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 Reds should target Giants starter Alex Cobb during free agency

There is a cavaet when it comes to San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Alex Cobb. According to Spotrac, Cobb has a $10-million club-option for the 2024 season. It's not yet known if the Giants will exercise this option, but if they decline, the Cincinnati Reds should pounce at the opportunity.

There are some who'll scoff at this idea because of Cobb's age. The right-hander is 36 years old and was drafted all the way back in 2006. But lately, we've seen pitchers like Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Adam Wainwright pitch into their late-30s and early-40s.

Cobb does one thing very, very well, and it would be a great asset for any pitcher who takes the moung in Cincinnati. Cobb has a 57.8-percent ground ball-rate, which ranks in the 95th percentile according to Baseball Savant.

Cobb is not going to collect a lot of punch outs. Last season, Cobb posted a 20.3-percent strikeout-rate with 131 strikeouts in 151.1 innings of work. But, Cobb owned a measly walk-rate of just 5.7-percent.

With so many young pitchers the Cincinnati Reds staff, adding a grizzled veteran like Alex Cobb could be an achor in the rotation. Cobb was an All-Star in 2023 and has posted a 3.79 ERA the past three seasons.