2013 Reds

Hannahan deal official

The Reds announced their signing of free agent utility infielder, Jack Hannahan (32) for two years with a club option in 2015. The two years cover Hannahan’s final two arbitration seasons. The salary is reported as $2 million/year, but not confirmed by the team. Jocketty:

“Jack is known for being a great teammate and a clubhouse leader everywhere he’s been,” Jocketty said. “He’s very good defensively and is capable of playing any infield position. We think he was the best utility player out there.”

Hannahan’s stats from The Enquirer:

Hannahan, 32, in 105 appearances for the Cleveland Indians last season hit .244 with 16 doubles, 4 HR and 29 RBI despite a minor back injury that limited his playing time. In his career, Hannahan has appeared in 451 games at 3B, 39 games at 1B, 9 games at SS and 1 game at 2B for the Indians, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners.

As usual, no mention of his OBP, so here: career OBP (.312) and career walk-rate (10.3%).

Hannahan fields right-handed but bats lefty. He’s from Minnesota and was originally drafted by the Tigers. He has spent time with four teams, most recently Cleveland.

92 thoughts on “Hannahan deal official

    • Any word on how much he’ll be making? And how does/would Rolen fit into this?

      I’d say SRolen will not be a player for the Reds in 2013. I think he’ll field calls from other teams. Mayhaps he’ll wait ’til June to sign somewhere.

  1. He’s played some SS and 2nd, but he is not a utility middle IF… at least not according to his defensive metrics. I’ll admit though, I have never seen him play.

  2. Corner left-handed IF who has put up a 95 OPS+ the last 2 years in Cleveland. As long as it’s not a lot of money, this seems like a good addition.

    • Why does it seem like the Reds always overpay (and give contracts for too long) to utility guys..?

      Check out the free agent market – who did you want the Reds to add instead? Several other teams were supposedly pursuing Hannahan, not just the Reds. Apparently a multiyear deal lured him to Cincinnati.

      I posted this in another discussion:

      Here’s an interesting note about Jack Hannahan – his splits are strange:
      2012: .167 average/.259 OBP in 72 ABs against LHPs, .270/.331 in 215 ABs against RHPs.
      2011: .296/.367 in 108 ABs against LHPs, .226/.314 in 212 ABs against RHPs

      One year he could only hit RHPs, the previous year he was better against LHPs than RHPs? In the past two years it balances out to a .244 average/.323 OBP against LHPs vs .248/.322 vs RHPs. Basically the same. I wonder how he pulled that off.

      • Check out the free agent market – who did you want the Reds to add instead?

        Dallas McPherson would be an interesting sign. He can play the IF corners and would supply the LH power off the bench that is currently lacking.

  3. Nice pickup to fill out the bench depth. I would hate to see this guy get more than 2-3 starts a week (unless another player is injured), because Frazier’s bat is more important than Hannahan’s left-handedness. Perhaps he will surprise us all and be a worthy half of a platoon at 3B, but this guy just seems like a younger, lefty, superior version of Cairo.

  4. Is it relatively safe to say the bench is set with Donald backing up Coz and BP and Hannahan backing Frazier and Votto?

    • Is it relatively safe to say the bench is set with Donald backing up Coz and BP and Hannahan backing Frazier and Votto?

      Donald is purely a corner IF.

  5. @Bill Lack: At least it wasn’t 4 million to Keppinger. 2 million for a guy who will be the #1 bench player and could see a lot of time with any injury (because Supertodd would slide elsewhere on an injury – 1st, LF, RF, and maybe SS or 2nd) seems like a deal.

    They could not have landed Rolen as cheap and Cairo was nearly the same price, right?

  6. As far as Hannahan vs Rolen, I like that Hannahan has a ‘correct’ way for Dusty to use him. Use Frazier against LHPs, Hannahan against certain RHPs – how frequently depends on how he and Frazier perform. Dusty can frequently use Hannahan as a pinch hitter without the criticism associated with using Mike Costanzo or Willie Harris (just because they’re lefties doesn’t mean they can hit anything!). Hannahan can get a fair shot without Dusty being accused of favoring veterans (Rolen). Overall I think he’s a good pickup and a good fit for the Reds’ needs, and a way to move on from Scott Rolen.

  7. @TC:

    Burriss is currently the only backup middle-IF on the 40-man. That does not make me feel warm and fuzzy. Burriss < Valdez/Cairo… but you need a backup MIF. Donald and Hannahan are redundant.

    He’s played some SS and 2nd, but he is not a utility middle IF… at least not according to his defensive metrics. I’ll admit though, I have never seen him play.

