Over at Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan has organized a couple of polls, the results of which give us a glimpse into what Reds fans think of the people who are running the franchise. Today, Sullivan released the “Complete Team Ownership Ratings,” which is this:

It should be very obvious that we don’t actually know that much about the owners, or about the influences they have, but if nothing else, we have anecdotes, and we have success cycles and payrolls. Follow a team for long enough, and you’ll develop some form of an ownership opinion. I wanted to collect the community opinions.

As you might expect if you spend any time on twitter dot com, the community opinions don’t reflect very well on Bob Castellini and Reds ownership. Reds fans have Castellini and crew ranked 23rd among all MLB ownership teams. To put it another way, only seven fan bases rate their ownership lower.

Last month, Sullivan engaged in a similar project involving big league front offices. In that poll, only four fan bases rated their front office lower than Reds fans: Tigers, Mets, Orioles, and (obviously) Marlins.

It should be noted that this is the second time Sullivan has conducted this polling, and both Reds’ ownership and their front office ranked slightly better among fans this year than they did the last time around. Make of that what you will.

How much utility is there in a project like this? Certainly, it’s interesting data, and fun to parse and argue about. But does it really mean much? After all, if you look at all the graphs and charts, it becomes clear that there’s a huge correlation between how much a team wins and how highly ownership/front offices rank in these polls.

Sullivan addressed that:

Firstly, of course there would be a relationship between success and front-office rating. Front offices are supposed to build winners. Winning teams are more likely to be the result of more good decisions than bad ones. It would look a little strange if this relationship didn’t exist. But, secondly, I assume there’s an element here of results-based analysis. The original question is about evaluating front offices by process. That’s not easy. It’s much easier to evaluate front offices by how things have actually worked out. Winning can justify some bad decisions. Losing can color some good ones.

So you have to factor that in. Five years ago, Cubs and Astros fans, at large, probably would have rated their front offices really poorly. But not today.

Think about it. Were this poll conducted in 2012, when the Reds had just won the NL Central for the second time in three years, the Reds likely would have rated fairly highly in both these polls. But the club has the same ownership group today as then; perhaps we have more data today than we had then (see yesterday’s post), but it’s the same guy at the top.

Similarly, Cincinnati’s front office probably would have ranked very highly back in 2012. But as far as I’m concerned, I’ll take Dick Williams and the front office he’s built over Walt Jocketty every single day, and twice on Sunday. There are sincere criticisms that can be made about Williams, and the jury is ultimately out as to whether he’s a top-shelf general manager or not (or even a mediocre GM), but I’m comfortable in stating that the front office is in better shape now than it was in 2012.

If the Reds don’t make significant progress on the field in the next eighteen months, however…well, I don’t want to consider that.

134 Responses

  1. cfd3000

    This is interesting information in a slow month for Reds fans, but ultimately just a reminder that the Reds have been pretty bad for several years. Am I happier with DW than Walt Jocketty? Yes. Do I prefer Bryan Price over Dusty Baker? Coin toss. Do I like Castellini more than Lindner, or, say, Schott? Yes but I’m biased. It’s so difficult to control for variables that are largely out of a GM’s hands: budget, draft position, injuries, level of competition. So this really does come down to a poll of “How happy are you with the results from your favorite team?”

    I’m not very happy. But there are high draft picks and promising rookies and a stockpile of pitchers with potential and, maybe most important of all, a new season with another Opening Day fast approaching. And I’m a Reds fan and I love baseball. And I’m happy about that.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. Not thrilled with Bob C but thought Lindner was apathetic and Schott was a moron. The variables do play a big role, especially if you have budget constraints like the Reds do.

      • Reaganspad

        agreed although I would take Bryan Price and his limits any day over Dusty

      • Daniel Lang

        Come on, Marge a moron???? After all wasn’t she the one who said after firing a bunch of scouts. . .”well, all they do is watch baseball games.” How can you argue with that genius-like attitude?

        Just remember the famous words of the comedian Ron White. . .
        “You can’r fix stupid!”

      • Jazzmanbbfan

        Absolutely Daniel. And Ron White was right.

  2. big5ed

    Well, sticking a number next to a thought doesn’t make the thought scientific or even useful. Trying to figure out what “the fans” think is especially not useful.

    If Luis Castillo goes 18-6 this year, and Winker and Saurez both hit .310 with OBPs of .390, then “the fans” will come around on the front office. If Homer goes 2-7 while mostly disabled, and Peraza has a .284 OBP, then “the fans” will not be happy, as will be reflected in attendance this year and advanced sales next year.

    I suppose there is some “chicken-egg” aspect to this. “The fans” will buy more tickets if they expect a good year, and the resulting extra money could enable a targeted free agent signing next off-season. For the most part, though, the best way to cure revenue and PR ills would be to win baseball games, ala the Astros’ rebuild.

  3. ericreedjrgmailcom

    This week’s MARGE SCHOTT SMOKIN’ HOTTIE AWARD goes to…

    Seriously, though, I’m with CFD on this one – an eternal optimist, because I love baseball, I love the Reds, and Opening Day will be here before we know it. The rest of it’s just Noise in the Wintertime.

  4. Klugo

    Patience…wearing…thin. But that’s natural. At this point of a rebuild. We’re getting close and we’re getting antsy.
    I find myself wondering lately though just how seriously DW is taken in the baseball exec world. Is he viewed as a snotty-nosed brat who was given the job because he’s the owners nephew with no real qualifications? Does he carry any clout out there? I guess time will tell.

  5. Bill

    In other news a recent study shows people don’t like losing.

    The problem with a study like this, as already mentioned, is fans will approve of the ownership if the team is winning. While it can be argued that winning is what the ownership and others running the show are supposed to be doing, reality shows that many teams are at a disadvantage in resources. If you look at Kansas city I am sure there are many years when the fans were not happy with the Royals, then a few years where the front office was loved, now with the core that won the Series all leaving for free agency I am sure many fans are angry again. They typical fan doesn’t know or even attempt to understand the dynamics of running a baseball team. All that matters how many wins were achieved that year

  6. Jeff Reed

    Today analytics is front and center with statistical knowledge available to all the thirty ML teams. It’s a different time compared to the era when baseball had big personality owners and GM’s running the show such as Marge Schott for the Reds. It’s hard to say what time was or is better since we still have baseball and an informative blog like this plus the Reds are on the verge of a breakout from last place in the NLC.

