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Tag:Bill Bray
Posted on: January 16, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Reds, Votto agree to 3-year deal

Joey Votto The Reds have agreed to a three-year deal with National League MVP Joey Votto worth $38 million, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports .

The Reds avoid arbitration with Votto, buying out all three years of his deal, but Votto doesn't give up any free agent years with the extension. The deal is pending a physical, which is expected to take place on Monday.

Votto, 27, led the National League in on-base percentage (.424) and slugging (.600), and was the overwhelming winner of the National League MVP, getting 31 of 32 first-place votes.

The Reds drafted Votto in the second round of the 2002 draft out of Canada and he made his debut in late 2007 before earning the starting first baseman's job in 2008, when he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, behind Cubs catcher Geovony Soto.

Votto was arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason and had been reluctant to discuss a long-term deal.

In December, Votto told reporters he couldn't fathom signing a 10-year deal like Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki.

"I don't know as far as beyond three years, I think it's a real unfair question to ask," Votto said (via Sheldon ). "This is not me saying I don't want to be here. But last year was a difficult year for me. This year was a better year for me. It's really hard for me to think three years ahead, five years ahead, seven years ahead or 10 years ahead. When Tulowitzki signed that 10-year contract, I was blown away. I can't imagine seeing myself 10 years from now saying I want to be here. It's an overwhelming thing to ask a young person like myself and say, 'here's a lot of money, be happy with this over 10 years, deal with it.'"

Votto's new deal will buy out his arbitration-eligible years. As a first-year arbitration-eligible player, the three-year deal will not affect his free agent status, he'll still be a free agent following the 2013 season.

For the small-market Reds, they now have payroll certainty -- they know exactly what they'll be spending for one of the game's best young players of the next three years.

Arbitration numbers are due this week, and it's possible Votto could seek to equal or top Ryan Howard's record $10 million judgement. He will now average more than that over the next three seasons, but with another MVP-type season, Votto could ask for even more.

It's not without risk for Cincinnati -- the team is essentially banking on the fact Votto will improve from his breakout season in 2010, when he hit .324/.424/.600 with 37 home runs and 113 RBI. In 2009, Votto missed chunks of time dealing with depression and panic attacks following the sudden loss of his father. He also suffered with vertigo-like symptoms.

Cincinnati also locked up its other young talent, Jay Bruce, earlier this offseason. Bruce, who was arbitration-eligible as a "Super Two", signed a six-year deal worth $51 million to avoid arbitration.

The Reds, who haven't gone to arbitration with a player since 2004, have three arbitration-eligible players remaining, left-handed reliever Bill Bray and right-handed starters Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 16, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: January 16, 2011 10:35 am
 

Reds 'working hard' on deal with Votto

Joey Votto The Reds are "working hard" at a three-year contract for National League MVP Joey Votto, Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman tweets .

Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty has repeatedly said this offseason that he hoped to avoid arbitration and work out a long-term deal with his first baseman.

Votto is arbitration-eligible for the first time and Heyman suggests a deal would be for three years, buying out his arbitration-eligible years, and still allow Votto to be eligible for free agency following the 2013 season. Heyman tweets the deal would "likely" be for "about $37 million." That would give Votto a large payday, as well as give the Reds cost certainty for the next three years.

Earlier this offseason, the team signed Jay Bruce -- arbitration-eligible as a "Super Two" -- to a six-year deal worth $51 million, also avoiding arbitration.

Votto is one of four arbitration-eligible Reds remaining, along with left-handed reliever Bill Bray and right-handed starters Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. Cincinnati hasn't gone to arbitration with a player since 2004, when the team beat Chris Reitsma.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 3, 2010 6:13 pm
 

Reds budget to increase for 2011

The Reds' budget will be "better" than last year's $72 million, general manager Walt Jocketty told CBSSports.com on Wednesday, but because of the team's large number of arbitration-eligible players, he's unsure how much money he has to spend.

"It's hard to predict what those numbers will be," Jocketty said. "We can't commit a lot of dollars right now."

