Cincinnati Reds: Three shortstop options for the 2021 season

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 02: Jose Garcia #38 of the Cincinnati Reds plays defense at shortstop during a game against the St Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on September 2, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 4-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 02: Jose Garcia #38 of the Cincinnati Reds plays defense at shortstop during a game against the St Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on September 2, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 4-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds need to upgrade the shortstop position for 2021, but how will they do so?

The Cincinnati Reds ranked 27th among 30 major league ballclubs in 2020 in terms of combined Wins Above Replacement value at the shortstop position (0.1 fWAR). It isn’t the only upgrade the front office needs to focus on, but it is at or very near the top of the list.

Freddy Galvis received the majority of starts at shortstop this season (33) and hit the ball as well one can expect out of Freddy Galvis, but his once-reliable glove didn’t show up. Galvis ranked 34th among all shortstops with -3 Outs Above Average. This after recording 23 OAA over his last two seasons.

Cincinnati also used Kyle Farmer and Jose Garcia, but the Reds may get more value as using Farmer as a super-utility type player who can play just about every position on the field, and Garcia, while still promising, is likely ticketed for some more seasoning in the minor leagues in 2021 before returning to the majors.

How should the Cincinnati Reds address the shortstop position for 2021? The answer isn’t very clear-cut, but there will be a few notable options available.

The Reds have nine arbitration-eligible players, including starting pitcher Luis Castillo, which could command a decent combined chunk of money, pending any non-tenders, and their Cy Young candidate, Trevor Bauer, is a free agent. If the Reds want him back in Cincinnati, it’s going to take a pretty hefty contract.

With finances limited and an extremely attractive shortstop free agent class not coming around for another year, here are three options for the Cincinnati Reds in 2021.