Which prospect might the Reds snag as the PTBNL after trading Tommy Pham to the Red Sox?

Cincinnati Reds left fielder Tommy Pham (28) runs home.
Cincinnati Reds left fielder Tommy Pham (28) runs home. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds traded Tommy Pham just before Monday's game agains the Miami Marlins. Pham will now suit up for the Boston Red Sox as they look to make a run in the chase for the final Wild Card spot in the American League.

The official trade was Pham to the Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named later (PTBNL) or cash considerations. Of course the pessimistic Reds fan will assume that Cincinnati will just take the money and run.

That may be true, but what's the fun in that. While such players to be named later rarely become productive major leaguers, there have been some exceptions. Even the Reds appear to have landed a future major leaguer with their acquisition of Connor Phillips as the PTBNL in their trade with the Seattle Mariners earlier this spring.

Which Red Sox prospect might the Reds snag as the PTBNL?

One look at what the Boston Red Sox are taking would suggest that the Cincinnati Reds are unlikely to get little more than lower-tier prospect. According to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Boston will pay the remainder of Pham's 2022 salary and is on the hook for Pham's $1.5M buyout as well.

In other words, the player to be named later will most likely be someone from Boston's Low-A or possibly High-A affiliate. Or perhaps it could be a long-tenured minor leaguer who's exhausted all options during his time with the Red Sox organization.

Shortstop Eddinson Paulino, right-hander Zack Kelly, and left-hander Brendan Cellucci could all be on Cincinnati's shortlist. All three are ranked among the Top 50 in Boston's farm system according to FanGraphs. Remember, the Reds cannot select anyone on Boston's 40-man roster or a player who just selected in the 2022 MLB Draft.

Paulino is just 19 years old and is currently at Low-A Salem. The infielder has eight home runs and an OPS of .870. Kelly is a bit long in the tooth at 27 years old, but he'd be immediately available to help the Reds beleaguered bullpen. Celluci has a high strikeout-rate and can light up the radar gun, but the southpaw lacks control (17.2% walk-rate).

The Cincinnati Reds' return for Tommy Pham was never going to be massive. This trade was about getting Pham off the books and opening doors for players like Matt Reynolds, Aristides Aquino, Jake Fraley, and Stuart Fairchild.

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