Results tagged ‘ Walt Jocketty ’

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

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

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

7/29 Hot Stove Roundup: Who’s next to go?

That hasn’t really been decided yet.

Since Carlos Beltran officially joined the Giants on Thursday, no big moves have been made — at least not as of late afternoon on Friday. So, with the non-waiver Trade Deadline now less than two days away, and lots of big names remaining, we’re almost bracing for an avalanche of deals to be carved out just in time.

Before then, here are Friday’s biggest rumors …

* Ubaldo Jimenez is still the big ace that’s apparently being dangled, but nobody seems to have stepped up. Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB Network said the Red Sox are aggressively pursuing Jimenez, the Yankees are “lurking,” and the Indians, Reds and Blue Jays are also in the mix. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com then stated that the Yankees’ interest has waned, and the Indians are the ones emerging.

* The Astros remain in “intense” trade talks for Hunter Pence, according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Pence was removed from Thursday’s lineup because of a potential trade, McTaggart added, and said a direct two-team deal remains general manager Ed Wade‘s preference. The Phillies have made Pence their top target, but how much are they willing to give up?

* The Tigers are a contending team, and they need starting pitching. That’s no secret. The question is who they can get — or better yet, who can they get without giving up top prospect Jacob Turner? One way or another, MLB.com’s Jason Beck wrote, the Tigers’ search for a starter is nearing a resolution.

* The Reds may be 6 1/2 games out of first place after losing four straight, but GM Walt Jocketty said this much: “We are not selling.”

* If you need a third baseman, don’t look to the Cubs. Aramis Ramirez and his no-trade clause are not on the market.

* The Mariners traded Ryan Langerhans to the Diamondbacks for cash considerations, in order to clear room on the roster for former D-backs outfielder Wily Mo Pena.

* The Rangers are pushing hard to get closer Heath Bell, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes. Whether or not that materializes, the Padres have a lot of interesting pieces, and things should pick up between now and the Deadline.

* Jason Marquis, Jeremy Guthrie, Koji Uehara, Hiroki Kuroda, Erik Bedard (who pitches tonight), Doug Fister, Mike Adams, Wandy Rodriguez, Grand Balfour and Kevin Slowey are some of the arms that can be had before 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. B.J. Upton, Denard Span, Michael Bourn, Jamey Carroll, Carlos Quentin, Jason Kubel, Delmon Young and Josh Willingham are some of the position players to be had. But no movement yet.

So we wait.

Alden

Reds not selling

There will be a more detailed story coming … but Reds GM Walt Jocketty is not changing his Trade Deadline strategy in light of the rough week his club has had (swept four straight by the Mets to go 50-55).

“We are not selling,” Jocketty said Friday afternoon.

One of the players prominent in rumors of a sell has been catcher Ramon Hernandez, especially with top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco on the cusp at Triple-A Louisville. However, Jocketty said he has not listened to offers for Hernandez.

“I haven’t no, and I don’t know if I would,” Jocketty said. “I still think he’s a guy that can help us with this year. I think his value is greater to us now than if we were to move him. You’re not going to get the value in return for him that he gives our club. That’s why we would hold on to him.”
 — Mark Sheldon

Reds send Gomes to Nats

The Reds traded OF Jonny Gomes to the Nationals for two minor leaguers late Tuesday afternoon. In fact, Gomes was a lineup scratch for Cincinnati just 10 minutes before their games vs. the Mets.

“We were just waiting to get medical clearance,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “We thought we would have it a while ago. It just happened today. Jonny was in the lineup and I didn’t want Dusty to pull him before we had it finalized. We went almost to the 11th hour to get it completed. I didn’t even think this was close this afternoon. It happened quick.”

The Reds moved Gomes so they could promote OF/1B Yonder Alonso from Triple-A Louisville. Alonso has been deserving of a promotion and the club wants to see what he can do. They also need his left-handed bat.

“We actually had a couple of clubs that inquired about Jonny’s services but Washington was probably the most persistent,” Jocketty said. “For us, it’s a tough move to make in some ways. Jonny was a big part of our club last year and he’s obviously a guy we all think highly of as a person and as a player. It gives us an opportunity now to bring up a player like Alonso and start looking at some of our younger guys that we feel we need to give an opportunity to.”

Coming to the Reds are LHP Chris Manno, a situational reliever, and OF/1B Bill Rhinehart.

