January 2011

Burton to avoid arbitration

The Reds are expected to wrap up a one year contract today with RHP Jared Burton that will avoid arbitration — according to a baseball source. Burton made $810,000 last season. Terms of the new deal are not yet known.

**5:47 pm update — Reds announced that the deal is done.

Burton spent most of last season in the Minors and spent time on the disabled list with a hypothyroid condition and later, an oblique injury.

As a September call-up, Burton made four appearances for the Reds and worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

**As for the ESPN Chicago report on the Reds signing SS Edgar Renteria — I’m working to confirm that.

 

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2012 HOF looks good for Larkin

Barry Larkin made a big jump this year in balloting for the Hall of Fame and next year should put him over the top of the required 75 percent of the vote.

Why?

Check out the first time eligibles on the 2012 ballot

Edgardo Alfonzo, Pedro Astacio, David Bell, Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Scott Erickson, Carl Everett, Jeff Fassero, Alex S. Gonzalez, Danny Graves, Rick Helling, Dustin Hermanson, Jose Hernandez, Brian Jordan, Matt Lawton, Javy Lopez, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Jeff Nelson, Phil Nevin, Brad Radke, Joe Randa, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Jose Vizcaino, Bernie Williams, Eric Young

Holdovers like Jack Morris and Jeff Bagwell should get some more consideration but to me, Larkin seems like a lock to get in next year.

Larkin gets 62 percent

The vote results are in for the 2011 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven.

Barry Larkin fell short with 361 votes of the 581 ballots or 62.1 percent. At least 75 percent was required for election. Along with Jack Morris (53.5 percent), they were the only players to eclipse 50 percent this time around and not get in.

Here is the total vote:

Roberto Alomar 523 (90.0%), Bert Blyleven 463 (79.7%), Barry Larkin 361 (62.1%), Jack Morris 311 (53.5%), Lee Smith 263 (45.3%), Jeff Bagwell 242 (41.7%), Tim Raines 218 (37.5%), Edgar Martinez 191 (32.9%), Alan Trammell 141 (24.3%), Larry Walker 118 (20.3%), Mark McGwire 115 (19.8%), Fred McGriff 104 (17.9%), Dave Parker 89 (15.3%), Don Mattingly 79 (13.6%), Dale Murphy 73 (12.6%), Rafael Palmeiro 64 (11.0%), Juan Gonzalez 30 (5.2%), Harold Baines 28 (4.8%), John Franco 27 (4.6%), Kevin Brown 12 (2.1%), Tino Martinez 6 (1.0%), Marquis Grissom 4 (0.7%), Al Leiter 4 (0.7%), John Olerud 4 (0.7%), B.J. Surhoff 2 (0.3%), Bret Boone 1 (0.2%), Benito Santiago 1 (0.2%), Carlos Baerga 0, Lenny Harris 0, Bobby Higginson 0, Charles Johnson 0, Raul Mondesi 0, Kirk Rueter 0.

This should bode very well for Larkin, who received 51.6 percent of the vote last year during his first turn on the ballot.

On the personal side, big congrats to Bert Blyleven. I’ve known him for a while in Minnesota and knows what this means to him. He is definitely deserving.

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Reds sign Hermida

2:15 pm update 1/4/11 – The Reds announced that Hermida was signed and invited to camp as a non-roster player. This does not automatically mean that the Reds are done looking at Podsednik or Lewis. Since Hermida is a Minor League deal, there is no guarantee he makes the club. Lewis and Podsednik are seeking big league contracts and both have the added ability of potentially being leadoff hitters.

“We’re still talking to a couple of guys,” GM Walt Jocketty said. “We’ve been talking with Hermida for a while and we don’t have a lot of left-handed hitting on our club.”

***

The Reds appear to be close to signing outfielder Jeremy Hermida to a Minor League contract, a baseball source told MLB.com on Monday evening.

The deal has not been finalized and the club has made no formal announcement.

Cincinnati has been looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder to come off of the bench and Hermida could fit that bill if he were to make the club out of Spring Training. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has also had talks with left-handed hitting outfielders Scott Podsednik and Fred Lewis.

 
A former first round Draft pick of the Marlins in 2002, Hermida spent 2005-09 with Florida as the primary right fielder. Last season was split between the Red Sox and A’s and he batted .216 with six home runs and 29 RBIs.

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