The Reds’ efforts to sign right-hander Hunter Greene are complicated by the need to wait for fourth overall pick Brendan McKay to reach agreement with the Rays, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes. It seems that Greene is still hoping to emerge as the highest-paid player in the draft, with Cincinnati apparently willing to oblige to the extent possible. Buchanan runs the math on where the Reds’ pool money stands and notes that the club has given no indication of concern that Greene will choose to head to UCLA rather than starting his professional career.
Elsewhere in the NL Central…
- Heyman also writes that the Brewers, a surprising division leader, could look to add some bullpen help prior to the trade deadline this summer. Milwaukee’s top tier of prospects, however, looks to be nearly untouchable in trade talks, he continues, listing the likes of Josh Hader, Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, Corey Ray and Isan Diaz. Heyman also notes that Travis Shaw was a target of the Brewers’ front office from day one last offseason, though it took until the Winter Meetings in early December to finalize a deal with the Red Sox.
- In Pirates injury news, Pittsburgh placed catcher Francisco Cervelli back on the 7-day concussion disabled list for a second time this season yesterday. Cervelli was only activated for about a week between his two stints on the DL. Pirates head trainer Todd Tomczyk described Cervelli’s symptoms as “post-concussive” and “post-viral,” writes MLB.com’s Adam Berry, who notes that this is at least the third concussion with which Cervelli has been diagnosed in his pro career. In Cervelli’s absence, the Bucs have again recalled 27-year-old Jacob Stallings from Triple-A Indianapolis.
- Top Pirates prospect Austin Meadows will be sidelined for at least a week in Triple-A after an MRI revealed a hamstring strain, writes Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Meadows, 22, entered the year as a consensus top-10 prospect leaguewide. But he has struggled thus far at Triple-A, with a .248/.313/.358 batting line through 281 plate appearances. With this injury now limiting him, it seems all but certain the Bucs won’t be in a rush to call him up to the majors — which perhaps alters the team’s calculus somewhat at the trade deadline, with longtime star Andrew McCutchen potentially featuring as an important chip.
- Finally, in agency news, Reds infielder Jose Peraza has elected to join ISE Baseball, according to Robert Murray of Fan Rag (via Twitter). The 23-year-old entered the year with 141 days of service, so he could reach arbitration eligibility after the 2018 season as a Super Two player.