This was originally published in The Athletic.
I don’t know much about what we’ll be doing in 2025. In fact, I really don’t even want to think about it.
2025, for a child of the ’80s and ’90s like me, still seems like more of a futuristic concept than a rapidly approaching quarter-pole of the 21st Century. I remember doing a school project in the third grade about what life would be like in 2025. It included flying cars, casual trips to faraway space colonies, time travel and baseball-playing robots. This was in 1985, which seems too much like it just happened last week for me to wrap my brain around what life will really be like when we’re midway through the next decade.
I do know, though, what Nick Senzel will be doing in 2025, or I can at least narrow down what he’ll be doing six years from now. He’ll either be still playing for the Cincinnati Reds as part of a lucrative contract that he’d signed many years earlier or for any number of potential reasons, the Reds will have moved on from Senzel, meaning that will be doing something else, maybe playing for another team. Perhaps, I guess, possibly even watching the robot that replaced him.
It seems a little silly to be dwelling on what Senzel will be doing in 2025, but here we are anyway. It helps that the Reds, as interesting as they should be once the season begins, really don’t have much in the way of major storylines to follow as spring training progresses. For a team that’s expected at best to finish somewhere in the vicinity of average, there aren’t that many things that need to be sorted out in Arizona. The starting rotation is set and we pretty much know which bodies the more frequently used arms in the bullpen will be attached to. Even if we don’t know many specifics about David Bell’s ideal batting order or the way he’ll handle playing time at the corner outfield positions, or who the club’s complete list of reserves will be, there aren’t that many macro items that need to be settled.
But the Nick Senzel Thing is a thing. Put him on the Opening Day roster, start Senzel’s service time clock and instantly begin inching toward things like arbitration and later, free agency. Or stash him in Louisville and maybe buy an extra year to delay his free agency, keeping him here – if he’s good – through 2025.
To read the entire piece, go to The Athletic.