The offseason has barely begun and the rumors are already starting that the Cincinnati Reds are willing to listen to trade offers on starting pitcher Luis Castillo. These rumors were persistent all offseason last winter, too, and when opening day rolled around, Castillo was still donning a Cincinnati Reds jersey.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network is reporting today that Cincinnati’s front office is willing to engage in talks for a trade of Luis Castillo. Let’s preface this by saying that, yes, the Reds absolutely should be willing to engage in talks for a trade of Castillo. They should be willing to listen to talks for anyone. You simply do not know what the other side is going to say.

With that said: Luis Castillo is very, very good and it should take a whole lot of something in return to acquire him. The 2021 season didn’t quite go as he, or the Reds, had likely hoped. The first two months of the season saw Castillo post an ERA of 7.22. But from June through the end of the season, spanning 22 starts, the right-handed starter was exactly who everyone had expected him to be. In those 135.1 innings he posted a 2.73 ERA with just 11 home runs allowed, 52 walks, and he struck out 144 batters.

Not only is Luis Castillo an outstanding pitcher, but he also has two years of team control left. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2023 season. MLB Trade Rumors projects Castillo to earn $7,600,000 in the 2022 season in arbitration. That’s probably a third of what he’s worth, it not less. A team acquiring him not only gets an outstanding starter they can put at or near the top of their rotation, but they also get a bargain on his contract for the next two seasons.

Cincinnati may be looking to shed more salary, like we’ve seen with the team trading catcher Tucker Barnhart and placing starting pitcher Wade Miley on waivers. While the team could have simply not picked up the option on either and allowed them to become free agents, by choosing a trade and a waiver move they didn’t have to pay the buyouts on either deal and saved $1,500,000 between the two deals. Don’t read this as any suggestion of the moves being good, smart, or ideal – just that on the ledger it saved the team money. And when you are aligning payroll to resources, that matters.

129 Responses

  1. Schottzie

    This feels right. $7.5mm off the books and can be replaced by 2-3 guys at the league minimum.

    The only question is do they package him with Suarez or Moose and net 1 modest prospects as opposed to 2-3 top ones by himself?

    We’re about to learn a lot about just how much money the Reds are trying to save in these next few weeks.

    • JayTheRed

      I feel like Toronto would be a good matchup… They are looking to get a good starting pitcher and they need a legit option at 3b. They have extra OF that the Reds need badly and some pretty good ones at that.

      • JaxDan

        Grichuk and Springer have big contracts. Gurriel and Hernandez have 2 years of control left. I don’t think the Jays match up well if the Reds are in a rebuild/retool. I don’t see any outfielders in the top 5 prospects.

    • jon

      Thats what I’m hoping for.You want Castillo you take Moose also.

  2. BK

    Sounds similar to last offseason when there were persistent rumors about the Reds trading legit vet talent–nothing happened.

    It’s very early in the offseason process. I’m onboard with the Barnhart trade–$7.5M is simply too much for a backup catcher. Nice move avoiding the buyout AND picking up a lotto ticket prospect.

    Miley had a wonderful season. I thought the Reds pickup his option and place him in the bullpen next year or trade him. Evidently, there were no trade offers. He’s going into his 35-year old season coming off a career year having bested most predictive analytical metrics. Perhaps I over-valued him and the Reds shrewdly avoided the $1M buyout.

    I still think we’ll see a Reds payroll just north of $135M. Reds will need:

    1. Outfielder (hitter)
    2. Backup catcher
    3. 1-2 pitchers (depending on Garrrett’s and Hoffman’s tender decisions

    Payroll sits at about $113M as of today (assuming all arb eligible players are tendered a contract). So a little more than $20M to address needs. Looking forward to seeing how the offseason shakes out.

    • Jack

      I think the Reds payroll with be south of 100 million by the time they are done. They will do whatever it takes to accomplish it regardless of return. This team will lose 100 games.

      • Doc

        Not every team with a payroll below $100MM loses 100 games. It would make an interesting study for someone who has ready access to the data to compare the payroll ranking the last five years or so to the games won ranking, and maybe throw in the playoff records also.

      • BK

        @Jack, below $100M would be below even 2018 prior to the Reds current TV contract kicking in. Many are assuming the Reds are entering a rebuild because they didn’t pick up options on Barnhart and Miley. Reallocating resources is different than reducing resources such as taking the $17.5M they would have paid for a backup catcher and a 35-year old starting pitcher (whom many on this site thought should be shipped off last offseason) and putting it towards other players. Coming out of the 2020 pandemic season, the Reds payroll was #16 of 30 teams.

        Here’s my point, the payroll on November 8 means nothing compared to the payroll on opening day. These cuts really weren’t all that unexpected. I don’t expect to see too many moves (additions) until a new CBA is in place. Frankly, I’m glad we’re less than a month from the CBA expiring and the two sides seem to be keeping their negotiations out of the public view–that’s a great step for both sides to take.

      • Earmbrister

        Jack, I’m sorry but there’s too much talent on this team, a lot of it cheap talent, to lose 100 games. The Reds top prospects are two pitchers who got AAA experience this past year. I’m not going full bore bat crazy over the current events.

    • Melvin

      Payroll at 135M?….I doubt it. I agree with Jack. Hopefully this is all because Big Bob is going to sell the team.

      • BK

        Hmm … Reds checked in north of $130M last year. I understand the pessimism with the recent subtractions, but I do expect the Reds will use their budget to break even and use their budget to acquire players within the competitive market.

        Why do I believe that, because that’s their track record.

      • Melvin

        Well BK. You may be right. Who knows? I have a feeling we’re going to find out pretty quickly. I personally think that most likely they aren’t going to pay any more money than they have to.

      • BK

        Your with the consensus and I’m the outlier.

