The Cincinnati Reds have gotten in on the trade deadline, acquired left-handed reliever Sam Moll from the Oakland Athletics. The Reds are sending right-handed pitching prospect Joe Boyle to Oakland in exchange for the reliever. Cincinnati will also be acquiring some international cap space in the deal.

Moll, a 31-year-old reliever who has pitched in 45 games this season for the Athletics, has a 4.54 ERA this season in 37.2 innings pitched. He’s allowed just one home run, walked 19 batters – though four of those walks were of the intentional variety – and he’s struck out 46. In 2022 he posted a 2.91 ERA in 43.1 innings while walking 22 and striking out 46.

Control is a little iffy at times – he’s walked 4.5 batters per 9-innings pitched in his career (as well as this year). His strikeout rate is the highest it’s been in his career. He’s a sinker/slider guy who will mix in a 4-seam fastball at times and show a change up a time or two per month. The fastball works around 94 MPH, while his slider works in the low 80’s.

This season Moll has been very good against lefties, holding them to a .197/.254/.303 line. Right-handed hitters have found some success against him, though. They have hit .276 against him and walked 15 times in 99 trips to the plate, while striking out 21 times. They are not hitting for much power, though, with a .355 slugging percentage against him.

With that said, his home and road splits are huge. In Oakland, where the ballpark plays very pitcher friendly, hitters have a .546 OPS against him. On the road this season they have an .840 OPS against him and his ERA is 5.40 outside of the Coliseum (3.86 in Oakland). For his career the splits are similar – his road OPS if 140 points higher and his ERA is nearly twice as high (2.81 to 5.59).

Despite already being 31-years-old, Moll is not a free agent until after the 2027 season according to Baseball Reference. He will not even be arbitration eligible until after next season.

As for Joe Boyle – he was set to be my 22nd rated prospect with the update that was going to come out on Wednesday. When it comes to stuff, Boyle stands out among just about any pitcher in the Reds farm system. Since being drafted in the 5th round of the 2020 draft he has 316 strikeouts in 204.1 innings to go along with a 3.48 ERA. But he also has 173 walks.

This season he’s spent the entire year in Double-A Chattanooga where he’s made 19 starts with a 4.50 ERA in 84.0 innings. He’s allowed 63 hits, six home runs, walked 75, and he’s struck out 122. With a fastball that works in the mid-90’s and touches the upper 90’s to go along with an absolute hammer of a curveball, you can really dream on how good he could be. But with his problems with consistently throwing strikes he’s also a guy who may never find any regular role in a team’s bullpen. He’s the definition of high risk/high reward. You can see his career stats here.

76 Responses

    • Alex Reds

      Nice indeed! Sam Moll still controlled through 2027 season, that’s four more years! But, he’s 31 years old. His ERA is high enough that his cost in arbitration shouldn’t be crazy expensive. All that said, the numbers say he’s a lefty that gets lefties out with great numbers. He’s performed even better lately with a 1.80 ERA. Reds really needed a lefty reliever. Giving up Boyle, who walks a lot of hitters and was a fifth round pick and hasn’t put it all together yet seems fair. Just glad it wasn’t giving up too much of the prospects. Glad to see the Reds future is still bright and they didn’t mortgage the future and this team can still make noise in the playoffs this year. Reds are exciting now with a bright future and both are still intact. Let’s go REDS!!!


    Rather have kept Boyle. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    • RedBB

      Moll is controlled until 2028…AND we got INTL cap space…AND he’s a Lefty. Disagree vehemently. Boyle has no control and has shown no progress in that matter in 3 years.

      Also FWIW I very high on Boyle at one point and had him #11 on my Reds prospect list. He is barely inside the Top 30 for me now.

      • Ted Alfred

        I think this is a great trade for the Reds in every aspect

      • Doc

        Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson had no control early in their careers either, but somehow managed to eekout a spot in the Hall of Fame.

