The MLB trade deadline can either be a very exciting time or very crushing time for a team. Last season, the Cincinnati Reds seemed to fit into the latter.
The Reds traded away a ton of their best players and were in the midst of a full-blown fire sale; one the front office began in the spring by trading Sonny Gray, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, and Amir Garrett
The sell-off continued at the MLB trade deadline when the Reds dealt Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Brandon Drury, and others last July. This season could look much different though, as the youth movement in Cincinnati has launched the Reds up the NL Central standings. The might be considered conservative buyers at this year's deadline.
What mistake do the Reds need to avoid at this year's trade deadline?
With the Cincinnati Reds in the position to, surprisingly, win the NL Central Division this year, general manager Nick Krall and the front office may find themselves looking at some of the best players on the trade block that could come in and push this team over the top.
But the Reds need to avoid the mistake of overextending and trying to rush the process. Cincinnati cannot go all-in, and trade their top prospects in order to try to make a playoff-push this season. Nick Krall and the Reds front office needs to follow the blueprint the Baltimore Orioles laid out last season.
The Orioles were in a good place to win last year, but their front office didn't rush the process. Baltimore traded away a few pieces at last year's MLB trade deadline in order to get some value and continued to wait for the roster to figure itself out.
This strategy worked to perfection as the O's are now battling it out with the Tampa Bay Rays for supremacy in the AL East, are squarely in the chase for a spot in the postseason, have laid claim to one of the best records in the major leagues, and led by a core group of young stars.
The Cincinnati Reds are a good team, but shouldn't risk any of the team's future looking to win right now. If the Reds, and their fans, trust the process, not only will they be good for 2023, but they could be dominant for years to come.