- The Reds don’t figure to be big players on the free agent market, Williams says. To the extent that they do open their wallets, it could be on relief help. “I could see spending some money on the bullpen,” Williams says. The Reds’ 2016 ’pen was among the game’s worst, with a 5.09 ERA, 8.2 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 for the season, so adding there would seem to be a convenient way to upgrade for a team not looking to spend heavily.
- The team could also attempt to add bench players and perhaps a veteran starter to complement Anthony DeSclafani, Homer Bailey, Brandon Finnegan and Dan Straily. Williams reiterates, though, that the team won’t be looking for a high-end player, and names Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett and Tim Adleman as candidates to take over the fifth spot.
- If the team uses Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen in its bullpen after both had strong 2016 seasons, it will do so with the goal of “maximizing their innings,” Williams says. “[I]f you do put them in the bullpen, it’s not going to be with the intent of making them one-inning guys. They’re too talented for that.”
- With much of its former veteran core (such as Todd Frazier, Aroldis Chapman and Jay Bruce) already having departed in trades, the Reds don’t figure to be big players on the trade market, either, Williams says. “We’ll always continue to be opportunistic as a team in our place in the lifecycle has got to be, [but] I don’t think we’ll be terribly active.”
- The team will chat with second baseman Brandon Phillips to see whether he might waive his full no-trade clause. The Reds attempted to deal Phillips to the Nationals last winter, but he turned that deal down. Phillips recently said he hasn’t strongly considered whether he’d accept a trade. Should he depart, the team would have Jose Peraza and/or Dilson Herrera ready to replace him. The team could also use Peraza at shortstop, which means they’ll have to make a determination about their incumbent at that position, Zack Cozart. (MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk recently explained that finding everyday roles for Peraza and Herrera should be one of the Reds’ top priorities this winter.)
- The Reds could also look for a bit of catching help in case Devin Mesoraco’s recovery from hip surgery doesn’t go smoothly.