The Cincinnati Reds were rumored to be moving an infielder this offseason because they had too many spots for too few players. That talk has quieted down in the last few days, but expect it to ramp back up as the team has agreed to a deal with free agent infielder Jeimer Candelario according to Mark Feinsand of The deal is 3-years and $45,000,000, with a team option that can make it 4-years and $60,000,000 according to Mike Rodriguez of Univision.

The 2023 season saw Jeimer Candelario join a new club, signing a 1-year deal with the Washington Nationals for $5,000,000. After hitting well, the Nationals traded him to the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline and Candelario finished out the final 41 games of his season with the Cubs.

Between the two clubs, he played in 140 games. All of his games with the Nationals were either at third base or designated hitter, but with Chicago he played nearly as often at first base as he did at third. He’s never played any position in the big leagues besides first or third base.

At the plate Candelario set a career high with 22 home runs in 2023. He also added in 39 doubles and 3 triples during the season while posting a .251 batting average, a .336 on-base percentages, and a .471 slugging percentage. His .807 OPS (119 OPS+) was the second highest mark of his career in a season in which had had at least 200 plate appearances.

The switch hitter didn’t show much in terms of splits in 2023. His OPS against lefties was .792 and it was .813 against righties. For his career, though, he has been better against lefties – holding a .772 OPS versus a .727 OPS against righties. You can see his career stats here.

The immediate question becomes: Where is Jeimer Candelario going to play and what does it mean for the rest of the team? As noted above – he’s only played third base and first base. The National League has the designated hitter spot, so we can count that, too. But the Reds also have Christian Encarnacion-Strand who only plays first base and third base. And they have Noelvi Marte who spent his time in the big leagues at third base. They’ve also got Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and Jonathan India who play spots that mean Marte’s not playing shortstop with any sort of regularity unless someone or some two guys get hurt. And it probably means that the days of seeing Spencer Steer on the dirt are over for now.

Right now there just aren’t enough spots for everyone. Even with a potential trade of someone it’s a situation where there aren’t enough spots for everyone. Something else has to be going on in the background that the public isn’t aware of right now. As things sit, if the club can’t make a trade or two, this signing will look a bit more questionable as it’s going to mean at least one guy who was a starter last year is on the bench almost full time and another guy who was a starter last year is a utility guy who plays a few times per week.

423 Responses

  1. DB

    Why in the world would the Reds pay anything for a guy with a lifetime .739 OPS who dh’s and plays 1b????
    Why trade better quality guys who are pre free agents for this?

    Regardless of what is to come, this is just STUPID

  2. William

    The writing has been on the wall for India getting moved. There could always be another on the move as well, but I hope not. I’m really high on Marte (and obviously the other four rookies as well). I have no reason to believe this but my own two eyes, but I think CES is capable of playing a LF in GABP that rivals that of some of the dudes we’ve trotted out there in the past. I also think our best defense may have Elly in CF. But we will see.

  3. DaveCT

    This doesn’t happen without a subsequent deal in place. Why would we put ourselves in a vulnerable position — where others know we HAVE to make a trade?

    So, my preference is to trade the least of our infielders. And that is Jonathon India.

    I also think this is the most likely. India has the least flexibility on defense and is likely the least capable defensive infielder.

    MCLain, EDLC, Marte, cES, and now Candelaria play at least two infield positions.

    Candelaria is a switch hitter. He can offset CES and Marte. India cannot.

    • Oldtimer

      India can play 3B also. Maybe 1B and LF.

      • DaveCT

        3B in the past. His shortcomings at 2B don’t translate well to the hot corner, however. And he is still the weakest defender in the middle infield. Odd man out, especially as a RH hitter.

      • Oldtimer

        DH also. He played 3B until he came up to the Reds.

      • Earmbrister

        India’s bat doesn’t play in LF, 3B, 1B, or DH. He seems to be the odd man out.

      • Oldtimer

        India has better career offensive numbers than Candelario does. And he won ROY just 3 years ago. Candelario has no All-Star game appearances.

    • DaveCT

      Kate night ramblings of a troubled mind, Vol. 871.

      What if the team keeps India and uses the rotation of he, MCLain and EDLC, as I very often thought, especially given India’s injury history, McLain’s durability issues and Elly’s consistency issues? There are plent of at bats in the middle infield for those three.

      And, what if the team keeps Marte, CES and Candelaria and uses a rotation of them for the corner infield. Same scenario as above. Plenty of at bats for all three.

      Given the Reds approach under Bell of high platoon usage in games, it’s not inconceivable at all, and that is a very, very potent infield. You could have six guys hit 20 HR’s

      We’ve moved on from Votto, Senzel and, now, likely Barrero. Steer is a near fulltime OF, and joins Friedl and Bendin, with a RH bat (Taylor).

      This could be quite the powerhouse.

      We missed on Rodriguez. Lugo and others, ie Wacha are in okay. And, we don’t lose any trade assets.

      Krall! You sneaky devil!!!

      • DaveCT

        Late, not Kate.

        Benson, not Bendin

        Play, not okay

    • AllTheHype

      Two of his last 3 years he produced 3.8 and 3.3 fWAR. This gives the Reds a veteran presence in the IF.

      I think a subsequent deal is in largely in place, as you say, and it will be CES that is traded. Could be the Mariners, who have holes to fill after trading Geno, Kelenic, and losing Teoscar Hernandez to free agency. I’ll bet they have a strong interest in CES as the centerpiece of a larger trade for pitching.

      • Melvin

        “I think a subsequent deal is in largely in place, as you say, and it will be CES that is traded.”

        If CES is traded I might get sick.

      • Chris

        I’m with Melvin on this. If they trade CES they will have stabbed themselves in the foot. CES will put up the biggest numbers of anyone on the team this season, assuming he actually plays daily. Elly might out produce him, but I bet no one else does, and Candelaria certainly won’t. I just don’t understand why CES is always doubted, whether it’s prospect rankings or being stuck in AAA, and even on the Reds.

      • JaxDan

        CES reminds me of Paul Konerko with the numbers that he could put up. Unless Cleveland takes him next year I can see the Reds picking Nick Kurtz with the 2nd pick which would allow CES to be traded.

      • Frank Nitty

        These trade ideas are shuffling for the sake of shuffling. Trade this infielder to get this infielder when the truth is we dont know about the young guys yet. None have played a full season. Nick Krall is to acquiring talent as David Bell is to managing: they tinker to get same/worse results. Im with everyone who agrees that CES will be the best out of the bunch which means he will be the one to get traded.

      • JayTheRed

        CES seems like another player the Reds gave up too early on Like Konerko (sorry spelling looks wrong maybe it’s just me.) or the other guy named Ecarnacion. (SP)

        Hope he is not traded.

    • Chris

      I just don’t get this move at all. Candelaria is not any better than a healthy India. India can play 2nd and 3rd which is more beneficial than 3rd and 1st. The biggest kicker of all, is that India is SO MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE. My big fear is not the swapping out of India though, it’s the possible movement of Marte or CES. I could easily see this being a move of Marte to the White Sox with Williamson and someone else.

    • Jayce

      It’s written today in the Enquirer that Reds FO are well aware of fans belief there are too many IF’ers, and that they disagree with the fans. I don’t know I believe it, but I do consider with India he is probably a more stable commodity than the others and you can’t safely predict good performance of any of them. If trade partners are not valuing India highly I think he is unlikely to be traded.

      • JayTheRed

        Really hoping if India’s still a Red this season he has a healthy season and returns closer or even above his rookie numbers.

  4. DW

    I just really hope this doesn’t mean that CES or Marte are being shipped out. He should be very productive in Cincinnati though.

    • DaveCT

      Candelaria complements both Marte and CES at the corner infield positions, as a switch hitter.

      If in doubt, remember who our manager is snd the perennial mix and match offense.

      We didn’t get Candelaria to bat clean up and have 650 at bats.

      We have that guy, Spencer Steer.

      This all points to India.

    • Ted Alfred

      My first thought too. You have team control for five more years, so why in the world would you trade either one of Marte or CES? It would make no sense, the ceilings for both are very high.

  5. Greenfield Red

    With there being a big need for infielders out there, and with the Reds having just taken one off tve market, does that increase India’s value? What can we expect the Reds to get for him?

    • DaveCT

      The main negative I see is if we don’t have a trade in place, where our need to make a trade becomes a vulnerability.

      To your point, as commodities decrease (and Senzel just signed with the Nats), I believe you could be correct that India gains some marketability if not value, at least short term, while the dust settles. This is why I really think there’s an India deal in place.

      Until he returns to action and proves he’s healthy, his value would stay static.

      And, if there’s a deal in place for one of our youngsters, I’m gonna likely be a serious grump.

      • Oldtimer

        The Reds in 1975 and 1976 had more INF than spots on the field.

        They got the trade that some wanted. Tony Perez was gone in 1977.

        How’d that work out?

        If Driessen had been platooned at 1B and OF in late 1970s, maybe better.

      • DaveCT

        OG, just to be clear, I have been steadfast against trading India. In spitballing why it could happen, I’m not advocating for it. It’s not a personal rejection of him.

        Also, the trade of Doggie and keeping Driessen was to counter an aging roster, right? It doesn’t compare to today for that reason. While Perez went on to have good years as an individual, the Reds had peaked and age took its toll on the team as a whole. So a completely different situation.

        Let’s be honest, here, too. Jonathon India isn’t likely to be Tony Perez. Good player, great kid, yes. Hall of Fame material, probably not.

      • Oldtimer

        You missed the point. The Reds INF with six “starters” on 1975 and 1976 was much better than the Reds INF in 1977 without Perez.

        If the Reds had peaked, how did they have the best W-L record in MLB in 1981? How did Pete Rose lead the NL in hits in 1981?

        The Reds currently have no HOF players on their roster.

      • DaveCT

        OG I have been MAKING that point for weeks if not months. To whit:

        Keep the infielders. Rotate them. There are plenty of at bats to go around. I can type it my sleep. And often do.

        Look, it’s not bad that the Big Red Machine peaked. It happens. But they never again made it back to the World Series let alone won one. Morgan floundered. Bench faded fast. Davey tried to keep it going, Dreiser wasn’t Perez, Las Vegas Rose could of gotten all the singles in the world, it still doesn’t mean that the TEAM was not the same.

        Again, don’t take things do personally. It’s not good for you.

      • Oldtimer

        Perez and Driessen had similar numbers from 1977 into the early 1980s. Perez was still decent off the bench as a Red in the mid 1980s.

        Rose kept hitting as a Phillie and helped them win WS in 1980. His 1981 numbers were very good. Most hits in NL and .325 BA.

        Had the Reds kept Sparky and the others, maybe the Reds do that.

  6. Greenfield Red

    If my memory is correct, the Reds are paying 1 new pitcher 8 mil/year, the other 13mil/year, and now 15mil/year for the new infielder. That’s 36mil/year. These are all short term, and they should still have room to add.

    • Chris

      This current deal is for 3 years. Not sure I’d call that short especially with all the young infielders that we have.

      • JayTheRed

        Don’t forget there is a 4th year option on there for 15 million.

    • Mauired

      Funny they couldn’t afford Luis Castillo for 20 million a year. Now a 3rd baseman they don’t need and a middle reliever make more than that next year. Odd because I thought Krall was going to start aligning the payroll and resources better. I guess having a top 5 caliber starting pitcher making below market salary doesn’t do that.

      • greenmtred

        If you consider that the Reds had probably determined that rebuilding by acquiring and developing prospects was the best course for them, it’s not odd at all. They hadn’t won even with Castillo and weren’t likely to going forward. Now they actually appear to be competitive and are adding pieces they need to reach the next level.

      • VaRedsFan

        You don’t keep Castillo on a team that is starting a rebuild.

  7. Hanawi

    Don’t like this one and doesn’t really make much sense given the other guys on the team. He’s better than the journeymen they have been bringing in, but not by much. Two good years sandwiched around a pretty mediocre one. Feels like he’s just going to take at bats away from Marte and CES, which isn’t a good thing.

    • DaveCT

      Between Candelaria, Marte, and CES, there will be plenty of at bats in the 3B/2B/DH rotation. And, remember how Bell loves making in game switches. Two years buys development time for Marte and CES at the ML level.

      • JohnnySofa

        The manager only makes this move more difficult to digest.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Yeah the infield starts per week and math still work out if Steer is a full time LF’er.
        1B: CES 5, JC 1
        2B: McLain 4, India 2
        SS: EDLC 5, McLain 1
        3B: Marte 5, JC 1
        DH JC 3, India 2-3

        That keeps everyone playing full time. Fraley and Benson will be the ones that will feel the squeeze as they’ll have fewer starts between them with Steer in the OF full time. But that does solve our need for a RH outfielder, though it may spell the end of the road for Fairchild and/or Barrero who is out of options. Then again, another move is likely, so we’ll see how it all shakes out.

      • JayTheRed

        You just reminded me of Krall’s interview at the meetings. He said, the Reds are setting themselves up to develop these guys at the major league level.

        Do want to say I think there is absolutely zero chance the Reds resign Votto now. Unless a trade happens for one or more infielders. Is it bad of me not to want Votto back?

    • Mario

      I wanted John Candelaria on the Reds long ago but not Jeimer Candelario. He has been very inconsistent and I think this is a huge overpay. The money is fairly irrelevant but I think this means that CES will be traded. I don’t like it but the team didn’t ask my opinion.

      • Chris

        Agree 100%. What really makes me mad is that they may deal one of the se young stars just so they can make a trade for a pitcher. Why not buy a pitcher? Also, Cease is a HUGE question mark in my opinion, when shelling out young star prospects for him.

  8. Michael B. Green

    Have Larkin work with Candelario on his defense. His Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) lines are negative almost every year of his career.

    I like that he can play 3B and 1B. I like that he is a switch hitter. His power should play up in GABP.

    Looks like her performs best batting 4th, 5th or 6th.

    This all but guarantees some players are changing positions or getting dealt. Interesting next day or two.

    • Oldtimer

      Larkin knows little about defense at 3B.

      • Chris

        Wrong. Just because he was a SS doesn’t mean he doesn’t know infield defense as a whole at other positions. Now if you want to make the argument that he’s a terrible tv guy, then we are in agreement.

  9. Nick in NKY

    Welp. Either this will make a lot of sense in the next few days or weeks….or it really, really, really won’t.

  10. Indy Red Man

    Interesting. A 1.100 ops in Gabp. Sort of the same rationale with Castellanos in that he’s a better hitter then stats might indicate due to Comerica and the Nats big park. It’s hard to have only 70 rbis with 64 extra base hits, but Castellanos did the same exact thing the year before the Reds and he hit like a monster. This also kills the narrative that this ownership group is penny pinching. That should’ve went out the window with Nick, Moose, Sonny, banned pitcher, Shogo, Miley, etc. I’ve been pushing for Nick Martinez for a while too. He should help in the long man/spot starter role. Krall has accumulated enough talent that imo we only need about 60% of the young guys to progress. We have depth to cover injuries and flame outs.

