11-15. That’s the Cincinnati Reds record right now. That puts them in third place in the division behind the 17-10 Chicago Cubs and the 9-8 St. Louis Cardinals. Fortunately for the Reds they play in the National League, which has been terrible overall. Only five teams have a winning record right now in the entire league – the Braves, Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Padres.

A week from today is the trade deadline in Major League Baseball. No one really knows what is going to happen with the deadline, but many feel it’s going to be a weird one, a different one, given how 16 teams make the playoffs, no one seems to want to say that they have money to spend, and the short term impact of “rentals” being limited to 25-30 games (plus the playoffs if you make it).

When it comes to the Cincinnati Reds, their playoff odds actually aren’t that bad right now, though they have been dropping since they’ve lost three of four to the Cardinals over the weekend. Fangraphs has them projected to finish 29-31 and gives them a 46.2% chance of making the playoffs. Baseball Reference doesn’t seem to like their chances nearly as much, projecting a 27-33 finish with just a 22.9% chance of making the playoffs.

That begs the question: Will the Cincinnati Reds be looking to buy or sell over this next week? The answer to that question isn’t easy. If they go to Milwaukee and sweep the Brewers, get back to .500 – it’s not likely they look in the mirror and say “we’re done, let’s make moves for 2021 and beyond”. But if they simply go out and split, or even lose the series to the Brewers, perhaps it would make more sense to see what you can get for Trevor Bauer, Freddy Galvis, and or Anthony DeSclafani – both of whom are impending free agents.

Cincinnati is heading to Milwaukee and they are sending the best that they’ve got to the mound. Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray will pitch the first three games of the series. The starter for Thursday’s finale has not yet been named. Whoever it is, though, will face off against Josh Lindblom and his 6.65 ERA through five starts. If the Reds are ever going to put together a winning streak, this is the where it’s going to happen. And really, it feels like it has to happen if the Reds are going to avoid the idea of trading away the pitcher that has been, up to this point, the best in baseball (Trevor Bauer), then they have to go to Milwaukee and take care of their business.

Of course, being a buyer or a seller is only a part of the equation. As a seller, we kind of touched on that a little bit already. The Reds have players who are impending free agents who could draw interest. If they move into the buyers side of things – that’s a bit more of a “what do they need” situation. Right now, it seems like there’s a whole lot of options given that the last time the offense got a hit was in the Roosevelt administration. But realistically, the team isn’t going to go out and acquire hitters who play first base, second base, third base, and maybe not even an outfielder given who plays those spots on the team. You can love or hate that idea, but it’s also probably the reality of the situation, too. That may mean the team looks to add a bullpen arm, or a quality bench piece – but it probably isn’t going to be looking at adding a big game changer, either, unless a shortstop or top tier starting pitcher falls into their lap.

71 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Tough one. But, man, they sure do look like sellers right now.

  2. Gonzo Reds

    ESPN had us as possibly being in on a LH RP. They also had the Cardinals as possibly dealing for Cueto. I just don’t see Cueto and Molina in the same battery considering their history (the brawl with Cueto kicking Cardinals as he was pinned against the backstop.

    • TR

      If that trade happens and it upsets the Cardinal chemistry, that’s fine with me.

  3. Mark Moore

    Sell who? That’s my question. Small pieces don’t accomplish much.

    • Sliotar

      To coin one of your expressions … +1000.

      Spot on.

      The Reds have short-term rentals and marginal prospects. They are unlikely to part with Greene/Lodolo/Stephenson.

  4. Mike Bittenbender

    I think at this point I would rather they sell on Bauer. Return for him should be better than most years due to number of suitors. I would sit Geno for Farmer, as I don’t think his shoulder is good, and I would let him rehab it at this point and get ready for a full 21 season , should we have one. I would love to see them move Tyler up to catch and Aquino to DH, and even take a look at Nick Williams, as I fear Nick C will opt out and the team will cry hard economics on inability to resign him. He’ll be in StL next year, just watch. Team can be good but focus in off-season has to be on getting the LH batters to drive ball to LF more often, especially JV and NM as they have power that way anyway. Rotation can be Gray, Castillo, Antone, Miley, Mahle or Disco, and build from there, while getting Lodolo, Hunter, Santillan, Vlad ready for future. What would the Yanks pay for Bauer? Dodgers? or an even more hungry team like Minn or Atl?

