The Cincinnati Reds have added two pitchers through free agency, but one would assume that president of baseball operations Nick Krall is not done adding to the roster.
Cincinanti has been a rumored destination for two of the top hurlers on the trade market - Tyler Glasnow and Shane Bieber. Both players are free agents after the 2024 season and would be short-term solutions for the Reds rotation.
But what if the Reds fail to land Glasnow or Bieber? In the event that Cincinnati is incapable of adding either pitcher, what is the team's backup plan?
1. The Reds turn their attention back to the free agent market
If the Cincinnati Reds fail to acquire either Tyler Glasnow or Shane Bieber, the front office can quickly turn their attention back to the free agent market. In fact, some would argue that signing a free agent starter is a better strategy in the first place.
Signing a free agent starter would eliminate the need for the Reds to give up anything in return. While Glasnow and Bieber, both of whom are essentially one-year rentals, wouldn't come with a huge price tag, the Reds are still in the early stages of rebuilding their entire roster and may not want to sacrifice any of their top prospects.
There are several free agents still available who could perform as good, if not better than Glasnow or Bieber. Eduardo Rodriguez, Jordan Montgomery, and Shota Imanaga are three names that could provide added depth to the Reds rotation without sending assets to Cleveland or Tampa Bay.
It is, of course, costly to sign any of the top-flight starters currently on the open market. But Tyler Glasnow is owed $25 million next season and Shane Bieber is likely to take home north of $12 million. The Reds might be best served just investing in a free agent starting pitcher instead.