In today’s Contracts for the New Core post, we’re going to shake things up a bit by talking about a player not currently in the Red’s organization. After all, most teams who win the World Series do so after making some pretty big moves. While I don’t think it’d be impossible to build a championship team without signing or trading for any big names, the likelihood of it happening is slim.

So, when I took a look at the free agent market for the 2018-2019 offseason, I tried to match up the strengths of the market versus the weaknesses of the current Reds team. What the team is missing is a second (or third, depending on your opinion of Eugenio Suarez) bonafide offensive star to play alongside Joey Votto. Just take a look at the last few World Series champions, and the big names in their lineups: Altuve/Correa/Springer, Bryant/Rizzo/Báez, Hosmer/Cain/Pérez. I like Tucker Barnhart as much as the next Reds fan, but Votto/Suarez/Barnhart just doesn’t really do it for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I think this current Reds team is more than capable of creating a playoff worthy offensive output. And if the plan is going to work, the team will definitely need more pitching. But looking at the lineup, where potential holes are, one thing is for certain:

Votto/Machado/Suarez is right in line with the trios listed above.

Could the Reds really go sign Manny Machado? The answer is simple: sure they can! It’s been a while since the last bonafide star has signed in Cincinnati. In fact, you probably have to go all the way back to Dave Parker in 1983 to get to someone who even approaches the skill level of a Manny Machado type free agent. Reasons for this (money) are just excuses. The Reds have said themselves that the point of running a small payroll over these last few seasons has been to build a “war chest”. What better way to spend the war chest than to get a young face of the franchise shortstop with one of the best bats in the league?

Oh, there will be competition. Yes, that’s for certain. The buzz and interest around teams trying to secure Machado for just the rest of 2018 is arguably the most prominent news topic in the MLB right now. If that many clubs are interested in acquiring his services for a few months, think about the interest he’ll garner on the free market. It’s gonna be insane.

The Reds will not only have to pony up the money to get Machado, but they’ll also need to convince him that Cincinnati is the best spot for a young baseball player to be in. Despite the national media’s opinion of the Queen City, it’s actually not a bad spot for a young start like Machado. Yes, of course, there’s the low pressure media. It’s been a haven for Joey Votto, who earlier in his career was about as awkward in front of a microphone as you could be.

But the park is a hitter’s dream, the team itself is rich with history, and a long line of helpful ex-stars like Pete Rose, Barry Larkin, and Ken Griffey Jr. who could offer advice to the young man should he need it. Not to mention Votto’s presence in the clubhouse, which you’d have to think is a driving factor behind the lineups lofty positioning in the team OBP rankings this season.

Let’s say all of that is enough to get Manny interested. Then, it comes back to the money. What is Manny Machado worth on the free market? What are some comparable contracts we’ve seen in the past? Let’s dive in

Eric Hosmer

The 2017-2018 offseason was a strange one for free agents. Lacking a real generational talent, we saw teams play the long game, refusing to sign anyone early, instead waiting to see what interest was like for the top available players before striking a deal.

Depending on who you ask, Eric Hosmer was one of the better free agents available last offseason. He signed the largest contract, signing for 8 years and $144MM. It’s also the biggest signing in Padre’s franchise history, and provides a glimmer of hope for Reds fans. The Padres are hardly the Yankees or Red Sox, and are on track for yet another losing season. But, the premier free agent talent saw something there, and decided to sign a long term contract. Let’s break it down:

The contract itself is interesting: Hosmer gets an opt-out after five seasons, alongside three player options for $13MM each in years 6, 7 and 8. Those values are all lower than the $20MM/year through the first five seasons of the contract. So, if Hosmer rakes through those first five seasons, and thinks he can get another $20M multi-year extension elsewhere, or if he’s unhappy in San Diego, he’s free to leave. Also of note: the first three seasons include a full no-trade clause, with the remainder of the contract featuring a limited no-trade clause. Combined with the lesser salary on the back end of the deal, Hosmer should be a pretty tradeable asset down the line.

The signing took place after Hosmer’s best season as a pro, in which he hit .318/.385/.498 for the Kansas City Royals, putting up 4.1 WAR. That, of course, is chump change to Machado’s average of 5 WAR per full season. As far as monetary value goes, I think everyone would agree that this is the low-end for Manny Machado. However, it’s good to keep in mind the fact that this was the biggest contract handed out in last year’s wacky offseason, just in case this next offseason is just as wacky.

