The beginning of spring training on Monday officially closed the chapter on the baseball offseason. This means that we can now critique the work of each and every team over the winter, including the Reds.
Thankfully, former general manager and current ESPN.com writer Jim Bowden did the work for us. He took the time to evaluate and rank all 30 teams based on criteria which included:
- How it improved the team for 2013, as well as the next five years.
- How it affected payroll and budgets -- both short and long term.
- How it affected team chemistry and clubhouse culture.
- How needs were filled -- through free agency, trade or farm system.
- The amount of money committed compared with the value received.
With that in mind, he decided to rank the Reds 17th.
17. Cincinnati Reds
GM: Walt Jocketty
Acquired: OF Shin-Soo Choo, re-signed RHP Jonathan Broxton
Analysis: Manager Dusty Baker finally got the leadoff hitter he’s been seeking in Choo. He brings loads of offensive ability, but can he play center field? He was a right fielder for the Indians and known for some bad jumps and angles. Choo also is in his walk year, and prospect Billy Hamilton should be ready to take over both leadoff and center in 2014. The Reds already had a World Series-caliber team, so they didn’t have to do much.
Although finishing in the bottom half of the league isn't much to brag about, Cincinnati still managed to rank second among National League Central Division teams. Only the St. Louis Cardinals finished higher than the Redlegs and not by much. The Redbirds ranked 15th.
If you have ESPN Insider access, you can view the full article here.
What do you think about the Cincy's position on the list?