Since 2015, when the Reds began drafting high as they embarked upon their rebuild, it’s appeared as if almost every selection has been an unqualified success. Tyler Stephenson, Hunter Greene, Jonathan India, Nick Lodolo, Matt McLain, with the jury still out on a 21 year old Austin Hendrick, have all proved worthy of their high selections. Only Nick Senzel failed to launch, well-documented injuries hamstringing his jump to the majors. A 2016 #2 overall pick from Tennessee, it was hoped the college player would be on the fast track to Great American Ball Park.

And indeed, his minor league numbers have given an addictive umami taste of what he could still provide to the rebuilt Reds: .306 BA/.383 OBP/.496 SLG/.880 OPS

The giddiness over the outsized performances of Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz, as well as the sustained production of Spencer Steer have made Senzel expendable in the eyes of many. 176 plate appearances into this season, with solid defensive play at third base and an April NL Player of the Week award in his back pocket, have put Senzel’s head squarely of the trade chopping block, where it seemingly has been throughout his short major league career for many who follow the team.

Too soon? It would seem so. What he COULD BE in service to this team still seems much more valuable than what he would likely bring back in a trade at this point. And if you need a lesson on giving up on a player prematurely, just remember the low value that was placed on TJ Friedl just a year ago.

With a few puzzle pieces at hand, it’s tempting to force them in to a place they may not belong in an attempt to too quickly fill out the big picture. Is De La Cruz the de facto shortstop of the future, or would his skills be better served in centerfield, opening a place for the eventual arrival of Noelvi Marte? Does defense matter? If it does as much as I believe, maybe Jonathan India moves to leftfield, making room for Senzel at the keystone, where he spent much of his time at Louisville. Doing so would have the dual benefit of opening third base for Steer while making way for the arrival of Christian Encarnacion-Strand at first sack once Joey Votto’s contract runs its course. All of this is conjecture. The point is, there is much to learn and this is the season to experiment.

If you believe that the Central is there for the taking only 75 games in, then you want more pitching, both starting and relief. But if sustainability still is up the road ahead for you and not in the rearview mirror and disappearing fast as the youngsters hit the gas on this season, you know meaningful pitching will require a substantial withdrawal from the talent bank account.

Thankfully, Nick Krall gets it. Once a joke for inelegantly explaining the need to eliminate the “highs and lows,” he understands that going high now would come at substantial cost and bring on the lows that much sooner down the road. Yes, the Reds could go out and pursue Aroldis Chapman, but big market teams currently riding the struggle bus—like the Dodgers or Mets—will push the prospect price higher, a place the Reds do not need to inhabit this year.

“We’re just going to look at any avenue to improve our club,” said Krall, who also suggested bullpen help is on the radar. “Pitching help and pitching depth is always at a premium.”

Now is not the time to get over the skis, to turn this surprising season into a profound disappointment for some simply because the organization failed to capitalize on a weak Central Division and sneak into the playoffs a year or two ahead of time.

As Elvira warned Tony, “Lesson Number 2: Don’t get high on your own supply.”

The high-flying prospects have everyone seeing stars down at the ballpark down by the river the last few days. Enjoy the sudden transformation for what it is. A respite from the losing. A new beginning. Now is not the time to trade those cash cows for a handful of magic beans.


It’s no coincidence that June 21 marked the longest winning streak for the Reds in over six decades. Daylight respects daylight and this Summer Solstice of a Season has swept away the darkness hovering over this win-starved franchise. Every win is delicious in a year where few were expected. As Warren Zevon once said, “Enjoy every sandwich.”

And keep your eyes on the horizon.

146 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    I’m torn on Senzel. It would appear his handedness at the plate plays into any decision. He also seems relatively comfortable (and growing more comfortable) in LF. Any move of India would be in the offseason, so we get what we get this year whether we keep Nick or trade him.

    Now, raise your hand if you honestly thought we’d be sitting in first place having these conversations as the end of June approaches? For me, it’s all part of the fun.

    For the record, Richard, I think his value to this Reds team outshines his trade value. But you never know, right?

    • JayTheRed

      I am with Mark on this. Senzel sure has a bad injury past and has been nothing close to the superstar we all thought he was going to be. But he is a solid player overall.
      Like Newman I like Senzel playing as a backup. If he does get traded away as part of a package to get strong starting pitching, then I am ok with it. I don’t think they are getting rid of any of the core young guys unless they are just totally blown away. It’s guys who are in AA and lower that are producing really well that I think would be traded.

  2. Joe D.

    Richard, thank you for being the voice of reason. While I too would love for more pitching to be brought in, I feel many have been advocating to trade invaluable minor league talent for an off chance of post season success this year. It’s not worth it. Enjoy the show and what it portends for the upcoming years.

  3. Melvin

    I’m not in favor of trading a top prospect (Marte) for Chapman. However you won’t get him for peanuts. Do I think the Reds can win the division and make a run in the playoffs if we get all of our starting pitching back eventually AND add Chapman. – YES – Just depends on how much they want to give up to do it.

    • jmb

      Marte for Chapman? No way! Who’s talking such rot?

  4. Harold

    It seems to me that Nick (G.M.) seems to understand how to trade for young talent and I feel like that is the way I would suggest he should continue. We are well stocked with talent, in the minors. I think he’s done a great job to date, and I think that’s the way I would proceed. Continue to build with young talent.

  5. LDS

    While Senzel would be a good platoon partner for Fraley, I’m skeptical he can stay healthy in the OF. But pushing for the playoffs this year would be stupid, once again derailing a rebuild. Try to move Senzel and/or Newman. Take the best off and keep the other one.

    • Votto4life

      LDS if you were a MLB GM how much exactly would you be willing to give up for Nick Senzel or Kevin Newman. I would suggest not much.

      • LDS

        There’s always a greater fool. I suspect Senzel would be easier to move and return more. No one wanted Newman last year except the Reds. Remember, all I’m looking for in return are pitching or OF prospects , not MLB ready players. Frees salary and roster slots. Continues the rebuild and let’s this year play out however.

      • 2020ball

        Newman is far more valuable than Senzel IMO

      • 2020ball

        Saying no one wanted him after the Pirates kept and traded him is simply a hyperbolic assumption.

      • LDS

        @2020, Nope. He was the lowest rated starting SS in the majors. And the Reds gave up pitching to get a Bell special – a mediocre journeyman that they really didn’t need.

  6. Daniel Kals

    Imagine if, after the Bengals first season with Joe Burrow, a year in which they went 4-11-1, after going 2-14 the year before, with Burrow recovering from ACL surgery in the offseason, they had said, “You know, no need to sign Trey Hendrickson. No need to sign Chidobe Awuzie. No need to sign Mike Hilton. No need to draft a luxury WR like Jamarr Chase, we are two to three years away. We need offensive linemen, we better draft the trenches the next couple years and save our money for our eventual run when we’re ready to compete two or three years from now. Who knows, maybe we can make the playoffs in 2025.” In fact, this is what numerous pundits and fans were telling them to do, much like there are many today who would kick the can down the road hoping for more infield prospects to arrive – and won’t the Reds be great then, when they have 7 different All-Star caliber shortstops on the team? Maybe then we can trade ONE of them…. but just one, and only for a 26-year old All-Star pitcher with 4 years of control left.

    Instead, the Bengals went from worst to Super Bowl by spending a ton of money and drafting a game-changer instead of a building block. They went for it like, now.

    There is no such thing as 2-3 years away. Or even 1-2 years away. That is a mindset. A mindset that, thankfully, the players on this team have eschewed in favor of confidence and belief. There is no guarantee any of these players will be doing what they’re doing right now, in 2 years. If there is a starting pitcher, even a half-year rental, that can get this team into the postseason, there is not a single prospect out of the question, in my book. Of course, if it’s Marte or CES, we better get a 26-year old All Star pitcher with 4 years of control left.