    • JayTheRed

      Sorry I feel like the Reds got this quality lefty for very little to give up. Nice Job Kralll.

    • Tar Heel Red

      No way. The line out of his original scouting report that has not changed…”Boyle could not find home plate if he were standing on it.” That tells me all I need to know. Now we need to jetison Karcher and the team will have ridded themselves of two players taking up 40-man roster spots for someone who has a future with the team.

    • BatsLeftThrowsRight

      I don’t think the Reds did much in acquiring Moll, they gave up a blue chip prospect/pitcher who has a high ceiling. Boyle would be the guy you throw into a deal that was going to move the needle substantially, not stop a leak.

      [CHICAGO — The Reds swung their first deal ahead of Tuesday’s Trade Deadline by acquiring left-handed reliever Sam Moll from the A’s on Monday for Minor League pitcher Joe Boyle. Cincinnati also received international bonus pool money in the trade.]

      The key for Castellini was they received money, this ownership is a plague.

      Are waver deals still in play/possible to do or was that changed ?

      • BK

        The Reds did not receive cash from the A’s, they received the ability to spend more money in the international free agent market. Players can be claimed off waivers and players that have not been on a 40-man roster can still be traded. Waiver claim trades are no longer permitted.

  2. earmbrister

    A lefty reliever was a big need. Good to see that he keeps the ball in the ballpark.

  3. steve-o

    Any update/info on Hunter Greene being moved from 15 day IL to 60 day IL? Sounds as if his season is over.

    • Oldtimer

      Eligible August 17. Expected August 20.

    • earmbrister

      Apparently not a big deal because he’s already been out for more than 60 days. Seemingly just good roster management …

    • MK

      This is just administrative to open a 40-man spot for Moll. Greene will still be back in late August, fingers crossed.

    • Rcsodak

      Go backwards before you go forwards.

    • Tar Heel Red

      It just means he cannot be activated until after August 17

  4. RedBB

    Moll’s control looks like Greg Maddux compared to Boyle. Boyle should have been in the BP already IMO. He has no future as a MLB quality Starter IMO as he has showed zero progress in 3 years finding the plate. Maybe the A’s can fix him but the Reds could not.

  5. JaxDan

    I am glad they picked up a lefty reliever but his numbers outside of Oakland are not great. Would have wanted Suter but Moll has a few years of control.

  6. Josh

    Any idea if the money is for this year or next?

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t believe you can trade future year cap space, so I’m like 99% sure it’s for this year.

  7. DaveCT

    Good trade. Boyle may not even have been the top starting pitching prospect on his own AA team.

    • RedBB

      Boyle is not a MLB Starting pitcher even. Could be really good in the BP though

  8. Colorado Red

    Did not cost much of anything, in terms of high level talent.
    We did need anther lefty. This is a low risk move.

  9. catcard202

    LH RP was a need…But trading for a guy with huge Home/Away splits in OAK sure doesn’t feel like the pitching staff move needed to keep the Reds atop the NL Central the next 2+ mths.

    • Colorado Red

      Also, Goes from a last place team, to a team in the race.
      A lot more motivation
      (saw how Votto and others played last year, vs this year, winning helps you win)

    • Doc

      Perhaps Moll becomes the leftie who is brought in to get the third out of any inning, saving Young for a longer, later leftie roll.

  10. wkuchad

    These are the kind of smaller trades where we don’t mortgage the future but could be a big help the remainder of the season. Nice job Reds!

    Wouldn’t mind one more of these type of trades.

  11. Optimist

    Glad the “Greene to 60-day IL” has an easy answer. If Moll is useful for 2-3 years this is likely a wash at worst. Really liked watching Boyle’s box scores, but he’s almost 24 and likely a reliever, but still needs big improvement in control – the “high reward” is less likely by the month.

  12. Melvin

    Well we needed a lefty to get out lefties. Sounds like he’s at least that.