    • Aaron Williams

      On the verge how? They’ve refused to bring up their prospects and continue pushing the rebuild back a year and then another year. We have no idea what they have and we know even if half the prospects hit that our front office is too cheap and stagnant to really go for it. There’s too many rich teams on the upswing in baseball right now to think we have a chance.

      • Jeff Reed

        Reds fans are always on the verge.

  7. Aaron Williams

    Even when the Reds were good, it wasn’t because of great leadership. They had a crop of good prospects mature at the same time. They still didnt ever go for it. They never made deals to shore up the teams weak areas. I stopped following baseball a few years ago because I have no optimism that the Reds will ever sustain success. They may have a good year or two but I’m not going to waste my time watching a team that clearly isn’t invested in winning. We’re no closer to being good now than we were when the rebuild started. They overvalue their own players and then trade them for nothing when teams call their bluff. They refuse to sign any free agent worth anything. They’re betting the future of the franchise on all their prospects going off at the same time.

    • CI3J

      That’s not true.

      The Shin-Soo Choo trade was the epitome of “going for it”, in that it addressed the one glaring weakness the team still had (leadoff hitter) at the expense of some highly regarded prospects. And you know what, it worked, as the Reds had one of the best records in baseball that season.

      We don’t need to rehash the painful San Francisco series again here, but it’s worth noting that had Johnny Cueto not gotten injured, it’s very likely the Reds could have closed out the series in Cincinnati and, given their regular season record and the fact the Giants went on to win the World Series that year, the Reds had a very VERY good chance of winning it all.

      That post season was a turning point for the Reds. Had they won it all, the recent history here would be very, very different.

      • Jim Walker

        I agree pretty much right down the line.

  8. Sandman

    Well, I had no opinion on this subject matter one way or the other. That is until I heard a little while back that Bob C. likes Billy Hamilton. It is my worry that Hamilton won’t be traded anytime soon bcuz, “the owner likes him!” It is my fear that this is gonna start a trend of Bob C. interfering more and more in the baseball decisions. Owners getting involved in the baseball/on field decisions NEVER goes over well with fans. I really hope he doesn’t stand in the way of a BH trade should one materialize. That would seriously tick me off.

    • BigRedMike

      I would argue that any owner that makes a statement like the one about Hamilton, is clearly not interested in winning.
      The baseball podcasts I listen to have noted that they consider the Reds and Marlins to be the least analytic driven teams.
      The Reds have found themselves valuing players that other teams have rightly decided have little value (Hamilton, Gennett, Duval).
      Very little forward thinking by this organization and that will be an issue trying to compete in the NL Central

  9. Mark Lang

    How do you make “significant improvement” over the next 18 month without a roster that’s significantly different?

    • greenmtred

      The improvement would come from the continued development of the young players.

      • BigRedMike

        Which young players? The Reds are really not a young team in comparison to the great teams in baseball.
        I agree that there only hope is that the current players improve, there is little value in those players to trade to other teams.

      • greenmtred

        The pitchers, mainly, since pitching was ;the main problem in 2017. But Suarez probably hasn’t reached his peak and Senzel certainly hasn’t. We can only hope that Peraza fits this category.

      • BigRedMike

        I agree on the pitching side. Senzel is really the only young player for a hitter. Even if Peraza improves, not sure what that would look like. Peraza will never be a difference maker at the plate. If Suarez improves more then he is a legitimate star in the NL.

  10. jreis

    I blame reds failures on reds fans squarely. nobody goes to the games unless it is a bobble head night or the cubs are in town and then it is 80% cubs fans. how can the club afford good players when nobody goes to the games.

    ownership has to decide who to keep on the roster based on who will draw the most fans not who the best player is.our largest attendance year was Junior’s first year and I think all of us would agree the best baseball move would have been to keep the 1999 club intact.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The owner is a billionaire who has seen the value of the team he bought in 2006 for $270 million appreciate to $1 billion. Last year alone the value increased almost 20 percent. Money is pouring into baseball. The Reds receive tens of millions in revenue sharing every year. The owner has been relatively generous in ways that can’t be measured by solely looking at the major league payroll. But tying payroll to attendance and “breaking even” is an arbitrary construct chosen by the owner.

      • Jim Walker

        Essentially I agree but also I worked for a company that was very good at winning contracts but cried poor when it came to generating the cash flow to fulfill them. The owner of this company eventually sold out for $300M-500M depending on which rumor one chose to believe; and the only real asset the company possessed was the contracts and the skilled workforce which was completing the contract work. .

      • scottya

        Where do you think the payroll could go in 19′? As DW sais we will be buyers in the 19′ offseason.

  11. doofus

    So far the Reds best offseason move has been the proclamation that they will have a Fiona the Hippo bobble head night this season. That should sum up Reds ownership/FO.

    • Michael E

      I live for the day when bobble-heads are outlawed. The few I got went straight into the trash. Why not just have a bottle cap night or a find a discarded beer cup and keep it night? So sad fans even want this crap.

  12. larry

    It’s nearly time for spring training, so my glass is half full. I think the reds pitching will improve enough so that they finish fourth in the central. Who will they finish ahead of? Maybe the pirates,, as they traded away perhaps their best pitcher and the face of the franchise for seemingly little return. Or maybe the brewers, who had several players have breakout seasons. They could regress significantly. We aren’t finishing above the cubs or dirty birds. I’m optimistic, not delirious.

  13. Sliotar

    Regarding any utility from the poll results….I voted in the poll (not favorably) and I would guess it is a small but accurate assessment from fans who watch their team a lot feel about ownership.

    I am a member of FanGraphs and have found that voters tend to take the polls very seriously. You could vote on any and all of the MLB owners, but I only voted on the Reds. Am guessing most others limited their picks to their club as well.


    JREIS. Are you kidding!?!

