Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Orland wrap up today. Check here to see the latest developments, such as they are.

10 am: The Brad Keller Era came and went. The Reds chose Keller, a RHP from the Diamondbacks, in the Rule 5 draft. Then they traded him to the Kansas City Royals. Brad, we hardly knew ya. Reds remain at 38 spots filled on the 40-man roster.

11 am: The Reds made a pick in the minor league part of the Rule 5 draft. They also lost a couple players. From Zach Buchanan:

“In the minor-league portion of the draft, the Reds took Toronto Blue Jays minor-league third baseman Mitch Nay, and lost two others — right-hander Eduardo Rivera, signed in free agency earlier this winter, and righty Sandy Lugo, who has been in the organization since 2014.”

11:10 am: Dick Williams told the media while the Reds didn’t make any moves, he was pleased with the discussions they had. From Mark Sheldon:

“I feel good about the conversations that we had and the discussions we had, back and forth, with other teams. A lot of good information was exchanged,” Williams said as he departed. “Whether it gets us any closer to a transaction remains to be seen, but there was a lot of good dialogue.”

Wrapping Up: As we said before the meetings started, in recent years, the Reds have used the couple weeks right after the meetings to finish up deals. The Reds never intended to be active in the upper-tier of free agency. Less expensive purchases wait until the market clears a bit later.

Again, measure this offseason not by shiny new acquisitions, but whether the Reds can find valuable fits for moving established players. Adam Duvall and Scooter Gennett are likely at their peak value and the Reds have to clear playing time for Jesse Winker and Nick Senzel. Billy Hamilton is a somewhat different case. This is probably the right time to trade him with respect to his value. But the Reds don’t have a CF ready to take over.

The one exception to relatively sleepy expectations is if the Reds find a trading partner for Raisel Iglesias.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 190 Comments

  1. Hopefully some of the conversations he had will bring us a nice surprise in the coming weeks. Even though no moves were made, I’m still excited to watch the Reds and I can’t wait til Opening Day.

  2. All talk and no action seems to be Reds GM Dick Williams modus operandi.
    Mr. Dick Williams, actions speak louder than words. Reds fans don’t want more lip service, they want action on improving the Cincinnati Reds from a last place team and seasons of 90+ losses.
    It has been a very, very disappointing off-season so far by the Reds front office and ownership.

    • I’m upset. But offseason isnt over yet. exhausted from the lip service for sure.

    • Yep – totally agree – same crap every year at the winter meetings. Watching paint dry is more exciting than what this front office does.

      • yea 20 other teams also did nothing, so i would wait a little longer. last year everyone complained and then what happened? we got luis castillo for a guy we picked up off of waivers 8 months prior.

  3. Apparently the Reds front office is still suffering the shellshock effects of the Aroldis Chapman trade implosion at the 2015 Winter Meetings. They went into hiding immediately thereafter and haven’t been seen since at the Winter Meetings. Last year they didn’t come out of their bunker at the Winter Meetings and this year it was more of the same.

    • Not True,
      I think the Louis Castillo trade was more the problem.
      If they do not get a major steal they do not want to trade.

  4. The Reds have an interesting video of Price talking about the rotation, and he seemed to be careful not to make this a “set rotation” but more of an opinion on who he trusts the most at this particular moment in the offseason. Price also admits that this is not necessarily what the rotation will be.

    I think this is probably a non-story and just a fluid ‘ranking’ of the pitchers by Price. However, I still don’t understand why Price always has to make some extremely early position on the rotation or roster. Maybe its William’s idea or Price thinks the fans want to hear an update?

    • I agree. I watched that video and thought he was softer about the rotation being set than had been reported. On the other hand, if he’s one of those people who says a situation is “fluid” but in reality operates in a way to assure the outcome is the same as expected at first, then it barely matters.

      While I see what he’s saying about having to take last year’s performances into account in comparing pitchers, most of them didn’t get much of a chance. Cody Reed got one start, even Robert Stephenson just got 11. Why have a strong stacking of pitchers based on such limited samples?

      • Not to be a price apologetic here but 95% of pitching development and prep takes place outside of the lines. Why did Cody Reed only get 1 start? Maybe it’s becwuse price is a moron. Or maybe it’s because reed didn’t perform well enough during that 95% of the time.

        If you can’t throw strikes in warm up, or can’t act like a SP 4 days a week, you can’t throw strikes on game day and won’t be successful. Starts are earned not given.

      • Saying that Reed got one start is a little disingenuous. He started something like 20 games at AAA, and was pretty bad there. Stephenson, too, started some in AAA.

        • Agree, however Stephenson’s line at AAA was pretty darn good in albeit a very limited sample:

          1-2, 3.79 ERA, 8 G (7GS), 40.1 IP, 27 H, 13 BB, 45K (2.9 BB/9, 10.0 K/9)

    • Exactly. From what I read, Price said only 1 Starting pitcher position is open for competition. That Bailey, Disco, Castillo, And Finnegan were 4/5ths of the rotation. I personally think Finnegan should be a bullpen guy. What happens in spring, or April if he starts hurting again? Lose him for the again for a few months or the year? They could use a left handed starter in the rotation, and Finnegan is indeed left handed…so there’s that.

      Disco is a big question too. I’m not crazy about the fact that he didn’t get the ligament repaired in his lost season last year.

      They are putting faith in 40% of the rotation can suddenly bounce back from a lost season.

      • And another in Bailey that is a big injury risk… Hopefully Bailey is healthy and productive. That would give that rotation a huge boost.

  5. I am OK with no actual trades during the winter meetings. Yes I would like to see a spot opened for Winker. Yes I would like to see a better option at SS than Peraza and yes I would rather have Yelich roaming CF than Billy, well at least at the plate. I will however be greatly disappointed if we get to spring training and something at least one or two of these items are resolved.

  6. I hate to harp on it but this all goes back to Price. Stephenson finished strong. Let him build on it in the spring. Take a serious look at Lorenzen. If the Reds can’t identify pitching issues in 2018 (who starts, who relieves, who is the foundation of our staff) it will be another wasted year and this mind-numbing, frustrating rebuilding process will drag on some more.

    • Your last sentence pretty much reflects my feelings about the approaching Reds season, although there’s a lot of time between now and opening day for things to change. As GM, Jim Bowden didn’t produce any winners but it sure was an exciting ten years to be a Reds fan with he and Marge in charge. Some of that excitement, with the Reds good core and farm system, could be used now.

      • Ugh, I was never once excited about the Reds pitching under Bowden. So many 5.00 ERA “Aces”. Hitting was usually solid and occasionally really good, but pitching sucked all but one or two years it managed to be average (when a Pete Schourek, Pete Harnisch, or whomever had a nice bounce back season as a reclamation project).

  7. My issue with the Reds not doing anything is that other teams are doing things; and, this changes and shapes the environment in which the Reds will eventually have to make their moves, very often not to their favor.

    Marcell Ozuna comes into the Reds division. The fallout is that Christian Yelich, a guy the Reds could use as a centerpiece to their next contending team, becomes unavailable or at the least markedly more expensive to acquire.

