The Cincinnati Reds kicked off their reformatted caravan tour Monday, the first time they’ve held the event in the last three years because of a pandemic and a lockout, and they’re selling a much different vision for the organization than they did in 2020.
The last time the Reds traveled around Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Tennessee, they were talking up their free agent signings and how they expected a six-year playoff drought to come to an end. Mike Moustakas was the most prominent player on the caravan after signing a four-year, $64 million contract. Nick Castellanos would join the roster a couple of weeks later.
It’s a much tougher sell this week.
One of the purposes of the caravan is generating excitement for the upcoming season and the Reds are coming off a 100-loss season. They’re projected to remain one of the worst teams in the league. Either Jose Barrero or TJ Friedl is the most accomplished Reds player on this year’s caravan. Wil Myers was the biggest free agent signing this offseason, but it’s a one-year deal and he could turn into a trade candidate with a strong first half.
There is good talent in the farm system, but the minor leaguers the Reds brought onto the caravan in 2020 included Barrero, Jonathan India, Hunter Greene and Michael Siani.