Last week the Cincinnati Reds signed catcher Austin Wynns and in that process they needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. To do that they designated outfielder TJ Hopkins for assignment. The San Francisco Giants must have liked what they saw and decided to make a trade with the Reds to acquire the outfielder. In return, Cincinnati will either get a player to be named later or an unknown sum of cash (considerations).

The Cincinnati Reds selected TJ Hopkins out of South Carolina back in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. The 26-year-old worked his way up through the minor leagues since then and made his debut with Cincinnati on June 3rd of 2023.

During the 2023 campaign, Hopkins found plenty of success in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats. In his 94 games with Louisville he hit .308 with 18 doubles, a triple, and 16 home runs. He also walked 55 times during the season, giving him a .411 on-base percentage to go along with his .514 slugging percentage. Hopkins put together his best season in the minors and was rewarded with it, earning multiple call ups to the big leagues during the year.

After reaching the majors, Hopkins struggled at the plate. Not getting a chance to play every day, he couldn’t seem to find any rhythm coming off of the bench or playing sparingly and went just 7-41 without an extra-base hit and just two walks in 25 games. You can see his career stats here.

For much of his minor league career he’s played in the corner outfield spots, but he’s got enough speed to cover you in center if you needed him to do it. That was especially true in Cincinnati, but in San Francisco with their large outfield that could be more of an emergency only kind of situation.

As for Cincinnati’s return on the deal, they’ll either get a player down the line or they’ll get some sort of cash compensation. What’s typical in these deals is that the two teams agree on a few players that can be chosen from and in this case the Reds would get to either choose one of those players at a future date or opt for the previously agreed upon cash number.

139 Responses

  1. Mauired

    Hopefully Joey Bart coming back lol.

    • J

      He might be more available than ya think after the Giants add Tom Murphy and Bart being out of options and really not much of a big league track record hahahahaha

  2. Mario

    Red Sox fans were down on Triston Casas after the 2022 season….

    I don’t like it. Could be Adam Duvall in reverse. This should have been a spring training decision. I was definitely expecting a ST competition between Hopkins, Dunn, Fairchild, and Hurtubise. I gotta remember how to spell Jacob’s last name.

    • BK

      Before this transaction, the Reds had the following outfielders competing for one MLB spot and playing time at AAA:

      1. Fairchild (RH)
      2. Hopkins (RH, #19 prospect)
      3. Martini (LH, can also play 1B)
      4. Thompson (RH, elite speed)
      5. Hinds (RH, #12 prospect)
      6. Hurtubise (LH, #24 prospect)
      7. Dunn (RH, #15 prospect)

      This is too many outfielders for the Reds to give playing time to at AAA. Expect at least one more to come off the 40-man roster.
      – Fairchild (no options) and Martini have enough MLB success to see them as better bench options in the majors.
      – Hurtubise, Dunn, and Hinds are rising prospects–they will likely get the starts at AAA.
      – Thompson has elite speed, but I believe he’s similarly vulnerable.

      In short, not a lot of opportunity for Hopkins, even if he made it to ST.

      • Mauired

        I really hope Fairchild is off the roster very soon. Not good enough to steal ABs from the other outfielders on the Reds and not good enough to block the younger prospects coming up either.

      • MK

        This might be an indication that India will get time in the outfield.

      • MBS

        8. Barrero (RH, can also play SS)

        I’m not super concerned who our 13th is. As long as we keep the other 12 guys, #13 won’t get many opportunities. I guess my only preference is that it isn’t Hinds, Dunn, or Hurtubise. One of them should be called up when one of the 12 gets injured. In the mean time they should continue to develop as everyday guys in AAA.

  3. WVRedsFan

    Huge mistake by the Reds. Martini should have been the one cut to make space for Wynns. We are talking about a 26 year old that batted over 300 in Louisville with 16hr’s in 94 games. On top of that he’s good defensively. Terrible move. Especially when you are needing more right handed batting options. San Fran is throwing a party over this deal and laughing all the way.

    • BK

      Although an older player, I prefer Martini over Hopkins (and Thompson). Martini has an OPS+ of 111 in the majors and can also play 1B. He also has an option. In short, a better bench candidate. It’s a small sample size for Hopkins, but he did not show the ability to adapt to limited playing time. I hope he does well, but the huge mistake would have been to keep Hopkins over Martini. Martini is much more likely to help the Reds in 2024 and both players have limited upside.

    • Dan

      Giants fans are actually trashing the GM for “dumpster diving”… like many of us on here do for all minor acquisitions. 😉

      • Greenfield Red

        I was about to mention this fact. I guess RLN hasn’t cornered the market on this stuff.

        Minor transactions, and signing guys to minor league contracts with an invitation to ST are necessary things all teams must do, whether smart mouthed fans like it or not.

