You may have noticed, but I’ve struggled to write this column for the past couple months. If you didn’t notice, then good: I faked it better than I thought. I did miss a couple weeks though, and even I’ll admit I mailed in a couple ideas. It’s just … I got bored.

When the Reds traded away Yasiel Puig and Taylor Trammell, I realized that this team does not care about winning in the traditional sense of the word. They only care about winning in the “I’m going to trade this pen for a Ferrari one day” sense. That is, the Reds as a team are dumpster divers, proud when their finds turn out to not be garbage, not necessarily when they lead them to the playoffs.

To be fair, the Reds front office are pretty incredible dumpster divers. Eugenio Suarez, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Jose Iglesias, Derek Dietrich — all cast off valuables that the Reds shined up. Heck, three of those guys are some of the best at their craft in the league. That’s three cylinders of that Ferrari Bob Castellini so badly wants. Only problem is: Most Ferraris need 12.

As a fan, it feels good to gloat about those guys. “Well MY TEAM got Eugenio Suarez for the bloated corpse of Alfredo Simon,” we can say, satisfied that those who represent our interests are the smartest in the room. It’s a very human impulse after all, wanting to be the smartest. We puff our chests and sit a bit taller when we get a question right at bar trivia because our society has ingrained in us that intelligence is the most valuable of qualities. We fume and hide when our answer turns out to be wrong because no one wants to be the buffoon, the blowhard, the village idiot.

But again, these are incremental gains. While the Reds (and us as fans) have held our noses high for our excellence at the local watering hole, the Cubs, the Brewers, the Astros, and so many others are racking in the millions at Jeopardy! You see, being the smartest in the room is only impressive when you consider the competition. When Reds fans gloat about Suarez or Castillo or Iglesias, I can’t help but think, “Okay, we’ve done better than the Pirates. So what?”

The Astros know how to dumpster dive just like the Reds — think Ryan Pressley, Wade Miley, Charlie Morton, Gerritt Cole — but they also know how to walk through the front door and just buy the dang merchandise. They sign the Michael Brantleys. They trade for the Justin Verlanders and Zach Grienkes. They know you can’t cobble together a roster with only spare parts.

Yes, this final column of the season is another call for the Reds to spend money. Apologies, I know you’ve heard it before. But I want to say it again to discourage the idea that this current organizational philosophy is one worth supporting.

As long as the Reds are content to pretend to be the smartest in the room, then I won’t delude myself into thinking anything of playoff chances. I’ll remain content to cheer for characters like Puig and Dietrich. I’ll hope for Geno and Aristides Aquino to combine for 100 moonshots. And I’ll choose to stop watching every day, settling for two or three games a week, after the Trade Deadline when the Reds inevitably give up again.

Why do I not have hope for the Reds in 2020? Because Baseball Prospectus has already deemed Trevor Bauer the new Yasiel Puig. Because the Reds have already jettisoned their top prospect only to remain in a holding pattern so easily broken with a bit of cash. Because the Reds have given so few indications that they care, so honestly, why should I?

64 Responses

  1. Weigarp

    Politely, I disagree with you. The Reds FO has tried a different tact this year and though the product on the field has been frustrating, I finally see progress. You mention the Reds only have 3 cylinders of a 12 cylinder Ferrari. What team in ALL of baseball has 12? That makes your comparison useless. Trading the Reds top prospect TT? TT has disappointed the last two years. Maybe he will make a great MLB player, but there are signs he won’t. Comparing the Reds to the Astros is weak, too. The Astros window of success is going to be limited (though very successful). Do you think the Astros are going to add another $30 million pitcher (Garritt Cole) on top of the two they already have for next year. I’ll bet you a couple Reds seats for 2020 they won’t. Does that mean the Astros are cheap? C’mon. If the Red’s off season this year is as good as they did last year, then I’ll have even more hope for a better season in 2020.

