Cincinnati Reds Rumors – How will the team change their bullpen for 2018?

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds had an improving bullpen in 2017.

The Cincinnati Reds could change their bullpen in many ways.  Set-up men Wandy Peralta and Michael Lorenzen are good, but not great.  Closer Raisel Iglesias closed out games, but couldn’t provide great leverage on a bad team.

The Minnesota Twins have shown interest in Iglesias, after the Marlins did last off-season.  The Twins likely won’t be willing to offer enough to get the closer.  The increased interest demonstrates the Reds have valuable pieces in that bullpen.

The real improvement started mid-season in 2016.  Iglesias and Lorenzen returned from injuries that knocked them out of the starting rotation.  When they returned, the bullpen went from historically bad to just bad.

The discovery of Wandy Peralta as a set-up man in 2017 took the pen to the next level.  Downgrading free agent Drew Storen and former closer Tony Cingrani to the earlier innings spread talent throughout the entire game for the bullpen.

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With Cingrani off to the Los Angeles Dodgers for next to nothing and Storen ruled out for the 2018 season the Reds must decide what changes need to be made in the pen.  The Reds auditioned prospects and starters alike in the pen in 2017.  After the big three, no spot seems certain in the pen in 2018.  

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The Cincinnati Reds will likely lean on starters and not free agents to stock arms in the bullpen.

There are always a good number of relievers available via the free agent market, but the Reds are not interested in spending money.  They may add relievers via trades as both Iglesias and center fielder Billy Hamilton have already attracted attention.  Between trades and prospects, the Reds have plenty of potential arms.

The other change will come from the starting rotation.  Tim Adleman went from the starting rotation to a man without a job heading into 2018.  He could easily transition to the long man in the bullpen.

The other starters that could end up in the bullpen is a pair of lefties, Brandon Finnegan and Cody Reed,  Finnegan is a likely closer if the Reds trade Iglesias.  Reed, meanwhile, has impressed in the bullpen, while disappointing in the rotation for the Reds.

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The Reds have sufficient talent and plenty of arms to stock an MLB bullpen.  This hasn’t been the case in the past three years where there have been some questionable relievers.  Now the Reds need to get better in other areas while the pen is strong for this to matter.