The Cincinnati Reds have signed free agent outfielder Tommy Pham according to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The deal is a 1-year big league one that includes a mutual option for the 2023 season.

Pham, a 34-year-old outfielder, had three strong season from 2017-2019 when he hit .284/.381/.475 in 410 games for the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays. He struggled in 2020 while playing in just 31 games – missing half of the season after breaking his hamate bone. Over that offseason he was stabbed in the back, literally, and required 200 stitches. He recovered from the assault and rebounded on the field some, too, hitting .229/.340/.383 with the San Diego Padres. His .724 OPS was good for a 103 OPS+, which is ever so slightly above league average. He also stole 14 bases in his 155 games, which would have easily led the Reds, who didn’t have a single player in double digits in the stolen base column last season.

Historically he’s hit lefties better than righties – .854 OPS against lefties, .794 OPS against righties – but that wasn’t the case in 2021. Last season he hit .239/.337/.399 against righties and just .202/.351/.339 against lefties. Diving into some of his other splits we see that he was much better on the road than he was at home, with a .787 to .662 OPS advantage outside of Petco Park. What isn’t great to see is that he was also significantly better in the first half last year than the second half last year. In the first half he posted a .773 OPS, but saw it dip for a .649 OPS in the second half. That also saw him steal just two bases in 66 games during the second half, though he was playing through some things down the stretch.

What Tommy Pham does bring to the Reds, though, is an outfielder who has actually played a full season in the outfield. After losing Nick Castellanos in free agency and trading away Jesse Winker to Seattle, Cincinnati was looking at Tyler Naquin as the guy with the most starts in a season in the outfield with 120.

David Bell had said after the Winker trade that the starting outfield was likely going to be Nick Senzel in center and Tyler Naquin in one of the corners. With the other corner spot seemingly up for grabs to Aristides Aquino, Jake Fraley, Shogo Akiyama, TJ Friedl, Max Schrock, or perhaps a platoon-like split, maybe the Reds are going to be taking away some of that opportunity with the signing of Pham.

Another thing that Tommy Pham brings to the Reds is a guy who draws plenty of walks. He’s always had a quality walk rate, but in 2021 he posted a career best 13.9% walk rate. Among the players with Cincinnati last year only Joey Votto’s 14.4% walk rate was higher. His strikeout rate of 22.8% was right around the league average (21.6%). Pham has also been a hitter who utilizes the entire field throughout his career. That could play quite well in Great American Ball Park.

86 Responses

  1. Optimist

    I had a slight preference for McCutchan, but Pham is a very good choice as well. Likely much more affordable (priorities!), 1 1/2 years younger than McCutchan, and much more likely for a bounce back/comeback player candidate. A very good move by the Reds.

    Now, makes for some fascinating late moves – they may actually have some trade values rather than outright releases/waivers.

  2. redsfan4040

    I think we’ll probably see Pham and Senzel everyday. I’d like to see a platoon with Naquin so that he doesn’t hit LHP, which is what may keep Aquino off the DFA block, at least until rosters are contracted from 28 back to 26. Even then I think they might keep him and Shogo, even though it would appear that 2 of Fraley/Schrock/Friedl would be better than Shogo/Aquino.

  3. Dan

    Great move! I like this one a lot. Perfect buy-low, bounce back candidate.

    Pham’s home/road splits the past 2 years were just SO stark – seems like he just couldn’t hit in Petco. Give him half his games in GABP though… I’m optimistic.

    Give him 140 starts in LF, batting 2nd, and let’s see what happens.

  4. Kevin Patrick

    I’m kind of excited about this. I hope he doesn’t have a shoulder injury. lol. The Reds had to do something to avert outfield embarrassment. I’m impressed that it is just a year contract. The Reds have to find out what they have internally too. I know many here have written off Aquino and Akiyama, but should one of them turn it around the outfield could be ok.

  5. Bdh

    I like it. Hopefully this knocks Shogo out of a spot rather than sending someone like Fraley down because I think he was due to surprise a lot of folks in reds country.

    This does make it somewhat hard to get an idea for the 13 hitters that will be on the squad when rosters are trimmed back to 26

    I’d go with the following

    1 – Stephenson
    2 – Backup Catcher
    3 – Votto
    4 – India
    5 – Farmer
    6 – Moustakas
    7 – Moran
    8 – Solano
    9 – Senzel
    10 – Pham
    11 – Naquin
    12 – Fraley
    13 – Aquino

    That’s fine until Barrero gets healthy and then who goes? Aquino? Be nice if they just made Farmer the backup catcher

    What I’m really worried about is that they’ll keep Shogo on the 26 man when he’s imo below everyone mentioned above as well as Shrock, Friedl, and Alejo Lopez on the pecking order of hitters to be called back up.

