MLB.com's always-busy Mark Sheldon caught up again with free agent starter Bronson Arroyo, who indicated that a match between the Cincinnati Reds and him seems both good on paper and good for the next step in his pitching career. Of note is Arroyo's statement that current Reds manager Bryan Price would "love to have [him] in the locker room," which indicates the two have maintained some semblance of communication during this months-long flirtation process. Arroyo is 39 years old, is coming off serious arm surgery, hasn't pitched in forever, and apparently holds minor league offers from a handful of other teams, but it still appears he's willing to be a Red if the team simply gives him nothing much more than this. He's got roots in the city - well, 'roots' in Arroyo parlance - and this looks more and more inevitable by the day.
Also, Sheldon looked at six of the prospects in the Reds' system that have intriguing storylines attached to them as Spring Training looms.
The word 'tanking' has reached jargon level in the baseballosphere this offseason, and the Reds have continually come up when the word has been used with typical negative connotations. Fangraphs' Dave Cameron issued a lengthy yet spot-on retort to the inkling that 'tanking' both exists and is bad for the sport, and it's certainly worth a read. One thing Cameron doesn't necessarily touch on is the issue of luxury tax dollars being given from teams with high payrolls (read: teams intending to compete) directly to the pockets of teams with low payrolls (read: teams tanking), and that's the all-important sidenote to this entire conflagration. The Reds, though, should be able to shrug off that complaint with ease, as it's becoming more and more evident that they stretched their payroll to its absolute limits in each of the past three years in efforts to compete and have yet to rid themselves of any of the four highest paid players on the roster at present time.
At the MLB owner's meetings this week, commissioner Rob Manfred indicated that the National League could have the DH as early as 2017. The DH is a machination akin to 'taking a charge' in basketball, one that serves as a cop out that reduces the kind of strategy that makes the game interesting and worth talking about. It's the TV dinner of sports. Damn. But yeah, I'll still be watching.
Finally, I'd link to what The Enquirer has to say about the Reds right now, but it's nothing but Aroldis Chapman and Pete Rose noise. Nope, nope, nope.