The Cincinnati Reds have traded closer Raisel Iglesias (and cash) to the Los Angeles Angels for right-handed pitcher Noé Ramirez and a player to be named later.

There’s a lot to unravel in this deal, but let’s start with Noé Ramirez. He’ll be a 31-year-old reliever next season who is coming off of the best season of his career. In the 2020 campaign he posted a 3.00 ERA in 21 games for the Angels that spanned 21.0 innings where he allowed two home runs, walked nine batters (two intentionally), and he struck out 14 hitters. His low strikeout rate was easily the worst of his career – he had struck out 174 batters in the previous two seasons that covered 151.0 innings (4.29 ERA – roughly league average).

From a stuff standpoint, Ramirez doesn’t exactly stick out. At no point in his career has his fastball averaged more than 91 MPH, and in 2020 it was a career low 89 MPH. He also brings a change up and a slider to the table. In 2020 he threw each pitch about as often as the other – 36%, 31%, and 33% of the time. Despite the lower end velocity, his fastball plays quite well according to Fangraphs pitch value metrics. The secondary stuff, though, which has played well in the past, was below-average during this past season. Perhaps Cincinnati believes they can get the secondary stuff back to being above-average, giving him three above-average offerings to work with.

Baseball Reference has Noé Ramirez being under team control for the next three seasons and won’t become a free agent until after 2023. He will be arbitration eligible for the first time in 2021 and MLB Trade Rumors projects he’ll make somewhere between $1-1.2M next season.

We can’t talk much about the player to be named later since we don’t have the slightest idea of who it will be. We can, however, talk about the cash the Reds sent even though we don’t know how much it was. This, at least right now, feels like a salary dump. Perhaps there’s a premium prospect coming back in the deal, which will essentially change it to a situation where the Reds sort of “bought the contract” of a minor leaguer with this cash infusion to the deal – but we’ll have to wait a little bit to see that one.

As for sending Raisel Iglesias to the Angels, the Reds bullpen continues to weaken. After the team non-tendered Archie Bradley, Cincinnati is also losing Iglesias. While Noé Ramirez is a solid reliever, he’s not comparable to Iglesias. The Reds will be saving about $8M before we know how much cash they sent with this set of transactions, so it’s possible they spend it to make another addition or two to the bullpen. But as it all sits right now, the bullpen has taken a pretty big step backwards from where it was in 2020.

Cincinnati picks up a few years of control of a reliever. Raisel Iglesias was set to be a free agent following the 2021 season, Noé Ramirez will be around, assuming he’s not non-tendered at a later date, for at least three more seasons. But this deal leaves a lot of questions about where the franchise is heading in 2021 and what the plan seems to be. They are cutting quality players, and moving salary, and there are at least rumors that they are trying to trade away the best pitcher left on their staff. Unfortunately, we are left with many questions and very few answers as things sit on the first day of the winter meetings.

148 Responses

  1. BradP

    I’m officially confused now on the team’s direction

    • Charles

      Yea, well I’m officially sick to my stomach. We spend 10 years in hell waiting to be competitive and finally get to .500 and now we tank for another 10. I guess we’ll next be trading Gray, Suarez, Moose, Senzel, Winker and the whole lot of them for a bag of peanuts.

      • Scott

        I have been a Reds fan for 50 years and have never been enamored with any of the owners, but Castellini should sell the team if he can’t afford to field a competitive one. I’ll not watch or attend a single Reds game next year if this continues.

    • LDS

      No, none of us are really confused by their direction. It’s fire sale time and back to the cellar. One would think they would have held on to Bradley if they were dumping Iglesias. But fundamentally, my guess is Bell wanted him gone. Maybe as much as I and others want Bell gone.

    • Jack

      Their direction is crystal clear. Salary dump here salary dump there. Maybe this is the real reason WIlliams left, he didn’t want to be part of this.

      • Charles

        I was thinking the same thing. He probably didn’t want to start over with another rebuild

      • Daytonnati

        Even then, wouldn’t waiting until the deadline in season harvest more value??

      • Bob Purkey

        Exactly what I thought when I heard of this trade. I just have the feeling that Castellini demanded reduction in salary and Williams decided to “spend more time with his family.”


      I will not be buying tickets next year if this continues. We can’t out score anyone.

  2. Tom Mitsoff

    Hopefully, this will override the “need” to trade Sonny Gray. We’ll see.

  3. Grand Salami

    Going to presume this is a salary dump until I hear otherwise.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      There is absolutely no other way to look at it. Reds are giving up an established closer (AND CASH) for someone whose resume looks like a middle or possibly setup reliever.

      • CI3J

        It all hinges on the PTBNL. But knowing the Reds, it’s probably some B-level prospect that will never sniff the majors. The Angels’ farm system isn’t that good.

      • jim walker

        It is the cash part that rankles me. This is especially so because I was hoping they would do a similar deal to get Barnhart off the books and retain Casali for the next 2 seasons at a total cost of about $4M to backup and mentor Stephenson. But alas, that deal if there was even an attempt and possible takers would have probably saved only a couple of million on this season. They really are acting like they are in a severe short term cash crunch

      • Tom Mitsoff

        My opinion only — the Reds had to throw in the cash, or the Angels would not have done the deal. They were not willing to take on Iglesias and his $8 million salary without Cincinnati adding some undisclosed amount to help pay off Iglesias’ contract.

