Results tagged ‘ Walt Jocketty ’

Isringhausen update

Reliever Jason Isringhausen had a throwing session for the Reds on Monday, but it remains to be seen if the club will sign the right-hander. Isringhausen threw for pitching coach Bryan Price in Arizona. He is seeking a Minor League contract with the club and an invite to Spring Training.

“[Price] said he threw good,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “It went kind of like it did last year. We’re not sure if we will pursue it or not. We’ll discuss it in the next few days. We have quite a bit of right-handed pitching.”

Bryan Price called back and said this about Isringhausen, who threw 30-35 pitches.

“He threw the ball fine, well enough to feel optimistic that with a Spring Training to build his arm strength, he could get back to being productive again,” Price said. “That is if he can stay healthy, which is a top concern for anybody coming off an arm injury.”

Here is the story

 

Volquez signs, avoids arbitration

The Reds announced that RHP Edinson Volquez has signed a one-year contract to avoid arbitration. Terms were not revealed but when numbers were exchanged, Volquez’s side submitted for $2 million while the club countered with $1.3. The midpoint was $1.6 million.

Volquez returned from Tommy John surgery rehab after the All-Star break and was 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 62 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old walked 35 and struck out 67 batters and was also charged with four runs on four hits and was pulled after 1 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Phillies.

“We’ll see if they’re up for doing more later,” GM Walt Jocketty told me on Sunday from the Reds Caravan stop in Lexington. “We tried to do a multi-year deal. They just wanted to concentrate on the one year now. [The agent] had a few cases and wanted to get the arbitration thing out of the way.”

Congratulations Gene Bennett

The Reds announced today that longtime front office man Gene Bennett retired. For most Reds fans, his name won’t be immediately recognizable but you’ll know many of the people he’s responsible for signing to the team. He’s been part of the Reds organization for 58 years!

I will write that part again….58 years. Wow.

Gene has long been one of my favorite people to know since I’ve started covering the Reds. He’s always been kind and will come up and talk. He knows the game inside out and I’ve always enjoyed running into him at Spring Training and chatting with him near the practice fields.

Here is a portion of the Reds’ press release:

 He will be honored tonight during the Reds Caravan stop at Fannin Motors in Ashland, Kentucky and on Portsmouth Day in ceremonies prior to the Sunday, April 17 afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

            “Gene has been an important part of the Reds’ family for almost 60 years,” said Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty. “He leaves a legacy not only here but also in baseball’s scouting fraternity. He made countless contributions to the success of our proud franchise.”

            Bennett, 82, has been a senior special assistant to the general manager since October 1992. After signing as a player in 1952, he began scouting in 1958 and was promoted to scouting supervisor in 1975. His notable signings include Reds Hall of Famers Don Gullett, Barry Larkin and Chris Sabo along with Jeff Russell, Charlie Leibrandt and Paul O’Neill.

            Larkin, a 12-time All-Star and the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1995, said, “Gene not only is a great scout, as anyone in baseball will tell you, but he also is such a wonderful person. He will be missed by everyone in the game.”

Lewis, Renteria signed

A busy January continued for the Reds Monday as they checked off another item off of the wish list by signing Fred Lewis to a one-year big league contract worth $900,000, plus incentives.

Cincinnati was in search of a left-handed hitting outfielder for the bench and a potential leadoff hitter and the club gets both with the 30-year-old Lewis.

The club also announced the official signing of SS Edgar Renteria. Both players completed their physicals today. Renteria will earn $2.1 million in base salary with $900,000 in incentives based on plate appearances.

And with that, it appears the Reds are done making transactions. Their 40-man roster is now full.

“I think I’m done,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “These are a couple of pieces we felt we needed.”

Of course, the Reds could sign players to Minor League deals. But it seems like the Reds have filled the holes they identified when winter started.

I just filed my story, which can be found on MLB.com/Reds.com, and it will have more quotes from Jocketty and others in an updated version. Ultimately, the club went with Lewis over Scott Podsednik for a couple of reasons.

“We felt we had more upside with Lewis, both with his age and in having control over him for a longer period of time,” Jocketty said. “We liked his all-around game.”

 

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Reds sign Hermida

2:15 pm update 1/4/11 – The Reds announced that Hermida was signed and invited to camp as a non-roster player. This does not automatically mean that the Reds are done looking at Podsednik or Lewis. Since Hermida is a Minor League deal, there is no guarantee he makes the club. Lewis and Podsednik are seeking big league contracts and both have the added ability of potentially being leadoff hitters.

“We’re still talking to a couple of guys,” GM Walt Jocketty said. “We’ve been talking with Hermida for a while and we don’t have a lot of left-handed hitting on our club.”

***

The Reds appear to be close to signing outfielder Jeremy Hermida to a Minor League contract, a baseball source told MLB.com on Monday evening.

The deal has not been finalized and the club has made no formal announcement.

Cincinnati has been looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder to come off of the bench and Hermida could fit that bill if he were to make the club out of Spring Training. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has also had talks with left-handed hitting outfielders Scott Podsednik and Fred Lewis.

 
A former first round Draft pick of the Marlins in 2002, Hermida spent 2005-09 with Florida as the primary right fielder. Last season was split between the Red Sox and A’s and he batted .216 with six home runs and 29 RBIs.

Reds lose Rhodes to Rangers

All fall and winter, it seemed like the Reds retaining LHP Arthur Rhodes was a formality. He wanted to return and the club wanted him back.