      • Melvin

        Well it’s not like I want to be right. Feel free to prove me wrong. 🙂

    • AKMIZER

      BK,

      Do you think the Reds can even come close to matching Castellano’s, Miley, Barnhart, and then Castillo with 20 million in free agency? They were a .500 team with them and Votto overachieved. The best thing to do is strip it down, get as much value as you can for Castillo, Gray, and Winker and then build around Greene, Lodollo, India, Stephenson when Votto, Moose and Geno come off the books. Then is when they should spend big in free agency. They can’t now with all the bad contracts.

    • Tom Reeves

      I’m going suggest that Miley may have been injured at the end of the year and the Reds found no trade interest in him. So they let him go.

    • Kevin H

      The Reds had a “backup catcher” and traded him. Not only was barnhart a great defense player, he had a decent bat. What do reds fans what, most your catchers hit 250 or lower. Yes, I am still salty they traded Barnhart. lol

  3. TheCoastMan

    I’m sure we’ll see another desperation move by Castellini and Krall. The league’s GMs have our number. They know how desperate we are. I’m thinking they take a bag of peanuts, a bag of balls and a box of cracker jacks to get his salary off the books.

  4. RedsFan11

    A trade here signals the official end of any chance and into another decade long rebuild.

    Bob certainly isn’t looking to add payroll so he won’t be trading Luis for MLB talent. It would be a trade for some prospects to shed the $7.5M or a trade of even more money adding Moose or Suarez’s contract for nothing in return other than salary savings…

    • Votto4life

      I don’t think Bob cares who they get for Castillo just as long as his contract is off the books.

      Frankly, It baffles me how anyone can see these as positive developments.

      • Colorado Red

        I would disagree.
        Trading Tucker was logical.
        Who know how much Wade was going to regress (If at all).
        I would not get my tail in a knot till after the CBA is signed, and we see what the rules are. And of course, how much they spend.

      • jon

        It baffles me people complain about a trade when they don’t even know who the reds would get in return.

  5. DataDumpster

    Right after David Bell was extended, I predicted a rebuild and either Joey or Moose paired with a top SP for salary reduction purposes. I still think they will try but after the way the other trades ended up and all the other unnecessary talk, the hand is weakened considerably.

    • BK

      Several have mentioned tying Joey Votto (and his contract) to someone like Castillo in a trade. JV is a 10/5 player and can’t be traded w/out his consent.

      • DataDumpster

        Can you imagine having the career Joey had and seeing his chance of playoff baseball just slipping away? He will agree for a trade to a contender.

      • CI3J

        The Toronto Blue Jays missed the playoffs by one game last season. Adding another ace-quality pitcher like Castillo and a DH/1B like Votto might seem pretty attractive. And I wonder if Votto would be willing to return to his hometown in a final drive to chase a ring. Can you imagine the fairy-tale ending if that happened?

        Just a thought.

      • JayTheRed

        Send him to and Castillo to Toronto.. Its my 2nd fav. team. Probably soon to be 1st fav. team unless some miracle happens this weekend.

    • greenmtred

      I don’t know whether or not Joey would agree to a trade. The Reds have been pretty bad for years, and I’d think he would have made such a move when he was closer to his prime.

  6. TXRedLeg

    The contracts for Miley, Castillo, Mahle, and Gray are bargains for starting pitchers with their talent – I don’t expect to see any of them on the Reds next year (I know, Miley is already gone).
    I understood letting Barnhart go with Stephenson ready and Castellanos was never going to come back to the Reds after the season he had, but it hurts coming to the realization that the Reds have no plans on using the freed up money on upgrading any position (let alone my dream of actually having a real shortstop).
    I imagine they’ll find a taker for Suarez – even with his struggles he has pop and a relatively inexpensive contract for a “change of scenery” guy, so this will at least create room for any of the 4-5 third basemen they have on the team. Trading off Winker will dump some salary, and teams would be very interested in him.
    We’ll be stuck with Shogo and Moose (and Votto) – no one will touch their contracts.
    Blandino? he saw what was going down and GTFO.

    • BK

      Miley was available via trade and there were no takers; hence, he was placed on waivers. Perhaps he was not a bargain at $10M.

      • Michael E

        We were told there were no takers…by the Reds GM. That doesn’t mean he actually tried or that he had time to try. I am not believing no takers crap. I don’t think this GM has any abilities to deal with other GMs. Maybe I will be wrong, but I get the feeling he is in way over his head OR completing hog-tied by ownership. Maybe all the above.

      • BK

        @Michael, we also have the evidence that Barnhart was actually traded. So, if fact, Nick Krall can execute a trade. From my view, he also made a couple of nice pickups via trade in July.

      • Grand Salami

        Not at this stage of the offseason, there was obviously a lack of interest. The window was small and the timing was bad. Picking up the option and continuing to seek the trade probably would have netted something more than a $1m buyout.

        If the 7th team on the wire claims him, then it was obvious it was still a decent price tag.

  7. Michael E

    After most recent “trades” by Krall and Co, I have NO faith and will be waiting to see how badly we were fleeced.

    I expect something along the line of the Chapman return. A lower top 10 prospect in other team’s system and two more 25 year-old AA players that have no shot at being MLB regulars.

    We should get back at least 1 top 3 prospect, another top 8 and maybe a wildcard rookie ball 18 year old. Anything less than that…is a bad deal. Anything much less than that is a fleecing.

    Please, do NOT utter the “MLB ready” crap unless it’s an actual top prospect in AA or AAA and 23 or younger. To me, MLB ready from Reds perspective (or at least prior GM Jocketty) was journeyman 25 year old player we can plug in as a starter from day one, even though they stink we can show we got a starter in the trade.

    Ugh, no faith, but I sure hope I am wrong. I see so many other teams get multiple top prospects in such a trade. Will we even get one top prospect? someone inside the MLB top 50?

