The Cincinnati Reds made a few moves at the 2020 trade deadline. They picked up some help in the bullpen and they picked up some depth in the outfield. For the bullpen the team went out and picked up reliever Archie Bradley. The 27-year-old had the 2020 and 2021 season remaining when it comes to team control, and had a career 3.01 ERA as a reliever 227.0 innings. He was quite good for Arizona’s bullpen over the past few seasons and even picked up 28 saves along the way – with most of them, 18, coming in the 2019 season.

After arriving in Cincinnati, Archie Bradley did all that was asked of him. He wasn’t asked to take the mound much, though, for some reason. The Reds had 25 games remaining on the schedule when Bradley was acquired and he pitched in just six games. He was successful in those games, allowing just one earned run and no inherited runners to score. The one run that he did allow came in a 7-3 win.

His pro-rated salary was just $632,716 for Cincinnati. The Reds also traded away two players to acquire him. Cincinnati’s #8 prospect, outfielder Stuart Fairchild, and big league utility man Josh VanMeter headed to Arizona in the deal. Fairchild has never been in the Major Leagues and has six seasons of team control remaining once he does get there. VanMeter has at least five seasons remaining of team control.

The other trade deadline move that the Reds made was to acquire outfielder Brian Goodwin. He was having a good season with Los Angeles. The 29-year-old was hitting .242/.330/.463 for the Angels in 30 games – good for a 116 OPS+ at the time. With Nick Senzel on the injured list for an unknown amount of time, Cincinnati wanted to add some depth to their roster in the outfield and traded left-handed pitching prospects Packy Naughton and Jose Salvador (he was originally a player to be named later, and was named as said player two days later) to the Angels to acquire him.

Much like Archie Bradley, he was not an impending free agent. Goodwin, according to Baseball Reference, would have been under team control through the 2022 season. The production, unlike that from Bradley, wasn’t great for the outfielder. Goodwin, who had been a league average hitter for the course of his career, hit just .163/.236/.327 with the Reds in the 20 games in which he played. His pro-rated salary for Cincinnati was $339,506.

Yesterday, the Cincinnati Reds non-tendered both Archie Bradley and Brian Goodwin. Including the playoff series against Atlanta, Archie Bradley threw 8.0 innings and Brian Goodwin had 57 plate appearances.

The Reds front office traded three prospects, including a Top 10 prospect, and Josh VanMeter to acquire two players, pay them a million dollars to barely play, then release them despite average to better than average career numbers and a year and two years of team control remaining.

What, exactly, changed in the time from August 31st when the Reds made the trade for those two, and December 2nd? The team knew what the financial outlook was on August 31st. And it certainly couldn’t be performance related given that Bradley was actually very good – granted in the small sample size that was – and he still got non-tendered.

If the plan all along was to simply acquire these two guys for one month and then just cut them – why did you give up what you did? Opinions vary, more than you may realize outside of the industry, on prospects. Some people may be a lot more favorable for a player than others, and that’s certainly going to happen among the non-elite level, top 100 caliber prospects. Every player that was traded falls into that category. Stuart Fairchild is a guy that everyone I talked to in the organization over the last year and a half was a big fan of the work he had been doing to improve his game. He had made some changes in his swing and the results showed up in 2019, and people we’re impressed with what they had seen in 2020, too.

That said, a scout that I spoke with yesterday, who was a bit confused as to the non-tender of Bradley specifically, referred to both Fairchild and VanMeter as “fringy guys”, but still felt it was weird to give up that if the plan was to simply cut him at the end of the year. If you believe that either of those guys are more than fringe roster guys, then it’s even more confusing.

