Free agency is set to kick off any day now. Once the World Series is over there is a 5-day period in which impending free agents are only allowed to negotiate with the team that they last played for. After those five days are up, they can then talk to anyone and everyone that they’d like to. This is also the day in which teams must decide if they will or will not pick up options on players who have them for the following season.

The Cincinnati Reds, as currently constructed, project for the 2020 season according to ZiPS to be in that 82-85 win range. That’s a good place to start as was noted over the weekend. But it’s also not likely to be enough to make the playoffs. And that is the Reds stated goal for 2020 – as it should be. They’ve reportedly got plenty of money to spend, too.

There are a few ways that teams can increase their projected win totals. Making trades is a big one. Signing free agents is the other. Teams can beat their win totals by having players outperform their projections, but that isn’t something that a team should use as a plan – just happily accept it if it does indeed happen. With trades – it’s tough for anyone to go through and find all viable trade targets that would realistically be available. Here at Redleg Nation we’ll certainly talk about players that are rumored to be on the trade market as those rumors get out there.

Today, though, we’re going to start by looking at the free agent class of 2020. And it’s going to start with the catchers. Currently the Cincinnati Reds have Tucker Barnhart and Curt Casali as their catching duo, with Barnhart being the guy who would get more of the playing time. In 2019, Barnhart was solid but unspectacular. But that doesn’t tell the entire story. During the first half of the season he hit just .191/.290/.315 in 60 games and 187 plate appearances. The second half was a big turn around, though. Over 54 games and 177 plate appearances he hit .273/.367/.448 while cutting his strikeout rate from 27% to 19%.

If the second half version of Tucker Barnhart is what you could expect to get, then the Reds probably aren’t out there looking to upgrade. But that’s not likely to be the case. And it’s why the Reds are rumored to be looking into Yasmani Grandal in free agency.

This would be the second season in a row in which the Reds have reportedly pursued the catcher in free agency. While we never heard what they offered him last offseason, we do know that he turned down a larger offer from the New York Mets (rumored to have been $60M over three seasons) to sign a 1-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers with a 1-year option. He’s likely to be expecting more than that, at least in years, this offseason. He is coming off a year in which he played in 153 games and hit .246/.380/.468 with 26 doubles, 2 triples, and 28 home runs. And he’s also known to be one of the best pitch framers in the league.

Grandal would be an upgrade on paper in every sense of the word. He’s likely to be significant upgrade at the position. Much of that would be on offense, but he might also be a small upgrade defensively, too.

MLB Trade Rumors have broken down the players who will be free agents this offseason. And when it comes to catchers, the pickings are slim once you get beyond Yasmani Grandal. Using Fangraphs version of WAR, Grandal is at the top of the list among free agents at 5.2. Only two other catchers are in the “league average” category of 2.0 or higher – Robinson Chirinos and Tyler Flowers – and they are at 2.1 and 2.3 WAR, respectively. Flowers may not even be available as he has a $6M club option with a $2M buyout.

If the Reds are going to go to free agency and look for an upgrade at catcher, it’s pretty much going to have to be Yasmani Grandal or bust. He’s the only option that’s an actual upgrade to what they already have. Spending the money on another player at catcher, at least as the roster is currently constructed, would be a poor use of their resources. The upgrade that could be had simply wouldn’t be enough to help get them where they would need to be. Grandal is a different story. He could be a legitimate 2-3 win upgrade by himself.

Photo of Yasmani Grandal by Ian D’Andrea. Photo has been modified slightly to fit the ratio of the site. License can be found here.

65 Responses

  1. Curtis

    The juice isn’t worth the squeeze on this signing. Especially with Stephenson in line for the future. Spend the money on other positions where there isn’t a young developing player with years of control in the system.

