The Cincinnati Reds have their fair share of young starting pitchers with upside. This past season they got starts from the likes of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Brandon Williamson, Graham Ashcraft, Andrew Abbott, Connor Phillips, and Lyon Richardson. All of them have the potential to be above-average starters in the big leagues. But not a single one of them has thrown 150 innings in a season, and only Ashcraft has topped 130 innings in a season.

While the Reds could go into the 2024 season with that group of starting pitchers, it seems that they are looking to add to it. And they probably should. The odds that everyone remains healthy happens once in a lifetime and for Cincinnati that was a little over a decade ago. But another reason they should add to it is that while there’s upside with that rotation, the floor can also be nowhere near playoff caliber. The latter two pitchers on the above list showed that they simply weren’t ready to pitch in the big leagues. There was a stretch from Graham Ashcraft in which he was the worst pitcher in the league for nearly two months. Nick Lodolo didn’t pitch after May 6th, and before then he was not good (though that could have been entirely injury related).

Nick Krall, Reds President of Baseball Operations, talked with Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer on what kind of pitching the club could be taking a look at. After reading all of it, it’s tough to say exactly what kind of pitching that would be.

Among the things Krall noted:

  • A blend of quality and quantity of innings.
  • Not a “upside” guy who could also be really bad.
  • Doesn’t necessarily need the “upside guy”.
  • Could be looking at a “swing man”.

A swing man is not a blend of quality and quantity innings. If you’re a swing man it’s because you aren’t good enough to be a starter. No team is using a guy who is a quality starting pitcher as a swing man on their team. A good reliever who can also start in an emergency scenario is a good thing. But that’s also not a starting pitcher.

It’s nice to see that the “upside” guy but who may not be all that good isn’t something they are looking at. That’s how you wind up with Luke Weaver in your rotation for 4.5 months while being the worst starter in baseball. Being cheap and hoping someone who hasn’t been good in the past is not how you improve, even if once in a lifetime that does work out.

The part about not necessarily being an “upside guy” seems to fit into an area where maybe they can get a #4 caliber starter who can be reliable and keep you in a game most of the time. There’s nothing wrong with those kinds of pitchers, and if you happen to be one of those guys you’re going to be around the league for a long time and make plenty of money.

Given the entire history of the franchise, as well as previous comments by Krall about the team needs to align their payroll to resources, it seems unlikely that if the Reds sign a pitcher that they are going to come from the top of the market. On Sunday we saw one of the top pitchers sign as Aaron Nola opted to re-sign with the Philadelphia Phillies for $172,000,000 for seven years. That was in line with some projected deals for Nola, but well above the 5-year, $120,000,000 deal projected by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.

Cincinnati’s current payroll, if we add in the MLB Trade Rumors projected arbitration raises for those who are due those, currently sits at $33,853,334. That does not include the buyouts for Joey Votto, Curt Casali, or Wil Myers – which is another $11,750,000. It also doesn’t include the $3,593,750 owed to Ken Griffey Jr. who will celebrate his 54th birthday tomorrow.

Even accounting for the money paid to guys who will no longer be playing for the team, Cincinnati should have more than enough money to sign just about anyone that they want to and have no real concerns about what it does to payroll for quite a while.

Just after the end of the season Karen Forgus, the Reds Senior Vice President of Business Operations noted to the Cincinnati Business Courier that the club did “way better than we thought we were going to do” and that “every dollar we make is invested back in the organization”, later noting that “additional money coming in makes everything bigger and you can do bigger things on the field and in player development.”

The words used seem to make it seem like there should be plenty of spending on payroll between now and March. Nick Krall’s words to Charlie Goldsmith over the weekend were just that – words. They didn’t provide a ton of insight into what the team might actually be looking for. Anything between a good starter to maybe a swing man is the difference between an actual at least sort of noteworthy acquisition and a guy on a minor league deal who might be able to make the team with a good 6-week stretch in spring training.

There are a lot of options on the free agent market when it comes to starting pitching. And at each tier between potential top of the rotation, good middle of the rotation, and back of the rotation there are more than a few options out there. The same can be said for the relief market. With the trade market, everything is probably available in the right deal. We’ll have to wait and see what happens because right now it seems like the Reds aren’t exactly unveiling their plans to the world.

117 Responses

  1. Redsvol

    I’m guessing 1 low level free agent sp – Perez, lugo, Martinez type signing – and 1 trade for a starting pitcher – maybe singer from KC. Trades won’t happen till all the starters get signed which is probably February.

    But I do believe they will go after some proven bullpen help and this won’t be cheap either. They’re going to spread the $ around to several players. And the $ won’t be as much as what we hoped.

