The Reds acquired veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd from the Phillies in a trade for right-handed pitching prospect Ben Lively, a source told MLB.com on Wednesday. Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal first broke the transaction. The Reds will also receive an unspecified amount of cash in the deal to pick up a portion of Byrd’s salary.
Neither team has commented on or confirmed the report.
Byrd, 37, is set to make $8 million next season with an $8 million vesting option for 2016 that becomes guaranteed with 600 plate appearances in 2015 or 1,100 plate appearances in 2014-15, including 550 plate appearances in 2015.
More to come on MLB.com/Reds.com.
UPDATE — Still waiting for official word as of 3 p.m.
Some pros on Byrd:
*Hit 49 homers the past two seasons.
*Was big in the Pirates’ stretch run of 2013 after he was a Trade Deadline acquisition…batted .364 in six games during his only postseason.
*185 strikeouts last season was a career high.
*Two games since in LF since 2010 season.
UPDATE NO. 2 at 3:23 p.m. — The Reds announced the deal is complete. Walt Jocketty and Bryan Price will hold a conference call with the media soon.
Story up on MLB.com here:
Remember when I mentioned Seth Smith last week and how he could be a fit for the Reds? Forget all about that.
From MLB.com’s Greg Johns:
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik made a late addition to his holiday shopping cart on Tuesday, as he completed a trade for Padres outfielder Seth Smith that gives Seattle a strong platoon option in right field for 2015.
The Mariners sent right-handed pitcher Brandon Maurer to the Padres in the deal, using their bullpen depth to add another offensive piece to a club looking to challenge in the American League West next season.
Full story below:
Free agent 3B/1B Jack Hannahan has signed a one-year contract to play with the LG Twins in Seoul, South Korea, MLB.com confirmed on Tuesday. It was first reported by Naver Sports, a site from Korea and KSTP-TV in Hannahan’s hometown of Minneapolis. KSTP said Hannahan will get $1 million to go abroad as he passed up Minor League contract offers from big league clubs.
Hannahan, 34, batted .209/.294/.278 with one homer and 16 RBIs in two seasons with the Reds while limited to just 109 games after he signed a two-year, $4 million contract. The deal came with a $4 million option for 2015, which the Reds bought out for $2 million.
Shoulder problems plagued Hannahan during his stay in Cincinnati. He played with a torn labrum in his right shoulder in 2013 and had surgery after the season. He did not return last season until July 27 and played only 26 games — but none at third base because he wasn’t ready to throw across the diamond yet.
I’m back after some staycation days off and a week where the Reds made no rumblings on the transaction wire. I will have a Reds.com/MLB.com story that updates where things kind of stand in left field later today.
One team that rumbled enough to shake up the industry lately has been the Padres. In short order, new GM A.J. Preller has remade the roster. That including trading for three new outfielders — Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Wil Myers. According to my pal Corey Brock in San Diego, that leaves the Padres with seven veteran outfielders
The glut includes Carlos Quentin (who will make $8 million), Cameron Maybin ($7 million), Seth Smith ($6 million) and Will Venable ($4.25 million). It would seem that someone, or multiple someones, would have to be moved before Spring Training.
Out of this group, I think the Reds should take a good long look at Seth Smith.
Smith, 32, batted .266/.367/.440 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs in 136 games last season, with a 3.9 WAR. Lifetime for three clubs, he is is a .265 hitter with a .347 OBP.
In July, the lefty-hitting Smith signed a two-year extension worth $13 million, with a club option for 2017. He will make $6 million in ’15 and $6.75 million in ’16. The club holds a $7 million option for ’17, with a $250,000 buyout. That certainly wouldn’t put too much pressure on the payroll.
It’s something I will be keeping an eye on as winter continues. I have no doubt you all shall be doing likewise.
Good afternoon on this Monday. I’m going to be taking some days off the clock to burn off some unused 2014 vacation days. MLB.com/Reds.com will have all the breaking news and developments.
Before I go, the Reds announced all of their 2014 promotional dates today. You may remember that I recently had some of the bobblehead dates revealed here. This will have the rest of those and more.
