Baseball’s free agent market has been slow to clear this offseason. Spring training is seven weeks (!) away and only a quarter of the top 80 free agents have inked deals. Zack Cozart’s contract with the Los Angeles Angels was an exception. Other than locking up relief pitchers, clubs are being patient. Front offices are hoping that the longer they wait, the weaker the market becomes.

Several factors contribute to this trend. A younger generation of general managers, armed with plenty of data, may see less value in big spending on players in their 30s. While money in the sport and spending on salaries has increased across the board, teams are behaving as though baseball’s squishy salary cap — $197 million in 2018 — is semi-hard. A few of the big-spending teams are trying to dip below the cap for a year to reset the escalating penalty rate for going over. And clubs are saving up for next offseason’s super-class of free agents, assumed to include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Craig Kimbrel, possibly Clayton Kershaw and many more.

What does this mean for the Reds?

Dick Williams has said the Reds are a year away from becoming meaningful buyers in the free agent market. But what if the free agent market softens far enough for the Reds to adjust their plans and dive in a year earlier? As big-stack teams pause to save their resources for Harper and Machado, might an unexpected one-year window open up for the Reds to exploit?

Last week, Tom Mitsoff suggested names of relief pitchers (including Jared Hughes, who the Reds did sign) and starting pitchers. But how far would the price have to fall on Lorenzo Cain, Jon Jay or Austin Jackson before the Reds thought about signing one of those players to a multi-year deal?

How does a weakening free agent market affect the Reds ability to make a couple sell-high moves?

It’s hard to say. As front offices pay close attention to data on aging curves, their preference for younger players increases. That means acquiring talent by trade. Adam Duvall (29), Scooter Gennett (27) and Billy Hamilton (27) are not as old as the average free agent who has worked through six years of team control. Those Reds players also wouldn’t come with long-term obligations or top-of-the-mark salaries. The one player who could be moved for a huge return is Raisel Iglesias. But according to reports, the Reds have set the asking price for their closer so high teams have become discouraged to even ask.

On the other hand, a softening free agent market may tempt teams to with the hope of swooping in and picking up a great deal — less money, fewer years — on veteran players. Signing free agents, as opposed to trading for talent, means not having to give up prospects.

The stagnant free agent market presents unexpected challenges and opportunities to Dick Williams. Par for the course for someone with his job. He’s almost certainly better suited to adapt to changing circumstances than the previous regime.

That’s far from saying the Reds should jump headlong into the free agent pool. The list of available players is hardly breathtaking. The Reds aren’t the clichéd “one player away” from contending, even if that player were Mike Trout. Any deal would have to be “too good to refuse” for the Reds to accelerate their time frame by a year. It’s worth watching.

About The Author

Steve grew up in Cincinnati a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce's 2010 homer and Homer Bailey's 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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67 Responses

  1. doofus

    I would be curious to know what the FO is asking for Iglesias. There’s just too many teams that could use him and probably have inquired about him.

    Perhaps after Holland and Addison Reed sign teams will be more inclined to make a legitimate move for him.

    • Colorado Red

      Well, the only comment I would make,is, if we are intending on competing next year, we need a shutdown closer like him. They are had to come by.
      He still have 4 years of control left. That is why the cost is SO HIGH

      • bouwills

        Competing for what? Reds appear to have a lock on last place in their division again in 2018. They’re not as good a team as they were at the end of 2017. Best case scenario is that they’re a near .500 team in 2019 & contenders in 2020. Iglesias will still be with the Reds, but if he has a great 2018 season will probably opt out of his contract & take arbitration. He won’t be inexpensive.

      • Joey Barrett

        I tend to agree with you on this from the offensive side of things. What are the odds that Duvall, Sheb, and Scooter are going to repeat what they did last year? What are the odds that Peraza and Hamilton improve? Let’s say they do, will their improvements come close to the production that they are losing from Cozart? With that being said, if they come close to the production that they had last year and improve the bullpen and not rank last in SP categories I say that the other teams in the NL Central better watch out. Crazier things have happened.

