Owing to vacation, it’s been a solid minute since I’ve checked in, and boy has a lot happened. The new kids have arrived and they are ready now. The National League Central is more winnable than it’s been in a long time, and the Cincinnati Reds are in first place, somehow. It’s a wonderful confluence of events, which leads me to the question: How do you get the Reds to the playoffs and then how do you make sure they have a chance to win.

These are not the same question.

I believe with something approaching certainty, that if you gave the Reds a couple of barely adequate starting pitchers, they would win the division. They don’t even need to be average. Just serviceable. The offense is fabulous, and though I might personally use Kevin Newman and Nick Senzel a bit less, I don’t think anything is going to prevent this group from putting together one of the better hitting teams in the league for the rest of the year. Add that to a division with no strong opposition, and an NL Central crown is within grasp.


If you want to win a championship, you are going to need good pitchers.

Right now, if everyone were healthy at the right time, the Reds rotation would be:

  • Hunter Greene
  • Nick Lodolo
  • Andrew Abbott
  • Graham Ashcraft
  • Ben Lively

Let’s start here: Andrew Abbott is not pitching in the playoffs unless he is shut down very soon. In 2022, he threw 118 innings. This year, he has already thrown 83. If you go with the idea that he can up his total by 30 without significant injury risk, that takes him to 148. That’s 65 innings. That’s only 10 or 11 starts. Even if the Reds go with a 6-man rotation for the rest of the year, Abbott needs 13 more starts just to finish the season. Then potentially another 4-5 in the playoffs. I just don’t see how it’s happening.

In the playoffs, you have to hope Greene and Lodolo are healthy. If they are, they should be ready to go since they’ll both have missed significant time this year with non-arm injuries. After that it’s all question marks. Maybe Ashcraft gets it together. But, as good as he’s been, do you want to start Ben Lively in a playoff game? And what if one of Greene, Lodolo, or Ashcraft isn’t up for a playoff start, then who do you pitch? Because that’s a very good possibility.

And so the Reds need pitching. Really legit pitching. If they are going to be in the playoffs, they ought to try to really make a run of it. Come to win, not just to say you got there.

And there is going to be a lot of pitching out there. Over that last couple of weeks, the baseball world has started to sort itself, and at least a third of the league should be entering a sell mindset. Some, like the Mariners, will be willing only to part with rentals. Others might be willing to part with more substantial pieces for the right price. I don’t think there’s a right answer here, but I do think the Reds should do what they have to do.

Somehow, even having graduated a ton of top-flight prospects this year, the farm system still has a variety of interesting pieces, and they should all be available. All of them. I mean it. Listen: Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, Tyler Stephenson, Jake Fraley, TJ Friedl. That’s 7 out of 9 in in the lineup and they are all under control for at least 3 years after this one. That is a long time with not a lot of holes to fill.

A baseball team is not supposed to try to have the best farm system. It is supposed to try to have a team that goes to the playoffs as often as possible. The Reds have a serious opportunity to win this year. And, with little help from the minors, they have an opportunity to keep doing so for the next several years. They just need more pitching. Go get it.

171 Responses

  1. Mike

    Don’t trade any young talent period and don’t take on ridiculous salary’s for a few months. These kids have great chemistry, don’t change that. Look for a bargain and trade Newman or Senzel only. This team is special, don’t screw it up and get greedy. Stay with your plan. It is working.

    • jmb

      They’ve won 6 of their last 7 series, 16 of their last 20 games. Is there something wrong with the team? Though, for the long run and/or for a playoff run, a lefty closer would be a good idea, as Diaz is obviously getting tired. A starter would also be a good idea, being that Greene, Lively, and/or Lodolo may have a setback. But only certain prospects should be traded. Hinds (AA) and Hendrick (A+), 2 outfielders who are 22 already and strikeout too much but have power, for a starter would be fine. Siani, Allen, and Acosta could also be traded. But a guy like Rodriguez, even though he appears way down the prospects list, should not be traded. He won the player of the month award in May, looks like the Reds best outfield prospect.

      • Dean

        Think we can get a large container of gum for Barrero?

    • Tar Heel Red

      If the Reds determine that they want to bring in a younger pitcher who still has club control they can trade young talent at the lower end of the minors and not effect their future. Or they could offer prospect that are blocked at the major league level. like Arroyo or Collier and still have little-to-no effect.

      • Tar Heel Red

        The other thing to keep in mind is to make this style of trade the Reds would have to include at least one player off the 26-man roster. If they don’t the incoming player would cost them one of these players and likely a player off the 40-man roster too.

    • Woobs

      You are 100% correct. Bring it in somebody from the outside and paying them a lot of money or even average money might mess up the chemistry of this team. Let them go out and fight it out

    • Jon.

      I agree! Even if they get a pitcher they are not beating LAD,ATL.PHILLY,ARZ..

    • Bill

      I’m in your camp Mike. Thes guys have something special going on. It is no secret that pitching developwa a little slower than hitting. Ask Nolan ryan. Keep em together even if they falter down the stretch this year or lose early in a playoff scenario. The dividends with this group can be multiple years of championship baseball. Whatever your opinion is you gotta love these guys right now. Why screw it up.

  2. Bill

    To be truly dangerous in the playoffs they need that lock down SP. I don’t see any way possible to get that individual. The Reds can definitely make some improvements to pitching and make the playoffs. They may even get hot and do some damage, but I would feel much better with 2014 Madison Bumgarner on the mound.

    What #1 SP is available and what would it cost?

    • AllTheHype

      Guys like Giolito might be available later. I doubt many good SPs are available right now, if any for that matter. Teams like the White Sox have to decide first if they are sellers, and that has to play out for 3-4 more weeks, unfortunately.

      All these posters here that say we can trade now, well, realistically we can’t because most of the potential trading partners haven’t decided if they’re sellers or not.

    • Armo21

      The Reds have two aces and two number twos in house, if they get healthy. I like the Reds chances with Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Abbott starting and Diaz, Williamson, Farmer, Frenchie, Young, Law, Simms, Cruz as my bullpen in the playoffs.

      Adding pitching for depth would be nice and to bridge the gap to getting Greene and Lodolo back. Right now they only have 4.5 starters, get Lively back maybe bring Phillips up for a few starts.
      Santillan and Law could provide much needed bullpen help. The Allstar break is coming at the perfect time to get the pen some rest and allow injured guys to get healthy.

      Don’t trade near MLB ready players who are young and controllable. The Reds have what they need to be really good. This team is not a finished product. Guys will improve and slump, but I believe Ashcraft, Abbott, and Willamson will lead the rotation until Greene and Lodolo get back in a month.

    • Dean

      Luis Castillo.
      Give the Mariners Marte and Arroyo back. Keep Stoudt as Castillo has a year less of team control.
      I’m guessing if the Reds could get back Castillo for this amount and Gray for Chase Petty, they would jump on that.
      I would do both trades, and I’m guessing the Ms and Twins would, too, ONLY if Andrew Abbott can pitch in playoffs.
      If we’re rolling Castillo, Abbott, Gray and Greene out there … Wow. Good effing luck getting the runs you’re going to need to beat this lineup.

      • Daytonnati

        Ironically, from The Athletic:

        Four former Reds starting pitchers, and another one drafted by the Reds, made the All-Star Game: Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Kevin Gausman and Michael Lorenzen are all American League All-Stars. Josiah Gray, taken in the second round of the 2018 draft, now with the Nationals, is a National League All-Star.

      • Stock

        After signing a contract with Seattle, Castillo is now under control through 2027

  3. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Saying “Make the trade” is the easy part. You have to have something the other team wants. You have to want what the other team has. If not, it’s not going to work.

    It could be something as simple as. . .the A’s will give us Sears if we give them CES. After all, we want pitching. And, the A’s probably want good young talent. Do we pull the trigger?

    Here’s what I see. We have plenty of “future” where we aren’t going to “blow it” by getting a pitcher or two. It all falls upon just who we get and who they want. That will depend upon how much “future” we need to give up.

    As long as we don’t give up much of that “future”, I say “pull the trigger”. Why? Because prospects have 2 purposes: 1) replace those in the big club, and 2) tradebait. By last unscientific analysis, for example, we have 10 total players in the majors and prospects who are playing 2nd/SS/3rd. As in, the prospects are no more than a couple of years away from replacing those at the big club. 10 players for 3 positions? That’s way too many. So, we can let go of some of that.