    Only regret is I’m out of the country and will miss my Colts whooping those little striped felines))

    • Votto4life

      Jake Browning is whoops the dysfunctional Colts.

    • Stock

      Fantastic post IndyRed. You are the first one on here who states Candelario is an upgrade.

    • AllTheHype

      Thanks for the post. Nice contrast to all the complainers here that aren’t privy to the inner conversations. I’m sure there is a plan (trade to come) if they would just wait and see.

      • Frank Nitty

        Complainers or realists? This front office has done nothing but squeeze a couple barely over .500 seasons and lost 100 2 yrs ago. Now we see Sonny go to the Cards when all you had to do was offer a little more and you dont need 4 trades to get a front line starter.

        You can give all the data you want but the fact is you signed a lifetime .243 hitter to his 5th stop in 8 years to a 45 million dollar deal that takes him to his 34 yr old season. That fits in to the whole “aligning payroll to resources” plan? Spoiler alert: there is no plan, they are flying by seat of their pants and this signing proves it.

  11. wolfcycle

    I think it means CES is included in a handshake deal, but this has Mike Moustakas written all over it.

    • DaveCT

      Disagree. Candelaria complements both CES and Marte as a switch hitter, especially in Bell’s system.

      I read this as a Marte/CES/Candelaria rotation.

      • JohnnySofa

        Wolfecycle is right. We’ll be wondering when this comes off the books before three years is up. The mere phrase “Bell’s system” brings a gurgle to my stomach.

      • Chris

        But why would you have a rotation of those three guys? The idea that you would use a rotation for Marte and CES is just pure ridiculous. Rotations don’t work unless they are starting pitchers.

      • DaveCT

        Why? It’s the age of analytics, that’s why.

        And, the clubs wants this approach, hired, then extended Bell to implement this approach and it’s on screen every single game of the season.

        Like it or not, the 162 game starter is more rare than ever. CES and Marte are still untested, and Candelaria with a LH option complements them.

        These are facts.

        Facts > opinions

      • Frank Nitty

        Why does there need to be a rotation? You sign a guy (30 yrs old) to a 45 million dollar deal to be part of a rotation? Mike Moustakas had a MUCH better track record than this guy too.

    • JayTheRed

      No, I don’t have any issue about this pickup. The moose deal I had a horrible feeling the Reds would sign him for too much and get flossed by it. I was quite upset when they officially signed him. This deal I am meh, about it. It might turn out to be a pretty decent move depending on what the Reds front office does to get us a reliable #1 or #2 starting pitcher and one more guy in the bullpen. I still want Chapman.

  12. CI3J


    The plot thickens.

    Seems the Reds are about to make a trade to hopefully land that coveted starting pitcher. A lot of people think it’s going to be India who leaves, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of Marte or CES who goes in a package deal in order to bring in a true stud SP.

    • Ted Alfred

      Better not be trading CES. I like Marte a lot too…but CES power potential is through the roof

      • Ernie

        To me CES and Speer should start every day Marte also,three stars.

      • Rick

        JC is a switching DH whom can float out 1b/3b for a rest day. Also can cover the middle Inf guys getting a rest day by moving Marte, Elly, MM around.
        India traded and possibly the often banged up streaky hitting Fraley. Gardians could use those guys & a pitching prospect/suspect for Beiber. Mariners could be in play.
        Not an endorsement just guessing like everyone is.

  13. Reddawgs2012

    I don’t quite understand this. It’s not that I’m opposed to more depth, but is Candelario even that good? I admittedly am not that familiar with him, but it looks like he’s had one above average season in his entire career. The thought of shipping out one of our young stud infielders for a SP, now that we have Candelario, does not appeal to me.

    It’s December. Hopefully it all makes sense in the end.

    • Tom Reeves

      119 OPS+. 112 OPS+ last three years.

      Yeah, that’s good. Reds added a potent offensive weapon to the mix. They also created some surplus that may lead to a SP trade. They’re better and can get even better with this trade.

      • JohnnySofa

        Let’s just take a minute before throwing out random thoughts as facts:
        Potent offensive weapon? That’s a little strong for a .240 hitter coming off a “career high” 22 HRs.
        Surplus? The entire talk of the offseason was the surplus the Reds already had around the infield.

      • Chuck Long

        Why are we talking about batting average in 2023?

      • 2024WSChamps

        He was bad in 2022. In 2020, 2021, and 2023, he was a 125 OPS+ player over 1400 PAs worth about 9 WAR. He has some positional flexibility (DH/1B/3B) and switch hits, split free. Career high 22 HRs once he finally left CoMerica park, so he is likely a true 20+ HR guy in GABP. He is a more well rounded player than Moustakas, isn’t being asked to play a new position, is younger, and signed for much less in gtd dollars (45M vs 64M). I think it is very disingenuous to say this is Moose 2.0, as long as is 2022 was an anomoly

    • Frank Nitty

      If they would have overpaid Sonny none of this would have needed to happen. The fans who said Sonny wasnt worth it will also applaud when a youngster is traded to acquire a starter who will probably be worse than Sonny. To see how many fans who simply do not understand this is probably why the Reds FO gets away w this. Couldnt sign Castillo for 20 mill a year but will pay a pitcher with less value more. These things happen right in front of the optimist’s eyes and they are blind to it.

  14. Michael Wilson

    Several weeks ago when it was written and said that the Reds were interested in Candelario it was a head scratcher for me. My first thought was what does this mean for CES. Many are saying India is the odd man out but to me it looks like CES is the most affected player. I really like CES, I think he is a 30+ HR guy. Now it appears CES will likely be in a trade package. If not CES then Marte, which would be a bigger bummer.

    • CI3J

      If the Reds are trying to land a front-line starter, you’re not going to acquire that with India.

      In baseball, you have to give up something good to get something good. If Marte or CES is what it takes for the Reds to land a top of the rotation starter, then that’s a deal you have to make.

      • JohnnySofa

        Finally, someone speaking facts instead of claiming how awesome it is to sign a utility infielder on a team with OF and P needs.

      • Rob

        Agreed. India is a nice player with a minimum salary but he is not a top IF. But I don’t put 2024 Bieber or Glasnow in the category of a frontline, top of the rotation guy. More like a #2 at best. Good get if health reports look good. I think India plus gets you one of them. The plus could be just about anyone: Fraley, Benson, Petty, Richardson, etc.

    • Ernie

      To me CES and Speer should start every day Marte also,three stars.

      • greenmtred

        Nobody–Cal Ripken excepted–can or should start everyday, injuries aside, which we can count on. There’s the DH, too. There’s plenty of playing time available.. We also don’t know what sorts of years last year’s rookies will have. Like most of you I’m hoping for the best and expecting exciting baseball, but none of these guys, after less than a year in MLB is a sure thing for 2024. Candelario may provide welcome insurance in the event that CES, Marte, et al don’t meet our lofty expectations. I’m not ready to assume that Krall is stupid, so I’ll just wait and see.

  15. doctor

    Agree with other posters above, on surface does not make sense with current roster setup. I would rather the Reds have used that money on a starting pitcher. With the speculation that India is involved in a second deal, perhaps Krall/Bell wanted to have a veteran bat around for the young guys if India is moved. I hope that Marte/CES are not part of any package, that would be disappointing.

    And sure seems like Steer has to be projected to be LF now.

    • Randy in Chatt

      100% truth in all the above

  16. Michael Wilson

    Bell will surely be in heaven with all these platoon possibilities. There won’t be room in the box score. Guys will be PH for in the 5th inning. Krall just had to have that switch hitter. Hopefully it will work but I’m sure the players prefer 4-5 AB, not 2-3 AB.

  17. Michael Wilson

    Now if the Reds sign Michael Taylor this place will really go nuts. Who’s the odd man out on that one?

  18. RedsGettingBetter

    According to Krall declared, they were talking to India about moving up to another position as 1B for instance so he could have more chance to play but that’s would be affecting CES’ chances too. Now, after they signed Candelario a coming trade would be inminent. I wonder if the Reds are considering CES or Marte as a trade chip?

    • Ernie

      CES is the next big cleanup hitter in the league,don’t trade him.A young Pujols.

  19. Amarillo

    This doesn’t necessarily mean anyone gets traded. Steer permanently to the outfield. That leaves 6 players for 5 spots counting DH and someone is always going to be injured, because that’s baseball.

  20. LarkinPhillips

    Senzel to the nationals on a one year deal for 2 million. Seems he will be platooning and playing multiple positions there as well. Hope he performs well and can stay healthy.

    • DaveCT

      Plus 1 mil in incentives. Same as projected in arb, if he reaches them. Good for Nick!

    • JayTheRed

      I too was happy to see Senzel join a team that could use him more than us. Hopefully has a nice season in 23.

  21. Oldtimer

    6 players (Perez, Morgan, Concepcion, Rose, Driessen, Flynn) for 4 INF spots (no DH then) worked out pretty well in 1975 and 1976.

    • Amarillo

      Exactly, and someone is always going to be injured. We need more than 9 players that can start.

      • Oldtimer

        Similar in 1961. 5 OF (Robinson, Pinson, Bell, Post, Lynch) capable of starting. 6 INF (Coleman, Blasingame, Chacon, Kasko, Cardenas, Freese) capable of starting. NL Pennant.

    • Stock

      Please don’t put Doug Flynn in the category with these players. Career OPS+ of 58. Driessen played about 1/3 of the time in those two season 429 AB. I don’t think many will be happy if CES, Marte or Steer play two days a week.

      • Oldtimer

        Flynn as a rookie was pretty good and capable of starting any INF position.

        You have swallowed too much analytic BS.

      • Reaganspad

        Flynn was like the old Billy Doran version the Reds got without ever seeing the Astros Billy Doran version.

        He was no Luis Quinones

      • Stock

        Oldtimer, weren’t you the one who told me yesterday to look at OPS+? Now you are telling me to ignore OPS+. Flynn sucked and did nothing more than give Concepcion and Morgan a day off.

      • DaveCT

        Reaganspad, Post of the Day.

        “I knew Luis Quinones, and Mr. Flynn, you’re no Luis Quinones.”

        Somewhere, a pitcher just shattered some light hitting infielder’s bat into a thousand pieces.

        Doug Flynn …

      • Oldtimer

        Doug Flynn started 50-60 games for the 1975 and 1976 Reds at 2B, SS, 3B.

        Stock, read and look stuff up about the Reds of 50 years ago. I had season tickets then. I saw it happen.

    • JohnnySofa

      Well, great! The next Doug Flynn. This all makes perfect sense now.

    • Chris

      That’s a rather misleading statement. That’s like having 4 starters and then calling your bench/utilitymen starters as well. Flynn was nothing more than a utilityman for those two years, and was never going to be a starter, nor expected to be a starter. Driessen was a 1st baseman outfielder by then, who was waiting in the wings for his opportunity. In those two years there were 4 infielders for 4 spots; the rest were replacement players, PERIOD. That isn’t even a close comparison to having 6 bonafide starters on the dirt of which we have now.

      • Oldtimer

        He started 50 to 60 games at 2B, SS, 3B in 1975 and 1976. Look. It. Up.

  22. TR

    Whatever’s next in the quest to trade for a starting pitcher, in my opinion, Marte should stay as a Redleg.

    • Mario

      TR – yes absolutely. Marte is on the top of my list of untouchables.

  23. William

    I think the Reds are going to trade for a starting pitcher. I am not sure who goes, but doubt it is India. It is a risky move. I think Marte may be in the trade. I have been high on him. I would not trade him. He is better than Candelario. You have a net downgrade in your infield. It smells like Bell is having too much say in this. It us just my guess. I question this move.

    • Ted Alfred

      Me too…and agree on Bell too.

      Krall should not be listening to Bell AT ALL and I sure hope he isn’t.

      • Mario

        not sure who is giving Krall advice but he should not be given the benefit of the doubt when acquiring MLB players. He has done a phenomenal job acquiring prospects.

    • Chris

      Bell isn’t saying anything on this. I have my issues with Bell, but he is not the reason that Marte or CES gets traded. Heck two nights ago he was interviewed and he all but said he didn’t want new players as he was so happy with the young guys that he has and that he selfishly wants them to play.

  24. Redsvol

    We needed a right handed hitter, Krall got us a right handed hitter that just happens to also hit left handed / with no drastic splits.

    Clearly if the the Reds present a agency a contract to a pitcher and it’s matched by another club they choose to go elsewhere (Gray, E-Rod). Free agent pitchers just don’t want to pitch at GABP. We’re going to have to push the fences back some before long.

    The only way a top starter is pitching here is the guy trade or a young pitcher we develop.

  25. AMDG

    Jeimer was no better last year than Steer, CES, or Marte.
    But costs a lot more, and takes away AB’s.

    So, with EDLC and McLain at SS & 2B, and even if Steer becomes an everyday LF, this seems to indicate CES and/or Marte are being moved in a deal for a SP.

    • Chris

      Yep, at least one of those two, and that borders on baseball criminality, if that’s a word.

  26. A.B.

    Man, I’m just happy we won’t have to face this guy anymore. He CRUSHED our pitching last year. Should be a great fit in GABP and could have career-best numbers. This might be a steal.

    Regarding what this means for a potential trade, let’s just wait and see. Krall’s track record to me has been pretty good. Do I hate giving up some of our guys? Yes. Do I want to see what Dylan Cease can do in a Reds uni for the next two years? Oh yeah.

  27. Klugo

    If nothing else materializes, and that seems like a big IF, start De La Cruz in AAA. He could use it.

    • wolfcycle

      Does anyone even have the slightest notion that they are thinking ( and I cringe even typing this) that they are thinking with ELDC’s speed and arm that they would put him in center and move TJ to left. Our last 2 or 3 ss to cf experiments did not work out. Matty mac at short, Indy at 2nd, ces at 1st, Marte at third, Candy DH, Ty Steve behind the plate. Oh, and Fraley or Benson in Right.

      • Fredrocker

        You left out our best hitter in Steer

      • greenmtred

        I’m not clear which ss to cf transitions you mean. It worked well with Billy Hamilton: he was an error-prone shortstop who became a top-tier defensive center fielder. He didn’t hit, but there’s no reason to believe that he would have as a shortstop. Going further back, Eric Davis was a great outfielder. And he could hit some.

      • Reaganspad

        The 50 stolen bases by Davis in HS without sliding was one I never heard before or since.

        Just like I had never seen someone ground out to the first baseman only to beat him to the bag for a single before EDLC did it last year

  28. Amarillo

    All 6 of Marte/CES/Candelario/India/McLain/EDLC spent time on the injured list last year. There is also the DH. There is plenty of room for everyone.

    • wolfcycle

      Jose, Nick to some extent ( they never really found a position that they liked him at), both top 25 prospects. JB was more chasing bad pitches than injuries, Nick was always getting hurt.

  29. Chris

    Why would they do this? Another infielder when we already have too many to play. This is exactly what Encarnacion-Strand’s role should be until he plays himself out of it. I don’t get this at all. But this is what the Reds do.

