For about half of a day on Friday there was at least a tiny bit of hope that Nick Castellanos could return to Cincinnati. Jon Heyman reported that the Reds were one of the teams still expressing interest in the All-Star outfielder, though the Phillies were seemingly the favorite to get a deal done. And just before midnight that’s exactly what happened. Castellanos signed a 5-year deal worth $100M and it includes no opt-out years according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

While the Reds came up short in regards to bringing back the outfielder, they did pick up an additional draft pick by offering Nick Castellanos a qualifying offer last October that he turned down while then signing a deal for $100M. Cincinnati picks up a pick that will be between the 1st round and the competitive balance A round in the 2022 MLB draft.

We don’t yet know exactly which pick that will be, but it will be after the 31st pick. Cincinnati will pick 18th overall after finishing 83-79 last season. They will then also get a pick in the 30’s as compensation for Castellanos signing elsewhere.

It’s going to be a while before that takes place, though. Earlier this week we learned that the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft will once again be held during All-Star weekend. That means that the draft will happen over a 3-day period from July 17th through July 19th. The 1st and 2nd rounds will be on the 17th, rounds 3-10 will be on the 18th, and rounds 11-20 will be on the 19th.

Whether the Reds had true interest in Nick Castellanos, we don’t really know. But if they were, it indicates that they still have plenty of money to spend if they so choose. While it’s possible they weren’t willing to match the $20M per year that the Phillies offered, if they were truly interested you have to imagine that they were at least willing to go with something above $15M per season – which gives them options on the markets if they opt to try and continue to add new players after trading away Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez, and Sonny Gray in the past week.

82 Responses

  1. Jon

    What impact bats are left on the market for the outfield besides Conforto? Or could they go the trade route? Because when Nick Senzel is the top guy going into the season in the outfield, your team’s in trouble. (Nothing against Senzel, just that he has yet to stay healthy for any extended period of time, let alone carry a team for a season.)

    • Votto4life

      I really hope Jose Barrero starts in the outfield. I would prefer he would start at SS, but we all know that isn’t going to happen.

      If Jose Barrero doesn’t make this watered-down line up, I really may have to stop following this team.

      • Steve

        I mean the reality is he just hasn’t produced at the MLB level. If we’re going to put our 9 best out there I’m not sure he is it. Maybe let him start out at AAA and see how it goes. Now Hunter Greene and Lodolo should at least get a chance to produce at the MLB level.

      • MuddyCleats

        Barrero has 41 ABs @ the ML level and 35 games in AAA. Why do so many believe he is ML ready? Do you want him to fail and b frustrated??

        How about he starts in AAA vs ML prospect SPs and let’s see how he does? If he struggles, they can sit him down and work on things. Not so much at the ML level. Now If he has an astronomical spring, maybe he makes the team? Likewise, injury could force his promotion. He needs to play everyday and we know D. Bell is NOT committed to allowing that to happen in Cincy at this time. IMO, let’s let the kid breath, mature and develop n AAA; there’s no rush w/ the Reds forecasted to lose more than they’ll win. Plenty of time this season once he starts playing well.

    • Votto4life

      Jon, from what I can tell, the only unsigned Major League free agent outfielders are Eddie Rosario, Jorge Solar, Tommy Pham and Michael Comforto.

      Of course, the Reds could trade for an OF (although Nick Krall seemed to indicate they were probably done with the trade market for now). but the free agent market looks to be slim pickings.

  2. Votto4life

    Thanks Doug. The Reds never fail to disappoint. I think if they sign anyone it will be a back up catcher or a reliever. I doubt the payroll will be much higher than it is now.

    Doug do you see any possibility of Joey requesting and being granted a trade, if so would the Reds will eat some of the salary?

    I have always thought it unlikely he would waive his no trade clause, but you have to think it’s at least crossed his mind this week.

    • Doug Gray

      I honestly have no idea if he would request a trade or not.

      I do think you are right, though, that it has to have at least crossed his mind – even if it was just for a second.

  3. SultanofSwaff

    I dunno, could be time to leverage some of our assets at the lower minor league level to acquire a cost-controlled outfielder that fits in the projected competitive window. You can rationalize giving up a Hendrick or Jose Torres or De la Cruz because you will replace with the newly acquired draft pick.


      I think it’s time that I align buying Reds tickets with my resources. This organization does not deserve my patronage.

    • Votto4life

      I don’t want Nick Krall making any trades. He has already shown that he is not capable of making good decisions.

