The baffling Reds move that helps St. Louis Cardinals

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Nolan Arenado (28) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers and winning their 17th straight game and clinching a wild card spot in the postseason at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Nolan Arenado (28) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers and winning their 17th straight game and clinching a wild card spot in the postseason at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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The baffling Reds move that helps St. Louis Cardinals’ chance of making a deep postseason run.

I gotta be honest, I’m not sure what the Cincinnati Reds are doing. Like, I understand it, but … why?

On Friday, the Chicago Cubs claimed Wade Miley off waivers from the Reds. Miley, who had a $10 million club option for 2022, posted a 3.37 ERA, 6 bWAR, 2.9 fWAR, 3.97 FIP and a 4.07 xFIP. And the Reds, instead of picking up the option and trading him, let Miley go to a division rival for nothing. Woof.

It’s clear that the Reds are shedding salary — the Tucker Barnhart trade to the Detroit Tigers started it and the Miley waiver claim confirmed it. The offseason is only days old and they have lost Barnhart, their longtime starting catcher. They have lost Miley, a very good starting pitcher who is worth more than $10 million next season. And they are going to lose Nick Castellanos, who opted out of his contract and it’s unimaginable that after these moves, that they would pay the outfielder a deal worth close to $20 million per season.

This will only help the St. Louis Cardinals’ chances in 2022 in competing for the division and, quite frankly, gives them one less team to worry about. Of course, it’s possible that the Reds make moves that change the narrative, but it’s clear they are headed toward a rebuild — even if general manager Nick Krall is not ready to admit it.

And rebuilds hardly ever result in immediate postseason berths. Right now, it’s clear that the NL Central will be a two-horse race between the Brewers and Cardinals. The Reds are rebuilding. The Cubs are in a transition period after trading their core at the trade deadline. The Pirates are, well, the Pirates.

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It enhances the Cardinals’ odds of making a deep postseason run in Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright’s final season. All indications are that the front office will do whatever it takes to make that a reality — and their division rivals are only making their jobs easier.

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