Reds owner Castellini apparently still likes Hamilton too much to trade him

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton catches a ball hit by Chicago Cubs' Jason Heyward for the out during the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - It has been an extremely quiet offseason for a Reds team that is supposedly still in the rebuilding process and perhaps one of the reasons for that is owner Bob Castellini may be reluctant to trade at least one player, because he likes him too much.

The Reds have reportedly been in talks with the San Francisco Giants to trade Billy Hamilton almost since the offseason began, but with position players just 40 days away from having to report for the start of Spring Training nothing has been finalized.

The reason, according to veteran ESPN baseball reporter Jerry Crasnick, is because Castellini likes him too much.

Castellini would have to approve any trade, and Crasnick pointed out something the Reds owner said last January: "I hope Billy Hamilton is with us forever."

Crasnick said he has been told that Castellini apparently still feels that way.

Hamilton finished 2017 with a slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) of .247/.299/.335.

He did steal a career-high 59 bases and scored a career-high 85 runs.

While Hamilton is an elite defensive player his career on-base percentage of .298 ranks as the eighth-worst during that time frame for any players with 2,000 plate appearances or more.

Hamilton is eligible for arbitration and will likely get a raise from the $2.625 million he made in 2017. He made $550,000 in 2016.

If he stays with the Reds he is probably a fourth outfielder at best, because the team will likely give Jesse Winker every chance to earn a starting spot in the outfield along with Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall, who combined for 61 homers.

In 137 plate appearances last season Winker had a slash line of .298/.375/.529.

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