      • jim walker

        @Tom, I agree the Reds had to put in the cash to close the deal. Igggy is to make a straight $9.125M this year with no option to buy out on next. So basically the net drop for the Reds after deducting Ramirez projected salary is the $8M you indicated. If the Reds are paying down significantly off of that with the “plus cash”, they are going to be making another deal (or 2) if they need to cover what clearing Gray’s salary would bring,

      • Jimmer

        Indians put Brad Hand (could argue he’s better than Raisel) on waivers that offered him up to every team in baseball for $10m next year. Everyone passed. Economics due to pandemic are just different at the moment. Maybe they can bring him in for less than Raisel was going to make this year even with the $$ they kicked over to the Angels.

      • JayTheRed

        Yes it’s clearly a salary dump and a dumb one too. We give up Iggy who had a nice short comeback season last year and yes he is a little expensive but not really for a closer. I do feel Sims or Garnett could be a closer. I am praying they are not bringing Greene up to be the closer and then he ends up like the Chapman situation and doesn’t want to start.

        Overall the teams direction thus far is making me really nervous and frustrated. I just want to say this right now Don’t expect Bauer back at all. I feel like its a zero percent chance after what we have seen so far.

        That player to be named later better be something at least in view of baseball as someone who has good potential and has the stats to back it up. Otherwise we have given away our last 2 closers who were both really good away for a somewhat ok middle reliever and a bunch of peanuts.

  4. citizen54

    The ghost of Dick Williams is haunting the Reds. 2021: Miley $8MM. Castellanos $14MM, Moustakas, $14MM, Shogo $7 MM. Reds can’t even get a decent prospect for Iglesias. This is going to be a long rebuild. But hey at least we had a two game appearance in the playoffs.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      In fairness to Dick Williams, he had no idea a pandemic was going to wreck the economy and spending budgets globally when he offered those deals. He was trying to get the Reds into contention.

      • citizen54

        These signings were bad even without the pandemic. The pandemic only magnified Williams’ ineptness. He went all in on a two outer for 2020 and this is the aftermath. He should have been smart and traded Iglesias at the deadline this year instead of weakening the farm system even more for 15 innings of Bradley and Goodwin. I hope Krall recognizes the Reds have no way of contending and is signalling a rebuild with this move.

  5. David

    Probably the first in the line of several salary dumps and back to the rebuild. Hope I’m wrong!

  6. Chi Reds Fan

    What no one is getting is that the PTBNL is Mike Trout.

    • citizen54

      Angles have 2 Top 100 prospects, around 70sh. Hopefully the PBNTL will be one of those. Pretty sad if you can’t even get one of those for Iglesias.

      • Doc

        With only one year of control of Iglesius, isn’t the conventional wisdom, at least of posts on this site, that you shouldn’t have to give up much in prospects?

        My question is more along the lines of, “Are Johnson and Boddy integral parts of the discussions and decisions regarding pitching moves?” If they are in legitimate agreement with the moves, then I’m better about the move. I don’t think they will be here long if they are shut out of the loop.

      • Gonzo Reds

        Since you’ve obviously looked this up… who are they and what positions do they play?

      • citizen54

        Marsh is an OF and Detmers is a LHP SP. Hate to think that one of the top closers in the league can only net a guy who throws 89 MPH and a throwaway prospect especially when you are kicking in some cash. Seems like the Reds always give up more when they trade for guys with one year of control left.

      • Melvin

        Aww. You mean that’s not true? We’re not getting Trout?

  7. Chi Reds Fan

    When the PTBNL turns out to be Mike Trout, you all are gonna feel silly.

    • Doc

      Angels have done really well with Trout.

  8. jessecuster44

    Oh look, the 1Billion dollar team is poor again.

    I’ll not miss Iggy, but the Reds were on the uptick and now it appears that they went all in on 2020 and have now decided to act like its 2014.

  9. CI3J

    Talk about selling low. They could (and should) have traded Iggy a few years ago and could have got a pretty nice haul for him, especially if they traded him to a contender during the summer trade deadline.

    This just seems to be another instance of the Reds making moves long after the horse left the barn. Todd Frazier. Aroldis Chapman. Brandon Phillips. Joey Votto (should have, but didn’t).

    And what are they doing in return? Paying 30+ year old players for past production (Akiyama, Moustakas) on multi-year deals.

    I seriously don’t know how much more of this front office I can take. It’s pure ineptitude across several regimes. Either blow it all up, or try to win now. These half-measures only serve to keep the Reds walking the mediocre-to-bad line in perpetuity.

    • Hanawi

      I’m in total agreement. I don’t mind losing and rebuilding if they actually had gone all in and torn it down. Half measures just end up in mediocrity or worse.

      • CI3J

        If the Reds wanted to, they could probably restock the farm system by trading their best pieces (although after the complete collapse of the offense last year, they’d probably be selling low on most of their batters).

        But Castillo and Gray, with a competent front office, should absolutely bring back a nice haul for each. Suarez before last season could probably get a few decent prospects. Castellanos could also probably get a decent prospect, as could Nick Senzel.

