I have to admit that Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall stunned me the other day when he traded Luis Castillo to the Seattle Mariners.

Not that I was shocked Castillo was dealt. We all expected it. But Krall (aka ‘Bull in a China Shop’ per Phil Castellini) somehow got a decent haul of young prospects from the Mariners, who appear serious about contending in the American League.

I confess as to knowing little or nothing about these prospects. Most of us had never heard of them before. I sure hadn’t. But The Bull must have held out and dismissed lesser offers. However, I will not concede that Krall has risen to the ranks of a genius after most of us dismissed him as incompetent just months earlier.

I give his trade a “B”. It may work out. It may blow up. No one knows. I still remember the three lefthanders we got for Johnny Cueto, painful as that is.

And now that the Reds have risen out of the basement of the National League Central, their next goal is to prove they are not the worst Reds team in our lifetime, something which belongs to the 1982 team that finished with an inglorious 60102 record. The incredible thing about that is in 1981, the Reds had the best record in baseball.

I’m about 80% done with an article comparing those 1982 Reds versus this current Reds bunch on a position by position basis to include Managers and General Managers. I use statistics of course (just based on those two separate seasons) but the problem I have is my own bias.

For example, the left fielders. Eddie Milner played there in 1982 and Tommy Pham does for these Reds. I met Milner before he passed away from cancer and liked him. We talked for a long time at Redsfest. He admitted to me how bad that ‘82 team was. Eddie was a good baseball player but not a great one. Not even close.

But I don’t care for Tommy Pham. I never have. The incident before a Reds game when he had a fight with another player on an opposing team over fantasy football is all I need to know about him. You’re on a last place team and being paid millions of dollars and that’s what you’re focused on before a game?

Release him, trade him, do whatever but get this guy out of Cincinnati. We lose Nick Castellanos and get Tommy Pham. That’s a culture change in the wrong way. I’d go to war with Castellanos.

Sorry to get off track. Back to The Bull.

No Reds GM has been perfect. Even Bob Howsam made some bad trades. He never should have traded Ross Grimsley. Trading Tony Perez and Will McEnaney for Woody Fryman and Dale Murray was a disaster. They all have made mistakes, bad deals, and horrible signings. Remember Eric Milton?

Nick Krall has done the same thing. Maybe ownership mandated him to do some things he didn’t want to do to “align payroll”. Maybe he’s a loyal soldier that will go down with the ship. I don’t have a lot of confidence in him but at least the Castillo trade made sense in this economic age of baseball.

Phil Castellini? I will never forgive what he said about me and thousands of other Reds fans. Never, ever. His “apology” was simply milquetoast. It sounded like someone wrote it for him. I thought it was insincere, at best.

Like it or not, we are at the mercy of The Bull. I can’t remember who made the comment on The Nation but it was “Bull on the Loose.”

That’s perfect. He beat me to it.

Just please, no more three lefthanders.

91 Responses

  1. Still a Red

    Was it Howsam who traded Perez or was Wagner in place then?

    • Rob

      It was Howsam. He also later made the Tom Seaver deal at the 1977 trade deadline.

      • Chris

        And he had us Vida Blue too, but the Commissioner voided that trade. Howsam was about as close to a genius as a GM as possible.

      • Oldtimer

        Here’s what SDG sent to OAK for Blue. I never heard of any of those players. The $300K instead of $1 million may have made the deal go through.

        March 15, 1978: Traded by the Oakland Athletics to the San Francisco Giants for a player to be named later, Gary Alexander, Dave Heaverlo, Phil Huffman, John Henry Johnson, Gary Thomasson, Alan Wirth and $300,000. The San Francisco Giants sent Mario Guerrero (April 7, 1978) to the Oakland Athletics to complete the trade.

    • Daytonnati

      Howsam. He later admitted it was his biggest mistake. That they may have been able to three-peat if they had kept Tony. Driessan was a solid player, but the chemistry of the team changed.

      • Dewey Roberts

        Tony was the player who kept the team together through his playful digs at other players in the locker room. It is my understanding, from a former player on those teams, that two big stars on those Reds’ teams did not always get along. Tony got along with everyone and kept everyone together. It was a huge mistake to trade him. Then, Fryman quit in mid-season. HowSam felt like the Reds needed a left handed starting pitcher but Fryman was not the guy. The Reds floundered out of the gate and even Seaver could not revitalize their season, though he won 14 games after the Reds got him in 1977.

