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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The Cincinnati Reds traded veteran outfielder Tyler Naquin to the New York Mets on Thursday night. Fans should expect many more trades in the coming days as the organization is looking to rebuild from the inside.

The Reds front office will undoubtedly be working the phones for the next few days trying to acquire young talent. Dealing Naquin was the just the first in what could be more than a half-dozen transactions by the time August 2nd rolls around.

Cincinnati has several veterans on this year's squad, some of which are on expiring contracts (Brandon Drury) and some of whom are not (Kyle Farmer). Which two veterans might surprisingly be dealt before next Tuesday's trade deadline and which one will stick around through the end of the year?

Reds veteran LHP Mike Minor could be traded at the deadline.

Some team out there, desperate for pitching help but not willing to risk a top prospect or two, will take a flier on Mike Minor. What will the Cincinnati Reds receive in return? Little more than a 40-man roster spot and the ability to trot out a younger pitcher every fifth day. Those two things alone are worth waving goodbye to the failed experiment that is Mike Minor.

Minor was traded to the Reds earlier the spring when Cincinnati shipped Amir Garrett to Kansas City. No one understood the trade, and it's questionable that even Reds GM Nick Krall understood it himself. For a team looking to shed payroll, it made little sense to deal a player making a little over $2M for a player slated to take home $10M.

After watching Minor take home nearly half his salary after a setback during spring training saw him land on the 60-day IL to begin the season, the southpaw has been an utter disaster since joining the Cincinnati starting rotation. Minor is 1-7 with a 6.65 ERA in nine starts with a WHIP of 1.609.

With Justin Dunn and Connor Overton almost certain to join the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation in the next month or so, there's no need for Minor to occupy a spot on the 40-man roster. The Reds will surely have to absorb some, if not all of the remaining salary owed to the 34-year-old, but even if the club can get cash considerations just to rid themselves of the pitcher, it's worth it.

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.

Reds veteran OF Tommy Pham might not be traded at the deadline.

It was no surprise that the Cincinnati Reds parted ways with Tyler Naquin. The former Cleveland Guardians outfielder is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season and was unlikely to re-sign with the Reds heading into 2023.

Tommy Pham is in a similar boat, but there are some differences between the two. Pham (.710) has a lower OPS than Naquin (.749) and the former San Diego Padres outfielder has a mutual option for the 2023 season that includes a $1.5M buyout.

Of course, the Reds could pay that down if another team shows interest in Pham, but there are other trade candidates who don't carry the amount of baggage that comes with having the volatile outfielder on your roster.

While Tommy Pham's fiery personality can be a positive at times, it can also be detrimental. It's curious, isn't it, that Pham had very few suitors in free agency last spring despite posting a 103 OPS+ and logging 15 home runs while playing in San Diego's very pitcher-friendly ballpark. Pham signed very late after the collective bargaining agreement was settled.

Of course it wouldn't be a shock if Tommy Pham found a new home before August 2nd, but there've been very rumblings about another team having interest in the 34-year-old. Pham has multiple hits in three of his past four games, but prior to that, he was hitting just .183 with 22 strikeouts during the month of July.

Next. Familiar trade partner emerges in Luis Castillo trade talks. dark