How does a team with one of the best starting pitchers and arguably the best closer in baseball suck? Said team should be in contention for a wild card at the very least.
Say hello to the 2015 Cincinnati Reds.
The same Reds once employed one of the best starting pitchers in the league in Johnny Cueto (who has been since traded to the Kansas City Royals), as well as in my mind the best relief pitchers in Aroldis Chapman is sitting in 4th place in the National League Central Division with a 43-53 record.
How did the Reds become so bad the last couple of seasons? It’s easy: bad management.
The organization, namely general manager Walt Jocketty, invested in the wrong players. He gave starting pitcher Homer Bailey – who is injured and only played in two games this season – a 6 year, $105,000,000 contract. This is also the same pitcher who is sporting a 58-51 record and a 4.19 ERA for his career.
I’m sorry, but no GM with half a brain would give a dude with pedestrian career numbers a $100 million contract. If that weren’t bad enough, Bailey’s contract expires in 2021.
Unfortunately for Reds fans, that’s not the only sin that Jocketty had committed. He also signed first baseman Joey Votto to an absurd 10-year, $225 million contract extension that expires in 2024!
And before you Reds fans out there lecture me on how big of a stud Votto is (and that is true, by the way), no one in his right mind should give a player in his 30s a big contract extension that will expire when he turns 40! Period.
I understand that the Reds wanted to invest in their franchise player and not risk losing Votto to the New York Yankees or other big market, big spending teams. And he has decent stats to boot. But it’s just not smart for a team to invest SO MUCH MONEY into ONE PLAYER when it have other studs on your squad, especially if that team is not a big market club with a suspect minor league system.
There is no way in hell that a team would trade for Votto’s contract, not with nine more years left on it.
Thanks to bad contracts like those, the Reds were not able to give Cueto the contract extension he deserves. They may not be able to pay Chapman after this season as well.
And if the Bailey and Votto contracts weren’t bad enough, Jocketty hired Bryan Price to replace the fired Dusty Baker after the 2013 season. It’s pretty safe to say that Price has proven to be not only a lousy manager (98-113 record during his Reds tenure), he is also a bonafide clown.
Nice hire there, Jocketty.
And I wish that I could tell Reds fans that things will get better soon, but they won’t. In fact, it will take at least two or three more seasons before things will get better. The Votto and Bailey contracts will handcuff the Reds for at least the next six seasons. And even if Price were to be canned after this season, who in the hell could manage this bunch?
Seems like Jocketty had lost his magic from his days with the rival St. Louis Cardinals. Maybe he wants to get himself fired with those dumbass moves so he could go back?