The Cincinnati Reds seem to be looking to move salary and try to get payroll down. They opted to not pick up the option on their best pitcher in the 2021 season and instead put Wade Miley on waivers so they could save $1,000,000 on buying out his contract. They also opted to trade Tucker Barnhart to the Detroit Tigers after deciding to not pick up his option, saving them another $500,000 on the buyout on his contract. With rumors that the organization was willing to talk trades of just about any player, the Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly called about both Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported the discussions, but didn’t have any details about who or what was involved in the discussion or how far they progressed. Luis Castillo is projected to make $7,800,000 in 2022 according to MLB Trade Rumors arbitration projections. Sonny Gray will be in the final guaranteed year of his contract in 2022, making $10,166,667. There is also a team option for $12,000,000 for the 2023 season for Gray.

But the pitchers weren’t the only players mentioned by Nightengale that the Reds were interested in shopping. Both Mike Moustakas and Eugenio Suárez are on the market, too, according to Nightengale. Moustakas is coming off of a season in which he struggled to stay on the field after suffering a foot injury. He hit just .208/.282/.372 in 62 games played. In 2022 he’s set to make $16,000,000 and that’s followed up by being due $18,000,000 in 2023. In the 2024 season he’s due $20,000,000 if the Reds would like to keep him around, or they can pay him $4,000,000 to buy him out. That leaves $38,000,000 on the table for his contract over the next two seasons.

For Eugenio Suárez, it’s been a struggle over the last two seasons at the plate as his strikeout rate has gone up and his BABIP has cratered, and thus cratered his offensive profile. A deal that once upon a time looked like an absolute steal for the Reds has some real questions about how it’s going to be over the next three seasons after Suárez injured his shoulder prior to the start of the 2020 season and has been a shell of himself at the plate ever since. He’s owed $11,285,714 over each of the next three seasons and has a $15,000,000 team option with a $2,000,000 buyout for the 2025 campaign.

Cincinnati could probably find takers for both Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray without much effort if they were only looking to move the contracts and not maximize a return. But if they plan to try and move Eugenio Suárez or Mike Moustakas, well, that’s probably going to take a lot of creativity to get done. Both players have some red flags on their resume at this point and have struggled to hit of late, too.

Last offseason we heard much of the same kind of stuff coming out of the General Manager and Winter Meetings, and we heard it into January, too. The Reds were shopping Luis Castillo. They were shopping Sonny Gray. Those were the rumors that kept popping up. But low-and-behold, those two guys remained Cincinnati Reds for the entire year. Things do feel a little bit different this time, though, given how they handled the Wade Miley situation. We’ll have to see how things play out this offseason and see if there’s more fire to go with the smoke this year.

116 Responses

  1. RedBB

    Lux and May and Gonsolin and another throw in sure

    • Arley Ray Cope

      With the Reds budget issues they can rarely sign decent free agents. With their incompetence in draft and development the must rely on other teams to select and develop talent. Castillo and Gray are valuable trade chips. But Mou, geno, aquino; akiyama gotta go too. It’s unfortunate they cant get Votto to accept a trade. They could use the money elsewhere. Trade anyone over 26

    • greenmtred

      Incompetence in draft and development? Doug has had some good insights in the past about how many draft picks across all of baseball become everyday players, but India and Stephenson would seem to belie the idea that the Reds are notably bad, and if Barrero and some of the pitchers achieve anything close to expectations, it would be hard to say that the team isn’t doing very well.

      • MK

        Don’t leave out Mahle, Antone and Gutierrez as well.

      • Alan Horn

        Drafting and development is the one thing the Reds have done well. The downfall is at the major league level.

    • Joe

      With payroll slashing comes poor attendance.When they resigned David Bell in the midst of a losing streak that cost them a wildcard berth,that told me all I needed to know.They will be lucky to get 10k fans a nite.Hilarious.If the owner is worried about profits over fielding a competitive team,just sell the team.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    it would seem that they should trade Castillo & Gray to afford the horror contracts of Moustakas and Geno … Losing Castillo & Gray for keeping Moustakas & Geno is very sad and embarrassing. I think the FO should talk about trade Gray just if Mouse is included in the package and keep Castillo & Geno. If Castillo is traded they shoul maximize the return in other case it would be insane…

    • Alan Horn

      Agree. They talk about building from the farm system, but want to trade any talent they have with two years left on their contracts when they are in arbitration. They appear to be a team that is in a constant rebuild mode. It is difficult to win with just players from your farm system. You have to have a mix with some FAs and trades as needed to be successful. I do agree it needs to be mostly from your farm system. The bottom line is that it needs to shrewd moves made in regard to FAs(especially in the Reds case) and trades. Lately the Reds have fallen short in both with the exception of Castellanos and the pitchers acquired at the deadline. The Moose signing and so far the Suarez resigning have proven to be a disaster for the Reds going forward. Add to that letting Iglesius, Bradley, Barnhart and Miley go with little to no return and it makes it difficult for the Reds going forward in the near term. I fear we are going to lose a very good pitcher for nothing more than ridding ourselves of Moose.

