Photo: Doug GrayWhat does the Reds signing of Mike Moustakas mean for the farm system? Doug Gray December 3, 2019 92 Comments If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few hours maybe you missed the news that the Cincinnati Reds have signed Mike Moustakas to a 4-year and $64M deal.While he’s spent an overwhelmingly large portion of his career at third base, in 2019 he played about a third of the season at second base. And that is where the Reds plan on using him. That gives the Cincinnati Reds four years of Eugenio Suarez at third base, Mike Moustakas at second base, and Joey Votto at first base. Shortstop…. well, that position has yet to be determined. What this does do, though, is basically take every prospect in the farm system that’s an infielder who can’t play shortstop, and put them on the outside looking in for a long time. And when we take a look at the shortstops on the farm, it’s Jose Garcia and then a whole lot of question marks. Some of those question marks have potential, for sure, but they’ve got a lot of stuff to still prove, too. The signing of Mike Moustakas puts the farm system in a rather interesting spot. Let’s start near the very top of the system with Jonathan India. He rated as the Reds #6 prospect on our list here at RedsMinorLeagues.com. Baseball America rated him as the #2 prospect in the organization just last week. Either way you slice it – he’s a Top 100 prospect that for the foreseeable future, has nowhere to play on the infield for the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds dabbled with him at shortstop in 2018 after the draft a few times, but that didn’t work. He did start to see a little bit of action at second base in 2019, and went to the Arizona Fall League to continue working on that. But with Moustakas signing that seems to be out of the equation at this point. There is no reason at all to believe that Jonathan India can’t play in the outfield. But he’s going to have to play in one of the corners. While he’s fast for his size, he’s not center fielder fast. And that brings up another situation: The Reds aren’t exactly without corner outfielders, either. Jesse Winker‘s an above-average big league hitter and has been every year in the Major Leagues. Aristides Aquino isn’t exactly established, but there’s a reason to believe he’s going to get a long look in 2020 to cement the right field job. Nick Senzel‘s the best prospect the Reds have had since Aroldis Chapman at the very least, and while he’s in center now, there’s nothing saying he can’t move to a corner spot if the team goes in a different direction in center. Ultimately, though, the Cincinnati Reds farm system, and it’s prospects are in a situation where there is going to be a lot of intrigue. If you are an infielder who isn’t a shortstop or a catcher, and you are going to play for the Reds in the future – you better still be a teenager, or you may want to start looking at other positions on the field that you can play. Or perhaps start thinking about the idea that you could be traded because there’s not a spot open for the foreseeable future. Even a move into the outfield leaves one with a lot of guys to overcome. For the Reds, that’s never a bad thing. The list of players in the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 prospect list that meet the requirements laid out above is fairly small, though. Obviously there’s Jonathan India. But beyond him there isn’t another non-teenage, non-shortstop infielder on the list. Rece Hinds, Tyler Callihan, and Michel Triana are all still teenagers. Jose Garcia, Braylin Minier, and Ivan Johnson are all shortstops. The rumors have long persisted around Jonathan India and the trade market. But he is still a Cincinnati Red. Whether that continues to be the case or not could change. The path to the Major Leagues did just get a bit tougher for the former 1st round pick, though. Second base seemed to be the destination in front of him as recently as last month. Now it seems that he’s going to either need to find yet another position to play that he’s never played before, or be traded to another organization that has a quicker path to the Majors than waiting out big league contracts to expire. Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditPocket 92 Responses Steve December 3, 2019 Flip India, Mahle, Siri and Aquino to mariners for Haniger and narvaez. Sign didi 4/64 Deal Barnhart and galvis for a cheap bp arm or minor leaguer. Sign a 5th starter Should fit within the budget and give 800+ ops at every position Reply Eric December 3, 2019 Need to remember the book on narvaez is that he is a poor defensive catcher. We also do not want to get ourselves to thin on prospect depth. I am fine with Haniger. I think if we get Didi and trade for an OF, whether that is Haniger or someone else that has a productive bat then we can live with offense that Barnhart/Casali bring to the table. Reply Norwood Nate December 3, 2019 I like the way you’re thinking. Especially on the first scenario and with Didi and finding a 5th starter. I’d also look into signing recently non-tendered LH reliever Alex Claudio, he always seemed to come in and shut the Reds down. He’s 27 and has been pretty good in the ML since coming up. I think hanging onto Galvis and Barnhart would be wise though. Good teams have good depth. Barnhart gives us the defensive C to bring in when we need it. Keeping Farmer as the third C eases the concerns of having two LH backstops, because we can give Farmer the occasional start against a tough lefty. Keeping Galvis gives us a really good option to back up both middle infield spots, and he’s got enough of a bat that you could play him here and there and have that much of a drop off. Then the Reds could part ways with Casali, combined with parting with Gausman and Peraza that shaves off roughly $15m off projected payroll. Meaning the Reds should have enough money to make a serious run at Wheeler and Didi. Reply Scott C December 3, 2019 I am good with signing Didi, I don’t think there is a shortstop to trade for that wouldn’t cost us an arm and a leg in prospects. If you got to overpay, pay with dollars. Otherwise I don’t see a real upgrade at short. Trading for Narvaez would be good or McCann from Chicago. I think both would be an upgrade with the bat. I agree with keeping Barnhart and Galvis, they both make the bench stronger. I do think the signing of Moose makes some more prospects available for trade including Van Meter and India. GhostRunner December 3, 2019 Not sure if blocking Garcia is a good idea? Reply Bill December 3, 2019 Tell me why you want to trade for a RFer with a 220 BA. How about Trey Mancini? Reply RedFuture December 3, 2019 Doug is there still a movement to force the DH on the NL? If so that eventuality could relieve the infield crunch. To be clear I’m still not in favor of DH, especially in the AL form. Reply MK December 3, 2019 What other form is the there? Reply Jordan December 3, 2019 I think he probably meant ‘AL only’ form. Oldtimer December 3, 2019 I hope NL and AL both either have DH or neither has DH in the near future. Pick one. Reply Colorado Red December 3, 2019 Neither is not an option from the players point of view. I hate the DH, and always will. I do think it will be part of the next CBA (whenever that is, yes I know the current one expires in 2021) Untchbl December 3, 2019 If/When the DH is adopted in the National League that will open up a spot for some of us prospects. Reply IndyRedsFan December 3, 2019 My first thought also was that the signing made India trade bait. However, another possibility…..if the next CBA brings the DH to the NL, then that potentially opens another spot. (for example, Moustakas and Votta share the 1B and DH jobs) That’s still 2 years away…but it appears that may be India’s early arrival time anyway. Reply MK December 3, 2019 Maybe Moose moves to first with Votto to DH. Votto’s defense has digressed more than his offense the last couple years. Reply IndyRedsFan December 3, 2019 RedFuture and Untchbl…..looks like we were all thinking (and typing) the same thing at the same time. Reply Jon Ryker December 3, 2019 Moustakis is a disastrous signing for this team. A softball team. Reply Colorado Red December 3, 2019 I doubt that. I think it is a good, not a great signing. He improves the team, for at least 3 years. May start regressing in the 4th year. Reply Jon Ryker December 3, 2019 Defensively, he is not a 2B. You have a geriaytric at 1B, and now a questionable SS. Do they plan on getting anybody out? Where is Senzel going to play? Now, if they’re going to trade Suarez for a big haul of players and put Moustakis at 3B, I’m