3 players the Reds could target in trade talks with the Rays

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Ryan Yarbrough.
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Ryan Yarbrough. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

2. The Reds could target Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough in a trade.

Another pitcher the Cincinnati Reds could target is left-hander Ryan Yarbrough. The Tampa Bay Rays used Yarbrough as a swingman in 2022 with the southpaw starting nine of the 20 games in which he appeared.

Yarbrough went 2-8 with a 4.50 ERA, and while his strikeout numbers are not impressive, the one thing the 30-year-old does well is keep the bases clear. Yarbrough issued just 22 free passes in 80 innings of work last season which equates to a 6.2% walk-rate and 2.48 BB/9 according to FanGraphs.

Cincinnati would seem to be desperate for left-hander help, especially out of the bullpen. Entering the offseason, Reiver Sanmartin would appear to be the team's only southpaw among the relief corps. The Reds have Nick Lodolo on the 40-man roster, and are about to add Brandon Williamson as well, but both 6-foot-6 hurlers project as starting pitchers in the big leagues.

Ryan Yarbrough's splits are about what you'd expect from a left-handed specialist. Yarbrough allowed lefties to hit just .159 compared to his .308 batting average allowed versus right-handed batters. Yarbrough's strikeout-rate ticked up to 25.0% versus left-handed hitters and a K/9 of 9.00.

The Cincinnati Reds need another left-handed reliever in the bullpen, and Yarbrough fits that bill. The former fourth-round pick is under team control for two more seasons. While his projected arbitration figure is a bit high ($4.2M), the Reds can definitely afford it given that only Mike Moustakas and Joey Votto are under contract for next season.