The Cincinnati Reds are reportedly pursuing a trade for Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, among other options they are exploring to fill their shortstop position, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

Cincinnati saw action at shortstop in 2020 from Freddy Galvis and Jose Garcia. Galvis was viewed as more of a stop-gap solution rather than a building block, and on top of that, the switch hitter is also a free agent. For Garcia, the team still believes that he could be the future at the position. But for the 2021 season, Garcia probably isn’t going to be ready to be an every day player. While his defense was clearly ready for the big leagues, his bat in the 2020 season showed that he needed more time. That’s not really on him – he had previously topped out in Advanced-A and that’s a pretty big jump for anyone to make.

The Reds have seemingly been chasing Francisco Lindor in trade for two decades, or so it feels like, and a deal hasn’t come to fruition. There are also more than a few quality options on the free agent market with big leaguers Didi Gregorius, Marcus Semien, and Andrelton Simmons. And there’s also Korean shortstop Ha-Seong Kim, who was just posted on Thanksgiving and has until Christmas day to reach an agreement with a Major League Baseball team.

Trevor Story is closer to the Francisco Lindor situation than that of the free agent options. He’s one of the best hitting shortstops in the league, but also a quality defender. Over the last three seasons he has hit .292/.355/.554 for the Rockies – good for a 122 OPS+. In the shortened 2020 season he also led the National League in strikeouts with 15 steals in 18 attempts. Like Lindor, he’ll be a free agent after the 2021 season. He is also owed $18,500,000 in salary for the 2021 season. That’s a big chunk of change for the Reds to take on.

Adding Trevor Story is going to make any team better. That is, unless the acquisition cost is too high. We can’t be sure what the market is right now because there hasn’t really been much happening so far and in a year in which teams seem to want to move salary so much so that there are rumors that the Cubs could potentially non-tender Kris Bryant just to save the money from paying his salary, anything seems remotely possible.

If the Reds have to give up Sonny Gray, for example, then the acquisition of a Trevor Story caliber player doesn’t really move the needle that much it at all. If the acquisition cost is more of a “prospect haul”, then the 2021 team gets better and you have to reassess the future without those players and figure that out down the line.

What this move would do is help transform the offense. Story has plenty of swing-and-miss to his game, which is something the Reds already have plenty of. But he’s also a guy who has plenty of power in his bat, adds speed and athleticism, and of course, plays a position of need. His base running has been elite over the last two seasons, trailing just Jonathan Villar and Ronald Acuna Jr in all of Major League Baseball according to Fangraphs Base Running metric.

Many have pointed out that Story, along with many other Rockies players have big home/road splits. Of course they do, the home ballpark is as hitter friendly as any that’s ever existed in Major League Baseball. When we tend to look only at the road splits for Rockies hitters, though, it seems to be missing some context – there’s more at play than just taking their road numbers and saying “this is what we should expect from them when they leave”. We know that’s not true and there are countless examples (DJ LeMahieu being the most recent, but hardly the first or only).

Mike Petriello of MLB.com looked at it, again, last week when discussing Nolan Arenado and what he could potentially look like in another ballpark. Petriello notes that it’s actually likely, based on past information, that Arenado (and other former Rockies) would perform better on the road once they left Colorado than they did when they were in Colorado due to the “Coors Field hangover”.

74 Responses

  1. Bob Purkey

    Great. All we need is another K/HR guy. . .

    • Michael Smith

      Looking at the top SS he is at the top of the list for k rate but it has dropped quite a bit since his rookie year and he produces in all ways possible.

    • doofus

      Fernando Tatis Jr. had 2 less strikeouts than Story. Yeah, the Reds could not use him either.

      • Bob Purkey

        I never said he wasn’t a good player, but he just doesn’t fit for what the Reds need. They are loaded with HR/K guys. Add in that he is a 1 year rental, like Lindor, I just don’t feel that he is a good fit.

        Also, Fernando Tatis is controllable for a few more years than Story in case you hadn’t noticed.

      • doofus

        I neither said nor implied that you claimed that Story was not a good player.

        If you had not noticed, the vast majority of “good” players now are “k/hr” guys.”

        What do the Reds need and what player is able to fill that need?

        Pssst, I am well aware that Tatis has more controllable years. I did not mention it because it is irrelevant. The Padres are not dealing him.