With Brian Goodwin’s acquisition – Packy Naughton was rated as the #20 Reds prospect at the midseason point of 2020 by Baseball America. He was just outside of my Top 25. He had success in Double-A during the 2019 season, but Cincinnati didn’t invite the left-handed pitcher to be a part of their alternate roster camp at Prasco Park this summer. A good change up sticks out from his mostly average-ish repertoire, but he’s a lefty that throws strikes, has one above-average pitch, and had found plenty of success in the minors – there was some value there. Jose Salvador is a bit more raw, which makes sense given that he last pitched as a 19-year-old back in 2019. But he’s got a potential plus pitch with his curveball, and there’s potential for him to have an above-average fastball to go with a solid change up, too, if he continues to develop.

Cincinnati didn’t trade away “throw away” prospects in either of these deals. The level of prospect varies among the three, but all of them have plenty to like about what they were bringing to the table. And that doesn’t include Josh VanMeter at all, who if nothing else, seems like a solid option to have off of the bench (Steamer projects him to hit .248/.322/.416 in 2021) . And for that the Reds got 8.0 innings and 57 terrible plate appearances out of it.

When a team plays the “win now” card, they can be expected to give up some of the future for the now. It’s tough to see how that applies here, given that the Reds gave up some of the potential future both in acquisition and by cutting the two players they traded for that they could have retained. The organization didn’t acquire “rental players”. Which brings us back to the question of: What changed?

Yes, President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams left the organization following the season. The Reds didn’t replace him, instead just making General Manager Nick Krall the top baseball person in the organization and basically giving him the role without a new title. Was his plan that much different from that of Williams?

As I noted when recording for the Locked on Reds podcast with Jeff Carr on Wednesday night, it seems that Cincinnati may be attempting to use the “saved money” from the non-tenders to spend in free agency elsewhere. That very well could be the case, but it’s still tough to understand how the Reds wouldn’t have known where the budget would be on August 31st. Where did they miscalculate? Unless, of course, there was no miscalculation and the plan all along was to simply let these guys walk.

It’s tough to put things together when looking back at the last 13 weeks. Making the trades at the time adds up. The cost of acquisition made some sense given that Bradley had another year remaining and Goodwin had two remaining. But now that the team has let them walk away, it’s a struggle to understand and we’re left with a lot of questions and very few answers.

57 Responses

  1. gusnwally

    Don’t feel too awfully bad about not understanding the Bradley move. I watched Nick Krall’s explanation. And he obviously had no idea why the move was made. Never did explain it. Merely said that it is possible to resign him. So if he does not know the reasoning, there is no way we can possibly make sense of it.

    • Klugo

      Nick Krall most assuredly has some strengths that have helped land him where he is. Talking is not one of them. He’s been a bumbling mess every time I’ve listened to him speak.

    • Schottzie

      In Krall’s defense, it’s not outlandish to think he didn’t contribute to many of these decisions. And while his bumbling is reminiscent of the sweaty idioms Bell usually pours out in post-game press conferences, which are not dissimilar to the rants Bryan Price used to put on, when you add it up, it’s calculable to an organization stepping over itself to do too much too quickly with no discernible direction, focused not on building a championship organization but staving off the competition of soccer teams and the rise of eSports. It’s too bad because you get the sense ownership really does want to win. They just neither want to make the tough decisions often inherent with winning nor do they want to practice any type of patience and acknowledge it is a process.

      • Swayback8

        Schottzie, I agree with your assessment. I think a lot of their decisions are made to make an “effort “ to have a winning team. However I feel like they are just stuck in the middle. Making moves at times just to make moves. The trades before 2019 were made to move the needle without giving up the main prospects. The signings before 2020 were giving the appearance that they were willing to spend money. I personally would have rather they’d waited a year on all of these moves, now it seems like they’ve missed their window and have to take a step backwards.

      • Greenfield Red

        Swayback, I completely agree with you on the effort to field a winning team. That has been going on a long time. Maybe since the money got crazy about 1990.

        I say give me boiling hot (where you allocate the resources to win every year and have a legit shot at the World Series), or give me freezing cold (tear is all down, trade off every one who is tradable for the best prospects you can get, lose 100 games a year for 2 or 3 years) and build from the draft and an amazing farm system.

