Tag:Jay Bruce
Posted on: December 10, 2010 1:15 pm

What does Bruce deal mean for Votto?

Joey Votto
Jay Bruce, four years from free-agent eligibility, has been locked up by the Reds for six years (with an option for a seventh).

That has Reds fans wondering whether the team's next move is to try to extend National League MVP Joey Votto, who is three years from free agency. He could get an extension similar to what Adrian Gonzalez, a year away from free agency, is getting ready to sign with the Red Sox.

The trouble is, from Votto's perspective, it doesn't make sense to sign long-term -- especially after seeing the contract Carl Crawford just signed. Even if the Reds offer Votto big money, nobody can predict how ridiculous the market will have gotten by 2014. He knows he's going to get the most possible money -- from the Reds or someone else -- when he has the most possible suitors. And if you read these recent comments by Votto, it doesn't sound like he's interested in limiting his options or giving Cincinnati a hometown discount.

Probably the best the Reds can hope for is a multi-year deal that covers some or all of Votto's pre-free agency years, like the two-year contract Prince Fielder signed with the Brewers. It would give the Reds cost certainty, which they don't have with arbitration, and protect Votto in case his performance falls off a cliff.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:30 am
Edited on: December 10, 2010 2:01 am

Reds, Jay Bruce agree to six-year extension

Jay BruceThe Cincinnati Reds and right fielder Jay Bruce agreed to a six-year, $51 million extension, WLW radio's website is reporting off an ESPN.com report.

The 23-year-old, left-handed slugger, who hit a game-winning home run in the Reds' NL Central Division-clinching victory, finished last season hitting .281 with 25 homers and 70 RBI.

The deal includes an option for a seventh year that could bring the deal to $63 million. It includes a partial no-trade clause and several incentive bonuses.

Bruce's memorable division-clinching, walk-off solo blast on the final Tuesday of the regular season lifted the Reds to a 3-2 victory over Houston and sealed Cincinnati's first division title since 1995.

Bruce, who featured a .575 slugging percentage after the All-Star break, would have been eligible for salary arbitration in February.

Bruce made his major-league debut in 2008, hitting .254 with 21 homers and 52 RBI in 108 games. The 2005 first-round draft pick, 12th overall, slipped to .223 in his second season, but still connected for 22 home runs and 58 RBI.  

The Cincinnati Enquirer's website features a 39-picture photoset from the Reds' division clincher.  

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 8:46 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 10:53 pm

Tuesday evening rumor roundup

Well, the first day of the general managers' meetings in Orlando was more eventful than expected. The Braves stole Dan Uggla from the Marlins, the Cardinals re-signed Jake Westbrook and Florida overpaid for John Buck.

There's other talk 'round the meetings and here's a few of the other notes from Tuesday:

• The Marlins are looking at a multi-year deal with right-hander Ricky Nolasco. (Miami Herald )

• Reds general manager Walt Jocketty says he's spoken to the agents for free agents Arthur Rhodes and Miguel Cairo. Asked if the Reds were likely to sign any outside free agents, Jocketty said, "probably not." (Cincinnati Enquirer )

• Jocketty says the Reds are talking to teams about acquiring a leadoff hitter. (MLB.com )

• The agent for Reds right fielder Jay Bruce says his client is open to selling out his arbitration-eligible years in a long-term deal. Bruce is a Super Two player. (MLB.com )

• Free agent left-hander Jeff Francis is drawing interest from the Pirates, Mariners, Rockies, Brewers and Astros. (ESPN.com )

• The Yankees are interested in left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano. (Newsday )

• Bill Hall could be an option for the Yankees. (FoxSports.com )

• Chad Tracy, who played for the Marlins and Cubs last season, has signed with Japan's Hiroshima Carp for about $1.3 million. (NPB Tracker )

• Former Red and Mariner Wladimir Balentien has reportedly signed to play in Japan. (NPB Tracker )

• Japan's SoftBank Hawks are working on signing Marcus Thames. (NPB Tracker )

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 4, 2010 4:19 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:32 pm

Bruce, O'Day among Super Twos

Brad Ziegler, the right-handed sidearmed reliever, is the lucky winner of the Super Two cutoff date this year with two years, 122 days of service time, according to the list sent to agents by the MLB Players Association. Super Two qualify for salary arbitration early.

