The Cincinnati Reds are still trying to sign a veteran starter before spring training starts next month.
The Cincinnati Reds are looking in the bargain bin for free agent starting pitchers. They have four or five pitchers that they think they can believe in, but that puts them one injury away from starting a random pitcher. In order to avoid that, they are looking to add a veteran to compete in spring training.
Since the signing of relievers Drew Storen and Louis Coleman, the Reds have been looking at more prospective starting pitching free agents, players that could possess a high upside. They are all veterans, but players that other teams have seen as extraneous. The Reds want to find the diamond in the rough that they can polish up.
The one name that has bounced around the most is former Red Mat Latos. Latos is not coming back. It’s nice to imagine a resurgent team with a returning player, but his wife effectively burnt this bridge.
The other false hope is Jonathon Niese. Back in 2014 the Reds briefly engaged the Mets in talks for the lefty when the Reds were within shooting distance of the wild card. Since then Niese has priced himself out of the market the Reds want to stay in.
The key for the Cincinnati Reds is adding a pitcher that would accept a relief role if a top prospect beats him out.
The most interesting name is Colby Lewis. He might sign under a wink and a nod agreement. That’s a contract where the Reds would trade him mid-season if he was doing good and a contender was interested.
Another player that might sign that sort of contact is former Los Angeles Angel, CJ Wilson. He has not pitched since the middle of 2015. He would be willing to work to get healthy and leave if a contender came asking about him.
The most likely pitcher for the Reds to add is Bud Norris. He is a starting pitcher that consistently puts up numbers reminiscent of a number five starter. While he allows too many fly balls to be comfortable in Great American Ballpark, he has experience as a starter and a reliever.
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The Reds are just trying to out wait the rest of the teams and the pitchers. That may work if Homer Bailey is really ready to start every fifth game. If not, we may see more pitchers the ilk of Tim Melville and AJ Morris starting games in Cincinnati.