Let’s play a simple game: pairing two tradeable Reds and picking a team that would be the best destination for the set of players. (After all, the Reds best chance at a big return is for the club to package players.) Since Todd Frazier is not on the trading block, we’ll keep the list to Jay Bruce, Marlon Byrd, Aroldis Chapman, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Manny Parra, Brayan Pena, and Brandon Phillips.

There are some “contenders” I left out of this list for a variety of reasons. The Reds won’t be doing anything to help out the Pittsburgh Pirates or the St. Louis Cardinals — though I’m certainly not opposed to it — and in any case, both clubs are poor trade fits with the Reds. I think the Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, and Tampa Bay Rays and will eventually fall out of the playoff race, and more importantly, would probably prefer to hoard their assets for more serious playoff runs in 2016. The Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants are poor fits for package deals. Lastly, the Boston Red Sox reportedly want to acquire younger, more controllable pitchers.

Note: Prospect rankings via MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

Baltimore Orioles: Bruce and Cueto

A list of Orioles slated to become free agents at season’s end (per Cot’s contracts & Baseball Reference): 1B/OF Chris Davis, SP/RP Bud Norris, C Matt Wieters, SP Wei-Yin Chen, RP Darren O’Day, and INF/OF Steve Pearce.

Also, SP Miguel Gonzalez, SP Chris Tillman, RP Brian Matusz, RP Zach Britton, 3B Manny Machado, INF/OF Ryan Flaherty, and OF Travis Snider are arbitration-eligible. That’s a heck of a lot of uncertainty monetarily for a club with a payroll of nearly $119 million this season.

My strategy would be to go for it in 2015 — only six and a half games separate the first-place Yankees and last-place Red Sox in the American League East. Bringing in a package of Bruce and Cueto would electrify the Orioles and change the scope of the division race. (Remember, teams rightly want to avoid the Wild Card play-in at all cost.) And with many aforementioned pieces of the team due for free agency or big raises, the Orioles could look radically different next season. Time to go for it.

Baltimore’s outfield is producing at a below-average level offensively — and most of that production is coming from stud center fielder Adam Jones. The Orioles have to keep these things in mind: Nelson Cruz ain’t walking through that door this year. Two, J.J. Hardy isn’t hitting at all. Three, in the 1B/corner OF/DH spots, are you really going to count on Flaherty, Pearce, Snider, Chris Parmelee, and Jimmy Paredes to supplement Davis, Jones, Machado, and Wieters in the lineup? C’mon, now — go get Jay Bruce.

On the pitching side of things, the Orioles’ starting pitchers rank 11th out of 15 AL teams in xFIP and boast mediocre strikeout numbers. With Chen and Ubaldo Jimenez being the only Baltimore starters with xFIPs under four, it’s time for an upgrade. A big upgrade. The Orioles have been scouting Cueto. They should go get him.

The main roadblock to this is prospect fit. Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey, the Orioles top two pitching prospects — both are ranked in the top 34 of MLB.com’s rankings — have major injury red flags. Christian Walker, the organization’s top hitting prospect, has made all of his 318 minor league starts at first base, a position on the Reds that stands to be occupied by Joey Votto for the rest of the decade. Baltimore’s next best position prospect is 20-year-old High-A catcher Chance Sisco, whose bat is reportedly way, way ahead of his defense. Sisco also profiles as a below-average runner, so a position change to first base or DH for Sisco wouldn’t be of any benefit to the Reds.

If I’m the Reds, I’d go a different route and ask for starter Kevin Gausman, the flame-throwing fourth overall pick of the 2012 draft with big strikeout potential who was recently demoted to Triple-A but stands to return to Baltimore’s rotation after the All-Star break. Gausman’s fWAR in 2014 was 2.1 in 113.1 innings.

Possible trade: Bruce and Cueto to the Orioles; Triple-A starter Kevin Gausman, Triple-A starter Tyler Wilson (Orioles No. 8 prospect), and Low-A third baseman Jomar Reyes (Orioles No. 11 prospect) to the Reds.

Chicago Cubs: Chapman and Leake

The odds of a Reds-Cubs trade are slim because people in the Reds front office/ownership would likely postulate the following: “Can you imagine if Chappy and Leake kicked our behinds for the Cubs later in the season? How embarrassing would that be?” That, of course, would be prehistoric reasoning to NOT make a trade — such sentiments are similar to that of a jilted ex worrying that he/she might see their former significant other at the ballpark — that could alter the short-term future of a franchise that is going nowhere this year or next year in a loaded NL Central.