    To borrow from an old cliche…you are putting the cart before the horse! Or, let’s go another way, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Or the converse if you prefer. If you build it, but only half heartedly, they will NOT come! DW has already said they are looking to win in 2019. Sorry, but like klugo above, patience…wearing…thin!

    Year after year we see other teams in our division ‘building it’! But what are we building?
    Not a winning team! And all the plaudits for our offense aside, we don’t have a competitive starting staff. You cannot win without one. We didn’t have a competitive rotation last year. That was very evident during the offseason and to address the need what did we get? A broken down Arroyo, a journeyman Michael Feldman and a bunch of untried rookie ‘prospects’! How’s that working for you?

    So far this off season, more of the same! Vance Worley?!? Give me a break! I repeat, patience…wearing…thin!

  15. Thomas Jefferson

    ‘I’ll take Dick Williams and the front office he’s built over Walt Jocketty every single day, and twice on Sunday…the front office is in better shape now than it was in 2012.’

    Agreed! I’m very happy that DW is in charge instead of WJ (and Kevin Towers and other old-schoolers that may have been in consideration).

    While DW’s overall effectiveness is certainly yet to be determined, the upgrades he championed for the minor league system and analytics are very important and will take some years to pay off (since being initially implemented roughly a year ago). I’m looking forward to watching it all develop, and as a fan, am optimistic he and the Reds will be successful.

    • Michael E

      Me too. I do like the intangible upgrades and talks. Finding better nutrition, training, medical care, scouting, etc. Those behind-the-scenes costs that make some teams constant contenders and others cellar-dwellars.

      I hate Castellini’s ignorant meddling (chapman trade, Hamilton love), but he has been superior financially to past ownership groups. Let’s face it, our Reds have never had a great owner. Crosley was solid to be sure, but even during a time of much fewer teams, the Reds rarely contended.

      I’d like a better owner, but we could easily drop back to a Schott or Linder and no one wants that.

  16. Wayne Nabors

    I tend to agree also,was never impressed by Walt,he spent way to much time bringing ex cards on board,even tho some like Ludwig were fundamentally flawed at best,but current regime hasn’t faired any better with roster moves in this off season or last,someone needs to step up,and not sure a quick turn around with castellini ownership group

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Last season’s Straily for Castillo seems like a pretty good move.

  17. VaRedsFan

    Brewer make offer for Yelich…..pasted from rotoworld

    Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that the Brewers have put together a trade offer for Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich.
    There’s a long list of teams in the mix for Yelich, but Mish hears that the Brewers have shown “strong interest” as they look to improve upon their surprise 2017 season. And with a strong farm system, they also have the sort of prospects required to get a deal done. Yelich’s contract (four years and $43.25 million) makes him an attractive option for both small and large-market teams. Nothing appears to be imminent, but the Brewers could be a legitimate suitor.

  18. David

    The Reds. What to say? Castelini wants to win, but really, is not going to do what is necessary to win. Regardless of his public pronouncements. The team that won in 2010 and 2012 was largely built by the people that came before Castelini and Jocketty. Who drafted Johnny Cueto, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce? I agree that Walt made some good trades to get Latos and Shin soo Choo, and Scott Rolen. And that did put them over the top.

    Where is this team going? They’re best player is going to be 35 soon. He has a finite number of years left.
    If it were my team, I would really go for it in 2018.
    Trade Duvall and Hamilton to make room for Winker in left. Try to get some pitching for them. Find out what the Marlins want for Yelich, and seriously, take on the salary and make the deal, Only Castillo is untouchable to me.
    Go out and sign one of the good starters out there to anchor the rotation.

    Trade or keep Scooter. How healthy is Dilson Herrera? Can you give him 60 days at 2nd base, and then bring up Senzel to play second in June?

    The Reds just need better starting pitching, and some more bull pen depth. I say go for it now, because next year never comes.

    Castelini will not do that, however.

    Steve is right about the relative wealth of baseball and even the Reds. The Reds COULD make moves to win in 2018, but will not do it.
    And they will probably never do it with the present ownership.

    • Sliotar

      David, great summary.

      Especially the parts about Castellini’s lip service on spending $ to win and “where is this team going?”

      I would only disagree on going for it this year and go the other way starting this year…all kids.

      OF- Winker, Ervin, Schebler
      IF- Suarez, Peraza, Herrera (then Senzel..service time stuff), Votto

      With a Suarez extension and Barnhart option picked up, that whole group is controllable through the end of 2022. Plenty of young SP is covered through then as well.

      That is a core…that may lose 90+ games in ’18, but a real start for a small market team. Weed out and add from that group as needed, plenty of $ available each year to add, plus Mesoraco and Bailey after 2018 and 2019.

      Instead, Castellini apparently wants Hamilton around forever, and promotes ticket discounts through Groupon, which mocks anyone buying a ticket package.

      Small-market teams have sold out, accepting a broken economic system and revenue sharing in return for only occasionally “going for it”, if at all.

    • Michael E

      Agree with just about everything David. While most on here are focused on hitting and 2nd base and CF and Winker, it has been pitching (mostly due to injuries and youth) that is holding back from contending. Signing one good SP (not an innings eater) and trading a player or two like Duvall or Hamilton or Gennett for a solid young SP/RP or AA/AAA SP prospect to add to the pool and lessen injury impacts would do wonders for a possible wildcard run in 2018. The hitting, even with a crappy Hamilton, is already adequate for contending, just have to get the rotation some help and hope for LESS injuries in 2018.

    • Matt Esberger

      I think all owners want to win even Mike Brown wants to win but only wants to win his way and his way only using the same trite methods since before Homer Rice was Bengal HC. Castellini does seem to grasp that player development is the route to go but it is a time consuming process that requires FO & Ownership to stay the course even if unpopular with the fan base. I am not saying or expecting Cub or Astro type results during this rebuild but I would be ok if they can develop a Cardinal like or Twin like(2000s when they developed core of Hunter, Jones, Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer) culture that can compete every other or every few years.

    • The Duke

      When we were competing payroll got up to about $115 million. Spend brashly now and when we are competing again and we will have no payroll flexibility.

