It appears the 31-year-old Japanese outfielder is signing with the Reds:
Bidding for Shogo Akiyama has reached 20M plus for 3 years. Reds appear in front and working hard.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 30, 2019
Three years and a cool $15 million is the reported price, though Heyman does have the deal upwards of $20 million. Who knows? And who cares, really? Not in the fake game at least.
What we DO care about is how this move can impact the Reds depth chart. One of Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, or Aristides Aquino is going to lose out on some playing time. And we can’t just shift Senzel to the keystone either, not with the offseason acquisition of Mike Moustakas. Off the cuff, this move blocks a productive MLB player, so I don’t see the point of it. Unless we get a trade soon...
It would appear that Akiyama is slated to bat leadoff against right-handers, and mostly play full-time:
#Reds see Akiyama as someone who can hit atop the order and play all three outfield spots — not solely as a CF— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) December 30, 2019
Winker is probably falling to the sixth spot in the order—unless Joey Votto continues to fade into obscurity and he gets dropped that far (which would let Winker bat in the two-hole). Aquino would appear to be safe enough in the five-spot as a righty power bat. Anyway, here’s a fun poll:
With Shogo Akiyama signed, which of these seems most likely to you:— Clay Link (@claywlink) December 30, 2019
Me, I’m firmly on board with Nick Senzel as the centerpiece to a trade that sends Francisco Lindor to the Reds for 2020. If you’re really going for it in Cincinnati...prove it to me!