It looks like the Cincinnati Reds are targeting some well-known pitchers this offseason.
In addition to their apparent discussions with the New York Yankees about right-hander Sonny Gray, the Reds are also reportedly talking to the Seattle Mariners about left-hander James Paxton and the Cleveland Indians about stars Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, according to Fancred Sports' Jon Heyman.
The Reds are primarily focused on Paxton and Gray, according to Heyman.
Paxton's emerged as Seattle's ace over the past few seasons and has another two years of arbitration eligibility remaining. In 2018, he posted a 3.76 ERA and 1.10 WHIP while striking out 208 batters, and he threw a no-hitter in May. But the 30-year-old Canadian is now one of the top starting pitchers on the trade market with the Mariners open to "reimagining" their roster this winter.
Gray's on the trade block following another dismal year in New York. The Yankees left the one-time All-Star off the Yankees' postseason roster, and are reportedly mulling trade offers from at least 11 teams. Cincinnati recently hired Gray's former Vanderbilt coach, Derek Johnson, as the team's pitching coach.
Paxton, Kluber, and Carrasco are all likely to fetch a large return in prospect capital. Though the Reds do need pitching, Heyman reports they're wary of dealing the top prospects they're being asked for - including Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene - due to past trades that didn't work out in their favor. That could make Gray the Reds' most realistic option.
Reds starters were among the worst in baseball last season. They combined to post a 5.02 ERA, the sixth-worst mark in baseball, and allowed a National League-high 151 home runs. Cincinnati's recorded four straight 90-loss campaigns.