The Cincinnati Reds had the first day of Redsfest on Friday evening and quite a bit came out of it from a news perspective. The team awards were handed out, Nick Krall spoke about his plans for the offseason, and we learned some more details on the contracts with the club’s recent free agent signings.
Nick Krall says they are still looking to add
With two signings this week, the Reds are still out there looking to add to their 82-win club from 2023. New President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall told Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer that they are “trying to figure out how we can continue to upgrade our club,” while noting that the team has added some quality innings. That backs up, at least a little bit, what Jeff Passan of ESPN reported this week that the team was still looking to try and add a frontline starting pitcher.
Contract details for Nick Martinez and Emilio Pagan
Friday night was also when the Reds made the signings of pitchers Nick Martinez and Emilio Pagan official. And with that news we learned a little more about their contracts. While we knew the total value and that each player had a player option for 2025, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Cincinnati Enquirer got the details about the salary for each player in each season.
Martinez, who could make $26,000,000 over the span of his 2-year deal if he stick around for the second season of it, will make $14,000,000 in 2024 and could get $12,000,000 in 2025 if he chooses to remain with the Reds. Pagan’s deal is for $8,000,000 in each of the next two seasons if he opts to remain with the club for 2025.
The Team Awards
On the main stage at Redsfest on Friday the team awards were handed out. Spencer Steer got the biggest one, being named the Ernie Lombardi Team MVP. Alexis Diaz was named the Johnny Vander Meet Pitcher of the Year. And TJ Friedl was named as the Joe Nuxhall Good Guy on the team.
No one played in more games for the Reds last season that Steer. He only missed six games all year and he racked up a team best 665 plate appearances. That was 109 more trips to the plate than anyone else on the team. He led the team in doubles with 37 and home runs with 23. He was also tops on the team in runs batted in with 86 and in walks with 68. And he did all of that while hitting .271/.356/.464. Not bad for the rookie who also happened to play first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field during the season.
Alexis Diaz, who is not at Redsfest this year as he’s back at home in Puerto Rico awaiting the birth of a child, got the nod for the top pitcher on the club. The 2023 All-Star pitched in 71 games and picked up 37 saves on the year. Diaz had a 3.07 ERA and allowed just 44 hits in 67.1 innings while walking 36 batters and striking out 86.
TJ Friedl got the Joe Nuxhall Good Guy Award. We don’t exactly have stats to talk about with regards to that. But we can still tell you how he performed on the field in 2023. He finished second on the team in games, plate appearances, stolen bases (27), and home runs (18). Friedl spent most of his time in center and hit .279/.352/.467 on they ear.
The Team Award
No, we didn’t just write this section. While the team handed out their awards on Friday night, they also go an award of their own on Friday night. Cincinnati was awarded the Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence by Major League Baseball. This award, according to the Major League Baseball press release, recognizes the Reds Community Makeover program, aiding revitalization efforts in underserved communities throughout the greater Cincinnati region.
The timing of the announcement couldn’t have come at a better time than on Friday with the start of Redsfest. While Redsfest is a fan experience, it’s all done for the Reds Community Fund, who is listed by the Reds as the beneficiary of Redsfest.