Frazier drawing interest

As the Reds moved towards the end of the Winter Meetings on Wednesday, there seemed to be increased interest and talks about third baseman Todd Frazier.

I covered that, and other Reds items, in my story for Wednesday.

Click here to read it.

 

129 Comments

Guess the Reds are gearing up for a run for the 2020 championship.

Either that or they want to have 1st pick next year in the rule5 draft.

For all the so called Reds fans that are now left to cheer, do not expect the Reds to win any rings for a long time. Instead of building, they are dumping talent. If they the owners cannot afford to build a strong talented team, then they need to get into another business. It is obvious that all they care about is the bottom line. They could care less about winning, that is a fact. Sorry fellows, you need to put out to get back in the long run. If you cannot afford to do so, sell this great organization and get the hell out.

Amen !!! Well put !

JR, you couldn’t be more wrong. If I have a problem with Mr. Castellini, it’s that he cares too much about winning and won’t let go if there’s any possibility, however remote. He held onto the current roster at least a year too long, in the hope they might compete. He’s too hopeful, too optimistic. At least he’s not a jerk, like Jerry Jones or Mark Cuban. I know small market teams have to go through cycles, and when they hit bottom, fans blame ownership. The real issue is, will the Reds adopt a plan that will start them back up on the upswing part of the cycle, like the Pirates, Astros and Royals have done? What should that plan entail? Do the Reds have the pieces to get the plan started? Would it help if the key piece didn’t beat on his girlfriend just as the team is set to cash him in? The answers, I think, are no, no, no and yes. But I haven’t given up hope.

agreed. The issue is we are waiting too long. Frazier decision should have been done after the all star game at his peak. But management cares too much for their players and fans. They need to look at it like a business. Thanks Frazier but you are a chip and if we play it now we win big. Same goes with Bruce last year. You cant wait too long or you devalue the players. Atlanta is a great example. They are selling high on youth and repositioning their time frame. What was the point of keeping Miller and Simmons if they wont be competitive for two more years. Now they are set for two to three years from now with this prospects. The Reds need to do the same. Set this up for the group to come around in two years. Yes I believe if they made some shrewd moved they could compete next year but they are not the Cardinals. I still think if they signed Span and one other OBP guy it changes this team completely. Winker may be that other OBP guy too. Frazier and Bruce need to go though. They have value but not what the Reds need. They have too many of the same guy. I am not worried about their pitching, its going to surprise so people next year. A lot of good talent, if one doesnt work right away they have many more to put in there. They have about 10 potential starters to use next year.

The whole management team is incompetent. Caring and not knowing what you’re doing is two different things . Good management knows when to let go and not let emotion to come into play .

I agree. If Reds management is running the organization with their emotions like “caring too much about winning, their players, their fans”, then they are not making decisions based on solid baseball business facts and practices. To me that is called unfortunately incompetence regardless if their hearts are in the right place or not.

The problem is we have the wrong people in charge to even think of a plan like the Astros, Pirates, Royals or Cubs. Or now the Braves and Phillies as well. If this team makes horrible trades(not counting they should have traded for Tyler Goeddel from the Rays instead of letting him be chosen by the Phillies today!!!!!), and loose 100 games the next 3 years. No way fans wont be angry!!! I dont trust Walt fixing this mess. Heck he couldnt even go get help in 2013 when it was obvious they needed a bopper in LF when ludwick was hurt!!!!! So far all I see is zero urgency to win. I love the Reds. Ben a fan since 1972. I stopped caring a short time in 83 when they were awful and all I read was the box scores too see what Johnny Bench did. When Pete came back I was excited again. Now 2016-2017-2018 look like 1983 all over again!!!! It should bother fans when ownership thinks we are stupid. They are not proactive when its right in front of them. They have the wrong people in charge. I love the Reds. If I had Bobs money like heck I wouldnt be looking to make this team better. Not sit back and accept un-accountability!!!! Thats also why I do not like Price as manager. He preached accountability and didnt follow thru. He preached Chapman would not just pitch the ninth and he failed again. So do you think the players dont see that when he doesnt show players are accountable and Walt publicly states earliest they can compete is 2017???? So no accountability again. Sure a waste of millions if you ask me. And it sucks!!!

That idiot Jocketty couldn’t make a good trade if it bit him. You don’t trade Frazier and you make Chapman a starter ans sign him. You trade Phillips for a left fielder and you bring up Winker and play Suarez at second. Bruce is something else, probably won’t be able to trade. Stuck there.

What type of LF are we getting for Phillips? I think best scenario we get salary relief and a B prospect.

I don’t question jocketty’s trades as much as his drafts. Players from his first 3 drafts should be all over this team, instead there’s nothing. I know 2 first round picks went for latos which became descalifini, but he’s not equal to 2 first rounders. The first rounders, Alonso and grandal aren’t great either.

David Schoenfield
ESPN Senior Writer

The Chicago Cubs shortstop wears No. 22. So does new teammate Jason Heyward. Not that you need more reasons to like the Cubs after they agreed to a reported eight-year deal with the free-agent outfielder, but Russell’s immediate deference to the veteran — come on, at least negotiate a new Rolex for that number! — shows a team with talent and chemistry and, yes, good karma. The last time the Cubs had all that working for them: 1908.

This move is the capper to the rebuilding job by team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer over the past several years, from making brilliant trades to acquire Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell, to tanking to get high draft picks, to making the right picks in guys like Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, to having the money to spend on free agents like Jon Lester and now Heyward, in part because they’ve built a young and inexpensive core. This is the blueprint that other losing teams are attempting to follow.

Good luck with that because it’s not all front-office brilliance: There obviously have been fortuitous events along the way. Who would have expected Jake Arrieta to emerge into a Cy Young Award winner? To draft Bryant, the Cubs needed the Houston Astros to pass on him and instead select Mark Appel. Manager Joe Maddon became available to hire only because Andrew Friedman left the Tampa Bay Rays for the Los Angeles Dodgers, activating an out clause in his contract.

But here we are: All that did happen. The Cubs arrived a year earlier than expected in 2015, winning 97 games and advancing to the NLCS. They’ll head into 2016 as the World Series favorite — no matter what happens the rest of the offseason — after signing Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey to that strong core. Players want to play for Maddon; that makes the free-agent recruiting process a little easier.

For now, Heyward slots in center field. How’s this for a lineup?

CF Jason Heyward

2B Ben Zobrist

3B Kris Bryant

1B Anthony Rizzo

LF Kyle Schwarber

RF Jorge Soler

C Miguel Montero

SS Addison Russell

Bench — Chris Coghlan, Javier Baez, David Ross, Tommy La Stella.

Heyward has been maligned for his lack of power, but I think he’s grown comfortable in understanding what kind of hitter he is: Get on base, pop a few home runs, run the bases. He’s entering his age-26 season, so the Cubs get his prime years. There’s a small chance he improves at the plate, but I wouldn’t bet on that. Still, he projects as valuable as a player over the life of the contract due to his defense and on-base ability. That’s a lineup with on-base skills at the top, power in the middle and depth all the way through. The bench is versatile and along with Zobrist’s flexibility, Maddon has a lot of toys with which to play.

The rotation lines up as Arrieta, Lester, Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel, with Adam Warren and Travis Wood as long relievers. The rest of the bullpen is solid with closer Hector Rondon, plus Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm and Trevor Cahill.

You can look foolish projecting a team to win 100 games, but this looks like a 100-win team, even accounting for regression from Arrieta. Bryant and Russell should be even better in 2016; the defense will be better with a full season from Russell at shortstop and Heyward in the outfield. The rotation and bullpen are both a little deeper. The Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers are expected to be awful, pushing the Cubs even closer to that 100-win mark.

The Cubs might not be done. Much of Heyward’s value over the years has been his defense in right field. While he certainly can handle center field — he has started 30 games there in his career — he’s probably not going to save 20 to 30 runs like he does in right. Considering Soler and Schwarber are both below-average defenders, the Cubs may want to keep Heyward in right and find another center fielder. How about Soler to the Atlanta Braves for Ender Inciarte, the superb fly chaser the Braves just acquired in the Shelby Miller trade?

You don’t win anything in December; hey, I just wrote about that. But this has already been an offseason to remember for the Cubs.

Then there’s the other side of things. The St. Louis Cardinals, who have kicked the Cubs around for decades, lost out on Heyward and Lackey to them, after losing out on the David Price bidding war as well. There was a lot of bitterness on the ol’ Internet from Cardinals fans after the Heyward signing was announced. The Cardinals signed a $1 billion, 15-year local TV deal in August that kicks in for the 2018 season, a huge increase over their current deal that pays an estimated $30 million per season.

Their big move so far this offseason has been tendering a contract to Brandon Moss rather than letting him walk.

But there are plenty of players out there for the Cardinals to spend their money on: Outfielders Alex Gordon and Justin Upton make sense, especially with Matt Holliday in the final year of his contract; first baseman Chris Davis would be the power bat they need, if expensive and somewhat risky considering his poor 2014 season; and Johnny Cueto has some bad blood with the Cardinals, but he’s the best remaining starter on the market.

The Cardinals didn’t get Heyward, but they’ll get somebody.

So cheer up, Cardinals fans, the offseason isn’t over yet.
……………………

How insulting…we aren’t even worth mentioning…

Jason Heyward turned down a pair of $200 million offers to sign with Chicago, according to a Fox Sports report, which states that the Nationals and Cardinals made bids for the free-agent outfielder. Heyward will sign a 8-year, $184M contract with Chicago, per ESPN and media reports.

Yea, and Frazier and Bruce are drawing as much interest as a pass book savings account. The Reds,IMO, wont be competitive until 2018 at the earliest. Hope I live to 77 to see it. The rebuild needs to be ownership and right on down the line of all management. New ownership and new management. This group has tried, come close, but in the end lost, and now has no way to recover. Will be glad to eat my words if I’m wrong.

You’re not wrong TOW .

Dont worry the Cards are going hard after Alex Gordon. Yep I say the Cubs and Cardinals will be the elite teams in the NL Central for the next 5-6 years. And tge Pirates are not far behind. Our Reds??? Lets say they are not even in the same ztatus of winning for at least the same time frame. GRRRR….

Just like I have been commenting the Reds would make no trades at the winter meetings. And Reds fans don’t expect them to do any trades at all and/or do anything to try to improve the team. The Cubs & Cardinals made moves, especially the Cubs vastly improved, and other teams improved, but not the Reds. This current crew of Reds GM will NOT do anything via of trades-signings-or anything to improve the team. I commented before the winter meetings the Reds would make no trades and that turned out true. Don’t get your hopes up Reds fans nothing will be done to help this team, 2015 was a bad year for the Reds, but just wait until 2016 there’s not a good adjective to describe 2016 for this team!!!!! Got to get a good GM quick!!

From Brad Johnson at MLBTR:
•As for the bullpen, the Nationals have ended their pursuit of Aroldis Chapman, per Ladson (on Twitter). It goes without saying at this point, but the Reds will have to wait for the league to rule on Chapman’s future before they can re-market him. In my opinion, and in light of the criticism received by the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, and other NFL franchises related to domestic abuse cases, some MLB clubs may be out on Chapman at any price.

I remember when I saw him somersault…I then knew we had an extremely immature player. A player that had gone from rags to riches and given a center stage with thousands of fans screaming his name and watching his outstanding performances.
Unfortunately, the immaturity will always remain to some degree; hopefully he will learn how to grow while controlling it. And equally unfortunate, he is not the only player that this applies to. And, it happens in all sports venues; even lottery winners succumb. Still, the talent remains and another team will pay him big money to pitch for them regardless of this episode.

Look. He hasn’t been found guilty yet . The police had no physical evidence. It’s easy to say he’s immature after the fact . None of us should judge someone else’s character if we haven’t walked in their shoes and we sure the hell can’t say how a person is going to act in the future .

Old Jim. Appreciate where you are coming from, but he did discharge a firearm 8 times with one going through a window. Luckily it didn’t strike a neighbors house. I think the police chose not to pursue the firearm discharge because of who Chapman is. Wouldn’t be the 1st time police looked the other way for a celebrity. Now that the State’s Attorney General is investigating I think there will be a different outcome. Seems to me thatthere is a firearms violition to contend with. The point is that he has become toxic to other teams and has greatly reduced his value at the Reds expense. Also, this isn’t the 1st time he has put himself at odds with the law. I hope the Reds get rid of him regardless of what they get in return so he will be out of a Reds uniform by spring training.

“Yea, and Frazier and Bruce are drawing as much interest as a pass book savings account.” Great line, TOW. Wish I’d thought of it.

More news(and not good) from Brad Johnson at MLBTR:
•The Reds have only received a couple of feelers on outfielder Jay Bruce. Entering his age 29 season, Bruce has been a below average hitter in each of the last two seasons. This despite hitting in one of the friendliest parks for hitters. While I do think a team will eventually roll the dice on Bruce, it won’t be until after more quality outfielders leave the marketplace.

Lot’s of problems when it comes to future trades…
1 guy is very talented but immature and shelved…Chapman
2 guys have complete control over team…Votto & Phillips
1 guy had a great lst half; then flopped in the 2nd…Frazier
1 guy played great; then played sporadic for two seasons…Bruce
Not too much another team can sink their teeth in…especially if
they are thinking of giving up any degree of talent.
Welcome to MLB trading Mr. Williams…

However, Chapman’s actions could well work in our favor. He could…after several months of investigation…find himself in an unenviable position; extending his FA for another year. Instead of 2016 it may well be 2017; this works in the favor of the Reds,
especially in light of his most recent immature actions…firing off a gun in his home alone with other pending accusations. The episode reminds me of Puig of the Dodgers.

I want Chapman gone before spring training even if they have to give him away.

Please, no. No giveaways. His immaturity may well play into the Red’s hands…his FA date may be advanced 1 year, from 2017 to 2018. If so, we could hold (or trade) him until the July deadline when teams are ultra hungry and trade him them (2016).
May well seem appropriate, depending on the outcome of their (MLB) findings.

The peril of moving slowly
Posted on 12/11/2015
by STEVE MANCUSO\
The Reds could have traded Aroldis Chapman in July.

We don’t know exactly what Arizona, Houston and the Yankees were offering then. We won’t know how the reported offer by the Dodgers or others early this week compare to the proposals from five months ago. The secrecy that inherently accompanies unaccepted trade offers protects mistakes of omission by the front office from public scrutiny.

We do know last summer the Reds were asking for the moon, the stars and a couple small planets for Chapman. Even with those astronomical demands, deals were close. Maybe really, really close.

But the Reds declined. They made a decision to wait.

With Chapman’s value now worth pennies on the peso, that choice looks to all second-guessers and hindsight-peddlers to be not only catastrophic, but terrible judgment.

The obvious reply is obvious. The Reds had no way to foresee Chapman’s gunplay and alleged rough treatment of his girlfriend in October.

Here’s the point the nay-sayer chorus should be making: The cratering of Chapman’s trade value is an example of the downside of putting off decisions. The consequence of old-school grinding. Of dithering, if you prefer that description. Of allowing risk aversion to paralyze decision-making. Moving slowly has its virtues, but is also full of danger. Despite driving 45 in the express lane, the Reds off-season plans just smashed into a pothole the size of Fountain Square.

(It needs to be said that we have no idea who in the Reds organization – Walt Jocketty, Bob Castellini or someone else – decided to slow-play the Chapman trade last summer. Let’s leave the blame – and credit, when due – at the doorstep of the “front office” that includes all those folks.)

On Monday, the Dodgers trade fell apart in spectacular fashion. Spectacle, to be sure. After that, the Reds front office accomplished little else. The club let it be known heading into Nashville that every player, not just Chapman, was on the table. A week later, that’s where they all still are. The Reds left Nashville with a couple meh Rule 5 selections and an empty shopping cart otherwise. Unless you’re into Fifty Shades of Walt, stay away from the “Winners and Losers” columns about the winter meetings.

