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
4 of 4

Reds should avoid Dodgers starter Lance Lynn in free agency

It would have been one thing if the Cincinnati Reds were looking for pitching depth at the trade deadline last season and made a play for Lance Lynn. The same could have been said for Jack Flaherty or Lucas Giolito.

But after seeing the disasterous way that Lynn exited the field during his final appearance of the 2023 season, it's hard to see the right-hander being part of the solution in Cincinnati. Lynn gave up four home runs in one inning during Game 3 of the NLDS against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Sheesh!

Lynn led all of Major League Baseball in home runs allowed last season. Lookin back at his career, it's easy to say that his 2023 performance could be an outlier. However, do the Reds really want to take that risk with a 36-year-old pitcher?

Lynn could be seen as a backend starter, and after a poor showing in 2023, one has to assume that the righty will be looking for a one-year "prove it" deal. The right-hander can still get swings and misses, but last season's perforamnce is hard to ignore.

Would it be the worst decision in the world for the Cincinnati Reds to sign Lance Lynn to a contract during free agency this offseason? No, but with so many mid-tier pitchers available this winter, some of which that will be even less expensive, it's not wise to pursue a pitcher like Lynn who's on the backside of his career.