        I honestly WANT the Reds to blow it up at this point. This team, as currently constructed, is not going to win the World Series. It might not even make the playoffs without Bauer. So what’s the point, then? To be “competitive”? Who cares? And things are only going to get worse as Votto, Moose, and Akiyama are all in their decline years (or soon will be). Then what?

        It’s sad that Joey Votto only got one very short window to experience winning baseball about 10 years ago. He deserved better. The Reds could have completely re-wrote their history by trading him for a huge prospect haul, and Votto could have gone on to better things as well. A win-win. But, as I alluded to in my original post, this Reds front office is nothing if not reactive instead of proactive. That’s why the teams Cardinals always seem to be able to reload without missing a beat, while the Reds are stuck in perpetual rebuild and/or mediocrity.

      • Earmbrister

        CI, Votto has a no-trade clause

  10. Jimbo44CN

    this is so sad. What in the world are they doing. To trade Iglesias for a middle relief guy, who throws 90? OMG.

    • TR#1

      Brad Hand could have been had by teams for less than a million more than Iglesias is being paid. And without giving up any prospects. Anyone really believe we getting a top 10 prospect back? C’mon man

  11. Bubba Woo

    So we spent 4 years of Joey Votto’s prime to tank and rebuild for what amounted to a 60 game attempt to be competitive, where we only made the playoffs because MLB expanded them to allow over half the league in. Now we’re in tank mode again. The bullpen is now what exactly. Iggy gone, Bradley gone, and you’re probably going to have to put Sims and/or Lorenzen in the rotation because you have no other options. Meanwhile, the current starting SS should probably be high A, Double A at best, and 25% of the payroll is being spent on Votto, who is no longer even a starter on a playoff caliber team. Oh ya, and they’ll probably trade Suarez and Gray, who are both under team friendly contracts that are significantly lower than their market value, just to save another 15 mil. Just sell the team already.

    • CI3J

      Don’t forget, BobSteve gone as well.

    • TR#1

      I think Suarez to LA for Lux would be win-win. Maybe plan is to be so bad that Votto decides to retire after 2021 if he has another down year. He’d be one to leave money on table to keep his pride

      • Schottzie

        I don’t think the Dodgers would trade anyone on their starting roster, let alone their best prospect, for Suarez.

      • Hanawi

        Not sure Votto would do that, but maybe they can convince Castellanos to opt out after next year.

  12. Rut

    Writing on the wall become more legible… good grief does it suck to be a Reds fan!!!

  13. TR#1

    @Doug-Any reason why it’s a PTBNL? What reason would prevent them from naming said player?

    • Doug Gray

      I’m just making up scenarios to provide potential reasons here – no actual inside information.

      But usually what happens with a PTBNL situation is that the teams agree on a “list” of a few players that the other team can choose from. Perhaps some of those guys are playing winter ball right now and the Reds want to get a more current look at them? Or perhaps they are hoping a 2021 season can start up and they can get a better look at them for a month before the PTBNL has to be announced.

      • Still a Red

        Perhaps the PTBNL is part of a more complicated trade??

    • burtgummer01

      Usually they haven’t decided on that player yet

    • realist

      Reds=Pirates their perennial partner in the basement.

  14. RedsGettingBetter

    Maybe they are thinking on Tejay Antone or Lucas Sims to be the closer for 2021. What a risk… Hopefully, they could land an above-average SS, at least.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Do you think Amir can close? Just wondering.

      • JayTheRed

        I do think Amir Garret could be the closer, Here is the thing though we love to go looking for scrap heap guys who need to resurrect their careers that used to be closers. Maybe we can find magic there. I highly doubt it. Iggy was one of my favorite pitchers. I am pretty upset about this trade right now.

      • Bob Purkey

        I like Amir, but I don’t think that he is closer material. I can think of many times where Amir comes in and just can’t seem find the plate sometimes.

        You just can’t have a closer with that lack of control consistency.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        It will probably be closer by committee until someone steps up and clearly becomes the most reliable in those situations.

      • Still a Red

        As Tom says, closing by committee. Isn’t that what everybody wanted…play you best relief given the situation whether 9th inning or earlier…isn’t that what Raisel hated…wasn’t this site down and down hard on Raisel?
        Now, was Ramirez and PTBNL the best the Reds could do? Better to keep him? MLB says Reds tossed in 900K. Are the Reds really trying to save its nickels to buy someone big…or maybe to pay their staff? Sure hope Boddy and Johnson are on board as has been mentioned elsewhere.

  15. JoshG

    uh oh …..
    now i’m worried about the direction it’s going …..

  16. Magnum 44

    I usually get it and can figure trades out being needs versus assets…..I really don’t get this trade especially with the amount of relievers that could be had in free agency….I hope I can figure their plan out but right now I don’t see it……..The only thing I can decipher is Antone/Lorenzen/Garrett…..7/8/9…Wishful thinking resigning Bauer, but my bet is getting another cheap bullpen addition Antone or Lorenzen to the rotation no shortstop and hopefully 500 for the season

  17. Mark Moore

    Salary dump … a bit too late to get bigger value for Iggy (by a couple of seasons).

    I’m in the group that hopes this takes the Sonny Gray “talks” off the table. I also hope this is a precursor to a run at a solid SS for 2+ years.

