This morning there were reports coming out of Japan from Nikkan Sports that the Cincinnati Reds and free agent outfielder Shogo Akiyama had agreed to a deal for 3-years and more than $15M. As was covered earlier this afternoon, the rumors surrounding the situation evolved as the day went on with conflicting reports about the agreement being in place and just how much money was involved. Joel Sherman is reporting that the agreement is final on a 3-year deal. There is no report on the details as far as money goes, yet.

As was reported on Friday, Shogo Akiyama was said to have come down to the San Diego Padres and the Cincinnati Reds in his decision making process. The reports were that he was going to make his decision before the new year. Well, it appears that today was the day that the decision was made.

Shogo Akiyama has been a different player in the second half of his career in Japan. Since the 2015 season began he’s hit .321/.399/.497 over 3368 plate appearances. That’s come with 364 walks and 482 strikeouts. He’s also played in every single game that his team has participated in during that stretch of time – showing outstanding health along the way.

The big question with regards to Shogo Akiyama and the Cincinnati Reds is exactly where he fits in. The outfield for Cincinnati is already very crowded. You’ve got Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker, Aristides Aquino, Phillip Ervin, Mark Payton, Travis Jankowski, Nick Martini, and Josh VanMeter – all of whom you can at least argue should have a spot on the 2020 roster. Some of those players HAVE to be on the roster or placed on waivers, too. Payton is a Rule 5 draft pick and must remain on the roster all season or be offered back. It’s hard to see how Nick Senzel or Jesse Winker aren’t on the team unless they are injured or traded. Phillip Ervin has shown that he’s a quality backup outfield option. And then there’s Aristides Aquino, who had one incredible month in August and then a month on the strugglebus in September of last year.

While reports on Shogo Akiyama’s speed and defensive ability in center field being on the decline, given that the Reds actually started Jesse Winker – one of the slowest players on their entire roster – in center field multiple times last season, Akiyama can probably handle center field for Cincinnati in at least a backup role.

As a left-handed hitter, the Reds can add Akiyama to the mix of players that they could platoon, or pick-and-choose with to attempt to maximize their productivity. From the left side the team could choose Jesse Winker, Shogo Akiyama, Mark Payton, Josh VanMeter, Travis Jankowski, Nick Martini, or perhaps Scott Schebler for a variety of options in the outfield. From the right side of the plate the options include Nick Senzel, Phillip Ervin, and Aristides Aquino. The options that could be there are endless. Obviously not all of those players will make the 26-man roster, but you can see how the outfield in particular could see a lot of mixing-and-matching depending on who the opposing pitcher happens to be on a given day.

Reds General Manager Nick Krall told The Cincinnati Enquirer at the Winter Meetings that the team didn’t view Akiyama strictly as a center fielder.

I think you look at him for a number of different spots out there and how he can help your roster now.

We haven’t heard anything from the Reds beyond that. And we probably won’t until things are finalized. My take is that Cincinnati is going to have Nick Senzel in center field most days, but the corners will likely be platoon-y with a rotation that heavily includes Jesse Winker, Shogo Akiyama, and Aristides Aquino. I would expect to see Akiyama get a handful of starts in center field throughout the year, but more than likely get most of his time in the corners.

With the signing, once official of course, there will no longer be a team in Major League Baseball that has never had a Japanese player. The Cincinnati Reds were the only team that had never had a player from Japan on their roster. That will no longer be the case once things become official.

126 Responses

    • Tom

      IMO send Payton back, trade Senzel for Lindor, even if it’s just for 2 years. Winker, Ervin and Van Meter are not going to get us to the World Series. Aquino in right, Shogo in CF we still need a consistent bat in LF. I’m not for all these platoons. We still need a catcher and some relief pitching. Trade some of the OF depth and try to strengthen the team. Or put Aquino in LF and sign Puig to a 2 year deal. That’s a starting eight that each hit 25-30 home runs. Find some bench guys and let’s go

      • Rodney

        I don’t think we have to trade Senzel for Lindor we have other pieces to trade

      • Bill

        Recommend trading for Trey Mancini to strengthen OF mix and to spell Votto at first. Then strengthen SS with best available option. Adding 1-2 LH relievers should have Reds ready to compete.

      • sixpack2


  1. Jer-B

    With this signing the Reds could theoretically throw out a lineup of: Van Meter / Shogo / Winker against right handers and Ervin / Senzel / Aquino against left handers. Most likely mix and match though. Makes you wonder why they signed Jankowski.

    • DrunkenViking

      Basically he is a 1mil. insurance policy for the OF. All our OF is injury prone or unproven so I don’t mind it for a 1mil.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      By the way, remember Nick Martini and rule-5 Mark Payton are available too

    • Chris Holbert

      IMHO, Senzel should not be a platoon

      • jazzmanbbfan

        @Chris Holbert. I don’t either and I don’t think he will be.

  2. JoZo

    Do you think this takes the reds out of the Ozuna discussion?