The total budget, Jocketty noted, wouldn't rise dramatically, but will be more than he had for 2010.

He said that was one of the reasons the Reds declined their $4 million option on shortstop Orlando Cabrera, although the team has talked to his agent about returning to the Reds at a lower rate.

Walt Jocketty Jocketty said the team has yet to hear word if outfielder Jay Bruce will qualify as a Super Two, which would also affect the team's bottom line. Bruce, in his second full season, hit .281/.353/.493 with 25 home runs and established himself as one of the top defensive right fielders in the game (he was second to Ichiro Suzuki in the Fielding Bible Awards). Jocketty said he expects to hear sometime this month on Bruce's status as a Super Two, though it is expected he will qualify.

Bruce won't get the biggest bump from the arbitration process, though. Likely National League MVP Joey Votto is also eligible for arbitration for the first time. In addition, the Reds have Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Bill Bray, Jared Burton and Laynce Nix as arbitration-eligible players.

If the Reds do have some money to spend, Jocketty said he'd like to find a leadoff man.

We'd like to improve our offense," Jocketty said. "With our pitching, we like our rotation, we like our bullpen. One thing we'd like to improve upon is a leadoff hitter, I don't know that if that's possible or not."

Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs led off for the majority of the 2010 season.

If the team doesn't bring back Cabrera, Jocketty said he feels comfortable  with Paul Janish as the team's everyday shortstop. The Reds went into February with the plan of Janish at short last year before signing Cabrera.

Other notes from Jocketty:

• He said the team had talks with an extension for pitcher Bronson Arroyo, but hadn't reached an agreement yet, so the team picked up his option. Jocketty said they'd still like to get a multi-year deal done before 2011. Arroyo told CBSSports.com earlier today that they were working on a three-year deal.

• Sorry Louisville, Aroldis Chapman won't be back in the minors next year.

"He should be ready for the major leagues now," Jocketty said.

Whether he will be a starter or reliever in 2011, only time will tell. Longterm, the Reds believe Chapman will be a starter.

"Right now, when we get to spring training, if he's better suited for the rotation or the bullpen," Jocketty said. "It's very possible he could be back in the bullpen."

The Reds could have a crowded rotation with Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Mike Leake and Travis Wood.

• Jocketty said he talked to the agent for free agent utility man Migeul Cairo on Wednesday about bringing Cairo back to Cincinnati.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: October 5, 2010 5:18 pm
 

Edmonds' status still in the air

Jim Edmonds The Reds aren't counting out Jim Edmonds yet.

Edmonds, who is dealing with an Achilles injury, will give the team the final word after today's workout in Philadelphia, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes .

If Edmonds can't go, the team will go with rookie Juan Francisco. The Reds sent first baseman Yonder Alonso home.

"[Francisco] can play more positions," manager Dusty Baker said. "If Scotty [Rolen] comes up sore or something, we've got another bona fide third baseman."

Baker said the team would go up until tomorrow's 10 a.m. deadline to set the roster.

However, outfielder Laynce Nix who missed much of the last month of the season with a sprained ankle will be on the roster and will likely start Friday against Roy Oswalt.

"He hits him better than anyone we've got," Baker said.

Nix is 9 for 17 with three doubles and two homers in his career against Oswalt.

The Reds will load up on the left-handers in the bullpen to face the Phillies, with Arthur Rhodes, Aroldis Chapman, Bill Bray and Travis Wood available in relief.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 2, 2010 12:33 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 2:20 pm
 

Chapman closer to the big leagues

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman is getting closer to the big leagues, Reds manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Erardi .

"We'll see how he is in the next couple of weeks," Jocketty said.

The Reds moved Chapman from the rotation to the bullpen in June and after a rough start, Chapman has dominated. In his last nine relief outings, Chapman hasn't surrendered an earned run. In 10 1/3 innings, he's allowed six hits, walked six and struck out 17, allowing an unearned run.

Overall, he's 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in 15 appearances as a reliever, walking nine and striking out 29 in 18 2/3 innings, limiting batters to a .186 average against. In his first six outings, he allowed six earned runs in 8 1/3 innings.

