Now that Spring Training is in full swing, I think we can finally give an initial grade to a team’s offseason. There are a few big-name free agents out there, but most teams at this point have the players they are going to compete with in 2019. So I’d like to look at one of the most active teams this offseason: the Cincinnati Reds.
Let’s first review where the Reds were at the end of the 2018 season (insert dumpster fire jokes/memes here). The Reds were bad. Really bad. They finished last in the NL Central for the fourth straight year, and couldn’t even break out of their 90+ loss season streak. What was perhaps worse was that the organization was clearly dysfunctional. Perhaps not Marlins or Orioles-level dysfunction, but still it wasn’t clear who was running the show: the owner or the front office or the manager. Throughout 2018 you’d hear conflicting signals from each one. They didn’t know what to do with their top prospect (Nick Senzel), or how to handle Jesse Winker, an excellent hitter who was playing in his first full season for the team.