Reds Off To Franchise-Worst Start After $15M Free Agency

    • Cincinnati has lost six in a row to begin the season 3-19 -- the worst start in MLB since 2003.
    • The Reds have the 10th-lowest payroll ($116 million) in the league.

The Reds haven’t invested much on the field lately — so it’s no surprise they’re off to the worst start in the 141-year history of the franchise.

On Monday, Cincinnati lost its sixth game in a row, beginning the season at 3-19 — the worst start by any MLB team since 2003 (Tigers, 3-25). With one win in their last 18, the Reds are already 11.5 games back of the first-place Brewers in the NL Central.

Cincy spent $52.4 million this offseason — the fifth-lowest in MLB — and a combined $14.8 million on one-year deals to free agents Tommy Pham ($7.5M), Donovan Solano ($4.5M), Hunter Strickland ($1.83M), and Colin Moran ($1M). 

The Reds maintain the 10th-lowest MLB payroll ($116M) — and in return, they’re awful in just about every statistical category.

  • Pitchers are 30th in team ERA (6.15), WHIP (1.63), and opponent batting average (.225).
  • Batters are 30th in slugging (.311) and OPS (.582) and 29th in average (.201) and OBP (.271).
  • The Reds’ minus-65 run differential is 30 runs worse than the 29th-place Royals.

It is a sad state of affairs for a team that has the sixth-most wins in MLB history (10,716)

Things don’t get any easier for Cincinnati as it opens a three-game set in Milwaukee on Tuesday. After losing their previous 10 road games, the Reds are 2-12 away from home.

And the punchline? Ken Griffey Jr. — who remains on the Reds’ payroll despite retiring in 2010 thanks to a nine-year, $112.5 million extension he signed in 2000 — will be the sixth-highest-paid Red in 2022.