      • Alan Horn

        Agree on that. He has been taken on every trade made, got basically nothing for Miley and Barnhart and should make every Reds fan cringe whenever the trade topic comes up. Just like with our president, I have to convince myself to quit looking.

    • Doug Gray

      If they trade Elly De La Cruz we riot. Sorry, those are the rules.

      • MuddyCleats

        Agree Doug, where do you see him starting the year; A+ or AA ?

  4. Melvin

    Big Bob just likes to get us a little excited then burst the small bubble I guess. What a nice guy. If he were trying to irritate anyone that cares about the Reds it would be hard to outdo this week.

    • Votto4life

      Melvin I agree ?. The Reds might not like calling this a re-build, but it’s exactly what it is. Dick Williams and Kyle Boddy left the organization because they knew the payroll was about to be slashed dramatically.

      • Joey Red

        It’s not a re-build. That implies actually building something. This is more like a de-build.

      • greenmtred

        Source of your inside information? And, Joey: the players they’ve traded have been older, and they’ve left their young talent largely intact. How does that not look like a rebuild?

      • Votto4life

        Greenmtred Kyle Boddy said he was leaving because the Reds were “going in a different direction”. The bloodletting started almost immediately after Dick Williams resigned. If you can’t see the connection I can’t help you

      • greenmtred

        Wasn’t asking for help, Votto. Read into “different direction” whatever pleases you, as you clearly have. I think it is a rebuild, and I think a rebuild is a legitimate course of action.

  5. Mike

    Hi All. Looong time Red’s fan — invited Johnny Bench to my wedding June 7, 1980 in Anaheim, CA, when the Redlegs were playing at LA. Wedding and game at 1 PM so he sent a nice autographed regrets photo. Hopefully the (almost) going out of business liquidation sale is over and team will focus on putting their best 9 and pitcher out there and see what happens. I am not a fan of a manager trying to give everyone some playing time. Pick you 9 and give them 15 games to show what they can do. Anyone who doesn’t perform gets bumped by the next guy in line. They get 1-25 M to PLAY the game well. Of course there’s pressure, that’s what pro baseball players and golfers and every other PRO gets paid to do: perform under pressure. Go Reds!

  6. Doug Gray

    I just want to point out that this post went live at 12:52am ET, and sure, it’s a Friday night and not everyone is in the eastern time zone, but I’m leaving this comment at 2:06am ET and there are already 10 comments. That’s impressive. Thanks for stopping by, even if it was to scream into the ether.

    • Mark Moore

      Screaming into the ether is what we do, Doug. Though I was fast asleep at that time mentioned.

  7. RedsDownUnderer

    Thanks for the work Doug–if nothing else, all the questionable moves this week have jolted RLN back into activity

    • Doug Gray

      Can confirm that traffic has been up significantly since last weekend.

  8. Hanawi

    Pretty much expected. That contract worked out better than I thought it would and think the Reds should be happy with what they got production-wise and now the extra draft pick on top. Now we’re looking at an OF of Fraley, Senzel and Naquin with Aquino and Akiyama on the bench I guess ? Maybe Friedl?

    • Tomn

      Is Shrock still on the roster. I liked him last year and he flat out hits the ball

      • Jazzmanbbfan

        He is on the roster. It was an awfully small sample size, 25 ABs, but he did hit the ball.

      • wkuchad

        Yes, but he was primarily a utility infielder I thought.

  9. Redsvol

    Reds intereste in Castellanos was either an early April Fools Joke or Scott Boras calling a member of the media to tell them the Reds were interested in his player so that the Phillies would up their offer or at least not reduce it when they found out they were bidding against themselves. More likely the latter – classic agent misdirection.

    That’s an incredible offensive outfield for the Phillies and an incredibly poor defensive outfield. Will be interesting to see how it plays out. No defense and no bullpen – sounds like the 2021 Reds.

    • greenmtred

      Or maybe they got outbid. Five years and $100 million for a 30 year-old should reasonably give many teams pause. We’ve often complained about contracts like that, and we were right.

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    Doug , considering there is a $15M budget to add players, what are the remaining OF/Relief pitchers choices in FA market the Reds could pursue you think?

  11. Joey Red

    The Reds are a complete dumpster fire. So sad for long time fans like myself who remember the Reds as being the best franchise in baseball. Since then it’s been a run of owners who don’t care about winning and then blame it on being a “small market “ franchise. Another rebuild is going on and it’s because the previous rebuild was a complete disaster. And that came after a few years of success which was nothing more than luck in obtaining or developing a few good players. Somehow it’s all deemed ok by most. That it’s part of today’s game. Just go to GABP and get the bobble heads or whatever the promotion happens to be. Sorry not for me.

