Reds: What’s the best trade offer the Padres could make for Sonny Gray?

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 06: Ryan Weathers #40 of the San Diego Padres prepares to throw. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 06: Ryan Weathers #40 of the San Diego Padres prepares to throw. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

What’s the best return the Reds could get from the Padres in exchange for Sonny Gray?

Here at Blog Red Machine, we’ve had some interesting exchanges over the past week or so with our friends over Friars On Base. We recently asked our sister site within the FanSided network for their best trade proposal for starting pitcher Sonny Gray. What could the Cincinnati Reds expect to receive from the San Diego Padres in exchange for the two-time All-Star?

So, according to Friars on Base, what’s the “best” the Reds could hope to receive if Nick Krall and the front office decided to deal Gray to the Padres? Interestingly, our friends on the West Coast sent back a proposal that could be too good to pass up?

In a mock trade with Friars on Base, the Cincinnati Reds would send right-hander Sonny Gray to the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfield prospect Robert Hassell, left-handed pitcher Ryan Weathers, and right-hander Michael Báez. Let’s take a deeper look at this proposal, shall we?

We all know what the Reds would be giving up in Sonny Gray. He’s a front-line starter with two-years and $20.2M remaining on his current contract. The right-hander struggled to stay on the hill last season, starting just 11 games and failed to make an appearance in Cincinnati’s Wild Card Series against the Atlanta Braves.

However, since his arrival in the Queen City, Gray has been a star. After struggling in New York, the Nashville native regained his swagger once he rejoined his college pitching coach, Derek Johnson. In his two years with the Reds, Gray is 16-11 with a 307 ERA, 1.115 WHIP, and 277 strikeouts. Sonny Gray is, at worst, a No. 2 starter in this league.

So, if Cincinnati actually went through with the idea of trading Gray to the Padres, what’s the best  the Reds could expect to receive in return? Well, according to Friars on Base, quite a bit. Hassell (No. 74) is a Top 100 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and Weathers is the No. 6 ranked prospect in the Padres farm system. Báez was among the team’s Top 10 prospects in 2019.

Hassell was rumored to be among the players Cincinnati was likely to select in last year’s draft. Hassell was taken with the No. 8 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft and was arguably the best all-around prep hitter in his class. While it’s debatable as to whether or not Hassell has enough raw power to eclipse 15 home runs year-in and year-out, his hit tool is quite impressive.

Robert Hassell was a two-way player in high school and has the arm to stick in center field or play in right at the major league level. Adding Hassell to Cincinnati’s first-round pick Austin Hendrick would give the Reds an exciting outfield moving into the future.

Ryan Weathers, the son of former Cincinnati Reds pitcher David Weathers, got his feet wet this season in the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Weathers, San Diego’s first-round pick in 2018, has tremendous command. He won’t blow you away with his fastball, but his spin-rate is quite deceptive to opposing batters.

Finally, let’s look at Michael Báez. The right-hander got his first taste of the big leagues in 2019 and pitched in three games last season. Báez, at 6-foot-8, has an imposing presence on the mound and is seen as a middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher or even a potential closer.

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So what do you think Reds Country? Is that deal sweet enough to pull the trigger, or should the Cincinnati Reds keep Sonny Gray in the organization? That type of haul is definitely not one to sneeze at, but if the Reds are hoping to compete in 2021, all signs point to keeping Gray in the Queen City.