What does the Reds' 100 losses really mean as the rebuild continues?

Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India. / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Well, it happened. The Cincinnati Reds lost 100 games for the second time in franchise history. David Bell's squad fell just one loss short of matching the 61-101 record posted by the 1982 team. But what does it really mean to lose 100 games in a season?

Well, it's not good. That said, the Reds were not alone this season as the Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, and Pittsburgh Pirates all lost 100 games or more. There were also four teams in 2021 that lost over 100 games.

Among those teams were the Pirates, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rangers invested heavily in free agency last winter, the D-backs used a strong second-half surge to post 22 more wins in 2022, and the O's were in the playoff conversation until the final few weeks of the season.

What does the Reds' 100 losses really mean as the rebuild continues?

In all honesty, whether the Cincinnati Reds lost 84 games, 96 games, or 110 games is irrelevant. What really matters is what happens next. Fans throughout Reds Country knew all too well that the 2022 season was over before it began.

Cincinnati's rebuild began last fall when they waived Wade Miley and traded Tucker Barnhart. The front office continued to purge the roster by trading Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, and Sonny Gray. Nick Krall then dealt Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Tommy Pham, Tyler Naquin and Brandon Drury at the trade deadline.

While some of the transactions were motivated by cutting payroll, the Reds did bring on a fair amount of young talented players that the organization is banking much of its future on as well. Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Brandon Williamson, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and even Jose Acuña all figure into the Reds future plans.

The Reds will need to see continued development from the aforementioned players, plus prospects like Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, and Cam Collier. All of that young talent, plus the likes of Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson, Graham Ashcraft, Alexis Diaz, Hunter Greene, and Nick Lodolo will be what makes or breaks this rebuild.

This rebuild is different. Cincinnati isn't hanging on players like Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier well past when they should have, and the combined $43M salary of Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas will be off the books in 2024.

So what does it really mean to lose 100 games? It all depends on how the front office constructs the roster over the next two seasons. The Houston Astros lost over 100 games three consecutive seasons (2011-2013) and have become a juggernaut in the American League for the past six seasons.

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