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Cincinnati Reds Offseason Tracker: Hottest Trade Rumors, Free-Agency News

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2013

Cincinnati Reds Offseason Tracker: Hottest Trade Rumors, Free-Agency News

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    Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

    The Cincinnati Reds don't have much money available to spend, but have a few decisions to make this offseason.

    After another short October, the team wasted no time making changes. Dusty Baker is out and Bryan Price has taken over as manager.

    The decision to go with Price could be one that drastically changes the franchise. According to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, when the new manager was still the team's pitching coach, he wanted to move Aroldis Chapman into the rotation. He now gets to make the decision on what to do with the dominant left-hander.

    The first need will depend on what the organization wants to do. It can either pursue Shin-Soo Choo or turn the position over to speedster Billy Hamilton. 

    Depending on what the club does with Chapman, it could be in the market for a few relievers as well. The Reds have one of the better bullpens in baseball, but adding to the depth is never a bad thing.

    The team will have difficult decisions in regard to its own free agents. Cincinnati has to decide what it is going to do with them and go from there. Don't expect many, if any, high-profile signings.

    Stay tuned throughout the offseason to see what is going on with the Cincinnati Reds.

     

Cincinnati's Own Free Agents and Done Deals

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    Done Deals

    Nov. 8: C Brayan Pena agreed to a two-year deal worth $2.275 million, via Enrique Rojas via ESPNDeportes.com

    Nov. 18: 2B/OF Skip Schumaker agreed to a two-year deal, via FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal; Schumaker will make $2 million in '14, $2.5 million in '15 and Reds hold a $2.5 million club option for '16

    Nov. 27: LHP Manny Parra re-signed with the Reds for a two-year deal worth $5.5 million, via CBS Sports' Jon Heyman

    Dec. 3: Involved in three-team deal, via FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. CIN receives: LHP David Holmberg (AZ). TB receives: C Ryan Hanigan (CIN) and RHP Heath Bell (AZ). AZ receives: RHP Justin Choate and a player to be named later or cash from Tampa Bay

    Dec. 7: Re-signed C Corky Miller to a minor league deal 

    Dec. 19: Signed RHP Chien-Ming Wang to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, via NBC Sports' Craig Calcaterra

    Dec. 21: OF Shin-Soo Choo signed a seven-year, $130 million deal with the Texas Rangers

     

    Cincinnati's Free Agents

    RHP Bronson Arroyo (Age 36)

    2013 stats: 32 GS, 2 CG/1 SHO, 202 IP, 14-12, 3.79 ERA, 32 HR, 124 K/34 BB

    OF Shin-Soo Choo (Age 31)

    2013 stats: .285/.423/.462, 21 HR, 34 2B, 2 3B, 54 RBI, 20 SB, 112 BB, 26 HBP

    Nov. 11: Declined qualifying offer, became a free agent

    Dec. 21: Signed a seven-year, $130 million deal with Texas, via CBS Sports' Jon Heyman

    LHP Zach Duke (Age 30)

    2013 stats (with Reds): 14 G, 10.2 IP, 0-1, 0.84 ERA, 8 H, 7K/2 BB

    INF Cesar Izturis (Age 33)

    2013 stats: 63 G, .209/.259/.271, 0 HR, 8 2B, 11 RBI, 9 BB, 13 K

    LHP Manny Parra (Age 30)

    2013 stats: 57 G, 46 IP, 2-3, 3.33 ERA, 40 H, 5 HR, 56 K/15 BB

    RHP Nick Masset (Age 31)

    2013 stats: N/A

Arbitration Eligible Players

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Tender

    RHP Homer Bailey

    LHP Aroldis Chapman

    RHP Mike Leake

    C Ryan Hanigan (Dec. 3: Traded to the Tampa Bay Rays)

    OF Chris Heisey

    RHP Sam LeCure

    RHP Alfredo Simon

     

    Non-Tender

    OF Xavier Paul (Dec. 19: Signed a minor-league contract with the Baltimore Orioles.

    OF Derrick Robinson 

    *According to AP via Dayton Daily News

Bronson Arroyo Unlikely to Be Back in Cincinnati

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Although Bronson Arroyo may not be the flashiest name on the market, he is certainly one of the most consistent pitchers available.

     

    *Update: Thursday, Dec. 26 at 9:50 p.m. ET

    The Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina wrote that Arroyo is one of the Baltimore Orioles' top targets to improve their rotation. They like Arroyo's track record and the fact that he won't demand a long contract like other some of the other top starting pitchers will.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Sunday, Dec. 22 at 11:45 a.m. ET

    The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay wrote after the Shin-Soo Choo signing (to Texas) that Arroyo is likely going to sign elsewhere. Reds GM Walt Jocketty disputed a previous report that said the Reds would offer Arroyo a one-year deal.

