After appearing to have a deal in place for Billy Hamilton, the Cincinnati Reds had little action during the Winter Meetings.
The Cincinnati Reds have a plan in place. They usually use the Winter Meetings to get information and then act after the meetings. This year is no different.
The Winter Meetings lasted five days, December 10-14. The Reds had conversations, but may no moves that were not related to the Rule 5 Draft. This year’s event was at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida.
Recently, the Reds have made most of their moves just before spring training. For the Reds some of this is due to the budgetary impacts of arbitration. They want to know how much a player will cost before they are all in on keeping him.
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The team went in a with a shopping list, but came out with the same list. They selected a player in the Rule 5 Draft, only to trade him. This is the second year in a row that the Reds traded someone they took in the Rule 5 Draft.
On the top of the Reds’ list is another starting pitcher. They have four young right handers and three injured veterans penciled into the rotation plans for 2018. The Reds would like to add one more that could also relieve.
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The Cincinnati Reds have more flexibility in the other items on their off-season to do list.
They would like to add some depth to the bullpen. Michael Lorenzen was the set-up man last year, but could end up in the rotation if the Reds don’t find a veteran. In any case they need a replacement for Drew Storen.
The other ironic need for the Reds is at shortstop. The only shortstop on their forty man roster is projected starter Jose Peraza.
They lost Zach Vincej to the Seattle Mariners and Zack Cozart just signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
That’s what the Reds need, but at least one player is on his way out the door. The most likely player to leave is Billy Hamilton. He is arbitration eligible and the best defensive center fielder in all of baseball by a wide margin over the next best defender.
With the Winter Meetings behind them, the Cincinnati can really get their off-season underway. Moving Hamilton and adding a shortstop look like the first two moves that the Reds will make. After that it will be all about the pitching.