Following a hip surgery and successful rehab, Reds left-hander Amir Garrett feels optimistic about the 2018 season, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. The sophomore is ready to put a nightmarish 2017 behind him. “I will re-establish myself again and basically start over from the beginning in spring,” says Garret. “It’s a clean slate, 2018. 2017 is behind me. I have a book and that page isn’t even in there.” Garrett added that he feels stronger and has even shed ten pounds. While the 25-year-old southpaw got off to a hot start last year, his 7.39 ERA and 5.09 BB/9 at season’s end look disastrous. Garrett claims he’s happy that he had a rough year, as he had “never really had any struggles and adversity” prior to that.
More news out of Cincinnati…
- In light of a slow free agent market, the Reds are looking to add a player, says GM Dick Williams (hat tip to Sheldon). That player is likely to be a reliever, however, which seemingly closes the door on any notion that a rebuilding Cincinnati ballclub might be in on the market’s remaining position players and rotation candidates. Thus far, the only contract the Reds have given out this offseason is a two-year, $4.5MM guarantee to right-handed reliever Jared Hughes. According to our 2017-2018 free agent list, over 40 MLB relievers remain available on the free agent market.
- Although Cincinnati obviously isn’t expected to compete for a playoff spot, the 2018 season will prove a crucial one for the franchise’s rebuild, says Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Reds fans have watched the rival Brewers undergo a notoriously short rebuild while they’ve had to endure four consecutive losing seasons already. “We’ve struggled to be competitive since the second half of 2014,” manager Bryan Price told reporters at the Reds Caravan on Thursday. “That’s a fair amount of time to ask our fan base to wait. I think they’re going to see a lot of improvement as far as wins and losses. They need to see that.” Buchanan does cite some reasons for optimism, including a much healthier pitching staff that could take a step forward, the rising stardom of Eugenio Suarez and the potential for top prospect Nick Senzel to make the big league roster at some point this season. Interestingly, he also notes that the Reds were apparently in on Christian Yelich early on, but backed off quickly when they learned that they’d need to part with either Senzel or Hunter Greene “just to start”.