    • Tom Reeves

      I’ve long been a defender of the Reds ownership because of some very real financial issues the team endured due to over spending and then getting rocked by a revenue cliff during Covid. But those issues are gone. This team needs to spend $100M+ on pitching for this next season. If they do that, they will be very talented and very deep and like a honey badger to tangle with.

  2. Colorado Red

    Sounds like they plan to do nothing.
    Maybe sign Wade (due for a bad year), and said we did all we can do.
    Look for regression this year.
    Bob is cheap

  3. west larry

    Thanks for the additional information, Doug. I was surprised that we still owe Jr. money It looks like about 46 million has paid or is due this year. I’m going to guess the total expenditure for the major league team to be 90 million. That would leave about 44 million to spend this year. I’m guessing that they pick-up an experienced back of the rotation innings eater for about 10 million. I think they try to get a good reliever (Hicks or Chapman) for another 10 million. If they don’t trade anyone. that leaves 26 million to spend on a big bat. J D Martinez? That would use up the remainder of the money. Probably won’t happen,

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree on the hitter(s) Reds need a couple of accomplished hitters. I’d like to see a solid LHH 1st baseman added and a good hitting RF. Too many inexperienced hitters prone to slumps and or bad ABs or platoon guys who struggle w/ a LH or RHP. Luv the kids, but I think they need some solid backup help! CES still has room to DH and split time at 1B/3B.

  4. LarkinPhillips

    Optimistic side: Starting pitcher signed will be probably be somewhere around Alex Wood, Lance Lynn, Ryu, or Martin Perez.

    Pessimistic side: Chase Anderson, Brad Keller, Tommy Milone,

    In my opinion, with the money that is theoretically out there, I would like to see one quality SP, one quality OF, and 3 top tier Relievers added to the them. I think all of that can be done for 50-60 mil annually (shorter deals) and still keep the Reds under 100 million total salary. This will let the Reds see the young players for another year or two then start extension talks with the ones they deem necessary.

    • Jon

      Lance Lynn is optimistic?!?

      Oh how the Reds have fallen since 2019…

      • west larry

        Agreed. Lance Lynn is my worst nightmare. A fly ball pitcher who gives up a lot of homeruns in great American small park. No thanks! And to top it off, he is a former redbird.

      • west larry

        TH cardinals resigned Lynn for. one year. Glad he won’t be a temptation for the reds.

      • JayTheRed

        Thank goodness the Cardinals just signed Lance Lynn. He was a pitcher that I was afraid they would look at and sign. Thank you, Cardinals.

  5. DataDumpster

    Don’t take the words of the Karen too literally as it doesn’t account for the “rainy day fund” kept by the club. Krall’s positure is vaguely better and I still think a $110 mil payroll is a good ballpark figure. Remember how much they entrusted to David Bell in his second year (about $140-150 mil prorated).
    The Bull needs to corral about 3 flavors of pitchers. I would like to see one of them be an old fashioned “long man” (ala Clay Carroll) that can finish a game or put in 2 innings or more on occasion (if these guys still exist). They also need a very big innings-eating starter (considering better than Minor) and that will be very expensive. Good luck, Bull. You know how your skipper manages the bullpen and pretty much drained away all the farm talent as well.

    • Andy

      I don’t think Reds will come close to $100M, particularly while Bally’s/ cable $$ is still a question mark.

      • JayTheRed

        I think it will be around 90 million that way they can brag that they raised payroll this coming year to help the team win.

      • Melvin

        Yep. I can hear it now, “What are you fans complaining about? We doubled our payroll”. 🙂

        Honestly I’m not convinced they will even spend that much.

  6. LDS

    It’s early in the off season so there’s still time to show the Reds are serious about competing. Though in reality, history and recent comments by Krall does not engender optimism. The Reds need a lot to be playoff competitive. Anyone thinking they can go with the current team and win are being a bit exuberant. Bell will always be a drag on the team’s success. Krall has to stock the team with quality ML’ers to overcome that, not more utility players, not could be’s or used to be’s, but real, established, and productive ML players. If it happens, I’ll be glad to be wrong, but I’m not overly optimistic. All we’ve seen since the All-Star break are the members of the old boys’ club being rewarded. The Reds could try being as serious as the Cubs and see if it makes a difference.

  7. Votto4life

    Most agreed this was the “put or shut up year”. I just can’t get too excited about acquiring a swing man. Seems to me Krall is tempering expectations. I also bet Karen Forgus won’t be giving interviews again anytime soon.

    Hard to see the Red’s team payroll reaching $60 million at this point. Not to worry though, this will give the Reds flexibility at the trading deadline next year. You know if the asking prices aren’t too high.

    • MBS

      The thing it isn’t really “put up or shut up time”. They could continue to put up inferior products and make plenty of money.