Giancarlo Stanton

If Hosmer’s contract is the floor for Machado, Stanton’s is the glass ceiling. Currently the largest contract in professional sports, Stanton signed a 13-year(!), $325MM(!!) extension with the Miami Marlins in 2015. It’s a whale of a deal, so let’s take a look at the numbers:

The deal includes a player opt-out after the 2020 season, preceding 7(!!!) player option years, and finally ending with a team option in 2028(!!!!). It’s also filled with incentives, ranging anywhere from a $50k Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, or All-Star bonus, to a $100k MVP bonus, which Stanton was able to cash in at the end of last season.

The funny part about this contract is that we should all expect Manny Machado to sign for even more than this. He’s the kind of player who becomes the best player on all but a few teams the day he signs a contract. Speaking of a team’s best player…

Joey Votto

If the Reds are serious about signing Manny Machado, they’ll obviously need to take a good hard look at their finances. A Machado deal will almost certainly place him at the top of just about any team’s ledger, including the Reds. The man at the top right now, making an average of $25M a year, is Joseph Daniel Votto.

We all know the story. In April of 2012, Joey Votto signed the largest contract in Cincinnati Reds history, agreeing to a 10-year, $225MM extension. It essentially locked Joey Votto into being a Red for life, as the contract features a no-trade clause and only a lone club option in the 2024 season. It’s hard to believe that next season will be the halfway point of this contract. Votto has done nothing but earn every dollar he’s been paid, which is incredible in its own right.

But, to get Machado, the Reds will need to be willing to outpay their star player. I don’t think there will be any ego issues with Votto, but it will be the most significant investment for the Reds in the history of the ballclub. For that, you need to be sure Manny Machado will be worth every penny, much like Votto was and is.

Let’s Get Manny

So what should the Reds be willing to shell out for Machado? You all might want to sit down for this one…

This is actually on the low-end for what some reporters are claiming Machado will sign for this offseason, but I just don’t see it. We haven’t touched at all on his disappointing 2017 season, in which he hit just .259/.310/.471 over 690 games. Manny definitely seems to be back on track in 2018, already having eclipsed the 2.5 WAR he put up in 2017. However, to shell out big time money to a guy who might someday turn back into that 2017 version of himself is a pretty big risk. If you’re going to give someone the largest contract in sports, you need to be sure he’s going to perform.

And that’s exactly what this contract is. $375M would be the new bar for professional sports, as far as total value of a contract goes. The Reds would have $65M tied up in two players through at least 2025, which is obviously uncharted territory for this club.

But let’s not think about that. Let’s think instead about a Votto/Senzel/Machado/Suarez infield. It doesn’t hurt to dream, right?

What do you guys think? Is Machado worth the money? Would you rather see the Reds go after Bryce Harper? Sound off in the comments!

68 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    A $375MM contract for Manny Machado from the Reds? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no.
    Not even if Manny brings Yonder Alonso’s beautiful sister along with him.
    Pass on Manny. Hard, hard pass on Harper.
    I’d rather trade Hunter Greene and Taylor Trammell and Tony Santillan for Francisco Lindor.

    • Reaganspad

      I do not want to trade any of those 3.

      I’ll play these

      Lindor is a great counterpoint though

      • WVRedlegs

        Yeah, I would hate to trade hose 3. They would probably be just a component to such a trade. It wuld take more. But it would only come from getting a player of Lindor’s caliber.
        Every time the Reds play Cleveland I come away more impressed with Lindor.
        Lindor is 24 and has three arbitration eligible years after this year. It would have to come with the caveat that Lindor would sign a new contract for those 3 arb. years and 3 or 4 free agent years. That would make it more worth it to part with those prospects. Couldn’t do the deal without that. It would be cheaper than $375MM. 7 years and $140M to $150M maybe gets it done. You could go $5M, $10M, $20M, $25M, $30M, $30M, $30M. Lindor is making $675,000 in 2018. Takes Lindor through his age 31 season.
        Cleveland has 10 free agents at season’s end (Brantley, Allen, Miller, Carraso, Chisenhall, Tomlin, Guyer, McCallister, Davis, and Belisle) and frees up $57M in salary for the Indians.
        Cleveland will have at least 6 free agents after the 2019 season (EE, Kipnis, Kluber, Alonso, Gomes, and Otero) that frees $76.M salary for 2020.
        That is over 3/5 of 25 man roster Cleveland could face turnover with. Most Cleveland won’t seek to re-sign. But the ones they will attempt to sign will be very expensive. Kluber, Carrasco, maybe Brantley, and Gomes.
        Cleveland is going for it this year so those pending free agents after this year won’t be traded. Probably the same next year. And Cleveland could find itself in a quandary next year if they are AL Central leaders. They won’t be ale to trade Kluber, EE, Kipnis, Alonso or Gomes if they are making a world series run. So where will their infusion of talent come from for 2020? They may have to sacrifice a star today to strengthen for tomorrow.
        Dilson Herrera and Peraza could also be part of the package as the Indians need a 2B. And they have a SS in the minors in Yu Cheng Chang.