    • Votto4life

      Exactly DK, There are not guarantees in baseball. If you have a chance to win, you need to take it.

      • greenmtred

        Yours is a reasonable argument nothing is guaranteed. But that includes the impact of a pitcher we add mid-season. I also think that it’s quite possible that the Reds can win the division with what they have now and strategic additions from AAA. Remember, all three of our presumptive 1-3 starting pitchers are currently on the IL and will be back. Of course, good performance by all of them isn’t guaranteed, either, but they’re already on the team and have shown considerable talent and promise.

    • Cincy6464

      Yes. The window is open and we must kick it in!
      For those that think of the old days (like myself), Bob Howsam built the BRM machine with shrewd trades and fearless pursuit of a winner.

    • Richard Fitch

      Comparing MLB with the NFL fails to comprehend the vast structural differences between the two sports. We’ve seen 4-12 NFL teams reach the SuperBowl the next year. That just doesn’t happen in baseball. Why? Well, lack of parity in MLB for one. Two, NFL drafts routinely produce impact players. It’s rare for MLB drafts to produce impact players for years. Why don’t the NY Jets just outspend everyone else the way the Mets do? Because the NFL is constructed to stop them from doing just that.

      It doesn’t work that way in major league baseball, Daniel.

      • David

        Gee Richard. Way to be a real buzz kill! 😉

        No, the way teams and leagues are operated are not really comparable, but the point being that adding the right talent can improve a team from a poor season to a competitive season.
        Nobody here expected the Reds to be in close contention, nay, FIRST PLACE… on June 22, 2023. Yet…here they are.
        The Reds brought up some really talented players that they drafted and traded for. A couple players from last year are playing much better (Friedl and Fraley) and two guys are healthy that were hurt a lot last year (India and Stephenson), plus Senzel who has been hurt a lot, has played a lot better this year, being healthy.

    • Michael E

      The rotation is a dumpster fire. IF/when/unlikely that Greene, Lodolo and Abbott are all healthy and pitching well in Ocotber, then yeah, we have a shot, but right now, we may have the worst rotation in baseball and that is with a surprisingly good Abbott that is likely to have a couple of blow up starts along the way.

      Hitting is carrying the team right now (been a LONG time since we said that), but everyone knows it won’t stay at this level, it just won’t, law of averages. It should remain good, but they won’t outscore playoff teams with pitching we’re getting in 5 and 7 game series.

  7. Wayne Nabors

    Reds derailed senzel when they move him to new position, trade him to a team that needs a 3rd baseman and you will hear plenty from him,he is a beast at 3rd

    • Chris

      That statement is ridiculous. Change of position did not derail Senzel. Injuries, which he was caught up in, even before moving to the OF, is what derailed Senzel. Funny, so many are wanting EDLC to move to CF, and it’s probably the same people that blame the organization for moving Senzel out there.

      • Wayne Nabors

        Lack of baseball knowledge is ridiculous,senzel is best 3rd baseman since rolen

      • TR

        I’m one of those fans included in the comment of Chris. I clearly remember when Senzel was drafted, with fanfare, out of the U. of Ten. as an infielder. I believe Senzel was never given the chance to develop as an infielder because, at the time, the Red’s infield was too crowded. So, he was placed in centerfield to utilize his offense. The result was hitting walls and resulting injuries. I believe that now the best move is to trade Senzel for what Krall can get, hopefully a decent pitcher. This will enable CES to be brought up as the DH. Also, down the road, I think EDLC’s ultimate position will be centerfield, and he’ll play that position similar to the great Willie Mays.

      • Oldtimer

        EDLC is not similar to Willie Mays as CF. Not even close.

      • VaRedsFan

        @TR – Senzel injured his knee on a non-contact play, a year or 2 ago playing…..
        Wait for it…..

        3rd Base

    • LDS

      Don’t forget Turner’s contribution. Senzel complained about that publicly.

    • Daytonnati

      I remember Suarez blocking Senzel, so they had him playing second and Bell, being Bell, just could not get enough grit from Scooter, so, off Nick goes to CF. Strangely, moving Suarez was okay when we brought in Moustakis??

  8. JayTheRed

    I like what Nick Krall said “We are not building a minor league system we are trying to find the best way to win. Sometimes you give up a pretty good minor leaguer to get something you need for your major league team. I expect Krall will be careful not to give up too much. As much as I would love to see Chapman back. There has to be other quality (Not Superstar) relievers that won’t cost an arm and a leg in prospects.

    I have a feeling Senzel and Newman will both be gone at the deadline but I have been wrong before.

  9. Oldtimer

    Senzel is an excellent defensive 3B. He gets injured playing OF.

    • VaRedsFan

      Senzel injured his knee on a non-contact play, a year or 2 ago playing…..
      Wait for it…..

      3rd Base

    • greenmtred

      Oldtimer, I’m sure that you have seen 3rd basemen diving into the stands after pop-ups. Centerfield does produce more injuries, to be sure, but no position comes close to pitching in this regard. The problem with saying that outfield is too dangerous for Senzel is that the next logical step is saying it’s too dangerous for any player the team values.

    • MFG

      Agree Oldtimer, Senzel crashing into walls and diving for balls in the outfield has caused a lot of his injuries. I do think our infield is way too crowded though.
      Newman will probably be traded soon.
      India is the heart of this team and i hope he is not traded.
      Senzel should/ could be moved to open up a spot for a “potential” game changing bat in AAA. Elly could look really good in CF wearing number 44!

  10. Myles

    I guess I’m a contrarian on Senzel. He has negative career WAR and is at 0.5 WAR for this year. And it’s his age 27 year, so this is approximately-peak Senzel. I don’t know what that’s worth but maybe it’s not worth trading him simply because he won’t fetch much in return. But if he did get traded, I won’t miss him.

    The Reds have much more compelling home-developed talent panning out. For sure India and McLain and maybe more; though I’m not yet as sure if you should count EDLC or Friedl due to SSS or Stephenson due to his 2023 not being that great. Comparatively speaking, Senzel and Barrero both seem like distractions, who at one point were on top prospects lists but just haven’t done it when given the chance. So at this point I’d rather see what CES can do in the Big Leagues and move onwards and hopefully upwards.

    • Jon

      I agree! The love for Senzel is amazing.I would trade him in a second for a BP arm or a Starting pitcher. There are multiple players better and more reliable in the reds organization.Please sell SenSELL!

    • Michael E

      Senzel is a journeyman player and best suited as a utility guy if he can learn to play enough positions. His upside has come and went. First Vertigo, that was the BIG derailer.

      Then just lots of little injuries piling up. None of them due to moving position or any of that useless non-sense. That’s just making excuses for a prospect that busted. He can still play baseball, but if he breaks out, it will be as a 30 year old and probably for a modest 80-20-60 season somewhere down the line.

  11. Jenyns

    We won’t get much for Senzel, his history of injuries is too prevalent, they need a middle reliever to eat up innings, not Chapman and mayb a 2nd tier starter so as not to give up much. Bring up some more of the young players and test their ability, I g try thought this year was to see what we received in the trades, let’s see the rest

  12. Paul

    I believe they should be ready to trade ces for pitching help he is likely to be a great hitter but he is a defensive liability at any position which costs runs on the other end and if you want good you got to trade good

    • VaRedsFan

      False statement.
      About a week ago, it was reported that he had 5 defensive runs saved while playing 1st base.

      Recently playing 3rd base, made a great catch and throw from the foul line.