    • greenmtred

      Most windows of success in MLB are limited, particularly if success is defined as being in the WS. TT has disappointed, but that can be taken as further evidence of the Reds’ futility–he was their top prospect, after all. Their modest improvement this year is not built primarily on a youth movement, nor on many players who are likely to be major contributors past 2020. Things can change, certainly, but I think Wesley has identified a major reason why–absent a change in FO philosophy and increased boldness and better player development–the Reds will, at best, hang at the fringes of competitiveness.

    • Mike

      I have to agree with Wes on this one. The Reds want to sit at the poker table and play but always fold their hand regardless of what cards they hold. They never have the nerve to go “all in”

  2. Tom Mitsoff

    I will politely disagree as well. The presumption that Trammell is going to be a star or even everyday major leaguer is flawed. He might be, but he also might not be. He struggled mightily at Class AA in the Reds system before the trade. I fully endorse trading a struggling Class AA outfielder for an established major league starter who is coming off a season in which he recorded a 2.21 ERA. If there is a pitching coach who can get Bauer back to that form, it is Derek Johnson.

    All of that being said, I will agree wholeheartedly that if the Reds don’t spend big this offseason, there’s not a lot of reason for optimism. Other than Suarez, there’s nobody in that daily lineup or on the injured list who strikes fear into opposing pitchers. Aquino could be a star, or could be another of the several also-ran outfielders currently on the roster. We still need to wait and see. Winker and Senzel are injured too often to be considered cornerstones, at least for 2020.

    This is year five of the “rebuild,” and it didn’t go according to plan. The Reds starting pitching for 2020, on paper, appears to be among the top handful of rotations in baseball. They have to get some established bats, regardless of position, or else that will be wasted.

    • jim walker

      I’m somewhere between you and Wes.

      Trammell became the top prospect because Senzel “graduated” and Hunter Greene was hurt.

      Also in TT the Reds were in a way revisiting the process they went through with Michael Lorenzen, trying to make a guy something that hadn’t been his primary gig up till the time the Reds drafted him. In Trammel’s case it was trying to make a guy who had primarily been a very big star football player and very good baseball guy into a topflight baseball player.

      Like they had done with Lorenzen, the Reds spent a valuable supplemental 1st round pick for TT (#35 overall); and, in TT’s case also paid over slot to buy him out of playing football for Georgia Tech.

      So, I see some of the dumpster diving DNA being played out at a high roller level on one hand while on the other I can understand why the Reds were willing to cash out on Trammell at this point. However, it seems like they didn’t get top value for him based on their investment.

  3. Steve Schoenbaechler

    They’ve inspired hope for me for 2020. The FO took the step to get rid of a horrible contract in Homer. They took the steps to fix our biggest weakness last season in the pitching, especially the starters.

    As with everything, the players still need to perform. The offense this season, with the exception of Suarez, was a horrible disappointment this year. A one year thing? A product of all the changes, needing time to adjust? Possible to fix? That’s still to see. However, I believe this front office, at minimum, are interested in fixing it.

    Also, for the vast majority of the season, if not still showing, the Reds have had one of the better “expected” W/L record in the NL. That tells you that the Reds are “in” a lot more games than they aren’t, that they just couldn’t get “over the hump”, a sign of a young team, which they are. This is something that can be fixed with simple experience for the younger players and/or bringing in some experienced FA’s.

    Now, my post here is for “right now”. Come February, after seeing what moves the FO has made, my outlook can very well change. So, we can only see.

    In general, I see the Reds needing to:

    1) Build the bullpen back up
    2) Getting some offense, especially OBP guys
    3) Get some development people and instructors in the minors, especially for the pitching. For, with an organization and market like this, the minors is going to have to be a part of the sustained success of this organization.

    Anyone can name some specific plans that would go towards these items. But, I don’t believe anyone can deny all 3 of these items, especially the first 2 items for 2020 success, need to be done.

