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From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Freel deal

The reason for the lack of cuts? It could be because the Reds are trying to move Ryan Freel. I've heard calls have gone out to Philadelphia, Minnesota and others.


45 Comments:

at 7:33 PM Blogger mentalmidget said...

John, I sure hope it's for a catcher. Maybe a 3-way deal for Salty, down in Texas. Yes, wishful thinking on my part.

 
at 7:36 PM Blogger Steve said...

The biggest "DUH" since the end of least season. Freel had to be showcased during ST so other teams knew he was healthy. No surprise...make the trade.

 
at 7:48 PM Blogger Steve said...

Salty is going no where, the Rangers are still high on him.

 
at 8:01 PM OpenID PROPACKY said...

That's great thinking from two "true Reds Fans" right there.

I can't understand why everyone is so biased towards someone who has giving everything he has towards the game of baseball and the city of Cincinnati. It's a real shame so called "Reds Fans" think this way.

It's also an absolute joke on the part of the Reds organization to try and move Freel, who has been nothing but a hard working positive image for this ball club on and off the field, especially within the community.

This is suppose to be one of the "finer" organizations in all of baseball. And here they are signing Corey Patterson (which will come back to haunt this ball club), there's a reason the worst team in baseball didn't want him back last season.

Ryan Freel has and should earn another chance in Cincinnati, he deserves it. He deserves the respect from every fan who was so quick to jump on his bandwagon when he was going good, now everyone is jumping ship, because he had one bad year.

He looks healthy, he's had a fantastic spring rebounding from a tough '06 campaign.

He could and should still be the catalyst for this team, not Corey Patterson.

This organization has made a lot, A LOT, of mistakes the past few years when it comes to dealing with certain players. Loosing a player, and a face, like Freel. Regardless of what all the negative nay-sayers out there claim. Freel will be sorely missed. Both on and off the field.

It does no good to trade him. None. He's the most versatile player in the game today. He's also the best option for the Reds at the top of the order right now.

I'm really praying the Reds don't trade him

 
at 8:01 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

Not sure who we are shopping for but I think it's been pretty clear for a while now, especially the last week that Freel was going and Hopper likely was going to stay given the fact that Hopper has seen very little action lately and yet Freel has.

I have always liked Freel and even picked up his Autograph at the caravan this year but I think it's best for him to be moved. Good luck Freely.

I sure hope that Stanton is moved also is all I have to say.

 
at 8:02 PM Blogger mrtonyb40 said...

i think the calls to philly are a stanton for helms swap!!

 
at 8:10 PM Blogger TommyElf said...

Steve....living here in Dallas/Fort Worth (tough being a Reds fan down here in stRanger country), I can concur with your statement that the stRangers are still big on Salty.

Freel moving to the Phillies? To the Twins? Seems that these are typical trading partners for the team these days. Freel might be a better fit in LA with the Dodgers or in Florida with the Marlins.

That's my two pence worth....that and another eight bucks can get you a regular cup of joe at Starbucks...or a half-gallon of gas in your vehicle of choice. ;)

 
at 8:11 PM Blogger Aaron said...

First off I am a huge Freel fan, I love his style of play. But for the guy griping about this: get a grip. Baseball is a business. Freel is not a saint. A couple years ago he wrapped his SUV around a utility pole after the very first game of the year. Remember that public relations gem? I like the guy but you act like he deserves the community leadership award or something.

Anyhow, this team has needs and one of them is NOT utility player and that is what Freel is. They have tried a couple of times to make him an everyday player and his body can't handle the load with the way he plays the game. There are teams desperate for a 3B right now (Dodgers) so if we can get something good in return why not pull the trigger? Point is your not the GM and I am not the GM, and you certainly have the right to state your opinion but you are acting so high and mighty about this like there is no alternative opinion worthy of consideration. Take a deep breath and relax. Trades are part of the game, don't take it as a personal insult.

 
at 8:23 PM Blogger Nathan said...