      No one is trading much of anything for BHam, Duvall, or Schebler. Plenty of power hitters on the FA market that only cost cash and no one seems convinced that last years power numbers are sustainable if the balls aren’t juiced again. BHam just can’t hit, that tends to limit your trade value. Get some pitching for them? Maybe some mid 20’s High A/AA bullpen pieces. Maybe some kid in rookie ball with a high ceiling and a below the cellar floor.

      Okay, we’ve got Yelich in your scenario, hooray! Of course we just lost Senzel, Mahle, T Steph, and Jose Lopez.

      Just sign a FA SP, it’s that easy! No chance that Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb underperform in the hitter friendly GABP or aren’t as effective or injury free in their mid 30’s. I mean, every one loves the Homer Bailey contract.

      Counting on Dilson Herrera for 2B? He’s had more shoulder injuries in the past 2 years than the Reds have playoff wins in the past 20. I’m rooting for him to get healthy, but I’m certainly not counting on him. And we can’t replace him with Senzel in 60 days because we lost Senzel getting Yelich.

      Next year never comes sounds like a nice catch phrase on a bumper sticker right up there with YOLO, but making the wrong moves now can make the future a lot more painful and a lot further away than you’d think.

      Holding steady into 2018 was the right move. The farm is healthy, we have young talent on the roster, and if we can get healthy and surprise, additions can always be made at the trade deadline. If the right move comes along, then it should be explored, but making moves just because it’s more gratifying than patience isn’t a plan.

      • Kap

        Don’t think anyone could have said it better. I’ve been saying for a while that getting yelich was false hope

      • Sandman

        The Duke, we have been patient…for, what, 4 yrs now? I’ve had my fill of patience!

      • Thomas Jefferson

        The mistakes that cost this team a longer rebuild center around not trading Chapman, Frazier, and others earlier. At this point, the Reds are where they are, and DW inherited the situation. To make less than ideal moves now would be to create problems to live with in the years ahead. Whether we (and the Reds front office) are tired of being patient is irrelevant to the reality at hand. I am hopeful that the Reds will ignore their own (and our) impatience and make good moves. It is tough to take as a fan, but the right thing to do.

      • scottya

        The Duke,

        Thank you for your comments!


    Yeah, concur with David and Sliotar. Just one thing though. Why didn’t we do these things last year? Or the year before that? Instead we wasted time playing guys who shouldn’t even have been on the team. Guys like Arroyo, Adelman, etc. And now Vance Worley has been foisted upon us! Can’t wait to see how many games he can lose before someone pulls the plug. Meanwhile, one of our multitude of promising arms will be toiling away in Louisville or Pensacola. Sorta like sending down Amir Garrett last year after he got off to as good a start as nearly anyone in the league and then banished to the minors to save a few bucks.

    We are a loooong way from when Choo, Rolen and Latos were acquired as far as anyone having the sand to make such a move. Unless anyone really believes DW was genuinely trying to acquire Ohtani. If so, why not spend some real money on either a free agent or two, or by trading? Hughes and Worley don’t count.

    • The Duke

      Because spending tens of millions of dollars, trading away future prospects, and mortgaging the future to go from 68 to 75 wins isn’t smart. By that thinking we never trade Straily for Castillo and our farm system looks like the Mariners.

      We acquired Choo, Rolen, and Latos when Votto, Bruce, Cueto, and Bailey were establishing themselves as big leaguers and pushing for a run. Not when they were all still in the minors.

  20. Indy Red Man

    You have the Cubs and Cards already. Now Milw may get Yelich and found Thames last year (.877 ops although .822 of that was versus the Reds). What can we get excited about? The pitching will improve, but I don’t trust Price to manage the pitching staff or get the most of the diminished lineup minus Cozart and Scooter’s career year. I see 76-86 and they’ll fire Price and get Mesoraco off the books. Now we’re on to 2019 and counting on a 35 (or 36) yr old Votto to continue to anchor the lineup. I really wanted Ozuna!! They could’ve given him Mesoraco and Cozarts $. They’re able to penny pinch with the pitching so that’s not an issue. All is not lost as DW has improved the farm system and we have some talent coming up, but potential just means you haven’t done it yet. 3 years of bad and atleast another couple years of 3rd-4th as the ceiling.

    • scotly50

      I agree about Votto’s age. Yet no one mentions marketing him. Yet he is the oldest. Give him back to Canada and use the money on younger players who will not be late 30’s the next time the Reds contend.

      • Bill

        He has a no trade clause and doesn’t want traded. Even if you could “give him back”, there is no guarantee you could replace his production for $20 million. Look at what the Marlins got for Stanton

  21. WVRedlegs

    Ownership ranked 23rd out of 30 ML teams? I wonder who the people were that voted the Reds ownership higher where it averaged out to 23rd?
    To be honest and fair, the Castellini ownership group should be ranked no higher than 27th or 28th. The Castellini ownership group has lied to and misled the fan base since proclaiming they were “bringing winning baseball back to Cincinnati.”
    Three winning seasons up against 7 losing seasons. We are staring a 5th straight losing season right in the eyes. This is not what was promised, but what has been delivered.
    The Castellini ownership group has put long time Reds fans through the meat grinder while catering to the whimsical needs of the millennials. Who cares about starting pitching when you can order a hot dog and a beer off of your phone while at your seat, and the big Elvis bobblehead day?
    Does the Reds ownership really care about Reds fans? Or do they mostly care about the Reds fans’ Benjamins they carry in their wallets?
    Has the Reds ownership group even put up any extra netting to protect fans from flying bats and sharply hit foul balls? Not yet, but there is a new beer garden going in.

    • jessecuster44

      Pardon my french, but the Reds organization could give a Sh*t about their fans. They way the franchise has been run is a complete and utter joke.

  22. Jeff Reed

    The ownership of both major league franchises have done very well in the accumulation of wealth, although not so well in bringing the fans winning baseball and football.

  23. Indy Red Man

    And then there’s Colts owner Robert Irsay on Andrew Luck

    “I can’t say that unequivocally he’ll be ready for the Ram game,’’ Irsay said. “But I can say I feel confident he’ll be ready to start the season”!

    Ummm….which season 2018 or 19? I think about 1/4 of the Colts season ticket holders dumped their tickets so far. Turns out people don’t like being lied to when they’re paying $150/seat.