    • redseuphoria

      Schrock should absolutely be on the opening day roster imo. He’s too good of a hitter to leave off of it tbh, so I would slot Farmer in as backup catcher, or Colin Moran can be sent down, and have Schrock remain on the roster.

      I’d prefer Aquino stays up to gain more playing time, but if need be he could go down again if not out of options.

      • stuckonthenorthshore

        Can Moran be sent down?

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Mostly agree with the above, even though Moran, Fraley and/or Aquino will have to perform in order to keep Shrock, Friedl and/or Lopez off the roster.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Shrock and Friedl will make the team.

    • vegastypo

      They actually only have to cut to 28 in April. Save the bigger decision(s) for May 1.

  6. Tom Reeves

    There’s a chance that this team has enough talent to get into the playoffs. Not a lot margin for error but it is possible.

    I really hope this is Senzel’s breakout year. The team really needs this #1 draft pick to play to his potential. Frankly, Naquin was also a #1 pick that battled some early career injuries and maybe he can come into his own as well.

    Oh, and between Barrero, McClain, and De La Cruz, the Reds have some exciting SS prospect talent.

    • Bdh

      Yea before the additions of Pham, Strickland, and maybe the Moran signing some computer models had Cincinnati between 77-79 wins. Those moves above won’t move the needle a ton but maybe that changes the predictions to a .500 ball club.

      With the expanded playoff that would put this group in the playoff hunt. Meaningful games in September for sure

  7. MuddyCleats

    Can Pham still play CF? If so, would they consider moving Nick to LF or would it b Pham?? Hate to mess w/ Nick at all with him getting off to a decent start. He’s swinging the ball well and moving well. Looks like he’s ready to go – sure hope Mgt considers this when setting the lineup

  8. RedsFan11

    The Reds organization has hooked you all yet again. Social media and respected Reds fans calling this a great pick up… ridiculous… A 34 year old player who is 3 years removed from a solid season signed for $7.5 M…

    So this organization traded away an all star and potential top 10 outfielder in the game today in Jesse Winker, and at the end of it all save a net $4M on theSuarez contract.

    • JayTheRed

      Considering where the team is at Today. Can’t take trade back you know. I think this is a decent move. NOT a great move but decent.

      Let’s give the guy a shot and see what he does before just writing him off as not a good pickup.

    • MBS

      I’m a huge Winker fan, but be real about him. He is a great hitter against RHP, who is a defensive liability. In 5 seasons he has played 113 games 110, 89, 54 and 47. I’m not saying he’s not a loss, he is a loss, but we didn’t just trade away Trout, and we did get Williamson who is likely to join the rotation this year, or next. We’re set to have a pair of tall LHP in our rotation for years to come.

      • Jim t

        Exactly MBS! The reds are playing for 2 years down the road. My issue with the Winker trade is it was used to get Suarez of the books.

      • Alan Horn

        Moose is the one they should have been trying to get off the books. His salary is almost twice what Suarez’s was and he is much more of a defensive liability. The worse signing the Reds have made in quite sometime.

      • CallowayPost

        I’m a huge Winker fan as well…and the same for Castellanos. But the trade of Jesse and not having Nick around, gives me the suspicion that it may have been a clubhouse issue.

        I’m not basing this off any hard facts, so maybe it really is just a cheap a** owner cutting payroll…but it just seems off.

        Maybe Krall pulled the trigger and knew he was getting an injured Dunn, if trading Jesse fixed the issue in their mind.

        I mean, Winker and Castellanos really brought a fire to the team, especially Joey…but that unfettered confidence we heard so much about last season may have led to a weird clubhouse environment once the trade deadline came and Bob got cheap again.

        Yeah, the bullpen got a lot of help…but that doesn’t do much for the guys in the dugout.

        Idk…call me a spurned Reds fan…but I just can’t figure how Jesse was the answer in that trade. Makes me wish there were two DH spots on this team with the amount of decent hitters playing out of position and hurting themselves. Lol. Massive shrugs.

      • Still a Red

        The hardest part about losing Winker is he may have just taken off as we always had hoped. We’ll see if he takes his breakout year with him to Seattle.

    • redseuphoria

      You know honestly what gets me so excited is how well he performed against the Reds last year. He definitely stuck out when the Padres faced the Reds

      Then again, I felt the same way about Asdrubal Cabrera last year, and that didn’t quite turn out as planned, so you never know…

      • vegastypo

        Stating the obvious here, but when Pham has hit so well at GABP, he was hitting off Reds’ pitchers. Should be interesting to see how he fares playing 81 games there against the rest of the league.