    • Dk072257

      Tired of ownerships poor mouthing about being a small market. Hey look, if you cant play with the big boys dont expect a pity party from the fans. You are in the same marketplace that the Big Red Machine was in, if you cant make a go of it stay out of the game. We the fans are not interested in fattening up your wallet. We are only interested in putting a quality product on the field. Guess that wont happen this season

  12. Mark Moore

    Kind of expected Castellanos to get a bigger AAV, even if it would be for less time. No opt-outs seems a little odd, but that’s his business.

    That Phillies line-up has a lot of slugging potential as well as a whole lot of swing-and-miss. When Nick C. is the better of two fielders (if his “partner” is Schwarber) that’s kind of brutal in my opinion. And Mr. Harper isn’t a great glove either. Then again, most fans don’t pay to see defense, do they?

    It will be interesting to see the draft pick we get. That’s the only thing that was certain all along for our Reds.

    • Joey Red

      Reds fans can only dream of having problems like the Phillies might have.

      • Dk072257

        They have their share of problems, it just aint their outfield. Why do we still have Slogo around? Total waste of time and money. Can ownership give anyone else away for nothing while still paying for Ken Griffey Jr? Some of the dumbest deals I have ever seen come out of Cincinnati. This the last time they got a good deal, Joe Morgan was part of it.

      • VaRedsFan

        Sonny Gray was a good deal.
        Suarez was a good deal.
        Castillo was a good deal.

  13. Redhaze

    Now that there is the DH I wish the Reds would go after Soler. During the spring I would like them to try Barrero out in left field. Conforto and Pham are still available. Still have not addressed the bullpen either. It’s time for Aquino to be released and Akiyama to be included in a small trade. Schrock Moran and Solano are good bench options.

    • Redhaze

      If the Reds had legit interest in bringing Castellanos back then we should see them acquire a legit bat. If not, then it was all talk to calm the fan base down.

  14. LDS

    We knew Castellanos was hype. We knew he’d never re-sign with the Reds. It was not a financial decision obviously. $20 million is materially more than the QO. As I stated last year, I honestly believe he didn’t like the management, Bell, et. al. As for trading De La Curz? I think I’d be more inclined to trade Barrero than him. Unless we choose to discount Doug’s (and everyone else’s) writeups on him, which I don’t, De La Cruz isn’t someone to give up for a journeyman outfielder.

    • realist

      you are right it was a crap move by big Bob to try and get some good press after the debacle of last week. Bob is a terrible meddling owner and the reds will never win a playoff series with him as owner, worst owner in all of sports. Since Banana Bob has owned the reds in 2005 not one playoff series win, zero.

    • Votto4life

      Seriously, if they trade either De La Cruz or Barrero for a journeyman outfielder I will be done with this team. I don’t say that lightly. I supported this team in 1982-3, I supported through the fire sale in 2003 and all the fire sales after that. I never threaten to give up on this organization, I will watch this mess of a team this all summer, but man if they start trading their best prospects for a journeyman outfielder, that would be a deal breaker.

      • Dk072257

        Sorry, Ive been a Reds fan for 65 years and they simply dont have a winning atmosphere. That’s where it all starts. I’ve watched many fire sales, seen all the poor mouthing about small market. It’s all BS. If an owner wanted to win, they would, and thats where the problem is. It nothing more than making money to them but the way the try to do it is just dumb. You would think spring training would have you pick your best, when is the last time that happened?

  15. burtgummer01

    Most people knew Castellanos would move on,after his departure they have Naquin who wasn’t bad last year and a bunch of guys who can’t hit
    Possibly the worst outfield in MLB offensively

    • Daytonnati

      But, you know Burt, David Bell thinks, “We’re getting better in a really weird way.”

      Btw – HUGE “Tremors” fan … I’ve seen them all, even the straight-to-video sequels.

      • burtgummer01

        As far as Bell goes what’s he supposed to say ? “Yeah none of them can hit”?
        Obviously I’m a huge Tremors fan,I don’t know if you saw the last one but I hope it’s not over

  16. Mark

    I would like to get another right hand bat into the lineup such as Pham and he would be the RF and I think he would hit very well at GABP. I believe Friedl should be the starting CF, move Senzel to 3B and LF either Barrero or Moran. Another option in OF LF Senzel, CF Friedl, RF Pham keeping some combination of mix n match of Barrero, Farmer or Salono starting at SS or 3B. I think the Moran situation is interesting we know he can hit but can he play either RF or LF ?

