If it’s not literally nailed down at Great American Ballpark it appears that the Cincinnati Reds are open to swapping it out for something else. This morning, Jon Heyman of MLB Network, reported that on top of Sonny Gray still being discussed in trades with other teams around Major League Baseball, that the Reds are also willing to talk with teams about trading starting pitcher Luis Castillo.

It seems very clear that the ownership has asked General Manager Nick Krall to cut payroll. The team moved closer Raisel Iglesias (and even sent Los Angeles a little bit of cash to do so) and non-tendered Archie Bradley, Curt Casali, Brian Goodwin, and R.J. Alaniz with only the latter being a move that didn’t seem to be one directly related to saving money.

With arguably the best rotation in the National League in 2020, the Reds are without free agents Trevor Bauer (still unsigned) and Anthony DeSclafani (signed with the San Francisco Giants). And they are now also discussing moving All-Star’s Sonny Gray and or Luis Castillo. Gray has one of the most friendly contracts among high end pitchers in the game. Castillo is still in his arbitration portion of his contract, so he’s not being paid market rates at all and is still “cheap” when it comes to what he makes. According to MLB Trade Rumors projections, depending on how arbitration plays out based on the way in which the 2020 season is handled in the process, Castillo is set to make between $3M and $6M in the 2021 season.

In three of his four seasons in the Major Leagues, Luis Castillo has posted an ERA of 3.40 or better. In 2018 his ERA was 4.30, giving him a career mark of 3.62 in his 90 big league starts. The right-handed starter isn’t a free agent until after the 2023 season, meaning he’s going to pitch for someone for the next three seasons before he reaches free agency. That kind of player should bring back a big return in a trade, but that’s also the kind of player that a team who is trying to actually win baseball games shouldn’t be looking at trading away.

After two offseasons in a row where the Cincinnati Reds were making moves in an effort to try and compete the following season, it now seems that the Reds are having a “going out of business” sale with anything they have of value. Things aren’t marked down to 90% off yet, but they’ve got the banner up on the building and the employees at the corner spinning their “sale” signs for 8 blocks in any direction of the ballpark, too.

111 Responses

  1. Mike Bittenbender

    if managed correctly, moving Castillo, Gray and Suarez could return a haul that would turn this franchise around quickly. Obviously return would have to be large and impactful, but you could see an infusion of talent on this roster which is needed. Yes the pitching takes a hit, but if you trust your current development team, DJ, Boddy, etc, then you could move forward without these 3 and still compete if Lorenzen takes a step forward. What if Bauer is back at 3 /120 Mil with this much pay removed? This team is not good enough to win the NL as constructed, so I am ok with doing what they should have done in 2014, move what has value, get younger / better, deepen the system and build to a team that can compete with the LADs / ATLs. Honestly, instead of spending on Bauer, I might approach Lorenzen and Mahle and get them on favorable extensions while I can to be leaders of the next strong rotation

    • Doc

      Assumes Johnson, Boddy, et al stay around if the top of the rotation is cut out from under them.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray were all star pitchers in 2019. Eugenio Suarez crushed 49 home runs in 2019. The chances you trade those three guys on incredible contracts and actually improve the roster are infinitely small.

      • Mike Bittenbender

        I look at the CWS as a model. I look at the moves they made to get better. They are in position to be good for a sustained run now because they moved key pieces like Quintana, Eaton, etc. If that is the plan, huge IF I know, then I am okay because it means there IS a plan

      • Michael E

        and if you wait to trade them, after they have all regressed, you definitely won’t improve the team moving forward and the future is VERY bleak.

    • RedBaron

      Yankees fans are offering up Gleyber and Deivi for Castillo. I would do that…

  2. RojoBenjy

    They should get a king’s ransom for him—so if they don’t, they’d be fools to trade him.

  3. RojoBenjy

    Doug-

    Re: “ it now seems that the Reds are having a “going out of business” sale ”

    Dare we hope that Krall is now really in charge and that he actually understands the mechanics of a rebuild for a small market team and is trying to do what should have been done CORRECTLY starting in 2013?

    I’m scared to hope too much—but if that’s actually what’s taking place, then this could end up a much better franchise in several years.

  4. Shawn

    I think we are a good SS away from being competitive but I’m not totally against rebuilding either. We would probably get 5-6 top 100 prospects and a few other good prospects for Castillo, Gray and Suarez. Should also trade Castellanos and Mouskakas, if they don’t have no trade clauses. I’m sure we wouldn’t get much back and would have to eat salary but the goal is to lose games and get higher draft picks. I think it was Doug that mentioned that there would probably be limited fans next year and a possible strike in 2022. Would really be a good time to rebuild. Votto is under contract for 3 more years. Set goal to compete in 2024. We can always watch the minor league games for the next couple years.

    • Colorado Red

      If they trade these three, we can watch 1 minor league team every day.

      The Reds will be a minor league team.

      • Troy Gipson

        Have been Reds fan since the 1970’s. The Reds fans are the most loyal and knowledgeable fans in baseball. However it’s quite obvious that the current ownership values $ over fielding competitive baseball team. Yes understand that baseball is big business and ownership has the right to make money. But at the same time MLB owners should at least respect the fans and the history of this great franchise. And if they are unwilling to consistently try to field championship teams then they should sell the team and get out of the professional sports business. The Reds ownership have seen the value of their franchise increase by an astronomical amount of money. So no one should have any sympathy for the ownership that continues to use the excuse of being a small market team. I’m only one fan, however I refuse to continue supporting this franchise. Reds nation deserves much better.

  5. Magnum 44

    There is a lot of smoke………I know Morosi reported most the news on the Reds how reliable of a source is Heyman?

    • Colorado Red

      There are a lot of discussions that are never reported or serious talks.
      If they Trade Louis, Sonny, or Suarez, then they need to blow up the team, and do a real rebuild. Not to the garbage that they did before.
      Get below average, MLB ready talent.

  6. Mark Moore

    Oh the December void of actual activity (that we can see, at least) … it’s the womb of all sorts of conjecture and rumors. Of course Krall will answer the phone. We all get that. Whatever happens, happens. I just hope as others have stated that any trade of our SP’s returns a “haul” of some sort. Because it’s going to be a rough road if we go that way. I’ll stay on it with the team, but I won’t be happy about it.

