The owners and the Player's Association have come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, meaning that transactions can begin immediately. Prior to the lockout, the Cincinnati Reds were more interested in sending players elsewhere than they were in bringing players into the clubhouse.
While Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Tyler Mahle are likely to hear their names emerge in trade rumors, the Redlegs have several other players the front office should consider dealing as well. While that trio of Reds starters would be better served to stay in the Queen City, these three players would be better off on another. However, it's unlikely we'll see that happen.
1. The Reds should trade Nick Senzel, but they won't.
I have been a big supporter of Nick Senzel since his days in the minor leagues, and I still believe that the 26-year-old has value. But it's not in a Cincinnati Reds uniform, and it's certainly not in the outfield. It's time, in fact it's well past time, for the Reds and Senzel to go their separate ways.
Senzel has immense talent, but an inability to stay on the field makes the former first-round pick expendable. Senzel missed more than 50 games in his first season with the club and half of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season as well. Last year, Senzel played in just 36 games and posted a wRC+ of only 72.
It's time to face the facts; Nick Senzel is not an everyday player. While he may have the talent to be a regular in the Reds lineup, he cannot be trusted to play a full season. If that's the case, you have to assume that Senzel would be platooning in center field with TJ Friedl during the 2022 season.
Senzel offers the Cincinnati Reds much more value as a potential trade asset than a player. There are sure to be any number of teams that would view the former Tennessee Volunteer favorably despite his injury history.
If the Redlegs were able to land a pair of major league-ready relievers in exchange for Senzel, I think it's time to pull the trigger. Yes, Senzel is relatively cheap and controllable through the 2025 season, but what good is that if he's never on the field.
Before the 2022 season begins, it's imperative that the Cincinnati front office find a trade partner for Nick Senzel. But, based on the way the Reds have handled past first-round failures like Robert Stephenson, Alex Blandino, and Phillip Ervin, I fully expect Cincinnati to hang on to Senzel for at least one more season.