The Cincinnati Reds offseason has left some people quite impressed. It’s left a few others not quite as impressed (we’re looking at you, Keith Law). The offseason has been a different kind of animal for the Reds, as they’ve signed five free agents to Major League deals – including two different deals worth $64,000,000, which is the largest free agent contract in the history of the franchise. In addition to adding big money signings in Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos, the Reds also picked up outfielder Shogo Akiyama, starting pitcher Wade Miley, and reliever Pedro Strop. Those moves have left MLB Network Radio’s Steve Sax impressed.
“This team is the real deal,” Sax said on Saturday during his show on SiriusXM. “I’ve got to have Eugenio Suarez on third base and I’ve got to have him healthy. You’ve got (Mike Moustakas) there – going to play second. A little out of position for him, but I think he can handle that. (Nick) Castellanos is a doubles machine and some of those doubles are going to turn into home runs in that ballpark. Joey Votto’s got a chip on his shoulder probably the size of Mount Rushmore right now. This is a team that’s going to be fantastic, I think. The bullpen’s going to be a little better than people think. But the starting rotation is going to by dynamite.”
After some talk about how Cincinnati is a baseball town, unlike other baseball towns, his co-host proposed an either or situations. Sax was asked to pick one or the other: Do the Reds win 90 games or do they win 77 games? There wasn’t much hesitation from the former big leaguer at all. “They win 90.”
That’s the most friendly win total that we’ve seen thus far, but it’s also not exactly a fair comparison, either. Sax had to choose between either 77 wins or 90 wins. Maybe he feels the team is more of an 86 win team, but 90 was closer and more likely than 77. We’re less than two weeks away from spring training beginning, and just under three weeks away from spring training games starting. We’ll probably start seeing more predictions and projections for team win totals soon enough. For now, there’s at least one believer out there that sees the Reds making a big turn around in 2020.