As you are most certainly aware of by this point in 2023, the Cincinnati Reds made one move at the trade deadline. The at-the-time first place Reds added reliever Sam Moll in a trade with the Oakland Athletics and sent them pitching prospect Joe Boyle. That was the only move that the club made and over the next two months went from first place to third place and finished 10 games behind Milwaukee for the division, but only two games back for the final wild card spot. Nick Krall, who at the time was the general manager but has since been promoted to President of Baseball Operations told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Gordon Wittenmyer that he has no regrets not doing anything.

Krall also noted that the asking prices were too high for “shorter-term assets”. Perhaps things will change in the offseason, when there aren’t going to be players who are only going to stick around for two months before their exit.

With the club on the upswing and full of young players, finding a few veterans to help fill out the roster could be quite beneficial. Of course, those players don’t necessarily have to be traded for. Free agency is an option and the Reds have a whole lot of money to spend given their low payroll as things stand right now, and the fact that they claim they made way more money in 2023 than they expected to make.

Depending on where you sit, the team has a lot or just a few spots they need to fill if they’re going to take another step forward and be a legitimate contender. Maybe you think they need to find at least one outfielder who can play every day and not be a platoon player. Perhaps you think that they need to add a starting pitcher who has pitched a full season’s worth of innings in the big leagues before. Maybe you think the Reds should add a quality reliever or two. And if you’re wild and crazy, you may be a person who thinks they need to do all of those things.

Ben Lively DFA’d, outrighted to Triple-A

The Cincinnati Reds quietly designated right-handed pitcher Ben Lively for assignment earlier this week. The move was not publicized and was only announced after Lively had cleared waivers and had been outrighted to the minor leagues on Wednesday night.

Cincinnati got 12 starts and seven relief appearances from Ben Lively in 2023. He covered 88.2 innings and posted a 5.38 ERA while giving up 96 hits – 20 of which were home runs – and 25 walks while striking out 79 hitters.

With Lively now off of the 40-man roster, the Reds are down to 37 players – but that doesn’t include the three pitchers on the 60-day injured list. Soon enough those players will count. But soon enough the team is also likely to subtract Buck Farmer, Curt Casali, Luke Maile, Harrison Bader, and Joey Votto who are all either free agents or have a team option that seems unlikely to be exercised and thus will make them free agents. Those spots that do open up won’t be open for very long as two weeks later the teams around baseball will have to add minor leaguers to the 40-man in order to protect them from December’s Rule 5 draft.

151 Responses

  1. Kevin Patrick

    I’m sure we’ll see another post about whom the Reds will protect in their minor leagues on the 40 man. How many spots will they need? Being a fan is great because one doesn’t have to be an expert on managing an organization to be outraged. Personally, I hope the Reds cut a deal with Maile sooner rather than later. To be fair, I have no idea whats out there instead.

    • Pete

      I will not be surprised if catching is not something that is addressed during the off-season. It would be really nice to have a left hand hitting catcher to pair with Stephenson.

      • Hunt4RedsOct

        Already addressed, Luke Maile resigned.

      • Kevin Patrick

        I guess I was catching some ESP waves from the Reds front office this morning. Maybe they caught mine…because I’d been thinking this since the Reds last game. Keep your bags unpacked Maile.

      • mac624

        In today’s baseball, he’s a big resign. Really good backup catcher type that is a leader for the staff and is well liked by the staff as well. Had some real clutch offensive production this season as well so hopefully he can replicate that in 2024.

  2. West Larry

    I’m one of those wild and crazy people who think that the reds SHOULD add a good, experienced starting pitcher’ a couple of really good relievers and a lock down outfielder, with power, and hits both righties and lefties. Will they? No. They have enough money to do all those things, but I doubt that they will allocate that much money to one off season.

    • Roger Garrett

      Lots of us have been saying the same things.They are legit needs and may I add the relievers must touch the high 90’s or 100 and would be nice if one was a lefty.If you are wild and crazy WL then so are a bunch of us.

    • MK

      Count me as one who hopes they stay the course with their prospects. If they can get a pitcher for the likes of Senzel ans India it would be ok but don’t want to give up any prospects. A rotation of Abbott, Ashcraft, Lodolo, Greene, Williamson with the backop of Phillips and Richardson is pretty strong and is no longer the future but the present.

    • Votto4life

      @west Larry. Yelp, that’s where I am at as well. The Reds have plenty of money to do those things and still have a payroll in the lower half. But, they won’t do those things.

      The Reds will either win a pennant with a payroll of $80,000,000 or they won’t win a pennant. It’s that simple.

    • Tom Reeves

      I think the Reds need to sign 1-2 ACE quality SPs and 2-4 Closer quality RPs. I figure it would cost about 120m.

      • greenmtred

        Everybody would like to do that. Teams with aces aren’t in a hurry to trade them and demand a lot in return when they do. Do you have any particular guys in mind who might be available?

  3. SultanofSwaff

    It’s water under the bridge now, but the last thing I want to hear Krall say is he doesn’t regret not being more aggressive. When you miss the playoffs by a single game there shouldn’t be a night that goes by without him missing a little sleep racking his brain about the myriad scenarios that could’ve produced a deal that enhances the chances of making the playoffs while protecting the long term goals (ironically, that goal is to MAKE THE PLAYOFFS). His comment doesn’t exactly give me the sense he burns to compete. I mean, am I supposed to believe Joe Boyle was the only surplus asset in the entirety of the Reds minor league system? Ugh.

    • Jim Walker

      Amen Brother. I would have felt a lot better about the future if Krall would have said, we all, starting with myself, did not do as well as we needed to do; and, now we need to find a way to be better.

