The 2019-20 MLB offseason has been an absolutely wild one. From the Astros cheating scandal to the Mookie Betts trade, a lot of the small market stories are going unnoticed. The Cincinnati Reds are just one of the small market teams who have been making positive moves to improve their team all offseason. The Milwaukee Brewers as well as the Chicago Cubs need take notice and realize the Reds are just as big of a threat as they are to win the NL Central.
If somebody just goes through the Reds’ roster, they would notice that on paper, they are loaded. They have former Gold Glover, Tucker Barnhart, and Curt Casali behind the dish giving Cincinnati one of the best platoon situations in the Central. At first, the Reds have future Hall of Famer, Joey Votto, who is still a very solid player even in his older years. At second base, signed this offseason, they spent the money on former Brewer, Mike Moustakas. Moustakas is coming off one of his best seasons of his career where he hit 35 home runs while batting .254 with an OPS+ of 114. At shortstop, the Reds will likely go with Freddy Galvis who is a player that almost all teams would want considering his utility abilities. Third base is taken up by 2019 breakout star, Eugenio Suarez, who hit an unreal 49 home runs and drove in 103 runs last season.
The outfield, starting in left, is taken up by another offseason signing, Nick Castellanos. In the past three seasons, Castellanos has hit .287 with an average of 25 homers, 88 RBIs, and 47 doubles per season. In center, the Reds chose to fill this position by going overseas and signing Shogo Akiyama. In the past three seasons, Akiyama has hit .316 with an average of 23 home runs per year. If Akiyama works out, he has the perfect combination of power and speed to be an incredible player for the Reds. In right field, the young Aristides Aquino will take over. At only 25 years old, Aquino is just entering his prime and showed a lot of promise last season during his rookie year. Off the bench, the Reds will be employing Nick Senzel and Kyle Farmer, two guys who can play multiple positions and competently handle the bat.
When it comes to the pitching staff, the Reds can compete with anybody in the NL Central. Anchored by 2019 Cy Young candidate, Luis Castillo, they also have two former All-Stars in Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray. Their fourth starter is another former Brewer, Wade Miley, who they signed over the winter. In the fifth spot of the rotation, there will be a battle between Anthony DeSclafani and Tyler Mahle. Both of these players would have spots in the rotation for any other team in the NL Central.
The Reds’ bullpen has a couple of studs in Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen with Robert Stephenson, Joel Kuhnel, and Matt Bowman backing them up. All viable options. Cincinnati’s closer is the veteran Raisel Iglesias, who is coming off seasons of 28, 30, and 34 saves respectively.
The Reds are going to be scary in 2020. With a projected falloff from the Brewers and Cubs, the Reds are in prime position to make a move in the NL Central. By the end of the season, it shouldn’t surprise anybody if the Reds win 87+ games and sneak into the Wild Card Game, or even win the NL Central.