    • PTBNL

      Wow, he went from Moose to Mouse….ouch.

  3. DataDumpster

    Well, why not? Couple of years ago, the Reds offloaded Homer Bailey and his awful contract on the Dodgers for two prospects to get some high value players. Some of them had a decent showing (Puig) but they were all finished after the first season. The Reds were happy to save the money and the Dodgers eventually leveraged the Reds prospects in trades for Mooky Betts, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
    So, I’m still looking at a Castillo/sunk cost Moose move for pretty much the same eventual result and/or insurance for the Bauer situation for LA… and the Reds get to cut some losses…everybody’s happy again!

    • Oldtimer

      Kyle Farmer was one of the players acquired from the Dodgers.

      He started at SS most of the 2021 season and had a decent year.

      • DataDumpster

        Correction noted and glad to have him. He succeeded while the other much bigger names largely did not.

      • Alan Horn

        It is amusing, because Farmer was a throw in pretty much while the big names (Wood and Puig) were gone after a year. Like you mentioned Gray and Downs turned out to be pretty good prospects and good trade pieces. So yeah, the Reds were fleeced.

      • MBS

        @Alan, were they fleeced. Neither Gray or Downs have performed. Gray made it to the bigs, but had an era in the mid 5’s, and Downs went backwards in AAA last season with a 1.90 BA, and .606 OPS. They are both young, and they could still have nice futures ahead of them. I’m just saying we didn’t get fleeced, fan excitement went up with Puig especially, and Puig in part lead to Bauer.

    • Doug

      It’s embarrassing what the Reds have done so far since the World Series ended. I understood the Barnhart trade but Miley was just plain stupid and he went to a rival. If he can get rid of Moose ok but Suarez has still produced with HR’s and RBI’s. In my opinion this fire sale all started when they resigned David Bell! Crazy to resign him, horrible manager! No common sense whatsoever! I’ve been a Reds fan since the mid 70’s. If you aren’t going to be competitive then sell the team and give the Reds and fans a chance to win!

    • Still a Red

      While dumping Moose would be comparable to dumping Bailey…throwing Castillo in is hardly like throwing Gray and Downs in.

  4. Justin

    I love the Reds and sometimes I don’t know why. I get the feeling they are going to try to attach Suarez and Moustakas to Castillo and Gray. Which to me sucks, because the haul for those two pitchers alone could be glorious. Then we could actually have hope for a young playoff contender for several years. Sadly, we’ll wind up with a few lesser prospects. Like we usually do.

    • Alan Horn

      That is where I am at. Basically, we get nothing but salary relief for Castillo and Gray when we should be getting a young replacement prospect for Castellanos, a true center fielder and some quality bullpen pieces. We would then be in a position to contend in the near future. Instead, we trade our quality trade pieces to cover our front office blunders of the recent past. Some keep trying to put lipstick on a pig. It is what it is…. bad management.

    • Crestwood Craig

      What good does it do to get prospects when David Bell won’t play them? Jonathan India only got to play because injuries to other players left him no choice but to continue to play him.

      • Alan Horn

        @greenmtred. Another reason is non production, which we saw plenty of with AA and Akiyama once they became starters because of injury.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I would hope that the Reds don’t attach either Suarez or Moose to a deal that could be really beneficial to them for building future teams. Don’t lessen the return just to save some bucks (yes, I know which FO I’m talking about). Once you save the money from Castillo and/or Gray then payroll is more “aligned with resources”. Moving Gray and Castillo would save the Reds close to $18m on top of the $33.5m they’ve already saved from subtracting Castellanos, Barnhart, and Miley. That allows you to try to recoup some value from either player by playing them and hoping the return to form. If Suarez can start off next season like he ended last season then he’ll have some (even if small) trade value as his contract is not really that bad. Moose will be harder even if he returns to average offense. But again, if the Reds can’t make ends meet after subtracting over $50m from payroll, then they are probably in the wrong business.

  5. Buck

    See you later Moose/Gray…please keep Castillo/Suarez! Corey Seager at shortstop in 2022: one can hope!
    GO REDS!!

  6. Gaffer

    Of course the Dodgers are interested as they have repeatedly fleeced the Reds. We got basically nothing for Josiah Grey and Jeter Downs, who were the key guys in trades fro Mookie BEtts and Trea Turner. They gave us Jose Peraza when he no longer had value and we jumped at the chance! Sure the Dodgers have tons of money but they also abuse others teams on scouting and development. Reds . . .

