Reds won’t activate Aroldis Chapman until Friday or later

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The Reds don’t have an exact plan mapped out yet for the return of hard-throwing setup man Aroldis Chapman, who was eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.

According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Chapman won’t be called back to the bigs Thursday. And might not be activated Friday either.

The 23-year-old left-hander has surrendered a whopping nine hits and seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings since beginning a minor league rehab assignment last week at Triple-A Louisville. He’s displayed better command, though, and the Reds’ higher-ups believe he has made progress from a mental standpoint.

“He’s better, a lot better,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday. “He’s got to get things together mentally and emotionally.”

It might make sense to give Chapman a few more rehab appearances, but so far none have been scheduled. The Cuban defector was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 16 with inflammation in his left shoulder.

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.

Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.

Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.