Hughes is 32. He pitched 6 years for the Pirates, who released Hughes prior to the 2017 season. Milwaukee picked up Hughes who made 67 appearances for them last year. The Brewers non-tendered (eligible for arbitration and the club declined to make an offer) Hughes. The Reds will pay Hughes $2.125 million in 2018 and 2019. The agreement includes a club option for 2020 and a $250,000 buyout.

Hughes throws a 94-mph sinker most of the time (72%). His second pitch is a 86-mph slider (21%). Lots of ground balls.

Hughes doesn’t have much of a strikeout rate. 19.7% last year was his best as a major leaguer since 2011. It’s about the same as Deck McGuire and Drew Storen. MLB average for relievers is 23.3%

Hughes’ walk rate last year (9.8%) is a bit high. MLB average for relievers was 9.2%. Drew Storen (9.4%) and Kevin Shackelford (9.6%) are comparisons.

Hughes had a nice ERA (3.02), but anyone who uses ERA as a selling point for a reliever is hoping you’re living in the past. His FIP (3.93) and xFIP (3.98) are a little better than league average.

Thoughts: The idea that Jared Hughes will be one of the 7-8 best arms in the Reds bullpen this year is puzzling. Hughes turns 33 in July. I guess the Reds believe they have money to burn on mediocre relievers in 2018. But why give this guy a 2-year deal? Hughes was CUT by two teams in the past two seasons.

The Reds front office will sell Jared Hughes as having “experience.” Yes, experience being mediocre. It’s more likely he’ll block young pitchers who need MLB experience than he’ll provide a steadying presence in high leverage situations. Eating opportunity, not innings.

The Reds front office will sell Jared Hughes as “filling a need.” Pray to your baseball gods they don’t really believe it.

On the other hand, $2 million isn’t much, as long as it’s not my $2 million. And if ownership is willing to consider it expendable.

It may be that I have a warped view about relievers, or am too optimistic about the number of solid-to-good arms already in the Reds system, but I see zero value in signings like this. Surely the Reds could find a better use for $4+ million than hiring the logo for the replacement reliever society.

120 Responses

  1. David

    I think the term the Reds management might use is a “Sure thing”. It is a sure thing that Jared Hughes will be ML mediocre. But the young talent can be erratic. I think of him as an insurance policy, if they don’t have enough good young guys emerge from Spring Training, he’s an arm that will fit in somewhere. He could be flipped at mid – season, or earlier, if better young talent emerges and shows up somewhere in the season.

  2. Bill

    If he is slightly better than league average, then he is an improvement over what the Reds had last year. Worst case is the Reds have $2 million less to spend in 2019, which probably doesn’t make a huge difference in signing a difference maker

      • Bill

        That would be bad considering the reported number on the buyout is $250k

  3. Hotto4Votto

    Yeah, two guaranteed years for an average-ish reliever is a little confusing considering the amount of pitching depth we have at the upper levels. It’s not a lot of money, but still beyond Iglesias and Peralta there’s no shortage of legitimate bullpen options in Lorenzen, Shackleford, Crockett, Herget, Weiss, Stephens, Rainey, Mella, Hernandez (and probably a few others), not to mention those who don’t make it as starters (potentially Finnegan, Reed, Garrett, Davis etc).

    One year I would understand. I just think by year two we’re for sure to have better options for the bullpen.

    • BK

      If we have better options, he has a contract that can be moved pretty easily.

    • jim t

      Landing Hughes for 2 years may make some of the young arms available in the right trade. The reds are not done dealing in my opinion.

      Finding takers for Scooter, Hamilton and Duvall is a must. Landing a CF’er is a top priority. Winker takes Duvall’s spot, Herrera keeps 2nd warn until Senzel is called up and Perraza is given the everyday SS job until he shows he is the man or isn’t.

      We will have a ton of options for the rotation with what we have coming back and what we have in AAA

  4. JB WV

    Like the ground ball ratio which should play well at GABP. If he’s consistent it’s a good signing. Front end of the pen was weak last year.

  5. J

    With Jay Bruce out of the equation, Reds were looking for someone whose name rhymes with “boooooooo.” This was the cheapest guy they could find. Mystery solved.

    • msanmoore

      +500 points found in my stocking yesterday!!!

  6. KDJ

    Some people just buy things because they are one sale . . . even if they don’t need them. I hope that is not the case here. Of course his best pitches should play well at GABP with our stellar mid infield defense . . . oh, wait.
    On the other hand, if there is a need, what is wrong with the fifteen or so guys in the system that need development time and MLB experience?
    Is he gritty?

