Padres teeming with outfielders

I’m back after some staycation days off and a week where the Reds made no rumblings on the transaction wire. I will have a Reds.com/MLB.com story that updates where things kind of stand in left field later today.

One team that rumbled enough to shake up the industry lately has been the Padres. In short order, new GM A.J. Preller has remade the roster. That including trading for three new outfielders — Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Wil Myers. According to my pal Corey Brock in San Diego, that leaves the Padres with seven veteran outfielders

The glut includes Carlos Quentin (who will make $8 million), Cameron Maybin ($7 million), Seth Smith ($6 million) and Will Venable ($4.25 million). It would seem that someone, or multiple someones, would have to be moved before Spring Training.

Out of this group, I think the Reds should take a good long look at Seth Smith.

Smith, 32, batted .266/.367/.440 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs in 136 games last season, with a 3.9 WAR. Lifetime for three clubs, he is is a .265 hitter with a .347 OBP.

In July, the lefty-hitting Smith signed a two-year extension worth $13 million, with a club option for 2017. He will make $6 million in ’15 and $6.75 million in ’16. The club holds a $7 million option for ’17, with a $250,000 buyout. That certainly wouldn’t put too much pressure on the payroll.

It’s something I will be keeping an eye on as winter continues. I have no doubt you all shall be doing likewise.

42 Comments

Welcome back Mark. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones,

RBI GUY

What about Allen Craig -currently with the Red Sox? He had some very good yrs. with the Cardinals before being traded to the Red Sox last yr. Don’t know what his contract status is ($$$ or yrs. under contract); but the Red Sox are still looking for pitching, and the Reds still have some depth in that dept. (Perhaps Jocketty has already explored that avenue and found it blocked.) But I believe he would be a good addition.)

Seth Smith = Ryan Ludwick

Why replace someone with their clone? Might as well ride out Skip if we are trying to save money that badly. There have been numerous outfielders on the market this offseason, both free agents and via trade– there’s no reason we should be in a position to settle for Ruan Ludwick all over again. We ce into this offseason knowing we needed an outfielder and walk away, potentially, with Seth Smith? I’d consider that an offseason failure.

Personally, I’d rather run Quentin out there and be able to throw him in between Votta and Bruce in the lineup. But his injury history is probably not worth the risk for the price. I like Venable though as a cheap option compared to Smith.

I still like Aoki, as I have said from the beginning of the off season.

Oh yeah, Aoki is at the top of my list

I continue to hope the Reds seek to obtain Scott VanSlyde (Dodgers)…
…they have Ethier and Hesiey off the bench to back up regulars in all 3 fields.

Dont worry Mark, Walt is sitting back waiting for the desperate free agents to talke a cheap contract. Why be proactive like the other teams in the division?? Pirates just made a bold move for a Korean hitter who hit 40 Homers last season.. Has to excite the Pirate fans.. oh Walt is in no hurry to do so here. NOW Cueto has a deadline for a extension as Opening Day. Walt has to take the rest of the off season to worry about Cueto.. not fixes at other positions.. 5th place is looking more realistic EVERY day!!.. i will save my money to watch the All-Star game a once in a lifetime event. Why waste my dollars on the Reds regular season when they have no idea how to go forward, just backwards!!

Do you feel the Jocketty team feels any pressure, seems to me that Aoki and Smith would be 2 pretty fair choices—–time is being wasted that could lead to another surprize move like a pitcher.

I don’t want Aoki. Want someone with decent OBP and some power. Really like the Seth Smith idea.

I think the Reds have played the off season very good so far. I am glad they didnt just make a rash move trading for more payrole. I am ok waiting this out to not over pay anyone. Let SD sit on this. We hold the chips… SD is has to unload someone, so let them sit. No one wants to over pay for these OF that cost way way more than they are worth. If they dont take it a low ball offer eventually then that is fine. I am fine with Aoki or nothing and run with what we have. The dodger OF Scott Van…. is interesting though his strike outs are very high. He has a great OB percentage wondering if its a fluke so far. I would not give up much since again they need to move someone. Teams with a glutton of something doesnt really hold the cards as much as they think when they have to get rid of someone eventually like Dodgers and Pads.

