3 Reds infield prospects most likely to be traded for outfield help

Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee infielder Matt McLain.
Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee infielder Matt McLain. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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2. Reds SS Matt McLain could be on the chopping block.

Next year is going to be crucial for Matt McLain. If he stays with the Cincinnati Reds, one would assume that the former first-round pick is going to have to move to the outfield. McLain played on the outfield grass during his freshman season at UCLA, but since then has remained on the infield dirt.

Perhaps the best way for the Reds to eliminate the glut of shortstops currently clogging Cincinnati's pipeline is to trade McLain. If the club truly believes, as one assumes they do, that Elly De La Cruz is going to be a superstar, then McLain needs to be dealt.

McLain, more than any other infield prospect sans De La Cruz, is close to being major league-ready. If he has a successful spring, McLain could break onto a team's Opening Day roster or perhaps would need the first two months of the 2023 season to get up to speed.

The Cincinnati Reds have Jonathan India installed at second base, and while some fans throughout the tri-state area would love to see the 2021 NL Rookie of the Year moved to the outfield, that does not appear to be in the cards.

Matt McLain may be the most likely shortstop to be traded prior to the 2023 season. Cincinnati chose to keep him at shortstop while playing in the Arizona Fall League, which may suggest that the team sees his greatest value as a trade chip who plays a premium position.