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View Full Version : Reds Sign Balfour, Menechino, Torrealba and Hanigan



harangatang
01-12-2006, 07:50 PM
http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060112&content_id=1294792&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

General manager Dan O'Brien has said countless times before that his small-market team must be willing to roll the dice on players coming off injuries.

Enter Grant Balfour.

The Reds signed the right-handed Balfour, who missed all of 2005 after having Tommy John surgery performed on his throwing elbow, to a one-year contract Thursday with the hope he'll rejuvenate his career in Cincinnati.

A corresponding move to clear up room for Balfour on the 40-man roster will be announced when terms of Balfour's contract are confirmed.

In other news, the club signed infielder Frank Menechino and catchers Steve Torrealba and Ryan Hanigan to Minor League contracts with invites to Spring Training camp and named Gene Kerns a professional scout.

At the end of last season, doctors predicted Balfour won't be at full strength until this May, because he suffered setbacks during his rehabilitation. This past fall, Balfour had another surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum.

In his career, which began with Minnesota in 2001, Balfour has typically been used as a middle reliever. He's compiled a career record of 5-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 55 appearances, including one start, over the course of the '01, '03 and '04 seasons.

The Twins did not tender a contract to Balfour last month, and the Reds swooped him up.

Balfour, who recently turned 28, showed signs of strong command at times during the 2004 season, during which he went 4-1 with a 4.35 ERA in 36 relief appearances.

Ranjo17
01-12-2006, 07:55 PM
And the hits just keep on coming. :rolleyes:

RedsManRick
01-12-2006, 07:59 PM
Catcher Steve Torrealba? Did Yorvit change his name?

captainmorgan07
01-12-2006, 08:10 PM
menechin subs in at first for dunn and times and balfour hopefully ressurects his career

Hondo
01-12-2006, 08:37 PM
We should have brought Trevor Hoffman back for an Encore...

marcshoe
01-12-2006, 08:39 PM
I like Balfour, at least.

deltachi8
01-12-2006, 08:46 PM
loook out 70 wins, here we come!

KoryMac5
01-12-2006, 10:31 PM
DFA'd Hancock as a result. I know he didn't have starter potential but he did look good in relief last year. Had a 1.93 ERA and held opponents to a .208 batting average. Why risk a major league contract on a guy coming back from major surgery, torn labrum and rotator cuff.

wheels
01-12-2006, 10:42 PM
menechin subs in at first for dunn and times and balfour hopefully ressurects his career

What?

Menechino's something like 5'6" or something.

The guy's David Ecksteinian in stature.

He's an itsy bitsy little fella. He ain't playin' no first base.

Ever.

:laugh:

marcshoe
01-12-2006, 11:07 PM
Can he stand on a chair?

StillFunkyB
01-12-2006, 11:18 PM
Grant Balfour probably will never pitch again. To DFA a guy that actually can throw a ball is absolutely asinine.

Frank Menechino? How many friggin 2B are we gonna collect? I wonder if Freel is pretty much gone?

Jpup
01-13-2006, 04:08 AM
I know there were a lot of people on the board that wanted to pick up Balfour, but I thought that a torn labrum was pretty much a death sentence for a pitcher?

I can't comment on the rest as I am not familiar with any of them except Menechino. I don't know why DanO signed him, the Reds sure don't need another middle infielder. Unless there is some kind of trade in the works, I don't see the point in any of this. DanO must of thought that he needed to pick up an ex-Blue Jay since Toronto signed Ben Weber the other day.

Frank Menechino 35 years old 5'8"(wtf?)

He has played 2nd, Short, and 3rd in his career. He has pitched in two games as well.

309 Games at 2nd
45 Games at 3rd
33 Games at SS


Career (6 years, 1257 AB) .240/.358/.383/.741 36 HR 149 RBI 200 BB 3 Steals 207 Runs Scored

2005 (148 AB) .216/.352/.345/.697 4 HR 13 RBI 25 BB 22 Runs Scored

2004 (236 AB) .301/.400/.504/.904 9 HR 25 RBI 36 BB 40 Runs Scored (Wow, let's hope he repeats 2004.)

I don't even think that you could consider him scrappy, he has a 3 for 13 stolen base record for his career.

