From John Fay

More details as we get ’em.

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! 35 Comments

  1. Two years at $11.5 million. Covers the first two years of Latos’ arbitration. Latos is eligible for free agency in 2016.

  2. I don’t understand the reasoning for a two-year deal in his case; other than being a good faith measure to get a long term extension completed. Otherwise, they might have well just settled in arbitration. He filed for $4.7 this year, so basically they are giving him that plus $6.8 for next year to stay out of arbitration.

  3. @BJ Ruble: Payroll certainty is one factor. Adding a second year might have been necessary to get any agreement and avoid arbitration.

  4. Good deal for both sides. I am just glad that they avoided any hard feelings with Latos.

  5. Mat Latos’ wife/PR person, Dallas Latos, posted on Twitter “This should go without saying but we are very happy and humbled to call Cincy “home” for at least the next 2 years. Go #Reds!” It’s nice she’s excited.

    @BJ Ruble: I think both sides wanted to avoid salary arbitration, and they did it. Latos gets $11.5m without having to worry about staying healthy or anything like that. Frequently players are willing to trade cash for contract certainty.

  6. The 2 year contract within arbitration seems to be all the rage this year rather than buying out 1 or 2 years of FA. Of course both sides have to agree in order to achieve an extension. At least the 2 year contract buys some time for WJ to identify appropriate targets for longer extensions. The $11.5MM seems very high for the 1st two years of arbitration, but I guess that’s reflective of current MLB economics. It’s conceivable (maybe not likely, but yet…) that the Reds’ could field a starting rotation in 2014 with four, viable #1 starters.

  7. I imagine Mat having a solid career as at least a #2 starter for many years to come. Would have been nice to lock him up for a few more years, but understandably that would have been very pricey. Can’t complain about this deal!

  8. Good deal for both sides. The off season after 2014 is shaping up to be a doozy for WJ and the front office. Cueto is a free agent after 2014. Bailey will be a free agent after 2014 is he doesn’t sign an extension. Latos will have one year of arb. left which could produce a very sizable contract. A mutual option with Chapman for 2015 will be on the table. Leake will have one year of arb. left and is a free agent after 2015. Arroyo is probably long gone by then. There could be some serious turn-over in the starting rotation going into the 2015 season. Good thing the front office has a plan in place. Good thing there is some serious starting pitching talent on the way up in the minors, too.

  9. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad the organization is taking care of the guys they need to take care of, I just found it odd to pay for two years of the arbitration, but leave the last year of arbitration. I see this going one of two directions: 1. The Reds will be pleased with his performance over the course of the next two years setting up a long term deal; 2. The Reds not pleased with his production and will not sign him long term.

    Now it’s time to possibly lock up Bailey if it is at a good price.

  10. One efficient way of getting good pitching going forward is to extend Ryan Hannigan, who will be a free agent after this year but who leads a lot of defensive ratings. Homer Bailey was the only starter to throw at least 10 games to both Hannigan and Mesoraco, and his OPS was .121 lower throwing to Hannigan. Arroyo threw exclusively to Hannigan, and Cueto had one start (a good one) with Mesoraco. Latos had a .980 OPS in 3 games with Mez, admittedly a small sample size. Leake only threw twice to Hannigan.

    You have to believe that the Yankees, etc. will make a play for Hannigan after this year, if he isn’t resigned, and if he leaves, then the Reds are stuck with an inadequate defensive catcher to catch some very good arms. Hannigan turns 33 in August, and this will be his one and only chance to sign a real good contract, so he pretty much has to follow the money if the Reds don’t extend him.

    I think Ryan Hannigan deserves an extension and a raise from this year’s $2.05 million. I can only guess what would work, but 3 years/$11mm?

  11. It looks like I was wrong about Hannigan and that he is still under arbitration control through 2014. Still, the Reds have no real option behind him, unless you like Mesoraco, which I don’t think the Reds really do.

  12. The Diamondbacks have shut down Didi Gregarius. Elbow problems. Supposedly nothing very serious, but….
    Maybe WJ is alot more shrewd than we thought.

  13. Well, so long Scottie. You were a gamer.

  14. @Drew Mac: I think Scott Rolen will stay in shape and offer to report to extended spring training if Todd Frazier or Jack Hannahan get hurt. I don’t get the impression this is like Chipper Jones’ certainty of being finished no matter what.

