Let’s open up the comments for an off-day open thread. Feel free to discuss whatever you’d like in the comments below, whether on-topic or off-topic. Any mentions of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, however, will be deleted promptly.

Here’s a Reds-related question to kick things off:

What’s the best-case scenario for the Reds over the next 10 months, between now and Opening Day 2019?

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 102 Comments

  1. Washington just traded for Herrera from the Royals. That’s one closer off the market.

  2. Cross off the Nats as an Iglesias destination. They just picked up K Herrara from the Royals. I have NO faith that this front office is capable of making a deal for Iglesias. There is not a proactive bone in their collective body.

  3. I read Cle, Col and Phi as the most in need of Iglesias like services. Will this FO deliver?

  4. Brendan Rodgers from Col?

    • Story is blocking him, and really coming into his own.
      Is Rodgers enough?

      • To answer your question…I go back and forth on that. Rodgers straight up or Rodgers and lambert; or, Freeland and Hampson. You’re our rep in Rockie Mtn territory. How do you read their need and who would they be willing to trade?

      • Isn’t this an about face for you? I thought you were the one saying Rox too high on Rodgers to trade him?

        • Nope; never said that.

          • That was meant for ColoradoRed. I believe he’s said in the past that they like him too much to trade him for Iglesias.

        • I believe that Colorado Red was saying Rodgers would not be moved because they had signed Wade Davis & Brian Shaw. Now he and Brian Shaw have stunk. They need BP help. They are only 5G out of 1st. The NL West is up for grabs. Our FO should be promoting Iglesias for Rodgers plus, instead of Fiona the Hippo bobbleheads..

  5. Tristan McKenzie, Bradley Zimmer and Yu Chang from Clv? I’m not solid on this return.

  6. JP Crawford and Sixto Sanchez for Iggy and Peraza with Phi?

  7. I agree that Washington looked like a good destination for Iglesias, but I think everyone involved would have been disgusted if the Reds had gotten the same return as the Royals got.

    • Agree. Their 1oth, 11th and Morel not even in their Top 30 on MLB.

    • Herrara is a FA agent after this season.

    • Yes. We shouldn’t trade Iglesias just to trade him. His contract is very team friendly and
      we don’t want to be the losers in a trade for the umpteenth time.

      • I really don’t believe that anyone is talking about trading Iggy “just to trade him.” Repeatedly, it has been discussed on this forum that the Red’s do not need a closer of Iggy’s quality. The Reds MAY be competitive in 3 years, but that will be when Iggy can become a FA. Logic says, given that and his contract you seek a team that has the talent and deal him. Talent that will help this pathetically bad Reds team. They way to avoid being a loser in a bad trade is to make a good trade.

  8. Iglesias will be here for a while. Who else is there to room with Scooter on the road?

  9. The only way this “rebuild” succeeds is if
    1. They keep Iggy and Scooter
    2. Move Scooter to outfield
    3. DFA or trade Billy, move Schebler to CF
    4. Make a big signing such as Machado for SS
    5. Start Winker everyday as the 3rd OF
    6. Sign at least 2 #3 or better starters.

    That would put the payroll at around $85mm before the FA signings ($64mm in 2020 after Homer leaves but before arb raises). $30mm for Machado and say $15mm for each starter and you’re at around $145mm for a legitimate playoff contender (likely more like $150-155 considering other raises). Good lord, how does a Votto, Senzel, Machado, Suarez infield sound? No question in my mind Reds can afford that bill. The question is will they?

    • NO WAY Machado signs here. With all due respect your dreaming. His agent knows Cincy has a front office in disarray and a quirky principle owner. Peter Angelos is the American League version of BC.

      • His agent is Boras. That means he’ll take the highest offer. Just playing around on Cot’s, here is a potential 2019 Payroll. I slotted Gio Gonzalez in as well:
        Votto, Joey $25,000,000.00
        Bailey, Homer $21,000,000.00
        Mesoraco, Devin $0.00
        Gennett, Scooter $8,000,000.00
        Iglesias, Raisel $5,714,000.00
        Hamilton, Billy $0.00
        Barnhart, Tucker $2,938,000.00
        Suarez, Eugenio $7,286,000.00
        Hernandez, David $2,500,000.00
        Hughes, Jared $2,125,000.00
        Pennington, Cliff $0.00
        Lorenzen, Michael $2,000,000.00
        Gosselin, Phil $0.00
        DeSclafani, Anthony $1,200,000.00
        Quackenbush, Kevin $0.00
        Duvall, Adam $800,000.00
        Schebler, Scott $800,000.00
        Finnegan, Brandon $0.00
        Peraza, Jose $800,000.00
        Peralta, Wandy $557,500.00
        Castillo, Luis $555,000.00
        Brice, Austin $547,500.00
        Garrett, Amir $547,500.00
        Reed, Cody $547,500.00
        Davis, Rookie $545,000.00
        Ervin, Phillip $545,000.00
        Mahle, Tyler $545,000.00
        Romano, Sal $545,000.00
        Shackelford, Kevin $545,000.00
        Stephens, Jackson $545,000.00
        Weiss, Zack $545,000.00
        Winker, Jesse $545,000.00
        Machadio, Manny $30,000,000.00
        Blandino, Alex $550,000.00
        Gonzales, Gio $18,000,000.00
        TOTAL – CIN $135,828,000.00

        • I think Scooter is going to get more than 8 million in arb3 if he keeps up this pace

        • I think Machado will get more than 30 million at the rate he is going, perhaps a lot more, unless the 30 is for an eternity (or more than 12 years)…

        • It’s not totally off the wall. I like the plan. The Red’s have been saving the last several years from their high water mark of 115 million, all the way down to 85 million or so now. Time to buy some players with that surplus, instead of paying more nutritionists.

