3 deals the Reds need to get done with 24 hours until the trade deadline

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: Daniel Hudson #44 of the Washington Nationals pitches. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: Daniel Hudson #44 of the Washington Nationals pitches. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the second inning. The Reds should trade for Heaney.
ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 28: Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the second inning. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

3. The Reds should trade for Angels’ starter Andrew Heaney.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. In all honesty, if there’s one area of concern remaining for the Cincinnati Reds, it should be the starting rotation. Wade Miley has been brilliant this season, and Luis Castillo has rebounded nicely in the last two months, but the remainder of the Reds’ starting rotation is a crapshoot.

Sonny Gray, when he’s healthy, is as good as almost anyone in the Reds’ rotation. That said, Gray has struggled recently, and you have to wonder if he came back off the IL too quickly. Gray has a 14.63 ERA and just nine punch outs in his last two games that included eight innings of work, 14 hits, and five walks.

I’m a big fan of Tyler Mahle, but he’s been having a hard time getting through six or more innings this season. Mahle has made it past the sixth inning three times this season. He’s a grinder, but way too often, Mahle falls behind in the count or runs the count full, resulting in David Bell having to go to the bullpen early and often.

The fifth spot in the rotation currently belongs to Vladimir Gutierrez. We’ve seen the good and the bad from Gutierrez this season, and the Reds may need a more reliable arm down the stretch. Andrew Heaney could be that guy. Heaney is 6-7 in 18 starts with a 5.27 ERA. That’s not overly impressive by any stretch of the imagination, but his secondary markers might be.

Heaney has a 28.2% strikeout-rate a 4.05 FIP. His 20.4% K-BB% is also very impressive, but his 1.53 HR/9 is not. Heaney’s availability hinges on whether or not the Los Angeles Angels are buyers or sellers at the deadline. LA appears out of the race for the AL West, but are only five games back in the Wild Card.

Andrew Heaney is only owed about $2.2M for the remainder of the 2021 season and will become a free agent after the World Series. Heaney would be a nice addition to the back of the Reds’ rotation, and add some insurance in the event Sonny Gray sustains another injury. Also, as good as Wade Miley’s been, don’t forget that he fell off a cliff during the second-half in 2019’s run with the Houston Astros.

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Alex Cobb, also of the Los Angeles Angels, is another name to keep an eye one. The right-hander has better numbers than his left-handed teammate and a cheaper salary. But, that means it’ll cost some higher-level prospects, which is something I don’t see the Cincinnati Reds doing for a pitcher that’s likely to give them no more than 10 starts for the remainder of the 2021 season.