Last week the Cincinnati Reds designated outfielder Delino DeShields for assignment. After he cleared waivers the Reds outrighted him to Triple-A Louisville. On Monday night he officially declined the outright and chose to instead become a free agent. This was first reported by Mark Sheldon of Reds.com, who beat the other beat reporters to the “send tweet” button by a few seconds.

That refusal was not at all surprising and was just a matter of time. Delino DeShields now gets to test free agency and see what’s out there for him rather than remain with just one team. The Reds could always re-sign him this winter if they are still interested and after looking around he feels it’s the best situation for him.

After spending much of the 2015-2020 seasons in the big leagues – mostly with the Texas Rangers, but also 37 games in 2020 with Cleveland – Delino DeShields spent almost all of 2021 in the minor leagues. He played in 66 games with Triple-A Round Rock in the Rangers organization before he joined Worcester, the Boston Red Sox Triple-A team in August. The Reds acquired him on August 31st when they purchased his contract from the Red Sox. Cincinnati never sent him to the minors and activated him at the big league level for the final five weeks of the year.

While Delino DeShields was solid, but unspectacular in Triple-A in 2021, he performed better with the Reds than he had in the minors after he arrived. In Triple-A he hit .252/.385/.366. Down the stretch with Cincinnati the outfielder played in 25 games and hit .255/.375/.426 with 9 walks and 11 strikeouts. He found a little more pop once he was back in the big leagues than he had shown while in the minors.

There are more moves to come. There are currently 42 players on the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster. 39 players are now “active”, while 3 players are on the 60-day injured list and don’t count towards the 40-man roster until the end of the season. That 39 number does include Mychal Givens and Michael Lorenzen, both of whom are free agents unless the Reds sign them within the next month. There are also some non-tender candidates that could clear up some spots when December gets here and those decisions need to be made.

102 Responses

  1. Kevin Patrick

    So careful not to bring up the names “Barnhart” or “Miley” I see… those are two very important decisions. That said, I certainly admire your decision to not stir the hornets’ nest. I’ll break the ice…

    Reply
  2. LDS

    I’m ready for the off season to begin. I think I’d keep Miley, maybe Barnhart but DeShields, Lorenzen, Givens? Wish them good hunting. Then start shopping. Moose, Akiyama, Suarez, maybe AA, maybe Senzel, maybe Gray definitely Naquin. Re-sign Castellanos. Smart and aggressive would be nice for a change, fewer rejects and waiver wire transactions.

    Reply
    • JayTheRed

      I would not mind keeping Lorenzen and Givens if they are not too expensive.

      Reply
    • Kevin Patrick

      My crystal ball is out of batteries…but I would be more than surprised if they kept Barnhart, Lorenzen, or Givens. The cynic in me tends to think even Miley unlikely to be retained at a bargain. I don’t need a crystal ball to know they won’t get anything for Moose, Akiyama, or Suarez. Trading Senzel might be smart, but if he looks good someplace else…it’d look pretty bad in Reds land. I think he stays too. If Gray is good, I think you trade him at the deadline unless the Reds by some miracle end up in contention. Naquin’s money isn’t a problem really… If the Reds don’t sign Castellanos, which wouldn’t surprise me in the least…they have to get some sort of right handed bat or die a miserable death most likely. I look at this team and come up with amazingly stupid ideas… How can it possibly be sensible to have your starting shortstop become the back up catcher? How can it be possible that perhaps the most productive thing you could do to your roster short of re signing Castellanos would be to move Winker for young and controllable bullpen arms? Who in their right mind would move an often injured center fielder to third base to replace two of the payroll’s highest paid position players? Why in the world would the Reds hand the starting shortstop job to a rookie who hasn’t hit at all at the major league level? Who thinks going with an all defensive outfield of Naquin, Akiyama, and Aquino makes sense with Suarez and Moustakas coming off the bench with regular playing time? Why would the team blow 10 million on an aging starting pitcher when the Reds apparently have so many young and controllable starting pitchers like Lodolo, Greene, and whoever else impressed this past year? And yet these are all things I would do if I were the dictator of the Reds. That just shows you how messed up the Reds are and how ridiculous I am. And yet, I think it would be fun to watch an infield of Votto, India, Barrero, Senzel, and Stevenson. I would prefer to not worry about who starts. I would prefer the Reds not take on extra payroll for relief pitchers. I don’t want the Reds to overpay for Castellanos and pad the wallet of Scott Boras. I’m tired of errors at third. I want more range out of the shortstop position and the potential for a potent bat at that position. I want a solid and versatile bench with power knowing an aging Votto will have to sit more often. I saw real potential in Naquin when healthy. I have faith Akiyama can play much better when more generally healthy. I like Farmer… somehow the idea of him being the most important piece of the Bailey trade I find hysterical… but I’d rather he bat about as often as a backup catcher…which he apparently has some experience with. As much as I like Winker, I would love to hear who the Reds have that simultaneously has value, is movable, will make enough money that losing him could free payroll, and bring in controllable arms…because unless the Reds do something I can’t imagine, I see no other way to honestly shore up the bullpen in good faith…and not bring in 85,000 retreads in Spring Training.

      Reply
  3. Jim Walker

    So, if my math is right, there is a spot beyond Lorenzen and Givens that must be opened just to accommodate the 3 guys on the 60 day IL, aside from guys they will need to add to the 40 man for rule 5 protection.

    The Barnhart and Miley team options along with the Castellanos player option represent 3 more possible openings before the culling would have to begin.

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      Try Again on the math. Too early or too late depending on point of view. 😉 Deshields, Lorenzen and Givens would cover the 3 guys on the 60 day IL.