    “No, don’t do it.” Then, we recognize no value for those players. “Hold them in the minors, just in case a big leaguer gets hurt.” I’ve never been a fan of that, “just in case”. For the prospect could get injured. And, there goes our value for that commodity.

    If you don’t make any trade, then I say change the prospects’ positions right now, to positions we will need. For example, we could need OF’s later. We have none on our prospect list, at least the top 10. Get them into a better position where they can replace a major leaguer, into a defensive position that they will be able to ease into a lot slower, than being forced into it once they do get up here.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Oh, like the article mentioned if not implied, we need to find someone. Or, we are going to burn some arms out.

      For the relievers, that can be easy. Bell simply needs to be pitching DD, Cruz, etc., as often as he pitches his big 4.

      But, the starters? That’s going to be difficult.

  4. Willdcat

    Where does this SP come from? Every team wants starting pitching, so to get any will require giving up lots of assets. Most trading partners will take a call from the Reds, due to the the seeming glut of talent the club has – but going after starting pitching at this point would be a mistake. Relief pitching could be a different story. Teams that overpaid for relievers, then finally admit they won’t be contenders, might be willing to trade and not expect a king’s ransom in return. If the team had bullpen pieces that Bell & Johnson would be willing to use, as opposed to the running the same 4 guys out there most days, that would be a way to contend. Have to hope Hunter & Lodolo come back on schedule, and that Law & Santillian can contribute, then maybe only a piece or two would be needed for the bullpen. Would love for Antone to be healthy & available as well, though I doubt that happens this season.

    • Soto

      Great points Wildcat. I would love to see the Reds add some pitching, but I agree with you that a couple quality relievers are more likely. More and more I am a believer that investing big money or high end position player prospects in return for starting pitching is a very risky investment. My perception is that you cannot count on starting pitching to stay healthy or to pitch consistently deep into games. So I say invest in your position players and the bullpen. Use openers and try to develop quality arms in your farm system. Do not sign free agent starting pitchers to long term contracts.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I’ve heard that other teams have simply been asking for too much.

      The thing with me is, I believe we have “the number” of “future” pieces we can let go. But, it’s the specific players; who’s untouchable, who isn’t. If teams are asking too much for what we want, we just have to lower our expectations of what to get.

      As for starters or relievers, relievers may be easier to get. But, I’m afraid we are going to need starters more. Again, if we can’t get the starters, get the relievers.

      • jon

        Who in our farm system would be equal to what KC got for Chapman?

    • Dean

      See above.
      We could get Castillo and Gray back for Marte/Arroyo and Petty. It would be silly for the Mariners and Twins NOT to jump on those deals.

      • Thomas Atwood

        The Twins are (somehow) still in first place in the putrid AL Central. Why would a first place want to subtract a starter right now?

        It might be possible the M’s have some buyer’s remorse and would hit the Undo button. But I doubt it. If I’m them, I’m chalking up this year to bad luck and guessing the Angels regress if/when Ohtani leaves, so add in the offseason and try to leapfrog into playoff contention next year. Moving Castillo is a rebuilding style move.

      • Doc

        The Mariners traded for top line pitching. How is that working out for them?

        The twins traded for or signed pitching. How is that working out for them.

        The Mets went after pitching. How is that working for them?

        The Padres spent a mint for pitching. How is the working for them?

        Greinke is being paid a mint. How is that investment paying off?

        The Reds traded away pitching for top notch position prospects. How is that working out for them?

        Do I prefer a long term plan or a short term plan? LONG

        Do I prefer Nick Krall’s expertise as a GM or Jason Linden and commenters? NICK KRALL. Keep on the plan Nick. It’s working sooner than expected and that is fine by me, but not a reason to deviate from plan.

      • Greenfield Red

        100% Doc. Agree completely. Do not trade any of the future for 2023. Any success this year is bonus. Stick to the plan.

  5. Oldtimer

    Reds traded Paul Konerko (good young talent) in mid 1990s. I wish we hadn’t.

  6. cubano

    Aw man. Lots of difficult baseball before the trade deadline. After four days against the Nats, it’s Milwaukee, Arizona, SF, Milwaukee again and the Dodgers. They need series wins against good teams to convince ownership to spend- and even with wins, who knows what Castellini will do.

    • Bill

      I don’t think it really has much to do with spending. It has more to do with what is available in trades and what you are willing to give up. I don’t think there are guys under long term contracts available, mostly rentals, maybe someone with an additional year.

      I guess you could attempt a trade and contract extension scenario where payroll comes into consideration

  7. Tampa Red

    Jason, I couldn’t possibly agree more. No one is promised tomorrow, and who knows what happens next year. The best laid plans, as they say.

    The Reds will need a long-term solution at 1st base. That will be CES. He’s the only untouchable that isn’t already on the 40-man as far as I’m concerned. I would make everyone else available for the right deal. And if it’s not the right deal, move on till it is.

  8. elroboto

    Encarnacion-Strand is untouchable. He’s the heir apparent to Votto (which cannot come soon enough, IMHO). But I agree, where are we gonna put these prospects? The starting line up is pretty well set for years. The notion you draft the best player available and can trade him later if not needed is dumb, when you are desperate for SP NOW. Nothing says either that Lidolo, Ashcraft, and some others WILL come back. They have been drafting a ton of pitchers the last two years, but haven’t been using the top pick to get a decent college SP. Even Abbot was a round 2. Just sayin’.

  9. Votto4life

    If a trade is to be made, make it. There is no guarantee the Reds will be in the same position next season. There is a good chance there will be some regression next year or injuries to key players. When you have a chance to win, you should take it.

    • Greenfield Red

      The Reds have had key injuries this year, yet remain in 1st place. Happens every year… especially as the team ages which is another reason to not trade any of the young talent for 2023. None.

  10. Pete

    At this point, I trust Nick Krall completely. Armchair GM’s are great but they are no match for the man.

  11. Optimist

    Relievers will certainly be available, though its doubtful a starter, either a rental or with a year or 2 of control, can be had for the right price. In any case, who do you trade?

    Looking at Doug’s prospect list – I don’t trade any of the top 12, or anyone in A or below. The list includes those already in MLB – EDLC, Abbott, etc.. I don’t trade anyone on the 26-man roster under age 27 or Joey.

    That still leaves plenty of prospect talent and some off the 26-man roster – that would get a reliever or 2, and maybe they get lucky and land a marginal starter, though I think the plan is likely to go with all those returning from the IL. Can’t say I disagree with that.

    The off season is a completely different story.

  12. J

    It’s weird to me to see how many people have reacted when I’ve said “the Reds need to go get a decent starter or two” by insisting this is a nearly impossible task because teams don’t want to part with decent starters and they’ll demand practically the entire farm system in return. It’s as if nobody remembers that the Reds traded Maile, Castillo, and Gray (and gave Miley away to avoid paying $10 million). Yes, those trades have made the Reds’ minor league system better, and the Maile deal has turned out to be the deal of the century, but at the time the trades were made, I don’t recall too many Reds fans (or baseball experts) saying the Reds had really taken advantage of these other teams by getting all their top prospects. I actually recall quite a few Reds fans who were livid about these trades because they hated what the Reds had done.

    • Bill

      I think you mean Mahle, which as you pointed out didn’t go to well for the Twins. If I recall he ended up on the IL and the Reds have Steer. With Castillo I recall a lot of people talking about the huge return the Reds got. That one clearly made the Mariners better in 2022, but what do they have to show for it? Swept in the playoffs and a below .500 record this year. Gray was an off season trade so not really a good comparison.

      It is not impossible to get a front end starter, it will just be difficult and will require a huge return in prospects. The debate is on if it is worth it. It is really a gamble either way. I understand some will say go for it now, you may not get another chance. That is a valid argument. However, you could go for it now like the Marineers did and still come up short.

      Personally I try to find someone to eat innings in the bull pen or a backend starter. Hope Greene and Lodolo come back and try to find that legitimate starter in the off season. To me the risk is too high to abandon the plan and go all in this year. Next year I might have a different opinion.

      • J

        Maile, Mahle, Miley, Milner… who can keep track anymore?

        (Ok, Milner was admitted a while ago, but I still remember him.)

