The Cincinnati Reds have made several trade after the MLB lockout was lifted earlier this month. In what appears to be some half-hearted attempt at a rebuild, has left Reds Country confused and frustrated.
Gone are former All-Stars Sonny Gray, Eugenio Suárez, and Jesse Winker. In return, the Reds have received a bevy of prospects who likely won't see a major league field until 2023. Along with the aforementioned trio, Amir Garrett was also traded this week.
Trades are never easy to evaluate, but I'll try my best to be objective. Like so many of you, these transactions have not been favorable through the eyes of a Reds fan, and some are easier to swallow than others. Without further ado, let's put a grade on these three trades before news comes across the wire that Nick Krall has aligned more of the team's payroll to its resources.
Grading the Reds trade with the Mariners.
Cincinnati trades 3B Eugenio Suárez and OF Jesse Winker to Seattle for LHP Brandon Williamson, RHP Justin Dunn, OF Jake Fraley, and PTBNL.
Let's get this one out of the way first, shall we? I'll be very upfront about this deal; I don't like it. This is exactly what Cincinnati Reds' GM Nick Krall said he would not do prior to the offseason. Krall said he would not attach prospects to trades in order to move larger contracts.
While Jesse Winker is no longer a prospect, the concept is the same. The Reds attached Winker, an All-Star last season who's in the prime of his career, to the remaining three years and $35M owed to Eugenio Suárez. In effect, the Reds received less than market value for Winker's services.
Now, I get it. Suárez had back-to-back sub-par seasons. The Reds also have more than infielders both at the major league level and coming up through the minors that can/ would unseat Geno at third base. That said, the version of Suárez that I saw at the end of last season looked pretty good, and I expect Geno to have a bounce-back year.
In return, the Reds received pitching prospect in Brandon Williamson. The left-hander looks to be a solid rotation piece and may even debut this season for the Redlegs. Justin Dunn is unreliable and being that he hasn't seen the field since injuring his shoulder last season, you have to wonder about his longterm health.
I actually really like the pickup of Jake Fraley, but I think the Cincinnati Reds already have a very similar player in TJ Friedl. Fraley will be given the chance to grab a handful of starts each week, especially against right-handed pitching. As for the player to be named later that Krall is reportedly enamored with, we'll have to wait and see.
This trade gets no better than a D+ from me, and if Eugenio Suárez has a bounce-back year for the Seattle Mariners, then we're going with a F. Geno's contract was not near as awful as Mike Moustakas', and the Reds are now left with a gaping hole in left field. This was a bad trade.