    • Couple of issues there.
      1. We need starting pitching, at least 1 solid #2 guy to anchor the rotation. No amount of offense is going to offset the pitching as it is now.
      2. You are going to have an outfield of Scooter, Schebler and Winker. I agree that Billy should not be starting but the is going to be horrific defensive outfield.
      3. Machado is not going to come to Cincinnati. We are not going to be able to or should we outbid the big market teams.

      • Agree with all of this. Also I don’t think I could stand 10 years of complaining that Machado isn’t worth the $35 million a year he is getting paid

  10. The Nats were looking for a rental, not Iglesias’s contract. I didn’t think they were much of a match. Last year of Harper.
    Now Houston and Atlanta are different stories.

    • Iggy’s contract is team friendly. They don’t want to move Robles or Soto.

      • To an extent it is team friendly. If he can opt out of the $5.7MM and choose arbitration, that could amount to a pretty penny for even a big money team. The obtaining team has to keep that in mind. He could explode for another team and his salary might explode in arbitration. It could double the $5.7MM next winter or the following winter. People will need to temper their expectations for what Iglesias could return just a little.
        If you were Iglesias and get traded to a large market team with deep pockets, if you do well, wouldn’t you opt to choose arbitration?

        • Yes. Or just use that ability to negotiate a big contract for multiple years.

  11. Best case scenario:
    Reds lead the league in the fewest days on the DL.
    Billy Hamilton takes a page from Scooter and becomes a great hitter.
    Lorenzen and Garrett get more playing time.
    Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench take over management and instill a new era of purpose and will to win.

    • and pigs learn how to fly.

    • Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench succeed where Ponce de Leon didn’t, find the fountain of youth, share it with Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Jose Rijo, Jim Maloney, Mario Soto, etc., and the Reds become a dynasty in a good way.

  12. Best case scenario is the Reds commit to getting younger and adding talent at the high minors level and radically reconfigure the 25 man roster focusing on 2020 with a creative and bold approach at the trade deadline.

    • “A creative and bold approach” is not in this front office’s DNA. We all wish it would be, but you know it isn’t.

  13. 1. Castellini stake is sold to DeWitt’s.
    2. An actual baseball person becomes President/GM and someone other than Riggleman becomes Manager.
    3. Scooter, Iglesias, and Billy traded at deadline for 2 top 100 prospects and 2 top 200 prospects. All with ETA of 2020/21.
    4. Duvall and Harvey and Homer gone (traded, DFA, whatever).
    4. Senzel and Herrera replace Billy and Scooter. Maybe Peraza in CF, maybe Senzel in RF, I don’t know….but they need MLB reps.
    5. Stephenson takes Harvey’s place in the rotation. If Romano doesn’t make some improvement, call up Finnegan or Reed or Muella or whoever of those three makes the most sense.
    6. Try to sign (1) a legit MLB SP and (2) a legit SS or CF. Even if you have to overpay. Machado/Harper/Kershaw? Awesome. Pollock/Andrus/Pomeranz? That’ll work too. But if nothing else get actual above average players.
    7. Brennaman/Welch replaced by Jim Day and Danny Graves (or Sam LeCure).

  14. You guys really think a player or two will put the Reds in playoff contention?????

    This team has multiple needs in position players and pitching.

  15. The haul will not be enough and Iglesias will still be a Redleg on opening day 2019 and, in addition, the principal owner will be convinced the Reds will be competitive in 2019 so Billy Hamilton will still be the Reds centerfielder.

  16. Many of you are being quite dismissive of the Reds’ future success. Uh oh…dare I say some you are just too “cavalier” in your outlook?

  17. LOOKING AHEAD ☹
    FOOD FOR THOUGHT
    I think all of us are looking for a sign of hope for 2019 and beyond. I want to use the central division as the method of measure.

    There some key players to watch;
    Starters; Mahle, Castillo, Romano, Disco (Grading scale 6 plus innings, 3.0 era, 1.5 walks per 9)
    Fielders; Votto, Suarez, Schebler, Dixon, Barnhart, Winkler, Perazza, (maybe Senzel)
    I haven’t hypothesized about additions to the roster at this point because if these guys are dominated and they are the best we have, it is going to take more than a few free agents.

    From 8-20-18 through Season end there are 45 scheduled games vs division teams
    14 vs Cubs, 13 vs Brewers, 9 vs St Louis, 9 vs Pitts.

    Important dates 8/20 – 9/5/18 will see 16 games in a row against Division teams;
    6 vs Brewers, 4 vs Cubs, 3 vs Pitts., 3 vs St Louis

    Current Reds record against Central Division (.233Winning%)
    Cubs- 2 W, 3 L:
    Brewers- 1 W, 5 L:
    Pitts- 4 W, 6 L;
    St. Louis- 1 W, 9L

    3 of the 4 teams will be playing for either the division championship or a wildcard spot, they will have no mercy on the Reds.

  18. Fun thought experiment…

    Patch the Reds up,, realistically (sorry, no Machado)…for a .500 record in 2019.

