Ah yes, the trade deadline: The time that rolls around every year and pushes the “smartest” General Managers in the game to trade the likes of Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman or Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease for Jose Quintana. Did the Cubs and Theo Epstein win the World Series in one of those seasons? Yes. Do the Cubs employ admitted domestic abuser and owner of 85 wRC+ Addison Russell at second base instead of Torres? Also, yes.

So again, the trade deadline: It instigates madness and flights of whimsy often regretted later on.

Over the next three weeks, rumors will fly about various players the Reds could bring in to make their final playoff push. As the Reds’ top prospect, Taylor Trammell will be involved in at least a couple of those rumors. Also, with Baseball Prospectus ranking Trammell a full 19 spots lower now than they did at the beginning of the season (#11 to #30), there’s a decent argument for the Reds to cut bait now while his value at its peak.

The Reds should not do that. They can trade Jonathan India, Hunter Greene, Tony Santillian or Tanner Roark for all I care, but Taylor Trammell should stay untouchable.

First of all, Trammell walks like Joey Votto. Over three and a half minor league seasons, Trammell has a 12.6% walk rate, less than a percentage point below Votto’s 13.4% minor league average. More encouragingly, Trammell has upped his walk rate at each level, from just over 9% in Rookie ball to 16% currently at Double-A.

That trend matches how Taylor Trammell talks about his plate discipline. Last December, the 20-year-old told David Laurila of FanGraphs:

“Plate discipline is something that comes with time…The pitchers get better with their stuff, but I also get better as a hitter. I’ve seen a lot of pitches since getting to pro ball. I don’t have an exact number of how many pitches I’ve seen, but I do know that I’m recognizing them better. I’m more comfortable in the box.”

Trammell’s uncommon self-awareness and maturity when speaking about his approach at the plate also sounds uncannily Votto-esque. FanGraphs projects Trammell as a top-of-the-order bat, meaning if the Reds do the smart thing and hold onto him, the 2020 or 2021 lineup could feature two on-base percentage fiends clogging the bases for Eugenio Suarez, Nick Senzel, and potentially Scooter Gennett or Yasiel Puig.

Speaking of Gennett and Puig, holding on to Trammell instead of sending him off allows the team to simplify the extension decisions for both. If Trammell is still in the system and is ready for major league duty by 2021, then there is absolutely no need for the club to resign Gennett. Trammell’s speed would allow him to take over centerfield from Senzel, moving the current rookie back to his more polished defensive home at second base.

In that scenario, the Reds can extend Puig, creating the fearsome lineup I forecasted a few weeks ago: Trammell, Votto, Suarez, Puig, Senzel, Jesse Winker, Jose Iglesias, Curt Casali, pitcher. That top six allows David Bell the potential to mess with opposing team’s bullpen management, an increasingly enticing possibility if the three-batter-minimum rule stays, by going Trammell, Puig, Votto, Suarez, Senzel, Winker. Or in other words: Lefty, righty, lefty, righty, lefty, righty.

While Scooter has provided plenty of amazing memories for Reds fans the past two years, Puig is younger, has demonstrated greater power, and isn’t a defensive liability. With Trammell in the wings, Puig is the clear extension favorite.

Lastly, Taylor Trammell is just an exciting, fun-loving player who, by the look of things, will mesh wonderfully with this current exciting, fun-loving Reds team. Need proof?

Here’s a video of Trammell stealing home a couple of days ago in case you missed it. (He was absolutely safe):

Here’s Trammell having fun with potential Reds catcher of the future, Tyler Stephenson:

And here’s Taylor Trammell being super respectful and media savvy!

To think we would ever trade him away. Bob Castellini, if you want what’s best for the Reds, go ahead and make Taylor Trammell untouchable.

49 Responses

  1. Curtis Williams

    Keep Trammell, extend Puig and Iglesias. Trade India, Greene, Santillian, and Suarez for Lindor. Outfield of Winker/Ervin, Trammell, Puig. Infield of Votto, Iglesias (moved to 2nd) Lindor, Senzel.

    • Colt Holt

      What? I wouldn’t trade Suarez and his contract for lindor straight up, let alone the inclusion of 3 of the top five prospects. I literally can’t fathom a player in all of baseball that I would give that package for.

      • Curtis

        Three “prospects” and a good player for a future HOF SS. It would require a new extended contract for Lindor. But with the other listed extensions that would be a impressive lineup for several years.

