“I’m really excited about the game,” my brother told me as we discussed which day he, my father, and I would be available. “I haven’t been to one all year.”

I usually make it to two or three games a season these days; my poor brother, a die-hard Reds fan who lives in Michigan, gets even fewer opportunities.

But, for his birthday, we decided that the Carrington men would make the pilgrimage to Cincinnati to see our beloved Redlegs. For us, it was a special occasion to all three be together in the stadium.

“Sorry, guys. I didn’t know who was starting when I bought the tickets. I wish we were going tomorrow.” The day after our game, Luis Castillo, the lightning-armed youngster would throw fireballs past the St. Louis Cardinals. Our game’s starter? Asher Wojciechowski.

In fairness, Wojo pitched great that night, and he’s performed extremely well as a reliever this season. However, the Wojos of the world weren’t supposed to be pitching this year. That was so 2016 we were told, and yet, here we were in July with a Major League castoff starting a game.

But alas, injuries overwhelmed the Reds staff, and decisions to put Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, and Michael Lorenzen in the bullpen to start the year meant the Reds had either look outside the organization or deep within.

As we begin thinking more and more about the 2018 rotation, our only clarity is that we have little clarity. Homer Bailey, Brandon Finnegan, and Anthony Desclafani continue to be major questions marks going forward; the Reds certainly can’t count on them to pitch a full season next year.

Some youngsters have shown flashes; Sal Romano and Stephenson give us spurts of hope, and if they continue with recent trends, will have an inside track to rotation spots in the spring. Others have largely had lost years and left us with more questions than answers. Tyler Mahle is now getting his chance to rise to the occasion.

That leaves us with Castillo, lots of questions, and optimism based on smallish samples. It’s no wonder Dick Williams recently told the Enquirer that the Reds would seek starting pitching help this offseason. No more Scott Feldmans, though; Williams says they want the “highest caliber player available” and suggests that may be a player with several years of control.

But that player may not exist on the free agent market, and even if he does, the Reds seem unlikely to push all their chips in to sign him. However, they could trade for such a player and that’s where things get interesting.

Note: I’m 50-50 on whether trading for a difference making pitcher makes sense for 2018. The Reds could justifiably go with their young guys to learn more about what they have first, something I expected them to do earlier in 2017 than they have. However, I can also see how a good, established pitcher could bring some measure of certainty they’ve lacked the last few years and jump start a playoff push.

Some young pitchers with years of control could be available in the right deal and if so, they could stabilize a unit that has spent more time on the trainer’s table than on the mound. Here are a couple examples of young pitchers who could be available with a few career stats (feel free to add pitchers to this list):

  • Marcus Stroman (26) 3.11 ERA, 3.58 SIERA 3 Years of control (Toronto)
  • Michael Fulmer (24) 3.45 ERA, 4.25 SIERA 4 years of control (Detroit)

These players are just types of guys the Reds could be interested in; I don’t mean to narrow in on these two specifically. However, Stroman and Fulmer are young and on teams that may be trying to rebuild this offseason. It’s possible that obtaining multiple pieces for one could entice the Blue Jays or Tigers.

The big question is how much the Reds would have to give up to get a guy like this? Williams mentioned trades from both the “system” or Major League “assets of value.” Those are very different deals.

When the Reds traded for Mat Latos, may his career rest in peace, they used young assets from areas of depth at 1st base and catcher. Now, they have lots of young pitching talent, talent that has yet to establish itself as Stroman and Fulmer have, corner outfielders, and 2nd and 3rd basemen galore.

To better understand what it would take to obtain a young pitcher with years of control, we need to look at similar deals in the past.

Matt Garza Deal (Before 2011 Season)

Cubs get

  • Matt Garza
  • Fernando Perez
  • Zac Rosscup

Rays get

  • Chris Archer (BA #27)
  • Hak-Ju Lee (Baseball America #92)
  • Sam Fuld
  • Brandon Guyer (Cubs 10th best prospect – BA)
  • Robinson Chirinos

Garza, 27 years old at the time, had three seasons of control left and had posted ERAs between 3.70 and 3.95 the previous three years. The other players the Cubs received weren’t big prospects, but the Rays got two top 100 prospects and three of the Cubs top ten prospects. It was a pretty good haul that would foreshadow similar trades to come.

Mat Latos Deal (Before 2012 Season)

Reds get

  • Mat Latos

Padres get

  • Yonder Alonso (BA #33)
  • Yasmani Grandal (BA #53)
  • Brad Boxberger (BA Reds 10th best prospect)
  • Edinson Volquez

The Reds traded a ton to get Latos, who was 24 and coming off two excellent seasons. They saw him as a top of the rotation guy and thus paid a high price. Latos had four years of control left when the deal was completed.