    • Rob

      No. You just spent $15M so you could have another surplus IF? That $15M would go a long way toward signing a 3-4 year starting pitcher like Rodriguez or Montgomery. I think this almost guarantees one of the young IFs or India is being traded as a piece in a starting pitcher deal.

  30. RedBB

    This increases that chances we get one of Bieber, Glasnow or Cease now. Guessing you will see India and/or Marte go in a trade for one os the above.

  31. Colorado Red

    Bad idea ELDC is ready, and will mash this year.

  32. docproc

    I don’t like this move at all.
    The only way it makes sense is if they trade India and move EDLC to RF.
    But I’m afraid it means they’re going to deal CES and/or Marte. And if that happens, I’ll be REALLY unhappy.  

    • Mario

      +1000. But winning cures all. Gonna hate seeing our young players on the White Sox wondering what could have been.

      • Randy in Chatt

        kind of like Paul Konerko 🙁

      • Reaganspad

        Also with the White Sox. I hated that trade. Thanks for reminding me Randy….

      • Oldtimer

        Konerko is fat superior to Candelario. And the Reds got Mike Cameron for him. Cameron was later part if the Griffey trade and played very well for Seattle.

  33. Colorado Red

    Very upset they did not get E-Rod.
    Glad they did not get Gray Too old at the end of the contract.
    What about get the pitching.
    This is a very very bad move, and we will miss the post season again.

    • Grand Salami

      Did not love the idea of 3/4 lefties in the rotation. That’s too imbalanced.

      Just grab a back end starter who can provide a 150 innings (I.E. a better Weaver) to provide insurance for the dinged up youngsters and let’s go!

    • MBS

      I wanted E. Rod, but I wasn’t married to the idea. There are some other good fits out there.

      • JayTheRed

        I’m with you MBS I wanted ERod as well.
        There are still a few guys out there that are quality pitchers we could get.

    • Billybill

      Eeeeeey orrreeeee. So the reds are going to miss the post season because they signed a replacement for whoever is about to be traded? He may have the best year of his career at great American small park. I say if you trade anyone it’s Marte. I would rather see India go but he doesn’t have the upside of a Marte.

  34. Steven Ross

    The tea leaves and incense burning both say a trade for a starting pitcher is in the works with the signing of Candelario. Seems too obvious.

  35. Kevin Patrick

    I think the way to look at this signing is to imagine how the Reds replace Senzel and Votto. Essentially those two become Candelario. The Reds have the flexibility to hide a player in Triple A or the injured list and still be deep. We, in this forum, tend to laugh at Bell’s tinkering. Yet, right now I’m guessing many national League Central teams are wondering how they are going to pitch to this lineup. I’ve been reticent to endorse any move of Elly to the outfield…until now. If he isn’t out there often enough to keep him sharp in the infield, then I’m ok with him being out there some. With Marte and McLain capable of playing shortstop, the options are off the chart.

    • Brady

      I just posted something similar below. All they’ve done is basically swap out Votto and Senzel for Candelario and probably Barrero.

      • Mario

        well I will be thrilled if that’s the case. Not thrilled if any of our presumed starting lineup gets traded.

  36. docproc

    Here’s a lineup that makes sense to me. Note it’s missing India:
    CF Friedl
    SS McLain
    LF/DH Steer
    1B CES
    3B Candelario
    2B Marte
    LF/DH Fraley/Benson/Dunn
    C Stephenson
    The more I look at that lineup, the more I fear that CES and/or Marte are in jeopardy of being moved.

  37. JB

    1) EDLC
    3) Candelario
    4) CES
    8) India
    9) Stephenson
    10) Benson
    11) Fraley
    12) Maile
    13) TBD
    This team will have a solid 13 positional players. Bench will be stronger than any team. Let’s see who else they sign but I’m liking this team more and more. Personally I wouldn’t trade any of these guys. With the DH there is plenty of room. This team right now can cover injuries. After last year’s boat load of injuries I don’t see why everybody wants to trade everyone. Injuries happen. Be prepared. If they sign Michael Taylor or keep Fairchild as the 13th guy I’m good with that. Let’s see if they get more pitching.

    • MBS

      This is the most rational post I’ve read today. People discount depth, they must assume this is the year no one gets injured.

      • greenmtred

        They’re having so much fun being outraged and alarmed.

  38. A.B.

    Elly in RF is a colossal waste of his ability.

    • Indy Red Man

      Don’t agree. Having a big arm in a small park is huge because he can hold guys at 3rd on a medium fly ball or to a single on a rocket to the wall. Things that don’t happen in a big park. He could also steal multiple cheap Gabp special Hrs a year. That’s a situational advantage. We saw it with Puig at times and Elly can out throw him. McLain is a better SS then Elly and Marte needs to play. Steer likes 2nd so it could work, but it’s nice to have options

      • Chris

        Have you seen Tatis Jr play RF? He’s a GG out there with a shotgun of an arm.

  39. RedBB

    Couple things we will see if no one gets traded to free up AB’s.

    Benson and Fraley won’t see any LHP this year freeing up some AB’s for the crowded IF RHB’s.

    Elly won’t see any RHP if he doesn’t improve.

    Steer will be in the OF the majority of the time this year.

    Martini is pretty much done. I don’t even see a 26 man roster spot for him. Fairchild will be kept over him as he is the only above average OF defender after Friedl.

    Someone else will need to go to the OF vs LHP in addition to Steer. Marte, India or Elly would be my guess.

    • RedBB

      Sorry meant Elly won’t see and LHP

      • Tom Noonan

        They won’t give up on elly vs lhp so quickly. Plus he’s too valuable in the field with his arm.

        Personally, I could see him moved to the OF, as a right fielder with his arm.

    • Tom Noonan

      If elly goes to RF, McLain to SS and Guess who at 2B? Martre stays at 3b, CES at 1B.

    • wolfcycle

      I would hate to lose either one of these guys, and would not be trading from a position of depth obviously, but, do you think Benson or Fraley are part of a package. They seem to relegated to only hitting against right handers?

      • greenmtred

        Righthanders are something like 70% of the pitchers they face, though. Not insignificant.

  40. Brady

    Couldn’t you look at this as a replacement of Votto from last year’s team? I think that’s my main takeaway from this – this all but rules out Votto returning. The at-bats were there with Votto, and I get that there were some injuries which you can’t really project, but I don’t think this automatically means someone else is getting moved. I think you can also maybe pencil in Berrero for Senzel’s bench role, so they’ve basically swapped out Votto and Senzel for Candelario and Berrero. I mean, I feel like there are worse outcomes.

    I don’t hate the deal because it covers his age 30-32 seasons with an option for his age 33 season. That seems pretty team friendly, and it can either be moved pretty easily via trade or they can get out of it before they have to pay some of the young guys. It seems pretty low-risk to me, even if he doesn’t perform at all.

    Maybe this means they’re more willing to deal a guy like Arroyo in a deal for a pitcher. He seems pretty log jammed at the moment, and I highly doubt they move Marte given Elly’s struggles last year.

    Overall, this improved the club and that’s a good thing.

  41. old-school

    The guy led the American league in double in 2021 with 42. He lad 39 double and 22 home runs last year playing mostly at a huge home park. His numbers could blow up playing in GABP. He gives the Reds a big bat against lefty pitchers while still hitting righties well. Steer moves to LF and we will have to wait and see on trades.

    There was a quote from Krall at the end of the year/early off -season that some infielders might have to earn jobs in ST. Could Elly start the year in AAA? Hes certainly not going to play against lefty pitchers with Steer/Candelario/Mclain/CES and Marte.

    • Stock

      Thank you old school.

      As good as Candelario was in a large park in DC he will be much better at GABP. People are saying he stinks because he hit only 22 HR in DC last year and calling Steer the MVP because he hit 23 HR in GABP. From where I sit you hit the nail on the head. What Candelerio did was pretty much equal to what Steer did, except he did it in a much larger park.

      • Mario

        Old school and Stock – I thank you for your optimism. Seriously.

      • JohnnySofa

        OK, so that’s the point most people are making here: why sign an equal to what’s already here? Except you’re also wrong on a number of fronts: Steer had a higher OPS in year one, and he stole as many bases (15) in one season as Candy has in his career. If you want to suggest this portends another move, fine. But don’t build this acquisition into anything more than a “meh” corner infielder.

      • DaveCT

        Or not. While many of the doubles in a large park may be HR’s in GABP, many of those doubles in a large park could be outs in a small park.

    • Tim

      Agreed. Steer becomes a solid offensive outfielder. EDLC plays some outfield. We get a flexible 1B who can hit from both sides and will likely lead the team in HRs. This gives redundancy in multiple IF positions for injuries, days off and situational hitting. It also gives us one of the strongest benches in the league. This can also allow for more development of EDLC if needed. His confidence took a big hit last year and smashing some AAA pitching could cure that. Pay a free agent arm and keep developing this young team and the farm.

    • Oldtimer

      Candelario is a league average player over 8 seasons. Some better than others. Don’t just cherry pick his best seasons.

      I like the signing but he’s not great, just good.

  42. LDS

    The logic here escapes me. Yes, the Reds spent some money. But Candelario is hardly a power hitting outfielder. He’s not a defensive wizard. He doesn’t destroy LH’ers as Newman & Senzel did last year. He’s not young. He’s another infielder. So, unless they signed him to fill a hole they are about to create, I don’t get it. And it’s for 3-4 years, not a shorter contract to give one or more of the young players, more time in Louisville. And Nick

    • LDS

      Nick to the Nats for $2M/year. And Doug, check your first sentence.

      • Mario

        good catch LDS. Too early this morning, glanced right over it.

      • LDS

        Thanks, usually when something like that occurs, it’s because he wrote it at 2:00am or so.

    • RedBB

      He hit more HR’s than any Red last year except Steer in a bigger park. Did the same in Detroit which is a cavern….I mean if you believe Castellanos. His defense isn’t great but it’s league averageish by dWAR. He’s 30 so he’s not old either.

    • BK

      Taka a look at his very narrow splits. He offers an above average bat that doesn’t need a platoon partner—something you have called for repeatedly.

      • LDS

        Above average? His career OPS+ is 102 and he’s a lifetime .243 hitter. Yes, his splits are narrower than some. But, is he good enough to push some of the Reds rookies out of position? No, but it’ll happen anyway. And of the money the Reds have spent, does it increase their chances of winning the division or not finishing 4th? At this point, no. So it all depends on if there’s anything else coming. Otherwise, it’s just another Bell fest season of moving pieces around the field and calling it managing.

      • Michael E

        He’s barely been even average and his best years are BEHIND him. He ain’t no prospect and he’s past prime hitting years at 30 years old.

        High floor? For 2024, probably. Low Ceiling? Absolutely.

        Worth $15 million and a good, young player losing PT to him?

        Not a chance.

        Hitting didn’t improve over the next 3 year and $15 million per year of the budget is now gone…so thats one less necessary quality SP3 or very good RP out the window.

  43. west larry

    I hope that they keep both Marte and CES, but a trade appears to be eminent. Could it be India and Barrero for Bieber? I like both players, but don’t want to give up Marte or CES,

    • Michael E

      I don’t care much for Bieber and his declining velocity and K/9 (topped out at 14 k/9 and down to 7.4 k/9 last year…he’s in a tailspin as far as “stuff”), but if it only costs India and Barrero, I can get on board for that move.

  44. Tom Mitsoff

    Is this team better today than it was yesterday? Unquestionably. As everyone above has covered in great detail, this almost certainly precedes one or more subsequent trades. I like the fact that the front office appears to be making efforts to compete this coming year. They still need another starting pitcher, more relief help, and in a perfect world, a slugging outfielder who is at least adequate defensively. They now have the means to explore all of those acquisitions.

    • Michael E


      What does Candelario do that a CES or Marte or Steer isn’t likely to do in 2024/25/26? None of them are proven, but they still have upside to improve, Candelerio has had ONE above average season and is already 30…he is what he is, nothing special and more likely to decline then suddenly improve.

      We all wanted to see this team improve, but it had to come from the rotation. Hitting went sideways with this move, nothing more and pitching likely lost out on another improvement with $15 million of the budget out the window. So no, we’re not better off today than we were last week, actually worse off.

  45. Michael E

    Hated even the rumor of signing this journeyman.

    Hate the signing even more.


    He is 30 and his career stats are exactly league average.

    This is Mike Moustakas 2.0

    We’ll be regretting this and getting told we can’t afford to sign that necessary FA the next two off-seasons because of this signing.

    HATE IT!

    I’d rather roll the dice with EDLC, McClain, Marte, Arroyo and CES at 1B, 2B, 3B, SS and DH than have this guy and trading two of those much cheaper, higher upside options.

    Freaking ugh. If it was 2yrs and 16 or 18 million, i could somewhat stomach it, but this is silly stupid overpay for nothing special.

    • Mario

      same here Michael. Trying to see the logic in it. Winning cures all. Hard pill to swallow.

    • doctor

      After some pondering, this may be Krall hedging his bets. Every Reds fan liked what we saw of CES and Marte at the end of last year. Perhaps Candelario is insurance to cover if one of them struggles and needs to be sent down. Might even be to cover for Elly as McClain can flip to short and Steer to 2nd. Or Steer to 3rd with Marte at SS. Same think for McClain. Should be unlikely ALL of them struggle but it is a possibility that one of them might.

      With the position flexibility of Elly, McClain, Steer, Marte along with Candelario 3B/1B flex, any young hitter who struggles the Reds can send down and still cover with a good option. If none of the young guys struggle then great for Reds and Candelario mostly DHs with providing fielding rest days as Bell juggles the lineup to his liking and have a veteran hitter to place up and down the lineup.

      Given the above scenario, as others have stated, India still no spot for him. Thus a trade of India plus minor prospects gets another relief arm and focus getting a free agent starter, say Lucas Giolito on a 2 year deal.

    • RedBB

      What’s wrong with League Average? That means you are better than 50% of MLB players LOL. We have a lot of players that played last year what were below league average.

      • JohnnySofa

        Same logic: let’s finish .500, let’s aim to get a C on the test, let’s try to earn 2% on investments, let’s wake up and try to have a so-so day.

      • Michael E

        Nothing, in a vacuum, but paying 15mil/yr for a past prime, never had a full good season vet, just to HOPE for league average is…well, wildly expensive. This is the type of silly move Yankees or Dodgers (or Mets now) can make and live with, but we know one bad signing and Castellini’s wallet will be sewn shut and we’ll not be able to improve the team until the contract is done. We JUST NOW got out from horrible Moustakas and here we are, with a near CLONE of Moustakas in every sense of the word, paying him the same stupid overpay. I don’t get it at all.

        I’d rather overpay for an SP3 than a position we ALREADY had good talent with much higher upside. So we overpaid for safety of mediocrity with downside, instead of hoping our young hitters improve to league average at just 22 or 23 years old with years of cheap cost.

  46. Phil B

    Reading the tea leaves, CES and other to Mariners for Logan Gilbert

  47. LDS

    EDLC is 21 and yes, he struggled some last year. Turning him into a platoon player is about as stupid a decision as the Reds’ could make – short of trading him. He needs coaching and part of that is to tell him not to get caught up in his own hype.