It’s important to keep the lack of progress in Nashville in perspective. It’s just four days out of a long off-season. Trades can and will be made in the next few months. They count just the same. The Aroldis report detonated just as the curtain was rising on the winter meetings. It would have been great if the organization we cheer for had been uber-resilient. Chapman, after all, is but one player out of many. The Reds front office could have brushed its collective self off, rallied and given fans something to get behind. It didn’t. At least not yet.

But making a trade just to change the narrative, as cathartic as that might have been in the moment, would have only felt good in the short term. You only get to trade Todd Frazier (and Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips) once. If the Reds are going to do any of that, they need to get it right.

It’s not the calendar that should concern Reds fans. It’s the calculation.

Reports coming out of Nashville described Reds offers in negotiations as being unrealistic. Maybe that’s just clever strategic leaking on the part of prospective trade partners and the product of a strong hand by the Reds. Maybe. As we’ve seen with the Chapman case, the longer you wait, the fewer potential matches are out there. Trade partners won’t wait forever. They figure out other fits and move on, leaving the Reds holding on to their stars too long to get full value. There are costs in methodical grinding. It feels safer but it isn’t always.

They say the Reds front office is too in love with its own players. We know that’s true. For better or worse, it’s part of the organization’s culture. The Reds have been insufficiently aggressive in recent years at crucial times – the trade deadline in 2013, the off-season before 2014, the off-season before 2015. Now we can add the trade deadline of 2015 to that list. That history of being unable to figure out matches with other teams speaks to a systemic failure of player valuation. If you want to see an aggressive rebuild, look in the direction of Atlanta.

Before we melt into utter despair, it’s worth remembering that the Reds have made four productive rebuilding-style deals in the past twelve months – the trades of Mat Latos, Alfredo Simon, Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake. Those sell-offs were dictated by obvious contract considerations. But sometimes the low-hanging fruit is nutritious as well as delicious. The Reds appear to have received market value in those transactions.

Where does that leave things?

Look, I’m as frustrated as anyone. Frustrated and impatient. Frustrated, impatient and skeptical.

If the Reds front office needs time to regroup from the Chapman debacle, so be it. It’s understandable. But their glacial past undermines any inclination to give them much benefit of the doubt. As we have just seen, it’s possible to overplay even a great left-handed reliever.

Outstanding article. Very well written and laid out from 2013 on. Regardless of what reasons you give it, to me it adds up to imcompetence of thr whole front office. Nothing short of a complete house cleaning will make it any better.

As the Cubs and other teams have done, the Reds created a team that contended starting in 2010. That team palyed pretty well from 1010 to 2011 to 2012 to 2013; winning a great number of games in 3 of those 4 seasons. The same nucleus of the same team started out in 2014, but failed miserably, as did the new Manager. This failure continued into 2015 and resulted in a decision to attempt another rebuild and another run at the brass ring starting, once again, young and talented players. The only thing odd about this story is that the team created prior to 2010 failed to perform in 2014 and 2015; a mass failure. Obviously true followers and hard Red’s fans have their own personal reasons why this occurred.

Jake Cave: Amazing Name, Decent Ballplayer
Posted on 12/10/2015
by JEREMY CONLEY
The Rule 5 draft is always kind exciting to me because of its all-or-nothing nature. Trading for prospects can be anti-climactic if they’re far away from the majors, but taking a player in the Rule 5 draft means that he has to stay on the big league roster for the entire season, or be returned to the team that he was drafted from.

The Reds selected Yankee’s minor league outfielder Jake Cave with the second pick in this year’s Rule 5 draft, and I think he has a good chance at sticking with the team as a bench player.

The Basics

Jake is a lefty and he’s 22 years old. He’s not particularly big (6’0” tall) and not particularly small (200 LBs). He was drafted out of high school in the 6th round of the 2011 draft, and decided he liked the sound of starting his career and an $800k signing bonus more than playing college ball at LSU. He got right to it that year in the Gulf Coast rookie league, but sadly he broke his knee cap in his first professional game and missed the rest of the rookie league season.

He didn’t end up starting his pro career in earnest until 2013 because his knee didn’t heal well, and he missed the entire 2012 season too. In the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons he played across all three levels of the minors and put together a pretty solid .285/.346/.391 career line. However, 2015 was a bit of a down year for him, and his .269/.330/.345 line in AA probably played a large part in the Yankees leaving him exposed to the Rule 5 draft at all. He’s struck out in 19.6 percent of his plate appearances so far, which is probably too high for him to ever have a ton of success with his level of power. He does have a decent 7.7 percent walk rate though, which certainly makes him a viable bench guy.

The Eyeball Test

There are lots of videos of Cave out there (here’s a good one), and I went through a fair amount of them today. What I see is a guy who’s pretty good at a lot of things, and great at none. His swing isn’t pretty, but it’s short, and he makes solid contact with the ball. Unless something dramatic changes, he will never hit many home runs (He’s got 11 total in 380 games, so I’d project him for maybe 5 in a full season), but he’s also not a pure slap hitter, and has had 33 or more extra-base hits in each of his 3 full minor league seasons.

He has played mostly center field thus far, but he doesn’t look like a natural there. The Yankees apparently had to have a talk with him about laying out for balls he had not chance at catching, and for taking terrible routes to the ball. He’s gotten better at that, and he’s got decent enough speed to cover center field adequately, but I imagine the Reds see him as a guy that will play all three outfield spots. He’s got a very strong arm, and was seen by some teams as a better pitcher in high school than position player (topping out at 94 MPH his senior year).

Future Prospects

Every single article I’ve read about Jake Cave today mentioned his great attitude. I think teams, and especially the Reds, can make too much of a player’s attitude and make up, but for a player like Cave I think it can make a difference. He doesn’t really have the physical gifts or natural talent to be an everyday big league player, but he’s not that far off. A bench role probably makes sense for him, and bench guys need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice, but not upset if they don’t play for a month. It’s a tough gig, and I imagine it takes a really good attitude to do it well.

You never know, maybe something clicks with his swing mechanics and he develops more power, or Votto gets in his ear and he becomes an on-base machine. I doubt it, but given the Reds’ bench the last few years, a guy that can capably cover the outfield, carry a .330 OBP, and chip in the occasional double would be a welcome addition, and certainly not a risk to lose his job. The Reds have all six years of team control, so hopefully we’ll be watching him man the outfield at GABP for some time.

Welcome to the team kid!

MLB Trade Rumors: Buzz Surrounding Aroldis Chapman
By Daniel Kramer
Featured Columnist Dec 12, 2015

MLB Trade Rumors: Buzz Surrounding Aroldis Chapman
The MLB hot stove continues to simmer well after the winter meetings ended Wednesday.

The free-agent market continues to remain fluid—apropos the Chicago Cubs’ splash signing of Jason Heyward on Friday—though teams continue trade talks with plenty of potential moves that could continue to shift the competitive landscape.

Here is a look at the latest buzz heading into the post-meetings weekend.

The Cincinnati Reds’ trade of closer Aroldis Chapman with the Los Angeles Dodgers was a done deal until news surfaced that the hard-hurling lefty had been involved in a domestic violence incident that prompted MLB to launch an investigation into the incident.

The Dodgers have since moved on and are now pursuing other options, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, leaving the Reds in possession of damaged goods—with a possible suspension looming.

Yet despite MLB’s probe, teams are still in contact with the Reds about a possible deal, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports:

One reason: A lengthy suspension could result in an extra year of team control over Chapman, who currently is on track to accrue the necessary six years of service by the end of the 2016 season.

No trade is close, but clubs are allowed to pursue Chapman while he is under investigation, sources say.

Chapman is among the game’s best closers, but the Reds are desperate to rid themselves of the four-time All-Star, as he has just one year remaining on his current deal and will likely command a figure well out of their price range next winter.

However, that’s if he reaches sufficient service time, which is 138 days this season on an active roster or disabled list, per Rosenthal and Morosi. MLB would not credit him time under a suspension for domestic violence.

Cincinnati was in a similar situation last year with the looming departure of ace Johnny Cueto, who remains on the market and has rejected a deal of $120 million—well outside the Reds’ budget—from the Arizona Diamondbacks, per Steve Gilbert of MLB.com.

The Reds would get less from a trade for Chapman at this juncture, but as Rosenthal and Morosi noted, “They might be so motivated to move him, however, that they would accept a lesser return.”

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Mike Leake would be willing to take significantly less money to play in his hometown with the Diamondbacks.
Diamondbacks chief operating officer Tony LaRussa said that it’s unlikely the team will sign the right-hander, though they have been interested. The Nationals have also seemingly cooled on Leake, leaving the Giants perhaps as the most likely destination.
Source: FOX SportsDec 13 – 8:25 PM

Nats won’t pursue Aroldis Chapman with domestic violence case pending
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says his club won’t pursue a trade for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman while the pitcher’s domestic violence case is pending.
According to a police report, Chapman’s girlfriend said he pushed and choked her in October. Major League Baseball’s investigation delayed a proposed trade of Chapman from the Reds to the Dodgers.
Aroldis Chapman admitted that he fired a gun during an Oct. 30 incident, according to a police report, but he denied choking his girlfriend.
Rizzo said Saturday at his team’s fan festival that the Nationals’ interest in Chapman “changed, obviously, with the allegations.”
Added Rizzo: “It’s something that we’re not going to continue to go after until we find out how things happened. It’s something that we don’t want to get into … because of the allegations against him.”

Rumor was that Frazier was offered to Chicago White Sox for their #1 prospect…a 3rd baseman that has the leather, but does not have power. Deal was nixed earlier this last week.

The Indians and White Sox were both rumored to be interested in Todd Frazier during last week’s Winter Meetings (the Royals, too, are said to have discussed him as a possible left field option), and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports adds a few more teams to the list of interested clubs. The Dodgers, Nationals, Rangers and Angels are all “believed to have some involvement or interest,” in the Reds‘ third baseman, Heyman writes. Talks are “starting to percolate,” says Heyman. Last week, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Reds are “heavily” shopping Frazier.
From MLB Trade Rumors

The Reds announced the signing of right-hander J.C. Ramirez to a minor league contract earlier this month. Ramirez posted a 5.32 ERA over 23 2/3 innings with the Diamondbacks and Mariners in 2015, and he was outrighted by the M’s after the season.
MLB Trade Rumors

Oh Boy!

Giants Making “Strong Push” For Johnny Cueto
By Steve Adams | December 14, 2015 at 1:24pm CST

1:24pm: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that action on Cueto does indeed seem to be picking up (links to Twitter). One source that spoke to Crasnick and knows Cueto’s market well feels that the right-hander could ultimately top the $120-126MM offer he rejected from the D-backs.

12:46pm: The Giants are making a “strong push” for right-hander Johnny Cueto, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

Guns N’ Aroldis
Posted on 12/14/2015 by JOHN RING
Just when you thought that the Reds ordeal with Aroldis Chapman was over, it isn’t.

The best arm on the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff was destined for a trade a week ago for much-needed prospects. No longer would Reds fans be frustrated at the lack of use of Aroldis Chapman out of the bullpen (an average of 67 innings pitched per year) or of his not being used in high leverage situations regardless of the inning of the game, which is more on the shoulders of his two Reds managers (Dusty Baker and Bryan Price) than him.

It seems like just yesterday when Matt Latos was facing Buster Posey with the bases loaded in Game 5 of the 2012 playoffs. I begged and pleaded for Chapman to come in. I didn’t care if it was the 5th inning of a scoreless game. And then a tiring Latos gave up a grand slam home run to Posey, part of a 6-run inning. The Reds lost 6-4. Chapman finally did get into the game, pitching a scoreless 9th inning. Sound familiar?

Game, set and match. The Giants won the playoffs and also a World Series championship.

And now, thanks to an incident that happened on October 30 at Chapman’s home in Florida, the trade of the Cuban Missile to the Dodgers never materialized. No trade and no movement. Allegedly, Chapman fired a revolver eight times in his garage and there were allegations of domestic abuse to a woman as well. The sordid event is being sorted out.

***

Painful as it is to recount this sad situation, it’s also not the first time a Reds player has been involved in an incident involving a gun. Twice in the modern era of Reds history (after 1956) incidents happened during the off-season that affected baseball in Cincinnati.

The first one involved Frank Robinson on February 9, 1961. After a pickup basketball game, Robinson and two of his friends went to a sandwich shop on Reading Road in Cincinnati to pick up some cheeseburgers. Three youths inside sitting in a booth became involved in a verbal altercation with Robinson and his friends who were sitting at the lunch counter. The cook on duty was alarmed and he contacted the police. They weren’t far away; a Cincinnati police cruiser was in the parking lot outside with two police officers.

As the two cops entered the shop, the three youths slipped away outside. But Sonny Webb, one of Robinson’s friends got into an altercation with the cops. He was arrested for disorderly conduct. Robinson paid Webb’s $100 bail after the arrest and they went back to the sandwich shop.

As fate would have it, the cops were still there. Webb started a conversation with the police officers, joking about what had happened. Meanwhile, Robinson and the cook were exchanging glares and words. According to Robinson, the cook brandished a knife and made a throat cutting gesture towards Robinson.

At that point, Robinson pulled out a concealed gun. The Reds right fielder claimed he carried it for personal protection as he would carry large sums of money on him at times. And on this night, he stated he wanted to show the cook that he had something more dangerous than a knife.

Robinson was arrested and taken to the District 7 police headquarters and charged with carrying a concealed weapon. One of the detectives called Earl Lawson, a sportswriter that covered the Reds, and tipped him Robby had been arrested.

Lawson went to District 7 and visited Robinson in a dingy holding cell at 3 am. He then called Reds President Bill DeWitt and told him his star player was being held and that the bond was $1000. “Well, I guess one of his friends will bail him out,” DeWitt told a stunned Lawson.

Lawson called a bond attorney for Robby and he was out early in the morning. The police didn’t take a mug shot or fingerprint Robinson. Three weeks later, Robinson paid a $250 fine for the offense and the matter was settled.

The arrest, though, was big news. Robinson was a major star in baseball at that time and the best player on the Reds. Opposing players were merciless on Frank Robinson during that spring training in Florida, performing mock ‘searches’ on him for a weapon and calling him ‘John Dillinger.’ But in the end, Robinson had the last laugh and a huge season, winning the NL Most Valuable Player Award and leading the Reds to the 1961 pennant.

***

The second incident was far more serious. On March 9, 1967, matrimonial problems between Thomas Eugene Davidson and his wife reached the point where Mary Ruth Davidson shot the Reds left handed reliever in the abdomen and in the shoulder. Mary Ruth shot Ted Davidson (he was called ‘Ted’ after the three initials of his name) outside of a cocktail lounge in Tampa, Florida with a .22 caliber pistol.

Davidson wasn’t a “can’t miss” prospect but he had showed some promise early in his career. He made his debut on July 24, 1965 and in his first full season (1966) he finished with a 5-4 record and a 3.90 ERA in 85 innings of work.

Teammate Tony Perez and Manager Dave Bristol were among the first Reds to visit Davidson in the hospital. Perez at that time spoke little English but was a good teammate. Seeing his wounds, Bristol passed out onto the floor. After undergoing surgery, Davidson was moved to a hospital in California to further recuperate. He eventually rejoined the Reds that season in June but was never as effective as he once was.

After shooting her husband, Mary Ruth was released on a $2500 bond. She was charged with assault to commit murder but the charges were dropped after Davidson failed twice to show up in court,

Ted Davidson was traded to the Braves in June 1968. He and Milt Pappas were sent to Atlanta for Clay Carroll, Woody Woodward and Tony Cloninger. The 1968 season was the last one for Ted Davidson. He eventually moved to Arizona, where he passed away in 2006.

***

Aroldis Chapman has not been charged with any criminal offense. If Chapman committed the acts of abuse that he was accused of by his girlfriend, his behavior was abhorrent and morally reprehensible.

