The Reds made two big splashes earlier this offseason, inking Mike Moustakas to a four-year deal worth $64M and free-agent pitcher, Wade Miley, to a two year $15M deal. Additionally, the Reds acquired two outfielders from the Padres: Nick Mirtini (waivers) and Travis Jankowski (trade.) In the Rule of Five Draft, the Reds selected outfielder Mark Payton. Some other minor deals include the Reds claiming pitcher Josh Smith, trading for Blue Jays pitcher Justin Shafer, and trading for Rays pitcher Jose De Leon.
The Reds sought to address their needs on offense and in the bullpen with an increased payroll. While the offseason is far from over, the market is slowing down. The Reds are still in talks for Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama, but rumors surrounding Nick Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna have fizzled out. Additionally, the whole MLB world is waiting for Francisco Lindor to be traded after the Indians placed a deadline on trade proposals.
With the market slowing down, the Reds may have already done enough to start thoroughly preparing for next season. However, there are several questions we may not know the answers to until spring training rolls around. Do the Reds believe Freddy Galvis is fit to be the everyday shortstop? Is there enough offensive firepower in the young, inexperienced outfield? And can the bullpen stay healthy down the stretch?
Freddy Galvis batted .234 in 32 games with the Reds, along with five home runs and 16 RBIs. Offensively, Galvis is not starting shortstop material. However, defensively Galvis ranked 17th of 24 eligible shortstops, ahead of Manny Machado and Paul DeJong. Would the Reds be willing to pay a high price to get an offensive upgrade at shortstop? Or can Alan Zinter, the Reds hitting coach, help Freddy Galvis rake this season?
The Reds have a lot of youth in the outfield. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that any of these guys pan out to play to their ceilings this year. Injuries have derailed the young careers of Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker. Aristedes Aquino, the quickest player to reach 13 home runs, could have had a lucky power surge. And Phillip Ervin could regress after two impressive seasons. Adding a veteran presence to the outfield wouldn’t be a bad thing, but it could hinder the young careers of Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker, or Aristedes Aquino since all three of them can’t see equal playing time behind the already proven Phillip Ervin and an additional veteran outfielder.
Raisel Iglesias had a rocky season. Amir Garrett dealt with a suspension and injury. David Hernandez didn’t last. The bullpen was a revolving door for the second half of the season. No team can expect their entire roster to stay healthy the whole season, so adding another reliable reliever would be nice. Unfortunately, there isn’t an available reliever that meets all the Reds would ask for in a reliever. The top available relievers are well over 30 and may not be worth the asking price. The Reds have signed a handful of pitchers and have experimented with several minor league starting pitchers in the bullpen spot like Sal Romano, Cody Reed, and Lucas Sims. Trading may not be the best option either, seeing as the Reds would likely flip some prospects at the trade deadline or later this offseason. So the Reds may stick with the bullpen they have and trust pitching coach Derek Johnson to sort it out.
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