Reds pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear for the official start of Spring Training today. Their first full workout is tomorrow. Position players arrive by Monday, Feb. 23. The first Spring Training game is March 3. Opening Day against the Pittsburgh Pirates is 47 days away.
As Reds fans, the long winter of our discontent is over.
If you’re just now checking Redleg Nation for the first time since the 2014 season ended with pain and a whimper, we’ve been covering and analyzing the important developments of the past few months. Highlights:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Positive health reports on Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey and Tony Cingrani.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Reds traded pitcher Alfredo Simon to the Detroit Tigers. Nick Kirby wrote the acquisition and trade of Simon was general manager Walt Jocketty’s finest hour. In that trade theÃ‚Â Reds acquired Eugenio Suarez. Nick Carrington speculated this sets up a possible competition for the starting shortstop position between Suarez and incumbent Zack Cozart. Dave Cameron at FanGraphs says from the Reds perspective the Simon trade was theÃ‚Â best small moveÃ‚Â in the offseason.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The RedsÃ‚Â traded pitcher Mat Latos to the Miami Marlins. Nick Doran liked the trade, although Jason Lawrence wrote that the tall, tattooed right-hander will be missed.Ã‚Â The Reds acquired pitcher Anthony DeSclafani from the Marlins. Kevin Michell analyzedÃ‚Â DeSclafani’s chances of making the starting rotation.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ In a move that now appears doubly puzzling, fan favoriteÃ‚Â Chris Heisey was traded to the LA Dodgers in a move to clear salary. In return, the club received minor league pitcher Matt McGill. The strategy behind shipping Heisey off is hard to explain because the Reds remain in desperate need of major league outfielders. While Heisey has his limitations and was due for an arbitration bump in salary, the front office hasn’t been able to come up with a credible replacement.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ One rumor that didn’t become reality were the reports the Reds were shopping Jay Bruce. Perhaps the club came to the conclusion that a healthy Bruce would be a huge upgrade in right field.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Roster spots are up for grabs, with new players in the mix in varying degrees. We’ve written introductions: for pitchersÃ‚Â Kevin Gregg, Jason Marquis, Burke Badenhop, Jonathan Crawford,Ã‚Â Dylan Axelrod, andÃ‚Â Paul Maholm; and for position players Kristopher Negron, Jason Bourgeois and Marlon Byrd.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Doug Gray previewed non-roster invitees: infielders, starting pitchers and relief pitchers.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Contract negotiations with current players have also been in the news.Ã‚Â The Reds followed unsolicited advice offered byÃ‚Â Jason Linden and me and didn’t sign a long-term extension with Todd Frazier. Instead, they inked the infielder to a deal covering his first two arbitration seasons.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The club followed my adviceÃ‚Â and signed a new contract with Devin Mesoraco that covers the catcher’s three arbitration seasons and one free agency year. Bryan Price has signaled that Mesoraco will see expanded playing time.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Reds remain in difficult negotiations with Johnny Cueto over a contract extension. Both Jason Linden and I have written our thoughts about that.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ C. Trent Rosecrans lists his top five questions concerning pitchers and catchers. Jux Berg sketchedÃ‚Â the case for optimism.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ And, of course, if you’re looking for the definitive, detailed analysis of the Reds upcoming season, there’sÃ‚Â The Big Reds Preview, hot-off-the-press and on sale now. It includes projections for the 30 players likely to make the Reds 25-man roster in April and the win-loss record for the 2015 Reds. 142 pages of (mostly optimistic) reading to pass the time before Opening Day.
Did I mention that’s 47 days away?