    • Alex Reds

      Totally agree. Signing Grandal would be a big mistake, unless the payroll is going to $220M.
      Grandal is 31 years old and has 16.1 WAR over 8 seasons in his career. That’s an average of 2 WAR per year. Will the juiced baseball be back? How many more good years does he have? You’ll be paying for 4 or 5 years at $20M+ per year for 1-2 good years of production. You don’t want to overpay after his good year where he signs a big contract and can go on cruise control.
      Meanwhile, Barhart and Casali look poised to perform better next year at lower cost, and then Stephenson looks like one of the best catchers to come in a long time, ETA late 2020 or early 2021.

      The biggest issue and easiest hitting upgrade on the Reds is clearly at FIRST BASE.
      The question is can Joey rebound?

      Reds need to upgrade SHORTSTOP.
      Find a way to acquire:
      Xander Bogaerts, Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Marcus Semien, Trea Turner, Corey Seager, Tim Anderson, Gleyber Torres, (not possible – Alex Bregman)

      The fact that Gleyber Torres would be a huge upgrade for the Reds to have a chance at making the playoffs; and they could have had him for Aroldis Chapman is very disappointing.

      • Jefferson Green

        Your SS goal is excellent, but we have no idea if any of those players will even be available, and if any one of them is available, the package to get them will be steep. And most of them will be FA within 2-3 years, so will be shorter-term or very expensive. I agree that they should still make a big effort to make one of these deals.

        Unless the only way to get Grandal is on a deal that precludes other impact signings a couple years down the road, his only cost is dollars – and there just aren’t other decent opportunities to add multi-win players in FA this year. And to add his first part-time years in the league to determine his average WAR value is flawed; Grandal has averaged 5 WAR for the last 5 years – that is a much better predictor of his performance in the next couple of years. And he has post-season experience, to boot, which would help this team.

      • Bill J

        Seen the Dodgers are interested in Lindor, maybe that would free up Seager.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Why would the Indians trade Lindor when they have two more years of control and a team that is in a position to compete for the division title again?

      • Pete

        Tom, $$$. Indians believe they can get max trade value now rather than wait a season or two. Cleveland hasn’t one a WS since 1950’s but they do tend to stay head of their top players free agency…

      • BigBill

        Iam going to have to vehemently disagree with you. I think you are way off in your thinking. Don’t forget that Grandal gives you 5 plus wins as a catcher and is the perfect fit to spell Votto against left handed pitchers. The ss available are barely better than what we have if we retain Iglesias. Don’t let your liking of Barnhart cloud your thinking. He was barely replacement level over the past two years and has little to no power while starting to massively look old.

  2. Colorado Red

    First of all, I thought the rumored offer was 4/60 not 3/50, but I could be wrong.
    I would think 3/55 – 3/60 would get it done.

    If Stephenson, is ready in 2021, let him backup 1 year, then trade Grandal.

  3. CFD3000

    If the Reds sign Grandal, either Casali or Barnhart becomes expendable. Is there a trade scenario, packaging a catcher and some pitching, that then upgrades SS or CF enough that the two improvements combined make a bigger difference for 2020? If so, Grandal might make a lot of sense. I also prefer upgrading catcher with dollars instead of prospects. When will Tyler Stephenson arrive in Cincinnati? Maybe the answer is a one or two year high dollar deal for Grandal until Stephenson arrives, and a trade package including Casali or Barnhart to upgrade SS, CF or the bullpen.

    • Greg

      Doug what is your opinion on the Tyler Stephenson timeline? Are we still expecting something approaching young Matt Writers?

  4. Bob Purkey

    I am just not sure spending $15/$18MM a year for 3-4 years on a 31 year old catcher makes sense at this point. Trouble seeing how improvement or even maintaining current offensive stats would continue at his age and a physically draining position makes any sense.

    Spend you money on a CF(moving Senzel to 2B) or other move for offense. You can live with Barnhart/Casali for a year or 2 until Stephenson is ready.

    • Droslovinia

      Absolutely! Let’s be honest. HR numbers aside, Grandal is not nearly enough of an upgrade to justify the expense. Get a real CF and a bullpen and it will be a much better return!

      • TR

        I’m with Bob Purkey & Droslovinia on this one. With a young catcher, Stephenson, on the way, spend some of that money on a solid centerfielder which gets Senzel to second base and away from the wall. Barnhart/Casali can handle catching in 2020.