      • J

        As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m not in favor of the Reds giving away a bunch of great prospects for a “front end” guy. Those deals rarely seem to be worth it. What I’d like to see them do is trade a good prospect for a good pitcher who’s under team control for at least a couple years. Doesn’t have to be a great pitcher. Just a guy who’s a legitimate major leaguer so they don’t have to keep using guys who aren’t. I think that trade ought to be doable right now if the Reds are really interested in doing it.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      This sort of goes to what I’ve talked about before. . .the fans need to be ready to see the fan favorites go. I mean, if Elly does really start to click, do you really think he’s still around here in 10 years? We wouldn’t be able to afford him, not to mention everyone else. I mean, with the exception of Votto, this is considered a young team. Agewise, they could still be together for another 10 years. Do you really think business-wise they are going to be together for another 10 years?

      My priority is that we have a winning team. Sure, I would love to have my favorites here to make that team. But, if something like FA sends them on, as long as we have a winning team, I’m fine.

      • Bill

        Obviously there is zero chance the same team stays together for 10 years. The Reds will have to make a decision on who they want to extend and match that to who is willing to extend. The rest will have to be replaced by the prospects they have. Some player in A ball today will be replacing one of this year’s starters in a few years.

        On the topic of free agents, I would ask everyone demanding Votto be DFA’d and sent into retirement. Do you think that a star veteran player is going to sign with the Reds if they are going to kick them to the curb if they get injured?

      • Greenfield Red

        Steve, I agree, they won’t be able to afford ELDC and others in 10 years, and I don’t want them too.

        This is exactly why you can’t make trades now, and this is the genious of what Krall did last summer. Nobody knew much about Hector, Acosta, and the other teenagers he brought in. Now a year later they are breaking out and will be top 100 guys by next year. This allows the Reds to continually back fill when they trade guys like ELDC in 5 or 6 years. Duno, the Korean kid, Esmith, Hector, Cabrera, Arroyo, Aguiar, Collier, Stewart, and others are stars of the future that allow a continuous flow of exciting young talent and allows the Reds to sell off the young guys who are now setting the world on fire for the Reds in 4 or 5 years when they are no longer young and cheap.

        Don’t trade any of those guys for 23.

      • BK

        A 10-year horizon–that’s a little far out from my perspective. However, they could keep this team’s core intact for 5 years. That said, if you want to build for the 5-10 year time horizon, something I want the Reds to do, you protect (and add to) the prospects at A ball and below.

      • J

        BK, I remember seeing a lot of analysts saying those trades seemed like “wins” for both sides. I don’t recall analysts saying the Mariners and Twins wildly overpaid because the deadline was approaching. I suspect the Reds could have gotten a very similar deal for Castillo at the beginning of last season. Perhaps not from the Mariners, but from some other team that expected to make a run at a championship last year. There’s always a market for aces as long as there are teams able to pay their salaries.

        You seem to forget that “desperation” works in both directions. The Mariners and Twins wanted pitchers, and the Reds wanted to dump salary and get some prospects. Everyone knew the Reds were “desperate” to make deals at the deadline, just as the Reds knew other teams were “desperate.” These people aren’t idiots.

      • J

        Previous comment was intended to be a response to comment below. I can’t handle doing this on my phone….

    • BK

      @J, your argument highlights a great point … look at the difference in the returns for Gray and Miley (they changed hands in the offseason) and Mahle and Castillo (trade deadline trades). Trades at the deadline extract a premium in returns because the team that holds the scarce resource has significant leverage in the trade.

      • J


        I don’t think a couple anecdotal examples really prove anything. Just looking at the Reds, for example, I can think of some trades that occurred prior to the season that turned out to be extremely lopsided in one direction or another. And I can think of trades that occurred at the deadline where the prospects involved weren’t particularly interesting. And I can think of guys who ended up not being traded at the deadline — presumably because the Reds couldn’t get any worthwhile prospects in return despite other teams being “desperate.” It’s not as simple as “the closer we get to the trade deadline, the more we’ll get in return for our good players.” If it were that simple, Chapman would still be with the Royals right now, and last year the Reds would have traded various other players at the deadline instead of trading them in the offseason (Farmer), losing them to free agency (Solano), or just cutting them and then watching them sign with other teams (Moose).

      • BK

        @J, I’m sorry you don’t see much value in the anecdotal examples you provided in the post I replied to. Also, go do a quick google search for grades on the Castillo and Mahle tades—the Reds were broadly hailed for the returns, especially the Castillo trade. Trades must be evaluated in the time they were executed—that is with the information available at the time of the decision. Evaluating after the fact assumes one is prescient.

      • BK

        @J, the Reds weren’t desperate to dump salary. Krall “aligned the team’s payroll to resources” before the season started (see the Miley DFA, Gray trade and then the puzzling acquisition of Minor for evidence of this fact). They leveraged the fact that they had two of the best three starting pitchers available in multiple teams in playoff contention that wanted to add a starting pitcher. They held a scarce, in-demand resource in a time-constrained environment. They could have kept either player and moved them in the off-season. So, no there was no desperation on their part at all.

        And of course the front office personnel aren’t idiots. You know J, I didn’t say anything of the sort to even imply a statement like this. SMH!

  13. Tom Reeves

    The Reds are opening a very large winning window over the next 4-5 years. That window might be open right now. But trading away top talent in the minors for rental players this year is a bad move. And it will take top talent to return anything of value this year.

    The Reds are playing well enough with things as they are. When Greene and Lodolo return, this team is far better positioned for a run for the playoffs.

    The only way I make trades now is to swap some position player talent for some pitching talent.

    If the Reds can avoid high priced free agents and short-sighted deals over the next few years, they can really go far.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      What position player? Players like Newman or Casali aren’t going to bring anyone. Steer? McLain? Friedl? With what they have meant to this team? Nope.

      We have enough pieces of “our future” that we can let go of some of them and still have plenty of “future” left over.

      • Ted Alfred

        India is the guy to trade. A team would be getting a really quality player who’s got three more years of Team control and the Reds should be able to get a quality starter with some at least 2 years of salary certainty in return. That opens up the infield to bring CES up, move McClain to 2nd,Elly to SS, Steer at 3rd and CES/Votto playing alot of 1st and DH alternately together….or more of one than the other depending on how things go.

    • BK

      @Tom, I agree with you. The future appears quite bright.

      @Steve, any trade of prospects for ML talent is, by definition an exchange of the team’s future for the present. Trading prospects from a deep farm system WILL reduce the potential of the franchise in the future.

      These two perspectives really frame the debate well: should the Reds turn future value of the team into present value. In other words, is this team good enough that as fans we should be comfortable forgoing future wins for the chance to get into the playoffs (or further) this season.

      • Greenfield Red

        BK, I say no. Do not trade any of them. The Reds are in position to be great for as long as they stick to the plan.

        There is so much high end talent that in a few years they will be able to trade away and aging MCClain (for tons of prospects) and replace him with a Cabrara.

        There will be no need for 10 year contracts for 30 year olds. The Reds can be perpetually younger and faster than anyone and annualy in the WS hunt.

        Trading away an Acosta or a Collier, or a Jorge only diminishes the possibilities.

        The Reds will have waves of guys like McClain, ELDC, Steer, and Abbott year after year, so moving on from guys at 29 or 30 will not be a problem. They are in position to be the envy of baseball. Let’s not diminish that for the 2023 Central Division and a trip to LA or Atlanta that ends in utter disappointment

    • Rob

      There has only been one notable trade so far. Chapman to the Ramgers. And he is a pretty good LH relief pitcher. And that did not take anything close to top talent. The Ranger traded a young 6.00 ERA guy (think Stoudt as a Comp) and a single A guy who was not in the top 30 prospects. We know the Reds were conversing here but chose to wait for more value (or not that big of price) for a $2.5M guy. My view is that this was a pretty cheap deal that we walked away from. I dont know why the Reds didnt catch this fish but $2.5M is salary in nothing, Chapman would have certainly filled a need, and Stoudt appears no better than a #4 starter down the road. And there are a million #4/#5 starters out there that can be had now or over the winter. A future #4/#5 starter is not integral to the Reds future. We have shown that many times over the past 3-4 years in Miley, Disco, and others.

  14. Tom Reeves

    Ugh, I hate to say this but I think the best thing Votto could do right now would be to step aside to allow CES to come up.

    • Bill

      If you mean retire, Votto is not going to retire. Could he agree to take a smaller role for the benefit of the team, sure. Retirement would be a horrible decision on his part. The #1 thing blocking CES is the three catcher system. If Stephenson is the full time catcher, the DH spot opens up. Just relegating Votto to the 26th man still leaves Elly – 3B, McLain – SS, India – 2B, and Steer 1B. OF is set with Friedl, Benson, Fraley.

