Rick Porcello would be bargain for the Reds after abysmal 2020 season

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 04: Rick Porcello #22 of the New York Mets in action. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 04: Rick Porcello #22 of the New York Mets in action. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Rick Porcello would help solidify the Reds starting rotation in 2021.

This winter has been an interesting one to say the least for the Cincinnati Reds. It remains unclear whether the front office is still committed to trying to win right now, or going back into rebuild mode. Might the Reds make a run at right-hander Rick Porcello? MLB Trade Rumors predicts Porcello will sign a one-year deal worth $5M, a price the Reds can certainly afford.

There’s been a lot of buzz around pitching during free agency. Who’s coming? Who’s going? Who’s staying? I’m still strong in my opinion that Trevor Bauer is as good as gone, but still holding out hope for a miracle. Porcello isn’t the biggest arm out on the market, but I think his pitching style could fit very well in Cincinnati.

If anybody out there knows what the rotation is most likely to look like next season, it’s the front office. The lack of movement to bring pitching to Cincinnati may indeed be a chess move, but one that could end up being a costly one if not handled delicately. With Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer having one foot out the door, the time to start looking for pitching is immediately.

Rick Porcello is a pitcher who I could see having a great deal of success in a Reds uniform. Porcello, who will turn 32 in a few weeks, has had a pretty stellar career when he’s been on his game. He won the Cy Young in 2016, winning 22 games on the bump for the Red Sox. He was also an important arm for the Bo-Sox again in 2018 when they hung yet another World Series banner at Fenway.

Porcello has no doubt been an up and down guy for most of his career, and I have a hunch that he could find rejuvenation in Cincinnati. His 2020 season with the Mets was definitely a down part of his career. I don’t put too much stock into last season, as 2020 in of itself has been an anomaly in many fashions. The Dodgers were finally able to break through and get a World Series; what does that tell you?

Porcello has pitched most of his career in the much tougher American League and one bad season in the National League isn’t enough for me to dismiss the idea of signing him just yet. Porcello relies heavily on a sinking 2-seam fastball. It’s one of the reasons I’m so high on him being able to have success in Cincinnati.

With the Cincinnati Reds playing at Coors Field 2.0 and Great American Ball Park being a launching pad for baseballs, having a pitcher like Porcello who induces a lot of ground balls could be a big time advantage.

Rick Porcello isn’t a guy who will blow it by you; he’s quite the opposite. Porcello is a pitcher who pitches to contact. He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, his goal is in fact to get hitters to put the ball in play. Porcello wants hitters to swing at bad pitches; pitches that will more than likely end up weak grounders in the infield. As a matter of fact, he’s good at it.

According to FanGraphs, Porcello sports a career 47.2 ground ball percentage, and a career 1.46 ground ball to fly ball ratio. For his career, Porcello also boasts around 31 percent o-swing%(percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone) and a 73 percent o-contact% (percentage of pitches a batter makes contact with pitches thrown outside the strike zone). To put it in layman’s terms, Porcello forces outcomes that the hitter doesn’t want.

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Porcello signed a one-year deal with the New York Mets last December for $10M. Coming off a relatively bad season, I don’t see any reason why the Reds couldn’t bring him in for a similar asking price, and perhaps much less. Porcello would be a great option to have somewhere in the middle of the rotation. The Cincinnati Reds need to strike soon before some other team takes him off the board.