      Instead, we got this disingenuous deflection as if we can’t see for ourselves that pitchers moved for much less return than the names Krall mentioned as being the ask.

      What he needed was not even “rental” arms. He needed a couple of organizational depth guys like Ben Lively to eat up some innings to keep from burning down his bullpen. Before anyone asks, no, I don’t have names to drop here. I also don’t have a cadre of scouts whose job is to find and know who these guys are and what organizations they are in. Most of these type of guys would have come for a lottery pick type prospect because just as with Lively, they are now about to become free agents with their teams getting nothing in return.

      • Rick

        I would like to see someone in mgmt ie,; field level with some fire in them. Instead of being satisfied with being one year ahead of schedule & back slapping & promotions for their deeds of making Bob and Phil richer.
        This winter will tell us a lot about if they are committed to winning(acquiring really talent players to upgrade us), or as Krall said in 2023 that we now can look from within to fill needs. If we’re to make a serious run, we need to look outside to add some pitching, both a SP & a couple of late inning pitchers, OF. And, well find out if Krall & Meador can acquire plug & play veterans that makes us a better team. Krall has reshaped our farm system & International scouting, kudos. Now let’s get some MLB dudes.

    • Jeremiah

      Yeah a little strange Krall saying no regrets. I don’t think that’s the right thing to say as the General Manager. I mean he doesn’t have to feel terrible about it, but to your fans I think you’d want to say at least something like, “well you always wonder could we have done more, it’s always risky, especially when it’s a short term player/rental. They are tough decisions, and you wonder would one or two more moves won us two more games and had us in the playoffs?”

      That’s what he should have said in my opinion! I think Krall overall appears to have made some really good moves over the years here, but Arizona being potentially one move from the WS is a bit of a small bruise on the Reds management’s egos I would think. But hey the Cubs didn’t make it either!

  4. Fanman

    Nick Krall has done an Amazing job with trades, player development and building this club. That being said, there is no excuse not to have helped this team at the deadline. I don’t think they should have mortgaged the future. He could have added another veteran starter or even a bullpen arm to add depth. Instead we relied on AA pitchers and cost the Reds a playoff appearance. I suspect ownership didn’t want to add additional payroll which is typical. This move, uh, non move will never be viewed as brilliant. Not now or 5 years from now. The Castellini’s continue to hold this franchise down.

    • Alex Reds

      I disagree. Teams were asking for Noelvi Marte in the trades. Teams were asking for too much. The Reds didn’t want to mortgage the future, and they would have had to. The selling teams never came down in their prices. The Reds made the right decision as Marte looks to be the best player on the Reds other than McLain and possibly Steer.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        The Reds had a lot more players than Noelvi Marte and Joe Boyle, and plenty of good ones at that.

        The guys who wound up being traded by other teams were not the only players who were available to be moved.

      • RedBB

        No they weren’t. We know EXACTLY what Michael Lorenzen went for…a soft hitting middle infield prospect from Taiwan. That guy wouldn’t have ben a borderline top 30 prospect in the Reds organziaton.

    • greenmtred

      We know that the players actually traded at the deadline didn’t help their new teams very much. Were other players available? Maybe, but we don’t know who they were or what they would have cost in prospects. Adding one serviceable starting pitcher would not, in my opinion and considering the state of the rotation, have made enough difference unless the goal was just to make the playoffs and, almost certainly, go out in the first round. Adding a couple of serviceable starters, a bullpen piece or two and an outfielder who could hit would probably have decimated the prospects and required one or more of the young players on the MLB roster. Staying with the youth movement is a gamble, but it’s the gamble the Reds have apparently chosen. Trades and FA signings are gambles, too: remember Ryan Madsen?

      • VaRedsFan

        All true stuff there GMR. There was no 1 guy that would have the Reds still alive in the playoffs. Adding a guy with control left would have been an option, but those guys cost more or weren’t available without over paying anyway (Cease). I would have liked to get Civale, who went to the Rays.

    • Chris

      I keep hearing this, but I don’t hear examples of trades that should have been made. I remember at the time, and virtually all those options were complete busts for the teams that said players went to. Krall did the right thing imo.

  5. LDS

    Another promotion of loyalists, retention of the entire coaching staff, etc. etc. Same story, different day. As attributed to Einstein (though believed to actually be Rita Mae Brown), “Insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

    • Chris

      You mean completely turning the team around from the previous year is insanity? Really? I don’t get that mindset at all.

      • greenmtred

        Trying to cajole Eeyore out of his gloominess doesn’t work.

      • Private Gripweed

        I also don’t think the FO deserves all the credit they received. Sure, they didn’t get fleeced when they traded good MLB players for good prospects, but how much credit should they really get here – an 82-80 record, some rookies performed WAY above expectations, and the pitching was pretty much worst in the league. Let’s call a spade a spade here. A lot of work needs done.

  6. Mark Moore

    I have a great deal of respect for Krall, especially given what we observe from the FO and their “it’s January and we’re out of it” kind of statements. While he didn’t make moves we all “just knew he should make” at the deadline, he’s been doing a good job overall and we’re seeing the results of some of the bigger trades. Personally, I still place more of our missing the post-season at the feet of HDTBell and some of his nearly inexplicable moves during the stretch.

    But as noted, it’s all water under the bridge, over the dam, and already out to sea. I can’t wait for the hot stove season to get into full swing.

    Thanks again, Doug and crew, for providing this forum for all of us here in RLN.

    • Melvin

      It’s not what wasn’t done that hurt the most. It’s what was done….signing David Bell to a three year extension. The man just isn’t a “winner”.

