Paul Janish Rumors
The Braves and Paul Janish reached an agreement on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (via Twitter). According to O'Brien, the deal was completed earlier in the offseason, but wasn't announced at the time.
Janish, who is a career .216/.286/.291 hitter, posted a career-worst .502 OPS in 2012, though the Braves will bring him back more for his glove than his bat. MLBTR's arbitration projections called for a salary of about $900K for the 30-year-old infielder.
Janish, 29, has spent 2012 with Triple-A Louisville after playing 114 games for the Reds last season. The shortstop has never been much of a hitter but boasts a very strong glove. Janish owns a .221/.289/.302 slash line in 324 career games and could offer support at shortstop in the absence of Andrelton Simmons.
Redmond, 27, has never appeared in a big league game. The right-hander has been with Triple-A Gwinnett since 2009 and has a 3.78 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 97 starts.
Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here. Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing. Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints. Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:
- The Cardinals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle McClellan, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest. Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the one-year deal is worth $2.5MM with incentives based on starts. MLBTR projected a $2.7MM for the Steve Comte client.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that the Padres and Chase Headley agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.475MM, avoiding arbitration. Earlier this evening, the Padres announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Gregerson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable. They also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher on a deal worth $700K, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. CAA announced catcher John Baker has signed for $750K. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported that the Padres reached agreements with Hundley, Chase Headley, and Tim Stauffer. Hundley will earn $2MM in 2012, MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets the salaries for Volquez ($2.2375MM), Venable ($1.475MM), Gregerson ($1.55MM)
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Matt Harrison, tweets Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. The ACES client gets $2.95MM on a one-year deal. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary.
- The Cubs announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($1.375MM), Blake DeWitt ($1.1MM), Ian Stewart ($2.237MM) Chris Volstad ($2.655MM), and Randy Wells ($2.705MM). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweeted the salary figures.
The Reds' top pick is currently protected, which means there's a good chance they'll be able to sign a Type A free agent this offseason without surrendering a first round pick in 2012 (they'd lose a second rounder instead). Some updates on the Reds, who beat the Mets tonight...
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer explains that the Reds are hoping Zack Cozart emerges as their starting shortstop in 2012. They're likely to have a veteran backing up at short (though it seems unlikely that Edgar Renteria will return), so there's not necessarily room for Paul Janish on next year's club.
- Reds closer Francisco Cordero told Fay that the Reds called his agent about a new deal and talked to him about the possibility as well. The Reds have a $12MM option for Cordero in 2012, though as MLBTR's Dan Mennella showed this month, the sides could agree to a two-year deal worth a total of $8-10MM instead. GM Walt Jocketty has said that the sides have discussed a deal “quite a bit.”
- Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News wonders whether Chris Heisey will be a fourth outfielder, the regular center fielder, or the regular left fielder in 2012.
Joey Votto celebrated his 28th birthday with a 3-for-4 performance today against the Rockies, including his 27th homer of the year. It wasn't enough, however, as Cincinnati dropped a 12-7 result to Colorado.
Some notes from around the majors....
- The Red Sox could use another solid starting pitcher but "for the moment don't feel there's anyone out there available who's better than what they have," a team official tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- The Rockies will give catcher Wilin Rosario a lot of playing time this month as they decide what to do with Chris Iannetta this winter, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. If Rosario plays well, Colorado may decide to deal Iannetta, who's due to make $3.55MM in 2012. Iannetta's name was mentioned in trade rumors involving the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Pirates and Padres at the July deadline.
- Johan Santana will probably not pitch in the Major Leagues for the Mets this season, reports Anthony DiComo for MLB.com.
- Dontrelle Willis probably won't be back with the Reds next season, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Willis has re-established himself as a big league starter this year but Fay figures that this progress has likely priced the southpaw out of the Reds' range.
- Another Red who likely won't be back in Cincinnati next year is Paul Janish, opines Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News. Despite some excellent glovework (a +11.6 UZR/150 at shortstop this year), Janish will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and is probably a non-tender candidate with Zack Cozart taking over at short.
