The Cincinnati Reds have traded right-handed reliever Joel Kuhnel to the Houston Astros for “cash considerations”. Why they call that a trade instead of selling his rights/contract, I have no idea, but sure.

Cincinnati designated Joel Kuhnel for assignment on Tuesday when the team needed to add Daniel Duarte to the 40-man roster. It came just a few days after he threw 1.1 shutout innings for the Reds against St. Louis in just his second appearance of the year for Cincinnati.

It had been a tough season for Kuhnel. He made one appearance to begin the season with Cincinnati and gave up three runs in 2.0 innings against the Chicago Cubs and was then optioned to Triple-A. He remained there for the next two months and posted a 7.13 ERA in 24.0 innings where he walked 11, struck out 15, and allowed 31 hits for Louisville.

This season has seen Kuhnel’s velocity dip quite a bit. In 2022 he averaged 96.3 MPH with his fastball. This season that dropped by 1.5 MPH down to 94.8 MPH. His slider and splitter also saw a decline in velocity. The results followed that decline in velocity.

Houston saw something that they felt was worth taking a look at. Maybe they believe they can help him get back some of that velocity and he can return to form. We’ll all find out together.

You can see the career starts for Joel Kuhnel here.

35 Responses

  1. Melvin

    “Trade” enough players that way and there will be no team left. 🙂

  2. Indy Red Man

    His stuff has movement. If only they’d bar him from Golden Corral then he might lose a McLain and piece together a mlb career

    • Jim Walker

      I’ve had the same thoughts about Kuhnel on both counts. Thunder thighs and thickness through the butt don’t hurt and sometimes even help a pitcher’s performance. However, a loose spare tire across the front is not good for their efforts.

      • Daytonnati

        I hope they activate him for today’s game!

  3. Mark Moore

    I find this very amusing given the beat down we administered today

    • Melvin

      Yeah. Kind of a head scratcher but if they want him…..any cash and we probably come out ahead.

  4. J

    Prediction: If he pitches against the Reds tomorrow, someone will be leading by a lot of runs.

  5. Optimist

    A good move for both sides – good luck to Joel, get another similar prospect for AA/AAA with a similar opportunity.

  6. David

    Probably going to be assigned to Houston’s AAA club. Doubt he will be on the major league club (Houston), they already have a very good bull pen.

    Kuhnel is a guy that seemed to have good enough stuff, but he seems to not be able to consistently locate his pitches, and usually leaves pitches in the good hitting zone.

    Well, bye.

  7. jmb

    The Reds have seen enough of him; good idea to let him move on. He always looked good in the minors, but that never carried over into the show. Good luck to him!

    • TR

      You’re first sentence reflects my feeling regarding Wil Meyers. CES is needed in the lineup.

    • jmb

      The cash helps the Krall sign guys like Mariot (emergency starter depth), I suppose.

  8. Kevin

    More money for the trade deadline….smart move

  9. Swede

    They call it a “trade” because selling a human being has negative connotations.

    • CI3J

      In European soccer, they have no problem saying players are being “sold”.

      • Harry Stoner

        Well, if it’s “European” then it must be a good idea….

    • Tar Heel Red

      They don’t sell the player, they sell his contract…and, yes, it still happens on a routine basis.

    • David

      He was outrighted off the 40 man list, which meant at his time in career (no options remaining, I guess), he was “technically” a free agent, available to be signed by any team in 10 days.
      The Astros wanted him, so were willing to be first in line to buy his contract.

      Selling people? If Joel Kuhnel did not want to play anymore, he could retire and leave baseball. Houston bought his contract, and presently has the rights to him..”playing professional baseball”.

  10. Doc4uk

    He has really not excelled at AAA this year either and was occupying a space on the 40 man roster so essentially he was a free agent when he was dropped from the 40 man. They will need to drop a couple of other when they add CES and perhaps Phillips

  11. Doc

    Mariot with 8 innings of 1 run ball for Louisville last night. Might be a veteran stop gap starter.

    • Optimist

      He’ll likely get a chance – don’t expect much beyond Overton/Cessa, but if they get 10-12 ip/ERA under 5.00 that will be fine – every little bit helps.

  12. Votto4life

    Not Altuve today. Fraley back in for the Reds. A decent line up today for the Reds. Let’s Sweep!

    • Melvin

      It’s not a normal “Sunday” lineup for David Bell. Is it possible he’s learning a little? 🙂

      • greenmtred

        With the guys presently on the 26-man roster, it might be hard to construct what I understand you to mean as a Sunday lineup. I bet the Reds and Astros aren’t the only teams that do that.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. It is getting harder. Dusty did today. lol

    • Mark Moore

      Saw that. Who went down for Fraley to be activated? I’m assuming Hopkins.

      • LDS

        It was Hopkins. Fairchild is next. He’s on the bench. Once Myers is back, he’s toast. And we get Newman today instead of Senzel. So who goes when Votto comes back? Benson, Steer, Newman, or Senzel, assuming 3 catchers. Hint, my guess is Benson, though it could be Steer. We know it won’t be Newman.

      • Old Big Ed

        I think it will be either Senzel or Maile. Senzel just doesn’t produce, outside of a two-week span about every 3 years. Maile is a decent backup catcher, but the Reds need Casali to catch Hunter Greene, so Maile is the odd man out. Both Maile and Casali may well be future MLB managers.

        Benson is way too productive to demote, and as for Newman, he appears to be in line for the Castellini fortune.

      • Harry Stoner

        How does Steer make that projected list?

        That’s a pretty ridiculous speculation.

        They might bite the bullet with Benson until the can swing a trade or two to clear some space.

        All Benson can do is keep hitting and make the decision more painful.

      • Old-school


        Id say no way on Senzel x he is not in their long term plans and the sooner they can unload his salary the better. He’s not going to be tendered arbitration in december either

        What are the mechanics of DFA-ing Senzel? Would they just not be better off trading him now for PTBNL?

    • Pete

      Most potent lineup of the year, hands-down.

      All we are missing is CES at this point.

  13. Harry Stoner

    Altuve sitting after going 4-4 yesterday.

    Dusty getting his Bell on.