We’ve already seen the Cincinnati Reds delve into their farm system in order to acquire Major League talent. Which Reds prospects are untouchable in trade discussions this offseason?
When you’ve had five straight losing seasons it’s hard to make the claim that any player on your team is untouchable. The Cincinnati Reds have loss 90-plus games every year since 2015, but a recent trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers seems to have ignited the fan base. While improving the team requires making sacrifices, there are some players in the Reds farm system that should be off limits this offseason.
Now look, if the Cleveland Indians are serious about trading Corey Kluber, who has three years of team control remaining on his contract, I can see it being very difficult to say no. However, some of the young talent in the Reds organization have superstar written all over them and I’d be incredibly leery about trading one of them for a soon-to-be 33-year-old pitcher.
So, while I believe that no one within the organization is truly untouchable, I’d have a hard time seeing one of these young players shipped off this offseason. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at the Cincinnati Reds five most untouchable prospects and why the team should be very careful if their names are brought up in trade conversations.
5. Tyler Stephenson, C
Tyler Stephenson is the future backstop for the Cincinnati Reds. We’ve heard the rumors all offseason about J.T. Realmuto being on the Reds radar, but I think his price tag is much too high, especially considering that Tucker Barnhart is on a very team-friendly contract.
Stephenson is currently ranked as the No. 6 prospect in the Reds Pipeline and is the No. 10 ranked catching prospect in all of baseball. We’ve seen already this offseason the desperate search for a quality catcher by teams like the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. Finding a two-way catcher is not as easy as one may think.
Stephenson has power and can hit for average. He was drafted out of high school in 2015, so learning all the nuances of being a big league catcher may take him longer than a player who played college ball. However, most reports have Stephenson picking up those elements of the game quite well.
If Stephenson can put together an entire healthy season in the Minor Leagues, he will be well on his way to the Majors soon enough. With Barnhart’s contract up in 2021, Stephenson could see some time in the big leagues before supplanting Tucker behind the plate permanently in 2022.