The Winter Meetings in Las Vegas began today and it didn’t take long for rumors about the Reds to start swirling.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting the Reds are shopping Scooter Gennett to: (a) save the estimated $10+ million Gennett is due in arbitration, (b) make room for Nick Senzel, and (c) add a player to the roster like Josh Harrison who can play IF and OF.

“The Reds, sources say, would like to move (Gennett)… The problem for the Reds in trying to deal Gennett is the free-agent market is flooded with second basemen, from DJ LeMahieu to Jed Lowrie to Brian Dozier, Daniel Murphy to Ian Kinsler to Neil Walker.”

Some of us have been advocating this move for more than a year. This also isn’t the first time the Reds have tried to trade Gennett. In previous efforts, they’ve been unable to find a match. Gennett plays only one position and has been both good and bad defensively.

C. Trent Rosecrans, who writes for The Athletic, tweeted this observation a few minutes ago:

Check back this week for further Hot Stove news about the Reds.

Updates: News about a former Reds player from a former Reds GM.

Perfect match between team and player.

Reds competition for Dallas Keuchel appears to be Atlanta and Philadelphia, at least for now.

12:04 PM Reds front office gives strategic leak to beat writer to help with negotiations:

About The Author

Steve grew up in Cincinnati 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. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce's 2010 homer and Homer Bailey's 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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79 Responses

  1. Jim Walker

    The Gennett situation could be a big crossroads for the Reds. If they can’t get the value they want now, do they try to sign him or keep trying to move him and ultimately take what they can get down the road?

    If they decide to hold onto him (and are successful in extending him), it could well pivot their entire stance in the player movement market and hence future.

  2. msanmoore

    Some thoughts (and I’d love to see Scooter move) …

    1. He is a rental. And while that may be a “cheaper” rental than others, it’s still just a rental.
    2. The renting team won’t give him a QO at the end of the season. Those will be approaching $20M and that’s way too much to give, even for a one-year shot in the dark.
    3. I like the Josh Harrison angle. He seems like a solid utility guy from what I’ve seen.
    4. None of this does anything with the primary need for starting pitching.

    It’s cold and snowy here in Raleigh. I’m ready for some hot stove action to heat up.

    • Keith

      If they save $10MM on Scooter, that might change the math on who they pursue for SP.

  3. Mike C

    Regardless of what they do it is nice to have some options. Cutting Bill was the first step in this direction. It will be interesting to see if they are truly going after Pollock. They could pay for Pollock’s salary with the arb money that would have gone to Billy and Scooter. Senzel plays 2B and you get something back for Scooter. Do we think there is any chance they would still consider Senzel as a SS? Peraza’s bat has been a nice surprise, but he has a long way to go defensively to remain a starting SS on a competitive team. Though having two guys under team control at SS/2B and the corner OF spots really allows them to go after SP in free agency, and likely more so next year than this year.

  4. Bill

    Another good sign that Bob is actually letting people make decisions instead of dictating him. I read a quote from Dick Williams that they were not working on an extension at this time and were still sorting out the roster going forward. Unfortunately if they were going to trade him they may have waited too long to maximize value. I am sure whatever the return is, isn’t going to make anyone happy. Despite the great offensive numbers a 2B with poor defense and one year of control isn’t going to get a huge return. The thing to keep in mind is that $10 million and how it will be re purposed. Add that and Hamilton’s $5 million to the already approved increase in payroll and the starting pitching acquisitions become more viable.

    Moving Senzel to 2B does leave one OF position lacking, so someone additional will have to be signed unless they want to go with Ervin in CF or have one of the young guys skip the upper minors. This would also explain the supposed interest in Pollack.

    • David

      Doug Gray has said that he thinks Ervin could handle CF.

      • Bill

        Yes, he has played CF before and can handle it just as well as Schebler or anyone else the Reds have. The question remains on if that is the direction the Reds want to go until someone else is ready. I think you can expect him to at a minimum equal Hamilton offensively, and likely do better.

      • VaRedsFan

        IMO, Ervin is no better than a 4th outfielder, which is fine. But, they do not need three 4th outfielders on the roster.