    • Grand Salami

      The return is what should be explored. Yes, a top three prospect doesn’t seem unreasonable for a 1st level starter and two years of control (below the market cost to boot) with some ability to somewhat reduce top end quality (top 6 instead) and increase quantity.

      Firesales seem to reduce the level of diligence done on the return – I hope that doesn’t happen.

  8. SultanofSwaff

    These kind of rumors this early in the offseason tell you all you need to know about the directive from ownership—cut costs…..while the valuation of their franchise grows exponentially.

    Again, I’m on board with a mini rebuild so long as you get value in return, which in this case means two top 5 prospects, one of which is a top 50 overall….think of what we gave for Latos and that’s the ask.

    All that said, not sure why we’re floating Castillo before discussing an extension and before we know Gray’s trade value. Bass ackwards.

    • Colorado Red

      I hate a mini rebuild. Either do a full blown rebuild, or go for it.
      I see the same thing here in CO.
      I see another stupid team here. Not sure who is worse.

  9. MBS

    If the team isn’t going to spend, and every indication would lead you to believe they won’t, then trading away Castillo, Gray or Mahle needs to be thoroughly explored. Once Votto’s, Moose’s, and Suarez’s contracts are up in (23 / 24) the new guys will be taking over. So why not load up with prospects in over the next 2 seasons?

  10. old-school

    What’s the budget in 2022? $125 mil or $145 mil? If its not $145 then the Reds cant win in 2022 and a mini rebuild needs to happen. 2023 will be a worse roster with slower older Votto/Moose/ and Suarez with Winker/Castillo/Mahle 10 million dollar men each.

    Trade Castillo and Sims to the Angels for 23 yo top 50 major league ready CF Brandon Marsh and 21 year Old lefty top 75 prospect Reid Detmers.
    Align the roster with youth, speed and more young pitching to add to Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft.

  11. Chi Reds Fan

    Hesitant to expend energy discussing my beloved franchise at this point. I believe much of the angst related to the apparent tease we received post 2019 season with the Moose, Miley, Nick, Shogo signings putting the Reds firmly at the high end of what a small market team spends. We assumed that ownership wanted to make a legit run for a WS during Votto’s sunset years and whilst the Winker/Castillo/Gray/Suarez group matured as India/Barrero/Stephenson/Greene/Lodolo/Santillan et al. emerged. But no. Apparently they were imposters and now want to play poor. Meaning suddenly the spending post ’19 becomes an albatross. So at this point who knows. I could see a strategy (the Rays strategy) of selling off guys like Castillo who are proven yet have some control left to keep replenishing the system even while competing. But to do that you need to keep relatively cheap starters like Miley around so that you still have a legit chance to compete whilst replenishing. But if they give away Miley then trade Castillo for prospects (much less attach a Moose to the deal to buy their way out of his deal) then you are back into re-build mode AGAIN after never having actually built anything. Unless we get a better feel for what the heck ownership is up to, I feel spending more time on this is merely a waste. I truly feel bad for Mr. Gray who has attached his professional life to this team and my fellow fans who have made the emotional investment.

    • Chi Reds Fan

      Will add my attitude was not improved reading the MLBTR prediction for where the top 50 free agents end up (3 suggestions per FA so 150 chances) and not once were Reds mentioned. Once one gets to the end of the list guys are only getting 1 or 2 year deals worth maybe $5MM but expectation externally apparently is that the Reds are returning to a re-build (again after never having gotten anywhere). Hope I am wrong.

      • Doc

        How accurate was mlbtr on their early forecasts over the last 3-5 years? Not very I suspect.

      • BK

        MLBTR is a good source for data, but their analysis is less focused on the Reds and more based on what other teams might do. With the exception of last year (impacted by losses from the pandemic shorted 2020 season) the Reds have been steadily increasing payroll. In fact the 2020 season payroll would have been north of $140M (it was a significant increase). MLBTR’s predictions for FA are based on their analysis that the Reds are cutting payroll. Reallocating is not the same as reducing.

      • Chi Reds Fan

        Re MLBTR- it is not rather they nail a specific projected team (their estimated salaries do end up being pretty accurate) but that the Reds are not projected to even be in the game (in prior years Reds while not in game for top FA were at least mentioned for mid to lower tier guys). Re the payroll yes for 2020 they seemed to be on track to invest, then in 2021 they reduced payroll specifically with the exact players it turned out they needed (bullpen) where they had relatively cheap guys on contract. Now in 2022 they appear to be pulling back again. If the Iglesias/Bradley moves had been or the Miley move is a re-allocation effort I believe we would be much more optimistic. The window with Castillo/Winker/Votto/Gray is finite. Calling for yet another re-build is unappealing.

    • Votto4life

      Well said Chi Reds Fan. I feel bad for you too. I was planning my first Spring Training trip in February. I guess my gf and I will go to Hawaii instead.

      I’m 60 years old and have been following this team my entire life. I’m afraid I won’t live long enough to see another championship.

      This team gave me some amazing memories from my teenage years. That is why i can’t make a total break from this team. I feel sorry for the fans on here who are too young to remember the Big Red Machine. That team was really something.

      • Chi Reds Fan

        We are in the same boat! My first real baseball memory was Bench’s game tying game 5 playoff homer in ’72, then of course the BRM titles. My 8-12 year old self had no idea those teams were going to be (with one fluky exception in ’90) the only Reds teams to sniff a title for perhaps the rest of my life. Oh well.

      • greenmtred

        I started following the Reds (oddly enough, after I’d moved from Ohio to Vermont) in the early 70’s. I got accustomed to them being great. I thought it would never end.

    • Tom Reeves

      Well, the team lost $80m in 2020 so I’m not sure “imposter” is the right characterization. I mean, you lose $80m (or 20% of your net worth) and then let me know how you’re feeling.

      • Chi Reds Fan

        What is the source of your $80MM number? And fwiw as an investor I have lost far more than 20% of my net worth before (several times), but have survived and thrived because I kept investing instead of pulling out of the markets.

