1 realistic trade candidate from each team the Reds could target

Braves relief pitcher A.J. Minter throws a pitch against the Astros.
Braves relief pitcher A.J. Minter throws a pitch against the Astros. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Reds have been known to be pretty thrifty when it comes to signing high-dollar free agents, but it's not out of the question that the front office will look to upgrade the roster via trades.

Who's one player from each team the Reds could target this offseason? Let's look at each division and select one player from each team who might be a fit for the Cincinnati Reds.

Which players should the Reds target from the NL East?

A.J. Minter, Atlanta Braves

The Cincinnati Reds need a reliable left-hander out of the bullpen. A.J. Minter is just 27 years old and under team control through the 2024 season. The southpaw posted a 2.69 FIP and during the playoffs, his strikeout-rate is 44.0%.

Left-handed reliever Justin Wilson is under contract through next season, but Amir Garrett is up for arbitration and could be non-tendered this winter.

Connor Brogdon, Philadelphia Phillies

Another reliever on the list? Shocking, I know. In all seriousness, adding an arm like Connor Brogdon is a virtual necessity for the Reds this offseason. Cincinnati has to find a way to fix the bullpen without bringing in washed up veterans on minor league contracts.

Brogdon posted a 3.43 ERA in 56 games, 55 of which came out of the Phillies bullpen. Brogdon doesn't miss a lot of bats, but the 26-year-old would be a solid addition to the Reds relief corps.

Drew Smith, New York Mets

I'm sensing a theme here, But let's be real; the Cincinnati Reds need as many relief arms as they can get, Heading into next season, the only reliable pitchers out of the bullpen would be Tony Santillan, Lucas Sims, Justin Wilson, Art Warren, and Luis Cessa.

Drew Smith put up solid numbers for New York in 2021. The right-hander appeared in 31 games, struck out 41 batters over 41.1 innings, and put up a 2.40 ERA.

Anthony Bass, Miami Marlins

Yes, I know, it's another reliever. But an overwhelming majority of the Miami Marlins position players are not going anywhere. However, a veteran reliever like Anthony Bass could be had.

Bass had a solid, yet unspectacular season in 2021. The journeyman right-hander owned a 3.82 ERA. Bass has posted an ERA+ above 100 in the last four seasons.

Tres Barrera, Washington Nationals

You have to think that the Cincinnati Reds will not pick up Tucker Barnhart's $7.5M option. If Barnhart becomes a free agent, it may behoove the Redlegs to look for a backup catcher to give Tyler Stephenson a few days off.

Tres Barrera had a cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2020, but spent 30 games with the Nats in 2021. The right-handed backstop put up a .264/.374/.385 slash line in 91 at-bats.

Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Brent Suter (35) plays a ground ball off the bat of a Cincinnati Reds player.
Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Brent Suter (35) plays a ground ball off the bat of a Cincinnati Reds player. / Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services,

Which players should the Reds target from the NL Central?

Brent Suter, Milwaukee Brewers

Trading within the division is always difficult, but we've already discussed the need for the Reds to add another lefty to the pen. Former Archbishop Moeller graduate Brent Suter makes sense.

The southpaw struck out 69 batters over 73.1 innings in 2021 and has posted an ERA below 3.20 over the last three seasons. Suter's 162 ERA+ during that span is pretty impressive.

Harrison Bader, St. Louis Cardinals

I know, I don't like the thought of it either, but I've got to pick someone from the St. Louis Cardinals and Harrison Bader seems like the most logical suggestion. Bader is an elite defensive outfielder who showed some decent pop this season.

The Cincinnati Reds need to figure out what they're doing in center field next season. Nick Senzel cannot be count on and Tyler Naquin will likely end up in right field if Nick Castellanos leaves via free agency.

Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs

Ian Happ was a Reds killer in 2021. So why not bring him home to Cincinnati. The former UC Bearcat wrecked havoc on the Reds last season, hitting .345/.433/.759 with seven home runs and 15 RBIs in 19 games.

If nothing else, this would keep Happ from beating up on our beloved Redlegs during the 2022 season. Happ is also able to play all over the field defensively.