        Seriously, what do the Reds need and what player is able to fill that need?

      • Schottzie

        What do the Reds need?

        1) More speed and generally better baserunners
        2) Guys who can hit behind the runner (the playoffs showed this still exists)
        3) Probably not Joey Votto
        4) Did I mention better baserunners?
        5) An organizational philosophy as to the type of player they want in their clubhouse (do they want nice guys that “are just great to be around” or true gamers that know how to and expect to win (name anyone in the Cardinals or Dodgers system).

      • Bob Purkey

        I still think that you could get K Wong and A Simmons for the middle infield issues for the price of Bauer. They add great fielding, address some team speed issues, put the ball in play, and decent baserunning.

        Deal Eugenio and move Moose to 3B or vice versa(Suarez would get a lot more in return, for some OF and/or pitching help). Move Castellanos to 1B against LHP and Votto to play vs. RHP.

        If you want to go deeper, trade Iggy and make Bradley your closer, however the BP may be needed more than ever with the loss of Bauer.

    • bug

      I heard that!!! Another strike out King! How sad!!

    • Nelson COBLE

      Free agent over someone who will cost players.

  2. KG

    It’s a go for a some top prospects and one everyday guy, maybe Barnhart or Senzel. It’s a no for Sonny Gray. I’m not big on adding another high strikeout guy to our lineup, with Castellanos & Suarez both looking at 150+ in 2021. However, Story has accumulated 16.4 WAR in 5 seasons and 134 HR’s.

  3. Rut

    This is just…. confusing.

    There are 4 viable ss options available in free agency. I am betting that each of the FA guys can be signed for less than 18.5 million.

    So now the Reds target a guy on a 1 yr deal that pays 18.5 mill AND will have to a pay a steep price in prospects to acquire?

    I mean, by all means kick the tires. But unless it is a steal of a deal I just can’t fathom why this would be the chosen avenue.

    Then again, Reds have not been this bad for this long by making good decisions, so a Story trade sounds like par for the course for our team.

    • Redleg67

      Can’t afford $18 mill for a guy in a one year window.
      Would DiDi be more than a one year rental?

    • JayTheRed

      I am not a fan of acquiring Story. He would be about 4th on my list.

    • doofus

      No one knows what the prospect price would be. Pure speculation by those who contribute to this forum. Do not let them do your thinking for you.

      If you are going for a “steal of a deal,” you are not going to get a deal. You need to deal quality for quality.

  4. Linkster

    It’s a no go on a one year rental, unless it’s a few players/minor leaguers you really don’t need (India come to mind). Go get Didi on a two or three year with a team option. See if Garcia matures with his bat. If so, then trade Didi, see if he can play some 2B or use him as a DH when that comes…which will be very soon.

    • Tom

      Seems like a lot to take a guy you might trade by midseason. Why are suddenly devaluing our pitching staff? If we are going to spend, why not spend 3 year $88 million in the best pitcher in baseball? Frick this one year rental guys. And why we dealing Sonny Gray? So we can go back to pitchers with 7.50 era or higher? And while we are on the subject, the entire department that evaluated the last 10 years of drafting pitchers needs to be fired. Hire away some of the Dodger and Met scouts. They seem to find prospects with a lot more upside. Somebody please name for me the last good starting pitcher developed in our system? I’m at Mario Soto and can’t think of the next one. This team needs hitters. We need power on the corners. Speed up the middle. It’s not that hard. Garrett is my closer. The rest of the bullpen is up for grabs. I’ll take Bauer, Gray, Castillo, Lorenzen and Mable as my starting 5. Votto? Trade him to Toronto. Find a first baseman that hits for power. Find me an every day outfield and for all that is holy and sacred stop this revolving door of fringe outfielders. Shogo in center, give me Aquino in right until he reaches 500 AB’s. I think he will put up good numbers. Find me an everyday left fielder, put Stephenson catching 140 games a year. Trade Iglesias, he sucks, go get a hitting coach and some hitters. It’s not rocket science. It’s the old adage, you gotta spend money to make money. This right penny pinching stuff is for the birds. And lastly, get my ballgames back on TV. Frig this blackout stuff. I went from watching 150 games to seeing maybe 15. Get that fixed.

      Post edited for language.