    While I don’t know that DW did not try and talk to the Marlins about Yelich, I’ll bet he didn’t flat out make them an offer on him that made them blink and say hey wait a minute, maybe we should take this. That’s the type of decisive dynamic I think is need and would get things done.

    • And the fact that the Cardinals make moves every year is why they stay relevant and competitive every year. For me, the two teams I hate the most are the Yankees and the Cards and it pains me to see them be the ones that fleeced the Marlins while we sit on our hands yet again.

      • Like it or not, for me the Cardinals are the Yankees of the NL.

      • Check out Forbes MLB Valuations list for each team. Cards are #7….Reds are 28th… so in other words Cards are Bloomingdales and Reds are Goodwill. It is all about how deep the pockets are.

    • I am sure there is time to talk to the marlins. The asking price may be very high with several teams looking for him.
      (I would not give up Nick or Greene)
      So We probably will not get him

  8. I betcha that Williams didn’t even look Miami’s way for Yelich…let alone have any dialogue with them. He’s probably the furthest player from his mind right now. Could probably care less bcuz he knows Miami’s asking price is too high. Those of you hoping we get Yelich should really try to brings your hopes way down on that (if you haven’t already). I guess this is more for those who haven’t. We ain’t gonna get him.

    Unless I’m wrong and someone knows for sure that the reds and Marlins have talked. But I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on these Redlegnation updates from the winter meetings and I know you try to provide every piece of info you can from as many different sources as you can and I haven’t seen one iota of a report that the reds and Marlins were talking.

    I also realize that there’s the possibility that Williams/Price might not be exactly forthcoming with all of their discussions. But I gotta figure that SOMEBODY at those meetings would’ve seen something if they had been talking to each other and leaked it. Just too many eyes at those meetings for somebody not to of seen something IF it happened. And you know not everybody is tight lipped at these meetings.

    So, with the lack of reports/updates about any Reds/Marlins discussions, I’m left to assume the only thing I can at this point…that no such discussions ever took place between the 2 teams. That and the fact that the Reds likely spent the entire meetings talking with the Giants.

    • I just wanted to add that I also know that the reds and Marlins could very well talk at some point later this off-season.

      I just don’t see it happening. I kinda feel like the Marlins asking price for Yelich is probably gonna be as high as the Reds asking price for Iglesias. Therefore, not even the reds could afford Yelich in that regard (in other words not necessarily monetary wise…but in the amount of prospects the reds would likely have to give up). But this is just my guess.

      • So why not a Yelich for Iglesias trade straight up then? If both asking prices are high, seems to work for me. Just like that, deal is done. Takes a lot more to make a trade.

        • That would be interesting. I think I would like that trade.
          However, the Marlins are in a rebuild mode, so unless they thought they could trade Iglesias quickly, they probably would say NO.

        • Michael W., How often do you see a straight up trade in MLB? I know it happens but it’s rare. Plus, I doubt the Reds & Marlins have even looked each other’s way. But, it’s possible, I guess. Anything is.

    • The Reds do not have a history of leaking negotiations very often. DW may change that, he may not. I don’t recall any leaks about the Straily deal last year. Am I forgetting them, or should we just be OK with not knowing who is being talked to?

      • Thomas Jefferson, I never mentioned the reds in any leaking situations. But perhaps I wasn’t clear on that. I meant that other people not in the reds organization possibly seeing the 2 organizations talking to each other and leaking it to the media.

  9. Most all of the Reds rumors we heard involved the two guys the Reds have apparently identified as the guys they would prefer to subtract for decent return, Hamilton and Duvall. The team most prominently mentioned as a potential partner, the Giants, is also a team that seems to have little in the way of talent that would fill Reds needs.

    I’d rather see the Reds go directly after their needs first. If their needs are filled there will be somebody willing to take Hamilton and/ or Duvall off their hands if they weren’t involved in filling the needs, perhaps not for the type of return the Reds are trying to extract now but then the return wouldn’t matter nearly as much after the fact of filling their needs.

    • We might have heard about those because the Giants have a leak, not the Reds. Other non-leaking teams who have talked to the Reds may not be known by any of us.

      • Top comment so far. Fans are getting no more than about 2% of the information, but we seem to have all the answers.

  10. The most frustrating aspects of this whole hot stove season are a) you can’t take anything said by a GM or manager at face value. If someone says “Willie Mays is our guy in center” it might mean “we’re happy to have him and have no interest in trading him” or “we’d really like to trade him so please make us a generous offer”. But worse is b) my priorities, and in many ways the priorities of RLN in general, may or may not align with the Reds priorities. I think it’s a big mistake to rely on Peraza and think a SS upgrade is important. DW is happy with another year of mediocrity from Jose. I think Hamilton is an offensive liability and should either be traded or used as a defensive and pinch running specialist. DW seems to over value his defense and may not move him at all, simultaneously hurting the offense and blocking Jesse Winker. I think there are plenty of strong starting pitching prospects ready to mature. DW and BP seem happy with unproven veterans (because of recent injury histories) and may even be looking to add more low ceiling veterans (Gallardo?). At this point I can’t wait for real games. This hoping for positive change with no influence on the process stinks. Boston tea party patriots, I feel your pain.

  11. Meanwhile the market for relief pitchers and 2B seems to be very active and open. The Reds have valuable commodities at both spots, Iglesias and Gennett yet the Reds don’t appear interested in getting involved kin either market. This is more lost opportunity.

    • As Chuck Schick would point out, you have no idea who the Reds have talked to or offered. Somehow I doubt the Reds could care about keeping Redleg nation in the “loop”.

      • This is true however other teams are making deals ands despite all the talent the Reds have and are supposedly shopping they aren’t which probably infers something about what the Reds aren’t offering or their lack of skill at finding partners and putting together packages.

  12. Another bit of possible good news, it sounds like Price/the Reds will make Billy ‘earn’ the leadoff spot this season – possibly through competition in ST w/ Winker? At the very least it is good to hear Price use OBP in a conversation about Billy’s lack of production and Winker’s strengths. It may just be coach talk and not mean much, but a chance that Winker could hit leadoff and Billy lower in the order is better than none at all.

    Baby steps . . .

    • do you really think Winker would be a good lead off guy and outfielder? I am not sold on him yet.

      • Led his AAA league in obp and had a .904 ops with the Reds in 121 atbats. What else do you want in a young guy?

      • Could be a replica of Choo’s standout year.

      • I think it would be worthwhile to give Winker a chance. But even if you never hit Winker leadoff, Billy may be the worst choice for leadoff hitter of any of our starters. I would just like to see someone else get a chance at leadoff (probably Winker, maybe someone else) and see if Billy would serve the Reds better lower in the lineup.

        • I’d rather see Barnhart batting leadoff. Literally anybody in the lineup should bat leadoff before Hamilton.. unless he has greatly improved. I’m just afraid leadoff is Billy’s to lose when he should’ve already lost it.

          • I am okay with pitcher leading off over Hamilton. Either way its an out and we pinch hit pretty early anyway.