    “We never did make an offer,” Jocketty said. “We met with his agent in Orlando again to see if anything had changed. I don’t think we’ll be able to get anything done.”

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Saturday, Dec. 14 at 9:22 p.m. ET

    Mike Berdadino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweeted that the Twins remain interested in Arroyo despite signing yet another starting pitcher.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:08 p.m. ET

    The Minnesota Twins are most likely out of the Arroyo sweepstakes after signing RHP Mike Pelfrey on Saturday, via Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. It was the third starting pitcher signed by the Twins this offseason. Pelfrey (two years, $11 million), Ricky Nolasco (four years, $49 million) and Phil Hughes (three years, $24 million) have all been big signings by the club.

    Minnesota was one of the big players for Arroyo. Now it appears that the Reds may be one of the two or three teams still in the running for the veteran.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:20 p.m. ET

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweeted that the Arroyo sweepstakes are down to four teams: the Reds, the Twins and two mystery teams.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Friday, Dec. 13 at 5:32 p.m. ET

    ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the Reds have informed Arroyo that they will offer him a one-year deal. It's not known what kind of money would be involved, but signing Arroyo would give Cincinnati more depth next season.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 9:05 p.m. ET

    ESPN's Jayson Stark tweeted that although the Reds met with Arroyo on Tuesday, they are telling other clubs that they expect him to sign elsewhere. Originally, Arroyo's agent expected an offer from the club after the meeting. Whether or not one was made is unknown.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 8:20 p.m. ET

    The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino tweeted that there are more teams than just the Reds and the Minnesota Twins still involved with Arroyo. The team(s) is unknown.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10:27 a.m. ET

    Arroyo could sign a deal at the Winter Meetings, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman. The projected deal would be worth $36 million over three years. The Reds and the Minnesota Twins appear to be the leaders for Arroyo, whose market has dwindled in recent days.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 9:40 a.m. ET

    The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino tweeted that the Minnesota Twins aren't convinced that Arroyo wants to pitch in Minnesota. If he can convince them that he wants to, he would become their top choice to shore up the rotation.

    With the Reds suddenly jumping back in on Arroyo, the Twins may begin to look elsewhere. Minnesota is looking at several pitchers, so it has alternatives if Arroyo doesn't show that he wants to pitch at Target Field.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 6:40 p.m. ET

    With a lot of suitors going in other directions, Arroyo could be headed back to Cincinnati. After meeting with the Reds earlier on Tuesday, Arroyo's agent expects the team to make an offer to the free agent, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

    Signing Arroyo could lead to the Reds trading a starting pitcher. However, GM Walt Jocketty said on Tuesday that the team won't trade Homer Bailey. Rosenthal speculated about the team's option. Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Mike Leake all have two years of club control left.

    Cueto will make $10 million in 2014 and has a $10 million club option for 2015. It's not clear if the team has tried to lock up Latos, who will be eligible for arbitration for a third time next winter. Leake may be the easiest to move given that he is the cheapest and is coming off the best year of his young career.

    Again, there is nothing certain here. Arroyo's agent believes that the Reds will offer his client a contract, perhaps because his price could have dropped. If so, that could mean some changes for the club.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 5:42 p.m. ET

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the New York Mets are not interested in Arroyo at this moment. With the Los Angeles Angels acquiring two young pitchers in the Mark Trumbo trade, the Angels are likely out as well.

    It appears that the Minnesota Twins, who have already made two big signings for their rotation, may be the front-runners. The Reds have checked back in with Arroyo, but it's unknown if the two sides are going to try to negotiate a deal.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 3:21 p.m. ET

    C. Trent Rosecrans of The Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted that GM Walt Jocketty the Reds met with Arroyo's agent today at the Winter Meetings.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Dec. 9 at 3:33 p.m. ET

    MLB.com's Mark Sheldon wrote that Arroyo "wasn't aware" of any of the rumors involving the Pirates.

    A return to Cincinnati is still a long shot, but it's not completely out of the question. However, GM Walt Jocketty said that they haven't talked about it recently.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Dec. 9 at 3:15 p.m. ET

    In a somewhat surprising turn of events the Minnesota Twins are again making a strong run at Arroyo, via FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Arroyo was one of the Twins' top targets entering the offseason, but the club signed two other starting pitchers for nearly $75 million combined. Unless Arroyo's price has dropped, he is likely going to demand a higher annual average than either Nolasco or Hughes.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Dec. 9 at 11:31 a.m. ET

    1500ESPN's Darren Wolfson tweeted that the Minnesota Twins will meet with Arroyo's agent on Monday. It comes as a bit of a surprise that the Twins are still interested in the veteran as they have already signed right-handers Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to help their rotation.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Dec. 9 at 9:53 a.m. ET

    Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted that Arroyo is "very interested" in the Pirates and that the club is also interested in the pitcher.

    ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the Pirates plan to meet with Arroyo's agent at this week's Winter Meetings.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Sunday, Dec. 8 at 11:14 a.m. ET

    Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote that the Pittsburgh Pirates have checked in on Arroyo. The Pirates are still waiting to hear back from A.J. Burnett to see if he will return, but they are exploring other options. However, Arroyo's price may be out of their budget.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Friday, Dec. 6 at 2:50 p.m. ET

    The New York Post's Mike Puma tweeted that Mets GM Sandy Alderson has not met with Arroyo yet, although it could happen at next week's meetings. It does not appear that the Mets are too interested in the right-hander at the moment.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Sunday, Dec. 1 at 3:52 p.m. ET

    A source close to Arroyo told Dave Clark of The Cincinnati Enquirer that the pitcher does not have a meeting scheduled with the New York Mets as previously reported by ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Sunday, Dec. 1 at 11:58 a.m. ET

    The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo reported that seven teams have checked in on Arroyo. Despite the interest, no team has made an offer to the right-hander.

    Although seven teams have called Arroyo, three teams are conceivably out of the running. The Minnesota Twins have signed Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. The San Francisco Giants have signed Tim Hudson and re-signed Ryan Vogelsong. The Dodgers have signed Dan Haren and could make a run at Masahiro Tanaka.

    The Angels, the Mets, the Phillies and the Orioles could all still be in play. It's not clear if Cincinnati has any interest on bringing him back if the competition continues to thin out.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Saturday, Nov. 30 at 5:26 p.m. ET

    ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin reported that the New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to meet with Arroyo next week. 

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Friday, Nov. 29 at 6:40 p.m. ET

    The San Francisco Giants have re-signed RHP Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year deal. With that move, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the Giants' rotation is set, which means they will no longer be in on Arroyo.

    However, the Minnesota Twins appear to still be in on the right-hander despite signing RHP Ricky Nolasco, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo. It looks like the New York Mets are also still interested in Arroyo, via Cotillo.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Nov. 25 at 11:39 p.m. ET

    ESPN1500's Darren Wolfson tweeted that the Twins have yet to offer Arroyo a contract, and that when they do, they will have to offer him three years if they really want to sign him.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Nov. 25 at 7:25 p.m. ET

    The Minnesota Twins are still "very high" on Arroyo, according to MLBTradeRumors.com's Tim Dierkes. The club is hoping to sign the veteran to a two-year deal.

    However, there is enough interest on Arroyo that he could force the Twins to throw in a third year or lose out.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6:57 p.m. ET

    Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the Minnesota Twins have not offered Arroyo a three-year deal, but signs are that they are willing to do so.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Nov. 18 at 4:13 p.m. ET

    ESPN's Jim Bowden reported that the following teams are interested in Arroyo: Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles.

    Despite all of the interest, Arroyo has yet to receive an offer.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Thursday, Nov. 14 at 9:06 p.m. ET

    MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers are "kicking the tires" on Bronson Arroyo. They are looking to replace Ricky Nolasco, who is a free agent. They checked in on many of the high-profile free agent pitchers, so it's unclear how much interest they have in Arroyo.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7:36 p.m. ET

    USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that Arroyo previously said that he would welcome a move to San Francisco and nothing has changed. 

    It looks like a good match for both sides. Arroyo is as consistent and durable as it gets, and San Francisco's big ballpark would be a great place for the fly-ball pitcher to pitch. The Giants need a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher. Although Arroyo has proven to be a front-of-the rotation starter, he would give the Giants depth.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8:34 a.m. ET

    Talks between Arroyo and the Minnesota Twins are starting to heat up, according to TwinCities.com's  Mike Berardino. The club has reviewed the pitcher's medical records and even talked guarantee money with his agent. 

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 3:18 p.m. ET

    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal believes the San Francisco Giants would prefer to give Arroyo an affordable two-year deal, while a team like Minnesota Twins could offer the veteran three years to anchor the rotation.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Sunday, Nov. 10 at 12:20 p.m. ET

    The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo wrote that the Philadelphia Phillies have contacted Arroyo's agent. Although the Phillies, the Twins and the Giants have all contacted Arroyo's agent, no offer has been made.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Friday, Nov. 8 at 4:50 p.m. ET

    ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted that the San Francisco Giants are in good position to make a run at Arroyo. They have handed out big contracts to right fielder Hunter Pence and pitcher Tim Lincecum recently, so they could continue to spend to get back to the postseason.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Nov. 8 at 3:59 p.m. ET

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports lists Arroyo as one of the pitchers on the Yankees' radar. New York is looking to improve its rotation, and Arroyo figures to be one of the top starters on the market.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 7:49 p.m. ET

    TwinsCities.com's Mike Berardino wrote that there is mutual interest between Arroyo and the Minnesota Twins. No formal offer has been made by the Twins, but Arroyo is one of the pitchers who the club is interested in.

