The Cincinnati Reds front office personnel has had a heck of a week. They inked Mike Moustakas to the largest free agent deal in franchise history early in the week. Then on Thursday they held the press conference introducing him to the local media. That was followed up on Friday and Saturday with Redsfest that saw them answering questions on the various stages from fans and sports talk show hosts from all over Reds country.
This afternoon kicked off the winter meetings. That’s a quick turn around from Cincinnati to San Diego, but that’s the job. The Reds have money to spend, whether that’s just flat out in free agency or whether it’s taking on a contract via trade. As President of Baseball Operations told WLWT’s George Vogel earlier in the week, they’ve got the ability to do deals as big as the Mike Moustakas one if it’s the right fit for the team.
Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams says the Reds aren't through and they can spend plenty more ???? pic.twitter.com/LVhHCyimPp
— George Vogel (@vogel_wlwt) December 6, 2019
The team certainly has areas that they’ve been reportedly targeting since the offseason began. They were linked early and often to catcher Yasmani Grandal. No one on the free agent market is nearly on the same level at the position as Grandal is, but they were at linked as showing some interest in Robinson Chirinos two weeks ago. The trade market remains an option if the team wants to give that a shot, but there haven’t been any rumors of them being linked to anyone recently here.
The other area that Cincinnati has been heavily linked is the starting pitching market. For the fifty seventh time in the last five years, the Reds were linked to Zack Wheeler. This offseason was the first time that he was a free agent, though. The right-handed pitcher wound up signing with the Philadelphia Phillies, though, inking a deal worth $118M over five seasons. Shortly after that announcement was made, the rumors started coming in that the Reds were also looking at left-handed starter Madison Bumgarner.
The team seems to be looking to upgrade the rotation. A rotation that already includes Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle. It doesn’t seem likely that they will be in the Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg sweepstakes. But everyone else should be on the table if they were making a legitimate run at Zack Wheeler. And there are still plenty of options available in free agency on the market, too. Bumgarner, as mentioned above, hasn’t yet signed. Hyun-Jin Ryu has psoted an ERA of 2.32 (2019) and 1.97 (1.97 in 15 starts in 2018) over the last two seasons. MLB Trade Rumors predicted he’d sign a 3-year deal worth $54M total.
Last offseason, at least early on, the Reds were linked to Dallas Keuchel. He would end up sitting out the first half of the 2019 season before agreeing to a contract with Atlanta. His 2019 season was pretty much on par with the one before it, just with fewer starts. Former Red Tanner Roark is a free agent and is coming off of a solid season, and would be an upgrade at the #5 spot in the rotation if he repeated his 2019 campaign. And there’s also the trade market to explore for options, too.
Outfield is a spot where Cincinnati has also reportedly looked, as they’ve been linked to Marcell Ozuna. He’s hardly the only outfielder on the free agent market, but he has been the one they’ve been linked to the most. The team is looking to improve their offense from 2019. Add Mike Moustakas certainly is going to help that. But they are going to continue looking, at outfield is one of the spots they could continue to explore. Nicholas Castellanos isn’t known for his defense, but when he got out of Detroit’s home ballpark last year he absolutely raked.
Shortstop, at least in the free agent market, seems to come down to Didi Gregorius or nothing. He’s the only legitimate shortstop on the market. The trade market, though, could be there. The long-shot dream is Francisco Lindor, but the Indians are rumored to be willing to move him in the right deal, too. There could be other options out there if the Reds are willing to pay the right price via trade.
Not all moves will happen at the Winter Meetings. But it’s probably the time where a lot of moves that will take place in the next month really picked up some steam. The trade with the Dodgers last season didn’t take place until two weeks after the Winter Meetings came to an end. Of course, the trade for Tanner Roark actually did take place last year at the Winter Meetings.
There hasn’t been any specific links between the Reds and any relievers, but they are in that market, too.
As everyone’s favorite leather pants wearing former Cincinnati Reds General Manager Jim Bowden noted earlier today, get your seat belts on.
Scott Boras: “If the Winter Meetings were given a movie title ….2018 Winter Meetings: “Slow Burn”……2019 Winter Meetings: “Fast and Furious”
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) December 8, 2019