It has now been about thirteen seconds since the Cincinnati Reds were last linked to a major potential transaction, which is pretty much the longest gap in rumor action they’ve given us so far this offseason. After swinging the massive seven player deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend that saw the likes of Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood land in Cincinnati, there’s been a predictable lull in the action over the holiday season.
That doesn’t mean it won’t ramp back up quickly, though. The Reds do still seem intent on making most major acquisitions, with free agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel still a name that’s continually connected with Reds interest. Over at Reds.com, Mark Sheldon addressed the idea of signing Keuchel in his latest Reds Inbox, noting that despite their interest, the Reds might well be hoping the price on Keuchel drops just a tad. Considering the mountains the Reds had to move to shed their most recent $100+ million pitching contract, it’s easy to understand their hesitation with contract demands in that range, though it’s clear that they a) still need pitching help and b) that Keuchel is the biggest free agent fish left out there.
Biggest free agent fish, that is. There’s still the idea that pitchers like Corey Kluber, Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer, and others are still out there being shopped, and all would come at a significantly cheaper financial cost for the Reds bottom line. Of course, they’d also require big pieces from the Cincinnati farm, and that’s where the Reds will have to do some serious soul searching. Since the Dodgers kicked in just enough money to make their deal with the Reds nearly cost-neutral and the Reds only added some $3-ish million in the payroll by adding Tanner Roark after non-tendering Billy Hamilton, there should still be ample room for a major addition given the team’s repeated ‘record payroll’ comments earlier this offseason, and it sure does seem like they’re intent on still making that happen. It does sure seem like they’re going to be willing to wait until the market prices drop a bit before making that kind of a leap, though.
In other news, our friends at Redleg Nation did a deep-dive on Yasiel Puig’s defensive prowess to see if he can, in fact, help cover the CF void in Cincinnati created by Hamilton’s departure to Kansas City.
The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans revealed his Hall of Fame ballot today, and predictably it’s an excellent one. You might even go so far as saying it’s the best ballot released by any BBWAA member with Cincinnati ties in the last two days. All of The Athletic’s BBWAA members with HoF votes actually revealed their ballots collectively today (with reasoning), and it’s a cool read if you’re into that kind of thing.
Fancred’s Jon Heyman checked in on the market for utility man Josh Harrison again today, and the Reds were again listed (among many) as a suitor with interest.
Doug Gray looked closer at what Tanner Roark has been able to do against the rest of the NL Central so far in his career.
This is a cat gif.
Finally, MLB Pipeline took at look back at every MLB team’s 1st round draft picks over the last decade, and picked the single worst pick for each and every franchise in that time. Nick Howard was their selection for the Reds, and it’s hard to argue too hard with that choice given his shoulder issues, walk issues, lack of progress issues, issue issues, tissues, and miscues to date. Of course, considering the Reds have seen a grand total of 2.5 bWAR combined from their fourteen 1st round picks dating back to 2011 - with Nick Travieso in a similar situation to Howard and Jeff Gelalich already out of baseball altogether - there could have probably been at least a few other reasonable choices.