      • Yes I think a high OBP guy is exactly who you want in the lead off position, or any other position for that matter. Will he win a gold glove in the outfield, probably not. IT is obvious you like speed and defense, but speed doesn’t do any good if you are walking back to the dugout. Defense is great, but so is scoring runs

  13. Am I totally off here or watching a different team altogether? Our offense was not a huge issue last year. Our pitching was the issue. We have 2 corner outfielders hit 30+ HRs, a 1B who was 2 points shy of winning the NL MVP, a 3B who has seemed to read the book of hitting by Joey Votto (albeit for half a season), plus our two best hitting prospects, Winker and Senzel, who are not even here yet.

    I would love to go get Yelich from the Marlins, but it probably won’t happen. Bat Billy 8th and let him play his elite defense and steal bases when he gets on. If all the other spots in the lineup can hit, we can afford a light hitting CF who plays the best defense in the NL.

    Get the starting pitching sorted out and stick to a rotation when you get one, and this team can compete. It’s not rocket science, its baseball.

    • agreed. plus we got some talent in the minors that will be here in a couple years. I don’t think we need to make any major moves either.

    • I agree. If the young pitchers make the progress we think they will, and if Dusty, er Price doesn’t bat Hamilton/Peraza 1-2 in the lineup.. I think we will be ok. Maybe..

    • It’s not an awful point, but We are substituting Peraza for peak Cozart 2017 production. Billy should never bat 8th, in front of the pitcher. When he gets on, you want hitters (not pitchers) behind him that can drive him in. He should bat 9th. He should also, be platooned, and not bat against lefties. Same thing goes for Scooter. Mesoraco should get his 1 or 2 starts a week…only against lefties.

      • Agree. Price said today Hamilton would hit 9th if he’s not leadoff.

      • Yup. All most pitchers will be comfortable doing is seeking to bunt him along which is pointless.

        Hopefully seeds for a deal to make room for Winker have been sown.

    • The problem with the reds offense is they have too many #6, #7, and #8 hitters batting in the #1, #2, #4 spots around Votto and Suarez. Now that Cozart is gone. In stark reality, Duvall/Schebler/Barnhart/Scooter shouldn’t bat any higher than 6th. Peraza/Barnhart 7th. Hamilton 8th.
      Winker will be of much help. Likewise with Senzel when he arrives later in 2018.
      A couple of upgrades should have been made to the offense knowing you are losing Cozart and you have a LF, CF, and RF that can’t get on base 31% of the time.

    • I also agree, Michael W.

    • Agreed… I think either Duvall or Schebler, or dare I say Winker needs to be part of a deal to bring in a solid, cost-controlled pitcher a la the Latos deal. That was a huge move then and a similar move would be huge now. I don’t know who that pitcher might be in today’s market but that’s the kind of move the Reds really need to focus on. Bringing in a #2 kind of guy (in most rotations) with years of control would put a proven arm in the rotation, eliminating one question mark from the sorting process. What kind of arm does a deal of Winker, one of Mahle/Garrett, and a Jose Siri get the Reds? That’s a strong package. No, I don’t want to move Winker. I’d rather trade Schebler or Duvall but if he is what it takes…

  14. Recent history tells us the Reds make most of their deals after the winter meetings. There’s enough smoke on a Hamilton deal to figure he’s going to get moved. I thank God the Reds haven’t traded away future assets for a middle of the road veteran (yet, some would say) as the in-house arms are probably as good or better. If some of you want to hibernate until 2019, ok. I think there’s a lot of excitement to be had this year.

  15. As the quote sorta goes, A run saved is a run earned. There is value for having Hamilton in center, especially with a young pitching staff. Much of my angst, displeasure would be alleviated if Hamilton were to bat 9th. I say keep him unless you get a good offer and let him walk when he becomes too expensive. I keep thinking about Geronimo from the 70s. Until he got to the Reds his OBP was under 300.

    • My issue w/ trading Hamilton really is around defense. If the Reds knew they could bring someone in with a better bat and could man CF, playing at least average defense there, then go for it. If it involves trading Hamilton and then rolling Schebler/Ervin in CF, then I’ve got issues with moving Hamilton.

  16. That’s a valid comparison. Big Klu worked miracles with The Chief. I just don’t see Don Long doing the same thing with Hamilton.

    • Zach cozart and Suarez made huge strides forward as hitters… Long probably deserves a little credit and benavides deserves some as well for Suarez defense. I like the reds coaches. Can we put Hatcher back at first base though?

      • A number of Reds hitters have given Long credit for helping them, including (I think) Votto. I don’t think Hamilton’s inability to hit better can be attributed to the hitting coach. I think Billy actually tries hard to be better but he is what he is.

        • I think Hamilton is a very hard worker. It comes down to pitch recognition and hand-eye coordination. If that raw ability just isn’t there, then it isn’t there.

  17. What if the Reds could put forth the effort they gave for Ohtani and put it in another direction? They would have to bite the financial bullet for one year, the first year.
    Bear me out for a second.
    The Reds offer Eric Hosmer a 5 year / $100M contract to play LF or RF, wherever his arm plays better. Winker in other spot with Duvall backup LF/RF. He is athletic enough and young enough for a position switch. What a nice hitter to hit behind Votto and add to Winker and Senzel. Hosmer does admire Votto. Hosmer in GABP. Well.
    He is 28 and a LH hitter. Right at his peak years.
    If Williams has said next year is the year to add, what is 1 year with a hitter like Hosmer. Financially it could work by subtracting from projected payroll. Cozart is already off the books. Scooter, Schebler, and a couple of others can be traded to make financial room in 2018. Mesoraco’s $13M comes of books after 2018. Bailey after 2019 if not sooner.
    Moneywise it would be more expensive than Yelich’s contract. But you don’t lose any highly thought of prospects.
    But by signing Hosmer, the Reds would lose their second draft pick in 2019 draft, the Comp. Balance pick after 1st round and I think some IFA bonus money.

    • Has he ever played in the out field?
      Just asking?

      • 3 games in RF in 2012, and 1 game in 2013 and 2015 for a grand total of 25 innings. He won 2017 Gold Glove at 1B in the AL. But defensive metrics are not kind to him and rate Votto better.

  18. Tampa is always rebuilding/dealing. Trade them some young pitching/prospects for CF Kevin Kiermaier. He’s rated as the best defensive outfielder in MLB and a .851 ops last year vs righties. He’s also already signed for $47 mil for the next 5 years. I’m sure he’d love to get off turf! It would cost a lot because he’s so affordable but they could build around him. He’ll be 28 next year and he’s a Midwesterner from Indiana!

    • Would Schebler and his 5 years of team control and a pitching prospect like Jose Lopez or some similar pitcher get it done? Tampa almost always needs a DH with power.

