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Cincinnati Reds links - Offseason questions, offseason blues

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Tuesday links!

Pittsburgh Pirates v. Cincinnati Reds Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays have been slimer’d by the Boston Red Sox in one tussle on the American League side, assuring us all that Boston will still have a chance to win their 4th World Series title in recent memory. So, too, is that chance alive for the San Francisco Giants in the National League, as they lead the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 in their NLDS grudge match.

Boston, the Dodgers, the Giants, the Houston Astros...all big spenders, the lot. Heck, even Atlanta spent some $144 million on their payroll this year, a full $12 million or so (roughly one Eugenio Suarez or Sonny Gray) more than did the Cincinnati Reds this year. In fact, the lone team remaining with a lower payroll in 2021 than the Reds is the Milwaukee Brewers, who have scored a run in exactly one inning so far in their trio of postseason games played, I believe.

Point is, it usually takes money to win, even though spending money is no guarantee of actual success - here’s looking at you, northeast I-95 corridor. That’s something the Reds will be faced with before the actual winter spending season every gets going, as I looked at yesterday thanks to some early arbitration estimates.

If you think you know which route the Reds will take in that ‘spend money to be good, or don’t’ conundrum, well, I think I know which way they’ll lean, too. It’s a consistent pattern of mediocrity, one that Chad Dotson spoke of in saying Reds fans simply deserve better.

MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon detailed 5 questions facing the Reds as they enter the offseason. They’re all valid, legitimate things the Reds will need to sort out before Opening Day next year, but I still have a hard time getting past the overriding question of ‘does this ownership group actually give a damn about winning baseball games?’

Over at FanGraphs, Nicklaus Gaut took an interesting look at the continued decline of steals in the modern game of baseball. It’s with a fantasy slant, but pertinent here since, y’know, the Cincinnati Reds were the second worst baserunning team in all MLB in 2021 and stole the fewest bags of any team in the game (just 36, which is mindboggling).

Over at Redleg Nation, there’s discussion about the potential addition of the DH to National League play in 2022, and what that would mean for the Reds roster given the current glut of aforementioned lumbering sluglords. I dunno, it all sounds good on pre-2021 paper, but I’m kind of at the point where I’m not sure I want either Suarez or Mike Moustakas in the lineup every single day, let alone both of them. That’s a jaded comment based on a butchered end of the 2021 season that I hope I regret at some point quite soon, but there, I said it.

Michael Lorenzen still wants to be a starting pitcher, as MLB Trade Rumors broke down after Lorenzen spoke with Bobby Nightengale of The Enquirer. The idea of leveraging Lorenzen’s ability to hit at a significantly better clip than the average pitcher for a PA or two has long been kicked around as something of a pseudo-DH advantage the Reds could have used, but that never materialized over the last few seasons due to injuries and what have you. Of course, we just spoke about the likelihood of there being a universal DH across all baseball as soon as next year, so even that becomes moot at this juncture for The Llama, unfortunately.

I don’t have a link for this thought, but I have no idea what the Reds are going to do with their bullpen. No Llama, no Mychal Givens, no Tejay Antone, no money, mo problems.

There’s a lot of baseball on the docket for today. Enjoy the sports.