The Cincinnati Reds have only made one major league signing this entire off-season.
The Cincinnati Reds have to maintain a low payroll, while finishing off the rebuild. This takes preparation and action. The Reds have completed the preparation, but not the action.
The Reds have already signed reliever Jared Hughes to a two year deal. He came over from the Milwaukee Brewers. His signing allows the Reds to take a long look at Michael Lorenzen in the starting rotation.
They had also been in discussions with free agent Craig Stammen. Stammen is more of a low leverage reliever than Hughes. That signing would have just allowed some young pitchers more time to develop in the minors, but Stammen returned to the San Diego Padres.
The Reds also have been linked to former San Francisco Giant Tim Lincecum. It’s not really clear where he would fit on the Reds. He could close or he could get a shot at the fifth spot in the rotation, but he may have better offers from American League teams to start.
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On the minor leaugue level they signed utility plater Phil Gosselin. Gosselin is flexible, but he doesn’t have much experience in the one spot they need. The Reds still need a back-up shortstop.
In addition to additions, the Reds still have two players headed to arbitration. The Reds signed Anthony DeSclafani, Billy Hamilton, and Michael Lorenzen already, but not Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez. Suarez, in particular is up for a long term deal.
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The lack of any MLB trades or additional free agent signings demonstrates how much work the Cincinnati Reds have left to do this off-season.
While Gosselin may be able to play short in a pinch, the Reds are in desperate need of someone who can play shortstop, if Jose Peraza is ineffective or injured. That likely means someone who has more experience than Peraza himself. Prospect Alex Blandino is the only other shortstop on the major league roster for the Reds.
The Reds also need at least one more potential pitcher. Right now, the Reds might pigeon-hole pitchers into starting or relieving based on need rather than fit. A starting pitcher makes the most sense, but even one more reliever could alleviate most of the stretch.
The Reds also need to resolve their options for Billy Hamilton and Devin Mesoraco. Hamilton has been an interest of teams for two off-seasons. The Reds have Mesoraco on the block now that Tucker Barnhart is the starting catcher.
The Reds still have plenty of work to do this off-season. They came into the off-season with a to-do list. The Reds are just starting to check things off.