    • Mike

      They are “in” a lot of games because of the pitching. They lose the majority of the close games because of a manager who can’t make out a decent lineup, burns out a bullpen, and double switches his way into a corner to where he has no bullets left at the games end. Any improvement next season hinges on firing Bell and getting a competent replacement

      • The other JB

        Mike My feelings exactly, the Reds have to win in spite of the manager. I’ve always believed that the manager didn’t make that big of a difference, but Bell has changed my mind.

      • Pete

        JB: my theory is in comparing competent managers: Baker, McKeon, Pinella, Davey Johnson you won’t see a tremendous variation in outcomes. Basically unqualified mangers are in a different group: David Bell and Bryan Price as examples. They aren’t in the same class as the former group and the Reds take a great risk hiring these guys – basically attempting to outsmart the rest of the league.

        The Reds FO is not sharp when it comes to running a baseball operation so they shouldn’t depend on developing young players or hiring novice managers. Only trade with bottom feeders: Tigers, Marlins, Orioles. Teams like the Dodgers, Yanks, Cubs, Cards will always stick us with very poor exchange value. In the Dodgers case, I think there is a good chance they also stuck us with a lousy hitting instructor – part of the Puig package. Dodgers know what they’re doing, our guys don’t – stay away from them.

      • Steven Ross

        Mike, we think alike. Good post. I just don’t see it with Bell. He was quoted in SF during May: it doesn’t matter where you bat in the lineup. I knew right then, we were in trouble. He has no clue on how to structure a lineup.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I won’t dispute your regards with Bell entirely, with one exception. The double switches, when done right, can be correct moves. For example, when the pitcher is due up the next time up, but the manager has to pull him:

        – if he only pulls the pitcher, then he would either be having that relief pitcher batting (you wouldn’t want that), or

        – he is going to be pinch hitter for that pitcher, still bringing in that secnd player but what would also cause even another relief pitcher to come in, using 3 players left on the roster for the game

        If the manager does a double switch, it’s only done with another player who just batted, and the new pitcher takes that batter’s spot in the batting order. The new player comes in at the pitcher’s spot in the batting order.

        Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen Bell screw up, also. But, I believe in a couple of things:
        1) You aren’t going to have Lou Pinella or Pete Rose stepping through that door to manage.
        2) People say they would love to see people like Barry Larkin or Eric Davis come in to manage. There’s nothing to say that they won’t be much better. Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan were horrible basketball coaches. There’s little correlation out there that states good players make good managers.
        3) If there are any competent managers out there, they probably already have jobs.
        4) The best managers have had to start somewhere at some time.
        5) The players still have to perform.
        6) I do believe that managers can contribute to winning, in all sports, including baseball. However, I do believe it’s a lot easier for them to contribute to losing than contribute to winning in baseball.

        Especially with #5, if we had the offense we had last season, I’m confident we would, at minimum be much closer to playoffs than this, if not in them. Now, could the season long slump be a factor of all the newness in the organization? Could it be the new coaching staff? Something else? Sure. So, I’m willing to give a waiver for this season.

        But, we all are watching. With new regimes, you first consider the players. If time shows they aren’t the problem, then you consider the coaches and managers. If time shows they aren’t the problem, then you consider the FO and ownership.

        I’m confident, after what moves the FO does this winter (given what we all saw last winter, we all should be assuming they are going to be active), if we don’t see a better club, then we will start to go through that process. Do we have the players? If the answer is yes, then we have to consider the coaches. If we change those, and still get the same result, then we have to consider the FO and ownership.

        I’m still not so sure about Ward and Bell myself, also. I’m looking at Ward first, since he’s the hitting coach. Granted, I felt we needed more OBP the entire time myself. But, this offense was definitely down from last year.

  4. Don

    Gray, Castillo and Disco are all in the top 28 in MLB for ERA, ERA+ and in the top 22 for WHIP.
    Even with his struggles with the Reds, Bauer is still in the top 50 if not top 40.
    Entire pitching staff is in the league top 9 for ERA, ERA+ and WHIP.
    Reds starting pitching has a 7.8 WAR, 4th highest in the league

    The Reds have 4 of the top 50 MLB starters in their 2020 rotation, this is what inspires me for 2020 potential.