      • TomN

        Offensively, I agree, but SP-wise, I very much disagree. With a full year of Castillo, Maher, Romano and Stephenson, they are much better than last year’s staff even if Disco/Bailey/Finnegan provide a total of 1 year of quality SP between them. If Disco/Bailey/Finnegan prove mostly healthy, they are that much better. Agree with you though that odds are, our offensive production will be down from last year on average. But maybe not that much if Peraza improves, Senzel shows he is capable, Schebler stays healthy (and rakes like he can when he IS healthy), Winker shows he’s for real ….

        We could surprise.

      • Colorado Red

        Sorry I was not clear on what I meant. Low oxygen level at 7400′.
        When I said next year I meant 2019, not 2018.

    • jim t

      No negotiator worth his salary starts low when dealing. If their is a market you let it come to you. Negotiating 101.

  2. greenmtred

    Duvall has hit for significant power 2 years in a row, and might easily do it again, particularly if he’s rested strategically. Young pitchers blossoming, as they may, would change the Reds’ outlook signicantly. Schebler might stay healthy and improve and Suarez could certainly continue to grow. They’ll miss Cozart, no doubt, but I’m not assuming last place on Jan. 2.

  3. WVRedlegs

    With the stagnant free agent market, I thought the trade market would heat up. But that isn’t the case either. This off-season probably isn’t the one to go for a starting pitcher. Next year might after giving DeSclafani and Finnegan a year more to see if they can stay healthy. And to give he younger pitchers one more year of development to see what they can do.
    Next year’s pitching free agent list looks as good or better than the hitters. Chris Sale (option), MadBum (option), and Clayton Kershaw has an opt out. Those are too high of targets. But there will be Patrick Corbin, Matt Harvey, Dallas Kuechel, Drew Pomeranz, Garrett Richards, Gio Gonzalez and more. Not all are fits in Cincinnati, but all you need is one. That is a better group than Darvish, Arrieta, Cobb and Lynn.
    Maybe they can steal a hitter this year and a pitcher next year.
    I like the lefty Pomeranz.

  4. Sandman

    I say DW will do virtually nothing & stay the course. Mid-level signings at best (like the Hughes deal). Even though a lot of Reds fans will probably want him to accelerate the rebuild by a year if the opportunity presents itself. Which it’s seemingly becoming more likely. He said he’d be opportunistic so..we’ll see. There seems to be a lot of good FA’s left out there that could seemingly help us accelerate and compete a year early but apparently next yrs FA class is supposed to be better. If that’s the case, then I most definitely believe that DW will stay the course.

  5. WoodrowPNW

    Any given year a number of teams make an improbable jump into playoff contention, via any number of factors – in 2017, two examples might be the Rockies and the Twins, to lesser extent in different ways the Brewers or the Diamondbacks. No single example provides a model, but it happens.

    In the Reds’ case, a stronger division hurts, but the raw materials are there to match or exceed some of those 2017 examples (look at the Twins 2016 and 2017 pitching staffs … woof). Can we count on it? No, but spring is for hope as well as planning!

  6. old-school

    Dick Williams has been very clear. The Reds are not 1 big FA or 2 players away from competing with the Cubs/Cards/ and NL elites in 2018.

    That said, the Reds have to target 2019 as a playoff year or risk frustrating a loyal fan base and losing casual fans for years. Three consecutive 90 loss seasons- the first since the Great Depression- must create a sense of urgency to win in 2019.

    The Reds have money in the budget. They also have position prospects who should add to the 2020 25 man roster. How do the Reds bridge that gap then?

    Starting Pitching- No one knows what Bailey/Disco and Finnegan will do in 2018. Let that play out. This is also the commodity everyone wants and comes at the highest price tag. Alfredo Simon and Dan Straily yielded Eugenio Suarez and Luis Castillo. More sorting on RS/Mahle/and Romano is needed- not to mention Garrett and others. Stay the course on SP and let 2018 be the SP season of sorting.

    Position players- Conventional wisdom is Hamilton and Duvall and Gennett have trade value. What if they don’t?The 2020 outfield should be Winker/Trammell/Siri. What is the bridge to that outfield? Suarez/Senzel/Votto /and Barnhart should be Opening Day starters in 2019. Is the FA market dropping such that a good CF can be had on a 2 year deal? Probably not. They would need to overpay for a shortstop in a trade and with WJ still in a leadership position and his Peraza trade still somewhat recent…..that is not happening. Nothing happens here this off-season because the Reds have no urgency for 2018 and they wont give away players who have little market.

