The San Diego Padres are on the search for a third baseman for the 2019 season. Last year they played Wil Myers there, but he’s been shifted to the outfield. One option that the Padres have looked into is acquiring Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel, according to Kevin Agee of the San Diego Union Tribune.

The Padres’ preference would be a top young player to grow with the young players they already have. Among the options they have explored are deals for the Cubs’ David Bote, the Yankees’ Miguel Andujar and Reds prospect Nick Senzel.

From the Padres standpoint, of course it makes sense to explore trading for Nick Senzel. He’s one of the best prospects in all of baseball. And almost everyone agrees that third base is his best position where he’s an above-average to plus defender. His bat projects quite well, too. He should hit for average and show some power to go along with some speed on the bases. All of that, of course, is why he’s rated among the top five or ten prospects in all of baseball.

Of course, that’s exactly why the Cincinnati Reds would be very hesitant to trade him. Nick Senzel has everything you want to see out of someone who will be a very good baseball player. And he looks like he’s got it all today, and is ready to put it on display at the Major League level.

But the Reds just find themselves in a situation where they currently aren’t sure where he will play. Third base is locked up by Eugenio Suarez, who doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for a long time. While second base, likely the second best position for Senzel is currently played by All-Star Scooter Gennett. That’s led the Reds over the last two offseasons to test out Nick Senzel at shortstop and center field. The shortstop idea didn’t quite work out.

This offseason he’s been working in center out in Goodyear at the spring training complex to try and make the outfield work. Nick Senzel and the Reds seem to be trying to do what they can to get him into the 2019 lineup. There’s even been chatter that he could be used all around the field at multiple spots. With Scooter Gennett becoming a free agent after 2019, it would seem that the plan would be to slide Senzel to second for 2020.

Could the Reds trade Nick Senzel?

All of this, though, does beg the question: What if the Reds did trade Nick Senzel? San Diego has an absolutely loaded farm system. It’s rare that you see prospect for prospect trades happen. And in a one-for-one deal, the Padres don’t stack up because their top prospect isn’t going anywhere. Fernando Tatis Jr. may be the top prospect in baseball, and like Senzel, could be ready to contribute in 2019. And he fills a long-term need for the Padres, too.

When you look at their starting pitching, it’s tough to find a fit there, too. At the Major League level there’s no one that seems close to valuable enough to trade for a Nick Senzel type of prospect. In the minor leagues they do have several quality pitching prospects. But none of them are rated as highly as Senzel is, and most of them aren’t ready to pitch in the Majors this season.

Earlier this offseason the Padres were also interested in Eugenio Suarez. And like Senzel, it makes sense. Suarez is one of the better third basemen in baseball. And he’s got one of the most valuable contracts in baseball, too. The problem is that the Padres and Reds just aren’t a good match up for trades of this caliber. The Reds have what the Padres need. But if the Padres aren’t going to move Fernando Tatis Jr., they don’t have much of what Cincinnati needs, or could use.

58 Responses

    • Doug Gray

      I wouldn’t trade Suarez straight up for Tatis, much less add in Jose Peraza.

      • KSoze

        I don’t disagree, but SS is our worst position. I would find out how to get a Tatis and Senzel deal done. It would obviously need to include other pieces to make sense, but I’d see if it was something that could be done.

      • Klugo

        Really? You guys don’t think the #1 prospect in all of baseball is worth Eugenio Suarez? I dunnooo.
        And it would open up our top prospects ideal position on the field, as well as strengthen our SS position. I dunnooo.

      • Klugo

        Now, admittedly, throwing in Peraza MAY be a little over the top. MAYBE. But with Senzel playing 3rd and Tatis playing SS, Peraza would be expendable. I think we’d forget about those other two pretty quickly.

      • Matt Hendley

        Perraza and a pitcher….Stephenson….for him. Suarez is a multiple return player. Meaning that a Suarez trade should net multiple high level prosepcts in return. Remember its not just suarez the player, it his contract as well

    • Phil Gasson

      Trade Suarez? I’m down with that. KEEP SENZEL.