    But baffling … that much is true overall.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Mark, there is truly no way to know how this is all going to play out. One thing that is clear, however, is that there is probably nobody on the Reds roster at the moment who is untradeable if another team is willing to take his contract.

      Reds have only 31 players on the 40-man roster currently. Literally anything could happen.

      • Melvin

        I’d like to be optimistic but it’s getting harder. We’ll see. Hopefully there is a plan to this madness that makes us better.

  18. Joey

    “This is only the beginning.”- Count Dooku

  19. SteveLV

    We don’t know what the cash and PTBN components of this deal are, but a couple of days ago I suggested dumping Iglesias for whatever they can get that is cheap rather than trading Gray. That route saves about the same amount of money in ‘21 but keeps Gray around for ‘22 and ‘23 – and I’d rather have Gray in ‘21 than Iglesias. If the cash is minimal and this allows them to keep Gray, I think it’s the best of those 2 alternatives.
    The fact that they think they have to do either is a problem, though, and I’d rather see a full rebuild than an attempt to straddle the fence (which I don’t think will work).

    • Tom Mitsoff

      If it is indeed true that the Iglesias move means they can keep Gray, then take your hat off to Nick Krall. He made the best out of a bad situation, at least in that case.

      • jim walker

        This is a reasonable take to hang our hats on until/ unless it is proven wrong.

      • JayTheRed

        I am really hoping that this is the case. You can always find someone who does at least a decent job at closing out games. I feel like if we loose Gray and Bauer that’s a huge step backward from the #getthepitching philosophy we have been working toward the past 3 years. If a couple more contracts get dumped in the next few weeks then we will know its a rebuild all over again.

  20. MikeA

    Fans need to come to grips with the fact the Reds (no fault of their own really) picked a really bad time to try to be competitive. My guess is they lost their rear end last year and are now refocusing on a team led by India, senzel, Green, Lodolo and Castillo in 2022ish. Hence why Sonny and possibly Geno are up next.

    • D Ray White

      It’s not the Rona-induced belt tightening that galls, it’s the bungling of the rebuild to begin with. Other teams, most notably the Braves, navigated the same process with a clearer plan and far better results. Five years of losing bought the Reds an outside shot during a shortened season, and they were swept. By the Braves, who look well positioned to sustain excellence for several years.

  21. enfueago

    Depressing. My question though is why so fast to do a deal that is just a dump for a player a lot of teams should want on a one year deal? Do the Reds anticipate a lot teams are also going to be dumping salary such that in a couple months you couldn’t even give RI away? Otherwise I don’t see why the deal had to be done now.

    • jim walker

      Could be they are actually going to use the savings on a SS and needed to have them banked ahead of time. Or so an optimist might say. Am I an optimist at this time?? Not really.

      • emfueago

        Or maybe just stockpile money for an anticipated glut of quality players being released or given away by other teams? If this is a sign of where they think the rest of MLB is headed I guess its better to be out front either way.

  22. Kevin Patrick

    We are all worried about losing Iglesias… That said, I still haven’t seen the Reds shed any “essential” players yet. If they trade Gray for packing peanuts, I’ll groan for awhile. Assuming the financial contraction is necessary, and I’m not sure if it actually is, then thus far they are trimming the fat pretty efficiently. There are other players I would be more outraged about them losing. Maybe they’re next…

  23. Steven Ross

    I have no problem dumping Iggy. I got tired of him blowing saves. He always reminded me of what Earl Weaver said about Pitcher Don Stanhouse:

    Weaver, you may recall, nicknamed Stanhouse “Full Pack” in reference to thumbnail estimations of how many cigarettes Weaver would suck down while the erratic reliever was on the mound. “He doesn’t suffer from stress,” Weaver once said of Stanhouse, “he’s a carrier.”

  24. west larry

    I’m really curious about this player to be named later. Could it be a decent back up player off the Angels major league rooster? I hope so.

  25. Stoney

    This makes non-tendering Bradley even more puzzling. Hopefully they will divert these funds into obtaining a viable shortstop. If they trade Gray that will be demoralizing. Maybe give Sims a shot at closing. He seems to have the best stuff of the available arms left in the pen.

    • Melvin

      If we end up getting a decent return I have no problem getting rid of Mr. Roller Coaster. My heart feels better already. Those funds can be better used elsewhere.

      • JayTheRed

        Other than 2019 Iggy was pretty darn consistent and I thought I read someplace that over a 5 year period he had the least amount of blown saves and really good overall stats over the 5 year period.

        I have always like him and am sad to see him go especially after a nice rebound year in 2020.

  26. BO

    So many rumors in so many different directions from this actual trade, to them trying to trade Gray which I still don’t believe and them not being in on TB which I also don’t believe. I think what this could signal is that they don’t plan on using a closer in the traditional sense and they know Iglesias is completely against being used in any other way than as a traditional closer. I’m thinking we will see more arms added to the pen but you will see a combination of arms being used as a closer (Garret, Sims, etc. etc.) and not one guy. Remember the Cardinals used to bring up younger arms and get them seasoning in the pen (i.e. Wainright, etc.) which might be part of the plan with Greene, Lodolo, etc.. I don’t think this signals anything as they have been at odds with Iglesias and his role since the 2019 season. Maybe the Covid situation and season where they were able to test young Arms out of the pen showed them they don’t need to always pay for backend relievers. Regardless I think they are taking a new approach to the pen by trading Iglesias and letting Bradley walk. I think it shows nothing more than that until we see more moves.

