Davey Johnson isn’t gone yet — the calls for his head notwithstanding — but he has said he is going to step down at the end of this season and that means a replacement is needed. Jon Heyman hears that Diamondbacks coach Matt Williams is a possibility.
It makes sense in the way that a lot of managerial hires make sense: he’s a known quantity to Mike Rizzo, as they worked together when Rizzo was the Dbacks’ scouting director. He’s part of Kirk Gibson’s “no nonesense” regime in Arizona which contrasts with Davey Johnson’s more laid back style, be it perceived or genuine. It’s the sort of managerial hire you might expect.
Whether it would be a good hire is another matter. But we have several months until that topic needs to be assessed.
The Reds lost their first arbitration case of the offseason, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Second baseman Scooter Gennett was awarded the $5.7 million salary figure he was seeking from the team, a $600,000 bump over the $5.1 million they countered with last month.
Gennett, 27, is coming off of a career-best performance in 2017. After getting claimed off of waivers by the Reds last March, he broke out with an impressive .295/.342/.531 batting line, 27 home runs and 2.4 fWAR in 497 plate appearances. By season’s end, he ranked among the top five most productive second basemen in the National League (and 12th overall). He’s currently set to remain under team control through 2019.
Gennett was only the second Reds player to go to an arbitration hearing this winter. Fellow infielder Eugenio Suarez was defeated in arbitration last week and stands to make just $3.75 million compared to the $4.2 million he filed for in January. All 22 arbitration cases have now been resolved. Twelve were decided in favor of the players.