The offseason was full of trade rumors for the Cincinnati Reds. They were linked to more than a few teams and players, but ultimately stuck with acquiring players via free agency. Still, teams need to consider every possible move, and they need to consider them at any given time, too. It’s not often that trades are completed early in spring training. Teams are usually comfortable with what they have by the start of the spring, and all winter has gone by and a deal probably has been discussed for a while and hasn’t moved much. But Dennis Lin of The Athletic noted late on Tuesday night that the Reds, San Diego Padres, and Boston Red Sox have reportedly discussed a 3-team deal involving Reds outfielder Nick Senzel.

Now, let’s start this off with the important stuff from the article. No agreement seems to be imminent, it’s unknown what the Reds would get back in the deal, and one source said that a deal for Senzel would be a “long shot”.

For much of the offseason the Cincinnati Reds were rumored to be trying to acquire shortstop Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians. Lindor, of course, is one of the best players in baseball. Nick Senzel, on the flip side, is just a year removed from being one of the top prospects in all of baseball, ranking somewhere between the #5-#10 overall prospect in the game depending on which publication you were looking at. Cleveland has reportedly been interested in Senzel for quite a while, and he was usually the rumored carrying piece for all of the trade rumors.

It was just two days ago when Senzel told Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he wants to be in Cincinnati for his whole career. And here it is less than 48 hours from that statement and his name is in the rumors again.

For Nick Senzel, the 2019 season was one that had it’s ups and it’s downs. It began with a “down”. Near the end of spring training he was sent back to minor league camp, not making the big league roster. Before the season began he injured his ankle sliding into a base in Goodyear and he missing the first three weeks of April as he recovered from the injury. Once he got on the field things went well. He only played in eight games in Triple-A before he was called up to join the big league club on May 3rd.

Through July he was hitting .285/.346/.475, but when August began Senzel went into a slump as he began to work on changing his swing. Over the next five weeks he would hit just .188/.242/.313 before a shoulder injury cost him the rest of his season. He’d would spend the offseason rehabbing from shoulder surgery on his throwing arm. In 2020 it seems that Nick Senzel is going to revert back to the swing he’s used for the large majority of his life.

101 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    With the arrival of Akiyama and Castellanos and the current outfield overload, it’s easy to lose sight of the long term future of the Reds outfield – Senzel and Winker and perhaps Aquino. I think all three of those could be above average major league hitters for a long time, so if the Reds somehow find themselves with those three starting in the outfield in a few years that will be a strong foundation for a lot of good teams. But in the current age of arbitration and free agency that seems unlikely. Let’s start small – Senzel and Winker healthy for 2020. Senzel returning to the hitting form that made him a top prospect. And the Reds competing for a division title. I’ll take that.

  2. GhostRunner

    I’m for keeping Senzel myself.

    • earmbrister

      I agree GR. Trading Senzel, at what could arguably be his lowest value, is extremely short sighted. The man has hit at every level and is a top notch athlete. He made the conversion to CF, in just one year, seem rather ordinary.

      In a year or two, Senzel will be batting in the #2 or #3 spot, while providing excellent D in CF. He’s controlled for another SIX years. I don’t see anyone with that amount of control that I’d trade him for. And I’m not trading him for someone who only has a couple of years of team control.

  3. CI3J

    I still think trading Senzel for a SS is the solution to a lot of problems for the Reds. For one, they have too many outfielders and they are going to lose some for nothing, due to options/Rule 5 draft. And of course, the Reds REALLY need to upgrade at SS. If Senzel were part of a trade for Bogaerts (long shot, I know), that would be a great move and would instantly make the Reds World Series contenders. Shogo in CF, Aquino in RF, Castellanos in LF with Winker and Ervin (or possibly Payton or Schebler) as part of the rotation seems a lot better than losing all of them for nothing.

    • JoshG

      Bogaerts is a pretty good SS.. just sayin’
      lol

      • CI3J

        VanMeter is an infielder who can also play outfield.

  4. doofus

    Lin mentions that Padres have had interest in Trevor Bauer in the past also.