While he may not be charged with a crime, his behavior may have more significant consequences for the Reds than either the Robinson or Davidson incidents. His trade value has plummeted and the Reds seem to be stuck with a high voltage closer on a bad team in dire need of some young prospects that can hit. The Reds are stuck in neutral; a bad situation, given their current roster makeup.

Why Rob Manfred denied Pete Rose from reinstatement
USA TODAY Sports
1:18 p.m. EST

December 14, 2015

On August 23, 1989, Pete Rose signed an Agreement (herein after “the 1989 Agreement”) that resulted in him being placed on the permanently ineligible list for violating Major League Rule 21 (hereinafter “Rule 21”). Under the Major League Rules, an individual on the permanently ineligible list can apply for reinstatement and the 1989 Agreement did not abrogate this right. By letter dated February 26, 2015, Mr. Rose’s attorneys advised me of Mr. Rose’s request for reinstatement and removal from the permanently ineligible list. Mr. Rose’s attorneys stated that Mr. Rose had accepted responsibility for his mistakes and their consequences, and that Mr. Rose was sorry for betting on the game of Baseball. Mr. Rose’s attorneys further asserted that, as directed by Commissioner Giamatti, Mr. Rose had “reconfigured” his life. Mr. Rose wrote again to me, through counsel, on April 1, 2015, requesting a meeting in order that he be given the opportunity to show me “the extent to which he has met and surpassed Commissioner Giamatti’s charge that he reconfigure his life.”

Because over 26 years have passed since the submission of the Dowd Report on May 9, 1989 and Mr. Rose’s execution of the Agreement, I requested that my staff conduct a comprehensive review of all materials concerning this case that have been held in the files of the Office of the Commissioner. I requested a thorough review of the matters addressed in the Dowd Report, the litigation filed by Mr. Rose on June 19, 1989, the 1989 Agreement, and John Dowd’s Final Report to the Commissioner dated September 11, 1989. I also asked that my staff obtain and review additional material not in possession of the Office of the Commissioner in 1989 in order to update the Dowd Report and to provide me with · as complete a picture as possible of how Mr. Rose has conducted himself from the date of the Agreement until the present. In this regard, I should point out that my staff obtained important evidence not available at the time of the Dowd Report, including a copy of a notebook taken by federal investigators from Michael Bertolini in October, 1989 and kept from public examination since that time by court order. This notebook contains records of bets placed in 1986 by Michael Bertolini on his own behalf and on behalf of Pete Rose, including bets placed on Cincinnati Reds games by Mr. Rose during the 1986 Championship Season when he was the manager-player for the Cincinnati Reds. He appeared during that season in 72 games and had 272 plate appearances. The notebook’s existence and contents were revealed by ESPN on June 23, 2015 in a story emphasizing that Mr. Rose bet on Baseball while he was an active player.

At the conclusion of the staff review, a comprehensive report was submitted to me. After I had an opportunity to carefully review that report, Mr. Rose and I met on September 24, 2015 to afford him with the opportunity personally to present to me any information that might have a bearing upon his request. Prior to that meeting Mr. Rose’s representatives submitted two reports to my office. The first report was prepared by Dr. Timothy Fong, the Co-Director, UCLA Gambling Studies Program and Director, UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship. I will not review the details of that report here due to confidentiality concerns. Ultimately, I gave the report little weight because the factual background recited in it is inconsistent with what Mr. Rose told me during our meeting.

The second report contained the results of a Psycho physiological Detection of Deception Test (i.e., a polygraph test) that was administered to Mr. Rose on August 5, 2015 by a consultant retained by his representatives. Mr. Rose apparently submitted to the test of his own accord in an attempt to demonstrate the veracity of certain prior statements he made concerning his violations of Rule 21. For technical reasons that were not Mr. Rose’s responsibility, this report resulted in a conclusion of “no opinion” on the matters subject to the procedure.

During our meeting, Mr. Rose told me that he bet extensively on Cincinnati Reds games in 1987. He could not, however, remember many facts established by the Dowd Report that demonstrate conclusively his involvement in betting on Baseball in 1985 and 1986, while he was an active player. He made assertions concerning his betting habits that were directly contradicted by documentary evidence (the Bertolini Notebook) secured by my office following the publication of the ESPN story on June 23, 2015 (footnote No. 1). And, significantly, he told me that currently he bets recreationally and legally on horses and sports, including Baseball.

With this background in mind, let me clarify the precise nature of the issue before me. Under the Major League Constitution, my only concern has to be the protection of the integrity of play on the field through appropriate enforcement of the Major League Rules. It is not a part of my authority or responsibility here to make any determination concerning Mr. Rose’s eligibility as a candidate for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame (“Hall of Fame”). In fact, in my view, the considerations that should drive a decision on whether an individual should be allowed to work in Baseball are not the same as those that should drive a decision on Hall of Fame eligibility. Indeed, in considering Mr. Rose’s application for reinstatement, I, as Commissioner of Baseball, must determine the risk that Mr. Rose will commit a violation of MLB’s rules (most significantly Rule 21) following his reinstatement that may impact the integrity of the game. By contrast, the issue of whether Mr. Rose should be eligible for Hall of Fame election under the bylaws of that organization presents an entirely different policy determination that is focused on a range of considerations distinct from the more narrow question before me -i.e., whether I believe that Mr. Rose’s reinstatement would be consonant with the policy rationale underlying Rule 21. Thus, any debate over Mr. Rose’s eligibility for the Hall of Fame is one that must take place in a different forum.

Rule 21 has been a fundamental expression of policy by the Major League Clubs for nearly a century. Its stark language actually provides a limitation on the power of the Commissioner in the sense that the penalty for a player or manager who bets on a game in which he has a duty to perform is mandatory, permanent ineligibility. This severe rule is a reflection of the fact that gambling by players and managers on games involving their Clubs has the potential to undermine the integrity of the game on the field and public confidence in the game. While the Commissioner is afforded certain discretion in considering an application under Major League Rule 15 (d) for reinstatement from the permanently ineligible list, the Commissioner must exercise that discretion with great care, bearing in mind the intended deterrent effect of the mandatory penalty for a violation of Rule 21 and the best interests of Baseball. In order to be satisfied that the policy underlying Rule 21 is not undermined by the granting of an application for reinstatement, I believe that, at a minimum, there must be objective evidence which demonstrates that the applicant has fundamentally changed his life and that, based on such changes, the applicant does not pose a risk for violating Rule 21 in the future.

Here, what has been presented to me for consideration falls well short of these requirements. It is not at all clear to me that Mr. Rose has a grasp of the scope of his violations of Rule 21. He claims not to remember significant misconduct detailed in the Dowd Report and corroborated by Michael Bertolini’s betting notebook. While Mr. Rose claims that he only bet on Baseball in 1987, the Dowd Report concluded that he also bet on Baseball in 1985 and 1986. Based on the review of the Bertolini Notebook (which shows that Mr. Rose bet on Baseball during the 1986 season), I am convinced that the findings set forth in the Dowd Report are credible. Mr. Rose’s public and private comments, including his initial admission in 2004, provide me with little confidence that he has a mature understanding of his wrongful conduct, that he has accepted full responsibility for it, or that he understands the damage he has caused. As I understand it, Mr. Rose has never seriously sought treatment for either of the two medical conditions described so prominently in his 2004 book and in Dr. Fang’s report. I am also not convinced that he has avoided the type of conduct and associations that originally led to his placement on the permanently ineligible list.

Most important, whatever else a “reconfigured life” may include, in this case, it must begin with a complete rejection of the practices and habits that comprised his violations of Rule 21. During our meeting, Mr. Rose told me that he has continued to bet on horse racing and on professional sports, including Baseball (footnote No. 2). Those bets may have been permitted by law in the jurisdictions in which they were placed, but this fact does not mean that the bets would be permissible if made by a player or manager subject to Rule 21.

In short, Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self­-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989. Absent such credible evidence, allowing him to work in the game presents an unacceptable risk of a future violation by him of Rule 21, and thus to the integrity of our sport. I therefore, must reject Mr. Rose’s application for reinstatement.

Notwithstanding this conclusion, I respect Mr. Rose’s accomplishments as a player and, as a result, I will continue to allow him to participate in ceremonial activities that present no threat to the integrity of the game, provided that the activities are approved by me in advance. Finally, the sanction imposed by Rule 21 means that Mr. Rose may not associate with any Major or Minor League Club. The Major League Rules, however, do not cover relationships with third parties who do business with Major League Baseball. Any future relationship Mr. Rose may contemplate with any such party is a matter between him and the party, unless it involves any association with a Major League Club, in which case, the proposed relationship must be submitted to me for review.

Robert D. Manfred, Jr.

Commissioner of Baseball

***

FOOTNOTES:

1 — Mr. Rose attempted to minimize the severity of his conduct by asserting that he only bet on the Reds to win. Mr. Rose further asserted that in order to avoid the impression that he only bet on games in which he believed that the Reds would win, he placed bets on every Reds game. While it makes no difference for purposes of the prohibition of Rule 21 whether Mr. Rose bet for or against the Reds, or on some or all Reds games, I note_that the Bertolini Notebook shows that, contrary to his assertions, Mr. Rose did not wager on every Reds game. Thus, Mr. Rose’s wagering pattern may have created the appearance to those who were aware of his activity that he selected only those games that he believed that the Reds would win.

2 — Even more troubling, in our interview, Rose initially denied betting on Baseball currently and only later in the interview did he “clarify” his response to admit such betting.

5 key findings in MLB’s Pete Rose decision
James Pilcher, jpilcher@enquirer.com
3:11 p.m. EST
December 14, 2015

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred Monday announced he was upholding the lifetime ban of Pete Rose put in place when the game’s all-time hits leader was found to have gambled on baseball nearly three decades ago.

In doing so, Manfred didn’t just issue a terse press release. Instead, the decision included a four-page statement listing all the reasons why Manfred kept the ban in place, some reasons that are new to the public.

Five key findings:

1) Pete Rose still bets on baseball: Manfred says Rose admitted that he “continued to bet on horse racing and on professional sports, including Baseball.” Then later in a footnote, Manfred also wrote that Rose at first denied betting on baseball during a meeting in September, but then later admitted it. These admissions proved harmful to Rose’s case. “Whatever else a ‘reconfigured life’ may include,” Manfred wrote, “in this case, it must begin with a complete rejection of the practices and habits that comprised his violations” of baseball’s rule regarding gambling.

2) Manfred believes betting went further: The commissioner cites recently uncovered notebooks of one of Rose’s associates who was also known to be his bookie. Those notebooks belonging to Michael Bertolini indicate that Rose bet on baseball prior to 1987, when he was not just a manager but also a player for the Reds as he pursued Ty Cobb’s hit record. Those notebooks are in the possession of the U.S. Postal Service, but were leaked to ESPN in June. Manfred said MLB had received copies as well, and that they provided “credible” evidence that Rose bet on the game while playing. “He made assertions concerning his betting habits that were directly contradicted by documentary evidence (the Bertolini Notebook),” Manfred concluded.

3) Rose’s meeting with commissioner worked against him: Rose submitted a supporting report from Timothy Fong, co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program, but the facts it cited were inconsistent with Rose’s own account given during his summer meeting with Manfred, the commissioner states.Not only that, but Manfred wrote that Rose still couldn’t explain discrepancies between his recollections and what was in the Dowd report as well as the Bertolini notebooks.

4) Refusal of treatment hurt: Manfred wrote that Rose has never “seriously” sought any help for gambling addiction, which also hurt his cause. Also detrimental: the fact that Rose lives in Las Vegas and still frequents casinos. “I am also not convinced that he has avoided the type of conduct and associations that originally led to his placement on the permanently ineligible list,” Manfred wrote.

5) Rose may have tipped off other gamblers: Manfred wrote that Rose “attempted to minimize the severity of his conduct by asserting that he only bet on the Reds to win.” He also wrote that Rose testified that he bet on every Reds game, but that the Bertolini notebook counters those claims and that Rose may have been tipping off other gamblers. “Mr. Rose’s wagering pattern may have created the appearance to those who were aware of his activity that he selected only those games that he believed that the Reds would win.”

The man who authored the original report that got Rose banned in the first place 26 years ago welcomed the extensive fact-finding included in the decision.

“I like the fact that they did it so thoroughly and completely and honestly like we tried to do in our report,” John Dowd said. “Nothing can withstand the truth and the facts and that’s what they did here.”

MLB shows petty vindictiveness in Pete Rose case: Column
Paul Daugherty, USA TODAY Sports
4:38 p.m. EST
December 14, 2015

Rob Manfred isn’t allowing Pete Rose back into Baseball, and you have to figure that’s the end of the road for the Hit King. He is 74 years old and banned from the game for the last 26 years. A chapter in his bittersweet life has come to an unhappy end.

Don’t believe this makes Baseball look noble, though. Don’t ponder for a minute that Baseball has preserved its “integrity,” a word used loosely in pro sports these days. Rose’s continued banishment isn’t Baseball’s purity, renewed. It is Baseball’s petty vindictiveness, trying to keep pace with its unapologetic hypocrisy.

Pete Rose committed every baseball sin of which he was accused. He became his own worst enemy, thinking for years he could stonewall MLB. Believing he could outlast the game’s sleuths and emperors the way he outlasted Ty Cobb.

Along the way, Rose behaved in a way that all but assured he’d never get a second chance. In 2004, he admitted in a book to gambling on the game. He was paid a reported $1 million for that admission. Last June, ESPN produced evidence that Rose bet on games as a player.

He sells his autograph in Cooperstown, N.Y., during Hall of Fame induction weekend. His “office” is adjacent to a Las Vegas casino. This is either incredibly brazen or completely clueless.

You can argue that Rule 21 is Rule 21, without exception, and that Rose’s residence in purgatory remains justified. Just don’t suggest that Baseball is keeping him there because it’s concerned about its integrity.

Baseball doesn’t detest gambling.

Baseball embraces it.

This isn’t 1989, when Baseball’s anti-gambling stance really was noble, not just noble-sounding. This is 2015, when Baseball is in billion-dollar business bed with DraftKings, a fantasy website that walks such a tiny ledge between “entertainment” and gambling, it is banned in five states and along with Fan Duel, is currently under federal investigation for the way it runs its multi-billion-dollar business.

Baseball would have you believe that Rose betting $2,000 a game on his own team is worthy of his permanent exile, while a “partnership’’ with DraftKings is perfectly reasonable.

As Joe Namath put it eloquently recently, when someone asked him if fantasy sports were gambling (paraphrasing here): “Do you have to pay to play? Do you get paid if you win?”

Yes and yes.

“Then it’s gambling.”

This is 2015, when highly suspected users of PEDs remain on the Hall of Fame ballot. And when Mark McGwire, an admitted steroid user, is allowed to make a living as the San Diego Padres bench coach. Baseball would have you believe that its steroid era had no effect on the integrity of the game while Rose’s misdeeds threatened its very foundation.

Maybe Manfred and I could have that discussion sometime, in the Handlebar at Great American Ball Park. “Take a tour of the all new Handlebar at the Riverfront Club, presented by Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati” urges the Reds website.

Explain to me how, perhaps while staring at a billboard for a local casino, displayed on an outfield wall.

I understand the other argument. Baseball doesn’t allow its players or front-office people to play daily fantasy baseball. Any player caught betting on the game today very likely would be banned. But are there varying degrees of integrity? Is it OK for MLB to be sort-of ethical?

Fantasy kingpins like DraftKings are legal because in 2006, Congress decided they were in the entertainment business. Lawmakers didn’t foresee what the fantasy purveyors have become. Prize pools of $2 million to winners and allegations of insider trading have them pondering their ’06 vote.

Baseball didn’t sell its soul for Pete’s sake. It’s selling it for fantasy’s sake, claiming the sale is great for business. Look at the younger generations of gamblers, er, fans, we’re attracting. The NFL is no different. But the NFL banned its gamblers, Paul Hornung and Alex Karras, for a season, not a lifetime.

