Chicago Cubs: Should the rest of the NL Central be worried?
Of the three free agents who rejected a qualifying offer listed above, only Ozuna is an option for the Reds, as Donaldson and Rendon are third basemen and the Reds are set there with Suarez. The Reds have been linked to Ozuna, along with Castellanos, Grandal and Gregorious. They won’t sign all of them, but if they sign one or two of them, that will serve as a significant upgrade for their offense on a team that is already solid in the pitching department.
The contrast between the Reds’ position and the Cubs’ is striking. While the Cubs have almost no room to add payroll, meaning among other things that they’ll likely lose Castellanos, the Reds have room to add payroll and don’t seem concerned about losing a draft pick. This is in spite of the fact that their farm system has taken a hit over the past year.
Since the NL Central already has three teams trying to contend in 2020, we have to admire the Reds’ courage. Although, the timing could be ripe for them to go for it in 2020, since there was no elite team in this division in 2019; the division champion Cardinals only won 91 games.
Despite everything that’s been said above, the Reds still have a long way to go to be considered contenders; after all, they haven’t had a winning season since 2013. Still, they appear to be in a good position to take a giant step forward in 2020, and if things go well for them this offseason, they’ll be a candidate to win the division. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers all have reason to be concerned.