Reds trade rumors: Billy Hamilton on the radar of in-state rival

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 13: Billy Hamilton #6 of the Cincinnati Reds makes a play against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 13, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 13: Billy Hamilton #6 of the Cincinnati Reds makes a play against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 13, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /
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In the latest round of Cincinnati Reds trade rumors, Cleveland has Billy Hamilton on their radar. The Indians recently lost their centerfielder to injury and may be in the market.

The latest Reds trade rumors do not center around pitcher Matt Harvey, but rather Billy Hamilton. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that Hamilton is on the Cleveland Indians’ radar after their starting centerfielder Tyler Naquin recently suffered a hip injury.

Naquin, who was hitting .264 with three home runs and 23 RBIs on the season, went on the 10-day disabled list yesterday. This is the latest blow to the Indians outfield who were already without Lonnie Chisenhall and Bradley Zimmer. Rajai Davis played centerfield last night for the Tribe.

It’s a bit surprising to hear Hamilton’s name come up in trade talks. Let’s face it, the Reds’ centerfielder has been underwhelming at-best at the plate. Hamilton is hitting .225 with a .301 on-base percentage. For his career, Hamilton’s OBP is below .300.

Related Story. Matt Harvey trade talks ongoing with Brewers

On the flip side of that argument, there’s no better defensive centerfielder than Billy Hamilton. Hamilton’s WAR for his career is 8.7, and you know that’s not due to his ability to hit the ball. Not only does Hamilton’s speed allow him to get to balls that no other Major Leaguer could even sniff, but he’s got a cannon for an arm and is quite adept at throwing out runners on the basepaths.

Hamilton’s speed could also be a huge addition to the Indians’ offense. Cleveland is already tops in the American League in stolen bases with 79 on the season. Hamilton has 22 swipes on the season and has only been caught four times.

Honestly, a spot on an American League team could be just what the doctor ordered for Billy Hamilton. He’s the perfect defensive replacement late in games. Hamilton could also serve as a pinch runner. Furthermore, his lack of offensive ability at the plate would not be such a drain on a team that has a capable DH to offset the lack of offensive production.

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A trade for Hamilton is unlikely, but given the Reds’ spot in the standings, nothing should be off the table. This will not be the last of Reds trade rumors to surface, especially with the MLB trade deadline just a few days away.