Reds general manager Nick Krall said his team is at least reviewing some trades that involve the Reds and another club trading young, controllable players. Providing further details to Krall’s comments, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic hears from a rival manager that Cincinnati is looking to recruit a young outfielder in exchange for a younger centre-back, and that the Reds are “aggressively pursuing” such deals.
Over the past year, the Reds have switched to rebuild mode by trading multiple veteran players (eg. luis castillo, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Tyler Mahle, wade miley) to reduce payroll and flood the system with minor league talent. On paper, the first steps of this plan worked out pretty well – in August, Baseball America placed the Reds in fifth place in each organization’s minor league depth of talent rankings. Both BA and MLB Pipeline have five Cincinnati leads in the current top 100 rankings. Elly DeLa Cruz sitting at the top of the pile. Pipeline ranks De La Cruz as the 14th best nominee in the sport, while Baseball America places De La Cruz at 20th.
With De La Cruz as the crown jewel, the Reds had a decent depth of on-court probability even before their move on the trade deadline last summer. Cincy landed Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo From the Marines in the Castillo trade and Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand it was later purchased from Gemini as part of the Mahle deal. Marte and Arroyo are firmly in the top 100 (Pipeline Marte is 17th, not far behind De La Cruz), while Steer made his MLB last season and is likely heading towards more regular playing time in 2023.
Steer is more of a second baseman or third baseman than a short centre-back, and Encarnacion-Strand is a tighter corner player. It also remains to be seen whether Marte will necessarily stay at the centre-back or whether De La Cruz will move into an outfield role. on the grass to try to find playtime for everyone.
However, while some of these possibilities may end on the outfield in the future, the Reds seem interested in addressing their home redundancy to simplify matters and find some real outfielders. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that many of Cincinnati’s candidates, such as De La Cruz, Encarnacion-Strand, and the 2021 first-round player, are knocking on the door for their MLB debut. Matt McLain they can all get their first cup of coffee at the Show in 2023.
With the highly skilled prospects to offer, the Reds can explore many possible trade options in the league. Regarding their focus on the outfielders, the Diamondbacks seem like a sensible trading partner and Cincinnati is naturally one of many clubs interested in this team. Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy, Alex Thomas, pavin smithand Dominic Fletcher. All of these players except Fletcher have already debuted in the major leagues, and as the D’Backs prioritize players who can help them right away, Arizona may prefer a more established player over another promising player from Cincy’s farm system.
Whatever the reds’ trades, it’s probably safe to assume that blue chip prospects are less likely to be on the move, and an emerging star like De La Cruz is nearly untouchable. A month into his 21st birthday, De La Cruz has quickly gone from an unnamed international signing to one of baseball’s top contenders for the past two seasons, and even a possible five-instrument talent. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer recently spoke to minor league players, coaches, broadcasters, and talent scouts about De La Cruz, and the shortstop received rave reviews from everyone. According to one AL scout, “The most athletic player I’ve ever seen in my life. I could throw away some legendary athlete names but I’d rather not because I don’t want to put extra pressure on a kid. But to be honest, I’ve never seen anyone close to his athleticism.”