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.