A work stoppage in Major League Baseball is almost inevitable. This will undoubtedly put pressure on some executives to make some moves before December 1st.
While the Cincinnati Reds aren't necessarily in the market for any top free agents, there are a handful of moves the front office should make before the MLB work stoppage.
1. The Reds should extend Tyler Mahle before the MLB work stoppage.
The Cincinnati Reds have a handful of players the team could sign to a contract extension this offseason, but Tyler Mahle should be at or near the top of the list.
Some fans would argue for Luis Castillo or Jesse Winker, and while both are deserving, extending Mahle is a move that could happen before the MLB work stoppage.
The Reds have a blueprint for Tyler Mahle's extension after watching the Colorado Rockies sign Antonio Senzatela to a five-year contract.
Senzatela's deal is worth $50.5M and contains a team-option for the 2027 season.
Mahle had a terrific season for the Reds in 2021 despite his struggles at home. The right-hander posted a 3.75 ERA in 33 starts last season.
Mahle recorded 210 punch outs, more than any pitcher on Cincinnati's staff, including Luis Castillo.
His 19.2% K-BB was right in line with the numbers the California native put up in 2020 (19.4% K-BB).
Over the past two seasons, Tyler Mahle has a 10.67 K/9 and 28.1% strikeout-rate to go along with a 3.82 ERA over 227.2 innings of work.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Mahle is projected to make $5.6M in 2022 via arbitration.
The Reds have until after the 2023 to negotiate a long-term agreement with Tyler Mahle. Doing so this offseason, and before the MLB work stoppage, would be prudent.
The Reds have said that both Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle are off limits in trade talks. However, Sonny Gray may be traded later this offseason.
With the Cincinnati Reds set to usher in a new crop of starters (Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Reiver Sanmartin), it would be nice to see some stability heading into the 2022 season.
While a great majority of fans would advocate for the Reds to offer Jesse Winker an extension, this offseason has already shown us how desperate teams are for starting pitching.
Cincinnati would be wise to lock up one of their best young hurlers before the MLB work stoppage.