The Jonny Gomes drama appears to have crescendoed
Walt says they are most likely going to exercise his option and bring him back. It's hard to get too vitriolic about an option worth less than $2 mil, but one wonders what this means for the LF situation. Does this mean the Reds intend to go with Gomes as the starting LF again, or are they willing to pay him this money to be a bench bat and go get a better player? Gomes was basically a replacement-level player this past season, which was a noticeable step down from his 2009.
Other news from the boss
Fay talked to Walt, who was a font of non-committal GMery. Walt says they are talking to Arthur Rhodes and Ramon Hernandez about returning. The Rhodes decision is about money, as he made $2 mil this season and the Reds are probably unwilling or unable to go much higher than that. The Hernandez decision is about money too, but the emergence of Devin Mesoraco is an extra variable in the calculus.
MLBTR lists the most expensive signing bonuses the Reds have ever doled out
Topping the list is obviously Aroldis Chapman, whose $16.25 mil signing bonus is by far the most handsome in baseball history. You will also notice the Reds effort to bolster the farm system in recent years, as they have signed 8 amateurs to bonuses of $2 mil or more since 2004. And they have been very efficient with this money, as each of these 8 is either currently a solid starter on the big league team or still a well-regarded prospect (I might be stretching that definition to include Juan Duran, but so what). You may also notice Chris Gruler, who hopefully invested that $2.5 mil signing bonus wisely. He didn't pitch 100 innings of pro ball before his shoulder turned to overcooked spaghetti.
Joey Votto should build a new trophy case
The awards are starting to roll in for Votto, as on Wednesday he won the "Most Handsome Canadian in Baseball" award was named an NL All-Star by the Sporting News. The Sporting News awards are voted on by over 300 players, so his excellence did not go unnoticed by his peers. This could foreshadow the MVP race, as he beat out both Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez, who arguably have the most compelling MVP cases outside of Votto.
Doug Gray at RML breaks down Yonder Alonso's season
The broken hamate bone he suffered last season apparently lingered well into this season, as his power numbers were unimpressive until after the 1-year anniversary. His second was impressive by any measure though. His adventures in LF appear to have ended without much fanfare, so you have to believe that the Reds will trade him before the deadline next July. He's proven he has overcome the hamate injury and is still an elite-level hitting prospect, so you have to believe teams would be interested.
This might be a bit unorthodox
but I'd like to color outside the lines a bit here and talk about something we wouldn't normally discuss. This story touched a nerve with me though, so I hope you will oblige me. The Enquirer's John Fay wrote a provocative and perhaps even explosive piece yesterday regarding the Reds' upcoming decision at the SS position. I'm not even sure what to say to this, as this virginal territory is well beyond my frontiers.
I'm just foolin' ya! We've beaten that dead horse so much already that PETA is growing weary of protesting outside RRHQ and is discussing moving into the building next door so they can cut down their commute. The interesting bit from this piece is Fay's assessment that Billy Hamilton could be the SS of the Future. He's probably at least 3 years away, but it's still nice to see that the next wave of great prospects is starting to swell.