    • Votto4life

      Colin Moran has played the outfield for a grand total of 4 games all in 2019.

      If using him in the outfield is the plan. It’s a bad one.

  17. Josh G

    starting outfield currently : Fraley in Left, Senzel in Center, Naquin in Right
    that is pretty much set unless they move Barrero out there which I am strongly against, Id rather them move Farmer around if they are doing that

    back up outfielder options are Friedl (who I actually really like) Shogo, Aquino and Schrock and long shots Bauers and Riddle

    • Bdh

      Can’t remember what beat writer said it but They’re going to give Solano a lot of time in the outfield in spring training also

      • Josh G

        oh, didn’t include him because he’s only played ten games out there in his career, 10 years ago

    • TR

      If Schrock can deal with the outfield, the Reds can certainly use his offense.

    • MBS

      It seems as if Farmer is the SS, so I’m ok with Barrero playing the OF. McLain will be starting in AA this year, with De La Cruz right behind him in A+. Once you prove yourself at AA, your always a phone call away. So McLain could be a 22 or 23 call up, and De La Cruz a 23 or 24 call up. Either way we have a SS of the future on the way soon. What we don’t have is quality OF’s. If Barrero can actually get everyday playing time in the OF, that’s better than him sitting the bench, or being demoted to AAA.

  18. citizen54

    Some really bad FA signings this year. The contracts of Bryant, Schwarber and Castellanos are going to be albatrosses in a couple of years. I’d hate to be a pitcher for the Phillies with that defense. They will be playing 3 or 4 DHs in the field. Phillies better win within the next two years. They are going to be really bad after that.

  19. Josh G

    looking through the free agent list … not too much out there ..

    Soler, Conforto and Pham are about it for possible offensive upgrades
    tony Watson .. old lefty reliever could be useful

    oh and Billy Hamilton is available

    • Votto4life

      Yasiel Puig is still out there. I’m not advocating they sign him.

    • Votto4life

      Maybe Conforto falls into their lap.

  20. Votto4life

    The Reds have signed right handed Scott McWilliams whose career has been derailed because of the “yips”. This should be good.

    There is your bullpen arm.

  21. Bill Newell

    I can’t understand why the bullpen problem hasn’t been addressed. The Reds missed the playoffs last year because of blown saves, nothing else. I would support the trade of a front line player like Barnhart or Winker for a front line relief pitcher. But not for lesser quality players like we got. I say trade Moustakis and/or Yakihama and dump those big salaries, too. BUT, get a really good reliever in return. As far as Barrio goes, put him at 3rd base, not the outfield. I want to keep Farmer at short. I like to watch him and India turn double plays.

    • Josh G

      I actually don’t mind the bullpen much, especially if Simms can be healthy,
      Simms, Warren, and Cessa Santillan are all solid to good then add in whoever doesn’t make the starting rotation Dunn, Sanmartin, Hoffman and others ..
      concerned about the lefty side with wilson ( don’t really trust him) and no one else …

      obviously a proven top of the line closer type would be great.. but that’s a luxury this team

      • Old-school

        Sims has some elbow issue and is behind

        Thought I read sims is throwing and building up wont be ready OD

        Someone correct me if I thats wrong

  22. Old-school

    The only way the Reds had a chance in 2022 was for BC to ok a payroll of $150 million and get a rH bat and bullpen help and figure a legit replacement OF for Castellanos

    Instead, he slashed payroll to under $ 100 million

    Theres no way to win this year

    Looking ahead- the cots contract reds page has nothing committed to anyone past 2023 x for buyouts to moose and Votto

    I could see votto okaying a trade and the Reds eagerly agreeing to help mid season 2023 as Votto’s Reds career winds down and reds not making playoffs. That would give Votto a shot at the 2023 playoffs and get the Reds off the hook for his 2024 buyout

    • DataDumpster

      Old-school on point again. After they extended Bell, I wrote immediately how everything was about 2024 and get use to mediocrity for 2 years. However, I did not foresee this large of a payroll reduction with little tangible return (thus far). Perhaps Bob is setting out the possibility of a sale at peak value and using Krall and Bell for the highest talent they have; carefully managing the budget, shielding him from having to say anything to the fanbase, and allowing endless tinkering with borderline washed up players trying to find one or two shiny silver pieces among the wreckage. It all makes sense if the fans don’t have a voice, which they obviously don’t.