    • JayTheRed

      I don’t think we will be looking at OF unless several of them are traded in a deal or two to fix somewhere else either in the bullpen or SS or catcher perhaps still.

    • MK

      Absolutely, even more so now. Hopefully they can find someone to take him for what they gave for him. They have certainly loaded up on left-handed hitting outfielders.

  3. Paste Pot Pete

    I imagine the basic lineups will begin as follows:

    vs RHP:
    CF Akiyama
    1B Votto
    3B Suarez
    2B Moustakas
    LF Winker
    RF Jankowski/Aquino
    SS Galvis
    C Barnhart

    vs LHP
    CF Senzel
    1B Votto
    3B Suarez
    2B Moustakas
    RF Aquino
    LF Winker/Akiyama
    SS Galvis
    C Barnhart

    And, yes, Lindor/Correa would look awfully nice in that lineup

    • Hotto4Votto

      Keeping Jankowski over Ervin? Not the route I’d go. Ervin does well against LH and can cover you in all three OF spots. Platoon him and Winker in left, Aquino and Akiyama in RF, with Akiyama giving Senzel the occasional day off.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Jankowski has no chance to make the team with the current roster of outfielders.

      • DrunkenViking

        Yea the signing of Akiyama seals Jankowski’s fate barring a trade or spring training injuries. Which are quite possible.

      • Hotto4Votto

        The Reds have a handful of OF’ers on their 40-man that this likely signals the end of the road. Schebler and Jankowski are both out of options and Payton would need to stick on the 25-man or be sent back. Ervin, also out of options, probably sticks as platoon option w/Winker as the 5th OF’er, meaning the other three aren’t going to be on the 40-man come late March. (unless…injuries but let’s hope we don’t have to worry about those).

      • Goat

        There will be a trade involving at least one of these outfielders . It would seem it would make s new to trade for a relief pitcher (Winker), and sign Castellanos or Ozuna. I don’t think they’re done with their moves

    • Chris Holbert

      Senzel will not be platooned…

      • JB

        Exactly. You dont play on your top prospect. Lol . Unreal

    • Bill

      I don’t believe Reds are done yet. Look for more signings and they haven’t started trading yet.

  4. Redsfan4life

    Could this lead to trading a prospect and Senzel for a SS?

    • Colorado Red

      I do not want Correa from hou, back problem.
      Would love Lindor or Story, followed by seager, at a cheaper price (prospects).

    • Hotto4Votto

      One way or another we need to keep adding offense. SS and C make the most sense, but few catchers available that are upgrades, probably Contreras, but hard to see a trade with the Cubs upcoming. A few SS’s possibly available, Lindor, Seager, Correa, Story…hope the FO can bring this home.

    • Redleg4life

      I don’t want correa either. He was in a team of proven cheaters. They stole signals to help out their hitters. He is definitely going to regress with a different team at least from behind the plate.

  5. Doug Gray

    The Reds are not sitting Nick Senzel 65% of the season because in his rookie year he showed platoon splits.

    • Bryan Yarnell

      Any chance we see Suarez move to short and Senzel back to infield? Nick and Moose can both play second or third. Would shore up offense and help relieve congested outfield, leaving Akiyama, Aquino, Winker, and Ervin to platoon there. Van Meter is a great back up for second, and Galvis at SS/2B.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Agreed. Senzel is either playing everyday here or getting traded somewhere. No platooning for him.

    • RedRage

      Always so “holier than thou” in your comments, Doug. Tone it down, Sparky.

    • RedRage

      It would appear that you are the one raging, big guy. Accept the friendly advice or don’t. Viewership is down since Chad left. Me thinks your attitude may have something to do with that. It may just be your natural blase personality.

      • Doug Gray

        I’m sorry that you feel that me stating that the Reds aren’t going to sit Nick Senzel on the bench 65% of the time is me being holier than thou.

        And as the person who actually has the traffic stats, viewership is up significantly.

  6. FreeHouse

    Although it would be nice to get Lindor or Story, we all know the Reds ain’t trading for a big SS. I’m fine with the idea in bringing back Iglesias on a one year deal.

    • Bdh

      I agree. Sign Iglesias back and it’s a good looking squad all around. This team should be fighting for the top spot in the division and If there are any holes needing addressed then you still have all of your trade chips at the trade deadline.

      C – Barnhart, Casali, Farmer
      1B – Votto, Moose, Farmer
      2B – Moose, Galvis, Farmer
      3B – Suárez, Moose, Farmer
      SS – Iglesias*, Galvis
      LF – Winker, Ervin
      CF – Senzel, Shogo
      RF – Shogo, Aquino

      Still have Blandino, VanMeter, Schebler, Dietrich in AAA and Stephenson who could make his debut this season.

      Rotation is lights out

      1 – Castillo
      2 – Sonny
      3 – Bauer
      4 – Miley
      5 – Desclafani
      (Mahle waiting)

      1 – Iglesias
      2 – Lorenzen
      3 – Garrett
      4 – Stephenson
      5 – Bowman
      6 – Reed
      7 – Romano
      8 – De Leon

      Probably need to add another arm in the bullpen

      • Colorado Red

        Both C and SS are still well bellow average.
        If we can get a fair deal for Lindor, I would jump on it.
        We would be the favorites in the Central.