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune says several American League scouts have asked him about Jesus Guzman's fielding ability in recent weeks, a sign that AL teams could have an interest in Guzman as a DH candidate. Center discusses Guzman, Bud Black's status, a possible extension for Cameron Maybin and other Padres-related topics in an online chat with fans.
- Andruw Jones has been playing all season with a small tear in his left knee, reports Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. The Yankees discovered the injury during Jones' physical but signed the veteran outfielder anyway (both Twitter links).
Another assortment of links for your Sunday viewing pleasure...
- Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union Tribune opines that Major League Baseball should push the trading deadline back. Sullivan's piece includes quotes from Padres GM Jed Hoyer and Yankees GM Brian Cashman, and is an excellent read. Sullivan reminds us that in 2004, there was a 50-50 split in a GM poll that asked whether they'd prefer to move the deadline to August 15 or keep the status quo.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty is sticking with the combination of Edgar Renteria and Paul Janish in lieu of promoting top prospect Zack Cozart (and presumably making a trade as well), writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Jocketty praises the glove work of Janish and Renteria.
- Orlando Cabrera may not be setting the world on fire with the Indians, but Ken Rosenthal's latest column suggests that the move may have a benefit that goes beyond the stat sheet; during Spring Training, O-Cab encouraged Asdrubal Cabrera, saying he shouldn't be afraid to "let it fly" after marveling at the shortstop's power in batting practice. Asdrubal has already belted a career-high 12 homers.
- Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette writes that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is working with the front office to re-evaluate the offense. The Bucs have looked outside the organization to make improvements, but other teams weren't ready to deal.
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post looks at the Rockies' need for starting pitching in the wake of Jorge de la Rosa's injury, but says the Rox need something more than a fourth or fifth starter in any trade. He also opines that Clayton Mortensen and Greg Reynolds should get a look before any big moves are made.
Let's take a look at some items out of the NL Central, including a Point-Counterpoint on the Cardinals and Jason Bartlett..
- The Reds' biggest need at the trade deadline will be at shortstop if Paul Janish doesn't turn things around at the plate, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The 28-year-old is hitting .221/.250/.260 so far this year.
- Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals should be "all over" Jason Bartlett if the Padres make him available. While Gordon likes what Ryan Theriot has brought to the table this year, he believes that his substandard defensive play at shortstop is hurting the club.
- Meanwhile, Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch presents a respectful dissent to the case for Bartlett. While Bartlett is a better option defensively than Theriot, the gap between the two at the plate is too large to overlook.
- Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald wonders if it's time for a regime change with the Cubs’ baseball operation. Miles points out that GM Jim Hendry is getting to rebuild his club for a third time, something few major-market GMs get to do.
More Saturday linkage..
- Ty Wigginton of the Orioles will likely see his number of at-bats decrease after the team's signing of Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins. Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com says that the 32-year-old could be a trade candidate in Spring Training.
- The sale of the Rangers to Chuck Greenberg's group is complete and an announcement is forthcoming, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
- Phil Wood of MASNSports.com understands the Nats' pursuit of Orlando Hudson, but not their reported interest in Orlando Cabrera. Hudson is reportedly seeking $9MM per season whereas Mike Axisa estimates that Cabrera can be had for $3MM.
- Veteran infielder Mark Loretta is expected to retire this week and take a job with an unspecified major league club, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The 38-year-old, who spent 2009 with the Dodgers, has a career .754 OPS.
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com writes that signing Hunter Pence to one-year, $3.5MM deal makes sense for Houston. McTaggart senses that there is some kind of a groundswell of support by Astros fans to lock up the 26-year-old, but the club still has three years of contractual control to make such a deal happen.
- Signing Brad Penny saved money for the Cardinals, writes Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While it may seem as though Penny's $7.5MM deal is similar to Joel Pineiro's two-year deal that will pay him an average of $8MM per season, the extra year on Pineiro's contract didn't fit into the Cards' budget.
- Due in part to the team's overload of left field options, top Reds prospect Todd Frazier could see some time at shortstop this season, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Frazier played shortstop in his time at Rutgers University but was moved to the outfield as he was considered to be "too big for the spot." GM Walt Jocketty said that there will be open competition for the role of starting shortstop, though Fay says that it will likely go to the light-hitting Paul Janish.