Jose Quintana Deal (2017)

Cubs get

  • Jose Quintana

White Sox get

  • Eloy Jimenez (BA# 14)
  • Dylan Cease (BA# 97)
  • Mat Rose
  • Bryant Flete

The Cubs traded their top two prospects to get the 28-year-old Quintana who had three and a half years left on his deal (two team option years). Right now, he has a career ERA of 3.56 with a SIERA of 3.88. From 2012-2016, Quintana had an ERA between 3.20 and 3.76 in the American League.

What do these trades have in common? Teams typically need to give up multiple top prospects to receive young, established starter. The Reds have those attractive pieces, both in the minors as well as the Majors. It appears they would have to give up either two top 100 prospects or at least three of their top ten prospects. Who could be involved in such a trade? I’m glad you asked.

Prospect Trade Chips

Here’s how some major publications rate the Reds prospects in terms of their system and nationally (in parentheses) after summer updates:


  1. Nick Senzel (#10)
  2. Hunter Greene (#20)
  3. Taylor Trammell (#70)
  4. Tyler Mahle (#85)
  5. Jesse Winker
  6. Aristides Aquino
  7. Shed Long
  8. Tyler Stephenson
  9. Alfredo Rodriguez
  10. Vladimir Gutierrez

*Luis Castillo and Sal Romano were not eligible for this list when it came out.


  1. Hunter Greene (#23)
  2. Nick Senzel (#24)
  3. Taylor Trammell (#70)
  4. Tyler Mahle (#85)
  5. Luis Castillo
  6. Jesse Winker
  7. Shed Long
  8. Tyler Stephenson
  9. Aristides Aquino
  10. Alfredo Rodriguez

Others considered for national ranking: Luis Castillo, Shed Long, Jesse Winker

Baseball America

  1. Nick Senzel #9
  2. Hunter Greene #30
  3. Tyler Mahle #78
  4. Luis Castillo #82
  5. Taylor Trammell
  6. Jesse Winker
  7. Vladimir Gutierrez
  8. Shed Long
  9. Tony Santillian
  10. Jose Siri


  1. Nick Senzel
  2. Luis Castillo
  3. Hunter Greene
  4. Sal Romano
  5. Jesse Winker
  6. Vladimir Gutierrez
  7. Tyler Mahle
  8. Taylor Trammell
  9. Tyler Stephenson
  10. Tony Santillian

As you can see, not everyone agrees on who the Reds top ten prospects are. For instance, Sal Romano makes only one of the three lists he was eligible for. But, it does seem that the Reds have a general top six with Senzel, Greene, Castillo, Mahle, Trammell, and Winker.

You have to think that Luis Castillo’s stock has risen, probably to the point that he’s untouchable. I also doubt that Senzel or Greene go anywhere. If the Reds are going to make a big trade using just their farm system, it probably involves at least one of Mahle and Trammell with two other top 10-15 prospects included.

Major League Trade Chips

The Reds could also trade some Major League talent where they have some depth: corner outfield, 2nd and 3rd base, and pitching. The Major League trade chips would seem to be the following players.

Eugenio Suarez – Suarez has broken out this season, accumulating 4.4 fWAR to this point. The only reason the Reds may consider dealing Suarez is that Nick Senzel continues to inflict severe harm on minor league baseballs. Suarez would be a steep price to pay, but he would minimize the quality of any secondary pieces. In terms of Major League talent the Reds could be willing to part with, Suarez is the cream of the crop.

Adam Duvall – Duvall is an interesting case. He’s a classic low OBP, big power guy who adds solid corner defense. Based on performance, he has generated more value than the other corner outfielders, but he’s also 29 years old. A contending team would love him. A team that’s 2-4 years from contending? That’s more iffy and probably relegates Duvall to a secondary piece.

Raisel Iglesias – Iglesias has established himself as one of the best relievers in baseball. But, that’s the problem: he’s a reliever. Contenders would love Iglesias because he could be a difference maker in the postseason, but contenders typically keep their good, young starters. Rebuilding teams have little use for a 70-80 inning reliever when they are 2-4 years away from winning. As good as Iglesias is, he likely doesn’t fit well in a trade of this kind.

Robert Stephenson – Bob Steve has shown signs of life lately, posting a 2.22 ERA in 24.1 August innings, but he also continues to walk way too many guys. His stuff could entice a rebuilding team to take a flyer on him, but one month of promising play does not substantially increase his trade value. He’s a nice second or third piece because incredible potential remains if he could ever harness the raw stuff.

Cody Reed – A former top 100 prospect, Reed has struggled mightily since his call up in 2016. His ERA is AAA is good (3.55), but he has walked almost 13% of the batters he’s faced, a really concerning number. I can’t imagine Reed generates much excitement for other teams.

Amir Garrett – Has anyone’s star dimmed more over the course of the season than Garrett’s? He came into the season as a top 100 prospect and showed so much promised early for the Reds, but after being sent back to the minors for a short time, he has struggled mightily. It’s quite possible that his back injury influenced his performance, so he’s a bounce back candidate, but his trade valuable has dipped pretty low with his AAA performance.