The cutoff this season is lower than it has been in recent years, perhaps indicating that teams are getting more and more careful about how soon they bring up players in attempts to put off arbitration as long as possible.

Leading the list is Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria, who has already been signed to a long-term deal, a deal that's looking better and better by the day for the Rays.

Here's the list:

Jay Bruce Player 2009 Club Total Service
Evan Longoria Tampa Bay 2.170
Jim Johnson Baltimore 2.165
Felipe Paulino Houston 2.163
Josh Fields Kansas City 2.159
Kyle Kendrick Philadelphia 2.159
Sean White Seattle 2.156
Ian Stewart Colorado 2.154
Dana Eveland* Pittsburgh 2.152
Luke Hochevar Kansas City 2.151
Armando Galarraga Detroit 2.148
Burke Badenhop Florida 2.143
Ross Ohlendorf Pittsburgh 2.139
Chris Perez Cleveland 2.136
Alberto Gonzalez Washington 2.135
Jensen Lewis Cleveland 2.133
Darren O'Day Texas 2.128
Jay Bruce Cincinnati 2.125
Chase Headley San Diego 2.123
Travis Buck Oakland 2.123
Brad Ziegler Oakland 2.122

It appears that this is the best news for Bruce, O'Day and Perez, who will likely get the biggest bumps in salary from 2010 to 2011.

Of all those players, Bruce (pictured) may have had the best season, hitting .281/.353/.493 with 25 home runs. Perez recorded 23 saves and had a 1.71 ERA as the closer for the Indians once Kerry Wood was sent to the Yankees. O'Day was a valuable member of the Rangers' bullpen, appearing in 72 regular-season games and 11 postseason games. During the Regular season, he had a 2.03 ERA.

All three of those players made $440,000 or less last season.

-- 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

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Posted on: October 22, 2010 12:00 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 11:17 pm

Bruce, Votto could sign extensions with Reds

Bruce and Votto Agent Matt Sosnick appeared on the Diamond Hoggers' Baseball Show Thursday and had some interesting information to divulge, especially about his Reds client in Jay Bruce (picture, on the right) and some speculation on Joey Votto (left in picture).

Courtesy of a breakdown provided by MLB Trade Rumors , Sosnick said that Jay Bruce would be open to signing a long-term contract with the Reds for five or six years. Bruce recently completed his third season in the majors at age 23, hitting .281/.353/.493 with 25 home runs and has now hit at least 21 home runs in each of the three years he's been in the majors.

However, what represented a major step forward for Bruce was in batting average, as his rookie year checked in at .225 and his sophomore year at .223 prior to a fractured wrist that knocked him out for two months. Finally, Bruce is emerging as the middle-of-the-order force many predicted and should pair with Joey Votto to give pitchers nightmares over the next few seasons.

Bruce has one more year at the league-minimum salary due him before entering three years of arbitration. That's why Sosnick and Bruce are open to signing a long-term extension rather than testing the market: they're tied to the Reds for four more years anyways. Lately, star players ink extensions instead of going year-by-year in arbitration with the first year or two of free agency bought out as well. It gives the youngsters security and allows management to avoid the messy process arbitration can be (not to mention out-of-control salaries).

On Votto's side, however, Sosnick expects Cincinnati to come and pay for the first baseman if the club would like a long-term extension. Votto, represented by Dan Lozano, is poised to enter arbitration for the first time and should get a nice payday after his expected nod as the NL MVP. The 27-year-old cranked 37 home runs and hit .323/.424/.600 in 648 PA, driving in 113. Sosnick cited deals signed by Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki and Arizona's Justin Upton as comparables for Votto.

Tulowitzki, a shortstop, signed a six-year, $31 million deal prior to the 2008 season as a 23-year-old (and is now woefully underpaid) while Upton, a right-fielder, signed on the dotted line for six years and $51.25 million in spring training as a 22-year-old.

Votto has plenty of age over Tulowitzki and Upton, but working in his favor is his status as one of the premier power threats in the NL that should help make up for any disparity. Given Votto has three years of arbitration, a four- or five-year deal makes sense, at an annual value of roughly $10 million. Votto's impending arbitration case should go a long way toward determining the value of Votto and could set into motion extension talks.

