Ranking the best free agent relief pitcher targets for the Reds

The Reds have some money to spend this offseason and the club needs to find some relief for the bullpen.
New York Yankees pitcher Keynan Middleton
New York Yankees pitcher Keynan Middleton / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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12. Chris Stratton, Right-handed reliever

Another Texas Rangers reliever makes the list, and with good reason. Chris Stratton, who began his 2023 campaign with the St. Louis Cardinals, went 2-1 with a sub-4.00 ERA in 2023. If the Reds are looking for a pitcher who can give them multiple innings of relief, Stratton could be that guy.

The right-hander made 64 appearances, but covered over 80 innings. Stratton kept the base paths relatively clear with a walk-rate below 7.5-percent. The 33-year-old wasn't exactly a strikeout machine though, punching out less than one batter per inning pitched.

11. Aroldis Chapman, Left-handed reliever

Aroldis Chapman signed a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals this past offseason and was traded to the Texas Rangers midway through the 2023 season. Chapman can still light up the radar gun, consistently hurling his fastball toward the plate at 99-plus mph.

Adding some gas to the Reds bullpen should be on the agenda for president of baseball operations Nick Krall, but Chapman's walk-rate (14.5-percent) pushes him higher on this list. A reunion with the Cuban Missile could be in the cards for 2024.

10. Pierce Johnson, Right-handed reliever

Pierce Johnson, another Atlanta Braves reliever, gets a lot of strikeouts. The right-hander punched out 90 opposing batters in 60.2 innings pitched last season. Johnson was 2-6 with a 4.02 ERA and 1.48 WHIP.

Like several others on this list, Johnson got a lot of punchies in 2023, but also walked a lot of batters. A 10.8-percent walk-rate isn't ideal, but when you can offset it with a strikeout-rate better than 30-percent, there's reason to believe that Johnson could pique the Reds interest this offseason.