It’s not often that you see division rivals making deals prior to the trade deadline, but this year, it makes sense for the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs to put their differences aside and hammer out a trade.
The Reds bullpen is in shambles. After losing Michael Lorenzen last night, and watching Amir Garrett and Sean Doolittle put forth horrendous performances, the need for Cincinnati to bolster their bullpen has become magnified.
Not only do the Reds need to add a couple relievers prior to the July 30th trade deadline, one of those additions must be a southpaw. Andrew Chafin, the Cubs’ left-hander, would be a nice pickup, and shouldn’t cost Cincinnati much in return.
The Reds and Cubs should work out a trade for Andrew Chafin.
While the Cincinnati Reds’ ownership has been under fire this season for its lack of spending on relief pitchers, two of the pitchers the team was hoping to rely on the most have drastically under performed.
I understand the frustration directed at Bob Castellini when players like Josh Osich and Cionel Perez are coming out of the bullpen, but Sean Doolittle and Amir Garrett have pitched well below expectations. Doolittle, the Reds’ lone major league signing this offseason, owns a 4.65 ERA and has struggled mightily. Garrett has a 7.22 ERA and 1.640 WHIP.
The Redlegs need a reliable lefty out of the bullpen, and Andrew Chafin could be just that. The Ohio native has a 1.38 ERA and a 0.718 WHIP in 41 games this season. Chafin has struck out 36 batters over 39 innings and has allowed just one home run.
The Cubs are sellers, and the Reds should be buyers. This makes complete and total sense on the surface, and were it not for the fact that both teams play in the same division, this trade may have already been completed.
However, it’s time for both franchise to set aside their bitter hatred for one another and make a trade that could be mutually beneficial. Despite the fact that Chicago is attempting to rework deals for Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo, Joc Pederson has already relocated to Atlanta. Craig Kimbrel is likely next and it won’t be long before Kris Bryant is out the door as well.
Though Cincinnati has dropped the first two games of their series against Milwaukee, there’s still plenty of time for the Redlegs to get back into the thick of the NL Central race. The Reds have 13 games against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates over the final two-plus months of the season. That alone could help Cincy climb back into the playoff picture.
A low-level prospect like Danny Lantigua or Debby Santana would likely be enough to secure Chafin’s services. Chafin signed a one-year/$2.75M contract with the Cubs over the winter, and has a $5.25M mutual option for next season with a $500,000 buyout. Chafin would immediately upgrade the Reds’ bullpen and give David Bell a reliable lefty to call upon late in games.