The Cincinnati Reds were involved in countless rumors this past week, but ultimately made only one move of real significance.
The Cincinnati Reds were mentioned in so many rumors this past week that I’ve lost count. The Reds were said to be “in on” this player and “interested” in that player, but in the end, Cincinnati made only one move of any significance when they traded for Tanner Roark. Let’s take a look back and see if we can sift through all the information.
So, going into the 2018 Winter Meetings it was well known that the Cincinnati Reds would be in the market for pitching. Specifically, they’d be looking for starting pitching. A few top-level starters were available, but came off the market quickly.
Nathan Eovaldi and Patrick Corbin signed massive deals with the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals respectfully, leaving Dallas Keuchel and J.A. Happ as the remaining big names among free agent starting pitchers. Only Happ got a deal done this last week, as he re-signed with the New York Yankees. Keuchel may still be in play for the Reds this offseason.
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That led the Reds to look for a trade. They found one on Wednesday when Cincinnati agreed to ship Tanner Rainey to the Washington Nationals in exchange for Tanner Roark. Roark spent his entire career in the Nation’s Capital and will bring a 3.59 career-ERA to the Queen City. Roark will fit nicely in the current rotation as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter.
But, Reds Director of Baseball Operations Dick Williams has said that Cincinnati is not yet done with their offseason acquisitions. Reds GM Nick Krall sounded discouraged, yet optimistic after the Winter Meetings. Here’s what Krall had to say via Reds.com:
"“We’ve got a pitcher that makes us better and we made some progress on some things. We did not accomplish all that we want, but hopefully [we] are headed where we need to go.”"
Krall’s comments most likely echo the sentiments of every single fan in Reds Country. The Reds gave up their No. 23 prospect who’d struggled at the Major League level for a pitcher that’s likely to give the Reds 150-plus quality innings next season. That’s a good start.
Cincinnati also added a utility infielder via the Rule 5 Draft. Connor Joe is the newest member of the Cincinnati Reds. Joe was picked up on Thursday in the Rule 5 Draft after he was plucked off the Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A roster. Joe, who’s 26-years-old, slashed .299/.408/.527 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs last season in the Minor Leagues.
Speaking of the Dodgers, the Reds were linked in trade talks with LA and it involved some interesting names. Several rumors had the Reds bringing starter Alex Wood and an outfielder, both Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp were mentioned, to Cincinnati. What the Reds would send the Dodgers way was all over the map, but one name seen in several reports was Homer Bailey.
If the Reds could somehow find a way to add Wood plus an outfielder to replace Billy Hamilton, while at the same time hang on to their top prospects, and in the process rid themselves of Homer Bailey and his $28-million contract…Wow! But, let’s pump the brakes on that until we hear some more information, which we could in the coming weeks.
Cincinnati was also rumored to be interested in Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays, Sonny Gray of the New York Yankees, Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians, Ender Inciarte of the Atlanta Braves, and oddly enough, J.T. Realmuto of the Miami Marlins. One of these things is not like the other.
It was incredibly odd to hear Realmuto’s name brought up in trade discussions with the Cincinnati Reds. It’s not odd in that Realmuto might be the hottest trade candidate on the market. However, given that the Reds just extended Tucker Barnhart last season to a very team-friendly deal and Realmuto will cost a pretty penny in trade assets and arbitration salary, it seems a bit out of left field for Cincinnati to be in those types of trade talks.
In the end, the Reds made one real move at the Winter Meetings. Two, if you want to count the addition of Joe in the Rule 5 Draft. Cincinnati has work to do the remainder of this offseason, but fans are hopeful the team executives laid a lot of ground work this week in Las Vegas.