1 trade the Reds could make at the deadline that would shock the fanbase

Cincinnati Reds infielder Jose Barrero (2) takes a swing during batting practice.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jose Barrero (2) takes a swing during batting practice. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

It feels weird even typing this, but would the Cincinnati Reds entertain the idea of dealing shortstop Jose Barrero at this year's trade deadline?

Now, there have not been any rumblings or rumors, no inside source has suggested that it's even a possibility. This is more about reading the tea leaves than anything else.

While an injury forced Jose Barrero to miss the first two months of the 2022 season, the Reds have not been in a hurry to get the infielder up to the big leagues this season. Kyle Farmer has played well at shortstop this season. But does anyone actually believe that the soon-to-be 32-year-old veteran is little more than a placeholder?

Would the Reds shock their fanbase and trade Jose Barrero at the deadline?

Might the Cincinnati Reds actually trade their former top infield prospect at this year's trade deadline. The idea sounds pretty far-fetched, but let's take a closer look, shall we?

The Reds drafted Matt McLain with their first-round pick in 2021 and the former UCLA Bruin is currently at Double-A Chattanooga. Joining him in southern Tennessee is the team's top prospect, who also happens to play shortstop, Elly De La Cruz.

Neither McLain or De La Cruz will be brought up to the majors any time soon. You're probably looking at 2023, and even that might be a bit too early. There's also the possibility that De La Cruz, who could be a five-tool player, will eventually make the switch to third base. There's even been whispers of McLain changing positions as well.

But the curious development that could see Jose Barrero dealt at this year's deadline could be what the Reds receive in return when the team inevitably deals Luis Castillo. What will the return look like?

Trading Luis Castillo could force the Reds to reevaluate their plans for Jose Barrero.

If the Cincinnati Reds do business with the New York Yankees at the trade deadline, shortstops Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza could be headed to the Queen City. Both are Top 50 prospects according to MLB Pipeline.

If the Seattle Mariners are interested in Castillo, shortstop Noelvi Marte could be part of a return. Orelvis Martinez could be packaged and sent to Cincinnati if the Toronto Blue Jays enter the conversation as well.

And let's not pretend that Jose Barrero hasn't struggled at Triple-A Louisville this season. Over his last four games, the shortstop has seemed to find his groove; he's 6-for-19 (.353) with a home run. But in 50 games for the Louisville Bats this season, Barrero is hitting just .209 with a 37.6% strikeout-rate.

Seeing as how Barrero is scuffling at Triple-A, if the Cincinnati Reds did decide to trade the Cuban shortstop, they'd be selling low. That's not a smart strategy and one it's hard to see the Reds' front office actually following through on.

That said, Barrero will be 25 years old shortly after Opening Day next season. It's high-time the Reds young infielder figures things out. Barrero already has competition down at Double-A and more may be on the way with the trade deadline just around the corner.

Will the Cincinnati Reds trade Jose Barrero at this year's deadline? That seems highly unlikely. But if the Reds do acquire another top shortstop talent later this week, Barrero's standing in the eyes of Cincinnati's coaches, scouts, and front office staff may take a hit. This week, and the following two months, will be key for Barrero.

Next. Luis Castillo trade power rankings: Yankees own top spot. dark