Throughout this offseason, I’ll be reviewing the current status of all 30 MLB clubs, in reverse order of their standing on my 2021 year-endteam true-talent rankings. Today, we continue with the No. 11 Cincinnati Reds.
11. Cincinnati Reds
Actual Record = 83-79, Projected Record = 86-76
Offensive Rating = 107.4 (7th), Pitching Rating = 96.6 (13th), Defensive Rating = 103.5 (24th); 2021 ASB = 13th, 2020 Final = 7th
Obviously, the 2021-22 offseason hasn’t gone the way baseball fans would have liked. The lockout interrupted the winter trade and free agent markets, and spring training and ultimately Opening Day will soon be in danger.
Early last week, I wrote about the Oakland Athletics, the #14 club on these 2021 year-end team true-talent rankings. Having reached the end of their own self-imposed competitive “window”. The A’s traded some vets a few years back, reset their foundation, tried to contend (and did) for a few years, and will likely kickstart their next rebuild in earnest once the lockout ends. They even let their manager, Bob Melvin, walk and join the contending Padres without compensation despite having a year left on his contract.
Though the circumstances and payroll levels are a bit different, the Cincinnati Reds are in a sense the National League counterparts of the A’s. After finishing under .500 for five consecutive seasons from 2014-18, they decided to mine their increasingly fertile farm system to take a step forward in 2019. Their biggest move was with the Dodgers, obtaining OF Yasiel Puig and LHP Alex Wood for a package centered around two of their top prospects, SS Jeter Downs and RHP Josiah Gray.
MORE FROMFORBES ADVISOR
To put it mildly, this trade did not work out for the Reds. Wood made all of seven starts for the Reds before becoming a free agent and going right back to the Dodgers. Puig didn’t last a full season in Cincy, becoming part of the trade that brought Trevor Bauer to the Reds.......for a season and a half before he became a free agent and - went to the Dodgers. As a brokerage fee on this transaction tree, the Reds yielded yet another top prospect in OF Taylor Trammell. Meanwhile, Gray is now a budding star in Washington, while Downs has been up and, well, down as a still viable Red Sox prospect.
The fruit of this competitive window? Barely above .500 finishes in 2020 and 2021, with one playoff berth (that lasted all of two games) in the expanded field of the COVID-19-shortened 2020 campaign. And the minor league system, while not depleted, is far from its 2018 peak.
The Reds stand at a crossroads presently. The NL Central is an attainable division. There are no financial juggernauts or eternal contenders, though the St. Louis Cardinals seem to be at least eternally relevant. Still, this club has made it clear that they will not spend in the $145-165M team payroll range that they maintained over the last three seasons.
They have already dealt C Tucker Barnhart to Detroit, and allowed LHP Wade Miley to jump to the Cubs via a waiver claim, trimming $17.5M off of their 2022 tab. In addition, RF Nick Castellanos opted out of a deal that would have paid him $16M in 2022 to enter free agency. It is assumed that he will not return to Cincinnati.
Do the Reds stand pat, or do they make further cuts by trading from their greatest strength - their deep starting rotation?
I’ve often referred to the continuing downward trend of the number of pitchers qualifying for the ERA titles (162 or more innings pitched) in recent seasons. In 2021, only 39 pitchers in both leagues combined qualified - about half as many as just a few seasons ago. A grand total of two teams - ironically Oakland and Cincinnati - had three such pitchers on their roster for the entire 2021 season.
The Reds’ Big Three were Miley, Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle. Sonny Gray didn’t get to the 162-inning qualification threshold, but wasn’t that far off. Gray is signed for one more year (at $10.5M) plus a relatively team-friendly club option for $12M in 2023. Both Castillo and Mahle have two more arbitration-eligible seasons before simultaneously becoming free agents in 2024. If they remain healthy, they’ll command more in combined 2022-23 salary than Gray.
The Reds clearly have some important decisions to make. They can:
1) Keep them all, under the probably correct assumption that a club with those three at the top of its rotation that is average in all other respects is a playoff team. (Then they have to figure out a way to become an average defensive club, not an easy task).
