3. Reds surprise trade candidate: Josh Hader, San Diego Padres
It's debatable as to whether or not the San Diego Padres will be sellers at this year's trade deadline. After going all-in last year, and landing one of the biggest free agents on the market this winter, the Friars on the outside of the playoff picture.
San Diego is in a tough spot. There's so much talent on that team, including Cy Young candidate Blake Snell, that selling off pieces before the clock hits 6 PM ET seems crazy. But Padres GM A.J. Preller is nothing if not crazy in his approach at the trade deadline.
Last year, San Diego sold the farm in order to land Juan Soto. This year, Preller may be looking to recoup some of his losses. The best way to do so would be to trade Snell and closer Josh Hader.
A longtime nemesis of the Cincinnati Reds, Hader joined San Diego at last year's trade deadline. After the trade, Hader failed to recapture that dominance he had in Milwaukee. But this season, Hader has 25 saves an ERA of just 0.90. The left-hander has 61 punch outs in 40 innings of work.
Could you imagine a backend of the bullpen with Josh Hader and Alexis Diaz? Throw in Lucas Sims and any mixture of Ian Gibaut, Buck Farmer, and Alex Young, and the Reds' starters would only need to get to the sixth inning.
Adding a pitcher like Hader would effectively shrink the game from nine innings to seven. Though Hader is free agent after the season, the San Diego would unquestionably want a nice prospect or two in return. While this trade seems unlikely, don't be surprised if the Reds try to land a big fish at trade deadline.