1 top-tier starter the Reds should target during free agency and 2 they should avoid

If the Reds want to shoot for the stars, there are some top-tier pitchers to target and some to avoid this offseason.
Minnesota Twins pitcher Sonny Gray
Minnesota Twins pitcher Sonny Gray / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages
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The Reds should avoid Cubs starter Marcus Stroman during free agency

If you look at some of Marcus Stroman's statistics, you'll see a lot of positives. The right-hander owned a 57.4-percent ground ball-rate in 2023, and while Stroman's walk-rate is up slightly, it's still less than 10-percent.

There is also the chance that Stroman doesn't even hit free agency. The 32-year-old has a $21-million player-option for 2024 that he could exercise in order to stay with the Chicago Cubs in 2024.

But it's not the stats that should concern Reds fans, but the durability. The past two seasons, Stroman has found the injured list a few times. In 2022, Stroman was sidelined with a right shoulder injury and last season he hit the IL for over a month with a hip issue.

After having so many starting pitchers land on the IL in 2023, the last thing the Cincinnati Reds need to is sign a pitcher with durability concerns. After starting 33 games in 2021, Stroman started just 25 games the past two seasons for Chicago.

If Marcus Stroman does opt out of his contract with the Cubs, he obviously has his sights set on securing more than $21-million in 2024. That's a lot of cash to spend on pitcher who's seen the IL as much as Stroman has the past two seasons.

The Cincinnati Reds saw Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, Hunter Greene, Connor Overton all have lengthy stays on the injured list in 2023. There's no need to have a player like Marcus Stroman join them in the training room.