Cincinnati Reds outright Rookie Davis, a signal of poor trades

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Rookie Davis was outrighted and is no longer on the 40-man roster.

Today was the end of an era for the Cincinnati Reds. Right-hander pitcher Rookie Davis was activated from the 60-Day DL and immediately outrighted to Triple-A Louisville. This means he will clear waivers and not be on the 40-man roster. Why is this news?

Because it now sets in stone the futility of the Aroldis Chapman trade to the New York Yankees before the 2016 season. All four prospects are now either gone from the organization or in Davis’ case, off the 40-man roster.

The trade sent the flame-throwing Aroldis Chapman to the New York Yankees for right-hander Caleb Cotham, infielder Tony Renda, third baseman Eric Jagielo, and Davis.

The Yankees ended up trading Chapman to the Chicago Cubs at the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline for a huge package of prospects and a reliever to take Chapman’s place in the Yankees’ bullpen.

AL Rookie of the Year contender Gleyber Torres, outfielders Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford, and reliever Adam Warren. Torres is now an integral part of the Yankees playoff run, hitting .268 with 19 HR, 56 RBI and a healthy .334 OBP in only 92 games.

The other part of this package that paid dividends was that the Yankees ended up sending McKinney off to the Toronto Blue Jays at this year’s trade deadline for lefty J.A. Happ. Happ will be an integral part of the Yankees playoff run.

This entire situation highlights the Reds’ front office ineptitude on trades.

Cotham was a 6-year minor league player when the Reds acquired him so he would’ve been a minor league free agent had he not been added to the Yankees 40-man roster. He was injured his first season with the Reds, being forced into their bullpen to a time of a 7.40 ERA, and has since retired.

Tony Renda left as a minor league free agent and is now with the Boston Red Sox after appearing in 32 games for the Reds. His line with Cincinnati finished at an abysmal .183 batting average over 67 plate appearances.

Former first-round pick Eric Jagielo was actually the only hope for this trade. After two uneventful minor league seasons, the Reds shipped Jagielo to the Miami Marlins for, wait for it, cash considerations.

So now we are left with Rookie Davis, who was literally penciled into the 2017 Reds rotation out of, in my opinion, a desperation to justify the Chapman trade.

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The third game of Cincinnati’s 2017 season featured Rookie Davis’ debut of 74 pitches over 3 innings. He allowed 4 earned runs on 5 hits while striking out 4 batters. Davis lasted 5 starts to open the season, only making it through 5 innings once. He would return that September for one start and one relief appearance before closing out his Reds career with an 8.63 ERA over 7 games.

This is truly an end of the Aroldis Chapman era. Highlighting the flawed philosophy of trading “quantity versus quality” trades.

Those examples go back a bit. How about moving Adam Dunn (NL Leading 32 HR at the time) for three mediocre players? The Reds netted pitchers Micah Owings and Dallas Buck, and catcher Wilkin Castillo?

What about the Johnny Cueto trade, which brought back pitchers Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, and John Lamb?

Todd Frazier was traded for infielder Jose Peraza, outfielder Scott Schebler, utility player Brandon Dixon. Then there was Jay Bruce, who was sent to New York for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell. All are examples of trades where the Reds received quantity over quality.

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This hasn’t been missing on one or two trades, this has been a philosophy of failure on the Walt Jocketty/Dick Williams led regime since 2008.