        The big takeaway from this for the 2024 Reds is that they aren’t trying to find a 5th starter using this method. They have come a long way in just a couple of years.

    • Mauired

      I like Hopkins and agree Reds should have kept him over other guys like Wynns for instance or Martini. But you are blowing this out of proportion. He’s not a future All Star. He finally broke out in AAA at the age of 26.

    • MK

      Assuming we are now looking at the Reds as a contender, and not a rebuilder, then Martini, as the team is now made up, is a better bench piece than Hopkins. Hopkins has no experience or success coming off the bench. It is a difficult role and much better suited for a veteran. Fairchild is also ahead of Hopkins in this role. That is not to say Hopkins won’t get there, but Reds are building for now or for talent three years down the road to replace the current big leaguers.

      To parrot Mauired, Joey Bart would be a nice return and is rumored to be available, but I bet SF would want more.

      • Mauired

        Yeah I was really just making a joke. Hopkins is not enough to get Bart. And since Reds chose to re-sign Maile, I don’t think it’s a possibility now. I’ve been thinking for awhile a Bart and Stephenson pairing at catcher would be pretty nice for a few years. Both have alot of unfulfilled talent and could be a young two headed monster.

      • MK

        The Giants are also looking for shortstop help as well as outfield. Will our disappointing #1 prospect Barrero and Hopkins be enough to get Giants
        former #1 and disappointing prospect Bart?

      • Reaganspad

        That would be lemonade MK

        I just do not want to cut Barrero. Now if Bart were to be coming back, that is 2 fringe flyers for one

        Cleans up the roster some and we are always taking flyers on catching

    • Justin T

      Reds refuse to see value in high on base percentage players. Nothing funner than watching guys hit 15 homers and strikeout 150 times. Rally killers. The projected 2024 lineup is full of them.

      • greenmtred

        That must explain why they kept Joey Votto around.

      • BK

        @Justin, Given that much of the Reds lineup spent a lot of time in AAA, let’s evaluate your statement against their AAA OBPs (I’m going to assume you are not trumpeting Hopkin’s paltry .227 OBP):

        1. McLain, .467 OBP
        2. Hopkins, .411 OBP
        3. Benson, .406 OBP
        4. CES, .405 OBP
        5. EDLC, .398 OBP
        6. Martini, .393 OBP
        7. Fairchild, .384 OBP
        8. Marte, .365 OBP
        9. Senzel, .348 OBP (.297 OBP w/Reds)
        10. Barrero, .333 OBP (.295 OBP w/Reds)

        Reds players MLB OBPs:
        1. Steer, .356 OBP
        2. Friedl, .352 OBP
        3. Fraley, .339 OBP
        4. India, .338 OBP
        5. Candelario, .336 OBP

        .320 OBP was MLB league average. .356 OBP was the International League average. Senzel was nontendered. Barrero’s 40-man spot is tenuous at best. Candelario was signed. Hopkins at age 26 and his second season had a nice season at AAA. The evidence indicates that the Reds have a lot of players that performed similarly to him while younger and facing AAA hitting for the first time.

      • JayTheRed

        Thank you, BK, for putting the numbers up to quiet this nonsense.

    • Stock

      First of all Hopkins is terrible defensively. The best two options to get rid of were without a doubt Hopkins and Barrero. Hopkins sucks offensively and defensively.

      I know Hopkins hit well in Louisville, but everyone did. 17 players hit at least 3 HR last year for Louisville. 16 of them had an OPS of at least .800 An OPS of .800 is very good. Rare to have that many unless something is different.

      6 had an OPS of at least .900 and 3 had an OPS of at least 1. Matt McLain led the way with an OPS of 1.155

      • DaveCT

        Stock, your statement on TJ’s defense simply isn’t true.

        His career fielding percentages in the minors covering four years are LF, 985, CF, .983, and RF, .989.

        He has a *total* of 15 errors vs 28 career assists.

        He is considered average or above in the corners and average in CF, by professional scouts.

        A few rookie errors and misplays in his debut are not any type of indication of his skills and abilities. And he is certainly not the first nor the last to demonstrate that.

        It seems like you’re picking on him, and without an especially good reason.

        Nuf said, he’s past history.

      • Stock

        I have to disagree Dave. In limited time in Cincinnati I saw him get turned around and miss two ball that most LF would have caught. They fell in for hits since he never touched the ball but they should have been outs. His defensive WAR in very limited action was -2. Not so good especially given the limited time. If you prefer to look at UZR/150 it was -16.3 for his defense. Again not so good.

        For comparison point Benson and Fraley are not know for their defense and posted a +.5 and +.9 UZR/150

      • DaveCT

        I get the eye test. I agree. But it was a total of 25 ML chances to make a play. No one should be judged on 87 innings and 25 chances vs. 2,000 innings and 445 chances.