      • Colt Holt

        Future hall of fame could be a bit premature. Lindor is controlled through 2021 (probably ~$35 million for those two years). Suarez is under control through 2024 for a total cost of $53 million. Lindor has been ~6 WAR player. Suarez has been around 4 WAR. The “prospects” you offer are comparable to what the phillies gave for Realmuto. I would much rather have Suarez and Realmuto than just Lindor.

    • David

      Why don’t we trade for Mike Trout, while we are at it.

      Yeah, like the Indians are going to trade away Lindor, the face of their franchise.

      • Tyler B.

        Lmao they will. the owner is a cheapskate and already basically said they aren’t resigning him

  2. doofus

    Wes, nice insight. Trammell, Senzel, Votto, Winker and Suarez (sometimes) are the type of hitters that have strike zone awareness, an ability to get on base that this team sorely needs.

    However, in the right deal, I would include Trammell. Then again, I said that Johnny Cueto should be included in a deal for Eric Bedard.

  3. Matthew Habel

    Not only is Puig not a defensive liability, he is probably one of the better defenders on the team. Certainly the best outfield defender

  4. Sliotar

    Hello, friends.

    This site has started showing up in other teams’ blogs, and I haven’t seen it referenced here.

    https://www.baseballtradevalues.com/

    It was referenced first in a FanGraphs podcast, and has caught on, apparently, as a way to objectively assess “untouchable” and other values.

    • matthew hendley

      very cool app. Unfortunately work computer is acting up right now and wont let the simulator run. I can tell you that the Indians will not trade Lindor for Peraza straight up though. Sad face

    • citizen54

      Thanks for the link. This is going to cut into my productivity at work. Interesting to see how close in value each team got in the actual trades they examined. Also, shocked to see that J Iglesias has more trade value than R Iglesias.

      • Therok

        The player valuing system is great, but after looking I would say a flaw with the way people are using it, they try to get the two bottom line numbers of player value to add up. However, two 10’s does not equal a 20 value. And four 5’s surely does not, either.

    • C Holbert

      If the Yankees offer Clint Frazier, for those three, Roark, Romano, and Schebler, the Reds better jump.

    • Zach

      Amazing! I just created an absolutely ridiculous trade that no one in the Dodgers org says yes to – Trammell, R Stephenson, & Ervin for Corey Seager. But hey, it adds to an even trade – 77 pts.

    • doofus

      I just had a trade for Syndergaard, Gsellman and Andres Gimenez for Suarez, Mahle, Barnhart and Peraza accepted using that website.

      How much are they paying Krall?

      • doofus

        Benintendi for Garrett and Winker was accepted. I am dangerous!

  5. Hotto4Votto

    Trammell has the speed and defensive ability to play CF, but maybe not the arm. It’s always been a question mark but it may have been settled this season. In the 73 games Trammell has played in this season every single one has been in LF. If there was an inkling that his arm would play in CF I think we’d see him rotate through CF consistently, especially as minor leagues are more development focused. If Trammell ‘s arm relegates him to LF and the power doesn’t show back up (it should, but it’s not been there in AA) then he remains a trade chip. T. Stephenson may be the more untouchable prospect due to positional scarcity, especially as a good hitting catcher.

    • Jim Walker

      I’ve felt for a couple of years that LF could come down to Trammell or Winker at some point. The “Cardinals way” move would be to try and sell high on Winker and keep Trammell.

      Also think Jose Siri is the guy the Reds hope has enough offense to play everyday in CF.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Siri’s the guy I’m hoping can hit enough to be the everyday guy in CF too. He’s got speed, power, and defense. He just needs to make contact enough and walk a little more. HIs BB% is 7.1% this season (8.5% last season in AA) so if he could improve that just a little bit moving forward I think he’ll hit enough to be a regular player.

  6. matthew hendley

    Good points in article. Trammel should not be involved in any REALISTIC (operative word, and looking directly at Lindor while saying it) trade that happen at the deadline.
    Use India instead.

    If it was the chose between the two (Puig and Scooter) then I gotta agree its Puig, when it comes to talking about extensions. Scooter needs to put up any numbers good or bad for a determination to be made on that.

    Don’t think that trading Trammell will be an issue this deadline either, Just a feeling.

