Blake Snell could be a possible trade candidate for the Reds.
If the Cincinnati Reds, like everyone assumes, are unable to retain Trevor Bauer, that leaves a giant hole in the starting rotation. Perhaps Blake Snell is the answer. What might a possible trade package look like for the former Cy Young award winner?
Blake Snell’s name surfaced in trade rumors this week, and while any team should be leery of doing a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, adding the left-hander to an already formidable starting rotation may be too good for Nick Krall to pass up.
The Reds already boast a rotation of Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray (assuming he’s not traded this offseason). Tyler Mahle looks like the odds-on-favorite to occupy the No. 3 spot in the starting rotation with Wade Miley bringing up the rear. But what about that final piece? Could Cincinnati put together a good enough package to pry Snell away from the Rays?
The Reds do not have a highly-rated farm system, but that doesn’t mean that Cincinnati is lacking talented players. Some of the team’s top-rated prospects could fetch a haul. Would a trade package centered around former top prospect Nick Senzel be enough to get the Rays to start talking?
Senzel is no stranger to trade rumors, as his name popped up a few times last winter. The addition of Shogo Akiyama to the roster gives Cincinnati the opportunity to move on from Senzel and not miss his presence in the lineup. Akiyama, after a slow start, elevated his play during the month of September, and Senzel made just 20 starts last season.
Nick Senzel still has trade value, but his inability to stay on the field has caused that value to take a hit. Because of that, Cincinnati would have to sweeten the pot by adding some young, controllable players with high upside. Enter Tony Santillan and Jonathan India.
Santillan was added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster last offseason and is a hard-throwing right-hander who could be major league-ready this coming season. India is a plus-hitting infielder who’s currently blocked at the major league level by former All-Stars Mike Moustakas and Eugenio Suárez.
The three players mentioned represent a nice haul for the Rays while at the same time keeping the Reds competitive for the immediate future. There is the matter of Blake Snell’s contract (three years/$40.8M), and with the Reds looking to reduce payroll, it may be more advantageous to just hand the reigns over to Michael Lorenzen to be the team’s fifth starter next season.
Blake Snell, however, would add a phenomenal left-handed pitcher to Cincinnati’s stable. The former Cy Young award winner would replace the loss of Trevor Bauer at a fraction of the cost. Should the Reds pull the trigger on a deal for Snell? Is the package of Senzel, Santillan, and India enough?