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Reds, Yankees reportedly close to Gray deal

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- The Yankees entered the offseason with a candid assessment of Sonny Gray's performance, voicing belief that the hurler would project as a prime bounceback candidate with a change of scenery, but that continuing to pitch his home games at Yankee Stadium would produce little benefit.

Thirteen weeks after general manager Brian Cashman said that he was "open-minded to a relocation" involving Gray, a match has been found. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on Monday that the trade has finally been completed. Previously MLB Network insider Jon Heyman had reported that the Yankees are set to acquire second-base prospect Shed Long and a Draft pick in the potential swap, which was contingent upon Cincinnati signing Gray to an extension.

NEW YORK -- The Yankees entered the offseason with a candid assessment of Sonny Gray's performance, voicing belief that the hurler would project as a prime bounceback candidate with a change of scenery, but that continuing to pitch his home games at Yankee Stadium would produce little benefit.

Thirteen weeks after general manager Brian Cashman said that he was "open-minded to a relocation" involving Gray, a match has been found. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on Monday that the trade has finally been completed. Previously MLB Network insider Jon Heyman had reported that the Yankees are set to acquire second-base prospect Shed Long and a Draft pick in the potential swap, which was contingent upon Cincinnati signing Gray to an extension.

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported that Gray was in fact expected to sign that extension: three years, $30.5 million, covering 2020-22, with a club option for '23 at $12 million.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Gray extension with #Reds complete, per source. Three years, $30.5M, covering 2020-22. Club option for ���23 at $12M. All salaries can grow based on numerous escalators. Plus $500K of innings pitched bonuses each year.

At least one-third of the league has expressed some level of interest in Gray, with the Braves, Brewers and Giants also thought to have been on the periphery of a potential trade. Gray avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $7.5 million contract with the Yankees last week, and is eligible for free agency after 2019.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Reds, Yankees already have agreed on the package going for Gray, believed to include 2B prospect Shed Long and a sandwich pick. But it isn���t known how the package might be reconfigured on the chance Gray says no to the extension offer. Reds r likely confident he���ll say yes tho.

Gray appeared this week at an awards banquet in Nashville, Tenn., telling The Tennessean that while he has not spoken to Yankees brass since the end of the season, he is aware of the ongoing trade rumors.

"Ultimately, you want to play somewhere where you're wanted," Gray told the newspaper. "If it just so happens for me to go back to New York, then I'm going to continue to do everything I can to win games, not only for the team, but to better myself as a pitcher and go that route and try to continue to perform at a high level."

He represents the third notable addition of the winter to Cincinnati's rotation. The Reds acquired Tanner Roark from the Nationals and Alex Wood from the Dodgers in separate December deals.

The reported trade reunites the righty with Derek Johnson, Gray's former pitching coach at Vanderbilt. Johnson accepted that position with Cincinnati in November after previously working for the Brewers in the same capacity.

The Yankees had high hopes for Gray when they acquired him from the Athletics prior to the Trade Deadline in July 2017, but he has endured a bumpy 1 1/2 seasons in pinstripes, including being left off the roster for last year's American League Wild Card Game and the AL Division Series.

"I don't think it's a secret to anyone; it's kind of been an up-and-down experience for me," Gray said. "I've loved my time there. I love the guys. It was obviously a difficult season this past year, starting and then going to the bullpen, not pitching as much. But I mean, I won 11 games last year."

In his first full season with the Bombers, Gray was 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games (23 starts), including 9-9 with a 5.26 ERA as a starter. Gray began the season in the rotation but was moved to the bullpen in early August, resurfacing to make a pair of spot starts late in the year.

Video: Reds nearing deal with Yankees for Sonny Gray

Gray's .327 batting average on balls in play was the eighth-highest in the AL, while his 50 percent ground ball rate was the lowest of his career. Gray also permitted a career-high 22.9 percent line-drive percentage and 35.5 percent hard-contact rates, according to Fangraphs.

The Yanks halted trade discussions when CC Sabathia underwent an angioplasty in December. Sabathia was subsequently cleared to resume baseball activities and is expected to serve as the fifth starter behind Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ.

"I'm definitely getting matches for (Gray). There's been a lot of interest," Cashman said recently. "Nothing has moved my needle enough to find that sweet spot yet. We'll stay in it as long as we have to. Our intent is to move Sonny Gray and put him in a better position so he can succeed, but I'm not going to do it unless I get what I think is of value."

Gray owns a lifetime 3.66 ERA and posted a 3.17 mark on the road in 2018 (6.98 ERA at Yankee Stadium), providing a reason for other teams to be optimistic that he can bounce back with a change of scenery.

"He's got a good makeup," Cashman said. "I just don't think this is the right spot for him. It's nothing against Sonny Gray. You live and you learn. There's examples of people elsewhere that I know eventually have turned it around. He's not making a lot of money. It's been a year and a half. I'm not going to be Sisyphus pushing the rock up a hill and having it roll back on top of me. It's not working."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.

New York Yankees, Sonny Gray

Sunday's Caravan finale canceled after storm

MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- The Reds Caravan finale scheduled for Sunday at Great American Ball Park has been canceled, the club announced.

"As a result of the overnight winter storm and the resulting snow emergencies declared in Hamilton County and surrounding communities, and with respect to everyone's safety, the Reds Caravan Finale and all related ballpark events scheduled for today have been canceled," the Reds said in a statement.

CINCINNATI -- The Reds Caravan finale scheduled for Sunday at Great American Ball Park has been canceled, the club announced.

"As a result of the overnight winter storm and the resulting snow emergencies declared in Hamilton County and surrounding communities, and with respect to everyone's safety, the Reds Caravan Finale and all related ballpark events scheduled for today have been canceled," the Reds said in a statement.

Because of the travel schedules of the players, no makeup date will be scheduled.

The finale was originally slated to be at Florence Mall in Northern Kentucky, but the forecast promoted the Reds to move the event to Great American Ball Park.

Reds Caravan featured four different busses that hit the road Thursday and spread out to cover Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Tennessee. Manager David Bell, third baseman Eugenio Suarez, second baseman Scooter Gennett, catcher Tucker Barnhart and pitchers Tanner Roark, Sal Romano and Cody Reed were among those who participated.

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.

Reds thrilled to stop by Children's Hospital

MLB.com @m_sheldon

DAYTON, Ohio -- As it poured rain outside under gloomy skies Saturday, with a big snowstorm in the forecast, there were moments of brightness inside for some of the young patients being treated at Dayton Children's Hospital.

The Reds Caravan northern leg dropped by in the morning to say hello to kids in their hospital beds. Second baseman Scooter Gennett, pitchers Sal Romano and Cody Reed, infield prospect Brantley Bell and mascot Mr. Red rolled through the hallways carrying toys in red wagons.

DAYTON, Ohio -- As it poured rain outside under gloomy skies Saturday, with a big snowstorm in the forecast, there were moments of brightness inside for some of the young patients being treated at Dayton Children's Hospital.

The Reds Caravan northern leg dropped by in the morning to say hello to kids in their hospital beds. Second baseman Scooter Gennett, pitchers Sal Romano and Cody Reed, infield prospect Brantley Bell and mascot Mr. Red rolled through the hallways carrying toys in red wagons.

