Reds rumors: Possibility of adding OF puts Billy Hamilton on the hot seat

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 20: Billy Hamilton #6 of the Cincinnati Reds crashes into the center field wall trying to catch a ball hit by Gregory Polanco of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park on July 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 20: Billy Hamilton #6 of the Cincinnati Reds crashes into the center field wall trying to catch a ball hit by Gregory Polanco of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park on July 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The latest Reds rumors have Cincinnati considering adding help in the outfield. That news puts Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton on the hot seat.

These Reds rumors should be nothing new to fans of the Cincinnati Reds, but it does make the idea more credible. Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports said in addition to pitching help, the Reds are also considering adding an outfielder. That idea puts center fielder Billy Hamilton squarely on the hot seat.

Billy Hamilton has long been a lightning rod of criticism among Reds fans. Heck, here at Blog Red Machine, we’ve made the case in recent weeks for centerfield replacements should Cincinnati decide to move on from Billy this offseason.

Last offseason, there was thought to be a plan in place to ship Billy out of Cincinnati, but it never materialized. Because of injuries to their outfield last season, the Cleveland Indians were even rumored to be kicking the tires on Billy Hamilton. There were even reports earlier this year that a waiver claim on Hamilton last season as well.

Heyman’s report details the Reds search for starting pitching this offseason, which is a foregone conclusion. But, the little nugget about considering an outfielder is an interesting side note and one that Reds fans are sure to keep an eye on.

Hamilton’s speed, plus-arm, and ability to track down balls in centerfield are not in question. The biggest complaint, always with Billy Hamilton, surrounds his inability at the plate. Hamilton hit .236 with a .299 on-base percentage last season and stole only 34 bases, which for him is a dramatic decrease.

For his career, Hamilton is a .245 hitter with an OPB of .298. Billy’s best year was back in 2016 with the lanky Reds’ center fielder hit .260 and had a .321 on-base percentage. Hamilton also stole 58 bases that year and was only caught 8 times.

Hamilton’s WAR this season was only 0.3. For all the fans who love Billy’s defense, there’s another group of fans who groan every time he steps into the batter’s box. There’s no more polarizing player on the entire Reds roster than Hamilton.

With top prospect, Nick Senzel, wasting away in the minor leagues, the Reds have entertained the idea of switching him to the outfield. Though a third baseman by trade, the thought is that Senzel is athletic enough to make the transition to the outfield.

Next. Reds rumors: Corbin and Happ top list

The Reds rumors will continue to fly as the MLB Hot Stove season heats up. Outside of Clayton Kershaw’s extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers, we’ve yet to see a big deal. Stay tuned, as this Reds offseason is sure to get exciting.