      • Doc

        And there is no guarantee that they won’t be the same or better next year, nor is there any guarantee that a trade now would have a positive impact this year. Seattle anyone? Minnesota anyone?

      • Doc

        It was Votto himself who publicly said if he could no longer perform he would retire.

      • Bill

        Do you believe Votto really thinks he can’t hit anymore? He is also on the record as saying he thinks he will perform.

        I have no doubt he will consider retiring after his $7M buyout this winter

    • Jim Walker

      One strategy would be for JV to go back onto the IL. Given his age and what he has been through in the last year, certainly, they can come up with a credible reason which would pass MLB scrutiny if questions were raised.

      For instance, if a pitcher can go to the IL with “shoulder fatigue” why not a guy who had the injury, surgery, and rehab trajectory JV has had and isn’t swinging well?

      Start him on the 10 day list. If he isn’t back to snuff and they need a 40 man spot down the line, move him to the 60 day. As long as he remained continuously on the IL, he’d still be eligible to come off around LaborDay when another 26 man spot is available.

      • Bill

        I’m not an expert, but my guess is that is not in any way legal without an actual injury. You would have to have a both a doctor and Votto lie about the injury

      • BK

        @Bill, I don’t see anywhere that Jim is suggesting someone lie. He’s pointing out that after major surgery, knowing when a player is healthy enough to perform at the highest level of competition is inherently vague. Lots of players have been dismissed by their doctors as they rebuild strength, speed, or flexibility after a medical procedure and are currently on the IL. The IL doesn’t require that a player be injured to the point that they are incapable of playing.

      • Bill

        BK, he said “certainly, they can come up with a credible reason”. Come up with a reason, means there was no reason to begin with. If Votto says he is fine, the doctors say he has healed, the Reds can’t just say “Joey we know you really want to be part of the team, but we are going to send you to the IL because you aren’t hitting the way we would like. If anyone asks, just say your shoulder hurts” It has to be a verified injury, so while the player doesn’t have to agree with it a doctor has to validate the player is injured. Can they force Votto to see a doctor? Is that doctor willing to “come up with something”, and risk his career?

      • Jim Walker

        @BK and Bill.

        BK basically has it correct about what I meant. Perhaps I should have said “ document a credible reason”??? That would be especially appropriate in Votto’s case as to the best of my recollection, nobody, including Votto himself, knows when or how the injury happened.

        Instead, at some point years ago, Votto became aware of intermittent pain in the area. He was examined and told it was a chronic wear and tear type injury, he played with the injury for years until the pain level and deterioration of his performance led to the decision for surgical intervention.

        Votto has spoken of the continued pain or discomfort during his rehab. Nobody threw a switch and made it 100% go away. However, he decided his discomfort and performance levels were at a point where he could attempt to play at the MLB level.

        Credible reasons or documentation that could now be provided would include a CAT or MRI scan showing inflammation. Or maybe a comparison of his bat speed and swing arc range compared to what they were in the past.

        If a pitcher loses a few MPH on his pitches and/ or his control goes haywire, we typically hear he has shoulder or arm fatigue or inflammation; and off he goes to the IL. Why should it be any different for a hitter?

      • Bill

        If Votto has recently complained of pain to the staff, then yes they have something documented. I guess they could tell Votto we don’t care if you think you can play, you are injured. However if Votto says he is fine, doctors have ok’d his return and state minor discomfort is normal. Does the front office really want to have that battle with the face of the franchise? All it takes is Votto saying he is fine and an evaluation from a doctor saying he is cleared to play and the MLBPA has a grievance filed.

        If Votto wanted to be on the IL he would be

      • Jim Walker

        @Bill>> I don’t see the Reds and JV being in an oppositional posture on over this situation if Votto continues on the same trajectory this week. His K rate is 35%. His batting average is .143. His OPS line is .302/.400/.700. That’s not how JV would want to be remembered. The IL offers a way for both he and the team to kick the can down the road.

  15. Roger Garrett

    I trust Krall to do whats best regarding tradesTrading for controllable starting pitching right now will be very costly.Teams out of it will want top prospects and a bunch of them because all may not turn out.Krall was just that guy the last couple of years and a lot of what he got for Castillo,Mahle and Gray have really helped.In fact would you trade Steer and CES for Mahle minus the Tommy John surgery right now?Of course not.My point is the best trades are those that have a really good chance to work out for both teams but it will cost Krall some top prospects and Newman or Senzel or a High A prospect will not get it done.Garrett and Lodolo returning is by far the best deal but we will see.

  16. Klugo

    Roll with Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, and Abbott. They all have ace potential. Go get a couple other serviceable guys to supplement and insure them.

    • Ted Alfred

      This is what I would prefer to do too…just sit tight. I would not trade any of the better prospects in the minors. I am okay trading India because there’s a glut in the infield and to me India is always going to be a sub-par defensive player and just a pretty good hitter…more. Maybe you could package India with Senzel to a team that really needs infield help and get something decent in return

  17. Doc4uk

    Trade minor league players along with Newman and Senzel and Casali. Everyone else should stay. Should be very picky about trading anyone in top 25 prospects.

    • Friedl Green Tomatoes

      Newman and Senzel have *some* value, but I wouldn’t trade a sack of peanuts for Casali. His remaining on the major league roster as the THIRD CATCHER defies all logic.

    • Rob

      I am not in favor of trading Newman or Senzel unless we get something significant more of current value in return. No 2024 prospects. Both Newman and Senzel have been integral to the success of the 2023 team. Don’t compromise first place in 2023 for a higher potential in 2024. As e all know, that potential may never come to be. As the author points out, our objective should be to seize the 2023 opportunity. I agree except the part at any cost. We have an excess of near term prospects! They rank from #1 thru #100. Some will not have opportunities to play fo the Reds because of blocks and thus have more value as trade bait. The author notes that our starting pitching is not good enough or deep enough to compete in the playoffs. I agree. You’re call Nick but improve the 2023 club with 1-2 solid starting pitchers. Deal some excess for some starting pitching. I did not say wipeout the farm system.

  18. LT

    Yes yes and yes. Love the article. We can make do with what we have but to go deep in playoff, let’s just go with the old adage: you never have enough pitching. Multiple that by 10 times and that’s the situation the Reds are in. The inning projection on AA is interesting. It’ll be a shame when the Reds are in the playoffs and AA can’t pitch due to inning limit. As for the offense, the Reds can put up runs but they are not efficient in doing so. They’ve come up empty over and over again when having 2 on with no one out or runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs. In the playoffs the pitching will get tougher, scoring opportunities will be less and wasting them is not a formula for success.

    • Ted Alfred

      I think putting an Innings limit on Abbott if they’re in a playoff situation would be ridiculous unless Abbott is telling you he has arm fatigue or isn’t feeling exactly right. Now if he’s telling you he’s getting a little tired or feels a little off or abuthing similar then shut him down, but if he feels great he’ll likely be fine no matter how many innings he pitches this year. This is a mature man who played college ball, so he’s totally physically mature. It’s not like some Kid 2 years out of high school.

  19. Amarillo

    Just don’t get fleeced in trades, please.

    We are not currently in a position to play a bo5 playoff series, since we are pretty far behind the Braves and Diamondbacks. If we give up someone really good for a rental and then lose in a bo3 series it would be a huge mistake.

    • Pete

      Anytime Krall makes a trade we should be excited given the track record. Reds will do the fleecing, thank you very much.

    • Harry Stoner

      We have seen Krall do well trading assets for prospects.

      His track record of trading for assets is mixed: Newman trade a wash at best, the
      Minor deal a bad one, Benson is looking good, but the Reds gave away someone good who may likely thrive.

      Moose, Pham, Myers, Moran were not good assessments of value.

      The dumpster dives for relief pitching help has been like buying lotto tickets.

      Dunn, of course, a throw in.

      He let Miley walk.

      Krall made some good deals extracting value for something the Reds had that others wanted: quality pitching.

      He hasn’t demonstrated he can do the reverse, so I find the blind faith in Bull here premature.

      He hasn’t acquired assets well under pressure: again Pham, Myers, Minor come to mind.

      His words of caution so far are reassuring.

      Reds are still winning and have 2 pitchers due off the IL shortly after the trade deadline who are likely as good, cheaper and under longer control than anyone they might trade for.