"This is amazing," Romano said. "This is always one of my favorite visits. In Cincinnati, I always take at least one time a month to go to the Children's Hospital there. It means a lot to me. This is way more than baseball. This is a time for us to take a step back from our everyday jobs and come talk to these kids."

In an event that's in its third year, the Red Wagon Campaign to benefit Dayton Children's Hospital and the Children's Miracle Network was started by Rosie Westerbeck, a 20-year-old college student. Westerbeck's wagon drive connection with the Reds started when she was an 18-year-old Minster High School senior in 2017. She collects the wagons via donations and fills them with toys, stuffed animals and Reds gear.

When Westerbeck was in first grade, she was a patient herself at Dayton Children's Hospital and remembered the kindness of visitors bearing gifts. She recalls receiving a blanket that gave her great comfort.

"It made my white bed with the white sheets a little less scary. It gave me a little bit of hope that I needed to finish the day out and get better," Westerbeck said. "That's what it's all about, making it kid-friendly around here so that they forget that they broke their arm or why they are sick for a second. It all makes it better."

Westerbeck is a marketing major at Northern Kentucky University just outside of Cincinnati and will compete to represent Ohio in the Miss America Pageant this year. She spends her summers working for the Reds' Rally Pack gang that entertains fans before and during games at Great American Ball Park. There hasn't been a count of how many wagons Westerbeck has donated to the hospital.

"My goal is not to quantify what I do. It's really just to give all we've got, and with great love too," Westerbeck said.

The first room visited belonged to 14-year-old Laila Jones from Dayton. Jones had spinal correction surgery Friday and was already able to get up and walk Saturday.

"We've got some toys, and a hedgehog!" Reed cheerfully said, while holding a stuffed animal and drawing laughs from the others.

Jones declined the hedgehog and took some Reds stuff. Later, her mother, Cicely, popped out of the room and said Laila changed her mind and wanted the plush animal.

One hedgehog was promptly delivered.

"Thank you, guys, for coming in and making her day," Mom said.

A 9-year-old boy, Avin Stegal of Xenia, Ohio, was next for the guys to see.

"Would you like a backpack?" Bell offered.

Gennett also provided Stegal with one of his bobbleheads and autographed it.

Joseph Evans, 7, of Covington, Ohio, was already wrapped in a baseball blanket while lying in bed.

"We're coming in!" Romano announced. "What's up, my man?"

Reed gave the boy some toy cars and everybody received high-fives as they exited.

Andrew Hunter, 17, from Continental, Ohio, was playing video games in his room when the players entered. Romano and Reed grabbed a controller and played NBA2K.

"It means a lot, it's fun," Hunter said of his visit. "I have a friend at school who is obsessed with them. This will make him jealous."

Many of the kids were able to interact with the Reds, but others were too critically ill or not up to having visitors. The players made sure they saw their parents and gave them gifts for their children.

Seeing kids fighting injury and illnesses was not easy to witness, but the group did not hesitate to do what it could to make things easier for them.

"It's always nice to see these kids smile," Gennett said. "They're going through a really tough time. To come in and see that we might have made a few of them a little happier today is worth it."

The Reds Caravan finale will take place Sunday at Great American Ball Park inside the FOX Sports Club from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The location was moved from the Florence Mall due to expected inclement weather.

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

Caravan's school takeover a hit for kids, players

Suarez, Roark among Reds who made special visit in rural Indiana
MLB.com @m_sheldon

EDINBURGH, Ind. -- A special part of Reds Caravan in recent years has been the chance for schools to enter a contest to win a "caravan takeover" and have members of the team make a stop and visit the students.

East Side Elementary School, which is located 90 minutes west of Cincinnati in rural Edinburgh, Ind., was selected by the Reds and received its visit Thursday afternoon from the west leg of Reds Caravan. The 430 smiles of excitement on the kids' faces easily made the stopover worth it for the group.

EDINBURGH, Ind. -- A special part of Reds Caravan in recent years has been the chance for schools to enter a contest to win a "caravan takeover" and have members of the team make a stop and visit the students.

East Side Elementary School, which is located 90 minutes west of Cincinnati in rural Edinburgh, Ind., was selected by the Reds and received its visit Thursday afternoon from the west leg of Reds Caravan. The 430 smiles of excitement on the kids' faces easily made the stopover worth it for the group.

"I like to be around kids and their energy. They give me happy things," Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez told MLB.com. "It's great to say hello to everybody, and they want you to sign everything. That's good and I'm honored to be a part of it."

Tweet from @Reds: Geno and Tanner looking good at East Side Elementary School in Edinburgh, Indiana. #RedsCaravan pic.twitter.com/GsfHx3Rr6h

Suarez definitely saw energy. Before the start of the program, Reds broadcaster Jim Day egged on the noise by checking the attendance of each grade -- from pre-K to fifth -- and telling them to get loud.

The kids delivered.

"I love the enthusiasm! Thanks so much for having us," Day told the students.

Tweet from @JimDayTV: School take overs are my favorite part of #Reds Caravans. It was our pleasure to visit the elementary kids in Edinburgh, Indiana and boy did they have some energy! #RedsCaravan pic.twitter.com/oBLSmX6jkr

When Suarez, pitcher Tanner Roark, broadcaster Jeff Brantley, president of baseball operations Dick Williams, catching prospect Tyler Stephenson and mascot Rosie Red entered the school gymnasium, there were countless screams.

"It's awesome," Roark said. "I've never done anything like this, reach out to smaller communities. You come here and to the school, and we were at a radio station before. It's awesome to meet people who are so passionate about baseball. They're big fans.

"The kids are up and coming. Who knows what they can be? You try to show a little light into their eyes and get them excited. You see them having fun and there is nothing better."

During the time in the gym, kids were selected to ask some questions of the group.

"What is it like to step on a Major League Baseball field?" one child asked.

"What is your favorite city to play in other than Cincinnati?" asked another.

Suarez went with San Diego. Roark likes San Francisco.

"Not a lot of home runs get hit there," replied Roark, one of the club's new starting pitchers.

Tweet from @Reds: Making kids��� days. 💯#RedsCaravan 📍 @ShepherdIndypic.twitter.com/PskKA2cIgy

Before the caravan group entered the gym, they had a special session in a nearby classroom with about 30 students who were selected by teachers for showing good character, behavior and work throughout the school year.

Day taught an important lesson on pronunciation by getting them to say Suarez's first name correctly.

"Can you say 'Ay-you-hay-nee-oh?'" asked Day.

"Ay-you-hay-nee-oh," replied the kids in unison.

Class dismissed.

"That's a good job," Suarez said.

During a brief autograph session, one little girl came up and hugged Suarez, who was more than happy to oblige.

Tweet from @Reds: Dodgeball?#RedsCaravan 📍 Heritage Middle School @OT_OH pic.twitter.com/GCdfvfYPp3

As part of the team's community outreach, the Reds asked schools to submit why they want to have a caravan stop for their students. Based on the submissions and the route schedule, the club picks a couple of schools for each of the four caravan legs to visit while on the road.