    • Reaganspad

      He might benefit from 60 games at AAA. You have to manage this talent carefully or you could have years like Barrero has had.

      All the talent in the world doesn’t mean anything in the show until you show you can adapt to the changes the pitchers make. EDLC is other worldly versus the fastball which is why he doesn’t see those anymore

      • LDS

        That’s why the Reds needed a new manager. Bell doesn’t have a clue on how to manage talent like EDLC. And people keep dismissing the impact of Barrero’s injury.

      • Reaganspad

        I agree LDS. But we are not seeing a new owner or new manager soon.

        We have to win in spite of them, and then hope you can hold on to Krall when NY or LA come after him

  48. Krozley

    Too early to judge this signing until all the moves are done, but if there were to be a trade involving excess infielders, I would hope the targets would be more like Logan Gilbert or Jesus Luzardo who each have 3+ years of control, solid resumes, and rumored to be available for the right price to teams that need infielders. I’d give up CES as part of a package as I don’t see him ultimately being a 3+ WAR player like those pitchers should be.

  49. Justin T

    “ He’s never played any position in the big leagues besides first or third base.” – Welcome to Cincinnati kid, where you’ll be playing centerfield, right field and get leftys out – out of the bullpen.

  50. Hotto4Votto

    I’m a bit confounded by this signing. But I’ll reserve judgement until we see what moves follow. Hopefully those moves make this make sense and there is an overarching plan in place. As far as signing an infielder though, it was at the very bottom of the priority list for offseason goals. In fact, it was below trading an infielder to relieve some of the surplus.

  51. WVRedsFan

    Terrible move no matter how you look at it. This guy’s is an 8 year with a 243 average and 8 home runs per season. Why in the world would you surrender 45 million over 3 years for that? When you have Steer, CES and Marte hitting their prime with 4-5 years of control? Very frustrating to be a Reds fan. This signing makes no sense. At all. That money should have been spent on more bullpen help. Terrible move IMO. And the Reds wonder why they can never get over the hump.

  52. WVRedsFan

    Agree 100%. Totally stupid move for a lifetime 243 batter averaging 8 hr’s a year. You are right….basically a Moustakas signing. I guess they didn’t learn from that situation. Should have rolled with CES, Marte, McLain, Elly and India

    • doctor

      Not sure where you see 8 hr a year. Candelario has a 19hr/162g rate on 88 homers over 746 career games. He has had 4 hr seasons of 13, 16, 19, 22. Expectations for him is to hit 15-20hr for the Reds.

  53. Rob

    Let’s face it, based on the reader comments, we as Reds fans are twisting our brains into knots trying to find any possible logic or benefits to this signing.

    Unless there’s another deal pending to partially clear the now-bloated infield logjam, the signing can be described as curious at best and completely ridiculous and unnecessary at worst.

  54. Stock

    Fantastic Acquisition!!!

    Candelerio is much better than he is being given credit for on here. At the minimum he has a bat equal to Steer and a glove superior to Steer.

    Where do I rank players right now:

    Tier 1: McLain, Friedl and EDLC (I know EDLC has not earned this tier but feel he will be in this group offensively in 2024)

    Tier 2: Marte, CES
    Tier 3: Candelerio, Benson, Steer, Fraley
    Tier 4: India

    People are calling Steer the MVP but as I see it he is the 8th best bat of the 10 non-catchers on the roster.

    The Reds now have trade capital to acquire a SP. The way I see it I don’t want Cease, Glasnow or Bieber. Save them for other team.

    • wkuchad

      Steer was the Reds MVP last year. You may be right about Steer being the 8th best bat in 2024 (tbd…), but in 2023 he was better offensively than Friedl, EDLC, CES, and Fraley. He also stayed healthy and led the Reds in at-bats by almost 100 at-bats. He also played 5 positions without it impacting his offense along the way.

      • Stock

        Glad you agree with me WKUChad. As the 8th best bat and the worst defensive player for the Reds in 2024 he is an easy trade chip. Especially since his trade value is greater than most of the players above him.

      • Reaganspad

        Brilliant Stock!

        I would miss Spear, but he is also a duck which makes him truly expendable

    • docmike

      Agree, Stock. I am thoroughly shocked at all the angst on here. Since when is it a bad thing to add another good player?

    • Oldtimer

      India has better career offensive stats than Candelario. He averages more WAR per season than Candelario.

      • Stock

        His WAR per game or AB is far less than Candelario. They are not even close. Candelario wins by far.

        India WAR in his 3 years is 4.8
        Candelerio the last 3 years is 7.0

        India’s Career best WAR is 3.1
        Candelerio had a 3.3 WAR last year and a 3.8 WAR in 2021.

    • JohnnySofa

      It’s almost as asinine to suggest Steer is the Reds’ 8th best hitter as it is to give this signing 3 exclamation points.

    • Michael E

      Unfortunately his stats and being 30 years old, does NOT Back up your “Candelerio is much better than he is being given credit for on here”.

      He is what he is, barely an average hitter at positions we already have budding and higher potential young talent playing.

      This move is just a move to say we made a move, we are no better now than we were before we committed $45 million for 3 years. That’s pretty sad.

      • greenmtred

        As Indy pointed out, Candelario hits very well at GABP and 30 is the new 25. Didn’t you get the memo?

      • AllTheHype


        OPS+ last 4 years, 137, 121, 81, 119.
        3 out of 4 years significantly above average, one year below average.

        Overall that is NOT “barely average”, factually speaking at least.

      • Tom Diesman

        The two years before that he was at 91 and 70 OPS+. It’d be easy to say he was young and adjusting to the league in 2018 and 2019, but then 2022 happened. How we going to feel if he throws up one of those clunker seasons on us over the next 3 years for 15M? I sure hope he doesn’t, but I won’t be real surprised if he does.

      • AllTheHype

        @Tom, that’s why it’s 3/45. If he had 4 or 5 straight over-performance seasons, the market would be 5/100.

        FA is a risk with each and every player, and the market is reflective of the risk.

  55. Brady

    Franchise doesn’t spend money: “Why aren’t they spending money?!!”

    Franchise spends money: “No, not like that!”

    • docmike

      That pretty well sums up 90% of the fanbase.

    • LDS

      Has the money the Reds spent increase their chances of the post season or winning the division? At this point, the answer is no. I suspect the algorithms still have them in 4th.

      • greenmtred

        Always good to wait and see, isn’t it?

      • LDS

        No, it’s always good to develop a strategy before blowing the budget. If they have a strategy, it’s not winning the division.

      • greenmtred

        You miss my point, They have a strategy and you might benefit from waiting and seeing.

    • Michael E

      Tell me how this $45 mill has improved the Reds now, compared to last week?

      He is a league average hitter, no room for growth (he’s freaking 30). Too many are banking on GABP somehow turning him from league average career hitter to well above average. Ain’t happening. He’ll have his two week runs here and there, but he won’t provide anything close to $15 mill/year benefit over and above the $1 mill/yr 2nd year guys would have.

      Maybe there is another move coming and having an acceptable, low ceiling, high floor, past-prime hitter in place will be…well, mildly satisfactory. If we’re signing this guy so we can trade Marte and CES, unless we get a top 50, in AAA SP back or an already proven SP with AT LEAST two years of control, then we’ve taken a step back for the future, to go sideways in 2024.

      • greenmtred

        We’ll have to wait and see. He has hit very well at GABP. And life ends at 30? No room for growth at that august, moth-eaten age?

    • Justin T

      So if they spend money they cant possibly spend it in the wrong area? Thats what your comment is saying.

  56. Hotto4Votto

    And I really, really don’t want to see Marte or CES traded. I really like both long term. I’d rather trade Arroyo or Collier if we’re trading a top position player prospect.

    • JayTheRed

      I’m in agreement with you Hotto4Votto. Marte could be an All-Star and maybe even more. CES feels like Encarnacion part 2 if we trade him away.

  57. Optimist

    Looking at the contract details, 3 years team option for a 4th and no mention of a no-trade, there’s budget room for 20-30M AAV for a pitcher. I wonder if they are using that and extensions with existing young arms. It would address the “hills and valleys” issue.

    Still, they need a good to great starter.

    • doctor

      I like this deal a lot better than some of the rumors/speculation about Reds signing Jorge Soler, a power OF who can’t play OF.

      Also, seems like Reds did not overpay as sites like mlbtraderumors had more money projected, in this case 4 yr/$70M was their guess. Assuming the reports of 3/45M are accurate, with option on a 4th year.

  58. Stock

    Three Team Trade

    Reds Acquire: Braxton Garrett (MIA) and Cole Ragans (KC)
    Reds Send to MIA: Spencer Steer, Carlos Jorge, Sammy Stafura, Lyon Richardson and Victor Acosta
    Reds Send to KC: Connor Phillips (or Lowder), Ty Floyd

    Miami also sends Yiddi Cappe to Kansas City

    Impact on Reds pitching:

    Acquire two pitchers with 5 years of control:

    4 years of Control: Lodolo
    5 years of Control: Ashcraft, Greene, Ragans and Garrett
    6 years of Control: Abbott and Williamson

    The Reds upgrade their pitching by trading for Ragans and Garrett even though they give up Phillips (or Lowder), Richardson and Ty Floyd.

    The Reds take a hit in their infield depth by trading Jorge, Stafura and Acosta. However, they retain their 3 best IF prospects. Arroyo, Cabrera and Collier have a much better shot at being in the show than Jorge, Stafura and Acosta.

    Candelerio for Steer is an upgrade in my book. Candelerio’s stats will see an uptick in GABP. Candelerio’s stats the last three years have been fairly equal to Steer. Candelerio is better defensively.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Interesting idea, and I see where you’re coming from. Like most fans/observers, I have specific opinions, and I really like Steer. You see a guy hit like that for a full season and you have to make sure he’s in your plans for at least the near future. I think he’ll be the starter in left field.

      Also, with Garrett and Ragins, you’re adding more inexperienced, controllable starting pitching, which IMO is not what this team needs to win now. With those two, you’d have a MLB-ready starting rotation at both GABP and Louisville. Nice for the farm system ratings, but IMO not for Reds taking the next step in 2024.

      The idea certainly is worth thought and discussion, though.

    • Stock

      Thanks for the input Tom but I have to disagree. I am not sure how Steer is established and Ragans and Garrett are inexperienced. Ragans time in the majors equals that of Steer and Garrett has nearly 1 year more of experience in the majors.

      Garrett is a GB pitcher who gets his share of K’s. I picture him as Castillo lite and think he would be in the top 4 in the rotation right now.

      Ragans was transformed after being traded to KC. He had a 15.7% K% and a 2.64 ERA. His K% – BB% was 22% I think he lines up behind Greene.

  59. docmike

    I’m happy with this deal. Candelario should put up big numbers in GABP. And the price is very reasonable for a 3 year deal.

    • Justin T

      He is far and away now your highest paid hitter. His numbers look like a 7 hole hitter.

      • docmike

        Of course he’s the highest paid hitter, considering most of the others haven’t even hit arbitration yet, much less free agency. That’s kind of how baseball’s economics work. But his numbers last year (.807 OPS) sure don’t look like a 7 hole hitter, unless you’re talking about the ’27 Yankees.

  60. Phil

    India won the rookie of the year in 2021 with a 122 wRC+ and 3.1 fWAR. Now after 2 average seasons in his 2nd and 3rd year, most of the fanbase is ready to move on from him.
    That same fanbase though is ready to count on McLain, EDLC, Steer, CES, Marte, etc. after rookie seasons that were not significantly better than India’s in 2021.
    I hope that every one of the Reds rookies from last year continues to grow and pushes for all-star game appearances. The odds are though that at least one of them is going to have injury issues or a sophomore slump.
    We can reasonably expect Candelario to be at least league average against both left and right-handed pitchers. He provides depth to the lineup and roster as well as insurance against injuries or a sophomore slump from one of our talented young players.
    It looks like our 13 position players at this point are Stephenson, Maile, Candelarios, CES, McLain, EDLC, Marte, India, Steer, Benson, Frailey, Friedl and another outfielder.
    Assuming there is still room in the budget for additional pitching help (and there should be) then I really like this signing.

    • AllTheHype

      Well said, excellent take, and my take as well.

      We should expect that one (or possibly two) of EDLC, Steer, Marte, McLain, and CES will struggle and might need to be sent back down.

      But with Candelario they signed a known quantity, that was significantly better than league average 2 of the last 3 years. They should be able to expect league average production as his floor.

      How does this not improve the team, adding a veteran that is 30 and has proven himself?

  61. J

    What concerns me with this move is that a switch-hitter making this kind of money is guaranteed to be hitting somewhere between 2nd and 6th almost every single day for as long as Bell is the manager no matter what is going on. So, this doesn’t actually add to the team’s flexibility, it reduces flexibility by making one spot in the lineup completely immovable. I think it would be insane to include CES or Marte in a trade for anyone, and I certainly hope that isn’t something they’re even contemplating.

    • LeRoy

      100% agree. CES and Marte should definitely not be traded as well as McClain and EDLC. We don’t need another outfielder we have Steer who is a professional wherever he’s played.

    • Stock

      Heaven forbid one of the teams 6 best hitters hitting in one of the top 6 spots in the lineup.

  62. gusnwally

    According to MLB hot stove this morn. The Reds are looking at Rhys Hoskins , along with the Cubs and Mariners. If that were to happen, I see CES going for pitching and Hoskins at 1st base.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Hoskins was a guy I was really rooting for to start the offseason off. I liked him at 1b and CES at DH. CES is one of my favorites, so I really hope he is not traded at this point, but I do see the writing on the wall even without a signing of Hoskins.

      • Rob

        If we sign Hoskins, that does not bode well for CES as a Red. Like you CES was one of my favorites. But I also think Hoskins is the type of players that Red fans will grow to like. He has got some major pop. I have no idea what kind of $ we are talking here re: Hoskins but if you get Cease and his cheap salary for 2 years, maybe you have made a major coup. But you have to really like Cease to throw CES and others away.

  63. MBS

    We finally got our 12th player!

    1B CES 7/9 CANDELARIO 2/9
    2B INDIA 7/9 BARRERO 2/9
    SS McLAIN 7/9 BARRERO 2/9
    RF BENSON 7/9 FRIEDL 2/9
    CF EDLC 7/9 FRIEDL 2/9
    LF STEER 7/9 FRIEDL 2/9

    We have enough playing time to keep every healthy, and productive. Now if injuries occur, it will not weaken our offense. Yes I took liberties with EDLC’s positioning, but it just makes sense based on the current roster. I think we’ll see Arroyo arrival in 2025 which will push McLain off of SS, and onto 2B. That’s when I think we’ll see India traded. India will have 2 years control at that point, which is the ideal time to trade him. I could also see Fraley traded, and one of he young OF’s (Dunn, Hinds, Hurtubise) take his place as he’ll also be in his final 2 years of control.