    • Alan Horn

      Pretty much on target with respect to the Reds front office incompetence. I hope Pham bounces back but he has been down for 2 years and is 34 years of age. On the bright side, he is better than what they already had. This team might be fair if they can stay away from injuries and find some outfielders.

      • redseuphoria

        We have plenty of outfielders tbh already. Where are we lacking there?

        We have: Tommy Pham, Tyler Naquin, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Justin Fraley from the Mariners trade, TJ Friedl who is very up-and-coming, and Shogo Akiyama. Why do we need another outfielder?

      • Alan Horn

        Because outside of Naquin there isn’t much hitting talent. Having an OF on the roster doesn’t mean they are any good. When August comes around it will tell the story. The Reds have experienced a severe drop off in offense with the loss of Castellanos, Winker(both all stars) and Suarez. Add Barnhart who is around a .260 to .270 hitter and gold glove defender and it magnifies the situation. They moved 2 top line starters (Miley and Gray) and plan to go with Greene and Lodolo (neither of whom showed they had mastered AAA). I do expect Greene and Lodolo to be fine when they are ready but I don’t see it at the start of the 2022 season. Nothing will ruin a good young pitcher like rushing them.

      • Luke J

        @Alan Horn Senzel has hitting talent. And Friedl and Schrock can flat out hit. It’s a shame people like you, and the Reds brass, ignore what they do on the field just because they aren’t prototypical prospects. An outfield with thise 3 has potential to be all star caliber. Unfortunately we’ll probably never get to see it consistently.

      • Alan Horn

        @LukeJ. I do like Scrock. No one knows if he can do it over the long run playing every day(small sample size). Senzel has not hit yet at the ML level. His history is he can’t stay off the DL long enough to see. If you think those 3 are all stars then I have to strongly disagree at this point. Naquin doesn’t hit lefties. We don’t know whether Schrock can or not. I have most of 73 years experience. Played all my life and in college. I coached at the high school level and was quite successful. I coached at the semi-pro level for around 15 years and never lost the league title. I feel like I know talent when I see it (or not) and also how to build a successful team. Don’t say I want to take Krall’s job. Anyone on the board could do as well. I am curious what your baseball background is and for how long? I posted mine. You should post yours since you like to attack someone else’s opinion (and that is all it is). I am pretty sure you are the one who has had some “out there” posts in the past. Which is your right within Doug’s rules.

      • Luke J

        @Alan Horn I played baseball in college as well. Had a brief stint in independent league ball before deciding to go to law school. But I’m not interested in a pissing contest over the internet. I didn’t attack you. I simply disagreed with your opinion. The reality is, you can say it’s a small sample size all you want. Both Friedl and Schrock have shown they can hit at the ML level. If you don’t think they can, you are the one with the burden to show why we should ignore what they’ve done to this point and accept your “expert” assessment.

        I should also point out that I did NOT say they were 3 all stars. I said they had the potential to be an all star caliber outfield if given the chance. I just feel they are being overlooked because they weren’t big prospects by many people, including yourself.

    • Kevin H

      Thank you!! This organization cares nothing about winning. If they did Gray, Miley, Winker Barnhart, and Suarez would still be here and maybe kept Nick!!

      Bottom line this organization is nothing more than a greedy joke. Oh, and that small market team talk, I call hogwash!!!!

      • greenmtred

        The nostalgia for Suarez is funny enough to cheer me up as I sit out a minor ice storm. Review the comments about Suarez here at RLN for the past several years. It’s always fun to have something to complain about, though. Isn’t it?

      • Alan Horn

        Suarez had done quite well for the Reds prior to his accident. The last month of the season he showed signs of turning things around and approaching his track record of the past. For a guy who plays good defense(at 3B), hit over 30 HRs and would have around 100 RBIs if he had played everyday, and made around 10 million a year, I wouldn’t have been so eager to get rid of him. Then to include an all star OF (Winker), I don’t how anyone can think the Reds didn’t get fleeced on the trade no matter what the minor league pitcher may or may not become. The Reds gave away approximately 200 RBIs and better than 60 HRs per season in Winker and Suarez. Quite a lot of offense to re place. Yes, Suarez deserved the criticism last season, but maybe he wasn’t recovered from his injury. The last month of the season might have been an indicator.

    • greenmtred

      Let’s try to remember that Winker is a guy who only hits righties, can’t play a full season and has little or no value as a fielder or baserunner. He’d be a nearly perfect platoon DH, but that’s a luxury few teams would afford, given the asking price, and still leaves an outfield vacancy.

      • sccotly50

        Exactly. Suarez actually hurt this team playing every day. Winker had huge holes in his game. It is not the trading away of theses players that bother me, I’m glad they had the foresight. It is not signing a free agent that could move the needle in a big way.