    TC, you are absolutely correct regarding Hannahan, he is a corner IF utility & LH PH. I do not believe you are completely correct about Donald. In 502 minor league games, Donald played SS (415 games), 2B (38 games), 3B (31 games) & OF (17 games). In 3 season with Cleveland, Donald played SS (73 games), 2B (68 games), 3B (16 games) & OF (7 games. I agree that Donald’s defensive metrics are slightly below average, but he is definitely a middle IF.

  8. I expect that Donald will get the occasional start (to ‘get him going’ or ‘keep him ready if needed’ or whatever reason Dusty gets from Hank Aaron), but I expect Donald & Meso to be the last PH available, even less than Leake if he is on the 25 man roster. Heisey, XP & Hannahan are the designated
    PH’s for 2013. Meso & Donald will be reserved for emergency defensive substitutions in case of in-game injury.

    • @Shchi Cossack:

      I expect that Donald will get the occasional start (to ‘get him going’ or ‘keep him ready if needed’ or whatever reason Dusty gets from Hank Aaron), but I expect Donald & Meso to be the last PH available, even less than Leake if he is on the 25 man roster. Heisey, XP & Hannahan are the designatedPH’s for 2013. Meso & Donald will be reserved for emergency defensive substitutions in case of in-game injury.

      Great observation.

      You’re right that Donald’s versatility (can play multiple IF and OF positions) will likely keep him chained to the bench in important and close games. Love that Donald, Hannahan, Frazier, and Heisey give the Reds lots of flexibility.

  9. On a similar topic, in my opinion Burriss and Donald are candidates for Wilson Valdez’s former role while Hannahan is up for a backup 1b/3b role like Miguel Cairo, which may include platooning at 3b against RHPs.

    Emmanuel Burriss hit .213 last season, up from .204 the year before, and signed a minor league contract with the Reds with an invitation to spring training. I think all signs point to him helping to fill in the AAA roster. He has no better chance than other spring training invitees…. like Henry Rodriguez. I think Burriss will be a favorite for Dusty-bashers who want to see another Willie Harris on the roster.

    Jason Donald has a major league contract and hit .202 last season after hitting .318 in 2011. For his career he has hit .282 with a .349 OBP against LHPs vs .244/.288 vs RHPs. There’s reason (look at 2011!) to think he can hit decently, if used correctly. Everything indicates that the backup shortstop role is his to lose. Fine with me, I think he’s a good addition. He could pressure Cozart to perform well while not being a big threat to take playing time from Todd Frazier.

  10. @TC:

    Game of Thrones? Not yet.

    I would be if we hadn’t opted for Showtime (Dexter) over HBO.

    I’ ll check Netflix….

  11. I read today somewhere that Rolen has told the Reds he might be interested in coming back and Reds are interested in bringing him to ST…can’t remember where I read it though.

    Does anyone believe that if Rolen comes to ST that he won’t be the Opening Day 3rd baseman?

    And I think a young player could do the same job as Hannahan for less money.

  12. @Bill Lack: Which young player? Henry Rodriguez, who the Reds want to play everyday in AAA? Mike Costanzo? Free agent corner infielders are tough to find at the moment – look at the contract Jeff Keppinger got – I think the Reds got a decent one for a reasonable price.

    Whether or not Rolen wants to return I think his roster spot has vanished.

  13. We, as Reds’ fans one and all, are no longer discussing the merits or dismerits of Drew Stubbs. We are no longer discussing the merits and dismerits of Rolen and the lack of earned playing time for Frazier. We are no longer gagging on having to accept Valdez’ or Harris’ excessive playing time, not to mention even their inclusion on the major league roster. We are no longer regreting one year too many for Cairo. We are no longer lamenting the Reds’ early dismissal from the playoffs in 2010 & 2012.

    Any discussion now taking place involves how the Reds can maximize the utility of every player on the roster and how deep into the playoffs and world series will they go in 2013. Every position is solid and every hole in the roster has been filled.

    Choo is the leadoff hitter.
    Frazier is the everyday 3B.
    Ludwick is the everyday LF.
    Harris has been replaced by XP.
    Valdez has been replaced by Donald.
    Cairo has been replaced by Hannahan.
    Heisey has his role as a PH and late inning defensive replacement.

    Now WJ can move on to resolving arbitrations and contract extensions, while we, as Reds’ fans await the spring and expectations extraordinaire. Will the Reds have the 2013 MVP? Will the Reds have the 2013 CY? How many Reds will start the all star game for the NL? How many Reds will be snubbed for recognition they truly deserve in 2013? How many games will it take for the Reds to win the WS?

    I don’t care where Josh Hamilton signs or for how much or how long. I don’t care how much the Dodgers spend. I don’t care how much the FA were able to steal from desperate teams looking for a quick fix. I don’t care if the aging Yankees can stay healthy or not. I don’t care how much ego the Red Birds display and how much the media touts the unfulfilled success they rightfully should have. Every other team in MLB is now looking at WJ’s and BC’s Cincinnati Reds and wondering, ‘why couldn’t we’ or ‘why didn’t we’…

    GO REDS!!!