    • Mudpuppy

      I don’t think Geno’s problem is his shoulder. It’s his head. Terrible pitch recognition and trying to hit 500 foot home rind is his problem. Shoulder injury does not cause you to pull off the ball not to swing at balls a foot outside. No small ball for Geno.

      • Doug Gray

        In 2020 he has the lowest rate of chases in his entire career.

      • Yimmy

        Yeah the Reds are trying to play homerun derby, if they just strung together some walks and basehits they would win SO MUCH. The hitting game today is dead, everybody’s batting .170 and the pitchers are filthy with the breaking pitches this year.

      • doofus

        I watched 140 Red’s games last year. Many, many times Suarez opted to corkscrew himself into the ground trying to hit a HR instead of going the other way to advance or plate a base runner or two with a single.

        Suarez K’d 189 times, a 33% increase from 2019.

        Maybe he learned from his propensity to chase last year?

      • Nux

        In your response about Suarez swinging at a pitch a foot outside. You’re absolutely right it’s in his head his eyes to be exact he’s constantly blinking. If his eyes are ok than being as most of the Reds can’t seem to layoff bad outside pitches move up a step and in a step and they’ll be making solid contact,problem solved.

      • Thomas Swander

        No one, I repeat, no one, really believes David Bell is serious about winning as long as he bats Joey Votto leadoff. Please tell me again why we signed Akiyama?

    • Rob

      I can’t believe the Reds would unload key pieces like Bauer. That would be equal to waving the white flag and admitting the trade of top prospects was a misjudgment. 2021 isn’t going to look any different than 2018-2019 if we return to the culture of minor league tryouts. Rebuilding teams will even start to pass is up. We abandoned that boat. Bauer and others need to be replaced in kind for this team to have a chance at the playoffs. Seriously, this team has upgraded the talent significantly but we also need to recognize the core of Votto, Suarez, Barnhart, Winker, et al need to play at a high level. If these guys hit 230 in 2021, we are not going to be successful then either.

  5. Sliotar

    Buy, Buy, Buy.

    In 2022, …

    Eugenio Suarez will be age 31
    Sonny Gray will be age 33
    Mike Moustakas will be age 34
    Joey Votto will be age 39

    All under contract for 2022 .. and doubtful the Reds will have traded any of them. So, strike before decline (further decline in some cases) sets in.

    IMO, the Reds don’t have much controllable assets that they would part with … so buy low and hope for a change-of-scenery spark (like getting infielder Adam Frazier of the Pirates, who is having an awful season).

    Famous investor Warren Buffett likes to say, “Be greedy when others are fearful.”
    There seems to be a lot of fear about MLB revenues going forward, fans in the stands (?), etc.

    The Reds need to buy aggressively … their window is short, anyway.

    • Davy13

      I agree wholeheartedly!!!

      1) For the reason given above. You have the players to add a few more that can make a difference if not this season – which is an outlier for now – then for the next.

      2) I don’t trust the FO’s scouting for prospects. Trades for prospects in the past several years have not panned out overall, Eugenio Suarez being the exception. However, signing FA, the FO has done a bit better, though it does not take a genius to open up a wallet and pay for already good players.

    • GiantoftheFrost

      Nothing like coming out of a long rebuild with an old team. SMH.

  6. Don

    Anything less than 3-1 vs the Brewers and they should sell. The schedule just gets harder after that.

    Anyone on the 40 man not named Gray,Senzel,Winker,Stephenson should be listened to for offers.

    Make a trade with someone or two or three players thought “untouchable” on the current 28 man roster may just be what is needed to wake up the team.

