Jocketty considering plans for Trade Deadline
CINCINNATI -- Speculation has often centered that the Reds could become sellers and make trades as soon as they are done hosting the All-Star Game on July 14. General manager Walt Jocketty did not tip his hand on Friday, but indicated it was under consideration.
Cincinnati entered Friday 5 1/2 games back in the National League Wild Card standings. Could the outcome of final three series in the first half vs. the Brewers, Nationals and Marlins determine the decision?
"I think we'll see how it plays out. We're prepared to go either way," Jocketty told MLB.com. "We're certainly not throwing in the towel. If people are interested in our guys, we'll certainly listen and see if there's something that makes sense to make us better in the long run."
The non-waiver Trade Deadline is July 31 and the Reds will certainly be in focus because they have several players clubs might be interested in. Ace Johnny Cueto, a free agent at season's end, tops the list. Veteran starter Mike Leake can also be a free agent after the season. Aroldis Chapman and Jay Bruce have guaranteed deals through 2016 and veterans Marlon Byrd or Manny Parra could be attractive to clubs needing a complementary piece.
Jocketty has fielded inquiries, but didn't feel his phone was burning up yet with offers.
"I've had some calls for a while. Nothing out of the ordinary," Jocketty said.
Some rumors have also centered on third baseman Todd Frazier being a trade target. Jocketty made it clear that Frazier would not be moved.
"He's too valuable to our club," Jocketty said. "I think all that came from when we were in New York. It made sense. The Mets need a third baseman. He's from that area."
A Toms River, N.J. native, Frazier heard some of the rumors but paid little attention to them.
"I wasn't even thinking about it, to be honest with you," Frazier said. "Until my agent says something or Walt comes up to me and says something, then I will think about it. It wasn't relief. It was a lot of hearsay. It was all pretty much nothing. I wasn't worried or relieved at all."
Last year when the Reds had the chance to be sellers on July 31, the club made no moves. At the time, Jocketty cited CEO Bob Castellini's competitiveness saying: "You know who I work for, right?"
Could Castellini again be a factor in the club not having a large selloff?
"Certainly he wants to win and wants to be competitive," Jocketty said. "That would be a goal he would have. Even if we do make some deals, or if we don't, we will try to keep this club as competitive as possible for the remainder of the year."
Jocketty did note that it's been hard for the team to recover from the losses of No. 2 starting pitcher Homer Bailey, shortstop Zack Cozart and catcher Devin Mesoraco -- all of whom are out for the season with injuries.
"We've been hit extremely hard with injuries again," he said. "Those are three key starters lost that are hard to replace."