Might the Reds and Rays swing a deal centered around Willy Adames?
One, two, three strikes, you’re out! The Cincinnati Reds have struck out on every single free agent shortstop they’re inquired about this offseason. With the final chip, Didi Gregorius, now off the board, the Reds front office will likely have to explore some trade options in order to upgrade the position. Perhaps the Tampa Bay Rays would be willing to move Willy Adames.
Of all the trade scenarios that exist, this one could offer the Reds the most bang for their buck. Francisco Lindor was never a realistic option, especially considering he’s a free agent after the 2021 season. Trevor Story makes sense, but like Lindor, he’s free to explore other options after the upcoming season. Amed Rosario would fill a need, but doesn’t really move the needle.
Willy Adames, on the other hand, would be a fantastic upgrade at shortstop. Adames is under team control through the 2024 season and he plays elite-level defense. According to FanGraphs, over the last two seasons, Adames has posted 14 defensive runs saved (DRS). Adames would be an immediate upgrade over Freddy Galvis, and his defense is on-par with José Iglesias’.
There are a few statistics that may be concerning, with chief among them being Adames’ 36.1% strikeout-rate in 2020. The right-handed hitting Adames still put up a slash line of .259/.332/.481 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs last season. Adames is pre-arbitration eligible, so his price tag fits what the Reds are looking for, but what would it cost Cincinnati in return?