The Cincinnati Reds surprised their fans with a busy offseason, just not the way they probably would have wanted.
Instead of strengthening a talented core and taking advantage of a late-career resurgence by franchise icon Joey Votto, the Reds started things off by declining to pick up Wade Miley‘s club option, allowing him to sign with the division rival Chicago Cubs.
They traded catcher Tucker Barnhart, pitchers Sonny Gray and Amir Garrett, and sluggers Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez.
Oh, and they also let Nick Castellanos go to the Philadelphia Phillies, via free agency.
Yes, they added some young players, but their primary objective wasn’t retooling: it was to cut some payroll.
And they did that big-time.
They failed to bring in some help to reigning Rookie of the Year Jonathan India and pitching stalwarts Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle.
Instead, they weakened a solid team because of their economic ambitions.
Reds Owners Criticizing Their Own Fans
And, as the cherry on top of the cake, the Reds’ owners are going at their own fans.
Fans have urged the Castellinis, Bob (the father and Chief Executive Officer) and Phil (his son, and Chief Operating Officer) to sell the team to someone who wants to spend and compete.
What was Phil Castellini’s answer on Tuesday, in the middle of the home opener frenzy?
“Phil Castellini: ‘Where are you gonna go? Sell the team to who? What would you do with this team to…compete more in the current economic system? It would be to pick it up and move it somewhere else. So be careful what you ask for.’ Nothing like threatening fans on Opening Day,” Reds writer Matt Wilkes tweeted on Tuesday.
Phil Castellini: “Where are you gonna go? Sell the team to who? What would you do with this team to…compete more in the current economic system? It would be to pick it up and move it somewhere else. So be careful what you ask for.”
Nothing like threatening fans on Opening Day.
— Matt Wilkes (@_MattWilkes) April 12, 2022
Sorry, Reds fans.
You certainly deserve better than that.