    The real reason Reds should trade our BIG 2 is that our horizon is 5 years, so no reason to keep them to win 80 games.

    • Chris Mo

      Josiah Grey had a -.5 WAR last year. Jeter Downs hit .189
      Grey may turn into something, but Downs looks like a bust.
      I believe that if the front office was willing to trade them, it might have been because the front office did not buy their own hype for those two players.

  7. Greenfield Red

    If this is only about dumping Moose and/or Geno, I hope the Commissioner does his job and disallows the trade. Remember, the Reds attempted to aquire Vida Blue for cash and it was not allowed.

    • Greenfield Red

      As a side note, I think there is a very good chance Geno returns to form in 22. Qouldn’t that be great, we give the Dodgers Geno and Castillo for nothing, and both have great years?

      Ownership qould never get that egg off its face.

      • Alan Horn

        I think you are right. We probably should hold onto him. I think his decline might have been more as a result of his injury rather than aging.

      • TR

        The egg would only be removed with new ownership.

      • LDS

        So you expect him to bounce back after two bad years in a row? And remember his Septembers were good in 2020 and 2021 BOTH. If they can get something reasonable for him, do so while they can. If he bounces back, which I’m not expecting, so it goes.

      • Alan Horn

        @LDS. I am on the fence with Suarez. It could be possible his injury caused his hitting problems both seasons. On the other hand, I don’t want to witness another season with the bat like he just had. He still had around 30 HRs and a lot of RBIs despite his lack of contact. It is a gamble either way. It we trade him and he bounces back, we will be kicking ourselves. Senzel, Lopez, Farmer and Schrock would be candidates to replace him, so saving 10 million a season to use elsewhere won’t be all bad.
        The using elsewhere is what bothers me. With all the potential money saved with potential trades, will it be used to bring in and pay quality replacements who are cheaper?

    • David

      Vida Blue: Then it was cash and Dave Revering, and that got squished too. Dave was a first basemen with some promise, but was blocked by Dan Driessen and Tony Perez.

      Dave never did have much of a ML career, by the way. What would have the Reds have done with Vida Blue?

      • Alan Horn

        I remember it well. Blue would have been a great pick up for the Reds at the time.

      • Oldtimer

        Revering played 8 years in MLB. Several pretty good years with OAK (119 OPS+). Career 110 OPS+ average.

        Dick Wagner traded Revering to OAK for reliever Doug Bair. Bair was effective reliever for Reds in 1978 and 1979 (less effective in 1980).

      • Alan Horn

        Dick Wagner was pretty much what we know have. A hatchet man.

  8. LDS

    It isn’t the possibility of trading any of these guys that concerns me. It’s my total lack of confidence in the FO’s ability to acquire a good return, let alone a maximum return. Who would the Dodgers give up, Lux? Will Smith? A prospect or three like Pages? Nah, the Reds would go for May or Ferguson, both of whom are injured and may not bounce back.

    • JayTheRed

      This is exactly how I feel, I don’t have confidence i this front office to make a successful trade that would help the Reds in any way.

  9. LDS

    And if I were Joey Votto, I’d be asking for a trade to somewhere like Toronto where I’d have some chance of being in the playoffs before my career ends.

    • Alan Horn

      If we fans are upset, you have to think the players are even more so. I saw a lot of fire in Votto and a will to win this past season.

  10. Rob

    I think the Gray and Castillo trade discussions are disgusting. Both have performed well for their pay grade and are central to our “success” the last 2 years. It reeks of a total salary dump and let’s hope for next year. If you want to dump salary, trade Moose to a rebuilding team. Yeah, it will cost you a couple top 15 prospects but isn’t that better than watching the core of your pitching staff leave? These are quality pitchers and they are not going to be replaceable n the next 2-3 years. Who in the heck knows what Barerro and Hines are going to be? They could turn out to be good or bad. I can almost guarantee that Castillo and Graywill be missed big time. And by the way, you will have the savings of Moose’s $18M for each of the next 2 years. That is a nice chunk of change o chase free agents while remaining competitive. And don’t tell me 2 upper end prospects wouldnt interest a rebuilding team. But you have to do something to make this deal and not say it is too difficult.

    • Alan Horn

      You may be right. It might be an easier pill to swallow if a couple of top 15 prospects will do the job rather than Castillo or Gray. I would hold onto Castillo and maybe move Gray for a couple or 3 good prospects. That would further free up cash to sign a FA(Garcia). In fact, Moose and Gray would free up around 28 million a year..

  11. CI3J

    The Reds are a day late and dollar short on these trades. If they wanted maximum value, they should have done this LAST offseason. They could have traded Castellanos as well at that point and probably gotten a decent return.