    • C.W. Lackey

      Of late the Reds Front Office have not been know as making good trades. Peraza came in a trade and has not been a very good hitter, his defense or lack of, has never been good, seems when he’s on defense many times he acts like he’s in a daze, base running needs improvement. Kemp got hurt and moved on, FARMER as a fill in is adequate. Puig of late has come on strong, Wood in my opinion never wanted to pitch for the Redlegs. Right now, not later, the Reds Brass should bring up O’GRADY, TRAMMELL, SIRI and perhaps 1 or 2 others. Need to move NOW, PERAZA, BARNHART, DISCAFANTI plus 3 or more be involved in a trade. Would like to see the Reds get some hitters and at least 1 starting pitcher and a couple in the bullpen. Right now the Reds, with decent help, could turn things around NOW and head up in the standings. If the team stays “as is” then it’s basement again. OH WELL !!!!

  7. Sliotar

    In recent (consecutive?) weeks, the author has suggested Puig be extended, in part, because he keeps things “light-hearted and fun”….and today, Trammell is untouchable, in part, because he pals it up and is super-respectable.

    Every transgression is evaluated on its own merits, but other MLB clubs don’t care about character/politeness.

    Want proof? Milton Bradley, Carlos Gomez…. Aroldis Chapman…..Addison Russell. Just a few off the top of my head in recent years. All accused of being bad in some form or other, all welcomed back or valued in a trade.

    What do the Reds think their window of contention is, and what the 40-man roster’s aging curves are in the team’s eyes..and maybe Trammell is close to “untouchable.”

    Never forget though, that other teams, whose GMs and Team Presidents may actually get fired for non-performance, choose talent over character in roster moves.

    • Pete

      Exhibit A: “Lastly, Taylor Trammell is just an exciting, fun-loving player who, by the look of things, will mesh wonderfully with this current exciting, fun-loving Reds team. Need proof?”

      We should have hung onto Billy Hamilton by using this logic.

      Chad Dotson tweeted his ETA for TT is September of 2022. For those not possessing math skills, that’s 3 plus years away. Of course like the writer here, I’m sure Chad is all fired up about Taylor.

      Biggest problem I see is the fan base will never demand a truly good/great team. Give us our guys, a little excitement and don’t embarrass us. That’s it, we don’t even dare to dream, to shot hire. Give it to Bob C, he knows his customer base.

      • Doug Gray

        Chad’s ETA is him trolling, not him being serious.

      • Pete

        Really? He knows Red’s management and so do you – what’s your estimate? I think he was making a point about the FO….

      • Doug Gray

        Assuming he doesn’t have some sort of enormous set back (either injury, or a complete lack of production), mid 2021 AT THE LATEST. He’s going to start next year in Triple-A almost assuredly. Which means he’s an injury away from being called up at any point then.

        And yes, Chad was making a point about the Front Office. But he, incorrectly, thinks the Reds take too long to promote their prospects up the ladder.

    • Wesley Jenkins

      In both articles, I cited character as a tertiary reason for why the Reds should make decisions based on those two players. Trammell’s slashline may not scream untouchable, but he has a 116 wRC+ and walks like Votto, both traits I’ll take at the top of the lineup. And Puig hits the ball harder than pretty much the entire Reds lineup combined. I’d take both for solely baseball reasons, but I also prefer to watch baseball when I can feel good about the guys on the team.

      As to your last point, I interviewed former Dayton Dragons manager Donnie Scott the other day and he said this: “Baseball players need to have 7 tools these days. The five you know plus work ethic and character. Teams don’t want guys anymore that are distractions, no matter how good they are. Players have to be good teammates, good role models.” To boot, Donnie is about as old school a baseball guy as they come. So no, talent isn’t chosen over character as much anymore.

  8. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Seem to be missing something here. Cost. Taylor is cost effective, yes.

    Puig and Roark, I would like to keep them both. Try to extend them. Give a certain timeframe, like July 25. If we can’t get them extended by then, then hit the tradeblocks with them.

    I would be more interested in trading Puig than Roark. Why? First, we’ve been looking for years for any kind of competent pitching when we supposedly were loaded with “young guns”. What did we get? Two of the last ones on that pile. None are ready to come up. So, we are looking at letting go of one who has proven his worth? People are still hanging onto Wood? We haven’t seen him all year and may not see him next season, and we lose him to FA, also. Let’s see, “Extend a proven commodity” or “Extend an injured player”. What makes more sense?

    For, Puig, we have some pieces at the minor level who can possibly step in for Puig, who are hitting pretty well down there. No pitchers as ready as any of these hitters are down there. So, for cost effectiveness, the Reds may decide to go with one of the minor leaguers over Puig.

