It’s more accurate to characterize the Reds as “listening” than in gathering up kindling for a fire sale, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com tweets. Other teams indicate that Cincinnati does not seem to be in a hurry to deal potential rental pitchers Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake. It still seems reasonable to expect that both of those soon-to-be free agents will be moved, though the team does have a number of other assets that pose more difficult strategic questions.
Here’s more on the Reds and the rest of the NL Central:
- Reds reliever Manny Parra has a strained left elbow, leading MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon to suggest on Twitter that the southpaw is unlikely to be dealt this month. The 32-year-old free-agent-to-be has not performed as hoped for since signing a two-year pact with Cincinnati, though he does carry peripherals that suggest he’s been better in 2015 than his current 4.00 ERA. With a $3.5MM salary this season, Parra certainly could be an August trade piece if he’s able to return to health.
- Some rival executives have speculated that there could be a potential match between the Reds and Royals on outfielder Jay Bruce, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets. He adds that Cincinnati scouts have been taking a look at K.C.’s Triple-A and Double-A affiliates. With Alex Gordon out and Alex Rios having struggled (though he has picked things up of late), it’s easy to see why there might be some interest from the Royals in the fairly affordable and talented 28-year-old.
- While the Cardinals’ need for a left-handed bat is fairly straightforward to assess, the club’s preferred route on the pitching side is somewhat harder to peg, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The team certainly has rotation options, Strauss explains, and GM John Mozeliak said recently that the quality work of the staff makes it unfair to say the club is “out on the market looking for starting pitching.” But with some cause for trepidation over the number of innings being shouldered by key starters and relievers, says Strauss, it appears likely that St. Louis will look to make some kind of pitching addition (as it has in each of the last four seasons). “I still think we have internal resources to handle the pitching, but I’m not going to ignore the market or not remain opportunistic if something comes up that makes sense for us,” said Mozeliak.
- The Pirates have at least some interest in Padres outfielder Justin Upton, but will likely look first at infield additions if the team feels it necessary to fill in for the injured Jordy Mercer, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. We just learned that Mercer is expected to miss at least six weeks of action, which certainly suggests the possibility of an acquisition — particularly given that Josh Harrison is also out. Of course, it is entirely unclear whether Pittsburgh will be looking more for a major contributor or a competent fill-in. The latter may be more likely given that both Mercer and Harrison figure to return this year, at least so far as has been reported publicly.
Wong, Carpenter, Heyward, and eventually Jay seem like plenty of left-handed bats to me, not sure why there would be a need there. They just need an upgrade at 1B, no matter what side of the plate they hit from.
I agree they don’t need to go after a LH bat…..but Heyward is a FA after this season, and the Cards won’t pay him the $200 mil plus that he’s hoping for (but won’t get)……and they shouldn’t. They’ll go with Holliday in LF, Grichuk in RF, and Jay/Bourjos in CF until Piscotty is ready. Adams will be fine at 1B if healthy. Question remains……..do they keep Heyward or trade him away at the deadline (I’m not sure, but I think he’s eligible for a QO / draft pick in return if he goes to FA)
Jason Heyward is one of the best players on the team with the best record in baseball. There is no question, he’s not getting traded.
The Reds’ Front Office is a joke. This “listening” garbage is a weak attempt to gain leverage in discussions. It won’t work, obviously, because EVERYBODY knows Cueto/Leake *HAVE* to be dealt.
Have to be dealt but best offer wins. Teams aren’t kicking the tires on them, they’re in high demand.
Furthermore, if the Reds don’t trade them they can extend qualifying offers which will cost teams draft picks to sign and net the Reds two competitive balance picks. Doubt a team gives Cueto as much money as he’s seeking and sacrifices a 1st next off season. Mike Leake maybe, but not Cueto and that much money. Which means they’ll have a chance to trade him next season too.
But I think they’ll trade them and net nice pieces. Highest bidder wins.
Cueto certainly would be extended a qualifying offer but I am not so sure about Leake.. He has always had around a 4.00 FIP and if the speculation that the QO will break $16 million this year is true I could see him accepting it.. If he does he could give it another shot next year at trying to improve on his stats and players have to be a bit leery on turning them down with what happened to Drew and Morales last year.. He will still only be 29 going into the 2017 season.. Plus, next years pitching market doesn’t seem to be very strong with Strasburg and possibly Cashner the only high end pitchers that will be available.. If anyone was to accept a QO this off season I would think Leake would be the most likely.. So, imo he is a must trade for the Reds because I don’t think they would risk giving him a QO and they don’t want to lose him for nothing..
Are you really insinuating that Cueto, a pitcher who has a legit shot at $200M, would accept a qualifying offer? Seriously? He would be given a qualifying offer, he’d deny it, he’d get multiple offers over $150M and the Reds would get nothing but one draft pick for their ace.
Accept a QO no, but teams have been reluctant to part with 1st rounders and dish out huge amounts of money.
Some team might buy with the QO attached and losing a 1st rounder, but it certainly limits his suitors.
dude, any major market team in the back half of the first would sacrifice a first round pick if Cueto signed. They will not be scared off by the QO… Teams like the Cubs, Yanks, Sox would prefer he gets traded (not necessarily to them) because then they wouldn’t have to give up a first round pick.
The Cubs are not dishing out 200 mill for Cueto after dishing out 150 mill to Lester.
Cubs fans might like that but I guarantee the front office isn’t going after a 200mill pitcher.
They might dish out 70-100mill for a pitcher but at some point they have to start paying these young stars. 4-5 year 70-80 or 6-7 200 mill.
After CC Sabathia the Yankees may be reluctant to give Cueto 200 mill and a lengthy commitment in fear of seeing him deteriorate in the final 3 years. They signed CC when he was 28. Cueto is 29 and turning 30 before next season even begins. Doubt they give him 200mill unless it’s heavily front loaded like half in the 1st 2 years and then half over the next 5.
What? Are you saying Leake is more sought after or better than cueto? My friend put the bottle down!
No. But leake isn’t getting 200 mill.
Maybe 60 or 70 which makes losing the 1st hurt less cause they dished out the money.
4-5 year commitment at 60-70mill vs. 6-7 year deal at 200 mill+.
Also, Leake has definitely pitched better away than at home this year and throughout his career.
They don’t “have” to be dealt. But they will, I don’t know what you’re stressing out about, they’ll both be moved before the deadline.
Absolutely. Worst front office in baseball. My guess, reds will be left holding the bag as other teams like the Padres and tigers unload starting pitchers first.
Wonder if the Pirates will be interested in Gyorko. He’s still young and he’d be closer to home. Doubt my Padres get anything serious for him, but something is better than nothing and getting out from under the contract is a bonus.
what about clint barmes?
They can have him for a signed Andrew McCutchen jersey and a vintage Barry Bonds bobblehead
The Padres will certainly have to eat some salary if they move Gyorko.. For some reason I would really like to see Gyorko go to Oakland.. His OBP seems to be lower than what Beane usually goes after.. Who knows though.. Gyorko could re-emerge as a solid offensive player with a change of scenery and a move away from Petco..
Oakland is essentially same as Petco
A pitchers park
Not a good fit
Gyorko would not be a fit for the Pirates at all. They have Walker, Kang, and Harrison. Arguably the best trade chip the Pirates will be willing to part with is Alen Hanson because he is essentially MLB ready. If they wanted a guy like Gyorko they could just call Hanson up instead. Gyorko got a nice payday from the Padres and they are going to have to live with that. He is still young enough he could figure it out and be productive.
Reds are also scouting the Royals farm on Cueto and Leake likely, as well.