Reds basic supervisor Nick Krall has said that his crew has no less than regarded into some trades that may contain the Reds and one other membership swapping younger, controllable gamers. Offering additional element to Krall’s feedback, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal hears from a rival govt that Cincinnati is trying to purchase a younger outfielder in change for a youthful shortstop prospect, and that the Reds “are aggressively pursuing” such offers.
During the last yr, the Reds became rebuild mode by buying and selling a number of veteran gamers (i.e. Luis Castillo, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Tyler Mahle, Wade Miley) with a view to scale back payroll and restock the system with minor league expertise. On paper, the early steps of this plan have labored fairly properly — again in August, Baseball America positioned the Reds fifth of their rankings of every group’s minor league expertise depth. Each BA and MLB Pipeline have 5 Cincinnati prospects listed of their present top-100 rankings, with shortstop Elly De La Cruz sitting on the high of the pile. Pipeline has De La Cruz because the 14th-best prospect within the sport, with Baseball America putting De La Cruz twentieth.
With De La Cruz because the crown jewel, the Reds already had a superb quantity of infield prospect depth even earlier than their strikes at this previous summer season’s commerce deadline. Cincy landed Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo from the Mariners within the Castillo commerce, and Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand have been then acquired from the Twins as a part of the Mahle deal. Marte and Arroyo each sit firmly throughout the high 100 rankings (Pipeline has Marte seventeenth, not far behind De La Cruz), whereas Steer already made his MLB final season and is probably going headed for extra common enjoying time in 2023.
Steer is extra of a second baseman or third baseman than a shortstop, and Encarnacion-Strand is extra firmly a nook infielder. It additionally stays to be seen if Marte will essentially stay at shortstop, or if De La Cruz would possibly even be moved to a outfield function — as Rosenthal notes, the Reds have been experimenting with a number of of their younger infielders at varied positions across the diamond and on the grass to attempt to discover enjoying time for everybody.
That stated, whereas a few of these prospects might finally wind up within the outfield sooner or later, the Reds appear desirous about simplifying the matter and dealing from their infield surplus to seek out some true outfielders. Including to the intrigue is that a lot of Cincinnati’s prospects are knocking on the door for his or her MLB debuts, as De La Cruz, Encarnacion-Strand, and 2021 first-rounder Matt McLain may all get their first cup of espresso within the Present in 2023.
With high-caliber prospects to supply, the Reds can discover loads of attainable commerce choices across the league. With reference to their concentrate on outfielders, the Diamondbacks appear to be a logical commerce companion, and Cincinnati is of course one among the many clubs interested within the group of Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy, Alek Thomas, Pavin Smith, and Dominic Fletcher. All of those gamers besides Fletcher have already debuted within the majors, and because the D’Backs are prioritizing gamers who can assist them instantly, Arizona would possibly want a extra established participant fairly than one other up-and-comer from Cincy’s farm system.
It’s in all probability protected to imagine that no matter trades the Reds contemplate, their blue chip prospects are much less prone to be on the transfer, and a burgeoning star like De La Cruz is nearly untouchable. A month away from his twenty first birthday, De La Cruz has shortly gone from being an nameless worldwide signing to one among baseball’s high prospects over the past two seasons, and even a attainable five-tool expertise. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer not too long ago spoke with minor league gamers, coaches, broadcasters and scouts about De La Cruz, and the shortstop garnered rave opinions throughout the board. In keeping with one AL scout, “He’s essentially the most athletic participant I’ve ever seen. I may throw out some legendary names of athletes, however I’d fairly not as a result of I don’t wish to put further strain on a child. However I’ve by no means seen anyone even shut together with his athleticism to be fairly sincere.”