The Cincinnati Reds wrapped up the trade deadline by making two deals in the last hour-and-a-half. Word of the Tanner Roark for minor league outfielder Jameson Hannah trade broke while Roark was at Arby’s, getting ready to head to Atlanta. The trade of Scooter Gennett to San Francisco for a player to be named later broke after the deadline had passed – along with about 57 other moves around baseball it would seem. In both cases, the deals weren’t viewed nearly as big as the one the night before that brought Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati. That’s left the national media mostly away from weighing in on the moves. But the writers here at Redleg Nation have some thoughts on the moves.

Mary Beth Ellis

The loss of Scooter ranks very highly on the Sad Little Boy index. Today six year olds aren’t discussing his fading OPS or OBP, because they have no idea what those are. They see the front of the baseball card, not the back.

If you’re a casual fan, you’re mad this happened. If you’re into digits, you’re mad this didn’t happen in December. But there’s a part of every baseball fan that reacts to these moments from the gut, and when we’re doubled over clutching ours because they’ve just been punched, we’re not thinking, “Well, his contract expires soon and he’s hitting .217 since the injury…” We’re thinking: “YOU TOOK AWAY OUR SCOOTER WHO JUST WANTED TO HIT HOME RUNS WHILE BEING SHORT FOR US!!!!!”

And I liked Roark and all, but he barely pings the Sad Little Boy meter. You’d stand in line an hour and a half despite a desperate need to pee AND get a drink to meet Puig. You wouldn’t do that for Tanner Roark.

I’m sure that the loss of a favorite player once rang atop the Sad Little Boy Index for a baby Scooter Gennett. He’s probably grateful to even be in a position to snap these tender hearts in two. But that we had him at all, and that he had us, is a beautiful baseball story. A hug good bye is better than no hug at all.

Jim Walker

Once the Reds got Trevor Bauer, it was  almost inevitable a starting pitcher would be moved. With Alex Wood just now coming off the IL, Tanner Roark was the obvious choice. Jameson Hannah, the return on Roark, in essence replaces Taylor Trammell in the Reds system The pair are within 2 months of the same age; and, Hannah was drafted just 15 players lower (50 overall) in the 2018 draft than Trammell was in the 2016 draft. Both have a legitimate chance to become MLB outfielders. The Reds did quite well here for what was essentially a mandatory trade.

By trading Scooter Gennett for a PTBNL, the Reds underscored that the future has started for the team. My hope is they will stay true to this mantra by giving Josh VanMeter every chance to show during the rest of 2019 that he is the man to be at 2B every day in 2020 with Jose Peraza filling out the rest of the time at 2B. Meanwhile there should be enough work for Derek Dietrich taking some outfield starts while also giving Eugenio Suarez and Joey Votto the time off both need to stay fresh.

Doug Gray

These two trades were a lot different than the Trevor Bauer trade. It felt like everyone was expecting Tanner Roark to be moved, even before Bauer came into the fold. Getting back Jameson Hannah, a 2018 second round draft pick of Oakland in return, was a bit better than I had expected. As I wrote in a much longer breakdown of the deal, the Reds paying a good portion of the remaining salary owed to Roark led to them essentially being able to upgrade the return on the deal.

The trade of Scooter Gennett honestly shocked me. If you had asked me if the Reds would trade Gennett by the deadline on March 1st, I would have said absolutely. But after his injury and missing nearly the entire season, that just seemed unlikely. He returned in time to play before the deadline, but he didn’t quite get things going and I just expected him to ride out the season with Cincinnati before hitting free agency. We don’t know the return, as it’s a player to be named later or cash considerations. But it does open up more playing time for Josh VanMeter, who I’m a big believer in. That alone makes the deal worth it. The information gained by getting those at-bats is very valuable.

Bill Lack

Both of these deals seem to me to be done with the pure intent of finding playing time for players for the rest of the year, I’d imagine to make some decisions for 2020.

Roark was given away for an A+ player (with good, not outstanding numbers) and cash and Gennett was given away for a PTBNL. Roark was to make room for Wood for the rest of the year, so the Reds can decide whether to make a qualifying offer (or try for an extension), though with Mahle gone until, at least, the middle of August, they’re also going to get a look at Sims, I’d imagine.

Gennett leaving makes room for Van Meter and Peraza to get all the playing time at 2B (assuming Iglesias is the SS for the rest of the season), with Van Meter maybe still playing some OF. Gennett leaving (and the Puig trade) also gives Winker and Ervin a chance to show that they’re more than platoon players.

The rotation is better for 2020, but this team has a lot of holes that need to be filled before Spring Training 2020.

Jeff Carr

On the Tanner Roark trade: I like with the Reds did, here. Roark was always the most likely candidate to be traded, before the deadline, and they received a decent flyer of a prospect in return. With Bauer coming in, there was going to be too many starters for the rotation, so Roark needed to be moved. From the little bit I’ve read up on Hannah, he is regarded as fast. Fangraphs has his “ETA” at 2021, so we’ll see.

