Just as it began to appear that the trade deadline would pass without the Reds making a deal, we get the news that Tony Cingrani has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers:

No one is surprised that Cingrani has been dealt — he was due to get a nice raise after this season — but it’s sad to see the guy leave. While he never really reached the potential we dreamed about after his early success as a starter, he was a roughly league-average pitcher over six seasons in a Reds uniform: 11-20, 4.03 ERA, 99 ERA+. He just turned 28 in the last month, so there’s reason to believe that Cingrani can provide effective relief for a contending club going forward. We wish the lefty the best of luck.

I’ll look forward to hearing what the Reds say about the return for Cingrani. Scott Van Slyke is a 31 year-old right-handed hitting outfielder who has been pretty bad over the last couple of seasons (.196/.280/.308, -0.4 bWAR) and has never really established himself as a full-time big leaguer. If Van Slyke can hit like he did in 2013-14, he can be an effective bat off the bench, especially against lefties.

On the other hand, if he takes even a single at-bat from Jesse Winker, I’ll be highly disappointed. As noted above, Enquirer scribe Zach Buchanan suggests that Van Slyke was included to even out the salary. We’ll see. Van Slyke will reportedly report to Triple-A Louisville.

Of course, Van Slyke’s dad was pretty good and played against the Reds in that memorable 1990 National League Championship Series.

Hendrik Clementina is the other piece in the trade, and he looks much more interesting. A catcher who just turned 20 in June, Clementina is currently hitting .370/.439/.554 (4 home runs, 25 RBI) in 24 games in the Rookie Pioneer League. From Curacao, he signed with the Dodgers in 2013, and he’ll report to Cincinnati’s Pioneer League affiliate in Billings. And that’s pretty much all I know about him at this point.

We’ll update as more information becomes available.

73 Responses

  1. gaffer

    I was at the 1990 league championship series, right above the Glenn Braggs catch that I only saw on replay!

    Andy VanSlyke was fine but Bonds and Bonilla were obviously the stars of that team. Of course the Pirates signed one of those 3.

  2. Steve Mancuso

    Good chance Cingrani would have been DFAd next year anyhow. Replacement level. Second year arbitration. Getting anything at all back for him is a win. Ignore Van Slyke unless he takes real opportunity (not just a few pinch hits) away from Jesse Winker. That’s not going to happen.

    Clementina is a lottery pick, 20-year-old catcher.

    • Vicferrari

      Maybe the Reds can pick him up in spring training when the Dodgers DFA him and then move him at the deadline next season.

      • Vicferrari

        Seems like the Reds did something like this with someone like Kent Merker or Gabe White in the 90’s

    • Chuck Schick


      Do you think in taking Van Slyke, this was an example of ” buying” a legitimate prospect?

  3. CI3J

    Not bad business. No harm in taking a flyer on a 20 year old catcher hitting well and making the addition-by-subtraction move of Cingrani.

    Well played.

  4. WVRedlegs

    There is an outside chance that the Reds could parlay Van Slyke into an August waiver-wire trade if he can get hot in August. Very small chance, but a chance nonetheless.

  5. Scooter Rolen

    Van Slyke might be a useful bench player and is under control. Might even be a change of scenery type who may be trade bait in future. I heard it passed around on Twitter that Reds are especially weak with RH vs LH on bench and it was also suggested SVS could platoon on bench.

    Prospect is a nice lottery ticket in return for Cingrani. Low investment and a chance at good return/reward.

    Pretty good deal overall.

    • Tom Diesman

      Van Slyke has dealt with back and wrist issues in 2015 – 2016. If healthy, he can be useful off the bench and against LH.

      vs LH .252/.358/.462/.820
      as PH .262/.376/.440/.817

    • Chad Dotson

      I’ll actually miss the guy. He wasn’t particularly good, but I loved the “bulldog” mentality.

  6. GreatRedLegsFan

    I wish him the best with the blues, liked his high-socks long-beard style

  7. Jack

    Sad to see him go? Really? Pathetic. The guy sucked. He had one pitch. Just to get somebody besides a bag of chips is amazing.

    • vegastypo

      That’s actually about what the Reds got, a stale bag of chips in Van Slyke. Unless the catcher develops into something, this is almost a non-event.

    • VaRedsFan

      I share this opinion the most. Addition by subtraction

      • Patrick Jeter

        Don’t let it happen again, Chad!

  8. Jeremy Conley

    I know the Reds are hamstrung by injuries right now, but for a rebuilding club, doesn’t this trade deadline have to be seen as a total disaster?

