Reds Trade Chips…and Dexter Fowler


So we’ve herd that any potential “big” move for a lead-off guy will potentially come via trade. To make a deal, you have to have valuable chips like the Reds utilized last year when they acquired Mat Latos. So you have to assess what those chips are and their value. The Reds have areas where they do own a little depth and can use a player to bolster the 2013 roster. But beware…

I doing so, you do stand a chance of risking some form of the future for the here and now. Yes, we want it now and in the future.

So the name most commonly aired as of late is that of Mike Leake. With the recent chants that Aroldis Chapman is headed for the starting rotation (a move that itself has more opinions than a body has pores), it is widely viewed Leake is the guy to be dangled in a deal. Maybe not.

I’ll suspect the Reds might get more questions about Tony Cingrani, Daniel Corcino or even (brace yourselves) Homer Bailey. I doubt the front office will go for the mention of Bailey. You could almost pin Cingrani with that label as well. That would leave Leake and Corcino.

You have also have the pair of shortstops: Zack Cozart and Didi Gregorius. Both Tyler and Kourage have stated their respective cases about keeping the one they prefer. Tyler wants to keep Cozart while Kourage would like to see Didi get the nod. In fact, our poll results show that the majority agree with Tyler in keeping Cozart.

So, we’ll choose that route. Gregorius it is. Honestly, I’m not sure the Reds will deal either, but for this, we feel compelled to do so regardless of my gut feeling.

That gives Walt three nice trade chips as he heads to the Winter Meetings. Two pitchers (one with three years of big league experience and one knocking on the door of the bigs) along with a highly rated shortstop prospect. Now, just find the right team.

July 20, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Fowler runs to first during the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. (Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE)

A name that I floated last year was that of Colorado’s Dexter Fowler. Some Reds fans have recently tweeted they would think Fowler would be a nice addition. I think it will take a nice package to acquire Fowler. Might take all three of these “chips”. Maybe not Didi since the Rox have a shortstop. That Tulo guy.

In 2012, Fowler fashioned a breakout campaign. He hit .300 with an on-base percentage of .389 and added 13 HR, 53 RBI, 12 steals and scored 72 runs in 143 games. For a lot of Reds fans, seeing that OBP atop the Reds lineup would be Christmas come early. Then you check out his home/away splits.

Home (2012): 332/.431/.553
Home (career): .295/.395/.487
Away (2012): .262/.339/.381
Away (career): .248/.331/.367

If there is one team that doesn’t have to look too hard at these, it would be the Reds. Coors Field is a hitter’s haven. So is GABP. I wouldn’t look to Fowler to duplicate his numbers as far as triples go as GABP simply doesn’t allow as many as Coors, but the rest might be all right. And considering the lack of production the Reds got from the lead-off spot last year, we’d probably take Fowler’s career away numbers.

To a few others, there is another drawback. Fowler is represented by Scott Boras. Some view Boras as evil, more so in light of the recent signing of Boras client Ryan Madson by the Angels.

There are other reasons that doesn’t sit right with Reds fans. Check out Mark Sheldon’s blog for the “commentary”.

I’ll go out on a limb and say the Rockies would certainly want more than a couple of arms for Fowler. In fact, that’s kind of all ready been stated.

But the Reds fit the “profile” of a team that can help Colorado and potentially land Fowler.’s Thomas Harding says one area where the Rockies have a need is starting pitching. They would prefer those MLB arms, but they also lack overall rotation depth. The Rox also need a catcher (at least) and a lefty reliever.

The Reds can help the Rockies with the starting pitching as previously discussed. I don’t think they can aid the Rockies in the other two areas, but you honestly never know with Walt at the helm. He may find the means to do so.

UPDATE – 12/2/2012: According to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Reds do have interest in Fowler and the Rockies have interest in Homer Bailey. Look for this to become a focal point over the next couple of days as the Reds continue to pursue a top of the lineup option.

The question would be what to do with Fowler once Billy Hamilton is ready. That could be the only bump in the road.

FWIW: According to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, he projects Fowler will receive $4MM through his arbitration proceedings while he projects Bailey at $5.1MM. If this were a straight up deal, the Reds would “save” $1.1MM. Consider the financial parameters of any potential Reds deal.