      Reply
  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    I believe the OF will be a major challenge next season. Out of the possible candidates, only Winker, Senzel and Naquin have the background, and all come with high injury risk. I also find difficult to justify two roster spots for Aquino and Akiyama, just too low performance. Assuming that Castellanos splits and signs elsewhere, then at least one spot will be open.

    Reply
  5. CI3J

    What I would do, if I were the GM of the Reds:

    1. Offer Castellanos a 5 year, $100 million contract with no opt-outs. It’s a take-it-or-leave-it offer. No negotiation. If he doesn’t take it, wish him well as he leaves Cincinnati.

    2. Pick up Miley’s option for 2022.

    3. Let Lorenzen walk, keep Givens if the price is right.

    4. Let Barnhart walk, tell Stephenson he is the starting catcher.

    5. DFA/cut AA and Akiyama, and sign a FA right-handed bat for the OF bench. DeShields I guess wouldn’t be terrible, but try for something a little better.

    6. If Castellanos opts out, sign either Andrew McCutchen or Starling Marte to a 1 or, at most, 2 year deal. I’m not a fan of signing old players generally, but both are still decently productive and shouldn’t cost all that much, especially with the money saved from Castellanos. It kicks the can down the road for the Reds to eventually address the outfield long-term. If Castellanos stays, then the OF is pretty much set once everyone is healthy, even without AA and Akiyama.

    7. Keep Suarez. I’m not sure how or why it happened, but the old Suarez seemed to be back in September/October. 73 ABs is still a small sample size, but let’s see if he can keep it going next season.

    8. Insert Barrero as starting SS and no matter what happens, the position is his until the All-Star Break, then you can re-assess. Use Farmer how he was meant to be used: a sub who can play everywhere and keep the other guys fresh.

    9. Try to trade Gray or Castillo with an eye on moving Santillan to the rotation. However, this would be selling low on both Gray and Castillo, so it might be better to wait and see if they can have a good first half and trade them at the deadline. Package them with some other players and try to land a decent OF prospect who can help by 2024.

    10. With the money saved from Barnhart and Lorenzen (about $8 million), shore up the bullpen. 2 decent pitchers can probably be had for that amount. No more dumpster diving or reclamation projects, spend the money for at least 2 solid, proven, shutdown bullpen arms. Wilson can be DFA, Garrett can be given another shot with a short leash. Others can fight it out for the last spot.

    LINEUP:

    2B India
    CF Senzel
    RF Winker
    3B Suarez
    1B Votto
    C Stephenson
    LF Castellanos/Marte/McCutchen
    SS Barrero

    BENCH:

    C Kolozsvary
    UTL Farmer
    UTL Schrock
    IF Moustakas
    OF Naquin
    FA RIGHTHANDED BAT

    ROTATION:

    Castillo*
    Gray*
    Miley*
    Mahle
    Guiterrez

    BULLPEN:

    RP Warren
    RP Cessa/ Sims
    RP Givens*
    RP Moreta
    LP Garrett
    LP FA SIGNING
    RP FA SIGNING

    * Depending trades/actions taken in the offseason, these spots could be filled by Santillan. He needs to be on the team, the question is where.

    The Reds ended last season with a lot of questions. This offseason has a lot of “If A, then B, if not A, then C”. type scenarios. The 5 biggest questions the Reds have going into next year are:

    1. Wither Castellanos?

    2. Can Barrero be the answer at SS?

    3. Is the “old” Suarez back like he showed in September/October?

    4. Who can the Reds acquire to fix the bullpen?

    5. What to do with Santillan?

    Should be interesting to, say the least.

    Reply
    • Kevin Patrick

      This is actually pretty sensible stuff looking at the situation in early October. The big pieces you mention seem reasonable…

      Reply
      • greenmtred

        Greene needs to be in the rotation at some point, but he hasn’t mastered AAA yet.

      • Chris Holbert

        Do not give Bell the opportunity to play Barnhart in front of TS. He mist go away to prevent that

    • Hotto4Votto

      Lots of good stuff in there. I agree with much of it.
      On #4: I would try to renegotiate with Barnhart to see if we could have him back at $2-3m range. I don’t think Koloszvary is quite ready offensively. But he’ll be fine defensively and it’s not like Tucker had a good offensive season. So kinda split there.
      On #5: Yep, no questions about it, got to get him off the roster.
      On #6: Marte would be the prize of the offseason for me. He would fit so well into this lineup. He reportedly wanted 4 years/$50m as an extension. I know he’s 33, but I’d be tempted to take him at that price, he’s not showing signs of decline and the small home field OF should help him stick in CF.
      On #8: 100% agree.
      On #9: I hang onto them if unless it drastically improves the 2022 team. Let Guti and Santillan battle for 5th starter and the other to the bullpen.

      If we sign Marte I play him in CF and have Senzel/Naquin platoon in RF. A right handed OF bat that hits lefties well (like a Phil Ervin) would fit very nicely on this roster.

      I may be tempted to non-tender Garrett. I’d keep Sims, Cessa, Warren, Santillan/Gutierrez, and Moreta for the bullpen. It’ll be interesting to see if they hang onto Hoffman and Wilson who were solid for the Reds in the bullpen. Resigning Givens would be good, and if not him, then sign a legitimate reliever and not, like you said, retreads dumpster dives.

      Reply
      • Jim Walker

        For me, there is an added dimension to the catching situation I have shied away from mentioning till now. The Reds don’t need the equivalent of a quarterback controversy behind the plate. Moving forward it needs to be clear Stephenson is the #1 guy; and, whoever the other catcher is, he the backup, not the alternate 1B.