      The same people were saying Steer couldn’t play 1st base….also a false statement.

      CES won’t be traded.

  13. wolfcycle

    don’t know what his average is but I know Jose Siri would be leading us homers right now if we hung on to him.

    • David

      Tampa Bay can kind of afford to play him, because their whole line up is power packed. Siri is only batting in the range of 0.220’s so he would have a worse BA than Stuart Fairchild, the lowest hitting OF for the Reds. He’s fast and a good fly-catcher in Rays Park.
      Behind Fraley, Friedl, Steer (PT- OF), Benson and even Senzel (PT-OF) in BA.

    • DHud

      Reds letting Siri go was a necessary evil. He was signed so young he either had to be in the bigs before he was ready or be given the chance to move on. No hard feelings on his loss from my perspective

  14. LT

    A well written article and I enjoyed reading it, thank you. But I am not sure I agree with your position. If there’s an opportunity to make the playoff, imo, that should take priority. There’s no guarantee of future success. Of the game where the saying “you’re as good as your last at bat” comes from, I am more on the side of winning now if we can. Future does not guarantee anything.

      • Luke J

        Maybe a franchise that has never won a world series isn’t the best example.

      • MBS

        @Luke, Salient point, This is why I don’t want to be the Rays. They’ve basically figured out how to be good without spending money, but not how to build a championship team.

      • Jon

        But isn’t winning the WS the ultimate goal? The Guardians/Indians and A’s (at least since the Moneyball era) used much the same model. The three teams have had some great seasons. The Rays went to the WS twice in the past 15 years, the Indians once. But they never won it all. At the end of the day, these teams have to stop being so cheap and spend the money necessary to take the team over the top.

      • Richard Fitch

        Jon, it is. But sacrificing a long run of playoff opportunities for a shot or two, only to fall back and start over is a dangerous front office strategy. The Dodgers won the West 7 straight years, but failed to win the WS. They spent $$$$$ and built a prolific farm system, but were only able to win the WS with the aid of a Covid-shortened season.

        The Reds compete on a tilted playing field. Playing the “All In” game at anything but the perfect time plays right into the hands of the big market teams. The Reds aren’t there yet.

      • Luke J

        Richard, it’s not “playing into the hand of the big market teams” it’s literally playing the hand you’re dealt. Like it ot not, the playing field is not level. Under the current structure there is a major difference in how to win a world series (which IS the goal, period). Small market teams can either be decent for a sustained period, or really good for a short period, then they have to cycle through a rebuild. It’s just the way it is. So your position to not sacrifice longer winning for a shot while the iron is hot, is actually saying accept long mediocrity with little chance of winning over a small window at greatness after which you have to put up with some losing. It’s a tough choice for some. But I strive for greatness.

      • Luke J

        That said, I’m not entirely disagreeing with your position. I don’t personally think that short window at greatness is 2023 for this Reds team. I’d love to be wrong, but we are on the cusp of that window opening and should stay the course.

      • greenmtred

        A team can’t win the WS without getting there. Because, as somebody said above, there is no guarantee, particularly in any given year. Too many injuries, too many subpar performances from key players. Very good teams fail to get to the WS and of the two teams that do, only one wins it. There’s sense to both sides of this argument: my gut feeling is that sustained excellence, year after year, will result in more legitimate shots at the WS than trading the farm for one shot, but there’s probably a middle way.

    • LT

      It’s a great discussion and I definitely appreciate a few other share my view. That does not make your point not valid, Richard. Maybe the one sentence from your article that got me the most is something like viewing this winning streak as a reprise from losing. It needs to be more than that.

  15. Melvin

    Karcher is giving a “show” again in the the 9th inning in AAA. 🙂

    • Melvin

      …and he gets out of it again. 🙂

  16. Kevin Patrick

    A while back, I was listening to Rob Dibble on XM radio on the MLB radio channel. He was talking about how a team should always trade pitching for pitching and hitting for hitting… His rationale for doing so basically went along the lines of having something to do with hitting being a more reliable commodity than pitching. I think I remember him going on to talk about some really lopsided trades. I think there is something to this way of thinking that makes sense to me. The Reds may be more stacked with position players right now, but honestly they really don’t know what they have as far as which position players they should want to keep. I think the best way to think about adding pitching for this year is…out of the pitching the Reds currently have in their system, what could you trade that would help you this year? Is there a team out there willing to part with the inflated salary of a reliable starter who is controllable under contract for a couple of years for the potential of more years of control and greater potential impact of say…Nick Lodolo? Hunter Greene? Diaz? Could the Reds responsibly do a quantity for quality deal? Does that potential team also happen to need a catcher? I wonder how confident the Mets are of their immediate future?

    • Bubba Woo

      I’m happy that Senzel is having his best season, especially against leftys. That said, his history suggests that this year is the abberation, not the norm. He’ll never be worth more than he is right now: a RH who feasts on leftys and has 2 years of team control and can play everything but SS or C. He is our 4th OF and that’s without CES or Marte here. Senzel can get us a good Lefty Reliever, which they desperately need. SELL!

      • Kevin Patrick

        Which Reds position besides pitcher can the Reds upgrade by trading Senzel? I think the Reds need to know who will be the successful back up at third and outfield. There are too many young albeit promising young players that we as fans expect and hope to be able to do that. I don’t think they have enough information yet about who should end up where and how often. I have all the hope in the world for Benson, Friedl, Barrero, Fraley, Encarnacion-Strand, Fairchild, et al. I still think there is a window there for Senzel to find a place that fits…in whatever capacity. If I felt Senzel was the lone reason why Encarnacion-Strand wasn’t being brought up, then I would suggest trading him perhaps. I think it depends upon more though.

      • SultanofSwaff

        Good analysis Bubba. The Reds can replace Senzel with a player who has even platoon splits for the league minimum. It’s not even a lateral move, it’s a major upgrade.

    • David

      There’s a lot of login to what Rob Dibble was saying. However, it doesn’t always work out the way you think.
      In the Big Trade of 1971 to get Joe Morgan, the Reds also got Jack Billingham (who was not always spectacular but a solid starter), Cesar Geronimo (who played a very good CF later, starting in RF), and Denis Menke, who played a good 3rd base in 1972 (with Tony Perez moving to 1st, his natural position, after Lee May departed).
      Although people focus on Joe Morgan, who won two MVP awards later, and went to the Hall of Fame (obviously great), getting Jack Billingham actually helped anchor the starting pitching.
      Starting pitching wins games, plus a good bullpen. You can’t always score enough runs to win every game, you have to have a respectable staff. Right now, Luke Weaver is the weak point. It will be weeks until Lodolo comes back, and at least 2 weeks until Greene comes back. Ashcraft MAY be back this weekend, but I don’t know what he is going to bring. Will he be as effective as Hunter Greene until Hunter himself returns?
      Connor Phillips in AA might actually become available soon, if (which I think the Reds should do) he is promoted to AAA and gets a few turns there to see if his stuff sticks. He seems to have turned a corner with his control.
      I don’t know where the Reds can come up with better Starting Pitching; good (not great) starters with a team “out of contention” are going to cost a lot.

      • Oldtimer

        I’d have to check but I think Billingham had best record among Reds P in the heyday of BRM (1972 to 1977).

      • David

        I would have thought it was Don Gullet, but I am sure that Jack was close. Jack was also killer in the playoffs and World Series. He seemed to reach back for something more.
        The Oakland A’s in 1972 World Series thought he had incredible stuff. And Jack was just 12-12 in ’72.
        Jack had a great sharp curve, a sinking fastball, and what would now probably be called a “cutter”, or cut fast ball. When he was “on” he was incredibly hard to hit. I remember seeing Jack throw a cutter that somebody just waved at, it moved and sank so much.