  13. Mike

    Just wild that we never even tried Boyle as a RP. Imagine what that could’ve done for his stock

    • Optimist

      Could have killed it – imagine the blown saves with walk-off walks – at least everyone got to see the good stuff stretched out over a few innings.

    • earmbrister

      Imagine what just SOME control could’ve done for his stock. Giving up 8 BB per 9 IP is not sustainable

  14. Greenfield Red

    Looking for Stock’s comment. He was so high on JB, and I was believer too. He just has not gotten there.

    • Greenfield Red

      I do like the trade. I wanted the Reds to improve on the margins, and this is that. No big names traded.

    • Optimist

      I was a loyal follower as well, but he is trade value was likely highest to a team like the A’s looking for lottery tickets/high-risk/reward. He’d just be an add-on value to better teams.

  15. JB WV

    Gave up next to nothing for a guy that can be a situational reliever that’s sorely needed. Krall is shrewd.

    • JC

      Plus international cap money! Have faith Krall is going to come on on too when he makes a trade.

  16. MK

    I like the trade. I don’t think anybody commenting here has any idea what Boyle might become but that being said he is still at least a couple years away. Seems like a good kid with great potential, hopefully good things are in his future.
    I didn’t realize Sanmartin’s injury was as serious as it is and with upcoming TJ he isn’t back until 2025. Young and Moll can make a long term lefty duo in the pen.

    • Redsvol

      All good points MK. I think it’s a trade they had to make. Boyles strikeout rate implies a can miss future #1 starter. But his walk rate implies he may never become an mob starter. Even so, I think his floor is probably a decent reliever.

      Fact that Moll still has 3 years of team control probably pushed the price up a bit. His strikeout rate is quite good also.

  17. Jason Franklin

    Boyle will be fun to keep an eye on now that he is not on the team. A pitcher that
    wild should never be rated as highly as he was. The Reds did great on the trade. Got a lefty to face lefties who’s stats show that he was doing way better then his ERA. Also the extra international cap space is a big deal. The Reds have done pretty well lately in that regard. Now, they need to get another reliever with some intimidation factor to go along with Diaz as the set-up.

  18. JaxDan

    Now who replaces Boyle in the rotation? Acuna or Parks? To early for Petty?

  19. Harold

    You never know about trades, but NK has done a great job and I have faith in him and our scouts. One more???? GO REDS!!! Beat those Cubbies.

  20. AMDG

    meh… a mediocre middle reliever for a AA lottery ticket pitcher

    Moll instantly slots into the Reds bullpen as one of the worst in terms of WHIP and walks allowed. He also doesn’t seem to do well in high pressure situations (based on his splits with 2 outs, or with men on base). But at least he’s decent vs Lefties.

  21. Kap

    Hey Doug, did Boyle need to be added to the 40 man roster this off-season?

    • BK

      Yes he did per Roster Resource at Fangraphs.

  22. MBS

    Well Moll seems like a solid option vs LHB’s. Hopefully frees up Young to be used more in a setup role.

    I will say I wanted Boyle to be moved to the pen last year, maybe he would have been further along by focusing only on 3 outs. Now he’s the A’s puzzle.

  23. Protime

    Finally….Moll, now go after Lorenzen!

  24. protime

    Great job by the bullpen! Made it possible to hang on an win the game.

  25. Tampa Red

    No offense to Boyle intended, but there are 100 guys just like him in the minors, big arms with no command. With the Reds in a playoff race and in need of a LHP this was a no brainer and I’d do it 100 times out of 100.

    • David

      Joe Boyle, like a lot of guys, has to master his mechanics and consistently throw strikes.
      Andrew Abbott started figuring it out last year. Connor Phillips is figuring it out now. Would Joe Boyle (or will Joe Boyle) ever figure it out?
      Maybe next week, maybe next month, maybe next year, maybe never.
      In the meantime, the Reds get another lefty reliever, who may or may not be a great contributor, but he does fill a need. I guess we will find out how good he is over the next few weeks.
      Will Sam Moll be a key to winning the division, the pennant?
      Well, probably not. But he does give David Bell an additional left hander to use to maneuver in certain situations. Every game will count now, between now and the end of the season. The Reds are in a dogfight to win the division, or at least get a wild card spot. I don’t expect the Brewers to fade and collapse, but I don’t expect them to charge ahead of the Reds either.

