Why the Reds should be cautious if Brady Singer trade talks resume this offseason

The Reds and Royals were rumored to be engaged in trade talks this summer.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brady Singer (51)
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brady Singer (51) / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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Rumors emerged after the August 1st trade deadline that the Cincinnati Reds had interest in Kansas City Royals starter Brady Singer.

That's certainly understandable, as Cincinnati was in need of an additional starter last summer after injuries and an increased workload took a toll on the team's rotation and bullpen.

With the Royals having finished in the AL Central basement, one can assume that Singer could be available in a trade this offseason. However, the Reds should think twice before reengaging in trade talks with the Royals.

Brady Singer could be on the Reds' radar this offseason

Brady Singer checks a few boxes in terms of what the Cincinnati Reds are looking for this offseason. The right-hander is just 27 years old and eclipsed 150 innings the past two seasons. Singer did, however, end last season on the IL with a back injury.

Singer's last three seasons have seen the right-hander start 80 games, post a 4.55 ERA and 3.97 FIP. According to FanGraphs, Singer has done a good job of keeping free runners off the base paths with a 7.2-percent walk-rate, while posting a pedestrian strikeout-rate of just 21.7-percent.

With those numbers, Singer could slot right into the backend of the Reds rotation. The former first-round pick is also under team control through the 2026 season.

The Reds should be cautious if they pursue Brady Singer this offseason

However, Brady Singer is little more than a two-pitch pitcher. The right-hander basically throws fastball/ slider combo with a changeup mixed in about six-percent of the time. Does that sound familiar? It should, because that's one of the most glaring weaknesses in Hunter Greene's game at the moment.

For a starting pitcher, that lack of a third offering oftentimes leads to relief role. Pitchers like Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves are the exception to this rule. But Strider, unlike a lot of others, averages over 97 mph on his fastball. Singer's heater sits in the low-90s.

Singer does a good job of keeping the ball on the ground, but the University of Florida product also gives up a lot of hard contact. According to Baseball Savant, Singer was among the 82nd percentile in ground ball-rate, but was among the worst in baseball in terms of hard-hit rate.

If the Cincinnati Reds were able to secure Brady Singer for a lower-level minor league prospect or two, it might be worth it. In terms of salary, MLB Trade Rumors predicts Singer will take home $5.1 million in 2024.

If the Reds decide to reengage in trade talks with the Royals this offseason, president of baseball operations Nick Krall should proceed with caution. Singer isn't a bad option, but there are definitely some red flags.

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