Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Speaking of the Reds, here they are. Cincinnati is going to be very, very good in 2013. They had a great team last season and have only improved since.
Cincinnati’s 2012 World Series hopes were destroyed by the eventual champions, the San Francisco Giants, but there’s no doubt that the Reds will be back in October this upcoming season. They’re much too talented to miss out and a lot of things would have to go wrong.
Despite having financial issues, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes how the Reds still had a good offseason:
The Reds went into this offseason with a pretty ambitious shopping list. They needed to add a middle-of-the-order bat, a leadoff man, a closer and a couple of bench players. The tricky part was that they had virtually no money to work with. But the club was able to re-sign Ryan Ludwick, trade for Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald, re-sign Jonathan Broxton and sign Jack Hannahan.
That’s certainly a lot of talent coming to—or staying in—Cincinnati for a team that didn’t have a lot of money going into the offseason.
Each of those moves will prove to be important heading into next season as well. Ludwick, is one of the Reds’ biggest bats in the heart of the order who has the job of protecting Joey Votto. With Jay Bruce hitting behind him, Ludwick also has a great chance at scoring each time he gets on base.
Choo is now the hitter the Reds needed to hit leadoff and will also play center field in the absence of Drew Stubbs. Although Choo isn’t a true center fielder, the Reds will try him out and see what happens. Worst comes to worst, Bruce and Choo will switch spots.
Hannahan and Donald are both great bench options, but re-signing Broxton may be the most impactful move all season long.
If Reds weren’t able to bring him back, Cincinnati wouldn’t be able to move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation full-time. Sure, they still could have gone out to sign another late-game arm, but re-signing one of their own who they knew they could rely on was essential.
Now Chapman is the backend to a dangerous starting rotation. Despite being a little right-hand heavy, the Reds have the guys in the rotation that they need to win games—and each starter is more than capable of winning 15.
Are the Reds the favorites to win the National League Central? You bet, but they aren’t World Series champions just yet.