    Based on position players alone, the Reds could be a contending team this year, at least for a Wild Card spot.

    But we had the worst pitching in baseball last year, and we didn’t get any good pitching prospects at last years deadline (Max Wotell is rocking a 9.35 ERA in rookie ball this year as a 20 year old). Then we did basically nothing in the offseason to improve our pitching for the long-term, and shockingly we have the worst pitching in baseball again.

    Now we’re at the trade deadline, and we add no pitching. I don’t care about Cingrani, but what the heck is the rebuild all about if we’re not trying to get an arm for him? Seriously, what are they doing? I have no clue at this point.

    Who are we supposed to be excited about? The Reds are such a mess I can’t even tell what the best case scenario that I could dream on would be. Who is going to pitch for this team next year that will make them not the worst pitching team in baseball?

    The speed at which the Reds’ front office took a World Series caliber team (2012) to a last place team with no hope of winning in any upcoming season (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018…) is truly incredible and should be taught to up-and-coming baseball execs as a cautionary tale.

    End rant.

    • Geoff

      I agree with you in the fact that the Reds have taken a great team in 2012-2013 to this garbage. Really other than Castillo who shows promise in the future?

      • Chuck Schick

        You do understand that they couldn’t afford to keep that team together, correct?

      • Jeremy Conley

        They had a lot of money for Homer Bailey. They paid a lot of money to Brandon Phillips for his decline. They signed Mesoraco to an extension they didn’t need to.

        No team stays together forever, but a good team moves the right parts at the right time to reload.

        To argue that going from how good we were in 2012, to being dead last 3 straight years with no real hope on the horizon is just the natural course of things is just wrong. That’s mismanagement. Not every good team immediately collapses into a laughingstock.

      • jtburns11

        The Cubs and Astros were dead last for a while and we see where that got them.

        I do wish we had extended Cueto. Other than him, who would you have liked to see them extend instead? Brandon Phillips is a Reds HOFer so I can’t look back and be upset about it. Mez had a monster season in 2014 and deserved the extension. You can look back now and say it was a bad deal because of injuries, but it doesn’t work that way. The FO can’t predict the future.

        You’ll probably see the Reds farm system ranked in the top 10 going into next year, so I think there just might be hope on the horizon.

      • Matthew Habel

        If Mesoraco had not gotten hurt and had continued his 2014 production, his contract would have been a steal

      • Chuck Schick

        They paid BP in 2012 to avoid the distraction of pending free agency….it was a good move.

        Bailey and Mesoraco were good decisions with bad outcomes. Mesoraco, in particular, only gets paid real money next year….his contract hasn’t stopped the Reds from doing anything.

      • GreatRedLegsFan

        At the time I’d had extended Leake, example of durability, instead of Bailey, who already had injuries track. Cueto could not have been affordable.

      • Michael E

        Ugh, not this again. Bailey did NOT have a track record of injuries when he was extended. He had been quite healthy and then after signing he has hit the DL 3 or 4 times, twice being a 60 day variety (that was much longer of course).

        There were no red flags with Bailey at the signing. He had his best season, hadn’t yet entered his prime and all arrows were pointing up. Some may not like the extension, maybe they paid a bit more per year than they had to, but if Bailey had simply pitched like the two years prior to the extension and not been injured, the same folks mad now would have been saying how wise it was to extend him.

        It was just misfortune for the Reds, Bailey and Reds’ fans. Nothing more, nothing less.


      Getting anything for Cingrani is a minor miracle. No team wiould give the Reds any good pitcher for Cingrani. The Reds do not need another lousy pitcher. I’ll take the 20 year old catcher. This trade is a minor addition by major subtraction.

    • jtburns11

      You should have seen a pretty insignificant trade deadline coming for the Reds because of those injuries.

      Max Wotell was trying to pitch with a shoulder injury. He has since had surgery and is out for the remainder of the year so I wouldn’t completely judge him off those numbers. You can say we got ripped off in the Bruce deal since both prospects we got have shoulder issues. I guess we’ll see if they can bounce back.

      As for the rest of your rant, with Cozart and Feldman both on the DL, I’m not sure who we could have traded that would have given us a decent pitching prospect in return. We do have a lot of young arms. To improve our pitching in the long term, I’d say they were hoping (still hoping) some of them can step it up and be serviceable starters in the future.

      I don’t see the Reds in “such a mess” though. Our farm is full of depth. We may see them deal from that depth in the offseason to get a young (proven) starter with some team control left.