  7. Steven Ross

    Typical Reds M.O. Bandaid approach. Yet to make a statement.

  8. Jason Adams

    ERA+ last 4 years of 146, 137, 171, 184. BWAR 1.2, .9, 1.3, .9.

    An argument could be made we are getting a 1 WAR player for 2 million when he’s probably worth closer to 5 or 6 million a year.

    • scottya

      This is my first impression also. What was a top 10 team bullpen era last year? I’m going to look up when I have time.

  9. Bill

    Season ticket sales will really go up with this signing.

    • Bill

      Who is it you believe they should sign that would increase season ticket sales?

  10. Eric

    That was the angriest looking baseball photo I’ve ever seen.

  11. TR

    The Reds front office opening shot in preparation for 2018.

  12. pinson343

    I knew I’d find the most negative review of the signing here, with the usual banal support from the peanut gallery. His selling point is not his ERA, which indicates next to nothing for a reliever, but his high career ground ball rate (62.5%) and his low career HR rate (0.6) and career WHIP of 1.27. Also a swinging-strike rate of 11.6 percent in ’17 that indicates his improved (7.2) K/9 of ’17 might not be a fluke. A WAR of 1.2 in 2017.

    Cherry picking ? Of course, but good-sized cherries.

    It also wasn’t mentioned that although the Brewers did not engage in arbitration with him, they said they’d pursue him as a free agent.

    I’d agree with the “slightly above average” assessment, which for one of the worst bullpens in the major leagues, is a medium-size and worthwhile upgrade.

    Toward the end of last season 8th inning blown saves became routine and Iggy got tired after all those 5 and 6 out saves. Who of “all those young guys” is going to help ?
    Maybe Shackleford, maybe not. The best of the young pitchers will be starting either in the major leagues or the minors next year, or pitching long relief to stay stretched out.

    Who will Hughes be blocking ? Mike Lorenzen, with the career 3.9 walk rate and 1.2 HR rate ? The people who like Mike (I think he has potential) want him to get a shot at starting anyway, this improve the odds for that. (Not likely that ALL of those starters are going to come back healthy and stay healthy.)

    As for the comparison with Drew Storen, it wasn’t mentioned that Hughes has a long history of staying healthy.

    • Jason Adams

      Funny enough I mentioned the authors continued negativity about the reds in my replay and it was edited out. Had similar thoughts, after looking at numbers seems like a reasonable signing that could help sturdy a bullpen with a guy who has shown levels of consistency the current group is missing

      • scottya

        🙁 The negativity that I have read in comments and in this article have been unreasonable.

        If we had 8 Hughes relievers in the Reds Bullpen, our team XFIP would be 3.98 and ranked 7th in all of baseball and 2nd in the national league. Very similar numbers for FIP would rank tied for 8th in all of baseball.

        This is a low cost signing that moves the needle in a positive direction. By 2019 we need a bullpen that has a FIP under 4.00 and we’ll have one of the best bullpens in the national league.

      • doofus

        I do get a kick out of the fellas that try to defend the FO’s signing of a mediocre relief pitcher. If the numbers you folks use to defend him are so great, why does he keep getting cut?

    • Steve Mancuso

      That’s a lot of work to defend a guy who’s been cut two years in a row. 🙂

      • Tom Diesman

        It always grates on me when I see a comment such as this, “… a guy who’s been cut two years in a row …”. Because typically it is implying that he’s another club’s trash and he is of no value. This fact really supplies no value to the conversation at all without examining the factors that lead to the players release. There are just too many situations (Money, Injuries, Roster Makeup, etc…..) that can lead to a player’s release that make the fact that he was released by another team useless in terms of determining a players value.

        That aside, I agree that it’s puzzling why the Reds feel they need to sign a experienced guy when they have all of these promising high upside arms ready and appear to be afraid to make their coaches and scouts earn their money and make the tough decisions to decide on which one of them are best suited for the bullpen and place them there and actually use them as such. We don’t want another debacle like last year when Stephenson and Reed were assigned to the bullpen and left to rot.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Tom, I always respect your insights. As I look at this signing, I am asking myself who are the promising upside arms that Hughes would be holding back. Please correct me if I am wrong, but there was nobody at Louisville who was a standout as a late-inning reliever. Shackelford and Herget look like they have promise. Speaking for myself only, I am tired of players making the Reds because they “might” be good. I believe that the players who make the team have to be so good that they absolutely force their way on to the roster. In a year or two, maybe we’ll begin to see these players emerge from the mid and lower minors. In the interim, I will definitely take a pitcher with a career 3.02 ERA over seven seasons as someone who can be an upgrade for a horrendous, injury-ravaged pitching staff. At some point in this process, we have to begin to think winning is important.