  5. Justin

    This report made no sense to me. The Padres and Red Sox are discussing a Myers trade. I don’t see where the Reds fit in. Boston unloaded lots of salary already and Bogarts isn’t that expensive and he’s signed for a long time. Why would they want to get rid of him? Who would the Padres offer that would be appealing to the Reds?

    I hope the Reds are smart enough to be open in their communication with Senzel. If not, the kid must think they don’t want him at this point.

    • Stock

      Bogaerts has an opt out after 2022. So not really that long.

  6. Tom Reeves

    If the Reds are essentially flipping Senzel for team controlled (4-5 years) SS who’s basically the same caliber player at a more needed position, I say go for it. If flipping Senzel (plus a haul of prospects) is for two years of Lindor or a lesser SS, that worries me greatly over the long term.

    • Terry

      Tom,

      I have no issue with flipping Senzel for Lindor, if the Reds sign him to an extension. Bite the bullet & buy out his arbitration years which will be around $40 million & add 2 or 4 more years at his market value. He would instantly make the Reds one of the top 4 teams in MLB, & for the next few years the Reds would be contenders instead of pretenders. The con to this argument is the amount of money tied up in his contract, but he is & will be for the duration of the contract a top 5 position player. I wouldn’t do this deal though unless you can get an extension done.

      • Tom Reeves

        Terry, I agree with that point – an extension for Lindor would be a game changer for me. But, I also agree that I wouldn’t do the deal without an extension.

        This is probably a far more difficult choice than I’m making it – guess why the front office makes the big bucks.

  7. Jeff Greer

    We need to quit trading our prospects. Who knows? Senzel could eclipse anything Lindor has done.

    • Terry

      Jeff,

      Lindor had a 4.7 WAR last year at the most premium position position. He is 26 year old & in his prime.

      Would you trade Senzel & India for two World Series appearances. This is honestly where the Reds are at.

      • Amarillo

        I don’t think that’s valid. This team with Lindor is still not better than the Dodgers and might not be better than the Braves either.

      • VaRedsFan

        It gets you closer though, which is why you do it. I’d rather have a 6 WAR player for 2 years, than a 3 WAR player for 6 years

    • Indy Red Man

      Lindor can play more games in 2 years then Senzel in 5. That trade is a no-brainer. If Senzel turned out to be a good hitter then so be it, but they’re trying to take a shot and that would be it!

    • Tom

      Who knows, Senzel could be the next Paul Householder. I do think they blew it with the Puig et. al. trade. Josiah Gray looks like the real thing for LA and Jeter Downs showed a lot last year too. The thing about young players is that they are cost-controlled for a number of years. And for a small market team like the Reds, that is important. I would like to see the Reds develop into a sustainable winner and hope that they can have talent at all levels.

  8. RojoBenjy

    My favorite part of this write up is “In 2020 it seems that Nick Senzel is going to revert back to the swing he’s used for the large majority of his life.“

    Dance with the one what brung ya.

    • Linkster

      Totally agree! I think the pitching coaches got into everyone’s head. I’m glad they are both gone and successful players can go back to their original swings.

      • Colorado Red

        Perhaps you meant hitting?
        Pitching coaches did a good job last year.

      • John

        Like Vito. Hope to see him drop that goofy routine he does between each pitch.

    • TBD

      Rojo
      I don’t know if it’s the things you say OR it’s that totally cool picture of Steve McQueen – that makes it always interesting to see that you’ve posted something.

      • RojoBenjy

        It’s McQueen.

        Always.

        I’m never as interesting as even that one photo. You have good taste, sir.

  9. Tom Mitsoff

    We’ll need more info as to what the Reds might get out of it before we can make a judgement on the merits of such a trade. To trade Senzel, the Reds have to get a star-quality shortstop (or catcher) with more than a year of team control. Bogaerts is under contract for six more years at around $20M per year, so I don’t see Boston trading him. Padres are not going to trade Tatis. For the Reds to accept a package of prospects makes absolutely no sense in this win-now atmosphere.

