I've been beaten to the punch by a little bit, but here it goes anyway.
OBM's already listed the Reds transactions.
-While I don't believe Jorgensen has shown he can hit on a consistent enough basis to be a starting major-league catcher, he could very well be a great backup. He's also got a really great defensive reputation.
-I have a feeling they only brought Barker back because Phillips opted for free agency. I don't really blame Tonys Gutierrez much for opting to try the market either, as the Reds have shown little intent to push him up the ladder past Double-A despite consistently okay numbers. I don't think Gutierrez is going to top out any higher than a Todd Benzinger or Dave Bergman type, however.
-I hope Tyler Pelland still gets a chance in 2009. His injuries this past season were very ill-timed.
Signed: C Dane Sardinha
He still can't hit at all, but someone in Detroit just loves the guy, apparently. In 2008 he appeared in 17 games- eight and a half times the number he appeared in as a Cincinnati Red (two).
In case you're wondering (I know you are)- David Espinosa
? Indy ball.
Signed: 1B Brett Bartles
Reds' castoff gets another chance! Good news for the former Duke standout.
Signed: RHP Jon Hunton
BA: "Hunton, a 6-foot-9 righthander, was drafted four times from 2001 to 2004, by the Marlins (28th round), the Nationals (39th), the Nationals again (24th) and finally the Cubs (11th). He spent three seasons in the Cubs organization, posting a 4.30 ERA for high Class A Daytona in 2006 before being released the following spring and going the indy route. Hunton, 26, excelled as Fort Worth’s (American Association) closer in 2008, collecting 23 saves to go with a 0.81 ERA and 71-18 K-BB in 56 innings."
I wish the Reds would dip into the indy leagues more often. It's fun to watch at a minimum.
Signed: RHP Elizardo Ramirez
Traded: OF John Mayberry Jr. to Phillies for OF Greg Golson
Ramirez hasn't exactly come back to hurt the Reds either- it was more of the same for him in 2008, showing moderate pitch-to-contact effectiveness at AAA and then getting torched in a brief big-league stint.
Also, a very interesting "challenge" trade between the Rangers and Phillies. Golson
is the classic five-tool fool, a Reggie "Rally Time" Taylor
with a gym membership.
Just as hackin' Greg began to show some semblance of plate discipline in 2008 at age 22 (drawing a career-high 34 walks in 106 games in Double-A and earning a brief September callup), the Phillies immediately traded him. After holding on to the guy for four years as he flailed at non-fastballs and drew raves from scouts! Funny stuff.
Mayberry, 25 on Opening Day,
was also a first-round pick (actually twice) who has generally hit pretty well but has major concerns over his defense. The guy's a 6'5", 230# monster basically limited to first base or an outfield corner; perhaps Philly is looking at him as a replacement for the probably-gone Pat Burrell?
Anyway, it was interesting to see the normally tools-happy Phils trade a still-young guy (who might be on the verge of a true breakthrough) that they've put a lot of time and money into in Golson for Mayberry, a less-versatile slugger who's more than two years older and coming off a year in which he couldn't OPS 800 in a hitter's haven (AAA Oklahoma City).
BA thinks it might be Mayberry's suitability to Citizens Bank Park
Signed: RHP Preston Larrison, RHP Dan Leatherman, RHP Ryan Wagner
, 1B Brad Eldred
, OF Jemel Spearman
You think Wagner knows where his bread's buttered? I believe he's going to miss most or all of 2009, anyway, as he rehabs from the shoulder surgery resulting from his inconsistent mechanics.
Eldred has intrigued me ever since I saw him as a Pirate, waving merrily at breaking balls. With the legendary Rob Stratton now retired, Eldred's the heir apparent.