    The team needs to be have something dramatic change, trading a pending free agent with 25 games to go will not do it. Multiple players with multi years on a contract or multiple years of team control to get an great player at some position that will be played every day and succeeded is needed. Having 5 OK players that platoon at 3 positions is not as valuable as one player whom does something everyday.

    A changing of players whom are 20th to 28th on the roster will not make a difference.

    • Rob

      Well stated. No one seems to be saying it but I would not turn my back on an above average rental catcher. I don’t know who these guys may be but a dude like Congress would work for me for until 2022. I still regret we didn’t pull the trigger on Realmuto.

  7. RedsFan11

    They will do what they do every year and “like/believe/confident in the team they have now” and do nothing. they will do nothing continue to lose and continue to give starts to Barnhart, Galvis, Votto instead of bringing up promising young players, why? because Bob already paid them so might as well play them.

    Sorry Monday blues here

  8. LDS

    Any good managers available before the trading deadline? That’s a good place to start.

    What can the Reds get for Senzel – a lot of potential but a demonstrated inability to stay healthy and in the line up. Will Castillo ever be consistent and live up to the hype? How about Suarez? Is he ever going to shake the injury blues? Who would he bring in trade? Does anyone really believe Bauer, Descalfini, and Castellanos will be sticking around for 2021? Though with Castellanos recent drop off, his prospects may be somewhat diminished.

    Josh Bell is supposedly available. Not having a good year but 10 years younger and $20+ million cheaper than Votto. There’s at least an upside to Bell. Votto can be retired, benched, DFA’d whatever. He’s not earning his $25 million and isn’t likely to.

    Some of the sites suggest the Reds will land Whitfield or Ian Kennedy. Neither strike me as game changers. And Kennedy at 35 hardly qualifies as a long term investment.

    • mudpuppie

      Please…… No one else named “Bell”. Just kidding

    • Colorado Red

      LDS,

      Even if you DFA Votto, you pay him
      Not sure what the answer is, but Bell is not it, nor is Williams (at this point)

      • Rob

        Any thoughts on how low he would have to go? Judging by his rbi production the last 2+ years, he obviously is not a positive contributor. Are we going to wait until he becomes a 225 singles hitter? I understand the sentiments here but ownership needs to place winning at some level of importance also. The two seem conflicting to me.

      • Nux

        I think the smartest way to get your money out of Votto is make him manager than you get three things out of him. A manager,a batting coach and an open spot in the lineup for someone like Farmer a good hitter and a great fielder.

  9. Chris Holbert

    The rate the current roster is performing, who wants them….the SP is strong, if they deal from that, then that could become a weakness. If they do that, it has to be ‘wait until next year” again..there needs to be a managerial shakeup. Bring in a younger, more energetic person, with no loyalties to anyone, and bring in the youth, (like other teams are doing), and see what happens, can it be worse? The one thing I always notice is, the Reds prospects are always touted by the Reds and seem to be down the MLB list, maybe they really are not that good.

    • Colorado Red

      If they do not play well, is Mil, then it is wait till next year. There is no time to catch up.

  10. Chris

    Selling Bauer would be a HUGE mistake. Keep in mind, this year more than any other year is going to bring Less and less back in return. There is very little money in the game this year, so even winning a WS will be much less valuable to a MLB team than it would be in all other years. Nobody is going to trade huge minor league chips for, even someone as great as Bauer is. We are better off keeping him, maybe even letting his start on shorter rest a few times, and doing what we can to re-sign him. This team needs Bauer next year to win; an average at bet return is just not worth it.

    • Jack

      Bauer won’t be here next year, contract is up

  11. Brian Green

    If you get good offers the Reds simply have to make trades. We have a depleted farm system. And our big league roster aging and made up of the same type of players (slow, unathletic and lacking plate discipline).

    The reds have made the mistake of “thinking they were in it” too many times over the past decade and it has cost the franchise dearly.