        Human nature being what it is, I am not sure how they get there if Barnhart is still on the team.

        During the last week of the season, Bally Sports ran a feature with TS. He paid proper respect to Barnhart (and Casali) for working with him in 2020 and 2021 but concluded by saying he was excited and looking forward to the future. He clearly believes he is ready to be *the* #1 guy.

        Unless the team thinks differently they need to clear the field for him.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Jim, I get it. And with Bell returning as the manager it’s a legit concern. I just think Barnhart will be a better option as a backup catcher than Koloszvary next season. Kolozsvary started off pretty hot in AA but cooled off and struggled upon reaching AAA. I just don’t think he’s ready. If Barnhart’s not played as the backup then that obviously changes the equation. Stephenson should be given the reigns and be the full time catcher. If that can’t be done with Barnhart on the roster then I agree, get someone that’s a clear backup, even if it means signing someone else.

      • Jim Walker

        I tend to agree Kolozsvary needs more time at AAA to work on maximizing his offense. This said, there is always a pool of glove first competent receivers to be had for backup catchers. And honestly, Barnhart’s career offensive numbers say this is what he is.

        In a world where Curt Casali got paid $1.6m to backup Posey this year, it just doesn’t make baseball or money sense to pay someone (anyone) much over that to backup Stephenson in 2022.

      • CI3J

        For Marte, I would see if he would take 3/$42 million. I know at 33, this is his “Last Big Contract”, but he would make more per year with this contract than he would at 4/$50. I’m generally wary of giving longer contracts to older players, because I’ve seen them suddenly fall off a cliff all too often. So while the Reds would be paying more per year in my offer, they’d be paying less overall, so less risk of sunk cost.

        The only question is if Marte would take it. And I’d also kick the tires on McCutchen and see what he’s looking for. He’s 2 years older than Marte, so he’s less likely to be able to realistically demand a longer contract, which could suit the Reds better. He gets on base and has a little pop left in his bat, so I’d be happy with him on a 1 or 2 year deal.

      • Alan Horn

        Agree on all points (assuming Casty is gone).

    • old-school

      Thats not a bad plan and moves the needle in the right direction but I dont think its more than an 83-85 win team either, once 4-7 players get injured, including pitchers.
      If you assign 2 mil each to new bullpen arms and $18 mil to new OF and MLB traderumors expected arb numbers and $5 mil to resigning Givens, the budget is about $142 mil. The budget was $122 mil this year. I dont think Bob goes to 140+ and I dont think that roster beats STL or Milwaukee or any of the big money teams in the NL either.

      Reply
      • CI3J

        The Reds honestly needed a hard reboot last offseason. They had a chance to completely remake the team, and I was on this board advocating a firesale (and was shouted down). I still feel the Reds really should blow it up and keep their young core together, but the problem is now they have a lot less leverage with their valuable assets. Gray and Castillo both had down years and are another year older. Same for Suarez. Senzel got hurt yet again, so he’s damaged goods. They have no control over Castellanos or Barnhart now.

        The Reds were in a unique position where they could have reasonably packaged up some of their more valuable pieces and traded for young, cheap pieces that would have been ready to help the team in 2022, but they instead took half measures and had another fairly mediocre season. It seems the Reds are satisfied with perpetually hovering around .500, so with that being the case, I tried to make the most out of it.

        The Reds never seem to learn their lesson about holding onto assets too long. We watched them screw up with Chapman, Bruce, Phillips, Frazier, Cueto, Bailey, Iglesias, (and, some would argue, Votto), so it’s par for the course that they dropped the ball yet again. Until the Reds figure out modern baseball economic cycles, they are always going to be wallowing in mediocrity.

      • Alan Horn

        We will need 2 catchers sooner rather than later and I can’t think of a better backup than Barnhart as long as the price is right. What I don’t agree on is awarding DH to Moose. Putting Votto there most days frees up Stephenson to play 1B and DH as well as catch and Barnhart is not an issue. In fact, I would obtain another catcher to rotate with Barnhart and Stephenson. I just don’t see where Moose fits in. He almost has to DH and isn’t capable of playing in the field in his present condition. He only hit around .200, so I don’t know if he works as a DH either. It is low odds that an old player will bounce back once they hit the downward spiral and have a lot of injuries. They will be forced to eat all or most of his awful contract.

    • west larry

      I agree on all ten points. I really would hope Castellanos accepts this offer.

      Reply
    • Redsfan4life

      The Reds will not offer 100 Mil to Casty nor should they. Guy is not a spring chicken and coming off a career year. That is the exact type of deals that cripples teams like the Reds.

      Reply
    • Votto4life

      I’m with you on Andrew McCutchin. Obviously, I would prefer to keep Castellanos, but failing that, McCutchin would be a decent pick up.

      If Castellanos walks and they are unable to replace him, I would start a mini rebuild until the bad contracts come off the books. Shoot for a new window in 2024.

      Reply
      • greenmtred

        It seems to me that either Marte or McCutcheon–given their ages– would make sense only if it were clear that the Reds are seriously going for it in 2022 and have spent the money to add the other necessary pieces. Also, McCutcheon may well be past the point in his career when he was a legitimate centerfielder. At present, the Reds have corner outfielders and, absent Senzel, not much in the way of centerfielders. Naquin was serviceable, I guess, but also seems more suited to a corner outfield spot.

  6. redsfan4040

    I’ve been saying for awhile now that I don’t think Lorenzen resigns with Cincinnati, unless he gets nothing elsewhere. He’s said forever he wants to start, and, unless he were to show up to spring training throwing like midseason form Max Scherzer, he’s not going to crack Cincinnati’s rotation. Gray, Mahle, Castillo are all locks. If Miley is picked up, he’s a lock. Gutierrez faltered down the stretch, but looked good. Greene is right there. Sanmartin looked good in 2 starts (against the Pirates, but still), Lodolo, if healthy, should be ready in 2022. Ashcraft could conceivably be ready some point in 2022. Santillan could go back to starting.

