Five Free Agents the Cincinnati Reds Should Consider

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Missing out on the Postseason in 2014 was never apart of the Walt Jocketty plan, the very same plan that has worked nearly to perfection since arriving in the Queen City. Now that he has faced failure and dissention, this off-season will be a major proving ground for the man the Reds re-upped on a new two-year deal days before the conclusion of the season.

In case one of the game’s great baseball minds needs any help, he can always come to his friends at Blog Red Machine for some advice. These five players are not exactly all supposed to be acquired by the Cincinnati Reds, but they will definitely be guys to keep the proverbial eye on throughout the winter. Away we go:

Jonny Gomes – OF

 

Bare witness to the intangibles! And facial hair! The Reds will be trading in one “pace of play” curmudgeon in Ryan Ludwick, for another in Jonny Gomes, should they seek to bring back a key piece of the 2010 NL Central winning bunch.

There is no denying the intensity that Gomes brings to the field, not to mention his playoff experience (the Reds in 2010, the A’s in 2012, the Red Sox in 2013). This past season he raked in $5 million, which was by far his highest value ever received. At age 34, he may be looking for a two-year deal somewhere in that salary range, and based on the way Walt Jocketty has handed out two-year deals in the past to “gritty” ballplayers, it would not be surprising to see Gomes back in Cincinnati come 2015.

Jason Motte – RP

 

Again, coming at you full throttle with the facial hair. As recent as 2012, Motte led the National League saves. Yet after struggling his way through 2014, he has not so much as even made the Cardinals’ NLDS roster.

Those that have watched just a single St. Louis baseball game this season know how stacked their bullpen is. Seemingly everyone they deploy is throwing damn near 100 MPH and is 25 years old or younger. Neither of those descriptions fit Motte.

Coming off Tommy John Surgery, which caused him to miss all of 2013, Motte may be the kind of low-risk, high reward the Reds are looking for. His asking price is in the gray area at the moment due to his arm troubles, but with the bullpen in complete shambles heading into 2015, Motte’s veteran experience may be a stabilizing force.

Chris Denorfia – OF

 

Way back before there was relevance to baseball in the Queen City, there was a hard-nosed prospect named Chris Denorfia escalating throughout the farm system. With an outfield of Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, there wasn’t exactly much room to squeeze in a player whose biggest asset was his heart, and not his biceps.

In April of 2007, the Reds followed the theory of “if you love something, let it go,” sending Denorfia to Oakland for two players to be named later that never panned out. Now, they’re hoping they can fulfill the prophecy of the Chris Denorfia boomerang, hoping he will come back to them in their moment of need.

Denorfia may not be the everyday left fielder, but with the market not having a true everyday player that may be in the Reds price range, he is a tremendous option to platoon with Skip Schumaker.

Phil Coke – LHP

 

Oh, yes, the ever-so-elusive left-hander the Reds have apparently been looking for. Despite my insistences that Tony Cingrani could aptly fit this role, it seems the front office is determined to go out and add another left-hander, no matter how average his numbers are.

With Sean Marshall billed as “out” until further notice, Jocketty will undoubtedly be looking for a compliment to Manny Parra in the ‘pen. Coke is similar to Parra in the fact that he was never really dynamic as a starter, and has attempted to resurrect his career in relief.

He should come fairly cheap should the Redlegs care to take a peak at the former New York Yankee and Detroit Tiger, who has ample playoff experience.

Michael Cuddyer – 1B/OF

 

This is the signing that makes a whole lot of sense to yours truly. Whether or not that means it has a shot at happening, I’m not too sure, but it seems almost too logical.

Cuddyer is going to make a pile of money. He is coming off winning the NL Batting Title in 2013, but was destroyed by injuries this season, limiting him to just over 200 plate appearances. Maybe we’ll all have to pool together our leftover lunch money to acquire him, but he is the type of everyday left fielder that can not only hit in the two hole in the order (I’m currently salivating), but also spell Joey Votto at first should issues ever arise.

He is entering his age 36 season, which leads me to believe he’ll be looking for one last multi-year deal. He signed on with Colorado in 2012 for 3 years and 31.5 million dollars—could we be seeing a similar deal in Cincinnati?

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The calendar may only read October, but it’s never too early to begin fantasizing about the long winter ahead.

It’s difficult to imagine that the Reds sit on their hands once again this winter, especially with the way 2014 collapsed like the Titanic. So, Walt, errr, Mr. Jocketty, if you would be so kind, follow our lovely advice, it’s in all of our best interests.