Analyzing the Cincinnati Reds Decision to Trade Alfredo Simon


By now, you’re aware of the fact that less than five months before the Cincinnati Reds will begin their 2015 season, they traded away two men who were guaranteed spots in their starting rotation. One was Mat Latos, who we’ll get to later on today, and the other was Alfredo Simon.

If you feel so inclined to read the immediate reaction to the deal, that’s located here. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see that the players the Reds acquired from the Detroit Tigers Eugenio Suarez and Jonathon Crawford. To the average Reds fan, those names mean nothing; they’re whispers in the wind. For those of us who spend our lonely winter days watching single-A baseball from this past season–hoping for spring to arrive so we can do more of the same–these kind of deals allow us to salivate.

In Suarez, the Reds gained another shortstop. In a way, his situation is almost perfectly curtailed to the scenario the Reds are facing. They already have an established shortstop in Zack Cozart, who was miserable from the plate in 2014. For as nightmarish as he was at the plate, he was equally tremendous defensively. I wouldn’t recommend using that as a year-to-year model, but last season was literally the only blip on Cozart’s radar at any point in his career—never had he been that bad. While some may believe so, major league baseball players don’t just forget how to play the game.

By acquiring Suarez, the Reds allow him to come along at a reasonable pace; opposed to the hurried state the Tigers forced him into last season. With Kristopher Negron more than able to carry the load as the backup shortstop in 2015, this will allow Suarez to play short everyday down at Triple-A Louisville and build some confidence. In the event that Cozart is once again dreadful at the plate, Suarez will be waiting in the wings come 2016.

(To read Suarez’s player profile, click here.)

The other name acquired in the Simon deal is equivalent to having a wonderful meal for $10.99 and then out walks a scrumptious looking piece of decadent chocolate cake with frosting, whipped cream and a cherry on top. Never mind the fact that I just compared Jonathon Crawford to a delicious-sounding piece of cake, but focus on what that comparison entails.

Crawford is a former first-round pick, and not one than was taken seven years and has flamed out in the minor leagues. With the 20th overall selection two years ago, the Tigers took Crawford out of the University of Florida, where they play some pretty competitive baseball. This isn’t the Reds stockpiling some reclamation project or hoping some kid pans out; this is the Reds loading up with heavy artillery for the immediate future.

Currently, Crawford has been working as a starter down in A-ball, but many within the game believe that he can impact the game much sooner out of the bullpen.

(To read Crawford’s player profile, click here.)

It’s important to remember that while the Reds got rid of their 15-game winning All-Star pitcher from a year ago, they picked Alfredo Simon from the scrap heap just before the beginning of the 2012 season. All they had to give up to acquire him was money; he was snatched up off the waiver wire. The fact that the Redlegs got not only a player they think can be their everyday shortstop, but a first-round draft pick from 2013, is astounding. Whether or not Walt Jocketty fleeced the Tigers for all they were worth is still to be seen, but in the moment, it seems ludicrous to assume this wasn’t a marvelous deal.