To put it mildly, this has been a rough year for Reds fans. Edinson Volquez had the Cincinnati faithful buzzing after posting a 3.21 ERA with 9.5 K/9 in his first full season in 2008. After logging just nine starts in the 2009 campaign, Volquez needed surgery to repair damage in his right elbow. The Reds faded fast as their depleted staff wasn't getting much of a lift from their sagging offense. Injuries to Joey Votto and Edwin Encarnacion (prior to being dealt to Toronto) certainly didn't do them any favors.
However, if the team's recent performance is any indication of what lies ahead, Reds fans might have something to cheer about in 2010. Dusty Baker's squad has gone 19-11 since September 1st, thanks in part to stronger pitching (3.39 team ERA) and the return of Jay Bruce, who missed two months with a broken wrist.
Buster Olney, Baseball Prospectus and the ESPN Insider staff compiled a glance at this past season and what to expect next year in Cincy. An ESPN Insider account is needed to read the article, but here are the brass tacks for those without:
- It's no secret that the Reds don't have a top-flight budget. They opened this season with a payroll of $73MM and owner Bob Castellini isn't going to "go all Steinbrenner" and tack-on much more.
- Further exacerbating their financial woes are their pricey commitments to Bronson Arroyo, Francisco Cordero, Aaron Harang and Scott Rolen. Combined, these four players are owed $46.5 million next season.
- Olney says that considering their lack of flexibility this offseason, Homer Bailey might be their best chance for improvement as he recorded a 2.41 ERA in September. The velocity that made Bailey such a highly-coveted prospect has returned, with his fastball being clocked at an average of 94.5 MPH this year. This is a big step-up from his previous big league work and could spell an even bigger jump in 2010.
- Baseball Prospectus says that their "acceptable" rate of 4.5 runs allowed per game is due in part to their much-improved defense. It will be interesting to see if defensive-minded yet weak-hitting shortstop Paul Janish will be the Reds' starter next season. Manager Dusty Baker said on Friday that a "definitive decision" hasn't been made yet.
- Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus notes that the combined efforts of all Reds batting in the top two lineup spots resulted in a slash line of .245/.301/.354. When Willy Taveras hit the DL in August, Dusty Baker put rookie Drew Stubbs and the aforementioned Janish at the top of the order. The team has gone 27-15 since then, but Jaffe attributes most of the credit for that to the improved performance of the pitching staff.
- The "Rumor Central" portion of the piece encourages Reds fans that are anxious to see the team acquire a big bat to consider what the offense is capable of if they are healthy. Injury-free seasons from Bruce and Votto should give Cincinnati a major boost.
- The report says to expect the Reds to tender Jonny Gomes an offer as he is arbitration-eligible. This should come as no surprise as Gomes has belted 20 HRs in 311 plate appearances while posting .266/.338/.540.
- Jaffe says that Jocketty could deal Arroyo or Harang to give the team room to make a mid-level signing this winter. He adds, "...It's difficult to envision this team breaking out of the middle of the pack without keen vision and bold steps."
It has been an eventful day for the Reds, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, and not just because they let go of pitching coach Dick Pole. Other Cincinnati notes from Sheldon:
- When asked if Paul Janish will be the Reds' starting shortstop in 2010, manager Dusty Baker said that he had yet to "come up with a definitive decision." GM Walt Jocketty indicated that surrounding Janish with more dangerous bats would help justify keeping his glove in the lineup. The 26-year-old shortstop has a +17.8 UZR/150 in 2009, but has hit just .215/.297/.308 in over 250 plate appearances.
- Edinson Volquez is pleased with his progress recovering from Tommy John surgery. Cincinnati expects him back around the All-Star break next season.
- Jay Bruce no longer plans to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic. He has been on a tear since coming off the disabled list on September 14, hitting .316/.422/.684, though he says the hot streak isn't a major factor in his decision. He should be healthy and ready to produce a stronger campaign in 2010.