    Bullpen- Has there been any comments from the Reds on Lorenzen’s role in 2018? I have to assume he is staying in the bullpen. If so- this is the area I see the reds could improve for 2019 now and truly commit to a dominant bullpen highlighting the multi-inning win today deep bullpen.. That may be the area the Reds target with their budget now. Wade Miller signed for only 3 years. Perhaps the Reds take advantage here- so that next off-season they can focus on SP. They have money. If a dominant lefty arm can be had for 2 years at a good value and add to Lorenzen and Iglesias – create that 2019 bullpen now. Peralta should be a good second lefty and Cody Reed clearly needs more time.

    • Scooter Rolen

      The Reds claim that Lorenzen will have a shot at a spot in the starting rotation, but he will probably have to beat out a lot of other pitchers.

    • Aaron Bradley

      Jocketty should be hung. He inherited Phillips and a plethora of talent, and left the place barren for his successor. Peraza? LOL.

      • Bill

        Can you elaborate more? The Reds have multiple options at 2B and Phillips moved to 3B for the Braves prior to being traded and becoming a free agent, who I believe doesn’t have a contract at the moment. I am not sure how Phillips has anything to do with the Reds current situation. He was never going to be on the 2018 Reds and if anything his veto of multiple trades prevented the Reds from improving. Jocketty can be blamed for failing to make moves at the deadline or signing multiple washed up Cardinals, or even extending Phillips, but I don understand what you are getting at

    • jessecuster44

      They’ve lost plenty of casual fans already. And I’ve cancelled three trips to see the Reds over the past two years because the return wouldn’t be worth the effort to get to the game.

      All I want to see is effort from management to make this team a winner. Yet all I see is this hazy “sorting” idea and a continuance of sitting on hands while other teams improve themselves.

      • doofus

        Read a quote from a writer recently that said the Red’s front office is one of the laziest in MLB.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Ditto…the Old Cossack substituted 3 trips to Cincinnati the past two seasons with multiple trips to Columbus to watch AAA baseball. The drive and cost was just not worth the trip to Cincinnati.

  7. cfd3000

    In my eyes the biggest opportunities for improvement are with the starting pitching and, for the offense, addition by subtraction. The health of Bailey / DeSclafani / Finnegan, and the choices that Bryan Price makes will dictate the quality of the pitching. If Price can let the young arms pitch, and identify who will and who won’t be successful then there is a LOT of room for improvement with the starters and that doesn’t take a huge “then a miracle occurs” Far Side leap. And there is potential for real improvement on the offensive side if Winker and Senzel play more, and Hamilton and Peraza play less (or better yet, none). Sadly I suspect Peraza will play in 2018 but Hamilton may go to the Giants or perhaps a third party in a multi-team trade. Here’s hoping. I won’t be shocked if the Reds are a winning team next year. Nor will I be shocked if they are a bit under .500. But DW should neither write off 2018 before it’s even started, nor sell the farm in dollars or prospects chasing hope. A couple of astute adjustments, some patience with the young arms, and a bit of luck on health and the Reds could absolutely be in playoff contention. Seven weeks. Can’t wait.

  8. Scotly50

    I for-see the Reds better in starting pitching. with Bailey, Finnegan, and DeSclafani healthy. The leftout starter wannabes should help out the bullpen. It is possible the Reds could get closer to 500 ball but that is not going to get them past the top two teams in the Division.

    I would like to see Hamilton and Duvall gone from the outfield. And Iglesias and a young pitching prospect traded. That should give the Reds enough young talent to make a legit contending team in the next couple of years.

  9. nicolecushing

    In 2019 we’ll be told that hope is just around the corner in 2021. That’s how people like Williams operate.

    • TR

      The Reds situation seems similar to the way the other ML franchise operates in extending Marvin for two years. It’s always next year in Cincy.

  10. BK

    If the Reds were to sign a FA CF, who would you recommend?