  2. Daniel

    Speaking as a Reds fan since the days of the Big Red Machine, I’m disappointed in the fact that my team has turned into nothing more than a “development team” for the rest of baseball. They haven’t had a sniff of the World Series since 1990 and its not for a lack of talent, I place it all of team management.

    • Tyler Harris

      1995 they lost to Atlanta in the NLCS. 2012 they advance if Cueto doesn’t get injured. The Reds went for it hard 2010-2014, and it didn’t work out. They spent a good chunk of money keeping their own and were hurt by injuries and some bad luck. We also did a poor job of drafting a few years in a row (Nick Howard, Nick Travieso- ouch).

    • Greed Wins

      What a tragic downfall of a once-proud franchise. To see the players shipped out over the last few years makes me ill. This is indeed a developmental team, and it’s likely developing talent for the wealthy clubs. We’re bound to see Green, Lodolo, Stevenson and India get shipped when their free agency comes up. It is a cycle born from greed that is sucking the life out of the franchise.

  3. Pablo

    I share your venom towards Phil Castellini (aka Spaulding from Caddyshack). He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near our team.

    • PTBNL

      “Spaulding from Caddyshack” +5,000 LOL 🙂

  4. Oldtimer

    The 1982 team was 61-101. I saw them play late in the season in LA and San Diego while on a business trip.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/1982.shtml three players past their prime. Bench, Seaver, and Cedeno. Trevino and Householder were flops.

    The pitching staff wasn’t bad. Soto was the ace and Berenyi decent SP.

    Some other bad Howsam trades. Tommy Harper to CLE for not much in return. Steve Minor to CLE for less than not much. Both became very AL players in 1970s.

    Milt Wilcox to CLE for Ted Uhlaender. Wilcox had a good MLB career as SP.

    Hal McRae to KCR in 1972. He had a very good career in AL for more than 10 years.

    Joaquin Andújar to HOU in 1975. Mike Caldwell to MIL in 1977. Both became 20 game winners for those teams.

    • Oldtimer

      Mingori, not Minor. Doggone auto correct.

    • Dewey Roberts

      I didn’t realize Andujar was ever in the Reds organization. No wonder he took such delight in beating the Reds.

      • magi210

        I had no idea either, always saw him as an Astro on the baseball cards. (A bit before my time, not quite old enough to remember the BRM era.)

    • Reaganspad

      Paul Householder was the next great Red who didn’t quite realize 4.5 of his 5 tools. His name didn’t fit on his uni.

      I loved that.

      Nick Esasky was the man!

      • Jim Walker

        Unfortunately, I see a lot of Householder in Nick Senzel. It seems even when things appear to be going better to well, they still never quite reach the level we were prepped to expect.

      • Rob D’Orso

        I was 11 in 1982 and had picked Paul Householder as my favorite Red. One thing lost in the story of his disappointing career is that before his second season, he contracted Hepatitis. He was weak all season from it and never truly recovered. In 84 the Reds moved on and he actually found success in Milwaukee before Robyn Yount hurt himself and had to move to the outfield, taking his job. And in addition, I wrote to him several times as a kid and he always wrote back and I even tracked him down as an adult and he wrote me again. Top notch human being and I wish he had been more successful.

    • Jim Walker

      The McRae trade was all about opening a spot for George Foster though. More or less the same for Bernie Carbo. Back then a trade to unblock somebody often was the equivalent of a deadline day rental today in the sense everyone knew when a guy needed to be moved to make room for a new guy.

      All these trades except the Joaquin Andújar deal shipped people to the AL which meant the Reds were unlikely to have to face them in the future given free agency hadn’t happened yet and interleague deals were limited. I think Howsam tended to move people he needed to move for whatever reason but he thought had potential to the AL when he could for that reason.

      Do you recall the driving force behind the Andújar deal? I don’t. I looked on BBRef and saw the notation that he was traded for “Players to be named later” and about 6 weeks later 2 minor leaguers were designated as the return. I’m guessing that means it was a “change of scenery” deal because Andújar had worn out his welcome. But I do not recall any particulars beyond except wondering why every time the Reds faced him down the line.

