The Cincinnati Reds have acquired reliever Archie Bradley from the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s been a busy deadline but Cincinnati couldn’t get left out while they battle for position in the heated National League Central. The Diamondbacks will receive Josh Van Meter and Stuart Fairchild in exchange. Bob Nightengale of USA Today broke the news Monday afternoon.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 31, 2020
Reds Acquire Archie Bradley
Bradley hasn’t been quite his dominant self in 2020 but he has quietly developed into a very good closer per this analysis from our own Evan Thompson. The 27-year-old Bradley has a 4.22 ERA with six saves and 12 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings this year. The ERA isn’t what fans want to see but a FIP of 2.01 paints a much different picture. Bradley’s main problem in 2020 has been a lack of ground balls; his career ground ball rate is 47.2 percent but that has plummeted to 31 percent through ten appearances.
However, there are obviously encouraging signs. Bradley’s strikeout percentage is up and the walks are down. Opposing BABIP is currently .448, which is far above the career mark of .317. There’s significant evidence to suggest Bradley is a victim of major bad luck and yet, he has still produced .5 WAR, which places the veteran in the top 30 for relief production per FanGraphs.
What This Means for the Future
Bradley should help a Reds bullpen that has combined for just .1 WAR in 106 2/3 innings. The Chicago Cubs are making moves and the St. Louis Cardinals are always in the mix in the NL Central. The now-former Diamondback immediately becomes one of Cincinnati’s top weapons out of the bullpen.
Arizona gets two interesting players back in return. Van Meter is in his second year in the Majors with a career .214/.305/.378 slash line and nine home runs in 298 plate appearances. He should be a decent factor in the team’s outfield future. Fairchild has not reached the major leagues yet but the future is bright. He was the Reds 11th-rated prospect on MLB.com. The former second-round pick is also an outfielder with a respectable .272/.356/.421 slash line in the minors. Fairchild reached AA in 2019, but he could debut as soon as this season if Arizona decides to push the 24-year-old into action.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images