fine with that. But having that old fatass infield for 3-4 more years will simply be too painful to watch. Earmbrister December 4, 2019 Senzel is going to play in CF. Do you have a better CFr that we don’t know about? As for the skinniness of the infield, the Reds tried the Iglesias and Peraza approach. I prefer Galvis and Moustakas. Moustakas won’t be any worse than Gennett, and won’t be a black hole in the lineup. Reply Jon Ryker December 4, 2019 If Senzel is going to play CF, you are wasting your time trying to get better. Personally, I’d trade Suarez and get a CFer back as part of the haul…..in the short term, they have Jankowski……Billy Hamilton is available….. Curt December 4, 2019 Jon Ryker: made me laugh, thanks. Not sure how we’re the only guys seeing this. Three corner infielders and an infielder in centerfield. Awesome! Makes sense. Senzel to CF never should have happened. As you say, if they’re going to move Suarez for all the parts we need, fine. Genius in fact. At the very least, make him learn a different position like everybody else, Left field springs to mind. (Why should he be exempt from musical chairs?) Otherwise, stop the shenanigans and out of respect for your own top and best prospect in years, move Senzel to a team that will prioritize him properly and get the right things in return for whatever vision the FO is seeing. Because this can’t be it. Reply Jon Ryker December 4, 2019 I’m old enough to have watched the old Cincinnati Suds professional softball games on TV during one of the baseball strikes….it’s as if they’re trying to reassemble THAT team…. Curt December 5, 2019 The Suds…ha! Cue a Kwik Bro’s. commercial, I was like 11 or 12 growing up in Hyde Park for that. Explains holding on to Schebler, he’s a Suds man all the way! MK December 3, 2019 What makes India’s prospect status so high, where he was drafted? He certainly has had no professional performance to inspire that rating. When competing with the games elite prospects this fall he failed miserably. They should trade him now. Another season like the last two and his trade and prospect value will be nil. Reply Norwood Nate December 3, 2019 Of the top tier (6) prospects in the Reds system, he’s the one I find easiest to part with. I likely would have said the same last offseason. His overall numbers have been fine against his league, but not dominant in the minors leagues as a whole. He really doesn’t have a clear future fit with the Reds. I agree, trade him this offseason if they can find a deal that upgrades our current team. Reply Stock December 3, 2019 I agree MK. It was a very poor choice in the draft and nothing he has done as a professional has impressed me. Reply James K December 3, 2019 After India’s so-so performance in 2019, his trade value isn’t great. Wait and see what happens in 2020. His trade value might improve, or an injury might open a spot. Reply Tom December 3, 2019 Also nothing wrong, what-so-ever, with India’s career going as follows: 2020: AA, mid season AAA 2021: AAA, September call-up 2022: AAA or MLB bench bat getting 350 PA at 2b, 3b, LF, CF? Well seasoned and fully ready to contribute. 25 years old. 2023: 26 y/o. Year 1 or 2 of arbitration, primary bench bat around the field, and steps in if Moustakas or Suarez get traded in their final year. Also Votto’s age will require more AB’s in the infield by this time. 2024: 27 y/o. Starter at 2b or 3b if Moustakas or Suarez are gone in FA, still in year 2 or 3 of arb. 2025-2028: 2b or 3b at 29-32 years old People slag on his performance thus far, but the talent is there and it just needs time to come out. As you can see in the timeline I laid out, the Reds can be very slow and patient with him and reap great benefit. He should get as much or more time than Aquino got, for example. Or Todd Frazier. Think of Frazier, a prospect forever it seemed. He drops to the mid teens in rankings after slowing down in AAA, gets a cup of coffee at 25 y/o, then never looks back. He goes on to hit over 200 HR at the MLB level, once even topping 40. He’s still going and will end up with about 30 WAR in his career. More than any drafted Red in this era except Votto. To forgo a secure and talented piece like India by trading him this off season, it would have to be near the top of his value and in a package for a premium talent – like Lindor. Patience