      The laudable hitting can go south quickly as we have seen. The Reds need all the hitting they can muster to win and survive.

      I’m on the go-slow side viz trading.

      Krall has made some great deals as well as some flubs.

      He isn’t flawless and I hope he acts with great prudence.

      I don’t buy into the “Act now! who knows what will happen next year?” worries.

      One thing we know is that the 2024 Reds will likely be even better than the 2023 Reds.

      • Pete

        You are a very tough grader. Yes some of the free agent signings were not fantastic but what were the alternatives that were available? That is what we have to look at. He has been given a poverty franchise budget and has done wonders with it. I trust him implicitly.

        The results that we have seen this year and what the future of the franchise appears to be has me wondering at times if I’m living in a dream world. Yes, it is that good.

      • Amarillo

        Completely agree. It’s also worth looking at the nature of our tradable assets. Our best prospects basically fall into 2 categories, (ML ready/Already in majors) and (20 years old or younger in A ball and younger.
        ML ready: Elly, McLain, Abbott, Williamson, CES, Marte, Phillips.

        20 or younger: Arroyo, Collier, Petty, Cabrera, Rodriguez, Jorge, Balcazar, Duno.

        The first group doesn’t make sense to trade as they are who we are relying on as the core both this year and the next few. The second group doesn’t make sense to trade since that would be selling very low on a teenager.

        So our best tradable prospects are Hinds, Richardson, Boyle who aren’t going to contribute this year, and they probably won’t fetch the kind of starter that would be useful.

      • Ted Alfred

        The good thing is everything I’m seeing from Krall tells me that he is extremely hesitant to give up any top-tier prospects, so I think the chances that he’ll make some Blockbuster trade and give away top prospects is very slim. He’s going to be very shrewd and careful about this. He knows the key to a small market team sustaining any success is to strengthen the minor leagues now that he’s got a strong farm system to keep it going. He’s too smart to give that future payroll and lineup flexibility away for any starting pitcher.

      • Rick

        For sure on 2024.
        I’m not a overreacting sort myself either. We’re on a good path.(read my post to BK).
        I agree on some flubs, but our budget has severe limitations, and trying to survive thru the end of the Voto, Moose & Shogo contracts.
        But beyond trades, his overseeing and changing up the scouting dept. & Intl. money and signings. The McLain pick, and the minors stocked up pretty good except the pitching. Have up setup pretty good. He flipped some journeymen(Drury, Pham) for some upside minor league dudes.
        You and I aren’t far apart on opinions.

      • Pete

        @rick, Shogo, MM, Votto we’re not on Krall’s watch. He may have made some “minor” missteps but they are insignificant compared to the hauls he’s made.

  20. Rick

    Get a good left & a dependable long reliever.
    If you can get a 5 inning starter with a decent era that won’t cost much do it.

    I would not trade Marte or CES. They are our future 3B and 1B/DH power bats.

    Arroyo might get a really good return.

  21. BK

    As of today, the Reds are tied for first in the Central and a game back from a Wild Card position. The team is clearly improved and perhaps “better than their good but not great record.” Still, they are 11.5 games behind front-running Atlanta.

    We have a hole in our lineup at 1B/DH–I’m hoping JV comes around, but it’s highly doubtful he’s the starter next season. Pitchers have found a blueprint to get EDLC out–I’m confident he’ll adjust, but he must now do so or his spot in the lineup will become another below-average spot. Thus CES and Marte are off the table. Why? Because teams usually get little production from rookies like the Reds have this year, both might be needed.

    Some argue that we don’t know if the Reds will be competitive next year or in any future year–a valid concern. Thus, holding onto the future value of prospects is meaningless. Essentially, because we live in an uncertain world (a true statement), we should not attempt to plan for the future (a highly questionable conclusion). Also, if we trade from our top prospects, we know with absolute certainty they will NOT be available to the Reds in the future. We also know with certainty that injuries happen and depth is a difference-maker among good teams. Injuries will happen–the fact that we don’t know when they will occur or who will be injured in advance does not negate this fact.

    Deadline trades are almost always an exchange of present value for future value. It seems to me that the Reds have finally done what I’ve wanted them to do for more than a decade: build the franchise in a way that we enter each season competitive. The future of this franchise appears very bright. The MLB roster is brimming with talent and the farm system has another very strong wave of talent percolating at Low A and below. The high-ceiling talent at High A and up is more sparse and will be needed to provide depth over the next few years.

    Threading the needle at this deadline means moving good, but not great prospects OR, better yet, exchanging major league talent from a team strength for another team’s major league talent if their team strength is pitching–Guardians and Marlins are potential fits.

    • Jim t

      The reds can’t outbid the Dodgers for his services and it has been said Ohtani prefers the west coast.

      • MBS

        Why can’t the Reds outbid the Dodgers? We set to have a $30M payroll in 24. This organization has shown the willingness to go as high as $140M. That’s about $110 worth of discretionary budget to work with. I doubt LA has that big of a gap between current spending and max spending.

    • Rick

      Elly will get things fixed at some point. The biggest thing for me is plate discipline. Swing at strikes, he’s guessing and looks like he’s predetermined to swing expecting the one fastball that he’ll see. Read & react will resonate to him at some point. He’ll figure out the curves & changeups but that takes time. Swing at strikes is the first thing that’s low hanging fruit.

      I’m guessing that Krall has been keeping his phone busy & likely includes the players/teams that you’ve listed.

      Sorting year evolved into a contention year.
      Hard to go from 0 to hero. We were 0 last year. Stepping stone year, attain pitching within reason, get our injured starters back, make the postseason & get your feet wet, and go as deep as the pitching will take us. That’ll set up 2024 to be special after this upcoming offseason roster tweaking with a trade or 2 and a couple of FA pitching additions. Imo

      • Jon

        He looks at 2 strikes every at bat.Not near aggressive as he was his first week.Swing the friggn’ bat.

    • Optimist

      Agree completely. I’d add that this is Joey’s final season – he’ll get the completely well deserved $7m parting gift, and most any future role he wants, and possibly the 26th man for the Jays next season. No complaints and I’m certain understood all around. Now, if he hits .500 from Aug. 1 thru year end, they can talk.

      Meanwhile, CES should be up soon, at latest on Aug. 2, and expect Marte on Sept. 1. Whether they can contribute is open, but get them time in MLB and 100-200 ABs.

      If they can deal for pitching now as you indicate, fine. Otherwise, a deal, and a FA signing are needed in the off season. That done, 2024 is set to go.

      • Rick

        Yeah, getting Votto, Shogo & Moose money out of the way will allow us flexibility to fill voids. Larkin has teased about Marte a couple of times while biting his tongue(Lol) to temper what he probably would like to expound on. And CES a bit less, likely because of respect to Joey.
        2024 is aligning to be special.

  22. Kevin Patrick

    I’d suggest Ohtani, but the Reds don’t really need the hitting. Frankly, I have absolutely no idea what a pitcher would cost in the current market. I’m guessing somebody somewhere is trying to figure out if it actually does make more sense to wait till the off season to add to the pitching. If its a wash, then you add soon. Realistically, who can the Reds count on to make starts? Lodolo? (pretty big ERA before going on IL) Green? (How serious is this hip?) Ashcraft? ( lets just say not who I would prefer in a game 1) Abbot? (He seems pretty good to just waste by overuse). It just seems to me that the available pitchers in the price range the Reds could probably handle would come from the NL central…and that ain’t happening. Which means no Corbin Burnes in Red…but which also means no CES in blue… Sitting in my GM armchair here at home, I just don’t see how the Reds can get difference maker pitchers without abandoning pragmatic decisions on development. Ohtani is a bit different though, because he is a pitcher who also hits. I would know I was at least getting back a hitter too. So, I could break my rule of trading pitching for pitching and hitting for hitting. If the Angels wait till the last second to decide to unload Ohtani this year, the Reds could offer a reasonable package and use him as a rental…or dare I suggest it…sign him to an extension.

  23. Rick

    Krall won’t trade valuable minor league assets unless they get value back will team control.
    The roster tweak regarding trading of a starter won’t happen until the off-season. Imo

  24. Steven Ross

    If the Padres are willing to give up Wacha, I’d take him right now. Well, if we’re also willing to assume his contract. But it’s doable: The contract is technically for one year. But it could be for three or four, as it includes one two-year team option or three one-year player options.