      • jim m

        Untill they open thier books to prove it i do not believe it.. they bought the team for around 250 million and worth 4 times that amount. So i do not believe they lost money and some how most other teams didnt!!!

  12. Votto4life

    “Aligning payroll with resources”

  13. Jim Walker

    Very few if any players should ever be considered so untouchable that their team will not at least listen to what someone proposes to trade for them. For me, Castillo does not meet the untouchable test. However, if he is moved in a salary dump that does not bring back comparable controllable talent, I will be disappointed and upset.

    What would I like to see the Reds get for Castillo? The Reds need a couple of RH bats who can play OF. They don’t have the money to sign even mid level free agents unless they “reallocate” payroll. This could happen several ways. Castillo could be traded directly for a hitter who figures to make similar money over the next 2 years. Or he could be traded for legitimate a top prospect and the money that would have been paid to him along with money which would have been used for Castellanos had he opted in then used to sign a hitter or 2.

    And who pitches for the Reds if this happens? Hunter Greene and/ or Graham Ashcraft would be the top prospects, both of whom are probably as “ready” or more so than Castillo was when he came up and have ceilings to match Castillo.

  14. Votto4life

    I know we like to think the front office has a plan for a rebuild. The only plan this front office has right now is to shed payroll as quickly as possible. It’s not about what type of return they get. The Reds don’t care about the return.

    So far, they have lost Nick Castellanos, Tucker Barnhart and Wade Miley. In return they have received one minor leaguer who hit .192 last season. Some rebuild.

    Teams know they Reds are desperate to cut payroll. People on here are dreaming if they think the Reds will acquire a top 10 prospect for Luis Castillo. If they get a team’s top 100 prospect they will be very fortunate.

    I think the Reds will dump Castillo, Gray and maybe Winker before the current CBA expires in early December.

    This team is going to lose 100 games next season.

    • TR

      Time will tell. There’s almost five months to Opening Day.

    • Dewey Roberts

      Besides, the GM cones right out and says that they are just trying to reduce payroll. They don’t even try to put on their best poker face. I have had some great moments in my many years as a Reds fan, but those appear to all be in the past now. I remember when Castellini fired a GM and said, “The losing must stop.” Meanwhile the Reds have had their worst records collectively under him in my lifetime.

    • Jessecuster44

      There won’t be a next season, which is why the Reds are shedding payroll.

  15. Old Big Ed

    Sure, trade Castillo for a legit top prospect. If the Mariners want to give up Julio Rodriguez for him, then that is a no-brainer. Won’t happen, though.

    There aren’t a lot of teams that fit the bill. A lot of the teams that are already good have depleted or called up a lot of their prospect capital and/or have guys leaving that they need to replace with their top guys– the Dodgers, Giants, Astros, Red Sox, White Sox, Mets, Phillies. Some are rising rebuilders who would be hard fits, like the Marlins, Rangers, Tigers or Orioles. Others are in decline mode, like the Twins, Indians, or are just not there yet, like the D-Backs or Rockies. No team should ever trade for a Yankees prospect, because they virtually never work out.

    The Angels would work, but their system is suspect, depending on what you think of Brandon Marsh or Jo Adell. The Blue Jays have called up a lot of guys, but still have Gabriel Moreno, a catcher who would allow Stephenson to go to first. Tampa Bay is always a possibility, but they are much savvier than is Krall (anybody know his first name?). Seattle, but I don’t know what they have other than Rodriguez who would fit the Reds’ need for outfield speed.

    If they trade Castillo to the Yankees, we should all become monks.

    • Votto4life

      Maybe they could work out something sending Castillo and Votto to the Blue Jays. I know Joey has a full NTC but after this past week he may be willing to wave it.

      The Reds wouldn’t get a lot in return but I’m sure Nick Krall would do backflips if he is
      Somehow able to move both salaries.

    • MBS

      San Diego would be who I’d target. Their farm system could help us in multiple ways. The dream would be Abrams, but Hassell or Gore would be great fits to.

  16. Bet on Red

    a legit trade absolutely. If they can pair him with moose, absolutely. But do not just give him away

  17. LDS

    Just waive him. Krall can’t work out a reasonable trade anyway.

  18. Votto4life

    If the Reds are open to trading Louis Castillo then you have to think they will also try to trade Gray, Mahle, Winker, Naquin as well as the high salary players (Votto, Moose and Suarez).

    I have said all along that I am not opposed to a rebuild because they have a core of good young players and most of the bad contracts come off the books in the next 3 years.

    What we seeing now though is not a rebuild. It is slashing payroll without concern to what the team receives in return. It is exactly what we saw in 2015.

    Even if it was a legitimate rebuild, I don’t have a lot of faith in Nick Krall to successfully manage it. He is fairly good as a hatchet man however.

    • greenmtred

      You might be right, but they also might be considering trading a player from a position where they have considerable strength for, say, a good right-handed outfielder. Maybe not. Probably not. I’ll wait and see, though.

      • Votto4life

        After losing Wade Miley and Luis Castillo, I don’t think you can say starting pitching is any longer a position of strength.

    • TR

      Hatchet man? If so, it must be the reason he replaced Dick Williams.

      • Alan Horn

        Reminds me of Dick Wagner who replace the GM of the Big Red Machine. This may be worse. They both were hatchet men pure and simple.

  19. Gonzo Reds

    I just cancelled my MLB subscription for 2022.

    It was a good 55 years but sadly baseball is dead!

  20. Optimist

    “Let’s preface this by saying that, yes, the Reds absolutely should be willing to engage in talks for a trade of Castillo.” And let’s conclude it by saying that if it’s paired with a contract dump (Moose/Suarez/Votto/Shogo/didImissanyone?) in return for nothing, see you in 2025 if Greene/Lodolo round into shape.