@ PROPACKY: How long have you followed professional sports? You sound like someone making a play to keep a guy on a rec league basketball team. Loyalty and sentiment have very little to do with decisions made in a million dollar industry. I love Freel, love the way he plays, and what he's done for the Reds, but its not like he has had a Barry Larkin or Pete Rose type run here, it has only been 5 years since he joined the team (only 3 full seasons), and he is/was no All Star. I'm also not blind to the fact that we have a good crop of outfielders in the minors and other needs at the major league level that we could fill by trading him. And "versatility" doesn't take the place of talent or pay your money back, Patterson makes something like over $2 million less than him, and hopefully he is just placeholding for Bruce.

 
at 8:27 PM Blogger robby said...

Ryan Freel has been presented a "positive image" off the field? Someone has a short memory. I believe Ryan Freel has been arrested twice while a member of the Reds. He would have been traded by now if the Reds hadn't given him an overly generous contract. No one wants to pay a utility guy 3 million a year.

 
at 8:28 PM Blogger Scottyb said...

I am a huge Freel fan but I think moving him is the right thing to do. I know people want to hate on patterson but in the GABP he is going to take off and we have him and hopper as the platoon. We have several utility guys including Kep.

I pray that the Stanton for Helms is more than a rumor.

 
at 8:32 PM Blogger The Red Bengal said...

Where am I taking Freel? Because I'll personally drive him to another city. An exaggeration, but Freel does nothing for me. He'll do what he does: play with reckless abandon, injure himself diving for a ball with the reds down/up by 10 runs, get another dui (low blow, but he did get a few of these), hit about .265, and run the bases poorly. But hey, he hustles! Ship him off Krivdawg for a bag of meow mix if you have to.

 
at 8:35 PM Blogger INDYREDFAN said...

calm down a little propacky

I am sure the majority of reds fans still love freel, but you have to look long term. Patterson might be the starting CF on opening day but by midseason it will be hopper or bruce. Freel is #3 behind these two. He just wouldn't get the playing time, so they might as well trade him for a solid catcher or another pitching prospect.

 
at 8:36 PM Blogger ankurv5 said...

Freel has been one of my favorite players for the last few years, and he definitely deserves the respect of every Reds fan. But right now there is a surplus, and you know they're gonna go with youth (Hopper, Patterson), so I hope Freel goes to a playoff contender and gets a chance to shine.

 
at 8:42 PM Blogger MPCB said...

I like Freel's style of play, but he has never been a productive everyday player. As a sub, he is great. However with Freel, Hopper, Patterson and Keppinger, their just isn't enough playing time to go around without regularly taking starters out of the lineup. Baker seems to like a set lineup as much as possible, so Freel and Hopper will not see much time, except in late inning defensive replacement work or pinch-hit/pinch-run roles. Once Gonzo comes back and Keppinger moves back to the infield-sub role, Freel's time will diminish even more. If we can secure something for Freel, while elimanating his hit to the payroll, I'd say its a good thing.

 
at 9:01 PM Blogger seantron said...

To Propacky-

Ryan Freel is as bad of a leadoff guy as Corey Patterson is at this point in time really. However, Freel is on the downside of his career, and Patterson is still in his prime age-wise. Meanwhile, while Freel has been striking out more and more and making less and less contact, Patterson is doing just the opposite, if you check stats at MLB.com.

The big thing though is that Patterson knows what he is doing in the outfield, and doesn't just run at the ball, endangering himself and the other outfielders. While I certainly respect that he loves the game enough to play all-out, this style of play makes him sometimes erratic and dangerous in the outfield and the infield.

Honestly, though, I'd rather see Norris Hopper over either of these two guys as the main center fielder and leadoff hitter (and Keppinger wouldn't actually be terrible as a leadoff guy either), but I'll still
take Patterson over Freel.

Getting rid of Stanton and Freel will give the Reds a much greater chance of contending this year. It's that simple.

 
at 9:05 PM Blogger ERIC said...