  2. Westfester

    I would rather not have a repeat of the Griffey contract. That deal consigned the Reds to a garbage rotation for a decade because they couldn’t afford anyone, other than Dumpster Fire GOAT, Milton.

    • Brock

      Don’t blame Griffey’s contract for them not paying for pitching. Carl Lindner definitely had the money to shell out for more pitching, he just didn’t do it and was more interested in maintaining a bare bones operation than putting together an actual winning ballclub.

  3. wkuchad

    There is no way I do this. If this turns out to be a bad contract, the Reds are screwed for years. We’re just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel; this could be a one way ticket right back into darkness.

    I think your view of offense is flawed. It’s not about a team’s two or three best hitters. It’s about a team’s eight best hitters. We already have a solid offense. Replace our two worst hitters with above average hitters, our offense is potent enough without taking this risk.

    I’d love an upgrade at CF and possibly SS, but I would do it via a trade. The Reds have one main weakness keeping us from the playoffs, and that’s starting pitching. Our offense is good, young, and somewhat cost controlled. Get pitching ASAP and improve CF and we’re set/ready!

    • da bear

      Amen to that. Thinking ‘big three’ is thinking in NBA terms where fewer players matter. The Kansas City Royals were not about any three batters. They were about all 8, plus speed guys off the bench, plus a SHUT DOWN bullpen, plus capable starters that got over the hump with the addition of JOHNNY CUETO….who didn’t need to get them to the post season since that was never in doubt, but it was his performance in post season (other than when the ump squeezed him in Toronto) that got them RINGS.

      A small revenue team already has 25% of player cost tied to one player (dumb in and of itself….no small revenue team should pay more than 1/6 or even less of its payroll to one player. Not even Ohtani or Mike Trout. No no no no no.) and another 20% wasted on another player.

      Be smart like Oakland and Tampa Bay.

  4. Klugo

    Offense really isn’t the problem with this team. Even with BHam. It’s pitching and defense. I’ve thought of what an upgrade at C would do for us, but Barnhart is good defensively and good enough offensively. Hamilton is the gaping hole, but this team is scoring plenty with him. And you’re not gonna find a better defender or baserunner. So, I’m kinda coming around on keeping him. I even think we have a pretty good bench in place with Herrera, Duvall, Peraza, and backup C. What this team needs is pitching, pitching, and more pitching.

  5. RedWard

    I agree with the others. Pass on this. Offense is not the problem. Sure, upgrades at a couple of positions would help, but starting pitching is the issue. Trade assets for two rotation pieces and let’s see what happens.

  6. Hanawi

    The problem is that Machado is already terrible at defense this year at SS. No way he stays there long-term, which then puts him in conflict with your best player at 3B. I’d rather they throw a bigger deal at Corbin and upgrade the rotation. Not sure what he would cost but I would overpay for a 3-4 year deal.

  7. Redlegs64

    Pitching, pitching, pitching!

    Harvey & Disco are what has created this turn-around in Redsland. And it will be continued solid pitching that leads the Reds to the playoffs. I’d much prefer we build around some smart, medium-term pitching contracts & depth to supplement our nice, young core.

    I’d like to see an article listing the FA arms that will be available in the off-season.

    • MG 2

      Would also love to see an article on potential FA or trade-target pitchers.

  8. Hanawi

    Also, given what Stanton got in return when the Marlins traded him, I don’t think anyone is going to give Machado that deal. Teams have gotten too smart. I could see someone giving him 35-40 million but only on a 3-4 year deal. Long-term deals he would have to look lower.

  9. Jason Linden

    I think this is interesting. I agree with the commenters who say offense is not really an issue. I made my own push for a starting pitcher a few days ago.

    However, on that note, I think it’s important for everyone to thin about what is realistically possible.

    Is it realistically possible, for instance, for the Reds to sign Machado? yes.
    To trade for Syndergaard? Yes
    To trade for Lindor? No. The Indians would never deal him for prospects. They are in the middle of their window right now and it makes no sense for them to deal one of their best players unless it makes them immediately better at the MLB level.

    As for the money? The Reds need to make a splash. They have it and they should use it. If we’re talking about Machado, I’d point out that his “bad” year was largely the product of a dip in his BABIP, which was almost certainly random.