  24. bouwills

    I know it’s archaic & sophomoric, but I’d like to see a little good ,old fashioned honesty from Reds ownership & management. If Reds need to lose 90+ games in 2018 in order to complete the rebuild, then fine, but these annual “tall tales” that the Reds are gonna be competitive with Jason Marquis added to the rotation; or that Alfredo Simon can be in pitching shape- just a few weeks off the beach; or that Bronson Arroyo can pitch at 40 years old; have cost this organization lots of credibility. A lot of sarcasm surrounds this team, & most of it is well-deserved.

    • james garrett

      My concern is I am not sure if they have a plan or not and as long as they don’t try to improve then you have to say they don’t have one.I feel like they will stand pat and go with the same group other then a couple of releivers or a bench player or two.Its not realistic to expect a repeat performance from Scooter and along with Peraza and Billy our offense won’t be as good but our starting pitching will be better.Where we end up with improved pitching and a decline in offense is hard to tell.I look for closer games this year and of course more discussion about our offensive woes instead of our staring pitching.

    • old-school

      They told everyone that when they picked up Bryan Price’s option.
      They are cleansing payroll of Mesoraco’ s contract and one more year off Homer’ s contract.

      • bouwills

        I don’t mean to correct you, but they didn’t say it, they implied it. Big difference to loyal fans & ticket piurchasers.

      • old-school

        Yes… Price option was implied….a “tell” that 2018 is not the year for a return to winning.

  25. Shchi Cossack

    Yelich to the Brew Crew!!!

    per Ken Rosenthal@Ken_Rosenthal

    Christian Yelich traded to #Brewers, sources tell The Athletic.

  26. earl99

    The #Brewers have acquired OF Christian Yelich from Miami in exchange for OF Lewis Brinson, OF Monte Harrison, INF Isan Diaz and RHP Jordan Yamamoto.

    prospects #1, #6, and #14 according to mlb.com (yamamoto not listed)

    — Don’t know how good Milwaukee’s prospects are but I guess the Reds would have had to give up Senzel to get Yelich.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      So what would be equivalent players the Reds might have had to give up? Would it have been worth it? I really have no idea so interested in what people think.

    • jessecuster44

      Trade Green. Trade Trammel. Trade Siri. This trade could have happened without Senzel. Green is all potential and a huge question mark. And if he continues to pitch, it’s pretty clear that the Reds training staff would find some way to get him hurt for 12+ months.

      • Thomas Jefferson

        The Marlins might have been holding out for Senzel. We just don’t know. And since DW got the better of the Castillo trade, the Marlins might have been hesitant to get anything but a great deal from the Reds.

  27. Shchi Cossack

    Per BA ratings just released…

    Brinson #18
    Harrison #75

    Per MLB ratings…

    Brinson #13
    Diaz #86

  28. old-school

    The bigger issue here is the offseason is about great players in their early prime being traded for great prospects on the cusp of their prime. MLB is realizing paying 8 figures to over 30 is foolishness unless its Derek Jeter or Joseph Votto and you still need some luck. There is a youth movement in baseball, especially for position players and its not changing.

  29. jessecuster44

    It’s official. With the acquisition of Yelich by the Brewers, it’s abundantly clear that the Reds do not care about winning anytime soon. They could have made a better offer than what Miami got from Milwaukee.

    It sickens me that this organization is so Myopic that they think sitting on their hands and sorting is better than actively trying to make the team better. And it sickens me to think that Milwaukee (!!!) is a better run organization that the Reds.

    I want to see this team WIN. SOON. Looks like I’m in the minority. The longer I have to wait the older Votto gets, and the less interested I will be in watching the Reds.

    Bob C has become Mike Brown lite. Shameful.

    • old-school

      I wont argue that the Reds should have signed Suarez to an extension=spending 2018 dollars to invest in the future. They should have signed a good lefty bullpen in a glacially slow FA market to help the 2019 bullpen. I also think the Reds could be creative and bold and looking at moves that make 2019/20 playoff years and perhaps a young CF or SS was in that mix. None of those moves make them win in 2018 though. I’m interested in 2019.
      But, the Mesoraco $13 million contract and the Homer $21 million contract this year makes 2018 a year with $34 million in dead money. No team can win under those circumstances.

      • Andy

        Reds might not be able to win with that much dead money, but others can. Look at how much the Dodgers spent on non-contributers last year.

      • lwblogger2

        Bailey’s may not be dead money. He showed some flashes last year. I think he can give them 160+ IP of solid work. I think an ERA of around 4.00 is probably a reasonable expectation and I think his starts will be mostly consistent.

  30. bouwills

    What’s done is done. Yellich is a Brewer. Now, what might the Brewers want for Brett Phillips & could he help us in cf?

  31. Bill

    Brewers also signed Cain to a five year deal

  32. BigRedMike

    Brewers all in. Guess that is what it takes to compete with the Cubs and Cardinals going forward.

  33. Davy13

    That’s just disappointing. Not just that the Reds did not acquire a player who could have been a cornerstone piece of the franchise for the immediate present and the near future, but it is more disappointing that a division rival acquired him. I would hope that the Reds FO attempted to acquire Yelich, but could not put an an attractive enough package. I believe they could have. Some may argue about the value of keeping prospects, but at the same time prospects are players who yet to prove themselves in the MLB (and may never). Yelich is a proven MLB star, still young, and affordable. Oh well…

    Here is another scorecard that the REDS seem to be losing. This offseason:

    Cardinals get Marcel Orzuna
    Brewers get Christian Yelich
    Cubs still Rizzo and Bryant


    • lwblogger2

      Reds were apparently in on Yelich but bailed fairly early on because the Brewers were insisting on Senzel as the headliner and not budging.

  34. Indy Red Man

    Yelich and Cain to Milw:) I think I hung around to mid-August last year, but they’re not sucking me in with Jim Day and George Grande trying to pump sunshine up the southside this year. This is ridiculous. The Reds are doing nothing so why bother? If you’ve seen 2 Adam Sandler movies then you seen them all. He’s not getting an Oscar anytime soon. About the same scenario

  35. cupofcoffee1955

    I’m sure Reds’ season ticket sales are going great here in January. This offseason has been a big disappointment.

