Cincinnati Reds: Will Derek Johnson bring familiar faces with him?

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Pitcher Wade Miley #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the first inning of Game Five of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Pitcher Wade Miley #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the first inning of Game Five of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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New pitching coach Derek Johnson has worked with a bevy of talent over the years and a few of them are available this offseason. Will the Cincinnati Reds bring some of Johnson’s former pupils to the Queen City?

While it hasn’t been formally announced yet, several sources are confirming that Derek Johnson, formerly of the Milwaukee Brewers, will become the Cincinnati Reds new pitching coach. Johnson has worked with several talented pitchers over the years and it just so happens that a few of them are available this offseason. Any chance we see any of them join the Reds?

While at Vanderbilt, Derek Johnson was the pitching coach for former first-round selections Jeremy Sowers and David Price. He was also with the Commodores when Sonny Gray pitched in Nashville.

The New York Yankees, Gray’s current team, have made it clear that they intend to trade the 28-year-old right-hander during the offseason. Gray, a former All-Star, did not have the best year for the Bronx Bombers, but maybe under the tutelage of his former coach, he could return to form.

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  • Gray was selected 18th overall in the 2011 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics after leading Vanderbilt to their first-ever College World Series appearance. In his sophomore and junior seasons at Vandy, Gray compiled a record of 22-9 while striking out 245 batters.

    Gray is under team-control until next offseason and with the Yankees freely admitting that Gray’s up for grabs, several teams will likely come calling. The Reds farm system is ripe with talent, and while I wouldn’t foresee Cincinnati surrendering a top prospect they have a plethora of young players that may interest Brian Cashman and the Yankees’ brass.

    While Gray is an interesting prospect, the Milwaukee Brewers have two starters that will enter free agency very soon. Both left-handers Wade Miley and Gio González will be free to sign with any team come Saturday.

    Miley signed a minor league contract with the Brewers this past offseason. In 16 starts, Miley posted a 2.57 ERA with a WAR of 1.5 and a WHIP of 1.215. Miley was a huge part of the Brewers postseason run, pitching 14. 2 innings with a 1.23 ERA.

    González came to the Brewers via a midseason trade with the Washington Nationals. González 7-11 with Washington and posted a 4.57 ERA. In his 5 starts with Milwaukee, however, González went 3-0 with 2.13 ERA.

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    Derek Johnson’s familiarity with all three pitchers is no guarantee that they’ll come to Cincinnati. But, one would assume that those three pitchers would certainly fit into Johnson’s system and could help convey his message to the pitchers who are currently on the team.