3. Reds trade minor leaguer for Rockies hard-throwing RHP Pierce Johnson.
This would be what those in the business call a buy-low scenario. Pierce Johnson is not a franchise-altering type of pitcher, but for the overachieving Cincinnati Reds bullpen, the right-hander could be a nice addition.
Let's face it, the Reds have seen very little from Ricky Karcher, Casey Legumina, Alan Busenitz, or Silvino Bracho this season. While Johnson is not an elite reliever, the 32-year-old could probably be had for next to nothing.
Johnson is a hard-thrower, ranking above the 80th percentile in fastball velocity, whiff-rate, and strikeout-rate according to Baseball Savant. But, when Johnson gets hit, he gets hit hard. His 51.2-percent hard-hit rate is among the worst in baseball. Is some of that due to playing in the thin air of Colorado? Perhaps, but hitting in Great American Ball Park isn't any easier.
Pierce Johnson is a buy-low trade candidate. One could argue that just taking Johnson off the Rockies hands in exchange for cash considerations might be enough. But relievers are in high demand around this time of year, especially relievers that can throw strikes.
If this trade were to come to fruition, a young prospect from Double-A Chattanooga like Carson Spiers, Alex McGarry, or Nick Quintana may be enough to get a deal done.
There are other players whom the Colorado Rockies may be interesting in trading, but starters like Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatella are signed for the long haul.
The Cincinnati Reds should be looking to sacrifice lower-level prospects to help bolster the pitching staff. Whether that's the starting rotation or the bullpen is irrelevant, but the Reds have plenty of long-term options in their farm system.