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Reds trade pitchers to MIA and DET

Two pitchers, a catcher, a shortstop, and a Rule 5 hombre.

El Nuevo Concepcion?
El Nuevo Concepcion?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's okay Mike Leake. You can come out now.

In one trade, the Reds sent Alfredo Simon to Detroit for Eugenio Suarez and Jonathon Crawford.

Suarez is a Venezuelan shortstop whose defense is still a bit in-progress, but he has hit .278/.362/.415 in the minors, improving at every level since Class A West Michigan. He may be more of a utility, Scuatro, type but he may be the shortstop of the future. At age 22, he had a cup of coffee last year but won't be a free agent until after the 2020 season.

Jonathon Crawford's parents thought they were clever, but they gave birth to a 2013 first-round draft pick. Also 22, Crawford had a very solid season at Class A, going 123 innings with a 2.85 ERA, 6.8 H/9, .2 HR/9, 3.7 BB/9, and 6.2 K/9. He's a 6'2 righty and apparently is more of a fastball/slider guy who's developing a changeup. He should be ready for Daytona next year.

In another trade, Mat Latos went to Miami for Anthony DeSclafini and Chad Wallach. DeSclafini is a Jersey boy who graduated from Florida two years before Crawford. The 6'1 righty made his debut with Miami this year with 30 mediocre innings, but had ~100 innings between AA and AAA where he went 8.2 H/9, .5 HR/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.5 K/9. He's a top pitching prospect on par with Lorenzen or Lively, with low walks, few homers, and strikeout stuff.

Chad Wallach is the son of Tim Wallach and no relation to Eli Wallach. The 22-year-old was a 5th-round pick out of CSU-Fullerton and has hit like a better Barnhart: he went .322/.431/.457 in 2014, his first full professional season. He could be at Daytona or Pensacola drinkin' cherry cola.

Not done, the Reds picked up Camden Maron in the AAA phase of the Rule V draft. Which basically means that the Reds nabbed a 23-year-old lefty catcher who has gotten on base at every stop (.284/.387/.372) to push Barnhart for time.

Whew. I think I speak for everyone when I say good riddance to Alfredo Simon. He was an All-Star last year and all, but he had creepy sexual assault allegations following him and cratered hard in the second half. To get a very live arm and a potential shortstop of the future for one year of that is dang impressive.

Latos will be missed. He came of age in Cincinnati and was a surly, hilarious, ball of strikeouts in his time here. But he was injured in 2014 and has a ton of innings on his arm. Hopefully he'll be able to rebound and get himself that 6-year, 9-figure contract after 2015, but the Reds couldn't afford that anyway. To get catcher and pitcher depth out of that – and to save some skrilla – is a lateral move, but even lateral moves are good moves.

The following pitchers figure into the AAA and AA rotations: Rasiel Iglesias, DeSclafiniRobert Stephenson, Michael Lorenzen, Ben Lively, Jon Moscot, Dave Homlberg, Dylan Axelrod, Danny Corcino, Ismael Guillion (and likely more). That's a ton of depth, and I wouldn't be surprised to see 2-3 of those names go elsewhere for a cost-controlled LF. Which is pretty exciting...Walt's not done.

On the other hand, many of those names may be useful in the MLB bullpen, and the rotation is now empty after Cueto/Bailey/Leake. But there's a nice burgeoning pool of depth behind them, as well as new depth at SS and C. I'll miss Latos a lot – I really liked the guy – but he's a Florida guy and it really seems like where he belongs. There's still a bunch of cheapo 5th starter types that the Reds could get (return of Harang, anyone?) as well as a Holmberg/DeSclafini/Cingrani Spring Training battle that'll be fun to watch.

There's talk of the Reds moving Cozart, but I don't really see any reason to push Suarez. Cozart, even with his toothpick bat, was a 2-WAR player last season and there's a decent chance that last year was a tough-luck season at the plate. He's affordable and wildly not-the-problem with the team. But you may feel differently.

On the other hand, we haven't really gotten any closer to figuring out the Reds "will they/won't they" plan for 2015. And I'm not wholly convinced they have, either. Competing in 2015 still hinges on BP/Bruce/Votto coming back healthy but guess what? Even a Justin Upton trade woulda meant the same thing! These trades ARE exciting in that they mean new players that may be Reds for an awful long time. So we've got some new toys and maybe we can see a new way to use 'em.

It'll be an exciting month or two before the real excitement occurs, which is something I didn't believe 12 hours ago. What should the Reds do next?