The Cincinnati Reds have a lot of things that they could do in order to improve the club for the 2022 season. Many of those things, however, don’t feel realistic. Cincinnati doesn’t seem likely to expand payroll to allow them to go out and sign a superstar to help put them over the top. The Reds don’t seem likely to expand payroll to go out and fill out the bullpen with free agents to really leave them without a weakness there.

There’s a lot of thoughts out there that you’ve probably read in the comments about how the Reds can “save money” by finding a way to trade players like Eugenio Suárez, Mike Moustakas, or Shogo Akiyama. For the same reason some fans want to trade them is the exact reason that no one is going to want to acquire them.

When looking at things from a more realistic standpoint, though, there is one move that could be rather beneficial for the 2022 Cincinnati Reds. And that move is actually something that they don’t have much of a say in: Bringing the designated hitter to the National League.

The collective bargaining agreement is up on December 1st. There seems to be a whole lot of stuff that both the owners and the players want to have in the new CBA. One thing that they both seem to want is bringing the designated hitter to both leagues.

If that happens, love it or hate it, it’s going to be beneficial for the Cincinnati Reds. Jonathan India broke out in his rookie season during 2021. He plays second base. And he used to play third base. Those are the same positions that Eugenio Suárez and Mike Moustakas play. The Reds tried to find a solution to get all three on the field at the same time by playing Suárez at shortstop early in 2021, but those results were disastrous. When Moustakas went down with his first injury of 2021 the plan was abandoned and Suárez slid back to third base where Moustakas had been playing.

As noted above – it just seems incredibly unlikely that the team is going to move on from Moustakas or Suarez. Both are owed plenty of money still. And if we learned anything from Wade Miley’s 2021, injuries can mislead you at times as to the effectiveness of a player. Prior to the injury, Moustakas was hitting a bit above the league average. But after he returned he simply couldn’t get much done at the plate. Or in the field for that matter.

With the designated hitter in play David Bell could put out a lineup every day that would feature Jonathan India, Eugenio Suárez, and Mike Moustakas – and he could do that without sacrificing defense like the team had to do last season to get those three into the same game at the same time.

Having the designated hitter opens up a way for everyone to get a little more playing time. It may allow some guys to get a little more rest at times, too. Jonathan India will seemingly try to play through almost anything. He’s as tough as nails. But having a designated hitter spot that he could slide into every few weeks for a day to just give his body a little extra rest from not playing in the field could be beneficial. For all that Jesse Winker brings to the table at the plate, and even with the improvements he’s made on defense, he’s still not exactly a great defender. Having a designated hitter spot open for him every so often helps.

At this point it’s tough to know exactly what the front office is going to do this winter in order to improve the 2022 Reds roster. But they could get some help from the league and not have to do much at all to find a way to get more from the roster next season if the designated hitter comes to the National League.

70 Responses

  1. Grand Salami

    This team was built for the DH before India’s emergence.

    Moose’s greatest likelihood of future success lies in the DH or 1st base bit that’s occupied here.

  2. Hotto4Votto

    I don’t necessarily agree that the Reds won’t be able to trade one of those guys. We see bad contracts get traded regularly enough. We don’t have to go very far back in our own Reds history to recall the Homer Bailey trade. No one around here thought it was realistic to trade Bailey (especially without eating a ton of $$$) but it was done. In fact the guy we received in return, Matt Kemp, was said to have had one of the most untradeable contracts in baseball, but he was traded multiple times during the length of that contract. It may take some creativity, but it shouldn’t be dismissed as an option before the offseason even starts. That’s setting the bar for the FO far too low and excusing failure before it happens, IMO.

    • Old Big Ed

      No, dumping the Moustakas contract is impossible right now. The Reds dumped Bailey in exchange for taking on a bunch of Kemp’s contract, plus the Dodgers loved Josiah Gray, whom they traded as part of the Scherzer/Trea Turner deal.