Baseball could have done the right thing, after 26 years. It could have given Rose a conditional reinstatement, a semi-pardon that would have allowed him back in baseball in a limited role that afforded him no influence on games. It could have beseeched the Hall of Fame to include him for voting consideration.

Baseball could have taken the merciful high road, not the vindictive one. That it chose not to doesn’t reflect poorly on Pete Rose.

Meantime, get your bets down, all you dueling fans, draft kings and seekers of wholesome entertainment. When you lose a week’s pay or win $2 million, remember this: It’s not gambling. It’s just good, clean fun.

Paul Daugherty writes for The Cincinnati Enquirer, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK.

Rotation hopeful Lorenzen spending day, night at gym…
Reds hurler working out three times per day to gain mph, edge in competition
……………………..
Love to see this kind of dedication and drive.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Johnny Cueto has agreed to a contract with the Giants, pending a physical…
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says the deal is for six years and $130 million and contains an opt-out clause after the 2017 season. The Giants also have a club option for a seventh year. Cueto was inconsistent down the stretch with the Royals, but he boasts a 2.71 ERA over 134 starts across the last five seasons. The Giants have added two big arms to their rotation this winter in Cueto and Jeff Samardzija.
Source: Buster Olney on TwitterDec 14 – 4:25 PM

Wow…two really great signs. I dislike the Giants; they win too much.

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump
Can’t believe Major League Baseball just rejected @PeteRose_14 for the Hall of Fame. He’s paid the price. So ridiculous – let him in!

Donald doesn’t understand consequences since they don’t apply to him.

Giants gamble $130 million on Johnny Cueto’s right elbow…

don’t understand the 2 year opt out. Does that mean Cueto can opt out and go for more money or does it mean Giants can opt out if Cueto doesn’t perform.

Cueto will receive $46 million for the next two seasons, after which he will have to decide whether or not he wants to test the free-agent market again or pick up a four-year, $84 million player option to remain a Giant.

Haven’t heard of this before. Is something new. Seems one sided with no out for Giants if he doesn’t perform. Contracts seem to be totally out of control.

Not new to MLB, but is reserved for only the premiere players. Most recently, Zach Greinke of the Dodgers signed a 6 year deal and opted out after 3, only to sign a new contract for longer and more money with AZ.

From USA TODAY (Steve Gardner)
:“We had a tough year this past year in a very tough division,” Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty says. “We’ve decided to try and be as competitive as possible in 2016 but really look toward ’17 and ’18 to be in contention again.”
This is first time, as far as I know, that Jock has mentioned 2018 to become competitive.
And our GM, Dick Williams, said………………..????????????????????

OOPPPS. He said in contention for 2017 and 2018.

Hard to believe that we could even be “in contention” by 2017 given the teams that play against in our division. Also, I don’t believe there are many teams that contend
only 1 year after they rebuild…unless the rebuild is like what the Cubs have done; having spent a great deal of money. We are doing one thing that I think will serve us well; stockpiling SP. SP is a must if a team want to contend; we need only look at ourselves over the last few years. Having a team ERA in the 3’s wins alot of games:
#1…Cards…2.94 ERA…100W
#2…Pirates…3.21 ERA…98W
#3…Cubs…3.36 ERA…97W
#12…Reds…4.33 ERA…64W

What a joke !!! They’re blowing more smoke up your skirts boys . How many times are you going to listen to lies ? There is NO way they contend in this division other than for last place .

Cincinnati Gets: RHP Jose De Leon, 2B Jose Peraza and OF Scott Schebler

Los Angeles Gets: 3B/OF Todd Frazier

The Rumor

“Trade talks are starting to percolate with Todd Frazier as Cincinnati continues to talk to teams about the star third baseman,” writes CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, naming the Los Angeles Dodgers as one of the interested clubs.

Why It Works for the Dodgers

Los Angeles adds one of the game’s premier defensive third basemen and a big-time slugger in Frazier, who is under team control through 2017 and gives new manager Dave Roberts options when filling out his lineup.

While he figures to spend most of his time at the hot corner, pushing incumbent Justin Turner into utility role, the Dodgers could use Frazier as a replacement for Andre Ethier in left field when facing a left-handed pitcher, putting Turner back at the hot corner.

Of course, should the Dodgers turn around and trade Ethier, Frazier could become the team’s full-time left fielder, keeping Turner at third base.

Whether the Dodgers make other moves or not, adding his right-handed power to the lineup will also help to take some of the pressure off the likes of Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.

While parting with Jose De Leon is painful, all three of the prospects the Dodgers move in this deal are expendable.

Why It Works for the Reds

A rebuilding Cincinnati club lands three quality young pieces to build around, all of them close to contributing in the big leagues.

De Leon, 23, is the centerpiece of the deal and has the makings of a front-of-the-rotation arm. He’s got a pair of legitimate strikeout pitches in his mid-90s fastball and low-80s slider and a quickly improving changeup that projects to be another above-average offering.

While it means nothing in terms of his major league projection, it’s worth noting that De Leon broke a record set by Clayton Kershaw in 2007 for most strikeouts in a game, fanning 14 for the Single-A Great Lakes Loons back in 2014.

Jose Peraza, 21, gives the Reds an heir apparent to Brandon Phillips, who has been the subject of some trade rumors himself, at second base. A smooth-fielding infielder, Peraza offers little in terms of power but makes up for it with big-time speed that he uses to his advantage by trying to keep the ball on the ground.

Scott Schebler, 25, is athletic enough to play all over the outfield but best profiles as a left fielder, where his mediocre arm becomes less of an issue.

A career .272/.338/.490 hitter across parts of five minor league seasons, Schebler projects to hit for average and some power in the big leagues—the latter of which would certainly be helped by the chance to call Great American Ballpark home.

Hate to see Frazier go. Would rather see Bruce and Phillips go. Sounds like a better deal than what the White Sox were offering. Hope DeLeon is the real deal. Gonna be lots of new faces this year.

With recent acquisitions, Cubs are clear favorites to win NL Pennant…
ODDS TO WIN 2016 NATIONAL LEAGUE PENNANT (10/31/16)

Chicago Cubs 7/2
New York Mets 5/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 7/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 7/1
San Francisco Giants 7/1
St. Louis Cardinals 7/1
Washington Nationals 7/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 8/1
Miami Marlins 35/1
Milwaukee Brewers 35/1
Atlanta Braves 60/1
Cincinnati Reds 60/1
San Diego Padres 60/1
Colorado Rockies 120/1
Philadelphia Phillies 170/1
*updated 12/14/15

Then we have our friends from the West…
For a total of $220 million, the San Francisco Giants have added Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to their pitching staff, more than making up for the disappointment of failing to sign Zack Greinke.

For $206.5 million, the Arizona Diamondbacks got Greinke himself, injecting a desperately needed ace into their rotation and thrusting themselves into contention in the National League West.

For $45 million, the Los Angeles Dodgers are filling a rotation hole with Hisashi Iwakuma, who will be 35 in April and is coming off a second consecutive injury-shortened season.

Another MLBTR rumor:
By Steve Adams | December 15, 2015 at 9:30pm CST

Todd Frazier is reportedly being shopped “heavily” by the Reds, and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the most extensive interest in Cincinnati’s third baseman is coming from the American League Central. The Indians, White Sox and Royals are all in the mix for Frazier, Nightengale hears, which aligns with previous reports connecting the three clubs to the All-Star third baseman. Both Cleveland and Chicago could use upgrades at the hot corner, while Frazier would most likely be deployed in left field were the Royals to line up with the Reds on a trade.

And yet another:
By Steve Adams | December 15, 2015 at 7:46pm CST

The Nationals are known to be eyeing second base upgrades, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that they’re currently discussing a potential Brandon Phillips trade with the Reds. As a player with 10+ years of Major League service time and five straight with his most recent club, Phillips has the ability to veto any trade, so he would need to approve of the deal. Cincinnati would receive prospects in the deal that is currently being discussed, sources tell Rosenthal.

Phillips, 34, had a strong season with the Reds in 2015, hitting .294/.328/.395 with a dozen homers and 23 stolen bases. The 23 steals were his highest single-season total since 2009, and Phillips’ 10.9 percent strikeout rate was easily the lowest of his career. Additionally, he continued to post strong defensive marks (+2.0 UZR, +5 DRS) in spite of his relatively advanced age.

Of course, the Nationals already have a quality defensive option at second base: Danny Espinosa. The Nats, though, reportedly would like to add a left-handed bat to complement the switch-hitting Espinosa at second base, given his history of troubles against right-handed pitching. Phillips, obviously, doesn’t meet that criteria, but he could provide an everyday option instead, freeing up Espinosa for a utility role and allowing him to start the season at shortstop while prospect Trea Turner gets some additional development time at the Triple-A level.

Phillips has a reasonable $27MM owed to him in total over the next two seasons ($13MM in 2016 and $14MM in 2017), so the Nats certainly have the financial means to add him to the fold, assuming he signs off on a potential trade. There are certainly reasons to believe that Phillips would be open to the idea; the Nationals are assuredly a better bet to contend in 2016 than the rebuilding Reds, and a trade would reunite Phillips with recently hired manager Dusty Baker — his skipper with the Reds from 2008-13.

From the Reds’ point of view, the trade would clear playing time for promising young infielder Eugenio Suarez, who impressed while filling in for the injured Zack Cozart over the final few months of the season. Cozart, though, will be healthy in 2016, leaving Suarez without a regular playing spot as things currently stand in Cincinnati.

This potential trade would really help the Reds. I don’t expect a top prospect, but by trading Phillips the Reds free up $27m and find a place to play Suarez. We still need to find someone to play LF, we need to sharpen up our BP and we need to find a ‘seasoned’ SP. Lot’s of work to be done even if Phillips is traded.

The Salary dump of Phillips with no return does nothing for me. Unless the reds are dumping salary to sign a big time player what does it matter? Phillips is worth every penny right now according to the market, and he actually played well last year. I would hate to see him go for nothing short of a strong prospect. Trading Frazier frees up the spot for Suarez. I wouldn’t mind seeing Blandino soon though, he is going to be a good hitter and perfect for 2nd base.

Hope Suarez lives up to all the expectations. Only one decent year under his belt. I have my doubts. Pitchers were finding his weaknesses and he was striking out a lot. Plus he is a mediocre fielder at best at this time.

Love the 24 year old kid….
97 G
372 AB
13 HR
48 RBI
.280/.315/.446/.761
Capable of playing a number of positions
Little package (5′ 11″, 180 lbs.) that swings a big stick
A wonderful trade for the Reds

good bye Todd Frazier. we will miss you. BP is next.

By spring training I trust that the Reds will have relocated Phillips, Bruce and possibly Chapman (depending on MLB). A rebuilding and committed team has no need to keep any of these guys and it would free up a great deal of money. As with the 2010 team, the 2016 team is another rebuild; something that small market teams must do. However, with that said, our TV contract is about to be renegotiated (end of 2016) and more monies will be available. Luckily for the fans, Castellini is committed to fielding a winning ball club and is not afraid to spend money. Let’s hope that an abrasive and complete rebuild is done quickly so that we can get on and field a competitive team
(2017). We’ll have to in order to keep up in the Division. So far, the trades and acquisitions thus far look promising, but again, we aren’t done by a long shot.

White Sox To Acquire Todd Frazier In Three-Team Deal With Dodgers, Reds
By Steve Adams | December 16, 2015

11:18am: The Dodgers will send infielder Jose Peraza, outfielder Scott Schebler and infielder Brandon Dixon to the Reds in the deal, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman adds that the White Sox will send Montas, outfielder Trayce Thompson and second baseman Micah Johnson to the Dodgers.

11:13am: The White Sox will acquire third baseman Todd Frazier from the Reds in a three-team trade that also includes the Dodgers, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (on Twitter). Yahoo’s Jeff Passan first reported that right-hander Frankie Montas was going to the Dodgers in a trade.

The acquisition of Frazier will give the White Sox a drastically altered infield composition, as he’ll now take over at third base with fellow trade acquisition Brett Lawrie moving over to second base. Frazier, who turns 30 in February, adds a power bat to the middle of Chicago’s lineup to complement fellow right-handed slugger Jose Abreu. The reigning Home Run Derby champion, Frazier has batted a combined .264/.322/.479 with 64 home runs over the past two seasons with the Reds. He’s set to earn $7.5MM in 2016 and can be controlled via the arbitration process for the 2017 season, after which he will be eligible for free agency.

Jose Peraza | Rank: 4 (Preseason: 1 – ATL)
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers ETA: 2015
Position: 2B Age: 21 DOB: 04/30/1994
Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6′ 0″ Weight: 180 lb.
Signed: July 2, 2010 – ATL

Other Lists: Top 100 Prospects (#24), Top 10 2B Prospects (#2)
Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 30 | Run: 75 | Arm: 50 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
Peraza has raced through the Minor Leagues thanks to his feel for the game and his top-of-the-scale speed. As a 20-year-old in 2014, he reached Double-A Mississippi and played in the All-Star Futures Game. He moved up to Triple-A in 2015 and was performing as expected when he was sent to the Dodgers in the huge three-team deal that brought Hector Olivera and others to Atlanta.

Peraza has a quick, short swing and excellent hand-eye coordination. His swing produces minimal power and he mostly tries to keep the ball on the ground to use his considerable speed to his advantage. He’s a threat to steal whenever he gets on base and has swiped at least 60 bases in each of his first two years of full-season ball.

Peraza began his career at shortstop, but had moved to second in the Braves organization because of Andrelton Simmons, even mixing in some outfield in 2015. He’s now rid of that roadblock, but top Dodgers prospect Corey Seager now stands in the way of any return to the left side of second base.
………………………………………..

Scott Schebler | Rank: 13 (Preseason: 9)
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers ETA: 2015
Position: OF Age: 25 DOB: 10/06/1990
Bats: L Throws: R Height: 6′ 0″ Weight: 225 lb.
Drafted: 2010, 26th (802) – LAD

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 35 | Field: 45 | Overall: 50
A 26th-rounder out of Des Moines Area CC in 2010, Schebler took a $300,000 bonus at the signing deadline and has been one of the Dodgers’ most productive hitting prospects ever since. He led his leagues in extra-base hits and total bases in each of the last two years, and he also topped the Double-A Southern League in triples (14), homers (28) and slugging (.556) in 2014.

Scouts don’t fully buy into Schebler because they think he succeeds more with strength than bat speed. However, he keeps finding a way to make consistent hard contact and has gotten better at controlling the strike zone. He has solid speed as well, though he’s not much of a basestealer.

Schebler’s jumps and routes in the outfield leave something to be desired, so he’s better suited for a corner. His below-average arm relegates him to left field, but his bat still gives him the upside of a big league regular there.

Brandon Allen Dixon

Positions: Second Baseman, Third Baseman and Outfielder
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 2″, Weight: 215 lb.

Born: January 29, 1992 in Murrieta, California, United States (Age 23.321)
2015 – played AA (Tulsa)

Partial from MLB Trade Rumors…
For the Reds, the centerpiece of the deal is Peraza — a fleet-footed, Major League ready infielder whom they can control for the next six seasons. Peraza has long rated as one of the Braves’ better prospects but was flipped to the Dodgers in the 13-player summer blockbuster that also included the Marlins. Peraza’s stay with the Dodgers will be brief, but he should be in line for fairly regular at-bats immediately in Cincinnati — especially if the Reds ultimately trade Brandon Phillips as well.

Peraza, 22 in April, made his big league debut in 2015, collecting four hits in 22 September at-bats for Los Angeles. He batted a combined .293/.316/.378 with 33 steals between his two Triple-A affiliates last season and has a pair of 60-steal seasons under his belt in the minor leagues. His youth is one of the keys to the deal, as Peraza reached the Majors at the same age we see many top prospects selected out of college in the draft. He’s three years younger than Johnson or Thompson, and the Reds are clearly banking on continued development and improved production as he catches up to his competition in terms of physical maturity. Peraza entered the 2015 campaign universally ranked as a Top 100 prospect — MLB.com had him 38th overall — and he figures to do so again in 2016, as Baseball America’s Ben Badler tweets.