      • earmbrister

        Colorado — I think one could make a compelling argument that the Reds are already the favorite in the NL Central. Or at least one of the favorites.

        I’m not trading a Senzel or our top prospects for just two years of Lindor. Stephenson and Garcia both could be manning those two positions in 2021. And most teams have a weak spot or two in their lineup.

      • Redsvol

        woof! that’s a pretty rough bullpen after spot #4. Sure hope you are wrong and they are going after some more bullpen arms.

      • Redsfan4life

        I hope you are right. But imo that is not a team that would be a serious contender. Need a impact bat.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Maybe Lucas Sims and Joel Kuhnel have more chance to make the team than Romano and De Leon

      • Mark

        I’m like some of the others I don’t feel we need another bullpen arm.

      • Tom

        Man, how cool would it be for Finnegan to regain is relief pitching form?

    • Chris

      Just curious. Why would you want Iglesias back when we have Galvis? Galvis is a better hitter than Iglesias, and is just about as good defensively as is Iglesias.

      • Bdh

        Need someone else that can handle the position on the roster. While Galvis is good with the glove, Iglesias is about as good as you can get defensively, had the highest batting average on the team last year, and can probably be signed for cheap.

        If we want a bigger bat and don’t mind getting less from the position defensively then I would try to sign Starlin Castro over trading what it seems it’ll take to get Lindor

      • RedScare

        True, but they are going to need a back up SS. I read one article claiming the Reds next move would
        Be a utility infielder. Iglesias would fit the bill. Still, I prefer to think the next move is Lindor (dreaming I know). Now if the Reds can acquire a SS (Lindor or Seeger) and hold on to Senzel. Then they are favorites for the Central and maybe the National League.

  7. BigBill

    I believe we will see more of Shogo in RF platooning with Aquino or if Aquino struggles taking one of the corners and Winker/Ervin in the other corner. How do you see things shaking out Doug?

  8. Hotto4Votto

    Like the addition, I think. I certainly hope the OBP translates. Hopefully it’s not for over $20m as I’ve seen reported, because that’s getting a little steep for a guy who projects to be a part-time player. Hopefully he’ll transition well to the states, but there’s certainly a good amount of risk here, and not a lot of success stories lately.
    Now, onto upgrading SS or C. Got to keep adding to the offense. We’re getting there but we’re not there yet.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I certainly hope so, and I think it’s a solid bet. But OBP isn’t always just about the batting eye. Sometimes it’s also about the pitchers being willing to challenge you in the zone. Just look at Votto since his power declined over the past two years. He had 9 of 10 years with an OBP over .400 with the other year being .390, but then last year .357 OBP. Did Votto lose his elite batting eye or were pitchers just more willing to challenge him? I’d say the later. If Akiyama’s power doesn’t translate, I’d guess it’ll have an effect on his overall line, OBP included.

  9. Steven Nelson

    Hard for me to believe Akiyama chose to sign with the Reds as a platoon player, or that the Reds offered a reported 7 mill for a platoon player. I have to believe he starts 140 games and I’m expecting other roster moves soon to clear the way.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Agreed. You don’t outbid other teams for a platoon player. You do outbid other teams for a guy who has an OBP near .400 and can bat leadoff.

    • Dawson

      Absolutely agree. I planned on making this comment if no one else did.

    • MBS

      100% right. Shogo is a lock to play everyday. Senzel is either going to be traded, or play SS. I know he had an extended look in spring training a couple of seasons ago, but you want the best bats in the lineup as often as possible. Or Senzel becomes a utility pieces, where he subs 2B, 3B, SS, and CF getting him his 140 games.

      • Craig

        I posted this elsewhere, but I honestly think signing Shogo affects Winker more than Senzel. Unless they truly want to mix and match at all 3 outfield positions, adding Shogo makes Winker kind of redundant. Both are lefties, both get on base, neither (are expected to) hit for a lot of power, and both have average or reportedly declining defensive prowess. Regardless, the Reds now have a surplus of outfielders and can deal one or more for additional offensive upgrades. Always be trading from surplus.

  10. Scott C

    I am hoping that this portends a trade for Lindor. Either Story or Seager would be an upgrade at short but Lindor puts us into title contention.

    • Colorado Red

      So does Story, 6.4 WAR (Story) 4.7 Lindor.
      Trevor can really pick it at SS, he is as good as they come.
      Watch a lot of Rockies on TV, and Reds on the PC last year.
      I think Trevor will be even better in GABP, without going in and out of altitude all the time.
      That being said, Trevor on Lindor would be great either way.

      • Redsvol

        look at this road vs. home splits again….

      • Marc Parkinson

        Remember he has to go from altitude to non-altitude.
        I look at DJ, (Yanks 2b), and how much easier it was for him.
        Trevor ran rake.