      • Dewey Roberts

        McRae was traded in 1972 and Foster did not start playing regularly until 1974 when Anderson asked Rose to switch from left field to third base so Foster’s bat could get in the lineup.

      • Oldtimer

        McRae was traded in 1972. Foster blossomed in 1974 and finally started in 1975. Timing was off to support your conclusion. Rose played LF in 1972-73-74. Geronimo and Tolan played CF. Ken Griffey, Sr was RF.

        I don’t know why Andujar was traded. Regardless the return was nada.

        Howsam made more good trades than bad but these were all bad. The Wilcox trade was very bad. He showed promise as Reds SP then was traded for a guy who did little for one season. Wilcox went on to be a good SP in MLB.

      • Jim Walker

        OK, McRae and Carbo were moved after Rose went to LF when Geronimo came in from Houston and Tolan came back from the Achilles injury in 1972; and Rose moved from RF to LF with Tolan CF/ Geronimo RF. Same church; wrong pew.

        Foster was actually the (almost) regular CF in ’71. Played 104 games and had 402PAs

      • Oldtimer

        Foster was the primary CF in 1971 after he was acquired in late May. He ad a limited bench role in 1972 then spent 1973 in AAA. He played a bigger role off the bench as P/T player in 1974.

        McRae played 15 years with KCR and made 4 All-Star teams. He played some in the OF but mostly as DH.

        Not wrong to trade McRae (and Simpson). Just a poor return in Nelson (arm trouble) and Scheinblum (head trouble).

  5. SultanofSwaff

    Krall is in a tough spot because he has to serve two masters—ownership with their penny pinching ways, and baseball ops trying to build a sustainable pipeline of talent. With real franchises who know how to win these two groups work in tandem not against each other. Until that happens, any positive moves with drafting and trades will elicit nothing but a yawn from me. The only thing that will signal this team is serious will be ownership spending money to extend Tyler Mahle…..while at the same time jettisoning veterans blocking/taking developmental at-bats/innings from younger players. The trade of Castillo and the ETA of the prospects we received signaled no intention to contend until 2024. Therefore, Farmer/Drury/Solano/Minor/Moose/Pham become part of the problem, not the solution. Unload them all TODAY.

    • Oldtimer

      (Clipped from Nightengale Enquirer article today) … Castillo closed his six-year Reds career with a 44-53 record and a 3.62 ERA through 137 starts. He was a two-time All-Star and Mariners traded for him with the expectation that he’s hitting his prime. Castillo, who won’t reach free agency until after the 2023 season, was statistically the franchise’s best pitcher since Johnny Cueto …

      … There are only three Reds pitchers who posted an ERA below 3.80 in more than 500 innings across the last three decades: Mat Latos, Cueto, and Castillo …

  6. gusnwally

    drury is making 700,000 this season. A paltry sum by MLB standards. The pre-injury seasons he had in Arizona were not bad at all. 270, 280 and 15 16 Hr;s or so. Seems like he might be satisfied with say 3yrs for 7 million. After all he knows what injuries can do. And he performs like a decent major leaguer at that price, I think everyone is happy. He has to be aware hitting Hr;s in GABP is a lot easier than most everywhere else. If he flops the 2mill a year is not that bad of a hit. Certainly a lot more palatable than the Pham,Minor, Moustakas deals.

    • Old Big Ed

      He will want more than $7 million over 3 years, and he would get it in free agency. This is Drury’s one good chance to make some money, and he has to take advantage of it.

      I think a 3-year deal for Drury now makes sense, as the type of low-risk signing that the Reds ought to do. But it will take at least twice a total of $7 million.

      • Daytonnati

        Pham getting $6m/1yr with $1.5m mutual option for ’23. So you figure Drury has to get at least $18m for three years?

        Three years of Drury equals one year of Moose. Do it.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree. Catastrophic injury possibility is probably the only thing that would lead Drury to sign ahead of free agency aside from the proverbial offer too good to refuse. I’m thinking that is at least $7m a year with a minimum of $15m guaranteed, maybe $5m more guaranteed.

        Especially if the Reds off load several more guys by the deadline, it would be a good PR stunt to have a Drury deal to announce though, either concurrently or within a week or two. So, maybe they do it.

      • Tar Heel Red

        Two years for $12-14M may get it done. Somebody has to play 3B and bat in the middle of the lineup until McLain, De La Cruz and Marte are ready, probably sometime in ’24. McLain at short, De La Cruz at 3B or LF and Marte in CF

  7. Ron

    The 1982 Reds finished 61-101. Through 101 games, they were 38-63.

    The current Reds are just two wins better at 40-61. After the trade deadline, it’ll be interesting to see if they have enough of a roster left to avoid a final record worse than the ‘82 team.

  8. Brad

    I am just glad they moved on him this year knowing we won’t contend next year and get a much lesser return. That is a huge step in the right direction unlike our last sell-off, holding on and not recognizing budget constraints.

  9. Mark Moore

    I’m right with you in the surprise department regarding the return for Castillo. Should be fun to watch them progress, even if watching the big club remains painful.

    Looking to see what we get for Mahle and Drury in the next 24+ hours. Plus I’m still wondering who else moves.

  10. Hotto4Votto

    I’m sure I’ve made many tongue in cheek references to Krall, but honestly I truly reserve my ire for the ownership group, namely the Castellini’s. I get that they’re the ones pulling the strings on deconstructing our team and not putting a competitive team on the field. They’re the ones that hired Jocketty who failed the Reds severely (and continues to have too much influence on ownership). They’re the ones who mandated we hold onto fan favorites too long out of sentimentality, declared we needed MLB ready players to shorten the rebuild, and made panic trades out of fear of bad publicity. They’re the ones who declared we’d have winning baseball and then went out and did the opposite of that. Didn’t add offense in 2012 or 2013 when we were a few pieces away, spun their tires in 2014 instead of jumping into the rebuild, and waited too long in 2015 to trade guys. They’re the ones that jumped the gun in 2019 to “get the pitching” when we still didn’t have the offense, by trading prospects away for short term gains. They’re the ones that decided to strip the Reds of a chance of truly competing in 2021 by dismantling the bullpen for no good reason.

    Everything that is wrong with the Reds is due to ownership.

    Krall has actually done fairly well with trades. The ones last season at the deadline worked out well with Givens, Cessa, and Wilson coming over. Getting prospects like Petty, Phillips, and Williamson for Gray, Winker, and Suarez has added good prospects to our system while shedding payroll. The other stuff, straight salary dumps, was likely mandated.

    • DaveCT

      I, too, have been critical of Krall, more for leadership ability or perhaps style than anything else. I will say he has done a very good job with these trades, and I also save my ire for the Castellani’s.

      My one final request for this trade deadline is to insist upon including Phil Castellini in any deal involving one of our top remaining assets, likely Mahle.

      • The Doctor

        Dave, you are so right – the sooner Phil C. is out of town, the better for every Reds fan. We talk of cancers on a team – well, here is the big one for the Cincinnati Reds!

  11. Optimist

    A few points –

    1 – Does “an old 30” mean anything?

    2 – Krall is not the problem, and this moves him clearly into the “solution” category.

    3 – Still think the ultimate solution is DW returning, or a complete new managing partner, with the MiLB org structure continuing to reform.

    • Old Big Ed

      DW paid $88 million for Moustakas and Akiyama, so no thanks on him. But for those two bad deals, they wouldn’t have had to shed the salary that they did.

      • Reaganspad

        I never understood moose signing

      • Andy

        I continue to believe the shedding salary has more to do with significant losses incurred due to Covid than the performance of the 2020 free agent class. The Reds bet big on 2020 by increasing payroll, and got hosed when they couldn’t sell tickets.

        The free agent signings in 2020… total $164M committed to Moose, Akiyama, Castellanos, and Miley… still in my mind were a success (baseball performance wise, not in terms of ticket sales) and the correct path for the Reds. The big dollars were spread across multiple players to mitigate risk, and were all short-term contracts that don’t bog the payroll down forever. We can throw the ~$20M committed to Bauer here as well, so ~184M over 4 years for 5 players. Bauer and Castellanos both performed better than expected; Miley had one good year and one wiped away by injury/covid; Shogo and Moose were disappointments. Compare this to the Angels in 2020.. committed $245M/7 years to Anthony Rendon. They do not have a playoff appearance to show for it, or even hardly any production whatsoever, and still have to pay him $38M/year for the next 4 years. Of the Reds contracts, only the $16M due to Moose next year remains, and they did get a playoff appearance, a very competitive 2021 season, and a Cy Young award out of it.

