Reds trade for Mike Minor only makes waiving Wade Miley look more ridiculous

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Mike Minor (23) leaves the mound.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Mike Minor (23) leaves the mound. / Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds acquired left-hander Mike Minor and cash considerations from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for relief pitcher Amir Garrett. This trade only makes letting go of Wade Miley earlier this offseason look even more ridiculous.

I don't have a problem with the trade itself. If the Reds truly want to compete, and GM Nick Krall claims they do, then adding Minor gives the team solid pitching depth. But given that the Reds waived Miley back in November, only to see him claimed by the Chicago Cubs, makes this latest trade very bizarre.

The Reds front office has made some odd decisions this offseason.

Again, I have no issue with trade itself. Amir Garrett needed to go, and I honestly thought the Cincinnati Reds would have non-tendered him during the winter. I don't even have an issue with the team acquiring Mike Minor. The veteran is a reliable left-handed starter on a modest contract. Hmm, didn't the Reds already have one of those?

Yes, and that's the problem. The Reds held a $10M team-option for Wade Miley after the conclusion of the 2021 season. Instead of paying the $1M buyout or even picking up the option with the intention to trade the left-hander during the offseason, the Reds front office decided to waive Miley.

In effect, the Reds offered Miley up to all 29 teams and anyone "brave enough" to shell out $10M for a pitcher who ranked fifth in the NL in bWAR last season could have him. The Cubs stepped up, and now the Redlegs will likely battle the southpaw several times during the 2022 season.

Now, here's where things get good. Mike Minor's salary for the 2022 season is $10M; the exact same amount the Reds would've had to pay Wade Miley had they held onto him. And it gets better. Minor has a $13M team-option with a $1M buyout for the 2023 season, so the former Kansas City Royals' starter will actually cost more than Miley by the time all is said and done.

The Royals are contributing $500K toward Minor's contract, so it's actually only $500K more than Miley's contract would have been. And, if you factor in that Amir Garrett will make in the neighbor of $2M this season, the Reds are effectively paying about $7.5M for Minor's services this season.

But still, this is absolute lunacy. And I'm not picking on Mike Minor, as I think it's a solid pick up for the Reds. But the front office is just making bad decisions look worse. It happened on Monday when the Reds essentially attached Jesse Winker to Eugenio Suárez's contract in order to get the $35M off the books.

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The Cincinnati Reds management looks lost right now. Now, I'm an optimistic guy, so I'm willing to let the cake bake, okay? But I don't have a shed of confidence in the front office's ability to navigate through the mess they've created.