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Reds on the lookout after quiet Winter Meetings

@m_sheldon
December 16, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- There was a lot of lobby talk about the Reds' aggressive approach heading into the 2019 Winter Meetings, especially considering last week's signing of Mike Moustakas to a four-year, $64 million contract. But as the Meetings ended on Thursday, Cincinnati was unable to follow up with another

SAN DIEGO -- There was a lot of lobby talk about the Reds' aggressive approach heading into the 2019 Winter Meetings, especially considering last week's signing of Mike Moustakas to a four-year, $64 million contract. But as the Meetings ended on Thursday, Cincinnati was unable to follow up with another big move.

Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams and general manager Nick Krall negotiated with agents and clubs throughout the week. The duo was unable to sign one targeted player in shortstop Didi Gregorius, after he landed with the Phillies on a one-year, $14 million deal.

Last winter, the Reds made some trades to upgrade their rotation both during and after the Winter Meetings. They also signed José Iglesias and Derek Dietrich after Spring Training had already started. The club has frequently completed a trade in the days after dispersing from the hotel, with the Dec. 21 seven-player trade that moved out Homer Bailey and brought in Yasiel Puig as the latest example.

Where do the Reds go from here? Let's take look.

BIGGEST REMAINING NEEDS

1) Offense: Not getting Gregorius likely means that Freddy Galvis will go into camp as the regular shortstop. But Williams and Krall have other places where they can seek upgrades -- including the corner outfield spots. Top outfield names like Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna remain available along with others like Corey Dickerson and Kole Calhoun. There was very little movement with the outfield market -- league-wide -- all week.

2) Rotation: Last week, the Reds also made a significant offer to free agent Zack Wheeler before he also went to the Phillies with a five-year, $118 million contract. Whether they would be willing to commit nine-figure money to another starter on the market is unclear. Left-handed starters like Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Keuchel remain out there, but none of them will be cheap because they are in demand.

If the Reds can't get another starter, they still have a nice front four in Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani.

3) Bullpen: The Reds still need to find some veteran relievers to shore up the front and middle portions of their bullpen. Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett and Robert Stephenson already form the back end.

RULE 5 DRAFT

The Reds selected outfielder Mark Payton from the A's in Thursday's Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft. A 28-year-old lefty hitter, Payton batted .334 with 30 home runs and a 1.053 OPS with Triple-A Las Vegas in 2019. Since he can play all three outfield spots and with the addition of a 26th man to all rosters this season, the Reds had the ability to take a flier on Payton while still having 39 players on their 40-man roster.

GM'S BOTTOM LINE

"We've had a lot of these conversations over the past month and a half. You might have sat down with the guy at the GM Meetings and just worked all the way through. Now, I think you're talking to more targeted teams as opposed to everybody in general. You're still talking to everybody, but now it's specific." -- Krall

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.