  4. Optimist

    NBD. Would rather take a lottery PTBNL than cash, but it’s the Reds.

  5. Rednat

    Always wonder what exactly do mlb owners do with the cash they recieve from these trades. Do they have to use it for team purposes or can they just pocket it?

    • Mark Moore

      Fuel for the corporate jet 😀

      • MK

        It is Bob’s investment. He can do with it what he wants with no apologies as any business owner would who sells an asset.

  6. Jason Franklin

    According to Doug’s article, it hasn’t been decided yet if it is cash or a PTBNL.

    • Mark Moore

      Or a box of balls or a bag of peanuts or … 😀

  7. Pablo

    I hope they called in extra staff to man the phones in the season ticket office.

    • AllTheHype

      I DO NOT want the Reds to sign a contract like this. The risk level is way too high.

      Because the worst aspect of multi $100M Pitching contracts is not the payroll outlay, it is the commitment to several years of playing time.

      A few examples:

      Nats Patrick Corbin 6/140M => 139 starts over 5 years, 5.00 ERA overall, 5.75 ERA last 3 years (94 starts) and still starting games because of the contract

      Yanks Carlos Rodon 6/$162M => 6.85 ERA over 14 starts in year 1. Five more years of starts to go.

      Nats Strasburg 7/$245M, complete bust of a contract, sunk cost.

      Reds Homer Bailey 5/105M => 5.27 ERA over 4 years, 69 starts, kept starting every 5th day when he was healthy and available, and cost the Reds two top prospects (incl Josiah Gray) to get rid of the 5th year of his contract. It would be nice to have Josiah Gray right now. More than anything else, the Homer Bailey contract sent the Reds tail-spinning into a rebuild.

    • BK

      @J, there’s a reason that only a select few teams are the ones in on these signings. MLB’s economic structure favors elite players and large market teams. Until it changes, many franchises will not be on the top free agents–a problem not found in other pro leagues.

  8. Jim Walker

    Whether you feel good, bad, or indifferent about Hopkins and this move, note it is a direct opportunity cost of the Wynns signing last week. Every cycle of Wynns being recalled from the minors this year will require a 40 man roster move like the DFA of Hopkins. It will be interesting to sit down at the end of the season and see what level of opportunity costs the Reds paid by making Wynns their apparent #3 catcher.

    • Optimist

      Good point Jim, but I expect the FO to minimize this. Namely, if this happens twice, they’ve mismanaged it. If either TySteve or Maile is going to miss more than 1 month, they should/will sign a better MLB backup – there will be several floating around. Wynn ideally only sees time if there’s a case of the flu, or a week out with a bruised thumb or some such. Wynn is the AAA catcher.

    • DW

      This was kind of my line of thinking too Jim. The Wynns signing just seems so foolish.

    • Stock

      Wynn is on the 40 man roster and will be all season regardless of if he is playing in Louisville or Cincinnati. Every promotion to Cincinnati will not force the Reds to drop a player from the 40 man roster.

      • Jim Walker

        Wynns does not have any options remaining. Therefore, he cannot go to Louisville unless he clears waivers and is outrighted (off the 40 man roster). He cannot stay with Cincinnati unless he is on the 26 man active roster when the season starts; and, can only stay with Cincinnati as long as he remains on the 26 man roster (or is on the MLB IL). This is a main point in why signing him makes little to no sense.

      • Stock

        I think you miss the point Jim. Wynns is not good enough to make any ML roster. He is AAA insurance. If he is sent to Louisville and no one claims him (a very high probability) he will go to Louisville. He would have the opportunity to sign with someone else but my guess is no team is willing to pay him what the Reds will be for playing in AAA. If they are required to remove him from the 40 man roster (and I don’t think they would be) then the Reds will have 39 players on their 40 man roster until they need to call him up.

      • AllTheHype

        @Jim

        If Wynns is DFA’d, one of 3 things happen (he cannot be traded til June 15 so that is not an option).
        1. He is claimed (unlikely)
        2. He elects FA and forfeits the remainer of his contract, including 300K guaranteed in MiLB (unlikely because he would be making much less in MiLB somewhere else)
        3. He accepts assignment to Reds MiLB, makes 300K, and makes pro-rated 900K if the Reds add him back to the 40 and 26 (likely).

        That’s why they structured the contract in that way.

      • AllTheHype

        Reds will DFA Wynns before season starts.

      • J

        Wynns signed A SPLIT CONTRACT AND WILL EARN $700,000 ON THE BIG LEAGUE ROSTER AND $300,000 ON THE TRIPLE A ROSTER !! SOOOOO HE VERY MUCH CAN START THE YEAR OFF THE 26 MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

      • Doug Gray

        Yes, he can technically start the year off of the 26-man roster, but only after being designated for assignment and then clearing waivers, because he can not be optioned to the minor leagues without that because he is out of options. Someone else could claim him and the Reds would lose him. If he clears waivers he could also choose to become a free agent. That last part is very unlikely because of the split contract and how well it pays him in the minors – he’s not going to get a better deal than that somewhere else.

