Baseball’s Winter Meetings started today in Orlando. We’ll update Reds-related rumors from today on this thread. Check back during the day. If you see a report on the interwebs that we haven’t included yet, post it in the comments and we’ll add it.
11 am: So far, there’s a Joel Sherman report about a possible fit with the Giants for both Billy Hamilton and Adam Duvall. No mention of what the Giants might return in a deal like that.
12 noon: Here are a few lists of Giants prospects: Baseball America, John Sickles, MLB Prospect Watch, Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus. Some of these have been updated more recently than others. Keep in mind that every organization has a Top 10 or Top 20 list. That doesn’t compare the quality to the overall pool. For example, Christian Arroyo (#57) is the only Giants prospect in their Top 100 overall. The Reds have five players on that list: Nick Senzel (#6), Hunter Greene (#18), Taylor Trammell (#68), Tyler Mahle (#78) and Jesse Winker (#100).
1:15 pm: Zach Buchanan confirms reports that San Diego Padres have “real interest” in Zack Cozart. Don’t get your hopes up that Cozart will return to the Reds.
Buchanan: “Toward the end of the season, the Reds expressed some interest in keeping Cozart around for 2018 and beyond. But no extension talks ever materialized, and it’s unclear if the Reds have kept in touch with Cozart’s camp about a potential reunion. If the Reds were to re-sign Cozart, it likely would come only if the shortstop were willing to sign for less than he might receive on the open market.”
4:15 pm: Mark Sheldon reports that Dick Williams says the Reds are looking at relievers more than starters. Of course, not all the pitchers who are in contention to start will make the rotation. Some will have to pitch from the bullpen. Ten names: Castillo, Bailey, DeSclafani, Mahle, Stevenson, Reed, Garrett, Romano, Finnegan and potentially Lorenzen and Rookie Davis (makes 11).
4:25 pm: Not a new rumor, but adding the Texas Rangers to list of teams with possible interest in Billy Hamilton. This quote in yesterday’s article by Zach Buchanan:
“The Reds have more trade chips than they did a year ago, and those chips are much more established. There’s likely to be broad interest in closer Raisel Iglesias, who is locked up for several more years on an affordable deal. Billy Hamilton has drawn interest from the San Francisco Giants and also reportedly the Texas Rangers, both teams in need of a center fielder. Scooter Gennett could possibly interest a team needing a second baseman, although his market has been quiet so far, a source said. Left fielder Adam Duvall has probably drawn the second most interest of Reds players beyond Hamilton, according to that source, although which teams have asked about him isn’t clear.”
4:30: Zach Buchanan has more from Dick Williams’ meeting with reporters this afternoon. Williams says there’s interest in Billy Hamilton but Reds place great value in their centerfielder’s defense.
“There’s always interest in Billy Hamilton. But the Reds still value him highly, especially for how his defense helps the team’s young pitching staff. ‘His defense helps our ERA,’ Williams said. ‘He’s got a lot of value and he still has that offensive upside if we can unlock it.’ That said, Williams will never say never when it comes to trade. A year ago, the team waited until January to strike by trading Dan Straily, because their high asking price was met. ‘We feel like we’re in a real stable position and we can just be opportunistic,’ he said.”
That’s a good negotiating position. Of course, it’s possible that the Reds overvalue Hamilton and that will make it hard to find a deal. But the Reds new boss has been much less effusive about Hamilton and has said several times that he wants a leadoff hitter with a higher OBP. I’ve got a lot more confidence in Williams’ assessment of Hamilton than I did of Jocketty’s.
4:45 pm: TR Sullivan, who covers the Texas Rangers for MLB, tweeted this a few hours ago:
Two center fielders on the market are Jackie Bradley of Red Sox and Billy Hamilton of Reds…Rangers could move DeShields to left and upgrade defense if interested
— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) December 11, 2017
5:10 pm: Free agent relievers (Brandon Morrow, Pat Neshek) have signed huge contracts today. Raisel Iglesias would bring back a haul. The Reds should really look to deal him for a big future piece.
5:15 pm: Giants vice president of baseball operations says club will try to avoid signing free agents that are attached to a qualifying offer. That applies to Lorenzo Cain, a centerfielder who many had suggested would be a good match for San Francisco. The Giants’ stance improves the odds of a trade with the Reds for Billy Hamilton.
5:30 pm: What’s the downside of waiting to trade Raisel Iglesais instead of now at peak value? See: Chapman, Aroldis.
5:40: Ben Nicholson-Smith, Blue Jays beat writer posts this report. Really feels like there could be a match here between Blue Jays and Reds. Scooter Gennett and Adam Duvall?