Reds Rumors: Winter Meetings – Monday edition Doug Gray December 10, 2018 41 Comments The Winter Meetings have started and today is officially the first day. The Cincinnati Reds are already dealing with rumors left and right. They’ve been linked to, rumored to be talking with, checking in on both free agents and non-free agents alike. And big names at that – in a departure from their normal operating procedure. Earlier this morning Ken Rosenthal reported that the Cincinnati Reds were trying to move second baseman Scooter Gennett. Latest notes: #Angels a sleeper team on pitching; Harper to #STLCards still looking unlikely; #Reds trying to move Scooter; more. https://t.co/IFtE9OHBiN $ — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2018 That’s not the most surprising thing you’ll see written today. The Reds have reportedly been thinking about moving Scooter Gennett for the last year-and-a-half if the rumors are to be believed in that time. Toss in that he’s going to get a raise to about $11M for 2019, and that Nick Senzel also plays his position, and for the Reds, it makes sense to seriously explore seeing what you could get. Opening a spot for Senzel, saving $10.5M on payroll for 2019 to spend elsewhere, and acquiring talent in return for Gennett could go a long way to improving the club – even if it meant moving an All-Star caliber player. But not so fast my friends. About two hours later Mark Sheldon reported that the Reds aren’t actively trying to move Scooter Gennett. Source: #reds not actively looking to trade Scooter Gennett. Refutes an early report today from the Winter Meetings — Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) December 10, 2018 Who should we believe in situations like this? Well, the answer is both. Sort of. Sheldon and Rosenthal were both told their information from sources worth believing. The Reds aren’t going to likely come out and say “we want to move this guy”. That just tells other teams to low-ball you because they know you want to get rid of someone. Teams, and agents, use the media to get the information out there that they want. If I had to guess, the Reds are trying to move Scooter Gennett and Ken Rosenthal caught wind of that. But Mark Sheldon talked with the club and they told him they aren’t making calls to try and trade him to give the appearance that it’s not something they are giving up value in negotiations that could be happening now or in the near-term future. The Scooter Gennett news, or non-news, isn’t the only thing being talked about on Monday. Jon Heyman has reported once again that the Cincinnati Reds are one of the “prime teams on Dallas Keuchel”. Braves, Reds and the Phillies are three prime teams on Keuchel. But what if Yankees lose out on Happ. Might they pounce? — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2018 This, too, isn’t surprising. We’ve been hearing this for a few weeks now. But as I’ve written before, it’s good to hear because at no other point in the history of the Cincinnati Reds would they have even been linked via a rumor to a free agent looking at a deal at the top end of the free agent market. And while it’s no longer Reds news, Billy Hamilton will not be returning to Cincinnati. At least for 2019. He signed a 1-year deal with the Kansas City Royals for $5.25M that includes incentives for up to $1M on top of that. He was non-tendered by the Reds for 2019 with the expectation that he would get about $7M in arbitration. Update: 5:50pm All of the talk earlier revolved around Scooter Gennett. This afternoon, at least in Las Vegas, the talk is that the Reds aren’t likely to move him. Jon Heyman is reporting that the team gauged the interest in their second baseman, but that the timing doesn’t seem to be great for the Reds to move him. Reds have gauged interest in Scooter Gennett. However a 2B market that’s flush with 2B may mean the timing isn’t great. — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2018 This could be another leak to the media to try and work the market. But there is probably some truth here. There are plenty of second base options on the market right now. And while most of them aren’t as good as Scooter Gennett is, they don’t require trading players and paying $11M for. Update: 6:30pm Jon Heyman seems to be getting information that’s a bit all over the place. 40 minutes after tweeting that the market doesn’t seem good for the Reds in moving Scooter Gennett, he noted that the Reds talked to the Yankees about possibly dealing him there. Heard Yankees, Reds had a little talk on Scooter Gennett. Not sure how much there is to it. NYY does need a middle infielder. Machado, Marwin, Harrison others on their radar. — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2018 41 Responses Michael P December 10, 2018 Good luck Billy! A change of scenery and different hitting coach may tap into a little more offensive production. I wish the Reds would have gotten something from him at the deadline but that’s old news now. As far as trades, I would look to move Scooter for a middle rotation starter (May take Scooter and a prospect). Also, move Iggy for a 1/2 starter. Pick up an CF for the year until talent pipleline is ready. Sign Happ for Rotation. Keep Top 5/6 prospects for 2020. Mark December 10, 2018 I would be ok with Gennett traded if possible to Yankee’s for Sonny Gray. Put Senzel as your Starting 2B from day one if he proves it in Spring Training. I would think you could target Adam Jones for CF for at least 2 year deal, maybe 3….as you can slide him to LF or RF after year 1 if Schebler doesn’t work out this year…..I think Winker is the better hit of the 2….and or until Trammel or Siri prove they are deserving and able to advance