The start of winter was not encouraging for the Reds fans. after trading Tucker Barnhart and waiver Valley Miley In moves that are little more than payroll dumps, General Manager Nick Krall famously spoke of “aligning…payroll with our resources.” This suggests there are no additions coming, and in fact, the Reds have yet to sign a free agent for this major league out-of-season deal.
However, the Reds have not planned a sale yet. Barnhart is a well-respected veteran assistant, but Tyler Stevenson Ready to take on a daily role. Miley’s cut, which can be controlled via the club’s $10 million option and out of 163 runs, is hard to defend at 3.37 season era. However, the soft-tossed Miley always walks a fine line relying on poor globe contact. If the running blocker slipped closer to 4.52 SIERA last season, that option price would make more sense than a massive bargain.
Krall is not expected to provide details on the franchise salary schedule target for 2022. Currently, it’s expected to be $115 million in player expenses, including estimated salaries for players eligible to referee (via Jason Martinez of Roster Resource). That’s shy of the $122 million mark that opened last season (according to Cot Baseball Contracts). The Reds may have already “harmonized” their payroll by splitting from Barnhart and Miley and letting Nick Castellanos Hit free agency.
If the Reds are looking to either cut costs or add some young talent to the organisation, the most obvious way to do so would be by subtracting more rotations. The three best appetizers in Cincinnati – Louis CastleAnd Tyler Mahley And Sony Gray – All under club control until 2023 (assuming the path of free agency is not affected by the new collective bargaining agreement). And unlike some other Reds with notable salaries (ie Mike MustafaAnd Eugene Suarez) Who the Reds might want to trade in, the demand for rotation members should be high across the league.
Castillo, who MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz predicted for his $7.6 million salary in the penultimate judging season, threw 187 rounds 2/3 with a 3.98 ERA last year. That was his highest mark in three years, but the 29-year-old settled on his feet after a tough start. He scored 2.73 ERAs from June onwards, with an overall excellent combination of hits (26%) and ground (59.9%).
Simply ignoring the first two months of the season, when Castillo had a horrific 7.22 ERA and 19.3% sub strike rate, this is clearly a minor. However, the three-year track record of the right-hander is excellent, and he has an impressive arsenal. Owner of one of the best changes in baseball and a fastball averaging north of 97 mph, Castillo appears the most likely among the Reds’ starters to deliver the best production over the next two years. He’s been the subject of commercial rumors in each of the last two offside seasons, but reports about the team’s willingness to make him available have varied.
As with Castillo, it is not clear how much the Reds are willing to trade in Mahle. He hasn’t been the subject of as many rumors as his senior teammates in rotation this winter. However, there would be a lot of oomph if Cincinnati were able to convey it. At 27, he is the youngest of the Reds’ junior trio. Expected to be paid $5.6 million in his second-to-last year of judging, he will likely be his most expensive. And one could claim to come out of the best 2021 campaign of the three.
Mahle’s 3.75 ERA was lower than the Castillo or Gray marks. Strike rate of 27.7% and infantry percentage of 8.4% are better than others’ numbers. He’s not the elite globetrotter like the others, but Mahle appears to have made the leap to the turning average arm over the past two seasons.
Mahle misses the bat with both his mid-’90s fireplace and his secondary tones—slide cutter and split. The development of the latter has proven particularly useful in helping the right-handed overcome platoon problems, as he tends somewhat more to split when faced with left-handed bats. After giving up a massive .290/ .384/ .547 streak when he was at a disadvantage to a platoon during his first three MLB seasons, he has kept Southern bolts at a pitiful .194/ .280/ .306 mark since the start of 2020.
Gray plays the 2022 campaign with a $10.667 million contract, and can be controlled for 2023 with a $12.5 million club option. This makes it the Reds’ most expensive player, yet it is still a bargain for a Ramy who has been as effective as Gray since his touchdown at Cincinnati.
The right-hander has scored above-average hits and ground marks in his three seasons with the Reds. Gray may not have quite the control of Castillo or Mahley, but his walking rates aren’t all that alarming. Last year’s 4.19 ERA is better than awesome, but has scored 2.87 and 3.70 marks respectively over the previous two seasons. The 32-year-old Gray has been among the sport’s top shooters at suppressing hard contact, and the Reds’ mediocre defense probably explains some of the gap between his actual and estimated era like FIP, SIERA and XERA – all pegged to him. Performance between 3.25 and 3.99.
On the surface, Gray looks like the bowler the Reds might be more willing to provide. Trading it will waste more money on books than a Castillo or Mahle deal, and perhaps make some space for the front desk for offshore needs and/or bullpen. However, Castillo or Mahley will likely generate stronger returns if they are moved. Gray’s trading alone is something of half the scale: not enough to bring in an influx of influential young talent, with further weakening a roster that finished marginally above 0.500 last season and lost or likely to lose both Miley and Castellanos.
Krall and his staff appear to be in a difficult position, overseeing a slate that appears a bit shy of disagreement but without the financial backing to fix its most obvious shortcomings. It hasn’t been decided how they will choose to move forward with the three outstanding starters, but there is a compelling case to move either group, as well as a sound case to keep the entire spin the same. After all, with two years of control each, they should still be required (excluding injury) if the team is to pop by next summer’s trading deadline.
We will allow MLBTR readers to have their say on the situation. How should the Reds continue to emerge from the lockdown period?
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