        The Reds are not doing any of these. The Reds are trying to be competitive. The enemy of greatness is being satisfied with being competitive. The Reds are proving that to be true.

  2. Charles McMillan

    I’m with you Doug, this was a big ol’ head scratcher. I know they were making a play for the playoffs, but with the anemic offense for most of the year I can’t imagine the front office thought they were going to go very far (I have to imagine Dick/Nick aren’t not drinking the same water us fans do). Saw the Nick interview a couple days back and took away from his lack of enthusiasm that the Red’s short window is most likely closing (or has closed). We’re getting into the expensive years for Votto, Suarez, etc., and too many of the draft picks haven’t panned out. Its a good time to be a Cards fan as the rest of the central, doesn’t plan on putting up competitive teams either. While the Reds and MLB go for the money play in 2021, I keep telling myself that we have lots of exciting baseball close to home with the Bats, Dragon’s and Y’alls (hopefully, God and Masks willing)

  3. Klugo

    It comes down to perspective and value. As you’ve alluded to, what they gave up is up for interpretation. The FO’s being the most important.
    When looking at Bradley, I have to wonder if he fits the “Driveline” mold they are looking for or if there are other available pitchers they value more. Maybe they are even rolling the dice on a renegotiation with the way they anticipate the market, as a whole, shaking out.
    Just don’ ask Nick Krall.

  4. Jimbo44CN

    As I have said previously, I think Goodwin just looked as if he didn’t want to be here. Just an opinion, but he certainly did not look like it to me. Never, never understood that trade. As for Bradley, I think letting him go was a big mistake. I just cannot understand this front office sometimes.

    • SultanofSwaff

      The Goodwin trade made sense when Senzel’s Covid issues are considered, but yeah, he looked indifferent.

    • TR

      With R. Iglesias going hot and cold over the past few years, I thought the acquiring of an experienced closer in Bradley meant he was Iggy’s replacement. But instead they let Bradley go. Puzzling. And the GM’s comments a few days ago were less than enlightening.

  5. Bred

    I fear the candle has burned out, and we are heading toward more dark days as Reds fans.
    How long of a contract did Boddy sign? I bet he is looking to move on.
    Perhaps they should adopt the Rays’ and Marlins’ playbook and clean house. Trade Gray, Castillo, Geno, Senzel, Lorenzen, and anyone else for prospects. If they make wise choices, the Reds could be back in contention with a young team by 2023. If they don’t move on from this current team, they will be showing that the FO did not learn from past trades that you reap what you sow.

    • LDS

      How many decades of rebuilding will be enough? Sell the team to a serious owner and fire most of the front office and the field managers. It’s not all on the players. Would you want to work for such a dysfunctional organization?

      • Mike McSorley

        I agree that all the years of “rebuilding” are too much. As far as selling the team, this would be rich … contact A-Rod & JLO who came up short in a run at the Mets! Then hire Theo Epstein or Dave Dombrowski to run the front office. Yeah, I know they’re pricey, but it’s not MY money. It would shake things up considerably, both good and bad, but would make for excellent copy all winter long!

      • Swayback8

        I don’t think you are ever going to attract a serious owner to this area. There is a reason why you see a lot of “small” market teams doing the same things. Outside of St. Louis what other similar market teams spend money consistently? The Marlins got new ownership & then cut payroll. A good consistent FO & strategy is the most important thing. Find the right strategy & build upon that. When Walt took over they started with a good base from the minors & added good players with a long term plan in mind. They got impatient after the lack of success in the playoffs & did not maintain the minor league production.

