2021 MLB Trade Deadline Preview: Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds have fallen a little flat out of the All-Star Break, losing six of nine games. But they are coming off a series win over the St. Louis Cardinals and are still in both the National League Central and Wild Card races. The Reds are 6.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the division and 5.5 games back of the San Diego Padres for the second wild card. Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker have been huge for the Reds’ offense, while Luis Castillo has turned his season around the last few weeks. 

Make sure to check out all of our other Trade Deadline Previews.

Current Position 

Record: 51-48

Rank: Second in NL Central, 6.5 games back

Status: Buyers

The Reds are in a very tough situation right now, as it will be difficult to catch the Brewers in the division, and the NL West is really strong that two teams from that division can easily make the Wild Card. But they are in a position that they can add to their squad and improve their chances of sneaking in. It is also very possible that they don’t choose a direction to go, and half-buy, half-sell. That would keep them open to making the playoffs this season, while still growing for the future. If they can make big moves, they have a shot of making some noise. Even just one or two big moves for a shortstop and/or bullpen help would change their chances drastically. 

Cincinnati failing to add bullpen pieces and a shortstop in free agency has come back to bite them. Look for them to add to those positions at the deadline. The bullpen has looked slightly better of late but overall has not been great. It is not likely that the Reds will ship out top-tier prospects in any deal, and any players they would be willing to sell off are owed a lot and have either underperformed or are injured.

Trade Candidates 

Trevor Story, Shortstop, Colorado Rockies

Adding Story would be just for a rental and the Reds certainly wouldn’t want to give up the farm to get him. But for the right deal, they could snag him and drastically improve their shortstop play for the final two-plus months of the season. With Jose Barrero making an impact down in the minors this season, he could be slotted in at shortstop next season. Story coming over as a rental makes a ton of sense. The Rockies were fleeced in their trade of Nolan Arenado in the offseason, so they should be more careful with getting the right return. But it likely won’t take a major price, as everyone and their mother knows Story is being moved, along with other big pieces.

Kendall Graveman, Reliever, Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are actually in a position where they might be buyers. But with the tough NL West, it is very unlikely they will be able to maintain that position. Plus, they have a bright future and have some pieces that don’t fit into their long-term plans. One of those pieces is Graveman, who has had a career year and is on a one-year, $1.25 million deal. The Reds’ bullpen would immediately be upgraded with the presence of Graveman, who has a 0.84 ERA, 32 strikeouts to seven walks, and 10 saves in 29 appearances. His cost would likely be some mid-to-low-level prospects.

Taylor Rogers, Reliever, Minnesota Twins

No one in their right minds would have thought the Twins would fall off this terribly and be sellers at the deadline. But that’s exactly what happened, and they already sent out Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays. The firesale will continue and Rogers is an intriguing name on the market. He is under team control for next year as well as this year and was an All-Star for the first time. The lefty has had a great career with Minnesota and holds a 3.48 ERA and 1.144 WHIP in 38 appearances. Rogers would be a great addition to the Reds bullpen. He would be a much-needed reliable left-hander with southpaws Amir Garrett and Sean Doolittle having very disappointing years.

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