  7. TMS

    I think Krall’s comments were mostly aimed at those two month rentals that would have cost you the likes of Marte, Arroyo, or Collier. It does no one any good, if you enter the off-season with no rentals (who leave for FA), no prospects that you traded for those two-month rentals, no post-season appearance, and the same exact problems you had at the trading deadline that you attempted to fix with a temporary band-aid.

    I would much rather use the prospect surplus to fix the Reds problems for more than just two months.

    • Alex Reds

      Totally agree! Everyone is complaining on here, but what would the Reds have had to actually have given up? And how much control would you have gotten back in those contracts? If you look at the Reds prospects, you’ve got Marte, Phillips, Arroyo etc. that teams would have been asking for. If the prices came down and it made sense, the Reds would have made the trade. Clearly the asking prices were too high, and the Reds were smart to not go all in and mortgage the future.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Would I have traded Collier to make the playoffs? YES

      • Earmbrister

        Yeah sorry. No sale of Collier for me

      • Chris

        Who would you have traded Collier for, that would have put this team in the playoffs?

    • RedBB

      Hao Yu Lee is not equal to Marie, Arroyo or Collier. Not even close

  8. SR

    Krall is playing the long game. He moved the needle in a big way in 2023. Selling out young talent for a two month fix would simply have resulted in trading untested talent and losing in the first round anyway. People have already busted his chops for Joe Boyles brief success with Oakland insinuating we should have kept him.Our pitching would still have been thin with a starter added, and the offense was not consistently scoring runs in the end.

    I do expect the Reds to trade/sign for players in the off season. I do think we will sign a seasoned successful inning eater starter and a right handed power bat in the outfield. I also think the perception of Cincinnati as a chosen free agent destination went way up this year, which will increase the number of free agents to choose from. It’s a young, talented team with high level energy. They have money to spend too. The jump in revenue numbers based in part on higher attendance is an unexpected bonus as this seems to be the one way to get ownership attention and willingness to spend some money to make more money.
    I’m thrilled with a winning record for 2023 following a 100 loss season. I’m bullish on 2024. I’m confident Krall will make a lot more positive than negative moves this off season.

    • VaRedsFan

      The free agent pool for hitters is quite shallow this year

  9. Frankie Tomatoes

    I wouldn’t have traded a guy like Marte, Phillips, or the 18-year-old big time prospects. But anyone else in the farm system should have been available. With all of the young talent the organization and fans want to scream from the rooftops about the farm system is not going to be supplementing the Reds with more than backups for years to come. They should have found a way to make a trade or two of those guys to improve the team. That’s their job.

    • greenmtred

      But who was available who would have improved the team enough for a playoff run? Think about the starting rotation for the last several weeks of the season. You trade young talent for one starter and the stars are in miraculous alignment and the Reds make the playoffs. Then what? They really had no rotation and the bullpen was barely hanging on. They were also, let’s recall, missing their best hitter–McClain–so you’d need to pony up more prospects to shore up the offense. And they still probably don’t win the WS. And next year and beyond they are again what they’ve been for much of the past several decades: a team of aging second-raters. They had an exciting season, they were frequently terrifically fun to watch, they were better than nearly everybody predicted and they currently have a world of promise. I guess I just don’t like sour grapes as much as a lot of people do.

      • RedBB

        ALL of the Starting pitchers available at the deadline no matter how poorly they performed would have been much better than Spiers and Phillips not only ERA but innings pitched. Not sure why anyone would prefer a 9ERA over a 6ERA or 6 innings pitched over 4 innings pitched

    • JB

      For who? Apparently being a GM is a piece of cake. None of you ever give an example of who you would trade who for. One pitcher wasn’t going to make a difference. Reds pitchers were on fumes or hurt. They would have had to trade for two starters for a Marte or McLain,etc. Then guess what ? All of you would have been complaining about trading them.

  10. Fanman

    Not complaining about the team. They definitely over achieved.. Giving credit to Krall for the job he has done. I do not agree with his comment No Regrets! He is working with a shoe strong budget so he has to cover for The Castellini’s. This team deserved just a little more help. Got zero support from ownership. Amazes me how many people are okay with this. I am so outraged that our owners take, take, and give nothing back in return. I was surprised that the fans packed the ballpark this season..I didn’t think they would come back that quickly after what we have endured and after sell the team Bob campaign. This is a testament to the great fans of Cincinnati. Instead of rewarding them and authorize Krall to get an arm or two they do essentially nothing. We missed the playoffs by two games. Tomorrow is never promised. An owner that cares would have said do whatever is necessary, we will absorb any extra payroll, without mortgaging the young nucleus of the future!

    • Votto4life

      Exactly, how can you miss the post season by two games and say “no regrets”?

      • greenmtred

        Because he didn’t trade away a bunch of promising young players.

  11. Melvin

    As far as trades not trying harder to get Chapman was the biggest mistake. He alone would have gotten them to the playoffs. What did Chapman’s GM say at the time? “Texas was the team that tried the hardest”.

    • Greenfield Red

      Chapman was not really a deadline deal. His trade was June 30.

      • VaRedsFan

        True, but you are allowed to make trades before the deadline right? That’s when you knew this team was already in the playoff mix. Most teams wait until the deadline to see if they are still in it. The time to start adding players (like Chapman) was when they were 10 games over .500.

      • Amarillo

        Chapman threw 29.0 Innings with a 3.72ERA, Cole Ragans who was traded for Chapman threw 71.2 Innings with a 2.64 ERA. Was that really a good trade?

    • Greenfield Red

      What would Chapman have cost the Reds? Abbott perhaps? Steer? Arroyo and Hector maybe?

      That he was June 30th trade is a big deal. Nobody on RLN was mentioning his name then, but because he was traded that day, it’s Krall’s fault for not getting him?

