The San Diego Padres made a huge splash at the Winter Meetings in the wee-morning hours on Thursday with the signing of Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year contract. The surprising aspect of the signing is the fact that San Diego's infield is already loaded with talent.
Manny Machado, Ha-Seong Kim, Jake Cronenworth, and Fernando Tatis Jr. were already on the team, and now it appears as though Padres' manager Bob Melvin will have to reshuffle the infield. The Friars are expected to move Croneworth to first base, Kim to second base, and Tatis Jr. to the outfield in order to insert Bogaerts as the team's starting shortstop.
With so many talented middle infielders in the Cincinnati Reds farm system, the club may have to follow a similar formula in order to get their best players on the field at the same time. Which three infielders should consider a position change to the outfield?
1. Reds SS Jose Barrero should be moved to the outfield.
Now, don't yell and scream and curse at your computer screen. Everyone who watched Cincinnati Reds baseball from August through the end of last season understands that Jose Barrero struck out an inordinate and unsustainable amount of times during his first extended look at the major league level.
Those fans arguing that Barrero can't hit water if he fell out of a boat are not being overly critical, as there's no denying the .152 batting average and 76 punch outs that the infielder recorded in 165 at-bats for the Reds last season.
But there's two factors that cannot be ignored; Barrero had success and was named the Cincinnati Reds Minor League Player of the Year in 2021, and the 24-year-old was coming off hamate surgery as well. Not only did Barrero struggle in the big leagues, he was unable to put up good numbers in the minor leagues as well.
Jose Barrero has a cannon for an arm, and could be a very fine right fielder. If Barrero can regain the hitting stroke that he had in 2021, the Reds may have something in the Cuban. At this point, what does Cincinnati have to lose?