Day Three of the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Check here throughout the day for news, rumors and related developments.
8 am: Boomlet in reporting about the organization’s efforts to convince Japanese 2-way phenom Shohei Ohtani to become a Red. Zach Buchanan reports on the pitch materials and process the Reds went through. Mark Sheldon’s story contains a back-and-forth with Dick Williams about it. You might find this article from Evan Drellich, a beat writer covering the Boston Red Sox, interesting. Drellich blasts Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski for not taking a personal interest in their team’s campaign for Ohtani. Comparison made to Dick Williams.
How do you view the time and effort the Reds devoted to the pursuit of Ohtani? Glad to see your team shooting for all the best players? Or a waste of time on an unrealistic pursuit?
10:30 am: Take the time to watch this interview with Dick Williams. He covers a wide range of topics including the Reds goals in Orlando, Joey Votto’s future with the organization, acquiring Scooter Gennett and Luis Castillo last year, how the Reds plan to handle Raisel Iglesias, Jesse Winker and Hunter Greene. In answer to a question about Zack Cozart, Williams says the Reds are committed to playing Jose Peraza at shortstop. The Reds President and GM points to 2019 for when fans can expect the Reds to be major buyers.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) December 13, 2017
10:45 am: Seems like there’s a pretty active market for second baseman. Still haven’t seen Scooter Gennett’s name mentioned in any of the speculative lists of available players.
10:55 am: Not sure about this one. There’s a story from Toronto blogger Brendan Panikkar that the Blue Jays have interest in Adam Duvall. It refers to a report from Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, but there’s no reference link to Verducci in the story, and I can’t find original writing from Verducci about Duvall.
11:05 am: The market for relievers continues to be extremely strong, with a couple more pricey free agent signings this morning. In that context, Raisel Iglesias is uber-valuable. Hope Reds keep an open mind about trading him for a big return. Reds are pointing toward 2019 for contending. Iglesias’ value relatively wasted pitching for the Reds. Dick Williams praises Bryan Price for his “creative” uses of Iglesias, including multiple innings. But that added up to only 76 IP last year. That’s about 10 innings above SOP for traditional closers. Yes, Iglesias would be around in 2019 and beyond. But lots of pitchers can close. No one thought of Iglesias as the future closer when Aroldis Chapman was with the Reds.
1:05 pm: Reports the Cardinals have traded for Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna. He’s the LF that edged out Adam Duvall for the Gold Glove Award last year. Ozuna (27) hit .312/376/.598, 37 homers, wRC+ of 142 last year. Two years of team control for the Cardinals.
Impact on the Reds? Maybe Miami will now get about trading — here’s your daily RN mention — Christian Yelich.
Meanwhile, the new Marlins ownership is wrecking their team. Why spend $1.2 billion on a major league franchise only to sell off all its parts and destroy goodwill with fans right out of the gate? An ownership group willing to spend that much to buy it ought to be able to swing a $100 million payroll.
“Gut says Reds will get serious about Yelich if they can exclude Greene, Senzel, Castillo and Winker. Best guess at what a Yelich trade could look take: Two of Mahle/Romano/Stephenson/Garrett + Trammell + Shed Long + piece like Gutierrez/Downs/Santillan/Siri. … Would be a massive price to pay, but All-Star caliber, 26-year-old CFs with only $58.25M owed from 2018-2022 don’t come around often.”
3:25 pm: Now lots of reports like this one saying Marlins have pulled Christian Yelich off the table and want to build their team around him. That’s of course, what they’d say if it’s true or if the opposite of it is true.
3:30 pm: Was in my car listening to MLB Radio this afternoon. They were interviewing Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. I know Cardinals fans have issues with Matheny. But he was going on about the importance of having a leadoff hitter (Matt Carpenter) with a really high on-base percentage and also had power. And all I could think about was how the Reds have tolerated the mediocrity and ineptness inherent in the notion that what the leadoff hitter needs to be able to do is run fast. It made me so furious I struggled to keep my car on the road.
3:50 pm: Seriously, this Yelich thing is a South Beach soap opera. Jon Heyman:
Marlins are regrouping now and plan to talk to Christian Yelich about how he feels about staying. He’s frustrated to see 3 best friends/top players go. So he may say he wants to go, which may trigger trade of him, too.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 13, 2017
4:10 pm: And the Marlins handling the Yelich situation this way, this publicly, will seriously undermine their negotiating position. Of course Christian Yelich will want to leave now that Miami has traded away all his friends. If given the choice, he’ll want to play for a team that isn’t in the process of destroying itself. So then, when the Marlins say they’re open to dealing Yelich, teams will know that the CF wants to leave. The Marlins are really bad at this. Amateur hour.
4:50 pm: Ugh.
Reds are looking into rotation options and have some interest in Yovani Gallardo, source says.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 13, 2017
Here’s hoping Cotillo’s source is Tommy Flanagan or Gallardo’s agent. If the Reds sign Yovani Gallardo to a major league contract, I’m gonna pound my head on the desk until my forehead bleeds. There is NOTHING in Gallardo’s stats from the past two seasons that gives a shred of hope. He’s Jason Marquis only worse. Maybe the Reds think Gallardo’s pursuit of the record for giving up the most home runs in a year would bring fans to GABP … yeah, that’s the ticket.
5:15 pm: Tune in next hour for the The Young and The Restless, the Miami Marlins Soap Opera. Watch as they backfill their disastrous negotiating position for Christian Yelich.
Christan Yelich making it rather clear that he would love to be traded, and while the #Marlins understand his frustration, say they still want to keep him. Of course, that could also change if they get an offer this winter that blows them away.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 13, 2017
What a joke. And you thought only certain Redleg Nation writers had an unhealthy preoccupation with Christian Yelich.
5:30 pm: Zach Buchanan’s latest reporting on where the Reds-Giants talks on Billy Hamilton stand.
Been told Reds-Giants talks on Billy Hamilton are at a bit of a stand-off. Each side knows how the other values Billy, not much movement from those positions. Other teams interested, but Giants still the most serious.
— Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) December 13, 2017
5:40 pm: Aack. Reds may value Iglesias too much and scaring off deals. OTOH, maybe this is still just negotiating with the help of Jon Heyman. At least good to hear teams are asking.
Teams have stopped trying to get Raisel Iglesias. As expected price understandably high (but too rich for teams)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 13, 2017
7:15 pm: According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the LA Angels are acquiring 2B Ian Kinsler from the Tigers. the Angels were one of the teams that Scooter Gennett might have fit with. Not now. (This is the last report of the day from me unless something big breaks. Tomorrow is the final day of the winter meetings.)