      Moose was well below replacement level after he “returned” from his injury, and ended up with a -1.0 bWAR overall. He hit, ran and fielded like a 48-year-old beer-league player. Why would any team take on any significant part of his 2-year, $36 million contract, when replacement-level players can be had for MLB minimum wage?

      Their best hope for Moustakas is that he heals from his plantar fasciitis (which I had this summer, too, although not as bad as his), that he can get into fantastic physical shape, and that he can return to some semblance of his career norms (which were never worth $18 million/year). Anybody who has clawed their way to a GM job in the major leagues is by definition too smart to take on anything more than a pittance of Moose’s contract. If Moose returns and puts up some good numbers in the first half, then maybe the Reds could find a team to take on maybe a quarter of the contract.

      My biggest beef with David Bell has to do with Moustakas. After watching Moose for about a week when he returned from the IL, it should have become obvious that Moose couldn’t play at this level with his injury. I don’t understand why Bell didn’t demand the front office disable Moose and give him somebody who physically capable of playing. Lopez, Schrock or Barrero would all have been better at all aspects of the game than a wounded Moustakas.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Moose may be harder to trade than Suarez, but I wouldn’t say impossible. And, the Reds really just need to trade one of them to clear some payroll space, (hopefully to add an OF’er) so trade the easier one, obviously. But clearing space shouldn’t be an assumed impossibility.
        It just takes creativity. Again, looking to the Bailey trade, one bleacher report dubbed the worst contract in history for a pitcher, to find an example of a creative trade to move a bad contract. Bailey was -1.6 bWAR in 2018 and was owed $23m for 2019. Kemp was owed $21m and the Dodgers sent $7m with it. Yes there were other parts to the trade (Wood, Puig, Farmer, Gray, and Downs) but that’s just the creative part of it to make it work. The Dodgers were motivated to clear money and tax thresholds, and Bailey made less AAV than Kemp, plus they shed Wood and Puig’s contracts for prospects. The Reds were looking to shed the dead weight of Bailey, add offense and pitching to the ML team, which they did.
        It may take some work, and finding the right partner, but it’s not impossible.

      • Jim Walker

        So if Moose is a DH only, we can throw out his total WAR and look only at his oWAR (offense). Over his career, he is less than a 2 a year oWAR (BBRef) producer. BBRef classifies this as borderline starter/ sub production. This is borne out by cross checking his OPS+ and wRC+ plus. Even omitting 2021, his OPS+ is 101 (100 is league average) and his wRC+ is 100, again right on league average.

        Some portion of the sunken contract cost should be recoverable if the Reds are willing to pay out cash, prospect capital and/ or take a lesser (also) bad contract in return.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Jim, I’m on the same train of thought. It may take prospects, cash, and/or taking on a bad contract, but there’s ways to get it done and recover some of the sunk cost. And, largely, I’m just not ready to write it off as a possibility before the offseason truly starts. Many twists and turns may lie ahead and a truly creative FO will find avenues to improve the Reds roster. We’ll see if they’re up to the challenge.

      • Old Big Ed

        Hotto, sure, they could throw in enough prospects and dump the Moustakas contract. But the prospects’ contracts are assets, too, and giving up $30 million in prospect value to ditch the Moustakas contract is just as bad as just writing a check to Moustakas. I don’t want to see Rece Hinds in Yankee pinstripes at age 23.

        They WAY overpaid for Moustakas – I doubt any other team was in the same vicinity as the Reds – and then they got unlucky with his injury. So now they gotta live with it.

      • Jim Walker

        “My biggest beef with David Bell has to do with Moustakas. After watching Moose for about a week when he returned from the IL, it should have become obvious that Moose couldn’t play at this level with his injury. I don’t understand why Bell didn’t demand the front office disable Moose and give him somebody who physically capable of playing….”

