Cincinnati Reds Trade Rumors: Latest Updates, News and Reaction
Cincinnati was never really able to see what it had until all of its players finally got healthy, which didn't happen until June. Once the squad was back to 100 percent, Cincinnati started to play up to its capabilities.
The Reds were tied for the best record (18-10) in baseball during the month of June. After sweeping the San Francisco Giants in a four-game series in the last weekend of the month, they had worked their way into a tie for second place in the National League Central. It's not where they want to be, but the Reds are slowly working their way up the standings.
At the beginning of July, Cincinnati is only one game out of a playoff spot.
This team doesn't have many gaping holes on the roster. The Reds could use some help in the bullpen, especially from the left side, and they could use a backup infielder.
Although the team still has room to improve, it is in a tough spot. It doesn't have much financial flexibility or many attractive pieces to offer teams, unless it is willing to part with big-time arms. Dealing away talented starting pitchers wouldn't help the team's playoff chances, so in reality, there aren't many pieces the Reds could offer in a trade.
Make sure to keep checking back here to see what rumors the Reds are involved in or what deals the team makes as the MLB trade deadline approaches.
Reds Are Reportedly Dangling Mat Latos on the Trade Block
The Cincinnati Reds are in a tough spot at this year's deadline. However, ESPN's Jayson Stark reported that other teams have said that Mat Latos is being dangled by the team.
Latos missed the start of the 2014 season after undergoing elbow surgery at the end of last season and knee surgery at the beginning of spring training.
This season, he is 2-3 with a 3.31 ERA in eight starts.
It wouldn't be a surprise if the Reds were dangling a starting pitcher. At some point, they will likely have to decide between Latos, Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake. All of their contracts expire at the end of the 2015 season.
Ryan Ludwick Reportedly Available for Trade
The Cincinnati Reds are letting teams know that Ryan Ludwick is available, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
Ludwick battled back from a torn labrum at the beginning of the 2013 season, but he hasn't shown much pop in his bat since he has returned from injury last year. He hit only two home runs in 37 games after coming off the disabled list, and he has only six long balls in 77 games this season.
The 36-year-old is hitting .261 this season, which is right on pace with his .262 career average. With his numbers a bit down from expectations, Ludwick was put in a platoon in left field early in the season.
Some of his splits may be attractive to other teams. He is hitting .299 with runners on base, .300 with runners in scoring position and .265 against right-handed pitching.
Ludwick is an average defender at this point in his career, so he may be better suited for the American League.
The Reds may have a tough time moving Ludwick. He probably wouldn't bring back much in return, given his numbers. Add in the fact that he is making $7.5 million this season and has a $9 million option (with a $4.5 million buyout) for next season, there probably won't be many takers.
Potential Trade Target: Emilio Bonifacio, Chicago Cubs
The 29-year-old is hitting .279 with two home runs, 14 doubles, three triples and 14 stolen bases this season. Right now, the Reds need someone who can get on base, and with that average, he would fit in well near the top of the lineup.
Bonifacio is hitting a ridiclous .408 against southpaws this season. As a team, Cincinnati is tied for 22nd in the majors with a .246 average against left-handers.
Given the Reds' injury situation, they need versatile players. That is exactly what Bonifacio brings to the table. The utility man can play any of the outfield positions as well as second, shortstop and third base.
Bonifacio will be a free agent after the 2014 season.
Potential Trade Target: OF Alex Rios, Texas Rangers
Rios can play any of the outfield positions, and the Reds could use a boost on offense in left field.
The 33-year-old is hitting .299 with four home runs, 21 doubles and eight triples in 2014. He also has 16 stolen bases. His power numbers are a bit down from what they usually are, as he typically hits at least 15 home runs.
Financially, Rios may not be the most realistic option on the market for the Reds. The veteran is making $12.5 million this season and has a $13.5 million team option, with a $1 million buyout, for next season.
The two-time All-Star would certainly give the Reds a boost on offense, and considering the Reds' need for a right-handed bat, he would make a lot of sense. Money may be the biggest obstacle for the Reds to overcome, but if the team wants Rios badly, it could find a way to get a deal done.
Reds Are Looking for a Bat
The banged-up Reds are looking for a bat at the deadline, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty talked about where the team stands right now: "I’d like to add a bat. We just haven’t found anything that attracts us yet. It may not happen before the 31st. We’ve had a few discussions with clubs but it’s been relatively quiet. It’s a little surprising.”
Given the team's pile of injuries this season, a player who can play multiple positions is what the team is looking for. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips are expected to be back in August, so acquiring a player who can only play one position would not be in the best interest of the club.
One name that the Reds have apparently not ruled out is former Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. The Braves recently released the veteran, less than a week after suspending him for a game for showing up to the ballpark late.
Here's what Jocketty had to say on Uggla: “We haven’t discussed it yet. I haven’t talked to our scouts who saw him. We’re going to meet tomorrow and go over some stuff.”
Update: July 21 at 2 p.m. ET
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that Dan Uggla has signed with the San Francisco Giants.