      • Doug Gray

        Johnny Cueto would like a word.

        So would Homer Bailey, who was good once he got going. Mike Leake was solid. Luis Castillo was a guy the Marlins traded away twice in a matter of 6 months and showed up without much of a change up, and within 4 months of pitching in the Reds farm system showed up in the Majors with a devastating change up and he been pretty good since then.

        The scouting department, and the development department for that matter, has gone through almost an entire overhaul. New farm director, new pitching coordinator, new hitting coordinator, new field director, new director of amateur scouting (domestic draft), new director of international scouting – all in the last two seasons.

        Also – watch the language. If you couldn’t get away with saying it in 1st grade without being punished, you can’t say it here. You’re new, so this is the warning. Next time there will not be a warning.

      • doofus

        We need to learn to build individual paragraphs.

      • That that had had

        Johnny Cueto would qualify as quality SP Reds developed.

        Iglesias and Chapman might have been decent SP’s if they didn’t end up in the pen.

        Hunter Greene will probably bully his way into a closer role when he also decides he doesn’t want to put in the work to be a ML starter.

        Trading Josiah Gray to Dodgers was a mistake.

  5. Justin

    Story makes what Bauer did, so financially it’s a wash assuming we don’t resign Bauer. If we move on from Barnhart and Goodwin, we drop another $6.7 million.

    I’m assuming we have to give up Senzel, and if Akiyama takes his place, we’d add a more patient bat to the lineup.

    C Stephenson/Casali
    1B Votto
    2B Moustakas
    3B Suarez
    SS Story
    RF Castellanos
    CF Akiyama
    LF Winker

    That looks like runs to me.

    Plus we get another draft pick next year with the QO on Story, so we pick back up one prospect that we would have lost in the trade. I’m in.

    • doofus

      Votto is done. His time has come and gone. The FO (Jocketty) did not do enough to build a post season roster around him during his prime seasons

      Winker should work on his first base skills. Left handed glove.

  6. LDS

    Sounds like a sucker trade to me, one that Colorado would be laughing about years from now. Any trade that Colorado would actually accept is likely too expensive in my mind. Winker for Story straight up? Maybe, any trade with Gray or Senzel for a year of Story just sounds absurd.

    • Sliotar

      Winker, with his batting eye and ability to lay off pitches … would have a monster season with the Rockies, IMO.

      He would wait for the mistake pitches at Coors, and there seems to be a lot of them there.

      Playing every day, of course … which he doesn’t get to do with the Reds.

      • Michael E

        I am fine with that. Winker isn’t getting it done with the Reds. He has a monster week or two, but outside of that, given his poor speed, fielding, baserunning, he needs to be much more consistently around .300/.420/.500 and he isn’t.

        I won’t lose a bit of sleep if we trade Senzel, Winker, India or any pitcher not named Lodolo or Greene (prospects that is, no on Gray or Castillo).

        Also, it would be smart to trade Eugenio Suarez IF his friendly contract and track record have another team overpaying in top prospects. Like one said, we could move over Moustakas or eventually promote an India or Rece Hinds (in 2022 maybe).

        The GM should be seeking to bring in cheaper, upside talent and look to move one of the high K, low put-in-play types or one/several of our underperforming former prospects before their value sinks to nothing.

  7. Sliotar

    Doug wrote – “The Reds have seemingly been chasing Francisco Lindor in trade for two decades, or so it feels like,”

    (Thumbs up emoji). Good writing.

    The decades add effect to the frustration.

    Hard to believe the Reds might pass on landing Lindor for a second winter, when SS is a black hole for 2021, and the Indians are even more desperate to move him.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Taking on that much salary (although it’s a wash from the Reds perspective by losing Bauer) shouldn’t cost much in the way of prospects…….at this point I’m letting Colorado make the first ask. Not sure I’m even open to dealing from the top of the deck (i.e. India), but rather offer up a pair of mid-level guys (i.e. Hinds) plus Casali.

      If this comes to fruition, kudos to ownership for swimming against the current this offseason. A player of this caliber puts Cincinnati squarely in the championship conversation. Yeah, can’t believe I typed that either lol.

