Vote in the poll below to let us know who you think is the Face of the Reds for our Face of the MLB tournament.
UPDATE: 2:48 PM ET
UPDATE: 10:17 AM ET
Homer Bailey confirmed to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the two sides were close to an extension, though he didn’t release any other information. Bailey said:
“We’re going in the right direction. The majority of it is worked out.”
The Cincinnati Reds and right-hander Homer Bailey are nearing a contract extension, reports Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. Hoynes reports that figures could be around 6 years for $100 million. Bailey is represented by Excel Sports Management.
Bailey posted a 3.49 ERA last season for the Reds, with an 11-12 record. He had a 199/54 K/BB ratio, with 8.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. Bailey would return to a rotation consisting of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, and Tony Cingrani.
The Reds’ pitchers and catchers reported Friday and I’m sorry to say to the Redleg lovers out there that the Reds will absolutely not win the Fall Classic. I don’t even know if they will make the playoffs! The NL Central is becoming a powerhouse with the Cardinals in their usual winning state, and the Pirates starting to come onto the scene. Many experts have the Reds finishing in 3rd for the NL Central, which is possible, but they still have a decent shot to make the postseason.
The Reds’ off-season wasn’t the greatest that they’ve ever had, but they made some moves. Probably the biggest move was avoiding arbitration with Aroldis Chapman. The Reds also picked up IF Skip Schumacher and C Brayan Peña. The Redlegs also lost some key veterans when SP Bronson Arroyo left for a 2 year deal in Arizona and when OF Shin-Soo Choo left for a 7 year deal in Texas. The Reds also traded away C Ryan Hanigan to Tampa Bay in a 3 team deal where the Reds picked up one of Arizona’s top pitching prospects in southpaw David Holmberg. Mike Leake will be making $5.925 million this year after agreeing to the deal in arbitration hearings. Homer Bailey went through the process as well as he agreed to $8.7 million. He made $5.35 million last year and filed for $11.6 million, but he didn’t get what he wanted.
The New Skipper
Reds pitching coach Bryan Price was promoted to the managerial duties for the 2014 season when Dusty Baker was fired after 6 decently successful season in Cincinnati. Baker, with help from GM Walt Jocketty, put Reds baseball back on the map after straying away from success for a number of years. Baker led the Reds to the playoffs in 2010 after a 15 year absence from the postseason, but would ultimately be swept 3 games to none in the NL Division Series. He would return in 2012 and would take a 2 games to none lead in the Division Series, and unfortunately, the Giants pulled an amazing comeback, beating the Reds in 3 straight to move on and eventually win the World Series. He lead the Reds to the 2013 Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first year of the new Wild Card format. The Pirates obliterated the Reds 6-2 for their first playoff appearance in 21 years. Baker was fired after the Wild Card game as he could not produce any playoff series wins. Bryan Price was a great choice by Walt Jocketty as he’s worked with the players for years. Price was the Pitching Coach in Seattle and Arizona before joining the Reds staff in 2010. Price should have a good grip over the pitching as this is the Reds’ strong suit. The Reds hitting had been good from players like Joey Votto and Jay Bruce but players like Devin Meseraco and Zack Cozart haven’t produced well in the last few years. Price brings some good characteristics to the table and should lead the Reds for a number of years.
Got 99 Problems, but Pitching Ain’t One
New Pitching Coach Jeff Pico shouldn’t have any problem with the pitching staff for the 2014 season. Reds have key starters and leaders Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, and Mat Latos back for this season. Cueto is hoping to bounce back after struggling with injuries last season. He only pitched in 11 games going 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA. Homer Bailey threw his second No-Hitter last year, but that was the only highlight of his 2013 season. He went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA. He was involved in trade talks this offseason as he and the team cannot agree on a contract extension. He is expected to better his numbers this season. Mat Latos had a good season last year as he went 14-7 with a 3.16 ERA in 32 games. Latos underwent knee surgery Friday but is expected to be ready for the start of the season.