    • Matt Mahaffey

      I’d entertain the idea of a Adam Jones or Andrew McCutcheon on a 1 year deal.

  5. Steve Mancuso

    Scooter Gennett for Sonny Gray?

    I’d do that were I the Reds. Yankees have to get past Machado first, though.

    • big5ed

      I’ve been touting that, too. Yanks need a short-term LH-hitting middle infielder while waiting for Gregorius to return (moving G. Torres to short). Reds need to make room for Senzel. Salaries after arbitration are close to a wash. May need some ancillary parts to make it work.

      You are correct that it can’t be done until Machado is signed somewhere else. I’d rather have Gregorius for the next 4 years than Machado for the next 10, given the price tag and the LH bat.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I’d need more than Gray for a player with 6.6 WAR the past two seasons combined. (Gray had 3.2 WAR the past two seasons combined.) Maybe prospects, maybe an outfielder who can at least platoon at the major league level.

      • Colorado Red

        Why do we want Gray.
        He only has 1 year of control.
        Even if we improve by 15 games, we are no close to the playoffs.
        I want someone with at least 2 years, if not 3.

    • Old-school

      Joel Sherman is reporting the Yankees asked for Taylor Trammell for Gray. So they don’t seem too motivated to trade him yet.

      • Matt Hendley

        Price will go down, no way do you make that trade.

      • Sabr Chris

        I want Gray bad, but not that bad!

  6. Scottya

    This is really good news. I’m hoping for Gennett to the Yankees for Clint Frazier type of trade. Whatever needs to be added to make this a fair deal for both. This removes 11 million in payroll. then we’d have about 47 million to spend!

    Puts Kuechal, Kluber, or other #1’s or maybe Grienke in the crosshairs and a real possibility of getting two of them.

    Two ideas I like on what could be done with 47 million to spend.

    Keuchal – 20 million AV+
    Kluber – 17 million AV+
    Soria – 8 million AV+
    Wilmer Flores or Robbie Grossman 2 million as 4th bench player.

    or

    Keuchal – 20 million AV
    Stroman – 7 million
    McCutchen – 13 million AV
    Joe Kelly – 7 million AV

    • Bill

      I would take Frazier for Gennett, but the Yankees aren’t giving him up for Scooter alone and I don’t know that we have anything else they would be interested in that would make it work

      • scottya

        IKR, we don’t have anything else they would be interested in…

  7. doublenohitter

    I’d be surprised if the Reds do anything. Pleasantly surprised.
    There is always a lot of talk and little action. That’s how the Reds roll.

    Maybe the new administration can really get something done. We’ll see.

    • Jeff Reed

      The roadblock the past few years was Big Bob’s insistence that Billy would always be a Red, but that’s been cleared with Hamilton on the way to the big outfield in K.C. I think the DW, Krall, Bell team will get the Reds started toward a 2-3 game season above or below .500 with contention in 2020 and beyond.

  8. Matt Hendley

    Reds resign aquino to minor league deal. Thats it. Winter meetings done, that is putting us over the top. Lol

  9. Scott Gennett

    Most 2B market is FA, so the key is to find the right trade partner. Definitely, to trade Gennett is the right move now. If not traded, I don’t think an extension is the right move either.

  10. roger garrett

    Moving Scooter is a smart move because of the reasons mentioned.His money plus Billy’s and throw in Iggy’s frees up some big bucks.Sign a rental in center,go closer by committee and lets move on looking toward the future.

    • CI3J

      Personally, I’d be interested in seeing Big Sal as closer. If he’s not going to be in the rotation, I’d like to see if he can move that mass and really give it his all to get 3 outs. He has some decent pitches, just not a large enough repertoire to be a starter. But fastball/slider/changeup should be enough to close.

      • David

        That’s enough to start, really, but Romano has intermittent command. That may come with maturity. Romano may eventually mature into a good starter, but then again, maybe not,

        And it may take several more years of fumbling around. Or the light may come on next season.

        Keuchel is the only starter out there that really is the right fit for the Reds (free agent). I think Kluber is too old. Trevor Bauer would be nice, but the asking price in prospects will be too high.

        Sonny Gray is interesting if the price in players/prospects is not too high. He also may just be done as a pitcher. Guys sometimes just breakdown and are finished at a young age.