      • BigBill

        Actually he is a 5 game war so he is worth the expense. Who would you pick up as CF or RP that would bring that type of WAR

  5. Mark Moore

    Still not a fan of spending that kind of money on Grandal with Stephenson progressing the way he is. Steroid past aside, I think we can invest in other talent that moves us ahead.

  6. Jason McNeely

    I’m 100% in favor of bringing in Grandal. That moves Barnhart to backup status. Which let’s be honest, I think that’s his best role. I don’t want 60 million + spent, but I think Grandal in the middle of the lineup would be a major major boost. I’m excited to see what the Reds do this off-season.

    • Doc

      Gold Glove a year or two ago and he’s best fit for a backup role?

  7. Ed

    For people looking at age- all of the catchers in the World Series are 32-35. Chirinos, Suzuki, Gomes, Maldonado.

    In fact- the hot take is that age is way less relevant if we can spend the next 4 years
    dialing in and fine tuning the farm system.

    Reds need win-now players. they’ve clearly taken big steps to address issues with their farm system. I have no idea what the Nationals have going on with their farm system, but they have some homegrown talent in their WS roster, and a number of veterans. To compete, just like the Nats, Reds need seasoned bats, heads-up base running. They need Bauer at his absolute best.

  8. AllTheHype

    In 2018, Grandal produced 3.3 WAR and only got a one year, $18.25M contract albeit with QA tied to him. In 2019, he’s a year older and produced 2.5 WAR. In 2019, he won’t have QA tied to him as he did last year. So his production decreased in his age 30 season, but he doesn’t have QA tied to him. I don’t think that equals a 3-4 year contract that some in this thread have suggested. He might get a 2 year guarantee in my opinion.

    • Jefferson Green

      Not sure what site you’re using for your WAR reference, but Fangraphs shows him at 5.2 WAR for 2019. He was excellent this year, and only Realmuto was in the same zip code; no other catcher in baseball was even 4 WAR.

      • Colorado Red

        baseball reference has him at 2.5

      • Jefferson Green

        Hmmm…thanks. That’s a big difference between the two systems.

  9. Shawn Melvin

    I won’t swear everything is right but it’s close. Not sure exactly what the pre arb players will be getting. I guessed an the arbitration eligible players salaries.

    1st base- Votto 25 Million
    2nd base- VanMeter. Pre arb 550,000
    SS. – Galvis 5.5 Million, 1 Million buyout
    3B. – Suerez 9.54 Million
    Catcher- Barnhart. 3.54 Million
    RF. – Winker/Ervin pre arb 650,000
    CF. -Senzel. Pre arb 650,000
    RF. – Aquino. Pre arb 550,000

    Utility:
    Ervin/Winker Pre arb 650,000
    Cassili. Made 950,000 this year. I would guess 1.25 million
    Peraza made 2.77 million this year. I would guess 3 million next year.
    Farmer. Pre arb 650,000
    Blandino or O’Grady pre arb 550,000

    SP Castillo- pre arb 650,000
    SP Gray- 10.17 Million
    SP Bauer made 13 million this year, I’m guessing 16 million
    SP Desclafani- made 2.2 million this year. I will guess about 5 million.
    SP Mahle 650,000 pre arb

    RP- Iglesias- 5.71 million
    RP- Garrett- 650,000 pre arb
    RP- Lorenzen 2 yr arb. About 3 million
    RP- Simms. 650,000 pre arb
    RP- Stevenson 650,000 pre arb
    RP – Reed. 650,000 pre arb
    RP- Bowman, arb, guessing 1 million RP 1 of Herget, Kuhnel or Powers I’m sure I’m missing a couple. 550,000

    Rumor was last year that we were willing to spend 140 to 150 million. I have us at 97.5 million if we pick up Gralvis option and 93.5 million if we don’t. We should have a lot of money to spend.

