Before president of baseball operations Nick Krall essentially put a bow on the Cincinnati Reds' offseason checklist, the fanbase wanted to see their team go after a power-hitting outfielder. When pondering which free agents would best fit Cincinnati's roster, Reds fans often discussed two names.
One was Jorge Soler, who's little more than a glorified designated hitter who makes Jesse Winker look like a Gold Glover in the outfield. The other was Teoscar Hernandez who was coming off a down-year with the Seattle Mariners, but still launched 26 homers.
On Sunday evening, Reds fans found out very quickly why Krall and Company waved the white flag when it came to pursuing Hernandez in free agency. The 31-year-old inked a one-year/$23.5-million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, $8.5 million will be deferred.
Dodgers’ absurd Teoscar Hernandez contract shows why Reds threw in the towel
The Los Angeles Dodgers are taking all the fun out of the offseason. After LA inked Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani to massive free agent deals, they then traded for Tampa Bay Rays' pitcher Tyler Glasnow. Now the Dodgers figured they'd just go all-in and sign one of the top-hitting outfielders as well.
However, at that price, it's no wonder the Cincinnati Reds said no thank you. Sure, adding a right-handed hitting outfielder like Hernandez would bolster the Reds' lineup, but it's debatable as to whether or not Cincinnati was ever pursuing an everyday outfielder in the first place.
Besides, that's a lot of zeroes for a player who's seen a steady decline over the past three seasons. In 2020, Hernandez hit .289/.340/.579. This past season, the slugger posted a slash line of just .258/.305/.435.
The Reds have already invested over $100 million into free agents Buck Farmer, Nick Martinez, Emilio Pagán, Jeimer Candelario, and Frankie Montas this offseason. There was no way Cincinnati was going to tack on another $20-plus million.
With the addition of Candelario, it seems like a slam dunk for Spencer Steer to become the Reds left fielder heading into next season. It's also been mentioned that Jonathan India could see time on the outfield grass as well.
There are still plenty of outfielders remaining on the open market. Even though Nick Krall has signaled that the club is unlikely to make any more major moves, a couple talented players may be willing to accept minor-league deals with an invite to spring training.