    Or contact the A’s. Blackburn or Sears are more than likely available.

  25. Tim

    Fill in the blank: ___________ wins championships. We have some decent guys on the mlb club we just don’t need. We also have some real attractive guys in the minors who play the same positions as EDLC and McLain and India and Steer. Don’t get rid of what you will need but trade and pay for what you don’t need for what you do. If we were perennial playoff contenders with a massive payroll, then don’t go for it this year. But we are not. When opportunity knocks, answer the door. He may not visit again for a long time. Also, reward these guys who are giving us a show with what they need to win.

  26. Dean

    None of us need waste our time on this discussion without knowing the answer to the most important question: Is Abbott going to be available for a postseason? The author speculates he won’t be, but maybe the Reds don’t think he is as susceptible to injury as he isn’t a high velo guy straining his arm as often. If Abbott is not going to be available, I think we hang tight with roster as-is. Why? Too many question marks in starting rotation to try to answer via trade.
    Honestly, without Abbott, I would only feel good about a playoff game with Greene starting, and that being stated, if we got 5 innings and 2 of fewer runs allowed, I’d be surprised. Lodolo and Lively are major question marks. Ashcraft is not even a question mark at this point, as he has been terrible for 2 months, save his last start. How can you feel warm and fuzzy about him toeing the rubber?
    If Abbott isn’t available in October, we might as well stick with what we have and hope for a healthier rotation in 2024 and see what happens. I don’t want to give up CES or Marte or Petty or Arroyo or Phillips to rent Sonny Gray for a dozen quality starts and another 1st round playoff exit.

  27. Dean

    The other major concern about this season is that the bullpen arms are going to flame out. Period. You can’t log all the innings they have without “deadarm” issues.
    Krall has done a wonderful job stockpiling the organization with shortstops who can hit. At some point, though, he need(s) to flip them for starting pitchers. Granted, he couldn’t have foreseen the rash of injuries to the staff or the early readiness of the young players, otherwise, he surely would’ve kept Sonny Gray instead of trading for a 20-year-old pitcher. That could prove to be a great trade, but I’d rather have Gray this year in Cincy then Chase Petty in Dayton pitching once a week.
    On another note … Has anyone read a good article on why pitchers are hurt so much more now than they were in previous decades? Am guessing it’s because they throw too much/too soon before they are even in pro ball, and that catches up with them. But jeez … MLB and the Reds in particular seem to have 50% of their pro-caliber pitchers on the IL.

    • Will the Red

      From what I’ve read, it’s primarily the arm strain produced by trying to throw your hardest nearly every pitch. The other reason pitchers done pitch as much, especially starters, is because staffs have finely done the math and realized just how bad most starters are on the 3rd trip through the lineup. Good times have relief staff that are nearly ALL going to fare better than the starter on their 3rd, or especially 4th, trip. I realize I digressed, but it’s something to note, too.

      • Dean

        I guess the days of Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz all throwing 200 innings every year for a decade straight will never be seen again.
        Funny thing is, I’m pretty sure those guys attributed their health, longevity and success to throwing MORE regularly.

    • Ted Alfred

      The Reds might have caught a bit of a break with the fact that Santillion really hasn’t thrown in a year and Law had a nice two-month break…plus Antone may be coming back in late August after 2 years off, so if you add two or three pretty good and fresh Bullpen arms you might be able to squeak by without really suffering a huge drop off in the bullpen. The real concern for me in the pen is Diaz, because without him saving games you’re probably not going to win anything in the postseason anyways

    • jon

      Law and Santillan will help the pen real soon.I sit tight.

  28. Dean

    See above.
    We could get Castillo and Gray back for Marte/Arroyo and Petty. It would be silly for the Mariners and Twins NOT to jump on those deals.

  29. wolfcycle

    trade India and Edwin Arroyo, and maybe lower tier pitching prospect for good right handed hitting everyday outfielder and #3 type starting pitcher. Arroyo should be blocked, (hopefully) McClain at 2nd, Marte at 3rd (next year) steer/CES at 1b, the other DH. Outfield would be new guy, TJ, Fraley. Benson first off the bench. Senzel would have to finish this year out at 3rd with Freeman. Stephenson and Maile at catcher. Rotation would be (when healthy ) Green, Lodolo, new pitcher acquired, Abbot, Ashcraft/Lively…. can move Williamson to bullpen as long relief and have Weaver pound sand.

    • Dean

      I think India has value beyond what you, I and the national media see on a daily basis. If that is so, perhaps he should be our most untouchable player. I always wish (and thought) Joey Votto should’ve been that guy. But he wasn’t. Anyway, a clubhouse leader who holds himself and teammates accountable and makes sure the vibe stays positive is invaluable.

      • Stevie G

        glad to see someone else mention the value. of India as a leader of the team has. He is the heart and soul of the team, first guy on the rail, makes others accountable for playing to a high standard. Not saying he is comparable to Tony Perez, a hall of famer, but how many of the big red machine will tell you what an impact trading away Perez had on the team

  30. GreatRedLegsFan

    Reds have a few pieces that may entice other teams in need of help. Senzel and Newman in the majors, Lopez, Reynolds and Ramos in AAA. Also, as time goes by, it’ll be harder to justify Votto and Casali roster spots.

    • Optimist

      Senzel and Newman may get something, even a very good rental reliever since they are controlled beyond this season. Lopez, Reynolds and Ramos get you another team’s Lopez, Reynolds and Ramos.

  31. Jim t

    Like many I would like to work a trade for the rotation but I really think the best thing to do is stand pat and let the team continue to develop. The attention of the organization should be the continual development of the young players on the current roster. We have the opportunity for a long run of competitive teams. We need to solidify the position players and give starts to our young pitchers. If we do that I feel we can still make the playoffs and fill holes from a surplus in the minors and a lot of payroll flexibility after the season. I don’t feel we are in an all in position at this point. Let’s see how the season plays out.

    • Ted Alfred

      I want to enjoy fun, competetive Reds teams for the next decade plus after what we as Reds fans have been put through since 1990 minus a couple years here and there. I don’t want them to sacrifice that future just for the 2% moonshot this year.

      It’s just not worth it.

  32. Optimist

    Keep in mind the adage (most recently expressed by Rob Dibble) that you trade pitching for pitching, and hitting for hitting. Usually true, but if they can trade hitting for pitching, now is the time.

  33. Cincinnatus Rex

    Here’s what I find interesting: The Reds rotation has so many question marks (and impending returns from the IL), that the end-of-the-year rotation might end up like a trade acquisition in and of itself. If the eventual rotation delivers, then it will boost the current roster by two or three solid starters. Is that rotation certain to deliver? Nope! But you have to consider the possibility as an asset.

    That’s why I tend to lean toward the middle-ground solution: Be ready to buy, but only at a cost that doesn’t implode the team. As mentioned above, shop around players like Newman or Senzel — if that doesn’t get you much, then it doesn’t get you much. Combined with the possibility of a Rotation Renaissance, though, it might work out for the best.

    • Will the Red

      about so true about all the pitching we potentially have coming back. But can we perform until they return and we see what we have?!

  34. gusnwally

    I have been saying for weeks to package Senzel and Barrero and get the best pitcher that is offered. Neither is an important piece and I think it would get a decent (not great) return. Do not trade India, I repeat do not trade the sparkplug of this team. I fear it would quite possibly tear the heart out of this squad. I remembe thinking trading Tony Perez was a great idea. We get pitching and we have Danny Driessen ready to take over. BEWARE!!!!!!!!

    • Rick

      I’m still mad over trading Doggie for Fryman & the washed up reliever, Mike Marshall, I believe.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      We won’t get anyone for that.

  35. Will the Red

    From what I’ve read, it’s primarily the arm strain produced by trying to throw your hardest nearly every pitch. The other reason pitchers done pitch as much, especially starters, is because staffs have finely done the math and realized just how bad most starters are on the 3rd trip through the lineup. Good times have relief staff that are nearly ALL going to fare better than the starter on their 3rd, or especially 4th, trip. I realize I digressed, but it’s something to note, too.

  36. Rednat

    i don’t think it is necessary to get a starter to make the playoffs. the starters I think are starting to realize that all they really have to do is keep the team “in the game” and avoid the big inning and they have a chance to win. you would like to see our starters go a little longer in the game to give the bullpen a little more rest but I think they will be able to that adjustment.