    • JayTheRed

      This is what I am thinking. It might not be Lindor but one of the other Good SS that are up for trade this offseason. I hope its for Lindor though and for those who think we are not going to have to give up a fair amount to get him are probably wrong. Cleveland does not have to trade him so why wouldn’t they expect an overpay to get Lindor.

  11. Daryl

    One question I have. Who is the backup SS on the current expected 26 man roster? Blandino isn’t making the active roster. There really isn’t anyone else. I dont think Senzel is the answer. I think there has to be another deal coming moving an OF for a SS and making Galvis a MIF backup.

    Senzel plus for Lindor (I would try to get Hand in on this deal)
    Winker plus for Story
    Winker plus for Seager

    Something has to give.

    As for the current 40 man which is full I believe, Josh Smith or Scott Schebler have to be gone.

    • JayTheRed

      If I had to guess probably Schbler. Just seems like he lost it somewhere and has not been able to find it that much in the minors either.

    • DrunkenViking

      Kyle Farmer is your only other choice at SS. He played SS for 4 years at Georgia and some last year in spring training.

    • Hotto4Votto

      My hope is that the Reds upgrade at SS and Galvis becomes the back up. In the instance that Galvis is moved in a deal, I don’t think we can count out Blandino making the team though. If we assume a 5 man bench and that one of Barnhart/Casali and two of Winker/Ervin/Akiyama/Aquino are on the bench on any given day, that leaves two more spots. Farmer is a logical choice as he can play just about everywhere in the INF including C. Though you probably don’t want to play him at SS too often. That leaves another bench spot, likely someone who helps out in the INF as the OF is already kind of full. Based on our roster now Blandino and VanMeter appear to the best choices. I think Blandino is more adept at covering SS regularly. It may come down to whether the Reds want a LH or RH to add too the bench.

  12. jbonireland

    I like the move, to al who say he will be a part timer,,,no one knows how the Reds will use him. And to all the nay sayers who say the Reds are cheap and Bob won’t spend any of his money…..Moustakas 64 mil, Akiyama20+ mil and Miley 15 mil. That’s basically 100 mil and they haven’t burdened the team with new contract in the $250-300 milion.
    I would suspect they are not done, do I expect a Lindor trade, NO. But they now have some assets to pick up relief pitching and possibly a catcher although I really think I wouldn’t use them on a catcher.

  13. Hotto4Votto

    This guy knows what’s up! But seriously, this is exactly where I’m at. It’s nice to feel like we’re a piece or two away from being right in the thick of things and not just going into the season wishing and hoping everything goes right. Just a another box or two to check off and I believe we’ll have a real contender.

    • JayTheRed

      Wonder if the Brewers would trade us Hader. the guy is a sick pitcher have seen him in many games. Johnson probably can fix any issues he had last season too. I doubt it would cost an arm and a leg either. Only big obstacle to me would be inter-division trade.

    • Roger Garrett

      Both of you are on point.Just apiece or two away but we have been just apiece or two away on offense so maybe we can package some of this surplus in the the outfield to plug these holes.Trust me Shogo and Senzel aren’t going to be platooned.Wink/AA might be but wow one guys gets on base and the other guy has amazing power

  14. Stock

    Available SS (Lindor, Correa, Seager, Marte and Story)

    I would love Marte for Senzel, Santillan and Lopez. Marte is on a great cheap contract.

    I think though that Lindor will be a Red. Lindor/Senzel.

    • earmbrister

      Senzel’s contract is cheaper than Marte, and he very well could be a better player than Marte as early as this season.

      • Stock

        I am thinking that Senzel’s contract is not cheaper than Marte’s. If the Reds keep Marte I certainly hope not.

      • earmbrister

        I thought you were talking about Starling, but Senzel’s contract is cheaper than Ketel’s too (though Ketel may be a better player in the long run).

        However, why would Arizona trade Ketel Marte if he’s signed to sweetheart deal?

        Not getting it.

  15. earmbrister

    I like this signing. It gives the Reds a lot of coverage for right and center.

    Senzel is staying in CF. The Reds made the “investment” in time this past season to convert him to being a CFr. He has well above average athleticism which will only improve his play in center. Senzel’s bat makes him a potential All Star in Center.

    Winker will stay put in LF. His career numbers in his first 855 PAs are .285/..379/.466/.845. All he needs to do now is stay healthy in order to put up some real strong numbers. Ervin supplies a real strong platoon in left.

    Shogo figures to platoon with Aquino in RF. Aquino needs to get the majority of the playing time until/unless he proves that he’s in over his head. When Shogo is not in RF, he can spell Senzel in Center.

    It’s been a real nice off season. Can’t wait until April.

  16. B-town fan

    What’s the one thing that these three free agent signings have in common that you have not seen mentioned in the press hardly at all. If you said they have not been injured basically at all there whole careers your are correct. It looks to be a very prudent strategy the Reds appear to be taking. It’s never a guarantee as Junior proved but spending big money on players that can stay on the field and have proven it in the past is a plus.

