The New York Mets have nearly $87 million of their 2023 payroll tied up in a pair of starting pitchers who’ll be pushing 40 years old, as their addition of Justin Verlander pairs him with Max Scherzer to form a potent, albeit graying 1-2 punch atop their rotation.
That’s the biggest news of the early machinations of the 2022 MLB Winter Meetings. Since it ties Scherzer for the highest average annual value in the game’s history - and since it’s signing a reigning Cy Young winner to replace Jacob deGrom, who signed with Texas - that’s the front-page news of the day regardless of what else comes out of San Diego.
Rumor has it the Cincinnati Reds are, in fact, actually in San Diego repping their corner of the baseball universe. They’re probably enjoying a fish taco, maybe even a Stone Tangerine Express, talking about whether Matt Reynolds should lead-off or bat cleanup everyday. Decisions, decisions!
There have been no whiffs of the Reds intentions thus far. Manager David Bell will talk to the media at 5 PM ET, at least, at which point he’ll likely talk about how many injuries the club dealt with last year, the experience gained by the pitching staff, and who’s already in the Best Shape of Their Lives™. Honestly, with this ownership group, I’m not sure what else we can expect him to say, but he’ll be saying something.
Just keep in mind that some of the best moves the team has made during their decade of irrelevance were not of the front-page variety. Scooter was good while the Reds were not! Dan Straily was, too - as was Luis Castillo because of him! Derek Dietrich was a thing while the Reds were abysmal, while Eugenio Suarez emerged as a diamond in the rough while the team floundered, as well!
None of those guys cost any money, nor were their moves anticipated or covered with aplomb. So, there’s still hope the Reds can turn two dimes into a quarter while the rest of the baseball world flaunts their Benjamins. Not that it’ll matter for 2023 or anything, of course.