Earlier today, we learned exactly what Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips thought about Joey Votto’s monster ten-year, $225 million extension. It turns out Phillips is still a little bitter about it, saying, “To this day, I’m still hurt. Well, I don’t wanna say hurt. I’ll say scarred. I’m still scarred. It just sucks that it happened.”
It’s the kind of honesty that could have created a palpable rift in the Reds’ clubhouse, but Votto took it all in stride. Via C. Trent Rosecrans:
“Brandon’s a teammate I’ve played with six, seven years now and I love playing with him. I really have an immense amount of respect for him. Those comments have nothing to do with me. It doesn’t change a single thing, it makes me like him more, to be honest with you. Not many players are very honest, usually they give catch phrases, similar to what I’m doing right now. He’s a refreshing guy because he is honest and he does tell people how he feels. You can tell how he feels in that given moment and that’s a great thing. It’s great playing with someone like that. Variety is the spice of life and I love playing with Brandon.”
Phillips defended what he had said and wasn’t apologetic. From Rosecrans:
“I don’t feel like I said anything wrong, I didn’t disrespect nobody, if I did, it’s someone in the front office. The thing is, they know what happened, so I don’t understand why everything’s a big deal. And fans, I didn’t say anything, I love this city, I love Cincinnati, I’m happy to be here, I’m happy with the contract that I got. I’m happy for Joey. I talked to Joey about it, Joey doesn’t really care about what they say. He understands. He respects what I said. I say things people other people won’t say, that’s the type of person I am. What I said. I didn’t say anything wrong. If I said something wrong, tell me what I said wrong.”
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.