    • Stock

      Moustakas missed almost all of 2016 due to injury and Miley missed half of 2018 to injury. I am not sure why Shogo missed 1/3 of 2011 and 2012 but injury would not surprise me as the answer. Jankowski is constantly injured. Payton failed to play 100 games in 2017 and again in 2018. I am not sure if it a part time role or injury but Martini played 70 games in the minors and 32 in the majors for only 100 games in total. Hard to tell on RP by just looking at stats but I think Shafer has had a healthy career. I think this covers the Reds Acquisitions this year

  17. JayTheRed

    I think there is going to be some of the OF glut we have traded. I’m still hopeful for Lindor. Maybe some of it traded for a strong bullpen piece or two.

  18. SteveLV

    There seems to be a clear division between the 5 who look to be on the roster as of now – Winkler, Ervin, Senzel, Aquino, and Akiyama – and the other 4. I’m a little disappointed JVM may not ha e an opportunity in Cincinnati, but I think that went out the window with Moose as it seems like a stretch to view him as a potential outfielder.
    This does provide some flexibility to upgrade at short. Any real upgrade probably involves Senzel or Winker, and I’d be disappointed to see either go, but it may be the right thing to do.
    Hope Akiyama’s experience in Cincinnati is good as it may have an influence on others in the future.

    Thanks for another great year, Doug. Hope you get to write about a very successful season in the new year.

  19. Stellavic

    This deal makes no sense for me unless another deal is coming. Shogo is a no go as far as moving the needle for the Reds to be a contender.

    • Doug Gray

      On paper the Reds are probably at the top of the division right now before this signing. And when you are there, the little things that move the needle just a tiny bit – they matter a lot more than if you’re a 77 win team.

      • Greg

        I haven’t seen any comments on David Bell? I’m not a big fan of his style of managing. Yea they could be favored in their division or possibly the NL, but Bell I’m just not comfortable with. Maybe it’s just me. And please tell me they have a new 3rd base coach. House I think is his name made a lot of bad decisions on sending or not sending runners.

  20. JayTheRed

    I don’t get the feeling that Semien is on the trade market. Also I kinda feel like that’s a lot of players to give up for a one year rental.

    • greenmtred

      One- year free agents are a different matter from one-year (or two- year) trade acquisitions for whom you have to give up a lot of talent. Presumably, baseball will still be played in Cincy after 2022.

  21. Steve Schoenbaechler

    A couple of things.

    First, I like this move.

    Second, I don’t believe the Reds are done with moves. For, now, they have a glutton of OFer’s, and still the only option at SS being Galvis.

  22. Kevin F Patrick

    Somebody above mentioned that they thought the Reds wouldn’t be able to carry Blandino on the roster. If they don’t make a trade, which I’m not sure they should, he may very well make the roster. Watching Blandino play short has been a little bit of an adventure. That said, age, experience, and comfort may help him to ease up a bit there and not be quite as tight. I actually don’t have a major problem with Galvis at short. I think he might see more pitches if the hitters around him are all on base. I also guess Barnhart’s injury last year was hampering him a ton. I expect he will hit better over the course of the year. Unless the Reds bring in a reliever, I bet this might be it…at least for the preseason. I can imagine the Indians giving up Lindor more affordably at the break if they are out of contention. If the Reds are in contention at the break and they know how their outfield is performing (Aquino/Senzel)… then they’ll know even better whether to trade years of control in youth for Lindor. In other words, for better or worse, I think this is it.

  23. Scott

    The 3 years would seem to indicate the Reds outbid the other team.

  24. MK

    A lot are worried about where Senzel plays. I want to see him better offensively. A .256/.315/.427 last season with 101 Ks in 104 games. projects him at .260/.324/.445 for 2020. Not much of a help with those numbers.

    • earmbrister

      I’d be shocked if Senzel posted those projected numbers. He was dealing with a new, much more demanding position defensively last year, and was just getting his feet wet as a rookie. And I doubt that he will be changing his batting stance mid season this coming year.

      I’m looking for big numbers from Senzel and Winker, as well as from Moose and Suarez. Perhaps also a decent rebound from Joey.

  25. Reddawg12

    Does anyone know if Shogo has dramatic platoon splits? I can’t find them anywhere. Just curious if we’re getting another Winker in terms of hitting against LHP.

  26. Richard Paterson

    This opens the door for a Senzel + trade for Lindor.

  27. Optimist

    The good news – for the first time in years the roster is loaded with MLB players. Among the position players only Suarez is a star, Votto could recover, but the rest are clearly MLB level of varying quality.

    The interesting speculation – I believe they’re set for a final blockbuster trade. This signing is the end of the payroll expansion, and kudos to them for that, but they have such varied depth now, and such glaring holes remaining, the deal is generally obvious.

    Galvis/Blandino at SS is not going to make it. I expect something happens there. There are no other SS’s available for the 25 man, and though I think Blandino is capable, he is the 26th man in the utility role.

    Perhaps they wait on C, since Barnhart/Casali are marginally OK and may improve, and there’s the game management aspect of the position beyond the spot in the order. Finally, this is the year to see if TySteve is the future so perhaps they leave well enough alone there.