    • BK

      I’m not sure EDLC is the right one to move to the outfield, but I agree more than one of our infielders can make the transition without issue. That said, barring a big-time improvement in his pitch recognition, Barrero is not taking PAs from anyone on that list and if the Reds expected such improvement, Candelario would not have been targeted.

      • MBS

        Having so many good options makes it tough to predict how it’s going to play out. The above is one of dozens of possible setups. The only thing that’s for sure is that Candelario is changing how most of us envisioned the 2024 roster.

  64. Melvin

    As a side note to Doug I’m not getting email updates on new posts or for thread updates.

  65. Matt WI

    If forced to choose between Marte and CES leaving via trade, I pick Marte. Reds have 3 players that can man 3rd at any given time now (Elly, Candelario, McClain if he’s gotta, and even CES for an inning or 2 based on situation. I think the power and bat control CES presents makes him a genuine threat… like letting go of Paul Konerko back in the day. Except Joey is gone now, no blockage. CES must stay.

  66. Frank Nitty

    All this tinkering to try to land a front line starter when overpaying Gray would have accomplished it. They just do not seem to know what they are doing. This signing is an overpay by most accounts and was completely unnecessary. They couldve added Sonny and a couple bullpen arms and then moved an infielder or 2 to get a back end starter. Instead there will be a bunch of moves to just get the same thing but less proven than Sonny. Zero faith that this front office can build a winning team/culture. This isnt rocket science its baseball. This move does not make sense from a baseball or business standpoint.

    • docmike

      Had been projected to get $70 million for 4 years. Reds only guaranteed $45 million for 3 years. Clearly not an overpay. You might even call it a bargain.

  67. LarkinPhillips

    A lot of talk about this being an “over pay.” Looking at similar contracts for 3B, this is very similar to Chris Taylor with LAD. Taylor is 3 years older and coming off a .237 avg and .746 slug. 15 doubles and 15 HR season. Candelarios is a switch hitter, 3 years younger, and hit .251 avg., .807 Slug, 39 doubles and 22 HR and has some positional flexibility. He is one of the top free agents according to most places in a very thin market this year. The price doesn’t seem like an overpay to me, just seems high to us Reds fans who are used to never paying to get any quality free agents.

    At first base, Josh Bell is a similar contract as well. 2 years at 16.5 mil per year. Age 30. .247 avg .744 slug 22 Hr. 28 doubles in 2023.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Slug% is OPS in each situation in above stats. My bad.

  68. MBS

    So previous to this signing Spotrac had the Reds at $62.9M with all the estimated Arbs, and monies to guys like JV, WM, CC, and even KGJ. So even counting dead money into payrolls we are only at $76.9M. That’s still below last years spending of $96.5M, that number was including all the dead money also.

    We’re still $20M under last years spending, so there seems to be room to add that front line starter we’re all hoping for. Especially if we take the front office at their word when they said they made more money last year than expected, and planned on reinvesting it into the organization. I’m guessing they earned $30M more due to increased attendance over the previous season. I’m not expecting $50M more in spending just because the math works out like that. I just don’t think they’re done spending. They can afford a frontline starter.

    • LarkinPhillips

      I love the optimism. I think they are more likely to add a Lugo or Wacha level pitcher for 2 years or to trade for a Bieber than to sign a top level starter or trade for Glasnow or Cease. I do see them still adding another bat or another reliever as well though. I think/hope another 20 mil per year will be added.

      Whatever happens, it has at least been better than the last two offseasons of watching quality players leave and getting prospects and retreads.

    • Stock

      Trade for Ragans or Braxton Garrett. Acquire Yamamoto or Snell!!!

      • MBS

        I’d love to sign Snell, Krall make it so. Yamamoto’s time commitment scares me. I don’t like signing 7+ year deals.

      • JohnnySofa

        The signing of the .240-hitting utility infielder that you’re drooling over eliminates any chance whatsoever of such a signing — as if there were a chance prior to last night.

      • docmike

        No actual baseball person would ever consider a guy with his stats (.807 OPS in 2023) a “utility guy”. Unless he’s on the ’27 Yankees.

    • MBS

      I’d be very excited if we spent $20M on pitching in either a starter (Montgomery) or a closer (Hader).

      Montgomery gives us a solid #2 type, but he’d be the #1 on the Reds.

      Hader would turn our bullpen into something special. Hader, Martinez, and Pagan would be added to our best relievers in Diaz, Moll, Sims, Young, and Gibaut.

      Surprise me Krall and get both please.

  69. LeRoy

    I think the Reds made an unnecessary mistake in signing Candelario. CES, Marte, EDLC, and Steer are all as good at 3rd with as good a defense and much higher ceiling than Candelario has. All the young infielders may out perform him next year if they get the playing time. When you have a royal flush you don’t throw a card away to try to get a better hand. If one of the young infielders is traded so Candelario can take their place, it will not be any better, just more expensive. This money could be used to get more starting and relief pitching. I liked the infield we already had.

    • Optimist

      The primary rebuttal to this is what happens if one or more of the youngsters falters badly, i.e. Barrero-like. Candelario is the proven equal for that spot, without the high expectations.

      That said, I generally agree and expect the rookies to all excel/produce, and hope there is not a no-trade clause as he would be easy to move next mid-season, with 1 1/2 years of control remaining.

      • Matt WI

        That’s entirely fair… sophomore slumps/regression happen. Honestly, across the board, the rookies exceeded what anyone would reasonably expect… and it might get worse fornone or more of them before it gets better. I don’t love this deal in isolation, but I can understand it. As someone said above, worst case is Moose 2.0, and that would suck.

  70. Stock

    Another trade in which we gain a quality prospect:

    Reds Acquire: Cole Ragans (KC) and Felnin Celesten (SEA)
    Reds Ship: Spencer Steer (SEA) and Jonathan India (SEA)

    Seattle Acquire: Steer and India
    Seattle Ship: Celesten (CIN), Harry Ford (KC), Cole Young (KC)

    KC Acquire: Ford and Young
    KC Ships: Cole Ragans

    The Reds trade their 8th and 10th best hitter and probably their two weakest defensive players for Ragans and Celesten.

    Celesten was just signed for $4.7 (the Reds signed Duno for $3.1 million). So he should jump into the Reds top 25 prospects.

    Ragans was a new man once KC changed his pitch selection. 15.7% Swinging K% after the trade. His ERA was 2.64. His K% was 31% and his K%-BB% was 22%.

    The only downside to this trade is the lack of depth if McLain or EDLC get hurt.

    Huge upgrade to the farm. Huge upgrade to SP.

    • Optimist

      Quite a lot to chew on, but I doubt the Royals move Ragans without an astronomical return.

      I expect they view him as comparable to Greene, and not without reason.

    • Matt WI

      Stock, by what criteria is Steer an 8th best hitter on the team?

      • Matt WI

        I mean, Steer led the team in extra base hits, no? That alone puts him top 4. Plus, the guy was basically a metronome in terms of avoiding big slump phases.

      • JohnnySofa

        There is no such criteria. It’s just an asinine comment.

      • Stock

        Matt here is my feeling. Please note these are my expectations for 2024 and not for 2023. For 2023 EDLC would be at the bottom and not the top.

        McLain was the best last year and remains in the top tier this year. Friedl improved as the year went along. 12 of his 18 HR were in the 2nd half. Now it may turn out that Friedl was just lucky in 2023. Time will tell but I think he will be in the top tier or just below McLain and EDLC.

        Marte and CES are in the next tier. I think that once the two of them settled in they were very good. I am tempted to include them in the first tier.

        I placed Candelerio ahead of Steer because they were near equals but Candelerio did it in a much larger park. Slight edge to Candelerio. I could see placing Benson ahead of Candelerio but held him back because of a weak August. From what I saw last year Benson is clearly ahead of Steer. Fraley was better than Steer in the first half. I ignore what he did when he tried to play through a broken toe.

        I could see knocking Friedl down as many as two tiers. I can see moving CES and Marte up a tier. I can see moving Benson up a tier.

        But in my eyes Candelerio, Steer and Fraley should be in the same tier.

      • Stock

        Mr. Sofa,

        Just because someone has a different viewpoint as you does not mean their comments are asinine. I think I do a much research as anyone on this site and consider my opinions are well thought out.

      • Matt WI

        Well, thanks for the explanation, but I’ll choose to strenuously object, your honor. Steer had a low key personality and somehow acted like a vet in the face of all the Elly, Mcclain, etc hype. The man performed like a 5 year vet. Sign me up. If he is the Reds’ 8th hitter, hang the banner on Opening Day.

      • JohnnySofa

        Stock, understood. You’re a fan. I get it. On some points I agree. On some I don’t. And on the Steer analysis … just admit, it’s asinine.

      • Matt WI

        Benson cannot be ahead of Steer, and I like Benson. Steer played Every. Day. Metronome.

  71. IndyRedsFan

    I haven’t read all of the comments above, so someone may have mentioned this already.

    My take is that the Reds don’t feel they can count on all of the young players having a year like they did last year.

    The “Sophomore Slump” has been a real thing over the years.

    I don’t expect all of the Reds youngsters to experience it….but I sure wouldn’t expect that none of them do either.

    • AllTheHype

      Exactly. And let’s also add this context:

      Newman, Votto, and Barrero combined for 644 PAs last year with OPS+ of 84.
      Candelario had 576 PAs with OPS+ of 119.

  72. G in Fla

    Why so much negativity? All this means is that someone is changing positions and we can now have a more balanced lineup.
    1B Strand
    2B McClain
    SS Marte
    3B Candelario
    C Stephenson
    LF Steer
    CF Friedl
    RF Elly
    DH Fraley/India
    I dont see a problem here unless you’re an opposing pitcher.

    • AllTheHype

      Everyone seems to forget how badly the offense struggled in August into September. This can only improve the team.

      • Stock

        I agree with this Optimist. But I also think they realize they are at least 2 or 3 years from competing and by that time Ragans will be nearing the market. I was thinking build prospects to arrive together much like the Reds did.

    • docproc

      I would be fine with this lineup (and suggested it earlier). But I’m guessing one of those players is going to be involved in a trade for a starting pitcher. Sure hope it’s India.

      (BTW, would love to see Dunn get a crack as the RH 4th/5th OF and DH.)

    • DW

      I am good with EDLC being moved to the outfield but I don’t think that is the case here. One of CES or Marte (or possibly both) are likely out the door as part of a trade package. And Marte is the weakest of our shortstop options (between he, EDLC, and McLain). And if EDLC is moving to the outfield, then why is he not playing in a winter league to get some experience? Not saying your conclusion isn’t possible, but certainly seems unlikely.

      • redfanorbust

        Not sure about EDLC changing positions. Seems like it will be a full time job in the off season/spring training to work on his swing alone.

    • David

      I think you may have hit the nail on the head.

      EDLC moves to the outfield, Noelvi Marte moves back to his natural position at SS, Candelario plays 1st/3rd/DH, McLain plays 2nd. India plays DH, 2nd, 3rd, LF, 1st base. I think, barring an injury to another player, India moves into the position that Senzel had with the 2023 Reds.
      Or there is another major trade in the works.

      Not a big fan of this deal, but there are likely other parts moving here that we will hear about in the next few days or weeks. This may be a total depth move, to give David Bell more players to keep the Reds in the race all season long. It is also possible that someone else wanted Candelario, and the Reds signed him, with the intent of trading him somewhere else. This sort of thing has been done before.
      And yes, I think it would be a massive mistake to trade Encarnacion-Strand to “make room” for Candelario, who frankly is not the offensive player that CES will become. And would hate to trade Spencer Steer, but he is not a strong defensive player anywhere on the field. He just hustles and plays hard all the time.

    • Rob

      I just don’t think you shuck out $15M to add IF depth to your roster. An above average player but IF depth is near the bottom of our needs when compared to starting pitching, OF bat, and relief pitching. And $15M gets you close to starting pitching multi year guys like Rodriguez and Montgomery. Bottom line: you don’t spend $15M on a sixth IF to ride the bench 2 days per week imo. Just feel there almost has to be another shoe to fall here And it feels like that we might be fishing for bigger fish than Bieber or Glasnow or maybe even Rodriguez ($20M). Otherwise the excess IF deal makes absolutely no sense to me. A good bit of money for IF depth. Money that would be better spent for other needs.

      • greenmtred

        Think of it as money for a hitter with power.

  73. Mario

    ok, I’m trying to talk myself down from the ledge.

    Trying to see if Candelario and India fit on this roster for 2024 and plan for each of the main guys to start ~130 games. These are just starts as we know HDT Bell is going to make a plethora of substitutions that of course will be heavily scrutinized.

    162 games x 1B & DH = 324 games. CES starts 130 games and Candelario starts 100 games. India starts 70 games. That’s 300 games and 24 leftover for anyone else including rest days for regulars.

    rounding here to 160.

    2B – McLain 100, India 60

    SS – EDLC 130, McLain 30

    3B – Marte 130, Candelario 30

    It seems to fit well. Candelario is also injury and sophomore slump protection. Barring a trade, this closes the book on Joey Votto’s career in a Reds uniform. I guess that explains his social media scrub.

    • Optimist

      “Candelario is also injury and sophomore slump protection.”

      That’s reason #1A. All the rest are tied for reason #3. Hope there is no reason #2, and if the youngsters all work out by mid-season 2025, the Candelario is prime trade ready.

      We also may be approaching the point where Bell won’t be able to empty the bench in any but 11 inning or more games. Lots of interchangeable/platoonable parts.

  74. bryant

    Think White Sox: EDLC plus pitcher plus x for Luis Robert and Dylan Cease.

    • west larry

      I would take that deal, but the white sox will reject it.

  75. old-school

    Reds players since 2017 who have over 60 Extra Base Hits in a season.

    2023- Spencer Steer (63)
    2022- No one
    2021- Castellanos (73) Votto (60)
    2020- No one(covid year)
    2019- Suarez (73)
    2018- No one
    2017- Joey Votto ( 71) Adam Duvall( 71)

    Candelario has done it twice in 3 seasons- 64 XBH’s in 2023 and 61 in 2021, including leading the league in doubles with 42 in 2021. Those arent trivial numbers. Hitting the baseball with power/pop is a crucial trait for a team to have a potent deep offense. Those guys don’t grow on trees. Votto is gone, Steer goes to the OF and Candelario gives you an extra base hitting machine at corner infield and DH.

    • wkuchad

      Great info – thanks for the additional perspective.

    • Roger Garrett

      Listen to the man he knows his stuff.Vet guy with pop and some of those doubles in the gap in those bigger parks will end up in the seats in GABP.Great signing at 15 mil per year.Whats not to like?

    • Old-school

      Thanks guys. I took a deeper dive into this and went back to 2000. There are 6-7 entire seasons no Red got 60 extra base hits in a season. It’s literally a who’s who of Reds who have had 60 extra base hits in a season. Casey,Griffey, Phillips, Lopez,Frazier,Steer, Castellanos, Suarez did it once. Dunn, Duvall several times and Votto and Bruce were regulars.