    For what it's worth, the man who brought Arroyo to Cincinnati in 2006, Wayne Krivsky, is now a special assistant to the general manager in Minnesota.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Nov. 4 at 6:20 p.m. ET

    MLB.com's Mark Sheldon was able to get more information on the decision to not offer Arroyo a qualifying offer.

    "We thought about it quite a while," Jocketty said. "We'll still be able to attempt to try and sign him, but if he ended up accepting, it would be very tough to fit it into the budget."

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. ET

    Better Off Reds blogger Jamie Ramsey confirms that Arroyo did not receive a qualifying offer.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Monday, Nov. 4 at 2:40 p.m. ET

    Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that Arroyo will not receive a qualifying option from the Reds.

    That does not rule out a return, but the Reds are likely looking for a lower price. Being a small-market team made it tough for the team to extend a $14.1 million qualifying off to the veteran.

    ---End of update---

     

    The veteran is one of only two pitchers to make at least 30 starts in each of the last nine seasons. He threw at least 200 innings in seven of his eight years—and he threw 199 in the other—with the Reds. 

    He has never missed a start. Ever. No pitcher is more durable than Arroyo, and he is willing to take the mound even when he isn't feeling 100 percent. Even on the days where he is getting hit, he will stay in the game in order to preserve the bullpen.

    Cincinnati is in an interesting situation. Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani all have shown that they can be good starting pitchers. Aroldis Chapman may get a chance to start as well. The team has plenty of great options for the rotation even if Arroyo left, so it could decide to save money and let Arroyo walk.

    However, Cueto and Cingrani both battled injuries this year. If injuries hit the Reds' rotation, the team could be in trouble without Arroyo. There isn't a ton of depth in the high levels of the minor leagues, although that could change if certain prospects continue to rise.  

    Arroyo's ability to pitch every five days can't be overlooked. The 36-year-old went 105-94 with a 4.05 ERA in 265 starts over eight years with the Reds. He was the longest tenured member of the team and was a big part in turning this organization around.

    However, he's probably not going to give the Reds another hometown discount. He will likely get at least $12 million per season, and MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reported that Arroyo wants at least a two-year deal.

    The New York Post's Dan Martin reported that the free agent pitcher will consider the New York Mets.

    It's a shame that he got shelled in his final start of the season, and possibly of his Reds' career, but there is no denying that Arroyo deserves a big contract.

Dec. 21: Shin-Soo Choo Signed with the Texas Rangers

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Shin-Soo Choo had a terrific offensive season in his first year in Cincinnati, and he cashed in on his success by signing a big deal this offseason.

    Choo has finally found a home, signing a seven-year, $130 million deal with the Texas Rangers, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

    As previously mentioned, the chances of Choo returning to Cincinnati were always slim at best.

    Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan reported that Choo turned down a seven-year, $140 million offer from the New York Yankees. The offer was made after the Yankees signed Jacoy Ellsbury to a slightly bigger deal. The Yankees wound up signing Carlos Beltran instead of Choo.

    Texas doesn't have a state income tax, which could have played a factor into why he rejected New York.

    Choo ranked second in the National League in walks and on-base percentage behind only Joey Votto. The center fielder led the league in getting hit by pitches and had the second-most home runs out of the leadoff spot in all of baseball.

    While Choo had a good year at the plate, there was some hesitation to give him a big deal. Check out his splits in the regular season:

     AVGHR2B3BRBIBBKHBPOBPSLG
    vs. RHP.3172127146888913.457.554
    vs. LHP.2150718244413.347.265

    The left-handed hitter's numbers against right-handers were outstanding. His numbers, especially in terms of power, against southpaws were much worse. He didn't hit a home run against a left-hander until his final at-bat in the postseason.

    However, he did find a way to get on base despite his struggles against southpaws.

    With Choo gone, the Reds will turn to Billy Hamilton in center.

Homer Bailey: Eligible for Arbitration, Candidate for Extension

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    This will be an interesting offseason for Homer Bailey and the Reds. The right-hander is eligible for arbitration. However, he is also set to become a free agent after next season. If the Reds can't reach a multi-year deal, Bailey could be trade bait.

