Jose Iglesias has been an effective pickup at a low price for the Reds, who inked the former Boston and Detroit shortstop to a minor league contract last winter. Although he had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal, Iglesias earned a spot on the Reds’ roster and a $2.5MM salary coming into the season. The 29-year-old has since turned into a starter for Cincinnati, where he has batted .290/.321/.417 with a career-high eight home runs in 390 plate appearances.
It’s possible the slick-fielding Iglesias’ output this year will be enough to convince a team to sign him to a major league pact prior to next season. Whether or not that happens, Iglesias would like to stay in Cincy, he explained to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
“We haven’t gotten deep into that conversation yet. It’s going to happen soon, I guess,” Iglesias said. “Man, I love this group. That’s all I can say. This is where I belong. I don’t know, it’s totally out of my hands after that. I’ve enjoyed every single day I’ve come to the ballpark and leading by example, helping the younger players, and I’m very, very happy to be here.”
The Reds are also open to continuing their relationship with Iglesias, with president of baseball operations Dick Williams telling Sheldon that the club “could have any combination of (Jose) Peraza, (Freddy) Galvis and Iglesias on the team next year. None currently have guaranteed contracts, but we have interest in all of them as well as control over some of them, and we’ll evaluate how the pieces best fit together.”
Peraza, Galvis and Iglesias are currently part of a Reds middle infield mix that also includes Josh VanMeter, Kyle Farmer and the injured Derek Dietrich. Among Peraza, Galvis and Iglesias, the former has posted the least productive 2019. After racking up encouraging numbers last year, Peraza has only hit .241/.287/.355 in 321 trips to the plate this season. He’s on a $2.775MM salary and controllable via arbitration two more times. Galvis, just claimed from the Blue Jays on waivers this week, has a $5.5MM club option (or a $1MM buyout) for 2020. This has been a respectable campaign for the 29-year-old switch-hitter, owner of a .274/.305/.456 slash with 19 homers over 479 PA.
With everyone from the above group looking like candidates to return next season, the Reds once again appear as if they’ll have no shortage of in-house middle infield choices. However, Cincinnati could nonetheless seek higher-upside possibilities than Iglesias and the rest during the winter, when Williams and general manager Nick Krall figure to make an earnest attempt to construct a playoff-caliber roster. The Reds (56-63) have made obvious strides this year, but they’re still on pace for their sixth straight sub-.500 season, leaving room for improvement in their middle infield and elsewhere.