    • Mark Moore

      Exactly … if not, we’re in a good position to evaluate as the season progresses.

    • AllTheHype

      Disagree on that last statement. If the Reds could get near ML ready assets such as a Patino/Campusano++ return for Senzel, that would set up the Reds for longevity as well as provide some arsenal to get a quality asset or two at the trade deadline.

      I’ve said on here several times, Senzel has a higher value to other teams than he has to the Reds. He’s average defensively in CF for Reds but would be above average to many teams if he played 3B or 2B.

      Pads like Senzel, let them pay and set the Reds up for the future.

      • greenmtred

        Average defensively the first year he played the position–or in the outfield at all. It would be surprising if he didn’t get better, maybe much better, given his athleticism. And the Reds other options in center are not close to being sure things.

      • doofus

        Padres like him for CF. They see something.

    • Colorado Red

      Agree with you again.
      The only 3 I would trade Nick for are Lindor (not happening) Story (by the break? maybe), and now Bogaerts.

      • doofus

        If Story comes to Cincy, who plays SS for the Rockies, Rodgers? And, Senzel plays where: CF or 2B?

        You are our man behind the lines in Rockies country!

  10. RojoBenjy

    If the Padres want to include Fernando Tatis, Jr coming to Cincinnati, i’m all in favor.

    Otherwise, Williams and Krall should take their marbles and go home.

    Since that will never happen—

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I agree. I would trade Senzel for Tatis. I don’t think the Padres would do the same.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Not that it would incentivize trading Tatis….but if the Padres received Senzel he could play his natural position at 3B and they could slide Machado to SS. Senzel is actually controllable for a year longer, at least according to FA projections on bb-ref. Depending on who else is involved clearing some of Meyers contract combined with Senzel’s extra year of control may not be a bad starting place for Tatis. (I’m still doubtful on that though)

      • Matt WI

        Wow. For Tatis, things would get real interesting. I agree Senzel isn’t enough, and I’d be pretty tempted to cash in Greene if that’s what it took.

      • Reaganspad

        Senzel ok

        Greene or Lodolo no can do

        We have other chips for Tatis

  11. Mark Moore

    Nick goes back to his previously successful swing … that and a full return from injury SHOULD produce results. Yes, we’ve got an outfield glut, but I think Nick is a solid asset. That being said …

    A longer term, MLB SS is still a need. We have OF candidates and since we play over 50% of our games in the “smaller” parks, an elite CF asset may not be necessary. In the end, we want to see a winning Reds team and we’re willing to deal to see that happen this year and beyond.

  12. Mark

    I believe the next SS after Galvis will be Jose Garcia.

    • Big Ed

      Agreed. I expect that Garcia will be the best shortstop in Reds camp this year, and probably one of the better players, period.

    • MBS

      I hope all of the Garcia love becomes a reality. I always viewed Garcia as a utility guy, like I view India.

  13. Hotto4Votto

    Glad to see they’re still open, to some degree, about making big improvements to this team. Not sure who all would be involved, but talks continuing to occur is a good sign they’re not quite satisfied with the roster as is. Galvis is a good SS, but offensively he leaves a lot to be desired, especially in the on-base department. I’ve never been comfortable with Galvis as the starter and fear that in a projected tight race, it could be a deciding factor.
    And while I’m fully on board with the additions and would tout the FO as having a great offseason, there’s still a part of me that’s a little disappointed that neither of the two positions that were obvious upgrades have been addressed. It’s not been for a lack of trying, as the rumors have been there all winter, but sometimes nothing materializes. I’m glad to hear there’s still efforts being made to improve the weak areas of the club.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      My read of all of the articles associated with this is that the Padres have an ongoing interest in Senzel and are the initiators of this, not the Reds. The Reds have the responsibility to listen to any offer, but they are apparently the ones who need to be persuaded in this scenario.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I’m sure there’s lots of teams interested in Senzel. Just as there are likely several teams interested in Castillo and Suárez. I would think at this point though, since we have continuously heard Senzel rumors throughout the offseason and not rumors on other talented players on the team, that the Padres realize the Reds are more likely to actually part with Senzel whereas the others aren’t going to gain any traction. Yes the team should listen on anyone, but teams have ways of letting other teams know certain players are “untouchable”. For whatever reason, whether legitimate or not, it appears the Padres have some reason to believe Senzel is still in play.
        To me that suggests the Reds haven’t completely shut the door on Senzel trade talks, and that they realize there is still some improvements that could be made to the roster that would boost the team’s playoff chances.
        Otherwise they could come out and say something along the lines of giving this current iteration of the team an opportunity to see what it can do and address any further needs at the trade deadline. But really what’s been said is nothing was imminent and they expect Senzel to be here. Lots of wiggle room in those statements.

