Welcome back to the Reds Beat newsletter! Mark Sheldon has covered baseball for MLB.com since 2001, including the Reds since 2006. MLB.com's Jesse Borek contributed to the Reds Video Vault segment this week.
CINCINNATI -- After a couple of years on hiatus because of the pandemic, the baseball world will gather again for the Winter Meetings in San Diego from Sunday through Wednesday, Dec. 7.
The last Winter Meetings were held in 2019, and the Reds were a busy club. They had just signed free agent Mike Moustakas, and they were in hot pursuit of Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius before they both signed with the Phillies. The front office also laid the groundwork for the deals that would eventually land two more free agents in Shogo Akiyama and Nick Castellanos.
I will have a more detailed Winter Meetings preview coming soon on MLB.com and Reds.com. As a rebuilding team, Cincinnati is unlikely to make any stunning additions next week, but there is one new wrinkle to the Winter Meetings that could interest Reds fans.
The first MLB Draft lottery.
For the first time, the order of the top six Draft picks will be determined by lottery instead of simply being the reverse order of the previous year’s standings. The 18 non-playoff teams all have a chance to get the No. 1 pick, and the results will be revealed exclusively on MLB Network at 8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
This story, by Jonathan Mayo, lays out all of the details and rules of the lottery.
The Reds, who finished 62-100 in 2022, have a stronger chance than most to land the top pick.
Here are the best five odds:
Nationals (55-107), 16.5%
A’s (60-102), 16.5%
Pirates (62-100), 16.5%
Reds (62-100), 13.2%
Royals (65-97), 10.0%
Since the Draft was instituted in 1965, the Reds have never picked first. Twice, they have picked No. 2 -- in 2016 for Nick Senzel, and in ‘17 to take Hunter Greene.
If the Reds can get the No. 1 selection, it could be a boost for their rebuilding program and give the fanbase a little more hope about the future.