A lifelong Reds fan, principal Andrew Scholl couldn't pass up a chance to enter East Side Elementary.

"When I saw this opportunity to have a contest to have them take over, I thought it would be great for our kids," Scholl said. "We do have a high poverty rate, so a lot of these kids never get to see a Major League Baseball player or get to go to a Major League game. Them being able to come here is an incredible opportunity for our students."

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

Inbox: Will Reds trade an outfielder for pitching?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from fans
MLB.com @m_sheldon

With the addition of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, will the Reds trade any of their outfield chips away for starting pitching?
-- Noah F., Lansing, Mich.

The Reds certainly would be working from an area of depth. It also depends on whether another team wants or need the outfielders Cincy has. I don't see the Reds dealing Puig already, because his addition has certainly brought a level of excitement around the club. I imagine they will market him a lot as a way to draw fans. I'd be a little surprised if Jesse Winker got moved. He was on pace for National League Rookie of the Year Award consideration last summer before he needed season-ending right shoulder surgery.

With the addition of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, will the Reds trade any of their outfield chips away for starting pitching?
-- Noah F., Lansing, Mich.

The Reds certainly would be working from an area of depth. It also depends on whether another team wants or need the outfielders Cincy has. I don't see the Reds dealing Puig already, because his addition has certainly brought a level of excitement around the club. I imagine they will market him a lot as a way to draw fans. I'd be a little surprised if Jesse Winker got moved. He was on pace for National League Rookie of the Year Award consideration last summer before he needed season-ending right shoulder surgery.

Submit a question to Reds Inbox

Kemp is an interesting situation. Yes, he's making $21.5 million in the final year of his contract, but the Reds are not on the hook for all of it. The Dodgers included $7 million in the trade that sent him to Cincinnati. Another of his previous clubs, the Padres, are also still paying some money. There's also Scott Schebler, but at the moment he could be a center-field option. The Reds are also weighing whether they should deal prospects and players to get a starter or spend the money for a free agent. They don't appear to be leaning in one direction yet.

Maybe I don't understand MLB contracts, so maybe you can help. Why did the Reds have to go to arbitration with Puig since they just got him in a trade?
-- Nathan D., Madison, Miss.

All players are under club control for six years -- with each being a one-year contract unless a multiyear deal is done. For the final three of those six years, rules allow players to file for a raise via arbitration -- no matter which club they're with. Just because he moved from one team to the other, Puig still maintained that right. However, there will be no hearing for Puig since he signed a one-year, $9.7 million contract to avoid arbitration last week.

Has there been any thought towards extending Puig? He does seem pretty pumped to be with the Reds and to rejoin his old batting coach, Turner Ward.
-- Justin W., Detroit, Mich.

Just like how Puig has the right to arbitration, after six years he is eligible to be a free agent. It's the one time the player truly has the right to choose his future and explore his options, which can often bring a big payday. I don't see Puig giving that up, but I wouldn't be stunned if both sides are happy with how things go in 2019 and they don't at least discuss a contract to extend his stay.

President of baseball operations Dick Williams had stated that the Reds still had moves to make, hinting at an even bigger move after the blockbuster trade that brought Kemp and Puig to Cincy. Have those moves fallen to the wayside? Or is there another move coming before Spring Training starts? I feel, along with most of the Reds community, that we are so close to contention, but we need some more help out of the bullpen and/or an ace in the rotation.
-- Matt M., Cincinnati

Just before shoving off for Reds Caravan Thursday, Williams said he and general manager Nick Krall are still active in talks to add a starting pitcher and possibly a center fielder. Lots of good options remain on the open market for starters, namely the best one still available in Dallas Keuchel.

What is Ted Power doing these days? I thought he should have been given the opportunity to be Cincinnati's pitching coach after spending many years with great results for the Reds organization in the Minors.
-- Steve L., Bellbrook, Ohio

Power, the Reds' bullpen coach since July 4, 2016, was not retained after the season, like several other coaches from the previous staff. He also won't remain in the organization. I have not heard anything about his future plans.

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

Garrett inspires youth at Dream Series camp

Reds lefty praises opportunity provided at MLK weekend event
MLB.com @JesseSanchezMLB

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Amir Garrett spent Friday morning grinding at the Reds' Spring Training complex in Goodyear.

Camp starts next month, and the left-hander wants to be ready when pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks. He's either going to start or pitch out of the bullpen this season, and he's fine doing either job. He's just as confident that his team is going to surprise the doubters this year. Plus, there's a new manager and pitching coach in Cincinnati to impress.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Amir Garrett spent Friday morning grinding at the Reds' Spring Training complex in Goodyear.

Camp starts next month, and the left-hander wants to be ready when pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks. He's either going to start or pitch out of the bullpen this season, and he's fine doing either job. He's just as confident that his team is going to surprise the doubters this year. Plus, there's a new manager and pitching coach in Cincinnati to impress.

But the lefty's biggest delivery of the day came during his lunch break, 30 miles east of the club's complex and nowhere near a mound. The pitch was perfect.

"This is it, guys. You are very fortunate. Take in this experience," Garrett said to the 60 participants at this year's Dream Series. "Remember what this looks like, what this smells like, and how this feels. You might be at a Spring Training clubhouse now, but this is the big leagues, and let me tell you this, there is nothing better than being in the Major Leagues and being a Major League player."

The Dream Series, which runs in connection with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is designed to develop pitchers and catchers for a future in baseball and diversify the future talent pool. The event continues through Monday at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Angels.

In addition to on-field training with former Major League players, the camp includes daily presentations from people like Garrett, former Major Leaguers, scouts, college administrators and MLB umpires. The event also features information on baseball career opportunities at the collegiate and professional level.

"I think any time you can connect the dots and have kids identify with guys close to their age, instead of me, who is 100 years old, and that's a good thing," said former MLB manager Jerry Manuel, who is serving as an instructor. "Here is somebody who's their age and saying, 'Hey, this is a good sport to be in, it's cool, there's longevity.' It's just rewarding that you have these types of guys that want to speak baseball life into guys that think they have a chance to play."

Garrett shared the ups and downs that came with his unusual path to the big leagues during his 30-minute chat. He elaborated on the experience of being a two-sport star -- baseball and basketball -- in high school and the responsibility that comes with being an elite athlete at an early age. But most of all, he implored the teens to take advantage of the opportunities in front of them.

"I didn't really have this when I was younger playing baseball, but I just feel like it's a good thing for kids," Garrett said. "They get to be out here playing baseball, and they get to know the game from a lot of guys that played it at the highest level for many years. It's a good thing. They just have to take that knowledge and run with it."

Video: Amir Garrett is optimistic for Reds in 2019

The first day of workouts began with high-tech assessments through Prospect Development Pipeline screenings. A few hours later, the pitchers threw bullpens, practiced pickoffs and participated in fielding drills. The groups of catchers worked on defensive drills and conditioning.

"Being around big leaguers, I think it's really fun and very helpful," said right-handed pitcher Evan Adolphus, a senior who has committed to Cal State Fullerton. "You get to pick their brain on certain things. If we have issues on certain pitches and certain mechanics, they can fix that, when it's not the same as high school coaches teaching it."