    Reply
  7. Mark Moore

    Lorenzen has publicly said he’s looking for a starting rotation gig. That won’t be in a Reds uniform, so I’m thinking Mikey Biceps is one of the slots we need on the 40. I do hope the FO is working on Givens.

    Our SP rotation will work itself out given all the young talent. I think we pull the trigger on Miley, even if it’s just to flip him because of the value of his contract. Nick C. is as good as gone in my book. The Moose situation is expensive, even with him as the primary DH, but a little offseason motivation and time to heal could pay off there.

    Geno in September is what we needed, it just came too late to help. I say we ride it until the next round is ready. I’m at least hoping we get the chance to see him try it (and the rest of the squad) given the CBA situation.

    Reply
    • doofus

      If the September Geno is the real deal, then NOW is the time to deal him. FO should no longer allow him to tee-up the football for Charlie Brown.

      Reply
  8. shaggy

    if what we all thinks happens and castellanos leaves then what about sautés in left, senzel to 3rd, barrero at short, winker in right, naquin in center unless we can use one of our starters to trade for a center fielder

    Reply
  9. Doc4uk

    Not confident in Gutierrez . I think Santillan has more potential

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      Santillan needs to stay in the pen until his replacement there is written in with ink. It is much better for the highest leverage back end guy to be a guy who lives by locating his fastball (Santillan) than by locating a breaking pitch (Sims) as his lead piece.

      Sims’ K% and net K%-BB% are otherworldly; but, his BABIP and LOB% are cause for concern in the highest leverage situations.

      Reply
    • donny

      i don’t have confidence in neither one of them . I see nothing more than a 4th starter as there ceiling .

      Reply
      • Redsvol

        @donny – 4th starters are valuable guys. They usually go for 6-8 million$ on the open market. It also means they are good enough that they are not 1st to be skipped due to extra days off. If you have 2 guys making the major league minimum that can be 4th starters on a good team then you have something.

      • donny

        @Redsvole
        Really, I just don’t feel like a 4th or 5th starter is what this team needs ?
        Unless they have a high ceiling rookies projected to be better or higher than a 4th starter and they are pitching in there first year or two. If we are going to compete with the likes of the Dodgers,. Giants, Padres, Braves, Cardinals, Brewers.

    • greenmtred

      Gutierrez was pretty good for much of the year. It seemed that he just got gassed late in the season.

      Reply
  10. CFD3000

    I won’t miss Deshields. The Reds have grown too enamored of aging, unproductive veterans: Deshields, Cabrera and Moustakas at the top of that list, but Farmer (ahead of Barrero) and Barnhart (ahead of Stephenson) would also be 2022 mistakes. The 2022 starting lineup needs to include India, Stephenson, Barrero and Senzel.

    Reply
    • Alan Horn

      I have a sneaking feeling he will show back up in the organization.

      Reply
    • Votto4life

      Same I am not a Delino DeShields Jr. fan. I didn’t think he added anything to the team. Plus, I’m also not a fan of nepotism. Good luck somewhere else.

      Reply
  11. Indy Red Man

    I don’t know why Senzel keeps getting mentioned? That bridge seems burned from what I can see? The kid was always hurt and the Reds handled him as badly as they possibly could as well.

    Guys get pulled from games all the time with some unspecified injury, but I watch Senzel hit a ground ball and limp to first and he’s still in the game 2 innings later to get hurt again and removed? What in the hades we’re they doing with him? Divorce imminent and wish him well. Probably go to Houston with Siri

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      I am with you here. I wish Senzel well but have trouble seeing it be with the Reds.

      Jose Siri put up .3 bWAR in 21 regular season game appearances this year. That’s better than Nick Senzel’s net bWAR over parts of 3 MLB seasons.

      I see a similarity to the situation with Barnhart. He is not worth $7.5m to the Reds in 2022; and, neither is it worth the risk for the team to exercise the option then try to turn a net gain on him by dealing him with the $7.2m set cost. Yet, freed from the Reds, in a universal DH world, Barnhart just might land on his feet with a deal as good as what he got paid this year ($4m+) and still be a semi-regular elsewhere versus a being a backup in Cincy.

      Reply
      • SteveLV

        I know the injuries have been frustrating and the relationship between the Reds and Senzel doesn’t seem good, but his upside is a lot higher than his value to other teams right now. The Reds control him and have very little to lose and a lot to gain by giving him every opportunity to reach his potential. It sure makes sense to me to allow him to try to do that in a Reds uniform in 2022. Homegrown, inexpensive talent is the path to competitiveness for the Reds. I hope Senzel is a part of that.

      • Jim Walker

        Senzel is first year arbitration eligible. The MLB Trade Rumors site projects him at $1.1M for 2022. The Reds already paid a $6.2M signing bonus for his potential back in 2016. They have paid him another $1-2m in annual salaries since. At some point, he has to start holding up his end of the deal.

        Maybe that starts with the player taking backloaded 2-3 year deal with a minimum guaranteed payout in salary for 2022 and team options on succeeding year(s) with a minimal or no buyout on the options?

      • Alan Horn

        Agree and injury prone athletes usually don’t change for the better. It is like premature aging. Most all would fall apart if they try to play baseball at an older age. Some do it much sooner than is usual with mother nature. He fits into that category. As soon as they get over one thing, it something else popping up.