      • doofus

        Your succinct summary is spot on. Drop the mike.

      • earmbrister

        Or Hotto, anyone is available for the right price.

        Senzel has the benefit of being a high upside player AND is someone who is controlled for six years and will be paid less than $500k this year. Suarez is making serious money (albeit team friendly money). NO ONE, rightfully so, believes that the Reds will listen to offers for a stud pitcher like Castillo who is controlled through 2023.

        Other teams look at our roster like we look at theirs. Who can they peel off who might be undervalued at the moment.

  14. SaveTheFarm

    Remember that Castellanos has an opt out after the season. If the Reds trade Senzel and Castellanos ops out then they go from two Nicks to no Nicks in one year. Keep Senzel and let’s win the division.

    • Matt WI

      That’s an excellent point. Dang it.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Lodolo’s on the way to fill that Nick quota! Ha

      • RojoBenjy

        Will it be in the…nick of time?

        I cringe. Doug may ban me for that pun.

    • Kenny G

      So you take what you’re paying Castellanos and sign another OF in free agency. It’s not that big of a deal.

      • JayTheRed

        Kenny G thanks for being the light here. I was thinking the same thing as you. No biggie if he leaves there will be some quality Free Agent OF players next offseason too. Maybe even better ones.

  15. redwolf

    sale and micheal Chavis go from sox to padres, Myers goes to to sox, Tatist goes to reds, Senzel goes to sox… otherwise…. keep little Nicky

  16. AirborneJayJay

    Here we go again.
    Dennis Lin is San Diego based. The SD Padres have had interest in Nick Senzel for 2 years now. I like many others just don’t see the Reds as a fit in this scenario. SD isn’t trading Tatis or LHP MacKenzie Gore.
    However, SD does have another top SS prospect drafted last year in 2019. CJ Abrams. He only hit .401 in 32 games of rookie ball. 80 grade speed with very little power though. If Tatis isn’t involved, look for CJ Abrams name to surface quickly if rumors persist. Maybe with C Luis Campusano.

    • Alex

      Reds are not going to trade for prospects. Padres wont be trading tatis. Anyone thinking the Padres are initiating a trade and including tatis are ridiculous. Padres want to add talent while moving myers

  17. NYRedsfan

    Unless it’s Tatis or Bogaerts coming back why get involved

  18. FreeHouse

    Trading Senzel doesn’t make sense. He’s the depth the Reds have just in case Castellanos walks. I’m sure Senzel will have a bounce back season if he stays healthy. Kinda feels with all these trade rumors and those bad two months at the end of season Senzel will play with a chip on his shoulder.

    • AApsley

      Didn’t he get that chip surgically removed?

  19. Linkster

    Well, thanks for the exciting yet very vague report. Until we know who the players are, let’s not get excited. Also, keep in mind that the Reds could carry 14 position players and 12 RP. They still have some questions around last years injured players (including Senzel) and Suarez may or may not be at full strength to start the season.

  20. Linkster

    I do think it’s exciting and give props to the front office for being named in virtually every trade discussion the past two years.

  21. Cubano

    For what it’s worth Tatis is young and under team control, but his fielding is very, very rough. -13 OAA, which is sorta terrible. Certainly room for improvement, high ceiling young player, but for 2020 it would be great to have a shortstop who can shore up the infield, not a defensive question mark. That said I’m sorta Ok with a Senzel trade, I have doubts he will be more than / .270 guy with minimal power.