      • m2

        “Serious owner” It’s so easy to point blame at the ownership group but it’s foolhardy. Why? Ownership has bought in – want proof – look at the increased payroll and the effort to bring in new players to up the product. Clearly, it’s failed. Again why? Poor player evaluations and development. Want proof – roll around the field and look at each of the projected starters. Which of those would you select to build a championship caliber club of. My opinion – zero.. that’s right zero. Too often the club signs players to contracts that are absurd – e.g Votto, or over values players who are not nearly what believed – see Winkler. Aside from the pitching staff, this is a team in jeopardy. Again – how about Barnhart – expect .220 from him (left/right side doesn’t matter). 3B – how about 180 K next year, SS – never mind, 2b …do you see my point – NOT ONE CHAMPIONSHIP caliber player. Again don’t point fingers at the ownership group – it’s the coaches, scouts, and analytic geeks who aside from a juggs gun can not begin to execute an eye test. Think I’m wrong look at the farm system.

      • That that had had

        There might be a secret sale in the works.

      • greenmtred

        They’ve been “rebuilding” for a number of years, but they’ve done a poor job of it. Is this due to poor talent evaluation? Reluctance to lose too many games in the process and thereby not committing fully to that process? I don’t know, but I’d rather see young, developing talent than our mish-mash of aging and incomplete players added as temporary patches.

      • Swayback8

        M2, that’s pretty much my point. I think people expect a new owner who is going to compete with the big payrolls. I let the range that they were in last year as far as payroll, but they didn’t have enough production from their cheaper players. I also agree with not spending the money wisely. They have made some good decisions. Suarez was a smart signing at the time. Votto was always going to happen, but probably wasn’t the smartest decision. Homer’s contract was probably ill advised & ended up costing some valuable assets to get rid of him. Gray is a smart signing & while I have no problem with turning him into a good haul of prospects, it seems like they are willing to sell for a low return. For this organization to be successful they are going need to make a lot more good decisions than poor decisions. No one is going to buy this team & spend in the top third of payrolls.

  6. DataDumpster

    Good analysis but as typical with this organization just baffling and with no justification at all. I put much of the blame on David Bell and most of his coaching staff. How much influence does the manager have on trades?

    It seems like everything was done (big contracts, excessive spending on staff at all levels, analytic and “new age” focus (what happened to the “director of pitching”?), and overactive managing to try to get any short term gain possible. In other words, every advantage and resource was given for the success of David Bell and it utterly failed. Now, that they have to bait one of their few successful moves (Sonny Gray) for “due diligence” as they say, shows how little trade value remains on this sorry, mismanaged, and overpaid group of players. Yes, Farmer at SS may become a reality.

    • Doc

      Given his prior experience at the position, pre MLB, I wonder how well Farmer could handle the regular SS role if he were able to concentrate on honing skills at that position. Perhaps he can be a functional bridge to Garcia, especially if that is only a year or two away. Maybe they signed Farmer for more, anticipating such.

      Oh…I am awake now. What was I dreaming?

      • Droslovinia

        You might be dreaming, but was it really that bad? I once dreamt that the Reds had a SS who had about the highest BA on the team, but they sent him packing due to some bad “analytics,” only to see him do well at his new team while his replacement was pretty terrible. Seems like only a few months ago……

        Anyhow they’ve surely learned their lesson, right?

      • Jimbo44CN

        As long as Bell is around, no, they have NOT learned anything. Can’t we please DFA him, or non tender, or make him a free agent, or trade him for a manager to be named later? Anything, please!

  7. Russ S

    As a fan, we’re always looking at things from the outside in vs. having insider knowledge and we’re playing a game of “what-if.” I would have liked the Reds to have tendered Bradley considering the prospects given up to get him, but what-if they do spend the money saved by non-tendering a few folks on an offensive upgrade to the SS position? Then will we look back, especially if that offensive upgrade translates to wins next season, and say “It was worth it.” Even more, I give the Reds credit for making “go for it” moves last offseason. If the Reds hitters had caught fire during the post-season and had gone deeper into the playoffs, we’d do less questioning of why they made the moves for Bradley/Goodwin if they were only going to non-tender them and more celebrating that it worked out.