    Now, they apparently are in the mood to dump everything and don’t care about the return.

    If they seriously trade Gray and Castillo and get nothing be B level prospects in return, that is the end of me being a Reds fan until Bob sells the team. I was slightly upset about Barhart, moreso about Miley, but THIS would be the end for me.

    However, if they actually get some decent prospects in return, I might be intrigued, because the Reds have a decent young pitching core that’s almost ready plus some good, young position players, they really just need outfield help. So if they can land a decent young outfielder by trading Gray and Castillo, I’d be ok with that.

    • PTBNL's little bro

      So trade Castellanos after a down year for him and in a COVID economy to not even see if the Reds might make a run at the playoffs (spoiler alert…the Reds did make a run and were in the run till nearly the end) and give up before even giving 2021 a try…..yeah, I’m glad you are not running the Reds.

      • CI3J

        Yep. I said throughout the year last year that the team, as currently built, was not good enough to win the World Series. They could have maybe snuck into the playoffs (which they failed to do, not surprisingly), but once there, they would have lost.

        The team has needed a reboot for awhile, and the Reds have some nice pieces they could trade to complement the young core they already have, and make an actual CHAMPIONSHIP team, not one that barely makes the playoffs by the skin of their teeth. That’s what I want.

        But since it seems you’re satisfied with mediocrity, then you should love the current regime running the Reds.

      • Luke J

        Any team that makes the playoffs can win the world series. In fact, it’s rare that the best constructed team wins it all. A chip and a chair, as they say. It would be nice to have a seat at that table and try to make a world series run, than to constantly rebuild trying to put together the perfect world series roster. Because I have news for you, that’s an unattainable goal that will result in even fewer playoff seasons. The reality is, Cincinnati will never have the best roster in baseball. Small market teams need to be scrappy and just get into the playoffs and try to catch lightning in a bottle. That’s how they win. Not by constructing a true world series roster.

  12. Tom

    If 30000 fans showed up every night when they were in the thick of things maybe it would be different. But I guess we won’t know.

    • Tom Reeves


      If this team had level of attendance like St Louis, we’re having very different off season discussions.

      • Alex

        So, if we show up….. Do we get the Cardinals level of Ownership, FO and on field competence? Or do we continue to get the reds ?… Asking for a friend.

      • Tom Reeves

        You definitely won’t get that if fans don’t show up.

      • Nick in NKY

        What came first? The Cardinal way, or the cardinal fan?

    • SaveTheFarm

      I see your point and make a counter point, the Blue Jays didn’t play a home game in Toronto for a season and a half. They do have a core of young cheap talent, but they also sign big name free agents…Springer last year and they just extended Jose Berrios for 7 years at 140 million.

  13. Ryan

    38 million remaining for Moustakas is why slobber over “payroll” is so aggravating to this fan. Paying well in advance of anticipated performance isn’t a part of my job.

    • jon vera

      And many fans on social media stated the moose deal was awful when the reds acquired him.

      • greenmtred

        And a number of fans on social media wanted to include India in a trade package a couple of years ago. The wisdom of fans.

  14. Greenfield Red

    Could have traded him before the trade deadline this year. Even if in the pkayoff hunt they no chance to win the WS.

  15. Stock

    I remember last winter discussion was the Joey Votto, Wade Miley and Nick Castellanos contracts were bad. This year those three turned out to be great contracts and the Moustakas and Suarez contracts were bad. Last winter and before the word was what a great contract the Suarez contract was.

    I am not ready to call the Moustakas contract a bad contract based upon the fact that he was injured.

    I am not willing to call the Suarez contract a bad contract based upon 4 terrible months. The last month or two he was pretty good.

    • JayTheRed

      I don’t have much faith in Moose right now. His efforts when he was (supposedly) healthy were not very good. He also looked really out of shape too.

      Suarez I’m willing to give another shot on this coming season. Shoulders injuries are hard to heal and take time. Just don’t let Suarez play SS.

      • MK

        Like to see Eugenia or Mike go to one of the hitting gurus like Justin Turner and J.D.Martinez did to see if they can help them rework swings to their new older bodies.

    • BK

      Well said Stock. Good chance both Moose and Suarez have nice years in 2022, if healthy.

  16. Stock

    I don’t mind if the Reds go into rebuild mold. Trading Gray for a top 100 prospect and a couple of more in the top 250 is fine. Rebuild started.

    If the Reds trade Gray and Moustakas for nothing they are not in rebuild it is nothing but a salary dump. Not sure how you justify this.

    • CI3J

      This is exactly how I feel. I don’t mind them trading Castillo and Gray, per se, but it all depends on how they do it.

