I wouldn't get your hopes up about Roy Oswalt
Walt said over the weekend that the Reds "had discussions with [Oswalt] a while ago." It's looking more and more that Texas and St. Louis - the reported frontrunners for geographic reasons - don't have the money to sign Oswalt. Fay suggests that trading Homer Bailey and his ~ $2.5M salary could be "risky" but would free up the money and roster spot to bring in Yosemite Roy.
Another SP trade in the works is reportedly Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie for Colorado's Matt Lindstrom and Jason Hammel. Guthrie has had a perfectly cromulent baseballing career, but he's not anything I wished Jocketty had pursued in earnest. [ed.: done deal]
- RL Nation admires the Reds' production at Firstbase
To kick off their position previews, Redleg Nation takes a look at the most stable spot on the Reds' roster. I'd like to see Votto's HR numbers return to their 2010 levels, but I'm obviously quibbling here - Joey Votto is one of the best players in baseball, and I agree that "[i]f anyone else gets significant time at first, it's going to be a problem."
- Mapping strike zone performance
The strength in Joey Votto's hitting derives from his lack of a major weakness. Taking a look at these strike zone maps from the Blog Red Machine, you can see just how difficult it is to put away Votto unless you can paint the low-and-away corner with uncanny precision. Jay Bruce also struggles in that corner, but his weak spot looks to be triple the size of Votto's. Really good stuff here.
- The Fox Sports Ohio Rewind broadcasts start tonight, as a reminder
2011 OD kicks it off tonight at 7. Come by 'round these parts during the game. We'll have a thread and everything.
The 2012 Topps are out
And OMGReds shows us the "Mike Leake v. Gapper" limited edition card. The "Topps so crazy" line also includes the now infamous "Schumaker-as-Squirrel" depiction and, by internet rumor, a NC-17 "Pat Burrell is The Machine" card.
- Cubs beat out Reds, others for Cuban lefty
The Reds had been rumored to be in on Gerardo Concepcion, an 18 year-old LHP. The Cubs ponied up $7M for last season's ROY in the Cuban league.
- Dave Miley's doing just dandy, thanks for asking
The former Reds manager has managed the Yankees' AAA team since 2006. This year should be his most challenging yet because Scranton's home park is getting a $40M facelift, which will keep the junior Yankees on the road all year (they'll play their home games in six cities not named Scranton). But right now he's got his mind on the Caribbean Series. He's managed the Mayaguez Indios to a Puerto Rico winter league title and is now trying to lead them to a a CS crown.
- John Franco's finally getting into the Hall of Fame
Sure, it's the Mets HOF, but still. You could split Franco's career in two (or three), and it would still be very solid. He's third on the Reds' all-time saves list with 148.
- Baseball Nation looks back at the last players to skip the minor leagues altogether
The most recent being Mike Leake. It's fun trivia, but not particularly meaningful because many of these guys - like Leake - end up spending some time in the minors.
- Josh Hamilton's relapse likely means no contract extension
Hard to believe, but Hobbs is already entering his FA walk year. He'd like to stay in Texas, but his recent episode almost certainly puts contract talks on the back burner for a few months. I didn't realize that
SamJohnny Narron, who babysat Hamilton in Cincinnati and in Texas, left the Rangers to become the Brewers' hitting coach. The Rangers and currently looking for a new "accountability partner" to accompany Hamilton. "We're close to hiring somebody and we were before this happened," GM Jon Daniels said.