      • Luke J

        I hate the narrative of the “injury prone athlete”. It’s not a real thing (for 99% of the times it’s used). Sometimes players have several bad luck instances and get hurt several times. Sometimes they have a chronic injury that persists. Senzel is definitely not the latter. He just plays hard and has had the bad luck to get hurt several times. His physical body is not more subject to injury than someone else’s. He just needs a full season without bad luck.

      • greenmtred

        I generally don’t like that narrative, either, Luke. But Senzel has been otherworldly. If I weren’t such a rationalist, I’d suspect a really serious curse. I wouldn’t give up on him, but neither would I count on him.

      • Alan Horn

        LukeJ, my 73 years of experience tells me otherwise. I could be wrong and hope that I am, but I would not depend on Senzel for the long haul.
        He probably could perform well if he could stay on the field but that is something we don’t know because he hasn’t been able to stay on the field. It really hurts the team to depend on him in a key way and not be able to. Then we have to go to plan B once the season has started and that sets us back and is also tough finding a proper replacement at that point. We wind up trying to catch up with plan B all season.

      • Luke J

        Alan, that’s my problem. Your 73 years of experience is nothing more than anecdotes of examples where someone got hurt a lot. It ignores all the other players who got hurt a few times and never got hurt again. It isn’t scientific, nor based on any actual physiological evidence or reason. We have all seen players who get hurt a lot and can’t explain it, so we come up with this concept of the “injury prone” player instead of just acknowledging that sometimes things can just be coincidental. It’s human nature to do that. But that doesn’t make it more accurate.

    • Redsfan4life

      Yes I see folks writing out there Reds lineups here and many have Senzel in it. I doubt he is a Red next season and if he is the Reds would never count on him to be a starter.

      Reply
  12. donny

    For me i am trading everyone who makes 7 million or more except Votto because his contract won’t allow me to.
    So Bob C can save some more money , because the way the coach ”Bell” coaches this team and the way this organization runs this team Bob C isn’t going to make any money with the fans. So he needs to make money somewhere .

    Reply
    • donny

      And i would save that money earned and add more things to the park because that is truly what the very few fans want .

      Reply
      • donny

        NO, but really . All I want is for Bob C to be truly happy.

  13. old-school

    I agree the Reds always being one step behind and thats why I would trade Gray and not risk $10 mil on Miley. We all love Miley but he was hurt all of 2020 and finished 2021 hurt with a dismal September. He’s 35 with 2 pitches. How many years have the Reds paid guys $10 mil a year to never play?
    Alex wood + Scooter Gennett 2019.
    Homer bailey 2015-2017 and lets not forget that 1-14 season in 2018 when he had to pitch because he was being paid to pitch.
    Devin Mesoraco 2015-18.
    Ryan Ludwig 2013
    Sean Marshall 2013
    Scott Rolen 2011-12
    Ryan Madsen 2012.

    At least Senzel’s injuries dont cripple the payroll.
    Reds cant compete in 2022 if Gray and Miley are ineffective or injured and take up $20 mil in payroll on top of Akiyama and Moose.

    Reply
    • Alan Horn

      You don’t have to move Senzel(little value right now). Start him at AAA or as a RH complement to Naquin until we get an idea moving forward that he can both stay healthy and perform. I just think you can’t count on him being available.

      Reply
      • LDS

        I don’t know. I agree it’s feasible if Naquin and Senzel could stay healthy. But that’s not either’s track record. I’d trade them both if the Reds could find a buyer.

      • Indy Red Man

        Naquin just got ran over. He didn’t break down this year atleast.

      • Alan Horn

        True. That puts him ahead of Senzel at least as far as track records go. Senzel has yet to have a non injury plagued season.

  14. Bet on Red

    QO reportedly going down this offseason.

    Not really looking to make predictions on the offseason till I see who stays and goes. However, TB has nearly 18 players that are going to be Arb eligble this offseason, and there is no way that they want to hold onto all of those players. Might want to send a phone call that way and see who they want to part with the most

    Reply
    • Alan Horn

      It would have to go down a lot for us to offer Lorenzen and Givens.

      Reply
  15. Russ

    While Chad Dotson likes to say “Hope is not a strategy,” I’m inclined to believe that for the Reds, yes it is. Hope + small market poverty is their strategy for now. So if that’s the pattern they have exuded for years, then the realist in me says that the Reds’ strategy this off-season will be 1. Don’t increase budget and make cuts because COVID destroyed my revenues in 2020 and 1/3rd of 2021. Therefore, no picking up the Barnhardt option, no attempt to re-sign Castellanos who will opt out for more money, and no attempt to re-sign Lorenzen or Givens in free agency. Also non-tender AG. 2. If that’s not enough of a savings, then look to trade Gray or Castillo for “young controllable” bullpen arms and/or a Center Fielder. For example, if I’m Nick Krall, I’d probably go to the Angels who are desperate for good starting pitching in order to maximize the time they have with Trout and Ohtani, and make a deal for one of their young CFs (e.g. Adell or Marsh) + bullpen help in exchange for Gray or Castillo. I’m not saying Adell or Marsh are superstars in the making. I’m saying that it is the pattern of the Reds to hope this will be the case. 3. Because hope is my strategy, I (Reds owner/GM) will tell myself that I did hope that in 2021 my team would hit more like the back of their baseball cards than the 2020 version and, to some extent, that hope paid out (Castellanos, Votto, Winker, Farmer). While this wasn’t the case with Eugenio and Moose, I’m “hoping” they will return to some semblance of their baseball cards in 2022 even if they are getting older and slower. I’m also hoping for the DH next year to take care of my 3B “aging players” problem.