    Don’t worry about the competitive window…try and revive the corpse that is the Reds fanbase next season, for at least next season. Maybe the world ends in 2020…whatever. Worry about the future later.

    The 2 NL Wild-Cards are projected currently at 86-76 and are in division (Brewers, Cardinals). Because of division-heavy scheduling…improve on the 2-14 so far this season (Yikes!), patch the team up to .500….hello meaningful September baseball.

    (This should actually be a Mancuso/Walker/Wes/Etc level post, but I only have very short bursts of clarity. LOL.)

    My moves in next post.

  19. The defensive move of Senzel to SS for one game made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The explanation (after the AAA manager previously and definitively proclaimed Senzel as incapable of playing SS) that they needed to keep Senzel accustomed to playing SS and a single game would accomplish that before he continues to play 2B and 3B regularly after that single game makes the move even more ludicrous.

    What’s the best case scenario? Until the situation regarding a potential trade for Scooter is resolved, come up with an real optional plan. If Senzel might be able to play SS, dump the current 2B/3B arrangement into the Ohio River with the Louisville bath water and send Eric Davis and Barry Larkin to Louisville and work with Senzel while he plays every game at SS and CF (no DH) until he proves that he can or can’t handle one or both of those positions over an extended period of time. Everyone knows he can handle 2B and 3B in his sleep. If Senzel proves incapable of playing one of either SS or CF, then he works in RF as a corner OF. By the end of the 2018 season, Senzel will have at least one solid, available defensive option at the MLB level for the Reds in the 2019 season.

    Herrera plays every game at 2B and 3B (no DH) and proves to the world that his shoulder is finally 100% healthy and fully recovered after surgery. If Scotter is not traded, he plays 2B through the 2019 season and the Reds look to trade Herrera for an equitable return for a MLB-ready starting middle infielder. If Scooter is traded, Herrera takes over the starting 2B position on the 25-man roster for the remainder of the 2018 season.

    India starts in Dayton as a corner OF. If he proves as offensively capable as Senzel, he is fast-tracked through the minor league system until he reaches AAA or stumbles along the way.

    Jesse Winker starts every game in LF for the remainder of the 2018 season. His performane during the first third of the 2018 season has been disappointing at best, but he deserves the opportunity to let his play between the lines determine his status heading into the 2019 season. Scott Schebler starts every game in CF for the remainder of the 2018 season. Everyone knows he can play a defensively adequate RF, so find out if he can play a defensively adequate CF and let his play between the lines be the determining factor.

    Disco starts every 5th game. Mahle starts every 5th game. Castillo starts every 5th game. Stephenson starts every 5th game (he’s had one clunker in his last 7 games). Garrett or Lorenzen starts every 5th game until they prove incapable or ineffective in a starting role. Bailey does not sniff a MLB starting pitching role in 2018 until all other viable options are resolved. In fact, since he’s a;ready stumbled on his rehab assignment once, I would look to move Bailey to the 60-day DL, retroed back to May 30th and have him available to return to the 25-man roster after the trade deadline in a starting or relieving capacity based on his performance during his next rehab assignment and the team needs at the MLB level.

    Hopefully by the trade deadline, the Reds have a clear, unbiased view of the real needs on the MLB roster to put this team in a competitive position for 2019. That means management must get real in their assessment of the talent on the current roster and quit pretending everything will just work itself out. Those holes in the current roster reside in CF, SS, one corner OF and starting pitching. Some of those holes could be filled with viable internal options by the trade deadline, allowing the team to focus on any remaining holes.

    • I’m pretty close to the Cossack. It remains to be seen just how much trade value Herrera will have. Guessing it’s more likely that Scooter gets traded, but what do I know.

      Stephenson, Garrett, and Lorenzen all need extended starting chances this year so the Reds know exactly what they have internally before pursuing pitching this offseason.

    • Very reasonable, Cossack. If Herrera shows that he can hit as advertised, though, and stay healthy, shouldn’t he be in the mix at 2nd rather than strictly as a trade chip?

      • Absolutely and that was built into the options. If Scooter is traded, Herrera begins playing 2B at the MLB level immediately. If Scooter is not traded, then there is no place for Herrera to play and his trade value needs to be pursued. There is just no place for both Herrera and Scooter. I don’t see either player as a defensive option anywhere other than 2B.

        By 2020, a slew of prospects are going to be banging on the door and looking for positions to play. Any question or need for CF should be answered by that time. Any question or need for corner OF should be answered by that time. Any question or need for 2B should be answered by that time. Players will probably realign to their more natural defensive positions.

  20. Moves to make Reds competitive for Wild Card run in 2019…

    Holes to fill externally:
    CF
    SP (2)
    Bullpen arms (ton of them, older, will be FAs next season. Easy to fill)

    Filling them:

    1. CF- dump Hamilton for FA at year end CF Leonys Martin, DET
    (could argue for either side kicking in prospects to close this deal)

    Martin has already posted 2 WAR, back to what he was in 2016
    Hamilton is virtually untradeable, but younger and he will excite DET while they rebuild
    Reds get half-season to see if Martin is worth re-signing.

    If Martin isn’t/can’t be re-signed…..

    John Jay
    Adam Jones
    Carlos Gomez
    (All older FAs. All below Pollock/McCutchen top tier.)

