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Looking ahead to shaping Reds' 2020 roster

@m_sheldon
October 3, 2019

CINCINNATI -- Following a 75-win season and a fourth-place finish in the National League Central, the Reds have much work to do this offseason. Once the postseason ends, the Hot Stove season rapidly begins. Led by president of baseball operations Dick Williams and general manager Nick Krall, Cincinnati would like

CINCINNATI -- Following a 75-win season and a fourth-place finish in the National League Central, the Reds have much work to do this offseason. Once the postseason ends, the Hot Stove season rapidly begins.

Led by president of baseball operations Dick Williams and general manager Nick Krall, Cincinnati would like to make improvements to its offense -- namely the outfield and second base positions -- and make additions to the pitching staff.

But there is also a lot of internal housekeeping decisions pending.

In preparation for the offseason process, here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:

Pending free agents

Left-hander Alex Wood and shortstop José Iglesias. It is unlikely that either player would receive a qualifying offer, which would be a one-year deal worth in the expected range of $18 million-$19 million.

Spending money

The Reds had a record payroll this season of a reported $126 million. Williams said on Wednesday that the budget will be expanded even further this offseason and he noted “it will be a nice increase.”

Which free agents might Cincinnati target for offense?

The Reds rarely go to the deep end for top-tiered free agents, but perhaps it’s more realistic with the added payroll. Mike Moustakas and Starlin Castro are both offense-minded second basemen. The outfield market isn’t robust, but lefty-hitting Corey Dickerson has been a killer to Reds pitching -- especially at Great American Ball Park. If they wanted to add a catcher, Yasmani Grandal rekindled his value after signing a one-year deal with the Brewers and is a former first-round Draft pick of the Reds.

When does free agency open?

Immediately after the conclusion of the World Series.

Option for 2020

Second baseman Freddy Galvis has a $5.5 million club option for next season with a $1 million buyout. The Reds have until just after the World Series to decide if they want to exercise that option. Galvis set career highs this season with 23 home runs and 70 RBIs for Cincinnati and Toronto. He could be an asset for shortstop should Iglesias not return as a free agent.

Arbitration-eligible

Right-handers Trevor Bauer (fourth year) and Matt Bowman (first year), catcher Curt Casali (second year), right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (third year), infielder/outfielder Derek Dietrich (third year), right-hander Kevin Gausman (fourth year), right-hander/outfielder Michael Lorenzen (third year), infielder/outfielder Jose Peraza (second year).

Non-tender candidates

Dietrich had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder last week and also endured a poor second half at the plate. He batted .187/.328/.462 overall and hit only two homers over his final 62 games while hitting 19 for the season. Peraza, who led NL shortstops in hits in 2018, saw his playing time plummet this season as he initially struggled and then lost his everyday job at second base. Casali had a solid season – offensively and defensively – but the decision could depend on whether the club adds more catching.

Teams have until Dec. 2 to tender offers to players under control from their 40-man roster. Getting non-tendered would automatically make a player a free agent.

Out of Minor League options in 2020

Bauer, Amir Garrett, Gausman, Keury Mella, Cody Reed, Sal Romano, Jackson Stephens and Robert Stephenson; Casali, infielder Christian Colon, outfielder Phillip Ervin, Dietrich and Galvis.

Which players must be protected on 40-man rosters to avoid exposure to the Rule 5 Draft?

Among the MLB Pipeline Top 30 Prospects, the Reds will have to protect right-hander Tony Santillan (No. 4) catcher Tyler Stephenson (No. 7), shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez (No. 18), outfielder Michael Beltre (No. 21), first baseman Nick Longhi (No. 29) and right-hander Ryan Hendrix (No. 30).

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.