Cincinnati Reds (11-16, 6.5 GB NL Central)
The rebuild is supposed to be over. The Reds spent over $160 million this past offseason with contention meant to be the outcome. The bullpen struggled early in the season and now the bats have lost their spark. If Cincinnati wants to catch Chicago, it will be going shopping.
Players involved in potential moves
Bauer is the most-logical Reds player to be moved in a Deadline deal. Considering his looming free agency and coupling that with his dominance on the mound so far (3-1, 1.65 ERA), Cincinnati should seriously think about the long-term effects of swinging a trade.
A smart move by the brass could be holding onto Bauer with hopes of maintaining a solid relationship to resign the soon-to-be 30-year-old. By looks of Bauer’s vlogs posted on his ‘Momentum’ YouTube channel, he gets along well with Sonny Gray and has positive chemistry with his Reds teammates.
Bauer has an analytical mind, so perhaps because the Reds have overhauled their analytics team then Bauer may be fond of the way Cincinnati does things. Who knows what is behind the scenes regarding Bauer’s future.
🚨 20 Questions, Trade Deadline Edition 🚨
Your primer on every team, big names that could move, why expanded playoffs = worse deadline, buyers, sellers, Clev, J.T., Andrelton, Seager, Lynn.
Also: First-half MVPs, Cy Youngs and ROYs. Read it all here: https://t.co/nW19NEdw7b
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 24, 2020
Moving to a prospect who could be the centerpiece of a deal for big-league help, India presents a unique case.
The fifth-overall pick in the 2018 draft, India is the highest selection from that class of players yet to make his debut. He spent the final portion of the 2019 season in Double-A Chattanooga and hit .270 with a .414 on-base percentage in 34 games.
India will be 24-years old next season and should be pushed to play in Triple-A when play resumes. The Reds have commitments to Mike Moustakas and Eugenio Suarez at second and third base, respectively, for the foreseeable future. This means India will have to learn shortstop if he wants to see time in the Cincinnati infield.
His stock is not improving because of the cancellation of Minor League Baseball, but that is the case for all prospects and minor leaguers across the game. India likely needs to see time in Triple-A before making contributions at the game’s highest level, but his potential may be enough for a team to bite.
A left-handed compliment to Amir Garrett could be something the Reds pursue.
Granted 2019 first-round pick Nick Lodolo is likely Cincinnati’s preferred choice to be that complement, the youngster will need more time to adjust to higher-level hitting. Soto provides an immediate weapon to a bullpen that the Reds must upgrade.
Soto is just 25-years old and would be under team control for another four seasons following 2020, meaning his value would be much higher than the alternatives. However, the lefty hasn’t put up the best numbers and therefore could be expendable for the right price.
Looking passed his 4.05 ERA, Soto is holding hitters to a .259 OBP by dialing his sinker to the upper-90s. He provides some stuff that could become dominant should he get around coaches that can give him the right information, but it will have to come at the right cost.
Josh Staumont, 100mph Fastball (down the dick/ball) and 84mph Curveball (swinging K), Overlay. pic.twitter.com/7wCbEtW5XM
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 22, 2020
The trend here is bullpen arms. Even though the Reds have turned around their early pitching woes this season, contenders of the past have proven that late-inning arms help win games.
Cincinnati‘s pitching staff currently leads all of baseball with 11.53 K/9. The team is also around the top ten in baseball in regards to team ERA with 4.27, nothing overly worrying.
Josh Staumont is the type of late-inning player who could provide depth and excellence to make the Reds bullpen more dangerous. The 26-year old has appeared in 12 games this season, and seven of those outings have come in the seventh inning or later.
In 11.1 IP, Staumont has struck out 23 batters while allowing just two runs, one of which came on a home run. His breaking ball is a sharp companion to a fastball that could blow past hitters looking to avoid getting beat by an offspeed pitch.
Staumont has finally found consistency in terms of staying on the big-league roster in Kansas City. He won’t become a free agent until 2026, which only means Staumont’s trade value is high. The former second-round pick will command a decent return in a trade if the Royals even want to move their most intriguing bullpen pitcher.
Trade that could happen
Reds acquire José Cisnero
It’s difficult to see Cincinnati subtract. It has the most talented players on the roster since 2012, and the Reds cannot justify spending big only to trade away.
The bullpen is the likeliest area the Reds may address just because of too many commitments to players in the field. The Reds may look at a 31-year old right-hander with Detroit.
Cisnero has played parts of four seasons and is seeing respectable results after finding stability with the Tigers. He has allowed just three runs in 15.1 IP while holding batters to a low .182 batting average.
The Tigers are slowly bringing up their young pitching prospects and getting feels for which may stick in their corps. It would be unlikely for Cisnero to be a part of those plans due to his age and unreliable past, so the Tigers may leap at the chance to get a younger lottery ticket or two for a player who is enjoying a breakout year.
Check us out on our socials:
Follow Jacob Benge on Twitter @JacobBenge
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images