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Cincinnati Reds

The Scooter question and who’s pulling the strings for the Reds

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Will Scooter Gennett be a cornerstone of the Reds for the next several years? Or will the Reds send him away for pitching?

When Scooter Gennett said Friday he senses the Reds want to keep him around for a few years, there was a lot of reaction if Twitter is an indicator. Scooter said Reds CEO Bob Castellini wants him to stay. Many jumped to the conclusion that Castellini is telling Dick Williams and Nick Krall what to do.

There is a reported history of ownership making demands about Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton. Is that still the M.O.? Who knows. Perhaps, Williams and Krall feel the same way as Castellini does about Scooter, talked to their boss and he supports the idea. We don’t have proof of anything more.

If I’m Scooter, and Williams or Krall start contract discussions with my agent, I tell my agent to find out if the owners are on board. He wants to be a Red, he wants all the Reds to want him and it gives him more negotiating leverage. The evidence is too thin to assume ownership made an ultimatum. You may think I’m naive, but I’m just looking at the evidence we have.

The Scooter Gennett options:

  1. Trade him now or in the offseason and get an established starting pitcher as part of the deal.
  2. Sign him to an extension this month or in the offseason.
  3. Do nothing now and make a long-term decision about him next July or after the 2019 season.

There are no wrong answers unless a trade is one-sided against the Reds or the Reds give him too many years (like more than three or four). I favor option No. 3. Why do something before you have to? More will be known a year from now about Gennett, Nick Senzel and the viability of the starting rotation.

Many of us have gone back and forth on the Scooter question. The real answer is that the Reds have a surplus in the middle infield. They will trade someone and get something promising from a team starved for second-base help.

Scooter’s positives:

  • He gets on base.
  • He hits for power.
  • He runs the bases well.
  • Leadership.
  • Enthusiasm.
  • He wants to be a Red.

Scooter’s negative:

  • Defense. But doesn’t it seem like he’s better than he used to be? Don’t get the Gold Glove ready, but he seems more dependable than a year ago.

As Krall said, you make moves if it makes the team better. Is there a price another team would pay for Scooter that would make this team better? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe Williams and Krall already know based on conversations they’ve had with other teams. We’ll never have the opportunity to completely judge their decision about Scooter unless they trade him. Or if a true offer is leaked that they turn down.

In the meantime, enjoy Scooter. And don’t get hung up on the idea that Castellini is a dictator.

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Cincinnati Reds

Recapping Redsfest

Jeffery Carr

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As the clock hit 6:30 pm, last Saturday, I was ready to go to Great American Ballpark. That’s when my wife reminded me that it was December. Every year the Cincinnati Reds put on a first class party for their fans called Redsfest and they’re pretty good at what they do.

I got to meet Michael Lorenzen, Tyler Mahle, Ibandel Isabel, and Jimmy Herget. I got my copy of “The Big 50” signed by Chad Dotson and Chris Garber, made a video with Mo Egger, and talked shop with Doug Gray. Okay, I get it, enough with the name dropping. Basically, it was fun.

I made it a point to ask some light-hearted questions (or in Lorenzen’s case, make a light-hearted, but factual, statement) to see what their reactions would be.

I first met Lorenzen. I told him that he was the real silver slugger and I am attempting to get that other guy to mail him the trophy he deserves. Lorenzen responded with, “Well, that just gives me motivation to hit twice as many homers next year.” Might have to get me a Lorenzen jersey…

I then got Mahle’s John Hancock (or is it Herbie Hancock?) on a baseball and I asked him if we can expec upwards of three, or more, 20-strikeout games this year. He replied “Let’s hope so. I’ll see what I can do.” Hope you folks in the bleachers with K’s are ready to work, this season.

I then got autographs from Isabel and Herget. Isabel just gave me an awkward smile and a chuckle when I asked if he will focus on inside-the-parkers this year instead of traditional homers, since he’s already hit a lot of those. Herget gave me a classic answer to my simple question of what his favorite pitch was when he said, “A strike.” Well played Jimmy.

The main stage offerings were also enjoyable. The best was at the kids-only press conference. Joey Votto, Amir Garrett, and Eugenio Suarez were on stage for the show, and when asked what their favorite memory of 2018 will be, Joey decided it was “When Amir tried to fight the Cubs.” Suarez bumped in, “Yeah, when he struck out Baez and stared him down. That was awesome, man!” As much as we fans may have liked that moment, it seems to have been even cooler to the team.

Memorabilia-wise, there was a ton of stuff to get. I didn’t go too crazy, this year, but I did end up with a new hat that has a Jackie Robinson 42 patch on it. Definitely my favorite hat, now. All in all, a good weekend.

If you went, let me know how your experience went!

Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonReds on Twitter for more baseball content during the winter months!

 

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Cincinnati Reds

Live (Sorta) from Redsfest with Mo Egger

Jeffery Carr

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Cincinnati Reds

Instant Reaction: Bye, Bye Billy

Jeffery Carr

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© Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Wow! It’s the first hour of Redsfest and there are fireworks, already! The world’s fastest man (probably), Billy Hamilton, was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds making him a free agent. I have a few instant thoughts on this.

Firstly, I am bummed. I watched his career develop in the minors all the way up til he got the call to the Bigs. He looked like a star in the making in Pensacola, but what we now know is that he was defensively gifted and offensively challenged. He will go down, in my book, as the foremost example of “You can’t steal first.” I hope that his next step (if he doesn’t return, that is, but more on that in a second) he finds that missing piece and becomes a star.

Nextly, where do the Reds go from here? The encouragement is that we know Bob Castellini loved Billy and wanted him to be here forever and ever. That means the front office has definitely, officially been handed the reigns. If that’s the case, maybe we see Nick Senzel brought up and given the CF job, or Jose Peraza move to CF (he has a few minutes of experience there) and Senzel put in at shortstop. Those possibilities excite me. Whatever gets Senzel in the lineup is the right course of action, to me.

Lastly, maybe this is a little Michael Johnson maneuvering? For those who don’t follow the other professional franchise in Cincinnati, the Bengals made a move, right before the season, where they cut one of their longtime veterans only to resign him a few days later. They made the move to get some young guys onto the practice squad, but I digress. What if the Reds and Billy have a little head nod and handshake agreement that they will sign him for a year or two at his current rate, avoiding the arbitration-hike in salary he was about to get? This is purely a hypothetical notion by me, by the way, and I don’t know if they can do that, or if Billy would want it that way. Just a thought from a fan who can never truly be unbiased when it comes to Cool Papa Bill.

Anyway, I am sure there will be more to come from Redsfest!

Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonReds on the Twitter!

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