The bullpen, a fifth starter, bench help, and backup catching were cited by Reds GM Nick Krall as possible target areas, Krall told The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale and other reporters, and the Reds could turn to either Major League or minor league free agents to address any of those needs. In regards to one particular prominent free agent, Krall seemed to close the door on the chances of Nick Castellanos returning to Cincinnati, saying “we have not been engaged with his representatives.”
It doesn’t count as any big surprise that Castellanos will be moving on, since he was looking for a hefty new contract pre-lockout, and the Reds’ offseason moves have thus far been geared towards cutting and managing payroll (while still making some effort to contend for a playoff spot). Since Castellanos rejected the Reds’ qualifying offer and because Cincinnati is a revenue-sharing recipient, the team stands to receive an extra pick after the first round of the 2022 draft should Castellanos sign elsewhere for more than $50MM.
More from around the NL Central…
- Bryan Reynolds has drawn trade interest from at least seven teams over the last year, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Padres are yet another club looking into obtaining the Pirates outfielder. Trading for Reynolds would be a huge way for the Padres to address their outfield needs, though needless to say, San Diego would need to make a major offer to get the Pirates’ attention. Pittsburgh has set a big asking price in any Reynolds trade, and in San Diego’s case, Rosenthal figures the Bucs would ask for top prospect CJ Abrams and more.
- The Cardinals “have considered” a reunion with franchise icon Albert Pujols, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. However, Cards chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. was more non-committal about the idea of Pujols returning to the Gateway City, as DeWitt told reporters (including the Post-Dispatch’s Rick Hummel) that “we’ve got most of our club pretty well set.” It should be noted that if Pujols is best served as a part-time first baseman and DH, such a depth role would still fit even on a Cardinals roster that has many of its positions settled around the diamond.
- As for other Cardinals pitching needs, Goold writes that the Cards are expected to pursue more relief help, even after signing swingman Drew VerHagen on Friday. St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told reporters that the club thought about re-signing Kwang-Hyun Kim, but the left-hander instead opted to return to the Korean Baseball Organization just a few days before the lockout ended.