  12. John C.

    In the end, other than Bauer, Winker, Suarez ( despite this disaster of a year) or Senzel who would anyone want that is on the major league roster that we would actually trade? Castillo and Gray are here to stay. Everyone else pretty much stinks right now. We would get peanuts. There is no way they trade and of our top 5 prospects.

  13. Ron

    If the Reds have a good week and decide to become buyers, there are 5 teams that are very likely to be sellers. Boston (9-20), KC (11-17), LAA (9-20), Seattle (11-19) and Pittsburgh (7-17).

    Here are 10 players (5 hitters and 5 pitchers) from those teams that might draw interest.
    Hitters: J.D. Martinez (Boston) DH, Andrew Benintendi (Boston) OF, Whit Merrifield (KC) OF, Kyle Seager (Seattle) 3B and David Fletcher (LAA) 2B,3B,SS.
    Pitchers: Darwinzon Hernandez (Boston) LHRP, Danny Duffy (KC) LHSP, Dylan Bundy (LAA) RHSP, Marco Gonzalez (Seattle) LHSP and Richard Rodriguez (Pittsburgh) RHRP.

  14. Roger Garret

    Sell Sell.Blow it up.Get what you can get for your best and start over.Hire from the best run organizations to rebuild your franchise from the minors up.Put a AA team on the field with a few over the hill vets and play ball.Thats what I would do if it was my money.We are paying what for this losing team 160 mil or so.May 100 mil to guys to rebuild it and 60 to play while they do.Again if it was my money.Would you go ask Bob to add more payroll?Of course the Reds do a lot of insane stuff?

  15. Tom

    Trade David Bell for a bucket of balls and a few face diapers.

    • Larry Ricketts

      Agree 100% we spent the money on players and then kept a subpar unproven manager. Its like having a fortune 500 company ran by a fast food manager.

    • Colorado Red

      Too much, have to give up something to trade him.
      No one would want him now.

  16. Playoffs ?

    Can somebody please go down the rabbit hole of what are the chances of us making the playoffs? The only chance we’re gonna make the playoffs is if we get second place in division which is an automatic playoff berth. I think the only way is like I said earlier is if Senzel Gets back ASAP and we happen to play a little above .500 against the division. Because we’re not going to make the playoffs because the Rockies Padres Braves and Phillies Will take the wild-card spots. Will somebody please clarify exactly what we have to do to make the playoffs.

    • Doug Gray

      Finish in first or second in your division, or have one of the two best records of the non-1st or 2nd place teams.

      • Doug Gray

        Fangraphs has the playoff odds for the Reds at over 40%. Baseball Reference is at 22%.

        That’s far from close to zero.

    • Old-school

      I would say wait till next Wednesday and the answer will be clearer.
      Brewers 4/cubs 4/cards 3.

      An 7-4 record and they are right back in it. A 4-7 record and they would be 7 under and out of it.

      • Doug Gray

        The trade deadline is Monday afternoon, so they probably shouldn’t wait until next Wednesday or it’s going to be too late to do anything.

      • Old-school

        I meant on judging the season. Dick Williams isn’t selling. He’s on record as buying. Trevor Bauer himself says he’s not being traded. Only trades that might happen would be like last year- help in the short and long term.

        No big names are being traded.

    • Colorado Red

      Rox are in a free fall. They look terrible right now.
      Pitching is poor, no one outside of Charlie can hit.
      I doubt the Rox make the playoffs.
      (I watch them on TV and the Reds on the PC)

      • That that had had

        Reds have been horrible versus the NL central the last several years and nothing has changed this season. That is the barometer I am going with along with the eye test.

        Sell sell sell and sell some more. Then hire a legit manager and start over .

        The real solution might be new owners and a new front office . Burn it down blow it up and start from scratch. The Brennamans are history . Get rid of the other announcers except Cowboy. Plow this thing under and re-seed from the top down.

    • That that had had

      Reds have been horrible versus the NL central the last several years and nothing has changed this season. That is the barometer I am going with along with the eye test.

      Sell sell sell and sell some more. Then hire a legit manager and start over .