  7. Bred

    If they can trade wisely and get top prospects, then do it now. Don’t wait like the last rebuilds 1, 2, and 3. The window for the current roster is all but closed because they are 2 outcome hitters, slow, and getting old. Now is the time to cash in. If they don’t, they face 7 or 8 years of losing after one year of maybe contending.

  8. Tom Mitsoff

    I do not believe (at least at this moment) that Krall is asking for the best offer for Castillo, Suarez, Gray, etc., with the idea that they must be traded. I believe that he is willing to listen to any offer, and if there is one that blows him away and significantly improves the team, he might bite.

    This team cannot go through another extended rebuild mode after just doing it. I hope Castellini understands the extent of the damage he will do to the fan base’s willingness to hang in there if a sell-off goes beyond Iglesias. Fans are not going to come to the stadium if there is still a virus risk to watch an AAAA team.

    At some point, professional teams have to be willing to try to win instead of collecting prospects who may or may not work out.

    • MBS

      “ Fans are not going to come to the stadium if there is still a virus risk to watch an AAAA team.”

      I think that’s the point. I think Bob and Nick think 2021 (as a money maker) will be a flop. No matter how good of a product they put out, there won’t be the fans in the stands.

      Who knows if there will be a 2022 season, because of the new negotiations.

      I think Bob is trying to set up a post COVID, post Collective Barging Agreement team. Right or wrong, that’s my gut feeling.

      • Mark Moore

        Interesting thought. 2022 is murky to say the least.

    • Melvin

      Only if they care about and want to keep their fans.

      • MBS

        They haven’t had fans for 6+ years. In Cincinnati you only have fans when you win. Cubs can pack a park year in and year out, no matter what they put on the field, but not here.

      • Melvin

        Isn’t Chicago a little bit bigger place? LOL Do they have to rely on fans from several surrounding states? 🙂 I’m a lifelong fan from Indy by the way.

    • Greenfield Red

      I disagree with you on one point. Yes, they with through an attempted rebuild. But ,
      IT WAS BOTCHED IN ALMOST EVERY WAY A REBUILD CAN BE BOTCHED.

      This could be the start of an actual rebuild. Trade everything that isn’t nailed down if you can get younger, faster, and better in year 3 or year 4. The Reds do not need major league ready players. That is a huge mistake. Get lots of great young players to build. Lose 100 games or more in 21, 22, and 23. Draft first for 3 consecutive years. Build for 24 and 25 like there’s no tomorrow.

      In this scenario, the Reds have their starting shortstop for the next couple of years. His name is Alfredo Rodriquez. Heck, if he shows defensive greatness, they might be able to trade him too. The goal is to try to have fun, but try to not win for the next 3 years.

      Build a winner… not a competitive team.

      • Melvin

        The rebuild was definitely screwed up big time. However, that’s not the fault of the fans. When it comes right down to it most of us Reds fans are just plain sick and tired of the ” We have no money to spend right now crap”. There’s money to spend. Everybody knows it. The ownership just won’t do it. Extremely disappointed in “Big Bob”. I used to like him as an owner.

      • Greenfield Red

        Melvin. It’s not about the money. It’s about trying to win a World Series. You can’t win by going half way. You get the results the Reds got last year. Good enough to make the playoffs, but not good enough to go any farther.
        Tear it all down. I mean all of it. Not half way. Don’t hold on to a guy until he becomes less productive and has much less (to 0) trade value. Gray, Castillo, Garrett, and probably Suarez have trade value now. Others can regain a little value with descent years in 21 (Barnhart, Moose, Castiallos, Senzel, Winker, several other pitchers. Move them all at their highest. Lose. Lose. Lose. and lose some more in the next three years. Draft 1st overall for 3 years. Draft first in each round for 3 years.

        Build a team that not only can win a World Series, but build a team that is likely to win at least 1 World Series. I don’t believe a payroll challenged team can do that by trying to remain competitive and trading for major league ready average players. The Reds need difference makers. Teams don’t trade true difference makers on the cusp of the majors, but they will trade them when they are 17, 18, 19, or 20 years old for current talent that is in the majors or is major league ready.

        If the Reds do this correctly, they can have the next Mike Trout or Tatis Jr. By stockpiling a whole bunch of these guys with all the potential, they are much more likely to actually hit on one or two great players than by drafting 2nd for 2 years, 5th for 1 year, 7th for 1 year, and 19th for 1 year, and trading away talent at the wrong time for the wrong players.

      • Melvin

        Rebuilding always sounds good on paper. The truth is prospects rarely work out the way we want them to. It’s a big gamble (see Senzel). Also, even if you get great players that does not always turn into winning. Winning is not just a button you turn on and off. You have to “learn” how to win again every time you tank. That doesn’t always work. Perfect example is this years team. Lot’s of talent underachieving. Lots of talent doing stupid things because of a stupid philosophy of hitting/offense. It’s been said on here before that now would have been the perfect time to go all in when most every other team is going the opposite direction. IF we would hire a better manager and hitting coach both on the same page with a different philosophy, that alone would make this team much much better. Protecting Bell is the absolute dumbest thing this ownership is doing. It’s the biggest reason we’re in the mess that we’re in. Signing a SP (Bauer if possible), getting a stop gap SS (Lindor if possible) until Garcia is ready along with a new manager. Those three things would make us much much better and probably take us to a division title and deep into the playoffs. We would be close to what we all want. It’s been a LONG time. There is no guarantee we’ll be this close again. We’re about ready to blow it I’m afraid because “Big Bob” is cheap. If he’s not and really wants to win, really cares about the Reds, really cares about the fans, now is the time to prove it. Otherwise SELL THE TEAM. PLEASE.

    • Rut

      Disagree, Tom.

      I think it is fairly clear that the Reds MUST trim significant salary for 2021 and perhaps beyond.

      Unfortunately for the Reds, many other teams in the same boat. So guys like Moose, Castellanos, Shoo, all have negative value.

      The only avenue the Reds have to achieve their objective of significant reduction in payroll is to move players with attractive (yet still significant) contracts. This is why we keep hearing about Gray, Suarez, and now Castillo. And once we trade, say, Sonny Gray, then there can be no argument that this is a rebuild — and no reason to keep the others.

