own Ken Gurnick. The Cubs’ Ryan Dempster remains the team’s prime target.
  • Losing out on Ramirez didn’t end the A’s pursuit of an infielder, reported our own Jane Lee. The Blue Jays’ Yunel Escobar, the Padres’ Chase Headley and the D-backs’ Stephen Drew could be among the remaining possibilities.
  • The Reds have “kicked the tires” on Twins center fielder Denard Span but are more likely to end up with the Phillies’ Shane Victorino or Juan Pierre, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

– Andrew Simon

Votto doesn’t change Reds’ plans

With the news Monday that Reds 1B Joey Votto will need arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee and be out 3-4 weeks, GM Walt Jocketty isn’t altering his approach to the July 31 Trade Deadline.

“It doesn’t affect it any differently,” Jocketty said. “We’re still going to look for the same things. Joey will be back. So we’ll just keep working on what we’ve done to this point.”

Jocketty has already noted in recent days that he is looking for a leadoff hitter, a possible cleanup hitter and left-handed hitting bench help. Right now, Jay Bruce is the only healthy left-handed hitter on Cincinnati’s 25-man roster.

– Mark Sheldon

Reds deny Oswalt rumors

The topic of Roy Oswalt and the Reds being a potential match hasn’t gone away in the past several weeks, despite the denials from general manager Walt Jocketty. Rumors flared up again over the weekend as other clubs appear to be declining their interest. The Cardinals were the latest team to reportedly back off.

Speaking by phone on Tuesday from Goodyear, Ariz., Jocketty emphatically denied the Reds were in on Oswalt.

“The media has been putting us into it. I’m tired of it,” Jocketty said. “I try to be upfront with you guys. I’ve gotten a lot of calls from people. I’m not saying something couldn’t ever happen but there’s nothing to lead me to believe we will sign him.”

“I don’t know where he’s going. We haven’t had any serious discussions with him. We’ve had no contact with that player.”

On another topic — the Reds are no closer to an extension with 2B Brandon Phillips

“Not really,” Jocketty said. “We really haven’t had a chance to talk with them. Hopefully in the next few weeks, it’s something we can address.”

Jocketty said he did not believe Phillips’ side had set any deadline for talks ending before the season starts.

“I think this could go on for a while,” Jocketty said.

– Mark Sheldon

Reds add Jeff Francis

Looking to supplement their rotation with extra depth, the Reds reached a Minor League deal late Wednesday with left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis according to of Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network

 Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told MLB.com last week that his club was interested in adding Francis, a free agent.

Francis, 30, was 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA in 31 starts last season with the Royals.  Most of his career had been spent with the Rockies from 2004-10. He was a 17-game winner in 2007.

Lifetime, Francis is 61-66 with a 4.78 ERA in 181 games (180 starts).

– Mark Sheldon

 

 

Reds get Valdez, sign Masset

Bypassing the free agent market for backup infielders that can play shortstop, the Reds executed a trade Wednesday that brought utility infielder Wilson Valdez from the Phillies for left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst.

Valdez spent the last two seasons in Philadelphia and batted .249 with a .294 on-base percentage, one home run and 30 RBIs over 99 games in 2011. A lifetime .243 hitter, the 33-year-old Valdez has also spent time with the White Sox, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers and Mets

Out of Valdez’s 342 career big league games, 190 have been played at shortstop where he owns a .980 fielding percentage. Many might remember him doing the Reds in as the winning pitcher of the May 25, 2011 game that lasted 19 innings at Citizen Banks Park. With his team out of pitchers, Valdez moved from second base and pitched a scoreless top of the 19th inning.

Also — Nick Masset signed a two-year contract to avoid arbitration. Terms not immediately known.

– Mark Sheldon

Reds add Harris

The Reds agreed to terms with utility player Willie Harris on a Minor League contract, two sources confirmed to MLB.com on Monday.

Harris, who will be invited to camp as a non-roster player, can earn an $800,000 base salary if he makes the club and his overall salary can reach $1 million with incentives.

Last season with the Mets, Harris batted .246 with a .351 on-base percentage, two home runs and 23 RBIs in 126 games while earning $800,000. A left-handed hitter that has played 11 big league seasons for the Orioles, White Sox, Braves, Nationals and Mets, Harris is a lifetime .240 hitter with a .330 OBP.

– Mark Sheldon

More moves for 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

Reds get Ludwick

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

Deal for Reds and Madson

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

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