The Los Angeles Angels and Cincinnati Reds have had some talks about a trade for Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo. Jon Morosi of MLB Network is reporting that the talks are in the preliminary stages and the price remains high. This report comes less than a week after it was reported that Cincinnati had Castillo off of the table in trade talks.

The trade certainly would make sense for the Angels who are trying to build around arguably the two best players in baseball in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, both of whom are entering their prime years. Los Angeles also signed starter Noah Syndergaard this offseason, and they are reportedly one of the finalists to sign Max Scherzer. They are clearly trying to push their chips into the middle of the table for 2022.

Perhaps their willingness to meet the asking price for Luis Castillo hinges on what Scherzer decides. If the Angels land Scherzer then perhaps their need for Castillo lessens. But if he opts to sign elsewhere it may put Los Angeles in a scenario where they move forward with other options and makes Castillo priority number one.

For Cincinnati there are reasons to trade Luis Castillo, but none of them should make Reds fans feel good about 2022. If the team trades Castillo it’s highly unlikely that whoever they replace him with will perform as well as Castillo should be expected to. And even if the Reds were to acquire quality players in return the odds that it’s someone(s) that will be very good in 2022 aren’t great given that the Angels likely aren’t moving those types since they are clearing going for it in 2022.

Cincinnati trading Castillo would likely lower payroll, or allow the team to spend the projected $7,600,000 in another area. While not impossible, it’s very unlikely that you could spend that money on the market and get more production than you would get from Castillo.

Trading Castillo would likely signal that Cincinnati is truly building for the future without doing much to try and catch up to the division leaders in 2022. Depending on where you fall on the outlook that may anger you or it may be fine with you (or at least the idea of trying to build for the future).

With the loss of Wade Miley already this offseason, a trade of Luis Castillo would leave open a whole lot of starting pitcher innings to fill for Cincinnati. They do have internal options with prospects Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, Reiver Sanmartin, and a guy like Tony Santillan who spent much of the 2021 season in the big league bullpen but has a long history of starting. As talented and as touted as some of the guys in that group are, though, they aren’t likely to match what Miley and Castillo brought in 2021 or what they are likely to bring in 2022. But at some point they need to also start making the transition into getting those guys their opportunities. At the start of the 2022 season does feel like it may be a tad early on most of them, though.

172 Responses

    • Doug Gray

      Oh, it comes. But there’s an old saying about man planning and God laughing that applies.

      • Daytonnati

        “You spend your life waiting for a moment that just don’t come – don’t waste your time waiting!” – The Boss 🙂

    • Michael E

      Well, to be fair, the present never comes for us Reds fans either. At least with future there is still hope left. I am game for tempting future over frustrating presents year after year.

  1. Optimist

    Everyone is tradeable, nobody is indispensable, but in this case the price better be almost impossibly high.

  2. Klugo

    No talk of the what the Angels have to give?

    • MuddyCleats

      LA Angles’ Farm System was ranked 26th prior to this season. Adell has NOT performed well w/ his chances so far, so I wouldn’t get excited about him. Maybe he can sing…..? In contrast, Reds’ system ranked 16th overall in source I read.

      Not a fan of the “get a load in return” trade talk, bc it almost always gets watered down. Think of the Cueto, Frazier, Didi and Grandal trades. Very little in long term return.

      • Michael E

        Always quality over quantity, but some teams manage to get a quantity of quality in these types of trades. Wish the Reds GM’s and owners would hold tough. Maybe this type of trade should happen in mid march when a possible contender is one good SP short of an above average rotation? Then again, the 8 or 10 contenders might have finished getting their rotations set and then the offers weaken

        We can just keep Castillo and re-examine at the ASB in 2022 if were 10+ games out of the wild card, as expected, by then.

      • Michael E

        of course, if Castillo repeats his April/May from 2021 in 2022, he wont fetch a bucket of water-damaged baseballs in return.

  3. Alex Reds

    It would really accelerate the rebuild if they can get a huge return for players that won’t be here in 3 years. Castillo falls in that category with possible huge return potential. The big question is how to maximize the return and if that is this off-season or at the trade deadline.

    • Colorado Red

      Better start with Marsh and other top 5 prospects.
      For NO STINKING WAY.

    • Shawn

      Exactly. Marsh, Adams and a lower prospect or two would go a long way to helping the T
      Reds compete in 3 years when bad contracts are off the books.

  4. Jimbo44CN

    We dont need another rebuild, but it seems like that is what ownership is trying to sell, I think it’s just a chance to cheap out and cut payroll. SELL THE TEAM BOB.

    • Shawn

      I can’t ever remember the Reds have a rebuild. They have never been willing to commit fully.

      • Michael E

        Yep. Keep “fan favorites” that might fetch something around when you stink is not going all in on a 100 loss season and quick rebuild. It’s the recipe for a long, slow, painful re-tool that never produces any real contender. THIS is what the Reds have done for the past 8 years or so.

        If they want to rebuild, then you trade ALL THREE of Gray, Mahle and Castillo while they all three have some solid/good trade value. Same with a non-athletic, injury-prone Winker. Not sure there is much else with good trade value beyond those (India, Stephenson are too young and controllable to consider them trade bait for two or three more seasons)

  5. LDS

    Jo Adell and then some (maybe Detmers or at least Bachman and lesser prospects) or walk away. Make it very expensive.

    • Optimist

      Yep – my comment above. Adell plus two.

  6. Jon

    Not sure what the Reds are actually trying to do, other than slash payroll. Trading Barnhart and giving away Miley made a slight bit of sense if the Reds were to actually use that money saved to improve the team elsewhere. Trading away Castillo does not. Apparently the Reds didn’t learn their lesson in 2015 with the last rebuild. Either go all-in with a rebuild, or try to contend. No halfway garbage like they did when they kept Cueto, Chapman, Bruce, and Frazier far too long and got nothing of value in return. If Castillo is traded, I hope Mahle, Gray, Suarez, and Winker follow to maximize the prospect return. (Then for Votto’s sake, I hope he requests a trade to a contender.)

    • CI3J

      I would not trade Mahle or Winker. Both are still young enough to be contributors on the Next Great Reds Team, provided the target window to compete is around 2024. Next year is Mahle’s age 27 season, and Winker’s age 28 season, so they are just entering their prime years.

      With Winker, India, Barrero, Senzel, and Stephenson among the position players, and Mahle, Lodolo, Greene, Santillan, Guiterrez, Sanmartin, and Ashcraft available as pitchers, the Reds have a pretty solid young core in place. If they can land Adell for Castillo, that would also give them a nice piece for the the outfield.

      If they trade Gray and Votto, I sincerely hope they move Winker to 1B, where his bat would play extremely well and it would hopefully limit his injuries. I also hope if they trade Suarez, they move Senzel back to 3B and end his disastrous stint in the OF. Then the Reds need to look at acquiring a CF and LF (again, assuming they can land Adell for Castillo).

