Looks like the Reds have been sold:

Carl Lindner agreed Wednesday to sell the controlling interest in the Cincinnati Reds to a group of area businessmen, keeping baseball’s first professional franchise in local hands.

The group is headed by Robert Castellini, chairman of a Cincinnati-based produce company, and relatives of a family that owned the team from 1966-84.

The family sold control of the team to Marge Schott in the 1980s, setting up one of the club’s most turbulent periods. The Reds won a World Series in 1990 but were tainted by her repeated offensive remarks.

Under pressure from Major League Baseball, Schott sold her controlling shares in the team for $67 million to a group led by Lindner in 1999. The latest sale was set in motion last March, when three limited partners who owned 51.5 percent of the team’s shares indicated they wanted to sell.

Lindner said at the time that he intended to retain control of the team, which hasn’t had a winning season since it moved into Great American Ball Park in 2003.

The purchase price sets the value of the franchise at approximately $270 million. The sale must be approved by baseball owners before it can be finalized.

I’m not sure what to think of this at the moment. I’m happy that Lindner won’t be in control of the team’s finances any longer, but at first blush, I’m not sure the Reds are in a better situation. Looks like another owner without the big bucks to bring Cincinnati a consistent winner.

I hope my first impression is entirely incorrect.

6 Responses

  1. dfs

    Another owner without big bucks? Carl’s got the money, he’s just not putting it into the reds. There are few OWNERS with the financial resources available to Linder. Now…there is a difference between the owner’s cash position and the franchises cash positition.

  2. Glenn

    Let’s face it. No matter who owns the team, or how much money they have, new ownership has to have better baseball sense then has been shown by the front office lately. Devil’s right. The Reds need to spend their money, much more wisely than they have in the past. Uncle Carl would sometimes come up with the bucks, as he did with Griffey and Milton. Griffey got hurt. That’s no one’s fault. Its just the risk you take in pro sports. Milton on the other hand was not a well thought out situation. A flyball pitcher in a home run park. That 25 mil contract has really hurt the team. Jimenez and Graves’s contracts weren’t thought out by rocket scientists either.
    The short of it is that the new owners have to be smarter with their money. That means holding OB’s feet to the fire for results on the field.

  3. Ken

    Hey, even the Aurillia pick-up worked out alright. But the real problem – and it has been for years – is the farm system. The Reds have simply not developed quality pitching, and this goes back to well before Carl or Dan took the reins. Who was the last quality starter to come out of this organization and stay here for some time? Tom Browning? Until the Reds develop some arms it will be near impossible to compete because it forces you to take risks on the FA market (Milton, Ortiz, Wilson, etc.).

  4. Pirsig

    It’s not the money spent, but how spent. Have we learned nothing from the last World Series? The White Sox are not a big payroll team – they’re a smart team.

  5. Joel

    But good teams don’t pay for past performance, they pay for future performance. The Reds paid Wilson $3.6 million in 2005 (and another $3.75 in 2006) even though they admitted to knowing that he had a torn labrum. So, they committed $8 million to an injured player with an ERA+ of 92 for the four previous seasons. At best, they could’ve expected him to be a slightly below average pitcher. At worst, well, I think we saw the at worst scenario.

    The Reds signing of Wilson was as much a PR move as it was a baseball move. He was arguably the best pitcher on the team in 2004, but that’s not saying much. And given the high injury risk that he brought with him, I just don’t see how he was ever worth $4 million.