      The real solution might be new owners and a new front office . Burn it down blow it up and start from scratch. The Brennamans are history . Get rid of the other announcers except Cowboy. Plow this thing under and re-seed from the top down.

  17. Melvin

    This team has what it takes to win but it is just DOWN, period, and not responding to its’ manager. EVERYTHING about this season is weird or at least unusual. It’s time to think outside the box to save what WAS such a promising year. Adding more players, even very good players to the atmosphere here won’t do much if any good unless we address the elephant in the room first. The simplest and most likely way to turn things around is to replace Bell. It’s as simple as that. Someone like Barry Larkin would be high on my list but quite frankly Mr. Anybody would be better at this point. It will take guts to do something like that after 26 games but that’s what needs to be done. There’s too much at stake not to. We’ll see if the Reds top brass have what it takes to really make this a winning year. Bell is a good guy and will find work in somebody’s front office soon and still get paid for managing the Reds. No need to worry about him if that’s what some are thinking.

    • Larry Ricketts

      I totally agree, ownership spent the money in the off season to bring in big name players, the starting pitching is there. Bell just isn’t the guy. Too much micro managing. Spending money on good players to be managed incorrectly is not the answer.

    • DataDumpster

      Agree, a lot of smart betting people picked the Reds to win the division this year. The front office spent big and so the talent level is much improved. However, this team performs remarkably similar to last year’s squad. No clutch hitting, dependence on the long ball for runs, unreliable bullpen, inability to win close games or put together any kind of win streak. Using the 538 website game projections, the Reds have beat the odds only 2 times against 7 losses. David Bell is the most uninspiring manger I have ever seen. He has no enthusiasm, no creativity, and seems to juggle assignments, batting orders and pitching changes without any “baseball” sense whatsoever. Yet, he always seems to be pleased with the roster, the play, and the process. “Just wait till it turns around is not a strategy”. I sense that he knows his players have no confidence in him.

    • Jimbo44cn

      Yes, anybody but Bell at this point. Not all his fault, but players generally take on the personality of the manager. And his personality is not getting it.

  18. Chris Mo

    Three positions in 1B, C, and 3B have not been hitting. SS is weak hitting as well, but is expected. Farmer to SS, Davidson starts at 1B, Stephensen called up to C, and hopefully Suarez will come around (right now he has no protection). I am worried Moose is hurt at 2B because he has been in a slump since returning to the lineup. I love Votto, but his hitting/OBP is no longer making up for his below average defense and base running. Would like to see these changes for a week or two, and hopefully watch the offense explode (instead of implode). Senzel, Castellanos, and Winker. Something has to change.

    • LDS

      Shift Moustakas to 3rd or call up India and give him a shot. Call up Garcia. He hit well in the spring. Could he be that much worse than the current circumstances. Move Senzel to second and play Akiyama full time or call up Aquino (should do that anyway). There are options. Standing pat as they have isn’t a viable alternative.

      • David

        They will stand pat, and do nothing, and hope for the best.

        And that, in a nutshell, is the philosophy of the Castellini era. And why the Reds have just been lousy…for years.
        Same as it ever was…same as it ever was.
        Votto will bounce back! His career numbers are great!

        And besides, we still owe him $75 MM. PLAY HIM!!!!

        At least this year they are better than the Pirates.
        2020: Better than the Pirates.

  19. docproc

    There’s little we need to buy that we don’t already have in C Tyler Stephenson and SS Jose Garcia (and perhaps RP Greene and OF Aquino).
    Well, we need a new first baseman–but we all know that’s not going to happen.

    • Melvin

      I understand that Votto is not doing well but “he ain’t doing any worse than the rest of em”. LOL I wouldn’t give up on him just yet. He was doing really well at the beginning. It goes back to my previous comment above.