Very good????? Are you serious? Every team in our division ADDED talent and the Cubs got a very good manager. The Reds have sat back and let Myers/Upton/Morse/Kemp/Heyward/the Korean SS all get traded for or signed and the Reds have done nothing but trade Two established Starters for prospects and Zero Left Fielders. They gave $6.5 million to Ludwick and Hannahan to not return. That’s sound contracts to sign off on when you claim a shortage of money to even attempt to get better??? And claim they are not rebuilding? Think the Cardinal fans would fall for that nonsense if they traded 2 starters and had holes like the Reds do???? I am not a dumb fan. I see this team needs help and the current team refuses to make any adjustments (Bruce/Cozart) and no fire to get better. Hoover doesn’t deserve a bullpen spot either. How embarrassing will it be if this team is in last place when the All-Star game is here in July??? It reminds me how 1983 was. A very bad year. The Cubs are getting a lot better. They drafted and made very good trades. Won’t be fun seeing GABP become Wrigley South again like before when the Cubs came to town. I hated hearing all the Cub fans cheering the Cubs in our ballpark. Well get use to it when the Reds replace the Cubs as a last place team till the front office wakes up to reality.

Be careful Jim M. You might be accused of posting an ignorant tirade. You are , however, right on the money !!!!

keep it up more people should care this is the Reds not the Louisville aaa team,by the way they need better players also,

Don’t worry Jim M., I only call regular Jim’s tirades ignorant. Everyone else can feel free to comment away at their hearts content.

I agree. What the Reds have said from the beginning is that they need an everyday LF that can hit right handed, possess power, can get on base and bat cleanup. As the list of available players gets smaller and smaller, so does their list of credentials that they wanted. Aoki is left handed and unfortunately he is not a HR/RBI hitter; he would bat 2nd on the Reds. My personal objection with Aoki is that he would make close to $8m per year and wants multiple years.
Van Slyke does strike out too much but is serviceable, has tremendous power and is right handed. Also, he is inexpensive ($507k) and isn’t a free agent until 2020. He has increased his entire batting line; 2013 over 2012, and again 2014 over 2013 with one exception across the entire statistical line…HBP…he reduced the number. Lastly, Van Slyke can play all outfield positions and 1B. Playing 1B is a biggie as the team is being moved around much too much; Frazier should stay at 3B and Bruce never should have played 1B, not even one game. Thank god for Pena; admirable job.
What the Reds are doing is waiting because they have to wait, they are waiting for someone to need a job and has been bypassed by all other teams, thus giving the Reds the upper hand in negotiations. However, with that logic we might be left with the scraps. If so, the Reds may either then pull off a trade for, once again, what they are looking for, a right handed power LF that can hit HR/RBI and bat 4th, but that will cost a player or players. And so it goes…

One other issue that we seem to be skirting.,,
Jocketty can only assemble a team, he can’t play for them. If we all think about it, there are a number of very super players that we have in our lineup. However, we always point to their contracts, yet seldom point to their failings of their production numbers. Think about all the players we have that have failed to live up to their potential/prior year numbers. If all our current players only hit to their past/current potential, we would be far on down the road…not searching for another player to save us. Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Cozart…get them on track and we would be off to the races/playoffs.

We need to suck it up, give the young kids the opportunity and quit kidding ourselves that we have the money to solve the problem that this management got us into. They may have to give up more than afford to get what they need. It seems we buy high and sell low. Not going to lead to success.

The biggest objection I have with the Reds’ management is they give us the same song and dance time after time. Then they don’t follow through. They were supposed to buyers at the last two trade deadlines. What did they do ? Now they said they are looking for an everyday LF . What are they doing? Their credibility is not good at all !!!

Just for laughs , go back and read the article written on July 20th titled : Jocketty: Looking for a bat . Sound familiar ?

It always looks familiar. As far as LF is concerned how about developing Negron to play there. Has played OF before, played well when given the chance, has heart and desire (which is sadly missing in the “big guns” on this team). Oh, I know, he’s not ready. Let’s take our AS catcher and develop him to play LF, or let’s trade some more of our talent and get another “winding down career guy”(probably from the Cardinals). Yes, Jim, it all looks familiar and we’ll probably get raked over the coals for being negative.

I am sorry but I think you are looking at this through tainted lenses. You see LF bat and think we need a superstar which would be nice. I read that and see someone to fill the position for the right price. If you think they are going to spend money then you are kidding yourself, lower your expectations for free agency. It’s over hyped anyway and all are over paid. You win with the draft and smart trades. We already went for it on the signing the past couple of years, money does not grow on trees and the Reds don’t have a endless budget like other teams. We have to stay realistic and hope our current players come back.

