Now that the Winter Meetings are behind us let’s revisit five times the Cincinnati Reds front office got the better end of the deal.
Though the Winter Meetings are over, historically, that’s when the big deals get done. The Cincinnati Reds were relatively quiet, as far as trades go, during this year’s Winter Meetings. However, don’t discount that period in time after the Winter Meetings, when groundwork is laid for a blockbuster trade to take place.
Over the 150 years that the Reds franchise has been in existence, the front office has made some great trades for future All-Stars, and some not-so-great trades for players that will never make it to the big leagues. Let’s take a look back at the 5 biggest trades in Cincinnati Reds history.
5. Eugenio Suárez
In one of the final significant transactions during Walt Jocketty’s tenure as General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds, he was able to acquire a 23-year-old shortstop from the Detroit Tigers by the name of Eugenio Suarez.
Making his Major League debut in June 2014 Suarez produced a pedestrian slash line of .242/.316/.336 with 4 homers in Motown. The Tigers saw Suárez as a place holder at shortstop due to the season-ending injury to starter to Jose Igelsias.
Once Iglesias was given a clean bill of health for the 2015 season, the defending AL Central Champions faced a dilemma. The Tigers sensing their window to capture a World Series title was rapidly closing decided adding another veteran starter to complement Justin Verlander, David Price and Anibal Sanchez was critical.
Enter Jocketty and the Reds. On the final day of the 2014 Winter Meetings the Reds sent All-Star right-handed hurler Alfredo Simon to Detroit in exchange for Suárez. On the surface it seemed to be a smart move for the Tigers.
Simon was a veteran coming off an outstanding season in which he won 15 games, threw 196.1 innings, and produced a 3.44 ERA. As for Suarez, he was blocked at short by the 25-year-old Iglesias and thus deemed expendable.
From the Reds perspective it was a gamble. Zack Cozart had firmly entrenched himself as the club’s shortstop. Suarez was simply a prospect and piece to hopefully help the team in their rebuilding efforts.
As fate would have it, Simon was a disaster in Detroit and the Tigers went from first to last place in the AL Central. His lone season in Motown saw Simon post a 5.05 ERA along with a 79 ERA+. Big Pasta would return to the Reds in 2016 and would be out of baseball at the conclusion of the season.
Meanwhile, Cozart suffered a season-ending knee injury in June 2015 and Suarez took full advantage of his opportunity. Following a December 2015 trade of Reds third baseman Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox, Suarez would take over manning the hot corner. He hasn’t disappointed. During his four seasons in Cincinnati, Geno has blasted 94 home runs, knocked in 304 RBIs, and slashed .266/.344/.461.
The 2018 season cemented Suarez’s place as one of the elite third baseman in the game. Setting career-highs in homers (34), RBIs (104), slugging (.526), and OPS+ (135), Geno earned his first All-Star selection. He capped off the season by being named team MVP.
Prior to the 2018 season Suarez signed a 7-year deal that will keep him in the Queen City through the 2024 season. Considering the fact that Geno is just now entering his prime he could very easily move up this list in the years to come.