Citing major league sources, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Walt Jocketty is likely to return as the Cincinnati Reds General Manager in 2015.

Jocketty was hired by the Reds in 2008, first to the post of Special Advisor and then as General Manager after Wayne Krivsky was fired during the first month of the 2008 season. The Reds have reached post-season series twice in Jocketty’s tenure (2010, 2012) for the first time since 1995. They have yet to win a post-season series, however.

Jocketty’s contract with the Reds expires in a few weeks. Speculation had arisen, possibly fueled by the general manager’s low profile during the Reds recent struggles, that he might join Tony LaRussa again with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The next Reds GM faces difficult decisions for the 2015 season and beyond. One view is the Reds were a competitive team this year, minus the injuries and only tinkering is necessary in the off-season. A different view is that the Reds need a drastic overhaul. A middle-ground might see the Reds trading one of their front-line starting pitchers for a bat.

One way or another, you’d also expect the organization to begin to sort out the futures of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Mike Leake, all of whom could become free agents in 2016.

47 Responses

  1. Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

    While I don’t feel that the team needs drastic changes I do feel that changes need to take place. I was hopeful but not optimistic that there would be a new GM. Jocketty has done an adequate job in helping to make the Reds a more competitive team but I feel that a change in the GM seat might have helped change the organizational philosophy which I feel is something that is needed. If recent reports are true though I don’t guess changing the GM would really make a huge difference. Maybe the Reds don’t need to be the most analytically driven team but there seems to be a lot of put dated thinking in the entire organization. Hopefully Jocketty can now feel secure in his future and is able to freely make the needed moves this winter. I’m not optimistic but all I can do is hope Jocketty starts to show again why he is such a respected GM.

  2. Redgoggles

    Can he hit or pitch in the 6-12th?

    • Neb

      Exactly. Just look up and down the lineup; these guys that play between the line everyday need to be held accountable…no more excuses, no more transference of
      blame. Not Castellini’s fault; the guy bailed us out of a quagmire of prior ownership.
      Not Jocketty as he made several brilliant trades while keeping at the boss’s salary level. However, for the players, manager and coaches…I place all the blame. First and foremost, the players…then the guys that are supposed to set them up and fine tune them, day in and day out. Our hitting continues to disappoint year after year now. We need to change the nucleus…we need to change a few faces, and in so doing, dump some of the contracts we thought may well work out, yet won’t allow us to trade for a brand name, a name that will sink the boat in center field!?* And we got the pitching to trade; after all, we can’t sign em all beyond next season so we might as well get some worth for 15′. Above all, let’s get a bone fide RH clean up hitter-LF. Maybe letting go of some salary will do the trick; maybe bye-bye to Latos, Phillips and clearly, Ludwick.

      • greenmtred

        There’s the accountability thing again. The implication seems to be that these Reds players don’t try. They’d be world-beaters if they weren’t coasting, and what they need is just a kick in the butt to assume their rightful place as champions. Does that sum it up?

  3. Tom Diesman

    I really hope this is not the case. He has proven over time that he is unable to put all the pieces together and properly stock the bench and high minors with adequate fill replacements. He is also notorious for standing pat and not reacting to make the roster moves necessary to keep his teams in contention. We are far too often playing a man or two short while we wait for roster moves to be made. I feel he has done a solid job of drafting and developing, but it’s time we move on to give someone else a chance to try to get the last few pieces of the puzzle in place before it’s time to break this team down and start over.

  4. Vegas Red 11

    All anyone needs to know about how backwards this organization is run is to look at wasting at bats this far out of the race on washed up scrubs like Schumaker and Hannahan who are not going to be a part of any potential Reds World Series team. Negron, Lutz or any young guys should be getting playing time to evaluate the future needs instead of refusing to acknowledge a sunk costs time after time during Walts tenure.

    • BigRedMike

      Not only does Schumaker continue to play with a negative WAR, he is signed for next year. Contracts over 1 season for these types of players seems to be a poor choice

  5. Tom Reed

    I was hoping it would be different, but, so be it. Walt is, apparently, a friend of Bob C. since his days as a minor owner of the Cardinals. Even if Joey Votto is back to full strength in 2015, the Reds need more offense, especially in left field. Trading a starting pitcher seems the way to accomplish that.