  1. SteveLV

    If the Padres offered Gore or Paddack plus Mejia and Urias for Senzel, that’s not worth considering?

    • Scott C

      I would probably consider a trade with Gore and either Mejia or Urias but there are a lot of variables there. 1. Gore is their top prospect after Tatis but is still a long ways off. 2. Are we sure Urias can play SS, we have no need for another 2Baseman. 3. And while you can probably never have enough catching prospects is Mejia ready now? You make it 3 for one then it would make it easier but I doubt the Padres are going to make that deal.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Mejia debuted last season, so he’s ready at this point. In fact, I’m pretty sure he crushed a HR at GABP when the Padres came to town. I agree, if it’s 3 for 1 then do that deal all day long. I doubt the Padres do that though, they’ve reportedly balked at giving up a top 5 prospect for Kluber, so I don’t see them giving up three of their top 5 for Senzel.

  2. Hotto4Votto

    If the Padres offered Gore and Mejia for Senzel I’d probably consider it. It would give the Reds a top pitching prospect and it would provide them with the big bat catcher they’ve seemingly been interested in this offseason.
    The Reds then would have options with how to move forward without Senzel in the plans. They could extend Gennett a few years and keep him at 2B or they could plan to plug in Shed Long at 2B next season. If Long isn’t working out they could sign a stopgap for a year until India is ready. They’d then also have a pair of elite starting pitching prospects coming up around the same time in Gore and Greene.

    Not entirely sure I’d pull the trigger, but I’d probably think pretty long and hard about it.

  3. Troy

    I think they have some trade pieces that could make it work other than Tatis. Margot/Urias, Luchessi/Paddack/Gore. I’d consider it for 2 of those players

  4. Colorado Red

    Gore, Baez, and Alan would seem to be fair to me.
    My guess, is nothing gets done.

  5. Alex

    There’s reason to be concerned about Senzel’s durability. He’s missed significant time for a number of issues. If a team made a competitive offer the Reds should at least listen.

  6. ohiojimw

    Seems like a logical progression for the Padres. They asked on Suarez and apparently were told either that he was not available or the price was out of range; so now they have asked on Senzel who would logically look to be blocked by Suarez at 3B (and Scooter at 2B)till the Reds put some action behind their talk and use Senzel elsewhere.

  7. Ben

    Need to find a third team to make something happen with the Padres. Someone who has what we want and is willing to take something from the Padres farm system.

    • John

      The Braves are a possibility as a third team.

  8. Matt Hendley

    Its not gonna happen. Padres will sign Mike Moustakas long before they agree to the price on Senzel or any other top prospect MLB type 3B. The Padres were just spitballing around so they didnt have to spend the cash.

  9. Ron

    Plain and simple, the Reds would be stupid to trade Senzel!

  10. TR

    At this point I doubt the Reds are going to trade Senzel. Put him in centerfield and along with Winker and Pujols the Reds will have a good starting outfield for 2019. Then when second base opens up Senzel can to there if that’s the best option.

  11. scotly50

    I like Senzel to the Indians for Kluber or Bauer, not the Padres.

    • Matt Hendley

      Senzel for kluber straight up. Or senzel for bauer and cash. Those are the only acceptable senerios for that trade.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Matt

        So basically your saying. Don’t trade Senzel. And I agree.

      • Colorado Red

        CLE would not accept that trade.
        I would trade Nick for Gore, Baez, and Alan, but SD would hang up the phone.
        So bottom line, is keep Nick.

  12. BK

    Consensus seems to be that Tatis, Jr is worth more than Senzel, but Senzel is worth more than any other Padre farmhand. A couple of ways I could see this work for both sides:

    1. 3B Senzel and 2B Long for SS Tatis, Jr. (Reds 2020 infield is 3B Suarez, SS Tatis and 2B Peraza; Padres 202 infield is 3B Senzel, SS Urias and 2B Long).

