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.

22 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. 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

  3. Bill Hedges

    Completely agree reference giving Greene a shot at SS.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Doug Gray

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. C Holbert

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

  12. 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 !!!!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.