It seems the infield logjam that has gradually been building both on the Cincinnati Reds and in their upper minors has reached a tipping point. On Monday, news broke that IF Tony Renda had been traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, with MLB.com beat writer Mark Sheldon the first to announce the move.
Renda, 26, had been outrighted off the 40-man roster after the 2016 season, a season in which he made his big league debut and hit just .183/.246/.217 in 67 PAs with the Reds. However, he’d hit an impressive .311/.363/.434 between AA Pensacola and AAA Louisville on the season, which meant he still had showed the capability with the bat that just might have been enough to pair with his defensive versatility to carve out a spot on the big league bench.
However, the acquisitions of Scooter Gennett and Arismendy Alcantara shuffled Renda down the infield totem pole, as did the presence of Dilson Herrera (after the Jay Bruce trade) and the promotion of former 1st round pick Alex Blandino to AAA earlier this year. In fact, earlier this morning in noting the relative performances across the Cincinnati farm in the month of June, I noted how well Blandino had been hitting while Renda had been slumping, and wondered openly what that meant for Renda’s playing time going forward.
“Cash” or “player to be named later” aren’t exactly sexy return options, of course. In reality, the Reds will be lucky to get someone capable of turning into what Renda had become at some point down the road, or perhaps just a bit of free cash flow. If anything, it’s one more nail in the coffin that was the return from dealing troubled reliever Aroldis Chapman to the New York Yankees in late 2015, as Renda - joining Caleb Cotham - is now the second of the four players received in that deal to no longer be with the Reds. And given that Cotham (-0.8 bWAR) and Renda (-0.4 bWAR) join Rookie Davis (-0.5 bWAR) and Eric Jagielo (never cracked the big leagues), odds are long that the return will ever look any better than it has so far.