Our friends at FanSided’s Seattle Mariners’ news and opinion website, Sodo Mojo, threw a curveball into the Cincinnati Reds pursuit of a starting shortstop for the 2021 season. Would the Mariners’ Swiss Army knife, Dylan Moore fit the bill?
Ryota Nishino, site co-expert at Sodo Mojo, suggested a potential trade package centered around the 28-year-old Moore. With Seattle not likely to contend for the AL West pennant in 2021, it makes sense that the Mariners would look to strengthen their farm system through a trade with Cincinnati, who is desperate to fill their need at shortstop.
What would Dylan Moore bring to the Reds?
While the Cincinnati Reds already have a plug-n-play infielder in Kyle Farmer, Dylan Moore is even more versatile. During his two years in the bigs, Moore has played every single position in the Seattle lineup except catcher. I guess Farmer has a leg up on Moore in that department.
However, Moore has 34 games and 200-plus innings of experience playing shortstop. His 27 starts is the most he’s logged at any position since coming to the majors in 2019. Moore is not a stalwart defender at the position, owning -6 defensive runs scored according to FanGraphs. Moore is responsible for -4 outs above average (OAA) according to Baseball Savant.
But, the Cincinnati Reds are not looking for a defensive upgrade at shortstop. Nick Krall and the front office want to add an impact bat. Moore can certainly provide that. Last season, Moore slashed .255/.358/.496 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs.
What would the Reds give up to land Dylan Moore?
For the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds to do business, there has to be mutual interest. To this point, rumors of a trade between with the M’s and Redlegs have been nonexistent. However, the idea is not too far-fetched.
Sodo Mojo’s proposal contains a prospect package centered around 2019 second-round pick Rece Hinds. Hinds is a power-bat, currently ranked No. 9 in the Reds farm system according to MLB Pipeline. Add to Hinds former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Riley O’Brien and last year’s fourth-round pick Mac Wainwright, and Sodo Mojo co-expert Nishino thinks we have a deal.
This is not a terrible deal for the Reds, but it’s certainly not a slam dunk that Nick Krall and the Cincinnati front office would pull the trigger. While Hinds is the centerpiece of this deal for the Mariners, O’Brien represents a potential bullpen arm this year and Wainwright could be one of the steals from last year’s abbreviated MLLB Draft.
To be honest, while Hinds is the highest-rated player among the three, there are some concerns surrounding the 20-year-old’s ability to recognize pitches. Hinds’ power is possibly the best among any of the Reds’ prospects sans Austin Hendrick, but if he can’t make contact, we could be looking at another version of Aristides Aquino; big power, but a lot of swings and misses.
As for O’Brien, while many fans would probably see the 25-year-old as a dime-a-dozen reliever, I’m much higher on O’Brien than that. The grandson of former major leaguer Johnny O’Brien, Riley is likely to debut this season and be a key piece of the Cincinnati bullpen.
Wainwright’s inclusion is a little hard to swallow as well given his potential. The Ohio native is extremely athletic, and while very raw, Wainwright has the potential to make an impact at the major league level further down the line.
Should the Reds trade a trio of prospects for Dylan Moore?
Is Dylan Moore, a 28-year-old utility infielder, worth the sacrifice of three Top 30 prospects? Sorry Sodo Mojo, but I’m going to pass on this trade proposal. While it’s a fair deal in terms of current value, adding Moore doesn’t move the needle enough to justify Cincinnati sacrificing pieces from an already depleted farm system.
To be honest, if a potential deal with the Cleveland Indians centered around the same three prospects in exchange for Amed Rosario, I’d still have to pass. While some fans feel that a major upgrade at shortstop is essential to compete in 2021, I don’t.
Kyle Farmer is serviceable, Kyle Holder brings a fantastic glove, and José García is not too far away from becoming an everyday player. If the Cincinnati Reds were on the verge of trading away the likes of Eugenio Suárez, Sonny Gray, and Luis Castillo this offseason, why the sudden change of heart and desire to compete in 2021?
It seems as though the Cincinnati Reds are walking that fine line between a full-on rebuild and doing just enough to stay competitive in a weak NL Central. Yes, despite the Nolan Arenado trade, winning the NL Central is still within the Reds reach regardless of any future moves made this offseason. Sorry Sodo Mojo, but I’ll have to pass.