The Cubs would be inclined to do this deal because Hector Rondon, Jason Motte, and Pedro Strop have all been given shots at the closing gig — Chapman would settle that merry-go-round for manager Joe Maddon. As far as starting pitchers go, while Chicago’s rotation owns the NL’s second-best xFIP, the club has encountered trouble at the back end of the rotation, and the bullpen has logged more innings than any other NL contender aside from the Pirates. That’s where innings-eater Mike Leake comes in. (Even if the Cubs are reportedly not looking at free-agent-to-be starters.) Leake doesn’t need to usurp Chicago’s top three of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, and Jason Hammel in the rotation. He just needs to deliver quality starts.

On the prospect side, the Reds should go after the Cubs’ still-loaded horde of position player prospects. If I’m Walt Jocketty, I make no Chapman-Leake deal with the Cubs unless I receive Kyle Schwarber (Cubs No. 2 prospect, No. 40 in MLB.com’s Top 100) or Albert Almora (No. 3, No. 46) to headline the return package.

Possible trade: Chapman and Leake to the Cubs; Triple-A catcher Kyle Schwarber OR Double-A outfielder Albert Almora, and High-A third baseman Jeimer Candelario (Cubs No. 12 prospect) to the Reds.

Houston Astros: Byrd and Cueto

George Springer should be back at some point, but in general, Houston’s outfielders are very young — among those that get regular playing time, 28-year-old Colby Rasmus is the elder statesman by three years. So, Byrd would provide a nice injection of wisdom as well as pop off the bench.

The Astros reportedly prefer Cueto over Cole Hamels. Johnny Beisbol could co-anchor the rotation with AL Cy Young contender Dallas Keuchel, which would allow the young but dazzling Lance McCullers and the solid Colin McHugh to slot in nicely behind a fearsome duo of Cueto and Keuchel. Despite promoting former minor-league stars McCullers, Springer and shortstop Carlos Correa (among others) over the past year or so, the Astros still possess the prospects to get this trade done.

Possible trade: Byrd and Cueto to the Astros; Double-A outfielder Brett Phillips (Astros No. 6 prospect, ranked No. 94 in MLB.com’s Top 100), Double-A pitcher Josh Hader (Astros No. 9 prospect), and High-A pitcher Daniel Mengden (Astros No. 20 prospect) to the Reds.

Los Angeles Angels: Bruce and Phillips

While the Angels’ bullpen could certainly use Chapman, they have more pressing needs in left field (dead last in majors in wRC+), second base (Johnny Giavotella isn’t cutting it), and in the rotation (12th out of 15 AL teams in xFIP), though in the case of the latter, the emergence of Andrew Heaney and the eventual return of Jered Weaver numb that need a bit.

As far as left field goes, both Bruce and Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun have very limited major league time in left field and are on near-equal footing as far as Defensive Runs Saved goes, but in any case, one of them likely wouldn’t have a problem moving to left to help the team.

At second base, Phillips (4 DRS) is a massive upgrade defensively over Giavotella (-9 DRS), and while Phillips’ offensive game these days is bereft of power, he could help turn the lineup over for Bruce, Calhoun, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols. It must be said that as the owner of 10-and-5 rights, Phillips has to approve any trade. If I were him, I’d make the move, and I think the Angels would be willing to eat Bruce and Phillips’ remaining salaries ($39.5 million for 2016-17) in exchange for a lower return in prospects.

Possible trade: Bruce and Phillips to the Angels; Double-A pitcher Nate Smith (Angels No. 7 prospect) and Low-A outfielder Natanael Delgado (Angels No. 16 prospect) to the Reds.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Chapman and Leake

Spearhead by the typically-unhittable Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, the Dodgers rotation leads the NL in xFIP and K-BB%. And yet, the reality is that behind that dynamic duo, Los Angeles’ rotation is paper-thin. Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-jin Ryu are lost for the season. Brett Anderson, Mike Bolsinger, and Carlos Frias have been solid behind Kershaw and Greinke, but not one of those three possesses a recent track record of success as a big-league starter. (Remember, this is a team that fancies itself a World Series contender — and it should.) Brandon Beachy could be back soon, but Frias just went on the disabled list. The Dodgers needs find a solid starter (Leake) to install behind Kershaw and Greinke. (Leake, rumored to prefer a return to his native West Coast, would seem to be a strong candidate to re-sign with the Dodgers this winter.)