is a virtue. The Reds should acquire talent via FA if they can. If Didi signs, then there is no need to trade top talent at this point. Use the money available to the greatest effect by also letting it help you preserve young, affordable, premium talent that can build a longer line of succession and winning. Reply Fish December 3, 2019 This is the best post I’ve seen on this. Reply Earmbrister December 4, 2019 I agree Fish. Nice work Tom Tom December 4, 2019 Thanks people! Oldtimer December 3, 2019 Reds had 1B talent galore in 1960s. Deron Johnson, Tony Perez, Lee May to name a few. It worked out. Reply Tom December 3, 2019 That’s right. And think how important Frazier was in 2012 when it wasn’t clear how much he’d be needed going into the season. He had a so-so rookie year. Then Votto went down late in the year and he helped a lot. Jon Ryker December 3, 2019 They didn’t win any WS with those guys on the team together. That was not an accident. Oldtimer December 3, 2019 Balderdash. Johnson was good in mid 1960s. Perez and May in late 1960s. The former continued into mid 1970s. The Big Red Machine (best Reds team ever) only won two WS. Reds had solid MLB caliber 2B Don Blasingame in early 1960s. Promising rookie Elio Chacon coming up. Cesar Tovar, Pete Rose, and Tommy Helms in the pipeline. The Reds figured it out. Dawson December 3, 2019 Agreed. I like this. And I get tired of the impatience people have with young players. They can’t all be Bregman, Acuna, Soto, etc. Plus, injuries and/or trades can happen. Reply Tom December 3, 2019 Thanks. I agree, it’s hard to keep in mind, India has been in the organization just 18 months. Oldtimer December 3, 2019 Rose. Two so-so years in 1963 and 1964. Finally became .300 hitter in 1965. If it took Rose three years, then lesser players can take 3 or more to blossom. Norwood Nate December 3, 2019 Based on this timeline, India wouldn’t hit ARB until 2025 at the earliest. He’ll have three full seasons of rookie pay (2022-2024) and that would be dependent on how long he’s up with the Reds in 2022. Reply Tom December 3, 2019 Thanks, you’re right, I was thinking pre-arb as I typed arb. docmike December 3, 2019 Great post. With his value at an all-time low, now would be a terrible time to trade India. Let him play a full season in AA and see if he can improve upon last year’s performance. If you do trade him, only do it because there is a strong market for him and you can improve elsewhere. If you keep him, there is no need to rush him along. Like you said, 2020 in AA, 2021 in AAA. Hopefully he is major league ready in 2022 at age 25, and if he is beating down the door to start then that would be a great problem for the Reds to have. Moose, India, or even Suarez could be traded at that time. Again, no need to push the issue. Reply MK December 3, 2019 Nice timeline except history Greeneville: .261 BA, Billings: .250, Dayton: .229, Daytona: .256, Chattanooga:.270, AZL.:133. Three years in this doesn’t look like a natural major league progression for a 1st round pick or any future big leaguers for that matter, Reply Rich H. December 4, 2019 How is being drafted in 2018 and playing a season and a half “three years in?” Your timeline is all wrong. Wes December 3, 2019 India has elite plate discipline. That alone will get him to majors. He was also the highest ceiling guy at pick 5 in that draft and reds were drafting a player to flip. That being said India has no trade value- you couldn’t sell any lower so u hold onto him and hope he starts to hit for power. Reply Dawson December 3, 2019 This is a good signing in my opinion. Moose has been an integral piece of a World Series Championship team. He has experienced a lot of winning. The Reds need some guys that know how to win. He has a solid bat and some versatility on defense. If they are overspending, it doesn’t seem like very much over. That said, I do hope JVM still gets plenty of AB’s this year. Not likely though. Reply Tom December 3, 2019 I agree on Van Meter. I still believe he has star level talent. This could be a big year for him. Reply Oldtimer December 3, 2019 He didn’t show it in MLB during 2019. Tom December 3, 2019 He did have some nice moments, but he was a rookie. I believe in the bat and the make up. Hopefully he take the opportunity next year and earns the PT that will be so