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REDS - Off Season Thread (1 Viewer)

On The Rocks

Evil Conservative
I know this is merely in the rumor stages:

Possible deal for Jermaine Dye

The winter meetings don't start until Dec. 8, but the White Sox could act sooner in their quest to retool an aging and power-oriented roster.

But a major-league source said Sunday any deal involving right fielder Jermaine Dye and Cincinnati is complicated by financial matters.

Dye, who has hit 137 home runs in the last four years, will earn $11.5 million in 2009, with a mutual option for $12 million in 2010 that includes a $1 million buyout.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty confirmed to the Cincinnati Enquirer that he had talked to the Sox about "some players, but nothing is close."

The report mentions Homer Bailey, Matt Maloney and Josh Roenicke as potentail players involved in the deal. The White Sox are also looking for a backup catcher. That's something the Reds don't have to offer.
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I'd certainly be ready to give up on him. Never was a big fan. I just can't get behind these "Jeff Kent" types who don't really enjoy the game. They're only doing it because they can make great money at it.

John Fay posted some rumors and random thoughts. Particularly interesting were his comments on EE.


Posted by JohnFay at 12/5/2008 11:59 AM EST on Cincinnati.com

Rumors and random thoughts as I wonder whether you get cell phone reception at the craps tables in the Bellagio:

--Walt Jocketty sounded pretty confident that the Reds will get something done at the Winter Meetings, which start Monday at the aforementioned Bellagio in Las Vegas. "We've had a lot of discussions with clubs," he said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to follow up and get something done." They better I put together a depth chart for the Sunday paper and the outfield is about as thin Manute Bol.

--Heard from a reliable source today that the Giants are interested in the Edwin Encarnacion. I think Encarnacion is the most likely Red to be traded for two reasons: He's got high-value and the Reds are deep in the minors at third base.

--Heard from an unreliable source (random e-mail) that Homer Bailey had been traded. The reason the e-mailer said Bailey had been trades is he had packed up and left Houston. Why Bailey would go anywhere upon being traded i don't know. But I'd put Bailey right behind Encarnacion on the most-likely-to-be-traded list.

--If Encarnacion remains a Reds he almost certainly will remain at third base. Joey Votto will remain at first. "The only way we would move them is if we traded for a third baseman or first baseman," Jocketty said. "We're not going to move just to move them."

--Jocketty got a chuckle at the Votto-to-Washington Nationals talk. Is that Votto going to get traded? "No." I don't see Jimmy B. as being a Reds trading partner as long as Jocketty's in charge. The two have not made a trade since the Jeff Brantley-for-Dmitri Young deal in 1997. "That one didn't work out too good."

--Nice gesture by the Reds to not raise ticket prices. I'd go a step further and cut the price a buck or so on the cheapest seats. That would be a nice thing to announce at Redsfest.

--T.R. Sullivan, the MLB.com guy in Texas, is reporting that the Reds are a possible trade partner for catcher Gerald Laird. He hit .276/.329/.398 last year. Fielding percentage doesn't tell you everything about a catcher's defense, but Laird's (.986) was the second lowest of any catcher in AL who caught more than 50 games.
Say good bye to Ryan Freel and hello to Ramon Hernandez

LAS VEGAS - The Reds targeted Baltimore's Ramon Hernandez last season as a possible fit to fill their need at catcher.

Hernandez, by all accounts, was not having a good year. Effort was part of the reason he struggled.

"It was part of our report from scouts," Jocketty said. "We had scouts who saw him in the past and saw him again this year. They thought there was some level of frustration that he had been experiencing. We talked about it. I did some research with people I know who have had him. I got great reports.

"We do think a change of scenery will help him immensely. We've got a pretty good pitching staff. I think he's a guy who will work well with that staff and develop that staff and have renewed energy."

Reds manager Dusty Baker saw Hernandez early in his career with Oakland.

"I saw him work with the staff in Oakland," Baker said. "When I was with the Giants, we played them a number of times. I think he's going to be perfect for our team. We've got a young staff, and he has caught some pretty good pitchers."

The due diligence made the Reds confident enough to pull the trigger on the Hernandez trade Tuesday. The Reds gave up a lot in the deal.

Baltimore gets Ryan Freel and minor league prospects Justin Turner and Brandon Waring. The Reds will get cash as well as Hernandez - at least $1 million. Turner and Waring are both infielders and were both seventh-round draft choices. They've both hit well in the minors.

