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Gennett: Reds 'want me here for the long term'

MLB.com @m_sheldon

ST. LOUIS -- Earlier this season, Scooter Gennett was poised to be one of the Reds' top trade chips this summer. The second baseman was prepared to be plugged in for rumors ahead of the July 31 non-waivers Trade Deadline.

Gennett's situation now appears to be less tenuous, especially as he's contributed to the Reds becoming one of baseball's hottest teams. It appears doubtful that he will be traded by Cincinnati. It's also become possible that Gennett could receive a contract extension.

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ST. LOUIS -- Earlier this season, Scooter Gennett was poised to be one of the Reds' top trade chips this summer. The second baseman was prepared to be plugged in for rumors ahead of the July 31 non-waivers Trade Deadline.

Gennett's situation now appears to be less tenuous, especially as he's contributed to the Reds becoming one of baseball's hottest teams. It appears doubtful that he will be traded by Cincinnati. It's also become possible that Gennett could receive a contract extension.

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"Just from the talks that I've had with the guys in control of all those things, I feel like they want me here. I feel like, just from what I've been told, they want me here for the long term," Gennett told MLB.com on Friday. "What I'm getting is [CEO Bob Castellini] wants me here for a while. When it comes to all of the trade stuff, it would be going against what I've been hearing."

Gennett, 28, is third-time eligible for arbitration this winter and for free agency after the 2019 season. Reds general manager Nick Krall declined to get into specifics.

"I think when you're making a trade, you're trying to make your club better no matter what trade you make," Krall said. "If there is something out there that makes your club better going into the future and long haul, you have to explore every possibility. With that said, he's been one of the most productive players in the National League over the last year-and-a-half. We'd like him as part of this club. We think he's a valuable part of this club."

Gennett, who was named to his first All-Star team on Sunday, entered the day leading the NL with a .326 average. He's turned around his career since being picked up as a waiver claim from the Brewers a couple of days before the 2017 season.

After he opened '17 as a bench player, Gennett pushed his way into the regular starting lineup after the All-Star break and batted .295/.342/.531 with 27 homers and 97 RBIs. He approached the club about a long-term extension in the offseason, but instead went to arbitration and won his case to make $5.7 million in 2018.

"I've been a Reds fan all of my life," Gennett said. "I feel like when I got picked up last year, it was a dream come true. Now that I'm contributing and helping the team win some ballgames and things are turning around for the good, fans have decided to tune in and watch us play now. We're not surprised with how we're playing. We're expected to play like this. Things are starting to come together. I think they might be looking at things a little differently than they were a month ago."

Complicating matters earlier this year was Reds top prospect Nick Senzel's strong play as a second baseman for Triple-A Louisville. But instead of him being called up, Senzel dealt with vertigo and then sustained a season-ending right finger injury that required surgery.

Although a line of communication has been opened, no serious talks have happened between the Reds and Gennett. But Gennett felt more at ease about his chances of remaining in Cincinnati.

"I'm less worried about coming into the locker room and being told, 'Hey, you've been traded.' It's from what I've been hearing on their end and how we've been playing," he said. "They want me here. They like what I'm doing, which is great to hear. I come in every day and give 100 percent for this organization, and for my teammates. To hear they appreciate what I'm doing and hearing from fans, the consensus is that they want me here. It's an honor for me. That's all I've ever wanted."

Brice called up
The Reds recalled right-handed reliever Austin Brice from Louisville and optioned right-hander Tanner Rainey to Louisville. Rainey, who is the Reds' No. 27-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, struggled in his multiple stints with Cincinnati this season, allowing 19 earned runs in just seven innings (24.43 ERA). In Wednesday's 19-4 loss to Cleveland, he gave up eight earned runs, five hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning.

Brice had a 6.04 ERA over 25 appearances with the Reds earlier this season before being optioned on June 19. He had a 3.86 ERA in his six games for Louisville.

"He's going to be fine," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said of Rainey. "It's a mystery to all of us how they just hit this guy like that. Brice went down to fine tune his stuff and getting a little sharper. He's a more seasoned veteran pitcher here instead of Tanner Rainey."

Dunn induction next weekend
Former Reds left fielder Adam Dunn was enjoying vacation time with his family this week, but is ready for his impending induction to the Reds Hall of Fame. Dunn will be inducted during pregame ceremonies on July 21, along with Fred Norman and Dave Bristol.

"In my opinion, I think the Reds Hall of Fame is second to only one -- and that would be Cooperstown," Dunn said on Friday. "Some of the greatest players to not only play for the Reds, but to ever play the game, are inducted in the Reds Hall of Fame. I can't put into words how big of an honor that is."

Dunn will have to put some words together for his speech. That hasn't been worked on, as of yet.

"I'll probably just try to wing it like I do with everything else," Dunn said.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Scooter Gennett