What would the best-case scenario be for the Reds rotation in 2021?
The Cincinnati Reds had one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball last season, but that ship has sailed. However, with the depth of the team’s farm system and perhaps a sneaky-good free agent signing, Cincinnati’s rotation could be the strength of the team once again in 2021. What would the Reds’ perfect starting rotation look like next season?
We recently examined what the Reds “perfect” lineup would be, so it seemed only natural to turn to the starting rotation. However, the same rules apply, so let’s lay out some guidelines for this exercise. It is highly unlikely that Trevor Bauer will re-sign with the Cincinnati Reds, so don’t look for the Cy Young winner among the five names on this list.
Furthermore, we’ve seen Cincinnati’s front office deal Raisel Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels and non-tender catcher Curt Casali and reliever Archie Bradley. I don’t know exactly what Nick Krall is up to, but is seems to fall somewhere between a rebuild and trying to contend.
For the purpose of this exercise, we’ll operate under the assumption that the Reds have a payroll similar to what we saw in 2019, not 2020. Therefore, let’s not get carried away and look at free agent targets like Jake Odorizzi and Mashahiro Tanaka. If the Reds add a starter in free agency, its unlikely to be one of the bigger names on the open market.
We’re also going to avoid blockbuster trade predictions. This goes both ways, so in other words, don’t expect Sonny Gray to be absent from this list despite the recent trade rumors. That should make a lot fans throughout Reds Country very happy. So, what might the Cincinnati Reds perfect starting rotation look like in 2021?