Cincinnati Reds Rumors – First look at free agency

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

With the rebuild coming towards an end don’t expect much free agency action from the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cincinnati Reds are mostly in a holding pattern.  The core of the team needs to mature and get just a touch better.  Those revolving around the core could come from the minors, trades or free agency for 2018.

As for the Reds’ free agents, the headliner, shortstop Zack Cozart, finds himself in a similar place to where the Reds found themselves last year during the off-season.  There isn’t much need in the free agent market for a starting MLB shortstop.  Aside from returning to the Reds, the most likely landing spot is with the Chicago White Sox where they have expressed interest in bringing in a veteran back-up for their young infield.

The most likely one of the Reds’ free agents to re-sign with the Reds is relief pitcher Drew Storen.  He and the Reds are likely able to come up with a multi-year minor league deal with a high signing bonus.  All of this is necessary because Storen blew out his elbow in early September.

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Scott Feldman could come back.  One of the Reds’ greatest needs is for a swingman.  They want someone better than Tim Adleman for that role if possible and Feldman would be better.

The Cincinnati Reds have a pair of needs that may force them to go out into the free agent market.

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The Reds’ greatest need is for a veteran swingman.  They need a starting pitcher that can sit in the bullpen for most of the season.  However, instead this year the Reds cycled minor leaguers through the bullpen and called up prospects for starts to fill this role.

For an idea of the type of player the Reds may consider, think of Anibal Sanchez of the Detroit Tigers.  He was once an elite starter, but is now a marginal multi-inning reliever playing out the string.  This player would be someone good enough to be on the forty man roster, but could go weeks without playing much.

With the current state of affairs behind the plate, the Reds need a veteran back-up for Tucker Barnhart.  Barnhart earned a four year, $16-million contract extension and the everyday role with his improvement this season .  With the needed development of Chad Wallach and the health issues of Devin Mesoraco, the Reds need a veteran catcher that can preferably speak Spanish.

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In the end it appears fifty-fifty whether the Reds will bring Cozart and Feldman back on one year deals.  Storen is all but a done deal.  This comes after all three should have been dealt earlier in the season.  However, the real question is what roles these three or outside free agents will fill in 2018.