When Bob Castellini purchased the Cincinnati Reds in January of 2006 he promised the city a return to championship baseball.
Since then, however, the Reds have turned in exactly zero winning seasons.
It’s not that Castellini isn’t trying. He broke frugal traditions by signing Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo to major extensions, signed a high-priced manager in Dusty Baker, parted ways with over-valued stars such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn, and sought the services of general managing guru Walk Jocketty.
But until Sunday, when the Reds surprisingly signed the highly regarded 22-year-old pitching phenom, Aroldis Chapman, to a five-year $30.25 million deal –money that would make even the Yankees blush– Castellini had failed to put his money where it counts–with super-talented players.
And in a single move Castellini has advanced the Reds from pretenders to contenders in the NL Central.
Just consider its starting pitching staff of Harang, Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Edison Volquez, Homer Bailey and lastly Chapman. Can you say best rotation in the division?
It’s true Chapman may be a year away from the majors, and although the Reds’ offense is stacked, the young talent on this team can’t be ignored any longer by the likes of division favorites St. Louis and Chicago.
Just days ago the Reds were nothing more than a third place team in the Central with an overzealous and impatient owner. Now they’re a legitimate threat with the potential to fulfill Castellini’s promise.