    I’ll fault the Reds if they truly make moves that indicate they are ready to throw in the towel and rebuild yet again, especially because I think the Reds organization knows that the NL Central is entirely winnable over the next couple of years as the Cubs tear down, the Pirates rebuild, and the Cards/Brewers try to figure out how to stay competitive.

    • John C.

      Russ, I have to agree with your thoughts. I think the Reds really went for it last year and that’s why they made the moves knowing that they would never be able to keep Bauer. In retrospect, and at this moment in time, they look like mistakes, but I am waiting to see what they do over the next few months before I throw in the towel.

      • Magi210

        I agree. The Reds knew there was an expanded playoffs and decided to take a shot at the ring. Can’t blame them if it didn’t work out.

  8. Gary Beans

    Starts with a C and ends with OLLUSION

  9. CleatsOn

    I can accept the Goodwin trade and subsequent dump as a win-now effort. The Reds needed a centerfielder with Senzel’s injury. So they paid what they did to try and get into the playoffs. (which they did). They felt they needed cf defense. And I have no problem letting Goodwin go now. He doesn’t light up my radar long-term. Plus, the guys they traded away to get Goodwin are hardly a concern to me. I’d give it 90-10 we will ever hear their names in any significant way in the Majors. Just a guess of course.
    Now to me, the Bradley case is a bit tougher. I would love to have him in the pen next year and think he could be valuable for years to come. He is a solid reliever. The only possible way I can wrap my head around releasing him is the payout he is likely to receive through arb for next year. Bradley’s 2020 salary was 4.1M, and he was slated to get a substantial increase in arb. I’ve heard 7M+ for 2021 if he got to arbitration. In a normal year I would say the Reds should keep him and pay that because he is consistently good as a reliever. However, this offseason the non-elite players whose salaries will be determined by FA and not arb are going to seriously depressed by the COVID economics within baseball. As I understand it, and again I could be wrong, arbitration is supposedly not going to be affected by COVID economics. So I think the Reds and most teams feel they can get a better deal in FA rather than arbitration, especially for relievers. The question to ask is “can the Reds get Bradley back, or someone near Bradley’s quality back, for much less than 7M in FA?”

    • Doug Gray

      Bradley, at least according to the MLBTR arb projections was going to get, at most, $5.7M.

      • Doc

        Substitute $5.7MM in CleatsOn question for the $7MM he used Doesn’t change the question.

        Is Bradley a better reliever and more valuable than Lorenzen, Sims, Garrett, Iggy? If not, why should they roll the dice and pay him considerably more? I just pose the question; I don’t propose an answer.

      • 2020ball

        “If not, why should they roll the dice and pay him considerably more?”

        Because thats what he costs, and I can guarantee you there aren’t FAs out there as good as the other guys you mentioned that will cost less than they do.

      • 2020ball

        To be a bit less cryptic: I don’t really understand a comparison of guys that are pre-free agency with a guy that is, and using the costs of said players as the point of the comparison. Iggy is a different case than the other 3, to be sure.

  10. Sliotar

    Good grief.

    The over-rating of Bradley, and to a lesser extent, Goodwin is … something.

    Reminds of how much Billy “Havoc!” Hamilton was going to be missed, and of course, the Reds was not going to be able to suitably replace Scooter Gennett.

  11. Optimist

    How about another angle – consider the mostly positive reaction to the recent trade with the Rockies. Is it possible that Bradley had less trade value than Stevenson/Hannah? If so why? Either cost, the collusion/market angle, or perhaps something we’r unaware of – namely is Bradley damaged goods in some way?

    Even on the cost side,, seems like there would have been a like/like trade available – say Bradley for Schwarber, or Rodon?

    Sadly, this all may mean the Reds simply overvalued these guys to begin with, and learned the hard way.

  12. Sliotar

    Depth Charts and Steamer on FanGraphs project for Bradley and Goodwin in 2021 a combined total of … 0.1 WAR.

    That is worth between $7-8M, in a pandemic, with uncertain season-length and uncertain attendance?

