What in the world are the Cincinnati Reds doing? With Dee Strange-Gordon signing a minor-league contract, fans are left a bit dumbfounded. While it’s not a major-league deal, adding Strange-Gordon is, well, strange.
The Cincinnati Reds don’t need a utility infielder, unless the team is planning on heading into the 2021 season with Kyle Farmer as the starting shortstop. Having a left-handed hitter like Strange-Gordon could offer David Bell an additional option off the bench, but it’s not as if the veteran has a great record recently.
Why did the Reds sign Dee Strange-Gordon?
For the life of me, I can’t wrap my mind around this signing. It just doesn’t make sense unless inking Strange-Gordon to a contract is an insurance policy in the event Farmer or newly added shortstop Kyle Holder suffer an injury during spring training.
I guess what I’m saying, the Reds will be the laughing stock of Major League Baseball if the team trots out Dee Strange-Gordon as the Opening Day shortstop. The 32-year-old veteran hasn’t received meaningful reps at the position since 2013 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now, I don’t want to overreact to this signing, as it is just a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training according to The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans. Rosecrans goes on to explain that Strange-Gordon, who’s worked with former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, will be competing for a utility role with the Reds.
While Rosecrans is reporting that Dee Strange-Gordon is not slated to be the team’s Opening Day shortstop, stranger things have happened; see what I did there? All kidding aside, adding Strange-Gordon just doesn’t add up.
The Reds should utilize Kyle Holder over Dee Strange-Gordon.
The Reds signed Mike Moustakas to a four-year contract last winter, and Moose is going to be getting the majority of reps at second base. If the former World Champion needs a breather, Kyle Farmer is quite capable of filling in at second base. The same could be said for Jonathan India, Kyle Holder, and Alex Blandino.
In fact, if David Bell needs to move Farmer from shortstop to second base for an extended period of time, Kyle Holder offers a plus-glove at the shortstop position. While he’s yet to gain a major league call-up, being a Rule 5 draftee means that Holder must be part of the 26-man roster all season or be offered back to the New York Yankees.
Is Jonathan Villar signing with the Reds?
So, with Dee Strange-Gordon in the fold, the Cincinnati faithful will turn to their attention to Jonathan Villar, the veteran infielder who was rumored to be in contract negotiations with the Reds front office just a couple days ago.
If the Cincinnati Reds truly intend to utilize Strange-Gordon in a utility role, so be it. However, if Cincinnati foregoes signing a proven shortstop like Villar and proceeds to run Strange-Gordon out as the team’s starting shortstop on Opening Day, Reds Country is likely to revolt.