    I would turn down the option on Galvis and offer DiDi Gregarious 3 years 40 million and Yasmani Grandal 4 years 60 million. (Grandal turned down 4 years 60 million last year. He is a year older but is no longer going to cost a draft choice. I would be willing to pay more) I would then trade Tucker Barnhart. That would put us at 118 million after adding Grandal and Gregarious and removing the 3.54 owed to Barnhart. ( I would try to trade him for a good reliever or 2) That should leave plenty of money to upgrade other positions like 2B and a corner OF spot.

  10. Phil

    Grandal has been worth 5 WAR, on average, for the last 5 years (per Fangraphs).
    The Reds have gotten -0.4 and 1.8 WAR from the catcher position the last 2 years. Even if he starts to regress due to age he is likely to be a 2 WAR upgrade at the position.
    It also would make a lot of sense to start giving Votto more days off and sitting him against lefties. His OPS against lefties the last 3 seasons was 988, 758 and 656. Grandal has played some first base and OPS’d 668, 727 and 926 the last 3 seasons against lefties (trending essentially exact opposite of Votto).
    So getting Grandal would not only upgrade our catcher position but also deepen the lineup against left-handed pitching and provide some needed rest days for Votto.
    A 3-year contract for $15-$20m per year seems to make a lot of sense.

    • BigBill

      Award for the best post of this thread. Maybe because I ? % agree but who is counting. Grandal solves so many issues for this team and makes Votto better. One stud reliever maybe an outfielder as our young guys are not fully established and this team looks like a contender.

  11. Curtis

    Hard to see paying two players who are now begining to age in positions where we have two young players developing in each position. I say bring them up and let them play. Spend the money on the best center fielder under 28 years old and more pitching. It is time to develop what we have in the system. Not overpay for two players we traded away years ago.

    • Jefferson Green

      Curtis, are you saying that you think the Reds would be better in 2020 if they bring up a catcher who has never played in AAA and a SS who has never played above A ball (and who just finished a month in the hitter-friendly Arizona Fall League hitting .213 with no power)? Or are you saying you don’t want the Reds to strive for the playoffs in 2020, playing for the future instead?

      • Curtis Williams

        Yes that is what I am saying. I know that may sound a bit off, but I do not see that as sacrificing 2020. Our Reds have a bad track record over the past 15 years of trading away our young talent and not allowing them the chance to develop at the major league level. While chasing the bare fringe of playoff hopes with past their prime players in return. Free agent talent dollars need to be spent, but I think there are other positions with less talent that can be better served by the free agent route.

      • Jefferson Green

        Projecting those two prospects to meet or exceed what the Reds could otherwise have on their roster at those positions is an ultra-low probability gamble. Stephenson is getting close to MLB ready, but still probably isn’t where Casali and Tucker are (Catching is most complicated, difficult of all positions). Not the worst gamble, but the best way to develop a player is to have them promoted at their own pace and not rushed to fill organizational needs. As for Garcia, he has never even had an AB in AA and was good, but not some phenom, in A ball. Rushing him to the big league would almost certainly crater the production at SS in 2020 and would probably harm his development.

        Overall, the Reds have improvements to make to be a playoff team, and moves like these would subtract wins and make post-season chances far less likely.

  12. Jefferson Green

    When evaluating how much Grandal (or any free agent) is worth, it is critical to remember that there is a rather extreme scarcity of options on the free agent market to help teams this year, particularly at the positions that Reds most would like to upgrade. For each option, if you want to low-ball or not even make an offer to the FA, then you have to ask who else will realistically be available.

    As an example, we would all love for better production at SS, but the strong options in FA will be few – or zero. The only interesting name is Gregorius. The Yankees are expected to push to keep Didi, and they are a world series contender who can give him a QO – the odds of him being available are not high, and if he is on the market, he will be on it because he expects a huge payday. And he is coming off his worst year (post TJ surgery) in a while and is at an age where SS abilities decline – and it may have already started.

