February 2013

Some contract info

As I prepare and pack up for Arizona today, I don’t have any new information on the status of the three remaining Reds arbitration cases. But what I do have is some additional contract information on some of the guys signed in the past month.

OF Chris Heisey: one-year, $1.325 million contract. Can earn $30,000 bonus for 400 plate appearances.

SS Cesar Izturis: Minor League contract; gets $800,000 if in Majors. If not on the big league roster on June 1, he can be released if requested or added to roster within 72 hours.

RHP Mike Leake: one-year, $3.06 million contract. Can earn $25,000 bonus for 180 innings pitched.

RHP Logan Ondrusek: two-year, $2.3 million contract. Earns $950,000 in 2013 and $1.35 million in 2014. Base in 2014 increases by each of the following in 2013: $25,000 for 50 games; $25,000 for 55 games; $25,000 for 60 games; $25,000 for 65 games; $25,000 for 70 games; $25,000 for 50 innings pitched; $25,000 for 55 innings; $25,000 for 60 innings; $25,000 for 65 innings. Plus in 2014: $25,000 for 50 games; $25,000 for 55 games; $25,000 for 60 games; $25,000 for 65 games; $25,000 for 70 games; $25,000 for 50 innings pitched; $25,000 for 55 innings; $25,000 for 60 innings; $25,000 for 65 innings.
Plus IN 2013-2014 if traded: $25,000 for 20 games finished; $50,000 for 25gf; $50,000 for 30gf; $100,000 for 40gf.
Plus: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for LCS/MVP; $100,000 for WS/MVP; $100,000 for Rolaids ($75,000-2nd; $50,000-3rd). Player will donate $5,000/yr to club charity.

LHP Manny Parra: one-year, $1 million. Can earn additional $50,000 for 45 appearances; $50,000 for 50 relief app; $100,000 for 55 relief app; $100,000 for 60 relief app; $100,000 for 65 relief app.

RHP Alfredo Simon: one-year, $890,000. No bonus or incentive provisions.

*With RHP Todd Redmond being claimed off of waivers by the Orioles, the Reds invited RHP Armando Gallaraga to big league camp as a non-roster player. Gallaraga was signed to a Minor League deal a few weeks ago but not originally invited to camp.

*The Reds will have 57 players in camp. Pitchers and catchers report Tuesday morning and will undergo physical examinations, followed by a team meeting and a workout.

All things Spring Training

This is already posted on Reds.com, but I thought I’d put it here too — it’s my 2013 Reds Spring Training preview.

Click here to read it.

I addressed some of the big qiuestions going into camp and this is just an overall primer to get you ready for Tuesday when pitchers and catchers report to camp in Goodyear, Ariz. Also within the article, is the links to the MLB.com previews for the 29 other teams.

Have at it.

Rolen and Dodgers not happening

MLB.com Dodgers beat writer Ken Gurnick reported Wednesday that a deal between 3B Scott Rolen and the Dodgers isn’t likely to get done.

From Gurnick:

In an interview with MLB Network, Colletti confirmed the Dodgers had “some interest” in Rolen but predicted he would “probably end up some other place than Los Angeles.”

The Dodgers considered Rolen as an insurance policy at third base for Luis Cruz and as a right-handed-hitting back-up at first base for Adrian Gonzalez, even though Rolen, an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner at third base, hasn’t played first base in the Major Leagues.

Click here for full story

Leake settles with Reds

Four down, three to go for Reds arbitration cases.

Early Wednesday morning, sources told MLB.com that RHP Mike Leake and the Reds agreed to a one-year, $3.06 million contract that avoids arbitration.

During the exchange of numbers last month, Leake filed for $3.5 million, and the Reds had offered $2.65 million. He made $507,00 in 2012.

The Reds have not announced an agreement as of yet.

Shin-Soo Choo, Homer Bailey and Mat Latos are the final three Reds up for arbitration.

Leake, 25, was 8-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 2012 as the Reds’ fifth starter. He made a career-high 30 starts and threw 179 innings.

With Aroldis Chapman poised to join the rotation, Leake’s role seems unsettled heading into camp. He is still vying for a spot in the rotation.

No resolution yet to Rolen, arb guys

While talking to Reds GM Walt Jocketty about myriad topics on Tuesday evening, I learned that there is nothing new with the remaining big issues that are unresolved heading into Spring Training.

There is no deals imminent with the four players still eligible for arbitration — Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Shin-Soo Choo and Mike Leake.

“There has been very little progress the last few days,” Jocketty said. “It’s not from a lack of trying. We are certainly trying.”

Hearings league-wide began Monday and run through Feb. 20.

There is also no news on Scott Rolen.

One thing that is finished is off-season player acquistion. LHP Manny Parra and C Miguel Olivo were the final two additions expected.

“I think we are pretty much done,” Jocketty said. “We thought Dusty would like to have another left-handed pitcher for the bullpen. Parra was the best available. We’re excited about that upside, especially when he’ll be working with Bryan Price. He can pitch in a variety of roles — long or short — he’s capble of doing anything.”