      • Jim Walker

        Maybe Winker had the unmovable sunken cost of Moose ahead of him in the LH DH spot?

      • MuddyCleats

        I get a kick out of the hate for Suarez. Talk about having an ax to grind.
        His 9 errors put him below guys like Riley, Machado, Turner and even Arenado. His Hard Hit % ranked 11th ahead of Arenado, but behind guys like Chapman, Moncada, Donaldson (1), Turner and Bryant.

        Pick any stat you want among 3B, he still finished 6th in HRs and 10th in RBIs. He played the Hot Corner well and drove in Runs; exactly what most teams pay a 3B to do!
        Yes, I would have liked him to have a better approach at the plate, take/work more walks, K much less, but in reality he ranked right up there among the Best 3B in ML baseball and for much less $$$ than most of them.

      • greenmtred

        I don’t hate Suarez: I was reflecting on opinions expressed frequently over the past several years, the gist of which were that he always tried to hit homers and was otherwise mired in futility. This seemed true enough, but may have been due in part to his shoulder injury. The juxtaposition of comments then and now could be taken by a casual observer as evidence of using opposing facts to support a similar conclusion, to wit: keeping Suarez is evidence of front office incompetence, and so is trading him.

      • greenmtred

        His Sept. turnaround was encouraging. Evidently he did the same thing the year before, but he may well regain some or all of his form. For a while. I like Winker, but he’s a player with one talent–hitting righties–and an inability to stay healthy. But it’s odd to hear you say it was a bad trade regardless of how Williamson turns out. What if he turns out to be Randy Johnson? Mainly, I don’t think Suarez and Winker would have been part of the next truly contending Reds team I know that you likely disagree.

      • wkuchad

        “but in reality he ranked right up there among the Best 3B in ML baseball”

        Is that a joke? Compare Suarez’s OPS to all other qualified 3B last year – he’s dead last.

        I’m a huge fan of Suarez. But most posters on this site trashed him last year.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Agree. 34 and hit 229 last year. NOT Winker.

    • jon

      Pham is a 1 yr. deal. You forgot the saving of the future contract years for wink and geno.

  9. redseuphoria

    My favorite signing of the offseason! Let’s go!

    I think the Pham signing has the potential to help push us towards contention this year, in spite of the players we lost. He’s a solid player who has played great outside of Petco Park, offers great flexibility that would otherwise be lacking in case Senzel or someone else gets hurt, and could be a real difference maker. I see a lot of upside here. Worst case scenario is he doesn’t perform well – it’s a one year contract, so what.

    • Votto4life

      I am not opposed to this signing if it was to compliment the 2021 Reds. Now, it’s just a waste of money. Tommy Pham is not leading the Reds to the post season. Best case scenario they are looking at 74 wins or so.

      The Reds will finish in either fourth or fifth place with or pwithout Tommy Pham. The guy is 34 years old and hit .229 last year.

      Also it’s not a one year contract. Each side has an option for 2023. So if Pham hits .229 this season, the Reds will be filing out $7 million for him again. Essentially, another year of Shogo.

      I would have preferred the Reds not sign Mike Minor or Tommy Pham and use that $15 to $22 million dollars and extend Castillo or Mahle.

      • greenmtred

        I don’t know how many games the Reds will win this year. Somehow you do, so you might not need to waste time watching.

      • redseuphoria

        They did not sign Mike Minor, he was dealt to the Reds in return for Amir Garrett

        Pham has stretches where he gets hot. Historicqlly, he has been bad at Petco Park. What’s to say a new environment won’t help him?

        He has pop in his bat, maybe that will play better in GABP than in Petco. He is a career .366 hitter there I believe, and that includes as a Cardinal vs the Reds for 4 years

      • Old-school

        My understanding is its a mutual option. If the Reds dont want him back- its a total of 7.5 mil

        $6 mil salary and 1.5 mil buyout

      • Votto4life


        People often have different opinions from our own. That is the whole idea of a discussion forum. To share different perspectives.

        It’s also perfectly acceptable to scroll past comments that you don’t agree with.

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    Pham is a very good hitter in GABP along his career, if he reach a 100% of his shape could make a lot of damage against the other teams…On the defensively point of view , I think, in general, the Reds outfield got better than last year, that could help to balance the loss of pop in the line-up…

  11. Old-school

    Per cots contracts the Reds payroll was at $99 million.

    This contract is for $6 million with a mutual option in 2023 with the Reds having a 1.5 mil option

    I dont mind the signing at all

    Looking back, Ownership gave Krall some mandates in early October

    1.) get payroll to $105 million

    2.) Get rid of as many future contracts as possible so reds have cost control going forward.