      Look, we have gone several off-seasons hearing about the Reds moving prospects for proven players… but have not heard a peep about trading India, Senzel, Lodolo, Green, etc in over a year. In today’s MLB, you are either making moves for the present or you are building for the future. The Reds blew almost all of the last decade trying to do both to predictably horrible results.

      So now perhaps the ONLY good thing would be a GM/front office that understands what a rebuild entails. But the most unpleasant aspect of that would be the initial tear down — which is exactly what we are witnessing now.

      • doofus

        I would not be surprised if we hear talk about Winker.

  9. docproc

    As a small-mid market team, you build around talent you have under team control at below-market prices. The three players the Reds shouldn’t trade right now:

    1. Luis Castillo (under team control through 2023, 1st year arb eligible in 2021—likely around 4 mil)
    2. Sonny Gray (under team control through 2023, will make 10 mil in 2021)
    3. Eugenio Suarez (under team control through 2025, will make 10.7 mil in 2021)

    So for the equivalent of Joey Votto’s 25 mil contract in 2021, you get your #1 and #2 rotation pitchers and your 40 HR/100 RBI 3-hole hitter—all of whom have made the All-Star team in recent years.

    You simply don’t trade those three players unless you get overwhelmed by an offer.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Correct, and agree with Tom and Doc.
        I am not getting any younger, so glad I grew up with The Big Red machine. Seeing Bench play at Crosley as a rookie, Pete just starting out and then all the rest in the 70s. If any of these current moves actually take place, you are trading known quality for unknown younger supposed quality. Sorry, but you need guys like these to build your team around, not a bunch of prospects who may or may not make it. Big mistakes made last year with Moose, Casteallanos and Shogo. That I am sure is very much on Bob’s mind.

      • doofus

        We need to remember that every major league player was a prospect at one time.

      • OklaREd

        TO DOOFUS it is true every player was a prospect but not all prospects turn into players and we have players on good contracts these should be highly valued and not traded in hopes of hitting lottery/

      • doofus

        TO OKLARED,

        “…it is true every player was a prospect but not all prospects turn into players.”

        Are you sure you are not related to Yogi Berra?

    • Michael E

      You DO trade all three of these IF you hold fast in negotiations and get such a young, cheap and VERY promising talent infusion, that you’re suddenly the top farm system in MLB. That’s the whole point. No fans want to see these guys traded like they’re salary dumps.

      The fact is ALL three of these guys are more likely to regress, than progress at this point (thus SELL HIGH). I daresay Suarez won’t touch 49 HRs again, not with a BA above .220. He is slow and won’t age well at all. Gray, we’ve seen his ups and downs in his substantial career, we might get one more top 5 Cy Young season, but I doubt any sustained success. Castillo, the same.

      They LOOK like good values now, but that is how they look to other teams too. This means you can get two top prospects for each of them and another low A lottery ticket thrown in for each.

      One last thought that is counter to your and Tom’s argument. We saw what we saw WITH all three of these guys…an inept playoff team. Eugenio a big part of that ineptness. We’re losing Bauer, barring a sudden drop in market for his services. We will lose 80 games or more WITH these guys and barely be considered a long-shot contender.

      My ONLY concern is getting something close to max return for these guys. The rebuild was botches MOSTLY by “MLB ready” requested returns. IE, journeymen, replacement-level nobodies. So long as we start with each teams #1 prospect and add from there, or let them keep the #1 and ask for #2, #3 and #5, then that would work too. My fear is getting 6 players back, like #9, #11, #15, #20 and unranked prospects, in other words, the ole dupe the Reds GM trick of quantity over quality.

      If it’s quantity or MLB ready, then a HARD PASS on ANY trades until we get an owner and GM that actually gets how to negotiate trades. It’s clear up till now that Castellini was pushing for something in return to immediately put on the field so he can boast about getting MLB ready players back. I’d rather see a bunch of AAAA players on the field signed as 29 year old FAs for a year and a STACKED farm system that is one or two years away from delivery ROY candidates at 3 or 4 positions. If done right, we’re looking at contending in 2022/23, not 2025 and beyond. Rebuilds DON’T have to last 5 years. That’s called giving up and taking the easy path in negotiations.

      • SteveLV

        I think the concept of building around inexpensive, controlled, high performers is right, but I don’t think they can/will for the next 3 years with the anchors that are Votto’s and Moose’s contracts. (Some would throw Castellanos in with them. I wouldn’t call it an anchor, but it now looks poorly timed.)

        They only control Suarez, Castillo, and Gray for the next 3 years, so if they’re not going to actually build around them, it’s time to trade them.

        I don’t see more than two smart paths for teams – either try to win now, or rebuild to win later.

        What I really don’t want them to do is trade one of them. Trying to “compete”, as was mentioned above, is just another way of saying they are trying to be a little better than mediocre. Pick a horse and ride it. Sure doesn’t look like “Win Now” is the name of their horse.

    • Tom

      You forgot to mention the 200 Ks per year for Suarez. In an era of the juiced ball and the short fences at GASP, 40 HRs is not significant. With a better average and situational hitting skills Suarez should drive in 130+. Without that production the Reds still lack a consistent middle of the order bat. I get your point about the sum loss of all of these parts – the Reds will lose 100+ games for the next 3 years. Would rather trade from the starting 8- it would be much easier to improve in that area.

    • Troy Gipson

      Absolutely agree with your analysis ! Rebuilding doesn’t mean basically giving away your top 3 players that are also the most economical. It would be insane to trade these guys because of both their All Star talent but also because they literally are the three players giving the best return on value.

      • Michael E

        You can’t trade players that aren’t good ROV. so no trades at all, stand pat, lose with these solid, but not great players (Gray, Suarez, Castillo) and watch them regress and become future salary dumps or FAs that move on. I’d rather spin the wheel on high upside prospects and promote Lodolo or Greene and let them get the MLB exp in 2021 or 2022 in preparation for a contending team with an influx of talented rookies and second year players in 2022/23/24. Obviously you can look at Gray/Suarez/Castillo from two points of view, which we do.