      • Tom Diesman

        Bottom line, it’s still a rebuild. The Reds have yet to show a sign that winning is the goal for next season yet. So what good does it do to sign on an average middle relief pitcher for the next two years at $2M a year if you your still claiming to be sorting out all the great arms you claim to have that are on the cusp of being MLB ready. Last year they spent the first half of the season gracing us with 48 GS from Adleman, Arroyo, Wojciechowski, Bonilla, and McGuire before finally getting around to providing opportunities for real prospects like Castillo, Stephenon, Romano, and Mahle. So if the decimating injury bug doesn’t return, we’ll have more starters than we can use at MLB and AAA. Can any of them help us at the MLB level in the bullpen? Do our coaches/scouts have any clues as to which ones stuff would play up in the bullpen to make them successful there? Who knows, huh?


        Homer Bailey
        Anthony DeSclafani
        Brandon Finnegan*
        Luis Castillo
        Robert Stephenson

        Sal Romano
        Tyler Mahle
        Amir Garrett*
        Cody Reed*
        Jackson Stephens

        These guys are ticketed for AAA as well:

        Jon Moscot (Back from elbow surgery)
        Keury Mella

        Jose Lopez
        Jesus Reyes
        Vladimir Gutierrez

        Rookie Davis (Hip Surgery – Not ready for Spring Training)
        Nick Travieso (Shoulder Surgery – Back into action in March)

        Then for the bullpen depth, don’t forget Brice, Crockett, Quackenbush, Hernandez and Weiss. Rainey could also be a surprise later in the year.


        Raisel Iglesias
        Michael Lorenzen
        Wandy Peralta*
        Jared Hughes
        Kevin Shackelford
        Kyle Crockett*
        Austin Brice
        Kevin Quackenbush

        Jimmy Herget
        Ariel Hernandez
        Zack Weiss
        Barrett Astin
        Joe Mantiply*
        Tanner Rainey

    • Steve Mancuso

      The case for Burke Badenhop was his ground ball rate. So even when he became terrible, Bryan Price kept bringing Badenhop into games with MEN ON BASE because his “role” was to induce ground balls. But instead, Badenhop gave up hits.

      Someday, maybe, Bryan Price will learn that when there are men on base, you need pitchers who can get strikeouts. Jared Hughes is the opposite of that kind of pitcher.

      • Jason Adams

        Not always. Sometimes a reliever comes in without runners on and can simply achieve his task by getting three outs in one inning even if he allows a hit. FIP takes strikeouts into account as well and I’m sure you know this. This is a silly defense of a bad argument. The complaints about the Reds FO only work if you attempt to be rational.

      • Jason Adams

        And I’m not saying it’s a great signing or anything, but your complaints are very over the top for something that makes reasonable sense.

      • Gonzo Reds

        Ground ball pitchers are great when you have an All Star SS… maybe the Angels should have signed this RP…

      • greenmtred

        A point I was going to make, but I’m glad it came from you, since it’s a point I make ad nauseum.

    • jessecuster44

      I think part of the negativity stems from the fact that the Reds seem to be content to do very little to improve the team. This signing wastes resources and doesn’t really move the needle.

      I’d be fine with the signing if it was part of something larger, but it doesn’t seem to be.

      • JB WV

        Richard Justice,, calls this a “very smart signing” by the Reds. Guy’s a durable, effective veteran that adds stability to a shaky pen. DW seemingly doesn’t want to wait for the young arms to blow leads early in the year and get behind the eight ball again, 5-6 games below .500 in the middle of May. Hughes’ signing just might put a little fire under some of their tails to actually earn a spot in the pen. Outside of Iglesias, possibly Peralta, who can you really count on?

      • Steve Mancuso

        I’ve been pretty clear what I expect of the 2018 season and how the Reds should keep their eyes on competing in 2019. I’m not too worried about the Reds being a few games below .500 in May, 2018. I’m more worried about May 2019. The Hughes signing isn’t a big deal either way, good or bad. I hate to see the organization spinning its wheels signing so-so veteran pitchers, year after year.

        My view: Was there a better way to spend $4.5 million to help the team win in 2019?