  6. Steve

    I believe a change in scouting philosophy is needed. I want to see guy who make CONTACT. Who can use the entire field. Guys who only pull the ball and hit an occasional HR aren’t getting it done.

  7. Morgan Mayham

    Report: Jocketty will bring in more ex or will be ex cardinals.

    Over the next few years include.

    Gerald Laird
    Dan Delscasco
    Jon Jay
    Mark Rzipinskiy

    And any other ex cards looking for a last chance at the majors.

    • lwblogger2

      Can’t stand Laird… What a tool. He and Pierzyinski probably stand as my two least favorite players. Harper might be in there too.

      • Grand Salami

        I am putting Chris Carp and Matt Adams for most recent.

        All time? Maybe Stan Musial. I hated that guy. He was such a show boat.

  8. Neb

    The last bone fide RH power hitting/LF we had was in 2008; Dunn. Unfortunately, the
    guy SO or hit a HR and played LF like a guy running through a combat field. I’m not looking for a gazelle, we have them in CF and RF, however we need a guy to play a mediocre to OK LF, while playing Ping-Pong with the LF stands and lodging holes in the boat in CF. The ballpark is made for HRs…now let’s get a player to produce in a park that
    screams for HR power.

  9. Neb

    One last comment and I’ll take a respite…anyone else think Negron could handle 2B or SS full time? Just a thought that also allows for trade baiting and negotiations. Once again though, Price may have been brain neutralized by Baker’ coaching over the years, when it comes to such a notion (rookies are like wine; they play when sat for years).

    • I-71_Exile

      Having seen Negron play down here at Louisville, I say be careful what you wish for. He’s playing over his head in my opinion.

    • Tom Diesman

      Negron is 28, and has put up a .227/.289/.344/.632 line in 1424 PA over the last four years. He’s is playing way over his head, so enjoy it while it lasts, there is something to be said for playing the hot hand. But he’s a utility guy who can play both MI positions at best.

    • lwblogger2

      I have to agree with Tom and I-71 above… Negron is a nice little utility player but as a full-time 2B or SS, he’ll be overexposed.

    • lwblogger2

      Krivsky did some really good things.

      • Grand Salami

        He did a lot of things. Some really good, some not so much. I don’t miss him.

  10. wizeman

    I think it was inevitable that Walt was coming back. The entire year was a sunk cost in terms of injuries. Jocketty overpaid Ludwick for 2 years for carrying us in 12. He gets hurt first game of 13 and never regained power. Have to throw his injury in there.
    Broxton, Latos, Chapman, Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Mesorosco, Bailey. What other results did you expect.
    Would I have dumped Hanahan…yes. Schumaker no. Plays hard.
    Honestly… what right handed bat could have been taken other than Cespedes. He’s a rental. You want two years of Marlon Byrd? Nope.
    Would the Cubs have given us Soler? The Sox Betts? Not then though Betts might be available now since they signed the Cuban outfielder.
    I have a question… might have been answered on here before.. if so.. sorry.
    The Braves broadcasters said that Bruce and Latos had a serious argument the other day… hear anything about this. Had to be separated according to those guys.

    • jessecuster44

      RH bat? Josh Willingham, for one. if Walt moved quickly when injuries happened, this season could have been saved. He chose not to make a deal.

  11. Dale Pearl

    If Jocketty continues as GM it surely means that Castelini wants a GM that doesnt mind if the owner continues to say no. This team is Castilinis creation and no other. Better or worse. Dont blame Walt… Look a little higher.

  12. Jake

    Likely to return from where? Vacation?

    We need a new GM, the times have passed Jocketty by. We need a LF bat and some decent bench players. Sure we have Pena, Negron and Santiago. But that’s the extent of it

  13. wildwestlv

    What if Walt returns, with an, “All New, Blank Check!” from BC?!? Well, what about that?

  14. jessecuster44

    An utter waste of the most sustained talent the Reds have had in years. This organization has been grossly mismanaged, and it is now fairly clear that Bob C does not have the foresight to bring a championship to Cincinnati. After seeing the owners expression last October, I was sure that good changes were coming. There is no good reason to bring Walt back, other than that he and Bob are best buds.

    now, despite the 120 million payroll, it looks like Big Bob is the Mike Brown of baseball. Dark ages are coming back to Cincy.

