The Winter Meetings are over, but that won’t stop the Reds rumors from from popping up throughout the remainder of the offseason.
The Winter Meetings may be over, but the Hot Stove is still piping hot with Reds rumors. The latest involve not one, but two starting pitchers. Could either Mike Fiers or Aníbal Sánchez make their way to Cincinnati this offseason?
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported late last night that the Reds were interested in former Milwaukee Brewers’ pitcher Mike Fiers. Fiers just finished up a 12-8 season with the Oakland Athletics and was non-tendered by the A’s just a few weeks ago.
Moments later, Morosi reported the Reds interest in another right-handed hurler, Aníbal Sánchez of the Atlanta Braves. Sánchez went 7-6 with a 2.83 ERA in 24 starts for the National League East Division Champions.
The Cincinnati Reds are not alone in their pursuit of both Fiers and Sánchez. The Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, and Washington Nationals are rumored to be in on Fiers as well. The Nats also have their eye on Sánchez, as do the Atalanta Braves.
Both pitchers are in their mid-30’s, Sánchez will be turning 35 before the 2019 season starts. Fiers is a bit younger at 33-years-old. Fiers split time between Oakland and Detroit last season and had a career-low ERA of 3.56 in 30 starts. Sánchez’s 2.83 was not the lowest of his career, but still pretty good.
It’s doubtful that Cincinnati would add both Sánchez and Fiers as they’d be competing for the same spot in the rotation. With the addition of Tanner Roark earlier this week, the current Reds rotation appears to be Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, Tyler Mahle, Homer Bailey, and Roark. There are, of course, other options besides Bailey and Mahle, but in my opinion, they’re the two most likely to get the ball every five days if the season started today.
Thankfully, it doesn’t, and the Cincinnati Reds can use the remainder of the offseason to address their rotation. You could argue that a rotation similar to the one outlined above would give the Reds no better chance to win that what they put on the field last season.
Sánchez, to me, if the better option for the Reds. The was released by the Minnesota Twins in March and was signed to a minor league deal with the Braves. One has to wonder if the Braves giving him a second chance this season will impact his decision at all. Sánchez spoke with the Atlanta Journal Constitution after the season and said this:
"“I would love to. They gave me an opportunity to be here. The club they have here, it’s amazing. I know they’re going to do a lot of good things next year. I’d love to be here again.”"
The Braves have a plethora of young starting pitchers on their roster, but they may covet Sánchez’s experience, as he was more than just the No. 5 starter that they paid him to be last season. MLB Trade Rumors predicted before the offseason that Sánchez could garner a 2 year/ $22 million contract. Given the current contracts being offered to starting pitchers, Sánchez could make more than that.
Both Fiers and Sánchez have very similar stats over the past four seasons, so if Cincinnati is interested in both, it may come down to who will cost them less money. The Reds rumors won’t stop just because the Winter Meetings are over, and I for one can’t get enough of it.