      • greenmtred

        There’s plenty of time for them to “do something,” and it seems that a good deal of the improvement they are counting on is expected to come from young players–pitchers especially–who are maturing. A rebuild, in other words.

      • jessecuster44

        So in other words, cross your fingers and hope , instead of acquire an established talent.

      • greenmtred

        Basically, yes, because that’s a rebuild. Would one established talent get them into the playoffs if the young guys don’t progress well? Probably not.

      • jessecuster44

        I’d rather have that talent.

      • greenmtred

        I think the idea is to add the talent when the young guys are well enough established to be realistically competitive. They’d know what they need at that point and wouldn’t be wasting money and contract years on a star when they aren’t ready to challenge.

    • lwblogger2

      I pretty much agree with you here Pinson… ERA predictors suggest a step back but he’s outpitched his predictors the last few years, not just last year. That’s a large enough sample to make me think he might be one of those guys that can consistently do it. That could have something to do with his best pitches being a sinker and a slider with depth. Maybe it is just luck but if it isn’t luck, then we have a guy who is going to be one of the top 7-8 bullpen arms. I simply don’t see 6 or 7 guys in our system who are better than him right now. Of course, I said some of the same things about JJ Hoover and his ERA vs ERA predictors and I was wrong. Hoover is a fly-ball pitcher though and his HR/FB ratio was probably not sustainable.

      The contract is very small. I also agree with a lot of folks around here that he could be moved if the Reds have better options in-house.

  13. earl99

    4 million over 2 years is not exactly a big contract. If the guy does ok and the Reds are not in contention, that is a good player to trade. Even if the guy gives them 60 innings of average relief pitching, it will pay off ok.

  14. Old-school

    This is yet another example the reds aren’t competing in 2018. Add a major league mediocre arm to fast forward to 2019 to play 162 games in 2018.


    Sign Saurez to an extension

  15. jessecuster44

    That 2 million could be spent more wisely somewhere else. Don’t the Reds have a plethora of young arms to use in the ‘pen? Baffling.

  16. Sandman

    He was probably cut bcuz of his team pic used for this article. I cracked up when I saw that. I was like What The Heck is wrong with this dude, lol.

  17. Sandman

    But on a more serious note…it seems as if DW is going to great lengths to prove to everyone that the Reds ARE NOT going to compete this coming season.

    • greenmtred

      Sandman: I think maybe we’re reading too much into this signing. Lots of moving parts on a baseball team,and most of the young pitching talent seems to be concentrated on the starters, not the relievers. I get that we’re bored and want a big trade to talk about, but it’s still 2017.

  18. Still a Red

    I don’t think signing Huges is any indication that the Reds aren’t making the right moves to compete in 2018, its that they can’t. That would take Money. And lots of it. OK. For them to compete in 2018 would require at least two of our young starters to have break out seasons. Except maybe Castillo, it ain’t happened yet. If Bailey, Disco, and Finnegan do not come back whole, then we need 5 break out seasons. Oh…and we still need to replace Cozart’s bat in the line up…probably can’t do that for $2 M. We may as well relax and hope we make progress toward 2019. Oh, and start planning for Votto’s replacement.. I believe Joey’s got a lot left, but time is ticking

    • Sandman

      Still a red, As long as Votto finishes having played his whole career as a red and it’s his decision to retire then I’ll be ok.

      • Still a Red

        Me too, but as someone has said its just a shame the Reds couldn’t have kept a better team around him these last few years…hopefully the rebuild will succeed while he’s still at the top of his game.

      • jessecuster44

        DW said the rebuild will continue for the next 2-3 years, so the braintrust has wasted the career of the best hitter in Reds history. The mind boggles.

      • Sandman

        Jessecuster44, when’d DW say that?

      • jessecuster44

        Apparently in an interview at the Winter Meetings.

  19. Steve Mancuso

    1. I don’t see much value in this signing because I’m ***optimistic*** about the arms already in the system. In fact, one would have to be much more ***negative*** about the Reds to think there aren’t 7-8 arms that will merit big league bullpen experience.

    2. Burke Badenhop, Drew Storen, Kevin Gregg, Manny Parra, Blake Wood, Caleb Cotham – just don’t see these marginal bullpen guys moving the needle.

    It’s not a big contract, as I said in the post. So the downside isn’t much, as long as the Reds are willing to cut him if he regresses. The negative of signing Hughes is blocking the younger guys who need the chance.

