The Cincinnati Reds pitching was pretty strong in 2019, even though there were some ups-and-downs with the bullpen a few times during the year. But the offense…. well, that was another story. There were a whole heck of a lot more downs than ups during the 2019 season. Addressing some of the problems on the offensive side of things is certainly an area of concentration for the Reds this offseason according to Dick Williams, as reported by Jon Morosi of MLB Network late on Tuesday night.
#Reds are focused on adding bats, as Dick Williams told us on @MLBNetwork: “What held us back last year was the offense . . . We’ll be looking for ways to get more out of the existing group, but we’ll be looking high and low — free agent market and trade market — for offense.”
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 13, 2019
The Reds have already been linked to several names on the free agent market, and they’re among some of the bigger ones on the market, too. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that Cincinnati will land both catcher Yasmani Grandal and shortstop Didi Gregorius. Other outlets believe that they are going after both as their top targets, too. That would certainly help the offense improve, unless there was something unforeseen. The trade market could be a fall back option if the team is unable to land either of these two.
They’ve also been linked with outfielder Marcell Ozuna. He’s been an above-average hitter for each of the last four seasons. His 2017 campaign saw him hit .312/.376/.548, good for a 149 OPS+, which was easily the best of his career. He’s only been a little above-average at the plate in the other three seasons in that stretch. Mike Petriello of MLB.com took a deep dive look at Ozuna to try and figure out why some of the underlying stats that suggest he should have performed better than he actually has may be a reason to think that he could improve in 2020. Or that maybe there’s a reason he’s performed exactly as he should.
Earlier this week there were rumors that the Reds were interested in infielder Howie Kendrick. After hitting .344 and slugging .572 on the season for the Washington Nationals his services are in demand, even at his age. But it’s now being reported that the Tampa Bay Rays are the front runner according to Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer. The article from Nightengale has plenty of good tidbits from the General Manager meetings, so be sure to go read the entire thing.