  22. Klugo

    Here’s a question. Is Trammell still in SD? Would you trade Senzel for Trammell straight up?

    • Cubano

      Haha- no, I don’t think so at all

    • Bob Purkey

      Why would you trade an OF for another OF?

      • Klugo

        Because you like one better than the other. Or one has less service time. Or maybe you currently have a logjam in the OF and one of them could use more seasoning but has higher upside. And is a true CF.
        I dunno. But there are possible reasons out there.

      • Klugo

        Personally, just with my very limited outside information, I wouldn’t do it. I like Senzel better.

    • Jefferson Green

      No way. Trammel has not proven he can hit AA pitching, nor is his arm CF caliber. There is a solid chance that he only winds up being an above-average player in the corner outfield spots. These spots are rather easy to fill with solid players. Senzel can play excellent defense on the infield and may wind up very good in CF, and has already proven he can hit AA and AAA pitching.

  23. Stock

    The Sox have a hole at 2B. There is no one in the minors ready to take over.

    To the Reds: Tatis, Myers, Some cash to help pay Myers’ contract
    To the Sox: Senzel
    To the Pads: Sale, Bradley and either Chavis or Galvis plus some cash to help with Sale’s contract.

    Reds get a SS with same length of control as Senzel.
    Padres get a SP, CF and out from under the Myers mistake.
    Sox fill the hole at 2B long term and get more salary relief.

    Reds increase their chances of winning the division by filling a big hole at SS and have a positive impact on their future.

    Padres increase their chances of winning the division (or wildcard) and get out from under the Myers contract and are within a year a couple of months of having a rotation headed by Sale, Paddack and Gore. Bradley fills a hole in CF. They have their future SS (Abrams) in A+ ball or AA by the end of the year. They may deem Potts (3B) or Owen Miller (SS) capable of making the jump from AA on a short term basis.

    Sox fill a major hole at 2B long term but lose their only good SP. However, they are going nowhere this year so this trade looks to the future.

    • Bob Purkey

      I wouldn’t want to get stuck with Myers for 3 more years, even with SD paying 1/2 his salary and add another guy to a congested OF.

    • Hotto4Votto

      FWIW baseball reference has Tatis reaching FA in 2025 with exactly 1 year of service time, and Senzel not until 2026 with 0.150 years of service time. The Reds holding Senzel back to start the year would be the difference I’d guess.

    • Kyle Farmer

      Man, I love this and would pull that trigger immediately.

      However, I don’t think the Reds have the payroll flexibility to take on even half of Myers for the next three years.

    • doofus

      Red Sox signed Jose Peraza to play 2B.

  24. AApsley

    Here’s the most realistic scenario I could imagine based on these 3 teams’ needs:

    CIN gets:
    Bogaerts (BOS)
    Cash (BOS)

    SDP gets:
    Eovaldi (BOS)
    Senzel (CIN)

    BOS gets:
    Mahle (CIN)
    Myers (SDP)
    Cash (SDP)
    Abrams (SDP)

    • Cubano

      Ah man. This trade makes me sad. I like Mahle and Senzel- In this situation, I agree with NOT moving Galvis so we have a bit of depth at SS

    • Kyle Farmer

      Bogaerts has an opt out that essentially makes this deal a no-go for me. Have to get Tatis to even think about making this deal.

      • The Duke

        After the 2022 season. At minimum it’s a near elite to elite SS in his prime for 3 seasons.

    • doofus

      What position does “Cash” play?

  25. Jefferson Green

    Interesting pair of trade partners. The Padres owner has put big time pressure on his front office to deliver a good season. They will be in a certain win-now mode, with particular urgency for the GM and those around him (if they value their jobs). The Red Sox have already signaled a strong willingness to sacrifice 2020 for more chances of big success in the following years. While Boston is never a patient place, their new GM has at least a one year window to re-position the roster, so he may want future talent over current. Boston may value some more future salary flexibility, but they have already done enough to accomplish their core reduction goal to get under the main tax level.