        Absolutely 100% agree. Until and unless they pull back the curtain and give us a full look which shows differently, this was the pivot point that led to the Reds demise.

        Barreo was sent down to make a spot for Cabrera. Moose started at 3B and stumble bummed through the 1st inning setting up the Marlins for a 5 run inning with 3 plays not made and all 3 guys scoring. A couple of innings later, he pulled himself from the lineup.

        The team after this was never the same as the team before this in terms of drive, determination and resiliency.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Ok, so not the impossibility that was previously stated, which was the initial point that I disagreed with in the article. It’s more so an avenue to a trade you (and probably others) may not want to explore. Which is fine. We all may value assets differently.
        I will say that prospect value is theoretical and subject to change, sometimes quickly. While I wish we still had Gray and Downs in our system, their value both increased dramatically after being traded. That’s the risk in trading prospects. At the same time, we used a guy from that trade (Puig) to help bring in Bauer, who had a huge impact on the Reds making the playoffs in 2020. If Wood had been able to remain healthy we may have recouped some prospect value at the deadline. So there’s a give and take and moves made now may lead to other moves down the line, and there’s also a degree of luck when it comes to health.
        I will agree they overpaid for Moose, and now the chickens have come home to roost on that oversight. (I also think it was poor planning considering the positional fit, especially with our near ready prospects at the time that played the same positions). At the same time, I think a creative FO can figure a way out of past oversights to improve the current roster which is only a few pieces away from really competing.

    • Jim Walker

      I tend to agree. The money owed to Moustakas is a sunken cost. The amount owed to him through the end of 2023 plus the buyout on his 2024 option is $38m. $0.50 on the dollar saved would be $9m a year across the 2 years. Even $0.25 on the dollar saved would still be substantial.

      The issue is what would the Reds have to pay out in prospect capital and/ or take back in bad contracts to get him off the books at either of these or any other rate.

      Keep in mind that the flip side of the coin presented by Doug is that the universal DH also makes someone like Moustakas potentially more valuable in the trade market. With the Reds deep in DH candidates even without Moustakas, the money saved by moving him mght be put better use elsewhere.

      • SultanofSwaff

        Maybe you don’t move prospects, but rather you pair Moose with a player who would have trade value—Sonny Gray. Surely the Reds would eat some money, but on the whole it would be a smart move.

        Even if this were to happen, the question ‘what to you do with the money you just saved?’ is relevant. Anything short of extensions for core players is a non-starter for me. If they can’t do that, I’d rather roll into 2022 with them. Gray would be pitching for his next contract and Moose would be fully healthy. Not the worst thing….

      • Jim Walker

        The Moose’s record is pretty consistent across his career prior to 2021. He is less than a 2 bWAR player if he plays defense and right a 2 (bWAR formula) player for offense only. Dead league average OPS+/ wRC+. A team could do worse but also could do better for a DH, assuming he can stay healthy which given this injury and his age is a fair question to ask.

      • Old Big Ed

        I certainly don’t know the dynamics of the ownership group, but one option is to make a capital call from the limited partners to fund cash flow over the next couple of years. The farm system is in very good shape right now, and (we hope) that the Covid-related drop in revenue is at least mostly behind them now. This latest draft seems epic, with McLain, Jay Allen and Jose Torres all looking like winners.

        The Reds’ “window” actually seems open now for several years — by the time that Votto retires and the Moose/Suarez contracts are paid, there is at least a solid chance that the new generation will contribute immediately. The franchise is worth a lot more money to the investors if the Reds are winning 90 games/year instead of 74, and there is no reason to kill the momentum that they are building.

        So, instead of trading prospects (or Gray/Mahle/Castillo) to fund the Moustakas mistake (and pay Winker and Castillo), why not just bite the bullet now with the investors and finance 2022-23 with a capital call? That’s what tons of other businesses are doing.

      • Jim Walker

        @OBE, Because I think they could recover $.25-.50 on the dollar for Moose versus just eating the whole contract.