    2. Rotation of

    Castillo
    Mahle
    Trevor Cahill
    Anibal Sanchez (both keep ball down/HRs down)
    Bob Steve/Romano…maybe another FA SP with low HRs…Tyson Ross?

    Roster

    Votto
    Gennett
    Senzel (at SS, called up for 2H of 2018)
    Suarez
    (Peraza, Duvall, Dixon, Whoever…bench dudes).

    Winker
    Martin or other FA signing
    Schebler

    Barnhart

    Garrett/Lorenzen – cover early/mid-game high leverage situations
    Iglesias – closer

    (Now, I don’t endorse this by any means, but it is fun to think that if this group could get out of the gates well and find some more HRs in their bats, they might sneak into a WC race.)

    • While reading Shchi’s excellent post, I realized I had forgot to mention Bailey and DeSclafani.

      Bailey is…gone. DFA, 60-day DL, whatever. Eat the money, but don’t have his moodiness around this club. Turn the page, once and for all.

      DeSclafani? 5th starter, if he is healthy and can win the job. Would be nice if he can regain what he was, but don’t know if that is reality.

  21. Here are the moves I make if I am GM prior to the beginning of the 2019 season to help push us towards contention:

    Sign top of the rotation starter: Patrick Corbin (first choice), back ups: Gio Gonzalez or Dallas Keuchel

    Sign CF AJ Pollock

    Trade at the deadline 2018: Gennett and Hernandez to Cleveland for SP Shane Bieber (MLB), SS Yu Chang (AAA), and additional prospect throw in

    Offseason trade: India, Long, Santillan, Reed to Baltimore for SP Dylan Bundy

    2019 rotation: Corbin, Disco, Castillo, Bundy, Mahle/Stephenson/Garrett/Bieber

    C: Barnhart
    1B: Votto
    2B: Senzel
    SS: Chang/Peraza
    3B: Suarez
    LF: Winker
    CF: Free agent (AJ Pollack?)
    RF: Schebler

    Bullpen: Iglesias, Lorenzen, Hughes, Finnegan, Romano, Rainey/Herget, and at least one of the #5 starter options who don’t make the rotation

    Bench: Duvall, Hamilton, Peraza/Chang, Casali, Blandino/Dixon

    • A few additional thoughts on my original post: Cleveland will probably want an additional relief pitcher as the bullpen is their top priority most likely. Maybe throwing another pitcher in there could be a possibility but I would hesitate to trade Iglesias unless they really sweeten the deal quite a bit.

      The original proposed trade for Bundy may be a bit much but some of it is based on the optimistic thought that Bundy will continue to improve this season. If that is the case, maybe you try to make the trade before the deadline and then hold off on including India (who couldn’t be traded after the season anyways, assuming he signs). I would hold on to Senzel, Greene, and Trammel at all costs!

      Hamilton would probably have to be traded in a minor deal to dump his salary if the free agents signings were to happen.

  22. My best case scenario is:

    1. Move Scooter to CF and see if he can at least play it as well as Shin Soo Choo did when he was here. If Scooter can handle it, CF is sorted for the next few seasons while we wait for Taylor Trammell.

    2. Move Suarez back to SS, move Peraza back to 2B, let Senzel play 3B.

    3. Trade Billy Hamilton and Iglesias as a “playoff booster package” to some team in the hunt. Both can be late inning weapons that can make a difference in tight games, so it should be an attractive combo. Hopefully get back a MLB-ready SP. Throw in Bob Steve as a “change of scenery” candidate if it can lead to an even better return.

    4. Play Winker and Schebler every day on the corners.

    5. Trade Harvey for whatever can be gotten.

    6. Let Castillo, Disco, Mahle, Romano pitch. Hopefully all 4 become decent-to-good MLB starters.

    7. Offseason: Assuming the 4 mentioned SPs performed well, sign/trade for the missing piece in the rotation. Also hope the return from the Billy/Iggy trade can be in the running for this spot.

    8. Offseason: Shore up the bullpen. No more retreads.

    9. Offseason: Depending on how Shed Long/Dilson Herrera/Jeter Downs develop, possibly look into signing/trading for a 2B. I’ve just about given up on Peraza.

    10.This is your 2019 roster:

    LF Winker
    3B Senzel
    1B Votto
    SS Suarez
    CF Scooter
    RF Schebler
    C Barnhart
    P
    2B Peraza/Long/Downs/Herrera/FA

    SP Castillo
    SP Disco
    SP Mahle
    SP Romano
    SP FA/Trade Acquisition

    Fill out the bench and bullpen as needed.

    • 1. Scooter has never played CF and has been horrible in the corner positions in the small number of games he played. There is no way you can put him in CF.
      2. Suarez is not moving back to SS, and why move Perraza to 2B?
      3. Iglesias could get a SP prospect in return. Hamilton would be nothing more than a salary dump with a lower ranked prospect in return.

  23. First time posting here so go easy. Bowden just posted an article on The Athletic proposing an Amir Garrett/Iggy trade with the Indians for Mejia (OF) and Bieber (starting pitcher currently in the Show). https://theathletic.com/396536/2018/06/18/bowden-here-are-six-trades-al-contenders-should-make-before-the-deadline/
    I would propose including Scooter along with Amir and Iggy in this and seeking Mejia, Bieber, and their AAA SS Yu-Cheng Chang (or AA SS Willi Castro).