Garrett spoke during the lunch hour. The teens wrapped up the first day by hitting in the cages and on the main field.

"We had a great first day and there was a lot of good things we saw," said Del Matthews, MLB's senior director for baseball development. "To have [Garrett] here, someone that's been a pitcher in the big leagues for a couple of years now and someone that's doing it, it makes it all that more special. It's about sharing information and best practices and motivation and inspiration -- all in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., MLK weekend. That's what it's about. It's about fulfilling the dream."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Cincinnati Reds, Amir Garrett

Reds Caravan launches 4-day, 5-state trek

Brennaman starts 'Rock Star Farewell Tour' on southern route
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- The Reds draw fans from places near and far outside of Cincinnati. As a way to show their appreciation each January, members of the club head out on the road to see their fans.

This year's Caravan had its sendoff on Thursday from the AC Hotel across from Great American Ball Park, featuring players like Eugenio Suarez, Tucker Barnhart. Scooter Gennett, Tanner Roark, Taylor Trammell and Tyler Stephenson, manager David Bell, president of baseball operations Dick Williams and broadcasters Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley.

CINCINNATI -- The Reds draw fans from places near and far outside of Cincinnati. As a way to show their appreciation each January, members of the club head out on the road to see their fans.

This year's Caravan had its sendoff on Thursday from the AC Hotel across from Great American Ball Park, featuring players like Eugenio Suarez, Tucker Barnhart. Scooter Gennett, Tanner Roark, Taylor Trammell and Tyler Stephenson, manager David Bell, president of baseball operations Dick Williams and broadcasters Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley.

"It's a lot of fun," Barnhart said. "It's kind of like the season has started a little bit. You get to hang out with the guys you haven't seen in a while. You see the coaches. You see a lot of people you will be hanging out with all summer."

The Reds Caravan's four legs began a four-day, five-state journey that will cover a combined 3,800 miles across Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Tennessee. It will conclude Sunday at Florence Mall in Northern Kentucky when all four routes come together once more.

Barnhart is a veteran of numerous caravan trips, but this will be the first time for several -- including Cincinnati native Gennett, who is on the northern leg.

"I'm excited to see the fans," Gennett said. "I know I missed out on Redsfest this year. I know people might want to see me or get an autograph."

Tweet from @Reds: Chillicothe, Ohio is home to the oldest continuously operating theater in America... and this adorable little fan. 😍#RedsCaravan | @NewsRadioWBEX | @Sgennett2 pic.twitter.com/R5ZxE3i1HE

Besides the public stops each evening, there are 20 additional stops scheduled at various radio affiliates, schools, businesses and hospitals. Fans can get autographs and share what's on their mind during question-and-answer sessions with the participants.

Bell, who was hired as manager in October, will get a chance to share his vision for 2019 with the fans.

"I'm actually really looking forward to the next few days," Bell said. "I don't know what to expect ... it's exciting. There's a good energy already. It will be fun to be a part of that and meet a lot of people.

"We'll share what we know about our team and hopefully get people excited like we are here."

Tweet from @Reds: The South Tour���s bus seems so much smaller than everyone else���s. #RedsCaravan pic.twitter.com/F2etns6nBS

One added bit of nostalgia will be part of the southern leg that will have Brennaman on its bus. He announced on Wednesday that the '19 season -- his 46th with the Reds -- will be his final one before retiring.

"I get to be on Marty's last Caravan, at least while he's working," Barnhart said. "I don't know if he will do any more. I enjoy hearing the stories, the trash talk that happens on the bus."

Video: Barnhart on Brennaman retiring after the 2019 season

Barnhart and Brennaman are among those who have self-proclaimed their leg of the caravan as the "Rock Star Tour." There were bittersweet feelings about the iconic Brennaman leaving the club.

"I think we have started a new name, the 'Rock Star Farewell Tour,'" Barnhart said. "Hopefully it continues to be another farewell tour and then another farewell tour, like a lot of rock bands."

For more details about Reds Caravan and the full itinerary, go to reds.com/caravan.

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

Gennett, Barnhart focused on 2019 with Reds

Duo with area ties has been linked to trade rumors this offseason
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- As the offseason nears its end, some Reds players are getting closer to putting Hot Stove rumors behind them and looking forward to Spring Training. One of the last big mileposts of the offseason arrives this weekend with the annual Reds Caravan, and two Reds who found themselves prominently in those rumors are heading out to meet fans and talk 2019.

Last week, second baseman Scooter Gennett and the club avoided arbitration with a one-year contract worth $9.775 million. A free agent after the 2019 season, Gennett was seeking a multiyear deal. Catcher Tucker Barnhart, meanwhile, factored in trade rumors as the Reds were connected to the Marlins as a potential suitor for All-Star J.T. Realmuto.

CINCINNATI -- As the offseason nears its end, some Reds players are getting closer to putting Hot Stove rumors behind them and looking forward to Spring Training. One of the last big mileposts of the offseason arrives this weekend with the annual Reds Caravan, and two Reds who found themselves prominently in those rumors are heading out to meet fans and talk 2019.

Last week, second baseman Scooter Gennett and the club avoided arbitration with a one-year contract worth $9.775 million. A free agent after the 2019 season, Gennett was seeking a multiyear deal. Catcher Tucker Barnhart, meanwhile, factored in trade rumors as the Reds were connected to the Marlins as a potential suitor for All-Star J.T. Realmuto.

"It would have been nice [to sign a long-term contract]," Gennett said at the sendoff for the Caravan. "But at this point, it's fine. I'm on the team for at least another year. I'm happy about that. We made a lot of good moves with the coaching staff, and also on the player side. I'm excited just to be part of it for another year. Who knows what could happen the next few months? I'm fine where I'm at."

Gennett, 28, could still face trade rumors during the season -- especially if the Reds don't contend. A Cincinnati native who has been embraced by fans, it's not something he wants to happen, but he's also not worried.

"The last year or two, I've learned a lot," Gennett said. "Worrying is just a waste of time. It's out of my control. All I can do is prepare as much as I can for this year. If I do well, I should be taken care of accordingly. If I don't, it is what it is. Worrying isn't happening."

Tweet from @Reds: 😃😁😆😀#RedsCaravan pic.twitter.com/lTh6A0Ni6T

On the other hand, being part of a trade rumor for the first time this winter was jarring for Barnhart. A report surfaced during the Winter Meetings that had the Reds discussing a deal that would have sent Barnhart to the Marlins for Realmuto.

"It was stressful," Barnhart said. "It was the first time that I've been a part of something like that. I talked to [former Reds reliever] Drew Storen about it because we were at the Pacers game that night. I love playing here. We're in a position where we're starting to look at the rearview mirror of the rebuild part. Having gone through all of that, I want to see the finish line."

A 2017 National League Gold Glove winner, Barnhart batted .248/.328/.372 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs. A native of Indianapolis who has been with the Reds organization his entire career, he also has no wish to leave.

"I live so close to here in the offseason, it feels like Cincinnati is home," Barnhart said. "For selfish reasons, I want to be part of the winning. It's why I signed, to see the end of the rebuild and us starting to win again."