      • Old-school

        The issue with Votto is ceilings and floors. He’s committed to cutting back.his strikeouts but at the expense of power and exit velocity. His plate discipline is good, but if he’s serving balls to.left field and choking up.and grounding into double plays or hitting soft check swings to rf- first at bat yesterday…. what is the ceiling on that? A high walk guy who doesn’t hit the baseball hard . He hit .259 last year. He’s at .207 now. His defense is really poor and his speed is awful.

        First baseman need to be power thumpers. He’s become the guy he replaced. Scott Hatteberg x that guy wasn’t owed $75 million to hit .262 with a .350 obp.

      • Melvin

        So what you’re saying it the problem is in his head. Pretty much everyone has a head problem right now. They just aren’t thinking clearly. There needs to be a new atmosphere fast. For whatever it’s worth to anyone I truly believe Votto has the physical skills to play very well for several more years.

      • Old-school

        That’s a really good question. I don’t know. I think Father time is catching up and Joey the analytic is constantly trying to adjust. Conventional wisdom was Votto could fall out of bed and hit .300 and get on base at .385 at 38.

        I think he’s done as an impact baseball player. He’s my 2nd favorite Red behind JB but I don’t see it happening for him. JB got out a lot earlier. JV turns 37 in a bit.

      • Melvin

        Well Johnny Bench is my favorite of all time too. Don’t get me started on that. Dan Driessen is a good guy but I never liked him because he basically took the place of Tony Perez AND JB at 1B. I believe JB could have played several more years at 1B but was blocked.

      • Old-school

        JB went out at 35 with bad knees and a respectable OPS. JV needs to pick it up or get out. Driessen is true. Batting titles were huge then and Reds thought he was an Al Oliver/ Bill Matlock Keith Hernandez .330 batting title guy. He had a decent run from ’77 -’81 but Driessen never became that All star first baseman they thought.

      • Melvin

        Not that it makes any difference but I think Bench left at 34. Could be wrong. He enjoyed playing 1B but the Reds weren’t smart enough to use him instead of Driessen and since he didn’t like 3B (wasn’t good there either) and didn’t catch anymore he retired. Too Bad. There was a BIG difference between Bench and Driessen hitting. First Base is a place that, if you stay in good shape, you can play for a long time at a pretty good value. Votto certainly does that. He’s worn out mentally. That’s what I truly believe.

  20. DataDumpster

    Trade Bauer. Highest value and you still have a pretty good rotation afterwards. Plus, do you really think after the recent spending spree that the Reds will pay Bauer the top dollar next year and beyond? Unfortunately, the Reds are mostly pretty hemmed in at most positions but isn’t it obvious that even a journeyman catcher, shortstop, or reliever could vastly improve the status quo… Barring that, we can continue to “play the percentages” and “trust” the process. If we’re lucky the team will further implode and the pressure to move on from Bell next season will be unbearable (or at least more likely).

    • Mark Moore

      He’s not worth much of anything as a very short-term rental with near zero chance to negotiate another contract. He’s going to explore free agency every year as he’s said. He wants as many post-season wins as possible and to collect rings.

      Rentals will go for spit this year especially. Better we keep him and roll the dice getting into 2nd place.

      • Jack

        He’s worth a lot to someone who thinks he can win them a WS

  21. RedOctober90

    This team is a big disappointment. Blame it on what you want but they just plain aren’t getting it done and it will become too late to turn it around soon. I should have known better to fall for the off-season hype.

  22. Davy13

    Sell what and get what for it?! With what the Reds have, it would be like buying stuff at a yard sale on a Saturday morning not even an estate sale.

  23. Nux

    Unlike the Big Red Machine and the nasty boys of the ninety’s,this Reds team is not embarrassed to lose as the old saying goes show me a good loser and I’ll show you a consistent loser.

  24. Still a Red

    Clearly if you’re going to sell, you got to sell Bauer and Castellano. I truly wish both of them would stay…but given the way the team is playing, both will probably want to move on. And don’t trade for prospects…get a one-for-one ready-to-play deal, which may require a 3-way deal.

  25. Nux

    And who are you gonna trade Bauer for Strausburgh ? And who you getting for Castillo, Aaron Judge?NN