Mark Sheldon reports that Cincinnati is looking to preserve even more of the team's core over the next several years. Like Yossarian mentioned last night, I am not sure how comfortable I am with extending Homer Bailey. Mat Latos is an above-average starter with good peripherals and a successful track record. On the other hand, Bailey is a marginal or average starter with one good season and several mediocre ones. If the Reds were to re-sign Bailey this offseason, then they are betting that his productive 2012 season is his new talent level rather than a fluke. Given that he has missed considerable playing time to injury in some of his other seasons, I would not want to take that bet right now.
The Reds added minor league depth yesterday with the acquisitions of pitcher Jeff Marquez and Kevin Whelan as well as outfielder Derrick Robinson. All of these guys are in their mid-to-late twenties with long minor league careers. They should bolster the Bats a bit, but I do not think they will have any impact at the big league level.
Walt Jocketty has not heard from Scott Rolen, so the third baseman's career is still alive for the time bein. I really cannot imagine Rolen returning to Cincinnati to battle Jack Hannahan for the role of Todd Frazier's caddy (and neither can Fay). Perhaps another team would offer him more playing time, but any club that needs an injury-riddled Rolen is probably not going to contend. I think Rolen retires in the next couple of weeks.
--LF Ryan Ludwick said he really wanted to come back to the Reds. His contract indicates how much. Ludwick signed a two-year, $15 million deal, but he's only making $1 million in 2013 (he also got a $2 million signing bonus). Of the $15 million guarantee, $4.5 million is in the form of a buyout from his $9 million mutual option for 2015.
--INF Jack Hannahan's free agent deal with the Reds is backloaded. He's make $1 million this year and next, but he has a $2 million buyout on a $4 million option for 2015.
I did not realize that Ludwick's contract was so heavily backloaded.