  15. @WVRedlegs: I don’t know… wouldn’t you rather just think it’s a random medical issue that happens to ball players? Nothing anybody could have possibly predicted? Otherwise it sort of suggests Walt dealt a lemon, between PED allegations and this… I want the GM of the Reds to be known to have integrity and not as someone to avoid because he’ll slip one by you.

  16. @Matt WI: Zack Cozart had Tommy John surgery a few years ago, elbow injuries for Reds shortstops aren’t unheard of.

    • @Matt WI: Zack Cozart had Tommy John surgery a few years ago, elbow injuries for Reds shortstops aren’t unheard of.

      Wow, seriously? Tell us honestly, do you even WATCH baseball, or do you just look at stat sheets and scouting reports?

      What you just said is akin to seeing a video of someone blowing up a Hummer with a bazooka and then making the statement “Hummers are prone to spontaneously explode.”

    • @Matt WI: Zack Cozart had Tommy John surgery a few years ago, elbow injuries for Reds shortstops aren’t unheard of.

      Except it was his non-throwing arm, if memory serves, and happened b/c of a collision at 2B on a bad throw by Votto.

  17. @redsfanman: True but Cozart’s TJ surgery was the result of a traumatic injury (hooked in a collision at 2B on an attempted DP).

    Chris Denorfia comes to mind as another Reds position player who had TJ surgery. In fact I think he was still in rehab when he was traded to the A’s before eventually finding a home with Padres.

  18. There are many good points. I really like this move in many ways due to good will with the Latos family, if Mat does take another step forward this year 5 or 6 million will not be much money to pay. With the young pitching coming up, the Reds can pick and choose who they will sign long term. Imagine Stephenson as the number 4 or 5 starter on a team. I’d be very happy going Latos, Chapman, Bailey, Stephenson and Corcino in 2015 if necessary. You could mix and match with any of the top four Reds pitchers- one will walk probably. Though just imagine, Cueto, Chapman, Latos, Bailey, and Stephenson as a rotation. Drool, drool, drool- when have the Reds had this much quality pitching. This should be fun

  19. Per John Fay‏ via twitter, “The Reds and Latos were in room for the hearing when the deal got done.”

    I really hope Bailey doesn’t have to go through a hearing. As John so eloquently phrased it, this was a close call.

  20. @redsfanman: Nice try.

  21. @Matt WI:
    I think it’s premature to suggest that Walt Jocketty knew about Didi Gregorius’ elbow problem, we don’t even know yet what that problem is or how long it’s been present. It seems more reasonable to suspect that he injured himself since being traded rather than that he’s part of some conspiracy by Walt Jocketty to trade guys before other teams notice.

  22. @redsfanman:

    I am not saying that WJ knew that Didi Gregorius had a bum elbow. Or that he even knew about Grandal’s PED usage. I am saying that WJ held onto the right players regarding Cozart-Gregorius and Mesoraco-Grandal. WJ, I assume, did his due diligence, and picked the right two players to stay with the Reds. These type of decisions are why he is paid the big bucks. If it were Bowden as still the GM, we might be sitting here going into spring training with a C that is on a 50-game suspension and a SS that is being shut down with an elbow problem. That would have really gotten the 2013 season off to a good start.

  23. @redsfanman:
    The D-backs actually shut down Gregorius in January after his first throwing session, it was reported.
    Didn’t Gregorius injure his elbow in the Arizona Fall League while still with the Reds, redsfanman??? I recall something about Gregorius not playing anymore in the AFL because of an injury. Just saying. WJ==shrewd.

  24. @redsfanman: Um, that’s what my post said. I’m not sure why you lumped me in there. I assume you’re trying clarify and back off your bizarre comment about Cozart’s injury? Because in the context of the thread, it was that comment that further suggested there could have been a conspiracy, not mine.

  25. @CI3J: I didn’t watch Didi Gregorius hurt his elbow. I rarely have chances to watch Didi Gregorius so I just relied on scouting reports and news articles. If that bothers you – too bad.

    Silly analogy. I wouldn’t be surprised if military vehicles were more prone to being attacked by bazookas than, say, Toyota and Honda sedans. Military vehicles sometimes get attacked and MLB players sometimes get hurt.