2) Pick and choose, perhaps moving one of the three for immediate position player help and/or farm system reinforcement, or
3) Go full blown fire sale.
Let’s try to assess the respective value of these three to help decide the path the Reds should choose.
To me, Castillo and Mahle are clearly more valuable than Gray. Castillo will be 29, Mahle 27, and Gray 32 in 2022. Mahle and Gray had very comparable K/BB profiles in 2021, with Castillo a little bit worse on both ends of the equation.
Mahle has a fairly balanced batted ball profile, with a somewhat pronounced ability to induce pop ups. Gray’s grounder rate was significantly above league average, while Castillo was one of the elite grounder generators in either league.
All three were hurt substantially by the club’s below average team defense last season - posting Unadjusted (actual) Contact Scores well worse than their Adjusted marks (108 vs. 96 for Mahle, 107 vs. 86 for Castillo, 101 vs. 92 for Gray). Adding the Ks and BBs back into the equation, all three were roughly 20% better than league average, posting “Tru” ERA- marks of 80 (Mahle and Gray) and 82 (Castillo). In all cases, those marks are better than their more traditional ERA- and FIP- figures.
So what would I do? First, keep Castillo. 2021 was an off-season for him. At his best, he can join the Cy Young chase. Mahle might bring the largest package in return, but is also the youngest. Unless I’m bowled over, I’d keep him.
I would move Sonny Gray. His innings quantity is a question mark, but his quality has consistently been there. There should be a robust starting pitching trade market once the offseason resumes, and he offers value above his contract. I could also be convinced to keep all three and run it back, but given the financial realities, I doubt that will happen.
As things stand today, the Reds no longer have the 11th best roster in baseball. These rankings are based on 2021 club performance. To remain in the upper half and at least contend for a playoff spot in 2022, their rotation needs to remain a clear strength.
THE 2021 SEASON
We’ve already discussed the front of the Reds’ rotation in some level of detail. Righty Vladimir Gutierrez will get an opportunity to compete for a back-end rotation slot. My expectations are not particularly high. He lacks a go-to pop up or grounder tendency or much K/BB profile margin for error. One driver behind his decent 2021 performance was a low 16.4% liner rate allowed, and such marks tend to be quite volatile from year to year. Expect regression to the mean.
I have higher hopes for Tony Santillan and Reiver Sanmartin. Santillan was used primarily out of the pen at the MLB level, but at least deserves a shot at a rotation spot. Command may be his biggest issue. Command is lefty Sanmartin’s strong suit. He’s a bit of a late bloomer, and actually came over from the Yankees in the Gray trade a few years back. His bat-missing ability is a concern, but he’s shown a knack for making forward progress each season. We’ll discuss some minor league pitching options below.
You can’t talk about the Reds without discussing their resident Hall of Famer, 1B Joey Votto. Just a couple years ago, his massive contract appeared to be a sunk cost, but the master of adjustments has once again become a force. Sure, he’s totally sold out for power, and his ballpark helps quite a bit, but there’s a time and place for such an approach, and it’s in the late stages of one’s career. He still posts a sky-high liner rate annually and works the count expertly, giving him a very high OBP floor. He’s unlikely to repeat his 2021 performance, but he’ll be productive over the last two years on his contract.
LF Jesse Winker is a hit-before-power guy who has developed power. 2021 was a breakthrough campaign, but he’s capable of even better. Strong K/BB profile as a foundation? Check. High liner rate? Check. Strong authority on a line and on the ground? Check. Absence of extreme pull tendency? Check. To be a true superstar, all that’s left is consistently strong fly ball authority and better performance vs. same-handed pitching.
About extreme pulling tendencies.....they can ruin a career. Ask Eugenio Suarez. He still can destroy a mistake fastball out over the plate - but that’s about it. He’s helpless on the outer third of the plate and outward, and pitchers know it. The Reds tried moving him to shortstop in 2021 and it made his bat even worse. He’s under contract at a non-prohibitive rate through 2024 so will get more chances to work through it.
