Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 1-12-10. Thom and Marty started the show by talking about the Winter Caravan going on the last week of January and the Chapman signing. Marty said he talked to Red Sox manager Terry Francona about Chapman and he told Marty when they had him throwing for them in Fenway, after he got warmed up everyoneís eyes got as big as saucers. Francona said the Sox and Yankees didnít sign him because when they sign someone, he has to be able to help yesterday and they didnít think Chapman was ready. They talked about the winter caravan which will have a western, eastern and southern tour and the southern tour will have a stop in Cincinnati (About time). It will be January 28-31 and the info can be found on the Reds web site. Thom and Marty agree that the stop in Cincinnati makes a lot of sense.
The first caller asked if Chapmanís contract meant he has a guaranteed roster spot for 6 years. Marty said he believes it is and itís guaranteed money. Thom said a lot of the money is back loaded and this year, including bonus, heíll be getting about $2.5M. The caller said if he spends 4 years in the minors then the last 2 in the majors, he has 6 years experience (I assume that the caller means heíll then be a free agent.) Marty said if heís 22 now and he spends the next 4 years in the minors, itís a bad deal. The caller asked if heíd be a free agent them. Thom said he would fall under the normal rules for a player with 2 years experience. He said heís not guaranteed a 25 man roster spot, only a 40 man and when he accrues 3 years (or in some cases 2 and a half) of major league service time (on the 25 man roster) he will become arbitration eligible then when he gets 6 years of major league service time (again on the 25 man roster) then he will be a free agent. (If I understand this correctly, the Reds can call him up and send him down as much as they want for the next 3 years - maybe 4. After that, heís in Wily Mo territory and arbitration would only apply if heís acquired enough major league service time by the end of his contract. According to TheNext44, if heís arb eligible after 2012 he gets $5M converted to a bonus and can go to arbitration and $3M if heís arb eligible after 2013 http://www.redszone.com/forums/showp...&postcount=623 . So heís basically Wily Mo when he was signed by the Yankees as far as service time and being arb eligible is concerned. )
The next caller asked if the signing of Chapman meant that Arroyo and/or Harang would be moved. Thom said that it was made clear that this wouldnít affect the roster for this year. The caller asked if he has a timetable to be on the 25 man roster. Marty said that Walt said that heíll be given the opportunity to make the team. Marty said by all accounts he needs to get better control and refine his off-speed pitch that he will have Soto working with him on. Marty said heíd be surprised if he made the club.
Marty also said that the Players Association and the Marlins have come to an agreement that FLA will spend more money on their major league roster. Both Thom and Marty like this.
After commercial, Marty said that the HSL would be on live at the Reds HOF & Museum on January 27th.
The next caller wanted to know why the Reds didnít re-sign Gromes (sic). (Hee hee) Thom said it was a matter of money and said itís possible that he could come back. He said that he was arb eligible and the Reds didnít want to be forced to pay him a lot of money. The caller said that he was very productive and had the most HRs/ABs on the team (Sounds like the guy from last week who said he was better than Dunn) Thom said he did a great job but thinks the Reds feel he may not e able to do it again. Marty agreed and said there are still a lot of guys out there who donít have jobs - Gomes being one of them - and as time goes by, their price drops.
The next caller asked if Rolen deserves kudos for redoing his contract. Marty said he certainly does. The caller then asked if Chapman has agents because itís unusual for a guy with his talent to sign with the Reds. (Thatís sad but funny) He also wanted to know about Harangís health. Marty said Chapman switched agents to the Hendricks brothers who Marty said are top notch (Marty praising agents? Is hell freezing over?) Thom said that the teams who usually get the big time players didnít want to take a chance on Chapman. Marty said that NY and BOSís farm systems are essentially the FA market.
The next caller asked if the Reds should trade Chapman for some hitting - like to SEA for Ichiro or Jr. (You canít make this stuff up, folks.) He also wanted to know if Dusty got the boot if Larkin would take the job. Thom said you had to wait and see with Dusty. He said they didnít sign Chapman to trade him even for Jr. or Ichiro who are in their late 30s early 40s.
