Reds-LA Angels trade proposal that would help solve Cincy's abysmal outfield problems

The Reds may have a trade partner out in the LA.

Los Angeles Angels outfielders Taylor Ward, Mike Trout, and Jo Adell
Los Angeles Angels outfielders Taylor Ward, Mike Trout, and Jo Adell / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds need some help in the outfield. TJ Friedl has been dealing with injuries all season, Will Benson looks utterly lost at the dish, Jake Fraley's power has disappeared, and Stuart Fairchild is a platoon outfielder who continues to draw the ire of the Cincinnati fanbase.

And don't looking into the minor leagues for help on this one, Nick Krall. Blake Dunn and Jaocb Hurtubise had their auditions, and neither was able to grab the brass ring. Rece Hinds has massive pop, but if you think Benson strikes out a lot, wait until you get a load of the Reds' former second-round pick.

Nope, if the Reds intend to fix their weakest link, it's going to have to come from outside the organization. Krall and Co. have plenty of assets to get a deal done, but will Cincinnati make a move? If they're looking to add an outfielder, there's a pretty good one out in Los Angeles.

The Reds could work out a trade for LA Angels outfielder Taylor Ward

No, not Mike Trout. The Los Angeles Angels' superstar is currently on the IL with a knee injury. But another one of LA's outfielders could be had in a trade. Taylor Ward, however, is having a decent season.

Ward is hitting .240/.324/.421 with 12 home runs, and 38 RBI. Ward's 108 OPS+ would currently rank third on the Reds behind Jeimer Candelario and Elly De La Cruz. Ward is under contract this season for just $4.8 million and won't become a free agent until after 2026.

In his seven big league seasons, the Ohio native has averaged 22 home runs with a .759 OPS. No, those aren't superstar-caliber numbers, but Ward is head and shoulders above what the Reds have been running out there lately.

What might a Reds-Angels trade for Taylor Ward look like?

The fact that Ward is under team-control for two more seasons beyond 2024 will definitely ratchet up his trade value. Angels GM Perry Minasian will not be willing to give Ward away for peanuts. The Angels' farm system is awful, and the Halos will be looking for young talent to help rebuild their roster from the inside out.

Reds-Angels trade (Taylor Ward)

Perhaps the Reds could sway the Angels with a quantity over quality-type of transaction. The Reds seem quite unlikely to give up on any of their young major league talent, and trading any of the team's top prospects would be unwise. Might a trade package of Sammy Stafura, Julian Aguiar, and Christian Roa be enough to get a deal done?

Stafura was the Reds' second-round draft pick just last season. The shortstop is currently playing down at Low-A Daytona and owns an .870 OPS. Aguiar was one of the Reds' best pitching prospects last season, and the fanbase would hate to see him included in any type of deal this summer. Roa was added to the Reds' 40-man roster last winter and is still working his way to the big leagues.

Including Aguiar and last year's second-round pick may seem like a steep price to pay for an above-average player like Ward, but those years of team-control mean something. It also could be the very thing that keeps Ward in LA, if the Angels decide they want to rebuild this team through free agency during the offseason.

But no matter which way you slice it, the Reds have to find a way to improve the outfield if they hope to compete for a Wild Card spot this fall.

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