There’s no way to explain why the Cincinnati Reds will have to entertain breaking apart one of the best starting rotations in baseball. other The only explanations is to say it’s the lack of a salary cap and the spending disparity favoring big market teams that MLB has no other choice than to condone like it had to condone steroids and performance-enhancing drugs due to an out-of-control players’ union.
No team with a Cy Young Award candidate like Johnny Cueto and a staff ace in his own right in Mat Latos should have to face the dilemma the Reds will face after this year. With Cueto, Latos, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon all eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, the Reds are likely going to entertain dealing one or more of their starting pitchers just to survive a future Reds ownership can no longer afford to pay.
Only a salary cap can change the Reds’ situation, but MLB will never pursue it because the players’ union and the owners of mega-market teams won’t allow it. No one involved in baseball wants a strike, but when it comes to teams not being able to buy their way into postseason relevance year after year, the fans of teams like the Reds are the ones who go on strike when teams fall flat in their pursuit of wins on a lopsided playing field.
The Reds’ ownership under Robert Castellini has given it their best shot and still may surprise with another trick or two like a Shin-Soo Choo or another Latos deal, but the signing of long-term contracts for the likes of Joey Votto, Homer Bailey, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce have put the small-market Reds in big-market shoes that they most likely won’t be able to fill in the very near future.