The Cincinnati Reds are going for it, and that is a wonderful thing to witness.
We’ve grown so accustomed to teams not trying to win that when a team like the Reds goes all-in on trying to get better in an upcoming season, it feels like a breath of fresh air. The fresh air analogy holds when one thinks about the suffocating news cycle of team after team declaring they have no intention of trying to win anytime soon. For two years now the Reds have, at the bare minimum, attempted to be better than they were the year before.
The results of the Reds putting their best-foot-forward in 2019 was a fourth-place finish. Process trumps result in this case and most cases for that matter. The Reds front office can’t guarantee a winner no matter what moves they make. They could have signed Manny Machado last year, Gerrit Cole this year and still wound up near the bottom of the National League. Of course the Reds players, front office, and fans all want to win. They should want to win, they should want every single trade and free-agent signing to make them a contender. However, even if that doesn’t happen it matters more that in an era when teams are tanking at an alarming rate the Reds aren’t one of those teams.
This offseason alone they have addressed numerous needs via free agency. Mike Moustakas, Shogo Akiyama, Wade Miley, Nicholas Castellanos, and Pedro Strop have all been brought on-board. These moves on their own are ones that should make the Reds much better in 2020. At the same time, these same moves allow for the Reds to make trades as the season progresses to get even better. If Cleveland really is dumb enough to trade Fransico Lindor, well, now the Reds have both the prospects and surplus major league talent to make such a trade a reality.
It may seem like I’m giving the Reds a lot of credit for doing what any team should do. Those making that assertion would be correct. Before you drive too hard on that point I implore you to take a look at what the rest of the NL Central is doing in 2020: the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and Milwaukee Brewers are all crying poor while the Pittsburgh Pirates are planning on entering 2020 with a payroll below the $45 million mark. What the Pirates are doing should be criminal, and every Brewer, Cardinal, and Cub fan should be pissed off at their teams being cheap. The NL Central is right there for the taking and the only team willing to put forth any amount of effort to go for the brass ring is the Reds.
Maybe 2020 will be no different than 2019 and the Reds will find themselves in fourth place, or worse, come the end of the season. That may upset Reds fans just as their finish in 2019 upset them. I understand that reaction, but at the same time, I hope that Reds fans see what their team is doing. While the rest of their division, and much of Major League Baseball in general, is content to watch the world burn the Reds are legitimately trying for the playoffs. MLB is possibly headed towards a lockout and every single day it seems like there’s some new bad bit of MLB-related news to wade through. The Reds are trying to make their fans happy and win in the process. Heck yeah, the Reds deserve to be commended for their efforts to put a better ballclub on the field