  19. I have bashed hamilton mercilessly, but if they batted him 9th and platooned him I would be happy with him. He can be a big weapon coming off the bench in a tight game to distract the pitcher on the basepaths. So don’t give him away. The bullpen is the biggest weakness. If they could throw decent money at that and not try to find a bargain basement signing like they always do it could turn into a strength. We have enough young arms for middle relief we need a quality set up to bridge to Iglesias. We need Homer to take a big step forward and the young guys to step up. The reason for optimism is that Price was a great pitching coach. I wish Votto would become a team captain and manage the offense so that Price could concentrate on pitching. The only explanation for re-signing Price is the young pitchers and his ability to coach them. Injuries and luck will play their part, but this team is close. We have Votto in his prime its criminal not to try and make the playoffs. Why is Bob reluctant to spend money after his big splashes when he first came aboard? Season ticket holders should be raising hell demanding he spend money and fix the glaring weaknesses. We are all blessed to see Votto in his prime, we want to watch him in meaningful games in this lifetime! If Bob is truly a Reds fan as he claimed why isn’t he finding a way to make that happen???

  20. Don’t know if anybody has already brought this up, but the Angels are interested in Cozart as a 3B. If they do sign him, it will be interesting to see how he fares at the hot corner.

    • Barring injury I think he will be really good there. I hadn’t thought about the possibility that some team might like him for anything other than SS but if I were Cozart I would be giving it serious consideration.

  21. I am frustrated with the valuation of our players by our GM. These players have lost over 90 games a year for the last 3 years and 86 the year before that. I am just not seeing the talent. Offense is a .500 team at best. We are just not going to compete in our division without a major shift offensively, in my opinion.

    We may have some young talent developing for the rotation. This year should tell where the Reds are for the starters. Calling our “bullpen” an actual bullpen is irreverent, when compared to other teams, especially in our division.

  22. “I feel good about the conversations that we had and the discussions we had, back and forth, with other teams. A lot of good information was exchanged,” Williams sai.

    In other words, all talk and no action. Meanwhile, the Cardinals picked up Ozuna. Cubs get Smyly and Cishek. Reds do nothing.

  23. In one of Zach Buchanan’s videos from Orlando, he said Walt Jocketty was there helping. Maybe it’s a good thing nothing happened at the meetings, am I right?

    • Yeah, Jocektty still has WAY TOO MUCH of an influence in the Reds’ decision-making process. It’s driving me away from the team.

  24. Oh no, Edinson Volquez is there for the taking. Could it be possible the Reds will sign him?

  25. Let’s face it guys, we have the worst front office management in MLB. They don’t have a clue what to do. All they are worried about is the almighty dollar (in their pocket). Nothing will ever change until Castellini sells the club and I’m sorry but I have zero confidence in Dick Williams.

  26. The WM have come and gone. The most promising activity for the Reds involve the opportunity to move Hamilton to the Giants. According to published reports, the Giants balked at including Heliot Ramos in the deal for Hamilton. I won’t fault DW for not completing that transaction. The problem is the Giants farm system stinks. Ramos is probably the only real low-hanging fruit in the system and everyone talking to the Giants wanted to discuss Ramos. Heliot Ramos is not even a top 100 prospect and is a very long way from the show after playing in the AZL Rookie league in 2017. Ramos is probably comparable to Stuart Fairchild, the 16th ranked prospect in the Reds system, who just completed the 2017 season at Billings.

    DW will probably be best served at revisiting the opportunity with the Giants and try to address their need for a defensive CF and RH power bat by coupling Hamilton and Duvall in a single trade for Heliot Ramos, Jacob Gonzalez and either Shaun Anderson or Garrett Williams. If the Giants still balk at including Ramos, then walk away.

  27. The commisioner and league owners have to be thrilled to finally boot Soria out of MLB. The Fish are a mess and quite frankly there’s no end in sight. The return the Fish received for Marcell Ozuna had a huge impact on the quality of their farm system by infusing the new #1, #5 and #15 ranked players in thier system plus a low level starting pitcher with some upside. The problem is that there was not a single top 100 prospect among the 4 prospects they received for a stud CF who put up a 6+ WAR season in 2017 with 2 years of club control remaining.

    Kudos to the Birds for slicing and dicing the Fish in that transaction, but sheesh!!! You gotta feel for Yelich, Bour and Realmuto right now. Talk about big fish in a small puddle… Those three players are all that’s left on that team and by the time help comes from the minor league system, they will all three be 30+ and gone.

    See, things can be worse than being a Reds fan right now!

    • I listened to a morning show on MLBRadio while working that featured our old buddy, Jim Bowden, and the cousin of the Orioles general manager.

      Here are the timeframes they both agreed it would take…from now…for these teams to contend for a playoff spot:

      Marlins – 2023 (5 years)
      Tigers – 2023 (5 years)
      Orioles – 2023 (5 years) (assuming they don’t re-sign Machado)
      Royals – 2023, more likely 2025 (7 years!!) (because of gutted farm system trying to make World Series in ’14 and ’15)

      All 4 of those markets are bigger than Cincinnati, 2 of them much more so.

      There is a tremendous amount of impatience on this blog right now….to “do something.”

      I get it, but the Reds are a small fish, playing in a rigged financial ocean that the owners (including Castellini) have no interest in changing.

      The window is starting in 2019.

      Compared to those teams above…yeah, there are worse things at the moment than being a Reds fan.

      • Metro Cincinnati is about 100,000 bigger than metro Kansas City as of the 2010 census.

        • People is not the import number, it is TV homes in the market.
          Miami – 1,677,850
          Detroit – 1,779,380
          Baltimore – 1,108,010
          Kansas City – 901,020

          Cincinnati – 871,970

        • KC and Cincy are just about equals, so no sense in squabbling over differences in crumbs. Both have fairly poor local TV deals because those just aren’t big markets for advertising. Both will remain in the bottom 1/3rd of league revenues and payroll expenditures for a long time, barring some population shifts due to favorable economics (that cause jobs to start popping up all over).

      • Agree with this. This winter will go a long way in determining how close we are in 19′.

  28. The winter meetings does not an off season make. I believe it was Yoda that said that.

    • Add in the fact none of the past 5 years of trades (quite a few) occured during WM week. So this is normal M.O. for Reds F.O. Now, will we see a deal in the next three weeks? With so many slightly warmer than room temperature rumors for no fewer than 5 different players, I’d be shocked if a trade isn’t made by mid January.

  29. If you’re a fan of a certain National League team that fared poorly this past season, you might be pretty interested in the offseason transaction market … and pretty disappointed so far. Even if that team isn’t the Reds. Seven teams won 75 games or less in 2017, and reviewing the list from October to now lends only a much, much greater appreciation of the travels of Engleb Vielma through the bowels of the Senior Circuit than most anything else.

