Cincinnati Reds have slow start to the off-season after Winter Meetings

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 17: Billy Hamilton
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 17: Billy Hamilton /
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The Cincinnati Reds have only seen moves for Rule 5 Draft stick.

So far all of the moves for the Cincinnati Reds have resulted in minor league moves.  The players that they signed have either been claimed by other teams or optioned to the minors, including several players that ended 2017 with the Reds.  All of the free agents signed minor league deals.

It appeared the center fielder Billy Hamilton was gone for the San Francisco Giants.  The teams immediately put the deal on hold when Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins named the Giants as a finalist for him.  With Stanton now a New York Yankee, Hamilton could move in the next week or so.

The other thing that has held up the entire MLB off-season is Shohei Otani.  Nearly every team was in on him.  Now that he is with the Los Angeles Angels, the rest of the off-season can begin.

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Another thing that held up the rest of the off-season was the tender date for arbitration eligible players.  Unless another team wants a non-tendered player, teams will wait until their rosters clear up.  With that date in the past everyone knows who is available.

Now that the Winter Meetings are over, the Cincinnati Reds will start activating their full off-season plan.

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The Reds won’t move too quickly following the Winter Meetings.  They have the Hamilton trade to complete.  After that they need to wait for free agent chips to fall before going after what they need.

Their top need is probably a starting pitcher that would also shift to the bullpen if needed.  In order for the Reds to sign him, they will need to wait until the market has settled.  They need to fill a role, not sign a specific player.

Similarly, they need a veteran back-up shortstop.  

With all due respect to Alex Blandino, the Reds only have one player on their forty man roster that can play defensively every day at short.  If they don’t sign a veteran, an injury to Jose Peraza would force third baseman Eugenio Suarez to shift to short or the Reds to call up Blake Trahan before his time.

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When the regular season ended, no one saw the Ohtani or Stanton situation impacting the off-season.  In the end that combination slowed down the off-season for everyone.  Now the Reds just have to be ready when everyone else starts making moves for next year.