    The seeming organizational schizophrenia- trade suarez yet pair winker as an AS was about slashing $18 mil this year and $22 mil in 2023 and another $12 mil in 2024. Krall unloaded $52 million in future obligations.

    Let Miley go but sign Minor ,, etc is because “the plan” was about those 2 mandates and krall chose to radically slash and burn the payroll far below budget and then backfill the roster

  12. Hotto4Votto

    Pretty solid signing. The Reds needed another legitimate option in the OF, and now they have one. It’s been interesting to see the roster churn and money churn to see how we got where we currently are at (not looking at individual transactions, just the whole):

    Miley (10m) — Minor ($10m – 500k in cash) definitely a net loss for the Reds unless the two pitchers flip their recent trajectories.
    Barnhart (7.5m) — Pham (7.5m) the Reds probably come out slightly ahead, but moreso due to the positional need, this was a good swap.
    Garrett (2.2m) — Strickland (1.85m), relievers are volatile year to year, depends on which Garrett/Strickland shows up if the Reds end up on the better end. Pretty much a wash on the $$
    Gray ($10m) — Dunn (league min), Petty (minor league) the Reds definitely saved cash on this deal. They also add a premium prospect in the deal. Dunn could be an effective back end starter, or solid reliever. A win for slashing payroll and adding cost controlled young talent. A net loss for the 2022 Reds in talent.
    Winker (6.8m) — Fraley (league min), Williamson (minor league), and PTBNL definitely a huge step back in talent for 2022. They do save money. Fraley may end up being a useful 4th OF’er. Williamson looks like a legit prospect. The PTBNL may swing this in the Reds favor. But at this point it’s a net loss for 2022.
    Suarez (11m) — Moran (1m), Solano (4.5m) Definitely a win for slashing payroll. Talent-wise, I think it’s a wash between Suarez and Moran. I expected Suarez to bounce back some. Solano adds some versatility. Slight net positive for Reds.

    Also lost: Givens, Lorenzen, and Castellanos to FA.
    Through all the churning the Reds shed roughly $21m in salary through the offseason. They lost a lot of talent as well, through trades and FA. They added a few pieces back. Swapped out some contracts for others and may have slightly better roster balance than before. The loss of talent is an issue that will likely prove too much to overcome for 2022, especially as the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals look to improve.

    • BigRedMike

      Good summary

      This is a good one year signing to let things sort out with the movement. The OF is pretty thin though

      Miley, should be enough young starters to replace the production, who knows if Miley will be as effective going forward. Not a big deal in my opinion. Teams cycle through starters like Miley all the time

      Barnhart, no big loss, too much money for a back up catcher

      Garrett, meh, not that great, relievers are up and down, no loss for the Reds

      Gray, solid/very good starter, tough to trade, but, a good move for rebuilding team like the Reds. Got a decent return.

      Winker, tough to lose a great hitter. The return was pretty good and had to go to get rid of Suarez. Good trade if trying to remake the style of the team.

      Suarez, would have been better this season, last year was awful. Probably a good time to trade him. Negative WAR players are not a value.

      Castellanos, he was going to leave, need Senzel to stay healthy.

      Moose, needs to go as soon as possible, what an awful signing along with Akiyama. My hope is that Reds stop doing those type of signings going forward. There is little value to signing these type of players to more than 1 year deals.

    • Scott C

      The real issue is, that winning the slashing of payroll is really not a win unless you use that money to strengthen another area where you had a weakness. I do not see one area where that Reds have added value to their talent, unless you count Stephenson as a plus over Barnhardt but that is only a win depending on who becomes the backup.

      • Redsvol

        I don’t think anyone believes we are a better team this year. But I do believe we will be better in certain situations. I see two areas easily;

        1) against left handed pitching we were horrible. That has been addressed well with Solano, Pham, and hopefully a healthy Senzel.
        2) Our bench/pinch hitting was atrocious last year. A bench of Shogo, Scott Heineman, Mike Freeman, Alex Blandino, and Aquino were atrocious last year. Bench of Solano, Friedl, Shrock, Fraley and Moran is bound to be better.

        But no doubt we are worse in other areas such as starting pitching and starting outfield.

  13. Old-school

    The Pham and Solano signings may mean the end of Aquino as a Red and guarantee Lopez and Shrock and Friedl start in AAA. I dont see the reds keeping 3 RH hitting OF with INdia/Solano/Stephenson/Senzel/Pham and Catcher 2 as right handed options. Something to follow.

    The Reds have proven they don’t dump salaries( Akiyama) so he will be the 5th OF. AKiyama (L) Senzel(R) Pham( R) Naquin ( L) leaves room for 1 more OF. Fraley and Freidl are similar players at similar ages with cost control and both hit (L). That probably goes to Fraley just because the Reds want to showcase the new guy who they traded for.

