The Cincinnati Reds may be looking to acquire pitching from the Tampa Bay Rays according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Earlier on Sunday Morosi reported that the Rays were in “advanced trade negotiations ahead of Tuesday’s roster protection deadline” – the date in which teams must finalize their 40-man roster with regards to protecting players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft.

Tampa Bay is in a situation that is familiar to them – they have a strong 40-man roster and more players to protect than they feel that they can. It seems that nearly every year they are looking to make trades to acquire prospects who don’t need to be added to the 40-man in the current offseason in exchange for players who do so they can still get some value back instead of leaving a player unprotected and Rule 5 draft eligible where they believe they would be taken.

Cincinnati may or may not be looking to trade prospects for prospects, though they could. It’s possible that they may be looking to acquire big league pitching from the Rays in exchange for a prospect or a prospect package. The Reds certainly have questions for the back of their rotation as well as their bullpen heading into the offseason.

Morosi’s report indicated that the Reds, along with the Los Angeles Angels, the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs had been in touch with the Rays. One of those teams is not like the others and it’s the Reds. That could mean nothing but it is also possible that Cincinnati’s front office is looking at different pitchers than those teams are and may not be in a “bidding war” with regards to what they would need to give up to acquire some pitching help.

When looking at the 2022 Rays bullpen there were 10 different relievers who pitched in at least 20 games and had an ERA under 4.00. Tampa Bay only had four starters make at least 10 starts on the season, and one of those guys is now a free agent. While it’s possible that the Rays could move a starter, it feels unlikely given that they need to add to the rotation.

29 Responses

  1. LDS

    I’m all for acquiring more pitching. The question is who and at what cost. If they move any of their prime prospects, particularly those in the top 10, one would have to wonder if they have a coherent strategy at all.

    • LB

      If a trade materializes, it’s likely for a guy on the fringes of the Rays’ roster, and the return has a decent likelihood of being a guy you’ve never heard of unless you follow prospects super closely.

      I’d expect the Reds to be acquiring a guy like Yonny Chirinos, Josh Fleming, or Ryan Yarbrough if something goes through here.

  2. Optimist

    I wonder if Tampa is looking at the 3 F outfielders and Aquino, and the #10-20 prospects. There is value in all 4 outfielders, and our farm depth is its best in years.

    Look back at the Brewers-Rays trade for Adames – value went both ways. Also note the Rays just let Kiermaier go, though he may return. Reds better get 2 players back if they send 3 or 4 to the Rays.

    • MK

      If they are looking to open spots on their 40-man, it isn’t probable thsy would want to acquire a player who would need the same protection.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Since the Rays are trying to ease a 40-man roster crunch they will not be looking to acquire major league talent. Somebody like Calihan or Johnson could be had.

  3. west larry

    We could use another starter. Don’t give the farm away.

    • west larry

      Yonny Chirinos looks interesting.

  4. Votto4life

    I am not going to judge the trade before it happens. The Reds need pitching help. If they can make a deal that helps this team moving forward, it’s a good day.

      • Votto4life

        Kevin agreed. The Reds need lots of help. If Nick Krall is truly trying to improve the team and not just dumping more salary, then I am on board.

  5. jessecuster44

    Lets try to acquire OF help from someone.

    • David

      And we need more shortstop! And another thing……

    • Tom Diesman

      Why? We’re in good shape there with Fraley, Fairchild, and Friedl until they get the 37 SS prospects sorted.

      • MadMike

        Why? The Reds have a fever, and their prescription is…more shortstop.

        Thanks David, every time the Reds acquire a shortstop now, I am going to think of cowbells

      • TR

        That outfield of the F’s has the ring of a law firm.

    • Votto4life

      Jason Hayward is available (smile)

  6. David

    Adding payroll to actually improve the bullpen, rather than just recycling other team’s cast-offs, is probably the most economical way to add “Wins” or WAR, than anything else. There is plenty of capacity for some real improvement by getting better relief pitchers, if we have entered an era when no one finishes their ball games anymore (speaking of starting pitching here).

    Pitching wins games. And the Reds’ bullpen last year was pretty atrocious. Last year (2022) Bell might use four relievers in a game, and you could almost expect that one of them would melt down and give up a lot of runs.
    It would be interesting to study how many games the Reds played last year that “got out of hand” during the bullpen part of the game, when the bullpen entered the game and the team was either up a run or down just one run.

    • Harry Stoner

      Somehow I missed the exciting news that Hunter Strickland filed for free agency.

      Bull Krall will certainly find another “innings bulimic” to replace him.

      Nothing can make as obvious a difference in the Reds W-L record and likely improve the general state of the clubhouse and fandom than to invest in the bullpen.

      Nothing has been more depressing over the years than watching lead after lead, game after game being squandered by both bad relief pitching and Bell’s erratic use of the bullpen.

      The Reds don’t have the hitting to come back from three or four run deficits. Certainly not after the 7th inning.

      Signing over the hill relievers that had a good track record three or four years ago has been the current management’s game plan.

      Hasn’t been working out at all.

      Bell’s habit of using 4 or more relievers in a game is like playing Russian roulette.

  7. BK

    If the Rays are looking to offload arbitration players, Yarbrough, Chirinos, and Armstrong would all, in theory, make the Red’s bullpen better. The Reds also have a bevy of young prospects and the 40-man roster room to absorb Rule 5 eligible players. Lots of options … if the price is right.

    • Harry Stoner

      None of those three look really ready to step into GASP and do any better than the crew that was called on in 2022. Yarbrough and Armstrong look like they could fill Gibaut or Dowdy’s shoes in a heartbeat.

      Not worth spending a hard earned prospect on.

      Chirinos is younger and has shown good potential but is coming off an injury year +.

      The price better be cheap on all of them.

      Bull Krall making deals under pressure isn’t very confidence building.

      • BK

        It always comes down to price, right? Non-elite relief pitchers don’t typically garner top prospects. Yarbrough fills a specific need for the Reds–another LH reliever to pair with Sanmartin. Improving the bullpen is probably the most cost-effective way to improve the team for 2023.

        I’m not sure what Bull Krall can do to win your confidence, but from where I sit, he did very well under pressure at the trade deadline.

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree BK on NK. He had a great summer.

      • TR

        No deal made by any GM can be guaranteed as a success. It brings to mind Trader Jack Mckeon who managed the Reds in the late 1990’s. Trader Jack, who turns 92 this month, went on to the Marlins and won the 2003 World Series.

      • David

        Chirinos looks tempting, but if acquired, could end up being a non-effective pitching albatross.
        He gets through Spring Training, but breaks down in the season; and pretty quick into the season.
        He has not pitched much at all in the last two years, and I would be skeptical of his durability.
        And then we are stuck with his salary and his roster spot.

  8. Stock

    I think the Rays are looking to unload a SP. Teams with money want Glasnow. The Reds would be foolish to pursue Glasnow, McClanahan or any bullpen piece in TB. I see the Red pursuing Shane Baz or Taj Bradley for a group of players not on the 40 man such as Petty, Hajjar and one or two if the hitters playing in Daytona next spring.

  9. Michael B. Green

    Krall better have his A game or he’ll get fleeced by TB. That org always gets the better of the deal to extensive degree.

    • David

      The Reds. Shortstops-R-Us. There’s a ton of them down there in the Minors.

  10. Chris Holbert

    The Reds may be better off looking to add FO personnel from the Rays.