The Cincinnati Reds are in contention for the first time in a long time, and the team enters the upcoming trade deadline looking to add rather than subtract.
But while the Reds aren't necessarily looking to be sellers, there are a few players on the active roster who could be moved before the August 1st deadline.
Jonathan India's name has come up in trade rumors, but the Reds have two players on their active roster who offer rather similar profiles. If the Reds are looking to trade one of their left-handed hitting specialist prior to the trade deadline, who would it be?
This left-handed hitting specialist is most likely to be dealt at the trade deadline.
Kevin Newman and Nick Senzel are two of the Cincinnati Reds top hitters against left-handed pitchers. While neither is necessarily on the trade block, if another ball club is willing to offer something of value for either Newman or Senzel, it seems unlikely that the Reds would say no.
Ever since Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain debuted in Cincinnati, Newman and Senzel have had very specific roles for David Bell's squad. Both players only see the field when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound.
While he's spent time on the injured list, Newman has only started 19 games since June 1st, while Senzel has started just 15 games during the same timeframe. Now, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, another right-handed bat, is part of the Reds roster as well.
Newman, while he can play up the middle, has seen his role reduced to playing the corner infield. Senzel can play all over the diamond, but most of his starts have come in the outfield. Encarnacion-Strand has seen time at first base and DH, but can also field the hot corner.
Both Newman and Senzel are controllable beyond this season. Newman won't become a free agent until after next season, and the Reds maintain two more years of team control over Senzel.
If the Reds do in fact move on from one of their left-handed hitting specialist, expect it to be Kevin Newman. Nick Senzel just offers more positional versatility, has a stronger arm, and according to Baseball Savant is just a touch faster.
What type of return could the Cincinnati Reds expect in exchange for Kevin Newman? Last year, the New York Mets traded J.D. Davis, Thomas Szapucki, and pair of pitching prospects to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Darin Ruf.
Ruf was essentially a right-handed bench bat that New York platooned alongside the left-handed pair of Daniel Vogelbach and former Reds outfielder Tyler Naquin. Could Cincinnati secure a similar type of package this season? The MLB trade deadline is just a few days away.