Major League Baseball's GM Meetings kicked off this week, and though he's no longer the team's GM, Cincinnati Reds Baseball Operations Overlord Walt Jocketty is in attendance in Boca Raton. Yesterday, he had some dang juicy things to say about the path the franchise will take this off-season.
In fact, Walt told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer that they've made other teams explicitly aware that they're willing to trade people, with nary a rostered player off the table. Aroldis Chapman? Sure. Jay Bruce? Sure, sure. Todd Frazier, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips? Sure! It's a significant change of course for Walt - at least the public admission part - but that can likely be chalked up to him protecting ownership interests with the All Star Game last year, perhaps, and his transition from GM to whatever the heck he's doing for the Reds after the title change. Privately, however, Walt has obviously known that this off-season would be one of great implosion since he's been quietly dismantling the team's previous era for a year now, but it's still telling to see him admit that they know the 2016 season won't involve much winning.
FOX Sports everyman Ken Rosenthal must've been listening to Walt speak, as well, and he had similar takeaways. That the team is shopping Chapman and Bruce is neither secret nor surprising, since both nearly moved at last July's non-waiver trade deadline and trades of both make serious sense. The inclusion of Frazier in the discussion, however, is a change of pace that shows that ownership may finally chuck the 'tread-water' philosophy out the window and aim to build something significant for the future.
A trade of Frazier, who's in his arb-2 year in 2016 and under contract for a rather meager $7.5 million, would help facilitate that in big, big ways. Teams in the market for powerful bats this winter will see $100+ million price tags next to Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, and Justin Upton, and may well see nine-figure demands from players who have never reached the 30 dinger mark like Alex Gordon and Ian Desmond. And, of course, they'll see the draft pick forfeiture that would come with signing them. Compared to those, Todd Frazier at 2 years and some $19 million looks like a serious bargain for a player in his prime, and despite Todd's dreadful second half slump in 2015, he's as marketable a known commodity as there is in the game today. Trading him could bring back the kind of young, team controlled position prospects that would pair nicely with the bevy of young arms already assimilated to form the next great Reds run.
I'd miss Todd Frazier, but damnit, I miss winning baseball already.
Over at Reds.com, Mark Sheldon wonders what the makings of an Aroldis Chapman trade would look like.
In other news, down in our FanPosts section that you've likely ignored for centuries, former fearless leader Slyde has dropped a series of Reds-related Sporcle quizzes that are well worth you stopping being productive to tackle this afternoon.
Not a single Red won a Gold Glove when the awards were announced yesterday. Each of Frazier, Brandon Phillips, and Billy Hamilton were finalists at their respective positions, but each lost out. Nolan Arenado won at 3B, Dee Gordon won at 2B, and A.J. Pollock took the CF nod, which is - HUMBLE BRAG ALERT - exactly what I expected to happen when finalists were announced two weeks ago. Gold Gloves are dumb, anyway.
Finally, I'll be blabbering with the Sports Huddle gang at ESPN 1300 Lexington about these trade rumblings at about 5:40 this evening. You can listen here, if you'd like, or you can literally do anything else on the planet.