2B Jonathan India was the NL Rookie of the Year last season, but doesn’t exude star power in my opinion. He’s fundamentally strong across the board, with a solid idea of the strike zone for his age. He hits the ball hard enough to be a 20-25 HR guy in Great American Ball Park, but I don’t see material upside above his 2021 output. A quality core player, not a star.
The Reds owe 3B/2B Mike Moustakas $34M over the next two seasons, and are hoping he isn’t finished. A nagging foot injury destroyed his 2021 campaign, and he wasn’t particularly effective when healthy. He can salvage some value if he can provide insurance behind India and Suarez.
The Reds got quality 2021 production from two unexpected sources, C Tyler Stephenson and SS Kyle Farmer. Stephenson might not be as defensively advanced as Barnhart, but his offensive upside is higher. The Reds still may look to upgrade defensively on Farmer, the one piece remaining from the Wood/Puig deal, but he has proved himself to be at least a viable presence at SS.
The less said about the Reds’ bullpen, the better, They were far from the only club to struggle in that area last season, but pen hopes were higher in Cincy than in most places. Lucas Sims seems to the best bet among returnees to emerge as the Reds’ closer.
DOWN ON THE FARM
RHP Hunter Greene is the big fish here. He can bring it at over 100 MPH, commands the ball quite well, and has repeatable mechanics. He doesn’t miss as many bats as one would expect given his stuff, but the tools are there to be a top-tier starter. LHP Nick Lodolo isn’t far behind Greene timing-wise. He’s a fairly finished product and could be a mid-rotation starter quite soon.
The Reds have a number of potential future shortstops. Jose Barrero is likely first in line, though a bit of his prospect shine has dimmed due to an uneven first opportunity in 2021. Top 2021 draft pick Matt McLain is the most likely to reach his ceiling, which is a bit above average offensively and defensively. Elly De La Cruz is the wild card, a rapidly developing physical kid with some power upside. 3B Rece Hinds is a risk/reward type, but has the most pop in the system. All in all, the system is in the average range qualitatively, with below average overall depth.
They’ve already cut Barnhart/Miley/likely Castellanos’ money - will they cut more? Any shopping they do will likely be in the bargain aisles, and should be focused on improving team defense.
Keen on putting an end to a two-decade playoff drought, the Seattle Mariners pushed the chips forward on Friday night by acquiring Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo. Going to Cincinnati is a package of four prospects: SS Noelvi Marte, SS Edwin Arroyo, RHP Levi Stoudt and RHP Andrew Moore.How much money do the Reds have to spend? ›
|Estimated 2023 Payroll:||$73M||Legend:|
|Estimated Final 2022 Payroll:||$107M||Estimated Value|Money Owed to Team|
The Reds carried about a $130 million payroll in 2021. It dropped near $110 million this year, according to FanGraphs, and they'll enter the offseason with under $75 million committed to the 2023 roster.What starting pitchers are available for trade? ›
- Luis Castillo, RHP, Reds. ...
- Martín Pérez, LHP, Rangers. ...
- Kyle Freeland, LHP, Rockies. ...
- Tyler Mahle, RHP, Reds. ...
- Edward Cabrera, RHP, Marlins. ...
- Madison Bumgarner, LHP, Diamondbacks. ...
- Merrill Kelly, RHP, Diamondbacks.
The Cincinnati Reds have traded starting pitcher Tyler Mahle to the Minnesota Twins for prospects Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Steven Hajjar.Are the Reds still paying Griffey? ›
Around 50% of Griffey's contract was deferred from 2009 until 2024, per the report. That means Griffey receives nearly $3.6 million every season from 2009 through 2024. The Reds are not the only team continuing to pay players well past their retirement.How much are the Reds still paying Griffey? ›
The 52-year-old Hall of Famer, who retired from baseball in 2010, signed a nine-year, $112.5 million contract with the Reds in 2000. Nearly 50 percent of Griffey's contract was deferred from 2009 until 2024, which means he will continue to receive $3.59 million every year through 2024.Do the Reds make a profit? ›
Revenue of the Cincinnati Reds (MLB) from 2001 to 2021 (in million U.S. dollars)
|Characteristic||Revenue in million U.S. dollars|
How much does a Ball Boy make? As of Nov 21, 2022, the average annual pay for a Ball Boy in the United States is $38,823 a year.
