Reds GM Walt Jocketty indicated that his team could either sell off pieces or continue trying to contend at this year’s trade deadline, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Cincinnati entered action today sitting five games under .500 and 14.5 games back of the division-leading Cardinals.
“I think we’ll see how it plays out. We’re prepared to go either way,” said Jocketty. “We’re certainly not throwing in the towel. If people are interested in our guys, we’ll certainly listen and see if there’s something that makes sense to make us better in the long run.”
Jocketty said that he’s received contact from teams interested in the club’s veterans, but indicated that he has not been targeted for chats in an overly aggressive manner. He explained: “I’ve had some calls for a while. Nothing out of the order.”
The Cincinnati GM also made clear that he had no interest in dealing away All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier. He made clear that recent speculation about interest from the Mets was without basis. “He’s too valuable to our club,” Jocketty said. “I think all that came from when we were in New York. It made sense. The Mets need a third baseman. He’s from that area.”
While a move involving the controllable Frazier always seemed unlikely, the Reds obviously possess a series of highly desirable, relatively short-term commodities. Leading the way is top starter Johnny Cueto, who could be dealt along with rotation mate Mike Leake before they reach free agency after the season. Likewise, closer Aroldis Chapman is only under contract through 2016, and would be likely to return quite a haul if dealt. Other players who could theoretically be shipped out include outfielders Jay Bruce and Marlon Byrd as well as reliever Manny Parra.
Whatever course the team takes, Jocketty left the impression that he does not intend to full gut the roster. “Even if we do make some deals, or if we don’t, we will try to keep this club as competitive as possible for the remainder of the year,” he said.