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Lance McAlister

2014 Reds: Chips on their shoulders

 
2014 Reds: Chips on their shoulders

Reds

Mark Sheldon writes about the Reds seeking creativity in long-term deals.
Billy Hamilton won't be asked to carry too much of the burden.
Hal McCoy writes about the base stealing talents of Billy Hamilton.

Things I'm told
Homer's deal

Total: $104,253,062. 
Length: 2014-2019 opt 2020
2014: $9,000,000
2015: $10,000,000
2016: $18,000,000
2017: $19,000,000
2018: $21,000,000
2019: $23,000,000 ($3,000,000 deferred) 
2020: Mutual option $25,000,000 or $5,000,000 buyout (buyout payable November 2020).
If Homer is traded, the deferral on the buyout is voided.
Bonuses:
$50,000 for All Star, $100,000 for LCS/MVP, $100,000 for WS/MVP, $50,000 for Gold Glove, $50,000 for Silver Slugger, $100,000 for Cy Young ($75,000-2nd; $50,000-3rd; $40,000-4th; $20,000-5th).
Homer will donate .5-1.0% of salary per year to Reds Community Fun.

Sports Talk last night:
Walt Jocketty, 6:11:
We discussed the Bailey deal, the impact of Bryan Price's relationship with Homer, and what Walt would tell fans worried about the future and Mat Latos.
Chad Rogers, 6:20:
He was attacked by a shark, while surfing, just after the Reds drafted him in June of 2010.
Listen here:

 Proving a point in 2014?

(Getty Images)

I've been thinking about this since Jeff Brantley mentioned it on 700 WLW last week. Brantley said he likes it when guys are playing with a chip on their shoulders. He pointed to Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. I'll take his point further. Think about the 2013 Reds season: 3rd place, seven fewer wins than '12, a six game losing streak to end the season, a Wild Card flameout, ownership viewing the team as underachievers, and a manager fired. The 2013 season will be remembered a one of the most disappointing in years. Now, look at this 2014 roster, from players to the coaching staff. You will see guys with something to prove. I think that's an huge intangible for the Reds in 2014: Motivation.

Bryan Price: Making the transition from pitching coach to ML manager.
Devin Mesoraco: He will be handling one of MLB's best pitching staffs, as an everyday catcher, for the first time in his career.
Joey Votto: He admits he was disappointed in his defense, baserunning and offense in 2013. Clearly he's aware of the critics.
Brandon Phillips: He's healthy and driven to show he's more the players that hit .296-347-481-.829 through June 1, than the player that hit .241-.288-.349-.637 the rest of the season. Then there's the offseason trade rumors and another guy getting a bigger contract than his.
Zack Cozart: Trying to carry over the confidence of hitting .311 in his last 37 games and .288 in the last 60 games.
Todd Frazier: Can he bounce back from a '13 season that saw a drop of 39 points in BA and 91 points in SLG? He went stretches of 32 games and 39 games without a home run in '13. Is he an everday player or a utility guy?
Jay Bruce: He enters his age 27 season and his prime, on the heels of a 30 HR/109 RBI season. He had a career best 73 extra-base hits. Is there even more?
Ryan Ludwick: Coming back from a Opening Day shoulder injury, at age 34. He told me he felt many fans blamed him for the disappointment of '13. He also angered some fans for his last season comments about fan support/noise.
Billy Hamilton: His assignment is to fill the shoes of Shin-Soo Choo, after Choo reached base 300 times in '13 and Hamilton got on base at just a .308 rate in his only AAA season.
Chris Heisey: Now 29, he's probably facing a now or never season with the Reds. He's coming off the worst season of ML career, with lows in BA, OBP and OPS. He's arbitration and makes $1.7M this year.
Homer Bailey: Expectations certainly ramp up as the new $105M man.
Mat Latos: If Bailey got those $$$, how much can Latos prove he's worth?
Johnny Cueto: He went from 19-9 2.78 in 2013, to never making more than three starts in '13 without landing on the DL....a total of three times. And there was that playoff start vs Pittsburgh.
Tony Cingrani: Bronson Arroyo's out, Tony's in. How close can Cingrani come to replicating Arroyo's 30+ starts/200+ innings? Can he last a full season (back/DL)?
Mike Leake: Did he arrive as a ML starter in '13 (14-7 3.37) or was it a fluke?
Sean Marshall: A bad shoulder limited him to just 16 games after three consecutive seasons with 80-78-73 appearances. He walked two and gave up a hit to the only three batters faced in the Wild Card game vs Pirates.
Jonathan Broxton: Coming off elbow surgery and still owed $7M this year, $9M in 2015 and $9M in 2016 ($1M buyout).

Which players/coach has the most to prove in 2014? Comment below.

(Getty Images)

 

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