Corey Dickerson offers the Cincinnati Reds the necessary bat they crave

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 26: Corey Dickerson #31 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on August 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Pirates 6-5. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 26: Corey Dickerson #31 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on August 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Pirates 6-5. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Finally, Corey Dickerson’s name surfaced as player rumored to be in contact with the Cincinnati Reds. Dickerson can provide an impact bat to the lineup.

Did Dick Williams and Nick Krall finally hear the cry from the fanbase? After weeks of hearing the Reds interest in Marcell Ozuna and Nicholas Castellanos, a report surfaced on Tuesday that Cincinnati was in contact with Corey Dickerson. The free agent outfielder should’ve been the No. 1 target of the front office this offseason, as he provides the most bang for the buck.

The Cincinnati Reds have done a decent job thus far during the early-going of the offseason. The Reds added Mike Moustakas, signing the second baseman to the largest free agent contract in club history. On Monday, it was reported that Cincinnati and left-hander Wade Miley agreed to a contract. Miley helps solidify the starting rotation heading into next season.

However, despite the offseason additions, Cincinnati stills needs another bat if they want to put themselves in contention in, what’s likely to be, a crowded National League Central. Enter Corey Dickerson. The left-handed slugger was rumored to be in contact with the Reds. The only other team who’s shown interest in Dickerson this winter has been the Miami Marlins.

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Dickerson should be the Reds sole focus moving forward. Yes, we’ve heard all about the exit velocity of Marcell Ozuna, and how Nicholas Castellanos led the majors in doubles last season. All that information is valid, and I wouldn’t be upset if Ozuna or Castellanos signed a contract with Cincinnati today.

That said, Dickerson is the play. Yes, he’s slightly older than both Ozuna and Castellanos, but with the Reds farm system chockfull of talented young outfielders, having a player like Dickerson who’d likely sign a short-term deal could be of great benefit to the Reds. Cincinnati has yet to figure out what they have in Jesse Winker and Aristides Aquino, as both are flawed.

Winker has yet to prove that he can stay healthy for an entire season. The past two seasons, Winker ended the year on the injured list, playing just 89 games in 2018 and 113 in 2019. Aquino has the makings of a star. The 25-year-old mashed 14 home runs on his way to Player of the Month honors last August. However, Aquino hit just .196 over the final month of the season.

Adding Dickerson would give the Reds a consistent left fielder while allowing both Winker and Aquino to rotate duties in right field. Corey Dickerson is a former Gold Glove Award winner, though his defense has slipped a bit last season. After putting up 17 defensive runs saved in 2018, that number dropped to -6 DRS last season according to FanGraphs.

Not only does Dickerson add a more steady glove than Ozuna and Castellanos, but he can flat-out crush the baseball. Dickerson is a career .285 hitter with 115 home runs and a career-OPS of .832. Ozuna has hit .272 throughout his career, but his average dropped to .241 last season. Castellanos ended 2019 on a hot streak, and one has to wonder if that was a blip on the radar or if he’s trending up.

Corey Dickerson also LOVES hitting in Great American Ball Park. Throughout his career, Dickerson has made 19 visits to GABP. In those 19 games, Dickerson’s made 17 starts, slashing .373/.413/.813 with 9 home runs and 19 RBIs. The left-handed hitting Dickerson would love the short porch in right field.

Speaking of being a left-handed hitter, outside of Mike Moustakas, the Reds are lacking in power from the left side. While every fan throughout Reds Country is hoping to see Joey Votto return to hitting 30-plus home runs, at 36-years old, it seems as though Votto’s days of being a power bat are over. Dickerson and Moustakas could form a fearsome left-handed tandem in the batting order.

It’s good see the Reds involved in discussions with a player that fits what the team is looking for. After dropping a guaranteed $18M for the 2020 season on both Moustakas and Miley, it’s likely that Williams and Krall are, perhaps, looking to save some cash when it comes to upgrading the outfield.

Notoriously always shopping for a bargain, the Reds could add power to the lineup without breaking the bank. MLB Trade Rumors predicted Dickerson to land a two-year/$15M contract, though Avisail Garcia‘s deal with Milwaukee likely raised Dickerson’s value a bit. Still, a short-term deal with an AAV of $10M-$12M might be enough to pry Corey Dickerson off the open market.

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It seems apparent that the Cincinnati Reds want to add an outfielder. In addition to Dickerson, Castellanos, and Ozuna, Kole Calhoun has also been rumored to be of interest to the Reds front office. Any additional bat will help Cincinnati’s pursuit of a division title in 2020, but Dickerson checks all the boxes.