  14. Josh Hamilton in serious talks with the Angels.

    I want in on the drug cartel that Magic Johnson and the Angel’s owner are apparently running.

  15. Getting 2 years of Hannahan for $4mil is totally fine. That’s paying for less than 1 win on the open market, so if he has a year like he did last year (.7WAR) then he’s doing good. If he has a year like he did 2 years ago (2.2 WAR) it’s a steal.

    LH hitting infielders aren’t that common, Jocketty is right. It makes sense that they’ve been looking for one for a while, because the Reds have been way to RH heavy for years. This guy helps balance the bench, and it’s very little risk.

    RH: Phillips, Ludwick, Frazier, Cozart, Hannigan, Mesoraco, Heisey, Donald

    LH: Choo, Votto, Bruce, Paul, Hannahan

    Looks great to me.

  16. @rfay00: After the Marlins failed to buy success last year I’m really curious if the Angels or Dodgers can successfully buy success this year.

    @Shchi Cossack: We’re also no longer discussion how Dusty Baker needs to be replaced, that’s a big topic sometimes. Everyone has seemingly come to accept that he remains the Reds’ manager. That’s a big change.

    We are, however, still discussing total uncertainty with Chapman’s role. Total disagreement between different people over what it should be and how it should be handled. That can keep us going until opening day.

    For the most part everything has died down. BORING. I doubt anybody expects any more big deals now that the 25 man roster is basically settled, except for challenges for a 25th job by long shot candidates like Burriss, Henry Rodriguez, and Tony Cingrani. What are we supposed to do now? Work during the work day? BAH.

    Skip Schumaker, he didn’t get any attention here. The Reds added Shin-Shoo Choo and the Cardinals responded by shipping Schumaker out of town. I didn’t understand that, he was one of their longest tenured players. Hopefully the Cardinals are trying to make themselves worse.

  17. @Shchi Cossack: I don’t see the concerns being any different. I think the problems the Reds have had for several years still exist. With a few exceptions, the names are just different.

    In 2011, Reds’ SSs hit .238/.281/.317. In 2012, those numbers were .244/.284/.373.
    In 2011, Reds’ Cs hit .266/.338/.395. In 2012, those numbers were .256/.333/.355.

    Those two positions are still largely areas of weakness. As is the IF depth. Compare Valdez and Cairo going into last season with Donald and Hannahan coming into this season:

    .249/.294/.341 in 273 ABs – Valdez (2011 numbers)
    .265/.330/.412 in 245 ABs – Cairo (2011 numbers)
    .202/.246/.282 in 124 ABs – Donald (2012 numbers)
    .244/.312/.341 in 287 ABs – Hannahan (2012 numbers)

    You could make the argument that, on paper, Valdez and Cairo were as good if not better than Donald and Hannahan.

    We still don’t know if Chapman will really be used as a SP or whether his addition to the rotation will outweigh his benefit to the pen (at least in 2013). Otherwise, the rotation is the same with the caveat that Arroyo and Bailey had great seasons and our expectations are much higher for those guys.

    LF/cleanup still concerns me. I think realistically, we have to concede that unless Ludwick has found the fountain of youth, a down tick in production is likely there.

    Stubbs’ WAR was 1.3 and Choo’s was 2.6 (not adjusted to CF), so CF/leadoff seems to be an upgrade. Although the debate about Stubbs’ run prevention v. run production is now completely reversed as we talk about Choo’s run production v. run prevention.

    I see a very similar team to the one I saw going into last year, with the exception of Choo.

    • @al: With all due respect, my post was made in reference to @ Shchi Cossack who seemed to suggest that all of those things we talked about last year are somehow a thing of the past.

      Donald and Hannahan are not significant upgrades. They are, at best, a wash, which means we will be having the same conversation that we had last year about Cairo and Valdez only it will be about Donald and Hannahan.

      It is difficult to say who projects as a better pitcher. Chapman probably won’t pitch the 179 innings that Leake pitched last year. So, what happens to the bullpen when 1) you remove the best pitcher from the pen; and 2) a worse pen has to pitch more? Does that offset the gains that Chapman makes by starting? IDK the answer to that.

      Etc., Etc., Etc.

      I see the Reds having made 1 upgrade (a 1.3 WAR difference – though Choo will likely lead to a major upgrade in Votto’s production). These are good problems to have to be sure, but there are still legit questions to ask and discuss. @ Shchi Cossack said that every hole was filled and every problem fixed. Um… No. There’s still room for improvement.

      • I see the Reds having made 1 upgrade (a 1.3 WAR difference – though Choo will likely lead to a major upgrade in Votto’s production).

