According to a report by Mark Sheldon, the Reds have agreed to a one-year extension with manager Bryan Price. The contract also comes with a one-year team option for 2018.

If you’ve been a faithful reader of Redleg Nation, this development should come as no surprise to you. I wrote several weeks ago (Aug. 19, comments) that a one-year extension, though unusual, in this case might fit the needs of both parties.

The decision by the Reds makes it crystal clear they expect the 2017 season to be another rebuilding year. It’s hard to disagree with that conclusion. If the club had any hope that 2017 would be the first year the rebuilt Reds would be competitive, there’s no way they bring back Price. And in the unlikely and hypothetical world where the front office believes Price is the right guy for the future, they would have locked him up more than one year. What’s happening here is obvious.

One person’s opinion: I can live with this decision. I don’t have strong feelings about Price either way. He’s done little to impress me. The injuries and rosters during his tenure have been such that we really have no clue whether Price can be a successful major league manager. If we made an honest list of the top fifty reasons the Reds 2014-2016 seasons turned out like they did, Bryan Price’s name wouldn’t be on it. Still, there’s little to commend him, either.

I remain excited about 2017 and watching the players develop. I’ve already made plans to spend 10 days in Goodyear for spring training and I’m going to renew my season tickets.

It’s the hiring of the guy after Price that matters. Giving the new front office time to figure out what kind of manager they want makes sense. Price is a bridge to that.

64 Responses

  1. kmartin

    Your statement: ” I don’t have strong feelings about Price either way. ” captures exactly how I feel. I just hope 2017 is as injury free as possible.

  2. B-town Fan

    Honestly I like Price, this is probably the best move. I was impressed how the team came back in the second half and played much much better, this team could have packed it in thiis year and challenged the 62 Mets, but they didn’t. The players seem to play hard for Price, If things don’t work out down the line, they can go in a different direction.

  3. I-71_Exile

    When Brian Price came in, he had a reputation as a guy who could develop pitchers and I agree that’s still the guy that the Reds need in 2017. I also think he’s a better game manager now than when the Reds hired him. My hope is that he continues to develop his game management skills and embraces modern thinking regarding the sacrifice bunt. If he grows, he might make sense for the Reds in 2018. If not, he’ll set up the next Reds skipper with a nice group of young, polished players.

    • Gaffer

      Where is the evidence he is improving? He plays and bats BP cleanup, and claims that he does that “because he is trying to win”. What he did with the bullpen, especially Hoover and Olendorf is criminal. Luckily we did not have Logan Ondrusek or he would have had 100 appearances. Look at last night for his understanding of replay.

      This year we had the worst bullpen in history (literally not exaggeration -look it up) and one of the top 3 worst overal pitching staffs EVER! It had a -0.1 WAR, meaning it would have been better if we played guys off the waiver wire! How can he be considered a good pitching developer?

      • David

        Guys off the waiver wire would have a larger negative WAR; they would really be bad Think of the Reds cast offs.. Really. League level replacement average is 0.0 WAR. Let’s get real here.

      • Gaffer

        Actually that is the definition of a replacement level player. I agree many of these guys were pulled off waivers. The point is that Price didn’t improve on anything.

      • I-71_Exile

        You play with what you’ve got. Price doesn’t set the roster and the Reds’ early season pitching staff was devoid of major league-ready pitching.

        Maybe Brian Price helped Straily? How about Disco and Finnegan over the course of the year? Look at the guys who have left and how they’ve fallen off. Some of that is age regression and some may just be Reds coaching. Leake hasn’t exactly lit it up after leaving and Cueto with the Royals and Giants wasn’t the same Cueto that we had. I do hate the BP batting fourth deal, but I don’t like BP in a Reds uniform period so I’m biased.

        I hate that Price calls so many sac bunts, so there is that.

        Price showed some flexibility in thinking in the second half with Raisel and Lorenzen. He has a lot to unlearn from Dusty and Dusty’s book—which is pretty much all of baseball’s book frankly.

      • Gaffer

        i just don’t see the accountability.