    I do think the Reds have been careful with their young studs and so I would expect them to hold off a bit on slotting both Greene or Lodolo into the MLB rotation, likely giving one or both of them some starts in AAA first. For this reason, I will pick up Miley’s option. Now, I did learn my lesson trying Suarez at SS, so that won’t happen again, but I (Krall/Bell) might continue to experiment with Barrero in CF if I didn’t make that trade for a CF in the offseason.

    And so, using hope as my strategy, I arrive at:
    1B Joey Votto
    2B Jonathan India
    3B Eugenio Suarez
    SS Barrero (unless I didn’t acquire an CF, because then it’s Farmer again)
    RF Naquin
    CF Marsh/Adell
    LF Winker
    C Stephenson

    Bench: Akiyama, Aquino, Friedl, Farmer, Schrock, Lopez
    Status Unknown (Senzel)

    SP: Mahle, Castillo (or Gray), Miley, Gutierrez, Greene (or Lodolo, but not both yet)
    Bullpen: Santillan, Cessa, Sims, Warren, Sannmartin, Moreta, (TBD)

    This is me being the realist observer of Reds’ management vs. the optimistic fan who was angered that when the Reds had the chance to truly take the division by signing a SS and keeping their bullpen intact last offseason, they chose not to!

    Reply
    • Old-school

      Post more Russ

      Really good

      I want a young Angels Cf

      Reply
      • Alan Horn

        BP TBD needs to be a lefty and a pretty good one.

      • Russ

        You are correct that the TBD needs to be a good LH. However, noting that Justin Wilson has a $2.2 million player option coming off a rough season, it’ll be him. He’ll take the option, forcing the Reds to “hope” he has a better 2022.

      • Alan Horn

        Probably so. He did a good job for the Reds once he came over. Sanmartin needs to come through too.

  16. Michael B. Green

    I think the bullpen component of the CIN initial 40MR will initially feature the following:
    Warren
    Santillan
    Hendrix
    Cessa
    Sims
    Moreta

    They should likely carry 3 LHRP as well. Garrett may serve as one of them unless he is non-tendered. At around $2.2M for his A2 year, they’ll need to park their confidence in him.

    That leaves around 4 spots. Two (2) of them will likely involve LHRP’s. I can see one of them getting a minor league contract and then taking Antone’s 40MR spot as soon as CIN moves him to the DL60. The other is likely a trade acquisition who could emerge but also has at least one option. A good comp is Josh Taylor of BOS. That type of lefty.

    The other two (2) relievers need to be quality RHRP’s – one a proven closer. BOS had Hansel Robles for $2M this past year and it worked out well for them. That kind of signing is what we need for one of those two relievers. Either that or trade for Montero, Trivino or Chad Green. The other RHRP, in my opinion, needs to be someone that is a proven closer. That’s Jansen or Kimbrel. If CIN does not contend, you can trade them at the Deadline.

    We will certainly know if CIN brass is committed to winning by how they address the bullpen. If they nibble like last year, we’ll flirt with contention but nothing more than that. With the young cheap talent that we have, we need to address the pen. I honestly believe that the pen was the difference in at least 10 W’s in 2021.

    While he could prove very valuable for CIN next year, I would not bank on Sims closing. Way too many fly balls. Way too many HR’s. I could care less about spin rate. No offense to Sims as I think a good year from him helps nail down the pen.

    If the brass invests this winter, the bullpen could turn into a strength. I like Sims, Santillan, Cessa and Warren a lot. All we need are the high leverage arms now and some LHRP’s that can get the job done. I would focus on guys that do not walk guys. Ever. 🙂 Walks were runs almost every time they happened in September this year.
    Ever. 🙂

    Reply
    • Alan Horn

      Unless Hendrix really show out in the spring, he will probably need more seasoning at AAA. He didn’t do much at AAA when sent back down. He has a lot of potential and just needs to get results. I think he has to do that at AAA first same as Greene and Lodolo.

      Reply
    • Old-school

      @MG
      I like your bullpen assessment. I do think there is some young talent there and a modest investment in a legitimate lefty and a good righty would solidify a weak spot. I really like Santillan as a young potentially dominant bullpen arm with elite Fb and slider. I just dont see the Reds spending money in the bullpen beyond the veteran reclamation low budget lottery ticket.

      Reply
    • Jim Walker

      That’s the beauty (and heartache) of tournaments.

      Reply
  17. Alex Whitehead

    Woo hoo! That boring Trig class of a season is over, with it’s launch angle, spin rate, xoba/fopa, BIBP, FIP, shifts and 3 true outcomes! Now we can focus on the real excitement: labor negotiations, arbitration estimates and luxury tax thresholds! PARTY! The kids love this stuff! And who wouldn’t? Watching large, faceless Private Equity ownership groups talk about parking revenue and gate receipts, while never mentioning winning baseball games, is the next summer blockbuster.

    But no seriously. Our hope was Dick. Dick left cause big Bob will always want to call the shots. Driveline and the rest of dicks guys are now gone. Krall is there cause he’ll do what big Bob wants.

    You win big Bob. After 2 decades of reds ownership crying they are too poor to win, I think they’ve finally gotten thru to the fan base. What’s the point? Who cares? You are too poor. Good job big Bob.

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      Too poor to do the job properly but too rich (or too proud) to admit it???

      Reply
    • Old Big Ed

      Except Dick is the guy who signed Moustakas and Akiyama for no apparent reason, saddling the Reds with $25 million/year in dead payroll. But for that unforced error, there would have been no need to empty the bullpen or rely on Senzel’s health.

      The Reds spent enough money to win; they just spent that money foolishly.

