The Winter Meetings continue today in wonderful San Diego, California and the rumors continue to come out. Jon Morosi of MLB Network is reporting that the Cincinnati Reds are among several teams that are interested in free agent outfielder Kole Calhoun.

The 32-year-old Kole Calhoun hit .232/.325/.467 last season for the Los Angeles Angels. In his 632 plate appearances he hit 29 doubles, a triple, and had 33 home runs. But he also struck out 162 times with 70 walks. After back-to-back below-average years in 2017 and 2018 (OPS+ of 96 and 79), he jumped back to an OPS+ of 108 last season.

He’s played his entire career with the Angels. 2019 was only the second time he’s topped 19 home runs, with the other time being back in 2015. His time has been spent in a large ballpark in a division with other large ballparks, so you should do some mental adjustment on his numbers. He’s been a much better hitter on the road than on the road, with a 40 point OPS advantage.

As a left-handed hitter he’s also shown some platoon advantage against right-handed pitchers for his career. Last season was an even bigger split, where he had an .816 OPS against righties and a .736 OPS against lefties. He’s spent most of his career in right field, with less than 10 career games at first base, in left, or in center.

Reds also showing interest in reliever Craig Stammen

Jon Morosi is on top of the Reds rumors. Last night he reported that they were among the teams checking in on Craig Stammen.

Since 2011 began, Craig Stammen has been a well above-average reliever in the Major Leagues. He worked as a starter in both 2009 and 2010, but since moving full time into the bullpen he’s posted a 2.93 ERA in 498.1 innings across 384 appearances. Last season he posted a 3.29 ERA for the San Diego Padres, walking just 15 batters in 82.0 innings. The complete lack of walks is the big selling point for Stammen, who has walked just 32 batters – and five of those were intentional – out of the 656 hitters he’s faced in the last two season (that’s 4.9%).

The Reds to extend protective netting

Major League Baseball as a whole is implementing guidelines for protective netting down the lines for the 2020 season. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports that the Cincinnati Reds won’t extend the netting to the foul poles like many teams are doing.

Photo of Kole Calhoun by Keith Allison and was edited. The license can be found here.

40 Responses

    • TBD

      Looks more like Ken Rosenthal, with that bow tie.

      Airborne, kudos for getting me to look, with your clickbait.

    • Redsvol

      this made me giggle like a school girl. Thanks for the laugh Airborne!

  1. Sliotar

    Kole Calhoun feels like exactly the type of guy the Brewers will sign…and he would go on and have a productive 2020 for them.

    Calhoun might do well driving the ball to RF to GABP… but, he’s projected at 99 wRC+ and 1.4 WAR in 2020, his age 33 season.

    Feels better, IMO, to keep exploring what you have in Winker (and/or Ervin platoon) and Aquino…younger, more upside, cost-controlled.

    But…perhaps there is a whiff of panic with Reds front office, that they haven’t been able to #GetTheHitting and spend on money on the guys they wanted.

    Interesting times, as traditionally most of the players in demand like to have their deals done before the start of the new year.

  2. Sliotar

    Stammen doesn’t walk guys….but, had a nasty HR-allowed problem in 2019, blew a few late-inning situations.

    Maybe a Derek Johnson-type of project for improvement.

    Adding proven late-inning, getting last outs guys still feels like a need, IMO.
    Not a fan of Iglesias breaking JJ Hoover’s record in 2019 for blown saves.

    • Wes

      Iglesias was throwing a 100 mph in September. He’ll bounce back this season

    • TBD

      Ouch, the infamy of breaking a JJ Hoover record

  3. BK

    Stammen would be a nice pick-up. Add Calhoun to a list of players to watch along with Akiyama, and Thames that could add depth to our outfield. Ozuna and Castellanos are too expensive for the marginal potential upgrades they would be expected to contribute. Dickerson is a good mix of upgrade and value. I just see our outfield as one that could really come on in 2020. A good lefthanded hitting 4th outfielder would be the ideal investment.

  4. Colorado Red

    might make sense for RF, give AA a bit more time to develop.
    1 or 2 years at the most

  5. Wes

    Just keep it real- Calhoun got on the juice last season for his contract year. Not blaming him for doing so but it’s clearly obvious when a guy outside of his prime hits for new all time power by a wide margin- juiced ball or not. A la Bret Gardner.

