December 2013

David Holmberg to Reds

Veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan was dealt from the Reds to the Rays as part of a three-way trade on Tuesday that also included the D-backs.

MLB.com has learned that Cincinnati received left-handed starting pitcher David Holmberg from Arizona in the transaction. Reliever Heath Bell is headed from the D-backs to Tampa Bay and Minor League left-handed pitcher Justin Choate and a player to be named later is going from the Ray to the D-backs.

According to multiple reports, Hanigan was signed to a three-year, $10.75 million contract by Tampa Bay. He would have been a free agent after the 2014 season.

Holmberg, 22, has spent most of the last two seasons at Double-A Mobile, where he was 5-8 with a 2.75 ERA in 26 starts this season. In 157 1/3 innings, he allowed 138 hits and 50 walks while striking out 116.

In the lone Major League appearance of his career, on Aug. 27 vs. the Padres, Holmberg pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs, six hits and three walks. He was ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the D-backs system by MLB.com.

Originally a second-round pick of the White Sox in the 2009 Draft, Holmberg was traded along with pitcher Daniel Hudson to Arizona for pitcher Edwin Jackson on July 30, 2010.

UPDATE at 3:34 p.m.: Arizona announced the trade first.

The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) have acquired right-handed pitcher Justin Choate and a player to be named later or cash considerations as part of a three-team trade that sent right-handed pitcher Heath Bell and cash considerations to the Tampa Bay Rays. The D-backs also traded left-handed pitcher David Holmberg to the Cincinnati Reds, who then sent catcher Ryan Hanigan to the Rays. The announcements were made by D-backs Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.

UPDATE at 3:41 p.m.: The Reds have now made their announcement. Here is Walt Jocketty quote from the team’s statement:

“Devin Mesoraco will have the opportunity to become a front-line catcher for us,” Jocketty said. “Holmberg provides us with the quality pitching depth that every team needs.”

Hanigan traded to Rays

Veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan appears to be headed from the Reds to the Rays in a trade, an industry source confirmed to MLB.com on Tuesday.

It is not yet known who Cincinnati will receive in the trade. FOX Sports reported from sources that a three-way trade could be in the works.

Hanigan, 33, became expendable when the Reds signed free agent catcher Brayan Pena to a two-year, $2.275 million contract early last month. The club also has Devin Mesoraco in the fold and it would seem Mesoraco will now become the primary catcher.

More to come …

Xavier Paul non-tendered

I didn’t expect anyone from the list of arbitration eligibles to be non-tendered but I’m also not stunned that Xavier Paul was given that fate before last night’s deadline. While his projected salary was expected to be in the neighborhood of a relatively low $1 million, it shows where the club is looking to save money. Bench players and pinch hitters like Paul could be located for less. The Reds have yet to formally announce the move but it’s listed on the transactions from Monday.

Here is the story I wrote in the wee hours of last night.

*In other Reds news, the team’s 2014 Hall of Fame class will be revealed tonight at 6 p.m. at the Holy Grail Banks. It will be carried live on the Hot Stove League show on the Reds radio network, which is also streamed live on Reds.com. I will be down there to see who got elected.

Non-tender deadline tonight

Monday night is one of those procedural days on the baseball off-season calendar. Sometimes, however, it can be a day that brings big news.

Teams have until 11:59 p.m. ET tonight to tender 2014 contracts to any of their unsigned players on the 40-man roster. It’s also known as the non-tender deadline. The players eligible for raises in arbitration usually come into focus the most because they will mean bigger hits to the payroll. Any player not tendered a contract immediately becomes a free agent eligible to sign with any team — including the one that non-tendered him.

I do not expect any of the Reds arbitration players to be non-tendered. Although, somebody will soon have to come off of the roster to make room for the signing of Manny Parra.

Here is the list again of the Reds arbitration eligibles:

RHP Homer Bailey (3rd year), LHP Aroldis Chapman (1st year) C Ryan Hanigan (3rd year) OF Chris Heisey (2nd year), RHP Mike Leake (2nd year), RHP Sam LeCure (1st year); OF Xavier Paul (1st year); RHP Alfredo Simon (2nd year).

Recently, the great web site MLBTradeRumors.com crunched the numbers and did salary projections for all arbitration-eligible players. Here was their Reds breakdown:

•Homer Bailey – $9.3MM
•Mike Leake – $5.9MM
•Aroldis Chapman – $4.6MM
•Ryan Hanigan – $2.3MM
•Chris Heisey – $1.7MM
•Alfredo Simon – $1.6MM
•Xavier Paul – $1MM
•Sam LeCure – $1MM

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