John Erardi of the Cincinnati Enquirer lobbed out the Detroit Tigers as a trade partner for the Reds. Part of this I like, and part of it I don't, but I'll give John some credit for coming up with an idea that's kind of reasonable. Jackson would be an intriguing piece to have at CF, as he's a solid defender with a career OBP of .344 and some solid pop, Castellanos is a former Top 50 corner OF prospect who looks like he'll hit for power, and Porcello is a ground-ball SP who would presumably be a great fit in the tiny confines of GABP; all told, that's a nice combination to have, but I can't imagine a team swapping that much for Phillips, the entirety of his contract, and a closer. Both Jackson and Porcello are in their arbitration years and their combined 2014 salaries would be roughly equivalent to those of Phillips and Chapman, so that's at least a wash on the surface, but I can't envision the Tigers yielding their LF of the future for the $40ish million due to Phillips after the season. Plus, Detroit would then need an OF as badly as they currently need a 2B, and the Reds would have 6 MLB-caliber SP.
Mark Sheldon from Reds.com detailed Billy Hamilton's foray into Winter Ball in Puerto Rico. The Reds seem to be doing everything they can to make sure that Hamilton has as much game experience as possible by the time the 2014 season rolls around in the event that the minor league stolen base king is their most viable option in CF. So far, Billy's struggled there as he struggled in AAA Louisville in 2013, however. While Sheldon noted that Hamilton was 9 for 44 when this was written, he's apparently gone 0 for his last 10, since he now sits at 9 for 54. Oof. Joining Hamilton on the Cangrejeros de Santurce are Neftali Soto and Derrick Robinson, and while neither of them have managed to hit the ball with much authority, at least Robinson has managed to hit .289 with a .341 OBP thus far.
Grant Brisbee broke down a potential blockbuster that Bowtie McFunnypants claimed may actually have been explored. A Matt Kemp for Elvis Andrus deal would effectively clear up the logjam of highly paid OFs currently scheduled to patrol Chavez Ravine in 2014 (and beyond), and for the Dodgers, it would allow Hanley Ramirez to move back to 3B while adding a talented defensive middle infielder with a whale of a contract; for the Rangers, it would also open up a spot for top prospect Jurickson Profar while also adding the potent OF bat they've needed since the departure of Josh Hamilton for funny money. This trade makes far too much sense for it to ever happen.
CBS Sports Baseball Insider Jon Heyman revealed that the Texas Rangers like former Reds' OF Shin-Soo Choo as much as Heyman himself likes #largemammaries. The Rangers have tons-o-bucks to spend this offseason, and they appear to be leaning towards tabbing Choo for a big payday as opposed to their own former OF Nelson Cruz and former Boston Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury. I hate seeing this because I want to believe the Reds could somehow bring Choo back, but I also have this weird feeling that Jacoby Ellsbury may become second choice for a lot of teams and see his price fall to where the Reds could pounce. Who am I kidding? That's not going to happen either. #Dang. It's all up to you, Billy Quix.