Four years ago, almost to the day, the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles traded right-handed pitchers, with the Cubbies sending Scott Feldman to the O’s in exchange for Jake Arrieta. (There were some other players included, but Feldman and Arrieta were the primary pieces in the trade.)

At the time, Arrieta was 27 years old, a former highly touted prospect who had yet to live up to his promise. Feldman had just turned 30 and had really only had one good season in his career, but he had a 3.46 ERA (with good peripheral numbers) at the time and had started 20-plus games in four of the previous five seasons. With the Orioles in second place and chasing Boston in the American League East race, Feldman seemed like a decent bet to shore up an inconsistent rotation.

Over the next three years, Arrieta became an All-Star, finished in the top ten in Cy Young Award voting three times, and won the award in 2015 when he went 22-6 with a 2.35 ERA, leading the league in complete games and shutouts.

Meanwhile, Feldman went 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA for an Orioles club that finished in third place. A free agent at the end of the year, he signed with the Houston Astros. During his two-and-a-half year stint with the ‘Stros, Feldman started 52 games, pitched in relief in 21 more, and was the very definition of a (very) slightly above league-average pitcher during that time: 18-20, 3.64 ERA, 107 ERA+.

His final season in Houston, 2016, Feldman pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen, and was effective. At last season’s trade deadline, he was dealt to Toronto, where he was a disaster in 16 games (all as a reliever), allowing 14 earned runs in 15 innings pitched.

Before this season, as you know, Feldman signed a free agent contract with the Reds, a one-year deal worth $2.3 million. At the time of the signing, Feldman’s role with the Reds was up in the air. With a group of exciting young pitching prospects on the horizon, that was actually Feldman’s primary value to the Reds: his flexibility in being able to pitch out of the rotation or the bullpen.

Read the rest over at Cincinnati Magazine, then come back and let me know what you think about my suggestion for what the Reds should do with Feldman.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at

Join the conversation! 36 Comments

  1. Yes, the Reds should absolutely try to flip Feldman. Most of the upside in signing guys like Feldman and Storen was hoping they could build up enough value to be flipped at the trading deadline. These guys are on expiring deals, don’t test fate twice by signing them to a new contract. Be grateful for their contributions and see what you can get to supplement your farm system for the future.

    If anything the last two years have showed us that these types of solid, slightly better than average players can be found for relatively cheap contracts during the offseason (Feldman, Straily, Storen, Gennett) or picked up off the waiver wire. If the rotation next year is also in shambles (could we get some relative good health for once!) I’m sure another stop gap/flip candidate can be found, just stay away from extra grittiness and former Cardinals well past their prime, or guys who were never that good to begin with.

    At some point Stephenson, Reed, Garrett, Romano, Castillo, Mahle, will need to sink or swim at the major league level in the rotation. Plus who knows, we may even see Disco, Bailey, or Finnegan take the mound every once in a while.

    With Iglesias, Lorenzen, and Rodriguez we have a nice core for the back end of the pen. Hernandez, Herget, and Weiss will all likely be ready to contribute next season as well. Adelman seems a good candidate to compete for the long man spot with Stephens and possibly Brice. There’s some good options. I’d rather see these guys and some others get the opportunity to compete than I would to see Feldman back in one role or the other.

    He’s been a nice find, and has been much needed this year. But like you said, he’s not part of the Reds future.

    • Indeed
      Storen, Feldman and Woods should be traded for whatever they can bring. Maybe something of future value, maybe not.

      I would consider keeping Storen, but actually think he might be the most valuable player amongst those three.

      Feldman has value for the Reds now, but the future is a big unknown. Time to clear some names off the 40 man, and make more room for younger guys.

      I would not expect Finnegan to start again, unfortunately. After 2016, many thought he would be a solid starter. I have not much faith in Desclafani starting or pitching again soon. I would wager that before 2017 is over, he will need TJ surgery, and likely be out for all of 2018.
      I think Homer is starting to find his form, but maybe won’t be all the way back until 2018.
      Besides Homer, rotation possibilities for 2018
      Strong likelihood: Luis Castillo.
      Very likely: Jackson Stephens, Sal Romano (both will likely get more starts in 2017, especially if Feldman gets flipped)
      Better than 50% chance: Tyler Mahle, Robert Stephenson, Mike Lorenzen
      That comes to 7 pitchers for a 5 man rotation.

      Less that 50% chance: Finnegan (goes to bullpen for 2018), Desclafani (likely TJ surgery), Reed (head case), Garrett (I think he is hurt now and the Reds are hiding it)

      The older pitchers above really HAVE to go, to make room on the 40 man roster for players that they need to save from Rule 5 status in the Fall.

