Reds 'sorting out who is here for the long haul'

Williams addresses offseason topics at GM Meetings in Orlando

Reds 'sorting out who is here for the long haul'

CINCINNATI -- If the Reds do any significant offseason transactions, it usually starts after the Winter Meetings in December. However, they've also been known to make a deal or two at those meetings over the years. Either way, the foundation for much of their offseason work is often laid during the General Managers Meetings.

That continued on Tuesday during the second day of meetings in Orlando, Fla.

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"We had a number of discussions with clubs and have a pretty good idea of where those people stand," Reds GM Dick Williams told MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. "We have also had a lot of time with agents. We've compiled a good amount of information."

The Reds came up in a rumor as the Giants search for a center fielder and MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported that there was interest shown in Billy Hamilton.

With two years of arbitration-eligibility remaining, Hamilton's value might be down after a sluggish offensive season. In 139 games, he batted .247 with a .299 on-base percentage but stole 59 bases as Cincinnati's leadoff hitter. Although Williams did not address the rumor, the Reds are under no pressure to move Hamilton as they don't have a replacement of his defensive caliber waiting in the wings. They could also wait to see if he can restore his value before the July non-waiver Trade Deadline with a stronger start in 2018.

Cincinnati is keeping its eye on the second-tier pitching market for potential starters and relievers that can close the gap of innings amid its young talent and veterans trying to come back from injuries.

Although the Reds have lost 94 or more games each of the past three seasons as they rebuild, Williams remains optimistic about the club's young roster and isn't contemplating extensive overhauling.

"Our roster now, we sit at two players over 30. There's a lot of young talent, a lot of guys that we want to have and need to see playing time," Williams said. "We've seen some really good improvements from these guys in their first year or two in the big leagues. Now we're sorting out who is here for the long haul."

While the Reds' fan base is getting itchy to contend again immediately, Williams and the front office has stayed disciplined during the rebuild and hasn't made moves that would be considered risky or shortsighted shortcuts.

"I think it's important to always put yourself in a position where you give the players the opportunity to outperform and succeed and take you in the right direction," Williams said. "And if they don't, you can react and adjust. I don't think we, as an organization, are going to put ourselves in such a rebuilding mode that you couldn't let that player talent carry you forward. We think we're in a good spot to do that this next year.

"Give [players] the opportunity and let them carry us where they will, and if we continue to see a positive trend, we'll back that up organizationally with resources."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.