    Sure a deal might not work out sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. But we also need to pay attention to different factors. Someone brought up Griffey, for instance. Griffey was 30 when he came to Cincy. Machado would be 26. Those four years make a huge difference. Griffey averaged 7.4 WAR in the four years before he came to the Reds. You have to look at those years or you’re comparing apples to oranges.

    • da bear

      The point of being in business is making money….or in the case of professional sports ownership, to last long enough until the next idiot comes along looking for a trophy sports franchise on the mantel case. You won’t last long throwing away dumb money at one player in a game that takes 15 to 18 solid players to win….you’d go broke.

    • Joe McManus

      Great points. I think it’s also important to remember that investing in offense seems to be much safer than investing in pitching. If we could pull off signing one of the league’s best hitters while he’s entering his prime, we can move prospects for those top of the rotation arms. Paying heavy for pitching seems to be incredibly risky to me.

    • Klugo

      You make a good point in that the organization has been “saving, saving, saving”. It’d be nice to see them dig deep into their pockets to acquire a couple missing pieces, namely pitching. However I would be wary of going big long term. Pitching health is so fickle. Getting strapped big long term with injured players will be crippling to the rebuild. I think we are close. I was not saying that 2 months ago. Not even close.

    • REDLEGS64

      Jason – your article on “Time to Find an Ace” was timely.

      And yes, while many rightly point out that pitcher’s health is more risky than every-day player health – you gotta have it to compete.

      Teams like the Cubbies & D-bax have focused on solid pitching without $300M, 10+ year deals. Arizona has made themselves competitive with trades for Patrick Corbin & Robbie Ray for less than $10M (D-bax were in the bottom 5 ML pitching just 3 years ago). The Cubs obviously spend a bit more. Lester & Darvish together total $280M over 6 years – but that’s two horses every 5 days (Darvish will return). Jose Quintana is an excellent example of a pickup that gives quality starts – and possibly a year or two from ace-status.

      Maybe these names aren’t as glitzy as Manny or Giancarlo, but the push to be playoff-competitive needs to be balanced with busting the bank for a single player. If the team looks to have a real shot at a world series, then it’s time for a blockbuster deal – but we’re still a ways from that reality.

      • SF Reds Fan

        I would push back on the D-Backs based on the 6 yr $206m Grienke contract that is paying him $34m this year.
        They went big to make the improvements they have made (and Grienke has not necessarily delivered).

    • WVRedlegs

      Linden, anything is possible. Actually, the Indians window of opportunity closes at end of 2019 season with 16 players’ contracts ending in 2018 (10) and 2019 (6). The Indians could lose a lot of key players here and will need some talent to replace all of these players. More talent than they currently have in the high minors. It is going to take a boatload of money to just re-sign 4 or 5 of the best of those 16 for the Indians. And it is going to take a boatload of money to extend Lindor.
      Lindor would have to be a winter time trade, not a mid-season trade. Come this winter, or even next, the Reds have the pieces to package to make a run at Lindor.

  10. Bill

    There is no way the Reds sign Machado. More importantly there is no way the Reds should spend $400 million on him. Would Machado at SS make the lineup better? yes Would the Reds be able to afford anyone else? probably not Could the Reds use that same $40 million more effectively on getting multiple starting pitchers? Yes

    Payroll will increase in the coming years, but how much will the Reds have to spend? Getting rid is the Mesoraco contract will help next year. The Bailey contract the following year will be a huge help. Votto’s contract is not going any where. Suarez and Barnhart are signed to friendly deals. Lettting Scooter and Hamilton go will save a good amount of money, but others will be getting arbitration money that offsets much of that. There is probably room for $40 million spending on free agents just getting rid of the Bailey and Mesoraco contracts after next season. Spending that $40 million on one guy just doesn’t seem like the best use of resources. Plus we would have to listen to all the complaints that Machado isn’t worth $40 million a year and never hits when it counts. That alone is reason enough not to sign him

  11. jonrox

    “We haven’t touched at all on his disappointing 2017 season, in which he hit just .259/.310/.471 over 690 games”

    Not the best rate stats, but four games per day can really wear you thin

    • Jack

      Lol. The guy is a gamer. Crap Ernie Banks only wanted to play 2 . Manny played 4 every day?

  12. davemoorewvu

    I would love for the Reds to be able to sign Machado. If you could guarantee me that it wouldn’t cripple the organization for the next several years, I’m in..

  13. Grand Salami

    He’s a great player but this team isn’t built to sink more than one superstar contract into the payroll at this time. 2 of their 3 all stars were secured on the cheap and the other was home-grown.