--End of Update--
At this point, Uggla is more of a name than a legitimate threat. His average has dropped in every season since 2010, including down to .179 in 2013 and .162 this season. Strikeouts are a big problem for the veteran. He has struck out at least 150 times in a season since 2007. He had 40 strikeouts, to only 10 walks, in 145 plate appearances in 2014.
Uggla has always been a power threat but had only two home runs this year. Before this season, the second baseman had never hit fewer than 19 home runs in a season.
The Reds could use a big bat from the right side, but they have to decide if Uggla has anything left at this point or if he's just a name.
Potential Trade Target: OF Marlon Byrd, Philadelphia Phillies
The Cincinnati Reds would like a bat for the middle of their lineup, and one player that they are interested in is Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd, according to CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury.
With Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto out with injuries, the Reds need a bat that can help provide some offense. That is exactly what Byrd can do.
In 2014, the 36-year-old is hitting .264 with 18 home runs, 20 doubles and 54 RBI. That kind of production is missing from the Reds offense, especially in left field, right now.
Of course, the Reds got an firsthand look at the impact Byrd can have on a pennant race. The veteran went from the New York Mets to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a midseason trade last season. All he did in with the Pirates was hit.318/.357/.486 with three home runs and nine doubles in 30 games.
Byrd is making $8 million this season, is due $8 million next season and has an $8 million vesting option for 2016.
Salisbury reported that Byrd can block a trade to the Seattle Mariners, the Kansas City Royals, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays. Both the Mariners and the Royals have shown interest in him.
Potential Trade Target: LHP Antonio Bastardo, Philadelphia Phillies
Should the Philadelphia Phillies sell at the deadline, Antonio Bastardo is one player who could be traded.
CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury reported that the Reds have interest in the southpaw. It makes sense given Sean Marshall's injury and Manny Parra's struggles.
Bastardo has pitched in Philadelphia his entire career. The 28-year-old has a 3.60 ERA and a 1.195 WHIP in 250 games over six seasons with the Phillies.
This season, he is 4-3 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.102 WHIP in 42 appearances. In three of the past four seasons, his ERA has not been above 3.38. It was a career-best 2.32 last season.
Bastardo is making only $2 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for the third time this winter. With Marshall's uncertain future, it'd make sense for the Reds to pick up a veteran southpaw who is signed past this season.
Potential Trade Target: UT Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays
With all of the injuries the Reds have had to deal with this season, they have to consider looking for some help at the trade deadline. A player who can play multiple positions, like Ben Zobrist, would be the most attractive to the club.
The 33-year-old would be a good fit in Cincinnati for several reasons. For starters, he has a good bat. Entering the All-Star break, he had a slash line of .266/.352/.401 with six home runs, 19 doubles and three triples.
Consistency is something that this Reds lineup needs, and Zobrist is pretty consistent on offense. He has hit anywhere from .269 to .275 the past three seasons, which is about where he is again this season.
The utility man can also play pretty much anywhere a team needs him to play. Outside of pitcher and catcher, Zobrist has played every position on the diamond. Right now, the Reds are without Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto. He can fill in for either one of those players, give Zack Cozart a day off or even play in the outfield when needed.
Should the Reds seriously pursue Zobrist, they would have a $7.5 million team option for next season. That's a pretty affordable option for a player of his caliber. If the team decides to move on from Ryan Ludwick, Zobrist could be the team's left fielder next season.
It's not known how serious the Reds are in pursuing Zobrist, but with the team's injury list, he certainly may make the most sense of any player on the market.
Reds Could Be in Market for Bullpen Help
If the Cincinnati Reds do have one major weakness, it's middle relief.
Going into the offseason, there was no reason for management to look for arms for the bullpen. Cincinnati had the best bullpen in MLB just two seasons ago and had finished seventh last year, with injuries playing a major factor.
Now, the bullpen has been an adventure outside of Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Broxton. The bullpen ERA has been above 4.00 for most of the season. When a starter has failed to pitch past the sixth inning, manager Bryan Price has had to make his best guess as to which reliever could pitch the seventh and give the lead to Broxton.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay believes that the club could be in the market for bullpen help. Relievers are usually cheap and don't require much in return, which are two things that Cincinnati has to be looking at in any potential trade.
One might wonder if the team will be looking at a left-handed reliever. Veteran setup man Sean Marshall just underwent shoulder surgery, and Manny Parra has been ineffective (4.43 ERA in 33 games, .275 average against for left-handers).
The Reds did recently sign Cuban pitcher Raisel Iglesias to a seven-year, $27 million deal. While C. Trent Rosecrans of The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that general manager Walt Jocketty sees Iglesias as a starter in the future, if the pitcher impresses in the minors right away, the Reds might have to consider bringing him up to the majors to help the bullpen this season. Rosecrans noted that Iglesias was a reliever in Cuba.
Cincinnati's relievers have started to have some success, but Price hasn't been able to trust anybody in middle relief this season.