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Reds' recent revisionist trade history

Rating transactions the wrong way. Or: how the Baltimore Orioles won the Chase Weems trade.

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

If you like baseball and hate being promoted at your job, browsing Baseball Reference is a fun way to use your time. One way I like to fritter away my precious moments on this earth is looking at the "Trade History" section.

At a glance, you can look at the most recent trades the Reds have made with every major league team. And then click through to see the full inter-franchise trade history for each team. It also kind of looks like work.

From there, you can pull out any number of tidbits. Or "trade-bits," as I like to call them. Ha ha ha, someone save me from this vortex.

Here are a few things I found.

The Active Trades

Some of the trades aren't "history," strictly speaking. Even though Wily Mo Pena is out of Western baseball, Bronson Arroyo is still with the Reds. "The Trade" that sent Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez to Washington was finally closed out when Bill Bray was non-tendered this offseason.

Here are the open case files. I tried to do a quick up or down vote on each - not based on how trades really should be evaluated (with the info available at the time) - but with golden hindsight:

July 31, 2012: The Kansas City Royals traded Jonathan Broxton to the Cincinnati Reds for Donnie Joseph (minors) and J.C. Sulbaran (minors).

Broxy kind of helped the Reds get to the playoffs - and took some heat off Chapman. And despite holding the bag when Scott Rolen made the critical error in Game 3 of the NLDS, he also pitched 3 scoreless innings in the playoffs.

Donnie Joseph is at the Royals' AAA Omaha, trying to get his control back. Sulbaran is at KC's AA affiliate, struggling with pretty much everything so far this season. DoJo is one of seemingly countless bullpen lefties Walt shed in the last few seasons. It would've been nice if he'd kept at least one of them (you too, Bill Bray).

This is a win for the Reds, for now.

July 14, 2012: The Cincinnati Reds traded Paul Janish to the Atlanta Braves for Todd Redmond.

This one is pretty hard (and pointless) to score. According to BBRef, Redmond and Janish have both produced the same amount of (negative) WAR: -0.2. But Redmond pitched just 3.1 innings with the Reds and has been with several franchises since the end of 2012. Win: Braves.

April 1, 2012: The Cincinnati Reds traded Juan Francisco to the Atlanta Braves for J.J. Hoover.

If you go strictly by WAR, the Reds take this one. Hoover has pitched in a surprisingly number of high-leverage innings in his young career and looks to have closer potential. In reality, it may be closer to a push. Francisco has walked just 18 times in 308 PAs as a Brave, but his defense has probably gotten better. And he scored a devastating blow in the "trade off" between he and Hoover, hitting a grand slam at GABP in their only match-up earlier this season.

January 25, 2012: The Philadelphia Phillies traded Wilson Valdez to the Cincinnati Reds for Jeremy Horst.

Jeremy Horst's continued lack of retirement gives an easy win to the Phillies. The lefty Horst pitched 30 very good innings for the Phils last season and might actually be a pretty useful piece had he stayed with the Reds - with Bray gone, Parra injured and Marshall inexplicably thrust into a LOOGy role.

December 23, 2011: The Chicago Cubs traded Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Reds for Ronald Torreyes (minors), Dave Sappelt and Travis Wood.

Depending on what you thought of Torreyes, this trade looked at the time like a top-notch closer/fireman for a fifth starter with upside. In the meantime, Travis Wood has cashed in on some of that upside, pitching a cut above Mike Leake since the beginning of 2012 (109 ERA+, 212 IP). Sean Marshall, who has very quietly pitched better than anyone in the Reds' pen aside from Chapman, has been bizarrely saddled in the LOOGy role.

Sappelt was pretty good in a handful of PAs last season, but has netted out to be a replacement level outfielder so far. Torreyes has trended downward as he's climbed the ladder with the Cubs, but he's still only 20 and at AA.

This trade would look better if Marshall weren't in a bit role, but if Travis Wood keeps it up, it's a loss for the Reds. But Marshall's appearances in the 2013-2017 World Series should count for something.

December 17, 2011: The San Diego Padres traded Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Edinson Volquez.

I think we can all admit that we felt queasy about this one at times last season - if for no other reason than it seemed like the Reds had traded the "wrong catcher." It's a deal that should work out very well for both teams, but the Reds are drinking from the top half of the glass. And the wins Latos is giving the Reds as the team's emerging "co-ace" ought to weigh heavier on a contending team. This has to be an overwhelming win for the Reds, for the time being.

Edinson Volquez is currently pitching at below fifth starter level, though he's better than that. Yonder Alonso is still trying to find his power stroke in his second season as Padres' starting 1B. Yasmani Grandal's future production, at least power-wise, is open for debate, but his 50-game PED suspension is up in a few days. Brad Boxberger has the strikeout stuff to be a major league closer, but is currently at AAA Tucson.

July 26, 2011: Reds trade Jonny Gomes and cash to the Washington Nationals for Bill Rhinehart (minors) and Christopher Manno (minors).

Gomes is with the Red Sox now, Rhinehart was released by the Reds, but Chris Manno is in the in Reds' org with Pensacola. Gomes was a 6-year free agent at the end of 2011, so it's somewhat impressive that Walt got a fringe bullpen arm back for him. If Mannocan throw a pitch for the Reds at the major league level, they'll have "won" this trade.

July 31, 2009: Reds trade Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart to the Toronto Blue Jays for Scott Rolen.

Not sure I want to even tap on this hornet's nest again. Edwin is the only remaining player around on either team. Scott Rolen certainly made the Reds look like winners in the short-term. It depends on how you sketch out all the alternate realities - could EdE really have stayed at 3B (and on an NL team) - but his mashing over the last season and a half has rewarded the Jays' patience.

Also, it's easy to forget that Edwin Encarnacion wasn't a homegrown talent. He was traded from the Rangers with Ruben Mateo on June 15, 2001 for Rob Bell. We'll call that one a win.

June 26, 2009: The Cincinnati Reds traded Norris Hopper to the Chicago White Sox for Corky Miller.


July 31, 2008: The Cincinnati Reds traded Ken Griffey and cash to the Chicago White Sox for Nick Masset and Danny Richar.

Where is Nick Masset, though?

Some other things

  • The longest trade drought the Reds have is with the Giants, dating back to 1995 and Dave Burba.
  • The team the Reds have traded with the fewest times is the Tampa Bay Rays (3 times). That's probably a good thing, given that Rays' players are designed to implode once they leave the Rays.
  • Though they're plenty happy to pick up former Cardinals from other teams, the Reds have been loath to deal with the Cardinals recently. The last trade between the two teams was April 21, 2006. The Cardinals purchased Timo Perez from the Reds.
  • It's kind of hard to believe that there's no one left on either team from the Josh Hamilton trade. But also that it was almost 5 years a go.