      • Hotto4Votto

        If you play who you got, why did Peraza rot on the bench this summer? While there’s a few things I wish Price did differently (bullpen usage, sac bunting, etc), my biggest fear is he won’t play the young guys when there are veterans to play. Even in the ultimate rebuild year we saw way too much of Ohlendorf, Philips, Simon, and Cozart (at the top of the order). Next year we need to see a lot of Herrera, YRod, Winker, Peraza, and Schebler. At times Price has seemingly placed winning individual games over development. That’s not the guy I want managing when the young guys do come up. Hopefully Williams will “Price-proof” the roster over the winter and the veterans will have been moved to open room. Otherwise, I’m not sure how much we’ll from some of them.

      • jessecuster44

        LETS KEEP a guy who has to UNLEARN bad habits! Sickening.

        Look at the decisions made by Price with the things he could control. They are bad ones.

      • greenmtred

        Consider the pitchers he had at his disposal. He had to use Hoover and Ohlendorf because that’s who was there. Things improved somewhat when Lorenzen and Iglesias became available, but their use was evidently limited by rehab protocol, so I think that you are rushing to find a scapegoat where there either isn’t one (possibly many though) or he resides in the front office.

  4. Playtowin

    Keeping Bryan Price is a smart move. He knows the players. Continuity is a good thing as it creates stability as the organization strengthens the roster and develops the young players. Starting over with a new manager would delay the rebuilding effort. The team played wtth effort this year despite a horrible start and a lousy bullpen for most of the first half. Price is not the problem and to Dick Williams’ credit he saw it the same way.

  5. Chuck Schick

    Good move. It enables them to continue the development process with consistency and continuation. The FO seemed to be evaluating Price on seeing progress and his buying into the rebuild.

    If they find themselves ready to compete in 2018 then a different evaluation process must occur. Can Price manage a team that is ready to win? I have no idea, but he’s the right guy for right now.

    My guess would be that those who are most opposed to this move are the same ones who predicted Armageddon after the Frazier-Chapman deals and swore this was a 115 loss team in May.

  6. Gaffer

    Yuk. I think back to 2014 when Walt said this process was not a rebuild but a reboot. Clearly that was a PR statement, but I think some people thought that meant it would be a year or two process. That thinking led to numerous short sighted decisions, keeping Price being one. The idea that Price is good for the bad times and we will upgrade when it’s time to start winning is not the way it works nearly any time. Building a team with an identity of winning and great fundamentals is not left to a cheaper holdover manager. Joe Madden in Chicago is more coincidence than a blue print. This team is also not anywhere near the cusp that the Cubs were with 8-10 young players ready to be stars. This decision says more about the reality of how far this team is still away from winning.

    • greenmtred

      The Cubs have good players, so Madden is a good manager.

  7. Preach

    Yeah, we are not expecting much in 2017, so might as well keep continuity…..hi hum.

    Everyone keeps pointing to Price’s expertise when it comes to working with pitchers. I dunno. I have never seen a staff so bad at “the little things” ; ie: holding runners on base, covering first, calling pop ups in the infield, etc. It seems like basic fundamentals are lacking, a vital point for teaching Young players. I cannot speak to the handling of the finer points of pitching, but due to the previous, I have my doubts

  8. CI3J

    Stay the course, stay the course…. And hope it’s not leading straight into an iceberg.

    • greenmtred

      The iceberg will melt before we hit it.

  9. Redsfan06

    My concern is that Price will be more worried about winning than developing players so he can earn an extension. I hope the Reds can convince BP to go to another team so we don’t have to watch him hit cleanup while a potential future starter sits.

    • Michael E

      This. We’ll find out if he is running out trusty re-tread veterans every day and sitting 23 and 24 year old promising players all but one or two games a week. This will tell us he is setting back the rebuild, preferring a few extra wins now at the expense of the future.

  10. james garrett

    If you think a manager makes a difference then its the wrong move,If you think it doesn’t then keep him around.Looks like the front office isn’t sure one way or the other based on Price’s deal for one year with a team option for 2018.