        Good ROV…for now, but who knows moving forward. Good ROV means GREAT trade value when negotiation with other teams.

  10. Jim m

    So why hasnt one beat writer asked the Reds ” If you truly want to win, why are you shoppong all your best players? ” and ” why havent they gone to Votto and asked if he would defer a big portion of his yearly contract of whats left so they can add whats needed “? It will piss me off if they trade Castillo, Gray and Saurez for players we fans wont freaking see for 4 years because they still cant develope everyday players that they draft consistently!!!!!! Bob needs to sell the team to another Billionaire like the one that bought the Mets!!!

    • Doug Gray

      There aren’t many billionaires out there like the one that bought the Mets. He’s about 3 times richer than the next richest MLB owner.

      But yeah, Bob should sell the team. And for the love of God, don’t just sell it to some “local” to keep that tradition alive. All that tradition has gotten the people of Cincinnati is 30 years of misery from owners who either can’t or refuse to spend with the Jones’s.

      • JB

        I guess I’ll put my check book back in the drawer now ,Doug.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I’m with you 100 percent. What good does it do to try to ensure the team stays in town if it means never winning anything? As a die-hard day-in-and-day-out fan for almost 50 years, I’m close to the end of my rope with the Bengals, which I did not believe would ever happen. If the Reds tank again to save cash, you really have to stop and think, Why am I spending time on this?

      • TR

        I’m sure there are many super wealthy individuals in the country who would love to own the Reds franchise. But, in my opinion, local or metro control of the franchise is still strong which goes back at least 90 years to Powell Crosley.

      • Mike McSorley

        True, there aren’t many billionaires out there but they are a couple … MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, just donated $4.1Billion in the last four months to charity. She received some $36 billion in her divorce settlement.
        Look for another tech guy like Ryan Smith who just bought the Utah Jazz. The Cincinati Silicons, anyone? Who’s doing programming and web design in the Queen City metroplex?
        Make a call to Kim & Terry Pegula, owners of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. If anyone knows small market they should.
        Don’t get all the hate on Mr. Castellini right now. If you’re a business owner and your business needs to cut costs, you do that to remain profitable. Unfortunately the easiest target is letting go of employees (Players).
        It’s never easy. (Sigh)

      • Jimbo44CN

        My Yes! comment was to Doug, not another poster.

      • realist

        Well put Doug, thank you for all you do to keep us informed and entertained. I love baseball so I will be rooting for the Dodgers, until the Reds show they can be competent. I follow the Reds hoping somehow they can become a good team again but at this point it doesn’t look good.

    • DaveCT

      This situation has become ridiculous, and theater of the absurd.

      To ownership: Just be honest about what’s going on. Don’t force your fans to hear about things piecemeal and via rumors. Get ahead of the messaging. Right now, it seems like rumors are spinning the franchise seemingly out of control. So, face it, word of the fire sale is out, throughout the ML’s, and vultures are already circling overhead to pick the bones clean. So be it, just be honest, Bob, Nick. It’s bad for morale, otherwise, to say the least. This off-season has gone from having a few salaries dumped, with no indication of a thought process other than what they have at the end of their nose, to Railroad Salvage government surplus.

  11. Dan

    I have been a Reds fan for 40 years and have watched them wait way too long to trade away players when they have real value, just hoping to strike lighting in a bottle for one year. The Tampa Rays have been a competitive team in the American League East, playing the Yankees and Red Sox and their high priced players with the lowest payroll in MLB. I for one would love to see the Reds managed in that manner. I want a competitive, hustling team, full of guys wanting to win and make it to the big payday. This team is a small market team whether we like it or not, that’s just how it is. I have always rooted for the underdog anyway. Blow it up, go young and competitive as long as you don’t just trade them to get rid of them. I want to see good quality, close to or major league ready players with years of control so you can rotate them out the door when they’re at their peak and to pricey for the budget.

  12. Michael B. Green

    With CIN, it seems like we have 4-year runs of competitiveness followed by 6 years of bridesmaids. Transitioning from 2011 to 2012 to start our last good 4-year run involved getting Mat Latos. It was timed with the development of Cueto, Bailey and Leake. Arroyo was the veteran anchoring the rotation. Now, we have Lodolo and Greene coming to join Mahle in due time. Lorenzen is likely around until he establishes value or hits free agency. Miley holds down a spot until Lololo is ready. Bauer is gone. I expect Castillo to stay but not Gray and Castillo. Gray to SD for Patino/Weather and Baez might make sense. Castillo is so good that even his arbitration years may get expensive. 2020 was our year and COVID and missing hitting in the post-season closed our window. Krall has some challenges here but I believe in him.

  13. JB

    The rallying cry last year was “We will be dangerous if we get in the playoffs with this pitching staff”. Yeah but you have to score a freakin run to win. This team isnt going farther than the NL Central title. Offensively they are all or nothing and they showed that. The only tradeable chips they have are the 3 being offered. They arent getting anything for Moose or Castellanos. They have a chance of getting out of the Castellanos contract if he opts out next year. The last thing I want is a rebuild but the first one was screwed up and here we are again. If they can get great returns on the big 3 then go for it. If they do trade them then Barnhart and anybody over 27 should go too. Rebuild means what 3 years or when Votto is gone. No matter how we look at but they need to follow the Rays and build your farm system and make great trades when guys are in their prime and they are coming up on big contracts. Although I agree with alot of you, if Castellini cant afford $10 million contracts ,then he needs to sell and get out. I hate rebuilds as all of you do but this team is a mess. If I was Bob , Williams wouldnt be the only one who needs to step down. All the other clowns that he is paying in the front office need to go because they were in on it as well. I’m all in on Krall if he is solely in charge. Whatever way he goes he needs to go 100%.

    • Michael E

      If they can’t keep Bauer and all signs point to him getting multiple huge multi-year or even large one-year offers, then they don’t even have enough rotation to win the Central at this point, even with the mediocrity in the division.

      IF, IF, big IF, Gray and Castillo stayed healthy all year, and Miley performs to upside expectations, they could sneak a NL central title, but I just don’t see that coming to fruition. We’re now exactly where we don’t want to be, just good enough to squeeze into the last wildcard and just bad enough to be swept in humiliating fashion.