    In my mind, this opens up second for Senzel, helps two of our biggest positions of need (SS & SP), move Schebler to CF, start Mejia in RF, Winker in LF and Duvall as the back up (would have said Billy, but Duvall is so much cheaper that I would go this direction). The new SS can battle Peraza for starting gig next year.

    Trade Billy and Harvey to any team offering anything remotely interesting. DFA Homer (love the guy, but this is not going to end well).

    Freeing up Billy, Iggy, and Harvey’s salaries in 2019 should give us ~$15M to afford an SP.

    Offseason, target Dallas K to anchor Bieber, Castillo, Disco, and whomever wins between Mahle/Bob Steve/Romano/Fin (or go to a 6 man rotation).

    Starting line up 2019
    Votto (1B), Senzel (2B), Chang (SS), Suarez (3B), Barnhart (C), OF Winker/Schebler/Mejia

    Bench: Peraza, Blandino, Dixon, Caselli

    Go Reds!

    • The Reds aren’t paying Harvey’s salary this year, but they are saving $13 million next year from Mesoraco. Trading Hamilton and Gennett would save another $10 million plus the arbitration raises. That should cover the cost of a FA SP

      • Right, but I had them trading Iggy as well. Iggy+BHam+Scooter is $15m this year and a hell of a lot more next.

  24. I still think 2020 is our year where we really see some improvement.

    1. we have a lot of outfield talent in the minors with trammel, Siri and Friedl. and I could actually see those guys being the opening day outfield in 2020.

    2. our bullpen is really shaping up to be strong in the future.
    nasty boys II with Iglesias, Lorenzen and Garret.

    3. corner infiled and catcher is great.
    we have a lot of duplicity at 2nd base. I say keep scooter. I think he will take a lower salary to stay in town

    4. ss is interesting. I still haven’t given up on Peraza. his defense is improving and he may bang out close to 200 hits this year. I have watched Hunter Greene enough to be worried. he has the mentality (and intensity)more of a closer than a starter. I still think we need to see what this guy can do at short. looks like a hell of an athlete. could be the next barry larkin.

    5. sp is shaping up. with Disco, Castillo, mahle as our 3-5 starters.
    Romano and Stephenson are destined for fill in starts and middle relief .
    I’m done with Finnegan and Reed.

    6. in my opinion our best trading pieces are winker, senzel, schebler, Hamilton. they could be packaged for a good starter.

  25. Nice post, SF. Welcome.

    I have family and friends that are die-hard Indians fans, so I hear about them, by default.

    Indians are in this weird place…they should go for it this year. They lose several guys to free agency at year end….Allen, Miller, Brantley, Chisenhall. And, they need bullpen help.

    But….my friends tell me it is unlikely they go “all in”, because they want some young talent around Lindor going forward to get him to consider a hometown discount and not test FA.

    Your trade makes sense. Hopefully, someone in the Reds front office is hounding Indians GM Mike Chernoff, because none of my buddies think CLE can get through the AL playoffs with their current roster.

    • Thanks SLIOTAR. Been reading the blog for months now and decided it was time to join the community. I grew up in Indy and have been a Reds fan since birth. Now based in SF as a Giant season ticket holder (wife is crazy about the Giants).

  26. Well, the scenarios depend a lot on what Scooter and Harvey are worth at the deadline. I don’t think Iglesias is going anywhere – this is a team aiming for 2020 and he’s still in the plan.

    I think the 2020 Target starting line up might be:

    1B – VOTTO
    2B – SENZEL
    SS – INDIA (we can hope, right?)
    3B – SAUREZ
    RF – SCHEBLER
    CF – ??? Maybe TRAMMEL
    LF – WINKER
    C – BARHART

    I can see Disco, Mahle, and Castillo starting and all being solid. We either need two more and/or Green to get ready in a hurry – which I don’t think it’s likely. The Gennett and Harvey deals really need to produce a 2020 top of the order pitcher and we’ll still need to sign an expensive FA Ace to play in a crappy ballpark for pitching stats.

    The 2020 Bullpen is stacked:

    Iglesias
    Garrett
    Lorenzen
    Hughes
    Peralta
    Romano

  27. This franchise is a long long way from being competitive. A trade here and there isn’t going to change anything. There are some parts and pieces here to build around but if the only moves made is trading for prospects then you’re looking at years of constant rebuilding. By the time those prospects become productive…maybe…the parts and pieces that are here will be too expensive to keep. So they will be traded for more prospects. It’s like a merry go round.

  28. Best Case Scenario: A work stoppage cancels the entire 2018 season. It never happened.

  29. The best scenario to me is this front office decides if they want to fish or cut bait.Can’t play people who don’t get it done while others aren’t given a chance.Blandino,Dixon,Herrera and Senzel need playing time right now in the majors and Lorenzen Bob and Amir need starts in the majors.To continue to not give these guys a legitimate chance is just insane while on the way to 100 losses.

    • I don’t think Dixon is anything more than a bench piece. I like Blandino, but he will be too far down on the depth chart to warrant at bats, he is probably on the bench as well unless he is going to be the starting SS. Herrera and Senzel have earned a shot, the question is where do they play. They are both 2B/3B which are currently blocked. I dont’ think Lorenzen is a starter and Garrett probably is stuck in the bullpen as well. Once a guy is moved to the bullpen with the Reds it seems there is no coming back to the rotation.

