3. Reds swap Nick Senzel and pitching prospect for Jorge Polanco.
Royce Lewis, much like Wander Franco, is ready for the big leagues. Jorge Polanco, much like Willy Adames, is expendable. Furthermore, the Minnesota Twins recently signed Andrelton Simmons, meaning that Polanco is expected to vacate the shortstop position and switch to second base. It just so happens that Nick Senzel has some familiarity with the position as well.
One of the most puzzling things to come out of Reds spring training is management’s lack of creativity. It’s extremely odd to me that the front office feels Senzel is athletic enough to handle the rigors of center field, but in no way will they give the former first-round pick a chance to handle shortstop duties.
The Reds are currently slated to enter the 2021 season with Kyle Farmer as the team’s starting shortstop. Why not move Senzel to shortstop and make Shogo Akiyama Cincinnati’s primary centerfielder? Senzel had been an infielder his entire college and professional career until the 2019 season when the Reds flipped him to center field.
In order to make this deal work for both sides, the teams could agree to include a couple prospects that would give both teams some added depth in their respective farm systems. The Reds could snag Brent Rooker, a first base prospect who could eventually supplant Joey Votto. The Twins could beef up their rotation with major league ready right-hander Tony Santillan.
Polanco would give Cincinnati a starting shortstop who’s under contract through the 2023 season. The switch-hitting Polanco is owed $9.8M over the next two seasons, and $7.5M in the final guaranteed year of his current deal. Polanco’s contract contains a vesting option for 2024.
So, if you were the Cincinnati Reds front office, would you be willing to part with Nick Senzel in order to fill the vacancy at shortstop? Are any of these deals too risky? Is there another player the Reds should look at? We’ll see if the former No. 2 overall pick opens up the 2021 season with Cincinnati or another team.