- 1B Prince Fielder: $215,754,779. ...
- P Cole Hamels: $204,443,666. ...
- Mets SP Max Scherzer: $197,908,333. ...
- Angels OF Mike Trout: $196,740,12579. ...
- 3B David Wright: $194,106,500. ...
- OF Barry Bonds: $192,945,000. ...
- SP Jon Lester: $192,457,959. Career: 2006-21. ...
- 1B Ryan Howard: $190,771,780. Career: 2004-16.
- Max Scherzer, SP, Mets, $43.3 million.
- Mike Trout, OF, Angels, $37.1 million. ...
- Anthony Rendon, 3B, Angels, $36.5 million. ...
- Gerrit Cole, SP, Yankees, $36 million. ...
- Carlos Correa, SS, Twins, $35.1 million. ...
Phillies' Aaron Nola Deserves NL Cy Young, Was Best Pitcher In MLB In 2022. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.Who is the best starting pitcher in baseball 2022? ›
The minimum salary is $400 weekly at rookie level, $500 at Class A, $600 at Double-A and $700 at Triple-A.What is Josh Hader salary? ›
|Contract:||1 yr(s) / $687,600|
|Free Agent:||2024 / UFA|
|Est. Earnings (2 seasons)||$1,125,643||$5,673,143|
Aaron Donald is the NFL's highest-paid defensive lineman. See what the top 32 will earn in 2022.Who is the Reds number 1 prospect? ›
|HIT||RAW POWER||GAME POWER|
Traded RHP Luis Castillo to Seattle in exchange for INFs Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo and RHPs Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore. Reinstated LHP Ross Detweiler from the 15-day IL and CF Jake Fraley from the 60-day IL. Placed RHP Hunter Strickland on the bereavement list. Placed C Tyler Stephenson on the 10-day IL.
The base hit by Youngblood was his last in a Mets uniform. Word came down to the Mets dugout that Youngblood had indeed been traded. He was dealt to Montreal for the infamous player-to-be-named-later (pitcher Tom Gorman was sent to the Mets on August 16, 1982). The Mets struck for two more in the top of fourth.Why is Bobby Bonilla still getting paid? ›
The Madoff money never came, of course, and the Mets were wrong. Now Bonilla is 59 years old, and because of the deferred structure of the deal he made with agents Dennis Gilbert and Rick Thurman, he will continue to receive an annual check from the Mets until 2035, the year he turns 72.What retired MLB player is still getting paid? ›
Bonilla last played for the Mets in 1999 and last played in the majors for the Cardinals in 2001, but he will be paid through 2035 (when he'll be 72).Why is Griffey Jr still getting paid? ›
As the Post reported, Griffey Jr. is still getting paid by the Reds due to a contract he agreed to in 2000 that deferred his salary to payments between 2009 and 2024.Who's the highest paid Reds player? ›
First baseman Joey Votto still has the highest salary on the team at $25 million this season. Infielder Mike Moustakas ($16 million) and outfielder Shogo Akiyama ($8 million) are second and third, followed by a pair of starting pitchers in Luis Castillo ($7.5 million) and Tyler Mahle ($5.5 million).How much is Ken Griffey Junior's rookie card worth? ›
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $125
Considered to be one of his most popular rookie cards, the 1989 Topps Traded issue features a young Griffey staring confidently with a bat over his shoulder.
