1 free agent swingman, not named Seth Lugo, the Reds should consider signing

Will the Reds look to sign a free agent pitcher who could be both a starter and reliever.
 San Francisco Giants pitcher Jakob Junis
San Francisco Giants pitcher Jakob Junis / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

With so many talented young starters within the Cincinnati Reds organization, and the team's need for depth, is a swingman the type of player the team could pursue in free agency?

While a frontline starter would certainly help bolster the Reds' postseason aspirations, hurlers like Jordan Montgomery, Sonny Gray and Eduardo Rodriguez carry a hefty price tag.

Seth Lugo has reportedly drawn a lot of interest on the free agent market, but Jakob Junis should be on the Reds' wishlist this holiday season. The former San Francisco Giants pitcher would fit in nicely with the young crop of Cincinnati hurlers.

The Reds should consider signing swingman Jakob Junis

Jakob Junis has split time betweeen the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants. The right-hander has appeared in 168 games during his career and has 110 starts to his name.

But that means that Junis has also been a reliever. Last season, in fact, Junis started just four games for the Giants while appearing 36 times out of the San Francisco bullpen. Junis went 4-3 with a 3.87 ERA and 3.74 FIP according to FanGraphs.

After working exclusively as a starter during the first three years of his career, Junis has taken on a dual-role over the last few seasons. Since 2021, Junis has started 27 of the 79 games in which he's pitched.

Junis does a terrific job of keeping the bases clear with a walk-rate of just 5.7-percent during that three-year span. The 31-year-old also posted a 23.2-percent strikeout-rate during that time.

If the Reds goal is to truly integrate Connor Phillips, Andrew Abbott, and Brandon Williamson into a rotation that features Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, and Nick Lodolo, adding a swingman like Jakob Junis could be the ticket.

That strategy would provide the Reds with seven capable starters, and allow Junis to float between the rotation and the bullpen. All too often last season, the Reds were forced to utilize this same strategy, but with pitchers like Brett Kennedy and Levi Stoudt.

There are other free agents who fit that bill, including Seth Lugo. But FanSided's Robert Murray reported on the Foul Territory Podcast this past week that more than half the league has checked in on the veteran hurler.

Before teams are forced to pivot from Lugo, perhaps the Cincinnati Reds should just take the plunge and land a swingman like Jakob Junis. Another such type of pitcher from the NL West, Nick Martinez, also fits that bill.