      • AllTheHype

        Mahle and Winker will be FAs after ’23.

      • Shawn

        If they don’t extend Winker and Mahle, they will be gone before we are ready to compete. Reds should try to extend them. if they can’t be extended, they should be traded. I think fans would be OK with a rebuild if they saw ownership actually had a bad pan. Extending Mahle and Winker would go a long way to earning fans trust

      • Still a Red

        A lot of faith in rookie pitchers

      • Michael E

        Neither will be around after two seasons. If they’re good, they’ll want 20+ million per and the Reds wont do that (and maybe they shouldnt). Their trade value will likely NEVER be higher than at this moment. Its possible, but we’ve seen non-stop repeats of in-their-prime players get injured, slump or regress and become albatrosses. I don’t see any more upside in either Winker or Mahle. Winker is only good for 80-110 games a year and even then has a month where he can’t hit a lick. Mahle, he is solid, but again, no upside left. He is just under 4.00 ERA and likely to be hovering around 4.00 ERA with the Reds the next two years. That is an SP4/5 type pitcher, not an SP2/3 type…at least not on a contender.

    • Greenfield Red

      I’ve been saying this for the last 6 years. Give me red hot or ice cold. Good is the enemy of great.

      • Don A

        If they can get legitimate top prospects out of this deal, I would not complain. I do not have confidence in the ownership and front office to make that type of deal. I hope they finally prove me wrong!

  7. Melvin

    In reference to above I believe Santi is the “Closer” of the future and much better suited for that than starting.

    • Alan Horn

      I agree and if not the future closer, at least a key cog in the BP.

      • DaveCT

        He’s got the appropriate nasty attitude

  8. Magnum 44

    If they miss out on Scherzer they are going to go into complete panic mode. It would have to be an absolute haul to get Castillo….The Reds are going to have to sign some FA starters I kind of hope they kick the tires on Cueto good PR move cheap and would be a great influence on our young starters teaching them how to be a pro.

    • Melvin

      It would be cool to have Cueto back but I doubt they will spend any money to do it.

    • JayTheRed

      I would like to have Cueto back Johnny Baseball would be great for the general fans that know nothing about what the team actually is doing.

    • Colorado Red

      And of course, the did miss out on him.
      Signed with the Mets for a boatload of money

      • Michael E

        I am sure we were “close”. No doubt Bob offered $40/year and just came up short. Or maybe it was $40 million over 3 years, not sure.

        This just confirms there is little chance the Reds would retain Castillo if he suddenly became a Cy Young contender. The time to strike on a trade is the next 4 months.

  9. AllTheHype

    Build for ’23-24, not ’22. That means some of those high value assets (Gray, Castillo, Mahle, Winker) that expire after ’23 need to be traded now while they have strong demand. It is a seller’s trade market on starting pitching with the FA market so hot hot hot.

    We don’t want to revisit the Cueto, Leake, Frazier, & Chapman trades where Jocketty set the Reds up for a long re-build by holding those assets far too long and trading when they had little value left. Not one of the prospects received in those trades remains in the org today.

    Take cues from the Rays and the Chris Archer trade before the ’18 season, where they netted Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and current uber prospect Shane Baz. After an 80 win season in ’18, the Rays won 96 games in ’19 and went to the WS in ’20 followed by 100 wins in ’21.

    Chris Archer isn’t even as good as Castillo and also had 2 years of control left.

    They already passed on trading Suarez at his peak, despite strong interest. They did the same with Raisel Iglesias when he was at peak value. They need to stop holding high value assets til value depletes to a drip.

    Don’t field a lukewarm ’22 team. Now is the time to commit to ’23-24, not ’22.

    • Greenfield Red

      My luke warm comment belongs here. Sorry.

      Good is the enemy of great.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Agree 100. Pick a direction and go all-in toward it. They’ve already signaled that they’re not to replace the guys they’re losing with ML talent. So it’s a rebuild/retool looking at 2024 as the next window opening. No half measures like just trading Gray and letting better trade chips sit and (potentially) lose value. Let India, Stephenson, Barrero, Greene, Lodolo, Santillan, Gutierrez etc continue to develop as the core and add to that core by making trades with 2024 in mind. Play guys like Lopez, Schrock, and Friedl to see what you’ve got in the meantime. Guys like Ashcroft, McClain, Johnson, and possibly Hinds, Cerda, and DeLaCruz will also be ready by then as well.

      • Michael E

        add in the unlikeliness of Votto repeating his 2021 season and this team is a big step back from 2021 team and even they were just..mediocre.

  10. Alan Horn

    Avisail Garcia signing with the Marlins. 4 years at 53 million.

    • Colorado Red

      So one more off the market.
      The price still needs to be through the roof.

      • Jon

        Wonder if the Marlins still have interest in Castellanos after that signing…They and the Giants were the two teams I have seen thus far that were reportedly interested in him.

      • Alan Horn

        He got more than I thought he would.

    • Slicc50

      GOOD, that guy kills Reds pitching! Glad he is out of the division.

    • DaveCT

      Good. He seemed to do a lot of damage against us.

  11. Brad

    “Depending on where you fall on the outlook that may anger you or it may be fine with you”. You forgot the third outlook, and one that I am starting to lean toward is ” the just really don’t care anymore”. I do try but the front office pleading too poor and not really trying anymore is getting quite old.

    • Doug Gray

      If you don’t care anymore then you aren’t a fan anymore and thus it doesn’t apply to you anymore.

      • Indy Red Man

        I feel for you Doug. A blog for the Reds is like a blog for potential investors of Blockbuster. Atleast we have somewhere to vent.

      • PTBNL

        And he wouldn’t be posting here if he didn’t really care.

      • Brad

        Its not that I don’t care. Like I said I am trying. I know you can’t keep veterans forever. I understand the economics of a major league team. I have been a fan since 1972. I just get tired of the “I’m poor” from the Reds ownership groups. And this is not the first ones to plead it. It just seems that every regime that has been in charge takes 1 step forward and 2 back. The seem to almost like shooting themselves in the foot. And this is where it can be really tough to be a Reds fan. But on a good note, I’m not a Pirates fan. That would be horrible.

      • Homer (Not Bailey)

        That’s the Reds’ critical problem that I’m not sure that they recognize. Apathy destroys a fan base. Love or hate a team and you pay attention and spend money on them. Once apathy sets in for a fan, that fan is unlikely to go back to being a fan because they just don’t care anymore and it’s nigh impossible to turn that interest back on. A shrinking fan base leads to lower payroll that leads to more apathy which ultimately leads to an untenable financial situation that leads to the Charlotte or wherever Reds. I was actually thinking of this thing this morning before I saw your post. The Bengals lost me to apathy and the Refs are close.