  30. Did anyone hear Welch make the comment Sunday “the Reds are really good after losing 2 in a row”. I wonder if he meant we should be happy with a .333 winning record.

    • I think that he was referring strictly to that game. He certainly knows that they aren’t good, but probably has to be careful about saying negative things.

  31. Winker , Garrett to Boston for top prospects. Winker can not cover any OF position and his base running is horrible at least if he goes to Boston he can be a DH or a pinch hitter specialist and as for Garrett he can be the leftty in the bullpen who can strand inherited runners for Boston. You can forget about any of the top FA coming to Cincinnati. No pitcher or position player wants to play with this FO.

    • Why would Boston want Winker? Why would the Reds want to trade Garrett who is making league minimum?

    • Yeah, it’s hard to see the Red Sox needing Winker to take over DH from J.D. Martinez. They already have 4 LH hitters in the starting lineup – Benintendi, Moreland, Devers, and Bradley, so they don’t need Gennett, either.

  32. The best cast scenario is that by August 1 there are at minimum 5 new faces on the 25 man roster, none of whom are on the roster because of injuries. Others above have outlined some potential targets, but frankly I’m to the point where I don’t really care about the specifics. If the Reds decide to build around Votto/Suarez/Scooter and go out and trade guys like Trammel/Friedl/Stephenson, hell even Nick Senzel, for 3, 4, 5 win players under control for 2-3 years, so be it. If they start actively shopping Scooter and Iglesias and Hughes and Garrett , I’m fine with that too.

    The 2017 Reds that won 68 games had 9 players get 400+ plate appearances. Eight of those 9 are on pace to get 400+ plate appearances this year, with Jesse Winker expected to reach that and Zack Cozart obviously not on the team. That’s a stunning lack of turnover for a team that has been as bad as the Reds have been.

    The Reds need to start pruning their roster to allow it to grow. Are you going to use minor league depth to supplement the current roster or are you going to use the very few assets you do have on the major league roster to add talent that is desperately needed at the upper levels of the minor leagues? I honestly don’t care anymore which way though go, but that decision needs to be made yesterday.

  33. 1. DFA Homer.
    2. Package Duvall/Billy to a playoff contender for a bullpen arm.
    3. Play Senzel at SS the rest of the season so you know definitively where he can and cannot play.
    4. Offer Scooter an extension before the trade deadline. Trade him for ONE good player if he passes on it.
    5. Conduct a REAL managerial search that extends beyond the insular front office.
    6. Trade Iggy to acquire a GOOD cost controlled CF. Garrett gets first crack at closing.
    7. Compete aggressively to sign Trevor Cahill or Patrick Corbin……and no other starting pitchers.
    8. PRAY TO GOD THE FRONT OFFICE CAN WALK AND CHEW GUM AT THE SAME TIME.

  34. The reds get a lefty starter today and Fulmer tomorrow then a stretch leading up to the All star game of playoff contenders and first place teams with one exception – the White Sox.

    Cubs/Brewers/Braves/Cardinals/Indians.

    The first NL team to 50 losses is well within reach.

  35. The best case is for 2 to 3 of the young starting pitchers break out and begin to pitch the way the Reds had hoped. The group includes Castillo, Romano, Mahle, Finnegan, Stephenson and Reed, plus Garrett and Lorenzen if they give them a chance at starting. Desclafani is the leader of the staff, which is itself a big step up from Homer’s leadership.

    It isn’t impossible. Castillo is a hair away; Mahle is adapting. In his last 26.2 IP, Cody Reed has struck out 24 and given up only 3 BBs. Stephenson had 0 BBs and 9 Ks in his last start.

    I actually believe the “sorting” of the pitching staff is a lot further along than most people believe.

    • Cody Reed’s control has improved this year, but my greatest fear remains how hittable he is with that arm angle, and he’s giving up a ton of hits still. I’m not saying he’s a lost cause, but I’m still not convinced he’s a starter yet.

  36. Best case scenario…..the front office displays some decisiveness by making moves by the trade deadline converting it’s glut of 2nd basemen into useful near/ready assets.

    Harvey/Duvall needs to go for anything, bring up Stevenson and let Dixon have more PT in OF.

    Trade Billy, but only for value……I still think he has some, even in a reduced role.

    I would be fine with trading (high) with Scooter/Iggy, although I love those guys and believe they are both pieces to build around.

    I would also dangle Hughes/Hernandez out there to contenders with weak bullpens, as they are both signed for next year, and BP arms are the least dependable year to year. If you keep both, then give Lorenzen a legitimate shot to start for entire second half to see if he can handle the workload and is effective.

    Hope Reed earns a call to relieve Mahle when he hits his innings limits later in the season. If he doesn’t, convert him to a relief pitcher to either replace Peralta or to allow Amir to enter spring training to fight for a SP spot.

    But, overall I just want the FO to be decisive……otherwise, I’m thinking there are too many cooks in the kitchen, including one (Jocketty) that is responsible for the roster and high minor options available.

  37. First move is to clean house in the front office. Out is Jocketty, Williams and Krall.
    Second move is to review the notes and work this brain trust has completed on their “national search” for a new manager, if there are any.
    Third is to review the notes and evaluations of Special Asst. to the GM John Farrell, if there are any. Quickly terminate such arrangement.
    Review the minor league system and start to set up a more robust evaluation process. Start separating the wheat from the chaff. Start lining up a pecking order at every position, and start making a list of redundancies to trade from. Stop signing all glove-no bat SS’s, hoping to develop them as hitters. It hasn’t worked.
    Keepers: Votto, Suarez, Senzel, Barnhart, Schebler, Winker, DeSclafani, Mahle, Garrett, Lorenzen.
    On The Fence: Peraza, Romano, RStephenson, and Reed.