    Also waiting to see where Alex Wood goes – if the Reds are dangling pitchers, they may have an offer for him which includes waiting for the rotation to clear – I hope Gray/Castillo/Miley are set, but the others may be on the block.

    Doug’s comment above about moving the needle a tiny bit is right on point, but I still believe a final big move is coming. That, or spring training sorting will be brutal.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Interesting that you believe this is the end of payroll expansion. I’m not positive, even with Akiyama signing, that we’re above where we were last year. Obviously we only know the details we have, but looking at Sportrac it has set salaries of Votto ($25m), Moustakas ($12m), Suarez ($9.25m), Gray ($10m), Iglesias ($9m), Barnhart ($3.5m), Miley ($6m), and Galvis ($5.5m) for a total of $80.25m. Add in projections for ARB with Bauer ($18.6m), Disco ($5.2m), Casali ($1.7m), Lorenzen ($4.2m), and Bowman ($900k) equals out to $110.85m.
      Add in approximately $7m for 12 pre-arb players and let’s say for now $7m/year for Akiyama and you’re still right about $125m for salaries. Which is under where it was last season.

      • Optimist

        My bad. Should have said FA acquisition in open market/competitive bidding.

        I think they take on salary in a trade, hopefully in place of dealing a prospect. All the rumors have BOS/CLE looking to cut payroll.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Makes sense. I think maybe they add a reliever in FA still, but yeah any additional salary taken on likely has to come through a trade.

  28. JB

    I have read a lot of rumors the past week and talked with people in California and everyone is pointing at the Indians , Reds and Dodgers in a 3 team trade. Dodgers want Lindor bad and are willing to give up more than the Reds are. But they heard the Reds will take Seager for less than what the Reds would give up for Lindor. I think the Reds have a better chance of signing Seager than Lindor. Right now it’s all rumors though. Lindor would be nice but I like Seager as well and he would take less money on a extension than Lindor I think. Plus less prospects.

    • Hotto4Votto

      This may not be a bad avenue to explore. Seager would be a nice upgrade at SS. He’d certainly be cheaper in both prospects and dollars. I’d hate to help the Dodgers get Lindor, and we don’t seem to come out on top when trading with the Dodgers recently, but it appears a reasonable path to pursue to continue to upgrade the roster.

    • Kevin F Patrick

      I don’t know… just glancing at the stats for Galvis vs Seager…I hope the Reds wouldn’t give up too much to get him. They look like pretty similar players to me when considering who Seager got to bat with and who Galvis’ protection was. I wouldn’t be angry… I’m just not sure its worth messing with. I wonder who would cost the Reds more… Seager or Correa?

      • Hotto4Votto

        You serious Clark? (sorry, it’s that time of year for Christmas Vacation watchings)

        Seager was worth 4 bWAR (would have ranked 2nd on the Reds behind Suarez) and an OPS+ of 113 last season. Seager’s been above average offensively every season he’s played with a career OPS+ of 126.
        Galvis was worth 1.6 bWAR last season and posted a 92 OPS+, which is the best he’s ever posted. Galvis’ career OPS+ is 82.

        They’re really not comparable.

  29. Daytonian

    If a new trade does not materialize and change the SS situation, Blandino will be the backup SS. Baseball Reference lists Blandino as having played 198 games (with 102 starts) at shortstop over 5 seasons in the minors.

  30. Dawson

    Really hoping Votto can bounce back next year. If he plays like he did this year then we would be better off sliding Moose over to 1B, Senzel to 2B, and Shogo at CF. I hate saying that, especially with the production he has had through his career, his commitment to the team/city, and that massive contract. I know that won’t happen, but it may be a better lineup if he plays like last year. Hopefully he bounces back though.

    • DrunkenViking

      Votto changed his stance and quit choking up the last couple months of the year with good success. He had more power and his OPS went up. Hopefully that carries over to this year.

  31. TR

    I like this deal. Akiyama stabilizes the outfield, gives the Reds some options and provides a get on base type hitter the offense needs. And as long as Senzel is around, he and Shogo cover the very important leadoff position. I have a feeling the Reds will still be part of a big trade that will bring Corey Seager as shortstop with Galvis as the backup. For what it will cost for Lindor, getting Seager will take less of the farm system.

  32. Stock

    Arizona is rebuilding and it would be great to work a trade with them.

    Marte and Carson Kelly for

    Greene, Tucker Barnhart, Tyler Stephenson, Jose Garcia, Tony Santillan, Jonathan India, Aristides Aquino, Lucas Sims and Travis Jankowski.

    CF Shogo
    1B Votto
    SS Marte
    3B Suarez
    RF Moustakas
    LF Winker
    2B Senzel
    C Kelly

    SP: Castillo, Gray, Miley, DeSclafani, Bauer
    RP: Iglesias, Garrett, Robert Stephenson, Shafer, DeLeon, Cody Reed, Lorenzen and Bowman

    The Reds have control of every position player for another 4-6 years. Hopefully Mahle and Lodolo replace Bauer and DeSclafani next year. I think this trade turns the 1 year go for it all into a 3 – 4 year window.

