3 players the Reds could target in trade talks with the Rays
By Drew Koch
While few if any fans expect the Cincinnati Reds to be active in free agency this offseason, there is a chance that the club could look to improve by swinging a couple trades this winter.
The Reds are rumored to be in trade talks with the Tampa Bay Rays, and sources claim that pitching is the team's primary focus. That's certainly an area Cincinnati will be looking to improve after last year's 100-loss performance.
The Rays are in a roster crunch. The team has 16 players up for arbitration along with several young prospects who'll need to be added to the 40-man roster. Who are three Tampa Bay players the Reds could target in a trade?
1. The Reds could target Rays RHP Yonny Chirinos in a trade.
Yonny Chirinos pitched in just seven innings during the 2022 season. The Tampa Bay Rays' right-hander has been on the mend since the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and suffering a fractured elbow over the past few years.
But Chirinos' stuff is sill pretty filthy. Before the injuries derailed what looked to be a very promising major league career, Chirinos owned a 3.65 ERA and 117 ERA+ while appearing in 47 games, 28 of which were starts.
After dealing with so many injuries over the past few seasons, it would be interesting to see if Chirinos is still viewed as a starter, or if his role would be that of a reliever with the intention of giving his arm some rest.
Chirinos, according to MLB Trade Rumors, is scheduled to take home about $1.6M via arbitration in 2023 and the right-hander would not become a free agent until after the 2024 season.
Trading for a pitcher like Yonny Chirinos would be very similar to the acquisition of Luis Cessa that the Cincinnati Reds made in the summer of 2021. Chirinos, like Cessa, has two years of team control remaining and could act as a swingman. If the latest Reds rumors are accurate, Chirinos should be atop the list of targets for Nick Krall and the Cincinnati front office.