With less than two weeks before the Reds start Spring Training, outfielder Jonny Gomes seemed far from assured of being signed.
Since last week when it was learned the two sides were talking about a Minor League contract, there has been little movement.
“Nothing recently,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Friday night. “We may re-evaluate where we’re at with our roster and with the number of people we have going [to Spring Training].”
If the Reds do not end up signing Gomes, they will not try to pursue another outfielder as a Plan B.
“We’ll either do something with him or stay with what we have until we get to camp and see how it shakes out,” Jocketty said. “There’s no real deadline. We’re playing it by ear. I don’t think there’s pressure one way or the other to get it done.”
There is still a vacancy in left field that will need filling this spring. Chris Dickerson, Laynce Nix, Wladimir Balentien, Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier are among the candidates.
After having lunch with my wife today at Five Guys Burgers (mmmm….Five Guys), I ventured over to Great American Ball Park where the truck for Spring Training was being packed up. It’s one of the subtle signs that baseball season is right around the corner. Truck leaves Friday and pitchers/catchers report on Feb. 18.
I knocked out a story, which can be seen here.
Here are a couple of pictures, courtesy of Michael Anderson from the Reds.
Remember when everyone complained about the lack of Reds hot stove activity from October through mid-January?
Since then — Aroldis Chapman, Miguel Cairo, Orlando Cabrera have been added. And on Monday, fan non-favorite center fielder Willy Taveras was subtracted. Jonny Gomes could be returning any day with a Minor League deal if the two sides can come together.
What did you think of the latest moves?
Personally, I was not overly wowed with the Cabrera signing but I understand why the Reds felt they had to make it. To them, the lineup wasn’t strong enough to wait while Paul Janish developed as a hitter. The front office wanted more of a sure thing.
Cabrera won’t be a defensive liability but he won’t nearly as sound as Janish, who I think would have come around offensively — eventually. I also think Janish’s defensive ability is so good that he would have saved more runs to make it worth starting him. Is the offense Cabrera might provide worth all the extra money? I would have pocketed it for later in the year when more tweaks might be needed.
You can debate the merits of the signing but you can’t debate the motive. The Reds have to feel they have the pieces in place to contend.
As for the trade, I was amazed the Reds found a way to trade Taveras and not have to eat any of his salary. That’s a huge plus. Anything Aaron Miles can do is pretty much a bonus at this point. I’m not expecting much but I’m also not expecting him to struggle as bad as he did last year.
When you add up the money — Taveras’ $4 million salary compared to $2.7 million for Miles and the difference that went to pay Cabrera — the Reds could have done much worse under the circumstances.
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