As for the bullpen, the unit is tops in the NL in K-BB% and second in xFIP, but why mess around? Get Chapman to pair with current closer Kenley Jansen and you rope off the eighth and ninth innings.

Possible trade: Chapman and Leake to the Dodgers; Double-A pitcher Jose De Leon (Dodgers No. 4 prospect, ranked No. 93 in MLB.com’s Top 100), Triple-A infielder/outfielder Darnell Sweeney (Dodgers No. 7 prospect), and Triple-A pitcher Joe Wieland (Dodgers No. 14 prospect) to the Reds.

Kansas City Royals: Byrd and Cueto

Cueto gives an ace-less staff a true No. 1, and (on paper) dramatically improves a rotation ranked 14th in the AL in xFIP and strikeout rate. Even though Chapman would undoubtedly improve the Kansas City ‘pen, the Royals’ relief core is plenty good already. And as far as Leake goes, adding him doesn’t move the needle enough.

The Royals are really hurting for outfield help right now. Bruce could be a fit, but I think Kansas City’s top priority should be targeting help atop their rotation — especially since Alex Gordon (groin strain) is expected back before the regular season culminates — so, Byrd is the more appropriate fit for a short-term need/bench bat.

Possible trade: Byrd and Cueto to the Royals; Double-A pitcher Kyle Zimmer (Royals No. 3 prospect, ranked No. 47 in MLB.com’s Top 100) and Double-A outfielder Bubba Starling (Royals No. 13 prospect) to the Reds.

New York Yankees: Bruce and Leake

A popularly-circulated story on Reds Twitter recently was this Sporting News piece hypothesizing a Cueto-Phillips package to the Yankees. It’s difficult to argue that Cueto and Phillips would not significantly improve the Yankees. Cueto could be a piece that pushes the Yankees over the top in a crowded AL East race, and Phillips would be a massive upgrade to a position that’s been nothing short of a black hole offensively and defensively.

My counter would be that the top of New York’s rotation is already strong with Michael Pineda — who is performing like one of the top starters in baseball — and Masahiro Tanaka pitching effectively with whatever ligaments remain connected in his right elbow. Ivan Nova has pitched well since coming back from Tommy John, and Nathan Eovaldi has held his own. Leake would add nice depth to the rotation, mainly due to C.C. Sabathia’s struggles.

As far as Bruce and the Yankees, what I wrote about this possibility recently still holds true today:

Yankees: Bruce would have to waive his no-trade clause in order to be shipped to the Bronx, but he would immediately enhance their right field situation — though Chris Young has been better than expected and Carlos Beltran has improved over last two months — and add to what’s been one of the majors’ top offenses. Also, Bruce would give the Yanks an impressive defensive outfield, with Brett Gardner in left and Jacoby Ellsbury in center. Lastly, there’s an enticing short right field porch at Yankee Stadium for Bruce to consider.

Possible trade: Bruce and Leake to the Yankees; Low-A shortstop Jorge Mateo (Yankees No. 3 prospect) and Yankees pitcher Bryan Mitchell (Yankees No. 14 prospect) to the Reds.

Toronto Blue Jays: Chapman and Cueto

The Blue Jays own the top run differential (plus-82) in the American League, yet are a game under .500 and 4.5 games back of first place in the AL East. Why? Starting pitching. Toronto’s starters are ranked 13th out of 15 AL teams in xFIP and K-BB% and 14th in fWAR. The bullpen has been much, much better than the rotation.

It’s time for the Blue Jays to act and go for it. (Again). The club’s offseason acquisition of Josh Donaldson was a sage move, and it surely doesn’t want to waste an MVP-type season from the third baseman. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the cornerstones of the team’s offense for years, have been productive players in 2015, but each have team options for the 2016 season and are showing signs of slowing down. Jose Reyes and Russell Martin are already 32. The AL East is winnable. Go get Chapman, and your bullpen goes from very good to potentially-dominant. Go get Cueto, and your rotation isn’t a tire fire and allows Mark Buehrle, Drew Hutchison, and Co. to fall in line behind Cueto. The price will be steep, but Toronto has the prospects to pull it off.