      • big5ed

        “Intermittent command.” That is both funny and accurate. Big Sal can look pretty good at times. At other times, not so much.

        I hold out some hope that his strength will catch up to his size, and he can get some consistency. I’ve said before that he kind of reminds of Rick Reuschel, but needs to simplify his delivery, like Reuschel and Aaron Harang did. But we may also see “several years of fumbling around,” as you put it.

      • CI3J

        The thing is, though, I was being pretty generous to list his changeup as a pitch, since he rarely throws it and opposing hitters absolutely clobber it, which means it’s not fooling anyone.

        Sal throws a fastball with a nice sinking action, and his slider is the closest thing he has to an “out” pitch. I personally hope he winds up in the rotation as a kind of Brandon Webb type pitcher, but if he doesn’t, a fastball that stays low in the zone and a slider is a nice combo for a closer, and having a changeup he can toss out there every now and then to really throw opposing hitters off in the pressure situations could be a nice addition.

        But of course, if he can really develop his changeup, I’d love to see him get another shot at starting. 2 new pitchers, plus Disco and Castillo, with Sal, Mahle, and Reed duking it out for the final spot would be healthy competition and give the Reds some serious pitching depth. When was the last time they could say that?

      • Old-school

        I believe it was Marty and c Trent on the radio show last week, but Romano has apparently lost 15 pounds since the season ended.

      • doofus

        If the Reds were to attain Kluber he would be about the same age as Tom Seaver was when he was traded to the Reds in ’77 (32-1/2).

        I’m not comparing Kluber to Seaver, but he still is a damn good pitcher. Two Cys, maintaining great peripheral numbers.

        I think Kluber is one of the best SP available.

  11. WVRedlegs

    For the Reds to trade Scooter Gennett, Gennett will have to shoot up his garage.
    Then we can look forward to 3-4 lowly, no-name prospects as charity from one of the mega-teams.
    The Reds Way.

    • jon

      you forgot the reds save 10-11m in the process to get some pitching.Did the reds win a lot of games w scooter last year? They need pitching.

      • Matt Hendley

        We didn’t lose the games because of scooter either. Payroll is going up reportedly, and after the article on money the other day, I am only recognizing the luxury tax as a manditory ceiling. They can buy the pitching, kutchel, Harvey, and trade for it with mid to lower level prospects 11-30 level. (Leake,gray).

    • Tom Diesman

      I don’t even expect that they’ll actually get him traded for anything. I expect the full Cozart treatment, where he’s overvalued by the Reds, no trade is good enough, so eventually he’ll walk off into free agency for no return what so ever for the Reds.

  12. Matt Hendley

    Wont be Hamilton in center, he is moments away from signing in KC. In addition, it looks like scooter is not being actively shopped.

  13. Bill

    Mark Sheldon is reporting they Reds are not looking to trade him. There is however still this comment from Williams about an extension that supports the possibility of trading; ““I wouldn’t expect it before the calendar turns [to 2019],” Williams said. “There’s too much up in the air in terms of roster construction going forward. I don’t think you’ll see us working on any extensions for anybody — that’s not just Scooter-specific”

    • bmblue

      Sheldon subscribes to the john fay school of: report what the team wants you to report and don’t step on any toes.

      • doofus

        Seems to be very true that the beat writers are just scribes for the front office and ownership.

  14. Steve Mancuso

    Fascinating to watch the front office use the beat writers to help with negotiations. Like teamwork. It happens with other teams, too. But it sure happens in Cincinnati a lot, especially under the new regime. Don’t other teams, see right through it?

    • J

      You may be absolutely right, Steve, but I don’t understand how this is supposed to help. If the Reds are actively shopping him, how could a “leak” like this possibly convince other teams they aren’t actively shopping him? Is it because we’ve entered in an era in which people are supposed to believe tweets instead of their own ears and eyes?

      • doofus

        Or it prematurely leaked that they want to move Gennett, before the return value for him was higher (i.e. LeMahieu, Murphy, et al signed). So the combo of the unfailingly dependable beat writers were put into action.