  12. Michael B. Green

    Castillo has 2 more years of control. If the analysis is that CIN will not compete during that window and cannot afford to extend him, then I get trading him while starting pitching is white hot.

    However, if the reason to trade him is that his salary is going up to a mere $7.5M, and that is too much, then CIN ownership needs to have a serious look in the mirror and determine if they really want to be a competitive business in this industry.

    I’m all for reason #1. I’m not for reason #2. Certainly my vote does not matter.

    Even TB signed a pitcher today for $8M. Keeping Castillo for $7.5M or less is a no-brainer. Selling high is understandable – but NOT as binary decision to trim payroll.

  13. Michael B. Green

    Looking for a bounce back year from Moustakas. He had just 3 hits against LHP in 2021, good for an .086 AVG. That signals platoon. To save from injuries, and assuming the NL adopts the dreaded DH, he is likely CIN’s DH vRHP as well as CIN’s 3B2 and 1B2 to spell Suarez and Votto respectively.

    He also hit just .194 against the FB in 2021. I think that normalizes to his .255-.260 career line. If he stays healthy, this is the kind of stat line we might expect:

    .252-.314-.452 103 wRC+ 75R 35HR 87 RBI

    Perhaps most importantly, he has a ring. Championship teams covet that and I’m certain that was part of the appeal when CIN obtained him.

    If CIN is reloading, then perhaps you let him rebuild his value and hope he normalizes. Then, you look to trade him in July. Otherwise, you wait until Votto and Mous come off the books after the end of the 2023 season.

    Senzel and Moustakas should enter ST with huge chips on their shoulders. I’d sure like to see both succeed.

    • Indy Red Man

      Senzel? More like a huge bone chip in his shoulder

      • indyDoug

        Speaking of Senzel, any info on why an athroscopic knee procedure kept him off the field for majority of the year? Seems like he had a more substantial injury than reported. Seemed odd.

  14. JaxDan

    The Red need to assist on either Marsh or Adell, Detmers or Bachman plus 1 other.

    • LDS

      Absolutely Maybe it’s all a trial balloon to see how Redleg Nation reacts. Kind of like DC politicians.

    • Votto4life

      Why would the Angels include Addell or Marsh?

      The Reds gave Wade Miley away for free. They are desperate to slash payroll. The Angels know that, so they are not going to give away their top prospects to obtain Castillo when they don’t have to.

      If I were the angels I wouldn’t offer the Reds any more than one B prospects or a couple of C prospects.

      The only ones interested in the Reds getting a good return is us. I guarantee you the Reds front office doesn’t care. Their goal is only to slash payroll.

      • Colorado Red

        Because if they do not include them, they do not get Louis.

      • Votto4life

        Colorado Red I think you are going to be very disappointed in the return when Castillo is traded.

      • Melvin

        The reason the Angels might would be if the really want him and other teams do too.

      • greenmtred

        Miley had a good year for the Reds. I was sad to see him go. But Castillo is enough younger to be important in a serious window of contention in a couple of years, so he has more value to the Reds. He also is the kind of pitcher that MLB teams have been favoring for some years. Maybe the Reds let Castillo go for nothing, but I doubt it.

      • Don

        As an Angels fan I hope you’re right. I don’t see the Angels giving this huge haul for a two year pretty good pitcher.

  15. MBS

    I don’t really like the Angels as trade partners for Castillo.

  16. Old-school

    The reds arent winning in 2022

    They dont have the budget to cover the mistakes of shogo and moustakis and they have lost silver slugger Castellanos and Miley and GG catcher and good reliever givens plus contributors lorenzen and barnhart

    Unless the FO is committed to $150 mil budget to fill gaping hole after gaping hole… then 2022 is about 2024

    Marsh and detmers.

    Detmers plus greene plus Lodolo is elite under 24 pitching

    Marsh is a legit CF which they need

    The Reds arent 1 player or 2 players away

    • AllTheHype

      Teams are starting to lose out in the FA SP market, and the Reds phone is starting to ring. Reds need to take advantage. Marsh/Detmers would do it. If not, then Mets/Dodgers/Yankees/(fill in your team) will be willing to pay a similar price. Reds need to be patient and let their phone ring. If it doesn’t get resolved by Dec 1, then after CBA it will.

      It seems to me we will see a flurry of activity across the league up til Dec 1.

    • 2020ball

      I’ve seen nothing yet to make me believe they aren’t winning in 2022. Sure maybe they dont sell out to compete this year, which I could understand, but theres a good core and some up and coming guys and the Reds are in a weakish division. I guess I’m an eternal optimist, but i see no reason to write them off just focusing on their losses.

      • Michael E

        HAve you SEEN what will be run out on offense? It’s bottom-three in NL in runs scored type of offense.

        Bullpen will still be mediocre…at best. Rotation is right around average IF one of the young guys comes through as acceptably decent and can go 140 or so innings.

        We’d have slightly below average pitching and well below average hitting/scoring. How does that portend to second wild card contender? Votto would have to repeat his 2021 AND Winker would have to stay healthy to have an average offense. I’d say the chance of both of those is about 10%.

    • Votto4life

      I believe it is about 2022. If “it” is slashing payroll. The Reds don’t have a master plan which includes a 2025-2027 window.

      It should be clear to everyone by now that the goal of the Red’s front office is to slash payroll.

      When the team has slashed the payroll to to the bone, then they will be done and whoever is left on the roster will play. Simply as that.

      The Reds have no plan beyond slashing payroll.

      • greenmtred

        I understand the frustration, but we aren’t privy to the “plan,” and it’s much too early in the off-season to draw conclusions from the moves made so far. They aren’t gutting the team; they have a good number of good young players. Be bitter if it pleases you. I’m waiting until we see what happens when the season starts.

      • Votto4life

        My frustration isn’t from just last month. The Reds telegraphed their plan last off-season. The NL Central was there for the taking and all the Reds did was weaken their bullpen and pass on every free agent shortstop in baseball. Can you imagine how good this team would have been with Marcus Semien last year?

        So my frustration with this team goes back a ways. At least as far back as the
        Most recent re-build of 2015.

        It just makes me chuckle when I read on here about the Red’s “plan”. The plan is simply to slash payroll.

        Bob Castellini and Nick Krall don’t care who the Reds get in return for Luis Castillo. They just want his contract of their books.

        There is no great baseball brain trust gathered to plan the Red’s next championship run. Nick Krall is not Theo Epstein.

      • greenmtred

        The “plan” could just as credibly be to get younger, and they’re positioned pretty well to do just that. A lot is riding on the development/effectiveness of Greene, Lodolo, et al, but even established pitchers are question marks because of injury. Paying top dollar for a free-agent shortstop would have been fun, but Barrero may well prove to be that guy, and for more than a year or two. The Reds were surprise contenders in 2021 and almost certainly would have made the playoffs absent key injuries and that September slump. Nobody really expected them to be as good as they were, and it may well be that the FO was then and is now aiming for ’23 or ’24, and making decisions accordingly.