      If they get some good young prospects, I’m onboard (although I will always question why they didn’t do it last year or during the All Star Break this past season).

      If they get absolute garbage in return, like with the Barnhart trade, then I am done following the Reds until Bob sells the team.

      • JayTheRed

        At the all Star Break we were looking like we were competing still in the division and in the wild card. You don’t trade away two of your really good starters when your still contending. The injuries to the OF is what really derailed our season. There are other things like the bullpen earlier on too.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I feel similarly. In fact, at this point, I see trading both Gray and Castillo for high level prospects as the wiser move. I’d be more intrigued about the future with good trades than I currently am with the roster constructed as it is. The Reds have already sent the signal to the league and fans that they’re not interested in competing in 2022. Why keep the charade going by keeping guys who could net you guys who could impact future teams? This team is ripe for a rebuild/reboot/re-tool. Just do it, but do it right this time.

      • Alan Horn

        I think that is where most are coming from. Do you think they will get much more than garbage back?

  17. DaveCT

    Of course the Dodgers want to talk trade. Any decent predator will return to great feeding grounds as long as the food supply is good. Yankees, Red Sox too. Makes teams like us the personal minor leagues for the wealthy. Yes, i know we aren’t talking about Reds minor leaguers.

    • Alan Horn

      Same as it was back in the day before the draft. The Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Giants (big markets) just used their money to buy all the good players up. We are kind of reverting back to those days. Maybe adding a couple or so more teams to the mix.

      • Alan Horn

        The only difference is that they just wait until free agency or a few years prior to make their money move.

    • VADA

      Dave, you hit the bullseye with your thoughts. Nobody could have said it any better.

    • Bill J

      do you remember when the Athletics were called the Yankees farm team?

  18. CI3J

    Say this for the offseason so far: The Reds have been busy.

    Now, you can debate if that’s a good thing. But they have been busy.

  19. Old-school

    Sonny gray and luis castillo are completely different. Castillo is much younger and in his prime and has 2 more years and throws 98 with an elite change up.

    Castillo is an extension candidate or could be used to acquire an elite top prospect (outfielder) plus several others.

    Sonny gray is 32 , losing velocity and went on the IL 3 x with minor issues last year. He has a team option for 2023 for $12 million

    The Reds arent picking that up( see Wade Miley) so they need to trade him now for a couple good Young pitchers in AA/AAA.

    Krall has said the Reds arent attaching prospects to move money and cant afford losing prospect capital.

    • Stock

      If they trade Castillo straight up they should net a top 50, a 51 – 100 prospect and 1 player in the top 200 or so.

      If they trade Castillo and Moustakas they get 2 or 3 players outside the top 100.

      Therefore, if they trade Moustakas they are trading prospects even if on the surface it does not appear they are trading prospects.

      • Old-school

        The only way you trade Castillo is to maximize prospects and acquire a high ceiling potential superstar

      • Stock

        I think you absolutely trade Castillo. And if you don’t package Moustakas or Suarez in the deal you do get 2 or 3 quality prospects.

      • Old-school

        I think we agree.

        Get younger and add some elite future talent to add to new core of india stephenson greene etc

  20. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’ve said before I want to see how it comes out in the end. I will say that it doesn’t look good, what the Reds are doing. I can only imagine they are looking at remaking the club into a Tampa Bay Rays of the Midwest.

    But, to do that, we need prospects to be coming back. Who we got for Tucker wasn’t a prospect. We lost Wade for nothing. Potentially a draft pick for Nick? Doesn’t seem like we got much for Raciel.

    I’m still interested in seeing what comes out in the end. But, it isn’t looking good.

  21. CFD3000

    If Krall is taking calls on Gray, Castillo or anyone else that’s fine – it’s literally his job to see what the Reds could acquire in return for their valuable players and contracts to improve their roster. But I sure hope he has an actual plan. Move Gray to bolster CF and the bullpen? Fine. Move Gray and Moustakas to lower payroll, keep Bell from giving Moose 400 at bats and create some spending room to sign quality relievers? Fine. But if he’s just reactive with no plan, or if it’s just a salary dump, or if worst of all it’s a salary dump of actually good players (Gray and Castillo) to be able to afford to pay weak players (Moose and perhaps Suarez – time will tell) then that’s embarrassing and it’s clearly time to sell the team. There’s a core of young talent and prospects just about to emerge, plus a resurgent Votto, that positions the Reds to be pretty good, soon. Krall has a chance to upgrade the quality and timing of that success. But he also has a chance to squander that position. I’m hopeful but not optimistic. Ask me again in March.

  22. burtgummer01

    16 years of failure and the losing stops now right Bob?
    Enjoy the empty stadium

  23. Steven Ross

    Should be an exciting race for last place between the Reds & Pirates. Good times.