  15. Scott C

    It really doesn’t matter what the Reds get for Scooter, it is about freeing up money. If the Reds wait until just before Trade Deadline they will not get anymore and probably less. If they don’t trade him at all he walks and Reds get NaDa. That is Ok with me, but if the move him we get better defense at 2’nd with Senzel and don’t lose much if anything in offense. Perhaps get better defensively in center.

    • roger garrett

      The Reds always hold on to players to long but in Scooters case its not so cut and dried.He was a waiver claim that worked out really well and still could.His age and his cost prohibit getting much for him in a trade and if you don’t resign him he walks next year regardless of what he does in 2019.Hindsight is always 20/20 but may have been better to trade him after his 2017 year but who would have expected him to repeat in 2018 and would have paid for it in prospects.He was a late bloomer.Nobody should or will pay him 10 mil or more..I personally get what I can for him and use the money elsewhere.

  16. Matt Hendley

    Reds have aquired LHP robby scott from BOS.

  17. Tom Mitsoff

    Ken Rosenthal reports the Reds have a deal with Boston to acquire lefthanded pitcher Robby Scott. Looks like a Loogy. Not a big deal. What Reds are surrendering is not yet reported.

  18. Tom Mitsoff

    Bobby Nightengale reports its a waiver claim.

  19. Sliotar

    If untradeable now, Scooter coming back to Reds until trading deadline is a fallback.

    Senzel has less than 200 PAs at AAA, and will be down there again anyway for control purposes, so that his 6 years doesn’t start until 2020.

    So, maybe Scooter comes back, then gets dealt to NYY or BOS, LH hitting friendly-parks, costing only 2 months of salary…or to another team with a DH or 2B injury-related spot to fill.

    If not, he walks. Doubtful he gets a $50M+ offer in free agency to get back a compensation pick, anyway.

    Maybe its the Bell hiring or FC Cincinnati in MLS or growing apathy or all of them, but it’s tough to knee-jerk and fix every roster problem in this off-season. Not after 4 years of literally zero roster management or strategic planning.

    As others have noted, just like with Hamilton, Scooter should have long gone from the Reds before now.

  20. Old-school

    I guess the Reds aren’t counting on Peralta or Finnegan. Perhaps the greatest hole in the organization is LH pitching

    It’s Garrett and Reed and then????

    Doug Gray doesn’t have 1 LH pitcher in his top 25.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      I am happy that the Reds are not counting on either Peralta or Finnegan. Barring improvement (best) demonstrated in the minors, Peralta is not a good option and hasn’t been regularly effective, unless you count a quarter season at the start of 2017. Finnegan needs health that leads to recovered velocity and/or action on his pitches. A waiver claim that has an option left and who has demonstrated the ability to get lefties out (even if mostly in AAA) appears better than those two at the moment.

    • WVRedlegs

      I am not sure what Doug’s bias is against LH starter Scott Moss. He is better than every starter he has ranked from #14 on down to #25. Moss is a much better pitcher than Lyon Richardson (#14), Kuery Mella (#18), James Marinan (#24), and better than a few position players listed in his top-25.
      Going 15-4 at A+ last year and he went 13-6 the year before at Dayton is no small accomplishment. Moss is 31-11 as a professional.
      Big oversight omitting Moss from top prospects list. I can see many teams asking for Moss to be in any trade packages the Reds will have to come up with.

      • big5ed

        Doug can speak for himself, but the gist of it is that Moss doesn’t really have a plus pitch now, and that Moss’s strikeout rate went down quite a bit as he moved up to A+. It isn’t like Doug doesn’t like Moss, just that he doesn’t think that Moss has the upside that he thinks others have.

        http://redsminorleagues.com/2018/10/09/cincinnati-reds-top-prospects-scott-moss-2/

        I am kind of like you, in that I like guys who know how to pitch.

  21. jreis

    I would offer Scooter a long term contract well under market value with the expectation that he will be a key guy coming off the bench in the future. that is how I would approach all of our hometown players. appeal to their sentimentality. if you want your hometown team to be competitive again you will sign for less money.
    we produce so much local talent that grew up reds fans that I would think we could sign a ton of players for “HOMETOWN DISCOUNTS”. We need all the Ken Griffey Jr’s and Dave Parker’s we can get right now.

