Reds rumors: Cincinnati Reds in the market for a centerfielder this winter

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 25: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds leaps for a ball hit by Tommy La Stella #9 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim that went off the top of the wall and turned into an inside the park home run for LaStella in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 25, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 25: Nick Senzel #15 of the Cincinnati Reds leaps for a ball hit by Tommy La Stella #9 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim that went off the top of the wall and turned into an inside the park home run for LaStella in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 25, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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The latest Reds rumors are a bit peculiar, but not surprising. Might the Cincinnati Reds be in the market for a centerfielder this offseason?

While Nick Senzel rehabs from shoulder surgery this offseason, it appears that the Cincinnati Reds will be shopping for someone to take his place in center field. The latest Reds rumors from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman suggest that the Reds and Mets will both be in the market for centerfielders this offseason.

This is welcome news for those throughout Reds Country that want to see Senzel return to his natural spot in the infield. Throughout his entire college and professional career, Senzel has never played the outfield, but this season, in an effort to get him on the field, the Reds moved their top prospect to center field.

While the experiment did not go horribly awry, it was not a smooth transition. Though Senzel possesses the speed and arm strength to play the position, the 24-year-old also plays with a reckless abandon. This “all-out” effort resulted on Senzel crashing into the center field wall on more than one occasion and ultimately landed him on the injured list with a torn right labrum.

Senzel dealt with a few nagging injuries throughout the season, including a sprained ankle on July 7th. Senzel also fouled a ball off his eye socket that required a few stitches. However, the injury to Senzel’s right shoulder was worse than the team originally thought and he’ll be out for some time. The Reds hope that Senzel is back to full strength by Opening Day, but time will tell.

If these latest Reds rumors are true, there’s little doubt that Nick Senzel is viewed by the front office and the coaching staff as the starting second baseman on next year’s team. If that’s true, it may be unwelcome to the likes of Freddy Galvis, Josh VanMeter and José Peraza.

Galvis has a $5M team option for 2020 with a $1M buyout. If the Reds choose not to re-sign José Iglesias, Galvis makes the most likely player to take over at shortstop next season. Peraza, poor showing in 2019 makes him a legitimate candidate to be non-tendered this winter, and VanMeter may be more of a utility player.

So, who might the Cincinnati Reds target if they’re looking to replace Senzel in center field? Well, there are just a few legitimate options on the free agent market. Jarrod Dyson of the Arizona Diamondbacks will be available this winter, and if the Pittsburgh Pirates decide not to pick up Starling Marte‘s option, he’ll become a free agent as well.

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Other than those two players, the options via free agency are few and far between. If the Reds are looking to upgrade the center field position, it’ll likely have to be through a trade. Players like Ender Inciarte, Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Leury García could be available this offseason.