The latest Reds rumors will please a great majority of the fanbase, as it now appears unlikely that the Cincinnati Reds will sign free agent Howie Kendrick.
After some rumblings earlier this week, it now appears that Howie Kendrick is unlikely to be signed by the Cincinnati Reds this offseason. The latest Reds rumors, courtesy of Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, says that a league source claims the Tampa Bay Rays are the favorites to land the World Series hero.
A few days ago, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, mentioned in a tweet that the Cincinnati Reds should be added to the list of teams looking to land Kendrick this offseason. The idea is sound, seeing as how Cincinnati is looking to add offense this winter. Kendrick hit .344 last season and can play second base, a position on the Reds roster currently without a starter.
At 36-years old, a lot of fans throughout Reds Country did not like the idea of signing Kendrick, thinking that his age should disqualify him from being considered. While there should be some concern when it comes to signing an older player, Kendrick has hit better than .300 the past three seasons.
In 2019, Kendrick slashed .344/.395/.572 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs. His ability to play both first and second base is intriguing, as the Reds do not have an adequate backup to first baseman Joey Votto. The 36-year-old has played in 287 out of a possible 324 games the past two seasons, and Votto may not be as readily available as he enters the latter part of his career.
This past season saw Derek Dietrich, Kyle Farmer, Josh VanMeter and even Curt Casali fill in for Votto at first base. With Dietrich now a free agent and VanMeter a big question mark defensively, Farmer may be the best bet currently on the team to back up Joey at first base.
Kendrick could’ve also been a serviceable second baseman. Though his range has become more limited as he’s gotten older, Kendrick still saw 23 games, including 18 starts, at second base last season for the Washington Nationals.
Who takes over at second base in 2020 seems like a tossup as we enter the offseason. The position was a revolving door last season, as Dietrich, VanMeter, José Peraza, Freddy Galvis and Scooter Gennett all saw time at second base. A lot of fans would like to see Nick Senzel take over that spot in 2020, but don’t rule out a free agent acquisition this offseason.
For now, it appears Howie Kendrick is destined for Tampa Bay. While nothing has been finalized, as Nightengale notes, a league sources indicated it was unlikely he’d sign with the Reds. Cincinnati will do its due diligence and kick the tires on several free agents. As we’ve seen already, look for a big name like Yasmani Grandal or Didi Gregorius to continue to see their names among the Reds rumors.