        How do you get that? Stubbs was sub-replacement level (-0.2 b-r WAR). Choo was +3.1. You have your numbers backward.

        • How do you get that?Stubbs was sub-replacement level (-0.2 b-r WAR).Choo was +3.1.You have your numbers backward.

          According to Fangraphs.com, Stubbs was a 1.3 WAR player last season and 9.3 for his career. Choo was a 2.6 player last season and 19.3 for his career, albeit in a full sesaon more than Stubbs (5647 innings as opposed to Stubss’ 4034.2). Doing the math, Choo is worth on average 1.5 or so more wins per 162 games.

          I am not suggesting that Choo isn’t an upgrade. He is. I think he will have even more of an impact to Votto’s game and “Dusty-proof” the lineup. My main point was that I can see the debate over Choo’s poor defense costing games already.

  18. Boy is our opening game going to be a good one. We get to see Hamilton, Trout and Pujols play against us. It is a good test of how we line up against them because we could possibly play them in October!!

  19. @David: I think this is just a really misguided post. Is your point just to say that the Reds aren’t perfect? Newsflash!

    Find me a team where you could say there aren’t concerns. Did some guys have really great years last years? Yes. Did some guys have down years? Yes. Can we expect the same this year? Yes. Will it be the same guys? Maybe. What’s the point?

    Do you think that Cairo, Valdez, and Harris are as good as Donald, Hannahan, and Paul? You shouldn’t First off, the average age of the first group is 35.3, while the new guys are 29 on average. That’s guys in their prime, who have already demonstrated better skills than the guys we had last year. Valdez has a negative career WAR.

    Hard to say the bench isn’t better.

    Who projects as a better pitcher, Chapman or Leake? Getting more innings of Chapman is also an improvement.

    Choo might give up some runs in the outfield, but it’s also possible he puts up a 5 win season and is the second best player on the team. Everyone was just hoping Stubbs could stay above replacement level.

    Point being, the Reds have made very significant upgrades to the team, in exactly the spots that they needed to, for the second consecutive year.

    I don’t get the same old same old attitude.

  20. @David: You’re welcome to assume that the bench players will be as bad as last year or worse. Optimism vs pessimism. I’ll choose to be optimistic.

    I’ve discussed it here a bunch in the past but I see no reason to be concerned about Ryan Ludwick. He didn’t find the Fountain of Youth but he DID find Great American Ballpark… and the later is the more important thing for him, in my opinion.

    Arroyo didn’t have a particularly great season, he just rebounded from a bad one. I think Arroyo and Bailey are particularly likely to suffer from a downgrade defensively in CF, but we’ll see.

    Overall I see a better team with a leadoff hitter who sorts everyone else (Phillips, Cozart) into ideal roles for them to excel. A more balanced lineup with lefthanded hitters and guys to be optimistic about on the bench. Basically the same pitching staff, albeit with more depth (like Cingrani).

    Anyway, nice article by John Fay about Jack Hannahan’s signing. Hannahan basically said that he came to the Reds because they offered his best chance to win the World Series and Ryan Ludwick, who he knew, won him over by telling him about the great environment. I guess Ludwick is providing more than a LF, he’s working to recruit new players to Cincinnati. Jocketty called Hannahan “a missing piece that we’ve been looking for for the last couple of years – a left-handed hitting infielder who can play different positions. The guy is one of the top defensive players in the AL the last few years”.

  21. @al: I like your view here. Reds are good, not perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t pay off to spend the money to be perfect. You don’t hit on 19. (But 19 sure can hit).

    • @Matt WI:

      @al: I like your view here. Reds are good, not perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t pay off to spend the money to be perfect. You don’t hit on 19. (But 19 sure can hit).

      I agree with you (and Al), the Reds have made substantial upgrades to their lineup, two years running. Enjoyed the blackjack/Votto reference, was it original?

  22. The Angels murderers row is getting ridiculous. Trout, Trumbo, Hamilton, Pujols. Yikes.

    I like Choo, Phillips, Votto, and Bruce, but dang.

    • The Angels murderers row is getting ridiculous. Trout, Trumbo, Hamilton, Pujols. Yikes.

      I like Choo, Phillips, Votto, and Bruce, but dang.

      Pretty questionable Angels pitching staff aside from Jered Weaver, CJ Wilson, and Tommy Hanson – including Ryan Madson as closer. Can they mash their way past the Rangers and A’s into first place? It could be tough for them.

  23. OK, I have a hypothetical to put out here, just for poops and smiles. I like Frazier, I like him a lot. I like his results. I like his attitude. I like his clubhouse presence. I like his spirit and enthusiasm. What if WJ has the chance to pull the trigger on a trade for Olt or Gyorko? A trade fair to both sides, that would almost certainly include Frazier going the other way. Should WJ pull that trigger?