hard to come by. If not some time in AAA will also be helpful. Oldtimer December 3, 2019 No nice moments that I remember. Minimal output. He batted .238 with 8 HR and 23 RBI. Oldtimer December 3, 2019 Kyle Farmer had a better year than Josh VanMeter despite about 100 fewer AB. Did he have nice moments, too? VanMeter was disappointing as a Red in 2019. Tom December 3, 2019 We’re in subjective territory here. I like what he did in the chaotic role he was in, as a no-name rookie. He showed some strengths in plate discipline and power, not to mention make up and flexibility. Oldtimer December 3, 2019 Batted .237 with 8 HR and 23 RBI in almost 300 AB. Mediocre. Big Ed December 3, 2019 Uh, 228 ABs is not “almost 300 ABs, Oldtimer. JVM had a .735 OPS; Senzel’s was .742. JVM is 3 months older than Senzel. And, yes, JVM was used chaotically, playing several positions. We get it that you don’t like him, but you don’t get to make up facts about him. MK December 3, 2019 Think VanMeter will need to improve outfield defense to get playing time. He might benefit from a half season of minor league full-time outfield play. His bat might be a big help down the stretch. Justin December 3, 2019 I’m preparing for India and Winker to be moved. I love Winker and would be sad to see him go, but it seems that if the Reds are to follow through on what they are saying, there will be an outfielder signed and he seems like the most valuable odd man out. I’d love to hear opinions on who India and Winker or India and Aquino would bring back in a trade. I’d especially like to hear speculation from Doug as I think some of us lean a little too optimistic in this regard. That’s said, thoughts everyone? Reply Tom December 3, 2019 In my opinion all three of those players would work for a newly rebuilding team, but none of them would provide the prospect capital to bring a long lasting impact for the Reds in return. None of those 3 would help a contender to the point it would be worth swapping. The Reds themselves are emerging from a rebuild and if they can’t help the Reds, how could they justifiably help another similar team wanting to emerge? That leaves teams like the Indians, Nats, Brewers, Red Sox, Dodgers, or maybe Cubs who are at or near the tail end of a cycle where they have expensive and experienced quality vets that they’d like to trade in exchange for young cheap talent. That is where I go back to preferring to keep our young affordable talent and just sign an equally good vet like Didi or Ozuna. If the money is there this year, for once live like a Boston fan and sign some good players. Reply Hunt4redsoct December 3, 2019 What’s your thoughts on a trade for Salvatore Perez? He’s coming off the injury and could be a buy low option. If he comes back close to what he was it would be a nice addition. Reply Onlooker December 3, 2019 While the Moose signing is only a solid “B” grading on the curve for this team By FA that is an A plus. Sure it’s an overpay but we had no prospects that would have the same impact in the next 4 years that he is displacing. I have always thought India was trade bait but he is 2 solid years away and things could change a lot by then (plus he is more UT than starter quality). It’s disappointing Senzel doesn’t get to play 2B but there were no CF as good as Moose anyway. Reply kyblu50 December 3, 2019 You could sign Tim Becham ss/cf to a minor league contract with a invite to spring training and 8 hundred thousand if he makes the team or something along those lines. Reply Daryl December 3, 2019 So there are a few options I’d like the Reds to pursue. 1. Talk with Tampa about Keiermaier. I think Tampa would want to be rid of that salary. If we couldn’t work something out on that angle I would take a flyer on a guy like Pillar on the cheap. 