  21. Jim Delaney

    Reds front office has already messed up both situations with Barnhardt and Miley. Reds ownership and front office seem out of touch with the likely plans with new collective bargaining agreement. With new agreement there will a floor teams will need to reach (100m?) Mentioned. If this is the case. Barnhardt and Miley could have been great trade chips. Instead to save a couple bucks NOW they trade Barnhardt for well below market value and waive Miley… This continues to show that the Castellini and Reds ownership group doesn’t want to win… sad and sorry state of affairs…

    • Bob Purkey

      I really don’t believe there will ever be a minimum “floor” salary figure, Say $100M. Let’s say you have a bunch of kids and your salaries currently sit at $50M. You’re telling me that I now have to sign a bunch of players to exorbitant contracts that they aren’t worth and no one wants at those prices? I just don’t see it.

      Maybe $50-$60M or so, but certainly nowhere near $100M

      • Votto4life

        No, they wouldn’t have to sign players just to meet the salary floor but they would have to pay a tax for failing to meet minimum expectations. I actually think it’s a good idea to discourage teams from tanking.

    • citizen54

      Miley has no surplus value so he is being paid what he is worth. Since the Reds probably aren’t competing for the WS that 10 mil would have ben wasted on a player the Reds didn’t need. Picking up the option, with the intent of trading him would have been a bad move because Miley has no surplus value and it’s doubtful a team trading for Miley would have given up any prospects. The receiving team would probably only be agreeing to pay the rest of Miley’s contract. At worst, if Miley got off to a bad start, the Reds would have had to eat that 10 million. Placing him waivers was the right move.

      • BK

        It could be more about opportunity cost for the Reds than Miley’s relative value on the open market. I agree, the fact that no one offered to trade for him and that several teams passed on him tells me he doesn’t have much if any surplus value as of Nov 2021.

        The Reds have a strong rotation without Miley and have Santillan ready with Greene and Lodolo close to ready if they aren’t currently ready. Why pay $10M when you can pay $600K? Saving the buyout created value for the Reds as well. Factor in that Miley outperformed most predictive metrics and he’s entering his 35-year old season and the move actually seems pretty shrewd on the Reds part … provided they reallocate the $9M+ elsewhere.

        I don’t expect anything near-term–the Reds generally like to let the market get set before they spring into action. Post CBA I expect them to spend much of the money they shed over the last several days.

  22. Jack

    I am sure they’d rather shed Moose, Suarez and Shogo but instead they’ll shed someone who actually has value. In theory I am open to trading anyone depending on the return but I am guessing the Reds main interest is just shedding salary and other teams know this so they’re return will be lower and they’ll still take it. Could Winker be next? Another player who would be in demand and another 7 million saved. This team is a crap show.

    • Alan Horn

      The key words are “other teams know this”. The Reds won’t get value in any trade they make. It is like buying a house or auto from someone who is about to lose it because they can’t afford to pay for it. Just wait until they fold or get desperate and you can get it much cheaper. The seller foregoes a lot of their equity.

  23. Jack

    And if you are willing to get rid of Castillo why wouldn’t you be willing to get rid of Gray?

    • Jim Walker

      Well, that’s the question we don’t know the answer to.

      Are they selling any and all players they can to drive their 2022 (and beyond) salary commitments as low as they can with little regard for the future like several teams seemed to do across the 2020 season?

      Are they trying to move just such salaries as they can and need to in order to reach some preset lower level of salary commitment?

      Are they trying “reallocating” salary by trading off higher salary players in an area where they are deep in near ready major league prospects, starting pitching, to sink some or all the freed money into areas of need such as right handed hitting outfielders?

      Or perhaps a mix and match variation of all these?

      • Votto4life

        I have always found the most obvious reason is usually the most accurate. The Reds spent most of last winter trying to move salaries. They also refused to address glaring needs. The GM has said publicly this past week they are reducing payroll. To me it’s pretty clear what they are doing.

      • west larry

        My guess is they are dangling Casillo instead of Grey is that they can get a better return for the former-or maybe they would have a better chance of moving a bad contract with him rather then Grey? Just consider, if they trade both Castillo and Moose for a bag of baseballs, look at the money they would save!

      • Alan Horn

        West Larry, that is what is likely to happen. Castillo plus Moose for a low level minor league player. It would be a huge money dump. I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep Suarez if that happens. The bottom line would be moving your best controllable pitcher for nothing because of a horrendous front office decision (signing Moose). That would be the price of incompetence.

    • Earmbrister

      If someone is selling a used car, would you assume that they’re selling all of their cars?

      Why would you assume some mass sell off?

  24. LDS

    Morosi has subsequently reported that the Reds are willing to discuss anyone making “significant” money. Reprehensible.

    • Melvin

      Which probably means anyone they can get rid of making more than league minimum I’m afraid. Hope I’m wrong. Bad gut feeling though.

    • greenmtred

      Aren’t most teams willing to discuss any of their players? We’re agonizing over the Reds reportedly listening to offers for Castillo, but we’re agonizing in a near-vacuum. Wouldn’t the wisdom of trading him depend entirely upon whom they got in return? I agree with Jim’s comment above.

      • LDS

        True, but based on the Reds’ FO performance thus far, they’d trade Castillo for the equivalent of Doolittle as long as it was cheaper. The Miley example is a clear indication that they aren’t actually dealing. They’re dumping.

      • greenmtred

        I certainly agree that it looks at this point like a simple salary dump. But consider: They did make an offer to Castellanos, so they had to be prepared for the possibility that he’d accept it. I’m not sure that Miley is proof, either. It is a salary dump, but Miley is 35 and the Reds’ organizational strength is pitching, so, as others have said, it will depend upon what they do with the money.

  25. AllTheHype

    Andrew Heaney just got an $8.5M guarantee from the Dodgers for a 5.83 ERA in 129.2 IP, and 0.2 WAR, with not a single season in the last 6 under a 4.00 ERA.