    • bmblue

      I would like to see Jon Jay. Think he fits the lineup well and is a fine CF for GABP (has always crushed there). Hits well in the division. And makes Peraza’s presence palatable. If they could trade Billy and sign Jay for 2 years, they bridges the gap to Trammel/Siri. He’s also versatile to platoon with Ervin.

      • james garrett

        I like it because it makes perfect sense especially as we look forward to Trammel or Siri.Just don’t see it happening though because Price and DW love Billy in center and leading off.Personally I don’t even think an upgrade offensively in center is even on the radar.I see them standing pat just to see how the starters perform and looking toward next year and beyond.

      • Bill

        If the asking price of guys like him drops below the $8 million he got last year it wouldn’t be a bad signing for 2 to 3 years. Except I would keep Billy around as the 4th OF for a little while. Billy seems like he could get more at the deadline to a team in need than the off season. If nothing else he is the perfect late inning replacement for the Reds and can start in CF in the big outfields if more defense is needed. Of course for this to happen either Duvall or Schebler probably need traded. The outfield is already crowded with Schebler, Duvall, Winker, Hamilton, and even Senzel getting reps at the corner spots in Spring Training.

      • Gonzo Reds

        Again stop with the Cards cast offs. If Cain becomes available at below market value we should jump all over it. Next year teams will be spending lots of $ and players FA costs in general will be higher, why not take advantage this year? I also like keeping Billy as a 4th OF in spot starts, late inning PR, and defensive replacement. He’s shown he’s not a full time starter in the big leagues. But overall, we should be aiming at .500 for 2018 so we can make the jump to playoff contention in 2019.

      • lwblogger2

        Another ex-Cardinal… Think the FO would get crucified in the blogesphere… That said, I like the idea. Always thought that he was underappreciated in StL.

  11. Steven Ross

    Dick Williams has said the Reds are a year away from becoming meaningful buyers in the free agent market.

    The Reds are always a year away.

  12. Steven Ross

    Dick Williams has said the Reds are a year away from becoming meaningful buyers in the free agent market.

    Aren’t the Reds always a year away?

    • bouwills

      Standard Reds PR. If there is a future that I see for this organization, it’s about 3 years away when the group of prospects including Greene, Trammel, Siri, Santillan, Downs, T. Stephenson,Gutierrez, etc. start arriving at the ML in mass. Of course Bailey will be gone, Votto will be 3 years older, & several of the Reds best young players will be FA or 3rd year arbitration level. The only way(s) the Reds are playoff caliber before then is to buy-in big on FAs this year & next year, or trade off that group of prospects I mentioned above. I’m hoping the Reds trade current assets (Hamilton, Gennett, & Iglesias) for Aball or Rookie league prospects this off-season.Then come next July parlay Meseraco, a corner outfielder, plus a picher (DeSclafani,Finnegan, or Lorenzen) for even more young prospects. The Joketty plan of retooling the team with ML-ready prospects failed. Continued half-measures by Williams will doom this organization to many more seasons of losing baseball interrupted by 1 or 2 seasons of mediocrity. Barring another rash of injuries, I do feel the Reds will establish a decent to pretty good rotation in 2018.

  13. Bill

    Let’s start spring training with the young arms pitching & see how they do, if they pitch well start with a 6 man rotation. I’m like others, would like to see a new better hitting CF & SS. Maybe we have 1, we just signed an under .200 hitter to a minor league contract.

  14. PDunc

    Per Fangraphs, the average major league team got 892 innings from their starting pitchers. Lets assume the Reds need 900 starting pitcher innings in 2018. Below is a list of what I think are reasonable expectations for number of innings available from pitchers who could start games for the 2018 Reds.