    • Steve

      Rather than “keep it real” lets not accuse someone of taking banned substances when you have absolutely no proof or evidence thereof. Additionally, he had a previous season of 26 home runs, so 33 certainly isn’t out of his realm.

    • Corky Miller

      That’s a stupid comment – just keeping it real!

    • Wes

      It came out Tyler Skaggs had a history of drug abuse before his overdose yet never failed a drug test for mlb. That’s bc it’s common knowledge there’s ways around the test if u want to run the gauntlet.

      Enter in the potential to make more additional money than the average American makes ina lifetime. Then enter in human nature. And if none of that makes sense to you, well, you have a hard time keeping it real then

      • greenmtred

        It’s incontestable that it’s possible to cheat, but accusing a particular player of cheating without offering specific proof is another matter, Was Suarez juiced? Most of us believe it was the ball.

      • Wes

        theres decades of proof and several players get suspended every year. The sport is riddled with cheaters and it always has been and always will be. Blindly giving these men the benefit of the doubt when what’s at stake is naive.

        Odds of Suarez or any player in Major League Baseball has to be over 30%. Odds Gardner and Calhoun are using performance enhancing drugs is over 99 percent

  6. Ed

    Doug, just a heads up re: a typo- second to last paragraph about Calhoun says:

    “He’s been a much better hitter on the road than on the road, with a 40 point OPS advantage”

    Thanks for all your work!

  7. Mikey

    Stammen is from Dayton area and grew up a huge Reds fan, its his dream to play for this team. Reds need to find a way to bring him on board. Still very effective reliever

    • TR

      And Calhoun was born and raised in Buckeye, Ariz., so he probably has Ohio connections in his background.

  8. Gregmlb

    What a disappointing offseason. Didi and Grandal were the 2 players they should’ve targeted and not worry about the money they spent. But now they’re stuck with the likes of Calhoun. The promises of spending money, but spend it on crap. If you plan on spending money, spend it and don’t settle for something less than what you need. They’re not willing to spend real money. Here we are and really the only 2 players that can help the team are gone. Might as well as stick that money in Bobs pockets because they really aren’t serious about winning. Front office really doesn’t have good plan.

    • Colorado Red

      Lots of yapping from the Reds FO.
      Very little good action. (Mouse was an ok signing, but does not move the needle).
      Another long year in site.

    • RedsFan11

      Well said sir. As I’ve been saying going into 2020 with a lot of “hope” on the outfield and a black hole at shortstop. Not to mention the continual unknown of JDV. Have to get at least one more bat somehow someway

    • Michael

      Pack in the season. Throw in the towel. There are no other players out there that can help this team win. If you don’t think Moose can help this team you are crazy.

      They can’t make players sign with the Reds. Didi wanted to play for Girardi again. Maybe Grandal just likes Chicago better as a city or wanted to be a DH in 3 years to save his knees. The sky is not falling on this team because they did not sign Didi or Yasmani. It just isn’t.

    • TomT

      Well to say you was disappointed, I understand. To say that the front office does not know what they are doing is so wrong on this. Under your premise, the Reds should have spent what? Didi was not interested in coming here, they as much as admitted that they had a same or more money, for what ever his reasoning is, Didi did not want to come back. Should we have gave him 20mil a year to be here? Cause the man Does not want to play here. Ok, unless the Grandal could have been signed for a reasonable amount, again did he even want to be here? He did not, and he showed it. Just because “we” didn’t sign him/them does not mean they did not try. Same with Wheeler, seriously? Would have loved to have him, but at what price? Was it a bidding war for a number2-3 pitcher? Now if you could tell me you was in every one of those negotiations, by God I’ll listen to you.

  9. Bob Purkey

    Calhoun??? Yep, just what the Reds need, , ,another guy that strikes out 150+ times.

    For God’s sake, get somebody who can put the bat on the ball.

    • earmbrister

      The Reds need someone to back up Aquino in RF. Ozuna has a noodle for an arm: not a good fit. Castellanos is also not a RFr. Aquino is the BIGGEST question mark on this team. He may be a star, he may be merely average, or he may be a bust. Getting an average ish RF as a Plan B is just sound thinking.