Possible trade: Chapman and Cueto to the Blue Jays; Triple-A pitcher Daniel Norris (Blue Jays No. 1 prospect, ranked No. 13 in MLB.com Top 100), High-A pitcher Sean Reid-Foley (Blue Jays No. 6 prospect), and Double-A outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. (Blue Jays No. 9 prospect) to the Reds.

Washington Nationals: Byrd and Chapman

The Nationals have already been “linked” to Chapman, and with many key players (Ian Desmond, Doug Fister, Denard Span, Jordan Zimmerman) in line for free agency this offseason — not to mentioned the advanced age (89) of owner Ted Lerner — Washington wants to win now.

That’s why acquiring Chapman to fortify an already-sturdy bullpen makes sense, as does acquiring Byrd as insurance in case outfielders Span (back) and Jayson Werth (wrist) endure serious complications to their current injuries. Byrd also offers far more experience than current backups Matt den Dekker, Clint Robinson, and Michael Taylor.

Possible trade: Byrd and Chapman to the Nationals; High-A pitcher Reynaldo Lopez (Nationals No. 4 prospect) and Double-A outfielder Brian Goodwin (Nationals No. 11 prospect) to the Reds.

57 Responses

    • Christian Domis

      Trade Phillips, Chapman, Leake, and Cueto to the Astros for Correara. They make a World Series run, and we get an All Star for a bunch of players who will not be here in 2 years.

  1. Adam S.

    If that’s the best reds can do in trades I would rather keep everyone. Those trades don’t make reds better in short or long term. Reds should never ever trade with Cubs.

    • wizeman

      would do the cubs deal schwarber an equal to meso as we speak. plus any issue with a hip is going to be dicey for a catcher. fact of life. they have montero tied up for 3 years anyway.
      meso moves to left.

    • docmike

      Would trade Chapman and Leake to the Cubs in a split second, if the return package included Schwarber. Kid is going to be a stud.

      • Michael E

        Agreed, but that is only above deal that isn’t weak from the Reds perspective.

      • Gonzo Reds

        First off, excellent article, well thought out.

        I absolutely agree, my top choice of the above would be dealing with the Cubs to get Schwarber and then whoever isn’t catching can be an option in the OF or backing up Votto. I’m really not too keen on trading for infield prospects in general as we’re pretty set there for awhile with Suarez moving to 2B being an option if we move Phillips. If not Schwarber then still the Cubs to get OF help in Almora. Cubs took Travis Wood, they’ll take Leake, and that still leaves us another deal with Cueto in it, think the Stros package might be best fit for him.

    • jdx19

      Keeping Cueto is a fool’s errand. I don’t know why you can’t grasp that. It’s a very simple concept. Compensation pick (unknown talent) should be considered a failiure for Cueto if we extent him a QO.

      • ohiojimw

        The deals proposed here all include Cueto in combination with somebody else to get what looks like borderline return for Cueto himself let alone another player who will go onto the other team’s MLB roster. That’s what people don’t like.

        Compared to these deals, a QO pick which will be in the range of top 35 overall could well be better in the end for the Reds. As a point of reference, Lorenzen was a compeititive balance pick, made after the QO compensation picks at # 38 overall.

        The deal with the Orioles is laughable because it includes Bruce who brings two years of cost certain team control at a very favorable rate and can also return a QO pick after 2017.

  2. Boneill1621

    I may be looking at it the wrong way, but reviewing the prospect files doesn’t get me very excited.

  3. WVRedlegs

    Grant, you must now go to the Penalty Box. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. While some trade components of your deals are just what the Reds need, the end packages are not what the Reds need.
    Dope your scope, and aim higher. Your rounds are coming up very short.

  4. Blake

    A lot of people are going to be extremely disappointed with the return we get on whoever we deal. No one’s giving up the Corey Seagers of the world for 2 months of anyone.

    • redsfan06

      You may be right, but the Reds ought to get better than a Low A SS prospect and a questionable pitcher from the Yankees for both Bruce and Leake. If not, why bother to trade Bruce?

      • Steve Mancuso

        Bruce should return considerably more than Leake, maybe even more than Cueto, because he has 1.5-2.5 years of team control left at a team-friendly salary and option. You have to rely on the Reds scouting and analytics department to have good valuations of possible trade target.