      • citizen54

        Even with Story the Reds are nowhere near championship caliber. Suarez is the only Reds position player to be projected to be above average on 2021. Our big free agent signings from last year are projected to produce a total of 3 fWAR. Add in Votto and you have about $60 MM being spent for 4 fWAR. No way the Reds can compete with good teams having that much money spent on so little production.

        The Reds are learning the hard way that you can’t trade or buy your way into being annual contenders. You actually need to be patient and develop a young core. The Reds are now stuck with an aging team and little talent in the minors. Bringing Story here is just going to make the rebuild last that much longer.

  8. Jimbo44CN

    Why everyone is so ready to deal Casali when over the last two seasons he has been a better hitter than Barnhart. Now I like Barnhart and his defense is great, but Casali is a good catcher who can hit. More valuable than many are giving him credit for. And another strikeout guy(Story)? Remember back last spring how good Castellanos and Moose were going to be? Didn’t work out did it. Pick up a decent shortstop for a couple of years to groom Garcia and we should be good. If Stephenson comes along the way everyone expects, then think about trading Casali. Not now. The only guy we should trade right now is Goodwin. Just no plus for him. That was another dumb trade.

  9. Tom Mitsoff

    I was frankly very surprised to read the MLB Network story by Jon Morosi that Doug referenced above. Clearly the Reds need an everyday, productive shortstop. But adding any of the names referenced, which are all good choices, will require adding payroll. That is unless you swap veterans with guaranteed contracts to create payroll room.

    The best solution (from the competitiveness of the team in 2021 standpoint) would be to sign Gregorius or Semien. That way, you fill your need without trading away half of your prospects for one season of Story or Lindor. My belief, and I hope I am very wrong, is that I don’t see Castellini being willing to add payroll. That is going to lead to very few, if any, of the type of acquisitions this team truly needs to make to tread water or improve.

  10. Doc

    Same old story: deplete the future for one year of upgrade. Not worth it. Save the core of youngsters for a 5-6 year run.

  11. Mark

    This is pretty simple I still think you go for Didi Gregorius for 2 year deal. Sign George Springer for CF with money that was being paid to Bauer and trade Senzel in a package for young starting pitching arms with hopes of one to replace Miley after this coming season.

    • Earmbrister

      Agree on SS. Sign Didi (or Semien) and keep the prospects. Not trading Senzel, his bad health luck is bound to change and his talent will emerge. If we trade him, we will regret it. Play Stephenson as the primary C, and let Tucker back him up. A lot of Reds are due for a bounce back year. Filling the SS and C black holes in the lineup will go a long way to fixing the offense.

  12. Tom

    Oh please, not another one-year rental of a hit or miss slugger which requires the Reds to mortgage the next 5 years. If the Reds think they are one player away, sign a FA SS or wait another year and sign Lindor without giving up future players. Trade those who have maxed out value i.e. Gray and Suarez to fill obvious holes. Keep adding talent and building a top to bottom roster that will be a consistent winner. See, I am being consistent by wanting to move a hit or miss slugger on the Reds (Suarez) for a more versatile player. Find guys who can use the whole field, like Winker used to be able to do before he became enamored of homeruns. See the big whiff swings where Winker goes to one knee. Good for a breeze on a hot and humid night at GASP. Leading to yet another unproductive strikeout. Sorry for the sarcasm, but just not a fan of the K or HR approach of Reds hitters. Was it 21 innings and 0 runs vs. the Braves in the playoffs or the record low team BA of .212 for the season that spiked my enthusiasm? No bueno.

  13. Klugo

    So far, I’m impressed with what seems to be Nick Krall keeping an open mind and leaving no stone unturned. I like it.

  14. TR

    Do not deplete the farm system for a super year at shortstop. Sign Didi or Semien and give Jose Garcia time to mature as a ML hitter. He’s a part of the future. I hate to think of another season with the offense stuck on HR or K. Now that December is here, get a new hitting coach that emphasizes hits with runners on base instead of HR or nothing.

  15. RedBaron

    Story makes zero sense considering he will make almost $19M next year and only get him for 1 year. You can get any of the free agent SS’s for less than that and won’t deplete the already depleted farm system for him.

  16. gusnwally

    TR, You da man. I reiterate from an earlier post I made. Why do good hitters like Castellanos, Moustakas, Winker and suarez take a complete nosedive in batting average.The only common denominator is the hitting coach. Winker goes from a solid contact hitter to falling to one knee trying for HR’s. Please get a coach who can coach what he is given. And for God’s sake do not trade Sonny Gray. He may very well give us back to back Cy Young’s.