  24. JB WV

    Until Castellini sells the team this is the way it’s going to be. Cheap and/or arrogant does not a good owner make (see Deangelos, Snyder).

    • Greenfield Red

      I continue to say, be careful what you wish for. There may not be another ownership group who will keep the Reds in Cincinnati.

      • JB WV

        Would it matter that much if Castellini continues to regularly gut the team? What do fans have to root for? If a new owner moved them to Columbus and they were still the Reds and became contenders would you follow them?

      • Alan Horn

        On the other hand, there may be. They don’t necessarily have to be in Cincinnati or Ohio either as long as they agree to keep the team in Cincinnati and commit to winning. The current ownership committed to winning, so that is that.

  25. Kong

    No worries, the BEND over philosophy of the Reds front office will set a new standard of ineptitude.

  26. TXRedLeg

    And if you think Mahle will be here next year (who will make more than league minimum) you’re kidding yourself. I’ll go so far as to say the only players making more than league minimum on the Reds next year will be Votto, Shogo, and Moose – overpaid veterans that can’t be moved (unpopular opinion – I don’t have a problem keeping Votto, but you know the Reds would love getting rid of this contract).
    I’d be delighted if the Reds were seeking valuable talent in exchange for these players, but the reality is it doesn’t matter, it’s just a salary dump and our farm system doesn’t have the talent to fill the roster.
    Why did I stop following the Bengals and started rooting for the Browns? Because the Bengals made it clear being competitive wasn’t the goal, fleecing the fans and the City was, and at least the Browns tried (ineptly) every year. This is where the Reds are going.

    • Kevin Patrick

      I’d become a Browns fan over the Bengals just based on the uniforms.

  27. LeRoy

    A trade of Castillo or Gray must bring back top prospects or the Reds management won’t have to pack it in because the fans will insure that the Reds never have enough money to operate. If the Reds had the #1 draft pick they would gladly pay the 6M or so required to sign them, but when they have good major league pitchers like Miley, Castillo and Gray they are too cheap to pay them. The Reds owners have no compassion for their fans who have been overly patient for them to make a genuine effort to have a chance to compete for a championship. Teams leave towns when the fans don’t support them and the fans will not support a team that doesn’t care what they think.

  28. Ryan

    If we lose Castillo, I really hope we can get the likes of Anthony Volpe (SS) from the Yankees who after signing Seager probably won’t need SS for 10 years, Jo Addell from the Angels who I wouldn’t put it past to sign Castellanos for 5 or 6 years to play RF/DH, or Julio Rodriguez from Seattle. It’s pipe dreams being a Reds fan this time of year and hoping for moves like Oakland or Tampa make, but hey why not believe?

  29. MK

    The Dodgers have the ability to be creative in their trades. You want Castillo then we get the players we want and you take with Moustskas or Suarez.

  30. Jim Delaney

    The trading of quality players to rid bad contracts and receive nothing back shows the current ownership group and/or majority owner should sell. Owning a sports team is an ego stroke for the wealthy should be er be about the bottom line. The Castellini group run ownership
    continues to be a horror show…

  31. Votto4life

    So much for starting pitching being a strength.

    So much for not packaging good young players to get rid of bad contracts.

    I think the Reds plan is cut as much payroll as they can and then what players remain that will make their team.

  32. D Ray White

    It time for Big Bob to sell the team and get back to selling lettuce and carrots. He’s an embarrassment, and is making Mike Brown look competent by comparison.

    The Reds and Braves started rebuilding at the same time. The Braves had a plan and stuck to it. Big Bob directed a half-baked sort of rebuild and netted 0 playoff game wins. The Braves have a WS trophy.

  33. Votto4life

    At what did Nick Krall or anyone in this organization say bringing back quality prospects is the Red’s goal.

    It was stated clearly that their purpose is to “align payroll with their resources”.

    I hate to say it, but those of you who are expecting a haul of great young prospects for any player in this team are dreaming. Our priorities is not the Red’s priorities.

  34. LeRoy

    What’s better saving money or making money? Castellini is trying to save money by cutting the expenses that bring fans into the stadium–doesn’t sound practical to me!
    The best way to line Castellini’s pockets if for him to sell the team and make about a billion in profit. This is why he bought into the team in the first place-to make money.
    He definitely didn’t purchase the team to feel good about a winning team that could bring a championship to Cincinnati like the fans deserve. Bob, be greedy and sell the team and show some compassion to the faithful Reds fans.

    • Alan Horn

      Good post. Possibly everyone wins in that event.

