Reds rumors: Trades for starting pitching becoming less likely

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 26: Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians watches from the dugout during a game against the Kansas City Royals in the second inning at Kauffman Stadium on August 26, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 26: Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians watches from the dugout during a game against the Kansas City Royals in the second inning at Kauffman Stadium on August 26, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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It appears that the trade market for starting pitchers is beginning to dry up. The latest Reds rumors have Cincinnati fading in the latest trade talks.

The latest batch of Reds rumors are a bit concerning. Are the Cincinnati Reds fading in their most recent trade talks? Apparently so. According to sources, it now appears that the Reds are fading in their pursuit of New York Yankees’ pitcher Sonny Gray, and a trade for Trevor Bauer or Corey Kluber now appears to be off the table.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Milwaukee Brewers are now the frontrunners in the Sonny Gray sweepstakes. Morosi also reports that because of the additions of Tanner Roark and Alex Wood to the Cincinnati rotation, the Reds have now faded in their pursuit of Gray.

Personally, I can’t think of better news to hear as we enter the new year. Gray was always a last ditch option in my opinion, especially after acquiring Roark. Gray has had some success at the Major League level, but not recently, and I always viewed Gray as a reclamation project that was going to cost too much in terms of assets (Top 20 prospect) and salary ($9M-plus).

Now, Morosi’s report does not totally eliminate the Cincinnati Reds, but additions of Roark and Wood surely make an acquisition like Gray a long shot. Should the offseason drag on and New York’s asking price drop, I wouldn’t be opposed to the Reds taking a flyer on Gray. However, that’s only after they’ve exhausted every other option, and even then, I’d feel more comfortable with Tyler Mahle taking the ball every fifth day rather than Gray.

Now, onto the other pitchers whom the Cincinnati Reds have been rumored to have interest in. It now appears that Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber are both off the table. Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com is reporting that the idea of the Indians now trading Bauer or Kluber seems likely at this time.

Castrovince was quick to point out that the situation could change with just one phone call, but with the other moves the Indians have been able to make this offseason, they’ve already saved $21M in salary. Cleveland has already moved Yan Gomes, Edwin Encarnacion, and Yonder Alonso this offseason.

The Indians are in need of help in the outfield and help in their bullpen. These are both areas than which the Reds have a good amount of talent, however, Cincinnati would have to sacrifice some very talented players in order to land a player like Corey Kluber. A package would most likely have to include Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker, and a reliever.

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While I still wouldn’t dismiss this trade as being dead, the latest batch of Reds rumors sure do have it on life support. We’ll keep you posted as the offseason continues. Maybe the Reds have an ace up their sleeve as we head into the new year.