    On the infield, Lopez draws the short stick. Solano is basically a more accomplished similar player and can play 3b and DH with more pop. Moran has a guaranteed $1 mil contract to hit DH against righties and provide depth. Schrock draws the short stick here. He has options.

    Also, Reds back up catcher will be right handed. Against lefties Stephenson will have occasional options to DH or play 1b.

    Staring lineup Righties
    Stephenson 2
    Votto 3
    India 4
    Moose 5
    Farmer 6
    Pham 7- some Fraley
    Senzel 8-some Fraley/Naquin
    Naquin 9-
    Moran DH

    * Fraley gets a modest amount of starts with Senzel or Pham getting a day off. Shogo gets an occasional start.

    Against Lefties:
    Knapp 2 or Stephenson
    Votto 3 or Stephenson
    India 4
    Solano 5
    Farmer 6
    Pham 7
    Senzel 8
    DB special mix and match 9
    DH Stephenson/Votto/Moose/DB special of the day

    *Aquino would give better RH options in RF and DH. I dont see them going with only 2 LH hitting OF.

    • MuddyCleats

      If Knapp is the backup catcher, he is a switch hitter. Can’t say he has impressed me yet. He has more experience, but Garcia appears to have more upside w/ a much bigger bat.

    • Redsvol

      good post @old school. I think this may be the one year where the Reds dump a salary. Shogo has looked terrible this spring. I just don’t see the point of keeping him anymore if he isn’t going to be a starter – and he isn’t.

      That leaves the question, who makes it and I think its between Shrock and Aquino. Since Shrock has an option they may elect to keep Aquino until the May 2nd deadline where they have to pare down to 26 players. They can probably keep Aquino for 4 more weeks if they want but I do think his time is coming to an end with the Reds.

      • Old-school

        Agree. Cut Shogo

        I just dont see a pattern from ownership of cutting loose guaranteed money. I have seen a pattern from bell and Krall of benching Akiyama

        We shall see

  14. SultanofSwaff

    Nice signing that offers the team a 50/50 shot at the playoffs if a few young guys outperform their projections. His expected slugging % last year was much higher than his actual slugging % so the move to a hitter friendly park will be beneficial.

    While I have a huge problem with ownership, I’m supportive of the baseball ops guys. They’re fighting the good fight with the tools they’ve been given. They’ve created a .500 team with upside on paper that’s within the owner’s bogus payroll constraints while keeping payroll flexibility moving forward–NOT and easy task. What they’ve done is more than you can say for some rudderless teams like the Royals, Orioles, Marlins, Pirates, D-backs, Rangers, and Rockies.

    • Jim Walker

      Think your last paragraph is a well stated assessment of the situation.

      If the baseball people knew 3 weeks ago what they know now in terms of what they could spend in the end, Winker would probably still be a Reds player; and, that might have been enough to get Nick C to take his $100M from the Reds. They should have been able to afford him because his AAV with Phillies is only +$2m from over what his projected AAV with Reds would have been had NC not opted out of his last 2 years with the Reds. And after those 2 years, the Votto contract will be off the books freeing up a bundle.

      • Old Big Ed

        Welcome back. I think that you must have seen De La Cruz’s homer last night, and are now salivating for some baseball.

      • Jim Walker

        @OBE> During the 2 out 2 on AB ahead of EDLC, I was pulling for him to get to the plate harder than the Mudville fans were yearning for Casey at the bat that fateful day! And EDLC did not leave the Reds in a lurch.

  15. Jack

    Wasn’t Winker cheaper and better?
    Pham’s last 2 years aren’t too inspiring and he is only getting older. He’s better than what they were going to put out there but doesn’t move the needle much as far as actually competing which makes it puzzling they they would drop 7.5 million on him.

    • Old-school

      Winker is a far better hitter against righties but is far more expensive because he will get north of $ 10 mil in arbitration in 2023. Pham can be jettisoned for $1.5 mil. The bigger issue with Winker was what about 2024/25/26 when he hit FA? The longer you keep him, the less return. Obviously the Reds didnt view him as part of their long term plan or at least weren’t signing him to multi year 8 figure deal so in that sense, get a top lefty prospect a young 4th OF with speed and plate disciple and then I dont know what they were thinking with a pitcher with now a chronic shoulder injury . They unloaded $50 mil + with Suarez and WInker over the next 3 years. IT might not be the plan folks wanted, but it is a plan. Get younger, get cheaper, get more flexible, acquire more controllable prospect capital. Brandon Williamson and Chase Petty are now top 7 organization prospects and give the Reds a “pipeline” of young SP in Greene, Lodolo, Williamson, Petty,Ashcraft. That’s what Krall said was the vision.