I never said superstar . They haven’t got anybody . I would also say , unless it’s Winkler , Heisey would have been as good as anyone who is available now . They didn’t get anyone the last two trade deadlines either . They just need tell to us the truth for once and quit speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

If the Reds didn’t get anyone to play LF full time, here is the list of players that could and would play there in some fashion…line is career line…
Schumaker….281/.339/.366/.705
Negron…..270/.333/.473/.805
Bourgeois….258/.303/.324/.627
Lutz….211/.239/.284/.523
And, as we have said many times, the Reds are looking for an everyday LF that can hit HR/RBI and has a good OBP. With the selection pool becoming very scarce, I would prefer to not hire a FA for a year or two, but instead trade for a more successful LF that bats R and has ample power. I am sure that is what Jocketty is weighting right now; to hire a FA or trade for a superior LF with the desired attributes.

I don’t believe the Reds are going to sign a superior LF . That would be out of their budget. So it will probably be one of the players on your list . Sad situation created be an incompetent management team !

I would take that platoon and those numbers. I would expect Lutz to do better if he gets to play. That would do the interim job as long as Votto, Bruce, and Philips produce. If they don’t, it won’t make any difference even if you had Stanton in LF.

Mark. Unless your changed your name to Jbar, I wasn’t referring to you . If you would read your own blog more often , you would know that . Besides , there seems to be plenty of people who agree with me . You must take my posts personally for some reason .

My posts are my opinion. Nothing more,Nothing less .

I just like having fun with you Jim. You make it interesting.

The Reds have nothing to do with paying the salary of the journalist covering them for MLB.com.

You are an imbecile who fails to recognize even the surface implications of what you say: “why bite the hand that feeds you…” Pretty pathetic.

Well after beating the (almost worn-out) RBI Drum for well over a year, RIGHT HERE on the M Sheldon BLOG, Looks like the Reds have their man…Let’s hope Byrd does even better this year than last….
T2

Top Ten Remaining Free Agents

By Brad Johnson [December 28, 2014 at 6:50pm CST]

As we finish the year, here are the top 10 remaining free agents (per the rankings of MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes). MLBTR’s Charlie Wilmoth provided an update two weeks ago, but six players already signed or will play in Japan. New notes have emerged on most of the others. Last-minute shoppers still have a choice of a couple top pitchers and a variety of veterans.

1. Max Scherzer — The 30-year-old has yet to see his market pick up, but that’s par for the course with Scott Boras. Scherzer is said to be seeking over $200MM. During the last couple weeks, we learned three teams are distancing themselves from Scherzer – the Yankees, Cardinals, and Giants. Of course, such statements could be posturing, especially when large sums of money are involved. MLBTR readers predict a return to Detroit, with the Yankees a close second.

3. James Shields — The Giants are said to be deciding between spending on Shields or a left fielder. All indications point to San Francisco as the top candidate to land the righty, who turns 33 today. The Red Sox, who have also been tied to Shields, could be out, based on GM Ben Cherington’s comments.

20. Colby Rasmus — Rasmus’ market may be heating up as the free agent outfielder cupboard grows bare. The Twins aren’t in on Rasmus, but the Orioles are one possibility. The Cubs also showed interest earlier last week. Teams may have difficulty gauging Rasmus’ value. Early in his career, he had a falling-out with the Cardinals, and last season the Blue Jays demoted him to a reserve role.

22. Asdrubal Cabrera — With the dearth of free agent middle infielders, Cabrera should remain popular until he signs. After trading Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies may be one of the only teams looking at him as a shortstop. Meanwhile, the Giants are probably out, given the acquisition of Casey McGehee. The Twins, A’s, and Mets are also saying they’re uninterested.

36. Francisco Rodriguez – The rumors thus far for the Boras client can be best described as “crickets.” The White Sox were tied to him shortly before they signed David Robertson. MLBTR’s Jeff Todd wrote a free agent profile on Rodriguez, ultimately concluding that a two-year, $14MM deal was a good estimate. Few teams need closers, and Rodriguez is probably best suited to a pitchers park. He’s been homer-prone since joining the Brewers in 2012. MLBTR readers selected Rodriguez as the most desirable reliever of the remaining closers.

37. Rafael Soriano – Like Rodriguez, Soriano has yet to be tied to any teams. Jeff profiled Soriano and concluded that a two-year, $12MM deal could be within reach. However, his late-season collapse for the Nationals probably complicates his market. With the deep supply of excellent relievers, the demand for proven, mid-market closers may be down.

38. Ryan Vogelsong –Teams are quickly scooping up mid-priced pitching. However, steady, low-ceiling veterans like Vogelsong have yet to draw much public interest. The last week saw a bevy of injury-prone, higher-upside pitchers like Brett Anderson, Kris Medlen, and Gavin Floyd sign substantive contracts. As teams look to shore up the backs of their rotations, Vogelsong should draw more rumors. The Giants are out, and the Twins showed interest prior to signing Ervin Santana.