      If the owner doesn’t want to spend more (can’t blame him as a bit of a miser myself), then the reality is we DO need to sell high on the wanted items on our team. We need to demand and get a high upside return, not a low upside, MLB ready return. If we have what is considered the top farm system in baseball with the most elite prospects by say March, I’ll be very content as a realistic baseball fan, even if that means Gray, Suarez and Castillo are gone. Maybe they’ll get Lodolo and Greene some MLB starts in 2021 that way and accelerate their time frame, rather than waiting till they’re 28 years old to roll them out as full time starting pitchers.

  14. Datdudejs

    Until someone other then Heyman reports this, I call bull. He got called out by Bauer for making stuff up already. Idk if he’s just trying to stir up interest in a slow off-season or what but it’s annoying

  15. TR

    If the Reds are going to make their top tier available for trades, they must make sure the return is top tier of proven and/or prospect players.

    • Michael E

      100% agree…anything less than eye-popping returns of elite prospect(s), and a general consensus the Reds did very well in the deal(s) will have me completely deflated. The Iglesias deal was a bit disappointing, but he wasn’t moving the needle for the Reds at all and contract was expiring, so not the same thing as Gray, Suarez or Castillo.

  16. LDS

    The Reds ownership and management simply are not committed to winning, only to cutting payroll. Thus far this offseason, I’m not seeing a lot of promise for the next few years. Of all the salary they are willing to dump, apparently Bell isn’t included. Mores the pity.

  17. Klugo

    Well, we can’t blame these guys for sitting on their hands any more.
    They’ve seen teams like the Marlins, Rays, Braves, Padres wheel n deal into better situations and they want to emulate. Cant blame them for that. I just hope they understand that not all change is progress.

  18. donny

    Sell the team to Mark Cuban so he can go back to his Indiana roots and move the team there .

      • jwb

        There’s a group in Nashville, looking to bring baseball there, Sell the team
        and move it out of Ohio.


        There.
        ,

  19. rednat

    I guess I have a different take then many commenters on this site. This pandemic is devastating the big cities. If you are the dodgers or Yankees you aren’t having fans in the stands next year . Maybe not in 2022 either or only a very select few. I was at the Cincinnati vs Tulsa game last night. The announced attendance was 6000 but there as at least 10k.
    The reds are going to have fans in the stands this years guaranteed. I disagree with Tom’s comment above. I think people are starving to get back to see live games. I think the reds will have no problem filling to the capacity allowed by ohio.
    Maybe I am looking at this with rose colored glasses but I feel a lot better about being a reds fan than a dodgers or Mets fan right now.

    • doofus

      Interesting. The vaccine is being rolled out as we write.

  20. Jacob

    Should we start a petition to have Bob sell the team? I would think that would send a message to ownership rather than complain on forums. Not saying there’s nothing wrong with that but do you think Bob and company are looking on Facebook through the comment or on here? I think if we get a strong petition going and get some news station to report it then that sends the ownership a strong message to get the hell out. I can take 2021 off but a full rebuild for the next 4-5 years? I can’t do it.

  21. donny

    All you guys and the pandemic garbage saying it will be around until 2022 is silly. ”There is a vaccine now”. If you believe in conspiracy theories that the vaccine is bad news or all the other conspiracy theories out there then that’s on you. Otherwise get the shot and we will have it all behind us before October 2021.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Agree, but it will take time to get the vaccines to everyone.

      • Michael Smith

        And a new strain has popped up in the UK. Will this vaccine work on that?

  22. donny

    As far as trading Castillo, Suarez, Gray. ”I am all for it”. I believe it’s the right thing to do for small market Reds. Load up on young talent and be good for the long haul.

    Then when Stevenson, India, Garcia, Santlan, Lodolo, Green and some of the talent coming back in trades are in the bigs or close to it. Then sign a couple veteran free agents to go with them then.

    I really believe it can happen in 2022.

    • donny

      A push for a playoff spot that is. ”2022” wildcard, and only getting better from there.

    • Michael E

      I am with you Donny, it can happen in 2022, 2023 at the latest IF our GM and exec team don’t get fleeced. It’s too early to tell if Krall is up to the challenge of getting a great return or just a bunch of spare parts. It’s also not clear if Castellini is wanting MLB ready crap so he can roll with trade returns right into the subpar starting lineup/rotation. I hope Castellini no longer meddles in any way, but I have my doubts.

      Rebuilds should NOT take 5 years with a good GM and a good minor league delevopment team (which I think we have now…maybe).

  23. donny

    ”If you haven’t noticed” the Braves and Dodgers are very good because of their young talent. Not really because of their money. With the exception of the Dodgers going out there to get Mookie, but it was there young talent that made them both excellent teams and they’re going to be good for a long time.

    You can say the same thing for the Padres.

    • Michael Smith

      Dodgers have 5 guys under contract in 2021 for 107 million.

  24. Optimist

    Serious Q. – which currently active former Red (either from the Reds 25-man, or traded/released from MiLB) has the highest post-Red WAR? Chapman? Turner? Off to BRef to see if this is searchable.

  25. rednat

    Rose bowl canceled. Disneyland closed. Nfl not playing in California at all.You can’t tell me if you are a dodgers fan you aren’t at least a little worried. California has very stringent laws for reopening. Could be a long time before the hospitals are not at critical capacity in LA. I Will take my chances that Cincinnati will be back to normal way way before the bigger cities. I think we will be fine

  26. Stock

    The Reds need to be all in or all out. 2018 was a joke. Half in is not good enough and it cost them Josiah Gray.

    If all out make these trades

    1. Padres get: Gray, Castillo and Amir Garrett
    Reds get: Mackenzie Gore (SP), CJ Abrams (SS), Robert Hassell (Corner OF, 1B), Ryan Weathers (SP) and Reggie Lawson (SP)

    2. Dodgers get: Suarez and Lorenzen
    Reds get: Josiah Gray (SP), Andy Pages (CF), Diego Cartaya (C)

    3. Braves get: Moustakas + $10 million a year the next 3 years
    Reds get: Kyle Mueller (SP), Jaseell De La Cruz (SP), Michael Harris (RF), Victor Vodnik (SP) and Vaughn Grissom (SS)

    Be prepared to trade Mahle, Miley, Senzel and Castellanos at midseason if they are playing well.

