3. Reds ship battery mates to Rays in exchange for Willy Adames.
This scenario probably would garner more attention had the Cincinnati Reds chose to tender a contract to catcher Curt Casali. However, the team non-tendered the veteran backstop and Casali has since signed with the San Francisco Giants. But, if the Reds front office really feels that Tyler Stephenson is ready for The Show, perhaps trading Tucker Barnhart would be in the cards.
Barnhart, a two-time Gold Glove-winner, is entering the final guaranteed season of his deal. The Reds do have a $7.5M team option following the 2021 season, but with Stephenson set to be a big part of Cincinnati’s future, it’s hard to envision the front office picking up the tab. Catcher is one of Tampa Bay’s weakest positions.
Aside from Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle is the best young pitcher within the Cincinnati organization. Each of the past three seasons have seen significant improvement in Mahle’s performance, and the right-hander is under team control for the next three seasons. After losing Blake Snell, this feels like the perfect match for Tampa Bay.
Throw in infield prospect Tyler Callihan, and the Redlegs may have the makings of a potential deal to solidify the shortstop position heading into the 2021 season. Callihan was Cincinnati’s third-round pick in 2019 and has the potential to be an everyday starter at second or third base.
There are many different trade scenarios the Cincinnati Reds and Tampa Bay Rays could explore, but so long as Willy Adames ends up in the Queen City, it should feel like a victory to Nick Krall and the front office.