December 2012

Still quiet with Reds, Ludwick

I wish I have some massive scoops about the Reds for you…but nothing doing at the moment. Here’s what I can tell you:

The Reds are still talking to Ryan Ludwick but haven’t gotten any closer, it appears. General manager Walt Jocketty spoke to Ludwick’s agent again Wednesday and also directly to Ludwick.

“We’re still a little ways apart. I hope we get something resolved,” Jocketty said.

*There has been no traction gained on the search for a leadoff hitter. There was some hallway speculation that the Reds were talking to the Rockies about Dexter Fowler, but that was shot down by Jocketty.

*The Reds are one of a few clubs talking with former Indians infielder Jack Hannahan. If the Reds got the free agent Hannahan, it would be for a utility role.

“The last two days have been really slow,” Jocketty said.

*There is a chance the Reds could take someone in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday but an even better chance the player or players they want will be off the board. Cincinnati has the second-to-last selection.

Reds talking with Ludwick

It’s been rather quiet on the Reds fron on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings…with one exception.

Talks with free agent OF Ryan Ludwick continued in the morning and there could be more upcoming. The two sides aren’t far apart.

“We met with them this morning. We’re waiting to see what their response is to our offer,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “I think we’re in the ballpark.”

Jocketty appears to be holding firm at not going longer than a two-year contract.

“I think they understand that,” he said.

There is still belief a deal can be reached here in Nashville.

“I would hope so. We just need some certainty going forward with the rest of our roster,” Jocketty said.

Other quick items:

*The Reds are not after leadoff hitter Shane Victorino. Reports out of Boston say the Reds Sox are the front runner with a three-year, $38 million offer.

*There have been Reds-D-backs talks as Arizona is reportedly looking to move outfielders like Gerardo Parra and Jason Kubel. I can’t see the Reds being able to afford Justin Upton. Jocketty said there was no match, thus far for anybody there.

*There are plans for the Reds to see if RHPs Homer Bailey and Mat Latos would be open to multi-year contracts. Both pitchers are eligible for arbitration.

Organization honored

The Reds received prestigious recognition on Tuesday when they were named 2012 Organization of the Year by Baseball America.

“Because of their ability to build a winner through scouting and player development and the fact that they’ve built for sustainable success, the Reds are the Baseball America Organization of the Year for 2012,” the publication said.

Baker’s media session

Reds manager Dusty Baker held his Winter Meetings media session on Monday afternoon with assembled reporters and had multiple subjects covered.

Here is the edited video, which pared the 25 minute session into about three minutes:

Reds haven’t pursued Fowler, Crisp

With leadoff options dwindling both in free agency and trade markets, the Reds are still looking. Two often speculated trade candidates have been Rockies CF Dexter Fowler and A’s CF Coco Crisp. It doesn’t appear that it’s close happening.

“We really haven’t talked to either club if that’s any indication,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “I’m not sure Colorado is moving Fowler.”

*Speculation before the meetings thought Fowler for Homer Bailey would be a match.

“They have never brought Bailey’s name up to me, never,” Jocketty said.

Jocketty has gotten inquiries about Reds pitchers but he has made it known he’s not looking to trade starting pitching.

*The Reds have a meeting set for Tuesday morning with LF Ryan Ludwick’s agent. Manager Dusty Baker discussed the idea of Ludwick returning.

“We have an offer on the table,” Baker said. “But he’s a free agent, and he’s weighing his options even though he wants to come back here first. I’m hoping that we get it done.”

“I think if we’re going to sign him, we could do it this week,” Jocketty said. “His agent is pretty up front. We’ve had a good relationship. We’ll see where he stands.”

*Joey Votto told the club that he and his surgically repaired left knee are doing well.

“I talked to him last week and again today. He’s feel great,” Jocketty said. “He’s good. He just got back from Jay’s wedding.”

*Johnny Cueto, who hurt his oblique in Game 1 of the NLDS, was checked out in the Dominican Republic by someone on the Reds medical staff and has fully recovered from his injury. He’s not in pitching shape as of yet, but it’s still early.

I will have a couple of more complete stories out soon on Reds.com and MLB.com.

Cross off another leadoff guy

Hello from Monday’s action at the Winter Meetings. There have been a handful of moves around the league as of this afternoon but one that indirectly affects the Reds.

Multiple reports, led by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, has CF Angel Pagan re-signing with the Giants. The reported terms? Four years, $40 million. It would not be shocking if Michael Bourn is in that area code as well. As I’ve indicated in past posts, the likes of Pagan and Bourn were not likely targets because of the high asking price.

Here is MLB.com’s Chris Haft’s story on the deal.

In other news, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported that former Reds LHP Bill Bray signed a Minor League contract with the Nationals. Bray was previously with the Nationals until being part of that blockbuster 2006 trade that involved Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns.

More to come later…

On the ground at Opryland

After a 4 1/2 hour drive and countless steps to get my bearings at this massive Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, I bring you my first of likely several dispatches from the 2012 Winter Meetings.

This is the second time I’ve been here for a Winter Meetings and like 2007, you need to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find your way to go to and from. Hopefully I don’t get lost here forever — I need to get home in time for Redsfest on Friday.

Click here for a quick primer about the week ahead and be sure to check back here and on Reds.com and MLB.com for up-to-date Reds news from the Winter Meetings.

Phipps, Negron non-tendered

The Reds non-tendered outfielder Denis Phipps and utility player Kris Negron, but did make contract offers to all seven of their arbitration-eligible players. Friday at 11:59 p.m. ET was the deadline for Major League clubs to offer 2013 contracts to unsigned players on the 40-man roster.

According to the Reds, both Phipps and Negron agreed to terms on Minor League contracts and were offered invites to big league camp at Spring Training as non-roster players.

With Phipps and Negron taken off, the Reds 40-man roster now sits at 38 players.

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