2. Someone above mentioned Claudio. He would be a solid get. If we could not sign him I would be interested in Junior Guerra as well. He could be a long man in the pen, which I dont think we currently have. Taijuan Walker could also fill this role. 3. Sign Shogo Akiyama. I like him for CF. 4. Sign Didi Gregorius and use Freddy as a backup at short and second. VanMeter becomes an ultra utility Ben Zobrist type. 5. I would let the catcher situation play itself out. I think Stephenson will be contributing at some point this season and we need the money to sign these other guys. Starting Lineup C – Barnhart 1B – Votto 2B – Moustakas 3B – Suarez SS – Gregorius LF – Senzel CF – Akiyama RF – Aquino Reply Daryl December 3, 2019 That should say Keiermaier/Akiyama for CF. Reply Oldtimer December 3, 2019 Only problem is that VanMeter has shown nothing like Zobrist has at MLB level. Reply RedsKoolAidDrinker December 3, 2019 Greene, Garcia, Hinds, Naughton and Siri for Lindor. India and Santillan for Hader. Lineup much improved adding Lindor and the bullpen looks much stronger. We still have Stephenson and Lodolo as top prospects and most positions are blocked for a few years anyways so the draft for the next couple of years will restock us. I’d be drafting college pitcher this year if all things are close for BPA. Reply Tom December 3, 2019 That would be a pretty sweet team for the next two years. Reply Datdudejs December 4, 2019 Indians would hang up on you with that offer Reply RB December 4, 2019 Yes I love it . Finally someone thinking big .Lindor would be perfect. Still young and even if we had to pay him Votto money worth EVERY penny. Think of that lineup with him in there ! Reply docmike December 3, 2019 I see a lot of comments on here about trading Winker. I think he can be a very valuable part of this team, as long as you limit his at-bats against lefties. A platoon with Ervin gives the Reds the best of both worlds, and I really think the Winker/Ervin combo could put up excellent numbers. There are a lot more RHP than LHP in the league, so Winker would still get the majority of the at-bats. Reply docmike December 3, 2019 Winker career OPS vs RHP = .907 Ervin career OPS vs LHP = .907 Seems like these two would make a fine left fielder. Reply Gaffer December 3, 2019 Ervin just became more valuable as a RH PH given the new 3 batter rule for relievers. The Duke December 4, 2019 I’m all in on a Winker/Ervin platoon. The LF spot can always bat 6th. Platoon Barnhart and Casali while we are at it so Tucker only bats LH. 1. Senzel, CF 2. Votto, 1B 3. Suarez, 3B 4. Moose, 2B 5. Aquino, RF 6. Winker/Ervin, LF 7. Galvis, SS 8. Barhnart/Casali, C docmike December 3, 2019 I’m not worried at all about LF, I believe the Winker/Ervin combo will perform well. I’m much more concerned about Aquino in right. His stats for August and September were like night and day. If the league has figured him out and AA doesn’t make adjustments, then he could be in for a rough year. Reply Jim December 3, 2019 I doubt we get Wheeler as Doug pointed out 4 yrs before certain contracts expire. Sign Wheeler for 5 yrs. Trade Bauer and prospect(s) to cubs for Contrease. Don’t trade Greene, Stephson or any that are 3+ yrs away. Hope we make the playoffs the next 3yrs at least and then go back to what we do best for 6/7 yrs unless we start devolping our own. Reply Optimist December 3, 2019 Don’t know that this “blocks” players on the farm, so much as delays them, which may be a good thing. Seems that there’s been a low-level of griping for some years that the Reds take too long to move pitchers, and promote field players too soon. Let’s see if the GM/staff are planning for next year (go for playoffs) as well as 3-5 years out – have a bunch of 25-26 yr. olds ready when these contracts roll off. As for India, if he lights it up this season in AA/AAA, like JVM and Aquino did last year, that’s a great problem to have. If not, fine, he’s still young and moving along just fine. I get the sense they’re now looking at a wild card, and 2 players away from serious contention. More importantly, they have moved away from having 5-10 players on the 40-man that are really just AAAA types – look at the recent notes on Wisler/Bass/Kivlehan – we’re past that it seems. Reply Doc December 3, 2019 If one of the minor leaguers forces his way into the infield, is there a case to be made for reshuffling Suarez and/or Moose? If the rookie is a stout 3B, Suarez to short; if a stout 2B, Suarez to short and Moose to 3B. If a stout CF, Suarez to SS, Moose to 3B, Senzel to 2B (or Senzel to 3B and Suarez to SS). Was Suarez moved to 3B because he couldn’t handle SS, or because he was blocked at SS? Senzel moved to CF by working his tail off to become competent. Why can’t any of these other studs work their tails off to become a competent SS? Reply Big Ed December 3, 2019 Geez, Doc, what about