Tweet from @Reds: .@Tucker_Barnhart visits with the @JonesJetsPride media. 🎥#RedsCaravan pic.twitter.com/26BJGBRbJi

Barnhart said president of baseball operations Dick Williams did not discuss with him whether there were talks or if he might be dealt.

"I don't feel they owe to me to tell me I'm not going to get traded," Barnhart said. "My agent talked to the Reds and one of the guys who was the main breaker of the rumor, and they kind of shot it down a little bit. It was kind of the assumption that if Realmuto was getting traded, it wouldn't make sense for us to be on the same team. There was a bunch of assuming on all sides. It wasn't a reassurance that I wouldn't be traded. But it was a reassurance that it wasn't necessarily true."

Williams and general manager Nick Krall are still working the phones trying to make additions. The Reds would like to add a front-line starting pitcher and center fielder.

"I still feel strongly about getting something done," Williams said. "We are just still working on multiple fronts. I still can't predict whether it will be more likely through a trade or free agency, so we're keeping moving on both fronts.

"Ideally you keep all of your prospects. But it's why we've built a strong farm system, so we can entertain getting in on guys we otherwise couldn't get."

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, Tucker Barnhart, Scooter Gennett

Reds prospects lend a hand at Youth Academy

Special to MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Four Reds prospects paid a visit to the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy to assist with drills and field questions on the eve of the Reds Caravan sendoff.

Brantley Bell, Stuart Fairchild, Tyler Stephenson and Taylor Trammell spent Wednesday evening tossing batting practice to members of the 14U RBI softball team and assisting and instructing softball players ages 14-18 with some advanced work on defense.

CINCINNATI -- Four Reds prospects paid a visit to the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy to assist with drills and field questions on the eve of the Reds Caravan sendoff.

Brantley Bell, Stuart Fairchild, Tyler Stephenson and Taylor Trammell spent Wednesday evening tossing batting practice to members of the 14U RBI softball team and assisting and instructing softball players ages 14-18 with some advanced work on defense.

Stephenson and Trammell were familiar with the Roselawn-based Academy, but for first-timers Bell and Fairchild, the venue did not disappoint.

"My first thought walking through these doors was that I would love to take some batting practice in here," Bell said. "It doesn't get much better than this. I don't think even Major League fields have this kind of stuff, so they've really done it right here."

The players met with a group of the girls for a Q&A before stretching out and getting to work on the field. They shared stories of being selected in the MLB Draft, when their love of the game first started, what life is like on the road and much more.

"This is such a crucial time," Stephenson said. "I feel the ages of 10-14 are the most important times where a kid will learn whether they love or hate a sport. The more a coach can do for a kid to show that they care goes further than anything else."

Whether in Cincinnati, their hometowns or wherever they may be playing, the Reds players have made it a point to get out and be visible and available to kids in the community.

"It's such a cool opportunity to give back," Fairchild said. "Thinking back on all the coaches when I was growing up who contributed to my career and helped get me to where I am right now, just to have a tiny influence on these kids is huge."

When it comes to sharing advice with aspiring baseball and softball players, they each emphasized the same thing.

"Enjoy the game," Trammell said. "I can't stress that enough. You can't be good at a game and be the best person you can be at anything you're doing if you don't love it."

All four players hopped on a bus Thursday morning and began their four-day tour through Reds Country on separate legs of the annual Reds Caravan. For Bell and Fairchild, this is their first Caravan experience, while Trammell and Stephenson are returning for a second year. Bell is a part of the north leg, Fairchild is on the east, Stephenson is heading west, and Trammell is going south -- on the Marty Brennaman-proclaimed "Rock Star Tour" -- as the fans await at every stop.

"I love how we get to go out and see them," Trammell said. "We get more out of it than they do, because we get to see how they react to us. We just throw a ball and hit a ball and everyone makes us feel so good about ourselves, so it's amazing to be able to give back."

Brendan Hader is a contributor to MLB.com.

Cincinnati Reds

30 best defensive prospects -- 1 for each team

MLB.com

MLB Pipeline recently unveiled its annual All-Defense Team, but there were only so many spots to fill. It made us realize there were so many outstanding defenders across all 30 organizations.

Evaluating defense is still very much subjective, with metrics measuring fielding still imperfect. Still, each system has glovework that stands out more than others, and we considered many to present one best defender from each organization.

MLB Pipeline recently unveiled its annual All-Defense Team, but there were only so many spots to fill. It made us realize there were so many outstanding defenders across all 30 organizations.

Evaluating defense is still very much subjective, with metrics measuring fielding still imperfect. Still, each system has glovework that stands out more than others, and we considered many to present one best defender from each organization.

American League East

Orioles: Cadyn Grenier, SS, No. 9
Grenier's stellar glovework at shortstop was key in helping Oregon State win the 2018 College World Series, and in the process, he established himself as one of the best defensive prospects in the Draft before going to the Orioles as the No. 37 overall pick. With good hands, plus arm strength and plenty of range, Grenier has all the ingredients needed to stick at the position long term.

Red Sox: Bobby Dalbec, 3B, No. 6
Dalbec has always possessed a strong arm and has worked hard to improve his agility and range at third base, with several Red Sox officials rating him as a plus defender and scouts outside the organization grading him more as solid. He also owns prodigious raw power and ranked second in the Minors in extra-base hits (70) and RBIs (109) last year, and fourth in homers (32).

Yankees: Estevan Florial, OF, No. 1 (MLB No. 45)
Florial has some of the best all-around tools in the Minors, with well-above-average raw power, speed and arm strength. He continues to improve as a center fielder, projecting as a plus defender, and has an exceptionally strong arm for the position.

Rays: Lucius Fox, SS, No. 9
While there's no shortage of standout defenders in the highly athletic Rays system, Fox, a top-flight athlete with plus-plus speed, could be the best. He's played shortstop exclusively as a pro and committed 15 errors in 105 games last season while reaching Double-A at age 21. His athleticism makes him an electrifying defender, and he has the requisite physical tools to remain at the position for the long haul.

Video: EAST@WEST: Fox showcases range, slick glove in 3rd

Blue Jays: Kevin Vicuna, SS, unranked
The Blue Jays felt so good about Vicuna's defense in 2017 that they had the then-19-year-old handle shortstop duties for Class A Advanced Dunedin from April 23-June 1, even though Vicuna previously had never played above the Rookie Gulf Coast League. He's an athletic and, at times, flashy defender, with quick, twitchy hands that help him absorb anything hit his way and a quick release that causes his average arm strength to play up across the infield.

AL Central

White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B, No. 5 (MLB No. 49)
The White Sox may try Madrigal at shortstop, because he has the hands and actions to thrive there, but his average arm makes him a better fit at second base. With his quickness and instincts, he could be a Gold Glove Award winner at the keystone, and he also rated as the best pure hitter in the 2018 Draft, where he went No. 4 overall.