    • JayTheRed

      If they do this with either Lodolo or Greene I am nervous that it will be another Chapman situation where he could have been a good starter but liked being the closer and never was a starter ever.

  27. SultanofSwaff

    The greed is astounding. The franchise value has QUADRUPLED in the 14 years Castellini has owned the team. He and his partners stand to make at least $760 million dollars if they sell, and yet a single fluke season where they lost less than $30 million is all the reason they need to jettison salaries and punt on a chance at relevance in a winnable division.

    Don’t believe for a second ownership cares about winning over profits. Can’t wait to hear the spin on this……..

    • jim walker

      Some about repositioning of resources to areas of greater need came out of Krall’s mouth.

    • Hotto4Votto

      And on top of any short term “loss” the Reds may have suffered (which would be more than made up and then some if the team were sold), billionaires are making money hand over fist during the pandemic while everyone else suffers. You can’t say you want to build a winner and pull this junk, Reds fans deserve better than the Castellini’s.

    • JayTheRed

      Krall’s interview was not informative at all on why they made this move. He barely had anything decent to say on the reliever we picked up even.

    • Doc

      If you own a home worth $300,000, one you bought for $150,000, but lose your job and can’t meet living expenses, the fact that you own the home and have ‘profit’ from appreciation doesn’t automatically mean you can afford a couple thousand a month for expenses, nor does it mean you could afford a sudden unexpected medical debt, as an example. Book value of an investment does not translate into operating capital.

  28. LDS

    If the Reds are serious about saving money then find a way to get Votto off the books and spend the money on someone that can help the team. Votto had a terrific career but keeping him on the roster now is an anchor.

    • CI3J

      Sorry, that’s not the way a guaranteed contract works. Votto is getting paid no matter what happens.

      • LDS

        Not if he voluntarily retires as he promised last year.

      • MK

        LDS would you retire and leave that money on the table. Maybe they need to treat him like any other pedestrian hitter any lousy fielding player. Let him platoon, put Moose at first half the time and Senzel and India at second only if Senzel can improve, otherwise just India. They are going to have to eat the contract regardless so they might as well upgrade the position performance.

  29. TR

    I was for saying bye bye to Raisel Iglesias a couple years ago when he implied he was only interested in coming into a game if a save was possible. IMO the Reds waited too long to trade him which has often been the Reds style going way back to the days of GM Jim Bowden. The Reds probably have a plan, but who knows? The offseason is young, so I’m not ready to give up on Nick Krall yet.

    • CFD3000

      Agree. In his last full season Iglesias was 3-12 with a 4.16 era. The Reds gave up their closer in this trade. But that’s misleading. Just because he had been used in that role doesn’t mean he was always a really good reliever. In 2019 he was… bad. Especially given his salary and pending free agency I am fine with this trade.

  30. Roger Garrett

    No problem with Iggy being gone.We don’t need a closer that dictated how and when he was to be used and got away with it and closers should always be traded although its 3 years to late to get a return on him.Maybe Krall gets it and is just doing what needs to be done and for starters their should be nobody that is safe on this roster.I hope he is able to unload some more of this dead weight if he can find a partner.He will have to swindle some teams cause we don’t have many players anybody else would want.

    • CFD3000

      Agree Roger. See my response to TR above.

  31. Billy Z.

    I just do not understand this deal, sad. Rasiel had some talent, and I would have liked to get something of value in return.

    Just as a side note, I played JV baseball in high school, so I certainly understand and appreciate talent more than your average “Joe” who just watches baseball and cheers for the Reds.

  32. Vottoman Empire

    This is what the opposite side of letting Iglesias walk away after this year looks like. They got what they could, and saved $8 million presumably to put towards keeping Gray and bringing in a shortstop.

    • doofus

      As JW implied, if the Reds are putting money into the deal, they are not really saving $8MM.

  33. Redgoggles

    Michael Lorenzen was seen shaking his head.

    • jim walker

      If they need to save several million, more Lorenzen could be next man up to depart. He will be in his last year of team control and projects to make $4M give or take a couple of $100K either way depending whose projection a person looks at.

      • JayTheRed

        No I think he is shaking his head cause he wanted to be a starter and with Bradley and Iggy gone, the chances of him being a starting pitcher decreased a lot for the time being.

        They are going to need Lorenzen in the bullpen now.

  34. RojoBenjy

    Not going to miss Raisel and his blown saves. The team just added by subtraction. One less broken toy for Bell to have and use inexplicably.

    But as far as this team lacking direction? I’m pretty much in alignment with most others above.

    • jon vera

      Exactly! I had zero confidence in iggy. How many losses and blown saves did he have the last 3 years?

      • Still a Red

        Least career blown saves of current crop of closers over x number of years…apparently.

      • CFD3000

        No, Iggy didn’t blow saves at a high rate. But he has been awful at times in non-save situations. He was 3-12 with a 4.16 ERA in his last full season. That definitely qualifies as unreliable in my book. Given his salary, contract status, selfish “I only want to close attitude” and unreliability in non-save game, I’m not disappointed that he’s gone at all.

