As of a few weeks ago, the Reds were reportedly “considering” trade scenarios centering on Nick Senzel. However, president of baseball operations Dick Williams then suggested the outfielder/second baseman isn’t going anywhere. That’s fine with Senzel, who said Monday (via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer): “I’m happy to be here. I want to be here for my whole career. I want to play in Cincinnati for these fans and my teammates. Any time those talks come up or anything, there is literally nothing I can do about it. I have no control over it. The less I worry about it, the better.” Senzel then noted trade rumors are “part of the business, especially when top names are getting thrown around.” Indeed, it never seemed as if the Reds would move Senzel during the winter without getting back a star-caliber player in return.
Here’s more from the National League…
- To say this has been an offseason low on impact acquisitions for the Pirates would be an understatement. They’ve signed three major league free agents – catcher Luke Maile and a pair of outfielders Jarrod Dyson and Guillermo Heredia – all for modest prices. Thanks to its offseason decisions, including the trade of center fielder Starling Marte to Arizona, Pittsburgh’s projected to enter 2020 with a microscopic payroll of $60MM, per Jason Martinez of Roster Resource. It’s not an ideal way to build a team, but the Pirates are in a rebuild. Once (and if) the Pirates begin to turn things around, new general manager Ben Cherington expects to have more money at his disposal. “I’m confident [payroll] will increase over time as we get deeper into our team build, there’s opportunity and we get closer with those opportunities,” Cherington stated Sunday (via Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). “I’m confident we’ll have the means to build a winning team and add pieces. We’re not putting any kind of date on when that could happen. We’re going to try and get there as soon as we can. That’s an every-day thing.” The Pirates have come under fire for a lack of spending, though Cherington added that he’s “really confident that the total investment in baseball operations is not just enough but really competitive within the industry,”
- It has been a trying couple years for Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, a former star. The 34-year-old missed a sizable chunk of time from 2017-18 and didn’t take the field at all last season as a result of various injuries, including one suffered during a run-in with a wild boar. The Mets then amended Cespedes’ contract back in December, dropping his 2020 salary from $29.5MM to $6MM. Cespedes is now working to return to form in the wake of a long layoff, but he wasn’t cooperative with the media Monday after the Mets’ first full-squad workout, as Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News relays. Asked if he’d discuss his offseason, his general health or the boar encounter, he offered, “Not today, not tomorrow, not at all this year.”
- With Jordan Hicks recovering from Tommy John surgery and Carlos Martinez on his way back to their rotation, the Cardinals will hold closer auditions all spring, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Andrew Miller, Ryan Helsley, John Gant, Giovanny Gallegos, John Brebbia, Alex Reyes and offseason signing Kwang-Hyun Kim could all be candidates to land the job, though the Cardinals may choose to fill the role by committee. “Having one guy who is a lock down guy is fine,” manager Mike Shildt told Goold. “If we don’t have that then clearly the multiple options are going to be necessary.”