    • sergeant2

      Jocketty “likely” to return… from vacation before season is over. (fixed it)

  15. Aaron Bradley

    Went to the Vegas 51s game today… Bobby Abreu looked fantastic with his typical patient approach at the plate.. he cleared the bases with a double off the wall vs John Lannan… I am convinced he could have been had for a song and could have helped the Reds. I don’t like Jocketty’s overly patient approach.. we can do better and we should demand better.

    • Aaron Bradley

      My bad John Lannan is the 51s pitcher… I don’t know who Abreu lit up, but his first two ABs both balls were off the wall… and then I think he walked his third AB. He is batting over .340 in AAA and he has plate discipline something the Reds lack. This is a guy that could have been easily acquired if the Reds had any desire to make changes, but instead they stick with their off season plans…its like they are terrified of looking like second-guessers at the detriment of making in season tune up. I am sick of this management team and agree with the sentiment we need more forward thinkers, Jocketty is a dinosaur.

      • jessecuster44

        Don’t forget that Walt and Bob don’t want to ruin the “chemistry” of the team by trading for a replacement that may hurt the feelings of Ludwick’ Heisey, etc.

  16. WVRedlegs

    No. Nnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!
    It can’t be.

  17. Art Wayne Austin

    The hitting comparison between the Reds and Cardinals in the recent series was stunning. The Reds have primarily lungers, the Cardinals have rakers with the exception of Votto. Apparently, the Cards recruit and instruct better hitters.. Our two prong emphasis on pitching and defense should have been three prong.

  18. Robby20

    Reds have made the post season 3 of Jocketty’s seasons as GM. I guess you are excluding last year since it was not a series loss. Regardless, Jocketty has not done a good job on any front. The lack of depth in the organization is alarming.

    • greenmtred

      You open by citing the Reds’ recent post-season appearances (the first of their kind in many years) and, somehow, draw from that that Jocketty has not done a good job. Puzzling.

  19. NCMountie1

    Disappointing….just like the season. I was in favor of a change Jocketty. Just like I was with DB and I feel like WJ just took the path of least resistence in hiring Pryce. Pryce is great pitching coach but IMO he lacks the fire this team needs….no one other than BP plays with any passion or fire (again IMO).
    Jocketty locked up a core that is frankly unstable & unreliable…he had a chance this year to do SOMETHING…ANYTHING to try & salvage the season and didn’t.

    We’ve stockpiled starting pitching and no bats. Our 1B goes down & we have NO ONE to replace him?? Why not at least see if Soto could play everday—what would it have mattered looking back. I fear Walt is just doing time and his tricks in St Louis won’t play here with limited payroll. Disappointing that won’t get some new blood.

    • al

      Can’t play the limited payroll card anymore, we have the highest payroll in the NL Central and we’re playing for last place.

  20. Tom Reed

    A young Billy Beane type Assistant GM could do a lot with the Reds but I doubt the owner is into sabermetrics.

    • greenmtred

      Is the point SABR belief or winning (not saying that they are mutually exclusive)? It seems clear that many here (myself included) feel that a season that does not end with a WS championship banner is a failure. Beane has none of those.

      • al

        This excuse for not having a smart GM is starting to wear really really thin. It’s actually just laughable at this point. Plenty of stats minded GMs have made the playoffs and won the WS at this point.

      • lwblogger2

        Theo Epstein being a prime example.

  21. al

    If the Reds had made some real moves in the offseason, they could have avoided a tear down and rebuild process. Now I’m not so sure. In today’s game, you have to be more or less continually retooling to stay competitive. That means getting younger and cheaper at the same time as some of your players are developing.

    The last two years we’ve watched the Reds get older, more expensive, and worse all at the same time. The moves were there to be made last year. One of the pitchers that was getting expensive (my choice would have been Bailey) should have been moved for position player prospects that could have helped the team this year and beyond. Relievers who’s stock was up should have been moved because smart GMs should all know by now that relief pitchers are very volatile.

    Now, I don’t know. I think this core group might be in for a slow fade, and it could be better to just deal the parts that we can away and start over.

  22. Grand Salami

    2015 is likely the close of the window for the Reds in their current format. It’s Walt’s baby. Once 2015 closes, regardless of success, someone new will handle the transition of a new starting rotation, new set of role players and deciding which young players to extend first.