  17. Magnum 44

    I really like the Angels farm system would insist on Addell or Marsh including Detmers don’t know much about Bauchman is he a first baseman?

  18. RedBB

    Jared Walsh and Brandon Marsh…this was suggested by an Angels fan. I would do this but would rather have Detmers and Walsh. I would even give back something for those 2. Maybe like Alejo Lopez, TJ Friedl or Lyon Richardson.

    • LDS

      Walsh is older and costs more. Wouldn’t meet the FO goal of less payroll. Come man, quit thinking of improving the team

    • Old Big Ed

      Stop, guys.

      Walsh and Marsh are both LH hitters, and they had OPS splits versus LH pitching of .565 and .560 (SSS alert on Marsh).

      The Reds do not need more LH hitters, especially slow ones like Walsh. They already have THREE painfully slow, LH hitters who are poor defensively and bad against LH pitching, in Winker, Moustakas and Votto. Naquin (.562 OPS v. LH) is another, except that he has average speed for a corner outfielder.

      Jo Adell works, because he is a RH hitter, and the Angels have to give up something or else lose Castillo to another team. (And Adell is from Louisville, for what that is worth.)

      The Reds (either cannily or luckily) have put themselves in a good position, because Luis Castillo is one of the top available pitchers — and has a favorable contract posture — when a lot of big-market teams are desperate for pitching. And the Reds have done this when they have two very promising young arms who are healthy and ready for their MLB debuts, with Ashcraft not far behind.

  19. Votto4life

    Wasn’t it just reported last week the Reds were not trading Castillo?

    The Reds will not get anywhere the return the people on this board is hoping for. The return will not include Adell, Marsh or Detmer.

    It will most likely be one players most here have never even heard of before.

    Prepare to be underwhelmed.

    It’s About slashing payroll plain and simple.

    • CI3J

      We’ll see.

      If the Reds seriously trade Castillo and don’t get at least 1 of the other team’s top 10 prospects in return, then I will no longer follow the Reds unless Bob sells the team.

      That would be the last straw for me, no matter what else they do this offseason.

      • Michael E

        just 1 of other teams top 10 would be a horrible return, unless its their TOP prospect and a top 30 MLB prospect, then maybe thats a good return (provided another 18 year old upside prospect is thrown in or a bad contract taken back).

        A good return would be one top 3 prospect, and at least one more in the top 8 of the other teams prospect pool. A great return is a top 3, a top 5 and one more in the top 10.

        IF the Reds GM and ownership think one top 10 prospect from another team is an acceptable trade offer, then we are truly doomed to suck for the forseeable future. Only the Pirates can undervalue their own assets more than the Reds if this were true. Thats not good company.

    • 2020ball

      I highly doubt they just give Castillo away for nothing. I get why concy fans are pessimistic, but lets be somewhat realistic here yeah?

      • TR

        Best comment so far. This time of year many fans of many clubs are in a negative mood. Without saying, make a trade for at least equal value or more to meet the Red’s needs, but like any market, trade high not low.

      • Michael E

        I am cynical and doubt Krall’s abilities to some degree, but I too think Castillo is ONLY moved because of an “offer they can’t refuse” is made to Krall and Castellini.

        They’ve already trimmed enough payroll. Castellini is angering some of us fans, but he has never had a truly LOW payroll even in leaner years, at least not in comparison to Reds ranking in estimated revenue. We’re a small-mid market, or mid-small market team. Our revenues are guessed to be in the low 20s most years and occasionally high teens (rankings among MLB teams). We’re rarely in the bottom 6 or so teams, and our payroll is rarely down there either.

        I lost no sleep over Miley. Well past prime, mildly injury prone and just had an above expectations first half and then a horrible final month. Re-signing him would not have been smart at all, unless a mega-bargain contract. I don’t get releasing him, but I suspect it was a deadline from Castellini to get 2022 estimated payroll down to a certain level and Krall jettisoned the one aged player he could. Sucks, but Miley was never going to return a top 10 prospect at his age and spotty record. We would have gotten a 25 year old “prospect” stuck floundering in AA ball with a .220 average or a 4.00 ERA.

  20. Michael B. Green

    I think a Castillo trade could mirror the Jose Barrios trade (MIN-TOR). That netted MIN TOR’s #2 and #4 prospects.

    There is debate as to whether or not Bachman is an SP or an RP. Detmers and Jordyn Adams would mirror the Barrios trade but Adams has major contact problems (although he is a ridiculous athlete and CF).

    Marsh and Adell (sp) are probably untouchable.

    • Michael E

      A Castillo trade, if done fairly, should net TWO of the other teams top 5 prospects. Anything less is a let-down. THE top prospect and another top 4 prospect is a coup of sorts and we should be ecstatic.

  21. Nick in NKY

    I’m only a GM on the internet, but it’s my opinion that the Reds royally erred with the handling of Miley, and to a lesser extent, Barnhart. Because they have telegraphed their number one priority to the rest of the league, every other organization is well aware that they probably don’t have to overwhelm the Reds to get a desirable player if that guy is set to make any money at all. They may as well take advantage of the market and sell now while starting pitching is white hot. I’d rather see them win 70 games with 3 top new prospects added to the stockpile than win 75 with Castillo pitching another elite season, but I doubt I’ll be impressed with whatever the return turns out to be.

    • AllTheHype

      The Reds’ mistake with Miley was haste. There was no reason to put him on waivers. They could have simply picked up his option and deferred a trade til later in the offseason. He clearly had value.

      I don’t believe the Reds will undersell an asset like Castillo, Gray, Mahle, or Winker. They seem to be setting the bar high, particularly with the prime asset Castillo, and the market is coming to them with all these FA SPs getting their name crossed off. There aren’t that many names left out there at this point.

      • Bob Purkey

        Hype. . .right, MIley “has no value” and Lorenzen is getting $7MM for 1 year from the Angels. Figure that out if you can.

        The Reds are doing nothing but dumping salary. Castillo is going to go the the Angels for a nothing prospect, as long as they take Moose. . .Just wait and see. The ineptitude of Castellini is mind boggling.

      • Votto4life

        Bob Purkey you are spot on. If Los Angeles was willing to give up Addell, Marsh or Detemer Castillo would already be an Angel.

        Everyone is excited to see what Luis Castillo will bring back, but they seem to forget the reds will be giving up an elite starter in his prime.

        I think it’s very likely heads around here will explode when we see the reds trade their best pitcher for a fourth outfielder and lottery ticket that none of us have heard of.

