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Cincinnati Reds

Back to The Reds Future

The Cincinnati Reds are ready to compete now and for the foreseeable future because of Dick Williams getting guys like Yasiel Puig without giving up the farm.

Dave Pemberton

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Outside of maybe the Phillies, I cannot think of a more talked about NL team than the Reds right now. The Reds front office have taken what looked like a failed rebuild and turned it into a possible contender for 2019. It will more than likely result in the best team we’ve seen since 2013. Many seemed to have hopped back onto the Redleg bandwagon before the season has started because of the excitement surrounding Yasiel Puig. Lots of people also seem to believe the team will be able to compete because for the first time in past five years they have what looks like on paper a serviceable starting rotation. That, combined with a formidable lineup, makes this team worth watching.

However there are still many doubters. They will tell you this is just a one year science experiment. That the experiment will ultimately fail. Then in the following 2020 season we will return to our 90 loss seasons with no signs of a promising future. I am here to tell you that is not going to happen.

The reasons why this team will remain competitive for the next several years are threefold: 1.) plenty of payroll space to extend and sign free agents, 2.) a loaded farm system, 3.) a front office that wants to win as soon as possible.

1) Plenty of Payroll Space to Extend Contracts and Sign Free Agents According to BaseballReference.com the 2020 Reds currently only have $57.9 million in guaranteed contracts. Granted, that number will ultimately end up being higher because of players with arbitration cases, however, this gives the Reds tremendous financial flexibility. They could probably offer reasonable extensions to Scooter Gennett, Puig, Alex Wood, Tanner Roark, and David Hernandez. By no means am I saying they should offer extensions to all of them. They could easily pick up the club option for $3 million on Jared Hughes. Even with those possible contract extensions they could be more aggressive in this off seasons free agency market. Rumor has it they are willing to get up into the $130’s for the total payroll.

2) Loaded Farm System According to MLB Pipeline the Reds have the 9th best farm system. What’s more important is that MLB Pipeline has 12 of their top 30 prospects arriving in the 2020 season. The Reds had Senzel, Trammell, Greene, and India all in the top 100 MLB prospects. This does not include other players such as Mahle, Tyler Stephenson, Siri, and Santillan who could be making an under the radar impact next season. This also gives the Reds more trade bait if they decide to go after a big fish in the short term.

3) The Front Office wants to Win Now If I told you at the end of the 2018 season the Reds would be a competitive and exciting next season you would have laughed in my face. Enter Dick Williams and Nick Krall. Or as I like to think of them as Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in Moneyball. They executed perfectly in exploiting a huge flaw in baseball economics this season. Teams wanting to dump payroll to avoid the luxury tax while making room for huge free agency signings. Perhaps the most incredible part was that they were able to trade their way to a competitive team without giving away there top 5 prospects. When I got news of many of these trades I had to do a double take. Thinking there is no way we acquired this talent without giving up our top talent. However they were able to acquire Roark, Puig, Wood, Matt Kemp, and Sonny Gray without really giving up much at all. All of those players, except for Gray, are in a contract year. I am a firm believer that contract years more often than not result in career years for many players. Not to mention the free agent signings of Dietrich and Iglesias to minor league contracts. And the best part of it all: they were able to dump the biggest waste of a contract in Homer Bailey. Heaven forbid, this experiment does fail, when the trade deadline arrives, I am confident that the front office will move these players while getting decent returns for the 2020 season. If Williams and Krall were able to make that happen with what seemed like a hopeless future I am confident that they know better than any of us how to make this team a World Series champion again.

I am confident in the decision-making of our front office to provide us with an aggressiveness that shows they are ready to win over the next several seasons. The rebuild is over. Losing in the name of player development is no longer acceptable. This organization wants to win a World Series in the foreseeable future. I was 3 years old when the Reds won there last World Series in 1990. I now have a 3 year old son of my own. I hope he doesn’t have to wait much longer.

I grew up engulfed in baseball. My grandfather had season tickets for the Reds from 1970 until 2002. I was raised in a neighborhood that was essentially the Sandlot set in the 1990's but with even more kids. We played from the minute we woke up until it was too dark to see the ball. Then we'd spend the night at someones house playing baseball video games, talking about baseball cards, or watching it on television. I idolized Barry Larkin as fielder, hitter, and leader. I was fortunate enough to play baseball through high school. Now I am a registered nurse, married way out of my league, and have two amazing kids that will exceed anything I ever do in this life. I am fortunate enough to have a Reds season ticket package with my close friends and family. The Reds ballpark is my second home. Baseball has provided me with some of my most treasured memories shared over four generations.

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Cincinnati Reds

Should the Reds Sign or Trade Puig?

With the way he has struggled, and the Reds’ current pace, we may see Puig on the move before the trade deadline.

Clay Snowden

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Yasiel Puig gave this team energy in December. The Cincinnati Reds haven’t had excitement in December in years. Acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Dodgers, Puig came to town with a lot of buzz. You may remember him parading around town posting on social media about how much he loved Cincinnati and how excited he was to be a Red. I was thrilled. The talks of 30+ home runs and reaping the benefits of GABP had many fans following the Reds once again. Fast forward to mid- June and no one is too excited about the .213 hitter. The Reds’ chances at making the playoffs seems slim and it might be time to move some rentals. With an expiring contract the question is this: should the Reds look to trade Puig at the deadline?