    The team succeeded in the #getthepitching mandate for 2019. My recollection is that the analytical sites all had the Reds winning 75 to 77 games in 2019. They are on track for this range.

    The Reds need to score more runs per game in 2020 and maintain the same pitching stats.

    Without a change to the hitting approach, lineup planning and in game strategy for 2020 there will not be batting success regardless of whom the team signs or does not sign as a position player FA.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      The list of top free agent position players is relatively short: Grandal, Gregorius, Rendon, Ozuna, Castellanos and Josh Donaldson. Regarding the hitting approach, Turner Ward’s approach made the Dodgers a home run hitting machine. Clearly that’s been the approach here — hit the ball in the air and hope it flies out of the park. Situational hitting no longer exists. The hit-the-ball-in-the-air approach has worked for the Dodgers because they have better players.

      • SultanofSwaff

        Agreed. There’s too many strikeouts in our lineup as currently constructed. Without changes, the core of the lineup next year is Aquino/Suarez/Votto/Senzel, all of whom will exceed the 100 strikeout threshold with relative ease. Not that it can’t work (see Cardinals this year), but they have to be above average power hitters…..but then there’s the little matter of the playoffs, where that approach gets you bounced pretty quickly.

      • Linkster

        It’s interesting that the top two free agents on your list were former Reds. Of course, the Reds would have chosen not to spend money on them then as they won’t spend money on them now. The Reds need two big time FA hitters and one FA RP to have a chance.

      • Pete

        Tom with all due respect I give more credit to the “Dodger system” than Turner Ward. They haven’t missed a beat without him, in fact they’ve improved. To a man, all Reds hitters have lower wRC+ this year compared to last. All I can do is look at data and the data doesn’t support Turner Ward. He hurts the team in my opinion and I think the Dodgers took the opportunity to dump him on the Reds when they traded Puig.

        Suarez: 135>132
        Votto: 130>105
        Winker: 128>113
        Barnhart: 89>75
        Iglesias: 89>82
        Dietrich: 108>104
        Peraza: 96>61

        Other guys who seem to suffer under Turner, the deeper into the season the worse the performance: VanMeter, Senzel, Aquino, Ervin, Galvis.

        Where can we see objective evidence of Turner Ward’s good work? I dig but can’t find any. We need to be honest with ourselves.

      • Don

        Agreed that this is the new baseball but not all teams have the talent to win with the swing for the fences.

        Great coaches adjust strategy to their players skills and win.
        Bad coaches make players change their style and lose.
        Poor coaches stick around long enough to change the players on the roster to meet their styles and still lose.

        That is slim pickings for Free Agents.

        Grandal has a $16 mil mutual option and his expected market value (baseball referance) @ $10 mil so unless he wants out and the brewers do not want him, he is not going anywhere.

        Gregorius is a career 264 hitter with an OPS of 744 with a market value of $23 mil probably for 5 years. (Yankee hype lives) Probably out of Reds price range, Not much better than Iglesias or Galvis career offensive numbers. Would rather have Iglesias at 1/2 the price.

        Rendon has a contract market value of $32 mil per for 10 years. Doubt Reds can commit that much money and that length to one player.

        Ozuna (18 mil per for 3 years) and Castellanos (probably similar to Ozuna) are the one’s which I think the Reds should target. Strengthen the team hitting wise and weaken a division rival at the same time.

        This also assumes that Bell does not make them platoon players after they have 2 hit less games in a row against two right handed starters.

        Rather have Suarez and 3rd than Donaldson based on performance and age.

  5. SultanofSwaff

    I was looking at the Cubs/Cards/Brewers overall stats yesterday and frankly I came away wondering why they’re so much better because on paper we match up pretty well. Maybe that means we’re not that far off….that with a couple upgrades and some maturation (young players AND the manager) we’ll be in the thick of things. All 3 of the aforementioned teams will see more roster turnover than us for core players.

