The Cincinnati Reds signed a pair of relievers to two year deals that the team only needs for one season.
The Cincinnati Reds have had a relatively quiet off-season. They have made a handful of minor league signings. They also signed a pair of veteran relievers in David Hernandez and Jared Hughes.
Hernandez is the more accomplished of the two. He has 22 saves and 105 holds over a nine year career. His best season, though, was 2011 in Arizona.
Hughes has spent his entire career in the National League Central. His a career reliever with 4 save and 69 holds. Having spent most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Hughes is very familiar with the batters.
The duo are both traditional middle relievers. Hernandez focuses more on setting up closers, while Hughes focuses on coming into games earlier to keep the game in check. Other than that Hernandez separates himself with his 2011 season, which was the rookie season for Hughes.
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Hernandez the first half of the season with the Los Angeles Angels last season. Then he moved over to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hughes played 2017 with the Milwaukee Brewers, the first time in his career that he didn’t play for the Pirates, before the Brew Crew non-tendered him.
The Cincinnati Reds could trade either of them whenever the price is right.
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The Reds have a deep enough bullpen that they can use Hernandez and Hughes in favorable positions. Hernandez is good collecting holds. Hughes is good when ground balls are important.
If the Reds use the duo to collect holds and saves, then the relievers will look better on the trade market They still have to produce. However, showing them as high leverage pitchers helps their trade value.
Last season at the trade deadline, Hernandez was traded from the Angels to Arizona. He brought back prospect Luis Madero. He is a young pitcher just outside the top 30 of the Angels.
That is the type of a player that the Reds could try to get back in exchange for the duo in the future. The Reds could trade them this season, next off-season or next year at the trade deadline. The timing should be based on maximizing value for the Reds.
The real reason that this would work is that the Reds have prospects coming up to replace the duo already. There are pitchers that want to fill those roles. The Reds have a chance to make this a win-win.