The Cincinnati Reds need relief. Could Seattle Mariners right-hander Kendall Graveman be the answer, and what might it take to secure his services? The Reds bullpen is the worst in the league, and if Cincinnati hopes to compete for a spot in the postseason, some changes must be made.
Graveman is on an incredibly affordable contract, so trading for the M’s closer wouldn’t require Bob Castellini to scrounge up some loose change from the floor of his office. Graveman is on a one-year/$1.25M contract with incentives that may boost his salary to $3.75M.
Kendall Graveman would boost the backend of the Reds bullpen.
Relief pitchers are a hot commodity at the trade deadline, but you could easily make the case that no team needs bullpen arms more than the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds’ relief corps is in shambles, and some arms that have been reliable in the past (Amir Garrett and Sean Doolittle) have fallen on hard times.
Cincinnati has the worst bullpen in Major League Baseball. Reds’ relievers have a collective ERA of 5.70. That’s worse than the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, and even the Arizona Diamondbacks. Those three teams are a combined 79-133 (.372). The fact that David Bell’s squad is above .500 and even within earshot of a postseason spot is astounding.
It’s time for the Cincinnati Reds to make a play for a big-tie reliever, and Kendall Graveman is that guy. The Mariners reliever is 1-0 with a 0.92 ERA and a 0.661 WHIP over 19.2 innings of work so far this season. But what would it take to land Seattle’s most talented relief pitcher? Would two of Cincinnati’s prospects be enough?
The Mariners’ farm system is ripe with young pitching prospects, and Seattle in certainly rebuilding. The M’s face the tough competition from the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics within the AL West., so adding some talent that may help Seattle in the future seems like the right approach.
Yan Contreras is a young shortstop prospect within the Reds’ farm system, and the 20-year-old is loaded with potential. That said, Contreras is an extremely raw prospect, and with Cincinnati appearing to go all-in on Jose Garcia as the team’s shortstop of the future, the team’s No. 22-ranked prospect would appear to be expendable.
In addition, the Reds could add rising outfielder Brian Rey to the trade package as well. Rey started the season off with a bang a Advanced-A Dayton, slashing .423/.421/.904 and was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga after just 13 games.
The Cincinnati Reds bullpen needs help, and Kendall Graveman should certainly be able to contribute. Graveman is a free agent at season’s end, so a giant return filled with top prospects should not be necessary.