    Luis Castillo – 169 innings (combined AA and ML) in 2017 – assume 180 in 2018
    Robert Stephenson – average 149 innings in ’16 and ’17 (combined AAA and ML) – assume 160 in 2018
    Sal Romano – 136 innings (combined AAA and ML) in ’17 – assume 150 in ’18
    Tyler Mahle – 164 innings (combined AA, AAA and ML) in ’17 – assume 175 in ’18
    Homer Bailey – 107 innings (ML and minors) in ’17 – assume 140 in ’18
    Brandon Finnegan – 25 innings (ML and minors) in ’17 due to injury. 172 ML innings in ’16 – assume 100 innings in ’18
    Anthony DeSclafani – did not pitch in ’17. threw 145 (ML and minors) in ’16 – assume 100 innings in ’18
    Amir Garrett – 138 innings (ML and AAA) in ’17 – assume 150 in ’18
    Michael Lorenzen – 83 innings out of the pen in ’17 – assume 110 if starting in ’18
    Cody Reed – 124 innings (AAA starter and ML bullpen) in ’17 – assume 140 if starting in ’18

    That’s 1,405 available innings from 10 guys that have some potential to be quality ML starters. Some of those guys may be better suited for the bullpen and some of those innings will be spent in AAA. The point stands though that 2018 should be spent giving some combination of the above pitchers a chance to prove they are ML quality starters rather than spending money on a free agent starter. Even if that starter comes at a discount.

    • Scott Carter

      There is a lot of logic to what you are saying PDUNC. We have starting pitching that still needs to be sorted. We do not need to add another pitcher to eat innings. (I read on Red Reporter the other day that Scott Feldman was interested in coming back. Please DW just say NO Thank you!
      Personally I am not interested in adding anyone unless they are going to be a significant player over the next three or four years.

      • Colorado Red

        Would agree with you Scott.
        Time to fish or cut bait with the kids. See who is part of the next good team, and who is not, or should be in the pen.

      • doofus

        It’s a shame that management wasted innings with Arroyo, Adleman, et al., when they could have given those innings to Garrett, Reed, Stephenson, etc. to get a jump on the “sorting.”

    • VaRedsFan

      11 inning increase for Castillo? Way too low. 20% ( 34 innings) is more accurate increase. Same with all of the other pitchers.

  15. sultanofswaff

    There are multiple avenues to improve the roster RIGHT NOW. Keirmeier and Archer will be rotting away in Tampa on a team that desperately needs to rebuild. I would empty the farm (minus Senzel) to get them both and not think twice. There’s a logjam in Boston with JBJ, Joc Pederson is out of a job, and we all know about Yelich. The Reds have the pieces to pry any of these players away while still keeping the core of the team intact. I get that you don’t want to waste a year of control in a non-contending season, but these guys are controllable for a long time and would push you into contention right away.

    I will be beyond disappointed if we don’t make a trade.

    • IndyRedMan

      Archer is overrated in my book….really only been good at home with their pitchers park. Now Kiermeier would be a great pickup! Very underrated and affordable. I also love lefty Blake Snell but hes a 1st rounder. I think he could be a Castillo type breakout guy, but they know that too. We could do something though? Billy is never going to hit. Get what you can get for him and pickup Kiermeier or Yelich!

    • WVRedlegs

      Standing pat is the Reds modus operandi. That is unless they are trading veteran players for pennies on the dollar. The Dan Straily/Luis Castillo trade was fluke of nature, and most Reds fans expect that now every time a trade discussion comes up.
      Dick Williams learned directly from the Stand Pat guru, Walt Jocketty. The Reds front office, aside from the Straily trade, has been a bitter disappointment ever since Dick Williams took over the GM seat. There were such high hopes for Williams to be different than Jocketty, but it hasn’t happened. Just more of the same ole same ole, 90+ loss seasons ahead again in 2018, and probably 2019 as well.
      I just cannot stomach the 4 hour drive home after watching the product the Reds front office has put on the field since the mid-2014 season. The drive to Cincinnati is full of optimism. The drive home has been utterly brutal. Not even entertaining the thought of buying tickets in 2018. That is a huge negative development for me.
      If there aren’t noticeable improvements made before Opening Day 2018, pulling the cord on Reds TV will be next.

    • Colorado Red

      I would not trade Greene or anything but for the sun and the moon type of deal.
      I know of lot of people do not like him, but give him this year before we give up on him.

      • PDunc

        I don’t know that many fans don’t like Greene. There are just some who would be willing to part with him in the right trade, myself included. At least for me, I’m willing to trade him for the simple reason that pitchers are a risky bet.