      They may lose fans, but they’ll come back. “Where else are you going to go?”

      Let’s hope Bob has a bit of fire left, and lets Krall finish building this team into a true contender.

      • Votto4life

        The “put or shut up” comments have been showing up here since 2022. It wasn’t something I made up.

        Sure some will still follow the team, but if the Reds are not going to spend when they have a $33 million dollar payroll, they never will.

        I wouldn’t be surprise if the Castellinis are gonna follow John Fisher path with the A’s. Destroy the market for baseball and then move the team to Nashville. I know it is awhile before they can move, but would not be surprised one bit if that’s Phil’s long term plan.

        The team deserve better owners.

      • MBS

        I wasn’t arguing with you. I only meant that the fans clearly have little sway over the direction of the team if the owners are content to cash in and take the money from the league.

      • Votto4life

        @MBS I didn’t think you were arguing with me buddy. I apologize if my post came off like

        I like reading everyone’s opinions here.

  8. Krozley

    Minor point, but they also owe Moustakas $4 million I believe ($13.25M for buyouts total).

    • Doug Gray

      Math at 4am is slightly more difficult than math at other times.

      But I blame spotrac, which lists the Moustakas buyout at $1.5M. Sitting here now, I knew better than that. At 4am…. my brain wasn’t firing.

      Votto at $7M, Moose at $4M, and Casali at $750k.

  9. Jon

    I just don’t get it. I simply don’t understand how such a large segment of Reds fans seem to support and have faith in Krall. Sure, the Mahle trade certainly worked out well. But the argument could easily be made that had the Reds kept Castillo and Gray, they would have been World Series favorites this past season.

    Nick Krall failed to upgrade at the deadline. Now he’s already making comments tempering expectations this winter. They have virtually no payroll on the books and every opportunity to go all-in and outspend every team in the division. The time to win is now; the window is wide open. Yet I don’t think it would be a shock to anyone if they only sign a couple mediocre options and (again) claim that the prices were too high.

    Under Dick Williams, the Reds were seemingly in on nearly anyone. They made a serious attempt to sign Ohtani when he was posted. They of course went after Castellanos and even tried to get Wheeler.

    What has Krall done besides cut payroll? He has yet to sign a major free agent or make a trade acquiring significant proven Major League players. I truly hope I’m wrong and Krall shocks the baseball world this winter, but I’m not holding my breath. Unlike Williams who resigned when he saw what was coming, Krall is a puppet for the Castellinis.

    • greenmtred

      He has accumulated a large number of very promising young players. This may be aligning actions with resources, but it is certainly not nothing.

      • Votto4life

        I understand what you are saying Greentred, but don’t forget Krall gave up a lot in those trades as well.

      • greenmtred

        He did, but given the probable financial constraints, I think he and the scouting department did well. The Reds–for a fair stretch of the season–played exciting baseball and showed that they are worth some optimism. They could be set up for years of relevant baseball.

    • Greenfield Red

      Jon, you 100% incorrect when you say NK failed to upgrade at the dealine.

      • Harry Stoner


        Krall did trade for Moll, a solid if not team-changing acquisition.

        And then of course there were Bader and Renfro.

        The price for Moll wasn’t exactly cheap and I believe hints that the challenges and costs facing Krall in trading for pitching will be considerably different than when he was trading away the Reds’ rotation.

        I don’t have any faith (yet) that Krall will pull a rabbit out of his hat with winter trades for pitching.

        Selling assets and buying assets are two different things.

        Krall has seemed pretty careful about his trading which is positive. But the jury is still out.

        I’ve got a bad feeling that CES will likely be one of his trading chips. It’s just a feeling, obviously, but I would not be at all surprised if he wound up as part of the inevitable overpayment for an innings nibbler.

      • Jon

        @ Harry

        Bader and Renfroe weren’t even deadline acquisitions. They came in late August off the waiver wire.

      • Optimist

        If anything, Moll is the sort of acquisition they need to make. A good to excellent bullpen piece. Very difficult to find those, and more difficult if they last several seasons. We’ll see if the price was to high, but the move itself is a good leading indicator.

        In the opposite sense, so were the Bader/Renfroe acquisitions – insignificant costs, arguable that they cost playing time for others, and easily disposed of as needed.

      • TR

        It’s still only November, meaningful Reds acquisitions usually come around a month or so from spring training. Don’t panic, give Krall and GM Meador some time.

      • DaveCT

        I don’t understand the vitriol for Krall at this point. His trades have demonstrated both skill and toughness. His lack of trades last season prevented spectacular overpays. Plus, if he’s bringing a pea shooter to a street fight, he’s severely limited (i.e. spending).

