Jamie Ramsey over at Better off Red gives a list of Reds who are out of options:

Jose Arredondo
Bronson Arroyo
Homer Bailey
Bill Bray
Miguel Cairo
Carlos Fisher
Juan Francisco
Nick Masset
Brandon Phillips
Edinson Volquez

Couple of names that immediately stick out?

Juan Francisco: I think this assures that, unless he’s part of a package this winter, he’s the backup to Rolen at 3B next year. If he’s out of options, he’ll never pass through waivers to go back to AAA, so he’s on the big club. If so, what’s the point in also having Miguel Cairo? Also probably doesn’t bode well for Todd Frazier, either.

Edinson Volquez: This means the Reds HAVE to make a decision on him. Either he’s in the rotation next year, or they trade him to anyone for basically anything. He’s another guy that has no chance of getting through waivers, but I’m not convinced he is one of the 4-5-6 best starting prospects on this team right now. I’ve run out of patience with him.

Arredondo and Fisher are also maybes for next year too, but they’ll need to make the team in ST or they’ll be released. Both will find jobs elsewhere if they’re released by the Reds.


I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

Join the conversation! 17 Comments

  1. I hate that roster decisions aren’t predicated on putting the best team on the field, but rather some perceived notion of losing on an investment. Both guys are sunk costs—sell at a loss if you have to, but put the interests of the team first. To that end, Francisco is ill suited for a backup role. His free swinging ways will get exposed frequently in late game situations. At least Cairo can play more than one position.
    As for Volquez, in my mind the only decision is–prepare him as a starter (showcase for a trade) or reliever? That decision can’t be made until the SP trade market shakes out. But really, the dude’s 29, how many more times must he fail as a starter before you try something different?

  2. Eddy as a closer? i think it should be tried. As for the options, Cairo was able to be a reliable player to us last year, but how can we really rely on him that way again? Frazier will put up better hitting numbers, and while cairo is a plug him anywhere player, frazier showed he could that, effectively as well. This probably means fraziers a trade chip. francisco and the relievers were no brainers. But i maintain that eddy should be tried in the pen or traded. and unless we get josh hamilton for him, then that was a terrible trade for us. An outfield of Bruce, Stubbs and Hamilton, right to left? come on.

  3. i expect everyone on that list except for fisher to break camp with the reds (barring trade). fisher is the 8th man in the pen, and would be on almost any team. i wish him the best because he’s bailed the reds out a few times, but there are plenty of other relievers in the system that can do what he does.

    i would like to see arroyo off the team, but, yeah, that’s not happening.

    i’m as frustrated as anyone with volquez, having been one of his most vocal supporters for a long time. he may never get it back, and i’m open to trying something new or trading him. all that said, as far as mlb commodities go, he still has value, and the idea that the reds would just let him walk is crazy.

    remember, he’s still young, and in about the same number of years he has about the same career WAR as homer bailey. i wouldn’t just let bailey go either, and i feel about the same about both of them. lots of promise, not much delivery, but still young enough to turn into a solid starter.

  4. as far as what to do with volquez, i think we should be clear, he could be tried as a reliever, but not as a closer, not to start. his command is the problem, and you can’t have your closer walking a guy every other inning.

  5. No way would I trust Volquez in a closer role with the ball based upon his performance in his first inning of work. For that matter, a set-up man is out of the question. He’s got to be a starter or nothing, IMO.

  6. First-we need to thank EV that he passed on contract last year offered by WJ. Walt knows EV has very little value to anyone at this point.

    Rolen will play maybe 100 so Francisco gets the other 50 to 60. Rolen will be able to teach him plenty by just playing in front of him.

    With so many other teams looking to improve through trades and watching their bottom line (easy to get tunnel vision thinking Reds are only one with talent to trade) I can see why WJ has to take his time.

  7. @al: @preach: I think Volquez to the bullpen is the ONLY option.

  8. The Reds have 7-8 possible starters next year, and Jocketty has been quoted as saying that acquiring a starting pitcher in the offseason is a priority.

    1. Cueto – definitely in
    2. Leake – has options, but one of their best 5, IMO
    3. Bailey – inconsistent, but also one of their best 5 & out of options

    With options:
    4. Wood – not as strong last year as he was the year before. If no other pitchers are brought in, I like him in the top 5, and definitely ahead of Arroyo and Volquez on the depth chart.