    @WVRedlegs: I also didn’t watch the Arizona Fall League. I never thought much of Gregorius – hence why I always implied that he was overrated and worthless to the Reds. Walt Jocketty=lucky.

  26. @Matt WI: I lumped you in because you were both discussing Didi Gregorius’ injury. Sorry?

  27. @redsfanman: I find myself in agreement with you, Redsfanman. The Gregorius injury and any PED suspicions that the brass had with regard to Grandal (or even Alonso, given how close the guys are/were) are two separate issues. I don’t think the Cozart/Gregorius choice was any choice whatsoever. Arizona simply wanted Gregorius because he is younger and because of the strange comparison of Gregorius to Jeter that Towers reportedly made. So, the Gregorius trade was not a case of Jocketty trying to Majewski the D-Backs.

    However, I do believe that one of the reasons why Meso is still with the Reds is because Grandal (and, again, perhaps Alonso) were suspected of PEDs by some in the organization. Of course, there is no evidence of this, but it does strike me as extremely convenient that two of the four guys have now been suspended for PEDs and a third is very closely linked to one of the suspended guys. So, kudos to Walt if there were some rumblings of this. Also, since these were simply suspicions and could not, at the time of the trade at least, be proven, trading these guys is not anywhere close to the same thing as moving damaged goods to another team.

  28. @Drew Mac: I always though the Gregorius-Jeter comparisons seemed pretty crazy. I have less faith in Gregorius as a hitter and fielder than I do in Zack Cozart – to me Gregorius seemed like an expendable extra, if somebody values him as the next Jeter and wants to pay accordingly, fine with me.

    I think the main reason the Reds still have Mesoraco rather than Grandal is that they expected Mesoraco would be a better defensive catcher and be better at calling games. Whether or not somebody currently agrees with that assessment of Mesoraco’s game calling skills, I think the Reds believed in it when they made the decision.

    I think it’s silly to accuse everybody who went to University of Miami of being guilty of using PED by association. Edinson Volquez was suspended for using drugs while rehabbing with the Reds, that didn’t implicate his Reds teammates. Yonder Alonso should be proud to have been drafted out of a credible college baseball program, not ashamed or ostracized. I think most people agreed that he was an expendable trade chip – they didn’t need any sort of suspicion of drug use to justify trading a prospect blocked behind Joey Votto. Innocent or guilty Yonder Alonso was of no use to the Reds.

  29. No physical at the time of the trade, but he called the team as soon as he felt discomfort. It’s nothing serious. But I image if it happened to the Reds, say with Choo, I might be asking the same questions.

    I have a hard time believing WJ would cheat. Trading an injured player is cheating. But the receiving team should also do a physical before the trade is official.

    I see not reason why the Reds would have had to disclose any PED rumors. Nor would I expect a team trading a player to the Reds to disclose rumors. That’s not fair to the player, but in my mind is a good enough reason to trade them.

  30. @redsfanman: I agree with your opinion that the Reds may have felt that Mesoraco was a more polished defensive catcher and had more defensive upside than Grandal. I feel that to be true as do some other very knowledgeable baseball people I know. We also don’t know the situation surrounding that trade. Most scouts agreed that Grandal was going to be able to hit. It’s quite possible that the Padres preferred Grandal over Mesoraco and asked that he be included over Mesoraco. Who knows?

    I also agree with you that just because Alonso has some ties with some of the players who’s names have come out with potential links to the “wellness clinic” in Miami, it doesn’t mean that Alonso should also be suspected as a PED user.

    Lastly, I agree that it is unlikely that the Reds’ front-office had any knowledge of potential physical or PED-related issues of the players they have dealt away. The reason being that you don’t want a reputation of sticking teams with “broken” players. If you unload too many of these types of players, other teams don’t want to make deals with you. It’s a matter of integrity. I’m not saying it never happens but I think it’s bad business for it to happen too often in association with a particular GM.

    • @redsfanman: …..I’m not saying it never happens but I think it’s bad business for it to happen too often in association with a particular GM.

      Such Jim “Ol’ Leatherpants” Bowden 🙂

  31. Jon Heyman is reporting on Twitter that Bailey signed for $5.35MM, avoiding arbitration, but I haven’t seen any confirmation.

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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.


2013 Reds