Reds should not neglect in-state rival in order to upgrade the starting rotation

Might the Reds and Guardians pull off another trade this offseason?

Cleveland Guardians pitcher Cal Quantrill
Cleveland Guardians pitcher Cal Quantrill / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

Despite the interleague rivalry, the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians have never been afraid to pull off a trade now and then.

Reds fans have seen star players like Trevor Bauer and Bradon Phillips join their favorite team after coming over from their in-state rival. Most recently, Will Benson left The 216 and has been a pleasant surprise since coming to Cincinnati.

Perhaps the two Ohio-based clubs could work out yet another trade. Cal Quantrill could be a sneaky-good addition to the Reds this offseason.

Why Cal Quantrill could be sneaky-good trade target for the Reds this offseason

For the first time in his career, Cal Quantrill suffered an injury-plagued campaign. After becoming a full-time starter in 2021, Quantrill missed several starts this past season with two separate trips to the IL.

However, Quantrill finally righted the ship over the final month of the season and closed out the year with a 2.76 ERA in the month of September. Only once in those six starts did Quantrill fail to go at least five innings.

The Reds are said to be in the market for starting pitching, and rather than sink a boatload of money into a free agent starter, maybe Cincinnati's front office would prefer to secure a starter through a trade.

The Reds have an abundance of young players in the farm system and several infielders on the major league roster. After a disappointing season a year ago, Cleveland will be looking to retool as they usher in a new era with Stephen Vogt taking over managerial duties from the retired Terry Francona.

While Cal Quantrill's 2023 season wasn't his best, the two previous seasons saw the right-hander post a combined record of 23-8 with a 3.16 ERA over 336 innings pitched.

Quantrill is a contact-pitcher, so you're not going to see him light up the radar gun or post too many double-digit strikeout games. But the 28-year-old can keep hitters off balance with a four-pitch mix and, with an above-average walk-rate, will keep the bases clear of free runners.

Cal Quantrill will be arbtration eligible for the second time in his career this offseason, and MLB Trade Rumors estimates his 2024 salary to be $6.6-million. Quantrill will not enter free agency until after the 2025 season.