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Elmore claimed by Pirates

The Jake Elmore era was brief for the Reds. Elmore, who was part of some procedural moves this week that outrighted off the Reds 40-man roster only to be put back on, was claimed off of waivers on Friday by the Pirates.

It puts the Reds’ 40-man roster at 38 players for the moment.

A September call-up, Elmore was 2-for-11 in five games for the Reds. He spent most of the year at Triple-A, batting a combined .281 (75-for-267) at Louisville and Sacramento.

The Reds had claimed the 27-year-old off of waivers from the A’s on Aug. 2.

No Silver Sluggers for Reds

The latest accolades for 2014 achievement were presented on Thursday when Louisville Slugger announced its 2014 Silver Slugger Awards. No Reds were winners this year. I thought catcher Devin Mesoraco or third baseman Todd Frazier might have the best chance at one.

Were they shortchanged? Below are the numbers.

The Giants’ Buster Posey won the NL catcher Silver Slugger.

Posey: .311/.364/.490, 22 HR, 89 RBIs, 143 OPS+, 144 wRC+ in 147 games and 605 PA.
Mesoraco: .273/.359/.534, 25 HR, 80 RBIs, 149 OPS+,147 wRC+ in 114 games and 440 PA.

Anthony Rendon of the Nationals won the Silver Slugger for NL third basemen

Rendon: .287/.351/.473, 21 HR, 83 RBIs, 125 OPS+, 130 wRC+ in 153 games and 613 PA.
Frazier: .273/.336/.459, 29 HR, 80 RBIs, 123 OPS+, 122 wRC+ in 157 games and 660 PA.

Unlike the Gold Gloves and BBWAA awards, no finalists were named for the Silver Sluggers, so there are no voting results or sense of the consideration Frazier or Mesoraco might have received. Votes are cast by Major League coaches and managers, who consider a combination of offensive stats — including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage — as well as basic impressions of a player’s value at the plate. Those who cast a ballot may not vote for players on their own team.

I do wonder if Mesoraco’s two stints on the disabled list hurt his chances even if his injury-shortened season numbers were about as good as Posey’s. As for Frazier, he played 43 games at first base this season with Joey Votto out. It prevented him from racking up his numbers solely at third base. Again, I wonder how that might have hurt his chances at winning the award.

Defensive honors for Reds, Cueto

The Reds were shutout for Gold Gloves on Tuesday but they received some defensive honors on Wednesday. Their efforts on the field were recognized as Cincinnati was named the Wilson Defensive Team of the Year.

Individually, Reds rotation ace Johnny Cueto won the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award for pitchers.

Established in 2012 as the only official defensive award recognized by Major League Baseball, the Wilson Sporting Goods Co., changed its format this year by giving an award to the nine best defensive players at each position among a combined pool of American League and National League candidates and one team award for each league. Previously, Wilson presented its award to one individually selected player for each team.

More details to come soon on MLB.com.

2014 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award Winners

(P) Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds
(C) Russell Martin – Pittsburgh Pirates
(1B) Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
(2B) Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
(3B) Juan Uribe – Los Angeles Dodgers
(SS) Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
(LF) Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
(CF) Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals

Reds 0-for-3 in Gold Gloves

No Reds were winners of National League Gold Gloves on Tuesday. The leagues’ managers and coaches vote for the Gold Gloves, which is based on 75 percent of the votes while 25 percent is based on defensive metrics. Based on those metrics, it looks like the right winners got the awards here.

At 2B, Brandon Phillips lost out on a fifth career NL Gold Glove when the award went to D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies. Phillips committed only two errors and had a .996 fielding percentage but LeMahieu stood well above the rest at his position in the advanced stats with a 10.7 ultimate zone rating and 16 defense runs saved. Phillips had a 9.9 UZR and a 6 DRS. Chase Utley of the Phillies was the third finalist.

At SS, the Braves’ Andrelton Simmons bested Zack Cozart and the Marlins’ Adeiny Hechavarria. In the advanced stats, Simmons led the league at the position with a 28 DRS while Cozart was second with 19. Simmons had at 15.5 UZR that led the league while Cozart was second at 12.1. Cozart (10) had fewer errors than Simmons (14) and a better fielding percentage with .984 compared to Simmons’ .978.