    But yes, I agree with Wes that it’s time to spend money and not fiddle at the margins. Hit or miss, at least it will be interesting. I used to thrive on the development process of how players/teams improve and kind of get bored when they enter the competitive cycle. Not anymore, too old to tolerate these long stretches of losing.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      The rebuild didn’t work, so there is a price to pay (high salaries for free agents) if the Reds seriously intend to compete. We’ll see what their intentions are.

    • jim walker

      Agree on the maturation process. The manager has to progress beyond seeing players as numbers on his spreadsheet. The players have to learn how to close out games they are in a position to win.

      I thought one of Senzel’s emerging strengths until he tired and otherwise lost his health was that he was starting to show an understanding of when games were on the line and reaching back for that extra little bit like a pitcher sometimes does. Hopefully he can return to health and lead the way on the position side.

  6. Klugo

    I hate to say it, but I am not inspired, optimistic, hopeful, Any of it.

  7. Ed

    I agree the last two months of anemic offense and wildly inconsistent pitching don’t bode well for next year, at all.

    The Gausman/Bauer/Wood starts really nailed the coffin on hopes of getting closer to .500 this year. But the run support has also been non-existent. We’ve now seen a couple hundred plate appearances from the young guys, and it’s been pretty unremarkable aside from Aquino. He seems to be able to get on base and, obviously, knock the ball out of the yard.

  8. Free Gouse

    Castellanos should be the target for this team in the offseason. Batting 3rd behind Joey will be good for this lineup. One thing the Reds have been good at this season is put up runs in the first inning but for some reason they will go dry for the rest of the game. Front office needs to figure this out and it starts next Monday.

  9. FreeHouse

    Nick Castellanos should be the target. One thing this team has been good at this season is scoring runs in the first inning. But after the first inning they usually dry out for the rest of the game. I really believe by having Nick Castellanos in the lineup next year really improves this offense by a lot. Forget about his defense GABP is a small ballpark anyway he’ll be fine in left field.

    • Colorado Red

      My top FA pick is Grandal.
      Catcher , SS are 2 of the biggest holes currently.
      Grandal would also help with framing the pitches.
      They also need to Use Iggy properly.
      Bell does not inspire me at all. He kept going to Dave H, and turned a close game into a blowout.
      Maybe it is a season of growing up, but you need to use players is situations they excel in. Not where they fail.

  10. ChrisMo

    The consensus opinion appears to be that the offense needs major money and FA bats to get better. I would like to suggest that, when healthy, the Reds have the bats to be competitive on the current roster. None are currently (2019) in the top 15 in OBP or OPS at their position, but they are for the most part young and should get better. They don’t have to get a lot better, just normal growth. My suggestion for next year’s roster. Outfield is Winker, Ervin, Aquino. Infield is Suarez, Galvis, Senzel, and O’Grady. Casali is catcher. Bench is Votto, Van Meter, Farmer, Barnhart. Current average OPS around .795. Lots of roster flexibility as O’Grady and Senzel can play OF, Farmer can play anywhere. I love Votto but old men cannot play ball (I just turned 50 in August and tore my rotator cuff as proof, albeit a small sample size of one).
    Offensively, from a statistics standpoint: Casali and Barnhart are equal. Galvis, Iglesias, and Peraza are statistically equal (Peraza way behind in defense metrics). Farmer has the worst OBP, but position flexibility and OPS makes him valuable. This leaves Blandino in AAA and Peraza released in my opinion.
    If an OF struggles/hurt, O’Grady can move to OF and Votto goes to 1B. If a second OF struggles/hurt Senzel can move to the OF, Van Meter goes to 2B. If everybody just plays to the back of their baseball card, with expected growth/improvement from the young guys, the Reds are solid young team with potential.
    The Reds don’t have to overspend on FA hitters to win. They need to make more contact with two strikes so they strike out less (weak contact is better than no contact most of the time). They need to improve the bullpen. A better catcher would be nice (baseballs equivalent of a unicorn).
    Something else to consider.
    The Reds have 21 blown saves, and 43 bullpen loses. St L has 17 blown saves, and 22 bullpen loses.
    St L has scored 56 more runs on the year than the Reds, and given up 50 less.
    St L won with better pitching than the Reds, and a statistically (OBP and OPS) similar offense.

