Breaking News: Cincinnati Reds Sign a veteran Super Star Free Agent.

The Reds are coming off a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox and now sit tied for third in the NL Central at 9-6 on the season. They now head out west to face the 6-10 Seattle Mariners who are coming off a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs, which they lost two games to one.

They have Nick Lodolo back in the rotation but are still waiting for Matt McLain and TJ Friedl to return to the field. Jeimer Candelario has been playing third base for the Reds this season after Noelvi Marte was suspended for using a banned substance. This leaves Christain Encarnacion Strand getting the bulk of the work at first base. The issue right now is neither of these two is hitting the ball very well to start the year. Jeimer is slashing .190/.250/.379 with a .629 OPS so far this year. CES is slashing .192/.197/.329 with a .526 OPS on the year. Now I am sure that if TJ Friedl was healthy we would have seen Spencer Steer earn a few starts over at third, but for now he’s needed in left field and is on fire at the plate.

3B – Evan Longoria

I know his pushing it age-wise turning 39 this October, but this veteran Third baseman might be worth a one-year deal low money to fill the gap and be a good bench guy for this young Reds team. Longoria played last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He played in 74 games with 211 at-bats last season. He scored 25 runs, had 47 hits, nine doubles, 11 home runs, 28 RBIs 23 walks, and struck out 73 times. He slashed .223/.295/.422 with a .717 OPS for the Diamondbacks last year. He played in 16 postseason games last year for the Diamondbacks with three doubles, four RBIs, and three walks. He remains a reliable defender at the hot corner as well. In 14 games last year at third he had 34 chances and had a perfect fielding percentage. I can see him being a good mentor for Noelvi Marte once off his suspension and a solid bench player for the team as the season continues.

Wrap Up:

Given the age, I doubt the Reds will make a move for Longoria, but I can see where it could make some sense for veteran leadership/mentoring the young prospect Noelvi Marte. What I would’ve preferred to see is the team sign Tommy Pham who recently agreed to a minor league deal with the White Sox. Pham could’ve been signed at the end of Spring Training, then moved to the outfield after the first week, allowing the team to shift Steer to third. This is all hindsight of course. I do not think anyone expected to see Jeimer struggle at the plate as he has so far this season. I do not want to hit the Panic button just yet, but sitting 4th in the Central is not an ideal place to be sitting when you have teams like the Brewers and Pirates playing good baseball to start the season extending their lead over you this early in the year. The team has two hitters with an average better than .300. Spencer Steer at .317 and Jake Fraley hitting .425 to start the year. They have six hitters under .200 average on the year(CES, Jonathan India, Candelario, Santiago Espinal, Luke Maile, and Bubba Thompson). Granted they have only played 17 games and still have a winning record of 9-8. These statistics are still concerning, they do have a +14 run differential, but besides Playing the Brewers, which they lost in the series, they really have only played the Phillies as the other tough team and they did win that series 2-1. The rest of the games have come against the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, and Chicago White Sox. As the schedule gets tougher, so will the pitching and if these bats cannot get going then it won’t matter how good the pitching is the run differential number will shrink as the record suffers.


The Reds will not sign Longoria and they will wait for the likes of Matt McLain, TJ Friedl, and Noelvi Marte to get back to the team from injury and suspension. I do think Longoria could help this team in the short term on the field and I think as a leader honestly that role seems to be missing with the departure of Joey Votto. I just hate to see these bats continue to struggle while management waits for folks to get healthy, cause it is another 4-6 weeks and the hole could be hard to climb out of with the schedule fixing to get tougher in April and May. They have already dropped the first two games to the Mariners. They get a break playing the Angels, but then have the Texas Rangers, Phillies, and Padres to end the month.

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