    • TR

      Gusnwally: Thanks for the compliment. I’m just an old guy who dearly loves the Reds. Ted Kluszewski was the Red’s slugger in the 50’s and he did hit a lot of homeruns, but Big Ted had eight seasons of 150 to 200 hits per year. That was exciting baseball where the Reds got runners in from scoring position. They have the horses now but they need a new hitting coach to set the table.

      • gusnwally

        Big Klu was my 1st hero. I loved the Big guy. Still do. I have numerous photos of my early baseball heroes adorning my man cave walls.Of course Klu is on there a few times.

  17. Optimist

    Am I missing something? Isn’t the saying “always trade closers”? Isn’t this Iggy’s last year under K? Shouldn’t the starting point be Iggy for Story, and then discuss who needs to add on to that? I see Bob Turkey mentions it in comments above.

    A quick look shows Story is +$10m more than Iggy for 2021, so there’s that to consider. At least get us out of the “trade prospects for a rental” game. Maybe even get another add-on prospect from the Rox to balance the salary hit.

    To get really exciting, add a third team and include one of the catchers for a “haul of prospects” to the Reds.

  18. FreeHouse

    Although I’m a Story fan, the Reds have plenty of SS options through free agency. Doesn’t make sense to keep trading the future away for one year rentals.

  19. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Listen, it’s quite simple. It’s just like Lindor. Without an extension, the amount we give us should be minimal. Even with an extension, the amount we give up should still be small, considering if the Rockies don’t unload him, they could get nothing in return with FA.

    Bottom line, with me, we need people who can get on base. And, Story’s OBP is higher than many of our starters. And, his OPS+ actually be second to Winker. I can take that kind of production.

    I can take either one, Story or Winker, as long as we don’t lose people we are ready to commit to, like Stephenson and other high prospects.

  20. west larry

    I commend the G M for looking under every rock for a player to improve the reds. Unless they are giving away Story or Lindor, I’m a hard pass for giving up prospects for either one. Can we get any of the good free agent shortstops for 14 million for one year, or 28 for two years? Maybe we could trade one of our catchers to allow Stevenson to start the majority of games next year. I hope we keep Grey. I don’t know that you could get true value for our closer, but I would try to trade him. We probably need to let a outfielder or two to go. I also agree with some of the comments that we will get a bounce back from some of our hitters. I used to hate the D H, but I now hope its voted in.

    • west larry

      I would package Grey, Senzel and our closer for Tatus , and give up the money to make the trade even.

      • Chris Holbert

        That will never happen. If you were the Padres would you do that?

  21. CI3J

    I’m not seeing it. Is Story really that big of an improvement over Didi, when you factor in how his salary will hamstring any future moves as well as the cost to acquire him?

    Just sign Didi, bring back Bauer, get a few bits and bobs for the bullpen and bench, and roll with it. The offense under-performed, they should be much better than this, and with Didi onboard, they’ll be even better yet. Sit Votto, play Winker at 1B.

    Lineup:

    LF Akiyama
    CF Senzel
    1B Winker
    3B Suarez
    2B Moose
    RF Castellanos
    SS Didi
    C Barnhart
    P

    2 high OBP guys at the top, LRLR power middle, and 2 decent hitters at the bottom.

    Don’t over think this.

  22. David

    If the Reds were actually close to contending (holds thumb and forefinger close together), there might be a point in acquiring Trevor Story….for one season. They could contend, but there are other problems out there. But a player of Story’s caliber could also put them over the top.

    But I just don’t see it. After losing Bauer (likely) and DeSclafani (likely), a lot of questions surround the pitching staff; and frankly, Sonny Gray did not have that good a season, as did Castillo. The talent may be there if Lorenzen starts, Antone starts, and maybe Santillian breaks through, and may work out.

    Sign a free agent that makes sense and will fill the void for a few years; and actually, Didi Gregorious and Marcus Semien are the same age, both 30 years old. So, flip a coin or find out which one wants to play in Cincy.

    No to shipping off more prospects for one year of a guy like Story.

