2. Reds surprise trade candidate: Harrison Bader, New York Yankees
Wait, what? Why in the world would the Cincinnati Reds need to add another position player? That's a good question, and it's easy to make the argument that Cincinnati should just focus on pitching and go from there.
But Harrison Bader could be a sneaky good addition at the MLB trade deadline, and the New York Yankees may be willing to just give him away. Why? Because, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required), New York is rumored to be attempting to get under the upper-tier of the luxury tax threshold by dealing away players on expiring contracts.
Bader fits that mold. The former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder will be a free agent after this season. Bader, who won a Gold Glove in 2021, has appeared in 57 games for the Yankees this season and is hitting .256/.283/.417.
But one look at Bader's splits will tell you exactly why the Cincinnati Reds should be interested in adding the 29-year-old. Bader has clobbered left-handed pitching this season to the tune of .349/.397/.814. Don't be mistaken, that last number is Bader's slugging percentage against southpaws, not his OPS.
David Bell has shown that when facing a left-handed pitcher, the Reds manager is unafraid to go to players like Nick Senzel and Kevin Newman, both of whom have hit lefties well this season. Adding another platoon bat who can play above-average defense in the outfield would be quite luxury for the Reds skipper.