      • Blake

        I would agree and think that particular deal for Bruce may be a bit of a low return. My original comment more alluded to the trading of Cueto and Leake. I personally wouldn’t trade Bruce unless the return was above market value. I would much rather see Chapman dealt based solely on the obvious value limitations of closers.

      • daytonnati

        Plus, you just know that if Bruce gets dealt to the Yankees he will suddenly bloom and become Paul O’Neill 2.0 … I don’t think I could bear that.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Agreed. We’ve done our best to publish articles that set an accurate level of expectations. Grant’s article is a good example, and we’ve had others. No team wants to trade players like Johnny Cueto or Mike Leake. You do that because they are going to leave the team either way in a few months. So you get what you can. Even though the return isn’t huge, it would be more of a disservice to the club to not trade them. Not trading Johnny Cueto would be one of the worst mistakes an organization could make.

      • Adam S.

        Steve what is the benefit of reds trading for bad players or players not likely to make the team?

      • Steve Mancuso

        They won’t trade for bad players or players not likely to make the team. See Latos and Simon trades. Cueto will get better return than that.

      • Blake

        100% agree with everything you guys here at RN have posted. I think you guys have done a great job of setting realistic expectations for what we can expect. People see guys ranked in the lower half of the top 100 and think they have no shot because they are not Giolito or Urias but the chances of whoever we would draft with the Cueto comp pick (should he not be traded) would have below average chances of ever making it into any top 100 list.

        I think scenarios that involve the return being somewhere along the lines of de Leon or Lopez is very reasonable for Cueto with a trade of Bruce or Chapman and their extra control demanding a combination of this level prospects. If we got Schwarber or Norris in any deal I would be ecstatic.

  5. RFM

    I’m surprised by what a big return you consider to be ideal for Chapman from some teams – Cubs/Schwarber, Blue Jays/Norris – and how small a return you see as fair from others – Nationals/Lopez, Dodgers/De Leon. From the Nationals I would demand Trea Turner, or no deal – if they want him make them pay. There’s little reason to trade Chapman unless an impact player is acquired in return, especially in this sellers market. They just need one team to overpay and make a later-regrettable win-now deal.

  6. NYRedfan41

    I know some trades are coming. Here’s what I’d like to see. Cueto to Astros for Appel SP and Phillips OF. Leake and Phillips maybe some money to cover part of Phillips deal to Yankees for Refsnyder and Mason Williams and another pitching prospect if possible. Chapman to Toronto for Norris SP. Those are the main pieces I’d like to see, throw in some minor prospects on either side to round out the deals. Thoughts????

    • Kevin Kester

      Hitters…this team needs hitters…they have one of the weakest offenses in baseball. Instead of Appeal from Houston I’d prefer to get Domingo Santana the kid is a stud and immediately slots into RF for Bruce…who I hate to see the Reds give up on but from the sound of it is all but gone.

  7. PDunc

    I’ve been saying for a while that I think the Blue Jays are the best trade partners for the Reds.
    I’d do everything I can though to get Norris and their outfield prospect, Pompey (No. 33 in Top 100).
    http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2015?list=tor
    Even if that means trading Cueto, Chapman and Leake I would pull the trigger.

    Stephenson is the #7 right-handed starter in the minors, Norris is the #2 left-handed starter. Add the two of them to (once he’s healthy) Bailey, plus Lorenzen, Iglesias, Cingrani (if he doesn’t stay in the bullpen), etc. and we could have a good, young starting rotation.

    An outfield with Pompey (who plays center in the minors) Winker, Hamilton & Bruce. Phillips, Cozart and Suarez in the middle infield. Mesoraco and Barnhardt at catcher (with Mes maybe playing some in the outfield) and Frazier and Votto doing their thing at third and first. That could be a decent lineup with some actual depth on the bench.

    The Blue Jays would be giving up their top 2 prospects but with Cueto and Leake sliding into the #1 and #3 spots in their rotation and Chapman solidifying their bullpen they could be the World Series favorites in the American League.

    • Michael

      That’s a lot of faith you would have to put into for an outfield made up of those 4 guys. If it would work, I would be all for it. I think Cingrani is destined to be this team’s closer once Chapman is gone. You didn’t even mention Disco who has proved to be a decent #4 already in my eyes. A big trade like this would get us a lot younger and more controllable by the players you would get in return and who you would bring up to fill the holes. We could contend possibly next season if all stay healthy, but more realistically in 2017. That would be a lot faster than I originally thought it would happen. I just don’t think it would happen.

