Should the Reds Deal Edinson Volquez?

Stunned to read that headline? You very well could be, but it could make sense. I bring this up due to an article on Baseball Prospectus that hit about a week ago.

With every potential deal, there are the pluses and minuses attached to it. But if Reds GM Walt Jocketty were to deal one of his starting arms, Edinson Volquez could be the guy. BP’s Steven Goldman states a very strong case for dealing the righty starter.

In Goldman being “Walt Jocketty for a day”, he states that he would openly shop Volquez for a variety of reasons.

That is because my first act as Reds GM for a Day would be to shop the undersized right-hander. As good as Volquez can be, the Reds have outgrown the need for him. He dealt with post-Tommy John wildness in 2010, but he’s also always been wild. Even in his last healthy season, 2008, consistency eluded him; if you look only at the numbers on the back of his baseball card, it’s easy to forget that his second-half ERA was 4.60.With so many respectable candidates for the starting rotation—I count at least eight, including Chapman—the Reds don’t have to depend on Con Edinson for power. Volquez is arbitration-eligible this offseason, and the Reds being a budget-minded organization with several other key players also eligible, including Cueto, Joey Votto, and Jay “Don’t Bring Me Down” Bruce, this is the one place where the Reds can make a deal from strength and save money at the same time

Goldman also elaborates that by dealing Volquez, the Reds could obtain legit talent in return.

But an asterisk should be added to Goldman’s assessment concerning Volquez. No, not due that 50 game deal, but Aroldis Chapman. If the Reds are actually considering adding him to the starting rotation, this could be a no-brainer. There’s the rub. The Reds, to date, are still unsure of what Chapman’s 2011 role will be. Well, at least they haven’t publicly stated an affirmation to what the role could be.

At the GM meetings, Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of two needs/wants the Reds are exploring.

“We’ve been talking to clubs and looking for a potential leadoff hitter, and maybe someone to improve our bench.”

Again, consider Chapman will be a starter. Acquiring both a leadoff hitter and bench help are not beyond reach if the Reds can deal Volquez with a team in more need of arms than bats. Oh, they’re out there, too. There’s hardly a roster that can boast of having a rotation already set.

And some baseball “experts” have opined the Reds also have needs at shortstop and left field.

Another rub. Who needs arms and willing to deal a starting piece in return? Every team wants arms. Who has what we need?

Once some higher end free agents fall into place, the picture should become less clouded. There have already been possible deals written about involving the Reds and Rays (B.J. Upton). Reds and Red Sox (Marco Scutaro). Reds and Mets (Jose Reyes). And there will probably be at least another 25 or so mentioned (or invented) over the course of the next couple of months. It’s all chatter at this point. It may come down to the last few hours before spring training even starts…just like last season.

But back to Goldman’s thought. The Reds may have to deal the player that will be forever known in Cincy circles as the guy the Reds traded for Josh Hamilton.