      • AllTheHype

        Yes J, he can, but since he signed a ML contract and has no options, so he must be DFA’d from the 40 man to be sent to MiLs if he is not put on the 26.

        If he instead had signed a MiL contract, he would not need to be DFA’d to be sent to the MiLs.

      • Jim Walker

        @Stock, the only way a 40 man roster guy can be in the minors is on option or a short stint IL rehab assignment, period. Wynns’options have all been used. Come opening day, if Wynns is not on the 26 man active roster or MLB level IL, he will be off the 40 man roster.

        Having a split contract I think is perhaps confusing. All it means is the guy gets paid less if he is in the minor leagues. Virtually every pre-arbitration guy on the 40 man roster has a split contract, i.e. the MiLB minimum for 40 man roster guys in 2024 is ~$120K versus $740K at MLB.
        Many players on minor league contracts have clauses that specify how much they will get paid if they are called up to MLB. Those too are split contracts; but, the players are not on the 40 man roster unless they are called up.

        Yes, technically a team could outright a guy and then hold a 40 man roster spot open for him in case they needed to call him up. However IMO that would make even less sense than signing a guy like Wynns to an MLB contract to begin with. It would be covering one poor move with another even poorer move.

      • Old-school

        1.) Reds need a 3rd catcher on the 40 man, not the 26 man

        2.) reds guaranteeing a vet catcher a minimum 300k to help in spring training as a third mlb catcher and in AAA to mentor a good AAA rotation

        3.) reds have insurance policy if Maile hurt

        4.) reds lose him if they assign him to minors and another mlb team wants him on their 26 man. So what, theyve lost nothing.

        This is akin to gnashing of teeth over Don Werner as the third catcher on 1975 Reds and costing john vukovich’s roster spot

        Move along folks

    • BK

      And lets also weigh this against the 2022 season when any person that had catching gear caught a game for the Reds. Not the best way to develop the high end pitching talent that was making their big league debuts that season.

      Lots of handwringing over a minor transaction. I will add that the Reds 40-man roster is now becoming competitive. While there are still some players with big question marks on the 40-man roster, they all have reasons to keep them. It’s going to be a challenge for some of the long-time Red’s followers to get use to seeing players with actual value leave the organization to achieve what at times will only be an incremental gain.

      • Jim Walker

        No hand wringing on by me. 😉 My mantra for this season is to point out the ingrained organizational behavior. Krall appears to have done an outstanding job as a seller. Now the question is whether he can mold the parts into a winner and how he goes about trying to do it.

      • BK

        @Jim, so sorry, I’m certainly not trying to take that tone with you. I do not sass Jim Walker under any circumstances. More, I’m always surprised to see how much these minor moves elicit significant responses from the larger crowd.

        As to the broader point, if the team went into Spring Training today, I would grade the offseason a “C.” Maile fits well. Martinez and Pagan represent modest pitching upgrades and Martinez provides some insurance against injuries to our starters. I love the Candelario pickup–I think it was a tremendous value signing.

        That said, I would like to see a credible starter and another credible bullpen piece added. I prefer the FA route, but I understand the best pitchers will require a trade.

        In short, I’m seeing a change in “ingrained organizational behavior.” Prior teams had their ceiling capped with the Owner fell in love with certain players. I’m glad they sold high on multiple players in 2022–that was refreshing. I’m glad they let Senzel go–I wish him well, but he didn’t work out for us–also refreshing. Earlier versions of the Reds would have spent every possible resource to get the team competitive for reaching a wild card birth–thus far, we’ve seen prudence at the deadline and in the offseason.

      • Optimist

        Understand Jim’s original point, but accept BK and ATHs’ explanations – it’s a small $ amount, and Wynn is either released at the end of spring training, or DFA’d off the 40-man and becomes the AAA catcher.

        Essentially, he becomes the 4th catcher during the regular season. One of the younger ones with all the options (Trautwein?) is the bus rider to and fro.

        If professionally done, the discussion with Wynn involved transitioning to a staff position akin to Corky, but I expect this is more akin to Lively signing an MLB deal with Cleveland – just locking in a spot.

      • Optimist

        Also agree with BK’s offseason take, but I’d grade it at B- – the 3 signings are all proven MLB talents. Always a risk with pitchers, but no pre-existing conditions with these, unlike say, Bieber or Glasnow.

        Still – just quibbling about the grade – they need a starter.

  9. LDS

    Hopkins was one of those players who never seemed to get in the game. There’s a good list of players the last few years that suffered that. It’s Bell ball. Some guys don’t make the lineup, for whatever reason. Hopkins may have been able to hit but we’ll have to find that out in SF.