      • I’d switch Lorenzen out with Rookie Davis.

        If they don’t give Lorenzen a shot in a year they are letting Billy and Jose try to learn to play at the MLB level, then it’s not happening next year unless they are desperate for a fifth in the off-season.

  2. Feldman has been a Godsend for the Reds this year. As a Reds fan, I’ve appreciated his consistency and competitiveness each and every start. But he is exactly the kind of player the Reds need to be looking to trade at the deadline. There are a few others on this list. Storen, Wood and I guess if they’re not going to bring him back, then Cozart as well. Maybe even Hamilton if you get back a true big league ready CF. Throw in Alcantara and Khivlehan as well I guess, but no one is trading for them.

    I’m not sure what the actual value those players will have to contending teams, but as long as it isn’t a Philips-type return it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think that, individually, any of them are going to net prospects that are big league ready, but hopefully some talented guys a few years away. That would be good enough, I think.

    Now as for the rest of the 40 man roster, hands off. Let’s let this play out for the rest of the year and 2018 as well. The Reds have a dynamic offense and play outstanding defense. Figure out the starting rotation and they are there, ready to compete for the division and more.

  3. I meant to mention it above, but I think the Royals are a really good fit for Feldman. They need rotation help. Nate Karns is probably out for the rest of the year. Both Yost and Moore have come out and said recently they would look to be buyers and to try and add to the rotation. They’re also strapped for cash as their payroll is already a franchise record 145m. Feldman would slot in real nicely for them as he’s cheap and would help solidify their rotation. The Reds should be willing to kick in some cash to cover any incentives Feldman is owed to possibly upgrade any prospect coming back.

    • I keep wondering if maybe Cleveland might like him to bolster their rotation, maybe replace Tomlin (5.90 ERA), and we get 26 year old CF Tyler Naquin (Career AAA .285/.363/.451/.814 in 431 PA, and Career MLB .293 /.367 /.503 /.870 in 383 PA) back as part of the return. We need a CF/#1 hitter in the worst kind of way and Naquin is currently rotting at AAA for no good reason.

      • Tyler Naquin would be nice. Very similar to Billy, but a better hitter. But I don’t think the Indians THINK that they need more starting pitching.

      • That would be a great option, and Naquin sounds like a guy the Reds could use.

      • If the Indians would do that deal, I’d be shocked. It is about a no-brainer for the Reds to pull the trigger if they could get him for Feldman. It’s a call I hope they’ve made.

  4. Simple, trade him for a decent player(s).

    • Simple answer, but sometimes the Reds don’t accomplish the simple. I see this as another low-stakes game of chicken that goes right up to the trading deadline.

  5. I’d trade him for Jake Arrieta.

    • One rental for another? That defies logic.

      • I think it’s a joke. This doesn’t have to be serious all the time. 🙂

      • I’m sorry that you can’t understand obvious sarcasm

      • Definitely a joke since that was a trade that my O’s (my 2nd favorite team) made… Ugh, hurt to read about it again.

  6. Chad, great balanced article.

    Trade should be the highest priority by far.

    Should the Reds care about trading in the division? Brewers are acquiring about Jose Quintana, following Chase Anderson’s injury. (I say if the return is right, trade away).

    But, there is no failure if the trade offers are miniscule and he plays out the season in Cincinnati. The Reds could kick the tires on bringing him back for 2018 (at a higher salary, for sure) and flipping him next trade deadline.

    The Reds rebuild won’t be made or broken on anything regarding Scott Feldman.

    • With the unsettled state of the Reds young starting pitchers with injuries and a lack of maturity, I would not get rid of Feldman unless the Reds get a good offer they can’t overlook. If he’ll sign for another year, his salary is reasonable. Feldman could be a #5 in 2018 with Bailey as the ace and three young pitchers in the middle. If Reed or Stephenson mature, then Feldman could be used in the bullpen.

  7. For the same reasons that Feldman won’t impact the reds rebuild….he won’t impact the playoff race.
    He has no value.
    The dodgers/nats/Astros and prob Red Sox are in and won’t be looking for Feldman to play in the postseason….the dbacks and Rockies are likely wildcard teams and won’t need him.
    The NL central will be a 1 bid division…I think the Brewers make a big move.
    Perhaps the reds could get a AA reliever from an AL central team….but that’s about it.

    • A lot of pitchers get hurt, so maybe Feldman does have value. He’s solid and pretty dependable. Maybe none of the contending teams will need to replace an injured starter, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    • I think both KC and Cleveland make sense but I don’t think the return would be significant unless he’s somehow packaged with someone else for a larger return.