    • BK

      I don’t agree that the Reds telegraphed anything the rest of the league didn’t already know. The Reds operate on a budget to break-even. Not a big surprise at all that they would shed Miley’s and Barnhart’s $17.5M contracts given their near-ready starting pitching and the emergence of Stephenson. The timing of those transactions saved the Reds from having to pay the buyouts or ~$1.5M.

      I like both players and with unlimited resources, perhaps they make a different decision. Miley is 35 years old now. While he certainly pitched well in 2021, predictive metrics indicate he may have benefited from some luck. I expect 2022 projections to forecast regression. It’s really hard not to see 2021 as his best year moving forward. Other teams know all of this. Might the Reds have netted a middling prospect or two for Miley down the road, perhaps. But, there was value in avoiding the buyout.

      As for Barnhart, I don’t think the Reds would have done any better by holding onto him. He’s excellent defensively, but his bat has been consistently below average. The Reds really don’t need his LH bat coming off the bench and $7.5M is way too much for a backup catcher.

      • Bob Purkey

        BK: I have absolutely no qualms about letting Tucker go. $7.5M for a backup catcher only happens in NY, and every team in baseball knew it!

        However, I do have a problem with letting Miley go for absolutely nothing. Unless he has some injury that we don’t know about, the Reds’ FO are morons OR Castellini made them do it and HE is a complete moron. Seeing what teams are spending for pitching right now in FA, pretty much proves my point,

  22. Oldtimer

    Off topic. 50 years ago TOMORROW this happened:

    … Nov. 29, 1971: Cincinnati Reds traded 1B Lee May, 2B Tommy Helms, and INF/OF Jim Stewart to Houston Astros for 2B Joe Morgan, SP Jack Billingham, INF Denis Menke, OF Cesar Geronimo, and OF Ed Armbrister…. one of the most impactful transactions in the history of the sport. Cincinnati GM Bob Howsam executed a masterpiece in two separate ways. Conceptually, Howsam’s brilliance was in seizing the opportunity to address, in one bold stroke, two of his high-profile ball club’s structural flaws. The Big Red Machine had suffered an off year in 1971, but had been the NL’s pennant winner in 1970, and in both seasons their key strength was the tremendous power-hitting core of Tony Perez, Johnny Bench and Lee May. However, within that very core nestled two problems: All three big sluggers were right-handed batters, and two of the three were natural first basemen. Right-handed, slow-footed big swingers back-to-back-to-back at the heart of the Reds’ lineup rendered them vulnerable to right-handed pitching, as well as prone to rally-killing double play grounders. And finding room for Perez and May in the lineup required the Reds to deploy Perez at third base, creating a fielding weakness. Thus the essential swap at the epicenter of this tectonic shift—May-for-Morgan—dealt with both issues at once, balancing the team’s offensive profile while clearing space for Perez to shift to first base, allowing the defense to be improved at third. And from a practical standpoint, Howsam didn’t just get Morgan for May, he got so very much more. By simply adding the slick-fielding-but-light-hitting Helms and utility player Stewart to the package, Howsam yielded in return Menke (a solid veteran who would, in the short run, capably fill the third base opening), Billingham (a workhorse starting pitcher just entering his prime) and Geronimo (a 23-year-old outfielder with world-class defensive tools). Howsam even got the Astros to toss a prospect (Armbrister) into the jackpot. One was left in gaping wonder (as one often was) what in the world Astros GM Spec Richardson was thinking: May and Helms were good talents, but each had obvious flaws; it just didn’t add up for Houston to surrender this quantity of resources to get them. To be sure, it isn’t fair to credit Howsam with the prescience of anticipating Morgan’s subsequent improvement. But the issue is that even if Morgan hadn’t improved at all, and had just continued to perform for the Reds the way he’d performed for the Astros, Cincinnati still would have won this deal. Morgan’s sudden transformation from terrific all-around second baseman into all-time great was simply delectable icing on the cake …

    • LDS

      Those were the days. I’m not expecting history to repeat itself. The transaction wire is ringing like a Vegas slot machine. And the Reds are off playing penny ante poker with their grandparents

    • Melvin

      Definitely the best Reds trade of all time. If we could only get one half that good now. lol

      • Colorado Red

        Yes, I remember it, and was livid at the time (was I wrong).
        So, what looks like a good trade, may or may not work out.
        But to do nothing, but sit in the middle of the pack, is not very smart.
        It is easy to spend others money, but with Profit sharing, and the national, and local TV markets. I would think the Reds should be able to spend a lot more.
        Open your books, Bob.

      • Optimist

        I wasn’t all that upset at the time, but a huge fan even then and knew that Perez was better than May, and there was redundancy at 1b. And Helms was clearly not a repeat of Pete even though he was good enough and followed him as ROY at 2b. But Menke was the “name” player in the trade, and thought the rest of them were quantity who could fill roles. Of course, now it’s always fun to look at Joe’s BRef page for the five year stretch of 72-76 – basically Barry Bonds w/o steroids, and GG defense.

      • MK

        Optimist, that is not correct. Tommy Helms was Rookie of the Year like Pete, but he was exclusively a third baseman that year not a second baseman. Pete still playe 2nd that year and moved to the outfield the following year.

      • Optimist

        I should have been more precise – followed him 3 years later as ROY and a year or so as the 2b. What I didn’t recall was the few games at SS, and that he was 30 when traded (I thought he was younger).

      • Michael E

        WHAT? We got GOAT Roberto Kelly for highly overrated Paul O’Neill. What a coup! Best trade of all time, nothing else worth mentioning…well, maybe jettisoning that “an old 30” reject Frank Robinson for REAL talent.

  23. Brad Peterson

    Speaking of the Angels…they just signed Michael Lorenzen to a 1-yr, $7M deal

    • TR

      Lorenzen’s indeterminate Red’s career is over. He goes to the area he grew up in.

  24. Mark Moore

    Best of luck to Mikey Biceps. I hope he does get his shot at starting and maybe some OF time for the LAA.

    • MK

      Every time Lorenzen got the shot to start he became injured.

      He can now take his beach boy body to the beach where it might actually have value. Angels are picking up on Giants playbook. Pick up all the ex-Reds pitchers yoy can.

      • MK

        This makes sense for Angels because when Ohtani pitches and hits, if he leaves game they do not get a DH. Lorenzen could come in for him to pitch and hit in that spot.

      • Daytonnati

        See where Kevin Glausman signed with the Blue Jays for 5yr/$110 mil? I don’t think the Reds are even participating in the same sport …

  25. Colorado Red

    Per another web site for all of MLB.
    Many teams are talking to the Reds.
    If they want to do a real rebuild, get the BEST prospects available. Not below avg, near being released like before.

    • Michael E

      and do NOT focus on “MLB-ready”. Thats code for journeyman 25 year-olds they can force the manager to start so they can show they got something in the deal.

      I’d rather have an 18 year old phenom than 5 25 year old never-beens.

