Remember the old saying “don’t shoot the messenger”, well, remember it right now.
The Cincinnati Reds big league club has several holes to fill and as of the writing of this, they haven’t done much to fill those needs. Where the Reds have been getting things done though is at the minor league level. There are many more minor league free agents than Major League free agents, so picking some up is a lot easier.
The Reds have officially picked up 11 minor league free agents so far in the five weeks since free agency has begun. Five have been pitchers and six have been position players. Marquez Smith has been the lone re-signing among the players that left the Reds organization for free agency.
Here is a list of the players that the Reds have brought in so far:
|Ivan De Jesus||SS||Red Sox|
|Jose De La Torre||RHP||Brewers|
The thing that stands out to me on this list is that the team has focused on quality bats and power arms. Infielder Josh Satin has walked nearly as often as he has struck out in Triple-A over the last two seasons and has a .399 OBP in that time. Middle infielder Irving Falu has more walks than strikeouts in his minor league career. Brennan Boesch hit .332 and slugged .636 in Triple-A this past season, though he’s struggled in the big leagues in recent years.
On the flip side of things the arms aren’t as polished as some of the hitters, but the Reds are trying to follow the “Jumbo Diaz plan” of acquiring big time arms and hoping to make the right adjustments and getting high-leverage relievers on the cheap. Jose Cisnero is coming off of Tommy John surgery. He topped out at 98 MPH before injuring himself. Jose De La Torre, another right hander, topped out at 96 MPH in the big leagues. Jose Flores is another fireballing right hander that tops out at 98 MPH. Wilmer Font joins that group of guys with huge arms and has topped out higher than all of them, hitting 99 MPH on several occasions.
All of the pitchers have problems they will need to overcome, mainly in the control department, but it’s very apparent that the Reds are stockpiling big armed right handers with the hopes that they can make something work and help a bullpen that needs more arms.