  17. Jon

    Senzel’s in the most unfortunate spot in this roster crunch. He’s playing in his fifth Major League season and has yet to lock down a full time position. Even if an infielder goes on the IL with an injury, the Reds are more likely to bring up CES than plug the hole with Senzel.

    From a management perspective, Senzel doesn’t have a ton of trade value, certainly not what you’d want from a number two overall draft pick with two years of control remaining. Does Krall keep him in a utility role? Does he send him to AAA to get regular playing time until a trade eventually works out? There are no perfect or clear answers here. Votto’s return bumped Steer to LF, eliminating Senzel’s time there. Do they keep using Senzel in the utility role this year and give him the LF job next year and hope he catches fire and builds up his trade value (moving Steer back to 1B next year)? No easy answers…

  18. Michael E

    A past-his-prime RP (Chapman) had better not come at the cost of a top 5 prospect.

    If you’re going to part with Marte or Arroyo or or similar, we instead need an SP that has at least one more year of control and hopefully is at least an SP2 or SP3 type.

    I’d even be in favor of a past-their-prime semi-ace that is high 30s than an RP. I just don’t see the need of Chapman given the solid bullpen this year and gaping crevices in the rotation.

    I’d rather see Marte and another top 6 or 8 prospect be sent to get a younger budding SP2 with ace upside and a few years of control.

    RP and hitting are not needed. An SP1, SP2 or SP3 type is sorely needed. If that isn’t available without gutting the farm, then pass on any significant trade and work around the fringes for depth/utility if necessary.

    • Optimist

      Chapman is very much what the Reds need now, and he’s a rental. They wouldn’t trade Marte for him, nor any of the top-15 prospects, and it’s doubtful anyone else would do likewise. One of the big salary teams may be foolish enough, but they’d probably just send cash and a lower prospect, or a similar MLB player. The Cubs-Yanks deal for Chapman was the extreme example of overpaying for a rental, but he was arguably the final, perfect piece to get the Cubs the WS. The Reds aren’t at all close to that, and Chapman is no longer at that level.

      The demand for starters is much greater and there’s likely more talent available, hence the Reds are extremely unlikely to obtain any starter much better than what they’ve got now. 1 very good, or 2 OK relievers may be enough to get them thru this season.

    • Shannon

      I agree with this. Gibaut has pitched 35 innings and is 8-1 as a middle reliever before the All Star Break and on pace to get 18 wins. Getting behind 3 or 4 runs in the first 3 innings and coming from behind in the middle innings is not a sustainable way to make the playoffs.

      We have a very formidable offense and a solid bullpen but need starting pitching in the worst possible way. Senzel is a backup. Like other posters I am not sure how much value he has as a trade chip.

      We can make a run this year a year earlier than expected if we get starting pitching. I disagree that Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft and Abbott is enough. Greene is out for 2 more weeks, Lodolo for 2 more months, Abbott has all of 4 career starts and Ashcraft has been very shaky this year. All are very young and while talented youth is inconsistent.

      Encarnation Strand should be off the table because he is the starting first baseman next season. All other positions are accounted for in the next 3 or 4 years (a long window for small market teams) so Marte has no place either really. Is he going to play short over McClain or EDLC, 3rd over EDLC or Steer, or how about left field over Friedl or Steer if EDLC eventually lands at center field where I expect he will?

      If Senzel has value and we can package him and Marte for the rest of this year and next year for Bieber a bonafide ace or the rest of this year and 3 more seasons of Dylan Cease a bonafide #2 then we better do it.

      Think last year we traded a year and half of Castillo a bonafide ace for both Marte and Arroyo so in this scenario we would keep the younger one since the older one is blocked by other controllable players. Nothing about a trade like that hurts the present or the future since players we trade are blocked, what we would get is what we need, what we get would be with us next year in Biebers case or 3 more years in Creases case and we can afford either without breaking the bank after Votto and Moustakis goes of the books even after arbitration raises for the young guys we currently have.

      • Ghm08

        Senszel isn’t a starter for the reds team.. I agree. The reds are stacked. But I bet he could start for more than half the teams out there and some of them are still in the hunt for the playoffs.

  19. Tim

    No one is paying 70 bucks for Senzel’s rookie card for a reason. He will not be able to compete with the studs coming up in the organization. He doesn’t have the same speed, arm, power or durability.

  20. CI3J

    I get really sick of all the people saying “go for it now, because you don’t know what the future holds”.

    You know why?

    Because you’re saying YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN THIS TEAM.

    You’re basically saying you think the Reds have caught lightning in a bottle and that there is almost no chance they’ll ever be this good again, so they should mortgage the future and put all their chips on the table right now.

    It’s a loser mentality. It shows fear. It shows a lack of confidence.

    I for one believe in these players. I believe in EDLC, McLain, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Abbott, and Benson who are young talent that are going to get even better. I believe in India, Friedl, Fraley, and Stephenson who are in their primes, and what we are seeing from them now is what we’ll get from them for at least the next 3-5 years.

    What we are seeing this year is not the final form of this group of players. They are going to get even better. Why would you give up on the process that got us this far when we’re so close to the finish line?

    People talking about trading CES or Marte for a rental are absolutely out of their minds. Why would you give up on a potential future superstar to bring in a player for a few months that might not even make much of a difference?

    You want Chapman? Fine, buy him in the offseason when he’s a FA and won’t cost any players. You want another starter? Same, wait until the offseason when the price won’t be inflated by desperate teams driving up the price.

    What this Reds team needs now is one final dose of patience. Yes, it’s exciting to have a competitive team again, but this isn’t the end of that story. What you are witnessing is a competitive window opening, and it will last for many years.

    Trust the process. Believe in these players. Let go of your fear.

    Read this final sentence. Believe it and embrace it:

    The Reds are good, and they are going to continue being good for the foreseeable future.

    • LT

      A lot of fighting words and I don’t think what this platform is about.

      • VaRedsFan

        Being patient and staying the course is fighting words?

        I couldn’t agree more with what he said.

    • jon

      Can Kennedy,Phillips help until Greene,lodolo and others come back? Do this instead of trading a good prospect. The Reds should have a lot of money to spend next year.

    • Pete

      Bottom line is I trust Nick Krall – he’s earned it. If he makes a trade, it will benefit the team, no matter the particulars. He is the indispensable man, really no one else is. He took over in the fall of 2021 and look at what he has built in such a short period of time – all while cutting the operating budget to the core. So now look what he has to work with due to his efforts:

      A beyond belief rock bottom salary commitment starting new year

      Second to few teams, if any, talent pool of very young and promising players

      A franchise that all of a sudden is the hottest ticket in town and perhaps all of baseball. Hence an ever-rising revenue stream

      I have zero fear of the future of this club as long as he is at the helm. Heck, I greatly look forward to any deals he makes in the future – large or small.

      • Cincy6464

        Solid reply @Pete.
        Every season, a team or two suddenly competes at an unexpected level. Every season there are “win at all costs” trades that take place. Some work out and most don’t. The Latos trade almost worked out – that Reds group was truly a team that could have won a WS.
        The question is, “Can Nick K make a reasonable trade?” I trust that he will. I don’t think he would go “scorched earth” again after having witnessed that for the past couple years.
        Can the Redlegs be WS competitive and maintain a healthy farm system? I think we can have both.
        Finally, pitching wins! It only takes 3 starters and a solid bullpen to make the playoff run – the key is getting to the dance thru the 162 game slog.