    • George

      Thank you for talking about costs. This year the 127+Mil payroll that started the year was based on the 150 year celebration, not about winning the Central. Other than the Pirates we are just not up to speed with the other 3 teams. In a previous post I mentioned that there are only 5 contracts for 2020 that have numbers attached. The balance of the 25 man roster are either FA or eligible for Arb.
      Those who want to resign Puig need to think about how much he can get paid for staying here versus becoming a FA. His agent is thinking about it if many of the posters aren’t.

      • doofus

        “This year the 127+Mil payroll that started the year was based on the 150 year celebration, not about winning the Central. Other than the Pirates we are just not up to speed with the other 3 teams.”

        Exactly!

    • doofus

      How much will it cost to extend your 33 year old “proven commodity?” Roark is making $10mm this season.

    • doofus

      “Louisville Bats starting pitcher Lucas Sims took home Pitcher of the Week honors for the first week of July. On the 4th he started in Columbus and tossed 7.0 shutout innings of baseball. The right-handed pitcher allowed just one hit, walked two batters, and hes truck out 11 along the way. Sims currently leads the International League in strikeouts with 97 of them. He’s the first Bat to win the Pitcher of the Week Award this season.” ~Doug Gray

      “No pitcher are ready?”

  9. jreis

    I think the future is bright for the reds as long as we don’t screw things up. Trammel is a class act guy as is Senzel. both are great athletes and play an exciting “old school “brand of baseball with the speed and stolen bases. I also really like Jose Siri.

    I would be happy with an outfield of Trammel in left, Siri in Center and Puig in right with Senzel at second and of course Joey and Suarez at first and third.

    I know I am in the minority here but I still think we should give Greene a shot at playing short stop. he is another class act that fans would come to see on a daily basis.

    • Bill Hedges

      Completely agree reference giving Greene a shot at SS.

    • Doug Gray

      If he’s 24 and still isn’t in the Major Leagues and his stuff has fallen completely apart? Sure. Then you put him at shortstop.

      But until then, taking a dude with two plus plus pitches and making them a position player is one that no one in baseball would even consider.

    • Jim Walker

      There is a period of time between when a position player coming off of TJ surgery is ready to play and a pitcher in the same situation is ready.

      During that period for Greene, why not spot him into a league where he can DH. No fielding or throwing beyond the pitching rehab, just hitting to see what he looks like there. Then if worse ever comes to worse they already have an idea what they might or don’t have in the way of a position guy.

      BTW, I think the new rules are going to make it really difficult to qualify pitchers as 2 way players in the absence of the DH. It will be just another way the presence of the DH in the AL works against the NL as long as they resist the idea.

    • doofus

      Let us hear it for “Class Acts!”

  10. Scott C

    You make some good points Wesley. As far as prospects go Trammell and T Stephenson would be as close to untouchable as we have. The only scenario of trading either would be if someone wanted to grossly overpay in major league ready prospects. I think if Cleveland offered Lindor with a couple of decent prospects. I would have to take it under consideration. Or the Nat’s offered Trae Turner plus…

  11. Old-school

    Any updates on Greene? When do they shut down Lodolo? He threw 103 innings in college.

  12. Mark Moore

    I’m just happy you mentioned his successful steal of home where the blind ump called him out as a selling point. That was just some smart base running in my book.

    • doofus

      Yup, he was safe. The ump was out of position.

  13. Colorado Red

    No one is untouchable for the right price.
    The Babe was traded.
    Tony P was traded.
    Lee May was traded.
    I do not want to trade Taylor, but is someone gives up a lot, let him go.

    • David

      Not to cast any shade on this sunshiny day and Taylor Trammel, but he is struggling to hit at AA, for someone who is the #30 prospect in minor league baseball.

      It is entirely possible that he has hit his ceiling and will not get any better. He is still young and may just be having an off year or is struggling to adjust to the better pitching at AA, and he has also been hurt a bit.

      Would anyone here trade Taylor Trammel straight up for Clint Frazier (Yankee AAA – ML player)? Frazier is ML ready NOW.

      • Reaganspad

        Nope.

        I keep 6years of Trammell to go with 5 more years of Senzel

      • Jim Walker

        Struggle is a relative term in Trammell’s situation. His current AA OBP (.379) is a tad higher than any of his previous full season OBP marks. His AA wRC+ is 119 which is down but is still 19% better than league average. HIs slugging % is also down.

        However both of these two slippages could be a by product of the fact that in his age 21 season he is nearly 3 years (-2.7) younger than the average player in the league.

    • Grand Salami

      Frank Robinson was traded.

      Still I like Wesley’s take. The kid brings a package of long term success, character and fun to this club. He’s not just a bat and glove.