    Phillies –
    Gained: no one
    Lost: Daniel Nava, Clay Buchholz, Andres Blanco, Hyun Soo Kim, Cameron Perkins

    Pirates –
    Gained: Engleb Vielma, Todd Cunningham, Richard Rodriguez, Nik Turley
    Lost: John Jaso, Joaquin Benoit, Chris Stewart, Gift Ngoepe

    Padres –
    Gained: Cory Mazzoni, Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell, Deion Tansel
    Lost: Jhoulys Chacin, Craig Stammen, Jordan Lyles, Erick Aybar, Jabari Blash, Ryan Schimpf

    Giants –
    Gained: no one
    Lost: Michael Morse, Nick Hundley, Engelb Vielma

    Mets –
    Gained: no one
    Lost: Nori Aoki, Tommy Milone, Jose Reyes

    Braves –
    Gained: Justin Kelly, Josh Ravin, Grant Dayton, Anyelo Gomez, Chase Whitley
    Lost: Jace Peterson, Matt Adams, Danny Santana

    REDS –
    Gained: Kyle Crockett
    Lost: Luke Farrell, Zach Vinjei, Zack Cozart, Scott Feldman, Bronson Arroyo, Tim Adelman

    Beyond interest in the churn of Braves relievers, the loss of Cozart is clearly the biggest loss to any one team, with Chacin a closer second than I might have thought, but the point is the lack of incoming activity across teams of a similar position looking to 2018.

    So, looking back a year – what pre- and thru-Winter Meeting moves did the Diamondbacks, Rockies, or Brewers make that pushed them north and into competitiveness in this year’s standings?

    The Rockies signed Ian Desmond (-1.1 WAR in 2017). Arizona traded for Ketel Marte (less overall 2017 WAR than Billy Hamilton) and Taijuan Walker (good move) but for them gave up Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger (whoops), then picked up Fernando Rodney (let’s keep moving). The Brewers signed Eric Thames (actually less less WAR than Schebler) and traded for Travis Shaw (which wins the day here).

    We might not want to throw out the front office for a lack of deals just yet – let’s wait to the first game in Goodyear. January and February are coming and past Shaw and the late Colorado signing of Greg Holland, the improvement of these three teams came largely somehow from within.

    The pride of Martinsville, John Wooden, once noted: “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

    • I would agree but the Reds had a major weakness in the bullpen and back of rotation and their answer was Bronson Arroyo, Storen, and Feldman. They really had no interest in making the playoffs or making a push. If that is the case why keep Votto around. His MVP deserving season is lost in a void when you lose over 90 games. If this team wins 80 games he wins MVP in all likelihood. I just think its criminal not to try to make the playoffs when we have a hall of famer in his prime in the middle of the lineup. Castellini is turning a profit, he can cough up a few more dollars to patch up glaring weaknesses with more than bandaids. He might lose money in the short run but in the long run it improves fan morale and makes people tune in more often. If he can’t afford to break even than he should SELL.

      • One more time, Votto does not want to leave, so stop bringing up “why not trade Votto”. Votto himself has full control over stopping any trade initiations in its tracks.

        Votto will NOT be traded, ever. He will retire a Red. This is already written in stone unless the Reds purposely piss him off and make life extremely miserable (and the fan backlash would be catastrophic if the Reds FO did that).

    • Your slight against Arizona SS Ketel Marte is a little unwarranted. This just this morning on MLBTR, from Jeff Piecoro’s brother Nick at the Arizona Republic:
      “According to a source on a rival team, Ketel Marte is the only infielder that the Diamondbacks aren’t willing to consider in trade offers. Splitting his first season with the D’Backs between Triple-A and the big leagues, Marte tore up minor league pitching and then hit .260/.345/.395 over 255 plate appearances for Arizona. Marte, one of the key parts of Arizona’s big multi-player swap with the Mariners last year, is clearly seen as the shortstop of the future, plus he will be under team control through 2022 as a probable Super Two player.”
      Reds would be lucky to have him for a SS.

      • Plus Marte was good in the playoffs when it mattered most. He def looks like a future all star.

        • And he’s got a Top 10 name. True also, Marte’s got a bright future, and the Hamilton comparison was only 2017-based, the trade just at the least didn’t move the needle for Arizona year-to-year.

    • Word on the street is Yankees vs Red Sox spending war is looming, although Yanks got the head start with Stanton. But JD mArtinez to Red Sox is an equalizer. I am just annoyed the Reds can’t find a way to make off season moves.

  30. The Reds need to be much more concerned with the teams in their division and the progress those teams make and have made, first and foremost. As opposed to what other struggling NL teams are doing.
    It has been somewhat surprising that Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are as quiet as the Reds this off-season and at the Winter Meetings.
    The Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said a couple of days ago before they made their trade for Ozuna, “We are in the business of getting better.”
    They proved that.
    The gulf just keeps on getting wider and wider between the Cubs and Cardinals, and the Reds.
    Castellini and his ownership group and front offices have now had the Reds for 10 years. Castellini said back in 2008 that he was “Bringing winning baseball back to Cincinnati”.
    Let’s review the W/L record since.
    2008 = 74 – 88
    2009 = 78 – 84
    2010 = 91 – 71
    2011 = 79 – 83
    2012 = 97 – 65
    2013 = 90 – 72
    2014 = 76 – 86
    2015 = 64 – 98
    2016 = 68 – 94
    2017 = 68 – 94
    10 yr. 785 – 835
    Three winning seasons, 3 playoff appearances, 2-7 playoff record, 0 playoff series won, and SEVEN losing seasons. SEVEN losing seasons !!!
    Is this “winning baseball”??
    For an ownership group to publicly proclaim they are bringing “winning baseball back to Cincinnati,” fail so miserably at that task, and stand pat most of the last 3 off-seasons and not do anything to improve a last place team is just beyond the pale.
    Apparently, the Reds ownership and front office are very content being a losing team. They are not “in the business of getting better” like the Cardinals.
    Castellini and his front office are in the business of LOSING. Plain and simple.

    • Well I agree with you overall but to play devil’s advocate, Cashman (Yankees) admitted with even unlimited payroll there are times when you will need to rebuild and restock the farm system. In the Reds defense they had some very bad luck with injuries. Bailey was a killer. Votto was down for a year and a half combined. Meso the past 2 years. These were big money signings. Then those playoff years imagine how good they could have been if Marshall and that closer (Madson?) hadn’t gone down leabing the bullpen depleted. The bullpens are key in the playoffs. But I agree this ownership needs to act NOW while Joey is in his prime. If Bailey and Disco stay healthy they have half a chance now.

      • I don’t think acting NOW is really necessary in regards to Votto. Yes, he is a stud, walking more than he Ks, power, plays every day, etc. But I think when he is fading in a few years, the team around him may be one of the best hitting teams in baseball, making Votto a possible albatross on the teams run production. There are quite a few promising prospects about to him the MLB team or will be in the next two years.

        While it would be nice to have a contending team this year, we too far away pitching wise to be that team. It’s not a hitting problem as much as it is a pitching problem. you could bring over Yelich and sack Hamilton and we’re still not contending. We just don’t have the pitching. So unless we trade all our good prospects (including Senzel, Greene and several other top 10 players) for two very good SP1 or SP2 types, we aren’t contending. I for one do not wwant to gut the farm just to try to win for a season or two because Votto is in his prime. We have the making of a 5 or 6 year contender starting in 2019, but trying to “win now” might wreck all that and leave us starting another rebuild in 2020. NO THANKS.