        Downs and Gray are looking a lot less like high end sure things than when they were moved in the Bailey deal. Taylor Trammell has yet to make his mark since he was traded in the Bauer deal (and without digressing totally, that 2016 draft is really doggish right now after all the big talk about it). Shed Long hasn’t come through since being traded for Gray.

        Rolll the dice again to save ~$20M over 2 years.

      • greenmtred

        I’m a little puzzled that so many here think Gray should be traded. Most of us probably believe that the Reds will be plausible contenders in 2022, but that opinion must be based, in part, upon the assumption that the starting pitching will be good. We can’t assume that Greene, Lodolo, et al will be ready to step into the rotation, so it seems to me that Gray, who had his ups and downs, but has been a quality starter for the Reds, may be needed. If all went well, maybe he’d be a good candidate for a mid-season trade?

    • jmb

      If you trade Castillo or Gray or Miley along with him, you can get the deal done. Why do writers talk as if you can only trade one guy at a time? Of course no one would want Moose as is, but if you sweeten the pot…. Recent years, even for the Reds, have shown that teams are willing to throw in a good player or prospect in order to unload a bad contract, and teams are willing to take on bad contracts in order to get that good player or prospect. Moose was a star in KC and won a World Series there. They need a 3B, and they desperately need starters. So, they may very well be willing to take Moose back if they can get Castillo in the deal while giving up little in return. The Reds have some good young players who will need to be signed long term here soon. The team NEEDS to unload the Suarez, Moose, and Shogo contracts, even if that means sending Castillo, Gray, and Miley (after accepting his option, of course) along with them. (Though, with Suarez’s late surge, you may not need to send a pitcher with him to free yourself of his contract.) GMs are very savy and quite creative these days! Why is it that writers talk to the fans as if we are back in the 80s?

  3. TR

    Establishing a young shortstop (Barrero) in the regular lineup and acquiring a young regular centerfielder (not Aquino, Naquin or Friedl).

  4. RedsFan11

    The DH will be the only off-season “acquisition” this team will make, and IF Bob isn’t too poor to afford a similar payroll to this year, it will make this team much better.

    C: Stephenson/Barnhart
    3B: Suarez/Moose
    SS: Barrero
    2B: India
    1B: Votto/Moose
    LF: Winker
    CF: Naquin, Shogo, Senzel (only position that should be up for grabs IMO)
    RF: Castellanos
    DH : Farmer (also super utility infielder)
    Leaves one open spot for maybe a blandino or Aquino

    This is the clear easy path on how the offense should look in 2022. So ofcourse it won’t look anything like this

    • PTBNL

      Barnhart is likely gone. No one is paying 7 mil a year for a backup…not even Krall. And why would Barnhart want a paycut to get more money and more playing time somewhere else.

      I don’t even know if Shogo will be back as DB doesn’t believe in him and Shogo possibly open to going back to Japan and saving face.

      Farmer won’t be the DH as his defensive value is higher than other DH possibilities. Super Utility is more like it.

      The Blandino boat has sailed. Can’t even hit .200 at AAA and with other MI in the pipeline. He is more than likely cut this winter.

      A Senzel/Naquin platoon in CF is a possibility.

      • PTBNL

        p.s. and don’t forget Schrock. He has proven himself to be a good MLB hitter.

      • Jim Walker

        The one I am going to be closely watching is Barnhart. Anyone who reads here semi regularly knows my feelings on the situation.

        What I am really interested in seeing, presuming the $7.5M option is declined by the Reds, is where and for how much he signs for. I truly believe he is an example of folks being attached to the guy they have become comfortable with and overvalue as a result.

        Personally, I wish him well wherever he goes; but, I think based on player contribution value it will be for no more and quite possibly less annual average value than he was paid this year.

  5. Klugo

    It’ll help. We have a team full of 3Bs.