      • Michael E

        I side with you moreso than “such a mess” opinions. The injuries are mind-boggling. Every other pitching prospects has incurred significant injuries the past two years (really, past 40 years, but we have more promising prospects now). Add in Bailey, Desclafani and it’s just a train wreck of injuries.

        The good news is, given some return to NORMAL health levels, the Reds could quickly see a big pitching improvement much like how the bullpen was light years better after letting all the steaming turds go (Fatty Diaz for instance).

        If Bailey actually has a normal off-season, he could work himself back to a reliable SP3 type (seems like SP1 outlook of a few years ago has been torched with those injuries), and get back Desclafani and have another year of experience for some AAA/AA pitchers like Castillo, Garrett, Romano and Mahle (and others) and we could be an above average rotation and bullpen as soon as next year. We know we have enough hitting to be above average there, and we could be a 85 win team quite easily.

        This year the wheels fell off in spring training with all the starting pitchers going down left and right. I have to believe that can’t happen again in such a massive way. We’re overdue for a reasonably healthy year or two.

      • jtburns11

        I agree. It’s gotten to the point where I see another SP has been sent to the DL, and I just laugh. We’ve had no luck in that department. Let’s hope it can’t happen again.

        I definitely haven’t given up on all the young pitchers like some fans have. All you have to do is scan through MLB history and see that it’s very rare for a guy to come up from the minors and immediately dominate.

    • Victor Minella

      Who do you suggest they should have traded at this years deadline? Cozart? Feldman? No one is asking for them, so that’s out of the question. Plus how good of a pitcher do you really think we could have gotten for those guys?

      For off-seasons and deadlines past…the Reds did trade a lot for pitching talent. They traded MOSTLY for pitching talent. Before last season I actually thought the Reds were trading for too much pitching talent and not enough position players. But it just so happens not ever pitching prospect is going to work out, and not every throw-in position player is going to be awful.

      Unfortunately, the Reds are kind of stuck with the pitchers they have until someone like Duvall, Schebler, or Billy become expendable, or they sign a free agent or two this off season. (Which they definitely should).

      • lwblogger2

        I’m guessing Iglesias or Duvall, since they probably hold the most value of any Reds. The drop-off from Iglesias to Duvall as far as value is somewhat steep though. I’m not sure what quality of arm Duvall could have brought back. Iglesias could have brought back a good pitching prospect but I honestly don’t like the idea of trading him unless a team was willing to give up a top 25 guy, another top 100 guy, and a throw in; or a young MLB player already productive at this level and a top 100 guy. I don’t think that package materialized. I don’t think we can slam the front-office here because we don’t know what was discussed or with whom. That’s why evaluating trades that “might have been” or saying “Reds needed to get a…” are pretty much futile exercises.

    • Still a Red

      Hard to trade a pitcher for a pitcher…why would one team give up a good pitcher to get a mediocre pitcher.

  9. vegastypo

    Have the Dodgers been following Cingrani’s season, especially the last few weeks? I wonder if, instead, they remember the Cingrani whom Clay Marshall wrote about here a few weeks ago, when he threw seven or eight shutout innings at Chavez Ravine, but got a no-decision when the Reds couldn’t score either. A great performance, and really had me hoping he was on the cusp of something big. And this is how it turns out. A swap of fairly useless pieces …

    • RedStateIdeas (@RedStateIdeas)

      Cingrani was a stud in 2013. A shame he spent so much time on the bus between Louisville and Cincinnati.

      Don’t know what the future holds for him, but he deserved better here. As did Chapman. Won’t be surprising if he goes to LA and shuts it down.

      • I-71_Exile

        It’s too bad it’s 2017. The only thing that will help Cingrani “shut it down” would be the LA air/ballpark. I can’t believe the Reds were able to get anything for him.


        He earned being on the bus by his performance. Every player in the big leagues was a stud at sometime somewhere. Cingrani had loads of chances here. He has been lousy for 3 1/2 years. He will make zero contribution to the Dodgers. I bet he is out of baseball in 2 years but there will always be a cellar dwelling team in need of a lefty specialist so the length of his career could exceed my pessimistic assessment. He never developed a second pitch to go with his hittable, poorly located fastball.


    I suspect a change in scenery may be just what Cingrani needs

    • greenmtred

      If the change of air brings with it a secondary pitch or two and consistent command, you’ll be correct.

      • Michael E

        I get your skepticism, but lets face it, certain teams (Pirates, Dodgers and a few others) seem to find pitchers strengths and go with it.

