NL Central Notes: Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates

The National League Central saw a change atop its leaderboard as the Brewers fell out of first place for the first time since April 5 after a 5-4 walk-off loss to the Nationals. It could be temporary pending the outcome of the Cardinals’ game with the Dodgers tonight. Here’s the latest from the NL Central:

  • Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty has several of his inner-circle baseball operations people on the road with him and is eyeing some additions, but that doesn’t mean anything will happen this month. “I’d like to add a bat,” Jocketty said, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. “We just haven’t found anything that attracts us yet. It may not happen before the 31st.”  Jocketty went on to say if the Reds acquire a bat, the preference would be for the player to play multiple positions.
  • With Brandon Phillips on the disabled list, the Reds GM was asked about pursuing the recently released Dan Uggla. “We haven’t discussed that yet,” Jocketty said (as quoted by John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer). “I haven’t talked to our scouts that saw him. I don’t know. We’re going to meet tomorrow and go over some stuff.
  • In a chat with Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (via Twitter), Jocketty made it clear he’d like to acquire a middle of the order bat he could put into the Reds‘ lineup right away, not an injury risk type player.  When asked about Rays‘ second baseman Ben Zobrist (link), Jocketty said, “That’s a good name. That’s all I’ll say.”
  • The Reds have interest in the Phillies‘ Marlon Byrd and Antonio Bastardo, reports CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury.
  • The Cardinals‘ top Trade Deadline priority should be starting pitching and not a replacement for the injured Yadier Molina, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • The Cardinals‘ due diligence with David Price is reminiscent of their pursuit of Matt Holliday in 2009, tweets Strauss’ colleague at the P-D, Derrick Goold (Twitter links).
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin has downplayed the prospects of making a major deal before the Trade Deadline citing the lack of playing time for a bat and the limited impact a reliever can have because of the few innings they pitch, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt.
  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington told reporters, including Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the ask is still high on the trade market, but the club has the payroll flexibility to make a move. “It’s the basic law of supply and demand,” Huntington said. “There’s not a lot of teams that are looking to sell, and there are a lot of teams looking to buy. There’s not a ton of players out there who are significant upgrades. There are some guys you think can be, so as a result asking prices higher than you’d like. It’s a balance of what do you give up for projected current wins for projected future wins.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


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42 Comments on "NL Central Notes: Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates"


Nathan Justice
1 year 1 month ago

Might as well try Uggla. Braves are picking up the tab.

Jeff Miller
1 year 1 month ago

The Reds will still have to pay Uggla out of their pocket, though it’ll probably just be a pro-rated league minimum.

Nathan Justice
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah it’s like 200 K or something.

Jeff Miller
1 year 1 month ago

Byrd, Bastardo + cash ($10M) for OF Jesse Winker, RHP Ben Lively and Ryan Ludwick as a salary dump.

That may seem like too much, but this is my thinking. The Reds need to add a bat and Byrd is probably the best available. He’d also immediately upgrade LF. The Reds could lose 4 SP to free agency after next season, so they should be looking to take advantage of that great rotation while they’ve got it. They’ve got some nice pitching arms on the horizon, but who knows what they’ll be at the big league level. Also after next season the Votto and Bailey contracts start creeping towards and beyond $20M/year for several years. They’ve also got Frazier cost controlled for a few more years before he’ll be looking at a pricey extension they might not be able to afford.

Bob
1 year 1 month ago

I think you have the players right, but Ludwicks buy out is 4.5 million. I cant see that deal happening with the Phillies paying 14.5 million + whatever Ludwick is due.

Jeff Miller
1 year 1 month ago

It would total about $18M. It’s a lot to take on, but salary relief is something the Phils can provide.

meh
1 year 1 month ago

No way the Reds do that trade. No way. Winker is on the Reds “untouchable” list.

meh
1 year 1 month ago

I could see it if you replaced Winker with Yorman Rodriguez and Lively with Corcino, though. You’d also have to take Ludwick out.
he’s a sunk cost now.

Jeff Miller
1 year 1 month ago

You don’t trade the best available bat and outfielder for a couple guys who seem to have stalled out at AA.