RANDY IN INDY
01-13-2006, 06:53 AM
As usual, O'Brien casts his line, directly to the bottom with a big hunk of smelly cheese on the hook. Bottom feeding at it's finest.

MrCinatit
01-13-2006, 07:20 AM
loook out 70 wins, here we come!

optimist :p:

Unassisted
01-13-2006, 09:44 AM
Marc Lancaster's take:
http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060113/SPT05/601130317/1035/SPT

Reds take chance on reliever
By Marc Lancaster
Post staff reporter

Dan O'Brien referred to Thursday's signing of reliever Grant Balfour as a "calculated risk" for the Reds, but in baseball terms it was a relatively low-risk move.

The Reds will pay the 28-year-old right-hander $340,000 this year, knowing he won't be available to pitch in the majors until sometime this summer at the earliest. But if Balfour recovers from injuries that kept him on Minnesota's disabled list all of last season, he could prove a worthwhile investment.

"It's a combination of flashes of past performance, the power arm, his age and the fact that if he does return to his previous form, we would potentially control the player for several years to come," O'Brien explained.

Because Balfour has less than three years of major league service time, he still hasn't entered the salary arbitration phase, so the Reds could retain the rights to him for at least three more seasons after this one if they so desire. Whether they do depends on how well Balfour bounces back from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery that ended his 2005 campaign before it even started and a subsequent procedure last September to repair a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum.

One factor in the Reds' decision to take a chance on Balfour's healthy return is that both surgeries were performed by their team medical director, Dr. Tim Kremchek. Balfour will be able to continue his recovery with firsthand guidance from Kremchek, and O'Brien said the prognosis is encouraging.

"He'll report to major league camp, he'll continue to rehab," said O'Brien. "If things go according to plan, the doctor projects that he might be able to return to pitching in the big leagues at some point in midseason."

Before the injuries, Balfour posted the kind of numbers that are rare among Reds prospects. Pitching in Class AAA in 2002 and most of 2003, Balfour recorded 175 strikeouts in 142 1/3 innings while walking just 46. Those ratios didn't quite hold in the majors with the Twins in 2004, but Balfour still struck out 42 and walked 21 in 39 1/3 innings.

To make room on their 40-man roster for Balfour, the Reds designated right-hander Josh Hancock for assignment. That, too, is something of a risk, as the Reds could lose Hancock through waivers, but they're expecting and hoping he'll make it through and accept a minor league assignment.

Assuming Hancock clears waivers, O'Brien said the pitcher will be in the mix for a swing role on the pitching staff as was originally planned. Hancock, 27, had a frustrating 2005. He appeared in only 11 big-league games after a nagging groin strain and elbow soreness kept him from the majors until September. He pitched well in his limited duty with the Reds, allowing three earned runs and walking one batter in 14 innings of relief.

Also Thursday, the Reds signed three more players to minor league deals with invitations to major league spring training. The additions of infielder Frank Menechino and catchers Ryan Hanigan and Steve Torrealba give the Reds 17 non-roster invitees.

Menechino is the most intriguing newcomer. He was a 45th-round draft pick of the White Sox in 1993 and spent nine years in the minors before making it to the big leagues with Oakland in 1999. He has been in the majors ever since, mostly as a backup infielder. The vast majority of his major league appearances have come at second base, which is becoming quite a logjam for the Reds.

Not counting Felipe Lopez, who will start at shortstop, the Reds will have eight players in big-league camp with experience playing second base in the majors: Rich Aurilia, William Bergolla, Ryan Freel, Aaron Holbert, Anderson Machado, Menechino, Ray Olmedo and Tony Womack.

"It's about depth and it's about maneuverability and it's about creating competition," O'Brien said of the infield glut, adding that Menechino was well aware of the situation before he signed.

Neither Hanigan nor Torrealba has much of a chance to break camp with the big-league club, but every team tries to take several catchers to spring training.

CincyFalcon
01-13-2006, 10:25 AM
I have seen conflicting reports on Balfour...Return as early as late May or never pitch again...If he does work out,(ala Chris Carpenter) isn't he worth the risk??? His numbers, when healthy were around a strikeout an inning and the first batter he faced batted around .100, I'll take those numbers in a Reds bullpen anyday...Never know he could be the closer in 2007...

I like his signing better than another second baseman...