        Where I have a occasionally do criticize Krall is in his communications. He’s better, but still not the best person for marketing his plans and ideas. See above, vague statements.

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree as usual DaveCT. He has done a fantastic job clearing the decks for 24 and beyond. Time for the upgrades now.

  10. RedBB

    Sadly I think our chances at Sonny Gray took a big hit with reports of Atlanta’s serious interest in him (Not that our chances were ever great or anything). Atlanta is about the same distance to his home in Nashville as Cincy which was one of the reasons he signed with Cincy in the first place. The winning culture at ATL is heads and shoulders above Cincy unfortunately. Only thing Cincy offers is his old pitching coach DJ although he proved in Minny that he could pitch excellent without him.

    • JayTheRed

      I too think Gray will go to the Braves at this point. I felt like it was wishful thinking that he would come back to the Reds in the first place. I would love to have him back here, but I have a lot of doubts that he would come back here.

  11. Greenfield Red

    To me, it is ownership malpractce to still paying a “player” at 54 years old. The Griffey trade and contract are part of why I say what ownership and NK are trying to do is correct 20 years of bad decision making.

    Not only did they give up a ton in the trade, but theysold the future even farther down the river by stretching out the payments.

    And in my opinion, they did so for a guy who mostly relied on God given talent who wasn’t that interested in being in shape and being prepared for baseball in his 30s.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      To me the Griffey trade was never the problem it was always what happened after it. Much like the Joey Votto situation the team decided one player was enough and lost a bunch of games because they didn’t put other good players around them. In the brief time the Reds put good players on the field with Joey Votto they won. When they didn’t try they lost. The lesson here is to try and put good players on the field with your superstars not to just sign one superstar and hope they can be as valuable as an NFL quarterback and carry the team because that’s impossible to do in baseball.

      • Greenfield Red

        With Griffey, they gave up a ton to get him, they signed him to bad contract, they didn’t surround him much, and he was not in top shape for a good part of it.

    • Stock

      The Griffey trade was a steal. Griffey was injured all the time so maybe it did not work out too well. Mike Cameron and Mike Tomko was peanuts compared to Griffey. The deal Griffey signed with the Reds was very team friendly.

      • Greenfield Red

        Stock usually agree, and maybe it was team friendly, but not future friendly if they are still paying him at age 54.

      • Harry Stoner

        The $$ they are paying KG now is worth considerably less than the value of what they were paying when they signed him.

        Sure, that inflation / depreciation was likely built into the contract numbers but it’s a pretty ‘future friendly’ by most economic indicators.

        Deferred payments are common practice in a range of business contracts.

        Of course, that money would looked miniscule if Griffey had had a longer more productive career in Cincinnati.

  12. Optimist

    Abbott and Williamson both pitched more than 150 innings last season, when adding in the MiLB time. They arguably faded toward the end, but remained healthy.

    Didn’t check the others.

    Good news – they were league average, or slightly better,

    Open issue – can they sustain and improve on that?

    • MBS

      Thais a good point, both should be able to go all year. Greene/Lodolo are much bigger question marks. I’d be very happy if we end up with the guy in the photo above. No QO, and he’s a good LHP. You can never have too many.

      • Tom Diesman

        Greene has been right about 130 IP the last two years. He’s good for 160 IP in 2024. Lodolo is a question mark though. Maybe they can start him out in the bullpen and if he’s healthy and looking sharp they can start stretching him out in early July to pick up a dozen or so starts to finish out the season. His line would look similar to Norm Charlton’s 1991, 40 G 12 GS 110 IP.

  13. RedsGettingBetter

    I’ve already said that I fear for what will Krall do in the offseason related to improve the team. I wonder what would be the args about only spending ,for example, $6MM to sign a starter, $2MM for a reliever and less than $10MM for landing a RHH OF batter while making no trades, when the budget really could have money to pay $40 MM for getting good proved players additionally to some trades so turning the Reds into a 95-win team in a easy way

    • JoshG

      They should only be considering adding All Star caliber players/pitchers … anything else is not an improvement …
      who are you sitting if they add players?
      1 Proven Starter would be nice, and can always use more quality bulpen arms

  14. Laredo Slider

    Just don’t see a significant #1/#2 SP signing with the Reds where they’ll have to pitch roughly half their starts in hitter friendly GABP.

    • Colorado Red

      Have to be by a trade. Else, not sure a pitcher would want to come here, unless a big overpay.
      Sonny, if you could keep to 3 years or less would be good, but might not have like the trade.
      E-Rod, is a lone shot, area is probably good, and DJ is good, but chance to win may not be.

      • JayTheRed

        E-Rod is one of the guys I would like to see get signed by the Reds. Seems like he has some good pitcher vibes overall and could be place either in the #2 or #3 spot in the rotation.