Michael Lorenzen – From June of 2016, when Lorenzen made his first appearance of the season, until the 2017 All Star Break, Lorenzen had a 2.91 ERA and 3.37 SIERA over 96 innings. Then, he started fiddling with mechanics and seemed to lose both command and life on his pitches. That led to significantly more line drives and a 6.26 ERA in 27.1 innings (though his SIERA is still only 3.49 during that time). Teams would undoubtedly be attracted to his stuff and his potential to transition to starting, but his more recent struggles have reduced his trade value.

Scott Schebler – Schebler is a lot like Duvall only younger. Outside of a dreadful July where he tried to play injured, Schebler has hit at least 13% above average in every month. It’s hard to imagine him as the focal point of a trade because of his limited track record, but he could be quite a sweetener if the Reds are sold on their other corner outfield options.


The Reds would have to give up some big-time talent to stabilize a rotation that seems constantly in flux with injuries. Again, they’d likely have to deal three of their best prospects or the equivalent in Major League talent. It’s unclear whether teams would value players like Schebler or Duvall as comparable to a second top 100 prospect, but Winker’s presence might make one of them expendable, unless Winker is part of a deal.

If I were doing a deal, I’d dangle one of the corner outfielders with Mahle and one to two other prospects in the 7-15 range, knowing full well that might not do it.

I’m okay with Mahle being a headliner if the Reds get back someone like Stroman because I believe the Reds can find two quality starters of Romano, Stephenson, Lorenzen, Garrett, Reed, and Finnegan. Pairing Stroman with Castillo would provide the Reds with an impressive 1-2 punch they’ve lack in recent years.

Regardless, the Reds should be past starting waiver wire retreads or non-prospects. If they decide to trade valuable assets for a significant pitcher, we’ll know they mean business in 2018. Should be a fun winter.







73 Responses

  1. Steven

    What do you think of this trade proposal with Tampa: Reds get Archer Rays get P Garrett 2b Long OF Winker P Moss.

    • Nick Carrington

      I love it! But the Rays wouldn’t. Zero top 100 prospects for a good pitcher with four years of control. I can’t see it happening. Archer may be someone to target though. I almost put him on this list.

      • Steven

        2 former top 100 prospects along with Long who’s a fringe top 100. I feel like any trade will include Winker or Schebler.

      • Nick Carrington

        I know what you’re saying but former top 100 prospects aren’t the same thing as current ones. To get Archer, it would likely begin with one of their current top 100 prospects or Suarez.

  2. sandman

    I have a bad feeling that, if the reds do get a good young starter and are really gonna push for a playoff spot next year, then they must believe that Price is capable of leading this team to the next level. It really does sound as if the reds are gonna make a playoff push next year. If they do make a playoff run next year (with Price at the helm) what does that tell them about Price’s ability? More importantly (maybe) is the question, what should Price’s retention during a possible playoff push next year, tell us fans about their view of Price?


      They view Price as a good manager. Trusting him to develop young players is a good indication they like him.

  3. Marty

    Interesting read. I would also include Billy Hamilton in potential MLB trade chips.

  4. Kap

    Scooter would be consider as a trade asset also

    My trade idea:

    Reds get Stroman

    Blue Jays get Mahle, Stephenson, Schebler, and Shed Long

    Our potential rotation by opening day 2018:

    Disco (Maybe)

    Other options: Finnegan (if healthy), Reed, Davis, Garrett, and Possibly Jose Lopez.
    Very solid core


      Why would any team want players the don’t want?

      • Abdul

        Because they are good players and would do great on another team. The trade he mentioned is ridiculous.

    • VaRedsFan

      I think it’s a solid proposal to start a conversation…Might have to upgrade Long to a higher caliber prospect

      • lwblogger2

        I agree in that I don’t hang up the phone. I’m not sure who Playtown and Abdul are talking about other than perhaps Stephenson when it comes to a player the Reds may not want. Mahle is a solid prospect. Stephenson is showing signs that the light may be coming on, even if he still has control problems. Schebler is a fairly young starting MLB OF with a few years of team control left, Long has done nothing but crush the ball up until his promotion mid-season and some of his struggles may be bad luck. That’s a starting package that would at least convince me you were serious about wanting the pitcher I may be looking to deal.

      • lwblogger2

        In fact, there’s a chance that if you subbed Trammel for Long or Stephenson, I’d pull the trigger. We don’t know what other teams may be offering for the same guy. It comes down to what you think you need and how your baseball and analytic people feel about the prospects being offered.

  5. Brock

    Great article. A lot to think about. As much as I like Mahle, I’d give him up and a few other young pieces to get someone like Stroman.