The Reds still view Chapman as a starter in the future, but hope to use him out of the bullpen in a pennant race and potential playoff push, much like the Rays did with David Price in 2008.

The Reds currently have two lefties in their bullpen, Arthur Rhodes and Bill Bray. The team sent right-hander Carlos Fisher to Triple-A following Sunday's game and will call up 41-year old Russ Springer before tonight's game in Pittsburgh. Springer and Jason Isringhausen (who has given up an earned run in each of his two outings at Triple-A since signing with the team last week) are part of Jocketty's retirement home fishing for bullpen help.

The bullpen, especially the middle relief, has the Reds biggest concern through the first three months of the season, but in July, the bullpen had a 2.52 ERA, allowing 21 runs in 75 innings. In the first three months of the season, the bullpen had a 4.57 ERA.

One of the big reasons for the turnaround is that Nick Masset, who sported a 2.37 ERA last season, but had a 5.88 ERA through the first three months of the season. In July, Masset allowed just one earned run in 15 appearances with batters hitting .184 against him with 14 strikeouts and seven walks. Rookie Logan Ondrusek has allowed just two runs in 24 games since being recalled from Triple-A at the beginning of June and hasn't allowed a run in his last 17 outings, totaling 18 2/3 innings. Another rookie, Jordan Smith, has also been good with a 2.53 ERA in 18 games. He hasn't allowed a run in his last eight appearances.

A lefty out of the pen could give 40-year old Rhodes a little relief. Rhodes has appeared in a 50 games. He earned his first All-Star bid after an amazing start -- in his first 35 games of the season, Rhodes had a 0.28 ERA, giving up just one run in his first 33 innings pitch of the season with batters hitting .140/.220/.187 against him. In his last 15, Rhodes has a 5.79 ERA with batters hitting .270/.333/.568 against him in 9 1/3 innings.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.





Posted on: June 27, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2010 8:48 pm
 

Reds' move unlike to lead to Volquez return


Edinson Volquez Could the Reds' latest move mean former All-Star Edinson Volquez is ready to return from "Tommy John" surgery?

Volquez is scheduled to make his second start for Triple-A Louisville, but he's been impressive in his quick rehab from Tommy John surgery last Aug. 3. He was also suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, but that suspension has expired. Still, it seems unlikely, as Volquez has made just one Triple-A start.

The Reds called up left-handed reliever Bill Bray, himself coming off of "Tommy John" surgery, and sent down Saturday's starter, Sam LeCure before Sunday's game with the Indians.

Bray last pitched in the big leagues in 2008, when he was 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 63 appearances for the Reds. He missed most of last season after undergoing surgery in April.

Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's Tom Ramstetter that the team needed left-handers in their bullpen for the upcoming series against the Phillies and their left-handed hitters.

LeCure lasted just 3 1/3 innings Saturday's victory over the Indians, allowing six hits and three runs, while walking four and striking out two. It was the worst start of the season for the rookie right-hander. LeCure was 1-4 with a  4.86 ERA in six starts with the Reds.

"He's pitched pretty well," Baker said. "Last night was probably the worst he's pitched. That's not why we made the move. When his spot comes up, then we'll see what our next move is. Sometimes when you're trying to win the pennant, you have to make these temporary auxiliary moves."

Volquez has made just one start for Louisville and the Reds have said they'd prefer for him to get a couple of weeks in to see how his arm responds. He pitched well in his first outing for the Bats, hitting 98 mph on the radar gun with his fastball in a victory.

More likely, though, the Reds would call up left-hander Matt Maloney for Thursday's start in Chicago. Maloney starter for the Bats on Saturday and is 6-4 with a 3.60 ERA in 14 starts at Louisville. Maloney made seven starts for the Reds last season. Another possibility is left-hander Travis Wood. Wood got the win on Friday for Louisville and 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA and Thursday's game against the Cubs is a day game, so the extra day would help his travel schedule. Wood battled into the last starts of spring training with rookie Mike Leake for the fifth spot in the rotation.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com