There is so much intrigue surrounding the Cincinnati Reds these days. The team got out to a horrific start, but appears to have righted the ship. While they may not be contending for the National League pennant, the Reds have at least become more competitive in recent weeks.
Cincinnati will be one of the more interesting teams to follow as the trade deadline approaches. We're a little over two months away, and the rumblings have already began. With the Reds poised to be sellers, opposing GMs will be calling Nick Krall early and often this summer.
Now, just because the Cincinnati Reds are out of the playoff race doesn't necessarily mean a fire the organization should commit to a fire sale. There are plenty of good players that could help Cincinnati contend in the future. With that in mind, who is one player the Reds should trade, one player they should keep, and one player the team should build around?
The Reds should build around catcher Tyler Stephenson.
Let's get the easy one out of the way first. The Cincinnati Reds have a number of talented, young players on their roster. Jonathan India, Hunter Greene, and Nick Lodolo all have the look a player that Cincinnati can build their team around.
But when it comes right down to it, the player the Reds should build around is catcher Tyler Stephenson. While the other three will be key Cincinnati's success as well, Stephenson is the straw that stirs the drink.
The 25-year-old plays one of the most important, if not the most important positions on the field. He's a leader in the clubhouse and on the field. While some, myself included, see Stephenson eventually making the switch from catcher to first base, that talks seems to have quieted down of late.
Tyler Stephenson might be the best offensive-minded catcher in the National League, though I'm sure Will Smith and J.T. Realmuto would disagree. While Stephenson may not be the face of the franchise moving forward, he is vital to the Reds success moving forward.