"They were very difficult to give up," Jocketty said. "You hate to give up young players. But it's important to improve at the major league level and try to win up there."

Freel was a fan favorite because of his all-out style of play. He hit .298 in 48 games last year. But injuries cost him 103 games.

Freel, 33, was still getting his mind straight about being traded by the team he played with for six years.

"A piece of me is excited," he said. "But I'm upset because of my relationship with the fans in Cincinnati. It's been tough. But you can't look at the past. I'm still playing baseball. But it's kind of an emotional time. I'm torn."

The Reds had to add catching. The only catcher on the 40-man roster who has caught at all in the big leagues before the Hernandez trade was Ryan Hanigan. He's played only 33 big-league games.

The payroll impact is relatively minimal. Freel will make $4 million in 2009. Hernandez will make $8.5 million. The Reds got at least $1 million in the deal, so the Reds are getting a frontline catcher for $3.5 million or less.

Hernandez, 32, has played nine seasons in the big leagues. He's a career .263 hitter. He's averaged 16 home runs over the last six seasons. He was an American League All-Star in 2003.

Baltimore GM Andy MacPhail is confident Hernandez will turn it around under Baker.

"I've watched Dusty Baker firsthand," MacPhail said. "I think you'll see Ramon have quite a year in a ballpark that's really favorable to him."

The Reds had interest in Gerald Laird before Detroit got him in a trade from Texas.

"I had number of scouts looking at different catchers," Jocketty said. "Ramon was one of the guys. We felt he was best fit for us for number of reasons: He provides good offense in our park, good defense, he can provide good leadership.

" I had conversation with him a little bit of go. He's really excited."
Nuxy gets bent over.....again.....by the "FRICK'in" HOF.

:wall: :lmao: :wall: :rant:

Kubek gets the Ford Frick

LAS VEGAS - Tony Kubek, an All-Star shortstop who became a fixture on NBC's "Game of the Week" telecasts for more than two decades, was honored with the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award on Tuesday.

The award is presented annually for major contributions to baseball broadcasting.

The other finalists were former Reds player and broadcaster Joe Nuxhall, Dizzy Dean, Billy Berroa, Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, Lanny Frattare, Graham McNamee and Dave Van Horne.

Kubek, 73, will be honored July 26 during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y.

"I'd like to say it's an award that I've received because of what I did, but (my bosses) share an award like this," Kubek said on a conference call. "An award like this really shouldn't be about one person."

After retiring following a nine-year playing career, Kubek worked for NBC, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Yankees for 30 years. He was at the microphone for 11 World Series, 14 AL championship series and 10 All-Star games, and was the color commentator for the final NBC "Game of the Week" telecast on Sept. 30, 1989.

Kubek is the first exclusive television analyst to win the Frick Award, which has been presented since 1978. He also is the first primarily TV broadcaster to be honored since Bob Wolff in 1995, and the first Frick Award winner to have called games for a Canadian team.

"For an entire generation of baseball fans, Tony Kubek was the face and the voice of the game," Hall president Jeff Idelson said. "In the days before all-sports TV networks, Tony brought baseball into your living room every Saturday afternoon for almost three decades.

"His straightforward style, quick and detailed analysis and no-nonsense commentary on the game's nuances gave viewers an insider's look at what the players were experiencing on the field," Idelson said.

Kubek said he wished Cheek and Nuxhall could be "standing alongside me."
The Reds plan to talk with Pat Burrell

In the quest for a right-handed hitting outfielder, the Reds have talked to representatives for free agents Rocco Baldelli and Juan Rivera.

The significant news: They plan to talk to Pat Burrell's representatives as well.

"They called us," Walt Jocketty said.

The Reds have not talked to any left-handed-hitting, free agent outfielders.

Burrell is one of the big dollar free agents on the market -- probably too expensive for the Reds -- but there's been little movement overall in free agency so prices could drop.

Baldelli is intriguing. He's only 26. He was budding star at 21, hitting .289 with 11 home runs and 78 RBI for Tampa Bay. But he struggled with injuries -- knee, elbow, hamstring -- after that.

He then came down with a mitochondrial disorder, a condition that slows muscle recovery and causes severe fatigue. He missed the first 116 games of the season of 2008 season. Baldelli made his way back to the majors on Aug. 11. He hit .263 in 28 games with four home runs and 13 RBIs for the Rays in 2008.

There are still questions on how much he can play.

