The Giants are reportedly shopping for an outfielder. With the impending call-up of Nick Senzel, the Cincinnati Reds should send Matt Kemp out west.
Reports came out yesterday from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that the San Francisco Giants were in the market for an outfielder. With the impending promotion of Nick Senzel and the large number of talented outfielders already on the Cincinnati Reds roster, maybe Dick Williams should pick up the phone and give Farhan Zaidi a call.
The outfield always seems to be a little overcrowded for the Cincinnati Reds. Last year the front office made a point of trading a declining Adam Duvall to clear some space in the outfield once Jesse Winker’s rookie season got going.
During the offseason, the Reds non-tendered Billy Hamilton to open up another outfield spot. Still, the team finds itself with more than enough capable outfielders to fill all three spots as well as a couple of seats on the bench.
The regular outfield rotation includes Jesse Winker, Scott Schebler, Yasiel Puig, and of course Matt Kemp. However they also have Michael Lorenzen, capable of playing center field, in the bullpen and Derek Dietrich who can both play in the outfield and infield. Phillip Ervin was just called up last week as well.
There is also the impending arrival of Nick Senzel in Cincinnati. Senzel put the work in during Spring Training to learn a new position at center field since his regular positions in the middle infield are blocked by José Peraza and Scooter Gennett.
With this abundance or outfield talent and the Giants in the market, it could be a prime opportunity for the Reds to acquire another pitcher. The Giants have a good bit of talent on their pitching staff. While I doubt they are willing to part with the likes of Madison Bumgarner, if the Reds could pick up another bullpen arm in exchange for one of their outfielders that could be a nice move by the Reds’ front office.
How about another left-handed reliever? Although Wandy Peralta and Amir Garrett have both been solid this season, it’s no secret that Zach Duke has been a liability out of the bullpen. With as many tough left-handed batters as the Reds have to face, I don’t think it’s possible to have too many southpaws in the bullpen.
If the Reds could work out a reasonable deal giving up Kemp, or maybe Schebler in exchange for a player like Tony Watson or Travis Bergen, I think the Reds could really get the better end of the deal. The only snag in trading Kemp would be his current injury. He has a broken rib and there’s no timetable for his return.
Scott Schebler’s current slump would give me cause to pause if I were the Giants’ GM. However, Schebler has shown the ability to hit 30-plus home runs in a season and he’s capable of playing all three outfield positions.
Obviously a lot would depend on how desperate the Giants are to get another outfielder and how seriously they are about shopping for one. For the Reds, I think it’s safe to say that Winker and Puig would both be off limits and if the team were able to unload Kemp, they’d no doubt have to absorb a chunk of the veteran’s contract.
The Cincinnati Reds have already put a lot of work in to improving their pitching staff, and with Alex Wood and Tanner Roark both departing in free agency at the end of the season it would be beneficial to look for some pitching this year.
If the Reds were to clear an outfielder off the current 25-man roster, it would open the door to finally bring Nick Senzel up to the big leagues. Even if they just make a deal for cash, it could be worth it to clear the roster spot.
Matt Kemp would be the perfect candidate to be sent out west. Zaidi, the Giants’ new general manager, is very familiar with the Reds’ left fielder, having worked in the Los Angeles Dodgers front office from 2014-2018. Schebler was also part of the Dodgers organization early in his career.
Whether it’s a trade for Matt Kemp, Scott Schebler, or even Phillip Ervin, at the very least, the Reds should be on the horn to see if they can make a deal. Players like Kemp and Schebler, and to a lesser extent, Ervin, are question marks moving forward for the Reds. With Senzel on his way up and Taylor Trammell waiting in the wings, the Reds will have an overcrowded outfield next year too.