Cincinnati Reds Rumors: Possible free agent starter targets

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 11: Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 11: Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz /

The Cincinnati Reds’ young rotation

The Cincinnati Reds were terrible on the mound last year. But, a good reason for that was an abundance of youth out there. Guys like Sal Romano, Jackson Stephens, and Rookie Davis are a couple that participated. The breakout pitcher for this club was righty Luis Castillo, who they acquired in the Dan Straily trade.

Anthony DeSclafani had a UCL sprain in the right elbow. Furthermore, he would have been a steady force in the rotation. Young lefty Brandon Finnegan had problems with both his shoulders the whole year. On August 22nd, innings eater Scott Feldman went under the knife for knee surgery. The Reds really haven’t been lucky with the injury bug.

This team ranked #29 in the MLB in pitching with a 5.17 ERA. Also, they gave up 631 walks. That’s a lot of traffic on the bases. That helped to put more runs on the board. They had the least amount of quality starts amount every team with 54. Furthermore, even the Tigers had 18 more than them, and they were the worst pitching team.

With that, there were several young pitchers finding their way. But, it would be nice to add a veteran or two to influence the rookies that need to prove themselves. The Reds are in a rebuild, so they need a workhorse to eat innings. This team should have enough spending money, since their only big commitments are to Joey Votto and Homer Bailey.

Albeit that, the Reds must invest in some arms regardless. They can save some innings on the young hurlers, while possibly improving their win totals. Who could sign with Cincinnati? Let’s take a look.

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A free agent versatile pitcher

Right handed pitcher Jesse Chavez is useful. He is able to start, while also performing out of the bullpen. This season, the righty was not pretty. But, he worked 138 innings. His ERA was a bloated 5.35. Albeit that, his LOB (Left on Base) percentage was one of the highest of his career at 71.9%. The Reds don’t need an ace right now, they need guys to eat innings.

His salary in 2017 was about six and a half million. With his production over the season, he was worth $2.2 million. So, the Reds might be able to get him on a 1-year/$3 million dollar deal. Chavez is almost done in the MLB, so there is a good chance that he’ll accept that. Chavez at the very least would be a good depth piece option.

The hard throwing righty could join the Cincinnati Reds

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Andrew Cashner had a good year this season with a 3.40 ERA in 166.2 innings. He might look to cash in on a lucrative multi-year deal. But, there is a possibility that he has to take another one year deal to assert himself in next year’s loaded class. If the Reds could nab him, he would become a nice trade chip come July.

One red flag for Cashner is his diminished K/9, which was 4.64. But, he has kept down the home run ball, with a 0.81 HR/9. The fastball command will be key in keeping runs off the board.

The right hander has a above average slider when he is on, and him keeping the ball in the park is a difficult task at Great American. That would be a plus to have him on board.

This year, Cashner’s salary was $10 million. With his production with the Rangers, his market value is about $13.1 million according to So he might be out of the Reds’ price range, but he would be another mentor and could end up in a bidding war in July. With Cincinnati in a rebuilding period, spending over $10 million on a 1-year commitment isn’t that big of a deal. It all depends on the interest.

A risky option for the Cincinnati Reds

The Reds could sign Clay Buchholz fresh off of Tommy John surgery. Depending on how he develops and heals, he should be ready for spring training. He should not cost much, as he missed the whole season. The righty will land a pillow contract in order to reinstate his value. What usually happens with Tommy John, guys come back better than before, with more zip on the fastball and more.

He would be a wild card for the fact that you don’t know how he will be until he gets on the mound. The one main idea-he can save young player’s arms. The Reds could buy low and sell high on him. Why not? With the Reds not close to their competition in the NL Central, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t take a risk.

Next: At least two Reds made it to the World Series

The right hander has a career 4.01, which isn’t bad considering he pitched 99% of his career at Fenway Park. He knows how to pitch in a hitter’s ballpark, so why not try him out? The Reds need guys to save their young pitchers.