Reds offer deals to all 4 arb-eligible players

Cabrera, Sampson, Guerrero not tendered contracts as deadline passes

Reds offer deals to all 4 arb-eligible players

CINCINNATI -- The Reds tendered contracts to all four of their arbitration-eligible players before Friday's 8 p.m. ET deadline and did not tender a 2017 contract to three others.

Catcher Ramon Cabrera, reliever Keyvius Sampson and outfielder Gabriel Guerrero were non-tendered. The Reds' 40-man roster stands at 39 players, which gives them space to pick a player in next Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. The Reds have the second pick in that Draft.

Hot Stove Tracker

Shortstop Zack Cozart, center fielder Billy Hamilton and relievers Blake Wood and Tony Cingrani were offered contracts. They will all likely be in negotiations the remainder of the offseason to try to avoid arbitration hearings in February.

Guerrero's tenure with Cincinnati was brief, as he was claimed off waivers from the D-backs on Monday. Sampson and Cabrera were designated for assignment to clear roster space, and Friday's move was considered procedural. All three players become free agents.

Hot stove cool, for now

The Reds have yet to make a significant transaction this offseason. Among their goals is to add bullpen help and a starting pitcher to compete for a rotation spot.

"It's been fairly quiet for us right now," general manager Dick Williams said on Friday during Redsfest. "It's allowed me to get a lot of other stuff done. Our focus has been preserving the core we had, so we didn't expect a really busy offseason. And I think everything's been slowed down by the CBA. Now, it will pick back up. We've been able to keep working on the lower-profile target we have in the free-agent market."

It's possible the Reds could trade Cozart and second baseman Brandon Phillips before the offseason ends, but nothing appears imminent. The club is trying to find regular playing time for shortstop Jose Peraza.

"I think there's a chance; it depends on other teams and needs," Williams said. "Right now, it's fairly quiet on that front. We feel like the middle infield is an area of depth. We're fine with what we've got right now if that's the hand we're dealt."

If Cozart and Phillips remain with the Reds in 2017, the club will find a way for Peraza to get into the lineup.

"What my strategy is going forward building a roster is to sort of get away from eight everyday players and four bench guys," Williams said. "I think [Peraza] fits very well into that model. So do some of these other guys, like [Eugenio] Suarez and [Adam] Duvall. You're talking about guys who can play multiple positions well. Duvall's a Gold Glove left fielder, but he was corner infielder before that. Suarez can play outfield. He's been a shortstop. That gives you three spots."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for 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.