Jerry Crasnick at ESPN says Scott Boras (THUNDERCLAP!!) is trying to talk the Reds into signing Johnny Damon
Damon made $13 mil last season and played pretty darn well. Crasnick says both the Reds and Tigers (the other suitor he mentions) would have to "get creative" in order to fit him into the budget. I just don't see it happening. I think Damon is going to get an offer much like Miguel Tejada got (1 year at $6 mil) and that is waaaay more than the Reds can (presumably) afford.
David Laurila at Baseball Prospectus asks Terry Reynolds some questions about the farm system
This was an incredibly satisfying read. I strongly encourage you to go read the whole thing. Here's a snippet:
"DL: Three of the more highly-regarded young shortstops in the organization are Zach Cozart, Paul Janish, and Chris Valaika. You probably aren’t willing to say which one it is, but does the organization view any one of the three as the most likely to become the Reds’ long-term shortstop?
TR: Um … I would say that the answer to that is yes. But it is a luxury to have all three, and the nice thing is that behind them we have Kris Negron, Miguel Rojas, [Billy] Hamilton and [Mariekson] Gregorius. We’ve got some depth at that position, and this is the first time since I’ve been here that I’ve been able to say that. So it’s a nice position to be in, and Paul Janish is a major-league shortstop. Until I hear different, he’s the guy. That’s the assumption I’m going under, and I would say that it’s his job to lose."
The Fay thinks if the Reds are gonna spend $3 mil (he's guessing)
they should go after Orlando Cabrera instead of Damon (by the way, The Reds officially are interested in Cabrera). He says the need at SS is far greater than the need in LF. While I agree on that point, Cabrera is not the right answer. While Cabrera may be the only SS available on the market, he's a really poor excuse for one. My personal opinion is that I would rather have Paul Janish than Cabrera, no matter what the price. And I'm not all that high on Janish.
The Reds have found their heir to the Jerry Hairston/Jolbert Cabrera crown
Miguel Cairo signed a minor league deal yesterday. Look for him to start more games at SS than he ever has in his entire career. Thanks to Pops Daniels for the heads-up.
Bryan Price got a look at Aroldis Chapman in Arizona last week
He was "very impressed".
"He was more advanced than I anticipated in regard to his delivery and location and his ability with three pitches. We got a lot of good work in. We introduced him to our strength and conditioning plan, bullpen routines and shoulder and scapula exercises. We told him what to expect for Spring Training. Those factors will pay dividends when camp starts on Feb. 18."
The Fay talked to Todd Frazier about this and that
Todd is excited about the idea of getting some time at SS this spring.
"On the fact the Reds plan to play him at some shortstop during camp: "I’ve been playing there my whole life. It’s my favorite position. I would love to go back to shortstop. No complaints there. It’s good to hear. But you never know what’s going to happen in spring training." –When did you last play short? "I haven’t played it in a year and a half. Shortstop is a position you can get used to quickly. It’s not like second base. In the offseason, I take groundballs at every position. When you get back to shortstop, you get that feeling back a little bit: This is the position I grew up playing and that I love."
Nolan Ryan (and some other guys) have agreed to buy the Texas Rangers
Baseball is an odd profession. In what other industry can you start as a lowly employee and move all the way up to owning the company? The Ryan Express rolls on. Choo-choo!!
Kenny Lofton will be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame
Lofton was the CF Dusty Baker always dreams of having. Tremendous speed, great bunter, and he knew how to get to 1st base (.372 OBP). He was one of my favorite non-Reds growing up. I liked him extra-much because my brother and my dad are named Kenny too.
Johnathan Mayo lists his top 50 prospects for this year
Yonder Alonso comes in at #30, Juan Francisco comes in at #48, and Mike Leake just missed the cut at #53. Mayo must be one of those guys that doesn't think much of Aroldis Chapman.