    For a small/smaller budget team … IMO, that is very poor, almost fire-able offense allocation of resources.

    • Doug Gray

      Pitcher WAR is hot garbage. Relief pitching WAR is hot garbage, set on fire, then launched into the sun.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Thumbs up Doug! I think the whole WAR thing is overrated, but hey, I’m old. ERA, STrikeouts, number of innings pitched and wins are what count. Same with batting. If a guy can get on base and have a decent batting average, that’s really all you need to know. All this launch angle BS, exit velocity is just crap. YOu have to hit it where they ain’t. JMHO.

      • Bill J

        jumbo, I’m like you,if the ball makes it over the fence I don’t care about the launch angle or exit velocity. I just turned 80 so I hold no hope of seeing the Reds back on top.

  13. Sliotar

    The Reds were desperate, IMO, to post first winning season and playoff appearance since 2013.

    Bradley and Goodwin were both:

    – depth for a deep playoff run (which many of us thought could occur with some hitting).

    – options to bring back in 2021, should they perform/justify their 2021 salaries

    Neither truly stood out with Reds in 2020 and aren’t projected to be worth their salaries.

    Non-tender, replace with cheaper options in 2020.

    Good, well-run smaller budget teams do that every season.

    • citizen54

      Let’s face it. Dick Williams, for the most part, was not very good at evaluating talent. Just look at his free agent signings and awful trades. Seemed like he was enamored by mediocrity. He actually gave up something valuable for a couple months of a fourth outfielder. I’ve been saying this forever but the Reds are in for another long rebuild where they pretty much have to start from scratch because Williams was such a total disaster as a GM.

      • Jonathan Linn

        i would say these trades were “wins” for Williams. Would you?

        Acquired RHPs Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and OF Zeek White from the Marlins in exchange for RHP Dan Straily

        Acquired OF Scott Van Slyke and C Hendrik Clementina from the Dodgers in exchange for LHP Tony Cingrani

        Acquired C Curt Casali from the Rays in exchange for cash

        Acquired RHPs Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and OF Preston Tucker from the Braves in exchange for Adam Duvall

        Acquired RHP Sonny Gray and LHP Reiver Sanmartin from the Yankees in exchange for 2B Shed Long (immediately flipped to Mariners) and Competitive Balance Draft pick (Round A)

        (probably was a win; defiantly not a loss) Acquired RHP Trevor Bauer from the Indians in a three-team deal that sent OF Taylor Trammell to the Padres; Reds also sent OF Yasiel Puig and LHP Scott Moss to the Indians

        The Eugenio Suárez trade worked out really well too

        IMO – Williams did a pretty good job at gauging and trading talent in the big picture.

      • citizen54

        He had two good trades, Gray and Castillo, which is why I said “for the most part.” He wasn’t involved in the Suarez trade so not sure why you brought that up. Unfortunately those trades don’t make up for the trades in which he got fleeced. The short sighted trades for Bauer and Puig/Wood are the two trades that will cripple the Reds for years to come, not to mention his 2020 free agency signings where he opened up the check book for mediocre players.

        If you want to look at the big picture Williams spent five years building a barely .500 team which is going to be in a worse spot than when he took over. The Reds are now locked into expensive contracts for Castellanos and Moustakas for the next three years during a time when MLB salaries are probably going down. He already raided the farm system so talent is thin in the minors. The Reds might contend for a playoff spot in 2021 but after that the future will be bleak.

  14. Tom

    Great article. Thanks for your continued work here Doug. And comments as well. I appreciate Russ’ input.

    Great they signed Farmer to a minor league deal. Also, I get cutting Goodwin. He was insurance for Senzel if they made a playoff run, which they did, however brutal that series was. 5/6th outfielder should be close to league minimum.

    As for Bradley, you’ll see him on top 10 non-tendered lists. I don’t get giving up Fairchild (VanMeter much lesser prospect if you can still call him that) unless you can resign him for less. If they do, great! If not? Renting Bradley for 6 games for Fairchild seems like a significant mistake. You knew very close to how much Bradley would be paid this year. But I’m not the expert.