  15. Oldtimer

    Reds trades for pitching over the years.

    All-Star 2B Johnny Temple for SP Cal McLish in 1959. McLish was not good at all.

    All-Star SS Roy McMillan for SP Joey Jay and Juan Pizarro. Jay was very good SP for a while.

    McLish and Pizarro were packaged and traded to White Sox for 3B Gene Freese. Freese was very good for a year. Pizarro and McLish were good back in AL during 1960s.

    Arguably the best Reds trade for SP was Dave Parker for Jose Rijo (and Tim Birtsas) in 1987. Rijo was excellent into the 1990s. Parker was a big price to pay but worth it.

    • AllTheHype

      2011 trade

      28.4 future fWAR sent out

      Grandal (22.8 fWAR over 6 controlled seasons), Alonso (3.2 fWAR over 5 remaining controlled seasons), Volquez (1.5 fWAR over 1 more season), Boxberger (0.6 fWAR over 6 controlled seasons)


      35.6 future fWAR received

      Latos (9.7 fWAR over 3 seasons), DeSclafani (7.5 fWAR in 5 seasons, received in trade for Latos), Simon (2.0 fWAR over 3 seasons, received in trade for Latos), E Suarez (16.4 fWAR over 6 seasons, received in trade for Simon)

    • AllTheHype

      The best trade for a SP was not any of these, however, By far, it is this one.

      2017 trade

      0.9 future fWAR sent out

      Straily (0.9 fWAR over 3 seasons)


      16.7 future fWAR (and much more still tbd) received
      Castillo (16.7 fWAR over 4.5 seasons), Noelvi Marte (tbd fWAR over 6+ seasons, received in trade for Castillo), Edwin Arroyo (tbd fWAR iver 6+ seasons, received in trade for Castillo)

      • Greenfield Red

        Best of all is probably the Bronson Arroyo trade.

      • AllTheHype

        Bronson Arroyo had 14.9 fWAR through 2013 as a Red so less than Castillo but when you also consider 6+ years of Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo get added to Castillo’s 16.7 fWAR, it makes it even more lopsided in favor of the Castillo trade.

  16. Kevin H

    Phillips, Williamson, and maybe Abbott to start in triple A if Reds sign two top tier starting pitchers.

    Also two or 3 bullpen pitchers. I agree stop signing the likes of “weaver”

    • MBS

      Who would be the 3 you’d keep on the roster over Abbott? Ashcraft is the only one I’d rank higher than Abbott. Greene and Lodolo are full of promise, and short on results.

      I like Lodolo for long relief. Use him 3 innings at a time, but no more than every 4th day. That could get him up to 120 inning this year, and inline to return to a full workload as a starter in 25 if that’s what the team decides to do.

      • Kevin H

        Ashcraft, Greene and Lodolo. Abbott in the mix, however as we seen last year they had no depth. So to me it’s important to have at least two quality starting pitchers. Not to mention bullpen help.

    • Optimist

      Psst – Williamson had an ERA+ of 102. Perhaps plenty of warning signs and underlying analytic issues, but 100+ip with league average results – hard to justify starting him back in AAA. He’s in the rotation until he falters.

      • DaveCT

        Williamson has become sneaky good. He’s hit a few speed bumps, sure, but haven’t we all. It may be quirkiness of baseball perfection if Williamsom beats out his higher rated college teammate, Lodolo.

      • MBS

        As is Williamson is a good 5, and could be a decent 4 if his IP per game increases slightly.

      • Optimist

        MBS – I’ve got news – Williamson is already a #4. He’s arguably at the #3 level now. Go look at a few rotations and see which teams have a better 3rd or 4th starter.

        Even if he falters a little, he’s still in MLB. If he improves at all, he’s looking at #2 level starter.

        Doubt he becomes an ace, and doubt he collapses completely.

        At this point, the biggest concern is probably lost time to injury. He’s not young, but he’s hardly old either.

        They still need a proven #1-2 starter, but so many of the existing staff are good enough it’s unlikely they all falter together.

      • MBS

        5.08 IP per game with a 4.46 seems, and a .500 record is an ideal 5 imo. If he averaged 6 IP, with those stats I’d like that as a 4.

        For me a 3 need an ERA that starts with a 3. I know people don’t put as much weight behind the old stats, but I think they are still good indicators.

        A 2 should also have a 3.?? ERA, but also have the ability to be a stopper.

        A 1 should be in the 2.??’s and have the capability to work deep into a game.

        I don’t think theses terms have a definition in a dictionary, but that’s how I look at it.

      • Optimist

        MBS – have you checked any of last season’s rotations? Pitching into the 6th inning is one thing, but if WIlliamson is their #5 starter, they’re heading to the WS. Jim Palmer commented as much about Abbott.