  23. bug

    Another strike out King????? He will compete with Suarez for leading the league in Ks. How sad they would even consider him! Something is rotten in Denmark. Do the Reds like for their batters to strike out upwards of 200 times per year? That’s their goal?? That’s insane. They need JUST the opposite. They need batters that can actually put a bat on the ball. They’ve got plenty enough whiffers already!!!!!!!

  24. doofus

    .289/.355/.519 = 2020

    .277/.343/.535 = career

    35 doubles; 100 runs; 35 HR; 100 rbi’s projected for 2021.

    Gold Glove caliber defense at SS.

    Yeah, the Red’s DO NOT want a SS like this.

    • doofus

      Uh, it looks like Story puts the bat on the ball?

    • doofus

      He is from Texas, does that disqualify him to be a SS for the Reds?

      • Jimbo44CN

        Here are the numbers:
        2020. 63 strikeouts in 235 ABs, rate, 27%
        2019 174 strikeouts in 588 ABs, rate 30%
        2018 168 strikeouts in 598 ABs, rate 28%
        2017 191 strikeouts in 503 ABs, rate 38%
        I guess you could say he might be improving, but to me that’s still a lot of strikeouts.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Jimbo,

        Babe Ruth was known as a major strikeout batter, also. Would you deny bringing him in?

        You’re looking at one specific aspect of his offense, not his overall offensive ability. When one considers that, it’s quite clear he’s one we could use.

        My only concern is the money and one year. I can’t help thinking we don’t go after Lindor nor Story if we only get one year. Or, if we do, we are giving up minimal items.

      • Jimbo44CN

        To Steve,
        Of course I would bring Ruth in. Just looking at numbers, and this guy aint no Babe Ruth. That being said I am not opposed to him except for the fact he would be a one year rental most likely, and would just be another high strikeout guy in the lineup. I would rather see someone like Didi come in for a couple of years.

  25. AllTheHype

    Why am I not a fan of trading for Story? The obvious reason, the benefit he received from Coors. While it is true you cannot just look at “away” stats, they do however yield an indication of what might be expected.

    Case in point:
    Troy Tulowitzki –
    His relevant slash in COL for the 1.5 years before the trade to TOR (726 PAs):
    .320/.391/.531
    His relevant slash in TOR for the 1.5 years after the trade (727 PAs):
    .250/.318/.427

    Tulo was way above average offensively before the trade, and below average after the trade.

    Tulo’s age at time of trade: 29
    Story’s age in 2021 season: 29

    Think the Rockies don’t know what they’re doing? Sure they do. They already pulled it off once trading Tulo at the “right” time. For them, that is.

    Please Cincy, pass on this “Story”.

  26. Dick Paterson

    The odd man out is Casali (as much as I love him), based on R/L. Story is not going to happen. This concept of finding time for guys to play is BS. My outfield is Winker, Senzel, Aquino. Go for Didi or Semien. Then, pitching, pitching, pitching.

    • Mark Moore

      And in that outfield, Castellanos plays where?

    • That that had had

      Where does Akiyama play?

      Aquino is probably being shopped. Not sure how much interest there would be in him but some team might take a chance

      • Jimbo44CN

        That would just be another stupid move by the Reds. I certainly hope not. He deserves a chance right here.

  27. Bob Purkey

    I know that you guys are going to scoff at this, but trying in ANY WAY to compare K’s between Babe Ruth and Trevor Story? ? ? If you are going to bring up that you are in support of Story, that’s fine, but don’t try to compare him to Babe Ruth for God’s sake!

    Ruth K’s on 15.8% of AB’s
    Story K’s on 31.6% of AB’s

    Ruth K’s on 12.5% of plate appearances
    Story K’s on 28.6% of plate appearances

    Ruth walked on 19.6% of his plate appearances
    Story walked on 8.3% of his plate appearances

  28. sixpack

    What is it with people wanting to give up 2,3,4 players for one year of a player who would not resign with us. Sign a free agent.

  29. New red machine

    Kyle Farmer is our short stop that freeze up the money to pay Bauer the contract he deserves. Would the Yankees have cut the Babe, heck no and they won multiple world series by not being stupid and ownership was rewarded nightly by keeping there cornerstone George Herman Ruth, the Yankees babe as is Bauer the Reds starting fluid for the next Reds dynasty.