I had fun last night chatting with a friend of mine who does not follow the Cincinnati Reds. She kept asking me what the big deal was this offseason. Of course to many that do not follow Reds news like I do, they don’t know about all of the moves that the Reds and General Manager Walt Jocketty have made this offseason. To Reds fans though, (especially those going to see the 2012 Reds Caravan right now) know exactly what transactions have been made and are very excited about the team and although not all of us see the Reds winning National League Central, everyone must admit, the team sure looks way better now, then it did at the end of the 2011 season.
There are always going to be those fans that say, I will believe it when I see it. And of course there are the fans that still think the Reds should magically increase their payroll so then they can sign better players, then magically release some players that are not doing well. (I love listening to some of these fans sometimes, it is quite funny.) I, like many other Reds fans, was excited about the 2012 season when Walt Jocketty pulled the trigger and made the first trade for Mat Latos this offseason. That move showed me that this year was not going to be like the others. So, here is a list of all the players that the Reds have traded for, signed or invited to spring training this year.
Players traded to Cincinnati Reds.
From Team Mat Latos SDP Sean Marshall CHC Wilson Valdez PHI
Players signed to Cincinnati Reds.
From Team Corky Miller CIN Chad Reineke CIN Sean Gallagher PIT Luis Atilano WSN Kanekoa Texeira NYY Brian Esposito HOU Andrew Brackman NYY Clay Zavada ARI Ryan Madson PHI Willie Harris NYM
Players invited to Cincinnati Reds Spring Training with Minor League contracts.
Jeff Francis Tucker Barnhart Tim Gustafson Sean Gallagher Ron Mahay Rafael Vera Nick Christiani Kenekoa Tazeira Josh Judy John Holdzkom Jean Duque Donnie Joseph Daryl Jones Daniel Corcino Corky Miller Clayton Tanner Clay Zavada Chad Reineke Brian Esposito Andrew Brackman Ryne Reynoso Joel Guzman
Not sure if this list has everyone that has been invited but it is pretty close so far. Let me know if I am missing anyone.
In the past few days there have been more moves by Cincinnati Reds and it is hard to believe Walt Jocketty when he says he is finally done. It feels like the man has done more transactions this offseason then he has in the last five seasons combined. First, they made a trade with Philadelphia Phillies for 2B/SS Wilson Valdez for LHP Jeremy Horst. They signed Nick Masset to a two-year contract to avoid arbitration and they signed LHP Jeff Francis to a minor league deal to add more pitching depth. They also signed RHP Ryne Reynoso, INF Joel Guzman and before that, they signed utility player Willie Harris and are still waiting for the official signing of OF Ryan Ludwick. Let us not forget signing Ryan Madson and trading for Sean Marshall and Mat Latos and other minor league and spring training invites to players that will help bring competition to some of the younger guys. [Source – MLB.com]
This offseason has to go down as the most exciting one I have ever experienced as a Reds fan. (Close to 20 years) No matter the outcome right now I have to say Walt Jocketty has really done a great job on finding players that will help the team win in 2012. With a tight budget he had to be very clever in who he traded for and signed but after all the smoke clears I think he got the best players for what he had available. With upgrades in the starting rotation, bullpen and as closer along with a solid bench upgrade the team is looking great for spring training which is just around the corner.
Prince Fielder and Francisco Cordero both found new teams today. Fielder went to Detroit Tigers in a huge deal and Cordero signed a one year deal with Toronto Blue Jays. These are big moves that will help the Reds in 2012. First off, the Reds will not have to worry about facing either one of these players in 2012. (I think the Reds will face the Tigers sometime in the season but that is only 3 games.)
Rumors are still flying high with Roy Oswalt being at the top of the list, along with Ryan Theriot and Jeff Francis. If Walt Jocketty was to sign someone like Roy Oswalt to a one year deal it would prove that they are really in it to win it this season. Most people don’t think Oswalt has much left in his tank but I think staying in the National League is a very smart move for him and it could really help both the Reds and himself for better deals in 2013. If Walt could pull off a one year deal that would not financially hurt the team he would be a lock for General Manager of the year in my books. He is already pretty close to winning it with the moves he has done this offseason.
The biggest question I have right now is, if Oswalt really wants to stay in the National League will he maybe give a discount to a team looking for another starter? And could that team be St. Louis Cardinals or another team in National League Central? I wonder if Oswalt’s agent contacted all National League teams or were the Reds the only one? I would like to think the Reds were the only ones but we all know that would not be true.
There are a lot of people who think if the Reds did sign him there would be to many starters on the Reds then. I would just like to remind those people of last season and what happened to the Reds with their starters. It is always nice to have more options just in case. I am sure that Walt is not really looking to far into getting Oswalt though but I do believe that there will be one or maybe two more pitchers signed to minor league deals before spring training comes.
A new week is here and Reds fans wait for the official signing of Ryan Ludwick and word on who else will join the team. General Manager, Walt Jocketty said last week that they would be looking for a SS / INF through trade and maybe adding some more depth to the starting rotation through free agency and this all should be taking shape this week. There are still a lot of great free agents on the market looking for teams and after seeing Walt sign Ryan Madson to a one year deal I am curious to what he will do next. Jeff Francis and Ryan Theriot have been rumored to be on the Reds radar right now and no one really knows what teams Walt is talking to in order to trade for INF depth.
Cincinnati Reds are not done shopping this offseason. Walt Jocketty has told reporters that he is looking to trade for a SS / INF and they are looking into trying to get LHP Jeff Francis to add some more depth. [Source – Mark Sheldon]
I read that the Reds are looking to maybe getting Francis signed to a minor league deal which in my mind would be great, but there are a few other teams looking into trying to sign him so I am not sure if a deal will get done. Jeff Francis would be better off coming back to the National League though since he did not have to good of a season for Kansas City Royals in 2011. There are some people who think Francis would not be a good option because of Great American Ball Park but if they do sign him to a minor league deal I really don’t see it as being a big issue since it will give the team more options. It would be another low risk high returns kind of deal which has been paying off for Walt Jocketty this offseason so far.
There have been a few people interested in the SS / INF trade talk and I have to be very honest, I am just as stumped as you are to who they will go after and who they will give up to get a backup utility infielder. I have some guesses but so far I have been way off when trying to guess what Walt will do. I thought maybe Carlos Fisher or Jose Arredondo would be traded for what they need but like I said before, I have not been too good at guessing this offseason.