    I would agree with others that Jr. was big FA splash (bigger than Parker) but that was a bit of the old home cooking to lure him back.

    It’s so tempting but you gotta believe you can make those dollars work harder by smart SP signings and get more WAR on a dollar per dollar basis than sinking it all into Machado. Those figures would require him to maintain his career numbers at minimum to call it a decent return.

  14. davemoorewvu

    And I don’t think anyone will ever get a Stanton type deal again. I may be wrong, but I believe those days are gone.

  15. jreis

    I am happy with peraza at short. he is going to be a guy that will give you 180 hits, 30 sb a year. I feel he is a guy too that can give you some pop in the lead off position too. I think his defense will improve with time as well. seems to be a hard worker and is durable as well.

    I would rather have the reds spend money on more relief help and another starter.

    • Bill

      i’m ok with Peraza at SS for now, but I don’t think he has earned the lead off spot and he definitely isn’t going to provide power

    • REDLEGS64

      I am also in the Jose Peraza camp! The young man is learning and playing hard. I’ve said it numerous times – Zach Cozart didn’t become the player he turned into overnight. Will he provide power – that’s tough to say, but may not be necessary if he can improve OBP and play solid defense.

      My unofficial prediction – Senzel will play CF for the Reds.

      I agree w JREIS – if we bolster the young starting pitching, we can only improve. And a quality reliever is always needed over the marathon of a season.

  16. Joseph M Barrett

    Whoever the Reds target in pitching trade or free agent, they better do their due diligence. A quick look on shows that our starters are all near the top in home runs given. Whoever we get better limit the long ball. No Milton 2.0 please.

  17. Rich H

    Yeah, gotta agree with everyone, I’d say no. The Reds already have (I think) the most offensively productive infield in the NL. The team as a whole is 2nd in OBP, 9th in OPS, and 8th in runs in MLB. I’d much rather spend that money on SP.

    Playing Machado at SS really caps his upside, or at least it has this year. While he’s been about a 7 WAR guy at his best, he’s on pace for 4.8 this year (despite his best offensive year to date) because he’s on pace for -2.8 defensive WAR instead of 2-4 positive at 3B. Jose Peraza is on pace for 2.4 WAR this year. I know we could probably assume some improvement from Machado defensively, but we can also probably assume some overall improvement for Peraza as well.

    I believe league average for FA signings is about $6mil/WAR, and Machado would have to drastically improve at shortstop to make that worth it. And even if he did, I don’t think the differential between him and Peraza is worth it. Especially considering that there’s roughly 3-5 WAR/year difference between good Gio Gonzalez/Patrick Corbin/Lance Lynn years, and the bottom two spots in our current rotation. I think signing two of those guys for less overall money and shorter contracts adds WAY more value and flexibility. Spend that kind of money on Clayton Kershaw, or *maybe* even a bit less on Harper (don’t like that either), but not Machado. We have too many good infield big leaguers and prospects for it to make sense.

  18. Nate

    No Thanks. I want to see money spent on pitching and or a top tier outfielder. I don’t think Bryce Harper is top tier.

    • Phil

      I’m not suggesting the Reds should try to sign Bryce Harper, and agree that they shouldn’t spend the kind of money that will likely be necessary to sign Machado.

      I’m curious though, who is a “top tier” outfielder if Harper isn’t.

      Since he came into the league in 2012 at the age of 19, Harper has the 4th most fWAR among outfielders with 28.8 (Trout has 60.8, McCutchen with 34.8 and Stanton at 30.3).

      In 2017 he only played in 111 games due to injury but still finished tied for 8th in fWAR with 4.9.

      He has struggled this season, relative to what is expected of him, but some of that is driven by a career low 224 average on balls in play and he still has a 120 wRC+ and is on pace for 3 fWAR. The 120 wRC+ is #25 among outfielders this season. So even arguably the worst half-season of his career, he is a top-25 outfielder at the plate.

      Again, I am not saying the Reds should sign Harper or Machado. Unless you think that his numbers this season are going to be the new normal going forward though, I don’t see how Harper isn’t a “top tier” outfielder.

      • Jack

        Trout is the only “player” who is worth that money. 5 tool player and lights out better than the next guy .

    • Bill

      Harper is really having a down year, which should bring his price down, just probably not enough. I am not sure what the reasoning behind it is, but he shouldn’t be declining due to age. It does raise some warning flags

  19. Ghettotrout1

    Hell na! LOL I’m with everyone else. I would much rather throw money at a few pitchers. I would try to get Dallas K, Corbin, Lynn, C Morton….. one or two of those guys preferably with Dallas as the main get. I don’t think our offense is the problem and I also think with the farm the way its looking you have many more projectable hitters in the minors than pitchers.