Does anyone else feel like we are a team without a direction? Youth movement in the starting rotation, but are we going to go young or old? If we're several games out in June, are we going to trade Junior/Dunn/Hatteberg? It seems like we're trying to have it both ways with our veteran-loving manager and our young pitchers. I still don't see this team as a major threat to win the division. Still too left handed with no real leadoff hitter.

 
at 9:10 PM Blogger Justwinbaby said...

Will the trade include Farney?

 
at 9:26 PM Blogger R said...

The Reds must think that Patterson is a better option vs. RHP. That depends on which year you look at. True in 2006, but false in 2007. Just looked at this guy's career numbers and man, not good for a leadoff hitter at all. Can't believe the GM and manager are gonna go through with it.

 
at 10:25 PM Blogger PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

Stanton for 3B Helms and demote EE to worked on his hitting.
Freel, Castro, and Belisle to the Angels for Riveria and a minor league prospect.
The Reds needs some roster spots and these trades would open up the spots and help the team.

 
at 10:56 PM Blogger Brad said...

Freel has 2 DUIs with the Reds.....great positive image.

 
at 11:39 PM Blogger redlegs4 said...

What about homer matt maloney and freel for joe mauer???

well maybe not....

I think some of us on here are forgetting how bad freel was last year.....

 
at 11:56 PM Blogger Brendan T said...

I love the way Freel plays, but if we can get something we need for him, make the trade.

As for Stanton for Helms... what good would Helms do us?

 
at 12:00 AM Blogger Longtime Reds Fan said...

Ok just like cincinnati area fans worried about losing a player a couple of years ago everyone said this is the only team Freel would start on. He is a good player with good speed. But if we can get something of value from him. Why not. We are in need of a solid young cather with a future.

Everyone was up in arm about the Hamilton trade. Now a lot of people who know baseball say it was the best trade of the offseason. Also just like the people in this city holding on the the Lopez-Kerns trade saying we got screwed. But let me what did the Nats really get in the deal. An error prone shortstop and overrated rightfielder and oh yeah a pitcher that could not throw a stike if his life was on the line. Now remember this name Daryl Thompson he will have something to say about this being a bad trade.

Freel will be greatly missed in this city. But he is not the future and Hopper is younger and better.

Still think a package of Freel, Belisle or Hatty to Seattle for Jeff Clement is the trade we need to make.

If someone want's Stanton I will buy the gas to drive him there right now.

Ok the Reds will have a great season even with all those people saying different.

 
at 12:05 AM Blogger Longtime Reds Fan said...

Also lets give Edwin a break he will come around. He is a good hitter just needing to see the ball better. Right now he is pressing way to hard.

 
at 1:19 AM Blogger Southern IN Reds Fan said...

I'm glad to see that some people do not understand the purpose of trading Stanton for Helms (another utility player) when they are wanting to get rid of Freel, who is much more versatile. While I do agree that Stanton should be moved if Bray/Mercker are able to fill the left handed role in the bullpen, if we need to clear a roster space by trading a utility player, then lets move Castro. He is coming off an injury as well, but I'd much rather have Freel's versatility and hustle over Castro.

Keppinger will get any available playing time at SS, as long as he keeps hitting, so what role will Castro be playing? He could be used as a late inning replacement for Edwin, but Freel could do the same and he brings much more speed to our team. I loved the way Keppinger played at the end of last season, but he hasn't completly proven himself throughout his career either. I believe Keppinger will have a good season, but if Gonzalez still isn't healthy and the Reds need a SS in the worst way, couldn't they move Phillips (the most athletic player on the team) to SS? Phillips got robbed of a gold glove last season, but I believe he will eventually be our SS and will be a cornerstone that our team continues to build around. That is why I say if we are going to trade a utility player, lets move Castro and hope it is for more bullpen help or a lefty starter.

 
at 2:07 AM Blogger d2pmr11 said...

