Seeing your team get better is the best feeling in the world. With the Winter Meetings behind us, the Cincinnati Reds still have a lot to do. We’ll take a look at five free agents that are in their price range, that could make an impact.
Five Free Agents the Cincinnati Reds Can Still Sign
Andrew Cashner, 31, SP, 2017 Team: Texas Rangers
Stats: 11-11, 3.40 ERA, 166.2 IP, 83 SO
Andrew Cashner is a big, tall righty. He is also a veteran pitcher. The Reds desperately need a veteran in the rotation to accompany Luis Castillo, Sal Romano, Homer Bailey, Brandon Finnegan and Anthony DeSclafani. Cashner would provide the fallback option if Bailey, DeScalafani or Finnegan are not able to go come opening day. Of all the free agents available, Cashner is not the youngest, he’s thirty-one, but he can provide veteran experience. The Reds were dead last in pitching last year, and that is unacceptable. The offence was top 15, and when given a lead, a lot of the time the bullpen or the starter just could not hold on. Adding Cashner will be a welcome move because the Reds are looking for innings eaters.
Jaime Garcia, 31, SP, 2017 Team: ATL/MIN/NYY
Stats: 5-10, 4.41 ERA, 157.0 IP, 129 SO
Garcia is a crafty lefty who has given the Reds fits for years as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds should get rid of that problem by signing him to a team friendly contract. Although Garcia struggled last year, he’s a vet with World Series experience. He also would add a seasoned, left-handed arm to this rotation that lacks one. Garcia has always pitched well at Great American Ballpark, and against the NL Central in total. Garcia is a pitcher who can bring continuity to a young rotation.
Addison Reed, 28, RP, 2017 Team: NYM/BOS
Stats: 2.84 ERA, 77 GP, 19 Saves, 76.0 IP, 76 SO
Addison Reed is exactly what the Reds need in the bullpen. He’s a tall, right-handed reliever, who can bridge the gap from the starters, to Wandy Peralta and Raisel Iglesias. He was very good in 77 appearances last year for the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox, posting a 2.84 ERA. He can also be a guy to get a save in a pinch as well. Reed is also only 28 years old. He is in his prime, and can produce for a team that had a dreadful bullpen last year. In 2017, the Reds bullpen had a 5.00+ ERA, and were dead last in all of baseball. Reed can help clean up the mess and pair very nicely with Michael Lorenzen as well.
Neil Walker, 32, 2B/SS, 2017 Team: NYM/MIL
Stats: .265 BA, 14 HR, 49 RBI, .362 OBP
The Reds need a middle infielder. They were unable to keep all-star Zack Cozart from signing with the Los Angeles Angels, and now they’re in a pinch. Neil Walker should at least get a look. He doesn’t have the glove that Cozart does, but that’s okay. Cozart had his best year last year at 32 years old, and the Reds just couldn’t afford his $13 million per year contract. Walker should come much cheaper and could also be a good option off the bench if they were to go with Jose Peraza at short. Walker for his career hits and gets on base more than Cozart did, so this is a very viable option for Cincinnati. He’s familiar with the ballpark, and he would be close to his hometown of Pittsburgh.
Eduardo Nunez, 30, SS/IF, 2017 Team: SF/BOS
Stats: .313 BA, 12 HR, 58 RBI, 24 SB, .341 OBP
This is for when the Reds want to make a big splash. Nunez was great for the Giants before being traded to Boston, where he continued an excellent season. Although he may cost around $10 million a year, he’s in his prime. He would be a more Zack Cozart at shortstop, and give Jose Peraza more than enough time to develop his game. He’s also not bad with the glove either, as he had a .947 fielding percentage. The Reds aren’t accustomed to making big free agency splashes, but they could surprise and sign Nunez.
All in all, these five free agents can help the Reds get back to contention. It is ultimately up to the front office if they want to make these moves or not. Fans in Cincinnati want to see this team compete as fast as possible. Having endured too many losing seasons, being in contention would be a welcome feeling.
ATLANTA, GA – JULY 16: Jaime Garcia #54 of the Atlanta Braves pitches during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at SunTrust Park on July 16, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)