3 Reds front office decisions that doomed the 2022 team from the start

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) walks through the dugout.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) walks through the dugout. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn
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3. The Reds attached Eugenio Suarez's contract to the trade with Seattle.

The Cincinnati Reds waved the white flag on March 14, 2022 when the front office traded Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Justin Dunn, Jake Fraley, and two pitching prospects.

The flaw with this deal is not the fact that Cincinnati traded two of their top stars, but that the Reds attached Suarez's contract to Winker as part of the deal. Make no mistake, after two down-years, Suarez's value was at an all-time low. In fact, there's a chance the Reds might have received more "value" had they just dealt Winker to the Mariners.

While Reds fans remember the 2019 season where Geno smashed 49 home runs, he was coming off back-to-back seasons where he slashed a combined .199/.293/.444 and posted a wRC+ of just 88. Winker, however, had just put up his first of many feel could be several All-Star campaigns while hitting .309/.354/.556. Winker was the star or this trade, not Suarez.

Now Geno has gone on to have the type of season that so many throughout Reds Country assumed he would after being two years removed from offseason shoulder surgery. Suarez had his best season since the aforementioned 2019 campaign and is now beloved by the Seattle fans much the same way he was adored by the Cincinnati faithful.

The development of the young pitchers (Brandon Williamson and Connor Phillips) involved in the trade is irrelevant in terms of how poorly executed this trade was. It was, plain and simple, a salary dump. The only way the Cincinnati Reds were going to let Jesse Winker go was to attach the three years and $33M remaining on Geno's contract to a trade.

Seattle obliged, and they haven't looked back. To be honest, the Mariners may be more willing to return Winker than Suarez. The former Reds outfielder was a shell of himself in 2022 and, for the third time in four seasons, ended the season on the IL.

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