The Cincinnati Reds have spent a pretty penny this offseason and have added several new players to the 40-man roster. In addition to Emilio Pagán and Buck Farmer, Cincinnati has also added Nick Martinez, Jeimer Candelario, and have reportedly agreed to terms with Frankie Montas.
The Reds, who'll be relying on improvement from their young core next season, have done a nice job of supplementing the roster through free agency. The offseason is far from over, and Nick Krall may not be done quite yet.
If the 2024 season started today, what would the Reds starting lineup look like?
The only free agent position player the Cincinnati Reds have added this offseason is corner infielder Jeimer Candelario. The switch-hitter signed a three-year/$45-million deal shortly after the MLB Winter Meetings and is expected to be a key cog in the middle of the Reds lineup.
Questions still linger about Jonathan India's inclusion on the Reds Opening Day roster. Will Cincinnati's second baseman have a new home between now and March 28th? Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall has maintained that the team is not actively shopping India.
Behind the plate, the Reds seem set. Luke Maile signed a one-year deal shortly after the World Series ended, and Tyler Stephenson will be looking to reclaim his spot at QB1 as he heads into his fourth major-league season.
Elly De La Cruz
The outfield will be comprised of Jake Fraley and TJ Friedl, along with Will Benson. Look for Spencer Steer to log most of his starts in left field, and don't be surprised if India gets a look on the outfield grass as well.
As for the infield, Jeimer Candelario will be get plenty of opportunities to start at both first base and the hot corner. Noelvi Marte's strong close to the 2023 season will have the young infielder eyeing Rookie of the Year honors in 2024. Look for Marte to get a long look at third base.
Matt McLain may get the lion's share of his starts at second base, but India will log some innings at the keystone as well. McLain may also relieve Elly De La Cruz on occasion at shortstop, espeically when a left-handed pitcher is on the bump.
As for De La Cruz, no matter what some might think, he'll be the Reds everyday shortstop in 2024. It's possible that De La Cruz will see a few starts at third base as well, but with Candelario, Marte, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Cincinnati has the corner infield spots covered.
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell will have a plethora of positional flexibility, so to say that there'll be one set lineup for all 162 games would be foolish. Bell will continue to play the matchups, and Reds fans will see a healthy mix of lineup changes throughout the 2024 season.