For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what would make sense.
We now move to the NL Central… the home of the NL MVP’s Brewers, the never-ending drama’s Cubs, the defensively challenged Cardinals, the “we’re not rebuilding, but we are” Pirates… and the Reds.
Top FA Targets:
- Dallas Keuchel, SP
The Reds won’t win the Corbin sweepstakes but could battle in the Keuchel race. I don’t think he would choose CIN unless the money is far greater… but the Reds gave Homer Bailey over $20M/year so anything they offer Keuchel would look amazing in comparison. With their budget, barring an increase, they’ll have to back-load a year while they await Bailey’s deal to expire.
- A.J. Pollock, OF
The entire Reds OF, Votto, Gennett, and Barnhart (S) all bat lefty… that is a problem. Barring some trades, it would make sense for the Reds to upgrade their OF and add a good RH bat like Pollock. It would make a good replacement for Billy Hamilton too in the case he is traded.
- Jordy Mercer, SS
The free agent SS market is very limited in it’s options but Jordy would be a good fit. Solid glove, RH bat, and has some pop. Not necessarily an upgrade over Peraza, but Peraza could end up in CF if Hamilton is moved.
- Carson Smith, RP
With funds limited, Carson Smith is the perfect low-cost/high-upside arm that would fit into Cincy’s bullpen nicely.
- Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B
The Reds lineup is very LH heavy and need someone on their bench to help out late in games. Mark Reynolds won’t cost much and can backup Votto & Suarez plus be a big bat off the bench.
Top 3 Trade Possibilities:
- Reds trade 2B Scooter Gennett to the Yankees for Sonny Gray
Scooter has had a career resurgence in Cincy, but making around $9M in his walk year and having top prospect Nick Senzel behind him makes him a prime trade target. I had this same trade in my Yankees’ piece, but it makes too much sense to not include again.
- Reds trade CF Billy Hamilton & SP Michael Lorenzen to the Twins for CF Byron Buxton
Similar to Scooter, Hamilton will make roughly $6.25M in his last year under team control and doesn’t look to be a long-term piece for the Reds. The Twins get Billy Hamilton in his walk year and four years of team control over Michael Lorenzen, who could be a solid long-reliever for them. In return, the Reds get 4 years of team control over Buxton (if he makes it that long) and pray he turns into the player he was hyped to be.
- Reds trade SP Homer Bailey, INF Jose Peraza, and $10M cash to the Angels for RF Kole Calhoun
This is a salary dump by both teams. It’s no secret the Angels don’t want to pay Calhoun the $11.5M he is owed in 2019 (including buyout of 2020 option)… but similarly, the Reds don’t want to pay Bailey the $28M he’s owed (including 2020 buyout). Bailey could prove useful for the Angels, if healthy… which is a rarity, but fits in well with the rest of their shit rotation. Additionally, Peraza would give the Angels some insurance behind Zack Cozart and Andrelton Simmons. For the Reds, they get some depth in the outfield and can shed about $8M in salary commitments.
- Reds trade SP Anthony DeSclafini and top prospects INF Nick Senzel (#1) and C Tyler Stephenson (#6) to the Mets for SP Noah Syndergaard
The Reds desperately want an ace and they have a unique ability to ruin every arm they touch during development… so here they grow impatient and trade their top prospect and a couple other pieces of no use to them to the Mets for their injury-prone, Norwegian God of a pitcher known just as “Thor”. The Mets receive their 2B/3B of the future, a catching prospect that is already better than their internal options, and a SP to fill Thor’s spot in the rotation.