      I am a unicorn on this, but I actually like the business end of it, because to me the business realities explain much of what happens in the game. I don’t know why that surprises people, because business realities are what drives changes in all sorts of things — like air travel, cord-cutting or the car market. The Tampa Bay Rays are a fascinating business study. The are stuck with a bad lease in an iffy, odd-duck facility on the wrong side of the Bay, in an area populated by a lot of retired Yankee and Red Sox fans. Yet they have the most efficient baseball operation in the sport, one feature of which is almost never investing in long-term player contracts and certainly not with older players.

      One business reality is that the Reds franchise is worth a lot more to the ownership group if the team is winning, because winning drives a ton of revenue growth. I will grant you that there is a school of thought out there that a small market team’s being merely semi-competitive is the business sweet spot, because it maintains fan interest without costing a ton in salaries, but I don’t buy that as a long-term strategy in Cincinnati.

      The Reds don’t have the same revenue constraints as the Rays, but there is a lot to learn from the Rays’ operation. The main one is that the farm system is the driver of success. The Reds have learned that lesson; they’ve brought up Winker, India, Stephenson, Mahle, Castillo, Senzel (oh well), Santillan, Gutierrez and some others, with Barrero, Greene and Lodolo as 2022 arrivals. They used Shed Long to get a decent contract with Sonny Gray, executed an excellent 2021 draft (Jose Torres, Matt McLain and Jay Allen), and turned the corner to producing good Latin American hitters (Elly De La Cruz, etc.).

      The lesson from the Rays that the Reds haven’t yet absorbed is not signing old guys to multi-year contracts. I love Castellanos and hope he is a Red next year, but I understand that (depending on the terms) it may be a bad long-term business decision to bring him back. This may similarly lead them to trade Castillo this winter to a team like the Angels.

      Having said all that, I also would prefer Bob not run the franchise. I don’t trust him at his age to have the business discipline required to make the franchise successful over the long run.

      Reply
      • Alan Horn

        Great post. I agree with most everything you said. We are saddled with waiting for the ice to thaw on Moose and Akiyama’s contracts so they will flush down the kitchen sink drain. That will hold us back for a while.

      • Old-school

        @OBE
        Good points all around. I am actually very intrigued with Elly De LA Cruz as well. I read on a C Trent article the kid is close to 6’5 and blew up this year with a sprint speed over 30 ft/sec. Why not put this kid in CF? A switch hitting athlete with power and elite speed and a wiry frame? Sounds like a switch hitting #44 Eric Davis.

        I love watching young talent breakthrough and would love to see the reds really develop and commit to the next core. Joey Votto deserves to play 1b/DH in 2022/23 but I would be focused on transitioning to a completely new core by 2024. The Reds have no players signed in 2024,if you count Votto’s buyout, except for Suarez. Cant see the Reds winning the World Series in 2022 and 2023 could be a bad one with Votto age 40 and Moose 36 and Suarez.

        I’d like to see the Reds really commit to developing a roster of players that transition the core nucleus of the team by 2023. If that means trading Sonny Gray and moving on from Tucker Barnhart in 2022- so be it. Miley and Garrett and Farmer are fine for 2022 as filler but they arent part of the next great Reds team.

        Starting lineup 2024

        India 2b
        De La Cruz CF
        Winker 1B
        Stephenson C
        Hendrick RF
        Hinds DH
        Barrero SS
        McClain 3b
        Allen LF

        SP

        Castillo
        Mahle
        Lodolo
        Greene
        Ashcraft

  18. Indy Red Man

    Well the Reds aren’t the only ones with problems. Milwaukee scored 6 in the whole series and I think Tellez knocked in 4 or 5. Yelich did nothing but K and he’s set to make $130 mil more I think?

    Reply
    • Indy Red Man

      $180+ mil owed to Yelich. Ouch. When your back is gone it’s gone.

      Reply
      • Old-school

        Plus $29 million more for 36 year old Lorenzo Cain and 32 yo JBJ in 2022.

        Plus huge arbitration raises to Hader, Burnes, Adames, Woodruff.

        Can the Brewers afford $10 mil for Hader in 2022?

      • Jim Walker

        A cautionary message for the Reds about backs, thinking of one guy in particular??

      • Alan Horn

        I know who you are referring to Jim and it has me worried also. A large contract could be a repeat of the past with Moose and Akiyama. We have a few seasons for it to shake out before we have to tie ourselves up. In fact we should know after 2022.

      • Old-school

        @jim, I thought you were referring to Sonny Gray but I guess its Winker. Winker pulled an intercostal muscle. That’s a rib cage muscle- NOT structural spine disease/disc disease/nerve impingement etc. Its pretty important in the short term to hitting a baseball with a bat with high velocity and torque, and cant be hurried along but does not in any way,shape, or form represent a chronic or recurring issue thats long term and rooted in a structural spine problem. It’s a pulled rib cage muscle.

        I did the same thing on a bad golf swing a few years ago and were I in a high stakes golf tournament, I would have had to quit immediately and would have been out for weeks. But, I’m a hack and finished the round and It’s not recurred. It actually gave me a good excuse for the shots I didnt like.

      • Indy Red Man

        Wink has to hit better vs lefties before I would pay him big $. I think he’s a good enough hitter to do that, but he gets launch/pull happy at times. You always know when Wink/Joey are getting hot because alot of balls are sprayed the other way and with power too

      • Alan Horn

        That is good to know Old School. I know he was out with a back problem a couple or so years ago also. At any rate, how things go in 2022 will/should dictate whether he gets a long term/high dollar contract.