    Trade: Gennett, Castillo, Iglesias, Hughes, Hernandez, Finnegan, Duvall, BHam, and Herrera.

    1. Gennett, Hughes, and Hernandez to Cleveland for RHP Triston McKenzie, RHP Shane Bieber, and C Francisco Mejia.
    2. Iglesias and BHam to Houston for OF Kyle Tucker, LHP Cionel Perez, and 1B Yordan Alvarez.
    3. Castillo and 1B Alvarez to NY Yankees for OF Clint Frazier, RHP Albert Abreu, and LHP Justus Sheffield.
    4. Herrera to Pittsburgh for SS Kevin Newman.
    5. Finnegan, C Mejia, and Duvall to Arizona RHP Jon Duplantier, RHP Jimmie Sherfy, and OF Marcus Wilson.
    Giving up good players to get good prospects/players.
    That leads to a net gain of 11 players, and a net loss of 11 players:
    RHP Triston McKenzie, AA, 21 in Aug.
    RHP Shane Bieber, AAA/ML, 23.
    LHP Cionel Perez, AA, 22.
    RHP Albert Abreu, A+, 23 in Sept.
    LHP Justus Sheffield, AAA, 22.
    RHP Jon Duplantier, AA, 24 in July.
    RHP Jimmie Sherfy, AAA/ML, 26.
    OF Kyle Tucker, AAA, 21.
    OF Clint Frazier, AAA/ML, 24 in Sept.
    OF Marcus Wilson, A+, 22 in Sept.
    SS Kevin Newman, AAA, 25 in Aug.
    The Rebuild has been re-energized and rebuilt. Beiber and Sheffield go into the rotation immediately. Sherfy and Perez go to the bullpen. Tucker takes over CF and Frazier splits time with both Winker and Schebler. A new OF rotation. Newman takes over at SS. Duplantier and McKenzie to AA ready to go to AAA, Abreu to A+ and Wilson to A+.

    • This is brilliant out of the box thinking. I love flipping pieces for a true rebuild without losing any of our top prospect talent. Your plan would see the Reds develop a top 5 system with 9 top 100 prospects not counting wherever India lands and next year’s top 5 pick. Doesn’t include border 100 talent of Long, Santillan, Stephenson, Downs Siri, & Siani. Love the idea of landing Kyle Tucker. Not keen on the Castillo trade but am OK with it if the two pitching prospects pan out.. Not sold on Clint Frazier yet…

      You mentioned trading for SS Kevin Newman.. I think we need to set our sights a little higher on this one. What kind of package would it take for Bo Bichette? Not think it would happen but he’s gonna be a stud. Maybe target one of the twins 2 top 10 SS prospects (Lewis or Nick Gordan)

      These series of trades would send clear message to the fan base that the Reds are in deep rebuild mode and future fun team to watch. A team that does not have to have all prospects pan out to win. 2020 starting pitchers looks good.

  38. 1. Mark Cuban buys the Reds. I don’t care if he is a meddling owner….at least he will spend.
    2. Joey Votto shows up in April and May.
    3. The NL adopts the DH, so Senzel and Votto can split time equally between 1B/DH.
    4. Play your prospects at positions not occupied by entrenched starters at the MLB level.

    Pipe dreams are fun!

    • Why would you ever put Senzel at DH? He was rated the best 3B in the minors defensively, and started at SS for Louisville earlier in the week.

      • I’d love for him to take over at SS…in fact, I was pretty angry when they said he would play 2B at AAA when the season started. The organization (1 of the coaches at AAA said he couldn’t play SS) I saw no evidence of this in Spring training.

  39. One thought comes to mind needs to be addressed or at least discussed. When we are looking at value, defensive and offensive capabilities must be considered and balanced. Up-the-middle (C-SS-2B-CF) defense has been a mantra in MLB since the beginning of time. A pretty comprehensive look at defensive value has been completed with the advent of the live ball era and resulted in a compelling argument for a significantly decreased value for defense, especially OF defense, including CF. That doesn’t eliminate the need for good defense, but it does lessen the importance of defense in a balancing equation.

    The Reds are last in the NL in fewest HR allowed by the starting pitching.
    The Reds are last in the NL in SO completed by the starting pitching.
    The Reds are last in the NL in OPS by the starting pitching.
    The Reds are last in the NL in ER by the starting pitching.
    The Reds are 15th in the NL in SO/BB by the starting pitching.
    The Reds are 13th in the NL in GO/AO by the starting pitching.
    The Reds are 6th in the NL in BB issued by the starting pitching.

    The issue for the Reds is not defensive support for the starting pitching. It’s the basic ineffectiveness of the starting pitching. There is simply no defense for HR and BB. If the starting pitching can’t provide an equitable amount of SO, then they are going to deal with more hits, no matter how good or bad the defense is behind them.

    Yes the starting pitching is the weak link on the team, hands down, but the only way to correct that issue is to get better starting pitching, not sacrifice offense for minimally effective better defense. The defense provided by Peraza at SS, Duvall in LF and Hamilton in CF has no positive impact when balanced against the horrendous offense provided by Peraza, Duvall and Hamilton and it’s not even close. At some point, really bad defense would factor into the balancing equation, but Adam Dunn played (and started) 14 seasons with arguably among the worst defense ever and still accumulated more than 25 WAR over his career.