Billy Hamilton will take over the CF duties for Shin-Soo Choo who left for Texas. Despite the awful nickname a journalist named him, Hamilton does slide a good bit. His speed is impeccable. In his 2012 minor league season, he stole 147 bases. In his 13 MLB games last year, he stole 13 bases. Expect him to make an impact early, at least if he starts to hit, because, as the old adage goes, you can’t steal first.
As I said before, pitching is not a problem for the Reds. Hitting is a different story, though. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce can kill the ball, but after them, the lineup looks lost. Billy Hamilton can hit, but needs to continue off his .368 BA in 19 plate appearances. Ryan Ludwick needs to come back with some fire in him. He’s been battling injuries, but when he’s healthy, he can hit. Brandon Phillips can produce some power, but he’s nearing the end of his prime. Devin Meseraco needs to improve on his hitting ability if he or the team wants to go anywhere, as he’s hit .225 for his first 2 seasons. Zack Cozart can hit decently, but he needs to be more consistent as he’s hit .252 in his first 2 seasons. Derrick Robinson had a decently successful rookie season batting .255 but needs to improve and be more consistent. Chris Heisey has hit some the last 4 years with the Reds with 2011 being his best. Last year, he batted a .237 avg. last year. Also, bench players like Xavier Paul, Jack Hannahan, and Cesar Izturis need to provide quality plate appearances throughout the year. If these things can happen, the Redlegs should be fine to play into October.
“The Cuban Missile”
Aroldis Chapman, aka “The Cuban Missile,” is arguably the fastest pitcher to ever pitch in Major League Baseball. Ever since he was defected from Cuba in 2010, he’s been the most popular pitcher on the Reds’ staff. Chapman currently holds the record for the fastest pitch ever thrown in Major League Baseball, being clocked at 105.1 mph. Chapman has been tried as a starter over the last few spring trainings, but it hasn’t panned out. The best role for him is a closer, which has worked out since his role was changed back in 2012. He has had 76 saves in the 2 seasons, getting 38 in both 2012 and 2013. He also had one save in 2011, which means his career total is 77. Chapman recently signed to a 1 year, $5 million deal for the 2014 season to avoid arbitration. Chapman should have another All-Star season for 2014 with his overpowering fastball.
Cincinnati needs to have a great season just to make the playoffs. If everything comes together (pitching, hitting, fielding,), they will be fine and will go deep into October.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Cincinnati Reds have avoided arbitration with closer Aroldis Chapman at a $5 million contract extension for one year, the midpoint of Chapman’s $5.4 million asking price and the Reds’ $4.6 million.
In 2010, Chapman signed a 5 year, $25.25 million contract with a 2015 player option. This was his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Chapman pitched 63 2/3 innings last season from the bullpen for the Reds in 68 appearances, recording 38 saves. He had a 2.54 ERA and 1.037 WHIP, recording 15.8 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9. Chapman’s 15.8 K/9 was the highest of any closer last season, with the second-place closer coming in 2.0 K/9 less. He has a save percentage of 88.37%.
Chapman has done well for the Reds, and has made the All-Star Team each of the last two years. In 2012, Chapman came in 8th place for the Cy Young Award and 12th place for the MVP Award, which is surprisingly good for a closer. The last closer to win the MVP was Dennis Eckersley in 1992, and the last closer to win the Cy Young was Eric Gagne in 2003.
Chapman is a good keep for the Reds, and will continue to be one of their star performers.
In case you don’t know already the teams in the NL central are the Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates, and Reds.
1: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates have re emerged as one of the powers on the National League. The reason I think the Bucs will win this year is the Cardinals have weakened. Another reason is they have the pressure of having a winning season off their backs. Now they can focus on going further in the playoffs and winning the division. If they pick up a solid starting pitcher on the free agent market they can make a serious run for the World Series. They basically have the same team as last year (minus Garrett Jones, and possibly A.J. Burnett) so I think they can make a repeat playoff appearance.
