Kyle Farmer can be the Reds starting shortstop.
The deeper we get into the offseason, the more I think that Kyle Farmer will be the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day shortstop. Frankly, I’m okay with that. I’m a big fan of what Farmer brings to this team and I think he can handle the duties of being the everyday shortstop. The key to Farmer playing that role is that Cincinnati needs someone to fill the void of utility infielder.
That’s where Dee Strange-Gordon comes in. While it may not be popular, unless the Reds swing a trade for a player like Willy Adames or sign a free agent like Jonathan Villar, Kyle Farmer is the team’s best option at shortstop. Again, I’m okay with that, as Farmer brings great glove work and a fantastic attitude to the clubhouse.
No, Farmer is not going bring elite offensive talent. A career .242 hitter, you can expect Farmer to give you solid at-bats, but he’s to be considered the No. 8 hole hitter. Given the talent Cincinnati has on the roster, that’s okay. The big boppers in front of Farmer can more than hold their own in the batter’s box, though we didn’t see that in 2020.
Reds Country needs to stop holding out hope that Cincinnati’s front office is going to make an earth-shattering move this winter. We’ve seen the direction this team is going. The Reds are looking to be competitive while at the same time cutting payroll.
That’s why Curt Casali, Archie Bradley, Brian Goodwin, Raisel Iglesias, Anthony DeSclafani, and Trevor Bauer will be playing elsewhere in 2021. Combined, the Reds avoided paying $22.5M for the quartet of Casali, Bradley, Iglesias, and DeSclafani. Throw in Goodwin’s likely bump to over $3M via arbitration, and Cincinnati saved about $25M by moving on from those five players.
None of those players, outside of Trevor Bauer, were going to make a huge impact on this year’s ball club. Furthermore, the Reds were never going to compete for Bauer’s services on the open market. The Reds sunk their money into last year’s free agent class by bringing Shogo Akiyama, Nick Castellanos, and Mike Moustakas to town.
If those three players, along with Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez play up to their potential this season, then Cincinnati can afford to go into 2021 with Kyle Farmer as the starting shortstop. If the Reds see more of the same from those five players, then it’s going to be a long season, regardless of who is playing shortstop in 2021.