The Cincinnati Reds are at the midway point of the season. They have played 30 games of their 60-game schedule and they are 13-17. That’s hardly the record that they were expecting at this point. It’s hardly the record anyone was expecting at this point. There’s been a lot of reasons for it – injuries (Moustakas has missed more than a third of the year, same for Nick Senzel), lack of performance from many, just flat out bad luck. It’s simply not gone the way anyone hoped or expected. But despite all of that, and despite a 13-17 record, the Reds are only one game out of the playoffs entering the day. With the trade deadline set for Monday afternoon, the team has to decide which direction to go. And according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, they have. They won’t be sellers.

Going for it, and being buyers are two pretty different things. Going for it could simply mean sticking with what they’ve got and hoping that the team performs to expectations (which was pretty good entering the season). Looking at the every day lineup, particularly now that the team has decided that Jose Garcia is going to be the shortstop moving forward, it’s tough to see where they would realistically make a trade for a starting player on the offensive side of the ball. On the mound, they aren’t going to trade for a starting pitcher. Perhaps a reliever could be had, though.

From my view at 10,000 feet, it just seems that if the team does decide to be buyers, it’s not going to be for a big splashy kind of player. They’re going to the dance with who they came with. If those guys play to their expectations, the Reds should make it to the playoffs. And once there, they can throw Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, and Luis Castillo at you, while hoping the offense can put together some runs. The lineup isn’t perfect, but they’ve got real talent there, too. And as we’ve seen more than a few times in our lives – getting into the playoffs is just as important as how good you were in the regular season. Get there and get hot.

26 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    I have written this this week …. Feels appropriate here.

    Buy, Buy, Buy.

    Buy all they can handle … Fill all the holes.

    The Dodgers are the class of the NL … But after that, everyone else has some warts, including the Cubs.

    Why not the Reds … Embrace the Weird.

    • DaveCT

      As the good Dr. Thompson stated so eloquently, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

  2. Charlie Waffles

    “They are going to dance with who they came with.”
    No matter how you slice it, 13-17 is a very unattractive date. And over in the corner you can find the Reds and their 13-17 date dancing The Robot and that old Walt Jocketty favorite The Stand-Pat. All the while the rest of the people are dancing The Floss, or even blowing the dust off of and doing The Dougie.
    Excluding last year’s trade deadline, the Reds will do what the Reds do best at the deadline, underwhelm.

  3. SultanofSwaff

    With expanded playoffs, underwhelming returns for impending free agents, and the front 3 the Reds can throw at you, it only makes sense to stay the course. The optimist in me says–
    1. The bullpen is largely sorted….Sims/Stephenson/Antone/Garrett. Even if you don’t like Raisel, these studs will do the heavy lifting so he doesn’t have to…..much.
    2.We’re entering the part of the season where the pitching depth begins to matter. We have it. The effect on the Cardinals and Cubs will be more pronounced as the impending slew of doubleheaders take their toll.
    3. The lights seemingly came on in the Reds front office. Garcia’s promotion has to signal that Tyler Stephenson is on his way. Along with Senzel’s return, this move will solidify/lengthen the lineup in a very positive way. I mean, if Galvis is expendable, then the justification for Barnhart erodes quickly.

    Add it all up and the ingredients for sustained success could be there IF the front office has the courage to be aggressive.

  4. docproc

    “the Reds are only one game out of the playoffs entering the day.”
    My check of the standings is that they’re 2 games behind the Cards for second place and 3 games behind in the Wild Card race.
    Am I missing something?

    • Gonzo Reds

      Top 2 in each division get in so take those 6 teams out of the wild card race. Then the last 2 spots come down to best record. Rockies at 16-15 are first then the Phillies at 12-14 are second. We’re 13-17 so 2 games back as of right now. .500 essentially gets you in the playoffs this year.

      • Old-school

        The Phillies bullpen is very poor and Phil Gosselin is their DH tonight starting against the Braves.

        Reds can catch the Phils.

    • Keith

      As I understand, all 2nd place teams make it, and then the next two wild card teams. So if Padres, Marlins and Cardinals are out, the Rockies and Phillies are the next two up, and the Reds are only 1 game behind the Phillies.