watching 2019 makes you think that Suarez can play short? He isn’t even all that nimble for a third baseman. Major league shortstops are elite all-around athletes, and much twitcher than Suarez is. That ship has sailed to the edge of the ocean. Sure, he could “play” short, but so could Aquino or George Grande. Guys like Barry Larkin and Freddie Benavides know what they are doing; they know what the shortstop job requires; and they know full well Suarez can’t do it at any acceptable level. (And would likely hurt himself trying.) Reply Doc December 3, 2019 I live in Arizona; I don’t get to watch Reds games. wutinthehail December 3, 2019 I’m a huge Joey Votto fan but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect him to be an everyday player for the next four years. Reply jon December 4, 2019 Joey has ALWAYS said if he can’t hit at an elite level he would hang it up. Well 2 yrs of non-elite hitting means he needs to rebound big time this year. Reply AllTheHype December 3, 2019 This article gets filed in the “good problem to have” folder. Reply Bill December 3, 2019 Like others have said, this is a great “problem” to have! Injuries happen, performance declines happen, maybe the depth facilitates a trade. Depth is a great thing! Reply Simon Cowell December 3, 2019 I think it makes us better today and tomorrow. Nobody in AAA is good enough to play in the majors at an Allstar level. The Moose is. By the time he can’t or is no longer on the team, we’ll hopefully have a star rising. No need to rush anyone. If we had a star already we never would have made the deal. Did we overpay? Of course, we did. Cincinnati well never be a Free Agent’s first choice. The bright lights, big cities, and fair weather aren’t exactly things we are known for. Reply The Duke December 4, 2019 The Reds could possibly have 3 40 HR players in the middle of their order with Suarez, Moose, and Aquino. I know Suarez is the only of the 3 to ever actually do that, but if Aquino can hit .250+ over 550 at bats, I feel confident about him hitting that threshold, and Moose has come close twice and will have other big bats around him so he should get plenty of pitches to hit. Reply Greenfield Red December 4, 2019 Does anyone know where the Reds are on payroll now? They were at 126 last year. There was a bunch (30 to 40) that fell off and another 13-14 that was non tendered. There is some increase (maybe 10 to 12) for arbritration. Moose takes 16. It seems there is still 25 to 35 left to spend to get to 126 let alone the unspecified increase we were promised. It seems to me that for 35 to 45 million, they could get Wheeler, an outfielder, and bullpen help. They would have to agree to paying those levels for the next 4 to 5 years, but if they want to win, that is the commitment it takes. They should be able to get what they need without trading away anyone else from the farm system in my opinion. Reply Simon Cowell December 4, 2019 There really should be a league minimum. This rebuilding tag needs to be a 5 star alarm to MLB and they need to put their food down on tanking for draft picks. I say we go to a lottery system or don’t award the top or the bottom. Teams that come in at the bottom should be put on probation if 1 they repeatedly come in last place and 2 aren’t spending in the top 15 Reply wutinthehail December 4, 2019 Relegation. Greenfield Red December 4, 2019 Additional thought. In 4 to 5 years, all of the new FA contracts (Moose, Wheeler, outfielder) will fall off along with Votto’s 25 million. There is your next rebuild without touching the farm. Reply Tom December 4, 2019 I like it. The Reds get to compete with the rest of the league in terms of only giving 1-5 year deals. Krozley December 4, 2019 Based on contracts, arbitration estimates, and then the pre-arb guys, I have them as it stands right now at around $118 million. (Remember Bauer is predicted to get $18 or $19 million in arbitration.) I would guess they have something like $20 million more to spend unless Bob really wants to open the purse strings. We also don’t know the per-year details for the Moose contract that might free up a bit more depending on structure (maybe there are some deferred amounts). I’d like to see them spend that with trades for Story and Pederson and then find a couple bargain arms. Reply Donnie Demko December 4, 2019 For 