    • CI3J

      Why is VanMeter a bench player to you? What else does he have to do to prove he can start every day?

      I say put JVM at 2nd base and LET THE KID PLAY.

      • Ed

        Well I’d say hitting the ball with some consistency would be a start, and his outfield defense leaves me questioning his glove. He’s alright but he’s not going to come into his prime within the window the team is dumping its money into quality pitching so it’s definitely a window for improvement.

      • ChrisMo

        CI3J – I like JVM a lot, but the Reds are not going to sit Senzel (1st rd pick) so that Van Meter (19th rd pick by Oakland) can play in 2020. They are both 24 yrs old, so they both have a real chance to be a major part of a good future Reds team. I could see NS at 3B and JVM at 2B in 2021-2024 timeframe.

      • Doc

        He has to hit more than .240. Part of that is how he was used, most likely, but he has to prove himself if used properly.

    • Mike

      Would not surprise me in the lest if the reds end up signing Hamilton and Strailey in the off season. Seriously, no quality free agent will sign here for fear of becoming a platoon player and no quality pitcher will come here to be yanked after five or six innings regardless of the game situation or pitch count. We are stuck with bobbleheads and Peraza for 2020. Makes me so sad.

  11. Optimist

    I tend to agree with the overall tone, and most of the comments, but wonder if we’re all missing the extremely unusual position the Reds are in? When was the last time they had this much pitching, both quantity and quality? Given what just happened to the Cubs, it proves the adage of always trade relievers – well, we’ve done that, and can continue to do so with little budget effect. As for SPs, sure, a big $$$ signing would be great, but it’s not really in the top 3 of the to-do list anymore.

    The other oddity is that the FA market for offense is pretty thin this off season, but one big budget trade for a bat could have a huge effect.

    Looking back, they were still multiple players away at the all-star break, but if they make one deal this off season, they may become buyers at the next break. When was the last time that happened?

    It could be done, but it remains an issue of trust.

  12. Seat101

    JD Martinez may be available this off-season as well. Right fielder first baseman would be his primary role.

    This is your one of a new regime at the front office. We’ve seen a lot of changes above the waterline and we read about a lot of changes below the waterline.

    This front office is different. From what we’ve been used to. Let’s just see what’s going to happen

    • jim walker

      Agree about the FO. Let’s see where they go. However, for me, the past puts them on a short leash especially since the pres of baseball ops was part of previous regime and has deep family ties to top levels of ownership.

      As I indicated here yesterday, I believe the FO is looking to building a sliding window where they are always possible contenders and then looking to capitalize on opportunities from season to season and within seasons.

      I like this approach because history tells us, teams often don’t get to pick when their best opportunities will because of internal and external factors beyond their control. Keep building. Try to be better each year than the year before to build toward opportunity. When opportunity presents go for it without worrying it might be a year too soon or disrupt the chances next year or the year after.

    • Doc

      I thought Martinez had lead hands. Not a given that he is an upgrade over Aquino, and Votto will be at 1B; anthing else for Votto in 2020 is dreaming.

  13. Chris Holbert

    There definitely needs to be some offensive and bullpen upgrades, young player maturity ill help with some of this, bu the young players need to be given the opportunity. Every young player is not automatically a platoon player. If that is the organization mentality, then they need to be better at developing. If that is not the philosophy, then someone needs to DB to get with the program. Multiple double switching, is a good game tactic for longer extra inning games, and has its uses in other scenarios, but every game every day, is not those scenarios. Players cannot get into the flow of the game. That goes for batting a different lineup everyday as well. Players are creatures of habit and very superstitious, change one thing for them , and it can mess with them.