    Miley was given away to a division rival @ $10M guarantee for 3.37 ERA, 163.0 IP and 5.7 WAR.

    And yet Krall insists he was making calls on Miley. Sure, Did you call the Dodgers?

    • Ryan

      Hey he’s a big leaguer and it’s only Monopoly money anyway. I am so tired of expanded payroll for less than mediocre talent

    • Earmbrister

      Per MLBTR —

      That kind of line is nothing new for Heaney, who has managed strikeout and walk numbers befitting a mid-rotation arm for the past few seasons. In each of the last four years, his SIERA has hovered between 3.74 and 4.08. Given that SIERA has proven more predictive of a pitcher’s future ERA than even past ERA itself, it’s easy to see why the Dodgers are willing to roll the dice in hopes of forthcoming positive regression.

      They’re not alone in their optimism, as Mark Feinsand of MLB.com relays that Heaney drew interest from twelve-plus teams during his extremely brief stay on the open market.

      Maybe a talented 30 yr old lefty is worth more than a talented 35 yr old lefty. The Dodgers are not seen as an unintelligent organization.

      And is our ultimate goal to beat the Cubs in 2022?

  26. Colorado Red

    Lots to do about nothing so far. People who have idea (including me) talking about the dumb the Reds management is.
    Time will tell.
    If we even have BB next year (Big question).
    Lets step way from the cavern and see what happens
    Been following the Reds since 1970, and very disappointed, but at least we have 3 WC, and 2 other NL Championships. Have friends who love the Rockies, and they have 1 WS appearance.

  27. Crestwood Craig

    While I realize you have to manage salary, I have no confidence that David Bell would play any young talent we get in return. See his use of Jose Barrero and Alejo Lopez.

    • Alan Horn

      Agree. He will keep playing Moose and Suarez until they leave the organization. And people were worried about him playing Barnhart. That would have been the least of our problems as Stephenson could play C half the time and 1B and DH the rest of the time. They should have tried to renegotiate a contract with Barnhart for less money per year than 7.5 million. The only way I would have let Barnhart walk is if he refused(which he may have, but I doubt it).

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds were never going to be moving forward with TB catching just so TS could play elsewhere. All the hitters that might have sat for Stephenson to play somewhere other than C were better hitters than Barnhart. They are also all LH hitters like TB, so there was simply no advantage to be gained there.

        Given Stephenson’s almost neutral handedness batting splits and the Reds struggles versus LH pitching, a RH hitting backup catcher actually makes more sense to allow TS to play elsewhere vs some LH pitchers.

    • Schottzie

      David Bell signed an extension likely fully aware of the Reds plans to shed payroll. The team is either trying to be more financially sound for a new ownership group or more likely getting rid of players that do not align with a 2023-24 competitive timeline. Either way, he’ll play who he is probably told to play as there’s likely very little pressure for him to win. I don’t think that was the case when the Reds were leading the wildcard 3 months ago and he was doing whatever he felt like he needed to get into the playoffs.

  28. 56andredfan

    Prospect pitchers will have innings limits. Start season with “affordable” quality starters. Contending teams happy to give some talent for Miley or Castillo after injuries, bad performance, etc. If you start your prospects at start you have to shut them down before season ends. God forbid you are actually contending. See Nats ant Strasburg rookie year. You also put off free agency clock for a year. Yes, there is always a chance for injuries but that’s baseball. 3 out of 10 guves you a chance for Hall. Makes sense, unless you’re only dedicated to slashing payroll

  29. Old-school

    Jon Morosi tweets the Reds are willing to discuss any player making significant money.

  30. jay johnson

    Why should anyone continue being a fan of this team? I have been a fan since the early 60’s.If the owners don’t care about winning why should we as fans[or former fans]continue to support or pay any attention to this organization? I feel sorry for you Doug.You’re going to have to create stories for this terribly run club.Good luck.

    • Alan Horn

      Doug does a great job on both sites. The Reds certainly make his job much more difficult.

  31. Hotto4Votto

    Personally, I don’t think the Reds are that far from competing in their division that I can completely get behind another sell-off rebuild. But, if the Reds trade Castillo, then they need to be all in on a rebuild. That means trading Gray this offseason as well. No half measures like the last time. No hanging onto guys too long for sentimental reasons. Don’t target near-readiness over talent. If someone returns value and is not projected to be a part of the 2024 roster, then move them in the best deal you can get. Try to re-establish value in Suarez and Moose if you can and try to move them midseason. See if you can get anyone in Japan to buy back even part of Akiyama’s contract. Play the young guys so that they’re seasoned by 2024. Then use all the money you’re saving to make a push to fill in any holes to help the young guys get over the top when you’re ready to compete again. Essentially, don’t screw up the rebuild like last time.

    • JoshG

      not if the return is a major league ready young outfielder (Adell from the Angels maybe? ) plus more… SP is still a strength for the reds even if they trade one of Castillo or Gray

  32. Michael B. Green

    If CIN trades Castillo, NYY lines up pretty well as a trade partner. They have a ton of young, talented and controllable starting pitchers.

    • JaxDan

      I do not believe Jasson Dominguez will be available. Would Deivi Garcia, Oswald Peraza and Estevan Florial be a fair value for Castillo?

  33. AJ from Hamilton

    Just a couple of general thoughts from a native Hamiltonian who has lived in Southern Cal for many years and may not be quite as plugged in as some of you are:

    Two years ago this time, the Reds spent a chunk of unexpected change on four free agents in a clear effort to try to win. Then COVID hit, and things haven’t been the same since. Clearly they lost a considerable amount of money in 2020 and 2021 IF you don’t the rise in value of the team itself, though that’s really only a function of what somebody is willing to pay. (They may be valued at north of a billion, but we really don’t know what they’re worth until they’re sold, which might not be for a while.) BC has made it clear from the beginning they would operate the team on a break-even basis, not dipping into the family pot to support player contracts. So what we’re seeing here seems to be a COVID-related budget that necessitates sell offs. We could hope for an owner who is willing to operate differently, but we don’t have one.