As far as Scooter, I have two competing thought processes. Objectively, love it. Freeing up space for someone to prove themselves for next year, I.e. VanMeter/ Dietrich/ Peraza, and it shows they are willing to make the tough decisions on “fan favorites.” As a fan, though, this will take a second to get over as Scooter was one cool dude and provided a few nice memories, in his short time here.

Ultimately, I think both deals are good for the Reds.

Matthew Habel

Much less polarizing than Tuesday night’s trade. Getting some value for Roark was a great move that will allow more starts to go to guys under contract next year. I am not a huge fan of Jameson Hannah’s hitter profile but I have zero problem with that trade. The Scooter trade is obviously a harder pill to swallow as he has provided quite a few bright spots the past two years despite losing records. It seemed like the writing was on the wall there and that really is just the less enjoyable reality that baseball is a business as much as it is entertainment. He may be gone but he will certainly not be forgotten!

Photo Credit: Hayden Schiff. Licensing for the photo can be found here.

25 Responses

  1. RedNat

    We are only 6.5 games back in the standings with 2 full months to go. I think our chances of making the playoffs this year have decreased now. I would have taken my chances with Puig in right, Scooter at second and Roark as our 5th starter over Bauer, Van Meter and Aquino. I know Scooter struggled coming back from his injury but I had confidence he would start hitting soon. hopefully this helps our team in 2020 though

    • Centerfield

      I have to disagree about the Reds’ chances decreasing. Pitching is the only way to run off a 65 percent win clip, which is about what it would take. I do think there will be fewer 14 – 6 blowouts, but Ervin, Winker & VanMeter should provide more consistency. I don’t think you’re going to see Aquino until the spring.

      • Rich H

        I agree with your take, center. The Reds have one of the best rotations in baseball, with four guys capable of flat dominating for decent stretches. Ervin and VanMeter have been effective. There will be more looks for younger guys. I think the team got better for the next year and 2 months.

      • greenmtred

        I’m a believer in the importance of pitching, but pitching hasn’t really been the Reds’ problem this year. Consistent hitting has, but I have no idea how the trades will impact that.

    • RM

      They should have kept Scooter
      His bat will come back!
      Watch the Giants
      Make the playoffs because of Scooter!

  2. Centerfield

    I’m not sure about Sims sticking around. I would think he will be replaced with Reed at some point. At best he is a relief pitcher as the rotation is full. A healthy Reed has more value since you never know what you’re going to get with Peralta.
    I’m sorry to see Scooter go and Puig/Roark for that matter. Anyone one of them could be signed over the winter. Puig would make some sense if Winker and Ervin disappoint.

  3. Don

    FO made right decisions for the team, still could catch lightning in a bottle in 2019 and setup to known what is needed when off-season occurs for 2020 season.

    I do not see a downside as the three that were traded were not in 2020 plans.

    Reds FO my are some hard decisions which is also a positive step

  4. RojoBenjy

    Bill Lack writes, “Roark was given away.”

    What exactly were the Reds going to gain by keeping him all season so he could leave for free agency?

  5. Robert Strong

    I just can’t figure out the decision making process of the Red’s front office. We get nothing for Rourk. Nothing for Gennett. We pick up
    Bauer who has a career 3.79 ERA and a 4.26 in his last 15 starts. I Hardly would call that an ace pitcher, whose last act as an Indian was throwing the ball over centerfield wall. We give up Trammell who was exciting to watch! And again, if you can’t score runs, you can’t win. Which we have trouble doing and even when we get a starting pitcher, who gives us a lead, our relievers screw it up. We gave up guys in Moss and Trammell we could have for a while, for a guy we are basically renting for 1 year. How is that good decision making? Especially when we give up a guy who is electrifying on the bases and can generate runs. Look what we keep doing as an organization, we give up our best players, get nothing in return, they go to other teams and we are continuously being told we are building for our future. That has been the case for the last 20 years. Look at the track record. You can’t deny that our front office has not been committed to winning? How is this trade any different than what we have done in the past 20 years? It leaves the fans frustrated!

      • Mason Red

        No actually he is right. The moves made resulted in adding one player with a history of injuries and bad behavior. There’s always a chance that a change of teams changes a player and hopefully that will be the case with TB. The Reds made the necessary moves by trading players they weren’t going to extend but its not like they got a haul of talent which wasn’t expected anyway but I don’t understand the view by some that suddenly the Reds are so much better than before.