Rivera, 29, hit .246 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI in 256 at-bats for Anaheim.
One of the left-fielder deals is going to happen, that much seems pretty obvious.

I think if we get that done and get a decent lefty out of the pen, we should pass on worrying about a speedy outfielder or another shortstop.

I keep seeing the Jocketty has been talking with the Yankees about Nady/Swisher - and I also see in a few places the Yankees are more inclined to keep Swisher due to Nady being a Free Agent (I think after this next season?)

So....if they have been chatting it up, my guess is Walt is offering Homer - and little else and the Yanks are asking for more. Am I close on this or way off??

What would it take to get Nady? He seems to be a guy that may not out HR Dunn's numbers but overall, - I suspect he will be a much better add then having Dunn last year. I do think Nady would be easily 30 HRs in GAB.

Comments from Jocketty

--The Reds continue to explore trades. “We’re talking to some teams,” Jocketty said. Again, I think the Yankees with Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher are the best match. But the trades that get made are usually the ones you don’t see coming.
ETA: The second half of these comments are from columnist John Fay - not Jocketty.
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Hot Stove Daily: Cincinnati Reds

By Steve Henson, Yahoo! Sports

Jan 14, 4:50 am EST

Buzz up!6 votes Print

Editor’s note: Yahoo! Sports will examine the offseason of every MLB team before spring training begins in mid-February. Our series continues with the Cincinnati Reds.

2008 record: 74-88

Finish: Fifth place in National League Central, 23.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs

2008 opening-day payroll: $74.1 million

2009 estimated opening-day payroll: $75 million



Don’t underestimate the savvy or the motivation of general manager Walt Jocketty. The St. Louis Cardinals, the team that dumped him after a long, mostly successful reign, is a bona-fide divisional rival of the Reds. And Jocketty, in his second season in Cincinnati, is reshaping his new club to have more in common with the Cardinals than red uniforms.

He dumped plodding outfielders Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. during the season. And though the Reds didn’t get a whole lot in return unless pitcher Micah Owings does a 180, it’s worth noting that neither player has found a taker this offseason and both are certain to get less money than they anticipated.

The new center fielder and leadoff hitter is Willy Taveras, nontendered by the Rockies and a bargain for Jocketty at $2.25 million in 2009 and $4 million in 2010. Tavares, who made $1.95 million in 2008, would have been in line for at least $3 million through arbitration after leading the majors with 68 stolen bases. His on-base percentage was a subpar .308, but it was .367 in 2007 – maybe he’ll split the difference in ’09.

Every-day catcher Ramon Hernandez was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles for Ryan Freel, a versatile player who was expendable because the Reds resigned Jerry Hairston Jr., who has even more versatility and can play shortstop until it is clear that Alex Gonzalez is completely recovered from the knee injury that sidelined him all last season. Hernandez is better offensively than behind the plate, and Jocketty might do well to sign a glove-first backup catcher before spring training.

Jocketty has had several discussions with Yankees GM Brian Cashman about acquiring Nick Swisher or Xavier Nady to play left field and add middle-of-the-order pop. But the Reds aren’t keen on trading top prospects, making a deal less than likely.



Underpinning the Reds’ hopes is a handful of young players in key roles. Starters Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto and sluggers Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Edwin Encarnacion are the building blocks of a team that might be only another two or so emerging talents from challenging for a wild-card berth.

Second baseman Brandon Phillips is a premier all-around offensive force. Starters Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo have enjoyed periods of success and of intense frustration, but all in all they are assets to the rotation. Francisco Cordero is an above-average, if overpaid, closer.

The Reds have a lot of work ahead, however, to change a losing culture that has resulted in eight consecutive seasons worse than .500. In 2008, they had the lowest batting average with runners in scoring position in the league, gave up more home runs than any team and surrendered 96 more runs than they scored.

To realistically become a contender this year, the Reds could use a middle-of-the-order hitter to play left field. It so happens that the deposed Dunn fits the description, but he made $13 million last year and Jocketty won’t come close to offering a figure that high. That’s also why talk of signing Bobby Abreu is unrealistic.

Maybe the answer could be Owings, whose career batting average of .319 with 16 extra-base hits in 116 at-bats
Owings in Left field sounds like a pretty good idea.
WOW....the Reds bench has saved their butts more times this year.

And.....let me check my eyes.....is that Arthur Rhodes with a sub 1.00 ERA.

I will say I wasn't thrilled with his signing in the off season - but he has been just unbelievable!


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