While there is certainly something to be said about it being a negotiating tactic, those out there hoping that the Cleveland Indians were going to be moving Francisco Lindor may have to find a corner to get bawl up in. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported had this earlier this afternoon.

This doesn’t say that they won’t deal him, of course. But it certainly suggests they are willing to wait until next year. Lindor would solve just about every problem that the Reds are looking to solve. He plays a position they are looking to upgrade, shortstop, and he’s an elite hitter who would fix their offensive woes.

With two years remaining on his contract before free agency, he would be an outstanding acquisition. He’s due about $17M this upcoming season in arbitration according to MLB Trade Rumors. That’s probably half of his true market value in dollars. Probably less considering you only have to commit two years to him and there’s just less risk involved there of a deal going sour.

Of course, paying Francisco Lindor is one reason why Cleveland feels like they need to move him. They are cheap and don’t want to do it. But they also want to move him, as a result of said being cheap, not being willing to re-sign him and instead wanting to try and trade one of the very best players alive for lesser players who won’t cost as much money. They are going for the quantity over quality plan – one that at times can work.

With how good Francisco Lindor is, the tweet from Heyman suggests you’d have to pay through the roof right now to get Cleveland’s attention. But that makes sense given how good he is – why wouldn’t you expect to have to give up big time players in return for Francisco Lindor?

Perhaps this is all just posturing by Cleveland’s front office to try and get a little more leverage in a deal. But even without the leaked information, I can’t imagine teams were expecting to offer a B-caliber prospect and take on the contract for Lindor and get the deal done, either.

Marcell Ozuna rumors

The Reds have been linked to having interest in Marcell Ozuna this offseason. Earlier this morning there were reports coming from multiple sources in the Dominican Republic that he was going to sign today with the Chicago White Sox. But this afternoon saw owner of the White Sox, Jerry Rainsdorf, make a statement that seems to debunk those rumors.

The whole “don’t recall any conversation about Marcell Ozuna” is certainly interesting. That’s more than just “we aren’t signing him today”.

Didi Gregorius updates

As mentioned above with Francisco Lindor, the Cincinnati Reds have reportedly been looking at upgrading the shortstop position. Didi Gregorius is the only shortstop on the free agent market that seems to be a starting caliber guy for a contending team. That is, of course, if you believe his 2019 season in which he was coming back from an injury was an outlier, and the few seasons before that were what you should expect going forward.

Jon Heyman is reporting that it seems like the former Yankee shortstop is going to get $14-15M a year and a multi-year deal. It seems, though, that he is speculating that would push the Reds out because they have Freddy Galvis. If you’re only looking at the 2019 season, then Freddy Galvis and Didi Gregorius are similar players.

But if you look beyond that, it’s clear that they haven’t been the same kind of guy in the past. Galvis has never once been a league average hitter, and only in 2019 with a juiced baseball, has he ever topped a .700 OPS. Gregorius has topped a .700 OPS five times in his career, including the last four seasons. And in both 2017 and 2018 he was an above-average hitter. In 2018 he posted a 124 OPS+, which means he was 24% better than the league average hitter. To put that into perspective, Mike Moustakas has never topped a 119 OPS+ and last year he was at 114 when he hit 35 home runs and 30 doubles.

Madison Bumgarner rumors

Joel Sherman of The New York Post is reporting that left-handed starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner is telling teams that if they want to sign him that it’s going to require a 5-year deal to get it done.

As we noted last week, the Reds were among the teams that were showing interest in the former World Series champion. MLB Trade Rumors predicted it would take a 4-year deal worth $72M to bring Bumgarner into the fold.

Could the Reds take any pitchers in the Rule 5 Draft?

One of the last things that happens at the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 Draft. The Reds currently are eligible to draft a player – the only eligibility requirement is that you have a spot open on the 40-man roster, and the Reds are sitting at 38 players as I type this. Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com I took a look at two interesting names that could be options for Cincinnati. And the two guys couldn’t be any more different.

Could the Reds look at a pitcher in the Rule 5 Draft?

The 3-batter minimum reliever rule is coming

Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that teams are now being told that the rule for how many batters a reliever must face before being replaced is coming.

This isn’t surprising. We heard that this was coming during the regular season in 2019. But it seems that it’s basically official now. Goodbye, sweet and precious LOOGY. You were useful while it lasted.

Reds outright R.J. Alaniz to Triple-A Louisville

In a strangely timed move, the Cincinnati Reds have outrighted reliever R.J. Alaniz to Triple-A, getting the 40-man roster down to 38 players. The timing here is what’s interesting, because there’s not really a reason that the move would have been made specifically when it was, unless there was a plan to use that spot on the roster. But since the roster already had an open spot, any theoretical plan would mean two additions to the 40-man roster.

