Saturday, February 1, 2014

A weekend edition of Reds news and notes: Prospect rankings, transactions, and more


Congratulations, guys. We have successfully navigated our way through the dreaded month of January. And that means spring training cannot be far away. Indeed, it is not.

Less than two weeks stand between the commencement of spring training in Goodyear, Arizona and now. Until then, let's take a look back at the week that was, catching you up on all the latest Reds news, notes, and any other interesting link I can find from around the web. I hope you appreciate and enjoy having all of this Reds-related stuff in one place as much as I do.

Transactions....

+ It was a busy week for the Reds in regards to shelling out contracts. On Monday, the Reds agreed to a minor league deal with free agent infielder Chris Nelson. Two days later, Cincinnati signed another veteran infielder in Ramon Santiago, who figures to be the leading candidate to backup Zack Cozart at shortstop. On Friday, the club was at it again, inking speedy outfielder Roger Bernadina to a minor league deal. The Bernadina signing will provide depth if Billy Hamilton struggles in center field. All three players also received invites to big league spring training.

+ Aroldis Chapman agreed to end the arbitration process by striking a one-year, $5 million accord with the club. He originally filed for $5.4 million while the team countered with $4.6. Homer Bailey remains the last Red eligible for an arbitration hearing.

+ A pair of former Reds will suit up for the Colorado Rockies in 2014, as both shortstop Paul Janish and reliever Nick Masset garnered minor league contracts. Masset hasn't pitched since 2011 because of a relentless shoulder injury.

+ Former Reds catcher Joe Oliver, who was part of the 1990 World Series champion squad, has accepted the job as manager of the Class-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Prospect rankings...

+ A couple of prospect rankings were released this week, beginning with Baseball Prospectus' on Monday. There were three Reds who made the cut on their top 101 list: Robert Stephenson, Phillip Ervin, and Hamilton. Not to be outdone, Keith Law of ESPN Insider released his batch on Wednesday, placing both Stephenson and Hamilton among the top 100. Additionally, Law tabbed Cincinnati's farm system as the 16th-best in baseball. On Friday, Law continued his onslaught of prospect pieces, by highlighting who he believes is the top 10 prospects the Reds boast in the minors.

Other Reds-related nuggets...

+ Joey Votto participated in a great interview with 700 WLW's Lance McAlister on Monday. You can hear the audio of that interview session by visiting this link.

+ On Tuesday, our main man Jesse Welte published an interesting piece about classifying Reds fans on Twitter. Needless to say, the idea was brilliant and the results were on point. If you haven't seen it, take a look, and ask yourself, "what kind of Reds fan are you?"

+ What might the 2014 standings look like at the end of the season? I'm glad you asked. I came across a projected model on Tuesday and decided to share its information.

+ We all know this year will be a big one for Devin Mesoraco. The time has come for him to take off the training wheels and succeed. Naturally, David Schoenfield of ESPN.com thinks this is the case too, which is why he pegged Mesoraco as one of five players entering make-or-break seasons.

+ It's hard to believe Bronson Arroyo has yet to find a job. Apparently, he shares that sentiment, and wasn't afraid to talk about it with Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.

+ Where do you think Cincy's starting rotation ranks relative to the rest of the National League? Well, I took a stab at answering this question on Thursday, and attempted to rank the five best rotations in the league. Have a look and let me know what you think. 

+ Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com wrote a piece suggesting that the Reds should consider batting Votto second instead of third. He makes some good points in his reasoning, too.

+ Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports also chimed in with an opinion regarding the Reds. Namely, the team should consider trading one of its starters now to set them up better for the long haul.

+ Mark your calendars for August 8-10. That's when the Reds will hold its Hall of Fame induction weekend to usher in four franchise greats, including Ken Griffey Jr.

Enjoy the Super Bowl, guys!

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