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.