  15. CI3J

    Honestly, I was very upset with how VanMeter was treated by the organization. He absolutely lit up the pitching in the minors, but when he was brought to Cincinnati, all he could do was get a few spot starts/pinch hit attempts here and there. I never thought he looked overmatched at the MLB level, he just didn’t look settled. I’m of the opinion that the “talent” they traded VanMeter away for was much less valuable than what VanMeter himself could provide.

    To be honest, I’m not seeing much hope for this team in the near future. It seems like the front office really doesn’t have a plan. Votto can still get on base, but he doesn’t offer much value at what should be one of the premiere power positions on the diamond. Moose is entering his age 32 season, aging curves says he’s about to start declining in earnest. SS is a black hole. Geno and Castellanos are right in their prime years. Winker is a bright spot, and at 27 is just entering his prime, but he’s a horrible defender in the outfield, although he might look good at 1B. Senzel can never seem to get going, it’s always something with him. Akiyama looked pretty decent once he got settled, but he’s also 32.

    Without Bauer, the pitching still looks decent with Castillo and Gray, but losing Bauer is going to hurt a lot. Do they really think they can replace him through free agency?

    Basically, the Reds window to win is right now. All their players are right around their prime years. They have about 2 years before Moose and Akiyama will be in their mid-30’s and probably no better than average players, at which point Votto should be retired, and Geno and Castellanos will be coming out of their primes.

    Then what?

    Honestly…. Honestly….

    It does kind of make sense to blow it all up. The team as it is built now isn’t going to win the World Series. They are probably good enough to have a winning record, but so what? Dusty had winning teams year after year, and what did that get the Reds?

    I would see what the Reds could get for Geno, Castellanos, Moose, and Akiyama if they are all performing well at the deadline next year. I was a very vocal member of the “Trade Votto!” brigade a few years ago, simply because I could see the team was never going to win with him here, so his true value was as a trade chip when he was still putting up good numbers. Well, that ship has sailed, but the Reds can learn from that missed opportunity. Castillo, Gray, Winker, Castellanos, and Senzel (to a lesser extent) should all bring back really nice hauls, and so should Geno if he’s playing up to his past stats. Moose maybe could get some mid-level prospects.

    Let’s try to get a few other teams’ top prospects, fill up the farm with a bunch of 20 year-old studs, then in 2023, when the current Reds would just be closing their window to compete, instead the Reds would have a flashy, young exciting team to field ready to take on the world.

    And honestly? The team wouldn’t take a PR hit. Who on the team can rightly be called a “fan favorite” outside the aging Votto and possibly Geno? I don’t think anyone in the fanbase really cares that much about any of these players.

    But with a young, exciting team, that could be just the kick in the pants the Reds need to re-connect with their fanbase. THEN you make trades/sign free agents to fill the missing holes, then you get out there and you start winning.

    Are the Reds brave enough to do it? Probably not. But if they’re smart, they will.

    • Doc

      If you trade all the guys you mention for top prospects, assuming that market exists, who plays for the Reds until the young exciting prospects are ready?

      Who is evaluating the potential prospects we seek?

      Votto still has a full no trade clause, (or should I say fool no trade clause). The thing I would say about his contract is that I suspect that the FO thought they would be competitive by now, and Votto would be an important cog.

    • TR

      Since the hopeful (Johnny Cueto) years of 2010 – 2014, I’ve been in favor of the Reds blowing it up and going young, i.e. Rays, A’s, and now the Marlins. But Red’s ownership has usually been on the cusp that a championship is just around the corner. So going young with prospects is not going to happen in Redsland.

  16. PennsylvaniaRed

    We’ll find out soon enough whether these non-tenders were the beginning of cost-cutting or part of a strategy to improve. If Gray is traded, we’ll know right then. This talk of another rebuild is premature. It would be unlikely so many of the position players would have another career-worst year in 2021. I look for the offense to bounce back. The off-season is about pitching.