    2. 3B Senzel for LHPs Gore and Morejon. (Reds exchange Senzel for two pitching prospects w/TOR potential; Reds still have Long and India to play 2B once Gennett departs as a FA).

    Prospects are very difficult to accurately value, so two teams agreeing on the right mix of three players and finding players that fill needs for both teams is very tough. I just don’t see this happening.

  13. Big Ed

    Nope.

    The Reds don’t have the time or opportunity to evaluate the Padres’ system in the depth sufficient to make an intelligent decision on this type of trade. Better the guy you know, rather than those you don’t.

    They’ve waited this long for Senzel, waiting a month longer is not a sacrifice.

    Plus, I think the position stuff is overrated. Senzel is a athlete who can passably play many positions. If he can, which he apparently can, then they should and will find a position for him. See Bryant, Kris. It isn’t like they are asking Joey Votto to play CF or Jesse Winker to catch.

    • Adam

      Are you kidding me every competent front offfice knows every top 20 prospect in every organization its the lotto and tickets that require that scouting…….

    • ToBeDetermined

      Big E

      I think you make a great point in all 3 paragraphs.
      I hope you don’t mind if I rephrase your first sentence that Adam is taking you to task on.

      The Reds don’t have as much information as the Padres have on their minor leaguers. It is already extremely difficult to determine if your guy that you know really well is going to be a star or replacement level or a bust. It is even that much more difficult to determine someone in another organization is going to land.

      That is probably a reason why you don’t see many minor league for minor league deals. Because you really hate to send a guy that ends up having a Hall of Frame career for a guy that never really makes it.

      It’s just human nature to hold on to something that might be of valuable rather than trade that thing to someone else for the Hope that that other thing may be worth more.

      • Big Ed

        Yes. The Reds generally know the Padres’ prospects, but they have little knowledge of the “makeup” of any other team’s prospects. They are still learning about the makeup of their own prospects, and I will use Robert Stephenson as an example.

        Making a trade on thin information is not good business.

  14. Bill J

    I not saying trade just to trade, but it seems like the Reds and Bengals hold on to players, managers and coaches to long.

    • Mason Red

      I agree. How could it be that two pro franchises who do things the same way are also in the same city?

      • greenmtred

        Gotta be the water, right? Do we know that the Reds hold on to prospects longer than other teams do? If so, it might be at least partially circumstantial. The Reds have not been in a position to contend with one or two additions for awhile and may reasonably have viewed the prospects as their best real chance to turn it around.

      • Jonathan Linn

        How many top prospects get traded? I would imagine it’s not very many. The Reds are operating just like most of the other MLB Teams by holding on to talent

  15. Bill

    Obviously it depends on the return for Senzel, but the Reds should be open for discussion. He is blocked for at least another year at 2B, and blocked at 3B for much longer. The corner OF spots are also full at the moment. If he can really play CF, then he does have a place to play this year, which would change things.

  16. Jreis

    Cf and ss are the hardest position to fill so a trade to get Tatis involving Senzel should be on the table unless you really think Nick can play centerfield.

  17. Adam

    I would send them Senzel Trammel and Greene for Tatis Gore and Margot

    • Corky Miller

      No way I’d trade Hunter Greene. Power pitching is tough to come by for this club, plus Greene has the personality and talent to be a superstar – if he stays healthy and the Reds finally develop a pitcher.

  18. Corky Miller

    Let’s get real here. The Padres are NOT trading Tatis. He is their SS of the future, and a higher rated prospect than Senzel. Trading him for Senzel opens up a hole at SS for them.

    Gore is one of the top LHP in the minors. You’re looking at Senzel for Gore as the centerpieces. I’d like to see them get Lauer as well.

    Gore, Lauer, and Cordero for Mahle and Senzel might be close. Guessing the Padres would want more.

  19. Tom

    If Senzel is versatile enough to play CF and hits north of .800 OPS, he’s immensely valuable to the Reds.