    Suddenly Santillan may be no more than your 10th best SP prospect.
    2 SS (55, 50 prospect), (2 C, 50, 45) (2 CF at 50, 45)

    • Doc

      Sounds as though the eggnog is a little heavy on the adult beverage.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      In your scenario, the Reds get 13 prospects for six established players who have proven they can play at an above-average level in the big leagues. I don’t have the number on the percentage of how many prospects (even top-level prospects) actually become contributing starters in the bigs, but I would guess it is less than one-third.

      I know there are some here who believe this scenario is the way to go, but keep in mind that we as a fan base have just been through it for five years. What can you point to that will ensure another rebuild would be any more successful than the one just completed? If all 13 players you name would be guaranteed to become above-average starting contributors for the Reds, I would be absolutely in your corner. But it doesn’t work that way. You’re getting rid of players who have proven their worth for players of whom the majority probably never will. The two number two overall draft picks who were the prizes of the past rebuild have been injury-riddled so far in their careers. We all certainly hope that will change, but it demonstrates that nothing is for sure even with can’t-miss prospects.

      I’m old enough to remember the dismantling of the Reds in the early 80s. Tony Perez, Ray Knight, George Foster, Ken Griffey Sr. and Tom Seaver were all traded for exactly zero players who made any difference for Cincinnati moving forward. Certainly, the way front offices operate has changed drastically since then, but you’d think at least one of the players they acquired back then would have made some difference.

      It is highly preferable for Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo to lead the pitching rotation for the next three years, and rely on the most innovative pitching development program and process in the business to extract the best possible results from players in the system.

      • Stock

        Tom, I am not saying blow it up. I am saying blow it up or go all in. Dumping Iglesias and Bradley and looking to dump one or more of Castillo, Gray or Suarez is a sign they are not all in. This team as currently constructed is not as good as last year’s 3rd place team. No way does this current team finish above 500. If you are content with that then don’t blow it up. Lie to the fans like he did 3 or 4 years ago and tell them the team was going to be good.

        I was 100% against trading prospects and not going all in prior to the 2019 season.

      • Stock

        Seaver and Griffey were traded back to their original teams to supposedly finish their careers. The intention of the trades were not to rebuild because their value was minimal. Ray Knight always had minimal trade value and Doggy was traded after the 1976 season. Plus, back in the 80’s you didn’t really tear down and rebuild.

        As for the most recent tear down. They traded Cueto and Leake with only 2 months of control. Trade them one year earlier and you get a nice haul. They traded Chapman for a bag of rocks. They held onto Phillips for far too long and possibly Frazier. They extended Votto and Bailey. All of these were bad decisions which provided no prospects for the talent they had 2010-2013. A tear down could not be any less productive.

      • Melvin

        For whatever it’s worth in this discussion I remember those years too in my youth.

        Perez was traded to the Red Sox after the 76 season for what turned out to be pretty much nothing. He came back in 84.

        Foster was traded to the Mets after the 81 season for pretty much nothing.

        Griffey was traded to the Yankees after the 81 season for pretty much nothing. He came back in 88 and was traded to Seattle in the middle of 1990 to play with his son.

        Dave Collins was pretty good switch hitting CF you might recall. He signed with the Yankees after the 81 season. The Reds didn’t believe in signing free agents back then.

        Ray Knight was traded after the 81 season to the Astros for Cesar Cedeno , who at one time was very good but was only half that player for the Reds.

        Tom Seaver was traded back to the Mets after the 82 season.

        As a side note Bench didn’t want to catch anymore and tried to replace Knight at 3B. Although he was an athlete and did play 6 positions in his career, he pretty much stunk at 3B that year.

        Concepcion and Bench were the only ones left from the Big Red Machine in 82.

        The Reds, after having the best record in baseball in 81, in 1982 had the worst season in their history losing over 100 games. Those weren’t exactly good times for Reds fans. 🙂 They didn’t make the playoffs again until 1990 winning the WS of course. They made it again in 95 advancing one round. The last time they won a playoff series to date.

      • Bob Purkey

        Melvin: You are incorrect on the Tony Perez trade. He was traded to Montreal for Woody Fryman and Dale Murray. This was done in order to make room for Dan Driessen, who came up as a 3rd baseman and could not play the position.

      • Melvin

        Bob
        You are correct. I knew that and just wasn’t thinking correctly. However the trade ended up being a disaster as the Reds didn’t get much at all from the players received. They lost the most important leader of the Big Red Machine. Driessen had a pretty good year in 77 stat wise but the Reds finished 10 games back of the Dodgers. That was the best year for Driessen and he never turned in to the player they thought he would.

      • Michael E

        We haven’t really been through it Tom. We never got back any elite prospect in the bevy of veteran trades becasue we always waited WAY too long. Frazier in particular burns me. He was raking prior to that HR derby and word was owner didn’t want to rankle fan base by trading a fan favorite before the ASG in Cincy. Ugh, of all the stupid, short-sighted decisions. Frazier got back peanuts later.

        I would be stoked if we got back several top 50 prospects with a top 10 one or two in there. It’s not like Gray, Castillo, Saurez, Senzel, Moose, Winker, any other player, is setting the world on fire or even showing signs of doing so. Gray is the only one of those that appears to be solid, but even he isn’t really an ACE by any true definition.

    • Greenfield Red

      I like it, and for those who don’t, let’s not forget this will also pretty much guarantee the top pick in the draft for at least two years to add to that prospect pool. You are gaining all kinds of high end talent. If only 1/3 of them turn out, you still have one heckuva team.

      • Greenfield Red

        Additionally, they would still have Lodolo, Greene, Garcia, Hendrick, Stephensen, India, Siani, etal. You could have 10 of the top 100 with another 4 or 5 of them graduating before all this talent is accumulated.

        That gives the Reds at least 20 high end prospects. Even Atlanta, San Diego, and the White Sox could not touch that during their respective rebuilds, and I think we all agree those three teams are in a great position right now.

