The above picture is of pitcher Lance Lynn surrendering a home run in the uniform of the Los Angeles Dodgers, something he did 16 times in 64.0 IP for them in 2023. That came after he first served up 28 launchers in 119.2 IP for the Chicago White Sox last year, giving him a total of 44 dingers yielded on the season.
That was the most in Major League Baseball, fueling his 5.73 ERA overall - the highest single-season mark of his otherwise impressive 12 year big league career. Still, he just managed to land a guaranteed $11 million from the St. Louis Cardinals for the 2024 season, a one-year deal with a club option for the 2025 season. Such was the apparent going rate for that tier of pitcher at this juncture of the free agent window in the wake of Aaron Nola’s monster deal to return to the Philadelphia Phillies and the clever deal struck by the Atlanta Braves to bring in Reynaldo Lopez (who they plan to stretch out as a starter again).
Two days before Thanksgiving and the starting pitching market, which we knew would be crazy this offseason, has already begun to tango. This is relevant to the Cincinnati Reds because, y’know, they could sure stand to acquire some starting pitching this offseason (and relief help, and a number of other things). Speaking of Atlanta, it appears they are by no means done making acquisitions this winter, either, despite already adding a handful of arms in deals so far. They’re heavy in the Sonny Gray market, a sentence that will be sure to annoy a good portion of Reds fans (present company included).
In other news, the next Hall of Fame ballot was released and former Reds standout Brandon Phillips made the cut to have his name included. BP made a trio of All Star appearances during his lengthy career, won four Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award, once notched a 30/30 season, and is a member of the career 200/200 club. Baseball Reference valued his career at an impressive 28.4 bWAR, and very big congrats are due to him in what figures to be his first (and only) year on the ballot. That in and of itself is a hell of an accomplishment!
MLB.com’s Joe Trezza highlighted the trio of Reds prospects who were added to the 40-man roster last week to protect them from being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft, noting that each represents perhaps the next best chance for a rookie debut for the Reds. Slugger Rece Hinds, speedster Jacob Hurtubise, and fireballer Christian Roa were the additions, each of whom could realistically expect to make it to the big leagues for the first time in 2024.
Finally, Doug Gray of Reds Minor Leagues noted a clause in the most recent CBA that made big league teams unable to demand anything of their minor leaguers from November 18th through January 1st, meaning the Reds won’t be able to ask many of their top prospects to be present at Redsfest this year. Roa and Hurtubise will be able to be there given that players on the 40-man roster aren’t included in said clause, but that does mean attendees won’t be seeing the likes of recent 1st round pick Rhett Lowder, for instance. Sorry about that, Redsfest attendees!