        The Reds will be in prime position to start extending young stars (Greene, Lodolo, India, Stephenson, etc) in part because the money spent in 2020 was all committed to contracts of 4 years or less.

      • Optimist

        DW worked with what he had on the salary and signing issues. Andy’s comments explain nicely that those were not a major factor in the current roster budget approach.

        What I’m most impressed with was the structural changes he implemented – the hirings of Boddy, DJ, and various MiLB and front office staff; and perhaps more important, the accompanying restructuring of the MiLB organzation. Boddy’s blog and social media comments hint at all of these, and while there have been some results, I wonder if the commitment is still there.

        While I’m more positive on Krall than most, my concern is the extent to which he is still pushing change down thru the organization, along with the very visible transactions he’s making. I think so, but they’re still not seeing the results of a winning culture at the MiLB level. Player development ultimately has to be reflected in the won-loss record. Plenty of positive signs so far, but not yet on the scoreboard over the course of a season.

      • Old Big Ed

        Andy, maybe spending money before 2020 was a decent strategy, and the Reds got unlucky with the Covid timing.

        But spending $64 million on Mike Moustakas was a terrible decision. His career OPS+ is 98, which I will grant you has been dragged down by his Cincinnati stats. His career slashes are .247/.308/.435. He can’t field, and he is slower than your oldest aunt. On top of that, he fills the same slot that Joey Votto does — left-handed hitting slow corner infielder who can’t field. He is Joey Votto, without the talent.

        With option buyouts, the Reds owe $54 million to Votto and Moustakas next year.

        Their problem hasn’t been spending money; it has been spending money foolishly.

      • Andy

        Yes, but for $64M, you’re not getting a perennial All-Star at today’s rates, you’re getting a solid starter with flaws. Castellanos was a solid starter with Detroit until he flashed for half a year with Cubs. Reds bet on upside, that the flash was sustainable, and won. Moose was solid in MIL but was starting to decline, Reds bet it would hold off and lost. I remember parts of RLN wanted Reds to go after Rendon. Look at that contract! That is what it takes to get a legit All-Star, and that has been an unmitigated disaster for LAA.

        I agree Moose has been a bad signing. I just think the general strategy, of getting multiple guys at $16M/year on shorter deals is way smarter than going after a big name for contract of $150+.

        The Cardinals might be the counterpoint with Goldschmidt and Arrenado. It remains very risky, if either of those contracts had imploded like the Rendon deal, the Cards might be sunk for a long time. They have not imploded, however, and the Cards remain competitive.

    • Jim Walker

      When Frank Robison was traded to the Orioles in December of 1965, the Reds GM (and I believe owner by then) Bill Dewitt, gave as a reason for the trade that Robinson was an “old 30”.

      Robby went on to have a career year in 1966 with the Orioles and played through 1976 with the O’s, Dodgers, Angels, and Cleveland. Robby’s OPS for those 11 seasons was .904 and his OPS+ was 160. Give me a team of “old 30” guys like this today!

      • Oldtimer

        Something similar was opined when the Reds let Pete Rose go as a free agent in 1978. Rose went on to make four straight All-Star teams as a Phillie and batted .325 with NL leading 140 hits at age 40 in 1981. He is the only BRM player who remained productive at that age.

      • Jim Walker

        OT> True; and that year (1981) was pretty much it for Pete as far as productivity versus league average/ OPS+.

        I have often wondered how long Bench might have played and at what level if they would have moved him to 1B by 1978 or 79.

        As things went he was still OPSing above 120 through the 1981 season (age 33) despite catching 140+ games for years and years.

        In the end, Pete ended up with about 4 more career bWAR than Johnny (79.6/75.1); but, JB ended up with the better OPS (126/118). I would have thought it broke the other way if somebody showed me the numbers and which was who.

  12. LarkinPhillips

    This trade deadline is eerily quite across all of MLB. I fully expect/hope for this afternoon to be a busy trade day for everyone, especially the Reds.