    • David

      I think a manager can make a difference, but perhaps not in the way that is typically portrayed. In the Reds case, the Field Manager and the General Manager really need to be more in sync in regards to player development at the ML level, if the team is going to contend again. I hope they actually have a plan for next year, and I hope they pay off Brandon or work out a deal to ship him to another team, despite a lot of really great years with the Reds. Cozart needs to be traded also, which is a shame because he is a great guy, too.
      The Reds have to get younger NOW, and play as many of the young guys as possible. And especially, the pitching staff has to get a LOT better.

  11. RedsFanForLife

    Hate this decision! If the FO thinks 2017 is a transition year, why not bring in a new manager now to get to know the players and be a part of the decision makers that creates the contending 2018 roster? Hope the FO has the b_lls to fire Price at anytime during the season if the team doesn’t perform. FO blew an opportunity to bring in a proven winner like Mike Sarbaugh.

  12. TR

    Contract up and an extension. It doesn’t give me much hope for 2017 but, of course, it’s another rebuild year, so grin and bear it. If the Reds rebuild does not include strength up the middle, then 2018 is not going to be a contending year. I doubt that Price has the personality to deal with the Brandon Philipps situation. Hopefully the front office will not sit on its hands in the off-season and change for the better will happen.

  13. jessecuster44

    Thoroughly disgusted with this decision.

    Price sat Peraza for 3 months, accruing his service time while getting him no experience.

    Price presided over a pitching staff that set a record (probably unbreakable) for HRs allowed in the season.

    Price has no fire, no awareness(see last night).

    He preached accountability in 2013, but since then hasn’t held anyone accountable.

    How in the world is this man the right person to continue a rebuild?

    • RedAlert

      Front office is a complete joke. Nobody in this entire organization is accountable for anything. Clown act continues.

    • David

      There does seem to be a bit of disconnect between words and deeds isn’t there? Why is that?

      Perhaps people say things that are expected of them, and really don’t mean it.

      Bryan Price is not a terrible person, and was really crippled by a bad pitching staff, with key people hurt in the first two months. But if not for a really stellar year by Joey Votto after June 1, who knows how bad the Reds would have been? Price had no control over that, either.

      • jessecuster44

        Then don’t say those things – especially in your introductory presser. He’s a milquetoast liar.

        Examine the things that Price did have control over – like playing Peraza vs Playing BP. Like sending Ohlendorf out there in high leverage situations. Those are both large mistakes. He’s had three years to figure it out and still hasn’t.

      • Playtowin

        Price is not the problem. The Reds need better position players and much better pitching. Managers are only as good as the talent they have. Price is a good manager. There is not a manager in baseball who does not get second guessed on decisions that don’t work. Matheny and Hurdle are getting grief this year after being on the genius level last year. Many thought Dusty was terrible when he was here. This year Dusty’s team has the best record in baseball after the Cubs. Dusty suddenly has become smart again. It is amazing how good a manager looks when he has a good roster.

      • RedAlert

        Price is a MAJOR problem , regardless of the talent level that surrounds him. I beg to differ – he is an absolute disaster as a manager. Pitching coach , fine – manager , horrendous .

  14. Eddie

    I can’t get over 2015, when Price would decide to put Kevin Gregg into a game.

    • David

      Keeping Kevin Gregg in the first place was ridiculous. Perhaps Bryan Price was trying to shame the front office into getting rid of him. And Jason Marquis.

      Whatever happened to David Holmberg?
      Looking back, the 2014 team was really crippled by a lot of injuries.
      The 2015 team was just bad.
      The 2016 team actually started to show some good youth potential.
      I think the 2017 team will win between 75 and 83 games, if there are no key injuries to the pitching staff.

      • Tom Diesman

        Holmberg became a Minor League FA at the end of last season, signed by Atlanta, released at end of Spring Training. Then signed with Chicago White Sox and played there all season. He put up a 3.70 ERA in 19 GS at AA and then a 4.14 ERA in 9 GS at AAA.

  15. jp

    At the end of the day, I continue to question the rebuilders and their strategies. We hope for a Cubs-like rebuild and an innovative manager, but what we get is the next verse of the same old song. I don’t have confidence in the front office or their rebuilding philosophy and player development. That said, I’ll be watching and listening to as many Reds games as I can in 2017– it’s what I do.