  35. Jim

    I’d have to admit if I was a Billionaire, I’d probably lose half always fielding a great team. If we didn’t a WS, people would call me an idiot.
    Castillo at worst is a top 50 SP right now. At best is a Cy Young award. You rarely win a trade giving that much up.
    Sonny Gray is a excellent 3rd/ even better 4th SP on a WS at this point in his career.
    Suarez had a nice month to end the season, but how many of those at bats came against quality pitching?
    Moose, all we can do is pray for you.
    Votto, here’s your money, thx for the memories and we won’t embarrass you by making you play for us.

  36. Indy Red Man

    Why is salary dumping suddenly the #1 priority? First of all dealing Suarez and Castillo makes no sense when you consider salary vs potential production. Potential is all we’re ever going to get with the Reds unless you want more terrible Moose-style contracts.

    Nick is gone. He’s not stupid. It’s a shame they couldn’t just bite the bullet in 2022-23 with Joey/Moose coming off the books. Move Miley, Tucker, and Gray then pay Nick another $5-7 mil a year and they’d still cut costs. Givens/Lorenzen is another $8 mil? Instead announce a fire sale which is a bleeding fish in a shark infested cove. I thought I read they were 25-12 with India/Wink/Nick 1-2-3. Reds fans deserved to see more of that. I won’t watch next year

  37. Schottzie

    In the most “Reds” trade ever:

    Dodgers Get:

    Luis Castillo
    Sonny Gray
    Mike Moustakous

    Reds get:

    Cody Bellinger
    (2) Mid Tier Prospects

    • Alan Horn

      You would have all 3 OF hitting LH. Winker, Naquin and Bellinger. I guess one could be a DH. Votto would make 4 or the starting 8. We really need a RH OF to replace NC. We also need a lineup that fares better against LH pitchers.

      • Schottzie

        You’re extremely correct but I believe this team is far more interested in getting 50 million off the books than worrying about the splits of next years everyday lineup.

        Ergo, why I believe we’ll see something akin to this trade for the Reds this off-season.

  38. Alan Horn

    Doug or anyone, why is Givens still on the 40 man roster? It was my understanding that he was a FA after this past season.

    • Doug Gray

      Someone forgot to remove him from the website. He’s a free agent.

      • Alan Horn

        Thanks Doug. That is what I thought.

    • Tom Diesman

      They’re still listing free agents Lorenzen and Cabrera as part of the 40 man roster on the Reds website as well.

  39. Mike

    The Reds need a manager like Dusty Baker. While he was at Cincinnati they were at least in the playoffs. A manager switch helps teams from losers to winners. Cincinnati is a big time loser, no matter who they trade. Look for leadership.

  40. DataDumpster

    Once they extended the Bell contract, it was apparent that a major cost cutting was coming and fielding a team capable of making the playoffs has been delayed by at least 2 years. So, get use to the “tinkering” while ownership figures if they want to build a winner, get a competent GM/Manager combo, and/or sell the team. For those that want the latter, consider how likely that a buyer committed to keeping the team in Cincinnati would emerge.
    What makes me think, how much longer are the Reds obligated to keep the team here? The Bengals contract runs through 2026, not sure about the Reds.

  41. Stock

    The Giants were in win now mode in 2021. However, they lost 4 SP (Gausman, DeSclafani, Cueto and Alex Wood) to free agency and Brandon Belt. Since all four SP pitched for the Reds there must be something they like about Reds pitchers.

    These five players made $65 million last year. Projections for Gausman, Belt, Castillo, Mahle and Gray for next year project to be $65 million in 2022. In essence the Giant could resign Gausman and Belt and replace Disco, Cueto and Wood with Castillo, Mahle and Gray without increasing their budget for 2022 (excluding $10 million in additional payroll for players locked into 2022). Wood, Disco and Cueto combined for a WAR last year of 7.0 and the three Reds combined for a WAR of 9.9. This is a 40% upgrade at no additional cost. On paper the Giants would be better in 2022 then in 2021 with this trade and the resigning of Belt and Gausman.
    If the Giants want about the same budget in 2022 that they had in 2021 they can sign Jon Gray or Disco instead of Gausman. If they want a slightly lower budget in 2022, resign Alex Wood.

    What would be a fair return for Castillo, Mahle and Gray?
    1. Marco Luciano (Age 19) – Fangraphs # 9 overall. Org Rank (1) 60 FV. Shortstop
    2. Luis Matos (Age 19) – Fangraphs # 83 overall. Org Rank (4) 50 FV. Centerfield
    3. Patrick Bailey (Age 22) – Org Rank (6). 45+ FV. Catcher
    4. Kyle Harrison (Age 19) – Org Rank (8). 45+ FV. Starting Pitcher
    5. Luis Toribio (Age 20) – Org Rank (9) 45 FV. 3B
    6. Aeverson Arteaga (Age 18) – Org Rank (32) 40 FV. Shortstop

    Per Fangraphs, Luciano would become our #1 prospect and Matos would be #5. Lodolo would be #6.