      • Mason Red

        Those who disagree don’t have to be trolls. The Reds made moves that they should have made by moving players they had no intentions of keeping. No one should have expected a tremendous haul for the players traded. Of course with Scooter the Reds once again waited too long. I liked Scooter and always felt he was under appreciated but if he didn’t fit into the Reds long term plans as viewed by the FO he should have been traded last year. The Reds have a history of sitting on their hands too long and that was the case with SG. Overall I just don’t see how the Reds are so much better now than before the trades. They got one player in return who has a history of injuries and bad behavior and the Indians unloaded him….a decent pitcher btw….in the middle of a playoff race. You don’t see decent pitchers traded by teams in the hunt for a playoff spot. Sometimes a change of scenery changes a player and hopefully that’s the case with TB. But I certainly don’t see him as the savior some here are proclaiming him to be. He could certainly help but only if the Reds add more talent during the offseason. I’m not going to heap praise on the FO for making moves just about any team would have made. It was FO 101.

      • Pete

        Mason – I’m going to give them one more game to straighten out.

        Couple of facts:
        Bauer Starts by year: 26.31, 35, 32, 31, 27 , 2019: 24, Injury prone?

        I get it a lot of you guys don’t like Bauer but let’s not resort to stretching the narrative, it ruins your point. Did/does he pitch when he’s hurt? Yes but who doesn’t.

      • Mason Red

        Pete I’m just referencing an ESPN report about the trade which talked about the frustration of JB pitching while injured this season.

      • Pete

        Mason – I’m not going to nitpick too bad but you referenced a “history” of injuries. Really I was trying to set the record straight – the guy is a workhouse any way it’s defined. No offense.`

    • greenmtred

      It’s not reasonable to say that the Reds got “nothing.” We don’t know what the return for Scooter will be, and it’s certainly not a foregone conclusion that Hannah won’t be good.

  6. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Both Gennett and Roark could still come back. Their contracts are up at the end of this year. I doubt if we will look at Roark; probably not for the price he will be asking. Similar with Gennett. But, that’s the business of it.

    I did like Roark and hoped that the Reds would re-sign him. But, I can take the Roark for Bauer indirect switch.

    Also, I believe we have any “firepower” for this year that would resemble what Scooter could give this year. And, we have a couple of young studs who could still play 2nd in Senzel and VanMeter, if we choose to go that way.

    I was sorry to see Scooter go, but we simply had a very good “plan B” ready. Scooter gave us some good thrills, most definitely. But, that’s business.

  7. Rich H

    I loved both of these trades. A real prospect for Tanner Roark? Awesome. With Gennett, it’ll be hard to really get into it until we get the PTBNL, but clearing up space for VanMeter (who was himself a PTBNL), Peraza, and the outfielders to get more playing time is good. They’ll be around next year, and the Reds are actively trying to get better. I still have mixed feelings about the Bauer deal, but the FO is absolutely being proactive, which I think is in itself a win. The differences between the FO this year and the previous years/regimes is becoming more pronounced by the day, IMO.

    • Rich H

      *are becoming… Apologies to Jason. I didn’t realize predictive text went with the plural there.

  8. Hebron Reds Fan

    Mary Beth completely nailed the reaction for most fans. I really enjoyed reading every word. These trades were the right moves–but we have every right to be our 6-year old selves (or 50-year old selves) and take a minute to mourn a fan-favorite (or two) that are leaving. Good luck to our departing friends and welcome Trevor! Go Redlegs!

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I really appreciate that. Thank you for taking the time to say you saw yourself (both the 6 year old and the 50 year old) in the section.

      • Hebron Reds Fan

        Ha! Good clarification! Yes–I’m 50–certainly not you. Thanks again–really enjoyed your words.

  9. Eric B

    Who could have possibly envisioned the two years of productivity Gennett were to have after being plucked from the DFA heap. Trading him after the 2018 season in hindsight would have resulted in greater return value. Just as knowing he would pull a hammie and be out for half of the year would have been a nice look into the future as well. My point being, we just dont know these things. This PTBNL may just become another version of JVM which is what he was when he joined the Reds. He may be a guy with untapped potential flying under the radar of his present team and recognized by ours. Trading Scooter was the best move regardless of how the PTBNL works out. The Reds had to open that spot to see what they DO have this year going into 2020 and the young guys need to play to do that. Adding TB to an already good rotation only makes it better. Derrick Johnson seems to know how to get the best out of his pitching staff and I would expect no less of him with TB. All this crap or what ever it is he did in the past no longer matters a rat’s be-hind to me. Rob Dibble once threw a ball over the center field wall as well, it didn’t affect his ability to pitch, although sadly it did injure a fan. TB is a top of the line major league pitcher and is exactly what the Reds need to climb ever so closer to the top of the NLC.

  10. John

    Loved the different perspectives, and now I get to note the SLB index (LOL) when I talk about trades.
    Scooter fit the mold that Cincinnati fans love: under-estimated guys (with local ties) that play hard. But, in terms of baseball business, he was only filling a gap until someone came up through the system. Some very nice career moments, and he played hard.
    Puig made the games more interesting to watch, and I might miss him the most. He gave the team some need swagger, though he never really fulfilled the promise of being the clutch slugger they needed. The Reds FO made the Roark/Bauer swap trade perfectly. I like the Bauer trade. Perhaps the team image will improve in the eyes of quality free agents, making them feel Cincinnati is a destination for them.