    • jessecuster44

      My interest in the Reds is waning. I haven’t gone to a game in two years, I haven’t bought the package in two years, and aside from Joey Votto, there’s really no good reason for me to keep up with the team.

      All those young players, you say? There is no guarantee that they will see playing time under Bryan Price. Peraza and Hererra should have been the 2B/SS combo for the past three months, but no. Jesse Winker should have been given a cup of coffee in Sept, but no. And, expect a few more retreads to show up in the bullpen next year, so that it can suck again. Because rebuild and draft pick.

      And for those that say the Manager doesn’t affect wins and losses? The Manager is the leader of the team, and the person who faces the press the most often. I’d like a manager who can LEAD and who has CHARISMA. Apparently those qualities aren’t important.

      The object is to win. Winning brings the fans. For the past three years, I have not seen one action that demonstrates the Reds are committed to bringing another championship to Cincinnati. Themove of rehiring Price is just another kick to the groin of diehard Reds fans.

      Sell the team, gut the front office, and hire a capable manager who can actually make quick and effective decisions.

      • David

        In some fairness to the organization, Winker had an injured wrist this year, and they wanted to give him the whole off season for rest and healing. But I do agree that they underplayed Peraza (and overplayed Cozart, who now has a sore knee and has low trade value). I would have waived Ohlendorf on July 31 and brought up Wandy Peralta. They kept Ohlendorf on the roster, and allowed another young pitcher to be claimed off of waivers when he was outrighted off the 40 man roster.

        So many bad personnel moves for a team that cannot afford to make bad moves. And the Front Office and the Field manager are not in sync.

      • wizeman

        You are beating hi m like he is a pinata and you have an aversion to Mexicans.
        The drumbeat is continual.
        So let me get this straight… your interest is waning… you have not been to a game in 2 years and you dont buy the package. WTF
        Thanks for making sure I blow by your stuff without a sideways glance.

      • earmbrister

        If you had been watching more, you should know that Herrera wasn’t even in MLB since being acquired. But Price should be playing him everyday … Herrera has a bum shoulder and didn’t even play regularly in Louisville.

        Peraza played about half the time in the first half (93 PA in 43 games available). Since he was recalled from AAA mid August, Peraza has played basically every day.

        Winker also had a tough season, both physically and production. But blaming Price for not calling him up is ridiculous. He’s not the GM.

      • jessecuster44

        Way to be a snark. Helpful.

        Yes, Herrera was sent right to AAA and stayed there, instead of getting a chance at 2B. A prospect like him should have seen some MLB playing time right away. And then he hurt his shoulder in the minors. Given the competence of the Reds’ med staff, the shoulder might become permanently damaged.

        Peraza should have been playing every day, not getting 2 PAs per game. And when he did play, he played out of position quite a bit.

        I blame Price for playing aged veterans over the youngsters. I blame the GM for the ridiculous personnel decisions. I blame the Owner for putting up with this tripe for the past three seasons.

        Price sucks as a manager. Walt and Dick both suck as GMs. Bob sucks as an owner. Blow it all up and start over with people who are competent.

    • TR

      I agree that extending Price means more of the same. The man is a recognized pitching coach, but I think managing is over his head. I’m a believer in change whether it’s a rebuild/reboot or not. These guys have been through a lot to reach the major leagues and I don’t think a new manager would have upset the apple cart at all. I don’t see much to look forward to with Price leading the show, but as a fan since 1945, I’ll keep rooting.

  16. Tom Diesman

    My single question is this. Why is Walt Jocketty in his final days/months making this decision instead of Dick Williams who will soon be handed the reigns? Williams will soon be the one working day in and out with next years manager. It is critical during the rebuild/retool/reboot/regurgitate that the GM and Manager work in sync with each other. So why was this decision and announcement not left to Dick Williams when he becomes GM? This is the aspect of this move that is very worrisome to me. This move should have been Williams first move as GM as he begins to put his mold this team into his vision. Doesn’t mean it would not have still been Price, but now we’ll never know if that is who Williams wanted to work with, or if Price is just another item on Williams list of things he needs to clean up from when Jocketty ran the show.