    • greenmtred

      Wait!!…I thought the problem with Bell was that he didn’t stick to a set lineup!! Now I’m to understand that the problem really is that he didn’t give a marginal player enough playing time? This is so confusing…..

      • LDS

        @greenmtred, confused? It’s simple, he would benefit from a set lineup that wasn’t based on platoons. However, given how he “manages” there are players that he never gives a chance. Hopkins was one. I can’t see a lot to defend in the Reds’ entire organization. I had hopes for Krall but so far he’s been far more effective at gaining prospects on salary dumps than he has been at building a competitive team. Blame Castellini if you choose, but it’s on Krall then for being a “yes man”.

      • BK

        Except that the talent on this team calls for a couple of platoons, something that other teams also employ when it fits their personnel.

        One thing I agree with you on LDS is that it is an organizational decision. Bell is in perfect alignment with Krall. They didn’t see as much potential in Hopkins as they did multiple other players last year–so far, they appear to have made wise choices.

      • LDS

        Exactly @BK, so fix the talent. Ship Fraley to another team, etc. Take away Bell’s L/R fetish and get some serious MLB talent.

      • greenmtred

        I suspect that you will find players on every competitive team who don’t get much of a chance. They’re there as panic insurance against injuries and aren’t likely to figure in the team’s long-term plans. Bell got tons of criticism–including from you– for playing his bench guys, who tended, like Newman, to be dependable if mediocre vets. Also, it’s unlikely that the Reds only knew about and evaluated Hopkins by reviewing his stats. It seems likely he was just too far down the depth chart and too much of a long shot to give much MLB playing time to. Bell has enough to answer for, like yesterday’s flooding in my home state and what it does to our chances of a white Christmas, not to mention the stalled Ukrainian offensive and the war in the Middle East. Maybe take it easy on him for this one?

      • Justin T

        All Bell supporters do is criticize the criticism of David Bell. Or that he does ok w whats given to him to work with. Never defend his tactics or philosophies. The losing record, lack of playoff wins (or even a run scored in the playoffs) never come up. It isnt his fault when they lose 100 but when he is 2 games over .500 they crown him. He is on his third contract in Cincinnati already. The bar has never been lower in my lifetime of Reds fandom.

    • MK

      Who would you have sat for him in the middle of a pennant race?

      • LDS

        The Reds were never in the pennant race. That ended in July. If Hopkins could have played another position, he would have seen more time.

      • Optimist

        LDS – did you watch last season? They were eliminated with two games remaining. Aside from losing on Sunday, you’re not getting any closer to the middle of a pennant race.

      • LDS

        When they were mathematically eliminated and when they were out of it are two different things

      • PTBNL

        Tell that to the TWO wild card teams which made it into the World Series. No one is eliminated until they lose in the playoffs.

      • Optimist

        Oh my – LDS, you sound like a Yankee fan. I’m so sorry.

      • VaRedsFan

        Regarding platoons…I’d rather have 2 guys that OPS 800+ from their strong side, then 1 guy that OPS 775 playing every day.

  10. Stock

    Interesting that Krall is not building a competitive team. Weren’t the Reds battling AZ for the last playoff spot until the last weekend of the season? Seems pretty competive to me.

    As for Hopkins, when Hopkins was called up in June the starting OF was Benson, Fraley and Friedl. All three were much better options than Hopkins so Bell should be commended for playing the better play. Thank God you weren’t the manager. If you would have benched one of the three starters to play Hopkins the team would have been much weaker.

    And by the way. Thanks to a Fraley injury Hopkins got “in the lineup” every day in his two week callup in June. In this time his OPS was .352.

    • MK

      They are already a competitive team, so he has already built one. Now he is just adding people for tweaking and Depth

    • DaveCT

      Stock, what is the definition of competitive, Equal to the Dodgers? Then no. But what?

      • greenmtred

        I think Stock was being mildly sarcastic in response to LDS.

  11. CI3J

    Hopkins, like Barrero, was never given a fair or consistent shot in Cincinnati.

    Hopefully Hopkins gets a chance to play in San Francisco with the manager telling him “Alright, kid, this is your position. Sink or swim, you’re my guy.”

    And hopefully Barrero also gets traded and gets a similar opportunity elsewhere.

    • Rick in Va

      Hopkins is not likely to get that kind of endorsement by the Giants manager, who has Michael Conforto, Mike Yastrzemski & Jung Hoo Lee as outfield regulars.

    • kypodman

      Barrero had many chances, he just cannot hit MLB pitching.

    • Stock

      Barrero had 447 PA and had a .497 OPS. More importantly he looked lost at the plate. The man can not hit ML pitching. And 447 PA is plenty.