    • IndyRedMan

      Stroman is the only guy I can think of that could be a game changer! Fulmer needs surgery, although he is supposed to be ready next April. I wouldn’t part with Scooter, Mahle, or Winker for anyone other then Stroman. I could be wrong, but I think Mahle will be better then any of the young guys not named Castillo.


      Reds would need to Senzel and Suarez plus more to get Stroman.

      • VaRedsFan

        Disagree, and if thats what they are asking for…the answer is “move along”

      • Chris

        I’m struggling to understand why Toronto would want to acquire two 3Bs.

  6. Steven Ross

    Per starting pitching, the Reds seek “highest caliber player available” and suggests that may be a player with several years of control.

    Ummm….as I said, Sonny Gray fit into that category. Could of had him. I would not trade Mahle. Reed or Garrett, yes but not Mahle. Leave Duvall alone. We stunk up LF for so long and now he’s solidified it. I’d be more inclined to trade Hamilton.

    • reaganspad

      I’d trade Billy instead of Duvall, but I think Duvall has more value. He is easier for us to replace

  7. Sliotar

    Wow. Great article, Nick.

    Nice job, too, offering up your own, opening offer version of a blockbuster trade.

    I think, of the two, Stroman is much more feasible than Fulmer in terms of acquiring.

    Stroman is 26, with 3 years of control left.

    Fulmer is 24, with 5 years of control left.

    Plus, Tigers dealt Verlander, are clearly rebuilding. Detroit can tell its fans that they are rebuilding around Fulmer, that he will be around for the Next Good Tigers Team.

  8. sultanofswaff

    Two teams with little in the way on major league roster talent that would like to accelerate their rebuild with multiple prospects would be the Mets and the Phillies. Aaron Nola and Jacob DeGrom would be two more names I would target. And since it’s just money, Samardzija from the Giants could be had for little more than salary relief. His ERA is unsightly, but the peripherals are excellent.

    My only 3 untouchables from the minors are Greene/Senzel/Trammell. On the major league roster I’m dangling Romano/Mahle/Lorenzen/Garrett/Hamilton/Gennett. I’d tell a trade partner to take 2 from the majors and 1 from the minors, or 3 from the minors and 1 from the majors.


      Phillies have more young talent than the Reds. Mets will be OK IF their injured pitchers return to health. The Lates trade was not a good one for the Reds. All 4 players they traded are MLB players. Grandad is a starter in LA, Alonso starts in Seattle, Boxberger was Rays closer, and Volquez got a World Series ring with KC. Latos is fishing.

      • VaRedsFan

        The Reds got exactly what they wanted from Latos, solid #2 starter that helped give the Reds a formidable staff. The Padres didn’t retain any of the traded players. Alonso still wouldn’t have a job with the reds.Boxberger imploded since getting a few saves. Grandal (PED) isn’t as good as Barnhart is now

      • greenmtred

        The Latos trade, viewed now, illustrates the risk of giving up so much talent for one guy, particularly a pitcher, since pitchers seem to get injured constantly. It may be a risk that the Reds need to take, but I have some level of expectation that, among Romano, Mahle, Stephenson and Garrett, there is at least one pitcher whio will soon be the kind of pitcher we’d consider trading three or four valuable players for. I would not include Suarez in any trade that is likely to be acceptable to another team.

      • lwblogger2

        I’d make the same trade again, and again, and again. Grandal is a fine player but had a PED suspension. That said, he’s still a nice player and a tough one to give up. Alonso is enjoying what is by far his best season after some not so memorable ones. Boxberger is a nice RP but not a world beater. Volquez has been a marginal SP. Latos had good seasons in Cincy when the Reds needed a good #2 type starting pitcher. He also didn’t break the bank while he was here and we traded him for DeSlafani, so may have some value out of him yet. The Reds didn’t “lose” that trade.

  9. IndyRedMan

    How bout Steven Matz with the Mets? He’s had some health issues, but he was considered a huge rising star last year. Matz was one of the hardest throwing lefties in the game. Jose Urena and Blake Snell are 2 pther young guys with really good stuff. Miami and Tampa are always “rebuilding”. Plus they’re not established guys that would cost a ton. Cleveland may not lose again until 2018, but if they fall short again then they might want to retool. Mike Clevenger has great stuff but he’s been limited to an Adleman role for them. Danny Salazar would cost more but has always had nasty stuff as well. There is help out there!

  10. bouwills

    If the Reds are going to try to contend in 2018, job#1 is to extend a qualifying offer to Cozart. If he accepts, then a deal for a pitcher makes sense. If Cozart goes elsewhere, the Reds get a compensation pick in next year’s draft. & should let all their current pitchers & prospects develop in 2018.. No more Marquis, Simon, or Arroyo folly in any event. There’s nothing wrong with competition for all 25 jobs on the 2018 roster (except 1st base of course)

    • reaganspad

      the reds will not get a compensation pick for Cozart

  11. citizen54

    I’d put Suarez in my untouchables list. He already has 4.4 fWAR and hes only a little bit worse than Kris Bryant at 25. Senzel projects to be a 3-3.5 WAR guy at 3rd (KATOH has him at 8.8 WAR during his cost controlled years so I roundup a little) and Suarez has already eclipsed that. As a matter of Suarez is already what people are hoping Senzel will be and with better defense.

