Randal Grichuk's new deal should influence Reds to target these low-cost free agents

While the Reds have been rather the quiet the past few weeks, the club should look to add one more bat.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Randal Grichuk
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Randal Grichuk / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall hasn't closed the door to more free agent signings this offseason, but fans certainly shouldn't expect any big splashes. The Reds have already spent over $100 million on the likes of Frankie Montas, Nick Martinez, and Jeimer Candelario.

But while Krall has done a fine job of adding to the Reds roster this winter, a hole remains in Cincinnati's lineup. The Reds lack a right-handed hitting outfielder, who has success against left-handed pitching, and can be platooned with Jake Fraley and Will Benson in right field.

On Saturday, the Arizona Diamondbacks took one such player off the market after reportedly coming to terms with Randal Grichuk. The outfielder should have been on the Reds' radar given his low-cost contract. While Grichuk may be off to the desert, it gives the Reds an idea of what a contract for a few other lingering free agents, like Adam Duvall or Robbie Grossman, might cost.

Randal Grichuk's new deal should influence Reds to target Adam Duvall & Robbie Grossman

Grichuk signed a one-year, $2 million deal with a mutual option for 2025. The deal reportedly includes a $6 million option with a $500,000 buyout and base salary of $1.5 million in 2024. If the Reds are able to get a player like Duvall or Grossman to sign a similar deal, Krall should pick up the phone right now.

Grichuk posted a .779 OPS last season, but hit .328/.388/.607 against left-handed pitchers. Duvall, who's been linked to the Boston Red Sox throughout the offseason, actually had reverse splits last season, but for his career has posted very similar numbers against both left-handed and right-handed pitchers.

Grossman's numbers were more in line with Grichuk's. The 34-year-old hit .309/.416/.536 off southpaws in 2023, but his .633 OPS against right-handed hurlers suggests Grossman should be used exclusively as a platoon bat.

Currently, the trio of Stuart Fairchild, Jose Barrero, and non-roster invitee Josh Harrison will be battling it out in spring training to see who will occupy that 26th spot on the Reds roster. Cincinnati is also tinkering with the concept of allowing both Jonathan India and Christian Encarnacion-Strand to log some time in the outfield as well.

Duvall might be seeking a deal a little north of what Grichuk signed for. The former University of Louisville star not only put good numbers in 2023, but he still plays defense at a Gold Glove-caliber level. Grossman's contract demands can't be much more than Grichuk's. In fact, you could make the argument that his impending deal should be even less.

The Cincinnati Reds have plenty of bats in the lineup, so filling such a niche role shouldn't necessarily be tops on the agenda as the team is looking to solidify their Opening Day roster. But if the Reds have the chance to sign one of Duvall or Grossman for $2 million or less, that's an opportunity they can't pass up.