Travis2014
1 year 1 month ago

No point in making any trade if the team has trouble winning one in every 10 games…honestly Brewers need a lot to start going their way or they won’t even be in the race

davbee
1 year 1 month ago

Yes, because they’re only tied for first place in their division.

cardinalsfan27
1 year 1 month ago

Half game out actually.

davbee
1 year 1 month ago

Not after the Cards lose tonight :)

cardinalsfan27
1 year 1 month ago

As you guessed. My money’s on the Cards, the Brewers are done. They’ve been playing over their heads all season.

Travis2014
1 year 1 month ago

Sorry but this is not true. Everyone was playing to their potential. No one was having some incredible fluke numbers. Everyone was playing as a team. Now the offense and pitching are picking days to be bad when the other is good. The bullpen might have been playing over their heads a little, but other than that it was all reasonable.

oh Hal
1 year 1 month ago

I’d actually say they’ve been underperforming.

Travis2014
1 year 1 month ago

Where are they underperforming?

Don’t say they bullpen, they were playing over their heads. They were due to regress, but not saying it isn’t a great pen anyway.

The rotation was/is pitching to what I’d consider their potential. A bunch of guys with mid 3 ERAs with no true ace.

And on the offensive side they all have stats that were in their expected ranges. I wouldn’t say anyone on that offense is doing worse than expected.

Their problem is they don’t play as a team. None of the three areas pick up one of the others when they have a bad day. Bad luck and they aren’t gelling together.

oh Hal
1 year 1 month ago

The bullpen has definitely underperformed the last quarter. You may not like Peralta and Garza et al, but that’s you. Ramirez struggled for a while as have Davis and Segura. If your analysis is that when they do well, they are lucky or overperforming but when they do poorly that’s what they are, you’re just a homer for another team.

Travis2014
1 year 1 month ago

Yah keep thinking that to make it sound better. They have played horribly lately for a long period of time. With everyone playing better in their division they will fade really fast if they can’t start playing better now.

davbee
1 year 1 month ago

They’ve played bad for three weeks (small sample size) and great for three months. I see them being in it to the very end.

Travis2014
1 year 1 month ago

I would have to agree

W.G
1 year 1 month ago

It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of which SP the Cardinals trade for. I like Price, but the problem with him is there isn’t a guarantee he’ll sign, and you’d have to about top the Russell-Smardj. trade. I’d look to Cole Hamels first, already in a contract and probably wouldn’t cost as much as Price. But at the end of the day, if you want quality SP, you gotta give up quality prospects.

flyerzfan12
flyerzfan12
1 year 1 month ago

“But at the end of the day, if you want quality SP, you gotta give up quality prospects.”

Thank you, finally someone who gets it.

Phillyfan425
1 year 1 month ago

Pssh, obviously, the Phillies are selling and are having an “everything must go” event. They’re basically going to give pieces away (no matter what their value) because they can’t be bothered with big contracts. Because, you know, there are so many great FAs out there that are going to command huge contracts, that will instantly take any team from bottom 5 in the league to top 5.

stl_cards16
1 year 1 month ago

Yes, fans over value their own team’s prospects. But as funny as that is to the selling teams fans, those fans declaring half of their roster is worth top prospects and is the piece to put a contending team over the top is just as funny. If Utley, Rollins, Lee, Hamels, Papelbon are going to make such a big difference, why in the heck are the Phillies selling with that many guys than can carry a team?

Phillyfan425
1 year 1 month ago

I’m not saying every one of our guys is gonna net top prospects. But for every outlandish trade I see in the Phils favor, I see 5 where the main comment is “Team X eats most of the salary and the Phillies should just be happy about it.”