        I think the Reds spent too much time trying to get that 2nd and 3rd pitch, and that messed up Cingrani. If you can pitch 1-hitters in the minors with one pitch, that pitch must be pretty dang good. I’d have been fine saying to Cingrani, you sustain a sub 2.00 ERA as a starter with that one pitch, well, continue doing that. If you get your brains beat in for two years, then we expect you to come to us asking for help.

        I think the Reds trying to fine tune things TOO much. Don’t fix what ain’t broke. The minute they started in on Cingrani, his success waned. That is not a coincidence. I’d rather have a good one pitch pitcher than a crappy four pitch pitcher.

  11. Hanawi

    Wow, was just looking at Cingrani’s game log since I was surprised his ERA was so high. Just completely fell apart in the past two weeks and gave up runs in five straight appearances including homers in 4 straight (5 overall during that stretch). Maybe moving to Chavez will help him, since the long ball seems to be his biggest problem.

  12. TR

    Not that it matters but I never felt comfortable with Cingrani on the mound. At least the Reds got a young catching prospect.

  13. brunsfam

    Thanks for pitching hard Tony. You had some fine moments with the Reds and best of luck in LA.

    In keeping with the theme, why is Tony perceived as a 1-pitch pitcher? Who allows that to happen? Are there not coaches that work with a pitcher to help him develop the 2, 3, 4 pitches? This is where I really struggle with the pitching development. Was mentioned in an earlier post – how do we go from contender to a team that has so little pitching depth?

    In the Bowden years I understood – because Jim favored the big boppers. It was a strategy that kept us competitive, even if flawed. But the strategy now is…. ?

  14. Bob Purkey

    I guess you can just call me ignorant and an old fart, but everything that I read about Cingrani is that being arbitration eligible next year is that he would be in line for a big raise!!!!!

    A guy with a 5+ ERA and has given up 9 HR’s in less than 25 innings is in line for a big raise???? He should have his salary cut in half(if he was lucky). The whole arbitration thing is completely out of whack.

    The old story about Ralph Kiner when he had led the NL in home runs and went in to Pittsburgh management and asked for a raise and he was offered a cut, with Mgt saying “we finished last with you, we can finish last without you!” Obviously that was as completely stupid as Cingrani being in line for a raise next year!

    • CP

      Nah, it’s the minimum salary they earn when they are pre-arbitration eligible which is out of whack. The pay increases just bring them a little closer to market value. Kind of amazing that a guy like Cingrani gets a raise but it goes to show you how much the owner are screwing over young players.

      The Kiner story is just sad. Explains why we are stuck with the MLBPA though.

  15. Vicferrari

    what no top 10 Cingrani moments?, ok I will get us going then in no chronological orderw e can vote later
    1) 1st MLB start 5 inning, 8k performance- gave the Reds a boost when Cueto went out if I recall
    2) Followed up with 7 innings 9k against the Cubs
    3) Followed up with a 6 innings 11k against the Nats
    4) 7/28/13 – 7 innings of 1 hit ball with 11K’s against the Dodgers
    5) Opening night 2014 against the Cards, 7 shutout innings 9k- raise hand if you knew Kid Furious would not be a star
    6) Any of his clutch 17 saves as the closer last season
    7) that GIF with the snarl
    OK I will let someone else take over

    • CI3J

      Cingrani to me is another Ryan Wagner. A young kid who seemed like he’d be a dominating force, but for whatever reason lost the magic and could never recover it.

      Maybe hanging around Clayton Kershaw will help him re-discover whatever he’s missing in Cincinnati.

      • lwblogger2

        In all fairness, Ryan Wagner blew out his arm. That pretty much did him in.

    • jveith1991

      If I remember correctly, Cingrani’s first Reds start in 2013 was against the Marlins and Jose Fernandez, who was making his third career start.

  16. bouwills

    With Cingrani gone, I believe it’s time to commit either Cody Reed or Amir Garrett to the bullpen. Garrett has no options for 2018 & I can’t see him sticking in the rotation based on performance. Inevitably, Finnegan may end up in the pen, but I think he’s earned another shot at the rotation when he’s healthy.

  17. Shaun

    Considering what little the Yankees gave up for Sonny Gray. I was surprised the Reds wern’t in on that. A controllable starter that can head up your rotation is a must for them. Especially since the rest of the team may be in place. If you think your going to be competitive in 2018 that is.

    • Sliotar

      I don’t think the Reds, or at least Dick WIlliams, truly believes they are going to be competitive in 2018, despite the “season of sorting”, “gonna win real soon” rhetoric.