    As for pitchers I agree with everyone in your list expect for Stephenson. I think he can only go up from here and a trade now would be selling low.

    • Nick Carrington

      I wouldn’t trade Suarez at all. And we also agree on Stephenson. I said he doesn’t have a ton of trade value right now so trading him would be selling low (not his lowest point but still low).

  12. Tampa Red

    Based on the comments above, I have a different viewpoint than most including, it seems, Reds management. I would like to see the Reds target a proven big league SS with multiple years of team control, rather than another SP. Not that I think thats it’s likely that the Reds-Cubs could/would pull off a trade of this size, but I’m thinking about a player like Addison Russell. I’m not sure of his contract status, but maybe even Gregorious would fall into that category. There are others, I’m sure. I also think that they need to look hard at the bullpen, specifically another LHP. Or two.

    But with the SP’s, I have not heard of any reason to think Finnegan won’t be fine next year. Bailey is getting stronger as his innings increase. Castillo is a given. After that, Disco is 50/50, and Romano and Stephenson are pitching well. Garret is getting another shot to redeem himself. Then there is Reed, Davis and Mahle, and Stephens and Lopez behind them.

    I’m all for making a trade that improves the Reds chances of winning in 2018. The Cubs have plenty of holes they’ll need to plug, and do the Cards, Brewers and Pirates really project to be “that” much better than the Reds, if any? So yeah, I hope the team goes for it. I just don’t think SP should be the focus. We’ll see.

    • IndyRedMan

      Suarez, Senzel, and Scooter. Personally, I see no need to trade for a SS or resign Zack either for that matter. I agree with you that the pitching pipeline might be more then good enough as it is. I might add another promising young/affordable guy for Schebler/prospect(s) and roll with that.

      • Tampa Red

        Well like I said, I don’t think my opinion on what the Reds should do in the offseason is going to get a lot of support on this website lol. That’s cool. But my opinion is that moving Suarez back to SS weakens two critical positions defensively. Why do that when you have the assets to acquire a proven big leaguer to replace Cozart at SS? I think that if they don’t do that, there are gonna be a lot of Reds fans wondering how Cozart got away. Bad infield defense is a killer.

      • Thomas Jefferson

        I agree that middle infield defense is important and don’t like thinking about replacing Cozart with Suarez. If the Reds are willing to move either Senzel or Suarez, the return should be very high. If they get a good shortstop in return, they can also include Peraza in a trade. Maybe they make two trades. Getting a more established pitcher, even if it takes some depth away, helps the team stay on an even keel through a long season. Even if the younger pitchers mature next year, some more growing pains are to be expected, and as we have seen this year, a bad stretch of starting pitching really torpedoes a team’s record and can accelerate downhill fast.

      • Tampa Red

        I’ve seen a lot of talk about Suarez at SS and/or Schebler in CF to “make room” for Winker and Senzel. In my opinion, that would end up being the worst defense in the recent history of Cincinnati Reds baseball. I think the Reds and their fans are really, really going to miss Zach Cozart next year if they try to replace him from within. And it won’t take till the end of April for the clamoring to put Hamilton back in CF will start.

        Through all the ups and mostly downs of the 2017 season, the Reds have played great defense. I feel like that’s been kind of been taken for granted, that there is this feeling that you can just plug and play and reproduce that, no problem. Should be interesting, already looking forward to 2018.

      • greenmtred

        I agree with you, Tampa Red. I do think that there’s a reasonable chance that Suarez could adjust to SS and be much better than he was when the Reds first got him, but Senzel’s health issue (unless it has resolved well) precludes, it seems to me, planning around him right now.

    • lwblogger2

      For the record, I agree with everything you said in all your comments in this section about the defense. I think it is seriously overlooked and people don’t seem to realize that moving Schebler from RF to CF and moving Suarez from 3B to SS weakens the defense not only in CF and SS but at the RF and 3B positions they currently man at a high level.

