For most professional sports teams, there is a tradition that goes along with bringing in a big name player to their organization. The player is introduced in a press conference, receives a jersey with his name and number on it, and talks to the local reporters about how he feels about his new team.
When was the last time the Reds held a press conference for a player they acquired?
It’s been a while. The last player that received a press conference with the Cincinnati media was Ken Griffey Jr. when he was traded to the Reds in 2000. While the rebuild has been ongoing for four years, the Reds are now in the stage to make a press conference level acquisition and regain some interest that’s been lost in the fanbase. With David Bell now in charge and the baseball staff having more control, this is the time to make this signing.
Think about it: when was the last big Reds free agent signing? The Reds claimed Scooter Gennett off waivers in 2017 and signed Jared Hughes last offseason, but most of their 25 man roster was either drafted or received via trade last year. You’d have to go back to 2012 for the most recent big name signing, and that player was 34-year-old Ryan Ludwick. There are some great players available in free agency this year, and the Reds have been more active so far than past years in their pursuit of guys like Dallas Keuchel. The small payroll should not be an issue anymore either, as the Reds have committed to spending more this offseason.
This baseball staff of Dick Williams and Nick Krall are no stranger to trades, though, and they have done well in the past year. The trade of Matt Harvey for Devin Mesoraco proved to be helpful for a young team as well as Harvey. They did not end up trading Harvey again, but lost next to nothing without Mesoraco. They also dealt Adam Duvall this year to the Braves for prospects, and made a steal last offseason by getting Luis Castillo and other prospects from the Marlins for the small price of Dan Straily.
The Reds have needs to fill before 2019 after non-tendering Billy Hamilton and having another poor pitching staff this past season. Before and during winter meetings, the Reds have popped up in trade talks with the Dodgers for Yasiel Puig, the Marlins for JT Realmuto and the Indians for either Trevor Bauer or Cory Kluber. They have already made one move, as Tanner Rainey was sent to the Nationals for Tanner Roark, a starting pitcher who threw 180 innings and racked up 146 strikeouts and nine wins. His WAR of 3.4 was almost three points higher than any of the 2018 Reds starters.
If Dick Williams and Nick Krall can make a good deal with the Indians for Bauer (might be a headcase but is younger and had a better 2018 season than Klubot), they need to take it. If they can offload Homer Bailey to the Dodgers for Puig, TAKE IT. While I’m hesitant on Realmuto because the Reds have a great catcher in Tucker Barnhart, if they hear a good offer on him they should consider it heavily. If they can make a good deal for a pitcher like Sonny Gray or Dallas Keuchel, they should act soon. Free agency last offseason was drawn out into spring training, but is moving much faster this offseason.
The Reds had three of the best hitters in baseball with Eugenio Suarez, Scooter Gennett and Joey Votto last year. Their bullpen has young talent like Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen, and the rotation has a young star in Luis Castillo and an experienced arm in Tanner Roark. They also know their needs: pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching and possibly a center fielder. Now it’s time for them to make their move. Let’s have a press conference, Dick.