    Plus, we saw how Cozart and Suarez benefited from learning from Votto. Imagine what affect Votto can have in Senzel.

    It would have to be an amazing haul for me to trade Senzel. I’m very excited about a future Reds team with Senzel, Trammell, Siri, and India.

  20. ToBeDetermined

    Tom

    I also am excited about the Reds future with some of their young talent. We had to endure , what is it four 90 loss seasons in a row? And the fruit of that losses has been being able to pickup Senzel, Trammell, Siri and India (and I’ll add Greene). At least we got something to look forward to for our heartache.

  21. lwblogger2

    If the Reds were interested in moving Senzel at all, I’d have thought it would be for Kluber. Maybe the price really was Senzel AND Trammell?

    I think if the Reds think he’s a future all-star, it would be pretty shortsighted to move home because he’s blocked. There will be an opening at 2B mid-2019 or 2020 at the latest. He’s not blocked for long.

    • Bill

      My guess is the Reds play Senzel in multiple positions 2019 and then when 2B opens up either via trade or free agency, he moves permanently to 2B. I would still listen to what the Padres, or anyone else, would offer up. The Reds have IF depth and the ability to sign Gennett if they were to get a good offer on Senzel that fixes other areas. I just don’t know if a prospect for prospect swap makes sense for either side

  22. matthew Hendley

    There are three ways the season will go.
    1. The Reds repeat the last few years of Reds Season play and are out of the race by March 15 (joking) July. Puig, Scooter, Wood, Kemp, Hernandez, Hughes, and Roark all are traded away, netting new prospect growth within the minor leagues. This will push the current top level prospects to the Majors with a new level of replacement prospects. Ultimately setting up success in 2020. Not a loss organizationally.
    2. The Reds after showing a solid start with their reformed outfield and rotation, push themselves to a point in July where a sell off would be unpractical. However, as the season goes on, the Reds miss out on the playoffs by a hair. Puig is given a QO, Wood and Scooter might receive them and the 6 individuals leave the Reds, moving the top prospects up, allowing for extra draft picks when Puig and Company deny their QO. (that QO would be a higher slot then the picks the two individuals who got traded to the Dodgers were worth)
    3. The reds all in dominate the NL Central, leading to a scenario at the trade deadline where a pickup of a player, or a few is required. A few 2nd level prospects, Not the Top 5 (Senzel, Tramell, India etc) are traded away for that “missing piece” as the Reds go off to the Playoffs and win the World Series. Puig still gets a QO the reds top level prospect still move up in 2020, if not having done so in September.

    None of these options say, trade scooter now, or trade the best prospects away for an expensive pitcher. The Reds will either be successful, or will be successful at the trade deadline. Neither option requires trading away All the Top prospects for an overaged pitcher who is nearly 20 million dollars, 33 years old, and being a human being, an injury risk. Nor should the reds trade prospects for prospects. If we are attempting to pick up prospects the departure of a singular person, or if it must be multiple people generally making it persons that the Reds can spare (out of options pitchers generally would be the current flavor) in order to make it.

    Anyway, the point is that no matter what happens, the reds will end 2019 better then they ended 2018 in a realm of the farm system. In addition the payroll space both this year and next year will allow for multiple pickup over both years from the Free agent Market. So lets stop suspect trades that involve trading away the entire immediate future of the Reds for this guy or that guy.

    • Bill Hedges

      You had me at “there are three ways . . .”

    • greenmtred

      Got it in one (or three). Trading top prospects for a veteran pitcher now looks like going all-in for a year in which they aren’t ready.

  23. Nate

    I agree with people that a 3rd team would need to be involved. The Braves and Reds have been linked for CF Inciarte but I think the Reds would have to move an outfielder not named Winker. Do the Braves or Padres need a corner guy as well?

    Could something crazy with the Indians happen where the Reds end up with Kluber, Padres with Senzel and Indians with prospect or two and a major league ready OF?