      • Jimmy

        Pete I agree with you. Krall’s moves have paid off better & quicker than expected. That has resulted in more position players coming up sooner than expected. The result of this is that Stephenson is now less valuable as a DH & they have one too many catchers on the roster.
        I do trust that Krall will continue to shop for small deals (a mid level RP) or big (an SP with couple years of control for higher level prospect). It takes two to tango & I trust Krall to handle our dance card!

    • LT

      Go to a bar and tell whoever you’re talking with you’re sick of their point of view, see if that won’t start a bar fight

    • Michael E

      I agree with not overspending and wrecking years 3 -> 6 with empty farm system and no way to make that last necessary trade when team has peaked and is just short of F.A.

      That said, poke around, talk and TRUST in your scouts, find that youngish pitcher that has some good stuff but hasn’t put it to together and get them affordably. That or if you’re going to send two top 5 prospects, get a true difference maker that is still at or below their prime age with at least one future year of control and make the deal.

      As far as “Trust the process”, I think we were mostly convinced the Reds had none. I am not yet convinced they do. We’ll know if they do next off-season, when the Votto and Mous salaries fall off the books. If they aren’t players in FA for a really good SP1/SP2 type, then there is still no process.

      Also, I’d like to see them continue to beef up international scouting and building via signings that way. Most don’t produce, but getting a player at 17, a so-so prospect could blossom on the cheap.

      • Michael E

        I meant “overspending” as in trading away rich prospect haul for some sub-optimal piece, like a 1 inning every other day RP.

  21. RedFuture

    I feel there is a far better chance that Connor Phillips can be an effective starter this year than there is to make a good trade for an effective starter….

    • Michael E

      Very possible. This is where scouts can really help, which pitcher, sliding under the radar, should we target in trade negotiations? I.E. dip your toes in the water on the obvious candidates, but if the ask is 3 top 7 prospects, tell em to pound sand.

      Find that youngish pitcher that just hasn’t put it together yet, change of scenery. Look for one that has control, but maybe just needs a tweak in arm angle to reduce HRA. Maybe the pitcher that just needs to add a cutter or splitfinger to throw every now and then to really get going.

      Unless its fairly affordable trade for an SP1/SP2/SP3 type, I’d just as soon pass on any big trade this year. The rotation is a COMPLETE MESS right now. It’s a small possibility Greene AND Lodolo are both healthy and pitching well in October. It’s even smaller that Bell goes with Abbott over craptacular Ashcraft and Abbott continues pitching well. It could happen, but I wouldn’t wreck the future over the chances.

  22. Jim t

    If a deal to acquire a good controllable starting pitcher presents itself I’m good going for it but if not stand pat and see where it takes us.

  23. Amarillo

    We are a lot of games behind the Braves and Diamondbacks. If we had a chance to compete for a top 2 seed, I’d be alright with pushing chips in. But as of now we aren’t. We are competing to play a bo3 series. I don’t want to give up significant prospects for anyone. Focus on cheap rentals and salary dumps this year.

  24. old-school

    Ive changed my opinion on the Reds behavior now that the Reds have not only DFA’d Moose before the season started( never thought they would) and cut Cessa early and now have DFA’d Myers( didnt see that) and clearly are placing winning now with the best players above all else, including dead money I thought Senzel and Newman would be traded in a month to unload salary but I no longer think that. Senzel and Newman would maybe get you a nice AA reliever to an Angels type team but a AA reliever wont help the Reds this year. Krall has said the number one organizational priority is to draft and develop young pitching as that will be the foundation of the Reds success moving forward. Translation: Williamson, Petty, Phillips, Lyon, Aguilar arent going anywhere. Theres a good one in low A too whose name escape me.

    I also dont see any of the top 10 positional crown jewels going anywhere- Collier, Marte, Arroyo, CES. So that leaves the Sal Stewarts and Rece hinds’ and Jay Allens and Austin Hendricks and low level minors guys plus as trade capital and thats not going to land an impact player other than a maybe decent bullpen rental not named Chapman or a 3 month SP rental( Michael Lorenzen, Rich Hill, Trevor Williams.)

    I dont trade any prospect capital simply because the price of elite SP is too much and REds need to see what these players are capable of. Ashcraft may have taken those 2 weeks and hit the reset button. He would be huge. Greene will be back at the AS break. Weaver is the one guy I would replace now. Take your $$$ to the FA market next year and buy a good one( Blake Snell is looking real good in a bounce back year) and sign Chapman then.

    • Roger Garrett

      Words of wisdom and I agree 100%.

    • Michael E

      I do see one of Marte or Arroyo being easily available given the success of left-side infielders McClain, Steer and EDLC. We definitely can and probably should trade one or both of those while at peak trade values. The playing time in MLB is going to be low most likely and their value will drop with each aged year.

      That said, if we package one of those with another slightly less prospect and maybe a piece on the big league roster, we’d better be getting a GOOD pitcher with at least 2024 under reasonable salary and maybe two years left. If rental, forget it.

  25. Pete

    Outside of India and EDLC, everyone should be available for the right trade. Refer to the Lee May/Tommy Helms for Joe Morgan/Jack Billingham/Cesar Geronimo deal for historical precedence. I trust Nick Krall to make this type of blockbuster trade.

    Out of all the current Reds players who are good candidates to be a MLB manager on this team, India looks to be the best suited. He is the heart and soul of this team.

    To make a perfect omelet, you need to break some eggs.

    • Kevin H

      This isn’t the 70’s though. Why would you trade Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Diaz, Friedl?? No way reds make those guys available for a trade.

      • Pete

        If the payback is superior? You wouldn’t make the trade? I would without a second thought. Don’t get married to these guys is my advice.

      • Kevin H

        No I still wouldn’t make the trade. We have seen what happens when reds make the ” superior trade it doesn’t last and they rebuild

    • wkuchad

      But to make a horrible omelet, you also need to break some eggs.

      India would not be excluded from my trade list, especially if a team were willing to overpay for him.

      I’m a huge India fan, but I think McLain (2B), EDLC (SS), and Steer (3B) are the real deal (and locked up for six years). If CES can man first base next year and hit as expected, India doesn’t have a position. All three are currently hitting better than India, and only EDLC is small sample size. Of course with the DH, we can play all five next year. But then again, will Marte be knocking on the door?

      We need starting pitching. I don’t mind trading to get it. I just want Krall to be smart about it. And no rentals this year.

      • Pete

        If Krall trades India I’m good with it. I trust him over my opinion. Bottom line: I trust the man making the omelet..

      • VaRedsFan

        I don’t think the Reds are married to India, but the should definitely be engaged. Heart and soul, team leader, and also performing on the field, carries a lot of weight in my book. Trading him would be a mistake IMO.

      • Pete

        VA – We are simpatico on India. In fact, I would really like to see him extended for several more years… It would make a great statement on a willingness to commit to Jonathan, winning and probably inspire everyone surrounding the Reds. Let’s make sure this new bounce in attendance stands up and then get her done! Life is surely good in Cincy.

    • Michael E

      The ones that should be available are Senzel (low trade value, a sweetener, MLB-ready so-so-talent that the Jocketty’s covet) and either Marte or Arroyo. We have lots of left-side infielders already producing, the chances either of Marte or Arroyo get an opportunity any time soon (next three years) is VERY slim.

      I’d be looking for a good, young SP or a great early 30s SP with at least one extra year of control and I’d start with Marte and Senzel and add one more piece if it takes, but Marte is the headliner.

      I think MArte or Arroyo are must-trades over the next 365 days for an improved rotation moving forward. Adding a pitcher to slot in at SP2 takes a LOT of pressure off the bullpen and off of Greene, Lodolo and Abbott. I think Ashcraft may be lost SP cause and time to consider him a 6th/7th inning, multi-inning RP moving forward.