      • PDunc

        Yes, I forgot about DeSclafani and I agree that Cingrani ends up with a bullpen role.

        The outfield I don’t think would take much faith to see working out. There has been quite a bit written on this site as to why to be optimistic about Jay Bruce. I’d be happy to have him in right field for the next few years.

        Winker and Pompey are the #2 and #4 outfield prospects in the minor leagues right now (#18 and #33 overall). Scouting reports for both include phrases like “advanced, mature approach at the plate,” “draws walks,” “high contact rates” and “line drive machine.”

        I think a conservative assumption would be one of the two of them working out for left field in 2016 with Hamilton continuing to play gold-glove defense in center.

        Best case either both Pompey and Winker become quality MLB outfielders (Pompey is a legitimate center-fielder) and Hamilton is a defensive replacement and pinch-runner, or Hamilton improves at the plate and Pompey or Winker become a nice trade piece or 4th outfielder.

  8. Tom Gray

    Trade half a dozen Reds MLB players for double that many MiLB prospects. Call up AAA or AA Reds MiLB players. Shut the “fans” up by giving them what some want.

    • NYRedfan41

      Hey I’d love to keep Cueto but that’s not going to happen unless they keep him til the end of the year and let him go. If the Reds could come up with the money to keep him I’m all for it but that would also mean someone else would have to go. That’s what happens to small/mid market teams so they should try to get something decent instead of draft picks.

    • Matt WI

      Tom, where is it that you assess the current roster of proven, major league talent is going to take things? In the disdain for prospects and trades, where else do you see this team going and how?

      • brmreturns

        @Matt – don’t hold you breath for a response….

      • Tom Gray

        See below. You may breathe again. The Reds have sucked before. I have seen them recover from it. You probably haven’t. First step is always Fire The Manager.

        Fred Hutchinson > Mayo Smith. Sparky Anderson > Dave Bristol. Lou Piniella > Tommy Helms. Just to name 3 off the top of my head.

      • Tom Gray

        Cueto and Leake must go as FA. Something in return better than nothing.

        Keep the rest (except Byrd maybe) until the offseason. See how the injured players recover.

        The Reds are destined for 90 L or more in 2015. If they trade most of all their MLB talent this summer, they are destined for 100 L in 2016.

        They won’t W more than L until 2018 at the earliest. Maybe 2020 even.

  9. Art Wayne Austin

    What about trading the Cubs managers? It appears Price is not a motivator. Cases in point: Bruce belatedly told to earn his salary by placing him in the 4th spot. Hamilton given another chance to reclaim lead-off. Finally, again belatedly batting him 9th until he can master his batting mechanics by consistently hitting line-drives. By the time Price learns to manage we’ll be in the International League. Maddon is like Sparky, he probably points out the little things before and during the game like hitting to the opposite field because of our stadium’s short porches or the wind is blowing to right,. anything, to get their concentration level up. Honestly, I think we have a 2nd division team because we have 2nd division management. The talents been there but the pieces haven’t been put together fast enough.

  10. Nick Carrington

    Good work, Grant. Even if the Reds could get more in some instances, it isn’t that much more than you have presented. You may be right on target. We all want elite prospects in return, but we might have to settle for good ones. We’ll see.

    • Grant Freking

      Thanks, man. I think all the trades were reasonable, but it’s impossible to know how the market will be established. It was a fun exercise.

  11. Jesse Forry

    Ownership & the do-nothing general manager need to do what is best for the team.
    The inept manager also needs to be shown the door. He should have never been hired.

  12. Michael E

    Here we go again, too much discount of Cueto due to “rental”. We include another wanted player WITH Cueto and still can’t offer up more than one top 10 prospect from any team? That is sad.

    Look, many teams prefer a rental over having a long contract. It is why teams prefer Cueto over Hamels. Cueto will bring back what an ace would bring back (two top 8 prospects and one more top 15 prospect), with just a hair taken off. If all we can get is one late top 10 prospect for Cueto AND another wanted player, PASS.

    This writer is discounting rental too much.

    Wait and see, unless we wait till the last hour on July 31st, we should get more quality than any of the offers above. I can see the Cubs and Blue Jays deal, but when you throw in Chapman to the Blue Jays for free? Uh, no.