    I think the main factor for us to make the playoffs are India and Stephenson really really having a strong second half and also I think EDLC has to make adjustments at the plate to make a little more solid contact. IF all three players are hitting around the .280 range by the end of the season I think we win the division going away

  37. JA

    Line up for today:

    Votto (1B)
    Steer (DH)

    • J

      It’s as if Bell doesn’t even watch these games at all, and is just going with whatever lineup he thought of two weeks ago because the team has been winning.

    • Ted Alfred

      I don’t get India at 3 or Steer at 7. I’m getting the feeling maybe he’s afraid to hurt India’s feelings in some way which I hope I’m wrong about. Maybe he thinks Steer is more relaxed at 7 that’s the only thing I can come up with…

    • BK

      I think he’s trying to get Votto going by putting a strong hitter (Steer) behind him. I could see separating ELDC and India as they are a bit on the cooler side right now, but it’s a tough lineup for any pitcher.

  38. Myles

    I’d like to see them make a deal but if it ends up trading away the next Jeff Bagwell work a rental pitcher we’d all hate that.

    Folks revisiting the Latos trade will have second thoughts how that worked out, too.

  39. old-school

    I Hope the Reds can make it to the AS break in first place. They will need to find some SP depth, but I would go the 3 month rental route for SP as the price wont be exorbitant. The Mets are open to trading their rentals as well, including Brooks Raley lefty and David Robertson righty- bullpen rentals and Carlos Carraso as SP, although his number’s dont look good.

  40. Ron

    The Reds area of strength is infielders. They can hang on to CES and Marte and still have a dozen other infielders available to offer a potential trade partner.

    Kevin Newman, Nick Senzel, Jose Barrero, Alejo Lopez, Edwin Arroyo, Cam Collier, Sal Stewart, Ricardo Cabrera, Carlos Jorge, Victor Acosta, Leonardo Balcazar and Jose Torres.

    Don’t know what caliber of pitching you could get with that group of players, but that’s where they should start.

    • BK

      Kevin Newman, Nick Senzel, Jose Barrero, Alejo Lopez, and Jose Torres will elicit little enthusiasm from non-contending teams. Newman or Senzel may work for a contender who needed an infielder or a potent RH bat for a platoon and bring back a modest pitcher in return (think reliever or expensive, but average starter). This kind of a deal helps.

      The others are several years from contributing and could decrement the Red’s future. Because they are so far off and higher risk, it will take several of them to get a good Major League starter with team control. That’s a move the Reds can make once or twice over the next few seasons. It could move the needle a lot short-term, but it’s a very risky proposition.

    • ghm08

      Absolutely, These guys are worth more than we think. Senzel and Barrero need a new location and can bring in a decent return since they have some controllable years. The rest you can build a nice farm system with. We can easily get a top 1-2 pitcher with Senzel and Barrero along with 2 or 3 of the prospects listed above. It would clear up some space.

      Love India, but he alone could bring in a 3 and higher if we throw Hinds and Collier in as well. Id hate to lose India, but would rather see Matty Mac at 2nd and Elly at short and Steer/CES filling in at 3rd until Marte is up next year. The Reds have multiple Avenues.

      Only two prospects that I would hold on with a very tight fist is CES and Marte. Tradeable sure, but need to be blown away. Reds have options and different avenues they can pursue without affecting the current team too much. Good problem to have.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        ” These guys are worth more than we think.”

        Telling another team never works. Another team rarely thinks this for a trade when giving up top talent.

  41. Will the Red

    about so true about all the pitching we potentially have coming back. But can we perform until they return and we see what we have?!

  42. TR

    The Reds GM is aware pitching is needed and I’m sure Nick Krall is working on it and will get something done by the end of the All Star break. Offer Senzel, Barrerro and Newman for what the Reds can get pitching wise. Then they’ll be room to call up CES to fortify the young offense.

  43. Indy Red Man

    Took the Cubbies today +0.5 run thru 5 innings. Cubs 3-0 early. Teheran is washed up. Hope he goes this weekend. He should I would think?

    Abbott’s innings limit? Cueto threw 170+ as a rookie. Maybe babying these guys is the problem? He’s young and he can do it! I grew up liking Frank Tanana since I was a lefty pitcher. He said “I threw 90s in the 70s and 70s in the 90’s” Lol…….He threw 268 innings at age 20!! Nolan Ryan was pumping 102mph for 300+ innings a year and we can’t even get 140 from our “ace” HG.

    I don’t get it?

    Lastly…go out and get some arms. A lefty would be nice, but someone with high leverage experience/ability is most important. Starter is better, but we need help anywhere we can find it
    Milw has one guy over .758 ops in the lineup today and 4 under .700. We should win this division. No excuses

    • Stock

      Cueto did throw 170 innings in his rookie year (2008). But he threw 160 innings in 2007 so the Reds did not increase his IP by 30.

  44. redfanorbust

    So many good posts on here and ideas about staying the course or making trades. The most fun one is some posters talking about going after Ohtani. Unless ownership finds a few hundred million laying around they did not know they had, that trade remains a fantasy. Ohtani is a freak of nature. If he can continue what he does pitching and hitting with such great success for his career he could go down as one of the top five players of all time. Anyway for me I guess I am leaning toward staying the course. My two biggest reason are the three starters we should get back from the IL soon enough for it to matter (fingers crossed they don’t need too long to get back too perform at what they are capable and before our bullpen needs resuscitation) and bring up Connor Phillips. The second and the most important to me is the Reds (had better be) finally taking out their wallet and going after serious above average free agents in 24. That way they do not have to give up valuable prospects. Trade Senzel, Kevin Newman, Casali and a midlevel prospect or two if any or all of those brings back a competent SP or RP but short of that here is hoping what we have comes back healthy and strong and ownership comes to the conclusion next year that you have to spend money to make money.

    • Soto

      The inability of starters to be effective the 3rd time through lineup, and to stay healthy is exactly why the Reds need to really be innovators and take what the Rays have started to another level. I would only try to have 3 “classic” starters that are trying to go into the 6th or 7th inning. Most just aren’t good enough to be effective the 3rd time through an order. I would develop some of the best arms in your farm to be able to be “shut down” late inning relievers or dominant openers. Use openers for your 4th and 5th starters. It may not be supported by statistics, but it seems to me that starters end up on the DL at higher rates than relievers. Anyone got any stats?

      I know most people think I’m crazy, but I am convinced that a healthy Hunter Greene, with two dominant pitches, pitching the 7th and 8th inning twice a week, is a much more valuable commodity to the Reds, than an injury prone starter that only has two pitches, strikes out a lot of batters but throws a lot of pitches, and rarely goes deep into a game, once a week. Just my opinion, but I’ve learned to trust my eyes and my instincts. I do know this, a starter on the DL doesn’t help his team win.
      As armchair GM extraordinaire, on my team, Hunter Greene would be my set-up man. The Simms, Greene, Diaz trio could be a modern day Nasty Boys.
      You are not a top-shelf starter if you are often injured and are not effective the third time through the order. You are not top-shelf if you only have two effective pitches and can’t go deep into games consistently. I know he was looking much better before his latest DL, but can he maintain deep runs with only two quality pitches, a propensity for high pitch counts, and a history of DL stints? Why swim upstream? The Reds need to be creative to compete year in and year out. Doing things a certain way just because that’s how it’s been done in the past, is to me backwards thinking. Be creative. Find a way to allow Greene to have a dominant role on a march deep into the playoffs. Start limiting Abbotts innings now so our best starter can pitch in the playoffs

  45. Willdcat

    Are there any examples of long term contracts given to pitchers that have worked out well for the team? I’m sure its happened, but I don’t recall it happening recently.

    • Amarillo

      Max Scherzer for the Nationals is the easiest example. Cole and Wheeler are 2 more examples. You are right though, long term contracts for pitchers are more likely to fail than succeed.

    • AllTheHype

      Couple off top of my head….Cubs did really well with Stroman. Toronto same with Gausman so far. Seattle’s extension with Castillo going really well for them. Rangers and Eovaldi.

      Way more losers than winners with starting pitcher contracts though.

  46. Tom Mitsoff

    What does everyone think of this? Krall should say no to all offers that are asking for CES, Connor Phillips and-or Lyon Richardson. But anyone else in the system can be discussed. You won’t get anything other than another Ben Lively-type pitcher if you are offering Newman, Senzel, and other non-starters on the major league team. Having your Class AA and Class AAA jammed with talent is cool, but they all can’t play in the major leagues. You have to use some of those minor leaguers as assets in trades to help the big-league team with a legitimate starting pitcher or two.

