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
2 of 4

Reds should target Orioles starter Kyle Gibson in free agency

Kyle Gibson is an intriguing name to watch this winter. Gibson started 33 games for the Baltimore Orioles this past season while posting 4.73 ERA over 192 innings of work. If you're looking for a workhorse, Gibson has averaged over 180 innings pitched the past three seasons.

Gibson, much like Michael Wacha, is not going to blow you away with his stuff. The right-hander averages just 92 mph on his heater. With an average exit velocity in the 30th percentile, according to Baseball Savant, don't look to Gibson for soft contact.

But, one thing Gibson does offer is a high ground ball-rate. The 36-year-old kept the ball on the ground almost 50-percent of the time. Every Reds fan knows that Great American Ball Park is not friendly to fly ball pitchers, so having a hurler who keeps the ball on the ground is a plus.

Kyle Gibson also does a very good job of keeping free runners off the bases. Last season, Gibson owned a walk-rate of less than 7-percent. Last season, Reds pitching allowed the most walks (613) in the National League, so having a pitcher who avoids clogging the base paths with free runners could certainly help.

Again, Gibson isn't going to wow anyone with his peripherals or velocity. The veteran, however, has an extenisve pitch repertoire and could be a solid back-of-the-rotation piece for the Cincinnati Reds in 2024.