3 mid-tier starters the Reds should target during free agency and 1 they should avoid

If the Reds don't want to spend top-dollar, which free agent starters could be good fits in Cincinnati?

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Michael Wacha
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Michael Wacha / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Reds are not known to be big spenders. Very rarely will you see Bob Castellini and the Reds ownership group open up their wallet to land high-dollar free agents.

After watching Mike Moustakas bleed the club dry for $64-million worth of below-average play, you can understand why the Reds might shy away from offering up big-money deals to free agents.

However, some mid-tier free agents are much more up Cincinnati's alley. There are several of those types of players who are set to be free agents this offseason. With a need for starters heading into 2024, which mid-tier free agent pitchers should the Reds target, and which one should they avoid?

Reds should target Padres starter Michael Wacha in free agency

While Blake Snell is the likely NL Cy Young Award-winner this year, there was another San Diego Padres pitcher who put up solid numbers in 2023 as well. Michael Wacha put forth a solid season and should be on the Cincinnati Reds radar this winter.

Yes, that same Micahel Wacha who played for the St. Louis Cardinals for all those years. Formerly a division rival of the Reds, the right-hander posted a 14-4 record in 2023 with 3.22 ERA in 24 starts for the Friars.

Wacha did land on the injured list for several weeks last season with a shoulder injury, but prior to his IL stint, the 32-year-old owned a sparkling 2.84 ERA. That said, Wacha hasn't eclipsed 135 innings pitched the past three seasons, so durability could be a concern.

Nothing about Wacha is going to blow you away, but he gets weak contact and limits the free passes. Wacha will mix five different pitches including a very good changeup.

There are others who could be a better fit for the Cincinnati Reds, but don't be shocked to hear Michael Wacha's name once free agency begins.