3 unconventional free agent targets to bolster the Reds starting rotation

Sometimes the traditional way of doing business isn't always the right way. Will the Reds take a different approach to free agency this offseason?

Japan starting pitcher Shota Imanaga (21) delivers a pitch
Japan starting pitcher Shota Imanaga (21) delivers a pitch / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next

3. Reds could target former first-round pick Erick Fedde

This is a gamble, to be sure, but it's one that could really pay off for the Cincinnati Reds if it works out. Erick Fedde was the 18th-overall pick of the Washington Nationals in 2014. The UNLV product was expected to be a frontline starter for the Nats, but that never materialized.

In six major league seasons, Fedde went 21-33 with a gaudy 5.41 ERA and 1.523 WHIP. Those poor numbers prompted the right-hander to take his game overseas in an effort to jumpstart his career.

Fedde found success in the Korean Baseball Organization as a member of the starting rotation for the NC Dinos. Fedde went 20-6 over 30 starts and logged over 180 innings of work. The soon-to-be 31-year-old struck out 209 batters while walking just 35.

According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Erick Fedde is already drawing interest from major league teams. Heyman notes that Fedde won the Choi Dong-won Award, which is the KBO equivalent to the Cy Young Award.

There's certainly risk involved in signing Fedde, as he's proven time and time again that his stuff doesn't play against major league competition. But there are several examples of pitchers who've travelled overseas and straightened things out.

MLB Postseason standout Merrill Kelly spent four seasons in the KBO, and recent Cincinnati Reds hurler Ben Lively also pitched overseas. Snagging a former top prospect who's found success outside the United States is unconventional, but it just might work.

manual