    Hotto4Votto lists names above: Iglesias, Peralta, Lorenzen, Shackleford, Crockett, Herget, Weiss, Stephens, Mella, Hernandez plus those who don’t make it as starters, like Finnegan, Reed, Garrett, Rookie Davis etc. That’s 14 names for 7 spots without breaking a sweat.

    And, as always, please keep your comments focused on the Reds, not on the people who write/comment here and you won’t get edited or your comments trashed.

    • Sandman

      Steve, I don’t know if you was talking to me regarding that last paragraph or not. If you were then I would say that I was not directing my first comment (or my second one for that matter) at anybody. All I meant was that Hughes’ pic used in this article made me laugh bcuz he mean mugging. I first saw that pic on a fan page on Instagram. It was in no way a shot at you or anyone on here for using that pic. I was just trying to make a humorous observation.

      IF, you was not talking to me, then this is all a moot point and I apologize for assuming it was me that you were talking to.

      • Steve Mancuso

        No, Sandman, wasn’t you. And yeah, that picture is hilarious.

      • Sandman

        Steve, ok. I was checking out other comments to see who you were possibly talking to and I believe I found it.

    • jaY jOHNSON

      I dont see many “proven better “arms in your list above.They may turn out to be,as I certainly hope,but they certainly havent “proven “anything yet

      • Bill

        The only name I see that inspires any confidence is Iglesias. Beyond him there is Lorenzen who has talent but was not good last year, Peralta who has earned a spot, and a bunch of guys with question marks. If you throw in failed starters it probably isn’t any better if the reason they failed is the propensity to give out free passes and home runs. If they are guys who struggle to get through a lineup multiple times, but are good the first time through a lineup then you can assume they will be decent relievers. We also should assume that unless they are out of options you want the starters who don’t make the opening day roster starting in Louisville if the injury bug strikes.

  20. Steve Mancuso

    This signing doesn’t say anything about the bigger picture of what the front office is doing. This is their “sign a cheap reliever to eat innings” move that they did last year, too. It’s cheap. It’s relatively risk free. I still don’t get why they had to offer two years to a guy that has been cut by the last two teams he played for. But this signing isn’t a signal and it wasn’t meant to fill up the stadium.

    • Bill

      We might not know what is going on behind closed doors, but it is possible that a one year deal would have cost more than $2 million a year to sign Hughes or other similar bullpen arms. Giving the extra year possibly made more sense for both sides. It is also possible the Reds just like giving veterans two year deals and are stuck with a bad contract when the year ends. Either way the $2 million in 19 isn’t going to be used to sign Mike Trout so I don’t think it changes much in the big picture

      • Scott Carter

        I don’t mind the signing. I just don’t see why 2 years. I also wish they would give these younger arms more opportunity. With the Reds on field management, I am afraid that Hughes will continually be trotted out, regardless of results while younger arms rust away in the bullpen.

    • JB WV

      Maybe Hughes had other offers and the Reds put an extra year in to get him. It’s been a strong market for relievers. Outside of RLN, this signing is getting positive reviews. You might want to check your objectivity when it comes to FO moves that don’t fit your criteria.

      • Steve Mancuso

        As fans, none of us are perfectly objective. But I don’t think “objectivity” means what you think it means. I’ve got criteria that I use for relievers (and other pitchers). It mostly involves strikeouts and walks. I don’t deviate from those criteria just because my favorite team makes a free agent signing. If I touted strikeouts and walks for years and then bought … oooh, pretty, pretty ERA … to fit the situation, that would be the opposite of objective.

        You may take issue with the way I evaluate pitchers. But I stay pretty consistent in the way I look at it.

        Regarding outside reviews: I wonder how many of those people, like Richard Justice (who I respect as a baseball analyst), could name 14 pitchers already in the Reds organization who will contend for those 7-8 bullpen slots who are (a) younger, and (b) have better K% and BB% than does Jared Hughes.

      • JB WV

        That have a track record in the ML? 2? If you’ve made up your mind that the Reds have no chance to be successful in ’18, fine. But stranger things have happened. $4.5 mil over 2 years is peanuts today for an effective reliever. It won’t effect your projection for a competitive team in ’19. If the Reds have a dismal record again at the AS break, Hughes is trade bait. If they’re in the hunt, keep him and see what happens. This is, as you’ve mentioned, a relatively insignificant signing but helps the team in the short term. And as a reporter, rather than a fan, I do expect you to be as unbiased as possible. Your lack of objectivity stems from your disdain for the front office.