     

    *Update: Friday, Dec. 13 at 4:48 p.m. ET

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman tweeted that the Reds are telling teams that Bailey is not available. The team doesn't have much pitching depth, so Bailey is an important part of the rotation.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 5:26 p.m. ET

    MLB.com's Phil Rogers tweeted that the Arizona Diamondbacks are pursuing Bailey in their quest to get a front-of-the-rotation starter. They have been linked to several high-profile pitchers, but they are not in a great position to make a trade after they dealt young talent for Mark Trumbo.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 2:26 p.m. ET

    The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported that the Reds have gotten a lot of inquiries about Homer Bailey. The Yankees are of the teams interested in Bailey, but the Reds don't intend to trade him.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 3:43 p.m. ET

    MLB.com's Mark Sheldon provided a quote from GM Walt Jocketty in regards to Bailey. The Reds met with Bailey's agents at the Winter Meetings.

    "I told them we’re not trying to trade him," Jocketty said. "We’re trying to sign him."

    With just one year left on Bailey's contract, the Reds would like to try to get an extension done. 

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 3:21 p.m. ET

    C. Trent Rosecrans of The Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted that GM Walt Jocketty said that the Reds are not trading Homer Bailey.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 10:59 a.m. ET

    The Wall Street Journal's Dan Barbarisi tweeted that the New York Yankees have reportedly asked about Bailey. The Yankees need starting pitching and are looking to trade outfielders, such as Brett Gardner, in order to get one.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Saturday, Dec. 7 at 12:30 p.m. ET

    On the final day of Redsfest, a fan asked what the status of contract extensions for Bailey and Mat Latos is. Good news: the Reds want to make both happen, via The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay. However, GM Walt Jocketty acknowledged that it won't be easy. Jocketty did say that he hopes that talks pick up next week.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET

    The Minnesota Twins are said to be "fond of" Bailey, according to ESPN1500's Darren Wolfson. There are some people in the Twins' front office that were with the Reds when Bailey was coming up through the system. 

    ---End of update---

     

    The 27-year-old has turned into a star over the last few seasons. His record can be thrown out given the lack of run support, but his earned run average has dropped in each of the last five seasons to a career-best 3.49 this past season.

    Bailey has arguably the filthiest stuff in the rotation, as shown by his two no-hitters. He has outdueled opposing aces, such as the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, in big games.

    When the Reds have given him the ball in the postseason, he has been nothing short of spectacular. He has allowed only one run on three hits in nine innings in two appearances. He also has 12 strikeouts to only one walk in those two games.

    He struggled early in his career with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers. Bailey solved those issues by going 4-0 in five total starts against those two teams in the final two months of the season.

    Bailey has turned into a fantastic big-game pitcher, so the Reds will see if they can lock him up past next season this winter. 

Colorado Rockies Are Interested in Sean Marshall

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Colorado Rockies are interested in Reds southpaw Sean Marshall, via The Denver Post's Troy Renck.

    Cincinnati and Colorado have reportedly had multiple talks involving the veteran. 

     

    *Update: Friday, Dec. 13 at 8:45 a.m. ET

    FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reported that the Rockies are close to signing left-hander Boone Logan to a three-year deal worth more than $14 million. The Denver Post's Troy Renck wrote that the deal is pending a physical and could be a three-year deal worth $15 million based on what other setup men have received this offseason.

    By signing Logan, the Rockies are likely out on Marshall.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 6:46 p.m. ET

    The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported that the New York Yankees do not have interest in Marshall.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 2:26 p.m. ET

    The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported that the Reds have gotten a lot of inquiries about Sean Marshall. It's unclear how willing the team is to move the southpaw, but moving the $12 million owed to him over the next two years could help create space to sign pitchers.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 6:53 p.m. ET

    The Denver Post's Troy Renck reported that the Rockies nearly acquired Marshall on Monday night. Colorado traded for starting pitcher Brett Anderson on Tuesday, but it is still looking for a reliever. The talks with the Reds still has "some life."

    ---End of update---

     

    In 322 games as a reliever, Marshall has a 2.60 ERA, a 1.157 WHIP and 16 saves. The 31-year-old has held hitters to a .226 average when he has come out of the bullpen. Left-handed batters are hitting only .218 against him in his career.

    Marshall has been very impressive since coming over to Cincinnati. The southpaw has a 2.40 ERA and a 1.079 WHIP in two seasons.

    Marshall is due $12 million over the next two seasons. After Manny Parra's breakout season in 2013, the Reds may believe that Marshall is expendable with that contract. It would be a gamble for sure, but it could clear up some payroll for the Reds.