      The interesting (and scarier) question to me is, could the Reds even afford to part with minor league talent comparable to get into the Sonny Gray sweepstakes? I doubt it. The multiple high-end talents, some of whom teams traded away today, don’t seem to exist much in the Reds system.

      I am guessing Williams is dreaming of a Reds roster with Winker, Senzel, Long, Siri, Mahle (insert your own hot prospect – Hunter Greene?) all contributing, along with Votto and who ever else hasn’t been moved to land a mid/back rotation guy or two.

      Fine by me, if Uncle Bob isn’t going to get out the checkbook and speed things along, but Williams will need to tone down the rah-rah “we’re close” stuff if 2020 is the real target.

    • Matthew Habel

      The Yankees have one of the best farm systems in baseball right now so its hard to compare. They are also just now starting their competitive window. The Reds are not there yet.

    • Chuck Schick

      The Reds parting with 3 quality prospects would be a major erosion of organizational depth….the Yankees can afford to re-sign their own players so prospects are just poker chips to them. The Brewers likely had the prospects to acquire Gray, but wisely took the long view.

  18. Sliotar

    I really just wanted to post that I can’t wait for the “My Darling Clementina” puns and memes should the Reds strike gold with this lottery ticket.

  19. WRED 1963

    Always liked Tony even though his pitching usually sucked as a reliever.Anyway how can you not like a guy that looks like C.M.Punk formally of the WWE?

  20. joshtrum

    Why anyone would be upset about this perplexes me. We trade a barely serviceable starter for two parts. They may work in the machine and they may not, but we took nothing and got something. Isn’t that what a rebuilds about? While I’m so #fireprice it borders insanity, and I don’t like the feeing that jocketty may be haunting the halls somewhere still pulling strings. I count this as a plus deadline with all our injuries we have.

  21. Brian Davis

    Another terrible trade by the Reds front office. Trading pitching of any kind is crazy when you have pitching as bad as the Reds,but trading pitching for a 31 yr old minor leaguer and a guy in rookie ball. Jocketty and Dick gotta go,they just have to. My Cincinnati Reds who i love and have stuck by through good times and bad are being destroyed by these guys. We need one way tickets bought for front office people asap.

    • Chuck Schick

      Perhaps you didn’t notice that Cingrani is bad at baseball. You believe the cure for the Reds bad pitching is for them to keep bad pitchers? The rookie catcher could turn out to be someone of value….the 31 year old was to partially offset salaries

      • bouwills

        Toni Cingrani bad at baseball? His ERA preASB was 2.78. It about doubled in July. His career ERA is still a servicable 4.03. Effective lhrps are scarce & Toni will continue to play at the ML level. But here’s the point. The Reds themselves state that moving Cingrani will allow them to take a look at some other prospects in the pen. They traded Cingrani for very little and they have no replacement. Just the continuous pitching “tryouts” we’ve had here for 3 years. Zero reason to expect the bullpen will get better after this trade (or the next one). If you’d like to see the Reds do better in August than they did in July, this trade is a step backwards.

  22. Jonrox

    I can’t wait till they convert Cody Reed into a reliever and then sell low on him, continuing the trend of promising lefty starters

  23. lwblogger2

    Ok, for the record, I am meh on this trade. Cingrani is a so-so pitcher and the return is what one might expect for a so-so LH reliever. The think the people saying this was addition by subtraction may be off base however. The Dodgers obviously see some sort of value in Cingrani or they wouldn’t have traded for him. It’s that simple.

  24. Chuck Schick

    The Dodgers have a 14 game lead and the cost associated with carrying 40 players for most of September is nothing to them. I wonder if their primary interest in Cingrani is to pitch in meaningless games in September so they can rest their ” real pitchers” for the playoffs?

    With the Reds taking Van Slyke, Cingrani isn’t costing them much so I wonder if he’s basically a band aid that will enable Jansen to pitch more sporadically until they get the wild card winner in October? Worst case, Jansen gets some rest and Cingrani blows some meaningless games and they just leave him off the playoff roster. Best case, a change of scenery does Cingrani some good, Jansen is rested and the Dodgers enhance their already formidable staff for the playoffs with a guy with talent who is costing them very little.

  25. Nate

    Winker just got called up, hopefully he gets to start some this time around and Van Slyke can slid into Louisville and be used as needed.

    • renbutler

      Winker is starting in RF tonight.

      • TR

        With sorting the name of the game in a lost season, I hope Winker stays around for the final two months and has a chance to see what he can do in the leadoff position.