The roster for the San Diego Padres is expected to look very different next season. Could some of the changes come because of aggressive buying on the part of the Cincinnati Reds?
San Diego Padres rumors: Could Cincinnati Reds start bidding war for pair of pitchers?
In an offseason outlook for the Reds published on MLBTradeRumors.com, writer Anthony Franco discussed the need for Cincinnati to upgrade their pitching ahead of next season. After being in the postseason race until the final week of the regular season, the Reds are expected to build upon their youth movement by adding to their roster this offseason (while spending wisely, as has been the Cincinnati way in recent seasons).
While Franco admits that the Reds likely won't be in the pursuit of Blake Snell and his expected high price tag in free agency, he does mention Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo as a pair of Padres pitchers who could end up in Cincinnati in 2024.
"Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha are possibilities on a two or three-year deal," Franco writes.
He also writes that the Reds could potentially use former National League Rookie of the Year Jonathan India as a trade candidate to land "a back-end type" of the rotation. If the Reds were to go that route, it's unlikely the Padres would figure into that conversation.
Lugo and Wacha are both scheduled to be free agents for the 2024 season, with a $16 million team option in place for Wacha this offseason. Lugo was among the long list of players that we identified recently as players who likely wouldn't be back with the Padres in 2024. Wacha is a possibility to return based on some of the potential numbers involved with that team option as well as a player option.
Wacha, however, went 14-4 with a 3.22 ERA in 24 starts last season, meaning he will likely be looking for a higher payday if the Padres decline his team option. Could that come from the Reds?