Olney: Reds furthest away from contention in NL

We’re sure you heard what Buster Olney said this past week in an ESPN chat. If not, here’s a refresher.

Just before I started this chat, I got off the phone with an evaluator who thinks that right now, among NL teams, the Reds might be the farthest away from contending. I’m not sure that I disagree. It’s amazing that next year, these four players are lined up to account for about 60 percent of their payroll (if they keep it in place)….Scott Rolen, Francisco Cordero, Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang. There is not a lot of future there, and Volquez is probably not going to pitch again until late next season or 2011.

The Reds have been the best team in baseball since late August. Inspiring wins in Houston (which has been a house of horrors in the past) on Friday and Saturday night followed suit with everything we’ve seen over the past month. They’ve scored 50-something runs on a current 6 game winning streak.

So what does it all mean? Basically the Reds are playing great meaningless baseball. When it doesn’t matter, they turn it on. They seem to do it every year. And next year at this time of year when they’re playing their way out of the cellar we’ll do another post like this.