But on Thursday night, Rhodes had agreed to a one-year contract with the Rangers — according to a pair of baseball sources. Terms were not immediately known. The deal has yet to be announced by Texas.

The 41-year-old Rhodes was a key late-inning set-up man for the Reds the past two seasons. In 2010, he posted a 2.29 ERA in 69 games – his most appearances since 2001. That included a stretch where he tied a Major League record with 33-straight scoreless appearances – over 30 innings. He was also an All-Star for the first time in his 19-season career.

Complicating matters for the Reds was that other lefty relievers were getting larger deals than Cincinnati was willing to offer Rhodes. For instance, Scott Downs got three years and $15 million from the Angels while Pedro Feliciano received a two-year, $8 million deal from the Yankees. Rhodes had better seasons than both of those guys.

During the Winter Meetings, GM Walt Jocketty mentioned Rhodes was seeking a multi-year deal — which with him at 41, the Reds weren’t willing to do. AOL Fanhouse reported that Rhodes’ deal includes a vesting option for 2012. 

Without Rhodes, the Reds still have lefties Aroldis Chapman and Bill Bray in the fold. As for Dontrelle Willis, who signed a minor league contract last month to reboot his career as a reliever, his chances to make the team just got a whole lot better.

Rhodes was a Type A free agent but the Reds did not offer him arbitration earlier this month. That means they get no compensation picks as a result.

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Reds had interest in Bartlett

And your 2010 Winter Meetings are over.

Outside of the re-signing of Miguel Cairo, it was supremely quiet on the Reds front. It appears they did have interest in trading for SS Jason Bartlett but the Rays moved him to the Padres in a deal that hasn’t been made official yet.

“In the end we decided against it,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “I didn’t want to give up the players and I didn’t know how big of an upgrade it was.”

Expected to make $5 million and seeking an extension, Bartlett was also quite a bit more expensive than Paul Janish, who is near the big league minimum. I agree with Jocketty that Bartlett wasn’t a better solution than Janish for shortstop. 

There has been no movement towards the re-signing of LHP Arthur Rhodes as well.

The Rule 5 Draft came and went without the Reds picking a player and for the first time I can remember, they did not lose a player either.

And now comes the day taxi drivers around Orlando have craved — the mass exodus of baseball executives, scouts, reporters, businesses and manufacturers from the Swan and Dolphin Hotel.

I will have a more complete wrap going on Reds.com and MLB.com later today.

 

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Cairo re-signed to two-year deal

The first transaction was completed by the Reds on Wednesday as free agent utility infielder Miguel Cairo was re-signed to a two-year contract. The terms aren’t known, but GM Walt Jocketty said ‘it’s less than market.”

The deal was agreed to on Tuesday night.

“Miguel played a big part in the success of our club this year,” Jocketty said. “He had a very good year. He’s a veteran player that keeps himself in great shape and is always ready to play and fills in a lot of ways. He’s instrumental in the makeup of the clubhouse. He wanted a two-year deal. We talked about it. The price was right so we did it.”

In 90 games with the Reds, Cairo batted .290. He made 38 starts at four positions (26gs at 3B, 9gs at 1B, 2gs at 2B, 1gs at RF).

In other news — talks are ongoing with the agent for Arthur Rhodes.The two asides are still divided on money.

“We met with his agent again today. We made some progress but we’re a ways a part,” Jocketty said.

It appears that LHP Denys Reyes is headed to the Phillies, which were reportedly taking a look at Rhodes too. That lessened his options a bit. At 41, Rhodes was seeking a multi-year deal.

“He is but he’s not going to get it from us,” Jocketty said. “I think he is OK with that.”

Talks were held with Joey Votto’s agent. The Reds will offer a mult-year contract but nothing is expected to get done here.

“They weren’t really ready to talk about it,” Jocketty said.

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Quick Winter Meetings update

Some quick notes from a session with Reds GM Walt Jocketty.

*The Reds have had talks with the agent for Miguel Cairo. Jocketty was optimistic Cairo could be re-signed this week. It would be for a big league contract.

*Talks are planned this week with the agent for LHP Arthur Rhodes

*Joey Votto’s agent, Danny Lozano, is here at the hotel. But Jocketty did not indicate talks were set up yet. As for getting deals done with Votto, Jay Bruce or other arbitration eligible guys…

“I don’t see anything happening on any of that stuff here,” Jocketty said.

When asked whether his reception to inquiries about Yonder Alonso are affected by Votto’s status…

“I think right now, Yonder is a guy that still figures in the organization,” Jocketty said. “It gives us protection. He believes that he’s working this winter to come in and compete for a spot on the bench next year to play some first and left field and be a left-handed hitter off the bench.”

*Asked about speculation of the Reds interest in Royals ace Zack Greinke:

“I haven’t had any discussions with them,” Jocketty said.

Otherwise, the Reds suite at the Swan & Dolphin Resort Hotel hasn’t been too busy.

More later…

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No non-tenders

Ahead of tonight’s 11:59 pm ET deadline, the Reds tendered contracts all of their players. This includes the six arbitration eligible guys — Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Bill Bray and Jared Burton.

I had written yesterday that Burton could be a candidate for being non-tendered. I was apparently wrong.

“It’s tough to find quality arms,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “Burton was healthy at the end of the year. It’s not that much of a financial burden. It made sense to tender him.”

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