Although no major trades or acquisitions have been made by the Cincinnati Reds this offseason, some changes have been made to the roster.
The Reds are entering 2014 with a few new faces off the bench and are still waiting to see if any major trade happens. Brandon Phillips' name comes up a lot and even Homer Bailey has received some speculation for trade (per Dan Wolfson of 1500 ESPN).
The Reds seem willing to shakeup the roster a bit more, and general manager Walt Jocketty usually has a few tricks up his sleeve.
However, who has felt the impact so far, whether it is negative or positive? Some players could be foreseeing less or more playing time.
Let’s go ahead and look at the early winners and losers from offseason shakeups.
All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
According to John Fay of Cincinnati.com, The Reds’ fifth (sometimes even sixth) outfielder Derrick Robinson was designated for assignment last month to make room on the roster for newly acquired Skip Schumaker.
Robinson saw his first major league game with the Reds last season when Ryan Ludwick went on the disabled listed. Robinson looked sharp in May with a .409 batting average and four RBI in only 22 at-bats (per Baseball-Reference.com).
However, Robinson had trouble keeping his batting average and OBP at average levels. His season slash line was .255/.322/.323 with only eight RBI in 192 at-bats.
Robinson does have the speed to play any outfield spot and truly helped the Reds through their injuries. On the other hand, the Reds were starting to get loaded in outfielders with starts from Donald Lutz, Chris Heisey, Xavier Paul, Billy Hamilton and a returning Ludwick in August.
There’s even less room with the Schumaker signing, and the Reds might not be able to persuade Robinson to a minor league contract. Although he’s maybe not going to return to the team, he has a high chance of signing with another team in seach of outfield depth.
According to ESPNDeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas, the Reds signed backup catcher Brayan Pena to a two-year deal. This immediately created the question on what the Reds would do with current catchers Devin Mesoraco and Ryan Hanigan.
It’s easier to believe that the Reds finally have faith in Mesoraco as the starting catcher versus trading him. Mesoraco is young and still has the potential to bring a middle-of-the-order bat to the lineup.
Hanigan was injury plagued last season but still has plenty of draw for decent prospect trade. Hanigan only collected a .198/.306/.261 slash line in 2013 but still lead the National League with 45 percent caught-stealing.
Hanigan’s days as a Red seem to be numbered, but the formidable catcher will receive a nice paycheck in his second-year of arbitration.
However, if Hanigan is traded, his starting time might be highly affected.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Mesoraco will likely become the starting catcher for the Reds next season. The Reds are likely putting a lot of value in the young backstop and see him as their catcher for years to come.
Mesoraco has earned it too. While his slash line isn’t anything to write home about at .238/.286/.362, Mesoraco did have nine homeruns, 42 RBI and 13 doubles.
His numbers aren’t off the charts, but he hasn’t gotten the go to start full-time. Mesoraco will likely embrace the starting role. If anything, he has shown that he has the passion for the game.
If there’s any Reds’ player that has received a major pay upgrade this offseason, it’s Manny Parra. According to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, Parra has signed for two years and will earn $5.5 million over the course of his contract.
Parra was only making $1 million with the Reds in 2013 and had only ever made $1.2 million a year with the Milwaukee Brewers. His pay increase shows that the Reds believe Parra is the answer for a left-handed setup man.
Parra had a career best 3.33 ERA over 57 appearances last season. While he had a rough start to the year allowing seven earned runs in April, Parra allowed only 11 earned runs for the remainder of the season.
The lefty has easily earned his contract, and the Reds are hoping for the same results next year. His contract for two years is a win for the Reds and Parra especially after Javier Lopez signed three years for $13 million with the San Francisco Giants (per Comcast SportsNet's Andrew Baggarly).
It sometimes pays to stick with a team, and Bryan Price finally got his golden ticket after 13 seasons as a Major League pitching coach. Price will now take over the Reds and has earned his first manager’s position in the majors.
Price has done amazing things for the Reds pitching staff since his arrival. In 2013, Price was able to help his rotation lead the National League in strikeouts and earn a fourth best ERA in the Major League (per MLB.com).
Price has brought the association of great pitching to Cincinnati for the first time in years. His multiple years of experience as a professional player and pitching coach should transfer well to his new role.
Price earned himself a three-year contract as the manager for the Reds and has definitely become the biggest winner so far this offseason.