  10. Redsvol

    I feel like the Reds didn’t need to be so outspoken about their willingness to spend $. They might have been able to sneak up on more of these free agents rather than use a loudspeaker that they were willing to spend $ this off-season. Who knows. Just disappointed they haven’t landed anyone else. We need 2-3 more significant upgrade additions to make 2020 exciting – not Kole Calhoun and Craig Stamen.

    Go get Dickerson or Shogo, and Madbum. Lets do this!

  11. centerfield

    Rendon reportedly signed for $245/7yr.with the Angles.

    • David

      Gee, where will he play? I thought Zach Cozart was going to play 3rd base for the Angels?

      The Angels seem to have the innate ability to overpay for free agents and then get payroll-burned by them. Too bad for Rendon; he will probably have some bad-injury years coming up with the Angels.

  12. Mark

    Get the hitting is a failure so far compared to get the pitching last year. This is pretty rediculous so far As they said…..oh we have tons of money……….we can get another 2 guys similar to what moose signed for I believe DW said. It feels like ok we want these free agent guys but we don’t know what to do or have a plan on what to do with tucker Freddy Winker Ervin and Senzel if we “get the hitting”

    • TR

      I agree with a previous commenter that it would have been better to have the money and not say much about it, and let the FO do their thing to strengthen the offense. Unfortunately, at present, I see Marcell Ozuna as the offensive addition.

  13. Hotto4Votto

    When Kalhoun was non tendered I had mentioned at the time he’d be an interesting platoon partner in RF who brings good defense from that spot. Later I looked up Aquino’s splits and realized that, last season at least, he didn’t have much of a split happening with the Reds.
    Since then though the Reds have lost out on their top FA targets and I’m not sure Kalhoun is enough of a difference maker. The Reds probably need Castellanos if they want to really move the needle in the OF.

  14. Jim t

    I have know issue going into the season as the roster sits today. We will contend for a division crown as we presently sit.
    I think the reds are a year away from sorting things out farther. In the minors we have Siri at AAA this year along with Tyler Stephenson. Garcia will be in AA. If two of these three fulfill their promise we will be in very good shape offensively going forward.

    In the pitching department having Greene healthy and a full year of Lodolo pitching well will be huge for the organization.

    At the ML level the out field will sort itself out. Ervin, Winker and Senzel are entering the time when it’s fish or cut bait. Add in AA and you have lots of potential but minimal results. Time to see what we have. There has been flashes by all but who steps up and shows consistency is the key.

    I’m expecting a very exciting season. We will contend and get back above 500. Tracking some very high ceiling players in the minors will be interesting as well. Can’t wait for ST.

  15. Jonathan Linn

    Hi everyone. I feel like Redleg Nation has turned into a bunch of cynical people who criticize the FO that whatever they do isnt enough and wont ever been a good enough. Really?

    We all need a perspective change….take a step back and look at the landscape again. Would we all want the FO to spend $350 million on Cole??

    • Seat101

      Well said. I find that many of the posters almost consciously refuse to bring some objectivity to their posts.
      Feelings are not facts.
      My biggest problem with the front office of the REDS is that they don’t Think include me in their discussions to explain why they do and don’t do certain things.

      Taking a less selfish view, I find it hard to take people seriously I won’t acknowledge that the Cincinnati Reds front office is doing things much differently than they did two years ago and before. Much of what they’ve done in terms of the minor leagues has yet to come to fruition. Even if no big moves are not a made between now and Opening Day I still trust that things are better from top to bottom than we could know.

    • Bill J

      I think what some are saying is the GO shouldn’t come out saying we have a lot of money to spend and what some think over spend on Moose, now everyone FA they talk to should get a lot more than they were predicted to.

    • VaRedsFan

      Nobody was realistically saying they should have signed Cole for 350 million. What we were saying, and everybody knew this, is that they needed upgrades at catcher, SS, or OF.

      There was a path to an affordable catcher (Grandal) and SS (Gregorious).
      Maybe the future holds a trade for an asset like this, so the jury is still out on that.

      If you think that adding 1 piece (Moustakis) to what they had last year, is going to move the needle to greatness, then you aren’t aiming high enough, and are OK with mediocrity.

  16. TomT

    Why is it everyone thinks they could have signed Grandal and Didi? Did they ask them? Cause from what I have read throughout several sites is both did not prefer to be here, do you want to overpay two very important “cogs” in your line up that does not want to play here or be here? Cause we “wanted” them here? I for one do Not!