StillFunkyB
01-13-2006, 10:29 AM
Doesn't anyone else want to just pull all their hair out that the GM of the REDS JUST DUMPED A GUY WHO CAN ACTUALLY PITCH FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN'T EVEN THROW A BALL RIGHT NOW?

Unassisted
01-13-2006, 10:32 AM
Doesn't anyone else want to just pull all their hair out that the GM of the REDS JUST DUMPED A GUY WHO CAN ACTUALLY PITCH FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN'T EVEN THROW A BALL RIGHT NOW?I think there is a large contingent here who believed that Reds would have come out ahead trading Hancock for nothing. This is even better. ;)

M2
01-13-2006, 10:37 AM
Doesn't anyone else want to just pull all their hair out that the GM of the REDS JUST DUMPED A GUY WHO CAN ACTUALLY PITCH FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN'T EVEN THROW A BALL RIGHT NOW?

Nope. Dumping Hancock (who probably isn't leaving the organization) is just a sweet extra to signing Balfour.

The thing with Hancock is he can't pitch. He's a soup tosser who'll get lit up with any sort of extended exposure to major league hitters. If what you're looking for is a guy who can take a bullet with a 5.00-5.25 ERA as opposed to something with 6 in front of it, then Hancock's your man, but that's about it. I see no reason to collect or protect that kind of pitcher.

M2
01-13-2006, 10:42 AM
Catcher Steve Torrealba? Did Yorvit change his name?

Steve's a completely different human. Came up through the Braves' system. Hasn't played much the past three seasons according to this:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/T/steve-torrealba.shtml

jmbraun773
01-13-2006, 11:02 AM
I like this move. We are getting Balfour for next to nothing, and Hancock has been horrible for us anyway. Granted Balfour isn't going to be ready for a while, but hopefully when he does get healthy he delivers.

corkedbat
01-13-2006, 11:05 AM
Marc Lancaster's take:
http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060113/SPT05/601130317/1035/SPT

Not counting Felipe Lopez, who will start at shortstop, the Reds will have eight players in big-league camp with experience playing second base in the majors: Rich Aurilia, William Bergolla, Ryan Freel, Aaron Holbert, Anderson Machado, Menechino, Ray Olmedo and Tony Womack.


When has the phrase "Quality over Quantity' ever been more apt?

:bang:

RedsManRick
01-13-2006, 11:13 AM
I can't wait until they each get 1 at bat every other day in Spring training and the guy who goes 4 for 10 gets the job because he "earned" it. Just when I thought my confidence in Reds management could not get lower, O'Bie and Narron come out and prove me wrong.

Somebody needs to tell them that you can't manufacture runs if you can't get on base in the first place and that a double with a guy on 2b is actually a better outcome than a sac bunt and sac fly.

Doc. Scott
01-13-2006, 11:58 AM
Steve Torrealba is just the AAA replacement for Steve Lomasney. He hits better than Dane Sardinha, but that's about it.

There were tons of not-terrible-hitting catchers on the 6YR market this winter, and DanO has to go get a no-sticker who hasn't played since April 2004. Good one.

Ryan Hanigan had a great year with the bat at AA Chattanooga, but he catches so well he spent most of 2005 playing first base. Still, for a NDFA out of Rollins College (Jim Bowden's alma mater, lest we forget), he's done pretty well for himself. He did pretty badly in the Arizona Fall League this past winter; time will tell if he stands the test of time, and whether he'll be the AAA starter in 2006 or Miguel Perez will. I'd like to see Ryan get the spot for now since Perez makes Steve Torrealba look like Josh Gibson with the lumber.

smith288
01-13-2006, 12:40 PM
i have never been so pumped for next years Bengals season.

StillFunkyB
01-13-2006, 02:37 PM
Nope. Dumping Hancock (who probably isn't leaving the organization) is just a sweet extra to signing Balfour.

The thing with Hancock is he can't pitch. He's a soup tosser who'll get lit up with any sort of extended exposure to major league hitters. If what you're looking for is a guy who can take a bullet with a 5.00-5.25 ERA as opposed to something with 6 in front of it, then Hancock's your man, but that's about it. I see no reason to collect or protect that kind of pitcher.

Ok, so picking up someone who may never throw the ball again is better? I just don't understand.