        They’re each at the #3 level now. Go look at some other teams.

        Interestingly, the Padres had an excellent rotation – just shows how badly their offense collapsed.

        Most other teams seem to have either had very good 1-3 pitching and horrid after that – or just so-so throughout.

        I’m not yet at all sold long-term on Williamson or Abbott, but their performance was very good comparatively. It’s the rest of the staff that lagged.

        Finally, I’m an old guy who remembers past stats, but your ERA numbers belong in the 1960s. Last season, 2 NL starters had ERAs below 3, and 5 others were below 3.5. Many very, very good starters were between 3.5 and 4.00.

      • MBS

        The 2012 Reds had a similar breakdown that I laid out, and we were bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs.

        That 2012 rotation, and this offense would be dangerous.

      • AllTheHype

        @MBS, Logan Webb, 3.25 ERA, finished 2nd in Cy Young, yet he’s a #2 in your rotation. The guy who finished 3rd in Cy had a 3.47.

        You should consider revising your standards maybe.

      • MBS

        @all, I’m not asking others to adjust to my view, but I will say most of the best teams in the league had similar 1, 2, 3’s as I described. If we use the average team @optimist is correct, but who wants an average team?

      • AllTheHype

        @MBS…but, how can most of the best teams have a 1, 2, and 3 as you describe when there wasn’t a single NL pitcher who met your criteria for a #1? Snell and Senga were the only ones with sub 3.00 ERA and neither worked late into games (both sub 6 IP avg).
        >>>>A 1 should be in the 2.??’s and have the capability to work deep into a game<<<<<

      • MBS

        I’m not going to go through every team, but look at the

        Brewers: Burns, Woodruff, Peralta, Miley.

        Blue Jays: Gausman, Berrios, Basset, Kikuchi

        Guardians: Biebe, Bieber, Williams, Allen

        Braves: Fried, Strider, Elder, Morton

        There are more, I only look at around 10 teams, and there were more like I described, like Texas, Houston, Giants, Mariners, Cubs, Marlins. Not all of the teams had a 2.?? But they all had a low 3.??, and a 2, 3, and 4 that fit the bill.

        Look for yourself, but why wouldn’t you want to model your rotation off of the middle, or bottom to the pack. We were bottom of the pack btw.

    • Melvin

      I personally don’t see any way that Abbott is anything but a good ML pitcher at the very least next year. No way does he go to the minors. However this is the Reds. Anything can happen.

  17. redfanorbust

    So many negative posts on Krall and ownership. I agree on some of them so I get it. This franchise even before current ownership has not been seriously relevant for over 30+ years. 30+! So much blame to go around. We now are in the seemingly unique situation to be flush with good young affordable talent. At the same time the NL Central is up for grabs and we have some serious money to spend. What needs to be done is not rocket science. Reds needs are more than well documented since the end of the season. What Nick Krall has or has not done is largely dictated on the money he is given to spend. IMO a rebuild and trading away our star players was needed. We had little, serious success with them. Our return was very good and just what this franchise needed. Talented, affordable youth.
    If one has Mets, Dodgers, Yankees money then how difficult is it to go out and sign the best players? How did Texas win the WS? $561.2 million to four blue chip free agents in 2021 and picking up Max Scherzer this year. I personally will reserve judgement on the Reds ownership/management till after I see what they end up doing with this very unique off season. I know we can not compete dollar for dollar with large market teams but we need to make sure that everyone we do sign or trade for is ABOVE MLB average and moves the needle decidedly forward. I am confident with much better luck on the dreadful amount injuries to key players last year Reds would have made the playoffs. It is WELL past time for this organization to give it’s fans something serious to cheer about.

    • Melvin

      “At the same time the NL Central is up for grabs”

      It’s been up for grabs for the past several years and the Reds haven’t “gone for it” YET.

      “It is WELL past time for this organization to give it’s fans something serious to cheer about.”


    • doofus

      2024 will be Bob Castellini’s 19th year as the Jefe Maximo. He proclaimed that he and is ownership group knew how to build a championship team when he took over.

      With Krall’s recent word salad, it is clear that we will see more of the same dumpster dive for pitching and position fixes.

      It is WAY past the time for this ownership crew to GET IT DONE! No more excuses. No more calls for the fan base to be patient.

    • doofus

      So far one decent season of Spencer Steer is the only proof that we received some sort of return on the great starting pitcher purge.

      The jury is still out on the others.

  18. MBS

    I’d love a setup like this

    Rodriguez*, Greene, Abbott
    Ashcraft, Williamson

    CL/SU: Diaz, Chapman*, Hicks*
    Mid: Moll, Duarte, Young
    Long: Spires, Lodolo

    Phillips, Richardson, Stoudt
    Roa, Lively

    That’s probably $40M in additional payroll, and if we add a bat we’d be roughly $90M-$100M. More if you count buyouts to the budget.

