Cincinnati Reds should show great discipline in free agent market

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds don’t have much need to go into the free agent market at this time in the rebuild.

With the Cincinnati Reds essentially waiting on talent to mature there is little reason for them to be aggressive in the free agent market.  Starting pitcher Homer Bailey and catcher Devin Mesorcao are eating much of the team’s payroll.  However, this is the last year of Mesoraco’s deal.

What the Reds should do is plan for the future, as they did when they signed Tucker Barnhart to a contract extension.  Saving money to pay left fielder Adam Duvall and third baseman Eugenio Suarez among others makes the most sense.  Signing a free agent to augment the team during a losing season doesn’t.

The Reds could use another starting pitcher, however.  It was a bit painful watching the Reds paste together a starting rotation through the injures.  On the other hand it forced them to bring up Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle before they intended to.

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In fact the pitching staff looks better balanced than the position players.  Jose Peraza looks uncertain at shortstop and Zack Cozart is a free agent.  The Reds may end up investing in a stop gap solution there.

Regardless of shortstop, the Cincinnati Reds should spend some money on a pitcher that can start every fifth day.

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It turns out that signing Scott Feldman almost worked perfectly for the Reds last season.  Excluding an injured knee that ended his season early and meant the Reds couldn’t move him, Feldman covered innings and started games like an ace.  Granted he had his ups and downs.

There are not many pitchers like Feldman out there at a reasonable cost.  Remember, this pitcher is essentially a sixth starter as the Reds have the aforementioned Bailey, Castillo, and Mahle to go with Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan among others.

Then again, that is exactly why they need to test the free agent market.

Bailey, DeSclafani, and Finnegan all looked poised to have healthy 2017 seasons.  DeSclafani never even made it into a single game even with a promising August.  Finnegan only made a handful of starts.

The Reds need someone who can pitch that magic 160-32 combination.  That’s 160 or more innings covering 32 starts.  This pitcher may not make all of the starts, but the Reds need to look for someone that is capable of that.

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Other than that the Reds should stand pat.  There is no reason to go crazy in the free agent market.  Now is the time to show constraint.