  36. earl99

    Brewers still don’t have enough starting pitching and now have 4 starting outfielders. Bullpen isn’t that scary either.

    Unless they eat part of Brauns remaining contract and deal him for a starter, they seem kinda shy to me.

  37. scotly50

    Its going to be a good race folks. Us and Pirates for last place. I think with Hughes they can do it !!!!

  38. earl99

    Eh…I’m not as down on the club as the rest of you all. I think if they get pitching the Reds will be decent, they should score plenty of runs as is. Maybe they can get a discount and get another starter or get another arm for the pen, they could be ok.

    It’s all a TV show in the end. It’s easy to be a fan of a big money club.

    • Indy Red Man

      Milw is a big $ club now? As far as their starting pitching…Chase Anderson 2.74, Nelson 3.49, Suter 3.42, and Davies 3.90, and I heard they made an offer to Darvish.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      The Reds might be “OK” this year, whatever that means but reality is that the best they likely can hope for is 4th place with last place being the more likely scenario.

  39. Aaron Bradley

    Dealing Greene in a package of prospects would not be wise.. first off, in this trade it looks like it was going to take more than one valued prospect, secondly Greene has literally just begun his pro career, his value will surely increase as he becomes major league ready. It just doesn’t make sense to unload him now at such a young age when in a few yrs time he may be elite. I have heard his FB is 100+ that sounds like something we should take a look at before sending off in a package deal. Yelich is nice but not elite. I think the reason the Reds base wants this guy is it knows we need guys to get on base at the top of the order, its been something we’ve lacked forever. BUt the Reds have outfielders they need to get the OBP elsewhere or re-arrange the lineup instead of putting guys with speed and no OBP skills at the top. The Reds are being to rigid in their approach. The Brewers may have sold off their future by taking this shot. Word is they will trade Santana for pitching, but who knows, maybe they hang on to him for depth and sign another free agent. Its depressing they have so much more buying power than the Reds.

    • Aaron Bradley

      If I am writing the lineup card I put Hamilton 9th and Votto 2nd. Put the highest OBP guy ahead of Votto regardless of speed. Once they turn the lineup over, Hamilton becomes leadoff hitter. Maybe on soft pitching match ups you can bat him lead off.
      The Reds need to sign Arrietta if they want to have a chance, the pitching is too dicey otherwise. Backload his contract and roll the dice to stay relevant.

      • lwblogger2

        Lots of folks would agree with you here. I love Hamilton in the 9-hole. You’re going to PH for the pitcher after 2 ABs anyway, most likely.

    • jessecuster44

      Greene is a prospect. Which means no sure thing. Yelich has demonstrated his value and doesn’t show signs of regressing. I’d take the proven player over the prospect any day.

      • greenmtred

        The Reds wouldn’t have gotten him for Greene straight up. They would have had to include several more top (and more advanced) prospects. And this for a player who is good, not great. Yelich doesn’t put them over the top. He’d be a good addition in a year when the Reds were egitimate contenders lacking that one piece.

      • jessecuster44

        Yelich under team control. Fine – add more prospects esp the OFs and a P or two. .369 OBP is nothing to sneeze at.

    • Bill

      Greene is a may be, could be, Yelich IS. You say the Reds need an OB man Yelich has a .369 MLB average

      • Aaron Bradley

        .369 is very good, but still not elite. And he has low 20s power at most. I think he is a very nice player, plays the game well, runs well, plays good D, certainly gets on base at an acceptable clip.. but you don’t trade the farm for this guy when we have blue chip propsects. Greene was taken 2nd in the draft and already getting hoopla on MLB.COM as a future star… this guy can net you a ton of prospects in a couple of years, or if all goes well he gives the Reds some good seasons and then they get a package of prospects. Anyhow, what’s done is done, but I think its crazy to draft a guy 2nd and flip him before he has played any significant ball when his health is perfect.

  40. Kap

    I would start focusing on acquiring Kevin Kiermaier either at the trade deadline or next off season. The package of players used to get him probably won’t have to be as stronger to get him as it did for Yelich, although he is not the hitter Yelich is. Gold glove level defense in center plus Kiermaier is a much better hitter than Billy is (more power and OBP). Oh, in 2017, Kiermaier’s WAR (5.1) was better than Yelich’s (3.9) and the contracts are very similar.

    The Rays can draft and develop pitchers almost better than any other team, so the Reds can focus on trading position players, which they have a lot of. A package of Trammell, Long, and Lavalley may be enough to get that ball rolling although throw in may have to be added. GET IT DONE

  41. davemoorewvu

    I was at my daughter’s middle school basketball game last night when I got the notification that Yelich was headed to Milwaukee. I was shocked and mad. Maybe I had convinced myself that the Reds were going to trade for him. It was too perfect. In my mind, it seemed that the stars had lined up for the Reds to trade for Yelich, the young pitchers would make huge strides this year, and the Reds would be the darlings of the MLB season.

    Perpetual rebuild..

    Rinse and repeat.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      Would you have traded Senzel – and another top 100 prospect, and two more of the Reds top 15 to get Yelich? To out bid the Brewers, it would have taken something like that. I am fine that DW passed on that.

  42. davemoorewvu

    Also, could somebody please start a petition that would allow Mark Cuban to buy the Reds please?



  43. bouwills

    Lorenzen for Brett Phillips? Either team could come up big, neither team would be giving up something they need.

  44. WVRedlegs

    That sound you hear coming out of the northern Great Lakes are Milwaukee fans rejoicing. That sucking sound you hear coming out of Cincinnati is the Reds front office.
    When is owner Bob Castellini going to take the training wheels off of Reds new GM Dick Williams? The Reds had the horses to pull off a Yelich trade without giving up Senzel. But the Reds front office doesn’t have the wherewithal or the fortitude to make a trade like this a reality.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      The Marlins might have been holding out for Senzel. We don’t know. And after being on the wrong side of the Castillo trade just a year ago, the Marlins might have been a little more insistent with DW to get a great deal. We just don’t know.

