The trade deadline is in five days. The market in Major League Baseball has been rather non-existent at this point – at least when it comes to actual moves. There’s been some talk, but not a whole lot, Reds or otherwise. In a situation where there are clear “haves” and then nearly everyone else is in the “hey, maybe we’ve got a chance” group, a lot of teams may not be willing to “sell”, but also aren’t willing to try and “buy”, either.
The Cincinnati Reds may be one of the teams willing to sell, though. And they have some parts that could be moved. Tanner Roark will be a free agent after the season, and likely isn’t someone that the organization is looking to bring back despite his success this year. Jon Heyman notes that the Phillies are looking at him, as are other unnamed teams.
Phillies are among teams looking at Tanner Roark. As always they prefer pitchers with team control beyond 2019, but there are few of those available.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 26, 2019
Tanner Roark isn’t a difference maker when it comes to the playoffs. He’s a guy who might be a #4 on a team in the playoffs. And with how the playoffs are set up, you may never actually let him start a game in the playoffs. But what a guy like Roark can do is help get you to the playoffs. He’s almost certainly an upgrade in the rotation for everyone. He currently has a 3.95 ERA, a 4.14 FIP, and a 4.45 xFIP through 107.0 innings pitched this season for the Reds. His strikeout rate is at a career high, he’s not walking guys, and his BABIP is higher than it’s ever been in his career – by a wide margin, and he’s still having success on the mound.
As noted above, he is a free agent at the end of the season. That’s going to limit his trade value. But he will also only be owed about $3.3M the rest of the season. Monetarily, a team doesn’t have to take on much to acquire him.
Dick Williams has said that the team is looking for players that can help into the future. Trading a guy like Roark won’t be done for only 2019 purposes. If they move him, or anyone, it’s going to be about the future.
Could the Reds be shopping Alex Wood?
On Wednesday it was announced that left-handed pitcher Alex Wood would be making another rehab start in the minor leagues. His last start went for 6.0 innings for Double-A Chattanooga. Wood threw 85 pitches in the game and allowed just one run. He looked good and he came out of it healthy.
Thursday evening, though, the Reds announced he would be starting on Sunday against Colorado. That’s a rather quick turnaround in plans for no real reason. That is unless the Reds want to try and showcase Alex Wood for a deadline deal. Had they sent him out on another rehab start he wouldn’t pitch in the Major Leagues before the trade deadline passed. And unlike in past years, there is no waiver-wire deadline at the end of August. Once July 31st and 5:01pm gets here, no more trades of players on the 40-man roster can take place.
The pushing of Alex Wood to the start on Sunday against Colorado will at least give him one outing in the Major Leagues this year. That information scouts can see against big leaguers is important. And while it will only be one start, it’s far more valuable than if he did it against a bunch of minor league guys.