  20. Jack

    Terrible defensively. Ranks as one of the worst in MLB. I think in DRS only Blackmon is worse. Orioles fans are already tired of his lazy act running to first. You could get 2 quality players maybe all stars at his price. And let’s not get into the Syndegaard thing. The guy cant stay on the field. Hey maybe we should try to get Strasburg in a trade. There is another guy who cant stay healthy.

    • REDLEGS64

      I agree – personally I think deGrom is the better of the Mets arms.

  21. Mike Adams

    If the Reds are going to commit that kind of money, it should be for an ace starting pitcher.
    But I don’t see how they could do that.
    It is the rich teams (Yankees, Dodgers, Boston, etc.) that set the bar for most expensive contracts.
    It is impossible to do with certainty, but the only way the Reds should commit that kind of money is for a sure-thing league ace, top 10 starting pitcher.

  22. CI3J

    Would you like to sign Manny Machado for free? No, really! Here’s how you do it:

    Step 1. Move Suarez to SS
    Step 2. Put Senzel at 3B

    Oh, whoops, didn’t mean to mislead like that. But think about this: Machado is putting up a 163 OPS+ in his age 25 season. Suarez is putting up a 161 OPS+ in his age 26 season. All things considered, they are nearly identical offensively. As bad as Machado is defensively, I have a hard time believing Suarez would be any worse at SS.

    If Senzel pans out the way most think he will, he will probably be a ~150 OPS+ player fairly quickly, which would just about replace Suarez’s production at 3B. At 2B, keep Scooter, or trade him and let Herrera/Peraza man 2B. Long and India are also in the pipeline and coming soon.

    This team does NOT need more infielders. They already have elite infielders at 1B, 2B, and 3B, and will add another when Senzel finally arrives. What they need is a CENTERFIELDER and PITCHING.

    Signing Machado is kind of fun to think about, but practically speaking it makes no sense for this team. It would be akin to signing Freddie Freeman. Is Freeman a great player? Yes. Do the Reds need him? No.

    • TonyCMH

      I would add why not put Senzel in CF and fix the worst bat in your lineup. If he’s athletic enough the Reds thought he could play SS, or was at least worth trying there. I’d think he’d be athletic enough to play CF. Peraza is already a better hitter than Hamilton and is showing improvement with the bat. They can carry one all glove/no hit player, and this would get all your best bats in the lineup. Then go spend the $40 million/year to upgrade the starting pitching, or save it and use it a few years down the road to keep these guys around when you have to pay them in arbitration/free agency.

      • CI3J

        Or how about this:

        Peraza to CF
        Suarez to SS
        Senzel to 3B
        Scooter at 2B

        Peraza is certainly fast enough to play CF, and Billy made the transition from SS to CF with rousing success. The only thing I don’t know is if Peraza has the arm to play there, but Billy’s arm seemed to improve after making the move to where I’d say it’s now a + tool for him.

        I really think Suarez to SS is the one move that needs to be made, as it would have a domino effect and solve a lot of problems going forward. But it will probably never happen and the Reds are going to trade Scooter to open 2B for Senzel. And where does that leave Herrera?

        I just wish the team would experiment more. They are still in the twilight of the Rebuild. Isn’t this when they should be trying things before the games really start to matter?

  23. Matthew

    No, we need pitching and an outfielder. 1 or 2 average hitters to replace the below average ones.

  24. Redgoggles

    No. If the money is available, I would prefer to get 2 stud SP and 1 quality LH RP. As stated many times over, the offense is – and will be for the foreseeable/controllable future – fine. How quickly and effectively the front office can shore up the rotation will dictate the end of the rebuild.

    • Redgoggles

      And as a small related sidenote, I’m not convinced that the Reds will be able to convince any quality FA pitchers to sign in to Great American Bandbox without overpaying.

      • I-71_Exile

        I’m not sure how much that matters. If the pitcher feels they are on their last long-term deal, then the numbers beyond the contract don’t hurt so much.

      • Streamer88

        Unless they are chasing greatness. Cooperstown, etc. ERA+ should account for GABP but people are still using RBIs as an individual statistic around baseball, so there’s that to deal with.