  13. WVRedlegs

    Great read Nick.
    Stroman! Stroman! Stroman!
    His stuff is ideally suited for GABP. His starts could be manipulated just slightly so that he could get 18 or 19 of his 34 starts in GABP, maybe even 20. Instead of a 17/17 home/away split.
    OF Phillip Ervin could impress more in September that trading teams would ask for him.
    OF Jose Siri will have jumped up into the Reds top-15, maybe even top-10, by the end season rankings before the big Winter Meetings. Very impressive 39 game hitting streak, an impressive 20+ HR/ 40+ SB season as a CF, and a very strong slash line. It was A ball, but still impressive.
    RHP Jose Lopez has had a great breakout year at A+ and AA. His stock will be a top-15 prospect in the end of season rankings. LHP Scott Moss who will be at A+ next year also had a breakout year and will be at least a top-20.
    At SS next year, the Reds will have an overload of SS at the lower minors from AZL to AA. AlfRod, Downs, a new Cuban signing in Jose Israel Garcia who Reds GM stated publicly that he would have been a top-20 pick in this past year’s draft. They have some 18 year old kid named Miguel Hernandez that impressed this year. There will be several, if not all of these SS’s in the top-25 or 30. Depth to deal from.
    With the Reds system, even dealing from the top-20 or top-25 would net the trading team a more than equitable deal. It might take an extra prospect though in that #20-30 range to help sweeten a deal that would allow the Reds to have a few untouchables.
    With a deep system as the Reds have, they could get away with protecting Senzel, Greene, Trammell, and Mahle.
    Include Siri and pull back Trammell.
    Include Romano and pull back Mahle.
    Ervin or Winker, if they keep Schebler.
    And build up a very attractive package.
    It really will depend mostly on what the trading team seeks for a trade return. An AL team such as the Jays and Tigers might be very interested in Schebler as he has 5 years left. Schebler is a good hybrid OF/DH.
    Something like OF Siri, OF/DH Schebler, RHP Sal Romano or Mahle, RHP Jose Santillan, 2B/SS Jose Peraza or 2B/3B Alex Blandino. That is 3 that would go directly to the obtaining ML team and 2 high ranked prospects that both would go to A+ and rise quickly together. Fair? Sure, but maybe the trading team would want more. That is it though, the Reds have depth to deal from. The Reds are much better positioned to be able to withstand and absorb another Mat Latos-type of trade this time around. For that reason. Go For It.

    • Nick Carrington

      I hope you’re right, but based on the trades I looked at (I reviewed a couple more I didn’t include), one of Greene, Castillo, Senzel, Mahle, or Trammell almost have to be in a deal unless they trade Suarez who obviously has a ton of value.

      Actually, I think every deal included at least two top 100 prospects. I agree the Reds system is deep, but they aren’t get a Stroman without trading at least one of those top guys.

      Peraza and Blandino have almost zero value right now. They would just be throw ins.

      • old-school

        Great article- comprehensive and timely and thought-provoking.

        Castillo, Senzel, Trammell, and Saurez are untouchable in my view.

        Chris Archer exited his 9/2 start with forearm tightness after giving up back to back home runs in the first inning. There’s a reality check.

        Joey Votto deserves a window of playoff baseball. He turns 34 this week.

        The counter argument to the mega-trade is we are just beginning to see the sorting of the young pitchers and its promising. Fortunately, we get 20+ more games to sort.

      • WVRedlegs

        We’ll have to wait for the new end of season rankings to see where everybody is ranked. Castillo goes nowhere.
        Toronto does lose 3B Donaldson to free agency. You may be right on Suarez. But they have no LH power bats. Their switch hitters, Smoak 30 of 37 and Morales 20 of 27, hit most of their HR’s from the right side. Schebler should be their guy. Santillan will be a close to top-100 prospect, if not one. Mahle could be included instead of Romano, no problem. Siri will be highly ranked, top-150. Mahle is a top-100. Santillan will be close. Not happy with Peraza’s speed and potential, or Blandino’s OBP and potential? Sit right here and we’ll get you one you’ll be happy with. Just don’t say Trammell.

      • VaRedsFan

        So yeah Nick, if it had to be one of those 5, then for me it’s Mahle. I think his ceiling is Mike Leake -like. Nothing wrong with Leake, but Stroman would be a huge haul.
        Greene is all potential right now…and fans haven’t become attached. He could go.

      • lwblogger2

        I disagree on Blandino. His had a very, very nice rebound season this year. His floor in my opinion is utility IF at 2B/3B. I think he could turn out to be a solid MLB 2B. You have to love his plate discipline. He plays solid if unspectacular defense. He has a little pop in his bat.

  14. Bill

    Great picture. Looks like Williams is asking “what kind of question is that” and Price thinking “how’s he going to answer that”.

  15. JoeyOreos

    Any deal MUST include an outfielder simply because of numbers. Winker needs to be starting next year, and Ervin is going to get a real chance this last month to prove he belongs (lets be honest Billy is not coming back this season, and if he does it will only be to pinch run) so Phil should be starting everyday in center. I think all of us are fans of Schebler and Duval, but one of them has to be moved because that’s best for business. We simply have too many major league outfielders on our team, lets use that to our advantage and trade one of them. I’d prefer to keep Duval because he has a longer track record and can play gold glove defense and even corner infield if need be.

    Something else no one else is mentioning is the fact that next year we will once again have a top 5 pick, and overall the drafts the past few years have been graded pretty positively. I’d like to think that trend can continue. We have multiple younger prospects and if we need to package a few of them together to get a quality MLB pitcher then so be it, as long as the draft yields talent to replace anyone we trade.


