MLB sizzling range: Touchdown spots for Joey Votto, Luis Castillo, Sonny Grey and extra as Reds proceed sell-off

One week into the 2021-22 MLB offseason, the Cincinnati Reds have been probably the most lively group in baseball, and never vital for an excellent cause. The Reds have began chopping payroll, first by trading catcher Tucker Barnhart to the Tigers for a fringe prospect, then by letting lefty Wade Miley go to the NL Central rivals Cubs on waivers. These strikes saved the group $1.5 million over what they’d have spent had they simply purchased out Barnhart’s ($7.5 million) and Miley’s ($10 million) membership choices.

“Buying and selling Tucker was a really tough choice,” Reds GM Nick Krall instructed reporters, including Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, following the Barnhart commerce. “Having been drafted and developed by the Reds, our total group has a connection to him, and our followers love him. However going into 2022, we should align our payroll to our assets and proceed specializing in scouting and creating younger expertise from inside our system.”

Aggressive cost-cutting is nothing new for the Reds, who basically gave Raisel Iglesias away final offseason to keep away from his $9.125 million wage. Cincinnati went 83-79 in 2021 and was within the postseason race a lot of the season, plus the Reds had the fourth-highest scoring offense within the Nationwide League (4.85 runs per sport). It is disappointing them to see them tighten the purse strings after they contended a lot of the 12 months and play in a division that’s removed from dominant.

The price-cutting might not finish with Barnhart and Miley. The Reds are keen to debate any participant making important cash, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, and’s Jon Morosi adds ace Luis Castillo is already drawing commerce curiosity. No shock there. Castillo is without doubt one of the sport’s most gifted pitchers and would assist to each rotation. 

What different gamers may transfer as a part of Cincinnati’s efforts to “align our payroll to our assets?” Let’s have a look.

Contract standing: $8 million in 2022

Two years in the past the Reds took a three-year, $21 million roll of the cube on Shogo Akiyama, who authored a .303/.392/.471 batting line with 20 residence runs in his ultimate season with the Seibu Lions in Japan. In his two years with the Reds, the 33-year-old Akiyama has hit .224/.320/.274 with no single residence run in near 400 plate appearances. He is been overmatched, significantly in opposition to velocity. Akiyama is an effective middle fielder with some pace, however he presents zero offense, and an $8 million price ticket for a fourth (and even fifth) outfielder is just too wealthy for nearly each group.

Potential touchdown spots: Phillies, Mets, Rangers, Rockies. Krall insists he doesn’t need to connect gamers or prospects to undesirable contracts to dump cash. In that case, he has near no hope of shifting Akiyama.

Contract standing: $7.6 million in 2022 (projected) and arbitration-eligible in 2023

Cincinnati’s No. 1 commerce chip is their ace, who shook off a gradual begin this previous season to put up a 2.73 ERA with 144 strikeouts in his ultimate 22 begins and 135 1/3 innings. Castillo, 28, brings upper-90s velocity, arguably one of the best changeup within the sport, and the flexibility to overlook bats and get floor balls to the desk. He’s elite and he comes with two years of management. His commerce worth is important, even with the Barnhart and Miley strikes signaling the Reds are prioritizing funds over the very best baseball transfer. The bidding warfare for Castillo can be fierce.

Potential touchdown spots: Each contender, actually. Any group with designs on contending in 2022 will test in on Castillo. That listing of groups ought to embody the Reds, although it is fairly clear now successful is taking a backseat to bringing payroll down.

Contract standing: $10 million in 2022 and $12 million membership choice for 2023 (no buyout)

Aside from Castillo, Sonny Gray is perhaps Cincinnati’s greatest hope of swinging a commerce that clears important {dollars} and brings a stable haul in return. The 32-year-old has been good greater than nice round numerous non-arm accidents the final two seasons (again, groin, ribs) and he typically would not pitch deep into video games, however Grey has posted a solidly higher than league common ERA yearly of his profession besides 2016 and 2018, and groups will take 140 above-average innings over 180 common innings today.

Potential touchdown spots: Angels, Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres. Grey is sweet sufficient and inexpensive sufficient to suit with most groups, and the membership choice means he isn’t essentially a one-year pickup both.

Contract standing: $5 million in 2022 (projected) and arbitration-eligible in 2023

An analytics darling, Tyler Mahle can be an especially fashionable commerce candidate if the Reds go forward and make him accessible. He boasts the spin charges groups crave, a excessive strikeout fee, and the flexibility to suppress onerous contact. Mahle turned 27 in September and isn’t a real ace, however the elements are there for him to be this offseason’s Joe Musgrove, the man who lastly takes that subsequent step after years of displaying spectacular measurables however inconsistent efficiency.

Potential touchdown spots: Angels, Astros, Blue Jays, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Rays, Red Sox, Yankees. A great beginning pitcher with an opportunity to be nice and group management past 2023? Yeah, Mahle might be very in-demand on the commerce market. If the Reds commerce him and Castillo, we’d as nicely simply name this what it’s: a full-blown rebuild on the alter of cost-cutting.