    • About the only team I think the Reds are always ready to deal with in the division are the Brewers. So there’s that.

  8. Someone should write an article of here examining the 40 man roster inside and out:

    -Who should be traded by this year’s deadline
    -Who is available–for the right price
    -Who is untouchable, unless you’re ready to give up half your system.

    As of now, I see three people who MUST be traded by the deadline: Cozart, Feldman, & Storen. Each has value; each have expiring contracts; each have very little reason to resign with the Reds at below market value.

    • It would be nice to trade those 3 but none have a tremendous amount of value. Stores probably the most and Cozart the least.

      • 40 days ago, Cozart could have had a lot of trade value. Now his quad injury makes any buyer who needs a SS afraid.
        He could nurse that quad and play most of the rest of the season, or stretch it bad tomorrow and be done until September. So yes, he is probably about worthless as a trade piece now.

        • Reference: Zach’s triple off the RF wall last evening complete with head-first dive into 3rd. Leg must be better!

          • With Cozart and Phillips manning the middle infield, the Reds had two gamers, grit incarnate. No one has ever legitimately questioned Cozart’s toughness. Cozart is playing hurt, but he’s playing and playing well. He’s also trying to sell himself, not for the trade deadline necessarily, but for the off-season contract. Cozart is managing his quad injury as effectively as possible. When he doesn’t need to test it , he doesn’t and he looks injured on those plays because it’s so out of character for him not to go 100% all the time. When it makes a difference, Cozart throw caution to the wind and lets it go, like on last night’s triple.

            I hope he continues to manage the situation effectively and successfully. Teams will notice and also give the man his due credit for playing through an injury, that would sideline other players, while still producing excellent results. It kinda reminds the Old Cossack of Joey Votto doing what he could, when he could and how he could, when Votto physically couldn’t do what he wanted to do.

    • An attempt to briefly answer your questions:

      1. I think you’re correct that Cozart, Feldman, and Storen represent the three guys that the Reds must deal if they get a good offer.

      I would also add that Wood and Cingrani would be guys I’d look to move at the deadline more than anyone else on the roster. Wood, is a mediocre reliever to me. I don’t see much of a future for him with the Reds, especially as he starts to get into arbitration. If anyone wants to buy into his high ground ball percentage and take a flier the Reds should move him. Cingrani is having a nice, somewhat quiet year. As a LH pitching well he may have more value now than any other time. He’s 2nd year ARB eligible next year so his price tag continues to increase. If they can get anything decent in return for him, move him.

      2. Everyone is available for the right price. Votto and Senzel are the only two guys I’d consider even close to untouchable that are available to be traded.

      3. Instead of “half your system” I’ll work with at least 1 elite level prospect (top 15ish) and multiple high level supplementary pieces. Iglesias is the only guy I’d put into this category. Although Lorenzen would be close. I would want a steep price for either Duvall, Schebler, or Suarez. Hamilton could be had for a good return.

      As far as 40-man (45 w/ 60-day DL):

      Feldman, Storen, Cozart, and Arroyo should all leave as FA or traded.
      Astin, Bonilla, Mella, Ogando, Shackleford, Wojo, Wood, Alcantara, and Kivlehan are all candidates that shouldn’t consider themselves safe from the cut line when guys need to be added for protection from Rule V. Honestly the Reds may consider trying to sneak Travieso through as he’ll be recovering still.

      Mahle, Long, Weiss,and Blandino are a few guys that will need protecting this winter. There’s a couple more that are slipping my mind at the moment.

  9. No value except to us if you want to continue doing what we are doing.When you sign em you hope to flip em for something better but anybody could have had Storen or Feldman at the same price.Get what you can and move on.Cozy is damaged goods right now so that takes care of that.Its ok sometimes it doesn’t work out

  10. The Reds should resign Feldman to a 1-2 year deal. They could get him relatively cheap even if he finishes the year strong. It would be a no down side move for the Reds unless he gets hurt for an extended period of time. Plus now that Arroyo is as good as gone,it gives the team a veteran pitcher and clubhouse presence for the young pitchers to be around.

    • I like that approach. He’s durable and consistent (except to Rockies pitchers!).

  11. Those Rockies, who have playoff aspirations, look like they need a starter.

  12. This season has been over and this organisation has shown they are not worried about this team developing a lack of interest in winning! There will be enough interest because of the small contract he should draw some interest!

  13. This season has been over and this organisation has shown they are not worried about this team developing a lack of interest in winning! There will be enough interest because of the small contract he should draw some interest! TRADE. HIM!!

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at


2017 Reds