      No thanks.

      • David

        Actually, as I recall, there were several commenters on RLN that suggested getting Aroldis Chapman from the KC Royals back then for the Reds. Could have been a big “add” for the Reds. Then again, maybe not.

  12. Klugo

    4 pitchers. 2 starters. 2 relievers. That’s it. The better they are, the better our chances. 2 middle rotation starters and two above average relievers makes us the NL Central favorites going into next season. favorites, imo.

  13. Fanman

    No way in the world would I have traded Marte. That imo would be mortgaging the future. There was other mid range deals that could have been made other than Marte. Just a solid veteran arm, starter or relief pitchers would have been better than running out AA pitchers in pressure situations. Melvin, I was too sooo disappointed the Reds didn’t get Chapman..Moll did fine. Solid move. Reds dealt Justin Boyd. Of course, Moll makes peanuts salary wise. Typical and proof in the pudding what ownership was trying to do. More concerned with bottom dollar than winning and getting to the postseason. Why not acquire both Moll and Chapman. Did Texas mortgage their future? Look where they are right now. If Krall didn’t like offers to acquire starting pitchers then have a bullpen game every fifth day. Or with Abbott running out of gas at end of season, he could have went 4-5 innings and turned it over to a bullpen that wasn’t over worked or AA pitchers talented but not ready to be in the heat of a playoff chase.

    • Votto4life

      10,000 ++++

      Fanman you are right on target. I hope you post more often! Beware tho, there are many Castellini apologists here.

      • BK

        I haven’t seen any Castellini apologists here in quite a while. I see those who believed at the trade deadline the Reds had higher potential in 2024 and beyond than in 2023 and preferred the Reds not mortgage the promising future.

    • Greenfield Red

      What other ‘mid range deal’ could ha e been made?

      Chapman was not traded at the deadline.

    • Greenfield Red

      What would Chapman have cost the Reds? Abbott perhaps? Steer? Arroyo and Hector maybe?

      That he was June 30th trade is a big deal. Nobody on RLN was mentioning his name then, but because he was traded that day, it’s Krall’s fault for not getting him?

      No thanks.

      • Melvin

        With all do respect there were several on here mentioning Chapman back then. Of course I wouldn’t have given up someone like Marte or Abbott. However since he very would would have gotten us in the playoffs and helped us when we got there it very well could have been feasible to trade for him without giving up too much. You have to give to get. Just depends on how bad the Reds really did want to make the post season. If you have a chance take it. There are NO guarantees it will happen again.

      • BK

        @Melvin, that’s true. Also, Moll turned out to be a much better acquisition than Chapman. Moll (w/Reds) outpitched Chapman (w/Rangers) and has years left of control with the Reds. The Rangers gave up LH starter Cole Ragans, who made 12 starts, 71.2 IP, 2.64 ERA, 2.6 bWAR with the Royals, plus a DSL prospect. The Royals got five-plus years of a good LH starter for 3 months of Chapman. Given the Reds shortage of starters this year, trading Ashcraft or Brandon Williamson (our closest comps for Ragans) for Chapman wouldn’t have helped.

      • Melvin

        BK – I’m just greedy enough to think we could have had both Moll and Chapman. I think it’s reasonable to assume it would have cost less for Chapman than a starting pitcher. Guess we’ll never know.

      • Amarillo

        Melvin, since Chapman did cost a Starting Pitcher roughly at the level of Brandon Williamson, it’s unlikely we could have gotten him for less than an ML ready starting pitcher.

      • Melvin

        I don’t know. It’s possible we still might be playing had we acquired him. He was a perfect fit for what we needed. Moll is good too but wasn’t a “closer”. Diaz needed help badly.

      • greenmtred

        Melvin: we didn’t have enough decent starters as it was, so how would trading one of them for Chapman have helped enough? Chapman might pitch an inning or two every other day, and only if the Reds were ahead or tied. If they had made the playoffs, they wouldn’t still be playing: the first round is over.

  14. Fanman

    *Joe Boyle for Moll. Boyd traded for Benson. Both solid moves

    • RedBB

      Moll was very good but Boyle also pitched in the Majors for the A’s this year and was pretty impressive (1.69 ERA in 3 starts). And Benson was a good trade but for the record Benson was traded for Boyd and Hajjar a

  15. Frostgiant80

    Do we expect any change in who is actually making the decisions with Krall getting a promotion? I think he has done a good job and would like to continue seeing him make the decisions moving forward. I would hate for the new GM to come in and change directions again.

  16. Mark Moore

    Resigned Maile for 2024 with a club option for 2025. I’d say that’s a good first move.

    • Votto4life

      I like Luke Maile, but I don’t see re-signing a back up catcher as a giant step forward.

      • greenmtred

        The longest journey begins with a single step. I’m very glad they signed Maile.

      • RedBB

        Agreed…and for $3.5M. I woulda gone with Chuckie as a backup

  17. Votto4life

    And when they do nothing this winter Krall will say they want “payroll flexibility” to add players at next year’s deadline.

    Same old story every year, Rinse and repeat.

    • VaRedsFan

      Funny…I thought the team added a metric ton of payroll when they were ready to compete in 2020, and kept most all of that same payroll in 2021.

  18. Fanman

    What is most important, trying to get to the postseason and compete for championships? Or stock piling prospects and wishing and saying wait til next year?

    • greenmtred

      The third option is getting to the playoffs with enough good players to actually get past the first round, and to be good enough to do it for years. The Castellinis evidently have a budget, so loading the team with proven talent is through trades and FA signings isn’t on the table (and doesn’t always work, anyway). So developing great prospects looks like the strategy.