  14. RedsFan11

    Need to get 2 of following 3: Grandal, Gregorious, Castellanos.

    Bobby has the money. Will he spend it?

    • Colorado Red

      Not so sure about Didi.
      I know he is coming of injury, but did not look that good.

  15. TR

    As a Reds fan I’m always hopeful, especially now that they have positive starting pitching. But to escape from the category of being just another average ML team, the Reds have to spend money to upgrade the offense in centerfield and catching. This means Lorenzen is not the regular centerfielder and Senzel goes to 2nd. base. A new approach to the offense is needed other than hit it in the air and we’ll win with homeruns. Which means a new hitting coach is needed. Go back to basic baseball with getting runners on base and scoring them with base hits, Pete Rose style.

  16. The other JB

    I don’t like the direction the reds are headed in , trading prospects away to be competitive in 2020 . What happens after 2020 ? The Reds can spend the money for the bats and they are still a borderline 500 club . The defense and poor fundamentals normally cost a run or two every game. The lack of situational hitting , kills the offense. The Reds need to clean house starting at the top. The hiring of a minority owners son to run the organization and promoting from within is not the answer.

  17. Jimmy

    I think the current reds FO is smart, capable, and are doing the best they can to make the best moves to put a contender on the field and fix the culture/ bad player development. The problem is they’ve got a lot of fixing to do, that takes time. Plus the reds are shooting a full court shot while teams like the yankees and dodgers are shooting free throws. They have to work from a disadvantaged position in every way imaginable.

    • Doc

      Sanity is not totally lost. Agree with your assessment. Can’t turn a barge around on a dime; can’t change a baseball culture overnight.

  18. Charles) Lackey

    Until ownership of the Reds change , then have the GUTS (REDS HAVE THE MONEY) to get some top notch players onboard and send the scrubs home.

  19. Tom

    I am sort of looking at glass half-full. Great that the Reds have a decent starting rotation. And, great that Suarez had another stellar season and Aquino has shown a lot of potential. They have a couple of arms in the bullpen in Garrett and Lorenzen. While Mahle has shown flashes of potential. The rest of the lineup and bullpen is a bunch of average players. Senzel, maybe if he figures it out the second time around and can stay healthy. Winker may be a key player. Someone who could be a high OBP guy with a little pop. Catcher, SS and 2B could all be upgraded. As could the back end of the bullpen. Can Stephenson make the jump from AA to plug the catching hole? What about Lodolo? Any chance he is ready sooner than later to be that LH SP in the rotation? Sure Castellanos would be nice, but many other teams are saying the same which will inflate his price. Not looking like the Braves or Astros rebuilds, but at least we are not the Pirates.

  20. RojoBenjy

    “Because the Reds have given so few indications that they care, so honestly, why should I?”

    They also give too many indications that they don’t have smarts to rebuild right even if they did care. After this season, i’m ready to say that:

    Bob Castellini = Mike Brown

    A businessman who thinks his own abilities to run a championship professional sports franchise are more than adequate. And too stubborn to admit that he is wrong.

    • Mike

      I think the Bengals and the Reds are both run the same. I agree with Rojo, both teams think a .500 season is good enough.

      • Droslovinia

        I disagree, but only to the extent that Brown is a true master at being a loser, who is in a class by himself. If the Reds had the budgetary equivalent (compared to the rest of their league) of the Bengals and still managed to be so consistently dreadful, maybe. But it’s not even close. Even this year, they’re about the equivalent of 7 wins on a 16 games season, and anyone who thinks the Bengals are going to win 7 games needs serious therapy.

      • Mason Red

        I agree totally. They’re both in it to make money which they have. That’s why I no longer go to the games.

