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Simon, Latos traded

The Reds traded All-Star starter Alfredo Simon to the Tigers for right-handed pitcher Jonathon Crawford and infielder Eugenio Suarez.

Meanwhile, the Reds dealt power arm Mat Latos to the Marlins for 24-year-old right-hander Anthony DeSclafani and catcher Chad Wallach.

“We’re in a better position to start looking at some other possibilities to improve our club – the hitter we’re looking for and some bullpen depth,” Jocketty said during the press conference to announce the Simon trade.

More to come on MLB.com.

NL Central looks tough

While the Reds haven’t completed any deals yet here at the Winter Meetings, some of their NL Central rivals have been frisky. The Cubs are arguably the “winners” of the meetings by signing pitchers Jon Lester and Jason Hammel and trading for Miguel Montero.

“They’re certainly going to be a lot better than they were last year because of some of the key moves they’ve made,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Wednesday.

The Pirates brought back A.J. Burnett recently and re-signed Francisco Liriano this week and added reliever Antonio Bastardo on Wednesday.

It all points to one competitive division for 2015.

“I think all five teams in our division will be competitive and will probably be in contention most of the year,” Jocketty said. “We’ll probably be knocking each other off all year. I don’t see the winner of our division winning a lot of games. It will be tough to 100 games in our division. Somebody might step up.

“I don’t think the division gets a lot of notoriety for whatever reason. It’s the middle of the country, I guess.”

On Reds.com/MLB.com soon, I will have more on today’s briefing with Jocketty.

Enberg wins Frick Award

It was announced Wednesday at the Winter Meetings that Dick Enberg will be the recipient of the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The 10 finalists were: Richie Ashburn, Billy Berroa, Rene Cardenas, Dizzy Dean, Enberg, Ernie Johnson Sr., Ralph Kiner, Ned Martin, Joe Nuxhall and Jack Quinlan. In September, Enberg, Kiner and Quinlan emerged from the Museum’s online fan poll for inclusion on the final 10-name ballot as the top three fan poll selections.

Nuxhall has been on the ballot the past several years.

Vote totals were not revealed.

The 20-member electorate, comprised of the 16 living Frick Award recipients and four broadcast historians/columnists, includes Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker, Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC/MLB Network), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).

Reds listening on Cueto, Chapman

There has been some buzz at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday that the Reds were listening to clubs seeking trades for Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman. MLB.com reported the story about Chapman.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty didn’t exactly deny the rumors. But he is not actively shopping either pitcher.

“I don’t know where the Chapman stuff came from. I got hit with it,” Jocketty said. “I walked into the room today and asked our guys if there was anything on Chapman. I got three texts and a phone call this morning. I’ll listen to anything that makes sense. It was not something we initiated.

“Nobody has given us anything, really. They want to know if the rumors are true. It’s whatever you want to think. I don’t consider, unless we get proposals from clubs, that it’s anything legitimate. It’s just inquiring.”

Jocketty met with no clubs face-to-face but did talk on the phone. Most of the club’s in-person meetings were with agents, including Cueto’s representatives. Jocketty also noted he thought the team was close on a couple of trade this week but thy didn’t materialize a deal and fell apart.

I’ll have more about Tuesday on Reds.com/MLB.com soon.

Video: Price, me

Some multimedia stuff for you here on Tuesday afternoon at the Winter Meetings.

The first is Reds manager Bryan Price from Monday, discussing Billy Hamilton and the rotation.

Today, I talked with MLB.com about some of the big decisions ahead for the Reds

Reds interested in Axford

A source told MLB.com at the Winter Meetings on Monday that the Reds have interest in signing veteran free agent reliever John Axford. No deal is close as of yet and the right-hander is also believed to be drawing interest from four other clubs.

Last season for Indians and Pirates, Axford was 2-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 62 appearances. He also pitched for the Cardinals and Brewers during his career. At Milwaukee, he was the club’s closer and saved a career-high 46 games in 2011 but ran into some struggles over the following two seasons and was traded to St. Louis.

Axford, who turns 32 on April 1, was signed by Cleveland to a one-year, $4.5 million deal last winter with the hopes he could regain his form as an elite closer. He had 10 saves, but early-season struggles led him to be removed from the role in May. Pittsburgh claimed him off of waivers in August.

Monday at the Winter Meetings

Good day from San Diego, everyone…

The Winter Meetings are underway and the lobby here at the Manchester Grand Hyatt is filled with baseball scouts, executives, managers and of course, media. Plenty of mingling going on. Of course, a lot more stuff is happening out of sight in the suites with the club GMs, agents, etc.

Reds beat writers will be meeting with GM Walt Jocketty at 5 p.m. PT today for a briefing. Manager Bryan Price is available to all media at 2 p.m. PT.

Other tidbits thus far:

*I just ran into former Reds bench coach Chris Speier in the lobby. Speier, who was on Dusty Baker’s staff, spent 2014 as a special assistant to Jocketty but is now looking for a new job. He’s hoping to land something that puts him back on the field but isn’t ruling out any position that might present itself.

*The Indians acquired OF/1B Brandon Moss from the A’s for a Minor Leaguer infielder. Moss is another outfielder that might have been a good fit for the Reds. He’s under club control through 2016 and not very expensive.

*Last night Reds director of Minor League administration Lois Hudson was the recipient of the seventh annual Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award. It’s presented “to an individual with distinguished service who has been instrumental in player development.” Hudson has worked for the Reds organization the past 27 years.

*UPDATE: No one got into the Hall of Fame today via the Golden Era committee. Former Reds GM Bob Howsam was among the candidates but received three or fewer votes from the 16-person committee. Twelve votes were needed for election.

Reds injury reports

I’ve written a lot of stories from Redsfest — all of which are on Reds.com/MLB.com. You’ll find stuff on Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Homer Bailey, Todd Frazier and more.

Got some odds and ends, mostly pertaining to injury updates from manager Bryan Price.

*Mat Latos, who had a stiff elbow at the end of the season and was shut down, is doing well.

“He just had a little bit of elbow stiffness in the back and soreness in the back of the elbow at the end of the year and we just decided not to pitch him,” Price said. “He’s feeling excellent.”

*Bailey (flexor mass tendon surgery) is rehabbing and feels about week ahead of schedule.

*Catcher Brayan Pena has some loose bodies in his elbow that were removed at the end of the season.

*LHP Manny Parra had a procedure to remove a bunion from a big toe. He’s doing fine.

I’ll be in San Diego, starting Sunday evening, for the Winter Meetings. Hopefully, I will have some news to report from there.

It’s the Daytona Tortugas

The Reds new Advanced Class A affiliate in Daytona, Fla., has a new name and logo. The former Daytona Cubs are now the Daytona Tortugas.

Click here to see their new look and web site.

Fans will get to decide the new Tortugas mascot’s name via a vote in the local newspaper.

The five name options:

Ollie
Scooter
Shelldon
Tito
Torque

I guess I’m partial to Shelldon for obvious reasons. Just change the spelling slightly, ok?

All-Star Game patch

The Duke Energy Center is being transformed into a Reds Mecca for Redsfest, which begins Friday afternoon.

Reds catcher Brayan Pena was on hand to talk to reporters and is on a media tour around the city all day.

While he was wearing his No. 29 jersey, you could see a slight — and expected — uniform modification for the 2015 season.

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