        Let’s use Christian Yelich as a trade target that would warrant including Hunter Greene. In 5 seasons in the majors Yelich has produced 17.2 WAR.

        The Reds in 2004 drafted a hard throwing right handed pitcher out of high school by the name of Homer Bailey. Bailey was first brought to the big leagues in 2007 and has accumulated 14.4 WAR in his 11 years. Much of Homer’s struggles have been more injury related than talent, but that’s really the point. Whether its because of performance or injuries the pitcher is riskier.

        Looking at the draft the year the Reds drafted Bailey. There were 19 pitchers selected in the first round that year. Justin Verlander was drafted #2 and has obviously had a great career. Then there was Jared Weaver, Phil Hughes and Homer Bailey. So 4 out of 19 pitchers that had any real success in the majors. I’d rather have the relative certainty of Yelich for the next 5 years that he’s under contract then a 20% chance that Greene is healthy and productive starting in 2021.

      • scottya

        It’s Logical fallacy that if the someone or the GM is willing to trade Hunter Green that he doesn’t “like him.”

      • doofus

        Agree. Also, I don’t think the sun or moon are available, so he stays.

  16. James H.

    It would be nice if they would make a serious run at Christian Yelich. The guy is available and wants out of town, and if the Phillies or Braves get him, I’m going to be PO’d at the Reds for missing out on him considering the cornucopia of young talent the team has.

    • scottya

      The Marlins are communicating that they are asking for an “overpay.” Should we do that? Maybe/maybe not. If someone else trades for him without giving up a top 25 prospect and gets him – I will be right on board with you… Lets wait and see.

      I don’t think I’d give Greene and Mahle + prospects for example or Greene and Trammell

      • Craig

        I would part with Greene and Trammell for a controllable player the caliber of Christian Yelich. As noted above, high school pitchers are wildcards and you know what Yelich’s floor is today. It’s the old “bird in the hand theory.”

        And, because I love trade theories, I agreed in principle with some of the 3-team concepts posted on other articles. However, my proposition would involve a different player: Iglesias. I really think the Reds have the ability to get creative and parlay Iglesias into Yelich using a team like the Astros as the 3rd party.

        Astros get: Iglesias / Realmuto
        Marlins get: Tucker / Mahle / Bukauskas / Siri
        Reds get: Yelich / Garrett Stubbs

        Marlins get 3 top 75 prospects plus a ML-ready starter.
        Astros get their closer and new starting catcher
        Reds get 4-WAR CFer and Tucker’s backup in 2019 without giving up any of their top 3 prospects.

        At that point, the Reds still have redundant assets in Duvall/Schebler, BHam and Scooter to parlay into additional prospects.

  17. Scotly50

    In addition to trading Hamilton and Duvall; I would explore trading Votto.

    • lwblogger2

      Only way I would do that is if the Reds really don’t feel that they can be competitive in 2019. Even then, the conversation starts by asking Votto if he’s willing to waive his no-trade rights for the right team. I’m pretty sure that answer will be “no” for almost any team. This would severely limit what the Reds could get back for him.

  18. WVRedlegs

    If you were to include Hunter Greene in any trade for Yelich, you are probably not going to have to offer up Senzel, Trammell and Mahle. But the Reds would have to offer heavy on the prospects in the #6 – #15 range.
    Without Greene included, the Reds would have to offer up Trammell and Mahle with also going heavy on the prospects in the #6 – #15 range.
    Either way the Reds will pay through the nose to get Yelich, and it will be well worth it.
    Greene, RHP Vladimir Gutierrez, 2B Shed Long, SS Jeter Downs, and OF Jose Siri can probably get it done. However, none of these are ML-ready. But that is also a positive as the marlins wouldn’t have to waste rebuilding years on these players service clock times. They will be ready to promote when the Marlins are ready to be a better team.
    That could end up to be a key factor in a trade with Miami.

    • lwblogger2

      I honestly think it’s Green or Senzel or it’s a non-starter.

  19. doofus

    Can we trade Raisel Iglesias to the Cubs for Theo Epstein, please.

