The Winter Meetings came and went last week with little to no news in the world of the Cincinnati Reds. Aside from the acknowledgement that other teams see Billy Hamilton as a potential gamechanger in CF, there didn’t seem to be anything of substance connected to moves at the big league level including the Reds.
According to FOX’s Jon Morosi, however, that may be changing, as the Seattle Mariners appear to be shopping for a starting pitcher and have contacted the Reds about perhaps acquiring one.
Sources: #Mariners have been in contact with #Rays and #Reds recently in an effort to acquire a starting pitcher. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 13, 2016
That they've been in contact with the Tampa Bay Rays may help signal the kind of pitcher the Mariners are looking for, since the Rays boast the likes of Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly, and Jake Odorizzi - all of whom have been rumored to be on the trading block for the right return. That may well suggest that Anthony DeSclafani could be up Seattle's alley, since he's roughly as well regarded as that trio of Rays hurlers.
Of course, the Reds do have a bevy of starters that could be considered available, if for no other reason than there only being a finite number of spots in the rotation. DeSclafani is probably to best suited to lead the staff next year, but the likes of Dan Straily, Homer Bailey, and Brandon Finnegan also will warrant spots, and behind that group sits a veritable army of guys who have proven at AAA that they're ready to test the big league waters when given a chance. Factor in that both Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen still could factor in to the rotation before being completely relegated to the 'pen, and it's easy to see why the Reds would be on the shortlist of teams looking for arms.
From Seattle's perspective, it's clear they're in the mood to do some winning, something they did decently in 2016 but not quite well enough. With the likes of Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz all well compensated and not exactly on the front-end of the aging curve, it's easy to see why they'd be on the lookout for an arm to help get them over the hump in the AL West.
Seattle's farm system isn't the best in the game, but there are still several high-end prospects that could cause the Reds to at least consider their options. Recent 1st round draftee Kyle Lewis was rumored to be on the Reds' radar when they opted to select Nick Senzel 2nd overall last June, and though he tore an ACL in his first professional action, he may still be someone they like. Tyler O'Neill is another well regarded OF slugger, and Brazilian LHP Luiz Gohara is a guy whose name was kicked around in recent Zack Cozart rumors, too.
Sorting out the team's rotation was always going to be one of Dick Williams' first major jobs while in charge of the Reds, and it seems other teams may now be willing to help him with those decisions.