  5. Indy Red Man

    How did Mahle get back in the rotation? Bauer, Castillo, Day off, Gray/Miley, so where’s Disco? Are they going 6 to plan for doubleheaders?

    • Doug Gray

      DeSclafani is on paternity leave.

      • Old-school

        Just activated.

        Phil Ervin DFA.

  6. ClevelandRedsFan

    I don’t mind the stay pat approach. I have no idea what returns look like this year.

    But trading away a top 5 prospect for a rental is simply not worth it.

    Yes, the Reds are 1 game back of a playoff spot and 2 of 2nd place in the division. Yes, this team has greatly underachieved. However, they are still the 4th worst team in the NL. The front office needs to stay rooted in reality.

    What I would do at the deadline:
    Trade disco: Mahle and Antone can be the teams 5th and 6th starters. With his injury history, I doubt Reds want to extend him or offer the qualifying offer.

    -Talk to Nick C. Is he staying, is he going? That’s a key question they need to get right and should factor into the deadline decision.

    -Wait until Monday to decide their moves. If they take 3 out of 4 from the Cubs, then make a small move for a LH reliever. Maybe a prospect like Jameson Hannah (whom the reds got for Roark) gets it done.

    -If the Reds lose 3 out of 4, SELL, SELL, SELL

    The front office, and perhaps Bob C lacked the patience needed for a proper rebuild from 2013-2019. They continued to trade away great prospects thinking they were 1 or 2 pieces away and finished 4th or 5th in the central. I will give Bob C credit for fixing some of these mistakes by opening the wallet for free agents.

    2020 with an 8-team NL playoff, when you’re fighting for seed 7 or 8 is not the time to go all in. Reds went all in for the 2013 year, and it’s taken 7 years to be relevant again.

    We fans are always impatient. Front office and ownership needs to be better than we are.

    • VaRedsFan

      What top prospects did they trade away?

  7. zigbee

    Archie Bradley of the Dbacks could be a possibility for a Reds trade to help the pen IF the Dbacks are looking to trade. Brandon Workman of Boston could be another.

  8. zigbee

    Castellanos can’t say if he is leaving as it would take another club to offer a better deal than he currently has and that would not happen until the off season. I doubt he’d find another team to give him a better contract this off season. He’s here until his contract expires.

    Reds have a team that can win if they start to get some clutch hits, play a bit better defense, catch a few breaks. I still think they should utilize Aquino and Stephenson.

    • Jimbo44cn

      Agree completely on Aquino and Stephenson.

  9. ClevelandRedsFan

    I agree on those guys as well. This team doesn’t need a blockbuster trade. They need their luck to turn around and continuing bringing up prospects.

  10. Don

    This is a weird year so hope springs eternal.

    Today is 14 days since Senzel’s test. Hope he is fully recovered and feeling great.

    No Votto in tonight’s lineup.

    Unless the starting pitching total objects to Stephenson I do not understand the reasoning, he has already been called up so his MLB clock has started, he has been not in the 25 man roster for this to not be a full year of MLB service.

    Hoping for success

  11. Wayne Nabors

    Just seen where reds dfa’d Phil ervin and picked up Jay jackson

  12. Klugo

    Totally capable. Hopefully, Bell doesn’t hamstring them.

  13. zigbee

    SOME of the reason for not using Stephenson is his work with the pitchers as opposed to vets Barnhart and Casali. BUT, Reds need offense and the kid is young and can hit. Same with Aquino. Reds need some power and hits and Aquino would be good at DH and in the OF. Releasing Ervin and not inserting Aquino is odd.

  14. DaveCT

    Gausman is available from the Giants. Not sure how salaries would work but if it’s a simple equation of being halfway through the season he’d cost 4.5 million for the rest of the year.

    • Doug Gray

      No he wouldn’t. You’re assuming his salary is $9M this year, which it would be in a full season. But it’s not a full season. It’s 60/162nd’s of a season. So his salary would be $9,000,000*60/162, which would be $3.33M for the full year. That would put his remaining salary as of today at half that, roughly $1.67M.

  15. Jack

    Realistically I don’t much they could add that would help much. Just need the players to perform to the back of their baseball cards. Right now it looks like three players are carrying the load in Jesse, Nick and Suarez but we can’t count on them being this hot forever.