This past winter’s signings will propel the Cincinnati Reds to the playoffs

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds walks in the dugout. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds walks in the dugout. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

The Reds spending spree this past winter will yield results in a shortened-season.

Baseball is back and the Cincinnati Reds are split between Great American Ball Park and Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio, getting ready for the 2020 season. The Reds are on the radar of some experts as a potential playoff contender with the biggest reason being the free agents that Dick Williams and Nick Krall brought to the Queen City this past winter.

Cincinnati struck it big this past offseason with the additions of second baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielders Shogo Akiyama and Nick Castellanos. The Reds also added pitchers Pedro Strop and Wade Miley, spending a combined $165M.

To me, Moustakas was the biggest get of the free agents signed by the Reds this offseason. The Reds outbid division rival Milwaukee for a player who consistently drives in around 85 runs a year. Moose has big-time power from the left-side and his home run potential at Great American Ball Park should closely resemble the numbers he put up at hitter-friendly Miller Park.

The most recognizable name, other than Moustakas, was Nick Castellanos. The Reds surprised a lot of fans and pundits by landing the former Detroit Tiger. Castellanos was dinged due to his below-average defense, but the universal designated hitter will offer the right-handed slugger a spot in the batting order almost every day.

Castellanos’ career slash line of .277/.326/.471 is sure to make some noise in the Reds lineup this year. Playing in Comerica Park while with the Tigers didn’t help Castellanos in terms of power numbers, but after being traded to the Chicago Cubs last season, the 27-year-old walloped 16 of his 27 home runs in the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

Shogo Akiyama brings something to the Reds they haven’t had in many years; a true leadoff hitter. While playing for the Seibu Lions in Japan, Akiyama consistently batted around .300 and his on-base percentage hovered around the .400 mark. Akiyama’s ability to get on base in front of the likes of Moustakas, Castellanos, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suárez will be key to the team’s success.

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Pitching was never a concern for the Reds heading into last winter, but Williams and Krall added a left-handed starter in Miley and a veteran reliever in Strop. With the strong additions to the lineup, Cincinnati has the makings of a team that could go deep into October.