Lots of baseball news went down on Wednesday and in some ways, it relates to the Reds. (Not the A-Rod stuff though).
*A blockbuster trade sent 1B Prince Fielder from the Tigers and $30 million to the Rangers for 2B Ian Kinsler. Mammoth deal indeed. Only two years ago, Detroit signed Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract. From that deal, seven years and $168 million remains. Many, including myself, have noted how difficult it would be for the Reds to move Brandon Phillips because he has four years and $50 million remaining on his contract. While the odds are still tough, the Fielder-Kinsler trade shows big contracts can be moved with some creativity and of course, if there is a match.
Detroit now no longer needs a second baseman and would have been one of the teams that could have taken on a Phillips’ sized contract. The Reds can’t afford to lose too much more offense, if Shin-Soo Choo departs, so they would have to be very prudent in getting a quality return.
*The Reds have yet to make the Skip Schumaker deal official as we’re still in the “pending physical” phase for the moment. I discussed the merits of the deal on SOE Live, which can be heard below. The basic gist is this signing is a boost for the Reds’ bench as Schumaker can backup Phillips and also be insurance in center field for Billy Hamilton. Schumaker has good numbers vs. right-handed pitching and might be a solid platoon option, if needed.
*In NL Central news, the Cardinals extended manager Mike Matheny for three more years through the 2017 season. Matheny, who was signed already through 2014, has done a very good job in his two seasons. Also, Reds nemesis and rotation ace Chris Carpenter formally retired from baseball. Carpenter pitched in only three games over the last two seasons but was a big thorn in the Reds’ side for several years. He had a 14-5 record and 2.55 ERA lifetime vs. Cincinnati in 24 starts with 30 walks and 153 strikeouts. His success included three complete games and one shutout.
*Thursday is Ken Griffey Jr.’s 44th birthday. Junior has a new Instagram account going with some pretty cool pictures.