Reds general manager Nick Krall recently discussed the team’s pitching outlook for 2021 with reporters (including Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer). The baseball operations head said he wouldn’t rule out a reunion with top free agent Trevor Bauer but reiterated that the parties “haven’t really had substantial conversations” to this point.
Should Bauer depart, the Reds have no shortage of arms who could compete for rotation spots behind Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle and Wade Miley. Recently-acquired Jeff Hoffman could be in that mix, as are Tejay Antone and Michael Lorenzen. Krall also pointed to former top prospect José De León, who struggled in five relief appearances last season but saw his velocity spike into the mid-90’s and remains on the 40-man roster. Brandon Bailey, acquired from the Astros last week, also has starting experience in the minors but is seen as more of a bullpen option for Cincinnati, Krall said.
Of course, there’s also been some discussion of a possible Gray trade. Krall didn’t deny reports the organization is listening to offers on Gray. He did, however, downplay the significance, suggesting those discussions were mostly due diligence. It certainly remains possible another team bowls the Reds over with an offer in the coming months, but Nightengale suggests the most likely outcome is that Gray stays put into next season.