    • Old Big Ed

      Yes, but for great stretches of the season, none of the top five options at 3Bs were viable. Suarez was awful; Senzel was hurt; Moose was hurt; India had to play 2B; and even Schrock had a calf injury.

      I’d like to know what the plan is for Senzel. He needs to come back with a Blues Brothers’ style attitude of “We’re on a mission from God,” but I don’t know if he has it in him. He probably needs a new start in another organization.

      • TR

        If Senzel is injury-free come spring training, I think he should be the regular third baseman. Suarez should be included in a trade for a centerfielder or a reliever. Moose will DH and backup Votto. Barrero should be at shortstop. But with David Bell in charge for at least two more seasons and his well known love of changing players positions, I doubt much will change except Suarez at third, Farmer at short backed up by Barrero and Senzel in center.

  6. old-school

    I think you nailed the plan Doug and nailed the talking points for Moose in 2022. He was injured in 2021 and will be 100% in 2022 so he’s fine. Thats Krall and Bell’s talking points anyway.
    There wont be a designated designated hitter.
    Bell was quick to point that out in 2020 and there wont be one guy in 2021.

    Winker will get some time, Moose will get some time, the handedness player du jour will get some time and it will be a way to rest Votto and Suarez and Stephenson and India some.

    Practically speaking it will be Moose, but bell will rotate enough with moose at 3b, 2b,1b once a week so Moose’ feels like he not a DH.

    The X factor is injuries and they ALWAYS happen so Moose could easily be the starting first basemen or 3b if an injury occurs.

    • Jim Walker

      Or being aging, overweight and coming off plantar fascia, Moose could be the guy hurt all year again.

  7. Old Big Ed

    The other important move is to teach Elly De La Cruz a bit more plate discipline. Baseball America indicates that he is taller than his listed 6’2″ and maybe closer to 6’5″ now, and is the #1 prospect in the Arizona instructs this fall. He needs more walks and fewer strikeouts, but it’s been a generation or more since the Reds have had a guy this young with his raw ability.

    • MBS

      If they finally commit to Barrero at SS, I’d move Elly to the OF starting in spring. I’d hold off on moving McLain off SS. If he proves he is a capable MLB quality SS, he might be a valuable future trade chip. If not he could be moved into the OF, with Elly. Those 2 could be the future CF and RF for the Reds, as early as 23 or 24.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I’m always under the impression, that if a guy can stick at SS, you keep him there until you have no other choice to move him. For example, Billy Hamilton stayed at SS until he didn’t have a spot to play for the Reds and they needed a CF. De La Cruz played a bit of 3B and SS this season. In fact Doug has him as the Reds Minor League All Star at 3B for the season. So, mix him in at SS and 3B, the OF will always be an option down the road. It seems to be a position guys can learn to play on the fly (Senzel, Barrero, Stephenson just to name a few).

  8. SultanofSwaff

    I can see the short term benefit of the DH for the reasons mentioned. While I want the DH badly because I hate watching pitchers ‘hit’, long term it adds another position the team has to account for in the budget. Certainly the deeper pocketed teams would have an advantage.

    • Jim Walker

      I just want the charade of pitchers at the plate to end. I’d even be fine with an 8 man batting order to get rid of pitchers hitting as an alternative to DH.

      • oklared

        Ohtani would challenge your charade. I just happen to like baseball where all players have to hit. With the way some of our position players hit maybe we need 9 hitters and then 9 fielders it would increase opportunities for young players

    • SultanofSwaff

      In other words, the team would be dumpster diving for retreads and change of scenery candidates……the same bullpen nonsense.

    • Doc

      If the roster is 26 without the DH, and is 26 with the DH, then there is not another position that must be created. There are 26 positions either way. Daylight Savings Time did not create more daylight either!

      • SultanofSwaff

        No, but you’re having to pay a player who will get 500+ at-bats vs. the salary of a replacement level bullpen piece. Apples and oranges.

