The Reds haven’t been overly active in free agency this offseason, but they’ve done a nice job of locking up some of their key internal components.
Staff ace Bronson Arroyo was signed to a three-year, $35 million contract extension in early December. Young power-hitting outfielder Jay Bruce inked a six-year, $51 million extension less than two weeks later. Then first baseman Joey Votto got a three-year, $38 million extension on Monday and young starter Johnny Cueto scored a four-year, $27 million pact on Thursday.
But the Reds aren’t done yet.
According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, general manager Walt Jocketty said Friday that the club is talking about a multi-year contract with right-hander Edinson Volquez.
“We’re looking at both — one-year and multi-year,” said Jocketty. “We’re hopeful that we’ll get something done.”
The 27-year-old right-hander missed a good portion of the 2010 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he struck out 67 batters in 62.2 innings once he was cleared for live action and he has shown flashes of true excellence for the past several years.
Volquez is eligible for arbitration this winter for the first time. He requested a $2 million salary for 2011 when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this week. The Reds counted at $1.1 million. Both sides can avoid the need for an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a multi-year pact that would lock Volquez in at a set price through his three upcoming seasons of arbitration eligibility, and maybe even a free agent year or two.
The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.
Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.
Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.
As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.
We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.
FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :
Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.