    Yes, Grandal is at an age where players normally decline, but his production did not. And veteran catchers sometimes play very productively into their mid-30’s (and some into their late 30’s) and bring value to teams with their leadership and experience in the post-season. Grandal may wind up being the only player available to the Reds as a multi-win upgrade who doesn’t cost prospects. Count me in the group that hopes they can get him. If he joins the Reds, either Tucker or Curt can be part of a package to bring in another asset. And if Stephenson arrives next year and plays well, one of the two is a major trade chip to help the team.

    • Pete

      I hear the opposite on the Yanks retaining Gregorius. They have very good young infielders ready to play and I would think they have their eyes on Cole and/or Strasburg. My prediction is Didi goes relatively cheap in FA and maybe you could get him for decent 2-year deal. Too many teams already have better options at SS.

      Stephenson’s development appears to have hit a major growth spurt. Could he be ready now? Or worst case, mid-season 2020? Save the money you may overpay Didi and Grandal, try to get Lindor and a long extension, and see if Garcia could be the 2B of the future. For Lindor, no MiLB is off limits except Lodolo and the Indians don’t need SP. Obviously this would look more like a 2021 play than 2020 but maybe more realistic?

      In the end, the Reds would be betting on Stephenson and Garcia but given their ages so would DiDi and Grandal although to a lesser extent.

      • Jefferson Green

        If Didi does becomes available on a reasonable two year deal, that is an easy ‘yes’ for the Reds. His downside is the same as the upside on the Reds’ current options.

        I will be very surprised if the Indians trade Lindor. They are in the midst of a strong competitive window, with very good pitching (and a good manager, to boot). Trading away their best hitter and overall player just doesn’t make sense for them. If they do decide to trade him, their price would be astronomical in terms of prospects/return talent; if the Reds even have enough of that talent to interest Cleveland, it would decimate the system. That said, I agree that they should be calling the Indians with a strong offer, but the strong odds are that it’s a short conversation from the other end.

  13. Tom Mitsoff

    Allow me to post the counterpoint to those who say Grandal will cost too much money with Stephenson making strides in the minors. The Reds have money to spend on veteran proven bats, and from my perspective, it does not matter what position the proven hitter plays.

    They need hitting. They have a starting pitching rotation top three that is among the tops in baseball. They will waste it with another year or two or three of waiting for players to emerge from the minors instead of putting top-flight major league hitters in the lineup.

    To plan based on a presumption that Stephenson will explode onto the scene as a top-flight catcher and hitter is faulty. He may eventually, but it seems highly unlikely that will happen in 2020 or even perhaps 2021. The front office is apparently tired of playing the waiting game, and as a fan, so am I. If Grandal is the best hitter they can get, they should go get him. Then if Stephenson emerges as a top catcher, trade Grandal.

    • Scott C

      Yrs sooner or later you have to stop rebuilding and put your chips downs. With Gray, Castillo and Bauer that time is now.

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree Tom.Reds can’ go in to 2020 with this offense.Tucker and whoever is at short provide no power or don’t get on base or both.Sign the best bats and lets move on for goodness sake.Grandal had a 380 OBP,is a switch hitter and could hit 40 at GABP.Its a no brainer.Pay him and then trade him if our minor league guys pan out.

    • Anthony

      Atom I agree with signing grandal but also what about a trade for kietal Marge of the snacks 314 avg about 389 obp 28 or so hrs I him blossoming into a christian yelich type player also he’s got great defence trade Aquino and Gutierrez for him or more but it would solve cf problem and allow senzel to second

  14. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I could understand getting Grandal. But, I just don’t believe he would be that much of an impact bat for us. Definitely an upgrade at C. But, enough?

    That’s where I said if the Reds are going to improve the offense this season via bringing in new players, they are going to have to get creative. For, those available in free agency who have better offense are either older players or would cost too much, at least for the positions we are “directly” looking at improving, C, 2nd, and SS.

    That’s where I still say we may consider going after Rendon and moving Suarez to SS. We get similar numbers at 3rd and a huge improvement in offense at SS. Then, when Votto retires, which should be soon, we can use his contract to help pay for Rendon. So, we might “run over” a bit in the short term with Rendon, payroll-wise, would be right back on track after Votto retires. And, player-wise, when Votto does retire we can move Rendon or Suarez to 1st.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      In addition to my Grandal comment, at the cost we would have to pay, also.

