Dream Reds starting rotation for the 2024 season

Jiminy Cricket said that when you wish upon a star, anything your heart desires will come to you. What kind of starting rotation could your heart dream up for the Reds in 2024?
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene (21) throws a pitch
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene (21) throws a pitch / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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There's been a lot of talk already this offseason about how the Cincinnati Reds should attack the trade market and free agency ahead of the 2024 season.

Most fans believe that the starting rotation, or lack thereof, was the biggest reason the Reds missed out on the MLB Postseason in 2023. If that's true, then the offseason is where president of baseball operations Nick Krall and his staff need to make some additions.

The free agent market may be lacking in terms of position player talent, but there are number of frontline starters available. The trade market is also ripe with reliable arms and that may be an area where Cincinnati could secure a top-flight starting pitcher.

We're going to explore what a "dream" Cincinnati Reds starting rotation might look like heading into next season. Of course, there'll be a dose of reality mixed in, so get your head out of the clouds.

Money is obviously part of the equation, as are trade assets, and the stable of pitchers currently on the Reds roster. But, with all that said, given the depth of the Reds system and the number of pre-arbitration eligible players, the Reds have money to spend and prospects who could be used as collateral.

With all of that in mind, what would the Cincinnati Reds "dream" starting rotation look like heading into Opening Day in 2024?

5. Reds RHP Graham Ashcraft continues to induce ground balls

There were moments in 2023 where you could make the argument that Graham Ashcraft was the Cincinnati Reds best pitcher. There were also times when Ashcraft looked as if he'd forgotten how to pitch. The second-year hurler also ended the year on the IL with a toe injury.

One of Ashcraft's greatest assets is his ability to pitch to contact and, oftentimes, get ground ball outs. The right-hander posted a ground ball-rate near 50-percent in 2023; something that plays well in the hitter friendly confines of Great American Ball Park.

But, if healhty, Graham Ashcraft should be part of the Reds rotation in 2024. In this dream scenario, the Alabama native will be the Reds No. 5 starter. If Ashcraft is a backend starter next season, then the Reds front office will have gone above and beyond this winter.