After commercial, the next caller asked about J.J. Hardyís availability and wanted to know if the Reds would give Francisco a shot at the LF job. Thom said that Hardy was traded. Marty thought it was to K.C. (I canít believe Marty got that wrong. Itís unbelievable. What was he thinking? Just no excuse for that. That was my impersonation of what Marty would do if he was doing this write-up. ) Thom said that heís tearing up the Dominican League and doesnít think the Reds will close the door on some of the kids like Francisco, Chapman or Cozart who are contending for jobs. Marty said that he doesnít think there is another team out there that is better for young players than the Reds. He said the Hendricks brothers told him that that is a big reason why Chapman signed with the Reds.
The next caller asked if we were beginning to see Walt in action because of all the pitching thatís been added. He asked Marty if he remembers this kind of depth of pitching. Marty said that this is the deepest amount of good pitching heís seen since heís been here. Marty said he texted Walt the other night that he likes his style. He said Walt does things quietly unlike JimBo. He said Walt doesnít let anyone know what heís doing and thatís how a GM should run things.
The next caller thought the Chapman signing was good because, as Walt said, you have to take chances. He would like Janish as a SS but they need a better hitter. Thom said that he doesnít know why everyone says a RH hitter is such a need. (Yeah, I canít imagine why since you two - especially Marty - have said time and again that the Reds donít need any more left handed hitters) Thom said if Votto and Bruce do what they are supposed to do then it doesnít matter what kind of hitter you have. Marty agreed and confirmed that Hardy is a Twin.
After commercial, the next caller said Chapman was a great signing and hopefully he can establish a change-up. Heís also excited at all the potential aces in the rotation with Volquez, Cueto, Homer and Chapman, Wood and Lincoln (O.K., I made that last one up.) He also asked who would be the starting 3 OFers. Thom said Bruce is a lock in RF and CF is not necessarily Stubbsí. He likes Stubbs but he thought Dickerson was at times the best player on the team but he couldnít stay healthy. He thinks heíll get a legitimate shot in CF or LF and he brought up Heisey. Marty talked about the depth chart and said Heisey was #1 in LF.
The next caller wanted to know what the rotation would be and if they were done making moves. Marty said that was tough to say and itís tough to name a lineup besides SS and CF and LF. Thom said the first 4 spots in the rotation are locks but the 5th spot is up for grabs and the setup man is Massett and the closer is Cordero.
The next caller asked if Rolen could restructure his deal, why couldnít Cordero, Harang and Arroyo. Thom said that no one knows if they were even asked to do it and Harang has 1 more year on his deal and Arroyo has 2 more. Thom said that they probably donít want to do this with a bunch of different guys.
The next caller asked if Marty was surprised that Larkin didnít get into the HOF. Marty said he doesnít think heís a 1st ballot HOFer and he may have to wait for a while since he thinks Blyleven and Alomar are shoo-ins next year, there will be a huge class the following year and Maddux will be selected the year after that (Unless they find heís been juicing. )
After commercial, the next caller asked if coaches and GMís should be held accountable for their players who used steroids - La Russa in particular. Thom said that itís hard to hold them responsible for what a group of grown men do. Both of them did say that they found it difficult to believe that La Russa didnít know what was going on after all these years.
The next caller asked if Janish stays healthy this year, where can he lead the club. Marty said he plays shortstop. The caller said, ďIf he can hit 40 Hrs maybe drive in 100 runsÖĒ Thatís when Marty cut him off.
The next caller asked if they had the time and date for the Columbus Caravan.
The last caller asked what their take was on the McGwire situation and if it was a preview of things to come for Rose. Marty said he failed to see what one had to do with the other. He said unless that they put the steroid users on the ballot then Pete should be on the ballot. Thom said that the writers donít decide who is on the ballot but MLB has to make the decision whether the steroid users are on the ballot. Marty said that they should do something like that or else they will take a PR hit. Thom said he admired McGwire for coming out and (somewhat) admitting his transgressions and Sosa and Bonds have never admitted anything publicly.
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 1-12-10. So let it be written. So let it be done.