    I think we can assume NK has been given a number and he’s attempting to create the best team he can within that constraint. We don’t know at this point how far the cuts will go, but we can certainly hope that money saved from the Barnhart and Miley decisions (coupled possibly with a Castillo and/or Gray trade) will enable the Reds to contemplate extending rather than trading Winker and maybe Mahle. And by the way, it makes no sense to claim that Krall simply rejected trade offers for Miley or better trade offers for Barnhart. What earthly reason would he have for taking a worse offer when a better one existed? Keeping either or both would have posed obvious budgetary problems, particularly if an injury occurred.

    I’m surprised so many people are talking about giving up their support for the team on the basis of what we’ve seen so far. This is baseball as it exists in the 21st century. I would love to see a salary floor and harder cap in the new CBA which would make these kinds of “realignment of assets” less common, but for small market teams in a time of pandemic, they may be inevitable. Let’s at least see how the off-season plays out before we give up on the Reds or give up on baseball altogether. I think the 2022 Reds, even without Miley, Stephenson, and a few others, might be more interesting than some on this site seem to think. I might have to adjust my thinking after three or four more trades, but for now, I think it makes sense to reserve judgment.

    • Jim Walker

      My only issue is that everyone in MLB is having to deal with COVID and CBA concerns but not everyone is behaving like the Reds. They are leading a charge of panic sellers when they shouldn’t have to be doing so on the heels of running away from the opportunity to sieze control of the wildcard chase during the season.

      • AJ from Hamilton

        That’s a fair point about COVID being an issue for every other team too, but I think many, perhaps most, other teams are protected a little better from its effects by various factors, including market size. What you do have to wonder is whether the adage about needing to spend money to make money applies here–is the product going to become so undesirable that the Reds lose more money by cutting expenses than they would have by investing more in the team. Hard to know at this point, and I am not an economist.

        Most of us seem to agree that Barnhart, much as we love his defensive skills, was not going to be the starting catcher next year, and it didn’t make sense to keep him at the salary. I assume NK might have floated the idea of a restructured contract of maybe two years five or six million in which TB would back up Stephenson and TB demurred. As he should have–he’s obviously got a few more years left to start 100 or more games. With Miley, I would also make the case that spending ten million to keep him didn’t make a lot of sense, even if you gamble that he might be tradable at some point.

        Panic selling would be trading a clearly undervalued player (in terms of salary) like Castillo, Mahle, or Winker (maybe Gray too) and not getting nearly enough back in return. So far, that hasn’t happened. Not saying it won’t, of course, but I don’t think it’s inevitable. Let’s give it a little more time, and if (as seems likely) there are more trades to come, let’s just examine each one of them on their merits.

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds have already dropped around $35m from the salaries paid in 2021. I have no gripe with this, including the portion of that owed to Barnhart or Miley.

        There is too much smoke not to be some fire to the rumors they are listening hard on anyone who makes even a moderate amount or figures to end up in that pay range in 2022 and beyond.

        Why should that be when they’ve cleared the $35m?

    • jim m

      So as a fan i just have to be happy we have a team and ZERO expectations of ever winning anything? Covid is another excuse for the Reds. Small market etc… never a true plan to win a world series. 31 years and be prb extend to 40. Might as go for the Cubs record of 100 years right? We fans paid for that ball park thru our taxes. Reds ownership did not pay for it so we as fans should be allowed to expect more out of this ownership right? Not excuses. The team is worth 4 times what they paid for it. Why lie to the fans about bringing Championship Baseballback to Cincinnati and nothing less is acceptable as BOB told us in a letter to the local newspaper. I fell for that lie as we all did. My kids have yet to see a Wirld Championship in Cincinnati and the Reds seem to care less they loose them as fans

  34. Roger Garrett

    You always listen when other teams call and Castillo is one of few players the Reds have that others may want.I don’t think for one second though this organization would even come close to getting back what he is actually worth.They are in reduce the payroll mode which invites other teams to see what they can get without giving up anything in return.Others are trying to keep a straight face when dealing with the Reds.Miley will beat us 3 or 4 times and not even break a sweat all over pennies saved.

  35. Nick in NKY

    I wasn’t overly thrilled with either the Barnhardt or Miley situations, but it’s also true that I’m not the one in the office on the phone. I’d have liked to have seen at least a little return for Miley, it’s hard to believe they couldn’t at least have gotten a lotto ticket. And boy the egg will really be on the face when the Cubs flip Miley later this winter or during spring training for a couple prospects.

    But a Castillo trade would be another matter entirely. Like others here, I would see that as the signal to go ahead and pull the trigger on a rebuild. And that may not be a bad thing. What would be upsetting is to see them get little or nothing in return because they had to use Castillo to leverage their way out of Moose’s deal.

    I’m holding out hope that there’s another shoe to drop, and that freeing up resources means flexibility for signings and not just getting rid of anyone who gets paid, but I have a bad feeling the Reds are really just crying poor and hoping for a miracle. We shall see.

    • jim m

      So how many freaking rebuilds we fans have to go thru before WINNING is a priority??? What try a year to tease the fans or so then tank for 5 years and repeat the process? I am sick ofbeing out classed by the Cardinals, Brewers and Cubs again as they probably afyer trading all thier stars will still beat the Reds like tgey did during the end of the year with thier AAA team!!! Fans deserve better, not hope and Fate and screw a true plan to win

  36. Michael B. Green

    It looks like LAA is looking to enhance their rotation. With those two teams networking last year, that could serve as another destination for Castillo or Gray. LAA does have a few young arms as well as some young OF’s that could serve as a fit.