    • OK, I have a hypothetical to put out here, just for poops and smiles.I like Frazier, I like him a lot.I like his results.I like his attitude.I like his clubhouse presence.I like his spirit and enthusiasm.What if WJ has the chance to pull the trigger on a trade for Olt or Gyorko?A trade fair to both sides, that would almost certainly include Frazier going the other way.Should WJ pull that trigger?

      If Jocketty is okay with it I would be too. I think Olt and Gyorko both have higher ceilings than Frazier. Frazier is a good and popular guy but I don’t feel like the organization is building around him – he’s just filling a spot that he could lose if he has trouble or is outperformed.

    • OK, I have a hypothetical to put out here, just for poops and smiles. I like Frazier, I like him a lot. I like his results. I like his attitude. I like his clubhouse presence. I like his spirit and enthusiasm. What if WJ has the chance to pull the trigger on a trade for Olt or Gyorko? A trade fair to both sides, that would almost certainly include Frazier going the other way. Should WJ pull that trigger?

      I would possibly do it. I would absolutely consider it.

  24. @redsfanman: absolutely. again, another good team that has plenty of question marks.

    but it’s not like their pitching is bad. blanton and madson are solid additions if not big impact players.

    the a’s caught a fair amount of lightning in a bottle last year. the rangers just lost their best hitter. i think the angels are probably back to being favorites in the division.

  25. The players Walt has added is great, but lets be honost, our pitching is still the key to this teams success this coming season. And that pitching is going to get tested right out of the box with the Angles in town to open the season. Also, has anyone looked over the schedule this year. YIKES, we have 2 long west coast road trips this year which won’t be easy and are also playing the hitting happy AL West this year meaning Angles, TX, Mariners, A’s and Stros. Add to that more games vs. the Cards, Brewers, Pirates and even Cubs and winning the division in 2013 isn’t going to be easy.

  26. @al: I think the A’s pitching makes them the favorite in the division. The Rangers still have plenty of time to make some big moves, whether that’s through free agency (although the options are declining) or by trading away a top prospect (particularly Profar or Olt). I don’t think highly of the Angels organization as a whole – oh well. We’ll have to wait and see!

  27. I sent this to a friend of mine earlier today:

    This is for 2011-12 combined:

    Rolen – 599 PA, .244/.301/.397, 37 doubles, 13 HR
    Hannahan – 684 PA, .247/.323/.366, 32 doubles, 12 HR

    Rolen – 2.42 RF/9 (range factor per 9 innings), .961 fielding %
    Hannahan – 3.10 RF/9, .967 fielding %

    That range factor looks awesome to me! (League average range factor for a 3B seems to be in the 2.5 or 2.6 RF/9 range.)

    And for the past 2 seasons, they’ve been basically the same as hitters. (Hannahan’s just a lefty.)

    So, I like it. Assuming range factor is a reliable and meaningful thing, Hannahan has a serious glove.

  28. There are things to criticize about this roster, but they start to sound petty (“Their backup infielders are just okay.” “They lack bench power.” “There’s no pinch runner.”) or like First World Problems (“How will we find playing time for Mike Leake?”)

    I’m not one to get over-excited (at least on the up-side), but this is most likely the best 1-16 roster (starters + rotation + closer + setup men) that the Reds have had in 20 years.

  29. @Chris Garber: I do not disagree with you in general but the Reds are dangerously thin at catcher. Even if a person presumes Mesoraco will somehow flip the switch and become the competent #2 he wasn’t last season (a dubious presumption at best), there is no one behind him to step up if Hanigan or he goes down.

    I’d look for at least one or two vets similar to Navarro to be and camp and to have a legitimate shot at winning the #2 spot which would allow Meso to go down and get in the work he needs to get in if he is to ever be what so many hoped this time last year he would be.

  30. @OhioJim: I think you can be certain that Jocketty will bring in catchers – not necessarily good ones – they have to just to fill the Louisville roster. Dioner Navarro left by free agency, Corky Miller hasn’t announced whether or not he’ll keep playing (vs retiring and becoming a coach), and the Reds’ top catching prospect, Tucker Barnhart, is likely to return to AA.

    In 2012 the Reds brought 4 extra catchers to spring training as non-roster invitee – Navarro, Miller, Barnhart, and Brian Esposito. Esposito left also. MLBTradeRumors lists 12 available catchers but it seems like a longshot that the Reds would get any of those guys – they can all probably at least find a backup job on a MLB roster elsewhere.

  31. @redsfanman: I think you can be certain that Jocketty will bring in catchers – not necessarily good ones –

    If Jocketty has another significant move up his sleeve, it will be for a guy who can split time with Hanigan much along the lines of how Hernandez did.

