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.

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.

9 Responses

  1. Kevin

    Doug, what would you expect back from the Phillies in a Roark deal?

  2. Grand Salami

    RE: shopping Wood – not a bad take. One QS could cause a borderline team to make him their sleeper pick.

    I think he’s up sooner bc of the trade deadline and Mahle. They could be down two pitchers any day now. Otherwise the logical thing would be to slow play his rehab, limit starts at the MLB level (IE his exposure) and make the re-sign/extension a bit cheaper for yourself.

  3. Don

    Another option is that this could also be driven by Wood as Jeff Brantley said a veteran MLB player (no options left) and on a rehab can tell the team I am ready, no more rehab and the team either actives the players or DFAs. Cowboy said he did that one time.

    Wood may not want to have his exposure limited for pending free agency or may want to be traded.

    If Reds FO has been told he does not want to be on reds in 2020 they may be doing whatever than can to help the reds or it is due to one of the other reasons given

  4. Shchi Cossack

    Alex Wood has nothing to prove regarding his pitching capability. He did that for 6 years with the Braves and Dodgers, to the tune of a 3.29 ERA, 116 ERA+, 3.53 FIP, 0.8 HR/9 & 3.22 SO/W. The only thing he has to prove is that he’s healthy and ready to pitch. A solid effort on Sunday places Wood on the wish list for every team needing a starting pitcher. It’s been a long and winding road for the Reds and Wood this season, but the end may be near. A trade benefits both the Reds and Wood, since a trade nullifies any chance of a qualifying offer and the Reds get a solid prospect in return.

    While front offices may be hesitant about trading for a rental at the trade deadline, Roark and Wood represent quality rotation pieces that would benefit any team out there and there’s always the issue of not only benefiting your team, but keeping quality players away from the competition. There’s just not that many quality starters available at this trade deadline and the reds may have two of them.

  5. Sabr Chris

    I’d like to see the Reds try to sign Woods to a 1 year prove it extension and flip Roark for a couple of power bullpen arms with options. If we are committed to the third time thru the lineup bad philosophy, then the bullpen needs to be 10-12 deep with a bunch of guys still having options to rotation them with Louisville.

    • Indy Red Man

      Tiger? Hope he’s better at baseball then Jordan was?

  6. Bill J

    Of DW is looking for help in the future it should have been done over the winter with Scooter and Iggy before one gets hurt and the other started giving up runs.

    • RojoBenjy

      Iglesias yes.

      No team wanted Scooter. Too many quality 2B out there.

  7. Justin A. Fortner

    I would think Roark would bring back a top 10 minor league prospect.