Bleacher Report’s ‘biggest regret’ for Reds seems to be way off heading into 2024

You're kidding, right?

Cincinnati Reds catcher Luke Maile (22) smiles
Cincinnati Reds catcher Luke Maile (22) smiles / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

One of Bleacher Report's most recent stories centered around the Biggest Regret Each MLB Team Will Have from 2023-24 Offseason. Seems like a fun topic to discuss, right? After all, what seems like a great acquisition during the winter may appear rather foolish once the team takes the field for spring training.

What could Bleacher Report have cited as the Cincinnati Reds biggest regret? Was it the hefty contract the Reds doled out to Frankie Montas after pitching just one game in 2023? Nope! How about the lack of a centerfielder to backup TJ Friedl who's set to begin 2024 on the IL? Not that either. Maybe it was not trading Jonathan India when they reportedly had multiple offers? Wrong again.

All of those, and perhaps several others, would have seemed to be realistic regrets that Cincinnati may have had. But the Reds biggest offseason regret, according to Bleacher Report, was failing to add a better backup catcher.

Bleacher Report’s ‘biggest regret’ for Reds seems to be way off heading into 2024

With Opening Day just days away, Reds fans are bound to see and hear plenty of bad takes. Some baseball experts will probably pick the Reds to finish third in the NL Central behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. Other pundits will expect a regression from Cincinnati's youth, causing them to drop below .500 in 2024.

Those takes are plausible, but citing the fact that the Reds failed to upgrade the backup catcher isn't on anyone's bingo card. The idea that Cincinnati's biggest mistake this winter was not adding a quality backup to play behind Tyler Stephenson is laughable.

Furthermore, if you can find 10 backup catchers throughout baseball who are better choices to be the No. 2 option behind the plate than Luke Maile, let's hear it. Some Reds fans would even advocate that Maile should be getting reps ahead of Stephenson. And that's not a wild idea either.

Maile was mashing this spring. According to FanGraphs, Maile hit .375/.444/.844 with a wRC+ of 231. You could make the argument that Maile was the best hitter for the Reds this spring. Of all the Reds players who appeared in at least 10 Cactus League games, Maile had the highest slugging percentage and OPS.

The Reds roster is not without its flaws, but a quality backup to play behind Stephenson in 2024 is not one of them. If every GM throughout baseball was given the option to have Maile as their backup catcher, 30 baseball executives would likely take that offer.

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