Sam Howard, Pittsburgh Pirates

A former 3rd-round pick of the Colorado Rockies, Sam Howard has spent the past two seasons in the Steel City. No, the 5.60 ERA doesn't look too appealing, but the 60 punch outs over 45 innings is hard to ignore.

Howard, 28, posted a 30.2% strikeout-rate in 2021, but also saw his walk-rate creep up to 16.1%. That's the highest it's been during his four big league seasons.

Former Reds catcher Curt Casali (2) smiles.
Former Reds catcher Curt Casali (2) smiles. / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Which players should the Reds target from the NL West?

Curt Casali, San Francisco Giants

If the Reds plan to move on from Tucker Barnhart, what better catcher to pair with Tyler Stephenson than former Cincinnati backstop Curt Casali.

No, Casali is never going to wow you with offensive statistics, but he's solid behind the dish. With former MVP Buster Posey likely to return to the Bay Area and top prospect Joey Bart itching to see more time in the bigs, the Giants could part with Casali.

Phil Bickford, Los Angeles Dodgers

Yet another relief pitcher finds his way onto the list. Phil Bickford owned a 2.81 ERA in 2021. After starting the season with the Milwaukee Brewers, Bickford joined the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The right-hander struck out 59 batters over 51.1 innings of work. Bickford's 10.5 K/9 was in-line with fellow Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen.

Craig Stammen, San Diego Padres

Despite being 37 years old, Craig Stammen is still a solid reliever. While his HR/9 took a jump from 2020 to 2021, Stammen is a ground ball pitcher whose style would play well at Great American Ball Park.

Stammen's ground ball-rate was at nearly 55% last season and it's been below 50% for the last three seasons. Think of Stammen as the bullpen version of Reds starter Wade Miley.

Tyler Kinley, Colorado Rockies

It's always difficult to evaluate pitchers who spend half their season at Coors Field, but adding Tyler Kinley could give Cincinnati a decent arm out of the bullpen. The right-hander posted a 23.1% strikeout-rate in 2021.

Kinley also has minor league options remaining and is entering his first offseason of arbitration eligibility. That would seem to fit nicely into the Reds plans.

Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks

Yes, it would require a huge return, but the Cincinnati Reds do not have a reliable centerfielder, and for what Ketel Marte provides, his contract is a steal.

Marte is owed $8M in 2022 and has team-options in both 2023 ($10M) and 2024 ($12M). Adding Marte to center field would allow Tyler Naquin to slide over to right field and use Nick Senzel as a super utility player.

Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Manuel Margot (13) makes a catch.
Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Manuel Margot (13) makes a catch. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Which players should the Reds target from the AL East?

Manuel Margot, Tampa Bay Rays

No, Manuel Margot would not replace the offensive production of Nick Castellanos in right field, but he'd certainly boost the team's outfield defense.

Margot has 41 defensive runs saved in his career, Castellanos has -48. Margot, however, has yet to put up an OPS+ over 100 during his career.

Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox

The Cincinnati Reds failed to hang on to Raisel Iglesias and Archie Bradley last season and it cost them dearly. The bullpen situation is about as murky heading into this offseason as it was last winter.

Barnes has two years and $15.5M remaining on his current deal, plus a option for 2024. Whether it's proven closer like Barnes or a slew of other relievers, Cincinnati must address the bullpen this winter.

Joey Gallo, New York Yankees

Not an ideal trade candidate by any means, but with the designated hitter likely coming to the National League, Joey Gallo could be a force in the Reds lineup.

A lot of fans will point to Gallo's AL-leading 213 strikeouts, but you can't ignore his AL-leading 111 walks as well. Gallo is your classic three true outcomes type of player.

Ross Stripling, Toronto Blue Jays

Looking for a low-cost, back-of-the-rotation starter who could also serve as a long man out of the bullpen? Look no further than Ross Stripling.

The 31-year-old had a down year, but Stripling could be a buy-low candidate this offseason. An All-Star with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018, Stripling has talent, but has struggled the past two seasons.

Paul Fry, Baltimore Orioles

Paul Fry posted a 6.08 ERA last season, but the left-hander did strikeout 60 hitters over 47.1 innings of work. Fry is also under team control through 2024.

I've stressed the need for Cincinnati to address the bullpen this offseason and adding Fry would do just that. The lefty posted a ground ball rate of nearly 50% but his 16.3% walk-rate is rather unappealing.