    • vegastypo

      That was the first thing I thought of as well. Gee, a farewell present from Uncle Walt, who is leaving the team in such a mess in the first place.

      Having read through the thread, the things that jump out at me.

      I totally agree with the worry that, under a one-year contract, Price will scrape for every win possible, even if it means slowing the ‘rebuilding’ effort by playing veterans over the kids who need to get on the field. Peraza is exhibit A. Oh, and good luck trading Cozart now, Mr. Williams, now that Price ran him into the ground.

      Did somebody praise Price’s ‘flexibility’ and cite his use of Iglesias and Lorenzen in the bullpen? What choice did he have? Both missed significant time with injuries and were not going to be allowed/able to start, so gee, I guess the bullpen was the only option left. That sounds like circumstances, not flexibility. … That is similar to praising Price for moving Billy Hamilton to 9th in the order, when in fact it shouldn’t have taken him a year and a half to arrive at that brainstorm.

      I actually think this is the perfect time to transition to a new manager. Let the new guy see what he has a year or two in advance for when it’s time to win. Whatever happened to Dave Martinez? And people have mentioned Mike Sarbaugh? … Somebody had to be the first one to hire Joe Maddon, too.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Dusty would have never come to the conclusion that batting Billy 9th was an option. If Williams isn’t happy with how Price is using the young players he can take matters into this own hands and either get rid of the veterans or order Price to play the kids. If Price refuses (which he won’t) then Williams can fire him.

    • Old-school

      I may have missed that…but my question was who decided this? Williams or castellini…I assumed this was first major decision by williams… did n’t occur that jocketty still involved…did I miss something? although I guess he stays as adviser right?

    • Chuck Schick

      I think its a bit naive to assume that Jocketty unilaterally made the decision. That literally makes no sense. If ownership didn’t want Price back then he wouldn’t be coming back. If Williams didn’t want him back he wouldn’t be coming back.

    • greenmtred

      I assume from your comment that Jocketty made the announcement, but is there any indication that Williams wasn’t involved in the decision?

  17. wizeman

    I am glad they extended him. I think the team has shown improvement this year… as is readily apparent by their 35-35 mark since the break. Ravaged by injuries the first two months. Improvements in Hamilton. Everybody knew this was going to be a long one… 2nd half was actually kind of fun.
    Lots of things have to go correctly but really think we have made some strides.

  18. earmbrister

    I don’t buy the narrative that Price let Peraza rot on the bench this summer. Before being sent down after the trading deadline, Peraza was available for all of 43 games. In those games he had 93 plate appearances, with 17 complete games, and 3 more games where he was the game starter. Between the two categories he had 20 games where he played the majority of the game out of 43. Hardly rotting on the bench, particularly when you consider that he just turned 22 yrs old and was batting .250/.290/.284 at the end of July. Not to mention that he hadn’t regularly played SS since 2013. In Louisville this year Peraza has been the regular SS from the get go. Much like all of the Reds can learn from Joey V’s approach at the plate, Peraza undoubtedly learned from watching and learning from Cozart’s play.

    You don’t get ANYTHING for Cozart or BP in the trade market if you bench them in favor of a rookie. The injuries to Cozart and Hamilton have given Peraza the chance to play everyday, and credit goes to Jose for making the most of it since his call-up on 8/20th. He’s batting .379 since, a number that is unsustainable, particularly when you consider his BABIP. Peraza has a ton to learn going forward, particularly getting his walk rate up if he is going to bat at the top of the order.

    As for Price in general, this team was decimated by injuries this year, particularly on the pitching staff. Raise your hand if you bet at the start of the season that Dan Straily would lead the team in innings pitched. Who expected that DeSclafani would only have 123 IP, Iglesias only 76 IP, Lorenzen only 48 IP, and Bailey only 23 IP ? The Reds used 32 pitchers (including Tyler Holt) this year, so it’s nonsensical to talk about the state of the bullpen. The fact that this team played hard all year long, and didn’t pack it in, is a testament to his leadership.