  45. WVRedlegs

    The Brewers hired their new GM one year after the Reds hired Dick Williams. And the Brewers are schooling the Reds front office on how a rebuild is done. Take notes Dick Williams, because you are doing nothing else as it is.

    • Matt WI

      I’m waiting to see what deal they pull next for pitching…without a move there, these moves are only so-helpful. If I’m them, I’m worried Jimmy Nelson doesn’t come back healthy, and someone like Zack Davies regresses a bit to his peripherals. Inviting old fan favorite Yovanni Gallardo to camp is not the answer they need to be looking for.

      • WVRedlegs

        If the Red Sox don’t sign JD Martinez, we might see the Brewers trade Ryan Braun to Boston for one of their SP’s like Rick Porcello or Drew Pomeranz, or even David Price. Pomeranz is a free agent after this year though, so more likely Porcello. Trading contract for contract while each team addresses a need.

  46. wizeman

    I would have liked Yelich… but not at the cost Miami wrangled out of Milwaukee. Think we had no shot without offering Senzel… and that is a non starter.
    The Lorenzo Cain signing will bite them in the keister.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      Agreed. I would not have advocated either of these moves for the Reds.

    • Matt WI

      Honestly, I don’t understand getting both Cain and Yelich. If Braun goes, ok, maybe. But if they end up trading Domingo Santana… that’s bananas. He’s very good, still only 25. A good trade piece, sure. He put up a 3 WAR season last year, probably on his way up… Cain was 5 WAR… but probably on his way down at age 31.

      If they don’t want him, maybe the Reds can get him!

    • Indy Red Man

      I’m surprised Cain got 5 years so you might be right but he should be able to help them for 3 years atleast. He’s great defensively and a career high .363 obp. I saw a Tori Hunter comparison somewhere and he played well thru age 37. Yelich .367 obp as well. If the Reds wanted to get it done then they could’ve…and kept Senzel too. It might’ve cost Mahle or Stephenson or something plus other top prospects.

      You can excuse the Reds FO some of the time, but where is our Thames from Korea? Or the Japanese league starter that the Cards signed?

      I’d play the “You get nothing. Good day sir” from Young Frankenstein if I could.

      • Matt WI

        Like I said, I’m not sure I would have gone after both players, but at the end of the day, if the Reds were going to trot out two outfielders with OBP’s north of .350 everyday, I’d say it was going to be a fun season.

        I just like Domingo. He’s been my favorite Brewer since Lucroy left.

      • Indy Red Man

        Willy Wonka….wrong Gene Wilder movie

      • lwblogger2

        Careful on the Hunter comparison in my opinion. Tori Hunter is a HoF player. He regressed but was still a good player at 35-36. Cain is starting at a lower point and could also regress faster (or slower). I think that the back 2 years on that Cain deal will be stinkers. The thing is though, do they care if he helps them win a pennant, or even a World Series in the first 3 years?

  47. BigRedMike

    Brewers will be paying $26 million/year for two players that had a combined WAR of 8.6 last year. The Reds outfield is Hamilton, Duvall, and Schebler.

    Brewers had 13.6 in WAR from their primary starters in 2017, the Reds had 2.4 WAR from starters with at least 10 starts. Yet, Reds fans are questioning the Brewers pitching?

    • Matt WI

      Absolutely. If they are going into battle with St. Louis and Chicago (and LA, Houston, and NYY) their pitching needs shoring up. Yes they’re better than the Reds… but that’s not who they need to beat at this point. I think Yelich was smart. He’ll be a great table setter and strong player on an already strong lineup. But if I was gonna devote $80 mil, it would have gone toward Yu Darvish, not Lorenzo Cain.

      I’m not unconvinced they had a “lightening in a bottle” situation with their pitching last season. They surprised even themselves with how well the pitching held… until they had maybe two good arms left.

      Again, Zach Davies is young, so he may be getting better… but he had a 1.35 WHIP and only average 5.9 K/9 while having a very strong season. The Reds would be thrilled to get what Davies did last season out of someone like Finnegan, but I’d be worried those stats won’t play over the long term.

      • BigRedMike

        The Cubs starters had WAR of 12 last year and the Cardinals had a WAR of 12.6, less than the Brewers.

        Brewers finished ahead of the Cardinals last year and improved their team. Seems they are competitive going forward.

        Meanwhile, the Reds are counting on 3 often injured pitchers and have made no improvements to their lineup, except losing Cosart.

        The Brewers still might get Darvish and can add as noted by trading Braun or another OF.

      • Matt WI

        Agree… I’m not saying they aren’t getting strong, and I think they will finish far and above the Reds. My advocacy for their pitching is about putting them over the top, not a move needed just to be relevant.

    • Indy Red Man

      All that’s left is for Disco to throw 2 no-hitters against the Marlins this year and get his $100 mil. I’m disgusted with the whole situation. I’d like for anyone to explain to me how we have any shot at climbing above 4th in 2018 or 19? Milw is making real moves. The Cubs have Theo and a huge payroll. Most people also don’t realize just how big a canyon that Miami ballpark is? Ozuna may win the NL MVP and goes full Pujols for them. Hopeless

      • WVRedlegs

        And the Reds will have 19 games vs. STL, 19 games vs. CHC, and now 19 games vs. MIL. That is 57 games out of 162 vs. just these 3 divisional foes. That is 35% of their games.
        Milwaukee will upgrade their pitching, make no mistake about that.
        Brewers are brewing.
        Reds front office is dingle berrying about.

      • Gonzo Reds

        I’m disgusted by yet more power moves within our division while we bank on a right now very trade-able kid in Greene who may not make it to the big leagues for years if at all. I used quite a few words yesterday that I can’t type in this post!

        Meanwhile, we’ll certainly lose 75% of those games against the big 3 in the central. Even if we win approaching 50% of the remaining games we’re staring a 100 loss or at least another 90 loss season in 2018. The big 3 have their cores locked up (and with some reasonable contracts like Yelich’s that we could have had) so while everyone points with blind optimism to 2019 as being our next contention year I personally don’t see it with our front office and owner.

      • Bill

        What makes you assume that Greene is what the Marlins wanted for Yelich? If you consider him to be someone who may never make it to the ML level, what makes you believe that other teams are lined up to acquire him for proven ML talent?