  17. west larry

    It seems like they traded those prospects for nada.

  18. AllTheHype

    It is curious still that Bradley was traded for, not used, then non-tendered. Clearly looks like the organization is not aligned or forward thinking.

    Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs are the ones that still hurt, to this day.

  19. KDJ

    From 2016 – 2019, the Reds averaged over 4.4 runs/game.
    The problem was they allowed nearly 4.7 earned runs/game.

    In 2020, they cut the earned runs/game by over a run to 3.6.
    The problem was they only scored 3.9 per game.

    So the pitching improved dramatically, but the run production tanked.

  20. m2

    That’s pretty bold casting someone as cheap meaning ownership cutting payroll knowing that revenue is sure to suffer a precipitous drop. Mr. Castellini has demonstrated a commitment to installing a winning product. His so-called baseball minds have been a repeated galactic failure. Oh and just a thought – do you really believe that expending payroll (your proposed 8.5 expenditure or presumably otherwise) will garner championships…are you familiar with the Tampa Bay Rays? Or the Oakland As? Yeah the Dodger club has been quite successful but it is not limited to what they spend – it’s how they deliberately scout and develop their players. Until this club gets a plan for organizational development it will continue to at best sniff the bounds of mediocrity.

  21. Hotto4Votto

    It doesn’t seem to make much sense, and seems like mismanagement of assets. I understand letting Goodwin go, but not Bradley. This combined with the swap of Stephenson for Hoffman since NK took over doesn’t give me a lot of warm feeling on the direction of the franchise.

  22. Greenfield Red

    Can anyone remember the Reds, or any team for that matter, having only 31 on the 40 man? I could be wrong, but that seems ridiculously low. Something besides trying to win going on.

    • DataDumpster

      I’m very curious about this also. Does Doug or anybody else know why such a situation like this exists? Saving a few pennies, no one available that meets the Bell analytic test,??? I use the word baffling a lot for this team but this…

      • Doug Gray

        I’ve seen teams get into the upper 20’s in the past during the early parts of the offseason.

  23. Jack

    Honestly, I think they did just what they planned. Trade a few fringe prospects to try to make the playoffs last year. Goodwin won’t be missed. Bradley is good but not irreplaceable from within or without for a cheaper price. Not much to get upset about imo, just moves at the margins that won’t have much to do with the team’s success or failure.

  24. Greenfield Red

    If the Reds want to win again, I say it is a good time to blow the whole thing up, wait out the Votto contract as well as Moose and Castellanos. Trade both Gray and Castillo for high end prospects that are 2 to 3 years away. Same with Senzel if he has a good start to the year. Anyone else who is worth anything. Get all you can. Lose 100 games a year for the next two or three years draft 1st overall for those 2 or 3 years. About the time Greene and Lodolo are ready to enter their prime all this young talent could hit.

    Again I say, don’t give me lukewarm. If they are not going to spend the money, this is how you build a serious winner.

  25. jim m

    This is what bugs me, you keep Iglasesis who is now going to make $9.125 million and they cpuld not have traded him and kept Bradley at a much lesser salary to close??? Stupid decisions that seem to always make this franchise look stupid in the end. 5 years of sucking and all we saw from those drafts are Senzel who cant stay healthy and A top catching prospect who after his first game that was awesome was sent back down. Then when recalled hardly used. They cant come back on the fans and say ” we got the team to the playoffs blah blah and thats the best we can do” and watch Bauer leave, trade Gray and expect to be any good next season!! Then when they go back to a 69 win season and expect fans to be happy. I rather Bob sold the team to Arod so he can get Theo here and let his wisdom fix this so the Reds can be a playoff team every year, not a once every 5 plus years because they have the wrong front office people who cant figure things out.. why not ask Votto to defer half his yearly pay to help get this team better? Love to have that question asked of him…