Cincinnati Reds fans are anxious for the start of the 2011 season. Unfortunately, many of us have been engaged in the NFL and haven't followed the Reds very closely. There have been a few off-season player transactions to catch up on.
Here are the moves they did make.
It came as no surprise when the Reds picked up Jonny Gomes' $1.75 million option for 2011.
Gomes is a not good defensively. He did hit 18 home runs in 2010 and managed to drive in 86 runs. Gomes is also a good team chemistry guy who is a fan favorite. He should see plenty of action in left field.
The Reds re-signed catcher Corky Miller to a minor league contract.
Miller is no spring chicken. He will be 35 in March. In 2010, he hit .243/.282/.392 with two homers and nine RBI in 74 at-bats.
If Ryan Hanigan or Ramon Hernandez go down, Miller will be there. He also has a terrific mustache.
The Reds had a good combo behind the dish in 2010 with Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez. The same combo will be back in 2011. Hernandez was re-signed to a one-year contract for around $3 million.
The 34-year-old catcher hit.297/.364/.428 last year with seven home runs and 48 RBI over 313 at-bats.
Ryan Hanigan should start the season as the number one catcher but they are a pretty effective pair.
With the departure of lefty Arthur Rhodes, the Reds signed lefty Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract. He will likely replace Rhodes in the bullpen.
This appears to be a low risk, moderate reward gamble by the Reds. Willis may end up at Triple-A Louisville waiting for the chance to get his career together.
Reds pitching coach Bryan Price recently worked with Willis for a couple of weeks in Arizona and came away impressed.
The D-Train may be coming to Cincinnati.
On November 3rd, the Reds exercised RHP Bronson Arroyo's $11 million option for 2011.
The Reds wanted more, though. They signed Arroyo to a three-year, $35 million contract extension. The deal includes some deferred money
Arroyo, soon to be 34, finished the 2010 season with a 17-10 record, a 3.88 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP over 33 starts. If he can come close to that, the deal will be a good one.
Miguel Cairo got a two-year, $2 million contract from the Reds to resume his role as super utility man.
Cairo is 36. He punched up .290/.353/.410 with four home runs and 28 RBI over 200 at-bats in 2010. The 15-year veteran played 3B, 1B, 2B, OF, SS, and DH.
Jay Bruce was eligible for arbitration as Super Two player. Instead of going to arbitration, the Reds signed him to a six-year, $51 million contract extension with a $13 million option for 2017.
Bruce, who will be 24 in April, should be entering his best seasons. In 2010, he hit .281/.353/.493/.846. He hit 25 homers and drove in 70 runs over 148 games. If he can improve upon that, the Reds will be happy.
The Reds must have been looking for minor league depth when they signed outfielder Brian Barton to a minor league contract.
Barton is 28 years old so isn't much of a prospect. He has bounced around a bit and is unlikely to play much with the Reds.
Jeremy Hermida signed a minor league contract with the Reds.
Hermida hasn't played regularly in a while but should compete for the 5th outfield spot. Last year, he batted .216/.268/.351 in 222 at-bats.
The Reds avoided arbitration when they signed Jared Burton to a one-year, $750,000 contract.
Burton suffered multiple injuries last season and made only four total relief appearances. He was a highly effective setup man in 2007 and 2008.
Not feeling confident with the skills of Paul Janish, the Reds signed Edgar Renteria to a $2 million contract. He can also earn another $1 million in bonuses.
This deal is not without problems but Renteria does provide needed depth at shortstop. There just weren't any decent shortstops on the free agent market in the Reds' price range aside from Renteria.
The Reds added their likely fourth outfielder when they signed Fred Lewis to a one-year, $900,000 contract.
Lewis is 30 years old and had a decent year with the Blue Jays in 2010. He hit .262/.332/.414 with eight homers, 36 RBI and 17 stolen bases over 110 games.
Lewis may share left field with Jonny Gomes.