    • MBS

      Don’t get me wrong I’d prefer Snell, and Hader, but I’d very excited if they pulled the above off.

    • LarkinPhillips

      This is in line with what I have been saying all along. I think a starter and MULTIPLE quality relievers is the best way we can go. A upgraded outfield bat would be nice as well, but the others are a necessity if we even want to pretend to care about winning the division next year.

    • Optimist

      This looks good. Not great, perhaps not good enough, but good. I want Lively back, and as a 9th starter. They’ll be in wild card contention if he’s the 9th starter. Still need a very good starter acquisition to move into deeper playoff contention. Really cannot get too far with all #3 rotation pieces.

      • MBS

        Agreed, we need one of our full of promise guys to step up in 23. Greene has the stuff, and the mentality of an ace. He just need the health to get the consistent innings to become one.

      • DaveCT

        Ben Lively would be a fantastic mentor for Carson Spiers, too. My only concern is whether we ruined his arm when having him stay in to be pounded into oblivion that one game.

      • Tom Diesman

        I’d like Lively back as well for depth.

        In regards to the “full of promise” pitchers stepping up next season. Here are a couple of interesting tidbits from the first two Reds Hot Stove League shows:

        From the 11/08/23: Reds Hot Stove program

        Graham Ashcraft in regards to his bad stretch at mid season indicated there was some personal issues involved but also that: “I was tipping there for a little bit. We found that out through video and once we kind of fixed that, it all kinda went back to where it needed to be. …. They knew whenever I was throwing the fastball or the slider, they just didn’t know if it was going to be the cutter or the sinker.”

        From the 11/14/23: Reds Hot Stove program

        Jeff Brantley on Nick Lodolo, “He has the ability to be a #1 on a World Series Champion club.”

        I’m expecting at least two of Greene, Abbott, Ashcraft, Lodolo, Williamson to pitch like a #2 or better next season. We got kind of spoiled by the hitting prospects all hitting the ground running and now there is no patience for letting the pitching prospects develop like they need to.

    • JB

      I take Montgomery over all of them. They have the money. Spend it.

      • Colorado Red

        I like either E-Rod or Montgomery. They should be able to afford or the other. I also like Chapman and Hick in the pen.
        We are then a legit contender.
        The young guys need take a step forward (both sides of the ball)
        Go Reds

    • doofus

      Rodriguez does not impress me. I do not know if I would drop serious coin on him because of his past arm problems.

  19. Rednat

    I honestly wouldn’t be upset if they don’t go out and spend a lot of money on pitching. We need some bullpen guys,sure. But I think the starting pitching is there.

    After watching the reds slump in July and August this year I would like them to pick up a few bats if possible. I trusted Joey to bang at least a little bit and Senzel to wallop lefties but they are both gone. There production needs to be replaced and we need another power bat in the middle of the lineup

  20. DaveCT

    Rather than India, I often think the ‘older’ player to be traded will be Stephenson.

    Yes, it’s harder to find catchers with decent bats than infielder.

    Yes, we just let Casali and two AAA catchers go.

    Still. If teams are going to overpay, catching is one area where they might do so more readily. In addition, Stephenson isn’t a high caliber defensive catcher. And I am not convinced he’ll become the big RH nat we’ve desired him to become (shoulder injury and all). But there is still a good chance he’s a better trade chip than India (see above, easier to replace), and, with Maile in the fold for two years, we may really looking for a back-up. Jacob Stallings?

    Stephenson and some filler may return that mid rotation starter with a couple years control better than India. And teams are looking for catching.

    • Colorado Red

      Really do not have a starting catcher other then Stephenson.
      My question, is who do we replace him with?

      • DaveCT

        They’d likely have to sign someone like Stallings, which I wouldn’t be opposed to if we went this route (trading Stephenson). I can see Maile splitting time with another glove first catcher.

  21. Brad

    No matter who they sign his MUST be Cost effective. And cheap. Really cheap. Cheap cheap. Did I say to not forget to align payroll to resources? Remember, CHEAP.

    • Greenfield Red

      How do you know that? They have paid players full price in the past and they will again.

  22. old-school

    Lance Lynn not available.

    1 year $10 million to the Cards. Can all exhale.

    • JB

      Yeah to me Lynn is the Mike Minor deal. Just a 10 million dollar throw away.

    • Nick in NKY

      This is a good sign in that he will not be available to tempt the Reds. This is a bad sign if he is setting the market at this amount of dollars to performance.

