The 2022 MLB Trade Deadline is rapidly approaching. There are many teams who will be buyers, and many who will be sellers. The Cincinnati Reds are apart of the latter. Standing 34–57 and last in the NL Central, the Reds will likely continue their fire sale from the past offseason. After jettisoning the likes of Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Sonny Gray and Tucker Barnhart, the Reds will likely bolster the farm this season. Here are five deals that could land the Reds MLB ready prospects to build the future around.
RHP Luis Castillo and IF Brandon Drury to Dodgers for RHP Bobby Miller, OF Andy Pages and IF Manuel Vargas
Luis Castillo has been a stalwart in the Reds’ rotation for years. The Reds COULD extend him, or while his value is sky high, they could command a haul for the 29-year old. Castillo has one year of club control left after this year, which makes him very valuable. Couple that with a 2.77 ERA and 82 punch outs over 78 innings, and you can command a big trio of prospects for him. The Los Angeles Dodgers have a need for starting pitching, and have the capital on the farm to do so. Los Angeles is not shy about moving pieces to stay in contention. We’ve seen that for the last decade. The Dodgers will undoubtedly be busy at the trade deadline.
This trade would have to include both Bobby Miller and Andy Pages to start. If it doesn’t, the Reds should hang up the phone. Castillo has been one of the best starters in baseball for three years, and the Reds need to cash in on that. Miller is currently in Double-A and carries a 4.12 ERA. The crazy thing is though, he has 82 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings. He boasts a five pitch mix, and a triple-digit fastball. Control has been a small issue, but that can be corrected. Andy Pages is only 21-years old, but he possesses a 70-grade power from the outfield, which the Reds desperately need. He’s hitting .231, but has 15 homers and he’s getting on base at a .341 clip.
RHP Luis Castillo, IF Brandon Drury and OF Aristides Aquino to Astros for RHP Hunter Brown, IF/OF Pedro Leon, and IF Joe Perez
The Houston Astros are no stranger to making a deep playoff run. They don’t necessarily need pitching, but adding Castillo to an already potent rotation would make them a formidable opponent come October. Adding Drury and Aquino to the fold gives them two bats that Dusty Baker can plug into his lineup to bolster an offense that’s averaging a middling 4.4 runs per game.
The Reds would receive three top prospects in return, starting with Hunter Brown. Brown is 6–3 with a 2.38 ERA for Triple-A Sugarland, and he is MLB ready. In 72 innings this year he has 97 punch outs, and is extremely effective on the mound. Pedro Leon can play both the infield and outfield. Leon is a serious 30/30 threat if he develops as he should. So far this season he has 12 homers, and 34 swipes across Double-A and Triple-A. Joe Perez is a corner infielder and could possibly be a Joey Votto replacement with his retirement looming. Perez is hitting .257 with 27 homers over four years in the minors, and he recently made his Major League debut.
RHP Luis Castillo, OF Tommy Pham and PTBNL to Padres for OF Robert Hassell, IF/OF James Wood and RHP Reiss Knehr
Yet another trade that includes Luis Castillo. He would be traded to the San Diego Padres, who have a rather big need for starting pitching. This trade would also include Tommy Pham returning to the Friars, and a player to be named later. This gives the Padres another right handed bat. This could be an interesting package, but also is least likely to happen considering the Padres recent interest in the now available Juan Soto. That makes the trade deadline all the more interesting for San Diego.
Robert Hassel is only in High-A ball right now, but would have to be included in the deal. He is hitting .311 with nine long balls and 19 stolen bases. He offers a ++ defense in the outfield, and is very quickly developing left handed bat. James Wood is only 19-years old, but he possesses a raw power the Reds have always loved, as a big left-handed bat, he would eventually fit perfect in the sandbox they call Great American Ballpark. Reiss Knehr is a right handed pitcher who already has some, albeit limited, Major League experience, which would be perfect to inject into the Reds rotation for the rebuild.
RHP Luis Castillo, IF Brandon Drury, OF Aristides Aquino and PTBNL to Red Sox for SS Marcelo Mayer, 3B Blaze Jordan and LHP Brandon Walter
This is a trade that could be very interesting for both sides. The Boston Red Sox just lost Chris Sale (again) to a broken pinky finger. Boston needs another pitcher in their rotation if they even want to dream of getting hot after the trade deadline and catching the New York Yankees. They would also receive an offensive boost from Brandon Drury, who would essentially be a rental, but give them a much needed jolt in their lineup. They would also get a platoon bat in Aristides Aquino, who would fit in quite well playing pepper with the Green Monster.
In return, the Reds would receive three awesome prospects. Marcelo Mayer is a year away from the majors, but he projects as a starting shortstop. He can also play the other infield positions as well. Blaze Jordan would fit right in with the Reds, being a good fielder and a raw power bat at the hot corner. Brandon Walter is a LHP with high upside and adding another lefty to the rotation could only help the Reds, considering their best option right now is Mike Minor.
Tyler Mahle, Brandon Drury, Tommy Pham and PTBNL to Mariners for Emerson Hancock, Adam Macko and Zach DeLoach
The Reds, and the Seattle Mariners are buddies stemming from the offseason. Seattle has had interest in Luis Castillo, but also maybe Tyler Mahle. The M’s are a young team, and may not be willing to pony up the capital for Castillo. So this is the next best trade for them. Mahle would give the Mariners another good starter in their rotation and Drury would add even more pop to an offense that is scorching hot as of late. Throw in Tommy Pham as a platoon bat who has playoff experience and a PTBNL, and you might strike a deal.
Emerson Hancock would be the centerpiece of this deal. The righty has great upside, and would fit well in the Reds rotation down the line. Adam Macko is left-handed and you can never have enough lefties with high upside available. Zach DeLoach would round out the deal as an outfield piece. He is close to being ready to jump to the Majors. With their current 14-game winning streak the Mariners are serious players for the wild card spot, but also could put pressure on Houston for the division crown. They will be busy at the trade deadline and Cincinnati should take prime advantage of that fact.
The Reds will have to make good deals when the trade deadline arrives. They simply cannot afford to be fleeced on deals like they have in the past. They need to take advantage of players who will command hauls of top minor league prospects. The trade deadline is August 2nd, so the Reds have time assess the deals they have in front of them. When the trade deadline arrives though, expect the Reds to explore these trades.
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Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Sonny Gray, Tucker Barnhart, Luis Castillo, Brandon Drury, Bobby Miller, Andy Pages, Aristides Aquino, Hunter Brown, Pedro Leon, Joe Perez, Joey Votto, Tommy Pham, James Wood, Reiss Knehr, Juan Soto, Marcelo Mayer, Blaze Jordan, Brandon Walter, Chris Sale, Mike Minor, Tyler Mahle, Emerson Hancock, Adam Macko, Zach DeLoach, Dusty Baker