  21. Roger Garrett

    I am sure I am in the minority but here goes.We had some success this year because we pitched better but our offense was exposed.We hope for but it rarely happens to develop can’t miss players in our minor leagues but that has to be a major focus if this team is to get better.In addition once guys reach the majors we must play them and must play them a lot to see what they can or can’t do.What concerns me more then anything is that we never seem to have a plan and either anoint them or throw them under the bus while at the same time hope others finally get it after 4 or 5 years of just being average or below average players.We discuss at length about Galvis,Iggy,Peraza and Tucker for example and all are just terrible hitters and would not start on any other team and we will probably see all start most if not all of the last 6 games.They may all be on the opening roster next year as well.Senzel,Winker/Ervin,AA.JVM and O Grady may just be better but already one or all of them have been tagged as can’t do this or can’t do that and none of them have a year’s worth of at bats in the big leagues.I understand the frustration but again their is no plan.The plan for my money and if it was my team would be simple.Get rid of what I know about,play what I don’t know about but not for 4 or 5 years,and sign some guys that can hit.Yes you will have to pay them but do we really want to see Iggy,Peraza,Galvis,Tucker and even DD on the 25 man roster on opening day.Just my opinion

    • Old-school

      I think the Reds have a plan and Jim hit the nail on the head. They want flexibility year to year with a sliding window. They don’t want huge long term contracts that paralyze the franchise if injury or aging past their prime hit early and often. Suarez and Gray and Iglesias are examples of high value players with reasonable calculated risk with modest durations that don’t extend past a players prime. Bauer has a high AAV but only for a year so low risk. Wood. gennett puig were iterations of the same. They didn’t work out but carry no obligations past the current year. I’d expect a similar approach in the off-season.

  22. citizen54

    I think the Reds were trying to sell high on TT so I’m fine with that trade even though I thought they could have gotten a bit more. The real stinker was the trade with the Dodgers.

    Bailey has more fWAR this year than Puig, Wood and Kemp and it really wasn’t a salary dumb because thne Reds had to pick up Kemp’s contract. What turns this trade into a trainwreck is that the Reds gave up 2 50FV players for one year rentals and Farmer. One of the 50FV players is a SS. I’m still shaking my head over this trade.

    • Jay Weigel

      Do you actually think Homer Bailey would have done well on the Reds this year? He wasn’t going to be a happy camper in Cincy and I believe his presence in the clubhouse would have been a negative. How they were able to jettison his contract to anyone was amazing to me. Now, it didn’t work out too well because of Wood’s injuries and how well the two prospects have done. Nonetheless, hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

      • citizen54

        If they really didn’t want Bailey they could have released him like they did with Kemp. No reason to give up prospects. The Dodgers didn’t really care about Bailey since they released him right after the trade. They wanted Downs and Gray.

        The deal still would have been a disaster even if Wood were healthy as you only have him for one year. Giving up 2 50FV prospects for one year of Puig and Wood and a bench player in Farmer makes no sense for a team that is rebuilding.

    • Indy Red Man

      They were hoping Puig would go off in gabp. Alot of people thought he would. He’s hitting .375 in September for Cleveland. Castellanos had the same kind of career numbers and he went off for the Cubs. Wood was really good a couple of years ago, but that was risky injury wise. We’ll see if these “prospects” turn out to be anything? Senzel was supposed to a monster while I never heard of Pete Alonso til this year. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Senzel doesn’t pull a Luck and just walk away in the next year or two. He rehabs more then Robert Downey Jr.

  23. citizen54

    Here is a glimmer of hope


    Aug 1 – present .885 OPS 131 wRC+
    Sep 1 – present .964 OPS 153 wRC+

    He’s actually an above average hitter this year now.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      It would be great if Votto could get that to carry over to the start of 2020. But he’s had terrible starts in both of the last two seasons, so figuring out a way to avoid the early-season hitting doldrums is one of his biggest challenges.

    • Indy Red Man

      No he’s not. Even if he was it takes a triple to score him from 2nd.

  24. Doc

    If the Reds shined up Dietrick, they used vanishing cream!

    • Indy Red Man

      Did he get more then 10 hits after that 3 hr game? I knew he was in trouble when he started talking about being in the HR derby, but had no idea he’d hit .170 the rest of the year.