      • Steve Mancuso

        First of all, I’m not a reporter. I’m a Reds fan. Reporters work for newspapers, magazines or websites and get paid accordingly. This is a hobby for me. I certainly don’t get paid a salary. I give reasons for my opinions, you can agree with them or not. Free country.

        Second, I don’t have disdain for this front office. You haven’t read much of what I’ve written in the past couple years if you think that. I doubt anyone in the blogosphere has defended the inaction of the front office over the past year as strongly as I have.

        Again, you keep using the word “objectivity” without knowing what it means. My lack of objectivity comes from being a fan, and a human being. Even reporters lack objectivity. But I try to be fair.

        Finally, this is the last time I’m going to warn you about violating the terms of the site. Keep your statements focused on the Reds, not on the writers/commenters here. For example, when you call me non-objective or assert that I have disdain for the Reds, those are statements about me, not about the Reds.

  21. Redhaze

    What would you think of this 3 way trade possibility? Hamilton and Duvall to the Giants, prospects to the Marlins, and Yelich to the Reds.

    • Redhaze

      This opens up a spot for Winker in the outfield.

      • Redhaze

        Why can’t the Reds try to be next season’s Twins?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Interesting idea that works in concept. Question would be if Giants have enough prospects (after Longoria trade) to interest the Marlins. San Francisco would have to drain their farm system completely.

    • doofus

      I like the idea, but believe the Red’s would have to add a player(s) of their own to any Yelich deal.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Good idea. Hamilton + Duvall + prospect would be a fair price for Yelich from the Reds side. Send this idea to 100 Joe Nuxhall Way.

      • PDunc

        Hamilton & Duvall go to the Giants
        Trammel & Giants prospects (Ramos & Beede? I don’t know their system well) go the Marlins
        Yelich comes to the Reds

        Giants improve their offense & defense in LF with Duvall and improve their CF defense with Hamilton. Posey, Belt, Longoria & Duvall could be a dangerous middle of the lineup for them.
        Marlins get a good prospect return (assuming enough can be had out of the Giants system)
        Reds open up LF for Winker and improve their CF drastically. A Reds lineup now with Votto, Yelich, Suarez, Winker & Senzel should score some runs.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I really like this concept, but the Marlins would be seeking the best prospects in one or both of the other teams’ organizations to give up their top asset. The Giants are apparently balking at giving up theirs for Hamilton alone, so we’ll have to see if the Reds would be willing to discuss Greene, Senzel, Trammell or Mahle.

    • greenmtred

      Giants prospects? I thought they hadn’t any.

  22. Bill

    Not to worry we signed another pitcher with a 6.99 ERA in triple A last year and over 5 with the Angels.

    • Sandman

      Bill, alright!👍🙌🙌🙌

      • Sandman

        (Joking, of course)😉

  23. TR

    Unless Hamilton is a part of a big trade while his speed is still evident, the stadium will not look crowded with 30,000 at least in the stands on Friday and Saturday nights. A four player alternate outfield is not a winning combination for me.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      It is when you consider that Duvall wears down significantly at the end of the year, and needs days off more than occasionally. As long as he is in the picture, a four-man outfield rotation is actually a very good option.

      • Old-school

        If the reds aren’t winning in 2018, should not the approach be to develop and play the guys who will be part of that winning core. I liked the 4 man outfield last year…but not in 2018. Winker needs 550 at bats and to play every day.

        Hamilton is not part of the next good team and will make 5 million this year.

        Young pitchers need to pitch…young position players need to play. Ervin can be a fine 4 th outfielder.

  24. james garrett

    Not sure what this signing is saying to the team or the fans but to me its just a waste of money and a younger guy with a power arm gets to watch while Hughes pitches.Same thought process by the Reds as last year and even if you could make a case for it what’s with the two year deal.I personally always look for something that gives a hint on what may be a plan but this seems to be one of signings that well doesn’t offer much insight but again that’s what the Reds do.

  25. Steven Ross

    I should add, he is 20 & 16 in 7 seasons with career ERA of 2.85. Only given up 27 HR’s in nearly 370 innings pitched. Definitely some positives. However, Reds still need to make a splash on a trade. Once they stop asking the Giants for Heliot Ramos, which they did and Giants laughed, then maybe we can actually have a trade or signing to discuss.

    • Redsfan48

      The Reds should continue to insist on Ramos if the Giants want Hamilton. The Reds have no pressure to trade Hamilton right now, since he has control remaining, so they should aim high in trade talks. It’s not like Heliot Ramos for Hamilton is that ridiculous of a concept either, he’s not a top-100 prospect, and not even the the Giants’ #1, even if he is intriguing as a prospect.

