This under-the-radar free agent outfielder should be atop the Reds wishlist

The Reds should be seeking a right-handed hitting outfielder this offseason.

Minnesota Twins outfielder Michael A. Taylor
Minnesota Twins outfielder Michael A. Taylor / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds are sure to be in the market for pitching this offseason. But there's a cry from the Reds fanbase for the front office to also upgrade the team's outfield as well.

With TJ Friedl showcasing his talents along with the left-handed hitting duo of Jake Fraley and Will Benson, a case can be made that the Reds would be wise to just stand pat and wait for some of their top outfield prospects to join the party.

But Blake Dunn and Rece Hinds are not ready for the big leagues just yet, and Stuart Fairchild isn't exactly the right-handed hitting outfield bat you want to rely on against left-handed pitching.

Michael A. Taylor should be atop the Reds wishlist this offseason

If the Cincinnati Reds are looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder, Michael A. Taylor should be atop the team's wishlist. Some fans will argue for Teoscar Hernandez, and while that's a fine choice, adding Taylor will be much more cost effective while still supplying plenty of pop from the right side.

Yes, the Reds have the payroll available this offseason to make a splash if necessary, but if Cincinnati is going to spend big, it should be on the pitching side of things.

Adding a bat like Hernandez is estimated to cost, per Spotrac, upwards of $16-million per year. Taylor, on the other hand, might be able to command a salary with an average annual value closer to $7-million.

Michael A. Taylor would immediately upgrade the Reds defense

Michael A. Taylor, who's also an outstanding defender, was dominant against left-handers in 2023. Taylor hit .252/.313/.602 off southpaws last season with a wRC+ of 146 according to FanGraphs.

The Cincinnati Reds are likely to wave goodbye to Nick Senzel this winter, and while Senzel would be a cheaper option to platoon with the pair of Will Benson and Jake Fraley in the outfield, Taylor is a far superior defender.

Taylor was worth 5 defensive runs saved (DRS) according to Fielding Bible, while Senzel posted -9 DRS. According to Baseball Savant, Taylor was worth 9 outs above average, whereas Senzel put up -7 OAA while playing the outfield in 2023.

Upgrading the outfield should be a priority this offseason, but with Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Noelvi Marte, and Matt McLain, the Cincinnati Reds are not in desperate need of an All-Star caliber right-handed hitting outfielder.

However, a good fielding, veteran outfielder with plenty of speed and some pop from the right side would be an asset next season. Michael A. Taylor could certainly provide that.

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