    • LarkinPhillips

      I would be happy with a lively type pitcher for a senzel. I like keeping Newman if we are pushing for the playoffs. He crushes lefties, is a smart baserunning (unlike senzel) and embraces his current roll.

    • AllTheHype

      I’d add all our top pitching prospects to the list of untouchables, meaning Petty, Aguiar, Acuna, Phillips, Richardson.

      Marte and Arroyo are obviously blocked in Cincy. They should be the bait. But we need controlled pitching assets back.

  47. Mark Moore

    In my hotel waiting for the storm to come and go. Quite a few Reds fans. Some in this hotel.

    Like the lineup tonight. Hoping we pound them early and often.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Enjoy the trip Mark. Looking forward to reading your live commentary.

  48. LarkinPhillips

    I think the most valuable trade asset the Reds have right now would be Edwin Arroyo. He is a top50 rated prospect, and is blocked on his path to the pros. Cabrera is right behind him as well from what I can tell.
    I would try to package him, rece hinds, and an Acuna or someone for a starter and reliever.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Very good idea. But if you’re going to give up that level of assets, you need to get something more than a rental. The Twins gave up CES, Steer and a pitcher (who has since been traded) for Tyler Mahle, who they were expecting to have available for the second half of 2022 and all of 2023 before he was injured.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I agree there Tom. You can’t give that up for a 3 month rental.

    • Soto

      LP, I agree. He is probably the only top prospect that I would be willing to part with and I would ask for an extremely big return.

    • Votto4life

      I believe Arroyo is the Red’s shortstop of the future and I would be hesitant to move him unless it was for a very good pitcher with a few years of control.

      • LarkinPhillips

        So you are moving India or Marte? I prefer both of them over Arroyo.

  49. Matt McWax

    I think Josiah Gray is overrated and that WE won the Kyle Farmer trade. We’ll knock his mediocre 4.57 FIP all around the Nationals Park in Game 3 and make a mockery of his selection!! Jeter Clowns is a bum! Go Reds!

  50. Steve Schoenbaechler

    We have the enough future pieces, an excess, to give up, that’s obvious. The only question is “which ones”.

    I’ve always been one who sees prospects as “value”, as “commodities”. There are two purposes for prospects: 1) replace major leaguers, and 2) prospects. For the former, we have more than enough prospects to replace major leaguers. That’s not to worry. So, we can either, in reference to above: 1) have those prospects change their positions so that they would be able to replace other major leaguers they will be blocked by, or 2) trade them off.

    If we don’t make the trade with any of our excess, then we are looking at the former; the players have to change positions. If we keep the excess in the minors and keep them blocked, we literally get no value for them, and they only end up blocking other prospects from coming through. Maybe they start the change in the minors during the season, like CES did. Maybe they start it during the fall league. Maybe they start it in Arizona during the off season. During ST. But, they have to start it. Or, they should simply be traded off.

    If we ask for too much for too little, then we either have to sweeten the pot or lower our expectations into what to get. Same goes for the other team.

    Myself, I could take lowering the expectation this year. Why get “the name” anyhow? They probably wouldn’t be much better than who we end up getting. That way, we keep the most valuable pieces of our future, and we get arms to help us finish the season.

    But, the excess in prospects we have, some do need to be moved. Either to a new position or to a new club. For, they will hold little value for us. “No, don’t move them. Hold onto them, just in case of an injury.” I was never a fan of that, “just in case”. For, that prospect could have an injury themselves. Then, we lose all value for them.

    • Amarillo

      If the prospect gets hurt, they still have a chance to be an excellent player for many years. Hunter Greene for example. But, if the 30 year old pitcher gets injured, they may never pitch for you ever again. Tyler Mahle for example.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “If”, “If”, just as bad as the “just in case”: card. You can’t count on that. If you count on that, then nothing ever gets done.

  51. Votto4life

    Michael Lorenzen wouldn’t be a bad target for the Reds. He probably wouldn’t cost all that much and would bolster the rotation or the bullpen.

    Who knows what he or the Red’s front office would feel about a reunion. But it would be something to at least explore.

  52. Onegrimmed

    I think all we have to do is hang on. Our guys will be back in August and it will be go time.

  53. Jayce

    There is no way Reds go anywhere without more starting pitchers and there is no way they are getting that in exchange for Senzel, Newman or the likes. Aroldis Chapman already got traded, which might have been of interest to the Reds, and tells me it’s not too soon to deal. I hope they are actively looking and considering.

  54. William

    Trade for pitching. Go for it. It is not hard to do. Get over your fear. There is no bogey man behind the door.

  55. Jonathan Linn

    I don’t want a reversal of a sonny Gray or Tyler Mahle trade. Those were only 2-4 starters. Go get madison bumgarner. He doesn’t cost any prospects and/or michael lorenzen who shouldn’t cost mutch draft captial.

  56. NYRedsfan1

    Call the Mets. I’d go after Scherzer. I know it’s not my money but the more you would take on the less you may have to give up.

  57. Stock

    Here are two proposals.

    1. Logan Allen or Gavin Williams for Noelvi Marte, Rece Hinds and Jose Acuna.

    Cleveland has 4 ML pitchers in Bieber, McKenzie, Quantrill and Civale. Rookies or prospects in Bibee, Allen, Williams and Espino. This trade eliminates the turnover issue. We are trading excess for a need, as is Cleveland.

    2. Blake Snell for Noelvi Marte and Rece Hinds.

    Within the next several weeks SD has to either trade Snell or go all in. But they are already all in. I think they will trade Snell.

    Snell is a FA at YE but I think the youth and energy of this team will give the Reds a solid chance to resign him this winter. I think there is a great chance he will want to sign with America’s Team. If the Reds don’t sign him they should offer him Arbitration. This way worst case scenario we get a first round pick in return for Snell.

  58. Gregg

    As a small market team, the need to build from within. Small trades may be acceptable, but so many of these trades are huge farm altering trades. TB is the ultimate small market team never makes the large trades that I’m seeing here. Reds fans finally have a chance to build something that might last for a while. Patience.

  59. Pete

    oh my word…

    too many people not wanting to give up prospects (other than CES) because of what McClain, Steer & EDLC have done, need to wake up.

    you cannot beat out the other clubs wanting to get pitching by giving a team’s 25th best prospect… c’mon, let’s win NOW. It will be for LIFE, like the 1990 victory, we want, and we NEED that again! I barely remember the 1976 championship, just my mom screaming happy about them winning, but I was a teen in the 90’s and I want that again – we’ve been terrible for far too long – strike while the iron is hot! This team is SPECIAL in the batting order, and that may not be the case next year… WIN NOW! Trade a couple top 20 prospects to get 2 pitchers, a reliever and a top starter that’s available (JM from St L) hopefully, and see what happens!

  60. Mike Caldwell

    I think the Reds best opportunity to add a top of the rotation starter is to find a team who is primarily looking for a salary dump. The Reds have money to spend to take on a contract at the end of its length. They could include Senzel and/or lower level prospect(s). It may be a pipe dream, but Scherzer with the Mets could be in this category.

    • Rob

      Scherzer or Verlander would be a welcome piece for the Reds. We dont have anything close to a Playoff #1. It would be nice to win a playoff series and move on from there in 2024. While we could compete with the Dodgers, Giants, and Phils on the trade market, we would need some help on the salary part. Would the Mets eat some money for a better deal?

  61. Dean

    Has anyone heard or read from a reliable source if Abbott is having his innings pitched capped this season? If so, what amount?
    As far as I can see it, any playoff success MUST include him in the rotation. And yes, I’m assuming we’ll pull away from the Brewers to win the division if our relievers’ arms don’t fall off prior to October. Heck, I think we might even beat out the West winner and get that coveted first round bye. Would be nice.
    Rematch with Braves in the playoffs. This time … We’ll sure as hell score runs.

  62. JayTheRed

    None of the guys who have come up this year are going in a trade so get that out of your head. If the Reds trade players, it will be AA or lower guys most likely. Maybe someone like Senzel or a extra catcher we have at the Big-League level. Only way one of the big prospects goes is if the Reds are getting a big-time starting pitcher and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    So many of the suggestions I have read in this post are ridiculous. You have to give up something good to get something good I say it on here all the time.