John Fay reports that the Reds have made two minor moves today at the winter meetings.

Buck Coats, who had been designated for assignment when Cordero was added to the roster, was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays for a PTBNL or cash. Got to like being able to find a taker for a player who you would have probably released otherwise.

The other move, I’m not so thrilled with. Jorge Cantu was released. Fay proposes that the move was made with the intent to clear a roster spot to be able to make a selection in tomorrow’s Rule V draft. The Reds obtained Cantu last season from Tampa Bay for RHP Calvin Medlock and LHP Brian Shackelford. I really liked the idea of having Cantu on the roster. If a deal was made for a pitcher involving an infielder, say someone like Edwin Encarnacion, Cantu would have been a nice guy to have around to step in and compete for the position next spring, or at worst be a backup infielder with some pop from the right side. Scanning down the roster quickly, I can find a lot of other guys (Smit, Hanigan, Castro, Gil, Janish, Dickerson…) who I’d have cut loose off the 40 man roster before Cantu. A surprising move, we can only hope that the Reds select as well in tomorrow’s Rule V as they did in last years.

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30 Responses

  1. ellis

    Awful move on the surface. Just awful.

  2. Dan

    There’s speculation on Cantu related to the Mitchell Report. Purely speculation, but I have to admit I’d wondered about it myself.

    Do you know that Cantu’s career slugging percentage is 56 points HIGHER at the MLB level than in the minors? That is not normal.

    And then the power that he blossomed with in 2004-05 pretty much dried up the last two years. (Combining his minor and major league numbers, he hit 4 HR’s in 300 AB’s in 2007.)

    But like I said… total speculation.

    I’ve never been crazy about him, but I think he has far more value as a player than Castro does, for example.

  3. ellis

    That’s why I said “on the surface”. The idea of him being involved in the Mitchell Report had crossed my mind. I hope that’s why the move was made, but if it’s not, I still think it’s awful. Trading two pitchers for a former 100+ RBI infielder and then cutting him half a season later instead of many other inferior candidates is crazy.

  4. Tom

    If he’s named in the Mitchell report, will he banned from the game or arrested. If not, how will that have bearing on him going forward?

    He sure started hitting the ball ok after we acquired him, he slugged .468 in AAA Louisville and .491 with the Reds. Looks like a guy needing a change of scenery to me.

  5. Nathan

    a bit disappointed with the release of Cantu. I thought he was a really good pickup for the Reds.

    However, I never thought that he might be involved in the Barry Bonds entourage.

  6. Chad

    Related to the Cantu release (why you’d release anyone other than Castro if the only issue was the need for a roster spot, I don’t know)…it might be an indication that the Reds aren’t interested in trading Joey Votto this offseason. A Hatteberg/Cantu platoon seemed the best way to fill that hole if Votto were included in one of the myriad trades that are being bandied about.

  7. Bill

    Pitching is the weakness of this organization, the Reds gave up two pitchers for this guy and then, after he performs well after the deal, they cut him loose?

    This was either a bad move then (when the trade was made) or a bad move now..

  8. Chris

    Cantu is arb-eligible, and Krivsky didn’t want to pay the fare. I’ll look tonight to see how much he’d be making — I think it would pretty pricey for a backup.

  9. Chris

    That said, it is pretty odd that they’d make the move today, as opposed to 4 weeks later.

  10. Dan

    We really need more than just Phillips and EE who hit right-handed with some pop.

    Matt Murton would come cheap, and he can hit. I give him my “clearly undervalued” seal of approval [TM].

  11. Willy

    at least use cantu as bait!
    come on!
    cantu was good

  12. Travis G.

    If Cantu turned down a contract offer and was scheduled to become prohibitively expensive at arbitration, why not clear a spot on the 40-man in hopes of drafting a Rule 5 guy tomorrow?

    I’m not sure that you’re allowed to trade guys who aren’t currently under contract, which Cantu wasn’t.

  13. Kerm

    I am with Bill (#7). What it means is we basically gave the Rays two of our pitchers (one which I was not very attatched to) for a AAA rental player. This of course during our 2007 season where we were clearly out of the race. I hope there is something else to this.

  14. preach

    good pop from the right hand side and at least an adequate (sort of) position player at multiple spots. If there isn’t something unspoken under the surface here, this is goofy. I don’t care if he is a little expensive for a backup, he’s still valuable. You need a good bench to win consistently, and he is an ideal bench player. What gives?

  15. Dave from Louisville

    One of pitchers we got rid of was indited for rape, Anybody remember that?? That trade was just as much as dumping Shack as it was acquiring Cantu. By the way, his defense was horrible and that’s why it didn’t break Krivsky’s heart to drop him.

    And to correct some of you guys, we are in need of young MLB prospective pitchers. Not old guys that are clogging up the bullpen tracks in the Ville, and preventing well performing AA guys from being promoted.

  16. Chris

    Re steroids: Wayne Krivsky traded for Ryan Franklin, who had actually tested positive for PEDs.

    The Mitchell Report is a red herring.

  17. preach

    good point, Chris. If it is the arb thing, I would still rather pay Cantu a couple of million than Castro 900K…I think I remember the figures correctly. You would think Dusty would love a guy like Cantu.

  18. Willy

    i know
    castro stinks
    bottom of the ninth 2 outs bases loaded last game of the world series
    pitcher up to bat
    the only bench player left is castro

    Dusty says
    so do i pinch hit castro and lose or let the pitcher have a shot….

  19. Josh

    Steve Phillips was reporting that the Cubs and O’s were in talks of a Brian Roberts for Rich Hill and Sean Marshall deal. Granted Roberts is very good, but surely the Reds can give up something equal in value to haul those two, can’t they? I would love that move. Give up Hamilton if that’s what it would take…

  20. Willy

    krivsky said that he wants keppy to get more starts at first than cantu
    thats why hes gone

  21. Dave from Louisville

    Roberts was almost a 30-30 guy 2 years ago, that’s like trying to trade for Phillips.

    Krivdog dropped Cantu for a spot to make room for the Rule 5.

    Krivsky is the Rule 5 king. I bet every year he will try to steal and hid at least one guy on our roster. You guys remember that Johan Santana was a rule 5 pick for Minnesota when Krivsky was there. Hamilton, Burton……if you know any more add them to the list.

    Krivsky is the man.

  22. dfs

    “krivsky said that he wants keppy to get more starts at first than cantu thats why hes gone”

    Did Krivsky really say that?

    Man that’s crazy. Nothing against Keppinger, but…

    “I can find a lot of other guys (Smit, Hanigan, Castro, Gil, Janish, Dickerson…) who I’d have cut loose off the 40 man roster before Cantu.”
    Smit is a starting pitcher in an organization that needs starting pitching. It’s weird having a guy on the 40 man roster that just made it out of Low A ball, but the reds probably need him more than Cantu.

    Hanigan is the third catcher. If they take him off the 40 man roster, they’ll have to go out and sign somebody like Chad Moeller. That won’t work.

    They owe Castro money. It’s still the reds.

    Dickerson….Yeah. The organization isn’t going to use Dickerson. He has some value and could have a career, but by all indications they would rather put guys like Coates or Jason Ellison playing time than Dickerson.

    Gil and Janish are comparable players. The organization has a draft pick invested in Janish and they still harbor hope that he can play shorstop. Gil is a direct comparable, can play multiple positions and has some power from the right side, and is no where close to arbitration. Assuming Gil is going to comeback healthy, I would rather have Gil.

    I would think they could probably straight up trade Dickerson or Janish for whoever they have targeted with the rule v pick. Everybody else, they need more than Cantu.

    Well, everybody but Castro.

  23. Glenn

    It may have come down to payroll. When Cordero came on board, a veteran may have had to go. Like some of you have mentioned “its still the Reds”. They own Castro money. Releasing Cantu avoids paying two veteran players. This may also mean that Hatteberg stays with the team this year.

  24. Willy

    ya krivsky said it
    i read an interview

    remember the reds didnt draft hamilton
    the cubs did
    but they traded him to us.

  25. DevilsAdvocate

    According to, the Reds selected RHP Sergio Valenzuela (from the Braves) in the Rule 5 Draft this morning. A quick glance at his stats suggests that he’s a poor bet to stay on the Reds’ roster all season, but I don’t know anything about him. Maybe he’s a Santana-esque pick, and he’s got so much potential down the road that they’ll dither away a year then send him back to the minors next season to finish his development.

    Also, says that Jose Guevara was the Marlins’ pick, but that’s got to be a mistake – I think that’s got to be Carlos Guevara, the star Chattanooga reliever that the Reds never gave a chance to.

  26. Alex

    Baseball America says the Reds took C Juan Apodaca. Hope the RHP is the actual pick.

  27. Alex

    Nevermind. I’m dumb. That was the AAA phase.

  28. DevilsAdvocate

    Appears the Reds also lost Jose Rojas, drafted by the A’s organization in the AAA phase of the Rule 5.

  29. Josh says the Reds have spoken to the Jays about Alex Rios. I like the guy but if it involves one of our young pitchers I simply can’t buy into it.

  30. DevilsAdvocate

    Just a correction to offer while reading the comments above:

    One of pitchers we got rid of was indited (sic) for rape, Anybody remember that?? –Dave from Louisville, #15

    Not true. First, he was accused by someone of third-degree sexual assault, not rape, by a woman he’d met on Second, he was not indicted. Third, the authorities investigating the accusation found ‘compelling evidence’ of his innocence and refused to bring any charges at all.