2 Reds veterans who could surprising be traded at the deadline and 1 who'll stick around

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Mike Moustakas (9) hits a three-run home run.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Mike Moustakas (9) hits a three-run home run. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Reds veteran DH Mike Moustakas could be traded at the deadline.

The Cincinnati Reds still owe Mike Moustakas approximately $28-$30M. Moustakas is earning $16M this season and is signed through the 2023 season for $18M. He also has a $4M buyout for the 2024 season. Moose's deal will go down as the worst free agent signing in Reds history.

Now, the Reds are never going to find a taker for Moustakas' $22M salary in 2023, but if Cincinnati is willing to significantly pay down the remainder of his contract, they may be able to find a team willing to take him off their hands.

Much like the aforementioned Mike Minor, Mike Moustakas occupies a very valuable spot on the 40-man roster; one that's likely going to be needed heading into the winter. According to FanGraphs, Elly De La Cruz, Brandon Williamson, Ivan Johnson, Mike Siani, T.J. Hopkins, and Daniel Vellojin will all need to be added in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.

Moose has little-to-no trade value. During his three seasons with the Reds, he's been a shell of his former All-Star self. Moustakas has an OPS of .690 in 172 games with the Redlegs and his career in the Queen City has been defined by injuries, a high salary, and low production.

What might the Cincinnati Reds receive in return for Mike Moustakas? Very little, other that knowing that his at-bats can now go to younger players who may very well have an impact beyond the 2022 season. It's hurt Bob Castellini's wallet, but it's time to cut bait with Moustakas.