      Only Votto, Dunn,Bruce, Duvall have done it more than Candelario as Reds since 2000. Hes a good signing. Extra base hitting machine that gives a vet presence at the corner infield spot and DH. Reports are he wanted to be with a young playoff caliber team and be that mentor to young guys.

      Need one more really good SP.

    • docmike

      Great job, old-school. Nice to see people present actual legit stats, instead of just throwing out nonsensical observations.

      Candelario is an above-average hitter with some pop, and park factors would indicate his power numbers will go up even more in GABP. Adding an above-average hitter to the lineup is always a good thing.

  76. PTBNL

    Uninformed or lazy. Do we lose a pick now that we signed a higher dollar free agent or are we still good on draft picks. All baseball aficionados welcome to answer this question.

    • PTBNL

      BTW the uninformed/lazy was a comment about me. LOL.

    • Amarillo

      We do not lose a draft pick. That only happens if we sign a player who declined a qualifying offer, which Candelario was ineligible for due to the in-season trade.

      • PTBNL

        Thanks Amarillo, BTW good answer and good city in Texas. Been there.

      • Amarillo

        @PTBNL, ha the username comes from somewhere else. I’m from Cincinnati like most people here, I’m sure

  77. BK

    It looks like the Reds went with the “best player available” approach to adding depth to the position-player portion of the lineup. Candelario is a good player who can help at three positions. The Reds are loaded with athletes–transitioning someone to the outfield will not be a problem. This move makes the team better and affords the front office more options. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the offseason shapes up, but the Reds are already a much-improved team

    • J

      I think “best player available” is exactly right. As I say in my post below, I seriously doubt there are any firm (or even loose) plans to do anything in particular at this point. I think they’re doing whatever deals appear to improve the team and are doable, and after those deals are done they’ll look at what they’ve got, and then try to do another deal if they’ve got three guys playing the same position and/or they haven’t reached whatever salary cap they’ve set for themselves.

      • BK

        They are adding depth to the roster for the season or to facilitate a trade. I went back and looked through last season’s transactions. The Reds only had about five weeks when all their starters were healthy–I did not track injuries to non-starters. Improved health coincided with the arrival of several rookies. The roster looks crowded from a December perspective, but it will look better when quality players are available when inevitable injuries strike.

        P.S. The pitching staff had impactful injuries the entire year. I’m hoping a few more quality arms are acquired, too.

      • BK

        I’m not sure which player it will be, but I would anticipate we’ll see Marte, India, McLain, or CES getting some work in the outfield as they will need one of them to take the RH at bats from either Fraley or Benson. It sounds like Steer will be in the outfield fulltime (as of now).

  78. Schottzie

    This move indicates Elly is moving to the outfield more than India is moving to a different team, IMO.

  79. MarkH

    Reasons for Krall picking up Candelario
    1. Does not want infield consisting entirely of 1st/2nd year players going into next season.
    2. Can trade India for minor league prospects as he alone can not bring the starter/bullpen help that is needed. More prospects lead to more leverage in future trad
    3. If stories true about being in the hunt for Rodriguez, Krall will sign Lugo, Wacha etc for less money and still fill a need. CES will remain with the Reds sharing DH and 1b with Candelario. Candelario can spell Marte when he needs a rest or is struggling.

    Bottom Line – Krall has added 3 players without trading any prospects.

    believe Krall and scouting staff are top notch

  80. MarkH

    I think India goes 100% and seems to be a team player and leader. However, he is a 250ish hitter and below average defensive player who has started for 3 seasons and would have played 140+ games each season if not for injuries. I don’t believe that India wants to be a platoon player at this point in his career as this would hurt his future earnings potential. Otherwise you keep India at 3+ mil a year and don’t sign Candelario at $15 mil as they are similar hitters average and home run wise. If Krall asked him about playing other positions OF, 3B, or 1B and India said no, this was the reason he signed Candelario.

  81. J

    I would love to believe there’s some grand plan behind all the Reds’ moves, but I just don’t think that’s the way this organization operates. I think the plan is “let’s sign some guys that make our team better and are within our budget constraints,” and after each move is made, they try to figure out what should happen next, but to some extent they’re just moving in whatever direction the wind happens to be blowing. At this point, I doubt they have any firm plans to move anyone in particular to any new positions, or to not move anyone, or to trade anyone in particular, or to not trade anyone in particular. I think they’re working on various trade possibilities and talking to various free agents, and when/if a deal seems to make enough sense to make that deal, they’ll make the deal and then figure out what the corresponding move(s) should be. There’s just nothing to indicate this organization is ever thinking two or three steps ahead, the way a lot of people seem to assume.

    • west larry

      J – before Krall was promote to the top, I believe that you were correct. I think, and hope, that Krall has the next plan A ad plan B ready to go.

      • J

        What on earth would make you think Krall has some sort of grand plan? The only thing he’s ever done that seems grand plan-ish was when he got rid of all the expensive players for prospects, which I assume was not his choice. And, as great as all the prospects are, part of the problem the Reds now have is that he ended up with a zillion infielders and no right-handed outfielders, and nobody seems to be prepared to move to the outfield except Steer. Last year the plan was to go with three catchers (dumb right from the start, but became dumber and dumber as the year progressed), a couple spots in the rotation were basically “we’ll try to figure this out at some point,” CES was left in AAA long after he should been on the major league team, a few guys who hit really well in AAA never made it to the majors at all despite some significant offensive struggles, he picked up Renfroe and Bader and then got rid of them both, and the Reds were basically the only team in playoff contention that made no major trades. (Many of those trades were flops, but I’m not giving Krall credit for having a crystal ball and somehow knowing they’d be flops.) To me, almost everything Krall has done seems somewhat piecemeal, arbitrary, etc. I’m not saying he doesn’t think about what he’s doing, but I just don’t believe he’s thinking multiple steps ahead and has any sort of grand plan in mind. Nothing he’s ever done so far would suggest this.

      • greenmtred

        Well, J, you said it yourself: The plan was transform the team from veteran and moribund to young and exciting.

      • LDS

        If Goldsmith is correct, 2024 will be another Bell fest and opposing managers will continue to whipsaw Bell’s L/R matchup fetish. Not to mention Goldsmith’s implication that the Reds may be done. Sorry but @J is right. This isn’t a grand plan. And never have I heard a .243 career hitter so overhyped.

      • earmbrister

        Charlie Goldsmith said it better than I ever could.

        Candelario gives them a legit power bat in the middle of the lineup. Old School points to his repeated 60+XBHs in multiple seasons. He will like hitting in GABP which has a HR factor of 176 (100 being average, 4th highest HR ballpark rate) vs the Nat’s 129, Detroit’s 115, & Wrigley’s 98. He’s a doubles machine, a stat where the Reds were 10th out of 15 NL teams.

        As for the Reds having no plan … gimme a break. Yeah, Krall and the rest of his baseball ops team have never thought to formulate a plan. As I’ve said here before, I even have a set strategy in fantasy football, which is no more than a hobby. These guys careers depend on getting it right. And Krall has done a fantastic job making the Reds relevant now and for far into the future.

        In Krall I trust.

  82. LDS

    Welcome back RLN. Fortunately, no breaking news in your absence.

    • Doug Gray

      Would have been better had there been – then I’d have noticed the site was down and gotten back up instead of not noticing it was down for like 4 hours.

      • Jason Franklin

        Sorry to hear that Doug. Hope it didn’t cost you much in terms of revenue, etc.

      • Doug Gray

        At the end of the month I won’t notice it, but when I get the daily reports from the advertisers tomorrow morning I will and I’ll be bummed for an hour or two lol

  83. MK

    The rebuild mode of player transactions is over. The Reds are now into a win now mode. Candelerio adds a veteran Latin player who can be the right-handed DH bat they need and not need to be replaced during a pitching change. He also adds a veteran Latin presence that will undoubtedly bell Noelvi and Elly (especially when Elly does something dumb being over aggressive).

    • MBS

      I’m pretty excited about Candelario. The other day I said we need to sign a Greg Vaughn type of leader, and maybe you’re right that he can be that guy. Especially for the younger Latin players, but not exclusively for them.

    • Michael E

      I was hoping we’d find a way to fill the void left by Mike Moustakas being released and we have. We now have Mike Moustakas 2.0, over 30, rarely ever better than average and the downside looms. Good times.

      Oh, and thankfully one of these younger players will lose valuable MLB playing time. Even better.

      Ooh, and probably now can send two good, young, cheap rookies/2nd year guys for a mediocre SP rental so we take another couple of steps back for 2025 and beyond.


    • docmike

      Great signing, clearly makes the Reds better. Always a fan of adding good hitters to the team. If he can provide some leadership to the younger players, that’s a bonus.

  84. Old-school

    Gordon Wittenmyer notes the Reds have spent $85 million so far in free agency….more than the Dodgers,Cubs, and Mets combined. That will change of course but to those clamoring Reds have done nothing and wont spend…..thats not true.

    This team is better.

    • JohnnySofa

      I don’t remember anyone saying the Reds won’t spend. It’s how they spend it: $85M for a utilityman and two gap-filling pitchers when that $$ could have gone toward the frontline starter that’s needed. Meanwhile, the other teams you mention are bidding for the best player in baseball, the best international player since Ohtani, a reigning Cy Young winner, etc.

      • Old-school

        Utility man had 64 xtra base hits in 2023 and 61 xtra base hits in 2021 with an OPS + of 119 in 2023. Labeling Candelario a utility man is far fetched. Weed was legalized today in Ohio for many folks sitting on their sofas

      • JohnnySofa

        Cute reply. Also a nice job of cherry picking 3 stats from 8 seasons. Hey, I hope the guy crushes in ’24, but for now this is the reality: more career Ks than hits, a .243 hitter who’s averaged 8 HRs and 40 RBIs, career highs of 22 HRs and 70 RBIs during his contract year, and a lifetime best of 8 SBs (and this is a team that’s supposed to be built on speed). You go ahead and wet your pants if you want. I’ll hold it in and call him a utility … OK, a “role” player. Oh, making $15M per year.

      • Redsvol

        You don’t come to this site often do you?

      • JohnnySofa

        What’s that supposed to mean? Is there a secret handshake? The “regulars” can spew anything and a “newcomer” is required to read and quietly nod? I’ve been a Reds fan since the days of Bill Plummer and Ed Armbrister. I’m equal parts realist and fanatic. And I don’t smoke weed (but that earlier insult came from a regular … so it’s OK, right?).

      • Mario

        Johnny, you have a right to doubt. I’m warming up to Candelario. Lots of news reports that he’s a good clubhouse guy and will be a mentor for our young players. Managers and coaches have such an age gap that they don’t make good mentors. I think Candelario will hit enough to play 120 games at 1B, 3B, and DH. If India is traded, then he needs to be the backup to McLain. Depth is important.

        I got upset at the first news thinking like many on here and on social media that the signing probably meant that Marte or CES was out the door. Now, I’m cautiously optimistic that Krall wouldn’t do something that stupid. If they want Cease bad enough, Lowder, Floyd, and Arroyo should do the trick. No big leaguers.

      • Justin T

        I agree Mr Sofa. Its common sense and logic. This signing looks bad on paper and when people need to throw advanced stats in there, they are trying to justify it. Bottom line is he is a .243 hitter who is on the wrong side of 30 and has never made more than 5 mill in a season. He has an above avg season at age 30 and then is signed for 45 million guaranteed. There are much cheaper and younger options (possibly within the organization) who could give you similar numbers.

        People are very quick to forget we were hamstrung by the Moustakas contract and this looks similar. Moustakas was even a key contributor to a world series title. This isnt even an opinion, its facts. It may or may not work out, but right now it looks like a risk. With the teams shoestring budget do you need to take risks like this?

      • greenmtred

        We’ll waive the secret handshake, Johnny. I’ve actually forgotten it myself.

      • earmbrister

        Yeah, sorry Justin, no sale. You say that “when people need to throw advanced stats in there, they are trying to justify it”.

        Your retort is that he has a .243 career BA. Well, no one is going to accuse you of using advanced stats … His last 4 year’s BA is .254 (which is better than league average), but he is not being signed as a singles hitter. He had an OPS+ of 119 last season, and he has also produced better than that in 2 of the 3 prior seasons.

        You go one to say that he “is on the wrong side of 30” – yeah, by 13 days.

        “and has never made more than 5 mill in a season” – no, his 2022 salary was $5.8MM. And what does his previous earnings have to do with anything? He was projected to make $17.5MM AAV on a 4 year contract.

        And “he has an above avg season at age 30” – no age 29. He has yet to play his age 30 season. He is still in his prime years as a ballplayer and the contract is thru his age 32 season.

        “and then is signed for 45 million guaranteed” – yes, and MLBTR had him being signed for 4 years and $70MM, not 3 yrs/$45MM, so they are getting him at a very reasonable cost.

        and “there are much cheaper and younger options (possibly within the organization) who could give you similar numbers” – yet you fail to name any other FAs that would be a better option. Hmmm.

        Seems like you are doing your darnedest to throw shade on this signing. And the points you are making are fairly weak and inaccurate. A heckuva effort though!

      • docmike

        I just love people that throw out batting average to prove their point. Anyone who uses a .243 BA to throw water on this signing is someone who hasn’t moved on from the 1960’s.

      • docmike

        Also, I would think the most recent seasons would be a much better predictor of how Candy will perform these next couple years, than going back 7-8 years ago to when he was a rookie.

    • Stock

      Good point Old School. Ignore the Sofa man. Maybe he should get a blanket and hibernate until April.

      The Reds just signed the 5th best hitting prospect available and the 13th best FA overall (per MLB trade rumors).

      Are the Reds done? Maybe. But I personally don’t think they are done. I could see them spending between $20 and $50 million per year more. Probably much closer to 20.

      People like Sofa can post rude comments on here all they want. But the reality is they have no more idea whats in store the rest of the winter than the rest of us and for them to think they are right and your post is wrong. Sofa man has every right to call Candelerio a Utility man but his 7 WAR the last three years is far better than the 4.8 WAR of India. His Candelerio’s .872 OPS in 2020 is probably better than the OPS of any current Red in any year of their career. His OPS+ the last four years have been 137, 121, 81, 119. Hardly the work of a utility player.

      This was a great signing Old-Timer. You are spot on and the sofa man needs a nap.

      • JohnnySofa

        It would be great to have a guy with a .872 OPS. Candy posted that number almost 4 years ago in the Covid-shortened 2020 season, in 52 games and 200 ABs. So, you can ignore me but pay attention to reality: he’s a .739 OPS guy. Be fans. Be honest. Be realistic.

      • Justin T

        Hey MLB trade rumors has him ranked high! Look at his numbers, look at this teams weaknesses and strengths, then make your own opinion. The .872 ops in 50 games argument doesn’t help the case.

      • earmbrister

        No need to pull a hammy reaching back to 2020. Candelario had a .807 OPS THIS YEAR over 140 games.

        Johnny, you have a greater need to reach far far back into the past. His career OPS is weighed down by his age 22-25 years when he had an OPS of .693. His age 26-29 years (his early prime years) produced a much more robust OPS of .766, with an OPS by year of .872/.795/.633/.807. He’s moving to a much more HR friendly home ballfield at GABP and is likely to flirt with 30 HRs per year.