      • Michael E

        This is exactly how I look at it Greenfield. We could be stacked on the farm, with higher level elite prospects…to go ALONG with some of our really good prospects pretty much all of which could be on the cusp of MLB rookie years.

  27. Aaron B.

    I’ll tell ya what’s funny.. is I want to argue that we should give it a full year to see if we can break through.. but that last effort was so futile offensively vs the Braves I have no good vibes left to give. They had their shot and showed what they were made of and it wasn’t a good look that I can endorse at all.

  28. Jon

    The old saying you have to spend money to make money. Castillini in his letter to the fans when he took over the team he was going to do everything possible to bring back winning baseball to Cincinnati. Well, I haven’t seen much winning baseball in Cincinnati, just a bunch of botched rebuilds, terrible long term contracts (Homer Bailey comes to mind), leftovers (players and GM) from St. Louis Cardinals, and a decade of disappointment. Now, Reds are on the fringes of either being a contending team or selling everything off and having more losing seasons. Rumors are the Reds are looking to unload everything but the kitchen sink. Personally, I’ve heard a lot of fans say that Castillini should sell the team to someone who wants to sink the money into quality players, not rolling the dice on prospects. It seems to me if you have a winning team, the fan base will be at the ball park which is revenue. This nickle/dime stuff of Castillini isn’t cutting it, and hasn’t pretty much his whole time of ownership. I’ve stuck with this team thru thick & thin, but it’s been so thin for so long it’s becoming unbearable to watch.

    • Doug Gray

      The problem with the old “gotta spend money to make money” thing is that it doesn’t really apply to sports anymore. Before everyone could fast forward through commercials, all TV shows had advertising spots worth buying. Now it’s basically just sports and like 5 “must watch while live” tv shows that can actually charge for commercials and sports teams and leagues making so much of their money simply because they can charge for that. They no longer need to win to make money. They simply need to exist. The amount of risk and money spent to maybe make an extra $10-20M in gate revenue isn’t worth it if the chances are there that someone gets hurt and you don’t make the playoffs.

      I absolutely hate that fact, but that’s just how it is now. It sucks. It’s terrible for the sport and for the fans. But that’s where we’re at, for the most part. The owners don’t need people in the seats. They have TV money, and more and more, they’ve also got real estate money that they’ve gotten thanks to owning the baseball teams.

      • A different Jon

        I’m not sure what a good solution would be, but here’s a couple thoughts.

        1) Institute a salary floor for all teams that requires them to spend a minimum amount on payroll each season ($100 million for example). This would put more money in the pockets of players rather than owners and discourage some rebuilding.

        2) Doubtful this second one would happen, but require that any MLB team that fails to maintain a winning percentage of at least .500 over each five-year period (2021-2025, 2026-2030, etc) be placed up for bid. If any prospective owner bids at least five percent higher than the previous sale price, the highest bidder buys the team.

      • Sliotar

        “The owners don’t need people in the seats.”

        C’mon… that tired old saw was put to bed once and for all earlier this year … when several sources acknowledged that ticket sales are between 30-40% of MLB revenues.

        Here is SI from September – “a third”
        https://www.si.com/nba/2020/09/15/death-for-the-ticket-broker-daily-cover

        Cubs’ Tom Ricketts – “70% of (Cubs) revenue comes from the game-day experience with fans in the stands.”

        https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29257106/cubs-tom-ricketts-says-most-revenue-goes-right-back-team

        No MLB team is going out of business short-term if fans never returned to stadiums … but the model would be decidely unpleasant for the majority of players who never hit a Free Agent Bonanza Payday.

        (The Reds are “listening to offers” like a team that does not expect full stands in GABP at all in 2022, IMO.)

      • Doug Gray

        Of course the owners said that.

        Open the books, fellas.

        But, let’s take the Reds for example: 10,000 fans a game, at $25 an average ticket, is all of $20M a year. That’s not nothing, but it’s also the math that tells you why teams aren’t taking risks to try and win. The reward is like 7% of the teams operating revenue.

    • doofus

      Dear Cincinnati Reds Fans,

      We are proud to be the new owners of America’s first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds.

      We’re long-time baseball fans who have grown up with the Reds and have fond memories of going to the ballpark. In our lifetime, we faithfully cheered on the Reds through three World Series championships, six National League championships and eight division titles.

      We know this team truly belongs to you, and we understand what the Reds mean to our city and our region. We know what a winning team can do for a city’s pride. We also understand the unique legacy the Reds hold in baseball history and the potential to reignite an American love affair with the nation’s first professional baseball team.

      It is with a sense of both responsibility and respect that we pledge to Reds fans:
      • We will bring championship baseball to Cincinnati. The Reds have a long tradition of success. Only three cities have won more World Series than Cincinnati. We will work hard to be a championship team again.
      • We will build one of the most respected organizations in baseball. As partners in other successful baseball organizations we know how it’s done. We will build a winning management team by putting the right people in the right positions with the right resources to win. We will foster a winning attitude and culture.
      • We will have a greater community presence. We will continue to improve the lives of area children by building on already successful Reds Community Fund programs like the Rookie Success League. Whether it’s providing a way for inner-city children to play baseball or generating funds for charity, we’ll take this outreach to a new level.
      • We will rekindle the Reds Nation spirit. We’ll share our story and our strategy, communicating directly with fans everywhere who want to know what is going on. When you visit the ballpark, we’ll periodically be asking for your feedback so we can continuously improve the experience. Our goal is that you feel a part of the Reds Nation whether you’re at the game, listening on the radio or living in another major league city.
      • We will not rest until you are happy. The Reds are, after all, your team. You buy the tickets. You watch the games. You support us financially and emotionally. Without you, the Reds cannot be great. We know you won’t be happy until the team wins. We won’t be happy, either.
      Bringing championship baseball to Cincinnati is the ultimate goal. Like you we believe in the power, potential and magic of the Cincinnati Reds. We will work tirelessly to bring a winner home to you.

      We thank you for this opportunity and hope to earn your support.

      Robert H. Castellini
      Chief Executive Officer W. Joseph Williams, Jr.
      Chairman of the Board Thomas Williams
      Vice-Chairman of the Board

      • Melvin

        haha Not exactly promises fulfilled. Maybe we’ll be surprised and find out today that we traded for Lindor (without giving up much) AND signed Bauer AND replaced David Bell…..Hey this is America. We can dream can’t we? 🙂

  29. Hotto4Votto

    6 years of losing for 60 games of competitive play. Mission Accomplished. Tear it all down.
    Reds fans deserve a FO that actually wants to win.