At CF, Juan Lagares of the Mets won over Billy Hamilton and Denard Span of the Nationals. Lagares led the NL with a 28 DRS while Hamilton was second at 14. Hamilton had a better UZR at 20.1 to Lagares’ 18.6. Hamilton also led all NL center fielders with 10 assists and a .994 fielding percentage.

*Earlier on Tuesday, two Reds were named finalists for BBWAA awards. Johnny Cueto is up for the NL Cy Young Award and Hamilton is a candidate for NL Rookie of the Year.

Reds, Jays to meet at Montreal

For nostalgic Reds fans that recall road trips vs. the Expos, this news should be right in your wheelhouse. It was announced on Tuesday that the Blue Jays will host the Reds in a pair of exhibition games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal on April 3-4, 2015.

From MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, our Blue Jays beat writer:

Montreal blew away expectations in the spring by selling more than 96,000 tickets for the two games between Toronto and New York. Organizers are hopeful for a similar turnout next year, as the former home of the Expos attempts to prove there is a strong desire to see the return of Major League Baseball to the city. …

Montreal plans to honor Hall of Famers Tony Perez and Roberto Alomar, alongside longtime Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston. Perez is one of the Reds’ all-time greats, and he was a key member of Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine, which won the World Series in 1975 and ’76 .

The Expos began in 1969 as an expansion club in the National League and remained until 2004 before a move to Washington to become the Nationals. The Reds were 70-72 all time in games played at Olympic Stadium and 28-20 at the Expos’ first home, Jarry Park.

As for the rest of the Reds Spring Training exhibition schedule in the Cactus League, that has yet to be announced.

Awards season is here

Monday night marked the beginning of a two-week stretch where awards for 2014 performances will be announced. It began with the MLBPA Players Choice Awards. No Reds were winners but two were finalists.

For NL Outstanding Pitcher, Clayton Kershaw from the Dodgers won over finalists Johnny Cueto and Adam Wainwright.

For NL Outstanding Rookie, Jacob deGrom of the Mets defeated fellow finalists Billy Hamilton and David Peralta from the D-backs.

On Tuesday night — American League and National League Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for defense will be announced. (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2). Billy Hamilton, Zack Cozart and Brandon Phillips are finalists.

We will also learn this evening who the finalists are for the 2014 BBWAA Awards.

On Wednesday — the Wilson defensive players of the year will be announced. This award began in 2012. It will air at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

On Thursday — AL and NL Silver Slugger Awards.

Next week:

Monday, Nov. 10 — AL & NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award
Tuesday, Nov. 11 — AL & NL Manager of the Year Award
Wednesday, Nov. 12 — AL & NL Cy Young Award
Thursday, Nov. 13 — AL & NL Most Valuable Player Award

All awards next week will be broadcast by MLB Network at 6 p.m. ET.

Also –you can have a vote in our MLB.com GIBBY Awards (Greatness in Baseball Yearly). Click below to participate:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/awards/y2014/gibbys/

Miller to Nats

Former Reds assistant general manager Bob Miller has landed a new job in the same position with the Nationals, it was announced on Monday. Miller had been set to move to Florida to start a business while hoping to remain in baseball.

Here is the Nationals press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 3, 2014

NATIONALS NAME BOB MILLER VICE PRESIDENT
AND ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER

The Washington Nationals welcomed Bob Miller to their front office staff today, naming him Vice President and Assistant General Manager. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Miller, who will assist in all facets of baseball operations, comes to the Nationals after nine seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, serving most recently as Vice President and Assistant General Manager to Reds’ President of Baseball Operations and GM Walt Jocketty. In that role, Miller had a hand in all aspects of baseball operations, including arbitration cases, contract negotiations, rules, player evaluations, and departmental budgeting.

Joining the Nationals for his 33rd season in professional baseball, Miller reunites with Rizzo for the first time since the two worked together for seven years with the Arizona Diamondbacks. There they helped build the 2001 World Series championship team, and take Arizona’s Minor League system from No. 29 (as ranked by Baseball America) to No. 1 in five years.

