SIGNING: Cincinnati Reds Dip Into Free Agency To Sign Pitcher

The Cincinnati Reds have been mentioned in connection with a few free agents this offseason, mostly notably pitchers. On Wednesday, they made their first dip into the free agent pool to scoop veteran reliever Emilio Pagan on a 2-year, $16M deal. With that, Pagan actually becomes the Reds’ highest-paid player for 2024. At least for now. 

The 32-year-old Pagan bounced back after a couple of pretty rough seasons to post a nice year in 2023, with a 2.99 ERA in 69 innings for the Minnesota Twins, along with a very impressive 0.95 WHIP, and a 65:21 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He held batters to a .181 average and .553 OPS, both the best numbers of his 7-year career. 

The key with Pagan is to keep him away from save chances, where he's struggled mightily in recent years. He was 1-for-6 in save opportunities in '23, while converting only 50% of those chances throughout his career (32-of-64). If the Reds don't have plans to make him a closer, he has a chance to be a decent arm out of their bullpen.

Pagan has a career 3.71 ERA and 1.07 WHIP while holding batters to a .211 average and striking out 10.3 per nine innings. 

 Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK