The Cincinnati Reds aren’t likely to add any big leaguers to their roster before the 2023 season according to general manager Nick Krall. Earlier today at the kick off for the Reds Caravan, Krall told the audience, as reported by Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, that the roster is “pretty much set”. Further noting that there could still be some minor league deals that could bring in guys to camp.

Earlier today the team did just that, re-signing reliever Derek Law to a minor league deal and giving him an invitation to spring training. Coming off of one of the worst seasons in franchise history as the team went 62-100, the Reds have signed Wil Myers, Curt Casali, and Luke Maile to big league contracts. The latter two are both catchers who are coming off of seasons in which they struggled to hit the ball out of the infield (Maile slugged .326 in 2022, Casali slugged .331 in 2022). Myers battled injury in 2022, but hit well once he returned in the second half of the season (.831 OPS).

Still, you would think that one of the worst teams in baseball would be out there trying to sign more players than two really poor hitting catchers and one solid corner outfielder. Well, you would expect that if the plan were to try and win baseball games, anyways. Waiting around until “the time is right” is a fools errand that leaves you entirely subject to the market you don’t control. And of course you also never know if “the time is going to be right” when your plan relies on minor leaguers developing at the same/a similar time. The Reds last rebuild didn’t work and they only started to win games again when they went out and acquired proven big leaguers.

With a payroll of about $81,000,000 there should be plenty of money available for the team to add quality players. Instead they are making a choice to not try and improve the team and instead hope that a whole lot of things go perfectly at the big league level and they get no developmental hiccups from the farm system. And if all of that happens they could push for a .500 record.

138 Responses

    • 2020ball

      lol I didnt know that would default to that face

      At least the Reds didnt do whatever you wanna call last offseason this year, but a highly conservative offseason where it felt like they were gun-shy to make a major upgrade is just as annoying for us fans

    • Dave

      Just rediculous! Beyond awful that this franchise has no chance to win, before the season starts. Complete mis-management, or no management for that matter!! Embarrassing!

    • Steve

      When we get to the spring there will be some guys who have not signed yet. If a Brandon Drury, Tyler Naquin,Scooter Gennett type of situation pops up they can still be a player.

  1. JB

    Reds start out with the Pirates and the Cubs. Then 13 against the Phillies , Braves and Rays. What could go wrong?

  2. J

    I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I can certainly see the argument for signing major league players and trying to win games. On the other, unless they sign a LOT of good players, this team isn’t likely to be competing for anything next season, so what’s the point of signing major leaguers, which we all know Bell will feel he HAS to play no matter how badly they’re playing (and perhaps will HAVE to hit third every single game)? I’d sorta rather see young guys go out there and struggle, which at least tells us something about their future potential (or lack thereof). I could see the argument for adding a starting pitcher or two, but what’s the point of adding more position players? Which of these young guys do we NOT want to see on the field trying to develop into major leaguers? And who really cares if the team misses the playoffs by 25 games or by 10 games?

    Seems to me that 2024 is the year to expect the Reds to get serious about signing free agents. A lot of young guys will have had a chance to sort themselves out, and the team will have almost no money committed to anyone. So it almost sorta kinda makes sense for the team NOT to spend money this year. Not because I think they don’t have it, but because I don’t want to see any more Phams or Minors or Morans or Mooses (or is that simply “Moose”?) playing instead of young guys who might (or might not) be part of the future.

    • Hotto4Votto

      That’s pretty much where I’m at. I would have thought they’d have signed a solid innings eater, a veteran to mentor the young staff. But, adding Myers adds stability to the OF mix and offense, and they shored up the back up catcher. Those were needs. Now let the young guys sort themselves out.

      • Roger Garrett

        I agree but will Krall tell Bell to do it.Sure they got younger by letting older guys go but its a little more then that for me.Bell and his everybody can play everywhere just by switching gloves approach spells trouble.Hardest thing to do I am told is to hit a baseball and there is no doubt the pitchers are way way ahead of the hitters.I can live with these guys learning to hit at the big league level but not at the same time playing multiple positions.Lots of conversation about Steer moving all over the infield,Senzel playing some infield,Ty Steve at first,Myers at first and even India at third and lets not forget Barrero playing center when he first made the majors.Of course if this is the biggest complaint I can have this year regarding Bell then it may turn out ok for the Reds.Lets get ready to play ball.

    • Redsvol

      right there with you. We’re not competing with the Braves, Dodgers, Mets and Padres this year. Its time to develop the youngsters and see which have it and which don’t. Then we can start adding in 2024 and 2025.

    • Amarillo

      Completely agree, my enjoyment of the team doesn’t increase if the team wins 70 games instead of 60 games. I would have added a Free Agent Starting Pitcher, but we have 4 Outfielders who had over a 100 OPS+ last season that I’d like to see play a full season, and an entire infield of top 150ish prospects in the upper minors that there is no point to blocking. (Steer, De La Cruz, CES, McLain, Marte)
      I worry about a lack of quality starting pitching candidates, but at this point no one they could add would make the team better.

    • JayTheRed

      It’s going to be 2025 before any significant free agents are signed. They will develop the prospects this year and next, then they will hopefully fill in the holes in 2025.

      • Melvin

        ….or hopefully they’ll spend money in 2026. If not they’ll spend money in 2027 or 2028 for sure. At the outset they’ll spend money in 2029. Okay 2030 at the latest….as long as everything goes just right. 😉 lol

      • Still a Red

        Unless they are extended, India and Stephenson will be traded away by then.

      • Votto4life

        From what I have seen, the 2024 free agent class isn’t very enticing anyway. So even if the Reds were willing to spend money (which they are not) it’s doubtful they will be able to sign anyone significant. I expect they will sign a couple guys like Will Meyers and end up with a payroll around $65 million or so in 2024.

        Phil Castellini has made it pretty clear the Reds have no interest in signing multi-year contracts.

        I will be surprised if they extend either India or Stephenson. If they are not going to extend them, they might as well trade them this summer or next off-season.

    • Michael E

      Agree.

      I expect signings next off-season when Votto/Moose salaries drop to very little (buyout, maybe they resign Votto to a 1 year sub 8 figure deal).

      The one pro in signing another good FA or two, to one year deal, is being able to flip them at the trade deadline (or well before if a good deal is out there).

      I’d like to see them sign another player that kind of lingers out there and, hopefully, flip them for another team’s second or third best pitching prospect or good hitting OF.

      That said, if you don’t flip them, then I don’t like signing anyone else, whats the point? As noted, we aren’t competing unless we trade for Judge, Harper and Fried or Alcantara. Adding one of those doesn’t move the needle much. we maybe get to 70 or 72 wins?

    • Roger Hanmer

      My take on the reds is they will never have a winning team as long as they have the same ownership and gm,my family had season tickets since 1963 and I stopped it in 2022 its a big waste of money

    • MuddyCleats

      I think you nailed it! Outside of Jurickson Profar, there’s not much left in FA. Rumor is Profar wants 15M a yr and at least 2 yrs. Even if the Reds signed him, and I doubt he’d consider playing n Cincy w/out many more $$$, it wouldn’t help much. At this pt, Reds R trying to find out what their young guys can do. Still a lot of questions there. Can Steer b the guy at 3B, can Barrero put it all together, can Fraley b one of the OF pieces, who becomes Reds next 1B and when will EDLC b promoted. Not sure there’s enough ML ready SP depth, but I guess we’ll find out.

  3. John Radabaugh

    Nick Krall is scintillating. Better get your tickets early. We’ve got Willy Loman in “Death of a Season” coming to GABP in April!

    • 2020ball

      The FO already said we were out of it before the season even started!

    • Michael E

      I feel, and have felt, he is working within strict ownership confines (financially mostly). His hands are tied and he does a solid job of putting lipstick on that pig.

      He might be a very good GM, but when you have a RED light on seeking any trade or FA signing that adds more than a few million to payroll, you can’t really do your job.

      I hold Krall almost to 0% blame for Reds lack of success past two years.

      Even next off-season, how aggressive he can be in going after one or more $20mil or $30mil per season players will be up to and limited by cheap ownership. Now, if he gets a mild green light and then signs has-beens or Mike Minor’s (never-was) to overpays, then he can be blamed at 50% or higher.

  4. Redgoggles

    Who cares about the team, WHAT’S THE BOBBLEHEAD SCHEDULE?!?!?!?

    • Michael E

      You know what, that will be a good barometer of Reds ownership being serious about winning (and spending), when they cancel bobblehead days because its not going to be needed.

  5. Gaffer

    Come on now, another $10-20 million in salary would make NO DIFFERENCE on this joke of a team. It didn’t help last year when they added garbage players for that kind of money at the last minute to try to make up for Phil Castellini being an idiot.

    They would win under 70 games even if they added every single unsigned player AND traded for anyone else’s salary dump players. Heck, they might not win 70 if they had signed Carlos CARERRA for 35 million a year. Why not just save the money for the small chance they want to spend it next offseason.

    • Jedi Joey

      It’s going to be another long grind this Summer. It feels pretty good knowing the white flag has been waved before pitchers and catchers report.

      • TR

        The Bengals success has helped, but I miss Red’s baseball even if it is a long grind. White flag flying or not, let the games be played and we’ll go from there.

    • Jedi Joey

      Sorry Gaffer. My response wasn’t meant to be directed at your comment.

    • 2020ball

      I already commented on last years strange offseason, but an additional 10-20MM would absolutely make a difference. Not just their win total, but some of those investments like Drury turned into prospect capital for them. Why they decided to target bad players like Solak this offseason instead is just as head-scratching. The team is full of utility bench players now. Plus I seriously doubt we see those savings applied to next season, so I’d much prefer my team is trying to win every season personally.

      • BK

        Drury was signed as a minor league free agent by the Reds last March, so he didn’t represent an investment on the part of the Reds. That said, I’m a little surprised that the Reds haven’t signed any sign-and-flip candidates outside of Myers, but on the other hand, I’m not surprised for the reasons stated in my post below.

    • Doug Gray

      They aren’t saving the money for a later date.

      • Melvin

        Nope they aren’t. Highly doubtful.

      • Burtman

        I believe they missed big this off season. Totally understand wanting to build within but adding 2-3 vets could only help with development not hurt. Adding 10-15 million more would have not hurt the bank. And at the trade deadline give you opportunity to get even more talent in the system. So in the end you may have spent 5-10 and brought a little hope to the avg fan and continue to add young talent. This team seems to have little plans but to save money.

      • Luke J

        Whew, glad we have someone with insider knowledge of the team’s finances and future plans to set us straight. :rollseyes:

      • Michael E

        I am more skeptical of that myself, year by year, but next November/December will be the moment of truth. If they aren’t in on (really in on, not the “we couldn’t agree on numbers” crap) and signing at least one top 10 FA, then you’re are 100% right.

  6. Tim

    In what area will this team be better on opening day than last year?

      • JayTheRed

        Ok 6 – 19 instead.. But hey they are improving.

    • Bdh

      You just aren’t looking at it very well I guess

      Catcher – 2022 < 2023
      1B – 2022 = 2023 (potentially 2023 by a very slight margin
      3B – 2022 = 2023 I am as excited for Steer’s season as I was Solano’s last year. Drury came from nowhere and nobody was expecting him to be the starting 3B
      LF – 2022 < 2023 I was never big on the Pham signing and I’m very high on Fraley now
      CF – 2022 < 2023 I think Friedl starts and is better than Senzel
      RF – 2022 = 2023 Myers might be better but I was pretty high on Naquin last year
      DH – 2022 2023 by less than you think. At this point last year I would have guessed the rotation as Castillo, Mahle, Gutierrez, Minor, Sanmartin. Injuries to Castillo and Minor were the only reasons Greene and Lodolo were with the team to start and many thought Ashcraft would end up a reliever.

      Bullpen – 2022 < 2023 Antone is back and we didn’t know what we had in Diaz at this point last year

      • Bdh

        Some of my comment was erased

        1b – 2023 by a slight margin of Votto is healthier to start
        2B – 2022 = 2023
        SS – 2022 > 2023 by a very slight margin

      • Bdh

        Just noticed the rotation was listed at DH too.

        DH is obviously in a better spot going into this season

      • Tim

        Bdh, I appreciate your feedback and optimism. First base will be down. Votto will not recover from the surgery to previous levels. Second base is the same as last year but his value is not as high as it was coming off his rookie season. SS will not have the offensive production. It will be a science project all year long. Third base may be better but not markedly. Starting rotation is missing two very strong guys that leave behind large shoes. Bullpen is a crapshoot. Antone hasn’t pitched since Trump was in office and has had 2 TJ surgeries. Outfield has no real improvement other than getting rid of Aquino’s abysmal average. If this team is better, it takes looking under a microscope to see it because nothing done this offseason stands out. I really hope you’re right. Would love to enjoy this season!

    • greenmtred

      Possibly Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft will be better than they were last opening day. Since the “plan” seems to involve building around the prospects, it’s hard to predict areas of improvement or decline. Injuries are hard to predict, too, but last year was terrible and fewer injuries could make a difference. They aren’t in win now mode, so maybe the only reasonable strategy for fans–other than ignoring the Reds entirely–is to enjoy watching the development of the prospects. Might be better than spending the summer seething with helpless rage.

  7. BK

    The Reds were never going to invest much money in the 2023 season. That handwriting has been on the wall for quite a while. COVID losses put them behind the power curve in 2020, leading to actual losses in 2020 and 2021. The Regional Sports Network uncertainty has added an additional layer of risk for this season, too. Moreover, if they ever hope to get over the hump, they need roster spots available for when the prospects are ready for promotion. As many have pointed out, spending additional money would do very little to move the needle for winning this season. I’m not in favor of this approach every year, but this year it makes sense.

    Also, comparing this rebuild to the last one is a false equivalency. The last rebuild failed because the Reds waited too long to trade their most valuable players and then targeted “near MLB-ready” players once they did make trades. Adam Duvall is the only player who was productive as a Major Leaguer, so having failed, they traded away prospects and went to the Free Agent market, and fielded a marginally competitive team. The 2022 approach went after talented minor leaguers. So, alas, we have to wait. I don’t like going into a season with little chance of winning, but I can see a workable strategy in place for the first time in a very long time.

    • Old Big Ed

      I pretty much agree with this.

      Doug’s point that “they only started to win games again when they went out and acquired proven big leaguers” is a bit misleading. The only “proven” free agents they got for 2020 and 2021 were Castellanos and Miley. NC had a OPS+ of 100 in 2020, and Miley’s was 88; they really only contributed 1 year.

      They traded for Sonny Gray, but the Yankees had given up on him, and the Reds were able to get him because (1) they had chits to trade, and (2) he had a prior connection with Derek Johnson. And the Reds had the 2020 Cy Young winner, who was never going to stay, and they got him through a trade of prospects.

      They did pick up the “proven” Moustakas, who for $60 million contributed less to the Reds than Brandon Larson would have in his mid-40s. And Freddy Galvis. They did do a good job of picking up Tyler Naquin off the scrap heap.

      The last rebuild was also burdened with the 55-year-old anvil of the Reds’ inability to sign and develop a really good hitter from Latin America, which I believe to be the single biggest operative fact about the team’s lack of success over the last 40 years. That is no longer a problem.

    • MBS

      @BK I agree they were never going to spend money in 23, but I don’t agree with the sentiment that they shouldn’t spend money in 23.

      I also agree this rebuild is being done better, because they started trading players when they had more controllability.

      CES and McGarry are not blocked, as we have no 3B or 1B, lets face it even if Votto makes it back he’ll be phased out for a dominate AAA from either of these 2.

      EDLC and McLain are not blocked, as we have no SS, or CF, and either could take a over RF if that’s the direction the club wants to go. Siani might also figure into the OF, but he’s more likely to be a 4th OF.

      Even if all of these guys make it this year, we still have a bullpen in shambles with no big prospects on the horizon, and a rotation that is only 60% full. We’re at $81M now, if we would have spent $40M more on pitching, and another OF bat we’d still have room for all the “possible” prospects in 23. Not only that, but we’d have a better environment for these young prospects to start their career in. It’s too late now, but they should have signed players early in free agency.

      Benintendi $15M AAV, 5 year deal ($75M Total)
      Syndergaard $13M AAV, 1 year deal ($13M Total)
      Jansen $16M AAV, 2 year deal ($32M Total)

      44M AAV added.

      C Stephenson / Casali / Maile
      1B Votto / Stephenson (McGarry / CES)
      2B India / Newman (EDLC / McLain)
      3B Steer / Newman (EDLC / McLain)
      SS Barrer / Newman (EDLC / McLain)
      LF Fraley / Senzel
      CF Benintendi / Senzel (EDLC / McLain / Siani)
      RF Meyers / Senzel (EDLC / McLain / Siani)

      Syndergaad / Greene / Lodolo / Ashcraft / Dunn

      Jansen / Diaz / Antone/ Sims / SanMartin / Farmer / Santillan / Cessa

      To me that is a night and day difference in makeup and wins of a team, and yes the Reds could have afforded to sign each of these, or similar alternatives, they chose not to try.

      • BK

        @MBS, I don’t disagree with anything you said. My premise is that the Reds are paying off COVID debt and are very concerned about the RSN situation (i.e., if the parent company of the RSNs files for bankruptcy, it’s likely the Reds see little in terms of local RSN). Thus, the Castellini’s are unwilling to commit the money to do what you suggest.

      • Michael E

        Syndergaard and Jansen are just bad now. Serviceable, but nothing special, that would be wasted money. If you flipped them at the deadline, neither would get a top 10 prospect back at this point.

        Now, if they signed a long-term deal to a still somewhat young player that has been solid, maybe on a bad team, I would have been for that. Benintendi would have been a good (somewhat risky) get. He has been good a few seasons and bad a few seasons. He’s not sure fire thing, but I would have welcomed that signing regardless of prospects that might end up blocked (hard to block OFs, there are three positions).

      • MBS

        @Mike, it’s not about the players I mentioned, I like them for our team, and where were at organizationally, but insert the names of the players you prefer. My point was to show that you could still spend money to fill holes, while still allowing the team to bring up the youth. The 2 are not mutually exclusive.

        @BK, I get what you’re saying, but there is no way to know what they actually lost in 2020, but I doubt it’s very much. According to Cots their 40 man payroll was $57.6M. I know they didn’t receive all the TV money they would have normally received, and $0 in gate receipts.

        Gate receipts don’t seem to factor into their current plans, so I guessing it wasn’t a huge deal to them in 2020 either. If they lost $15M or more I’d be shocked. They could spin it and say we lost $50M, by using the number they projected for 2020 minus the number they actually made. That’s not really the same thing though. Loss of potential earnings vs actual debt.

      • BK

        @MBS, we do have an idea about how much they lost in 2020 (- $47M) and 2021 ($400K) because Forbes publishes their estimates of each team’s operating income annually. We also know that there are additional expenses (interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) excluded from Forbes’ annual estimates that affect a team’s bottom-line profit or loss. For example, interest expense alone costs them another $8M to $9M annually. Forbes’ reputation is solid. I realize this doesn’t fit the narrative on RLN, but facts are facts.

      • MBS

        No we don’t. Their books are not public information for us or Forbes. Forbes is a reputable source, but GIGO. They guesstimate their figures since it’s not public. So Garbage in Garbage out.

        Here is a link to another Forbes article.

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2020/05/18/a-deep-dive-into-mlbs-financial-losses-for-the-2020-season/?sh=2b0854ca7f6c

        This section is pretty key to the GIGO comment.

        “Manfred Is Talking Just Baseball-Related Monies, Not All Business Tied To Baseball
        It’s a well-known accounting trick that baseball moves revenues between holdings and investments outside of what is claimed as baseball-related revenues (one example was the Marlins creating a shell company and funneling money back to themselves in the form of expenses). There are equity stakes in regional sports networks, ballpark villages, and more than funnel into the coffers of the owners outside of what is being claimed.”

        I’m not trying to argue too much, just clarifying my point. If you got a link to an article that can clarify things, I’ll read it.

      • BK

        @MBS, In the article you cited, Forbes did not say that their estimates are inaccurate. The article you cited was written in 2020 before MLB and MLBPA agreed to play a 60-game schedule–it was commenting on the magnitude of losses and that MLB’s (i.e., Manfred) was overstating their potential losses, which turned out to be true. Again, it’s not critiquing their annual reports at all. Moreover, if Forbes is reputable, then why shouldn’t we trust their work?

        For the Reds, there are two sources of income that are likely “off the books:” their share of BAMTech proceeds and their interest in their RSN. The BAMTech sale occurred over two transactions, and the share that went to each team was publicly reported. WRT the RSN, we don’t know what the Red’s ownership stake yields. However, we do know that the RSNs are swimming in losses. So, the Reds are likely getting nothing from their ownership stake. Lastly, the CBA requires MLB to open their books to the players annually. I’ll add, we don’t hear MLBPA disputing Forbes’s annual reports.

        The next spring, Forbes reported MLB lost $1.8B in 2020. You can find the Red’s losses documented in Forbes 25th annual report released in the Spring of 2022. It will read exactly as I cited them in my post above–the Reds had a significant operating loss in 2020 and roughly broke even on an operating income basis in 2021. Forbes is also clear that they do not include interest, taxes, depreciation, or amortization–not because they are accounting gimmicks, but because they can vary significantly by location and by how much of the team’s value is leveraged. Of note, comparing companies on the basis of operating income is a common practice when examining competitors. That said, net income remains a company’s bottom line.

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbespr/2021/03/26/forbes-releases-24th-annual-valuations-of-major-league-baseballs-30-teams/?sh=3ddcb4f324e6

      • MBS

        @BDH, Reputable doesn’t mean right. If they don’t have all the data they can only make educated assumptions. GIGO is a computer programming term that is applicable in this case. If the data that I feed into my equations is inaccurate then my results will also be inaccurate.

        Really were arguing a point that is besides the point. If they lost money in the past, or not isn’t the issue. The point is they could have spent money in 23, and didn’t.

        If Bob and Co are in over their heads MLB needs to step in and fix it. This happened in LA with the Dodgers back in 2012. The previous owner wasn’t able to keep up the team properly, or so the rumors say. There are also rumors that Bud artificially constrained cash flow to force him out. Either way they didn’t want the LA Dodgers to become a mediocre franchise. Too bad they don’t feel that way about the Reds, I guess we’ve lost too much of our shine for the MLB to care about.

      • BK

        @MBS, Forbes has no more trouble analyzing MLB or the Reds than they do any other industry. This is not a GIGO situation; they have a solid methodology that they include in their annual report. Nothing I said or that Forbes has reported indicates the Reds have a long-term problem aside from the fact that MLB teams approach every season with vastly different resources. That is the structural problem, and it’s not limited to the Reds. I’ll make the same offer that you gave me … show me a credible source that says the Forbes analysis is flawed, and I’ll be happy to read it.

  8. Old-school

    Reds caravan has TJ Friedl and Jose Barrero as the most accomplished “pros” participating . No FO types x Krall and unrecognizable names.

    Payroll $81 million in salary only . I dont have a problem with using 2023 as a prospect sorting year and purging old contracts year and acquiring more high draft picks year.

    The rubber meets the road in 2024. Do the Reds sign and extend young guys ? Do they wisely spend in FA next offseason to fill holes. I dont think anyone knows but Krall has stuck to a plan.

  9. LDS

    World Series here we come. What a roster! And that management team, wow! And with all the savings, I’m sure ticket prices will be coming down. It’s like 1975 all over again.

  10. Bdh

    I don’t know why this is newsworthy other than to continue trying to anger the same people who want to be mad about any other reds news right now. They added 2 catchers solving the problems behind the plate and at DH with Stephenson moving there, traded for a capable SS should Barrero fail again pre Elly/McClain call ups, signed a solid OF in Myers, added a potential platoon mate for Fraley with Solak, and added a cheap arm to eat innings in the back of the rotation. I’d have liked to see them add another left handed bat somewhere but it seems like they’re wanting to give the young controllable players all the time they can.
    With that said I’m still taking Krall’s comment to mean any multi year contracts or anything over a league minimum. I still won’t be shocked to see them make a solid pickup with a NRI or waiver claim in the coming weeks.

    In the last decade or so they hit big on

    Scooter
    Simon
    Iglesias
    Dietrich
    Naquin
    Drury
    Straily
    I’m probably missing someone else

    There’s still a decent amount of free agents out there who could help a major league team. As the season nears maybe the reds are able to snag one for cheap or make a claim on a DFA’d player when another team signs said free agents

  11. Oldtimer

    I’m 72 YO later this year. The Reds have been in the WS six times (1961, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, and 1990) in my lifetime.

    Of those six WS appearances, two (1961 and 1990) were unexpected. Two (1970 and 1972) were possible but not for sure. Two (1975 and 1976) were likely.

    WS appearance(s) is hardly a fair measure of how well the Reds might do in 2023.

    They have added a good RF (Myers). They hope for bounce back seasons from Votto and India. They added C depth (Casali and Maile). Their young SP should develop in 2023. Their bullpen should benefit from recovery by Antone and Sims. If they stay away from key injuries, they could win as many at 75 games. That would be a decent year.

    The Reds had a terrible year in 1982 and then had a decent year in 1983.

    It could happen again.

    • Jessecuster44

      1983 was not a decent year. At all.

    • Oldtimer

      Compared to 1982 it was. 74-88 (1983) is decent compared to 61-101 (1982).

      • jessecuster44

        Won 13 more games and were still 14 below .500.

        We differ on what “decent” means.

  12. Michael

    Disappointing not to go after Benetendi knowing the team has large holes in the outfield. From Phil’s recent comments, I think the likelihood of them spending in free agency next off-season is slim. I hope contract extensions are coming for some of our young players.

    • Doc

      It takes two sides to reach an agreement.

  13. Bdh

    I see the Twins just got Taylor from the Royals. Kepler was already rumored to be on the trade market so I would say he definitely is now. Wonder what the asking price for him would be after the down year he had last season. He does have a team option for 2024 but I wouldn’t offer a ton. He’d be another left handed bat to get in the lineup when you stick him or Fraley at DH

  14. Melvin

    It’s a real shame the Reds have become a JOKE of an organization. Big Bob & Son just don’t care about winning or the fans….at all. An argument could be made that they are just plain deceitful liars.

  15. catcard202

    Reds have the pieces to not suck as bad as 2022…But that’s not saying much.

  16. redfanorbust

    Reds ownership and this years teams probable outcome has been WELL documented/complained about for a long time now. I personally am over it. Any Reds fans who frequent these types of chat sites know all too well the facts. I never expected the Reds to do anything but what they did. Fill a few minor gaps for this year and build for 2024. Only thing we can do as a Reds fan is hope that the money they save on Votto/Moose contracts coming off after this year, they spend on good players to add to what we hope is our young players having gotten a lot better with another year under their belt. Reds have not been seriously relevant since 1990. Any stumblings into the playoffs have short lived. Unless I switch allegiances to another team, a miracle salary cap in baseball or we somehow get a smarter/ new deep pocket owner we might be locked into mediocrity or worse for another 30 years.

    • TR

      The Reds, like many teams, have had many pockets of mediocrity in their history. From the beginning of the world series in 1901, it took almost twenty years for the Reds to win their first one and that was during the long period when each league had eight teams. The shortest period between wins in the Red’s long history is 1961 to1990.

  17. Michael B. Green

    CIN has a history of signing a few veterans to late contracts, either right before or even during Spring Training. Waiver wire type pickups have worked.

    Not sure if there is a fit this time though. About the only guy on the 40MR that is perhaps in jeopardy on the offense side is Alejo Lopez. However, if Votto or Senzel open the season on the DL60, a spot or two could open up.

    There is nobody blocking our young talent, and so we’ll see who can break out and become part of the key core for 2024.

  18. shaggy

    It’s funny growing up the Reds were always a good if not great team and the Bengals were always the laughing stock of the world. My Bearcats were always in the mix to get into March Madness so I never really cared about football too much it was just a filler between my other two teams. Now the two football teams are carrying all the hopes and dreams of our city. Who could have ever seen that coming

    • Oldtimer

      XU Muskies are pretty good in MBB.

      Huggins is HOF coach. Cronin was good as his replacement. The wheels fell of the wagon after that.

      I was born in 1951. The Reds were meh in 1950s, good in 1960s, great in 1970s, good in 1980s, very good in 1990s, meh in 2000s, so up and down over 70 years.

  19. shaggy

    Maybe we get lucky with this team and the youngsters actually know how to play and surprise us all. The best thing is that none of us actually expect anything of this team with the way they are constructed right now, so if the Reds actually do anything it will be looked at as a blessing.

    • Melvin

      That’s the way Big Bob & Son want us to think. Don’t expect anything and be happy with little (whatever we can get) while not complaining. Praising them for all they’ve done for Cincinnati keeping the team in the city. Being thankful is always a good thing for sure and I’m still looking forward to baseball season. I do expect more though from the selfish tightwads we have for owners….a lot more.

  20. AMDG

    If the roster is set, I’m assuming the starting rotation is essentially:

    1. Lodolo
    2. Greene
    3. Loss
    4. Loss
    5. Loss

    • MBS

      lol, but you are probably making fun of the best part of the team. Not that that’s saying much.

    • D Ray White

      Ashcraft is decent, but I’ll give you L and L for 4 and 5. The bullpen arguably hasn’t improved either. They’re relying on inured guys coming back and replicating earlier successes. At this point they need to play the young guys, and Krall has started Bell-proofing the roster.

      • Bdh

        People here sure like to act like any injury might as well be a career ender for relief pitchers.

        How about we wait and see how they look before writing them off for good. If Antone returns to form the reds suddenly have one of the best duos coming out of the pen in the entire league

  21. Ken

    This post hits the nail squarely on the head. The Reds’ lack of effort to improve is unprecedented. As a young Reds fan in the 1960s, they lost games and had poor seasons, but I always sensed they were trying. This era, however, is truly pathetic. Hopefully the young arms come around. If they do and the Reds become competitive, won’t it be interesting to see if they make an effort to improve in a playoff drive.

    • MBS

      Honestly that is why I stopped watching the Bengals. They didn’t try for over a decade, and were content to be mediocre during the Lewis era. Last offseason, I watched the playoffs and this year, a couple more but not much more. I am still happy to see the Bengals win but Brown lost me as a fan. I used to go to 4 games a year, buy the gear etc.

      I am starting to feel the same way about the Reds. I have always been a bigger baseball fan than football, but everyone has their breaking point. I am hoping mine isn’t broken this year with the Reds.

    • Michael E

      The Reds haven’t had ANY sustained success since Free Agency became a thing. They were successful when they could keep players forever without risk of a big Yankees or Dodgers offer.

      We can rightfully complain about not spending on payroll, but at the same time, anyone that thinks a Cincinnati team can spend even half as much as a New York or L.A. or Chicago or Houston franchise is wildly psychotic. Franchise values have shot up, year after year, but even so you don’t take out loans and run up debts to fund payroll, at least not for more than one go-for-it season that is.

      • MBS

        @Mike, I am with you on that, baseball is using a broken model. They really need to adopt the NFL model if they want to produce a product that keeps franchises competitive. Salary caps and floors, greater revenue sharing, National TV contracts and not local deals, etc…

      • Doug Gray

        The Reds high payroll was just over $140M. So yeah, they can and easily have spent “half as much” as every team ever, except for the 2023 New York Mets.

        Signed,
        Not wildly psychotic

      • Votto4life

        They didn’t have all that much success before free agency. Besides one good run 50 years ago, any success they have had has been pretty much one and done. A slight exception was over 80 years ago in 1939-1940.

      • Bob

        And the Yankees run of dominance also ended with free agency but you bring them up as someone who benefits from FA. Cleveland is cheaper then the reds and are well run and competitive. St Louis is similar to Cincy and hasn’t had a losing season in decades.
        Stop holding Castellinis water for him with this baseball is unfair pity party. No one is making him own the team. If it’s so unfair, and so terrible, then sell.

  22. D Ray White

    Hey, Phil’s PowerPoint slide was correct: They’re gonna be out of contention on Opening Day! The Castellini/Williams/Wyler consortium is challenging the Pirates ownership for the worst owners in baseball. This is beyond pathetic.

  23. LDS

    Come on folks, Bell said yesterday that he has the whole season planned out already. He knows for instance where Stephenson will play and when. With management like that what could go wrong? And Krall once again dropped hints that Senzel & Votto likely won’t be ready opening day, though he hedged a bit on Senzel. And TJ is doing optimally at the moment. But, hey, the roster is set, so all good to go. Where you gonna go?

    • Votto4life

      I am sure David Bell already has his “scheduled off days” set for the entire 2023 season. His scheduling prowess will come in handy in his next job as shift leader at Pizza Hut.

      As they say, Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

  24. SultanofSwaff

    At least Bell seemingly got the memo that spring training should have more urgency. Whether he follows thru and plays guys more than 3 innings the last two weeks of camp remains to be seen.

    “We traded some players off last year. It’s something we needed to go through.”–Nick Krall
    Did no reporters think to follow up and ask ‘why’? It really bugs me when the media lets narratives like this go unchallenged.

  25. Rednat

    i totally agree with your assessment Doug. It may be possible to rely entirely on your farm system for your pitching staff( difficult, but possible). It is absolutely impossible to rely totally on the minor leagues for position players. There are just not that many good hitters out there right now so you have to be willing to spend money to get them.

  26. Kevin H

    Another rebuild and no end insight.. prospects are just that. Out of the 10 they received from last year, maybe 3 will make it. Plus all the other high end prospects they have maybe 2 who knows.

    How long will RLN be okay with “play the young guys” I give it a month before people complain.

    This season isn’t even worth following. Hope I am wrong but doubt it. Bell has to be frustrated as he had a talented roster in 20, and 21 and they the organization blew it up.

    Yet they claim to be a small market and can’t spend. Biggest lie told around baseball.

    • citizen54

      The Reds peaked in 2020 and they had a 0-2 loss in the playoffs to show for it. The 2021 Reds were 83-79. Not sure I’d call those teams talented.

      • Redsvol

        exactamundo citizen54. A team isn’t going anywhere in the playoffs with Luis Castillo and a bunch of mid-rotation starters. We might have gotten lucky and won a Wild Card round but that would have been it.

        Now, we have the makings of 2 aces on the staff – Hunter and Lodolo. We still need 1-2 more reliable starting pitching arms (next year’s free agent class?) and 2-3 All Stars to develop from the offensive side of things to have a chance. Stephenson has the look of a perennial All Star but India took a huge step backward last year. Perhaps 2 of the youngsters will develop rapidly into All-Star capable talent.

        At some point, ownership is going to have to spend some $ on existing MLB talent. I thought they missed an opportunity on Benintendi this year. Next year’s offensive free agent class is horrible. The pitching free agent class has some talent but it will be quite $ to compete with everyone else for them. They are going to have to make some shrewd trades for guys that are already signed to deals in my humble opinion.

  27. Redhaze

    I still say that while they are rebuilding they need some veterans to learn from. Right now it is Myers and Votto. No veteran pitchers. Weaver doesn’t count. Why not sign Greinke and Wacha?????? To say they cannot afford them is fat lie.

    • A.B.

      I don’t think I’d want Zack Greinke anywhere near my young, impressionable pitchers.

  28. SultanofSwaff

    I saw Bob Castellini was behind the mic yesterday on Facebook. Wonder what he said. Anyone know?

    • Doug Gray

      Where did you see it because I didn’t. He wasn’t scheduled to be “anywhere”

      • Mark Moore

        I just commented. Looks like maybe it got auto-censored for some reason. I included the FB link to the picture and subsequent comments.

      • Doug Gray

        Not sure why it got flagged – unless all FB links get flagged now (not something I set up, but could be a part of the spam software).

        That said, I went and looked. I’m throwing on my Sherlock Holmes hat here, but the photo of Bob looks like it was taken at the ballpark upstairs (which can be seen in other photos). In those other photos, he’s not on stage. And there are only about 25 people in the room at the time who aren’t sitting on stage. Wondering if this wasn’t for a very specific, private group of people where they knew Bob wouldn’t face questions or booing.

      • Mark Moore

        Thanks, Doug.

        The other part of my comment was how Bob looks rather constipated in that shot. I mean, he’s not a “classically handsome man” but for crying out loud. Don’t publish a photo like that! 😀

      • Doug Gray

        The way that I’m reading this is that Castellini was only at the Reds on Radio luncheon, which means he wasn’t going to be asked any real questions (if he even took questions). But maybe I’m reading it incorrectly.

  29. TheCoastMan

    It’s not the fact that we are rebuilding that bugs me. It’s the fact that the Castellini’s claim they are in the “poor house” and loosing money, which means they will never spend more as a percentage of income than they are right now.

    The revenue sharing numbers alone for this year will give each team $110 mil. I’m no accountant, but if the Reds can only afford $80 mil towards payroll in this environment, then I fear we are in for a perpetual rebuild as long as the Castellini’s own the team.

  30. old-school

    C Trent has an article up and Votto is not going to be ready for spring training. Senzel is wait and see at the beginning of ST. Dunn and Sims are on track. Worst news is Tejay Antone has “forearm” issues related to ramping up his program. Bell believes in Barrero and thinks this is his year for it to come together and hes not worried about him and hes going to get an opportunity. Bell has scripted a potential model for the season already with the schedule looking at balancing Stephenson sharing duties at C/1b/DH to get his bat in the lineup 140-150 games.

    Injuries always happen and Krall didnt get enough pitching depth, either in the BP or SP. Thats when the season goes sideways, when the combination of underperformance by some guys and injuries to other guys hits a critical mass on the pitching staff. Its just does that occur in April or August because the pitching depth isn’t there over 162 games.

    • Optimist

      Most of this is expected, or at least to be planned around, but the Antone news is the thread that really starts the unravelling. Then it becomes a choice to go with pitching retreads or hurried callups – I vote retreads. Don’t spoil development.

    • Jim Walker

      Mark Sheldon ran a similar piece today in his newsletter. He has Interesting takes on Nick Senzel and centerfield from Bell and Krall.

      Bell says from where things stand now Senzel has to play CF “a lot”; and that is his focus; but, if things should change, he has confidence in using Senzel at a number of positions.

      Meanwhile, Krall was quoted as saying, “Who is going to play center is going to be more of a competition in spring.”

      I guess one of the things that could change is that somebody could out compete Senzel for playing time in center field? Based on 2022, it isn’t hard seeing Freidl or Fairchild both doing that.

      https://view.mail.mlblists.com/messages/1674578239823cb9b732a5c17/raw

      • Old-school

        It seems like India is playing 2b every day and Steer is playing 3b every day and Newman/Barrero will compete at SS in spring training

        Senzel is running out of options and his latest injury that drags on may make spring of 2023 his last chance to prove hes an everyday player. Spring training performance by Senzel does matter.

      • Jim Walker

        @OS>> Yeah, Krall has decreed competition for the CF spot which infers that 3B is likely Steer’s to lose which leaves Senzel with CF or bust as far as an “everyday” guy

        And Krall also made a statement that might tend to indicate he doubts Senzel will be ready to compete (early at least) in spring training.

        (Krall referring to Senzel) … “Where he is exactly, [in terms of] timeline, we’ll know probably when he gets into spring what his tolerance is. I think there’s the healing aspect of it and there’s also the baseball aspect, getting yourself ramped up throughout Spring Training instead of being ready to come to Spring Training.”

  31. MK

    Always amazing how we know how much money they have. Just because a business is worth a lot does mean there is cash there. My home is worth a bit and I would like to have several parts remodeled but even though it is worth slot doesn’t mean I have the cash on hand to do the remodeling.

    • SultanofSwaff

      We just want them to take a home equity loan against obscene future profits for some indoor plumbing!

      • Doug Gray

        Indoor plumbing is very important.

      • MK

        Loans have to be paid back and the loan payments most likely cut back on personnel expenditures.

      • Doug Gray

        Win. Sell more tickets. Sell more advertising (at higher rates because now more eyes see it!). Raise ticket prices because you’ve got a product people are willing to pay more for to watch because you’re trying.

        Or they can sit back and not try and just collect the revenue sharing and broadcast tv money and face the hatred of the entire community.

      • MBS

        Yes, but if you can’t poop in your house who cares about personal expenditures?

      • Jim Walker

        If people are house poor they can hide that; and, believe me, I’ve seen some fancy homes in fancy neighborhoods that were essentially bereft of furniture inside, and hard up for fully functional plumbing, heating, and lights.