      • wkuchad

        There’s plenty of late bloomers in MLB. I’m willing to give Barrero the benefit of the doubt for these reasons:

        1) He’s still young and there’s potential there. He was a highly rated prospect at one point for a reason.

        2) He plays above average defense at two key positions – SS and CF. That’s a nice bench piece if he’s able to increase the offense to close to league average.

        3) He’s dirt cheap – the Reds have Barrero under control for 5, maybe 6 more years, some of those for league-minimum salary. If he turns into a solid bench piece, great! If he’s terrible, the Reds drop him and are out nothing.

      • Reaganspad

        And 2 years ago he was Elly DeLa Cruz, pressed into service from AA then breaks his hamate bone. He has been pressing since.

        I hope he makes it with the Reds as I do not want to see Elly in the Billy Hamilton, Jose Barrero state one day a few years from now if he has trouble with the curve

  12. Zach

    Reading these comments makes me sick. Reds country should be happy, I know I am as a hardcore fan. 2024 season is far from starting, they have time to make more moves. Remember how wrong the general fan base was when they were mad at the Reds for offloading their roster the year prior for ‘prospects’? Barf.

    Hopkins moving on is good for his career and the Reds get cash or another prospect (that’s younger and has room to maybe make the roster one day). Really his chances are slim at being anything more than 4th outfielder. Wishing him the best!

    • wkuchad

      You can’t let comments here get to you. Certain posters will complain (and complain and complain) literally no matter what article they’re commenting on. Heck, just wait until actual games start.

      Yes, ’23 was a very fun season for Reds fans, and ’24 has a lot of potential. Enjoy the ride! (and fingers crossed Krall nabs us a legit starting pitcher).

    • BK

      @Zach, I’m super pumped for the upcoming season and the long-term outlook of the Reds.

    • Amarillo

      Completely agree. I haven’t felt this good about the direction of the team since Votto/Cueto/Bruce/Bailey were Rookies.

    • Mark Moore

      Yeah, the hand-wringing at times is puzzling. TJ was already off the 40-man and Krall found an opportunity to get something for him before possibly losing him entirely.

    • greenmtred

      LDS is just tuning up for his role as the Grinch in a local pageant. Being a method actor, he stays in character all year, but he means no harm.

      • LDS

        More inclined to play Jacob Marley as I did some 55+ years ago in a school play. @greenmtred, I waiting to see the Reds do something that matters. Thus far, they really haven’t as all the forecasts have shown. Whether PECOTA, fangraphs, etc, none have the Reds as competitive as many here think. Maybe the young guys will deliver but the pitching isn’t there currently. There’s potential but that’s all.

      • greenmtred

        Jacob Marley? I’m impressed: it’s a good actor who can play a part so out of character. The Reds’ transactions so far have not been splashy–no TOR ace pitcher or all-star outfielder added, but I disagree that they haven’t moved the needle or, rather, I believe that they could prove to be significantly helpful. We’ll have to wait and see. As for projections, they’re undoubtedly an amusing exercise, but I certainly don’t take them seriously: too many unforeseen factors can and often do crop up.

    • TR

      When January rolls around, spring training is not far off. Let the games begin. Whether a big pitching surprise is coming or not, excitement has returned to Reds land.

    • Justin T

      Fans were mad for trading away 2 guys who were finalists for the Cy Young award in 2023, for prospects who we still have no idea if they will be any good. Id say it was and is valid. Nothing wrong w optimism but the fans have been crapped on for several years now, some just take it better than others. The others dont wanna hear excuses and are sick of fielding teams full of question marks. 2024 is no different.

  13. Old-school

    Hopkins had (2) tall cups of coffee when injuries hit. He went 4-24 in june when friedl and fraley hit the IL

    He went 3-17 with 10k’s in August when Reds needed him to produce down injured starters. He was very much part of the reason the Reds claimed Bader and Renfro.

    This is non news. Signing an mlb catcher to catch bullpens and games in ST in goodyear and games in AAA is smart. AAA starters this year will be good and need a vet catcher.

    • BigDaddyRon

      Amen brother. It really is that simple. Much ado about nothging.

    • Rick

      @ OS; All valid points.
      He seems like a really fine young man and teammate & I wish him well.
      His ML level hit tool will need work by his new team. Eye to hand coordination, wrists, or his mental processing ability appeared slow to me.

  14. Michael B. Green

    Canary in the coal mine. Another move is coming up. This clears a 40MR spot.

    • Mark Moore

      I believe TJ was already off the 40-man. This trade was within the period where they could do that or risk losing him for nothing.

      • Michael B. Green

        Did not originally see that. Makes sense now.

  15. JamesB

    Austin Wynns is a good catcher, handles pitchers and pitch framing well. He was popular in SF but always seemed to be the odd man out with Kapler.

