Grading the Reds trade with the Mets for outfielder Tyler Naquin

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Tyler Naquin (12) advances to third.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Tyler Naquin (12) advances to third. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Reds traded a good player on Thursday night. Tyler Naquin was dealt to the New York Mets along with left-handed reliever Phillip Diehl. Naquin will likely be a platoon outfielder in Flushing alongside Mark Cahna in left field.

The Reds signed Naquin to a minor league contract last spring and the former Cleveland outfielder eventually supplanted the injured Nick Senzel in center field. Naquin's combination of speed and power saw him take over for the departed Nick Castellanos in right field this season.

Prior to last night's trade, Naquin had missed about a month with a quadriceps injury and was hitting .246/.305/.444 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs. With Naquin slated to become a free agent after this season, it was very unsurprising to see the 31-year-old traded prior to Tuesday's deadline.

In return for Naquin and Deihl, Cincinnati received two minor league prospects from New York. Hector Rodríguez, an 18-year-old infielder from the Dominican Republic and Jose Acuña, a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher from Venezuela.

Let's put a grade on the Reds trade with the Mets.

It's extremely difficult to put a grade on a trade like this. Neither Hector Rodríguez or Jose Acuña have much of a track record professionally. Rodríguez spent most of this season in the Florida Complex League and played just two games at Low-A St. Lucie. Acuña also saw time in the FCL and has logged only eight innings at Low-A.

Neither of these players ranked among the Top 30 Mets' prospects according to MLB Pipeline, but Rodríguez did receive some love from FanGraphs. The 5-foot-8 second baseman ranks 30th in the Mets' farm system according to the outlet and receives high marks for his hit tool.

Due to his small stature and limited athletic ability, it might be fair to compare Hector Rodríguez to current Cincinnati Reds infielder Alejo Lopez. Lopez is limited defensively, but has a solid approach to hitting and maintains a spot on the Reds 40-man roster.

As for Acuña, one look at his stats would suggest that he can fill up the strike zone. Between the Florida Complex League and Low-A St. Lucie, Acuña has a 2.67 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 33.2 innings of work.

Tyler Naquin's injury and lack of production this season limited the return the Cincinnati Reds were likely to receive. Naquin is a very hitter versus right-handed pitching (.806 OPS), but he's not an everyday player on a contending team.

After seeing the Kansas City Royals receive three lower-tier minor leaguers for Andrew Benintendi, it's not surprising to see the Cincinnati Reds snag what amount to two late-round draft picks for Tyler Naquin. Perhaps Hector Rodríguez and Jose Acuña can find roles with the Reds in the coming years, but this is very much a wait and see situation.

Grade: C-

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