  25. Kap

    My free agent wish list:

    * Gio Gonzalez- 3 yr./40 million

    * Aj Pollock- 4 yr./ 50-60 million

    * Charlie Morton or Ervin Santana- 2 yr./ 25-30 million

    * Nathan Eovaldi- 4 year/ 30-40 million

    * Drew Pomeranz- 1 year/ 10 million

    I’m not saying get all of these guys. I’m just saying. These are my top free agents signings. Patrick Corbin, Carlos Carrasco, Dallas Kuechel are all better pitching options surely, but they be a little rich for the Reds. They cannot go too wild in free agency, because of arbitration raises coming soon.

    • redfan4life

      no on Pollock. Great player but he can’t stay healthy.

    • Shchi Cossack

      I’m not sure the market for Pollock will support a 4-year/$50MM contract. Last off-season was a real eye-opener for players on the wrong side of 30 and Pollock has a serious issue with durability.

      DL Jun 1, 2014 to Sep 2, 2014
      DL Apr 2, 2016 to Aug 26, 2016
      DL May 15, 2017 to Jul 4, 2017
      DL May 15, 2018 to Jul 2, 2018

      That’s significant downtime on the DL in 4 out of 5 seasons, including this season heading into FA. An OPS+ of 85 in 2016 & 100 in 2017 is also worrysome, despite his 141 OPS+ this season. I’m all for signing Pollack to play CF until the young OF prospects start banging on the MLB door, but not for $50MM over 4 years.

      • Kap

        Agree. Durability is a major issue with him but his on field production is very solid. Plus the fact he can play centerfield adds to his value. 3 years for 30-35 million a year seems better

      • CI3J

        He will be 31 next season, which is usually the age when decline starts to accelerate. For a player that’s already having trouble staying healthy during his peak years, do you want to take a chance on him during his decline years?

        No, Pollock is old news now. The Reds need to think younger.

  26. TonyCMH

    Interesting, but don’t the Reds already have a big three? For comparison here’s the wRC+ of each team’s big trio over the 2017 and 2018 seasons

    Votto/Suarez/Gennett – 156/132/130
    Votto/Suarez/Winker – 156/132/129
    Altuve/Correa/Springer – 154/143/128
    Altuve/Correa/Bregman (the actual best 3 in Houston) – 154/143/136
    Bryant/Rizzo/Baez – 142/120/111
    Hosmer/Cain/Perez – 135/115/91
    Hosmer/Cain/Moustakas (the actual best 3 in KC) – 135/115/112

    You can pick Gennett or Winker as the third depending on whether you’re planning for now or 2 years from now when Gennett may not be with the team. But the premise of the article is that you need a big three like those other teams, so go sign Machado for $40 million/year to get a big three. But the Reds already have three players that match or exceed the examples given in the article. Just seems like a hastily or sloppily put together article to suggest they need a big three like the other teams and then not even look at the three best batters on each team to see how they compare? I think the conclusion should have been, that the Reds have a big three, so put that money into another area of need. Or if you want to argue that SS and CF need an upgrade, just deal with the players at those positions and say Machado is a huge upgrade over Peraza, and is worth the extra money over what Peraza will make over the next couple years.

  27. Jeff Reed

    Peraza can hold down shortstop for the foreseeable future. Trade Gennett (as a DH) and Iglesias for an ace pitcher and a young centerfielder. With Senzel at second base, replacing Gennett’s offense, the Reds will be able to move up.

  28. Colorado Red

    Need starting pitching.
    Jose may be OK at SS.
    Need the rest of the year to see.

  29. Davy13

    Eureka! A strong advocate for Manny Machado on RLN! I have been lobbying hard for Manny Machado. I can understand the salary worries especially to not be able to afford other offensive pieces, and more importantly, pitching. But, c’mon, really, do you really not want the Reds to shoot for the moon on a young elite player that could be a cornerstone for a decade along with Suarez? Where are the dreamers?

    Machado’s trajectory is already HOF bound and he’s only 25; if the Reds sign him, he’ll be 26 only. How many prospects in the Minors does the team have at that young ripe age or close to it that will reach Machado elite production? Prospects is another word for unfulfilled and may never be fulfilled. How many does the big league have? Just Suarez. Some of the same voices could have said the same thing about Votto’s contract and what that money could have paid for in “pitching,” “multiple solid players,” blah, blah. Yet how many regret Votto being on the club?

