The winter meetings are over, and this year's edition was a turkey. The Reds weren't involved in any big deals, and the one big rumor, about the Reds offering Mark Loretta a deal, was one that sounded just horrible.
They did manage to pick up a couple of guys, though: they selected right-hand pitcher Jared Burton from the As in the Rule 5 draft. The Cubs selected Josh Hamilton from the Devil Rays the same way, then traded him to the Reds. Which is really less of a trade than a sale. I mean, I don't go around saying I went to the store and traded $20 for a miniature statuette of Sean Casey grounding into a double play.
But I digress.
Of course, both deals are interesting, and of course, the Reds needed some pitching fodder. But all you're going to hear about is Hamilton.
Quotes via Marc about the deals:
Wayne on Hamilton:
“There's risk to everything you do. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
The risk, in this case, is the chance that Hamilton will succumb to the drug habit that has rendered him useless the last few seasons. Hamilton, however, sounds determined to stay clean:
UPDATE 2: Hamilton:
“When I got the news I started shaking because I was so excited.”
“Jerry (Narron) saw me catch and pitch in one game. I remember him being at the game and being in awe and knowing who he was.”
“I guarantee I'll come in in the best shape of my life.”
“I didn't think (the Devils Rays) thought that anyone would take a chance.”
So at least we won't have to worry about him going the way of Josh Hancock. That's a relief.
Since he's a Rule 5-er, Hamilton has to say on the 25-man roster all season, or the Reds have to offer him back to Tampa Bay. Personally, I think Kriv-dawg is too stubborn to do a thing like that, but apparently the Rays think different.
Quote from DDN, (ht BubbaFan):
The large hook in this deal is that the Reds must keep the 25-year-old outfielder on their 25-man roster for the entire 2007 season or offer him back to the Devil Rays for $25,000. And the Devil Rays fully expect to get him back.
“At this point of his development, he needs to play, and it will be difficult for him to stick on the Reds roster,” Tampa Bay Executive Vice President Andrew Friedman said. “If we had kept him, he would have played this year at Class A. We fully expect the Reds to offer him back and we'll take him with open arms.”