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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Marcus Semien
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

This free agent option could make the most sense for the Cincinnati Reds.

What about the diving into the crop of upcoming MLB free agent options? Andrelton Simmons is the top defensive option and while his bat has been at or below league average recently, his premier glove will surely make him in high demand for a contending team.

Formerly with the Reds, Didi Gregorius will also be available, after signing a one-year deal with Philadelphia last offseason. Gregorius is clearly healthy again (116 wRC+, 10 HR, career-low 11.8% strikeout rate). He’s going to get a lot more than a one-year/$14 million deal this year and may be a bit outside of Cincinnati’s price range.

The other bigger name available is Marcus Semien. Semien seems to be the best fit, among these three particular options.

Semien finished third in MVP voting in 2019 and was worth 7.6 fWAR while recording 83 extra-base hits (33 HR) and an .892 OPS across 162 games. His 2020 numbers were a far cry from 2019 as Semien hit just .223 with a .679 OPS in 53 games. He did, however, finish the season on a high note, hitting .407 with two home runs and two walks to one strikeout in seven postseason games.

Semien won’t be forced to take a one-year “prove-it” deal this offseason, but his down 2020 campaign certainly isn’t a big selling point for him. A contract with an early opt-out is an option here, which gives Semien the ability to seek out a bigger deal if he finds his 2019 form again.

At 30 years of age, Semien isn’t a long-term option, but he can be a solid short-term option with an impressive glove.

Next. The passing of Joe Morgan. dark

The Cincinnati Reds have a few different routes they can take and a number of options who would be an upgrade over their 2020 product. But how much is the organization willing to spend? We will find that out shortly.