Courtesy of the Reds:
Opening Night – Wed., April 8 – Reds vs. Pirates, 7:10 pm
• Reds players and coaches walk the red carpet in the Kroger Fan Zone to meet and greet with fans
• 2015 Reds Team Calendar fan giveaway
• Postgame Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks show
• Every Friday night features a post-game fireworks show from Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks
Super Saturdays: New for 2015 – premium giveaway every Saturday and more bobbleheads (nine) than ever before:
• April 11 vs. Cardinals: Todd Frazier Bobblehead
• April 25 vs. Cubs: Commemorative Nasty Boys Triple Bobblehead
• May 16 vs. Giants: Johnny Bench “Stars of the Queen City” Bobblehead (one of three)
• May 30 vs. Nationals: Billy Hamilton Bobblehead
• June 6 vs. Padres: Barry Larkin “Stars of the Queen City” Bobblehead (two of three)
• June 20 vs. Marlins: Brandon Phillips Bobblehead
• July 4 vs. Brewers: 2015 All-Star Drawstring Bag
• July 18 vs. Indians: Reds T-Shirt
• Aug. 1 vs. Pirates: Devin Mesoraco Bobblehead
• Aug. 22 vs. Diamondbacks: Tony Perez Day, Tony Perez Replica Statue
• Sept. 5 vs. Brewers: Reds Stein (German Heritage Night)
• Sept. 12 vs. Cardinals: “Stars of the Queen City” Bobblehead TBA (three of three)
• Sept. 26 vs. Mets: 2015 Reds All-Star Player Bobblehead TBA
• Enjoy family days at the ballpark with face painters, circus performers and more
• Giveaways for kids on every Sunday, including a series of Reds player posters
• Run the Bases Days for all fans on April 12, June 7 and Sept. 27
• Family ticket offer every Sunday
2015 Reds tickets ON SALE NOW:
• Season Ticket Plans: Want tickets to the 2015 MLB® ALL-STAR GAME® at Great American Ball Park? Guarantee your chance to buy ALL-STAR GAME® tickets by purchasing Reds half-season ticket plans and above starting at under $9 per seat.
• 13-Game Mini Plans: Three to choose from (13 Fridays, 13 Saturdays or 13 Sundays) and each plan includes one ticket to the 2015 T-Mobile All-Star FanFest®
• “Nasty Boys” Pick-6 Plan: Guarantee the new “Nasty Boys” triple bobblehead featuring 1990 relief pitchers Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers when you buy the Nasty Boys Pick-6 plan, presented by McDonald’s®. This six-game ticket plan includes the Sat., April 25 Reds vs. Cubs game (Nasty Boys bobblehead night), six free McDonald’s® Extra Value Meals® and five additional regular season home games of your choice, exclusions apply. Save up to 28% with this first ever Reds commemorative triple bobblehead.
Single game tickets are scheduled to go on sale Feb. 28.
The full 2015 promotional schedule can be found at reds.com/promotions.
To purchase tickets visit reds.com/tickets or call 513-765-7500.
Greetings from an odd location on Friday: Dallas, Texas. Due to a delayed flight out of San Diego Thursday, I missed my connection in Dallas, which was the last flight of the night to Cincinnati. So, myself and MLB.com Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki (in a similar predicament) made the most of it and found a really good Texas BBQ restaurant near the airport hotel that I tried once before during the Reds last road trip to play the Rangers. That’s called making the most of a bad situation, folks. Hope to fly home soon this morning.
Anyway, enough about travel woes.
A lot of chatter was on Twitter and the blog about Thursday’s Reds trades. I think because of the fact GM Walt Jocketty was listening on any and all trade offers — including players like Johnny Cueto — had fans thinking something uber dramatic might happen and these weren’t flashy deals. Because two-fifths of the rotation was moved out, some jumped to a conclusion that a fire sale had started and it was rebuilding. Others were just upset that Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon were gone or they didn’t like the return the trades brought. Some looked at the roster and said the 2015 season is already over.
Yes, others looked at the trades and liked what they saw.
Me? I’m reserving final judgment on the moves because I want to see what the payroll shaving brings in terms of what they can do for left field, the bullpen and future moves this winter. The offseason is not over when the Winter Meetings end. Pitchers and catchers don’t report to Spring Training tomorrow. Especially in recent years, the teams that usually “win” at the Winter Meetings have not had success in the subsequent season.
I will say that I spoke with baseball people that don’t work for the Reds and they thought the Reds did very well with the talent that came back.
There is no dispute that the team bought very low on Simon (2012 waiver wire pickup) and sold high to get two young players back from the Tigers. The scouting reports on the acquisitions is in my main story, click here.
As for Latos, the Reds decided he wasn’t the one they wanted to keep long term and were able to get something for him rather than seeing him become a free agent next winter and get away for nothing.
Now, let’s see what the Reds do with the payroll savings. Latos, Simon and Chris Heisey’s contracts covered around a projected $15-20 million. Unless more trades are made, that still doesn’t indicate that a huge signing will be made for a left fielder. But it gives them room to maneuver.
I'd like to thank the @reds for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play for such an incredible organization. It was an honor to wear your uniform in my first All Star experience. Thanks to all of the @reds fans for supporting me during my amazing time in Cincinnati. You've given me memories that will last forever.
Just talked to Walt Jocketty about the second trade of the day…
“Mat had a great career with us while he was here,” Jocketty said. “When I spoke to him he was grateful for the opportunity here. We’ll miss him because he was obviously a great pitcher for us. I think he will do well for Miami.
“We think DeSclafani will be a guy that will pitch in our rotation. He made some great strides at the end of the year. He went to the [Arizona] Fall League to work on some things. They say he made a lot of improvement. We see him fitting in the rotation.
“Chad Wallach adds to our catching depth. We really lacked depth in catching and middle infield. This will improve that.”
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.
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.