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s definitely to win a World Series….not squeak in as the 8th seed. Thus the tear down of the 2021 team which was going nowhere.

      • Votto4life

        To of this year’s Wild Card teams are currently in the League Championship Series.

      • greenmtred

        They don’t have the starting rotation that the Reds had at the end of the season.

  19. Votto4life

    No regrets after going 22-31 after the deadline.

    If the Reds finished the 2023 the way they played in May and June, this would be an exciting off-season. But their play late in the year looked more like 2022.

    This team desperately needs more pitching. It scares me when I see people writing a list of names and saying the pitching is “fine” I fear this is exactly how the Castellinis are approaching it.

    • David

      Yes, I agree. There is some great “potential” there, but really, who knows how any of these guys will shake out.
      Nick Lodolo is injury prone. When healthy, he seems to be a pretty good pitcher.
      Hunter Greene is not quite as injury prone as Lodolo, but has also lost a lot of time on the DL.
      Andrew Abbott looks really good to me, but I hope he is not a one – year wonder.
      Williamson took some big steps this year, and could be better next year. Could be.
      Graham Ashcraft probably put in the most innings with the Reds of all the guys that started the season on the pitching staff. And yet, he was also hurt for a while, and was also very lousy for a stretch of the season. Will the REAL Graham Ashcraft please step forward?

  20. Kevin H

    I get raked over the coals when I ask this question.

    However what would you have done. I read the blame lies with Bell. While some of his moves are mind boggling. The starting pitcher faltered in August and September. Injuries, no solid veterans and no depth at triple A. So while Bell isn’t the best manager, he didn’t have much to work with in regards to starting pitching.

    My opinion that goes back to GM and upper management.

    • Votto4life

      I agree to an extent. David Bell is not solely to blame. He certainly shares some blame, but yeah, he can only use the players the front office gives him.

    • Mark Moore

      I get it, Kevin. And in the bigger scheme of things, there are multiple failings in the FO Suite we can point to. Some of them may directly be Krall; many of them look like Bob/Phil to me. HDTBell likely cost us a couple of games (or at least chances at those games) in August and September with some of his maneuvering. Still would have likely put us in the position of trying to beat Bernie, but we won’t know. And the pitching did falter in a big way, so there is that.

  21. MBS

    1 OF, 1 SP, 2 RP + 1 DH

    The Reds could add $100M in payroll, and still be in the bottom half to the bottom third in overall payroll. When else will they have so much cheap talent. Lets add some legit FA’s and make a real run at a WS!

    Also Krall must be a robot if he doesn’t regret missing the playoffs by a game.

    • Votto4life

      It’s funny how close everyone is on the team’s need. I have been thinking 2 SPs 2 RPs and a middle of the line up bat (preferably an OF). But I could live without another hat if they can acquire the pitching.

      It does scare me though, how the team played in the second half.

    • Tom Reeves

      I think the magic number is to add $120M in payroll for pitching.

    • BK

      I didn’t read the quote where Krall said he had no regrets about missing the playoffs. What I read is that he didn’t regret making additional deadline trades. There’s a difference between those two statements.

      His strategy has been validated with the benefit of hindsight, something he didn’t have at the deadline. Ashcraft, Lodolo, and McLain were all on the IL. Fraley was hurt and didn’t produce after he returned while still injured from the IL. The Reds capitulated before the season began and entered the season with no depth. This fact caught up with them in August and September. They weren’t just a player or two away from being WS contenders at the deadline. However, they are well-postured for the future.

      • MBS

        @BK, there is no other way to read it, he prioritized the future over the present. I like Krall, and what he’s done, so don’t think I’m attacking him. The only GM I’m likely to agree with 100% is @MBS, but I haven’t been given the position yet. Really I’d second guess my self all the time, so that’s not even true.

  22. Greenfield Red

    All the experts on RLN clamoured for Giolito, Lorenzen, or others who flamed out with their new teams. A couple who did ok would ‘t have come here due to no trade contracts. Now all the experts on RLN claim there were guys who weren’t traded but could have been. There is no way to know that’s true.

    Nick Krall did the right thing, and now they are a couple of moves away from being actual World Series contenders… maybe favorites, and they have millions and millions to spend along with wave after wave of high end prospects pushing up in the system.

    Bravo Nick Krall.

    • MBS

      I agree, they are a couple moves from being WS contenders.

      So are you not making the point that they could have traded away prospects, and still have been WS contenders in 24? Anyone in A ball should have been fair game for the right trade, and they’re were plenty of good options that other teams would have wanted.

      It really doesn’t matter at this point since the opportunity has passed, but It would have been fun to watch baseball for a week or two more.

    • Votto4life

      “now they are a couple of moves away from being actual World Series contenders… maybe favorites,”

      By who? The Reds were nine games under .500 since August.

      • Greenfield Red

        V4L… You know as well as I do, the injuries were terrible, the pitching wore down, and the rookies came back to Earth. All of which can and will be bolstered this Winter.

      • Votto4life

        Greenfield, I agree injuries were terrible, they always are, which is why I was critical of the Reds front office for not adding pitching last off season. It was foolish to depend on such an inexperienced pitching staff.

        If you don’t acquire pitching in the off-season and you don’t acquire pitching at the deadline because it’s too expensive, then you are never planning to really compete.

      • Greenfield Red

        V4L. If they don’t spend free agent dollars, particularly on pitching this winter, I will join the other side of the argument.

      • Votto4life

        Greenfield, I truly hope I will be adopting your current view.

    • Harry Stoner

      “and now they are a couple of moves away from being actual World Series contenders… maybe favorites…”

      “A couple.” “Favorites”.


      One of the nuttier posts on here in awhile.

