Jocketty (left) introduces new manager Bryan Price during a news conference at Great American Ballpark. (David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports)

Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty chats about his club

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In an appearance on MLB Network Radio, Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty chatted about a four topics (well, the four in the accompanying audio) about the team. The most pressing question heading into the 2014 season might be talks of a long-term deal with pitcher Homer Bailey.

The arbitration hearing for Bailey’s case is fast approaching, the 20th of this month according to Jocketty, but Jocketty is hopeful a deal (one year of multi-year) can be done prior to the hearing per this tweet from Jim Bowden.

Two young guys will be taking over some important roles for the Reds this season. Mainly, center fielder Billy Hamilton and pitcher Tony Cingrani. Here’s some quotes Walt had on the pair. The subject was broached due to the absences of Bronson Arroyo and Shin-Soo Choo.

On Cingrani:

We feel very confident in Cingrani also. Tony showed occasions of brilliance last as a starter…I think he’s got a change to fill in the rotation and do a very good job…

Jocketty also noted that with the market in which the reside, you have to make way for the younger players. This was obviously in reference to not bringing Arroyo back to the Queen City.

On Hamilton:

Billy we believe is the guy that will develop into a quality leadoff guy. I think the main thing we’ve told people all winter is just be patient with this guy…our defense will definitely be better in center field…I think in time he will prove to be an excellent leadoff hitter.

An interesting question arose in regards to another possible extension. That would be closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman became arbitration-eligible after last season. Arbitration was avoided when both sides agreed to a one-year, $5MM deal. What could make those talks take a step forward is today’s news that Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel received a four-year, $42MM deal. This deal could provide a guide for both parties. Jocketty did state the subject has been mentioned.

And what about this new revenue teams will be receiving due to the new TV contracts? Jocketty said those funds won’t affect his club for the 2014 season, but it could have a positive impact after 2014.

All of these topics are pivotal for the Cincinnati Reds and their 2014 season. They didn’t dip big into the free agent market and Jocketty didn’t shake the world with any deals. He had done so over the previous two winters.

Here’s the audio clip which covers these topics and a little more on each of these subjects.

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