Grading each trade the Cincinnati Reds have made post-lockout

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) and designated hitter Jesse Winker (33) celebrate.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) and designated hitter Jesse Winker (33) celebrate. / Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services,
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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.

Grade: D+

Mainland's Chase Petty is the 2021 South Jersey Baseball Player of the Year.
Mainland's Chase Petty is the 2021 South Jersey Baseball Player of the Year. / Adam Monacelli/Courier-Post via Imagn

Grading the Reds trade with the Twins.

Cincinnati trades RHP Sonny Gray and RHP Francis Peguero to Minnesota for RHP Chase Petty.

The Cincinnati Reds shipped Sonny Gray and Francis Peguero to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for right-handed prospect Chase Petty. This is a trade I can get behind. Yes, Gray was a great pitcher and an even better person, but Petty's upside is huge.

The Reds owed Gray $10.2M this season and the right-hander had a $12M team-option for the 2023 season. Cincinnati was not going to pick up Gray's option, so it made all the sense in the world to trade the right-hander prior to the season.

Plus, the Cincinnati Reds have a bevy of starting pitching prospects who are itching to make their major league debut. Both Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo should find their way onto a major league field this season. Riley O'Brien and Reiver Sanmartin are in the mix as well, and so is Top 10 prospect Graham Ashcraft.

In addition to opening up a spot in the starting rotation, the Redlegs added one of the most electric arms in the minor leagues. The Twins parted with their first-round pick from last season, Chase Petty, and if he develops, the right-hander could be a force in the Cincinnati rotation for years to come.

This may have been an unpopular trade, but I think if fans are able to take the emotion out of it, this one doesn't sting near as much as Cincinnati's deal with Seattle. I'll give the Reds front office a solid B for this trade.

Grade: B

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

Grading the Reds trade with the Royals.

Cincinnati trades LHP Amir Garrett to Kansas City for LHP Mike Minor and cash considerations.

This trade was just bizarre. I don't mind the Cincinnati Reds saying goodbye to Amir Garrett. In fact, it was overdue. I don't even mind the addition of Mike Minor to the starting rotation. What I don't understand is the Reds ridding themselves of contractual commitments to players like Sonny Gray, Eugenio Suárez, and Tucker Barnhart only to turn around and take on Minor's 2022 salary of $10M.

Garrett struggled mightily in 2021 and, while he may enjoy a bounce-back season in 2022, his erratic behavior coupled with his poor performance warranted a change of scenery. But if you're going to trade AG, then get some prospects back in return who might be able to help your cause in a year or two.

Instead, Nick Krall brought a veteran left-hander to compete with his influx of talented prospects for a spot in the starting rotation. Further complicating this trade is the fact that Cincinnati had a veteran left-hander under contract for $10M in 2022 if they would have only pulled the trigger on exercising his option. Instead, Cincinnati allowed Wade Miley to walk for nothing and he's now pitching for the Cubs.

Next. Jesse Winker claps back at Reds following trade to Mariners. dark

I think you almost have to laugh at this trade to keep from crying. Dealing Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to Seattle was foolish, but this trade is just nonsensical. I'm sorry, but this deal is getting a C. Minor is not a bad pitcher, and may able to duplicate the type of success Miley had in 2021. But taking on his contract after having dismissed Miley and Gray who make similar salaries is just plain dumb.

Grade: C