43 Responses

  1. Scott C

    The news about Didi is a little disturbing, of course that is just Heyman speculating, but the idea that the Phillies who have proven they are willing to spend are interested is the issue.

    • MK

      Didi has a positive relationship with new Phillies’ Manager Joe Girardi from their days with the Yankees.

      • Redsoctober

        Why spend dollars on Didi when Galvis did just as well, and the prime needs of the Reds are elsewhere: Pitching and outfield hitting at the Center position.

      • asinghoff99

        Because a healthy Didi has a much higher ceiling and floor than Freddy Galvis. Gregorius has 4 seasons with an OPS+ higher than the highest OPS+ of Galvis’ entire career. All a moot point since he’s taking the 1 year deal to prove that he’s healthy.

    • George Stricker

      Girardi Didi connection isn’t obsticle

  2. Tom T

    The question in regards to Didi is, does the Reds have something in mind via trade or next year? I ask because, if they do, I can understand the hesitation in giving long term deal, but the Reds have no one in minors ready for at least two to three years! Sign the man and move on, yes his numbers were the same as Glavin’s basically, but his history show a much much better bet and good defense. I believe you will see a better healthier Didi this next year.

    • Doug Gray

      Jose Garcia should begin next season in Double-A. At that point you never really know how far away someone is.

      • Tom t

        True sir,
        Since you gave me that name , I looked over the top 30 prospects, and yes, Reds have a couple of prospects, but honestly Mr. Grey these guys are not world beaters, all three are rated 45 at best with both prospects idea outcomes are league average at best. Heck I think I would be thinking of either signing Didi to 4 years, or go find a SS that we would be happy with for 4 years in a trade, if the FO is thinking through our minor league we will get our future SS they need to rethink that.

      • MK

        Garcia was the 2019 Minor League Hitter of the Year and is a physical specimen. Don’t overlook him. I am also looking forward to the continued offensive progress of Alfredo Rodriguez to see if he can add a little pop to his improved contact.

  3. BK

    The Alaniz outright is intriguing. The Reds have a lot of outfielders currently on the 40-man roster, so dropping a pitcher is interesting. Hopefully, good news to follow!

    • Sean Lahman

      Including Scott Schebler, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why the team protected him. Is there any possible scenario in which he ends up back with the Reds?

  4. AirborneJayJay

    Opening up a 40 man spot now is curious, no doubt. Rule 5 on Thursday maybe? A trade involving prospects not yet on the 40 man roster for a major leaguer? A free agent signing needing that 40 man spot?
    This looks like more of a move that is getting the ducks lined up first for something bigger. We shall see.

  5. Hotto4Votto

    We would have had to give up a lot of guys I’d rather see the Reds not give up to get Lindor, so I’m not super bummed. He, more so than Betts, makes sense for the Reds at this time. Still, you know that at least two of Lodolo, Greene, Stephenson, Santillan were likely needed just to get the conversation rolling.

    I wish the White Sox were signing Ozuna so it would take him off the board for the Reds. Didi seems like a good fit, even at the $14-15m AAV. There’s some risk he doesn’t bounce back, but he’s still relatively youthful and plays well on the defensive side, so a decent floor. I would be very concerned going 5 years for Bumgarner. For whatever reason, probably just gut feeling, I don’t see him as someone I expect to hold up well.

    I hope the Alaniz signing signifies something is in the works. Otherwise, very weird timing. I would have rather seen him DFA’d instead of Herget, but water under the bridge at this point.

  6. Hotto4Votto

    Also saw that the Brewers re-signed Alex Claudio. Reportedly for $1.75m. That’s the one reliever I identified that I had hoped the Reds would target after his non-tender. Can’t beat the price for his production. Wish DJ would have got on the phone to his former pitcher and asked him to consider coming down to Cincy. Oh well.

  7. 44Reds

    Slightly off topic, but Ozuna played Centerfield for several years and as recently as 2017. Is there any chance that he could still pass as a centerfielder? I realize that would would need to find a spot for Nick…

    • Redsoctober

      Now that is interesting, because most teams have a big bat at Center. and Reds do not!

  8. Wes

    Good news for reds Bumgarner wants to be overpaid ! Give him what he wants. He’ll be worth every cent

    • Colorado Red

      See his ERA on the Road?
      No thank you

      • Joey

        I agree with Colorado Red. Bumgarner with GABP as his home field is not the same guy at all.

      • Redsoctober

        Agree. GABP makes difference. If the Reds wanted to spend for a pitcher, they should have outbid the Phillies…not for this guy.

  9. Parker

    Any thoughts on trading for Carlos Correa of the Astros?

