Cincinnati Reds: Kyle Farmer is the best acquisition from offseason trade

DENVER, CO - JULY 14: Kyle Farmer #52 of the Cincinnati Reds scores a second inning run as Tony Wolters #14 of the Colorado Rockies waits for a throw in the second inning of a game at Coors Field on July 14, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 14: Kyle Farmer #52 of the Cincinnati Reds scores a second inning run as Tony Wolters #14 of the Colorado Rockies waits for a throw in the second inning of a game at Coors Field on July 14, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off a blockbuster trade back in December. Kyle Farmer was the biggest piece of that trade.

This may be hugely unpopular, and several fans may think it’s wrong, but I believe that Kyle Farmer was the best acquisition that the Cincinnati Reds received in their trade with Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason. Farmer came to Cincinnati along with Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood.

Alright, before everyone goes nuts, let me explain that my take is based on the fact that I believe Puig will not re-sign with the Reds beyond this season. I love Puig’s hustle, his power, and the energy that he brings. However, the price tag will likely be too much for the Reds and Cincinnati has a bunch of talented outfielders ready to take the next step.

So, with that out of the way, can we take a second and just look at what Kyle Farmer has brought to the Reds this season. Farmer, who’ll turn 29-years old next month, is hitting just .245 on the season, but has a .734 OPS due in large part to the .445 slugging percentage. Farmer has 4 doubles, 6 home runs, and 22 RBIs in just 110 at-bats.

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Farmer has proven to be a jack-of-all-trades. The Atlanta native has seen time at first base, second base, third base, and behind the plate. Farmer also spent time during Spring Training playing shortstop, a position he played during college. Even Hall of Famer Barry Larkin was impressed with Farmer’s footwork while playing the position.

The plug-and-play style that Farmer brings to the Cincinnati Reds is exactly what David Bell seems to look for. We’ve seen José Peraza and Derek Dietrich play both the infield and outfield this season. Nick Senzel can unquestionably handle multiple positions even though he’s been the team’s primary center fielder this season.

While it may be a bit off-the-wall to call Farmer the best acquisition the Reds received from their offseason trade with LA, just hear me out. As I said earlier, I highly doubt the Reds re-sign Puig this offseason. Could they? Sure. Should they? Eh, I’m on the fence about that one.

Puig is a phenomenal talent with power, speed, and charisma. After struggling to begin the season, Puig’s bat has zeroed in on opposing pitching and he’s taking them deep at an outstanding clip. As far as this season is concerned, Puig is undoubtedly the best player the Reds received from the Dodgers.

However, if Puig does not re-sign with Cincinnati, what value does he hold? The right fielder is currently 28-years old and making $9.7M this season. He’ll definitely be looking for a long-term contract in the offseason and it wouldn’t be crazy for Puig to look for 3-4 year deal with an AAV of $15M. Would Cincinnati re-sign Puig to a 3 year/$45M deal?

Would that be the best use of those resources with players like Phillip Ervin, Jesse Winker, and even Derek Dietrich able to play the corner outfield spots? That’s not even considering the prospects of minor leaguers like Taylor Trammell or Jose Siri making the leap to the majors. The Reds also have some talented outfielders who are tearing it up in Triple-A as well.

My point is, that whether it’s an individual or by committee, the Cincinnati Reds can absorb the loss of Yasiel Puig next season and beyond should the mercurial outfielder find a new home this offseason. The value that Farmer brings to the table cannot be replicated by anyone currently on the Reds’ roster.

Farmer is currently filling the void of catcher Tucker Barnhart who’s on the injured list with a strained right oblique. With Curt Casali nursing inflammation in his right knee, Farmer may find even more time behind the plate.

Kyle Farmer has also been clutch in pinch hit situations this season. I don’t think the difficulty of coming in off the bench and being counted on for a big hit is very well respected. Farmer has 9 hits as a pinch hitter, good enough for fifth in all of Major League Baseball. His 3 doubles in those situations rank 3rd in the league and his 6 RBIs are good enough for 7th in the NL.

Farmer is under team control through the 2024 season. He’ll be 34-years old by the time he hits free agency. That type of contractual situation, given what Farmer brings to the team, is more than ideal for a small market team like the Reds.

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It’s hard to grade any trade until a few years down the road, as the progression of the prospects and how they develop helps to better reflect what each team ultimately got in return. However, for now, it looks like Cincinnati made a nice pickup in Kyle Farmer, a player who wasn’t even expected to make the Opening Day roster.