Contract standing: $16 million in 2022, $18 million in 2023, and $20 million membership choice for 2024 ($4 million buyout)

Heel and foot accidents restricted Mike Moustakas to 62 unproductive video games in 2021. He is solely two years faraway from a 35-home run season, and you’ll squint your eyes and say Moustakas might be higher in 2022 with good well being seeing how he turned solely 33 in September (and never, say, 35 or 36), however at that wage? Exhausting to see one other group taking an opportunity with out the Reds consuming cash or kicking in some type of sweetener. Moustakas has proven regular declines in his strikeout fee, chase fee, and hard-hit fee, which are sometimes indicators of diminished bat pace.

Potential touchdown spots: Blue Jays, Nationals. Once more, it is onerous to see a commerce coming collectively until the Reds eat cash or connect a prospect(s) to Moustakas. That is some huge cash for a participant who has exhibited indicators of decline.

Contract standing: $11 million per 12 months from 2022-24 plus $15 million membership choice for 2025 ($2 million buyout)

Issues have gone so unhealthy, so quick for Eugenio Suárez. Two years in the past he mashed 49 residence runs and was one of many prime sluggers within the sport. Now he is among the many worst gamers in baseball. Suárez, who continues to be solely 30, posted minus-0.6 WAR in 2021, although to be honest, it is not his fault the Reds requested him to play shortstop early within the season after ignoring the place over the winter. He was a defensive catastrophe there. The bat has taken a major step again too, even when Suárez can nonetheless hit 30-plus homers. A batting common round .200 with 30-plus homers can work in the event you draw a ton of walks and win Gold Gloves like Joey Gallo, however not in the event you do not stroll a lot or contribute defensively. Suárez has unfavourable commerce worth in the intervening time.

Potential touchdown spots: None. Cincinnati’s greatest hope is a nasty contract for unhealthy contract commerce that takes the $35 million they owe Suárez the subsequent three years and redistributes it in a extra team-friendly approach. What that unhealthy contract for unhealthy contract commerce may seem like, I am unsure. I imply, Suárez is not that costly.

Contract standing: $25 million per 12 months from 2022-23 plus $20 million membership choice for 2024 ($7 million buyout)

Exhausting to think about Joey Votto enjoying for one more group, is not it? Votto turned 38 in September and he simply had a resurgent 36-homer season, tying the second highest whole of his profession, together with his sometimes robust on-base share. He’s a hitting savant, able to making changes to stay productive even whereas his bodily abilities naturally erode with age. The listing of gamers who you’d really feel comfy projecting to be above-average contributors from ages 38-39 could be very brief, however Votto is on it. He is nonetheless an affect hitter, an excellent defender, and a clubhouse chief.

Potential touchdown spots: Blue Jays, Pink Sox, Yankees. Gosh, Votto going residence to Toronto can be such a enjoyable story. He must share first base and DH responsibility with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Teoscar Hernández must play the outfield full-time, however it may possibly work. The cash limits the potential touchdown spots for Votto, however the three big-market AL East groups stand out as suitors.

Contract standing: $6.8 million (projected) and arbitration-eligible in 2023

Merely put, Jesse Winker is without doubt one of the greatest pure hitters within the sport. He has energy, he attracts walks, and he would not strike out excessively. Winker was a deserving All-Star this season and, at age 28, he’s proper smack in his prime. This man wouldn’t look misplaced because the No. 3 hitter on a World Collection contender. The draw back is Winker is a brutal defensive outfielder. One of many worst within the sport. He is a DH, by and thru. Luckily, his bat greater than performs on the place.

Potential touchdown spots: Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays, Twins, White Sox. The upcoming collective bargaining settlement is predicted to implement the common DH, which might create just a few extra potential suitors for Winker.

Varied relievers

The Reds had bullpen issues a lot of the season — the bullpen was their downfall, actually — so there would not appear to be an enormous marketplace for their relievers, however individually, they’ve just a few fascinating items. Righty Luis Cessa ($1.2 million projected) is a slider machine who has expertise in each function. Lefty Amir Garrett ($2.2 million projected) has elite stuff, albeit with a house run drawback. Righty Lucas Sims ($1.2 million projected) has discovered a house within the bullpen as a excessive strikeout slider specialist. All are efficient and have management behind 2022. Their projected salaries might look like a drop within the bucket, and they’re, however remember the Reds simply moved Barnhart for a fringe prospect to keep away from the $500,000 buyout of his membership choice. No quantity is just too small to dump.

Potential touchdown spots: Each group. There’ll at all times be a marketplace for low-cost, controllable relievers. Sims specifically ought to draw curiosity as a high-leverage choice. | MLB sizzling range: Touchdown spots for Joey Votto, Luis Castillo, Sonny Grey and extra as Reds proceed sell-off

Jake Nichol

Jake Nichol is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Jake Nichol joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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