  35. Jim

    Happy Holidays.
    From Bob C
    To A Moreno
    Enclosed is one erratic closer. 87% save rate noted. Blown wins in tie games remembered.
    Gray on the market means they have no plans of contending.
    What are the plans?
    I cant handle another 6 yr rebuild. Ill lose interest after 50 yrs.

  36. Stock

    I am going to pray for the best here. Maybe Ryan Tepera, Nick Tropeano and Matt Wisler like the idea of working with Boddy and have shown interest in signing with the Reds.

    Being the shrewd man Krall is he decided Iglesias and 3 crappy relievers is not as good as Ryan Tepera, Nick Tropeano, Matt Wisler and Ramirez and cost the same.

    I know. Pipe dream but at least it is positive.

    • Sliotar


      It is positive … and IMO, not a pipe dream.

      IF this chain of events leads to an average or better SS, and Gray sticks around … I like the Reds’ chances in the NL Central in 2020.

      Conversely … in 2021, Suarez/Barnhart/Votto/Moustakas/Akiyama will all be age 30 or older, and Castellanos will be 29, and can opt-out after the season.

      Other than Greene/Lodolo, the Reds appear to have little to trade … and, apparently, are reducing overall payroll.

      Tough to see contention past 2021 at the moment, if it even happens then …. so I get the frustration in this thread.

      • earmbrister

        Tom, I agree that Suarez and Castellanos strike out a ton, and it’s a personal pet peeve that Suarez starts most ABs 0-1 or 0-2 without ever taking the bat off of his shoulder. Winker and Moustakas do not strike out a lot. Winker is probably the best hitter on the team: I’d take a couple more of him (high OBP with some pop). Moose is just a bit above average at the plate, but Ks are not a real problem for him either.

    • earmbrister

      Stock, I hope your (well thought out, yet optimistic) line of thinking is correct. If these moves allow the Reds to spend for an upgrade at SS and add to the bullpen at a discount then I’m OK with it, if not encouraged by it. If that’s not the case, the Reds better be careful so as to not spur a fan revolt. Fans have learned to do without baseball, and could choose to do without bad baseball going forward.

      • doofus

        You have summarized something that the Red’s front office and ownership should heed.

        “If that’s not the case, the Reds better be careful so as to not spur a fan revolt. Fans have learned to do without baseball, and could choose to do without bad baseball going forward.”

      • Mark Moore

        Debbie waits to see what’s next

  37. Krozley

    Winter meeting discussions are happening and I think the Reds see the writing on the wall for 2021. Attendance will be heavily restricted early in the year and down due to fan indifference later in the year. They will probably have more than $50MM in lost revenues on top of whatever was lost in 2020. Players will not again concede to anything lower than a full year’s salary for everyone, so the Reds have to figure how to cover their expenses with lower capital. Owners may be worth a billion, but they don’t have that stacked in cash in a vault somewhere and you can only smartly borrow so much. We also can’t expect a sale to a new owner that doesn’t mind losing money each year. Large market teams are different given their TV deals, but I think we’ll see many small to mid-market teams punting on 2021 and there is a good chance there won’t be a season in 2022. It sucks, but it is the reality of the times. Baseball will look a lot different in 2023.

    • Michael E

      Finally a good take on the ownership, free cash flow and all. Yeah, Castellini is wealthy, but most of the Reds value is not liquid, so as you noted he doesn’t have a few hundred million sitting in a vault luxurious office at GABP.

      I can say, if I were owner, I would NOT be ASSUMING I get the current value or more when I sell and spending everything that might later come my way. If the club were costing me $30 million in a single year, darn right I’d be cutting costs the next year.
      If I owned the Yankees, Dodgers or Cubs, maybe I consider multiple years of heavy losses, knowing all my various revenue streams will pick up dramatically once winning. There is no pot o gold at the end of the Reds franchise rainbow. Maybe a shoebox of gold if they win the World Series, but even then, nothing sustainable as far as revenue.

      I am sure Castellini could up the payroll quite a bit, but no one likes to lose money. we don’t like losing $5000 or $10000 and Castellini doesn’t like to lose $10 million or $20 million. I see him doing what we’d all be doing if we owned the Reds…unless we also owned Amazon or Apple.

  38. Mark

    I believe Lucas Sims should be closer he showed he has the makeup and most to close last year. They have to use money from The two relievers to sign Gregorius. I think this will allow them to keep Gray at least for now and re-evaluate at the trade deadline.

  39. doofus

    If the Reds are going to operate as one of those teams that need to jettison players before the end of their contracts (please see the Tampa Bay Rays), then they need to do so at the height of their value.

    When WILL this front office/ownership team learn?

  40. Mark Moore

    I’d actually take that as an outcome.

  41. JB

    We all watched Iglesias come in the last two seasons and throw up all over the mound. I’m not sure why everybody is mad for trading him. I’m amazed somebody traded for him. As long as the money isnt alot going back to the Angels I see this as a good trade. He was way overpayed and I’m glad he is gone. It’s a salary dump in a good way to me.

  42. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I believe this is a salary dump. Lance said the other night that many clubs will be looking at doing similar this off season because of COVID.

    But, then, of course, it could be a salary dump to try to get Story or Lindor over here on an extension and not just a one year deal.