      But it’s October and the playoffs are happening without the Reds, so why not run with some random, fanciful projections?

    • RedBB

      They all would have been better than Spiers/Phillps and giveen us more innings thus improving our already exhaust BP.

  23. RedsMonk65

    Mark Sheldon on Krall’s comments:

    “Connor Phillips. Just about everybody asked for Connor Phillips,” Krall said. “People were asking for Matt McLain and Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. I’m not kidding. A team asked us for Andrew Abbott for a rental.”

    Krall noted that many of the starting pitchers acquired in trades by other clubs did not finish strong for their new teams. Jordan Montgomery did well for the Rangers, but others like Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn and Jack Flaherty struggled.

    • Amarillo

      People keep claiming there were midlevel starters available for cheap. No. There weren’t. There are 30 teams looking for pitching help and none of those “cheap mid-level starters” changed hands.
      If teams were actually asking for something like Abbott for Giolito, then not making a deal is the only sane option.

      • Doug Gray

        There were not 30 teams looking for pitching help in July.

      • Greenfield Red

        Maybe not 30 teams looking for pitching, but Amarillo’s point is valid. You all know it.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s so weird how teams were asking the Reds for guys like this and yet no one else had to give up players like that.

      • Votto4life

        Doug Exactly! It seems everyone here somehow knows what other teams were demanding.

      • Doug Gray

        I have asked for dates with Anna Kendrick, Taylor Swift, and Selena Gomez.

        Turns out that wasn’t realistic and I was told that Ms. Piggy was more along the lines of my value. But hey, I DID ask for those other ladies.

      • BK

        Most national writers considered the price paid by contenders to be high for pitching in deadline trades. I doubt Krall is lying about what teams wanted from the Reds. It’s plausible if they couldn’t get MLB/MLB-ready talent from the Reds, they preferred other teams offers. There’s a gap between players like Marte and the next wave of talent in the Red’s system.

      • Harry Stoner

        Of course teams were asking for some of the Reds’ premium prospects.

        They would be crazy not to.

        I would be interested to hear what Trader Krall’s counter-offers were….

      • RedBB

        EXACTLY. Hao Yu Lee was what Lorenzen was traded for. Ask yourself where he would be on the Reds Prospect list? He wouldn’t crack my top 25. A comp might be Esmith Pineda who I have as #34

      • VaRedsFan

        The Phillies traded their #5 prospect.

  24. jessecuster44

    The LA Dodgers have great prospects, and every year at the deadline, they deal for pieces without EVER giving up a top 5 asset.

    People who wring their hands about who the Reds would have to give up to get some help need to understand that with a little more effort and patience, Krall could have flipped non essential prospects to get bullpen help or a veteran bat.

    Look at what the good teams do during the season and then look at what Krall does during the season. The contrast is Stark.

    • David

      Let me just say, that, the Dodgers (of course) pump up the quality of their prospects, etc. Which is not to say some of them are very good, but maybe not what the Dodgers say they are.
      Sparky used to say (in the ’70’s) that the Dodgers “sold baloney by the pound”, as he lived in Thousand Oaks, California in the off-season, regarding Dodger player “propaganda”. And honestly (really!) I think a lot of that was to sell tickets. The Dodgers had great attendance most years.
      Regarding “non-essential” prospects….most teams have scouting on other teams farm systems, and they know who is pretty good and who is not.
      Just because the Reds’ got fleeced when they traded Chapman to the Yankees way back when, doesn’t mean that every other team is that dumb.
      Frankly, Nick Krall kind of fleeced the Twins on the Tyler Mahle trade (with perfect hindsight, of course). Got TWO good young players in Spencer Steer and CES. Did the Twins GM have a brain freeze at that minute, or where they that eager to get that ONE MORE GOOD STARTER to get to the playoffs? Or maybe in the Twins thinking, these were “non-essential” minor leaguers.

      • Harry Stoner

        The Twins were only “fleeced” if you consider Mahle’s subsequent injury which was completely unexpected at the time.

        The Twins had no reason to expect that Mahle wouldn’t be the type of pitcher…or even better…than he showed he was capable of with the Reds.

        It astounds me that folks here second guess trades around the fact that someone later got hurt…. sure, Mahle might have blown out his arm if he stayed with the Reds.

        If Krall knew Mahle was hurt and still got Steer and CES in the deal, then maybe there was a fleecing.

        Otherwise, more second guessing.

        Would I have traded Marte for an innings nibble so the Reds could limp into the 1st round of playoffs as the 2nd Wild Card team?

        Come on. No way.

        Mahle wasn’t an All Star but he wasn’t a Mike Minor, either.

        The Twins likely thought they were making a good deal.

        With an uninjured Mahle, maybe they were.

        The Reds gave away their farm system for a couple years of Latos.

        Didn’t get them all that far in the playoffs, either.

