The Reds have a lot of good players for being such a crappy team. I can’t decide if that’s more or less frustrating than simply having crappy players.
On the one hand, as a Braves fan, I can tell you that simply having a roster of crappy players is pretty miserable and that it’d be cool to at least see guys like Joey Votto, Todd Frazier or Aroldis Chapman play a lot. On the other hand, if you’re a Reds fan, you have to live with the notion that the team you root for is dramatically less than the sum of its parts and that’s just some existential angst in the making.
Luckily — or unluckily, depending on your point of view — the Reds will likely not have as many good players come spring. That’s because, as Buster Olney and many others are reporting, the Reds are listening to offers on basically everyone, including Chapman. Olney recently referred to it as a Chicago Cubs/Houston Astros-style rebuild.
That may be a tad extreme in that the selling already began last summer when the Reds traded Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake prior to their walking in free agency and unloaded Marlon Byrd. They got some decent players in return — particularly the three lefties the Royals gave them for Cueto — so it’s not like they’re starting completely from square one. The problem is that their offensive core, led by Votto and Frazier, is going to be long in the tooth by the time anything approaching a decent pitching staff has been assembled and matured. And, in the meantime, the Reds are playing in the toughest division in baseball.
Figure Chapman to get the most play in the short term and then, if he’s dangled, Frazier. In the meantime figure on the Reds not being very good for a few years.