  43. Tim

    Has anyone thought that the Reds “might” be clearing payroll for a shortstop, possibly Lindor?
    If this is really all that comes out of this trade, it looks bad for the Reds. If this is just one step in more moves to make the Reds better, I’m all for it. Be patient, the ink hadn’t even dried yet.

  44. Mossy

    Trading Iglesias is something many have wanted for 2 years now. Can not have a $9m closer as a luxury on a small market team. If this means keeping Gray, it was a great call. If no more cost cutting measures are needed then adding a SS and a few low cost bullpen pieces keeps us relative for 2021. If we need to cut more Suarez would be my choice rather than Gray as we have possible replacements (call up India, move Senzel, Moose).

    If this happens a mix of veterans and youth will finally be the experiment needed for us to see if we can be a small market playoff contender:

    Possible Lineup (w potential Suarez trade/dump rather than Gray)
    Shogo (CF)
    Winker (LF)
    Nick C (RF)
    Moose (3rd)
    Stephenson (C)
    SS (TBD)
    Votto (1B)
    Senzel (2nd or CF platoon and India starts)

    Barnhart, India, Farmer, The Punisher, (Another 5th OF we always seem to find on some scrap heap)

    Gray, Castillo, Mahle, Miley, Lorenzen or Antone (the other going to the pen)

    Plus a Sims/Garrett solid but not yet proven 8/9th inning combo

    Not the Dodgers but not 2014 either.

  45. Hotto4Votto

    Reds fans deserve better than this. Trading your closer, for whatever that’s worth, for a journeyman past his prime reliever when the best thing you can say about him is he was ok for 21 innings. The time to trade Iglesias was about 4-5 year ago. They didn’t even finish one misguided rebuild before starting another one. This is severely weakening the bullpen and it’s on top of non-tendering Bradley.
    Just about everything the Reds have done so far this offseason has left me scratching my head. Cheap and embarrassing way to run an FO.

    • citizen54

      It’s not this offseason that is the problem. It was last offseason where Williams went out and spent like a drunken sailor on shore leave. The Reds are in cost cutting mode because they have to pay for Castellanos, Moustakas, Shogo and Miley, none of which are worth their contracts and thus untradeable. Besides, the Reds were probably going to be trading Iglesias at some point anyways. I’m just disappointed that the return was so light.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Agreed in many ways this offseason is the end results of many a misstep along the way, and last offseason’s 75%-of the way-all-in moves have made commitments the organization doesn’t want to keep up on. Financially we are hamstrung due to decisions made last year. Decisions that were borderline questionable last offseason (paying one dimensional players that don’t fit well onto the team) and look much worse now. But I would argue it’s not just last offseason, but every offseason since 2014 that has led to this mess of an organization. For all the money they spent last offseason, the offense was still the primary culprit holding the team back from success. And the strength of last season has been drastically weakened by subtracting the best pitcher, closer, and primary RH set up man. No where along the way did there ever seem to be a full fledge plan to return to competing. Just half measures and excuses and poor execution.
        And yes the return was light as most salary dumps tend to be, which is in itself disappointing.

      • TXRedLeg

        Last season’s roster looked whole lot like the Reds bet the farm on it and got burned by the Covid. The Reds are deep in the red, held down by the contracts of Moose, Shogo, Castellanos, Miley, and Votto, that are not going to be traded because they’re overpaid veterans (from a negotiating standpoint and the stark reality that all clubs are financially troubled), unless the Reds take a hefty portion of their contracts, which is of no help at all.
        I think we can expect the Reds to continue to trade players with any value at all that have a contract anywhere above league minimum. It’s going to be while before the Reds dig out of this hole.

      • Jim

        Tired of hearing some genius saying that Votto has a no trade contract! Everyone knows that!! Where there is a will, there is a way. I think in the stupid,stupid, contract that Votto Can Agree to a trade. But he wouldn’t unless someone pays him 25,000,000 per year. So the Reds will have to eat most of the contract like Homer’s a few years ago. Another team would probably give him his current value of about 2,000,000 and the Reds would have to cough up the remaining 23. Or send him with another player in what would appear to be a blockbuster. But Votto’s permission would be hard to get. The next 3 years with Votto at first and in the heart of the lineup is going to be hard to digest, as it has been the past two years!!!

      • BigRedMike

        Last offseason was the worst thing the Reds could have done. Moustakas, Shogo, Castellanos, and Miley contributed negative WAR in 2020. The Reds are going to pay them almost 40 million in 2021 and add in an aging Votto.

        The Reds somehow have 3 sunk cost contracts with no production. Yet, many fans are worried about the direction because they traded a way overpaid relief pitcher?

        Reds fans need to realize that right handed relief pitchers are not in high demand. Look at the number of right handed relief pitchers that were non tendered. No reason for the Reds to pay as much for the limited value Igleasis provides.

      • KetteringRedsFan

        Response to Jim:

        There has -always- been a -potential- way out of this box.

        Annuitize the remaining years of the contract and offer JV the position of full-time batting coach/instructor, either with the big club or on a travelling basis.

