Looking at the Reds situation as the trade deadline approaches
The MLB trade deadline is only two weeks away, and with many players expected to be switching uniforms, it puts the Cincinnati Reds in an awkward position. The Reds were the worst team in baseball on May 7th, sitting in the cellar at 8-27 with no reason to believe any hope was to come of the 2018 season. The Reds fired Bryan Price after a 3-15 start and plugged in Jim Riggleman, who has done a nice job of turning the ship around.
Injuries had been piling up in all areas of the team, with Michael Lorenzen, David Hernandez, Anthony DeSclafani, Scott Schebler, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Raisel Iglesias, Austin Brice, and Homer Bailey all spending time recovering from injuries. All of the players listed are either regular starters, in the starting rotation, or a bullpen role, so it was a massive challenge to succeed with all of these key players landing on the injury report.
Starting May 7th, Cincinnati vastly improved with a record of 35-26 to sit at 43-53 going into the All-Star Break, along with only losing four series against division opponents since that time. Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez are in the top five of batting average in the National League with Gennett leading at a .326 batting average.
Suarez is second in the National League with 71 RBI, sitting behind Chicago’s Javier Baez in that category. Additionally, the Reds acquired Matt Harvey from the Mets in a deal that bolstered the starting rotation. With this momentum, are the Reds buyers, sellers, or neutral?
Most analysts are pointing towards sellers, specifically with Scooter and Harvey, as they are at the peak of their value with Cincinnati right now. There is the possibility the Reds could re-sign both of them long-term, adding to the stability of the roster and providing some leadership in the locker room alongside Joey Votto and others. On the other side, dealing them away for some more prospects could be beneficial for the rebuild project, but it’s honestly a toss-up at this point in time.
Don’t be shocked if they do trade them, but don’t be shocked if they don’t, its an awkward position to be in. Let me remind everyone that Cincinnati is only 13.5 games back in the division….remember the 2011 Cardinals?