The Tampa Bay Rays seem intent on trading Tyler Glasnow this offseason. Recently, it was revealed that the Cincinnati Reds have an interest in the hard-throwing right-hander.
With Glasnow under contract through just the 2024 season, some Reds fans view the Rays starter as mercenary-type; here for one year and then gone the next. But is that such a bad thing?
If the Cincinnati Reds were to swing a deal for Glasnow, it could help the team in 2024 and into the future.
Trading for Tyler Glasnow could pay immediate dividends in 2024
When healthy, Tyler Glasnow is a frontline starter in the majors. After Tommy John surgery robbed the right-hander of all but two starts in 2022, Glasnow returned last season to post a 10-7 record and 3.53 ERA with a 1.083 WHIP.
If the Cincinnati Reds were fortunate enough to acquire Glasnow from the Tampa Bay Rays, he'd immediately vault to the top of the starting rotation. If the Reds would have secured an arm even half as good as Glasnow's at last year's trade deadline, there's a good chance the Reds would have made the playoffs.
The Reds' departures this offseason have been minimal. In terms of bWAR, Buck Farmer and Derek Law are the biggest subtractions from the roster. Throw in the combined -2.2 bWAR of Joey Votto, Wil Myers, Luis Cessa, and Luke Weaver, and the Reds are already in better shape.
Cincinnati is largely returning all of its key contributors from a year ago. That team won 82 games and came within an eyelash of making the MLB Postseason. Adding a starter like Tyler Glasnow would certainly boost the Reds' playoff chances heading into 2024.
Trading for Tyler Glasnow could help the Reds down the road as well
Tyler Glasnow has one year and $25 million remaining on his current deal. An argument could be made that if Cincinnati were to make a trade for Glasnow it should include a contract extension; similar to the deal the Reds made for Sonny Gray back in 2019.
While that's one way the Reds could get good value from a Glasnow trade, the team could also take the same approach they did with Trevor Bauer. Cincinnati acquired Bauer, for all intents and purposes, to contend in 2020.
Bauer went on to have a Cy Young Award-winning season and then landed a massive free agent contract the following offseason. However, because the Reds extended Bauer a Qualifying Offer, Cincinnati received draft compensation in the 2021 MLB Draft.
Trading for Tyler Glasnow could help the Reds young starters to develop
Perhaps the biggest long-term advantage to a Tyler Glasnow trade, provided none of the Cincinnati Reds' young starters are involved in a potential deal, would be the continued development of pitchers like Connor Phillips, Andrew Abbott, and Brandon Williamson.
While the aforementioned trio could all lay claim to a spot in the starting rotation to begin next season, there's an argument to made that all three could use some additional seasoning down in the minors as well.
Reds fans saw firsthand last season how increased expectations can affect young pitchers. Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft were supposed to lead a young Reds pitching staff in 2023.
Instead, all three showed signs of regression from their rookie seasons and spent considerable time on the IL. The same fate could await any one of Abbott, Williamson, or Phillips in 2024.
So while on the surface it would seem that trading for Tyler Glasnow has only short-term implications, securing that frontline starter for just one year could have a ripple effect that could impact the Cincinnati Reds in a positive way beyond just the 2024 season.