Cincinnati Reds don’t know how to get out of rebuild and into competitive mode

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds have acquired prospects and signed international free agents, but can’t seem to turn the corner.

It’s easy to name all  of the Cincinnati Reds’ prospects about to be at the MLB level.  The outfielders are Aristides Aquino, Phil Ervin, and Jesse Winker, but don’t forget about the outfielder that they got from the Miami Marlins, Isaiah White.  The infielders are Nick Senzel, Blake Trahan, and Zach Vincej, but don’t forget about Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez.

You like pitchers?  We can do that too.  There’s Sal Romano, Nick Travieso, Tyler Mahle, Barrett Astin, and the next Raisel Iglesias, Vladimir Gutierrez.

The point here is that the Reds have collected a bunch of some days and maybe’s.  The danger here is that a couple of years ago the top names were Tony Cingrani and Yorman Rodriguez.  Cingrani has turned into a respectable middle reliever, but Yorman never made a difference.

What’s happening to the Reds is what happened to the Kansas City Royals not too long ago.  Every time they looked close to competing, they had to trade away a young outfielder before he got too expensive.  If not, they would have had Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon, and Jermaine Dye all in the same outfield.

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The Reds came close to dealing Billy Hamilton to the Texas Rangers for Jeremy Jeffress this off-season.  They’ve already traded Jay Bruce.  That’s how close the Reds are to becoming the Kansas City Royals of the early millennium.

Unlike the Royals, the Cincinnati Reds have the money to sign someone if they know what they need.

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It looked like the Reds were on the right path immediately following last season.  They were looking for a starting catcher to share the load with Mesoraco and Barnhart.  The Yankees asked about Iglesias, but they signed Aroldis Chapman and sent Brian McCann to the Houston Astros. Now the Reds are facing a catching controversy.

Fast forward a couple of months and the Reds trade their best pitcher from 2016, Dan Straily.  Now they only  have one starting pitcher on their active roster with more than 31 career starts in reliever made opening day starter Scott Feldman.

Yes, Bronson Arroyo is in camp and Homer Bailey is technically on the DL for “only” 60 days, but those are technicalities.

The Reds signed former Washington Nationals’ closer Drew Storen to go with Scott Feldman in the bullpen, but Iglesias will make more than any pitcher not named Bailey for the Reds this season.  Let that sink in.  They signed two relievers to fix their bullpen who are making less than an international signee’s initial contract and one of them will be the opening day starter.

Next: Five players from Cincinnati that should have been Reds

The Reds just need to start having plans instead of prospects for each position.  It looks like they have the talent, but their catching and pitching staffs are a mess because of injuries.  Trading someone earlier in the off-season when they knew they were thin would have been the non-rebuilding thing to do.