Cincinnati Reds Rebuild Report – can they compete with Chicago Cubs?

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds are just a few years behind where the Chicago Cubs are right now.

The Cincinnati Reds tore down their last playoff team and rebuilt it around young players.  Only four players, not including free agent shortstop Zack Cozart or retiree Bronson Arroyo, are still on the team from the last time the Reds made the playoffs.  First basemen Joey Votto, pitcher Homer Bailey, catcher Devin Mesoraco, and center fielder Billy Hamilton are the four.

When the Cubs ended their rebuild, they built the team around Anthony Rizzo and a bunch of young players.  That is where the Reds are, Joey Votto, Billy Hamilton and a bunch of young players.  The Reds, however, decided to go with their own set of young pitchers.

The Cubs stockpiled position players and signed free agent starting pitchers to complete the rebuilds.  The Reds have stockpiled young players in the field and on the mound.  Whether Hamilton and Mesoraco will be involved in the next step is the question at hand now.

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The Cubs went out and signed Jon Lester when they thought they were ready to compete.  The Reds are still one year away from a signing like that.  It appears that the only free agents the Reds are thinking about signing are their own.

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The Cincinnati Reds are not ready to compete for the division, but will be more competitive in 2018.

The Reds looked non-competitive at times against the Cubs in 2018.  Early in the season, the rotation was able to keep the games close enough for the bullpen to be impactful.  By mid-season, however, the rotation was in shambles.

With the newly discovered trio of Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and Sal Romano the Reds have more depth in their starting rotation at any point in the past three years.  

The pitching can go head to head with that of the aging Cubs.  The offense, however, may be a different matter.

The Reds have a good offense, but it remains inconsistent.  A good pitching team can grind this offense to a halt.  The Cubs have good pitching that may stay that way for another year or two.

Next: Is Billy Hamilton about to be traded?

The Reds will compete game to game with the Cubs when they play each other, but not in the standings in 2018.  The teams are at different stages in their competitive life cycles.  The Reds look ready to compete in the standings in 2019, if they can find that one free agent next off-season like the Cubs did in Lester.