The Cincinnati Reds made a pair of franchise-altering moves on the afternoon of December 11, 2014. Within a matter of minutes, they’d shipped what remained of starter Mat Latos to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Anthony DeSclafani and Chad Wallach, and backed that by acquiring Eugenio Suarez and Jonathon Crawford from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for, somehow, just Alfredo Simon.
Both moves came as the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings were coming to a close at San Diego’s Bayfront Hilton. Almost exactly five years later, the baseball world will be back in the same location for the 2019 edition of the transaction-heavy gathering, with front office execs descending upon San Diego today to open up shop for the rest of the week. And much like in 2014, the Reds will be there intent on making some serious, serious moves this time around.
We’ve already seen these Reds be incredibly active. Just last week, they inked infielder Mike Moustakas to a franchise-record 4 year, $64 million contract, and in the wake of that move President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams hinted to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon that they weren’t anywhere close to being finished with their offseason work.
“We’re working on a few things that I would say could probably come to a conclusion this week or next,” Williams said.
That certainly would seem to jive with the rest of the rumors we’ve heard about so far this winter. They reportedly chased Yasmani Grandal before he agreed to a $73 million deal with the Chicago White Sox. They’ve been connected to the likes of Didi Gregorius, Marcell Ozuna, and Nick Castellanos, all of whom figure to sign contracts in the same range where Moustakas signed. They even were reportedly in on pitcher Zack Wheeler until the very end, and he signed for a one-hundred and eighteen million dollar wad of cash.
The Reds have money, and they’re willing to use it. The Reds have aspirations on finally making a postseason run again, and they’re willing to risk it. And while I’ve mentioned only free agents so far as it relates to their attempts to improve, they’ve still got enough on the roster and in the farm system to make a major, major trade, too.
Cleveland could be shopping Francisco Lindor, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal suggested on MLB Network last night. That’d be a rather swell addition, so please disregard which team Rosenthal actually suggested might land him in that.
One way or another, we’re set for a week full of major, major moving across the baseball landscape, and the Reds sure figure to be rather involved. So between now and the final pick in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, get your popcorn ready.