Miller, who initially joined the Reds in Feb., 2006, as Director of Baseball Administration under then-GM Wayne Krivsky, quickly moved through the ranks in Cincinnati. He was promoted to Assistant General Manager in June of 2006 and in Dec., 2006, was named Vice President and Assistant GM. During his time with the Reds, the team improved from a sub-.500 club to win two division championships and earn three playoff appearances. In 2012, the Reds were also named Baseball America’s Organization of the Year.

Prior to joining the Reds, Miller spent seven seasons with the Diamondbacks — first as Assistant Director of Scouting, then Director of Baseball Operations, and the final three as Assistant General Manager, where he oversaw the organization’s Minor League player development from 2004-05. In 2005, the Diamondbacks were named TOPPS’ Minor League Organization of the Year.

Miller joined the Diamondbacks with 16 years of Minor League experience on his resume, including 14 years at the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, and stops as Vice President of Baseball Operations in the independent Texas-Louisiana League office, along with serving as executive GM of that league’s Amarillo Dillas club.

Miller, 50, graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in finance.

Reds news and notes

I’ve got a quick smattering of Reds items for you on this Thursday evening….

*Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has yet to hire former Padres and D-backs GM Kevin Towers to his front office. Buster Olney of ESPN reported that Towers’ hiring was likely. He and Jocketty are good friends.

“Not yet, no. We’ve talked about it but nothing has been done,” Jocketty said from Arizona. “He still has a year left on his contract. He wants to take some time and figure out what he wants to do.”

*Cuban signing and RHP Raisel Iglesias is no longer going to pitch winter ball in Puerto Rico. After two scoreless outings in the Arizona Fall League, Iglesias will remain in the desert.

“We’ve had a change of plans there,” Jocketty said. “It’s easier to manage his workload here than it is over there. That’s what we’re most concerned with.”

*The Reds have made no progress on hiring a new third base coach to replace Steve Smith on manager Bryan Price’s staff.

“Bryan took some time off and I’m going to get with him the next week or so and hopefully work on that a little more. We’re not really in a big rush,” Jocketty said.

It does not appear that former third base coach Mark Berry will be a candidate for his old job. Berry battled throat cancer during the 2013 season.

“I don’t think so,” Jocketty said. “Bryan has talked to him and I don’t think he has interest in doing that.”

Free agency begins

As you know, the World Series is over. (Wow, what a series it was too!) In the Major League calendar, the end of the World Series also marks the start of free agency.

On Thursday, 121 players became free agents. They are eligible to begin negotiations and sign with any club beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 4. At the bottom, I have the full list of free agents as provided by the MLB Players’ Association.

Only three Reds players are free agents — OF Ryan Ludwick, INF Ramon Santiago; INF Jack Hannahan.

I think Santiago has a good chance at returning. He told me last month he wanted to come back and liked playing for the Reds. And within the scope of his role, the club was pleased with his performance — namely manager Bryan Price. Santiago batted .246/.343./.385 in 75 games while earning $1.1 million in 2014. The 35-year-old also played well defensively at shortstop and second base and was a good veteran clubhouse presence.

On Reds.com, an offseason primer is coming soon. Be sure to take a look.

Free agent list:

