Reds: 5 non-tender candidates Cincinnati could target this offseason

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 09: Joe Jimenez #77 of the Detroit Tigers in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 9, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 09: Joe Jimenez #77 of the Detroit Tigers in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 9, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Jose Urena #62 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch.
MIAMI, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 17: Jose Urena #62 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

4. The Reds could add José Ureña to the starting rotation.

A questionable addition to be sure, but José Ureña may very well be let go by the Miami Marlins, and the Cincinnati Reds should be waiting to pounce if that happens. Ureña is probably most famous for hitting Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. on the very pitch during a game in 2018. Ureña has some serious giddy-up to his fastball.

The Reds are likely to lose both Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani to free agency. The latest rumors suggest that Sonny Gray may be dealt this offseason as well. If that happens, Cincinnati would be looking at the likes of Michael Lorenzen, Tejay Antone, and Tony Santillan to help fill out their starting rotation.

Ureña has fallen on hard times. The right-hander, who’d started on Opening Day for the Marlins in 2017 and 2018, was moved to the bullpen in 2019 and made just five starts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Ureña has control issues, as evidenced by leading the league in hit batsmen twice during his young career. This past season, Ureña’s walk-rate hit a career-high of 12.5% according to FanGraphs. José Ureña is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make between $3.8M-$4.2M. I can’t see the Marlins forking over that kind of cash. Look for Ureña to hit the open market.

But why would the Cincinnati Reds want an erratic pitcher who’s out of minor league options? That’s a good question, and taking on Ureña would definitely be a gamble, but Derek Johnson has done wonders in the past. This would be a reclamation project with the potential payoffs to be quite good.