  26. Soto

    I just don’t envision the Reds making a big move this year. They might add a bullpen arm but I don’t see them giving up big time prospects to do it. I see them adding pitching in the offseason through free agency. The key moves for them is to continue relying on the young guns and bringing up a couple of more. CES and Phillips need to get a shot asap. It has worked with Abbot, EDLC and McClain.

  27. JMO

    I haven’t posted in awhile but always pay attention here. IMO DO NOT TRADE any of our prospect capital! Let’s roll with what we have in 2023. You will have to the sell the entire farm for an elite SP in this market, NO. This is just the beginning folks. Our window has started a year earlier than what everyone thought, so what. We operate differently now, get used to it. I trust the FO to make the right move if one develops and yes its been a long time since I could say that.

  28. DHud

    Krall and the reds have shown an exceptional ability to find value in overlooked/underrated players recently

    I don’t expect them to overpay for the obvious, most desired assets like chapman

    They’ll go find someone who their scouting department has pegged and not overpay

    • Michael E

      BINGO! Lets HOPE this is what is going on behind the scenes. Getting in heavy, long talks with scouts and asking them to each produce a top 3 list of lesser know SPs in their mid or early 20s that could breakout with a change in scenery or a mechanical tweak in their delivery. That or just a solid SP that would slot in nicely at SP4 and slide up to SP3 during an injury to Greene/Lodolo/Abbott.

  29. Soto

    I just read an interesting article on ESPN about the lack of production from the DH across baseball. The problem being that, like the Reds, teams are just using the DH to rest players and get bench players some starts. The stats say this doesn’t work. It’s too weird and hard for guys who are used to playing in the field to be productive DH’ing. The Reds need to call up CES and make him their DH. It could be a huge advantage compared to other teams. You could then make Steer a super sub that starts almost everyday, sharing time mostly at 1st and leftfield. Senzel could then become an occasional starter but could mostly be used as a late game pinch hitter against lefties in high leverage situations.
    Friedl CF
    McClain SS
    India 2nd
    EDLC 3rd
    CES DH
    Steer/Fraley Lf
    Votto/Steer 1st
    Stevenson C
    Benson RF

    • jmb

      Or, India in left and Steer at third. That’s probably the best way to get the best players into the lineup. For this season, anyway. Presuming Votto will be gone next season, or if he lands on the IL this season,…

    • Tom Diesman

      That approach to the DH did work for them in 2022, .286/.352/.471/.823

  30. Jim Walker

    Teams can plan anticipated windows of contention. They cannot control or dictate when an actual opportunity to contend will be present. Events within and outside the Reds own organization have unexpectedly presented the team with a chance to contend now, in 2023. No one can predict or promise such an opportunity will exist in 2024, 2025, or beyond. Thus, the Reds should wholeheartedly embrace this opportunity.

    The Reds are not in an either/ or situation. The current opportunity can be pursued without mortgaging the future. The Reds have the depth at AAA right now to trade from their MLB roster for a pitching return that could be the difference in 2023 and still be around to play a role in the prior master plan.

    Christain Encarnacion-Strand is ready for MLB just as surely as EDLC and Matt McLain were. In fact, we witnessed this trio blowing up AAA pitching together on an almost nightly basis for 6 weeks. CES is essentially handedness neutral, sporting an OPS from the plate which is at 1.000 from both sides. His profile positions the Reds to trade strength on offense to acquire strength on the mound by trading the likes of Jake Fraley who is limited by his platoon extremes. 4+ years older than CES and will be arbitration eligible for 2024.

    This is the move I would try to make that would enhance the Reds in 2023 and also be an additional step into the future rather than blowing up the future.

    • Soto

      Sound logic Jim. I would love to see the Reds add an arm this year, I just don’t want them to give up CES or Marte to do it. Although I would hate to see him go, Fraley is a logical choice to be shipped out. What do you think of the idea of CES being brought up and being mainly the DH, even if they don’t move Fraley or Senzel?

      • Jim Walker

        Where does the roster come from? Moving Fraley (for CES) opens two spots because then they are no longer tied to another extreme OPS split guy to cover Fraley’s weak side.

        And yes moving Fraley would hurt emotionally; but there is no reason believe that getting CES into the lineup with Steer to LF is going to hurt their offense.

    • wkuchad

      Yes the Reds have strength on offense, but not strength (as far as depth) in the outfield. There’s no way I trade Fraley, Friedl, or Benson. That’s my starting outfield next year (with a platoon partner for Fraley), as long as Benson keeps producing this year. Then keep Fairchild as your #4.

      The fact that we’ve had three different infielders (four if you count CES) play outfield at times this years shows our lack of depth.

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds just optioned the guy who was either the 1st or 2nd best defensive OF on the active roster when he was optioned. At the time he was optioned, he had an .836 OPS (~70 PAs) in the month prior to being optioned and an .816 OPS (~100 PAs) in 2022. And he doesn’t require a platoon partner.

        They’ve got Siani, Hopkins and Ramos also at AAA for injury insurance.

        McLain could be brought to speed for CF. Steer is passable in LF.

      • AllTheHype

        @Jim Your point is well made. I like Fraley, but the reality is that his trade value may never be higher. We already cashed in on another extreme split guy (Winker) at the perfect time. But realistically, Fraley is likely just a complimentary piece, not the centerpiece, if the trade is for a dependable rotation arm.

      • Old-school

        Fraleys lefty bat is a key component of this offense this year and next. He single handedly won the marlins series, leads the team in Clutch RBI’s and is a top hitter in OPS in all of baseball. wRC+ of 141 against righties dont grow on trees

        Friedl fraley elly are elite bats from the left side. See what Votto has . McLain india Steer Stephenson give u good Righties.

        Ces and Marte add to Righty puzzle and Benson is adding to the lefty puzzle

        Positionally, I like this club

        Spend $$$ in FA on SP and bullpen this offseason when we see areas of need

      • AllTheHype

        @old – personally as GM I would be figuring out a way to improve pitching in-season rather than wait til offseason. You can actually do both, improve in-season and off-season in FA. Probably need to do both.
        The division is there for the taking this year. It might only take 86 wins. Next year it may take 97, who knows how much the competition improves? Gotta figure out a way to compete now, this year (while leaving the core intact) and not let this opportunity slip by.

      • Jim Walker

        #Hype/ OS>> OS and I have had this discussion before. He believes Fraley is a core piece for the Reds. I understand and respect his opinion but disagree with it. Here is why.

        I have a disdain for platooning, particularly when one or both sides are as extreme as a Fraley/ Senzel or Fraley with anyone would be. My belief is platooning should be avoided when a team has a reasonable expectation of matching or exceeding the total production of a platoon without the platoon. Why? What happens if either guy, but particularly the LH batter goes down with an injury of any duration longer than a couple of weeks?

        Also specific to the Reds situation in 2023, the lineup has developed and evolved since the beginning of the season to where the Reds have, six, count’em, six players not named Fraley who have an OPS > .800 against RH pitching, including 4 RH hitters. CES would most likely make that 7 with 5 being LH hitters.

        As for the narrative that Fraley doesn’t face LH pitching (and Senzel doesn’t face RH pitching), that simply isn’t correct. Fraley has an OPS of .913 vs RH pitching but an overall OPS of .823. Not quite halfway the way through the season Fraley is seeing enough RH pitching to pull his OPS vs right handed pitching down by nearly 10%

      • AllTheHype

        @Jim I don’t have a disdain for split guys, but I do have a disdain for the way Bell executed it with Winker, always playing him against LHP and always batting him 2nd. It killed us in those games. Fraley has tremendous value to the Reds as a split guy, and Bell manages his opportunities appropriately. Bell has evolved.
        But trade-wise I look at it as….our surplus is offense, and Fraley’s value may be at a peak. We have a weapon in AAA that’s ready and we cannot effectively utilize. That’s a great problem to have. But at the same time, we have a severe shortage of SP. We need to figure out how to take from one side of the scale and give to the other, this year, by the deadline. Maybe Fraley is that prize we dangle to help the other side of the scale. All depends on what is offered, what other teams want, and how they value Fraley + some other lower level high leverage prospect.

