Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds have built a competitive team through castoffs

The Cincinnati Reds have re-tooled this offseason by acquiring ‘spare parts’ from other teams.

Throughout the offseason, headlines have been centered around big-market teams and big-name free agents. While clubs like the New York Yankees and names like Bryce Harper dominate talking points, the Cincinnati Reds have bolstered their lineup and rotation by acquiring cast off players.

Another word to describe the players the Reds have brought in is ‘expendable’. The club has capitalized on the financial gridlock of other teams to bring proven major league players into the clubhouse.

Earlier this offseason, the Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers linked up for a trade that was headlined by Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood going to Cincinnati for Homer Bailey and two minor-league players. Before that, the team made a trade to land former Washington Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark.

The club’s most recent move also followed this trend, as the Reds added another starting pitcher to their rotation by trading for, then extending, Sonny Gray from the Yankees.

The common theme here? All of these players were preventing their former clubs from upgrading, or those teams had no intentions of re-signing or paying them.

Each one of these moves has a “prove it” feel to it. Meaning, some of these players, like Gray, have fallen on some shortcomings performance wise. But, the Reds are giving them a chance to prove their worth.

Regardless, the Reds have quietly had themselves a great offseason with these moves. Furthermore, adding these players appears to have made them a competitive team out of what has become a loaded division in the National League Central.

Yes, the Reds were last in their division with a record of 67-95 and had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball in 2018. However, the additions of Wood, Roark and Gray will help counteract that from happening in 2019.

No, neither of those three pitchers are Cy Young winners, but they are steady arms that can put their teams in a position to win every fifth day. More importantly, they can help pay dividends to young, hopeful starters such as Luis Castillo.

Offensively, the Reds had pieces in place to build around. Eugenio Saurez and Scooter Gennett had big, All-Star years last season, and of course they still have their cornerstone first baseman in Joey Votto.

Slotting Puig and Kemp into a lineup with those three gives the Reds one of the more powerful lineups in baseball, which will be dangerous in a small stadium like Great American Ball park.

The Reds got much better through each one of these trades. The staff features veteran starters who have had success in their careers, and they filled two holes in the outfield by bringing in Kemp and Puig.

Next: Dodgers should do what it takes to get Starling Marte

There is a low-risk, high-reward feeling about each one of the acquisitions the Reds have made. If they flop they will address it, but these cast-off players may be able to make the Reds competitive once again this upcoming season.

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