Video: Top Prospects: Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox

Indians: Eric Haase, C, No. 27
Haase reached the Majors for the first time late last season, seven years after the Indians took him in the seventh round of the 2011 Draft. Though he's blossomed on both sides of the ball during the past two seasons, it's been Haase's defensive gains that have helped him climb the Tribe's depth chart. After throwing out 37 percent of attempted basestealers in 2017, Haase improved that mark to nearly 49 percent in '18 (33 of 68).

Tigers: Jake Rogers, C, No. 12
The Tigers got Rogers as part of the Justin Verlander deal, and in Rogers' first full season with the organization, he cemented himself as the game's best defensive catching prospect, earning a spot on MLB Pipeline's All-Defense Team for the second year in a row. He threw out 55.6 percent of potential basestealers in 2018, upping his career rate to 48.5 percent.

Royals: Sebastian Rivero, C, unranked
M.J. Melendez is very athletic for a catcher and has a chance to become a plus defender with an arm to match. Yet South Atlantic League managers rated Rivero, his teammate at Lexington last summer, the low Class A circuit's best defensive backstop in a Baseball America survey last year. The Royals liken Rivero to a young Salvador Perez, and in addition to his physical ability, Rivero also draws raves for his leadership skills, intelligence and work ethic.

Twins: Gilberto Celestino, OF, No. 14
Signed by the Astros for $2.5 million in 2015, Celestino made his United States debut in '17, then got dealt to the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade last season. He's drawn comparisons to Albert Almora Jr. for his instincts in center, and coaches in Elizabethton feel he's one of the best defenders they've ever seen.

AL West

Astros: Myles Straw, OF, No. 15
Straw has double-plus speed that gives him tremendous range in center field, where his plus arm also stands out at a position not noted for strong throwers. That quickness also plays well on the bases (he topped the Minors with 70 steals in only 79 attempts in 2018) and allows him to beat out hits (he led the Minors with a .358 batting average in '16).

Angels: Jordyn Adams, OF, No. 6
The Angels signed Adams away from playing football and baseball at North Carolina, and he immediately put his tools on display during his pro debut and during instructs. He's still raw, but the Angels feel he has elite range and the highest ceiling as a defender in the organization.

A's: Nick Allen, SS, No. 15
Allen was viewed by many scouts as perhaps the best defensive prospect available in the 2017 Draft, and he's done nothing to diminish that reputation after signing for more than double slot value as the A's third-round pick. There is no doubt among scouts that Allen can stick at shortstop. He's already a plus defender there, with outstanding range that leads to many highlight-reel plays and plus arm strength that allows him to make throws from all over the diamond.

Mariners: Evan White, 1B, No. 5
It's not often a first baseman is mentioned as one of the premier defensive players in the Minors, but that's the reality with White, who recently was named to the All-Defense Team. All signs point to him becoming a Gold Glove Award winner at the position, as he's athletic with outstanding footwork, a strong arm and plus range. His ability to pick throws is elite, and he makes every infielder on his team better as a result.

Video: Top Prospects: Evan White, 1B, Mariners

Rangers: Jose Trevino, C, No. 28
Trevino won Rawlings Minor League Gold Gloves in both 2016 and '17, before surgery on his non-throwing shoulder last July squashed any chances of a three-peat. He's an outstanding receiver and blocker, gets the most out of his strong arm with a quick release and accurate throws and also earns high marks for his ability to run a pitching staff.

National League East

Braves: Cristian Pache, OF, No. 6  (MLB No. 68)
Pache is generally considered to be the best defender in the Minor Leagues, leading our All-Defense Prospect Team. He has the speed and instincts to be a Gold Glove center fielder to go along with a right fielder's arm.

Video: Mayo looks at MLB Pipeline's 2019 All-Defense Team

Marlins: Jose Devers, SS/2B, No. 13
The cousin of Red Sox third basemen Rafael Devers, Jose was acquired by the Marlins last offseason in the blockbuster trade that sent Giancarlo Stanton to the Bronx. While he doesn't have his cousin's offensive profile, Devers is a far superior defender, with the soft hands, slick footwork and strong arm needed to be a big league shortstop. He showcased his defensive prowess last season, committing only seven errors and posting a .971 fielding percentage as an 18-year-old in full-season ball.

Mets: Andres Gimenez, SS, No. 1 (MLB No. 55)
The shortstop on our All-Defense Team, Gimenez reached Double-A in 2018 as a teenager. While he needs to add strength offensively, he has everything he needs to play shortstop defensively in the big leagues. He has plus hands, range and the internal clock to allow him to slow the game down.

Phillies: Luis Garcia, SS, No. 14
Signed for $2.5 million in July 2017, Garcia had a tremendous debut in the Gulf Coast League in '18 on both sides of the ball. He has a strong arm to go along with terrific hands and feet, and speed that gives him excellent range to stay at shortstop long term. He's only going to get better as he matures.

Nationals: Victor Robles, OF, No. 1 (MLB No. 4)
Revered as one of the top defenders in the Minor Leagues and a member of MLB Pipeline's All-Defense Team, Robles has game-changing abilities in center field. His near top-of-the-scale speed gives him range for days in center field, and he's made strides in improving both his reads and routes in the past two years. His plus-plus arm is among the strongest in the Minors, and he totaled 29 outfield assists from 2016-17 before an injury-plagued campaign in '18.

Video: Top Prospects: Victor Robles, OF, Nationals

NL Central

Cubs: Miguel Amaya, C, No. 1 (MLB No. 87)
Amaya's defensive ability and makeup led the Cubs to sign him for $1.25 million out of Panama in 2015, and he continues to impress even though he has been pushed aggressively in the Minors. His aptitude to frame and block pitches is advanced for a teenager, and his arm strength has improved to at least solid and plays up because of his quick transfer and accuracy.

Reds: Mike Siani, OF, No. 9
The Reds' fourth-round pick got first-round money to sign because of his all-around tools. But his defensive skills have long stood out, and he might have been the best defensive outfielder in the 2018 Draft class, with the ability to cover a ton of ground in center and an arm that allowed him to throw low-90s fastballs from the mound in high school.

Brewers: Payton Henry, C, No. 11
A sixth-round pick in 2016 who signed for nearly twice his slot value, Henry threw out nearly 44 percent (46 of 105) of attempted basestealers and had only six passed balls in his first full season. A quick release and a strong, accurate arm help Henry to combat the running game, and evaluators have been impressed with how he's developed a receiving style that utilizes his big, athletic frame. Henry is also praised for his energy and leadership skills.

Pirates: Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, No. 2 (MLB No. 48)
Hayes was the third baseman on our All-Defense Team, and for good reason. He entered pro ball as one of the better defenders at the hot corner, but he's gotten even better as he's committed himself to his conditioning, adding to his agility and range to make him the best in the Minors at the position.

Cardinals: Delvin Perez, SS, No. 28
The Cardinals' first-round pick in 2016 has had trouble finding any traction offensively, but there are no concerns about his defensive chops. He gets plus grades on his arm and his overall fielding, thanks to a plus arm when he needs it, above-average hands and plus speed that helps him cover a lot of ground.

NL West

D-backs: Geraldo Perdomo, SS, No. 21
Perdomo's United States debut in 2018 was solid all-around, and he even earned a promotion from the Arizona Rookie League to the Pioneer League in the process. Tall and rangy, the teenager has shown the tools to stay at shortstop long term with outstanding range, actions and hands to go with a strong arm.