    • As usual- well stated. Pin this as it encapsulates the stubborn failings of the FO .

      It’s time to remind the Reds FO the losing ways of 5 consecutive losing years is no longer acceptable.

      Fans should empty GABP every 5th inning the rest of the year to protest 5 years of losing. Go to the concourses. Go to the concession stands. Go to the gift shop. Go to the restroom.

      Give Thom and Chris something to talk about every 5 th inning with an empty stadium.

    • This is more great evidence that illustrates that all the rebuild decisions on the offensive side of the ball – including the site favorite of lineup construction – are secondary by far to the starting pitching reconstruction. It’s not even close. I think we’re a .500 team THIS YEAR (or better) with just average starting pitching.

      This is the single most disappointing aspect of the past 3 years to me. No organizational ready players, no clear plan (specifically) for upcoming players, and ultimately no obvious solutions that we can depend on next year unless you squint really hard to see Disco, Castillo & Mahle, and that’s assuming they all are healthy. Without starting pitching, there is no rebuild. I think we all expected AT LEAST 2-3 of the prospects to be established rotation locks by now. Maybe we’re closer, but the progress has been much slower than hoped and realistically leave us woefully short in both quality and quantity.

    • I absolutely agree that a team can’t carry several good-field, no-hit position players and expect the offense to be consistent enough to compete. But good pitching does not exist in a vacuum. Even good strikeout pitchers (starters, I mean) don’t strike out half of the hitters they face, or even half of the hitters they get out. Effective pitching is, in part, a function of effective fielding, and I’m not speaking of Billy’s spectacular catches so much as steady, competent execution. Dunn, as an example,played on unsuccessful teams when he was with the Reds. Yes, the pitching was pathetic, but the bad defense didn’t help it. By bad defense, I don’t just mean the obvious errors. I also mean the ball that somebody can’t quite get to that somebody else would have. Regardless of methodology, it’s impossible to predict accurately the results of something that didn’t happen, since, had it happened, it would have set in motion a chain of events that also didn’t happen, and which would have been subject to all of the fluky stuff that makes baseball so lovable.

  40. Also, anyone wish we had signed Cozart to the 3 year deal now? Just saw his stat line this year…..219/.296/.658. Love Cozart, but still bummed he got hurt right before last trade deadline as it appears he had a nice contract year going but is aging/regressing. I think it was the right call, and think Peraza will outperform Cozart over his contract (assuming no one else takes his place.)

    • No one was more enthusiastic about resigning Cozart than the Old Cossack. Cozart began the season on a strong, short-lived run, but has struggled since very early in the season. The injury was just just an exclamation point to a disappointing season for Cozart.

      The predictive data Steve presented proved prophetic. I’m glad Cozart got his payday, just gald it was not from the Reds.

    • Didn’t matter cause we held on to him to long to get any value for him.Can anybody say Scooter or Iggy?We hold on to long to the vets and never let the young guys play and will still lose 90+ for what is to be the fifth year in a row.

      • Do you think we would have gotten any value for Cozart when he was injured and hitting like Billy? At least he provided a needed bright spot last year.

  41. CBS Sports added a current top 50 with Suarez in the low 40s and Scooter at about 14. A good list overall but Arrenado sits at 11 for being so awesome. The disparity isn’t justified.

    Suarez’s numbers are identical and he has done it all with a dozen or so less games played.

    • Arenado deserves the accolades, even if his offense is buffered by playing for the ROX. His defense at 3B is other-worldly. Suarez will never get the respect he deserves while playing in Cincinnati, until he reaches Votto status later in his career and can’t be ignored by the national media.

      Scooter’s inclusion is encouraging. It’s about hype and perception. If the Reds are going to make a serious effort to trade high on Scooter and cash in on another spectacular waiver claim, more hype and higher perception is a good thing.

  42. From philly-herrera and nola for iggy,hamilton,harvey,and either reed or finnegan
    we get a #3 hitting cf with some power and a real starter for a top closer,a replacement cf,a potentially top of the rotation(potentially?)starter and a near mlb ready lh’d starter
    Good for both teams.

    • Didnt realize the years that herrera and Nola are having.Philly would never let these 2 go
      Sorry

  43. I am currently on assignment in an area where lots of places sell Dodger hats a very good prices. I nearly bought one Sunday but caught myself in the nick of time.

    However after reading this thread and being of the chasm between the Reds and being a good team, let alone a playoff team, I’m wondering if I should have gone ahead and bought a Dodger hat.

    • No. You shouldn’t have bought the Dodger hat. Don’t buy a Cubs hat, either.

  44. My dog is my favorite dog.
    My second favorite dogs are the Black Labador Retrievers.
    My third favorite dogs are the Golden Retrievers.
    My fourth favorite dogs are the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
    My fifth favorite dogs are the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.
    Chad, what is your favorite dog?
    Really liked your article today over at Cincy Mag. Only 7 steps? Hope to see you link it up here tomorrow and to see the responses.

    Thunder boomers in the forecast for tonight. Another sparse crowded will be the norm. Interleague games are hard to make up. Hope they get it in tonight.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Category

2019 Reds, Open Thread