Huge compliment for 'complementary' player
Barry Larkin, the latest member of the Hall of Fame, did OK for a self-described "complementary" player.
"The 'complementary' part was my way of saying that I didn't bring that one certain thing," Larkin said. "I was asked earlier if I could define my career — a picture or a phrase — what would that one thing be. I don't think there is one thing. I believe there were so many different phases to my game that defined me as a player. Those things have been publicized and appreciated. That's the reason I'm a Hall of Famer."
Larkin is first native-born Cincinnatian to be voted into the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers of America Association. He received 86 percent of the vote in his third year on the ballot. He got 51 percent his first year and 62 percent the second year.
Larkin took the news with graciousness and class than marked his 19-year career, all of which was spent with his hometown team.
"I've been product of a lot of great people," Larkin said. "It started with mom and dad. My dad getting me started in sports. My mother driving home 'You better do right or else.' The right way to respect folks and respect the game. The importance of education.
"I went back to Michigan and finished up my degree because I told my grandmother I'd do that and my mother made sure I did it. It starts with them in Silverton. It started with an environment where I was protected and could be the best I could be.
"Them sending me Moeller High School. Once again, reinforcing those fundamentals that I learned as a young boy at home."
Reports: Reds sign Ludwick
--LF Ryan Ludwick, coming off a disappointing season for San Diego and Pittsburgh, agreed to a one-year deal with Cincinnati, according to multiple media reports.
Ludwick, 33, could be candidate for regular playing time in left field. He batted a combined .237/.310/,363 with 13 homers and 75 RBI in 139 games for his two teams last year.
--LHP Aroldis Chapman will prepare as a starter at spring training as planned. Chapman was seen by a lot of people as a fallback plan as closer, but the signing of Ryan Madson eliminates that possibility.
--RHP Ryan Madson, who reportedly almost had a four-year, $44 million deal with Philadelphia in November, agreed to deal a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Reds, pending a physical.
--C Tucker Barnhart, who hit .273 with three home runs and 43 RBI at low A Dayton last year, was invited to big league camp. Barnhart is excellent defensively and could develop into the role of backup catcher.
--3B Juan Francisco was hitting .300/.367/.444 in the Dominican Winter League after 180 at-bats. Francisco figures to get some time in left field in spring training.
--2B Brandon Phillips and the Reds have not discussed his contract extension since the winter meetings. Phillips is scheduled to be at the club's Winter Caravan at the end of January as usual.
--RHP Daniel Corcino earned in invite to big league camp. Corcino went 11-7 with a 3.42 ERA at Dayton. In the wake of the all the trades, he is Reds' No. 1 pitching prospect.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Home runs new closer Ryan Madson allowed in 60 2/3 innings last year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "When he was 12 years old, his head was getting a little bit too big because the Little League coaches were all fighting over him. I said, 'I'll bring him down.' So one Saturday morning, he and I and a bucket of baseballs went out to the baseball field. Well, I'll strike him out and show him he can't hit everything. I tried to strike him out. In those days, I could throw hard. I could not strike this 12 year old out, so I knew he was special." -- Robert Larkin on his son, Hall of Famer Barry Larkin
The Reds did very little last offseason, but that is not the case this winter. After a lot of effort to land a top starting pitcher, they finally snagged Mat Latos from San Diego. They also added closer Ryan Madson to replace Francisco Cordero.
ARRIVALS: LHP Sean Marshall (trade with Cubs), RHP Mat Latos (trade with Padres), RHP Ryan Madson (free agent from Phillies).
DEPARTURES: RHP Edinson Volquez, 1B Yonder Alonso, RHP Brad Boxberger and C Yasmani Grandal (traded to Padres); LHP Dontrelle Willis (free agent, signed with Phillies), C Ramon Hernandez (free agent, signed with Rockies), LHP Matt Maloney (waiver claim by Twins), LHP Travis Wood (traded to Cubs), OF Dave Sappelt (traded to Cubs).
FREE AGENTS: SS Edgar Renteria, RHP Francisco Cordero.
The Reds will likely allow Renteria to walk. They declined a $12 million option on Cordero.
ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: RHP Homer Bailey, RHP Edinson Volquez, RHP Nick Masset, RHP Jose Arredondo, LHP Bill Bray, INF Paul Janish.
--3B Scott Rolen (left shoulder surgery in August 2011) was limited to 65 games in 2011. He is expected to be ready by spring training.
--SS Zack Cozart (Tommy John surgery on left elbow in August 2011) is expected to be ready by spring training.