June 17, 2021

Who is the team to beat in the NL Central? It just might be the Cincinnati Reds (ESPN)


Earlier this winter, I researched free-agent spending over the past decade and discovered the Cincinnati Reds had committed just $121.1 million in free agency during the 2010s, the lowest total of any team. Less than the Rays. Less than the Marlins. Less than the A’s. The Reds do not spend in free agency.

That’s why I was skeptical when Reds owner Bob Castellini said at the beginning of the offseason that the team was ready pursue some free agents and spend some money. It sounded like hollow words from the owner of a franchise that has never gone down that road — the Reds did extend the contract of homegrown star Joey Votto back in 2012 before he reached free agency, but their biggest free-agent signing of the decade was the $30.25 million they gave Aroldis Chapman.

Castellini has lived up to his words. The Reds have agreed to a four-year, $64 million deal for outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, on top of already signing Mike Moustakas ($64 million), outfielder Shogo Akiyama from Japan ($21 million) and pitcher Wade Miley ($15 million). Castellanos does have opt-out clauses after 2020 and 2021, but this is potentially $164 million invested in free agents, more than Cincinnati had…

Read “Who is the team to beat in the NL Central? It just might be the Cincinnati Reds” at ESPN