    • Bill

      I don’t think offering him well below what he is worth and then telling him he will not be playing is a good negotiation tactic. That would be the end of negotiations and your only option would be to trade him.

      Who in the MLB is a local talent that would take a 50% pay cut for the honor of playing for the Reds?

      • jreis

        i’m thinking Scooter, Kyle Schwarber and Josh Harrison are 3 off the top of my head that are from here and I would be willing to bet would rather be playing for the reds than the dopey cubs and pirates.

      • Bill

        Not for “well below market value”

    • VaRedsFan

      Tell the guy that hits 25 HR’s…”you’re going to be our bench/utility guy”

      • BigRedMike

        Thankfully teams no longer base decisions on 25 HRs
        Chris Davis Mark Reynolds Mark Trumbo Adam Duvall hit a lot of HRs

      • Bill

        He also produced over 4 WAR, so putting him on the bench probably doesn’t appeal to him. He should be traded. He isn’t going to sign for $2 million a year and sit on the bench just for the honor of being a Red. He is going to cost $10 million a year, which isn’t something the Reds can afford to pay bench players and his production doesn’t warrant sitting the bench

      • Matt Hendley

        Ditto, again, benching scooter is asinine. Even a short extension would increase his trade value as it would free him up for when there is not a glut on the second base market. Senzel should use the “athletic versatility ” and be versatile.

    • Jeff Reed

      Hometown discounts sound good if they’re quality starting pitchers.

  22. Matt Hendley

    Ditto, offer him a 4 yeat 44$ mill contract. Have him established at 2b, use NS as a Super UT, and if perazaed defense hasnt improved halfway though the season, try him at short..

    • Bill

      Bad defense at 2B doesn’t translate to SS very well

      • Matt Hendley

        NS = nick senzel, not scooter

  23. BigRedMike

    This off season would be off to a great start if they get rid of Gennett. Already removed Hamilton.
    As noted on the podcast, not sure it makes sense for a 90+ loss team 4 season in a row has 20 or more players penciled in for the 25 man roster next season. The roster needs to turned over.

    The Padres seem to mentioned the most with Gray, not really sure why the Reds have not already made a move. Gray is a great option for what the Reds need to improve.

  24. BigRedMike

    Great news. Appears the Royals are signing Hamilton
    Reds are finally starting to make smart decisions

  25. Cincinnati Jeff

    Happy that Bob let Hamilton walk and is now apparently open to trading Scooter but wondering what the budget might look like if they went ahead and traded those guys before the deadline. Guessing they couldve gotten a lottery ticket for Hamilton instead of zilch.

  26. Jeff Reed

    Day two of the winter meetings in Vegas dawns as Reds fans eagerly await cogent news on the starting pitching front.

    • RedsFan11

      Day 1 big news : Reds waiver claim RP
      Day 2 big news : Reds open to Lorenzen moving to outfield
      Day 3 big news : Reds still suck

      • Bill

        I hear the Yankees are looking for a few more fans.

  27. Matt Hendley

    So question. Are there any meetings actually taking place, not a thing has been announced.

    • Sliotar

      The market not being set yet on Kecuhel/Happ and positionally, Harper and Machado, is probably holding a lot of signings/trades up. Lots of conditional deals likely agreed upon.

  28. Pete Thomas

    I am loving the hot stove activity, and it’s nice to see the Red’s are in the conversation. I have been seeing a lot about trying to get Kuechel or Thor and other top of the rotation type of arms. I wonder if a small market team would be better served to continue to try to develop top of the line starters with the farm system and concentrate on trading and signing quality starters not necessarily an ace. I would love to see a couple quality number three starters to go with what they already have. Then spend money on trying to get another high impact bat in the outfield and spend on some arms in the bullpen. I know other teams have started to use this trend and for small market team it seems to make sense. Diversify your money spend on several lights out pitchers in the pen and then get a stable of quality starting pitchers. I think this can be a win now approach for the Reds that need to get their fans back to the stadium and we can continue to try to develop that top line ace with Greene or Santillan. If in a year or two we have built a solid line up and we have some great arms in the pen, but we are having trouble getting over the edge that’s when we tap the farm system and try to bring in the Ace.