BA recently ranked Peraza as the Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect, trailing only Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Jose De Leon. In Badler’s scouting report, he praised Peraza’s bat-to-ball skills and speed, noting that he could hit for average and swipe 30-plus bases in a regular role. BA’s camp is split on Peraza, it would seem, as John Manuel tweets that Peraza needs to play shortstop to have value as a regular, while J.J. Cooper opines that Peraza should be a solid regular, albeit not a star. Peraza ranks fourth on MLB.com’s list of Dodgers prospects as well and, in fact, ranks 24th on their current Top 100 list. He’s seen time at shortstop, second base and in center field in his career thus far, and second base would seem the most obvious path to at-bats for him in the event of a Phillips swap. He’ll give Cincinnati another versatile piece that can conceivably handle multiple positions, joining Eugenio Suarez in that capacity.

Like Peraza, Schebler can conceivably step right onto the Reds’ roster. He, too, made his big league debut in 2015, albeit receiving just 40 plate appearances. Schebler unquestionably struggled at the Triple-A level, as his .241/.322/.410 batting line (in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, no less) was a marked departure from the .280/.365/.556 line he posted as a 23-year-old in Double-A. However, he’ll play all of next season at 25 years of age and has a history of hitting for power in the minors, as evidenced by the combined 55 homers he launched from 2013-14.

Schebler ranked 13th on MLB.com’s Dodgers Top 30 and 14th on the same list from BA. MLB.com notes that he’s best-suited for corner outfield work — an area of need in Cincinnati — and is a solid baserunner but not a big base-stealer. Some scouts, they add, are hesitant with Schebler because he relies more on raw strength than bat speed to produce his power. BA has previously pegged him as a possible regular in left field, and former Fangraphs scribe Kiley McDaniel noted heading into the 2015 season that Schebler “fits the bill as an under-the-radar performer who could surprise.” However, I’d imagine that his 2015 struggles have clouded that likelihood to some extent.

The 23-year-old Dixon didn’t rank among Los Angeles’ Top 30 prospects in the estimation of BA or MLB.com. He was selected in the third round of the 2015 draft and raked in 45 games at Class-A Advanced this past season before struggling after a promotion to Double-A. He’s played second base, third base and the outfield in his young career and posted a cumulative batting line of .263/.303/.443 with 19 homers this past season between his two levels. Dixon also turned in a nice showing in the Arizona Fall League, batting .295/.318/.508 with three homers in 16 games, and he performed well last winter while playing in the Australian Baseball League.

Are Reds, Nationals about to make Dat trade?
Posted on 12/16/2015 by STEVE MANCUSO
The Reds and Washington Nationals are in trade discussions concerning Brandon Phillips, according to Ken Rosenthal (Fox), citing major league sources.

Phillips is owed $13 million in 2016 and $14 million in ’17 in the final two years of a contract that he signed in April 2012. The market since has inflated, and it is standard for players who waive no-trade rights to receive an added benefit, generally through an extension or salary increase. The Nationals should be in a flexible position financially — they recently offered free-agent outfielder Jason Heyward $200 million over an undisclosed number of years, sources said.

Phillips, who turns 35 in June, had lost much of his production during 2013 and 2014, partly due to injuries. But last season, the Reds second baseman reset his value, at least as a singles hitter (.294/.328; ISO of .100) and defensive specialist. If he can stay healthy – a big IF for a player his age – Phillips could produce enough value to earn his salary of $27 million over the next two seasons. Moving Phillips would clear significant payroll for the Reds to spend on free agents. It would also create playing opportunity for Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez in the middle infield.

The Reds tried to trade Phillips in the 2013 offseason after his negative comments about owner Bob Castellini and profane outburst directed at reporter C. Trent Rosecrans. But the Reds failed to find a suitable trading partner and were unwilling to trade the popular player for little return.

In August 2014, Phillips qualified for full no-trade protection under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players with 10 years of major league service time, including five with their current team, earn that right. Phillips can refuse any trade the Reds might make, including one to the Nationals. On the one hand, he has deep roots in Cincinnati. But with the Reds entering a rebuilding phase, Phillips could choose to pursue the opportunity to play for a team in the postseason spotlight – especially one managed by his long-time skipper, Dusty Baker.

Landing in Washington would be an ironic twist for Phillips. He was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 2nd round of the 1999 draft and played three seasons in the Expos farms system. Phillips was dealt to Cleveland in June 2002, two years before his original franchise moved to Washington D.C. and became the Nationals. Phillips was traded to the Reds prior to the 2006 season.

Don’t expect a lot in return for Phillips. It’s remarkable enough that his remaining contract is viewed as reasonable. If the deal stays simple (no Aroldis Chapman), the best Reds fans can hope for in exchange is a decent (not top) prospect. The $27 million in payroll relief – to spend elsewhere – and more playing time for Suarez and Cozart are the real benefits.

Jose Peraza & Scott Schebler join Cincy’s Top 30 prospect list & 40 man roster.

Top 30 Prospect list…
Peraza – #1
Schebler – #13

How will Reds sell rebuilding to fans?
C. Trent Rosecrans, crosecrans@enquirer.com
9:01 p.m. EST November 12, 2015

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Pity the poor Reds sales department. The team lost 98 games in 2015 and some of the team’s most recognizable names may be headed out the door.

Gone already are Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake. Next up? Perhaps Aroldis Chapman, maybe Jay Bruce or even Todd Frazier or Brandon Phillips.

Yet this much is sure, there will be a 2016 season held at Great American Ball Park, and they would like to sell tickets to those games.

That’s not exactly an easy sell for the Reds’ business side, nor is it for the baseball side. Walt Jocketty, the president of baseball operations, and Dick Williams, the general manager, say they anticipate 2016 being better than 2015, but said it will be at least 2017 or 2018 before the team is back competing at a championship level.

So, how does Jocketty sell 2016 to his bosses and fans?

“I think what we have to do is sell the future – you have to sell the fact that you’re going to have some fun, young, aggressive ballplayers,” Jocketty said at the MLB General Managers Meetings at the Boca Raton Club & Resort this week. “That’s what we’re hoping to provide them with this year. It’s the sales approach our people are taking, come see the future, this is the young guys that we’re going to be building the nucleus of our championship-caliber clubs in the next year or two. You’re still going to see good baseball, it’s going to be quality baseball, you’re just going to have to try to convince that these younger players are going to be fun to watch.”

That process started this season when the Reds had a rookie starting pitcher for the final 64 games of the season and went 20-44 over that span.

And those “young, exciting players”?

Eugenio Suarez, acquired in the Alfredo Simon trade with the Tigers last December, was one of the few that fit that description, unless you add Billy Hamilton, who took a large step back offensively in his sophomore season.

But the off-season, with no games to lose, is where hope is built. For the Reds, it will likely be built through trades.

“We’ll see when we get through making our deals,” Jocketty said about just who will bring more excitement.

Rebuilding, retooling or whatever you want to call it usually means low win totals, lower interest and the risk of alienating a fan base.

The Astros, winners of the American League Wild Card game this season, lost 310 games in general manager Jeff Luhnow’s first three seasons before not only winning 86 regular-season games this year and making the playoffs.

“Any time you’re going through 162 games and you’re losing over 100 of them, we all have the competitive side that doesn’t like that,” Luhnow said. “I think part of how I rationalize it or lived with it, we had very clear objectives in terms of our pipeline and developing the minor leagues and having success throughout the minor leagues and seeing our prospects continue to develop. I really felt even in the years where we lost 100-plus games, on those metrics we were succeeding and succeeding wildly and we knew it was a matter of time before that came around and helped us with the ultimate metric, which is winning in the major leagues.”

The Astros turned it around in Luhnow’s fourth year, and the Cubs went to the playoffs in the fourth year of Theo Epstein’s reign in Chicago. The Cubs lost in the National League Championship Series in 2015 after losing a total of 286 games in the first three seasons under Epstein.

“I think it’s important to know you can turn a franchise around in five years, as opposed to somewhere between five-and-10 years, because fans lose interest,” Luhnow said. “And once they start losing interest, they stop buying tickets and they stop watching on TV and then you end up with a gap of half of a generation or longer and it’s tough to get those fans back. The fact that we were able to get to the postseason this year re-energized and energized new fans in our market”

Luhnow said he and owner Jim Crane offered to meet with every season ticket holder. They met them in small groups and in town-hall style meetings.

“We encouraged them to ask questions and we shared as much as we could about the plan and allowed them to feel invested, like they were part of it,” Luhnow said. “It was a time-consuming strategy, it took a lot of days that normally Jim and I would be doing other things, but we did that.”

Jocketty was scheduled to meet with some Reds season ticket holders on Thursday after returning from the GM meetings.

It’s a tactic many have had to fill, but the Cubs and Astros have shown it can be done, as have the Pirates. But that’s not to say there weren’t lean years.

“The messaging was always hard,” said Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer. “Once you got past that point where it was clear that it was going to be a dismal season and we’re trading guys away, you try to be transparent, like we’re trying to build for the future, we’re trying to draft well, we’re trying to stockpile good players through trades and we think this will work. We tried to sell that plan as best we could.”

The Reds are doing that as well, pointing to the two trades that kicked off this rebuilding process. The Reds had four starters entering their final year before free agency and traded two before the season started and two more at the trade deadline. Last December, the Reds traded Mat Latos to the Marlins in exchange for right-hander Anthony DeSclafani and catcher Chad Wallach, and flipped right-hander Alfredo Simon for shortstop Eugenio Suarez and right-hander Jonathan Crawford. With those trades, the Reds got roughly 3.3 more wins combined, according to Baseball-Reference.com, at somewhere around $14 million less in salary.

The Reds also traded Johnny Cueto to the Royals and Mike Leake to the Giants. In those deals, they received four young pitchers – two of whom finished in the majors and the other two are on the team’s Top 10 prospects list from Baseball America – and a power bat in Adam Duvall.

Moves of Chapman and others will bring in more talent and create possible payroll flexibility in the future. It’s a proven strategy from other teams, but there are no guarantees.

Luhnow, Hoyer and Pittsburgh general manager Neil Huntington each said they’d understand had ownership lost faith after losing seasons. The Pirates lost 105 games after Huntington’s third year in charge, yet they stuck with him.

“I count my blessings every day that they decided to stay with us and as a result, we do believe that patience has helped us continue to grow this thing as we move forward,” Huntington said.

The Reds aren’t alone in rebuilding and trading away players who are seemingly irreplaceable. The Braves traded closer Craig Kimbrel before the 2015 season and on Thursday traded shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Angels, receiving Anaheim’s top two pitching prospects in return.

Braves general manager John Coppolella said his sales pitch is pretty simple.

“How do I sell it? I look at the World Series,” Coppolella said. “The Mets traded a Cy Young winner and got back (Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud), the Royals traded away a 27-year-old Cy Young winner (Zack Greinke) and got back three critical pieces (Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain and Jake Odorizzi).”

Those deals took some time to pan out – the Dickey deal was before the 2013 season and the Greinke deal was two years earlier. But neither team would go back and undo those trades.

The Royals also used those lean years to stock up on high draft picks, the upside of seasons like the Reds’ 98-loss 2015. The Reds will pick second in the upcoming draft, the same spot where Royals picked Alex Gordon in 2005, Mike Moustakas in 2007 and the Cubs took Kris Bryant in 2013.

“The Royals are a really good example, Moustakas is at third base, (Eric) Hosmer is at first base (No. 3 pick in 2008), they traded Greinke to get Cain and Escobar, and Alex Gordon is in left field,” Hoyer noted. “There’s some really high picks on that team. Having a period of losing and getting a chance to make deals and high picks is a pretty proven way to rebuild.”

It is not, however, an easy sell.

Don’t know if it’s a good baseball move, but it’s a marketing mistake.
Posted on 12/16/2015 by MARK ELLIOTT
As a fan, I’m disappointed at the Reds recent trade of Todd Frazier. As I’m not familiar enough with the prospects right now, I can’t address the “baseball” value of the trade. But as a marketer and communicator, I can only ask, what’s going on?

Todd Frazier was clearly the new face of the Cincinnati Reds, if not the new “Face of Baseball” (he finished in the Top 8 last year.) He comes off a totally unexpected win in the All Star Home Run Derby (the most watched in years). He has a storybook bio 19FRAZIER2-articleLarge

and seems media savvy.

First off I’d like to thank the Reds fans for their support over the last five years you guys will always have a special place in my heart.

— Todd Frazier (@FlavaFraz21) December 16, 2015

2nd I can’t wait to start my next chapter with the chi White Sox. Can’t wait to represent the southside. It’s going to be a fun season

— Todd Frazier (@FlavaFraz21) December 16, 2015

And now the story is the other media savvy popular Red is headed east. You know who I feel for today? Those poor folks answering the phones at the Reds ticket office.

No FlavaFraz – No DatDude – without Chapman, probably no free pizza. I’m having a hard time coming up with a 2016 marketing plan or slogan for the Reds. Because the one they used at the end of last season with the slogan “Hey everybody we’re still playing games” didn’t seem to work. (And yes, I know what DERF Magazine is, play along please.)

So let’s have a contest in the comments. Post your suggestion for a Cincinnati Reds 2016 Ticket Sales Slogan. The best one (chosen strictly by me) will get commemorated in a future Redleg Nation column (and might be sent a prize, if I’m allowed to do so. I have this Fox Sports Ohio hat left over from 2013.) And maybe a local baseball marketing executive will spot your submission and offer you a job. I have a feeling there will be a few open in the ticket sales office on Joe Nuxhall Way.

Just a reminder Jocko joined the reds 5 years after the 2003 house cleaning. He has excelled at retooling teams. Not selling off and rebuilding. Bruce and his potential I say he’ll not be moved. He’s cheap now. He’ll be moved in one of those hot streaks probably. 2019 can’t get here soon enough. The cubs will dominate the next 5 years. I predict the cardinals will be retooling the next 2 years.

Neb thanks for all your effort here.

One more thing. Fans will stay with the team. Front runners come and go.

Another thing that has to be fixed. We totally stink out the wazoo with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. Gone on for years with this club. Selfish ball players I say.

I am worried Peraza is not good enough. What did two ball clubs that let this kid move on for less than Frazier know that the Reds don’t. Probably a lot….

As always, the trade is very difficult to gauge ahead of time. However it is clear that the Reds love Peraza; what’s not to like?
He’s only 21…
He can play 2B, SS and CF…
He was #1 prospect for Atlanta…
He was #4 prospect for the Dodgers…
And he is #1 prospect for the Reds…
He was #24 prospect for all of MLB…
And is the #2 top 10 prospect for 2B in MLB…
Scouting Grades:
Hit – 60
Power – 30
Run – 75
Arm – 50
Field – 60
Overall – 55
In 5 minor league seasons (17-21 years old) his batting line is:
.302/.342/.387/.729
210 SB/281 R/63 DBL/33 TPL and 9 HR in 461 G
As we always say…time will tell; having Peraza and Hamilton
on base will be exciting.

Reds Sell Todd Frazier for Low Upside In Three-Way Deal
by Jeff Sullivan – December 16, 2015
Fangraphs

I detected a real sense of impatience as far as the Dodgers were concerned. Not impatience on the part of the Dodgers — rather, impatience on the part of people observing the Dodgers. Not that they’d been totally quiet, but they had been inactive. Now, Wednesday, the Dodgers have gotten themselves involved in a doozy. It’s a three-way trade, with the best player neither leaving the Dodgers, nor joining them. Instead, the Dodgers helped facilitate the Reds sending a quality third baseman to the White Sox. The full player breakdown:

White Sox get:

Todd Frazier
White Sox lose:

Francelis Montas
Trayce Thompson
Micah Johnson

Reds get:

Jose Peraza
Scott Schebler
Brandon Dixon
Reds lose:

Todd Frazier

Dodgers get:

Francelis Montas
Trayce Thompson
Micah Johnson
Dodgers lose:

Jose Peraza
Scott Schebler
Brandon Dixon
Frazier to Chicago, three Chicago prospects to Los Angeles, three Los Angeles prospects to Cincinnati. It stands to reason the Dodgers had to get involved because the Reds and White Sox couldn’t find an easy match straight up. Implying the Reds are higher on, say, the Peraza centerpiece than they would’ve been on a Montas centerpiece. These things can be kind of complicated to analyze, but let’s go team by team.

