The Cincinnati Reds continue to be rumored to add starting pitching. Is it fake or legitimate news and how will Reds fans react to average additions?
As the middle of the week has approached, the Winter Meetings out in the Las Vegas desert are seemingly bringing more and more rumblings, rumors, and myths. Frankly, I feel my Twitter feed is full of “Fake Baseball News” this week. The Cincinnati Reds are seemingly one of those teams that are rumored to be having various discussions with several different teams.
Tuesday the Cincinnati Reds were said to be in talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, and Cleveland Indians, along with various potential free agency acquisitions. Some of these rumors are certainly intriguing ideas; some of which I really like and others that leave me thinking “meh”. Other rumors have me hoping that Scooter Gennett‘s name will be kept out of trade discussions.
Continuing to beat the drum of starting pitching, two names that have emerged this week that the Reds are rumored to be showing interest are Yusei Kikucki and Wade Miley. At 27-years-old, a mid-90s fastball coupled with a plethora of accomplished off speed pitches, Kikucki would certainly be an upgrade to this Cincinnati Reds pitching staff. In fact he would such an upgrade that other teams are showing interest, including the San Francisco Giants.
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Kikuchi is said to prefer the West Coast. Add to that, it has been speculated that the Giants are looking to trade lefty Madison Bumgarner who is entering the last year of his contract. This leads me to believe that they are potentially creating space for Kikucki.
Signing a player such as Yusei Kikucki is not the type of move that Cincinnati Reds traditionally make. Since when do the Reds make a splash with a free agency signing with a player from the Japanese league?
These are tactical moves of organizations such as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, or San Francisco Giants implement; organizations that are actually trying to win a World Series. Signing Kikuchi just does not seem logical for the Cincinnati Reds. This move will not happen.
Wade Miley’s name emerged as a possible free agent acquisition for the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the week. In short, if this is the splash starting pitcher looking to lead the Reds to the thick of the National League Central race, then we are all in for another disappointment.
Miley is a lifetime 71-76 with a 4.26 ERA over eight MLB seasons. He did appear in two playoff games in 2018. Miley also posted a career best 16-11 record in 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. At best, Miley is a fall back option and would be projected as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter in the Reds rotation (assuming Matt Harvey is back). This move would not do much, if anything, to improve the starting pitching in Cincinnati.
There is sincerity with the Cincinnati Reds front office to add starting pitching. I have no reason to doubt that they aren’t serious in rectifying the obvious weakest link with the team. At this point in the process though, the Reds need to keep their ambitions at a higher yet reasonable level.
The Reds certainly can go after the likes of Wade Miley, Gio Gonzalez, Lance Lynn, and Derek Holland at any point between now and Opening Day. Keeping their ambitions higher falls more in line with the likes of negotiations for Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer.
The latest rumors of discussions with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Alex Wood, thus bringing the former University of Georgia star to Cincinnati, has definite appeal. Here’s to keeping the eye on the prize in order to make an impactful move that certainly enables the Reds to make a substantial standings improvement in 2019.