— Mark Sheldon

GM: Reds definitely buying

At 48-50, the Reds are only four games out of first place entering Thursday’s off day but they are looking up to three other clubs in the National League Central. So they are very much in the race, which has Reds general manager Walt Jocketty taking a buyer’s mentality heading closer to July 31.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Jocketty said. “We would like to improve our club since it’s easier to do before the 31st. There is some urgency but not tremendous urgency. I still have a lot of confidence that we’re good enough to win but if there is a chance to upgrade the club, we would try to pursue it.”

Jocketty would not specify the player or players he is seeking to get as upgrades, but there is a type he wants.

“I’d prefer guys who are under contract for a while,” Jocketty said. “I’m not sure anything will develop. We’re trying to win this year but we want to stay full of talent so we know we can compete for years to come.”

– Mark Sheldon

Jocketty: Not much happening

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty normally attempts to keep any intentions on trades quiet. But this year, Jocketty feels like the market is dictating some of the silence.

“There’s little talk going on,” Jocketty said. “The GMs I’ve talked to have said the same thing. There’s not much happening.

“Clubs that are borderline don’t want to give up players, because they’re still trying to win games,” Jocketty said. “It’s getting harder and harder to make deals midseason, because clubs are trying to sell tickets and get people to come to the ballpark, and they don’t want to dismantle their clubs and erode their fan base. It makes it tough.”

The Reds have some potential needs at shortstop, left field and maybe a starting pitcher. But they could just as well work from within since they have strong prospects at Triple-A like SS Zack Cozart and OF/1B Yonder Alonso.

 

– Mark Sheldon

Volquez, Reds sign one-year deal

The Reds announced that RHP Edinson Volquez has signed a one-year contract to avoid arbitration. Terms were not revealed but when numbers were exchanged, Volquez’s side submitted for $2 million while the club countered with $1.3. The midpoint was $1.6 million.

Volquez returned from Tommy John surgery rehab after the All-Star break and was 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 62 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old walked 35 and struck out 67 batters and was also charged with four runs on four hits and was pulled after 1 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Phillies.

“We’ll see if they’re up for doing more later,” GM Walt Jocketty told me on Sunday from the Reds Caravan stop in Lexington. “We tried to do a multi-year deal. They just wanted to concentrate on the one year now. [The agent] had a few cases and wanted to get the arbitration thing out of the way.”

– Mark Sheldon

Roundup: DH-types coming off the market?

The free-agent market has definitely thinned, now that less than one month remains before the start of Spring Training. But as of Friday, several big names remained in the veteran corner outfielder/designated hitter category.

That may change soon.

The Rays, an industry source told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, are nearing a one-year deal with Johnny Damon and are also in the mix for his former Red Sox teammate, Manny Ramirez

But Tampa Bay may have some competition for Ramirez’s services, since sources told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that the Rangers and Angels are also interested. Sullivan notes that it’s the Rangers and Rays that are the front-runners at this point, with the Angels seemingly lagging behind.  

Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com heard from sources that Vladimir Guerrero, like Ramirez and Damon, could also be close to signing, saying the Orioles and Angels have interest. The Rangers, Sullivan added, also haven’t closed the door on bringing back Guerrero.
The problem is the soon-to-be-36-year-old — coming off a season in which he batted .300
with 29 homers and 115 RBIs as Texas’ full-time DH — may still be
trying to land an everyday job.

Here’s more from around the league…

* The Red Sox were trying to reel in free-agent closer Rafael Soriano
on a lucrative one-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com and
MLB Network. If they would have succeeded in that, they could’ve dealt
current closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Athletics or White Sox. Boston also made Yankees closer Mariano Rivera an offer this offseason, so there’s seemingly concern in Beantown about Papelbon.

* When Prince Fielder hits free agency at the end of the 2011
season, the slugging first baseman expects to yield a contract of at least eight
years and for about $200 million, Heyman added.

* The Reds have been all about locking up their own players this
offseason, and they still may not be done. Regarding unsigned starter
Edinson Volquez, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati
Enquirer, “We’re looking at both — one-year and multi-year” deals.
Volquez, arbitration-eligible for the first time, made $445,000 in 2010. Bronson
Arroyo
, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto have all inked
multi-year deals with the Reds this offseason. 

* The Cardinals signed veteran infielder Nick Punto
to a one-year contract. The 33-year-old switch-hitter will serve as a
utility infielder and an insurance policy at third base for David Freese.

* The Mariners reduced the signing bonus of Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, from $2.9 million to $1.1 million, according to Baseball America.

– Alden Gonzalez

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