As you have probably heard by now, yesterday the Reds traded Dan Straily to the Marlins for what I think is an impressive haul. It added yet another talented young pitcher to an already impressive bunch, but it also created a pretty big hole in the current rotation. GM Dick Williams has said this increases the likelihood of them adding a veteran starter to try to cover the lost innings.
“I think we will definitely continue to monitor that market,” Williams said. “I would feel better about having someone else in the mix from an innings perspective. We’re still very hopeful those young pitchers will get a chance to pitch in the big leagues this year and make an impact but I do think there’s a chance we’ll add someone else just to make sure we have options.”
So it’s probably a good idea to run through just whom exactly the Reds are probably / should be looking at. Let’s do it.
A number of factors are converging here that make Fister both a logical and desirable choice. Fister signed with the Astros last offseason for just $7 million and he was largely unspectacular. He probably signed just for one year with the intention of bouncing back to his previous form (his 2015 walk-year was decent but injury-shortened) and scoring a multi-year deal this offseason, but it didn’t quite work out like that. He did throw 180.1 innings, proving his health, but his walk rate ticked up and he got hit a bit more.
However, his 2012-2014 seasons were solidly above-average, and there is a chance he could return to that form. So there is some upside here. He’s probably looking for another bounceback opportunity and the Reds can definitely provide that. Worst case, he gets injured and does nothing. But there’s a decent chance he can provide the innings the Reds need and even a slight chance he throws really well and they can flip him at the trade deadline.
Hammel has been decent for the Cubs the last two years, but they have a disgusting embarrassment of wealth in the rotation and decided not to pick up his option in order to give him the opportunity to maybe make more money and pitch more elsewhere. Jerks.
He might be able to get a multi-year deal elsewhere, which is something the Reds probably do not want to match. Also, he is 34 and polishing a World Series ring, so he might be more interested in signing with a contender.
Norris is another bounchback kinda guy. He signed with the Braves under such circumstances last offseason and pitched well enough for them to interest the Dodgers. After getting traded to the Dodgers in July, he got cuffed around and was DFA’d before the playoffs.
Norris used to be a perfectly cromulent pitcher, but he has had some trouble of late. He has thrown 196 innings the last two seasons to the tune of a ghastly 5.79 ERA and has been DFA’d twice. His 4.63 FIP doesn’t look quite as bad, but still. I wouldn’t mind throwing a million or two dollars at him to see if he can be of any service. But I wouldn’t be pinning any hopes on it.
Jake Peavy won the NL Cy Young in 2007. He’ll be 36 next season.
The old bull still has a bit of fight in him, though. He has been with the Giants for the last 2.5 years and he has been effective when healthy. He hasn’t always been healthy, though. He’s kinda in the same sitch as Jason Hammel. He probably isn’t looking to build value in hopes of signing a long-term deal and he would probably rather pitch for a contending team.
Wick has been over this one before. I think it still makes a lot of sense.
He last pitched in 2014 for the Diamondbacks before falling apart. Tommy John Surgery and shoulder problems have completely shut him down. But he is giving it one last go and I think he’d be a real fun invite to Spring Training. I don’t expect anything out of him, as he is likely finished. But why the hell not?
You know, it’s kinda slim pickins out there. I think Fister or Wood would make the most sense, myself. I do think it is very likely, nearly certain, that the Reds will go out and get someone. But there isn’t much else out there right now.
Of course, the Reds could also wait it out and hope to pick up a waiver claim in March just like they did with Straily. I think they will probably do both.