    The state of the bullpen is meaningless. It should be the LAST place that the Reds devote their resources to. I’m glad that players like Hoover (28 yrs old), Simon (35), Ohlendorf (33), Delabar (32), and perhaps Jumbo Diaz (32) have either played their way off the team, or have played their way out of the Reds future plans. The Reds have a nice starting core of Bailey, Disco, and Finnegan. They have two studs in Lorezen and Iglesias that might slot either in the rotation or in the bullpen. Cingrani and Wood belong in the bullpen’s future. Reed, Lamb, Stephenson, Garrett are above average prospects in the near term. Cuban Vlad Guitierrez, Ryan Hendrix, Tyler Mahle, Rookie Davis, and Keury Mella are quality longer term prospects. The Reds have a nice coaching staff to support all of this young pitching. Price should be the man to continue to lead this transition.

    • earmbrister

      My apologies to Straily. A nice piece for the back of the rotation.

      • TR

        Straily has earned a place in the starting rotation for 2017. Front, middle or back, it doesn’t matter, as long as he pitches every fifth game.

  19. Old-school

    We need a RLN flash poll…up or down…
    Did the reds do right thing in bringing Price back for 1 year with team option?

    I vote yes…I’d predict 60/40 in favor.


    I think if you get a new manager — it should be a manager with some kind of quality background that makes you feel that he’ll make a difference – in handling the coaching staff as well as players. I do believe a good manager makes a difference. The issue is – what good managers are out there (available) and would they come to Cincinnati? Would Castellini make an offer that would entice them to come? Maddon went to Chicago from Tampa Bay because the $$$ was right (as well as the players).
    As far as Price being the answer — after Thursday nights game ending INDECISION — I don’t have the confidence that he’s the manager “answer” to take this team to postseason His ability to manage the games in late innings hanging onto leads — was not very good this year. Granted — he didn’t have much to work with – but then he needed to make adjustments way earlier. The decision to keep hanging onto Hoover was a sign of indecisiveness. You can’t be a great manager doing that. And his background IS pitching – so why the poor decision making there? And not addressing the poor pitching — i.e. with proper coaching adjustments. etc? Professional sports players all have their own coaches as well to work with them but the coaching provided by the team is critical. When a player is having a hard time executing their craft — you need that objective eye to see what is causing the issue and figuring out a way to “fix” the issue too.
    Anyway – too much ranting – I do hope that in this offseason — DECISIONS and MOVES are made instead of thinking the reds can pull a rabbit out of a hat to fix their deficiencies. And look forward to 2018 (fingers crossed).

  21. TR

    Would a good manager come to Cincinnati? Of course he would if an offer was made. There are only 30 of those jobs and few openings.


      But what good managers are out there — that currently are not with a team and available? There are managers who might be available — but I can’t name anyone who sounds like he’d be stellar — i.e. like Bochy or Maddon. And could the Reds LURE a manager from another team? Like the cubs did with Maddon – he was still with Tampa Bay. If they could make the offer that was enticing — that’d be great — but I don’t seem to see that’s Castellini or Jockey’s method…which is promoting from within…
      Anyone have thoughts on who the Reds should seek as a viable candidate?

  22. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Price was a relatively low priority on the necessities for this team. Price simply wasn’t a major problem if any problem. It’s been the injuries. If you wanted to stretch it a bit more, it would be the players’ performances. Like the 2 years of sub-Bruce. And, the last 2 “first halves” of Votto.

    From Price, I would simply like to see him get the Reds to run more with their heads. I believe they are running into too many outs. I prefer the hustle to what Baker did (we only had one year with Baker where the Reds actually hustled). But, now, run with your head. Don’t run into so many outs.

    If there was anything else I would want to see from Price, it would be that fact that his background was “pitching coach” and we need to get these young stud pitchers developed. I wasn’t happy at all with that this season. I really haven’t been happy at all with Price’s development of pitchers since he’s been here. So, I could see one more season. But, without something noticeable and positive, I do believe that will be his last year.

  23. Steve

    Dont like it and I still miss Jay Bruce as well.