    • We all know what a horrible season 2015 was and the absolutely horrible team fielded by Reds GM Walt Jocketty that was. Even after trading Cueto and Leake at mid-season.
      And here we stand today, over 2 years later and 3 Winter Meetings later, and the Reds have made only a 4 game improvement over that historically awful 2015 team and season. And the Reds are content to move at glacial speed to improve. That is what has many fans upset.
      To quote that GEICO commercial with Randy Jackson, “Check it out, dawg. I’m just not buying this. I’m not feeling it. You got to come at me harder, dawg. You got to figure it out. Eehhh, I don’t know. Shaky on the pitching and the lineup. I don’t know, dawg.”
      This kind of sums up most Reds fans feelings about the pace of this rebuild. Standing pat on a team with 2 consecutive years of 68-94 is just absurd. Many Reds fans are losing faith in this rebuild and yet nothing is done to restore any faith.

    • Nice insight!

  31. I understand they’re building for 2019, but its just depressing to see the Cards get a slugger like Ozuna! He’s another Edwin Scissorhands offensively except his growing pains seem to be over unlike EE’s time as a Red. They could’ve been in the Sonny Gray sweepstakes last year? The Yankees didn’t give all that much for him? They could add some payroll…esp considering Cozart will be off the books and Mesoraco too after this year. They could’ve done something? Knowing their pattern….they’ll probably also sign some scrub like Yovanni Gallardo for their “veteran presence and innings eater capabilities” which has always been nonsense! When other people on here talk about Houston and “sticking to the process”…I say losing 90+ games with stopgaps and scrubs is their process! Name 1 valid reason why Stephenson would pitch 1-2 innings in a blowout every 10 days or Winker finished with 120 atbats with the Reds?
    Thats the process they stick with and thats why I stick with Indy and Foxs Midwest to watch this team. I won’t be back to GABP anytime soon.

    Play the young guys! Pitch all the youngsters and give Winker/Senzel 500 atbats apiece and see what you have?

  32. Winning teams target players they want to improve their roster and go get them. The Red’s overwhelming strategy (if you could call it a strategy) is to deal players they no longer want.

    • Duvall and Schebler are power hitters.
      The Reds do not need power hitters.
      The Reds need hitters, with power. There is a big difference, and the Reds are content to let Duvall and Schebler, along with Peraza to drag down a decently good offense.

      • Subtract Billy and find an average CFer. Move Suarez to SS and Senzel to 3B. Trade Duvall or Schebler and play Winker full-time. Barring injury….that is absolutely a top 10 offense (14th last year with Cozart’s career year). If the pitching improves then that will more then offset the defensive drop-off. Instead they’ll stick with Peraza and Billy while Senzel beats up the Adleman’s of the world in AAA for 4-5 months.

        • Isn’t Senzel supposed to be a very good athlete? maybe he should end up in CF
          I hate to move Suarez at this point

          • Yes, Senzel is a very good athlete, just big, probably capable of playing (with varying levels of success) anywhere but catcher defensively. He’s never played CF, but his speed is passable for CF. No one knows for sure how he would adapt to CF until Senzel logs some time in CF. The Reds are on record that they intend to get Senzel time as a corner OF along with 2B and SS. Considering the Reds’ glut of corner OF and 2B competing for playing time at the major league level, if Senzel can play average to above-average CF defense, how many problems would that solve for the Reds?!

          • You’re prob not an old gaseous emission like me, but Pete Rose moved all over to help the BRM so Suarez sliding back to somewhere he’s already played shouldn’t be that bad? Senzel to CF? I don’t know about that one? Its not Peraza was a good shortstop? I don’t know how many times he couldn’t even concentrate well enough to catch a line drive where he didn’t even have to move much to get it. I saw it atleast 3-4 times last year.

      • Schebler took a big step up and with a bad shoulder to boot. He deserves more time and evaluation he could be a big bat. Nothing wrong with power unless you are batting in the 230s which he isn’t. We are in a power park, power is good in my mind. And I saw a bunch of clutch hits, and he managed to hit his milestone down the stretch when Cowboy didn’t think he could do it because there is a lot of pressure to get that milestone as a young player. I like Schebler.

        • I agree, but there are a few issues w/Schebler in my mind. For one….if we keep Scooter, Winker, etc…then we’re already heavily lefthanded. Second…he’s not that good defensively. I think he might be a disaster in CF fulltime? Duvall almost won a gold glove plus he proven to be pretty good thru 400 atbats or so? Why not just rest him a lot more. I’d take a shot with Scheb though over more Billy. He’s had 4 years and looks the same/hits the same.

          • 4-1-3 or 3-2-3…(left-switch-right) hitters in the lineup is optimal. Most pitchers are right handed.

          • OK but see you are talking in a mind set of scarcity. Never think like that. We have telent. keep it. find a way. you keep shuffling cards you never build a hand, I mean this is GM school 101 I think.

  33. Cozart signs with the Angels..

    • When SD traded for Glavis to cover their starting SS need, the market for Cozart took a significant hit. Terms haven’t been announced except a 3-year deal and Cozart will be playing 3B.

    • 3 years/$38MM.

      • Great guy and really hope they win in LA!

        • Agree! Will his donkey be traveling to LA or stay at home in Tennessee?

          • Interview with him on WLW last night, the donkey is still in Cincinnati. He needs to buy some land in TN then move it there. Not going to LA with him. At least that’s what he said last night.

      • I’m happy for him. Hate to see him go, he became one of my favorites, Hope he gets a ring with them,

      • Good for him. A good reward for the kind of career he has had. Too much for the Reds to spend on a mid-30s, injury-prone shortstop in their rebuild mode.

    • Good payday for Cozart and well deserved. I hope he excels and gets another contract in 2021.

  34. Reds as usual. Drag their feet. It seems like the reds are always BS ing. The fansjoe k

  35. Hate to see Cozart go. But great for him. That is a lot of donkey feed.
    Think about this on Cozart. He played 6 years with future HOFer Joey Votto. Now he gets to be teammates with future HOFer Mike Trout, Ohtani, and future HOFer Albert Pujols. And a very legit chance for a ring in the next 3 years. That is awesome or Cozart. I don’t think the outcome could have been any better for him.
    Now if Jay Bruce can just go to Houston or back to Cleveland.

    • Know what would be nice? If our favorite players could win a championship HERE.

      • Yeah, that would definitely be nice. It’s been a while since the Old Cossack fretted over the economics of MLB, but with the big money teams now universally utilizing advanced metrics and data to maximize their efficiency while they still outspend the smaller markets, that bug is sneaking up the Old Rearend again.

        A soft cap with real teeth or a hard cap is necessary to produce any semblance of competitive balance, but that’s not going to happen as long as the players and owners are raking in the cash. I fear the days of the small market teams acting as anything except feeder programs for the big market teams may have seen their last hoorah in KC. The stars just have to align perfectly for a small market team to actually compete even for one or two seasons.