One thing we all know about Puig is that he’s an emotional player and a big personality. This season, hitting and getting on base has been a struggle for the Wild Horse. A .213 average and a *squints* .256 on-base percentage are awful. 62 K’s to 13 walks is not pretty, either. Sitting at a -0.3 WAR you wonder what’s going on. 11 home runs and 9 stolen bases are positives. He has a strong arm in the outfield as well. While a walk off hit and “I am going to fight an entire Pirates’ team” were memorable moments of the season and, fun as hell, I am not sure if he’ll have a chance to make many more moments like these. So what teams are looking for a corner outfielder who is struggling and is maybe “a bit too much of a personality” for some? That might be the problem. The first corner outfielder off the market was Jay Bruce (name sounds familiar) to the Phillies. The amount of contending teams needing a corner outfield bat is not high and honestly there are simply better options available.

On paper, you would not see a larger return for a player with his stats. Look at his track record, a career .273 hitter that is no doubt a talented player. It might take an injury on a contending team to get his value up. A trade of “we lost a player and need to replace him” not a “let’s see if we can upgrade from our current player” type of trade. When the Reds traded Bruce to the Mets they took a flyer on an injured former high prospect Dilson Herrera. Sometimes taking a flyer on a prospect who might need a change of scenery can pay off big time. Someone did mention they could trade him and try to sign him back in the offseason. While true, I think the Reds would not trade him if they plan to sign him to an extension.

Signing Puig to an extension would pretty much set the outfield for a few years. Winker, Senzel (assuming he stays there), Puig. But with Taylor Trammell approaching quickly where would that put him? Ervin, Schebler, Sirri, Siani, and others could play a role in the future. Puig is not going to be cheap, either. What he does from here on out will give us a better idea but at only 28 years old he has many years left in him. Plenty of expiring contracts will need to be resigned and, well, the Reds don’t have Yankees-type money.

The trade deadline is coming soon and the Reds making the playoffs is very unlikely. Look for the front office to move some players for prospects and for Puig to be a prominently rumored player on the move.

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Cincinnati Reds

Locked On Reds – 6/13/2019 Reds Split with Indians

Thursday’s episode is up!

Jeff

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Cincinnati Reds

Scooter Get Off The Pot

Scooter Gennett is a dude who will be hard to say goodbye to. The team’s current makeup, however, makes it seem that is coming, sooner rather than later.

Dave Pemberton

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© David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff has brought up a lot of talk about who we as fans would hate to see get traded this year. For me there is only one answer. Scooter Gennett.

Without a doubt it has to be him. While I completely understand if they do from a financial and bigger picture stand point, it will eat my soul. I haven’t seen a Cincinnati native this well liked since Barry Larkin.

Everything about him including his name screams a Cincinnati Reds ballplayer. You can see it in his play, character, leadership, and communication that this guy LOVES playing for his home town team. The man is already a Reds legend after smacking 4 home runs in a game. A game that, by sheer luck, I was able to witness. It was, by far, the best moment I have ever witnessed in person at GABP. He put up the best numbers of his career in 2017 only to follow it up with a better season as an All Star in 2018.

Scooter has made it clear he would like to remain a Red and loves this organization. I was really hoping the Reds would extend him to a short term deal last season after an incredible season that almost saw him win a batting title. I even tried starting the #ScooterGetOffThePot trend. Instead, like many things in recent memory with this team, good things go wrong quickly. He suffered the worst injury of his career with a severe strained groin.

Making the case for extending him even more difficult has been the off-the-wall performance by Derek Dietrich. Another free agent find who has been as wildly entertaining and likable. Dietrich has already made himself the face of the team this year with his kid like swagger for the game. Dietrich was just named second basemen of the month of May by the MLB. Per Stats by STATS Dietrich played in 55 games with a .706 slugging percentage. The only other player in baseball history to match that in there first 55 game with an organization was a HOF 2B Rogers Hornsby. The Reds also have control of Dietrich’s contract next season being an arbitration year. If you remove Dietrich from the equation it’s not any better.

Jose Iglesias is a must start for this team, currently, at shortstop. Iglesias is the best defensive infielder the team has had since Brandon Phillips. Iglesias also currently holds the highest batting average on the team nearly two months into the season. Meaning Jose Peraza has no place left to play but filling in for guys on their day off. Peraza also seems like a guy that, come next season, will more than likely be the starting shortstop simply because of his age and salary.

The Reds have their current center fielder, Nick Senzel, who has been the spark to this offense since coming up to the big leagues. The Reds have averaged nearly 2 more runs a game since Senzel has been playing for the team. Senzel definently stands a chance to be Rookie of the Year. Most importantly he seems to a guaranteed core player of this team’s foreseeable future. Senzel is a player who could, hypothetically, be the Reds starting second baseman for 2020. Plus they have Johnathan India, last year’s first round pick, quickly making his way up through the minors. He could potentially take that spot if not next season the following year.

None of this leads me to believe Scooter will be playing for this team next year. He is the perfect trading chip if they are looking to have a sale at the trade deadline or add a missing piece as well. I think what I enjoy about Scooter Gennett most is his GRIT. There is no denying the dude has GRIT. Something many of the players on this team currently do not have. More than anything that is why I will hate if he is traded.

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