    That’s a pretty decent 4 assuming its healthy and no one regresses. Throw in Disco, Finnegan, Reed, Garrett, Mahle or FA/trade pitcher and it could really be nice even if someone gets hurt or doesn’t pitch to the level we’ve seen the last month. Long story short, this team might be closer to the end of the tunnel than many will give it credit for, and the rest of the division doesn’t look as daunting as it used to look like.

    • IndyRedMan

      I think Lorenzen has a higher ceiling than some of those guys. He’s still a baby when it comes to development. Less then 200 ip in the minors. I wouldn’t give up on Finnegan or Garrett, but we really need a quality lefty in the rotation! Reed is a bust imo.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      While trading an outfielder makes some sense, the fact that Schebler got hurt and slumped harmed his numbers, both from the obvious decline as well as from the fact that he needs another couple hundred PA’s at high production rates in order to reach a sample size and longer trend of production that teams might value a lot higher. As noted above, Duvall has been very good, but at 29 is probably someone that these rebuilding teams don’t want.


    Phillies have more young talent than the Reds. Mets will be OK IF their injured pitchers return to health. The Lates trade was not a good one for the Reds. All 4 players they traded are MLB players. Grandal is a starter in LA, Alonso starts in Seattle, Boxberger was Rays closer, and Volquez got a World Series ring with KC. Latos is fishing. Trams only trade young talent when they are going for a playoff spot and it often does not work out as it did not for the Reds with Latos. The Reds are not competing for the playoffs in 2018. Keep the young talent and try to find more.

  17. Shchi Cossack

    No, not now!!!

    When WJ completed the Latos trade, the Reds were missing that one piece they had to have in order to be competitive for the next few years. The 2018 season is simply not a lock for a competitive Reds team. The Reds have fumbled and stumbled through the past two seasons while trying to deal with an onslaught of injuries, leaving too many questions unresolved to be making this kind of trade.

    We don’t start mortgaging the future until the organization can identify a single ‘must have’ piece that puts the team over the top in terms of competitiveness. We simply are not at that point yet. We might be, if everything pans out for 2018, but that’s an emormous ‘if’! We are better served to to go into the 2018 season prepared to pull the trigger if things start to fall into place and we identify a specific need rather than pull the trigger too early and flounder for another season.


      100% agree. Need to finish the rebuild.

      • IndyRedMan

        Stroman is 26 though..with several more cost controlled years ahead of him? Its not like its 2018 or bust? Latos was young too. Its easy to pick it apart in hindsight, but none of those guys we traded are stars, and if he wins Game 5 vs SF, then we had a great shot to win it all.

      • lwblogger2

        Agree with you on the Latos trade. I’d make that trade again in a minute. Latos helped this team a lot and 2012 probably wouldn’t have happened without him.

    • citizen54

      I like the way you think. Ya, it’s way too early to be giving up pieces when we don’t yet know what we really need. We do know Castillo can be a #1 or a #2. For all we know Stephenson can get his walks under control and he and Castillo can turn out to be a nice young cost-controlled one-two punch. I’d wait one more season until making any big splashes.

    • VaRedsFan

      I agree with Indy. You get a chance to unclog the outfield (remove Schebler), middle infield, and a prospect pitcher. (either Greene or Mahle)

    • VaRedsFan

      Nick wrote the article based on the GM’s comments on what he intends to do. I think if you can bring a young controllable talent like Stroman or Archer you do it. Keep Senzel, Suarez, and Trammel, trade 1 of our 4 outfielders, and 3 from the rest of our prospects. We can’t keep wasting Votto years waiting to see which prospects develop.

      • Nick Carrington

        Yes, thank you. Like I said in the article, I’m not convinced this is what they should do, but it appears to be something they will consider.

  18. Hammer

    I’d rather them make a bigger splash in free agency this year and get a Lance Lynn type that is solid and will throw 200 innings. I figure he’d get somewhere between Bailey and Cueto money. That should stabilize the rotation and buy us time to let the young guys (pitchers and position players) develop and start becoming competitive. Then I would identify the one or two pieces they need to put them over the top like Cossack said and deal from depth. Whether that would happen at the deadline in 2018 or sometime before or during 2019 is yet to be determined based on next year’s early play.

  19. Ryan

    Great, thought provoking article, Nick! I like the precedents you included of previous trades. I think you’re right that it will cost 2 top 100 guys and then some to land a controllable young starter like Stroman.

    I’ve been researching trades and possible free agent signings and one guy I became interested in is Tyler Chatwood from the Rockies. Check out his home/road splits in ERA from the last few seasons:

    2013: 3.50 era at home, 2.72 on road
    2014: only 4 starts
    2015: missed entire year
    2016: 6.12 at home, 1.69 on road
    2017: 6.25 at home , 3.66 on road

    Chatwood will only be 28 next season so he also has some youth on his side. The downsides are that GABP is no pitchers haven either, and he doesn’t miss too many bats. Still, could he be a reasonable gamble on the right deal as a potential mid rotation starter?