    Failing that he will do as you suggest but the guys he brings in will be capable MLB backup types. They will be on minor league contracts but have a shot at beating out Mesoraco for the MLB #2 spot.

    The hoped for increase in offense from other quarters will allow them the opportunity to go with a pure receiver in that MLB backup spot if they choose to. There are a number of guys who can manage to hit along the Mendoza line like Meso did last year and who are better receivers than Meso.

    • I think you can be certain that Jocketty will bring in catchers – not necessarily good ones –

      If Jocketty has another significant move up his sleeve, it will be for a guy who can split time with Hanigan much along the lines of how Hernandez did.

      Failing that he will do as you suggest but the guys he brings in will be capable MLB backup types. They will be on minor league contracts but have a shot at beating out Mesoraco for the MLB #2 spot.

      The hoped for increase in offense from other quarters will allow them the opportunity to go with a pure receiver in that MLB backup spot if they choose to. There are a number of guys who can manage to hit along the Mendoza line like Meso did last year and who are better receivers than Meso.

      Don’t think I’ve seen it mentioned here, but we did sign a C as a minor league free agent a little while back. Nevin Ashley who was in the Tampa system. He has a career minor league slash line of .260/.355/.384/.739 and put up a .245/.357/.455/.811 last year in 110 AAA ABs. He’ll be 28 years old next season, he was BBAs #26 prospect for the Rays in 2007, and rated Best Defensive Catcher in the Tampa Bay Rays system after the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Looks a little like he’s in the Hanigan mold, no power, takes a lot of BBs, and is a good defensive catcher. I expect he’ll get a lot of time at AAA and until someone else is signed, is currently 3rd on the depth chart.

      • @seat101:
        Credit to @Tom Diesman for the catching update. I missed this transaction so thanks Tom.
        :

        Don’t think I’ve seen it mentioned here, but we did sign a C as a minor league free agent a little while back. Nevin Ashley who was in the Tampa system. He has a career minor league slash line of .260/.355/.384/.739 and put up a .245/.357/.455/.811 last year in 110 AAA ABs. He’ll be 28 years old next season, he was BBAs #26 prospect for the Rays in 2007, and rated Best Defensive Catcher in the Tampa Bay Rays system after the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Looks a little like he’s in the Hanigan mold, no power, takes a lot of BBs, and is a good defensive catcher. I expect he’ll get a lot of time at AAA and until someone else is signed, is currently 3rd on the depth chart.

  32. Not a bad week for our Redlegs.

    Makes you excited for spring. But still a long ways a way….

    Winter is coming.

    • Not a bad week for our Redlegs.

      Makes you excited for spring. But still a long ways a way….

      Winter is coming.

      I hear it returns March 31st this year. :wink:

    • Still need another lefty in the pen.

      I’m not a huge Arredondo fan, but I feel compelled to point out his career splits.

      vs RHB: .256/.346/.414
      vs LHB: .190/.290/.291

      In other words, Arredondo is basically a LOOGY who just happens to pitch with his right arm. I wouldn’t mind adding a LHP to the pen, but it’s far from a necessity, especially with a guy like Arredondo in the fold.

  33. On the Scott Rolen situation I think if you believe the Reds won’t keep Rolen, you’re kidding yourself. And if Rolen’s on this team, I’m VERY concerned about how Baker uses him.

    I’m also shocked at how many people seem to have given up on Devin Mesoraco after a struggling first year in the bigs. He’ll be 24 on Opening Day. Last year at his time, he was the future of the catching position, now it seems folks are ready to relegate him to the “bust” pile.

    • @Bill Lack:

      On the Scott Rolen situation I think if you believe the Reds won’t keep Rolen, you’re kidding yourself. And if Rolen’s on this team, I’m VERY concerned about how Baker uses him.I’m also shocked at how many people seem to have given up on Devin Mesoraco after a struggling first year in the bigs. He’ll be 24 on Opening Day. Last year at his time, he was the future of the catching position, now it seems folks are ready to relegate him to the “bust” pile.

      I agree on Mes. It’s way too early to draw any conclusions on his career or on a Mes/Grandal comparision. Still optomistic.

      On Rolen, I guess I’m kidding myself. I don’t see the Reds bringing him back after the Hannahan signing. You don’t have room on the bench for both, and a healthy Hannahan at say $2 Mil, and signed for 2 years, has to be much more appealing than an oft injured Rolen at say $8 Mil with one year left in him. I think the Rolen ship has sailed.

    • On the Scott Rolen situation I think if you believe the Reds won’t keep Rolen, you’re kidding yourself. And if Rolen’s on this team, I’m VERY concerned about how Baker uses him.

      I’m also shocked at how many people seem to have given up on Devin Mesoraco after a struggling first year in the bigs…..