White Sox side

A year ago, the White Sox made some win-now moves, trying to capitalize on the peaks of Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, and Jose Quintana. It didn’t work out — not because the stars were bad, but because the depth was just never there. It was a thin team, and thin teams have just about zero margin of error. Now the White Sox are pushing forward, gunning for a winnable division in 2016. Instead of selling some parts off, the Sox are trying to improve, and Frazier addresses what would’ve been a weakness.

Last year’s White Sox had two position players worth at least 2 WAR, and four position players worth at least 1 WAR. So they finished last in baseball with a combined position-player WAR of 3.1. Right now the White Sox project to have four position players worth at least 2 WAR, and seven worth at least 1 WAR. Things still aren’t great, but their position players overall project 25th, not 30th, and look at the division around them. The Royals just won, but they’re missing impact pieces. The Tigers are caught somewhere in between. The Twins, at best, are average. And the Indians are intriguing yet flawed. There’s an opportunity here, maybe an even better opportunity than there was in 2015, and so the organization dipped into a thin crop of prospects to bring in a two-year regular.

Frazier isn’t young, but he’s also not old, and he’ll cost something like $20 – 25 million the next two years combined. He’ll probably be worth something like 6 – 7 wins, because he blends power with defense, and whatever concerns you might have about him leaving the hitter-friendly Cincinnati environment, Chicago’s friendly, too. Indeed, Frazier dropped off down the stretch. Indeed, he became more pull-happy. But he dropped off down the stretch in 2014, too, and his 2015 overall was just fine. Frazier is an impact player on this team, and he’ll bump Brett Lawrie to second base, and now the infield almost looks legitimate.

The Sox still have their problems with depth, and that’s why they won’t be a favorite, barring more additions. They’re thin in the outfield and they don’t have a shortstop and the back of the rotation could be weak. But the collection isn’t bad, and it shouldn’t be too tough to find a quality fourth outfielder. The Sox had to go in one direction. They chose to go toward winning. They were right on the bubble, but this division can be seized.

As for the prospects being lost — you don’t get Todd Frazier for free. Montas is the main player, because he’s an arm who can start and still get the ball up to 100 miles per hour. One thing he hasn’t done is steadily dominate, and because of issues with control and repertoire depth, plenty of people see Montas as a reliever. If the White Sox agree with the assessment, they won’t lament the loss. Thompson is an interesting second piece, because unlike a lot of toolsy minor-league outfielders, he seemed to build on his promise last year. He had a strong big-league debut, and he’s someone who can hit for power and also play some center field. That makes him an interesting player. Johnson is a mobile second baseman with a better record in the upper minors than in the majors. I’ll talk about these players some more in the Dodgers section. Only Thompson figured to have a relevant role on the 2016 White Sox.

Reds side

It’s easy to say this now, but the Reds should’ve sold last July. The All-Star Game complicated factors, but it probably shouldn’t have. No, the Reds couldn’t have foreseen Aroldis Chapman‘s domestic-violence incident. No, the Reds couldn’t have foreseen Todd Frazier’s miserable second half. But as the Reds went into the break, they were 39-47, way behind all the relevant competition. They were bad, and they had Chapman and Frazier at astronomical values. What they could’ve foreseen is that Chapman and Frazier wouldn’t lift their stocks any higher. Ultimately, those two stuck around. Chapman might now be untradeable. Frazier didn’t fetch what he could’ve fetched.

No sense in crying about the timing, though. What’s done is done and you can’t keep playing the what-if game. The Reds are obvious sellers, so Frazier was an obvious piece to go, and now he’s gone, and it’s time to think more about the future. The next season is going to be a bad one. They just want to see progress from the young players of interest.

The Reds didn’t end up with a true blue-chip prospect. Peraza has seemed like one in the past, but his star has dimmed, the Reds being his third organization in the past several months. Make no mistake — he’s a former top prospect for a reason. He’s not yet 22, he makes a ton of contact, and his top speed rivals that of some vehicles. With the speed, contact, and ability to play up the middle, Peraza is a near-certain big-leaguer. He has kind of a high floor. But Peraza also doesn’t walk, and he’ll never hit for power. He underwhelmed last year in Triple-A. So Peraza also has a limited ceiling.

The biggest fans of Peraza in the world might see him as the next Jose Altuve. They have similar records and similar profiles, and obviously Altuve has turned himself into a borderline star on a contending team. But then, that’s as good as it can get, and Altuve was much better in the minor leagues. He’s got a bit more pop, too, that Peraza might not be able to match. The overwhelming majority of players with Peraza’s profile are below-average hitters, and since Peraza is more defensively competent than defensively gifted, he’s going to need to use his legs. They make him go quick, and that’s a weapon. But I see Peraza more like a 1-2 win player than a 2-3 win player. I haven’t been impressed.

The appeal is that Peraza’s close. Like Eugenio Suarez, he’s a young infielder who can help just about right away. The Reds also probably prefer Peraza to Montas because they have enough young starter candidates with control and secondary-stuff issues. In this move, the Reds went for low-upside certainty, instead of a big gamble. I don’t know if it’s the right call, but it’s a call.

Schebler is of at least some interest as a second piece. His 2015 didn’t take him in the right direction, and his raw skills are limited, leaving him as a probable left fielder with some power upside. But the power is real:

Schebler’s kind of a bounce-back candidate, and the Reds are in need of a left fielder. Jesse Winker is on the way, but Jay Bruce is probably on the way out, so there’s a way for Schebler to play if he earns it. Again, he’s probably something like a 1-2 win player, but if you think about it like that, he might be even with Peraza. You might consider that good or bad.

Dixon? He’s 24 soon, and he’s a second baseman who’s struggled pretty badly above High-A. He has power, but an approach in need of dramatic improvement. He’s a long-shot. Maybe he’s the real upside play here, but the odds are stacked against him.

Dodgers side

The Dodgers are neither getting Frazier nor flipping him, so some might consider their end the least interesting. Others I’ve seen consider their side to be the most interesting. At the very least, it’s unusual, this basically being a swap of three prospects for three prospects. Some have speculated that the Dodgers are just loading up to prepare for a potential move for Jose Fernandez. Maybe. Or maybe they’re just loading up with people they like more than the people they had previously.

At the top, the Dodgers exchanged Peraza for Montas. Peraza is covered above, and when the Dodgers first got him, it seemed like the Braves were selling him low. It implied that the Braves didn’t think Peraza was going to gain any more value, and now the Dodgers, like the Braves before them, have given Peraza up despite his proximity to the majors. It suggests a lack of faith. Not that that should be damning — the Dodgers also gave up on Dee Gordon. The Marlins are thrilled to have him. But there are legitimate reasons to doubt Peraza, and in Montas, the Dodgers could have a different player who could help right now.

Yeah, Montas has been a starter, and maybe the Dodgers give him a chance to keep at it, if they don’t turn around and trade him. I don’t know what they’re going to do. But I can say this much: I ran some PITCHf/x comps, and by far the best comp for Montas’ fastball is Ken Giles‘ fastball. Montas also throws a slider pretty often, and though it isn’t such a great comp for the Giles slider, it still suggests big reliever upside. Could be the Dodgers think Montas is ready to be a high-level reliever today, or soon. It’s no secret they’ve been looking for bullpen help. Montas is a fit for what they need.

On the next level, you have an exchange of Schebler for Thompson. Both are about the same age, and both profile mostly as fourth outfielders, but where Schebler’s 2015 took him backward, Thompson’s 2015 took him forward, and he had a successful 135 big-league plate appearances. Thompson comes with more tools, and the Dodgers probably prefer his defensive ability, as he can cut it in center. This past year, Thompson trimmed his strikeouts while hitting more balls on the ground, and there’s starter upside, if someone were to ever give him the chance. Schebler’s more quiet. Thompson’s more visually impressive. He also seems likely to have the better career.

Then there’s the exchange of Dixon for Johnson. Dixon is a long-shot prospect, and Johnson is a (nearly) 25-year-old post-prospect who seems like a backup infielder. Johnson’s upside is very low, but the funny thing here is Johnson might be a realistic outcome for Peraza. Peraza bats righty and he makes more contact, but Johnson has a limited bat and less-limited legs. Johnson’s unlikely to do a whole lot, but in a way, he could supply what Peraza would supply, while the team can turn Peraza into something else. Upside is a tease. Reality is mean.

=====

The bulk of the critical response I’ve seen says the Reds are getting shafted. I don’t think it’s quite that bad — Frazier’s value took a hit, and both Peraza and Schebler are near-ready useful pieces. Peraza could turn into an interesting starter. But there’s no question Peraza can be only so good, and some might believe the Reds should be aiming for higher ceilings. Near-ready players are just players who’ll be ready while the Reds continue to look up at the rest of the division.

But the Reds, at least, will have their infield, even after Brandon Phillips is traded. It’s something, and moving Frazier was necessary for this process to continue. The White Sox will be happy to have Frazier, because he’ll be able to hit in that environment, and the division is winnable. Montas is a high-risk loss who’s very likely to just be a reliever. For the Dodgers, they turned three players into three players who, overall, they like more. The differences might be slight, but they’re there, and now the Dodgers have more options. Could be about having depth. Could be about trading depth. The Dodgers might just be getting started. Just getting started, by getting involved in a giant three-team trade. They know how to keep things spicy.

its all about what are the Reds seeing that everyone is else is not on this guy. The other pieces are not as good as what they were asking for the Indians. What are we missing here or what are the Reds missing. Either the Reds are wrong or the rest of baseball is wrong. Unfortunately, it is probably the Reds. I don’t mind defense and speed both great to have, but it sounds like even that is not spectacular. We are talking about a 4 to 5 War in Frazier vs the potential of a 2 War in Peraza. Not a good trade from that stand point. The other two may never see the Majors beyond a back up.

“Peraza was a guy that we had focused on and identified as a guy we thought could be a second baseman or a shortstop for us for a number of years,” Jocketty said. “He’s young, he’s had a lot of success at a young age, hits, an above-average runner, and a solid defensive guy. He does a lot of things well, and we’ve had guys watch him quite a bit, both with the Dodgers last year and with the Braves last year and years before, and they had excellent reports on him.”
Jocketty believes both Peraza and Schebler could help the Reds as early as 2016. In the wake of the Frazier trade, Eugenio Suarez is expected to move to third base, with Zack Cozart at shortstop and Brandon Phillips at second. However, FOX Sports reported Tuesday night that Cincinnati was discussing a deal to send Phillips to Washington, which could potentially open the door for Peraza.

Scouting Report: Jose Peraza
Posted on 12/17/2015 by STEVE MANCUSO
Around noon yesterday, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer was first to report that the Reds had traded Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox. A few minutes later, we learned that the Reds received three players in exchange – Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler and Brandon Dixon – all from the Dodgers system.

Of the three, Jose Peraza is the main guy in the deal according to general manager Dick Williams. He said the Reds “keyed in on Peraza from the start.”

What should we make of Peraza?

Basics

Jose Peraza is 6’0”/180 lbs. and will turn 22 on April 30. The Atlanta Braves signed him out of Venezuala in 2010 as a shortstop at the age of 17. Peraza plays right-handed in the field and at the plate. Atlanta converted him to 2B because of their long-term deal with Andrelton Simmons. Peraza mostly played 2B in the minors, but also spent time at SS and CF. He moved quickly through the Braves minor league system.

Peraza spent last year mostly at the AAA level. In July, he was part of a 13-player, 3-team trade (that also involved Bronson Arroyo and Mat Latos) to the Dodgers.

Peraza’s rookie status is still in tact and the Reds have the full six years of team control over him. If he makes the Reds’ 25-man roster out of spring training, the earliest Peraza could qualify for arbitration is 2019 and can’t file for free agency until 2022.

Performance

Jose Peraza has had just over 2,000 minor league plate appearances, playing at a much younger age than average in every stop. Peraza hit .302/.342/.387 with 9 home runs, 210 stolen bases (with 49 CS), a 10.4 percent strikeout-rate and a 4.75 percent walk-rate.

During his age-21 season in AAA Peraza hit .293/.316/.378. His walk-rate was 3.3 percent. The Dodgers gave Peraza 25 major-league plate appearances in September.

Reports

John Sickles: He doesn’t have huge power or much patience but he makes contact, is an effective base stealer (26 steals this year, 203 in his minor league career), and draws praise for his defense up the middle. The Braves used him mainly at second base and center field this year but he had a good reputation as a shortstop before shifting positions to accommodate Andrelton Simmons.

John Sickles (August 2015): Looking at the most recent scouting reports and the 2015 numbers, my take on Peraza hasn’t really changed since March: he can be reasonably expected to hit in .270-.280 territory at maturity with good speed contributions but minimal power. Given his persistent lack of walks his OBP will be quite dependent on his batting average, which won’t be a big problem in a hot year when he’s hitting .300 but will be in a cold year when he’s hitting .250. His OBPs will be marginal, though the speed and glove will keep him employed even when the bat is cold.

Cliff Corcoran: Peraza lacks power and patience, but the things he does well, combined with his youth and the amount of development time he has left for a player who has already reached the majors, give him the profile of a solid everyday middle infielder, a role he could fill in Cincinnati immediately. Peraza is a significant prospect at an up-the-middle position.

Baseball America: Peraza relies on two tools: hitting and speed. He has a short swing, quick hands and strong wrists, with the hand-eye coordination to put the barrel to the ball at a high rate. He hits to all fields and is adept at going the opposite way. Peraza’s double-plus speed makes him a threat to steal 30 or more bases. He’s a line-drive hitter who can occasionally drive a ball to his pull side, but he probably won’t hit many home runs. Peraza swings at too many pitches, hurting his on-base percentage.

Baseball America: He made a seamless move from shortstop to second base in 2014 while displaying steady, soft hands with above-average range and solid arm strength. He is not flashy in the field but makes all of the routine plays and was voted best defensive second baseman by high Class A Carolina League managers. … The Braves shifted Peraza from shortstop to second base in 2014. He has above-average range and an average arm, but a funky throwing stroke. He also spent time in center field in 2015 to add to his versatility.

Jeff Sullivan: The overwhelming majority of players with Peraza’s profile are below-average hitters, and since Peraza is more defensively competent than defensively gifted, he’s going to need to use his legs. They make him go quick, and that’s a weapon. But I see Peraza more like a 1-2 win player than a 2-3 win player. I haven’t been impressed.

Dan Szymborski (ZiPS) projects Peraza’s 2016 season in Cincinnati at .265/.288/.369 with a walk-rate of 4.8 percent.

Bottom line

Jose Peraza is a solid minor league prospect, although at times he has been viewed as more than that. Peraza is only 21 years old and already made his major league debut. That’s promising. He’s a good 2B who can play SS and CF if necessary. That’s valuable. Peraza could increase his batting average as he ages and develops more plate discipline. He has a long way to go there.

Other teams and scouts don’t see him as an everyday major league player. The Braves wanted Peraza to be their long-term solution at 2B, paired with Simmons at SS. After working with him for several years, they determined Peraza wasn’t that guy and traded him. The Dodgers needed an answer at 2B and traded for Peraza with the hope he would be the one. After a few months, they decided he wasn’t. How do we know that? If they thought Paraza could be their everyday major league 2B, they wouldn’t have traded him for prospects yesterday. According to a former GM, both the Braves and Dodgers see Peraza as a utility player.

