While the MLB postseason has finally reached the World Series, it’s been largely quiet on the Cincinnati Reds front. There have been no high profile DFAs, no early trade rumblings, and no top prospects on display in the Arizona Fall League. And while this is usually the quiet season for teams not competing in the playoffs, there just seems to be a larger than normal lull around the team at the moment.
A bunch of former Reds have been all over the news, however.
First, it’s worth congratulating the former Reds who find themselves on World Series rosters. Tony Cingrani figures to feature for the Los Angeles Dodgers once Game 1 commences tonight around 8 PM ET, while former Cincinnati draftees Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal also will play big roles for the NL champs. The Enquirer’s Dave Clark details the other connections the Reds have with the Dodgers and Houston Astros, including in the coaching ranks.
As for former Reds who made the postseason and didn’t quite crack the World Series, Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker will no longer be “Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker,” as the club opted not to renew his contract beyond this season, the last on his previous contract. Apparently, they even did so with a phone call rather than tell him face to face, which is a bit of a middle school break-up move. With just the 2018 season standing between superstar Bryce Harper and free agency, it seems pretty clear that this was a move predicated on pushing the team over the top next year, and obviously they didn’t think Dusty was the man for the job. They’ll reportedly interview Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez, but you have to wonder whether they’ve got their fingers crossed that the New York Yankees don’t bring back Joe Girardi.
While we’re on the topic of former Cincinnati managers and the Washington Nationals, it seems Ray Knight got into a slobberknocker the other night, landing in jail under charges of assault and battery. Twice the manager of godawful Reds teams, Knight has been employed as the resident “talk about grit and emphasize RBI” portion of Nats broadcasts for the last few years.
In actual Reds news, it appears Wandy Peralta already has locked down a role in the 2018 bullpen, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. While that’s both interesting to hear finalized and should be rather obvious given how solid Peralta was during most of the season, it’s odd that this story was just published this week given than the quotes from manager Bryan Price appear to have come weeks ago. Again, it’s been an odd lull in Reds-related news of late.
Remember when Scott Van Slyke was a part of the Reds for about eight minutes? Well, he elected to become a free agent, as Baseball America’s Matt Eddy noted in his MiLB transactions roundup. Van Slyke came to the Reds as makeweight financially when Cingrani was shipped to the Dodgers. Again, this is your Former Red Reposter.
If you’re interest in one #taek about what the Reds might be up to this offseason, MLB Trade Rumors has their Offseason Outlook for the club up and posted. It...well, it’s got a lot of pertinent information that’s worth reading through, but a few of the opinions and ideas within seem to be a bit off-base. For one, I can’t imagine any of the Rays, Royals, or Padres shelling out cash to sign Zack Cozart to a deal that the Reds wouldn’t also be interested in pursuing, since each of the four are small payroll clubs coming off losing seasons and in the middle of rebuilds - if the Royals have the kind of cash to outspend the Reds for Cozart, they’d be using it to re-sign Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain, for instance. Also, I think there’s zero chance the Reds trade Homer Bailey this offseason, for a list of reasons that would make this already too-long paragraph significantly more TL;DR.
(Speaking of Cozart, the Reds will have five days after the completion of the World Series to extend a Qualifying Offer to Cozart, in essence a 1 year, $17.4 million contract offer. Since the World Series is here, that’ll happen in just another week or so.)
Finally, Carson Cistulli is again crowdsourcing contract estimates for this upcoming free agent class, and is just about a third of the way through the ballot process. Cozart’s in that group, of course, as are a number of other high profile names. If you’re up for participating in the process - i.e. you’d like to take your chances at estimating what each player will land contract-wise - give it a whirl here.