    • Jefferson Green

      Grandal has been a 5 WAR player (5.2 last year). He brings no drop off in defense (perhaps a slight upgrade). He would replace either Barnhart (0.7 WAR) or Casali (1.0). That is a 4+ WAR pickup. He would have been the Reds second best hitter, so the lineup gains a lot, and the Reds could get some value from trading one of their current catchers in a package for another upgrade.

      Even a Rendon signing – which I would love – would in your scenario require a big defensive dropoff at SS, where the Reds got 1.6 WAR from Iglesias, so he would add a little over 5 WAR, but then the Reds would drop some for the fielding degradation, so the net would be similar. And the cost would be much higher, as Rendon has apparently already been offered 7 years and 210 million by the Nats, and would also have QO compensation attached. I think Rendon to the Reds is extremely unrealistic, given that even in the event he reaches FA, his price tag will dwarf that of Grandal (and anyone else not named Cole). I think Suarez at SS in a starting role is also extremely unlikely (second would be more possible, or Rendon played 2B when he first came up, and 1B is most likely).

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I agree with a lot. However, I don’t believe the defense dropoff at SS would be a big as you think. Suarez did come up playing SS.

        Second, while Grandal would be our second best hitter, I simply really have a problem with our second best hitter with a BA of only 248. Granted, I am well aware of the other saberstats. All of those still wouldn’t preclude that our second best hitter would be a 248 batter. I would envision our second best hitter with at least a 280 BA.

        Grandal’s effectiveness came from the few times he did actually get a hit, obviously it was good, strong contact. And, he walked a lot. But, I would look for a “second best hitter” on the team being able to actually get a hit more often than 24.8% of the time.

    • Colorado Red

      The Suarez at SS ship has sailed.
      He is too big, and cannot do it anymore.
      Not going to work.
      Better off to move Rendon to 2nd.

      • BigBill

        Agreed. He is at least 35 pounds bigger than when he came up. Have you guys watched him run? Moves like a power hitting third baseman. ?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        People were saying putting IFer’s in CF would never work, also. Yet, we did it twice. And, it seemed to work pretty well.

        He may move slower now. However, playing third, his reflexes/reactions, if anything, would be even sharper. They would have to be.

    • Bob Purkey

      I’m with you on Rendon! OVER PAY FOR HIM.

      Move Suarez to LF (still not sure he is nimble enough to play SS) and with Rendon’s bat in the lineup you can afford Iggy’s bat at SS. Winker becomes a trade chip or hold on to him until you determine whether Aquino is a real deal or not. Release Galvis, Deitrich, Gausman, et al and you still have money available to pick up another OF or RP. You haven’t touched your farm system yet, so if you want to trade for a MArte or Pham you certainly have the ability to do so.

      • Jefferson Green

        While I believe the odds of Rendon being available and coming here are remote, I would overpay for him, too, and ask him to play 2B until Suarez moves to 1B. Rendon played second when he came up and still looks mobile enough to do it.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        That’s a bit what I’m talking about Bob. You’re with it. If the Reds are going to improve the offense, they are either going to have to get creative, or they are going to overpay or have to sacrifice something. For, what’s out there in FA, sure, some could improve the offense, but at that price? I have to question it. At that age? I have to question it.

        That means “trade”. We have little to trade with right now. We would have to be giving up a couple of higher prized chips, I believe, than what we gave up with the Dodgers last season to get anything decent back. I’m not sure if I want to do that.

  15. Reaganspad

    I am excited about the new hitting coach direction. The fastest way to improve this club is to tell Joey Votto to be Joey Votto. Not that he was impacted by the last hitting coaches, he does look for any tidbit to help him in his craft.

    For 2020 we need 2 things: Joey Votto to be Joey Votto, and Trevor Bauer to be Trevor Bauer. Those 2 guys revert back to their baseball cards and we are better. We now have the kind of analytics that both of those players crave.

