The Cincinnati Reds are 8 games under the .500 mark, 8 games back in the tightly packed National League Central, and 7 game back of the second NL Wild Card spot. It’s a rather unenviable place to be for a team that was constructed with so many players in their final years of team control, and with next week’s trade deadline looming, it’s hardly surprising to hear that the Reds are willing to listen to offers on some of their higher profile players.
That’s the case with both Yasiel Puig and Scooter Gennett, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported earlier Sunday.
Of course, that also comes on the heels of the news reported earlier this week from the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, who mentioned that the Reds were willing to listen to offers on reliever Raisel Iglesias, who unlike Puig and Gennett comes with a pair of years under contract beyond the 2019 season.
2 execs tell me #Reds willing to listen on closer Raisel Iglesias. Has team control thru 2021 and career-bet K rate, but also career worst BB/HR rates and ERA.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 27, 2019
The Reds have not out and out said that they’re going to be ‘sellers’ this deadline, but the writing on the wall suggests that they’re at least being prudent. Considering the emergence of young players like Josh VanMeter, Jose Peraza, and Philip Ervin over the last month and a half, there’s certainly an argument to be made that making room for them to get more playing time while cashing in on their veteran free agents to-be might well be a move that could help maintain what they’ve got in the present while also opening further avenues for the future of the club. That’s true of the pitching staff, too, as Tanner Roark has a pretty robust market at the moment while the Reds have the likes of a now-healthy Alex Wood, Lucas Sims, and Sal Romano available to backfill that spot in the rotation.
What’s clear is that the Reds need to be opportunistic. There isn’t really a franchise-altering move that’s obvious for them to make this deadline, but they do have the ability to make a rational decision on a few players while a) still maintaining relevance in 2019 and b) hoping they can get lucky in a well-scouted return by plucking an underrated player right now. They’ve found ways to do the latter with the likes of Alfredo Simon and Dan Straily in recent years, for instance, netting both Eugenio Suarez and Luis Castillo in those deals (though both of those came in the winter). Adam Duvall, on the other hand, was a player who caught fire for the Reds after being an under the radar piece of the deadline deal that sent Mike Leake to San Francisco years ago, and picking up a piece like that would certainly be a nice thing to have both in 2019 and beyond.
Stay tuned for some fireworks in the coming days, folks.