  13. Old Big Ed

    The 1981 Reds went 66-42. I played them in a Strat-O-Matic league about a year or so ago, and they weren’t very good. They had lame pitching, and by that stage, Bench could kill lefties but was otherwise mediocre.

    I kept wondering, “how did this team have the best record in the league?” Their Pythagorean record was only 57-51. So, either John McNamara was a great manager, or they just got lucky to finish 66-42. My guess is that with a full season, their limitations and age would have caught up to them, as it did in 1982.

    • JohnnyTV

      Going from 66-42 to 61-101, something else besides ‘limitations and age’ likely was in play.

      For one: Collins, Foster, Griffey…their entire outfield departed.

      • Old Big Ed

        There is no question that 1982 was a collapse. Foster, though, had OPS+ of 90 and 95 in his next 2 seasons for the Mets, where he was not a good fit. Neither Griffey nor Collins were as good after leaving Cincinnati; Cesar Cedeno out-performed them both in 1982.

    • Oldtimer

      Because of the split season, some of the best teams didn’t try very hard the second half because their playoff position was already set.

      https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/1981.shtml the Reds hitting in 1981 was better than pitching. In 1982 just the reverse of that.

      McNamara was a good manager in 1979-80-81 but not as good as Sparky.

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds lost the “1st half” Western Division playoff spot by 1/2 game to the Dodgers; and, to make it even more bitter, it was a game the Reds had in hand versus one (more) they had played and lost.

        There was a lot of chatter (in Cincy at least) that the Reds should open the “2nd half” a day earlier than other teams by playing what would have been their next game when the strike hit or alternately that their 1st game of the “2nd half” should count in both halves. But obviously that came to naught. And if either of these schemes had been followed, if the Reds won that game, how and when would the 1st half tie with the Dodgers been resolved?

  14. west larry

    I’ve heard rumors that the reds are going to sign Drury for two years for about six million. I haven’t been able to confirm said rumors.

    • Oldtimer

      Heard that on WLW 700 this morning. Sarah Elyse reported on it.

      • Andy

        Ken Rosenthal added a bit in his Athletic article today as well, nothing certain but throwing out as a possibility.

        I like this, in particular a 2 year deal. The Reds have India and an abundance of high-end SS prospects due to arrive 2024. They need someone to start in 2023, and Drury will not make much of a payroll dent.

        I don’t mind trading him, but I doubt we can get a prospect that projects as everyday starter for a half year of a journeyman. If Drury can be signed for AAV of ~5M or less, this seems like a better path, because Drury himself is a better bet than low-end prospects, and the dollars involved will not prevent Reds from investing in the next playoff roster.

    • Jim Walker

      That has to be $6m AAV for 2 years guaranteed?

  15. Roger Garrett

    John,I echo your comments regarding Tommy Pham.I was pleased when he was signed knowing he was just a fill in but that he was a former Cardinal and could bring some of there way of doing things to the Reds.After seeing some of his comments about getting numbers and the Reds were close to being good I realized he wasn’t going to help this team and then of course the slap heard around baseball let me know all I need to know about Pham.He can’t go soon enough but to give him credit he got 6 mi + the opt out so the joke is on the Reds.Can’t get hIm out of here fast enough for sure.

  16. Luke J

    Those bashing Krall for the previous trades either didn’t understand, or weren’t willing to accept that there was a plan to compete, but it wasn’t for another 2 years. But with that plan in view, the trades and maneuvers made this offseason were well done. Likewise, the Castillo trade was well done. No one who knows the minor leagues is calling this trade a “B” for the Reds. Since the article admittedly had never heard of the prospects involved, it’s understandable that the author has no idea of how well Krall did in this trade. But regardless how the prospects pan out, people who know the scouting on these prospects know this was a very good trade for the Reds. You can’t predict the future, but there were 3 consensus top prospects coming back to the Reds, 2 of which are top level prospects in all of baseball. That trade was an “A”.

    I am very familiar with the minor leagues and have seen the vision Krall has had since last year. And I was not surprised at all by how well he did in this trade. Every move he’s made has been toward that vision and executed well, even if you don’t like it.