    Possibilities are there, but they my not be a good match for everyone

  24. Chris

    Depth. Good teams, winning teams, have depth. Senzel provides that this year. How many years in a row now have the Reds had an injury to an infielder or outfielder. How many times has the replacement player been a glove first no bat type replacement? Too many. Suarez, Votto, Schebler, Duvall, Winker, Blandino, all missed some amount of time during the 2018 season. Having a young athletic super sub to play at almost any position with a plus bat is not something you trade away. If everybody stays healthy, Senzel plays 4 or 5 games a week getting starts all over the infield and outfield giving the other guys a day off. If anybody gets hurt, you have an everyday player ready to go. Didn’t some guy named Rose move around defensively, especially early in his career? If memory serves, I think he did ok.

  25. AirborneJayJay

    The Yankees DFA’d OF/INF Tim Locastro. Good BA and OBP at the AAA level. The guy has as many HBP’s as he does BB’s which leads to his high OBP. Give Phillip Ervin some competition for some CF time.
    He got caught up in the numbers game as BUT had to add DJ LeMahieu to their roster. Might be worth a look.

  26. Shamrock

    Senzel + Greene for Tatis Jr. + Gore!?
    (if memory serves me right, Greene actually wanted to play for San Diego back before we drafted him. Gore later went to the Padres in that same draft)
    So:
    Tatis Jr. > Senzel (Tatis is a very slightly better prospect)
    Greene > Gore (Greene is a slightly better prospect who would probably still prefer to play out on the West Coast)
    We give Tatis Jr. a year in AAA until either:
    Peraza regresses
    Gennett leaves in free agency (peraza moves back to his more comfortable 2B)

    Win/win……..thoughts!?

    • Colorado Red

      With the injuries the last year, I doubt SD does it.

    • guest

      I think Tatis is going to be a much better MLB player than Senzel and it won’t even be close. JMO

  27. WVRedlegs

    Mlbtr has San Diego-Cincinnati-Cleveland discussing a 3 team trade with Reds getting Kluber and SD getting Senzel.
    Stay tuned.

  28. Matthew Hendley

    Direct quote from same article, “Neither is it clear how serious talks are; Lin does emphasize, though, that no deal is close at present”
    Really hoping the FO is not so stupid as to entertain this.

  29. scottya

    I didn’t want to read this until tonight; with the Trade rumors of the Reds/Indians/Padres. Many of you had it pegged.

    I would want Kluber and Manual Margot. We might have to send maybe more(D. Hernandez+) to the Indians, but I’d be seriously tempted to make that trade.

    Senzel looks like he very likely could be a 300/400/500 hitter, gold glove 3b/2b and a great base-runner. If so even Kluber and Margot could be regretted.

    Kluber makes our staff complete for 19′ we could be close to a 4.00 total pitching staff era with him at his previous levels. Margot could maybe WRC+ 100 at gabp, Fangraphs projects 95 and he’s a solid CF’r at the age of 24. Reds should then spend and pay the price to get Realmuto and his 5.9 million salary.

    I’d prefer the Reds not do Senzel for Kluber straight up.

  30. old-school

    Senzel is potentially a generational talent along the lines of Larkin, Bruce, Votto, and Phillips. He is not a prospect. He’s an uber prospect ready to play major league baseball -now and a top 10 talent in all of baseball who is cheap and versatile. That’s very rare.

    I like Kluber but his best days are behind him, admittedly some very good days. He turns 33 in 2019. So does King Felix. So does Johnny Cueto. So does Homer Bailey. Roy Oswalt was a great pitcher, until he hit 33. Father Time doesn’t slow down for anyone. The PED era mostly wasn’t about Bonds or Sosa or McGwire. It was mostly about 33 year old pitchers trying to get another contract.

    Senzel and Trammell are hope. They are young. They are the future. Buy free agents if you wish. Don’t destroy the future by selling elite prospect capital.