  16. Redsvol

    Man, a lot of consternation about what was likely the 9th or 10th best outfielder being dropped so we could have backup to the backup catcher insurance until opening day.

    Either nothing is happening in the free agent market or we all have our Christmas shopping done.

    Nothing is happening in the free agent market. Teams are waiting on the top free agents to sign and agents aren’t willing to take market value deals until they’re sure they have to.

    By my estimation, about 5 teams have done something so far to improve their club; dodgers, diamondbacks, royals, cardinals, Reds and Yankees. 20% of clubs. I’m glad we’re among the 20% this year.

  17. BK

    Regarding Chuckie Robinson…the Reds simply didn’t believe he was the best option. He finished the season with the Reds on a minor league contract. he has an option remaining. All they had to was add him to the 40-man roster; adding him was fully in the Reds control. After two consecutive seasons with him in the minors, they elected to move on.

  18. DataDumpster

    Seems like Hopkins should have gotten more “regular play” based upon his record at Louisville but it’s just not done here until last resort (aging vets on the IL). But, I do remember in 2019-2020 when SF gave us David Bell and we “gave” to them (via DFA) people like Disco, Wandy Peralta, Kevin Gausman, and Curt Casali. How many games did SF win in 2021? It would be ironic if Hopkins gets a chance to flourish there as they continue to pick up rejects from their former Director of Player Personnel’s team. Still trying to get that 3rd catcher…

    • Redsvol

      Those players weren’t dfa’d.
      – gausman wasn’t tendered a contract because his final year of arbitration predicted a 10.6$M salary
      – desclafani left as free agent after 2 straight years of horrible health and results
      – casali left as free agent – presumably becaus Tucker Barnhart and Stephenson were better
      – peralta was, well peralta.
      Hindsight is 20-20 but would have been nice to have gotten another year of gausman. Hard for a central team to pony up 10.6$M for an underperforming pitcher I’d imagine.

      • DataDumpster

        You are correct I was careless with using “DFA”, should have said “released” or something similar. The only point I was making is the coincidence of the Reds under David Bell not seeing the potential of 3 or 4 players in one year who all received another chance at David Bell’s former team and thrived the first year away. Now Hopkins in a similar setup.
        That’s it!

  19. Melvin

    Losing Hopkins was not a big deal to me. Considering all the talent in the organization it had to happen sooner or later. Given a choice I would have rather had Robinson. Hopkins may very well be a good player but I didn’t see it when he was up. I hope Barrero survives and wins a spot in ST.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Agreed Melvin. Hopkins goes to SF, where he will be buried even farther down the depth chart. This move is much ado about nothing.

  20. Tim

    Reds have a very Green pitching staff ( pun intended) and they need quality defensive catchers to help in development. This is much more beneficial at this point than Hopkins imho. Also, having a decent pitch framer may be important in luring a good SP to Cincinnati

  21. west larry

    Cease and Roberts are the two best players on the white sox. What would it take to get both? CES, Farley, Connor Philips, Arroyo, Rece Hinds and Levi Stoudt?

  22. AMDG

    The Reds already have Friedl, Benson, Fraley, Steer in the OF to get regular AB’s. And possibly India. Plus a handful of other AAAA guys.

    Barring injury, Hopkins wasn’t going to get many AB’s, if he even made the roster.

    Before 2023, Hopkins was a career 0.260 hitter in the minors. The Giants are likely hoping for a Will Benson sort of move, to buy low, and hope they strike gold.

  23. Oldtimer

    All of the Reds pennant winning teams in my lifetime (born 1951) played 3 or 4 different C during the season. Sometimes as many as 5 different C.

    1961-70-72-75-76-90 teams.

    • Dan

      That’s fine, but you can come up with a decent 3rd or 4th or 5th catcher when you need one. But there’s very little reason to use up a 40-man roster spot on him in December. (Especially for a 33-year-old replacement level guy like Wynns)

    • Greenfield Red

      If the Reds need controllable starting pitching, why would they trade a starting Pitcher with tons of upside and 5 years control, an established reliever with control, and a high end prospect with an advanced hit tool for a starting Pitcher with years of control?

      It’s a non starter for me. All star or not. Lodolo is one good year away from being viewed just as well if not better than Valdez.

      • Melvin

        I agree. SIGN SOME FREE AGENTS. Starters and/or relievers.

    • Mark Moore

      Giving up the high upside of Lodolo is, IMO, laughable. But at least they aren’t suggesting Greene or Abbott.

    • LDS

      Another meaningless article. We’ve seen a bunch of them so far this year, as we did in past years. Clickbait generated by baseball “writers” who speculate more than report. Even Bowden has toned down his “Reds will sign” BS. In the last few years, the Reds were a sure thing on Grandal, Gregorius, etc, etc. Even when the Reds allegedly offer more money, e.g. Ozuna, the FAs go elsewhere. The last splash was Williams with Castellanos and Mouse and that got rid of Williams. Maybe the Reds will make a big move but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Oldtimer

        To this day, more than 40 years later, Dave Parker remains the best DA ever signed by the Reds.

