Cincinnati Reds: 2020 free agent class likely to lose a lot of money

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 10: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 10: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Athletic’s Peter Gammons painted a grim picture for free agent to-be Mookie Betts. The same will likely be true of the Cincinnati Reds free agent class.

Peter Gammons of The Athletic, spoke with 670 The Score yesterday and painted a grim financial future for Major League Baseball. Gammons is of the opinion that the game has “no chance of being restored to where they want it to be until 2023.” The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the 2020 MLB season and will greatly affect the Cincinnati Reds crop of free agents to-be.

Gammons described free agency as a whisper rather than a scream, in essence saying that big-time contracts similar to what was signed by Gerrit Cole last offseason won’t even be on the table. Gammons assumed Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts could’ve received $350M-$400M in free agency, but now thinks he’ll be lucky to receive a $250M contract heading into next winter.

The same fate likely awaits several free agents to-be for the Cincinnati Reds. The highest-profile player on the Reds entering free agency this offseason is pitcher Trevor Bauer. Bauer signed a one-year/ $17.5M contract rather than enter arbitration last winter. Bauer, who’d repeatedly said he’d only entertain one-year contracts in the future, may get his wish following the 2020 season.

Anthony DeSclafani will enter free agency for the first time this coming winter. DeSclafani had a nice bounce-back season last season, going 9-9 and was among the Top 20 pitchers in the National League in terms of strikeouts and ERA.

DeSclafani would’ve been playing for a long-term deal during the upcoming season, but with the delay, it’s hard to see the right-hander receiving more than one-year deals during the offseason; especially considering his injury history.

I thought before the season that perhaps Cincinnati and DeSclafani could’ve worked out a multi-year in order to provide insurance for the starting rotation going forward. However, with young arms like Tyler Mahle, Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene, I find it extremely likely that the Reds let Disco walk after 2020.

Freddy Galvis will be up for free agency following the 2020 season. A stopgap for the shortstop position, it would’ve been unlikely for Galvis to be re-signed regardless of what he did/ does in 2020. Galvis set a career-high in home runs (23) last season, but with Jose Garcia showing what he was capable of during spring training, the Reds may have their shortstop of the future.

The fourth and final free agent on the Reds roster is Pedro Strop. The former Chicago Cub signed a one-year deal with Cincinnati this past winter. Depending on how well he performs, there’s chance Strop could be re-signed. However, a small market club like the Reds, who spent a ton of money this past winter, is likely looking to cut as much salary as possible heading into 2021.

Next. Who might be the Reds DH in 2020?

There’s the possibility that Nick Castellanos opts out of his guaranteed $14M in 2021, but given the current financial straits of the league, I find that to be a foolish venture. Castellanos can opt out following the 2021 season as well.