2: St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals will miss Carlos Beltran’s power in the lineup, but knowing the Cardinals’ organization, they will find a way to stay in the playoff race. I think their key will be power hitting first baseman Matt Adams, and newly acquired Jhonny Peralta. If Matt Adams can start the 2014 season where he left off in the playoffs, he may be able to fill the hole left empty by Carlos Beltran. Peralta will definitely be an upgrade at shortstop over Daniel Descalso. Peralta has 2.8 WAR rating over Descalso’s 0.2 . Because of the always solid starting rotation and new additions, the Cardinals will stay in the division race.
3: Milwaukee Brewers
Surprise! The reason I think the Brewers will finish in third (with the Reds not far behind) is that Ryan Braun will be playing with a fire under his butt, trying to win the fans back, and if he has a solid year that would be a huge boost (needless to say). With the energy of Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez, and Matt Garza, and the veteran presence of Rickie Weeks, Aramis Ramirez, and Jonathan Lucroy I think the Brewers have enough to possibly compete in the division/wild race.
4: Cincinnati Reds
I have no doubt that the Cincinnati Reds can finish higher than I predict them to, but I just don’t see it happening. The Brewers are re-stocked, the Cardinals are almost always good, and the Pirates are pretty stacked. But that doesn’t mean they can’t compete. They have a solid starting rotation with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, and Homer Bailey. They also have one of the best left handed hitters in the league in Joey Votto, and one of the better defensive players in the league in Brandon Phillips. But one of the wild cards with this Reds team is who is going to get traded before the season starts. Brandon Phillips has said he would like to be traded, and Homer Bailey’s contract expires at the end of the season and GM Walt Jocketty has said he will not re-sign him at the end of the season.
5: Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are the only team in the central not fit to compete this year. I think they will do better than last year, but not enough to get out of the NL central basement. But don’t worry, the Cubs time will come. As a Cubs fan I am very excited for the future.
A few weeks ago the New York Yankees declined a trade from the Cincinnati Reds. The trade was sending Brett Gardner to Cincinnati and Brandon Phillips to the Bronx.
In Brett Gardner’s six year career, he has a .268 batting average. His speed is his best feature, with 161 steals in his career. 2013 has been his best year of his career with a .273 BA, 8 HR, 52 RBI, and 10 triples. Gardner is 29 years old, and currently in his prime.
Brandon Phillips is 32 years old. His slugging percentage was .396. his batting average dropped to .261 in 2013. Phillips is exiting his prime, and instead of getting better each year, he is deteriorating,
The team that made the right choice was the Yankees. They do need a second baseman, but Phillips is not the guy. The Reds would have caught a chance if New York accepted the trade. They could have gotten rid of Phillips’ salary, and have back up for rookie speedster Billy Hamilton.
We are possibly starting a series called “Theoretical Trades” where we trade players between and write what the impact on the two teams and on the plaeyers would be. Please comment possible trades you would like to see happen below!
As we all know the Cincinnati Reds are looking to trade SP Homer Bailey and 2B Brandon Phillips. Bailey is reaching the end of his contract and Jocketty has already said they will not sign him back. As for Phillips, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and asked to be traded after getting in to it with the owner. For the Dodgers, rumors started buzzing early this off season about Matt Kemp getting traded after not being able to play at the end of last season, for injuries have kept the All-Star center fielder from playing his best.
This trade could go like the following: Brandon Phillips and Homer Bailey to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp and Kenley Jansen or another reliever such as J.P Howell. This trade would go great for both teams as the Dodgers get a great second basemen and an amazing starting pitcher who could start 3rd behind Greinke and ahead of Ryu. As for the Reds, they lose key elements of their team, but gain a guy whom, in Cincinnati,is able to hit hit 45 home runs if he is right in the small ballpark of Great American.