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MLB Roundup 12/31: Reds nearing deal with Shogo Akiyama

The Reds continue to push in the NL Central

Japan v MLB All Stars - Game 4 Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

Reds nearing deal with Shogo Akiyama

We talked yesterday about the White Sox making a push for the AL Central as they see an opening atop that division, and the same thing is happening over in the National League. The Reds started this push over the summer by trading for Trevor Bauer, and they’ve kept going this winter with additions of Mike Moustakas and Wade Miley. Now, they’ve addressed a hole in their outfield by reportedly being close to adding Japanese center fielder Shogo Akiyama on a three-year deal. The salary is not yet known. The Reds had a talented prospect in Nick Senzel possibly slated to handle center field duties, but that’s not his natural position. He’ll now be more of a depth option in what is already a talented infield. Akiyama, meanwhile, was a very accomplished hitter in the NPB and brings a leadoff presence to the Reds lineup. He will also their first Japanese player in franchise history.

Sox Spin: The Reds were one of the potential landing spaces for Jackie Bradley Jr., so this takes them out of that running. Teams like the Cardinals and the Cubs, though, who were reportedly looking at Akiyama, could emerge as possible partners as well.