2012 Reds

Reds pick up one option, decline another…plus more transactions

As expected, the Reds picked up Brandon Phillips’ $12 million option for 2012. Don’t be surprised if they work out an extension soon, a la Bronson Arroyo last off-season.

On the other side of the coin, Cincinnati declined the 2012 option on closer Francisco Cordero. CoCo was often great (and sometimes less than great) during his time with the Reds, and he was always a stand-up guy. I’ll remember his Cincinnati career favorably, but it was the right decision not to pick up that option. He’s been overpaid for four years.

There has been a flurry of other transactions recently, as well:

–We mentioned yesterday that Matt Maloney was a Minnesota Twin. It turns out that Maloney was claimed off waivers by the Twins.

–Cincinnati also outrighted Daryl Thompson and Jared Burton to AAA (evidently, they both passed through waivers). Both could decline the demotion and become free agents. I hope we’ve seen the last of Thompson, but I remain convinced that Burton and his cutter can be effective in the big leagues.

–The end result there is that GM Walt Jocketty opened up three spots on the 40-man roster. One of those will be taken by OF Denis Phipps.

25 thoughts on “Reds pick up one option, decline another…plus more transactions

  1. Burton mystifies me. Very solid in ’07 and ’08 and then fell off the map. But I guess there is that issue of sample size–MLB history is chock-full of relievers who have one or two good years and then are never good again.

  2. 2 FA thoughts…

    Why don’t the Reds sign Punto? Cards paid under a million for him… even if he’s a bit more – which he probably will be – he’s posted at least 1.3 WAR the past 4 years, he’s a very solid defender, and could step in when Rolen gets hurt.

    DeJesus. We’ve talked about trading for him… why not just sign him. If he takes 2yrs/$10M. Maybe he won’t. Maybe we don’t need an OFer. But if we don’t believe Heisey’s an everyday guy this this is a good option.

  3. So far so good. I don’t believe Walt is serious about resigning Cordero. He’s not so dumb as to misunderstand most of Coco’s saves were done with smoke and mirrors. I think Walt will swing some combination of signing a decent FA arm like Aardsma, swing a trade for another setup guy, and give Volquez/Boxberger a shot.

  4. @Aaron Lehr: Punto is a good backup at 2b, but with a rookie manning SS for the Reds next year, I would prefer our backup to be a SS first. DeJesus–I guess the bet is that you feel Heisey isn’t the 4th outfielder and we need to look outside the organization. If that’s the case, DeJesus is a nice player for that role. Personally, I’d stick with Heisey and use that money elsewhere. In a small way, that’s me saying by extension that I believe Stubbs will have a better season. Stubbs still had a positive overall value, so even incremental improvement will move him into the above-average category. Wait-n-see.
    Looking at Cozart’s minor league numbers compared to Janish, there isn’t a ton of difference. My eyes tell me Cozart will hit more, so I’m torn as to whether to keep Janish or find a backup SS who can hit. Given that our offense will be fine next year, I’d probably stick with Cozart/janish.

  5. Reading between the lines of Jocketty’s comments, it seems to me that Cordero still wants to be paid like a top closer and that the Reds have wished him all the best luck with that.

  6. @Travis G.: Definitely. The talks started on an optimistic note, CoCo wanted to stay, WJ wanted to extend him. WJ said afterwards that we “almost” got it done, and wished him well on exploring the free agent market.

  7. I like CoCo and over the 4 years he did a good job and stabilized what had been an awful bullpen. But he’s become a ground ball reliever, not even close to elite. I’m happy to hear this decision, the Reds can put the $12M to much better use.

    WJ said it bluntly: “We didn’t want to bring him back at that salary, …”
    Hopefully the money isn’t spent on another closer. The Reds can pick up a cheaper option, or use pitchers from within (such as LeCure or one of the surplus starters) until Boxberger is ready.

    • I like CoCo and over the 4 years he did a good job and stabilized what had been an awful bullpen. But he’s become a ground ball reliever, not even close to elite. I’m happy to hear this decision, the Reds can put the $12M to much better use.

      WJ said it bluntly: “We didn’t want to bring him back at that salary, …”
      Hopefully the money isn’t spent on another closer. The Reds can pick up a cheaper option, or use pitchers from within (such as LeCure or one of the surplus starters) until Boxberger is ready.

      Regarding that, what IS the feeling regarding LeCure? I’d like to see him get a shot as a closer, but unclear whether that is seen as a real possibility. If he’s not rotation worthy, he seems too potentially valuable for middle relief.

  8. @per14: I think in Burton’s case, and a lot of other cases with relief pitchers, it’s not so much a matter of small sample size but injury problems. He had a myriad of them, plus the thyroid problem. Eventually the arm isn’t the same and the confidence is gone.

  9. @pinson343: Agreed. I don’t think a single dollar should be spent on a FA pitcher this offseason (unless a trade for an ace is made and we need to fill a spot or two).

  10. @pinson343: I agree, injury problems can really drive down the value of a pitcher. But there’s opportunity there as well. I’d love to see the Reds kick the tires on Peter Moylan and Joel Zumaya.
    On a side note, the Braves have a pipeline of pitching that’s to die for. It’s no wonder they could swallow Derek Lowe’s salary and not even blink. They need an outfield bat, though, and would probably part with some of that pitching if we had anything to give them (except Bruce!!!).

  11. Anyone else notice how Travis Wood keeps getting overlooked in the conversations about next year’s rotation? I think he’ll have a lot more to say about it than we think.

  12. @crypticphrasing: I just know that Phipps wasn’t considered a prospect but he caught on fire as a hitter in 2011 at AA and AAA. I hope some of the RLN minor league experts chime in on him.

  13. @Sultan of Swaff: I do too. He had a rough year, but pitched well after he came back up from AAA. We just didn’t know it because Dusty NEVER used him.

  14. @LVW: Nice, glad for Joey in particular. BP was a sure thing. A lot of first time winners this year, indicating that maybe the selections are a little less a popularity contest this time around.

  15. @Sultan of Swaff: I’m optimistic about Cozart and would like to see Cozart/Janish. But I’m afraid that yet another senior SS will be picked up, leaving Janish out of the picture.

  16. @crypticphrasing: Here’s what I know about Phipps; He wasn’t concidered a true prospect before this year b/c he never hit consistently in his first 4-5 years in the minors. This year, however, he killed it. He went from a .250 hitter to a .350 hitter and did it cosistently all year in both AA and AAA. Defensively, he’s always been good. He is widely considered to have the strongest arm among all minor league center fielders. He leads his team in OF assists most every year.

  17. 12 million is a nice bit of extra breathing room! Spending a portion on a well scouted bullpen arm that adds stability sounds good. Spending money on another vet for Dusty to waste ABs on would be dangerous. Rolen and Cairo are plenty with all the young strong bodies on the left side of the field.

    How about using the to ink one of Bailey or Volquez to a favorable contract (ala Bruce) so Walt can keep or ship depending on what develops?

    Why isn’t Daryl Thompson bullpen material? He always had a nice K rate, right?

  18. See where Burton elected free agency. Would not be surprised to see him come back and make a name for himself somewhere else.

    Worried about the 2012 bullpen 😦

  19. I’ve got concerns about the bullpen, as well, but losing Jared Burton is not among them. I wish him the best, but he’s not worth more than a minor league deal at this point.

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