  33. Nick in NKY

    Hey RLN. Long time reader, first comment.

    I just want to say this: I still cannot believe that so many Reds fans are willing to toss Nick Senzel so quickly. I understand that he’s taken some injury lumps, and I also get that Lindor is a superstar. But two years of Francisco doesn’t do it for me; not even a straight up swap. Senzel is going to be good. He’s no longer wet behind the ears, he’s figured what stance is better for him, his athleticism is elite, his defensive reads off the bat will improve, he will develop more power, and at his age he will certainly recover from the surgery he had in the off season. I don’t have to cite the metrics because they’ve been posted here a thousand times and you’ve all seen them. Almost all highly touted prospects turned rookies have a year or even two before they really break out. His continuous adjustment and improvement throughout his domination of the minors suggest that he is trending way up. He probably won’t turn in 40/40 seasons, but he will be defensively elite and offensively above average, it’s just a matter of how long it takes to get there.

    I had a torn labrum in my shoulder repaired 5 years ago, when I was 6 years older than Senzel is now. I’m an amateur athlete routinely putting in long workouts, sometimes with heavy weights. It’s more than doable for a professional athlete to rehab that injury and be at full tilt in six months. There is no club to whom Nick Senzel is more valuable than the Reds right now. If the office phone rings from other GM’s and they even mention him, Williams and Krall should demand a wild overpay.

    All that said, if they traded him and some pieces for Lindor and some pieces, I wouldn’t hate it. But they shouldn’t. If I were the FO I would be looking a Seager trade if it’s not a fleecing. If I were Josh Vanmeter I would be doing nothing but eating chicken breasts and broccoli, doing sprints and agility work, and taking ground balls. Galvis is ripe for an upset to a youngster with upside. Honestly I’d be doing the same if I were Senzel too. I know that the idea of Nick at short has been floated (and panned) here previously, and with all due respect to the perfectly valid argument of positional stability, IF IT WERE possible it basically solves the positional logjam. I have to admit that I’m hoping this idea is in play for exploration by the team.

    All of this is a really long-winded way of saying I like the Shogo deal. It does create a situation that needs resolution, but hopefully it will be a good problem to have, and at worst, more depth. Cheers to 2020.

    • earmbrister

      This fan is not trading Senzel (and his years of control) for anyone not named Trout.

      Mark my words, Senzel will be a perennial All Star in CF.

    • CFD3000

      Nick – Welcome. I agree that Senzel is a cornerstone player for at least the next five years, and that Akiyama is a nice addition. The Reds need more OBP more than they need more power. And a healthy Winker and Senzel added to Akiyama and the Votto of the latter part of 2019 would go a long way toward fixing that shortage. But I’ll be surprised if there isn’t a trade still to come. It feels like the Reds have a lot of extra outfielders and second basemen, but not enough quality or depth at shortstop, catcher and in the bullpen. I’m not wasting any time speculating about platoons or batting lineups until the dust clears and the final roster is set.

  34. Stock

    Usually when you trade your best player at the trade deadline that means you are rebuilding. Usually a team that plans to compete does not trade it’s best player (Goldschmidt) to the Cardinals the prior winter and let Pollack walk. Usually a team that finishes 21 games out of 1st and has traded their new best player (Greinke) is not considering the addition of Kole Calhoun and a washed up Madison Bumgarner as game changers. Sure they paid a boatload for Bumgarner but if they do their HW they would notice that Bumgarner stats are masked by his home ballpark. ERA last year on the road: 5.29. 2018 Road ERA: 4.97. His ERA at Chase Field the last two years is about 4.75.

    Seems to me that Cleveland has a much better shot at making the playoffs than Arizona and Lindor is available. So yes, I think Marte is available at the right price and my proposal is overpay.

    • Big Ed

      I agree with Sliotar on this. Arizona won 85 games last year, and is poised to improve this year. They dumped the Greinke (now 36 years old) contract, and signed the 30-year-old Bumgarner for much less AAV. Opinions can vary on Bumgarner’s future, but he’s undoubtedly been a better post-season pitcher than Greinke.

      Marte is the best unknown player in baseball, with a 149 OPS+, and they aren’t trading his contract. He is a superstar, frankly, heading into his age 26 season. They have surrounded him with five guys last year who had OPS+ between 106 and 118, and replaced Adam Jones with
      Kole Calhoun.

      The D-Backs correctly decided to trade the contracts of Goldschmidt and Greinke, wisely let the injury-prone Pollock go, and understood what they have in Marte. If you ask me, they are making very good decision after very good decision.

  35. rex aultman

    I agree…I read this almost everyday but rarely comment

    the window is short and this team has much age

    if it cost Senzel so be it

    I do not trust our closer on his own…he has sucked off and on for 2 years now

  36. MBS

    I don’t buy Aquino as a platoon. It seems as ludicrous as Senzel platooning.