to MLB CF status. Sign Happ or Kuechel. Josh Harrison want to finish his career in Cincinnati? Super sub at all IF positions and corner OF? If not Harrison or Jones, maybe Marwin Gonzalez? In looking at the pitching at MLB or AAAA level we almost have too many “bodies” and a few have some value to other teams I would guess as a throw in on a trade if we went the trade route for a pitcher with Cleveland for instance. Wow it might get crazy soon!!! Also, is there a Pitcher this year in the Draft that is highly rated that Reds might be able to Draft and Essentially be along the lines of Hunter Greene pitching ability if they dangle him in a trade due to “fear” of the UCL tear that might happen if it means you get one of the Cleveland Pitchers or THOR for instance?? Stock December 10, 2018 No one will be available along the lines of Greene at #7. In fact, there is a good chance that no one will be available at any point in any draft the next 10 years that have Greene’s ceiling. Stock December 10, 2018 I think it fits the narrative that they trade Gennett. A lot of Pollack talk. A lot of Keuchel talk. A lot of talk about picking up a quality BP arm. Keuchel ($20 Million) + Pollack ($15 Million) + BP arm ($10 Million) = $45 Million so from my perspective they need to shed $10 million somewhere. Gennett is the only logical place. Jon Ryker December 10, 2018 Keep Gennett. Put him in LF. As much as outs are important to get in a big ballpark like Kansas City, they are more important to get in a small park like GABP. They should not be stupid enough to significantly hurt the CF defense with what they’re planning. Oldtimer December 10, 2018 I’ve been to several MLB games in KC. Good landing spot for Hamilton. Oldtimer December 10, 2018 (Clipped from Passan twitter) … CF Billy Hamilton and the Royals are finalizing a one-year, $5M+ deal, sources tell Yahoo Sports. With Hamilton, Alex Gordon and Brett Phillips, Royals will have the best defensive outfield in baseball, alongside the Andrew Benintendi-Jackie Bradley-Mookie Betts crew in Boston … jon December 10, 2018 Scooter has no arm for 2nd base and you want him in LF? Oldtimer December 10, 2018 In 1962 the Reds had an experienced capable 2B in Don Blasingame. In 1963 the Reds had a promising rookie 2B who could replace him in lineup. The Reds traded The Blazer during 1963 season as a result. Got little in return for him. Gennett and Senzel may be a reasonable comparison. B-town Fan December 10, 2018 Man that is really surprising how much Hamilton got, wow 5.25 mil. I can’t imagine KC not giving him a lot of regular playing time for that much. I figured he get in the 1 to 2 mil range at most. redlegs4ever December 10, 2018 Yea the fact that the Royals were willing to guarantee him 5.25 Mil+ but nobody was willing to trade a lottery ticket to get him at 6-7 Mil NOT guaranteed makes me think the Reds didn’t try too hard to trade him… Colt Holt December 10, 2018 Struggling with this logic. If the royals were willing to give less than projected for him at no prospect cost and he signed for that, it means nobody was going to be willing to give him six million plus a prospect. If someone gave him ten million, I get it. Given the fact pattern, I struggle to see the concern. redlegs4ever December 11, 2018 Arbitration salaries are not guaranteed, the Royals coulda walked away from the Billy deal had they acquired him at any time and only owed the first 30 days pay plus any additional days he was on the roster. And the Reds were not gonna receive an actual prospect in a trade, we’re talking about some 21 year old kid that’s still in the Dominican League but that throws hard. If the Royals were willing to guarantee him 5 Mil on December 10th, it means they really wanted him, and clearly woulda traded for him to guarantee they got him… Bubba Woo December 10, 2018 What a mess! As bad a hitter as Hamilton is, why not keep him one more year, when hopefully Trammell is ready to take the reins. The option are now A. Play your top prospect, who has yet to face MLB pitching and has had two bouts of vertigo, in CF, or B. Play Philip Ervin in CF, who like Hamilton cannot hit, but is also not nearly the fielder that Hamilton is. Doug Gray December 10, 2018 Free agency exists. Also, Philip Ervin is a much, much better hitter than Billy Hamilton is. Shawn December 10, 2018 Don’t forget Freidl! He could use more time to develop but would be an upgrade of Hamilton tomorrow Doug Gray December 10, 2018 I don’t know that he would be an upgrade tomorrow. Better hitter? Probably. But the defense and baserunning would be big steps back (this is more about how good Hamilton was at these things). Oldtimer December 10, 2018 Numbers are similar (edge to Ervin) but Ervin has more power. Hamilton much better defensively and on base paths. Doug Gray December 10, 2018 Ervin’s got a 94 OPS+ for his career. Billy Hamilton’s BEST year was 81 back in 2014. He has been at 55, 77, 66 and 68 the last four years. Ervin’s last two years have been 33% better when it comes to hitting, than Billy Hamilton. The numbers aren’t similar. They aren’t remotely close. The baserunning is actually closer than you would think. Hamilton’s elite here. Always has been. Last year his BsR (baserunning) stat at Fangraphs was 8.4. That’s a very big number. Ervin’s was at 2.4. Not nearly in the same category as Hamilton. Bue if you give them the same playing time, that would put Ervin’s on pace for 5.4. That’s still pretty far off of Hamilton, who again, is elite, but 5.4 would have placed someone 15th best in all of baseball. Defensively…. well, yeah, Hamilton’s on an entirely different kind of level. B-town Fan December 10, 2018 I guess the other thing to take into account is KC being an American league team it’s easier to hide Hamilton and his one easy out in the lineup to get that elite defense in a big park. As opposed to the Reds who had him and the pitcher, as two easy outs, to try to hide. That left quite the hole in the lineup. Oldtimer December 10, 2018 I like using the 162 game average numbers from Baseball Reference. Hamilton has .245 BA .298 OBP .631 OPS 70 OPS+ and 86 R. Ervin has .254 BA .323 OBP .736 OPS 94 OPS+ and 53 R. Similar. Edge to Ervin. More power. Hamilton better at scoring R. Fortunately baseball still awards the W to team with most R. Doug Gray December 10, 2018 24 points of OPS+ is not similar. 