The Reds think Jose Peraza has a higher upside than do the Braves, Dodgers and the other critics of yesterday’s trade. The Reds believe baseball is a game heading toward emphasizing speed and defense. They see Peraza as a well rounded player that can provide impact value in those areas. In the best case, he’ll also develop into a .280 hitter with a .330 OBP. Think of Peraza as a similar player to Billy Hamilton, with fewer stolen bases and less defensive value than the Reds’ center fielder. That’s why the Reds were so focused on acquiring Jose Peraza.

The numbers and scouts point to a speedy slap hitter who doesn’t walk or hit for power; a solid, but not spectacular fielder.

The Reds only get to trade Todd Frazier once. They just bet a lot on Jose Peraza. Let’s hope the Reds are right and the Braves and Dodgers are wrong. The organization does have a favorable track record with 22-year-old shortstops from Venezuela.

Dick Williams discusses Todd Frazier trade and possibility of trading
Chapman…

Thanks Neb . I listen to Williams and found his answers to upfront and honest . It was good to hear him get a chance to answer some questions. Hopefully he’s who we’ll hear from now on .

Our own C. Trent’s take on the trade…
Todd Frazier trade analysis: Sad but necessary for Reds
C. Trent Rosecrans, crosecrans@enquirer.com
7:21 p.m. EST December 16, 2015

The very thought of Todd Frazier in a different uniform was unappealing to most Reds fans as a construct, but in reality it burned Wednesday when Frazier officially became an ex-Red after a three-team trade sent him to Chicago.

It’s a sad day for baseball fans in Cincinnati. Frazier was an All-Star on and off the field. Few professional baseball players were more available or accessible to the fans than Frazier. Like teammate Brandon Phillips, Frazier was quick to sign an autograph or pose for a photo — and hit 35 home runs to boot.

There weren’t many good things to remember from the Reds’ 2015 season, but Frazier’s magical night in the Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park was one of them. If there had been any doubt at that point that he was the face of the franchise, it was cemented then.

And now he’s a member of the White Sox. It’s sad for many, maddening to some and disappointing to most.

But it had to happen.

The Reds lost 98 games with Frazier last season, and they are perfectly capable of losing that many without him each of the next two years he is under team control.

Rebuilds aren’t quick. Even the quick rebuilds aren’t quick — or easy. The Houston Astros were the toast of baseball with their run to the playoffs this past season, but that team lost an average of 104 games over the previous four seasons, including 111 in 2013. The Cubs finished fifth in the National League Central for five straight years from 2010 to 2014 (from 2010-2012, there were six teams), including 101 losses in 2012. The Pirates went 20 seasons without a winning record before their current run. And even the World Series champion Royals went from 2004 to 2012 without a winning record before inching their way to the top.

The Cubs and Astros have the benefit of large media markets, while teams like the Pirates, Royals and Reds must build through trades and drafts, without having the margin for error that the blue-bloods have.

The Reds had an impressive run from 2010 to 2013, making the playoffs three times in five years with young talent that was nurtured through its own farm system. Some of the pieces were later traded off, as teams do, in pursuit of a pennant. But in the end, those windows of opportunity close. If the Reds left a sliver of that window open at the trade deadline even after trading Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto, the deal of Frazier is the resounding slam.

Frazier will be 30 when the season starts and has two years of team control left, meaning he will be a free agent after the 2017 season and would enter that first year of any new deal as a 32-year-old, or the same age at which the Mets’ David Wright will open the 2016 season.

If the Reds can’t afford Frazier in 2018 — which they surely can’t — how does it help the Reds to have him on the team the next two years?

At this point, the Reds need to liquidate anything they have of value, which until Wednesday was headlined by Frazier. The team also has Aroldis Chapman, but the alleged domestic violence incident has not only hurt his trade value, but also most likely put it on hold until Major League Baseball decides his punishment under the league’s new domestic violence policy.

With Frazier out the door and Chapman in limbo, that leaves Jay Bruce as the team’s trade focus at this point. Bruce, who will be 29 in April, has two years left on his contract and still has the power that could tempt other teams. He also has eight teams he can block a trade to, even though earlier this month he said he’d still consider a trade to any of those eight in the right circumstances.

Phillips has two years remaining and would be welcomed by some teams at this point, but he has full no-trade rights, as does Joey Votto, who also has a sizeable chunk of his large extension remaining.

If there’s a knock against the total rebuild that is so obviously in full effect now, it’s not that it’s happening now, but that it didn’t happen sooner.

Frazier, Bruce and Chapman all would have earned greater returns at the non-waiver trade deadline in July — and even better returns in July of 2014, when their value could only have been more.

Instead, Jocketty and Bob Castellini decided to make one more attempt at the playoffs with crossed fingers (a healthy team) and Band-Aids (Marlon Byrd).

In the end, it didn’t work.

“If the Reds can’t afford Frazier in 2018 — which they surely can’t — how does it help the Reds to have him on the team the next two years?”
I agree with C. Trent. And the sooner we complete a rebuild, the better. There is no reason to keep Chapman, Bruce or Phillips; all of which have two years or so to FA or end of contracts. And all three are too expensive. I think the Reds agree and will continue to trade them where a deal makes sense. After these three are traded, only Votto and Bailey are left with heavy-noted contracts. And, depending on how the chosen SP do in 2016, Bailey might even be available for trade in the future. Votto has been pretty vocal about remaining a Red for life…another incredible contract that should not have been signed by any small market team, imo.

I agree with all of that but Votto. He is still a steal as far as worth vs salary. I think his ability ages well. It was a good signing.

looks like Phillips is on his way if he agrees. I understand but hope we get something decent or its really not worth the loss. He is no longer over paid according to todays prices.

Latest On Brandon Phillips’ Trade Situation
By Steve Adams | December 17, 2015 at 9:29pm CST

The Nationals and Reds “apparently” have an agreement on a trade that would send second baseman Brandon Phillips from Cincinnati to D.C., according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (links to Twitter). However, Phillips has yet to waive the full no-trade protection that comes with his 10-and-5 rights (that is, 10 years of Major League service, the past five of which have come with one team). Talks with Phillips himself are in progress, per Rosenthal, who notes that Phillips accepted deferrals in his contract with the Reds under the assumption that he would remain in Cincinnati for the duration of the deal. Some kind of financial compensation might be necessary in order to get Phillips to OK the deal, Rosenthal adds.

Phillips, 34, would give the Nationals the second base upgrade they’ve reportedly been seeking. His addition would allow the Nats to open the season with Danny Espinosa at shortstop, thereby giving top prospect Trea Turner some additional minor league development time. While acquiring Phillips wouldn’t add the balance Washington has been pursuing — he’d be yet another right-handed mix added to a group that includes Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael A. Taylor — he would provide a steady defensive presence that enjoyed an offensive rebound in many ways in 2015.

The 2014 season was perhaps Phillips’ worst since establishing himself as a regular in the Major Leagues, as he batted just .266/.306/.372. His eight homers that season were the fewest he’d ever posted in a full big league campaign. The 2015 season looked more like the Phillips to which we’ve become accustomed over the life of his Cincinnati tenure, however, as his bat bounced back with a .294/.328/.395 batting line, 12 homers and 23 steals — a significant improvement from the uncharacteristic two stolen bases he recorded in 2014. His 10.9 percent strikeout rate was also the lowest of his career. Perennially regarded as a strong defender — Phillips does have four Gold Glove Awards — he recorded positive marks in both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating for the ninth consecutive season in 2015.

On the negative side of things, Phillips will turn 35 next June and has indeed seen those defensive ratings begin to deteriorate, to some extent. Never known as a patient hitter, Phillips’ 4.3 percent walk rate in 2015 was the worst of his career, and if his batting average dips back toward its career mark of .273 this season, Phillips could struggle to muster a .300 OBP. And, while his contract certainly isn’t outlandish — he’s owed a reasonable enough $13MM in 2016 and $14MM in 2017 — he also wouldn’t come cheaply to a Nationals club that has just under $100MM committed to 10 players for the 2016 season, plus a projected $31.2MM owed to another six.

That figure, of course, is before considering any type of financial compensation that may need to go his way. For example, the Nats agreed to exercise Jonathan Papelbon’s club option three months in advance in order to get the closer to waive his own no-trade rights. While Phillips doesn’t have an option in his contract that can be exercised in similar fashion, the Nats could restructure his contract in some fashion in order to more amply compensate him over the two seasons he’d spend with the team in the event of a trade.

Report: Reds-Nationals have deal to move Phillips
Posted on 12/17/2015 by STEVE MANCUSO
The Reds and Nationals have a deal in place to trade Brandon Phillips to Washington. The Nationals are now working out an agreement with Phillips who has to waive his no trade rights.
Reporting by Ken Rosenthal.
Sorry to be a little late on the Phillips rumors tonight. Was at The Force Awakens. An hour ago, Phillips wrote a cryptic tweet that indicated he was flying from Cincinnati to Washington DC (202 area code).
No word on possible return for the Reds. Don’t expect too much unless the Reds eat some of Phillips salary (which is a decent way to spend some of the payroll they’re saving with all these trades).

Mike Leake’s big break may have arrived as Dodgers, Cardinals lurk
Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports 2:08 p.m. EST December 17, 2015

Maybe, just maybe, this is the break Mike Leake needed.

Leake, the front-line starting pitcher left in the cold during this free-agent market, has let it be known all winter that he wants to stay in the National League, and would prefer to be close to home in Phoenix.

Leake thought he had the perfect fit a week ago with the Arizona Diamondbacks, coming tantalizingly close to a five-year, $70 million contract agreement, only for it to unravel at the last minute.

The San Francisco Giants, with whom he also had serious talks during the winter, also bowed out when they spent $220 million on starters Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija.

Now, with the Los Angeles Dodgers squarely in his sights, a news report out of Japan on Thursday reveals that Hisashi Iwakuma’s three-year, $45 million deal with the Dodgers has hit a snag. The Dodgers could be uncomfortable after examining results of Iwakuma’s physical examination. The deal has not fallen apart yet, the Dodgers say, but it’s been nearly two weeks since they reached an agreement, and nothing has been finalized.

This is Leake’s opening.

The Dodgers, who lost Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks, could now turn to Leake, even if they eventually sign Iwakuma. Heck, the Dodgers can still unload their prized prospects and land Jose Fernandez from the Miami Marlins or Sonny Gray from the Oakland Athletics, if they wish.

If the Dodgers have Kershaw, Gray and Leake atop their rotation, they can match up with the D’backs’ trio of Greinke, Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin, or the Giants with Madison Bumgarner, Cueto and Samardzija.

Now, it’s just a matter of Leake’s representatives convincing the Dodgers this is the right move.

Even if the Dodgers don’t come through, Leake has options. The St. Louis Cardinals, who are sitting atop a mountain of cash that David Price or Jason Heyward didn’t take, have interest. So do the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

Maybe the Dodgers are better off with Leake than Iwakuma, 34, anyways. Iwakuma yielded a 3.54 ERA for the Seattle Mariners last year, but made only 20 starts over 129.2 innings, missing two months with a lat strain.

Leake, 28, has been remarkably consistent, despite never having an All-Star season. He has averaged 12 victories and 200 innings the last three years. He went 11-10 with a 3.70 ERA last season for the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants.

“He’s a pretty amazing kid,” Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart said before negotiations unraveled. “What he wants to try to accomplish and what he has accomplished to this point at a young age is pretty amazing. I think he would definitely be an asset to our team.

“He has a real, real clue on what he wants to get done.’’

What he wants to get done is now obvious:

He wants to be with the Dodgers.

This is clearly his No. 1 choice, pitching for a perennial contender, in a pitcher’s ballpark, in a pitcher’s division, and being close to home.

Really, it’s perfect.

He just needs the Dodgers to cooperate, and considering the news out of Japan, perhaps this will be what ultimately brings the two together.

Re-look at Votto’s remaining contract…
2016 32 Cincinnati Reds $20,000,000
2017 33 Cincinnati Reds $22,000,000
2018 34 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2019 35 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2020 36 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2021 37 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2022 38 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2023 39 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2024 40 Cincinnati Reds $20,000,000 team option; $7m buyout
Earliest Free Agent: 2024

Latest on Brandon…
The Nationals are waiting to hear whether the Reds will be able to work out an arrangement with Phillips to get him to waive his no-trade clause, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post reports on Twitter. There are still “lots of hurdles” remaining, Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets.

Brandon Phillips as Hamlet
Posted on 12/18/2015 by STEVE MANCUSO
To leave, or not to leave?

According to a report in the Washington Post, the Brandon Phillips trade is on hold while the Reds must convince their second baseman to waive his no-trade rights.

On the one hand, Phillips has a home and roots now in Cincinnati. And he’s earned the right to reject trades for whatever reason he wants. On the other hand, playing for the Washington Nationals would provide a chance for Phillips to play in the spotlight of a big city and possibly the post-season. He could also reunite with his long-time manager, Dusty Baker.

Another round of slings and arrows over outrageous fortune between the Reds and Phillips could raise old grievances. Phillips felt the Reds lied to him when he negotiated his previous 4-year, $72.5 million contract. His claim is the Reds pled poverty then turned around and signed Joey Votto to a $200+ million contract. Phillips took the unusual step of using the word “lie” several times in the media. Phillips could ask the Reds for a significant amount of money to complete the deal. Again, that’s his right.

If I were the Reds, I’d call his bluff. I think the player would shuffle off.

The situation may resolve quickly or drag on. It’s up to Brandon Phillips how he wants the final chapter of his legacy with the Reds to read.

But it wouldn’t surprise me if Dat Dude played Hamlet for a few days.

Call me crazy – I really appreciated BP’s performance the past season. I really appreciate also his fan friendliness. I can’t think of another Red (Rose at dif. level) who has been so responsive and fun for fans. Soooo – I for one – hope he turns thumbs down. (but I wouldn’t want it to turn into a negative atmosphere for him here) – I was for offering Fraz shortly after the ASG while he was at his highest value.

4:11pm: The Reds are expected to give Phillips some form of incentives to waive his no-trade rights, but there’s been no progress made on those talks to this point, according to James Wagner of the Washington Post (links to Twitter).

DEC. 18, 1:43pm: Sources tell MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that it’s very likely at this point that Phillips will waive his no-trade protection and allow a deal to be finalized.

Sadly the Reds position is…what will it take to get you to sign with the Nats, saving us $27m. Phillips position is…I deferred monies and you lied to me. Also I like playing Cincinnati as I have set down family roots. The good news is that Baker is now the Manager of the Nats. Without the relationship, coupled with the opportunity to play for a ultra-competitive team nearly guaranteed to make the playoffs…(again)…I think Phillips only question is ‘how much am I gonna charge them to leave?’. It’s a tough and terse business, but it always comes down to dollars and sense.

Trading Phillips,IMO, is a necessary move for the rebuild. Gotta play the youngsters to see what we have. For that reason Bruce nedds to go also. With or without Brandon and Jay, the Reds are not going anywhere in 2016.

Yes, Phillips, Bruce and Chapman have to go. For the next few seasons we aren’t going anywhere anyway, so they’d be marking time at the expense of the Reds. Also, we need the positions open so we can start the rebuild by position and allow the ‘future’ Reds to start their turns. It’s time to turn the page and start over; the money paid these guys will go a long way in the future when reasonable players can be signed. I know this isn’t a necessarily popular position but a successful rebuild is like taking off a bandage…do it all in one quick fell swoop!

The thing is – there is still Votto. This is all hypothetical, of course, but to me it makes sense to have another tried and true along with Votto – rather than Votto being the lone veteran. I don’t like the mgr. (no secret) and I think there are enough pieces to work with, to allow fans to at least see the game played well (if we had a mgr. who was better at strategy) even if not a contender .

Sadly, the Reds kept Price for a couple of reasons…1) Castellini is true to his staff,
2) the Reds are rebuilding and when a team rebuilds they need SP first and foremost; keep Price due to his “true” talents…PC, and finally, 3) don’t rock the boat all the way around…rebuild and keep the Manager for his final year.

