In 2016, the Reds’ rotation ranked last in the majors in WAR. The next year, they improved, sliding all the way up to 29th. This past season, they wound up in 26th, and over the combined three-year sample, we find the Reds in 30th place out of 30 teams, nearly a full six WAR behind the next-worst White Sox. It hasn’t been for lack of talent; it’s been for lack of execution, for lack of development. The Reds, at some point, decided they weren’t going to take it anymore. Earlier in this offseason, the rotation added Alex Wood. Earlier in this offseason, the rotation added Tanner Roark. And now we have a holiday three-team exchange, bringing just another starting arm to Cincinnati.
- Josh Stowers
- Supplemental draft pick (No. 36)
- Sonny Gray
- Reiver Sanmartin
- Shed Long
- Josh Stowers
Wood is going into his contract season. The same is true of Roark. The same is also true of outfield acquisition Yasiel Puig. The same is true of Matt Kemp. The same was true of Gray, but as a part of this trade, Gray and the Reds have agreed on a three-year extension, beginning in 2020 and worth $30.5 million. There’s a $12-million club option for 2023, and there are various salary escalators involved. The Reds are paying a high price here, but at least they’re doing it for a long-term player. And from the Yankees’ perspective, they knew it was going to get here eventually. Playing in New York, Gray just couldn’t succeed. Now it’s the Reds’ turn to work with the same puzzle pieces.