ESPN is running a series this week in which they are breaking down each MLB team's "window of contention". In other words, it's an attempt to project at which time teams look most poised to contend in the playoffs.
On Wednesday, the crew took a stab at the National League Central. And one of those teams, obviously, was Dusty Baker's Reds. No real surprises in the post. They, like others, believe Cincinnati is in a position to win now and for a few years to come.
ESPN cites the fact that the Reds have most of their best players locked up for the long haul and for the prime of their careers too. One key question concerning the Reds and ESPN is how Aroldis Chapman handles the transition to a starter.
Another potential weakness they outline is that the team doesn't have a true centerfielder at this point. Shin-Soo Choo has played all of 10 games at the position in his big league career and while Jay Bruce has expressed willingness to play center if Choo can't get the job done, Bruce isn't a natural centerfield either.
The article then goes on to touch a little bit about the prospects in the farm system. Tony Cingrani, Daniel Corcino, and Robert Stephenson are all mentioned as potential trade bait should the Reds need to add another piece at the trade deadline in July. Given their starting pitching depth in the majors right now, I would agree that this is one area they might have a surplus in, which is a good problem to have.
Again, nothing too surprising or revealing here. A diehard Reds fan would already know the basics of what is highlighted in the piece. Nonetheless, it's still good reading material for January.