So, maybe I am dreaming a little bit. The Cincinnati Reds have been bad the last few years, really bad. The Reds have lost 90+ games three years in a row. My girlfriend and I go to a lot of Reds games, I am a huge fan, but that’s all I am. So take what I say with a grain of salt. They have thrown some BAD starting pitchers. (Adleman, Woj, and the most recent version of Bronson Arroyo) I’m a huge Bronson fan, appreciate watching him so much during his Reds career. Anyway, with all due respect to those guys, they have debuted 24 players for the first time in the last 2 years. That is an entire teams worth of young talent, not to mention the guys already on the roster (Votto, Saurez, Duvall) Chances are if you went and watched this team the last few years, they have lost, but If we can catch a little luck, winning looks closer than it may appear. Here are 3 things the Reds can do to contend in 2020.
Get an Ace: Fans of baseball just laughed a little when I said that as if that is an easy thing to do. Let’s just order one up. Some Red’s followers may say we have Hunter Greene (Red’s First pick 2017) coming in a few years. Prospects are just that, they have to work out. Here is what I know about the rotation for next years Reds. (Bailey, Castillo, and Disco) should be mainstays in the rotation without injury. (2 of those names are injury prone). There are a lot of options for those last two spots, but the Red’s should consider unloading some talent for a top level arm. The Reds have Senzel (Cant miss prospect at AA, hits like a machine) so Saurez, Peraza or Gennett could move within the next year or 2. Same situation in the Outfield, Winker(on-base machine, #winkertoleadoff) Schebler, Duvall, and Hamilton. Trade any of them, just not Winker. Package them with any of the 10 higher level prospects the Reds have and grab someone like Chris Archer (Tampa Bay) or Marcus Stroman (Toronto) A good package could grab a guy like this so the Reds could control a good starting pitcher through 2020. The rotation could be (Archer, Castillo, Disco, and Bailey) throw in any of the young names Rob Stephenson, Amir Garrett or Brandon Finnegan and we look pretty serviceable in my opinion.
The next two fixes are a little easier for the Reds.
Replace Bryan Price
The core of the team is younger, our new GM is a new baseball thinker that values guys who either get on-base a ton or hit home runs. Price seems to value the other guys. I’m not a Bryan Price hater, what he did with the starting rotation during the 4-yr span where the Red’s won the Division or made the playoffs 3 times was spectacular. They just produced all day long. The current Reds have not produced a winning culture. I’m not sure who the replacement is and I know the grass isn’t always greener, but the Reds need to part ways with Bryan Price.
Do Not Trade Joey Votto
Look, I know the argument, he’s expensive, he doesn’t care about the fans, he’s getting older.. I get it, but if the goal is to win in two seasons, convince me that we have someone who can play first base better than Votto? The dude is the best hitter on the planet. I may be bias a little bit, but I see the way the guy hits and how he gets on base. His game is one that most suggest will age like a wine. He has such a great command of the strike zone and hits on another level. Our guys need that, young hitters need to see that. His approach is second to none. I had a running joke with my roommate in College that he was Mr. FirstBase, like he was always on first base, playing first base and getting on first whether in be with a hit or walk.
I know the future of the Reds is in better shape than the last few years. The core of the team is finally maturing, they have strong young pieces and are getting more fun to watch. I am hoping when we go to our first game of the year, it feels like we are starting a 3 year climb to the World Series. A guy can dream, right?