Reds recent signing signals an end to the search for a No. 5 starter

Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Luke Weaver (26) pitches.
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Luke Weaver (26) pitches. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It would appear as though the Cincinnati Reds have finally found the veteran starting pitcher they've been searching for all offseason.

The ole Redlegs agreed to terms on a one-year/$2M contract with Luke Weaver. The 29-year-old is expected to compete with the likes of Luis Cessa, Justin Dunn, and Connor Overton for a spot in the backend of the Cincinnati starting rotation.

Weaver will also have to hold competition from young pitchers like Brandon Williamson and Levi Stoudt in order to secure a spot in the rotation. If Weaver is unable to pitch up to the level that the Reds' brass expects, fans will likely see him moved to the bullpen.

The Reds have found their No. 5 starter in Luke Weaver.

Luke Weaver is a seven-year veteran and has appeared in the big leagues for three different franchises during that time. Weaver's longest tenure came from 2019-2022 when he was part of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

Prior to that, Weaver spent three seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. Weaver was traded last August to the Kansas City Royals and was non-tendered back in November.

For his career, Luke Weaver is 24-36 with a 4.79 ERA and has started 81 of the 118 games in which he's pitched. Weaver posted a 6.56 ERA last season, but his FIP (2.69) suggests that he pitched better than his numbers actually show.

Weaver won't automatically be handed a job in the starting rotation, but his addition allows the Reds to move Luis Cessa back to the bullpen and eliminate the idea of Tejay Antone actually competing for a starting spot as well.

Adding Luke Weaver also affords Cincinnati the ability to keep Levi Stoudt and Brandon Williamson in the minor leagues to begin the 2023 season and allow the former Seattle Mariners' farmhands to gain some more experience before being elevated to the major league roster.

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