An inevitable byproduct of reconstruction and the youth movement

Since the start of the 2022 Major League Baseball season, Wade Miley has a solid ERA of 3.15, which is the 24th best mark among 153 MLB pitchers who have thrown at least 150 innings during that time. That puts him just ahead of Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes (3.16) and fellow former beloved Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo (3.19).

Miley, who just turned 37, did his former Cincinnati teammates a few favors during this time – he scored eight for the Reds in a scoreless game with a 6.0 record in a July 9 game early in the season.

The curious way the Cincinnati Reds dealt Miley after the 2021 season will forever stick in my mind, and coupled with the deal that cut Tucker Barnhart, these are two clear signs that the team is desperate to prioritize every last dollar and cent in a match where few of their peers do so. I promise this strays a bit from the point I’ll be getting to, as today’s focus is on how teams that shed their veteran rosters in search of youth moves to rebuild their rosters will inevitably run into said veterans in their future assignments.

The Cincinnati Reds narrowly missed out on a very expanded playoffs in 2023, a year in which many of the sport’s regular titans suffered sub-par seasons. None of the New York clubs made the playoffs, nor did postseason stalwarts like the Boston Red Sox or San Francisco Giants. St. was also conspicuously absent from the 2023 playoffs. Louis Cardinals, a club that became the foundation of success, and October baseball most often came at the expense of the National League Central division.

No, the Reds did not take advantage of this window, instead focusing on the long game, which should theoretically make them more competitive in 2024 and beyond. An early, key decision in the rebuild plan involved pitcher Sonny Gray, who they dealt to the Minnesota Twins for young righty Chase Petty before the start of the 2022 season, and Gray helped carry the Twins to the ALDS on the back of a 2.90 ERA in that time (11 .place on the same list I mentioned earlier regarding Miley).

You may remember the stories of Gray’s first arrival from New York to Cincinnati. His late father was a Reds fan, and the first park where Gray witnessed a major league match was GABP. The Tennessee native extended his contract to remain with the Reds, initially reuniting him with Derek Johnson – his college pitching coach from his Vandy days. Hell, the Reds even brought in Curt Casali – his college catcher – to further set the stage, and former college teammate Caleb Cotham was part of the pitching staff before the Philadelphia Phillies scooped him up with an offer no. to be rejected. their pitching coach.

Gray and the Reds seemed like a natural fit at the time, and a guy like Gray on the Reds’ 2023 roster — which didn’t include Petty, who, while promising as hell and yet barely had a whiff of AA — could very well have pushed the Reds into the final. hump and into the postseason proper this year.

That didn’t happen, and the deal Gray agreed to with Cincinnati after arriving from the Yankees expires at the end of the season, meaning he will become a free agent for the first time in his impressive career. As fate would have it, the cardinals from St. Louis are already eyeing him to help them improve their disappointing run of form, as the Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold reported over the weekend.

Of course, he’s a long way from making a deal. It will also require a fair amount of money, considering Gray is destined to hit free agency and finish in the top five (if not the top two) in this year’s AL Cy Young Award voting. But for those who think that the Reds simply being young and exciting will take them to the very top of the league and the sport as a whole, it’s a two-pronged blow – teams that have performed poorly this year will be scratching their heads and fighting for victory. they will feel better and do it with the many friendly faces we once had here.

Perhaps the Twins will get their act together this winter and keep the traded ace. Perhaps he’ll head to the Giants to turn around their fortunes upon his return to the Bay Area. His plunge into free agency may not end for the Reds for the next few years after all.

But perhaps the former key cog in the Reds’ fortunes will become one of the biggest obstacles to their future league success.

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#inevitable #byproduct #reconstruction #youth #movement

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