The market for available pitchers at the moment isn't exactly in the best of shape. This is nothing akin to last year, when each of Johnny Cueto, David Price, and Cole Hamels were on the move, yet the thirst for impact pitchers this season seems just as high among teams with eyes on the postseason.
That's why it shouldn't really come as a a surprise to see Cincinnati Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani pop up in trade discussions as we barrel towards the August 1st trade deadline. On Friday morning, that's just what happened, as FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reported that the Texas Rangers are considering Disco to help bolster their rotation.
DeSclafani has been nails since returning from the oblique injury that cost him the first two months of the 2016 season, pitching to a 2.50 ERA and 4.44 K/BB in 50.1 IP so far. That's on the heels of a breakout 3.2 fWAR campaign in 2015 that was the single most valuable of any rookie pitcher that season. And really, that's part of why teams should have interest in him, since he's so closely removed from his rookie season; he's got 4 full years of team control after 2016, and at 26 years old, his prime years figure to be still remarkably inexpensive.
The Rangers have dealt with rotation injuries in much the same fashion as the Reds so far this year, so their interest in adding an arm to an already potent offense is clear. Yu Darvish's season started late thanks to Tommy John recovery (and he's dealt with a setback since), Colby Lewis is on the 60-day DL with a lat issue, Derek Holland is just now set to begin a long-toss program after being on the 60-day DL with shoulder issues, and even Kyle Lohse has been picked up off the scrap heap an inserted into the back of the rotation. Still, the 55-41 Rangers own the second most wins in the AL and sport a 3.5 game lead in the AL West.
Texas has a farm system that's pretty widely well regarded, and that's exactly the kind of match it would take for the Reds to even consider trading such a controllable commodity. Four of their prospects recently ranked on MLB.com's Top 100 list - led by slugging corner IF Joey Gallo and OF Lewis Brinson - and that no longer includes the likes of rookie Nomar Mazara or the enigmatic Jurickson Profar. Of course, they also have a big league roster that just lost Prince Fielder (possibly for the year) and Shin-Soo Choo to the DL, which makes the concept of a larger trade one to dream on, too. In fact, just three days ago our friends at Lone Star Ball kicked around the idea of adding Jay Bruce to their lineup, and that came before the DL announcements for Fielder and Choo.
It would certainly take a leap to assume the Reds would be willing to part with Disco, let alone he and Bruce, but it's a fit that's fairly easy to see on paper. When you factor in the pricey prospect return from the recent Drew Pomeranz trade - top 20 overall prospect Anderson Espinoza for a guy with less track record and less service time than Disco - it's absolutely something a team with 2018 in mind should consider, and consider seriously. Stay tuned for the upcoming 10 day roller coaster until the deadline.