In other notes, Sosnick spoke on Josh Willingham's interest in returning to Washington (story here ) and mentioned that the Giants inquired on Willingham. The asking price? Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner. No thanks, said San Francisco, and rightfully so.

Sosnick also represents Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins. The two sides are trying to come to agreement on a long-term extension and agree on the years but are "20 percent" apart in salary.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 11, 2010 7:07 pm

Reds like their position for the future

For a team whose season was ended, the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse was hardly morose late Sunday night.

The young Reds team, making its first postseason appearance in 15 years, didn't seem defeated as much as they were beat, swept in thee games by the Phillies.

"They're a good team, they deserved to win this series," said Reds right fielder Jay Bruce.

At that point, the Reds could only tip their cap to Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. The young Reds knew they should have won Game 2 and been at the very least playing Game 4 tonight, with a chance to send it back to Philadelphia.

Joey Votto "I think the next time we’re in Game 2 and we’re up 4-0, I think we’ll say we’ve been here already, let’s close it out," probably NL MVP Joey Votto said. "That’s not to disrespect any of my teammates or the organization or anything like that, but we’ll have been there, we’ll have done that, and I think the added experience will help with our poise."

As Votto looked around the team's clubhouse, he saw mostly people he could count on returning in 2011.

"I don’t see anyone going anywhere. I don’t think we have very many free agents, if any, " Votto said. "We’ve got a bunch of guys making the minimum, we’re here for good."

At that point, Votto was reminded he's in for a raise as a first-year arbitration-eligible player. Also, Bruce could be a Super 2, giving him a nice bump, too.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has already said the team would pick up the $11 million option on starter Bronson Arroyo, and the team could also pick up a $1.75 million piton on outfielder Jonny Gomes.

The $4 million mutual option on shortstop Orlando Cabrera will be a bigger decision. Catcher Ramon Hernandez had a $3.25 million vesting option with 120 games in 2010, but he didn't make that number. He could be back, but would also be wise to test his market.

Reliever Arthur Rhodes, outfielder Laynce Nix and utility man Miguel Cairo are all free agents and could be back. Reliever Mike Lincoln is also due to become a free agent and will likely have to sign a minor-league contract after suffering injuries the last two seasons.

Reliever Russ Springer and outfielder Jim Edmonds may retire.

The Reds will surely decline Aaron Harang's $12.75 million option, and he'll look for a new home in a  less homer-happy ballpark.

But, the core of this team returns -- including all of its starting pitchers: Arroyo, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Travis Wood and Mike Leake, plus Aroldis Chapman. Closer Francisco Cordero will be back for a final season (the team has an option for 2012 it is unlikely to exercise), as will top set-up man Nick Masset.

Brandon Phillips is signed through next season with a  club option for 2012 and Scott Rolen is under contract through 2012. Paul Janish could move into an everyday shortstop role. With Bruce and Drew Stubss, the Reds have two-thirds of the outfield set, along with Gomes and Chris Heisey in left. Ryan Hanigan returns behind the plate and Hernandez could be signed for one more year before either Devin Mesoraco or 2010 first-round pick Yasmani Grandal.

The Reds are set up for the next couple of years, and that's how they were looking at it Sunday night.

"Our plan is that this is just the beginning of a long run of success here in Cincinnati," Bruce said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:32 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 5:37 pm

City will investigate Reds' cigar smoking

Bob Castellini
You know the old bromide: Where there's smoke, there's ... uh, people to complain about the smoke.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, five people called an Ohio smoking ban hotline to complain that people were seen smoking indoors after the Reds clinched a playoff berth Tuesday (the names of the callers were not released, but I'm told one of them gave the name "Rony La Tussa"). The Cincinnati Health Department is investigating.

Video and photos from the celebration in the clubhouse at Great American Ball Park show numerous players smoking cigars (passed out by owner Bob Castellini, pictured), but the health department can only act if a health inspector actually sees someone smoking in violation of the ban.

State law requires an inspector to go out within 30 days of the complaint, at about the same time of day as the alleged violation. I can just picture the Reds being eliminated, and a month from now some guy leaping out of Jay Bruce's empty locker one night and yelling "Ha! Gotcha!"

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Tags: Jay Bruce, Reds
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com