CINCINNATI, OH.- After a strange up and down season for the Cincinnati Reds, they are now looking to continue to make moves. The team on paper does seem to be one of the stronger teams in the NL with aces Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, despite trade rumors, at the top of the rotation. The team has a ton of hitters in the lineup, including the likes of Joey Votto and Eugenio Suárez. The team does have some young and upcoming bats like Nick Senzel and promising catching prospect Tyler Stephenson. It’s been reported in the last 24 hours or so that Cincy is looking into making a splash, specifically at the SS position. Lindor, Trevor Story and a few other names have been mentioned. Let’s take a look into what it might take to get one of these guys and other options on the free agency landscape.
The Reds have been reported to be looking into what it might take to get the 27-year-old superstar. Lindor, heading into a contract year, still would require the Reds to give up some younger pieces. If the Reds were to go out and grab a player like Lindor they would be considered one of the better teams in the NL. When thinking of a possible trade, one that comes to my mind would be:
Obviously, Hunter Greene is the biggest piece in the deal. A top 50 prospect with all the tools to be the ace for the Cleveland Indians. Health has been a question but as a player that has been clocked at 103 MPH in high school, the Cleveland Indians should take a chance on this young starter.
Nick Senzel is also a pretty solid piece to add to this trade. The 25-year-old number 2 overall pick in 2016 has not lived up to expectations so far, as he batted .186 in 23 games this past season. Cleveland definitely could stand to benefit taking a chance on Senzel as they need outfield help. The Reds do have a crowded outfield, so they can afford to give up Senzel.
Finally, Lyon Richardson. He is rated as the number 11 prospect in the Reds’ organization. Many people project him to be a back-end starter. His fastball was clocked up to 97 MPH and has shown promise in two seasons since being drafted. Cleveland could use another starter with electric stuff and he could become that 4th or 5th starter in the rotation for them in 2-3 years.
Trevor Story is a really interesting one, as the Rockies are looking to trade some of their biggest and brightest stars. They seemed poised to trade their 28-year-old all-star. He hit to a nice clip of .289 and 11 HR in a shortened 60-game season. He is one of the best SS in the game, to say the least, and could be a great addition to this Reds team. A possible trade package would look like:
SP Hunter Greene
The Rockies simply need a starter and Hunter Greene could fit the team well. Colorado has struggled to find their number 1 starter and he could fill that role. In addition to that, there’s 8th ranked prospect Tyler Callihan, who has put up decent numbers since being drafted. He gives the Rockies a flexible option to play second base or third, depending on if they also trade Arenado this offseason. INF Michel Triana, a 6-3 230-pound INF, is projected to be a plus power hitter which is great for Coors Field.
If I am being honest, while the Reds do have a pretty promising team, these trades might seem a little unlikely given that these two stars are free agents after the season and if they do not agree to sign back, giving up big pieces might not be worth the risk. There are some really solid SS options in free agency that could really give the Reds a much needed boost.
Personally, I think Didi is the best option. He debuted with the Reds way back in 2012. After a strong season with the Phillies batting .284 with 10 homers and continuing to play an above average SS defensively, he makes for a safe veteran presence in the lineup as they wait for top prospect Jose Garcia to continue to develop his skills in the upper tiers of the minor leagues. Didi could hit anywhere they see fit and provide a safe glove. He would most likely be looking for a multi-year contract. 2 years-$30 million would be a really nice contract for both sides and hopefully, by the middle/end of the that second year Jose Garcia will be ready to take the job.
I think Semien also fits well with this Reds roster. The 30-year-old SS did have an underwhelming year after having a breakout 2019 campaign where he placed 3rd in the MVP voting. He slashed a .223 average with 7 homers while playing, at best, average in the field, as he is considered by many a “hit first” SS. Coming off of a down year, his price range wouldn’t be out of the conversation for the Reds and he could be in line for a solid bounce back season in 2021, one that the Reds ideally would take advantage of. I would say he takes a 3 years-$45 million deal as he is one year younger than Didi. This would not be a bad option for the Reds, and he has proven in the past he can hit.
In addition to that, there are players like Andrelton Simmons and others that could be available on the trade market as the offseason progresses. One thing is for sure: the Reds are looking into acquiring a SS, and they’re looking aggressively.