    • JoshG

      yeah, IF they trade Castillo.. that’s my preferred destination
      one of the good young outfielders and a decent other prospect maybe?

  37. jim m.

    It has been 31 years and counting since the Reds were in the World Series. Its been since 1995 since they won a playoff series. Sadly looking like all fans will see is the past World Series Trophies at the Reds HOF. Bob needs to sell. He lied when he bought the team. Remember his letter to fans to bring Championship Baseball back to Cincinnati? Yeah we fell for that after paying for the new ball park thru taxes. They screwed up the last rebuild and whatdo fans get after 2020 failed playoffs against the Braves and a choke job at the end of this season? Bell gets rewarded for failure and now the front office will makethis team closer to the Pirates. Oh so fun watching losing again.NOT!!!. I am writing Bob to sell the team. He could care less what Reds fans want. He is what 80 years old? He taking that money with him? Heck if I had his money I would make my team a winner. Not suck and be okay with it. Ihate losing. Sadly sports owners in this town dont care as long as they make money. Love to see a boycott of opening day as a message sent to this ownership that played fans to think they think we only care about the dang ballpark experience, free pizza and stupid bobbleheads. I want to see a World Series in the City of Cincinnati and a parade fir a Championship. I guess we fans will never see that again as that isnt important to the idiots that run things. If i knew they would do this after voting Yes for the ballparks i would have voted NO!!

  38. JoshG

    The Reds, Marlins and Athletics could all look to move some starters this winter, and the Halos of have several promising young outfielders, including Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh and Jordyn Adams.

    • Optimist

      Was checking the Angels roster, and the MLBTR report – the deal is there to be had – Adell, and 2 or 3 pitchers for Castillo and Shogo or another large contract or perhaps Garrett. Basically a contracts and prospects deal, but prospects, not A-level lottery tickets.

  39. Angelo

    I never thought in a million years I would ever entertain the idea of moving on from any of “my” teams but here I am breaking up with the Reds after 48 years of loyalty (Pete versus Buddy). The team needs to be sold and a owner that puts winning first and foremost must be found before I would consider supporting this team again. A boycott may be the only way to “send a message” and to save the long suffering Reds fans.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Angelo, we have something in common. 1973 was also the year I started following the Reds closely. 2022 will make it 48 years for me following them day in and day out. After most of a lifetime of doing it, including as we all know some pretty terrible teams, I won’t be moving on.

      Note of clarification: I don’t live in southwest Ohio any longer, so I don’t spend money on tickets. The only money I spent this past season on baseball was the MLB.TV subscription and tickets for a Reds-Brewers game at Milwaukee.

      But, it certainly is a bummer to realize that after two years with a team that apparently was trying to compete coming out of a rebuild, the plan has changed. Clearly the leadership is broken. But I know we’ll all be getting our hopes up again when Barrero starts hitting as he has in the minors and Greene and Lodolo establish themselves as starters.

      Cincinnati should trade Castillo if they can make the team better by doing so. I’ve had it with salary dumps. But whether or not I watch and listen to games on MLB.com won’t matter one hoot to Reds ownership. And I really don’t know what a ticket boycott would do, other than result in the Castellinis reducing the payroll even more.

      It’s becoming clear we as fans are stuck in one of those situations with owners who don’t give a hoot about trying to be competitive every year. When I was a kid, I never had a doubt that the front office was trying, even when they didn’t win. Now we as fans are in an era when we can essentially forget any aspirations of winning for an entire multi-year period.

      I’m not telling anyone here anything they don’t know. But I did see Angelo’s comment and realize that he and I have a nearly identical fan timeline.

      • Grand Salami

        Thanks Tom.

        I attended my first game on April 4, 1979. I was about 8 months old, so not much to report. I didn’t miss an opening day until 1995 when I was crushed by the stoppage (in 94) and what it did for the prospects of Jr’s single season HR record (my favorite player despite the fact he went to Moeller).

        I left for college, grad school, and a career, but returned to Cincinnati in 2011. I re-started my OD tradition. I watched, freezing as the Reds blew game 3 against the Giants in 2012. Last year I bought a small season ticket package.

        My ‘boycott’ will be not renewing that or all my Red Heads memberships for my three kids. The Reds are still my team and I will support them but I’m not spending money on the product next year.

  40. Old-school

    More info from Bobby Nightengale.

    The Reds will not be players in the FA market and will not attach prospects to unload salaries

    It seems the Reds will seriously consider trading castillo and Gray and the focus is building young talent for the future MLB roster

    Multiple quotes from Krall on how small market teams have to operate

  41. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I don’t mind listening to what people would have to say about anyone, period. I mean, everyone should have their price. It’s just, can you meet our price?

    So, I’m willing to look at the entire picture. I want to see what we go into ST with. I’m not judging now.

    Oh, granted, it doesn’t look good. But, let’s see what develops. It could be that the management is taking us in a “Tampa Bay Rays” style of program. I wouldn’t mind that. I would hate the growing pains. But, I wouldn’t mind that.

    For, I do believe we should be developing from within. But, I also believe we could/should be sprinkling in some veterans from FA/trade on that, also.

  42. Grand Salami

    The Reds arguably have 3 mlb ready starters in Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft. Friedl and Barrero are ready to join India and is this the year Senzel stays healthy?

    I’m ready for the rebuild. The time is right.

    Joey’s contract is finally moveable with his play (he has to approve it), Gray should bring value, Castillo should bring a lot (like the idea of moving him west with Akiyama), the only albatross (cost and performance) is Moose.

    • MK

      Joey has always said he has a no-trade clause and has said he will under no circumstances waive it.

      With the DH most likely coming it seems like Joey and Moose look like the obvious combo to go between DH and 1st base. I do like the idea of moving Shogo as part of trading one of the pitchers.ft

      Like to see Ashcraft get a little more experience.