    • Michael E

      Let me put is this way, if WE were trading FOR Cueto, do you really think we could get him for Nick Howard or Nick Travieso? Uh, not a chance.

      Do you think we could get Cueto AND Chapman for just Stephenson and some low prospect? Uh, NO.

      • tct

        You are vastly over rating Cueto’s trade value. The deal with the Astros includes the #29 prospect in Sickles new list, Phillips, and the #67 prospect, Hader. That would be essentially like the Reds giving up Stepehnson and Winker for 2 months of Cueto and Byrd. And you don’t think that’s enough?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Teams aren’t going to give up two of their top prospects – and 12 years of team control – for a pitcher who will make 15 starts for them. “Rental” isn’t a label. It’s a description of how small the impact the player will be. The Reds will get good return for Cueto, but there’s no precedent for a team giving up two highly rated players for a short-term player. If you’re so sure of your argument, which you seem to be, you ought to be able to provide a few examples from the past of it working the way you suggest. Please do so.

      The bigger issue in my mind is whether the Reds will look for 25-man roster players or lower-level but higher-ceiling prospects.

  13. ohiojimw

    The Reds should not feel compelled to trade Bruce or Chapman before the off season if the return offered in the run up to the deadline is underwhelming because both are under team control thru at least the end of the 2016 season Thus a team trading for them this off season can get a compensation pick for them by making a QO.

    Typically more proven talent moves in both directions of off season deals that are not pure salary dumps. The Reds could be well rewarded by continuing to hold out for full value where these two are concerned

    • Tom Gray

      More excellent points throughout.

      The Reds occasionally make good mid-year trades. Seaver in 1977. Foster in 1971 (but it took 4 years to get there). Norman in 1973. Carroll (and others) in 1968.

  14. Adam S.

    Texas Rangers got far more for Soria than these trades indicate for Chapman. Rangers gave up far more for Cluff Lee a rental than we would get for Cueto.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I notice you didn’t provide any details of the players in those deals. If you had, it would have exposed your claim as being false.

      The Rangers got two players for Soria – the Tigers’ #3 and #5 prospects. Neither of them at the time was a Top 100 type prospect.

      The Rangers did give up four players to the Mariners for Cliff Lee, but none of them were top prospects, either. They’ve all busted since the deal.

      Those are along the lines of what we can expect from the Reds dealing Chapman and Cueto. Not much more.

  15. Yippee

    Nice to see Chapman showcase his talents on national television last night. I’d say that upped his value a bit…

  16. tct

    I think everybody is just looking at the number beside the prospect and getting disappointed. But the numbers used by the author are preseason rankings, and a lot has changed since then. Here are some of those players new rank, according to John Sickles new midseason top 75.

    Schwarber 6
    Turner 9
    Norris 12
    DeLeon. 20
    Phillips. 29
    Lopez 47
    Hader 67

    Remember that these are just numbers, but hopefully that puts some of these deals in a different light. Most of these trades are good, reasonable returns.

  17. Matt Stanton

    Nationals
    Trade Chapman for Tanner Roark and an IF prospect. Nats get a true closer, Drew Storen has playoff nightmares, and the Reds get a solid back end starter with a few years of player control.

  18. unc reds fan

    I would seriously look at trading Votto to the Blue Jays…its a good fit for both player and team and would bring in a good haul for the reds…I know this is a little blasphemous here but seriously the reds need to consider a total rebuild, even if ownership isn’t totally open to it

  19. Kes

    Bud Norris?! You’re kidding…right?!!!

  20. icee82

    I wish we could become trade partners with the Rays and get Richie Shaffer. I have seen him in Durham this season and he is the real deal. Right this name down on your note pad because you are going to be hearing his name quite a bit in the future.

  21. Ryan

    I like the trade to the Astros or the Dodgers. Who is the better prospect now for the Astros – Brett Phillips or Domingo Santana?

    • Grant Freking

      Depends on your definition of better. Santana already has 60 MLB plate appearances, and he turns 23 next month.

      • NYRedfan41

        The only thing that bothers me about Santana are the number of strikeouts he has every year. I know that seems to be acceptable with power hitters nowadays. Phillips might be the better prospect but he is also probably a year or two away where as Santana could slot into LF or RF right away. If the Reds could get Santana and Appel that would be nice.

  22. Gonzo Reds

    Houston did trade Menden (and Nottingham) but to Houston for Kazmir. One chip off the table.