The Reds need to find some way to offload these three players this winter.
While the Cincinnati Reds still hold out hope for an epic collapse on the part of the St. Louis Cardinals over the final two weeks of the season, it looks more and more like our beloved Redlegs are going to miss out on the postseason.
The 2021 season will be remembered for the Reds’ dismal performance down the stretch, but there have been some bright spots as well. By almost any measure, Cincinnati exceeded expectations this season despite dealing with constant injuries to some of their top players and having one of the worst bullpens in baseball.
After seeing the success of rookies like Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson, along with the emergence of Jesse Winker and the resurgence of Joey Votto, the 2022 season could provide similar intrigue to that fans experienced this season.
With all that said, we’re likely to see some changes next season. While David Bell and his coaching staff will return, there are several players who will likely have new homes in 2022. Some contracts and players can be difficult to trade, but Nick Krall and the Cincinnati Reds front office must find a way to deal these three players during the offseason.
1. Nick Senzel, Reds centerfielder
If it wasn’t for bad luck, Nick Senzel would have no luck at all. Senzel hasn’t played a game in the major leagues since mid-May, and this is after missing half the abbreviated 2020 season and landing on the IL to close out his rookie campaign in 2019.
Since his arrival in the big leagues, I’ve been effusive in my praise of the former University of Tennessee infielder. Senzel has all the talent you look for in a cornerstone for your franchise. The former first-round pick can hit for average, hit for power, fields his position well, and has very good speed.
But, and this is a big but, Nick Senzel cannot stay healthy. While I’m not comparing Senzel to Ken Griffey Jr. by any stretch of the imagination, The Kid had the same problem during his time with the Reds. Griffey Jr. had phenomenal talent and is a Hall of Famer, but can you imagine the records he would’ve broken had he stayed healthy?
Th biggest question is what trade value does Nick Senzel have left? I tend to think Senzel still carries a considerable amount of trade value. While it’s not near what it would have been if he were dealt two or three years ago, a young, controllable, former first-rounder is bound to attract a fair amount of interest.
The fan in me hopes that Senzel remains in Cincinnati, but I think the more prudent move is for the Reds to move on from the former No. 2 overall pick and find a new centerfielder in 2022. Tyler Naquin filled in adequately in Senzel’s absence this season, and the team continues to have high hopes for Mike Siani down the road.