    • Seems like the overpaid for a sure to decline mediocre (at best hitter) coming off a career season. My casual observation is the Angels do not make very smart moves. To top it off they will play him at 3B- what is the take for his skill set as far as MLB starting 3B goes- I seriously doubt he will be top 20 in WAR the next 3 seasons.

      • Geez, top 20 in WAR is a pretty high bar to set. That’s sitting at a 95th percentile, even if just the position players are included. I do expect some regression to the mean for Cozart this season, mostly in power production, but I also expect him to be an offensive and defensive force in the lineup.

        The Angels have historically made some pretty poor decisions (see Pujols, Albert), but 3 years for Cozart at a very reasonable salary doesn’t seem out of line at all for teams with the deep pockets to ante up and fill obvious holes in their roster. Even at just 2.0 WAR, Cozart will be a bargain and Cozart should easily eclipse 2.0 WAR.

        • speaking totally of 3B- SS seems reasonable (maybe) but I doubt he will be even above average as he turns 36 by end of contract- he has a career .717 OPS what does an average 3b have – would be very surprised if not above .800 and also Cozart exceeds this during his time

        • He was speaking of top 20 3B Cossack, which would include above average, average and even a few below average. I think Cozart would be very average as a 3B, basically replacement level. That’s not what 3/38 should buy I don’t think, but maybe it is the going rate.

    • And Cozart rejoins his old double play buddy, BP with the Angels.

      • Uh, isn’t Kinsler the 2B now in Angel-land?

      • They added BP too? Where they going to play him? I honestly don’t care about BP so didn’t know where he wound up. Interesting if they have two over-the-hill 2B in Phillips and Kinsler.

      • BP is a free agent

    • Santana signed with the Phillies so the Tribe may look more closely at Bruce. My impression from my Cleveland friends was they wanted Santana but would go back to Bruce if they couldn’t sign Santana. Time will tell.

  36. Interesting pitcher DFA’d by San Diego to make room for their just acquired SS Freddy Galvis. RHRP Jose Ruiz just turned 23 years old. He was a catcher turned reliever. He went from A+ to San Diego (1 inning) just this year in 2017. He throws 95 or more with an 85 mph slider. Not a lot of time spent pitching, so he has a low mileage arm. He made the switch in 2015.
    Reds have 2 open 40-man roster spots. I don’t know about making a claim for him to stay on the 40-man roster, but he could merit a 40-man spot. With his relative inexperience, he probably needs more time in the minors.
    The Reds could make a waiver claim on him and then try to slip him through waivers a few days later like they have done in the past. It has worked a few times and it has not worked a few times.

  37. Cincinnati may have just found an opportunity for a backup CF and possible future CF. Astros have DFA’d CF Preston Tucker.
    I hope the Reds are in line to jump on this. Could be another type of Straily and Scooter pick up.
    This could be great news for the Reds.

    • Crap. I was thinking of his brother CF Kyle Tucker. Thus my excitement.
      Preston is more of a corner OF.
      Preston might be a good pickup if Duvall and/or Schebler are traded, though.

      • I was gonna ask for some of whatever you were having.

        I will be floored if anyone claims Tucker. He has no value at all, even as a reserve corner OF.

        • Well, he looked promising when I saw him play a couple of years ago (maybe 2016 or 2015), to the point I wondered if I should pick him up in fantasy league. I guess he’s flamed out?

        • It is a 12 team (DEEP) fantasy league so don’t take that as I thought he was awesome, just that after 50 OFs are rostered, you look for diamonds in the rough.

          I guess it must have been 2014 and 2015, because he had a great run in AAA for parts of those two seasons…then I guess the wheels fell off, or the PCL magic wore off.

  38. Angels give Cozart 3 years and get Ohtani and Kinsler in same week.
    They also swallowed horrible Hamilton contract and Pujols contracts.
    Next year- FA will go wacky with Harper and Kershaw and Machado etc.

    Reds need sign Suarez for 6 and $60 million. He does it all and needs to be the next face of the franchise. Votto and Bruce and BP were big wins( minus the 6th year of bp). If you put the Mesoraco contract into proper market perspective, it was a good risk for a small market team and didn’t work out. Good position players at 25-27 are worth the risk.

  39. Wonder what Redlegnation would be saying if it were around in winter of 1971?

    • Something like who is Joe Morgan? And, why did they trade away Lee May and Tommy Helms?

      • That’s probably pretty close to reality. I remember that’s about what the Old Cossack was thinking.

        They got the Cesar (Geronimo rather than Cedeno)?
        Who the heck is Denis Menke?
        Why Joe Morgan and not Jimmy Wynn!?
        How can they trade Lee May and Tommy Helms and Jimmy Stewart!?
        Who do they expect to make up for all the HR in Crosley Field!?

      • And trade Bench while he stll has some value.

  40. “Who needs scouts? All they do is sit there and watch baseball games.”

  41. I thought it spoke volumes when Cozart’s parting shot was Reds aren’t committed to winning. Yep. I agree.

    • Is this the quote?:

      “I’ve been on some bad teams lately,” Cozart said. “When I found out the Angels were interested, it should be a really good team, so I was on board. When I found out we could get Ian, I was shocked. Everything was happening so quick, but at the end of the day, I want to win.”

      • The response to Zack should be: “But, the FO has said we just have to be patient, they’re working to fix the problems.”

    • Steven, where did you pick up that Cozart made a ‘parting shot’ that the Reds are not committed to winning? I haven’t seen or heard anything of the such.

      • It was in the enquirer. A bit puzzling. I guess he felt like want same deal to stay with reds and play SS.

        I do think the Reds FO has exhausted its time frame for the rebuild….its 2019 or patience from the core fan base is gone.

        • Thanks Old-School. I don’t know that I would classify that quote as a parting shot. The quote is legimate but more of a statement of fact and and explanation for moving to the Angels. Winning in MLB means spending $$$ and making good decisions. One without the other is a fools errand. I think the Angels mad a good decision and spent the money necessary to back that decision. The Reds made a different decision, without spending the money, but it remains to be seen if it was a good decision.

          The one quote I heard from Cozart that spoke volumes to his competitiveness and desire to win was, and I’m paraphrsing, that Cozart felt that Simmons was the only shortstop he would rank defensively better than himself, so he was comfortable moving to 3B or 2B with Simmons playing SS.

        • The other quote from Cozart that I found very interesting was that the Angels had a deal in place with Cozart prior to obtaining Kinsler. When the Angels had a chance to also get Kinsler, Billy Eppler called Cozart before making the Kinsler trade to inform Cozart of the opportunity and ask if Cozart would move to 3B rather than 2B so the Engels could also obtain Kinsler to play 2B, while making sure that Cozart understood they wanted him [Cozart]. That was a classy and professional negotiation and introduction to a new organization. Everyone wants to feel respected and wanted in any role or any profession.

        • Unless they do something before spring training & go with a 6 man rotation to give the young pitchers some starts I am done, of course a my age I’m about done anyhow.

          • The Reds extended Price as the manager for another season and Price is on record that he will NOT insitute a six-man pitching rotation. With the additional off days in the 2018 season, I’m not sure a six-man pitching rotation is the best options, but a six-day pitching rotation might be a good option, but not with Price as the manager.