  25. old-school

    Luke Mail 2024 1 year $3.5 mil

    solid start to the off-season

  26. Fanman

    Letting go of the frustration from the non activity at the deadline is tough. However, wait til next year mantra is upon us and we need to move ?… On paper the young talented rotation has the potential to be elite. Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Abbott, Phillips, Williamson, Richardson, Spiers. Team can never have too much pitching. So, either trade or free agency add one good veteran starting pitcher. The other candidates can compete for rotation and/or long relief/bullpen. Also, provide depth in Louisville. Need at least one or two arms in bullpen. Proven set up guys. Catcher Stephenson, Maile. 1b. Encarnacion-Strand 2b. McClain/India SS. EDLC/McClain/Barrero/Arroyo(eventually). EDC needs to be in middle of field either SS or CF. 3b. Marte Lf. Steer/India/Fraley CF. Friedl/EDLC Rf.Free agent/trade middle of the lineup bat./Benson. DH. Steer/India/Fraley. Bench..Fraley, Benson, Steer, Friedl,

    • Rob

      I am with you on the frustration. However, it just looks to me that Krall has no or minimal interest in trading any of his young stable of prospects even though that doesn’t address Reds needs for 2024. We have no stretched out starting pitchers. We are short on power hitters. We are platooned based. We need a closer. We have an excess of prospects at IF and P.Salary aside, we ought to be able to trade for any available starting pitcher and power hitting CF we want. Who wouldn’t want Lodolo or Phillips? What about India or Arroyo? These guys best value to the Reds is as trade bait to get the pieces we need. We have a whole bunch of pitchers who are at least 1 year away from making significant contributions to this team. These guys can be traded 1:1 for 2 year contract starters who can win 12-14 games in 2024.

  27. Roger Garrett

    I just hope Krall is looking to build a team that can compete year after year to go to the World Series.Reds may have made it to the playoffs if they would have acquired some pitching help but this roster is several players away from competing with the big boys.For me not interested in having a winning record,3 out of the last 5 got us what?Not interested in just getting to the playoffs.Did we even score against the Braves?Reds have a really good young core and if they spend some money on a starter or two and 2 or 3 gas throwing guys in the pen and a right handed power bat for the outfield we may take another step.Power arms and power bats take you a long long way.

  28. Optimist

    1 – my standing comment for the off season –

    “3 obvious, oft repeated goals for the off season –
    1 – get a good to great starter (Sonny?!?!), likely only via FA.
    ?2 – get a proven MLB power-hitting outfielder (may be available via trade)
    ?3 – get a new managing partner”

    Still expecting #1 and #2.

    2 – The Maile deal is very good, with no downsides. Inexpensive, 2 years, and done quickly. Sure, just filling the end of the field players list on the roster, but a task checked.

    3 – Expect Lively to return, and expect him to declare as an MiLB FA. Only caveat is another team could outbid the Reds, and a small amount in baseball terms ($1M) is certainly huge for him – won’t be surprised either way.

  29. redfanorbust

    I personally don’t know who asked for who as of course I was not on the phone with with the GM’s involved. The consensus was from all the sports reporters and other online pundits etc I came across that given the circumstances, overpays for teams desperate to make the playoffs, especially for pitching, was the way things go in baseball. Many on our team were injured or running on fumes as it was. Would another pitcher have made that much of a difference? Who would have been acceptable to give up to MAYBE make the playoffs? Who would have been acceptable to trade to MAYBE make it past the first round? Without knowing specific players hard for me to make an educated opinion. For me the biggest let downs was Cleveland swooping up three pitchers during the Angeles purge. Not sure what real chance Cleveland had even with those three pitchers. A PR move? I feel confident that Reds would have gotten them if they could have. Reds finally getting some luck when it comes to injuries and spending some SERIOUS coin wisely this off season on FA’s will in my opinion will be a lot more important than what did or not get done at this years trade deadline.

    • Votto4life

      I think if the Reds had signed Mike Clevinger when the White Sox placed him on waivers, they would have made the post-season. Who knows how far the Reds would have went in the post-season, but two of the four teams remaining are wild card teams.

      Clevinger wouldn’t have cost the Reds a single prospect, only money. If the Reds refused to spend $7 million dollar to make the post season in 2023, I find it hard to believe they are willing to spend $ 100 million dollars to make the post season in 2024.

      As I have said before, the Reds will win a championship with an $80,000,000 payroll or they won’t win a championship at all.

      • BK

        I would have like to have seen the Reds claim Clevinger, too. I’m not sure why they and others avoided him.

  30. Mike

    Nick turned out to be right, in there wasn’t a guy worth giving up big prospects, available, then. The offseason will be a lot more fun. We hope lol

  31. donny

    I agree with Nick K 100% and none of you here posting a comment.

      • Greenfield Red

        Donny… I think you agree with me too.

  32. Jim Walker

    I am going to put a thought here not in response to anyone in particular but because it keeps occurring when I read comments here and over on X (fka Twitter) where I debated with folks all day instead of repeating things I have been saying here since August. My thought….

    Isn’t it 100% possible to be happy that the Reds made such good progress this year yet still be dissatisfied with how things turned out and want the organization to get serious about grabbing a chance for the postseason when one virtually gobsmacked them upside the head?

    They didn’t need to mortgage the future, they only needed to be flexible enough to reach for it a year or two earlier than they might have anticipated.

    Krall spoke about not “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”. I’m amazed a guy has risen to the position he is in without realizing very often life is about making decisions when to rob Peter to pay Paul not whether to do it. I guess he hasn’t heard that a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bushes.

    • Harry Stoner

      @jimwalker No. 😉

      These days it’s entirely impossible to hold two opposing views in your head at the same time.

      It has to be one or the other.

      Either the Reds were headed to the WS and Krall blew it.

      Or Krall’s a genius and the Reds are a “favorite” for the WS in 2024.

      “A couple of moves away…..”

      No other way to possible conceive of it.


      • Greenfield Red

        For the record Harry, I said WS contender… maybe even favorite. I stand by it.

    • greenmtred

      It’s possible, Jim, and I might fit that category, but I’m only a little disappointed about not making the playoffs because I don’t believe that the Reds, with their rotation–would have been competitive. One decent starter might have gotten them in but wouldn’t have been enough to sustain them.

  33. Melvin

    “Isn’t it 100% possible to be happy that the Reds made such good progress this year yet still be dissatisfied with how things turned out and want the organization to get serious about grabbing a chance for the postseason when one virtually gobsmacked them upside the head?”


