Cincinnati Reds roundtable: Should José Iglesias be re-signed?

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 21: Jose Iglesias #4 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single during the game against the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park on September 21, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 21: Jose Iglesias #4 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single during the game against the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park on September 21, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images) /

A big question for the Cincinnati Reds front office this offseason is what to do with José Iglesias. The writers at Blog Red Machine got together to discuss his future.

The Cincinnati Reds front office has a big decision to make this offseason – whether or not to re-sign José Iglesias. The shortstop is one of just two free agents on the roster and his future with the team is a bit murky. The writers at Blog Red Machine got together to discuss what the Reds should do with Iglesias this winter.

“Considering he’ll turn 30, there’s no reason to think his offense will improve.” – Scott Boyken

While there’s no disputing his outstanding defense, the Reds have way too many holes offensively to make José Iglesias a priority.  Even though some fans love to point out that Iglesias hit .288 this season, the fact of the matter is he is still a well below-average offensive player.

Even though Iglesias set career highs in homers and RBI’s his 85 OPS+ was actually worse than his final year in Detroit in 2018. The Reds should thank Iglesias for his outstanding glove work this past season, wishing him well as he seeks a free agent deal with another team.

“The Reds should re-sign Iglesias.” – Christopher Begley

Iglesias walked only 20 times in 530 at-bats, but he provides enough value from his defense that you can live with below average offense. Iglesias plays arguably some of the best defense in the best league at his position.

The Cincinnati Reds don’t have an obvious candidate, currently on the roster, to play shortstop next season. Freddy Galvis has a $5M team-option the Reds could exercise, but I view Galvis as more of a utility player than a starting shortstop.

“There are better options at shortstop next season.” – Allie Kaylor

On the surface, José Iglesias had a good season. He had a respectable .288 average and, like always, Iglesias was incredible on defense. However, in an era where players are hitting for power, his 11 home runs this season were not good enough.

New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius will be a free agent, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is rumored to be on the trading block, and even Alex Blandino has comparable numbers to Iglesias, and comes with positional flexibility. It’s time to move on if the Reds expect to compete in 2020.

“As far as offseason priorities, Iglesias should not be at the top of the list.” – Matthew Dietz

The Reds scooped up Iglesias last offseason after the shortstop spent five years in the Detroit Tigers organization. Iglesias wasn’t signed until late February. If the free agent market this offseason is is similar to the last, the Reds should make an effort to bring back Iglesias on a one or two-year contract.

The Cincinnati Reds have several holes in the lineup, and while Iglesias hit for a hit average in 2019, he also has limitations. Specifically, Iglesias lacks power and the ability to draw a walk. Of course, his outstanding defense is something to consider, but doesn’t warrant a long-term contract by itself.

“It’s very similar to the situation with Billy Hamilton last offseason.” – Abby Caldwell

I honestly go back and forth on what to do with Iglesias this offseason. His defense saved so many runs from scoring and Iglesias always seemed to come up with the clutch hit all season long. However, Iglesias also struck out in several at-bats that could have ended in walks because he swings at everything.

The Reds have to find consistent offensive players that will put runs on the board. Cincinnati will not be able to replace him defensively, but getting offense has to be the priority right now. I’d rather see the front office spend money on a player who has some pop in his bat.

“José Iglesias has been a breath of fresh air.” – Chris Dismukes

Not only has Iglesias shown brilliance with the glove, drawing comparisons to such Reds greats as Davey Concepcion and Barry Larkin, but the bat has been such a consistent part of his game; especially for a Reds offense that struggled to put runs on the board during 2019.

Iglesias will turn 30-years old next season, and one has to wonder if he’s peaked offensively. However, with the José Peraza experiment all but over and the likes of Josh VanMeter and Alex Blandino being more utility players than everyday starters, the Reds could use the steady, sure-gloved skills of Iglesias at shortstop next season.

“Iglesias should be re-signed, but at the right price.” – Drew Koch

There are several questions within this question. First and foremost, are the Reds going to pick up Freddy Galvis‘ option? If the answer is yes, then José Iglesias should not be re-signed. Galvis and Iglesias play the same position, both are great defensively and both players pile up the strikeouts while keeping the walks to a minimum.

If the Cincinnati Reds plan to re-sign Iglesias, the team needs to have a dependable bat at every other position throughout the lineup. If players like Iglesias, Galvis and Tucker Barnhart occupy three of the nine positions on the field, the Reds will struggle offensively again next season. A two-year, team friendly deal is acceptable so long as the Reds fill other holes on the roster.

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So there you have it. The Blog Red Machine writing team has spoken. With whom do you agree? Should the Reds bring Iglesias back to the Queen City or is time to cut ties with the soon-to-be 30-year-old shortstop who had a career-year?