The Cincinnati Reds signed seven of their eight arbitration eligible players to one-year deals. Will any of those players get an extension this offseason?
The Cincinnati Reds signed seven of their eight arbitration eligible players to one-year deals, with only Alex Wood failing to come to an agreement with the club. Who among the players that signed one-year deals on Friday could sign a long-term extension before the season starts.
Even though the Reds agreed to terms with several of their arbitration eligible players on Friday, it’s not unusual for a team to continue to negotiate towards a long-term deal once a one-year agreement has been reached. We saw the Reds do that last offseason with Eugenio Suárez.
Suárez was given a 1-year/ $3.75M contract for the 2018 season in early February, but in March, he and the Reds agreed to a 7-year/$66M contract extension with a $15M option for the 2025 season. Will the Cincinnati Reds look to do the same thing this offseason with one or more of the players they just came to terms with on Friday? Let’s take a look at the most likely candidates.
Yasiel Puig, Outfielder
The idea of extending Yasiel Puig is an interesting one, however, with him just coming to the Cincinnati Reds less than a month ago, it appears unlikely the Wild Horse and the club will reach a long-term agreement before the start of the 2019 season.
Puig is a phenomenal talent who helped lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to the World Series the past two seasons. Last year, Puig hit .267 with 26 home runs, 63 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases. Those numbers are likely to increase with Puig now playing half his games in the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park.
Puig is a bit animated to say the least, and some fans are leery of his attitude and antics. Personally, I don’t see that as much of an issue, nor is it a reason to dismiss his production on the field should a long-term contract be discussed.
The biggest reason I don’t see the Reds pushing a long-term contract with Puig is due to their outfield-heavy farm system that will soon be delivering some very talented young prospects to the big leagues. For a small market team like the Reds, it would be unwise to invest in player like Puig long-term with prospects like Taylor Trammell, Jose Siri, and TJ Friedl coming up through the pipeline.
Puig’s asking price is likely to be beyond what the Reds are looking to spend. That, combined with their excess of talented Minor League outfielders makes it highly unlikely that the club and Puig will look for a long-term extension before the season begins.