  37. MBS

    Finish it Dick, get Lindor! I like Senzel (a lot), but Lindor is the #1 SS in baseball, Senzel is not in the top 10 CF’s in baseball. He may one day be what Lindor is today, but that is not a certainty.

  38. RedsDownUnderer

    The consensus is that this signing gives them a lot of flexibility but no clear path forward. I haven’t heard this scenario so will float it: Senzel, healed but still coming off surgery, begins the year in AAA, especially if he is less than stellar in ST. That gives them 3-4 weeks to sort out the outfield situation. If Aquino is more September 2019 than August 2019, then they get swapped on the roster, or if the Winker/Ervin platoon isn’t working, then Ervin and Senzel get swapped. If it is May 1 and the OF is performing well and Senzel is performing well in AAA, then you have the good problem of a surplus of MLB talent on your roster and go from there (and assess the Galvis situation at SS).

    I don’t think they have all of the talent they need on the non-pitching front to be contenders at this point, but I also don’t like the idea of trading Senzel. I think I would be happy to see what happens in ST and the first month of the season to see what injuries and developments occur.

  39. Big Ed

    I don’t get the theory that the Reds have to guard against getting old in 2022, by trading the one guy who figures to be hitting his prime in 2022.

    I like the idea of a long, consistent window. A Lindor trade shuts the window in 2022, and pretty much ensures that another window won’t open until about 2027. No thanks. Lindor couldn’t get the Indians in the playoffs last year, so why is it assumed he will guarantee the Reds a pennant?

    There is an excellent reason that so many teams are interested in Senzel: the other teams believe that he will be very, very good. The other teams are hoping they can sucker the Reds into trading him. When every other team is signalling that Senzel is very valuable — good enough to get you Lindor — then maybe the Reds ought to listen to those signals and keep what they have.

    • greenmtred

      Despite excellent and thought-provoking posts taking the opposite point of view, I agree with you, Ed. We’ve seen what injuries and unexpectedly poor performances can do to projections, and if going all-in for one or two years comes at the cost of mediocrity (or worse) for many years after, I think the cost is too high. With luck, the Reds may well be very competitive this year. With more luck, they may go deep in the playoffs. Even with Lindor (and minus Senzel), this would be true.

  40. Stellavic

    Since last year, the Reds have added Bauer, Galvis, Shogo, Mouse, and a bunch of no name outfielders. I don’t see how that takes them from 77 wins to the best on paper in their division?

    • SayItSo

      What have the others in the division done that’s so great?

    • Doug Gray

      Well, the first problem you’ve got is that you are starting at 77 wins, which isn’t where the team is. On paper, the Reds began the offseason in the 82-85 win range according to ZiPS projections. And then they added Moustakas, Miley, and now they’ve added Akiyama. Even before Akiyama, as noted in the article a few days ago, the Clay Davenport projections had the Reds on top of the division by 3 games.

  41. Gregmlb

    Wikipedia is saying that Lindor is a Red and that a trade happened yesterday.

    • Ed B

      I saw that also, but it has since been removed.

  42. Steven Ross

    I find it hard to believe he’d sign a 3-year deal to be a platoon player.

  43. Redfan15

    If this 3 team deal including the dodgers had any legs, do we (RLN) think that Winker and India to Cleveland while receiving Seager from LA would be enough to get it done? If so, that would be a no-brainer IMO. 4 years of Mouse at 2b, 6 years of Suárez at 3B and 3 years of Seager at SS effectively unlock India all the way around (I know he’s not a SS). 3 years of Shogo would profile similarly to the next 3 years of of Winker (better defense, hopefully the same OBP and power numbers). Would be able to keep Senzel long term in CF and have Shogo/Ervin/Aquino in the corners and have a lineup that’s competitive everywhere besides C. Aquino would still be a ? in RF.

    Some lineup Votto-Mouse-Seager-Suárez backed by Senzel-Shogo-Aquino with Castillo-Gray-Bauer-Miley-Disco with a battery of Barnhart/Casali would seem to be a pennant winning lineup. Would probably need another bullpen arm (Stammen, Hudson, etc) but adding Seager would still give us plenty of payroll room.

    What say you?

  44. Tom

    Eugenio is absolutely untouchable. I don’t see all this love for Senzel??!! Heck we don’t even know if he’s gonna be ready to play. If you can move him for an established star shortstop? It’s a no brainer. My guess is all the Senzel talk is hot air anyways. We’ve got an unbalanced roster at the moment. More moves are coming. Without a doubt. No move thus far has shaken the needle. We still need offense. We ain’t gonna bunt so we need rakers. Dickerson was a raker, we let him slip away, Lindor is a raker, Castellanos is a raker, Puig is a raker, go get some rakers!!

    Tom, this is your first post so we’re going to let it slide, but we don’t allow cursing here. Please watch your language if you’d like to continue leaving comments.

  45. Vegas Red

    I think the red are ready. Alfredo Rodriguez is. Capable of backing up Galvis and third and second as well. If other things open up they can still upgrade