      Reds have been getting negotiated down from quality to quantity recently and that has to stop. One top prospect worth more than 5 prospects outside the top 10.

  26. doctor

    If Reds move Castillo, then team should go all-in on a new rebuild/reload of talent. So trade Mahle, Gray, Winker. And if doing all that, might as well ask Votto if he wants to be traded to a team that could compete. Like others have mentioned, target 2024 with current core of India, Stephenson, Barrero with Lodolo, Green hopefully being legit SP and leading the way with the new traded for talent to be a playoff contender.

    • Michael E

      That is my opinion with all this, trade all three if you trade any. Commit to loading up the farm system and use your “aligning payroll to resources” to your advantage and when the remaining overpaid with no trade value expire, you can field a team of young, hungry players and go and get one TOP notch FA to fill your biggest hole and still have a below league average payroll for future gets.

  27. Tim

    Reds seem to be marking time until they can roll Votto, Moose and Suarez and Shogo off the books . Bring in young cheap guys and function as a high end farm team for 2 years

  28. gusnwalley

    In this age of layers making 20-25-30 million dollars a year, it is hard to accept a FO that considers 10 million a year too much money. And that is for players who make All-Star teams not journeymen. I am a fan since the early to mid fifties and it’s doubtful that I could ever quit rooting or change loyalties.But, Brad makes a good point. Fans can be dumped on only so many times before reaching a breaking point. We have a goodly number of really solid young players. Why not spend a little and add to the team instead of saying lets emulate the Marlins. Just as soon as a player outgrows his rookie contract off you go. I would love to see one more winner in my lifetime. But, man oh man that looks like catching a Unicorn.

    • Alan Horn

      Good post. This teams game plan is not one for success. If we get or develop talent, we have to let them go because we can’t or won’t pay them. If this was the game plan during the BRM years they would have never happened.

  29. gusnwally

    That was obviously players in my 1st sentence.

    • greenmtred

      I figured that out, but was enjoying speculating about hens making that much money. They have short careers, so the obscene pay can be somewhat justified. And, Alan: My recollection is that the BRM slightly pre-dated free-agency. I’m too lazy to look that up, but if it’s true, it was easier for them to keep talent around, wouldn’t you say?

      • Colorado Red

        You are correct, I think it was 76 or 77 that the reserve clause was declare unconstitutional.

  30. old-school

    Has any of the Reds media/beat writers- Nightengale/Rosecrans/Sheldon asked Krall or reported what the Reds budget is for 2022? Seems like a simple and innocuous question.

    “How we use our money at the end of the day, that’s going to depend on where we are from a budget standpoint,” Krall said. “That’s going to be first and foremost, and over the next couple weeks, we’ll have that set. Then we can go forward.”

    – Nick Krall on October 3,2021

    • Old Big Ed

      Why on earth would Krall reveal information that other teams could use against the Reds in trades and free agent discussions?

      That may even be prohibited under the CBA, because an argument could be made that teams’ divulging it would serve to depress bidding on free agents. (Random GM: “Let’s see. The other teams who Target FA may be interested in are already close to their budget. I don’t need to chip in that extra $X million over X years, because I know that I already have the highest offer.”)

      • old-school

        Because they essentially do every year?
        In 2018, Dick Williams let it be known the budget was going up.
        . Castellini before 2019 famously said we will get the pitching and it was let out to Paul Daugherty who reported the Reds budget would be significantly north of $130 million. Dick Williams said the Reds budget could afford another contract even after signing Moose in 2020 and before signing Castellanos. John fay before the 2020 season reported the Reds were budgeting to break even and reported a budget close to what came out pre-covid based on new revenues/attendance and payroll obligations. Many articles here have spit-balled budgets over the last few years and been pretty close based on comments from the FO, revenues/expenses estimates and the direction the team was moving.

        Cutting budget or maintaining budget or raising budget isn’t a nuclear pass code. Nor is it something other teams don’t already have a pretty good idea.

        If the budget was going up significantly, Krall would let that be known as Williams and Castellini did prior to 2018-20. A budget $20 million below 2020 with the exodus of a Cy young pitcher, All Star caliber pitcher, and All star Silver Slugger isnt conducive to winning. That doesn’t even address the bullpen.

      • Old Big Ed

        There’s nothing wrong with giving hints that you are going to spend more, but announcing that “We only have $85 million to spend” is an issue. Yeah, the other teams already know that the A’s, Rays and Reds are unlikely to spend a lot, but Krall can’t announce his ceiling.

    • JB

      Old school- krall will reveal the budget when he gets done trading everybody he can. When the trading is over that will be the budget.

  31. SultanofSwaff

    Seems like every year there are 3 or 4 teams all in on contending and poised to overpay. This year it appears the Mets, Angels, and Rangers are those teams. The Angels match up the best for what should be a high asking price for Castillo (two top 5 prospects, near ML ready). Mahle would net a high ceiling top 5 but an extension makes way more sense to me as his best years are still ahead. Gray could net you an elite prospect, but one that is a ways away from reaching the bigs.

    Anyone else scared that the Reds won’t have enough arms to cover the innings in 2022 and overwork their rookies out of necessity?

    • Old Big Ed

      I can see the overuse issue. I think they will pick up a scrap-heap starter like Matthew Boyd, and maybe try Luis Cessa as a spot starter.

      I might try to keep the entire rotation on 5 full days’ rest between starts, and use Cessa or openers on the 6th day. With off days, there are only 19 days in 2022 where they would need the opener or 6th starter (not counting inevitable rain-outs). And they will need more than 5 pitchers in the 1-5 slots, even without injuries. Via the IL or just rest, they could have guys skip a start every 6 weeks or so, to limit their innings.

    • CI3J

      They can pick up a few cheap journeymen starters for 2022. They already have Mahle and Guiterrez, and maybe they’ll move Santillan back to the rotation where he belongs. The Reds just need to wait and see who’s still available just before Spring Training starts, which is when FA pitchers would be more likely to take a reduced deal.

    • JayTheRed

      Don’t forget Detroit plans on spending and so does Toronto. Both teams have made some nice additions already.

  32. Jeremy L

    If the Reds could get a similar return to the one they received for Raisel Igelsias, I say make the deal

    • Old Big Ed

      A lot of people are saying that Leonardo Rivas has a chance to be the next Jerry Buchek or even Freddie Benavides.

  33. JB

    Reds sign Aramis Garcia, catcher, to a minor league deal with an Invite to spring training. Here we go! The Reds are all in now. I look for 6 or 7 more of these minor league deals before spring training.

    • Kevin H

      They had a back up in Barnhart. Yet traded him. Be funny of he went to detriot and helped them win a world series. You don’t trade a gold glove catcher for nothing.

