Brewers latest confusing signing helps Reds find footing in NL Central

Are the Brewers gifting the Reds the NL Central in 2024?
San Diego Padres catcher Gary Sanchez (99) hits a single
San Diego Padres catcher Gary Sanchez (99) hits a single / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers peculiar offseason continues. After winning the NL Central last season, it would've been logical to assume that Milwaukee was going to put the pedal the metal this winter and attempt to get back to the postseason with their core of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Willy Adames, and Devin Williams.

But this offseason has been wildly confusing to say the least. Woodruff was released (he'll miss the 2024 season following shoulder surgery), Burnes was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, and either one of Adames or Williams could be the next to go. The Brewers subtractions are regrettable, but their additions are confounding.

When the Brewers inked former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins to a two-year deal, that seemed to indicate Milwaukee was all-in in 2024. But after dealing Burnes, the Brewers latest signing saw the club secure catcher Gary Sanchez on a $7 million deal. What is going on in the Cream City?

Brewers latest confusing signing helps Reds find footing in NL Central

All of this is great news for the Cincinnati Reds, who would seem to be in the midst of what will be a three-horse race in the NL Central. While no one should be counted out at this point, the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis. Cardinals (on paper) represent the biggest threats to Cincinnati emerging as the 2024 NL Central Division Champion.

While the Brewers have made several odd moves this winter, the Reds have added to their bullpen, starting rotation, and their lineup. Frankie Montas, Nick Martinez, and Jeimer Candelario will all feature prominently during the upcoming season. Buck Farmer, Emilio Pagán, and Brent Suter are sure to bring some much needed leadership and innings to the Cincinnati relief corp.

The Brewers have finished first or second in the division in six of the past seven seasons. While the Cardinals like to tout themselves as the kings of the NL Central, it's been the Brew Crew who's had the stranglehold on the division for over half a decade.

How do the Reds stack up in the NL Central after the Brewers signed Gary Sanchez?

But Milwaukee's run may be coming to an end. While the additions of Hoskins, Sanchez, DL Hall, and Joey Ortiz aren't troublesome on their own merit, losing Burnes is going to hurt. Teams are already calling in an effort to swing a trade for Adames and Williams. Adames is free agent after this season, and Williams has just two years of team control left.

But don't get too comfortable, Reds fans. The Brewers are reloading their roster with quality young players. Jackson Chuiro is going to be a problem for the next several years, and at the moment, Freddy Peralta is still in Milwaukee.

Quite frankly, the Reds' newer approach of drafting and developing young talent is quite similar to how the Brewers have approached things the past several years. While David Stearns and Craig Counsell are no longer leading the charge in Milwaukee, those principles are still in place. Still, this has been a confusing offseason for the Brewers and their fanbase.