The ZiPS projections for the 2024 Cincinnati Reds dropped this morning, and friend of the blog Dan Szymborski seemnigly echoes many of the questions about this group that we’ve held all winter.
Why’d they sign Jeimer Candelario when they had a billionty players who already play his position?
Why’d they spend money on redundancy when they’ve cried poor for years?
“Confused” is the word Dan used, along with many other words and numbers you can read below.
2024 ZiPS Projections: Cincinnati Reds https://t.co/Uz7nqzVo70— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) January 11, 2024
Regarding the acquisition of Candelario, in particular, and where he’ll slot in on the dirt despite his particular set of skills, Dan had this to say:
The more time he sees at 1B/DH, the more it’s the equivalent of buying a sports car to use as a step ladder to change the light bulb in your garage.
Poignant, if painful. If he’s not going to play at the hot corner all the time, well, he’s not going to be able to provide value that he’s being paid to provide, and he’ll be slotted instead into a bat-first spot while not exactly a bat-first player. Dan’s supercomputer seems to have questions about how the hell the Reds are going to sort out this mess, too, if injuries don’t swoop in and sort it for them.
And that’s the rub here, ultimately. The Reds opted against spending their money on a superstar to lead their WAR parade and instead spread their cash around the fringes to build up depth. The hope is, of course, that one of the guys with a 2 next to their zWAR projection takes a sledgehammer to Dan’s projections and emerges as a 6 WAR beacon leading this club to the playoffs and, god forbid, an actual postseason series win for the first time since the Norman Invasion.
What say you, Reds fans?