    It has been close to 30 years (exactly 28 years) since Cincy has won the WS!. Does signing MM guarantee that? No, but, boy, does it not make you more excited and optimistic that the team is on its way with building a perennial contender with a combo of Suarez/Votto/Machado, instead of waiting for the team’s prospects to reach their supposed potential? Somebody post above that it would not make sense for the team to sign MM. How can it not make sense to sign an elite player when you can in a position of need? This same person wrote, “It would be akin to signing Freddie Freeman. Is Freeman a great player? Yes. Do the Reds need him? No.” With all due respect, but the point is weak. The Reds do not need Freeman, because of Votto (though arguably he’s having a better season so far). If the team, does not have Votto then YES, Freeman or some other elite 1B would be needed. I’ll tell you who needs Freeman: Atlanta. Aren’t they in 1st place? You can make the argument that MM has not made the Orioles close to being contenders. My counter is that the Orioles next to nothing around him, especially pitching. Besides their owner is arguably the cheapest in the MLB considering their market. Bottom-line: a team always needs great players – you can never have enough of them – the more the merrier.

    Ownership can afford him and to put a WS contending team. Read Steve Mancuso’s post about that. He is right when he wrote that the current ownership run a billion-plus valued franchise like a mom & pop store. It is time to stop thinking small.

    • Bill

      The problem with your argument in comparison to the Votto contract, is that the Reds had the pitching staff to compete. If Stephenson and Reed turned out to be the aces everyone hoped for and Bailey was still throwing no hitters then SS and CF would definitely be where the money should be spent.

      Also ownership being able to afford him is a stretch unless you have seen Castellini’s budget. We know the Reds have stated they will increase spending. What we don’t know is how much. I believe this year they were just over $100 million and had previously been as high as $115 million. Baiiley is still on the books for $21 million, Gennett has not been traded and will be due $10 million, Hamilton, Duvall, and others will all get raises. The only thing coming off the books right now is Mesoraco’s $13. Trading Hamilton, Gennett and increasing payroll to $125 million would most likely cover Machado, but none of that has happened

      • Davy13

        Bill, thank you for your very thoughtful and reasonable retort (I enjoy this as a fellow fan). I realize that your argument (and most on the thread) is a more realistic scenario. What I desire and what Jordan offered is not out the realm of impossibility nor will it spell doom necessarily to the team.

        I do not know Castellini’s budget, that’s true, look at all revenue streams that teams get from media outlets, merchandise, in addition to the gates + concessions + parking. Also the Reds receive a piece of the revenue-sharing pie that is in place that favors smaller-market-payroll teams. See Steve Mancuso’s article: . Castellini can do whatever he wants with his money, but I am not buying the “cry-poor” excuse for not spending more on the team especially when it is worth so much. I live in Miami. I heard the same “small-market, can’t have high payroll, low attendance, losing money” cry, when Loria had been receiving 50-60 million dollars from revenue-sharing to spend on payroll alone and not disclosing it since MLB teams do not have to open up their books. I just don’t believe it from any team owner. Won’t have a high enough payroll to sign Machado because it doesn’t make financial sense is not the same as can’t sign Machado or another elite player like him to a very large contract. It is my opinion and desire as a fan for the ownership to put after 4+ years of rebuilding and take a risk for the sake of the fans as promised ( His long-term investment in the Reds is secure. The contract could work after biting the bullet for a few years:

        With our young pitchers: Castillo, Disco, Mahle, etc., the team with an offense led by Suarez/Votto/Machado can sustain the pitching.

        If not, trade for JT Realmuto, best catcher in baseball, control for 2 years, and an offensive trio of Suarez/Votto/Realmuto is not bad at all. A lot more affordable.

      • Bill

        I have no doubt that the owners have enough in the bank account to actually pay the contract, I just don’t know that it will be within the self imposed limits. I think the Reds got over $50 million from the sale of BAM that was pure profit.

  30. Mason Red

    I would definitely love to see the Reds go after Manny or any big name free agent. Or make a blockbuster trade for a well known player/players. I don’t think there were many complaining when Griffey Jr was brought here. Although it didn’t work as hoped the Reds were absolutely right to make that move. It’s easy to look back and say it was wrong to bring Jr here based on his performance and that of the team while he was here. Unfortunately injuries to Jr played a big part of his downturn but I’ll never forget the excitement that many Reds fans including myself felt when Jr came home. It wasn’t just because the best player in the game was coming here but it was a sign that the small market mentality of the Reds was over. They went for it. It’s time they lose that mentality again and go for it.

  31. Vandermint

    It’s not my money. Let’s do it!

  32. Matt WI

    If you only work out the upper body (offense: flashy, people like to see it) but neglect the lower (pitching/defense: less noticeable, but essential to stability and the core) you’re going to start to get wobbly and out of alignment. You simply can’t slug a way to a title. It’s always good to get better at a position if you can, but you can’t let pitching stay in deficit compared to the offense.