  16. doofus

    Is this another washed up ex-Cardinal signing?

  17. Scott C

    The sad thing about the Pham signing, and this is nothing against Pham. I think it is a solid signing unfortunately it is probably going to be the best signing the Reds make. There are a lot of ifs, in Reds lineup. Can Votto continue to be victorious with his battle over age? Can India and Stephenson continue their rookie year’s success? When will Barrero be bak and can hew hit MLB pitching? Is anyone really going to grab the third base job? Will Moran be able to comeback to being a slugger? Will Pham bounce back in his age 34 year? Will Senzel finally stay healthy and be the player we thought he was? And that doesn’t even touch the pitching staff.

    • TR

      What you say is true but those kind of question marks are true of almost every ML club. Of course, that’s why they play the season.

    • John Jansen

      I like the club with the high talent depth. I hope though the reds understand that while akiyama and moose had talent they can’t produce. I hope moose produces but he doesn’t look in great shape and injuries aren’t helping with his weight. Shrock, barrero imo deserve playing time over him. Last year for akiyama then he’s gone, I liked him but the guy tried to be trout and he can’t, needs to stay with his good old purpose, contact with displace with good defense and speed. I like him but seriously the guy hasn’t impressed me since 2020

  18. Old-school

    Lost in the tornado of reshuffling this winter of the roster if a complete restructuring of the OF. Senzel is still a focal point in CF but who else is? Castellanos is gone, Winker is gone, and Akiyama will be gone soon and Pham is a 1 year stop gap and then gone. Naquin is a year to year proposition. Fraley and Friedl are similar players but role players. Who are the future Reds OF’s?

    Senzel with all the asterisks appears to be the CF in the near to middle term.
    Jay Allen is the #6 prospect in the just released Reds top 30
    Hendrick is #11 but hasn’t done well.
    It’s clear Rece Hinds at #9 moving from 3b to RF is part of the Reds OF reconstruction.

    I’ll be following the progress of Allen and Hinds this year.

    • Bdh

      You just named 3 but I’d suggest you get familiar with Yerlin Confidan and Ariel Almonte.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Unfortunately the Reds best options in the OF are all young and were in A or RK ball. You mentioned Friedl and Fraley, and Lorenzo Cedrola is another guy that falls into their category of fringe starter. Speedy, hits for average, light power, can cover all three OF spots if needed. He’ll be in AAA. Alan Cerda may be worth monitoring now that he’s on the 40 man and may move a little quicker if performing. Otherwise there’s guys like TJ Hopkins and Drew Mount who put up solid numbers last season in AA and are probably primed to hit AAA this year.
      Otherwise, hope that Hinds, Cerda, Hendrick (etc) develop and move quickly through the system.

  19. Old Big Ed

    Holy moly on Elly De La Cruz.

    There is a very good article earlier this week on The Athletic about him and his work ethic and drive. The only thing he needs to learn is Rule No. 1 of Ted Williams: “Get a good pitch to hit.” He got a good pitch to hit last night, put the geometric center of the sweet spot on it, and started a legend. Once he learns a bit more patience so as to “get a good pitch to hit,” he will be a star. Even his home run trot is eye-catching.

    And Rece Hinds purportedly hit a ball 117 mph yesterday in a minor league game on the back fields.

  20. Nick in NKY

    I guess I’m in the minority here, but I don’t get this move. Why even bother? The outfield is already crowded with AAAA players and some prospects just on the horizon. My mentality on the OF would have been major big name move or none, but I guess they forgot to ask me.

    • Dave B

      Nick is right on here. This makes no sense. I thought Uncle Bob was hurting for cash? Rebuild….or don’t rebuild. Develop your young talent. Let them compete for the job and give the winner a chance to prove himself. I expect Pham will have a good year but this does nothing but allows the Reds to bury their prospects for another year in the minors so they get more prime years for cheap. Why not? It worked out so well with Senzel….you know….the player they ruined.

    • Redsvol

      @NIN, I think its a good move when you look at it in the proper context. There are no outfielders – other than Senzel – that deserves at bats for development purposes. We pretty much know what we have with all of them except Senzel – he needs 500 at bats. So Pham keeps the outfield competent. For example, an outfield of Shogo, Aquino, and Naquin is borderline incompetent from a major league perspective.

      However, on the pitching side, our young pitchers need innings to develop. I wouldn’t want us to bring in a journeyman SP on a major league contract that could take innings away from Lodolo, Ashcraft, Greene, Gutierrez, San Martin and even O’Brien. Those guys need all the innings we can provide – even knowing some will be ugly.

