Cincinnati Reds lose arbitration case to Scooter Gennett

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

A breakout game led to an arbitration victory for Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett.

Scooter Gennett had one of the best offensive games in MLB history for the Cincinnati Reds in 2017.  On June 6 Gennett became the 17th player to hit four home runs in one game.  In total he went 5-for-5 and drove in 10 runs.

2017 was Gennett’s best season by far in the big leagues.  He nearly doubled his career high in home runs going from 14 to 27.  He did the same in RBIs where he went from 56 to 97.

Even taking away the historic game, Gennett had his best season ever.  He still hit 22 home runs and drove in 87 runs.  The Reds claimed him off waivers as a bench player, but got so much more.

The change in how the Reds used Gennett led to this outbreak.  The Milwaukee Brewers tried to make Gennett a top of the order hitter.  The Reds realized that he is a middle of the line-up hitter.

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Part of the change in output could also be due to Great American Ballpark.  Gennett hit 16 of his 27 home runs at home, despite having 25 more at-bats on the road.  He also had 17 more RBIs at GABP than he did on the road.

Scooter Gennett’s higher salary will keep him on the Cincinnati Reds all season long.

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The New York Yankees just traded for Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  After winning arbitration, Gennett will make $5.7-million, or about ten times as much as Drury, in 2018.  The Yankees could have pried Gennett from the Reds, but he costs more than teams want to pay for someone with one elite season.

If Gennett repeats his great season in 2018, it may be his last as a Red.  Gennett is already fighting off prospect DIlson Herrera for playing time at second.  By this time next year he could be fighting off top prospect Nick Senzel.

If Gennett returns to his normal, .280/.320/.440 line, he will stay around.  Fourteen home runs is a likely outcome.  The Reds, though know that Gennett will drive runners in and will let him battle for the clean-up spot in the order.

Gennett will strikeout less.  He will play fewer games.  The Reds rode a hot bat the last two-thirds of a season and will protect him against lefty starters when possible.

Next: The Reds should bring back veteran pitchers

Gennett had a great season in 2017.  He will make more than twice as much money as he did last season.  Unfortunately, there is no way he will be twice as good of a player in 2017 as he was in 2018.