      • old-school

        I dont like platoons either but every good team has 1 or 2..Glenn Braggs was a righty 4th OF who made a great catch in RF to help win a WS. Paul O’Neill was really good as the primary RF. I saw him working out yesterday and I had my reds hat on and he nodded at me. Reds might want to sign him. Hes still a freak.

        The real issue with the platoon isnt the lefty. It’s the righty as 75% of pitchers are righties. It’s not hard to find a righty platoon split and with Elly and McLain both capably manning SS, the Reds no longer need the 26th man to be an old no hit SS. Fraley and Steer in LF is a silver slugger with Steer also playing 3b/1b.

    • Melvin

      I would definitely trade Fraley if it meant getting CES in the lineup. Of course it might drive David Bell just a little more crazy with less opportunity to platoon. Who know’s. Maybe David Bell is changing and would be happy with that.

    • Tom Diesman

      I’m not a proponent of trading Fraley, his 480 PA of ~.850 OPS from the left side is valuable. No reason to sweat finding a platoon partner, RH hitters who play OF and thump LHs are not hard to find, and we already have Fairchild and maybe Senzel. It’s pretty easy to keep Fraley and get Encarnacion-Strand up, see ya three headed catcher and I like moving Steer to LF.

      C Stephenson
      1B Votto
      2B McLain
      SS De La Cruz
      3B India
      LF Steer
      CF Friedl
      RF Fraley
      DH Encarnacion-Strand

      C Maile
      IF Senzel
      OF Benson
      OF Fairchild

      • old-school

        Nice post as usual Tom. I dont think anyone wants to DH young players though regularly but easy to DH votto some and rest some and get CES reps at first base.

        FYI- I miss your weekly farm reports. Always helpful to see league averages at each level compared with reds key guys averages.

      • Jim Walker

        Tom>> I believe an established innings eater at #3 or 4 in the rotation is worth giving what they would give up in Fraley. As I’ve said above, I agree he is a lot of value to give; but, with CES in the wings, they can juggle things and have as much offense without Fraley AND have the piece that may well be needed to put them into the playoffs.

    • greenmtred

      Jim: what’s your best guess as to why they haven’t brought him up yet? I don’t have a sound clue.

  31. Indy Red Man

    They can pick up an arm or two without sacrificing the future of the organization. Lets not just to conclusions one way or the other. Now Senzel and/or Newman won’t bring anything by themselves, but could be an add-on that helps. I highly doubt anything big gets done, but they may not need alot to win the division.

    Personally I’d trade Ashcraft, Hinds, and whoever for Dylan Cease. He was 2nd in the AL Cy Young last year and they might be selling slightly low? Provided they’re sure he’d take Votto money to extend past 2024. Eggs and omelet thing again

    • AllTheHype

      To make that trade work, “whoever” is probably McLain, or CES, if you really want Cease. But the White Sox said they aren’t trading future controlled assets so it’s a moot point anyway.

    • Shannon

      Cease is arbitration player the next few years so he wouldn’t get all of vottos $25 million a year. I think w need at least a starter of his caliber for not just the rest of this year but next year. Fraley, Senzel or any prospect not in the baseball top 100 will not get a Cy young 2nd place pitcher last year with 2.5 years of team control left.

      As of today we have 5 top 100 prospects. #1 EDLC, #19 McClain and #50 Abbott are now major contributors to the big league club. We have a need for #34 Encarnation Strand next year once Votto retires so he should not be available.

      What I don’t understand is why so many posters want to hold on to #44 Marte if we can get an upper level controllable starter which we need in the worst possible way? Admittedly I have never seen Marte play and am not as familiar with the farm especially below triple a as I am the big league club. From what I have read about Marte he is currently playing shortstop but projects as a big league 3rd baseman or corner outfielder.

      So let’s look at where he would get playing time at the big league level the next 4 years assuming we keep everyone on the current roster until they are free agents.

      2nd base India is still league minimum and be a first year arbitration next year so he is affordable and worth keepingfor at least 3 more years. Shortstop we have EDLC and McClain both still considered prospects so 6 more years before they get expensive. 3rd base Steer or EDLC again 5 or 6 more years. I expect EDLC will be our center fielder next year and Friedl left but we could say he plays 3rd and Steer left but if Friedl ends up left he is second year and our likely leadoff hitter for the next 4 years. Let’s even look at 1st base Encarnation Strand is not even on the big league roster so 7 years of control.

      Marte can’t catch that I am aware of so that leaves DH or right field. He bats right handed like everyone I have mentioned except EDLC a switch hitter and Friedl a leadoff hitter. We will be swapping Votto a left handed power bat for EDLC a right handed power bat next year and would likely need to sign a left handed power bat for right field or DH.

      So my question is where does Marte fit into all of this? What I have described is a very formidable lineup. Even if Marte is better than maybe a better hitter than India or Steer we still have a World Series contender type lineup with the above mentioned. What we don’t have is World Series contending starting pitching even with Green and Lodolo healthy. Most World Series teams don’t have one ace and one more plus starter they have 2 that would be an ace on most teams and 2 more plus starters.

      From what I see we traded an ace (Castillo) with a year and half control for Marte and arroyo both top 100 prospects when we acquired them. Marte has been the better of the 2 but also the older with no need for him. Maybe arroyo another shortstop can be our second baseman when India is traded a year before free agency or when he walks. Why not use Marte who we don’t need as a package with a lower level prospect or fraley or senzel to get a controllable upper level starting pitcher and compete this year a year ahead of schedule since we are sitting in first place at the midpoint?

      The idea of having a good farm system is bringing up players you need and have on hand like Abbott, EDLC and McClain or trading prospects you don’t need for controllable players you do. I am not saying trade him for a 2 month rental, Hinds or siani could probably get us a rental but to get one with a year or 2 of team control left will take Marte and a hinds.

  32. MBS

    Technically there is no one I wouldn’t trade if the deal was right. There are some people who are very unlikely to be traded.

    CES, Marte, Arroyo, Collier, Petty, Phillips

    Any other prospect is tradeable in my estimation.

    FA’s in 27
    India, Stephenson, Fraley
    FA’s in 28
    Lodolo, Diaz

    That means the rest of these guys won’t be FA’s until 29 or later, so why wouldn’t you trade some depth to make this 23 – 30 team better? I’m sure Krall will need to trade off some MLB assets along the way when contracts are coming up, hopefully we never see another “rebuild”, but I don’t think we get to keep them all. So we will keep drafting, keep signing international players, and keep adding outside assets.

    • Optimist

      I was just looking again at Doug’s prospect list, and aside from those already in MLB and those in MiLB A and below, I’d only keep the few in the top-10. The rest in AA/AAA may not have much value, but there is some interesting potential which would interest enough other teams.

      Reds could likely get a helpful rental reliever with just one or two of those prospects. Chapman-level help, any starters, and anyone controllable beyond this season would require more, and that’s when you get to the MLB roster. There’s value there too, so the right combination could get longer term help.

      I expect the front office to do one or the other, but unlikely to do both. Plenty of opportunities in the off season.

      • MBS

        I’m definitely adding in the offseason. Presuming Krall doesn’t add a big contract via trade in 23, the 24 payroll is going to be less than $40M, I don’t feel like adding it all up right now but it might be closer to $30M depending on if they keep or don’t keep certain guys. There is all kinds of room to go after Urias, Hader, and we can add Chapman too for good measure.

