The Reds look to be in for a relatively quiet offseason, writes C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, though GM Dick Williams did acknowledge that he’ll remain open to trade scenarios involving Zack Cozart at this week’s GM Meetings. “He can be a part of grooming players and he can be a part of a winning clubhouse,” said Williams of his veteran shortstop. “But if there’s something that really puts the franchise in a better position for ’18 and ’19 that works, it’s something we’d have to consider. We’ve shown the willingness to trade guys who have been with us if it helps us get better.” Williams also said that both Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera will get opportunities next year, though the timing of those opportunities is tied to what the Reds accomplish this offseason. Rosecrans adds that solidifying the bench with a right-handed-hitting outfielder and adding to the team’s bullpen are on the to-do list this winter.
A few more notes on the Reds…
- Cincinnati has “no intention” of trading Joey Votto, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Votto’s name has come up a bit over the past few months due to reports of some prior trade talks with the Blue Jays, but a trade has never seemed especially likely due to the fact that Votto is owed $179MM over the next seven seasons and has full no-trade rights. The star first baseman has previously said he hopes to remain in Cincinnati despite the team’s rebuilding status at the moment, and Nightengale notes that the Reds value his leadership with a wave of young players on the horizon.
- While the Reds’ rotation is largely set for next season — Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, Dan Straily and Homer Bailey are all penciled in at the moment — Williams wouldn’t rule out the possibility of signing a veteran starter this winter, writes MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. The Reds have a number of young options lined up to compete for that fifth spot already, including Cody Reed, Amir Garrett and Robert Stephenson, but Williams sounded open to adding to that mix. “There’s certainly a chance we could sign starting pitchers,” he said. “Whether they’ll be targeted with a Minor League deal to serve as a Triple-A starter or whether we’ll go after a starting pitcher remains to be seen. We have good competition there, but it’s young guys. We have a bunch of young guys for that last spot.”
- Also via Sheldon, Williams said that the team expects Devin Mesoraco to be ready for Opening Day of the 2017 season, but the team is looking at contingency plans this winter after seeing Mesoraco play in just 38 games over the past two seasons. Mesoraco signed a four-year, $28MM contract extension prior to the 2015 campaign, but he’s had two hip surgeries and a shoulder surgery since that time, which has kept him from delivering any on-field value to the Reds over that time. “I think it’s important to prepare a contingency plan,” said Williams. “…We probably have to do some of that now. You can’t wait until after mid-January to come up with a plan. The fact that we’re optimistic that he’ll be back means you’re not going to try to go big on catching. … We’re optimistic he’ll open the season ready for catch, but probably on some sort of schedule.” As Sheldon notes, adding a veteran backstop on a low-cost or minor league deal makes sense for the Reds. Mesoraco will begin catching in mid- or late January, and he’ll share time behind the dish with Tucker Barnhart once again in 2017.