Brandon Phillips: Trade Candidate, Yankees Reportedly Interested

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    Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

    In a somewhat surprising turn of events, second baseman Brandon Phillips has already been mentioned as a possible trade candidate. John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer believes that the team is shopping the three-time All-Star.

     

    *Update: Thursday, Dec. 12 at 12:21 a.m. ET

    The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees are not completely sold on Phillips. They don't like his contract, his "declining" offense or his problems with the Reds front office. His no-trade clause and request for more money killed any deal.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 11:36 p.m. ET

    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the New York Yankees are one of the 12 teams on Phillips' limited no-trade clause. Adding money to his deal may have been what Phillips requires in order to accept a trade there. However, the Reds reportedly did not ask him to waive his no-trade clause.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 11:05 p.m. ET

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the Yankee declined the proposal after Phillips asked to "re-open" his contract to agree to deal. In other words, he wanted to add money to his contract. 

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10:11 p.m. ET

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the New York Yankees rejected a Brandon Phillips-for-Brett Gardner trade.

    The Yankees are the most logical destination if the Reds decide to deal Phillips. 

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 11:10 p.m. ET

    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that the Reds are unlikely to trade Brandon Phillips.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Thursday, Nov. 14 at 10:35 p.m. ET

    Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost told ESPN's Jim Bowden that he and GM Dayton Moore had discussed Brandon Phillips at some point.

    However, Kansas City would have a hard time absorbing the second baseman's contract.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Thursday, Nov. 14 at 9:35 a.m. ET

    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal said that Phillips is a "goner." That goes against recent reports as the Reds' asking price was "too steep" and not many teams could take on that contract.

    Rosenthal also suggested that the Reds would have to trade Phillips, and perhaps Homer Bailey, in order to have room to sign Choo.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 5:20 p.m. ET

    The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay believes that there is a very short list that could be potential landing spots for the second baseman. How short?

    "Very short. In fact, if the Yankees sign Robinson Cano, there may be no list at all," Fay wrote. "My guess is Phillips remains a Red."

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 12:35 p.m. ET

    One day after there was a report of a steep asking price for Phillips, someone else has chimed in on the trade speculation.

    Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan quoted one executive from around the league. On Tuesday, the executive said, "He's (Phillips) gone."

    Again, it's just someone's opinion. It doesn't mean that anything will happen, especially if the asking price remains high. Phillips is a four-time Gold Glove winner and three-time All-Star, so the asking price should be high.

    Passan believes that trading Phillips would allow the Reds to lock up right fielder Jay Bruce, who is halfway through a six-year deal. Bruce said last year that he would like to remain in Cincinnati his entire career, but the Reds did not talk to him about an extension.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 4:35 p.m. ET

    On Tuesday, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted that the New York Yankees have contacted the Reds about Phillips. However, the price is reportedly "way too steep."

    The Yankees could try to make a deal later this winter if they decide Robinson Cano's demands are too much or if he signs elsewhere. If the Yankees don't sign Cano, they will be looking for a second baseman.

    They are also rumored to be interested in Omar Infante, but it appears that Phillips is also on their radar.

    ---End of update--- 

     

    David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggested that the Atlanta Braves would be interested in swapping Dan Uggla for Phillips.

    However, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reported in late October that the Reds aren't in trade talks regarding Phillips. Here is what general manager Walt Jocketty said about the speculation:

    We've got some things we've got to look at on how we're going to improve our club. I'm not going to say nobody is untouchable. Obviously, we want to keep as much of this club intact as we can.

    Phillips' numbers weren't great in 2013. He hit only .261/.310/.396, but did have 18 home runs to go with 103 RBI. When he moved from the the second spot in the lineup to fourth in the second game of the season, he changed his approach. He wanted to drive in 100 RBI, which is exactly what he did.

    It's also important to note that Phillips was hitting .296/.347/.481 on June 1. He was hit by a pitch in the arm that day and was never really the same after that.

    The second baseman was involved in some controversy this year. First, there were his comments about his contract in Cincinnati Magazine, although they don't seem like a big deal. There was also the verbal exchange between Phillips and C. Trent Rosecrans of The Cincinnati Enquirer, which some believe was the final straw.  

    According to Spotrac.com, Phillips still has four years and $50 million remaining on his contract. While trading him may allow the team to sign other players, he would be difficult to replace. He just won his fourth Gold Glove and his defense shouldn't be overlooked.

    Whether it's speculation or not, Phillips' name will likely be mentioned quite a bit this offseason.

Brett Gardner: Possible Trade Target

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    If the Reds and the New York Yankees were to get into trade talks, Cincinnati would be interested in outfielder Brett Gardner.