        If you buy a major professional sports franchise and can’t afford to field a competitive team, there is nowhere to hide; and, you should not expect patience or forbearance from workaday folks. Put up or shut up (i.e. sell the team).

      • Votto4life

        Here is an idea.. if the ownership is losing money Year after year they could sell the team. I mean I don’t have a MBA or anything, but that would seem to be an option.

  32. J

    I hate the way this team has been run, but I’ll never understand why so many people believe they can predict future outcomes based on very little evidence. Some prospects and “fringe” guys become valuable major league players when they get a chance to play on a regular basis (Drury, India in 2021, Naquin, Farmer for some stretches, early Suarez, etc.), while many “legit major league players” are, to put it nicely, not always so valuable (Senzel, Moose, Pham, later Suarez, Votto last year, Barnhart, etc.) When a team is loaded with guys who’ve never had a chance to play regularly, it makes no sense to decide in advance how the season is going to play out. I understand being angry about the way the team has been run, because I certainly am, but complaining because they didn’t add two or three more “proven” major leaguers to this roster seems pointless to me.

    • Rednat

      I agree to an extent with this comment but I think it is ok to study trends and make observations too. we have not been doing a good job developing position players over the past couple of decades to be honest. Most of our “top prospects” fizzle out quite quickly. Now management has decided to depend totally on developing prospects to fill the roster spots for the future. I think it is ok to be skeptical that this strategy will not work to good.

      • J

        I’m not seeing that. Some have fizzled, others haven’t. Stephenson, India, and Winker have been three of the top prospects in recent years, and they’ve done okay for themselves. I’m sure you can look at any organization’s top prospects for the last 10 years and find plenty of guys who fizzled. (Some of the Reds’ top prospects who’ve fizzled are guys who were traded to other teams for major leaguers.) And some “fringe” guys have come to the Reds and exceeded expectations: Drury, Naquin, Farmer, Suarez, etc.

        Where the Reds have really failed badly, I think, has been when they’ve attempted to sign or trade for “proven” players. Other than Castellanos, those have mostly been disasters. Pham, Moose, Kemp, Minor, etc. They gave Shogo a pretty big contract, and a lot of Reds fans were thrilled to see the organization willing to spend money on a guy who could DEFINITELY be the leadoff hitter for at least three years…

        Given the composition of the current team, and the Reds’ track record of evaluating “proven” players, I just don’t’ think it makes sense to complain about this team not committing a lot of money to free agents right now.

  33. citizen54

    ZiPS has the Reds at about 21 WAR which means they need another 23 WAR to get to 90 wins. At $8 MM per WAR, the Reds would have to spend $184 million in FA bringing their payroll to $260 which would be 2nd only behind the Mets. There is a time to cry abouit the Reds not spending money but this year is not that time. I guess everyone forgets that part of the reason the Reds are so bad right now is because they foolishly splurged and went all in in 2020.

    • Kevin H

      Sure they went all in 2020, wouldn’t call it foolishly. They were good in 20, and 21 coming off a season were despite the bullpen competitive/good. However they decided not to build on the 2021 season. They didn’t resign and traded players away for NO reason. “You build it they will come ” comes to my mind. Yet they tore it down again. Not sure what “war” has to do with anything. The analytical stuff has just ruined sports.

      • citizen54

        The analytics was to point out that the Reds are three Mike Trouts from maybe making the playoffs so even signing someone like Judge wouldn’t move the playoff needle much.

        We don’t know what we have in the young guys yet so there is no point paying overpaying a vet who would be taking away reps from one of the young players. If we still had Castillo, Gray and Mahle then we never would have found out that Lodolo is a stud. Greene might not have been given chance to have that stellar second half. Ashcraft might be wasting in Louisville. I don’t know about you but I’d rather see if Steer can become a good regular or EDLC a star rather than paying someone $20 MM for average production and taking away reps from the young guys.

        And going all in in 2020 was dumb because the Reds weren’t close to being a good team before that and all Krall and company did by going all in was to make the Reds a slightly better than .500 team with a one year window . Anyone who wasn’t wearing rose colored glasses could have told you that it wasn’t going to work out.

      • Greenfield Red

        Cit54, I agree with you But that wasn’t Krall. That was Dick Williams. Between his 2020 fumble, the back end of the Votto contract with its failures, and the 2015 or 2016 completely screwed up trades by Jocketty, 2022 and 2023 became inevidible. No amount of money thrown at this roster would fix it.

        Ownership and Krall are in a fix, but they have come up with a plan to correct it. Let’s hope they stick to it.

      • citizen54

        My bad, I meant to say Williams. Actually, Krall was dealt a bad hand by Williams and has unfiarly been getting all the blame for the current state of the club.

    • Bob

      Indeed. Kudos to the Reds front office for putting together a roster so devoid of talent no amount of money could help.

      • TR

        If spent, money could help the Reds like it does other clubs.

    • Tom Diesman

      Where is that 21 accumulated WAR number coming from? Is that using projected playing time numbers? Seems low.

      • Tom Diesman

        Seems you added the WAR total on the depth chart provided in the Reds Zips article, which still included Moustakas and no Myers. The author, Dan Szymborski, even warns, “I will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on a depth chart to produce projected team WAR.”. So hopefully Dan doesn’t hunt you down for a karate chop.” 🙂

        I pulled the Zips numbers down and applied projected playing time to the players for a full seasons worth of PA and IP. The Reds Zips projected WAR total was 32.7 which calculates out to 80.7 Wins, or essentially a .500 season. Since I really don’t care for WAR, I also calculated RC for the hitters, R for the pitchers and applied the Pythagreon formula and it came out to 76-86 projected season for the Reds.

      • Tom Diesman

        I also did the same for the Steamer numbers. They projected to 76-86 for WAR totals and 70-92 for Pythagreon formula on RC and R allowed.