6 off-seasons most of the same people have optimistically blathered about the Reds certain improvement to come in the next season. Again, it’s another off season of the team keeping basically all of its PD people, despite development’s clear failures. When you have as many high picks as the Reds have had, there should be successes. OK, PD explains away no affiliate having a winning record by stating they’re developing players and not worried about winning. Has an MLB team ever had its big club and all affiliates without winning records? Where’s the development? Trammel struggled and still has DEF issues and is history. Baserunning is abysmal. How can DW explain having a VP of PD whose highest winning % in 3 years as a Head Coach at tiny St. Joseph’s was .333 and his lowest was .222? That’s pathetic! Not saying so is equally pathetic. Anyone claiming to be an MLB PD guy, who had even a fair ability to develop would win at least 50% of games at a school like that. Yet, Pender is in charge of PD. Why him, when there are good and qualified others the team could hire? Before him was that great baseball mind Jeff Graupe, who only Nick Krall and a mother could like, as well as anyone with the media or blog who he would share his positive or negative player evaluations with. “Wow! The Director of PD gives me inside dope.” GM Krall is another beauty, who miraculously keeps his job. Then, David Bell gets the skipper’s job and Eric Lee, who worked for Bell’s agent, gets the PD directors gig, replacing the guy (Graupe) who he was buddies with in college at Haverford (Pa.). Note that Pender, VP of PD, is from Haverford and GM Krall is from down the road from Haverford. So, the most important element to a big league team’s success (Player Development) has been and continues to be in the Haverfordian hands of incompetents. When DW resolves this and rids the org. of the collusion of incompetencies (they all support and obfuscate each other’s Peter-principaled failures in order to preserve their jobs) detrimental to the Reds and is not afraid to bring in people who have demonstrated having knowledge and developmental abilities, Reds fans and Mr. C, will not have a winner. When people keep doing the same thing, despite not getting results, it’s a sign of idiocy – euphemistically speaking. Has even one player who started his career in the AZL reached the majors since Krall and the Haverford crony crew has been in charge? I think not. Cincinnati’s amateur drafts have been excellent. Inferior Player Dev. and Krall could be responsible for us not having more to show for the drafts. Consider the recent WS championship teams; they are all strong in PD. Anyone who tries defending the Reds on this is either works for them, is a defending relative or doesn’t want to irk them, for an obvious reason. Do all those incompetents have compromising photos of DW? Why else would he not fire them? In any other line of work, could there be such a protracted period of failure and still, those in charge would keep their jobs? This site is as its name implies, Reds minor leagues. Sadly, Cincinnati is failing in that key area and the same people are retained year after year in some capacity. There’s only one way to beat cancer; it’s gotta be totally removed. Maybe next year, after another losing season. I grew up in Ohio, but live in NYC and I’m tired of losing and the accompanying BS from the front office. Dick Williams would soon be a winner if he got rid of the losers and their losing culture. They do blood transfusions for a reason. Well, the Reds need new blood. It’s been a losing culture for far too long. Eradicate! Bring in new blood. Reply Curt December 5, 2019 Very Interesting stuff Donnie. Thanks for posting. No longer a cincy resident either, it’s hard to get this kind of inside info. I’ve been asking “just who the heck this Nick Krall guy is anyway” lately. Very little on the internet. Asst. to this person, Asst. to that one and voila, he’s the GM. Looks like some serious cronyism has taken hold. Yikes! Reply Rhayex December 5, 2019 I can’t believe I read that entire post hoping it would show some semblance of merit. What an ill-informed and frankly toxic attitude to have. Reply Mo Sanford December 5, 2019 Hey Double D, I hear the Mets needs some fans. 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