    5. Chapman – obviously one everyone will be watching in spring training. How will they stretch him out? What will his 2012 inning limit be? I could see him starting a month or two in AAA just to monitor/limit his innings.

    6. Sam LeCure – a solid year mostly in long/middle relief. He was a starter most of his professional career. There were a lot of Reds teams in the last decade that Sam would have easily made the rotation. Unless there is a thought of keeping him in AAA as the team’s 6th starter, I’d give him more responsibility in the 7th/8th innings and see how if he could evolve into a primary setup man or closer.

    Out of options and coming off bad years:
    7. Arroyo – Coming off his worst year in a Reds uniform with a seemingly untradeable contract extension.

    8. Volquez – Glad that he didn’t get that expensive contract extension last year. @preach: The first inning mess is concerning, but I’ve said that he should be and would eventually end up in the bullpen ever since he arrived in 2008. I wouldn’t give him the closer’s job to start the year, but I wouldn’t put him in the rotation either.

  9. @RiverCity Redleg: I can’t convince myself of the Volquez to the bullpen move. If he doesn’t straighten himself out, doesn’t start throwing challenging fastballs, isn’t he an even bigger liability in the bullpen? People have been frustrated with Stormy and Cordero for playing fast and loose with walks out of the bullpen in the past: Aren’t we asking for more of the same?

    If he does work himself out, I feel like he’s then just as good of an asset as we had hoped as a starter. If the concern is that he always loses it for an inning or two, I don’t think the team can afford to have that happen at the end of the game when the offense has even less time to cover him.

    I don’t know, I usually agree with you RCR, but maybe I’m just not considering something. I really wanted Volquez to succeed, but I’d be ok with seeing what happens with a trade.

  10. I believe the presumed decline of Mr. Bronson Arroyo is going to be proved out wrong. In fact I am willing to bet he comes back and matches his numbers of 2010 and ends up being the 3rd best overall pitcher on this staff this season behind Cueto and Leake unless the Reds add a huge name pitcher.

  11. How much can Rolen help Francisco with his defense at third? He has power but is a free swinger. I’m afraid he’ll turn out to be another Encarnacion. I think Frazier, overall, is a better backup to Rolen. Use Volquez in the seventh inning. Maybe eventually he could be the closer.

  12. We’re gonna have to record that one. šŸ˜‰

    He will be better in 2012 (though I struggle to see how he could be worse). His results-oriented numbers could indeed match his 2010 results.

    League average isn’t anything special though. With Cueto’s progression beyond just being a 5 or 6 inning pitcher, and Volquez possibly omitted from the rotation altogether, Arroyo is no longer needed to just suck up innings (though I guess Chapman being a SP might necessitate someone like Arroyo). I think Leake, Wood, Bailey, and Lecure all provide similar floors, are obviously cheaper, and provide substantially more upsdide.

    I hate to say it, but third best pitcher on this staff doesn’t mean too much.

  13. Volquez and the team spent all of last year trying to fix whatever is wrong with him. They didn’t do it. I wouldn’t expect miracles this year or waste any more time with him. His trade value is very low,but I say it’s time to cut the losses.

  14. @dn4192: And your reason for that is…..?

    If your answer is “mono”, I’ll listen. Otherwise, …?

  15. Volquez to the pen. Wow. He’s awful, so let’s throw him in the bullpen.

    I’m the last person to care about closer in the sense that I think closer is overrated, but there’s no way on god’s green earth i’m bringing Volquez in for the 9th inning. Good god. He’d be like Stanhouse, except instead of 6-pack I’d call him 12-pack.

    Any other position in the pen, is he even worth the salary? What’s the point? From my vantage point, given that they have to pay him (arbitration will bring him at least 2M, right?), he’s either your 5th starter, or sign/trade, or dump. I can’t see paying 2-3M to put the guy in the pen, with his complete unreliability.

  16. It’s time for Volquez to pack his bags.

  17. @Matt WI: Here’s my thinking; He’s got too good of “stuff” to give up on him. He has no chance of making the rotation. He’s out of options. Give him a tryout in the bullpen. You have legitimate concerns about his control. But, I think that given the scenerio of knowing he’s only in for one inning (or two) will allow him the freedom to attack the zone and not have to worry about pitch count. You very well may be right, in which case, he should be cut loose. I would just like to see them exhaust all of their options with him. I guy with a 96 mph fastball with a nasty slider and changeup is too valuable to just be let go.

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About Bill Lack

I've been a Reds fan since the late '60's, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in '84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in '90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.


2012 Reds


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