Reds Recovering from a Controversial Off-Season

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Katie Bucher, Writer

The Cincinnati Reds baseball season is here, and many fans are already upset. As of March 14, the Reds traded Sonny Gray, Jesse Winker, and Eugenio Suárez. Then on March 16, Amir Garrett was also traded. Winker and Suárez were both traded to the Seattle Mariners. Gray was traded to the Minnesota Twins and Garrett was traded to the Kansas City Royals. Coming off a Cincinnati fan high with the Bearcats and Bengals, some fans think chances for a great Reds season are now slim. Brain Alessandro, language arts teacher, said, “Sonny Gray was the worst trade because we need pitchers, and the others weren’t so good. But Garrett was terrible, so I don’t care much about him.”

If anything, the MLB lockout slowed down any certainty of a baseball season. The anger began when fan favorite, Tucker Barnhart, was traded to the Detroit Tigers for a prospects. Tayden Lorenzen, seventh grader, said, “The Reds owner was not smart about trading some key players and I don’t think they will be as successful this season.”

The withdraw of players was put on pause when the lockout began on December 2, 2021. The MLB owners voted to approve the start of a lockout after the expiration of the 2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the league and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). When the lockout lifted on March 12, 2022 (The 99th day of the lockout), the gears started turning, and it culminated in the departure of three more of the team’s most valuable players, Gray, Winker, and Suárez. The Reds did get some prospects in return, but many of them were only proven decent. According to WCPO Cincinnati, “The Reds got a “B” on ESPN’s trade grade for sending Winker and Suarez to the Mariners but got a D+ for the Sonny Gray trade.”
Fans showed their love for the players and frustrations with team management. On Tuesday March 15, people stood outside of Great American Ballpark with signs protesting about the trades. Numerous numbers of fans were saying “Sell the team Bob” and “Bob is the worst builder”, referring to the Reds owner, Bob Castellini. There’s still plenty of time left in this young Reds season for other moves to be made, which could include acquisitions. But for now, fans see a team that has thrown away any immediate chance at playoff-level competition. For those that remain (Votto, India, Mahle), it’s their time to step up and prove that theory wrong. Mr. Kevin Nieporte, social studies teacher, said, “Well, obviously on paper it looks like the Reds will not be competitive this season or maybe even next. However, sometimes the younger and new players outperform expectations and win despite their youth and inexperience.”

Many fans are eager for a Reds season but also upset about the loss of these great contributors to the team. The team did release the following statement, “Even though these are the right baseball moves, it is tough for all of us emotionally,” said Karen Forgus, Reds Senior Vice President of Business Operations. “We share in the passion and high expectations of our fans and remain committed to fielding a team that makes Reds Country proud.”

After the postponed season, the first game of the season was scheduled for April 7, 2022, against the Atlanta Braves. While many people are saying they won’t attend any games this season, there are some saying they will go to support fan-favorites like Joey Votto. Ragan Moore, eighth grader, said, “I think they can be good and bad this year. If they play bad teams, they’ll win but if they play good teams they’ll lose” Many people think that the new addition Tommy Pham could bring a lot to this team. Some say not likely but still possible. So, even though they might not be able to make a push for October like they did in 2020 behind studs like Trevor Bauer, you can still expect to see Great American Ball Park (GABP) filled with people this season. While some fans are still upset at Reds owner Bob Castellini for trading away many fan-favorites, some still think fans will show at GABP. Fans expect a push for a good season starting from April 7.