He could have picked up Brian Tallet from Cleveland, who was DFA'd.

KoryMac5
01-13-2006, 07:01 PM
Hancock's numbers in that swing role for middle relief were pretty good last year. Is he a starter, not even a lil bit but I thought he showed enough promise to merit consideration over as guy with a torn labrum.

M2
01-13-2006, 11:17 PM
Ok, so picking up someone who may never throw the ball again is better? I just don't understand

Yep, because the guy who may never throw again could be a plus pitcher. The guy who just got DFA'd can't.

The Reds don't need more bad pitchers. They're flush with them. What they need is good pitchers. Balfour might be one. Hancock won't be, not now, not ever.

Heath
01-14-2006, 10:08 AM
i have never been so pumped for next years Bengals season.

This quote from a team who just had a QB go under the knife for an ACL & MCL tear...:eek:

smith288
01-14-2006, 11:01 AM
This quote from a team who just had a QB go under the knife for an ACL & MCL tear...:eek:
Exactly. I have more excitement about a team who just had a horrible event occur to them rather than a team who is basically taking ahammer to their own knee.

fourrunhomer
01-14-2006, 01:18 PM
I like this move. We are getting Balfour for next to nothing, and Hancock has been horrible for us anyway. Granted Balfour isn't going to be ready for a while, but hopefully when he does get healthy he delivers.


I realize I'm the only one who thinks this but Hancock is my darkhorse to be the #3 starter.
His numbers for the Reds have not been that bad although very limited. I really liked what I saw from him in 2004.

Career
6-3 4.40 32G 12GS 88IP 51R 43ER 19HR 31BB 51K

2004 WHILE W/REDS
5-1 4.45 12G 9GS 54.2IP 60H 34R 27ER 14HR 25BB 31K

2005
1-0 1.93 11G 14IP 11H 4R 3ER 1HR 5BB 5K

Granted these aren't HOF numbers by any stretch. They aren't bad compared to almost anyone else that has taken the mound for the Reds the last few years. The guy hasn't pitched enough to know what he can really do (good or bad) but I was impressed with him when he came up at the end of 2004.
The numbers that are a bit scary for me are the HRs allowed.
I just don't understand why everyone thinks he is so terrible. who knows maybe I will too if he has another mysterious 5month groin strain or just stinks the place up this year, but my bet is for him to be in the rotation.

pedro
01-14-2006, 01:42 PM
I realize I'm the only one who thinks this but Hancock is my darkhorse to be the #3 starter.
His numbers for the Reds have not been that bad although very limited. I really liked what I saw from him in 2004.

Career
6-3 4.40 32G 12GS 88IP 51R 43ER 19HR 31BB 51K

2004 WHILE W/REDS
5-1 4.45 12G 9GS 54.2IP 60H 34R 27ER 14HR 25BB 31K

2005
1-0 1.93 11G 14IP 11H 4R 3ER 1HR 5BB 5K

Granted these aren't HOF numbers by any stretch. They aren't bad compared to almost anyone else that has taken the mound for the Reds the last few years. The guy hasn't pitched enough to know what he can really do (good or bad) but I was impressed with him when he came up at the end of 2004.
The numbers that are a bit scary for me are the HRs allowed.
I just don't understand why everyone thinks he is so terrible. who knows maybe I will too if he has another mysterious 5month groin strain or just stinks the place up this year, but my bet is for him to be in the rotation.


People think he's terrible b/c of the pedestrian stuff and the HR's.

I don't think he'll ever be more than a mop up guy at best. Certainly never a #3 starter on any team IMO , not even the Reds.

Danny Serafini
01-14-2006, 03:31 PM
I don't think he's really starter material, but he could have some value in long relief. He'll never be a star, but he's not garbage either.

tomd63
01-15-2006, 01:01 PM
I think Hancock could be a serviceable end of the rotation kind of guy. But he just doesn't have any projectability. If everything in the world broke just right for him he'd still just be a #3 starter in the absolute best case. The thing is, we have a couple of more younger versions of him at AAA in Germano and Ramirez. I think this is why they felt they could take the health risk gamble with Balfour. His talent, pre-injury, was much more projectable. So basically with the glut of similar prospects, they could take the risk with Balfour, who has much more upside if he recovers well.