PLAYER TEAM
1 Bonifacio, Emilio AT
2 Doumit, Ryan AT
3 Floyd, Gavin AT
4 Harang, Aaron AT
5 Laird, Gerald AT
6 Santana, Ervin AT
7 Casilla, Alexi BA
8 Cruz, Nelson R. BA
9 Johnson, Kelly BA
10 Miller, Andrew BA
11 Santana, Johan BA
12 Saunders, Joe BA
13 Young, Delmon BA
14 Badenhop, Burke BO
15 Dempster, Ryan S. BO
16 Ross, Dave BO
17 Uehara, Koji BO
18 Villanueva, Carlos CC
19 Hannahan, Jack CI
20 Ludwick, Ryan CI
21 Santiago, Ramon CIN
22 Giambi, Jason CL
23 Belisle, Matt CO
24 Cuddyer, Mike CO
25 Masset, Nick CO
26 Morales, Franklin CO
27 Konerko, Paul CWS
28 Lindstrom, Matthew CWS
29 Chamberlain, Joba DE
30 Coke, Phil DE
31 Hanrahan, Joel DE
32 Hunter, Torii K. DE
33 Johnson, Jim DE
34 Martinez, Victor DE
35 Scherzer, Max DE
36 Albers, Matt HO
37 Crain, Jesse HO
38 Veras, Jose HO
39 Aoki, Norichika* KC
40 Downs, Scott KC
41 Frasor, Jason KC
42 Hochevar, Luke KC
43 Ibanez, Raul J. KC
44 Shields, James KC
45 Willingham, Josh KC
46 Grilli, Jason LAA
47 McDonald, John LAA
48 Thatcher, Joe LAA
49 Beckett, Josh LAD
50 Correia, Kevin LAD
51 Hernandez, Roberto LAD
52 Maholm, Paul LAD
53 Perez, Chris LAD
54 Ramirez, Hanley LAD
55 Wright, Jamey LAD
56 Furcal, Rafael MIA
57 Gregg, Kevin MIA
58 Johnson, Reed MIA
59 Penny, Brad MIA
60 Duke, Zach MIL
61 Gorzelanny, Tom MIL
62 Overbay, Lyle MIL
63 Reynolds, Mark MIL
64 Rodriguez, Francisco MIL
65 Burton, Jared MN
66 Abreu, Bobby NYM
67 Matsuzaka, Daisuke NYM
68 Capuano, Chris NYY
69 Drew, Stephen NYY
70 Headley, Chase NYY
71 Hill, Rich NYY
72 Jeter, Derek NYY
73 Kuroda, Hiroki NYY
74 McCarthy, Brandon NYY
75 Robertson, David NYY
76 Suzuki, Ichiro NYY
77 Young, Chris B. NYY
78 Callaspo, Alberto OA
79 Gomes, Jonny OA
80 Gregerson, Luke OA
81 Hammel, Jason OA
82 Lester, Jon OA
83 Lowrie, Jed OA
84 Nakajima, Hiroyuki* OA
85 Soto, Geovany OA
86 Adams, Mike PH
87 Kendrick, Kyle PH
88 Nieves, Wil PH
89 Barmes, Clint PI
90 Liriano, Francisco PI
91 Martin, Russell PI
92 Volquez, Edinson PI
93 Stauffer, Tim SD
94 Beimel, Joe SE
95 Chavez, Endy SE
96 Denorfia, Chris SE
97 Gutierrez, Franklin SE
98 Morales, Kendrys SE
99 Quintero, Humberto SE
100 Young, Chris SE
101 Morse, Michael SF
102 Peavy, Jacob SF
103 Romo, Sergio SF
104 Sandoval, Pablo SF
105 Vogelsong, Ryan SF
106 Ellis, Mark SL
107 Masterson, Justin SL
108 Motte, Jason SL
109 Neshek, Pat SL
110 Pierzynski, A.J. SL
111 Baker, Scott TE
112 Cotts, Neal TE
113 Lewis, Colby TE
114 Rios, Alexis TE
115 Cabrera, Melky TO
116 Janssen, Casey TO
117 Kawasaki, Munenori* TO
118 Rasmus, Colby TO
119 Cabrera, Asdrubal WA
120 Hairston, Scott WA
121 Schierholtz, Nate WA

*Eligible per contract terms

Another 32 players may be eligible for free agency pending the option provisions in their Uniform Players Contract (UPC).

Cueto’s option picked up

In moves that were of no surprise, MLB.com has learned Wednesday that the Reds exercised the $10 million 2015 club option for ace starting pitcher Johnny Cueto and declined options for outfielder Ryan Ludwick and infielder Jack Hannahan.

The mutual option for Ludwick was worth $9 million and it was bought out for $4.5 million while Hannahan had a $4 million club option bought out for $2 million. Both players automatically become free agents.

None of the moves have been announced yet by the Reds.

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