Cincinnati Reds: Predicting the all-decade team for the 2020s

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 28: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 28: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 15: Hunter Greene #3 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Starting pitchers (5)

RHP Luis Castillo, RHP Hunter Greene, LHP Nick Lodolo, LHP Packy Naughton, RHP Tyler Mahle

The Reds current strength is the starting rotation. Heading into the 2020 season, the rotation is headlined by breakout star Luis Castillo and two former All-Stars in Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer. Anthony DeSclafani and Wade Miley will bring up the rear, but both are coming off impressive 2019 performances. But looking forward, the future is a bit murky.

Both Bauer and DeSclafani will be free agents at the end of the year and one, if not both, will test the free agent waters. Bauer has previously said he’ll be looking for one-year deals and could return to the Reds, but it’ll cost Cincinnati a pretty penny. Disco could be had for much less, but his injury history may scare teams off, including the Reds.

Miley is nearing the end of his career and will come off the books following the 2021 season. Gray, who had a bounce-back year in his first season with the club, becomes a free agent in 2022 with a team-option for 2023. The question is, at 33-years old, would Gray merit another contract? For now, we’ll say no. But, for the sake of the team’s success, let’s hope Gray exceeds expectations.

Not to worry, as the cupboard is not bare. Cincinnati’s top two prospects are both starting pitchers. Nick Lodolo will likely make his major league debut in 2021, and provided Hunter Greene recovers from Tommy John surgery, he won’t be far behind. Both are former first-round picks and are likely to help anchor the Reds rotation for years to come.

Castillo is under team control through 2023 and a contract extension is likely coming his way very soon. Tyler Mahle is still a big part of the Reds plans for the future, and like Castillo is under team control through 2023. Rounding out the rotation could be up-and-comer Packy Naughton who saw a nice improvement in Double-A last season.