      • Oldtimer

        FA, not DA. Need an edit function.

      • LDS

        Yeah @OT, I can’t think of anyone else that even comes close.

      • Optimist

        Do you seriously think the Castellanos/Moose signings “got rid of Williams”? Really?

      • Old Big Ed

        Dave Parker would have made an excellent DA. Smart guy — born to be a trial lawyer.

      • LDS

        No @Optimist, I’m sure Williams departure is just another in the long line of Reds coincidences since Castellini bought the majority stake and promised to bring championship baseball back to Cincinnati. It’s only been 33 years . Why rush into anything?

      • BK

        Castellini gained control of the Reds 17 years ago in 2016.

      • Optimist

        LDS – Williams is in the ownership group. He didn’t get rid of himself. Odds are good he’s the next controlling partner Others can correct the history, but IIRC MLB changed the rules to prevent another Bill Veeck Owner/GM combination, and seriously punished Ted Turner for his very short foray as owner/field manager.

        For that matter, many argue that MiLB development improved noticeably under Williams, and transitioned smoothly to Krall, with one or two hiccups. It’s obviously at a different level than 10 or 20 years ago.

      • LDS

        Right, Castellini has had control since 2006 – 17+ years. The Reds last won the World Series in 1990 – 33+ years ago. So yeah, Castellini has been a real success story. Though his personal wealth has certainly not suffered. And sadly, Phil will be worse.

    • BK

      I agree with some of the others that all of the speculative deals are nonsense. That said, Valdez would be a really nice fit–groundball machine and durable.

  24. Mark

    Should the Reds look to sign Luis Pitino who was released today?

  25. Jim Walker

    For what it is worth or not to MLB and the Reds, Diamond Sports Group aka Bally Sports has committed to the NHL to continue its local telecasts of games of teams it holds rights for through the current (2023-24) season.

    • BK

      By all accounts, the Reds should be fine this year and received full payments last season. The larger question is what will happen in the out years.

      • Jim Walker

        The back side of the Bally/ NHL agreement has come through. After the end of the 2023-24 season, the local rights held by Bally revert back to the NHL. The Blue Jackets are currently available DTC from Bally, so presumably these rights are among those going back to the NHL at season’s end. If baseball follows the same path, pesumably the Reds should be available DTC outside a bundled cable/ streaming package ffor the 2025 season.

      • BK

        Seems like a reasonable outcome. I wonder how much it will impact the financial amount teams receive from their rights. It should afford an opportunity to improve accessabilty to games which will be good for the game even if there is a bit of a financial hit. While cord-cutting is real, debt is what sunk DSG.

      • Tar Heel Red

        From what I have read, even though the Reds did receive their full payment of $56M last year, they will receive only (and this is speculated to be by agreement between the Reds and Diamond Sports) $40-45M in 2024. Starting in ’25 the deal is off and no further monies will be coming to any of the 10 remaining clubs currently under the Bally Sports contract (not counting the Padres and D’Backs, who were dropped in ’23 and the Twins and Rangers, who are scheduled to be dropped in ’24).

        To me, this is just another example of MLB/Rob Manfred not giving a rat’s a$$ about small market teams. He only cares about what happens in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston…the four largest markets in the country. He has already been quoted “if it’s good for the Yankees, it’s good for baseball.” IMO nothing could be further from the truth.

      • west larry

        Tar: i have recently read that there is a tentative agreement between mlb and Bally that all but three of the teams will receive full payment in 2024, and nothing thereafter. The reds are scheduled to receive their 60 million.

    • Old Big Ed

      There is a new article up on ESPN.com’s baseball page that explains the RSN situation fairly well. Amazon Prime, for example, seems interested (starting in 2025) in aggregating roughly half the teams (mostly the Bally/Diamond teams) into one streaming product.

  26. Jeremiah

    Kind of shows the depth of talent the Reds have just giving up Hopkins for a little money. Feel a little bad for him because you could tell he was just not a player that was going to get much of a chance on this current Reds team. I think for him personally in his career this is a good thing. It will be interesting to see if he can become a starting major leaguer. I would say a good risk definitely for San Francisco to take him on.

    Maybe he’s not as good or telling it as the other guys they have. But I think sometimes we forget Scouts organizations they miss on some of these guys or some guys just don’t get a chance and probably could have been good. Will Benson was terrible defensively at times Elly Dr la cruz terrible at times. But they are the higher prospects and obviously EDC super talented. I think for some players it’s just getting an opportunity and staying healthy and they could be good players. We’ll see with Hopkins on San Francisco.