The Reds trading for Kevin Newman makes almost zero sense

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kevin Newman
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kevin Newman / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds did the right thing, though unpopular on Friday night, when the club traded Kyle Farmer to the Minnesota Twins. Farmer will be reunited with his former teammates Sonny Gray and Tyler Mahle as the Twins look to rebound after an underwhelming performance in 2022.

The Reds looked to be on the right track, as the team's return for Farmer wasn't much, but it opened up a much-needed spot on the infield for the up-and-coming infield talent that's rocketing through Cincinnati's farm system.

However, in classic Cincinnati Reds fashion, the front office chose to make another trade before the night was up and landed shortstop Kevin Newman from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds were so close to making a turn toward the future, but are now right back where they started.

The Reds trading for Kevin Newman makes almost zero sense.

Let's first understand who Kevin Newman is. The 29-year-old was a former first-round pick who's spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Newman is career .260 hitter who's known more for his glove than his bat and has more range than Kyle Farmer.

But what role will Newman have on next year's Cincinnati Reds squad? If Newman, who MLB Trade Rumors expects to make a little less than $3M in 2023, is looked at to be the team's top utility player off the bench, then this move was purely for depth.

But if Newman is expected to log a lot of playing time as a starter at shortstop, the Reds have better options in their farm system. Yes, Jose Barrero struggled mightily in 2022, but with Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz waiting in the wings, the Reds already had an insurance plan in place.

Trading Kyle Farmer was the right move and, in all likelihood, gives Spencer Steer the inside track to become the Cincinnati Reds starting third baseman. So long as Kevin Newman is considered a bench option and not the Reds starting shortstop, this isn't the worst move that could have been.

That said, Cincinnati has enough young infielders who'll be looking for playing time that Newman's presence on the roster is unnecessary. In return, the Pittsburgh Pirates received Cincinnati Reds reliever Dauri Moreta.

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