  10. MBS

    I still go back to my old trade prop (I know won’t happen). Suarez for Lindor, Sign Rendon, and win baby, win.

    • VaRedsFan

      I threw that out at the end of the season. I would love to see it.

  11. Kevin Patrick

    All right… for the worlds most unpopular opinion…I suggest using those two open slots for Tanner Roark and Alex Wood on two year deals each. Not only would it be a tremendous demonstration of loyalty, it would really help fill any gaps in the rotation or pen due to injury. If one could trade for Lindor and his 2 years of service time for 2
    most excellent prospects and 2 good prospects and no money… or Lindor for 1 most excellent prospect 2 good prospects AND Galvis… and just wouldn’t know how to say no. I’m no talent evaluation expert… so I don’t know what we really have. I just don’t know that we have anything that would be worth 2 years of Lindor right now that I wouldn’t mind paying.

    • CP

      I would rather it go to one pitcher and one position player. I think the offense still needs a little more of a boost/protection if the young OF don’t develop as needed. Senzel, Winker, Aquino have lots of promise, but not lots of production on the back of the baseball card yet.

      Ryu or Kuechel on a 2-3 year deal
      Didi on a 4 year deal around the same as for Moose. Spring for more if needed.

      This provides depth/protection for both the offense and rotation. Only thing left is to go get a couple RP’s to shore up the bullpen!!

      Rotation: Gray, Castillo, Bauer, Kuechel, Disco (Mahle ready for depth)

      Line-up:

      Winker- LF
      Senzel- CF
      Votto- 1B
      Suarez- 3B
      Moose- 2B
      Aquino- RF
      Didi- SS
      Barnhart- C

      Arguably the best rotation and a top 5 line-up on paper. If any or multiple of the young guys in the OF take the next step forward, they could be even better!

      • JoshG

        i like those moves.
        I’d also be fine with .. signing Keuchel (or Ryu if his price isn’t totally crazy) and Brock Holt to play a lot all around the infield and maybe even outfield

    • Colorado Red

      The Indians are going to want a lot more the 1 top prospect for Lindor.

  12. JB

    To many prospects for Lindor. I would like to see if they can get Seager from LA though. Please no to Ozuna. Would like to see Kuechel as 5th guy.

    • JB

      Nats have about 600 million wrapped up in their pitching. Cant see them signed Rendon now. I wonder if they would trade Turner now?

    • Colorado Red

      No the Seager, LA trades to NOT work out.
      I agree, no to Ozuna.
      Story is going to be impossible to get.

  13. Redsvol

    lots of teams have $ to spend and very few good free agents to spend it on. Dodgers and Angels are going to be very active. I think I’ll be pleased with Dickerson, Keuchel and Iglesias to play back-up. Bumgarner, Didi, and other top tier buys are gonna get paid. Reds were wise to get Moustakas before the winter meetings.

  14. MichaelA

    For the life of me I cannot figure out why every day I see at least one trade proposal that includes Suarez. He is a middle of the order masher, plays a very solid 3B, is entering the prime of his career, and is signed to a ridiculously team friendly contract. Unless it is a deal for Mike Trout, trading Suarez only hurts the Reds.

    • gusnwally

      Well said Mike, I don’t get it either.

      • TR

        It hurts the Reds depending on what you get for Suarez. Trading high is usually better than trading low.

    • MichaelA

      Of course it depends on what you get. That said, what you are giving up is a very precious commodity. Trading Suarez for Lindor only makes the Reds marginally better. Having both makes the Reds much better. Better to trade from unproven prospects or from a position of relative strength than proven cost controlled MLB talent.

      • VaRedsFan

        Basically, because Rendon is better than Geno, both at the plate and in the field (by a mile). What is a better combination? Rendon/Lindor or Suarez/Galvis?

        Geno gets the nod on the financial end, because his contract is better (by a mile) than what Rendon will be getting.

      • doofus

        Suarez is a “very precious commodity?” Are you Eugenio’s mother?

    • doofus

      WAS, ATL, NYM, PHI, TEX, MIL are out front looking for a third baseman. TB, MIN, CHW, LAD, LAA, KC, AZ could be looking for an upgrade. There are only a few FA third basemen on the market.

      Uh, the last time I looked the Reds have a surplus of third basemen. Usually, you trade when demand and supply meet.

      How does trading Suarez hurt the Reds when you do not know what may come back to the Reds in return? It could be another Joe Morgan – Lee May deal.

      • MichaelA

        doofus-Your moniker is all anyone needs to know. Moving on….

  15. Magnum 44

    As hot as this 3rd baseman off-season is you have to ask yourself is this the time to offer Suarez……. I. E. Dodgers or Nats I know Lux and Pederson or Robles and Kiebloom would look good in Red…..