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) throws a pitch.
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) throws a pitch. / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Which players should the Reds target from the AL Central?

Dallas Keuchel, Chicago White Sox

Dallas Keuchel had a down year in 2021 and was even left off the Chicago White Sox playoff roster. Still, the former Cy Young Award-winner could be an intriguing target for the Reds this offseason.

It's almost a certainty that the White Sox will shop Keuchel this offseason. While the Reds wouldn't want to take on Keuchel's salary, perhaps swinging a trade for the lefty would allow Cincinnati to get out from under one of their more pricey contracts.

Aaron Civale, Cleveland Indians

If there's one thing the Cleveland Indians have, it's starting pitching. While the Cincinnati Reds are relatively deep in this area as well, a few of their hurlers are getting long in the tooth.

Wade Miley has a $10M team-option, Sonny Gray will be a free agent after next season, and Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle are entering their second season of arbitration. Aaron Civale is an underrated pitcher within the Indians' organization.

José Cisnero, Detroit Tigers

We'll continue to beat the drum; the Cincinnati Reds need to address the bullpen this offseason. José Cisnero recorded 62 punch outs in 61.2 innings.

Cisnero posted a 3.65 ERA in 2021 and has a career-ERA under 4.00. The right-hander is under team control through the 2023 season.

Scott Barlow, Kansas City Royals

Trading for Scott Barlow would cost the Reds a pretty penny in terms of the return, but landing an arm like his would help solidify the backend of the Cincinnati bullpen for years to come.

Barlow recorded 91 strikeouts over 74.1 innings of work and converrted 16 saves. His 190 ERA+ is eye-popping as well. Barlow is a workhorse on the mound.

Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins

Would Cincinnati really make a deal like this? Anything is possible, and if the Minnesota Twins don't look to lock up Byron Buxton this offseason, he'll become a free agent next winter.

This would be quite the gamble, but one that could pay off. Buxton is a superstar, both in the field and at the plate. That said, he's played a combined 187 games over the past two seasons.

Oakland Athletics center fielder Starling Marte (2) is safe at after a tag was applied by Jason Castro.
Oakland Athletics center fielder Starling Marte (2) is safe at after a tag was applied by Jason Castro. / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Which players should the Reds target from the AL West?

Jason Castro, Houston Astros

We've peeked a few other potential backup catchers, but Jason Castro makes a ton of sense due mainly to the fact that he's a left-handed hitter.

We saw David Bell platoon both Tyler Stephenson and Tucker Barnhart behind the plate in 2021, but Castro's .917 OPS versus right-handers is much more impressive than Barnhart's .678 OPS against right-handed pitchers.

Taylor Trammell, Seattle Mariners

This would be a wild turn of events, wouldn't it? The Reds had previously traded Taylor Trammell to the San Diego Padres in the deal that brought Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati.

Trammell has a solid arm and elite speed that make him a capable centerfielder. However, his 42.1% strikeout-rate would need to be improved upon.

Jake Diekman, Oakland Athletics

The veteran left-hander (Sean Doolittle, Jesse Biddle, and Zach Duke) has left Reds fans with a bad taste in their mouths. But maybe Jake Diekman would be a different story.

Diekman posted a 31.7% strikeout-rate over 60-plus innings of work. The southpaw posted a 3.86 ERA, but the 13% walk-rate is a bit concerning.

Brandon Marsh, Los Angeles Angels

Brandon Marsh appeared in 70 games during his rookie season with the Los Angeles Angels. The trio of Jo Adell, Mike Trout, and Justin Upton look to be a mainstay in the Angels' outfield.

If LA wants to compete for the AL West crown, they need to invest in pitching. The Reds have plenty of that and perhaps a deal could be worked out that would be mutually beneficial.

Jharel Cotton, Texas Rangers

Jharel Cotton reemerged from obscurity this past season after not seeing a major league diamond since 2017 with the Oakland Athletics.

Next. 5 free agent replacements if Castellanos opts out. dark

A rash of injuries, including Tommy John surgery, kept Cotton out of action for the 2018 and most of the 2019 season. However, a 3.52 ERA and 30 punch outs are a good way to make your presence felt.