Carpenter out for 2013

Earlier Tuesday came Cardinals news that will affect the Reds. Their ace, Chris Carpenter, is likely out for 2013 and most likely, his career is over.

Carpenter, who will turn 38 in April, reported to the Cardinals last week that he was feeling symptoms of discomfort and numbness in his right shoulder. It was the same issues he experienced last year, when he was shut down just weeks into Spring Training. It limited the right-hander to only three starts at the end of the 2012 regular season and three more during the postseason.

“Do I envision Carp returning? I would say it’s very unlikely, so no,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said during a Tuesday press conference at Busch Stadium.

The Reds can attest that Carpenter is one of the toughest foes they’ve dealt with in recent years.

A former 21-game winner, the 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner and a three-time All-Star, Carpenter seemed to make life particularly hard for the Reds. Lifetime against them in 24 starts, he was 14-4 with a 2.55 ERA.

Carpenter won 10 consecutive starts vs. Cincinnati from Aug. 15, 2006 to Sept. 5, 2010.

Click here for the full story from Cardinals MLB.com reporter Jenifer Langosch.

T-Minus: 1 week

One week from today, I will have touched down in Phoenix, popped into the Reds complex in Goodyear and likely grabbed my first In-N-Out Burger of 2013. On Tuesday, Feb. 12, pitchers and catchers will get to work — officially. Many have already headed west, like Sam LeCure:

Or are about to. Like J.J. Hoover…

Later this week, I will have a preview of Reds Spring Training up on Reds.com/MLB.com. There will be few roster spots open for battle but the camp has plenty of intriguing storylines going in. And you never know what might happen once everyone is there (remember the Ryan Madson injury?)

The truck of Reds equipment was scheduled to leave today from Great American Ball Park for an 1,800 mile journey to Arizona. I was there for the load up on Friday and you can read the story by clicking here.

More links:

Winter ball is wrapping up this week with the Caribbean Series. Here is the coverage on MLB.com.

MLB.com Angels beat writer Alden Gonzalez crushed it with this feature on Mike Trout. Watch the video as well as read the story. Is this the kind of video pieces you’d like to see on Reds players? If the right one comes along, I’d be up for doing that.

Last week on her blog, Alyson Footer wrote a humorous comparison between media access at Super Bowl week and the World Series.

I’m sure you watched the Super Bowl last night. So did Sports Illustrated media critic Richard Deitsch, who wrote a pretty good summary of the CBS coverage. It definitely wasn’t the best telecast I’ve seen and I’ve always thought CBS does the NFL the best on TV. And while I’m in the minority of generally liking Phil Simms as an analyst overall, he was terrible on Sunday.

Parra signs with Reds

The Reds made another move on Friday by signing LHP Manny Parra to a one-year contract with terms not yet known. It’s a Major League contract and RHP Todd Redmond has been designated for assignment to clear space on the 40-man roster.

**UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported it was a one-year, $1 million contract for Parra with up to $400,000 in bonuses based on appearances.

Parra, 27, spent his whole five-year career with the Brewers — first as a starter before becoming a full time reliever last season. He was 2-3 with a 5.06 ERA in 62 appearances. Lefty hitters batted .229 against him. He was arbitration eligible and the Brewers did not tender him a contract, which made him a free agent.

Earlier in the winter, GM Walt Jocketty noted he might keep an eye on the lefty reliever market for bargains. The club has moved Aroldis Chapman to the rotation and had only Sean Marshall from the left side.

Click here for the story

Reds sign Olivo

Veteran catcher Miguel Olivo was signed to a Minor League contract on Friday and invited to Spring Training as a non-roster player.

Olivo is an 11-year big league veteran of six clubs. He spent the last two seasons with the Mariners and batted .222 with 12 homers and 29 RBIs last season.

The Reds primary catcher is Ryan Hanigan with Devin Mesoraco likely to backup. Olivo, 34, could be added depth if something happens to the main two. It’s a role similar to the one Dioner Navarro filled last season for Cincinnati.

Rolen’s status: ‘up in the air’

The Reds are still exploring the notion of bringing back veteran third baseman Scott Rolen for one more season. To make that a reality, there appears to be more to do than crossing the T’s and dotting some I’s.

“We don’t know for sure,” general manager Walt Jocketty said Friday of Rolen’s status. “It’s still up in the air.

“I hope to get it resolved this weekend. I’ve been busy this week dealing with the arbitration guys.”

The biggest question surrounding a potential Rolen return is where he would fit. The Reds’ roster appears to be full. Todd Frazier is going to be the new regular third baseman and the club also signed free agent Jack Hannahan as a backup third baseman and infielder. Rolen, a seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner, has never played a position other than third base in his 17 seasons.

“It’s a role we’ll have to determine for him during Spring Training,” Jocketty said.

*As for the four remaining arbitration cases — Homer Bailey, Shin-Soo Choo, Mat Latos and Mike Leake — the Reds do not appear very close to deals. Jocketty wasn’t optimistic about avoiding a hearing because there hasn’t been much progress.

*Earlier today, I was at GABP for the annual loading of the truck for Spring Training. Lots of stuff will be headed to Arizona soon, a sure sign that baseball is right around the corner.

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