      • Old-school

        @ Indy- I think Turner Ward damaged reds hitters.
        That 2019 season was horrific. Winker hit .259 trying to launch. Votto had the worst year of his career( not due to aging apparently) and Senzel had a great 2018 until he got hurt and then radically changed his swing and stance trying to be a good soldier in 2019. That doesn’t even include the guys in 2019 who arent here who were terrible.

        I think the Reds are on the right track with hitting and cant wait for for more line drives and hitting behind the runner and hitting the ball hard where it is pitched.

        There’s nothing wrong…in fact a lot is good …..hitting a single the opposite way. Thank you rookies Jon India and Tyler Stephenson for showing a franchise how to hit and stop listening to new wave stupid hitting coaches.

      • Alan Horn

        They hit ok when Don Long was the hitting coach also. He just went to Philly.

      • Jim Walker

        @OS> Winker has a very suspect injury rap sheet.

        2018>88 game appearances; out for the season on July 23
        2019>112 game appearances; out for the season on August 18
        2021>108/9 game appearances; functionally out for the season August 15 (but did make the ill-advised comeback cameo on September 18)

        The other than his rookie season when he was called up early for short stints in April and June then to stay in July, the only MLB season he has finished off the DL/IL is abbreviated 2020 season. And even in his rookie season, he missed 3 weeks from late August to mid September on the IL.

        The ailments have involved his lower back, shoulder, a cervical neck strain, and the intercostal issue this year which I believe was first described as a back issue before it was specifically stated to be an intercostal strain. About which, per this source, can often involve the back:

        https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/upper-back-pain/intercostal-muscle-strain-symptoms-and-diagnosis

        “The symptoms of intercostal muscle strain may vary slightly, depending on how the injury occurred, and may include:

        Sudden, severe upper back/rib pain. Upper back pain or pain in the rib cage may be significant and come on suddenly…. ”

        Can we agree he has had a number of core injuries involving areas often lumped together as “the back”?

      • Old-school

        @ Jim

        Your grasping at moving targets. He dislocated his shoulder diving on the bases in 2018. That has no connection to a rib injury in 2021. He strained his neck in august of 2019. He pulled a rib cage muscle swinging in 2021 after making the All star team and leading the NL in OPS and OBP and BA for most of the year. If your point is hes not durable or an athletic outfielder who needs a new position… fair enough. But trying to connect dots on random injuries just wont work or suggesting he has major structural spine injuries that are career threatening…you need to provide an MRI and spine surgeon opinion on that.

        But, who is durable? Tejay Antone? Michael Lorenzen? Shogo Akiyama? Mike Moustakis? I’ll take Winker.

        Homer Bailey and Devon Mesoraco were never injured prior to age 27 until their careers ended because they were always injured.

        Phil Ervin is available I am quite certain.

      • Old-school

        @ Jim

        Your grasping at moving targets. He dislocated his shoulder diving on the bases in 2018. That has no connection to a rib injury in 2021. He strained his neck in august of 2019. He pulled a rib cage muscle swinging in 2021 after making the All star team and leading the NL in OPS and OBP and BA for most of the year. If your point is hes not durable or an athletic outfielder who needs a new position… fair enough. But trying to connect dots on random injuries just wont work or suggesting he has major structural spine injuries that are career threatening…you need to provide an MRI and spine surgeon opinion on that.

        But, who is durable? Tejay Antone? Michael Lorenzen? Shogo Akiyama? Mike Moustakis? I’ll take Winker.

        Homer Bailey and Devon Mesoraco were never injured prior to age 27 until their careers ended because they were always injured.

        Phil Ervin is available I am quite certain.

      • Jim Walker

        @OS> If I am the Reds negotiator on Winker’s contract. I tell him/ his agent, my best offer is based on getting 110-120 games a year from him because I am going to have to spend money on somebody else to fill those other40 games at better than 4A replacement level.

      • Old-school

        @jim

        And if I am Winkers agent I would say we were a playoff offense until jesse winker wasnt hitting 2nd

        But fine

        Trade me

        Play that healthy OF of tyler Naquin nick senzel and Shogo Akiyama with Aquino

        Play that offense of geno Suarez and Moose and absent Nick Castellanos

        Yes

        Winker is the problem with the offense no question

    • Jim Walker

      Such things often seem to happen to teams playing Atlanta in the post season.

      Reply
  19. David

    The fact that Castellanos just had a career year, indicates he may want a contract that prices out of the Reds’ payroll.
    If they make a qualifying offer, do they get a draft position if he goes elsewhere? Because I know his contract is structured for a mutual opt-out, which I think he will excercise. My guess is …NO, because of the mutual option in his contract.
    I speculate that either Gray or Miley goes, not because they are bad guys, but first…
    Money. And the Reds’ cannot afford to get all at once, or lose the majority of their staff in one season.
    After 2022, I think Castillo will be available to sign for big money. If he has a career year in 2022, there is no way the Reds can afford him, too.
    I think that “Old BigEd” comments above about how business decisions drive baseball decisions is spot on. The Reds should study how Tampa Bay is successful, because that operation is pretty amazing…..but, they won’t. Because Bob Castellini is too stubborn and unwilling to admit prior mistakes by doing so.

    Reply
    • VegasRed

      Castellanos had a career year playing half his games in GABP. His road splits are meh.

      Maybe some team goes big for him but it better have a great hitters’ park.

      Hunter rendere will be a FA and others who can thrive in cincy.

      The biggest issues are bullpen and having to nontender Barney, thus losing him with no return (a reds specialty.)

      At any rate TS in daily lineup makes up for casty. But then the reds need to get a couple proven replacements for RF and to start in CF.

      If tinker runs farmer out again at SS everyday, none of this matters anyway.

      Reply

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