Ken Griffey Jr.'s rookie card — the star of Upper Deck's 1989 inaugural set — has been a sizzler for decades. Gem-Mint examples easily soar into five-figure prices. In 2021, for example, we saw three PSA 10 Griffey rookies sell for $15,500, $20,300 and $30,400.What did Phil Castellini say about Reds fans? ›
Fifteen years of ownership and they haven't won to the extent that we would like. So, you had my faith, but you've lost it. ' Why should that fan maintain trust?” “Well, where are you gonna go?” Castellini said, his comments dripping with contempt for the average Reds fan who might dare question him.Who are the minority owners of the Reds? ›
AACE is a group of Black investors in the Reds, created in 2005 when ownership of the team was being prepared for sale to the Castellini group. Its members include Carl Satterwhite, the owner of River City Furniture and another former P&G executive, as well as Dr.Does MLB NFL or NBA make more money? ›
The average salary takes into account all player salaries, including those earning less than $1 million. According to the 2019-2020 salaries in North American sports leagues, NBA players earned the most per year, $8.32 million. The NFL comes in third place, and MLB salaries are second.
The total cash compensation, which includes bonus, and annual incentives, can vary anywhere from $27,966 to $36,264 with the average total cash compensation of $31,384.Do batboys travel with team? ›
The first thing to understand is that, except in very rare circumstances, bat boys don't travel on road trips with the team. So the home and visiting bat boys are both employed by the home team.How much does a MLB bullpen catcher make? ›
Hats off to the hard-working bullpen catchers across MLB.
|New York Mets||Eric Langill, Dave Racaniello|
Through an oral history project, Pettit recounted his unique path to the big leagues. In 1950, Pettit signed a contract worth the then-otherworldly sum of $100,000 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.Who was the first million dollar pitcher? ›
Nolan Ryan becomes baseball's first million dollar man | Baseball Hall of Fame.What would Babe Ruth's salary be today? ›
In today's dollars, Ruth would have been getting paid about $226,655 when the infamous trade happened. He was traded for $125,000, which roughly translates to just over $1.6 million dollars today. At his highest salary in 1931, he was making $80,000.Who is the lowest paid MLB player? ›
The lowest paid MLB players were Andrew Parrino, Stephen Tarpley and Magneuris Sierra, who made $563,500.What player has the lowest salary in the MLB? ›
|MLB Player||Team||Annual earnings|
|Michael Kopech||Chicago White Sox||$570,500|
The MLB raised minimum salaries for minor league players in 2021, increasing pay for players in Single-A from $290 to $500 per week, Double-A from $350 to $600 and Triple-A from $502 to $700 over the roughly five-month season.Who has the fastest fastball in MLB 2022? ›
Fastest pitch in 2022 MLB season
Louis Cardinals reliever' Ryan Helsley threw the fastest pitch in MLB this season with a 104 mph fastball against San Diego Padres slugger Josh Bell. The 104 mph pitch struck out Bell looking, sealing the final out of the eighth inning.
Helsley brought the heat in San Diego and registered the fastest pitch in the majors so far this season. SAN DIEGO — Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley set a new standard for throwing heat in 2022 against the Padres on Thursday.What MLB team has the best pitching rotation 2022? ›
- New York Yankees. 8 of 12.
- Atlanta Braves. 7 of 12. ...
- San Diego Padres. 6 of 12. ...
- Cleveland Guardians. 5 of 12. ...
- Tampa Bay Rays. 4 of 12. ...
- Toronto Blue Jays. 3 of 12. ...
- St. Louis Cardinals. 2 of 12. ...
- Philadelphia Phillies. 1 of 12. Aaron Nola (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) ...
2022 MLB Rookie Of the Year: Julio Rodriguez.Who is the best pitcher of all time? ›
- Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg: $23,571,428. ...
- Giants LHP Carlos Rodon: $21,500,000. ...
- Padres RHP Yu Darvish: $19,000,000. ...
- Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright: $17,500,000. ...
- Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas: $15,750,000. ...
- Astros RHP Lance McCullers Jr.: $15,250,000.
