Trade Chips: Cincinnati Reds

by: Eric Boston @EricBoston3

The Reds started off 2018 as perhaps the worst team in the big leagues. That was until Baltimore said “hold my beer” and started a dumpster fire of epic proportions.

Cincinnati fired manager Bryan Price on April 19 as they held the worst record in baseball at the time. While the team had some quality veterans on the roster, the pitching was simply not getting it done.

The team has bounced back a bit to this point as they find themselves sitting at #23 in our OTPB Power Rankings this week.

Still, even with playing better ball, the Reds should be one team who is active in finding players new homes in the month of July. Let’s take a look at three of Cincinnati’s best trade chips.

Joey Votto
This is a no-brainer. The All-Star first baseman and MVP candidate deserves to be on a team that will make a postseason run. Not to mention the fact that he would bring the Reds the most back in a trade, a move that would greatly help the team’s rebuild efforts.

Votto is currently slashing .297/.429/.448 with eight HRs and 42 RBIs. He has also accumulated 2.9 WAR, per Baseball Reference, at this point in the season. Yeah…those numbers will definitely play on a contender.

Best Fits: New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros

New York and Seattle would welcome Votto with open arms. Both teams have young first basemen that could end up being very good players, but they are not Votto. When you have the opportunity to compete for a championship now, you go for it.

The Yankees have the clearest need for an upgrade at first and including Greg Bird, along with prospects, for Votto could get it done.

Billy Hamilton
The speedy OF has one more year of arbitration left before becoming a free agent in 2020. The fact that he comes with an additional year of team control helps, if he was a FA after this season it would drive his price down.

Hamilton does not bring much to the offensive side of the game. He is slashing .215/.299/.303 and that struggle to get on base has resulted in only 15 stolen bases so far. However, he gets the job done on defense and a team looking to improve on the defensive side should look into him.

Best Fits: Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies

To me, Seattle makes the most sense to acquire Hamilton. With Robinson Cano’s suspension and Dee Gordon moving back to the infield, the M’s could use Billy’s speed and defense in CF at Safeco.

Seattle has been perhaps the biggest surprise in the first half and appears to be serious contenders in a very top-heavy American League. If they want to matchup with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Astros they need to go all-in.

Matt Harvey
The Dark Knight exited Gotham earlier this season as the Mets made the decision to move on from their one-time ace. Harvey was 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA for the Mets and that was the cherry on top of what had been a struggle for a couple of years in New York.

Harvey is a free agent after this season but has found some level of success with the Reds.

He is 3-3 with a 4.31 ERA in nine starts for the Reds. His 34 Ks to 12 BBs in 48.0 IP shows promise that Harvey just needed a change of scenery to get back on track. A contender looking to add depth to the middle/backend of their rotation could give Harvey a look.

Best Fits: Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers

There is rarely a team that could not upgrade their pitching staff and because of that, there should be several suitors for Harvey.

I think the Yankees are looking at a bigger fish to bolster their rotation. I would keep an eye on the Red Sox as Harvey would be a sneaky get to add to their backend. However, in this case, I see the Phillies as a top team to go after Harvey.

They are in an interesting place. I think they are a bit ahead of the curve as far as their timetable to compete. Picking up Harvey will not cost as much in prospects as other SPs would, so taking the gamble to see how far they can ride this thing makes sense.

Scooter Gennett could also be a player to keep an eye on for Cinci to potentially deal.

No matter what they decide, the Reds are not competing any time soon in a loaded National League Central. They should be one of the most active sellers in 2018.

1 comment:

  1. Votto is not going anywhere. No trade clause and he has consistently said he wants to stay in Cincinnati. Unless Cincy can obtain a top of the line starter, the pieces you mention except for Harvey should not be available.