Tag:Edinson Volquez
Posted on: January 19, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 12:19 pm
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Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

While 119 players filed for salary arbitration, by the time it came down to exchange salary numbers on Tuesday, only 37 players submitted numbers -- and three of those already have agreements.

Of the 34 remaining cases, only a handful will make it to the arbitration hearings, scheduled to begin Feb. 1. Last year, only eight hearings took place. The reason is that neither side wants to go in front of the three-person panels, not as much for the fear of losing, but more because of the process.

Deals can be made up until the point the parties enter the room, but once there, it's one number or the other, there's no more compromise or negotiation.

Once that door closes, a front-office member who has told me, it can get pretty nasty and hurt the relationship between a team and a player for years to come. Here's the three pending cases that could get the most contentious in this process:

Josh Hamilton 1. Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- Hamilton has requested $12 million, while the Rangers have offered $8.7 million. No player, perhaps, in the history of the game has done more to make the case for both sides easier. Hamilton can point to his MVP and associated numbers, while the Rangers don't have to do too much digging to get into Hamilton's past and find some demons. They can even point to his recent five-day stay in the hospital for pneumonia as a concern that he can stay healthy considering his past drug use and his own admitted depleted immune system.

Jose Bautista 2. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays -- Bautista has requested $10.5 million, while the Blue Jays have offered $7.6 million. Ryan Howard's $10 million decision in 2008 is the record judgement in arbitration, but he already had an MVP under his belt and was coming off a fifth-place finish in the award the season he became eligible for arbitration. Bautista has nowhere near the same track record, breaking out in 2010. There have been questions about the methods he used to improve so drastically in one season, and they will certainly be brought up in a hearing.

Edinson Volquez 3. Edinson Volquez, Reds -- Volquez has requested $2 million, while the Reds have offered $1.3 million. The fact that the difference is so small makes it even less likely the Reds and Volquez go to arbitration -- and the fact that Volquez was suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs last season would make it more interesting than either side would like. The team publicly supported Volquez during his suspension (and coming off of Tommy John surgery, he didn't actually miss any time he would have played and actually ended up saving the Reds money because they didn't have to pay him during his suspension), but they may sing a different tune in an arbitration hearing.

Others to watch: Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez has asked for $10.25 million, while the Astros countered with $8 million. Rodriguez lost his hearing last season. The process has already gotten some teeth with the Brewers and second baseman Rickie Weeks, who has asked for $7.2 million, with the Brewers offering $4.85 million.

Update: Volquez and the Reds agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,625,000 on Monday, Jan. 31.

Rodriguez and the Astros reached an agreement on a $34 million, three-year contract on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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To see the full list of exchanged numbers, check out the CBSSports.com arbitration scoreboard .
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

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



Posted on: November 23, 2010 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Hamilton runs away with AL MVP

Josh Hamilton wins the American League MVP, and while it wasn't quite the landslide that Joey Votto's NL victory was, it wasn't close, either.

Hamilton collected 22 of the 28 first-place votes, had four second-place votes and two fourth-place votes for a total of 358 points. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was second, finishing with five first-place votes and 262 overall points. Robinson Cano was third (229) and Toronto's Jose Bautista was fourth with one first-place vote and 165 total points.

Josh Hamilton Here's the final voting
Josh Hamilton, Rangers 358
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 262
Robinson Cano, Yankees 229
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 165
Paul Konerko, White Sox, 130
Evan Longoria, Rays 100
Carl Crawford, Rays 98
Joe Mauer, Twins 97
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox 83
Delmon Young, Twins 44
Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers 22
Rafael Soriano, Rays 21
CC Sabathia, Yankees 13
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians 9
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 8
Felix Hernandez, Mariners 6
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 3
Jim Thome, Twins 2
Joakim Soria, Royals 1
Mark Teixeira, Yankees 1

An interesting note, both of the MVPs made their debut for the Reds in 2007, Hamilton on opening day and Votto after rosters expanded in September. The Reds traded Hamilton after the 2007 season to the Rangers for pitcher Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


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 10, 2010 4:48 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2010 6:04 pm
 

No decisions on Cabrera, Game 4 for Reds yet

CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Dusty Baker isn't making decisions until he absolutely has to make them.

