January 2012

P.J. Phillips signed

Over on his blog, Jamie Ramsey listed several Reds Minor League free agent signings over the past several weeks. A couple of names might jump out at you.

On Dec. 15, the organization signed infielder P.J. Phillips, the younger brother of 2B Brandon Phillips. P.J. Phillips, currently assigned to the Reds new Double-A team in Pensacola, spent six years in the Angels organization but never rose beyond high Class A ball. He’s a .254/.320/.326 hitter lifetime in the Minors. He’s 26 years old.

On Dec. 22, the Reds signed Michael Griffin as a RHP and assigned him to high Class A Bakersfield. Griffin spent the previous six years in the Reds system as an outfielder, including parts of the last three seasons at Triple-A Louisville. It appears he is trying to restart his career on the mound.

Brackman signed

The Reds made official Wednesday the signing of RHP Andrew Brackman. It is a one-year Major League contract.

Although Brackman was once a first-round Draft pick of the Yankees in 2007, he’s known best locally as being a product of Cincinnati and Moeller High School.

Signed by New York to a four-year, $3.35 million Major League contract out of North Carolina State, Brackman’s selection came with risk since the club knew he would promptly require Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

In three Minor League seasons, Brackman was 15-29 with a 5.11 ERA.

Brackman spent most of 2011 with Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre but pitched three games in relief for New York in September — all were scoreless appearances.

The Yankees declined Brackman’s 2012 option after the season.

More later on Reds.com/MLB.com

***One other update/tidbit: The Reds will have pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 19, with the first workout set for the following afternoon. The full squad is scheduled to report and hold a workout on Feb. 24.

Dragons to play at Miller Park

 Check out this portion of a press release from the Class A Dayton Dragons:

DAYTON, OHIO – Dayton Dragons players will have the opportunity to play a Midwest League game in a major league ballpark in 2012.

The Dragons will battle the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, at 8:05 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, April 27, marking the first time in Dragons history that the team has played a game in a big league stadium.  The game is a Timber Rattlers home game and the finale of a three-game series.  The first two games of the set will be played in Appleton, Wisconsin.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for Dragons players,” said Dragons Executive Vice President & General Manager Gary Mayse.  “We express our thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for making this possible.  Miller Park is one of the great ballparks of our generation and I am certain that every Dragons player will appreciate the entire experience of playing in a big league facility.”

Miller Park, home of the Brewers since 2001, features a retractable roof that allows the seating area to be heated 30 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.  The Timber Rattlers have played five previous games at Miller Park (2003-’04, 2009-’11).

“Anytime the players get to play on a big league field, that is a good experience,” said Dragons manager Delino DeShields.  DeShields played at Miller Park as a member of the Chicago Cubs in 2001 and ’02.  “It is a nice ballpark, all the amenities, and of course, the roof.  When you can get out of the elements on a night when the weather isn’t great, that’s a good thing.”

A comment on the commenters

I recently received some end of year Mark My Word blog stats for 2011. Among the myriad things it pointed out to me — most of the readers here are from the United States (go figure), followed by Canada and the United Kingdom.

But the one that I really wanted to share now was the most frequent commenters. The top 4 are as follows:

Denny-Reds Observer

Comments are often the lifeblood of blogging and keeping a conversation going. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by me that you often chime in and chat it up and I believe it has definitely drawn others to comment as well. Most importantly, you’ve kept it civil.

Thanks much, guys. Please keep it coming and I hope more people  join you with blog comments in 2012.

Cordero and Reds still talking

 There could be some movement, one way or another, in the next few days on free agent closer Francisco Cordero. The Reds are still in the running.

“We’re still talking with [Cincinnati] and a couple of other clubs,” Cordero’s agent, Bean Stringfellow, said on Tuesday. “We’re making progress on a lot of fronts. Multi-year contracts are definitely involved.

“The Reds are involved and are still interested in bringing him back. I am talking with them on a regular basis.”

Stringfellow declined to detail the specific numbers being bandied about with the Reds in negotiations. It seemed like he was optimistic about where talks were going with the different clubs and that a deal was possible.

“It could be today or 10 days from now. I don’t know,” Stringfellow said. “I do know that we’re closer now than we’ve been. I don’t think it will carry on too much longer.”

I have a call into the GM’s office to see what the Reds are saying or thinking. Look for a full story later on Reds.com.

Welcome to 2012

Greetings and Happy New Year to all…

I hope your holidays were enjoyable and restful, if you were able to take some time off. I was fortunate in that regard as the Reds have kept things quiet since the trade for Sean Marshall.

I don’t expect it to stay quiet for long. Here is a brief listing of Reds transactions from the past two Januarys:

Jan. 2010:

Signed Aroldis Chapman to a six-year, $30 million contract
Signed Nick Masset to two-year contract
Signed Jared Burton to a one-year contract
Signed Jose Arredondo to a Minor League deal
Signed Miguel Cairo to a Minor League deal

Jan. 2011:

Signed Jeremy Hermida to a Minor League deal
Signed Jared Burton to a one-year contract
Signed Edgar Renteria to a one-year contract
Signed Fred Lewis to a one-year contract
Signed Joey Votto to a three-year, $38 million contract
Signed Bill Bray to a one-year contract
Signed Johnny Cueto to a four-year, $27 million contract
Signed Edinson Volquez to a one-year contract

Jan. 2012: ????

There is a lot remaining on GM Walt Jocketty’s plate this off-season. There is the Brandon Phillips extension talks, the efforts to sign a closer, a left fielder and perhaps an infielder. There are six arbitration cases pending. There’s even little stuff like the expected signing of pitcher and Moeller product Andrew Brackman, which has been delayed from becoming official  for some unknown reason.

So keep checking in here and on MLB.com and Reds.com — because news is likely to start breaking at any point.

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