        Candelario is a great addition to the middle of the lineup, not just some joe average hitter. And he can competently field his position unlike a Jorge Soler type acquisiton. This Reds team is better after this free agent addition.

      • JohnnySofa

        As pointed out, I don’t come into this establishment often. But I can pretty much guarantee no “regulars” were clamoring a few weeks ago for the acquisition of a 7th infielder. You were all like me, happy to see a solid future with five high-ceiling guys, more being developed, and a former ROY who suddenly looked expendable. Everyone anticipated the signing of a pitcher (or two) to take the Reds to the next level. In fact, just a few days ago when the Reds signed two INF to minor league contracts, every single one of you either mentioned or thought logically: “those are safety nets to use if one or two of the 6 infielders is injured.” Suddenly, you’re peeing all over yourselves about the signing of another infielder — not an all-star, not a game changer, not a guy you can unequivocally say is absolutely better than any of the six INFs on board.

        Oh, and let’s remember what the Reds were doing at their best in 2023: getting on base and running, running, running! (The season tanked when Bell decided out of the all-star break to put EDC and his Ks in the leadoff spot — like … huh? — and continued to tinker too much.) Fact: Candy doesn’t run. So yeah, guys like Justin and me are being sensible to question the signing of a 7th infielder who doesn’t fit the identity of this team’s best look. Anyone who in turn questions us is just blindly jumping on a bus headed to no one knows where. Every Reds fan should have the almonds to question this … until another move makes sense of it.

  85. William

    I did not like the signing earlier, and I like it less now. This is a bad free agent signing. Marte has superstar potential. He is one of two players on this team with that potential. If they trade him, they deserve the Dumbo award. I would not even start this player over India. The Reds should have spent all this money on a free agent pitcher. Dumb to trade any of these young stars away. Get the pitchers in free agency, if India is not a trade piece.

  86. Mark S.

    Reds need to aim higher than Bieber or Glasnow.

    Three options that all help them contend without mortgaging future for a 1-2 year rental:

    A) trade for a Skubal. Most expensive path in terms of assets traded away. Make an offer they can’t refuse. Smallest chance of happening out of three options

    B) trade for Arozarena and sign Lugo. Most expensive from a payroll perspective

    C) trade for Clase and sign Lugo. Elite bullpen with another flexible arm in Lugo

    • Mario

      Lugo doesn’t move the needle. Probably not going to start a playoff game or may not even be in the starting rotation in the regular season. Wacha is the guy that has the potential to be a #2 or #3 starter. I still like Jack Flaherty as well and he is a good bounce back candidate and would be motivated to prove the Cardinals wrong and that’s a story line I can get behind. Rumor has it the Pirates are interested so a chance we will see a lot of him next season.

  87. Frogem

    Doug, wondering if there is a way to number each comment. That would make it easy to reference great, informative comments in our own comments, or to direct late comers to earlier great comments. This might especially be valuable for these posts that attract an encyclapedia-like volume. ?

    • Doug Gray

      Not that I know of. The commenting system is rather basic. It’s not designed to be used as a message board.

      • JayTheRed

        Not sure if I asked this before but, is there a way to get time stamp and date on comments.

    • Matt WI

      Once upon a time RLN numbered posts, worked like you said, forgeman…. I miss it too. But nothing seems to do that anymore.

  88. Nick in NKY

    I really enjoy the comments here, especially from those of you who spend the time to produce a little data that forms your opinion. The speculation from various opinions keeps things interesting. Now that we’ve had time to chew on this news for a day or so, I have some thoughts.

    1. Originally I thought this signified an imminent trade, but now I’ve been persuaded to the idea that this is actually a good depth signing as insurance against sophomore slumping or injury from one of last year’s rookies.

    2. One thing I think is pretty certain is that this means there will be no Votto return on a cheap deal in spring training. Sentimental me wanted to see Joey turn over some franchise records next year as a lefty DH, but I suppose the writing is on the wall now. But sentiment will kill you in the market; business is ruthless and it rolls on.

    3. The contract price and length is good for the Reds. If JC overperforms, he can’t do a Castellanos and bolt for one last payday. I still like Nick, and completely respect his right to do so, but I liked watching him mash too. The money isn’t prohibitive though, so to me he looks more like Castellanos 2.0 than Moose 2.0.

    4. Wacha, Lugo, or Giolito on a prove-it deal still fit well within the budget. As much as I would love to see an ace FA come to town, I don’t think that’ll happen. I would go 8 years for Yamamoto, but I’ll bet this weeks pay he ends up on either coast. Quality depth is still available in the starter and relief markets.

    5. We talk about s surplus of infielders, which is now truer than it was last week, but the true surplus is cash, and that is the strength from which the team should be dealing…. right now. Save the prospects. By the deadline next year, there will likely be more than one team that’s out of contention and holding onto a 1 or 2 starter. Then will be the time to move prospects, if it’s needed.

    Overall I choose optimism, and I like the way the team appears to be running.

    • wkuchad

      Agree with points 1 through 3.

      4. Our biggest need entering this offseason was a starting pitcher. That need hasn’t been met. I’m still hopeful we meet it with the right pitcher.

      5. Waiting until the trade deadline will just make starting pitchers even more expense, in terms of prospects.

      • Nick in NKY

        You’re likely correct about the prospect trade cost of pitching going up. However….there exists the outside possibility that it won’t be required, either. Hope is not a plan, but if the rotation isn’t injury ravaged and there are no prominent underperformers, the talent is already in place.

        I don’t want to be a prospect hoarder, but also I’m pretty optimistic about the next wave of young pitching. I can’t possibly fathom a trade for a worthy pitcher that wouldn’t include one or more of: Phillips, Petty, Lowder, or Floyd. Of these, I would be most willing to deal Chase Petty. He’s a high risk, high reward guy, but a couple years away I think. Lowder however, and Floyd to a lesser extent, are already well-polished college pitchers. It’s not inconceivable that Rhett Lowder starts a game in a Reds uniform THIS YEAR.

        Your point is well taken, but I think it’s worth the risk in increased prospect cost to wait and see how the need develops as the season goes.

      • Mario

        Nick – I agree on holding onto the prospects. A lot of fans are now spewing nonsense insulting other fans calling them prospect hoarders. I really can’t recall a time when the Reds did this. Their farm system really hasn’t been very good – that’s the main reason for the poor record in the last 10 years. You could say they hoarded Senzel and that is probably true but who else? I liked the Latos trade because I knew how filthy Mat was but losing the young talent hurt.

      • Tom Diesman

        The Reds have a new stated direction: The Reds are trying to eliminate peaks and valleys by continuing to build through their player pipeline, player development and scouting. That will be the base of everything they do. That’s how they’ll build long-term success and sustainable success.

        I fully expect them to stick to the plan and hold on to prospects more than in past years.

      • MK

        wkuchad, I am really not on the Starting Pitcher tract most people, including some Reds execs, seem to be on. I think what they have already was nearly enough last year and with a year’s more experience and improvement they should be better in ’24. If they find this is not the case at the deadline, then give up some prospects for a rental to put them over the top. I would be comfortable with a 1-Ashcraft, 2-Abbott 3- Greene 4- Lodolo 5-Williamson/Martinez. To give up what was reported for Cease for a one-year rental is rediculous.

    • MBS

      So the top tier arms are Snell, and Yamamoto, but the top pitcher of the middle tier is Montgomery now that Rodriguez has been signed. If we target anyone I think Montgomery will give us the most bang for our buck.

      • Nick in NKY

        I think that’s right. Monty looks like he’d be a good signing, and I like that he just came off a WS winning team. I’d take any. The one reservation I’d have is the rotation getting too lopsided on lefties, but I think the answer to that is also pretty easy: Lodolo goes to the pen for long relief in order to rebuild his endurance.

    • Stock

      Good post Nick.

      I like Lugo because we can start him or use him in relief or even as an opener.

      I also am starting to like your idea of saving the prospects, even if we don’t claim acquire FA SP. Give Phillips, Lyon Richardson, Petty and Lowder time to see if they are ready come July. When injuries happen we have Martinez.

      I hope the Reds acquire 2 more pitchers.

      1. Woodruff. He won’t be available until at least July but the Reds should not need him until the playoffs. I would try to lock him up for 3 years and $40 million.

      2. If we don’t get Woodruff try to get Lugo for 3 years and $42 million.

      3. The second pitcher I try to add is Robert Stephenson for 4 years and $36 million.

  89. MBS

    So we’re at 40 on our 40 man roster. Currently we are sitting at 12 no brainer position players for opening day, which means that 1 of Fairchild or Barrero will need to be cut as both are out of options. Making this necessary move opens up 1 more roster spot, and truth be told I’m cool with dropping both of them, as well as Legumina if we can replace them with quality FA’s. I don’t see us adding 3, just saying we still have flexibility on the 40 to add more quality players.

    Come on Mr. Krall I know you got something else cooking.

    • Stock

      I think you are right MBS. Mr. Krall is not done yet.

    • TR

      Nick Krall doesn’t seem to do a lot of talking but seems to have a plan and ideas to make and keep the Reds competitive in the next few years. With less than four months to opening day , the need for a stabilizing starting pitcher will be met, hopefully without giving up members of the Red’s young core who have ML experience.

    • MK

      MBS, I think it will be 13 fielders/13 pitchers.

  90. Larry Baker

    Overpaying for just an average baseball player. 15 million is a lot of money for a player you don’t really need. It’s not like the Reds will be in the World series next season. The Reds have some young talent. Why not develop and see what you have with all the players and pitchers. None of this makes sense. Overpaying is not very smart for a small market team like the Reds. Signing a player for 15 million that you don’t have a need for is not very smart. Need better money management in the Reds front office. Make the money work better. Why gamble on trading a potential star young player for probably just an average starting pitcher. If you want a veteran starting pitcher, just sign a free agent. The Reds should still be in building mode. Don’t be wasting money you can use for better players/needs in the future.

    • Greenfield Red

      The addition tells me they are not done. The need for a starter is the ladt glaring need. I think they took this somewhat redubdant piece when it was available. The pitcher will come. I just hope it is a FA and not a trade.

    • Indy Red Man

      So who had Arizona in the WS? A team we swept and won the season series from. We have a shot like several others

    • Greenfield Red

      Until very recently, most on RLN complained the Reds were cheap. Now you’re complaining they spend too much. I’m getting whiplash here.

      How about this: While the PR side of the payroll slashing and trades was not handled well, what the Reds did was exactly the right thing. The roster was old, slow, overpaid, and unproductive. They traded what they could to get young, talented, and more athletic, and in doing so built one of the best farm systems in baseball. They have graduated 9 or 10 guys to the majors, all of whom are productive or appear they will be. Most of the wasted money is now done.

      NK was critisized by most here for not getting Pitching last August when he did get Pitching last August. I guess it wasn’t the Pitching most here wanted.

      So now he spends on two more pitchers and a productive hitter who can mix and match a number of ways, and people on here still aren’t happy.

      I think what has happened the last two years is remarkable. It’s amazing to me that you apparently know the Reds won’t be in the World Series this year and they’re not very smart.

      I think NK and his staff have completely turned the franchise around in two short years, and I am one of the guys here who said 2024 was the year. I stand by it and the others do too.

      And I do think he will bring in a credible starting pitcher before ST. I hope it’s via free agency.

      • Justin T

        Is anyone saying they spend too much money? Or are they saying this signing isnt good for the resources we are told we have? The argument for this signing are cherry picking advanced stats and making blanket statements like “people now are complaining the reds are soending too much”. It shows even the blindly loyal fans do not even believe this is a good signing.

      • greenmtred

        It could be said that the other comments show blindly automatic negativity. The truth is that we won’t know if this is a good signing until well into the 2024 season.

      • docmike

        Some folks just want to complain about anything, even obvious good things. It’s how they roll.

    • Earmbrister

      Larry, I don’t know where you get the idea that they are:

      1) overpaying and

      2) getting an average player

      MLBTR had JC getting signed for much more.

      And as someone else mentioned, JC was the 5th best position player available (also per MLBTR). Old School rightly points out that he is a doubles machine and has 3 recent years with 60+ XBHs.

      The lineup is much much better with him in it.

      • west larry

        Greenfield Red: I was totally wrong. The reds have not been cheap. Now I hope they can sign a starting pitcher via free agency.

      • Greenfield Red

        I’m with you Larry. I’ve been on the Giolito bandwagon. I think he is a huge bounceback candidate. I say offer him a two year deal with an opt out. It would be great if he was only here one year.

      • earmbrister

        Greenfield, I think we can do better than Giolito. Sign Stroman, Lugo, or Wacha (in that order of preference). I really like Stroman. They are not HR prone and have good to great BB%’s.

        Per MLBTR:

        Giolito’s biggest issue has been the home run ball. He surrendered an AL-worst 41 longballs over 184 1/3 innings this past season, which he split between three teams. Traded from the White Sox to the Angels at the deadline, he landed in Cleveland a month later when the Halos shed salary via a massive waiver purge. Giolito’s homer issues heightened at each stop, resulting in an overall 4.88 ERA.

        Giolito doesn’t seem to be a great fit in GABP.

    • Michael E

      This is Mike Moustakas 2.0. Maybe I’m not fair to Candelario, but eerily similar career path and eerily similar body type (ready to break down).

  91. JayTheRed

    Was trying to think of other SP the Reds could get not much has been linked to Burnes in Milwaukee. I know I know inter-divisional trade is really hard to make happen, but you know what Yankees and Red Sox just did it. I know Burnes is only a 1-year guy like Glashow and Bieber. Definitely has the potential to be much bigger though.

    Also heard the Marlins are shopping their pitching too. Maybe one of the Mariners SP. They love trading with us. Heck is there someone else on the Guardians that they might be willing to trade for offensive help. Just trying to think of other options for the Reds could do besides everything that has been reported. Nick Krall likes to be sneaky in his trades and comes from nowhere with a lot of them.

  92. AllTheHype

    India is the fairly obvious choice to play some corner OF. He and Steer are both below average defenders on the grass, so they both will likely see more time in a utility role which includes a good bit of time in corner OF, 1B, DH, and some 2B/3B,

    I see this as a huge plus. Their bats are obviously better than a typical utility player. I don’t really see the need for some big OF acquisition, although a Michael Taylor type that can play plus defense in CF (where Fairchild cannot) with an average bat would be useful. I certainly understand their interest in him.

    I like the way the roster is shaping up.

  93. Phil

    The way I currently see the lineup:

    2 catchers Stephenson and Maile
    3 players that can primarily rotate the corner infield spots Candelario, CES and Marte
    3 that can rotate the middle infield EDLC, McLain and India
    4 outfielders Friedl, Fraley, Benson and Steer

    I believe the Reds are still short an outfielder that can hit left-handed pitching. Teoscar Hernandez, Harison Bader, Adam Duvall and Michael Taylor are all free agents that could fill that roll for not a ton of money.