C.j. Tobe
1 year 1 month ago

As a red fan id like to see Byrd and bastardo but just don’t see it happening.
– money
– Who the reds give up?
Definitely no on uggla
I’m almost okay with going with what the reds have until votto and BP comes back.
The Cuban we signed hopefully could be major league ready by September
I just don’t want to give away prospects or the future to improve the club for a few months
The latos deal was different because the reds gave up prospects that were being blocked
During this offseason once LUDDY comes off the books then you make you get your big bat
And maybe trade one of the three SP who will be free agents after 2015

stl_cards16
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah the Reds just need to stay in the hunt until Votto gets back. With Votto and Bailey both getting more expensive, and a lot of pitchers hitting free-agency in the next 2 years, it doesn’t seem Jocketty will have much money to play with. Holding onto the prospects, particularly the pitching, will be key for Cincinnati.

Bob Bunker
1 year 1 month ago

Votto is said to be out for the next 5 weeks. The Reds are competing against the Nats, Braves, Cards, Pirates, Brewers, Dodgers, and Giants for the 5 playoff spots. With their star hitter out 5 weeks I think the Reds shouldn’t be just holding onto prospects but trying to get more prospects by trading 2 of Latos, Cueto, Simon, and Leake.

No way they will be able to keep all 4 after next season and the haul for the first two could get them quality near major league ready SP and the latter two could get them nice pieces as well.

slasher016
1 year 1 month ago

Can’t count on the new Cuban this year. He’s not even in the states yet. If you’re going for it, you don’t trade one of your starting pitchers. They certainly need a bat, but don’t need to overpay, there’s plenty of OF/1B types out there.

C.j. Tobe
1 year 1 month ago

No no. I mean trade a sp for a bat during the offseason.
Not now!

C.j. Tobe
1 year 1 month ago

And the Cuban from what I’ve read will start I’m triple a by august 1 and will only need a month in minors before being called up. But like you said he is in fact not in the country yet so I won’t count on it till I see. It’s just wishful thinking

Clayton Vitale
1 year 1 month ago

Cardinals farm reports that STL is not just interested in Price, but Longoria as well, who were both in attendance at Busch Stadium tonight. What would it take to land this deal? Would Carlos Martinez, Shelby Miller, Oscar Tavares and Matt Carpenter do it? Or would Allen Craig help sweeten the pot?

Jeff Miller
1 year 1 month ago

To get both? Would take more than that.

Clayton Vitale
1 year 1 month ago

Add in Stephen Piscotty? But then I don’t know that Tampa would have room for everyone. Plus Tavares has been perennially ranked in the top 3 MLB prospects. It is a whole group built on tremendous upside, and Price wouldn’t be guaranteed to stick with any club following a trade. Longoria hasn’t hit like the Evan of old either.

Jeff Miller
1 year 1 month ago

Longoria is under contract for 8 more years and doesn’t go over $15M in salary until 2021. He’s essentially beginning an 8-year $116.5M contract next year that averages just over $14.5M/year. He alone is worth Taveras, Martinez and Miller given the club friendly deal.

Clayton Vitale
1 year 1 month ago

I know he’s got that long contract which is also fairly team friendly, however 8 more years might be something the Rays are looking to get out of. That’s not to discount him as a player, because he’s the class of 3B, but how often do long contracts work out? Then there’s the outside shot Tampa has at the division, I know they don’t think they’re out of it, so until anything materializes, there’s only speculation.

Jeff Miller
1 year 1 month ago

I doubt the Rays are looking to move the face of their franchise in the middle of his prime. Price I can see them moving because he’ll be too expensive, but they’d have to be floored to even consider Longoria. By floored I mean something like Buxton, Sano, Meyer and Berrios from the Twins. Something that’s near impossible and would be a system crippling move.

oh Hal
1 year 1 month ago

Wasn’t Shelby Miller one of the top prospects as well? The shine is coming off of Martinez as well. Piscotty is pretty ordinary.

Regleg Larry
1 year 1 month ago

Sounds like the Reds are going to do absolutely nothing. They have zero chance making the postseason.

Phillyfan425
1 year 1 month ago

The only other one you could add to that list of “Phillies don’t have to eat a large portion to get something decent back” is Byrd. Especially if you send him somewhere not on his no-trade list (since then he’d stop forcing the acquiring team to guarantee his vesting option for 2016).

davbee
1 year 1 month ago

As I said, the Brewers are tied for first.