Signing a right-handed hitting power-bat shouldn't be on the Reds' offseason agenda

There's been a lot of chatter about the Reds pursuing a power-hitter this offseason. That seems a bit unnecessary.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

There are three things most Reds fans have been clamoring for since the 2023 season ended - starting pitching, relief pitching, and a right-handed hitting power-bat (preferably an outfielder).

While all three of those things would certainly help the Cincinnati Reds heading into the 2024 season, one would appear to be a bit redundant and superfluous.

Perhaps a right-handed hitting corner outfielder with some pop, a la Nick Senzel, who could platoon in right field with Jake Fraley and Will Benson would be a nice addition. But going all out for a power-bat wouldn't be a wise investment this offseason.

If the Reds are going to spend money, it should be on pitching

If the Cincinnati Reds intend to do more than dip their toe into the free agent pool this winter, the main goal should be to bolster the pitching staff; both the bullpen and the starting rotation.

Cincinnati's bullpen was overworked last season, mainly due to the fact that starters oftentimes didn't make it past the fifth inning. A number of young arms who were on a pitch count, combined with a bevy of injuries, saw far too many short outings from Reds starters in 2023.

While it may not be necessary for Reds President of Baseball Operations to go after the big fish in free agency, snagging a middle-of-the-rotation starter and pair of relievers would be welcome this offseason.

The Reds already have some power-hitting right-handed bats in the lineup

The Cincinnati Reds have three key contributors in the outfield (TJ Friedl, Jake Fraley, and Will Benson) who are left-handed batters. While Friedl should be considered an everyday player heading into 2024, both Fraley and Benson should sit against left-handed pitchers.

Having non-tendered Nick Senzel, the Reds would do well to add a right-handed hitting outfielder with good splits against left-handed pitching. A player like Michael A. Taylor or Robbie Grossman could fill that void nicely.

But it's not as if Cincinnati is devoid of right-handed power hitters. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Spencer Steer, and Matt McLain all have plenty of pop from the right side. Steer led the team in home runs (23) last season, and McLain led Cincinnati in slugging percentage (.507) and wRC+ (128) according to FanGraphs.

There's also Noelvi Marte, who only appeared in 35 games for the Reds in 2023, but still posted a wRC+ of 120 and had a .456 slugging percentage. Over the course of a 162-game season, Marte could prove himself to be the best player on the team.

There's also Elly De La Cruz. And while the rookie struggled mightily hitting from the ride side in 2023, the switch-hitting shortstop has ther ability to tap into his power from both sides of the plate. His agent said, via, that De La Cruz is focusing on technique for right-handed at-bats this offseason.

Pitching, pitching, pitching should be on Nick Krall's shopping list this holiday season. Grabbing a platoon bat is fine, but the Cincinnati Reds don't need to add a big bat like Jorge Soler or Teoscar Hernandez.