39. Aaron Harang – After a nice rebound season that included a 3.57 ERA over 204 1/3 innings, Harang, 37 next season, has drawn mild interest from the Rockies. The slightly fly ball prone righty is seemingly a poor fit for Colorado’s high-octane park. The Braves are keeping tabs on his market, and they remain open to re-signing him. MLBTR’s Zach Links predicted a two-year, $14MM payday.

40. Nori Aoki – The leadoff hitter consistently posts a solid average and on base percentage, but he swatted just one home run for the Royals last season. Aoki, 33 in January, was an option to re-sign in Kansas City before they inked Alex Rios. The Orioles reportedly have “lukewarm” interest in Aoki, while the Reds have also been tied to the left-handed outfielder. Charlie predicted a two-year, $16MM contract for Aoki.

42. Stephen Drew – Earlier this month, we learned Drew is drawing broad interest despite a painful 2014 campaign. Drew, 32 next season, hit just .162/.237/.299 in 300 plate appearances after signing mid-season. With shortstop so thin league-wide, some team will take a chance on him recapturing his .256/.322/.425 career numbers. The Mets are the most closely tied to Drew, although plenty of teams could use a low-risk middle infielder. Charlie pegged him for a one-year, $7MM deal to rebuild value.

Cubs and Orioles are also looking for outfield help. And, there still are teams with excess outfielders such as Allen Craig, Shane Victorino, Carlos Quentin, Seth Smith, Andre Ethier.

Let me be one that says please please no to Byrd. Unless you can cut the amount in half to 4 mil a year. Too much and too old. He is not worth that money or the prospects the Phills have wanted in the past. This to me is a fan reaction move since we have some that are obsessed more with a deal or movement than they are whats best for the future.

Marlon Byrd
Age: 35 (August)
2014 stats:
154 G
637 PA
.264/.312/.445/.757
25 HR
85 RBI
Has played parts of 6 seasons in LF; 144 G, .993 FLD%
Has a two year $8m (per year) contract. 2016 is an option year that
triggers if certain conditions (stats) are met in 2015 or in combination
of 2014 and 2015 stats.

Neb. Still think the platoon from your previous comment is viable. If the other “big guns” don’t produce, it wont make any difference. Need a MGR who will do what’s best and not try to be MR. BUDDY. Personally I don’t think it’s about LF. It’s about what you get out of SS, 2B, 1B, RF, and Bailey. How much are you willing to risk that these 5 will rebound to previous production? Seriously, if they don’t it’s IMPLODE time and rebuild is the only answer and that will take 3-5 years.

Agree with you bigblu.

Byrd Trade Between Phillies, Reds Fell Through

By Steve Adams [December 29, 2014 at 11:17am CST]

The Phillies are in clear rebuild mode, having dealt Jimmy Rollins and Antonio Bastardo this offseason, and they appear to have had a third trade in the works before it fell through. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Phillies and Reds were close to a trade that would’ve sent Marlon Byrd to Cincinnati before talks broke down (Twitter link). The other players in the trade are unclear at this point, though Morosi notes that the Reds and Phils could still re-work the deal.

The Reds have a known need for a left fielder, although it’s somewhat interesting that they’ve been pursuing upgrades via trade, considering the fact that they, too, have looked to be in the midst of a rebuild. The Reds have dealt Mat Latos to the Marlins and Alfredo Simon to the Tigers in a pair of trades aimed at the future. It’s possible that the Byrd trade talks took place before those moves, and the team has simply changed directions, but it’s also possible that they feel they can contend even after moving a pair of arms and weakening their rotation.

Even with the subtraction of Latos and Simon, the Reds could lean on a rotation consisting of Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani in the first four slots. Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani and left-hander David Holmberg, acquired in trades over the past calendar year, are internal candidates to fill the fifth slot in the rotation.

Adding a player like Byrd, along with healthy rebounds from Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and Bailey could go a long way toward helping the Reds return to contention in 2015. Byrd is owed $8MM in 2015 and has an $8MM vesting option for 2016 that will trigger if he reaches 550 plate appearances this coming season. Byrd, 37, batted a solid .264/.312/.445 with 25 homers and above-average defense in right field. Presumably, he’d shift to left field in Cincinnati, as Bruce has been a fixture in right field there since 2008. The Reds have also been linked to Michael Morse and Nori Aoki this offseason, though Morse is now off the market, having signed a two-year deal with Miami.

Mariners, Cubs, Orioles and Reds…all looking for OF help.

Mariners Nearing Trade For Seth Smith.

Mark, you need to block Justin from your blog. Don’t need someone who would post the outburst he did today toward Denny.

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