        Three hurdles:
        (1) Intangible -Is Joey ready, mentally, to hang up the glove? He’s a wonderful guy but, more than for most, -playing- baseball appears to be the sun his whole life orbits.
        (2) Tangible – In this age of near-zero interest rates, it’s still going to cost the club about 55 cents on the dollar up front to annuitize. Still a big one-time hit and, in the current circumstance, it may be desirable but out of reach.
        (3) Ponderable – We don’t know how much of the current contract is -already- being set up on a deferred payment basis. He -accrues- $25M per annum but the payments may already be annuitized or structural. Only Joey, the club, the MLB office and his agent know and that information is going to be very closely held.

    • Doc

      Everybody says should have traded Iggy several years ago. They didn’t. Get over it. FO has to deal with the here and now, not the coulda, shoulda, woulda.

  46. JayTheRed

    I agree completely. I think they told Williams hey your going to have to cut the budget and get rid of some bigger salaries and he didn’t like that idea after spending so much time to try and fix the ship that he inherited from Jocketty.

  47. Michael E

    If you think we waited too long to trade Iglesias (and we did, by at least 2.5 years), then remember that when Suarez is down to a year left and gets dumped for peanuts.

    I know this season dropped his value, but it would still be there for a 3rd base starved contender, given his friendly contract.

    the time to trade Suarez is this off-season or by all-star break. If they aren’t shopping Suarez, then the front office truly is awful.

    I am fairly certain he’ll be traded during his last season for a 25 year-old, “MLB ready” (cringeworthy phrase), high A ball veteran.

  48. JayTheRed

    Over at MLB Several teams still talking to Reds and Reds are continuing to consider offers for Sunny Gray.

    So much for Trading Iggy means we keep Gray. sigh.

    • JayTheRed

      Also MLB trade rumors says the Reds signed to a minor league deal Dwight Smith Jr.
      Guess what he’s an outfielder with a little power and no on base skills sounds like a perfect fit for our team.

      Good Grief!!!

      • Doc

        Some rebuild, stocking the minors with players released from the worst team in baseball.

  49. AV in VA

    I get needing to cut expenses. I also get how they have a valuable asset and negative cash flow. I think the problem is that they should be making decisions like Tampa and Oakland which means flipping players while they still have value and investing in the draft and player development. If I was the owner of a small market team I’d be hiring front office people that come from that environment. It’s the only way for Cincinnati to be successful. Overpaying for solid but not great players is just working against them. My biggest concern is that they don’t figure this out and ownership gets frustrated. They could immediately increase the value of their asset by moving/selling the team to a larger market. So I would love to see them develop a longer term strategy and approach that fits their situation. If that means also trading Gray and Suarez so be it.

  50. MBS

    I am ok with trading Iggy. I actually like him, but over the last 2 seasons he was used in a way that was ineffective. Not blaming him or the organization, it just wasn’t a good situation.

    I see them using Garrett, Sims, and Antone as a modern version of the nasty boys. 3 different guys who can close a game, or pick up a hold in the 7th or 8th. Hopefully they saved enough money to sign (realist Didi) or (pipe dream Lindor) trade for their new SS.

    If our 2020 rotations is Castillo, Gray, Mahle, Lorenzen, and Miley or Lodolo, I’d be a happy camper with our pitching. If we add an impact bat at SS, and Stephenson provides a plus bat at C, then we are ready to rock.

    Of course we could continue to dump salaries, and if that’s the case forget everything I said, and Bob is a mean old man.

    • JayTheRed

      I actually am not opposed to your idea. Though they would never be the nasty boys..
      Maybe the cleanup boys or shut it down boys or close the book trio… laugh…

      • Doc

        Or the “and this one belongs to the Reds” boys!

      • MBS

        Your right there is only one nasty boys, they would need their own nickname.
        G arrett A ntone S ims. Something tied to gas. Gas men, I don’t know there has to be a cool term that is eluding me

      • Earmbrister

        MBS – the pouring Gas on the fire boys?

      • MBS

        Earm – i like it, the jumbo tron, or what ever they call it now, can look like a raging inferno when one of them comes out, while playing Metalica’s song called “Fuel”. (Lyrics) “give me fuel, give me fire, give me what I desire”. It’s a real intense part of the song. That should get the crowd pumped up.

  51. Wallyum

    No confusion here. This past season was the “all in”. Hope you enjoyed it. Back to your normally scheduled clueless franchise.

    • Jim

      Kettering is right on about Votto
      Gosh Joey is one of my all time favorite Reds, one of our best hitters ever! But that is in the past. Two years ago when he started to chock up 3 inches on the bat , was the signal that it was over. His good hitting is gone and sometimes I think he is up there for a walk, which he used to get a lot of. But if he does get on first he is a dead runner, pitchers don’t even look over to first because they know he has no chance to steel second, and that is bad for the team. It would be nice if he would be happy with a teacher or administrator role if he stays and be remembered for his past performance instead of his last 5 years of underperformance and pulling the team down with him. Chances are slim though to pull something like that off, because apparently the organization think he will return to yesteryear for some reason! I hope and pray the same but know better.

      • Optimist

        Dunno if the good hitting is gone. Perhaps the power is waning, but there’s still the .350+ OBP. Compare with Starlin Castro for empty offense. If Joey can transition to 20hr/.380 OBP there’s still a lot of value there. Seems like that’s where his effort is.

  52. Melvin

    I know I’m in a minority on here but I’m not completely sold that Votto is finished. Although I could be wrong of course I still think it’s a lot more mental than physical with him. If anybody can bounce back in his 30s it’s him.