Most fans throughout Reds Country believe that acquiring a left-handed reliever should be atop Cincinnati's wishlist this offseason.
Unfortunately, a reunion with former reliever Brooks Raley is already off the table. On Friday, the New York Mets picked up Raley's team-option and the left-hander will be back in the Big Apple next season.
Raley, after posting a 2.80 ERA with 61 punch outs in 66 relief appearances in 2023, will be paid $6.5-million next season.
Potential Reds free agent target off the market
For those who don't remember, Brooks Raley was actually part of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen in 2020. The left-hander, who signed a minor-league pact during the offseason, was part of the Reds Opening Day roster that year.
But after just four appearance, Raley was designated for assignment and picked up by the Houston Astros. Raley became a free agent following the 2021 season and was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays. The following winter, Raley was traded to the Mets.
This past summer, Reds President of Baseball Operations was able to swing a deal with the Oakland Atheltics for left-handed reliever Sam Moll. The southpaw pitched very well and will no doubt be part of the Reds bullpen in 2024.
Moll stepped right into a high-leverage role with his new team. The 31-year-old recorded 22 strikeouts in just over 24 innings pitched and posted a sparkling 0.73 ERA after coming to the Reds.
However, the only other left-handed options for the Reds relief corps next season are Reiver Sanmartin and Alex Young. Sanmartin will miss a significant part of the season following Tommy John surgery, and Young with reverse splits, was rather ineffecive against left-handed batters.
With Brooks Raley off the market, the Cincinnati Reds may turn their attention to other left-handed relievers like Will Smith, Aaron Loup, and Andrew Chafin this offseason.