      • Craig

        Small nit-pick, but when the updated rankings come out in January, I would be very surprised if Ramos isn’t both the Giants #1 AND a top 100 prospect. A 1-for-1 for Hamilton is a big ask (while not a perfect example, imagine the Reds trading Greene for a career .248/.298/.334 OFer with 2 years of control), but like you said, the FO should be aiming high with 2 years of control and top tier defense. There is no absolute need to trade Billy right now.

        Even if we had to add one of our ML-ready starters (Romano, Reed or Garrett), I think it would still be a steal to pluck Ramos from the Giants with Billy as the headliner.

  26. doofus

    Hughes is the typical “bottom-feeding” signing we’ve seen over and over again with WJ.

    • Bill

      Those bottom feeders like Strailey, Gennett, and Simon?

      • MrRed

        No, I think he means Jason Marquis, Kevin Gregg, Brennan Boesch, Steve Delabar, Alfredo Simon (pt II), Lisalverto Bonilla. Just to name a few examples from the last couple of seasons.

      • Bill

        Since we are ignoring all good signings and referencing only the ones that didn’t work out, I’ll leave off Chapman and Iglesias from the list of bottom feeders as well

      • doofus

        Strailey and Gennett were waiver claims; Simon was acquired in a trade. None of the 3 players were FA signings.

      • doofus

        …SImon’s original stint with the Reds.

      • Bill

        Even if that were correct, which it is not, we can pretend it was a trade. I’ll remove all waiver claims, trades, the Chapman and Iglesias free agent signings from the discussion. Are draft picks also not allowed in discussions in reference to the Reds front office?

      • MrRed

        No, I’d throw all of those back in the mix. Even when you do, the recent track record hasn’t been great. That’s a large part of the problem for the club lately.

  27. Redhaze

    Why can’t the Reds try to be next season’s Twins?

    • Bill

      Well, the Twins signed Zach Duke for $2 million plus up to $1.5 million in incentives, who has similar and probably worse numbers than Hughes so if the Twins are the model for success there shouldn’t be any complaints with this signing

      • james garrett

        He’s a lefty and a soft tosser.More then likely he is in the game just to pitch to left handed hitters and sometimes just to get one out.Expectations for Hughes will be much higher.

    • TR

      They apparently can not try because they are in rebuild mode.

    • greenmtred

      Because it’s really cold in Minnesota?

      • MrRed

        It’s actually pretty cold in Cincinnati too.

      • greenmtred

        Cold for Cincy, I imagine. Here in VT it has been something like 40 hours since it was as warm as 0, and Minnesota is generally colder. Bats shatter easily in these temps, which is the real reason the game is played in the summer.

  28. Redgoggles

    If he’s our worst reliever next year, that likely means the bullpen is pretty sound. If he’s not, then it’s a good signing. Either way, I’ll take it.

  29. IndyRedMan

    Meh??? We need some decent relievers and he’s ok. At some point, they’ll want to sort out what they have and make some of those guys relievers (or trade them), but they won’t know that for a while. Cingrani was never great, but I thought Cody Reed might be able to be converted into a Cingrani or a Mitch Williams lite? Hughes is ok for depth. Its what the Reds do. The premium organizations get new shoes for their marathon runners directly flown in from Nike and Reebok. We get “Snikes” from Payless.

    • doofus

      That much? I thought the Reds got the leftover rags the soldiers used on their feet at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777.

  30. Eric The Red

    Wasn’t Hughes a big part of the Pirates intentionally plunking the Reds a couple of years ago? Was he the guy BP accused of something really vile? I could be misremembering, because no one else has brought it up. If so, I apologize.

  31. redsfan06

    This signing doesn’t do a whole lot for the team and doesn’t cost a lot of money either. Not much to get excited about or to get upset about here. Comments regarding the Reds having 7 BP slots do not really portray the situation accurately. It’s 7 spots at a time. With all the short starts the Reds had last year, the BP threw 859 innings. That requires (14) relievers averaging 61 innings each.

    How many pitchers actually spent time on the roster last year? 30, not counting Scooter Gennett and his one inning pitched. They are likely to see much of the same this upcoming season and are going to have the plane & trains & automobiles busy running back and forth from Louisville. This guy reduces the contribution needed from others by 60-65 innings of average pitching if he works out.

    With injuries and guys being returned to the minors to work things out, there is room for another 15 relievers left.