    • Votto4life

      or concerned with how they played the last half of 2023. Especially, the final several weeks (22-31).

  34. Jon

    If Krall is valuing his own prospects so highly, this could be a tough winter for Reds fans wanting to see the team improve significantly. The team has a ton of room to add payroll, but there’s not much out there on the FA market. If they miss out on Gray and Chapman (who should be their top two targets given that both players seemed to love Cincinnati and fit key needs), they’ll likely have to rely on the trade market. And then it becomes a repeat of the past trade deadline, except instead of 15-20 teams looking to add, it will be more like 25+ teams.

  35. old-school

    Totally unrelated, the Baseball HOF announced its candidates for election to the HOF under the ERA committee, former Veterans cmte. Its managers and umps this year and ex reds Davey Johnson and Sweet Lou are on the ballot. Jim Leyland as well since 1980. All 3 are very worthy.

  36. RedBB

    Krall’s inaction cost ads a playoff spot. Glad he has no regrets…

    • Jim Walker

      But he hung onto all his shiny new mileage (i.e. many years of control) toys.

      • Votto4life

        The Reds would have likely made the play-offs had they signed Mike Clevinger when the White-Sox put him on waivers. It would have only cost the Reds money. The Reds passed on him. This is one of the reasons, why I have a hard time believing the Reds are going to spend money on pitching this winter.

  37. Jim Walker

    Probably the most disappointing thing I saw in yesterday’s stuff was that Krall said he doesn’t have a baseball ops budget figure yet.

    The World Series is scheduled to end no later than in 2 weeks, possibly as soon as 11 days, with free agency and option calls starting immediately upon its end. The nontender date is in mid November. How can there be any coherent planning when the baseball ops doesn’t even have a bottom line?

    This is the sort of issue that most likely brought about the hasty roster moves to dump Sonny Gray, Eugenio Suarez, and Jesse Winker then followed by spending the money they would have made to obtain Mike Minor and Tommy Pham shortly thereafter.

    • Votto4life

      I think he knows what the operating budget is but doesn’t want to say. I will be surprised if the Reds payroll exceeds 2023. In fact, I expect it to be somewhat lower. If they maintained $80,000,000 they spent this year , they would still have a good chunk of money to spend. I just don’t see them doing it.

      I think 2023 was a dream year for the Castellinis. They have a cheap, young exciting team that people are willing to spend money to see. So they take in a bunch cash with a bunch of players making league minimum.

      Nick Krall didn’t receive a promotion for winning games. He was promoted for putting Fannies in the seats with a minimum outlay. This is the true reason Nick Krall has “no regrets”.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree on the “no regret” comment. The second part of Krall’s “robbing Peter…” statement alluded to all the years of player control the Reds would have given up in any deals. That, IMO, was the real deal breaker right down the line. Player control time and thus low salaries are the goal of this organization. If they happen to stumble into the post season, that’s just a bonus.

      • Melvin

        Krall does seem to be the “master of deception” at times. I’m not optimistic about the off season based on that interview. Also, of course other teams were asking for our top guys. That’s what GMs do. Him too. It’s called negotiating. lol It doesn’t mean a deal couldn’t have been made for lesser talent necessarily. I doubt he’s telling the whole story. He, like David Bell, got his extension though. Big Bob & Son made good money this year. All is well in Redsland….except for the players and fans.

  38. Rob

    I understand his position. I don’t agree with it. We were in first place and every contender but the Reds made notable upgrades to their rosters, at the expense of prospects. There is no denying on Krall’s part that not upgrading for Weaver, Lively, Spiers, Richardson, et al cost the Reds a minimum of 4 games no matter how you are counting. There are no guarantees in his business that Scherzer or Montgomery or Lynn or Giolitto would have worked out but golly we are starting from Luke Weaver as the baseline., and Andrew Abbott nearing an innings limit!! We scouted Scherzer and the Rangers got him for nothing (the salary part) and a couple top prospects. We would have also had him for 2024. It may be important to him to not lose prospects at the chance of a playoff spot but to me it isn’t. Especially when it was so easy to upgrade from Weaver, Abbott, et al. It was almost a slam dunk. Scherzer gave the Rangers both innings (bullpen salvation) and 4 wins. Now we have 6-7 IFs, and 6-7 starting pitchers (many who are innings limited) and no guarantees that we will be in first place next August. If someone told me that Barerro and Phillips were essential to our 90 win season in 2024, I might relent a little. But I just can’t get there. We don’t know how good we are going to be in 2024. Compared to Scherzer, we don’t know how many innings Phillips will bring or that Barerro will even find a position. We have other “holes” to fill and who are we going to trade to fill these holes. I am not saying we would have advanced in the playoffs but I will note that 2 of the 3 wildcard teams are battling for the NL championship. I also bemoan what might have been gained by a shot of management support, the mentorship of Max, and a team full of youngsters playing in playoff games. Nah, too important to hang onto a couple of prospects.

    • Votto4life

      Truth be wasn’t about giving up prospects, it was about adding to the payroll

  39. William

    I have no regrets that I followed the Texas Rangers more closely than the Reds after the GM did not get his job done up at deadline. The Rangers are now one win the World Series. They have a better General Manager. Feed the baloney to someone else Krall.

  40. Jeremiah

    The Moll trade was pretty good I’d say even going into next year. I think Krall should have done more, but I also think the Reds lacked Veteran leadership due to injuries to Votto, India, even Fraley. They were all basically out of the picture much of the last several weeks as far as productivity. I think if they made it they would have been a quick exit. The Dbacks with Gurriel, Pham, Longoria I think had some tough grizzled veterans the Reds lacked.