Are the Cincinnati Reds going to be buyers or sellers at the MLB trade deadline? Honestly, I don’t know. Regardless, Cincinnati has a few players the team could part with before the deadline and still remain competitive.
The key is for the Reds to make deals from a position of strength. Cincinnati has a surplus of outfielders on this year’s squad, and with Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo climbing the minor league ranks, the starting rotation may be overflowing with talent very soon.
The Reds are still in the hunt for the National League Central Division crown. Every team in the division is deficient in some way, shape, or form. The Chicago Cubs don’t have a legitimate ace, the Milwaukee Brewers are 14th in the NL in OPS, the St. Louis Cardinals have been plagued by injuries to their starters, and the Cincinnati Reds have the worst bullpen in the league.
The Reds have to find a way to help their beleaguered bullpen if they hope to have any chance of winning of the division. Though parting with some of your better players is sometimes difficult, Cincinnati is not going to be able to retool their relief corp by dealing players that won’t help another team compete for a postseason berth. Who should the Reds be willing to part with in order to shore up the bullpen?
1. Tyler Naquin, Reds outfielder
Before the season began, Tyler Naquin seemed like a nice addition to a Cincinnati Reds team that needed an additional outfielder. Shogo Akiyama had missed time in spring training due to a family emergency and injury, and given Nick Senzel’s track record, having an extra outfielder in the mix was a solid addition.
However, few expected to see Tyler Naquin break out and lead the team in RBIs. Naquin has a .786 OPS, 11 doubles, 11 home runs, and 43 RBIs on the season. That type of production and a .480 slugging percentage against right-handed hitters could be a boost to a team in need of left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield positions.
Nick Senzel will be back after the All-Star break, but until then, the combination of Aristides Aquino (right-handed hitter) and Shogo Akiyama (left-handed hitter) could hold down the fort in center field. The Reds need to sell high on Naquin, who hasn’t played more than 89 games since his rookie season in 2016.