  23. MK

    Wonder where Castellanos is going to play. On Phillies broadcast they are talking about Schwarber playing left field, and he isn’t replacing Harper in right and he doesn’t have skillset to play center. He was pretty adamant in Cincy about not being a DH. Guess it is a good problem to have,

  24. Bill

    Cheap Bobby you get what you pay for . Thanks Bobby for destroying one of the greatest franchise ever. Do us all a favor and sell the team

  25. AMDG

    Unless I’m mistaken, Barrero is the best defensive SS in the Reds’ organization, and the best SS prospect at that position in years (since Larkin?)

    If that’s the case, he should be the starting SS simply because he provides them elite defense at an important defensive position.

    Not to mention, the Reds are rebuilding (again), and it makes more sense to put the elite defender who crushed the minors, and see if he can hit in the majors, than to put some weak-hitting utility player with worse defense at SS.

    • Josh G

      yeah, I’d say Barrero at SS and Farmer becomes a true super utility player

    • Votto4life

      I agree but some on here would give up on Barrero after 25 major league at bats. Same folks who would have given up on Johnny Bench after he hit .163 in 1967.

    • burtgummer01

      I’ll never understand the Barrero love fest,he’s proven absolutely nothing in mlb in over 100 ab’s.Farmer hit over .260 and 16 hr’s.Thats not too shabby at all along with a .988 fielding percentage.
      I’ll take that all day every day

      • CFD3000

        The “love fest” is because Barrero could potentially be an all star and a stalwart at shortstop for many years. Farmer had his BEST season last year and was still only 86% as good a hitter as an average major leaguer. If you’re fine settling for mediocrity Farmer is your guy. If you want to aim higher, Barrero is the right choice. Is it possible he never excels at the major league level? Of course. But he also might be really really good. I think that’s worth an extended opportunity. That’s why many of us prefer Barrero to Farmer.

      • steve d

        i’ll never understand the Barrero hate fest. He’s proven all he needs to in the minors. His “over 100” ab’s have not been on a regular basis and not even in his regular position. Ozzie Smith and Davey for the Reds started off slowly if you remember, I’m not trying to compare Barrero to them, but maybe someday.
        I’ll take giving him an extended chance all day every day over Farmer.

    • MK

      I have no problem with Barrero but Farmer is an excellent defensive shortstop. I’m not sure he is better at this point because Farmer has proved he is good at big league level s that hurdle to cross. I say let it play out Jose still and let the best man win.

      • CFD3000

        SABR ranked Farmer among the least valuable defensive shortstops in the NL. Only three regulars (Swanson, Urias, Tatis Jr.) were worse. He IS sure handed, but with very limited range. He’s a TERRIFIC emergency player at several positions. He’s not an excellent every day shortstop in the field or at the plate. Do not be fooled by fielding percentage. They don’t charge errors on balls that you don’t get to, even if everybody else does. IMO Kyle Farmer should remain a super sub. Barrero should start at shortstop every day he’s healthy. Wally Pipp probably looked pretty good at first base there too. Okay, nobody thinks Barrero is the next Lou Gehrig and I shouldn’t even compare them but is this really a roster where the safe choice gets you to the playoffs? Many players will need to be excellent, even some that surprise us. Farmer won’t, Barrero might.

    • VaRedsFan

      Conforto crazy if he thinks he’s worth 20 million.
      I’d do no more than 10-12 million. 1 year only.

    • greenmtred

      That really speaks volumes: a guy will settle for 20 million because he needs to reestablish his value.

  26. John Jansen

    Honestly I debate this team and after reading the comments while I hate the ownership I always bring back to young talent. We have the next talent with Mlb ready India, Stephenson, vladdy, lodolo/Greene/Williamson/sanmartin/O’Brien (not ideal), I mean OF is a jumble of mixed emotions.

    We got some good later development players de la Cruz/ Hendricks. I missing some of the bullpen but I am extremely impressed with the boys warren/santilla/sims/ got upside with whoever was last called up.

    I think the reds always got talent but fail to deliver. They tried in 19, to get guys who could impact but akiyama and moose have been a bust to say the least. They traded winker a 350 average against righties for mid veterans, Williamson isn’t bad might be mlb ready soon.

    I love this team but they broke the team in the most impactactful time of the last decade. Only one Joey Votto and he surely is going to lose to Father Time. He is fighting well but bob isn’t helping.

    Who wants to be a loyal player with zero playoff contention. Then when ur team is good with mlb prospects with impact, tge get rid of 2 all star outfielders and ur veterans lmao. This team has potential but potential doesn’t beat stupidity

  27. TOM

    Maybe, just maybe Akiyama will turn it around, If so he would man CF. Naquin in RF & LF up for grabs. Move Senzel back to third.