Trevor Bauer has sometimes favored odd usage patterns or unique superstitions throughout his baseball career, and the Cincinnati Reds may be willing to go along with one of them in 2020.
In the past, Bauer has voiced his eagerness to pitch every fourth day instead of the traditional five. In fact, he has even said he would make it a priority in free agency to find a team that would allow him to pitch on that schedule.
In the shortened 2020 season, the Cincinnati Reds are apparently considering giving Bauer what he wants.
This would no doubt make Bauer very happy. Maybe it’s even a ploy by the Reds to make him more interested in re-signing, as he’s entering the final year of team control. It remains to be seen if he’d be as effective as he thinks he would, or how it would impact the rest of the Reds’ rotation. Still, it’s an interesting scenario to watch for.
Bauer has some other free agency ideas he plans to pursue. He’s certainly unique in how he approaches his craft. Maybe the Reds ought to just embrace it.
The MLB season looks like it will be played in some form, which is good news for teams who had high hopes for the 2020 season. Multiple teams have put the pieces in place to have a very good season — sometimes in a way that will defy expectations.
Here are five MLB teams that had poor 2019 seasons but could be poised to surprise in 2020.
The Cincinnati Reds have made another move that proves they are trying to contend in 2020.
Free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos has agreed to a multi-year contract with the Reds, Ken Rosenthal and C. Trent Rosencrans of The Athletic first reported. The deal is reportedly for four years.
Castellanos was the top free agent remaining on the market. The 27-year-old batted .289 with 27 homers and 73 RBI in time split between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs last year. He’s a career .277 hitter.
The Reds have been very active this winter after missing the playoffs last year for a sixth consecutive season. In addition to Castellanos, they have also signed third baseman Mike Moustakas, Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama and veteran starting pitcher Wade Miley.
Castellanos was being pursued by at least two other teams, with the Atlanta Braves looking like they may have been the biggest losers.
The Cleveland Indians are open to trading star shortstop Francisco Lindor this winter if the return is significant enough, and one team that may have the pieces to get a deal done is the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds have had discussions with the Indians about a potential trade involving Lindor, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. Cleveland is likely looking for a combination of at least one MLB-ready starter and prospects in return for Lindor, and the Reds may be in position to provide that. They have several young players on their roster, most notably Nick Senzel.
It’s unclear if Cincinnati would be interested in trading Senzel, but the outfielder looked impressive after being called up last season. He hit .256 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI in 106 games. However, he is still considered the Reds’ top prospect, so they may be hesitant to deal him even for an impact player like Lindor.
Lindor, 26, has been a star for the Indians over the past few seasons. He’s a career .288 hitter and has averaged 34.3 home runs and 85 RBI over the last three years. Like many of their other star players, Cleveland likely knows they will not be able to give Lindor a market value contract when he hits free agency after the 2021 season.
The Reds have shown a willingness to make big trades recently, one of which was a three-team deal that landed them former Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer back in July.
Lindor is being heavily pursued by at least one other team, and it’s still possible the Indians hold him through the winter and explore trading him prior to the deadline next season. Either way, it seems to be only a matter of time before he’s dealt.
The Cincinnati Reds have been busy this offseason and made another addition.
The Reds and southpaw pitcher Wade Miley agreed on a two-year, $15 million deal, both Ken Rosenthal and Mark Feinsand reported on Monday night. Feinsand says the deal calls for a $9 million team option in 2022.
Miley, 33, is 85-82 with a 4.23 career ERA. He went 14-6 with a 3.98 ERA last season for the Houston Astros, though he went through a rough stretch in September where his ERA spiked nearly a run from 3.06 to 3.98.
Miley made one appearance in the ALDS for Houston but was not on the ALCS or World Series roster.
In addition to Miley, the Reds have also signed Mike Moustakas this offseason. They also acquired Trevor Bauer in a trade with the Indians during the season to improve their rotation.
The Cincinnati Reds have reportedly made the first significant splash of the MLB offseason.
According to various reports, the Reds have agreed to terms with third baseman Mike Moustakas on a four-year deal. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, he will make $64 million over the course of the deal.
After back-to-back one-year deals, Moustakas finally gets the multi-year deal he craved. He hit 35 home runs in 2018 for the Milwaukee Brewers, the second time in his career that he hit 30 home runs or more. The hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park should prove favorable to him.