      I haven’t given up on Mseoraco but I think it is fools gold to just drop him back into the same situation he didn’t handle during 2011 and expect that somehow the result will be 180 degrees from what it was.

      For his good and the team’s he needs to be at AAA playing every day until he recovers his mojo; and, they are ready to commit to him playing at least 60% of the time at the MLB level.

      As for “catcher of the future” how many folks even know who Dave VanGorder is/ was without checking Baseball Reference? (He was a Reds “catcher of the future” for several years until his options were exhausted and he still couldn’t hit enough to stick).

      • I haven’t given up on Mseoraco but I think it is fools gold to just drop him back into the same situation he didn’t handle during 2011 and expect that somehow the result will be 180 degrees from what it was.

        As @AlphaZero pointed out above, Mez doesn’t need to be 180 degrees different from last year. He just needs to be a little more lucky, and continue a normal growth path. His strikeout and walk rates were fine. He just needs to miss more gloves.

  34. @Bill Lack:
    I absolutely agree about Mesoraco. I think people forget that he only had 184 PAs last year, and his peripherals were actually pretty promising. Here they are along with league average values from 2011 in parentheses for the sake of comparison:

    ISO: .139 (.144)
    BB%: 9.2% (8.1%)
    K%: 17.9% (18.6%)
    BABIP: .234 (.295)

    So basically, Mesoraco was league average across the board but the results looked bad because of a low BABIP and small sample size. Keep in mind that Mesoraco was a 24 year old rookie playing a demanding defensive position. He is no less valuable today than he was at the start of 2012, and I expect him to break out big time if given at least a half season worth of PAs in 2013.

  35. @Bill Lack: Totally agree on both counts. I strongly suspect that Todd will still be “waiting his turn” as long as Rolen’s on the roster. And I’d be OK with that if I had any feeling that Rolen might have a good last act in him. I don’t.

    A catcher has a much stiffer learning curve when he moves to the majors than any other position player – his own staff, oppo hitters, catching 102 mph fastballs… I thought he progressed nicely behind the plate as the season went on. Beside the plate, less so. But potential is still there, and I fully expect the 2013 catching rotation will be similar to last year, depending on how deep in the doghouse Mes got himself before his mysterious disappearance.

    Plus, as I’ve said before, I think catching tandems are the wave of the future, and the “everyday catcher” is going the way of the dinosaurs. I love Hanigan, but we’ve seen in the past how he wears down over the course of the season, and he ain’t getting any younger.

    • @AlphaZero:

      In other words, Arredondo is basically a LOOGY who just happens to pitch with his right arm. I wouldn’t mind adding a LHP to the pen, but it’s far from a necessity, especially with a guy like Arredondo in the fold.

      @Bill Lack:

      On the Scott Rolen situation I think if you believe the Reds won’t keep Rolen, you’re kidding yourself. And if Rolen’s on this team, I’m VERY concerned about how Baker uses him.

      @RC:

      I strongly suspect that Todd will still be “waiting his turn” as long as Rolen’s on the roster. And I’d be OK with that if I had any feeling that Rolen might have a good last act in him. I don’t.

      I absolutely agree with these observations and concerns. Arredondo is a very good LOOGY who happens to pitch with the wrong arm. Unfortunately, that single issue removes him from consideration for use as a LOOGY in Mr. Baker’s mind. Arredondo throws RH so Mr. Baker will use him as a RHP to pitch against RHB. Nevermind that the results contradict Mr. Baker’s reality. Mr. Baker has also proven, repeatedly, that his first, and vitually exclusive, consideration in determining playing time is the ‘verteraniness’ of the player. If Rolen is on the roster, he will play until he removes himself, even to the detriment of the team.

      I’m not convinced that Rolen will be on the roster. Uncle Walt seems very satisfied with the aquisition of Hannahan to fill the role of a LH utility IF/PH, but there is a long time until ST and stranger thangs have happened.

  36. Dusty has great knowledge and is apparently an awesome guy to work for, but he is absolutely horrible at the things we as fans see which are lineups and game management. I saw someone say earlier that we pulls pitchers to quickly. It was his horrible game management, specifically leaving a pitcher in too long that lost game three of the NLDS last year. I think it was Arrendondo (of whom I AM a fan) was struggling, but Dusty left him in there for two more runs. It’s wasn’t like it was July and he had to save the bullpen. It’s go time and he was clueless.

    (Sorry. Just using this opportunity to bash Dusty which is my goal to do every opportunity I get. I still haven’t forgotten Dusty.)

  37. If Rolen is resigned, Todd’s role WILL change. Count on it. We’re talking about Rolen who is still a good player so I won’t be too upset. Given an option between Rolen at 3rd and Frazier off the bench OR Frazier at third and Burriss or Donald off the bench I’m not going to get upset if it’s the first option. Obviously, I’d prefer Frazier at 3rd and Rolen off the bench. That is the ideal situation, but it is unrealistic.

