Programming note: We'll have an Open Thread here, starting around 5 pm, for the Rookie of the Year Announcement show on MLB Network (which starts at 6). Let's look at it this way: at least it's not early January.
The Reds are talking to any free agent reliever with a repaired ligament
And that includes Joakim Soria. I take the closer shopping as good news in itself: it means it's that much more likely Chapman will get another go of starting. But, on top how fragile Chapman's status as "starter" probably is, it is worth thinking a little about who they would actually get to replace him. I was excited about Soria on a visceral level, remembering his high times as the "Mexecutioner," (a nickname even less PC than it sounds), but it's no small fact that this is Soria's SECOND Tommy John procedure.
A little bit more on Soria, from CBS Sports
Soria probably would not be available for at least a month into the 2013 season. It makes him a bargain, but one you wouldn't want to count on as a closer. Of course, if you think the entire role of "closer" is dumb, this is less of a concern.
Rob Neyer asks, "Who was the National League's Executive of the Year?"
Walt Jocketty is discussed alongside SF's Brian Sabean and Washington's Mike Rizzo. Jocko is lagging badly in the voting over at Baseball Nation, despite my feeble endorsement. It's hard to argue with a World Series title - or turning around a franchise even more beleaguered than the Reds had been, but Walt performed better than either using 2011 as a baseline. And, with respect to Rizzo, he did it by relying more on being a wheeler-dealer than sitting on two of the best auto-#1 picks in recent memory.
Doug Gray at Reds Minor Leagues turns his State of the Farm series to Shortstop
There's a pretty big void with Cozart graduated to the majors and BIlly Hamilton graduated to center field, so all the eggs are pretty much in Didi's basket for now. This fact alone makes me pretty opposed to trading from short stop "depth" this off-season, but they're lucky to have a nearly-MLB-ready glove man who is still developing power.
Today is the something-th anniversary of the trade that brought Dmitri Young to Cincinnati
Dmitri undertook a half-hearted comeback last winter. Made me almost wish for a DH in the NL.
I'm glad Andro provided me with more opportunities to make Street Fighter jokes
The Reds didn't hadouken Ryu, but what if they did?
Reds' media guy Rob Butcher is in Taiwain for World Baseball Classic Qualifiers
He posted some photos and reflections over at Better Off Red.