Stop, rumor time
It’s the time of year you know is coming but can never really brace yourself for properly. I’m not even sure what to call it.
Trade deadline rumor-a-rama? Silly season (that’s more about winter rumors)? The chasing of rumors, legit or not that rarely pan out time of year? I’ll keep working on it.
Anyway, there have been two rumors linked to the Reds the past couple of days and I thought they should be addressed.
The Toronto Sun is reporting today that the Reds have had “internal discussions” about Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen. It’s a natural thought — Rolen played for the Cardinals when GM Walt Jocketty was there. He’s a bat needed for an offense bereft of run producers. Maybe they did discuss him. Lots of players get discussed, year-round. Many GMs and front offices have a big giant board in their office with every club’s players on it.
Here’s the problem: Rolen is making $11 million this year and is owed $11 million next year. He’s 34 years old. The story says the Reds are “dangling” Edwin Encarnacion, who makes $2 million this year and $4.75 million next year.
Unless Toronto is willing to eat much of that money, the Reds aren’t looking to take on that kind of salary hit to their payroll. It’s just a plain fact.
On Thursday, the Denver Post dropped that the Reds were interested in third baseman Garret Atkins, possibly for relievers David Weathers and Nick Masset. That’s just not happening. I was told from someone in the know that Colorado has called every team in the league trying to unload Atkins. So far, no takers.
Atkins is making $7.05 million this season and batting just .227 with six homers and 27 RBIs. He wouldn’t an offensive upgrade from Encarnacion…who the Reds would still have on the roster in this scenario. Neither guy can play a bunch of positions.
And a Reds official made it clear to me that Masset isn’t going anywhere. Not when he’s doing what he does for such a reasonable salary ($418,000).
If the Reds are buyers, they wouldn’t get rid of two key parts to the bullpen.
I would look for smaller moves. The Reds have a deep farm system and will be able to use it, within reason. Don’t look for giant transactions for rent-a-players like Matt Holliday. This team is finally headed in the right direction and it wouldn’t take a blockbuster move to win the NL Central this season. If they stick to the plan they’ve had lately, they can be contenders both this year and the long term.
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