The Cincinnati Reds lost 98 games last season, and if they don’t lose 100 or more this season, it will be a miracle.
Since the end of last season, the Reds have let go of pitchers Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman and third baseman Todd Frazier.
Cincy would love to get rid of overpaid second baseman Brandon Phillips, too, but he won’t approve a trade and would rather stay with a team that doesn’t want him.
Outfielder Jay Bruce is also on the trading block, although interest from other teams appears to be limited.
The Reds are trying to sell the idea that they are not in a rebuilding mode, but it sure looks like it to me.
Manager Bryan Price will be lucky if he survives in his job until the All-Star break, although it certainly won’t be his fault if the Reds set a record for most losses in franchise history.
At the other end of the state, the Cleveland Indians should have one of the finest pitching staffs in baseball.
The Tribe’s problems will be on offense, since the team doesn’t seem to have enough big bats to make a run at a division title.
Here are my fearless MLB predictions for the 2016 season:
NL East – Washington, New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia, Atlanta
NL Central – Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Cincinnati
NL West – San Francisco, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona, San Diego, Colorado
AL East – Toronto, Boston, New York Yankees, Tampa, Baltimore
AL Central – Kansas City, Detroit, Cleveland, Minnesota, Chicago White Sox
AL West – Houston, Texas, Seattle, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland
Trivia Time – Tom Flores played college football on an academic scholarship at the University of the Pacific.
This week’s question – When was the last time the Reds lost 100 or more games in a season?