  9. Jon

    What about packaging Moustakas with a player like Senzel who still has a lot of potential if he can stay healthy? Maybe toss in Naquin or Friedl as well to sweeten the deal?

  10. west larry

    Let’s assume that their is a 2022 season and a D H in the national league. Look at the teams that need one or two starters next year. The Angels, Cubs, and Rockies come to mind. I’m sure that their are others. What if we offer Gray, Senzel and Moose For a mid level prospect (some teams sixteenth prospect?) and we pay one third of Moose’s remaining contract. We would lose a prospect that needs to start over somewhere else, a pitcher who would be a third or fourth starter for someone, and Moose, a player that could be used as a D H.

    • Jim Walker

      Yeah, except I don’t see the Reds breaking down and paying out actual cash money at this point. Has to be sending value and/ or taking on a less expensive bad contract in return.

    • PTBNL

      3 established major leaguers for one untested taleted minor leaguer is a pipe dream.

      • west larry

        Getting back the prospect is really a face saving move. Besides, I don’t think that you can call Senzel a proven major leaguer. Sure, you put out about eight or nine million, but you save, what, 15 million on Moose’s contract and about ten million on Gray’s contract. That should allow the reds to extend Winker and a few others. Then, as many have suggested, don’t pick up Barnhart’s option, and offer him 3-4 million to return as Stephenson’s backup.

      • PTBNL

        Senzel is much more than a minor leaguer. Just because he hasn’t played much doesn’t mean he is not legit on a ML field. He wasn’t the #2 overall pick for nothing. Any ML team would take the chance on him as a bounceback. It is too soon to give up on him yet. He is still relatively young.

      • west larry

        That’s why I included him in my proposed package. You can’t get rid of Moose with just Gray and Moose, and some dollar amount. No one would take it. Senzel does have value. I wouldn’t include any of our top pitching prospects, nor ,of course, Barrio, Stevenson nor India. But you have to put someone of value (senzel) to have a chance to make Moose disappear- the reds would never, I don’t think, just DFA him.

      • greenmtred

        Senzel has shown a remarkable tendency to get injured and miss large amounts of every season. We aren’t the only ones aware of this. Somebody might take a flyer on him based on his potential, but it’s hard to imagine the Reds getting much in return: His injuries aren’t a one-off–he’s been plagued by them for years.

  11. JRZ

    If you’re so anxious to get rid of Moose, why not simply release him. His salary is a sunk cost. Don’t exacerbate the problem by giving away talent or prospects.

    • greenmtred

      I really agree with this: Moose is replaceable from the current roster. Suarez, particularly given his Sept., is a better bet.

  12. Jim t

    Everything should be done to bring back Nick C. And improving the bullpen. Freeing up money to do that is paramount. Some options are declining options on Barnhart, Miley or moving Sonny Gray with Hunter Greene taking his spot. Trade Shogo while eating some of the 7 mil or include him in a offer including Gray.

    Moose is the DH while subbing Votto on occasion.

    Suarez plays 3rd Hoping he found his stroke in September.

    Senzel should be our CF and Barrera should be given the opportunity to push Farmer to a utility role.

    This team was not a bad offensive team even with Senzel, Suarez and moose being non factors. Bring back nick, get moose healthy and DH him and fix the bullpen and we will contend for our division.

  13. AllTheHype

    One of the other big problems is with this manager, Farmer will be the starting SS instead of utility guy like he should be, and our top prospect will be on the bench.

    • Christopher Holbert

      It would be the same if Barnhart is resigned. DB will play him as #1 and Stephenson will be the first RH pinch hitter off the bench….Stephenson needs to be #1, without fail

    • greenmtred

      One of either Farmer or Barrero will be the starting shortstop. My bet is that the one who earns it will be the one who gets the job.

      • Greenfield Red

        What evidence do you site for your bet? If Farmer is healthy, it’s his job. All the evidence points to it.