      • AllTheHype

        Abbott and Phillips never had control issues anywhere close to the level of Boyle. The success stories of guys like Boyle turning it around are very few and far between. It’s not going to help making him a bullpen piece. You still have the find the zone.

    • Thomas Atwood

      I’ll never forget Marty asking someone (forget who) to rank these in importance for pitching: velocity, location, movement.

      His answer: 1) location, 2) movement, 3) velocity. I agree completely. But all the fascination today is with velocity.

      I’ll take a Bronson Arroyo — or Andrew Abbott — who can beat hitters with their mind and control over a “wild thing” thrower, because pitchers can’t survive on velocity alone in the majors.

      • Doc

        Velocity is a vector. Vectors have two necessary components, speed and direction. Joe Boyle has great speed but bad direction, therefore he has bad velocity.

      • Thomas Atwood

        1) location, 2) movement, 3) speed

        Homework corrected after the physics hand slap.

    • Redsvol

      I’m going to point out a couple things with Joe Boyle. In the upper minors (AA, AAA);
      – leads the minors in strikeouts with 122.
      – leads the minors in walks with 75.

      I’m sure his performance has been maddening for not only his coaches, but himself. I don’t think Joe is that far away from solving his control issues. He’s had some games where he had a very acceptable amount of walks. So he’s proven he can do it.

      Perfect case of a player needing a different set of voices and development focus. I’m pulling for Joe to be successful – just not against our Redlegs.

  26. Capnhook33

    It’s nice to see people here understand the Greene move was merely temporary math. You read the Facebook post and everyone is like oh no his season is over.

  27. LT

    Under radar trade to fill a need. That’s good. Now, see if Krall can get a good veteran bat to hit 5 or 6 or come off the bench.

    • wkuchad

      I don’t want to trade for any bats. I’m confident in the guys we have, and their backups. Any prospect capital we spend should go towards pitching.

  28. Tim

    I like the fact that he’s coming from a crappy team. He should be motivated

  29. IndyDoug

    Moll’s BABIP was unluckily high and will likely regress to the norm the remainder of the year. Gets a lot of GB’s too. I like the trade!

      • greenmtred

        Thanks, ATH. That certainly makes the trade look better, and it already made sense.

      • AllTheHype

        The fact that Moll is controlled 4 years also, makes this trade pretty much a no brainer. Sure he’s getting into his 30s but he could have a good few years yet.

        Boyle had great stuff, but the percentage of MiL’ers with control issues THAT extreme that actually solve them and become viable ML’ers are so so rare.

  30. Hotto4Votto

    I think it’s a good risk to take. Boyle hasn’t demonstrated he can control where his pitches go. Really not much difference between he and Karcher this point. Moll can be around for a while and addresses the need for another lefty in the pen. Plus the Reds have been doing well on the international scene lately, so the extra cap space can really help.

  31. RedlegScott

    What I want to know is who’s going down when two starters and possibly two relievers come up? (Duarte is gone with Moll coming in, right?)

    • greenmtred

      Since they can’t have more than 13 pitchers, you’d assume that it would be pitchers. Weaver, maybe, but after he pitches a shutout gem against the Cubbies tonight, that might be a less obvious choice than it seems now.

      • greenmtred

        Delete “tonight” from post above.

  32. wkuchad

    Just under 4 more hours to go. Would love to add one more pitcher Krall.

    I wonder if players are excited/anxious leading up to the trade deadline.

  33. Josh

    I would love to see Jose Quintana join the Reds. A solid vet on a decent contract for next year. Should not cost to much prospect capital to get.

  34. Jim

    Any idea how much international cap space the Reds got in trade?