|This guy has been wheeling and dealing lately|
It's been a busy, yet productive week for general manager Walt Jocketty and the Cincinnati Reds.
The team has wasted no time at all in addressing their offseason wish list. First, the club re-signed free agent closer Jonathan Broxton at the end of November. That move was made in an effort to allow the team to implement their ultimate plan of transitioning Aroldis Chapman from the bullpen into the starting rotation. Although it cleared up the dilemma with Chapman, there still remained one glaring need for the Reds: a leadoff man.
The rumor mill had been tossing and turning with possibilities ever since, but Jocketty put an end to the speculation on Tuesday after executing a blockbuster deal. In a 3-team trade that involved 9-players, Jocketty was able to reel in veteran outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, veteran infielder Jason Donald, and $3.5 million in cash from the Cleveland Indians. The Reds parted ways with enigmatic center fielder Drew Stubbs to Cleveland and slick-fielding prospect Didi Gregorius to Arizona.
On Wednesday, the reigning National League Central Champions plucked yet another player away from the Tribe by signing free agent third basemen Jack Hannahan to a 2-year deal. The addition of Hannahan gives Dusty Baker another left-handed bat to choose from on the bench, as well as a steady backup for projected starter Todd Frazier at third.
Will he return or retire? That has been the burning question for Hall of Fame bound Scott Rolen this offseason as he ponders whether or not he should return for an 18th season in the bigs. According to CBS Sports' Danny Knobler, Rolen has approached the Reds about giving it another try...at least for spring training. The team still believes that he can help in some form or fashion, so it sounds like he's going to receive his chance to contribute. No official word yet on how that is expected to pan out.
The team also announced some Minor League coaching changes for the upcoming season. Jim Riggleman, who guided Double-A Pensacola to a 68-70 mark in 2012, will now serve as the head coach at Triple-A Louisville. He will take over for David Bell, who recently accepted the third base coaching job for the Chicago Cubs. Louisville is coming off one of their worst seasons in franchise history after going 51-93.
Delino DeShields and Jose Nieves are also receving promotions in the club's Minor League ranks. Nieves will take over for DeShields at Single-A Dayton after serving as manager of the Arizona Summer League team. DeShields fills the void left behind by Riggleman in Pensacola.
Cincinnati has yet to announce who will be the head man at Single-A Bakersfield for 2013. Ken Griffey Sr. held the position in 2012.