      Looks like summer will be filled with new adventures as this fan will not waste time on a organization who claims to be “small market baseball” I call bs…

      • Colorado Red

        He was paid too much to be a backup.
        Also, gave him an opportunity to start.
        Got Wild Card in return, not a bad trade.
        (If the spend the money elsewhere, no indication of that yet)

  34. Still a Red

    I’m sorry…I think you should trade a proven starting MLB player for a proven starting MLB player…the prospects can be added in. If you think we need a CF, trade Castellanos for a proven CF. Why trade a proven asset for an unproven one, no matter the ‘potential.’ Ahem…like the old days (which brought Joe to the Reds)

  35. Kevin H

    And sure why not trade Castillo. All you got to lose is 100 games. Sigh….

    • Votto4life

      Kevin H. Exactly. I think people here are focusing on what the Reds will get in return for Castillo and are forgetting the gigantic hole it leaves In our rotation.

      At this rate, the Reds budget for 2022 will be around $75 million.

      • Alan Horn

        It is a huge gamble. Trading a sure thing for unproven minor league players. It is high risk / high return.

  36. Indy Red Man

    I just don’t get the sudden need to lop off tons of payroll? 25-12 with India, Wink, and Nick hitting 1-2-3 with almost half coming off the books in 2024. Oh well. Joey can’t be too happy. 10k at gabp to see them flirt with 100 losses? Good times.

    It’s not like they have a bunch of young arms that are really close.

    • old-school

      I don’t think its lopping off payroll from here- they’ve done that enough to get back to a budget in the $120’s and make Bob some money. Its they now have a lukewarm mediocre roster without their best SP and without their best hitter and with a bullpen whose best pitcher will miss the entire 2022 season and best 2021 pitcher in Givens is gone and holes galore with no RH bat or starting OF. They arent 1 or 2 or 3 players away or $5-10 million in budget away from winning the NL Central in 2022. They also wont afford Castillo in 2023/24/25 or Sonny Gray next year with the $12 million option. They didn’t pick up Miley’s option and he was their best pitcher?

      Its about rebooting a roster to win in 2023/24 with a young roster of players ready to hit their primes at the same time.

      Reid Detmers is the #23 uber prospect in baseball and a lefty. Greene is #26 and Lodolo is #31. That would be the best young pitching core in baseball in years.

      • CI3J

        That rotation could be especially lethal if it’s rounded out by Mahle, who will be 29 in 2024, and Santillan or Guiterrez. Ashcraft, I think, is probably destined for the ‘pen.

        But still, a rotation of:

        SP Greene
        SP Lodolo
        SP Mahle
        SP Detmers
        SP Guiterrez/Santillan

        If they all live up to their potential, would be absolutely devastating.

        And if they get Adell, I would love to see this lineup in 2024:

        SS Barrero
        2B India
        1B Winker
        C Stephenson
        LF Hendrick (if he’s ready)
        3B Senzel/Hinds
        RF Adell
        CF Allen (he’ll be 22 in 2024, so might not be ready just yet)

        To say nothing of what the Reds might get from trading Gray.

        It’s possible to see a competitive team taking shape here, but we’ll see if the Reds really are committed to the future or if they really are just looking to salary dump Castillo and Gray.

      • Alan Horn

        That sounds great and very possibly could be, but remember none of those 3 pitchers are proven at the ML level while Castillo is about as good as it gets. Sometimes that proves to be a huge difference and a huge gamble, but I guess the Reds need to roll the dice and that is what it would be. The only thing that is guaranteed is the owners would save a lot of money.

      • Colorado Red

        Givens was fair out here. No indication what he did in Cinci was going to continue

  37. BK

    Rumors continue to swirl around Castillo, Mahle and Gray. While the Reds operate on a budget, I believe they can handle the payroll they currently have on the books if not more. CBA negotiations are going on in the backdrop. What if it’s likely that the next contract would make players (or at least some based on age) free agents after 5 years. If the Reds believe they may be close to losing a year of control over Castillo, wouldn’t they be wise to trade him before a likely 1 December lockout?

    • SultanofSwaff

      that’s an interesting point!

  38. Mark Moore

    Max Scherzer to the Metropolitans on a 3-year deal per MLBTR

    • CI3J

      That move may just push the Angels into “panic” mode. If so, Adell and Detmers should be the opening offer. They have their window to win now with Ohtani and Trout, they should be willing to mortgage the short-term future to land one of the best SP available, who is also in his prime and on a very team-friendly contract.

      • Mark Moore

        That’s what I was thinking. We may see a very young/new starting rotation when/if we open in 2022 given the market.

    • Colorado Red

      Largest Average Value in history or 40 mil per year.
      Scary

  39. old-school

    If MLB is so broken that the game is headed for a shutdown on labor related issues in 48 hours, why are we witnessing a feeding frenzy from all parties signing on to record deals to exploit the current system on both sides????

    • BK

      I haven’t seen any reports from negotiations indicating changes that would significantly affect these types of signings in the new CBA. However, both sides have floated changes to service time for arbitration or free agency. If the new CBA creates more free agents in some fashion, current free agents are incentivized to sign before additional competition hits the market. The reported lockout, however, would stop transactions on the younger players whose status may or may not change under the next CBA. The ability to implement changes this offseason (or not) creates a bargaining chip for the CBA.

  40. CI3J

    Doug, if you’re still following this thread, what do you think would be a fair package from the Angels for Castillo? Both Adell and Detmers are MLB ready, but unproven. Would you demand both of them for Castillo, and do you think it’s a reasonable ask?

    • JaxDan

      Not Doug but if you look at Baseball Trade Value website and trust the player values for Castillo you can get Adell, Detmers, Bachman and a prospect. A trade with the Angels I want Adell, Detmers and a prospect. I know it was a different time but look what the Reds had to trade for Latos. I forget how much control the Reds got for Latos but SD received a lot.

      • David

        The Padres got four pretty good prospects. Boxberger (who is still pitching somewhere, I forget), Grandall (who is still catching somewhere). Edinson Volquez, who pitched well….for a while and Yonder Alonso, who was still highly regarded then (and blocked at 1st by Joey Votto).

        When you actually parse out Castillo, he had two seasons in 2021. He stunk it up the first two months, and then was pretty awesome the rest of the year. Let’s not forget that first two months, when Castillo really hurt the cause (1- 8), and still ended up 8 -16, a losing record. I think he has great stuff….when he is on. Maybe pitching in a warm climate in S. California for the Angels means he puts together a great season.

  41. SultanofSwaff

    You have to think with the AAV for pitching going up up up that the value of proven commodities would rise commensurately. Let’s hope Krall understands this. Based on the Miley dump, you’d be forgiven for being pessimistic.

    • David

      As much as the Miley “dump” irritates the fans and posters here, I think that it is “interesting” that it was the Cubs that signed him up. Left handers have historically done really badly in Wrigley Field.
      The Cubs traded Dontrelle Willis out of their farm system to the Marlins because he was a left-hander and they did not think he would do well in Wrigley.