    Against left-handed starters you want: Steer, Friedl + new signing in the outfield, Stephenson at catcher, McLain at 2B or SS and Candelario at 3B or 1B. Other 3 spots are a bit of a question. Elly was really bad against lefties last year but don’t think you want to give up on him against them yet. CES, Maile and India were all below average last season (as was Marte but in pretty limited appearances).

    Against right-handed starters there are tons of options. Benson, Marte, CES, McLain, Fraley, Steer, India, Friedl, EDLC and Candelario all had wRC+ above 100 (so better than league average) against righties.

    • Justin T

      You must come from the David Bell tree of managers. We forget what winning baseball looks like sometimes. Have you seen David Bell’s record as manager of the Cincinnati Reds? You sign a guy for 45 million dollars and he becomes part of a rotation?

      • Optimist

        Sure – why not? 450-600 ABs. It’s the market price for a good/above average hitter. What about this does NOT look like winning baseball?

        Does it make them WS contenders? No, but it’s an improvement.

        Still need a good/great starter, but this move is independent of that.

      • Michael E

        If 15/yr cost gets you a platoon player, then you shouldn’t have signed him. I agree Candelario isn’t very good, he’s 30 and barely been average (at best) hitter and has no upside left. I agree it wasn’t a good signing. I think you must agree or you wouldn’t consider taking him out of the lineup save for 5 games a year for rest.

      • Optimist

        Oh Michael – where did you come up with that? Who says he’s a platoon player? He has comparatively mild splits.

        And “barely been average” – again, look at the past few years? “No upside left”? Huh?

        Now, there is certainly an argument that he is not the primary need (i.e. a starter) or even the right slot in the field (a power hitting OFer), but he’s a clear improvement, and a good to very good offensive talent.

        Could he flop? Sure. But if they get 2 good years out of the 3 (or 3 of 4 with the option) this will prove a good signing.

        Again, they need another good/very good starter, but this is independent of that, and good enough by itself.

      • docmike

        Candelario is not a “platoon” player by any stretch. He is a switch hitter who does not have big splits.

        However, if you take 6 players for 5 spots (4 IF + DH), each player can start 5 out of every 6 games, and a day off each week can keep everybody fresh as well. That would get each player around 135 starts over the course of the year.

        Of course, this assumes full health for everyone. If injuries occur (and when does any team not have them?) then the other guys can pick up the slack and play more often. It’s win-win. But still not a platoon.

      • Phil

        Last year as a team the Reds had 6,195 plate appearances.
        If each of the 13 position players received an equal 475 plate appearances that would work out to 6,175 for the team, right in line with what the team had last year.
        Candelario would likely receive more plate appearances than that average given that he can play multiple positions and won’t be platooned since he hits lefties and righties well.
        Last year Votto, Jose Barrero, Hunter Renfroe and Will Myers combined for 576 plate appearances and were worth a combined -1.6 fWAR.
        Fangraphs projects Candelario to be worth around 1 fWAR over 580 plate appearances.
        There is definitely room for him to get 550-600 plate appearances and adding 2-3 fWAR to the roster is worth the money the Reds are paying.

  94. Creigh Deeds

    Interesting discussion. I think Senzel was a cheaper option, with higher upside, assuming this move is a precursor to a trade of CES.

    • Greenfield Red

      Senzel has done nothing and can’t stay on the field. He also ruffled feathers going to the press after a closed door meeting. Does he have 60 extra base hits in the majors? Candalaria has done it multiple seaons.

      • Justin T

        Senzel signed for 2 million and Candalaria just signed for 45. He will also be 34 when the deal is over.

      • AllTheHype

        Senzel OPS+ last 4 years

        On no planet are they comparable players. Senzel has been an offensive bust his entire career, way below average. Candelario has been solidly above average offensively overall the last 4 years.

      • docmike

        To clear up some misinformation, Candelario will NOT be 34 at any point in this deal, even if the Reds pick up the option. He will play the entire 2024 season as a 30-year-old, 31 in 2025, and 32 in 2026. If they pick up option, he would play the last year as a 33-year-old. Not exactly retirement age.

      • earmbrister

        Yes docmike, there is a lot of misinformation being spewed. JT complains that posters are using advanced stats to argue their point, yet he counters with many falsehoods, which you are politely calling “misinformation” …

        It really isn’t that hard to make a valid argument without resorting to using misinformation.

  95. Michael E

    Don’t like the signing given his mediocre numbers and already past his prime, but one thing could make it mildly palatable IF it has positive impact on the younger players:

    “Off the field, Candelario has a reputation for being a positive clubhouse presence who leads by example.”

    I fully expect a solid hitter at GABP and a subpar hitter on the road. Those hoping for a banner year with GABP as home park, remember, we do play 81 of 162 games NOT at GABP, so we can’t put hopes and dreams on some mythical boost.

    What’s done its done. I’d rather have woke up to seeing a good young(ish) SP being signed to an overpay than a mediocre journeyman hitter being signed to an overpay, but IF he works hard and demands young players be serious when they need to be serious, then maybe he’ll be a net positive.

    • Optimist

      It’s not an overpay, if anything, most commenters think it’s a slight underpay, either in $ or duration. The market is what it is – Reds cannot alter that.

    • AllTheHype

      Michael, let’s get the facts right first, not opinions. Candelario is solidly above average offensively 3 of last 4 years, He led the AL in doubles one year. He’s not a platoon player as his OPS is good from both sides of the plate. He was better on the road (way above average) last year than home.

      OPS+ last 4 years.

      We can both agree on facts.

  96. Brad

    I love this signing even if they don’t make another trade. Remember how quickly the Reds fell off last year when India, McLain, and votto were all out. We were having a couple lifelong AAA players starting when they were in the thick of a playoff race. With DH now, there are more than enough at bats to go around for all. Especially when someone gets hurt early in the season which tends to happen a lot.

    • AllTheHype


      Newman, Votto, and Barrero combined for 644 PAs last year with OPS+ of 84.

      Candelario had 576 PAs with OPS+ of 119.

      This makes the team better without question.

      • Hanawi

        They got a lot of those at bats because they refused to call up the young players when they were ready, including opening day for CES.

      • earmbrister

        CES didn’t start opening day for the Reds because he had never played a game at AAA and he needed to work on cutting down on his SO% (28%+ in A+ & AA). As it was he was still called up in his age 23 season, just like one Joseph Daniel Votto.

      • Hanawi

        He was clearly ready. Regardless, they kept the young players down longer than they needed, which was the point that you completely missed.

      • earmbrister

        Unless you have a time machine, we’ll never know if the young players were ready or needed some time at AAA and thus were better prepared for MLB. Monday morning QB’ing is a lot easier than making decisions that can truly affect a prospect’s trajectory.

        It would appear that EDLC WASN’T ready. We have yet to see if the others have sophmore slumps or not, and what kind of careers they go on to fashion.

    • JayTheRed

      Brad, thanks for bringing this up because honestly, I had tried to block that portion of the season out of my mind. It was pretty bad I have to agree. Hopefully we won’t run into this problem, and it could be a big reason why Krall got these extra infielders.

  97. MBS

    If you wanted to you can get 126 stats for everyone not named Maile, and who ever the 13th man will be. Maile would get 72, and the 13th man is 0, he’d just be a PH/PR/DR guy, and I like Thompson for that role.

    Now that seems bad to some people who will say, “I want player X to get 145 or 150 starts.” The reality is several players will become injured throughout a season, so their start will be much less than 126, and the healthy ones will be the beneficiaries of the increased starts. I think we are in a perfect spot to be competitive all year long now that we are 12 players deep.

    • Optimist

      Yes – and I haven’t looked for a while, but a 3rd priority might be considering the AAA catchers – almost always need 3 over 162 games, so the top 2 in Louisville are important.

    • Ralph Gill

      Call me naive for shortsighted but why would you sign and then Fielder when you’re loaded with tremendous young infield Talent that are going to lose that bats to Candelario. I only saying that defies logic is that they’re planning on trading one of their young and filters to a team for pitching. The Reds have so much young pitching Talent that it would be counterproductive to lose one of those young talented infielders for a veteran picture when you have all those young pitchers are ready to come into their own. Can anybody share some inside or wisdom as to the rationale for that signing?

  98. capnhook33

    I think one thing here is that everyone is vastly overvaluing all of the young guys and just taking it for granted that they all improve. I think this is to add a proven commodity to the team so that the whole offense doesn’t just crater. We had rookies with good surface numbers, but look 1 level deeper and you’ll see what I mean –

    Steer – Honestly the only one I’m not worried about. A little older and a patience/power approach that plays for a long time. Reminds me of Andre Ethier, and if we got that career from him I’d be thrilled.

    McLain – Value is boosted by strong up the middle defense. I have concerns on the bat though. He had a .385 babip, which is unsustainable. He will have to improve on a 7.7% BB rate and cut down on 28.5% K rate to bridge that gap.

    Elly – Honestly all things considered he might not make the team. He started hot, but that really got bad towards the end. Obviously a 33.7% K rate won’t cut it. That has to be better. What’s crazy is he still had a .336 babip, but he struck out so much you wouldn’t know it. He’s still not quite settled on D, and I thought he looked better at 3rd than short.

    CES – Only 200 ABs at the major league level and only 1 season above AA. He might take off, but it’s really hard to tell. He also had high K with very little BB. A full season of that projects to about 180k with only 40BB. Need to see growth.

    Marte – Only 114 ABs against a time when a lot of teams are playing out the string. That is just really hard to evaluate anything off of. But he also had a super high babip and low walks, but also a good strikeout profile. His D looked uncomfortable and there are concerns he pans out there.

    India – The real question is will he play enough and if he is playing ,will he hit leadoff? I’ve mentioned this before, but he’s a .800 OPS leadoff hitter over 1000 PAs. This includes a .376 OBP. He absolutely loves to be a tablesetter. If you aren’t committed to hitting him leadoff, then send him out. If you are, then play him there and get guys on base.

    Those are a lot of question marks and you just have no idea how it’s gonna shake out.

    • JohnnySofa

      Yeah, I’m sure you were saying the exact same thing two weeks ago: “we’re vastly overvaluing the young guys.” But today you see the Reds sign a 7th infielder who had a career year with 22 HRs and 70 RBIs, and suddenly every single one of the guys we should be excited about — Steer, MM, EDC, Marte, CES, India — are big question marks. Good Lord. Every one of those guys is at least 4 years younger than your precious Candy and will likely destroy his career numbers. Steer was a top ROY candidate, consistently good, adaptable … and you say you’re “worried” because he’s “older?” What the actual h—?

      You guys go ahead and get all tingly about an average 30-year-old corner infielder (yes, that’s exactly what Candy is, which is why he’s on his 4th team in 2 years). I’ll bank on the young guys who made us spill our beers in ’23 and still have miles of improvement in front of them.


      • capnhook33

        I think you are misunderstanding. They played great. But I was always in the camp that was let’s wait and see how they pan out long term. I’ve posted that on this site multiple times. I was one of the few who was not saying sign Elly long term after 2 weeks in the majors.

        There are countless examples of young guys who tear it up early but fizzle out quick because pitchers adjust to them and they can’t figure it out. I’m pointing out that you can’t universally expect all these guys to be better next year or even as good. Hell, India is a perfect example. He won ROY and then the next year battled injuries and a slump.

        All those things I pointed out are real areas of concern for this team. And I think getting a proven commodity like JC is a message that no one is being handed a roster spot. That’s why I think they haven’t announced a trade yet, like everyone is predicting. They don’t feel like they have to have all these players on the opening day right now, so it gives them flexibility to get more seasoning on some guys and make a trade. It just takes them from a place of absolute need and puts them in a bit more flexible position.

    • JohnnySofa

      Apologies. I misread Hook’s comment on Steer. Scratch my sentence responding to that. Everything else holds though.

      • Optimist

        “Every one of those guys is at least 4 years younger than your precious Candy and will likely destroy his career numbers. ”

        Save that line. If it proves accurate, repost it in 5 years to celebrate their second WS title.

    • Jeremiah

      You make some good points hook. I think Mcclain will come back down to earth a bit. Marte is the one I’m most excited about being a top tier hitter, but who knows as far as year two.

      My first thought I liked the Candalerio signing, but when I looked at his career numbers, I thought his contract is a stretch. It seems MLB is entering kind of that NBA and NFL era now where like a backup NBA bench player started making like 15 million a year, and average NFL QBs are making 40 million a year. The money is just huge even for average or below average players. Now I’ve kind of come around to overall being ok with the signing. He may be a bust, but it’s not a huge hit for just 3 years.

      I think the Reds are banking on him hitting better in GABP, that he has usually had pretty high doubles numbers, and having somewhat of a veteran presence is good. I also think as you mentioned it’s a sign these young guys aren’t just being handed their position. I think some of that mentality of you’ve kind of arrived and its your position these young guys have to realize is not necessarily true on the Pro level. You have to earn it and keep performing at the pro level.

      I hope Candelerio is at least average. We’ll see.

  99. docproc

    Wow, over 400 comments on this post. Nice to see the fanbase cares. RLN is a loyal Reds community.

    After a day of mulling it over, I’m more positive about this signing than I was yesterday. I was afraid at first that this was Moose 2.0, but now I’m hoping it’s Castellanos 2.0 (with no opt-out clause). Candelario is a 30-year-old switch-hitter who is a doubles machine. His (small sample) OPS in GABP is 1.000+ and there’s decent reason to believe he will mash in the home ballpark. And the contract dollars and length were reasonable.

    I would be happier about this deal if we offloaded India in a deal for a starting pitcher. And if the addition of Candelario leads to the subtraction of Marte and/or CES, then I’m back to hating this deal.

    • Optimist

      Subtracting CES or Marte would sour this signing. Otherwise, he needn’t be Castellanos 2.0 – it’s fewer $$$ and he’s apparently a better defender, so just good enough is acceptable, anything better is a win. Also, no opt-out and until shown otherwise, no no-trade limits so he’d much easier to trade if productive or shed if not.

      This is not an anchor to the budget, nor an excuse to not pursue bigger FAs.

    • BK

      I agree that subtracting CES or Marte would sour this deal … unless they bring back and equally young and promising starting pitcher with similar control.

      P.S. I expect Marte to play a lot. I think the Reds are hoping he competes for 2024 ROY and nets them an additional pick.

      • AllTheHype

        Yeah I think Marte would be darn near untouchable. His exit velos combined with his contact and chase rates are what you dream about in a prospect, and he’s going to improve on the latter even more.

        He may end up having the best career out of all of them.

  100. Melvin

    I have a very bad feeling that CES is now going to be traded for a pitcher. Hope I’m wrong.

    • Melvin

      “According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (subscription required), club officials view Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, and Noelvi Marte as long-term fixtures moving forward.”

      CES not mentioned?

      • BK

        I would go read the articles on the Cincinnati Enquirer. Right now, they seem to have the best insight as to what the Reds are doing. Rosencrans’s article also lacked the depth of coverage provided by Charlie Goldsmith (I would encourage you to listen to the short video he did on “X” a few days ago) and Gordon Wittenmyer.