Cincinnati Reds need to eventually pivot from rebuild to stocking up young veterans

Mandatory credit: Sam Green/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK
Mandatory credit: Sam Green/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cincinnati Reds should begin keeping young veterans in order to avoid an indefinite rebuild.

In trading Dan Straily, the Cincinnati Reds finally made it perfectly clear that they have no hope of competing in 2017.  That is not much of a surprise.  What the Reds need to be concerned about is not competing in 2018.

The Reds have made no secret of the fact that Zack Cozart is nearing the end of his Reds’ career.  They tried to trade Brandon Phillips twice before he finally accepted a deal.  Now they can move on and the next generation can move up.

The opposite of veterans blocking the way for MLB ready players is what is happening with the pitching staff.  The Reds traded Straily forcing the young pitchers to cover at least two spots in the rotation  That is a risky proposition with Homer Bailey’s health.

That means that the Reds probably will be forced to start three young starters.  Maybe Tim Adleman and Robert Stephenson are ready to contribute 30 starts each.  This plan could also require Amir Garrett or Cody Reed to make thirty starts in 2017.

Last year at the end of the season, the Reds were using long relievers to make starts.  As a result of bad planning. they didn’t have enough bodies to start a pitcher that could go five innings every game.  Trading Straily does nothing to help this issue.

The Cincinnati Reds need to keep young players and trade only those who are too old and too weak.

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With the trading of Straily you have to ask where does it stop.  Billy Hamilton is in his first year of arbitration.  He should be the center fielder for at least two more years, but he could be traded mid-season for more prospects.

The Reds could trade Adam Duvall mid-season if he is leading the National League in home runs.  They got him as a throw-in when they traded Mike Leake for a pitching prospect.  The issue is that you can always trade good MLB players for prospects.

Since they traded Phillips, Cozart is the only veteran position player that is tradable.

Blake Wood and Drew Storen are both mid-career relievers that the Reds could also move.  Therefore, those are about the only players on the forty man roster that the Reds should move.

Next: Brandon Phillips' true legacy

So the rest of the team needs to stay together through 2017 and perhaps beyond.  Furthermore there is not justification for trading good, young players.  The Reds should never have moved Straily for prospects and they finally need to let the other building blocks flourish.