Upgrading offense central to Reds' offseason

November 13th, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams left no doubt Tuesday that he’ll look to upgrade Cincinnati’s bats as the 2020 season approaches.

Speaking to MLB.com at the annual General Managers Meetings, Williams dutifully said that re-examining the entire roster will be a fundamental offseason task. However, the Reds are coming off a season in which they ranked 24th among the 30 big league clubs in batting average (.244) and 25th in runs scored (701) despite playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park.

Those numbers just won’t suffice.

“I think the offense was probably … it was a shortcoming,” Williams said.

He didn’t specifically cite the offense, or lack of it, as a factor in Cincinnati’s 24-33 record in one-run games. He didn’t have to.

“There were a lot of close games that we lost that could have flipped the other way,” he said. “So offense is an area we want to address, we want to improve.”

Williams expressed optimism that first baseman , who recorded a .261/.357/.411 slash line with 15 homers and 47 RBIs, will rebound from a subpar 2019 season. Williams also spoke with confidence about what could happen if and Nick Senzel play full, injury-free seasons. And then there’s the promise demonstrated by rookie , who amassed 19 homers in 225 plate appearances this year.

Even if hopes for these performers become reality, Williams still wants to see more.

“That’ll help,” he said. “But we have to get more offensive impact.”

The Reds likely will have the luxury of considering a variety of proven hitters, since Votto and third baseman are the only projected regulars bound to their positions.