The Cincinnati Reds have chosen to seemingly avoid the sporting nature of baseball transactions so far this winter, instead choosing to stare at the balance of their bank account until it gets as big as it possibly can.
Other teams out there are making moves of varying degrees, though. We’ll periodically be highlighting those, specifically when they have any sort of direct or indirect impact on the Reds themselves.
The first impactful move of the day comes from...the Pittsburgh Pirates, of all clubs! Given that the Pirates are once again set to form the bulk of the Reds Strength of Schedule Argument [TM] for the 2022 season, it’s pertinent to point out when they make any addition, let alone a $2 million signature of a polished veteran starting pitcher like Jose Quintana. Quintana is certainly not who he once was, of course, no longer the guy who once cost Eloy Jimenez and once garnered a 5-year contract extension from the Chicago White Sox. Still, there does appear to be some life left in the lefty in his underlying metrics, as MLBTR pointed out that he suffered some bad BABIP luck last year with Anaheim. Quintana is also a lefty, lefties have dissolved the Reds lineup for two years running, and the Reds still haven’t addressed that issue, soo...
The reigning division champs signed catcher Pedro Severino after losing Manny Piña to free agency (and, eventually, to Atlanta), as ESPN’s Jeff Passan relayed. Severino will pair with Omar Narvaez as the catching platoon in Milwaukee, with Severino doing the bulk of his work against LHP, meaning there will probably be a number of Severino/Quintana matchups this year until the Pirates flip Quintana at the deadline for a toolsy 18 year old outfielder. There may be very few matchups between Severino and the Reds, though, since the Reds simply gave Wade Miley to the Chicago Cubs. I digress.
The Reds currently do not have a single CF on their roster who has been healthy for anything close to a full major league season. In Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker, Tyler Naquin, and 34 year old to-be Shogo Akiyama, you could even make the argument the Reds don’t even have a single true CF on their roster. So while our friends at MLBTR explored what a deal of Tampa CF Kevin Kiermaier might look like, the Reds didn’t even get a casual breakdown due to their own financial priorities. That’s right, the Reds are too broke to deal with the Rays, folks.
Speaking of cheap teams, the Miami Marlins are in the process of finalizing a ~$55 million extension with burgeoning ace Sandy Alcantara, a deal that would be a record for a pitcher with between 2-3 years of service time. Our friends at Fish Stripes are giddy, as well they should be in their team investing what it takes to lock up a young arm with that kind of talent. That’s something the Reds failed to do with former Marlin Luis Castillo, for instance, and is now precisely why Castillo’s name keeps popping up on opposing wish-lists each and every hot stove season.
Former Reds #3-Hole Hitter [TM] Matt Davidson has inked a deal to return to the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, as the AAA Reno Aces announced on Twitter. Davidson, you’ll recall, also throws a pretty mean curveball when tasked with pitching, and famously hit 3rd in the Reds lineup on September 4th of last year - usually a sign that he was expected to a pretty integral part of that day’s lineup on a team with purported playoff aspirations - before being designated for assignment by the very same club just four days later. This franchise, y’all!
The New York Yankees, like the Reds, appear to be ‘monitoring’ the top-end of the shortstop market rather than preparing to dive into it with megabucks, according to the New York Daily News. I should add that the previous sentence implies the Reds are both cheap and monitoring the shortstop market, and that might well be too generous. Anyway, it seems the Yankees might just wait for one of Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Javy Baez, Trevor Story, or Marcus Semien falls into their lap so they don’t have to guarantee the kind of coin and years that will block their talented young shortstop prospects from getting their chance very soon. Might I suggest that they once again choose to be like the Reds and simply move their talented young shortstop prospects to CF, where they have never played before?