  32. Tom

    He might be a decent signing. Let’s assume he stays healthy and pitches to the back of his playing card (both big IF’s). If he’s not pitching at the end of the year, that means the young arms rose to the challenge and the Reds are pretty damn good. But if he is pitching, he might still be pitching as part of a decent team. I don’t mind this signing as long as it doesn’t prevent the Reds from signing a decent starting pitcher.

  33. WVRedlegs

    Boy the negativity on this signing is a sure sign of the displeasure from fans of the Reds front office this off-season. And with this rebuilding process.
    The signing is a good one. However, if this is Dick Williams biggest move this winter, then that suggests and signals even bigger problems in the Reds front office.
    The Reds bullpen was very bad last year. It was good at times early in the year, but as the season wore on it took its toll. The signing of Hughes helps the bullpen.
    The second year of the contract has many dismayed. But it may actually be a benefit. If in July the Reds are floundering around as usual and Hughes is pitching well, he becomes a good trade candidate to a contender. A return of a nice prospect will be helpful too. That extra year on the contract makes Hughes not a rental, so the price to get him will be a little higher. The price paid for non-closing relievers at the deadline is getting high.
    The Red Sox and Astros may very well be looking for an effective ROOGY come July 31. To effectively offset the Yankees new RH hitting trio of Stanton, Judge, and Sanchez. And both have very good farm systems to pluck a prospect from.
    It might be worth signing a second reliever of this ilk. There might be an 8 man bullpen early in the year.
    The terms of this contract, the money and the length, have plenty of value on the trade market. That is, as long as Hughes performs well and stays healthy.
    Seconds please. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Reds sign another reliever, but one that is supposed to be even better than Hughes. And flip both at the deadline. It didn’t work last year with Feldman and Storen both getting injured early in July.
    Could be a very unusual and very busy deadline for the Reds if that were to happen. Scooter, Mesoraco, and maybe even Bailey could be moving on also at that time.

    • james garrett

      I love your optimism but lots of ifs involving a guy nobody wanted.Can’t get a good feeling about Hughes and to me its a waste of money and takes innings away from a younger guy.

  34. doofus

    This sums it up: “…if this is Dick William’s biggest move this winter, then that suggests and signals even bigger problems in the Red’s front office.”

    • greenmtred

      Or it might signal faith in the young players. Also, do we know that nobody else wanted him? Seems unlikely.

  35. WVRedlegs

    Happy Aroldis Chapman day to everyone. Two years ago today, Walt Jocketty, Dick Williams, and Bob Castellini gave away Aroldis Chapman for practically nothing. Gave away!! Two of the players the Reds got in that trade are gone, one is still non-performing, and one is injured.

  36. Bill

    Speaking of all the good & bad signings & trades, today is the anniversary of the Chapman trade. What do we have to show for it, 1 player who struggled it triple A last year & another who is coming off hip surgery.

  37. Steve Mancuso

    I wouldn’t count on trading a player at the deadline who has been cut by the last two teams he played for. Certainly the idea of getting a good prospect for him is wishful thinking. It’s always possible that Hughes will have a strong half season and be in a good position to trade him. But the second year of his contract could be a hindrance in that.

    Jared Hughes’ career WAR (Fangraphs) is *negative* 0.1.

    The Pirates cut him at the end of spring training last year. He passed through waivers. A few days later, the Brewers signed him as a free agent for less than $1 million. The Brewers cut Hughes instead of paying him a projected $2 million for 2018.

    The Reds (and any trade partner) are on the hook for $4.5 million.

    It’s not that the Hughes signing is a disaster. It’s not a lot of money spread out over two years. I’d rather throw the $4.5 million into a bigger trade, either now or next year.

  38. Steve Mancuso

    For the people saying I’m always negative about the Reds acquiring relief pitchers, you might be right. You have to go all the way back to, um, four weeks ago, to find an example of a Reds reliever signing that I liked. Kyle Crockett:

    Also liked the Storen signing last year:

    Strongly supported Reds trading Dan Straily for pitchers:

    Supported Reds jumping on Dan Straily in April 2016, who at the time was a swingman.

    So, yeah. Narrative. Maybe instead of trying hot takes about the writers here, you look into a little bit and stick to analyzing the Reds.

  39. earl99

    After googling some pictures of Jared Hughes, the wacky picture above is kind of his thing. Some of the still shots when he was the Pirates are just as good.

    Don’t know if that is worth a second year in a contract, but it is something.