3 players the Cincinnati Reds should trade prior to the 2022 season but won't

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Nick Senzel (15) plays a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Nick Senzel (15) plays a ground ball. / Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services,
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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.

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) throws a pitch.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) throws a pitch. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

2. The Reds should trade Amir Garrett, but they won't.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. A year ago, Amir Garret was telling anyone and everyone who would listen that he was going to be the Cincinnati Reds closer in 2021. The brash, young southpaw got a taste of humble pie last season and turned in the worst season of his career.

Garrett went from Mr. Reliable, to Mr. Sixth Inning. As the season went along, Reds manager David Bell had lost all confidence in AG's ability to close out games. Heck, the Reds had 10 different pitchers record a save in 2021.

I'd expect a similar approach from Bell this season as well. Upon taking the job before the 2019 season, Bell voiced his desire for then-closer Raisel Iglesias to be the team's "bullpen ace". Bell wanted the ability to deploy Iggy when the game hung the balance, whether that was in the ninth inning or not.

That thought process didn't jive too well with Iglesias who was critical of his manager's handling of the bullpen. Iggy was eventually shipped to the Los Angeles Angels and the self-proclaimed closer, Amir Garrett, was ready to take the reins.

The problem was, AG put up a career-worst 6.04 ERA over 47.2 innings of work. While his strikeout-rate remained an impressive 28.4%, it was a sharp decline from the 37.7% we saw in 2020, and was even lower than AG's 31.7% strikeout-rate in 2019. Garrett also posted a walk-rate of 13.5%.

Left-handed relievers are always in demand, and Amir Garrett is under team control through next season. The Cincinnati Reds should cut ties with AG prior to the 2022 season while he still has value, but more than likely, the Redlegs will keep Garrett in the Queen City for another year.

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas (9) hits a double.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas (9) hits a double. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Reds should trade Mike Moustakas, but they won't.

This trade idea isn't as much about the Reds desire to keep Mike Moustakas in Cincinnati, but rather the rest of the leagues desire not to take on his massive contract. Moose signed a four-year/$64M contract prior to the 2020 season, and that deal has yet to yield positive results.

Moustakas has fallen victim to the injury bug of late, and hopefully the 33-year-old is healthy heading into the 2022 season. The addition of the designated hitter to the National League should help Moustakas maintain an everyday spot in David Bell's lineup.

But, while a healthy Mike Moustakas has the potential to be a force in the middle of the Cincinnati batting order, the Reds should be looking to trade the three-time All-Star prior to the start of the 2022 season.

I know what you're thinking; who would be the Reds DH in 2022? Frankly, I don't care if trading Moose allows the club to get out from underneath the remaining two years and $38M the Reds owe the former Kansas City Royals third baseman.

The hard truth is, if the Reds really do want to move on from Moustakas and that gargantuan payday, it's going to cost them. The Reds would either have to eat some of the cost or attach a prospect or two to any potential deal involving Moustakas. After doing that with Homer Bailey, back in 2018, it's highly unlikely we'll see that again from the Reds anytime soon.

Next. 3 Reds who don't deserve another season in Cincinnati. dark

Nope, you might as well pencil in Mike Moustakas as the Cincinnati Reds designated hitter for the next two seasons. Now, if Moose returns to form and is the same player that posted a wRC+ of 109 and a 5.2 fWAR from 2018-2019, then that contract doesn't look all that bad.