    I would look at free agency differently. Grandal would be nice if you get him. Didi, sure both of those could be great for 2 years. But rather than trading Joey Votto like so many want to do, I am all for trading for another Joey Votto.

    I would retain Wood, and then look for the next Sonny Gray. Granted, it did not work out with Puig, but I would do that all over again. We can pay for 2 guys like Puig and Gray premium dollars for 2020 without trading the farm, do it.

    Saying you want to get Grandal or Didi is easy, but FA’s have a choice in the matter. I really do not see us getting either. But always willing to be surprised

    • DocProc

      In addition to Bauer and Votto living up to the backs of their baseball cards, we need Senzel and Winker to live up to their potential.

    • Hanawi

      Bauer’s card says he mostly a mid- level starter with one outlier. He’s basically Homer Bailey.

      • TR

        If true, it’s what’s needed for the Reds to stay in rebuild mode.

      • Reaganspad

        His card says that he pitched against the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays and that he has not yet received his NL bounce for not having to face a DH.

        Sonny Gray was a little better in the NL than his card due to said bounce as well as brilliant pitching coaching.

        There is no reason that Bauer cannot do the same

  16. DocProc

    Grandal not only adds a quality bat at C, but he’s also an excellent sub for Joey at 1B. Votto needs to sit against lefties, and Grandal eats them alive.

    Oh, and Barnhart’s second-half surge lasted about a month. He hit .210 with a .639 OPS in September. Enough already.

    Grandal is the most important signing option for the Reds this offseason. I hope they land him the first week of free agency.

    • JB

      Exactly. The Barnhardt love is priceless. Let’s not worry about Stephenson either. All I heard about for a year or 2 was how great Winker was and just wait until he comes up from AAA. Well he has done squat in my book. Sign me some guys who have proven to get it done in the majors. Sign Grandal and Didi and worry about the young guys when they are “supposedly” ready. Move Senzel to 2nd and get a Centerfielder or leave him in Center and get a second baseman. Sign Castellanos and put him in the outfield. He is a better hitter than wink or Ervin. Stop waiting on these guys to do something and sign proven hitters.

  17. Curt

    So if it’s Grandal and that’s it as far as FA catchers, I’d be looking at what catchers might be available via trade. What teams have depth there and could use someone the Reds have? Who matches up? Of course MLB ready now or better is necessary. Maybe there’s nothing.
    Has anyone looked into this?

    (I’d give Grandal to Reds maybe a 15-20% chance of happening. They’ll have to beat out other bidders and pay full price)

    • Jefferson Green

      The short answer: not much is available via trade, either. There just aren’t but a couple of catchers who can produce both defensively and at the plate. Only two catchers generated 4 WAR (Fangraphs) last season (Grandal and Realmuto both over 5), and only 7 produced over 2.5 WAR. Trying to find a multi-game upgrade at any position can be challenging, but particularly so at certain positions like catcher.

  18. BigBill

    Pay full price. Votto is almost done. Bauer has one year and Suarez is in his prime. 3 years at whatever number it takes and one left handed stud reliever and you are in great position in the division.

  19. Bob Purkey

    I think the Dodgers could be potentially ready to move Seager. They have to find a place for Lux. Seager had a decent year, even coming off major surgery, so I think he would be an immediate upgrade. The Dodgers will ask for the moon, but I don’t think that they’ll be beholden to that. . .again they need a spot for Lux. I am sure the Dodgers could move a lot of pieces around to fit Seager and Lux in together, but they have a ton of talent in the IF and OF and they can’t play them all. . . .Thoughts?

    • Jefferson Green

      They can move one of them to 2B pretty easily. While Muncy played a lot of 2B, he isn’t a great fielder there and has played multiple other positions in both the infield and the outfield, so moving him and putting Lux at second is helpful for them. They may still opt to trade Seager if the package is right, but that probably means a steep price in prospects for 2 years of his production.

  20. Bob Purkey

    Bleacher Report is projecting Grandal at 4 years/$90MM($22.5MM per year).

    If that is anywhere close to happening. . . PASS