  38. Devin Mesoraco, when he came into spring training last season the Reds’ priority for him was to catch and call games well with hitting being a secondary concern. I think he’s now proven himself as a defensive catcher and establishing himself as a hitter is his next big step for 2013. I think he’s a likely candidate for a breakout season, especially now that fans have such low expectations for him (compared to last year when people hoped he might out-hit Hanigan).

    Eventually Dioner Navarro got a promotion as the Reds sought a lefty (or switch hitter) off the bench, but that role is now adequately filled by Xavier Paul and Jack Hannahan. Navarro is now gone and, after looking at the list of free agents, few of them seem like reputable hitters. I really doubt Mesoraco needs to be worried about being replaced or anything, his biggest concern should be the small possibility of playing everyday at AAA, which seems unlikely with the Reds intending to do their best in 2013.

    Walt Jocketty can dance around it with nice remarks all he wants but I really doubt Rolen comes back. They offered Ludwick and Rolen the opportunity to return before moving on without them – Ludwick signed a contract to return and the Reds clearly moved on without Rolen by signing Hannahan.

  39. @David: Of course there’s still room for improvement, but that’s literally true of every team in the history of baseball. So…?

    I find it really hard to believe that you think that Hannahan and Donald are a wash with Cairo and Valdez. What stats do you like? Let me know and I’ll show you why they will be better.

    As for Chapman, it’s a pretty simple question, it really doesn’t matter when the innings are pitched. Is having one of the best pitchers we have pitch more innings a good thing or a bad thing? Is having one of the least effective pitchers we have pitch less innings a good thing or a bad thing?

    My point is that over the last two years, the GM has gotten a young ace, a righty power bat, lefty high-OBP outfielder, and a lefty outfielder for the bench, and a lefty infielder for the bench.

    It’s never perfect, but man, take the team from 2011, think about the weaknesses, and I think they’ve done an amazing job addressing them with quality players on a medium budget.

  40. @David: Actually, here is my statement and no where in that statement did I claim ‘every problem fixed’.

    Any discussion now taking place involves how the Reds can maximize the utility of every player on the roster and how deep into the playoffs and world series will they go in 2013. Every position is solid and every hole in the roster has been filled.

    I did state every position was solid and I stand by that statement without reservation. It is a positive statement, but I believe perfectly justified. I also stated every hole in the roster has been filled. I stand by that statement also. Is the roster perfect? Absolutely not. No roster in major league baseball is perfect, despite the efforts of a few select teams to try and buy a perfect roster.

    I would love to have Wright or Headley at 3B every day, but that ain’t happening. I would love to have a healthy Tulowitzki at SS every day, but that ain’t happening. I’d love to have Braun in LF every day, but that ain’t happening. I’d love to have Bourn in CF every day, but that ain’t happening. I’d love to have Posey at C every day, but that ain’t happening. I’d love to have Kershaw teamed with Cueto in the starting rotation, but that ain’t happening. Id’ love to have Hanigan, Frazier, Cozart, Ludwick & Shoo as utility/PH players, but that ain’t happening.

    What the Reds do have is a ‘solid’ player at every position, not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but solid. I will admit that every single player on the team has problem(s) since none of them are perfect. Frazier hits HR without holding the bat. Phillips showboats too much for my taste. Votto doesn’t have enough speed for a 5-tool player. Hanigan doesn’t have enough power. Bruce is too streaky. Ludwick is too old to continue producing for long and doesn’t have a consistent, long-term track record. Shoo has some defensive issues and hasn’t played CF for 10 years. Cozart doesn’t get on base enough.

    The singular ‘hole’ in the roster last year was the leadoff position. WJ took care of that issue in a BIG way and once that issue was resolved, the other pieces fell into place. If that one change doesn’t result in a top 5 offense in the NL, I will be surprised because everyone in the lineup will (or should) be filling a role they can effectively and productively fill.

    There are questions with the lineup, but the holes from the past few ywears have been filled. Can Frazier reproduce a .500 SLG and .800+ OPS? Probably not, but he is still a solid player. Can Bruce and Shoo man CF & RF with GG defense? Certainly not, but they are both still solid players. Will Ludwick fill the #4 hole with a .500+ SLG & .800+ OPS? I think he can, but we’ll have to wait and see for sure. Will Cozart make the offensive adjustment needed to work the count and get on base more? I doubt we’ll see a major improvement in that regard, but he is still a solid SS and could very well win a GG. The Reds lost nothing from the starting rotation or bullpen from the roster that was arguably the best pitching staff in the league. Yes, every player is solid.

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