If called up to the majors, the minimum salary is $700,000 — which comes to $3,846 for each day in the big leagues. The minimum salary is $400 weekly at rookie level, $500 at Class A, $600 at Double-A and $700 at Triple-A.How much does a rookie MLB pitcher make? ›
The median salary for a starting pitcher is $5.2 million, and the median is $2.8 million.How much does a AAA baseball player make per year? ›
AAA baseball players recently got a pay bump, resulting in triple-A players making a minimum of $14,700 for an entire year or $700 weekly. It is worth keeping in mind that this is the minimum salary player can make, and there are additional ways they can be compensated throughout the year.Are the Red Sox still paying Rusney Castillo? ›
Rusney Castillo signed a 7 year / $72,500,000 contract with the Boston Red Sox, including a $5,400,000 signing bonus, $72,500,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $10,357,143.
Tampa Bay Rays send Diego Castillo to Seattle Mariners for JT Chargois, prospect Austin Shenton.
The Reds have acquired infield prospect Nicholas Northcut, completing the Pham trade. Northcut was not a top-30 prospect in the Red Sox' farm system in MLB.com's most recent prospect rankings.What did Seattle trade for Castillo? ›
Seattle sent four players to Cincinnati in return for Castillo, including three of its top five prospects. The return package included shortstops Noelvi Marte (the Mariners' No. 1 prospect) and Edwin Arroyo (No. 3), as well as right-handers Levi Stoudt (No.What was Bobby Bonilla's deal? ›
Bonilla and agent Dennis Gilbert worked out the contract addendum with the Mets after he was released in 2000. Instead of paying out the $5.9 million still owed to him following the 1999 season, the team agreed to pay Bonilla $1.19 million every July 1 from 2011 through 2035, when he will be 72 years old.Why does Bobby Bonilla get a check from the Mets? ›
Every July 1 until 2035, the New York Mets pay Bobby Bonilla $1.193 million as a result of a deferred contract he signed with the team in 1991.What was Bobby Bonilla's contract? ›
The auction closed late Saturday night. Bonilla, of course, is owed $1,193,248.20 from the Mets every July 1 -- known throughout the sports world as "Bobby Bonilla Day" -- through 2035 as part of the most infamous deferred payment contract in American professional sports history.Can Diego Castillo survive? ›
Diego Castillo Can Survive Far Cry 6, But He Can't Be Saved
Anton reigns as the unchallenged leader of Yara once more. Diego only meets his untimely death in Far Cry 6's true ending due to Anton's desire to free him from the consequences of the rebels' victory.
The Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners might be AL West rivals, but they hooked up for a four-player trade Tuesday. The Astros sent infielder Abraham Toro and right-handed reliever Joe Smith to the Mariners for righty relievers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero, the teams have announced.What did the Mariners give up for Castillo? ›
SEATTLE (AP) — Right-hander Luis Castillo agreed to a $108 million, five-year contract with the Seattle Mariners that starts next season, giving up a chance to become a free agent after the 2023 World Series.Is Tommy Pham a Viet? ›
Personal life. Pham is of both African American and Vietnamese (25%) heritage. He is the first person of Vietnamese descent to play in MLB since pitcher Danny Graves in 2006.Does Tommy Pham have keratoconus? ›
One of the most recognized athletes with the eye disease, keratoconus, is our own San Diego Padres' outfielder Tommy Pham.
Cincinnati Reds Transactions 2022.
|July 23, 2022||Placed C Tyler Stephenson on the 10-day IL. Recalled C Mark Kolozsvary from Louisville (IL).|
NFL Media's Albert Breer reports that Harvin's "anger management issues" followed him to Seattle, where according to two sources connected to the Seahawks, the receiver was involved in multiple physical altercations -- namely one with then-teammate Golden Tate before Super Bowl XLVIII.What did Seattle get for trading Wilson? ›
Thirteen months later, Seattle traded Wilson to the Denver Broncos along with a 2022 fourth-round pick in exchange for Drew Lock, Shelby Harris, Noah Fant, Denver's first- and second-rounders in each of the next two drafts as well as a 2022 fifth-rounder.Who was Jose Quintana traded for? ›
We have acquired RHP Johan Oviedo and 3B/1B Malcom Nuñez from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for LHP José Quintana and RHP Chris Stratton. In June, Nuñez led all Cardinals minor leaguers in batting average (.