Rockies: Yonathan Daza, OF, No. 18
Thanks to his plus speed and fine instincts, Daza covers a lot of ground in center field, and he possesses a plus-plus arm that stands out at his position. He's also a career .310 hitter who won the Class A Advanced California League batting title in 2017 with a .341 mark.

Dodgers: Will Smith, C, No. 5
An outstanding athlete for a catcher, Smith has already shown that he's capable of playing third base and filling in at second. He has very soft hands and impressive agility, making him a fine receiver and framer, and he has a solid arm that plays better than that because of his fast footwork.

Padres: Buddy Reed, OF, No. 13
A member of MLB Pipeline's All-Defense Team, Reed's 70-grade speed and long, gliding strides allow him to cover huge swaths of territory in center field -- and he showcased that with his catch in last year's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Reed also has a strong arm and recorded 12 outfield assists in 2018, surpassing his combined total from his first two seasons.

Video: WLD@USA: Reed wired up, makes great grab at the wall

Giants: Joey Bart, C, No. 1 (MLB No. 23)
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft, Bart draws more attention with his bat, but his work behind the plate is impressive as well. He has improved markedly since high school, when scouts wondered if he could stay at catcher, enhancing his agility and receiving and improving the accuracy of his strong arm.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Marty Brennaman set for final season in booth

Reds broadcasting icon, 76, entering 46th year with ballclub
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Reds radio broadcasting icon Marty Brennaman never planned on having any big retirement announcement or a final lap around Major League ballparks to say goodbye.

But Brennaman is sure to be showered with great affection from around Cincinnati and the nation now. He announced Wednesday at Great American Ball Park that the 2019 season -- his 46th year with the club -- will be his final one calling games before he retires. Talking about his decision made him emotional at times.

CINCINNATI -- Reds radio broadcasting icon Marty Brennaman never planned on having any big retirement announcement or a final lap around Major League ballparks to say goodbye.

But Brennaman is sure to be showered with great affection from around Cincinnati and the nation now. He announced Wednesday at Great American Ball Park that the 2019 season -- his 46th year with the club -- will be his final one calling games before he retires. Talking about his decision made him emotional at times.

"I'm looking toward the season with great trepidation but affectionately so. It will be very tough. Today has been tough," Brennaman said. "I don't think the full impact of this thing will happen until maybe one year from now, when everybody is packing up and getting ready for Arizona because nobody loves Spring Training more than I do."

Brennaman, 76, is a legendary part of the fabric of Cincinnati sports, having been with the Reds since 1974. A 2000 Ford Frick Award winner at the Baseball Hall of Fame, he's been the voice covering three World Series championships in 1975-76 and 1990. Among many other big moments, he was behind the mic when Pete Rose became the all-time hits leader in 1985, when Tom Browning threw a perfect game in '88, and for Tom Seaver's no-hitter in 1978 and Ken Griffey Jr.'s 500th and 600th career home runs in 2004 and '08.

Tweet from @Reds: A message from Marty Brennaman: pic.twitter.com/c66DFmyjQS

For 31 of his seasons, Brennaman was joined at the hip with partner Joe Nuxhall, and the two were synonymous with one another for fans. Nuxhall retired after the 2004 season and died in '07.

"I just learned an awful lot from him about the game," Brennaman said. "I learned how to carry yourself -- in his case being one of the most beloved people who have ever come out of this city or this area. We were so connected that people would send cards and letters to us before the advent of social media and Twitter ... and they would address it 'Marty and Joe, Cincinnati, Ohio.' [The post office] would send it right to the ballpark."

Video: Russo discusses Marty Brennaman retiring after 2019

Brennaman's partner since 2006 has been former reliever Jeff Brantley, and the two have formed another revered team for fans. Last season in Los Angeles, the pair found retired Dodgers radio great Vin Scully taking in a game at Chavez Ravine. Brennaman started asking Scully questions about life in retirement.

"I got the sense that this is happening much faster than you really thought," Brantley said. "Even though you knew it might be coming quickly, there's nothing that prepares you for the finality of him saying what he said today. You get a lump in your throat."

Video: Barnhart on Brennaman retiring after the 2019 season

It would have been Brennaman's preference to keep his decision a secret until after the coming season. Reds chief operating officer Phil Castellini let him know that was not the way to go.

"In his own unique way, he explained to me that it wasn't fair to the fans, it wasn't fair to the club," Brennaman said. "I'll use the line [Scully] used. 'I'm honored, but I'm also very uncomfortable,' because I don't feel that I need that."

Tweet from @baseballhall: Legendary @Reds broadcaster and 2000 Ford C. Frick Award winner Marty Brennaman will retire following the 2019 season after 46 years with Cincinnati. Congratulations on a fantastic career Marty! Photo: Milo Stewart Jr. pic.twitter.com/4XSSO3l1aT

Brennaman was calling American Basketball Association games for the Virginia Squires when he was tabbed to replace future broadcasting legend Al Michaels to call Reds games in 1974.

In the second Spring Training game with the Reds, Brennaman made an on-air faux pas by referring to Al Lopez Field as "Al Michaels Field" and was mortified. But he found redemption quickly. In the first inning of Opening Day vs. the Braves at Riverfront Stadium, Brennaman had the call when Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth as the all-time leader with 714 career home runs.

Video: Brennaman talks retiring following the 2019 season

"Nuxhall said, 'What the hell do you do for an encore?' I said, 'I don't know but it's a pretty good way to start,'" Brennaman said. "It was one of the big thrills of my life because I never expected to be broadcasting big league baseball anyway."

A great career was started, and Brennaman was there to describe the on-field actions of many Reds greats like Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Jose Rijo, Dave Parker, George Foster, Joey Votto, Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. His son, Thom Brennaman, is entering his 13th season of doing Reds television play-by-play in addition to national duties calling baseball and NFL games.

Unlike his friend and respected colleague Scully, Brennaman did not want to call mostly home games toward the latter portion of his career.

"I just wanted to go from doing baseball on a full-time basis pretty much to not doing any at all," Brennaman said. "It's going to be a very emotional situation going into ballparks for the last time."

Brennaman plans to enjoy retirement by traveling with his wife, Amanda. The couple took a two-week vacation to Italy and France in October and want to see other countries. He will still remain affiliated with the club for non-broadcasting events, like his annual charity golf tournament and possibly Reds Caravans.

Until then, fans will get to savor one final season of Brennaman calling Reds games. In turn, he will get to hear from everyone what he's meant to them over the past 46 years.

Tweet from @m_sheldon: On a personal note: As great as Marty is as a radio broadcaster, he���s an even better person. He���s become a friend and being around him often makes my day and makes me laugh. I always enjoy my time with him on air also. #reds

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

First Spring Training workout dates for all clubs

MLB.com @mattkellyMLB

Major League Baseball has revealed the first Spring Training workout dates for pitchers and catchers and those for the full squads for all 30 clubs. MLB also announced game times for all Cactus and Grapefruit League action in February and March.

