St. Louis Cardinals: How the Rest of the Central Is Doing

4 of 5

Cincinnati Reds

Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals fans should show a little empathy toward Uncle Walt. He’s hamstrung by a hypercompetitive owner with a limited budget. As a result, the Cincinnati Reds held onto players longer than they should have, and now they’re stuck with a disappointing big league team and middling farm system.

All the noise the Reds are making this winter so far has been about dealing key players. Namely their closer, the Cuban Missile, Aroldis Chapman. As you know, I champion any idea of trading a closer when his value is highest. Hence my steady suggestion to move Rosenthal before he has a mental breakdown or something.

I figured Uncle Walt screwed himself by not unloading Chapman at the deadline. I thought the same thing about the San Diego Padres, too, but look at that fantastic load of prospects they got back for Craig Kimbrel. Goodness. Along that same vein of me being wrong is Chapman, whose value hasn’t diminished since July.

There was also scuttlebutt about the Reds dumping second baseman Brandon Phillips onto the Arizona Diamondbacks for the even more moribund Aaron Hill. But there’s been no further talk of that since Ken Rosenthal wrote about it on Wednesday.

The rumors and reports indicate one thing. The Reds are in transition and are looking for young talent to keep fans from going nuts for the next few years.

Do you know what would be really great, though? If the Reds were willing to unload their financial albatross, first baseman Joey Votto, onto the more than-grateful and recently flush St. Louis Cardinals. Dare to dream.

Next: Chicago Cubs