    • Nick Carrington

      Good find and an interesting idea.

      My concerns are that he has never thrown more than 158 innings and he seems to profile more as a back end guy than a mid-rotation starter. I’m guessing the Reds want someone they know can throw a lot of innings and provide more stability than Chatwood can. But, if they like the stuff and feel like he would take a step forward in GABP, who knows.

      • lwblogger2

        Watching him pitch you have to wonder why he doesn’t miss more bats. He has the best curve I’ve seen in recent memory. It is reminiscent of Darryl Kile. It is that good.

  20. Dewey Roberts

    Nick, if the Reds keep trading players because they are not sure they will still be here when the next winning club appears, they will be perpetually a losing franchise. It is a flawed approach to keep trading players for that reason. If they trade Suarez and/or Duvall, the next winning club will be more than 4 years from now- guaranteed.
    You need to rethink your position on this and I certainly hope the Reds front office is not in agreement with your theories.
    Moreover, there is no need to trade for a front line pitcher at all who had 2-4 years of team control if the next winning club is 2-4 years away. He will be gone when the Reds become winners and his years will be wasted on a losing team.
    If the Reds trade for a good pitcher, it will be because they think winning is sooner than later. That is why you don’t destroy your lineup by trading Suarez and Duvall.

  21. DHud

    In this scenario, my only untouchables would be Suarez, Senzel, and Greene. There are others I don’t WANT to trade (Trammel, Winker, etc.), but talking about a trade of this caliber something’s gotta give

    This also makes me severely pessimistic that anything will happen. Any team starts their conversation with Senzel and/or Greene, so it ends there. Unless we can find a team that’ll take one of the other established major leaguers or an extra top 10 prospect, I think we should just sit tight

  22. Abdul

    The Matt Latos deal is the typical example of a Red’s trade. We give up the farm for a guy that throws nothing but a fastball right down the middle of the plate. Yeah he had a couple good years but we gave up too much talent. Our organization at this point doesn’t understand talent so I prefer NO trades in off season. We have talent in the organization. We just don’t have anyone who knows how to use what we’ve got. I remember when everyone couldn’t wait to get rid of Dusty….that was brilliant. I’m sure other MLB teams can’t wait to see how they can take advantage of the Red’s.

    • Michael

      Huh? Your are talking yourself in circles. He only throws straight fastballs but he had a couple of good years? We traded two top 100 prospects who were blocked. To this day we would not have a spot of Alonso since he was and is behind a hof at 1b.

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t see it that way at all. Grandal is a good MLB catcher for sure. He’s far and away the best player we gave up and he was hit by a PED suspension shortly after we moved him. One more strike and his career may be effectively over. Alonso is enjoying his best year in MLB by far. He’s had years were he’s been so poor for a 1B that there were questions about rather he really was starting 1B caliber player. Boxberger has been a good RP but not a world beater. Volquez has been a back of the rotation starter who’s never really reached his high ceiling. The Reds gave up good players but they also got one in Latos. He gave the Reds 33-16 with a 3.31 ERA over 2 and a half seasons. His ERA+ was 118. He didn’t cost much money while doing it. Then we traded him for DeSclafani who may be a good pitcher if he can ever stay healthy.

  23. redsfan06

    When the Reds traded for Latos, they were one top of the rotation pitcher away from a potential deep run in the playoffs. The current roster is still full of uncertainty, particularly in the middle infield and the starting rotation. The sorting is not complete.

    If they are going to acquire a starting pitcher, I would rather they sign or make a less costly trade in terms of prospects for an innings eater like Straily. Someone who can solidify the current rotation filling a middle of the rotation position while Castillo and others develop and the return of Bailey/Finnegan/Desclafani is determined. Or wait until mid-season when the picture is hopefully more clear.

    If the Reds are determined to get the “highest caliber player available”, we are most likely saying goodbye to Suarez or Senzel. I suspect the Reds do not view Suarez as an alternative at SS. And they are probably right in that conclusion. In which case, they should bring back Cozart because Peraza’s offense looks to be fulfilling the reason two other organizations gave up on him. Peraza can fight it out for 2B along with all the other candidates or be shuffled to a backup role.

    • Nick Carrington

      I think the Reds want the best available player within reason. I really doubt Senzel, Greene, Castillo, or Suarez are going anywhere. And they may look for players who are less costly. But, paying someone better than Scott Feldman will be difficult (not impossible).

      • redsfan06

        I would be happy if you are right about that. I think it is too soon for the Reds to be trading away some of their best prospects for one pitcher. But “best available player within reason” sounds distinctly different from “highest caliber player available”. And I agree it may mean it will be difficult to find someone better than Feldman.