  20. azkurgan

    Good gawd! So tired about hearing how you cant stomach that the Reds FO was OK with a 90+ loss 2017. I don’t think I read any comments here this time last year complaining about Bailey, Desclafani and Finnegan being penciled in as the top 3 SP. BUT THEY GOT INJURED! You don’t that think that had something to do with being under 500? Pretty sure that losing 6 WAR (conservative) was NOT the FO’s plan. Nor was it that Garrett and Reed pitched below replacement when they did get extended time, but how else would you know? Many here talk out both sides of their mouths wanting to play the young kids, but wanting to add veterans to win at the same time…

    I do get the complaining about Hamilton, but Peraza is only 23 and has shown some flashes. I remember people PLEADING to trade Edwin Encarnacion and eventually they got their wish. Only to get a rapidly declining Scott Rolen in return and then had to watch as EE tore up the AL East for the next 8 years. Settle down and see how these guys do in 2018 – we’ll have a much better idea where the SP, RP and young position players are then and it will be much more clear who should stay and go for a competitive 2019.

    • big5ed

      I can’t disagree that the injuries to starting pitching hurt last year.

      But relying on Desclafani, Bailey and Finnegan is also the plan this year. Disco has missed more than a year; Finnegan’s max-effort mechanics give me no confidence that he will hold up. And Fredo (Bailey) is, well, . . .

      We all hope that they make it, but can we really expect it?

    • IndyRedMan

      You’re not wrong by any means, but why pitch Stephenson 1 inning a week for half the season? Why did Winker only get 125 atbats with the Reds? What was the point with Arroyo? Seriously? Guy couldn’t throw more then 85….it was idiotic from the start. So they never committed to fully rebuilding and they never add a free agent (Feldman) with any real ability either? That’s why we get sick of it.

  21. doofus

    “Though the Reds continue to engage in discussions regarding center fielder Billy Hamilton,’s Jerry Crasnick notes on Twitter that there’s one major potential roadblock. Club owner Bob Castellini is quite hesitant to part with Hamilton, it seems. While there’s no indication that the switch-hitting speed demon is completely off limits, the stance may make it harder to get a deal done.”

    • Bill

      While much of the criticism of Castellini is unwarranted in my opinion, it does seem he gets too involved in personnel decisions. I would prefer the owner let his GM and the rest of the front office make decisions on how to make the team better.

      • doofus

        I am only aware of the criticism that Bob Castellini receives from this forum. I do believe that the criticism he receives here is warranted. Many owners stay away from the “spotlight.” Mr. Castellin does not. I agree, he is known to interfere with baseball decisions; and, has a result has delayed or hastened trades that have cost this team talent.

        His intentions may be good, but the results have not faired well for the construction of this roster…yet he continues.

    • Bill

      As I said earlier, I think he gets too involved in these things. I just don’t trust anything from that site or its writers.The article you linked from Doug Gray or other writers on this site are worth reading. I am not saying the Red Reporter article is wrong, I just think that is the most unprofessional group of people reporting on the Reds

  22. doofus

    “Keeping Billy Hamilton around for the foreseeable future isn’t a terrible idea at all, really, despite the fact that an owner meddling with the ability of the front office to make those decisions objectively might well be.”

    I’m reminded of this quote: “It’s good to be the King.” ~History of the Reds, Part 2018

  23. doofus

    “Of course, it’s worth pointing out that four years of a .298 OBP is nearly two years more data than is needed to make that kind of lineup-altering decision. Since it’s not yet a move that’s been made, perhaps that’s an indication that Castellini truly is a fan of the Billy Hamilton status quo – and, if that’s the case, this could well be endemic of a much, much larger issue.” ~Wick Terrell,

  24. doofus

    “But as I sit here on January 5th of 2018, I have to wonder if Bob Castellini isn’t holding back the Reds a little bit. He’s seemingly had his hand in more than a few decisions since taking over as the Reds owner that seem more “fan based” than “Reds winning” based. If Crasnick is correct in what he’s hearing, just add this to the ever growing file of heart-over-head moves made by the Reds owner.” ~Doug Gray

    • lwblogger2

      While every owner as their favorites and may be hesitant to trade them, I think that Castellini exercises his will for players in his favor or disfavor more than most other owners… At least that’s the impression I get.