Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall told Mark Sheldon of Reds.com last week that one of the priorities this offseason was to find a shortstop for the 2021 season. If you are heading into the offseason looking for a shortstop, this offseason is a good one to be in that market. The free agent class is headlined at the position by Didi Gregorius, Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons, and Korean shortstop Ha-Seong Kim (has not yet been posted, but is expected to be after Thanksgiving). That also doesn’t include the trade market, which reportedly includes Francisco Lindor, again.
Marcus Semien, who finished 3rd in the American League MVP race in 2019 after hitting .285/.369/.522 with 43 doubles, 7 triples, and 33 home runs for Oakland, had a bit of a down season in 2020. In 53 games he hit just .223/.305/.374. This week he spoke with the New York Daily News’ Bradford William Davis about his season, what went right, and what went wrong. There’s a lot of interesting insight in the article from Semien about the year we all wish we could put behind us, but this part really stood out to me:
I don’t have the greatest equipment in my garage,” he said. That meant resorting to pushups and lunges, and a friend’s backyard batting cage. Not exactly the same as barbell presses and squat racks and a high-tech video room. “I definitely lost some strength,” he admitted.
We all had ideas of how things could be effected with how the 2020 baseball season played out. While you want to believe that Major Leaguers have access to better things than the rest of us – and some of them most certainly do – things still weren’t remotely the same for them as a regular year when it comes to be able to train and prepare. Some guys went out and were able to perform as expected. But there were also a lot of examples where guys didn’t – guys who were very, very good in the past (Semien, of course, being one example – but we can also look at Christian Yelich or Francisco Lindor).
Jared Solomon had Tommy John surgery
This news would have been more beneficial to have known on Friday, when the Cincinnati Reds added Jared Solomon, along with two other minor league players to their 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. But as far as I can tell it was not reported on anywhere, and I didn’t find out the news about Solomon’s Tommy John surgery that will keep him out “until late 2021”, according to my source, until Saturday evening.
If you are asking yourself why a team would add a player to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft when they are going to miss the entire next season, you probably aren’t alone. A team would do this for a few reasons, though. First, Tommy John surgery is not going to keep a team from selecting a player that they like. It’s happened before and it will happen again. If you believe someone will select a player you like, then you protect them.
Sticking with the whole “player you like” side of things – the player is coming back from surgery. And while a majority of guys do indeed come back from Tommy John surgery, not everyone does. While I’m told that everything went well with Solomon’s surgery, rehab isn’t handle entirely the same way for everyone. Teams have variations of what they do, when they do it, how they do it, etc. By adding a player who is recovering, you don’t have to risk the part where a team decides to send a player back to you after months and months of not following your rehab plan for that player.
It’s not entirely likely that a team would send back a player during the year when he isn’t playing. That player would be put on the 60-day injured list and not count against the roster. But you still run the risk of getting back a player, even if it’s a year, or a year and a half down the line, who didn’t recover/return the way you would have expected if they had followed along with the plan that your organization would have set for their rehab instead.
On this day in Reds history…..
The Awards used to be handed out a little bit later in the offseason than they were this year. November 22nd has been a pretty good day for the Cincinnati Reds in the past. In 1961 Frank Robinson won the National League MVP on this day. Seven years later, Johnny Bench brought home the National League Rookie of the Year Award on this date. It would be four years later that November 22nd was the date in which Johnny Bench was named National League MVP. The date for Cincinnati was dormant for quite a while after that, but in 2010 it came back as Joey Votto was named the National League MVP.
Scott Schebler signs with the Angels
Old friend alert: Scott Schebler has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels for 2021 according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Free-agent outfielder Scott Schebler signed a minor-league deal with the #Angels that will pay him $900,000 if he's in the big leagues. He spent last season in Atlanta's organization where Perry Minasian was the assistant GM before being hired last week as the #Angels new GM.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 21, 2020