100 points of OPS is not similar. It’s night and day different. DHud December 11, 2018 Because there are better players available? Simon Cowell December 10, 2018 It isnt just the the teams that play spindoctor with the press. Agents blow more smoke on trades than teams do. Teams typically li,e to keep their dealings low. Rosenthal in particular always makes posts in favor of players getting more money….. in other words the players agent is doing his job by spreading stories to increase both interest and the amount of money the 0arent team is willing to anty up. Why should we think differently? Baseball is about making money above and beyond anything else. Player, agent, team, and yes…. reporters. Randy Jackson December 10, 2018 Simon, you look a heck of a lot like our old buddy Dale Simon Cowell December 11, 2018 Not sure what you are talking about but if I was a sports agent for a client I would call the media every chance I got to spread a trade rumor. I would imagine Scott Boras spends more time talking to journalists than he does with clients, Rosenthal has thrown out trade rumors for a long time. Remember his Brandon Phillips trade deal that was imminent and never happened? It was all to get BP more money. Nep O'Tism December 10, 2018 The Yankees asked the Reds for Trammel in exchange for Sonny Gray. That is hilariously unrealistic. Colt Holt December 10, 2018 I got a really good laugh out of that. That would be funny if gray were making league minimum. At the dollars, that is what I expect out of Yankees message boards. Colt Holt December 10, 2018 How about gray and judge for Trammell and scooter? If gray brings trammell, scooter should get judge, right? JBHawaii December 10, 2018 Scooter has been a pleasure to watch the past couple years, but I don’t envision him being part of the Reds in the near future. If they could trade Scooter, Senzel could be the new second baseman and the Reds could reallocate the $11m that Scooter would have gotten to other areas. Tom December 10, 2018 Boring day 1 so far. Bernie December 10, 2018 I know things often take time to come together but if they don’t make a pretty big deal this week then I can’t help but think it’s just been talk about getting the pitching much better. AllTheHype December 10, 2018 Yanks tried to get Taylor Trammell for Gray. Keep trying Yanks, that ain’t happening. Better set your sights a little lower. Bernie December 10, 2018 bleacher report today predicted the Reds would get Gray but the price was much less then that Redsvol December 11, 2018 I really hope they can get something of value for Scooter. A guy putting up his offensive numbers should have value for an AL team where he can DH a couple times a week. If we keep him, I’d like to see him in left field a couple times a week so someone else can play second. Our up the middle defense needs to improve this year – but man, Scooter sure can hit and needs to play somewhere. No big deal if they can’t trade him. You can never have enough professional hitters and he isn’t going to be tie up future payroll flexibility. Marvin December 11, 2018 I will greatly miss Hamilton. Scooter and Hamilton where the only two players I would stop what I was doing and watch the TV. They have STAR appeal. Ervin if he plays most of the season will end up with Hamilton’s average. He has only hit around 250 in the minors and why would you expect him to hit more in majors. Ervin is another Stubbs, except not as much power or defense. Cincinnati has hired a losing manager, who never developed a star player, so what can we expect. I have been a Reds fan since the “WHIP” pitched, so I have seen a lot of Red’s games. Michael Smith December 11, 2018 Marvin, Hamilton is a career 245/298/333 guy. If anything you should turn the channel when he comes to bat. Ervin is a 254/323/413 guy in his short career. That is over 100 points higher ops, his ops plus 24 point higher. If Billy could hit like Ervin he would be a star. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/ervinph01.shtml https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hamilbi02.shtml RedsinWashst December 11, 2018 I’ve watched a lot of Reds baseball also Marvin. I for one like the fact that the new manager is willing to work with the front office. Unlike the last 2 managers who did what they wanted mostly old school ball, then justified it to the owner. Also I’m glad Billy is gone because he never improved himself. He was very predictable. abado December 11, 2018 Thought exercise: would you trade Homer Bailey (owed $28M) for Dexter Fowler (3 years/$49.5M)? Dexter Fowler had a horrible year, but he won’t be that bad again and should still be a useful center fielder. redlegs4ever December 11, 2018 I would rather just put Homer in CF… redlegs4ever December 11, 2018 Rumors are JA Happ will sign with the first team to guarantee him 3 years. Might be worth that risky 3rd year for the Reds. Better idea would he be amenable to a very reachable vesting option for the 3rd year? Something like 300 innings over the first 2 years??