Pssst! Dodgers! They need him and they'll remember him as the guy who went crashing three rows deep into the right field stands, kicking an old lady in the face.

Or the Braves. See what they want for Brayan Pena. They're trying to move him, and the Reds haven't had a catcher in decades.

 
at 5:15 AM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

Whatever needs to be done to get another catcher, solid bullpen pitcher, or even a SP.needs to be done.

Weather it's Freel(& Farney),Gonzo,Ross,Javy, & whoever is expendable.It doesn't matter who,just what the team gets in return is what really matter's.There are need's that still need to be filled,the reds have alot of depth in a variety of different departments.Upgrades don't hurt the team,they help improve the team.It's a dry market for good pitchers & catchers;Whatever it takes to make the team better.The reds have alot to offer on the trade market,maybe not top tier,but some worthy players of considerable consideration.

Chris (Dino)Denofria Making ESPN highlights on baseball tonight for his good hitting & baserunning,to help push the A's past the Bosox for the win.Guillen,Some would Argue Kearns, Encarcion,Cameron, etc..

This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about;Depth.The reds have plenty of it in the OF,C,& Utility guys(Which is sought out on the trade market)

I like Freel too & Would miss his all out 110% "all the time" hustle baseball playing,but business is business.

 
at 8:36 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Freels biggest value is that you can plug him in at 2b, 3b, or outfield and you dont get much of a drop off defensively from your starter. At the plate, hes average to be kind, can run a bit, but makes mistakes on the basepaths.

Add all that up and hes a bench guy.

The problem in Cincy is that with our roster, on a given day he can look better than the starter, then you try to play him everyday and sooner than later, the wheels come off.

He is best suited for a team with a really good roster, that noone will ever expect him to start on. Hell give guys a day off here and there, maybe pinch hit as a "second leadoff" in a double switch type situation.

The Reds dont need that, Keppinger can do that and is better at the plate.

The Reds still need pitching, a catcher, and maybe a good SS prospect.

Freel gave us something to cheer for when there wasnt much else to cheer about, but the Reds are getting better now, and Freel just doesnt fit as well anymore.

 
at 9:16 AM Blogger Joe said...

Trades are part of the business and trading Freel makes sense to me. With Hopper, a better hitter and OBP, on the roster and Bruce waiting in the wings, Patterson will have to perform or he will be out too. When Gonzo is healthy the Reds will have enough infield backup and utility types. Freel's versatility should make him appealing to a few teams. Lets get what we can for Freel and Stanton, clear up some roster issues and and play ball.

 
at 10:25 AM Blogger cincikid said...

If the Braves have a extra high minor league catcher that rates as a prospect given todays demand for catchers I seriously doubt the Braves would consider a trade for Freel. They would probably want Frazier and Thompson package for Pena.

 
at 10:35 AM Blogger Jack in St. Louis said...

I fail to understand why everyone is so down on Patterson. Is it because he is a former Cub who played for Baker? Seems to me like everyone was excited when Baker made the original statement that he was hearing from former players interested in playing for the Reds. Did everyone think it was Derek Lee or Aramis Ramirez calling? As far as his OBP, I doubt it was Patterson's idea to be used as a leadoff guy. Let's give the guy a chance. The guy plays good defense, has speed, steals bases, has some home run power. He's hit around .270 or so the past two seasons. What's so terrible about that?

As far as Hopper being a better hitter than Freel....what are you basing that on? I think that still remains to be seen.

 
at 10:44 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Freel plays like a Sunday softball player. Run til you're out or you hurt yourself. Other than that, he just can't hit and The Amazing Krivsky struck again by giving him a big contract. Going to be a tough sell.

Would much rather see Andy Phillips here.

 
at 11:20 AM Blogger Zach in MO said...

