Reds trade Hamilton (updated)
The Reds have traded Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers for a pair of young pitchers. The top one is Edinson Volquez, the Rangers' minor league pitcher of the year.
Volquez is a 24-year-old right-hander. He was 14-6 with a 3.67 ERA in the two minor league stops last year. He struck out 166 and allowed 98 hits in 144 2/3 innings.
He was 2-1 with 4.50 ERA in six starts for the Rangers.
The other other in the deal is Danny Herrera, a 23-year-old left-handed reliever. He was 7-2 with a 3.69 ERA last year with Bakersfield and Frisco. He struck out 75 and allowed 57 hits in the 63 1/3 innings.
A little instant analysis here: I don't think this means the Reds won't trade for Erik Bedard. It makes it easier to give up Homer Bailey. I think Ryan Freel is the leader in clubhouse in the center field race. But Jay Bruce could be end up there by Opening Day. I think Hamilton will hit a lot of home runs in Texas. Questions about his durability made him easier to trade. Johnny Narron being his personal coach didn't sit well in the clubhouse.
From the conference call:
Hamilton: "It did (surprise me). It really did. I got a call last night. They asked me to come to Texas for a physical."
On Cincinnati: "I was in right place for coming back. A city that had never seen me play welcoming me the way they did on Opening Day. I enjoyed the fans. I enjoyed the organization. I told Wayne to tell Mr. Castellini thank you."
Krivsky: "I look at it as value for value. I made up my mind if we were going to give up Josh, we had to get quality in return. Volquez is a guy who can bolster our rotation for years to come."
On Volquez's stuff: "He's a fastball, curve, change-up pitcher. He's athletic with a live arm. He's from the Dominican. His hero is Pedro Martinez. (Volquez) is a charismatic guy. He's animated on the mound. He pitches from 92 to 94. But he can go get 97 or so. His breaking ball pitch is hard, more like a 'slurve.' His change-up is well above average. He's got impressive stuff. It's a matter of putting it together."
On center field: "That's open for competition. Spring training will determine a lot. (Norris) Hopper, (Ryan) Freel, (Chris) Dickerson and (Jay) Bruce will compete."
Are the Reds still looking for veteran starter? "It depends on what we'd have to give up (in trade) With free agents, it's a matter of dollars and years. We're always looking for pitching. But, with Volquez, (Johnny) Cueto, Matt Maloney and Homer Bailey, we have four pitchers, 21 to 24 (years old), on the cusp of the big leagues. With the ceilings they have, we feel good about the future."