     

    *Update: Thursday, Dec. 12 at 12:21 a.m. ET

    The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees have told teams that they will only trade Gardner in exchange for a starting pitcher.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 11:36 p.m. ET

    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted about the financial aspects of the deal. Phillips is still owed $50 million over the next four seasons, and Gardner will make more than $4 million in his final season of his contract. The Yankees continue to be reluctant to trade Gardner. The outfielder is a "longtime favorite of Cashman's," via Rosenthal.

    ---End of update---

     

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10:11 p.m. ET

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the New York Yankees rejected a Brandon Phillips-for-Brett Gardner trade.

    The trade would've made sense for both sides as the Reds would get a leadoff hitter and the Yankees would get a second baseman. However, there is a lot of money owed to Phillips, which could complicate a possible deal.

    ---End of update---

     

    The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported that the Reds are interested in Gardner, but the Yankees are not interested in Sean Marshall. However, Sherman tweeted that the Yankees are interested in Homer Bailey. New York has also been linked to Brandon Phillips earlier this offseason.

    Sherman also reported that Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the team plans on having Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury in the outfield together next season. 

    Gardner would be a fit in center field and in the leadoff spot for the Reds. He is under control for one more season.

    If either team decides to change its stance on one of its players, there could be something in the works. Neither side appears to be willing to deal any of the players (Phillips, Bailey or Gardner) right now.

     

Corky Miller: Re-Signed to a Minor League Deal

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    On Oct. 31, the Reds announced that veteran catcher Corky Miller had been outrighted and he elected free agency. However, the team has re-signed the catcher to a minor league deal, as GM Walt Jocketty said at Redsfest on Dec. 7 via MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.

    The 37-year-old hit .257 with five doubles and eight RBI in 27 games this past season. He did a good job of filling in when Ryan Hanigan went to the disabled list this year, and he showed that he can be productive at the plate.

    Miller has spent the majority of his career, including a second stint beginning in 2009, with the organization. This recent move doesn't mean that he won't be back, so fans shouldn't be too upset. Miller is loved by fans, and he works well with the pitching staff. He gives the team depth at catcher, so there's a chance that he re-signs with the team.

Dec. 3: C Ryan Hanigan Traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 3-Team Deal

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    The Reds surprised some people by signing catcher Brayan Pena to a two-year deal, via Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com, which signaled that Ryan Hanigan's days in Cincinnati were numbered.

    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that the Reds have traded catcher Ryan Hanigan to the Tampa Bay Rays. 

    Rosenthal tweeted the details of the trade. Cincinnati will receive LHP David Holmberg from ArizonaTampa Bay received catcher Ryan Hanigan and RHP Heath Bell (AZ). Arizona received RHP Justin Choate and a player to be named later or cash from Tampa Bay.

    Hanigan hit .198/.306/.261 with two home runs and eight doubles. The 33-year-old dealt with wrist and thumb injuries this season, which limited him at the plate. In 2012, he hit .274 with a .365 on-base percentage.

    The veteran was never known for his hitting, but he was a terrific defensive catcher. He was good at throwing out runners—led MLB in each of the last two seasons—and handling the pitching staff. Hanigan also caught both of Homer Bailey's no-hitters.

    One reason Hanigan was a trade candidate on the move is the departure of free agent Bronson Arroyo. Hanigan has been Arroyo's personal catcher, and with Arroyo unlikely to return, Devin Mesoraco will likely be the starting catcher next season.

    ESPN's Buster Olney reported that Hanigan will receive a multi-year deal from the Rays. USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweeted that it will be a three year deal worth $10.75 million with an option for a fourth year to push the total to $13.7 million. He was eligible for arbitration and set to become a free agent after the 2014 season.

    Holmberg has appeared in only one game for Arizona. However, the 22-year-old's numbers in the minors are solid. He went 5-8 with a 2.75 ERA in 26 starts at Double-A in 2013. In 157.1 innings, he had a WHIP of 1.195 and struck out 116 batters to 50 walks. He has 41 starts at Double-A.

    The southpaw has a 3.40 ERA and a 1.244 WHIP in five minor league seasons. Holmberg gives the Reds some depth in the high levels of the minors, which is something that they needed.

    Holmberg was taken in the second round of the 2009 draft by the Chicago White Sox.

Carlos Beltran: Free Agent Target

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    C. Trent Rosecrans of The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Cincinnati Reds have contacted Beltran's agent, according to the Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora.

    *Update: Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m. ET

    The Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans reported that the Walt Jocketty doesn't think there is anything brewing between the Reds and Beltran.

