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Inbox: Are more pitching moves on horizon?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers Reds fans' questions
January 24, 2019

With the addition of Sonny Gray, do you feel the Reds are happy with the starting pitching? Or will they try to add another arm? -- Mark H., Harrison, OhioI would be a little surprised at this point if the Reds spend big money or dealt big prospects to add

With the addition of Sonny Gray, do you feel the Reds are happy with the starting pitching? Or will they try to add another arm?
-- Mark H., Harrison, Ohio

I would be a little surprised at this point if the Reds spend big money or dealt big prospects to add another starting pitcher. They managed a tough bit of tap dancing in trading for three starting pitchers in Gray, Tanner Roark and Alex Wood along with outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp without having to give up elite prospects like Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell or Hunter Greene. And they were even able to unload Homer Bailey and the $28 million left on his contract in the process. If Cincinnati does add more pitching, I expect it might be a smaller deal for a starter or reliever on an inexpensive one-year big league contract or a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training.

Since the addition of Gray, are the Reds done adding to the roster this offseason? Rotation looks set, but center field?
-- @hunterbivens14

President of baseball operations Dick Williams said the Reds are not done trying to add. Williams and general manager Nick Krall remain in contact with agents and clubs. A familiar buzzword Williams used was "opportunistic" when it comes to looking for more moves. Now that A.J. Pollock has agreed to a contract with the Dodgers, most of the free-agent options remaining for center field would appear to be short-term solutions. Someone like Denard Span could hold down the fort until Senzel or Jose Siri are ready to do it full time. The club could also just turn to Senzel immediately, or give Scott Schebler or Puig time there, even if they're better as corner outfielders.
:: Submit a question to the Reds Inbox ::
Which Reds pitchers are out of options?
-- @Redsaholic2020

I believe it's Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett and Matt Wisler. The really interesting one there is Stephenson, a former first-round Draft pick and longtime prospect. It's a crowded field for the fifth spot in the rotation, and he has yet to show he belongs in the big leagues for good.

With Gray, Wood, Luis Castillo and Roark in the projected rotation, where do Anthony DeSclafani, Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano, etc., fit in the Reds' pitching plans?
-- Keith G., Piqua, Ohio

Good question. They -- and potentially Michael Lorenzen and Stephenson -- will be among those seeking the fifth spot. Manager David Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson have played their plans close to the vest up to this point. Anyone who doesn't make the rotation could fill bullpen roles, especially Lorenzen and Romano. It's harder to envision DeSclafani as a reliever, but it can't be ruled out.
With several new players on the team with a final year of control or contracts set to expire at the end of the season, will the Reds deal at the non-waiver Trade Deadline or ride them out if they have a .500 or better record?
-- @lfthandd22

If the team is contending in the National League Central or for an NL Wild Card spot, I'd be surprised if they moved soon-to-be free agents unless it meant improving the club or addressing a need. If the team is out of contention, I would imagine all of those players -- like Puig, Kemp, Roark, Wood and Scooter Gennett -- could be trade chips. Not being under contract beyond the 2019 season could make them more attractive to suitors seeking short-term upgrades for the stretch run.
Why don't the Reds bring up Trammell to play center field? He looks like he's ready.
-- Brian H., Nicholasville, Ky.

Trammell, the Reds' No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, has talent and a lot of tools, but he's far from ready. Remember, he was with Class A Advanced Daytona for all of 2018. The earliest I would count on Trammell having a chance for a big league callup is closer to the end of '20.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.