After signing Drew Storen to close, the Cincinnati Reds are turning back to finding a veteran catcher and starting pitcher.
The Cincinnati Reds accomplished one of their off-season priorities in signing Drew Storen to be their closer in 2017. He allows the Reds to use Michael Lorenzen when and how they want to, instead of need to. He also gives them a veteran for the young bullpen.
The Reds entered the off-season on the search for catching help, a veteran starting pitcher for depth, and a rebuild of the bullpen. Storen comes close to finishing a rebuild that included letting Ross Ohlendorf, Keyvius Sampson, and Josh Smith go. Now the Reds need to work on the other two.
The Reds claimed a catcher off of waivers from the Los Angeles Angels, but lost him when they claimed potential slugger Richie Shaffer off of waivers themselves. They also selected Minnesota farmhand Stephen Turner in the Rule 5 Draft, but he has never played above Double-A. The catcher that could really surprise is former Miami Marlins starter Rob Brantly.
The same catchers that the Reds initially looked at heading into the off-season are still available. Former Red Ryan Hanigan, Chris Iannetta, and Kurt Suzuki are all still available. There is also the outside chance that the Reds cut bait on Devin Mesoraco and trade for a top notch catcher.
Beyond the catchers, the Cincinnati Reds are still in the market for a backend of the rotation starter.
The Reds have been linked to former Red Travis Wood all winter. With the signing of Storen, Wood may be less interested in Cincinnati. Wood would want a guaranteed spot in the rotation now that the closer’s role is no longer available before he signed to play in the Queen City.
Another former Red, Mat Latos, was in the mix early in the off-season. Those rumors have seemingly died off of late. He left on unusual terms, as his wife attacked the club via Twitter on their way to South Beach.
Bud Norris’ name came up as a reliever/starter hybrid earlier in the off-season. The 31-year old righty was just a touch better than replacement over 35 games including 19 starts. He started the season in Atlanta where he looked good, before moving to Los Angeles and falling apart.
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Those are the sort of starters that the Reds are looking at right now. Alfredo Simon is still available. The Reds just need someone to fill the breach if Homer Bailey can’t answer the call and none of the elite prospects are ready to pitch every fifth day at the big league level.