      • Jim Walker

        GreenField>> If they have already decided that Farmer is the SS next year (if healthy) then they need to sell high on Barrero ASAP.

        As for Farmer being healthy, he actually wasn’t much of this year but would not sit himself out just like Moose wouldn’t in late August/ early September. To me, this is putting oneself self ahead of the team.

        And look where that got them because the manager would not step up and sit them down.

      • greenmtred

        I think most teams with a returning player who did what was asked of him the previous season would lean toward him. But Farmer has considerable positional flexibility and is getting old for a middle infielder, so I expect that Barrero will get a serious chance. Evidence? No more than anybody else here. We see very little of the players, so our information is limited. And, Jim: Farmer may have stayed in the lineup out of concern for his future, but it’s not clear to me that having him go on the IL would have benefitted the team.

      • Greenfield Red

        Has there been a case in the Bell era where he has the choice of planning a veteran or playing a young guy where he has opted for youth? Not that I can remember.

      • greenmtred

        Again, I doubt that many teams would sit a vet who is performing decently in favor of an untried younger player. For one thing, a team that made a practice of that would probably have unhappy vets and would not be a popular destination for free agents. There’s lots of angst about Barrero here: He certainly has promise, but the Reds were still trying to get into the playoffs.

  14. LeRoy

    The dumbest move to keep from winning is to keep players that are hurting the team in the lineup and playing them because they are owed a lot of money. If you can’t trade them, then release them and play someone better for your lineup at a cheaper price that give you a better chance to win and bring fan support back to the team. If you buy a bag of apples for $10 and they get rotten you don’t keep them just because you paid good money for them. Admit you made a mistake and get rid of them and move on.

    • Old Big Ed

      I pretty much agree with this. I think it would be prudent in Moustakas’s case to give him a chance in spring training to show that he is healed and in shape. Moustakas was legitimately injured last year, and he does have a simple swing that is not necessarily lost forever. He is also by all accounts a high-character guy, so if the injury is healed, he is going to work hard in the off-season to get back into shape.

      It is possible, then, that some team will see him in spring training and be willing to take on a bit more of his contract than the Reds would get via a DFA-then-release. The Royals might want him, for example. So, there isn’t much to lose by giving him a good, long look in spring training.

  15. SultanofSwaff

    Anyone else see Kyle Boddy’s twitter thoughts over the weekend? To paraphrase, he was emphasizing the need for the entire organization to be on the same page up to and including removing the doubters from the organization. He followed up by replying to a comment by saying easier said that done when the doubters are drinking buddies with the top dogs.

    Don’t need a magnifying glass to read between those lines!

  16. old-school

    Interesting estimates on arbitration figures from MLB traderumors for Reds that make it really hard to envision the Reds tendering some players or offering extensions.

    Garrett $2.2 mil
    Farmer $2.2 mil
    Hoffman $1.1 mil
    Senzel $1.1 mil
    Cessa $1.6 mil
    Sims $1.2 mil

    If Winker is $6.8 mil and Mahle $5.6 mil and Castillo $7.6 mil and Naquin $3.6 mil- that’s $24 mil.

    Suarez, Moose, Votto, Gray, Miley, Akiyama= $80 mil
    Add $24 mil and budget is already @ $105 mil
    Senzel/Cessa/Wilson/Sims pushes it to $111 mil for only 14 players.

    Even if the REds went bargain basement with no Tucker and no Castellanos and no Givens and rookies and low cost options elsewhere, the budget is a minimum of about $120 million

    considering their budget this year was $122 million, where is the OF, bullpen additions coming from? Farmer and Garrett and injured Tejay and major league catcher push it to $129 million. Thats not a winning roster in 2022.

    I see a firesale on Gray/barnhart /mileyand obviously no Castellanos. Also dont see any big FA bullpen arms or OF additions.