Major League Baseball has revealed the first Spring Training workout dates for pitchers and catchers and those for the full squads for all 30 clubs. MLB also announced game times for all Cactus and Grapefruit League action in February and March.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The A's, fresh off their surprise run to the 2018 American League Wild Card Game, will be the first club to have its pitchers and catchers report. They'll do so on Monday, Feb. 11, followed by the Indians and Mariners on Feb. 12 and the remainder of MLB clubs in the days following. Oakland and Seattle will travel to Tokyo to stage two exhibition games each against Japanese teams on March 17-18, followed by the first two games of the 2019 regular season on March 20-21 at Tokyo Dome.

Complete Spring Training schedule

Oakland and Seattle will hold their first full-squad workouts on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Arizona, with the rest of MLB following suit in the days after. The Braves will be the last club to hold its first full-squad workout, doing so on Thursday, Feb. 21. The A's and Mariners open Cactus League action with a matchup on Feb. 21, and the Rays and Phillies open up Grapefruit League action the following day. The Red Sox and Tigers will play exhibition games against college teams on Feb. 22.

Here are first-workout dates for pitchers and catchers and full squads for each team:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Angels: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Astros: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Athletics: Feb. 11/Feb. 16
Blue Jays: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Indians: Feb. 12/Feb. 18
Mariners: Feb. 12/Feb. 16
Orioles: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rangers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rays: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Red Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Royals: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Tigers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Twins: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
White Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Yankees: Feb. 14/Feb. 19

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Braves: Feb. 16/Feb. 21
Brewers: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Cardinals: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Cubs: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Diamondbacks: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Dodgers: Feb. 13/Feb. 19
Giants: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Marlins: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Mets: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Nationals: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Padres: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Phillies: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Pirates: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Reds: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rockies: Feb. 13/Feb. 18

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Here's why a 3-team Kluber deal could happen

Breaking down report of potential trade between Tribe, Reds, Padres
MLB.com

The Reds need a starting pitcher. The Padres are looking for a third baseman. The Indians would like to add outfielders. Could there be a match that would help all three clubs?

The Athletic reported on Monday that the Padres had explored a potential three-team trade between the clubs that would send ace starter Corey Kluber from Cleveland to Cincinnati, with Reds top prospect and infielder Nick Senzel going to San Diego. It was not reported who the Indians might acquire, although the team needs outfielders, which the Padres have to deal.

The Reds need a starting pitcher. The Padres are looking for a third baseman. The Indians would like to add outfielders. Could there be a match that would help all three clubs?

The Athletic reported on Monday that the Padres had explored a potential three-team trade between the clubs that would send ace starter Corey Kluber from Cleveland to Cincinnati, with Reds top prospect and infielder Nick Senzel going to San Diego. It was not reported who the Indians might acquire, although the team needs outfielders, which the Padres have to deal.

The report noted that no deal was close to being finalized.

Why the trade could work
The Reds, who have been trying to overhaul their rotation all offseason, already acquired starters Tanner Roark and Alex Wood in trades. Both are solid middle-of-the-rotation pieces, but Cincinnati could still use someone for the top of the starting five. Enter Kluber, the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner and the kind of frontline starter the Reds haven't had since dealing Johnny Cueto in 2015. The club, which has space with an increased payroll, has been linked to Kluber in various rumors throughout the Hot Stove season.

Kluber, 32, has one guaranteed year left on his contract, with club options for 2020 and '21. If both options are picked up, the total outlay for his services would be $52.5 million. It's a lot of money for a small-market club, but it's also not a risky long-term contract that would hamstring the Reds for the future.

Video: Tribe, Padres, Reds exploring 3-team deal for Kluber?

Senzel, who is ranked as the Reds' No. 1 prospect (No. 6 overall) by MLB Pipeline, is a natural third baseman and can also play second base and the outfield. He is currently blocked from a starting spot in the infield by third baseman Eugenio Suarez and second baseman Scooter Gennett, but he will be competing for the opening in center field.

The Indians and Padres have had a good working relationship, with their last transaction coming in July when Cleveland acquired relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. The Tribe is looking for young outfielders who are cost-controlled and can make an impact in 2019 and beyond. Last month, the Indians were linked to San Diego outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, both of whom check the majority of the Indians' boxes.

Margot, 24, is under team control through 2022, while Renfroe, 26, wouldn't be a free agent until after the '23 season. Margot is a right-handed-hitting center fielder who slashed .245/.292/.384 with 26 doubles, eight triples, eight homers and 51 RBIs in 2018. Renfroe, a corner outfielder, could bring some much-needed power to the Indians' lineup after hitting .248 with 26 homers and 68 RBIs last season.

Video: Indians might not trade Kluber or Bauer

The Padres have a glut of outfielders, with Wil Myers, Franmil Reyes, Franchy Cordero and Travis Jankowski also on board. They can afford to lose one or both of Renfroe and Margot -- if it means acquiring a third baseman. Right now, unheralded rookie Ty France is slated to start for the Padres at third, though that's likely to change in the coming weeks.

The Indians could also take a look at the Reds, who have plenty of corner-outfield options. Recently acquired Matt Kemp is coming off an All-Star season, hitting .290 with 21 home runs and 85 RBIs. Although Kemp could give the Tribe another option in both the outfield and as a designated hitter, the Indians may prefer younger, cost-controlled talent. The 34-year-old is owed $21.75 million in 2019, though a portion of the Dodgers' $7 million that was sent to the Reds in last month's blockbuster deal will help pay that salary. But the team already has shed roughly $20 million from the payroll and also would be dealing away Kluber's $17 million, so it could be an option.

Why the trade might not work
Because of Senzel's near Major League-ready skills that include an advanced hitting approach, the Reds would likely be apprehensive about moving him. For the Padres, they will probably take a long look at his medical files as Senzel was limited to 44 games at Triple-A last season because of a bout with vertigo in May and a fractured right index finger in June that required season-ending surgery. During instructional league in the fall, he had to stop playing to have bone chips removed from his left elbow.

The Indians may decide they just don't need to deal Kluber, a rotation anchor for three straight postseason teams. The main reason his name came up in the first place was a perceived need to cut costs, and they've already done that this winter -- shedding about $20 million in dealing Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso and Yan Gomes. Because of this, the Tribe could simply keep its rotation intact. Cleveland has been listening to potential offers for both Kluber and Trevor Bauer throughout the offseason, but it has a specific return in mind that clearly has yet to be met. In order to part ways with its ace, the club would have to receive enough talent to meet the high bar it has set for Kluber.

Video: Cassavell on the Padres' search for a starter

A trade could still happen, but maybe not with the Reds. Another option for both the Padres and the Indians would be giving the Yankees a call to see where they stand on Miguel Andujar. With the Padres looking for a third baseman, the 23-year-old Andujar, who finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year Award voting, may be another option. The Yankees are still looking to deal Sonny Gray, and with CC Sabathia's recent heart procedure and ongoing troubles with his right knee, it would seem logical that New York would be interested in adding another arm, especially of Kluber's caliber. The Yankees also have outfielders Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks or reliever Chad Green who could be of interest to the Indians.

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

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, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, Corey Kluber, Nick Senzel