As for the status of Orlando Cabrera, the veteran shortstop will be examined before Sunday's game and the team will then make that determination. Paul Janish is starting Sunday's Game 3 and infielder Chris Valaika is at the stadium to take Cabrera's place on the roster if needed.

As for the Game 4 starter, Baker will wait until he knows there's a decision to be made to make it.

"It depends on who we use tonight and we'll determine it after tonight's game," Baker said.

Edinson Volquez started Game 1, while left-hander Travis Wood was effective in releif in the first game. Either could get the nod for a potential Game 4 on Monday.

Baker also noted the team had the Rangers-Rays game on in the clubhouse, not that they needed any other evidence that a comeback from 0-2 in games was possible, but it didn't hurt to have the proof in front of them.

"I know this might sound corny, but this is a real must-win," Baker said. "A lot of times you hear that question in the season, 'Is this a must-win?' Most of the times [the answer] is no, but this is a must-win."

UPDATE: Cabrera just said he doesn't know whether he's playing and wants to make the determination after hitting, but Baker and the TBS broadcast both say he's playing.

UPDATE: After hitting, Cabrera said the muscles in his left side didn't bother him. "Seems good, no pain at all," he said. He's definitely playing.

--C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 3, 2010 12:21 pm
 

Reds set first-round rotation

Travis Wood Yesterday Dusty Baker announced Edinson Volquez would start Game 1 of the Reds' NLDS. On Sunday, he filled out the rest of the rotation -- Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto.

The names -- beyond Volquez -- weren't unexpected. Arroyo is 17-10 with a 3.88 ERA, while Cueto is 12-7 with a  3.64. The bigger surprise may have been that even if the Reds face the left-handed heavy Philadelphia Phillies in the first round, lefty Travis Wood (pictured) won't be used as a starter.

Wood had a perfect game into the ninth inning in his only start against the Phillies on July 10, a game the Reds ultimately lost. That was the rookie's third-ever start and came at Citizen's Bank Park.

"That was the first time they saw him, too. Not to take anything away from him," Baker told reporters (via MLB.com's Mark Sheldon ). "They didn't have [Chase] Utley. They didn't have [Placido] Polanco. They didn't have [Carlos] Ruiz. And they were scoring runs at the time. He's a gutsy kid, but he and Homer [Bailey] are probably the least experienced, too. If we can get him a game, he'd be more prepared to start the next time if there is a next time."

The Reds are going with 11 pitchers, with starters Wood and Bailey in the bullpen.

Baker said he wanted to break up the two hard throwers with Arroyo.

Cueto would get the Game 3 start at great American Ball Park, and Baker cited Cueto's 3.20 ERA at home and 4.10 ERA on the road as a deciding factor in that choice.

Baker said his rotation would be the same, regardless of which team the Reds face. They could face either the Phillies, Giants or Padres -- whoever the Reds get, they'll do it on the road.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 2, 2010 7:15 pm
 

Volquez gets Game 1 start for Reds

Edinson Volquez
Edinson Volquez, who began the season not only recovering from Tommy John surgery but serving a 50-game drug suspension, has rebounded to become Cincinnati's No. 1 playoff starter.

Manager Dusty Baker made the somewhat surprising announcement Saturday, revealing that Aaron Harang will take Volquez's scheduled start Sunday so Volquez will be ready to pitch the opening game of the National League Division Series. Assuming the Reds face the Phillies (the most likely scenario, but still not certain), it would give Cincinnati a power arm to put up against Roy Halladay.

Volquez didn't debut with the Reds this season until July 17, and was sent down after seeing his ERA at 6.17 after eight starts. Since being recalled September 11, he is 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA.

"He's coming on pretty strong," Baker said. "He's been especially good against lefties. The Phillies have a lot of lefties."

-- David Andriesen

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