    • Old Big Ed

      Well, this is why the Moustakas and Akiyama contracts were so bad. $25 million – close to 20% of the payroll – down the drain for two players whose contracts kill the Reds’ flexibility.

      I could see them non-tendering Garrett, and trading Naquin, plus maybe trading one of Gray, Mahle or Castillo, but they don’t have a lot of room to do much. I could also see an agreement with Akiyama where he returns to Japan and the Reds get some minor relief on that contract.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Yes, those numbers are worrisome, but I see opportunity. Certainly the team will have to do what it can with salary relief, but if they truly commit to one direction, that being a youth movement, I think we could see results in 2023 if not sooner. If you trade Gray and Miley you’d absolutely get young controllable talent in return. Despite what others here think, Barnhart would net you a modest return as the available options at catcher around baseball this year are dreadful.

      Subtracting veterans from a +.500 team is not desirable, but if it’s in the service of solidifying a young core that will grow and compete together I can get behind it.

      • Votto4life

        Yeah, the Reds probably should be taking this approach.

        While it’s true the Reds are aging and have have some bad contracts. The cup is also half full.

        The Reds have a core of good young players and some bad contracts will be coming off the books in the next two or three years.

        They have a chance to complete remake this team and in a couple of years be a good, young team with money to spend.

      • Old-school

        Michael lorenzen is on record saying he wants to start and will sign with a team who gives him a chance to start. He believes in himself. Mlb trade rumors predicts he will sign a low base contract with heavy incentives. I could see the Reds cutting salary with trades and nontenders and non – options and bringing Lorenzen back as the #5 SP at $2 million guaranteed and 4-6 more in incentives based on starts and innings and performance .

        Reds are cutting salary with gray miley barnhart and Castellanos. Lorenzen is a low salary high risk lottery ticket with plenty of options waiting in the wings .

        A strike shortened season makes him more valuable

  17. Greenfield Red

    Things will be worse next year… way worse. The DH will make it even worse. Now the Reds can put both of their .200 hitting 3B with 30% strikeouts and no speed in the lineup. Combine that with no NC, no amount of up and coming young guys can overcome those hurdles.

    Add in the fact that DB was extended (because he’s cheap) and Boddy and the other guy are gone (because they wanted to be paid for the obvious results they’ve produced). You have all the proof you need that this owner has little interest in winning and simply wants positive cash flow.

    It’s counterproductive of course. Yeah the tv money is still there, but who would pay to see it? Not me. I’m 100 miles away. I used to make the trip a few times a year. I wouldn’t go with free tickets under this plan. I’ll go watch the Indians in Indy and hope Louisville is the opponent.

    Sad, I love the Cincinnati Reds.

  18. Luke J

    I threw up in my mouth when I read that the Reds should use the DH to get both Suarez and Moustakis in the lineup at the same time. Getting them both out of the lineup makes sense. Finding a way to make sure they are both in the lineup is crazy. Letting them split time down the stretch was about the best we could hope for.

    • greenmtred

      I hope that you didn’t aspirate it, Luke. Suarez was the Reds’ best hitter for the month of Sept., and has a history of contributing a lot to the offense. Maybe the Reds should see how he does for a while before consigning him to the trash heap?

      • Luke J

        I agree actually. But wasting the DH on Moustakis? No thanks.

      • Greenfield Red

        I do agree with this. He appeared to try to go with the pitch rather than hit every pitch to the moon. I do believe he has it in him. Just no more 50 home run predictions.

        As for Moose, I have no idea. But the idea that those two have 2 spots in the lineup nailed down makes my stomache hurt.

      • doofus

        Suarez is a strikeout machine. It is the only thing that he does really well.

  19. Magnum 44

    I personally think the only team interested in Moustakas might be the Royals…… I personally would love to get Merrifield but that would take probably Ashcraft McClain and Moustakas to get him……that’s alot of chips to get rid of a bad contract and obtain something of value