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This is a book you’ve read before."In just about one month , it will have been a full six years since the Cincinnati Reds and Ryan Ludwick agreed to a 2 year, $15 million contract that included a $2 million option buyout for a third year. Ludwick, you’ll remember, was fresh off a solid 25 dinger campaign in that brilliant 2012 season, and the Reds wanted to keep the 34 year old former St. Louis Cardinals slugger around to help anchor their offense. Of course, Ludwick immediately proceeded to shred his shoulder, called out Reds fans for not being as good as Cardinals fans, posted a combined -1.4 bWAR in a pair of abbreviated seasons, got bought out, and never played a big league game ever again.I mention this both because that deal still remains the largest Reds foray into free agent spending in recent memory and because it followed a pattern the Reds have long been stuck in - falling in love with familiarity, especially at bargain-bin rates. The 2018 offseason, though, is supposed to be different, if ownership and the front office are to be believed, as a ‘record payroll’ and a mandate to fix the broken pitching staff are on the public table. That said, the members of the front office right now all look eerily similar to the ones who were around five Maury Wills Jersey , six, seven years ago, and it will genuinely take a turn of course to show that these aren’t merely the same old Reds for yet another offseason.With that in mind, here are three moves that, if made this offseason, would fall completely in-line with what we’ve seen over and over from the same old Reds in previous years.Reds sign IF Daniel Descalso to 2-year contractFormer Cardinal? Check. Fresh off a career year? Check. Over 30? Check. Blocking top prospects once signed? Check, check, check.In the spirit of the 2-year guaranteed deals doled out to the likes of Miguel Cairo, Jack Hanannanananahanahanhan, and Skip Schumaker in recent years, this one’s just too good to overlook. Descalso, 32 last month, finally posted an OPS+ above league average in 2018 for the first time in his nine year career, the 106 mark easily the highest of his career. Somehow, he’s stuck around the bigs long enough despite that sub-par offense also being backed by sub-par defense, likely because he does at least have the ability to play sub-par defense at no fewer than five positions. Heck Fernando Valenzuela Jersey , he’s even got 5.2 IP under his belt!A redundant player whose age and baseball card scream regression absolutely fits this mold. The same old Reds would be all about some Daniel Descalso.Reds sign RHP Edinson Volquez The Wagon missed the entire 2018 season while recovering from the second Tommy John surgery of his career, both of which have been performed by Reds Medical Director Dr. Tim Kremchek. Helloooo, familiarity!Since being shipped to the San Diego Padres in the Mat Latos deal prior to the 2012 season, Volquez has pitched to a 4.31 ERA in 1027.2 IP for five different organizations, his 4.0 BB/9 still indicative of the control issues he has faced in the past. BUT, HE DID THROW A NO-HITTER FOR THE MIAMI MARLINS!Now 35 years old, Volquez would fit the mold of Opening Day Starter Scott Feldman, whatever you can call the Jason Marquis experiment, or even what we winced through with Bronson Arroyo just two seasons ago. Reds trade Shed Long, Cody Reed, and Blake Trahan to Nationals for LHP Sean Doolittle; sign Doolittle to 3-year, $16.5 million extensionIt’s been awhile since the Reds traded a trio of youngsters - including a LHP with promise - for a lefty reliever named Sean, but rest assured that if they did so, they’d have a 3-year contract extension waiting for him.Doolittle was excellent in 2018, as he has been for pretty much all of his seven seasons in the big leagues. He’s also a product of Virginia, as he spent his college days at UVA while old friend Sean Marshall plied his college trade at Virginia Commonwealth. And , to continue the parallel, Doolittle is in his final year under contract before hitting free agency, which makes giving up that much prospect talent to acquire him seem that much tougher to palate, which was certainly the case when the Reds shipped Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt, and Ronald Torreyes to the Chicago Cubs to land Marshall prior to 2012. BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Having watched the San Diego Padres reach a $300 million, 10-year deal with Manny Machado, Pirates owner Bob Nutting doesn’t think it makes sense Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington to add a pricey free agent.A huge salary could cause the portion paid to one player to be “overweight.”“You get an imbalanced payroll, that you have much more challenging team dynamic, much more challenging clubhouse dynamic, much more limitation in crafting an overall roster that can bring a championship,” Nutting said Wednesday. “I’m not sure that that necessarily makes a team a team more competitive and more ready to win a championship.”Pittsburgh was 82-79 last year for its fourth winning record in 26 years. The Pirates acquired two-time All-Star right-hander Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays last summer and reliever Keone Kela from the Texas Rangers.Attendance dropped by 450,000 from 2017 and the lowest since 1996, and Nutting hopes for a rebound. Nutting thinks the Pirates can contend in the NL Central, where four of the five teams had winning records last season.“The expectation of the fan base should be that we put a competitive team on the field that is built to win Kenley Jansen Jersey ,” Nutting said. “That’s what their expectations deserve to be. Frankly, I think that a seven-game improvement last year was a meaningful step forward, and we are absolutely positioned to take another meaningful step forward and get us back into that range where we have a very good shot at playoffs and, once you get into the playoffs, of moving down the pike.”Pittsburgh was 26th among the 30 teams in payroll last year at $90.6 million for its 40-man roster and again will have one of the lowest. That makes Nutting rather unpopular with many fans.“I think the only piece that worries me is to the extent that it negatively impacts the club,” Nutting said. “And that’s unfortunate and up to me to do everything I can to make sure that the degree of commitment that I show — and I’ll say show as opposed to have, because I deeply believe that I am fully committed to this organization and to its success and devote all the energy I possibly can to seeing that happen — if I need to be more effective to communicate that in order to help and support the team, that’s on me.”Notes: Archer threw batting practice for the first time this spring training. He underwent hernia surgery in November but is fully recovered. … RF Gregory Polanco is taking batting practice as he rehabilitates following left shoulder surgery in October, but he is throwing from just 100 feet. He is expected to begin the season on the injured list. … RHP Chad Kuhl, who underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss the season, made 50 throws off flat ground from 60 feet.

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