The Cincinnati Reds signed Colin Moran to a one-year/$1M deal. The corner infielder has spent six-years in the majors, and the last four playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This certainly doesn't go unnoticed, as this is possibly the most impactful signing of 2022 thus far.
Moran certainly adds value to this lineup, with a .280/.341/.440 slash line against right-handers in his career. Moran is a player that will hit for a high average, and use the entire field. The key issue with Moran, as it is for a lot of his Reds' teammates, is his subpar performance against lefties. The 29-year-old hit .171/.284/.268 against left-handed pitching last season, which is simply abysmal.
The Reds will have a specific use for Colin Moran.
The Reds have now signed Donovan Solano and Colin Moran in back-to-back days, and it makes total sense. Solano excelled against left-handed pitching, slashing .301/.344/.478, while Moran shined against righties. It looks like David Bell will play to the analytics, and choose who starts depending on the matchup.
With Joey Votto locked at first, the Reds are left with a few options. The team could let Moran and Mike Moustakas battle it out for the starting spot at third base, platoon Moran as a designated hitter against righties, or simply give Moran the majority of playing time at third base. Placing Moustakas at DH may be beneficial, given he's coming back from three separate injuries last season.
This scenario would cause further complication with Kyle Farmer and José Barrero. Coming off his best season, the Cincinnati Reds could choose to start Farmer, and get another solid season out of the 31-year-old, but it would be at the expense of Barrero's development. Barrero is another promising young talent in the Reds pipeline, and it's inexcusable to limit his development.
The Reds have recently cut payroll and this addition, along with Solano, may be the beginning of a series of free agent signings. Hopeful or not, this contract only puts a one-million dollar dent in the payroll, and there's more than plenty available to spend on a dominant free agent. Nick Krall claims he'll be a competitive buyer before the season starts, so we'll just have to wait and see.