According to reports, the Reds plan to use Moustakas at second base. They have an established star at third base in Eugenio Suarez, but the Reds won’t be paying Moustakas to come off the bench. He got some experience at second last season with the Brewers.
Moustakas turned 31 in September. He’s a career .252 hitter and a three-time All-Star, including with Milwaukee in 2019.
The Cincinnati Reds are trying to take a major step forward with their organization and have done so with a big hire.
The Reds have hired Kyle Boddy as their Director of Pitching Initiatives/Pitching Coordinator. Boddy is the founder of Driveline Baseball, an advanced data and technologically-driven facility that specializes in developing baseball players.
Boddy announced the news via Twitter on Tuesday. He outlined some of the terms of his new role.
Boddy says his deal is an exclusive, multi-year agreement with the Reds, meaning he can no longer consult for competing MLB teams. Most of his work will be done with developing minor leaguers. Boddy also will be able to keep his job as the leader of Driveline Baseball, which will still be allowed to work with players from other teams.
The client who truly put Driveline Baseball on the map was Trevor Bauer, an advanced, outside-the-box thinker who looked to Boddy to try taking a step forward in his pitching. Working with Boddy and Driveline helped Bauer improve as a pitcher to the point he put together the best seasons of his career recently.
The Reds acquired Bauer in a trade with the Indians during the season, which may have been a precursor to this hire.
Major League Baseball on Thursday announced the fallout from the ugly brawl that took place between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates earlier in the week, and eight suspensions were handed down in total.
Both managers, Cincinnati’s David Bell and Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle, have been suspended. Bell got six games for coming back onto the field during the brawl after he had been ejected the inning before, while Hurdle got two games for “his Club’s conduct during the incident.” In addition to the managers, six players — Yasiel Puig, Keone Kela, Amir Garrett, Jose Osuna, Jared Hughes and Kyle Crick — have also been banned for multiple games.
Kala got the heftiest suspension, which was 10 games for intentionally throwing at Derek Dietrich in the bottom of the seventh and then instigating when the benches cleared in the eighth. Kala admitted after the game that he went head-hunting. Garrett got eight games, which is no surprise after he sparked the brawl by charging at the Reds dugout and throwing haymakers.
Osuna has been suspended five games for his “aggressive and inappropriate actions” during the melee. Hughes got a three-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Sterling Marte in the ninth inning, and Puig and Crick got three games each for their involvement.
All of the players have already decided to appeal the suspensions, but MLB clearly tried to send a message after the ugliest incident of the season.
Amir Garrett will be facing some serious discipline from the league after his role in starting a fight between his Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
Garrett was on the mound with his Reds down 11-3 in the top of the ninth. Someone from the Pirates dugout yelled something and got ejected. Garrett didn’t like what was said and ran over to fight some Pirates players. He meant business and threw some big punches. Players from both sides converged and began to fight. Even Yasiel Puig, who had just been traded to the Cleveland Indians, got involved.
Some beef was brewing in the game prior to the fight.
Earlier the Reds were upset about a Keone Kela pitch that went high and in, nearly hitting Derek Dietrich. Joey Votto walked by and said something to the Pirates dugout about it. The benches were warned.
Then before the fight, Jared Hughes was ejected for hitting Starling Marte, as was Freddie Benavides. Reds manager David Bell had been ejected in the 8th.
Later, both Garrett and Puig were ejected for their roles in the fight. From the Pirates’ side, Chris Archer, Kyle Crick and Francisco Cervelli were also tossed.
Despite sitting in last place in a crowded NL Central, the Cincinnati Reds are going to try to get better before the July 31 trade deadline.
Reds president Dick Williams confirmed Friday that the Reds, who sit five games out of first place, will be looking to buy prior to the deadline.
“We’re going to look around to see what we can do to make us better, which would put us in the buyer category,” Williams said, via C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.
Williams added that the Reds were unlikely to make major additions, but would try to make minor improvements without mortgaging the future too much.
There are certainly other reasons the Reds might not pursue the likes of Madison Bumgarner, but the approach makes sense. Despite their last-place status, they have a +27 run differential, and the tightness of the Central has ensured that they’re still in it. They might as well see what they can do on the market.