The MLB Winter Meetings kicked things off with a surprise trade in the wee-hours on Monday morning when the Seattle Mariners shipped Jarred Kelenic to the Atlanta Braves as part of a salary dump that brought two pitchers back to the Emerald City.
It's been rather quiet on Day 1, but baseball fans know that this is the time of year when the groundwork is laid for some major offseason activity.
Reds fans surely have a shopping list for president of baseball operations Nick Krall as Cincinnati's top executive sets up shop in the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. What are two needs that the Cincinnati Reds must address during the MLB Winter Meetings and one that isn't as urgent?
The Reds need to add one more bullpen arm during the MLB Winter Meetings
The Cincinnati Reds already added Emilio Pagán, but one more relief pitcher would all but solidify the relief corps heading into 2024. The Reds bullpen was greatly overworked in 2023, but it looks as though the front office is taking steps to rectify that issue going into next season.
It remains to be seen how the Reds plan to use Nick Martinez heading into 2024, but for all intents and purposes, he'll be competing for a spot in the rotation to begin the year. Of course that could change as the season progresses, but if Cincinnati intends to compete for the division crown, one more reliever couldn't hurt.
With Pagán, Alexis Diaz, Lucas Sims, Sam Moll, and Fernando Cruz, the backend of the Reds bullpen looks solid. But if Ian Gibaut, Daniel Duarte, and Tejay Antone are your middle relief, there's every reason to believe that's an area that could use an upgrade.
As the Reds did with Martinez and Pagán, signing a relief pitcher to a one-year deal with a player-option would be a wise strategy. A pitcher like Andrew Chafin, Michael Fulmer, or Brent Suter could really help add some extra innings to the Cincinnati Reds bullpen in 2024.