Opinion: 3 Free Agent Starters the Reds Should Consider

Should the Cincinnati Reds Sign This Veteran Free-Agent

While the Cincinnati Reds have a solid core in their starting rotation, a case certainly can be made that last year’s NL Central Third place team could use a little more stability within the rotation. While the trade market has some interesting names being thrown around, it certainly seems right now that a more likely option would be to sign a free agent to fill this void. Below are three options I would consider if I were the Reds.

LHP – Jordan Montgomery – Texas Rangers

Jordan Montgomery is coming off an incredible season where he was outstanding for the Rangers in the postseason, helping them win the World Series last season. Montgomery started the year off in St. Louis, but he took off once he joined the Rangers and was dominant in the postseason. His Curveball was fantastic, and he displayed increased velocity, which helped keep hitters off balance. He threw 188.2 innings, had an era of 3.2, struck out 166 batters, and only walked 48 during the season. Montgomery would be a solid addition and slot nicely into the rotation behind or before Hunter Greene. The cost is projected to be around the $110 Million range over 5 Years. So he won’t come cheap, but his playoff experience might be the missing piece to this young rotation.

RHP – Marcus Stroman – Chicago Cubs

Stroman should be no stranger to Reds fans as he has spent the past few seasons with the division rival Cubs. Stroman declined his player option for 2024 and is testing the market. Marcus started the season off very strong, supporting a below 3.00 era before he struggled with injuries in the second half and never regained the dominance from the first half. Stroman pitched 136.2 innings, 3.95 ERA, 119 Strikeouts, 52 walks, and a 1.26 WHIP last season. One of Stroman’s strengths has been his ability to keep the ball in the yard, seemingly always keeping his team in the game. Stroman could slide into the middle of this young rotation and provide leadership for this young core. His expected contract is thought to be in the 20 million a year range, so expect a three-year 60 million dollar contract range for Marcus.

RHP – Lucas Giolito – Guardians/Angels/White Sox

Lucas Giolito might not have had the success last season or even the last two seasons as the guys named before him, but there is potential for him to regain his form from 2019, 2021, and even 2022. Giolito has pitched more than 165 innings each year in the last three seasons, his record 30-33, throwing 523.5 innings and striking out 582 batters over that span. The White Sox gave up on Giolito due to his inability to keep the ball in the ballpark, allowing more home runs than ever in his last campaign, allowing 41 long balls, which is 17 more than his previous season. Grabbing Giolito on a one-year deal for between 10-12 million dollars would not be shocking.


Knowing the team would like to add to its bullpen and perhaps another bat, I’d like the team to go after Lucas Giolito here financially; it makes sense and allows the team to pursue additional pieces, helping push them to the top of the NL Central. I think Lucas Giolito would be a nice 3rd or 4th starter for the Cincinnati Reds; with enough experience, he could become a leader for these young, talented pitchers currently on the roster.

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