    With an FV of 45+ Bailey and Harrison would be ranked with the likes of

    With an FV of 45 Toribio would be ranked with Matt McLain, Rece Hinds and Tyler Calihan.

    With an FV of 40 Arteaga ranks with Bryce Bonnin, Andrew Abbott, Jose Torres, Alan Cerda, Graham Ashcraft and Jackson Miller.

    Trade # 2: Trade Sims and Winker to the Padres

    1. Robert Hassell (Age 19) – Fangraphs 65 overall, Org Rank (3), FV 50. Centerfield
    2. Ethan Elliott (Age 24) – Org Rank 5. FV 45. Starting Pitcher
    3. Justin Lange (Age 19) – Org Rank 6. FV 40+. Starting Pitcher
    4. Robert Gasser (Age 22) – Org Rank 18. FV 40. Starting Pitcher

    New prospects:
    1. Marco Luciano (Age 19) – Fangraphs (9) Org Rank (1) 60 FV. SS
    2. Robert Hassell (Age 19) – Fangraphs (65), Org Rank (3), FV 50. CF
    3. Luis Matos (Age 19) – Fangraphs (83) Org Rank (4) 50 FV. CF
    4. Patrick Bailey (Age 22) – Org Rank (6). 45+ FV. Catcher
    5. Kyle Harrison (Age 19) – Org Rank (8). 45+ FV. Starting Pitcher
    6. Ethan Elliott (Age 24) – Org Rank (5) FV 45. Starting Pitcher
    7. Luis Toribio (Age 20) – Org Rank (9) 45 FV. 3B
    8. Justin Lange (Age 19) – Org Rank (6) FV 40+. Starting Pitcher
    9. Robert Gasser (Age 22) – Org Rank (18) FV 40. Starting Pitcher
    10. Aeverson Arteaga (Age 18) – Org Rank (32) 40 FV. Shortstop

    The Reds now would have 7 of Fangraphs top 90 prospects.
    This is a good mix between pitchers and position players. Five of the six hitters are due to reach the majors in 2024 or 2025. This trade solves the lack of outfield prospects. These five hitters along with Jay Allen, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Austin Hendrick, Jose Torres, Rece Hinds, Ivan Johnson, Allen Cerda, Tyler Callihan Daniel Vellojin and Mike Siani give the Reds 16 potential hitters contributing in a 2 year span.

    This class will be followed by a group including Carlos Jorge, Leonardo Balcazar, Yerlin Confidan, Ariel Almonte, Malvin Valdez, Aeverson Arteaga, Braylin Minier, Jackson Miller, Ricardo Cabrera, Valencia and Esmith Pineda. This gives the Reds 27 hitters with a chance to contribute between 2024 and 2027. Not all will make it to the show. But with India, Stephenson and Barrero on the roster you don’t even need half.

    • Kevin Patrick

      I like the idea of stirring trade competition between the Dodgers and Giants. I imagine that rivalry is one of the things keeping baseball alive. I love coming to the comments section on this site for just this sort of thoughtful trade proposal. You even have the reaching Padres in the mix… somehow this proposal seems reasonable the way you present it.


    Complaining about Suarez and Moustakas is not really fair. Suarez was an all star and signed for a multi year pretty team friendly deal. The Reds were trying to build a contending team and overpaid for Moustakas because that’s what small market teams need to do to get players to play for them. I give the Reds credit at the time for going for it. Moustakas was playing well and was in demand. If both of these players played up to their potential we would be saying oh what great signings these were. Now with both players struggling small market teams don’t have the money to fix things.

  43. old-school

    Jose Berrios seems a reasonable comp to Luis Castillo but 1 year ahead on the FA schedule and set to make $11 mil in his final arbitration year. The Blue Jays are now extending him and buying out 6 years of FA till age 34 at $120 million more.

    So the Reds would be crazy to not trade Castillo now unless they are committed to winning the NL Central and making a World series run and spending $150 mil in payroll this year. Since that’s not happening and they arent going to extend Castillo till his age 33 year and commit 130+ million in new money from 2023-28, they need to trade him now for an elite prospect with superstar potential and several other good prospects. His value at only $18 million or so combined for the next 2 years is immense for a team committed to winning who needs a #2 starter.

    • AllTheHype

      Same applies to Winker and Mahle. Don’t field a luke warm team. Commit to 2024.

      • Greenfield Red

        I am in agreement with this. Luke warm is the term I also use, and it is the enemy of greatness.

        In addition to all the prospects the Reds would receive in return, they would also turn in a couple of 100 loss seasons which would bring in more top draft picks.