The opportunity cost of signing Bronson Arroyo
Posted on 11/19/2015 by STEVE MANCUSO
Item: During the 2012-13 off-season, the Chicago Cubs signed free agent starting pitcher Scott Feldman to a one-year, $6 million contract. Feldman pitched well for the Cubs in early 2013. In 15 starts his ERA was 3.46 and FIP was 3.93. On July 2, the Cubs traded Feldman to the Baltimore Orioles. They turned three months of Scott Feldman into 4.5 years of Jake Arrieta (yes, that Jake Arrieta) and 4.5 years of bullpen stud Pedro Strop.

Item: During the 2013-14 off-season, the Cubs signed free agent starting pitcher Jason Hammel to a one-year, $6 million contract. Hammel pitched well for the Cubs in early 2014. In 17 starts his ERA was 2.98 and his FIP was 3.19. On July 5, the Cubs traded Hammel to Oakland in a deal that returned Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily from the A’s. Jeff Samardzija was a more important part of the Cubs outgoing package. But Hammel was no slouch. 1.5 years of Samardzija and half a year of Hammel brought the Cubs 6 years of Russell, the #3 prospect in baseball; six years of McKinney, the #2 prospect in the Cubs system now; and Straily, a pitcher who became part of the trade to the Astros for Dexter Fowler.

Signing players to one-year deals and flipping them at mid-season is a proven rebuilding tactic for the Cubs. Let’s call it the Epstein Flip. Pulling it off takes on-target scouting and accurate analytics. The team has to be in a particular situation – in a rebuilding phase and have to have the money to track down a quality pitcher on the free agent market who is looking for a one-year deal. The Feldman and Hammel acquisitions were deliberate sign-to-trade moves by the Cubs.

The Cincinnati Reds enter the 2015-16 off-season in perfect position to execute an Epstein Flip.

The Reds need an extra starting pitcher to begin the season. Homer Bailey will miss the first month. From last year’s staff, only Anthony DeSclafani (184 IP) can pitch the entire season. The rest – Raisel Iglesias (124 IP), John Lamb (160 IP), Michael Lorenzen (156 IP), Keyvius Sampson (135 IP), Brandon Finnegan (105 IP) and Robert Stephenson (134 IP) – will face innings limits of varying severity. Yes, the Reds could divide up the season and get by with only these names. But prudence suggests adding another arm to the mix, one that could cover the available innings the first half of the year.

The Reds could neatly fuse the innings-eater common sense with the opportunism of the Epstein Flip. The club could and should comb the free agent pool for pitchers where the market dictates a one-year deal and choose a good one. Let him pitch for half the season while Bailey gets back in the groove and the young arms sort themselves out. Then trade the new starter at the deadline, like Feldman and Hammel.

The Reds should have enough payroll to avoid curb shopping this off-season if they can figure out a couple of the trades that have been rumored. Keep in mind they’ll only be paying half a year’s salary to this starting pitcher. A $6 million man traded at the deadline only costs $3 million.

But not just any starter will do. He has to project to pitch well in the first half to build his value. That bar isn’t super high. Scott Feldman and Jason Hammel weren’t Clayton Kershaw. But Jason Marquis and his type won’t cut it, as we saw last year.

That brings us to Bronson Anthony Arroyo.

Bronson Arroyo will be 38 on Opening Day, all parts of him other than one ligament as old as Saturn. Bill Clinton was President when Arroyo began his major league career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The tall, durable right-hander pitched a full season (32 starts, 202 innings) for the Reds in 2013. He signed a 2-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but after 14 appearances, the guy who hadn’t missed a start since puberty, suffered a torn UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-2014. Since then, he’s been traded to Atlanta and then the Dodgers. That involved a bunch of contract dumping, but no pitching. The Dodgers just paid Arroyo a $4.5 million buyout for the 2016 season to avoid ponying up an $11 million option.

Bronson Arroyo, always a free spirit, is now a free agent.

Yesterday, John Fay spotted Arroyo having lunch across the street from GABP. We now know the pitcher was in town talking to the Reds about making a return. The Reds, wisely, aren’t jumping in to anything. They want to make sure Arroyo is healthy before contract talks move too far. Arroyo is headed back to his home in Florida, expecting a normal off-season throwing. If Arroyo can prove he’s recovered, it sounds like there is strong mutual interest.

That raises the question: Is Bronson Arroyo an option for the Epstein Flip?

Well, he sure wouldn’t cost $6 million. His contract will be for one year comprised mostly of incentives based on innings pitched.

Arroyo hasn’t pitched since mid-2014 – a layoff nearly a year longer than Bailey’s. It’s possible that his recovery from surgery will be slow and gradual, meaning he isn’t a strong candidate for a fast-starting innings consumer. But given the way Bronson Arroyo pitches, it wouldn’t be surprising if he was ready in April and able to throw a complete season. With a new elbow ligament and time to rest up, Arroyo might well be in a great position for a deadline trade.

That’s where the real risk arises. Can the Reds avoid falling in love with a returned-to-form Bronson Arroyo?

Arroyo could take care of the innings the Reds need covered. But the arrangement has to be temporary. Nothing is more important to the Reds rebuilding this year than developing their young starting pitchers. If Bronson Arroyo ends up starting 30+ games for the Reds, it’s a problem. Barring a significant trade that brings in another pitcher, by mid season the Reds need their rotation to be comprised of Bailey, DeSclafani, Iglesias and the most promising young guys.

If the Reds sign on, Arroyo’s return will be sold to fans as providing a wise mentor for the young pitchers. In fact, that pitch has already begun. “Price thinks I could help the clubhouse,” Arroyo said to Fay. But the Reds can’t let that become an argument for keeping him around all year. Arroyo can demonstrate work ethic and teach the kids a few tricks over five months (Feb-July).

In a way, resigning Bronson Arroyo is such a Reds inside move – the comfort of familiarity. With Walt Jocketty’s players from St. Louis mostly retired, bringing back former Reds is next generation in-group bias.

That said, Arroyo’s return would go over well here. He’s uber-popular with the beat writers because Arroyo speaks to them sans cliché. Reds fans would love to see #61 back on the GABP mound, befuddling hitters while wearing a Cincinnati uniform. If Arroyo proves healthy over the next couple months, the Reds should give his well worn tires a kick. After conducting a broad search of the free agent pool, it may turn out that Bronson Arroyo is the best guy for the job.

But the club only has one shot at the Epstein Flip. There’s no sensible room for adding two veteran pitchers to the rotation and keeping one all season. In an off-season that promises infamy for shipping off a bunch of popular players, bringing a fan favorite back will present a great public relations temptation. If the organization doesn’t have the stomach to trade Arroyo in July, they’ll miss a valuable sign-to-trade opportunity.

Given that significant opportunity cost, the Reds have to resist nostalgia. Avoiding sentimental attachment hasn’t been one of the organization’s strongest qualities. The club needs a Jason Hammel not a Jason Marquis.

Reds invite Winker, Ervin, Travieso, and others to major league camp
Posted on 12/18/2015 by GRANT FREKING
Camp opens Feb. 18 when pitchers and catchers report. Position players report five days later. Here’s the full list of who the Reds invited to big league camp today:
Pitchers
Tim Adleman, Drew Hayes, Cody Reed, Layne Somsen, Nick Travieso, and Zack Weiss.
Position players
Alex Blandino, Carlton Daal, Phillip Ervin, Joe Hudson, Chad Wallach, and Jesse Winker.

Glad to see Cody Reed. Looking forward to seeing him pitch.

Dumb narratives from the Phillips negotiations
Posted on 12/18/2015 by STEVE MANCUSO
National reporters seem to agree that the Reds and Nationals have worked out a deal to trade Brandon Phillips to Washington. But the Reds second baseman has earned the right to reject any trade, so it falls to the Reds to persuade BP to sign off on the agreement. It appears there’s been no movement today on those negotiations. But there are three inaccurate narratives developing in the national media:

Narrative: Phillips should expect more money from the Reds because he gave the team a hometown discount on his 4-year, $72 million deal (Nightengale, ESPN)

Reality: There was no hometown discount. Here’s what Phillips said about the deal at the time: “Phillips often says how much he loves playing in Cincinnati. That, however, doesn’t mean he’ll accept a hometown discount. ‘It’s a business. This is my last contract. There’s no homeboy hookup. That ain’t going to work. I want to be paid what I’m worth.’”

Narrative: If the Reds don’t “dramatically” improve their offer, there won’t be a deal (Bowden, ESPN)

Reality: Either side could produce a deal by changing their position. It’s not fair to frame the issue placing the blame on the Reds. Phillips could soften his stance and he’d be a Washington National faster than you could tweet DatDudDC.

Narrative: Phillips won’t agree to a trade because he loves Cincinnati.

Reality: If that were the case, nothing the Reds could offer him would matter. Negotiations would be over. Rest assured, this is about money to Phillips. He may have a preference for staying in Cincinnati, but it’s nothing that wouldn’t be overcome by showing him the money. Nothing at all wrong with that. But please let’s not hear about how much he loves Cincinnati if this falls through.

There’s a lot of lingering animosity between Phillips and the Reds that dates back to his perception that the club lied to him during negotiations over his contract.

You’ve got to love the standoffs between billionaires and a multi-millionaire professional athletes.

Wow !! How much money does one man need . Just turns the average fan wonder why he even cares .

Players come and go. As the Reds shift gears whats lost in all this is the crazy money these owners have. Brandon has or will have earned over 100 million. No crying there. Go watch high school baseball. Until a cap is in place this game is out of control.

Cards were wounded, losing both Lackey and Heyward to the up-n-coming Cubbies…
The Cardinals and Rays are discussing a trade that would send a starting pitcher from Tampa to St. Louis, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweets. Morosi does not say who that pitcher might be, but notes that Jake Odorizzi grew up not far from St. Louis. This wouldn’t be the first time Odorizzi’s name has come up in trade rumors this week — the Rays have reportedly recently talked to the Dodgers about him.

The Cardinals can use starting pitching help — Lance Lynn will miss the season after having Tommy John surgery, and John Lackey has headed to the Cubs. The Cards have seen several top free agent starting pitchers to whom they’ve been connected this offseason head to other teams. They’ve also lost a crucial position player, Jason Heyward, to the Cubs, causing them to lose ground against a key divisional rival.

FROM MLBTR:
By Charlie Wilmoth | December 19, 2015 at 11:59am CST

It’s been a busy week at MLBTR, and we’re just now catching up on some reactions to one of the week’s major moves: the three-team deal in which the White Sox received star third baseman Todd Frazier from the Reds. The Reds, of course, got infielders Jose Peraza and Brandon Dixon and outfielder Scott Schebler from the Dodgers, while the Dodgers received righty Frankie Montas, infielder Micah Johnson and outfielder Trayce Thompson from Chicago.
•The Reds got surprisingly little in return for Frazier, ESPN’s Keith Law writes (Insider-only). Peraza, the key to the Reds’ end of the trade, is a potentially terrific defender at second base and a very fast baserunner, but he’s coming off an underwhelming season and doesn’t have much in the way of power or patience. Schebler, meanwhile, merely looks like a potential fourth outfielder, and Dixon might not even be a significant prospect. The White Sox did very well in the deal, Law writes, and the Dodgers got good value, although it’s unclear why they didn’t just acquire Frazier themselves, since they had what the Reds evidently wanted.
•MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, meanwhile, wonders why the Reds didn’t just cut the three-team deal off at the pass and trade directly with the White Sox, who gave up three young players who appear to be better than the ones the Reds ultimately got.
•After adding Frazier and Brett Lawrie, the White Sox could continue to make moves, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes. They could deal outfielder Avisail Garcia or first baseman Adam LaRoche if they can find a trade partner, and dealing one of those two players could conceivably allow them to sign Yoenis Cespedes or Justin Upton. (I’d counter that Garcia, who projects to make just $2.3MM next season, shouldn’t be a significant obstacle to signing Cespedes or Upton if that’s really what the White Sox want to do, and that it should be difficult for the team to clear much of LaRoche’s salary in a trade.) The Dodgers, meanwhile, could now use their collection of prospects to trade for Jose Fernandez, or failing that, someone like Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco, Sonny Gray or Tyson Ross.
•The White Sox expressed interest in Frazier at the beginning of the offseason, Reds GM Dick Williams tells MLB Network Radio (link to audio). The Reds and White Sox did have discussions about a two-team trade, but the Reds preferred the package of players the Dodgers brought to the table. Williams adds that one factor in the deal was the strength of their competition in the NL Central, which meant that their best chance of success was to gather prospects and build a team that could be successful “a couple of years” from now. Williams also notably says that teams have continued to discuss with him the possibility of trading for Aroldis Chapman despite the domestic violence accusations against Chapman.

breaking, breaking (apparently) – http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/cincinnati-reds suits me fine – ha

If the Reds can’t trade Phillips, the rebuild will stall and just take longer. GREED!

Deeply depressing…does no good for either Phillips or Reds. Actually holds up rebuild as you indicated; postponing ‘play time’ for new 2nd baseman…or will it…
I am certain the Reds would have made an adjustment to Phillips but to require a
major adjustment to remaining contract is vindictive. This comment is not directed only at Phillips but to any MLB player that has or will attempt such a course of action. Hopefully, the deal will resurrect and finish.

With Frazier gone, maybe Brandon thinks he can reclaim his SELF PROCLAIMED “heart and soul of the team” title.

I agree that the players are to blame to a certain degree. However the owners shoulder some blame as well . The system favors the players to which the owners signed off on . Phillips is just going by the rules of the CBA . So , please don’t put ALL the blame on the player .

Neb my guess there are precedents set with 10 5 guys I’m sure. If Brandon just goes he’ll effect others who follow. Someone will sweetin the pot and Brandon will go. If not, brandon deserves a big’ol come on man. Brandon is all about Brandon though. Thoughts? Hey someone tell Brandon he’s 35 and his window of opportunity is small. Thanks for a nice career Brandon. We’ll miss you. See you in the Reds all of fame.

How bout this. Brandon can join Billy as part of the bench warmers. There you go situation solved.

Hey Brandon Phillips. Makes you appear to be a whiny crying multi multi multi millionaire. Although we know already your no boy scout. Take the deal and enjoy. Come on man.

Bronson Arroyo says he’s “perfectly fine” after missing 2015 season
By Bill BaerDec 19, 2015, 6:05 PM EST
Free agent starter Bronson Arroyo says he’s “perfectly fine”, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports. Stark adds that the veteran right-hander has received interest from the Nationals, Pirates, Orioles, Padres, Braves, Reds, and Phillies.
Arroyo, 39, underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2014 and missed the entire 2015 season. Still, he managed to move around as the Braves acquired him from the Diamondbacks along with pitching prospect Touki Toussaint in exchange for Phil Gosselin — essentially a salary-shedding transaction for the D-Backs. Then the Braves traded Arroyo to the Dodgers ahead of the trade deadline as part of a 13-player, three-team trade that also included the Marlins.
In 14 starts in 2014, Arroyo posted a 4.08 ERA with a 47/19 K/BB ratio over 86 innings. Prior to that season, Arroyo had logged 175-plus innings in every season dating back to 2004.
……………………………………….
Haven’t heard this before…”right-hander has received interest from the Nationals, Pirates, Orioles, Padres, Braves, Reds…”
Guess there is no reason us Red’s fans would anyway.
Interesting…1 year with a transition into coaching?
I know we have talked about this on this board, but I have
yet to see his name mentioned in a recent article with the
Reds attributed.

I Guarentee If I worked for MLB.com, I would have updated my blog by now… Sheesh. Not a good look in 2015′

Hard to do when you are on vacation.

A picture of a preferable woman that Survivalist discovers on among his targets
sets off a long-repressed yearning.

El potasio desempeña un rol importante en la
regulación del agua en las plantas (osmo-regulación).

I’m not sure exactly why but this blog is loading incredibly slow
for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

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