  21. Armo21

    I will preface these remarks: I do think this front office makes questionable moves and ownership is cheap. However, watching this team over the last couple of years was challenging. The Reds literally had 6 third basemen on the field at one time. They were slow, ran the bases poorly, defended poorly and the starting pitching was not as good as it could have been other than Wade. They lived and died by the long ball and the bullpen. It was maddening to watch day in day out, the highs showing the possibilities while the lows showed the flaws. The way they handled SS and the bullpen last year was really bad and most of us thought at this time last year that the Reds had no chance to compete because Bob would not spend on these two areas.

    As for all the moves that have been made since the end of last season, the FO has been very blatant making no bones about the obvious payroll reduction moves. Tucker Gold glove, not much bat, traded for lotto ticket. Miley (trending the wrong way and has yet to pitch an inning this spring) released and picked up by the Cubs. Sonny (was trending the wrong way and yet to throw an inning this spring) traded for high end pitching prospect. Suarez had been in decline for more than 2 years and the fans were screaming for his head until last September. Winker was an all-star versus right hand pitching, but could not run, throw, catch, stay healthy or hit lefties (for a potential TOR starter and other pieces). Amir gone for essentially on paper what looks like Wade Miley in Minor. Nick C doing what everyone knew he was going to do and Opted Out for bigger payday, can’t blame him for that.

    The team was built to win in GABP (which is a curse — beer league softball park), but not so much anywhere else. Change was needed regardless of payroll.

    Will Cast and Winker be missed? Probably, but Pham and Solano (2 really good pick ups imho) are solid additions without the warts of the other two defensively. Strickland with the youth that came onboard last season bolsters the Pen. The lineup as a few point out in this thread looks promising. Do the Reds have enough starting pitching? Maybe. Could be a fun season and if things break well for the team, 85+ wins is not that hard to see.

  22. Rod Andrews

    I’m glad that Pham was only signed to a one year deal. Hes 34, and has been less than good the last two seasons. I wished they’d spent the money elsewhere.

    • Jimbo44CN

      I just don’t understand why people are so high on a 229 hitter that hasnt done much in 2 years, and he;’s 34 and an outfielder, not a first baseman that does not have to move. I believe the only reason they signed him was the fact they could get rid of him next year for 1.5. Speaking of not moving, watching Moustakas try to play the infield was painful to watch before that belly flop and shoulder injury. The guy is jut too round to move.

  23. Votto4life

    Here is a crazy thought…let’s say the Reds now sign Michael Conforto on a one year read and Johnny Cueto for the back end of the rotation.

    C – Stephenson
    1B – Votto
    2B – India
    SS – Farmer
    3B – Somoani/Moose
    DH – Moose
    LF – Conforto
    CF – Senzel
    RF – Pham/ Nyquin

    Starting Rotation
    1. Castillo
    2. Mahle
    3. Minor
    4. Guitirez
    5. Cueto

    Does that get us close to 80 wins absoissibke WC?

  24. Doc4uk

    Shogo cannot even hit minor league pitching. Hopefully whoever predicted he had the ability to hit major league fast balls has lost their job long ago. You can see that he is still running forward and attacking the balls as if he was Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore approaching a tee shot. Time to ditch him and insert Max or TJ into his slotted spot on the 26 man roster.

    • Jimbo44CN

      God yes, he thinks he’s Ichiro, and he aint.

  25. Roger Garrett

    We are a 4th or 5th place team regardless in 2022 but I like the Pham signing.I won’t began to understand all of the trades because I never have seen a time where I can say I get whats going on.I will say if all that has happened gets more playing time for younger players then I will enjoy the season.Losing with high priced or even low price guys over 30 just doesn’t cut it for me.Votto will always get a pass on the over 30 group and always will because he is still above league average and has already earned his salary for the rest of his contract.Losing with young players is much more enjoyable because of the hope they will get better.

  26. Old-school

    I’m a Reds fan and not going anywhere.
    That said, glad to see Doug and Lance McCalister and others provide a forum for frustrated Reds fan who are tired of losing. Bob Castellini and his ownership group and FO the last 14 years are unmitigated failures. Castellini’s Q&A with Tommy Thrall was an embarrassment. Part of the problem though is the insular nature of the city of CIncinnati and the power that gives Castellini to manipulate the message and control the “Red State Media”. Only in Cincinnati are the beat writers limited in what they can say.

    That said, I dont have a problem with trading Miley, Barnhart, Gray, Suarez, Winker and building a pipeline as Nick Krall says. The issue is the return and the payroll. Castellini could have done both. He could have said we will have a $150 million payroll in 2022 and make trades and sign FA and build for the future. He didnt.
    He whined about market size and and the pain he felt for trading All-stars and gave Krall a $105 million payroll mandate.