    I get it, I hate that baseball is split into the haves and the have-nots. But that’s the reality of it. Teams like the Reds have to pick and choose windows of competitiveness and go for it. And even though we might hate it, when that window is closing, they have to abandon that previous competitive team and tear it down and start rebuilding for the next window. And like it or not, it was evident to nearly everyone, that the previous rebuild’s window was closing and 2022 was going to be a non-competitive year if you want to open a new window any time soon.

    • Old Big Ed

      I agree. I also think that Krall’s palming off Wade Miley’s $10 million contract on the Cubs was a brilliant move. The Cubs have gotten 19 innings out Miley, and are exactly 1 game ahead of the Reds.

      The Mike Minor trade remains a head-scratcher. I suppose that they will bring Minor back next year on an incentive-laden contract.

      • Optimist

        The Minor deal is a real head scratcher – both for expected performance, and the salary within the budget. Every few days I look at the Cueto’s latest start and stats – a few million less, a Reds fan favorite, and a known risk/return on the injury side – if he plays he’s good to great. He’ll be available again this winter, but he’s likely doubled his signing value.

      • Luke J

        I don’t really have an issue with the Minor trade like some. The 1 year contract fits right into the plan for the competitive window. They had no intention of competing nor keeping him around. He wasn’t part of the plan. So he was just picked up to eat innings this year when the salary spent means basically nothing in the future. And secondly, they got rid of Garrett. He was a plague on the team with an attitude that was not conducive to building a winner. So they got rid of him, and at the same time bought a bunch of meaningless innings that didn’t need put on other, more valuable arms. If ownership was willing to spend $10M for that, I think Krall was right to let them spend it.

      • Chris

        Luke, that makes no sense. Why not keep Miley then? At the time, I’m sure no one knew of Miley’s impending injury issues, so why not keep him, and just dump Garret by not offering him arbitration. Also, there were plenty of pitchers that could have been signed for half of what Minor’s cost was if it was just about eating innings.

      • JohnnyTV

        I’ve never understood the “eat innings” justification for paying for a pitcher with a 6.30 era and a 1-7 who has essentially puts the team behind the 8-ball in the large majority of his starts.

        Lots of folks out there who can do that.

        A pretty strange way to spend $10M.

        Resigning Minor with or without incentives would be a confused act of desperation.

        And indigestion.

      • BK

        @Chris, the Miley and Minor deals were months apart. The purpose of the Miley deal was to reduce payroll. Once the payroll was cleared, the Reds added Minor. Garret was offered arb, but the Reds could have still cut him in ST and only paid a portion of his salary.

        I don’t think any of like the fact the Reds front office was told to cut payroll. It certainly drove some seemingly contradictory behavior.

      • J

        JohnnyTV is right. The “innings eater” concept is just ridiculous. If you’re not concerned about winning those games, you could bring up any minor league pitcher to do the same thing. Same results, but you’ve saved almost $10 million. Bring up a pitcher you don’t really expect has a future in the majors. Worst case scenario is you’re right, he’s bad, but he still eats innings. Best case scenario is he turns out to be unexpectedly good, and then it’s win-win.

        I think they genuinely thought Minor would be pretty good this season and give them a legitimate #3 or 4 starter. I just have no idea why.

      • BK

        They clearly missed on picking up Minor (at least for the first 70% of the season). He’s pitched to his track record which makes the deal hard to take for us as fans.

    • LarkinPhillips

      *Every move with the exception of the Minor deal.

      Overall, I agree with you Luke. I think the Castillo trade was at the right time and the return is what we have asked for. No one can predict the future or how these guys turn out. With that said, I still don’t have a vast amount of trust in Bull or the Castellini’s in not screwing this up.

    • DaveCT

      Luke, I follow the Mariners and woke up the neighbors when this deal was made. I was convinced they’d have to settle for Arroyo and miss out on Marte, so I was stunned to see both. The two arms are icing on the cake. I am also psyched to follow the Mariners through this playoff run. Whoever called the M’s Cincinnati’s “parent club” yesterday is a genius.

  17. Destructive Cycle

    Answer me this: how am I supposed to maintain any loyalty to a team that is always rebuilding? ALWAYS, with no end in sight! We bring in prospects and develop our own, then subsequently lose them as soon as it’s time to extend them beyond the terms of their rookie tenure. There is no “building” going on, just tearing down any modicum of success these young players can generate. So look to lose India and Stevenson in due course. Either MLB stands tall on a salary cap, or teams like Cincinnati serve only as fodder for the elite clubs. Reminiscent of pro wrestling where the handsome blonde guys are the heroes and are paired against “tackling dummies.” Ex-Reds proliferate all around the game and our stars get shipped as they mature into dynamic, reliable players. I feel like a guy in a canoe faced with navigating Niagara Falls upstream.