      • Aaron Bradley

        Greene throws 102mph, the scouts love him. His value can only improve as he mows them down in the minors, its crazy to sell him low especially when it would have taken more than just him to beat the Brewers offer.

      • old-school

        Zach Buchanan is reporting the reds talked to the marlins and they wanted Greene to start. Greene is 4-5 years from being a potential starter for the reds.

        Winker/yellich and Senzel would be a great outfield for years. Jv and Suarez and a GG catcher and multiple 2b options finishes the rebuild. Pitching would be ready next year with FA money and more trades to fill in any gaps .

      • Michael E

        I get the anger at idling FO, but Yelich doesn’t mover our needle. Pitching has been bad two straight years, Yelich can’t pitch. We score more than enough runs. If B Ham gets hurt, we’ll be a top 3 offense in the NL.

        We need a good SP more than Yelich, especially if we’re gonna give up 2 top 4 prospects and another two in the top 12 (what it would have taken to get Yelich).

      • old-school

        The real issue isn’t about Christian Yellich. Its when does the Reds winning window arrive? Does it ever arrive? Can this front office navigate this rebuild? Or
        are they bungling it?. It takes a lot more to build a team than it does to tear one down. Tearing down is easy.

        Christian Yellich is controlled through 2021 at a reasonable price. Its been reported the Marlins told the Reds a deal starts with Greene. Yellich had more WAR last year than the Reds current outfield combined. He is a complete player. Vision would be to nail down the Reds outfield now from 2018-2021. Winker LF Yellich CF and Senzel RF would be potentially a 12 WAR OF. Pair that with a CI of JV and ES and you have 9-10 WAR there and a gold glove catcher through 2021 and a stable of potential second baseman. That’s a winning offense and defense. Shortstop is one last piece, but if that lineup is in place, perhaps Alfredo can hit 8th and be the defensive super-star with a tolerable weak bat because of who is around him. Or ……you sign someone next offseason when/If Peraza cant play defense good enough.

        The pitching will sort itself out. The Reds could have signed an elite lefty bullpen arm now- taking advantage of the FA market and adding a piece to win in 2019.They haven’t. They also would have the budget to sign a pitcher or trade for one next offseason when needed.

        Ominously, DW said it takes 2 to extend a young player in a deal. Are the Reds going to lose Suarez to FA? What good is Hunter Green in 2022 if Joey Votto is on the retirement tour ,Eugenio is playing in Boston, Iglesias is pitching for the White Sox and Lorenzen, Finnegan, and Disco have played out their arbitration years. The Reds appear to be more focused on maintaining 4-5 recognizable faces they can market each year, than building a championship team for 2019.

    • VaRedsFan

      The pitching they have just needs to get them close. Then they can hire a gun to put them over the top…See Verlander, Justin

      • Michael E

        and pitching is the key now. We have enough hitting. Can always improve (replacing BHam), but if Castillo is good in 2018 and Desco or Bailey shape up to above average, add in a Mahle or Garrett taking the next step, and we’re right there contending with these other so-called vaunted NL central teams. The Cards look good, not great. The Cubs are taking a step back in pitching, so they too are good, not great. The Brewers improved and might be as good or better than the Cubs or Cards, but we’re not that far away.

        Sadly, I think the Pirates improved by jettisoning the overrated and average Cole and the declining McCutchen.

        If we don’t get improved and healthier pitching from within, we’re easily las place again. I can’t see being as bad pitching wise or being as unhealthy. I think we’re going to win at least 10 more games than last year, but it’s all about the pitching and steps forward for a couple of starting pitchers. Thankfully, we have like a dozen candidates (again) and surely we can find a couple of above average and a couple of average SPs for 2018.

  48. old-school

    Zach Buchanan on the enquirer has some quotes from DW after the Reds caravan. The reds did inquire about Yellich but quit when it became apparent Senzel or Greene would be needed to start. OR.

    Why not trade green? He hasn’t even pitched at A ball. It will be 2021 at the earliest that he out he’s up with the reds and 2022 before he could throw 185 innings.. Votto will be in his twilight. Robert Stephenson still hasn’t made it and he was the high school crown jewel in 2011.

    A package of Green Aquino Gutierrez and Duvall would have landed Yellich.
    An outfield of Winker.Yellich and Senzel with JV and Suarez at the corners…a GG catcher and a stable of potential 2b options and the rebuild position-wise would be complete and cheap. The focus could then be on pitching and a SS and by 2019 the reds could be winners for years.

  49. Bill

    Funny how we all talk about “ifs” when talking about the Reds, but is a sure thing when talking about the rest of the Central. What if the regression we see in the other teams doesn’t happen but the if improvement doesn’t happen for the Reds.

    • greenmtred

      There’s no crying in baseball and, equally, no sure thing, either. Players–especially but not exclusively pitchers–get injured. Some guys get figured out by the rest of the league and decline. Some guys learn a thing or two and improve.

  50. doofus

    “Williams said he doesn’t get the sense fans are impatient.” Wow! The empty seats at games doesn’t provide a clue?

    • Greg S.

      There were empty seats when they won. That is why tram is tanking, not enough fans went to games.

  51. Sowelo

    I think it was a good move not trading for Yelich. The Reds already have their CF of the future. I think Taylor Trammell is going to be a star and put up better numbers than Yelich. Especially in the speed department.

    • Indy Red Man

      Maybe, but will 40 year old Joey be the same? One hitter doesn’t equal the QB on an NFL team or a 1 of 5 on a NBA team in importance, but it would be wise to try to avoid a 8 year rebuilding plan during the reign of one of top 2-3 hitters in Reds history…if not the best.

  52. james garrett

    If you remember Walt rolled the dice with what he had and lost.Walt is still around so don’t be surprised if DW just doesn’t roll the dice as well this year.I am all for seeing what these young pitchers can do but there are holes on offense that need to be addressed.I have said it before but Scooter won’t repeat his performance from 2017,Peraza won’t replace Cozy in the field or at the plate and Billy is well exactly what his baseball card says he is and he will lead off and play CF every day unless injured.