Though there’s been plenty of talk about the Reds’ willingness to increase payroll and their pursuit of rotation upgrades, Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the team isn’t likely to make any “top-tier glamorous” additions in free agency. Daugherty hears that Cincinnati may be willing to boost payroll by as much as $30MM but is looking to add a mid-rotation arm and a “middle-to-late-inning reliever.” The Reds, he opines, should be open to dealing some of their young hitters — even those who’ve reached the Majors — for pitching help, as it’s difficult to sway free-agent arms to sign up to pitch half their games at Great American Ball Park. Regardless of he means by which they choose to do so, the Reds seem determined to bolster the pitching staff this winter.
Here’s more from the NL Central…
- “Adding bullpen depth is a priority,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Wednesday at the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. (link via Bruce Levine of 670 The Score/CBS Chicago). Hoyer noted that, ideally, the Cubs would add some quality left-handed help to the relief corps, though he also indicated that the greater concern is simply in building a quality relief unit and the depth necessary to keep top arms fresh down the stretch. Levine writes that in addition to their pursuit of a left-handed bullpen arm, the Cubs are hoping to bring veteran righty Jesse Chavez back into the fold. Chavez, 35, posted a 1.15 ERA and a ridiculous 42-to-5 K/BB ratio in 39 innings for the Cubs after being acquired from the Rangers.
- The Cardinals are once again in the market for a big bat, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said at the GM Meetings that the current thinking is “more infield than outfield.” Goold notes that Bryce Harper would be one notable exception to that line of thinking, but the rest of the free agents the Cards currently like appear to be of the corner infield variety. Adding a third baseman or first baseman is plausible, given Matt Carpenter’s versatility. Goold adds that the trade market could present numerous alternatives, with players like Paul Goldschmidt potentially being made available on the trade market. The D-backs are reportedly open to entertaining offers for key players, and with just one year and $14.5MM remaining on his contract, it’s only natural that Goldschmidt’s name will be bandied about the rumor mill over the next few months as teams try to pry the perennial MVP candidate away from Arizona. That’s but one of many options, of course, as Goold explores at greater length in his column.