    • Michael E

      Marte should be the main trade ingredient. He is going to be blocked for a couple of years, value will only slide over time and he is worth more than Arroyo.
      I’d like to see Marte, Senzel, Ashcraft and one or two mid tier prospects made available. One thing that should NOT be available is any of our solid young pitchers (Ashcraft will never put it together, I am convinced of that).

      Obviously EDLC, McClain, Friedl, Steer and probably CES should be nearly untouchable, unless Ohtani wants to come here in a sign and trade or something.

  33. jmb

    Kennedy had another strong start for Louisville yesterday. Out of his 7 starts this season, he’s had just one bad one and one mediocre one (5 innings, 3 runs); the other 5 were solid. He and Mariot give the team some depth to get thru the season. Krall’s doing a swell job. Whether they upgrade the rotation and/or pen will depend on how things look a month from now. You want to make the most of the opportunity if all are playing well and are healthy–because how often does that happen? But you also don’t want to undermine the future and go all in so early in the rebuild. And you don’t want to risk ruining the team’s current great chemistry, something they’ve been trying to create for years. The Reds are fortunate that they should be able to acquire an arm or two with prospects like Arroyo, Acosta, Stewart, Ramos, Barrero, Siani, a catcher or two. Even Collier and Hendricks could be traded. But Jorge, Acuna, Rodriguez, Balcazar, Petty, Philips, Hopkins, Marte, no. And of course not CES.

    • Optimist

      Extremely doubtful that Collier or Arroyo are available, and Acosta not too likely either. All very young and part of the stockpile they’re keeping for next season. Still, for the right price . . .

  34. Bob Purkey

    Great discussion here by all.

    I just think Senzel needs a change of scenery. Isn’t he going into his last year of arbitration next year? The Reds are not going to sign him long-term with all of the young position players that they have in the funnel, so might as well make that move now, if you can package him to get some arms in return.

  35. Steve Schoenbaechler

    If I recall correctly, Senzel only got injury problems when we tried to make him a CF, out in the outfield.

    So, from what I can tell, it’s simple. If we are going to keep playing him in the OF, we cannon move on counting on him being there everyday. Not with his injury history playing outfield.

    If we are going to bring him back to the infield, what he played in college and in the minors, then he’s only going to be able to split time with others. So, either Senzel or the others would need to move on.

    Senzel is a favorite of mine. But, I’m not so fanatical where I understand from where the Reds stand, they are going to trade at a position of strength. They have too many IF. That includes Senzel. Move Senzel to the OF? As stated, you still can’t count on him with his injury history playing out there.

    So, if you are going to commit Senzel to the OF, trade him, period. If you are going to commit Senzel to the IF, determine who you want to trade. If that be Senzel, so be it, and move on. I hope we don’t trade Senzel, but I’m ready to move on. I just don’t know if some of the fanaticals are ready.

    • Michael


      I think he had the freak broken finger and then the ankle injury while he was on the dirt back in the day but I could be misremembering.

    • BK

      @Steve, that’s inaccurate:

      – Sep. 2017, AA 3B Nick Senzel was placed on the IL for 3 weeks
      – Jun. 2018, AAA 2B Nick Senzel was placed on the IL for 3 months
      – Apr. 2019, AAA CF Nick Senzel was placed on the IL after injuring his ankle while sliding into 2B

    • Tom Diesman

      Senzel missed the 2nd half of 2018 in AAA due to a fractured finger he got while diving for a grounder playing 2B. He then later missed most all of the 2021 season with the Reds recovering from a knee injury after being moved from CF to 2B and 3B and became a regular starter in the infield before his injury. So no, contrary to popular opinion, he does not just get injured playing in the OF.

      • VaRedsFan

        Finally some verification on this. Thanks BK and Tom. I kept posting those other injuries, but it always seemed to get overlooked.

  36. SkagitRed

    Hard as this may be to conceptualize, the Mariners have more good young pitching than they need. The Reds have more good young hitters (U26) than they need. Both want to contend this year. I trust Krall. Let’s get something done that helps us this year AND for the foreseeable future. Gotta go for it this year, though.

  37. JB

    I’m just enjoying winning baseball for once in a long time. The kids are doing great and there is plenty kids to come. Don’t be the Royals and try to win one WS and suck the rest of the time. I loved watching the Royals back in the late 70s and 80s when Brett was on the team and winning constantly. They were one of the teams trying to knock those dastardly Yankees out of it every year. There is good prolong talent here. I put money down a month ago on this team to win the division after I seen what talent was going to be on this team soon and how bad the other teams in the central were playing. Everybody has the answers sitting on their couch and they think it’s pretty simple being a GM. I just let Nick Krall do it and I enjoy watching as a fan. Life is to hard to worry about if Nick Senzel should be traded or not. Heck, once my guy Lee May got traded ,I learned to not worry about what I can’t control. I just sit on the bandwagon and enjoy what this team and life has to offer. They win the division I count my money. They win the WS I count my money. If they don’t, I count my wonderful memories of a year the kids turned the corner and made the Cincinnati Reds respectable again.

  38. Redgoggles

    I’m not sure this is intentional by the front office, but the “handedness” of this roster really supports the budget. All of these players are ultimately much more affordable due to their one-sided limitations, but with astute managing (if we can give Bell any credit here) we can still role out a pretty deep – and ever changing – lineup, regardless of the handedness of the pitching. This will catch up to us in series with deeper bullpens, but it’s working out really well this year so far and has put the players in situations they can exceed in, breeding confidence, etc.

    Having said that – and barring injuries – I think they will need to move either Senzel or Newman as they are pretty redundant. But, maybe they are both considered part time players which is better to keep both than waste CES, who may get 2-3 starts a week max with the current roster.

    Pretty smart roster construction if you ask me. Krall is winning me over.

    • VaRedsFan

      Except when he sits Freidl vs leftys

  39. Kevin H

    Simple if a cost controlled starting pitcher is available, go for it, however not at the expense of a high prospect or a mlb player from the current team. If a reliever or two is available again in a cost control move then go for it, however again not at the expense of a high level prospect or a mlb player.

    A lower level prospect is fine and Reds have plenty of those. You want to keep depth at the triple A level and right now they have 1 infielder and two outfielders who they can bring up in case of injury. CES hasn’t been called up yet, however only a matter of time.

    I hate to see the front office get all greedy and jump off course for the “rebuild” After seeing the trades from last season and what is happening now. I call it a win.

    This is my thinking on the Reds trading players lol

  40. Old-school

    In another reds 2023 stunner, Tyler Stephenson is hitting 8th and Votto 6 th. This is a LOOONG lineup. Kudos to steer for being a winning player willing to move around.

    I wouldnt trade anyone from the MLB roster. This offense is dangerous. Id rather have Steer at 1b but Reds arent moving India or Votto positionally mid-season during nirvana.

    • Jim Walker

      Bell is starting to get into it. Maybe the Myers departure sent him a message; or alternately made him feel liberated to manage games to win.

      • CI3J

        He has seemed to figure out that Newman is only a platoon bat against LH pitchers, and that’s all. Remember for a brief time when Newman was leading off against RH pitchers?

        I can’t really argue with the lineup tonight other than I wish Benson were the DH instead of Stephenson, and I still think India should be leading off with Friedl 2nd and McLain 3rd.

        But those are all minor quibbles.

  41. Curt

    No one ever dares mention trading Stevenson, don’t get me wrong I think he is a good player. Although I do not think he is now or ever will be a top Catcher. He could be a key trade piece for a top line pitcher with years of team control.