Reds rumors: Cincinnati Reds have decent chance to sign Shogo Akiyama

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 13: Outfielder Shogo Akiyama #55 of Japan runs to make an inside-the-park home run in the top of 8th inning during the game four between Japan and MLB All Stars at Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium Hiroshima on November 13, 2018 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
HIROSHIMA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 13: Outfielder Shogo Akiyama #55 of Japan runs to make an inside-the-park home run in the top of 8th inning during the game four between Japan and MLB All Stars at Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium Hiroshima on November 13, 2018 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Ready for some more Reds rumors? Apparently the Cincinnati Reds have a decent chance to land Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama.

With Christmas now behind us, the Reds rumors have started up again. According to Jon Heyman, an insider at MLB Network, the Cincinnati Reds are in talks with center fielder Shogo Akiyama. Heyman states that the Reds are thought to have a decent shot at landing the Japanese star and credits Nikkan Sports with first reporting Cincinnati as a potential landing spot.

In a very thin center field market, Akiyama is arguably the best one available. The left-handed hitting Akiyama spent the past nine seasons with the Seibu Linos of of Nippon Professional Baseball. If the Reds and Akiyama are able to work out a deal, the 31-year-old would become the first Japanese player to play for the Cincinnati Reds.

If Cincinnati does sign Akiyama, then the front office will have an interesting couple of questions on their hands. First, what would signing Akiyama mean for Nick Senzel‘s future? We’ve heard Senzel’s name tossed about as a potential piece in a trade involving Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor.

Would Cincinnati even play Akiyama in center field? While it’s the position he’s most familiar with, there are concerns about his defensive skillset. Might the Reds look to move Akiyama or Senzel to a spot in the corner outfield? If so, that would likely take the team out of the running for Marcell Ozuna and Nicholas Castellanos.

Cincinnati is just one of many teams said to be eyeing Shogo Akiyama. The Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, and Arizona Diamondbacks are also rumored to be interested in signing Akiyama. However, the Rays added Yoshitomo Tsutsugo just last week, and the D-Backs recently agreed to a deal with Kole Calhoun. It’s doubtful those two teams are still involved.

Akiyama would definitely add some offensive prowess to next year’s team. Akiyama’s career slash line with the Seibu Lions is .301/.376/.829. For the past five seasons, Akiyama’s on-base percentage has been .385 or higher. He could be a nice piece to add at the top of Cincinnati’s batting order.

Next. Predicting the Reds lineup with addition of Lindor

The latest Reds rumors appear to bring more questions than answers, as signing Shogo Akiyama may cause a ripple effect throughout the roster. MLB Trade Rumors predicts Akiyama’s contract to be in the neighborhood of two-years/$6M, though other pundits expect him to take in more than that.