  23. Tar Heel Red

    Sorry state of affairs when A’s and Pirates sign players before Reds do

    • Jason Franklin

      It depends. It may mean that they Reds are waiting to sign some guys who are still shopping the market and not reaching for the bottom feeding teams first.

    • Earmbrister

      C’mon. The A’s signed a player the Pirates non-tendered, while the Pirates signed a player to a minor-league contract.

  24. gusnwally

    If we go for pitcher or two. I would like to get Bryan Woo, Bryce Miller or the Manning kid at Detroit. Any one of the three or 2 of them or what he hey , let’s get all of them,

    • DaveCT

      Miller isn’t going anywhere. Woo, perhaps, but he’s hardly any more proven than what we already have.

  25. gusnwally

    Dave, thanks for commenting. The M’s need a 2nd baseman pretty bad. Even tho I love India if we part with him and maybe thro in a prospect, Miller might be a possibility. But, also check out Manning at Detroit. And I think they would be glad to step up from Mcinstry.

    • DaveCT

      The M’s sure do need a 2B, especially one with a bat (I live in the PNW and follow them). India would be a cult hero out this way. Seattle has a deep rotation and IMO they aren’t likely to dilute it. However, they also have a deep bullpen, as well as a real knack for developing relievers. That’s a trade option I wouldn’t be surprised to see.

      I just think the ‘trade India’ story has developed a life of its own, and there isn’t a compelling reason to actually trade him. Why dilute a Reds strength (middle infield) to improve elsewhere? India, McLain, and EDLC are much greater than McLain, EDLC and Barrero. So, I don’t think he’s going anywhere, this year anyway.

      • Votto4life

        Didn’t the Mariners just acquire Luis Urias the other day?

      • DaveCT

        V4L, yes they did, though he’s been primarily a 3B lately, which could spell trouble for Geno (and his strikeouts — the M’s brain trust has figured out they need better contact hitters). They also have Josh Rojas, who is a pretty nice player. But they need bats, and if they do acquire India, he’s likely still just the 2nd or 3rd guy down the wish list as far as what they need.

      • Votto4life

        Thanks Davect. I definitely don’t have a deep understanding of the Mariner’s roster or their needs. What you are saying makes perfect sense. Thank you for the explanation. Have a Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

  26. Jason Franklin

    If the Reds are that determined not to weaken the team by trading prospects as it seems, then they need to spend some cash. If the team does not improve the pitching staff, they are either thinking the team is still a year away or they are just cheap. Sadly they are probably going to take advantage of the fans who are not assuming that they care about the team (and the fans) instead of just the bottom dollar.

  27. Magnum44

    This organization jumped at signing people players 4 years ago. I am completely fine if they save money wait and sign a few RP’s and a bounce back SP and wait a year. I am not in the mood for bad contracts and Phil’s pompous response. I would rather roll with what we got than to be totally done with the organization which is where I was at last year

  28. Votto4life

    Maybe, this is finally the year we get that, much talked about, Reds-Johnny Cueto reunion. The fans who follow the Reds on Facebook will be overjoyed.

  29. Redsvol

    Just getting on here after work. I can’t believe Lance Lynn got 10$M as a free agent. If he gets this, some of the mid-tier pitchers are going to get $15M per easy. And good relievers are definitely getting $10M per.

    Then again, GM’s are trying to absorb innings with signing starters. If he can absorb 150 innings at a 4.8 era then those are innings you don’t have to force your bullpen or unprepared AAA starters (Richardson, Philips) to absorb. I think its crazy but I also get it. 162 game season is a marathon, not a sprint.

    • Votto4life

      Good points..If you think pitching is expensive now, just wait a couple of years when two teams are added through expansion.

      I’m afraid when Bob dies and Phil becomes majority owner, he will be looking to move the team.

  30. Michael B. Green

    I think CIN is in a spot comparable to their 1985 season. That winter, they traded one of their young SP’s – Jay Tibbs – to acquired a young established veteran in Bill Gullickson, who helped anchor the staff. They also added John Denny by trading a RP – Tom Hume – and OF Gary Redus – who was blocking Eric Davis.

    They also signed now broadcaster Chris Welsh. I don’t think that kind of signing is necessary this year, although that could be Wade Miley if it is super cheap.

    The Gullickson comp is perhaps someone like Logan Gilbert or Josiah Gray. The John Denny comp is someone like Seth Lugo or Nick Martinez.

    What we don’t need is a bounce back candidate. While that may look good, pitching in Great American SmallPark is a huge gamble – and now is out time to go for it.

  31. Mike in Ottawa

    Just spit balling here, how expensive would Kershaw be? Given his injury history the last few years, if reasonable would he be worth the risk? When healthy he has put up good numbers. Could be a great mentor to these young guys….