A team that won 97 games in 2012 but disappointed in the playoffs, the Reds are determined to do better in 2013.
While the group of core players that led the Reds to a National League Central title remains, upgrades were made, and some key players were re-signed. As the opening of Spring Training dawns next week, Cincinnati has a crowded roster.
Lots of jobs are already locked up, and precious few are open for competition.
"This is probably as deep of a roster as we've had going into a Spring Training," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "From the starting rotation to the bullpen to the starting lineup and bench, we are very strong. And we have good depth at Triple-A."
Shortly after the Reds were bounced from the NL Division Series by the Giants, Jocketty got to work at improving the areas of need. Offensively, the primary need was for a new leadoff hitter, and that objective was met by the trade for Shin-Soo Choo. A lack of bench production was addressed with the signing of backup third baseman Jack Hannahan. Meanwhile, Jocketty sought not to lose production and re-signed left fielder Ryan Ludwick, who revived his career during his first season in Cincinnati.
On the pitching side, the Reds are not playing it safe, as they will attempt to move successful closer Aroldis Chapman into the starting rotation. If it works, a good rotation becomes another level better. Jonathan Broxton was re-signed to take on the closer's role if the Chapman transition succeeds.
The moves have created an overflow of arms, including six starting pitchers who are vying for the five-man rotation.
After the Reds won the NL Central in 2010, the club did little the following offseason. They were decimated by injuries in 2011, especially when three pitchers were down in Spring Training. This year, they leave nothing to chance, and the roster makeup for camp reflects that.
"You can't take it for granted; I'd rather have too much depth," Jocketty said. "We need to stay healthy and play like we're capable."