    ---End of update---

    Beltran hit .296/.339/.491 with 24 home runs, 30 doubles and 84 RBI this season. In the postseason, he hit .268/.388/.464 with two home runs, three doubles and a triple with 15 RBI. The outfielder is known for his October heroics, which is something the Reds are looking for.

    The switch-hitter would fit well near the top of Cincinnati's lineup.

    The 36-year-old is said to be looking for a three-year deal.

    Here are the teams interested in Beltran: the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, the Detroit Tigers, the Texas Rangers, the Kansas City Royals, the Los Angeles Angels, the Boston Red Sox and the Seattle Mariners.

    Beltran is the Yankees' No. 1 target, and they are his top choice, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily NewsHowever, the Yankees have been unwilling to throw in a third year.

    It's unlikely that the Reds would be able to keep up with the likes of the Yankees in a bidding war. Cincinnati has been linked to Shin-Soo Choo, who is looking for five years. The two would likely cost the about the same annual salary, but Beltran's contract wouldn't go as long.

    It would be an interesting fit as Beltran plays right field. The Reds may be able to stick him in center for a year, unless they could move Ryan Ludwick, and possibly move him to left after that.

    Although he is a former Cardinal, Beltran isn't one of Walt Jocketty's players.

    Beltran's agent, Dan Lozano, is also Joey Votto's agent.

    Noel Pinero, who wrote the story, said that Beltran is expected to make his decision by mid-December.

Nov. 26: Derrick Robinson Designated for Assignment, Non-Tendered

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Derrick Robinson helped fill in for Ryan Ludwick this season, but he was designated for assignment in order to make room for Skip Schumaker on the 40-man roster, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay.

    Robinson was non-tendered, which makes him a free agent.

    The switch-hitter hit .255/.322/.323 with seven doubles, three triples and four stolen bases for the Reds in 2013. He is a terrific bunter and was one of the only speed threats on the team.

    Robinson did a good job of playing left field and the occasional center field this past season. He appeared in 102 games for Cincinnati.

    Although it is possible for Robinson to be back in Cincinnati in 2014, another team is likely to pick him up. 

     

     

Nov. 27: Manny Parra Re-Signed to a Two-Year Deal with the Reds

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    Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

    Reliever Manny Parra has reached an agreement to stay with the Cincinnati Reds, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman reported that Parra agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal. He will make $2 million in 2014 and $3.5 million in 2015.

    Parra went 2-3 with a 3.33 ERA in his first season with the Reds in 2013. The 31-year-old struck out 56 batters and walked only 15 in 46 innings over 57 appearances.

    His 3.33 ERA and 1.196 WHIP were the lowest of his career. He previously had a 5.12 ERA in five seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, but he turned his career around this past season.

    The southpaw took over as the left-handed specialist when Sean Marshall went down. He held left-handed batters to a .167 average and allowed only two extra-base hits, both home runs, to them.

    Parra gives the Reds another left-handed option behind Marshall and Aroldis Chapman.

     

Skip Schumaker: Signed with the Cincinnati Reds

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Cincinnati Reds have made another move to try to improve their roster. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that utility man Skip Schumaker has agreed to a two-year deal with the club. 

    MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reported that Schumaker will make $2 million in 2014 and $2.5 million in 2015, and the Reds have a $2.5 club option for 2016, with a $500,000 buyout.

    Schumaker spent the first eight years of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals before going to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.

    He hit .263/.332/.332 with two home runs and 16 doubles this past season. He is a .285 career hitter and has 25 homers, 137 doubles and 13 triples in his nine-year career.

    The 33-year-old can play second base and in the outfield. He's even made an appearance as a pitcher.

    It's not clear what his role with the team will be. This could be a signing to replace Cesar Izturis as a bench player, or it could be a sign of things to come in regards to Brandon Phillips.

     

Brayan Pena: Signed

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    Duane Burleson/Getty Images

    As ESPNDeportes.com's Enrique Rojas reported on Friday morning, the Reds have agreed to a two-year deal with catcher Brayan Pena.

    What that means is Devin Mesoraco is going to take over as the starting catcher, and Pena will likely be the backup.

    Pena hit .297/.315/.397 with four home runs and 11 doubles as the backup catcher for the Detroit Tigers in 2013. He has 18 career home runs in nine seasons, although he has never appeared in more than 72 games in a season.

    The Reds found a guy who doesn't expect to start and is coming off one of the best hitting seasons of his career.

    This move could mean that Aroldis Chapman finally moves to the rotation. Pena is from Cuba and has caught Chapman during offseason workouts, according to USA Today. The Reds have not announced what they plan to do with Chapman, but this signing could mean that Chapman will head to the rotation.

    Cincinnati is Pena's fourth team, and third in the last three seasons.

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