  18. Joey

    There have been some bad trades over the years. I am 36 and I can still remember absolutely loosing it when I got on the Reds website one summer day back in 2006 and I saw that the Reds had traded both Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez for a bunch of bullpen help that didn’t help or was injured and a replacement SS that was awful.

    • Chris

      Yep. I was livid over that deal. Same with the Hamilton deal. I think that one bothered me more than all of them. Hamilton was arguably the most talented ballplayer that I had ever seen.

    • west larry

      I remember that, Joey. when reds reported to the league that Washington had intentionally held back information on the injury to Maslowsky, the league more or less said Buyer beware..

  19. LarkinPhillips

    Hader to the Padres… Didn’t see the Brewers moving him while leading the division.

    • Jonathan Linn

      wow. didn’t see that coming at all. To me it looks like the Brewers won the trade. Devin Williams can step up and be a closer for the next few years. Hader lost some value when he only pitched one inning or so at a time.

    • Jim Walker

      This is a Cardinals type move. Hader was expensive and going to be more so in his final season of arbitration, 2023. Meanwhile, the other guy (Wiliams) has stepped up and was doing the same job, and they have Boxberger et al to set up

      • LarkinPhillips

        I thought the same thing. Lamet was supposed to be a big time starter and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Brewers are able to work the kinks out for him. I think the Brewers definitely won this trade.

  20. SultanofSwaff

    Musgrove gets 5/$110mil from Padres. Ok, now we have a reasonable template for a Mahle extension. Before trading him, the Reds absolutely have to find out if he’s open to an extension. I would probably start at 4/$75 which would kick in after 2023 when the payroll opens up.

    • DaveCT

      Good point. I’ve been vocal about keeping one of the two, Castillo or Mahle, as the kids will still need mentoring next year, someone to anchor the staff, pick the team up after a couple of bad starts drains the pen, etc.. I felt Castillo would have been the best for that, but the ship sailed months ago, as many have said.

  21. Mark Moore

    Hader to the Padres. I didn’t see that one coming.

  22. Rednat

    psychologically i felt a lot better about 1982 than i do about 2022 for sure. the league now is broken for sure. Not as many youth play baseball now and that is finally catching up to the major league level. A lot of these “top prospects” wouldn’t even have been the best player on their neighborhood block back then. they may not even had made their high school team let alone be drafted by a major league team. So we won’t really know how good these guys are until they get up here.

    how many times do you see a player “really rake ” in AAA but can’t hit the broad side of a barn when they get to the big leagues now.? Aquino and Fairchild come to mind. that never used to be the case.

    I am supposed to be excited about these trades but pardon an old guy if he wants to wait until these players make to the reds club before i make my final decision.

    • Votto4life

      Rednat, I agree. Remember when Scott Scudder was “untouchable”? Him and Jack Armstrong I believe we’re referred to as “the family jewels” at the time I believe.

      Prospects are just prospects. Once in awhile, one will pay off. Most of the time, they are just fool’s gold.

      Anyone who pencils 17 and 18 year olds into a major league starting line up, four or five years into the future, are just fooling themselves.

  23. Hanawi

    I guess I don’t see any way Mahle agrees to an extension to pitch half his games in GABP without a significant overpay by the Reds. They would be better off targeting a ground ball pitcher on the free agent market instead.

  24. LarkinPhillips

    Montas to the Yankees and Mancini to the Astros… 25 hours to the deadline… The Bull better get busy!!

  25. Jpser05

    Given the return for Montas, I’d say the Reds made out like bandits!

    • Hanawi

      I wouldn’t like that deal for Mahle. Not sure what the A’s were thinking unless the injury concerns for Montas really impacted his market.

    • Votto4life

      I wonder if the Yankees tried to push Peraza on the A’s too.

    • BK

      Looks like the A’s targets prospects closer to big league ready than the Reds. I’m glad we haven’t done that thus far.