      It is also interesting how many teams (and none of them very good) are dumping payroll for 2022. I have no idea where the Reds will be come Opening Day of 2022, but it’s not just them. Other “small market” teams are chopping payroll, and whether it is fear, or profit taking or what, it’s not just Cincinnati.

      • Bob Purkey

        I can only think of 3 successful left-handed SP for the Cubs in the last 50 years. . .Dick Ellsworth(when the Cubs were horrifically bad), Ken Holtzman(who no-hit the Reds and Brave) and Jon Lester.

      • Old Big Ed

        Miley has actually done pretty well at Wrigley, yielding a slash of .219/.297/.398, versus an overall career slash of .267/.329/.417. However, he has a career BABIP of .242 in Wrigley and an overall BABIP of .308. He’s only pitched 6 games in Wrigley, so huge SSS alert.

        Don’t get me started on Jon Lester. Baserunners should have taken off from first on Lester every time the catcher threw the ball back to him, and every lefty should have bunted at him every time. His head would have exploded.

  42. JB WV

    I commented on a prior article about Castillo not on the trade block. I started my comment with “thank god…” and the comment was apparently reviewed and deleted. I asked for an explanation but never received one. Would like to know why. Thanks

  43. west larry

    Now that the Mets have signed Scherzer, the Angels, Texas and others should offer a couple of top five prospects for Castillo.

    • JayTheRed

      I’m not sure we will get a couple top 5 prospects but at least…
      1 top 5
      1 top 10
      1 top 15

      This is a minimum demand in my mind.

    • Hanawi

      Rangers just dumped a ton of money into their middle infield so if they have any high-rated SS prospects, they’re probably expendable at this point.

      • JayTheRed

        Rangers and Mets have dumped so much money. Baseball is getting so out of hand.

        Scherzer is a great pitcher, but nobody is worth 43.3 million a year. That’s just insane. That’s like a 3rd of the Reds payroll almost, on one player.

        Even the Marlins who are normally pretty tight with their money are spending.

      • CI3J

        Honestly, the Rangers aren’t a good match for the Reds. Any player the Reds would want, like Jung at 3B, Texas needs them just as much. All their SS prospects are “meh”.

      • David

        Scherzer is not worth 43 mill a year. That’s just stupid. And as stupid as some of the Reds’ cost cutting moves.
        The Mets’ management will live to regret this contract.

  44. TR

    Mets owner is probably the wealthiest in baseball.

    • Old Big Ed

      I think that Cohen bought the Mets in part because he was a fan, but mainly because he thought that a capital infusion into the Mets would turn them into a cash flow machine in the New York market, which they were in the mid-80s. He can afford to lose $100 million a year for a while, but he will eventually quit doing that, if the losses don’t pay for themselves over the long run with increased revenues. Scherzer will be 38 in July and was definitely wearing down by the World Series, so I could see the contract being a bust. But it is still probably a good risk for Cohen.

      The market for baseball contracts is much like an auction for other unique asset like art or racehorses or some kinds of real estate. (Players don’t necessarily take the highest bidder, but usually do, or at least they don’t take much of discount not to do so.) There is an economic theory that the highest bidder for these types of assets (like for Scherzer or for Andy Warhol’s tomato soup thingy or a $3 million yearling thoroughbred) is actually the “loser” and not the “winner.”

      The other 29 teams thought that $130 million for 3 years was too much for Scherzer. The theory holds that the Mets didn’t “win,” because the general consensus of the other potential buyers was that they Mets overpaid. Baseball isn’t as pure an example of this as are art or horses, because there are unlimited numbers of buyers, as opposed to 30 teams. And Cohen may have made a good bet, both in terms of what Scherzer does on the field and what buzz he creates that in turn raises the Mets’ revenue. But the likelihood on Scherzer is that the other 29 teams were right, and Cohen was wrong.

      As the Yankees have proven, being the top bidder for free agents is not necessarily the way to win. They did win 4 of 5 years from 1996 to 2000, but primarily did it with the home-grown Jeter, Pettitte, Posada, Bernie Williams and Mariano Rivera, among others. Other than that span, the Yankees have 1 World Series title from 1979 through 2021.

      The whole focus of being a good GM is to find production at a price lower than the free-agent bidding price. That is what the Reds did 50 years ago in trading May and Helms for Morgan and others. Morgan was a hidden gem. That is what the Red Sox did with David Ortiz, who signed as a non-tender with the Red Sox. The Reds have done it lately on a smaller scale with Gennett, Naquin, and in acquiring Luis Castillo for Dan Strailly. By contrast, they were “losers” in the auctions for Mike Moustakas and Akiyama

      • Doug Gray

        He could lose $100M a year for two decades and still be worth like $15B if he doesn’t make a penny anywhere else. There’s no actual risk at all for Cohen. The Mets could literally go bankrupt and absolutely nothing at all changes in his life other than he won’t tweet wild things about the Mets anymore.

      • Old Big Ed

        Except that Cohen is not a ninny, and he doesn’t want to lose billions on the Mets. If nothing else, he could give the billions to a worthwhile charity, rather than give it to baseball players. He has already committed $275 million to veterans charities.

        If he runs the Mets like a prudent businessman, instead of a teenager on an ego trip, he will make the Mets more valuable and will win much more than the Wilpons did. Cohen didn’t get wealthy by making bad business decisions, and there is no reason to think that — over the long run — he will do so with the Mets.

      • David

        I was alive and following the Reds in those days.
        Morgan and Billingham were the focus of the trade. So no, Morgan was not a hidden gem.
        They wanted a team which would take more advantage of their then – new Astroturf stadium (RIverfront). As Bob Howsam said, they were going for “speed and defense”. Morgan was not known as a good defensive 2nd baseman in Houston, but they had a really rough field there; the Astroturf was over dirt, and it had fast, tricky hops. The field in Riverfront was Astroturf over concrete, and it was fast and had true hops. Morgan did have more range than Tommy Helms.
        In retrospect, never underestimate how smart Howsam was. He made a few bad decisions as the GM of the Reds, but also an awful lot of good ones.

  45. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’m still willing to wait and see what else the Reds do. But, I will agree, it’s not looking good.

  46. Indy Red Man

    They could’ve dumped Miley, Barnhart, Lorenzen, and Givens while paying Castellanos and still cut salary. At that point they’d have the nucleus of a 83 win team that had zero bullpen for half the season.

    Maybe Castillo/Gray have big seasons? Maybe Suarez rebounds somewhat? Maybe Wink get 550 at-bats? There was hope. You can always dump off a few guys if 2022 isn’t panning out. Instead they just dump guys with no prospects in return. What was financially different when they spent all this money on Moose, Shogo, Miley, etc?