          • I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon. The only benefit to a six man rotation is limiting innings pitched. It also means one less arm in the bullpen or one less guy on the bench. I would be more interested in pulling pitchers earlier in games and allowing bullpen guys to pitch three or four innings if I were to try to change the way pitchers are used.

      • At the end of the day, my mindset was winning. I don’t think necessarily the Reds mindset is there.

        That’s from C Trent.

        He also was very complimentary of Peraza and benavides and expressed confidence in benavides now that only one position..

  42. “A good, free exchange of information back and forth. It will get us closer to figuring out what we might do. I would say similar progress to last year.” — Williams

    “…similar progress to last year” means another 90+ loss season.

    Williams quote was from Mark Sheldon 12/14/17 interview.

    The last 4 seasons the Red’s have averaged 93 losses. If this was Yankeedom the fans would have burnt down Yankee stadium. Please save the, “but the Red’s don’t have the money excuses.”

    • Over that time span they averaged over 27 games behind 1st place.

    • Yes, that’s a putrid and disturbing quote. Similar progress to last year? What progress might that be?

      Not finding our what Winker can do with extended, regular playing time at the major league level. Not finding out if Lorenzen can pitch effectively as a starter with his updated arsenal of pitches since the last time he pitched as a starter? Finding out the overplaying players, with physical limitations, for two consecutive seasons produces poor results later in the season? Finding out that Feldman, Arroyo, Adleman, Wood, Storen, Bonilla and Wojo were not the answer, even though there was no expectation that they should have even been considered as an answer? Finding out that trading a player with no positive leverage, as a brash, knee-jerk reaction, produces poor results. Finding out the not trading players, who everyone knows will be traded, at or near peak value, produces poor results when the players value declines?

      Quite frankly, the Old Cossack hasn’t seen any indication that any of these situations represent a lesson learned and those who fail to learn from the lessons history has provided are doomed…

      • Always value your perspective Cossack.
        It seems the Reds are operating a franchise by committee. Someone mentioned WJ was at the GM winter meetings. Why?
        I’m concerned the insular nature of the FO is a problem. Too many people think a like….or least HAVE to think a like or it might be awkward at the Christmas dinner table. Is DW going to.move on at SS when his prior boss who traded for Peraza just 2 years ago is still sitting at the executive conference table and undermining his authority by chatting with his old gm cronies at the hotel bar? Are the Reds going to aggressively trade guys that Phil Castellini says he needs to market to the occasional casual Reds fan and make sure the star was Chewie bobblehead weekend sells 110k tickets???? Perhaps unfair….. but it’s time to win and commit to the future and ask the questions.

        • Have we ruled out the possibility they are still loyal to the ST LOUIS CARDINALS… this ownership group originated from that one, I have always been suspicious especially when Jocketty came aboard and turned it into a Cardinals retirement home. ROLEN FOR HOF even though he cost us EE, sure.

  43. And this blatantly documents what’s wrong with MLB regarding the haves and have nots…

    Per Mark Bowman @…

    The Braves have traded Matt Kemp to the Dodgers for Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson and Adrian Gonzalez.

    Gonzalez has already been DFA’d.

    Kemp => $21.7MM for 2018 & 2019
    Gonzalez => $22.357MM for 2018
    Kazmir => $17.667MM for 2018
    McCarthy => $11.5MM for 2018

    • As Ken Rosenthal observes…‏

      Trade is effectively cash-neutral overa’penaltiesll, but will get #Dodgers under $197M luxury-tax threshold for 2018. Kemp’s money spread out over two years. Three players #Braves getting all one-year guys. ATL will designate Gonzalez for assignment, enabling him to be free agent.

      Kemp will probably be outright released by the Dodgers.

      The large market teams have so much money, bad contracts mean nothing to them and the ‘penalties’ imposed to limit excessive spending and simply using money to dominate the game are impotent.

      • Dodgers missed out on Stanton so they instead reset the luxury tax penalty and can spend crazy amounts next year on free agents or resign Kershaw

        • … they van spend ludicrous sums of money on Bryce Harper.

          There, fixed that for you (grin).

  44. I find it disturbing that the Reds cleared their roster down to what? 38 players & then didn’t select a player in the Rule 5 draft. Of course they made a few bucks picking up a player for San Diego, but they could have kept 2 of the McGuire, Vincej, Farrell,&Micah johnson group.Those 4 guys are on other teams 40 man rosters. with Cozart gone, Vincej may have made the 2018 roster. I believe one of Luke Farrell or Deck McGuire also would have made the bullpen.

    • What you say has merit. One has to wonder what the Red’s brain-trust intends to do with those last 2 roster spots? Insert your sarcastic comment here:_____________.

  45. True, the luxury tax doesn’t prohibit the large market teams who have the coin and can afford to pay the luxury tax. This inequity should be addressed at the next CBA forum. How about teams that exceed the luxury tax also lose top round draft picks?

    However, smaller market teams cannot use it as an excuse for them not to build a winning roster. Many teams just acquiesce, just satisfied to make a profit even though they continually have a losing team.

    Every time a MLB franchise comes up for sale, there’s a line of potential owners waiting to buy it. They’re making profits even the losing teams.

    • Most of what you suggest are already included, just too easy to avoid.

      Luxury Tax thresholds go from $189 million in the prior CBA in 2016 to $195 million in 2017, $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $208 million in 2020, and $210 million in 2021.

      Luxury Tax penalties: Tax rates will be 20% for first-time offenders of breaking the Luxury Tax threshold, 30% for second-time, and 50% for third- or more.

      Surcharges added for LT offenders: New in the CBA is the addition of surcharges around the Luxury Tax system for those that go far above the threshold numbers. This is further designed to curb the likes of the Dodgers or Yankees who have been the biggest spenders

      Surtax on Payroll Between $20M and $40M Above Threshold is an additional 12%.

      Surtax on Payroll in Excess of $40M Above Threshold is an additional 42.5% for 1st time offenders and 45% for more than 1st time offenders.

      Clubs with a payroll $40 million or more above the Tax Threshold shall have their highest selection in the next Rule 4 Draft moved back 10 places, except that the top six selections will be protected and those Clubs will have their 2nd highest selection moved back 10 places.

      • Good stuff.

        Instead of just moving their highest selection back, they lose it, nada, no 1st round draft choice for them.

      • Who receives the “Tax” revenue? If I remember, the clubs with the worst records receive the revenue, correct? If so, then there is another reason for some club owners to do nothing; to just enjoy another revenue stream of income without needing what needs to be done to put a winning product on the field.

        Some club owners are content to receive a small net income from their club operations, small market TV contracts and money from Luxury taxes.

  46. Luxury Tax seems to be a misnomer. It should be called an “Inequity Tax,” a “Lazy Owners Tax,” “Robin Hood Tax?” What would any of my Reds Fan brethren call it?

  47. I bet the owners just pocket the money, but proclaim they’re putting it into the team.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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