  26. Justin

    This has to be about Xander Bogaerts. Here are his contract notes per Spotrac.com:

    Player opt out available after 2022
    2026 option vests with 535 plate appearances in 2025
    Full No Trade after 7 years service time

    The Red Sox can’t trade him after the season, per baseball reference, Bogaerts has 6.042 on the service time clock. Why would they want to trade him? He can opt out after 2022. If the Red Sox are taking a step back in 2020 and have pending MLB discipline coming, he’s a wasted $60 million expense for the next 3 seasons.

    Is Xander Bogaerts about to be our new SS?

    • sixpack

      Xander Bogaerts and Senzel would make a good start, but adding Mahle is too much.
      That undervalues Senzel too much.

      • Alex

        I think people undervalue how good bogaerts is. He is coming to help us more in this win now mode than senzel will. I dont think the reds trade senzel though unless someone overpays. Shogo has never played a game in the MLB, so it’s hard to say how good he will be. Plus slot of people think he isn’t an everyday centerfielder anymore.

  27. John Smith

    Why are we so quick to get rid of our youth for a player that will tie us up with a huge salary? Don’t want to say this but an injury could cost us some games and the playoffs, etc. There aren’t any guarantees in life but still I believe we keep what we have for now and see how it plays out until the trading deadline. Before everyone jumps on the let’s trade Senzel wagon — let’s remind ourselves if we didn’t have Joeys big contract around? How many more years do we have? What’s still owed? Will Joey produce at the high level that his big contract is commanding? Why don’t we look at trading him to an American League team that could slot him in as a DH? There’s some value for him? This would free up some big money and a position. What are we prepared to do when and Joey has another down year like the last few? I like Joey but signing players to long, big contracts Is not the way to go IMHO.

  28. Austin

    Trading Senzel would just create another hole. Yes I’d love to have bogaerts or Tatis(which bother are pipe dreams I’d say), but then we’d have a hole in CF. Akiyama by most accounts is not a good CF defensively anymore. Senzel was average in his 1st season and showed plus speed, which means he can get better with experience imo.

    • JayTheRed

      I would not say he is not good anymore… I would say he is not a top defensive CF anymore.

  29. MBS

    A shinny new SS would be great. Especially if Senzel was our only major trade chip, i.e. no Green, Lodolo, Stephenson.

    • JayTheRed

      Would you do Senzel and our current Closer Iggy?

      • Kyle Farmer

        Senzel and Iggy for Tatis = Yes
        Senzel and Iggy for Bogaerts = No

        Just one man’s opinion. The opt out worries me on Bogaerts.

      • Matt WI

        Yes I would trade Senzel and Iggy for Tatis.

  30. AirborneJayJay

    Craig Edwards over at Fangraphs had a nice article yesterday about team spending and ranked the teams in payroll as they enter spring training. The Reds are 16th in MLB in payroll. The Reds were only 13th in off-season spending which was a little bit of a surprise. The graph on teams that added payroll this offseason and the teams that cut payroll was interesting too.

    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/mlb-team-payrolls-as-spring-training-begins/

    Spring training games are only about 50 hours away. Shogo not getting a start Saturday but will start Sunday according to Bell. We’ll have to wait an extra day to see Shogo in action. I wonder though if Cleveland is starting a lefty on Saturday and Bell is already platoon mode.

  31. Joe

    It’s unclear to me what the Reds would get back in this three way trade. If it isn’t a star or rock solid SS or catcher, I don’t think we’d be interested.

  32. Lee

    Would the Reds consider trading Suarez with a very affordable contract and several years left to the Padres and move Moose from 2nd to 3rd and Senzel from CF to 2nd for Tatis and a high level prospect or two to help restock the farm system? Boston takes on Myers from the Padres with San Diego throwing in a lot of Money and/or Prospects plus Reds send Mahle to the Red Sox to help their starting rotation.