The Cincinnati Reds recently made two quick fixes to their roster that will solidify their team in 2014. According to Mark Sheldon at, the Reds signed Skip Schumaker to a two-year deal that will give them a solid clubhouse player who can fill in at second base and center field.

The Reds also just gave two years to lefty reliever Manny Parra, who was excellent in the bullpen last season.

These quick fixes have helped round out their bullpen as well as add actual depth to their bench. The December meetings are still a few weeks away, and the Reds might not be done with their additions.

Let’s go ahead and look at the weaknesses and the quick trade possibilities for the Reds.



The Reds have their bullpen nearly set after re-signing Parra. The rotation is set with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani. However, the Reds could add a veteran pitcher for depth in the minors.

With such a stacked rotation, the Reds aren’t searching for top pitching free agents and likely will pick up someone looking for a second chance at the majors (e.g. Greg Reynolds and Armando Galarraga in 2013).

Even though the Schumaker signing helps the Reds’ outfield bench, they’re still missing a starting center fielder. Another issue lies with Ryan Ludwick’s shoulder and if the 35-year-old can regain his bat speed for 2014.

The club doesn’t seem eager to hand over the starting job to prospect Billy Hamilton just yet. It puts a lot more pressure on a top prospect when they are handed the Opening Day job and are immediately asked to contribute.

The Reds will likely ease Hamilton into the majors next year, but the club can’t count on Schumaker to take over the starting role. The Reds have to look for some sort of veteran outfielder that will easily platoon once Hamilton is ready for the starting position.

The Reds are almost undoubtedly out on Shin-Soo Choo as more teams gain interest on him. His contract will be too expensive and last more years than the Reds would want.’s Jerry Crasnick says agent Scott Boras is looking for more than $126 million for the Korean outfielder.

As for left field, Ludwick will likely get the starting job, but if the team makes any major moves, he could be moved to a bench role.


Quick Fixes: The Outfield

The Reds are going to have a tough time finding a quick solution for their outfield. Schumaker actually has a higher 2013 batting average (.263) than most of the plausible free-agent targets (per

One name that sticks out is veteran Nate McLouth. While he’s not a flashy free agent, McLouth has the potential to be a solid backup until Hamilton is ready for the majors.

McLouth has only played 13 games in the last two years at center, but had 55 games during his 2011 season with the Atlanta Braves. McLouth is a short-term fix for outfield help and would better platoon with questions around Ludwick.

McLouth earned $2 million last season and is likely looking for a similar deal in free agency. He’s an affordable platoon player for the Reds and they could improve their outfield with McLouth and Schumaker off the bench.


Quick Fixes: The Rotation

Again, the Reds are in no desperate search for a starting pitcher. However, Aroldis Chapman is likely staying in the rotation, and there’s still a question mark surrounding injury-prone Cueto.

The Reds would be smart to add a sixth pitcher for the rotation and have them start in the minors. The Reds could easily add veteran Jon Garland to their Triple-A rotation.

Garland was dropped by the Colorado Rockies near the end of the season and could be a no-risk addition for an emergency backup role (per

These moves are not going to severely upgrade the team, but they could give the Reds enough depth to last through the season. The Reds are certainly going to have to get creative to find the last few pieces to the puzzle.


All statistics courtesy of unless otherwise noted.


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