My wife & mother love to watch Freel play. They love him because they don't understand the game of baseball. All they see is a player who loves the game & will sacrifice his body even when it's not necessary. Not every liner to short center needs a diving catch buddy!
Freel hustles all the time but it end up being a detriment to the team because he gets hurt so often. I love watching Hopper play. Lots of hustle on defense & a great contact hitter. Not to mention the bunt singles that he manages to pull off nearly once a game. Sell Freel while he still has some value. He should command a mid-level prospect - AA with some major upside.

 
at 11:30 AM Blogger MJ said...

Freel was all defense. Even as a leadoff hitter he was rather limited. I am a big fan but if we could get an improvement at the catcher position then I'm ok with moving him. You have to give up something to get something I've always said. We got over them moving the Mayor, we'll get over them moving Freel.

 
at 11:31 AM Blogger MJ said...

Any word on what team they're talking too?

 
at 11:40 AM Blogger BATSFAN said...

Wayne if you do trade freel it better be smart, if it is for PTBN or a single A player pitching 3.25 or any form of minor league player below AAA, you should be FIRED!! I am serious

 
at 12:11 PM Blogger BATSFAN said...

If this trade turns out to be terrible which im sure it will be I got 4 words for our GM, LET ME AT HIM!

 
at 12:31 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

Freel plays like a Sunday softball player. Run til you're out or you hurt yourself. Other than that, he just can't hit and The Amazing Krivsky struck again by giving him a big contract. Going to be a tough sell.

Would much rather see Andy Phillips here.


I agree with you about Freel, but not Andy Phillips. How many first basement do we actually need on the team?!

I would much rather see Castro cut and keep Jolbert Cabrera.

 
at 12:47 PM Blogger MJ said...

Freel is on the decline and showing signs of age as well. He won't stay healthy for the entire year. Why not trade him now while his value is at its hightest? Hopper, Bruce, and Patterson are the future and Freel is nothing more than a speed defensive guy whose body is starting to betray him. He's not even a good hitter. We need a catcher of the future who can play now. I thought they should trade Casey but thought they'd get more for him and I also think now is the time to trade Freel with plenty of depth already here to replace him.

 
at 12:57 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

I agree Rob on Cabrera, but not to cut Castro.
Freel is expendible because of Cabrera, Keppinger, Gil, A. Green.
Green has had a huge spring and I could easily see him emerge as another Keppinger. The guy hits.
Dusty loves Gil.
How many Freel types do we need? We aren't trading BP here folks

 
at 1:55 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Freel will be missed when Patterson starts to stink up the joint and Griffey gets injured. Unless they call up Bruce, that's a thin and unproductive outfield in CF and RF.

 
at 3:46 PM OpenID bigstickcincy said...

Why would you rant about keeping a player who is a utility guy? Just because someone dives into the stands and hustles, it doesn't make him a baseball player. Why does Cincinnati value players based on hustle? Ryan Freel isn't going to EVER be Pete Rose or any other half way decent player. He is what he is...a part time player that hustles. He is over 30. He is over paid. He is overappreciated for no good reasons. I could get on the field and try hard. That doesn't make me an impact baseball player. Trade him or cut him. Give at bats to REAL baseball players.

 
at 3:52 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

What we don't need and I am beginning to fear might happen is that they keep Happy Hairston and Freel and get rid of Hopper. Big mistake.

What's with the love affair for Bray all of a sudden? He has spent parts of 2 seasons with the Reds and has not been anything other that mediocre at best. He had a good spring if you overlook the injuries. Let him pitch at AAA, if he holds up and pitches well, he will be back. Good move sending him down.

Bako or Ross has got to go. Please no more 3 catcher crap.

Also, need to move Hatteburg. There is no need for 2 left handed first basemen.

 
at 4:02 PM Blogger ST fan said...

I've watched Patterson play CF in several games. He's outstanding there. Doesn't have to run into the wall to make a catch, he's already there waiting on the warning track for the ball. His hitting remains to be seen but he has almost as high an upside as BP did when WK stole him from Cleveland. Dusty is smart to stay with Patterson and see if he can get a higher OBP. The backup is Bruce and that's sure not bad. REDS

 
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