    • Bill J

      I think the FO wants to win, they just know how. They haven’t done what Mr Castelllni said he was going to do, put the right people in the right places.

  30. jim m

    Reds Players see these rumours and no doubt they are thinking what the heck?? We are close so tear it down to go back to losing for 4 to 5 years again????? I hate losing. I wish this front office did.. not act like lets roll the dice aww it didnt come up 7, wait till next year and roll the dice again… you dont see this in St. Louis!!!!. And tye bad part? Still have the same people around that screwed up the last supposed rebuild… how the hell can they be trusted?? At least when the Cubs sucked they went outside and got Theo Epstein.. they let him fix thier team.. yeah they only won 1 world series but thats more than Reds fans have seen in 30 freaking years!!!! Zero apperances since 1990… you can say bad things about Marge but she has something this team ownership has zero of.. a world series trophy!!! Cincinnati sports fans have to deal with Mike Brown and his zero urgency to win a super bowl in 3o years he has owned the team.. zero playoff wins… i hate to think Reds fans have to have the same garbage as well… its like jusy celebrate the past screw the future because you have to be content there are mahor sports teams here. Zero expectations they will ever win a championship ever again… i kick myself for not going to the 90 world series. I never imagined I never get to go to another Reds world series the rest of my life….

  31. dennis perper

    Everyone is bashing Moose,Castellanos and Suarez for having bad 2020 seasons.The truth is the entire MLB had a very bad year.Remember covid?The leaguewide avg in every offensive catagory was abysmal.Moose was injured(covid?)and so was Suarez for a part.Look at Castellanos numbers other than his BA and he was just fine.8 of him would have won the WS.Well maybe.I also think that the “rebuild” idea is a conclusion that is premature.Dumping Iggys 10 mil could be what is needed to
    A-resign Bauer or
    B-make a move on a real SS.
    The only move I cant justify is Bradley.He did only pitch a few innings and might be damaged.No one has signed him yet.or maybe he and Bell didnt hit it off. Goodwin was grossly overpriced,Casali is going to be replaced by Stephanson(? spelling)though in my opinion I would have kept him over Tucker,and all the rest of these fairytale trade stories are just journalistic boredom.
    Its December and not much baseball news of real value to talk about.

  32. Ryan

    As a lifelong Reds fan from Ohio who has lived in Los Angeles the last 10 years, I can tell you that it doesn’t look good for the Dodgers having fans at least to start the season. I agree that if its a firesale, go all-in and tell the fans why you’re doing it – at least then we could envision the future in some way. We also seem to forget that Castillo and Suarez, 2 of the names being bandied about were players we got in trades for players that were not star-level, hardly considered star/top prospects at the time we got them (i could be a bit off on that but it seems like that was what was reported at the time). Just like the Bengals invest millions in Burrow and can’t spend on an Offensive Line to protect him, the Reds choked on Votto’s prime and other team’s fans feel sorry for you when you tell them you’re a Cincinnati sports fan.

  33. doofus

    This off-season I would rather read about all of these Red’s rumors, than hear nothing but crickets coming from the Red’s camp. At least we know that there is a pulse in the FO.

  34. doofus

    The Rays are good at receiving prospects in deals for major leaguers that turn into productive players in the Show. How do they do it?

    • TR

      They seem to give prospects some concentrated playing time to see what they can do

  35. Phil

    I think looking at only 2020 stats for projecting next year is a big mistake. Too small a sample size and too many extenuating circumstances (COVID, no fans, etc.).

    Moustakas (112 wRC+), Castellanos (116 wRC+) & Suarez (125 wRC+) may have disappointed in the weird, shortened 2020 season. Between the 2019 and ’20 seasons though, they were all above average or better as was Winker (124 wRC+).

    Votto is now a negative defensively and has been easily below average against left-handed pitching. He is not going anywhere though with his contract (and no-trade clause) but can still hit right-handed pitching as shown by his 113 wRC+ over the last 2 seasons.

    Stephenson will hopefully continue to realize his massive potential at catcher, with a reasonable defensive backup in Barnhardt.

    Centerfield is a bit of a question as Akiyama and Senzel were disappointing there in 2020 but they have some potential for 2021.

    Shortstop is the obvious hole going into next season. IF it is filled with a quality player this offseason there could be a decent starting 8.

    Any player should be available in trade if the return improves the team. Unless trading them brings a clear upgrade at CF or star SS though, I hope Gray and Castillo are leading the 2021 rotation. There are a number of talented options behind them in Lorenzen, Mahle, Antone, Lodolo, Greene etc that I think can make up a decent starting rotation.

    Trevor Bauer was average with the Indians from 2014-2017. ERA, FIP and xFIP all at 4 or above. He then had a great season in 2018, another average season in 2019, and then was great for the Reds over 11 starts in 2020. I would love for him to return to Cincinnati but think there is enough risk that he returns to being an average starting pitcher that I’m ok not spending the money likely required to sign him.

    I will be disappointed if the Reds trade away players to lower the payroll without getting much in return. At this point though, I’m going to choose to be positive and see this team as a starting-quality SS and some bullpen depth away from being competitive in 2021.

    • DataDumpster

      I largely agree with your analysis. The division opponents are the weakest in many years and the Red’s player profiles and fixed contracts aren’t going in the right direction. But doesn’t winning mean anything to this organization?

      A year of reasonable expectations and the chance to really see if David Bell has any winning plan for the team is well worth the effort. Then, if the team and/or Bell implode, then we talk about midseason firings, trades, and so forth.

  36. Joey

    Well I think the Reds real strategy in trading Castillo, Grey, and Suarez is not just to cut payroll and rebuild but to convince Votto to retire and really cut payroll!

    • Bill J

      I still wonder what Suarez and Iggy to Atlanta last winter would have brought back?

  37. west larry

    Trying to trade one or two of their best pictures? Have the reds joined the baggers union? With the return they got for Cueto, this really scares me.