3 right-handed hitting outfielders the Cincinnati Reds could target after the lockout

New York Mets left fielder Kevin Pillar (11) sits in the dugout.
New York Mets left fielder Kevin Pillar (11) sits in the dugout. / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Reds are set as far as left-handed bats are concerned. Between Joey Votto, Jesse Winker, Mike Moustakas, and Tyler Naquin, David Bell would appear to have four left-handed hitters set to deploy in his everyday lineup.

But if Nick Castellanos, who's still a free agent, is not retained once the lockout if lifted, the Reds may need to add a right-handed bat to their lineup. Kyle Farmer and Jose Barrero (both right-handed hitters) figure to be part of the everyday lineup, as will Jonthan India, Tyler Stephenson and Eugenio Suárez. Nick Senzel could be part of the equation as well, but he's less than reliable.

So it stands to reason that Cincinnati should look to add a right-handed bat to the lineup. With the infield accounted for, Stephenson behind the plate, and the combination of Winker and Naquin in the outfield, there's only one conceivable spot left to add a right-handed bat. Are there any right-handed hitting outfielders available in free agency who would make sense for the Cincinnati Reds?

1. The Cincinnati Reds could sign Kevin Pillar.

Kevin Pillar isn't going to an electric signing, but it's hard to see the Cincinnati Reds doling out multi-year contracts once the MLB lockout is lifted. Pillar, however, could likely be had for a one-year deal after signing multiple one-year pacts over the last few years.

Pillar was a longtime member of the Toronto Blue Jays, but was traded to the San Francisco Giants in 2019. After a one-year tenure in the Bay Area, Pillar signed a deal with the Boston Red Sox ahead of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Pillar was traded that season to the Colorado Rockies. Last year, Pillar played 124 games for the New York Mets.

A career slash line of .260/.297/.409 isn't very inspiring, but Kevin Pillar does bring an above-average glove to the table. For his career, Pillar has 52 defensive runs saved and can play all over the outfield, though he has lost a step over the last few seasons.

Pillar's 2021 season was halted after taking a fastball off the face courtesy of Jacob Webb. Pillar missed two weeks with multiple nasal fractures, but returned to the diamond to finish out the season. Kevin Pillar would be considered a low-cost option, and his wRC+ of 104 versus left-handed pitching might see the Cincinnati Reds make an offer.

San Diego Padres left fielder Tommy Pham (28) spits.
San Diego Padres left fielder Tommy Pham (28) spits. / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

2. The Cincinnati Reds could sign Tommy Pham.

The prospect of adding Tommy Pham to the Cincinnati Reds lineup is an intriguing one. It's curious to think about what the former San Diego Padres outfielder could garner on the open market after two down years. Pham's 2020 season was atrocious, but the 33-year-old showed some resilience last season.

Reds fans will remember Pham from his time in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. A former 16th-round pick of the Redbirds, Pham was a rising star during his time in the Gateway City. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2018 season and was later dealt to the San Diego Padres prior to the 2020 season.

Pham is an interesting free agent. Given his injury history, it's hard to see any team counting on him to be an everyday player. A former shortstop early during his professional career, Pham has played the outfield exclusively since 2007. However, the 33-year-old recently spoke about playing first base.

Putting Pham at first base and sliding Joey Votto in the DH role when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound would be an interesting idea. For his career, Pham has a wRC+ of 135 and an OPS of .854 versus left-handers. Defensively, Pham is a better left fielder than he is a right fielder, but that spot is taken by Jesse Winker. Pham lined up for 91 innings in center field for the Padres last season.

Atlanta Braves designated hitter Jorge Soler (12) celebrates.
Atlanta Braves designated hitter Jorge Soler (12) celebrates. / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Cincinnati Reds could sign Jorge Soler.

This option might be a bit more costly than the aforementioned Kevin Pillar and Tommy Pham. That said, if the Cincinnati Reds are looking for an impact right-handed bat and are unwilling to meet Nick Castellanos' contract demands, Jorge Soler could be the ticket.

The outfielder/ designated hitter was the hero of the World Series for the Atlanta Braves, and while he wasn't a hot commodity prior to the lockout, with the addition of the DH to the National League, Soler's market is about to explode.

The former Kansas City Royals' slugger has 121 home runs during his big league career including a 48-homer performance in 2019. That was one less than Eugenio Suárez had that season. But, much like Suárez, Soler comes with a lot of swings and misses.

The 30-year-old has a career strikeout-rate of 26.9%, but dramatically cut down on his strikeouts last season. Soler posted a 34.5% K-rate in 2020, but lowered that number to 23.6% in 2021. Soler has a career wRC+ of 111 and will likely be looking for a multi-year deal.

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If the Cincinnati Reds are looking to replace Nick Castellanos, Jorge Soler might be the closest they'll get for the price they're willing to pay. Soler could offer the Reds a lot of value, and could certainly fill in as the team's designated hitter as well.